Awakening of Intelligence
3rd Public Dialogue Madras
9th January 1968
Time, Space and the Centre
Krishnamurti: What shall we consider together this morning?
Questioner: What is psychological memory, and how is it imprinted on the brain?
Questioner: Will you go into the subject of pleasure and thought?
Questioner: What is the concept of life, and of this world?
Krishnamurti: Do you want to discuss that? "What is the concept of life and of this world?" And also, what is the thinker, and thought... What do you say, Sirs, I don't mind what we discuss.
Questioner: Can we continue talking about thought? The last talk ended with the problem of time and space.
Questioner: Could we talk a little more, explain more, about time, space and the centre, which we were talking about the other day?
Questioner: Why is it we want to discuss something from "the other day"? That is over.
Krishnamurti: Perhaps if we discuss this question of a concept of life, and living, we shall come upon the question of time, space and the centre. I think that all the other questions will be included in that. What is the concept of life? What do we mean by concept, the word? To conceive, to imagine, to bring out. A conceptual world is a world of ideas, formulas, a world of theories, a world of imaginative ideological formation. That is what we mean, don't we, when we talk about concepts? A conceptual world, an ideological world. First of all, what is its place in our relations with others, in the context of living? What is the relation between the conceptual world, which we have more or less described or verbally explained, what is the relationship between that, and actual daily living? Is there any relationship at all? I have toothache; that is an obvious fact. And the concept of not having toothache is an unreality. The fact is, I have it. The other is a fictitious thing, an idea. Now what relationship has the reality, the "what is", the actual daily living, to the formula, the concept? Has it any relationship? You believe, at least some of you, the Hindus, believe that there is the Atman. (We are on a touchy subject.) That there is something permanent. That is an idea, a theory, a concept, is it not? No? Shankara or the Vedantas or some bird said that there is this Atman, or whatever it is, the spiritual entity. That is just an idea, isn't it?
Questioner: Much more than that.
Krishnamurti: Much more?
Krishnamurti: It is said that there is some permanent thing...
Krishnamurti: (I do not assume, Sir.) There is this theory, Sir, the concept that there is a permanent state, a reality within each one, God, or whatever you like to call it. The Christians, the Muslims all say so, and different people use different words. Here you use a series of words. Now, is that not a concept which has no reality whatsoever?
Questioner: Now it is a concept, but in the course of time we hope to discover that thing for ourselves.
Krishnamurti: When you postulate that there is a certain thing, a something, then you will inevitably discover it! Psychologically, the process is very simple. But why state anything at all?
Questioner: I am in love with the most beautiful woman in the world, but I have never seen her. Although I have not seen her it is a fact that she is beautiful.
Krishnamurti: Oh, come off it, Sir. It's not a bit like that. This will lead to cuckoodom. We have ideologies, concepts - the ideal of perfect man, the ideal of what should be, how the liberated person should act, think, feel, live and so on. But these are all concepts, aren't they?
Questioner: Surely what you call "what is" is also a concept!
Krishnamurti: Is it? When you have actual toothache, is that a concept: when you are actually miserable because you have no job, no food, is that a concept? When someone dies whom you love and you are in great sorrow, is that a concept?
Krishnamurti: What! A toothache is unreal? Where do you all live? When death comes in old age, or through an accident you break a leg, or whatever it is - is that theoretical, problematical? Is it a concept? Sir, we are dealing now with concepts. A concept of life. Why do you want concepts?
Questioner: To qualify life.
Krishnamurti: Why should I qualify life? I live, I suffer.
Krishnamurti: That's just it. "How do you go about it, to conceive life?" Why do you want to conceive life; about what things should be like? What is the reality about life, you ask. The reality of life is there, it is misery. There is pain, there is pleasure, there is despair, there is agony.
Questioner: They are only apparent.
Krishnamurti: What do you mean, "only apparent"? Oh, you mean it is an illusion! You mean that there is nothing like pleasure, pain, war? That this is a lovely world? (Laughter). When they take away your job you say there is no such thing, do you! When you have no food, you say that that is an illusion, do you? No? Then what are you talking about? You say it is not real? What do you mean? You say a concept is a means to an end? Really this is a most extraordinary world. What are we all talking about! We very carefully analysed that word "concept", what it means. Right? The gentleman says many people need the concept. Well keep it, Sir, keep it.
Questioner: I did not say that. I said many people need to understand the word "concept".
Krishnamurti: We explained it just now. So let us get on with it. We asked what relationship the concept has with daily living. Daily living is the daily grind of going to the office, the daily grind of the torture of loneliness, misery and so on. What relationship has that, which is the actual, which is what is, which is what is going on every day in our lives, what has that to do with the concept?
Questioner: Can I say something?
Krishnamurti: Delighted, Sir. You take the field.
Questioner: (Long speech. Inaudible.)
Krishnamurti: Ah! He says if we really understood the concept, life would be different, and he quoted some other gentleman, I do not know whom. Why should I understand concepts? When I am full of misery, when I have no food, when my son has died, when I am deaf, dumb, stupid - what has the concept got to do with all that? Concept being the word, the idea, the theory. What has that to do with my aching loneliness?
Krishnamurti: What Sir, what Sir! I think we must get on with it, otherwise we shall get nowhere. We are unwilling to face facts and we spin around with a lot of words. Reality is not a concept; reality is my daily life. Right? The reality is that I am in torture, and pain is not a theory, is not a concept, it is an actual process in life. So I say to myself - why do I have concepts about pain? It is such a waste to have concepts about pain. So I do not want concepts, I want to understand pain. Right?
The problem then is - what is pain? There is physical pain, such as toothache, stomachache, headache, and disease, and also there is pain at a different level, at the psychological level. Now, how am I to be free of that? Free of inward pain. I can go to a doctor to be cured of physical pain. But there is psychological pain in the sense that I suffer. What do I suffer? What does one have pain about, Sir?
Questioner: Loneliness and fear.
Krishnamurti: Right! Loneliness and fear. And I want to be free of it, because this loneliness and fear are always a burden, they darken my thinking, my outlook, my vision, my way of acting. So, my problem is how to be free from fear, not from any theory; that has gone overboard. I do not accept any theory about anything. So, how do I get rid of fear? Will a concept help me to get rid of fear? It is what you were saying earlier, Sir; but will having a concept about fear help me to get rid of that fear? You say "Yes", you say "it is a scientific thought", "it is a basis for reality", it is a "logical conclusion". Do take a simple example, Sir, and work it out for yourself. Don't introduce scientific, logical and biological facts. There is fear; will a concept of no-fear help you get rid of fear? Sir, don't theorize about it. You have a fear, haven't you? No? Don't just throw words about. You have fear, don't you? Will a concept help you to get rid of that fear? Do think it out, Sir; go into it. Don't go back into some theory, Sir. Do please stick to one thing. There is fear. You are afraid of your wife; you are afraid of death, afraid you might lose your job. Will any theory, concept, help you to get rid of those fears? You can escape from them. If you are afraid of death you can escape from that fear by believing in reincarnation, but fear is still there. You don't want to die, though you may believe in all kinds of stuff, the fact is that fear is still there. Concepts do not help to get rid of fear.
Questioner: They may gradually help us to be free.
Krishnamurti: Gradually? By that time you will be dead. Sirs, don't theorize, for God's sake. These useless brains that theorize!
Questioner: Is it not escaping also to try and get rid of fear?
Krishnamurti: Oh, how childish we are! You can escape from your wife, but your wife is still at home.
Questioner: You can change your way of life.
Krishnamurti: Sirs, do please let us be simple about this, you know what fear is, don't you? You know what violence is, don't you? Will a theory of non-violence help you to get rid of violence? Take that one simple fact. You are violent; that is a reality. In your daily life you are violent, and will that violence be understood through a concept, the concept of non-violence? (Long pause.)
Questioner: (Inaudible long speech.)
Krishnamurti: What are you saying, Sir! We are speaking English! Do you understand English, Sir? We are talking about violence. Have you ever been violent, Sir?
Krishnamurti: Good. Now did you get rid of violence by a concept?
Questioner: Seeing that one is violent one tells oneself to be calm.
Krishnamurti: I wonder if we are talking the same language. I give it up! You go on, Sir.
Questioner: (Continues inaudible statement.)
Krishnamurti: All right, Sir. You win.
Questioner: (Further inaudible speech.)
Krishnamurti: Thank God, Sir, you don't rule the world. You are losing time. You are wasting time. You are living in a world which is so unreal.
