Awakening of Intelligence
3rd Public Talk Madras
14th January 1968
ONE CAN GO on endlessly reading, discussing, piling up words upon words, without ever doing anything about it. It is like a man that is always ploughing, never sowing, and therefore never reaping. Most of us are in that position. And words, ideas, theories, have become much more important than actual living, which is acting, doing. I do not know if you have ever wondered why, throughout the world, ideas, formulas, concepts, have tremendous significance, not only scientifically but also theologically. I wonder why? Is it an escape from actuality, from daily, monotonous life? Or, is it that we think ideas and theories will help us to live more - will give us greater vision, greater depth to life? Because we say that without ideas, without having a significance, an objective in life, life is very shallow, empty and has no meaning at all. That may be one of the reasons. Or, is it because we find living, the daily grind, the routine, the boredom, lacking in a quality of sensitivity that we hope to derive from ideation?
Life as we live it is obviously very brutal, and makes us insensitive, dull, heavy, stupid, and so we may hope through ideas, through ideational mentation, to bring about a certain quality of sensitivity. Because we notice that our life inevitably is a repetitive affair (sex, office, eating, the endless chatter about things that really don't matter, the constant friction in relationship), all this does make for crudeness, for brutality, for hardness. And being aware of that (perhaps not consciously but deep down), one may think that ideas, ideals, theories about God, the hereafter, may give a quality of refinement, may perhaps bring to this dull, aching life, a meaning, a significance, a purpose; perhaps we think it may polish our minds, give them sharpness, give them a quality that the ordinary daily worker in the field or in the factory does not have. So perhaps that is one of the reasons why we indulge in this peculiar game. But even when we are sharpened and quickened intellectually by argument, by discussion, by reading, this does not actually bring about that quality of sensitivity. And you know all those people who are erudite, who read, who theorize, who can discuss brilliantly, are extraordinarily dull people.
So I think sensitivity, which destroys mediocrity, is very important to understand. Because most of us are becoming, I am afraid, more and more mediocre. We are not using that word in any derogative sense at all, but merely observing the fact of mediocrity in the sense of being average, fairly well educated, earning a livelihood and perhaps capable of clever discussion; but this leaves us still bourgeois, mediocre, not only in our attitudes but in our activities. And maturity does not bring about a mutation, a change, a revolution in mediocrity (this can be observed very clearly), although one may have an old body, mediocrity in different forms continues.
Perhaps we could go into this question of sensitivity (not mere physical refinement, which is obviously necessary), but into the question of sensitivity, the highest form of sensitivity which is the highest intelligence; without being sensitive you are not intelligent. To listen to that crow, to be aware of it, to feel its movement, to have no space between that and yourself (which doesn't mean identity with the crow, as this would be too absurd), but that quality of a mind that is highly sharpened, attentive, in which the observer, which is the centre, the censor, with his accumulated memories and tradition, is not. It is after all a question of constant habit, the way we think, the food that we eat, the way we choose our friends, who obviously are our friends because they don't contradict, they don't disturb us too much. So life becomes not only repetitive but also habitual, routine. So sensitivity needs attention.
You know concentration is a most deadly thing. You accept it, do you? I am saying, the speaker is saying something totally contradictory to what you all feel is necessary. So don't accept it, nor deny it, but look at it. Feel your way into what is true and what is false. What the speaker is saying may be utterly stupid and nonsensical, or it may be true. But to accept or to deny makes you remain as you are, dull, heavy, habit-ridden, insensitive. But in what we are going to say in a moment and even now, do not accept or compare with what you already know or what you have been told or read, but listen in order to find out for yourself what is true. And to give attention, to listen, you have to give your total attention. You cannot give your total attention if you are merely learning to concentrate, or if you are trying to concentrate on a few words, or on the meaning of words, or what you have already heard. But give your attention, and this means listening without any barrier, without any interference or comparison, or condemnation; that is giving total attention; then you will find out for yourself what is true or false without being told. But this is one of the most difficult things to do - to give attention. Attention does not demand any quality of will or desire. We function within the pattern of desire, which is will. That is, we say, "I will pay attention, I will try to listen without the barriers, without all the screens between the speaker and myself." But the exercise of will is not attention.
Will is the most destructive thing that man has cultivated. Do you again accept that? To accept, or to deny, is not to find the truth of it; but to find the truth of it you have to give attention to it, to what the speaker is saying. Will is, after all, the culmination of desire - I want something, I desire something, I want it and I pursue it. The desire may be a very thin thread, but it is strengthened by constant repetition, and this becomes the will - "I will" and "I will not". And on that assertive level (which can also be negative), we function, we operate and we approach life. "I will succeed, I will become, I will be noble" - all very strong desires. And we are now saying that to be attentive has nothing whatsoever to do with desire or will.
Then, how is one to be attentive? Please follow this. Knowing one is not attentive (knowing one has a certain amount of concentration, which is an exercise of will which excludes and resists, knowing that any form of effort, which again is will, is not attention), how is one to attend? Because if you can give total attention to everything that you do (and you therefore do very little), what you do, you do completely with your heart, with your mind, with your nerves, with everything you have. And how is this attention to come about, naturally, without any effort, with no exercise of the will, without using attention as a means to something else? I hope you are following all this. You know, you are going to find it awfully difficult if you don't follow this step by step, as you are probably not used to it; you are used to being told what to do, which you do repetitively, and you think you have understood it. But what we are trying to say is something entirely different.
This attention then comes about naturally, easily, when you know you are inattentive - right? When you are aware that you are inattentive, not giving attention, being aware of that fact is being attentive, and you have nothing else to do. Do you understand? Through negation you come to the positive, but not through the pursuit of the positive. When you do things without this action you do things in a state of inattention, and to be aware of action in a state of inattention, is attention. This makes the mind very subtle, makes the mind tremendously alert, because then there is no wastage of energy. Whereas the exercise of will is wastage of energy, just as concentration is.
We said that this attention is necessary - don't say, "Define what you mean by attention", you might just as well look it up in a dictionary. We are not going to define it, what we are trying to do is, by denying what is not, to come upon it by yourself. We are saying, this attention is necessary for sensitivity, which is intelligence at the deeper level. Again, these words are difficult because there is no measurement - when you say, "deeper", "more", you are comparing, and comparison is a waste of energy. So, if that is understood, we can use words to convey a meaning which is not comparative but actual.
This sensitivity implies intelligence and we need great intelligence to live, to live our daily life, because it is only intelligence that can possibly bring about a total revolution in our psyche, in the very core of our being. And such a mutation is necessary, because man has lived for millions of years in agony, in despair, always battling with himself and with the world. He has invented a peace which is not peace at all; such peace is between two wars, between two conflicts. And as society is getting more and more complex, disorderly, competitive, there must be radical change, not in society, but in the human being who has created society. The human being, as he is, is a very disorderly person, he is very confused; he believes, he doesn't believe, he has theories and so on and so on; he lives in a state of contradiction. And he has built a society, a culture which is contradictory, with its rich and its poor. There is disorder, not only in our life, but also outwardly in society. And order is completely necessary. You know what is happening in the world - here in India - look at it! What is happening? Colleges are closed, a whole generation of young people is without education; they will be destroyed by politicians quarrelling over some silly division of language. Then there is the Vietnamese war in which human beings are being destroyed for an idea. There are the racial riots in America, terribly destructive things. And in China there is civil war; in Russia, tyranny, suppression of freedom, at best slow liberalisation - there is division between nationalities, separation due to religions, all of which indicate complete disorder. And this disorder is brought about by each one of us; we are responsible. Do please see the responsibility of it. The older generation has made a mess of the world, you have made a terrible mess of the world with your pujas, your gurus, with your gods, with your nationalities, because you are only concerned with earning a livelihood and cultivating part of the brain, the rest you neglect, you discard. Each human being is responsible for this disorder within himself and in the society in which he lives; Communism and other forms of tyranny are not going to bring order, on the contrary they are going to bring about more disorder, because man needs to be free.
