Truth and Actuality
Truth and Actuality
By J. Krishnamurti
E-Text Source: www.jiddu-krishnamurti.net
Part 1, Discussions With David Bohm - Brockwood Park
Chapter 1 - Reality, Actuality, Truth - 18th May 1975
Chapter 2 - Insight And Truth- 31st May 1975
Chapter 3 - The Seed Of Truth - 28th May 1975
Part 2, Public Talks - Brockwood Park 1975
Chapter 4 - Right Action - 6th September 1975
Chapter 5 - The Problem Of Fear - 7th September 1975
Chapter 6 - 1st Public Dialogue - 9th September 1975
Chapter 7 - 2nd Public Dialogue - 11th September 1975
Chapter 8 - 3rd Public Dialogue - 13th September 1975
Chapter 9 - 4th Public Dialogue - 14th September 1975
Part 3, Questions from Public Dialogues Saanen
Chapter 10 - 7th Public Dialogue 1976 - 25th July 1976
Chapter 11 - 3rd Public Dialogue 1975 - 15th July 1975
Chapter 12 - 5th Public Dialogue 1975 - 22nd July 1975
Chapter 13 - 5th Public Dialogue 1975 - 22nd July 1975
Chapter 14 - 6th Public Dialogue 1975 - 24th July 1975
Chapter 15 - 7th Public Dialogue 1975 - 27th July 1975
Saanen 1975 - 5th Public Talk - 22nd July 1975
Saanen 1975 - 6th Public Talk - 24th July 1975
Saanen 1975 - 7th Public Talk - 27th July 1975
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"What is the relationship between truth and reality? Reality being, as we said, all the things that thought has put together. Reality means, the root meaning of that word is, things or thing. And living in the world of things, which is reality, we want to establish a relationship with a world which has no things - which is impossible."
"Actuality means `What is'... Are you facing in yourself what actually is going on.. You don't take actuality and look at it."
"Man has been concerned throughout the ages to discover or live in `Truth'."
Discussions With David Bohm
1st Discussion with Prof. David Bohm
18th May 1975
Reality, Actuality, Truth
Krishnamurti: I was thinking about the question of what is truth and what is reality and whether there is any relationship between the two, or whether they are separate. Are they eternally divorced, or are they just projections of thought? And if thought didn't operate, would there be reality? I thought that reality comes from "res", thing, and that anything that thought operates on, or fabricates, or reflects about, is reality. And thought, thinking in a distorted, conditioned manner is illusion, is self-deception, is distortion. I left it there, because I wanted to let it come rather than my pursuing it.
Dr Bohm: The question of thought and reality and truth has occupied philosophers over the ages. It's a very difficult one. It seems to me that what you say is basically true, but there are a lot of points that need to be ironed out. One of the questions that arises is this: if reality is thought, what thought thinks about, what appears in consciousness, does it go beyond consciousness?
K: Are the contents of consciousness reality ?
Dr B.: That's the question; and can we use thought as equivalent to consciousness in its basic form ?
Dr B: I wonder whether, just for the sake of completeness, we should include in thought also feeling, desire, will and reaction. I feel we should, if we are exploring the connection between consciousness, reality and truth.
Dr B: One of the points I'd like to bring up is: there is thought, there is our consciousness, and there is the thing of which we are conscious. And as you have often said, the thought is not the thing.
Dr B: We have to get it clear, because in some sense the thing may have some kind of reality independent of thought; we can't go so far as to deny all that. Or do we go as far as some philosophers, like Bishop Berkeley, who has said that all is thought? Now I would like to suggest a possibly useful distinction between that reality which is largely created by our own thought, or by the thought of mankind, and that realty which one can regard as existing independently of this thought. For example, would you say Nature is real?
K: It is, yes.
Dr B: And it is not just our own thoughts.
K: No, obviously not.
Dr B: The tree, the whole earth, the stars.
K: Of course, the cosmos. Pain is real.
Dr B: Yes. I was thinking the other day, illusion is real, in the sense that it is really something going on, to a person who is in a state of illusion.
K: To him it is real.
Dr B: But to us it is also real because his brain is in a certain state of electrical and chemical movement, and he acts from his illusion in a real way.
K: In a real way, in a distorted way.
Dr B: Distorted but real. Now it occurred to me that one could say that even the false is real but not true. This might be important.
K: I understand. For instance: is Christ real?
Dr B: He is certainly real in the minds of people who believe in Him, in the sense we have been discussing.
K: We want to find out the distinction between truth and reality. We said anything that thought thinks about, whether unreasonably or reasonably, is a reality. It may be distorted or reasoned clearly, it is still a reality. That reality, I say, has nothing to do with truth.
Dr B: Yes, but we have to say besides, that in some way reality involves more than mere thought. There is also the question of actuality. Is the thing actual? Is its existence an actual fact? According to the dictionary, the fact means what is actually done, what actually happens, what is actually perceived.
K: Yes, we must understand what we mean by the fact.
Dr B: The fact is the action that is actually taking place. Suppose, for example, that you are walking on a dark road and that you think you see something. It may be real, it may not be real. One moment you feel that it's real and the next moment that it's not real. But then you suddenly touch it and it resists your movement. From this action it's immediately clear that there is a real thing which you have contacted. But if there is no such contact you say that it's not real, that it was perhaps an illusion, or at least something mistakenly taken as real.
K: But, of course, that thing is still a reality that thought thinks about. And reality has nothing to do with truth.
Dr B: But now, let us go further with the discussion of "the thing". You see, the root of the English word "thing" is fundamentally the same as the German "bedingen", to condition, to set the conditions or determine. And indeed we must agree that a thing is necessarily conditioned.
K: It is conditioned. Let's accept that.
Dr B: This is a key point. Any form of reality is conditioned. Thus, an illusion is still a form of reality which is conditioned. For example, the man's blood may have a different constitution because he's not in a balanced state. He is distorting, he may be too excited, and that could be why he is caught in illusion. So every thing is determined by conditions and it also conditions every other thing.
K: Yes, quite.
Dr B: All things are interrelated in the way of mutual conditioning which we call influence. In physics that's very clear, the planets all influence each other, the atoms influence each other, and I wanted to suggest that maybe we could regard thought and consciousness as part of this whole chain of influence.
K: Quite right.
Dr B: So that every thing can influence consciousness and it in turn can work back and influence the shapes of things, as we make objects. And you could then say that this is all reality, that thought is therefore also real.
K: Thought is real.
Dr B: And there is one part of reality influencing another part of reality.
K: Also, one part of illusion influences another part of illusion.
Dr B: Yes, but now we have to be careful because we can say there is that reality which is not made by man, by mankind. But that's still limited. The cosmos, for example, as seen by us is influenced by our own experience and therefore limited.
Dr B: Any thing that we see, we see through our own experience, our own background. So that reality cannot possibly be totally independent of man.
Dr B: It may be relatively independent. The tree is a reality that is relatively independent but it's our consciousness that abstracts the tree.
K: Are you saying that man's reality is the product of influence and conditioning?
Dr B: Yes, mutual interaction and reaction.
K: And all his illusions are also his product.
Dr B: Yes, they are all mixed together.
K: And what is the relationship of a sane, rational, healthy, whole man, to reality and to truth?
Dr B: Yes, we must consider that, but first may we look at this question of truth. I think the derivation of words is often very useful. The word "true" in Latin, which is "verus", means "that which is". The same as the English "was" and "were", or German "wahr". Now in English the root meaning of the word "true" is honest and faithful; you see, we can often say that a line is true, or a machine is true. There was a story I once read about a thread that ran so true; it was using the image of a spinning-wheel with the thread running straight.
Dr B: And now we can say that our thought, or our consciousness, is true to that which is, if it is running straight, if the man is sane and healthy. And otherwise it is not, it is false. So the falseness of consciousness is not just wrong information, but it is actually running crookedly as a reality.
K: So you're saying, as long as man is sane, healthy, whole and rational, his thread is always straight.
