Exploration Into Insight
Exploration Into Insight
By J. Krishnamurti
E-Text Source: www.jkrishnamurti.org
Chapter 1 - Self-knowing and Krishnamurti's Teaching
Chapter 2 - The Beginning and Ending of Ignorance
Chapter 3 - How Deep can One Travel?
Chapter 4 - Attention, and Action without Conflict
Chapter 5 - Harmony, the Basis for Silence
Chapter 6 - The Factors of Deterioration
Chapter 7 - Self-centred Activity and Psychic Energy
Chapter 8 - The Central Root of Fear
Chapter 9 - The Chattering Mind
Chapter 10 - On Disorder, Sleep, and Dreams
Chapter 11 - The Nature of Despair and Sorrow
Chapter 12 - Ending the Registration of Hurt and Fear
Chapter 13 - The 'I' and This Vast Stream of Sorrow
Chapter 14 - Listening with the Heart
ForewordsForeword to the Second Edition, 2011
The fourteen Small Group Discussions in this book, which was first published in 1979 as Exploration into Insight, took place in Madras, Bombay, and New Delhi between the years 1972 and 1977. These are now being republished under the new title Explorations and Insights. All the texts have been re-edited from authentic transcripts made out of archival audio recordings. The sequence of dialogues in the first edition has been retained, though some chapter headings have been modified.
Foreword to the First Edition, 1979
For over thirty years, a group of people from various disciplines, backgrounds, and pursuits, deeply concerned with the enormity of the challenge facing humanity and with one central interest - the unfolding of the self through the perceptive field of self-knowledge - had gathered around Krishnamurti to investigate into the nature of man's consciousness and the energy that lies dormant within it. Fourteen of these dialogues form the contents of this book. The concern in these dialogues is the freedom of the mind from the bondages of memory and time, mutation in consciousness, and the arising of insight that gives deep roots of steadiness to the mind.
In the world today, scientific and technological revolution has unharnessed undreamt-of resources of power and knowledge. However, man has failed to discover in himself the sources of wisdom and compassion. What is needed is an inner revolution in the psyche of man. The insight that man lacks is the apprehension that he is the maker of his problems and that the root of this problem-making machinery is his mind. It is in this area of perception that the ultimate freedom of man lies.
Starting tentatively, these dialogues bring forth a relentless questioning, probing, and inquiry, a listening and a seeing in which the depths of the self with its vast subtleties and hidden escapes are exposed. This exploration is, for Krishnamurti, 'a journey into time, into the past, into the limitless'.
Caught in the paradox of living, man rarely questions. He escapes from his anguish, his loneliness, his sorrow. In a world sated with sensations, man turns to the guru, to religious experience, or to extrasensory powers that arise from various forms of concentration, as a stimulus to his jaded appetites. Krishnamurti's teaching negates gurus and psychic experiences as a way to liberation. He demands a 'life of correctness', a daily life free from all self-centred activity. All psychic experiences as they arise have to be put aside, for they can become obstacles to insight, which alone frees man from duality and the bondage of time as the past.
These dialogues are not questions and answers. Krishnamurti's role in these is of great interest. His mind is tentative, pliable, learning, seeking, probing; it is questioned, it pauses, observes, withdraws, to move forward again. There is no exchange of opinion, no spilling out of the verbal, no operation of memory as past experience blocking the new. There is a listening with 'the total flowering of the senses'. In that intensity of inquiry, insight arises. Speaking of the nature of this state Krishnamurti says, 'There is only perception and nothing else. Everything else is a movement in time. Perception is without time. There is a momentum which is timeless.'
Krishnamurti Foundation India is happy to offer these dialogues to those who are seeking fundamental answers to the problems of life.
Pupul Jayakar Sunanda Patwardhan
Chapter 1 - Self-knowing and Krishnamurti's TeachingDiscussion in Bombay on 14 January 1977
Pupul Jayakar (PJ): Sir, what is the relationship between your teaching(1)-in quotes-and the actual process of self-knowing? I am using your teaching in the sense of the words you use in your books and talks. In all other ways of arriving at truth, the word of the teacher is taken as an indication of a direction, of something to move towards. Are your words of the same nature and, if so, what is their relationship to the perceptive process of self-knowing?
Krishnamurti (K): I wonder if we have understood the question? Will I be right if I put it this way: what is the relationship between the word, the actuality, and what K is talking about? Is that it?
PJ: And the process of self-knowing. What K is talking is the word.
Sunanda Patwardhan (SP): Will you illustrate it, Pupulji? For instance, take any word.
PJ: Krishnaji talks of authority, or discipline, or a holistic approach; that is the word. Then there is the actual process of self-knowing and what is revealed in self-knowing. What is the relationship of the word to this?
K: I don't quite catch the meaning of this. PJ: You say 'no authority'; we have a tendency to take that word or that sentence and apply it to our lives without discovering authority in the process of self-knowing, and we try to see whether we can reach a state of 'no authority'.
SP: This is true of everything.
(1) For two other dialogues about Krishnamurti's teaching, see A Timeless Spring: Krishnamurti at Rajghat ('What is the Teaching?', pp.178-190) and Fire in the Mind: Dialogues with Krishnamurti ('The Unfolding of the Teaching ', pp.3-18).
PJ: Everything. We take your word as truth.
K: I understand, I got it. As Pupul Jayakar points out, when K says 'no authority', is it an abstraction of a word and therefore an idea, and do you pursue that idea? Or when he says 'no authority', is it self-revealing? Or is it merely a conclusion, a slogan? Is that it?
PJ: It is, but it's not quite it.
Achyut Patwardhan (AP): There is also another factor: when you say 'no authority', does it become a commandment to which one tries the nearest approximation?
K: Yes, that's right.
AP: That's the same thing really. One is in the field of action, the other in the field of abstraction.
PJ: You see, there is self-knowing.
K: Could we start with that first?
PJ: Yes. Let me elaborate a little more. There is self-knowing. One does not know what is revealed in the process of self-knowing. Then one hears you speak, and one takes what you say or what one reads in a book and applies it to one's daily life.
PJ: Therefore there is a gap between self-knowing and your word. So where does truth lie?
K: Neither in the word nor in the self-revealing: it is completely apart.
PJ: Can we discuss that?
K: I listen to K, and he talks about self-knowing and lays emphasis on self-knowing, on how important it is. Without self-knowing there is no foundation, he says. I listen to it. In what manner do I listen to that statement? Do I listen to it as an idea, a commandment, a conclusion? Or, in my self-knowing, I have realized the implications of authority, and therefore what he says tallies with what I have discovered for myself, and I proceed? But if I listen to the word and draw a conclusion about that word as an idea and pursue the idea, then it is not self-revealing; it is merely a conclusion. But when I am studying myself, when I am pursuing my own thoughts and all the rest of it, then whatever he says is a self-discovery. Right?
PJ: Now, is the word of K necessary to self-discovery?
K: No. I am interested in self-knowing because, without that, whatever I think, whatever I do, whatever I proceed with has no basis. So I come to a talk or read a book because I am interested in self-knowing, and I pursue that. And when I hear K talking about no authority, what is the state of my mind when I hear those words? Is it an acceptance, is it a conclusion which I've drawn, or is it a fact?
PJ: How does it become a fact? Does it become a fact through the process of self-knowing, through the discovery of that in the perceptive process of revealing itself? Or is it a fact because you have said so?
K: The microphone is a fact. It isn't 'I say it is a microphone'; we all agree that it's a fact.
PJ: But when you say 'no authority', it is not...
K: No. The word is not the thing. The description is not the described. So am I clear on that point that the word is never the thing? The word mountain is not the mountain, the description of that mountain is not the mountain. Am I clear on that? Or the description is good enough for me and in it I get entangled? I accept the description, it pleases me, and I want that description. Through the description I want that which is described, and I cling to the idea. I don't reject the verbal structure altogether.
P.Y. Deshpande (PYD): Man must speak, he being a language animal.
K: I use language to communicate. I want to tell you something. I use English words which we both know, but we both know that the words I use are not the actual feeling I have.
K: So the word is not the thing.
PYD: But the fact is that one talks through the linkage with the mental processes, or one talks without the linkage.
K: They are two different points, aren't they? Either we communicate through words, or we communicate without words.
PYD: No. There would be words, but not of that order. There are two orders of words.
K: I don't quite follow this.
PYD: For instance, when we listen to you we know you do not talk the way we do. That is quite clear.
K: Why do you say that?
PYD: 'Why?' is a difficult question, but there is a definite, positive feeling like seeing the microphone. You do not talk the way I talk. The source of your words lies much deeper than the words we use, which come only from the mental layer.
K: I understand, sir.
PYD: You've a deeper layer from which the word comes.
K: I can say superficially, 'I love you.' But I can also say, 'I really love you.' There is quite a difference-in the tone, in the quality of the word, in the depth of the feeling. The words only convey the depth.
PYD: I will go a little further.
K: Go further.
PYD: It really is something like a deep, indefinable feeling which I may call love, but actually I will not state it. I would not know the word for it.
K: I may not know the word. I may hold your hand.
K: I may gesture.
PYD: Yes, that's true. But between the gesture and the word there is no linkage.
K: I see what you are saying. Is that what you are trying to convey?
PJ: No, that is not what I was going to say. What I have been trying to say is: one of our difficulties in understanding and going beyond is that one takes your word, either the spoken word or the written word, and it does become an abstraction to which one is always approximating. Then there is the process of self-knowing in which the truth of your word can be revealed, but it does not normally happen that way. It has always seemed to me that listening to you without obstacles may bring about a change in the nature of my mind. But the actuality of the words you use can be revealed only in the process of self-knowing.
K: What am I to say to that? I don't quite follow.
PJ: I think we should, first of all, investigate self-knowing. We have not done it for a very long time.
K: Right. Let's do that, shall we? Let's begin with that.
PYD: I would like to say something different. Is there any relationship between self-knowing and the word?
K: We'll come to that presently. Self-knowing has been talked about for thousands of years-by Socrates, before Socrates, and so on. Now, what is self-knowing? How do you know yourself? What is it to know oneself? Do you know yourself from observation-observation of an experience, observation of a thought? In the observation of one thought, another thought springs up, and we are reluctant to let go the first thought, and so there is a conflict between the first thought and second thought. But self-knowing is to relinquish the first thought and pursue the second thought. Then a third thought arises. Drop the second, follow the third. Drop the third and follow the fourth. So there is a constant alertness or awareness of the movement of thought. Is this all right? Now let's proceed. I observe myself being jealous. The instinctual response to jealousy is rationalization. In the process of rationalization I've forgotten or put aside jealousy. So I am caught in rationalization-the words, the capacity to examine, to rationalize, to suppress, all the rest of it. I see this whole movement as one unit. And the desire arises that I must run away from it. I examine that desire, that escape. Escape into what, I don't know.
PJ: Escape sometimes into meditation.
K: Of course.
PJ: Or what one considers meditation.
K: That's the easiest trick. So I ask, what is meditation? Is it an escape from what is? Is that meditation? It is not meditation if it is an escape. So I go back and examine my jealousy. Why am I jealous? Because I am attached, because I think I am important, and so on. So this whole process is a revelation. Then I come to the point: is the examiner, the observer, different from the observed? Obviously it is not. So observation is when there is no observer.
PJ: You said, 'Obviously it is not.' Please go into that.
K: The observer is the past, because the past is the remembrance, the experience, the knowledge stored up in memory. The past is the observer. And he observes the present, which is my jealousy, my reaction. I observe my jealousy. I use the word jealousy for that feeling because I have recognized it as having happened in the past. So it is a remembrance of jealousy. The word is part of the past. So can I observe without the observer which is the past, observe without the word? Does the word bring that feeling, or is there a feeling without the word? All this is part of self-knowledge.
PJ: How does one observe...
K: ...without the word?
PJ: Without the word.
K: Without the observer?
PJ: Without the observer.
K: Without a remembrance? That is very important.
PJ: How does one actually tackle the problem of the observer?
K: I'll show you.
AP: May I say that in the watching of the observer there is also the disapproval or the approval of the observer of himself?
K: That's the past, that's my conditioning. That's the whole movement of the past, which is contained in the observer.
AP: That condemnation is the barrier.
K: That's what she is asking. She is asking, 'How do I observe the observer? What is the process of observing the observer?' Right?
AP: I spelt out the difficulty in this.
K: Yes, sir. What is the observation of the observer? I hear K say that the observer is the past. Is that so?
T.K. Parchure (TKP): In asking such a question, another observer is created.
K: No, sir. I don't create anything, I am merely observing. The question is: what is the observer? Who is the observer? I observe this. [Pointing to the microphone] How do I observe this? I observe it through a word, and we have used a word to indicate that it is a microphone. That is registered in the brain as the microphone-remembrance. I use that word to convey that it is a microphone. That's simple enough. All right?
PJ: Does one observe the observer?
K: I am coming to that. How does one observe the observer? You don't.
PJ: Is it your inability to observe the observer which gives you an understanding of the nature of the observer?
K: No. You don't observe the observer. You observe only what is and the interference of the observer. Then you say, 'I recognize the observer.' You see the difference? I observe jealousy, there is an observation of jealousy. The observer comes in and says, 'I have been jealous, and therefore I know what that feeling is.' So I have recognized it, and it is the observer. Then you see the observer in operation. You cannot observe the observer by itself, only in relation to the observed. There is observation of the observer only in his relationship to the observed. When the observer colours the observation, then there is an awareness of the observer. You cannot observe the observer by itself; you can observe the observer only in relation to something. That is fairly clear, right?
TKP: The past as it exists does not come into play unless it touches the present.
K: Keep it very simple, sir. There is jealousy. At the moment of that feeling, there is no observer or the observed: there is only that state. Then the observer comes in and says, 'That is jealousy', and he proceeds to interfere with what is-run away from it, suppress it, rationalize it, justify it, or escape from it. So those movements indicate the observer in relation to that which is.
Fritz Wilhelm (FW): At the moment when the observer exists, is there a possibility of observation of the observer? When the observer exists-like I recognize my jealousy-is there a possibility, at that moment, of observation of the observer?
K: That's what we are saying. I am angry or greedy or violent. At the moment of violence there is nothing. There is neither you nor the observer nor the observed: there is only that state of violence. Then the observer comes in, which is the movement of thought. Thought is the past; there is no new thought. So thought interferes with the present. That interference is the observer. And you study the observer only through that interference. He is trying to escape from it, rationalize it, justify it, and so on, which are all the traditional approaches to the present. The traditional approach is the observer; that's all.
PJ: In a sense, therefore, the observer manifests itself only in terms of escape from the present?
K: Escape, rationalization, justification, or...
K: Any form of interference with the present is the action of the observer. Discuss it, don't accept it, tear it to pieces, find out.
TKP: Is there no past when there is no interference?
K: No, that's not the point. What is the past?
TKP: The observer which recognizes.
K: No, no. What is the past? What is your past?
TKP: The accumulated, stored-up contents of my experiences.
K: Which is what? Your knowledge, your experiences, inclinations, motives-all that is the movement of the past, which is knowledge. Any movement of the past can take place only through knowledge, which is the past. So the past interferes with the present. Then the observer comes into operation. If there is no interference, there is no observer; there is only observation.
PYD: Or indifference.
K: Only observation, not indifference.
FW: The observation of the observer seems to me a contradiction in itself.
K: No, sir.
FW: You know what I am driving at. In observation there is no observer, and there is not the observed.
K: In observation there is neither the observer nor the idea of observation. This is very important to understand. There is no observer or the idea of not having an observer. Which means there is only pure observation, without the word, without the recollection and association of the past. There is nothing, only observation.
FW: In that way the observation of the observer is possible.
K: No, no. You are putting it wrongly. I said the observation of the observer comes only when the past interferes. The past is the observer. When that past interferes with the present, the observer is in action. It is only then that you become aware that there is an observer. Now, when you see that, have an insight into that, there is no observer; there is only observation. So can I observe-that is her point-'no authority' per se, not because you have told me?
PJ: I can observe only one thing.
K: Yes, that's it.
PJ: I can observe the movement of authority.
PJ: I can never observe 'no authority'.
K: Of course not. There is the observation of authority, which is the demand from another for enlightenment, the leaning on, the attachment to another; all that is a form of authority. Is there authority in operation in my brain, in my mind, in my being? Authority may be experience, the past which is knowledge, dependence on the past, on a vision, and so on. Is there an observation of the movement of authority?
PJ: What is important? The observation of every movement of my consciousness or the attempt to discover in my consciousness the truth of what you are saying, the actuality of what you are saying? You know, it is a very subtle thing. I don't know how to put it.
SP: Shall I put this way what you are saying? I observe hurt.
K: Wait a minute. You observe hurt because K said it?
SP: No, no.
K: I want to be clear, that's why.
SP: I will state it and then you ask me. I see that I am hurt, I see the emergence of hurt. The observation of the hurt is something which I can do as part of observation. But where I create authority is: 'Krishnaji says that once you see the hurt it is over.' There I project a certain state, a movement towards that state, because I do not want to be caught in the trap of constant observation of hurt. And several other factors come in. But, instead of the constant observation of hurt, I hear a person saying, 'Once you observe hurt without the observer, if you really see it, the whole thing is wiped out'-that is where I create authority.
K: Ah, I understand.
PJ: Exactly what I was saying.
SP: I don't know that state, but this process creates an authority because he seems to indicate a state where you can be free of this constant process.
K: I observe the hurt and all the consequences of that hurt, how that hurt has come into being, and so on. I am aware of the whole process of that hurt. And I hear K saying, 'Once you see it in its entirety, holistically, then it's over, you will never be hurt.'
SP: It's there in my consciousness.
K: Wait, wait. He has said that. What is in your consciousness? The word?
SP: Apart from the word, the state he has communicated when he utters that. Because when K is talking, it seems to indicate a state beyond the word, a state which is very difficult to describe.
K: I am hurt, I know I am hurt. And by listening to you, I see the consequences of all that-the withdrawal, the isolation, the violence; all that I see. Do I see it because you have pointed it out to me?
K: Wait, I am coming to that. Or do I see it though you have pointed it out to me?
SP: Yes, obviously. The fact is that you have come into my life in the sense of my having listened to you.
K: No, no. Please just listen quietly. I see the entirety of it. Is it because you have pointed out to me, and therefore I say, 'By Jove, it is so'? Or though you have pointed it out to me, I see it?
SP: I see it.
K: Then the question arises: K says that once you see it fully, holistically, then the whole of hurt is over; where is the authority in that?
SP: There is authority because that is the state I would like to have.
K: Then examine that state, which is ambition, which is desire.
SP: There are two movements. One is, one genuinely does not want to be caught in this trap of constant movement in this direction, and the other is postulated as freedom.
PJ: That's exactly my original question. There are two things I would like to bring in at this stage. One is your use of the word holistic. I'd like to examine that.
K: Yes, examine that.
PJ: If I may state the other also: you also said, 'Can you hold...
K: ...hurt and remain with it?'
PJ: And remain with it.
K: Which is holistic.
PJ: Now let's move into this. What is involved in this holding?
K: I'll go into it. I am hurt. I know why I am hurt, I am aware. There is an awareness of the image that is hurt and the consequences of that hurt-the escape, the violence, the narrowness, the fear, the isolation, the withdrawal and, therefore, out of that withdrawal, anxiety, fear, and all the rest of it. Right? How am I aware of it? Is it because you have pointed it out to me, or am I aware of it although you've? I see it, I am following you, I am moving with you- in that there is no authority. I am moving with you, I am not separate from what you are saying. That's where the catch is.
SP: Up to a point there is a movement.
K: I am moving with you.
PYD: So your word becomes like a pointer.
K: No, no. There is no pointer.
SP: So long as you are observing yourself, there is a relationship.
K: The moment I break that relationship, there begins my question, 'How am I to do it?' If I am following exactly what you are saying-which is hurt, the image that is hurt, the escape, the violence-I am moving with you. It's like an orchestra-an orchestra of words, an orchestra of feeling, an orchestra of observation; the whole thing is moving. As long as I am moving with you, there is no trouble, no contradiction, no 'I want something more than this.' I am still moving with you. Then you go on to say, 'Once you see this as a whole, the thing is over', and I am with you!
SP: It has not happened, it doesn't happen.
K: I will tell you why: because you haven't listened.
SP: For twenty years I haven't listened?
K: Ah, it doesn't matter. One day is good enough. You haven't listened. You are listening to the word, to the reaction; you are carrying on. You are not moving with him.
Radha Burnier (RB): Is there a difference between that listening and the holistic view?
K: No. If you listen in the sense of no interpretation, no examination, no comparison...
RB: ...no expectation.
K: ...nothing. Listening! I am listening, therefore I am following you. It is like two rivers moving together: they are one river. But I don't listen that way. I have heard him say, 'Holistically...then it's over.' I want to get that, therefore I am already ahead of him because I want that.
RB: Therefore the question of how to remain with whatever it is, is a wrong question, isn't it?
K: I am remaining with it.
RB: Yes, but the question itself is a movement away from the remaining with it.
K: Of course, of course.
SP: How do you say that?
PJ: I would question that. There is a state of the intensity of sorrow, a feeling of the intensity of sorrow and an observation to see that the sorrow is not dissipated by any movement away from it. In a moment of crisis there is an intensity of arising of energy and its entwining of consciousness totally, and the only action is the refusal to move away from it. Is that valid?
RB: Does it not mean that one can only watch every movement which is away from it, and not ask, 'How am I to remain with it?'
PJ: What is that state? What actually takes place?
PJ: Take a state of fear or sorrow.
K: Take something, one thing.
PJ: Sorrow arises and fills you. That is the way it operates when it is something very deep. What is the action on that to enable that-I'm using your words now, forgive me-to flower without dissipation?
K: If it fills you actually, if sorrow fills your whole being, which means your whole being is filled with that extraordinary energy called sorrow, and there is no escape, there is no etc., etc.
PJ: There is no escape because of observation?
K: Wait. First of all he says that when there is sorrow, it fills your whole being with that extraordinary energy; but the moment you move away in any way, in any direction, it is a dissipation of that energy. Now, are you filled completely with that energy which is called sorrow, or is there in a part of you, somewhere in you, a loophole?
RB: I think there is always a loophole because there is the fear of any one thing filling one's being.
K: That's just the point. So it hasn't filled your being.
K: That's a fact. So you pursue, not sorrow but the fear- the fear of what might happen, etc. You go into that. Forget sorrow and go into that.
PYD: Sorrow, hurt, jealousy, anger, whatever-the use of the word holistic implies some quantity.
K: No, no!
PYD: And here by hurt you mean that the hurt itself is the whole.
K: No, sir. Let's understand the meaning of the word holistic. Whole means healthy, physically healthy. Then it means sanity-mentally, psychologically sane; and from that holy. All that is implied in the word whole.
PYD: This is clear for the first time now.
K: Now, when you have very good health-you may be ill but it is a healthy illness-and emotionally, intellectually, everything is very sane, perfectly sane, without any quirks, without any neurotic movement, then all that is the holistic approach. If there is a quirk, an idiosyncrasy, an idiotic something or the other in the brain as a belief and so on, it is not whole. So pursue that neurotic thing, clean it up. Don't talk about the holistic. The holistic thing happens when there is sanity, health, and the rest of it.
SP: This is where the dilemma comes in. Pursue the fragment, you say. But unless one sees the fragment holistically...
K: Don't bother about 'holistically'.
SP: Then how does one observe the fragment? Where is the whole? Put it the other way.
K: Ah no.
SP: Then what is the process involved?
K: I am doing it.
SP: Which comes first?
K: I am doing it. I don't know a blasted thing about the holistic. I don't know. I know the meaning of the word, the description of the word, what he conveys, but that is outside my field.
SP: That's not a fact.
K: That's not a fact. The fact is I am a fragment; I work, live, act with fragments, in myself. I know nothing about the other. So I take that and go at it.
FW: So this brings us to our initial question: what is the meaning of your words apart from our communication, now, for example? In my daily life when I am hurt, does my remembering that you say one should never be hurt have any meaning?
K: Ah no. I am hurt, that's all I know. That is a fact. I am hurt because I have an image about myself. Have I discovered that image for myself, or has K told me that the image is hurt? That is very important to find out. Is it that the description has created the image, or do I know that the image exists?
SP: One knows that the image exists.
K: All right. If the image exists I am concerned with the image, not with how to be rid of the image, or how to look at the image holistically. I know nothing about it.
SP: 'Looking at the image' seems to imply this concept of the holistic.
K: No. I know nothing of the concept. I only know I have an image. I know. I won't deal with anything but facts, the what is. The holistic is non-fact.
SP: That I see very clearly. So how does one look at this holistically, totally? That is the question that arises.
PJ: 'Totally' is your statement.
K: Of course. Kick it, throw it out.
SP: Then there is no problem because one observes certain symptoms of hurt. There is observation and it ends. This process goes on. I don't need his...
K: ...telling me...
SP: ...to observe anything at that level. Every arising in consciousness, the observation of consciousness, and the subsidence-this process we are familiar with.
PYD: In spite of that, one thing remains when listening to him. Every time you listen to him, you have the awareness that you are not there.
AP: That's why this discussion started at the very crucial point of authority. The point of starting this discussion on authority lies in this that we make an authority of what you say, and then that is a barrier to any perception.
K: Yes, sir, quite. Obviously, obviously.
PYD: Something is missing in this.
K: Look, sir, there is something very interesting out of this. Are you learning, or are you having an insight into it? The learning implies authority. [Laughter] What do you say?
Asit Chandmal (AC): Sir, we keep coming back to this point.
K: That's just it. Are you learning and acting from learning? I don't know if you see this? I learn and then act. I learn about mathematics, technology, and so on, and from that knowledge I become an engineer and act. Or I go out into the field, act, and learn. Both are the accumulation of knowledge and acting from knowledge. Therefore knowledge becomes the authority. I know because I am an engineer.
SP: If I may put it this way, learning gives temporary freedom.
SP: The act of observation gives temporary freedom.
K: No, nothing. Sorry. You have not listened to what I am saying. You are going on with your idea.
SP: I am expanding the meaning of learning.
K: No, you are going on with your idea. I want to tell you something, so please kindly listen, not with your ideas. Listen to this. We asked, what is learning? Either you accumulate knowledge to act, or you go out, act, and learn. Therefore it is acting according to knowledge. So knowledge becomes the authority, whether it is of the doctor, the scientist, the architect, anybody. The guru says, 'I know', which is his authority. Now, somebody comes along and says, 'Look, that acting according to knowledge is a prison, you will never be free in that. You can't ascend through knowledge.' Bronowski and others have been maintaining that man can ascend only through knowledge. Knowledge then becomes mechanical. Somebody like K comes along and says: 'Look at it differently. Look at action as insight. Not accumulate knowledge and act, but insight, action.' In that there is no authority.
PJ: You have used the word insight. What is the actual nature of that word?
K: To have sight in, to grasp something instantly. This man says, 'Listen carefully.' You don't listen, that's all my point. You act, and after learning act. That is, there is accumulation of information, knowledge, and acting according to that knowledge, skilfully or non-skilfully. That is learning, that is the accumulating of knowledge and acting. The other is, going out, acting, learning, which is the same as the other. Both are acting on the basis of knowledge. So knowledge becomes the authority. So where there is authority, there must be suppression and so on. So he says you will never ascend anywhere through that process; it is mechanical. He says that. Now, do you see both, the whole of it, as a mechanical movement? If you see that, that is insight. Therefore you are not acting from knowledge but seeing the implications of knowledge, authority, all that, and acting totally differently. For instance, the man who invented the jet must have known all the movement of the piston, what is implied in the piston, the internal combustion machinery, and he said, 'Yes, I know that very well. Put it aside. There's a tremendous feeling that I am on the verge of something. I understand this very well, but there is something else I am feeling after.' You don't do it; you are stuck with this and ask, 'How am I to get out of this?' So where are we? Self-knowledge and the word of K-if there is a movement together then it is over, it is very simple, you move.
PJ: Is the movement with the word of K essential? Or can the revelation be without the movement of the word?
K: All right. K says, 'Be a light to yourself.' Which doesn't mean he becomes the authority. K says nobody can take you there, you can't invite that. K says you can listen to K endlessly for the next million years, you won't get it. But he says, 'Be a light to yourself', and you see holistically that thing. [Pause] You see, to know oneself is one of the most difficult things. Because when I see myself, in the observation of myself I have come to a conclusion about what I have seen. And the next observation is through that conclusion. So I never see what actually is; I see through the past conclusions. To observe what is actual-anger-without the conclusion that it is right, wrong, good, bad, I mustn't have it. No conclusion. And the next time it arises it's already- you follow? The moment there is no conclusion, you observe holistically.
PYD: Which implies energy.
K: Yes. You observe anger without any conclusion. Can you? Which means no judgement, no rationalization, no condemnation, no comparison, and no recognition as 'Yes, I remember I've been angry before.' So the non-usage of the word anger-try it!
PYD: This oscillation of energy, high voltage or low voltage.
K: No, there is no high or low. I am angry. Can I observe it without recognition, without the word, without justification? Am I following him, or have I said, 'Yes, let me look at it'? Can I look at it without any recognition, without the word? Can I do it-look at that feeling of anger without the word? The word is the remembrance of things past, and so association of the past, which means, can I look at it without any recognition, without any conclusion? All that is a conclusion.
PYD: I see it.
K: Ah, no. You don't see it.
PYD: The question of energy remains. I don't invite it; it comes and goes.
K: No. Your energy has been dissipated through conclusions. When there is no conclusion, you have all the energy necessary to observe.
Questioner 1(Q1): Sometimes one is able to look at anger in the way as you want it.
K: Ah, not what I want. Can you observe...?
Q1: Sometimes it is not possible to look at it that way.
K: All right. I can't look at it because I haven't the time. I haven't time this morning because I've to go to the office. I pick it up later. I pick it up: I've been angry, now I'm going to see. I can observe that without any conclusion. Conclusion is the past, conclusion is the observer. Can I look at it without the observer? So self-knowledge is not knowing oneself, but knowing, watching, every movement of thought. Because the self is the thought, the image-the image of K, the image of me, and all the rest of it. So watch every movement of thought, never letting one thought go without realizing what it is. Try it, do it, and you will see what takes place. As you were saying last night, it gives muscle to the brain. [Laughs]
Q1: In other words, the observer has to be strong enough to see.
K: No. You are going back to your old system. For God's sake. You are all brought up in tradition! It is not a question of being strong. Strength may be cowardice. So observe. If you are interested, you observe. If you are not interested, don't force yourself. If I am interested in learning Russian, I play with it, I look at it off and on all day, I am interested. But if I force myself...
SP: In a single thought, is there the essence of the self?
K: Yes. I would say yes. Thought is fear, thought is pleasure, thought is sorrow. And thought is not love, thought is not compassion. The image that thought has created is the 'me'. The 'me' is the image. There is no difference between 'me' and the image; the image is 'me'. Now, I have to look at that image. I observe the image which is 'me', which is, I must attain nirvana-all that horrible mess. Which means I am terribly greedy; that is all. Instead of wanting money, I want the other; that's greed. So I examine greed. Why am I greedy? What is greed? It means the 'more'. Which is, I want to change what is-the more, the greater-I want to transform what is into something more, therefore that is greed.
So I ask: 'Now why am I doing this? Why do I want more? Is it tradition? Is it habit? Is it the mechanical response of the brain?' I want to find out. I can find out either with one glance or step by step. I can observe it with one glance only when I have no motive. Motive is the distorting factor: I love you because you give me sex; I love you because you have got money; I love you because I want something from you, heaven or some beastly little thing.
So I want to know myself. I really do. It is most interesting to know yourself, because yourself may be the universe, not a theoretical universe, but the global universe. I want to know myself because I see very clearly that if I don't know myself, whatever I say is meaningless, is corruption. I see that, not just verbally. It is corruption if I don't; all my actions become corrupt, and I mean it. I don't want to live a corrupt life, and I see, without exercising will and all that nonsense, that I must know myself.
To know myself I watch. I watch in my relationship to you, to my wife, to my husband. In that watching I see myself reflected in that relationship. I am greedy. I want her because I want sex, I want comfort; she looks after my children, she cooks, so I depend on her. So in my relationship to her I discover the pleasure principle, the attachment principle, the comfort principle, and so on. So there I am. And am I observing it without the past, without any conclusion? Therefore my observation is precise. So the moment you say, 'Be a light to yourself', you have no authority-gone, all authority, including that of the Gita, the gurus, the ashramas, and all that circus.
A question that would be really interesting is: if I am a light to myself, what is my relationship politically, economically, socially? You don't ask those questions. I have to vote either for Carter or Mr Ford. I am a light to myself. Go on, work it out. I live in Russia, which is a tyrannical world. I am a light to myself, I see that very clearly; I have no authority, no guide. Then how do I act with regard to tyranny-the tyranny of the guru, of the ashrama, the whole works. I know how. How would you act? Which is, 'a light to oneself' means to be holistic. Anything that is not holistic is corruption. So a holistic man will not deal with corruption
Chapter 2 - The Beginning and Ending of IgnoranceDiscussion in Bombay on 17 January 1973
Pupul Jayakar (PJ): Krishnaji, can we discuss the question of consciousness and its relationship to the brain cells? We feel that in your talks you consider the two as synonymous. Are they of the same nature, or is there anything that identifies them as being separate?
Krishnamurti (K): You are asking, 'What is the relationship between the brain cells and consciousness? Are they of the same nature or different?'
PJ: You have also said that you regard them as being synonymous.
K: Synonymous. Yes.
PJ: And the great difference between the traditional use of the word consciousness and yours would be that in consciousness they would include that which lies beyond the horizons of the limited.
K: Ah, they use it that way, do they?
PJ: That is what people have told me. It is a semantic problem and, I think, it needs to be discussed now.
Maurice Frydman (MF): The brain is only an agglomeration of cells, a forest of cells, and each cell is quite independent. Every brain cell can live by itself. So is our consciousness the sum total of all the consciousnesses of the various cells, or is there a cognitive factor? Is it merely a resultant?
K: Come to the point.
MF: That is one question. The second is, what is primary and what is secondary? Does consciousness come first and then the brain, or does the brain come first and then consciousness?
K: That is the same thing.
MF: Now, from the purely logical point of view, consciousness is primary because we can talk about brain only as consciousness. So the primary factor is consciousness.
K: If I may ask, what do you mean by that word consciousness? Let's start right from the beginning. What does it mean?
MF: That which is present.
PJ: That is very limited, that is the meaning we have given it.
K: We will go slowly. What is consciousness, to be conscious of?
MF: Both suggest the 'me' and the presentation.
K: I want to be clear that we both understand the meaning of that word. One is conscious of that microphone.
MF: You have gone far away. What you are talking of is a little speck of life.
K: What is consciousness, sir?
MF: You are conscious of this. [Pointing to the microphone]
K: That's all I mean. I mean that.
MF: You are not conscious of any microphone.
K: No. I am conscious of that, but then I use the word microphone.
MF: That is already post-cognitive.
K: Yes, of course. So there is only being conscious of that; then the naming begins, then the like and the dislike.
MF: First of all we need the perception. Then the naming.
K: So consciousness means 'to be aware of'.
MF: To be aware of your sensations.
K: So to be aware of, to be conscious of. Contact, perception, sensation, and thought. Right.
Achyut Patwardhan (AP): I feel that consciousness is prior to sensation. It is a field, and at one time I am aware of some part of it through sensation, but I can see that the field is much vaster. I see that when I am conscious, I am aware of only a part of a very wide thing. That whole field is not in my awareness. So I don't want to restrict consciousness to something that is coterminus with my awareness because my awareness also is not something with a fixed dimension. Awareness can change; at any given moment my awareness may not be coextensive with the entire field. So what I feel is that consciousness can be seen to be much vaster than my focus.
K: I understand. So he is asking, 'What is the relationship between that consciousness and the brain cells?' She used the word consciousness.
MF: You must first of all ask her to define what she means by consciousness instead of going immediately into metaphysics.
K: That is what I was asking.
PJ: Not what I mean by consciousness. From Krishnaji's discussions when you say the content of consciousness is consciousness, it would imply that the content of the brain cells is consciousness, because there is no field which is not held in the brain cells. If there is a field outside the brain cells, which is also called consciousness, then you have to explore further and say...
K: ...all that is consciousness.
PJ: ...all that is consciousness. Then you can't say the content of consciousness is consciousness.
K: Stop there for a minute. Is that clear? I have said the content of consciousness is consciousness.
MF: All that we know about consciousness.
AP: 'The content of consciousness is consciousness' is a statement irrespective of, or unconnected to, the perceiver. It is a statement about consciousness. It is not your consciousness, my consciousness, his consciousness. The content of consciousness is consciousness.
K: That's right. Therefore outside the field of that consciousness there is no content.
PJ: The moment you posit 'outside the field of consciousness', you have posited a state which exists...
K: ...or may not exist.
MF: Putting it simply, what you say is: is the unknown a part of consciousness?
K: That's it, that's all. Very simple. Good, keep it to that. Is the unknown a part of consciousness, consciousness being the content?
PJ: That is what I would really like to discuss. Krishnaji uses consciousness in a very special sense. There is a major difference between the Krishnamurti position and the Vedantists' position, as I have understood it. Consciousness is supposed to be that which exists before anything else exists.
K: Ah no, no, no,
AP: The traditional position, as I have understood it, is this.
PJ: Not the Buddhist tradition.
AP: Yes, we must take the Vedantist position.
K: Also, you must explain the Vedantist position because I don't know what it is.
AP: Basically at the source of existence is a vast, incomprehensible energy which they call chaitanya. Chaitanya is the energy source. Chit is life, the life force. This is one position. The Buddhist position does not say anything about this at all.
K: Quite right.
AP: It refuses to say a word about it. Therefore we cannot answer her query from the Buddhist position because the Buddhists themselves don't talk about it. Any talk about it would be speculative, and they say that speculative processes are not the means for actual perception.
K: Therefore the content of consciousness is part of speculation.
AP: Therefore they say we can restrict ourselves only to that which is.
K: Would this be right? As we said yesterday, ignorance has no beginning, but it has an end. Don't inquire into the beginning of ignorance.
AP: That's right. That's marvellous, that's marvellous.
K: But find out how to end it. That is right, that is a good point. Let's stick to that.
AP: That is a wonderful point. We have immediately come upon something.
K: Quite right. That is a good point.
MF: The Buddhists say there is no such thing as consciousness in general, but there are states of consciousness, atomic states of consciousness.
K: Yes, yes.
MF: And the succession of these states is the root of consciousness.
K: So let's begin now. Ignorance has no beginning, ignorance can end. Don't let us investigate into the beginning of ignorance because that would be speculative, would be a waste of time. But is it possible to end ignorance? And this ignorance is consciousness, right?
AP: That consciousness is ignorance is a position which we will have to examine in the sense that it is not as obvious as the first.
K: No, no.
AP: It is an absolutely factual thing we are saying.
MF: That is exactly what the Advaitins say.
K: I don't know what the Advaitins say.
MF: They say what you said just now: that ignorance, that very consciousness is in the air; by seeing, hearing, touching, smelling, wanting, not wanting, feeling, that very consciousness, which is all the time present to us, is the very form of our awareness.
K: Ah, no.
AP: As I understand it, the Advaitin's position is slightly different. They say that the source, which you refer to as ignorance, is of the nature of chit and ananda. That is, the source, what you call the unknown, is of the nature of bliss and is constantly renewing itself. It is a flux, but it is a flux which is constantly into being, and the entire process of birth, growth, and decay is in that. Therefore the nature of that out of which the universe arises, out of which everything arises, is this place. They say that. Since you don't know anything about it, you can just call it ignorance. It is not ignorance because the world is not born out of it. They say the world is born out of that which is sat, which is reality in its essence, chit which is creativity, and ananda which is rapturous bliss. So here is again perhaps a semantic difference. I am merely stating the two positions side by side.
K: I understand that.
AP: A man who does not accept the Buddhist position will not immediately accept what you say.
PJ: About consciousness or the other thing?
AP: That it is a self-sustaining process of ignorance of which you cannot trace the beginning but which can be put an end to.
K: That's right.
AP: I have stated the two positions, but I don't want to say that they are conflicting positions. I only want to say that there are two different statements made by traditionalists.
K: Now, not knowing the traditionalists, Advaita, or Vedanta, we simply say ignorance has no beginning. One can see it in oneself. And it can be ended. That's all. Now, consciousness is within that field.
PJ: If it is within this field, then has it any existence apart from the brain cells which contain the memory about this?
K: Yes, that's right.
PJ: The scientific position is that whereas the brain cells and their operations are measurable, consciousness is not measurable; therefore the two are not synonymous.
K: I see.
PJ: This may not be the scientific position, but this was stated to me.
K: What you are saying is: consciousness is measurable.
AP: The brain cells and their movements are measurable, but consciousness is immeasurable.
K: I understand, I get the meaning.
AP: When we look through the biggest electric telescope, you see the expanse of the cosmos as far as that instrument will show it. But you know that if you get a bigger instrument, you may see a bigger thing. In that sense, though you measure it, you know that your measurement is relative only to the instrument with which you are perceiving.
K: Quite right, quite right.
AP: In that sense this is a relative element.
K: That is simple.
AP: And in the same sense consciousness also is...
AP: Immeasurable. In the sense in which we say the electric telescope proves to you that the measurement of the universe you have is not the measurement of the universe: it is the measurement of the instrument. In the same way, consciousness is also something about which you do not know whether it is measurable or immeasurable. When you use a measure, it is your own instrument that you are measuring. Therefore about consciousness also they are not prepared to make any other statement except that any instrument with which you seek to measure it may be the measurement of your instrument; therefore you cannot say that that is the measurement of consciousness.
K: That is right. So consciousness is not measurable. The electric telescope reveals the universe according to the instrument. And if there was an instrument to measure consciousness, it will be dependent on the instrument. Therefore the instrument can be big or small; according to the instrument, you measure consciousness. That is all. Now, what is the next question?
MF: The next question is: how does it happen? A needle with cold air injected in your brain radically changes consciousness. Or an electric stimulation radically changes it.
K: Not radically changes. It changes the pattern, but still within the field of the known.
MF: How can you know?
K: It will always be in the field of the known.
MF: But it was not there before.
K: Just a minute. What Pupul is asking is: outside consciousness as we know it-the content and all the rest of it-is there a consciousness, is there a state which is not measurable, which is not pertaining to this consciousness?
PJ: Because in terms of consciousness and the brain cells, the instruments are the senses. The measurement of consciousness is in terms of your senses. When you say there is expanded consciousness, it is also in terms of that. Is there a state...
K: ...which is not knowable?
PJ: ...which is not cognizable, not knowable, not obtainable within the brain cells?
K: That's right, that's right. You got it?
MF: Yes. Why should it interest me?
K: Interest you?
MF: Yes, because you say it is not knowable.
K: Not knowable in the sense of recognizable.
MF: That means something new.
K: Something totally new.
AP: I am coming to the in-between step. We know that consciousness is also the source of racial memories and all the memories that man has. That is an intermediate step. I am answering Maurice's point; he said that the brain cells will recognize everything that comes out of the racial memories, out of the field of man's past.
K: Out of the known.
PJ: A million years of the known.
AP: A million years, whatever it be. Even the earliest memories of man in the primeval jungles the brain may be able to remember.
K: Keep it very simple. We said the known is consciousness. The content of the known is consciousness. Now, is there something outside this which is not known, which is totally new? And does it already exist in the brain cells, and if it exists outside the known, is it recognizable, experienceable? If it is experienceable, it is not the unknown; if it is recognizable, it is still in the field of the known.
MF: Is it available or not?
K: It is available only when the recognizing and experiencing process come to an end. Pupul asked, 'Is it in the known or out of the known? If it is out of the known, is it already in the brain cells?' If it is in the brain cells, it is already the known because the brain cells can't contain something new.
PJ: I may even put it this way: is it in the brain cells in the sense that it is only because we do not have the instruments...
K: ...to measure, to experience, to feel this? Very dangerous this thing, because the moment you say it is in the brain cells, it may be tradition, it may be my father's father's father's...
PJ: You have to ask that question.
K: We have asked it. It may be in the deep recesses of the brain cells; therefore, to me, the whole of this is the known.
MF: The potentially known is also there.
K: Of course, of course.
MF: So all that is knowable is the known.
K: Yes. Which is already in the brain cells.
MF: The potential is in the brain cells, so that is a universe by itself.
MF: That is available.
K: It is there, it is there. I will have to dig deep into the treasure.
MF: You asked, 'Is there anything else outside the brain?'
K: That is all, keep it simple. I say there is.
MF: On what do you base your statement?
K: The statement that every process of recognition, experience is always within the field of known. And any movement of the brain cells as thought, moving away from the known, trying to investigate into the other, is still the known.
MF: How do you know there is something different?
K: You can't know it.
MF: So on what ground do you make that statement?
K: On the ground that there is a state where the mind cannot recognize anything.
MF: A space with its own emptiness.
K: No. Don't give it a name, don't give it a name.
MF: Let me repeat: there is state in which the mind does not recognize.
K: There is a state in which recognition and experience, which are the movements of the known, have totally come to an end. I want to convey it to you first. Yes, sir. That is quite right, that is quite right. It is so. Now I can battle with you.
PJ: In what way is it differentiated from a state of death? There also there is a total ending.
AP: Yes, of the process of recognition.
K: Of the process of recognition, experiencing.
PJ: Is it of a different nature?
K: You see, when you use the word death, we have to go into that. The organism and the brain cells come to an end, there is no blood going to it; the whole thing collapses. That is a different state altogether.
PJ: We'll leave that out. Let me put it to you in another way: when you say that all the processes of cognition have come to an end and yet it is a living state, is the sense of existence, of being...
K: No. These words existence, being don't apply.
AP: Could you say how it is different from deep sleep?
K: I don't know what you mean by deep sleep.
AP: By deep sleep I mean the processes of recognition and recording, that is, experiencing, are for the time being in total abeyance.
K: Abeyance? No, that is quite a different thing. Let's see.
PJ: What has happened to the senses in that state?
K: The senses are in abeyance.
PJ: They are not operating?
K: In that state I might scratch myself-you follow? Flies come and sting me, I scratch myself. That is the reaction of the senses, but that doesn't affect that.
MF: Doesn't affect that, but the knowledge that there is a scratching going on, is it present in that?
K: This is a natural thing, isn't it? But that's not present in that.
MF: It isn't recorded.
MF: So is it not aware?
K: No, no. You must go very carefully, very slowly with this. Any movement of the known, any movement-potential, non-potential-is within the field of the known. That is the content of consciousness. That experiences, recognizes, demands, craves for something new, craves for freedom from the known. Now, only when all that movement has completely come to an end-which I am not sure it does during sleep-does the other quality come into being. This has a motive, that has no motive. The mind can't through motive come to that. The motive is the known. So the mind says-this is the point-it is no good investigating into ignorance, but I know how it can come to an end. Ignorance is part of the content, ignorance is part of this demand to experience more. So when that comes to an end, not brought about by conscious effort-which has motive, will, direction, and all the rest of it-then the other thing comes into being. Not comes into being; the other thing is seen, or the other thing is there.
MF: If you don't mind a personal question: at this moment when you are talking to us, are you in contact with the other thing?
MF: Now, if you are in contact with the other thing, in this situation which you are in now, is there consciousness or not?
K: Not contact, I wouldn't use the word contact.
MF: All right. Being in that other thing.
K: No, it is there.
MF: All right, the thing is there. The situation which you are in now-are you cognizant of it?
K: What does that mean?
MF: Do you know that we are here and you are talking to us?
K: Of course, of course, I see your shirt, I see that you've a coloured dress. Obviously.
MF: Then how does it compare with what you said just before-that in that state the sensations are not?
K: That is very different, isn't it?
MF: Where is the difference? Why should the mosquito be less important to you than we are?
K: No. I see the colour, the senses are in operation, recognition is in operation.
MF: Very normal.
K: Normal. The other is there.
MF: Look at my plight. The same man who says that that, the other, is beyond all knowledge says, 'I am in a state of knowing now because I recognize all these things, I know what is going on, and at the same time I am cognizant of something, there is something which is beyond knowledge.'
K: Definitely, sir. It is not a duality.
MF: It pervades knowledge.
MF: Knowledge is a part of it.
MF: It functions in knowledge.
K: I must go very slowly. I know what you are getting at, I understand what you are asking. I want to get at this very simply. I see the colour, and there are the senses in operation.
AP: Even trying to translate what you are saying seems to prevent us from getting at what you are saying, because that would be duality immediately.
AP: The moment you say something, you make a statement which immediately says this is not the door of knowledge as you know it, and therefore go slow because this can't go by this door. When you say something, any movement in the mind prevents us from meeting it. I am pointing to the difficulty that arises in communication at this point.
K: I think communication about the other is not possible.
MF: I don't want you to state theory. I am trying to understand only the conscious part of the mind of the man who talks to me, the man who behaves normally.
K: I understand, yes.
MF: By what right, on what basis, does he tell me that there is something else?
K: I'll tell you. The basis for that is that there is no movement of recognition, of experiencing, of motive, which is freedom from the known.
MF: That is pure cognition without any recognition.
K: No, no, no.