So there is disorder. And order is necessary, otherwise there can be no peace at all. And it is only in peace, in quietness, in beauty, that goodness can flower. Order is virtue, not the cultivated virtue of a cunning mind. Order is virtue, and order is a living thing, just as virtue is a living thing. So virtue cannot be practised as things are. We are going to go into this, listen to it. You cannot practise it any more than you can practise humility, or have a method to find out what love is.
So order in this sense has the same pattern as mathematics; in the highest mathematics is the highest order, absolute order. And that absolute order, one must have it in oneself. And as virtue cannot be cultivated, put together, so order cannot be engendered, put together by the mind; but what the mind can do is to find out what disorder is. You are following this? You know what is disorder - living in the way we live is total disorder. As things are, each man is out for himself, there is no co-operation, there is no love, there is complete callousness as to what happens in Vietnam or in China, or at your next door neighbour's. Be aware of this disorder, and out of the understanding of this disorder understand how it has come about, the cause of it, so that when you understand the causes, the forces that are at work bringing about this disorder, understand it truly, not merely intellectually; then out of that understanding will come order. Now let us try to understand disorder, which is our daily life, understand it, not intellectually or verbally, but observe it, how one has been separated from others by being a Hindu, a Muslim, a Christian (the Christian with his god, with his ideals and the Hindu with his ideals, the Muslim with his own ideals peculiar to him, and so on), observe it, come closely into contact with it, do not have prejudices, otherwise you cannot come directly into contact with another human being.
So, out of disorder comes order, and it comes about naturally, freely, easily, with great beauty and vitality, when you are directly in contact with disorder in yourself. You are not in contact with this disorder directly, with yourself, if you do not know how to look at yourself. How to see yourself (we have gone into this question of seeing), how to look at a tree, a flower - because as we said the other day, the act of seeing is the act of love? The act of seeing is action. We will go into this a little bit because this is really very important.
When you give your attention completely, that is, with your mind, with your eyes, with your heart, with your nerves - when you give complete attention, you will find there is no centre at all, there is no observer and therefore there is no division between the observed and the observer, and you eradicate conflict totally, this conflict brought about by separation, by division. It only seems difficult because you are not used to this way of looking at life. It is really quite simple. It is really very simple if you know how to look at a tree, if you know how to see anew the tree, your wife, your husband, your neighbour, if you look anew at the sky with its stars, with its silent depth - look, see and listen, then you have solved the whole problem of understanding, because then there is no "understanding" at all, then there is only a state of mind that has no division, and therefore no conflict.
To come upon this naturally, easily, fully, there must be attention. This attention can only come about easily when you know how to look, how to listen - how to look at a tree, or your wife, or your neighbour, or at the stars, or even at your boss, without any image. The image is, after all, the past - the past, which has been accumulated through experience, pleasant or unpleasant; and with that image you look at your wife, your children, your neighbour, the world; you look with that image at nature. So what is in contact is your memory, the image which has been put together by memory. And that image looks and therefore there is no direct contact. You know when you have pain there is no image, there is only pain, and therefore there is immediate action. You may postpone going to the doctor, but action is involved. In the same way when you look and listen, you know the beauty of immediate action in which there is no conflict whatsoever. That is why it is important to know the art of looking, which is very simple - to look with complete attention, with your heart and with your mind. And attention means love, because you cannot look at that sky and be extraordinarily sensitive if there is a division between yourself and the beauty of that sunset.
This order can only come about when we see, that is actually come into contact with disorder, which is in ourselves, which is us. We are not in disorder - "we" is a state of disorder. Now when you look at yourself without any image about yourself, actually at what you are (not what Shankara, Buddha, Freud, Jung, or X Y Z says, because then you are looking at yourself according to their image), you look at the disorder in yourself, the anger, the brutality, the violence, the stupidity, the indifference, the callousness, the constant drive of ambition with its peculiar cruelty - if you can be aware of that without any image, without any word, and look at it, then you are directly in contact with it. And when there is direct contact there is immediate action. There is immediate action when you have intense pain, and when there is great danger there is instant action. And this instant action is life, not the thing that we have hitherto called life, which is a battlefield, an agony in that battlefield, despair, hidden wants and so on; that is what we have called life. Please do observe this in yourself. Use the speaker as a mirror in which you see yourself now. What the speaker is saying is merely exposing yourself to yourself. And therefore look at this, listen to it and become completely in contact with it, be totally with it, and, if you are, you will see that there is immediate action.
The past is then destroyed. You know the past is the unconscious. You know what the unconscious is? Don't go back to Freud, Jung or all the rest of those people, but look at it for yourself and find out, not through empiricism, but actually observe it. The past in you is your tradition, the books that you have read, the racial inheritance as the Hindu, Buddhist, Muslim, Christian, and all the rest of it, and the culture in which you have lived, the temples, the beliefs that have been handed down from generation to generation. This constitutes the propaganda to which you have been subjected, your propaganda; you are slaves to the propaganda of five thousand years. And the Christian is a slave to propaganda of two thousand years. He believes in Jesus Christ and you believe in Krishna, or whatever you do believe in, as the Communist believes in something else. We are the result of propaganda. Do you realize what it means? - words, the influence of others; so there is nothing whatsoever original. And to find out the origin of anything we must have order. Order that can only come about when there is the cessation of total disorder in oneself. Because all of us, at least those who are a little serious and thoughtful and earnest, must have asked whether there is anything sacred at all, anything holy. Of course the answer is that the temple, the mosque, or the church is not holy, is not sacred, nor the images therein.
I do not know if you have experimented with yourself. Take a piece of stick, put it on the mantelpiece and every day put a flower in front of it - give it a flower - put in front of it a flower and repeat some words - "Coca-cola", "Amen", "Om", it doesn't matter what word - any word you like - listen, don't laugh it off - do it and you will find out. If you do it, after a month you will see how holy it has become. You have identified yourself with that stick, with that piece of stone or with that piece of idea and you have made it into something sacred, holy. But it is not. You have given it a sense of holiness out of your fear, out of the constant habit of this tradition, giving yourself over, surrendering yourself to something, which you consider holy. The image in the temple is no more holy than a piece of rock by the roadside. So it is very important to find out what is really sacred, what is really holy, if there is such a thing at all.
