Flight of the Eagle
Amsterdam 1st Public Talk
3rd May 1969
Can Man Change?
Krishnamurti: We look at conditions prevailing in the world and observe what is happening there - the students' riots, the class prejudices, the conflict of black against white, the wars, the political confusion, the divisions caused by nationalities and religions. We are also aware of conflict, struggle, anxiety, loneliness, despair, lack of love, and fear. Why do we accept all this? Why do we accept the moral, social environment knowing very well that it is utterly immoral; knowing this for ourselves - not merely emotionally or sentimentally but looking at the world and at ourselves - why do we live this way? Why is it that our educational system does not turn out real human beings but mechanical entities trained to accept certain jobs and finally die? Education, science and religion have not solved our problems at all.
Looking at all this confusion, why does each one of us accept and conform, instead of shattering the whole process in our selves? I think we should ask this question, not intellectually, nor in order to find some god, some realization, some peculiar happiness which inevitably leads to escapes of various kinds, but looking at it quietly, with steady eyes, without any judgment and evaluation. We should ask, as grown-up people, why it is that we live this way - live, struggle and die. And when we do ask such a question seriously, with full intention to understand it, philosophies, theories, speculative ideations have no place at all. What matters is not what should be or what might be or what principle we should follow, what kind of ideals we should have or to what religion or to which guru we should turn. All those responses are obviously utterly meaningless when you are confronted with this confusion, with the misery and constant conflict in which we live. We have made life into a battlefield, each family, each group, each nation against the other. Seeing all this, not as an idea, but as something which you actually observe, are confronted with, you will ask yourself what it is all about. Why do we go on in this way, neither living nor loving, but full of fear and terror till we die?
When you ask this question, what will you do? It cannot be asked by those people who are comfortably settled in familiar ideals, in a comfortable house, with a little money and who are highly respectable, bourgeois. If they do ask questions, such people translate them according to their individual demands for satisfaction. But as this is a very human, ordinary problem, which touches the life of everyone of us, rich and poor, young and old, why do we live this monotonous, meaningless life, going to the office or working in a laboratory or a factory for forty years, breeding a few children, educating them in absurd ways, and then dying? I think you should ask this question with all your being, in order to find out. Then you can ask the next question: whether human beings can ever change radically, fundamentally, so that they look at the world anew with different eyes, with a different heart, no longer filled with hatred, antagonism, racial prejudices, but with a mind that is very clear, that has tremendous energy.
Seeing all this - the wars, the absurd divisions which religions have brought about, the separation between the individual and the community, the family opposed to the rest of the world, each human being clinging to some peculiar ideal, dividing himself into `me' and `you,' `we' and `they' - seeing all this, both objectively and psychologically, there remains only one question, one fundamental problem and this is whether the human mind, which is so heavily conditioned, can change. Not in some future incarnation, nor at the end of life, but change radically now, so that the mind becomes new, fresh, young, innocent, unburdened, so that we know what it means to love and to live in peace. I think this is the only problem. When this is solved, every other problem, economic or social, all those things which lead to wars will end, and there will be a different structure of society.
So our question is, whether the mind, the brain and the heart can live as though for the first time, uncontaminated, fresh, innocent, knowing what it means to live happily, ecstatically with deep love. You know, there is danger in listening to rhetorical questions; this is not a rhetorical question at all - it is our life. We are not concerned with words or with ideas. Most of us are caught up with words, never realizing deeply that the word is never the thing, the description is never the thing described. And if we could, during these talks, try to understand this deep problem, how the human mind - involving as it does, the brain, the mind and the heart - has been conditioned through centuries, by propaganda, fear and other influences, then we could ask whether that mind can undergo a radical transformation; so that men can live peacefully throughout the world, with great love, with great ecstasy and the realization of that which is immeasurable.
This is our problem, whether the mind, which is so burdened with past memories and traditions, can without effort, struggle or conflict, bring about the flame of change within itself and burn away the dross of yesterday. Having put that question - which I am sure every thoughtful, serious person asks - where shall we begin? Shall we begin with change in the bureaucratic world, in the social structure, outwardly? Or shall we start inwardly, that is psychologically? Shall we consider the outside world, with all its technological knowledge, the marvels of what man has done in the scientific field, shall we begin there and bring about a revolution? Man has tried that, too. He has said, when you change the outer things radically, as all the bloody revolutions of history have done, then man will change and he will be a happy human being. The Communist and other revolutions have said: bring about order outside and there will be order within. They have also said that it doesn't matter if there is no order within, what matters is that we should have order in the world outside - ideational order, a Utopia, in the name of which millions have been killed.
So let us begin inwardly, psychologically. This doesn't mean that you let the present social order, with all its confusion and disorder, remain as it is. But is there a division between inner and outer? Or is there only one movement in which the inner and the outer exist, not as two separate things but simply as movement? I think it is very important, if we are to establish not only verbal communication - speaking English as our common language, using words that we both understand - also to make use of a different kind of communication; because we are going to go into things very deeply and very seriously, so there must be communication within and beyond verbal communication. There must be communion, which implies that both of us are profoundly concerned, care, and look at this problem with affection, with an urge to understand it. So there must be not only verbal communication, but also a deep communion in which there is no question of agreement or disagreement. Agreement and disagreement should never arise, because we are not dealing with ideas, opinions, concepts or ideals - we are concerned with the problem of human change. And neither your opinion nor my opinion has any value at all. If you say that it is impossible to change human beings, who have been like this for thousands of years, you have already blocked yourself, you will not proceed, you will not begin to inquire or to explore. Or if you merely say that this is possible, then you live in a world of possibilities, not of realities.
So one must come to this question without saying it is or it is not possible to change. One must come to it with a fresh mind, eager to find out, young enough to examine and explore. We must not only establish clear, verbal communication, but there should be communion between the speaker and yourself, a feeling of friendship and affection which exists when we are all tremendously concerned about something. When husband and wife are deeply concerned about their children, they put aside all opinions, their particular likes and dislikes, because they are concerned about the child. In that concern there is great affection, it is not an opinion that controls action. Similarly there must be that feeling of deep communion between you and the speaker, so that we are both faced with the same problem with the same intensity at the same time. Then we can establish this communion which alone brings about a deep understanding.
So there is this question as to how the mind, deeply conditioned as it is, can change radically. I hope you are putting this question to yourself, because unless there is morality which is not social morality, unless there is austerity which is not the austerity of the priest with his harshness and violence, unless there is order deeply within, this search for truth, for reality, for God - or for whatever name you like to give it - has no meaning at all. Perhaps those of you who have come here to find out how to realize God or how to have some mysterious experience, will be disappointed; because unless you have a new mind, a fresh mind, eyes that see what is true, you cannot possibly understand the immeasurable, the nameless, that which is.