Dr B: Yes, his consciousness is on a straight thread. Therefore his reality -
K: - is different from the reality of a man whose thread is crooked, who is irrational, who is neurotic.
Dr B: Very different. Perhaps the latter is even insane. You can see with insane people how different it is - they sometimes cannot even see the same reality at all.
K: And the sane, healthy, whole, holy man, what is his relationship to truth?
Dr B: If you accept the meaning of the word, if you say truth is that which is, as well as being true to that which is, then you have to say that he is all this.
K: So you would say the man who is sane, whole, is truth?
Dr B: He is truth, yes.
K: Such a man is truth. He may think certain things which would be reality, but he is truth. He can't think irrationally.
Dr B: Well, I wouldn't say quite that, I'd say that he can make a mistake.
K: Of course.
Dr B: But he doesn't persist in it. In other words, there is the man who has made a mistake and acknowledges it, changes it.
K: Yes, quite right.
Dr B: And there is also the man who has made a mistake but his mind is not straight and therefore he goes on with it. But we have to come back to the question: does truth go beyond any particular man; does it include other men, and Nature as well?
K: It includes all that is.
Dr B: Yes, so the truth is one. But there are many different things in the field of reality. Each thing is conditioned, the whole field of reality is conditioned. But clearly, truth itself cannot be conditioned or dependent on things.
K: What then is the relationship to reality of the man who is truth?
Dr B: He sees all the things and, in doing this, he comprehends reality. What the word "comprehends" means is to hold it all together.
K: He doesn't separate reality. He says, "I comprehend it, I hold it, I see it".
Dr B: Yes, it's all one field of reality, himself and everything. But it has things in it which are conditioned and he comprehends the conditions.
K: And because he comprehends conditioning, he is free of conditioning.
Dr B: It seems clear then that all our knowledge, being based on thought, is actually a part of this one conditioned field of reality.
K: Now another question. Suppose I am a scholar, I'm full of such conditioned and conditioning knowledge. How am I to comprehend truth in the sense of holding it all together?
Dr B: I don't think you can comprehend truth.
K: Say I have studied all my life, I've devoted all my life to knowledge, which is reality.
Dr B: Yes, and it is also about a bigger reality.
K: And suppose you come along and say, "Truth is somewhere else, it's not that". I accept you, because you show it to me, and so I say, "Please help me to move from here to that".
Dr B: Yes.
K: Because once I get that, I comprehend it. If I live here, then my comprehension is always fragmented.
Dr B: Yes.
K: Therefore my knowledge tells me, "This is reality but it is not truth". And suppose you come along and say, "No, it is not". And I ask: please tell me how to move from here to that.
Dr B: Well, we've just said we can't move...
K: I'm putting it briefly. What am I to do?
Dr B: I think I have to see that this whole structure of knowledge is inevitably false, because my reality is twisted.
K: Would you say the content of my consciousness is knowledge?
Dr B: Yes.
K: How am I to empty that consciousness and yet retain knowledge which is not twisted - otherwise I can't function - and reach a state, or whatever it is, which will comprehend reality. I don't know if I'm making myself clear.
Dr B: Yes.
K: What I'm asking is: my human consciousness is its content, which is knowledge; it's a messy conglomeration of irrational knowledge and some which is correct. Can that consciousness comprehend, or bring into itself, truth?
Dr B: No, it can't.
K: Therefore, can this consciousness go to that truth? It can't either. Then what?
Dr B: There can be a perception of the falseness in this consciousness. This consciousness is false, in the sense that it does not run true. Because of the confused content it does not run true.
K: It's contradictory.
Dr B: It muddles things up.
K: Not, "muddles things up"; it is a muddle.
Dr B: It is a muddle, yes, in the way it moves. Now then, one of the main points of the muddle is that when consciousness reflects on itself, the reflection has this character: it's as if there were a mirror and consciousness were looking at itself through a mirror and the mirror is reflecting consciousness as if it were not consciousness but an independent reality.
Dr B: Now therefore, the action which consciousness takes is wrong, because it tries to improve the apparently independent reality, whereas in fact to do this is just a muddle.
I would like to put it this way: the whole of consciousness is somehow an instrument which is connected up to a deeper energy. And as long as consciousness is connected in that way, it maintains its state of wrong action.
Dr B: So on seeing that this consciousness is reflecting itself wrongly as independent of thought, what is needed is somehow to disconnect the energy of consciousness. The whole of consciousness has to be disconnected, so it would, as it were, lie there without energy.
K: You're saying, don't feed it. My consciousness is a muddle, it is confused, contradictory, and all the rest of it. And its very contradiction, its very muddle, gives its own energy.
Dr B: Well, I would say that the energy is not actually coming from consciousness, but that as long as the energy is coming, consciousness keeps the muddle going.
K: From where does it come?
Dr B: We'd have to say that perhaps it comes from something deeper.
K: If it comes from something deeper, then we enter into the whole field of gods and outside agency and so on.
Dr B: No, I wouldn't say the energy comes from an outside agency. I would prefer to say it comes from me, in some sense.
K: Then the "me" is this consciousness?
Dr B: Yes.
K: So the content is creating its own energy. Would you say that?
Dr B: In some sense it is, but the puzzle is that it seems impossible for this content to create its own energy. That would be saying that the content is able to create its own energy.
K: Actually, the content is creating its own energy. Look, I'm in contradiction and that very contradiction gives me vitality. I have got opposing desires. When I have opposing desires I have energy, I fight. Therefore that desire is creating the energy - not God, or something profounder - it is still desire. This is the trick that so many played. They say there is an outside agency, a deeper energy - but then one's back in the old field. But I realize the energy of contradiction, the energy of desire, of will, of pursuit, of pleasure, all that which is the content of my consciousness - which is consciousness - is creating its own energy. Reality is this; reality is creating its own energy. I may say, "I derive my energy deep down", but it's still reality.
Dr B: Yes, suppose we accept that, but the point is that seeing the truth of this...
K: ...that's what I want to get at. Is this energy different from the energy of truth?
Dr B: Yes.
K: It is different.
Dr B: But let's try to put it like this: reality may have many levels of energy.
Dr B: But a certain part of the energy has gone off the straight line. Let's say the brain feeds energy to all the thought processes. Now, if somehow the brain didn't feed energy to the thought process that is confused, then the thing might straighten out.
K: That's it. If this energy runs along the straight thread it is a reality without contradiction. It's an energy which is endless because it has no friction. Now is that energy different from the energy of truth?
Dr B: Yes. They are different, and as we once discussed, there must be a deeper common source.
K: I'm not sure. You are suggesting that they both spring out of the same root.
Dr B: That's what I suggest. But for the moment there is the energy of truth which can comprehend the reality and -
K: - the other way it cannot.
Dr B: No, it cannot; but there appears to be some connection in the sense that when truth comprehends reality, reality goes straight. So there appears to be a connection at least one way.
K: That's right, a one-way connection - truth loves this, this doesn't love truth.
Dr B: But once the connection has been made, then reality runs true and does not waste energy or make confusion.
K: You see, that's where meditation comes in. Generally, meditation is from here to there, with practice and all the rest of it. To move from this to that.
Dr B: Move from one reality to another.
K: That's right. Meditation is actually seeing what is. But generally meditation is taken as moving from one reality to another.
3rd Discussion with Prof. David Bohm
31st May 1975
Insight and Truth - Gulf Between Reality and Truth
Krishnamurti: I am concerned with trying to find out if there is an action which is not a process of thought, an action which is of truth - if I can put it that way - an insight which acts instantly. I want to inquire into that question.
Dr Bohm: Perhaps one action that acts instantly is to see falseness.
K: Yes. It's difficult to take examples. I have an insight into the fact that people believe in God - I'm taking that as an example.
Dr B: What is the nature of your insight, then?
K: The insight into the fact that God is their projection.
Dr B: Yes, and therefore false.
K: I have an insight. If I had a belief in God it would drop instantly. So it is not a process of thought, it is an insight into truth.