You know, man has spoken of this throughout the centuries, seeking something that is imperishable, that is not created by the mind, that is holy in itself, something that is never touched by the past. Man is always seeking that. And man, seeking that, not finding it, has invented religion, organized belief. A serious man has to find out, not through some rock, temple or idea, but he has to find what is really, truly, everlastingly sacred. If you cannot find it, you will always be cruel, you will always be in conflict. And if you will, this evening, listen, perhaps you may come upon it, not through the speaker, not through his words, not through his statements, but you may come upon it when there is discipline through the understanding of disorder. When you watch, see what is disorder; the very seeing of disorder demands attention. Please do follow this. You know, for most of us, discipline is a drill, as it is for the soldier, drill, drill from morning until night so that there is nothing but slavery to a habit. And that is what we call discipline; suppression, control - that is deadly, that is not discipline at all. Discipline is a living thing, it has its own beauty, its own freedom. And this discipline comes naturally, when you know how to look at a tree, how to look at the face of your wife, your husband, when you can see the beauty of a tree or a sunset. To see, to look at that sky, the glow of it, the beauty of the leaves against that glow, the orange colour, the depth of that colour, the swiftness of that colour-see it! To see it you must give your whole attention to it. And to give your whole attention has its own discipline, you don't want any other discipline. So that thing that attention is a living thing, moving and vital.
This attention itself is virtue. You need no other ethical standard, no morality (anyhow you have no morality, except on the one hand the morality that the society which you have built tells you, and on the other hand what you want to do, and neither has anything whatsoever to do with virtue). Virtue is beauty and beauty is love, and without love you have no virtue and therefore no order. So again, if you have done it now, as the speaker is talking about it, looking at that sky with your whole being, that very act of looking has its own discipline and therefore its own virtue, its own order. Then the mind reaches the highest point of absolute order and therefore because it is absolutely orderly, it itself becomes the sacred. I do not know if you understand this. You know, when you love the tree, the bird, the light on the water, when you love your neighbour, your wife, your husband, without jealousy, that love that has never been touched by hate, when there is that love, that love itself is sacred, you have no other thing that can be more so.
So there is that sacred thing, not in the things that man has put together, but which comes into being when man cuts himself off entirely from the past, which is memory. This does not mean that man becomes absent-minded, he must have memory in a certain direction, but that memory will be found to be part of this whole state in which there is no relation with the past. And that cessation of the past can only be when you see things as they are and come directly in contact with them - as with that marvellous sunset. Then out of this order, discipline, virtue, there comes into being love. Love is tremendously passionate and therefore it acts immediately. It has no time interval between the seeing and the doing. And when you have that love you can put away all your sacred books, all your gods. And you have to put away your sacred books, your gods, your everyday ambitions, to come upon that love. That is the only sacred thing there is. And to come upon it, goodness must flower. Goodness - you understand, Sirs? - goodness can only flower in freedom, not in tradition. The world needs change, you need tremendous revolution in yourself; the world needs this tremendous revolution (not economic, Communist, bloody revolution that man has tried throughout history, that has only led him to more misery). But we do need fundamental, psychological, revolution, and this revolution is order. And order is peace; and this order, with its virtue and peace, can only come about when you come directly into contact with disorder in your daily life. Then out of that blossoms goodness and then there will be no seeking any more. For that which is, is sacred.
Public Dialogues Madras 1968
1st Public Dialogue Madras
2nd January 1968
Krishnamurti: I think that these should not really be called "Discussions", but rather conversations between two people or between many of us - conversations about serious matters in which most of us are not merely interested but seriously concerned with deep intention to understand the problems involved. And so the conversations become not only objective but also very intimate. It is like two people talking things over together amicably, easily - exposing themselves to each other. Otherwise I do not see the point of such conversations. What we are trying to do, aren't we, is to understand (not intellectually or verbally or theoretically but actually) what are the imperative necessities in life, and in what way one can resolve the deep fundamental problems that every human being is concerned with. So is that very clear - that we are conversing together as two friends making themselves known to each other, not merely dialectically giving their opinions, but actually investigating, thinking over their problems together? Now if that is clear, what shall we talk about together?
Questioner: The other day you were talking about the observer and the observed, and resolving the conflict between...
Krishnamurti: Is that what you want to discuss? Please Sir, let us all find out what each one of us wants to discuss and then put it all together and see what happens.
Questioner: Why do you say that studying Indian culture and art and Indian philosophies is violence?
Questioner: What are the steps to take to uncondition ourselves?
Questioner: The mind produces images, but what is seen by the mind is not true.
Krishnamurti: Is that what we are all concerned about in our daily life? Sirs, are we reducing, this morning, this gathering to a mere intellectual, verbal exchange of ideas?
Questioner: What is meant by clear thinking?
Questioner: What is the "actual"...
Questioner: Do you suggest that violence and non-violence are two extremes?
Questioner: Can we not guide our lives by certain principles?
Krishnamurti: Haven't we got enough questions? What do you think, Sirs, is the most important question of all these?
Questioner: What is it to pay attention?
Krishnamurti: Sirs, what do you think is the most important thing to discuss? Can we take this question of observation and thinking? Shall we? That is - what is it to observe, to listen, and who is it that listens, who is it that thinks? We shall relate it to daily living and not to some abstract concepts, because this country - like every other country in the world - functions at the conceptual level, except technologically. What do we mean by seeing? What do you think?
Questioner: Observing a little more attentively.
Krishnamurti: Why do you say "a little more"? Sir, when we use the words "I see a tree", "I see you", "I see or understand what you are saying" - what do we mean by the word "seeing"? Let us go slowly if you do not mind - step by step. When you see a tree, what do you mean by that?
Questioner: We only look superficially.
Krishnamurti: What do you mean by "superficially" looking at it? When you see a tree, what do you mean by "seeing"? Do please stick to that one word.
Questioner: Catching a glimpse of it.
Krishnamurti: First of all, Sirs, have you looked at a tree? If you have looked, what do you see through your "seeing" eyes, the image of the tree or the tree?
Questioner: The image of the tree.
Krishnamurti: Do be careful, please, Sirs. Do you see the image in the sense of the mental construction or the concept of that tree, or do you actually see the tree?
Questioner: The physical existence of the tree.
Krishnamurti: Do you actually see that? Sirs, there is a tree... You must be able to see a tree or a leaf out of that window as I see it. When you see it what do you actually see? Do you see only the image of that tree or do you actually see the tree itself, without the image?
Questioner: We see the tree itself.
Questioner: We come to understand it.
Krishnamurti: Before we come to understand it, when I say "I see a tree" do I actually see the tree or the image I have about that tree? When you look at your wife or your husband, do you see her or him or the image you have about him or her? (Pause) When you look at your wife you see her through your memories, through your experience of her and her ways, and through those images you see her. And do we do the same with regard to the tree?
Questioner: When I look at a tree I just see a tree.
Krishnamurti: Ah, you are not a botanist, you are a lawyer and therefore you look at that tree actually as a tree, but if you were a botanist, if you were really interested in the tree, how it grows, what it is like, the aliveness, the quality of it, then you would have images, you would have pictures, you would compare it with other trees, and so on. You are looking at it aren't you, with a comparative look, with botanical knowledge, seeing whether you like it or not, whether it gives shade or not, `whether it is beautiful or not, and so on and so on. So, when you have all those images, associations, memories with regard to that tree, are you then actually looking at that tree? Are you directly looking at that tree or have you a screen between that tree and the visual perception of it?
Questioner: I tell myself what kind of a tree it is.
Krishnamurti: As a symbol. So you do not actually look at that tree. But this is simple, isn't it?
