Awakening of Intelligence
2nd Public Talk Saanen
20th July 1971
WE WERE TALKING about order. In a world that is so utterly confused and divided, in a world that is so violent and brutal, one would have thought that our main interest in life would be to bring about this order, not only in ourselves but also outwardly.
Order is not habit; habit becomes automatic and loses all its vitality when human beings merely become orderly in the mechanical sense. Order, as we were saying, covers not only our own particular life but also all the life about us, outwardly, in the world, and deeply inwardly. Now, being aware of this disorder, this confusion, how is one to bring about order in oneself without any conflict and without it becoming merely habitual, a routine, mechanical and neurotic? One has observed those people who are very orderly; they have a certain rigidity, they have no pliability; they are not quick and have become rather hard, self-centred, because they are following a particular pattern which they consider to be order; and gradually that becomes a neurotic state. So being aware that this kind of order (which is disorder) becomes mechanical and leads to neurosis, nevertheless one realizes that one must have order in one's life. Then how is this to come about? That is what we are going to consider together this morning.
One must have physical order. It is essential to have a well-disciplined, sensitive, alert body, because that reacts on the mind. And how is one to have a highly sensitive organism that doesn't become rigid, hard, forced into a particular pattern or design - which the mind thinks is orderly and so forces the body to conform to. This is one of the problems. Then there must be order in the whole totality of the mind, of the brain. The mind is the capacity to understand, the ability to observe logically, sanely, to function totally, all round, not fragmentarily, not to be caught in contradictory desires, purposes and intentions. How is this whole quality of mind to have total order, psychosomatic order without conformity, without the enforcement of a thought-up discipline?
See our difficulty first, what is involved in all this. One has to have order; this is absolutely essential. We are going to investigate together what we mean by that order. There is the order of the older generation, which is really total disorder as one observes its activities throughout the world, in business, in religion, in the economic field, amongst nations and everywhere else; there is total disorder.
In reaction to that there is the permissive society, the younger generation, who do quite the opposite to the older generation, which is also disorder - isn't it? A reaction is disorder. And how is the mind, with all its subtleties of thought, with all the images thought has built, the images that it has built about another, and the images about itself, the images of the "what is" and the "what should be" (therefore living in a state of contradiction), how is such a mind to have complete, total order within itself, so that there is no fragmentation, no reaction to a pattern and no contradiction of the opposites out of which arises violence? Now, seeing all this, how is the mind, your mind, to have complete, total order in action and in thought, in every movement both psychologically and physiologically?
The religious people have said that you can only have order through belief in a higher life, through belief in God, belief in something outside, and that you must conform, adjust, imitate according to that belief; that through discipline you must force your whole nature and change the structure of the psyche, as well as your physiological state. They have said all this. And there is a group of behaviourists who say that environment forces you to behave; if you don't behave properly then it destroys you. And people live that way, according to their own particular belief, whether it be the Communist belief, some religious belief or a sociological, economic belief.
In spite of this division in the world, the contradiction in ourselves as well as in society, and the counter culture against the existing culture, they all say that there must be order in the world; the military say it and so do the priests. And is order mechanical? Can order be brought about through discipline? Can order be brought about through conformity, imitation and control? Or, is there an order that has nothing whatever to do with control, with discipline as we know it, that has nothing whatever to do with conformity, with adjustment and so on?
Let us look at this whole idea of control and find out whether it does bring order (which doesn't mean we are talking against control). We are trying to understand; and if we understand, we may discover something entirely different. I hope you are following all this and that you are as interested in it and as passionate about it as I am. It is utterly useless to listen casually to some theoretical idea; we are not discussing theories or hypotheses; we are observing actually what is going on, seeing what is false. The very perception of seeing what is false is the truth. Do you understand?
Now what is implied in control? All our culture, all our education and the upbringing of our children is based on that; and in ourselves there is this urge to control. Now what is implied in that? We have never asked ourselves why we should control at all? Now, let us go into this question. Control implies, does it not, a controller and the thing to be controlled. Please give your attention to this. I am angry and I must control my anger; and where there is control, there is conflict; "I must" and "I must not". And conflict obviously distorts the mind. A mind is healthy when it has no conflict at all; then it can function without any friction and such a mind is a sane, clear mind, but control denies that, because in control there is conflict and contradiction, there is the desire to imitate and to conform to a pattern - the thing you think you ought to do. Is this clear?
So control is not order. This is very important to understand. One can never have order through control, because order implies functioning clearly, seeing wholly, without any distortion; but where there is conflict, there must be distortion. Control also implies suppression, conformity, adjustment and the division between the observer and the observed. We are going to find out what it is to act or bring about order without control. Not that we are denying the whole structure of control, but we are seeing the falseness of it and, therefore, out of that comes the truth of order. Are we following each other, not verbally but actually doing it as we go along, because we are trying to create an entirely different world, a different culture, to bring about a human being who lives without friction? It is only such a mind which is capable of living without distortion that knows what love is. And control in any form does breed distortion, conflict and an unhealthy mind.
The old culture has said that you must discipline, and this discipline begins with children at home, then in schools and colleges and right the way through life. Now that word "discipline" means to learn; it does not mean drilling, conforming, suppressing and so on. And a mind that is learning all the time, is actually in a state of order, but the mind that is not learning, which says "I have learnt", such a mind brings disorder. The mind itself resists being drilled, becoming mechanical, conforming and suppressing, which is all implied by discipline. And yet we said there must be order. How is this order to come into being without discipline in the accepted sense of that word?
Seeing the problem, which is very complex, what is your answer? If you are exercising your mind, if you are really deeply interested in this question of order, not only inwardly in yourself but also outwardly, what is your response to it? How do you find an answer to this urge for order, which does not depend on control, on discipline, on conformity and that totally denies all authority - which is freedom, isn't it? If there is any form of authority, then in the acceptance of that authority there is conformity, there is a following; and that breeds contradiction and therefore disorder.
So, no control, in the usual meaning of that word "discipline", and a total denial of the whole structure and nature of authority, which negates freedom. And yet there must be order; see the complications of it. There is the authority of law, of the policeman, the civil authority that one must abide by; but there must be freedom from the authority of the elders with their beliefs, and the authority of one's own demands, experience, knowledge; because all that denies freedom. Seeing the actual state of the world as it is, observing our culture, social, economic and religious, our educational system and the family relationship, we see that they are all based on this authority. And it has caused utter confusion, great suffering, wars and the fragmentation of the world, as well as the division of man. Observing this, how is one to bring about order? That is your problem - you understand? How will you answer that question if you are really deeply, passionately, interested in trying to bring order to your life, as well as outwardly? What will your answer be? Will you turn to books, to the priests, to the philosophers, to the gurus, to the latest person who says, "I am enlightened, come and I'll tell you all about it?" To whom will you turn - to find out how to live a life that is totally orderly, denying all conformity, all authority, all discipline and control? You have to answer this question. We are coming to the problem afresh, that is, afresh in the sense that we don't know how to bring order out of this chaos. If you say, order should be this or that, then you are reacting to "what is", you are stating something which is in opposition to "what is", a reaction that has no validity whatever. So we are approaching the problem anew; we have so far only examined the actual fact of what is going on in the world and in ourselves, the actual fact. Now, we are going to find out together what order is. You are not accepting anything the speaker says, be quite sure about this, because if you do, then our relationship changes entirely. But if we are examining together, being totally interested in this issue, which is, that realizing the state of confusion in the world, and seeing the disorder in ourselves, in all our lives, how tawdry they are, realizing the actual fact of this, then we need intensity and passion to discover what is order.
We are going to find out, first of all, what it means to learn by observing "What is" and learning from that. Learning means the active present of that verb to learn, which is a constant movement of learning, not having learnt and then applying that knowledge, which is something quite different from learning all the time. Do you see the difference? We are learning together; we are not storing up knowledge and then acting according to that knowledge; in that there is contradiction and therefore control, whereas a mind that is constantly learning has no authority, no contradiction, no control, no discipline, but the very learning itself demands order. Please observe yourself. Are you in a state of learning - or waiting to be told what order is? Do watch yourself. If you are waiting to find out from another what order is, then you are dependent on that person, or on that book, or on that priest, or on that structure and so on. So we are learning together. Is that your state of mind, that you have understood control and all its implications, understood the full significance of discipline and also you are completely aware of what authority entails? If you have understood, then you are free; otherwise you cannot learn. Learning means a mind that is curious, that doesn't know, that is eager to find out, interested. Is your mind like that, interested? Are you saying I don't know what order is but I am going to find out? Are you very curious, passionate and deeply interested, is your mind like that and, therefore, willing to learn, not from another but to learn for yourself by the act of observation? Control and authority, which to you mean discipline, prevent observation. Do you see this? A mind can only learn when it is free, when it doesn't know, otherwise you cannot learn.
