Awakening of Intelligence
Awakening of Intelligence
By J. Krishnamurti
E-Text Source: www.jiddu-krishnamurti.net
This comprehensive record of Krishnamurti’s teachings is an excellent, wide-ranging introduction to the great philosopher’s thought. With among others, Jacob Needleman, Alain Naude, and Swami Venkatasananda, Krishnamurti examines such issues as the role of the teacher and tradition; the need for awareness of cosmic consciousness; the problem of good and evil; and traditional Vedanta methods of help for different levels of seekers.
Part I: Conversations with Jacob Needleman
Chapter 1 - The Role of the Teacher
Chapter 2 - On Inner Space; On Tradition and Dependence
Part II: New York 1971
Chapter 1 - Inner Revolution
Chapter 2 - Relationship
Chapter 3 - Religious Experience, Meditation
Part III: Conversations with Alain Naude
Chapter 1 - The Circus of Man's Struggle
Chapter 2 - On Good and Evil
Part IV: Conversations with Swami Venkatesananda
Chapter 1 - The Guru and Search
Chapter 2 - Four Mahavakyas From The Upanishads
b. The Bodhisattva Ideal
d. The Ending of Knowledge
Part V: Public Talks Madras 1968
Chapter 1 - The Art of Seeing
Chapter 2 - Freedom
Chapter 3 - The Sacred
Part VI: Public Dialogues Madras 1968
Chapter 1 - Conflict
Chapter 2 - The Pursuit of Pleasure
Chapter 3 - Time, Space and the Centre
Chapter 4 - A Fundamental Question
Part VII: Public Talks Saanen 1971
Chapter 1 - What is Your Over-Riding Interest
Chapter 2 - Order
Chapter 3 - Can We Understand Ourselves
Chapter 4 - Loneliness
Chapter 5 - Thought and the Immeasurable
Chapter 6 - The Action of Will and the Energy Needed for Radical Change
Chapter 7 - Thought, Intelligence and the Immeasurable
Part VIII: Public Dialogues Saanen 1971
Chapter 1 - The Fragmentation of Consciousness
Chapter 2 - Is Intelligence Awake
Chapter 3 - Fear
Chapter 4 - Fear, Time and the Image
Chapter 5 - Intelligence and the Religious Life
Part IX: Brockwood Park 1971
Chapter 1 - The Relationship
Chapter 2 - The Meditative Mind
Part X: Brockwood Park 1970
A Discussion with a Small Group - Violence and the Me
Part XI: Conversation with Professor David Bohm
The copyright of this book is held by Krishnamurti Foundations. We are providing this e-book solely for non-commercial usage as a noble service. The printed book can be purchased from Krishnamurti Foundations.
Conversations with Jacob Needleman
1st Conversation with Jacob Needleman - Malibu California
26th March 1971
The Role of The Teacher
Needleman: There is much talk of a spiritual revolution among young people, particularly here in California. Do you see in this very mixed phenomenon any hope of a new flowering for modern civilization, a new possibility of growth?
Krishnamurti: For a new possibility of growth, don't you think, Sir, that one has to be rather serious, and not merely jump from one spectacular amusement to another? If one has looked at all the religions of the world and seen their organized futility, and out of that perception seen something real and clear, perhaps then there could be something new in California, or in the world. But as far as I have seen, I am afraid there is not a quality of seriousness in all this. I may be mistaken, because I see only these so-called young people in the distance, among the audience, and occasionally here; and by their questions, by their laughter, by their applause, they don't strike me as being very serious, mature, with great intent. I may be mistaken, naturally.
Needleman: I understand what you are saying. My question only is: perhaps we can't very well expect young people to be serious.
Krishnamurti: That is why I don't think it is applicable to the young people. I don't know why one has made such an extraordinary thing out of young people, why it has become such an important thing. In a few years they will be the old people in their turn.
Needleman: As a phenomenon, apart from what is underneath it all, this interest in transcending experience - or whatever one wants to call it - seems to be a kind of seed-ground from which certain unusual people aside from all the phoneyness and all the deceivers, certain Masters perhaps, may spring up.
Krishnamurti: But I am not sure, Sir, that all the deceivers and exploiters are not covering this up. "Krishna-consciousness" and Transcendental Meditation and all this nonsense that is going on - they are caught in all that. It is a form of exhibitionism, a form of amusement and entertainment. For something new to take place there must be a nucleus of really devoted, serious people, who go through to the very end. After going through all these things, they say, "Here is something I am going to pursue to the end."
Needleman: A serious person would be someone who would have to become disillusioned with everything else.
Krishnamurti: I would not call it disillusioned but a form of seriousness.
Needleman: But a precondition for it?
Krishnamurti: No, I wouldn't call it disillusionment at all, that leads to despair and cynicism. I mean the examination of all the things that are so-called religious, so-called spiritual: to examine, to find out what is the truth in all this, whether there is any truth in it. Or to discard the whole thing and start anew, and not go through all the trappings, all the mess of it.
Needleman: I think that is what I tried to say, but this expresses it better. People who have tried something and it has failed for them.
Krishnamurti: Not "other people". I mean one has to discard all the promises, all the experiences, all the mystical assertions. I think one has to start as though one knew absolutely nothing.
Needleman: That is very hard.
Krishnamurti: No, Sir, I don't think that is hard. I think it is hard only for those people who have filled themselves with other people's knowledge.
Needleman: Isn't that most of us? I was speaking to my class yesterday at San Francisco State, and I said I was going to interview Krishnamurti and what question would you like me to ask him. They had many questions, but the one that touched me most was what one young man said: "I have read his books over and over again and I can't do what he says." There was something so clear about that, it rang a bell. It seems in a certain subtle sense to begin in this way. To be a beginner, fresh!
Krishnamurti: I don't think that we question enough. Do you know what I mean?
Krishnamurti: We accept, we are gullible, we are greedy for new experiences. People swallow what is said by anybody with a beard, with promises, saying you will have a marvellous experience if you do certain things! I think one has to say: "I know nothing." Obviously I can't rely on others. If there were no books, no gurus, what would you do?
Needleman: But one is so easily deceived.
Krishnamurti: You are deceived when you want something.
Needleman: Yes, I understand that.
Krishnamurti: So you say, I am going to find out, I am going to enquire step by step. I don't want to deceive myself" Deception arises when I want, when I am greedy, when I say, "All experience is shallow, I want something mysterious" - then I am caught.
Needleman: To me you are speaking about a state, an attitude, an approach, which is itself very far along in understanding for a man. I feel very far from that myself and I know my students do. And so they feel, rightly or wrongly, a need for help. They probably misunderstand what help is, but is there such a thing as help?
Krishnamurti: Would you say: "Why do you ask for help?"
Needleman: Let me put it like this. You sort of smell yourself deceiving yourself; you don't exactly know...
Krishnamurti: It is fairly simple. I don't want to deceive myself - right? So I find out what is the movement, what is the thing that brings deception. Obviously it is when I am greedy, when I want something, when I am dissatisfied. So instead of attacking greed, want, dissatisfaction, I want something more.
Krishnamurti: So I have to understand my greed. What am I greedy for? Is it because I am fed up with this world, I have had women, I have had cars, I have had money and I want something more?
Needleman: I think one is greedy because one desires stimulation, to be taken out of oneself, so that one doesn't see the poverty of oneself. But what I am trying to ask - I know you have answered this question many times in your talks, but it keeps recurring, almost unavoidably - the great traditions of the world, aside from what has become of them (they have become distorted and misinterpreted and deceptive) always speak directly or indirectly of help. They say "The guru is yourself too", but at the same time there is help.
Krishnamurti: Sir, you know what that word "guru" means?
Needleman: No, not exactly.
Krishnamurti: The one who points. That is one meaning. Another meaning is the one who brings enlightenment, lifts your burden. But instead of lifting your burden they impose their burden on you.
Needleman: I am afraid so.
Krishnamurti: Guru also means one who helps you to cross over - and so on, there are various meanings. The moment the guru says he knows, then you may be sure he doesn't know. Because what he knows is something past, obviously. Knowledge is the past. And when he says he knows, he is thinking of some experience which he has had, which he has been able to recognise as something great, and that recognition is born out of his previous knowledge, otherwise he couldn't recognise it, and therefore his experience has its roots in the past. Therefore it is not real.
Needleman: Well, I think that most knowledge is that.
Krishnamurti: So why do we want any form of ancient or modern tradition in all this? Look, Sir, I don't read any religious, philosophical, psychological books: one can go into oneself at tremendous depths and find out everything. To go into oneself is the problem, how to do it. Not being able to do it one asks, "Would you please help me?"
Krishnamurti: And the other fellow says, "I'll help you" and pushes you off somewhere else.
Needleman: Well, it sort of answers the question. I was reading a book the other day which spoke of something called "Sat-san".
Krishnamurti: Do you know what it means?
Needleman: Association with the wise.
Krishnamurti: No, with good people.
Needleman: With good people, Ah!
Krishnamurti: Being good you are wise. Not, being wise you are good.
Needleman: I understand that.
Krishnamurti: Because you are good, you are wise.
Needleman: I am not trying to pin this down to something, but I find my students and I myself, speaking for myself, when we read, when we hear you, we say, "Ah! I need no one, I need to be with no one" - and there is a tremendous deception in this too.
Krishnamurti: Naturally, because you are being influenced by the speaker.
Needleman: Yes. That is true. (Laughter.)