Questioner: A tree is a tree.
Krishnamurti: The "tree", Sirs, I see is rather difficult. Let us look at it differently. Do you look at your wife or your husband through the image you have built about her or him? Or your friend? You have created an impression, and the impression has left an image, an idea, a memory, isn't that so?
Questioner: My impressions of my wife have accumulated...
Krishnamurti: Yes, they have solidified, thickened, grown solid. So when you look at your wife or husband you are looking at him or her through the image you have built. Right. This is simple, isn't it? This is what we are all doing. Now, are we really looking at her or at the symbol, the memories? - is this the screen through which we look?
Questioner: How can we prevent that?
Krishnamurti: It is not a question of preventing. Let us see first what is actually taking place.
Questioner: When you look for the first time at a woman or a man you have no previous impression.
Krishnamurti: Naturally not.
Questioner: Are we not then looking at the woman or the man?
Krishnamurti: Of course you are. Why do you make it into such an abstraction? What actually takes place in daily life? You are married, or you live with a person, there is sex, pleasure, pain, insults, annoyance, boredom, indifference, nagging, bullying, domination, obeying and all the rest of it - all that has created an image in you about the other person and through that image you look at each other. Right? So are we looking at the woman or at the man, or are the images looking at each other?
Questioner: The image is the person.
Krishnamurti: No, no. There is a vast difference between them. Is there not a difference?
Questioner: We don't know any other way.
Krishnamurti: That is the only method of seeing you know.
Questioner: We alter our impression...
Krishnamurti: It is all part of that image, Sir - adding and subtracting. Look, Sir. Have you an image of the speaker? You have an image of the speaker and the image is based on his reputation, on what he has said previously, on what he condemns or what he approves, and so on. You have built an image. And through that image you listen or look. Right? That image either increases or decreases according to your pleasure or pain. And that image is obviously interpreting what the speaker is saying.
Questioner: We feel a strong impulse to come to your talks...
Krishnamurti: No, no, Sir. You may like my "blue eyes" or something! All that is included, Sir. The stimulation, the inspiration, the drive - you can add lots of things to that image!
Questioner: We don't know of any other way of looking.
Krishnamurti: We are going to find out, Sir. We not only look at people or trees in that way, but also we look at concepts, don't we - at the Communist ideology, the Socialist ideology, and so on. We look at everything through concepts. Right? Concepts, beliefs, ideas, knowledge or experience, or what appeals to us. Communism appeals to one person and does not appeal to the other; one person believes in God and another does not believe in God. These are all concepts, Utopias, and on that level we live. Now, are they of any value? Being on an abstract level, conceptual, have they any value? Have they any significance in daily life? Life means living: living means relationship; relationship means contact; contact means co-operation. Have concepts of any kind any significance, in that sense, in relationship? But the only relationship we have is conceptual. Right?
Questioner: Then we have to find a right relationship.
Krishnamurti: No, it is not a question of right relationship, Sir. We are just examining. Do please understand this, Sirs. Let us go into it slowly. Don't let us jump. We live in concepts, our life is conceptual. We know what we mean by "conceptual" so we do not have to analyse that word. And so there is an actual daily living and a conceptual living. Or, is all living conceptual? Do I live according to my concepts? One person believes, let us suppose, that one must be non-violent.
Questioner: I have not met anyone who actually believes in violence.
Krishnamurti: All right, Sir. My question is: Is all living conceptual?
Questioner: The building of a concept is due to habit and becomes a habit.
Krishnamurti: Perhaps we shall be able to come to that question later, if we can tackle this problem first. Our question is: Is all my living conceptual?
Questioner: Is there no such thing as spontaneous living?
Krishnamurti: There is conceptual living and spontaneous living, but do I know what spontaneous living is when I am so conditioned, when I have inherited so many traditions? - is there and spontaneity left? Whether you have one concept or a dozen, it is still a question of concepts. Please Sirs, do hold to this for a minute. Is all life, all living, all relationship merely conceptual?
Questioner: How can that be?
Krishnamurti: Have you not an idea, Sir, that you should live this way and not that way? Therefore when you say "I must do this and I must not do that" - it is conceptual. So, is all living conceptual or is there a difference between non-conceptual living and conceptual living - and hence a conflict between the two?
Questioner: I would say that we have a concept, but after experience the concept is modified.
Krishnamurti: Yes Sir, Concepts are modified, obviously - modified, changed a little; but is conceptual living different from daily living or...
Questioner: It is different.
Krishnamurti: Wait Sir, wait Sir! I want to analyse this a little more. Is conceptual living different from daily living, or is there a gap between the two? I say there is a gap. What is this gap? Why should there be a gap?
Krishnamurti: That's it. My concept is different from the actuality that is taking place now. Right? So there is an interval, a gap between what is, and what should be, or the concept. I am still sticking to the word "concept".
Questioner: When you talk about "the actuality", that, to me, is the concept.
Krishnamurti: No Sir. When you have toothache it is not a concept. When I have toothache it is not a concept. It is an actuality. When I am hungry, it is not a concept. When I have sexual desire, it is not a concept. But the next moment I say "No, I must not" or "I must", "It is evil", or "It is good". So there is a division between the actual, and what is, and the conceptual. So there is a duality. Right?
Questioner: If I am hungry it is not just a concept.
Krishnamurti: That is what we are saying, Sir. The primary urges, hunger, sex and so on, are actual, but we also have concepts about them. Concepts of class division, and so on. So, we are trying to find out why this gap exists and if it is possible to live without this gap, to live only with what is. Right? That is what we are trying to find out.
Questioner: Animals just eat when they are hungry.
Krishnamurti: But you and I are not animals. We may be at moments, but actually, now, we are not animals. So do not let us go back to animals, babies and previous generations; let us stick to ourselves. So there is the actual moment of living and the ideational, conceptual, non-factual living. Right Sirs? I believe in something, but that belief has nothing to do with the actuality, though the actuality may have produced the belief; the actual is not related to that belief. "I believe in universal brotherhood." God knows who can believe it, but I say, "I believe in universal brotherhood" - but actually I am competing with you. So the actuality of competition with you is entirely different from the conceptual.
Krishnamurti: We have made it fairly clear up to now. The actual is, "what is" - the factual. There is hunger in this country, poverty, overpopulation, corruption, inefficiency, brutality, and all the rest of it. That is the fact, but the ideation is that we should not be that. Right? In our daily life the "actual", the "what is", the "factual" is something entirely different from the real fact; it is the conceptual. Right?
Questioner: But what you call the actual is just another concept, surely.
Krishnamurti: No. I am hungry - that is not a concept, I am hungry. It is not born out of a memory of yesterday's hunger. If it is born out of yesterday's hunger it is not actual. Take sex - you do not mind my talking about sex do you? We all... but never mind. (Laughter) The sexual urge may or may not be there, but it is stimulated into being by the image which is fictional, not actual. So I am asking why do we have the conceptual at all?
Questioner: Perhaps it is...
Krishnamurti: No, no, Sir. Don t just answer me but find out if you have a concept at all. Why do I have a concept at all?
Questioner: There are some things like anger which are psychological...