Questioner: (Continues to harangue. Inaudible.)
Krishnamurti: That is what we are saying, Sir. Face the fact itself. And you can only face the fact if you have no theories about the fact. Right? And apparently you gentlemen of the older generation do not want to face the fact. You like to live in a world of concepts. Please live there, Sirs. Now let us proceed. The question is, is it possible for the mind to be free of fear? Now what is fear? We feel afraid. (We are coming back to your question, Sir.) (Not your question, Sir. You want to live in a world of theories; live there. I am answering this other gentleman.) You ask who is the entity or the being that says "I am afraid"? You have been jealous, haven't you, envious? And who is the person who says "I am envious"?
Questioner: The ego. There is a sense of the ego.
Krishnamurti: Now who is the ego? Sir, do analyse it. You know what analysis is? Go into it, step by step. Who is it? Think it out Sir, and don't quote Shankara, Buddha or X Y Z ! When you say "I am afraid", who is the "I"?
Questioner: (Several inaudible suggestions.)
Krishnamurti: Don't quote. Do think it out, Sirs.
Questioner: Is it not thought that conceives of itself as being permanent at the moment it is envious?
Krishnamurti: Now, what is that moment when that thought regards itself as permanent? I am envious. I am conscious that I am envious. Now who is that entity, that thought which says "I am envious"?
Krishnamurti: Oh please, Sir! You do not analyse it; you just make a statement! Do go into it, Sir. You say that at that moment, when that thought makes the statement "I am jealous", that thought, for the time being, thinks itself permanent. Right? Now, why does that thought think it is permanent? Is it not that the thought has recognised a similar feeling which it has had before? Go slowly, step by step. I am envious. You know what envy is - I become aware that I am envious, now I am asking - "Who is the entity that has become aware? And how does that entity or that thought know that it is `envy'?" That thought knows that it is envy because it has felt envy. The memory of previous envy comes up and the person who feels it says, "Here it is again." Right? Here is the envy which I have had before. Otherwise you would think of it quite differently. Because thought was able to recognise the feeling, it was able to call it "envy". It had experienced the same feeling before. So it says ("it" being thought)... (Interruption from audience.) Sirs, I know it is very complex so we must go slowly step by step. (Sirs, would you mind getting the coughing over - all of you at once.) (Laughter) This is a very difficult question to go into and just give it your fall attention; you cannot understand its very intricate and subtle nature. We say - first of all there is envy; one becomes conscious of that envy; then thought says, "I have had that feeling before." Otherwise you would not be able to recognise that feeling which you have called "envy". What one has had as an experience before is given permanency, continuity through recognition of what is taking place now. So, thought has continuity because thought is the response of memory. Right? That thought, which is the outcome of yesterday's memory says, "Here it is again; it is envy". By calling it "envy" and recognising it, it has given it greater vitality. Thought is the response of the bundle of memories which constitute tradition, knowledge, experience and so on, and that thought recognises the feeling which it has now, "envy". So, thought is the centre, or the memory is the centre! Right? (Pause) Sirs, your centre says "It is my house, I live there, it belongs to me legally" and so on. You have certain memories, pleasurable and painful memories. The whole bundle of them is the centre, isn't it? The centre being violence, ignorance, ambition and greed - it has pain, despair and so on. That centre creates space around itself. Does it not? No? (Interruption). (Go slowly, Sirs... An interval?... Ah, the gentleman wants me to repeat what I have said. Sorry, Sir, I cannot repeat it, I cannot remember what I said.)
We will put it differently. There is this microphone. Round it there is space. That is the centre, and it has space around it, and it exists in space; as this room has space within it. But also this room has space outside it. So the centre has a little space in itself, and also it has space outside it. (I am not talking of creation. Just listen quietly.) Please observe this, Sir, please go into it, please observe it completely, not merely intellectually. It is more fun if you actually go into it. But if you theorize about it then the discussion can go on indefinitely and it leads nowhere. Here is the centre, and the centre is a bundle of memories. (It is so fascinating, Sirs. Please go into it.) The centre is a bundle of memories, a bundle of traditions, and the centre has been brought about by tension, through pressure, through influence. The centre is the result of time, within the field of culture - Hindu culture, Muslim culture, and so on. So that is the centre. Now that centre, because it is a centre, has space outside it, obviously. And because of the movement, it has space in itself. If it had no movement it would have no space. It would be non-existent. Anything that is capable of movement must have space. So there is space, outside the centre and in it. And the centre is always seeking wider space, to move more widely. To put it differently, the centre is consciousness. That is, the centre has the borders which it recognises as "the me". As long as there is a centre, it must have a circumference. Of course. And it tries to extend the area of the circumference - by drugs, which is now called the "psychedelic expansion of the mind" - through meditation, through various forms of will, and so on. It tries to extend the space it is aware of as consciousness, to make it grow wider and wider and wider. But, as long as it is a centre its space must always be limited. Right? So as long as there is a centre, space must always be confined - like a prisoner living in a prison. He has freedom to walk in the yard but he is always a prisoner. He may get a larger yard, he may get a better building, more comfortable rooms, with bathrooms and all the rest of it, but he is still limited. As long as there is a centre, there must be the limitation of space, and therefore the centre can never be free! It is like a prisoner saying "I am free", within the prison walls. He is not free. Many people may realize unconsciously that there is no such thing as freedom within the field of consciousness, with a centre, and therefore they ask whether it is possible to extend consciousness, expand consciousness - by literature, by music, by art, by drugs, by various processes. But as long as there is a centre, the observer, the thinker, the watcher, whatever he does will be within the prison walls. Right Sir? Please don't say "Yes". Because there is distance between the border and the centre, time comes in, because he wants to go beyond it, transcend it, push it farther away. I don't know if you follow this? Sir, we are not dealing with theories, but if you do this actually inside yourself you will see the beauty of this thing.
Questioner: Would you go into the tendency to expand.
Krishnamurti: You know what it means, to expand. A rubber band, you can stretch it, but if you stretch it beyond a certain point, it breaks. (Yes Sir. It will break beyond a certain point). I feel, living in Madras in a little house, that there is no space there. With my family, with my worries, with my office, my traditions - it is too deadly petty, and I want to break through it. There again is the desire to expand. And when society presses me in, drives me into a certain corner, I explode - which is again a revolt in order to expand. And when one lives in a small flat in a very crowded street and there is no open country to breathe in and no opportunity to go there, I become violent. The animals do this. They have territorial rights because they want space in which to hunt, and they prevent anyone else coming into that area. Right, Sir? So, everything demands expansion - trade, insects, animals and human beings, they all must have space. Not only outwardly, but inwardly. And the centre says, "I can expand by taking a drug." But you don't have to take a drug to have an experience of this kind of expansion. I don't have to take a drink to know what drunkenness is! I know what drunkenness is, I see it! I don't have to take a drink!
Krishnamurti: No Sir, please Sir, don't bring in other things. This is very complex Sir. If you go slowly into it, you will understand it. The centre, being the prisoner of its own limitation, wants expansion. It seeks expansion through identification - with God, with an idea, with an ideal, with a formula, with a concept. Please follow this, Sir! And it thinks it can live differently, at a different level, though it is living in a miserable prison. So concepts become extraordinarily important to a prisoner, because he knows he cannot escape. And the centre being thought - we examined that - then thought tries to expand by identification with something - with the nation, with the family, with the group, with culture - you know, expand, expand. But it is still living in prison! As long as there is a centre there is no freedom: right? (Don't agree Sir. For you all it is just a theory, and one theory is as good as another.) So, see what it does! It invents time as a means of escape. I will gradually escape from this prison. Right? I will practise, I will meditate, I will do this and won't do that. Gradually, tomorrow, tomorrow, next life, the future. It has not only created space which is limited, but also it has created time! And it has become a slave to a space and a time of its own. Ah! Do you see this, Sirs?
Questioner: How does memory... (inaudible)
Krishnamurti: It is very simple, Sir. You asked that question before. It is very simple if you look at it for yourself. Somebody hits you, insults you, and you have a memory of that. I hit you, and you are hurt, you are insulted, you are made little and you dislike it, and that remains in your brain, in your consciousness, the memory of me insulting you or flattering you. So the memory remains and the next time you meet me you say to yourself, "That man insulted me", "That man flattered me". The memory responds when you meet me again. That's all, it's very simple. Don't waste time on it.
Questioner: Where are we, after these discussions and talks?