Krishnamurti: Sir, look, let's be very simple. Suppose, if there were no book, no guru, no teacher, what would you do? One is in turmoil, confusion, agony, what would you do? With nobody to help you, no drugs, no tranquillisers, no organized religions, what would you do?
Needleman: I can't imagine what I would do.
Krishnamurti: That's it.
Needleman: Perhaps there would be a moment of urgency there.
Krishnamurti: That's it. We haven't the urgency because we say, "Well, somebody is going to help me."
Needleman: But most people would be driven insane by that situation.
Krishnamurti: I am not sure, Sir.
Needleman: I'm not sure either.
Krishnamurti: No, I am not at all sure. Because what have we done up to now? The people on whom we have relied, the religions, the churches, education, they have led us to this awful mess. We aren't free of sorrow; we aren't free of our beastliness, our ugliness, our vanities.
Needleman: Can one say that of all of them? There are differences. For every thousand deceivers there is one Buddha.
Krishnamurti: But that is not my concern, Sir, if we say that it leads to such deception. No, no.
Needleman: Then let me ask you this. We know that without hard work the body may get ill, and this hard work is what we call effort. Is there another effort for what we might call the spirit? You speak against effort, but does not the growth and well-being of all sides of man demand something like hard work of one sort or another?
Krishnamurti: I wonder what you mean by hard work! Physical hard work?
Needleman: That is what we usually mean by hard work. Or going against desires.
Krishnamurti: You see, there we are! Our conditioning, our culture, is built around this "going against". Erecting a wall of resistance. So when we say "hard work", what do we mean? Laziness? Why have I to make an effort about anything? Why?
Needleman: Because I wish for something.
Krishnamurti: No. Why is there this cult of effort? Why have I to make effort to reach God, enlightenment, truth?
Needleman: There are many possible answers, but I can only answer for myself.
Krishnamurti: It may be just there, only I don't know how to look.
Needleman: But then there must be an obstacle.
Krishnamurti: How to look! It may be just round the comer, under the flower, it may be anywhere. So first I have to learn to look, not make an effort to look. I must find out what it means to look.
Needleman: Yes, but don't you admit that there may be a resistance to that looking?
Krishnamurti: Then don't bother to look! If somebody comes along and says, "I don't want to look", how are you going to force him to look?
Needleman: No. I am speaking about myself now. I want to look.
Krishnamurti: If you want to look, what do you mean by looking? You must find out what it means to look before you make an effort to look. Right, Sir?
Needleman: That would be, to me, an effort.
Needleman: To do it in that delicate, subtle way. I wish to look, but I don't wish to find out what it means to look. I agree this is much more to me the basic thing. But this wish to do it quickly, to get it over, is this not resistance?
Krishnamurti: Quick medicine to get it over.
Needleman: Is there something in me that I have to study, that resists this subtle, much more delicate thing you are speaking about? Is this not work, what you are saying? Isn't it work to ask the question so quietly, so subtly? It seems to me it is work to not listen to that part that wants to do it...
Needleman: For us particularly in the West, or maybe for all men.
Krishnamurti: I am afraid it is all over the world the same. "Tell me how to get there quickly."
Needleman: And yet you say it is in a moment.
Krishnamurti: It is, obviously.
Needleman: Yes, I understand.
Krishnamurti: Sir, what is effort? To get out of bed in the morning, when you don't want to get up, is an effort. What brings on that laziness? Lack of sleep, overeating, over-indulging and all the rest of it; and next morning you say, "Oh, what a bore, I have to get up!" Now wait a minute, Sir, follow it. What is laziness? Is it physical laziness, or is thought itself lazy?
Needleman: That I don't understand. I need another word. "Thought is lazy?" I find that thought is always the same.
Krishnamurti: No Sir. I am lazy, I don't want to get up and so I force myself to get up. In that is so-called effort.
Krishnamurti: I want that, but I shouldn't have it, I resist it. The resistance is effort. I get angry and I mustn't be angry: resistance, effort. What has made me lazy?
Needleman: The thought that I ought to be getting up.
Krishnamurti: That's it.
Needleman: All right.
Krishnamurti: So I really have to go into this whole question of thought. Not make out that the body is lazy, force the body out of bed, because the body has its own intelligence, it knows when it is tired and should rest. This morning I was tired; I had prepared the mat and everything to do yoga exercises and the body said "No, sorry". And I said, "All right". That is not laziness. The body said, "Leave me alone because you talked yesterday, you saw many people, you are tired." Thought then says, "You must get up and do the exercises because it is good for you, you have done it every day, it has become a habit, don't relax, you will get lazy, keep at it." Which means: thought is making me lazy, not the body is making me lazy.
Needleman: I understand that. So there is an effort with regard to thought.
Krishnamurti: So no effort! Why is thought so mechanical? And is all thought mechanical?
Needleman: Yes, all right, one puts that question.
Krishnamurti: Isn't it?
Needleman: I can't say that I have verified that.
Krishnamurti: But we can, Sir. That is fairly simple to see. Isn't all thought mechanical? The non-mechanical state is the absence of thought; not the neglect of thought but the absence of it.
Needleman: How can I find that out?
Krishnamurti: Do it now, it is simple enough. You can do it now if you wish to. Thought is mechanical.
Needleman: Let's assume that.
Krishnamurti: Not assume. Don't assume anything.
Needleman: All right.
Krishnamurti: Thought is mechanical, isn't it? - because it is repetitive, conforming, comparing.
Needleman: That part I see, the comparing. But my experience is that not all thought is of the same quality. There are qualities of thought.
Krishnamurti: Are there?
Needleman: In my experience there are.
Krishnamurti: Let's find out. What is thought, thinking?
Needleman: There seems to be thought that is very shallow, very repetitive, very mechanical, it has a certain taste to it. There seems to be another kind of thought which is connected more with my body, with my whole self, it resonates in another way.
Krishnamurti: That is what, Sir? Thought is the response of memory.
Needleman: All right, this is a definition.
Krishnamurti: No, no, I can see it in myself. I have to go to that house this evening - the memory, the distance, the design - all that is memory, isn't it?
Needleman: Yes, that is memory.
Krishnamurti: I have been there before and so the memory is well established and from that there is either instant thought, or thought which takes a little time. So I am asking myself: is all thought similar, mechanical, or is there thought which is non-mechanical, which is non-verbal?
Needleman: Yes, that's right.
Krishnamurti: Is there thought if there is no word?
Needleman: There is understanding.
Krishnamurti: Wait, Sir. How does this understanding take place? Does it happen when thought is functioning rapidly, or when thought is quiet?
Needleman: When thought is quiet, yes.
Krishnamurti: Understanding is nothing to do with thought. You may reason, which is the process of thinking, logic, till you say, "I don't understand it; then you become silent, and you say, "Ah! I see it, I understand it." That understanding is not a result of thought.
Needleman: You speak of an energy which seems to be uncaused. We experience the energy of cause and effect, which shapes our lives, but what is this other energy's relationship to the energy we are familiar with? What is energy?
Krishnamurti: First of all: is energy divisible?
Needleman: I don't know. Go on.
Krishnamurti: It can be divided. Physical energy, the energy of anger and so on, cosmic energy, human energy, it can all be divided. But it is all one energy, isn't it?
Needleman: Logically, I say yes. I don't understand energy. Sometimes I experience the thing which I call energy.
Krishnamurti: Why do we divide energy at all, that is what I want to get at; then we can come to it differently. Sexual energy, physical energy, mental energy, psychological energy, cosmic energy, the energy of the businessman who goes to the office and so on - why do we divide it? What is the reason for this division?
Needleman: There seem to be many parts of oneself which are separate; and we divide life, it seems to me, because of that.
Krishnamurti: Why? We have divided the world into Communist, Socialist, Imperialist, and Catholic, Protestant, Hindu, Buddhist, and nationalities, linguistic divisions, the whole thing is fragmentation. Why has the mind fragmented the whole of life?
Needleman: I don't know the answer. I see the ocean and I see a tree: there is a division.
Krishnamurti: No. There is a difference between the sea and the tree - I hope so! But that is not a division.
Needleman: No. It is a difference, not a division.
Krishnamurti: But we are asking why the division exists, not only outwardly but in us.
Needleman: It is in us, that is the most interesting question.
Krishnamurti: Because it is in us we extend it outwards. Now why is there this division in me? The "me" and the "not me". You follow? The higher and the lower, the Atman and the lower self. Why this division?
Needleman: Maybe it was done, at least in the beginning, to help men to question themselves. To make them question whether they really know what they think they know.
Krishnamurti: Through division will they find out?
Needleman: Maybe through the idea that there is something that I don't understand.
Krishnamurti: In a human being there is a division - why? What is the "raison d'etre", what is the structure of this division? I see there is a thinker and thought - right?
Needleman: I don't see that.
Krishnamurti: There is a thinker who says, "I must control that thought, I must not think this, I must think that". So there is a thinker who says, "I must", or "I must not".
Krishnamurti: There is the division. "I should be this", and "I should not be that". If I can understand why this division in me exists - Oh look, look! Look at those hills! Marvellous, isn't it?
Krishnamurti: Now, Sir, do you look at it with a division?
Krishnamurti: Why not?
Needleman: There wasn't the "me" to do anything with it.
Krishnamurti: That's all. You can't do anything about it. Here, with thought, I think I can do something.