Dr B: Or into falseness.
K: Or into falseness, and that action is complete, it's over and done with. I don't know if I'm conveying it: that action is whole, there is no regret, there is no personal advantage, there is no emotion. It is an action which is complete. Whereas the action brought about by thought, the investigation of an analysis whether there is a God or no God, is always incomplete.
Dr B: Yes, I understand that. Then there is another action in which you do use words, where you try to realize the insight
Let's say, you talk to people. Is that action complete or incomplete? Say you have discovered about God. Other people are still calling this a fact, and therefore...
K: But the man speaks from an insight.
Dr B: He speaks from an insight, but at the same time he starts a process of time.
K: Yes, to convey something.
Dr B: To change things. Let's now consider that just to get it clear. It's starting from an insight but it's conveying truth.
K: Yes, but it's always starting from an insight.
Dr B: And in doing that you may have to organise...
K: ...reasonable thinking and so on, of course. And the action of reasoned thought is different from the action of insight.
Dr B: Now what is the difference when insight is conveyed through reasoned thought? To come back again to your insight about God: you have to convey it to other people, you must put it into a reasonable form.
Dr B: And therefore isn't there still some of the quality of the insight, as you convey it? You must find a reasonable way to convey it. Therefore in doing that, some of the truth of the insight is still being communicated in this form. And in some sense that is thought.
K: No, when conveying to another that insight verbally, one's action will be incomplete unless he has insight.
Dr B: That's right. So you must convey what will give someone an insight.
K: Can you give an insight?
Dr B: Not really, but whatever you convey must somehow do something which perhaps cannot be further described.
K: Yes. That can only happen when you yourself have dropped the belief in God.
Dr B: But there is no guarantee that it will happen.
K: No, of course not.
Dr B: That depends on the other person, whether he is ready to listen.
K: So we come to this point: is there a thinking which is non-verbal? Would this be what communicates insight?
Dr B: I would say there is a kind of thinking that communicates insight. The insight is non-verbal, but the thinking itself is not non-verbal. There is the kind of thinking which is dominated by the word and there is another kind of thinking whose order is determined, not by the word, but by the insight.
K: Is the insight the product of thought?
Dr B: No, but insight works through thought. Insight is never the product of thought.
K: Obviously not.
Dr B: But it may work through thought. I wanted to say that the thought through which insight is working has a different order from the other kind of thought. I want to distinguish those two. You once gave an example of a drum vibrating from the emptiness within. I took it to mean that the action of the skin was like the action of thought. Is that right?
K: Yes, that's right. Now, how does insight take place? Because if it is not the product of thought, not the process of organized thought and all the rest of it, then how does this insight come into being?
Dr B: It's not clear what you mean by the question.
K: How do I have an insight that God is a projection of our own desires, images and so on? I see the falseness of it or the truth of it; how does it take place?
Dr B: I don't see how you could expect to describe it.
K: I have a feeling inside that thought cannot possibly enter into an area where insight, where truth is, although it operates anywhere else. But truth, that area, can operate through thought.
Dr B: Yes.
K: But thought cannot enter into that area.
Dr B: That seems clear. We say that thought is the response of memory. It seems clear that this cannot be unconditioned and free.
K: I would like to go into this question, if I may: how does insight take place? If it is not the process of thought, then what is the quality of the mind, or the quality of observation, in which thought doesn't enter? And because it doesn't enter, you have an insight. We said, insight is complete. It is not fragmented as thought is. So thought cannot bring about an insight.
Dr B: Thought may communicate the insight. Or it may communicate some of the data which lead you to an insight. For example, people told you about religion and so on, but eventually the insight depends on something which is not thought.
K: Then how does that insight come? Is it a cessation of thought?
Dr B: It could be considered as a cessation.
K: Thought itself realizes that it cannot enter into a certain area. That is, the thinker is the thought, the observer, the experiencer, all the rest of it; and thought itself realizes, becomes aware, that it can only function within a certain area.
Dr B: Doesn't that itself require insight? Before thought realizes that, there must be an insight.
K: That's just it. Does thought realize that there must be insight?
Dr B: I don't know, but I'm saying there would have to be insight into the nature of thought before thought would realize anything. Because it seems to me that thought by itself cannot realize anything of this kind.
Dr B.: But in some way, we said, truth can operate in thought, in reality.
K: Truth can operate in the field of reality. Now how does one's mind see the truth? Is it a process?
Dr B: You're asking whether there is a process of seeing. There is no process, that would be time.
K: That's right.
Dr B: Let's consider a certain point, that there is an insight about the nature of thought, that the observer is the observed and so on.
K: That's clear.
Dr B: Now in some sense thought must accept that insight, carry it, respond to it.
K: Or the insight is so vital, so energetic, so full of vitality, that it forces thought to operate.
Dr B: All right, then there is the necessity to operate.
K: Yes, the necessity.
Dr B: But you see, generally speaking it doesn't have that vitality. So in some indirect way thought has rejected the insight, at least it appears to be so.
K: Most people have an insight, but habit is so strong they reject it.
Dr B: I'm trying to get to the bottom of it, to see if we can break through that rejection.
K: Break through the rejection, break through the habit, the conditioning, which prevents the insight. Though one may have an insight, the conditioning is so strong, you reject the insight. This is what happens.
Dr B: I looked up the word "habit" and it says, "A settled disposition of the mind", which seems very good. The mind is disposed in a certain fixed way which resists change. Now we get caught in the same question: how are we going to break that "very settled disposition"?
K: I don't think you can break it, I don't think thought can break it.
Dr B: We are asking for that intense insight which necessarily dissolves it.
K: So, to summarize: one has an insight into truth and reality. One's mind is disposed in a certain way, it has formed habits in the world of reality - it lives there.
Dr B: It's very rigid.
K: Now suppose you come along and point out the rigidity of it. I catch a glimpse of what you're saying - which is non-thinking - and I see it.
Dr B: In a glimpse only.
K: In a glimpse. But this conditioning is so strong I reject it.
Dr B: I don't do it purposely; it just happens.
K: It has happened because you helped to create that happening. Is that glimpse, first of all, strong enough to dissolve this? If it is not so strong, then it goes on. Can this conditioning dissolve? You see, I must have an insight into the conditioning, otherwise I can't dissolve it.
Dr B: Maybe we could look at it like this: conditioning is a reality, a very solid reality, which is fundamentally what we think about.
Dr B: As we said in the previous dialogue, it's actual. Ordinary reality is not only what I think about, but it fits actuality to some extent - the actual fact. That's the proof of its reality. Now, at first sight it seems that this conditioning is just as solid as any reality, if not more solid.
K: Much more solid. Is that conditioning dissolved, does it come to an end through thing?
Dr B: It won't because thinking is what it is.
K: So thinking won't dissolve it. Then what will?
Dr B: We're back again. We see that it's only truth, insight.
K: I think something takes place. I see I'm conditioned and I separate myself from the conditioning, I am different from the conditioning. And you come along and say "No, it isn't like that, the observer is the observed". If I can see, or have an insight, that the observer is the observed, then the conditioning begins to dissolve.
Dr B: Because it's not solid.
K: The perception of that is the ending of the conditioning. The truth is, when there is the realization that the observer is the observed. Then in that realization, which is truth, the conditioning disappears. How does it disappear? What is necessary for the crumbling of that structure?
Dr B: The insight into the falseness of it.
K: But I can have an insight into something that is false and yet I go on that way, accept the false and live in the false.
Dr B: Yes.
K: Now I don't know if I can convey something. I want to bring this into action in my life. I have accepted reality as truth, I live in that - my gods, my habits, everything - I live in that. You come along and say "Look, truth is different from reality" and you explain it to me. How will I put away that tremendous weight, or break that tremendous conditioning? I need energy to break that conditioning. Does the energy come when I see, "the observer is the observed"? As we've said, I see the importance, rationally, that the conditioning must break down, I see the necessity of it: I see how it operates, the division, the conflict and all the rest of what is involved. Now when I realize that the observer is the observed, a totally different kind of energy comes into being. That's all I want to get at.