Krishnamurti: All that is related, Sir. When I am angry, when there is irritation - it is a fact. It is there. But the moment I say, "It must not be there" it becomes conceptual. If you say "Well, the Indian starvation can only be solved by a particular political party," then it is conceptual - then you are not dealing with the fact. The Communist, the Socialist, the Congressman - whatever the parties are, they all think they will solve the problem of starvation if you follow their method - which is sheer nonsense, of course. Starvation is the fact and the conceptual is the idea, the method, the system. So I am asking myself, why do I have concepts at all? (Don't answer me, Sirs. Ask yourself that question.) Why do you believe in the Masters, the Gurus, in God, in the perfect state? Why?
Questioner: I wonder if...
Krishnamurti: Listen to what the first gentleman says. He says that by having a concept I reform myself. Everybody thinks that, not only you. By having an ideal, a goal, a principle, a hero, and so on, you think you will be helped to improve yourself. Now, what does this do actually, does it improve you or does it create conflict, conflict between what is and what should be?
Questioner: We are afraid, and therefore we retreat into these concepts.
Krishnamurti: All right. Now, can we live without concepts? Please let us go on, step by step. Can you live without a belief - follow this slowly - without a concept, without hope or despair?
Questioner: Surely we must have some beliefs...
Krishnamurti: Go into it, find out. Find out why you have concepts, first. Is it because you are afraid?
Questioner: One has to battle with others for the primary needs of life.
Krishnamurti: You say one has to battle.
Krishnamurti: You haven't answered the other gentleman's question. You have no respect for each other in this questioning! Let us find out what the other chap wants. You know there are two theories about this, one concerns "the survival of the fittest", which implies everlasting battle, wars, the superior race, the perfect concept, and so on. Then there is the other, that through violence there can be no change at all - in the most fundamental sense of that word. I do not know why you have any belief about this, one way or the other. The actual fact is that to survive at all in the world you have to battle, either very cunningly, cleverly, brutally or very subtly exploiting people in a nice gentle way. That is the fact. And why do we have a concept about it or about anything else?
Krishnamurti: (Wait, wait Sir. Go slowly. You are much too quick. Go slowly.) First there is, as one observes in one's daily life, the non-conceptual and the conceptual, and I ask myself - and I hope you are asking yourself too - why do I have concepts at all - belief that Communism or Capitalism is the most wonderful way of life? Why? Or the concept that there is God or there is no God. Why do we have concepts at all, including concepts of Rama and Sita?
Questioner: Without concepts we would be in a state of vacuum.
Krishnamurti: Have you found that out? Is that a fact? Is that so? You are really not being very serious in going into this question. You have to be very precise and very clear, and not just jump from one concept to another. You are not answering the question. Why do you have, if you do have, any concept at all? You want to escape from the actual, from the "what is", don't you? (That is what that gentleman says, Sir... Let us understand that question first. "To escape from what is.") Why do you want to escape from what is? You would not want to escape from what is if it were pleasurable. You only want to escape from what is when it is painful.
Questioner: We do not exactly know "what is", and we are trying to understand.
Krishnamurti: Don t you know what is? And what do you mean by trying? Don't you have stomach ache? Don't you get angry? Aren't you frightened, aren't you miserable, aren't you confused? Those are actual facts, Sir, there is nothing that requires you "to try" about them. Do consider all this, Sirs. If it were only a case of pleasure we would not have concepts at all. We would just say "Give me everything that will give me pleasure and don't bother about anything else." But if it is painful we want to escape from what is, into a concept. This is our daily life, Sirs. There is nothing to argue about. So your Gods, your beliefs, your ideals, principles are an escape from the daily misery, daily fears, daily anxieties. So, to understand something, cannot we ask: "Are concepts necessary?" You understand, Sir? I am afraid, and I see the absurdity of escaping from that into something which is a concept, a belief in the Masters, in God, in the Hereafter, into leading a perfect life - you know, all that stuff. Why can't I look at that fear? Why do I have to have concepts at all? And do not concepts prevent me from looking at that fear? Right Sirs? So concepts are a barrier; they act as a barrier which prevents you from looking.
Questioner: Please clarify what you have said.
Krishnamurti: Clarify what?
Questioner: Please make a clearer analysis.
Krishnamurti: A clearer analysis? Perhaps you would do it yourself, Sir.
Questioner: You do it better than I.
Krishnamurti: What does it matter, who does it better or worse? What is important is whether we understand this thing clearly. It is fairly simple, Sirs. My life is very dull. I live in a shoddy little house with an ugly little wife and I am miserable, anxious, and I want satisfaction, I want happiness, I want a glimpse, a moment of inexpressible bliss, and so I escape to something which I can call X. That is the whole principle, isn't it? That does not need further explanation, does it? And I live there, in an ideological world, a world which I have conceived, or inherited, or been told about. And thinking and living in that abstraction gives me a great delight. It is an escape from the actual daily boredom of life. Right? Then I say to myself, "Why do I have to escape?" Why can't I live and understand this terrible boredom? Why do I waste my energies in escaping?..
You are all silent about this!
Questioner: You are conceiving a different form of existence from anything we know.
Krishnamurti: I am not conceiving anything. I say, look. And I am looking at this fact that I have escaped, that I am escaping, and I see how absurd it is. I have to deal with what is, and to deal with what is I need energy. Therefore I will not escape. Escape is a waste of energy. So, I will have nothing whatsoever to do with beliefs, Gods, concepts. I will have no concept at all. (Of course not, Sir, of course not.) If you burn your finger, and the pain creates a concept that you must never put your finger in the fire, then that concept has value, doesn't it? You have also had wars, thousands of wars. Why haven't you learnt from that not to have any more wars? (Come off it, Sir. You know very well what I mean.) We don't have to analyse all this every step as we go along. I burn my finger, and I say to myself I must be careful hereafter. Or, you tread on my toe, both metaphorically and physically, and I get angry physically, and I boil inwardly. I have learnt something from that, and I say, "I must not", or "I must". (It is the same thing. Avoid, build a resistance. I understand those things very clearly. They are necessary.)
Questioner: When someone makes me angry I remember it and when I meet him next time I am ready for him.
Krishnamurti: That's it, Sir! That's just it! Can I meet him without the concept next time? He might have changed, but if I meet him with my concept, that he has trodden on my toe, I have no relationship with him. Therefore, is it possible, though you have had some sort of experience, is it possible to be without the concept? So we must come back to the question - "Is it possible to live in this world without any concept?"
Questioner: I don't think so.
Krishnamurti: Do not let us say it is possible or it is not possible. Let us find out. You have separated yourselves from others, Sirs, as Hindus. This is a concept. (Yes, you are! My God, you are.) Would you marry your daughter to a Muslim? Let us be clear. I am taking an instance, Sir. You hurt me, and that hurt remains in my memory. I try to avoid you if I can. But unfortunately as you live in the same house or the same street I have to meet you every day. And I have an image, the crystallized image, thickened memory, which is meeting you every day. Hence there is a battle going on between us two. And so I say to myself, is it possible to live without that image, so that I really meet you? You might have changed or you might not have changed, but I will not have the image. Can I not find out how to live without the image, so that my mind is not cluttered up with images? Do you follow, Sirs. So that my mind is free, free to look, to enjoy, to live.
Questioner: That's an idea.
Krishnamurti: Oh no! To you it is an idea, but not to me. I say, "He has hurt me, but why should I carry on that burden?"