Krishnamurti: So I want to change "what is". I can't change "what is" there, but I think I can change "what is" in me. Not knowing how to change it I have become desperate, lost, in despair. I say, "I can't change", and therefore I have no energy to change.
Needleman: That's what one says.
Krishnamurti: So first, before I change "what is", I must know who is the changer, who it is that changes.
Needleman: There are moments when one knows that, for a moment. Those moments are lost. There are moments when one knows who sees "what is" in oneself.
Krishnamurti: No Sir. Sorry. Just to see "what is" is enough, not to change it.
Needleman: I agree. I agree with that.
Krishnamurti: I can see "what is" only when the observer is not. When you looked at those hills the observer was not.
Needleman: I agree, yes.
Krishnamurti: The observer only came into being when you wanted to change "what is". You say: I don't like "what is", it must be changed, so there is instantly a duality. Can the mind observe "what is" without the observer? It took place when you looked at those hills with that marvellous light on them.
Needleman: This truth is absolute truth. The moment one experiences it one says, "Yes!" But one's experience is also that one forgets this.
Needleman: By that I mean one continually tries to change it.
Krishnamurti: Forget it, and pick it up again.
Needleman: But in this discussion - whatever you intend - there is help coming from this discussion. I know, as much as I know anything, it could not happen without the help that is between us. I could look at those hills and maybe have this non-judging, but it wouldn't be important to me; I wouldn't know that that is the way I must look for salvation. And this, I think, is a question one always wants to bring. Maybe this is the mind again wanting to grab and hold on to something, but nevertheless it seems that the human condition...
Krishnamurti: Sir, we looked at those hills, you couldn't change that, you just looked; and you looked inwardly and the battle began. For a moment you looked without that battle, without that strife, and all the rest of it. Then you remembered the beauty of that moment, of that second, and you wanted to capture that beauty again. Wait Sir! Proceed. So what happens? It sets up another conflict: the thing you had and you would like to have again, and you don't know how to get it again. You know, if you think about it, it is not the same, it is not that. So you strive, battle. "I must control, I mustn't want" - right? Whereas if you say, "All right, it is over, finished", that moment is over.
Needleman: I have to learn that.
Krishnamurti: No, no.
Needleman: I have to learn, don't I?
Krishnamurti: What is there to learn?
Needleman: I have to learn the futility of this conflict.
Krishnamurti: No. What is there to learn? You yourself see that that moment of beauty becomes a memory, then the memory says, "It was so beautiful I must have it again." You are not concerned with beauty; you are concerned with the pursuit of pleasure. Pleasure and beauty don't go together. So if you see that, it is finished. Like a dangerous snake, you won't go near it again.
Needleman: (Laughs) Perhaps I haven't seen it, so I can't say.
Krishnamurti: That is the question.
Needleman: Yes, I think that must be so, because one keeps going back again and again.
Krishnamurti: No. This is the real thing. If I see the beauty of that light, and it is really extraordinarily beautiful, I just see it. Now with that same quality of attention I want to see myself. There is a moment of perception which is as beautiful as that. Then what happens?
Needleman: Then I wish for it.
Krishnamurti: Then I want to capture it, I want to cultivate it, I want to pursue it.
Needleman: And how to see that?
Krishnamurti: Just to see that is taking place is enough.
Needleman: That's what I forget!
Krishnamurti: It is not a question of forgetting.
Needleman: Well, that is what I don't understand deeply enough. That just the seeing is enough.
Krishnamurti: Look, Sir. When you see a snake what takes place?
Needleman: I am afraid.
Krishnamurti: No. What takes place? You run, kill it, do something. Why? Because you know it is dangerous. You are aware of the danger of it. A cliff, better take a cliff, an abyss. You know the danger of it. Nobody has to tell you. You see directly what would happen.
Krishnamurti: Now, if you see directly that the beauty of that moment of perception cannot be repeated, it is over. But thought says, "No, it's not over, the memory of it remains." So what are you doing now? You are pursuing the dead memory of it, not the living beauty of it - right? Now if you see that, the truth of it - not the verbal statement, the truth of it - it is finished.
Needleman: Then this seeing is much rarer than we think.
Krishnamurti: If I see the beauty of that minute, it is over. I don't want to pursue it. If I pursue it, it becomes a pleasure. Then if I can't get it, it brings despair, pain and all the rest of it. So I say, "All right, finished." Then what takes place?
Needleman: From my experience, I'm afraid that what takes place is that the monster is born again. It has a thousand lives. (Laughter.)
Krishnamurti: No Sir. When did that beauty take place.
Needleman: The place when I saw without trying to change.
Krishnamurti: When the mind was completely quiet.
Krishnamurti: Wasn't it? Right?
Krishnamurti: When you looked at that, your mind was quiet, it didn't say, "I wish I could change it, copy it and photograph it, this, that, and the other" - you just looked. The mind wasn't in operation. Or rather, thought wasn't in operation. But thought comes immediately into operation. Now one has asked, "How can thought be quiet? How can one exercise thought when necessary, and not exercise it when it is not necessary?"
Needleman: Yes, that question is intensely interesting to me, Sir.
Krishnamurti: That is, why do we worship thought? Why has thought become so extraordinarily important?
Needleman: It seems able to satisfy our desires; through thought we believe we can satisfy.
Krishnamurti: No, not from satisfaction. Why has thought in all cultures with most people become of such vital concern?
Needleman: One usually identifies oneself as thought, as one's thoughts. If I think about myself I think about what I think, what kind of ideas I have, what I believe. Is this what you mean?
Krishnamurti: Not quite. Apart from identification with the "me", or with "not me", why is thought always active?
Needleman: Ah, I see.
Krishnamurti: Thought is always operating in knowledge, isn't it? If there was no knowledge, thought would not be. Thought is always operating in the field of the known. Whether mechanical, non-verbal and so on, it is always working in the past. So my life is the past, because it is based on past knowledge, past experience, past memories, pleasure, pain, fear and so on - it is all the past. And the future I project from the past, thought projects from the past. So thought is fluctuating between the past and the future. All the time it says, "I should do this, I should not do that, I should have behaved." Why is it doing all this?
Needleman: I don't know. Habit?
Krishnamurti: Habit. All right. Go on. Let's find out. Habit?
Needleman: Habit brings what I call pleasure.
Krishnamurti: Habit, pleasure, pain.
Needleman: To protect me. Pain, yes pain.
Krishnamurti: It is always working within that field. Why?
Needleman: Because it doesn't know any better.
Krishnamurti: No. No. Can thought work in any other field?
Needleman: That sort of thought, no.
Krishnamurti: No, not any thought. Can thought work in any other field except in the field of the known?
Krishnamurti: Obviously not. It can't work in something I don't know; it can only work in this field. Now why does it work in this? There it is, Sir - why? It is the only thing I know. In that there is security, there is protection, there is safety. That is all I know. So thought can only function in the field of the known. And when it gets tired of that, as it does, then it seeks something outside. Then what it seeks is still the known. Its gods, its visions, its spiritual states - all projected out of the known past into the future known. So thought always works in this field.
Needleman: Yes, I see.
Krishnamurti: Therefore thought is always working in a prison. It can call it freedom, it can call it beauty, it can call it what is likes! But it is always within the limitations of the barbed wire fence. Now I want to find out whether thought has any place except in there. Thought has no place when I say, "I don't know." "I really don't know." Right?
Needleman: For the moment.
Krishnamurti: I really don't know. I only know this, and I really don't know whether thought can function in any field at all, except this. I really don't know. When I say, "I don't know", which doesn't mean I am expecting to know, when I say I really don't know - what happens? I climb down the ladder. I become, the mind becomes, completely humble. Now that state of "not knowing" is intelligence. Then it can operate in the field of the known and be free to work somewhere else if it wants to.
2nd Conversation with Jacob Needleman - Malibu California
26th March 1971
On Inner Space; On Tradition and Dependence
Needleman: In your talks you have given a fresh meaning to the necessity for man to become his own authority. Yet cannot this assertion easily be turned into a form of humanistic psychology without reference to the sacred, transcendent dimension of human life on earth in the midst of a vast intelligent Cosmos? Must we not only try to see ourselves in the moment, but also as creatures of the Cosmos? What I am trying to ask about is this question of cosmic dimension.
Krishnamurti: As soon as we use that word "dimension", it implies space, otherwise there is no dimension, there is no space. Are we talking about space, outward space, endless space?
Krishnamurti: Or the dimension of space in us?
Needleman: It would have to be the latter, but not totally without the former, I think.
Krishnamurti: Is there a difference between the outer space, which is limitless, and the space in us? Or is there no space in us at all and we only know the outer space? We know the space in us as a centre and circumference. The dimension of that centre, and the radius from that centre, is what we generally call that space.
Needleman: Inner space, yes.
Krishnamurti: Yes, inner space. Now if there is a centre, the space must always be limited and therefore we divide the inner space from the outer space.
Krishnamurti: We only know this very limited space but we think we would like to reach the other space, have immense space. This house exists in space, otherwise there could be no house, and the four walls of this room make its space. And the space in me is the space which the centre has created round itself. Like that microphone...
Needleman: Yes, centre of interest.
Krishnamurti: Not only centre of interest, it has its own space, otherwise it couldn't exist.
Needleman: Yes, right.
Krishnamurti: In the same way, human beings may have a centre and from that centre they create a space, the centre creates a space round itself. And that space is always limited, it must be; because of the centre, the space is limited.
Needleman: It is defined, it is a defined space, yes.