If you merely want wider, deeper experiences but lead a shoddy, meaningless life, then you will have experiences that won't be worth anything. We must go into this together - you will find this question very complex because many things are involved in it. To understand it there must be freedom and energy; those two things we must all have - great energy and freedom to observe. If you are tied to a particular belief, if you are tethered to a particular ideational Utopia, obviously you are not free to look.
There is this complex mind, conditioned as Catholic or Protestant, looking for security, bound by ambition and tradition. For a mind that has become shallow - except in the technological field - going to the moon is a marvellous achievement. But those who built the spacecraft lead their own shoddy lives, petty, jealous, anxious and ambitious and their minds are conditioned. We are asking whether such minds can be completely free from all conditioning, so that a totally different kind of life can be lived. To find this out, there must be freedom to observe, not as a Christian, a Hindu, a Dutchman, a German, or a Russian or as anything else. To observe very clearly there must be freedom, which implies that the very observation is action. That very observation brings about a radical revolution. To be capable of such observation, you need great energy.
So we are going to find out why human beings do not have the energy, the drive, the intensity to change. They have any amount of energy to quarrel, to kill each other, to divide the world, to go to the moon - they have got energy for these things. But apparently they have not the energy to change themselves radically. So we are asking why haven't we this necessary energy?
I wonder what your response is when such a question is put to you? We said, man has enough energy to hate; when there is a war he fights, and when he wants to escape from what really is, he has the energy to run away from it - through ideas, through amusements, through gods, through drink. When he wants pleasure, sexual or otherwise, he pursues these things with great energy. He has the intelligence to overcome his environment, he has the energy to live at the bottom of the sea or to live in the skies - for this he has got vital energy. But apparently he has not the energy to change even the smallest habit. Why? Because we dissipate that energy in conflict within ourselves. We are not trying to persuade you of anything, we are not making propaganda, we are not replacing old ideas with new ones. We are trying to discover, to understand. You see, we realize that we must change. Let us take as an example violence and brutality - those are facts. Human beings are brutal and violent; they have built a society which is violent in spite of all that the religions have said about loving your neighbour and loving God. All these things are just ideas, they have no value whatsoever, because man remains brutal, violent and selfish. And being violent, he invents the opposite, which is nonviolence. Please go into this with me.
Man is trying all the time to become nonviolent. So there is conflict between what is, which is violence, and what should be, which is nonviolence. There is conflict between the two. That is the very essence of wastage of energy. As long as there is duality between what is and what should be - man trying to become something else, making an effort to achieve what `should be' - that conflict is waste of energy. As long as there is conflict between the opposites, man has not enough energy to change. Why should I have the opposite at all, as nonviolence, as the ideal? The ideal is not real, it has no meaning, it only leads to various forms of hypocrisy; being violent and pretending not to be violent. Or if you say you are an idealist and will eventually become peaceful, that is a great pretense, an excuse, because it will take many years for you to be without violence - indeed it may never happen. In the meantime you are a hypocrite and still violent. So if we can, not in abstraction but actually, put aside completely all ideals and only deal with the fact - which is violence - then there is no wastage of energy. This is really very important to understand, it isn't a particular theory of the speaker. As long as man lives in the corridor of opposites he must waste energy and therefore he can never change.
So with one breath you could wipe away all ideologies, all opposites. Please go into it and understand this; it is really quite extraordinary what takes place. If a man who is angry pretends or tries not to be angry, in that there is conflict. But if he says, `I will observe what anger is, not try to escape or rationalize it,' then there is energy to understand and put an end to anger. If we merely develop an idea that the mind must be free from conditioning, there will remain a duality between the fact and what `should be.' Therefore it is a waste of energy. Whereas if you say, `I will find out in what manner the mind is conditioned,' it is like going to the surgeon when one has cancer. The surgeon is concerned with operating and removing the disease. But if the patient is thinking about what a marvellous time he is going to have afterward, or is frightened about the operation, that is waste of energy.
We are concerned only with the fact that the mind is conditioned and not that the mind `should be free.' If the mind is unconditioned it is free. So we are going to find out, examine very closely, what makes the mind so conditioned, what are the influences that have brought about this conditioning, and why we accept it. First of all, tradition plays an enormous part in life. In that tradition the brain has developed so that it can find physical security. One cannot live without security, that is the very first, primary animal demand, that there be physical security; one must have a house, food and clothing. But the psychological way in which we use this necessity for security brings about chaos within and without. The psyche, which is the very structure of thought, also want to be secure inwardly, in all its relationships. Then the trouble begins. There must be physical security for everybody, not only for the few; but that physical security for everybody is denied when psychological security is sought through nations, through religions, through the family. I hope you understand and that we have established some kind of communication between us.
So there is the necessary conditioning for physical security, but when there is the search and the demand for psychological security, then conditioning becomes tremendously potent. That is, psychologically, in our relationship with ideas, people and things, we want security, but is there security at all, in any relationship? Obviously there is not. Wanting security psychologically is to deny outward security. If I want to be secure psychologically as a Hindu, with all the traditions, superstitions and ideas, I identify myself with the larger unit which gives me great comfort. So I worship the flag, the nation, the tribe and separate myself from the rest of the world. And this division obviously brings about insecurity physically. When I worship the nation, the customs, the religious dogmas, the superstitions, I separate myself within these categories and then obviously I must deny physical security for everybody else. The mind needs physical security, which is denied when it seeks psychological security. This is a fact, not an opinion - it is so. When I seek security in my family, my wife, my children, my house, I must be against the world, I must separate myself from other families, be against the rest of the world.
One can see very clearly how the conditioning begins, how two thousand years of propaganda in the Christian world has made it worship its culture, while the same kind of thing has been going on in the East. So the mind through propaganda, through tradition, through the desire to be secure, begins to condition itself. But is there any security psychologically, in relationship with ideas, with people and with things?
If relationship means being in contact with things directly, you are unrelated if you are not in contact. If I have an idea, an image about my wife I am not related to her. I may sleep with her but I am not related to her, because my image of her prevents me directly coming into contact with her. And she, with her image, prevents a direct relationship with me. Is there any psychological certainty or security such as the mind is always seeking? Obviously when you observe any relationship very closely, there is no certainty. In the case of husband and wife or boy and girl who want to establish a firm relationship, what happens? When the wife or the husband looks at anyone else there is fear, jealousy, anxiety, anger and hatred there is no permanent relationship. Yet the mind all the time wants the feeling of belonging.
So that is the factor of conditioning, through propaganda, newspapers, magazines, from the pulpit, and one becomes tremendously aware how necessary it is not to rely on outside influences at all. You then find out what it means not to be influenced. Please follow this. When you read a newspaper you are influenced, consciously or unconsciously. When you read a novel or a book you are influenced; there is pressure, strain, to put what you read into some category. That is the whole purpose of propaganda. It begins at school and you go through life repeating what others have said. You are therefore secondhand human beings. How can such a secondhand human being find out something that is original, that is true? It is very important to understand what conditioning is and to go into this very deeply; as you look at it you have the energy to break down all those conditionings that hold the mind.