MF: Well, you just said it.
K: But you are translating it differently. This movement has come to an end for the time being; that's all.
MF: That movement of recognition has gone.
K: All that comes to an end.
MF: Why do you suddenly use the word time being? Where does the 'time being' come in?
K: I see. Why did I use it?
MF: You said all movement of recognition has come to an end for 'the time being'. Is there another time when all this operates?
K: Look, let's begin again. The mind, the brain, is the known, all that which functions within the field of the known. In that there is recognition. Then the mind, the brain, is completely stable. The time element is the known.
MF: Now you look at the still mind. What do you see?
K: I don't see my still mind. There is no knowing that your mind is still. If you know it, it is not still. Then there is an observer who says 'I know' and all the rest of it. So the stillness of which we talk about is non-recognizable, nonexperienceable.
MF: Then who is the gentleman who is telling me this just now?
K: He is merely the entity that wants to tell you about it- verbal communication.
MF: Does he abide with a still mind?
K: The moment he moves away in communication, the still mind is not.
MF: Is there anyone who can move in and out of the still mind?
MF: See how puzzled I get?
K: I know, I know. Just look at it. It isn't something you enter into and come out of. It is there-I am not saying it is always there-for the man who understands the known and all the rest of it.
MF: It's always there.
K: It is there, and it never leaves though he communicates, though he says this, this, this. That is never gone; it is there.
MF: Why do you use the word communicate?
K: This is it: communication, talking.
MF: Why do you attribute it to that?
K: I don't attribute it to that.
MF: You do. Who communicates? There is a state which is always there. I am asking you, who communicates? Who talked to me just now?
K: Just now? The brain cells that have acquired the knowledge of language. It is the brain cells that are communicating through the brain operation.
MF: I follow. So the brain contains its own observer.
K: The brain is the observer.
MF: The brain is the observer and also the operator.
K: The operator and all the rest of it.
MF: So outside the brain cells there is that state or whatever you call it. Put it that way. Now, what is the relationship between that and the brain?
K: Tentatively I say there is no relationship.
MF: You want to say it just happens by itself, unpredicted?
K: Please, I am experimenting. Don't catch me and say, 'You said that.' This is a fact, isn't it? The brain cells hold the known. And the brain is completely stable; it is not operating at all.
MF: In the field of the known the brain is functioning.
K: No, wait a minute. When the mind-when the brain is completely still, in that there is no verbal statement or communication. The brain is completely still. The other is there. What is the relationship between the brain and that?
MF: By the brain I mean a piece of tissue.
K: A piece of tissue.
MF: Not the...
K: ...idea. Why do you ask this question?
MF: Because we have listened to it.
PJ: I would like to ask: why is it that this state of consciousness, this state of being...
K: Don't call it anything.
PJ: Why is it that the state of not-knowing is associated with the brain cells here, which makes these brain cells respond?
K: Put it simply.
PJ: He asked you a question. In the state of not-knowing you speak. Therefore the state of not-knowing has taken over the brain cells. Why has it done it in this case?
MF: He has not yet answered the first question: what is the relationship between that state and the brain? How is the brain affected by that state, and how is that state affected by the brain? If they are isolated, if one is lived by itself and the other by itself, then how can there be cognition between these two? The mere relationship of cognition I know. So if there is cognition between that state and the brain, there must be a common factor. You say the common factor is the still mind; at least that is what I understand.
K: That's right, that's right.
MF: The common factor is the still mind. When the mind is still, that can communicate with the brain; the brain can respond to that, the brain is open to that, sensitive to that. Now, that is what I guess. Is this correct or not?
K: Yes. I think it is correct, I think it is correct.
MF: Now we will come to Pupul's question. By what magic, by what means does that state of a still mind make a bridge? How do you manage to bring a permanent bridge between the brain and that and maintain that bridge? We all complain that it comes and goes, but you maintain that the bridge is there, solid. What has built that bridge?
K: If one says, 'I don't know', what would you answer?
MF: That you have inherited it.
MF: It's from some past lives.
PJ: Or chance.
MF: Or you may say karma or something, or somebody has presented you with this.
K: I think I know. I'm beginning to get it. Chance? No. Chance, an event that happens.
MF: Chance, choice, whatever it is.
AP: I don't think an event that happened to you can happen to us.
K: 'Why doesn't it happen to me?' Is that it?
PJ: Is there any preparation for it?
MF: Honestly, Krishnaji, I am not finding an excuse.
K: No, no. We have gone beyond all that.
MF: If it can happen to you, it can happen to others, it can happen to everybody.
K: I say it can happen to everybody.
MF: Now, is there a way to awaken that?
K: No, no, no.
MF: Or can you do something?
K: Yes, definitely you can do something.
MF: Your teaching goes on all the time turning round and round one single point that awareness is the truth.
K: Attention, awareness, yes.
MF: So most of us, by trying to be aware, seem to have a sense of despair-I speak for myself.
K: Despair. I understand.
MF: Everything crumbles.
K: I understand.
MF: And the more you do, the more it crumbles.
K: I understand.
MF: So where have we made the mistake?
K: Let's begin again. Is it by chance, by an event happening? Can that event happen to us? Or is it an exception? This is what we are discussing now.
AP: It is obviously not through time.
MF: Let it be through time.
K: We'll leave it for the moment, leave it. If it is a miracle, can you do that miracle? Can it happen to you?
MF: Then there must be somebody to produce it.
K: So it is not an event, it is not a miracle, it is not giveable.
MF: It may not be an event, it may not be a miracle, it may not be giveable.
K: Maybe. How did this happen with this person and not with another? Right, Frydman?
MF: I will put that question like this.
K: Put it differently.
MF: How can it happen to me?
K: Yes, that's all. How can it happen to you? I don't think it can happen to you that way.
MF: All right, so what?
K: The thing that happened to me, will the very same thing happen to you?
MF: No. I never ask, 'Will it happen to me?' I ask, 'What can I do?'
MF: Granted, agreed. So you are condemning me, sir.
K: No, no.
MF: With time.
K: No, no. You are missing my point. When you say, 'Can it happen to me?' I say you are putting a wrong question. What am I to do for it to happen? I say you can do nothing, which doesn't mean nothing.
MF: What are the two meanings of nothing?
K: I will tell you. The two meanings of nothing are: the desire to experience that, to recognize that, to have that- do nothing about that; but do everything else in the other, which is, see, be aware, really not theoretically, be deeply attentive to the known. Nothing else.
MF: That means you seem to say: do nothing, just behave.
K: Behave properly?
MF: 'Behave' means act consciously.
K: Put it that way if you want to.
MF: So it brings the entire thing down to action.
K: To action. Quite right.
MF: You may come, you may achieve.
K: Ah, no.
MF: No? All right.
AP: The wrong word I thought was me: will it happen to me? Because the moment understanding is cracked up into 'me' and 'not me', we have created a barrier of our own making.
K: Sir, I think it is this that happens. You must touch life, this thing, very, very lightly-the food, the talk-as though you are dying the next minute. The body, the senses must become very light. Death and life must be moving so easily-you follow? You might die any moment. Have I answered anywhere near your question?
PJ: You haven't answered specifically. Possibly an answer is not possible for this.
K: Can we put the whole thing differently? That-we will call it for the moment that-is infinite energy. And the energy created by our strife, conflict, is entirely different from that. When there is no conflict at all, the other, that infinite energy, which is always renewing itself, goes on. The energy that peters out is what we know. There is the energy that never peters out, never. What is the relationship of the two? There is none.
MF: Do you mean to say that the infinite energy is patiently waiting for me to get out of the...
K: No, it is there.
MF: It will flow in when I am not there.
K: Yes, obviously.
MF: And there is no nudging, no kicking?
K: [Laughs] Then you are back again.
AP: There is no what?
K: Nudging, pushing, inviting, saying 'Come on, boy, get out.' No, no, no. You can't do it; those are all tricks.
MF: My own experience is that there is something which keeps on teasing me, nudging me, nagging me that this cannot continue, this must continue.
K: That's obvious.
MF: Is that an age factor, or is it related to that?
K: No. Do you know what it means? You are back again in...
K: All my concern is to be out of the way.
MF: Out of the way. And that we do through action.
K: Action, relationship, all that. We're putting all this very crudely.
MF: By action do you mean only the ego or something more?
K: Oh, much more.
Chapter 3 - How Deep can One Travel?Discussion in Bombay on 30 January 1973
Pupul Jayakar (PJ): Sir, how deep can one travel?
Krishnamurti (K): That's what we were talking about yesterday. We were saying that man has gone to the moon, which involved great training, great risk, and the immense cooperation of three hundred thousand people and so on. Man has gone outwardly, but how far can he go inwardly? That was the question you were asking.
PJ: It is very interesting: in the flight to the moon, there is a tremendous build-up of energy before the take-off. How does energy build up for the take-off here?
K: I don't know. What is energy?
Achyut Patwardhan (AP): I was thinking of energy in a slightly different way. There were motivations that led to the breakthrough in outer space where man desired to have command over his environment, but seeing how man is misusing his environment, the urgency of an inner breakthrough is infinitely greater, and that is the energy, as I can understand it. There is a feeling that there is no hope for man unless he can break out of this, because he is the environment.
PJ: Forgive me, Achyutji, that is not the reason why America has been spending millions. If it was a question of urgency that they have to conquer space, they would have continued the programme; nothing would have been too great a sacrifice. But they have stopped the programme. They have conquered the moon and stopped the programme.
AP: But I feel the other urgency cannot be stopped like this because it is the quintessence of man's travail. Unless there is a breakthrough within, there is no hope of survival.
K: That's what Pupul asked: how deeply can one go through oneself and break through? You are saying the same thing, aren't you?
AP: No. I am saying there is this energy, as far as one can see. If there is anything wrong with it, one must examine it. How does the question arise?
K: What question?
AP: Whether there is a parallel.
K: No, there is no parallel. We were talking casually about why man doesn't go very deeply instead of just chasing outward things; that's all. There was no parallelism in this at all. Can we begin by asking: What is energy, how do we have energy that isn't distracted so that as it goes along it gathers more and more and more energy, not less and less and less? Is there such energy? And without it I don't see how one can break through or go very, very profoundly. So I think we ought to ask-I am just suggesting it, I am not saying that is the line of thinking-what is the energy that is never wasted, that is constantly self-replenishing, constantly creating more energy and not less?
Maurice Frydman (MF): In physics there is a theory of possibility where energy is measured by the speed of molecules, and if we can select and separate the slow from the rapid ones, we can build up energy. So the build-up of energy in physics is a process of selectivity: select the high- energy molecules and go on collecting them, and the discrimination increases energy.
K: So what we are asking is perhaps the same thing you are stating, which is: can energy, which is being wasted, be blocked or stopped or understood, gathered and moved forward?
MF: I think you will have to tell us what it is that prevents wastage.
K: That is what we are going into: what is wastage? And is there really such a thing as wastage?
K: Wait, wait. We are just starting, we are just inquiring. We say there is a lessening of the voltage of this energy, a wastage of energy. I ask, is there a wastage of energy at all?
MF: Yes, there is entropy.
K: Yes, I have understood that. I am just questioning, I am not saying it is so. What sustains energy? Is it self- replenishing, self-perpetuating, self-propelling? How does it take place?
MF: There are two separate problems: one, the source of energy and, the other, the waste.
K: If the wastage of energy can be stopped, then it will flow.
MF: The energy will accumulate.
K: Accumulate and move, explode, do what it wants. But what is the source of energy? What is energy? That is what I began with. Is energy created through friction?
MF: Friction is a waste of energy.
K: I am asking. We know energy through friction.
Sunanda Patwardhan (SP): Is all consumption of energy a wastage?
K: I am just asking one question at a time. Say, a good writer can write only when there is tension. I have been told about this by analysts who have analysed several famous writers. When they are in a state of contradiction, tension, through drink or sex, in tension with opposing desires, violent urges, and so on, in that state they feel they are capable of writing. You can see artists taking drinks and all kinds of things in order to come to this push of energy. So there is a kind of energy in contradiction and friction, and one observes that. Now, we know that kind of energy. Is there any other kind of energy created by thought in action?
MF: Any manifestation of energy is a waste of energy.
K: I would not go to that yet. I am trying to find out what we call energy, not waste of energy. I want to build a house, so I employ an architect, a contractor. Thought is in operation, and through its desire to build a house there is energy. I like somebody and I am sexual, and there is that energy. There is the energy of thought inquiring, pushing, driving-the whole technological energy. And there is the energy of being identified with the greater, as the nation, as the State, as the family, as God; that gives you a certain energy, and with that energy you can do all kinds of mischief and all the rest of it. The energy of responsibility: I feel responsible for my family, and I work, work, work; that is also energy. So what is wastage of energy? I see how energy is engendered. And where is it wasted?
AP: Sir, will you say that the energy born of belief, of sustaining a belief, is the energy of friction?
S. Balasundaram (SB): All these are of the same class.
K: I believe in God, I believe in something, and that gives me satisfaction. Friction arises only when that satisfaction is disturbed.
AP: But the energy then does not depend upon the arising of friction. When there are one million refugees coming in and you have to house them and feed them, the energy created then is an energy based probably on a belief, but I don't see any friction in that.
K: In that there is no friction, but in carrying it out, in fighting as a member of a committee and all that, it arises.
AP: I want to understand just how this wastage takes place.
K: We are going into that. I am asking myself what is energy. I see energy as thought in action. I see energy in responsibility. I see energy engendered through identifying myself with something greater and fighting for it, killing or whatever it is. I see energy in my desire to achieve success and all the rest of it. Now, where does this wastage come in?
AP: Through belief one can recharge one's batteries-while the belief lasts.
K: Yes, sir.
AP: At the moment of belief, there is a recharging of your battery which gives you energy, but that energy does not have this self-sustaining, regenerating quality.
K: That's right.
AP: It is an exhausting energy, but there is no friction in it so long as the belief lasts.
K: We are going to find out now where friction arises. I believe, I identify myself with something; in that there is no friction. I identify myself with my God or whatever it is; in that there is no wastage. When does wastage occur in this? In the relationship of myself with a belief, where does the wastage come in?
T.K. Parchure (TKP): Identification is unreal.
K: No, it doesn't matter whether it is real or unreal; that is a fact. I identify myself with this country.
PJ: When you talk of wastage of energy, you are talking as though there is a storehouse of energy which is slowly being dissipated.
K: No, I don't. Achyutji said belief gives you a certain quality of energy.
MF: He said belief generates energy.
K: All right. Generates energy. Where does wastage come into it? He says, 'As long as I believe in something, there is no waste; on the contrary it engenders more energy.'
MF: Friction comes when belief does not generate energy.
K: Friction comes when the generating process comes to an end.
AP: I say the question of friction does not arise. I want to ask, is friction implicit in belief as it happens for people like me? My belief drops and I am depleted. So long as the belief lasts, it energizes. It is the nature of belief that since energy comes from belief, when belief goes the energy goes with it. Then I say that won't do.
K: We are asking a question which is clear and simple: is there, inherent in belief, friction?
AP: That's it.
K: Is friction inherent in belief? Yes, I think so.
PJ: I want to know whether energy comes into being by the operation of thought.
AP: It doesn't come as thought, but it comes when thought produces a belief which charges you emotionally.
PJ: That is an artificial stimulation, but how do you say energy comes into being?
K: Pupul, what are you saying? I believe in India.
PJ: So I do great deeds.
K: I do great deeds because I believe in it. I believe India is the greatest country, I must protect it spiritually, and therefore I am going to smash all other beliefs. I believe India is right, and I will fight and kill, and that gives me tremendous energy.
PJ: I start utilizing the energy.
PJ: Why do you say it is an energy which 'comes into being'? It is an amazing thing to say energy comes into being.
K: No, it's fairly simple. I am small, living in a little village; I identify myself with the greater as India, and the idea of the greater gives me tremendous stimulation. That is part of energy.
PJ: But it is not energy.
K: It is. I am willing to kill everybody. I have got energy. Living in a village is very small, but the moment I identify myself with the greater, I have greater energy.
PJ: Is there any measurement of energy?
K: Oh yes, I can see it. I am willing to kill, I am willing to go miles and miles. What are you people talking about?
PJ: Lots of people do that, but is that an increase in the quantum of energy?
K: Of course it is, of course it is.
Radha Burnier (RB): Is there an inherent insecurity in belief which makes the friction inherent, and therefore there is depletion?
K: That's it, that's it. I have a little energy, I'm living in some potty little place; but identifying myself with the greater gives me tremendous energy.
SB: What she is trying to say is that inherent in all belief is a centre of insecurity.
K: Of course. Inherent in belief is basic friction, which is a wastage of energy.
AP: I have not yet understood this. I have a belief. That belief dashes against the environment, and then insecurity comes, and I see that when the belief goes, energy goes.
K: Yes, sir, you've said it.
AP: But I would like to understand it, if you will explain.
RB: No, it doesn't have to dash against the environment at all. The very fact that there is a belief means insecurity.
K: Of course. Inherent in belief is friction because there is a deep sense of insecurity, uncertainty. It is fairly simple. Why do we beat about the bush? So what are we discussing? We are trying to find out what is the quality of energy that is necessary to go very, very deep, which is sustaining, refreshing itself. Man has gone to the moon expending tremendous energy, great ingenuity, a great sense of cooperation, a great sense of coming together, building, training; that is tremendous energy, obviously. Now, to go inwardly, is that kind of energy necessary or a totally different kind of energy? Are there varieties of energy or only energy?
SB: On the face of it, there seems to be two kinds of energy. One is this energy of friction which we know in operation. There seems to be another kind of energy which comes with contact.
K: Contact with what?
SB: Contact with anything, contact with something seen, something heard. But that also does not seem to be self- sustaining. The two seem to be different.
K: Let's begin again. Pupul asked a question: how is it possible to go in very deeply? That is all.
PJ: There are two things. How is it possible to go as far as possible, as deeply as possible? It is no use my talking of all the energies in the world; I have to take the energy that exists. Atomic energy may be available in the next human brain, but it is not available for us. With the energy we have, how is it possible? And what is it that will give us the initial thrust?
RB: Doesn't this bring us to the same question that the energy I have is different from energy?
PJ: I question whether the two are different.
Questioner 1 (Q1): Whenever there is a thought, is there not some energy for the thought?
K: Of course. That's what we said.
Questioner 2 (Q2): How is energy created?
PJ: Is energy ever created?
K: It's always there, as she says. And it is evoked when you slap me.
PJ: Or when I chase a woman...
K: Yes, whatever it is.
PJ: Or when I have a good time, or when I know that I am young.
K: Could we put the question this way? I am putting the same thing differently. Most of our lives are very superficial, and is it possible to live at a very great depth and also function superficially? Is it possible for the mind to delve into or live at great depth? I am not sure we are all asking the same thing. We lead superficial lives, and most of us are satisfied with that.
PJ: We are not.
K: We don't know how to go deeply. So we say, 'Well, let's put up with that.' Now, how is the mind to penetrate into great depth? Are we discussing depth in terms of measurement? The word depth involves measurement. I want to be clear on that point. Superficiality also is measurement. I want to be clear that we are using the word depth not in the sense of measurement, or in the sense of time, but as something profound. These words have time significance, but we will wash away all the significance of time and measurement. The mind generally lives superficially-it may be two inches or ten inches deep-but we are talking of a penetration of the mind to great depth. Right? That's the question.
PJ: As I know no other dimension, I say penetration needs...
K: ...meditation. That's what it means.
PJ: And I say it needs a build-up of ...
K: ...energy which explodes, drives through...
PJ: And how is this energy to build up? Or is it a wrong question?
K: I won't use that word energy for the moment because we will get lost that way. I lead a very superficial life, and I see the beauty, intellectually or verbally, of a life, of a mind, that has gone into itself very, very deeply. I say to myself, 'I see the beauty of it, I see the quality of it. Now, how is this to be done?' Let's stick to that, instead of bringing in energy and all the rest of it, shall we?
PJ: How is this to be done?
K: That's what we are asking: how is this to be done? Can thought penetrate it? Can thought become profound?
MF: There must be interest, that's all.
K: Frydman, look. I say to myself I lead a superficial life, and it is not good enough, I need depth. And I see the absurdity of living such a stupid, superficial life, and the very statement says I must go deeply. Not 'There is no interest'; don't bring in interest. I am interested. I want to find out how to do it. I live a superficial life. I want to live a different kind of life, at great depth. I understand depth to mean not measurement, so many feet deep, or time to go down, but depth which, I feel, is bottomless. You can't fathom it, and I want to find it, live that way. Don't say 'interest', 'energy' and all the rest of it. Now, tell me what I am to do.
Q1: I feel thought cannot do this.
K: I don't know. I am asking, 'Can thought which is time, which is the past, penetrate into this profundity?'
MF: Where did you get this profound, bottomless depth- this concept?
K: It is not a concept. I see very clearly that any measurable depth is still within a small measurement. And I also see that if time is involved in going down, it may take years, and so I say-intellectually, reasoning it out-I see that depth means a timeless, measureless quality, without ever reaching the bottom. Infinite. It is not a concept.
MF: Whatever it is, it is a verbal definition.
K: I am putting it to you, therefore it is verbal. It is not verbal to me because I am not verbalizing, I have only verbalized it to you, therefore it becomes a concept to you.
MF: Do you put the question to me, or am I putting the question to myself?
K: I am putting the question to myself and therefore asking you to put that question to yourself.
MF: If you put the question to yourself, it is a concept.
K: No! Don't fiddle with it.
PJ: I think it is a legitimate question.
K: I'm asking that question. Tell me if it is illegitimate, and I will drop it.
PJ: I think it is a legitimate question.
K: I see my life is very superficial; that's obvious.
PJ: And I say there must be something, and I see that there are depths to myself.
K: So I ask myself, can thought penetrate this depth? And that is the only instrument I have.
Q1: In that case, would you choose not to use the instrument of thought? If I have to go to the depth, then I should realize that depth without thought.
K: That is what we are trying to find out.
Q1: And it is possible. K: I don't know what is possible.
Q1: It is possible to reach that depth without thought. Thought is not to be used.
K: How does one come upon this depth? If I am not to use thought, how does one enter into it?
Q1: I can't explain it, but it is a reality. There is that state, sometimes.
K: Ah no, no. Sir, look, I am putting this question very simply. I live a very, very superficial life, and I want to find out for myself if there is any depth which is not measurable. And I see that thought cannot reach it because thought is measure, thought is time, thought is the response of the past; therefore thought cannot possibly touch it. Then what will bring this about? If thought cannot-and that is the only instrument man has-then what is he to do? Thought, in its expression, in its movement, in its function, has created this world in which I live, which is superficial-of which I am. That is so obvious. Now, is it possible for the mind, without the usage of thought-because thought cannot do it-to touch something which is fathomless? Not some moments in my sleep or when I am walking by myself; I want to live there. My mind says this must be discovered and let the mind be of the quality of that. Right?
Questioner 3 (Q3): Excuse me, sir, how do I know, in the first place, that the life I lead is superficial?
K: Oh, my Lord!
Q3: Then I must be aware of something as deep.
K: I know, sir. I go to the club, I drink, I do business, and I go on and on. For thirty years I've done it and I say, 'My God, what a waste of life this is, and is there anything deep?' Everybody asks. And asking that, I become a sannyasi, join this group or that group, go off into some meditation; it's all the same thing. And not finding it, I go off and do some social work or become a politician or this or that. So putting all that aside, being very simple and direct, realizing that thought cannot possibly touch it, realizing also that since it does not know what depth means, and that it can only realize the superficiality and not the depth, the mind says, 'I've had enough of superficiality, now I want to see if my mind can touch that strange, fathomless depth of something which is unnamed.' That's it.
PJ: Into what does one penetrate? If there is a measuring tape, let me not use it as going downward. I'm using it in the sense of penetrating. Into what does one penetrate?
K: I wish you wouldn't use that word penetrate.
PJ: Then delve.
K: I wouldn't use those words.
PJ: No, I'm using those words. I'll tell you why I use those words. What that gentleman said is correct: thought is the instrument of measurement.
K: That's all I know.
PJ: Now, the freedom from the measurement-making machinery, which is constantly with me, in my mind, has to be delved into.
K: No, no, let's be simple about this.
PJ: Can you delve into thought?
K: Thought is superficial-we have been into that. Thought is time, thought is measure, thought is the response of memory, thought is knowledge, experience, the past, therefore time. That thought must function always superficially; that's simple.
PJ: What you said just now ends up in a big abstraction.
PJ: It does, sir. Thought is this, thought is that.
K: No, no. It is not an abstraction; it is a reality.
PJ: How, sir?
K: What is thought?
PJ: You said thought is time.
K: Yes. That's not an abstraction.
PJ: You have extracted that out of thought. Thought in itself is a movement of abstraction.
K: No, no, please. We said thought cannot penetrate it, right? That is all, leave it like that.
PJ: So I ask: as it is the instrument that measures, can you penetrate this instrument?
K: No. I am concerned with depth, not with the machinery of measurement. The machinery of measurement is fairly obvious; I don't have to delve into that.
PJ: The machinery is measure. If you say that, then I say, 'Into what dimension does one penetrate?' If you won't have that, and that being the only instrument we know, into what dimension does one penetrate?
K: There is no question of penetration.
PJ: Then what is it?
Q1: Another pointer here is that even when we are discussing, we are still bound up with the available machinery of perception we have, and the machinery cannot reveal that fathomless state we want to live in, because the very resources of language may be thought. That instrument is too frail.
K: Agreed, sir, agreed.
Q1: That means we must have the language to deal with that dimension, the tool to communicate it.
K: Are we concerned with communication?
Q1: No. With the other.
K: Are we concerned with verbal communication or with the touching of that depth?
Q1: Of course that, because modern science cannot reach certain states.
AP: You need not communicate that state.
Q1: I know that sometimes I do touch that state.
Q3: We are not asking you about the state.
Q1: How can I tell you about that state?
RB: But Krishnaji has pointed out that it is not a question of occasionally feeling it, but of how to be in it, to live in it.
MF: As you eat...
K: As you eat, appetite comes.
MF: Energy comes with the operation of energy.
K: We are not talking of energy, Frydman.
MF: Doesn't matter. We can talk of thought or anything; it comes to the same. We are talking of one thing, but you come here representing something else, and you want us to see what you represent.
K: No, no. Look, I am an ordinary man.
MF: If you are an ordinary man, there will be no discussion. Come on, don't make us imagine.
K: No, I'm not. Leading a superficial life, as we do, as human beings do, I say to myself I would like to find the depth where there is great width and beauty, something immense-not God-and just be that. Now what am I to do? I don't exercise thought: I see the futility of it. Then what is the other operation or the other movement that must take place when thought is not functioning?
MF: This sentence cannot be formulated without you. For heaven's sake, sir, stick to facts.
K: I'm sticking to facts.
MF: But that means if you are not here sitting and talking to us, we would not formulate our problem this way.
K: How would you formulate your problem?
MF: We would go to conditioning and say what kind of conditioning we have to create in order not to have...
K: Oh no! My Lord.
PJ: You are underestimating yourself.
MF: If Krishnaji wouldn't have come with his revolutionary statements, we would be, without exception, sitting in some ashram.
K: Would I ask that question if thought wasn't in operation?
PJ: But you are asking a completely hypothetical question.
K: No, I don't feel it is hypothetical. I am asking, can the mind remain without measure? Is that hypothetical?
PJ: That state must come into being where there is no measure.
K: Yes, that is all. All my life I have known measure. Now I am asking, can the mind be without measure, comparison, time, all that?
PJ: If I were to ask you 'How?' you wouldn't say. So the only thing then left is to observe your mind in measurement.
K: All right.
PJ: Because there is no other way.
K: All right. Have you done that? Have you observed, has the mind observed its own movement in measurement?
K: Comparing, measuring, and ending?
K: Then what?
PJ: Then there is stillness.
K: You say the movement of measurement has come to an end.
PJ: The movement of measurement has come to an end.
K: The movement of measurement has come to an end. [Pause] Would that be right? Can you honestly, really say the movement of measurement has come to an end?
PJ: Just now it has ended.
K: Just now? Ah, that is not good enough, that is not good enough.
PJ: What is the way that is different?
K: 'Good enough' means that right through my life measurement has come to an end.
PJ: How can I know it?
K: I am going to find out. I am doing it now. I want to find out if my mind which has been conditioned in the movement of measurement-measurement equals comparison, imitation, conformity, an ideal, a resistance which safeguards it from non-measurement-if my mind can say, 'Now I have understood the whole movement of measurement, and I see where its legitimate place is and where it has no place at all.'
PJ: How is that which you said just now understood by a mind in which there is no thought?
K: It perceives.
K: Wait, I will show it to you. Thought has analysed it for the moment, inquired, pushed, investigated, and it says it has seen the whole movement of measurement. The very perception of that movement is the ending of that movement-the very perception of it. That is, the seeing is the acting and the ending-seeing that this movement is time, is measure, and so on, seeing the whole map of it, the nature of it, the structure of it. That very perception acts in the manner of ending it. So the seeing is the ending. So there is no effort involved in it at all. Right. You say, 'Yes, I have seen this.' Have you?
Q1: You see the arising of a thought, right from the bottom of memory. I am aware of thoughts only as words in the mind.
K: You see thought, observe it.
PJ: After it is over.
Q1: After thought arises I am aware of it, but I am not able to see the arising of thought.
K: You want to see the arising of thought? Would you see it if you are aware of it, if you are aware of the field in which thought may arise? You hurt me, verbally, in different ways. From that hurt every kind of movement of thought arises. I can see how thought arises from that hurt. Of course I can see it: you are not my friend, you are my enemy, and so on. You can see how thought arises when you have hurt me, or when you have pleased me; that is fairly obvious. So can the mind say, 'Yes, I have seen the whole movement of this measurement'? In my inquiry, in my attitude towards life, have I seen this movement of measurement in relationship? If I see the movement of measurement, I will never be hurt, and whatever hurts I have are finished.
MF: If I were calculative in my relationship and my calculations have gone wrong and I am hurt, and I see the entire process, does it mean that I am no longer hurt?
K: You hurt me, and I see how thought arises from that. The arising of that thought is measurement. And I have been hurt all my life. By understanding one hurt, I have wiped away all the hurts.
Q1: Hurt itself is the result of the past.
K: Of course, of course. You have hurt me, that is a fact. You call me an idiot or something, and you have hurt me. Hurt is a form of measurement. The brain has stored up hurt as memory. From that arises thought, and that thought is measure. Now, by observing that one hurt, being aware of it, being totally attentive to that hurt, from which all measurement in thought arises, the mind wipes away all the hurts. That is what I call a mind that has no longer a movement in measurement. But when you say, 'Yes, I have ended measurement', I say...
PJ: I don't say I have ended measurement. I am sorry, sir.
K: What did you say?
PJ: I said I have watched, observed this process, and there has been an ending.
K: Of what?
PJ: Of that, for the moment.
K: No. You are going back: 'for the moment'. I don't want, for the moment, to be drunk. [Laughs]
PJ: This is what is happening.
K: Then you are still in measurement.
SP: Without saying so, you are bringing in the factor of being free of hurt forever.
K: That is what I want to find out. You are playing with words otherwise.
SP: How does one know?
K: I will tell you.
SP: Without any self-delusion.
K: Of course, that is obvious. Without deception, without hypocrisy, without double talk. All my life I have been hurt, by the school, by parents, etc., etc. And I see thought arising from this hurt-wanting to hurt others, violence, shying away, being reserved, building a wall, all that. And I say to myself that thought is measurement. Can measurement end? Not just for an hour or two, because that has no meaning.
PJ: There is something very...
SP: He said the whole structure of consciousness changes, and you can never go back to it again; it is implied in that.
K: You never go back to hurt. That means you have a mind that is incapable of being hurt.
SP: Can I say anything about it now unless I test it? How do I know?
K: Do you mean to say you are going to find out by testing?
SP: Sir, how can I live like that?
AP: I think there is a way out like this. We have seen that hurt arises in a moment of inattention. I have seen this. If I know I am hurt, I observe the inattention.
K: No, sir. Do you mean to say that I have been hurt for various reasons-that is irrelevant-and that I must carry it for the rest of my life?
K: My life is a life now, not tomorrow or yesterday. I am living. I want to live without hurt; therefore there must be a quality of mind that is incapable of being hurt.
PJ: There is a quality of mind that is incapable of being hurt, but it is not present at the next moment of inattention.
K: I don't know anything about that. I have been hurt, by my friends, by my wife, husband, children, society, culture.
Q1: When I feel hurt, I also feel there is an inherent movement in me not to feel hurt.
K: No, that's not accurate. I am hurt, that's all I know. I don't say I mustn't be hurt.
Q1: There is a need in me because I feel hurt, I suffer. When I suffer, there is a need in me not to suffer.
K: That is a different matter. Those are all after-effects. The fact is I am hurt, whether there is the desire not to be hurt and suffer and all that.
Q1: There is an earlier need in me not to feel hurt, and it is this need which makes me feel hurt.
K: There is an earlier need in me not to get hurt, and therefore I get hurt; is that so? I am just examining. Therefore there is a state previous to being hurt which says, 'Please don't hurt me because I get pain, I suffer.' You are saying: a previous statement says don't get hurt, and therefore I get hurt. Whatever it is, I am hurt; that is a fact. Now, is there a way or can something happen so that the mind will never be hurt again? That is the question we are talking about. Somebody says, 'Look, you are hurt and observe that hurt very, very closely without the movement of measurement.' When there is such an observation, that hurt and all hurts will fade away, and the mind will never be hurt again.
PJ: All the hurts are wiped away.
K: Wiped away.
K: Not 'agreed'; this is not an agreement. Is this so in me?
PJ: Wait, sir, I am saying it.
K: What are you saying? That now Pupul Jayakar is not a hurt human being, and that means she will never be again hurt?
K: That's what I am saying. You say no.
PJ: No. The hurt is wiped away. Full stop.
K: For the time being?
PJ: I won't use the words time being.
K: For the moment?
PJ: I don't know.
K: I am not interested in 'for the moment'.
AP: May I say that we have not discovered anything permanent?
K: This is not permanent. Don't put it into a sense of permanent time. The mind that is never hurt-unless you find that, you are going to be hurt; not today, but tomorrow, another day. You will keep on getting hurt, keep on reacting, keep on shedding tears, and all this bilge goes on.
SP: How do I know its quality?
K: I am going to tell you.
PJ: You can't tell.
K: Why not? I did not say, 'I will tell you of a state of mind'; I am not saying that. K is pointing out that when you observe one hurt without the movement of measurement, when you live with it completely, entirely, without any movement of measurement, all hurts have disappeared. You will say, 'Well it is very nice of you to talk about it, but it isn't an actuality to me.' I say then, 'You don't know, you are not observing, you are not really looking at one hurt. Bring it out, put it on the table, or in front of you, or in front of your nose, and look at it.'
PJ: I have done it.
K: You have done it?
PJ: I have done it.
K: Then you are no longer hurt, then you have wiped away all hurts?
PJ: I have wiped away all hurts.
PJ: The remembrance of the incidents is gone.
K: No, no. I know all that remembrance is gone.
PJ: It is the pain about the incident which lingers.
K: No, sorry. We are not talking about the same thing.
PJ: We are talking of the same thing.
K: I am asking, 'Have you observed one hurt without the movement of measurement?' Don't say yes. If there is such an observation, then the whole conscious and unconscious hurts are washed away; therefore the mind is free of hurts. And freedom isn't in time.
PJ: I say yes, but you made another statement, 'You will never again be hurt.'
K: I say that. I am using that word: it is incapable of being hurt. Otherwise a few days not hurt, next day again hurt, the third day enjoy it, fourth day wash it out-what kind of a game is this?
MF: Can we take this as a blessing?
K: Can we take what as a blessing?
MF: That we shall never be hurt again? [Laughter] We can take it as a blessing that the mind will never again be hurt.
K: Throw it out.
MF: Why not? A parting gift.
K: No, sir. This is tremendously important. If there is no freedom from hurt, then you will always be hurt, you will always go through the agony of getting hurt, and all the rest of it. You must get this, otherwise what are you playing with?
AP: It means that when the mind knows what it is to be in a state where measurement is not, then that is the end of it.
K: Where measurement is not, there is no hurt.
AP: That is the state you started with.
Chapter 4 - Attention, and Action without ConflictDiscussion in Bombay on 18 January 1973
Krishnamurti (K): You started something yesterday, sir.
Maurice Frydman (MF): Action. We talked about action as being necessary. We said the only thing we can do is to allow the unknown to flow in by just behaving, and nothing can be done except negatively. And behaviour brought us to action. What is behaviour? Merely being passive, not breaking the law is not enough. Now, what is action, and how can it be kept pure of an intention or a goal or a purpose or a motive?
K: I wonder what you mean by action?
MF: Action invariably means bringing about a change.
K: Does it?
MF: No change, no action.
K: Action, to act-what does that word mean etymologically?
MF: 'To do'.
K: 'To do'. Not 'having done' or 'will do'-the past or the future. Just 'to do'.
MF: I think there is future action, past action, and present action.
K: No. I am 'acting'; it is always the active present, not the past acting or the future acting. The verb is 'to act', which is always in the present.
MF: But that way you can say that what is is always in the present.
K: Yes, that's what I want to get at. Then what is that action which is now? Is it the result of the past actions?
MF: The present action gives us what's there. Because it happens very quickly, we have no time to do anything about it; it is all there.
K: I am not sure, sir. I want to go into it.
Pupul Jayakar (PJ): You talked just now about what happens to action which is now, but can there be an action from now?
K: I want to find out whether there is an action which is continuous and which therefore is always a movement without a causation.
PJ: What do you mean by action which is continuous?
K: Must action always have a cause, a motive, a direction?
PJ: Isn't it a problem of semantics? If you say action is 'to do', then you can't do in a fraction; 'do' has a...
K: ...past, present, and future. We know that.
PJ: When you use that word action in this sense, is it of a separate nature from the verb doing?
K: What do you mean by acting?
PJ: To do.
K: To do; physical doing-going from here to there. That is one. Intellectual doing, intellectually working out a problem, emotionally, all the rest of it. So action means...
PJ: ...operating on.
K: Or operating through, or operating from.
PJ: Yes, all that.
Achyut Patwardhan (AP): When we see a child on the road and see a car coming, we lift the child out of the path of the car, bringing about a change in the scene. I am describing an action in which neither the past nor the future comes in.
MF: I know from my own experience that when I act without pre-cognition, without premeditation, on the spur of the moment, I just do the right thing without a moment's thought about it.
MF: But I am not aware of the mechanism which made me do it, which coordinated all the muscular movements and so on. I don't know what has happened, but I know what it is to do things on the spur of the moment, immediately, rightly.
PJ: I feel Krishnaji has given the word action a meaning which is not the meaning we give to it.
K: Quite right.
PJ: Let's clarify whether there is a difference in the very content of the word between what we are talking about as action and what Krishnaji is talking about as action. So what is the content of the word you use?
K: In which friction is non-existent.
MF: The next question is: is such an action conscious or unconscious? Can it be conscious when there is no friction?
K: I am just exploring, don't jump at it yet. Is there an action without producing conflict outside or inside? Is there an action which is whole, not fragmented? Is there an action which doesn't bring remorse or reward? Is there an action which is a movement unrelated to environment, unrelated to me or to the community? Is there an action which is a movement out of time? All that, to me, is action.
MF: You should have called it function, not action. What you describe is called by the word function.
K: No. I prefer the word action. You see, my action is related to my relationship to you. My action is related to the community I live in, my action is dictated by the economic condition.
K: Motivated. Climatic, environmental, personal, based on a belief, an ideal, and so on. That's the action we know. Right? I want to find out an action-if there is such an action- which is not the result of environmental pressure.
MF: Such an action is not separate from myself; it is not something I do.
K: I don't know what it is; I am not coming to that yet.
MF: What is this doing?
K: I want to see what is action. What is action? Moving from here to there? Picking up a child from the road when a car is coming? Thinking about something and acting?
MF: Action doesn't matter; it is the motivation that matters.
K: So motivation is part of action.
MF: Within your meaning, there is no action if there is motivation. It is not an action: the motive acts, you don't act.
K: We've said that. We've said there is motive in action; we know all that. I want something and I get it. I don't like you, I act. Or I like you, I act. My guru is a stupid old man, but I follow him. Now, we are trying to find out what is action.
PJ: What is it? If it is not all this, then what is the factor which propels that movement?
K: That's just it. I think we have to eliminate the causation in action. Is that possible? Is that action?-I love you because you give me money or you give me your body. You follow?
PJ: These are obvious. One can see the cause and effect of this, but in a state of attention...
K: No, I don't want to enter into attention.
PJ: Why not, sir?
K: Because I am dealing only with action. I don't know what attention is.
PJ: I am asking you. The movement of causation, the movement of thought, takes place, which is the experience with all of us. There is a thought of something which makes me move in a certain direction, and there is the result which is also stored in thought.
K: I know all that, we know all that.
PJ: I say that in attention also there is always movement; it is not that one goes to sleep in it. I am speaking to you just now, or he is speaking to you, and we are listening to you with our ears, we are seeing you with our eyes, and there is no other movement within us. This movement of speech is a movement of action. Now, the background against which this word action came up was the question of brain cells and consciousness.
PJ: Now the question is: in this state, which has nothing else but my seeing you and my listening, what is it that motivates my speech? What is it that makes it move?
MF: Would you say that motiveless action is the spontaneous expression of that infinite energy we mentioned yesterday?
K: I want to get at something much deeper. We know all this. What is the action which is self-energizing and is an infinite movement with infinite energy? Am I making something clear?
PJ: Infinite movement with infinite energy.
K: Yes. I think that is action. I feel all our actions are fragmented, all our actions are restricted. All our actions breed division, and out of that division there is conflict. Our actions are always within the field of the known and therefore always bound to time and therefore not free. That is so. Now I want to find out if there is any other action. We know this old action in the field of the known- technological action, the action of thought, the action of behaviour, all that. Is there any other action which builds itself?
PJ: How is that stream of action related to...
K: ... daily life?
PJ: I don't want to say daily life. You say it is possible for this to take place in human beings.
PJ: How is this stream related to the brain cells and consciousness? If it is not related to the brain cells and consciousness, then it could be synonymous with God.
K: Yes, I know, I know. What are we talking about?
PJ: Then what is it?
K: I am talking about action. What is action? Within the field of consciousness, we know very well what action means. Right? Need we go over that?
K: We know motive, we know reward, punishment, the whole of that-technological action, non-technological action and so on. It is all within...
PJ: ...the movement of time.
K: All that. That action must lead to various forms of frustration, various forms of sorrow, various forms of disintegrating processes. Do you grant that? And I ask myself, 'Is there any other action which doesn't belong to this consciousness with its frustrations, failures, sorrows, misery, confusion?' Is there any action which is not of time, time being all that? Is that a legitimate question? One has acted always within the field of the known. No?
MF: Direct experience does not corroborate with this.
K: What do you mean?
MF: Anybody who has a little insight into his own mind can see that action in the sense of the now is invariably causeless, motiveless.
K: I am not talking of that.
MF: I am not talking of ordinary actions. Our ordinary actions, which appear to be motivated, caused, and conditioned, are so only because they are described as such.
MF: Really they are not.
K: I understand that.
MF: We give the dog a bad name and hang him.
K: Quite, quite.
MF: It is not so.
K: I know. Look, let's begin very simply. I want to find out if there is an action which is without friction; that's all. I know that every action breeds some kind of friction.
MF: Out of memory.
K: We've said that. I want to find out an action which doesn't bring conflict. May I put it very simply? I want to find an action which doesn't breed contradiction.
MF: Every action is pure; only we create the contradiction.
K: I don't know. You are entering into something else.
PJ: I would like to ask Maurice: will action arise without motivation?
MF: But the combining of motivation with action is already an after-thought.
MF: When you search for a cause, you find a cause.
K: No. Look, I like you because you flatter me. Motive means to act.
MF: I go to the office, I take the bus. The entering of the bus is the entering of the bus, nothing more. But when you ask me, 'Why do you enter this bus?' I say, 'I go to the office to earn a livelihood.'
K: Of course. Entering the bus is to earn a livelihood.
PJ: I understand what he is saying. A large number of actions that take place in the day are really bodily reflexes and, as such, are not related to the mind mechanism which creates motive. You want to scratch yourself and you scratch. The motive is to scratch, but it is a bodily thing.
K: I agree, I admit all that. Don't let's go back and back and back. It is all very clear. We all know that action. I want to find out if there is an action which doesn't breed conflict, which doesn't contradict itself tomorrow Which doesn't mean that action is consistent. Following a set pattern and always following it is never contradictory, and that mere mechanical repetition leads to complete destruction of the brain. I want to find out an action which is not repetitive, which is not conflicting, which is not imitative, conforming, and therefore corrupt. You've understood what I am trying to get at?
MF: I have understood that. In which universe is there such an action?
K: I am going to find out Not up there or here.
K: I want to find such a way of living. Living is action. MF: Yes. Don't forget that to live means 'to act on the environment and be acted upon'.
MF: You can't get out of the environment.
K: Therefore I don't depend on the environment, and the environment doesn't cook me. I said all that.
MF: You said all that. You see, I am puzzled because you use words that depend essentially on the environment.
K: Cut out all that. I want to live a life...
MF: ...without conflict.
K: ...without conflict.
MF: That's all.
K: Which means life is action: getting up, going, walking, earning a livelihood, having children, sex-life. And I see that life has always in it conflict; here, on this earth. I am not talking of paradise or hell. In this living in Bombay, I find that life is a continuous battle.
MF: That is true.
K: Wait, don't enlarge on it. And I want to find a way of living which is action in which there is no conflict. Conflict means imitation, conformity, following a pattern in order not to have conflict, which means a mechanical way of living, an action which is based on my experience, my memory, etc., which is also a fragmentation against yours. So I want to find such a way of living-and living is action in relationship-so that there is not a breath of conflict. Which doesn't mean I go to sleep, or vegetate, or follow somebody who tells me what to do. I want to find such a way of living in which there is not a breath of imitation, conformity, suppression, all the rest of it.
PJ: Again it may be a semantic problem. You used a word at the beginning of your statement: to find.
K: I know I used that word to find; that's a bad word. I wanted to communicate quickly.
PJ: But I want to know. I hear this statement from you; how do I tackle it?
K: First of all it is not finding. Let's remove that word. I have changed that word-a living now, today, in which there is no conflict.
MF: In that action, are you in reference to results or not? Because the action may be disastrous.
K: No, it won't be disastrous.
MF: You may do something and land in jail.
K: I won't, I won't. In looking at all the action in the field of the known-which we've been through-in observing that, in paying attention to that, my intelligence is asking this question. Intelligence is in operation now. Therefore I won't end up in jail. I won't stop paying taxes, I won't rob somebody or hit somebody.
MF: Why do you narrow yourself down to the good citizen?
K: It is not like that.
MF: Why not throw a bomb?
K: Why not throw a bomb? Because my intelligence says it is the most stupid thing to do.
MF: Your intelligence may say it is the right thing to do.
K: No, no. My intelligence has examined throwing a bomb.
MF: Million bombs are wrong, but one particular bomb may be right.
K: No. No bomb is right.
MF: Here we are really fundamentally different.
K: No bomb is right.
MF: How do you know?
K: You don't have to. Killing somebody in order to bring about peace in the world is not the way.
AP: Intelligence tells me that I cannot hurt another without hurting myself much more.
MF: That is what your mind tells you.
AP: No. Intelligence tells you that in the world there is no such thing as doing evil to another unless you do a greater evil to yourself.
K: I don't bring in myself in this. We are going off at a tangent. You know, the word intelligence means not only to have a very alert mind, but also inter legere: 'to read between the lines'. I read between the lines of the known activity. Having read that, my intelligence says that in that field all actions will always be contradictory. Full stop.
MF: When the intelligence searches for something...
K: Not searches.
MF: I use that word.
K: I don't want to use these words search, look out, find.
MF: Inquires about the possibility of something.
K: That's it: inquires, investigates.
PJ: You see, we appear to be totally blocked here.
K: Why are you blocked?
PJ: I am telling you why we get blocked. You say there is no search, there is no way to find, there is no way to contact.
K: I am going to investigate, I said.
PJ: What is the difference between the words to investigate and to search?
K: There is a great difference. Investigate means 'to trace out'. Search means 'seeking something to find'; search means that. I search in order to find.
PJ: I think it is a special meaning you are giving. I don't think there is that much difference between the words investigate and search.
K: I think there is.
PJ: Let us understand that.
K: For me it is very clear-the difference between searching and therefore finding and investigating where you are tracing, tracing, tracing, moving, moving. At least for me there is a difference
PJ: How does one investigate then?
K: We are going to.
MF: In science, investigation means finding the unknown amidst the known. You take a thing known, apparently known, and find something unknown about it.
K: No. I take the word investigate, not what science means, or what I mean, or what you mean. According to the dictionary meaning, investigate, investigare, means 'to trace out'.
K: That's all.
PJ: How do we trace out?