Krishnamurti: When you use the words "cosmic space"...
Needleman: I didn't use the words "cosmic space; I said cosmic, the dimension of the Cosmos. I wasn't asking about outer space and trips to the planets.
Krishnamurti: So we are talking of the space which the centre creates round itself, and also a space between two thoughts; there is a space, an interval between two thoughts.
Krishnamurti: And the centre having created that space round itself, there is the space outside the limit. There is a space between thinking, between thoughts; and also a space round the centre itself, and the space beyond the barbed wire. Now what is the question, Sir? How to expand space? How to enter a different dimension of space?
Needleman: Not how to but...
Krishnamurti: ...not how to. Is there a different dimension of space except the space round the centre?
Needleman: Or a different dimension of reality?
Krishnamurti: Space, we are talking about that for the moment, we can use that word. First I must see very clearly the space between two thoughts.
Needleman: The interval.
Krishnamurti: This interval between two thoughts. Interval means space. And what takes place in this interval?
Needleman: Well, I confess I don't know because my thoughts overlap all the time. I know there are intervals, there are moments when this interval appears, and I see it, and there is freedom there for a moment.
Krishnamurti: Let's go into this a bit, shall we? There is space between two thoughts. And there is space which the centre creates round itself, which is the space of isolation.
Needleman: All right, yes. That is a cold word.
Krishnamurti: It is cutting itself off. I consider myself important, with my ambition, with my frustrations, with my anger, with my sexuality, my growth, my meditation, my reaching Nirvana.
Needleman: Yes, that is isolation.
Krishnamurti: It is isolation. My relation with you is the image of that isolation, which is that space. Then having created that space there is space outside the barbed wire. Now is there a space of a totally different dimension? That is the question.
Needleman: Yes, that embraces the question.
Krishnamurti: How shall we find out if the space round me, round the centre, exists? And how can I find out the other? I can speculate about the other, I can invent any space I like - but that is too abstract, too silly!
Krishnamurti: So is it possible to be free of the centre, so that the centre doesn't create space round itself build a wall round itself, isolation, a prison - and call that space? Can that centre cease to be? Otherwise I can't go beyond it; the mind cannot go beyond that limitation.
Needleman: Yes, I see what you mean. It's logical, reasonable.
Krishnamurti: That is, what is that centre? That centre is the "me" and "non-me", that centre is the observer, the thinker, the experiencer, and in that centre is also the observed. The centre says, "That is the barbed wire I have created round myself."
Needleman: So that centre is limited there too.
Krishnamurti: Yes. Therefore it separates itself from the barbed wire fence. So that becomes the observed. The centre is the observer. So there is space between the observer and the observed - right Sir?
Needleman: Yes, I see that.
Krishnamurti: And that space it tries to bridge over. That is what we are doing.
Needleman: It tries to bridge it over.
Krishnamurti: It says, "This must be changed, that must not be, this is narrow, that is wide, I must be better than that." All that is the movement in the space between the observer and the observed.
Needleman: I follow that, yes.
Krishnamurti: And hence there is conflict between the observer and the observed. Because the observed is the barbed wire which must be jumped over, and so the battle begins. Now can the observer - who is the centre, who is the thinker, who is the knower, who is experience, who is knowledge - can that centre be still?
Needleman: Why should it wish to?
Krishnamurti: If it is not still, the space is always limited.
Needleman: But the centre, the observer, doesn't know that it is limited in this way.
Krishnamurti: But you can see it, look. The centre is the observer, let's call him the observer for the moment - the thinker, the experiencer, the knower, the struggler, the searcher, the one who says, "I know, and you don't know." Right? Where there is a centre it must have a space round itself.
Needleman: Yes, I follow.
Krishnamurti: And when it observes, it observes through that space. When I observe those mountains there is space between me and the mountains. And when I observe myself there is space between me and the thing I observe in myself. When I observe my wife, I observe her from the centre of my image about her, and she observes me with the image which she has about me. So there is always this division and space.
Needleman: Changing the approach to the subject entirely, there is something called the sacred. Sacred teachings, sacred ideas, the sacred, which for a moment seems to show me that this centre and this space you speak about is an illusion.
Krishnamurti: Wait. One has learnt this from somebody else. Are we going to find out what is the sacred, then? Are we looking because somebody has told me, "That is sacred", or that there is a sacred thing? Or is it my imagination, because I want something holy?
Needleman: Very often it is that but there is...
Krishnamurti: Now which is it? The desire for something holy? The imposition on my mind by others who have said, "This is sacred?" Or my own desire, because everything is unholy and I want something holy, sacred? All this springs from the centre.
Needleman: Yes. Nevertheless...
Krishnamurti: Wait. We will find this out, what is sacred. But I don't want to accept tradition, or what somebody has said about the sacred. Sir, I don't know if you have experimented? Some years ago, for fun, I took a piece of rock from the garden and put it on the mantelpiece and played with it, brought flowers to it every day. At the end of a month it became terribly sacred!
Needleman: I know what you mean.
Krishnamurti: I don't want that kind of phoney sacredness.
Needleman: It's a fetish.
Krishnamurti: Sacredness is a fetish.
Needleman: Granted. Most of it is.
Krishnamurti: So I won't accept anything that anybody says about what is sacred. Tradition! As a Brahmin one was brought up in a tradition which would beat anybody's tradition, I assure you!
What I am saying is: I want to find out what is holy, not man-made holiness. I can only find out when the mind has immense space. And it cannot have that immense space if there is a centre. When the centre is not in operation, then there is vast space. In that space, which is part of meditation, there is something really sacred, not invented by my foolish little centre. There is something immeasurably sacred, which you can never find out if there is a centre. And to imagine that sacredness is folly - you follow what I mean?
Can the mind be free of this centre - with its terribly limited yardage of space - which can be measured and expanded and contracted and all the rest of it? Can it? Man has said it can't, and therefore God has become another centre. So my real concern is this: whether the centre can be completely empty? That centre is consciousness. That centre is the content of consciousness, the content is consciousness; there is no consciousness if there is no content. You must work this out...
Needleman: Certainly what we ordinarily mean by it, yes.
Krishnamurti: There is no house if there are no walls and no roof. The content is consciousness but we like to separate them, theorize about it, measure the yardage of our consciousness. Whereas the centre is consciousness, the content of consciousness, and the content is consciousness. Without the content, where is consciousness? And that is the space.
Needleman: I follow a little bit of what you say. I find myself wanting to say: well, what do you value here? What is the important thing here?
Krishnamurti: I'll put that question after I have found out whether the mind can be empty of the content.
Needleman: All right.
Krishnamurti: Then there is something else that will operate, which will function within the field of the known. But without finding that merely to say...
Needleman: No, no, this is so.
Krishnamurti: Let's proceed. Space is between two thoughts, between two factors of time, two periods of time, because thought is time. Yes?
Needleman: All right, yes.
Krishnamurti: You can have a dozen periods of time but it is still thought, there is that space. Then there is the space round the centre, and the space beyond the self, beyond the barbed wire, beyond the wall of the centre. The space between the observer and the observed is the space which thought has created as the image of my wife and the image which she has about me. You follow, Sir?
Krishnamurti: All that is manufactured by the centre. To speculate about what is beyond all that has no meaning to me personally, it's the philosopher's amusement.
Needleman: The philosopher's amusement...
Krishnamurti: I am not interested.
Needleman: I agree. I am not interested sometimes, at my better moments, but nevertheless...
Krishnamurti: I am sorry, because you are a philosopher!
Needleman: No, no, why should you remember that, please.
Krishnamurti: So my question is: "Can the centre be still, or can the centre fade away?" Because if it doesn't fade away, or lie very quiet, then the content of consciousness is going to create space within consciousness and call it the vast space. In that there lies deception and I don't want to deceive myself. I don't say I am not brown when I am brown. So can that centre be absorbed? Which means, can there be no image, because it is the image that separates?
Needleman: Yes, that is the space.
Krishnamurti: That image talks about love, but the love of the image is not love. Therefore I must find out whether the centre can be completely absorbed, dissolved, or lie as a vague fragment in the distance. If there is no possibility of that, then I must accept prison.
Needleman: I agree.
Krishnamurti: I must accept there is no freedom. Then I can decorate my prison for ever.
Needleman: But now this possibility that you are speaking about, without searching for it consciously...
Krishnamurti: No, don't search for it!
Needleman: I say, without searching for it consciously, life or something suddenly shows me it is possible.
Krishnamurti: It is there! Life hasn't shown me. It has shown me, when I look at that mountain, that there is an image in me; when I look at my wife I see that there is an image in me. That is a fact. It isn't that I have to wait for ten years to find out about the image! I know it is there, therefore I say: "Is it possible to look without the image?" The image is the centre, the observer, the thinker and all the rest of it.
Needleman: I am beginning to see the answer to my question. I begin to see - I am speaking to myself - I am beginning to see that there is no distinction between humanism and sacred teachings. There is just truth, or non-truth.
Krishnamurti: That's all. False and true.
Needleman: So much for that. (Laughter)
Krishnamurti: We are asking: "Can the consciousness empty itself of its content?" Not somebody else do it.
Needleman: That is the question, yes.
Krishnamurti: Not divine grace, the super-self, some fictitious outside agency. Can the consciousness empty itself of all this content? First see the beauty of it, Sir.
Needleman: I see it.
Krishnamurti: Because it must empty itself without an effort. The moment there is an effort, there is the observer who is making the effort to change the content, which is part of consciousness. I don't know if you see that?