Perhaps now you would like to ask questions and so go into this matter, bearing in mind that it is very easy to ask questions, but to ask the right question is one of the most difficult things. Which doesn't mean the speaker is preventing you from asking questions. We must ask questions, we must doubt everything anybody has said, books, religions, authorities, everything! We must question, doubt, be sceptical. But we must also know when to let scepticism go by and to ask the right question, because in that very question lies the answer. So if you want to ask questions, please do.
Questioner: Sir, are you crazy?
Krishnamurti: Are you asking the speaker if he is crazy? Good. I wonder what you mean by that word `crazy; do you mean unbalanced, mentally ill, with peculiar ideas, neurotic? All these are implied in that word `crazy.' Who is the judge - you or I or somebody else? Seriously, who is the judge? Will the crazy person judge who is crazy and who is not crazy? If you judge whether the speaker is balanced or unbalanced, is not judgment part of the craziness of this world? To judge somebody, not knowing a thing about him except his reputation, the image that you have about him. If you judge according to the reputation and the propaganda which you have swallowed, then are you capable of judging? judgment implies vanity; whether the judge be neurotic or sane, there is always vanity. Can vanity perceive what is true? - or do you not need great humility to look, to understand, to love. Sir,it's one of the most difficult things to be sane in this abnormal, insane world. Sanity implies having no illusion, no image at all about oneself or about another. You say, `I am this, I am that, I am great, I am small, I am good, I am noble; all those epithets are images about oneself. When one has an image about oneself one is surely insane, one lives in a world of illusion. And I am afraid most of us do. When you call yourself a Dutchman - forgive me for saying so - you are not quite balanced. You separate yourself, isolate yourself - as others do when they call themselves Hindus. These nationalistic, religious divisions, with their armies, with their priests, indicate a state of mental insanity.
Questioner: Can you understand violence without having the opposite of it?
Krishnamurti: When the mind wants to stay with violence it invites the ideal of nonviolence. Look, that is very simple. I want to remain with violence, which is what I am, what human beings are - brutal. But I have the tradition of ten thousand years which says, `Cultivate nonviolence'. So there is the fact that I am violent and thought says, `Look, you must be nonviolent.' That is my conditioning. How am I to be free of my conditioning so that I look, so that I remain with violence and understand it, go through it and finish with it? - not only at the superficial level but also deep down, at the so-called unconscious level. How is the mind not to be caught in the ideal? Is that the question?
Please listen. We are not talking about Martin Luther King or Mr.Gandhi, or X, Y, Z. We are not concerned with these people at all - they have their ideals, their conditioning, their political ambitions, and I am not concerned with any of that. We are dealing with what we are, you and I, the human beings we are. As human beings we are violent, we are conditioned through tradition, propaganda, culture, to create the opposite; we use the opposite when it suits us and we don't use it if it doesn't suit us. We use it politically or spiritually in different ways. But what we are now saying is that when the mind wants to stay with violence and understand it completely, tradition and habit come in and interfere. They say, `You must have the ideal of nonviolence.' There is the fact and there is the tradition. How is the mind to break away from the tradition in order to give all this attention to violence? That is the question. Have you understood it? There is the fact that I am violent, and there is the tradition which says I must not be. Now I will look, not at violence, but at the tradition only. If it interferes with my wanting to pay attention to violence, why does it interfere? Why does it come in? My concern is not understanding violence, but understanding the interference of tradition. Have you got it? I give my attention to that, and then it doesn't interfere. So I find out why tradition plays such an important part in one's life - tradition being habit. Whether it is the habit of smoking, or drinking, a sexual habit or habit of speech - why do we live in habits? Are we aware of them? Are we aware of our traditions? If you are not completely aware, if you do not understand the tradition, the habit, the routine, then it is bound to impinge, to interfere with what you want to look at. It is one of the easiest things to live in habits, but to break this down implies a great many things - I may lose my job. When I try to break through I am afraid, because to live in habit gives me security, makes me feel certain, because all other human beings are doing the same. To stand up in a Dutch world suddenly and say `I am not a Dutchman' produces a shock. So there is fear. And if you say `I am against this whole established order, which is disorder" you'll be thrown out; so you are afraid, and you accept. Tradition plays an extraordinarily important part in life. Have you ever tried to eat a meal to which you are not accustomed? Find out and you will see how your stomach and your tongue will rebel. If you are in the habit of smoking you go on smoking, and to break the habit you'll spend years fighting it.
So the mind finds security in habits, saying, `My family, my children, my house, my furniture.' When you say `my furniture' you are that furniture. You may laugh, but when that particular furniture which you love is taken away from you, you get angry. You are that furniture, that house, that money, that flag. To live in that way is to live not only a shallow, stupid life, but to live in routine and boredom. And when you live in routine and boredom you must have violence.
Amsterdam 3rd Public Talk
10th May 1969
Why Can't We Live in Peace?
Krishnamurti: It seems strange that we cannot find a way of living in which there is neither conflict, nor misery, nor confusion but a great abundance of love and consideration. We read books by intellectual people which tell us how society should be organized economically, socially and morally. Then we turn to books by religious people and theologians with their speculative ideas. Apparently it seems very difficult for most of us to find a way of living which is alive, peaceful, full of energy and clarity, without depending on others. We are supposed to be very mature and sophisticated people. Those of us who are older have lived through two appalling wars, through revolutions, upheavals, and every form of unhappiness. And yet here we are, on a beautiful morning, talking about all these things, perhaps waiting to be told what to do, to be shown a practical way of living, to follow somebody who may give us some key to the beauty of life and the greatness of something beyond the daily round.
I wonder - and so may you - why we listen to others. Why is it that we cannot find clarity for ourselves in our own minds and hearts, without any distortion; why need we be burdened by books? Can we not live unperturbed, fully, with great ecstasy and really at peace? This state of affairs seems to me very odd indeed, but there it is. Have you ever wondered if you could live a life completely without any effort or strife? We are endlessly making effort to change this, to transform that, to suppress this, to accept that, to imitate, to follow certain formulas and ideas.
And I wonder if we have ever asked ourselves if it is possible to live without conflict - not in intellectual isolation or in an emotional, sentimental, rather woolly way of life - but to live without any kind of effort at all. Because effort, however pleasant (or unpleasant), gratifying or profitable, does distort and pervert the mind. It is like a machine that is always grinding, never running smoothly and so wearing itself out very quickly. Then one asks - and I think it is a worthwhile question - whether it is possible to live without effort, but without becoming lazy, isolated, indifferent, lacking in sensitivity, without becoming a sluggish human being. All our life, from the moment we are born till we die, is an endless struggle to adjust, to change, to become something. And this struggle and conflict make for confusion, dull the mind and our hearts become insensitive.