So, is your mind free to observe the world and observe yourself? You cannot observe if you are saying "This is right" and "This is wrong", "I must control", "I must suppress", "I must obey", "I must disobey" - you follow? And, if you are saying that I must live a permissive life, then you are not free to learn; if you are conforming, you are not free to learn. Are you conforming when you have long hair? Am I conforming because I put on a shirt and trousers? Please find out. Conformity is not merely to a national pattern, to a particular structure of a society or to a belief, but there is conformity in little things. And such a mind is incapable of learning, because behind this conformity there is this enormous sense of fear; the young have it as well as the old and that is why they conform. If all that is going on, you are not free to learn.
And there must be order, something living and beautiful, not a mechanical thing - the order of the universe, the order that exists in mathematics, the order that exists in nature, in the relationship between various animals, an order that human beings have totally denied, because in ourselves we are in disorder, which means that we are fragmentary, contradictory, frightened and all the rest of it.
Now, I am asking myself, and you are asking yourself, whether the mind is capable of learning, because it doesn't know what order is. It knows reaction to disorder, but the mind must discover whether it is actually capable of learning without reaction and can therefore be free to observe. In other words, is your mind aware of the problem of control, of discipline, of authority and the constant response of reaction - are you aware of that whole structure? Are you aware of all this in yourself as you live from day to day? Or are you only aware when it is pointed out to you? Please see the difference. If you are aware of this whole problem of confusion, discipline, control and suppression, which is conformity, because you have been observing, living, and watching, then it is your own; the other is secondhand. Now which is it?
For most of us, it is secondhand, because we are secondhand people, aren't we? All our knowledge is secondhand, our traditions are secondhand; there may perhaps be a few activities that are totally our own and not of another. So, are we aware that it is our own direct perception, and not secondhand knowledge learnt from another? Now, if it is learnt from another, one has to discard that totally, hasn't one? You have to discard all that has been said just now by the speaker about the implications of control, discipline, authority and so on; then you become aware that what has been pointed out to you must be totally rejected in order to learn. If you have rejected what others, including the speaker, have said, then you are actually learning, aren't you?
Now, let's find out together what order means. How do you find out what order is when you don't know anything about it? You can only do this by enquiring into the state of the mind that is trying to find out what order is. I only know what disorder is, I am completely familiar with it, the whole culture of disorder in this present society; I know it very well. But I don't know what order is; I can imagine what order is; I can theorize about it, but theories, imagination, speculation are not order; therefore I discard all that. So, I really don't know what order is. My mind knows what disorder is, how it has come into being through the culture and the conditioning of that culture and of the human beings; I am aware of all that which is total disorder. Now I really don't know what order is, so what is the state of the mind that says I don't know? What is the state of your own mind that says, "I really don't know?" Is that state of mind waiting for an answer, waiting to be told, expecting to find order? If it is waiting, expecting to be told, then it is not the state which we are talking about, the state of not knowing. The state of "not knowing" is not waiting to be told, it is not expecting an answer; it is terribly alive, active, but it does not know; it knows what is disorder and therefore rejects it completely. When such a mind says, `I do not know, then it is totally free. It has denied the disorder and because it is free, it has found order. Do you understand this? It is really marvellous if you go into it for yourself.
I don't know what order is and I am not waiting for anybody to tell me. And because my mind has denied everything that is disorder, totally, without holding back a thing, has emptied the cupboard completely, it is free; so it is capable of learning. And when the mind is totally free, which means non-fragmented, then it is in a state of order. Have you understood this?
Now, is your mind in total order, otherwise don't go any further. Nobody, no teacher, no guru, no saviour, no philosopher, can teach you what order is; in denying totally all authority, you are free from fear, and therefore you can find out what order is. Now, are you aware of your mind, of yourself, of your life - not the holiday life sitting here for an hour listening to a talk - but aware of your daily life, of your family life, of your relationship with each other? And in that life are you aware of the daily routine, the monotony, the boredom of going to the office? Are you aware of the quarrels, of the brutalities, of the nagging and the violence, of everything which is the result of a culture that is total disorder, which is your life? You can't pick and choose out of that disorder what you think is order. Are you aware that your life is disorderly and if you haven't got the interest, the passion, the intensity, the flame to find order, then you will pick and choose what you think is order out of the disorder. Can you observe yourself with great honesty, without any sense of hypocrisy or double talk, know for yourself that your life is disorderly, and can you put all that aside to find out what order is? You know, putting aside disorder is not so very difficult; we dramatise it, make much of it. But when you see something very dangerous, a precipice, a wild animal, or a man with a gun, you avoid it instantly, don't you? There is no arguing, no hesitation, no temporising, there is immediate action. In the same way, when you see the danger of disorder, there is instant action which is the total denial of the whole culture which has brought about disorder, which is yourself.
Questioner: Is not the problem how to look?
Krishnamurti: We have been asking, "Is one free to look?" You don't want to look, do you? Do you really want to look at all the things that you value, that you cherish, the beliefs which you think are important and which are surrounded by a great deal of confusion? Are you capable of looking at all that? Come on, Sirs, it is not my problem. Are you capable of looking at yourself without any distortion? Have you ever looked at yourself without one image looking at a lot of other images?
Questioner: Aren't we conforming to a certain pattern now? You speak for an hour and then we ask questions. Isn't that a pattern too?
Krishnamurti: Is this a pattern? You can make anything into a pattern; sitting on a chair is a pattern, sitting on the ground becomes a pattern. But is this a pattern? If it is, then let us break it up. You see, I am asking a question which is: have you ever looked at yourself? I am not talking about looking at your face in the mirror. But do you know what it means to look at yourself actually as you really are? Does that frighten you? You are frightened because you have an image about yourself, haven't you? You think: I am better than that, I am more noble than that; or how dreadfully ugly, how old I am, how decrepit, how diseased, how silly I am. All that prevents you from looking, doesn't it? I just want to see myself as I am. I don't want to pick and choose out of what I see; I just want to look. Does that take a great deal of courage? My interest, my passion to observe what I actually am makes me look, not my fear of finding out what I am I don't know if you are meeting this point I am vitally tremendously interested in seeing what I am, whatever it is - are you? In my relationships, I want to see whether I lie or tell the truth, or whether I am frightened; I want to see if I am greedy or ambitious, I want to watch all the subtle movements that creep in and out of my life.
Now, how do I look at myself? Is my mind capable of looking at itself? Does that mean one thought separating itself to look at other thoughts? The one thought that has separated itself from the other thought then says: this is right, this is wrong, this is good, this is bad, this I shall keep, this I won't keep, how frightened I am, how ugly - you follow? Now, is that looking? When one thought separates itself from the other thoughts, is such a thought capable of looking? Or can you look at yourself only when there is no fragmentation of thought?
Have you ever looked at yourself - the way you behave, why you behave like that, how you walk, how you talk, how you listen? Are you aware of what your body is doing, watching your nervous reactions like the twitching of your fingers? Are you aware of yourself, your thoughts, your feelings, of your inner motives, your inner drives and urges - are you completely aware of all this, not correcting it, but observing, watching looking?
Questioner: It is very difficult not to analyse.
Krishnamurti: When you are analysing, you are not looking.
Questioner: I know.
Krishnamurti: You don't know otherwise you wouldn't analyse. Look, I want to see what is in the cupboard of my mind, what is stored up there; I want to read all the things it contains because the content of the mind is the mind. I want to see what I am during the waking hours, walking, talking, making gestures, when I am at the office, when I am angry, in the fleeting moments of pleasure and sex, and the delight of seeing the hills, the streams, the trees, the birds and the clouds. But I also want to see myself when I am asleep, be aware of what is going on. Don't you want to see yourself, awake and asleep? You think you do. Do you know what it means to learn about yourself? It means hard work, daily observation, watching, watching, watching, but not self-centred watching, just watching, like you watch a bird, or the movement of a cloud; you can't change the movement of the cloud, so just watch in the same way.