Needleman: I follow. This emptying has to be effortless, instantaneous.
Krishnamurti: It must be without an agent who is operating on it, whether an outside agent, or an inner agent. Now can this be done without any effort, any directive - which says, "I will change the content"? This means the emptying of consciousness of all will, "to be" or "not to be". Sir, look what takes place.
Needleman: I am watching.
Krishnamurti: I have put that question to myself. Nobody has put it to me. Because it is a problem of life, a problem of existence in this world. It is a problem which my mind has to solve. Can the mind, with all its content, empty itself and yet remain mind - not just float about?
Needleman: It is not suicide.
Needleman: There is some kind of subtle...
Krishnamurti: No, Sir, that is too immature. I have put the question. My answer is: I really don't know.
Needleman: That is the truth.
Krishnamurti: I really don't know. But I am going to find out, in the sense of not waiting to find out. The content of my consciousness is my unhappiness, my misery, my struggles, my sorrows, the images which I have collected through life, my gods, the frustrations, the pleasures, the fears, the agonies, the hatreds - that is my consciousness. Can all that be completely emptied? Not only at the superficial level but right through? - the so-called unconscious. If it is not possible, then I must live a life of misery, I must live in endless, unending sorrow. There Is neither hope, nor despair, I am in prison. So the mind must find out how to empty itself of all the content of itself, and yet live in this world, not become a moron, but have a brain that functions efficiently. Now how is this to be done? Can it ever be done? Or is there no escape for man?
Needleman: I follow.
Krishnamurti: Because I don't see how to get beyond this I invent all the gods, temples, philosophies, rituals - you understand?
Needleman: I understand.
Krishnamurti: This is meditation, real meditation, not all the phoney stuff. To see whether the mind - with the brain which has evolved through time, which is the result of thousands of experiences, the brain that functions efficiently only in complete security - whether the mind can empty itself and yet have a brain that functions as a marvellous machine. Also, it sees love is not pleasure; love is not desire. When there is love there is no image; but I don't know what that love is. I only want love as pleasure, sex and all the rest of it. There must be a relationship between the emptying of consciousness and the thing called love; between the unknown and the known, which is the content of consciousness.
Needleman: I am following you. There must be this relationship.
Krishnamurti: The two must be in harmony. The emptying and love must be in harmony. And it may be only love that is necessary and nothing else.
Needleman: This emptying is another word for love, is that what you are saying?
Krishnamurti: I am only asking what is love. Is love within the field of consciousness?
Needleman: No, it couldn't be.
Krishnamurti: Don't stipulate. Don't ever say yes or no; find out! Love within the content of consciousness is pleasure, ambition and all that. Then what is love? I really don't know. I won't pretend any more about anything. I don't know. There is some factor in this which I must find out. Whether the emptying of consciousness with its content is love, which is the unknown? What is the relationship between the unknown and the known? - not the mysterious unknown, God or whatever name you give it. We will come to God if we go through this. The relationship between the unknown, which I don't know, which may be called love, and the content of consciousness, which I know, (it may be unconscious, but I can open it up and find out) - what is the relationship between the known and the unknown? To move between the known and the unknown is harmony, is intelligence, isn't it?
Krishnamurti: So I must find out, the mind must find out, how to empty its content. That is, have no image, therefore no observer. The image means the past, or the image which is taking place now, or the image which I shall project into the future. So no image - no formula, idea, ideal, principle - all that implies image. Can there be no formation of image at all? You hurt me or you give me pleasure and therefore I have an image of you. So no image formation when you hurt me or give me pleasure.
Needleman: Is it possible?
Krishnamurti: Of course it is. Otherwise I am doomed.
Needleman: You are doomed. In other words I am doomed.
Krishnamurti: We are doomed. Is it possible when you insult me to be completely watchful, attentive, so that it doesn't leave a mark?
Needleman: I know what you mean.
Krishnamurti: When you flatter me - no mark. Then there is no image. So I have done it, the mind has done it: which is, no formation of image at all. If you don't form an image now, the past images have no place.
Needleman: I don't follow that. "If I don't form an image now..?"
Krishnamurti: The past images have no place. If you form an image, then you are related to it.
Needleman: You are connected to the past images. That is right.
Krishnamurti: But if you don't form any?
Needleman: Then you are free from the past.
Krishnamurti: See it! See it!
Needleman: Very clear.
Krishnamurti: So the mind can empty itself of images by not forming an image now. If I form an image now, then I relate it with past images. So consciousness, the mind, can empty itself of all the images by not forming an image now. Then there is space, not space round the centre. And if one delves, goes into it much further, then there is something sacred, not invented by thought, which has nothing to do with any religion.
Needleman: Thank you.
. . .
Needleman: I have another question which I wanted to ask you. We see the stupidity of so many traditions which people hallow today, but aren't there some traditions transmitted from generation to generation which are valuable and necessary, and without which we would lose the little humanity that we now have? Aren't there traditions that are based on something real, which are handed down?
Krishnamurti: Handed down...
Needleman: Ways of living, even if only in an external sense.
Krishnamurti: If I hadn't been taught from childhood not to run in front of a car...
Needleman: That would be the simplest example.
Krishnamurti: Or to be careful of fire, be careful of irritating the dog which might bite you, and so on. That is also tradition.
Needleman: Yes, that certainly is.
Krishnamurti: The other kind of tradition is that you must love.
Needleman: That is the other extreme.
Krishnamurti: And the tradition of the weavers in India and other places. You know, they can weave without a pattern and yet they weave in a tradition which is so deeply rooted that they don't even have to think about it. It comes out with their hands. I don't know if you have ever seen it? In India they have a tremendous tradition and they produce marvellous things. Also there is the tradition of the scientist, the biologist, the anthropologist, which is tradition as the accumulation of knowledge, handed over by one scientist to another scientist, by a doctor to another doctor, learning. Obviously that kind of tradition is essential. I wouldn't call that tradition, would you?
Needleman: No, that is not what I had in mind. What I meant by tradition was a way of living.
Krishnamurti: I wouldn't call that tradition. Don't we mean by tradition some other factor? Is goodness a factor of tradition?
Needleman: No, but perhaps there are good traditions.
Krishnamurti: Good traditions, conditioned by the culture in which one lives. Good tradition among the Brahmins used to be not to kill any human being or animal. They accepted that and functioned. We are saying: "Is goodness traditional? Can goodness function, blossom in tradition?"
Needleman: What I am asking then is: are there traditions which are formed by an intelligence either single, or collective, which understands human nature?
Krishnamurti: Is intelligence traditional?
Needleman: No. But can intelligence form, or shape a way of living which can help other men more readily to find themselves? I know that this is a self-initiated thing that you speak of but are there not men of great intelligence who can shape the external conditions for me, so that I will not have quite as difficult a time to come to what you have seen?
Krishnamurti: That means what, Sir? You say you know.
Needleman: I don't say I know.
Krishnamurti: I am taking that. Suppose you are the great person of tremendous intelligence and you say, "My dear son, live this way."
Needleman: Well I don't have to say it.
Krishnamurti: You exude your atmosphere, your aura, and then I say, "I'll try it - he has got it, I haven't got it." Can goodness flower in your ambience? Can goodness grow under your shadow?
Needleman: No, but then I wouldn't be intelligent if I made those my conditions.
Krishnamurti: Therefore you are stating that goodness cannot operate, function, flower in any environment.
Needleman: No, I didn't say that. I was asking, are there environments which can be conducive to liberation?
Krishnamurti: We will go into this. A man who goes to a factory every day, day after day, and finds release in drink and all the rest of it...
Needleman: This is the example of a poor environment, a bad tradition.
Krishnamurti: So what does the man who is intelligent, who is concerned with changing the environment, do for that man?
Needleman: Perhaps he is changing the environment for himself. But he understands something about man in general. I am talking now about a great teacher, whatever that is. He helps, he presents a way of life to us which we don't understand, which we haven't verified ourselves, but which somehow acts on something in us to bring us a little together.
Krishnamurti: That is satsun, which is the company of the good. It is nice to be in the company of the good because we won't then quarrel, we won't fight each other, we won't be violent; it is good.
Needleman: All right. But maybe the company of the good means that I will quarrel, but I'll see it more, I'll suffer it more, I'll understand it better.
Krishnamurti: So you want the company of the good in order to see yourself more clearly?
Krishnamurti: Which means you depend on the environment to see yourself.
Needleman: Well perhaps in the beginning.
Krishnamurti: The beginning is the first step and the last step.
Needleman: I don't agree.
Krishnamurti: Let's go into it a little bit. See what has happened. I go with good men because in that ambience, in that atmosphere I see myself more clearly, because they are good I see my idiocies.
Needleman: Sometimes it happens that way.
Krishnamurti: I am taking this.
Needleman: That is one example, right?
Krishnamurti: Or I am also good, therefore I live with them. Then I don't need them.
Needleman: No we don't need them then. All right.
Krishnamurti: If I am good I don't need them. But if when I am not good and come into their presence, then I can see myself clearly. Then to see myself clearly I must have them. This is what generally takes place. They become important, not my goodness. This happens every day.
Needleman: But is there not such a thing as weaning the baby by blackening the breast? It happens that I do need these men, maybe in the beginning.
Krishnamurti: I am going to question it, I want to find out. First of all, if I am good I don't need them. I am like those hills and birds which have no need.