So is it possible - not as an idea, or as something hopeless, beyond our measure - to find a way to live without conflict, not merely superficially but also deep down in the so-called unconscious, within our own depths? Perhaps this morning we can go into that question very deeply.
First of all, why do we invent conflicts, either pleasurable or unpleasurable, and is it possible to end this? Can we end this and live a totally different kind of life, with great energy, clarity, intellectual capacity, reason, and have a heart that is full of abundant love in the real sense of the word? I think we should apply our minds and our hearts to find out, get involved in this completely.
There is obviously conflict because of contradiction in ourselves, which expresses itself outwardly in society, in the activity of the `me' and the 'not me.' That is, the `me' with all its ambitions, drives, pursuits, pleasures, anxieties, hate, competition and fears, and the `other' which is `not me.' There is also the idea about living without conflict or opposing contradictory desires, pursuits and drives. If we are aware of this tension, we can see this in ourselves, the pulls of contradictory demands, opposing beliefs, ideas and pursuits. Contradictions that bring about conflict. I think that is fairly clear, if we watch it in ourselves. The pattern of it is repeated over and over again, not only in daily life but also in so-called religious living - between heaven and hell, the good and the bad, the noble and ignoble, love and hate and so on. If I may suggest, please do not merely listen to the words but observe yourselves non-analytically, using the speaker as a mirror in which you see yourselves factually, so that you become aware of the workings of your own mind and heart, as you look into that mirror. One can see how any form of division, separation or contradiction, within or outside oneself, inevitably brings conflict between violence and nonviolence. Realizing this state of affairs as it is actually, is it possible to end it, not only at the superficial level of our consciousness, in our daily living, but also deep down at the very roots of our being, so that there is no contradiction, no opposing demands and desires, no activity of the dualistic fragmentary mind? Now how is this to be done? One builds a bridge between the `me' and the `not me' - the 'me' with all its ambitions, drives and contradictions, and the `not me' which is the ideal, which is the formula, the concept. We are always trying to build a bridge between 'what is' and 'what should be'. And in that there is contradiction and conflict and all our energies are wasted in this way. Can the mind stop dividing and remain entirely with what is? In the understanding of what is, is there any conflict at all?
I would like to go into this question, looking at it differently, in relation to freedom and fear. Most of us want freedom, though we live in self-centred activity and our days are spent in concern about ourselves, our failures and fulfillments. We want to be free - not only politically, which is comparatively easy, except in the world of dictatorships - but also free from religious propaganda. Any religion, ancient or modern, is the work of propagandists and is therefore not religion at all. The more serious one is, the more one is concerned with the whole business of living, the more one seeks freedom and is questioning, without accepting or believing. One wants to be free in order to find out whether there is such a thing as reality, whether there is something eternal, timeless, or not. There is this extraordinary demand to be free in every relationship, but that freedom generally becomes a self-isolating process and therefore is not true freedom.
In the very demand for freedom there is fear. Because freedom may involve complete, absolute insecurity and one is frightened of being completely insecure. Insecurity seems a very dangerous thing - every child demands security in its relationships. And as we grow older we keep on demanding security and certainty in all relationships - with things, with people and with ideas. That demand for security inevitably breeds fear and being afraid we depend more and more on the things to which we are attached. So there arises this question of freedom and fear and whether it is at all possible to be free of fear; not only physically, but psychologically, not only superficially but deep down in the dark corners of our mind, in the very secret recesses into which no penetration has been made. Can the mind be utterly, completely free from all fear? It is fear that destroys love - this is not a theory - it is fear that makes for anxiety, attachment, possessiveness, domination, jealousy in all relationships, it is fear that makes for violence. As one can observe in the overcrowded cities with their exploding populations, there is great insecurity, uncertainty, fear. And it is partly this that makes for violence. Can we be free of fear, so that when you leave this hall you walk out without any shadow of the darkness that fear brings?
To understand fear we must examine not only physical fears but the vast network of psychological fears. Perhaps we can go into this. The question is: how does fear arise - what keeps it sustained, gives it duration, and is it possible to end it? Physical fears are fairly easy to understand. There is instant response to physical danger and that response is the response of many centuries of conditioning, because without this there would not have been physical survival, life would have ended. Physically one must survive and the tradition of thousands of years says `be careful,' memory says `be careful there is danger, act immediately.' But is this physical response to danger fear?
Please do follow all this carefully, because we are going to go into something quite simple, yet complex, and unless you give your whole attention to it we shall not understand it. We are asking whether that physical, sensory response to danger involving immediate action is fear? Or is it intelligence and therefore not fear at all? And is intelligence a matter of the cultivation of tradition and memory? If it is, why doesn't it operate completely, as it should, in the psychological field, where one is so terribly frightened about so many things? Why doesn't that same intelligence which we find when we observe danger, operate when there are psychological fears? Is this physical intelligence applicable to the psychological nature of man? That is, there are fears of various kinds which we all know - fear of death, of darkness, what the wife or the husband will say or do, or what the neighbour or the boss will think - the whole network of fears. We are not going to deal with the details of various forms of fear; we are concerned with fear itself, not a particular fear. And when there is fear and we become aware of it, there is a movement to escape from it; either suppressing it, running away from it, or taking flight through various forms of entertainment, including religious ones, or developing courage which is resistance to fear. Escape, entertainment and courage are all various forms of resistance to the actual fact of fear.
The greater the fear, the greater the resistance to it and so various neurotic activities are set up. There is fear, and the mind - or the `me' - says `there must be no fear,' and so there is duality. There is the `me' which is different from fear, which escapes from fear and resists it, which cultivates energy, theorizes or goes to the analyst; and there is the `not me'! The `not me' is fear; the `me' is separate from that fear. So there is immediate conflict between the fear, and the `me' that is overcoming that fear. There is the watcher and the watched. The watched being fear, and the watcher being the `me' that wants to get rid of that fear. So there is an opposition, a contradiction, a separation and hence there is conflict between fear and the `me' that wants to be rid of that fear. Are we communicating with each other?
So the problem consigns of this conflict between the `not me' of fear and the `me' who thinks it is different from it and resists fear; or who tries to overcome it, escape from it, suppress it or control it. This division will invariably bring conflict, as it does between two nations with their armies and their navies and their separate sovereign governments.
So there is the watcher and the thing watched - the watcher saying `I must get rid of this terrible thing, I must do away with it.' The watcher is always fighting, is in a state of conflict. This has become our habit, our tradition, our conditioning. And it is one of the most difficult things to break any kind of habit, because we like to live in habits, such as smoking, drinking, or sexual or psychological habits; and so it is with nations, sovereign governments which say `my country and your country,' `my God and your God,' `my belief and your belief.' It is our tradition to fight, to resist fear and therefore increase the conflict and so give more life to fear.