K: I'm going to do that. By paying attention, I see that any action with a motive must inevitably bring about a division, contradiction. I see that, not as an idea but as a fact, as I see this [points to some object] as a fact. So I ask, 'Is there in my mind, when I am investigating, a motive?' Right? I say I have no motive. I want to see what happens. And in paying attention, I see that an action based on a belief is contradictory. So I ask myself, 'Is there a belief in me, who is living, acting, and therefore a contradiction?' And if there is, I go after that belief and wipe it out.
PJ: Who is it that goes after to wipe it out?
K: I'll show you. I used the word in. In that attention there is no going after, there is no wiping away. That very attention-observing belief-ends belief. In me, not in you. It ends that belief. In that attention I see that any form of conformity breeds fear, suppression, obedience. So, that very attention wipes that away in me. And any action based on reward or punishment is out, finished. I see that in relationship any action based on an image divides people. I have an image about you, and you have an image about me-we've been through all that. So in paying attention to the known, to all the factors of the known and their structure and their nature, it ends. Ends it to this mind, not to anybody's mind. So attention becomes very important. Now attention asks, 'Is there any action which has none of these things?' Right?
PJ: But attention itself has none of these things.
K: Therefore what does that mean?
MF: Would you like to say that attention itself is action?
K: That is just it. Therefore attention is self-perpetuating in action, and therefore in attention there is no conflict. It is infinite. The action of a belief is wastage of energy-put it the other way. Action in attention produces its own energy, and therefore it is endless. Now relate that to the brain. Am I moving?
K: The brain has functioned always in this field: conflict, belief, imitation, conformity, obedience, suppression, imitation. Then attention comes into being. Then in the mind the brain cells themselves become attentive-not imposed attention.
PJ: You mean, in the state of attention in the brain cells there is no duality?
K: That's right. The moment there is duality you are back again in the old stuff.
MF: From what I have understood just now, you seem to say that attention calls for energy.
K: Just keep it simple.
MF: Mobilization of energy-call it whatever. And then the energy directed by attention, if I may use the word, acts.
K: Attention is action.
MF: All right, put it that way. Now, when you say the brain cells become attentive, that presupposes consciousness in the cells themselves.
K: Wait, sir. We said consciousness is its content, its content is consciousness.
MF: That is too complex. Would you say that the framework of our brain contains living beings called brain cells and that they can be aware? If you say yes, then the entire thing becomes different. Biologically we can say so. Biologically the cells are individuals. Biologically every cell is a living being by itself.
K: I know that.
MF: It's able to function in attention, provided you give the right meaning.
MF: Would you say, or dare to say, that every cell is also conscious?
K: I should think so.
MF: Because then only can you say awareness is built into the cell.
K: I think so.
MF: Then it's a kind of new physiology of the brain, and there is not a single word about it.
K: Look, sir, I would like to start from a different point. There is wastage of energy which is conflict, imitation, all the rest of it-the brain cells have gone through that, they have been accustomed to that. That is its function. The brain cells have now stopped that, they are out of that field. And the brain is no longer the residue of all that. It may function technologically and so on. But the brain that says life is action, and is without conflict, is in a state of attention. When there is complete attention right inside, not imposed, not directed, not willed, and all the rest of it, then the whole structure is alive. Not alive in the old sense, but in a different sense.
MF: Then you say the brain acts as a whole, no more cut up into pieces.
K: Yes, that's right.
MF: Then the entire body acts as a whole.
K: Where does this lead to?
MF: It leads to a physical transformation.
K: Yes, I think there is a physical transformation.
MF: It is a resurrection of the dead.
K: I think it is a resurrection of the dead. The dead is that; from that you move away.
MF: You say a repetitive brain is a dead brain.
K: Yes, obviously. So there is an action which is non- repetitive, and therefore freedom from the known is the attention in the unknown.
PJ: Sir, do you know what you are saying?
K: I don't know what I am saying.
PJ: Freedom from the known is also within the brain cells then.
PJ: The brain cells are the known.
PJ: Freedom from the known is also within the brain cells.
K: Yes, therefore there is a definite transformation.
MF: The brain is clear of engrams.
K: Engrams; oh yes, I've heard about that.
MF: There is nothing, there is no new groove through which memory works.
MF: That is a physical transformation, just like realization.
K: This holds logically in the sense that as long as the mind is functioning within the field of the known-contradiction and all the rest of it-it is functioning in a groove. And the brain cells have been functioning in grooves, whatever they be. Now, when those grooves are non-existent, the total brain acts, not in grooves, but in freedom which is attention. Right? Have I conveyed anything?
Chapter 5 - Harmony, the Basis for SilenceDiscussion in Bombay on 29 January 1973
Pupul Jayakar (PJ) Can we discuss the question of whether silence has many facets and forms, whether there is only one silence which is the absence of thought, or whether the silences which arise through different experiences of different situations are different in nature, dimension, and direction?
Krishnamurti (K): Where shall we start this? We've got so many things.
PJ: What is silence?
K: Are you asking: is there a right approach-we will describe what right is-to silence, and if there is, what is that? That's what you started out with, didn't you? Are there varieties of silence, which means different methods by which to arrive at silence? And what is the nature of silence? So shall we go in that order? Is there a right approach to silence? 'Right' we will put in quotes. What do we mean by right?
PJ: Is there one approach? Or if all silences are of the same nature, then there may be many approaches.
K: But I am just asking, what do we mean by right approach?
PJ: That's what I mean by right: the one.
K: The only one?
PJ: The one as against the multiple.
K: Therefore what is the one? What is the true, natural, reasonable, logical, and beyond-the-logic approach? Is that it?
PJ: I don't know. I don't know whether I would put it that way. I would say that when consciousness is not operating, when thought is not operating...
K: I would like to go into that.
Sunanda Patwardhan (SP): People define silence as the absence of thought.
K: I can go blank, without any thought, just look at something and go blank-is that silence?
SP: How do you know it is true silence?
K: Let's begin by asking: Is there a right approach to silence, and what is that 'right', and are there many varieties of silence? And is silence an absence of thought? Which implies a great many things, such as I can go blank suddenly: I am thinking a great deal, and I just stop and look at something and go blank, vaguely daydreaming. That is why I would like to approach this question by asking: is there a true approach to silence? You started with that question. I think we ought to take that first and go into the other things afterwards.
SP: You seem to be giving emphasis to the true approach rather than to the nature of true silence.
K: I think so. Because there are those people who have practised silence, controlling thought, mesmerizing themselves into silence, and controlling their chattering mind to such an extent that the mind becomes absolutely dull, stupid, and silent. So I want to start the inquiry from this point of right approach; otherwise we will wander off. I think it is safer to find out if there is a...
Maurice Frydman (MF): ...natural approach.
K: ...natural, sane, healthy approach. Sanity is health. Is there a healthy, logical, objective, balanced approach to silence? Could we proceed from that? I know a great deal from what people have told me; one has talked a great deal about it too. What is the necessity for silence?
PJ: It is very easy to understand the necessity for silence. During an ordinary day, when a constantly chattering mind, a constantly irritated mind, comes to rest, there is a feeling of being refreshed. The mind is refreshed, apart from anything else. So silence itself is important.
S. Balasundaram (SB): Also, even in the ordinary sense, there is no seeing or listening; there is no seeing of colour, no seeing of things unless there is a certain quality of silence.
K: Of course, yes.
SP: There is also the whole tradition that silence is important, necessary. Therefore there are these systems, whether it is watching the prana or breath or doing pranayama, the various measures which people make use of so that there is a state of silence. It is not an unhealthy state of silence, but there is that state.
K: Suppose you don't know a thing about what other people have said on why you should be silent, would you ask the question?
PJ: You would still ask. Even at the level of its being a tranquillizer you would ask the question.
K: So you ask the question in order to tranquillize the mind. The mind is chattering, and it is wearisome and exhausting. So you ask, 'Is there a way of tranquillizing the mind without drugs?' We know the way of tranquillizing the mind with drugs, but is there another way which will naturally, healthily, sanely, logically bring about tranquillity to the mind? How would you approach this? Being weary, exhausted by the chattering of the mind, I ask myself, 'Can I, without the use of drugs, quieten the mind? Is there a way of doing it?' That is natural, I would ask that. Now, is there?
SP: There are many ways.
K: Ah, I don't know any way. You all say there are many ways. I don't read anything except detective novels and history books and so on. I come from a land where we don't know first-hand any of these things. So I ask, can the mind do this without effort? Because, effort implies disturbance of the mind. It doesn't bring about tranquillity; it brings about exhaustion, and exhaustion is not tranquillity. It's like a businessman, exhausted at the end of the day, taking a drink to be quiet, to calm his nerves. So conflict will not bring about tranquillity. Conflict will bring about exhaustion, and the exhaustion may be translated as silence by those who are completely washed out at the end of the day; they say, 'At last, I can go into my meditation room and be quiet.' So is it possible to bring about tranquillity to the mind, without conflict, without discipline, without distortion? All those are exhausting processes.
SP: I'll ask a simple thing though it may be absurd. When one does pranayama, there is no conflict in it, but there is silence, and it doesn't exhaust you. What is the nature of this silence?
K: There you are breathing, getting more oxygen into your system, and the oxygen naturally helps you to be relaxed.
SP: So, that is also a state of silence.
K: We will discuss this state of silence afterwards, but I want to find out whether the mind can become tranquil without any kind of effort, breathing, enforcement, control, direction.
T. K. Parchure (TKP): The mind asks such a question only in its agitated and disturbed state. It asks, is it possible to have tranquillity of the mind without any outside help?
K: No, I didn't say 'outside help'. I said: without conflict, without direction, without control, without practice of breathing, without enforcement of any kind. I can take a drug, a tranquillizer, and make the mind very quiet; it is on the same level as pranayama. I can control the mind and bring about silence; it is on the same level as breathing, drugs. So I want to start from the point where the mind is agitated, chattering, exhausting itself by incessant friction of thought, and it asks, 'Is it possible to be really quiet without any artificial means?' To me that is the central issue. That's how I would approach it if I went into it. I would discard anything artificial. If I was investigating, I would consider as artificial, control, drugs, breathing, watching the breath, watching your toe, watching a light, mantras. All those are artificial means which induce a peculiar kind of silence.
Radha Burnier (RB): Would you include in this list the silence induced by nature?
K: It is all a part of it. I would regard all those as artificial enforcements to induce silence.
PJ: When you look at a mountain, the mind becomes silent.
K: When you look at the mountain, what takes place? The greatness, the beauty, the grandeur of the mountain absorbs you and makes you silent but that is still artificial. Like a child who is given a good toy is absorbed by the toy and is for the time being, till it breaks, very quiet. Any form of inducement to bring about silence is artificial-for K.
TKP: The question starts with a motive.
K: I am saying motive too is artificial.
TKP: The motive in bringing about silence is accidental.
K: I want to find out whether it is accidental or whether there is a natural way, without inducement, without motive, without direction.
SP: Though looking at a mountain is a non-dualistic experience, even that, you say, is not silence.
K: I wouldn't call it silence, because the thing is so great that for the time being the greatness knocks you off.
SP: There is the absence of the 'me'. It is not at the conscious level, but you say it is there.
K: It is there.
K: You see a marvellous picture, a marvellous sunset, an enormous chain of mountains-and it is like the toy with a child. That greatness knocks out the 'me' for the moment, and the mind becomes silent. You experiment with it.
SP: But you say that is not silence.
K: I wouldn't call that silence because the mountain, the sunset, the beauty of something takes me over for the moment, and the 'me' is pushed aside. The moment that is gone, I am back to my chattering or whatever it is. So anything artificial, with a motive, a direction, seems to K a distortion which will not bring about the depth of silence; in that is included practices, disciplines, controls, identification with the greater and thereby making oneself quiet and so on. Then I ask myself, what is the necessity for silence? If it has no motive, would I ask that question?
Questioner 1 (Q1): Surely, does the mind which you described feel the silence?
K: I am not describing the mind.
Q1: In the sense that it has no motive.
K: No. I said inducement in any form, subtle or obvious, doesn't bring about the depth of great silence. I would consider it all superficial. I may be wrong. We are inquiring.
Q1: That state of mind is already a silent mind.
K: Maybe. I don't know. So what is the natural, healthy approach to tranquillity?
RB: But an approach is a motivation.
K: No. What is the natural way, natural state of tranquillity? How does one come upon it naturally? As Balasundaram said, if I want to listen to what you are saying, my mind must be quiet; that is a natural thing. If I want to see something clearly, the mind mustn't be chattering; that is a natural thing.
S. W. Sundaram (SWS): Should you use the word natural or obvious?
K: Oh, either doesn't matter. We have used those two words before, we will use them again: natural, obvious. Then why do we make silence into something tremendous?
PJ: In that is all poise, all sanity. I see that.
K: So I would say the basis for the depth of silence is poise, harmony between the mind, body, and heart, great harmony, the setting aside any artificial methods, including control and all the rest of it. I would say, that is the basis. The real basis is harmony.
PJ: But what is it? It doesn't solve anything.
K: Wait.We haven't solved anything.
PJ: You have used another word harmony.
K: Yes. I will come to that. Therefore I say this is the basis for silence.
SP: Right silence.
K: For right silence.
PJ: But the whole thing is conflict.
K: All right. Therefore don't talk about silence. Deal with conflict, not with silence. If there is disharmony between the mind, heart, and body, deal with that, not with silence. If you deal with silence, while being disharmonious, then it is artificial. This is so. Now I am getting at it.
TKP: The agitated mind naturally tends towards a state of non-agitation.
K: So be concerned with the agitated mind, not with silence. Deal with what is and not with what might be. This comes logically right; I'll stick to this.
RB: Are you asking whether the agitated mind can deal with its own agitation?
K: That is a different question.
SB: She is saying the agitated mind naturally asks the question: can it subside?
K: Yes. So be concerned, not with silence, but with why it is agitated.
TKP: It conceives of the opposite state of non-agitation.
K: That's then a conflict, and the opposite has its roots within its own opposite.
RB: Yes. The concept itself is part of the agitation.
K: So I would say complete harmony is the foundation for the purity of silence.
SP: How does one know of this complete harmony?
K: You don't. Let's go into that, not into silence. We will later on come to the question of the varieties of silence. So what is harmony? I want to find out what is harmony between the mind, body, and heart. A total sense of being whole, without fragmentation, without the over- development of the intellect, but with the intellect operating clearly, objectively, sanely. And the heart has in it a quality of affection, care, love, compassion, vitality-not sentiment, gooey emotionalism, outbreak of hysteria. And the body has its own intelligence, uninterfered with by the intellect or by taste-the feeling that everything is operating, functioning beautifully like a marvellous machinery, even though it is not physically well. I think this is important. Now, is this possible?
SWS: Is there a centre operating in that harmony?
K: In that harmony, is there a centre? I don't know. We are going to find out. Can the mind, the brain, function efficiently, without any friction, distortion, as also the intellect, the capacity to reason, the capacity to perceive sharply, clearly? And when the centre is there it is not possible, obviously, because then the centre is translating everything according to its limitation. Am I reducing everybody to silence?
RB: Why does this division arise between the mind...
K: ...and the body? Does it arise because of our education, where emphasis is laid on the cultivation of the intellect as memory and reason as a function apart from living.
RB: That is the overemphasis on the mind, but without education there can be an overemphasis on the emotions.
K: Of course, that's what I'm saying. Man worships the intellect much more than the emotions, doesn't he? And emotion is translated into devotion, into sentimentality, into all kinds of extravagance, expansion of emotionalism, hysteria, and so on. We have done this all along. No?
TKP: How do we stop mixing up the accumulation of memory for technical or day-to-day purposes with the accumulation of emotional memory?
K: That is very simple. Why does the brain as the repository of memory give such importance to knowledge- technological, psychological, and in relationship? Why have human beings given such extraordinary importance to knowledge? I have an office, I become an important bureaucrat, I have knowledge about doing certain functions, and I become pompous, stupid, dull. Why? Why do I give such importance to knowledge?
TKP: Is it an innate defect or the influence of knowledge?
K: Very simple: security. Obviously.
PJ: Security-to make oneself important.
K: Knowledge gives you status. Human beings have worshipped knowledge, knowledge as identified with the intellect. The erudite scholar, the philosopher, the inventor, the scientist are all concerned with knowledge. And they have created in the world marvellous things-going to the moon, new guns, submarines, Polaris. They have invented the most extraordinary things. And the admiration, the sense of marvel, of knowledge is overwhelming, and we accept it. So we have developed an inordinate admiration, almost verging on worship, for the intellect. All the sacred books and the interpretations are that. And in contrast to that, there is a reaction: 'For goodness' sake, let us be a bit more emotional about all this, let me have my feelings. I love being stupid.' Devotion, hysteria, sentimentality, extravagance in expression, all that arise from this. And the body is neglected. You see this.
SP: And therefore yoga and all that.
K: Then practise yoga to keep your body well, and so you have this division taking place unnaturally. And now we have to bring about a natural harmony where the intellect functions like a marvellous watch, where the emotions and affections, care, love, compassion, all those are functioning healthily, and the body, which has been so despoiled, which has been so misused, comes into its own intelligence. So there is that. Now, how do you do that?
Ghaneshyam Mehta (GM): I adore knowledge because I need it.
K: Of course I made that very clear, don't let me repeat it. I need knowledge; to talk to you in English I need knowledge of English. I don't know any Indian language, so I have to use English; that's knowledge. I have to ride a bicycle, that is knowledge. I have to drive a car; that's knowledge. I have to drive an engine, a motor; that is knowledge.
SWS: No. There is a sick person, and the doctor can't cure him, so I go to someone else who is superior in knowledge.
K: Yes, that is still within the field of knowledge. Knowledge is necessary, but when knowledge is misused by the centre as the 'me' who has got knowledge, and therefore I feel superior to the man who has less knowledge, then I use it as status for myself. I am more important than the poor chap who has no knowledge.
P.Y. Deshpande (PYD): Now the next question is: do we not make a distinction between knowledge and discovery of the new?
K: Of course. When knowledge interferes in the discovery of the new, there is no discovery of the new. There must be an interval between knowledge and the new; otherwise you are just carrying on the old.
PYD: Exactly. You brush aside knowledge and make an experiment to see what happens when there is no knowledge.
K: That's all what we are saying. So I want to get back. Radhaji asked just now, 'Why is there division between the mind, the heart, and the body?' We see why. Now we ask: how is this division to come naturally into deep harmony? How do you do it? Enforcement can't do it, nor the ideal of harmony; therefore I must lessen my intellect. It becomes too silly. So what shall I do?
SWS: Can I bring it about, or has it to come into being by itself?
K: What do you say?
SWS: I can't bring it about.
K: So what will you do? One is aware of this division, isn't one? Intellect, emotion, and body-there is this tremendous division between them, a gap. How is the mind to remove all these gaps and be a whole mechanism functioning beautifully? What do the traditionalists say?
MF: Effort, only effort. Clench your teeth.
K: Clench your teeth and bite into it, is that it?
PJ: I think we are getting bogged down.
K: No, I'm not sure.
PJ: I will tell you why: you used the word harmony.
K: I'm using it. Use another word.
PJ: That's just it. We had the word silence.
K: Ah, we won't touch it.
PJ: We won't touch silence. Then you take the word harmony; we cannot touch the word harmony.
K: Then what will you do? Then why pursue silence?
PJ: So we come back to only one thing which we know: disharmony.
K: That's all. That's all I am coming to.
PJ: But there is this division.
K: Therefore I say let us deal with disharmony and not with silence; when there is the understanding of disharmony, from that may flow naturally silence.
MF: There is a Latin saying: I know what is right, but I don't follow it.
K: Yes, I understand.
MF: Now, there is a mechanism which seems to deny your statement that if you deal with disharmony, disharmony disappears.
K: Don't bring in something from Latin; face the thing as it is. Pupul says we started out with silence, and we said, 'Look, it is no good discussing silence until you find out whether there is a natural way of coming to it.' The artificial way-we have been through that. Therefore we asked, 'What is the natural way?' The natural way is to find out if there is harmony, but we do not know anything about harmony because we are in a state of disorder. So let's deal with disorder, not with harmony, not with silence, but with disorder.
MF: According to our experience, disorder never yields; disorder remains disorder.
K: We are going to find out; don't maintain it.
MF: No, I don't maintain it; that is my observation.
K: Your personal observation of yourself?
MF: My personal observation of myself.
K: That you are disorder.
MF: I observe and observe and observe the disorder...
K: ...and it goes on.
MF: ...I look at the disorder, and the disorder looks at me.
K: Therefore there is a duality, a division, a contradiction in your observation as the observer and the observed. We can play with this endlessly.
K: Please follow what we have discussed so far. We started out with silence. What is the nature of silence? Are there varieties of silence? Are there different approaches to silence? Pupul also asked, what is the beginning of silence, the approach to silence? We said that perhaps there may be a right way-'right' in quotes-and we said let's find out. Any artificial means to bring about silence is not silence- any artificial means. We made that very clear, don't let us go back to that. If there is no artificial way, then is it possible to come upon silence naturally, without effort, without inducement, without direction? And in examining, we said 'harmony'. To that, Pupul says, 'We don't know what this harmony is; what we do know is disorder.' So let us put aside everything else and consider disorder, not what silence is. A mind that is disordered inquires after silence; silence then becomes a means of bringing about order or escaping from disorder; silence then is imposed on disorder. Or we run away from disorder. So we stop all that and ask, 'Why is there disorder? Is it possible to end disorder?'
PJ: Disorder expresses itself as thought.
K: I don't know anything about it. I wouldn't say that.
PJ: I am saying it as a matter of perception. Let's discuss it, if you think it is wrong.
K: Yes, I'd like to discuss it.
PJ: Is there any other way it can express itself?
K: What is disorder? What is disorder in me?
PJ: Disorder in me is when thought arises and I want something.
K: No. You are attributing a cause, you are looking for a cause. You want to find out what is the cause of disorder, right?
PJ: I don't.
PJ: I don't.
PJ: I observe the nature of disorder. I don't look for the cause, I don't know the cause, I can never find out the cause.
K: You observe disorder, right?
PJ: I observe disorder.
K: You observe disorder in yourself; one observes disorder in oneself, right?
PJ: Yes. And I see that it is manifest as thought.
K: I don't know. I would like to go into that a little bit. I observe in myself disorder. Why do I call what I observe disorder? Which means I already have an inkling of what order is.
SP: Of course.
K: So I am comparing it with what I have experienced or known as order and thereby calling the what is disorder. I say, 'Look, don't do that, don't compare, just see what disorder is.' Can I know, can the mind know disorder without comparing itself with order? So can my mind not compare? Comparison may be disorder, comparison itself may be the cause of disorder. Measurement may be disorder, and as long as I am comparing, there must be disorder. I am a bureaucrat and I compare myself with a higher bureaucrat, therefore there is disorder. I compare my disorder of the present moment with a whiff of order which I had smelt, and therefore I call it disorder. So I see that comparison is really important, not disorder. As long as my mind is comparing, measuring, there must be disorder.
RB: But without comparing I look at myself, and I see there is disorder because every part of me is pulling in a different direction.
K: I have never felt I am in disorder.
PJ: We are not talking about you.
K: I know, I know. [Laughter] I have never felt I am in disorder except rarely, occasionally. I ask myself, 'Why are all these people talking about disorder? Do they really know disorder, or do they know it only through comparison?'
MF: I put it crudely, but it is exactly the fact with me. When I don't get what I want, I call it disorder.
K: Sir, I don't call that disorder. I want Rolls Royce, I want to go to the moon, I can't get it; but I don't call that disorder.
PJ: You bring in words which, forgive me, I find very difficult to take. There is no conscious comparison in the mind which says, 'This is disorder and I want order.'
K: No. I am only asking, how do you know disorder?
PJ: I see a sense of confusion: one thought against another thought. You will say the word confusion again is comparison.
K: No, no. Contradiction.
PJ: I know nothing about anything else, but I know confusion.
K: You know only contradiction, which is confusion. Stick to that. You say, 'My mind is in a state of confusion because it is contradicting itself all the time.'
K: All right, proceed from there.
PJ: I say I observe my mind, and I see disorder.
K: Yes. I overeat and there is disorder.
PJ: I see disorder, disharmony. We are not talking of harmony.
K: You see disorder. What will you do? Then what? From there move.
PJ: Then I am bound to ask; it is the nature of the mind to ask.
PJ: I say there must be a way of finding a way out of this.
K: Yes. Then what?
PJ: And then I observe myself asking that question.
PJ: And then for the time being it comes to an end.
MF: Where is the fallacy in this?
PJ: There is no fallacy.
K: No fallacy in this so far. I am coming to that.
PJ: This is the nature of the question we started with.
K: Yes, yes.
PJ: These steps we could discuss and come to a conclusion.
K: No, don't do it.
PJ: But I thought it would be best to go step by step. Now I say there is an ending; maybe it is not a real ending. And I ask, 'What is the nature of this? Is this silence?' Then I come back to my question. Is there an undercurrent still operating? When we talk of different qualities and natures and dimensions of silence, it means just this. The traditional outlook is that the gap between two thoughts is silence.
K: That is not silence.
PJ: That's what I am coming to.
K: The silence between two noises is not silence. Listen to that noise outside, there is a gap; do you call that silence? I say, that is nonsense. That is an absence of noise. Absence of noise is not silence.
PJ: So we are coming now to something-the perception of oneself in a state of disturbance...
K: Pupul, you are not being clear.
PJ: No, I am very clear. The perceiving of disturbance will end disturbance.
K: I am questioning it. I am not at all sure that you know what disorder is. You call it so. I overeat, that is disorder. I overindulge in emotional nonsense, that is disorder.
PJ: I catch myself talking very loud-disorder.
K: That's disorder. So what? What is disorder? How do you know it is disorder? Just listen. I overeat, I have a tummy ache. I don't call it disorder. I say, 'By Jove, I overate, I musn't eat so much.' Full stop.
TKP: I know my state of normal health; therefore when the disturbance comes, I say that is disorder.
K: No, no. I don't go through all these processes. I overeat, I have pain, and I say to myself, 'By Jove, I must be careful at the next meal.'
PJ: No, Krishnaji. We moved from silence to harmony, and we found that it was impossible to go into the nature of harmony without going into disorder.
K: That's all. Keep to those three points.
PJ: But you ask, 'Why do you call it disorder?'
RB: It is not necessarily a recognition of disorder when there is a conflict between the body and the mind.
K: Therefore conflict you associate with disorder.
RB: No. The conflict makes you weary, as you say, and you instinctively feel there is something wrong with it.
K: So what you are saying is, if I understand it rightly, conflict indicates disorder.
RB: Even when you don't name it as conflict.
K: Conflict indicates disorder. Whether it is two thoughts, whether it is the body, whatever it is, it is conflict. That's what we've been saying. Conflict is disorder.
SWS: Indicates disorder.
K: No. Conflict is disorder. Not indicates. You translate it as disorder.
SP: And you asked, 'Is there disorder at all?'
PJ: Krishnaji said, 'It is disorder', and then he said, 'You translate it as disorder.' What is the difference?
K: All right. I am only saying conflict indicates disorder. So then what? From there move. You keep on going round in circles.
PJ: I think there must be a way of being free of this.
K: Of what?
PJ: Of conflict.
K: No. Silence, harmony, conflict-that's all. Not disorder, conflict.
PJ: Forgive me for saying so. You can take the word disorder and go through the same gymnastics with disorder, with conflict, and come to the same query: what do I do about conflict?
K: That's all we are concerned with: silence, harmony, conflict. How am I to deal with conflict non-artificially? You know nothing. You are listening for the first time; therefore you have to go into it with me. Don't ask, 'How do I know it for the first time?' Somebody comes along and says, 'Look at this marvellous machinery.' You look.
SP: I can't think of silence or harmony when I am in conflict. That much is clear.
K: So is the mind capable of freeing itself from conflict? That is the only thing you can ask.
PJ: Are you asking?
K: I am asking, 'Is the mind capable of freeing itself from every kind of conflict?' What is wrong with that question?
RB: Because it is again the mind which is answering.
K: No, no.
PJ: It is exactly of the same nature as the question 'Can the mind be free of disharmony?' I don't see the difference between the two.
K: Now I say: 'Look, stick to that one thing, don't let's go round and round. Stick to that one thing-conflict-and see if the mind can be free of it. And don't go around and ask 'How?' Can the mind, knowing what conflict is and what conflict does, end conflict? Surely that's a legitimate question. No? Why are you silent?
MF: Because you assume that the mind can be.
K: I don't know.
Questioner 2 (Q2): Can we, when we look into this question of conflict, consider one aspect of it, which is comparison? Because, there is no conflict without comparison.
K: Conflict is contradiction, comparison, imitation, conformity, suppression, all that. Put all that into that one word and accept the meaning of that word as we defined it and ask, 'Can the mind be free of conflict?'
SP: Of course it can be free of conflict, but the question which arises is: what is the nature of that freedom from conflict?
K: How do you know before you are free? That becomes theoretical.
SP: No. One has known the state where one is free from conflict for the time being. But by going through the conflict there is an ending of that state of conflict, for a while at least.
K: Is there an ending of conflict completely?
SP: Yes, but still I ask: what is the nature of this ending, and what do you mean by total?
K: We are going to find out.
MF: There is no ending of conflict in the universe as we live in it.
K: In the universe, apparently everything is moving in order. Don't bring in the universe. Let's stick to our minds which seem to be endlessly in conflict. That's all. Now, how is the mind to end conflict naturally? Because every other method or system is a compulsive method, a directional method, a method of control, and therefore all that is out. Now, can the mind free itself from conflict? I say yes. Where are you at the end of it? I say the mind can completely, utterly be without conflict.
K: Don't use that word forever because then you are introducing a word of time, and time is a factor of conflict.
PJ: I want to ask: can that mind be totally conflict?
K: Can the mind be in a state of total conflict? What are you trying to say? I don't quite understand.
PJ: I feel myself totally helpless in this situation. The fact is there is conflict, and the fact is that any operation of the self on that...
K: We have been through all that. Don't bring it in.
PJ: So seeing the nature of that, can the mind say, 'If it is conflict, it is conflict'?
K: I see what you are trying to say: can the mind be aware of the state in which there is no conflict? Is that what you are trying to say?
PJ: No. Be totally in that.
K: Or can the mind know only conflict? Right? Do you know, is your mind totally aware of conflict? Or is it just words? Stick to one thing. Is my mind totally aware that it is in conflict? Or is there a part of the mind that says, 'I am aware that I am totally in conflict'? Or is there a part of me watching conflict? Or is there a part of me wishing to be free of conflict? Which means, is there any fragment which says, 'I am not in conflict'? Or is there any fragment which separates itself from the totality of conflict? If there is a separate fragment, that is all foolery. Then that fragment says, 'I must act, I must do, I must suppress, I must go beyond.' Please, this is a legitimate question: is the mind totally aware that there is only conflict? That is your question, right?
Q2: It seems the mind measures itself, as you say, and causes conflict, but the true conflict is that it is caught in conflict.
K: Yes, sir, that is what we are saying. Is your mind totally aware that there is nothing but conflict? Or is there a fragment, a little part, which skips away and says, 'Yes, I know, I am aware I am in conflict. I am not in conflict, but I know.' So is conflict a fragment or total? I will keep to the same word, only put in a different word for the time being: is there total darkness or a slight light somewhere?
RB: If that light were not there, can there be awareness?
K: I don't know anything about it; I am asking you. When there is a fragmentation of the mind, that very fragmentation is conflict. Therefore is it ever aware that there is total conflict? Pupul says yes.
PJ: I don't know anything about total conflict.
K: Therefore you know only partial conflict.
PJ: I know conflict, whether it is partial or total.
K: No, that is important.
PJ: Where is the total in this?
K: I think it is an important question.
RB: The very awareness of the mind indicates that there is a fragment.
K: That's all. Therefore you say, 'I am in conflict partially.' Therefore you are never with conflict.
SWS: A total conflict cannot know itself unless there is something else to view it.
K: We are going to go into that a little bit.
PJ: I have not made myself clear. Conflict is not a wild, overspreading state. When you say 'total', it fills the mind.
K: When the room is full of furniture-forgive me if it's a wrong example-there is no space to move. I would consider that utter confusion. Is my mind so totally full of this confusion that it has no movement away from this? If it is so completely full of confusion, conflict, and full of this furniture that's in the room, then what takes place? That's what I want to get at-not a partial this and a partial that. When the steam is full it must do something: explode. And I do not think we look at this confusion, this conflict so totally. Could I use the word sorrow? May I? Now, there is no moving away from sorrow. When you move away from sorrow, then it is just an escape from it, or suppression, all the rest of it. Can one be full of sorrow? Not 'Can one?' Is there such a thing as being full of sorrow? Is there such a thing as being completely happy? When you are so aware that you are completely happy, it is no longer happiness. In the same way, when you are so completely full of this thing called confusion, sorrow, conflict, it is no longer there. It is there only when there is a division; that's all.
RB: No. Then it seems to be a hopeless problem because one is always with...
K: That's why remain with the truth of the thing, not with the conclusion about the thing. The truth of the thing is: until the mind is completely with something, it cannot but create conflict. If I love you and if there is attachment in it, it is a contradiction, and therefore there is no love. So I say, 'Remain with the fact of that thing, don't introduce...' all the rest of it. Is the mind totally full of this sorrow, this confusion, this conflict? I won't move away till that is so.
MF: There is one peculiarity about your approach. When you draw a picture, there is always a clear, black outline to it; the colours don't match. In reality there are no outlines; there are only colours merging with one another.
K: This to me is very clear. If the heart is full of love and there is no part of envy in it, the problem is finished. It is only when there is a part that is envious that the whole problem arises.
PJ: Then one is full of envy.
K: Therefore remain with it, remain full of envy, be envious, feel it.
PJ: Then its total nature undergoes...
K: ...a tremendous change.
PJ: In itself it undergoes a change.
K: Of course that's what I am saying. When you say, 'I am envious and I must not', when somewhere in the dark corner is the educational restraint, then something goes wrong. But if you say, 'Yes, I am envious', and don't move from that... Moving is rationalizing, suppressing, all that. Just remain with that feeling.
MF: The Russian mystics say, 'Without repentance, no salvation.'
K: I don't repent, I don't want to be saved.
MF: What is the difference between being fully aware of the conflict and repenting the conflict?
K: Repentance means there is a repenter, there is an entity who repents, who regrets.
RB: But being with envy, feeling it fully...
K: No. Don't feel it. You are envious, you are just envious.
RB: Then that is not perception.
K: That is perception.
SWS: That can break one down.
K: No, sir. That can break you down only when you are trying to suppress it, go beyond it, rationalize it, and all the rest of it. It is so simple.
MF: When you are in a mess, are you not sorry for yourself?
K: Good God, no. That is an after-thought: 'I wish I wasn't in a mess.' When you are in a mess, be in a mess, see it, don't move away from it.
MF: That is all in the after-thought. The very idea of not moving away is an after-thought.
K: I am saying that. You are repeating it.
MF: Time is merciless.
K: This is merciless. All the rest is playing tricks. When there is sorrow, be completely with it.
MF: There is no time in the now.
K: I don't know what you are talking about. I am talking about sorrow, not time. My son is dead. Look at the beggar in there-full of sorrow. I don't have to invent sorrow: there it is, right in front of my nose. I mean it. I won't move an inch from it.
MF: But, certainly, does not an action take place?
K: Sir, action has taken place. When you are with something, action has taken place. I don't have to do something. A total action has taken place, which is the ending of that sorrow.
SWS: How can we find tranquillity when the beggar is in front of us? Is it feeling sorrow since he is full of it? Because we have not done anything for the beggar.
K: Tranquillity is the ending of sorrow.
MF: Is not tranquillity the acceptance of sorrow?
K: No. It is the same then as the worshipping of sorrow.
MF: No, no.
K: Of course it is.
MF: If you accept sorrow...
K: Worshipping sorrow is also a form of accepting sorrow.
MF: You have no business to introduce the word worship in this. Acceptance is not worship.
K: No. Why should I accept it?
MF: I accept my crippled child without worshipping him.
K: No. Why should I accept it? It is like that.
MF: Because I am living with sorrow. We have to live together.
K: Acceptance implies an acceptor.
MF: Anything implies an operator, anything.
SWS: Suppose instead of sorrow, one is full of violence. Instead of sorrow we take violence.
K: Be with violence.
SWS: Will not there be destruction?
K: No. That means you are moving away from the fact. When you are violent, be completely with it, which means that doing something violently is a moving away from violence. You got it? Because you have moved away. Suppressing violence is also moving away, trying to overcome violence is still moving away.
SWS: So being fully violent means, mentally, physically, every way.
K: No. A state of violence-you know it. You don't have to be.
RB: A distinction can be made: not be violent, but be with violence.
K: Yes. Live with it, be with it, not be violent. Of course we are violent; you don't have to be with it. [Laughter]
Chapter 6 - The Factors of DeteriorationDiscussion in Bombay on 25 January 1973
Pupul Jayakar (PJ): I wanted to talk about the problems of deterioration and death, about why the mechanism of the mind has a tendency to affect the mechanism of the body, and for there to be an ebbing of energy.
Krishnamurti (K): Why does the body deteriorate?
PJ: The body deteriorates as it ages. There is time, and the body deteriorates, but why does the mind deteriorate so that at the end of it there is death? There is the death of the body and the death of the mind, and the death of the mind can take place even when the body is alive.
K: It can begin at the age of ten.
PJ: If, as you say, the brain cells contain all consciousness, then with the deterioration of the brain cells and the deterioration of the cells of the human body, it is inevitable that the brain cells will also deteriorate.
K: Are we talking of why the whole structure of the mind and brain deteriorates with age, with time?
Maurice Frydman (MF): Biologists have already given the answer.
K: What do they say?
MF: The cells of the brain and the body deteriorate because they don't eliminate. They are not made for perfect elimination. They don't completely eliminate the products of their own metabolism. If they are given a chance to wash themselves out completely in an appropriate solution, they will live forever.
K: Yes, that is chemically all right. But the question is, isn't it, why the brain, which has been active during a certain period of time, deteriorates. And the biologist's answer to that is: given sufficient cleansing power it can go on living forever. What is that cleansing element?
MF: Adequate elimination.
K: But it is much deeper than that, surely.
MF: All right. Adequate elimination is the outer expression of the cleansing power.
Sunanda Patwardhan (SP): Sir, scientists also say that the entropic movement, or the increasing tendency for less and less energy, is true only of physical matter. They are not able to say that with regard to the mind.
K: That is what I want to get at.
PJ: But is the mind separate from the brain cells?
K: So is it the deterioration of energy, or is it that the brain cells deteriorate in their capacity to produce energy? I don't know if I am making myself clear. We are going to find out something. First put the question clearly.
MF: There are two processes: entropy and extropy. In extropy, energy is accumulated, revived; in entropy it is dissipated. Physical processes are entropic processes. But mental processes may be the other way round- extropic-which means they collect energy.
K: Let's start, inquire. Entropy and extropy and all the rest of it-let us put all that aside for the moment. The question is: Why does the brain not keep its quality of sharpness, clarity, deep energy and why, as it gets older, it seems to deteriorate? This happens even when one is at the age of twenty. It is already set, already held in a groove, and it gradually peters out. So it's not a matter of age. I want to find out if it is a matter of age. You can see that certain minds, even though they are quite young, in their teens, have already lost this quality of swiftness. They are already caught in a groove, and the deteriorating factor has already begun. Is that so?
SP: That raises the issue that when we are born, we come with a certain conditioning.
K: Is it a matter of conditioning and breaking through that conditioning which frees energy and therefore the brain can go on indefinitely, as long as the body survives? Or has it to do with a mind that functions in decisions?
SP: What do you mean 'functions in decisions'?
K: That operates through choice and will. One decides the course of action one is going to take, and that decision is based not on clarity, not on the observation of the total field, but according to one's satisfaction and enjoyment. It is a fragment of that field; one continues to live in that fragmentation. That is one of the factors of deterioration. I am quite sure it is. I choose to be a scientist and disregard the total field of life, the whole, vast complex field of life, and my decision to be a scientist may be due to environmental influence, family influence, my own desire to achieve success in a certain direction. These many combinations bring about the choice of a particular profession-science, sociology, biology, whatever it is-and that decision, that choice, and the action from that choice, which is to carry this out, is one of the factors of deterioration, because I disregard the rest of the field and live in a particular narrow corner of that field. The brain cells don't function totally, only in one direction. This is rather interesting. Don't accept this, please; we are examining it.
PJ: You say they don't function fully.
K: The whole brain isn't active, and I think that is the factor of deterioration.
MF: But when we see, it is impossible to see the totality.
K: No, wait. Pupulji asked, 'What are the factors of deterioration?' Not whether the mind is capable of seeing the total or not. I have observed for many years that a mind which follows a certain course of action disregarding the whole totality of action, which pursues a profession that is logical, sane or insane, convenient or satisfactory, disregarding the rest, is one of the factors of deterioration.
PJ: Let's explore that. The brain cells themselves have an inbuilt sense of time, a sense of memory, a sense of instinct. It is all inbuilt in the brain cells themselves. They operate in reflexes. Now, if the very nature of operating in reflexes is that which limits the brain from functioning totally, then we know no other way.
K: You are missing my point. We are trying to find out what the factors of deterioration are. When we see what the factors are, then perhaps we may get into the other-seeing the total.
PJ: That way one can think of twenty factors.
K: No. Not too many.
K: I'm coming to that. The pursuit of action based on choice, which has its motive in satisfaction or in fulfilment or in the desire to achieve and all the rest of it, must create conflict because it is contrary to all the rest. That is one of the factors.
PJ: And the other is shock.
K: So conflict is one of the factors of deterioration, probably that is the major factor of deterioration.
Questioner 1 (Q1): Can you bring it a little close to our life?
K: I'm doing that. Look, sir, I decide to become a politician, I decide to become a religious man, I decide to become an artist, a politician, a sannyasi-anything. That decision is made by a conditioning brought about by a culture which in its very nature is fragmentary. I decide to be a bachelor because I think, from what I have read, from what I have seen, from what I have heard, that to attain God, truth, enlightenment, whatever, I must be a bachelor. I disregard the whole structure of human existence, biological, sociological, all the rest of it. That decision obviously brings about a conflict in me-sexual conflict, the conflict of keeping away from people, all the rest of it. That is one of the factors that brings about deterioration in the brain cells because I am using only one part, I am using only certain cells. The brain has got I don't know how many millions and trillions of cells. It is only one little part that is operating, not the rest, and therefore there is conflict, and conflict is the factor of deterioration.
PJ: I'd just like to say one thing because sometimes it can be confusing. It doesn't mean that doing this or doing other things will lead to less conflict. Being a celibate one day, being a married man another day is also going to create conflict.
K: Of course, of course. Any factor that brings about conflict is deterioration. It may be a dozen factors or one factor-marriage, sex, business-any factor that brings conflict. Obviously.
Q1: Part of our structure is the deep, hidden contradictions that we can't see or explore. What is it that makes us part of the decision process?
K: It is fairly clear, isn't it? I decide to be a politician because I see that by becoming a politician I may succeed, I may have more money, I may have prestige, I may have a certain status. I can cheat, be corrupt, all the rest of it, and I choose that. That very factor of dividing my life as a politician from the rest is a factor of deterioration. That's all we are saying. It is very simple. So choice and will are the factors of deterioration.
PJ: And yet they are the two instruments of action we have.
K: That's all, so let's look at it. It's very interesting. We are coming upon something. All our life is based on these two factors: discrimination, choice, and the action of will in the pursuit of satisfaction.
SP: Why discrimination?
K: Discrimination is choice: I discriminate between this and that.
PJ: The problem is: is it a question of seeing the important and the peripheral?
K: No. We are trying to see what is the factor of deterioration, the root factor of deterioration. In exploring, we may come upon something different also. I see that choice and will in action are the factors of deterioration, and if you see that, then the question is: is there an action which has not in it these two elements, these two principles? Am I jumping too quickly?
PJ: You are jumping a bit.
K: All right.
PJ: Let's take the other factors because there are many. There is heredity, there is shock.
K: If I have inherited a rather dull, stupid mind, I am finished. I can fiddle around, go to various temples and various churches, but my brain cells themselves have been affected.
PJ: Then there is the shock of living.
K: Which is what?
PJ: Life itself.
K: Why should life itself produce a shock?
PJ: But it does.
PJ: Death produces a shock.
K: Why? My son dies. It produces a shock because I never realized that my son will die; I suddenly realize he is dead. It is a neurological shock as well as an inward shock.
PJ: It is a physical shock, it is a neurological shock.
K: And psychological shock.
PJ: It's coming into actual contact with the validity of something which ends physically; it creates a shock.
K: I agree. All right, let's take it as a shock-the physical, psychological, emotional shock of suddenly losing something, losing somebody, the shock of being alone, of a thing suddenly coming to an end. That is a shock, and the brain cells have received the shock. Now, what will you do? Is that a factor of deterioration?
PJ: Of course it is deterioration.
SP: No. The way we respond may create the deterioration.
K: Yes, that is it. How one responds to the shock is the factor.
PJ: The fact is that one can respond with a total mind, but it is registered at depths which are beyond one to understand.
K: Wait, go slowly. My son is dead, my brother is dead. It is a tremendous shock because we have lived together, played together, all the rest of it. It is a tremendous shock. How you come out of the shock is important-whether that shock has paralysed the mind.
PJ: It paralyses.
K: The shock does, for the time being. Shock is a paralysis of the mind for the time being. How the mind comes out of it is the important factor. How does it come out of it? Does it come out of it with a hurt, with all the implications of hurt, or does it come out of it without a single hurt?
SP: That's where what she says is relevant. You may not know; consciously you may say you have worked it out.
K: No, no, no.
SP: How do you know that there is not a trace of hurt?
K: We are going to find out. First see. You are all too quick.
P. Y. Deshpande (PYD): Could it be that death or something else ends completely the pattern of mind to which one was...
K: Yes, sir, that's all implied. When my brother or son dies, my whole life is changed. The change is the shock. I have to go out of this house, I have to earn a different kind of livelihood. I don't know the dozen things I have to do. All that is implied in the word shock. Don't let's enlarge that word, we can go on. Now I am asking whether that shock has left a mark of hurt or not. If it has not left a single mark, a single hurt, a single scratch, or the shadow of sorrow, then the mind comes out of it totally refreshed, totally new. But if it is scratched, hurt, brutalized, then that is the factor of deterioration. And how do I know, how does the mind know consciously that it is not hurt, deeply, profoundly?
PJ: Is it that in whatever way it comes out, if it is hurt deeply, profoundly, there is no hope afterwards, and it is all over? Or is there a way of wiping it out even if it is scratched?
K: We are going into that. The shock is natural because I have been thrown out suddenly on the street, metaphorically speaking. Put it any way. Neurologically, psychologically, inwardly, outwardly, the whole thing has changed. How does the mind come out of this? That is the question. Does it come out with hurt, or does it come out totally purged of all hurts? Are the hurts superficial, or so profound that the conscious mind cannot possibly know at a given moment and therefore the hurts will keep on repeating, repeating, repeating? All this is a wastage of energy. Now, does the mind find out whether it is deeply hurt?
PJ: I think it is possible to deal with the superficial hurts, but the deep hurts which one has...
K: I want to know how you will deal with them. How will you deal with them?
PJ: How does one?
K: Go on, ask, find out how you deal with the deep hurts. How does the mind come upon the deep hurts? What is a hurt?
PJ: Deep pain.
K: Is there a deep hurt?
K: What do you mean by deep hurt?
PJ: When the nature and structure of consciousness undergoes a change...
K: What, what? Make it simpler, please.
PJ: The really deep hurts are when the very nature of your being is on the edge of the sword because of a crisis.
K: Be simple. Don't you know all these factors? My brother dies, my son dies, or my husband or wife dies. It is a shock. The shock is a kind of hurt. I am asking, 'Is the hurt very deep, and what do you mean by very deep?'
PJ: I see the conscious responses to it. I see what is being thrown out from the unconscious.
K: What is being thrown out?
PJ: What is being thrown out is pain.
K: Pain, of which you have not been aware before. And the shock reveals the pain. Which is-listen to it carefully-the pain was there, or the cause of pain.
PJ: The cause of pain.
K: That's it. The cause of pain was there, of which I was not conscious. The shock comes and makes me aware of that pain.
MF: But why can't you say the shock creates the pain?
K: No. I can't say that. How can the shock create the pain? Pain was there.
MF: No, no.
K: I'll show you. Frydman, don't jump to conclusions, don't ask questions relevant or irrelevant. My brother is dead; that is absolutely final; I can't bring him back. The world faces this problem, not just you and I-everybody faces this problem. It is a shock, including all that we have said. That shock is a deep hurt. Was the hurt there before, was the cause of the hurt there before, and has the shock only revealed it? The hurt was there because I had never faced it. I had said I would put all my faith in my brother. I had never faced the sense of loneliness, which is one of the factors of hurt. So before the shock comes, I look at loneliness. Before the shock comes, I know what it means to be alone. Before the shock comes, I go into this question of reliance, dependence, which are all the factors of hurt, the causes of hurt; they are all brought out when the shock comes. So when the shock comes, what happens? I have no hurt. I'm right, this is right.
MF: What made you prepare yourself?