Dr B: Yes, it's not the energy of reality then. I see it better when I say, "the thinker is the thought". It's actually the same thing.
K: Yes, the thinker is the thought. Now, is that energy different from the energy of conditioning and the activity of the conditioning and reality? Is that energy the perception of truth? - and therefore it has quite a different quality of energy.
Dr B: It seems to have the quality of being free of, not being bound by the conditioning.
K: Yes. Now I want to make it practical to myself. I see this whole thing that you have described to me. I have got a fairly good mind, I can argue, explain it, all the rest of it, but this quality of energy doesn't come. And you want me to have this quality, out of your compassion, out of your understanding, out of your perception of truth. You say, "Please, see that". And I can't see it, because I'm always living in the realm of reality. You are living in the realm of truth and I can't. There is no relationship between you and me. I accept your word, I see the reason for it, I see the logic of it, I see the actuality of it, but I can't break it down.
How will you help - I'm using that word hesitantly - how can you help me to break this down? It's your job, because you see the truth and I don't. You say, "For God's sake, see this". How will you help me? Through words? Then we enter into the realm with which I am quite familiar. This is actually going on, you understand? So what is one to do? What will you do with me, who refuses to see something which is just there? And you point out that as long as we live in this world of reality, there is going to be murder, death - everything that goes on there. There is no answer in that realm for any of our problems. How will you convey this to me? I want to find out, I'm very keen, I want to get out of this.
Dr B: It's only possible to communicate the intensity. We already discussed all the other factors that are communicated.
K: You see, what you say has no system, no method, because they are all part of the conditioning. You say something totally new, unexpected, to which I haven't even given a single moment of thought. You come along with a basketful and I do not know how to receive you. This has been really a problem; to the prophets, to every...
Dr B: It seems nobody has really succeeded in it.
K: Nobody has. It's part of education that keeps us constantly in the realm of reality.
Dr B: Everyone is expecting a path marked out in the field of reality.
K: You talk of a totally different kind of energy from the energy of reality. And you say that energy will wipe all this out, but it will use this reality.
Dr B: Yes, it will work through it.
K: It's all words to me, because society, education, economics, my parents, everything is here in reality. All the scientists are working here, all the professors, all the economists, everybody is here. And you say "Look", and I refuse to look.
Dr B: It's not even that one refuses, it's something more unconscious perhaps.
K: So in discussing this, is there a thinking which is not in the realm of reality?
Dr B: One might ask whether there is such thought, in the sense of the response of the drum to the emptiness within.
K: That's a good simile. Because it is empty, it is vibrating.
Dr B: The material thing is vibrating to the emptiness.
K: The material thing is vibrating. Wait - is truth nothingness?
Dr B: Reality is some thing, perhaps every thing. Truth is no thing. That is what the word "nothing" deeply means. So truth is "no-thingness".
K: Yes, truth is nothing.
Dr B.: Because if it's not reality it must be nothing - no thing.
K: And therefore empty. Empty being - how did you once describe it?
Dr B: Leisure is the word - leisure means basically "empty". The English root of "empty" means at leisure, unoccupied.
K: So you are saying to me, "Your mind must be unoccupied". It mustn't be occupied by reality.
Dr B: Yes, that's clear.
K: So it must be empty, there mustn't be a thing in it which has been put together by reality, by thought - no thing. Nothing means that.
Dr B: It's clear that things are what we think about, therefore we have to say the mind must not think about anything.
K: That's right. That means thought cannot think about emptiness.
Dr B: That would make it into a thing.
K: That's just it. You see, Hindu tradition says you can come to it.
Dr B: Yes, but anything you come to must be by a path which is marked out in the field of reality.
K: Yes. Now, I have an insight into that, I see it. I see my mind must be unoccupied, must have no inhabitants, must be an empty house. What is the action of that emptiness in my life? - because I must live here; I don't know why, but I must on the other side you do have to take care of your real material needs.
K: That's understood.
Dr B: There arises a conflict because what you are proposing appears to be reasonable, but it doesn't seem to take care of your material needs. Without having taken care of these needs you're not secure.
K: Therefore they call the world of reality "maya".
Dr B: Why is that? How do you make the connection?
K: Because they say, to live in emptiness is necessary and if you live there you consider the world as maya.
Dr B: You could say all that stuff is illusion, but then you would find you were in real danger...
K: Of course.
Dr B: So you seem to be calling for a confidence that nothingness will take care of you, physically and in every way. In other words, from nothingness, you say, there is security.
K: No, in nothingness there is security.
Dr B: And this security must include physical security.
K: No, I say, psychological security...
Dr B: Yes, but the question almost immediately arises...
K: How am I to be secure in the world of reality?
Dr B: Yes, because one could say: I accept that it will remove my psychological problems, but I still have to be physically secure as well in the world of reality.
K: There is no psychological security in reality, but only complete security in nothingness. Then if that is so, to me, my whole activity in the world of reality is entirely different.
Dr B: I see that, but the question will always be raised: is it different enough to...
K: Oh yes, it would be totally different, because I'm not nationalistic, I'm not "English", I am nothing. Therefore our whole world is different. I don't divide...
Dr B: Let's bring back your example of one who understands and the one who wants to communicate to the other. Somehow what doesn't communicate is the assurance that it will take care of all that.
K: It won't take care of all that. I have to work here.
Dr B: Well, according to what you said, there is a certain implication that in nothingness we will be completely secure in every way.
K: That is so, absolutely.
Dr B: Yes, but we have to ask: what about the physical security?
K: Physical security in reality? At present there is no security. I am fighting all my life, battling economically, socially, religiously. If I am inwardly, psychologically, completely secure, then my activity in the world of reality is born of complete intelligence. This doesn't exist now, because that intelligence is the perception of the whole and so on. As long as I'm "English" or "something", I cannot have security. I must work to get rid of that.
Dr B: I can see you'd become more intelligent, you'd become more secure - of course. But when you say "complete security" there is always the question: is it complete?
K: Oh, it is complete, psychologically.
Dr B: But not necessarily physically.
K: That feeling of complete security, inwardly, makes me...
Dr B: It makes you do the right thing.
K: The right thing in the world of reality.
Dr B: Yes, I see that. You can be as secure as you can possibly be if you are completely intelligent, but you cannot guarantee that nothing is going to happen to you.
K: No, of course not. My mind is rooted, or established, in nothingness, and it operates in the field of reality with intelligence. That intelligence says, "There you cannot have security unless you do these things".
Dr B: I've got to do everything right.
K: Everything right according to that intelligence, which is of truth, of nothingness.
Dr B: And yet, if something does happen to you, nevertheless you still are secure.
K: Of course - if my house burns down. But you see we are seeking security here, in the world of reality.
Dr B: Yes, I understand that.
K: Therefore there is no security.
Dr B: As long as one feels that the world of reality is all there is, you have to seek it there.
Dr B: One can see that in the world of reality there is in fact no security. Everything depends on other things which are unknown, and so on. That's why there is this intense fear.
K: You mention fear. In nothingness there is complete security, therefore no fear. But that sense of no fear has a totally different kind of activity in the world of reality. I have no fear - I work. I won't be rich or poor - I work. I work, not as an Englishman, a German, an Arab - all the rest of that nonsense - I work there intelligently. Therefore I am creating security in the world of reality. You follow?
Dr B: Yes, you're making it as secure as it can possibly be. The more clear and intelligent you are, the more secure it is.
K: Because inwardly I'm secure, I create security outwardly.
Dr B: On the other hand, if I feel that I depend inwardly on the world of reality, then I become disorganised inwardly.
K: Of course.
Dr B: Everybody does feel that he depends inwardly on the world of reality.
K: So the next thing is: you tell me this and I don't see it. I don't see the extraordinary beauty, the feeling, the depth of what you are saying about complete inward security. Therefore I say, "Look, how are you going to give the beauty of that to me?"
