Urgency of Change

Krishnamurti: Let's put it this way: do you perceive with your mind and your heart separately, or do you see, hear, feel, think, all together, not fragmentarily?

Questioner: I don't know what you mean.

Krishnamurti: You hear a word, your mind tells you it is an insult, your feelings tell you you don't like it, your mind again intervenes to control or justify, and so on. Once again feeling takes over where the mind has concluded. In this way an event unleashes a chain-reaction of different parts of your being. What you hear had been broken up, made fragmentary, and if you concentrate on one of those fragments, you miss the total process of that hearing. Hearing can be fragmentary or it can be done with all your being, totally. So, by perception of the whole we mean perception with your eyes, your ears, your heart, your mind; not perception with each separately. It is giving your complete attention. In that attention, the particular, such as anger, has a different meaning since it is interrelated to many other issues.

Questioner: So when you say seeing the whole, you mean seeing with the whole of your being; it is a question of quality not quantity. Is that correct?

Krishnamurti: Yes, precisely. But do you see totally in this way or are you merely verbalizing it? Do you see anger with your heart, mind, ears and eyes? Or do you see anger as something unrelated to the rest of you, and therefore of great importance? When you give importance to the whole you do not forget the particular.

Questioner: But what happens to the particular, to anger?

Krishnamurti: You are aware of anger with your whole being. If you are, is there anger? Inattention is anger, not attention. So attention with your entire being is seeing the whole, and inattention is seeing the particular. To be aware of the whole, and of the particular, and of the relationship between the two, is the whole problem. We divide the particular from the rest and try to solve it. And so conflict increases and there is no way out.

Questioner: When you speak then of seeing only the particular, as anger, do you mean looking at it with only one part of your being?

Krishnamurti: When you look at the particular with a fragment of your being, the division between that particular and the fragment which is looking at it grows, and so conflict increases. When there is no division there is no conflict.

Questioner: Are you saying that there is no division between this anger and me when I look at it with all my being?

Krishnamurti: Exactly. Is this what you actually are doing, or are you merely following the words? What is actually taking place? This is far more important than your question.

Questioner: You ask me what is taking place. I am simply trying to understand you.

Krishnamurti: Are you trying to understand me or are you seeing the truth of what we are talking about, which is independent of me? If you actually see the truth of what we are talking about, then you are your own guru and your own disciple, which is to understand yourself. This understanding cannot be learnt from another.

Questioner: What is it to be virtuous? What makes one act righteously? What is the foundation of morality? How do I know virtue without struggling for it? Is it an end in itself?

Krishnamurti: Can we discard the morality of society which is really quite immoral? Its morality has become respectable, approved by religious sanctions; and the morality of counter-revolution also soon becomes as immoral and respectable as that of well-established society. This morality is to go to war, to kill, to be aggressive, to seek power, to give hate its place; it is all the cruelty and injustice of established authority. This is not moral. But can one actually say that it is not moral? Because we are part of this society, whether we are conscious of it or not. Social morality is our morality, and can we easily put it aside? The ease with which we put it aside is the sign of our morality - not the effort it costs us to put it aside, not the reward, not the punishment for this effort but the consummate ease with which we discard it. If our behaviour is directed by the environment in which we live, controlled and shaped by it, then it is mechanical and heavily conditioned. And if our behaviour is the outcome of our own conditioned response, is it moral? If your action is based on fear and reward, is it righteous? If you behave rightly according to some ideological concept or principle, can that action be regarded as virtuous? So we must begin to find out how deeply we have discarded the morality of authority, imitation, conformity and obedience. Isn't fear the basis of our morality? Unless these questions are fundamentally answered for oneself one cannot know what it is to be truly virtuous. As we said, with what ease you come out of this hypocrisy is of the greatest importance. If you merely disregard it, it doesn't indicate that you are moral: you might be merely psychopathic. If you live a life of routine and contentment that is not morality either. The morality of the saint who conforms and follows the well-established tradition of sainthood is obviously not morality. So one can see that any conformity to a pattern, whether or not it is sanctioned by tradition, is not righteous behaviour. Only out of freedom can come virtue. Can one free oneself with great skill from this network of what is considered moral? Skill in action comes with freedom, and so virtue.

Questioner: Can I free myself from social morality without fear, with the intelligence which is skill? I'm frightened at the very idea of being considered immoral by society. The young can do it, but I am middle-aged, and I have a family, and in my very blood there is respectability, the essence of the bourgeois. It is there, and I am frightened.

Krishnamurti: Either you accept social morality or reject it. You can't have it both ways. You can't have one foot in hell and the other in heaven.

Questioner: So what am I to do? I see now what morality is, and yet I'm being immoral all the time. The older I grow the more hypocritical I become. I despise the social morality, and yet I want its benefits, its comfort, its security, psychological and material, and the elegance of a good address. That is my actual, deplorable state. What am I to do?

Krishnamurti: You can't do anything but carry on as you are. It is much better to stop trying to be moral, stop trying to be concerned with virtue.

Questioner: But I can't, I want the other! I see the beauty and the vigour of it, the cleanliness of it. What I am holding on to is dirty and ugly, but I can't let it go.

Krishnamurti: Then there is no issue. You can't have virtue and respectability. Virtue is freedom. Freedom is not an idea, a concept. When there is freedom there is attention, and only in this attention can goodness flower.

Questioner: I would like to talk about suicide - not because of any crisis in my own life, nor because I have any reason for suicide, but because the subject is bound to come up when one sees the tragedy of old age - the tragedy of physical disintegration, the breaking up of the body, and the loss of real life in people when this happens. Is there any reason to prolong life when one reaches that state, to go on with the remnants of it? Would it not perhaps be an act of intelligence to recognise when the usefulness of life is over?

Krishnamurti: If it was intelligence that prompted you to end life that very intelligence would have forbidden your body to deteriorate prematurely.

Questioner: But is there not a moment when even the intelligence of the mind cannot prevent this deterioration? Eventually the body wears out - how does one recognise that time when it comes?

Krishnamurti: We ought to go into this rather deeply. There are several things involved in it, aren't there? The deterioration of the body, of the organism, the senility of the mind, and the utter incapacity that breeds resistance. We abuse the body endlessly through custom, taste and negligence. Taste dictates - and the pleasure of it controls and shapes the activity of the organism. When this takes place, the natural intelligence of the body is destroyed. In magazines one sees an extraordinary variety of food, beautifully coloured, appealing to your pleasures of taste, not to what is beneficial for the body. So from youth onwards you gradually deaden and destroy the instrument which should be highly sensitive, active, functioning like a perfect machine. That is part of it, and then there is the mind which for twenty, thirty or eighty years has lived in constant battle and resistance. It knows only contradiction and conflict - emotional or intellectual. Every form of conflict is not only a distortion but brings with it destruction. These then are some of the basic inner and outer factors of deterioration - the perpetually sell-centred activity with its isolating processes.