And the next question is: can the mind be watchful of what it is doing when it is asleep? We haven't time to go into that now, perhaps another day.
Questioner: I would like to examine the relationship between you and us. You say you are not a guru, but you talk and we listen; we ask questions and you answer them, so could we look at this relationship?
Krishnamurti: Are we taking a journey together? Or are you merely following? It is for you to tell me, not for me to tell you. What is it you are doing? Are we journeying together or are you being led - which is it? If you are being led, if you are following, there is no relationship, because the speaker says, "Don't follow." He is neither your authority nor your guru; if you insist on following, if you insist on listening in order to learn what he is saying, then there is no relationship. But if you say, "I want to learn," we are taking a journey together into the extraordinary world in which we live, and that world is "me" and I want to penetrate into that "me", I want to learn; then we are together, then we have a relationship.
Questioner: But is it really together you sit up there and we are down here?
Krishnamurti: I happen to sit on the platform because it is more convenient, because you can see me and I can see you. It is of no account whether you are sitting up here or down there - we are taking a journey together into a world in which there is neither height nor depth; it is that world which we are trying to understand.
So I come back to my question which is: have you ever looked at yourself? Have you ever looked at yourself for any length of time, as you look at yourself in a mirror when you are shaving, or brushing your hair, or when you make-up? Have you ever spent ten minutes, as you do at a mirror, watching yourself, without any choice, without any sense of judgment or evaluation, just watching yourself? That is the main issue.
3rd Public Talk Saanen
22nd July 1971
Can We Understand Ourselves?
Most of us live a very superficial life and are content to lead such a life, meeting all our problems superficially and thereby increasing them, because our problems are extraordinarily complex, very subtle and need deep penetration and understanding. Most of us like to treat our problems at a superficial level according to the old tradition, or we try to adjust ourselves to a modern tendency, so we never resolve totally and completely any of our problems, such as war, conflict, violence and so on. We also tend to look only on the surface, not knowing how to penetrate deeply within ourselves; either we observe ourselves with a certain disgust, with a certain foregone conclusion, or we look at ourselves hoping to change what we see.
I think it is important, that we should understand ourselves totally, completely, because as we said the other day, we are the world and the world is us. This is an absolute fact; it is not merely a verbal statement or a theory, but something that one feels deeply, with all the agony of it, the suffering, the pain, the brutality, the fragmentation, the division of nationalities and religions. And one can never solve any of these problems without really understanding oneself, because the world is oneself; and if I understand myself there is a living at a totally different dimension. Is it possible for each one of us to understand ourselves, not only at the superficial level of our minds, but also to penetrate the deep levels of our being? That is what we are going to talk over together this morning; when we say we are going to talk it over together, it doesn't mean that I talk and you listen - we are going to share it together.
How is one to look at oneself? Is it possible to look at oneself completely without the division of the conscious and the deeper layers of consciousness, of which we are perhaps completely unaware? Is it possible to observe, see the whole movement of the "me", the self, the "what I am", with a non-analytical mind, so that in the very observation itself there is instantly a total understanding? That is what we are going to investigate; it is a very important problem, to discover whether one can go beyond oneself and find reality, to come upon something that is not measurable by the mind, to live without any illusion. This has been the major aim of every religion throughout the world; and in the process of this search to go beyond oneself, they have been caught in various myths, the Christian myth, the Hindu myth, the whole culture of myths which is unnecessary and totally irrelevant.
Now is it possible to look at ourselves non-analytically and therefore observe without the "me" observing? I want to understand myself and I know the "me" is very complex; it is a living thing, not something dead; it is a living, vital, moving thing, it is not just an accumulation of memories, experiences, and knowledge. It is a living thing as society is a living thing, because we have created it. Now, is it possible to look without the observer looking at the thing called the observed? If there is the observer looking, then he must look through fragmentation, through division and where there is division, both in myself and outwardly, there must be conflict. Outwardly, the national conflicts, the religious conflicts, the economic conflicts, and inwardly there is this vast field, not only superficially but a wide area about which we know almost nothing. So, if in looking there is this division as the "I" and the "not I", as the observer and the observed, as the thinker and the thought, as the experiencer and the experience, then there must be conflict.
One asks whether it is possible - I am not saying it is, or it is not; we are going to find out for ourselves - to observe oneself without this division. And to find that out, we hope to come to that state of perception which is without division, but not through analysis - when there is a division between the analyser and the thing analysed. In observing myself, there is the actual fact of this division. When I observe myself I say, "This is good. This is bad", "This is right, this is wrong", "This has value, this has no value", "This has relevancy and that has not". Therefore, when I look at myself, the observer is conditioned by the culture in which he has lived; so the observer is the memory, the observer is the entity that is conditioned - the "me". According to that conditioned background of the "me", I judge, I evaluate; I observe myself according to that culture, and according to my conditioning I hope to bring about a change in the observed. This is what we are doing all the time: hoping to change what is observed through analysis, through control, through reformation and so on. That is a fact.
And I want to find out why this division exists, so I begin to analyse to discover the cause. The analysis is not only to find the cause, but one also hopes to go beyond it. I am angry, greedy, envious, brutal, violent, neurotic, or whatever it is, and I begin to analyse the cause of this neurotic state.
Analysis is part of our culture because we have been trained from childhood to analyse, hoping that in this way we shall solve all our problems. Volumes have been written on it; the psychologists hope to find the cause of neurosis, understand it and go beyond.
Now what is involved in analysis? It implies time, doesn't it? I need a great deal of time to analyse myself. I must very carefully examine every reaction, every incident, every thought and trace it to its source; all that takes time. Meanwhile other incidents are going on, other happenings, other reactions, which I am incapable of immediately understanding. That is one point: it takes time.
And analysis also implies that everything that is analysed must be final and complete, and if it is not (which it can't be), then that finding is incorrect, and with this faulty analysis I proceed to examine the next experience, the next incident, the next bit of the puzzle. So, all the time I am working from a false premise, consequently my judgments and evaluations are wrong and I am increasing the margin of error. Analysis, by its very nature, implies an analyser and the person or thing analysed, whether the analyser is the analyst, the psychologist, or you yourself; and the analyser in his examination nourishes and sustains the division, and therefore increases the conflict. Analysis implies all these things: time, evaluation of every experience and of every thought completely (which is not possible), and the division between the observer and the observed that increases conflict.
Now I can analyse my surface mind, its superficial daily activity, but how am I to understand, to investigate the much deeper layers, because I want to understand myself totally, right through? I don't want to leave any corner or dark spot unexamined; I want to analyse everything, so that nothing remains which the mind has not completely understood. If there is a corner that has not been examined, then that corner distorts all thought, all action. But analysis implies the postponement of action. When I am analysing myself, I am not acting; I am waiting until my analysis is over, then perhaps I shall act rightly; therefore analysis is the denial of action. Action means now, not tomorrow. Seeing all this, how can the mind understand its deep, hidden layers completely? All this is implied in understanding myself.
Can understanding come through dreams? That is, is it possible during sleep for dreams to reveal the deep layers of the unconscious, or the thing that is hidden? The specialists say that you must dream and that if you do not, it indicates a certain kind of neurosis. They also say that dreams help you to understand all the activities of the hidden mind. So one must enquire into the meaning of dreams and whether we should dream at all. Or are dreams merely in a symbolic form the continuation of our daily life?
During the day the mind is occupied with all the trivialities of daily life - office work, domesticity, the quarrels and the irritations of relationship, image fighting image, and so on. Then, just before you go to sleep, there is a taking stock of everything that has happened throughout the day. Doesn't this happen to you just before you fall asleep? You relive everything: "You should have done this, you ought to have said that or said it differently; you go over the whole period of the day, all your thoughts, all your activities, how you were angry, jealous and all the rest of it.
Now, why does the mind do this? Why does it take stock of the day's happenings and events? Is it not because the mind wants to establish order? The mind goes over the day's activities because it wants to bring everything into order; otherwise when you fall asleep, the brain goes on working and tries to bring order in itself, because the brain can only function normally, healthily, in complete order. So if there is no order during the day, the brain tries to establish order while the body is quiet, is asleep, and the establishment of that order is part of the dreams. Do you accept all that the speaker is saying?