6th Discussion with Prof. David Bohm
28th May 1975
The Seed of Truth
Krishnamurti: If a seed of truth is planted it must operate, it must grow, it must function, it has a life of its own.
Dr Bohm: Many millions of people may have read or heard what you say. It may seem that a large number of them haven't understood. Do you feel that they are all going eventually to see it?
K: No, but it's going on, they are worried about it, they ask, "What does he mean by this?" The seed is functioning, it's growing, it isn't dead. You can say something false and that also operates.
Dr B: Yes, but now we have a struggle between those two and we cannot foresee the outcome of this struggle; we can't be sure of the outcome.
K: You plant in me the seed that, "Truth is a pathless land". Also a seed is planted in my consciousness that says, "There is a way to truth, follow me". One is false, one is true. They are both embedded in my consciousness. So there is a struggle going on. The true and the false, both are operating, which causes more confusion, more misery and a great deal of suffering, if I am sensitive enough. If I don't escape from that suffering what takes place?
Dr B: If you don't escape, then it's clear what will take place. Then you will have the energy to see what is true.
K: That's right.
Dr B: But now let's take the people who do escape, who seem to be a large number.
K: They are out, quite right, millions are out. But still, the struggle is going on.
Dr B: Yes, but it is creating confusion.
K: That is what they are all doing.
Dr B: Yes, but we don't know the outcome of that.
K: Oh yes, we do; dictatorship, deterioration.
Dr B: I know, it gets worse. But now we want to get it clear. In a few people who face the suffering, the energy comes to perceive the truth. And in a large number, who escape from suffering, things get worse.
K: And they rule the world.
Dr B: Now what is the way out of that?
K: They say there is no answer to that, get away from it.
Dr B: That also won't do.
K: They say you can't solve this problem, go away into the mountains or join a monastery, become a monk - but that doesn't solve anything. All one can do is to go on shouting.
Dr B: Yes, then we have to say we don't know the outcome of the shouting.
K: If you shout in order to get an outcome, it is not the right kind of shouting.
Dr B: Yes, that is the situation.
K: You talk, you point out. If nobody wants to pay attention it's their business, you just go on. Now I want to go further. You see, there is a mystery; thought cannot touch it. What is the point of it?
Dr B: Of the mystery? I think you could see it like this: that if you look into the field of thought and reason and so on, you finally see it has no clear foundation. Therefore you see that "what is" must be beyond that. "What is" is the mystery.
Dr B: I mean, you cannot live in this field of reality and thought, because of all we said.
K: No, of course not. But I don't mind, I have no fears.
Dr B: You don't mind because you have psychological security. Even if something happens to you, it does not deeply affect you.
K: I live in the field of reality, that is my life. There I am consciously aware, and I struggle and keep going in that field. And I can never touch the other. I cannot say, "I can touch it"; there is no "I" to touch it when you really touch it.
You say to me, "There is a mystery which passes all understanding". Because I am caught in this, I would like to get that. You say there is a mystery, because to you it is an actuality, not an invention, not a superstition, not self-deception. It is truth to you. And what you say makes a tremendous impression on me, because of your integrity. You point it out to me and I would like to get it. Somehow I must get it. What is your responsibility to me?
You understand the position? You say words cannot touch it, thought cannot touch it, no action can touch it, only the action of truth; perhaps it will give you a feeling of that. And I, because I am a miserable human being, would like to get some of that. But you say, "Truth is a pathless land, don't follow anybody" - and I am left.
I realize, I am consciously aware of the limitation of thought, of all the confusion, misery, and all the rest of it. Somehow I can't get out of it. Is your compassion going to help me? You are compassionate, because part of that extraordinary mystery is compassion. Will your compassion help me? - obviously not.
So what am I to do? I have a consuming desire for that, and you say, "Don't have any desire, you can't have that, it isn't your personal property". All you say to me is: put order into the field of reality.
Dr B: Yes, and do not escape suffering.
K: If you actually put order into the field of reality then something will take place. And also you say to me, it must be done instantly.
Is that mystery something everybody knows? - knows in the sense that there is something mysterious. Not the desire that creates mysteries, but that there is something mysterious in life apart from my suffering, apart from my death, from my jealousy, my anxiety. Apart from all that, there is a feeling that there is a great mystery in life. Is that it? - that there is a mystery which each one knows?
Dr B: I should think that in some sense everybody knows it. Probably one is born with that sense and it gradually gets dimmed through the conditioning.
K: And has he got the vitality, or the intensity, to put away all that? You see, that means "God is within you" - that is the danger of it.
Dr B: Not exactly, but there is some sort of intimation of this. I think probably children have it more strongly when they are young.
K: Do you think that modern children have that?
Dr B: I don't know about them, probably less. You see, living in a modern city must have a bad effect.
Dr B: There are many causes. One is lack of contact with nature; I think any contact with nature gives that sense of mystery.
Dr B: If you look at the sky at night, for example.
K: But you see the scientists are explaining the stars.
Dr B: Yes, I understand that.
K: Cousteau explains the ocean; everything is being explained.
Dr B: Yes, the feeling has been created that in principle we could know everything.
K: So knowledge is becoming the curse. You see, perception has nothing to do with knowledge. Truth and knowledge don't go together; knowledge cannot contain the immensity of mystery.
Dr B: Yes, I think if we start with a little child, he may place the mystery in some part that he doesn't know. He could put it at the bottom of the ocean, or somewhere else outside, far away from where he is, and then he learns that people have been everywhere. Therefore the whole thing is made to appear non-existent.
K: Yes. Everything becomes so superficial.
Dr B: That's the danger of our modern age, that it gives the appearance that we know more or less everything. At least that we have a general idea of the scheme, if not of the details.
K: The other night I was listening to Bronowski, "The Ascent of Man". He explains everything.
Dr B: The original impulse was to penetrate into this mystery, that was the impulse of science. And somehow it has gone astray. It gives the appearance of explaining it.
K: May I ask, do you as a trained scientist get the feeling of this mystery.
Dr B: I think so, yes. But I've always had some of that, you see.
K: But in talking now, do you get more of the intensity of it? Not because I feel intense, that's a totally different thing, that then becomes influence and all that. But in talking about something we open a door.
Dr B: Yes. I think that my particular conditioning has a great deal in it to resist this notion of mystery, although I think that science is now going in a wrong direction.
K: But even the scientists admit that there is a mystery.
Dr B: Yes, to some extent. The general view is that it could be eventually cleared up.
K: Cleared up in the sense of explained away.
Dr B: My own feeling is that every particular scientific explanation will be a certain part of this field of reality, and therefore will not clear away the mystery.
K: No, but it clears it away because I listen to you explaining everything, and then I say, "There is nothing".
Dr B: That is the main point of distinguishing between truth and reality, because we could say, in the field of reality we may explain more and more broadly without limit.
K: That is what the present day Communists are doing.
Dr B: Not only the Communists.
K: Of course not, I'm taking that as an example.
Dr B: I think you could say, anything in the field of reality can be explained, we can penetrate more deeply and broadly, there is limitless progress possible. But the essence is not explained.
K: No, I am asking a different question, I'm asking you, in talking like this, do you have an intimation of that mystery. Being a scientist, a serious person, perhaps you had an intimation long ago. In talking now, do you feel it's no longer an intimation but a truth?
Dr B: Yes, it is a truth.
K: So it's no longer an intimation?
Dr B: I think it's been a truth for some time now. Because it's implied in what we have been doing here at Brockwood.
K: Yes. You see there is something interesting: the truth of that mystery makes the mind completely empty, doesn't it? It's completely silent. Or because it is silent, the truth of that mystery is.
I don't know if I'm conveying anything. When the mind is completely silent, not in use, not meditated upon, and because it has put order in reality it is free from that confusion, there is a certain silence, the mind is just moving away from confusion. Realizing that is not silence, not moving away from that realization but staying with it, means negating that which order has produced.