K: I didn't prepare, I watched life. I watched the implications of attachment or indifference or of trying to cultivate independence because I must not depend. Dependence causes pain, therefore I cultivate independence, and that may also bring pain. So I watched in myself that dependence of any kind must inevitably bring about deep hurt. I have gone into it, I said, 'Now finished'. So when the shock comes, the cause of hurt is not; a totally different thing takes place. That's what I want to get at.
PJ: Sir, all these things one has done: one has observed loneliness, one has gone into the problem of fear, one has gone into the problem of attachment. It is not that I am speaking from vanity.
K: Would you say shock is suffering?
PJ: Shock seems to touch the depths of my being which I have never been able to touch before, which I had no access to.
K: What do you mean by that? If you have gone through loneliness, attachment, fear, not seeking independence as an opposite to attachment, of detachment as an opposite to attachment, and all those tricks that one plays, then what has taken place? When the shock of death comes, what takes place? Are you hurt?
PJ: Sir, this is a word which I would like to enlarge.
K: Enlarge it, enlarge it.
PJ: It seems to awaken all the pains I have had.
K: Which means what? You have not resolved those pains.
K: That's what I am trying to get at. Of course, you haven't resolved the pain of loneliness-I am taking that as an example.
PJ: What I want to ask is: is there a resolution of the pain of loneliness, the pain of attachment?
K: Yes, obviously.
PJ: Or is it a complete comprehension of or-whatever word you want to use-an awakening to this total process of pain?
K: Look, suffering is pain. Pain causes suffering. We use that word suffering to cover loneliness, attachment, detachment, independence, conflict-the whole field of man's escape from suffering and the cause of suffering. We use that word to include all that. Or would you like to use another word? The totality of pain, hidden, observable, the totality of suffering-the pain of the villager, the sorrow of a woman who has lost her husband, the sorrow of a man who is ignorant, unlettered, always in poverty, and the sorrow, the pain of a man who cannot fulfil, who is ambitious, frustrated. All that is suffering, and the shock brings all that pain-not only yours-to the surface. And what takes place? I don't know how to deal with it, right? I cry, I shout, I pray, and I go to the temple. This is what takes place. I hope I will meet my brother, my son, my husband in the next life or in the astral world. I do everything, trying to get out of this torture of pain.
PJ: Or I sit down and observe pain.
K: Yes. By observing, by talking about it, by crying, through dreams-oh, I go through tortures. Why should the shock reveal all this?
PJ: Because the roots of pain have never been revealed.
PJ: Because one has never plunged at that depth.
K: Why? I am asking. You are not answering my question. The human mind has seen that beggar on the road, leprous, or the villager with his endless work and sorrow-why hasn't that touched me? Why should shock touch me?
PJ: Is there a why?
K: Oh yes, there is a why.
PJ: It happens.
K: No. Why didn't that shock of seeing that beggar move me? The rotten society, the whole thing.
PYD: The shock attacks the whole structure of the brain cells and makes them act.
K: I am asking you a very simple question. You saw that beggar on the road; why wasn't it a shock to you, why didn't you cry? Why do you cry when your son dies?
Questioner 2 (Q2): Because I am identified.
K: No, no. I saw a monk in Rome, I really cried. Sir, you understand? Tied to a post called religion, held there. We don't cry there and we cry here; why? Not that there is no why. There is a why, obviously there is a why. Because we are insensitive.
S. Balasundaram (SB): The mind is asleep throughout, and the shock wakes it up.
K: The shock wakes it up-that's the point. The shock wakes it up. And we are awakened to pain, which is our pain. We are not awakened to pain. This is not a theory.
PJ: No, sir. When you make a statement like that, I am awakened to pain. And the pain is the thing; it's not a question of my pain or someone else's.
K: Ah, we said that: pain. Now, what do you do with pain? Pain is suffering. What do you do with it?
Q1: Try to get rid of it.
K: We try to get rid of it. We have been through all that. What happens? You get rid of it, don't get rid of it. What takes place? If you've really gone through all that, what takes place?
PJ: If you are in the middle of a storm, you don't ask what takes place.
K: All right. Now ten days have passed, time has elapsed. My brother died ten months ago or ten years ago. So what? There is no question of escape, there is no question of finding a substitute. There is that pain in my heart, in my mind.
PJ: There is one thing more: it is not the pain of an individual feeling.
K: I said that, Pupul.
PJ: It awakens every pain.
K: I've said that. It's not yours or mine. Pain! I felt pain when I saw that beggar. When I saw that monk I cried. When I saw that villager I was tortured. When I saw the rich man I said, 'My God, look.' And there is the society, the culture, the religion, the whole works of man. And the works of man is also the pain of my losing my brother. So it is pain. Now, what do I do with pain? Is it deep or superficial? You say it is very deep, right?
Achyut Patwardhan (AP): Yes, sir, it is very deep. It is deep.
K: What do you mean by deep?
AP: What I mean by deep is that it goes through every part of your being. It is not sectional, it doesn't operate only in one part of your life.
K: And then what? You say it is very deep, it has no measurement. Don't call it deep. Pain has no measurement. It is not deep or shallow: pain is pain. Then what? You remain in it? Bear the hurt because I can't have a child for the rest of my life? Come on, sir, answer.
PYD: Obviously, everyone tries to escape from pain or find a substitute for it.
K: Yes sir.
PYD: If it is not substitutable, he calls it a deep pain.
K: So what shall I do with the pain I have?
Questioner 3 (Q3): Ignore it. There is nothing you can do.
K: Ignore it?
Q3: I am saying you can't do anything.
K: We are going to find out. Go to the analyst to get rid of that pain? Go to Tirupati or Benares to get rid of that pain? Read a book to get rid of that pain? What shall I do with it?
PYD: We have to find out who is having the pain.
K: I've got it. What shall I do?
PJ: I'm in the position of standing still.
K: When you say 'standing still', you are with the pain.
PJ: I am just there.
K: You are that pain. You remain there, you are there, you hold it. It is your baby, you hold it. And then what? What shall I do? I am that pain-the pain of the villager, the pain of that beggar, the pain of that man who is rich and who goes through agonies in his own way, the pain of the monk, and all the rest of it. I am that pain. What shall I do?
SB: Is there a transformation of this pain into wakefulness?
K: That's what I want to find out. At the moment of death, or after a few days or a month, my whole nervous, biological, psychological system is paralysed. I am not talking of that moment.
SP: That's over.
K: Don't go back to it again. Now it has passed, it's a year old. I've been left with this pain. What shall I do?
SB: Suffering doesn't wake up people because the whole world suffers; they go to sleep, suffer, go to sleep, suffer, go to sleep. Apparently it is a pretty unintelligent operation.
K: A mother has lost her son in Vietnam, and mothers don't seem to learn at all that their sons might be killed through nationalism or concepts and formulas. They don't realize it. So that's a pain. I realize it for them, I suffer. So what happens? I suffer-not I-there is suffering. What shall I do?
Q2: I see what it is.
K: I see what it is. That beggar can never ride in a car, can never become a minister, poor chap-not that he should. And that monk is tortured by his own vows, by his own ideas of God; I see all that. It is so clear, I don't have to examine more and more. What shall I do? I'm left with this.
Questioner 4 (Q4): The understanding by which the villager's pain or the beggar's pain becomes your own pain is already the step towards understanding that pain. Not everybody can see the villager's pain or the beggar's pain as his own.
K: I have that pain, sir. What shall I do? I am not concerned about whether everybody sees it or doesn't see it. People don't see many things. What shall I do? Your son is dead, somebody's son is dead; it is pain.
PJ: When it happens you are in the middle of it; you are held.
K: Yes, I am talking of that-being in the middle of it. You saw that beggar singing the other night; it was a terrible scene. You were there. The fact is there, the pain, the suffering. What will you do?
Q4: You act to correct it.
K: What do you act on?
Q4: You act to try and change the condition of the beggar.
K: Oh, my Lord! That's your idee fixe. And somebody says, 'Become a religious man, everything will be solved. Give your life to Jesus.'
Q4: I think there is a difference.
K: Not much. You want to do it your way, and somebody else wants to do it another way. And I'm talking of pain.
Q4: The pain goes away if we do constructive action.
K: So action you advocate for the pain to disappear-doing something.
PJ: We have acted and acted and acted.
K: Action is action. You translate it as going to the village, and I translate it as becoming a monk or God knows what else. What's the difference?
Q4: The pain I feel is the pain of not being able to act. The pain I feel is the pain of frustration.
K: I have said that, sir. We said before: pain of frustration, pain of no success, pain of the beggar, pain of the villager, pain of the monk, pain of the mother who has lost her son in Vietnam, pain of the man who has his leg cut off in a war, which is monstrous. It is not your pain or my pain but includes mine, yours, everybody's. And you say, 'Go out to the village and act.' I ask, what do you mean by action?
PJ: The pain will still be there.
K: Do I cover it up, do I escape from it? They have done all these things: go to Jesus, go to Krishna, go to temples, improve society-a dozen things. They haven't ended pain. We asked, 'What are the factors of deterioration of the brain cells and the mind?' We said one of the major factors is conflict. The other factor is hurt, pain. And what are the other factors? Fear, conflict, suffering, and the pursuit of pleasure-call it God, social service, working for kingdom come; it's all based on satisfaction, pleasure. So if these are the factors of deterioration, what will you do? Who is to act? What am I to do? Unless the mind solves this, its action will produce more suffering, more pain.
PJ: Then the deterioration will be accelerated.
K: Of course, this is an obvious fact.
SB: People say that with experience you will learn, but nobody learns from experience. This is one of the major factors.
K: I know, I know. We have come to a point; don't let's go on elaborating. We have come to the point that pain, hurt, suffering, fear, pleasure, and the pursuit of pleasure are the factors that bring about deterioration. Now, what shall I do? What shall the mind do?
S. W. Sundaram (SWS): By asking this, does not the mind try to become something else?
K: How can it? If it is in pain, what do you do? How can it become something else?
SWS: Become something other than pain.
K: So becoming is another factor of deterioration. Becoming is a factor because then there is conflict. I want to become something else; therefore the becoming is the avoidance of pain, and therefore there is conflict. So what shall I do? I have tried village work, I have tried social work, I have tried joining religions, I have tried books, I have tried cinemas, I have tried sex-and pain remains. What shall I do?
SWS: There must be some way by which the pain should go.
K: Why should it go? All you are concerned with is to let it go. Why should it go?
SWS: From the way we are putting it at present, it appears as if there is no way of letting the pain go.
K: There is no way out, is that it?
SWS: I have to live with it.
K: You have to live with it. How do you live with something which is pain, which is sorrow? How do you live with it?
Q2: Sir, can I at least stop doing anything further?
K: Have you stopped doing anything, or are you just stating a theory? Are you doing it or just talking about it? What is the mind to do with this tremendous hurt which causes pain, suffering, and the other factors that bring about deterioration of the brain cells-this everlasting battle?
SWS: One should try to watch it.
K: Watch what, sir? Is my suffering, pain different from the watcher? Is it?
K: So what takes place? When the observer is the observed, what takes place?
SWS: There is no relationship.
K: But the observer says, 'I must get rid of the pain.' He has done all the tricks before-village, church, drugs, social work, State, God-he has done all these tricks to get rid of the pain, but it is still there at the end of the journey. So what will you do?
MF: We started with this: what is the factor of deterioration? Going round and round, we came to the conclusion that pain is the factor of deterioration. If we don't want deterioration, if we want to be fresh, bright, we must not suffer pain. Therefore doing away with pain is important, and we cannot say, 'I am pain, I have to face pain, I have to live with pain.' This is obnoxious, this is bad. We must cease being able to suffer. Now, what is the secret of it? You tell us. [Laughter]
K: Secret of what?
MF: We must be immune to pain, not insensitive.
K: Ah, for God's sake. You introduce words which I never use.
MF: They are all in the English dictionary.
K: No. I am using words according to the dictionary. I do not want to be a blank wall which doesn't feel pain, is immune. Immunity means that.
MF: You didn't hear my word. Immunity does not mean insensitivity.
K: You haven't listened to the very end. We all want to get rid of pain; that's understood. It will be idiotic to say, 'I must endure pain', and that is what most people do. And because they endure pain, they do neurotic actions like going off to temples or whatever it is. It is a neurotic action. So it is absurd to say that we must endure pain. On the contrary. Knowing that it is one of the major factors of deterioration, how does this pain come to an end-put it ten different ways-so that the mind at the end of it becomes extraordinarily passionate and is not just a dull, painless mind? [Pause] You want the secret of it?
MF: You know the secret.
K: I'll tell you. Do you want it? Let's approach it in a different way. Is it possible for a mind never to be hurt? Education hurts us, the family hurts us, society hurts us; we have been through all that. I am asking, 'Can the mind, living in a world that is always hurting, hurting, hurting, never be hurt?' You call me a fool, you call me a great man, you call me an enlightened or a wise or a stupid old man. Call me anything-never to be hurt. It is the same problem put differently.
SP: There is a slight difference. The fact is that the mind is hurt. So when you ask the question, it means that it is possible to wipe out hurt, not allow hurt again.
K: Yes, that's what I am showing you. That's the secret. What shall I do? What will you do with all the hurts that human beings have accumulated? My God! If you don't solve this problem, do what you will, it leads to more sorrow. [Pause] All right, sir, let us proceed. In five minutes the secret has to be told. It can be told in five minutes.
MF: Leave it for the next meeting.
K: Leave it for the next meeting? [Laughter] It is there. We just now said the observer is the observed. Then what is the problem?
SWS: As you said yesterday, there should be an observation without the centre.
K: Yes, sir. Observation without the centre means there is only that thing which you call pain. There is no entity that says, 'I must go beyond the pain.' When there is no observer, is there pain? No, sir, this is not just a trick of words. It is the observer that gets hurt. It is the centre that gets flattered. It is the centre that says, 'It is a shock.' It is the centre that says, 'I know pain.' Now, can you observe this thing called pain without the centre, without the observer? And then is there pain? And if there is no pain, then what takes place? It isn't a vacuum, it isn't without something. What takes place?
Q1: The pain changes into feeling.
K: What do you mean by feeling? This is a difficult thing because we are always looking at pain from the centre as the observer, and the observer says, 'I must do something.' So action is based on the centre doing something about pain, but when the centre is pain, what do you do? What is there to be done? [Pause]
What is compassion? The word means 'passion for all'. That is the dictionary meaning. How does that come about? By chasing around activity? How does it come about? When suffering is not, the other is. How can a mind that suffers know compassion?
MF: The knowledge that there is pain is compassion.
K: You see, how clever... I never used the word knowledge, I never said, 'becomes compassion'. We are seeing the fact, the what is. What is is suffering. That is an absolute fact-I suffer. The mind is doing everything it can to run away from it. And when it doesn't run away, then it observes. Then the observer, if he observes very, very closely, is the observed. And that very pain is transformed into passion, which is compassion. You've the words, you haven't the reality. So don't escape from suffering, which doesn't mean becoming morbid. Live with it. You live with pleasure, don't you? You want it, you sustain it. Why don't you live with this thing too, completely?
MF: Because you can't live with pain.
K: You've been through all this. Don't fool around with words.
MF: You can die with pain, but not live with pain.
K: I am showing it to you. When I say live with it, it is not to escape from it, not to do any action about it. You have a baby, what do you do with it? You live with it, don't you? You see it flower, you see it grow.
MF: You have a thalidomide baby, my dear sir.
K: Wait, sir. The thalidomide baby is crippled because the mother took all kinds of drugs. My mother didn't take drugs or give me any. My mind is very clear, very sharp. So don't introduce something else. I'm faced with this fact of suffering, I'm living with it in the sense that I'm not escaping from it. I want to see what takes place. I see what takes place if I live with it, care for it, water it, not run away from it or crush it. The very suffering is transformed into passion, which is something enormous. Full stop. That's the secret. So from that arises a mind that can never be hurt.
Chapter 7 - Self-centred Activity and Psychic EnergyDiscussion in Bombay on 19 January 1977
Pupul Jayakar (PJ): I thought we could discuss one of the chief blockages in our capacity to understand what you are saying and see its implications in our daily living, and that is the factor of self-centred activity.
Krishnamurti (K): Self-centred activity. Good idea; let's discuss it. Would you explore it?
PJ: It doesn't matter what we do, but the concern with its implications on ourselves seems to colour the doing. Is there a way of operating in which even though this concern with the self may exist, we can put it in its place?
K: When you talk about self-centredness, a centre implies a periphery. Can we say that where there is a centre, there is a boundary. And where there is a centre and a boundary or a periphery, all action must be within that centre and periphery. The centre implies a periphery or a boundary, a limitation, and all action must be within that circle. That's what I would consider self-centred activity.
PJ: What are the boundaries of the self?
K: It can be limitless or very limited, but there is always a boundary.
P.Y. Deshpande (PYD): Limitless?
K: Limitless. You can push it as far as you like.
PYD: So long as there is a centre, it is bound to be limited whether it is long or short.
K: That's it. As long as there is a centre there is a periphery, a boundary, but that boundary can be stretched.
PYD: Yes, stretched.
K: That's what I am saying.
PYD: Not limitless.
K: Stretch it as far as you like.
PJ: Does that mean that there is no limit to the stretching?
K: Let us go slowly.. When we talk of self-centred activity, that is what is implied-a centre and a periphery, a limitation; and within that circle all action takes place, which is self-centred activity. I think about myself, I make progress towards something. It is still from a centre to a point, within the periphery, within that circle. From the centre you can stretch as far as you like-social service, democracy or electorate dictatorship, tyranny; everything is within that area.
Achyut Patwardhan (AP): Also, awakening of kundalini and all that.
K: Oh God! Awakening of kundalini-do you want to go into that?
AP: No, sir. I just said it can also become a projection of the centre.
Sunanda Patwardhan (SP): Yes, sir, we want to go into it.
K: I see you all waking up! [Laughter]
Apa Pant (APP): This seems to be more interesting than the centre. [Laughter]
AP: As it is understood in the circles interested in this in India, it has become a form of sophisticated behaviourism.
K: All behaviour-good, bad, trying to become something, trying not to become something, to achieve, to arrive at enlightenment, all that. Where there is a centre, there must be a periphery, and all action takes place within that area: cleverness, business, gods, rituals. So, what's the point?
AP: The point is: is it possible for there to be an action which does not...
K: ...have a centre? Or can there be an action...
AP: ...which does not nourish the centre?
K: No. Can there be no centre?
AP: But we start with a centre. We can say honestly, factually that we know there is a centre, and we know that every activity, including breathing, nourishes that centre.
K: I wouldn't accept the breathing, no. Come off it, Achyut.
AP: You do breathing deliberately and say, 'Now I am going to do this kind of breathing, I am going to do that kind of breathing.'
K: That is not necessarily the centre; that may be mere physical exercise.
AP: I am not sure. Usually we seek some other end out of it. We'll wipe it out. We will say only this: is it possible for a man not to nourish his centre by any kind of action?
K: You want to discuss that?
PJ: Is it possible to awaken...
PJ: ...that energy-I won't use the word kundalini-which will without any volition on my part wipe it out?
K: Yes, that's the whole question.
AP: That's a good question.
K: That is a different question altogether. But the point is that the energy that is expended within a circumference and a centre is a limited energy, a mechanical energy. Must we go into all this?
AP: No, it is quite clear.
K: Not verbally, actually inside you. Where there is a centre there must be circumference, and any action that takes place within that area is limited, fragmented, and is therefore a wastage of energy.
Vijay Anand (VA): These words centre and circumference describe something diagrammatically, but to realize it in ourselves would be the first problem.
K: That is the problem, sir. We are selfish entities, we are self-centred human beings. Self-centred human beings are completely selfish. Either you are completely selfish- thinking about yourself, your worries, your family, you, you, you-or you can move that centre to social work, to political work, but it is still the centre operating.
PJ: That is a little more subtle to see because you can concern yourself with something in which you feel the centre is not involved.
K: You may think so, but it is. I work for the poor, which is a mania in this country, but I am still working within that limitation.
PJ: I want some clarification. It is not the work for the poor which is in itself...
K: No. It is the identification of myself with the poor. Identification of myself with the nation, identification of myself with God-if there is God-identification of myself with some ideal and so on; that is, always moving from the centre to the circumference, to the periphery. And therefore it is very limited energy, rather it is self-destructive energy.
APP: I think the question Pupulji asked was whether this constant movement of the mind which expends and exhausts itself can be stilled. What energy gushing out can silence this movement or make it irrelevant or make it seem like a shadow?
K: I don't quite follow you.
PJ: It really is this: we have done everything to understand the nature of this self-centred activity. We have observed, we have meditated, but the thing doesn't cease.
K: No, because I think we make a mistake. We don't see, actually see, perceive in our heart, with our mind that any action within this periphery-from the centre to the periphery, circumference, and then from the circumference to the centre-this movement back and forth is a wastage of energy and must be limited, must bring in more sorrow, within that area. We don't see that.
PJ: It is part of our brain cells, and it is the action of our brain cells to constantly throw out these ripples, which are in a sense self-centred existence.
K: Just look. The brain, as we said-with which, I think, most of the brain specialists would agree-needs two things: security and a sense of permanency.
PJ: Both are provided by the self.
K: That is why it has become important. See the importance of it.
APP: The brain is a mechanical or physical entity with its habit of seeking security or continuance; how do you get out of this habit or this mechanical obstruction? I think that is what she is hinting at.
K: I don't want to get out. Any movement to get out is still within the periphery.
APP: This is what I mean: it is a habit. You've got into a rut, into the habit of seeking security or continuance.
AP: I think we have moved one step further than this with you. I think our minds, our brains, every bit of our thinking process is totally convinced that there is no security, there is no permanence, and that permanence and security are both the creations of ignorance. That is to say we have seen it actually. I don't think that in those of us who have been with you there is even one per cent resistance to this. When you make a statement that the greatest security is the recognition of insecurity, that impermanence is the perfume of life, there is not one fragment of our being that is in dissonance with it.
K: What is it you are trying to say?
AP: I am saying that we have heard the true note and we have said that it is the true note.
K: But is there a movement, is there an action which is not self-centred?
AP: I am coming back to Pupulji's statement that there is an energy of attention.
PJ: I asked it in a different perspective. I said that when we observe ourselves in self-centred activity, it ceases. We know that. We know a state when it appears as if the self is not, but then if the seed of it is held within the brain cells, it will repeat itself again. If that is so, if it is held within the brain cells and its own action will throw it out, then I say to myself that there must be another energy. There must be another...
K: ...quality of mind...
PJ: ...which will wipe it out.
APP: You see, the computer that our brain is, it has become very complicated, and the computerized feedback and whatever you do in programming is becoming more and more complicated every day. Now, what is the energy-is it attention, is it silence? Is it external, is it internal?
K: Our brain has been programmed for centuries to function from the centre to the periphery, from the circumference to the centre-a back-and-forth movement. It is programmed for that, it is trained for that, it is conditioned for that. Right? So you are asking, 'Is it possible to break that conditioning? Is it possible to break the momentum of the brain cells which have been moving in that direction all the time, to stop it?' That's it, isn't it?
PJ: No, I am not asking that question.
APP: This is my question.
PJ: I am not asking whether you can break that momentum. I am asking another question altogether. Is there another energy...
K: ...which has no motive at all...
PJ: ...which will, without my volition, without any volition, wipe it out?
K: Let's be clear, Pupulji. There are two questions. Can this momentum, can this programmed brain which has been conditioned for millennia, stop? The moment it stops, it has broken the movement. Ah, I found something. The moment it stops, you have broken it. The other question is: is there an energy which is not a self-centred movement, an energy without a motive, without a cause, an energy which is endless?
PJ: And is it possible to investigate into...
K: ...that energy? We are going to.
AP: To which I wanted to add that the only instrument we have is attention. So any energy that you posit is an energy which to us must become manifest as attention.
SP: Why do you postulate that it must manifest as attention?
PJ: I don't want to postulate anything. I am asking Krishnaji something which, if I may say, we have not asked.
K: I understand what you are asking. May I put it?
PJ: Yes, sir.
K: You are asking, 'Is there an energy which is not from the centre, an energy which is without a cause, an energy which is inexhaustible and therefore non-mechanical?' Is that what you are asking?
K: Now, let's settle the first question. We have discovered something: that is, the brain has been conditioned through millennia to move from the centre to the circumference and from the circumference to the centre, back and forth, extending it, limiting it, and so on. And is there a way of ending that movement? We just now said it ends when there is a stopping, when the plug is pulled out. The brain stops moving in that direction, and if there is any causation for the stopping, you are back again in the circle. Does that answer? Can that movement stop? Now the next question is: is that possible? I think that is a wrong question. When you see the necessity of stopping, when the brain itself sees the movement and stops, it has already ended the movement. I wonder if I am making myself clear?
VA: Yes. But it starts again. It stops the movement for a while, but then it starts again.
K: No. The moment you say you want it again, you are back in the centre. Right?
Questioner 1 (Q1): Probably he is asking how to bring about a permanent stop.
K: Ah, no, that's greed. [Laughter] If I see the truth or the fact that the moment there is the cessation of this movement, the ending of the movement, the thing is over. It is over; it is not a continuous stoppage. When you want it to be continuous, it is a movement of time.
APP: The seeing then is without movement. That seeing is a movement which is out of the centre, which is on a different dimension.
K: No, no. Seeing, observing the whole movement from the centre to the circumference, from the circumference to the centre-that movement is what is, with which you are familiar.
APP: But that seeing is without any centre.
K: Of course, of course.
APP: That seeing is on a different plane, a different dimension altogether.
K: There is a perception of it when you are aware of it, aware without any choice. Just be aware of this movement. The programme stops. Let's leave that, we will come back to it. The next question which you are all probably waiting for is: 'Is there an energy which is non-mechanistic, which has no causation and is therefore an energy that is constantly renewing itself, that is endless?' Isn't that the question?
PJ: Yes, sir.
K: What do you say?
VA: There is an energy of death.
K: What do you mean, sir? Death in the sense of ending?
VA: A total ending.
K: That is, the total ending of the movement.
VA: What I know as myself.
K: Just listen, you have said something. The total ending of this movement from the centre to the circumference is death, in one sense. Then is that the energy which is causeless?
VA: It is causeless. It comes like your blood.
K: I understand. But is that a supposition, a theory, or an actuality?
VA: An actuality.
K: Which means what? That there is no centre from which you are acting.
VA: Yes. For that period when that energy is there...
K: No, no. Not period.
VA: There is a sense of timelessness.
K: All right. At that second. Then what takes place?
VA: Then the thought comes back again.
K: So you are back again from the centre to the periphery, and then there is the remembrance of that incident and the wanting of that incident.
VA: Right, sir.
K: Which is again operating from the centre to the periphery.
VA: One is afraid also. It is not only wanting it again; one gets afraid of that particular thing happening again because it is total death.
K: It has happened without your invitation.
K: Now you are inviting it.
VA: I don't know whether I am inviting it or whether I am afraid of it.
K: Yes. Afraid, inviting, whatever-it is all still within the field of this self-centre. The other question is what Pupulji raised-about endless energy. You want to discuss kundalini?
PJ: Yes, sir.
K: First of all, if you really want to discuss it, have a dialogue about it, would you forget everything you have heard about it? Would you? We are entering into a subject which is very serious. It isn't just an amusement for a morning. Are you willing to forget everything that you have felt about it, what your gurus have told about it, or your attempt to awaken it, and start with a carte blanche. You know what a carte blanche is: a completely clean slate. Can you?
K: Sir, don't say yes. You have to inquire, not knowing anything, really not knowing anything about kundalini, what people have said, all the attempts that have been made. You know what is happening now in America? Kundalini centres are being formed by people who say, 'I have had the experience of kundalini, the awakening of it, the pain of it', and all the rest of it. It brings about a different kind of energy which scientists are interested in, and they say that if you can do certain forms of exercise, breathing, this, that and the other, you will have it. And this is being trotted out all over the world, and therefore it is becoming a money-making concern and is being given to people who are terribly mischievous. A good businessman wants this kind of energy; he says, 'Give it to me, I will make millions out of it.' All that kind of horror is going on.
APP: I was told by a professor that in Europe communists are starting yogic centres because they can then influence the mind.
K: I know.
APP: They get a power, as it were, to influence the minds of others. So it has become a method of thought control.
K: This is what the gurus have done, this is what the propagandists have done in a different way. So is that the reason why you want to know what this energy is?
VA: No, sir. It is for knowing whether that energy can throw away the present conditioning.
K: No sir, no sir. Not something else will break this self-centred activity. You see, where we are leading to? That is why I object to this discussion on kundalini or whatever that energy is, because we haven't done the spadework. We don't lead a life of correctness; we want to add something new to it so as to carry on our mischief.
Q1: Even after awakening kundalini, self-centred activity continues. There are those who claim that they have awakened kundalini, and yet their self-centred activity continues.
K: I question whether they have awakened kundalini. I don't know what they mean by it.
VA: We really want to understand this; it is an actuality sometimes.
K: No, sir.
PJ: We know of an energy when self-centred activity ends for an instant. We assume that that is the source of endless energy. It may not be.
K: Are you saying that the ending of this movement from the centre to the circumference and from the circumference to the centre...
PJ: The momentary ending which we know of.
K: No. The ending of it, the complete ending of it, is the release of that energy which is limitless.
PJ: I don't say that.
K: I am saying that. Can we put this energy, kundalini energy, in its right place? Can we? Sir, lots of people have this experience of what they call kundalini, which I question. When I say I question, I mean I want to investigate it; I am not opposing it, I am not saying they are wrong. I question whether it is an actual reality or some kind of physiological activity, which then is attributed to kundalini. Or is it some kind of physical disease-I am taking all these into account-and then they say it is kundalini? While they live an immoral life, in the sense of a stupid life, a vain and self-centred life, while their daily life is self-centred, they say they have awakened kundalini. I question it.
PJ: Sir, let us examine it in oneself. Kundalini is linked to certain psychic centres located in certain parts of the body.
K: That is what is said, that is right.
PJ: That is what is said. That is the first question I would like to ask you.
K: What is it?
PJ: Has the release of this energy, which has no end, anything to do with the psychic centres in the physical parts of the body?
K: You are asking a lot of questions.
AP: Before we go into that: I think the question you have posed is a very important one which receives very little attention, and it is that if there has to be an accession of energy through this, that and the other thing, it is necessary to see that the person is incapable of doing harm.
K: Ah no, sir, do be careful. How can you say somebody is incapable of doing harm? The saints, the Indian saints have done tremendous harm misleading people.
AP: That is what I say. Unless one's heart is cleansed of hate and the thirst to do harm is completely transmuted, this energy can do nothing but more mischief.
K: Achyutji, we will come to that question. What Pupulji is asking is: there is the standard acceptance of this energy going though various centres and releasing and so on.
AP: There is in the Indian tradition the word adhikar which, I think is very valuable. Adhikar means that the person must cleanse himself sufficiently before he can pose this question to himself.
K: Yes, that's good enough. Are you saying that unless there is a stoppage of this movement from the centre to the circumference and from the circumference to the centre, Pupul's question is not valid?
AP: I think so.
PJ: I take it that when one asks a question of this kind, there is a depth of self-knowing with which one asks. I mean I cannot make any other statement about it, but then investigating the self also releases energy.
K: Of course.
PJ: If one's life does not have a degree of inner balance, what Krishnaji says will have no meaning. How will it ever enter the depths of our consciousness unless our self-knowing is deep enough to at least expose the depths of our consciousness to what he is saying? When one listens to Krishnaji, one receives it at the depth to which one has exposed oneself, and therefore I think it is right to ask the question.
AP: If I may say, there is the artist and the creativity of the artist.
K: I question if the artist is creative-unless he is living a holistic life. Finished.
AP: I can see that. What I want to say is that the touch of creativity the artist may get in a normal selfless existence does not call upon that accession of energy which Pupulji is talking of.
PJ: We are talking at two different levels. I am asking one question: why is it more dangerous? I ask Krishnaji this question rather than any other question, rather than a question about what is God, what is meditation, what is this, what is that. Why is this question more dangerous? A mind which will comprehend will comprehend this and that. The mind that will not comprehend will comprehend neither. The mind that wants to misuse can misuse anything.
AP: I won't agree to that.
K: That's obvious, sir.
Q1: That energy can be dangerous to the organism.
PJ: But it is not going to awaken in us.
K: Unless you lead a daily life which is a completely non-selfcentred way of living, the other cannot possibly come in.
VA: But that is a different matter. That energy which comes when self-centred activity ends is totally different from kundalini or whatever it is.
K: No, sir!
PJ: But this is all speculation.
K: It's all speculation.
SP: Some people have talked to me about their having awakened kundalini. Many things happened to them: they are frightened of it, many of them are frightened.
PJ: They are frightened, but if you start investigating the self, you get certain psychic experiences.
SP: We would like to know what is that energy which creates fear. What is it?
VA: Fear comes later. One experiences death and everything vanishes. You are dead, and you are alive again, and you are surprised that you are alive again. You find the world again, and your thoughts and your possessions and your desires and the whole world slowly come back.
K: Would you call that the awakening of kundalini?
VA: I don't know.
K: Don't label it.
VA: I am not labelling it.
K: You are labelling. Forgive me.
VA: For some days after that, for a month your whole life changes.
K: Yes, sir, I understand.
VA: Sex vanishes, desires vanish.
K: And you come back to it again.
VA: You come back to it because of fear, because you don't understand what is happening.
K: That is what I am saying. When there is a coming back to something, I question whether you have had that energy.
VA: I myself question it.
PJ: Sir, I am asking only this: why has this question of mine awakened so many ripples? Most people go through a great deal of psychic experiences in the process of self-knowing. One also understands-maybe because one has listened to Krishnaji-that a psychic experience, when it comes, has to be put aside.
K: Is that understood? Psychic experience must be totally put aside.
PJ: It is only then that there is sanity of approach.
AP: This point that Pupulji just now made-that psychic experience, if it comes, must be put aside-is the beginning. I remember hearing this twenty-five years ago.
K: I know, sir.
AP: So I say we start with this.
PJ: We give no importance to it.
AP: We put it aside, not only not give it importance.
VA: Some new passages do get opened in the body, and the energy keeps rising in those passages whenever it is required. You cannot put them aside.
PJ: I don't know. It is very difficult to talk about another person.
VA: Your nerves shiver, you get tremendous headaches.
K: Sir, why do you call it something extraordinary? Why do we attribute something extraordinary to it? I am just suggesting it. It may be that you have become very sensitive, acutely sensitive; that's all.
VA: I have more energy.
K: Sensitivity has more energy.
VA: Do you mean to say energies come?
K: Yes, sir, if you are really sensitive; you follow? But why do you call it extraordinary, kundalini, this, that, and the other?
PJ: The real issue is to what extent your life has changed.
K: That's the question.
PJ: The only meaning of any awakening is when there is a totally new way of looking at things, a new way of living, a new way of relationship.
VA: There is a new brain, but the old brain is always in conflict with the old habits.
K: Never, sir! That's the whole point; you people are missing it.
VA: Then what is real kundalini, if this is not kundalini? Taking it for granted that one is living a holistic life, is there something like kundalini?
K: If you lead a holistic life, is there something else?-that's an impossible question. When you drop the 'if', are you living a holistic life?
K: Therefore don't ask the question.
VA: I am only asking about the validity of a thought like this-the consequence of living on kundalini.
K: No, sir.
PJ: You see, I am asking from a totally different point of view.
K: A totally different point. I know. Go on, Pupul, pose that question once more.
PJ: I posed one question to you, and it is that kundalini, as it is understood, is the awakening of certain psychic energies which exist at certain physical points in the human body, and is it possible to awaken these psychic energies...
K: ...through various practices?
PJ: ...through various practices, which then, as they go through these various psycho-physical centres, transmute consciousness, and when they finally break through, you are through the self-centred activity. This must be the basic meaning of the whole thing.
APP: Mescaline can do it...
PJ: I am just asking Krishnaji whether there is an energy which on awakening-not on being awakened-completely wipes out the centre.
K: I would say the other way: unless the self-centred movement stops, the other cannot be.
SP: You mean the question cannot be asked from this side at all?
AP: I want to say that there is in the Hindu, Buddhist, and Jain tradition a deviation...
K: Sir, sir, I don't want to know what traditions say.
AP: No, sir. It is very important because it is going under the name of religion, and I say that the whole hatha yoga tradition has engendered a belief that by manipulating these centres you can do things to yourself.
K: Yes, sir, I know these things.
AP: I say the whole idea is based on a wrong belief.
PJ: All right. I will wipe out everything I have said.
AP: We should wipe it out.
PJ: Let me ask you another question. I would have liked for myself to inquire into it, but it seems it is not possible. What is the nature of the field of the human mind which needs to be prepared? What is the nature of the human mind, including the brain, which needs to be prepared to be able to receive that which is limitless? Let me put it that way.
K: You are asking, what is the soil in which that energy can take place?
PJ: Yes. We won't talk about the energy as such. I am talking of the nature of the soil which is the nature of our own consciousness, which is the nature of our own brain cells.
K: Are you cultivating the soil of the brain, or the mind, in order to receive it?
PJ: I understand that.
K: Answer my question.
PJ: I understand your question, but I can say neither yes nor no to it.
K: Then why bother about that energy entering that soil? Prepare, work at it.
PJ: But why does one prepare the soil?
K: I'll make it very simple. I live a life of contradiction, conflict, misery; I want to find out if it can end-my sorrow, the whole human sorrow-and if there can be compassion, all the rest of it. I will go into that; I don't want to inquire into anything else.
SP: Asking the question 'Is there a way of living with compassion?' is also part of cultivating the soil, having a motive. Why are you asking this question about cultivating the soil?
K: I never said, 'Cultivate the soil.'
PJ: I asked the question.
K: I understand what the question is. I say that as along as you have a motive to cultivate that soil in order to receive that energy, you will never receive it.
SP: What is the motive? Is it a motive to see this whole prison and ask whether there is a way out of this? Then one gets caught with any question.
K: No, no. Please, you haven't listened. I live a life of torture, misery, confusion. That's the basic thing, and can that end?
SP: That's all right.
K: There is no motive.
SP: Here there is no motive, but you are also asking a further question.
K: No. I don't have any further question, except that first question: can that whole process end? Then only can I answer other questions that have tremendous significance. It is like giving me an extraordinary toy, an extraordinary something in my rotten little life.
SP: One cannot say one has not asked that question.
K: What is the question you are asking?
SP: Any question about a different energy, you say, should not be asked at all because it is still in this field.
K: No, I will ask it.
SP: How will I ask?
PJ: I've asked him.
K: She has asked me.
SP: I thought you said you can't ask it.
K: I said no.
PJ: And I will continue to ask. I may not ask you here, but I will continue to ask that question.
K: What is the question you are asking?
PJ: I have withdrawn my question just now.
SP: The second question.
PJ: The second question which I have asked is: what is the nature of the soil of the human mind which has to be cultivated...
K: ...to receive the other?
PJ: ...to receive the other. You tell me that is also a wrong question. You say I am in conflict, I am in suffering, and I see that a life of conflict and suffering has to end.
K: That is all. Then I will tell you: if it cannot end, the other-the inquiry and the investigation and wanting to awaken the other in order to wipe this out-is a wrong process. Obviously. That is asking an outside agency to come and clear up your house. I say that in the process of clearing up the house, there are a great many things that are going to happen. You will have clairvoyance, the so-called siddhis, and all the rest of it. They will all happen, but if you are caught in them you are done; you can't proceed any further if you are caught in them. If you are not caught in them, the heavens are open to you-the heavens, you understand? There is the soil that has to be prepared, not in order to receive that, but the soil has to be prepared. Right? Because you live a contradictory life and so on, prepare, work there, clean the house so completely that there isn't a shadow of escape. Then we can ask, what is this thing they are all talking about? I am doing that, I am preparing the soil-not the soil; I am preparing-not preparing-I am working at the ending of sorrow, all the rest of it. I am working at it tooth and nail; I am not letting it go. And somebody comes along and says, 'Look, there is that extraordinary energy in kundalini and the various chakras and so on.' What do you answer to that? That is the point you are raising. You asked that question.
PJ: I asked that question.
K: And the man says, 'Look, I have finished with this, I have understood this, I am working at it.'
PJ: No. You see, the difference is this: I can never say I have understood it; I can only say I am working at it.
K: That's all. I said that.
APP: Yes, you said that.
K: I said that. You can never say, 'I've finished.'
PJ: I can never say I've finished. Now what? You mean the question is not valid?
K: No. I say it is valid, if you are working at that. If I am working at that, and you come along and say there is that thing as kundalini power, whatever you call it, then I am willing to listen. But if you deny this and say you will have that first and this will...right? If you are saying, 'I am working at this day and night, that's my job, that's my life' and you come along and ask, 'What about kundalini?' I answer you very clearly. Right?
APP: This is all right, Pupulji, this is all right.
K: She has asked that question.
PJ: I have asked that question.
K: Yes. Therefore I am answering you. Are you working at this?
(Q1): Yes, sir.
K: No gurus, no powers.
Q1: No gurus; working at it.
AP: The reason why I objected is that Hathayoga Pradipika states that this investigation into kundalini is in order to strengthen you in your search.
AP: No. They say this.
K: Achyutji, I've grown up in this, and it's a lie.
AP: I have found that those books say one thing, and they have deviated, they have distorted, they have misled people, and I have really suffered agony because this country has gone to the dogs. One of the reasons is that in the name of religion we have spread poison, and therefore a man like me says we must be greatly on our guard not to repeat this.
K: Achyutji, please, for God's sake! Are you working at clearing up the house?
K: That is the first question. Then Pupul comes along and says-second question-'I am doing that, and I am doing it per se, for itself.' And she says, 'These things are going round in the world, and I have heard a great deal about it; what do you say?' That's all the question is.
AP: The inquiry is valid.
K: Keep to it, sir. That's all the question is. What is the question? Is there a power, an energy, which is not mechanistic, which is endless, renewing itself? I say there is. Right? I say there is, most definitely. But it is not what is called kundalini. The body must be sensitive, obviously. If you are working at clearing up the house, the body becomes very sensitive. The body then has its own intelligence, not the intelligence which the mind dictates to the body. The body then has its own intelligence which rejects anything that is not suitable to the body. Therefore the body becomes extraordinarily sensitive. Not sensitive to its desires or sensitive to wanting something, but it becomes sensitive per se. Then what happens? You see, if you really want to go into it, if you want me to talk about it, I am rather hesitant. [Laughs] I have had a good deal of all this, so I am not talking in the air. The people who say they have had kundalini awakening-I question that, if they are not working at the other. They have not worked at the other but have awakened this; therefore I question their validity, their truth. I am not antagonistic, but I question it. A man who eats meat wants publicity, wants this and that and says, 'I have got kundalini working.' I say it is nonsense-to myself. So there must be the cleansing of the house all the time, ending of this and that. Then Pupul says, 'Please, can we talk about something which I feel must exist, not theoretically? I have had a glimpse of it, I've had a feeling of it, which is an energy which is endless.' And K comes along and says: 'Yes, there is such a thing, an energy which is renewing itself all the time, which is not mechanistic, which has no cause, which has no beginning and therefore no end. It is something that is like an eternal movement.' I am just using these words, I will change them. I say there is. What value has it to the listener? Right?
K: I say yes and you listen to it. I say to myself, what value has that to you? Will you go off into that and not clear up the house and get caught in that, in what Hathayoga says, this, that, ten different things?
PJ: Does that mean that to the person who inquires, the cultivation of the soil, which is the ending of suffering, is really...
K: ...the only job he has to do.
PJ: The only job.
K: Yes. Nothing else. Look at these people: they are not clearing the house, they are completely sex maniacs, or some kind of idiocy is going on with them, and they talk about kundalini. I say sorry. Sir, it is the most sacred thing, therefore you can't invite it. And you are all inviting it.
VA: But if it possesses you without your invitation?
K: You don't exist! [Laughter] Look sir, clearing the house demands tremendous discipline-not the discipline of control, suppression, and obedience. It in itself demands tremendous-what?
PJ: Ending of self-centred activity.
K: Yes. It demands tremendous attention to all that. When you give your complete attention, there is then a totally different kind of thing taking place-an energy. You see, there is no repetition. It isn't coming and going-I have it one day, and for a month I don't have it. And also it implies: can you keep the mind completely empty? Go on. Can you?
VA: For a while, sir.
K: Ah! Hold my hand. [Laughter]
VA: Emptiness gets filled up.
K: Ah, no. Can the mind keep itself empty? Then there is that energy. You don't even have to ask for it. Scientists are saying-I have talked to Dr Bohm about this-that when there is space it is empty and therefore full of energy. So in cleansing the house, in ending the things of the house-sorrow, all the rest of it-can the mind be completely without any motive, without any desire, be completely empty, not occupied?
PJ: I would like to ask you just one question: is the mutation of human consciousness the total transformation of human consciousness? Or the preparing of the soil is the only thing possible, and transformation, mutation, energy, all that is outside?
K: Yes. When this is taking place, when you are working at this, keeping the house clean, the other things come naturally. It isn't that you are preparing the soil for that.
PJ: In the very doing of it.
K: Yes. That is meditation.
PJ: And the nature of that is the transformation of the human mind.
K: Yes. You see, as Apa Saheb was saying, we are programmed to this conditioning. When there is the stopping of it, there is an ending of it. When you pull the plug out of the computer, it can't function anymore. So in the same way if there is an ending...
PYD: That involves some clarification of the word movement. Movement from the centre to the periphery, which is a continuity, and the movement of renewal are the same thing.
K: No, sir. The movement from the centre to the circumference and from the circumference to the centre- you all know that very well-which is, selfishness moving in one direction or in another direction or in various directions is still selfishness. Now the question is: can that centre, which is selfishness, end and not keep on and on and on? Can that end? When that ends, there is no movement of time; that's all. This is a movement of time. There, back to here, from there to there, which we all do-that is what is called time. When that stops, time stops. So when there is no movement of selfishness, there is a totally different kind of movement.
VA: If time stops, space also ends?
K: Not 'if'. Sir, have you done any of this? Have you said, 'Look, can time stop?'? You know what it means? Unless you have done some of it, unless you say, 'Let me find out what time is', it is really meaningless. Time is a movement of becoming, right? 'I am this, I must be that' or 'This is wrong, that should be'-that's a movement of time. To end all that. Have I answered your question, Pupul?
VA: You were saying something about keeping the mind totally empty?
K: Why do you want the mind to be empty? Your mind is occupied now, isn't it?
K: Occupied with something or the other, like a dynamo always moving, moving, moving. Can you stop it? Can the brain itself realize the wastage of this movement and say, 'Yes, that's enough'? Can you do it?
VA: Is the very understanding the dissolution of the centre? I mean, does the centre dissolve?
K: I said that consciousness is its content, the content being worry, fear, sorrow, all the rest of it. The content makes up consciousness. Now, can there be an emptying of the content? And when there is, the mind is empty.
VA: Empty of continuity.
K: No. Empty.
VA: Empty of the contents, yes. But does it have a continuity of the movement of thought?
K: No. When something ends, there is no continuity.
Q1: Something else will continue.
K: No, no! You always want something more. When consciousness is empty of its content, your consciousness, as you know it, is not. That's all.
VA: Consciousness as I know it.
K: What is your consciousness, sir?
VA: What I know.
K: What is it you know?
VA: Just whatever is inside, the content.
K: Be simple, sir. What is it you know?
VA: Whatever I have been taught, what I have been conditioned to.
K: Yes. Suffering, all that is part of your consciousness. Is it possible to empty all that? Not to be attached, not to belong to anything, not to have any conclusion, not to have fear, to end sorrow, all that. Can you do it?
VA: I have been trying.
K: I know. You can't try. Either you are doing it, or you know you have not done it.
VA: I am understanding it.
K: No! Are you doing it?
VA: I am doing it, yes.
K: Which means ending fear.
K: Which means: are you ending fear, or fear still lurks somewhere?
VA: It is lurking somewhere.
K: Therefore pull it out. Pull it out, look at it, watch it, let it grow, flower, and it'll end by itself. Like any flower, if you allow it to grow in the garden, it blooms and lasts for a certain period, and then it withers away. In the same way, can you do that with fear?
VA: I watch every time fear comes.
K: Ah, every time. And then what?
VA: It disappears.
K: Of course. The moment you watch it, it disappears.
VA: It disappears.
K: And then comes again.
VA: Well, there are different aspects to fear, you know.
K: Yes, of course, but the root of fear is obvious. There is only one root. Fear has many branches, but it has one root. So can you uproot that? Can the mind uproot that root and say 'Finished'? And the same with sorrow and all the rest of it. At the end of it if you have no love and compassion, you have to begin all over again because you have missed the boat. Somewhere it went wrong. If there is no love and compassion, you can just as well whistle in the dark. And all these people have no love and compassion. So emptying of the mind is the emptying of consciousness of its content, which is fear and so on. Do it. Which means you have to be aware of every movement of thought, not miss one thought.
VA: There is another question. You feel moments of emptiness, moments when the mind has stopped, and then again the thing continues, the process continues. What is that process? Does it mean that you have not understood the total?
K: Of course.
VA: Or you have not emptied out totally.