Naturally there is the physical wearing out of the body as well as the unnatural wearing out. The body loses its capacities and memories, and senility gradually takes over. You ask, should not such a person commit suicide, take a pill that will put him out? Who is asking the question - the senile, or those who are watching the senility with sorrow, with despair and fear of their own deterioration?

Questioner: Well, obviously the question from my point of view is motivated by distress at seeing senility in other people, for it has not presumably set in in myself yet. But isn't there also some action of intelligence which sees ahead into a possible breakdown of the body and asks the question whether it is not simply a waste to go on once the organism is no longer capable of intelligent life?

Krishnamurti: Will the doctors allow euthanasia, will the doctors or the government permit the patient to commit suicide?

Questioner: That surely is a legal, sociological or in some people's minds, a moral question, but that isn't what we are discussing here, is it? Aren't we asking whether the individual has the right to end his own life, not whether society will permit it?

Krishnamurti: You are asking whether one has the right to take one's own life - not only when one is senile or has become aware of the approach of senility, but whether it is morally right to commit suicide at any time?

Questioner: I hesitate to bring morality into it because that is a conditioned thing. I was attempting to ask the question on a straight issue of intelligence. Fortunately at the moment the issue does not confront me personally so I am able to look at it, I think, fairly dispassionately; but as an exercise in human intelligence, what is the answer?

Krishnamurti: You are saying, can an intelligent man commit suicide? Is that it?

Questioner: Or, can suicide be the action of an intelligent man, given certain circumstances?

Krishnamurti: It is the same thing. Suicide comes, after all, either from complete despair, brought about through deep frustration, or from insoluble fear, or from the awareness of the meaninglessness of a certain way of living.

Questioner: May I interrupt to say that this is generally so, but I am trying to ask the question outside any motivation. When one arrives at the point of despair then there is a tremendous motive involved and it is hard to separate the emotion from the intelligence; I am trying to stay within the realm of pure intelligence, without emotion.

Krishnamurti: You are saying, does intelligence allow any form of suicide? Obviously not.

Questioner: Why not?

Krishnamurti: Really one has to understand this word intelligence. Is it intelligence to allow the body to deteriorate through custom, through indulgence, through the cultivation of taste, pleasure and so on? Is that intelligence, is that the action of intelligence?

Questioner: No; but if one has arrived at a point in life where there may have been a certain amount of unintelligent use of the body which has not yet had any effect on it, one can't go back and re-live one's life.

Krishnamurti: Therefore, become aware of the destructive nature of the way we live and put an end to it immediately, not at some future date. The act of immediacy in front of danger is an act of sanity, of intelligence; and the postponement as well as the pursuit of pleasure indicate lack of intelligence.

Questioner: I see that.

Krishnamurti: But don't you also see something quite factual and true, that this isolating process of thought with its self-centred activity is a form of suicide? Isolation is suicide, whether it is the isolation of a nation or of a religious organization, of a family or of a community. You are already caught in that trap which will ultimately lead to suicide.

Questioner: Do you mean the individual or the group?

Krishnamurti: The individual as well as the group. You are already caught in the pattern.

Questioner: Which will ultimately lead to suicide? But everybody doesn't commit suicide!

Krishnamurti: Quite right, but the element of the desire to escape is already there - to escape from facing facts, from facing "what is", and this escape is a form of suicide.

Questioner: This, I think, is the crux of what I am trying to ask, because it would seem from what you have just said that suicide is an escape. Obviously it is, ninety-nine times out of a hundred, but can there not also be - and this is my question - can there not also be a suicide that is not an escape, that is not an avoidance of what you call the "what is", but is on the contrary a response of intelligence to "what is"? One can say that many kinds of neurosis are forms of suicide; what I am trying to ask is whether suicide can ever be other than a neurotic response? Cannot it also be the response of facing a fact, of human intelligence acting on an untenable human condition?

Krishnamurti: When you use the words "intelligence" and "untenable condition" it is a contradiction. The two are in contradiction.

Questioner: You have said that if one is facing a precipice or a deadly snake about to strike, intelligence dictates a certain action, which is an action of avoidance.

Krishnamurti: Is it an action of avoidance or an act of intelligence?

Questioner: Can they not be the same sometimes? If a car comes at me on the highway and I avoid it....

Krishnamurti: That is an act of intelligence.

Questioner: But it is also an act of avoiding the car.

Krishnamurti: But that is the act of intelligence.

Questioner: Exactly. Therefore, is there not a corollary in living when the thing confronting you is insoluble and deadly?

Krishnamurti: Then you leave it, as you leave the precipice: step away from it.

Questioner: In that case the stepping away implies suicide.

Krishnamurti: No, the suicide is an act of unintelligence.

Questioner: Why?

Krishnamurti: I am showing it to you.

Questioner: Are you saying that an act of suicide is categorically, inevitably, a neurotic response to life?

Krishnamurti: Obviously. It is an act of unintelligence; it is an act which obviously means you have come to a point where you are so completely isolated that you don't see any way out.

Questioner: But I am trying for the purpose of this discussion to assume that there is no way out of the predicament, that one is not acting out of the motive of avoidance of suffering, that it is not stepping aside from reality.

Krishnamurti: Is there in life an occurrence, a relationship, an incident from which you cannot step aside?
Questioner: Of course, there are many.

Krishnamurti: Many? But why do you insist that suicide is the only way out?

Questioner: If one has a deadly disease there is no escaping it.

Krishnamurti: Be careful now, be careful of what we are saying. If I have cancer, and it is going to finish me, and the doctor says, "Well, my friend, you have got to live with it", what am I to do - commit suicide?

Questioner: Possibly.

Krishnamurti: We are discussing this theoretically. If I personally had terminal cancer, then I would decide, I would consider what to do. It wouldn't be a theoretical question. I would then find out what was the most intelligent thing to do.

Questioner: Are you saying that I may not ask this question theoretically, but only if I am actually in that position?

Krishnamurti: That is right. Then you will act according to your conditioning, according to your intelligence, according to your way of life. If your way of life has been avoidance and escape, a neurotic business, then obviously you take a neurotic attitude and action. But if you have led a life of real intelligence, in the total meaning of that word, then that intelligence will operate when there is terminal cancer. Then I may put up with it; then I may say that I will live the few more months or years left to me.

Questioner: Or you may not say that.

Krishnamurti: Or I may not say that; but don't let us say that suicide is inevitable.

Questioner: I never said that; I asked if under certain stringent circumstances, such as terminal cancer, suicide could possibly be an intelligent response to the situation.

Krishnamurti: You see, there is something extraordinary in this; life has brought you great happiness, life has brought you extraordinary beauty, life has brought you great benefits, and you went with it all. Equally, when you were unhappy you went with it, which is part of intelligence: now you come to terminal cancer and you say, "I cannot bear it any longer, I must put an end to life." Why don't you move with it, live with it, find out about it as you go along?