Dr B: You say, first you produce order. Why is it necessary to produce the order first and then negate it?
K: To negate is silence.
Dr B: This is why it has to take place in that sequence.
K: Because when I remove disorder there is a certain mathematical order, and as a result of that order my mind is quiet.
Dr B: You say that is not a true silence.
K: No. Realizing that is not true silence I negate the false silence, for the moment. So in the negation of that silence I don't want any other silence. There is no movement towards greater silence. Then this total silence opens the door to that. That is, when the mind, with all the confusion, is nothing - not a thing - then perhaps there is the other.
Public Talks Brockwood Park 1975
1st Public Talk Brockwood Park
6th September 1975
WE MUST ALL be very concerned with what is going on in the world. The disintegration, the violence, the brutality, the wars and the dishonesty in high political places. In the face of this disintegration what is correct action? What is one to do to survive in freedom and be totally religious? We are using the word "religious" not in the orthodox sense, which is not religious. The meaning of that word is: gathering together all energy to find out what is the place of thought and where are its limitations and to go beyond it. That is the true significance and the meaning of that world "religious". So what is one to do in this disintegrating, corrupt, immoral world, as a human being - not an individual, because there is no such thing as the individual - we are human beings, we are collective, not individual, we are the result of various collective influences, forces, conditioning and so on. As human beings, whether we live in this country, or in America or in Russia or in India, which is going through terrible times, what is one to do? What is the correct, right action? To find this out, if one is at all serious - and I hope we are serious here, otherwise you wouldn't have come - what is one to do? Is there an action that is total, whole, not fragmented, that is both correct and accurate, that is compassionate, religious in the sense we are using that word? This has nothing whatsoever to do with belief, dogma, ritual, or the conditioning of a certain type of religious enquiry. What is a human being confronted with this problem to do?
To find an answer, not imaginary, fictitious or pretended, to find the true, the right answer one must enquire into the whole movement of thought. Because all our conditioning, all our activity, all our political, economic, social, moral and religious life is based on thought. Thought has been our chief instrument in all the fields of life, in all the areas, religious, moral, political, economic, social, and in personal relationships: I think that is fairly obvious. Please, if I may point out, we are talking this over together. We are enquiring into this together, sharing it, your responsibility is to share it, not just merely listen to a few ideas, agree or disagree, but to share it; which means you must give attention to it, you must care for it, this problem must be serious, this problem must be something that touches your mind, your heart, everything in life - otherwise there is no sharing, there is no communion, there is no communication except verbally or intellectually and that has very little value. So we are together enquiring into this question.
What is the responsibility of thought? - knowing its limitation, knowing that whatever it does is within a limited area; and in that limited area is it possible to have correct, accurate response and action? At what level does one find for oneself, as a human being, the right action? If it is imaginary, personal, according to an idea, a concept, or an ideal, it ceases to be correct action. I hope we are understanding each other. The ideal, the conclusion is still the movement of thought as time, as measure. And thought has created all our problems; in our personal relationships, economically, socially, morally, religiously, thought has not found an answer. And we are trying to find out if we can, this morning - and in the next two or three talks - what is the action which is whole, non-traditional, non-mechanistic, which is not a conclusion, a prejudice, a belief. That is, I want to find out, if I am at all serious, how am I to act? An action in which there is no pretension, an action that has no regrets, an action that does not breed further problems, an action that will be whole, complete and answer every issue, whether at the personal level, or at the most complex social level. I hope this is your problem. Unless we solve this problem very deeply, talking about meditation, about what is God, what is truth and all the rest of it, has very little meaning. One must lay the foundation, otherwise one cannot go very far. One must begin as close as possible to go very far, and the nearness is you, as a human being living in this monstrous, corrupt society. And one must find for oneself an action that is whole, non-fragmented, because the world is becoming more and more dangerous to live in, it is becoming a desert and each one of us has to be an oasis. To bring about that - not an isolated existence - but a total human existence, our enquiry is into the problem of action.
Can thought solve our problems, thought being the response of memory, experience and knowledge? Memory is a material process; thought is material and chemical - the scientists agree about this. And the things that thought has created in the world and in ourselves is the world of reality, the world of things. Reality means the thing that exists. And to find out what truth is one must be very clear where the limitations of reality are, and not let it flow into the world that is not real.
One observes in the world and in oneself, thought has created an extraordinary complex problem of existence. Thought has created the centre as the "me" and the "you". And from that centre we act. Please look at it, observe it, you will see it for yourself; you are not accepting something the speaker is talking about, don't accept anything. You know, when one begins to doubt everything, then from that doubt, from that uncertainty grows certainty, clarity; but if you start with imagination, belief, and live within that area you will end up always doubting. Here we are trying to investigate, enquire, look into things that are very close to us: which is our daily life, with all its misery, conflict, pain, suffering, love and anxiety, greed, envy, all that.
As we said, thought has created the "me", and so thought in itself being fragmentary makes the me into a fragment. When you say "I", "me", "I want, I don't want, I am this, I am not that", it is the result of thought. And thought itself being fragmentary, thought is never the whole, so what it has created becomes fragmentary. "My world", "my religion", "my belief", "my country", "my god" and yours, so it becomes fragmentary. Thought intrinsically is a process of time, measure, and therefore fragmentary. I wonder if you see this? If you see this once very clearly, then we will be able to find out what is action, a correct, accurate action in which there is no imagination, no pretension, nothing but the actual.
We are trying to find out what is action that is whole, that is not fragmentary, that is not caught in the movement of time, not traditional and therefore mechanical. One wants to live a life without conflict and live in a society that doesn't destroy freedom, and yet survive. As the societies and governments throughout the world are becoming more and more centralised, more and more bureaucratic, our freedom is getting less and less. Freedom is not what one likes to do, what one wants to do, that is not freedom. Freedom means something entirely different. it means freedom from this constant battle, constant anxiety, uncertainty, suffering, pain, all the things that thought has created in us.
Now is there an action which is not based on the mechanical process of memory, on a repetition of an experience and therefore a continuing in the movement of time as past, present and future? Is there an action that is not conditioned by environment? You know the Marxists say that if you control the environment then you will change man, and that has been tried and man has not changed. Man remains primitive, vulgar, cruel, brutal, violent and all the rest of it, though they are controlling the environment. And there are those who say don't bother about the environment, but believe in some divinity and that will guide you; and that divinity is the projection of thought. So we are back again in the same field. Realizing all this what is a human being to do?
Can thought, which is a material, a chemical process, a thing, which has created all this structure, can that very thought solve our problems? One must very carefully, dill - gently, find out what are the limitations of thought. And can thought itself realize its limitation and therefore not spill over into the realm which thought can never touch? Thought has created the technological world, and thought has also created the division between "you" and "me". Thought has created the image of you and the "me" and these images separate each one of us. Thought can only function in duality, in opposites, and therefore all reaction is a divisive process, a separative process. And thought has created division between human beings, nationalities, religious beliefs, dogmas, political differences, opinions, conclusions, all that is the result of thought. Thought has also created the division between you and me as form and name; and thought has created the centre which is the "me" as opposed to you, therefore there is a division between you and me. Thought has created this whole structure of social behaviour, which is essentially based on tradition, which is mechanical. Thought has also created the religious world, the Christian, the Buddhist, the Hindu, the Muslim, with all the divisions, all the practices, all the innumerable gurus that are springing up like mushrooms. And thought has created what it considers is love. Is compassion the result of "love", the result of thought? That is our problem, those are all our problems.
Yet we are trying to solve all these problems through thought. Can thought see itself as the mischief maker, see itself as a necessary instrument in the creation of a society which is not immoral? Can thought be aware of itself? Please do follow this. Can your thought become conscious of itself? And if it does, is that consciousness part of thought? One can be aware of the activities of thought, and one can choose between those activities as good and bad, worthwhile and not worthwhile, but the choice is still the result of thought. And therefore it is perpetuating conflict and duality. Can thought be attentive to its own movements? Or is there an entity outside the field of thought which directs thought? I can say I am aware of my thoughts, I know what I am thinking, but that entity which says, "I know what I am thinking", that "I" is the product of thought. And that entity then begins to control, subjugate, or rationalize thinking. So there is an entity, we say, which is different from thought: but it is essentially thought. What we are trying to explain is: thought is tremendously limited, it plays all kinds of tricks, it imagines, it creates it.