VA: But these moments happen and become larger? In those moments of feeling emptiness, the mind stops, and you feel those moments, and then the process of thought starts, and you are back in it again.
K: Forget the moments of emptiness and go on with that.
VA: I see.
K: If you say, 'Well, I like to go back to that emptiness', you are just living in memory.
VA: All right.
K: Please, sir, I am not laying down the law, I am just suggesting.
VA: We just want assurances. We want to be assured that we are in the right process.
K: I will tell you the shortest way. Do you want to know? It is just to observe and end. That is, to observe so that there is no observer, to observe without the past. Then only you see the totality of fear, and that is finished. That is direct, if you can do it.
Chapter 8 - The Central Root of FearDiscussion in New Delhi on 13 November 1972
Pupul Jayakar (PJ): Krishnaji, you said in your talk yesterday(1) that the greatest security in the facing of fear and in the dissolution of fear is intelligence. The problem really is that in a crisis, when fear from the unconscious floods you, where is intelligence, where is the place for intelligence? You have said that intelligence demands the negation of that which comes in its way, it demands listening and seeing. But when one's being is flooded by this uncontrollable fear which has no cause, or which probably has a cause but is not immediately discernible, where is the place for intelligence? How does one deal with those fears because they are the primeval, archetypal fears that lie at the very base of the human psyche? And one of these fears is the destruction of the self.
Questioner 1 (Q1): Or the meaninglessness of the self.
PJ: That we can deal with, but not with the fear of not being.
Krishnamurti (K): We said so yesterday, didn't we? Not being or not becoming.
PJ: And that really is the structure of fear.
K: What is it you are asking? What is it we are talking over or exploring together?
PJ: How does one deal with fear? You have still not answered it. You have talked of intelligence being the greatest security. It is so, but when fear floods you where is intelligence?
K: You are saying that at the moment of a great wave of fear, intelligence is not. How to deal with that wave of fear at that moment? Is that the question?
(1) The Second Public Talk in New Delhi on 12 November 1972
K: Discuss it.
Sunanda Patwardhan (SP): One understands that fear is like the branches of a tree. You know the various things that you are afraid of, and in dealing with them one by one you know why you are afraid, but you are not free from fear. So what is this quality of seeing fear without the branches?
K: Ah no. You're being clever, you are being too clever. He [K] asked, didn't he, do we trim the leaves, the branches, or do we go to the very root of it?
SP: The root of each single branch of fear?
K: No, of fear. Which puts out all these various little branches or the great branches, the trunk-the root, the whole base, the very depth of fear.
SP: You come to it through one, sometimes.
K: Let's find out.
PJ: You may come to it through one, and you may feel you are free, but there are so many fears which you are totally unconscious of.
K: I understand. So you are saying: there are unconscious and conscious fears, and the unconscious fears become extraordinarily strong at moments, and at those moments intelligence isn't in operation. How does one deal with those waves of unconscious, uncontrollable, frightening fears? Is that it?
PJ: Yes. It seems to take a material form. It is a physical thing which overpowers you.
K: Yes, it upsets you neurologically and biologically. I understand. Let's explore.. He said yesterday, didn't he, that fears, conscious or unconscious, deep fears, exist when there is insecurity, when there is deep uncertainty, when there is a sense of loneliness, when there is a feeling of complete abandonment by others, a sense of complete isolation, a sense of not being, a feeling of utter helplessness. These arouse a very deep fear, and at those moments when that deep fear arises, obviously intelligence is not. And we are asking: how do we deal with that uncontrollable, ungovernable, uninvited fear? Is that the question? That's it.
PJ: Of course, however much one might feel that one has faced the fears which are known, unconsciously one is just swamped.
K: I know, I know. That's what we are saying. We are asking, how do you deal with this? I think that consciously one can more or less deal with them. The physical, conscious, everyday fears one can deal with.
PJ: And leave them alone.
K: Leave them alone. Or you know what to do with them, that is, the outskirts of intelligence can deal with them. Yes, quite.
PJ: You can even allow them to flower.
K: To flower and then, in the very flowering of it, there is intelligence. Quite. Now, how do you deal with the other? Why does the unconscious-we will use that word for the time being-hold these fears? Or does the unconscious invite these fears? Does it hold them? Or do they exist in the traditional depths of the unconscious? Or, are they something that it gathers from the environment? There are three things, aren't there? Why does it hold them at all? And are they inherent? There is no such thing as inherent, but we'll use the word. Are the inherited fears part of the unconscious, racial, traditional history of man?
PJ: Inherited genes.
K: Yes. Now, how do you deal with them?
PJ: You spoke of the third one-those gathered from the environment.
K: First of all, let's deal with the first one. Why does the unconscious hold them at all? Why do we regard the unconscious, or the deeper layers of consciousness, as the storehouse of fear, as the residue of fear? Why? Why does the unconscious have these fears? Is it imposed by the culture in which we live? Does the conscious mind, not being able to deal with the fears, push them down, and therefore they remain there? Or is it that the mind with all its content hasn't resolved any of the problems and is frightened of not being able to resolve them? We are examining; I want to find out what is the significance of the unconscious at all. You said these waves of fear come; but they are always there, and in a crisis you become aware of them.
SP: Sir, they are in consciousness. Why do you say they are unconscious and conscious? In consciousness itself there is fear.
K: First of all, consciousness is made up of its content. Without its content there is no consciousness. One of the contents is this basic fear. And the conscious mind never tackles that; it is there, but it never says, 'I must deal with it.' And in moments of crisis, that part of consciousness wakes up and is frightened. Right? It is always there.
PJ: Yes, I would say so, but I don't think it is so simple.
K: No, no, please. I don't say it is so simple. Let's look.
PJ: It is both those: a gathering of the outer environment and the central fear...
K: ...of non-existence.
PJ: Of non-existence.
K: Quite, quite.
PJ: The other fears one has seen, but these get embodied.
K: It's always there.
PJ: Yes, it's always there.
K: Let's be clear on that point. Is it always there? Or is it a part of the cultural inheritance?
PJ: You separate the two, but I don't think it is valid. How do you separate the two? It is always there, and it is a part of the cultural inheritance.
K: I am asking, is it?
PJ: But is there a difference between the two?
K: Yes. One may be born in a culture that does not admit fear.
PJ: There is no such culture.
K: Of course there is no such culture. I am asking myself: is it part of the culture? Or is it inherent in man, as it exists in the animal, as it exists in every living thing-this sense of not being, of being destroyed?
PJ: It's the instinct of self-preservation that takes the form of fear.
K: I understand that.
PJ: But it is not the same as the body I know.
K: No, no. I understand. The whole structure of the self is frightened of not being. That exists in every living thing; even the little ant is afraid of not being. So it goes right through. So we say it is there, it is a part of human existence. And one becomes tremendously aware of it in a crisis. And we are asking, 'How do you deal with it at that moment when this surge of fear comes out?' Is that the question?
K: Why do we wait for the crisis? I'm just asking; I'm not saying we should or should not.
PJ: Because you cannot evoke it.
K: Wait. I'm not sure.
PJ: How does one evoke it? It's a very strong sensation.
K: We are trying to find out. We say it is always there, it's a part of our human structure-biological, psychological; the whole structure is frightened. It's there, as with the tiniest living thing, the minutest cell. Right? Why do we wait for a crisis to come and bring it out? That's a most irrational acceptance of it. I ask, why should I have a crisis to deal with that thing?
PJ: Because otherwise it is non-existent.
SP: How do you say it is non-existent?
PJ: Because it is not obvious.
SP: It comes to me when there is fear with reference to certain things.
PJ: I know how to deal with those.
SP: You only know. If you dealt with them, that is something different.
PJ: One knows how to deal with those. Take the fear of one's own death: one faces it. Look, sir, I am talking from...
K: ...from your own direct experience. Go on.
PJ: I say it is possible to face it with intelligence. It is possible to face other fears with intelligence.
K: Pupul, wait a minute, go slowly. You say you can face these fears intelligently.
K: That's what I am objecting to. I question whether you face them intelligently.
PJ: That's what I want to clarify. Probably what I call 'intelligently' is not...
K: I question whether you can have intelligence before you have resolved fear. You say you can deal intelligently with certain fears; I question it. Intelligence comes only when fear is not. Intelligence is light and fear is darkness. When darkness goes, there is light. You cannot deal with darkness with light. Light exists only when darkness is not.
SP: With light you can't deal with darkness?
PJ: Then there is no darkness to deal with.
K: Exactly! Be simple. So I am questioning it altogether when you say you can deal intelligently with these fears. I say you cannot. You may rationalize them, you may see their nature, avoid them, go beyond them, but that is not intelligence.
PJ: I would say intelligence lies in an awareness of fear arising, in the non-turning away from it, and the dissolution of it. But you say fear would not arise.
Nandini Mehta (NM): I think we never allow it to arise.
K: That's my point.
SP: No. Fear comes. We get knowledge of fear, but it comes again.
NM: It does, but we struggle with it. We don't allow it to flower, so it does not arise.
S. Balasundaram (SB): Would you say that the true dissolution of a fear is the dissolution of all fear?
K: No, sir, no. You see, I am questioning altogether the whole response to a crisis, the response being fear. A crisis is necessary, apparently, to arouse this fear, right? It is there. Then why do you have a crisis, why do you need a crisis if it is there? Why do you need a crisis to awaken it?
PJ: I don't need a crisis.
K: A crisis takes place and this wakes up. A crisis comes and this awakens.
NM: What do you call a crisis? A word, a thought can bring about a crisis.
K: That's what I mean-a word, a gesture, a movement, anything. That's a crisis, I mean that. Not the crisis when my son dies; I don't mean that. A word, a gesture, a look, a thought-those are challenges.
NM: You hear something...
K: Yes, that's implied. That, you say, brings it out. I am asking, why do we wait for it?
NM: Then what do we deal with?
K: We are investigating. You know what that word investigate means? 'To trace out'. Therefore you are tracing it; you are not saying why this, that, the other. You are following it out. I am asking, 'Why do I wait for a crisis-a gesture, a thought, a word, a look, a whisper?' Any of those is a challenge.
NM: No, I don't look for that. The only thing I am aware of is that I am paralysed.
K: Now, when that happens you get paralysed. Why? Therefore, to you, that is necessary.
NM: No, I don't say that. I only come into contact with that.
K: You're missing my point. Why don't you come into contact with it before the challenge?
PJ: We are asking: how to do it?
K: I am doing it, I am going into it. Listen to my question first; you are not listening to my question. You say a crisis awakens this, even a small crisis. A gesture, a word, a whisper, a look, a thought, a letter-we include all that. It's a challenge which awakens this. I say to myself, 'Why shouldn't this awaken without the challenge?' If it is there, it must be awake. It isn't dormant. Or is it dormant? And if it is dormant, why is it dormant? Is the conscious mind frightened of its awakening; therefore it has put it to sleep and refuses to look at it? (We are tracing it, go slowly. We are sending out a rocket, we are tracing a rocket.) Has the conscious mind done that? Is it frightened to look at it and therefore says, 'For God's sake, keep it quiet'? Or is it there, awake, and the conscious mind won't let it flower, come out? That is, if you admit that it is a part of human existence.
PJ: It has no independent existence apart from the stimuli of outer experiences.
K: So you are saying that without the stimuli this is not.
PJ: It is not, to me.
K: I question it. I don't accept the 'to me'. If it is so to you, it must be so to me because I am a human being.
PJ: Outer or inner stimuli-the inner being a thought and the outer being a happening.
K: I don't divide the outer and the inner; it's all one movement.
PJ: That's why I said it has no existence apart from that.
K: You are moving away, Pupul. Forgive me for saying so.
PJ: No, sir. Just look at it. You are asking, 'Why don't you look at it, why don't you face it?'
K: No, I am not saying any of that.
PJ: You did say. You asked, 'Why don't you deal with the crisis?'
SP: Why do you wait for a crisis?
K: That's quite a different matter. You are jumping to conclusions, I am not. Please let's begin again. I say to myself, 'Must I wait for a crisis for this fear to come out?' That's all my question. If it is there, it must come out. Or if it is dormant, why is it dormant? Who has put it to sleep?
NM: It's obvious who has put it to sleep.
K: Is it the conscious mind? Then why does it put it to sleep? Because it can't resolve it. The conscious mind is concerned with resolving it and, not being able to, puts it to sleep, squashes it, holds it down-use any word you like. And the conscious mind is shaken when the crisis takes place and this comes out. Right? So I ask myself, 'Why should the conscious mind suppress it, what right has it?' Why should it do it? Is it because it can't deal with it?
SP: The instrument of the conscious mind is analysis, recognition, which is inadequate to deal with it.
K: It can't deal with it. Because this requires real simplicity, not analysis. It can't deal with it; therefore it puts it to sleep and says, 'I want to avoid it, I won't look at it.'
NM: And in a crisis it bursts.
K: It bursts. But I say, 'Look what you are doing. You are waiting for a crisis to awaken it.' And the conscious mind is all the time avoiding crises. Very cunning it is. Watch it. It is very clever-avoiding, reasoning, rationalizing, running away. We are masters at this game. Therefore I say to myself, 'If it is there, it is awake.' Not that it has not been put to sleep. You can't put to sleep a thing that is inherent, that is a part of our inheritance. The conscious mind thinks it has put it to sleep; therefore the conscious mind is shaken when the crisis takes place. Therefore deal with it differently; that's all my point. Is this not true? My basic fear is of nonexistence, a sense of complete fear of uncertainty, of not being, of dying. Why doesn't the mind bring it out and move with it? Why has it to wait for a crisis?
NM: I do it, I do it little by little.
K: No, I'm not talking of 'little by little'. That's too silly, all that kind of stuff; that's all playing games. Are you lazy, therefore you haven't got the energy to go to the root of it? Am I talking irrationally? Is this irrational?
PJ: It is not irrational, but I am trying to see whether it is valid.
K: I am trying to see if it is valid, too. We say that every living thing is frightened of not being, of not surviving. That is part of our blood, our cells. Our whole being is that-frightened of not being, frightened of dying, frightened of being killed; it's there. So it is a part of us, part of our whole psychological as well as biological structure. And I ask myself, 'Why is any kind of crisis, whether the tiniest challenge or the great challenge, necessary? Why should that become important?' I object to any challenge. I want to be ahead of the challenge, not behind the challenge.
PJ: I am just listening because I cannot participate in what you are saying.
K: What are you talking about? Why can't you? I am going to die, and I am ahead of death when I know I am going to die.
K: Go slowly. I am going to die, and I am now ahead of it intellectually, rationally. I have rationalized, I have intellectualized, all the rest of it; therefore I treat it as if I am ahead, my mind is far ahead of my death. But it is not far ahead; it is far ahead only in thought.
SP: Yes, in thought.
K: Which is not being far ahead.
PJ: Let's take the actuality of this.
K: I am taking the actuality.
PJ: One faces death, and one is a step ahead, and one moves on. Suddenly, at a time not connected with that crisis, this thing uncoils like a snake, and then one suddenly realizes that one was not ahead of it.
K: I understand that. But it is all the result of a challenge, whether it took place yesterday or a year ago or now.
PJ: So the question is: with what instrument, with what energy, from what dimension does one see, and what does one see?
K: I want to be clear about two things: that it is a part of our structure, our inheritance.
PJ: It's the brain cells...
K: Of course. The brain cell, every little thing, the minutest thing, biologically, psychologically, is frightened of not being. And thought says, 'I am not going to look at this thing.' And when the challenge takes place, thought is absent.
PJ: What do you mean 'Thought says it is not going to look at it'?
K: Because I cannot look at it. Thought can rationalize it, it can say yes, it can project, it can reason, it can cunningly analyse it, but...
PJ: How can this very instrument which is brewing it itself realize this?
K: I am coming to it. I am asking you, 'Why does the mind wait for a challenge? Is it necessary?' If you say it is necessary, then you are waiting for it.
PJ: If I say it is not necessary...
K: No, I don't say it's not. I am asking you. You have stated it.
PJ: I say I don't know. I only know that a challenge arises and fear arises.
K: No, no. Challenge awakens the fear. Let's stick to that. And I ask, 'Why do you wait for a challenge for this to awaken?'
PJ: Your question is a paradox.
K: No, it's not.
PJ: Because then you would ask, 'If you do not wait for the challenge, do you evoke the challenge?'
K: No. I am opposed to challenge altogether. You are missing my point.
PJ: But then how do you contact fear?
K: I'm going to show it to you. My mind will not accept challenge at any time. Which means challenge is necessary to awaken, right? I am asleep, and challenge is necessary to wake me up; that's implied. And I say that's a wrong statement.
PJ: But why do you use the word necessary?
K: Otherwise you will be asleep.
PJ: No, sir. I don't say challenge is necessary to wake me up.
K: Therefore you reject challenge.
PJ: That is also not so.
K: So it is awake.
PJ: It is awake and asleep, it is both.
K: What is asleep? The conscious mind? The unconscious? Are the various parts asleep and only some awake?
PJ: When I am awake, I am awake.
K: That's all. If you are awake, no challenge is necessary. Now wait a minute. As we said, it's part of life-that which shouldn't die. That's awake all the time. Right? Is it awake all the time?
PJ: No, not all the time.
K: What do you mean? You are not conscious of it, you don't trace it. You are not aware, but it is there under the carpet all the time. But you don't look at it. It is there!
PJ: Look at what?
K: I said it is under the carpet; lift the carpet and look. And then that simile doesn't hold. It is there; that's all my point. It is there and awake. So, that does not need a challenge to make it awake. Look at it. I am frightened all the time of not being, of dying, of not achieving; you know all that. That is the basic fear of our life, and it is there, awake, always watching, guarding, protecting itself. It's very much awake. It is never a moment asleep.
PJ: Yes, I would accept that.
K: Therefore challenge isn't necessary. What to do, how to do-that comes later. Right? Don't agree, for God's sake.
PJ: That is the fact.
K: Therefore it is awake.
Achyut Patwardhan (AP): In all this you don't accept the factor of inattention?
K: I am not talking of attention. I said it is awake. It's like a snake in the room: it's always there. I may look somewhere, but it's there. So the conscious mind is concerned with how to deal with it, and as it cannot deal with it, it moves away. The conscious mind then gets a challenge to face it, face a living thing. That doesn't need a challenge.
Questioner 2 (Q2): Consciousness will see it.
K: That's it. At last! You're getting this? A conscious mind that has never moved away from it doesn't need a challenge. But the conscious mind that says, 'I can't look; I will read the Gita or the Upanishads, I will go to the office, I will do this, I will do that' has blinded itself against it. So the challenge is necessary there, not to this. Right? I'll be logical. Let's see if it is right.
NM: Really, when you think of it, it is just a thought; we're just caught in that thing. Still we cannot examine that thought. That shadow is in the mind.
K: Go into it, go into it, trace it out, trace it out; don't jump to conclusions. You have jumped to a conclusion. So the mind refuses challenge. The conscious mind says, 'I see this, how absurd. I won't allow challenges to wake me up, I am awake.' You admit challenge, I don't admit challenge. It is not my experience; it is yours if you say 'I will not'-not in an authoritative, affirmative sense. Then the next question is: the conscious mind is awake to it, it is not inviting it, it is there. You can't invite something; it is there. Go step by step, don't conclude at any second. So the conscious mind knows it is there, fully awake. Then what are we going to do next?
PJ: There lies the inadequacy.
K: Ah no, no! You are missing the whole point. It's the conscious mind that is frightened of this.
PJ: But this is the conscious mind.
K: No, no. Just see this. It's the conscious mind that is frightened of this. In itself it is not frightened. The ant is not frightened; if it's squashed, it's squashed. It's the conscious mind that says, 'I am frightened of this, of not being.' I die, I meet with an accident, the aeroplane crashes, then I face the thing. At the moment of death I say, 'Yes, I know now what it means to die.' Therefore there is no fear. It is the conscious mind with all its thoughts that says, 'My God, I am going to die, I will not die, I must not die, I will protect myself, I'll run to Jesus, to somebody; the Gita says that.' That is the thing that is frightened, not this. Look at the ant: it's never frightened. Have you ever watched an ant? It is never frightened because there is nothing to be frightened of. If somebody kills it, it dies.
NM: But, sir, have you ever seen how an ant, when you put a piece of paper in front of it, dodges it?
K: Of course. It wants to survive, but it isn't thinking of surviving. So we come back to that thing: thought creates fear about something which is not afraid, which doesn't know fear. If it is a part of my very living, what is there to be afraid of? It is only thought that says, 'I might die, I am lonely, I am not fulfilled', etc., etc. That means living with death all the time, therefore no fear. Die, die-that is timeless eternity, that is real eternity. It is extraordinary how this fits in, this is right. [Pause] Look, why should I be frightened if it is a part of me, like my nose? Why should I be frightened? If it is a part of me, like my arm, my eyes, my mouth, anything, why should I be frightened? It's only thought that says, 'The nose must be different.' By Jove, how cunning we are! To be completely motionless when that thing comes. When that thing is awake, when the central root of fear is awake, for the mind to be completely still. Any movement is the movement of thought.
PJ: Has it ever happened to you, sir?
K: Many times, several times. Completely still, without any recoil, either accepting or denying it, rationalizing it, escaping from it, belief, reincarnation-nothing, no movement of any kind. Try it. [Pause] We have solved it, got at the root of it, haven't we?
PJ: After this there is nothing more to be said, sir. When the Buddha goes and faces the ultimate fears in the garden, he describes it as: 'Then fear arose and the Buddha kept on, kept on, kept on.'
AP: But the point Krishnaji made today is that in a state of attention you are always ahead of anything becoming a challenge because you are the challenge.
PJ: When the mind is totally still, the challenge is not. Then that thing arrives.
K: Yes, sir!
Chapter 9 - The Chattering MindDiscussion in Bombay on 22 January 1973
Maurice Frydman (MF): I wanted to discuss today a very prosaic thing: the problem of the chattering mind. What makes the mind chatter? When we watch our minds, we see that it is all the time talking, talking, talking to itself like a lunatic. Sometimes it makes some sense, usually it makes no sense at all. And yet on every occasion, as soon as our attention flags, it starts chattering. Where does it get the energy from, and what is the purpose of this chattering? It is a constant occupation of the mind, all the time from morning till night. Every free moment we see it is chattering, murmuring, murmuring all the time.
Pupul Jayakar (PJ): Isn't this its very nature?
MF: That doesn't explain anything to offer any remedy.
PJ: It must operate in order to exist.
MF: We are not initiating it by saying 'It must'. There is no 'must' there; we have thought that there is a 'must'. The amount of time and energy devoted to it makes it a major factor in our life.
Krishnamurti (K): Why does the mind chatter? What is its purpose? Is it a waste of time, a waste of energy?
MF: Obviously it seems to be a waste of energy and time. As I watch the brain, I see that the chattering happens only in the brain; it is a brain activity. Currents flow up and down, but the meaninglessness and purposelessness of all this is distressing. The brain simply wears itself out with its own activities. One can see that it is tiring for one's brain, but it doesn't stop. It's a kind of paralysis.
K: Is this worth pursuing?
PJ: If you take the process of thought as a beginningless, endless process, then whatever comes out, why should one differentiate between the chattering and what we call a movement?
MF: Our awareness, or supposed awareness or attention, is absolutely wasted on it. We are aware of something that has absolutely no meaning. It is an idiotic function of the brain, and our time, our awareness, our attention are really wasted on it. Imagine you are locked up with an idiot: what will you learn? After some time there is nothing more to learn.
S. Balasundaram (SB): Could we take a more inclusive thing perhaps? What is mediocrity, and what is the breaking through of mediocrity? That will include the chattering, include all this.
K: If you are willing to.
MF: You see, there is a great danger in broadening the issue because then we get lost in abstractions, in generalizations. Why not stick with what we are discussing? We give plenty of time to the brain, and that is a kind of disorganized activity of the brain.
K: Yes, sir. Your mind chatters; why?
MF: Because I can't stop it.
K: No, no. Is it a habit? Is it a fear of not being occupied with something?
Achyut Patwardhan (AP): It is an extra-volitional activity.
MF: It looks simply like a kind of automatic activity, like a force in man. It's just going on, there is no fear in it, nothing.
K: You have not understood what I mean. The mind apparently needs to be occupied with something. It happens...
MF: ...to be occupied.
K: Yes. The mind has to be occupied with something.
MF: The mind is occupied all the time.
K: Yes, the mind is occupied with something all the time. And if it is not occupied, it feels vacant, it feels empty, and therefore it resorts to chattering.
MF: I am not sure.
K: I didn't say it does; I am just asking. Is it a habit, or is it a fear of not being occupied?
MF: It is a habit, an ingrained habit.
K: I wonder if it is a habit?
PJ: There is what we call meaningful thinking, directed thinking, thinking which is logical, which is analytical, which is concerned with the solution of various problems. Then it is not a conscious chattering. In the unconscious state there is a continual movement of the mind throwing up reflexes, sounds coming out with all the accumulation of the rubbish over the years, and it keeps on throwing it out, and suddenly you wake up and say, 'My mind is chattering.' We differentiate between these two: what we call meaningful activity and what we call chattering. We give weight to it. Now, in terms of what you are saying, is this weight valid?
K: Do you find your mind chattering?
K: Why is it chattering?
PJ: It chatters.
PJ: I don't think there is a 'why' to it.
K: He wants to find out why it chatters. Has it any value?
Or is it just like water flowing, flowing, flowing?
MF: It is a mental leakage.
K: Same thing, call it what you will; it's just like water running out of the tap.
PJ: When the chattering is a great deal, it indicates to me that my mind is not yet alive.
K: Why do you object to a chattering mind?
MF: Loss of energy, loss of time. It is surely reasonable. Commonsense asks, 'What is going on?'
K: What is the point of it?
MF: What is the point of it? The thing is, awareness doesn't help. Awareness is just like dumping an idiot in a room and having to listen to him. And the awareness says, 'Stop, for heaven's sake, stop', and the idiot says, 'ha, ha, ha'-there is no communication between the two.
PJ: The fact is that we are in the intermediate stage: neither here nor there. And there is not only chattering but the awareness of the chattering. 'Why are we wasting energy?' is also an indication of the intermediate stage.
MF: You may call it an intermediate stage, you may call it anything, but the thing remains. It is an activity of the mind which doesn't yield to awareness.
K: I would leave attention, awareness, for the moment. I am just asking you, 'Why does the mind chatter?' Is it a habit? Or does the mind need to be occupied with something, and when it is not occupied with what it thinks it should be occupied, it calls it chattering. Why should not the occupation also be chattering? I am occupied with my house. You are occupied with your God, with your work, with your business, with your wife, with your sex, with your children, with your property. The mind needs to be occupied with something, and therefore when it is not occupied, it may feel a sense of emptiness, and therefore it chatters. I don't see a problem in this, I don't see a great issue in this. Unless you want to stop chattering-that's quite a different matter.
MF: If the chattering is not distressing, there would be no problem.
K: So it is. You want to stop it, you want to put an end to the chattering. So, that is the question, not 'Why, what for?'
MF: It comes to the same point: can chattering be put an end to?
K: That's it, that's all. Let's be simple. Can the chattering mind come to an end? I don't know what you call chattering.
MF: It is a verbal thing: talking, talking, talking.
K: No. When you are occupied with your business, that is also chattering.
MF: No, not chattering. It is then talking.
K: I want to find out what you call chattering. I say to myself that any occupation-with my self, with my God, with my wife, with my husband, with my children, with my money, property, or position, the whole of that-is chattering. Why exclude all that and say the other is chattering?
PJ: Because it is disjointed.
K: That's it. It has no relationship to your activity.
PJ: It has no relationship to my life, there is no rationality.
K: There is no rationality. It is not related to your daily life, it has nothing to do with your everyday demands, and so it chatters.
PJ: That is what we call chattering. We all know that.
K: I know. We all know that.
PJ: Do you know that?
K: Not quite. Doesn't matter, don't bother about me.
AP: Our normal thinking has coherence to a context.
AP: Chattering is that activity of the mind which has no coherence to any context; therefore we call it meaningless.
K: Is chattering a rest to the mind?
K: Wait, sir, not so quick. You are occupied with your daily work-conscious, rational, irrational, and all the rest of it- and chattering may be a release from all that.
SB: Would chattering bear the same relationship as dream to the waking state?
K: No, I wouldn't put it that way. My muscles have been taut all day and I relax, and chattering may be my form of relaxation. It may be totally irrelevant.
AP: But it dissipates energy.
K: Does it?
AP: Yes. Relaxation means that it should not dissipate energy. Relaxation is that activity or inactivity which comes into being after you have exhausted your energy and you are resting. I wouldn't call something a relaxation if that itself is a drain of energy.
K: So chattering, you say, is a wastage of energy, and you want to put a stop to that.
AP: No, it is not a question of wanting to stop it. There are many cults which give you a japam, and you have to do it. The idea is that the mind that is wasting its energy in chattering should be put to some activity, but that again is a mechanical thing and solves no problems. Now, you don't do it because you see that that kind of activity is useless. Therefore we come back to understanding how this chattering gets going We don't understand it at all. As I said, it is extra-volitional. We just don't know its modus.
K: Would your mind stop chattering if it is full, fully occupied? If the mind is completely full, will there be chattering? I am just asking. I am not saying it will or it will not. If there is no space, or if the whole mind is full of space, will there be chattering? Doesn't matter what phrase, what word you use-space, full, totally empty, or completely without any occupation. Will the mind chatter?
MF: We do not have that experience.
K: No. Or does chattering take place when there is some little space which is not covered? When the room is completely full and has no space, would there be any movement at all which you call chattering? I am trying to put it differently, I am trying to convey something.
MF: It is a hypothetical question. The fact is that there is chattering.
K: It is hypothetical in the sense that our minds are partly occupied, and the unoccupied part is chattering.
MF: It seems so by definition-the occupied mind and the unoccupied mind. If you identify the unoccupied mind...
K: No, I am not identifying anything. I am asking, I am not saying it.
MF: I say it is all tautology, it is the same thing said in another way.
K: Of course it is. I want to find out why the mind chatters. Is it a habit?
MF: It looks like it.
K: It looks like it. Why has the habit arisen?
MF: It is rather that we challenge the thing itself. There is no reason.
K: I don't mind the chattering; why do you object to chattering?
MF: Because it is such a tremendous waste of energy.
K: I am not sure, I am not sure it is a waste.
MF: Since you are beyond the pale, you don't belong to our race.
K: Come off it. [Laughs] MF: Come on. Unless you know something from your own experience, it is like talking to an alien.
K: Look, sir, is it a habit? If it is a habit, then how does that habit come to an end?
MF: That's all.
K: That is the only thing you are concerned with. How does a habit, any habit-smoking, drinking, overeating-come to an end?
MF: It usually comes to an end by looking at it intensely.
K: Will the chattering stop when you look at it intensely?
MF: It doesn't. That is the wonder. Therefore I brought it up.
K: I am not sure it doesn't.
MF: I have shed many bitter tears over it, and it doesn't.
K: Wait, sir. I am not sure it doesn't. If I intensely observe smoking, intensely pay attention to all the movement of smoking, it withers away. So why can't this wither away?
MF: Because this is automatic; smoking is not automatic.
K: It is not automatic. It has become automatic.
MF: Let's not refer to the beginnings. There are no beginnings; I can't trace any beginning to chattering, and also it is peculiarly automatic. It is almost an autonomous shivering of the brain, and I am helpless. I only see the brain shivering, murmuring, and I can't do anything.
K: All non-volitional. Yes, that's what we all agreed upon.
PJ: All systems deal with this peripheral movement of chattering, and even before they get down to anything, they say that first it must end.
MF: We say everything is conducive-concentrating, repeating mantras, bringing in some uniformity, some monotony. You see, this chattering is not monotonous; as a phenomenon it is monotonous, but the content keeps constantly changing.
K: Yes, the content of it changes. Rather interesting.
MF: Sometimes it is boring, sometimes it is interesting.
PJ: It is completely disjointed.
MF: Sometimes a very weird trend affects us.
K: Oh yes, oh yes.
PJ: But the basic question is that as long as the thinking process fills consciousness, and is the major operation of consciousness, as long as you have directed thinking and chattering, I do not think it is possible to get rid of one and keep the other.
AP: There is another approach to this: our minds function at different levels, and chattering is that movement in which all these levels get jumbled up.
PJ: I don't think so, I don't think the levels get jumbled up. The conscious movement of thinking is when the thinker draws on thought to build a premise and then moves from there logically, reasonably, to find a solution. In the field of the irrational, in chattering, many things take place which the rational mind does not understand. But I was wondering whether the two are not counterparts of each other and whether one can exist without the other.
SB: We object to chattering, but apparently we don't object to directed occupation.
PJ: That's what I am saying. It is not a question of 'object to'. I say that as long as this is there, the other will be there.
AP: I question that.
PJ: Let's discuss it. I wonder whether this is not a reflex of the other.
SB: The mind knows directed occupation. It also apparently knows chattering, non-directional chattering. Does such a mind know space or emptiness?
PJ: Don't put it that way.
SB: No. Because Krishnaji brought in space.
K: Go ahead, I was trying to feel it around.
PJ: Don't put it that way. If one exists, the other will exist. That is what I would like to go into.
AP: I question that because I say it is possible for a person to be efficient in the doing of any single job to which he is directed. That is directed activity. Now you say that any person who is capable of directed activity must also have the lunatic fringe of chattering all the time.
PJ: No, that is not what I said. Directed activity does not mean only the activity concerned with pure technological function; there is also the whole psychological activity which is directed. As long as the psychological, emotional activity is directed, the other remains.
P. Y. Deshpande (PYD): I think the mind works like a mirror, reflecting all our involvements, the objective as well as the psychological, the present as well as the past, which is deep down in our consciousness. Unless we direct our attention to it, we will be chattering.
K: How do you stop it? That is what he is interested in.
PJ: Achyutji seems to say it is possible that there can be a state of directed thinking both at the functional level and at the psychological level minus the chattering.
AP: No. What I say is that that is activity; I know how it arises, I know its source, I know its ending.
PJ: If it is a directed activity, do I really know its source?
AP: That is how the centre sustains itself; that is the centre.
PJ: This is what I surmise when I want to explore and find the root of that, but I find neither the root nor the source.
PYD: We are dividing the natural flow of the mind as chattering and non-chattering. Why should we?
K: He says chattering is a waste of energy.
PYD: Why should we say it, how do we know?
K: Oh, yes. We can know that it is so irrational, illogical, sloppy; you know all that.
PYD: But do we not know that the entire rational effort ends up in nothing? Both are equally right or wrong; why choose?
MF: To me there are two movements of the mind: intended and non-intended. I have no quarrel with the intended movement. My quarrel is with the non-intended movement.
K: That's what we have said. Put it in ten different ways.
MF: Can I do away with the non-intended movement?
K: That is all he is concerned with. He asks, 'Can I stop chattering?' Full stop. How would you set about?
MF: I set about it in the most stupid way; I take up a book or listen to music-help from outside.
K: No, that is going off again. I won't do that. I won't turn to anything to stop chattering, and I want to stop it because I see it is an irrational flow of thoughts without any meaning. Right? Now, how is it to come to an end?
MF: All I can do is to look at the question.
K: But it will return later.
MF: As long as I look at the question, the chattering stops.
K: But it will return later, so I want to stop it...
MF: ...for good.
K: For good. Now, how am I to do it? So instead of being occupied with a directed, intended movement, I am now occupied with stopping chattering.
SB: Sir, I don't object to being occupied with money, with something else.
K: That's it.
SB: With a hundred different things. I say it is all right. But I say, 'Why does this blessed mind chatter? I want to stop that.'
K: I put that question right at the beginning. I want to stop chattering, and I see it is a wastage of energy. What am I to do? How am I to stop it for good?
MF: I just don't know how to stop anything for good.
K: All right. For the time being, for a couple of days-put it any way you like. How am I to stop it? How will it come to an end?
PJ: I feel that as long as you are looking at any process of the mind, whether it is directed action or non-directed action, you are trapped. I don't think you can improve the chattering. I don't think there can be any action.
K: Why do you object to chattering? You say you are wasting energy, but you are wasting energy in ten different directions.
PJ: Tomorrow, you have an abstract painting, or a poem or music which is totally disjointed.
K: I know.
PJ: If you lived twenty, thirty years ago, it would have had no meaning at all. But if you listen to it in a different way...
K: But now also this has no meaning.
PJ: So the whole thing has no meaning.
AP: This is an oversimplification.
K: Sir, I don't object to my mind chattering. I don't mind wasting a little bit of energy because I am wasting energy in so many directions. So why do I object to chattering?
MF: The other direction has my approval.
K: So you really disapprove of wasting of energy of a particular kind. But I object to wasting energy in any direction.
MF: That is a questionable point: what is a waste of energy and what is not?
K: That's what we are coming to.
MF: Is breathing a waste of energy? Breathing is going on constantly.
PJ: Is chattering a waste of energy or the mind saying 'I do not want it to chatter'?
K: I asked that, I asked that.
AP: I would also like to make sure we are not shirking a very difficult problem by these facile answers.
PJ: I don't say we have solved the problem.
AP: No, I just want to make sure.
PJ: There are two ways of looking at it. One is to say that I have solved the problem. I'm not making any such statement because the problem is much vaster. But out of this whole process of thinking, which is the basis of word- formation out of the brain cells, why does one differentiate between the directed and the non-directed?
K: I don't object to it.
PJ: That's all I am saying.
K: Frydman objects to that.
MF: Maybe you don't have the same experience as I have. In my case, whenever I am in a state of chattering, there is what you call in French angoisse.
K: Angoisse, yes. Anxiety.
MF: No, not anxiety. Something verging on despair.
PJ: I know it in a big measure. Don't let us fool ourselves. We all know it.
MF: We all know it. As if I am cracked.
K: I don't get this, sir.
MF: I am cracked. I just chatter, and I just turn from side to side, but there is chattering going on, and it catches me totally unawares.
K: Sir, let's stick to one thing at a time. You say it is a wastage of energy. We waste energy in so many other ways. Why do you object to this?
MF: It is a most unpleasant waste of energy.
K: So we come back. We would like to be logical in this- you don't want the unpleasant waste of energy, but you would rather have it pleasantly.
MF: Of course.
K: So you are objecting to the waste of energy that is unpleasant.
AP: Also, I assume responsibility for those directions of waste of energy which I feel have some known purpose, some known motive, because there I am at least in a position to understand my motive and see how energy is wasted in that direction. But when I can't even find the motive, then I don't know how to cope with it.
K: You see, this is repeating the same thing in ten different ways. I don't see why you are making a problem of it.
PJ: When I have a great problem in my mind, and my mind is thinking about it, even logically and in a directed manner, my mind is full of the problem, I am filled with that problem. Then my mind is full of chattering.
K: You see, I would approach the problem differently. I am not concerned with whether my mind chatters or not. Whether there is a movement directed or not directed, intended or not intended, what is important is a mind that is very steady, rock-steady. And then the problem doesn't exist-all right, let it chatter. And it's like...
MF: ...the ocean not affected by the waves.
K: Yes, a step behind it.
PJ: Do you think in word-formation in the mind, or are you aware and you speak? I would like to know.
K: Wait, hold on to that question. I would approach the question, tackle it, quite differently. If the mind is completely rock-steady, then somebody spilling water over it, a bird passing over it, or a bird making a mess on the top-you brush it off. The thing is that and not the other.
MF: I know my mind only on the surface; whether it is deep or not, I don't know.
K: I understand, sir. I said that is the way I would approach it. I don't say you should approach it that way. If I have a problem of that kind, I would approach it, find out if my mind is rock-steady. And a little wave, a little rain, a little movement doesn't matter. But you are approaching it-I am not saying you are wrong and I am right-from the point of trying to stop wastage of energy, irrational wastage, unintended wastage. And I say unintended or intended wastage is taking place all round you all the time. So, to me, the problem is very simple: is the mind totally steady?
MF: From some previous life I brought a boon that whenever I say Om, the mind stops.
K: All right.
MF: Am I to go on repeating Om?
K: Yes, if you like it. You see, that is so trivial, all this.
MF: I know that it is too silly, but what am I to do? How to stop it?
K: I am telling you. I would approach it in a totally different way. I know the mind chatters, I know there is wastage of energy in so many directions, intended, not intended, conscious, unconscious. I say leave it alone, don't be so terribly concerned about it, look at it in a different way.
MF: Which is, dive, dive under the waves.
K: Dive, get rock.
MF: Yes, go to the rocks, go to the bottom of the sea. Sit like a whale, go deep down and sit there.
PJ: I want to ask you a question...
K: ...which is different.
PJ: It is related.
K: Go on, I don't know if it is related.
PJ: Does your mind...
K: Whose mind?
PJ: Your mind.
K: Oh, my Lord!
PJ: ...operate in thought at all, in thought and word- formation moving across the mind?
PJ: Do your brain cells spin out words, which is the chattering mind?
MF: As I look at you, as a body, I say here is a man who is completely empty. He doesn't know what he is going to say next, but he says something, and it makes sense, it comes together, it rolls out. But, poor man, if you ask him now what his next sentence will be, he doesn't know.
K: I quite agree.
PJ: So your consciousness is really empty.
MF: He is just watching himself, watching; that's all, that's my feeling.
K: This doesn't lead us very far.
PJ: It gives us an indication.
K: This doesn't lead us very far, let's drop it. Go to some other thing-mediocrity.
SB: You approach the issue from two different positions. One: you say, 'Look at this fragmentation, look at what happens.' Then you suddenly take a jump and say, 'Leave it. Is there a mind that is imperturbable? Is there a state?'
K: Yes, I'll say yes.
SB: You say you look at this, and you also drop it, and you ask, 'Is there the other?'
K: I don't think the problem of chattering will be stopped the other way.
SB: What is the relationship between the two?
K: I don't think it has any.
SB: What is the relationship of the two approaches? Not the relationship of these two. You say, 'Look at the fragmentation, look at your chattering, the wastage of energy', and you ask, 'Is there a state?'
K: Yes. The mind is chattering, and we have discussed it for half an hour, talked about it from different points.
SB: The mind still goes at it fragmentarily.
K: Yes. Fragmentary and wanting to resolve the problem, resolve by looking at it. And I listen to it all and say this does not seem to answer it, it doesn't seem to complete the picture. Therefore I wait, I listen, watch, and I say, 'By Jove, there is a different approach.' Maybe. The mind is so unsteady, it hasn't got deep roots of in-depth steadiness, therefore it chatters. So, that may be it. You follow? From the observation of what is, I haven't jumped. It looks like jumping, but I have watched it. This morning I said we are tackling this...
SB: You haven't jumped. We dealt with the part in ourselves.
K: That's it.
SB: Whereas you have suddenly collected the whole.
K: Yes, I feel that way. You see, that's the way I would operate. If my mind was chattering, I'd say, 'Yes, it is chattering, I know it is a wastage of energy' and this and that and the other. I look at it, and some other factor comes into it-the factor that my mind is not steady at all. So I would pursue that rather than the chattering.
SB: Does the demand...?
K: The demand creates it. No, no, I must be very careful. I won't even use that word demand. Sorry, I'll cut out all that I said.
SB: It is like if you have a pail of mercury and you spill it, the droplets are all over the place. Sometimes it looks as though one is like that.
PJ: When you talked of the pillar of the mind, of the pillar of stability, silence, depth, endless depth, you said that if the mind chatters, you would pursue it.
K: Right. That would be my concern, not my chattering.
PJ: That would be your concern. Now, how do you tackle that?
K: Yes. Let's discuss that.
SB: Sir, you would have tackled it instantly. How would you have tackled it?
PJ: How do you do that? It is not that you have no problems; you must have problems.
K: About chattering?
PJ: Not chattering, but other problems. It all comes from the same thing.
K: Wait. Let's take chattering.
MF: The question is: will the knowledge of diving below the level of chattering solve my problem?
K: Ah, no. Not diving. You are off, you are off.
MF: Then what?
K: Chattering takes place when the mind is not completely steady.
MF: There is no question about it.
K: Therefore I am not going to concern myself with chattering.
MF: It will be only added to the chattering I already have.
K: No, no.
MF: The mind starts chattering about stillness.
K: No, no. I see that as long as the mind is not steady, there must be chattering. So I am not concerned about the chattering. I am going to find out what is the feeling and the quality of a mind that is completely rooted, steady. That's all. I have moved away from that.
MF: You have moved away from what is to what is not.
K: No, no! I have not moved away to what is not. I know my mind chatters. I know it is an irrational, involuntary, unintended wastage of energy. And I also know I am wasting energy in so many different ways. To gather all the wastage of energy is impossible. As Balasundaram said, I spill mercury and there are a hundred little droplets all over the place; I can't go on collecting them because it is another waste of time. So I say there may be a different way which is, the mind, not being steady, chatters. So my inquiry now is: what is the nature and structure of the steadiness?
MF: The steadiness is still verbal.
K: I don't know it, I don't know it.
MF: I hear the word steadiness.
K: I understand all that. I don't know it. I am going to inquire, I am going to come to it, find out.
MF: Verbally it is the opposite of restlessness. Full stop. If my mind is chattering, it is the opposite.
K: No. I don't think it is the opposite.
MF: Then I begin there.
K: Right. You say steadiness is the opposite of restlessness. And I say steadiness is not the opposite of restlessness because the opposite always contains its own opposite; therefore it is not the opposite.
MF: All right. An escape from restlessness.
K: It is not an escape. I started out chattering, and I see the wastage of energy, and I also see wastage of energy in so many ways. I cannot collect all these wastages and make them whole. So I leave that problem. I say, 'Yes, I know, I understand it.' It may be that the chattering goes on, and the wastage will go on in different directions as long as the mind is not rock-steady. That is not a verbal statement; it is an understanding of a state that has come into being by discarding the inquiry into how to collect the wastage. So it is not a verbal statement-anymore than about the spilt mercury.
MF: And I stop. I must stop wasting, otherwise I am only at the verbal level.
K: I am not concerned about the wastage of energy.
MF: Then I am purely on the level of just understanding that when there is the rock-steady state of the mind, there will be no wastage.
K: No, no, no.
SB: There is always this problem that the negative is transformed into the positive by the mind. The negative doesn't naturally transform itself into the positive.
K: I don't know, I am not bothered about it, but he is.
PJ: But you also say that that will be your concern.
SB: I feel this way: when he says that the negative is the positive, the negative observation is instantly the positive. The negative goes through this process.
K: That is, now my attention is directed in a different direction. Instead of it being directed at how to stop the wastage, it is now directed to the understanding of what it means to be steady.
SB: But it is not a mental direction.
K: No, no, of course not.
SB: It is not a verbal or a mental or a thought-of direction.
K: I think that is really quite important: what is the nature of a steady mind? Can we discuss that? I think that would be good. Not a verbal description of the steady mind.
MF: Are you talking about the momentarily steady or the permanent?
K: Ah no, no. You see, I don't like the word permanent.
MF: Is it a guest or a host?
K: Oh, my Lord, no. [Laughs]
PJ: What is the nature of a steady mind?
K: Don't you know it?
MF: By your grace we all know it. I have the taste of it.
K: No. Cut me out!
PJ: I would say that, but that still will not stop the chattering.
K: You see, he said the sea is very deep, and it is very steady down below; a few waves on top, or a flood or wind that passes by-don't care. And if you care, then you remain there.
PJ: When you find yourself remaining there, then the only thing is to see that you are there.
K: Or discover that you are there. And you see that and discard it. Don't let's make a lot of fuss about it. As Balasundaram pointed out, the negation instantly becomes the positive when you see it; the false becomes the true instantly. That's it.
MF: Krishnaji, imagine that you have got the habit of smoking. Would you just leave it like that, or would you fight it?
K: No, I wouldn't fight it.
MF: You would smoke to your heart's content?
K: No, I wouldn't smoke to my heart's content. First of all, the doctor tells me, 'It is very bad for you, you are going to get cancer in your lungs, stop it.' The body has got the nicotine habit; that is one thing. It is going to fight, it is going to demand it. But the mind has said 'No more'. Because the doctor said don't, I have listened to him; therefore it is finished. So now I say to the body, 'I know you are going to fight, I am going to watch it. I have poisoned you by the stupid habit, now we will see how that poison can be worked out.' I am not going to fight it.
MF: Because there is no part of your mind which wants the pleasure of smoking.
K: No. There is no part of my mind which hasn't totally listened.
MF: But that which made you like smoking is strong.
K: Because of my stupid habit.
MF: The liking is there. The pleasure of smoking is a living thing; it is not a dead thing.
K: No. The pleasure stopped instantly when the doctor said no.
MF: Then you are a born different man.
K: I do it that way.
MF: Yes, but that is not our state.
PJ: With smoking or any such habit, it can happen just like that. But the chattering mind is not of the same kind.
K: I know. He brought it up. We dealt with chattering; don't let us go back to that. He asked, 'How would you deal with the habit of smoking if you had it?' If I had it, and if I read an advertisement that says smoking is dangerous, that it affects your lungs, and that you might have cancer, that is enough. But you say it is not so. I say it's gone.
MF: Because you have a very strong instinct of self- preservation, you are like that.
K: I think, that is the only way.
MF: Congratulations. [Laughter]
K: After all, you eat raw food and all that; that's self- preservation.