If this is clear, then we can go on to the next step, which is: is there any actual difference between the watcher and the watched, in this particular case? The watcher thinks he is different from the watched, which is fear. Is there any difference between him and the thing he watches or are they both the same? Obviously they are both the same. The watcher is the watched - if something totally new comes along then there is no watcher at all. But because the watcher recognizes his reaction as fear, which he has known previously, there is this division. And as you go into it very, very deeply, you discover for yourself - as I hope you are doing now - that the watcher and the watched are essentially the same. Therefore if they are the same, you eliminate altogether the contradiction, the `me' and the `not me,' and with them you also wipe away all kind of effort totally. But this does not mean that you accept fear, or identify yourself with fear.
There is fear, the thing watched, and the watcher who is part of that fear. So what is to be done? (Are you working as hard as the speaker is working? If you merely listen to the words, then I am afraid you will not solve this question of fear deeply.) There is only fear - not the watcher who watches fear, because the watcher is fear. There are several things that take place. First, what is fear and how does it come about? We are not talking about the results of fear, or the cause of fear, or how it darkens one's life with its misery and ugliness. But we are asking what fear is and how it comes about. Must one analyze it continuously to discover the endless causes of fear? Because when you begin to analyze, the analyzer must be extraordinarily free from all prejudices and conditionings; he has to look, to observe. Otherwise if there is any kind of distortion in his judgment, that distortion increases as he continues to analyze.
So analysis in order to end fear is not the ending of it. I hope there are some analysts here! Because in discovering the cause of fear and acting upon that discovery, the cause becomes the effect, and the effect becomes the cause. The effect, and acting upon that effect in order to find the cause, and discovering the cause and acting according to that cause, becomes the next stage. It becomes both effect and cause in an endless chain. If we put aside the understanding of the cause of fear and the analysis of fear, then what is there to do?
You know, this is not an entertainment but there is great joy in discovery, there is great fun in understanding all this. So what makes fear? Time and thought make fear - time as yesterday, today and tomorrow; there is the fear that tomorrow something will happen - the loss of a job, death, that my wife or my husband will run away, that the disease and pain that I have had many days ago will come back again. This is where time comes in. Time, involving what my neighbour may say about me tomorrow, or time which up to now has covered up something which I did many years ago. I am afraid of some deep secret desires which might not be fulfilled. So time is involved in fear, fear of death which comes at the end of life, which may be waiting around the corner and I am afraid. So time involves fear and thought. There is no time if there is no thought. Thinking about that which happened yesterday, being afraid that it may happen again tomorrow - this is what brings about time as well as fear.
Do watch this, please look at it for yourself - don't accept or reject anything; but listen, find out for yourself the truth of this, not just the words, not whether you agree or disagree, but go on. To find the truth you must have feeling, a passion for finding out, great energy. Then you will find that thought breeds fear; thinking about the past or the future - the future being the next minute or the next day or ten years hence - thinking about it makes it an event. And thinking about an event which was pleasurable yesterday, sustains or gives continuity to that pleasure, whether that pleasure be sexual, sensory, intellectual or psychological; thinking about it, building an image as most people do, gives to that event in the past a continuity through thought and breeds more pleasure.
Thought breeds fear as well as pleasure; they are both matters of time. So thought engenders this two-sided coin of pleasure and pain - which is fear. Then what is there to do? We worship thought which has become so extraordinarily important that we think the more cunning it is, the better it is. In the business world, in the religious world, or in the world of the family, thought is used by the intellectual who indulges in the use of this coin, in the garland of words. How we honour the people who are intellectually, verbally clever in their thinking! But thinking is responsible for fear and the thing called pleasure.
We are not saying we shouldn't have pleasure. We are not being puritanical, we are trying to understand it, and in the very understanding of this whole process, fear comes to an end. Then you will see that pleasure is something entirely different, and we shall go into this if we have time. So thought is responsible for this agony - one side is agony, the other side is pleasure and its continuance: the demand for and the pursuit of pleasure, including the religious and every other form of pleasure. Then what is thought to do? Can it end? Is that the right question? And who is to end it? - is it the `me' who is not thought? But the `me' is the result of thought. And therefore you have again the same old problem; the me, and the 'not me` which is the watcher who says, `If only I could end thought then I'd live a different kind of life.' But there is only thought and not the watcher who says, `I want to end thought,' because the watcher is the product of thought. And how does thought come into being? One can see very easily, it is the response of memory, experience and knowledge which is the brain, the seat of memory. When anything is asked of it, it responds by a reaction which is memory and recognition. The brain is the result of millennia of evolution and conditioning - thought is always old, thought is never free, thought is the response of all conditioning.
What is to be done? When thought realizes that it cannot possibly do anything about fear because it creates fear, then there is silence; then there is complete negation of any movement which breeds fear. Therefore the mind, including the brain, observes this whole phenomenon of habit and the contradiction and struggle between the `me' and the `not me.' It realizes that the watcher is the watched. And seeing that fear cannot be merely analyzed and put aside, but that it will always be there, the mind also sees that analysis is not the way. Then one asks: what is the origin of fear? How does it arise?
We said that it came about through time and thought. Thought is the response of memory and so thought creates fear. And fear cannot end through the mere control or suppression of thought, or by trying to transmute thought, or indulging in all the tricks one plays on oneself. Realizing this whole pattern choicelessly, objectively, in oneself, seeing all this thought itself says, `I will be quiet without any control or suppression,' 'I will be still.
So then there is the ending of fear, which means the ending of sorrow and the understanding of oneself - self-knowing. Without knowing oneself there is no ending of sorrow and fear. It is only a mind that is free from fear that can face reality.
Perhaps you would now care to ask questions. One must ask questions - this asking, this exposing of oneself to oneself here is necessary, and also when you are by yourself in your room or in your garden, sitting quietly in the bus or walking - you must ask questions in order to find out. But one has to ask the right question, and in the very asking of the right question is the right answer.
Questioner: To accept oneself, one's pain, one's sorrow, is that the right thing to do?
Krishnamurti: How can one accept what one is? You mean to say you accept your ugliness, your brutality, your violence, your pretentiousness, your hypocrisies? Can you accept all that? And don't you want to change? - indeed mustn't we change all this? How can we accept the established order of society with its morality which is immorality? Isn't life a constant movement of change? When one is living there is no acceptance, there is only living. We are then living with the movement of life and the movement of life demands change, psychological revolution, a mutation.
Questioner: I don't understand.
Krishnamurti: I'm sorry. Perhaps when you used the word `accept' you did not realize that in ordinary English that means to accept things as they are. Perhaps you would put it in Dutch.
Questioner: Accept things as they come.
Krishnamurti: Will I accept things as they come, say, when my wife leaves me? When I lose money, when I lose my job, when I am despised, insulted, will I accept these things as they come? Will I accept war? To take things as they come, actually, not theoretically, one must be free of the `me,' the `I.' And that is what we have been talking about this morning, the emptying of the mind of the `me' and `you,' and the `we' and `they.' Then you can live from moment to moment, endlessly, without struggle, without conflict. But that is real meditation, real action, not conflict, brutality and violence.