So our problem then is : can thought realize for itself where it is essential to operate, where it is accurate in its operation, and yet totally limited in every other direction? That means, one has to go into this question of human consciousness. This sounds very philosophical, very complicated, but it isn't. Philosophy means the love of truth, not love of words, not love of ideas, not love of speculations, but the love of truth. And that means you have to find out for yourself where reality is and that reality cannot become truth. You cannot go through reality to come to truth. You must understand the limitations of reality, which is the whole process of thought. You know, when you look into yourself, knowing your consciousness, why you think, what your motives are, what your purposes are, your beliefs, your intentions, your pretensions, what your imaginations are, all that is your consciousness; and that consciousness essentially is the consciousness of the world. Please do see this. Your consciousness is not radically different from the consciousness of a Muslim, a Hindu, or anybody else, because your consciousness is filled with anxiety, hope, fear, pleasure, suffering, greed, envy, competition; that is cons- ciousness. Your beliefs and your gods, everything is in that consciousness. The content of that makes up your consciousness, and the content of that is thought - thought that has filled consciousness with the things it has created. Look into yourself and you will see how extraordinary obvious it is.
And from this content, which is conditioned, which is the tradition, which is the result of thought, we are trying to find a way to act within that area - within that area of consciousness which thought has filled with the things of thought. And one asks: if thought cannot solve all our human problems - other than technological or mathematical problems - then how can it limit itself and not enter into the field of the psyche, into the field of the spirit? - we can use that word for the moment. As long as we function within that area we must always suffer, there must always be disorder, there must always be fear and anxiety. So my question is: can I, can a human being bring about order in the world of reality? And when thought has established order in the world of reality, then it will realize its own tremendous limitations. I wonder if you see this? We live in a world of disorder, not only outwardly but inwardly. And we have not been able to solve this disorder. We try everything - meditation, drugs, accepting authority, denying authority, pursuing freedom and denying freedom - we have done everything possible to bring about order - through compulsion, through fear - but we still live in disorder. And a disordered mind is now trying to find out if there is a correct action - you follow? A disordered mind is trying to find out if there is a right, accurate, correct action. And it will find an action which is incorrect, disorderly, not whole. Therefore in the world of reality in which we live we must bring about order. I wonder if you see this?
Order is not the acceptance of authority. Order is not what one wants to do. Order is not something according to a blueprint. Order must be something highly mathematical, the greatest mathematical order is the total denial of disorder, and so within oneself, within the human being. Can you look at your disorder, be aware of it, not choosing particular forms of disorder, accepting some and denying others, but see the whole disorder? Disorder implies conflict, self-centred activity, the acceptance of a conclusion and living according to that conclusion, the ideal and the pursuit of the ideal which denies the actual; can you totally deny all that? It is only when you deny totally all that, that there is order, the order that is not created by thought in the world of reality. You understand? We are separating reality and truth. We say reality is everything that thought has created; and in that area, in that field, there is total disorder, except in the world of technology. In that field human beings live in complete disorder and this disorder is brought about, as we have explained, by conflict, by the pursuit of pleasure, fear, suffering, all that. Can you become aware of all that and totally deny it - walk away from it? Out of that comes order in the world of reality.
In that world of reality behaviour is something entirely different. When you have denied all that, denied the "me", which is the product of thought, which creates the division, the thought that has created the "me" and the super-conscious, all the imaginations, the pretensions, the anxieties, the acceptance and the denial. That is the content which is so traditional; to deny that tradition is to have order. Then we can go into the question of what truth is, not before; otherwise it becomes pretentious, hypocritical, nonsensical. In that one has to understand the whole question of fear, how human beings live in fear, and that fear is now becoming more and more acute, because the world is becoming so dangerous a place, where tyrannies are increasing, political tyrannies, bureaucratic tyrannies, denying freedom for the mind to understand, to enquire.
So can we as human beings, living in this disorderly, disintegrating world, become actually, not in theory or imagination, an oasis in a world that is becoming a desert? This is really a very serious question. And can we human beings educate ourselves totally differently? We can do that only if we understand the nature and the movement of thought as time, which means really understanding oneself as a human being. To look at ourselves not according to some psychologist, but to look at ourselves actually as we are and discover how disorderly a life we lead - a life of uncertainty, a life of pain, living on conclusions, beliefs, memories. And becoming aware of it, that very awareness washes away all this.
For the rest of this morning can we talk over together, by question and enquiry, what we have talked about? Please, you are asking questions not of me, not of the speaker. We are asking questions of ourselves, saying it aloud so that we can all I share it because your problem is the problem of everybody share. Your problem is the problem of the world, you are the world. I don't think we realize that. You are actually in the world, in the very deepest essence - your manners, your dress, your name and your form may be different - but essentially, deep down, you are the world, you have created the world and the world is you. So if you ask a question you are asking it for the whole of mankind. I don't know if you see that? - which doesn't mean that you mustn't ask questions, on the contrary. Questioning then becomes a very serious matter, not a glib question and a glib answer, some momentary question and forget it till another day. If you ask, ask about a really human problem.
Questioner: Did you say that by walking away from the disorder of traditions we create order? Is that what you meant ?
Krishnamurti: Yes, that is what I meant. Now just a minute, that needs a great deal of explanation of what you mean by tradition, what you mean by walking away, what you mean by order.
Q: In addition to that question, the seeing of this disorder already implies that the `see-er' has gone, that you have walked away.
K: There are three things involved in this: order, walking away, and the observation of disorder. Walking away from disorder, the very act of moving away from it, is order. Now first, how do you observe disorder? How do you observe disorder in yourself? Are you looking at it as an outsider looking in, as something separate and there is therefore a division, you and the thing which you are observing? Or are you looking at it, if I may ask, not as an outsider, without the outsider, without the observer who says, "I am disorderly"? Let us put it round the other way. When you look at something, those trees and that house, there is a space between you and that tree and that house. The space is the distance and you must have a certain distance to look, to observe. If you are too close you don't see the whole thing. So if you are an observer looking at disorder, there is a space between you and that disorder. Then the problem arises, how to cover that space, how to control that disorder, how to rationalize the disorder, how to suppress it, or whatever you do. But if there is no space you are that disorder. I wonder if you see that?
Q: How can I walk away from it?
K: I am going to show it to you; I am going to go into that. You understand my question?
When you observe your wife, your husband, a boy or a girl - nowadays they don't marry - or your friend, how do you observe him or her? Watch it please. Go into it, it is very simple. Do you observe directly, or do you observe that person through an image, through a screen, from a distance? Obviously, if you have lived with a person - it doesn't matter if it's for a day or ten years - there is an image, a distance. You are separate from her or him. And when you observe disorder you have an image of what order is; or an image which says, "this disorder is ugly". So you are looking at that disorder from a distance, which is time, which is tradition, which is the past. And is that distance created by thought? Or does this distance actually exist? When you say, "I am angry", is anger different from you? No, so you are anger. You are disorderly: not you separate from disorder. I think that is clear.
So you are that disorder. Any movement - please follow this - any movement of thought away from that disorder is still disorder. Because that disorder is created by thought. That disorder is the result of your self-centred activity, the centre that says, "I am different from somebody else" and so on. All that produces disorder. Now can you observe that disorder without the observer?
Q: Then you will find in yourself what you are criticizing in the other?
K: No, no. I am not talking about criticizing the others. That has very little meaning criticizing others.
Q: No, what you found in the other, you will find it in yourself.
K: No, madam. The other is me; essentially the other is me. He has his anxieties, his fears, his hopes, his despairs, his suffering, his pain, his loneliness, his misery, his lack of love and all the rest of it; that man or women is me. If that is clear, then I am not criticizing another, I am aware of myself in the other.