Krishnamurti: No? I am delighted. (Laughter.) Don't agree or disagree. Find out for yourself, not according to some philosopher, to some analyst, or psychologist, but find out for yourself. As long as there is disorder in your daily life, the brain must establish order otherwise it cannot function healthily, normally and efficiently. And when there is disorder, dreams are necessary to bring about order either deep down or at a superficial level.
Examining all this one asks is it necessary to dream at all because it is very important not to dream; it is very important to have a mind that is completely quiet when you are asleep, then the whole mind, the whole brain, the whole body can rejuvenate itself. But if the brain goes on working, working while you are asleep, then it becomes exhausted, therefore neurotic, overstrained and all the rest of it. So is it possible not to dream at all?
I am asking all these questions because I want to understand myself: it is part of understanding myself. We are not merely investigating dreams, assessing the importance or non-importance of dreaming. Unless there is a deep understanding of oneself, all action becomes superficial and contradictory and creates more and more problems.
The old tradition says that to understand myself I must analyse, introspect; but I see the falseness of all this. I reject it because it is false although most of the psychologists say the opposite. And in observing oneself one asks: why does one dream at all and is it possible for the whole mind to be completely quiet when one is asleep? I am not asking this question, you are. I am only suggesting it to you; you have to find out. Now, how are you going to find out?
I realize that when the organism is quiet, completely still, the body is able to gather energy and is capable of functioning more efficiently. When the body has no rest, is driven from morning until night without a pause, it soon wears out, breaks down; but if the body can rest for ten or twenty minutes during the day, then it has more energy. The mind is very active, watching, observing, criticizing, evaluating, struggling and all the rest of it. And when it goes to sleep, the same momentum is kept going. So I am asking myself whether during sleep the mind can be absolutely quiet. Just see the beauty of the question, not the answer yet. Unless the body is extraordinarily still, without any movement, without any gestures or nervous twitches, and all the things that one does, unless it is absolutely quiet (not forced to be quiet) and relaxed, it cannot recuperate, it cannot gather energy.
Therefore I want to find out whether the mind can be absolutely quiet during the night when it is asleep; and I see it can only be quiet if every incident, every happening during the day is understood instantly, not carried over. If I carry over a problem from one day to the next, the mind is continuously engaged; but if the mind can solve the problem immediately, today, then it is finished. Is it possible for the mind each day to be so totally aware that problems no longer exist? By the evening, you have a clear, clean slate. If you do this, not just play with it, actually work at it, you will find that when the brain needs rest, it becomes very quiet, completely still; even ten minutes rest is enough. And if you pursue this very deeply, you will find that dreams become totally unnecessary because there is nothing to dream about; you are not concerned with your future, whether you are going to be a great doctor, a great scientist, or a brilliant writer, or whether you are going to reach enlightenment the day after tomorrow; you are not concerned with the future at all. I am afraid you don't see the beauty of all this! The mind is no longer projecting anything in time.
Now, having stated all that, can the mind, which is really the observer (not only the visual observer, the eyes and so on), can the mind observe without division? You understand the question? Can the mind observe without the division between the observer and the observed, because there is only the observed, not the observer.
Let us examine what the observer is. Surely the observer is the past, be it the past of a few seconds ago, of yesterday, or of many, many years, living as a conditioned entity in a particular culture. The observer is the sum total of past experiences. The observer is also knowledge. The observer is within the field of time. When he says I will be "that", he has projected "that" from his past knowledge - whether it be pleasure, pain, suffering, fear, delight and so on - he says I must become that. The past therefore is going through the present, which is modified and which he calls the future, but it is really a projection of the past: so the observer is the past. You live in the past, don't you? Just think of it. You are the past, you live in the past and that is your life. Past memories, past delights, past remembrances, the things that gave you pleasure and displeasure, the failures, the disappointments, the lack of fulfilment and the misery, everything is in the past. And through the eyes of the observer you judge the present, which is living, moving, not a static, dead thing.
When I look at myself, I am looking with the eyes of the past; so I condemn, judge, evaluate, "This is right", "This is wrong", good or bad according to my particular culture and tradition, according to the knowledge and experience which I have gathered. Therefore it prevents observation of the living thing, which is the "me". And that "me" may not be "me" at all, because I only know the "me" as the past. When the Muslim says that he is a Muslim, he is the past, conditioned by the culture in which he has been brought up; it is the same with the Catholic or the Communist.
So when we talk about living, we are talking about living in the past and there is conflict between the past and the present, because-I am conditioned. I cannot meet the living present unless I break down my conditioning, and my conditioning is deliberately brought about by my parents, my grandparents, to keep me in the narrow line of their belief, of their tradition, to continue with their mischief and their misery. We are doing that all the time; we live in the past, not only through our conditioning, through the culture in which we have lived, but also through every experience, incident and happening in our life. I see a beautiful sunset and I think how marvellous it is with the light, the shadows, the rays of the sun on the distant hills, and it has already been stored up as memory and tomorrow I say I must look at that sunset again and see its beauty. Then I struggle to find it, and when I can't, I go to a museum and the whole circus begins.
Now, can I look at myself with eyes that have never been touched by time? Time involves analysis, time involves holding on to the past, time involves this whole process of dreaming, recollecting, gathering the past and holding it, all that. Can I look at myself without the eyes of time? Put that question to yourself. Don't say you can or cannot. You don't know. And when you look at yourself without the eyes of time, what or who is there to look? Don't answer me, please. Do you understand my question? I have looked at myself with the quality, the nature and the structure of time, the past. I have looked at myself through the eyes of the past; I have no other eyes to look. I have looked at myself as a Catholic, or something else, which is the past? So my eyes are incapable of looking at "what is" without time, which is the past.
Now I am asking a question, which is: can the eyes observe without the past?
Let me put it differently. I have an image of myself, created and imposed upon me by the culture in which I have lived; I also have my own particular image of myself, what I should be and what I am not. In fact, we have a great many images; I have an image about you, about my wife, my children, my political leader, my priest, and so on; so I have dozens of images. Don't you have them?
Krishnamurti: Now, how can you look without an image, because if you look with an image, it is obviously a distortion? You were angry with me yesterday, so I have created an image about you, that you are no longer my friend, that you are ugly and all the rest of it. If I look at you with that image next time I meet you, that image will distort my perception. That image is of the past, as are all my images, and I dare not get rid of any of those images because I don't know what it would be like to look without an image, so I cling to images. The mind depends on an image for its survival. I wonder if you are following all this. So can the mind observe without any image, without the image of the tree, cloud, hills, without the image of my wife my children, my husband? Can the mind be without any image in relationship?
It is the image that brings conflict in relationship. I cannot get on with my wife because she has bullied me; that image has been built up, day after day, and it prevents any kind of relationship; we may sleep together but that is irrelevant; so there is conflict. Can the mind look, observe without any image what has been put together by time? That means, can the mind observe without any image? Can it observe without the observer, which is the past, which is the `me"? Can I look at you without the interference of the conditioned entity, which is the `me"?
What do you say? "Impossible!" How do you know it is impossible? The moment you say it is not possible, then you have blocked yourself and if you say it is possible, it is also blocking you; but if you say let's find out, let's examine, let's go into it, then you will discover that the mind can observe without the eyes of time. And when it so observes, then what is there to be observed?
I started out learning about myself; I have explored all the possibilities of analysis, and I see that the observer is the past. The observer is much more complex; one can go much deeper into it. I see that the observer is the past, and the mind lives in the past because the brain has evolved through time which is the past. And in the past there is security - my house, my wife, my belief, my status, my position, my fame, my shoddy little self; in that there is great safety and security. So I am asking if the mind can observe without any of that, and if it can, what is there to see except the hills, the flowers, the colours, the people - you follow? Is there anything in me to be observed? Therefore, the mind is totally free.
You may ask what is the point of the mind being free. The point is that such a mind has no conflict, such a mind is completely quiet and peaceful, not violent, and it is only this quality of mind that can create a new culture, a new culture resolving this terrible thing called loneliness. Don't you know all this? Therefore not knowing how to resolve it, I attach myself to people, to ideas, to groups, to activities, to demonstrations, to climbing the mountains and all the rest of it. If only I could resolve totally this problem of loneliness so that it doesn't exist at all. How am I to be beyond this loneliness which man has inwardly fought at all times? He feels lonely, empty, insufficient, incomplete and he says there is God, there is this, there is that; he projects an outside agency. How can the mind free itself from this terrible burden of what it calls loneliness? Have you ever realized what horrors we commit out of this feeling of loneliness? We will go into this next time.