Needleman: Right. We can rule that out.
Krishnamurti: When I am not good I need their company, because in their company I see myself clearly; I feel a breath of freshness.
Needleman: Or how bad I am.
Krishnamurti: The moment I have a horror of myself, in the largest sense of the word, I am merely comparing myself with them.
Needleman: No, not always. I can expose the image I have of myself as a lie.
Krishnamurti: Now I am questioning whether you need them to expose yourself as a liar.
Needleman: In principle, no.
Krishnamurti: No, not in principle. Either it is so, or it is not.
Needleman: That is the question.
Krishnamurti: Which means if I need them, then I am lost. Then I will for ever hang on to them. Sir, this has happened since human relationships began.
Needleman: Yes it has. But it also happens that I hang on for a while and then I right it.
Krishnamurti: Therefore why don't you, the good man, tell me: "Look, begin, you don't need me. You can watch yourself now clearly."
Needleman: Maybe if I told you that, you would take it utterly wrongly and misunderstand me completely!
Krishnamurti: Then what shall I do? Go on hanging onto you, run after you?
Needleman: Not what shall you do, but what do you do?
Krishnamurti: What they generally do is run after him.
Needleman: They generally do, yes.
Krishnamurti: And hold on to his skirts.
Needleman: But that is perhaps because the teacher is not intelligent.
Krishnamurti: No. He says, "Look, I can't teach you my friend, I have nothing to teach. If I am really good I have nothing to teach. I can only show."
Needleman: But he doesn't say it, he does it.
Krishnamurti: I say, "Look I don't want to teach you, you can learn from yourself."
Needleman: Yes, all right. Suppose he says that.
Krishnamurti: Yes, he says learn from yourself. Don't depend. That means you, being good, are helping me to look at myself.
Needleman: Attracting you.
Krishnamurti: No. You are putting me in a corner so that I can't escape.
Needleman: I see what you are saying. But it is the easiest thing in the world to escape.
Krishnamurti: I don't want to. Sir, you tell me, "Don't depend, for goodness has no dependency." If you want to be good you cannot depend on anything.
Needleman: Anything external, yes all right.
Krishnamurti: On anything, external or inward. Don't depend on anything. It doesn't mean just don't depend on the postman, it means inwardly don't depend.
Krishnamurti: That means what? I depend. He has told me one thing: "Don't depend on me or on anybody, wife, husband, daughter, politician, don't depend." That's all. He goes away. He leaves me with that. What shall I do?
Needleman: Find out if he is right.
Krishnamurti: But I do depend.
Needleman: That's what I mean.
Krishnamurti: I do depend on my wife, on the priest, on some psycho-analyst - I do depend. Then I begin. Because he tells me the truth - you follow, Sir? It is there, I have to work it out. So I have to find out if it is the truth, or if it is a falsehood. Which means I must exercise my reason, my capacity, my intelligence. I must work. I can't just say, "Well he has gone". I depend on my cook! So I have to find out, I have to see the truth and the false. I have seen it. That doesn't depend on anybody.
Krishnamurti: Even the company of the good doesn't teach me what is good and what is false, or true. I have to see it.
Krishnamurti: So I don't depend on anybody to find what is true and what is false.
New York 1971
1st Public Talk in New York
18th April 1971
Krishnamurti: We are going to examine together the question of what is hidden in the consciousness, in the deeper layers of the mind - which is generally called the unconscious. We are concerned with bringing about a radical revolution in ourselves and so in society. The physical revolution which is advocated all over the world at the present time does not bring about a fundamental change in man.
In a corrupt society, such as this, in Europe, India and elsewhere, there must be fundamental changes in the very structure of society. And if man remains corrupt in himself, in his activity, he will overcome whatever the structure be, however perfect; therefore it is imperative, absolutely essential that he change.
Is this change to be brought about through the process of time, through gradual achievement, through gradual change? Or does the change take place only in the instant? That is what we are going to examine together.
One sees that there must be change in oneself - the more sensitive, the more alert and intelligent one is, the more one is aware that there must be a deep, abiding, living change. The content of consciousness is consciousness - the two are not separate. What is implanted in consciousness makes up consciousness. And to bring about a change in consciousness - both in the obvious and in the hidden - does it depend on analysis, on time, on environmental pressure? Or is the change to take place totally independent of any pressure, of any compulsion?
You know, this question is going to be rather difficult to go into, because it is quite complex and I hope we shall be able to share what is being said. Unless one goes into this matter very seriously, really taking trouble, with deep interest, with passion, I am afraid one will not be able to go very far; far in the sense not of time or space, but very deeply within oneself. One needs a great deal of passion, great energy and most of us waste our energies in conflict. And when we are examining this whole business of existence, we need energy. Energy comes with the possibility of change; if there is no possibility of change, then energy wastes away.
We think we cannot possibly change. We accept things as they are and thereby become rather dispirited, depressed, uncertain and confused. It is possible to change radically and that is what we are going to examine. If you will - do not follow exactly what the speaker is saying, but use his words as a mirror to observe yourself and enquire with passion, with interest, with vitality and a great deal of energy. Then perhaps we can come to a point where it will be obvious that without any kind of effort, without any kind of motive, the radical change takes place.
There is not only the superficial knowledge of ourselves, but there is also the deep, hidden content of our consciousness. How is one to examine it, how is one to expose the whole content of it? Is it to be done bit by bit, slowly gradually? - or is it to be exposed totally and understood instantly, and thereby the whole analytical process comes to an end?
Now we are going to go into this question of analysis. To the speaker, analysis is the denial of action; action being always in the active present. Action means not "having done" or "will do", but doing. Analysis prevents that action in the present, because in analysis there is involved time, a gradual peeling off, as it were, layer after layer, and examining each layer, analysing the content of each layer. And if the analysis is not perfect, complete, true, then that analysis being incomplete, must leave a knowledge which is not total. And the next analysis springs from that which is not complete.
Look, I examine myself, analyse myself and if my analysis is not complete, then what I have analysed becomes the knowledge with which I proceed to analyse the next layer. So in that process each analysis becomes incomplete and leads to further conflict, and so to inaction. And in analysis there is the analyser and the analysed, whether the analyser is the professional, or yourself, the layman; there is this duality, the analyser analysing something which he thinks is different from himself. But the analyser, what is he? He is the past, he is the accumulated knowledge of all the things he has analysed. And with that knowledge - which is the past - he analyses the present.
So in that process there is conflict, there is the struggle to conform, or to force that which he analyses. Also there is this whole process of dreaming. I don't know whether you have gone into all this yourself, or probably you have read other people's books, which is most unfortunate; because then you merely repeat what other people have said, however famous they are. But if you don't read all those books - as the speaker does not - then you have to investigate yourself, then it becomes much more fascinating, much more original, much more direct and true.
In the process of analysis there is this world of dreams. We accept dreams as necessary, because the professionals say, "You must dream, otherwise you go mad", and there is some truth in that. We are enquiring into all this because we are trying to find out whether it is possible to change radically, when there is so much confusion, so much misery, such hatred and brutality in the world; there is no compassion. One must, if one is at all serious, enquire into all this. We are enquiring not merely for intellectual entertainment but actually trying to find out if it is possible to change. And when we see the possibility of change, whatever we are, however shallow, however superficial, repetitive, imitative, if we see that there is a possibility of radical change, then we have the energy to do so. If we say it is not possible, then that energy is dissipated.
So we are enquiring into this question, whether analysis does produce a radical change at all, or whether it is merely an intellectual entertainment, an avoidance of action. As we were saying, analysis implies entering into the world of dreams. What are dreams, how do they come into being? I don't know if you have gone into this; if you have, you will see that dreams are the continuation of our daily life. What you are doing during the day, all the mischief, the corruption, the hatred, the passing pleasures, the ambition, the guilt and so on, all that is continued in the world of dreams, only in symbols, in pictures and images. These pictures and images have to be interpreted and all the fuss and unreality of all that comes into being.
One never asks why should one dream at all. One has accepted dreams as essential, as part of life. Now we are asking ourselves (if you are with me) why we dream at all. Is it possible when you go to sleep to have a mind that is completely quiet? Because it is only in that quiet state that it renews itself, empties itself of all its content, so that it is made fresh, young, decisive, not confused.
If dreams are the continuation of our daily life, of our daily turmoil, anxiety, the desire for security, attachment, then inevitably, dreams in their symbolic form must take place. That is clear, isn't it? So one asks, "Why should one dream at all?" Can the brain cells be quiet, not carry on all the business of the day?
One has to find that out experimentally, not accepting what the speaker says - and for goodness sake don't ever do that, because we are sharing together, investigating together. You can test it out by being totally aware during the day, watching your thoughts, your motives, your speech, the way you walk and talk. When you are so aware there are the intimations of the unconscious, of the deeper layers, because then you are exposing, inviting the hidden motives, the anxieties, the content of the unconscious to come into the open. So when you go to sleep, you will find that your mind, including the brain, is extraordinarily quiet. It is really resting, because you have finished what you have been doing during the day.
If you take stock of the day, as you go to bed and lie down - don't you do this? - saying, "I should have done this, I should not have done that", "It would have been better that way, I wish I hadn't said this" - when you take stock of the things that have happened during the day, then you are trying to bring about order before you go to sleep. And if you don't make order before you go to sleep, the brain tries to do it when you are asleep. Because the brain functions perfectly only in order, not in disorder. It functions most efficiently when there is complete order, whether that order is neurotic or rational; because in neurosis, in imbalance, there is order, and the brain accepts that order.