Krishnamurti: I'm afraid I cannot tell you. If you understand what is being said and live it then you will be in a totally different world. But if you don't live it, daily, then you will just be living as you are. That's all.
So first the problem is that as long as there is a centre, and we know what we mean by "the centre", there must be time and limited space. That is a fact, as you can observe it in your daily life. You are bound to your house, to your family, to your wife, and then to the community, to society, and then to your culture and so on and so on. So this whole thing is the centre - the culture, the family, the nation - that has created a boundary, which is consciousness, which is always limited. And it tries to expand the boundary, to widen the walls, but the whole is still within the prison. So that is the first thing, that is what is taking place actually, in our daily life. Then the question arises (please listen, don't answer theoretically because that has no value), is it possible not to have a centre and live in the world? That is the real problem. Is it possible not to have a centre and yet live completely, fully, in this world? What do you say?
Questioner: One could be just a point.
Krishnamurti: But a point is still a centre! No, Madame, don't answer this question. If you just answer it means you have not gone into it.
Krishnamurti: That's it. I knew you'd say that, Sir; but you are still within the circumference. You don't... You keep on... Sir, have you ever been to prison? Not you, Sir, personally. Have you just visited a prison? If you have visited a prison you will have seen that they are expanding the walls. Bigger rooms, bigger prisons, more and more. But you are still within a prison. And we are like that. We live within the prison of our own thinking. With our misery, our culture, saying "I'm a Brahmin, a non-Brahmin, I hate this, I like this and I do not like that, I love this and not that", and so on. We live within this prison, I may expand it a little bit but it's still a prison. So this question arises (please don't answer, because this is a very fundamental question, which you cannot possibly answer glibly by a few words) you have to find out in life, in daily living. So we are asking: "Is it possible to live in this world, completely doing your job, doing everything with tremendous vitality, without a centre, knowing what the centre is, and knowing that to live in this world you need memory?" You see this, Sir? You need memory to go to the office, to function there. If you are a merchant you need a memory to cheat others or not, whatever you do. You need memory, and yet to be free of the memory which creates the centre. See the difficulty?.. So what will you do? (Interjection.) Sir, please don't answer, you're back to theories. When I've got a toothache, stomachache, or I'm hungry and I come to your house, what do you give me? Theories? Or chase me out? Here is a tremendous problem. It is not for India alone. It's a problem round the world, a problem of every human being.
Now, is there a method to get rid of the centre? You follow? A method? Is there? Method belongs to time, obviously, and therefore a method is no good, whether it is the method of Shankara, Buddha, your pet Guru, or no Guru, or you invent it. Time has no value and yet, if you are not free from that centre you are not free. Therefore you must always suffer. So a man who says, "Is there an ending to sorrow?" must find the answer to this - not in a book, not in some theory. One must find, see it. Right? So if there is no method, no system, no leader, no guru, no saviour - all introducing time - then, what will happen, what will you do? To have come to this point, what has happened to your mind? What has happened to your mind which has investigated this, very carefully, not jumped to conclusions, nor theories, nor saying "It is marvellous; but when it has done this, actually, step by step, has come to this point, put this question, what has happened to such a mind?
Krishnamurti: Oh no. Please Sir. What has happened to your mind, if you have done this? No, no. It is something that has happened to it. No you're only guessing, Sir. Don't guess. It's not a guessing game. Your mind has become highly active, hasn't it? Because to analyse so carefully, never missing, a point, logically, step by step, you have to exercise your brain, you have to exercise logic, you have to exercise discipline. So the mind has become extraordinarily sensitive, hasn't it? The mind, by observing what it is doing, what it has done, which is building up the centre, by merely observing, the mind has become extraordinarily alert. Right? You have done nothing to make it alert, but by merely watching the movement of thought, step by step, it has become extraordinarily clear. So, being clear, it puts the question, "How is the centre to disappear?" When it has put that question it is already seeing the whole structure of the centre. Seeing, actually visually, as I see that tree, I also see this.
Questioner: What is the entity which sees the action?
Krishnamurti: Sir, I said the mind... You go back to something, Sir, I'm awfully sorry but we can't go back. It is no good going back to something which you have not actually lived as we went along. You are inactive but think you have become active by putting a question like, "Who is the entity that sees?" But you haven't actually understood, observed, how the centre is formed - through memory, through tradition, through the culture one lives in, including religion and all the rest of it. The centre has been formed through economic pressures, and so on. That centre creates space, consciousness, and it tries to expand. That centre is saying to itself (nobody else is asking it) "I realize I am living in a prison, and obviously to be free from pain, sorrow, there must be no centre." It sees this. The centre itself sees it - not somebody else above or below telling the centre. So the centre says, seeing itself, "Is it possible for me not to be?" (Long pause.) That means that we have to go back to this question of seeing. Unless you understand that, you can't come to it.
Questioner: (Inaudible suggestion.)
Krishnamurti: Ah, no, no, no. Seeing, without emotionalism, sentimentality, like and dislike. Which does not mean that you see something without feeling.
Questioner: (Inaudible interjection.)
Krishnamurti: That is what you all do, Sir. You see that dirt on the road every day - and I have been here for the last twenty or thirty years, and I see that squalor every day. Of course you see it without feeling. If you felt, you would do something about it. If you felt the rottenness of the corruption in this country you would do something. But you don't. If you saw the inefficiency of the Government, if you saw all the linguistic divisions which are destroying this country, if you felt it, if you were passionate about it, you would do something. You don't. Which means you don't see it at all.
Questioner: (Inaudible interjection.)
Krishnamurti: Ah, no, no. "You see the bigger life" - what's the "bigger life"? You see how you want to twist everything to something else! You can't look at anything in a straight way, simply, honestly. So, unless you do it, we can sit here and discuss until Doomsday. What is seeing, is it this, is it that? But if you really saw the tree, without space and time, and therefore without the centre, then, when there is no centre and you look at the tree, there is vast space, immeasurable space. But first, one must learn, or watch, or hear how to look. But you won't do it. You won't begin the very complex thing called life, very simply. Your simplicity is to put on a loin cloth and travel third class and do so-called meditation, or whatever you do. But that is not simplicity. Simplicity is to look at things as they are - to look. To look at the tree, without the centre.
4th Public Dialogue Madras
12th January 1968
A Fundamental Question
Krishnamurti: What shall we talk over this morning together?
Questioner: Is not love a method?
Questioner: Am I right in assuming, Sir, that time and space are one of our problems?
Questioner: What is the relation between memory and thought?
Questioner: We must have memory in order to function in daily existence, technological developments and so on, but is memory not also an impediment?
Krishnamurti: I don't know if you have heard the previous questions - I had better repeat them. First, has love a method?
Questioner: Is not love a method?
Krishnamurti: Is not love a method? - a lovely idea isn't it? What was the other?
Questioner: The relation between thought and memory.
Krishnamurti: And your question, Madame, was - memory is necessary in daily existence, in technological development and so on, but is not memory also an impediment? Any more things that you want to throw in?
Questioner: We want to be aware of every thought, feeling and action, but thought, feeling and action go on being coloured and then are suppressed when the mind is silent. How can that take place?
Krishnamurti: Is that really what you are all interested in?
Questioner: We have disorder in our daily life - how are we to go about bringing order?
Krishnamurti: We have disorder in daily life, how are we to set about bringing order? Is that right, Sir?
Questioner: Or do we have to wait for a change to come of its own accord?
Questioner: What is clear thinking?
Krishnamurti: All right. Let's take that up - shall we? And we can answer your questions and bring them all in. Is that all right?
What is clear thinking? Shall we discuss that? And relate it, if we can, to our daily living. What is clear thinking? Is thinking ever clear? We had better not go too quickly. First of all, let's find out what we mean by clarity, and what we mean by thinking. What do we mean by clarity? Clear - when you look through the water on a lake and see the bottom of that lake you see everything very clearly, the pebbles, the fish, the ripples on the water and so on. And you see very clearly, in bright light, the shape of the tree, the leaf, the branch, the flower - what do we mean by clarity?
Questioner: A direct impression.
Krishnamurti: Oh! no. A definite outlined impression, is that it?
Questioner: Complete understanding.
Krishnamurti: Clarity means complete understanding. We haven't come to that level yet. We are talking about what we mean by that word "clear"?
Questioner: Free of any obstruction.
Questioner: To see things as they are, actually see things as they are.
Questioner: To see without space.
Questioner: Sir, sometimes we don't get clarity if we look at the moon and a cloud at the same time we see the moon moving and not the clouds.