MF: You don't act out of fear?
K: No, I don't act out of fear. I see it is a dangerous thing, it is finished. I see nationalism is a dangerous thing, it is finished.
MF: You are a specimen of the next humanity, not of this humanity.
Q: Is the seeing the steady state, the rock state?
K: Yes. Seeing is the rock. Or hearing.
Chapter 10 - On Disorder, Sleep, and DreamsDiscussion in Bombay on 24 January 1973
Pupul Jayakar (PJ): Sir, I wondered whether we could discuss the nature and elements of consciousness. We have done it several times in the past, but we still do not seem to have got a comprehension of its relationship to the brain cells and the thymus, and I wondered whether we could take up the traditional, orthodox point of view on consciousness and investigate it.
Krishnamurti (K): What is the traditional point of view about consciousness?
P.Y.Deshpande (PYD): In Vedanta, according to their view of Advaita, or non-dualism, ignorance is defined as timeless or beginningless conditioned consciousness. And unless one is free from it, there is no perception of truth.
Achyut Patwardhan (AP): But what is their definition of consciousness? Can you translate that?
Questioner 1(Q1): In Vedanta, consciousness is the real self; that is, man is consciousness. Because of his memory, he has developed a mind, which is called chitta. And when he acts through the chitta, with the help of the mind, he acts in the material world and is dragged along. If he removes it he remains that consciousness and he finds the truth.
Maurice Frydman (MF): According to Buddhists, there is only a succession of states, and the blur that the succession creates is called consciousness. There is no such thing as consciousness; there are many conscious states, and they are momentary, and they just occur. A moment of consciousness arises, disappears, another moment arises, disappears. But they leave a memory, and that creates the blur, and you think there is a continuity in consciousness.
K: Can we forget for the moment the traditional approach, the conceptual approach to all these issues? What actually is consciousness?
Sunanda Patwardhan (SP): You have often said that the content of consciousness is consciousness.
K: Yes. You have understood that? The content of consciousness is consciousness.
SP: If we look at the content of consciousness, we are aware of consciousness always in the context of a certain situation. For instance, take the housewife's consciousness; it is limited. If you take another person's consciousness, his may be larger, extended, but it is only spatially extended but not qualitatively different. In the same way, in terms of time also, from the time of Attila to Stalin and Nixon, man's consciousness does not seem to have changed...
SP: ...radically. So in spatial expression as well as time expression it seems as though consciousness is...
SP: Then there is another factor: that is, your waking consciousness is also a part of consciousness. You have a dream, and you say you had a dream. You recognize the dream, you remember the dream-that is also a part of consciousness which says, 'I have dreamt.' Then there is deep sleep where there is no disturbance. We come out of that sleep, and we say we had a good sleep. Now, what you remember of deep-sleep consciousness is also a part of consciousness. Then there is our modern, scientific Jungian approach-the conscious and the unconscious. All these seem to be the totality of consciousness. We find that any movement in any direction is still limited; however extended it may be, it is based in that consciousness. The Vedantins seem to postulate an unconditioned, untouched, uncontaminated consciousness inherent in man, and it is memory and emergence of thought which disturb that. If you are aware of thought emerging, it dissolves into this, and what then remains is only the consciousness that is untouched. We would like to know whether there is any quality different from this circle in which we are moving.
AP: The Vedantic or any other position cannot have any relevance to our personal experience, knowledge, comprehension. It becomes speculative, therefore we must rule it out.
SP: Don't say we must rule it out.
AP: I rule it out. Anything that I don't experience I rule out for the moment. I have to say I know nothing about it. I must be very firm and say I will not accept anything second-hand. Technology may have brought the housewife consciousness into the consciousness of the United Nations person who is dealing with crises, but then there is no qualitative difference. The content of all that still seems to be limited to the ego-process. Now, is there anything beyond this? That is the question, and we will ask only that.
SP: All these three states are contained in deep sleep too. Do you remember consciousness in sleep? They seem to postulate some entity which is beyond these three, which is untouched. Am I right?
AP: I will say we don't see it.
MF: How can consciousness cognize something outside consciousness? We want to know something outside consciousness. How can it be known?
AP: I don't know. I see this and ask, is that all?
SP: We must try to see the whole nature of consciousness.
MF: All this talk about beyond the mind, beyond consciousness...
K: No, sir. Scientists are saying-that's what Sunanda is trying to say-there is the whole movement of consciousness: dreams, deep sleep, in the housewife, in the technological field-it is all within that consciousness, both horizontal and vertical. You can accumulate knowledge horizontally and so on. And scientists are asking-they have asked me before; this is not the first time-is there any mind which is unconditioned? Not that they postulate there is or there is not; they ask, is there? And that is the inquiry, right?
MF: That is a different question.
K: That is the question, sir. That is the only question. Let's begin. What is duality? Does duality exist at all?
PYD: Of course it exists.
K: Wait, I want to question that. I know nothing-Vedanta or Advaita or science, nothing. We start with not knowing the assumptions of others, which are second-hand, third- hand; wipe them all out. Is there duality? Of course there is woman-man, light-darkness, tall-short. Apart from the factual duality, is there any other duality? I want to find out if there is psychological duality. There is obvious duality outwardly: tall tree, short tree, different colours, different materials, and so on. There is only what is, and because we are not able to solve what is, we invent the what should be. So there is duality that way. From the idea, the fact, the what is, there is an abstraction of the ideal, the what should be, the Aristotelian idea of perfection, and so on. But there is only what is.
PYD: They say what is is dual.
K: I know only what is and not what should be.
PJ: What is, to me, is duality.
K: No. We are conditioned to duality, we are educated to duality, we function psychologically in duality.
SP: Even there the starting point is a dualistic position. It may be due to conditioning, it may be due to many factors.
K: That is a fact. That is what I want to investigate first- whether this dualistic attitude towards life has come into being because the mind hasn't been able to actually solve what is.
SP: What is the nature of the what is you are talking about?
K: That's what I want to get at. If I can understand what is, why should there be a duality at all?
SP: What is the instrument with which I understand what is?
K: That's a wrong question.
S. Balasundaram (SB): Does the problem arise because there is no contact with what is?
K: That's what I want to find out.
SB: Duality is postulated through very little contact with what is.
K: Let me put it the other way round. What is duality? Is duality a measurement?
PJ: Duality is the sense of the 'I' as separate from the 'you'.
K: All right. The 'I' and the 'not I' is the basic cause of duality. Now, what is the 'I' that says, 'You are different'? What is the 'I'?
PJ: When you ask that question and I start observing the movements of the 'I', I find that it is not something as factual as the chair or the table or the body. In itself it has no existence.
K: May I say something which may sound absurd? There is no duality for me. There is woman-man, dark-light-we are not talking of that kind of duality. Duality exists only as the 'I' and the 'not I', the space between the 'I' and the 'you', the centre as the 'I' and the centre as the 'you'. The centre as the 'I' looks at 'you', and there is a distance between the 'I' and the 'you'. The distance can be expanded or narrowed down. This process is consciousness, right? I want to be clear, don't agree to this.
PJ: This is the consciousness of everyday life.
SB: This distance encloses consciousness.
K: Yes. Distance is consciousness.
PYD: Distance is in consciousness.
K: No, no. There is physical distance between you and me sitting here. Then there is the distance the mind creates, which is the 'I' and the 'you'. The 'I' and the 'you' and the distance is consciousness.
PYD: You distinguish between the physical and the psychological.
K: No. I don't want to, for the moment.
SP: If you ask, 'What is that "I"?' it is not a concrete entity.
K: No, I am not inquiring into who is the 'I'.
SP: We started with duality, the 'I' and the 'not I'. And then he spoke of space between the 'I' as the centre and the other centre.
K: The space between this centre and that centre, the movement between this centre and that centre-vertical, horizontal, added, taken away-all that is consciousness.
PJ: Is that all?
K: I am just beginning.
AP: You have suggested two centres-this centre when it comes across another centre...
K: There is only this centre. The other centre is invented by this centre.
AP: I don't say that. I say that even without the other centre, the distance comes.
K: If I have no centre, there is no other centre. Now, I want to question the whole structure of duality; I don't accept it. We have accepted it; our philosophy, our judgement, everything is based on the 'I' and the 'not I' and all the complications arising out of it. The 'I' is the only centre; from there the 'not I' arises, and the relationship between the 'I' and the 'not I', because they are divided, is inevitably conflict. So there is only this centre, from which arises the other centre, the 'you'. I think that is fairly clear, at least for me. Don't accept it.
MF: How does this centre arise?
K: Because I have this centre, I create the other.
MF: No. Your centre.
K: I am coming to that, I don't want to answer that yet. Then there is the question of sleep. In the waking state, the centre creates the other centre. In that, the whole problem of relationship arises, and therefore duality arises, the conflict, the overcoming of duality, the battle, and so on. It is the centre that creates all this.
Questioner 2 (Q2): The centre is part of the self.
K: We are going to find out. Don't yet begin to define what the centre is. So I see that because in the waking state there is a centre, its relationship will always be divided. Division is space, is time, and where there is time and space as a division, there must inevitably be conflict. That's simple, clear, at least for me. I am not thrusting it upon you. So I see that during the waking time this goes on all the time- adjustment, comparison, violence, imitation, all that. And the centre goes to sleep, and the centre maintains this division even when it sleeps.
PJ: The centre is the division.
K: Therefore it is maintaining it.
S.W.Sundaram (SWS): What do you mean when you say that the centre goes to sleep?
K: I go to sleep physically, shut my eyes and go off.
SWS: Physically yes, but can it go to sleep psychologically?
K: We don't know what that state is. We are going to investigate.
SP: In waking consciousness we see the person who is undergoing this experience.
K: The experiencer is the centre. The centre is memory, the centre is knowledge, the centre is always the past. It may project into the future, but it still has its roots in the past.
PYD: The centre feels it is the present. I don't know the past or the future.
K: But it is the centre.
PYD: I'm a centre, I don't know the past or the future.
K: No, no. You would never say you don't know the past. You can never say you don't know the past if you have a centre.
AP: You are the past as well as the present.
PYD: So far as my identity is concerned, the past and the future are only accretions; I have nothing to do with that. I am the present.
AP: You are the child of the past. You are the heir to everything that is your past.
PYD: That is a hypothesis.
AP: It is not a hypothesis.
PYD: No, it is a hypothesis. Why should I accept the past? I don't know.
K: Sir, the language you are speaking now, English, is the result of the past.
PYD: That is a theory. I don't know the past, I don't know the future; that is my position.
K: Just a minute, sir. You speak English.
K: That's an accretion.
K: What is the centre that accretes?
PYD: I call it the 'I', but I don't know.
K: That's all.
PYD: That centre I call the 'I'.
K: So the centre which has accumulated is the 'I'. Who is the centre that is accumulating? Is there a centre without accumulation?-language, knowledge, experience; having seen me yesterday, you will see me tomorrow if nothing happens. Is the centre different from the thing it has accumulated?
PYD: I can't answer that.
MF: Is there consciousness without accumulation?
K: We said the content of consciousness is consciousness. There is no consciousness if there is no accumulation.
MF: You have not said it.
K: I have said it.
SP: We started with it.
K: We started with it.
MF: The content of consciousness is consciousness. That means when there is no content there is no consciousness.
K: That is what it means.
MF: So it means that there is a non-dual consciousness.
K: No, no. That is a speculation. Stick to what we started out with. Consciousness is its content. The content is consciousness. This is an absolute fact.
MF: All right, accepted.
AP: At any given time this 'I' is not able to command the whole field of consciousness as its purview of perception. I don't see the whole field.
K: Because there is a centre. Where there is a centre, there is fragmentation.
PJ: So the 'I' is operational only through a process of thinking, which is fragmentary.
K: That is all.
AP: What I thought was that the content of consciousness has to be a part of my field of perception.
PJ: Why should it be? It is not so. If it were part of my perception that the whole content of consciousness is consciousness and that there is nothing else, then I would rest with my consciousness. The fact is I sit in front of you and say, 'Show me the way.' You may keep on saying that the moment we ask the way, we will never know the way, but still we ask you, 'Show me the way.'
SP: Pupul, the first point you made was that if we respond to anything it is only a fragmentary response; it is not the total consciousness with which we respond. Now, that is what we are not clear about.
K: That's what we are inquiring into, that's what I am saying. As long as there is a centre, there must be fragmentation, and the fragmentation is the 'me' and the 'you' and the conflict in that relationship.
SP: Are this centre and consciousness equated or felt as a fragment of the total consciousness?
K: The centre is the content of consciousness.
SP: Any response from that is fragmented.
K: Of course. The content of consciousness is consciousness; that is irrefutable. The centre is the maker of fragments. The centre becomes aware of the fragments when the fragments are agitated or in action; otherwise it is not conscious of the other fragments. The centre is the observer of the fragments. The centre separates itself from the fragments. The centre doesn't identify itself with the fragments. So there is always the observer and the observed, the thinker and the thought, the experiencer and the experienced. So the centre is the maker of fragments, and the centre tries to gather the fragments together and go beyond. One of the fragments is sleep. And one of the fragments is keeping awake. In the state of keeping awake, there is disorder. Conflict is disorder. During sleep, the brain cells try to bring order because they can't function effectively in disorder.
AP: This particular statement would have no validity in terms of our experience.
K: Naturally not. But I will show you in a minute how it operates. I am sure it operates with you. First see what I am saying. The centre is the source of fragmentation and therefore the source of disorder. During the waking hours, as we know in our relationships, there is contradiction, disorder, wrangles, the 'you' and the 'not you'; all that takes place vertically, horizontally, etc. The brain demands order; that is a fact. Like with a child, it must have order. Order is security. You follow all this?
K: Then you go to sleep. The brain wants order, and so it takes stock. Before you sleep, you take stock of the movement of the day, don't you? Or do you just drop off to sleep? You take stock: you say, 'Well, I should have done this, I should have said that.' You may not do it just before you sleep; you may do it during the day; which is, you try to establish order. So, during the waking hours, the centre creates disorder, and sleep is again the continuation of the disorder. This is obvious. No?
AP: We don't know.
K: Wait, I will show it to you. If you had order, complete order during the day-order in the sense, not imposed order, not suppressed and all the rest of it-the brain would have a complete sense of security, because order is security. Right?
MF: Would there be no need for sleep then?
K: No, I am talking about dreams. What are dreams?
SP: When you say the brain tries to bring about order, is that a dualistic process? Is it a non-dualistic process? Who does it?
K: The brain cells demand order, otherwise they can't function. There is no dualistic approach in this.
SP: So brain cells are different from the centre?
K: Quite right, quite right. During the day there is disorder because the centre is there. The centre is the cause of fragmentation. Fragmentation it knows only through the fragments. It is not conscious of the total fragments; therefore it has no order. And therefore it lives in disorder; it is disorder. Though it says, 'I must experience order', it is living in disorder, living in confusion. It can't do anything else but create disorder because it functions only in fragmentation. Right?
AP: Yes, it is so.
K: Now, the brain cells need order, otherwise they become neurotic, destructive; that is a fact. The brain cells are always demanding order, and the centre is always creating fragmentation. See what is taking place.
Q1: You used the words brain cells. Is it a physical form?
K: Of course, the cells are physical.
Q1: Then the brain cell itself does not become neurotic.
K: I must go very, very slowly into this. See what has taken place in the physical organism. The brain cells need order; this order is denied when there is a centre because the centre is always creating division, conflict, destruction, and all the rest of it, which is a denial of security, denial of order. There is no duality. This process is going on, and the brain says, 'Please, I must have order.' That's not a duality.
AP: They are two independent processes.
K: That is not a duality. No. I won't even say 'independent'.
PJ: I feel we are going off, moving away from the thing which is tangible to us.
K: This is very tangible.
PJ: It is not tangible.
K: What do you mean it is not tangible?
PJ: The brain cells seeking order is not tangible.
K: I will show it to you in a minute. Go slowly.
SP: The whole physical world, in spite of chaos, keeps an order. It is the very nature of the universe to maintain order. This may be of the nature of that.
PJ: Science has discovered a whole new sense of time, but it is not a real thing with us. The brain cells seeking order is not a real thing with us.
K: I am not sure when you say it is not seeking order.
PJ: It may be. Instead of going from fact to fact...
K: I am moving only from fact to fact. You have said it, and we both see the point: where there is a centre there must be conflict, there must be fragmentation, there must be every form of division between the 'you' and the 'me'. The centre is creating this division. Right. How do you know?
PJ: Because I have observed it in me.
K: Verbally or factually?
K: Now wait. The centre is the maker of fragments. The centre is the fragment. This whole field, we just now said, is disorder. How are you aware of this disorder?
PJ: Because I have seen it. One thought has come to dictate to another thought.
K: No. My question is different; you are not answering my question, forgive me. I am asking you, 'How are you aware of this disorder?' Is that awareness different from the disorder? If it is, then the centre is aware that it is disorder; therefore it is still disorder.
SP: Is there anything else?
K: Instead of asking, just see it. That's all I'm saying.
SP: I see that.
K: You see that, which is, when the centre is aware that this is disorder, then it itself creates a duality as order and disorder. So how do you observe disorder-without the centre or with the centre? If it is an observation with the centre, there is division; if there is no observation of the centre, there is only disorder.
PJ: Or order?
K: Wait. When the centre is aware that this is disorder, then there is division, and this division is the very essence of disorder. When the centre is not there and aware, what takes place?
PJ: Then there is no centre or disorder.
K: Therefore what has taken place? There is no disorder; that's a fact. Which is what the brain cells demand.
PJ: Now when you bring in that, you are taking it away. Let's not bring it in.
K: All right. But it is very important.
PJ: It is not necessary for the moment. Let us leave it there.
K: Stop there. I have discovered something-that the centre creates space and time. Where there is space and time, there must be division in relationship and therefore disorder in relationship. Having disorder in relationship, the centre creates other disorders because of its very nature. There is disorder not only in relationship; there is disorder in thought, action, idea.
PJ: Which is the fact? The perception of order or...
K: You are aware only of disorder. Please just listen quietly. I am also feeling my way into it. I see that the centre is the source of disorder, wherever it moves-in relationship, in thought, in action, in perception. There is the perceiver and the perceived, right? So wherever the centre operates, moves, functions, has its momentum, there must be division, conflict, and all the rest of it. Where there is a centre, there is disorder. Disorder is the centre. How are you aware of it? Is the centre aware of the disorder, or is there only disorder? And if there is no centre to be aware of disorder, there is complete order. Then the fragments come to an end. Obviously, because there is no centre which is making the fragments.
PJ: In that sense, the moment the fragment exists, the reality is the fragment.
K: Of course, of course.
PJ: When the fragments end, the reality is a non-fact.
K: Put it any way you like.
PJ: So there is no division. You are back into the Vedantic...
K: I refuse to enter into that field.
PJ: I am putting it.
K: No, I think that is a theory.
AP: No, sir. When you state the other position, up to the point of saying that the 'I' is the source and centre of disorder or that the centre is disorder, that is a fact with me. Then you say that if there is no centre observing that disorder...
K: No. I asked, 'Who is observing the disorder?'
AP: Yes, I see this.
K: So there is no consciousness of order.
AP: This is what I am saying. This is very important.
K: That's what I am saying. And that is the beauty of order.
PJ: What does the word reality mean to you?
PJ: What do you mean by that word nothing? I would like to explore that word nothing.
K: When it is something, it is not reality.
AP: It comes to saying that the field of cognition is the field of unreality.
K: No, no, be careful. Leave that now. Let's go into the question of dreams because that is apparently one of the fragments of our life. What are dreams? What is the matrix or the structure of dreams? How do they happen?
Radhika Herzberger (RH): They happen when desire is not fulfilled.
K: So you are saying that during the day I desire something, but it has not been fulfilled, it has not been carried out, it has not been worked out, so the desire continues.
RH: I see the desire fulfilled.
K: No. During the day I desire something. If that desire is fulfilled, it is finished. If it is not fulfilled, the desire goes on.
PJ: Why do we go beyond? As thought is an unending process from time without beginning, expelled from the brain cells, in the same way when the mind is totally asleep...
K: ...very quiet.
PJ: ...it is another form of the same propulsion.
K: Exactly the same. Which is, the movement of the day still goes on; that's all. That centre is the factor of disorder and creates disorder during the day, and the movement still goes on. The movement becomes dreams, interpretation of symbols, and all the rest of it. It is the same movement.
MF: You keep on saying that the centre is the source of disorder.
K: Not the source-is disorder.
MF: Is disorder. As I see it, the sense of 'I' is a call from man longing for order.
MF: Just wait, don't say no yet. Disorder is a given factor if there is nobody to create it. And I live in this world begging for order, searching for order, and all the duality is a given duality, not a created duality.
K: Of course, no. Sorry, it is not. You can discuss it.
MF: I find it when I come into the world.
AP: Who creates that duality?
MF: I don't know.
AP: If you observe it, you will see that you create it yourself.
K: Your parents have created it.
MF: No. My parents are apart from the duality. I don't want duality. All my life is a constant search for non-duality, for being friendly, for being affectionate. The very search for...
K: The very search for non-duality is duality.
MF: I know that whatever I do is for the sake of order. The order may be illusory, temporary, a kind of petty little order, but still there is no gesture, no posture of the mind which doesn't aim at order. The eating, the drinking, the sleeping are just restoring order, making life possible, because life without order is not possible. So chaos is something imposed on me. I am all the time being churned by it. And all the time I am just collecting myself, and the sleeping and the dreaming and the eating are a part of the attempt to restore balance, to restore order, but disorder is all the time forced on me. That is my observation. If you say it is not so, then my observation and your observation differ; that's all.
AP: Let us observe our own personal lives. Observing our personal lives over the past sixty years, would you say that the factor of disorder is imposed on you, or would you say it is intrinsic?
AP: Right from the beginning, every time you get into difficulties, every time you are in conflict, is it always somebody else responsible for it or you yourself?
MF: Not somebody else. It is chaos.
AP: Don't you assume responsibility for everything?
MF: For nothing.
SB: We individuals try to bring about order in ourselves and outside with the centre, but basically we bring about disorder.
MF: The means are faulty, but we try to bring about order.
AP: Does this not land us in a position of self-righteousness?
MF: Doesn't matter.
AP: No. Let us examine whether there is any self-illusion in that.
SB: Doesn't this show that trying to bring order with the centre itself creates disorder?
MF: That is true, because they have selected the wrong means. But the need for order is primordial.
PJ: But that's what Krishnaji says: the brain cells seek order.
AP: It is the nature of the self to create illusion, to deceive itself, to be self-righteous, and to involve itself in eternal problems.
Q1: Can we take a concrete example? I am born with the self-preservation instinct. That instinct is the centre which Krishnaji says is the source of disorder.
K: I don't say it. No, sir, sorry. Self-preservation is a natural instinct of the body.
Q1: Not of the body.
K: Then what else is there?
Q1: The mind.
K: That is the centre.
Q1: Is it there in us, the centre?
K: Of course.
Q2: Doesn't the instinct of self-preservation itself create the centre?
K: No. The body must preserve itself, otherwise there is nothing left.
PJ: We are going off.
K: I haven't left it. So the movement of daily life continues in sleep. It is the same movement, and dreams are the expression of that movement. Now, when I wake up I say I had dreams. That is only a means of communication. Dreams are 'me', dreams are not separate from the centre which has created this movement of disorder.
SP: Consciousness has been conscious of this function, which it verbalizes.
K: Verbalizes. That's all. The next factor is deep sleep. Are you aware that you are deeply asleep? You might say next morning, 'I have had an awfully good, long sleep', but you are not conscious of deep sleep.
SP: Who was aware to say, 'I was asleep'?
K: No. You never say, 'I've had a deep sleep.'
SP: I've had a good sleep.
K: No. You don't say, 'I have had a most extraordinarily deep sleep.'
PJ: You may say you had no dreams.
K: That's all, that's all you can say: 'I have had no dreams last night, I had a peaceful night without kicking around.'
MF: I've come across people who say, 'When I am deeply asleep, I am fully aware that I have no thoughts, I have no consciousness, but I am there.'
K: I don't know whose words these are. We are talking just amongst ourselves. So all that one can say is, 'I have had a very good sleep without dreams.' How do you investigate that state which is without dreams, a state which you just now called deep sleep? With the conscious mind? Or bring a lot of theories, what psychologists, analysts have said about it?
SP: Not consciously.
K: Then how do you do it? How do you go into it?
SP: Deep sleep has to reveal itself; otherwise you can't, from the wakeful consciousness, analyse it. How does one go into it?
K: Why do you want to go into it?
SP: Because I want to know whether it is the same state.
SWS: When there is sleep without dream, there is no centre. Then again the centre comes; it remembers that I had sleep without dream, and again the centre starts its operation.
SP: This is the Vedantic position: deep sleep is without a centre.
K: Why don't we talk only about what is knowable?
PJ: You talked of investigating deep sleep. Is it possible to investigate deep sleep?
PYD: I see only one fact: in deep sleep there is no centre.
K: How do you know?
PYD: Because I know nothing about that.
MF: Deep sleep means very low intensity of consciousness; that's all.
K: Very low intensity of consciousness. Right.
MF: But the centre is going on.
PJ: I asked a question, 'Is it possible to investigate deep sleep?'
PYD: I think it is.
K: Careful, sir. What do you mean by investigating? Either I investigate, the centre investigates, or it is like watching a film moving. You watch the scene, picture, or cinema; you are not identified with it, you are not part of it; you are merely observing without any reaction.
SP: What is it that is observing without identification?
K: There is nothing to observe that; there is only observation.
SWS: There is no centre to observe. You don't observe with the centre; there is observation.
K: That is what Pupul is asking: can that deep sleep be investigated? We understand what that word means. Not penetrating consciously into it; that is impossible. Can it be revealed, can it be exposed, is it observable? I say yes. Can I observe you without an image, without a symbol, without a name; just observe? Of course it is possible.
Q1: The observer is there; without the observer can you observe?
K: The observer is the centre, the observer is the past, the observer is the divider, the observer is the space between you and me. You can experiment with this: observe that line that is patterned on that lamp. You can observe it without naming it, without calling it something; just look. The moment you name it, it begins.
SWS: Then the observer comes. The investigation into deep sleep, as you said, is possible; one has made an attempt. But doesn't it mean one is depleted the next day? Doesn't it require a lot of energy?
PJ: First of all, you have to have the tools with which this is possible. I am using the word tools because words have to be used. But one has to have a state of awareness where this is possible. If that state of awareness is not, then this is not possible. It is only when there is the state of awareness, or jagriti...
K: You see, you immediately reduce all this to Sanskrit terminology.
PJ: No, I don't want to.
K: I want to chuck the whole thing. I want to throw out the whole traditional approach. I know nothing about it. We repeat what others have said. I don't want to repeat what others have said, including Shankara, Buddha, analysts, psychologists. We are just repeating what somebody else has said, and I say that is not truth. So is there an observation of this disorder without the centre becoming aware that there is disorder? If that can be solved, I have solved the whole momentum of it. Then what is order? And we said the centre can never be aware of order. Then what is that state? What is virtue of which there is no consciousness as being virtuous? What man traditionally accepts as virtue is a practice. Vanity practising humility is still vanity. So the centre which doesn't practise humility, we could say, is something different. The centre which is aware that it is practising humility is still vanity. Then what is virtue? A state of not being aware of being virtuous. If the centre is aware that it has humility, it is not humility. Then virtue is a state of mind which it is not conscious that it is virtuous. Therefore this topples all practices, all sadhanas. I want to kick all that.
MF: The way you put it in some other talk was: to see that all desire to improve is disorder, is virtue.
K: I think it is. To see disorder not from a centre is order. That order you cannot be conscious of. If you are conscious of it, it is disorder. And therefore what is virtue which you are all practising, practising? It has no meaning! And if there is love, can you be conscious of love? Can the centre say, 'I love'?
Chapter 11 - The Nature of Despair and SorrowDiscussion in Madras on 20 December 1976
Pupul Jayakar (PJ): Sir, yesterday(1) you discussed sorrow. We all know despair and sorrow. Can we go to the root of despair?
Krishnamurti (K): Pupul Jayakar is asking: could we discuss, have a dialogue about, despair? We know what sorrow is, she says, and we know also the great depths of despair. Could we discuss that?
PJ: It is a very real thing in our lives. In a sense the root of sorrow is the root of despair; it must be of the same nature.
K: I wonder what is despair? I have never felt it, therefore please convey it to me. What do you mean by despair?
PJ: A sense of utter futility.
K: Is that it-a sense of utter futility? I doubt that. It is not quite that.
PJ: You don't know what to do.
K: Would you call that despair-not knowing what to do? That's rather confusion, isn't it?
Radha Burnier (RB): The total absence of meaning and significance-that is what you mean.
Questioner 1(Q1): I think the word may come from not having hope anymore.
Fritz Wilhelm (FW): I was going to suggest 'a state of paralysed hope'.
PJ: Despair, in a sense, has nothing to do with hope.
Questioner 2 (Q2): You don't know where to turn to.
K: I don't think that is despair. Tell me some more. Is it related to sorrow? Is it the end of self-pity? I am questioning, I am not stating.
(1) Public Talk in Madras on 19 December 1976
PJ: If it is self-pity, we narrow its dimensions.
K: We are investigating. Is sorrow related to despair and the sense of deep self-pity that can't find a way out?
PJ: I felt it narrows its dimensions.
K: It is narrow, but we will spread it, make it wider. So what is despair? Would you say it is the end of the road, reaching the end of the tether?
Q1: Could it be no further direction, the end of the tether?
K: No, that is not quite despair, is it? If there is no way around something, you look somewhere else, but that doesn't mean despair.
FW: I should imagine that the mother whose child is dead is desperate.
K: Not quite. I wouldn't call that 'desperate'. Let's see. Is it related to sorrow?
PJ: Don't we know despair?
K: I don't know. I am asking, tell me.
PJ: I can say I know despair.
FW: Could you describe it a little bit more?
K: I'd go into it because I don't know what it means to have despair. Sorry, I may be snooty.
PJ: I am telling you: despair is the utter and total sense of futility.
K: Futility, no, If I may suggest, instead of futility use a more significant word. End of hope, end of search, end of relationship.
PJ: To feel everything falling on your head.
K: Ah, I don't know. Does somebody else know despair?
Sunanda Patwardhan (SP): Hitting against a blank wall.
K: That's not despair. No. 'Blank wall' is not despair.
Radhika Herzberger (RH): It's to be completely without a will, impulse, or feeling.
K: Is that despair to you?
Achyut Patwardhan (AP): The feeling that something has died in you before your body has died.
K: Died in you before the body has died-is that despair?
AP: Because it means discontinuity.
S. Balasundaram (SB): You asked, 'Has it any relationship to sorrow?' I think it is the bottom of sorrow, the pit of sorrow.
K: You mean to say you have never known despair? Haven't you ever experienced despair?
T.K. Parchure (TKP): It looks like the opposite of hope- hopelessness.
K: No, sir. Do you know what despair is? Could you tell me what it is?
TKP: A state resulting from failures.
K: Failure? No. You are making it much too small. I think despair is a rather large canvas. I have talked to people who are in despair, I have known people who have come to see me and so on; that is irrelevant. They are in despair-what does it mean? Apparently none of you knows despair. Do you know what despair is? Do you?
RB: No, I don't think I know.
K: That's what I want to question.
RB: I know what suffering is, but I don't know what despair is.
K: When we talk about despair, is it something profound, or is it merely the end of one's tether?
PJ: I'll say I know despair.
K: Now, tell me a little bit about it.
TKP: Is it a darkness?
K: No, sir. A man who is suffering knows exactly what it means; he doesn't beat about the bush. He says, 'I have suffered, I know my son is dead, and there is an appalling sense of isolation, loss, a sense of self-pity, a tremendous storm; it's a crisis.' Would you say despair is a crisis?
John Coats (JC): Yes, I think so.
K: Ah, no. I am questioning; don't please agree with me yet. Apparently, except for one or two, nobody seems to be in despair. [Laughter]
RB: Is it a form of escape from suffering?
K: I think we are catching it. I am dying; my son sees that he can't prevent it. And I don't pay any attention to my son. In despair, is jealousy involved?. Is it a sense of loss of possessiveness? I possess you, and I am not seeking somebody else, to be possessed or to possess. I possess you, and you suddenly drop, build a wall against it. Is that part of despair? I am just asking.
PJ: You don't think despair is valid?
K: I am not saying it is valid or not valid, I am just asking what is despair. What is the dictionary meaning?
FW: I think 'no hope'. The root of the word comes from hope.
K: I am not quite sure. We'll find out. Using the common word, which you and I use, do you know what it means? Is it a deep sense of fear?
JC: I would call that a deep sense of fear.
PJ: When you get to the depths of yourself, to the very...
K: ...root of yourself.
PJ: ...root of yourself, do you think it is possible to distinguish between fear and despair?
K: But why do you use the word despair? [Reads out from a dictionary] Desperer is French and desperare Latin. To be helpless, to have no hope. Sperare-to hope. All right, leave it.
PJ: I don't think it contains what I am trying to convey.
K: What is it that you are trying to convey?
PJ: I say that when you hit the bottom, then these divisions of fear, sorrow, and despair are very difficult to differentiate.
K: May I ask you-I am not talking about it personally- have you really reached the lowest depths of yourself? And when you do, is that despair?
PJ: When you ask that question, there can be no possible answer. How does one know what the depths of oneself is?
K: Is it the sense of hopelessness? It is much more than that.
PJ: It is much more because then you have hope-the other side.
K: Therefore it is something much more significant than hope. What is that feeling or what is that state where one feels completely, utterly in despair? Is it that no movement of any kind takes place and since there is no movement, would you call that despair?
PJ: How would you differentiate it from sorrow?
K: You see, I loved my son. I really loved my son, and he has gone to the dogs. And I can't do anything. I can't even talk to him, I can't even approach him, I can't get near him, touch him. Would that state be despair? I loved my son. He has gone to the devil, and I can't get near him, inside him, touch him, and I feel I want it desperately. Ah, it's despair! Etymologically, I think, it comes from hopeless. Would you call that a state of despair? I can't touch him, nobody can get near him because he is so lost. I think that is a sense of despair.
TKP: In despair there is a total giving up of feeling.
K: No, that is not it. Then if I give up I say, 'All right, let him go to the dogs, let him go to hell.' That's the end of it.
FW: On the contrary we usually say, 'I desperately want something.' There is a projection in it that I want something, as you said about the son.
PJ: In that there is an urgency towards a direction. There is no urgency towards any direction in this.
FW: Then probably the word despair is not the proper word.
SB: It is also the blocking of energy. It is not being desperate for something. Despair is that in which you touch the nadir, the bottom, of energy.
K: Would that be it?
PJ: You see, that is why I say that when you plunge as deep as this into any feeling, then there is no differentiation between sorrow, fear; all these become one in a sense, they are not separate. You cannot separate sorrow from despair. I don't think that the distinction at the deep roots is valid.
SP: Pupulji, when you started, you wanted to make a distinction between despair and sorrow.
PJ: As I am moving, I find that when you are really deep down in it, the distinction between despair and sorrow does not exist.
RB: So you are really asking: what is the root of sorrow?
PJ: All these things are the same.
K: Are you asking: what is the root of sorrow?
PJ: No. I find that it is not possible for me to divide sorrow from despair.
JC: It seems to me that despair is accompanied by a feeling of nothingness.
PJ: So is sorrow.
JC: I don't think so.
FW: I mean, the word comes from 'hope'.
PJ: Maybe. But when you are describing a state, the dictionary meaning may not fit it. It is not the word, it is the thing.
FW: Yes. But the root of the word has a significance.
PJ: It makes no meaning. A word may not cover a feeling. Sir, some people must have come to you in despair.
K: Yes. I am not Father Confessor.
PJ: No. But I am saying people must have come to you with the sorrow, the depth of suffering, of nothingness.
K: Are we saying that despair is related to sorrow, related to that sense of total abnegation of all relationship?
PJ: Yes, a total anguish.
K: Yes, a total anguish. Would you put it the other way?- the total feeling of complete isolation.
K: Which means having no access or relationship to anything. We are examining the feeling of it.
PJ: We know the feeling.
K: That's what I am questioning. Is it related to sorrow, related to isolation, a sense of complete void and the feeling of no outlet? Is that it?
JC: There is a finality to it; it is the end of all your hope, of all your expectation, or something of that kind.
K: Has one reached that? Have you-not you personally- but has anyone reached that point? The darkness of the soul, the Christians call it.
FW: The dark night of the soul.
K: The dark night of the soul. Would you call it that? Is that despair? Ah, that is much more potent than despair.
PJ: You can't tell me that I am at this level or this level or this level.
K: Ah, of course not.
PJ: What meaning has it?
K: May we begin this way? Let's first use the word sorrow, the depth of that word, the meaning of that word. Begin with that. We all know it, everybody knows that, right?
PJ: In varying degrees.
K: In varying degrees, greater, lesser, but we know what that means: grief, a sense of hopelessness, a sense of no-way-outever. Does that bring about despair?
PJ: That is despair.
K: I wouldn't call it despair.
PJ: Why, sir?
K: Let's go slowly, let's feel it out. My son is dead, and there is what I call sorrow. I have lost him, I will never see him again. I've lived with him, we have played together. Everything is gone, and suddenly, overnight, I realize how utterly lonely I am. There is the feeling of a deep sense of loneliness. I don't mean not having a companion-all that's trivial stuff-but the deep awareness of a total lack of any kind of relationship with anybody, which is loneliness. Would you say it is that?
PJ: It is that.
K: So, is that loneliness despair?
PJ: See, sir, you use a word to fit a situation, you use a word to describe a situation.
K: I have described the situation.
PJ: No. You can use...
K: ...ten different words, but doesn't matter.
PJ: You can use the word sorrow.
PJ: Or you can use despair.
PJ: But the situation remains the same.
K: All right. So how to get out of it-you mean? What to do with it?
PJ: No. You spoke about remaining totally with sorrow. You said in your talk yesterday(2) that in the depth of sorrow is the summation of all energy.
(2) Public Talk in Madras on 19 December 1976
PJ: Now, this must also be of the same nature.
K: Yes. I understand now what you are saying, I see what you mean. Last night K said sorrow is the quintessence of all energy, the essence of all energy. Quintessence-all energy is focussed there. I think that's right. Agreed?
PJ: You said it yourself.
K: I said it. Is that a fact? Is that an actuality or an idea?
PJ: This morning I suddenly had a feeling of what I call despair. Now see this, sir. I suddenly had it totally, absolutely, and now whatever question I ask, whatever statement I make will move me away from it.
K: I think I am getting it. Look, my son is dead, and I realize what is involved in that death, the loss, and so on. I won't go into all that; it is too obvious. And that is a fact which can never be altered, a fact which is unalterable by me, however much I dislike it. The refusal to accept the actual fact-is that despair? I accept, I totally, completely accept that my son is dead. I can't do a thing about it. Gone! I remain with the fact. I don't call it despair or sorrow, I don't give it a name. I remain with the actual fact that he is finished. Would you call that despair? Or you wouldn't use any word?
JC: Is this despair an attempt to move away from an unalterable fact?
K: This is an unalterable fact. Can you remain with that fact without any movement away from it?
PJ: Is the sorrow or the despair also not an unalterable fact?
K: I question whether that is not alterable. My son's dying is unalterable: he is gone, burnt up.
PJ: Sorrow is also unalterable.
K: No, no, no. Let's look at it slowly, carefully. I loved my son. (I am using the word love in the way I am using it.) I loved my son and suddenly he is gone. The result is that there is a tremendous sense of energy which I've translated as sorrow. I've used sorrow to indicate this fact of everything suddenly having no meaning anymore. Only that fact remains. That is not despair.
PJ: You used the word despair; I am dealing with the sense of it.
K: All right, let's move away from that. I want to see what actually takes place when there is this enormous crisis, and the mind realizes that any form of escape is futile, and remains with that fact without any movement. The fact is immovable. Can I, can the mind, remain with that immovable fact and not move away from it? Let's make it very, very simple. I am angry, furious, because I have given my life to something, and I find somebody betraying that, and I feel furious. That fury is all energy. I haven't acted upon that energy. It is again gathering all your energy, which is expressed in a fury of anger. Now, can I remain with that fury of anger? Not translate it, not hit out, not rationalize, just hold it-is it possible? What happens then? That's not despair; I won't even call it despair. There is this sense of anger. I think Achyutji understands this.
AP: Yes, sir.
K: Because the other day it happened. Wait, don't explain it. Could you remain with it? Not say, 'I am so sorry I have no compassion, I am so sorry this has happened.' Then what would happen?
AP: I have tried to stay with it also.
AP: Could you say it is a state of depression?
K: Ah no, no. That is a reaction. I remain with it, it is going to tell me. I am not going to call it depression; that means I am acting upon it.
AP: I am saying the depression is like an infection and a fever. The fever is the symptom of that infection. In that way I have watched myself with the anger without trying to do anything to it.
K: No, I don't mean you have watched it. I am that anger.
AP: Yes, I am that.
K: I am that total fury and the total energy of that fury.
AP: There is not energy, there is an action. What goes with it is a feeling of total helplessness.
K: No. I think I understand what Pupulji is talking about, which is: I have come to realize that I am caught in a net of my own making, and I can't move, I'm paralysed. Would that be despair?
JC: Let's take a picture. If a woman who can't swim is by the seashore and her son is drowning, she knows that he can be saved, but she cannot do it herself. That, I think, creates a feeling of absolute despair.
FW: Is there an element of self-anger in that?
K: I think we are getting away from something. We are now describing in different ways the meaning of despair, the meaning of sorrow, the meaning of all that.
AP: The condition that you described is different. The difference is that anger is the reaction to somebody else's behaviour. This is a reaction to your own situation, and in that despair is more authentic than in this.
K: Yes. It is not a reaction but an awareness of one's own insufficiency, and that insufficiency at its depth, not superficially, is despair. Is that it?
FW: Isn't there much more than just this awareness? I question whether there is an awareness of this insufficiency, because there is already the element of not wanting to accept that insufficiency.
PJ: How do you know?
SP: If there is no awareness, there is no insufficiency.
PJ: Either you feel it or you don't feel it. It is not a thing which I can explain.
K: Look, Fritz, if I may ask, have you ever felt totally insufficient?
FW: I can't remember. I don't know.
K: But I come to you and say, 'I have felt this total insufficiency; help me or, rather, I want to understand it, it is boiling in me.' I am in a desperate state about it. How would you tackle it? How would you help me to go beyond it?
FW: I know something which may be quite similar to that. I see that I am unable to understand most of the things in life, and I also see that my brain is completely insufficient to understand. I am aware of that insufficiency.
K: No, I don't mean that. I see those slum children next door; I can't do anything. The other day after the talk as I went along a boy said, 'Give me something.' I said, 'I have nothing, take my handkerchief', and he took my handkerchief.
FW: That is not that feeling.
K: No, that's not insufficiency. I realize I am insufficient, I am aware of it. Then I try to fill it with various things. I know I am filling it, and I see that as I fill it, it is still empty; there is still insufficiency. I have come to that point where I see that whatever I do, that insufficiency can never be wiped out, filled. That is real sorrow or despair, a sense of 'My God.' Is that it, Pupulji?
PJ: There are only certain states which leave you wordless.
K: Yes. Look, I want to get at something. My son is dead. I am not only desperate, but I am in profound shock, profound sense of loss, which I call sorrow-for the moment let's use that word. My instinctual response is to run away, to explain, to act upon it. Now I realize the futility of that and I don't act. I won't call it sorrow, I won't call it despair, I won't call it anger, but I see that the fact is the only thing, nothing else. Everything else is non-fact. Now, what takes place then? That's what I want to get at. If you say that's despair, I'll use that word. If you remain without naming it and therefore recognizing it and all the rest of it, remain completely without any movement of thought, remain with it totally, what takes place? That would be worthwhile to discuss.
RB: It is very difficult because thought says, 'Remain with it', and that is still thought.
K: Ah, no. Then that's all a game, an intellectual game. That is totally invalid.
RB: Yes, of course.
K: You know it's really quite interesting. Put it in different ways-anger, fury. I am married; my wife is damn stupid. I like her, but she is so... That is a great responsibility in which I feel utter despair. It is the same thing, isn't it? It is the same thing where I meet an immovable fact, and I come to it with a desperate desire to move it, for whatever reason, whatever motive-love, affection, kindliness. I battle against it, but the fact cannot be changed. She is what she is, or I am what I am. Can I face that fact without any sense of hope, despair, all that verbal structure, and just say, 'Yes, she is stupid, and I can't do anything with her'? I think some kind of explosive action takes place then if I can remain there.
AP: There is some purgation called for before this happens.
K: I wouldn't use purgation.
AP: Some purgation of the heart, I say, is called for.
K: I don't call it purgation. I won't.
AP: Call it anything, sir.
K: You see, Achyutji, you know what sorrow is?
K: Don't you?
K: You know what it is. Can you remain with it without any movement? And what takes place when there is no movement? Ah, I am getting it. When my son is dead, that is an immovable, irrevocable fact. And when I remain with it, which is also an immovable, irreconcilable fact, two facts meet.
PJ: Can the profundity of sorrow or despair arise without a seemingly known cause?
K: Yes, I understand that very well. Go on.
PJ: There is nothing to react to, no incident to react to.
K: Yes. No analytical process is possible. I understand.
PJ: No analytical process is possible. In a sense, thought is paralysed there.
K: Yes, that's it. That's what I want to get at. The irrevocable fact, the immovable fact that my son is dead. And also I haven't escaped, which is also another fact. So what takes place?
PJ: As I said, thought is still, not because of any volition.
K: I understand, I understand.
PJ: Now, what is there to say after that?
K: That's what I want to find out. Something must happen.
JC: Is there a law we are unaware of which will not allow two facts?
K: I am questioning whether there are two facts or only one fact. The fact is that my son is dead. And the fact that I mustn't move away from it-that is not a fact; that is an idea, and therefore it is not a fact. There is only one fact, right? My son is dead. That is an absolute, immovable fact, an actuality. And I say to myself that I must not escape, that I must meet it completely. I say that is a fact. I question if it is a fact. It is an idea, it is not a fact. It is not a fact like my son is dead, gone. There is only one fact. When you separate the fact from yourself and say, 'I must meet it with all my attention', that is a non-fact. The fact is the other.
SP: But my movement is a fact, isn't it?
K: Is that a fact or an idea?
SP: Not wanting to stay there, but moving away from the energy of anger or the energy of hurt-isn't that a fact?
K: Yes, of course. Remember we discussed it the other day: an abstraction can be a fact. I believe I am Jesus, that is a fact, as the fact that I am a good man; both are facts. Both are brought about by thought; that's all. Sorrow is brought about not by thought, but by an actuality which I have translated into sorrow.
SP: Sorrow is not brought about by thought?
K: Is it? Go into it slowly. As I said, this is a dialogue, a discussion. If I say something, you must tear it up.
RB: When my son dies, that is not brought about by thought.
K: No, that's a fact.
RB: That's a fact.
SP: So there are two different types of sorrow.
K: No! My son is dead, that's a fact. And that fact reveals the nature of my relationship to him, my commitment to him, my attachment to him, my desire, etc., etc., which are all non-facts.
PJ: That comes at the second stage. When my son dies...
K: ...there is only one thing. That's all I am saying. My son is dead, and I am in sorrow. I am in sorrow, that's a fact. I weep, that's a fact. I have tears in my eyes, that's a fact.
FW: Then I go away from the fact if I try to explore my relationship, which no longer exists.
PJ: Actually if your son is dead, at that moment can the mind move away?
K: No, for the moment it is paralysed.
K: Totally paralysed.
PJ: That is the moment, sir.
K: No, no. My son is dead, and I am paralysed by it; both psychologically and physiologically I am in a state of shock. That shock wears off.
PJ: In a sense, the intensity of that state has already dissipated itself.
K: No. The shock is not a realization of the fact. It is a physical shock. Somebody has hit me on the head.
PJ: There is a shock.
K: That's all. Paralysis has taken place, for a few days, a few hours, a few minutes. When a shock takes place, my consciousness is not functioning; it is paralysed.
PJ: Something is functioning.
K: No. Just tears and nothing else. It is paralysed.
PJ: One calls it tears.
K: That's one state, but it is not a permanent state. It is a transient state out of which I am going to come out.
PJ: Yes. But the moment I start coming out and moving...
K: ...the shock has gone. Then I face the reality.
PJ: Sir, how do you face the reality? I want to ask you.
K: My brother or sister dies, and at that moment-that moment may last a few days-it is a tremendous psychosomatic shock. There is no activity of the mind, no activity of consciousness; it is like being paralysed.
PJ: It is sorrow, the energy of sorrow.
K: It has been too much for me. Ah, that is it. That energy has been much too strong.
PJ: You've said something-that energy has been much too strong.
K: That's it.
PJ: Any movement away dissipates that energy.
K: But the body cannot remain psychosomatically in a state of shock.
PJ: Then how does it face sorrow?
K: I am coming to that. It is like a man who is paralysed and I ask him to speak; he can't.
K: When that shock is gone, a day, a week, a month, whatever it is, what takes place? That's what I am coming to. What takes place when the shock goes? You are waking up to the fact-that your son is dead. Fact! Thought then begins, the whole movement of thought begins.