4th Public Talk Saanen
25th July 1971
MOST OF US realize, when we dare look at it, that we are terribly lonely, isolated human beings. Whether we are consciously or unconsciously aware of it, we want to escape from it, because we do not know what lies behind and beyond it; being frightened, we run away from it through attachment, through activity and every form of religious or worldly entertainment. This is fairly obvious when one observes it in oneself. We isolate ourselves by our everyday activities, by our attitude and our way of thinking; although we may have an intimate relationship with somebody, we are always thinking about ourselves. The result of this is more isolation, more loneliness, a greater dependence on outward things, greater attachments and the resultant suffering which arises from it. I do not know if you are aware of all this.
Perhaps as we are sitting here, we could become aware of this thing called loneliness and of the isolation, dependency and suffering it brings. This is going on in ourselves all the time. If one is observant one can see that our whole activity is self-centred. We are thinking about ourselves endlessly: about our health, that we must meditate, that we must change; we want a better job with more money, a better relationship. `I want to attain enlightenment; "I must achieve something in this life" - "me" and "my life", my worries, my problems.
This eternal preoccupation with oneself is going on all the time; we are devoted to ourselves. That is an obvious fact. And whether we go to an office or to a factory, do social work or are concerned with the welfare of the world, our self-concern motivates all our activities; it is always "me" first. This self preoccupation which operates in daily life and relationship does bring about isolation. This again is fairly obvious, and if one goes into it very deeply one discovers that this isolation is an awareness of being completely alone, cut off, not having a relationship with anybody or anything. You may be amongst a crowd, or sitting with a friend, when suddenly this sense of utter isolation, of being completely cut off from everybody comes upon you. I do not know if you have noticed this or if it is something you have never experienced. When we become aware of this loneliness, then we try to escape by being occupied through domestic strife, or various forms of entertainment, by trying to mediate, and so on.
Surely, all this indicates that the mind, whether it is shallow or deep, superficial or merely caught in technological knowledge, must cut itself off from every form of relationship if it is constantly occupied with itself. Relationship is the most important thing in life, because if you don't have a right relationship with the one, you cannot possibly have it with any other human being. You can imagine that you will have a better relationship with another, but it is merely at the verbal level and therefore illusory. If you understand that relationship between two human beings is the same as relationship with the rest of the world, then isolation, loneliness, has quite a different meaning.
So what is relationship? We are trying to find out why human beings are so desperately lonely. Not having love, but wanting to be loved they cut themselves off, physically and psychologically and thereby become neurotic. Most people are neurotic, slightly unbalanced, caught in some particular idiosyncracy. It seems, if you examine it closely, that all this arises from the utter lack of relationship. So before we can understand how to bring an end to this loneliness and suffering, to this ache and anxiety of human existence, we must first of all go into this question of relationship - what it means to be related.
Are we related at all with another? Thought asserts that we are related, but actually we may not be, even though one human being may have an intimate, a sexual relationship with another. Unless one deeply understands the truth about relationship, it appears that human beings must inevitably end in sorrow, in confusion and in conflict. They may accept various forms of belief, or do social work, but all that has no value, unless they have established between themselves a relationship in which there is no conflict whatever. Is that possible? Can you and I be related? Perhaps you could have a very good relationship with me, because soon I am going away and then it is finished. Can there be a relationship between two human beings if each one is occupied with himself? - if each one is concerned with his own ambitions and worries, his opposition in the world and all the absurdity that human beings go through? When a human being is caught in that net, can he have any relationship with another?
Please, follow all this. Can there be any relationship between a man and a woman when one is a Catholic and the other is a Protestant, when one is a Hindu and the other is a Buddhist?
What then is relationship? It seems to me that it is one of the most important things in life, because living is relationship. If there is no relationship, there is no living at all; then life merely becomes a series of conflicts, ending in separation or in divorce, in loneliness, with all the fears, anxieties, problems of attachment, and all the things that are involved in this sense of being completely isolated. I am sure you know all this. One observes how extraordinarily vital relationship is in life, and how very few human beings have broken down the barrier that exists between themselves and another. To break down this barrier with all implications - not just the physical barrier - one has to go deeply into this question of action.
What is action? Action is not future or past action, but acting. Is it the result of a conclusion and acting according to that conclusion? Or is it based on some belief and acting according to the belief? Is it based on some experience and acting according to that experience or knowledge? If it is, then action is always in the past, our relationship is always in the past, never in the present.
If I have a relationship with another - and relationship obviously is action - throughout the days, weeks or years of that relationship I have built an image and I act according to that image, and the other acts according to the image which he has; so the relationship is not between us but between these two images. Please do observe your own minds, your own activity in relationship, and you will soon find out the truth and validity of this statement. Our relationship is based on images, and how can there be a relationship with another, if it is merely the relationship of these images?
I am concerned with having a relationship in which there is no conflict whatsoever, in which I am not using or exploiting another, either sexually, for reasons of pleasure, or for the sake of companionship. I see very clearly that conflict destroys any form of relationship, so I must resolve that conflict at the very centre, not at the periphery. And I can only put an end to conflict by understanding action, not only in relationship but in daily life. I want to find out if all my activities are isolating, in the sense that I have built a wall round myself; the wall being myself concerned with myself, with my future, my happiness, my health, my God, with my belief, my success, my misery - you follow? Or is it that relationship has nothing whatsoever to do with me or myself? Myself is the centre, and all the activities that are concerned with my happiness, my satisfaction, my glory must isolate. Where there is isolation there must be attachment and dependency; when there is uncertainty in that attachment and dependency then there is suffering, and suffering implies isolation in any relationship. I see all this very clearly, not verbally but actually - it is a fact.
For many years I have built images about myself and about another; I have isolated myself through my activities, through my beliefs and so on. So my first question is - how am I to be free of these images? - the images of my God, my conditioning, that I must achieve fame or enlightenment (which is the same thing), that I must achieve success and so I am afraid of being a failure. I have so many images about myself and about you. How am I to be free of them? Can I end the building of images through the analytical process? Obviously not.
Then what am I to do? It is a problem and I must end it, not carry it over to the next day. If I do not end it today, then the problem creates disorder, a disturbance, and the brain needs order to function healthily, normally, not neurotically. I must establish order now, during the day, otherwise the mind worries about it, has dreams and is incapable of being fresh the next morning; so I must end this problem.
How am I to prevent this building of images? By not creating a super-image - obviously. I have many images and not being able to be free of them the mind unfortunately invents a super image, the higher self, the Atman; or it introduces some outside agency, either spiritual or the "Big Brother" of the communist world. So without creating a higher, nobler image, there must be the ending of all the images which I have created. I see that if I have one single image, there is no possibility of any relationship, because images separate and where there is separation there must be conflict, not only nationally but between human beings; that is clear. Then how am I to be rid of every image which I have gathered, so that the mind is completely free, fresh and young, so that it can observe anew the whole movement of life?
First of all, I must find out non-analytically how the images come into being. That is, I must learn to observe. Is observation based on analysis? I observe, I see - is that the result of analysis, of practice, of time? Or is it an act outside of time? Man has always tried to go beyond time by various tricks and they have all failed. Suspecting that perhaps he is incapable of getting rid of these innumerable images, he has created a super-image, and to that image he has become a slave, therefore he is not free. Whether that super-image is the soul, the higher self, the State or anything else, it is still not freedom: it is another image. Therefore I am vitally interested in ending all images, because then only is there a possibility of having a relationship with another; my concern is to find out if it is at all possible to end the images instantly, not chase one image after another. That will obviously lead nowhere.
So I must find out if I can break the mechanism of the mind which builds images and at the same time go into the question of what it is to be aware; because that may solve my problem, which is the ending of all images. That gives freedom, and when there is freedom then only is there a possibility of having a true relationship in which every form of conflict has come to an end.
What does this awareness mean? It implies an attention in which there is no choice whatsoever. I can't choose one image instead of the other, then there is no ending of that image. So I must find out what it is to be aware, in which there is no choice at all, but only pure observation, pure seeing.