Krishnamurti: Sir, we are talking about a word, the meaning of that word, its semantics.
Questioner: More details.
Questioner: I think it has something to do with light, Sir, seeing.
Krishnamurti: Sir, would you mind just waiting a minute to examine this before we say anything else. What do we mean by the word "clear"? I see you clearly. I see the trees, the stars of an evening, very clearly.
Questioner: Without obstruction.
Krishnamurti: Without obstruction. When the eye can see everything very, very clearly. The seeing - that is what we mean, when there is no obstruction, no barrier, no screen, no fog, and if your eyes are short-sighted you put on glasses to see more clearly into the distance and so on. Clarity - right - is that clear? I think we are clear as to the meaning of that word.
Then what do we mean by thinking?
Krishnamurti: Thinking Sir, what does it mean?
Krishnamurti: Sir, look. The speaker is asking you a question. What is thinking?
(Interruption from audience)
Krishnamurti: The speaker is asking you a question: what is thinking?
Krishnamurti: The speaker is asking you: what is thinking? And you don't even give space and time to find out what thinking is. A question is being put to you, it is a challenge to you. And you bubble over! You don't say, "Now how am I to find out what thinking is? How does thinking take place? What is the origin or the beginning of thinking?" It is a challenge and you have to respond to it. And to respond to it you have to (if you want to respond to it adequately) you have to examine what thinking is, how it happens. The speaker asks you - what is thinking? And what does the mind do when it receives this challenge? Do you search?
Questioner: What we are doing now.
Krishnamurti: Do listen for a minute. You will have your chance, Sir. Give the poor speaker a chance. When that question is put to you what is the operation that your mind goes through? Where do you find the answer to that question?
Krishnamurti: Sir, watch it, think it out, go into it. I ask you where you live or what your name is - your response is immediate, isn't it? Why is it immediate? Because you have repeated your name umpteen times, thousands of times, and you know where you live. So between the questioning and the answer, there is no time interval - right? It is immediate. I ask you what is the distance between Madras and Delhi or New York, and there is a hesitation - right? So you look into memory, into what you have learnt or what you have read and you say, "Well the distance is so many miles". So you have taken time between the question and the answer, there is a lag of time - right, Sirs?
Now what happens when there is the question, "What is thinking?" How do you find that out?
Questioner: It takes one's mind to bring all the answers.
Krishnamurti: What do you do, Sir?
Krishnamurti: You probe into the memory and what do you get out of it? What is the answer?
Questioner: We study it a little more and more and then try to gather these extracts together.
Krishnamurti: Sir look, I am asking you now, this morning, don't wait until the day after tomorrow until you and I have gone, or are dead, but I am asking you now - what is thinking? And you - either you find out or you don't know - right? Which is it?
Questioner: It is the process of a mind giving an answer.
Krishnamurti: What do you mean by the process of the mind?
Questioner: Sir, what are you aiming at? - I don't understand.
Krishnamurti: What am I aiming at? Just a minute Sir, you have asked a question. What am I aiming at? What I am aiming at is very simple. I want to know, when that question is put, "What is thinking?", I want to find out what it is. (Interruptions from audience.) Sir, give the other fellow a chance, don't answer so readily. I want to find out what thinking is - how does it come about, what is the beginning of it? Right? It is very simple, Sir. Now what is it, how does it come about? That is, you asked me a question - say, "What is thinking?" - and I really don't know - right? Or I do know, I know the whole process of it - how it operates, how it begins, what is its mechanism - right? No?
Questioner: One feels how it operates but I am unable to explain.
Krishnamurti: One feels how it operates but one is not capable of explanation. Look, take a very simple thing, Sir. I ask you what your name is. You hear the words and then what happens?
Questioner: You really just answer.
( Various comments - inaudible.)
Krishnamurti: You reply, don't you? Say your name is so and so. What has taken place there?
Questioner: I have referred to my memory and my memory responds.
Krishnamurti: That's right, Sir, that's all. The question - to that question your memory responds and replies - right? Now I ask you - what is thinking? - and why doesn't your memory respond?
Questioner: Because... (inaudible).
Krishnamurti: It may be, Sir, go into it, find out - why don't you reply what thinking is? Whether you know or you don't know. If you know, you will say, if you don't know you will say, "Sorry I don't know". Which is it?
Questioner: I don't know.
Krishnamurti: The gentleman doesn't know. We are trying to answer the question, "What is clear thinking?" We more or less understood the meaning of the words clarity, clearness, clear. And we are finding it rather difficult to find out what thinking is. We say it is the response of memory to a challenge - right? And that response comes from accumulated memories, knowledge, experience. This is simple, Sir. You learn a language after having heard it from childhood, you can repeat it because you have stored up the words, the meaning of that word, the word in relation to the thing and so on, and you can speak because you have stored up the vocabulary, words, the structure and so on. Memory responds and the response of memory is thinking. Now what is the origin of thinking, the beginning of thinking? We know that after accumulating memory we respond and the response is thought. Now I want to find out also - that is, in order to find out what clear thinking is - I want to find out what is the beginning of memory? Or is that too difficult, too abstract?
Questioner: It is our conditioning.
Krishnamurti: No, I am afraid I am going too fast. Sorry. All right, Sirs. I won't go into it. What is thinking - we know now! So when you respond, when thought is the response of memory and memory is the past (the accumulated experience, knowledge, tradition, and so on) that response is what we call thinking, whether it be logical, illogical, balanced, unbalanced, sane, healthy, it is still thinking. Now, please follow the next thing, can thought be clear?
Questioner: No, it is always conditioned.
Krishnamurti: No, do please find out. Can thought be clear?
Krishnamurti: You see you are just supposing. You live on abstraction and that is why you cannot be practical. You live on concepts, ideas and theories and when you move out of that field you are completely lost: when you have to answer something directly, of yourself, you muddle along. We asked, "Can thinking, which is the outcome of memory (memory is always the past, there is no living memory) can thinking, which is of the past, ever be clear?" This is a very interesting question, Sirs. Can the past produce clear action? Because action is thought - right?
Questioner: Yes, that is a fact.
Krishnamurti: Sirs, have we understood the question? We have more or less analysed the word "clear", and we have more or less analysed what thinking is. So the next thing we are asking is, can thinking (which is the outcome of a long past, which is not living, and is therefore always old) can that thing which is old, the past, ever be clear? You understand, Sir? If I do anything out of tradition, (which is the past, however noble, ignoble, or stupid) - if I do anything out of tradition, can that action be clear?
Questioner: It cannot because memory and tradition belong to the past...
Krishnamurti: I am asking, Sir, can action born out of the past, the doing, which is always in the present, the doing, not "having done" or "I will do", but the actual doing - can it ever be clear?
Questioner: The word action and the word clear have nothing to do with each other. "Clear" applies to seeing everything...
Krishnamurti: All right. Can that action be fresh, new, direct, as direct as when you meet fire and you move away. So I am asking, "When we live and function in the shadow of the past, is there any clarity?" Leave action out because that disturbs you - I know why it disturbs you - because you are never used to acting, you are used to conceptual thinking. And when you are faced with action, you get confused, because your life is confused, and that's your affair.
So, when you act from the past, from tradition, is it action, is it something living?
Questioner: Why should there be any difference between clarity and action?
Krishnamurti: Oh! we can discuss this ad nauseam. But I am just asking, Sir. You are all tradition-ridden, aren't you? - traditionalists. You say this or that is sacred, or repeat some shloka, or, if you don't do any of that, you have your own tradition, your own experience, which you go on repeating. Now does this repetition bring understanding, clarity, freshness, newness?
Questioner: It is an aid to understanding the present situation.
Krishnamurti: Is the past an aid to understanding the present?
Questioner: Things break down.
Krishnamurti: Wait Sir, wait Sir. Look at it. Does the past help you to understand the present?
Questioner: The past is...
Krishnamurti: Just listen, Sir, what she has said. You have had thousands and thousands of wars, does it help you to prevent all wars? You have had class division - Brahmin and non-Brahmin and all the hate involved - does the past help you now to be free of all caste?
Questioner: It should.
Krishnamurti: It should - then we are lost! When you say, "It should" it is an idea, it is not an action. You will still be a Brahmin, you will still be superstitious, you will still be violent.
Questioner: People don't want to be free of the past.
Krishnamurti: It doesn't matter if you are free or not - don't be free of it, live in your misery. But if you want to understand this thing called clear thinking and going beyond it, you have to face certain things. If you say "Well, I don't want to change my traditions"...