Questioner: In other words, there is no reply to this question until you are in the situation.

Krishnamurti: Obviously. But you see that is why it is very important, I feel, that we should face the fact, face "what is", from moment to moment, not theorize about it. If someone is ill, desperately ill with cancer, or has become completely senile - what is the most intelligent thing to do, not for a mere observer like me, but for the doctor, the wife or the daughter?

Questioner: One cannot really answer that, because it is a problem for another human being.

Krishnamurti: That's just it, that is just what I am saying.

Questioner: And one hasn't the right, it would seem to me, to decide about the life or death of another human being.

Krishnamurti: But we do. All the tyrannies do. And tradition does; tradition says you must live this way, you mustn't live that way.

Questioner: And it is also becoming a tradition to keep people alive beyond the point where nature would have given in. Through medical skill people are kept alive - well, it's hard to define what is a natural condition - but it seems most unnatural to survive for as long as many people do today. But that is a different question.

Krishnamurti: Yes, an entirely different question. The real question is, will intelligence allow suicide - even though doctors have said one has an incurable disease? One cannot possibly tell another what to do in this matter. It is for the human being who has the incurable disease to act according to his intelligence. If he is at all intelligent - which means that he has lived a life in which there has been love, care, sensitivity and gentleness - then such a person, at the moment when it arises, will act according to the intelligence which has operated in the past.

Questioner: Then this whole conversation is in a way meaningless because that is what would have happened anyway - because people would inevitably act according to what has happened in the past. They will either blow their brains out or sit and suffer until they die, or something in between.

Krishnamurti: No, it hasn't been meaningless. Listen to this; we have discovered several things - primarily that to live with intelligence is the most important thing. To live a way of life which is supremely intelligent demands an extraordinary alertness of mind and body, and we've destroyed the alertness of the body by unnatural ways of living. We are also destroying the mind, the brain, through conflict, through constant repression, constant explosion and violence. So if one lives a way of life that is a negation of all this, then that life, that intelligence, when confronted with incurable disease will act in the moment rightly.

Questioner: I see that I have asked you a question about suicide and have been given an answer on how to live rightly.

Krishnamurti: It is the only way. A man jumping over the bridge doesn't ask, "Shall I commit suicide?" He is doing it; it is finished. Whereas we, sitting in a safe house or in a laboratory, asking whether a man should or should not commit suicide, has no meaning.

Questioner: So it is a question one cannot ask.

Krishnamurti: No, it must be asked - whether one should or should not commit suicide. It must be asked, but find out what is behind the question, what is prompting the questioner, what is making him want to commit suicide. We know a man who has never committed suicide, although he is always threatening to do so, because he is completely lazy. He doesn't want to do a thing, he wants everybody to support him; such a man has already committed suicide. The man who is obstinate, suspicious, greedy for power and position, has also inwardly committed suicide. He lives behind a wall of images. So any man who lives with an image of himself, of his environment, his ecology, his political power or religion, is already finished.

Questioner: It would seem to me that what you are saying is that any life that is not lived directly....

Krishnamurti: Directly and intelligently.

Questioner: Outside the shadows of images, of conditioning, of thinking.... Unless one lives that way, one's life is a kind of low-key existence.

Krishnamurti: Of course it is. Look at most people; they are living behind a wall - the wall of their knowledge, their desires, their ambitious drives. They are already in a state of neurosis and that neurosis gives them a certain security, which is the security of suicide.

Questioner: The security of suicide!

Krishnamurti: Like a singer, for example; to him the voice is the greatest security, and when that fails he is ready to commit suicide. What is really exciting and true is to find out for oneself a way of life that is highly sensitive and supremely intelligent; and this is not possible if there is fear, anxiety, greed, envy, the building of images or the living in religious isolation. That isolation is what all religions have supplied: the believer is definitely on the threshold of suicide. Because he has put all his faith in a belief, when that belief is questioned he is afraid and is ready to take on another belief, another image, commit another religious suicide. So, can a man live without any image, without any pattern, without any time-sense? I don't mean living in such a way as not to care what happens tomorrow or what happened yesterday. That is not living. There are those who say, "Take the present and make the best of it; that is also an act of despair. Really one should not ask whether or not it is right to commit suicide; one should ask what brings about the state of mind that has no hope - though hope is the wrong word because hope implies a future; one should ask rather, how does a life come about that is without time? To live without time is really to have this sense of great love, because love is not of time, love is not something that was or will be; to explore this and live with it is the real question. Whether to commit suicide or not is the question of a man who is already partially dead. Hope is the most dreadful thing. Wasn't it Dante who said, "Leave hope behind when you enter the Inferno"? To him, paradise was hope, that's horrible.

Questioner: Yes, hope is its own inferno.


Questioner: I've been brought up in a very restricted environment, in strict discipline, not only as to outward behaviour but also I was taught to discipline myself, to control my thoughts and appetites and to do certain things regularly. The result is that I find myself so hedged about that I can't do anything easily, freely and happily. When I see what is going on around me in this permissive society - the sloppiness, the dirt, the casual behaviour, the indifference to manners - I'm shocked, although at the same time I secretly desire to do some of these things myself. Discipline imposed certain values though; it brought with it frustrations and distortions, but surely some discipline is necessary - for instance, to sit decently, to eat properly, to speak with care? Without discipline one can't perceive the beauties of music or literature or painting. Good manners and training reveal a great many nuances in daily social commerce. When I observe the modern generation they have the beauty of youth, but without discipline it will soon fade away and they will become rather tiresome old men and women. There is a tragedy in all this. You see a young man, supple, eager, beautiful with clear eyes and a lovely smile, and a few years later you see him again and he is almost unrecognizable - sloppy, callous, indifferent, full of platitudes, highly respectable, hard, ugly, closed and sentimental. Surely discipline would have saved him. I, who have been disciplined almost out of existence, often wonder where the middle way is between this permissive society and the culture in which I was brought up. Isn't there a way to live without the distortion and suppression of discipline, yet to be highly disciplined within oneself?

Krishnamurti: Discipline means to learn, not to conform, not to suppress, not to imitate the pattern of what accepted authority considers noble. This is a very complex question for in it are involved several things: to learn, to be austere, to be free, to be sensitive, and to see the beauty of love.

In learning there is no accumulation. Knowledge is different from learning. Knowledge is accumulation, conclusions, formulas, but learning is a constant movement, a movement without a centre, without a beginning or an end. To learn about oneself there must be no accumulation in one's learning: if there is, it is not learning about oneself but merely adding to one's accumulated knowledge of oneself. Learning is the freedom of perception, of seeing. And you cannot learn if you are not free. So this very learning is its own discipline - you don't have to discipline yourself and then learn. Therefore discipline is freedom. This denies all conformity and control, for control is the imitation of a pattern. A pattern is suppression, suppression of "what is", and the learning about "what is" is denied when there is a formula of what is good and what is bad. The learning about "what is" is the freedom from "what is". So learning is the highest form of discipline. Learning demands intelligence and sensitivity.