Now, what is seeing? How do I look at a tree, or a mountain, at the hills, the moon, the flowing waters? There is not only visual observation, but also the mind has an image about the tree, the cloud and the river. That river has a name; it makes a sound which is pleasant or unpleasant. I am always observing, am aware of things, in terms of like and dislike, in terms of comparison. Is it possible to observe, to listen to that river without any choice, any resistance and attachment, without any verbalization? please do this as we are talking - it is your morning-exercise!
Can I listen to that river without any sense of the past? Can I observe these various images without any choice? - which means without condemning any one of them, or being attached to them, but just observe without any preference. You can't do it, can you? Why not? Is it because my mind has become used to prejudices and preferences? Is it because it is lazy and has not sufficient energy? Or is it that my mind does not really want to be free of images and wants to hold on to one particular image? So it means that the mind refuses to see the fact that all existence is relationship, and when there is conflict in that relationship, then life becomes a misery and loneliness and confusion follow. Does the mind see the truth non-verbally, that where there is conflict there is no relationship?
How can one be free of the images that one has? First of all I must find out how these images come into being, what is the mechanism that creates them. You can see that at the moment of actual relationship, that is when you are talking, when there are arguments, when there are insults and brutality, if you are not completely attentive at that moment, then the mechanism of building an image starts. That is, when the mind is not completely attentive at the moment of action, then the mechanism of building images is set in motion. When you say something to me which I do not like - or which I like - if at that moment I am not completely attentive, then the mechanism starts. If I am attentive, aware, then there is no building of images. When the mind is fully awake at that actual moment, not distracted, not frightened, not rejecting what is being said, then there is no possibility of building an image. Try this - do it during the day.
So I have found how to prevent the building of images; but what happens to all the images that I have gathered? You are following the problem? Apparently this is not your problem, because if it were the real, deep, vital problem in your life, you would have solved it for yourself instead of sitting here waiting for me to find the answer for you. Now, what happens to all the images which you have collected? Do you know you have many images hidden away in the cupboard of your mind? Can you resolve them all, bit by bit, or would that take an infinite time? While you are dissolving one image, you are already creating others, so there is no ending to the gradual process of getting rid of one image after another. So you have discovered a truth, which is, that you cannot get rid of the images one by one; therefore the mind that really sees the truth of this is totally aware when it is creating an image. In that attention all the other images go away. I wonder if you see this.
Images, then, are formed when the mind is not attentive; and most of our minds are inattentive. Occasionally we give attention, but for the rest of the time we are inattentive. When you are aware of one image attentively, and you are also attentively aware of the whole mechanism of the building of images and how it operates, then in that attention the building of all images comes to an end; whether they be of the past, the present or of the future. What matters is the state of attention, not how many images you have. Do, please, try and understand this, because it is most important. If you can really grasp this, then you have understood completely all the machinery of the mind.
Most of us, unfortunately, have not been able to solve our problems; we don't know how to deal with them, so we live with them, they become our habit and they are like impenetrable armour. If you have a problem which has not been resolved, you have no energy; the energy that you have is taken up by the problem; if you have no energy, that too becomes a habit. So if you are at all serious, if you really want to live a life in which there is no conflict whatsoever, then you have to find out how to end a human problem instantly, immediately; which means that you give complete attention to the problem and that you are not seeking an answer to it. Because if you are trying to find an answer, then you are looking beyond the problem, whereas if you remain with the problem and are completely attentive, then in the problem itself - not beyond it - is the answer.
Let me put it differently. We all know what suffering is, both physical and psychological, that is inwardly. One can deal with physical pain by various remedies and also by not allowing the memory of that pain to remain. If you are aware of the pain, and in that very awareness you see the memory of the past then the pain disappears; therefore you have energy to meet the next pain, when it comes. We all have suffered psychologically in various ways, either with great intensity or to a lesser degree - we have all had suffering of one kind or another. When we suffer, instinctively we want to run away from it - through religion, through entertainment, reading books, through anything to get away from the suffering.
Now if the mind is attentive and does not move away from suffering at all, then you will see that out of total attention comes not only energy - which means passion - but also that suffering comes to an end. In the same way, all images can end instantly when there is no preference for any image; this is very important. When you have no preference, you have no prejudice. Then you are attentive, then you can look. In that observation there is not only the understanding of the building of images, but also the ending of all images.
So I see the importance of relationship, and there can be a relationship without any conflict, which means love. Love is not an image; it is not pleasure; it is not desire. Love is not something that can be cultivated; it is not dependent on memory. Can I live a daily life without any kind of self-concern, because the self-concern is my major image? Can I live without that major image? Then action does not bring loneliness, isolation and suffering.
Questioner: When one looks within and seems to experience a deep unmotivated passion to understand, with a bit of candour one finds that this feeling is actually a wish to experience reality. Can the self, which is all we know, have this unmotivated passion and see the essential difference between these two feelings?
Krishnamurti: First of all, what is the self, the "me"? Surely, that "me" is the result of our education, of our conflicts, of our culture, of our relationship with the rest of the world; that "me" is the result of the propaganda which we have been subjected to for five thousand years. It is that "me" which is attached to our furniture, our wives or husbands and so on. It is that "me" which says "I want to be happy. I must be successful, I have achieved". It is that "me" which says I am a Christian, a communist or a Hindu. There are all those terrible divisions - the "me" is all that, isn't it?
Can that "me" which is isolated, which by its very structure and nature is limited and therefore creates division, can that "me" have any passion at all? Obviously not. It can have the passion of pleasure, which is something quite different from the passion we are talking about. Only with the ending of the "me" is there passion; it is only a mind that is free from all prejudices, opinions, judgments and all conditioning, that can have passion, energy and intensity, because it is able to see "what is". You agree and say "Yes". Is that merely a verbal statement, or have you really seen the truth of it and are free?
Questioner: Do these images we have waste our energy?
Krishnamurti: It is obvious, isn't it? If I have an image about myself and that is in opposition to your image, there must be conflict, therefore it must waste energy, isn't that so?
Questioner: Can a person who is free from problems have a relationship with someone who is full of problems? (Laughter).
Krishnamurti: Well, you have answered it, haven't you? If you are really free of problems - not just in your imagination - but actually free of every problem that human beings have, such as sorrow, fear, death, love and pleasure, can I have a relationship with you if I have problems? Obviously I can't. Please listen to this: you have no problems and I have problems, then what do I do? Either I shun you, avoid you, or I begin to worship you. I put you on a pedestal and say, "What an extraordinary man you are, because you have no problems." I begin to listen to whatever you say in the hope that you will be able to resolve my problems. And that means I am going to destroy you with my problems. First I pushed you away; now I accept you, worship you, which means I will kill you with my problems.
Questioner: Is there any hope for us? (Laughter).
Krishnamurti: It all depends on you! If you are really serious, if you are deeply interested in resolving your problems completely, then you will have the intensity and vitality to resolve them, but it is no use if you play with them one day and the next day forget about them.
Questioner: What can we do to prevent others from taking drugs?
Krishnamurti: Do you take drugs?
Questioner: No, but I drink coffee and alcohol. Isn't that the same?
Krishnamurti: We drink coffee, we take alcohol, we smoke, and some take drugs. Why do you take them? Coffee and tea are stimulants, aren't they? I don't take them myself, but I know about them. Physiologically you may need some form of stimulant; some people do. Are alcohol and tobacco the same as taking drugs? Go on, answer it.
Krishnamurti: You say taking alcohol is the same as taking drugs.
Krishnamurti: Don't take sides, please. One says, "No", somebody else says "Yes". Then where are we? I am simply asking why you take any of these things at all. Do you need a stimulant, do you need something to pep you up, to encourage you? Please answer this question. Do you need constant stimulation and entertainment, must you have tea, tobacco, drugs and all the rest of it? Why do you need them?
Questioner: To escape.
Krishnamurti: To escape, to take the easy way out. You drink a glass of wine and you are happy, it is done quickly!
Krishnamurti: So you need stimulants in various forms. Are you being stimulated now by the speaker?
Questioner: Yes. (Laughter).
Krishnamurti: Please pay a little attention. You say "No" and this gentleman says "Yes". Please investigate. Are you being stimulated at this moment? If you are, then the speaker is just as good as a drug. Then you depend on the speaker as you are dependent on tea, coffee, alcohol or drugs, whatever it is. I am asking why you depend, not whether it is right or wrong, whether you should or should not. Why do you depend on any of these stimulants?