Questioner: Can you not help us to at least make a... ?
Krishnamurti: We are doing that, Sir, we are doing that. Look Sir, if the past is a help, if tradition is a help, if culture is a help, to live now, fully, clearly, happily, sanely and flower in goodness, the past then has a value - but has it? Do you, with all your tradition, live happily?
Questioner: The past is like looking through smoked glass.
Krishnamurti: That's right. So the past doesn't really help you.
Questioner: A little bit.
Krishnamurti: Don't say "No", because you are only speaking of another idea; unless you do it, cut yourself from the past, you can't say "Yes, it is no good".
Questioner: We have the chance to understand you because we have listened to you for years. A child has no such chance.
Krishnamurti: "We have the chance to understand you because we have listened to you for forty years - a child hasn't - and all the rest of it!" Why do you bother to listen to the speaker at all? Even for a day or, worse, for forty years? How tragic it all is! I don't know where you people live.
And so let's get back. When I am always looking over my shoulder to the past, I can never see anything clearly in the present, obviously. I need two eyes to look, but if I am looking over my shoulder all the time, I can't see the present. What I need to do is to look at the present, and I am not capable of looking at the present because I am burdened with the past, with my tradition. Tradition says to me "It is terrible to have a divorced wife; or my respectability says to me "That person is terrible because he is not moral", (whatever that may mean). We all do this. So what happens to my affection, to my kindliness towards that person? My prejudice, which is tradition, prevents me from being kind or affectionate to that person.
The past may help in the field of technology, but it does not help in the field of life. I know this is theory now and you will repeat that ad nauseam and think you have understood it. So the question arises: as thought is of the past and I have to live completely in the present to understand the present, how is the past to be put aside and yet be useful? That is what your question was. You understood my question? I have to live, to live in this world, and I need technological knowledge to go to the office - you know all that is involved in it, science, bureaucracy; this is the case if you are a professor or even if you are a labourer. And I see also - I have understood something this morning - that to live completely, fully, the past must not interfere; so I say to myself, "How is this possible? How is it possible for me to live in the technological world most efficiently, logically, with more and more technology, and yet live at another level, or even at the same level, without the interference of the past?" In the technological field I must have the past, in the other field of life - no past. Do we see this?
Questioner: Yes, now we have an understanding.
Krishnamurti: Ah, good! And I ask myself (don't laugh, Sir) - now I ask myself how this is possible.
Questioner: Is a double life possible?
Krishnamurti: No, you see, what you are leading is a "double life". You go to the temple, put on ashes; you know the set-up, ringing of bells and all the jingles. And at the same time you live at the technological level. You are leading a double life, and you say, "Is it possible?" Of course it is possible because you are leading it. We are not talking about a double life. Examine the complexity of this problem, that one has to have technological knowledge and that there must also be freedom from knowledge, from the past. Now, how is this possible? The double life which you are leading now is in existence, and therefore you are making a hideous mess of life, you go to the temple and at the same time run a machine. You put on ashes, or whatever you do, and go to the office. It is a form of insanity. Now, how is this possible? Have you understood my question, Sirs? You tell me how it is possible. Do you say it is not a double life?
Questioner: To use the technological knowledge only when it is necessary and not in other ways.
Krishnamurti: But you have to use such knowledge all the time - to go to your office, to go to your home, to follow the road, when you look at a tree, when you do the bureaucratic job, and so on; this mental operation is functioning all the time. People don't see this. You can't divide it, can you? Go slow, go slow. You can't divide life into technological life and non-technological life. That is what you have done and therefore you are leading a double life. So we are asking,"Is it possible to live so completely that the part is included in the whole?" Right? Are you getting it? Now we lead a double life, the part, we keep it separate, going to the office, learning a technology, all that, and going to church or the temple and ringing bells. So you have divided life and therefore there is conflict in your life between the two. And we are asking for quite a different thing, to live so that there is no division at all. I don't know if you see this?
Questioner: You want us to...
Krishnamurti: No, no, I don't want you to do anything.
Krishnamurti: Oh no, Sir. You are not meeting the question - please understand what the speaker is trying to convey. Don't go back to something he has said about psychological memory and all the rest of it. That is a set of words you have learnt. Find out what the speaker is trying to explain now. Can I live a life in which there is no division at all (sex, God, technology, getting angry) - you follow? A life in which there is no division, no fragments?
Questioner: The moment there is an end to these things...
Krishnamurti: Sir - please Sir, don't just throw out words. Now to continue: How am I, who live in fragments, many fragments not just two (my whole life as I live it is a fragmentary existence, which is a result of the past, which is the result of my saying, "This is right, that is wrong", "This is sacred, that is not sacred" or "Technology and all that doesn't really matter, one has to earn, but going to some temple is endlessly important") - how can I live without fragmentation? You understand the question, Sir, now?
How? (Not "according to what method", because the moment you have introduced method you have introduced fragmentation). "How am I to do it?" is the question, but you say immediately, "Tell me the method" and "the method" means: a method which you practise as opposed to something else and therefore the whole thing is back where we started. So there is no method. But the question of "How" is merely asking, finding out, not searching for a method. Now, how is it possible so to live that there is no fragmentation at all? You understand my question, Sir? That means no fragmentation at all at any level of my being, of my existence.
Questioner: What is being, Sir?
Krishnamurti: What is being? - I am sorry we are not discussing that, Sir. You see you are not even paying attention. You pick up a word like "being" or a phrase like "what is the purpose of life", and off you go. But that is not what we are talking about. Look, Sir, how am I to live so that there is no fragmentation at all? I don't say, "Well, I'll go and meditate" - which becomes another fragmentation, or "I must not be angry", "I must be this or that; these sentences all involve fragmentation. Can I live without any fragments, without being torn apart? Right, Sir? Have you understood the question?
Now who is going to answer you? Will you go back to memory? What the Gita said, what the Upanishads said, what Freud said, or somebody else said? If you went back and tried to find out what they said about living without fragmentation, then that would be another fragment, wouldn't it?
Questioner: What of those who don't seek their aid?
Krishnamurti: If you do not seek their aid, then where are you? How do you find this out? How do you find out how to live so that there is no fragmentation at all? Oh, Sirs, you don't see the beauty of this.
Questioner: By integration.
Krishnamurti: I knew you'd give that answer. (Laughter) The questioner says, "By integration" - integrating with what? Integrating all the fragments together? Or putting all the pieces together? And who is the entity that is putting all the pieces together? Is it the Higher Atman or the Cosmos or God or the Soul or Jesus Christ or Krishna? All that is fragmentation - you follow? So you have this challenge, and how do you respond to it, that is of the first importance - you understand? You are challenged, how do you respond to it?
Questioner: You work it out in life so that you become harmonious.
Krishnamurti: Ah, lovely! When? (Laughter).
Questioner: Every day.
Krishnamurti: There is no day, every day.
Questioner: Every morning.
Krishnamurti: Now, look what you are doing. You are just adjusting yourself to the challenge. You are not answering it. (Laughter) How do you answer this, Sir?
Questioner: It is not a question of answering at all because we are trying to meet you with the word.
Krishnamurti: Find out, Sir, what you are doing. Find out. Here is a challenge and you can't go back to any books - right? You can't go back to your authority, the Gita and all that rubbish. So what will you do? You see I can go on explaining, Sir, but you will just accept it, as you have accepted so many things, and carry on. So let's look at it.
Here is a new challenge. The challenge being that I have lived in fragments all my life (the past, the present and the future, God and the devil, evil and good, happiness and unhappiness, ambition and no ambition, violence and non-violence, hate, love and jealousy) these are all fragments; all my life I have lived that way.
Krishnamurti: We have been through all that, Sir. Give the speakers two minutes, will you kindly?
Now, what is the answer? I have lived a fragmentary, destructive, broken life and now I have to live - now the challenge put to me has been: "Can I live without any fragmentation?" That is my challenge. Now how do I respond to it? I respond to it by saying, "I really don't know" - right? I really don't know. I don't pretend to know. I don't pretend to say "Yes, here is the answer". When a challenge is put to you, a new challenge, the instinctive response - I do not mean instinctive - the right response is humility: "I don't know." Right? But you don't say that. Can you honestly say you don't know? You can, good. Then what do you mean by that feeling, "I don't know"?
Krishnamurti: Don't answer it too quickly, find out. Use your brain cells.
Questioner: The recognition of fact, Sir.