The austerity of the priest and the monk is harsh. They deny certain of their appetites but not others which custom has condoned. The saint is the triumph of harsh violence. Austerity is generally identified with self-denial through the brutality of discipline, drill and conformity. The saint is trying to break a record like the athlete. To see the falseness of this brings about its own austerity. The saint is stupid and shoddy. To see this is intelligence. Such intelligence will not go off the deep end to the opposite extreme. Intelligence is the sensitivity which understands, and therefore avoids, the extremes. But it is not the prudent mediocrity of remaining half-way between the two. To perceive all this clearly is to learn about it. To learn about it there must be freedom from all conclusions and bias. Such conclusions and bias are observation from a centre, the self, which wills and directs.

Questioner: Aren't you simply saying that to look properly you must be objective?

Krishnamurti: Yes, but the word objective is not enough. What we are talking about is not the harsh objectiveness of the microscope, but a state in which there is compassion, sensitivity and depth. Discipline, as we said, is learning, and learning about austerity does not bring about violence to oneself or to another. Discipline, as it is generally understood, is the act of will, which is violence.

People throughout the world seem to think that freedom is the fruit of prolonged discipline. To see clearly is its own discipline. To see clearly there must be freedom, not a controlled vision. So freedom is not at the end of discipline, but the understanding of freedom is its own discipline. The two go together inseparably: when you separate them there is conflict. To overcome that conflict, the action of will comes into being and breeds more conflict. This is an endless chain. So freedom is at the beginning and not at the end: the beginning is the end. To learn about all this is its own discipline. Learning itself demands sensitivity. If you are not sensitive to yourself - to your environment, to your relationships - if you are not sensitive to what is happening round you, in the kitchen or in the world, then however much you discipline yourself you only become more and more insensitive, more and more self-centred - and this breeds innumerable problems. To learn is to be sensitive to yourself and to the world outside you, for the world outside is you. If you are sensitive to yourself you are bound to be sensitive to the world. This sensitivity is the highest form of intelligence. It is not the sensitivity of a specialist - the doctor, the scientist or the artist. Such fragmentation does not bring sensitivity.

How can one love if there is no sensitivity? Sentimentality and emotionalism deny sensitivity because they are terribly cruel; they are responsible for wars. So discipline is not the drill of the sergeant - whether in the parade-ground or in yourself - which is the will. Learning all day long, and during sleep, has its own extraordinary discipline which is as gentle as the new spring leaf and as swift as the light. In this there is love. Love has its own discipline, and the beauty of it escapes a mind that is drilled, shaped, controlled, tortured. Without such a discipline the mind cannot go very far.

What Is

Questioner: I have read a great deal of philosophy, psychology, religion and politics, all of which to a greater or lesser degree are concerned with human relationships. I have also read your books which all deal with thought and ideas, and somehow I'm fed up with it all. I have swum in an ocean of words, and wherever I go there are more words - and actions derived from those words are offered to me: advice, exhortations, promises, theories, analyses, remedies. Of course one sets all these aside - you yourself have really done so; but for most of those who have read you, or heard you, what you say is just words. There may be people for whom all this is more than words, for whom it is utterly real, but I'm talking about the rest of us. I'd like to go beyond the word, beyond the idea, and live in total relationship to all things. For after all, that is life. You have said that one has to be a teacher and a pupil to oneself. Can I live in the greatest simplicity, without principles, beliefs, and ideals? Can I live freely, knowing that I am enslaved by the world? Crises don't knock on the door before they appear: challenges of everyday life are there before you are aware of them. Knowing all this, having been involved in many of these things, chasing various phantoms, I ask myself how I can live rightly and with love, clarity and effortless joy. I'm not asking how to live, but to live: the how denies the actual living itself. The nobility of life is not practising nobility.

Krishnamurti: After stating all this, where are you? Do you really want to live with benediction, with love? If you do, then where is the problem?

Questioner: I do want to, but that doesn't get me anywhere. I've wanted to live that way for years, but I can't.

Krishnamurti: So though you deny the ideal, the belief, the directive, you are very subtly and deviously asking the same thing which everybody asks: this is the conflict between the "what is" and the "what should be".

Questioner: Even without the "what should be", I see that the "what is" is hideous. To deceive myself into not seeing it would be much worse still.

Krishnamurti: If you see "what is" then you see the universe, and denying "what is" is the origin of conflict. The beauty of the universe is in the "what is; and to live with "what is" without effort is virtue.

Questioner: The "what is" also includes confusion, violence, every form of human aberration. To live with that is what you call virtue. But isn't it callousness and insanity? Perfection doesn't consist simply in dropping all ideals! Life itself demands that I live it beautifully, like the eagle in the sky: to live the miracle of life with anything less than total beauty is unacceptable.

Krishnamurti: Then live it!

Questioner: I can't, and I don't.

Krishnamurti: If you can't, then live in confusion; don't battle with it. Knowing the whole misery of it, live with it: that is "what is". And to live with it without conflict frees us from it.

Questioner: Are you saying that our only fault is to be self-critical?

Krishnamurti: Not at all. You are not sufficiently critical. You go only so far in your self-criticism. The very entity that criticizes must be criticized, must be examined. If the examination is comparative, examination by yardstick, then that yardstick is the ideal. If there is no yardstick at all - in other words, if there is no mind that is always comparing and measuring - you can observe the "what is", and then the "what is" is no longer the same.

Questioner: I observe myself without a yardstick, and I'm still ugly.

Krishnamurti: All examination means there is a yardstick. But is it possible to observe so that there is only observation, seeing, and nothing else - so that there is only perception without a perceiver?

Questioner: What do you mean?

Krishnamurti: There is looking. The assessment of the looking is interference, distortion in the looking: that is not looking; instead it is evaluation of looking - the two are as different as chalk and cheese. Is there a perception of yourself without distortion, only an absolute perception of yourself as you are?

Questioner: Yes.

Krishnamurti: In that perception is there ugliness?

Questioner: There is no ugliness in the perception, only in what is perceived.

Krishnamurti: The way you perceive is what you are. Righteousness is in purely looking, which is attention without the distortion of measure and idea. You came to enquire how to live beautifully, with love. To look without distortion is love, and the action of that perception is the action of virtue. That clarity of perception will act all the time in living. That is living like the eagle in the sky; that is living beauty and living love.