Q: That is what I meant.
K: Good. So is there an observation without the past, the past being the observer? Can you look at me, or look at another, without all the memories, all the chicanery, all the things that go on - just look? Can you look at your husband, wife and so on, without a single image? Can you look at another without the whole past springing up? You do, when there is an absolute crisis. When there is a tremendous challenge you do look that way. But we live such sloppy lives, we are not serious, we don't work.
Q: How can you live permanently at crisis pitch?
K: I'll answer that question, sir, after we have finished this.
So the walking away from it is to be totally involved in that which you observe. And when I observe this disorder without all the reactions, the memories, the things that crop up in one's mind, then in that total observation, that very total observation is order. I wonder if you see this? Which raises the question, have you ever looked at anything totally? Have you looked at your political leaders, your religious beliefs, your conclusions, the whole thing on which we live, which is thought, have you looked at it completely? And to look at it completely means no division between you and that which looks. I can look at a mountain and the beauty of it, the line of it, the shadows, the depth, the dignity, the marvellous isolation and beauty of it, and it is not a process of identification. I cannot become the mountain, thank God! That is a trick of the imagination. But when I observe without the word "mountain", I see there is a perception of that beauty entirely. A passion comes out of that. And can I observe another, my wife, friend, child, whoever it is, can I observe totally? That means can I observe without the observer who is the past? Which means observation implies total perception. There is only perception, not the perceiver. Then there is order.
Q: If there is only perception and no perceiver, what is it that looks? If I see that I am disorder, what is it that sees it?
K: Now go into it, sir. Disorder is a large word, let us look at it. When you see that you are violent and that violence is not different from you, that you are that violence - what takes place? Let us look at it round the other way.
What takes place when you are not the violence? You say violence is different from "me", what happens then? In that there is division, in that there is trying to control violence, in that there is a projection of a state of non-violence, the ideal, and conformity to that ideal; therefore further conflict, and so on. So when there is a division between the observer and the observed, the sequence is a continuous conflict in different varieties and shapes; but when the observer is the observed, that is when the observer says, "I am violent, the violence is not separate from `me"', then a totally different kind of activity takes place. There is no conflict, there is no rationalization, there is no suppression, control, there is no non-violence as an ideal: you are that. Then what takes place? I don't know if you have ever gone into this question.
Q: Then what is "you"? One cannot speak without "you".
K: No, madam, that is a way of speaking. Look, please. You see the difference between the observer and the observed. When there is a difference between the observer and the observed there must be conflict in various forms because there is division. When there is a political division, when there is a national division there must be conflict; as is going on in the world. Where there is division there must be conflict; that is law. And when the observer is the observed, when violence is not separate from the observer, then a totally different action takes place. The word "violence" is already condemnatory; it is a word we use in order to strengthen violence, though we may not want to, we strengthen it by using that word, don't we? So the naming of that feeling is part of our tradition. If you don't name it then there is a totally different response. And because you don't name it, because there is no observer different from the observed, then the feeling that arises, which you call violence, is non-existent. You try it and you will see it. You can only act when you test it. But mere agreement is not testing it. You have to act and find out. The next question was about challenge. Must we always live with challenge?
Q: I said crisis.
K: Crisis, it is the same thing. Aren't you living in crisis? There is a political crisis in this country, an economic crisis, crisis with your wife or your husband; crisis means division, doesn't it? Which means crisis apparently becomes necessary for those people who live in darkness, who are asleep. If you had no crisis you would all go to sleep. And that is what we want - `For God's sake leave me alone!` - to wallow in my own little pond, or whatever it is. But crisis comes all the time.
Now a much deeper question is: is it possible to live without a single crisis and keep totally awake? You understand? Crisis, challenge, shock, disturbance exist when the mind is sluggish, traditional, repetitive, unclear. Can the mind become completely clear, and therefore to such a mind there is no challenge? Is that possible?
That means, we have to go deeper still. We live on experiences to change our minds, to further our minds, to enlarge our minds; experiences, we think will create, will open the door to clarity. And we think a man who has no experience is asleep, or dull or stupid. A man who has no experience, but is fully awake, has an innocent mind, therefore he sees clearly. Now is that possible? Don't say yes or no.
Q: When you say he has no experience, do you mean in the sense that he is ignorant of basic life?
K: No, no. Sir, look. We are conditioned by the society in which we live, by the food we eat, clothes, climate. We are conditioned by the culture, by the literature, by the newspapers, our mind is shaped by everything, consciously, or unconsciously. When you call yourself a Christian, a Buddhist, or whatever it is, that is your conditioning. And we move from one conditioning to another. I don't like Hinduism so I jump into Christianity, or into something else. If I don't like one guru I just follow another guru. So we are conditioned. Is it possible to uncondition the mind so that it is totally free? That means is it possible to be aware of your total conditioning - not choose which conditionings you like, but total conditioning, which is only possible when there is no choice and when there is no observer. To see the whole of that conditioning, which is at both the conscious level as well as at the unconscious level, the totality of it! And you can see the totality of something only when there is no distance between you and that - the distance created as movement of thought, time. Then you see the whole of it. And when there is a perception of the whole, then the unconditioning comes into being. But we don't want to work at that kind of thing. We want the easiest way with everything. That is why we like gurus. The priest, the politician, the authority, the specialist, they know, but we don't know; they will tell us what to do, which is our traditional acceptance of authority.
Q: A question about true action. Actually, as we are, every action is a self-centred activity. So when you see that, you are afraid to act because everything has no significance. That is a reality, there is no choice or imagination. You are facing a terrible void and you...
K: I understand the question...
Q: Even material activity.
K: When there is an observation and you see you can't do anything, then you say there is a void. just hold on to that sentence, to that phrase. There is an observation, you realize you can't do anything and therefore there is a void. Is that so? When I see that I have been able to do something before, there was no void. You understand? I could do something about it, join the Liberal Party, become a neurotic or whatever it is - sorry! (Laughter). Before I could do something and I thought by doing something there was no void. Because I had filled the void by doing something, which is running away from that void, that loneliness, that extraordinary sense of isolation. And now when I see the falseness of this doing, a doing about something - which doesn't give a significance or an answer - then I say to myself, "I observe that I am the observer, and I am left naked, stark naked, void. I can't do anything. There is no significance to existence." Before, you gave significance to existence, which is the significance created by thought, by all kinds of imaginings, hope and all the rest of it, and suddenly you realize that thought doesn't solve the problems and you see no meaning in life, no significance. So you want to give significance to life - you understand? You want to give it. (Laughter). No, don't laugh, this is what we are doing. Living itself has no meaning for most of us now. When we are young we say, "Well at least I'll be happy" - sex and all the rest of it. As we grow older we say, "My God, it is such an empty life", and you fill that emptiness with literature, with knowledge, with beliefs, dogmas, ritual, opinions, judgements, and you think that has tremendous significance. You have filled it with words, nothing else but words. Now when you strip yourself of words you say, "I am empty, void".
Q: These are still words.
K: Still words, that is what I am saying. Still words. So when you see that thought has created what you considered to be significance, now when you see the limitation of thought, and that what it has created has no significance, you are left empty, void, naked. Why? Aren't you still seeking something? Isn't thought still in operation? When you say, I have no significance, there is no significance to life", it is thought that has made you say there is no significance, because you want significance. But when there is no movement of thought, life is full of significance. It has tremendous beauty. You don't know of this.
Q: Thought is afraid not to think.
K: So thought is afraid not to think. We will go into that tomorrow: the whole problem of thought creating fear and toying to give significance to life. If one actually examines one's life, there is very little meaning, is there? You have pleasant memories or unpleasant memories, which is in the past, dead, gone, but you hold on to them. There is all this fear of death. You have worked and worked and worked - God knows why - and there is that thing waiting for you. And you say, "Is that all?" So we have to go into this question of the movement of thought as time and measure.