Krishnamurti: I have recognised the fact, otherwise I wouldn't even answer it.
Questioner: I have no means of finding out. I do not know and I don't know the means of finding out.
Krishnamurti: Now wait. I don't know - right? Now what is the state of the mind - please follow it, listen quietly - what is the state of the mind that says "I really don't know"?
Questioner: Lack of... ?
Krishnamurti: Oh, there we are! You people are so dull.
Questioner: I do not know.
(Various comments - inaudible.)
Krishnamurti: Oh, you are so immature, like children in a class! This is a very serious question we are asking and you just throw in a lot of words, you haven't even the humility to listen and find out for yourselves.
Questioner: It is not easy, I don't know.
Krishnamurti: When we say, when you say, as that gentleman said just now, he doesn't know, what is the state of mind that has replied "I don't know"?
Krishnamurti: You are - Sir, how old are you?
Krishnamurti: Oh, Sir. When I say "I don't know", I really don't know. But am I waiting to find out, or waiting for somebody to tell me - right? I am waiting. Therefore when I say "I don't know", it isn't an actual fact that I don't know, because I hope that somebody is going to tell me, or that I'll find out. Do you follow this? Right. Then you are waiting, aren't you? Why are you waiting? Who is going to tell you? Your memory? If your memory is going to tell you, you are back again in the same old rut. So what are you waiting for? So you say "I won't wait" - you follow, Sir? - there is no waiting. There is no "in the meantime" - you follow this? I wonder if you do. So when you say "I don't know", it means nobody knows - right? Because if anybody tells me, he will tell me out of fragmentation - no? So I don't know, therefore there is no waiting, there is no answer - right? So I don't know. Then I find out what is the state of the mind that says "I don't know" - are you following it? It is not waiting, not expecting an answer, not looking to some memory, authority, it ceases - all that has stopped. Right? So the mind - follow it step by step - so the mind is silent in the face of a new challenge. It is silent because it can't answer the new challenge. I don't know if you are meeting this; right, Sirs? (No. No. You don't understand?)
You know when you see a marvellous mountain, the beauty, the height of it, the dignity, the purity of it, it forces you to be silent, doesn't it? - this may last a second but the very grandeur of it makes you silent. And a second later all the reactions begin. Now if you see the challenge in the same way - but you don't because your mind is chattering - so you don't see the importance or the magnitude of this question, which is: can I live (living meaning now, not tomorrow or yesterday, or a second after, or a second before) can I live without fragmentation? It is an immense question - right? Why aren't you silent?
Questioner: Because I want to live without fragmentation.
Krishnamurti: Ah - which means what?
Questioner: I want to be out of it.
Krishnamurti: Which means what? Go into it. You don't see the immensity of the question. All that you want to do is to get into another state, therefore you don't see the magnitude of the question. Why don't you? Pursue it. You do see it, when you see a marvellous mountain, sparkling with snow in the clear blue sky with great, deep shadows, and absolute silence. Why don't you see this in the same way? Because you want to live in the old way. You are not concerned with seeing the full meaning of that question, but you say, "For God's sake tell me quickly how to get there".
Questioner: I am already seeking the solution of how to get there.
Krishnamurti: That's right. So you are more concerned with the solution than with the question. Which means what?
Questioner: I won't get it.
Krishnamurti: No. Which means what? Look at it, look at it, don't answer it yet - which means what?
Krishnamurti: No, Madame, stick to it.
Krishnamurti: You have understood the question? You don't see the magnitude of this question because you want to reach it, get it, you are greedy. So your greed is preventing you from seeing the immensity of it. So what is important? (Follow it step by step.) Not the immensity but your greed. Why are you greedy - about something which you don't understand at all? (You don't mind, Sir, my pursuing what your daughter says like that?)
Krishnamurti: Now, see why. Why are you greedy, when you haven't even understood what is involved in it? So you say, "How stupid of me to be greedy about something when I don't know what it means" - right? So what I have to do is not, not to be greedy, but to find out the implications, the beauty, the truth, the loveliness of that thing. Why don't you do that, instead of saying "I must get it"?
So you respond to a new question, a new challenge, invariably from the old. Greed is from the old. Therefore is it possible to cut off the past entirely? You understand? It is the past that is fragmentary, that is bringing about fragmentation, breaking up life. So my question is: is it possible to be free of the past totally so that I can live technologically? I don't know if you follow this? Can I be free from the past, can I be free from being a Hindu, Buddhist, Muslim, Christian, or anything else? Not "can I be; I must be. It is stupid for me to belong to any caste, to any religion, to any group. Out it goes. There is no time to think about it as you suggested. Out it has gone - you follow? So it is possible to cut the past completely; if you can do it in one direction you can do it totally. Right? (Oh, no, you don't see.)
So, can you, from this moment, be free completely of your nationality, of your tradition, of your culture, of your past? If you can't, you live in fragmentation, and therefore everlastingly life becomes a battlefield. And nobody is going to help you in this. No guru, no Communist, nobody is going to help you do it. And in your heart of hearts you know this jolly well. Well, Sirs? So thought is always old - right? Discover this for yourselves, don't repeat after me - discover it. And you see what an extraordinary thing you have discovered. So if you discover this - that thought is really old - then all the past - the Shankaras, the Buddhas, the Christ, the whole past is gone. No? But you don't discover it. You won't make the effort to discover it; you don't want to discover it.
Questioner: No Sir, there is the fear of being lost.
Krishnamurti: Well, be lost, you are lost anyhow!
Questioner: Not completely lost.
Krishnamurti: But you are lost, Sirs. What are you talking about? You are terribly lost. It is only a lost man that is everlastingly in conflict. You are lost, but you don't recognise that you are lost. So thought is always old; then, what is it - that is too difficult to go into now - I'll just put it forward and you will see for yourselves - what is it then that sees something new? You understand, Sirs? Thought is always old - follow it carefully - when the Adi Shankara, that old bird, said something, his thought was already old - do you understand? Therefore what he said was never new, he repeated in his own coinage of words something which he had heard, and you repeat it after him. So thought is never new and can never be new, and living now, every day, is something which is the active present; it is always active, in the present. Therefore when you try to understand activity in the present, with the past, which is thought, then you don't understand it at all; then there is fragmentation, and life becomes a conflict. So can you live so completely that there is only the active present now? And you cannot live that way if you haven't understood and thereby cut yourself off completely from the past, because you yourself are the past. You see you will unfortunately go on just listening - if I happen to come next year you will repeat the same old stuff.
Questioner: Sir, if we are not in the past, but in the present, does that not also become the past and the future - how are we to know that we are right?
Krishnamurti: You don't have to be sure you are right - be wrong! Why are you frightened about being right or wrong? But your question has no validity at all because you are just talking, you are just theorizing. You are saying, "If this happens, that would happen". But if you put it into action then you would know there is no such thing as "going wrong".
Questioner: Sir, when we go back home we see our children and the past comes in.
Questioner: Shankara may go.
Krishnamurti: I hope it has gone. Shankara may go but the children remain. (Laughter) Are the children the past? They are in one sense. And as they are living human beings, can you educate them to live completely, in the way we are talking about?
Questioner: Right Sir, you have answered it, sorry.
Krishnamurti: That means I have to help them to be intelligent, I have to help them to be sensitive, because sensitivity, highest sensitivity is the highest intelligence. Therefore if there are no schools around you, you have to help them at home to be sensitive, to look at the trees, to look at the flowers, to listen to the birds, to plant a tree if you have a little yard - or if you have no yard to have a tree in a pot and to look at it, to cherish it, to water it, not to tear its leaves. And as the schools do not want them to be sensitive, educated, intelligent (schools only exist to pass exams and get a job) you have to help them at home, to help them to discuss with you, why you go to a temple, why you do this ceremony, why you read the Bible, the Gita - you follow? - so that they are questioning you all the time, so that neither you nor anyone else becomes an authority. But I am afraid you won't do any of this because the climate, the food, the tradition is too much for you, so you slip back and lead a monstrously ugly life. But I think, if you have the energy, the drive, the passion, that is the only way to live.
Public Talks Saanen 1971
1st Public Talk Saanen
18th July 1971
What is Your Over-riding Interest?
WHAT IS YOUR primary interest, your deep, abiding intention? I think one should discover that for oneself. You must find that out and relate it to all the activities of daily life.