Questioner: I just take care next time.
Krishnamurti: Yes, but I won't keep on repeating, "I must be careful", which only thickens the memory. I say that is no way to live, but I only say so for me, not for you. I don't want that image and to be carrying it with me all the time. That is not freedom. You may have changed, and also I like to be without an image. Not as an idea, but it is an actual fact that I do not want it. It is absurd for me to have an image about anybody. So let us come back to the other things.
Questioner: If I meet a good man, is it not a good thing to have a memory, an impression that he is a good man?
Krishnamurti: A bad impression or a good impression is still an impression. There is no "good image" and "bad image". (Inaudible remark) (For bad eyesight you must go to a better oculist.) This division between the conceptual and the actual breeds conflict. And a man who wants to investigate and go beyond the actual must have all his energy. That energy cannot be wasted through conflict. So I say to myself - and I am not telling you what to do - I say to myself, "It is absurd to live with concepts at all." I will deal with facts, with what. is, all the time, and will never be immersed in the concept. So then I am faced with the question, "How do I look at the fact, at what is?" I am not concerned with the conceptual at all. I am only concerned in the observation of actually what is. Right?
Krishnamurti: (Yes, but you take things as they come with a series of habits. Habits of which you may be conscious or unconscious... Sirs, we keep going away from the main issue.) So the question is, "Can I live with what is, without creating conflict?" Do you follow? I am angry. That is a fact. I am jealous. I like and dislike. That is a fact. Can I live with that, with what is, without making a problem, a conflict out of it?
Questioner: It is not a very happy thought for me! I am at a loss... (inaudible)
Krishnamurti: The gentleman says he is at a loss because he is at a certain level and his wife, children and neighbour are at another level - higher or inferior. And so, he says, there is no co-operation. I carry on and they carry on. That is what we are all doing, Sir. So then, what?.. You see, we will not come to the central issue, which is, "Can I live, without conflict, with what is?" And not go to sleep, because conflict, apparently does keep one half-awake. I am asking, "Is it possible to live with what is, without conflict, and to go beyond it?" I am jealous. That is a fact. I see that in my life. I am jealous of my wife, jealous of the man who has more, more of worldly goods and of intellect - I am envious. I know how envy comes. It comes through comparison - but I do not have to analyse how envy arises. Now can I live with that, understand it, not have concepts about it? So that after looking at it, so that by understanding it, studying its structure and nature I have really understood it and so can go beyond it, so that envy never touches the mind again? You see, you are not interested in it. You really are not interested in it, are you?
Questioner: Yes we are. If we were not interested we would not be here, but we are not in contact with you.
Krishnamurti: Why? Why are you not in contact with the speaker and what he is saying? He has questioned very clearly, whether it is possible to live without concepts? And he took the example of envy. We know the nature and the structure of envy. Now can you live with it, and go beyond it, without conflict? So why are you not in contact with what the speaker is saying? If you are not in contact (not you, not you personally Sir), it may be because you like envy. (Inaudible) Look, Sirs - what happens? I am envious. That envy arises through measurement. I have little and you have more, or I am dull and you are very clever. I have a low position and you have a high position, you have a car and I have no car. So, through comparison, through measurement this envy arises. Right? Is not that clear? So, can I live without measurement? This is not a concept.
Questioner: It is a question of reconciling ourselves to the fact that there is inequality.
Krishnamurti: You are not reconciling, Sir. I am asking you a question and you are talking about a reconciliation between black and white. Then you only produce grey. (Laughter) I am asking quite a different question. Do please listen, Sir. Can you live your daily life at the office, at home, without any measurement, without any comparison? No? Why do you have comparison? Because you have been conditioned from childhood to compare. Follow this, Sirs. It has become a habit, and you keep on repeating that habit. And though that habit creates misery, confusion and all the rest of it, you don't care. You carry on with the habit. Now, what will make you aware of the nature of this habit of comparison? Somebody forcing you to be aware of the habit? If the Government were to say, "You must not be envious", you would then find other ways of being envious, more subtle ones. Religions have tried this, but you have overcome all religions. So by forcing you to be non-envious you will revolt against it, and the revolt is violence. You understand, Sirs? If I force you into a corner and say, "You must do this", then you will kick me. But if you become aware of the habit you have cultivated for forty, twenty or ten years of comparing yourself with another, then what takes place? You see, you are not interested in this. I have lost you. Because you are not interested in breaking down your habits. The Communist has his habits, and the non-Communist has his habits, and those two are going to battle with each other. That is what is going on in the world. You have your habit in believing in something, and I have no habit in belief. So, what is our relationship? None at all!
So we come back to a very simple thing, and God knows why you sit here and listen. Is this becoming a habit?
Questioner: We hope so.
Krishnamurti: You hope it will become a habit!
Questioner: We hope to get illumination.
Krishnamurti: You won't. Sir, to get illumination you must have a clear mind, you must be able to look.
Questioner: You said... (inaudible)
Krishnamurti: No Sir, I did not say that. I did not say that. I will not go back through all that again - it is useless. You see you will not face the actuality, the "what is"! You want to live in concepts, and I do not want to live in concepts. For Heaven's sake: love is not a concept. And because you have no love, you live in concepts. (And you all shake your heads and agree and go on with your habits.) So why do you listen, why do you come here, because when we talk about these real things you are off - away at some tangent! Unfortunately, or fortunately, the speaker has talked for forty-two years. And when it comes to the point - which is to live without envy - you are not there!
Questioner: The truth is we don't want to be disturbed.
Krishnamurti: Then don't be disturbed. Go away! Why do you come? You are not going to get any "poonyum" out of this, poonyum being merit. Here is a fundamental issue, and please do listen. It is a fundamental issue - to live without conflict, but not go to sleep. To live without the concept requires extraordinary intelligence and a great deal of energy. And I say that when you live in concepts you are wasting energy. And you say, "Oh, that's a very nice idea", and you still live there in concepts. You say, "I am a Communist, I believe in God, I don't believe in God and so on." And so I say to myself, "What is wrong?"
Questioner: There is an urge to know more.
Krishnamurti: Then pick up an encyclopedia or a dictionary and you will know more. To know more truly, means to know more about oneself. Otherwise there is only ignorance. You may be technologically brilliant, but if you do not know about yourself you are an ignorant person. Here I am, and I say, "I must know why I live in concepts. I want to analyse it, to understand it." Not that I must or must not live in concepts, but I want to know why. And when I look I know why. Because my life is so shoddy, mediocre, petty, and to escape from that I go off into concepts - and I have lovely concepts, immense concepts, concepts invented by Lenin, or Trotsky or Nehru or Gandhi, it does not matter who. I escape into those but I am still angry, I am still envious, I am still bored. So, why should I live in concepts at all? So I say,"I won't, because it is stupid." I will not do it! But you don't say that.
Questioner: Do we understand the meaning of the word?
Krishnamurti: I'm afraid we do not understand about anything. So we will have to re-start. Too bad!
Questioner: It is something which needs going into and we must think about it.