Questioner: We have to think; it is inevitable.
Krishnamurti: Yes, I understand, Sir. Are you suggesting that we should not think at all? To do a job you have to think, to go to your house you have to think; there is the verbal communication, which is the result of thought. So what place has thought in life? Thought must operate when you are doing something. Please follow this. To do any technological job, to function as the computer does - even if not as efficiently - thought is needed. To think clearly, objectively, non-emotionally, without prejudice, without opinion; thought is necessary in order to act clearly. But we also know that thought breeds fear, and that very fear will prevent us from acting efficiently. So can one act without fear when thought is demanded, and be quiet when it is not? Do you understand? Can one have a mind and heart that understands this whole process of fear, pleasure, thought and the quietness of the mind? Can one act thoughtfully when it is necessary, and not use thought when it is not? Surely this is fairly simple, isn't it? that is, can the mind be so completely attentive that when it is awake it will think and act when necessary and remain awake in that action neither falling asleep nor working in a mechanical way?
So the question is not whether we must think or not, but how to keep awake. To keep awake one has to have this deep understanding of thought, fear, love, hate and loneliness; one has to be completely involved in this way of living as one is but understand completely. One can understand it deeply only when the mind is completely awake, without any distortion.
Questioner: Do you mean to say that in the face of danger you just react out of experience?
Krishnamurti: Don't you? When you see a dangerous animal, don't you react out of memory, out of experience? - perhaps not your personal experience but the racial inheritance which says `be careful.'
Questioner: That is what I had in mind.
Krishnamurti: But why don't we act equally efficiently when we see the danger of nationalism, of war, of separate governments with their sovereign rights and armies? These are the most dangerous things; why don't we react, why don't we say, `Let's change all that'? This means that you change yourself - the known being; that you do not belong to any nation, to any flag, country or religion, so that you are a free human being. But we don't. We react to physical dangers but not to psychological dangers, which are much more devastating. We accept things as they are or we revolt against them to form some fanciful Utopia, which comes back to the same thing. To see danger inwardly and to see danger outwardly is the same thing, which is, to keep awake - which means to be intelligent and sensitive.
Amsterdam 4th Public Talk
11th May 1969
The Wholeness of Life
Krishnamurti: One wonders why human beings throughout the world lack passion. They lust after power, position and various forms of entertainment both sexual and religious, and have other forms of lustful cravings. But apparently few have that deep passion which dedicates itself to the understanding of the whole process of living, not giving their whole energy to fragmentary activity. The bank manager is tremendously interested in his banking and the artist and the scientist are given over to their own special interests, but apparently it is one of the most difficult things to have an abiding, intense passion given over to the understanding of the wholeness of life.
As we go into this question of what constitutes the total understanding of living, loving and dying, we shall need not only intellectual capacity and strong feeling, but much more than these, great energy that only passion can give. As we have this enormous problem, complex, subtle and very profound, we must give our total attention - which is after all passion - to see and find out for ourselves if there is a way of life, wholly different from that which we now live. To understand this, one has to go into several questions, one has to inquire into the process of consciousness, examining both the surface and the deep layers of one's own mind, and one also has to look at the nature of order; not only outwardly, in society, but within oneself.
One has to find out the meaning of living, not merely giving an intellectual significance to it, but looking at what it means to live. And one has also to go into this question of what love is, and what it means to die. Al this has to be examined in the conscious and the deep, hidden recesses of one's own mind. One has to ask what order is, what living really means, and whether one can live a life of complete, total affection, compassion, tenderness and love. One has also to find out for oneself the meaning of that extraordinary thing called death.
These are not fragments, but the total movement, the wholeness of life. We shall not be able to understand this if we cut it up into living, loving and dying - it is all one movement. To understand its total process, there must be energy, not only intellectual energy but energy of strong feeling, which involves having motiveless passion, so that it is constantly burning within one. And as our minds are fragmented, it is necessary to go into this question of the conscious and the unconscious, for there begins all division - the `me' and `not me,' the `you' and `me,' the `we' and `they.' As long as this separation exists - nationally, in the family, between religions with their separate possessive dependencies - there will inevitably be divisions in life. There will be the living of everyday life with its boredom and routine and that thing which we call love, hedged about by jealousy, possessiveness, dependence, and domination, there will be fear, the inevitability of death. Could we go into this question seriously - not merely theoretically, or verbally, but really investigate it by looking into ourselves and asking why there is this division, which breeds so much misery, confusion and conflict?
One can observe in oneself very clearly the activity of the superficial mind with its concern with livelihood, with its technological, scientific, acquisitive knowledge. One can see oneself being competitive in the office, one can see the superficial operations of one's own mind. But there are the hidden parts which have not been explored, because we don't know how to explore them. If we want to expose them to the light of clarity and understanding, we either read books which tell us all about it, or we go to some analyst, or philosopher. But we do not know for ourselves how to look at things; though we may be capable of observing the outward, superficial activity of the mind, we are apparently incapable of looking into this deep, hidden cave in which the whole of the past abides. Can the conscious mind with its positive demands and assertions look into the deeper layers of one's own being? I do not know if you have ever tried it, but if you have and have been sufficiently insistent and serious, you may have found for yourself the vast content of the past, the racial inheritance, the religious impositions, the divisions; all these are hidden there. The casual offering of an opinion springs from that past accumulation, which is essentially based on past knowledge and experience, with their various forms of conclusions and opinions. Can the mind look into all this, understand it and go beyond it, so that there is no division at all?
This is important, because we are so conditioned to look at life in a fragmentary way. And as long as this fragmentation goes on, there is the demand for fulfillment - `me' wanting to fulfil, to achieve, to compete, to be ambitious. It is this fragmentation of life that makes us both individualistic and collective, self-centred yet needing to identify oneself with something greater, while remaining separate. It is this deep division in consciousness, in the whole structure and nature of our being that makes for division in our activities, in our thoughts and in our feelings. So we divide life and those things called loving and dying.
Is it possible to observe the movement of the past, which is the unconscious? - if one can use that word `unconscious' without giving it a special psychoanalytical significance. The deep unconscious is the past, and we are operating from that. Therefore there is the division into the past, the present and the future - which is time.
All this may sound rather complicated, but it is not - it is really quite simple if one can look into oneself, observe oneself in action, observe the workings of one's opinions and thoughts and conclusions. When you look at yourself critically you can see that your actions are based on a past conclusion, a formula or pattern, which projects itself into the future as an ideal and you act according to that ideal. So the past is always operating with its motives, conclusions and formulas; the mind and the heart are heavily laden with memories, which are shaping our lives, bringing about fragmentation.
One must ask the question whether the conscious mind can see into the unconscious so completely that one has understood the whole of its content, which is the past. That demands a critical capacity - but not self-opinionated criticism - it demands that one should watch. If one is really awake, then this division in the totality of consciousness ends. That awakened state is possible only when there is this critical self-awareness devoid of judgment.