The Seeker

Questioner: What is it I'm seeking? I really don't know, but there is a tremendous longing in me for something much more than comfort, pleasure and the satisfaction of fulfilment. I happen to have had all these things, but this is something much more - something at an unfathomable depth that is crying to be released, trying to tell me something. I've had this feeling for many years but when I examine it I don't seem to be able to touch it. Yet it is always there, this longing to go beyond the mountains and the skies to find something. But perhaps this thing is there right in front of me, only I don't see it. Don't tell me how to look: I've read many of your writings and I know what you mean. I want to reach out my hand and take this thing very simply, knowing very well that I cannot hold the wind in my fist. It is said that if you operate on a tumour neatly you can pluck it out in one pocket, intact. In the same way I should like to take this whole earth, the heavens and the skies and the seas in one movement, and come upon that blessedness on the instant. Is this at all possible? How am I to cross to the other shore without taking a boat and rowing across the waters? I feel that's the only way.

Krishnamurti: Yes, that's the only way - to find oneself strangely and unaccountably on the other shore, and from there to live, act and do everything that one does in daily life.

Questioner: Is it only for the few? Is it for me? I really don't know what to do. I've sat silent; I've studied, examined, disciplined myself, rather intelligently I think, and of course I've long ago discarded the temples, the shrines and the priests. I refuse to go from one system to another; it is all too futile. So you see I have come here with complete simplicity.

Krishnamurti: I wonder if you really are so simple as you think! From what depth are you asking this question, and with what love and beauty? Can your mind and heart receive this? Are they sensitive to the slightest whisper of something that comes unexpectedly?

Questioner: If it is as subtle as all that, how true is it, and how real? Intimations of such subtlety are usually fleeting and unimportant.

Krishnamurti: Are they? Must everything be written out on the blackboard? Please, sir, let us find out whether our minds and hearts are really capable of receiving immensity, and not just the word.

Questioner: I really don't know, that's my problem. I've done almost everything fairly intelligently, putting aside all the obvious stupidities of nationality, organized religion, belief - this endless passage of nothings. I think I have compassion, and I think my mind can grasp the subtleties of life, but that surely is not enough? So what is needed? What have I to do or not to do?

Krishnamurti: Doing nothing is far more important than doing something. Can the mind be completely inactive, and thereby be supremely active? Love is not the activity of thought; it is not the action of good behaviour or social righteousness. As you cannot cultivate it, you can do nothing about love.

Questioner: I understand what you mean when you say that inaction is the highest form of action - which doesn't mean to do nothing. But somehow I cannot grasp it with my heart. Is it perhaps only because my heart is empty, tired of all action, that inaction seems to have an appeal? No. I come back to my original feeling that there is this thing of love, and I know, too, that it is the only thing. But my hand is still empty after I have said that.

Krishnamurti: Does this mean that you are no longer seeking, no longer saying to yourself secretly: "I must reach, attain, there is something beyond the furthest hills?"
Questioner: You mean I must give up this feeling I have had for so long that there is something beyond all the hills?

Krishnamurti: It is not a question of giving up anything, but, as we said just now, there are only these two things: love, and the mind that is empty of thought. If you really have finished, if you really have shut the door on all the stupidities which man in his search for something has put together, if you really have finished with all these, then, are these things - love and the empty mind - just two more words, no different from any other ideas?

Questioner: I have a deep feeling that they are not, but I am not sure of it. So again I ask what I am to do.

Krishnamurti: Do you know what it means to commune with what we have just said about love and the mind?

Questioner: Yes, I think so.

Krishnamurti: I wonder if you do. If there is communion with these two things then there is nothing more to be said. If there is communion with these two things then all action will be from there.

Questioner: The trouble is that I still think there is something to be discovered which will put everything else in its right place, in its right order.

Krishnamurti: Without these two things there is no possibility of going further. And there may be no going anywhere at all!

Questioner: Can I be in communion with it all the time? I can see that when we are together I can be somewhat in communion with it. But can I maintain it?

Krishnamurti: To desire to maintain it is the noise, and therefore the losing of it.


Questioner: I have belonged to many organizations, religious, business and political. Obviously we must have some kind of organization; without it life couldn't continue, so I've been wondering, after listening to you, what relationship there is between freedom and organization. Where does freedom begin and organization end? What is the relationship between religious organizations and Moksha or liberation?

Krishnamurti: As human beings living in a very complex society, organizations are needed to communicate, to travel, to bring food, clothes and shelter, for all the business of living together whether in cities or in the country. Now this must be organized efficiently and humanely, not only for the benefit of the few but for everyone, without the divisions of nationality, race or class. This earth is ours, not yours or mine. To live happily, physically, there must be sane, rational, efficient organizations. Now there is disorder because there is division. Millions go hungry while there is vast prosperity. There are wars, conflicts and every form of brutality. Then there is the organization of belief - the organization of religions, which again breeds disunity and war. The morality which man has pursued has led to this disorder and chaos. This is the actual state of the world. And when you ask what is the relationship between organization and freedom, are you not separating freedom from everyday existence? When you separate it in this way as being something entirely different from life, isn't this, in itself, conflict and disorder? So really the question is: is it possible to live in freedom and to organize life from this freedom, in this freedom?

Questioner: Then there would be no problem. But the organization of life isn't made by yourself: others make it for you - the government and others send you to war or determine your job. So you cannot simply organize for yourself out of freedom. The whole point of my question is that the organization imposed on us by the government, by society, by morality, is not freedom. And if we reject it we find ourselves in the midst of a revolution, or some sociological reformation, which is a way of starting the same old cycle all over again. Inwardly and outwardly we are born into organization, which limits freedom. We either submit or revolt. We are caught in this trap. So there seems to be no question of organizing anything out of freedom.

Krishnamurti: We do not realize that we have created society, this disorder, these walls; each one of us is responsible for it all. What we are, society is. Society is not different from us. If we are in conflict, avaricious, envious, fearful, we bring about such a society.

Questioner: There is a difference between the individual and society. I am a vegetarian; society slaughters animals. I don't want to go to war; society will force me to do so. Are you telling me that this war, is my doing?

Krishnamurti: Yes, it's your responsibility. You have brought it about by your nationality, your greed, envy and hate. You are responsible for war as long as you have those things in your heart, as long as you belong to any nationality, creed or race. It is only those who are free of those things who can say that they have not created this society. Therefore our responsibility is to see that we change, and to help others to change, without violence and bloodshed.

Questioner: That means organized religion.

Krishnamurti: Certainly not. Organized religion is based on belief and authority.

Questioner: Where does this get us in our original question regarding the relationship between freedom and organization? Organization is always imposed or inherited from the environment, and freedom is always from the inside, and these two clash.