Krishnamurti: Really! If I hit you, you will know about that! If you are insulted, or have pain, you do not say you will think about it. This is all so obvious, but you quote a platitude and think you have understood it. So we lose contact with each other when we are not talking about concepts. When we talk about concepts, we are in contact. When we talked about God (if I was foolish enough to talk about God), then we were both in contact. But when you come down to an actual fact - of greed, envy - then we lose contact. Do you know, Sirs, what is happening in the world? The world being India also. How India is degenerating, don't you know it? Not only here, but in the world. And probably you cannot do anything about it. At least, there can be a few who will keep the light burning. That is all. But that is up to you, Sirs.
2nd Public Dialogue Madras
5th January 1968
The Pursuit of Pleasure
Krishnamurti: What shall we talk over together this morning? (Pause).
Questioner: May we pursue what we talked about last time we met here, with regard to concepts? Can we live without concepts, beliefs?
Krishnamurti: Do you not think that before we can go into that or any other question it is important to question, to question critically, not only someone else, but, what is much more important, to be critically self-aware. It seems to me much more important to question one's own motives, one's attitudes, beliefs, ways of life, habits, traditions, the way one thinks and why one thinks in that way. Because I do not see how we can have sanity if we are not aware of our own reasoning or non-reasoning, if we are not aware of our own emotional attitudes and our narrow or wide beliefs. I do not see how we can bring about any kind of sanity in our lives (sanity being a way of living which is fairly healthy) unless we are critically aware of what we are talking about, and therefore questioning everything, not accepting a thing about ourselves or others. I think if we could start from that - which does not mean that we must be sceptical about everything as this would be another form of insanity. But if we can question, then I think what we shall discover, talking it over together this morning, will have some value.
Questioner: Can we continue with what you have just said?
Questioner: Will you take up the subject of space and time?
Questioner: Will you explain about the doctor who took L.S.D. and destroyed a space within himself, in terms of the observer and the observed?
Questioner: Could we discuss envy, and its activities?
Krishnamurti: Sir, if I may ask you a question - What is your deep, fundamental, lasting interest in life?
Krishnamurti: Is that your deep fundamental interest, Sir? Rather feeble isn't it? If you skipped all these double, indirect, oblique questions which are beside the point and if you dealt with one question directly and honestly, would you know what is your fundamental, lasting, total interest?
Questioner: To be free.
Questioner: We want to be happy.
Questioner: I am really interested in myself...
Krishnamurti: ...as most of us are, interested in my progress, interested in my job, interested in my little family, getting a better position, more prestige, more power, dominating others, and so on and so on. I think it would be logical, would it not, to admit to yourselves that that is what most of us are interested in - me first, and everyone else second.
Questioner: And that is very wrong.
Krishnamurti: I do not think it is wrong. What is there wrong about it? You see, Sir, that is what we are doing all the time. Now let us take that fact. Most of us are interested, in the little corner in which we live, not only outwardly but inwardly. We are interested in it, but we never decently, honestly, admit that to ourselves. If we do, we are rather ashamed of it and so we add such comments as: "I do not think it is right", "It is wrong", "It does not help mankind", and all that blaa. So there it is. One is interested in oneself fundamentally and one thinks it is wrong (for various reasons, ideologically, traditionally, and so on). The actual daily fact is that one is interested in oneself, and you think it is wrong. But what you think is irrelevant, it has no validity at all. Why introduce that factor? Why say "It is wrong"? That is an idea, is it not? - it is a concept. What is is the fact, which is that one is interested in oneself.
Questioner: I don't know if it's all right to ask a question.
Krishnamurti: Quite right. Go ahead, Sir.
Questioner: When I do something for others I feel more satisfied. I see that to be so self-concerned is not satisfactory, but to work in a school or to help another is more satisfactory than to think about oneself, which is not quite so satisfying.
Krishnamurti: What is the difference? You want satisfaction - which is self-concern. Follow this out, Sir, for yourself. If you are seeking satisfaction in helping others and therefore that gives greater satisfaction, you are still concerned about yourself, about what will give you greater satisfaction. Why bring any ideological concept into it? One wants freedom because it is much more satisfying and to live a petty little life is not so satisfactory. So why have this double thinking? Why say one is satisfactory and the other is not. You understand, Sir? Why not say - I really want satisfaction, whether it is in sex, in freedom, or helping others, in becoming a great saint, or politician, or engineer, or lawyer. It is all the same process, is it not? Satisfaction in many ways, both subtle and obvious, that is what we want. Right? When we say we want freedom we want it because we think perhaps it may be terribly satisfying; and the ultimate satisfaction, of course, is this peculiar idea of self-realization.
Questioner: So we must get rid of this search for satisfaction.
Krishnamurti: Ah, no Sir. Wait Sir. To get rid of satisfaction is not freedom. Freedom is something entirely different; not something to be had from something. If I get rid of or free myself from satisfaction, I am freeing myself from it because I seek a much greater satisfaction. No? So why not find out why we want satisfaction? Not that "we should not", that is only a concept, a formula, and hence there is contradiction, and therefore conflict. So let us take this one thing. Most of us want, desire, search for, crave for satisfaction. Right?
Questioner: I don't think so.
Krishnamurti: You don't think so. Why not, Sir?
Questioner: I am not interested specially in satisfaction, but I would like to know why I am dissatisfied.
Krishnamurti: (Oh! my lord!) How do you know that you are dissatisfied. Because you have known satisfaction! (Laughter) Don't laugh Sirs, for goodness sake, don't laugh. This is not a clever weaving of argument, please. Why am I dissatisfied? Because I am married and that does not give me satisfaction; because I go to the temple and that does not give me satisfaction; (follow all this). I go to meetings and that means nothing; I look at trees and feel nothing; and so gradually I am dissatisfied with everything I see, or have or have felt. Which means, what? I am seeking a satisfaction in which there is no dissatisfaction at all! No? This is not a clever statement; it is obvious, isn't it? No, Sir? Look, each one of us is seeking satisfaction although he is dissatisfied. Right? Now, why do we seek satisfaction? - Not that it is right or it is wrong, but what is the mechanism of this search? (Long pause.) Do you expect me to analyse it for you?
Questioner: In some spheres we have to seek satisfaction to live.
Krishnamurti: Yes Sir, of course there are basic necessities; but wait, Sir, before we come to that, can we find out why we seek satisfaction? Go into it, Sir. What is satisfaction?
Questioner: I think we need some of that awareness of which you speak in order to distinguish for ourselves what will give us permanent happiness.
Krishnamurti: Don't just use words, but think it out a little bit, just think it out. I do not know anything about awareness - out it goes, if I may suggest it. We are not discussing that, Sir, nor are we talking about the permanent or the impermanent. We want to find out why we human beings are always seeking satisfaction.
Questioner: (The audience suggested many reasons but they were almost inaudible.) We seek satisfaction because we want to change.
Krishnamurti: Wait a minute, Sirs, just a minute, Sir. Food satisfies you, doesn't it - having a good meal? Why? Because I'm hungry, and it is good to get rid of the empty feeling. Move a little higher, up to sex. Very satisfying, apparently. You are all silent! Then, having a position in which you can dominate others, that is also very satisfying, isn't it? You feel powerful, you feel you are in a position to order others to do things, and so that is very satisfactory. One seeks different ways of finding gratification - through food, sex, position, through various virtues, and so on. Why? One can understand when you want food that you feel gratified when you eat it, but why move to another level for satisfaction; and is there such a thing? I feel satisfied with food, I want varieties of food, and, if I have the money and appetite for it I get it. I also want a good position in society, a respected position, which is very gratifying because there I am secure, with a big house, a policeman at the gate, and all the rest of it. After that, I want some more of it - a bigger house and two more policemen, and so on. Now, what is this craving for gratification? You understand, Sirs, the craving, what is it? I have a craving for food and I eat it - if I can get it. But the craving for position - let us take that one thing. Most of us want position - as the best engineer, or the best lawyer, or the President of some society, or this or that. Why? Apart from the money it gives, apart from the comfort, why this craving?