So, if you take stock of everything that has been happening during the day before you go to sleep, then you are trying to bring about order, and therefore the brain does not have to bring order while you are asleep: you have done it during the day. You can bring about that order every minute during the day, that is if you are aware of everything that's happening, outwardly and inwardly. Outwardly in the sense of being aware of the disorder about you, the cruelty, the indifference, the callousness, the dirt, the squalor, the quarrels, the politicians and their chicanery - all that is happening. And your relationship with your husband, your wife, with your girl or boyfriend, be aware of ill that during the day, without correcting it, just be aware of it. The moment you try to correct it, you are bringing disorder. But if you merely observe actually what is, then what is, is order.
It is only when you try to change "what is" that there is disorder; because you want to change according to the knowledge which you have acquired. That knowledge is the past and you are trying to change "what is" - which is not the past - according to what you have learnt. Therefore there is a contradiction, therefore there is a distortion, therefore this is disorder.
So during the day, if you are aware of the ways of your thoughts, your motives, the hypocrisy, the double-talk - doing one thing, saying another, thinking another - the mask that you put on, the varieties of deception that one has so readily to hand, if you are aware of all that during the day, you don't have to take stock at all when you go to sleep, you are bringing order each minute. So when you do go to sleep you will find that your brain cells, which have recorded and hold the past, become totally quiet, and your sleep then becomes something entirely different. When we use the word "mind", we include in that the brain, the whole nervous organism, the affections, all the human structure; we mean all that, not something separate. In that is included the intellect, the heart, the whole nervous organism. When you go to sleep then, the process has totally come to an end, and when you wake up you see things exactly as they are, not your interpretation of them or the desire to change them.
So analysis, for the speaker, prevents action. And action is absolutely essential in order to bring about this radical change. So analysis is not the way. Don't accept, please, what the speaker is saying, but observe it for yourself, learn about it, not from me, but learn by watching all these implications of analysis: time, the analyser and the analysed - the analyser is the analysed - and each analysis must be complete, otherwise it distorts the next analysis. So to see that the whole process of analyses, whether it is introspective or intellectual analysis, is totally wrong! It is not the way out - maybe it is necessary for those who are somewhat, or greatly, unbalanced; and perhaps most of us are unbalanced.
We must find a way of observing the whole content of consciousness without the analyser. It is great fun if you go into this, because you have then rejected totally everything that man has said. Because then you stand alone; when you find out for yourself, it will be authentic, real, true, not dependent on any professor, any psychologist, any analyst and so on.
So one must find a way of observing without analysis. I'm going to go into that - I hope you don't mind my doing all this, do you? This is not group therapy! (Laughter) This is not an open confession, it is not that the speaker is analysing you, or making you change and become marvellous human beings! You have to do this yourself, and as most of us are secondhand or third-hand human beings, it is going to be very difficult to put away totally all that has been imposed on your minds by the professionals, whether by religious or scientific professionals. We have to find out for ourselves.
If analysis is not the way - and it is not, as far as the speaker is concerned, as he has explained - then how is one to examine or to observe the total content of consciousness? What is the content of consciousness? Please don't repeat what somebody else has said. What is your total content? Have you ever looked at it, considered it? If you have, is it not the various recorded incidents, happenings, pleasurable and non-pleasurable, various beliefs, traditions, the various individual recollections and memories, the racial and family memories, the culture in which one has been brought up - all that is the content, isn't it? And the incidents that take place every day, the memories, the various pains, the unhappiness, the insults, all that is recorded. And that content is your consciousness - you, as a Catholic, or Protestant, living in this western world with the search for more and more and more, the world of great pleasure, entertainment, wealth, incessant noise of the television, the brutality - all that is you, that's your content.
How is all that to be exposed? - and in the exposing of it, is each incident, each happening, each tradition, each hurt, each pain to be examined one by one? Or is it to be looked at totally? If it is to be examined bit by bit, one by one, you are entering into the world of analysis and there is no end to that, you will die analysing - and giving a great deal of money to those who analyse, if that's your pleasure.
Now we're going to find out how to look at these various fragments, which are the content of consciousness, totally - not analytically. We are going to find out how to observe without any analysis at all. That is, we have looked at everything - at the tree, at the cloud, at the wife and the husband, at the girl and the boy - as the observer and the observed. Please do give a little attention to this. You have observed your anger, your greed or your jealousy, whatever it is, as an observer looking at greed. The observer is greed, but you have separated the observer because your mind is conditioned to the analytical process; therefore you are always looking at the tree, at the cloud, at everything in life as an observer and the thing observed. Have you noticed it? You look at your wife through the image which you have of her; that image is the observer, it is the past, that image has been put together through time. And the observer is the time, is the past, is the accumulated knowledge of the various incidents, accidents, happenings, experiences and so on. That observer is the past, and he looks at the thing observed as though he were not of it, but separate from it.
Now can you look without the observer? Can you look at the tree without the past as the observer? That is, when there is the observer, then there is space between the observer and the observed - the tree. That space is time, because there is a distance. That time is the quality of the observer, who is the past, who is the accumulated knowledge, who says, "That is the tree", or "That is the image of my wife."
Can you look, not only at the tree, but at your wife or your husband, without the image? You know, this requires tremendous discipline. I am going to show you something: discipline generally implies conformity, drill, imitation, conflict between what is and what should be. And so in discipline there is conflict: suppressing, overcoming, the exercise of will and so on - all that is implied in that word. But that word means to learn - not to conform, not to suppress, but to learn. And the quality of the mind that learns has its own order which is discipline. We are learning now to observe, without the observer, without the past, without the image. When you so observe, the actual "what is", is a living thing, not a thing looked upon as dead, recognizable by the past event, by past knowledge.
Look, Sirs, let's make it much simpler than this. You say something to me which hurts me, and the pain of that hurt is recorded. The memory of that continues and when there is further pain, it is recorded again. So the hurt is being strengthened from childhood on. Whereas, if I observe it completely, when you say something which is painful to me, then it is not recorded as a hurt. The moment you record it as a hurt, that recording is continued and for the rest of your life you are being hurt, because you are adding to that hurt. Whereas to observe the pain completely without recording it, is to give your total attention at the moment of the pain. Are you doing all this?
Look, when you go out, when you walk in these streets, there are all kinds of noise, all kinds of shouting, vulgarity, brutality, this noise is pouring in. That is very destructive - the more sensitive you are the more destructive it becomes, it hurts your organism. You resist that hurt and therefore you build a wall. And when you build a wall you are isolating yourself. Therefore you are strengthening the isolation, by which you will get more and more hurt. Whereas if you are observing that noise, are attentive to that noise, then you will see that your organism is never hurt.
If you understand this one radical principle, you will have understood something immense: that where there is an observer separating himself from the thing he observes, there must be conflict. Do what you will, as long as there is a division between the observer and the observed, there must be conflict. As long as there is division between the Muslim and the Hindu, between the Catholic and the Protestant, between the Black and the White, there must be conflict; you may tolerate each other, which is an intellectual covering of intolerance.
As long as there is division between you and your wife, there must be conflict. This division exists fundamentally, basically, as long as there is the observer separate from the thing observed. As long as I say, "Anger is different from me, I must control anger, I must change, I must control my thoughts", in that there is division, therefore there is conflict. Conflict implies suppression, conformity, imitation, all that is involved in it. If you really see the beauty of this, that the observer is the observed, that the two are not separate, then you can observe the totality of consciousness without analysis. Then you see the whole content of it instantly.
The observer is the thinker. We have given such tremendous importance to the thinker, haven't we? We live by thought, we do things by thought, we plan our life by thought, our action is motivated by thought. And thought is worshipped throughout the world as the most extraordinarily important thing, which is part of the intellect.
And thought has separated itself as the thinker. The thinker says, "These thoughts are no good", "These are better", he says, "This ideal is better than that ideal", "This belief is better than that belief". It is all the product of thought - thought which has made itself separate, fragmented itself as the thinker, as the experiencer. Thought has separated itself as the higher self and the lower self - in India it is called the atman, the higher. Here you call it the soul, or this or that. But it is still thought in operation. That's clear, isn't it? I mean, this is logical, it is not irrational.
Now I am going to show you the irrationality of it. All our books, all our literature, everything is thought. And our relationship is based on thought - just think of it! My wife is the image which I have created by thinking. That thinking has been put together by nagging, by all the things which go on between husband and wife - pleasure, sex, the irritations, the exclusions, all the separative instincts that go on. Our thought is the result of our relationship. Now what is thought? You are asked that question, "What is thought?" Please don't repeat somebody else - find out for yourself. Surely thought is the response of memory, isn't it? - memory as knowledge, memory as experience which has been accumulated, stored up in the brain cells. So the brain cells themselves are the cells of memory. But if you did not think at all, you would be in a state of amnesia, you would not be able to get to your house.
Thought is the response of the accumulated memory as knowledge, as experience - whether it is yours, or the inherited, the communal experience and so on. So thought is the response of the past, which may project itself into the future, going through the present, modifying it as the future. But it is still the past. So thought is never free - how can it be? It can imagine what is freedom, it can idealize what freedom should be, create a Utopia of freedom. But thought itself, in itself, is of the past and therefore it is not free, it is always old. Please, it is not a question of your agreeing with the speaker, it is a fact. Thought organises our life, based on the past. That thought, based on the past, projects what should be tomorrow and so there is conflict.