Krishnamurti: Where are you going to start? You must start from freedom. Where there is freedom there is love. This freedom and love will show you when to co-operate and when not to cooperate. This is not an act of choice, because choice is the result of confusion. Love and freedom are intelligence. So what we are concerned with is not the division between organization and freedom but whether we can live in this world without division at all. It is division which denies freedom and love, not organization. When organization divides, it leads to war. Belief in any form, ideals, however noble or effective, breed division. Organized religion is the cause of division, just like nationality and power-groups. So be concerned with those things which divide, those things which bring about division between man and man, whether they be individual or collective. The family, the church, and the State bring about such division. What is important is the movement of thought which divides. Thought itself is always divisive, so all action based on an idea or an ideology is division. Thought cultivates prejudice, opinion, judgement. Man in himself, being divided, seeks freedom out of this division. Not being able to find it he hopes to integrate the various divisions, and of course this is not possible. You cannot integrate two prejudices. To live in this world in freedom means to live with love, eschewing every form of division. When there is freedom and love, then this intelligence will act in co-operation, and will also know when not to co-operate.

Love and Sex

Questioner: I'm a married man with several children. I've lived rather a dissipated life in search of pleasure, but a fairly civilized life too, and I've made a success of it financially. But now I'm middle-aged and am feeling concerned, not only about my family but also about the way the world is going. I'm not given to brutality or violent feelings, and I have always considered that forgiveness and compassion are the most important things in life. Without these man becomes subhuman. So if I may I should like to ask you what love is. Is there really such a thing? Compassion must be part of it, but I always feel that love is something much vaster, and if we could explore it together perhaps I should then make my life into something worthwhile before it is too late. I have really come to ask this one thing - what is love?

Krishnamurti: Before we begin to go into this we must be very clear that the word is not the thing, the description is not the described, because any amount of explanation, however subtle and clever, will not open the heart to the immensity of love. This we must understand, and not merely stick to words: words are useful for communication, but in talking about something that is really non-verbal we must establish a communion between us, so that both of us feel and realize the same thing at the same time, with a fullness of mind and heart. Otherwise we will be playing with words. How can one approach this really very subtle thing that cannot be touched by the mind? We must go rather hesitatingly. Shall we first see what it is not, and then perhaps we may be able to see what it is? Through negation we may come upon the positive, but merely to pursue the positive leads to assumptions and conclusions which bring about division. You are asking what love is. We are saying we may come upon it when we know what it is not. Anything that brings about a division, a separation, is not love, for in that there is conflict, strife and brutality.

Questioner: What do you mean by a division, a separation that brings about strife - what do you mean by it?

Krishnamurti: Thought in its very nature is divisive. It is thought that seeks pleasure and holds it. It is thought that cultivates desire.

Questioner: Will you go into desire a bit more?

Krishnamurti: There is the seeing of a house, the sensation that it is lovely, then there is the desire to own it and to have pleasure from it, then there is the effort to get it. All this constitutes the centre, and this centre is the cause of division. This centre is the feeling of a "me", which is the cause of division, because this very feeling of "me`' is the feeling of separation. People have called this the ego and all kinds of other names - the "lower self" as opposed to some idea of a "higher self" - but there is no need to be complicated about it; it is very simple. Where there is the centre, which is the feeling of "me", which in its activities isolates itself, there is division and resistance. And all this is the process of thought. So when you ask what is love, it is not of this centre. Love is not pleasure and pain, nor hate nor violence in any form.

Questioner: Therefore in this love you speak of there can be no sex because there cannot be desire?

Krishnamurti: Don't, please, come to any conclusion. We are investigating, exploring. Any conclusion or assumption prevents further enquiry. To answer this question we have also to look at the energy of thought. Thought, as we have said, sustains pleasure by thinking about something that has been pleasurable, cultivating the image, the picture. Thought engenders pleasure. Thinking about the sexual act becomes lust, which is entirely different from the act of sex. What most people are concerned with is the passion of lust. Craving before and after sex is lust. This craving is thought. Thought is not love.

Questioner: Can there be sex without this desire of thought?

Krishnamurti: You have to find out for yourself. Sex plays an extraordinarily important part in our lives because it is perhaps the only deep, firsthand experience we have. Intellectually and emotionally we conform, imitate, follow, obey. There is pain and strife in all our relationships, except in the act of sex. This act, being so different and beautiful, we become addicted to, so it in turn becomes a bondage. The bondage is the demand for its continuation - again the action of the centre which is divisive. One is so hedged about - intellectually, in the family, in the community, through social morality, through religious sanctions - so hedged about that there is only this one relationship left in which there is freedom and intensity. Therefore we give tremendous importance to it. But if there were freedom all around then this would not be such a craving and such a problem. We make it a problem because we can't get enough of it, or because we feel guilty at having got it, or because in getting it we break the rules which society has laid down. It is the old society which calls the new society permissive because for the new society sex is a part of life. In freeing the mind from the bondage of imitation, authority, conformity and religious prescriptions, sex has its own place, but it won't be all-consuming. From this one can see that freedom is essential for love - not the freedom of revolt, not the freedom of doing what one likes nor of indulging openly or secretly one's cravings, but rather the freedom which comes in the understanding of this whole structure and nature of the centre. Then freedom is love.

Questioner: So freedom is not licence?

Krishnamurti: No. Licence is bondage. Love is not hate, nor jealousy, nor ambition, nor the competitive spirit with its fear of failure. It is not the love of god nor the love of man - which again is a division. Love is not of the one or of the many. When there is love it is personal and impersonal, with and without an object. It is like the perfume of a flower; one or many can smell it: what matters is the perfume, not to whom it belongs.

Questioner: Where does forgiveness come in all this?

Krishnamurti: When there is love there can be no forgiveness. Forgiveness comes only after you have accumulated rancour; forgiveness is resentment. Where there is no wound there is no need for healing. It is inattention that breeds resentment and hate, and you become aware of them and then forgive. Forgiveness encourages division. When you are conscious that you are forgiving, then you are sinning. When you are conscious that you are tolerant, then you are intolerant. When you are conscious that you are silent, then there is no silence. When you deliberately set about to love, then you are violent. As long as there is an observer who says, "I am" or "I am not", love cannot be.

Questioner: What place has fear in love?

Krishnamurti: How can you ask such a question? Where one is, the other is not. When there is love you can do what you will.


Questioner: You use different words for perception. You sometimes say "perception", but also "observe", "see", "understand", "be aware of". I suppose you use all these words to mean the same thing: to see clearly, completely, wholly. Can one see anything totally? We're not talking of physical or technical things, but psychologically can you perceive or understand anything totally? Isn't there always something concealed so that you only see partially? I'd be most obliged if you could go into this matter rather extensively. I feel this is an important question because it may perhaps be a clue to a great many things in life. If I could understand myself totally then perhaps I would have all my problems solved and be a happy superhuman being. When I talk about it I feel rather excited at the possibility of going beyond my little world with its problems and agonies. So what do you mean by perceiving, seeing? Can one see oneself completely?