FW: Do you not wake up to the idea rather than to the thought that your son is dead?
K: No, no, no. My brother is dead, and it is a tremendous shock to me. I faint, I cry, the whole psychosomatic movement is paralysed. Don't you know this?
Mrs Coats (MC): Shock is a kind of anaesthetic.
K: Yes, an anaesthetic given to me by that event. I come out of that; physiologically as well as psychologically I come out of it. Then I realize there is sorrow. I cry. At the moment I don't cry; it is too much. Later I begin to cry, my body reacts, the whole thing becomes intolerable.
MC: You want to face it.
K: I have not come to that. Then what takes place? When you are out of the shock, you realize that he is gone. You shed tears, saying 'I wish I had behaved properly, I wish I had not said those last cruel words at the last minute', and all the rest of it. Then you begin to escape from that: 'I like to meet my brother in the astral plane or in the next life', or something or the other. I am saying that if you don't escape and don't observe the fact as though it is different from yourself-the observer is the observed. Sorry to go back to that slogan.
PJ: The core of the whole thing is that initial state of shock.
K: I question it.
PJ: Yes, sir.
K: You go into it a little bit more. It is a shock which the body and the psyche cannot tolerate, and a paralysis has taken place.
PJ: But there is energy, it is there.
K: It's too strong, it's much too strong.
PJ: But observation of energy is possible only there.
K: No. As Mrs Coats said, somebody has given me anaesthesia. This is a fact.
PJ: It is at the instant of death that there is a total realization of this. It then gets dissipated.
K: No. Would you put it this way? Don't let us talk about death for the moment. A magnificent scenery in front of you is so tremendous that it leaves you blank. Right? That is a kind of paralysis-'kind' in quotes.
PJ: But that is also the total thing.
K: Wait. The paralysis there is the marvellous view that has driven you out, and we said that the state of mind when you are not is beauty. When there is death, the tremendous shock drives out everything. It is not the same as with the mountain, that marvellous scenery. These two are entirely different.
PJ: It depends on the state of mind.
K: Of course, it depends on the state of relationship...
PJ: ...and of the state of mind when death actually takes place.
K: And the state of mind of the brother. So what are we discussing? What are we having a dialogue about?
PJ: We are trying to discover what, at this maximum energy quotient of despair or death or sorrow, is the chemical alchemy which transforms this energy, which is seemingly destructive and hurtful, into what you call passion. If you allow sorrow or despair to erode you, corrode you...
K: That's just it.
AP: That's what I called purgation.
K: Doesn't matter, sir.
PJ: If you allow it to do that, which is a natural process...
K: Yes, it is a natural process.
PJ: And you have brought in another element. You say there is an alchemy which transforms.
K: When energy is not dissipated through words, when that energy of the shock of some great event, when that energy without a motive is not dissipated, it has quite a different significance.
PJ: This holding it in consciousness...
K: It is not in consciousness.
PJ: But the holding of it-you have said it.
K: I have said it. Hold it in the sense don't move away from it.
PJ: It is not in consciousness?
K: No, it is not in consciousness. Jesus! If you hold it in your consciousness, it is part of thought. Your consciousness is put together by thought.
SP: It has arisen in consciousness.
K: No, no. You haven't understood.
SP: Then what is it?
K: Hold it, don't run away from it, remain with it.
PJ: What is the entity that does not move?
K: There is no entity.
PJ: Then what is it that...
K: The entity is when there is a movement away from the fact.
PJ: How does this entity end itself? This is very important.
K: I agree, I agree. This is very interesting. There is a shock and, out of the shock, sorrow. The very word sorrow is a distraction. The escapes are a distraction, away from the fact. Now, to remain totally with that fact, which means no interference of the movement of thought; therefore you are now not consciously holding it.
FW: You are saying there is a perception.
K: Ah, no. I will repeat it. Consciousness is put together by thought. (We have discussed this ad nauseum.) The content makes thought. That event, the event of my son's death is not thought, but when I bring it into thought it is still within that consciousness. So to remain, to hold, is not to bring it into consciousness. Of course! That is very important. I have discovered something.
PJ: Is it the very force of that energy which totally silences thought?
K: Yes. Put it that way, any way you like. Thought cannot touch it, but our conditioning, our tradition, our education is to touch it, change it, modify it, rationalize it, run away from it, which is the activity of consciousness. I'll stick to it. I've got it. It is very interesting. I can't remember when my brother died. But from what others have told me, there was a shock period. When he [K] came out of it, he remained with that thing; he did not go to Dr Besant, or ask for help. Reincarnation-nothing; he just remained. So now I can see how it happened. I am now talking generally. When the shock is over, you come to the fact that a tremendous event has taken place. Death-not mine or yours-has taken place, which is an extraordinary event. Death is an extraordinary event like birth. And to look at it, observe it, without consciousness as thought entering into it. That's right, I've got the thing. Can you do it?
FW: If you don't do it, you go into unconscious conditioning.
K: Yes. If you don't do it, you begin all the business.
FW: I was looking at the access of energy generated by a fact; whether the fact is a mountain or the death of my brother, it is the same energy. But in one case the response to it is, shall we say, adequate. In the other case I call the response sorrow.
K: Be careful, be careful. Both are outside events. The mountain is a shock, and death is a shock. The one- the mountain-has driven me out; therefore there is no consciousness: I am not there when the mountain is there. The other is a similar thing: the shock has driven consciousness out.
Q1: Has it done that in both cases-driven consciousness out?
K: Both cases.
SP: The sense of the 'me' is absent in both cases.
Q1: When do you know this is going too far?
K: I'm coming to that. There is a crisis when it is my brother. The mountain is not my brother; I can play with that. Here it is directly connected with me. The connection is me and sorrow. But both produce the same state of shock. Very interesting.
PJ: You said sorrow is not born of thought. I would like to go into it.
K: Yes. Sorrow is not born of thought. Wait. He [K] must have meant something. So I must find out whether he meant something right or wrong. Sorrow is not born of thought-is that it? What do you say about it?
PJ: I say yes.
K: You agree?
PJ: Because when sorrow is, thought is not. When the depth of sorrow is, thought is not.
K: Go slowly. Sorrow is not the child of thought. That's what you are saying, that's what he said. Why? The word sorrow is thought. The word is not the thing, therefore that feeling of sorrow is not the word. When the word is used, it becomes thought, that feeling, that state.
Questioner 4 (Q4): The state of sorrow is post-shock, prethought. We are talking about the situation where there has been a shock. The access of that energy, the return to consciousness is the sorrow.
K: I have named it as sorrow.
Q4: Not yet. There is a return to the state of sorrow.
K: No. There is shock, then there is the moving away from that shock. Got it?
Q4: Got it.
K: The word is not the thing. If the word is not, thought is not. Listen, I'm getting something. Very interesting.
PJ: You're right, but I am using the word sorrow. You can throw out the word, but I am using it. There are so many emotions.
K: So keep to that one word.
PJ: Sorrow is one thing which even if you remove the word...
K: ...is there. Of course, of course. So is it possible not to name it? The moment you name it, you bring it into consciousness.
SP: Prior to naming, is the condition not part of consciousness?
K: What do you mean by prior?
SP: Before the naming takes place, is what is part of consciousness or not? The moment you name it as sorrow, that has a different feel.
K: I must be clear we understand each other. We said consciousness is its content. Its contents are put together by thought. The whole of consciousness, the hidden, all that is put together by thought. An incident takes place whose energy, shock, drives out consciousness for a second or for days or months or whatever it is. Then as that thing, the incident, wears off, you begin to name it. Then you bring that thing into consciousness. But that thing is not in consciousness when it takes place.
FW: That thing when you don't name it-what is it?
K: When you don't name it, what is it? It is total energy.
FW: Then why do we call it sorrow?
K: Because I'm used to calling it sorrow.
SP: Because consciousness is with sorrow.
K: Of course.
FW: But when I name that energy as sorrow, I mean something by it, then it is thought.
K: No, no.
PJ: There is surely a difference. By just using a word sorrow, without the implications...
K: That's just it. All the strings attached to it.
PJ: What I am saying is this: sorrow has, in essence, the quality of love.
PJ: You use passion.
K: The word itself is...
PJ: Remove the word. It is still there. The word does not create it.
K: The word sorrow has its root in passion.
PJ: The word does not create it.
K: No, but let's be careful. Fear.
PJ: Fear is a different thing.
K: Wait. Has the word fear caused fear? Is there a fear without the word? Then if it is not, if there is no word, what is there?
RB: But sorrow, fear, anger, it is all the 'me', isn't it? And the 'me' is thought.
K: Of course. You know what death is. You've had a shock, haven't you?
K: What happened in that shock? Nothing.
K: When you came out of it, what happened?
RB: There is the naming.
K: No. What actually happened? Don't start naming it. What actually happened? It is simple. You know what actually happened: you cry, you have a sense of loss, you have a sense of something cut off; the friendship, the companionship, etc., all that is blocked.
K: The blocking, the feeling, all that you call sorrow.
K: Now, can you look at it without the word? The moment you use the word, you have brought it into your own familiar field.
Chapter 12 - Ending the Registration of Hurt and FearDiscussion in Madras on 13 December 1976
Pupul Jayakar (PJ): Krishnaji, in your talk yesterday(1) you said something about holding the quality of anger, fear, or any of the strong emotions, without the word in consciousness. Can we probe into that? Because this wiping away-whether it is of hurt, whether it is of fear, or of anger, or of any of the darkness in one-is possible only if what you are talking about takes place. Now, can we come to the quality of this and see whether this is at all possible, see whether that passion or strength of feeling which goes behind all these words such as fear, anger can be held in consciousness without the word? Can we investigate that?
Krishnamurti (K): Have you understood her question? She is asking-please correct me if I am wrong-'What does it mean to hold a feeling, anger, whatever it is, without the word? What is the state of mind or the quality of mind that can be without any movement other than the movement of what is, without the word?' Is that it?
PJ: Yes. And is there anything without the word?
Fritz Wilhelm (FW): Is there fear when there is not the word fear? You raised that question yesterday. What is that energy in the body, or the sensing in the body or in the whole being, at that moment when there is no naming of it?
K: Yes, that's what she is asking.
Achyut Patwardhan (AP): Clarity for us means naming, given the way our brains work, because we like to know precisely what we are feeling; we don't want any self- deception. And when we want to probe into a feeling, a strong feeling, a disturbance, we invariably name it before we are able to grasp it completely. So naming is both our instrument of clarity and the cause of confusion.
(1) Public Talk in Madras on 12 December 1976
K: Sir, may we begin slowly? Is the word different from the fact, from what is? Is the word door different from the door? There is the door. I indicate by the word door not the actuality. So the word is not the thing.
Sunanda Patwardhan (SP): The question arises then: can you ever indicate the actuality?
K: We are going to find out slowly.
Radha Burnier (RB): Is there a difference between 'The word door is not the door', and 'Is the word fear, fear?' The two things seem to be different.
K: Let's go slowly into this, if you don't mind. The word door is not the actuality. The name K is not the actuality. The form is not the actuality. So the word is not the thing. The word door-the word-is different from the actuality. What are we trying to get at? We are trying to find out if the word fear is different from the actuality. That is one point. Does the word represent the actuality, and without the word is there the actuality?
SP: That is the question.
K: That is the question, isn't it?
SP: What is the feeling of fear without the word?
K: I want to make this perfectly clear to myself. There is the word fear. Is that word different from the actuality, which is that emotion, that feeling? And without the word, is there that feeling? So let's stick to that for the moment. Right?
RB: The word is the thought. Word is thought.
K: Word is thought. Word, symbol, picture...
K: Yes, image.
RB: It's all the same thing.
K: So the word is the medium through which thought expresses itself. Without the word, can thought express itself? Of course it can. A gesture, a look, a nod of the head, and so on. So without the word thought can express to a very, very limited extent. When you want to express something very complicated in thought, the word is necessary. But the word is not the actual thought, the actual state, the actual whatever you call it. I may use the words I love you; the feeling of that is not the word, but the feeling has been expressed through the word. But the word has such an enormous significance for most of us that we lose the deeper depth of it.
AP: I raise one difficulty. We perceive with the senses. That ends when there is naming. That starts the tertiary process-with the naming, a number of complicated things begin in my brain. Now, I see this and say I wish I could wipe out the word. Then I wipe out the name. When I have wiped out the name, I have not wiped out the feeling.
K: I am not quite sure.
AP: I have discovered that by not naming you don't get rid of your confusion, and confusion increases.
K: Don't let's use the word confusion; we haven't come to that yet.
AP: All right.
K: We are sticking to the word fear. Pupulji is asking: 'What is the state of the mind or the quality of the mind without the word; when the word is not the thing, and when the word has not aroused the feeling, what is the quality of mind that can hold that feeling without any movement?' Right? That's what you are trying to say.
RB: But we are questioning whether the feeling does arise without the word.
K: That's all.
PJ: If I may say so, there are many things in consciousness which arise prior to the word.
RB: Primordial fear. But can it be sustained without the word?
PJ: I am not talking about sustaining. There are various things, for instance, tenderness, or joy.
K: Can you observe something without the word? Can you observe me, the form, the name, for the moment, without the word?
K: You can, can't you? Then you are observing only the form. You have removed the word K, and you are observing the form.
PJ: You are observing. I won't say you are observing the form.
K: Then what are you observing?
PJ: The moment you say, 'I am observing the form', there has to be naming.
K: No, no, no.
PJ: Please listen, sir. When I say there is just 'observing', then the form is part of this whole observing movement. I am observing not only you; I am observing.
K: No. I asked, can you remove the word K? That is all. Of course you are observing the form.
PJ: Yes, I am observing the form.
K: What are we trying to get at? Let's get at this simply. I am afraid, there is fear. First of all, I want to find out if the word has created the fear. Has the word created the fear? The word is the recognition of that thing which I have called fear, because that fear has gone on for many years, and I have recognized it through the word. Ten years ago I was afraid. That fear is registered in my brain with the word. With the word is associated that fear. It occurs again today, and immediately the recognizing process sets in, which is the word and so on. So the word gives me a feeling that I have had it before. So the word has encouraged the feeling, stabilized the feeling.
PJ: Sustains the feeling.
K: It holds it. The word holds the thing by recognizing it, by remembering it, and so on. Now I am asking whether without the word, which is a process of recognition, there can be fear. Watch it, look at it. You are afraid; how do you know you are afraid?
FW: By naming it.
K: No. How do you know it?
FW: I have been afraid before, so I know that feeling. So now if something comes again, I recognize it.
K: If you don't recognize it, which is a verbal process, what is the state?
FW: There is certainly no fear.
K: Wait, sir, don't be too quick.
FW: There is energy in the body.
K: No, no. Don't use the word energy because we will go off into something else. I have fear, I have recognized it by naming it. In naming it I have put it into a certain category, and the brain remembers it, registers it, holds it. If there is no recognition-the verbal movement, all the rest of it- would there be fear?
PJ: There is a disturbance.
K: I am using the word fear. Stick to fear. The meaning of the word fear-is what?
PJ: If I may say so, fear is not such a simple thing that you can say that if there is no naming of it, it is not.
K: I don't say that yet. Of course, of course, there are a lot of complex things involved in it.
PJ: It is a tremendous thing.
K: A tremendous lot is involved.
Radhika Herzberger (RH): There are physiological feelings too.
SP: That's what I am saying: something happens first physiologically even before naming takes place.
FW: But it may also be the other way round: the word fear creates the physiological change.
PJ: That is one way, that is one form of fear, but there are profoundly deeper fears.
SP: If we accept only this position that the word creates fear, that means there is no content to fear at all.
K: I don't say that, I am asking. There is a process of recognition. If that process of recognition doesn't exist-if it is at all possible-then what is fear? I am not saying it doesn't exist; I am asking a question. If there is no process of registration, recording, which is memory in operation, what is the thing called fear?
FW: It is a movement.
PJ: I may use a number of other words.
K: But it is still the same.
PJ: I may say 'darkness'.
K: Yes. Which is again a recognition.
PJ: So, that is why I say you remove the word fear and ask, what remains? Any word I use is going to apply exactly as much as the word fear.
K: No, I am attacking it quite differently.
SP: Do you make a distinction between recording and naming?
K: Both are the same.
SP: What does it mean?
K: You insult me; because I have an image, you hurt me and so on. You insult me, and there is an immediate registration. I am asking: when you insult me, can that registration come to an end, can you not record it at all?
SP: I don't understand this. That is a totally different process.
K: It is exactly the same thing.
SP: How, sir?
K: I'll show it to you. Fear arises because I will be exposed to you-the things which I have done. I am afraid of the past. The past is registered, and that incident in the past awakens the sense of fear. That fear has been registered. Now I am asking: 'Though the past registration has taken place, is it possible to observe the new feeling, whatever it is, without bringing the past into action, and not register it at all?'
RH: There is a feeling of recognition before you actually call the feeling 'fear'.
K: Let's go slowly. I've got it. I insult you; what takes place? You register it, don't you?
RH: I recognize it.
K: You recognize it, register it. I call you a fool, and it is immediately registered. Then that registration operates all the time. Now, can you stop registering when you are called a fool? And though it is registered if you cannot stop it, when there is a new insult, can you not register it at all? There are two processes, aren't they? First you register. Then I am say, 'Stop; though it is registered, don't let that come into action when I call you a fool another time.' Do you see the difference?
RH: But when I register it, when I recognize it initially, that itself creates the momentum.
K: Therefore stop that momentum. Can that momentum be stopped? Let's put it much more simply. You are hurt, aren't you? Be simple, let's be simple. You are hurt from childhood for various reasons, and that has been deeply registered in the brain. The instinctive reaction is not to be hurt anymore. So you build a wall, withdraw. Without building the wall, know that you are hurt, be aware of it, and the next time a process of hurt begins, do not register it. What is the problem?
FW: What do you mean by registering?
K: Registering in the sense the tape recorder is registering. My brain is a tape recorder; it is registering all the time- like and dislike, pleasure, pain; it is moving, moving, moving all the time. I say something ugly to you, and the brain immediately takes charge, registers it. Now I say, 'Can you stop that registration? Though it has registered, stop it, and the next time when there is an insult, do not register it at all.' First see the question. Is the question clear?
Questioner 1 (Q1): But it means not to give an image to the word right away.
K: No, no. Just don't introduce the image for the moment. That becomes a little more complex.
Questioner 2 (Q2): Isn't that possible only if the ego doesn't exist?
K: Don't complicate it. The brain is registering; can that registration ever stop?
Questioner 3 (Q3): Does not that need much attention?
K: Find out.
FW: May we clarify what actually we mean by registration? Because when you call me a fool, I recognize the word fool.
K: And the image you have about yourself is hurt.
FW: You see, that is the difference. I still recognize the word fool.
K: But not register it.
FW: It is not registered?
K: That's all.
FW: Its implications are not registered.
K: Yes. You recognize the word, but do not register it. I want to keep it very, very simple; then I think we will get it.
FW: Will I then know, after half an hour, that you called me a fool half an hour ago?
K: Wait, first get at this. Our brain is registering all the time. You call me a fool; it is registered for various reasons, because I have an image and so on. That's a fact. The next question is: can that registration stop? Otherwise the brain is all the time registering, registering; it has no sense of freedom.
PJ: But the brain is a live thing.
PJ: It has to register.
K: I know it has to register.
PJ: What she said is correct: the registration is one thing, but the cutting off of the momentum which moves from the registration...
K: That is what I am talking about.
SP: Aren't you saying two things-one, stopping of the momentum and the other, the stopping of the registration altogether?
K: First get what I am talking about. Then you can question, make it clear.
PJ: When you say, 'Do not register', does that mean the brain cells come to a standstill at that end?
K: No, Pupul, this is very important because if there is no possibility of not-registering, then the brain becomes mechanical. Right?
RH: It goes on and on, reacting.
K: It's like that.
AP: Since you are taking fear, it oversimplifies the matter because actually our state of receiving anything is without our knowing there is either a preference or an aversion, and fear is in that cycle. Now, this is something which is from the past, so it is not directly related to what I perceive, but it is that which perceives. So I ask you whether that which perceives fear has something to do with this whole process of recognition.
K: This is really a tremendous question. As long as the brain is registering all the time, which it is now, it is moving from knowledge to knowledge, and so it becomes very, very limited. Because knowledge is limited, fragmentary and so on, the brain becomes very, very limited. I am asking myself whether that registration can stop. That's all, nothing else.
Ghaneshyam Mehta (GM): Can the brain answer that question?
K: I think it can, in the sense the brain can become aware of its own registering process. You call me a fool, and it goes on. Or somebody says, 'What a marvellous chap you are', and it is registering. Both are the same-whether you call me a fool or flatter me; there is the registration process going on. Can that be stopped?
PJ: Sir, I want to say something. There are certain fears which you can deal with that way. But fear is the cry of man...
K: ...for millennia. I know.
PJ: And you are that cry.
K: I know. That's it. That cry of the millennia is fear. I say that is our conditioning, that is the process of registration, that is what has been going on for millennia-century after century of registration of fear. And I am saying, 'Please, just stop a minute, find out if there is an ending to registration.' I am not saying it is possible or not; find out.
FW: When you tell me, 'Tomorrow we meet at 9.30', I register it.
K: Of course.
FW: I have to register it.
K: Of course.
FW: When you say, 'You are a fool', then something must happen. I must see the danger of, ward off, the registration. There must be an awareness that tells me...
K: Sir, forget all that. You see this question. (I am not saying 'the answer'.) The brain has been registering for millennia; therefore it has become mechanical. I ask, 'Can that mechanical process stop?' That's all. If it cannot be stopped, it becomes merely a machine-which it has. It is part of the tradition, part of repetition, part of the saying 'I am afraid', all that; it is this constant registration through millennia. I am asking a simple question which has great depth to it, which is: can it stop? If it cannot, man is never free.
T. K. Parchure (TKP): Why does the brain register at all?
K: For safety, security, protection, certainty; the registration is to give the brain a certain sense of security.
PJ: Isn't that the brain builds itself on, the brain evolves...
K: Of course. It evolves through time. This brain is different from that of the great, great, great ape. It is certainly different.
PJ: It has evolved through registration.
K: It has evolved through knowledge, which is registration. It has evolved through knowledge up to this point, and now it says, 'I recognize.'
PJ: What is that which from within itself says, 'Stop'?
K: Somebody challenges me.
PJ: What is the factor which makes it say, 'Stop'?
K: You come along and say: 'Look, through millennia the brain has evolved through knowledge, and at present you are certainly different from your great, great ape. As long as you are functioning that way, you are living a fragmentary life because knowledge is fragmentary. And whatever you do from that fragmentary state of the brain is incomplete. Therefore pain, suffering, all the rest of it.' So I ask, at the end of that explanation: can that registration, that movement of the past, end? I will make it much more simple: can this movement of millennia stop?
TKP: The process of registration starts because of the feeling of insecurity.
K: Security, essential security.
TKP: If I ask the question, 'Can this process stop?, that again gives me the same feeling of insecurity.
K: No, no.
PJ: Now I ask you: is there something in the very quality of listening...
K: Yes, there it is. That's it, that's it.
PJ: ...which hearing only, ends, and gives silence to the brain cells?
K: That's it, that's my point. You have come into my life by chance, and you have pointed out to me that my brain has evolved through registration, through knowledge, through experience, and that knowledge, however much you may have, that experience, is fundamentally limited. And whatever action that takes place from that limited state of the brain will be fragmented; therefore there will be conflict, pain, and all the rest of it. So you say: 'Look, find out, don't argue, because you can argue endlessly. Find out if that momentum, which has tremendous volume and depth, which is like a tremendous flow of energy, which is knowledge, stop.' That's all.
Q3: Much reference has been made to the tape recorder registering, and it just goes on registering and can't stop itself; it has to be stopped by somebody else.
K: Oh, yes, if somebody plugs it out, it stops.
Q3: But, then, can the brain stop itself?
K: We are going to find out. First face the question; that's my point. First listen to the question.
SP: Is the whole of my consciousness only registration? In the whole of my consciousness, is there only registering going on?
K: Of course.
SP: Then what is it that observes this registering? What is it that can observe this registering or prevent registering? Because I also know silence.
K: Ah. You know the silence between two noises.
SP: Yes. But is the silence which I experience also a registering then?
SP: You can't call it registering.
K: As long as there is a registration process going on, it is mechanical.
SP: That's all right.
K: Is there silence which is non-mechanistic? Which means you haven't thought about it, you haven't induced it, you haven't brought it about, invented it. As long as you do that, the silence is merely mechanistic.
SP: One knows the non-mechanistic silence sometimes, surely.
K: Ah, not sometimes.
SP: If you don't grant it...
K: I don't grant it.
Rajesh Dalal (RD): Is it possible for a non-mechanistic silence to come?
K: Ah, I am not interested in it. I am asking something entirely different. You don't answer it by saying 'silence'. I am saying this momentum of the past, our conditioning, the whole consciousness, is the past. There is nothing new in it. There is no future consciousness. The whole consciousness is the past-registered, remembered, stored -experience, knowledge, fear, pleasure, all the rest of it; that is the whole momentum of the past. And somebody comes along and says: 'Listen to what I have to say, my friend. This is the momentum, we all know that. Find out if it can be stopped; otherwise this momentum, which is fragmentary activity, will go on endlessly for the rest of your blasted life.'
RB: This question cannot be answered. Whatever answer comes is again the past.
K: I am going to find out.
GM: But, for that, the mind has to go beyond the mind.
K: No, sir, don't believe in that yet. Find out if you can stop it. Therefore I ask, 'Will you listen when I call you a fool?' When I call you a fool, is this momentum carrying you along? Or you will stop and listen without any movement of the past?
GM: I think the momentum can be stopped only if we don't add to it.
K: No, no! The momentum is you, is your consciousness. The 'you' is not different from this momentum. You don't recognize that. You are this vast momentum of tradition, of racial prejudice, collective drive, so-called individual assertions, and so on. This is a vast river, and somebody comes and says: 'Look, if there is no stopping to that, there is no future. The future will be the same thing, modified, changed a little bit here and there, but it will be that. So there is no future if this current is going on. You may call it a future, but there is no future.'
PJ: Now, you are not there. And darkness arises within me. The question arises: can consciousness, which is itself its own content, which is the darkness...
PJ: ...hold this? You used that word hold.
K: Yes, hold it, hold it.
PJ: What exactly does that mean?
K: I think it is fairly simple. Can you, can the brain, hold this momentum, or is it an idea that it is a momentum? Listen to it carefully. Is the momentum actual, or is it an idea? If it is an idea, then you can hold the idea about the momentum. But if it is not an idea, a conclusion, then the brain is directly in contact with the momentum, and therefore it can say, 'All right, I'll watch.' It is watching it, not allowing it to move.
PJ: Sir, if you could take it a little further.
K: I am going to. My consciousness, with all its content, is consciousness. The content make the consciousness. Without the content, consciousness as we know it will not exist. It's logical, it's obvious. That content is this vast movement.
RD: What happens is that there is a particular time the content comes in with the word momentum, then we hold on to that word.
K: That's what I am saying. Is it the word you are holding on to, or are you observing this vast movement? You are that vast movement. When we say, 'You are that vast movement', is it an idea?
K: Therefore you are that. Now, somebody comes along and says, 'Find out if that thing can end.' Which is the past coming, meeting the present-a challenge, a question-and ending there. Otherwise there is no end to suffering. Man has put up with suffering thousand years upon thousand years. That momentum is going on and on. You may say, 'Jesus came and carried my suffering' and all that stuff, but still I suffer. I can give an explanation- karma, reincarnation-but I still suffer. This suffering is a vast momentum of man. Can that momentum come to an end without control? The controller is the controlled, the division, all that. Can that stop? If it doesn't stop, then there is no freedom. Then our action will always be incomplete, therefore there will be regret, pain, suffering, all the rest of it. If you see the whole of that, see it actually, then...
Q3: In a discussion like this when I am challenged about something like registration, I see clearly; what prevents continuous perception?
K: There is nothing to prevent it. If I have understood your question rightly, who is to prevent this thing?
Q3: In a discussion like this, issues like registration become clear, but on leaving, it becomes cloudy: I don't see so clearly.
K: Ah no, no. Either you see it or you don't see it. If you see the danger, it is finished. It is like seeing a cliff, a cobra, a snake, this or that. You see a bus coming along, rushing towards you; you see the danger and step out. You don't say, 'Well, I see one day, and the next day I am rather cloudy when the bus is coming.'
RD: Then can we discuss this feeling of ours which says that we are seeing it just now?
K: Yes, go ahead if you want to.
RD: This feeling that we are observing ourselves just now- what is it?
K: You are being forced by the speaker, aren't you, influenced, pushed, directed; and the moment that pressure is released, you are back to yourself.
RD: I am seeing the fact that there is fear, I am reacting.
PJ: Can you ever see that? When you say you are seeing in the present, what are you seeing?
K: Pupulji, may I ask something? I call you a fool; must you register it?
PJ: I'll tell you, sir.
K: Wait, I am asking you. Just don't come to your answer. I am asking you a very simple question: you are called a fool; why should you register it?
PJ: I can't just answer why I should register. You see, it is a question of whether these eyes and ears of mine are flowing out to the word fool. If they are still and listen, there is no registration. There is listening, but no registration.
K: So what are you saying?
PJ: That is, there is no seeing of this movement. I was observing while this discussion was going on, and I asked, what does it mean to register the fact 'You are a fool'? Obviously, if my listening is directed to the word coming out of you, I register. The very movement outward throws it back, but if the eyes and ears are listening and seeing but still, then they take in without any registration.
K: So you are saying that if there is a quietness in listening, there is no registration. But most of us are not quiet. That's not my point.
PJ: We cannot answer that question of yours: why should one register?
K: No, no. I am asking quite a different question. One calls you a fool. Don't register it at all!
PJ: But it is not a process in which I can register or I cannot register. You are trying to give alternatives, the way you put it. It is as though it is possible either to register or not to register.
K: No, we are registering all the time.
PJ: So there is a registration all the time.
K: All the time.
PJ: As long as my senses are moving outwards from me, there is registration.
K: When you say 'as long as', that means you are not now.
PJ: No, it's an explanation. That's why I say this is what I felt during this listening to you-the instant I was still in my listening, there was insight.
K: You are not answering.
Questioner 4 (Q4): You asked a question: can you stop registering? At this moment we are not very much exposed to the danger of it.
K: That means you are conditioned to the danger of a cobra, right? So as long as you are conditioned not to register, you won't register. I am conditioned through centuries that a cobra is a dangerous snake, so I respond instantly according to that conditioning when I meet a cobra. And you are saying that if I can get conditioned to the stopping of this momentum, then it is finished. So you depend on the conditioning.
Q2: Is there a correlation between registering and resistance?
K: I can resist it, but I have already registered it. I can resist your calling me a fool, turning my head away, but it has already sunk in.
Q3: If we no longer continue to reflect on the registration, is that the ending of the registration?
K: I don't quite follow.
Q3: I can't see how it's possible to not always register. Maybe my reflection on the registration is where the momentum is.
K: I understand. I don't know how to answer all these questions. I want to find out whether this vast field of the past can come to an end; that is all my question. Or must it go on everlastingly?
PJ: You wouldn't accept anything. You wouldn't accept any kind of statement on it. Therefore the brain cells have to end.
K: I am asking you, can it end? If it doesn't end, you know what it is.
PJ: So let's move from that to the brain cells which are actually registering.
K: So the brain cells are registering. Those brain cells are heavily conditioned because they have realized that the momentum is the only safety as long as they live. So in that momentum the brain has found tremendous security.
PJ: And it has only one movement. There is only one movement which is the movement...
K: ...of the past.
PJ: ...of the past touching it...
K: ...moving on.
PJ: ...and moving on.
K: Yes, that's it-the past meeting the present, moving on, modified; we've gone into that. The brain is conditioned to that because it has found safety in that. It sees that as long as that stream exists, it is perfectly safe. Now, how are those cells to be shown that it is the most dangerous movement? That momentum is the momentum in which the brain has found enormous security. In the past the brain has found its well-being. Now, to point out to that brain the danger of this momentum is all that matters. The moment it sees the danger, it will move.
TKP: Can the frightened mind ask such a question?
K: I am asking you. I am asking you: 'Do you see the danger of this momentum of the past meeting the present, learning from it a little more or a little less, modifying itself, and moving on. Do you see the danger of this movement, the actual danger, not the theoretical danger, but the actual danger?' If you don't see it, all your questions will arise. But if you see the danger, the brain says, 'By Jove, I can't do that.' You follow what I am saying?
PJ: How do you do that?
K: I am doing it now. For God's sake!
PJ: Are your brain cells doing that?
K: What? What do you mean 'my brain cells'?
PJ: Are your brain cells saying that this movement...
K: ...is dangerous? My brain is using the words to inform you of the danger, but it has no danger in that. It has seen it and dropped it. You're getting off with my brain; to hell with my brain! I beg your pardon. [Laughter] Do you see the danger of a cobra? When you see the danger, you avoid it. You avoid it because you've been conditioned through millennia to the danger of a snake. So your responses are according to the conditioning, which is instant action. The brain has been conditioned to carry on because it thinks that in that there is complete safety-it thinks. Meeting the present, learning from it, modifying, and moving-the brain says, 'That is the only safety movement I know, so I am going to remain there.' But the moment the brain realizes that it is the most dangerous thing, it is out.
Q1: But the brain has to realize that when it is actual, when you see the cobra...
K: Have you ever met a cobra?
K: What happened? You acted instantly.
Q1: I just had a moment of fear.
K: Yes. You acted, which is according to your conditioning.
K: And you act now, according to your conditioning, in this momentum.
K: Both are conditioned actions. There, with the cobra, it has realized the danger of it. Here it hasn't realized the danger of its momentum because it says, 'I know, in my knowledge there is safety.' But when it sees the danger of it, it won't act from a conditioning; it is out of it.
RB: The difficulty is in seeing it with all one's...
K: Do it, do it! You see, we act according to our conditioning. With the cobra you act according to your conditioning, you act according to your conditioning of the past. So your response to your conditioning is based on reward and punishment. Those are the motives: reward or punishment, all the complications of reward or the complications of punishment. Now, somebody comes along and says: 'Look, just stop a minute, just listen, don't argue, don't fight, don't say yes or no; just listen. Can this movement stop, because this is the most dangerous movement? Because the brain becomes mechanical, it breeds separation, conflict, wars, and other things. And do you see the danger of it? If you don't see the danger of it, let's talk about it till you see the danger.' After all, your great, great apes said, 'Be careful of that snake; my mother was bitten, killed. So you be careful.' And this has been handed down to us. And the same thing in this direction, in this momentum. So can you see the immense danger of this? Like when you see the immense danger of nationalism, it's over; you don't argue, discuss. It's a dangerous thing. If I see the danger of following somebody-a guru, a leader, an idea, this or that-it's finished, I'm out of it. The difficulty is we are so heavily conditioned that we don't listen.
Q1: Take the example of a child which has no knowledge, let's say...
K: Oh yes, it has got all of it, sir. [Laughs] It's already frightened.
Q4: It's already frightened?
K: 'The toy is mine, not yours.'
Q1: No, but I mean a very small child.
K: Even there. You must know your children.
RD: You said this momentum is dangerous. What happens is that we say, 'This is dangerous to the momentum' rather than 'The momentum is dangerous.'
K: The momentum itself is a danger.
RD: We are not clear about it yet. I don't see the danger of the momentum as actually as you see it.
K: Why, sir?
RD: It is partly because I have never observed the momentum for long to see its danger.
K: Are you living with the description of the momentum or living with the momentum itself, which is you? Is the momentum different from you?
K: So you are the momentum. So you are watching yourself.
RD: That's right, but this doesn't happen often.
K: Ah, ah. Those are awful words-often and continuous. Are you aware, without any choice, that you are the momentum? Not sometimes. It is a fact. You can't say, 'The precipice I see only occasionally.' So if the word is not the thing, then the word is not the fear. But has the word created the fear? So if there is no word, would I name it as fear?
K: Don't answer quickly. Find out, go slowly. The word is not the thing. The door, the actuality, is not the word. That's very clear. Fear is not the word, we say. But has the word created fear? Without the word, would that thing called fear exist? The word is the registration process. There is something totally new that arises. That new something the brain refuses because it is a new thing; so it immediately says, 'It is fear.' To hold the brain's momentum and to wait, to watch, to give a gap between the movement of thought interfering with the actual moment of that feeling. That can happen only when you go very deeply into the fact that the word is not the thing. The word is not the fear. Does the fear exist without the word? Immediately you stop the momentum.
Q3: A child may burn his hand in all innocence, and from then on it is afraid of fire.
K: Of course.
Q3: But the actual action came before the fear, and he doesn't even know the word fear.
K: No, of course not. But that's what we are saying: experience, registration, knowledge always captures the present.
PJ: You mean to say it is only the naming which differentiates the quality of tenderness which arises and the quality of hatred which arises?
K: No, no. Let's take hatred. How does it arise? You have done something, said something which hurt me, my image of myself, and therefore there is that hatred arising from the image. Is tenderness, love an image?
RB: When the word comes in, whether it is tenderness or anything else, then it is all part of the 'me'.
K: Of course.
RB: Therefore there is no difference in that sense.
AP: Therefore I had suggested that instead of taking hate or tenderness, we take something non-verbalized, something suspended, which is a tendency-aversion-attraction. Now, aversion-attraction is the soil in which tenderness and hatred flower. I am conscious only of that soil. They have become neither hate nor tenderness. And I ask you, with reference to what we have been talking about, whether that momentum can be held at the point where this soil has not split into aversion-attraction.
K: Yes, I understand. So what is the question?
PJ: The point is that in actual living these things arise in one-anger and tenderness. Let's not go into any big words about tenderness.
K: When you are tender, when there is that feeling of tenderness, you are not going through the process of verbalizing, naming, this, that. That is something which is not calculated, which is not conditioned.
PJ: I won't take that. Let's take the words anger and fear.
K: They are both the same thing.
PJ: Are they both same?
K: Yes. Anger maintained, sustained, becomes hatred.
RB: To me it seems that everything lies in the question: how do I know there is tenderness?
K: The moment you say, 'I am tender', it's over.
RB: The moment I know that I am this, whatever it is...
PJ: I am not even going into the moment of knowing. I am going into the essential quality of it. I started by saying that Krishnaji talked of taking either anger or fear, without the name, and holding it in consciousness.
K: Do you ever hold anger in your consciousness? Do you ever hold anger, or has it already moved? That's what I am asking you. I am saying that when there is anger, hold it, remain with it.
AP: You are talking of anger after it has come as an outer impact. I am talking of it as it arises, as a quintessential aversion.
K: Sir, you are sticking to your aversion and non-aversion.
AP: I stick to it because it has not become anger. It will become anger the moment it gets a chance.
K: The aversion...
AP: ...is in the soil.
K: ...is the soil. The soil is the image.
AP: The soil is the momentum.
K: The soil is the momentum, the picture is the momentum. Just stick to one thing, don't move away from it. I've repeated this, I am sick of it.
PJ: I am still wanting to get to the thing which you said last night(2).
K: What is it?
(2) Public Talk in Madras on 12 December 1976
PJ: You said last night, 'Is it possible to hold this quality of feeling without the word?'
K: Yes, that's it. Do it.
PJ: Listen to what I'm trying to say.
K: Of course it can.
PJ: Whether it is hatred, anger...
K: Doesn't matter. To hold the feeling of fear without the word, just remain with that feeling. Do it and you'll see.
GM: How is it possible? Some other thought comes in when you try to hold it.
K: Then you can't hold it.
GM: You escape from it.
K: Then escape from it, then escape from it. No other choice escaping from it. Be aware of the whole! But if you say, 'I must hold it', then it becomes a formula, and you are lost. Right?
PJ: What did you exactly mean?
K: I mean a very simple thing. When fear arises, from whatever cause, remain with it without any momentum, without any movement of thought.
PJ: What is it then?
K: What is it then? It is no longer the thing which I have associated with the past as fear.
PJ: What is it?
K: I would say it is energy held without any movement. Then, when energy is held without any movement, there is an explosion; that thing gets transformed.
PJ: I am afraid to have fear.
K: No, no.
PJ: Yes, sir. I am afraid to face what you are talking about.
K: Don't face it.
PJ: That's really, basically...
K: Of course, then don't face it.
GM: Then I am back to where I am.
K: Oh, then remain where you are. You see, we are so greedy for everything. I say I don't know. Whatever action I take will be wrong. Because I am so utterly confused in myself, whatever action I take will be confused. So I say all right. I remain with my confusion. Just listen to it. I remain with my confusion, I won't move. If I move, I am confused. Whatever I do will be confused. Can you say that, actually? Then what takes place? I am confused. I don't know. Politicians say this, scientists say this, the gurus say this, the books say this, I say this. It is such a nightmarish confusion. And whatever you do out of that soil, whatever grows out of that soil, will be confused. Do you see it actually, or is it a theory? That's our difficulty. We have made it into a theory, an idea: 'I am confused.' You don't say that when you are hungry, you don't make it into an idea 'I am hungry.'
Chapter 13 - The 'I' and This Vast Stream of SorrowDiscussion in Bombay on 10 January 1977
David Shainberg (DS): I wonder if we could go on with what we started with in the last discussion(1) where several people raised the question of momentum. We didn't get at what is the momentum of the creation of the thinker or what is the momentum of the adhesion that produces this identification with the thinker. In your talk last night(2) you said there is this whole sensation, contact, pleasure, thought, and desire, and then you made a jump by asking, well, if this wasn't there, what then? But I find that bit a kind of facsimile of the imagination. The fact is that we are faced with this momentum, this movement. Could we look at what is the momentum behind the constant creation of the thinker or the observer?
Pupul Jayakar (PJ): Don't you think that in order to investigate that, one should go into the problem of the dissipation of energy?
DS: I don't know what you mean by that.
PJ: It appears that just as there is an energy which propels the body, there is a kind of energy involved in the process of thinking and in the process of changing. So could we go into energy per se, into the energy which dissipates and the energy which does not dissipate, if there is such a thing?
DS: I don't think we know what we mean by energy. I think it was Maxwell who first used the word energy. And for a scientist the word energy means 'relationship'.
Achyut Patwardhan (AP): In the sense in which we have been using that word energy in these discussions, I think we refer to attention as the relevant form of energy. When you say 'dissipating energy', it really comes to that whenever we use the word energy in the context of self-knowing, I think we mean attention. Am I right, or am I oversimplifying?
(1) Small Group Discussion in Bombay on 7 January 1977
(2) Public Talk in Bombay on 9 January 1977
PJ: Maybe I am going off at a tangent, but I am raising this because of certain things Krishnaji said at a seminar in Madras. He made a statement: 'I know more about kundalini than all of you, I know everything about kundalini.' Now, kundalini basically is the awakening of a certain flow of energy in the human body which does not dissipate and which is linked to certain psychic points. And I wanted to investigate with Krishnaji what he meant by that statement, whether he thinks the problem of energy is relevant in any discussion of this kind, whether our understanding of the problem of energy will clarify our understanding of the problem of the thinker and the thought.
DS: I question whether anyone has ever accurately thought about what energy is in the psychological sense. It has been a misunderstood thing. Is energy something manifested in relationship? If so, it raises different questions.
PJ: Doesn't physics now accept that there is an energy which dissipates,? And have they come to an energy which in itself does not have the seed of dissipation?
Fritz Wilhelm (FW): As far as I know, no physicist can define what energy is. It is a basic assumption in physics that it is there; you can play around with it in mathematics. But we know that energy is necessary when there is to be a force. Without energy no force is possible, no work is possible; so energy and work are very much related. We can use force, we can see force, we can see work being done, but we can never see energy.
PJ: What is the meaning of the word entropy?
FW: In the entropic process there is no dissipation of energy. As a physicist you can make an abstraction and say you have a black box and in that black box you have some energy. Now, that energy is always conserved.
P.Y. Deshpande (PYD): When you have hot water and cold water connected through a hole, then there is an equalization of temperatures. That leads to entropy.
PJ: But isn't there an anti-entropic energy flow?
PYD: Anti-entropic energy flow is life energy. That's how scientists see it.
FW: Anti-entropic processes have not been known in physics until very recently.
PJ: They are now being recognized because the whole idea of kundalini is linked to the idea of the anti-entropic. I would like to investigate that.
K: What is that?
PJ: What you said...
K: Leave what I said.
PJ: No, I can't leave what you said.
K: We'll come to it a little later, but what are we discussing? Is there energy which is endless, without a beginning and without an end? And is there an energy which is mechanical like a motor, and which has always a motive? And is there an energy which is in relationship, in all activity? What is it that we are discussing? I would like to find out.
PJ: First Dr Shainberg asked, 'What is it that gives momentum?'
K: Let's stick to that.
PJ: He asked, 'What is it that gives momentum? Is it the thinker and then the thinker continues?'
K: What is the drive, the force, behind all our actions? Is it mechanical? Or is there an energy, a force, a drive, a momentum, which has no friction? Is that what we are discussing?
PJ: Kundalini is the second type of energy we are talking about, which is without friction and which is linked to certain psychic centres in the body.
K: We will come to that, Pupulji.
DS: Let's stay out of fantasy realms for a moment and just stay with this momentum of thought and desire. What is the momentum of the energy of thought, of desire, and the creation of the thinker? What is the momentum of this energy that gets mechanical?
K: Go on, discuss it.
PYD: Probably what he means is: yesterday(3) you talked of sensation, thought, desire, fulfilment of desire, and the whole drive of it continuing with a little modification. That is the momentum.
K: That is momentum. I understand that, sir. So you are asking what is the momentum behind desire. Is that it? Let's keep it simple, and then we will expand it as we go along. What is the drive, the momentum, behind desire? I desire a car; what is behind that desire? What is the urge, the drive, the force, the energy, behind the desire that says, 'I must have the car'?
(3) Public Talk in Bombay on 9 January 1977
DS: Is it that you desire the car, or does the car come up as a desire and then create the 'I'? Are you created out of the desire?
K: If I actually didn't see the car, didn't feel it, didn't touch it, didn't know what it means, I would have no desire for it. But I perceive the car, I see people driving in a car, feel the pleasure of driving, the energy of driving, and all the fun of driving. So what is behind all that? Go on, it is fairly simple.
Questioner 1 (Q1): I feel I am lesser without that car.
K: That is not the point-not lesser or more. Dr Shainberg is asking quite a different question. He asks, 'What is the drive, the motive, the urge, the force, the energy which makes me desire that?'
PJ: Is it only the object which creates desire?
DS: That is a big question.
K: It may be an object, a physical object, a non-physical object-a belief, an idea-anything.
FW: But in the first place it probably has to be perceived, must be perceivable by the senses. Because you perceive something with the senses, you make an image of it, and then you desire it. So could one say that whatever can be desired has to be sensed first? So from your question I ask: anything which can be desired, has it to be perceivable through the senses first? One could of course say 'God' for example; I can desire God.
PJ: If that's it, I would say no.
Q1: It is non-sensual perception.
PJ: It is not non-sensual perception. Desire is what maintains it. Desire is what keeps the world going.
DS: Would there have been a desire if there were no 'I'?
K: Sir, let's be simple. What is the momentum behind any desire? Let's begin with that. What is the energy that makes me desire? What is behind my being here? What is the urge that made me come here? I came here to find out what you are talking, discussing; I want to find out something. Here the desire is to discover something other than my usual rush of thought. So what is that? Is that desire? Now, what is behind the desire that made me come here? Is it my suffering? Is it my pleasure? Is it that I want to learn more? Put all those together, then what is behind all that?
DS: Relief from what I am.
PJ: Which is identical with the process of becoming.
K: What is behind becoming?
DS: To get somewhere that is different from where I am now, so that it'll be better.
K: Which is what? What is the energy that is making me do that? Is it punishment and reward? After all, all our structure of movement is this: punishment and reward-to avoid one, to gain the other. Is that the basic drive or energy that is making us do certain things? Reward and punishment-like a mouse caught in a trap; there is a reward, and it goes through all kind of things to get it. If it doesn't get it, it is punished. So, is the motive, the drive, the energy, derived from these two-to avoid one and gain the other?
DS: Yes, that is a part of it, but that is something we can deal with at the level of thought.
K: Not at the level of thought only. I am hungry, my reward is food. If I do something wrong, there is punishment.
FW: Is that different from pleasure and pain? Is reward the same as pleasure and pain?
K: Keep to that word, don't enlarge it. Reward and punishment-this is the basic, ordinary, common drive.
PJ: Reward and punishment-to whom?
K: Not 'to whom'. That which is satisfactory and that which is not satisfactory.
PJ: But for whom? You have to posit it.
K: I have not come to that yet-what is satisfying and what is not satisfying.
DS: That's how it is set.
K: That's how it is set. That which is satisfying I call reward, that which is not satisfying I call punishment. So there is not the 'I' saying 'I must be satisfied', 'I am hungry, food is necessary.'
PJ: That's physical. No, sir, I can't accept it.
K: I am just taking that as a beginning, I haven't enlarged it. Don't agree or disagree.
PYD: Hunger comes not because I wish it.