From that arises a question, which is, for most of us, thought has given a great deal of pleasure. Pleasure is a guiding principle in our life. We are not saying that it is wrong or right, we are examining it. Pleasure is the thing that we want most. Here in this world and in the spiritual world, in heaven - if you have a heaven - we want pleasure in any form - religious entertainment, going to Mass, all the circus that goes on in the name of religion. And the pleasure of any incident, whether it is of a sunset, or sexual, or any sensory pleasure, is recorded and thought over. So thought as pleasure plays a tremendous part in our life. Something happened yesterday which was a most lovely thing, a most happy event, it is recorded; thought comes upon it, chews it and keeps on thinking about it and wants it repeated tomorrow, whether it be sexual or otherwise. So thought gives vitality to an incident that is over.
The very process of recording is knowledge, which is the past, and thought is the past. So thought, as pleasure, is sustained. If you have noticed, pleasure is always in the past; or the imagined pleasure of tomorrow is still the recollection projected into the future, from the past.
You can also observe that where there is pleasure and the pursuit of pleasure, there is also the nourishing of fear. Haven't you noticed it? Fear of the thing I have done yesterday, fear of the physical pain which I had a week ago; thinking about it sustains the fear. There is no ending of that pain when it's over. It is finished, but I carry it over by thinking about it.
So thought sustains and gives nourishment to pleasure as well as to fear. Thought is responsible for this. There is fear of the present, of the future, fear of death, fear of the unknown, fear of not fulfilling, fear of not being loved, wanting to be loved - there are so many fears, all created by the machinery of thought. So there is the rationality of thought and the irrationality of thought.
There must be the exercise of thought in doing things. Technologically, in the office, when you cook, when you wash dishes - knowledge must function perfectly. There is the rationality, the logic of thought in action, in doing. But also thought becomes totally irrational when it sustains pleasure or fear. And yet thought says, "I cannot let go of my pleasure; yet thought knows, if it is at all sensitive or aware, that there is pain coming with it.
So to be aware of all the machinery of thought, of the complicated, subtle movement of thought! This is really not at all difficult once you say, "I must find out a way of living that is totally different, a way of life in which there is no conflict." If that is your real, your insistent, passionate demand - as is your demand for pleasure - to live a life, inwardly and outwardly in which there is no conflict whatsoever - then you will see the possibility of it. Because, as we have explained, conflict exists only when there is division between "me" and "not me". Then if you see that, not verbally or intellectually - because that is not seeing - but when you actually realize that there is no division between the observer and the observed, between the thinker and the thought, then you see, then you observe actually "what is". And when you see actually "what is", you are already beyond it. You don't stay with "what is", you stay with "what is" only when the observer is different from the "what is". Are you getting this? So when there is this complete cessation of division between the observer and the observed, then "what is" is no longer what is. The mind has gone beyond it.
Questioner: How can I change this identification of the observer with the observed? I can't just agree with you and say "Yes, it's true", but have to do something about it.
Krishnamurti: Quite right. Sir, there is no identification at all. When you identify yourself with the observed, it is still the pattern of thought, isn't it?
Questioner: Precisely, but how do I get out of that?
Krishnamurti: You don't get out of it, I'll show it to you, Sir. Do you see the truth that the observer is the observed? - the fact of it, the logic of it. Do you see that? Or don't you?
Questioner: It is still only a comment which arises; the truth does not exist.
Krishnamurti: The fact does not exist?
Questioner: No, a comment of agreement arises.
Krishnamurti: But you see that fact, don't you? Don't agree or disagree, this is a very serious thing; I wish I could talk about meditation, but not now, for this is implied in it. Sir, see the importance of this. The truth is that "I am anger" - not "I" am different from anger. That is the truth, that is a fact, isn't it? I am anger; not "I" separate from anger. When I am jealous, I am jealousy; not "I" am different from jealousy. I make myself separate from jealousy because I want to do something about it, sustain it or get rid of it or rationalize it, whatever it is. But the fact is, the "me" is jealous, isn't it?
Now how am I to act when I am jealous, when "me" is jealousy? Before, I thought "I" could act when I separated myself from jealousy, I thought I could do something about it, suppress it, rationalize it, or run away from it - do various things. I thought I was doing something. Here, I feel I am not doing anything. That is, when I say "I am jealousy", I feel I can't move. Isn't that right, Sir?
Look at the two varieties of activity, at the action which takes place when you are different from jealousy, which is the non-ending of jealousy. You may run away from it, you may suppress it, you may transcend it, you may escape, but it will come back, it will be there always, because there is the division between you and jealousy. Now there is a totally different kind of action when there is no division, because in that the observer is the observed, he cannot do anything about it. Before, he was able to do something about it, now he feels he is powerless, he is frustrated, he can't do anything. If the observer is the observed, then there is no saying, "I can or can't do anything about it" - he is what he is. He is jealousy. Now, when he is jealousy, what takes place? Go on, Sir!
Questioner: He understands...
Krishnamurti: Do look at it, take time. When I think I am different from my jealousy, then I feel I can do something about it and in the doing of it there is conflict. Here on the other hand, when I realize the truth of it, that I am jealousy, that "I", the observer, am the observed, then what takes place?
Questioner: There is no conflict.
Krishnamurti: The element of conflict ceases. There conflict exists, here conflict does not exist. So conflict is jealousy. Have you got it? There has been complete action, an action in which there has been no effort at all, therefore it is complete, total, it will never come back.
Questioner: You said analysis is the deadly tool to thought or consciousness. I perfectly agree with you and you were about to say that you would develop the argument that there are fragments in the brain or in thought or in consciousness which will be anti-analysis. I should be grateful, Sir, if you would continue to develop that part of the argument.
Krishnamurti: Of what, Sir?
Questioner: You mentioned the fragments will not constitute any conflict or struggle, they will be anti-analytical.
Krishnamurti: I just explained, Sir, there must be fragmentation when there is the observer and the observed, as two different things. Sir, look, this is not an argument, there is nothing to develop. I have gone into it fairly thoroughly, we can spend of course lots more time, because the more deeply you go into it the more there is. We have broken up our life into many fragments, haven't we? - the scientist, the businessman, the artist, the housewife and so on. What is the basis, what is the root of this fragmentation? The root of this fragmentation is the observer being separate from the observed. He breaks up life: I am a Hindu and you are a Catholic, I am a Communist, you are a bourgeois. So there is this division going on all the time. And I say, "Why is there this division, what causes this division?" - not only in the external, economic, social structure, but much more deeply. This division is brought about by the "me" and the "not me" - the me that wants to be superior, famous, greater - whereas "you" are different.
So the "me" is the observer, the "me" is the past, which divides the present as the past and the future. So as long as there is the observer, the experiencer, the thinker, there must be division. Where the observer is the observed, conflict ceases and therefore jealousy ceases. Because jealousy is conflict, isn't it?
Questioner: Is jealousy human nature?
Krishnamurti: Is violence human nature? Is greed human nature?
Questioner: I wanted to ask you another question, if I may. Am I right or wrong, according to what you've been telling us, to say, as a man thinketh in his heart, so is he? So we must watch our thoughts and profit from experience.
Krishnamurti: That's just it. As you think, what you think, you are. You think you are greater than somebody else, that you are inferior to somebody else, that you are perfect, that you are beautiful or not beautiful, that you are angry - what you think you are. That's simple enough, isn't it? One has to find out whether it is possible to live a life where thought has its rational function, and see where thought becomes irrational. We'll go into that tomorrow.
Questioner: To continue with jealousy: when the jealousy is "me", and "me" is the jealousy, the conflict ends, because I know it's the jealousy and it disappears. But when I listen to the noises in the street and the "me" is the noise, and the noises are "me", how can conflict end when that noise will go on for ever.
Krishnamurti: It's fairly simple, Madam. I walk down the street and that noise is terrible. And when I say that noise is "me", the noise does not end, it goes on. Isn't that the question? But I don't say the noise is me, I don't say the cloud is me, or the tree is me, why should I say the noise is me? We pointed out just now, that if you observe, if you say, "I listen to that noise", listen completely, not with resistance, then that noise may go on for ever, it does not affect you. The moment you resist, you are separate from the noise - not identify yourself with the noise - I don't know if you see the difference. The noise goes on, I can cut myself off from it by resisting it, putting a wall between myself and that noise. Then what takes place, when I resist something? There is conflict, isn't there? Now can I listen to that noise without any resistance whatsoever?
Questioner: Yes, if you know that the noise might stop in an hour!
Krishnamurti: No that is still part of your resistance.
Questioner: That means that I can listen to the noise in the street for the rest of my life with the possibility I might become deaf.
Krishnamurti: No, listen, Madam, I am saying something entirely different. We are saying, as long as there is resistance, there must be conflict. Whether I resist my wife, or my husband, whether I resist the noise of a dog barking, or the noise in the street, there must be conflict. Now, how is one to listen to the noise without conflict - not whether it will go on indefinitely, or hoping it will come to an end - but how to listen to the noise without any conflict? That is what we are talking about. You can listen to the noise when the mind is completely free of any form of resistance - not only to that noise, but to everything in life - to your husband, to your wife, to your children, to the politician. Therefore what takes place? Your listening becomes much more acute, you become much more sensitive, and therefore noise is only a part, it isn't the whole world. The very act of listening is more important than the noise, so listening becomes the important thing and not the noise.