To observe means to be critical - not using criticism based on evaluation, on opinions, but to be critically watchful. But if that criticism is personal, hedged by fear or any form of prejudice, it ceases to be truly critical, it becomes merely fragmentary.
What we are now concerned with is the understanding of the total process, the wholeness of living, not with a particular fragment. We are not asking what to do with regard to a particular problem, with regard to social activity which is independent of the whole process of living; but we are trying to find out what is included in the understanding of reality and whether there is such a reality, such an immensity, eternity. It is this whole, total perception - not fragmentary perception - that we are concerned with. This understanding of the whole movement of life as one single unitary activity is possible only when in the whole of our consciousness there is the ending of one's own concepts, principles, ideas and divisions as the me, and the `not me.' If that is clear - and I hope it is - then we can proceed to find out what living is.
We consider living to be a positive action - doing, thinking, the everlasting bustle, conflict, fear, sorrow, guilt, ambition, competition, the lusting after pleasure with its pain, the desire to be successful. All this is what we call living. That is our life, with its occasional joy, with its moments of compassion without any motive, and generosity without any strings attached to it. There are rare moments of ecstasy, of a bliss that has no past or future. But going to the office, anger, hatred, contempt, enmity, are what we call everyday living, and we consider it extraordinarily positive.
The negation of the positive is the only true positive. To negate this so-called living, which is ugly, lonely, fearful, brutal and violent, without knowledge of the other, is the most positive action. Are we communicating with each other? You know, to deny conventional morality completely is to be highly moral, because what we call social morality, the morality of respectability, is utterly immoral; we are competitive, greedy, envious, seeking our own way - you know how we behave. We call this social morality; religious people talk about a different kind of morality, but their life, their whole attitude, the hierarchical structure of religious organization and belief, is immoral. To deny that is not to react, because when you react, this is another form of dissenting through one's own resistance. But when you deny it because you understand it, there is the highest form of morality.
In the same way, to negate social morality, to negate the way we are living - our petty little lives, our shallow thinking and existence, the satisfaction at a superficial level with our accumulated things - to deny all that, not as a reaction but seeing the utter stupidity and the destructive nature of this way of living - to negate all that is to live. To see the false as the false - this seeing is the true.
Then, what is love? Is love pleasure? Is love desire? Is love attachment, dependence, possession of the person whom you love and dominate? Is it saying, `This is mine and not yours, my property, my sexual rights, in which are involved jealousy, hate, anger and violence'? And again, love has been divided into sacred and profane as part of religious conditioning; is all that love? Can you love and be ambitious? Can you love your husband, can he say he loves you when he is ambitious? Can there be love when there is competition and the drive for success?
To negate all that, not only intellectually or verbally, but to wipe it out of one's own being, never to experience jealousy, envy, competition or ambition - to deny all that, surely this is love. These two ways of acting cannot ever go together. The man who is jealous, or the woman who is dominating, doesn't know what love means - they may talk about it, they may sleep together, possess each other, depend on each other for comfort, security, or from fear of loneliness, but surely all that is not love. If people who say they love their children meant it, would there be war? And would there be division of nationalities - would there be these separations? What we call love is torture, despair, a feeling of guilt. This love is generally identified with sexual pleasure. We are not being puritanical or prudish, we are not saying that there must be no pleasure, When you look at a cloud or the sky or a beautiful face, there is delight. When you look at a flower there is the beauty of it - we are not denying beauty. Beauty is not the pleasure of thought, but it is thought that gives pleasure to beauty.
In the same way, when we love and there is sex, thought gives it pleasure, the image of that which has been experienced and the repetition of it tomorrow. In this repetition is pleasure which is not beauty. Beauty, tenderness and the total meaning of love don't exclude sex. But now when everything is allowed, the world suddenly seems to have discovered sex and it has become extraordinarily important. Probably that is the only escape man has now, the only freedom; everywhere else he is pushed around, bullied, violated intellectually, emotionally, in every way he is a slave, he is broken, and the only time when he can be free is in sexual experience. In that freedom he comes upon a certain joy and he wants the repetition of that joy. Looking at all this, where is love? Only a mind and a heart that are full of love can see the whole movement of life. Then whatever he does, a man who possesses such love is moral, good, and what he does is beautiful.
And where does order come into all this - knowing our life is so confused, so disorderly. We all want order, not only in the house, arranging things in their proper place, but we also want order externally, in society, where there is such immense social injustice. We also want order inwardly - there must be order, deep, mathematical order. And is this order to be brought about by conforming to a pattern which we consider to be orderly? Then we should be comparing the pattern with the fact, and there would be conflict. Is not this very conflict disorder? - and therefore not virtue. When a mind struggles to be virtuous, moral, ethical, it resists, and in that very conflict there is disorder. So virtue is the very essence of order - though we may not like to use that word in the modern world. That virtue is not brought about through the conflict of thought, but comes only when you see disorder critically, with wakened intelligence, understanding yourself. Then there is complete order of the highest form, which is virtue. And that can come only when there is love.
Then there is the question of dying, which we have carefully put far away from us, as something that is going to happen in the future - the future may be fifty years off or tomorrow. We are afraid of coming to an end, coming physically to an end and being separated from the things we have possessed, worked for, experienced - wife, husband, the house, the furniture, the little garden, the books and the poems we have written or hoped to write. And we are afraid to let all that go because we are the furniture, we are the picture that we possess; when we have the capacity to play the violin, we are that violin. Because we have identified ourselves with those things - we are all that and nothing else. Have you ever looked at it that way? You are the house - with the shutters, the bedroom, the furniture which you have very carefully polished for years, which you own - that is what you are. If you remove all that you are nothing.
And that is what you are afraid of - of being nothing. Isn't it very strange how you spend forty years going to the office and when you stop doing these things you have heart trouble and die? You are the office, the files, the manager or the clerk or whatever your position is; you are that and nothing else. And you have a lot of ideas about God, goodness, truth, what society should be - that is all. Therein lies sorrow. To realize for yourself that you are that is great sorrow, but the greatest sorrow is that you do not realize it. To see that and find out what it means, is to die.
Death is inevitable, all organisms must come to an end. But we are afraid to let the past go. We are the past, we are time, sorrow and despair, with an occasional perception of beauty, a flowering of goodness or deep tenderness as a passing, not an abiding thing. And being afraid of death, we say, `Shall I live again?' - which is to continue the battle, the conflict, the misery, owning things, the accumulated experience. The whole of the East believes in reincarnation. That which you are you would like to see reincarnated; but you are all this, this mess, this confusion, this disorder. Also, reincarnation implies that we shall be born to another life; therefore what you do now, today, matters, not how you are going to live when you are born into your next life - if there is such a thing. If you are going to be born again, what matters is how you live today, because today is going to sow the seed of beauty or the seed of sorrow. But those who believe so fervently in reincarnation do not know how to behave; if they were concerned with behaviour, then they would not be concerned with tomorrow, for goodness is in the attention of today.