Questioner: We can see what action it has on us, but we don't need to be dependent on it.
Krishnamurti: But you are dependent! When the effect wears off you need more stimulants, which means you are dependent. I may take LSD one morning and get a kick out of it, and when it lets me down I need some more; the day after tomorrow I am dependent on it. Now I am asking why the human mind depends - why does it depend on sex, on drugs, on alcohol, on any form of outward stimulation? This is psychological, isn't it? There is a physiological need for tea and coffee because we eat wrongly; we live wrongly, because we overindulge and so on. But why do we want to be stimulated psychologically? Is it because we are so poor in ourselves? Is it because we have not the brain, not the capacity to be something entirely different, that we depend on stimulants?
Questioner: Doesn't alcohol destroy the brain as well as drugs?
Krishnamurti: Alcohol may do it gradually, it may take a number of years, but drugs are very dangerous because they affect future generations, your children. So if you say, "I don't care what happens to my grandson, I am going to take drugs", then that is the end of the argument. But I am asking: what happens to your mind when you depend on anything, whatever it is, whether it's tea, coffee, sex, drugs or nationalism?
Questioner: I lose my freedom.
Krishnamurti: You say these things, but you don't live it, do you? When you depend on anything it destroys freedom, doesn't it? It makes you a slave - to alcohol, for instance: you must have your drink, your dry Martini or whatever it is. So gradually your mind becomes dull through dependency. It was established a long time ago in India, that any man who is really religious will never touch any of these things. But you don't care; you say, "I need stimulation".
I once met a man who took LSD and he said that when he went to a museum after taking it, he could see all the colours more brightly, everything stood out more vividly, more sharply, there was great beauty. He may see the lovely light of a sunset more brilliantly, but his mind is gradually being destroyed and after a year or two he becomes just a useless entity. If you think it is worth it, that's up to you. But if you don't, then have nothing whatever to do with it.
5th Public Talk Saanen
27th July 1971
Thought and the Immeasurable
Some of us feel that the world is so chaotic that if it had been organized by a madman it could not be worse than it is at this present moment. Many feel that there must be environmental, economic and political changes to stop wars, the pollution of the air, and to end the material inequality of the very rich and the very poor. Many consider that these things must be changed first, that if there is an environmental, peripheral transformation, then man will be capable of dealing with himself more reasonably and wisely.
I think the problem goes much deeper, is more complex, and that merely to change things outwardly will have little effect. Having observed the events in the world, the permissive society of the young and the terrible hypocrisy of the older generation, an educated and mature mind is fully aware that the problem is profound and that it demands a totally different way of dealing with it.
One also observes that most believe that all human endeavour can be achieved by thought, whether outwardly going to the moon, or inwardly transforming one's mind and heart. We have given tremendous importance to the functioning of thought. Thought, whether it be logical and objective, or irrational and neurotic, has always played an extraordinarily important role throughout the ages. Thought is measure; and in bringing about order and change in society thought has shown itself very limited. It has apparently not succeeded - it may have done so superficially but not fundamentally. The whole machinery of thinking is responsible for the present condition of the world; there is no denying that. We think that thought can change not only the outward events and happenings - the pollution, the violence and all the rest of it - but that also by careful and skilful usage it can transform human conditioning, the human way of action and our mode of living.
It is obvious that organized thought is necessary; that it requires organized thought, applied objectively and sanely, to change the environment with its pollution and to overcome poverty. The whole technological world in which we live is based on thought with its measurement; and thought can only function when there is space. Thought creates its own space, as time, the distance from here to there. On that the whole modern world is built.
Measurement, with its space, which is the very nature of thinking, is obviously limited, because thought is conditioned. Thought is the response of memory, which is the past; the response of thought when challenged is the past. And thought apparently has not put an end to wars; on the contrary, thought has created wars, it has bred division - religious, economic, social and so on. Thought in itself is also the cause of fragmentation.
So one asks: what is the function of thought which is the response of knowledge? Knowledge is always rooted in the past and out of that thought projects the future, which is really a modification of the activities of the present. So through its knowledge, thought can project the future, what the world "should be; but apparently the "should be" is never realized. Every philosopher, every so-called religious teacher, has projected a world of the future based upon knowledge of the past; he has projected its opposite, or something which is a response to the past. So thought has never united man. In fact, thought has divided man, because it can only function in knowledge and knowledge is measurable. So thought can never bring about a true relationship between people.
Therefore, I am asking: what is the function of knowledge, which is the known, the past? What is the function of the response to that past, which is thought, in daily life? Have you ever put that question to yourself? One lives and acts by thought; all our calculations, our relationships, our behaviour, are based on thought, on knowledge. That knowledge is more or less measurable; and knowledge is always in the field of the known. So can you and I realize the importance of knowledge yet see its limitations and go beyond it? This is what I want to find out.
I see that if you are always functioning in the field of knowledge, you will always be a prisoner; you will always be limited within either expansive or narrow borders which are measurable. Therefore the mind will be held within the frontiers of knowledge. I am asking myself whether that knowledge, which is experience, gathered in the last few days or through many centuries, can free man so that he can function wholly, differently, so that he is not always living in the past, which is knowledge. This question has been put differently by many serious people, specially in the religious world; the scholars, the pundits and gurus who have talked with me have always asked whether man can go beyond time. Action in the field of knowledge is measurable, so unless man is free of that field, he will always be a slave. He may do all kinds of things within that field, but he will always live within the limitations which are time, measure and knowledge.
Please put this question to yourself. Must man always be bound to the past? If he is, then he cannot ever be free; he will always be conditioned. He may project an idea of freedom, of heaven, and escape from the actual fact of time by projecting a belief, a concept, or escape into an illusion - but it is still an illusion.
So I want to find out if man can be free of time and yet still function in this world. Obviously there is chronological time - today, tomorrow, next year and so on. If there were no chronological time I should miss my train, so I realize that there must be time in order to function, but that time is always measurable. The action of time, which is knowledge, is absolutely necessary. But if that is the only way in which I can live and function then I am entirely bound, I am a slave. My mind observes, looks, enquires and wants to find out if it can ever free itself from the shackles of time. The mind rebels against the idea of being a slave to time; being caught in this trap, it rebels against the idea of living in a culture which is based on thought, time and knowledge.
Now the mind wants to find out whether it is possible to go beyond time. Can it enter into the immeasurable - which has its own space - and live in that world, free of time and yet function with time, with knowledge and all the technological achievements which thought has brought about? This is a very important question.
Can the mind enquire into the quality and nature of the immeasurable? - knowing that any projection by thought, any form of illusion, is still within the field of time, hence of knowledge. Therefore the mind must be entirely free from any movement which might create illusion. It is very easy to imagine one is in a timeless world, to have all kinds of illusions and think one has caught God by the right hand. What is it that creates a fragmentary, neurotic mind which breeds deception, and illusion? What makes for such a state, and what is the factor of illusion?
One has to go into this question very carefully. First, you have to be watchful never to deceive yourself under any circumstances, never to be a hypocrite and have double standards - the private standard and the public standard; saying one thing and doing another; thinking one thing and saying something else. That requires tremendous honesty, which means I must find out what is the factor in the mind which brings about this deception and hypocrisy, this double talk, the various illusions and neurotic distortions; unless the mind is free of any distortion, it cannot possibly enquire into the immeasurable.
What do you think is the cause of illusions? - the illusion of grandeur, the illusion that you have achieved reality and reached enlightenment. One must see for oneself very clearly, without analysis, where distortion takes place; distortion is hypocrisy, it is the use of imagination where it has no place at all. Imagination may be in place when you are painting a picture, writing a poem or a book, but if imagination says "That exists", then you are caught. So I must not only find out the factor of illusion and distortion, but be completely free of it.
I wonder if you have ever asked yourself whether the mind can be completely free of this distorting factor which governs our every action. The factor of distortion is thought; thought cultivates fear, as thought cultivates pleasure. Thought says, "I must enter into that timeless state because it promises freedom." It wants to achieve, it wants to gain, it wants a greater experience. When thought, which is knowledge, functions rationally, objectively, sanely, it is not a distorting factor. The major factors of distortion are fear and the demand for pleasure through gratification, so the mind must be completely free of fear. Can it? Don't say "Yes" or "No", you do not know. Let's investigate - please, see the importance of this. The factor of distortion is fear, it is the demand for pleasure, gratification, enjoyment - not the pleasure itself, but the demand for pleasure. All our moral and religious structure is based on this. So I am asking myself whether the human mind can be completely free of fear. If it cannot be free of fear then distortion takes place.