K: That's right, sir. It's a physiological thing.
PJ: Physiologically, that's one thing.
K: I am keeping to that for the moment. Does the physiological thing spill over into the psychological field? I need food, food is necessary, but that same urge goes into the field of psychology, and there begins a whole different cycle. But it is the same movement.
Q1: Where is all this process going on?
K: That's what Dr Shainberg is asking: where does all this begin?
Q1: If it goes on in me, if it's what I experience, where is it taking place? In the brain? Where do I find these pleasure- pain needs?
K: Both biological and psychological.
Q1: If this process of reward and punishment is to be investigated at a physiological level, then there are some responses in the brain which are in between reward and punishment.
K: You mean there is a gap between reward and punishment?
Q1: Not a gap, but an interlink, a bridge.
Ghaneshyam Mehta (GM): You mean there is a state which is neither reward nor punishment?
Q1: Yes. Where one merges into another.
PJ: There may be another state. I don't know whether there is, but I suppose there is. How does this answer the question, or how does this further the inquiry about the nature of this force which brings this momentum into being and then keeps it in movement? Basically that is the question.
DS: That is the question. Where is this momentum from? What is this momentum of reward and punishment even if there is space in between?
K: Are you asking what is it that is pushing one in the direction of reward and punishment; what is the energy, what is the momentum, what is the force, what is the volume of energy that is making me go there, avoid that? Is that the question?
DS: Right. We know that is a fact.
K: We know that is a fact. I am saying it may be satisfaction, gratification, which is pleasure.
DS: You are not going far enough when you say it is pleasure, satisfaction. What is it?
K: I am just beginning, sir. Is it mere gratification? Obviously it is, it looks like it. I am hungry, there needs to be food.
DS: And then what is gratification?
K: I am then gratified when I have food in my tummy.
DS: Yes. But what is your state of being when you are gratified?
K: It is very simple, isn't it? There is hunger, and food is given, and you are satisfied.
DS: What is that?
K: What do you mean? I am satisfied if the hunger is stopped.
DS: So that the tension is reduced.
K: It may be the same movement carried into the psychological field.
FW: But there it may not stop. Here, in the physiological field, it stops.
K: In the physiological field it stops, but that same thing is carried on [into the psychological field] and it is never ending there. I seek one satisfaction after another; it is endless. Is it that this energy, this drive, is for being satisfied biologically as well as psychologically?
Q1: But if it is to be satisfied, then in the beginning there should be an unsatisfied state.
K: Of course I am hungry. And psychologically I am lonely. There is a feeling of emptiness, there is a feeling of insufficiency. And I go off to God, to church, to gurus, to some idiocy, and all kinds of things happen. Let's keep to simple words. Emptiness is quite a difficult word, I won't use it. Let's say 'Not having enough', 'insufficiency'. Physiologically, insufficiency is satisfied very easily; psychologically, it is never satisfied.
T. K. Parchure (TKP): The physiological fulfilment of insufficiency does not involve thought.
TKP: If I am hungry, if I have sensation, I eat food.
K: Yes. The other is endless.
PYD: Because thought has intervened.
K: Wait. I don't know what has happened. We are going to examine it first.
TKP: So where does one go from physiological fulfilment to thought?
K: It may be that the physiological movement has entered into the psychological movement, and carries on.
PJ: From what you say...
K: Not what I say; is this so?
PJ: It is not a question of whether it is possible or whether it is a choice; it is so. From the moment I am born, both types of wants come to me.
K: Both begin.
PJ: Therefore I am asking about the source of both-the physiological and the psychological.
PYD: That one word insufficiency should be enough.
PJ: It isn't.
K: Leave it, go on. Insufficiency in both cases.
PJ: Both those are structured in a force which then propels.
PJ: That structuring in one is the self, the 'I'.
K: No, I don't think it is the 'I'.
PJ: Why do you say that?
K: I don't think it is the 'I'. I think it is the endless dissatisfaction, endless insufficiency.
DS: What is the source of that?
PJ: Can there be insufficiency unless there is someone who feels insufficient?
Sunanda Patwardhan (SP): That is the question. Who is insufficient? Who is it that knows he is insufficient?
K: You are already assuming something. I don't yet posit the 'I'. This is what is happening: continuous insufficiency. I go to Marxism-insufficient. I keep going, one after the other. The more intelligent, awake I am, the more dissatisfaction. Then what takes place?
SP: By that you are implying that there is a matrix without the reality of the 'I' which, in its very momentum, can act.
K: I don't know the matrix, I don't know the 'I'. All that I am pointing out is that there is physiological insufficiency which has entered into the field of psychological insufficiency, and that goes on endlessly.
DS: There is an endless sense of incompletion.
K: Insufficiency-keep to that word.
FW: From what you are saying now, it looks like this feeling of insufficiency is there; it is a fact.
K: It may not be a fact.
AP: That's why I wanted to suggest, perhaps at this point, that we cut out the physiological insufficiency.
K: Ah, I am purposely insisting on that.
AP: I know.
K: It may be the flowing out of that, and we create all this misery.
TKP: I question that. Is it a mixture of the physiological and psychological spilling over? What exactly do we mean by spilling over? One is a fact, the other is not.
K: Therefore there is only physiological insufficiency.
PJ: How can you say that, sir?
K: I don't say that, I am just investigating. I am not investigating the 'I'. I feel hungry, it has been satisfied. I feel sexual, that has been satisfied. And I say that is not good enough, I must have something more. The more- what is that?
PJ: The more is the momentum.
K: No. The more is more satisfaction.
PJ: Which is the momentum.
K: All right, keep to that word. The brain is seeking satisfaction.
PJ: Why should the brain seek satisfaction?
K: Because it needs stability, it needs security. Therefore it says, 'I thought I had satisfaction in this, there isn't any, I am going to find satisfaction and security in that, and there isn't any.' And so it keeps on going, going, going. That is so in daily life. I go from one blasted guru to another, from one theory to another, from one conclusion to another, etc., etc.
Q1: At the physiological level, the very nature of insufficiency leads to sufficiency. In the way the brain works, it goes from some inadequacy in the physiological mechanism to the completion of it. It is this cycle that operates, that's how the brain works. If the physiological spill-over is to continue in the psychological field, then this cycle of sufficiency and insufficiency must continue.
K: Sir, examine yourself, it is very simple. You are seeking satisfaction, right? Everybody is. If you are poor, you want to be rich. If you see somebody richer than you or somebody more beautiful, you want to be that, and so on. We want continuous satisfaction.
AP: I want to draw your attention again to the central feature of physiological insufficiency, which is that every activity to fulfil that leads to satiety. That is to say, between the insufficiency and its recurrence, there is always a gap as far as physiological insufficiency is concerned. In psychological insufficiency, we begin a cycle that does not know any gap.
K: Forget the gap. That is not important.
AP: All right.
K: Watch yourself, sir. Isn't the whole of your movement, energy, drive, to find gratification? No? Which is reward or whatever you like to call it.
K: What do you say about this?
DS: I think what is coming out is that this model of the physiological reward-punishment scheme is the way everything functions, whether it is logical or not.
K: That is what I am saying: the whole momentum of seeking satisfaction is captured by the 'I'.
DS: Yes. The 'I' is the manifestation of the momentum.
K: That's it, that's what I mean. It is that 'I am seeking satisfaction.' There is never a saying, 'Satisfaction is being sought' but 'I am seeking satisfaction.' It should be the other way actually: 'Satisfaction is being sought.'
DS: I thought you were going to go on even further: Satisfaction being sought creates the 'I'.
K: Of course all that is implied. So the momentum is the urge to be satisfied.
PJ: I will ask you a question which may seem to go off: isn't the 'I' sense inherent in the brain?
K: In the brain?
PJ: In the brain cells which have inherited knowledge.
K: I question it.
PJ: I am asking you a very interesting question: isn't the whole inherited knowledge of man present in the brain cells, in the depth of the racial consciousness? Isn't the 'I' sense a part of that brain?
SP: Are you here equating the whole of the past with the 'I'?
PJ: Of course, the whole of the past. I am asking whether it comes into existence because of this manifestation of seeking satisfaction, or whether the centuries of memory, the racial memory, the matrix of memory, the whole of that is not the 'I' sense.
K: You are asking: Is there the 'I', the 'me', the ego, identifying itself with the past, as knowledge?
PJ: Not identifying itself.
K: It is that.
PJ: It is that. It is time. It is time as the past.
K: I understand.
PJ: And the 'I' sense is the whole of that.
K: You asked at the beginning: does the brain contain the 'I'? I would say, temporarily, that there is no 'I' at all, but pure satisfaction. Knowledge, all that-pure satisfaction. Then that satisfaction says, 'I want more.' There is first insufficiency, and being satisfied. Then the 'I' is merely a fascio, a bundle, which says 'I am.' The 'I' is fictitious. What is not fictitious is insufficiency. Do look at it first.
PJ: I've looked at it. Is the past fictitious? Is the whole racial history, memory of man fictitious?
K: No. But the moment you say, 'I am the past', that 'I' is fictitious. There is the past.
SP: Is the past itself saying that 'I am the past' or a part of the past saying that it is the past?
K: You see, you are raising a question which is really very interesting: do you observe the past as the 'I'? There is the whole past, millennia of human endeavour, human suffering, human misery, confusion, and the appalling things of a million years. That movement, that current, that vast river-there is only the vast river, not the 'I' and the vast river.
PJ: No, sir. When this vast river comes to the surface, it comes to the surface in the form of the 'I', it is identified with the 'I'.
DS: I don't think so.
K: The 'I' may merely be a means of communication.
K: No, not journalism, not propaganda, but the 'I' is facon de parler-it is a way of talking.
PJ: Is it as simple as that?
K: No. I'm just beginning. It is not as simple as that.
SP: At one point you said the manifestation of that stream of sorrow is the individual.
K: Go slowly. There is this vast stream of sorrow; that manifests itself as a human being, in a human being.
SP: Is the 'I' present or not?
K: That's not the point yet. That vast stream manifests itself in a human being, and the father gives it a name, a form, and then I say I am 'I', which is the form, the name, the idiosyncratic environment. But that stream is the 'me'.
AP: I think if we relate it to our original question of momentum, we have come to a basis for probing further. The basis is that the momentum is provided by this activity which is a projection of the physiological insufficiency- sufficiency, to which this psychological continuity gives the momentum, and that momentum then creates the 'I'.
K: No, I wouldn't agree. Achyutji, make it very simple. There is this vast stream, which is obvious.
AP: I did not want to start with that; I wanted to start with the momentum.
K: That is the momentum.
SP: That is the momentum. It's not something separate.
PJ: How can one see that? You see, the way Krishnaji puts it, it becomes something which is not really linked to the depth of myself. The depth of myself says, 'I want', 'I am', 'I will become', 'I need'. That depth springs from the past, which is knowledge, which is the whole racial unconscious.
K: But why is the 'I' there? Why do you say 'I want'? There is only want.
PJ: This is what is being said. But still, by saying that, you don't eliminate the 'I'.
K: No. How do you observe, in what manner is your observation of this stream? Do you observe it as the 'I' observing, or is there only an observation of the stream?
PJ: What one does with observing is a different issue. We are talking of that nature of energy which brings about the momentum. I say the momentum is the very nature and structure of the 'I' which, because it is caught, is becoming.
K: I want to question whether the 'I' exists at all. It may be totally verbal, non-actual. It is only a word that has become tremendously important. The word has become important, not the fact.
FW: But isn't the imprint of the 'I' in the brain matter an actuality?
K: No. I question it.
FW: The imprint is there, but you question whether it is an actuality.
K: The whole momentum, this vast stream, is in the brain. After all, that is the brain, and why should there be the 'I' at all in that?
PJ: But when you are talking of the actual, it is there.
K: It is there only verbally.
DS: It is actually there in a bigger sense. If you and I are together, I think there are two parts to it: my identification with myself as the 'I' is in relationship to you.
K: Sir, when are you conscious of the 'I'?
DS: Only in relationship.
K: No, no. When are you conscious of the 'I'?
DS: When I want something, or when I identify myself with something, or when I look at myself in the mirror.
K: Ah, no. You don't say, 'I am looking at the mirror' when you see your face.
DS: But I am conscious of an 'I' there.
Questioner 2 (Q2): As soon as one becomes conscious of the mind, the 'I' starts.
K: Sir, don't assert anything; we are investigating. I have a bank account, there is my name, signature; all that's verbal.
DS: That is your relationship, though. Your back account is your relationship to the society which represents your assets in the society.
K: Yes, yes.
Q1: What would you say when I have some innate experiences? When I feel hungry all by myself in a forlorn place, I still identify or try to make that innate experience my experience.
K: No. I question it. When you experience, at the moment of experiencing something, there is no 'I'.
PJ: All right, there is no 'I'. But then the 'I' emerges a second later.
PJ: The 'I' emerges a second later. It emerges.
K: No, no. You are missing my point. There is experience. (I don't like to use the word experience because the root meaning of it is entirely different, so let's leave it out.) At the moment of a crisis, there is no 'I'. Then later comes the thought which says that was exciting, that was pleasurable, and that thought creates the 'I', which says, 'I have enjoyed it.' Don't agree, please. This is not an agreement; this is an investigation.
PJ: I want to ask you: is the 'I' a concentration of energy?
PJ: The energy that dissipates?
K: It is the energy that dissipates.
PJ: But still it is the 'I'.
K: No, it is not the 'I'. It is an energy that is being misused. It isn't the 'I' that uses the energy wrongly.
PJ: I am not saying that the 'I' uses energy wrongly. The 'I' itself is a concentration of energy that dissipates.
K: I question it.
PJ: As the body wears out, the 'I' in that sense has the same nature: it gets old, it gets stale.
K: Pupul, just listen to me. At the moment of a crisis, there is no 'I'. Now, is there a living at the height of that crisis all the time?
K: Wait, sir, one moment. Crisis implies, demands total energy. Right? A crisis of any kind brings about the influx of all energy. At that second, there is no 'I'.
K: Not okay. It is so.
DS: All right. That is a movement.
K: No. At that precise second there is no 'I'. Now I am asking, 'Is it possible to live at that height all the time?'
DS: Why are you asking that?
K: If you don't live that way, then you have all kinds of other activities which will destroy that.
DS: So what? I don't understand why you are clinging to that memory.
K: No, it is not a memory.
DS: Why would you ask the question? What's the point?
K: The point is: the moment thought comes in, it brings about a fragmentation of energy. I've got it! Thought itself is a fragmentary business, and so when thought enters, there is a dissipation of energy.
DS: Not necessarily.
TKP: You said that at the moment of experience, there is no 'I'.
K: Not I said so.
TKP: Yes, it is so.
K: It is so.
TKP: At that moment of experience, if that is physiological...
K: No, psychological too.
DS: It's holistic, total.
K: The whole thing. Crisis means the whole thing-your nerves, your body, your eyes.
TKP: But how has thought come now?
K: A second later.
PJ: We say it is so, but that still does not answer the question why the 'I' has become so powerful. You have still not answered the question. May I go one step further? At the moment of crisis, the 'I' is not, the whole past is not.
K: Definitely. That is the point. At the moment of crisis, there is nothing.
PJ: There is nothing. Now, why are you saying no to the 'I' being the mirror of the whole racial past?
K: I am saying no because it may be merely our habit of communication.
PJ: Is it as simple as that? Is the 'I' structure as simple as that?
K: Maybe. I think it is extraordinarily simple. What is much more interesting, much more demanding is that whenever thought comes into being, then dissipation of energy begins. So I ask myself, 'Is it possible to live at that height?'
DS: I question it. There is something wrong with saying that. There is this total crisis, and out of that total crisis I come into relationship with you, but then we start thinking about how we are going to order what is happening.
K: That's it. But the moment the 'I' comes into being, there is the dissipation of it. If you left out the 'I', and I left out the 'I', then we will organize it properly.
DS: Then I would put it another way. You say this is dissipation of energy, but I say this is a flow.
K: Call it what you like.
DS: Okay. There is energy...
K: Yes. Call it what you like.
DS: But you see what we are doing right now. What I find myself getting into is that when we say 'dissipation of energy', I immediately take up the position of the observer and say that is bad. But what I am suggesting here is that it's really a neutral event. There is a crisis and a dissipation, a crisis and a dissipation; that is the flow of existence.
K: I know it is the flow.
PJ: His point is: there is a flow of existence, but the transformation he is talking about is to negate that.
DS: I know and I question that.
K: Good. Question it.
DS: I question whether there is any such thing as a breaking out of this flow. I think that is a fantasy. We remember the intensity of the energy of the crisis and then say, 'Well, I would like to keep that all the time.' You do that.
K: No, I don't.
DS: Then why ask the question?
K: I am asking that question purposely, because thought interferes.
DS: Not all the time.
K: No. All the time. Question it, sir. The moment you have a crisis there is no past or the present, only that moment. There is no time in that crisis. The moment time comes in, dissipation begins; that is all. Keep to it for a minute that way. During World War II in England, Lord so and so told me: 'We lost all sense of class, we lived together in the underground.' That is, a crisis took place, and everything disappeared except the crisis-my class, my aristocracy, my this, my that. The moment the war was over, they went back to their castles: 'I'm Lord so and so.'
Q2: A crisis like war is a point where the energies of all are required, and therefore for the time being you forget your 'I' and become one with the group. But the 'I' still remains. One has to go above the mind.
K: There is no going above the mind. No, sir! I won't discuss with you. When you say one has to, you are not investigating.
Questioner 3 (Q3): Whether it is a moment of crisis or of bliss, it is like living at zero level.
K: If you like to call it that.
Q3: Now, are we implying that we should always be at the zero level?
K: You can't, you can't.
Q3: You can't. The vanishing of this 'I' comes at that level when there is an experience of either crisis or bliss. At the moment of bliss there is no 'I'; at the moment of crisis there is no 'I'. We all agree to that.
K: Not agree.
PJ: It is not a question of agreeing, because at a moment of crisis many things happen. So what he is talking of is a holistic position at a moment of crisis. Even to come to that, one has to have investigated very deeply.
K: Of course. You know, the word holistic implies a very sane mind and body, a capacity to think clearly, and also holy, sacred; all that is implied in that word. Now I am asking, 'Is there an energy which is never dissipated, which you can draw on?' There is dissipation when it is not holistic, right?
FW: Well, it is a logical statement; in that sense it is true because when you say something is the whole energy, how could the whole energy dissipate into something else?
PJ: That's interesting.
K: Not interesting. I made a statement; just look at it, don't step on it yet. I made a statement: a holistic way of life-in that there is no dissipation of energy. A non-holistic way of living is dissipation of energy. That's all I said.
PJ: I will ask you a question: what is the relationship of the holistic and the non-holistic to the brain cells?
K: There is no relationship.
PJ: To the brain cells.
K: To the brain cells. Let's look at it, understand the meaning of that word holistic. I want to be quite clear that we understand its meaning. Holistic means complete, whole, complete harmony, no disintegration, no fragmentation. That is a holistic life. That's endless energy. I say so. You may say, 'Nonsense'. The non-holistic life which we know, the fragmented life, is a wastage of energy. How do you receive that statement?
PJ: I will hold that question in mind. I would first like to go into what you've said just now.
K: She is saying: 'Please let me listen to that statement. Let me listen, not argue, spin around, and churn it. Just let me look at it. Not that I accept it or deny it. Let me assimilate it, let me look at it, let me observe it.' When there is a feeling of the whole, there is no 'I'. The other is the movement of thought; the past, time, all that comes in. That is our life, our daily life, and that life is reward and punishment and the continuous seeking of satisfaction. PJ: Now I will ask you a question. The non-holistic is held in the brain cells; that is, it throws up responses, challenges.
K: Yes, I understand.
PJ: The non-holistic is the whole stream of the past.
K: Yes. It is centred in the brain cells.
PJ: Now, what relationship has the holistic to the brain cells and the senses?
K: Let me get the question. Have you got the question, doctor?
K: What's the question?
DS: Her question is: what is the relationship of this holistic state in the brain to memory and the past and the senses?
K: No, no. You are caught out: you haven't listened. [Laughter]
PJ: I said there are two states: the holistic and the non- holistic. The non-holistic is definitely held in the brain cells because it is the stream of the past held in the brain cells. I am asking him, 'What is the relationship of the holistic to the brain cells and to the senses?'
Q1: What do you mean by the senses?
PJ: Listening, seeing, tasting.
K: Sir, her question is very simple. Our brain cells now contain the past, memory, experience, knowledge of millennia; those brain cells are not holistic. Keep to that for the moment. She says the brain cells are now conditioned to a non-holistic way of living. What is the relationship of-I won't call it relationship-what takes place in the brain cells when there is a holistic way? You understand? That is her question.
DS: I would put it slightly differently. I would ask, 'What takes place in the relationship of the brain cells in the holistic state of perception?'
K: I am going to answer that question.
DS: That's a different way of putting it.
K: Same thing, same thing. Does the holistic brain contain the past, and therefore can the past be used holistically? Ah, it is quite different. Because it is whole it contains the part, but the part cannot contain the whole. Therefore when there is the operation of the part, there is dissipation of energy.
PJ: Did you say the holistic contains the total past?
K: Does the holistic contain the total past? Go on, discuss it.
PJ: After going through all this, we have got to this point.
K: Yes. Marvellous point. Stick to it, stick to it.
PJ: I don't want to go into anything conceptual. I don't know the holistic state. Having gone through the non- holistic state, having seen the non-holistic state in operation, I observe my own consciousness, and I say that he makes a statement that there is a holistic state, there is a totality of energy which does not dissipate. Then I ask him: what is its place in the brain cells, which is the structure of the human mind?
K: We know only a non-holistic way of living, right? Keep to that. That's the fact-we live non-holistically, fragmentarily. That's our life, our actual life, and that is a wastage of energy. We see that too. There is contradiction, there is battle, and all that is a wastage of energy. Now we are asking, 'Is there a way of living which is not a wastage of energy?'
Q1: Yes, there is.
K: Don't say there is.
PJ: How does one know?
K: Do you live it? Sir, we are dealing with facts, not with theories.
Q1: Yes, there is a state which we can live, as you said. We do. It may not be at all times; it may be at fleeting moments.
K: Sir, this becomes purely theoretical. We live a non-holistic life, a fragmentary life, a broken life. You understand what I mean by broken?-saying something, doing something else, a contradictory, comparative, imitative, conforming life. That's a fragmentary, non-holistic way of living; that's all we know. And somebody says, 'Is there an energy which is not wasted? Let us investigate it to see if it is not possible to end this way of living.' That's all the question is.
PJ: But then I asked a question whether the one is contained in the brain cells.
K: That is what I am coming to; it is a very difficult question to answer. One lives a non-holistic life, which is a constant seepage of energy, a wastage of energy. One sees that actually. Then one asks, 'Is it possible to live a life which is not that way?' That is the question. The brain is conditioned to that, right?
Q1: Not always.
K: I am not interested in 'always'. It may have a sudden flare of the holistic.
Q1: We can't make a statement that the brain is conditioned. We can't take it for granted that the brain is conditioned to the fragmented life.
K: Sir, I may occasionally have a breath of freedom.
Q1: Yes. But that is what we are investigating-whether that breath of freedom could be a totality.
K: No! It can never be the totality because it comes and goes. We have discussed this ad nauseam with professors; which is, anything that comes and goes involves time. Time involves a fragmentary way of living; therefore it is not whole. We can discuss this later; for the moment we will get on. We live a non-holistic life. The brain is conditioned to that. Occasionally it may have a flare of freedom, but that flare of freedom is still within the field of time; therefore that flare is still a fragment. Now, the brain is conditioned to a non-holistic way of living, and is it possible for it to transform itself completely so as not to live the way it has been conditioned to for centuries? That is the question, right?
DS: My response to that is: here you are in your state of fragmentation, here you are in your state of dissipation of energy.
DS: And now you are looking for satisfaction.
K: No, I am not. I am saying this is a wastage of energy.
DS: That's all you've got.
DS: You've got nothing else.
K: Nothing else. So the brain says, 'All right, I see that.' Then it asks the question: is it possible to change all this?
DS: I wonder whether the brain can ask it?
K: I am asking it. Therefore if one brain asks it, the other brain must ask it too. Which is not based on satisfaction.
K: No. Because if it seeks satisfaction, that again becomes endless. So it has finished with satisfaction.
DS: Could you say something about how you can ask the question about such a state without seeking satisfaction?
K: Because the brain has realized for itself the game it has played.
DS: So how is the brain going to ask the question?
K: It is asking it because it says, 'I have seen through that.' Now it asks, 'Is there, not more satisfaction, but is there a way of living which is non-fragmentary, which is holistic?'
DS: And that question is asked holistically.
K: Not yet. Is there?
DS: That is what I am having trouble with-where that question is coming from. You say it is not satisfaction, it is not holistic. What brain is producing this question?
K: Because it says, 'I see very clearly the wastage of energy.'
Q2: The question is asked not from the brain, but from the heart.
K: Oh no, sir!
PJ: The very fact of your saying that it has seen through the whole problem of fragmentation-the very seeing of that whole...
K: ...is the ending of it.
PJ: Is that holistic?
K: The ending of it-that is holistic.
PJ: Is the seeing of the source of fragmentation itself holistic?
K: That is holistic.
PYD: But your question remains unanswered.
DS: No. That would be the answer, and I think it is a holistic question.
K: But she asked a much more complex question, which is: does the holistic brain contain the past?
K: The essence of the past. Not the totality of the past, but the essence of the past, the juice of it, sucking everything out of the past. What does that mean? The past is nothing. But such a brain can use the past. So now I am concerned with my life, with one's life, actual, daily, beastly, fragmentarily stupid life. And I ask, 'Can that be transformed?' Not into greater satisfaction. Can that structure end itself? Not by an imposition of something higher, which is just another trick. I say it can, if you know, if you are capable of observing without the observer. So the brain can transform itself. That is meditation, not all the nonsense that goes on. The essence is the whole. In fragmentation, there is no essence of anything. How do you put this across, analytically, psychotherapeutically?
Chapter 14 - Listening with the HeartDiscussion in Madras on 7 December 1976
Krishnamurti (K): I want to say to the scientists and the mathematicians here that I am not a scientist, that I know nothing about science. What I am concerned with is the transformation of man, nothing else. Science changes so much, so I am not in that game. So then if that is understood, let's proceed.
Pupul Jayakar (PJ): I thought we should discuss a field very far away from all that, which I feel is the central point missing in all of us, at least in me, and that is the factor of compassion.
K: What is the nature of compassion?
PJ: Yes, the nature of compassion. You used a phrase in Benares: is it possible to 'listen with the heart'? There was something which I think we have not understood. What does this listening with the heart imply?
K: Shall we discuss that?
Fritz Wilhelm (FW): I would like to go on a little with what we were discussing last time-the nature of matter.
K: I think it's fairly clear what I said. What I said was that thought is a material process, and whatever thought has built-technologically, psychologically, the beliefs, the gods, the whole structure of religion based on thought-is a material process. Thought is, in that sense, matter, thought being experience, knowledge stored in the cells and functioning, skilfully or not skilfully, in a particular groove set by knowledge. All that to me is a material process; that is all. What matter is, I don't know. I won't even discuss that because I don't know. Wilkins, the Nobel Prize winner, and Bohm say, we don't know what matter is. And describing it is still within the field of knowledge, within the field of thought; therefore whatever thought thinks is matter. That's all I am saying. I don't have the capacity or the audacity to inquire into matter. I don't know what the scientists think about it, or what you might think about it, or whether you can discuss with them.
FW: I wouldn't like to go into it from the point of view of the scientists. Let me see if matter is something unknown.
K: That is what I believe they say.
FW: Yes. So when we explore into the unknown...
K: Ah, you can't explore into the unknown. Be careful.
FW: I know it.
K: You can explore into the known, go to the limit of it, and when you've gone to the limit of it, you've moved out of it. So we can inquire only into the known.
PJ: Which is, into thought.
K: Of course, of course. But when he says, 'Examine, explore, investigate into the unknown', we can't.
FW: Of course, but it was just a shorter way of saying the same thing.
K: Yes. So Pupul puts a question which is: what does it mean to listen with compassion? Now let's proceed with that.
PJ: This is the crucial thing. If we have compassion, everything else is.
K: I agree. But we haven't got it, unfortunately. So how shall we approach this matter? What does it mean to listen, and what is the nature and structure of compassion?
PJ: And what is this listening with the heart?
K: Same, yes.
PJ: No, sir. It's a very important thing you have said: is there a listening which is much deeper than the ear listening?
K: Yes. If you don't mind, take these two: listening, and listening with the heart, compassion, and all that. But, first, what does it mean to listen-the art of listening?
FW: Perhaps we could approach the subject the other way round: what does it mean not to listen? Perhaps if I am very clear about what it means not to listen...
K: That's what we're going to do: through negation come to the positive, that is, through what is not listening. Then we listen. It comes to more or less the same thing, which is, if we could find out what is listening, and therefore in the investigation of what is listening you negate what is not, then you are listening. That's all we're doing. So there are two problems: What is listening in which is implied what is not listening; and what is compassion, what does it mean, the nature of it, the structure of it, the feeling of it, the depth of it, and the action that springs from it? Go on, discuss it.
FW: I feel that in that question of compassion we have the same problem because I feel that compassion is not in the field of the known.
K: She meant something else too, sir. What does it mean to listen with your heart? That's what she began with. I introduced the word compassion. Perhaps we'll put that away for the moment.
PJ: Krishnaji spoke of a listening with the heart, and I am interested in going into that.
K: So let's keep to those two: listening, and listening with one's heart-what does it mean?
Radha Burnier (RB): The last time we said the response with thought is fragmentary. Whether we call that response observation or listening or whatever it is, it is the same thing, isn't it?
K: Yes, I understand.
RB: So is the heart the non-fragmentary? Is that what we mean?
K: To listen with the total flowering of all senses is one thing. To listen partially, with a particular sense, is fragmentary. Is that what you are trying to say?
K: That is, if I listen with all my senses, then there is no problem of negation or what is not listening or what is listening, but we don't listen so completely. So what shall we do?
Sunanda Patwardhan (SP): When you say, 'listening with the heart', my response is: I don't know what listening with the heart is, but when there is a movement of feeling, there is a feeling with which one listens to another, instead of listening only with thought. There is a different kind of communication when there is that feeling.
K: Is feeling different from thought?
SP: That's what I am coming to. We do not know any movement apart from thought. To accept your statement is difficult because we also have experienced what we call a certain tenderness, affection, feeling, but if everything is put in the category of thought...
K: No, no. Let's go slowly. Don't categorize it yet.
PJ: It's a very difficult field.
K: That's why we must go slowly into this. Do I listen with thought, or do I listen not with thought? That's the problem. Do you listen with the movement of thought, or do you listen without the movement of thought?
PJ: There can be a listening without thought.
PJ: But sometimes, once in a lifetime maybe, one gets the total feeling of the heart and mind and consciousness being one.
K: Yes, I understand that.
PJ: When you say, 'listening without thought', after all these years we can say, 'Yes, it is so.' But there is something more, there is something still lacking.
K: We're coming to that, Pupulji. Let's go slowly into this. I think we have to begin with what it means to communicate. I want to communicate with you, I want to tell you something which I feel, which I think, which I am deeply concerned with; about that I want to tell you. You must be prepared to receive it, otherwise you can't communicate. You must be prepared to enter into the problem or into the question or into the statement which one is proposing. Which means you must have the same interest as the speaker, or the same intensity, and also meet him at the same level. All this is implied in communication.
SP: Interest one can understand, but the level is very difficult to...
K: Otherwise there is no communication.
PJ: In taking up the word communication, you are introducing the two.
PJ: In listening with the heart there may not be the two.
K: Don't go into that yet, don't go into what it means to listen with one's heart. Leave that for the moment; we'll come to that. I want to tell you something about which I feel profoundly; how will you listen to it? I want you to share it with me, I want you to feel it with me, I want you to be involved with me. Otherwise how can you communicate? So I want to tell you, I want to communicate something to you; will you listen to it with the same intensity with which I want to communicate and also be at the same level? Otherwise you can't receive it.
SP: How does one know the level?
K: The moment it is an intense problem with me, and I say, 'You must share it with me'; to me it is a burning problem, not just intellectual, verbal. It's a deep human problem which I want to convey to you. I want you to share it with me, so you must be at the same level. You can't casually say, 'Well, I'll listen to you, old boy.'
SP: From what you say, if the first is there, the third will be there.
K: Which is the first?
SP: Deep seriousness. If in me there is seriousness, the level will be there.
K: Look, what am I to do? I want to convey. You are not listening to me now, that's my problem. I want to tell you something which is most profoundly important. It may be stupid, it may be wrong, it may be idiotic, but to me it's something profound. I want you to listen to it because you are a human being. It may be that it is your problem; it may be that you haven't really delved into it. So, in sharing with me my profound problem, you would be exposing your own intensity to it. Therefore listening implies a sharing, a verbal communication in which you don't twist the words. The other man is using the words which he knows. If you push the word, twist the words to have a political, religious, economic meaning, then you can't communicate. So there must be a listening, there must be-'must' in quotes-a sharing which implies a non-verbal communication and, therefore, as the problem is so immensely important to the other, he says, 'Please, for God's sake, listen to me.' Then you meet that person. Will you meet him and say, 'Yes, let's talk about it, tell me'? Or you have got other problems, other issues, other answers. What is it?
PJ: Obviously, you can communicate only if there is a certain level.
K: That's what I am saying. Now, how will you listen to me? Will you listen like that?
SP: It seems one does not listen like that to everyone.
K: Ah, no. I am talking now, not to others. I'm asking you, will you listen to me in that manner?
PJ: To you we listen.
K: Ah, therefore you are not listening. Because you have built an image about me, and to that image you give importance, and therefore you listen.
SP: Not only the image.
K: You are missing my point. You listen not only to this man who is speaking at the moment; you must listen to her when she talks, or to him, or to somebody else; listen to it. He may convey something to you which he may not be capable of putting into words. So will you, in the same manner, listen to all of us?
SP: We listen to some, but we don't listen to all.
Questioner 1 (Q1): Because of prejudice.
K: Of course. Why? Therefore there is no communication. I want to tell you something about the school, about this, about that, and you say, 'Well, please, I'm off.'
PJ: You mean to say that between the voice which is established in truth and which speaks out of silence, and the voice which speaks out of thought, the receiving is the same?
K: No, no. Too definite, too definite. [Laughs]
PJ: No, it's not too definite. You speak and your voice is different.
RB: I think the point is whether there is a receiving at all.
K: Yes, that's all I'm coming to.
SP: Listening at all.
RB: Yes. If one is receiving, then the question of whether it is the voice of truth or something else...
PJ: You see, it doesn't happen with us. Let's start with the fact.
Rajesh Dalal (RD): Sir, everything is directed. We listen with motives. The motive may be very subtle or very obvious. That is, when we listen to you, there is much more attention, but we think we are not going to get anything out of another. [Laughter]
K: Quite right.
RD: So basically it comes to that. We are always directed towards something.
K: Quite right. So how do we alter all that and listen to each other?
Questioner 2 (Q2): Is it that we interpret?
K: He says, 'Don't interpret what I'm saying. Just listen, for God's sake, listen.' You see, there is much more involved in it. I go to him and tell him, 'I know nothing about karate.' I know nothing about karate, I really don't know. I watch it on films-kung fu and all that kind of stuff-but I don't know. So I go to him not knowing, therefore I'm listening. But you don't; you already know, and that's your difficulty. 'What do you say?' 'It shouldn't be this way', 'It shouldn't be that way'-all conjectures, opinions. So I say, 'Please, I want to tell you I love you.' The moment I use that word, you are fully alive. [Laughter] So the first thing, I feel, is the art of listening. Art means to put everything in its right place. You may have your prejudices, you may have your conclusions, you may keep that, but when you are listening put away all that; interpreting, comparing, judging, evaluating-put away all that. Then communication takes place. There is instant communication when somebody says, 'I love you.' You don't say, 'Well, let's think about it.'
RB: But is putting everything away the same as having the same intensity and the same level?
K: Otherwise what's the point of it? What should I talk to you and you talk to me?
RD: I've seen this, but I'm not doing it.
K: Do it. Do it now, for two, five minutes, do it; for five seconds do it.
RD: It happens for some time, but...
K: No, no, that's not good enough.
SP: Sir, you are saying the act of listening wipes away, swallows up this whole thing.
SP: For the time being.
K: Yes. When I say I love you, what happens?
SP: But no one says that to us.
K: Ah, I'm telling you, now!
SP: No, sir, but in life, the normal reaction is not like that.
K: So, that is the art of listening. Then what is to listen with one's heart? You don't listen with the actual heart; the meaning of that is to listen with a sense of care, attention, affection, a deep sense of communion with each other. Heart-that means with all your senses, with all your...
PJ: With fullness.
K: With fullness. All right, keep it that way. Now, will you do it? Or just again spin, spin, spin words? So we understand more or less what communication, listening implies. Can we listen to somebody whom we don't like, who we think is a stupid old man or clever, cunning, whatever it is? Can you listen with your heart to that man, to that woman? I don't think that when you have that feeling, words matter anymore. Then what? Suppose I listen-and I have done it often in my life-I listen very carefully. I have no prejudice, I have no pictures, I've no conclusions. I'm not a politician, I'm not soaked in economics or science, I'm not intellectual-nothing. I'm a human being, listening to somebody. I just listen because he wants to tell me something about himself. He generally comes to see me- I'm talking personally-with a mask. Because he has got an image, a picture of me, he comes with an extraordinary mask. And if he wants to talk seriously with me I say, 'Remove the mask, let's look at it together.' I don't want to look behind the mask unless he invites me. So he says, 'All right, sir, let's talk about it.' So I listen. And in listening, he is telling me something which is so utterly, completely common to all human beings. He may put it wrongly, he may put it foolishly, but it is something which that man or woman suffers. And he is telling me about it, I listen. Therefore he is telling me the history, the story of mankind. So I'm listening not only to the words, but also to his superficial feelings or the profound depths of what he is saying. If it is superficial, then we discuss superficially, and push it, push it, till he feels profoundly the same. You follow what I'm saying?
RD: Yes, sir.
K: You come to see me. (Not me, I'm not talking personally.) After removing the mask, you say something very superficial. It may be that you are expressing a feeling which is very, very superficial, and if it is superficial I say, 'All right, sir, it is superficial, let's go a little deeper into it.' So in going deeper and deeper and deeper, you are expressing something which is totally common to all of us. So there is no division between him and me. He is expressing something which belongs completely to all human beings. Therefore I've lost all my... Got it?
PJ: What is the source of that listening?
K: Of course it's simple: compassion. So what is compassion? As Fritz says, it is unknown to us. We may have it occasionally, but it is actually unknown to us. So he says, 'How am I to have that extraordinary intelligence which is compassion?' And he says, 'I don't want methods, systems, that's all silly stuff. I would like to have that flower in my heart.' Now, what is he to do? Is that right, sir?
FW: Compassion is not in the field of thought; therefore I can never have the feeling that I have it.
K: No. You want to find it. Like a screwdriver, you push, push.
PJ: There must be a perfume to it.
K: Yes, of course. There must be a perfume. I mean you can talk of compassion without the perfume, without the honey, like all the saints do.
PJ: Either it's there or it's not there.
K: Suppose you, Radhaji, have it. I would like to get that perfume. Because it feels so marvellous when I come near you: 'By Jove, these two people have got something extraordinary, I like to go into it.'
PJ: Why is it then that we can have this feeling when we are in communication with you? Why is it that you have this tremendous impact which knocks away all prejudice, which knocks away all obstacles and immediately makes the mind silent?
K: I can tell you.
PJ: I am asking.
K: I'll put it round the other way. Because, probably, it's like going to the well with a small bucket or with an enormous bucket which you can hardly carry. Most of us go with a small bucket and pull out insufficient water. So I'm saying that you, Radha, have this thing. And she being perhaps a supreme human being I say, 'I like to have that thing.' Not possessively, I don't mean all that silly stuff. It's like having a fountain in your yard, flowering, flowing-you know. So I like to watch it, I like to see it out there and inside me. So what am I to do?
FW: I'll find out what prevents me from having that.
K: I don't want to; that's analysis. I won't analyse because it is a waste of time. I've understood that, not because you assert it and therefore I accept it, but I see the reason of it, the logic of it, the significance and, therefore, the truth of it. Therefore out!
SP: Not only this. I also see you sitting in meditation, being in silence, but none of these things have any relationship.
SP: Everything that one has tried...
K: That's all silly-that's what I'm saying, please!
SP: One starts from duality, and every kind of experience that one has gone through has nothing to do with that.
K: I was saying that Pupul and Radhaji have got this thing in their backyard. They don't talk about it because it is there. It is there-flowering, flowing, murmuring; all kinds of things happen into it. And I say, 'Why the devil isn't it in my backyard?' I want to find out. Not that I want to imitate it and all that stuff; it must happen. And I won't analyse: 'What is preventing me, what is blocking me, what are the hindrances, should I be silent, should I not be silent?' All those are analytical processes. I don't know if you understand this.
SP: That's all right, that's clear.
K: Do you really understand what it means?
SP: What does it mean-really understanding?
K: Look, I like to have it. They've got it, I haven't got it. I like to have it. It's like a precious jewel; I like to look at it occasionally, lock it away, and look at it. How is it to happen to me? That's my inquiry, you understand? And he asked, 'What is blocking me?' I said that is an analytical process. And analysis is a waste of time. I don't know if you see that actually. The analyser and the analysed are the same. I don't want to take time over it and meditate about it, I don't want to sit cross-legged. I haven't got the time. So I won't analyse. Can you do that-stop analysis, totally? Can you do it? You do it when there is a crisis. When there is a tremendous crisis, you have no time to analyse: you are in it. Are you in it? That is, she has got that extraordinary perfume, which is so natural to her. She doesn't say, 'My God, how did I get it, what am I to do with it?' She's got it somehow, by some miracle, or not miracle, and I like to have it. I'm a human being and without it, I say, nothing matters. So it must be there. And I see the truth about analysis, therefore I will never analyse. I say this because I'm in the middle of this question, I'm soaked in it, burning with that question. The house is on fire, and I'm caught in that fire. I want to have it.
RB: At the moment one feels the beauty of this thing, the question 'How am I to have it?' doesn't arise.
K: I want it. Not 'How am I to have it?' I don't care.
RB: The question doesn't arise.
K: I'm hungry. You don't say 'Analyse hunger.'
RB: No, I'm not saying that.
K: What do you say?
RB: I'm saying that at a certain moment one is filled with that perfume. I don't know to what extent one is filled with it. The feeling 'I want it' doesn't exist there.
K: You may be filled by my words, by my intensity, by my moving in that. And you say you have got that.
RB: No, no, I don't say 'I've got it.'
K: Be simple, Radhaji. You have something in your backyard, a fountain, which very, very few people have. They may talk about the water, they may talk about the fountain, they may talk about the beauty of the fountain, the noise of the fountain, the song, the chatter of the water. That's not it. But you've got it. And as a human being I say, 'How marvellous that is.' I go towards it. But what am I to do? I don't have it. You understand?
K: What am I to do?
FW: Is there anything I can do?
K: Maybe or may not be. Maybe the demand is so great, in myself the demand is so great that I put aside everything- the demand itself puts everything aside. The house is burning; there is no argument, there is no asking which bucket, which pump you should use.
PJ: Isn't it linked very closely to the volume of energy?
K: You say this is linked to the volume of energy one has. No. When you want something, you burn like hell. When you want that girl or man, you're at it.
FW: No, sir, you speak with him at a rare frequency.
K: Ah, just come off it, sir. You see, I want to create a crisis; then there is action. Either you avoid the crisis or you act. Now, is the crisis taking place? This is a very important question. Radhaji comes to me and talks about all this. I listen, as far as I can listen, as far as I can go, but nothing happens. I hear it year after year, year after year, I take a little step, a little step, a little step, and by eight-five, ninety, I'm dead. She goes on. What she wants to do is to bring about an action born of a tremendous crisis. She wants to bring it about because then there is no argument, there is no analysis, there is no saying, 'Wait, wait, let me think about it.' She has created it, right? Is that crisis the result of her influence, her words, her feeling, her urgency? Or is it a superficial crisis? Or a crisis which I have got to break through? I've got to break through-that's her intention. She says, 'That's the only thing I'm here for, that's the only thing that matters to me, not all your beastly little analysis, prejudice; that's all silly stuff.' The crisis is like that between a man and a woman who are married and one says, 'I want a divorce.' The crisis is that.
Achyut Patwardhan (AP): No, sir. In the instance that you take, the crisis is an external challenge to which I am unable to find an adequate internal response, and because I cannot find an adequate internal response, there is a crisis. The other crisis, as I have understood from you, is not triggered by anything external at all.
K: Yes. That's what I mean.
AP: It is a perception from within.
K: Please listen, sir. Her intention is to create a crisis, not superficial, not external-inside!
AP: Are not these two distinct channels? When the mind is facing an external crisis and seeking an adequate response from within, that is one type of crisis.
K: Of course, of course.
AP: And the other type of crisis is that within me there is a deep sense of inadequacy, which says that this can't be put up with.
K: She has created that crisis in me because she is talking of truth. She has said, 'Face it.'
RB: Is there such a thing as an external crisis and an internal crisis?
K: Don't bother about all that, don't. She says to me, 'By my talking with you, there is a crisis.' That's all she is saying to me. By talking with her, the crisis is born.
Questioner 3 (Q3): Sometimes a crisis, a psychological crisis is there, and then we immediately look for...
K: Yes, yes. But she says, 'We've discussed all that, brush all that aside.' I'm an old pupil of hers. I've listened to her for fifteen blasted years. And I've played that game with her, I know all about it. She says, 'Brush all that aside, that's not important now; this is the twenty-fifth hour.' [Laughs]
Q3: Perhaps the crisis has its own language.
K: But first is there a crisis?
Q3: We think so.
K: I can't tell you about it. Is there a crisis in you? Look, sir, I've talked to her, therefore there is a crisis in me.
Q3: Yes, if I'm listening.
K: If you don't listen, jump into the lake; I'm not interested in that. She has created a crisis in me. Not if-by my very talking to her she has stirred up the pool, and there is a crisis in me. Now she is asking me, 'Is that taking place with all of you? Or, are you just monkeying around?'
RD: There has been a stirring up, but then again as one moves on...
K: No sir, no sir.
RD: There is a settling process going on.
K: No. You talk to her, and there is a crisis. She is a woman, I'm a man. I meet her, she's nice, pleasant-there is a crisis, whether I should marry her, sleep with her, do something- there is a crisis. If there isn't a crisis, she says, 'What's wrong with you?' Are you so damn stupid as that? Are you silly?' She wants to create that crisis; it's her job. Otherwise nothing will happen. Don't you see? I have been married to her for ten years, and suddenly she says, 'My God, I'm fed up with you. You are so damn silly, you are so sexual, you are so stupid.' She tells me, and it brings me near a crisis, and I either break with her or face the crisis. That's the challenge. She has given me a challenge, and I've got to answer that. She says, 'If you don't answer by tomorrow morning, I'm out.' It's as urgent as that. Otherwise you can't do a thing. We don't want the crisis. We want to live the same old pattern. It's her job to bring about a crisis in my life. Right?
RD: There are different levels of crisis in one's life.
K: Ah, ah. You and I are married; there are no different crisis levels.
RD: Let me just express my feelings. When I was studying, when I read you, a crisis came into my life.
RD: And then I saw that certain actions mean death and are ridiculous. So total action had to take shape.
K: It took shape.
RD: Action took shape.
K: That's all.
RD: It took place there, it is not taking place now. You are asking for a crisis which will dissolve me.
K: I'm not asking you to dissolve. Is there a crisis when you talk to her? Her urge, demand, is that there should be a crisis in you. Not a superficial crisis, a little bit of annoyance, a little bit of... Crisis! What do you say? [Long pause] I think, that is listening with your heart. Where she has stirred me so deeply, moved me, taken away all my anchorage. Not that I'm lonely, you understand? When there is the monsoon, it says to you, 'Please collect all the water you can; next year there'll be no monsoon.' And that makes you build every kind of hole to collect water. So where are we at the end of it? [Long pause]
PJ: In a strange way it also implies lifting your hands off everything.
K: It may not. It may mean that an action which we have not premeditated might take place. If there is a crisis, it will.
T.K. Parchure (TKP): It leads to a phase of complete suspension of all mental...
K: No, sir. It's a very simple thing. You are married, you live with your wife for ten, fifteen, twenty years. And she says to you one morning, 'Sorry, this can't go on. You've been unfaithful, not only physically, mentally, inwardly.' Unless you change radically by tomorrow morning, I'm leaving you.' What will you do then? Are you in that position?
RD: No, not in that position. Not in a position which is a total crisis.
K: That's what she tells you to be, otherwise she's going to walk out on you. Then it becomes dreadfully serious, doesn't it? She says, 'I am saying this out of compassion, that you must have a crisis.'
RD: We too think that a crisis is important, but we don't allow it to happen.
K: Yes, sir. She says, 'Don't have anymore silly life.' When the crisis is there, and you move with it, you have the fountain working behind in your yard. Right?