One may be deeply concerned with the world as it is, with the violence, the appalling chaos, the political divisions, and the corruption - which is death, not only outwardly but also inwardly. In discovering one's deep interest for oneself, one will be able to find out one's relationship with another, according to that interest. If that interest is vague, superficial, depending on surroundings and the wind that blows in any direction, then our activities, both outwardly and inwardly, will be rather casual, without any significance. During these talks and discussions, could you find out what is your major interest, whether you are really concerned with the world and your place in the world, with your relationship to another human being, your relationships politically, economically, socially and religiously? What is your deep, major interest in life? Is it acquiring money, prestige, security? Please listen to this carefully. If that is your real, vital, sustained interest, then you must see the consequences of such an interest. Or is your interest, considering the world and your relationship with it, not only to change yourself but also to change the world about you? Then you must also see the implications of this. Or is it that you want to establish a personal relationship with another so completely, so wholly, that there is no conflict: then also you must realize the consequences of this. Perhaps your interest is something more difficult: trying to find out what is the place of thought, as the measurable and the immeasurable. To discover in which direction our interest lies, we must be willing to dedicate ourselves completely to it, and not just play with it, casually accepting or rejecting it according to circumstances, according to environmental influences and our own likes and dislikes. If we are prepared to go into this completely, then we can establish a relationship between ourselves - relationship with the world, with our neighbour and with our intimate friend.
That is what we intend to do during these weeks, to find out where our major capacity and interest lies, and whether that interest is isolated, or is related to all human beings. If it is isolated and you are seeking your own particular enjoyment, your own particular salvation, your own particular safety, a good position in the world, then in talking this over together, we shall be able to find out whether such an interest has any validity, whether it has any significance at all. But your interest, your deep purpose may be to find out how to live a totally different life. Seeing things as they are, the violence, the brutality, the enmity and hatred, the corruption and the utter chaos, your aim may be to find out whether the human mind, your mind, the mind of each one of us, is capable of completely changing, so that, as a human being, you not only bring about a radical revolution in yourself but also outwardly - although the outward revolution and the inward revolution are not separate.
We are not talking of physical revolution: violence, bombs, killing people in the name of peace. That is no revolution at all; it is merely childish destruction.
I do not know if you have observed the violence all over the world. The younger generation were at first giving flowers to everybody, living in a world of "beauty" and imagination; when that did not work, they took to drugs, they became violent, and we are now living in a world of complete violence. You can see this in India, in the Middle East, in America.
As we grow older our capacities are dulled, the world is too much for us. Therefore, it behoves each one of us to find out our purpose, our intention, our major interest. Once we have discovered this we can discuss it, then we can take a journey together, providing that your interest and the speaker's are the same, because the speaker knows exactly his intention, his drive, his interest, and if your interest is something quite different, then our relationship becomes difficult. If, however, your interest is to understand this world in which we live as human beings - not as technicians - then we can establish a relationship and together we can talk things over - together we can take a journey. Otherwise these talks and discussions will have very little meaning.
Please bear this in mind, although you are here for a holiday amongst the mountains, the hills and the streams, and the tourist entertainments, in spite of all that, we have an opportunity of sitting together for a whole hour. You know, that is quite interesting, to sit together for an hour and talk over our problems without any pretence, without any hypocrisy, and without assuming some ridiculous facade. To have a whole hour together is really extraordinary, because so rarely do we sit and discuss serious matters with anybody for a whole hour. You may go to the office for a whole day, but it has far greater meaning to spend sixty minutes or more together in order to investigate, to seriously examine our human problems hesitantly, tentatively and with great affection, without trying to impose one opinion upon another; because we are not dealing with opinions, ideas, or theories.
We are concerned with establishing a relationship between one another, and that can only be done if we know our mutual interests, and how deep those interests lie, and what energy we have to resolve the major problems of our life. Our life is not different from the rest of the world: we are the world. I don't think any of us realize, deeply and continuously, that we are the world and the world is us. This must be deeply rooted within us. We have made this social structure, this violence, according to our desires, according to our ambition, greed and envy, and if we would change society we must first change ourselves; that seems such a simple, radical approach to the whole problem. But we think that by changing the outer structure of society, by throwing bombs, making political divisions and the like, we shall by some miracle all become perfect human beings; I am afraid that never works. And to realize that we are the world, not as a verbal statement or a theory, but to actually feel it in our hearts, is very difficult, because our education, our culture, has laid emphasis on our being separate from the world; that as individuals we have a responsibility to ourselves and not to the rest of the world, that as individuals we are free to do as we like, within reason. But we are not individuals at all; we are the result of the culture in which we live. An individual means an entity who is not fragmented, who is whole; we are not that. We are broken up, fragmented, in a state of contradiction within ourselves, therefore we are not individuals. So, seeing all this, what is our major interest in life?
You must give yourself time to think it over. Let us sit together quietly and find out. Is it that you have so many problems, economic, social, the problem of personal relationship and you would like to solve them all wholly and completely? Is it that you have sexual problems which you have not been able to solve, so the solving of that becomes your major interest? Is it that you want to live peacefully in a world that is noisy, corrupt and violent? Or does your interest lie in the direction of social reform and to that you are dedicated? And if you are, then what is your relationship to that society? Or are you interested in finding out the limitations of thought? Thought is limited, however logical, however capable it may be; thought is also inventive and experimental, producing marvellous things technologically, but it is still limited. Do you want to find out if there is something more, something beyond thought - the measurable and the immeasurable? You have to look at all these problems.
Questioner: I don't understand what you mean when you say, "We are the world" and "The world is us".
Krishnamurti: Is that your major problem? Don't bother about what I say. What is your problem, what is your major interest, and have you the energy, the capacity, the intensity, to solve that problem? It is really very important for you to find out. Don't concern yourself with what the speaker says; that is irrelevant. But find out for yourself what your interest is and see how much energy, passion and vitality you are prepared to give pursuing that interest; because if you have no passion, no intensity to pursue that interest then - if I may point out - corruption has set in and where there is corruption, there is death. Then from which end shall we begin? Can this total movement of living, this whole human existence be split up in this way? Don't agree or disagree, just listen. Do you first of all establish a physical relationship of order, giving social and economic security, and after laying the foundations, build a complete house and then move from there to the other, or is it one total unitary movement, indivisible, non-fragmented, wherever you begin, because the two are related, the two are inseparable.
We want complete physical order, and we must have order in our life inwardly as well as outwardly. We must have order, not military order, not the order of the older generation nor the order of the younger generation - the permissive society is disorder, it is corruption and decay; and the so-called order of the older people is really disorder, with its wars, its violence, its division and snobbery - it is also corruption. So, seeing both the permissive disorder of the young and the "ordered" disorder of the old, observing both, one realizes that there must be a different kind of order. And that order must assure physical security for everybody, not just for a few rich people, or for those who are well placed and have capacity. There must be physical security for everybody.
As you know, over six million people from the East have crossed the border into India. Do you realize what that means, not only for the refugees but also for the country that itself is already impoverished? How can you establish order there? And the young people have created total disorder with the so-called permissive society. They say the older generation have created disorder and they want to have nothing to do with it; they want a different way of living, so they do just as they like. But that too is disorder; both are disorder. I wish you could see this!
One realizes that there must be physical order, physical security, for every human being in the world. This has always been the dream of the revolutionaries, of the idealists and the philosophers; they believed that through physical revolution they could achieve their ambition. But it has never succeeded. There have been so many revolutions and it has never happened. Look at the Communists with their divisions, their armies and the totalitarian state, and look at all the horrors that go on in the rest of the world; there is no order anywhere. One realizes that there must be physical order. Now does that order depend on the administration of the law, on the authority of society according to its culture and environment? Or does it depend entirely on the human being, on each one of us, the way we live, the way we think, the way we act in our relationships with one another? So, let's begin there. That is, living as a human being in a destructive, chaotic, violent world, how am I, or how are you, going to bring about order? Does that order depend on you or on the politician? Does that order depend on you, or on the priest, or on the philosopher, or on an utopian ideal?
If you depend on the priest, on the politician, on a theory, on a belief, or on an ideal, see what takes place! You are then conforming to a pattern set by the politician, by the theorist, by an utopian ideal; hence there is a conflict between what you are and what you think should be. And that conflict is part of this violence, this disorder. So can you perceive that order in society can be brought about only by you and by nobody else? We are responsible for that order by our conduct, by our thoughts, by our way of life - the whole of it. And is that your real, deep, abiding interest, to discover what that order is? One must live when the world is in confusion and chaos, with its suffering and destruction - and to understand this confusion, one must live in total, complete order. If you are interested, if you are prepared to give your energy, your capacity, your passion to finding out what that order is, then we can go into it, then we can share this thing together; you won't be just an outsider looking in, because it's your problem and you must put your teeth into it! If that is your real, deep interest, then you must be passionate. I'm not talking about lust, about physical passion or sexual passion. I'm talking of that passion which comes when there is deep interest.