Krishnamurti: We always look at things partially. Firstly because we are inattentive and secondly because we look at things from prejudices, from verbal and psychological images about what we see. So we never see anything completely. Even to look objectively at nature is quite arduous. To look at a flower without any image, without any botanical knowledge - just to observe it - becomes quite difficult because our mind is wandering, uninterested. And even if it is interested it looks at the flower with certain appreciations and verbal descriptions which seem to give the observer a feeling that he has really looked at it. Deliberate looking is not looking. So we really never look at the flower. We look at it through the image. Perhaps it is fairly easy to look at something that doesn't deeply touch us, as when we go to the cinema and see something which stirs us for the moment but which we soon forget. But to observe ourselves without the image - which is the past, our accumulated experience and knowledge - happens very rarely. We have an image about ourselves. We think we ought to be this and not that. We have built a previous idea about ourselves and through it we look at ourselves. We think we are noble or ignoble and seeing what we actually are either depresses us or frightens us. So we cannot look at ourselves; and when we do, it is partial observation and anything that is partial or incomplete doesn't bring understanding. It is only when we can look at ourselves totally that there is a possibility of being free from what we observe. Our perception is not only with the eyes, with the senses, but also with the mind, and obviously the mind is heavily conditioned. So intellectual perception is only partial perception, yet perceiving with the intellect seems to satisfy most of us, and we think we understand. A fragmentary understanding is the most dangerous and destructive thing. And that is exactly what is happening all over the world. The politician, the priest, the businessman, the technician; even the artist - all of them see only partially. And therefore they are really very destructive people. As they play a great part in the world their partial perception becomes the accepted norm, and man is caught in this. Each of us is at the same time the priest, the politician, the businessman, the artist, and many other fragmentary entities. And each of us is.

Questioner: I see this clearly. I'm using the word see intellectually, of course.

Krishnamurti: If you see this totally, not intellectually or verbally or emotionally, then you will act and live quite a different kind of life. When you see a dangerous precipice or are faced by a dangerous animal there is no partial understanding or partial action; there is complete action.

Questioner: But we are not faced with such dangerous crises every moment of our lives.

Krishnamurti: We are faced with such dangerous crises all the time. You have become accustomed to them, or are indifferent to them, or you leave it to others to solve the problems; and these others are equally blind and lopsided.

Questioner: But how am I to be aware of these crises all the time, and why do you say there is a crisis all the time?

Krishnamurti: The whole of life is in each moment. Each moment is a challenge. To meet this challenge inadequately is a crisis in living. We don't want to see that these are crises, and we shut our eyes to escape from them. So we become blinder, and the crises augment.

Questioner: But how am I to perceive totally? I'm beginning to understand that I see only partially, and also to understand the importance of looking at myself and the world with complete perception, but there is so much going on in me that it is difficult to decide what to look at. My mind is like a great cage full of restless monkeys.

Krishnamurti: If you see one movement totally, in that totality every other movement is included. If you understand one problem completely, then you understand all human problems, for they are all interrelated. So the question is: can one understand, or perceive, or see, one problem so completely that in the very understanding of it one has understood the rest? This problem must be seen while it is happening, not after or before, as memory or as an example. For instance, it is no good now for us to go into anger or fear; the thing to do is to observe them as they arise. Perception is instantaneous: you understand something instantly or not at all: seeing, hearing, understanding are instantaneous. Listening and looking have duration.

Questioner: My problem goes on. It exists in a span of time. You are saying that seeing is instantaneous and therefore out of time. What gives jealousy or any other habit, or any other problem, duration?

Krishnamurti: Don't they go on because you have not looked at them with sensitivity, choiceless awareness, intelligence? You have looked partially and therefore allowed them to continue. And in addition, wanting to get rid of them is another problem with duration. The incapacity to deal with something makes of it a problem with duration, and gives it life.

Questioner: But how am I to see that whole thing instantly? How am I to understand so that it never comes back?

Krishnamurti: Are you laying emphasis on never or on understanding? If you lay emphasis on never it means you want to escape from it permanently, and this means the creation of a second problem. So we have only one question, which is how to see the problem so completely that one is free of it. Perception can only be out of silence, not out of a chattering mind. The chattering may be the wanting to get rid of it, reduce it, escape from it, suppress it or find a substitute for it, but it is only a quiet mind that sees.

Questioner: How am I to have a quiet mind?

Krishnamurti: You don't see the truth that only a quiet mind sees. How to get a quiet mind doesn't arise. It is the truth that the mind must be quiet, and seeing the truth of this frees the mind from chattering. Perception, which is intelligence, is then operating, not the assumption that you must be silent in order to see. Assumption can also operate but that is a partial, fragmentary operation. There is no relationship between the partial and the total; the partial cannot grow into the total. Therefore seeing is of the greatest importance. Seeing is attention, and it is only inattention that gives rise to a problem.

Questioner: How can I be attentive all the time? It's impossible!

Krishnamurti: That's quite right, it is impossible. But to be aware of your inattention is of the greatest importance, not how to be attentive all the time. It is greed that asks the question, "How can I be attentive all the time?" One gets lost in the practice of being attentive. The practice of being attentive is inattention. You cannot practice to be beautiful, or to love. When hate ceases the other is. Hate can cease only when you give your whole attention to it, when you learn and do not accumulate knowledge about it. Begin very simply.

Questioner: What is the point of your talking if there is nothing we can practise after having heard you?

Krishnamurti: The hearing is of the greatest importance, not what you practise afterwards. The hearing is the instantaneous action. The practice gives duration to problems. Practice is total inattention. Never practise; you can only practise mistakes. Learning is always new.


Questioner: I seem to have suffered a great deal all my life, not physically, but through death and loneliness and the utter futility of my existence. I had a son whom I greatly loved. He died in an accident. My wife left me, and that caused a great deal of pain. I suppose I am like thousands of other middle-class people with sufficient money and a steady job. I'm not complaining of my circumstances but I want to understand what sorrow means, why it comes at all. One has been told that wisdom comes through sorrow, but I have found quite the contrary.

Krishnamurti: I wonder what you have learnt from suffering? Have you learnt anything at all? What has sorrow taught you?

Questioner: It has certainly taught me never to be attached to people, and a certain bitterness, a certain aloofness and not to allow my feelings to run away with me. It has taught me to be very careful not to get hurt again.

Krishnamurti: So, as you say, it hasn't taught you wisdom; on the contrary it has made you more cunning, more insensitive. Does sorrow teach one anything at all except the obvious self-protective reactions?

Questioner: I have always accepted suffering as part of my life, but I feel now, somehow, that I'd like to be free of it, free of all the tawdry bitterness and indifference without again going through all the pain of attachment. My life is so pointless and empty, utterly self-enclosed and insignificant. It's a life of mediocrity, and perhaps that mediocrity is the greatest sorrow of all.