Dying is part of living. You cannot love without dying, dying to everything which is not love, dying to all ideals which are the projection of your own demands, dying to all the past, to the experience, so that you know what love means and therefore what living means. So living, loving and dying are the same thing, which consists in living wholly, completely, now. Then there is action which is not contradictory, bringing with it pain and sorrow; there is living, loving and dying in which there is action. That action is order. And if one lives that way - and one must, not in occasional moments but every day, every minute - then we shall have social order, then there will be the unity of man, and governments will be run on computers, not by politicians with their personal ambitions and conditioning. So to live is to love and to die.
Questioner: Can one be free instantly and live without conflicts or does it take time?
Krishnamurti: Can one live without the past immediately or does getting rid of the past take time? Does it take time to get rid of the past, and does this prevent one from living immediately? That is the question. The past is like a hidden cave, like a cellar where you keep your wine - if you have wine. Does it take time to be free of it? What is involved in taking time? - which is what we are used to. I say to myself, `I'll take time, virtue is a thing to be acquired, to be practiced day after day, I'll get rid of my hate, my violence, gradually, slowly; that is what we are used to, that is our conditioning. And so we ask ourselves whether it is possible to throw away all the past gradually - which involves time. That is, being violent, I say, `I'll gradually get rid of this.' What does that mean - `gradually,' `step by step'? In the meantime I am being violent. The idea of getting rid of violence gradually is a form of hypocrisy. Obviously, if I am violent I can't get rid of it gradually, I must end it immediately. Can I end psychological things immediately? I cannot, if I accept the idea of gradually freeing myself from the past. But what matters is to see the fact as it is now, without any distortion. If I am jealous and envious, I must see this completely by total, not partial, observation. I look at my jealousy - why am I jealous? Because I am lonely, the person I depended upon left me and I am suddenly faced with my emptiness, with my isolation and I am afraid of that, therefore I depend on you. And if you turn away I am angry, jealous. The fact is I am lonely, I need companionship, I need somebody not only to cook for me, to give me comfort, sexual pleasure and all the rest of it, but because basically I am alone. And that is why I am jealous. Can I understand this loneliness immediately? I can understand it only if I observe it, if I do not run away from it - if I can look at it, observe it critically, with awakened intelligence, not find excuses, try to fill the void or try to find a new companion. To look at this there must be freedom and when there is freedom to look I am free of jealousy. So the perception, the total observation of jealousy and the freedom from it, is not a matter of time, but of giving complete attention, critical awareness, observing choicelessly, instantly, all things as they arise. Then there is freedom - not in the future but now - from that which we call jealousy.
This applies equally to violence, anger or any other habit, whether you smoke, drink or have sexual habits. If we observe them very attentively, completely with our heart and mind, we are intelligently aware of their whole content; then there is freedom. Once this awareness is functioning, then whatever arises - anger, jealousy, violence, brutality, shades of double meaning, enmity, all these things can be observed instantly, completely. In that there is freedom, and the thing that was there ceases to be. So the past is not to be wiped away through time. Time is not the way to freedom. Is not this idea of gradualness a form of indolence, of incapacity to deal with the past instantly as it arises? When you have that astonishing capacity to observe clearly as it arises and when you give your mind and heart completely to observe it, then the past ceases. So time and thought do not end the past, for time and thought are the past.
Questioner: Is thought a movement of the mind? Is awareness the function of a motionless mind?
Krishnamurti: As we said the other day, thought is the response of memory, like a computer into which you have fed all kinds of information. And when you ask for the answer, what has been stored up in the computer responds. In this same way the mind, the brain, is the storehouse of the past, which is the memory, and when it is challenged it responds in thought according to its knowledge, experience, conditioning and so on. So thought is the movement, or rather part of the movement, of the mind and the brain. The questioner wants to know whether awareness is a stillness of the mind. Can you observe anything - a tree, your wife, your neighbour, the politician, the priest, a beautiful face - without any movement of the mind? The images of your wife, of your husband, of your neighbour, the knowledge of the cloud or of pleasure, all that interferes, doesn't it? So when there is interference by an image of any kind, subtle or obvious, then there is no observation, there is no real, total awareness - there is only partial awareness. To observe clearly there must be no image coming in between the observer and the thing observed. When you look at a tree, can you look at it without the knowledge of that tree in botanical terms, or the knowledge of your pleasure or desire concerning it? Can you look at it so completely that the space between you - the observer - and the thing observed disappears? That doesn't mean that you become the tree! But when that space disappears, there is the cessation of the observer, and only the thing which is observed remains. In that observation there is perception, seeing the thing with extraordinary vitality, its colour, its shape, the beauty of the leaf or trunk; when there is not the centre of the `me' who is observing, you are intimately in contact with that which you observe.
There is movement of thought, which is part of the brain and the mind, when there is a challenge which must be answered by thought. But to discover something new, something that has never been looked at, there must be this intense attention without any movement. This is not something mysterious or occult which you have to practice for years and years; that is all sheer nonsense. It does take place when, between two thoughts, you are observing.
You know how the man discovered jet propulsion? How did it happen? He knew all there was to know about the combustion engine, and he was looking for some other method. To look, you must be silent - if you carry all the knowledge of your combustion engine with you, you'll find only that which you have learned. What you have learned must remain dormant, quiet - then you will discover something new. In the same way, in order to see your wife, your husband, the tree, the neighbour, the whole social structure which is disorder, you must silently find a new way of looking and therefore a new way of living and acting.
Questioner: How do we find the power to live without theories and ideals?
Krishnamurti: How do you have the power to live with them? How do you have this extraordinary energy to live with formulas, with ideals, with theories? You are living with those formulas - how do you have the energy? This energy is being dissipated in conflict. The ideal is over there and you are here, and you are trying to live according to that. So there is a division, there is conflict, which is waste of energy. So when you see the wastage of energy, when you see the absurdity of having ideals, formulas, concepts, all bringing about such constant conflict, when you see it, then you have the energy to live without it. Then you have abundance of energy, because then there is no wastage through conflict at all. But you see, we are afraid to live that way, because of our conditioning. And we accept this structure of formulas and ideals, as others have done. We live with them, we accept conflict as the way of life. But when we see all this, not verbally, not theoretically, not intellectually, but feel with our whole being the absurdity of living that way, then we have the abundance of energy which comes when there is no conflict whatsoever. Then there is only the fact and nothing else. There is the fact that you are greedy, not the ideal that you should not be greedy - that is a waste of energy - but the fact you are greedy, possessive and dominating. That is the only fact, and when you give your whole attention to that fact, then you have the energy to dissipate it and therefore you can live freely, without any ideal, without any principle, without any belief. And that is loving and dying to everything of the past.