Say, for instance, one is deeply interested in finding out if sorrow can ever end (deeply interested, not superficially because it brings a reward, but because you really want to find out) - sorrow, the grief, the pain, the anxiety, the fear, which we all feel. If that sorrow can ever come to an end, then you will find that only then comes real passion, real intensity. So, is it your intention to discover for yourselves whether, living in this world, whether it is possible to bring about such order within yourselves? - because you are the world, and the world is you.
Questioner: You said you must have passion, but earlier on you stated that as we grow older our passion is dulled: so what are we to do?
Krishnamurti: Do our passions become dull as we grow older? Perhaps our physical passions do, because our glands are not working so efficiently, but we are not talking about the passion of the young or of the old and the dissipation of that passion. We are talking about having an interest, a vital interest, a major issue with which you, as a human being, are concerned - not a gift, a technique, a capacity. If you have such a deep interest and you live with it, then out of that comes passion. And that passion doesn't disappear just because you have grey hair.
Questioner: What happens when you have this deep interest, but also you have the desire for pleasure?
Krishnamurti: You have pleasure on the one hand and a vital, abiding interest on the other. please just listen to it! Is there a contradiction between pleasure and a vital interest? If I am vitally interested in bringing about order within myself and in the world around me, then that becomes my most profound pleasure. I may have a nice car, I may look at a girl, or at the hills and all the rest of it; but they are all passing, trivial things which will in no way contradict my vital interest which is my pleasure. You see, we divide pleasure in ourselves; we say it would be nice to have a lovely car or listen to beautiful music. There is great delight in listening to music; it may quieten and pacify your nerves by its rhythm and quality of sound; it may carry you away to distant places, far away, and in that there is great pleasure. But that pleasure does not detract from your vital interest; on the contrary. When you have a tremendous interest in something, then that very interest becomes the major pleasure in your life; and all other pleasures become secondary and trivial; in that there is no contradiction. But when we are not sure of our major interest in life, then we are pulled in different directions by various pleasures and objects; and then there is a contradiction. So one has to find out, and I hope you will find out during these coming weeks, what is your major interest in which passion and pleasure exist.
Questioner: Do you not think that this order can only come about by giving to God the place he should hold in our lives? All the chaos that exists in the world today is because we live without the idea of God?
Krishnamurti: To bring about this order in our lives, should we give first place to God? If we have no knowledge of God, no feeling for God, no understanding of that thing called God, then order becomes mechanical, superficial, and changeable. God is the most important thing, the questioner says, and then out of that will come order. Now, we are trying to investigate; we are not going to deny or to assert; we are trying to find out, to enquire. Our main difficulty is that we all interpret, or imagine what God is, according to our own culture, according to our own background, our fears, our pleasures, our sense of security and so on. Surely that is obvious. And if we don't know this ultimate reality and have no knowledge of it, can that bring about order? We are enquiring, trying to find out. Or must you have physical order first, which is measurable, and then having established that order, find out the immeasurable, in which order is something entirely different?
This has been the point of view of all the religious people throughout the world: concern yourselves with God and then you will have perfect order. And each religion, each sect, translates what God is according to its own beliefs and, brought up in that belief, we accept that interpretation. But if you really want to find out if there is such a thing as God, something that cannot possibly be put into words, something which is unnameable, if that really is the major interest in your life, then that very interest does bring about order. To find that reality, one must live differently: there must be austerity without harshness; there must be love. And love cannot exist if there is fear, or the mind is pursuing pleasure. So, to find that reality one must understand oneself, the structure and the nature of the self; and the structure and the nature of oneself is measurable by thought. It is measurable in the sense that thought can perceive its own activities, thought can see what it has created, what it has denied, what it has accepted; and when one realizes the limitations of thought, then perhaps one can go into that which lies beyond thought.
Questioner: The problem of the parent is what to teach our children.
Krishnamurti: First of all, what is our relationship with our children? Please bear in mind that we are investigating together. If you are the father, you go to the office and come home late in the evening. If you are the mother, you have your own ambitions and drives, your own loneliness and miseries, your own worries about being loved or not being loved; the children have to be looked after and there is the cooking and the washing-up; and if there is not enough money, you also probably go off to earn a living. Then what is your relationship with your children? Have you any relationship?
We are investigating, we are enquiring. I am not saying you don't have any relationship. Then, as they grow up you hand them over to a school where they are taught how to read and write; there they form gangs with other children who are also imitating and conforming and who are equally lost. You have the problem not only of your own children but also of other children who are bullying gangsters. Then what is your relationship with your child? You have children and you want to educate them rightly. Now, if that is really your deep, vital interest, you have to find out what is the meaning of education. Is it merely for children to acquire a particular kind of technological knowledge, so that they can earn a livelihood in a world that is becoming more and more competitive, because there are more and more people and therefore less and less jobs? You must face all this.
The world is divided by nationalities, with their sovereign governments, their armies and their navies, and all the butchery that goes with them. And if you are only concerned with the development of technological knowledge, then see the consequences of all that; the mind becomes more and more mechanical and you neglect the whole field of life. When the children grow up, if they are lucky they are sent to a university, where they are shaped more and more, forced to conform and put in a cage. Is that your interest? Is that your responsibility? And because they don't want to be put into a cage, they are in revolt. Please, see all this. And when that revolt proves to be ineffective, there is violence.
How are you, as a parent, going to educate your children to be different? Can you form a new kind of educational system, or can you, with the help of others, start a school which will be totally different? To do that you must have money and a group of people who are really dedicated. If you are a parent, is it not your responsibility to see that such schools are created? So you must work for it; you know, life isn't a plaything. Now, is this your deep, vital interest or, as a parent, are you only concerned with your own ambitions, greed, envy, with your position at the office, getting higher pay, a larger house, a bigger car and so on? You have to look at all this. Therefore, where does education begin? Does it start at school or with you? That means, are you, as a parent, as a human being, re-educating yourself all the time?
Questioner: Is there any meaning in education, or will our children finish up just like us?
Krishnamurti: I was told that Socrates complained about the youth of his day. He said that they had no manners and no respect for their elders, that they were becoming permissive, and all the rest of it; and that was in Athens in the fourth century B.C. And we are still complaining about our children. So we are asking: does the education of children consist in training them to be like us, like other monkeys, or should education include not only technological instruction but also a deep understanding of the whole neglected field of life? The whole of life, not just one fragment of it, because the way we live, we neglect all that, we are concerned only with one fragment; therefore there is chaos and violence in the world.
Questioner: Are you saying that we should only have one main interest? Should we not be interested in many things, in war, in pollution, and so on? Surely you have to be aware of these things, haven't you?
Krishnamurti: Sir, when there is a major interest in your life, then you are aware of everything. When you are interested in order, it is not only order in yourself but order in the world. You don't want wars; you feel for those people because they have no order. You know what is happening, therefore, you are very concerned with pollution, poverty and war. Wars are created by nationalities, by governments, by politicians, by dividing religion into sects and all the rest of it. in observing all that, I want order, not only order in myself, but in the world. And in wanting order, I have to find order in everything around me, which means I must work for order, `be dedicated to order, be passionate about order. That means I have no nationality, do you follow, Sir? Disorder is violence, therefore I must find out how to end completely all violence within myself.
Questioner: Do you believe in demonstrations?
Krishnamurti: You go up and down the street with a group of people demonstrating against the war in Vietnam. Do you want to end the war in Vietnam or do you want to end all wars? Can you demonstrate to end all wars or can you only demonstrate to end a particular war? Do think about this, give your heart to it. I can demonstrate against a particular war, but when I am concerned with the ending of all wars, not only outwardly but in myself, how can I demonstrate with a group of people? Do you also want to end all wars as I do? Do you understand? It means no nationality, no frontiers, no linguistic differences, no religious divisions - all that. No, Sir, you can't demonstrate, you have to live it. And when you live it, that in itself is a demonstration.
Questioner: Do not love and truth bring about order?
Krishnamurti: But do you know what love is, Sir? Do you know what truth is? Can you love if you are jealous, greedy, ambitious? And is truth something fixed, static, or is it living, vital, moving, without any path to it. You have to find all this out for yourself.