Krishnamurti: There is the personal sorrow and the sorrow of the world. There is the sorrow of ignorance and the sorrow of time. This ignorance is the lack of knowing oneself, and the sorrow of time is the deception that time can cure, heal and change. Most people are caught in that deception and either worship sorrow or explain it away. But in either case it continues, and one never asks oneself if it can come to an end.

Questioner: But I am asking now if it can come to an end, and how? How am I to end it? I understand that it's no good running away from it, or resisting it with bitterness and cynicism. What am I to do to end the grief which I have carried for so long?

Krishnamurti: Self-pity is one of the elements of sorrow. Another element is being attached to someone and encouraging or fostering his attachment to you. Sorrow is not only there when attachment fails you but its seed is in the very beginning of that attachment. In all this the trouble is the utter lack of knowing oneself. Knowing oneself is the ending of sorrow. We are afraid to know ourselves because we have divided ourselves into the good and the bad, the evil and the noble, the pure and the impure. The good is always judging the bad, and these fragments are at war with each other. This war is sorrow. To end sorrow is to see the fact and not invent its opposite, for the opposites contain each other. Walking in this corridor of opposites is sorrow. This fragmentation of life into the high and the low, the noble and the ignoble, God and the Devil, breeds conflict and pain. When there is sorrow, there is no love. Love and sorrow cannot live together.

Questioner: Ah! But love can inflict sorrow on another. I may love another and yet bring him sorrow.

Krishnamurti: Do you bring it, if you love, or does he? If another is attached to you, with or without encouragement, and you turn away from him and he suffers, is it you or he who has brought about his suffering?
Questioner: You mean I am not responsible for someone else's sorrow, even if it is on my account? How does sorrow ever end then?

Krishnamurti: As we have said, it is only in knowing oneself completely that sorrow ends. Do you know yourself at a glance, or hope to after a long analysis? Through analysis you cannot know yourself. You can only know yourself without accumulation, in relationship, from moment to moment. This means that one must be aware, without any choice, of what is actually taking place. It means to see oneself as one is, without the opposite, the ideal, without the knowledge of what one has been. If you look at yourself with the eyes of resentment or rancour then what you see is coloured by the past. The shedding of the past all the time when you see yourself is the freedom from the past. Sorrow ends only when there is the light of understanding, and this light is not lit by one experience or by one flash of understanding; this understanding is lighting itself all the time. Nobody can give it to you - no book, trick, teacher or saviour. The understanding of yourself is the ending of sorrow.

The Heart and The Mind

Questioner: Why is it that man has divided his being into different compartments - the intellect and the emotions? Each seems to exist independently of the other. These two driving forces in life are often so contradictory that they seem to tear apart the very fabric of our being. To bring them together so that man can act as a total entity has always been one of the principle aims of life. And added to these two things within man there is a third which is his changing environment. So these two contradictory things within him are further in opposition to the third which appears to be outside himself. Here is a problem so confusing, so contradictory, so vast that the intellect invents an outside agency called God to bring them together, and this further complicates the whole business. There is only this one problem in life.

Krishnamurti: You seem to be carried away by your own words. Is this really a problem to you or are you inventing it in order to have a good discussion? If it is for a discussion then it has no real content. But if it is a real problem then we can go into it deeply. Here we have a very complex situation, the inner dividing itself into compartments and further separating itself from its environment. And still further, it separates the environment, which it calls society, into classes, races and economic, national and geographic groups. This seems to be what is actually going on in the world and we call it living. Being unable to solve this problem we invent a super-entity, an agency that we hope will bring about a harmony and a binding quality in ourselves and between us. This binding quality which we call religion brings about another factor of division in its turn. So the question becomes: what will bring about a complete harmony of living in which there are no divisions but a state in which the intellect and the heart are both the expression of a total entity? That entity is not a fragment.

Questioner: I agree with you, but how is this to be brought about? This is what man has always longed for and has sought through all religions and all political and social utopias.

Krishnamurti: You ask how. The "how" is the great mistake. It is the separating factor. There is your "how" and my "how" and somebody else's "how". So if we never used that word we would be really enquiring and not seeking a method to achieve a determined result. So can you put away altogether this idea of a recipe, a result? If you can define a result you already know it and therefore it is conditioned and not free. If we put away the recipe then we are both capable of enquiring if it is at all possible to bring about a harmonious whole without inventing an outside agency, for all outside agencies, whether they are environmental or super-environmental, only increase the problem.

First of all, it is the mind that divides itself as feeling, intellect and environment; it is the mind that invents the outside agency; it is the mind that creates the problem.

Questioner: This division is not only in the mind. It is even stronger in the feelings. The Muslims and Hindus do not think themselves separate, they feel themselves separate, and it is this feeling that actually makes them separate and makes them destroy each other.

Krishnamurti: Exactly: the thinking and the feeling are one; they have been one from the beginning and that is exactly what we are saying. So our problem is not the integration of the different fragments but the understanding of this mind and heart which are one. Our problem is not how to get rid of classes or how to build better utopias or breed better political leaders or new religious teachers. Our problem is the mind. To come to this point not theoretically but to see it actually is the highest form of intelligence. For then you do not belong to any class or religious group; then you are not a Muslim, a Hindu, a jew or a Christian. So we now have only one issue: why does the mind of man divide? It not only divides its own functions into feelings and thoughts but separates itself as the "I" from the "you", and the "we" from the "they". The mind and the heart are one. Don't let us forget it. Remember it when we use the word "mind". So our problem is, why does the mind divide?

Questioner: Yes.

Krishnamurti: The mind is thought. All the activity of thought is separation, fragmentation. Thought is the response of memory which is the brain. The brain must respond when it sees a danger. This is intelligence, but this same brain has somehow been conditioned not to see the danger of division. Its actions are valid and necessary when they deal with facts. Equally, it will act when it sees the fact that division and fragmentation are dangerous to it. This is not an idea or an ideology or a principle or a concept - all of which are idiotic and separative; it is a fact. To see danger the brain has to be very alert and awake, all of it, not just a segment of it.

Questioner: How is it possible to keep the whole brain awake?

Krishnamurti: As we said, there is no "how" but only seeing the danger, that is the whole point. The seeing is not the result of propaganda or conditioning; the seeing is with the whole brain. When the brain is completely awake then the mind becomes quiet. When the brain is completely awake there is no fragmentation, no separation, no duality. The quality of this quietness is of the highest importance. You can make the mind quiet by drugs and all kinds of tricks but such deceptions breed various other forms of illusion and contradiction. This quietness is the highest form of intelligence which is never personal or impersonal, never yours or mine. Being anonymous, it is whole and immaculate. It defies description for it has no quality. This is awareness, this is attention, this is love, this is the highest. The brain must be completely awake, that's all. As the man in the jungle must keep terribly awake to survive, so the man in the jungle of the world must keep terribly awake to live completely.