There is physical fear, the fear of darkness, the fear of the unknown, of losing what one has, the fear of death and of not being loved, the fear of not achieving, of not fulfilling, the fear of loneliness and of having no relationship - the small physical fears and the much more complex and subtle psychological fears. Can the mind be free of all fears, not only at the conscious level but at the deep, psychological levels? The mind must be completely merciless to find this out, otherwise one enters a world of illusion and distortion.
We all know physical pain through ill health and disease. Those pains leave a memory and that memory which is thought, says: you must not have that pain again, take great care. Thought, thinking about the past pain, projects the future pain and therefore is afraid of the future. Now when physical pain occurs, live with it and end it - do not carry it over. If you do not end it instantly, then fear comes in. That is, I have had great pain and I see the importance of not having fear. That is my vital, intense demand, that there must be no fear. When the pain comes you do not identify yourself with it and carry it over, but you go through with it completely and end it. To end that pain, you have to live with it, not say, "How can I get out of it as quickly as possible." When you have pain, can you live with it without self-pity and not complain? You do whatever is necessary to end the pain - but when it has gone it is finished. You do not carry it over as memory. It is thought that carries it over; the pain has gone, but thought - which is the response of memory - has established that memory and says "you must not have that pain again". So when you have pain, is it possible not to build a memory of it? Do you know what this means? It means to be completely aware when you have pain, to be completely attentive, so that the pain is not carried over as memory. Do it, if you are interested in it.
Then there are all the psychological fears which are mucli more complex; again the complexity is brought about through thought. "I want to be a great man and I am not" - so there is the pain of not achieving. Or I have compared myself with somebody who I think is superior, therefore I feel inferior and I suffer from that. All this is the measurement of thought. And I am afraid of death and the ending of everything I possess. There is the whole psychological complexity of thought. Thought is always wanting to be sure and always frightened of uncertainty, always wanting to achieve, knowing it may fail. There is a battle between the action of thought and thought tself. So can fear end completely?
Sitting here listening to the speaker, at this present moment, you are not afraid; there is no fear because you are listening. And you can't evoke fear, which would be artificial. But you can see that when you are attached or dependent, this is based on fear. You can see your attachments, your psychological dependency on your wife, your husband, your books, or whatever it is. If you watch closely you will discover that the root of that attachment is fear. Not being able to be alone, you want companionship; feeling inadequate, empty, you depend on somebody else. In that you see the whole structure of fear. Being dependent and attached, can you see the involvement of fear in it? And can you be psychologically independent of anyone? Now comes the test. We can play with words, with ideas, but when it comes to the actual fact, we withdraw. When you withdraw and do not face the fact, you are not concerned with the understanding of illusion; you would rather live in an illusion than go beyond it. Don't be a hypocrite: you love to live in an illusion, in deception, so face it. Then you will come upon fear; remain with it, don't fight it. The more you fight it, the more there is fear. But if you understand the whole nature of fear, then, as you observe, you are not only aware of the superficial, conscious fears, but also you penetrate deeply into the inner recesses of your mind. Then fear completely comes to an end and the factor of distortion ends.
If you are pursuing or demanding pleasure, that also is a factor of distortion: "I don't like this guru, but I like that one"; "My guru is wiser than your guru; "I will go to the remote corners of the earth to find truth" - but truth is just around the corner, here! When there is a demand for pleasure, in any form, this must be a distorting factor. Enjoyment is right, isn't it? It is beautiful to enjoy the sky, the moon, the clouds, the hills, the shadows - there are lovely things on earth. But the mind, thought, says, "I must have more and more, I must repeat this pleasure tomorrow." On this demand is based the whole habit of drink and drugs, which again is the activity of thought. You see the mountains in the evening light, the snow peaks and the shadows in the dark valley, you enjoy the beauty, the loveliness of it tremendously. Then thought says, "I must see that again tomorrow, it was so beautiful." So thought, demanding pleasure, pursues the experience of the sunset on those hills and sustains this memory; and the next time you see the sunset that memory is strengthened. Can the mind see that sunset, live with it completely at that moment and finish with it - and begin afresh tomorrow? So that the mind is always free from the known.
There is a freedom which is not measurable. You can never say, "I am free" - you understand? It is an abomination. All you can do is to enquire into the function of thought and discover for yourself if there is an action which is not measurable, which is not in the field of the known. A mind that is constantly learning has no fear and perhaps such a mind can then enquire into the immeasurable.
Questioner: Can one observe without any evaluation, without any judgment, without any prejudice? Is that at all possible, or is it just another trick of the mind, a deception? You see a mountain and you recognise that it is a mountain, not an elephant. To differentiate in this way, surely, there must be judgment and evaluation?
Krishnamurti: You see the mountain, you recognise it and the recognition is only possible when a memory of the mountain has been established. Obviously, otherwise you can't recognise it.
Questioner: I remember when I came to Switzerland as a small child and I saw a mountain for the first time, it was without any remembrance. It was very beautiful.
Krishnamurti: Yes, Sir, when you see it for the first time you don't say, "It is a mountain". Then somebody tells you that it is a mountain and the next time you recognise it as such. Now, when you observe, there is the whole process of recognition. You don't confuse the mountain with a house or an elephant, it is a mountain. Then the difficult problem arises: to observe it non-verbally. "That is a mountain", "I like it or I don't like it", "I wish I could live up there", and so on. It is fairly easy just to observe it, because the mountains do not affect your life. But your husband, your wife, your neighbour, your son or daughter, they affect you; therefore, you cannot observe them without evaluation, without the image. This is where the problem arises - can you look at the mountain and at your wife or your husband, without a single image? See what happens! If you can observe without an image, then you are looking at them for the first time, aren't you? Then you are looking at the earth, the stars, the mountains, or the politician, for the first time. That means your eyes are clear, not dimmed with the burden of past memories. That is all. Go into it. Work at it. You will find out the enormous beauty that is in this.
Questioner: If you look at a factory that way, without being aware of what it does to the environment, you cannot act.
Krishnamurti: On the contrary, you see that is polluting the air, belching forth smoke, so you want to do something. Don't confuse it, keep it simple. Do it and you will see what action comes out of it.
Questioner: Is perception something totally, and is it gradual or instantaneous?
Krishnamurti: Can I observe all of myself totally, all the reactions, the fears, the enjoyments and the pursuit of pleasure, all that, at a glance? Or do I have to do it gradually? What do you think? If I do it little by little, look one day at one part of myself, the next day at another part, can it be done that way? Today I look at a fragment of myself and tomorrow at another; what is the relationship of the first fragment to the second one? And in the interval between the perception of the first and the second fragment, other factors have come into being. So this fragmentary examination, observing little by little, leads to a great deal of complexity; in fact, it has no value. My question then is: can I observe non-fragmentarily, totally, on the instant?
I have been conditioned to look at myself, to look at the world fragmentarily - as a Christian, a Communist, a Hindu. I have been brought up in this culture to look at the world fragmentarily. Being conditioned by this culture, I cannot possibly take a total view. My chief concern then is to be free of this culture, this education, and not whether I can see completely or not. To free the mind from fragmentation, not to be a Catholic or a Protestant - to wipe away all that! I can wipe away all that instantly when I see the truth of it; I cannot see the truth of it if I love being a Hindu, because that gives me a certain position. I wear a turban and impress a lot of silly people. And I take pleasure in the past, because tradition says, "We are one of the most ancient races; that gives me great delight. But I can only see the truth when I see the falseness of all that. The truth is in the falseness.
Questioner: You have been using words to describe a non-verbal state of mind. Is not this a contradiction?
Krishnamurti: The description is never the described; I can describe the mountain, but the description is not the mountain, and if you are caught in the description, as most people are, then you will never see the mountain. There is no contradiction. Please be very careful. I did not describe the immeasurable, I said: you cannot enquire into that - whatever it is - unless the mind understands the whole process of thought. So I only described the functioning of thought in action with regard to time and knowledge; to describe the other is impossible.