Questioner: I want to show to others what I can do.
Krishnamurti: Which is, to make the neighbours feel envious!
Questioner: (Several interjections. Inaudible)
Krishnamurti: (Is that it? Wait Sir - you have not heard that other gentleman, Sir.) If you had not your position you would be nobody. Strip the Pope of his robes, or the Sannyasi of his tamasha and he would be nobody. Is that it? So are we afraid of being nobody, and that is why we want position? To be considered a great scholar, a philosopher, a teacher? If you find yourself in that position it is very gratifying - to have your name printed in the newspaper, and people coming to you and all the rest of it. Is that why we do all this? That is, inwardly we are just ordinary people with aching sorrows, conflict, fighting in the family, bitterness, anxiety and fear which is there constantly. And to have an outward position where I am regarded as a terribly respectable citizen, that is very satisfactory. Right? Why do I want this outward position, I ask, and you say "I want it because in my daily life I am just a sorry little human being." Right? Is that it? (Long pause).
Questions: (Several inaudible suggestions.)
Krishnamurti: What is actually taking place? We have come to a certain point, Sir, let us pursue it; this point is that one finds that one wants a position which will be gratifying because inwardly one is... just a shoddy little man. But to have a policeman at the gate gives me tremendous importance. Right? This is obvious, isn't it? We don't have to go into all that, do we?
Questioner: We have to expose ourselves, Sir.
Krishnamurti: I am exposing you now! You may not want to be exposed but that is the fact! - I am a sorry little entity inside, with all sorts of dogmas, beliefs in God, rituals and all that - a whirlpool of mischief and misery inwardly, and outwardly I want the policeman at the gate! Now why do I have this craving for outward position? You understand? Why?
Krishnamurti: No Sir. Please go into it. Why do we want? What is the reason? Don't reduce it to the word "selfishness", Sir.
Questioner: (Long inaudible contribution.)
Krishnamurti: Sir, Sir. Look, Sir! Don't you have a craving for position, for power, for prestige, to be recognised as a great man, have fame, notoriety, and so on? Have you not got this desire?
Questioner: (Inaudible remark.)
Krishnamurti: You see how you are escaping from this! Have you not got this desire, Sir?
Krishnamurti: At last! Now why? Go into it, Sir. Why? Why do you crave for a position? Don't say it is due to circumstances, that I have been put in that position by society, that I have been conditioned that way.
Questioner: I desire position in the same way as when I am hungry I want food.
Krishnamurti: Oh no, Sir! Oh no! You see we can't face this thing at all!
Questioner: Further suggestions. (Inaudible)
Krishnamurti: Do let us be serious. Throwing in all these words is so silly. You are not really thinking at all. Sir, here is a very simple question. Everybody throughout the world wants a position - whether in society, in the family, or to sit next to God, "on the right-hand of the Father". Everybody wants a position. There is a craving for it. Why?
Krishnamurti: No Sir! Don't throw out words. Analyse it, Sir, don't just answer! Why do you want it?
Questioner: It is natural.
Krishnamurti: It is natural? Oh Sir! You say one thing and then go on to another. Have you ever noticed animals, Sir? You've got a chicken yard; have you ever noticed that there is always one chicken pecking another? There is an order of pecking. So we have perhaps inherited this thing - to dominate, to be aggressive, to seek a position is a form of aggression. No? Of course it is. I mean the saint who seeks a position with regard to his saintliness is as aggressive as the chicken pecking in the yard! I don't know if you follow all this. You don't. Perhaps we have inherited this aggressive urge to dominate, that is, to have a position. Right? And what does this involve, this aggression, to have a position in society (a position which must be recognised by others, otherwise it is no position at all)? I must always sit on the platform. Why? (Pause) Do please go on with it, Sirs. I am doing all the work. Why do you have this aggression? (Audience suggests something.) No Sir. It is not a question of something lacking. Oh, how are we going to discuss with a group of people who never want to go into anything.
Krishnamurti: That is one of the reasons, Sir. But, let us look at this, Sir. There is aggression. Right? When I want a position in society, which is recognised by society, it is a form of aggression. Now, why am I aggressive?
Krishnamurti: You see, you do not apply it to yourself. You do not find out, in yourself, why you are aggressive. Forget the "position in society" we have analysed that now. Why are we aggressive?
Questioner: To reach what we want, what we aim at.
Krishnamurti: And what do you aim at? (We have said that, Sir. We have moved away from that.) The question now is, why are we aggressive? Please go into it, Sir. The politician is aggressive, the big shots are aggressive, whether in business or in religion they are aggressive - why?
Questioner: Aggressiveness arises from fear.
Krishnamurti: Is that so? Maybe! Find out for yourself, Sir. You are aggressive in the family. Why? In the office, in the bus, and so on. Why are you aggressive? Don't explain it, Sir. Just find out why you are.
Questioner: Why am I afraid to be nothing?
Krishnamurti: Look! As the gentleman said just now, fear may be the cause of this aggression because society is so constructed that a citizen who has a position of respect is treated with great courtesy, whereas a man who has no position at all is kicked around - sent into the army and to Vietnam, to be killed. So why are we aggressive? Is it because we are frightened of being nobodies? Don't answer it, Sirs, go into it! Go into it in yourselves! Or, we are frightened because it has become a habit. Seeking a position has become a habit. We are not really frightened, but it has become a habit. I don't know if you are following this. If it is fear that makes us aggressive, that is one thing. But it may be the momentum of society that is making you aggressive. You know Sirs, they have made an experiment, putting rats, thousands of rats, in a very small room. And when they are there they lose all sense of proportion. The mother who is about to have babies, the mother rat, does not care, because the pressure of space, absence of space, the fact of so many rats living together makes them crazy. Follow this. In the same way, if people live in a very, very crowded city and have no space, it makes them also very aggressive, makes them violent. Animals do need space to hunt in; they have territorial rights, like the birds. They establish their territory and they will hunt any other animal that comes into that territory. So they have territorial rights, and sexual rights - all animals have this. And sexual rights do not have such a great importance as territorial rights. Right? Of course some of you may know all about this. So we may be aggressive because we have not enough space around us physically. Are you following all this? And this may be one of the reasons why we are aggressive. A family living in a small room, or a small house with ten of you in it, you explode, get angry about nothing. So man must have space, and because he has not enough physical space, that may be one of the reasons for aggression. And also one may be aggressive because one is frightened. Now to which category do you belong? Are you aggressive because you are frightened?
Questioner: (Suggestion inaudible.)
Krishnamurti: So, you are saying, guarantee my physical security and then I will not be aggressive. But is there such a thing as guaranteed security in life? And so that may be the basic reason why we are frightened - knowing that there is no such lasting security. In Vietnam there is no security. You may have a little security here but where there is war there is no security and, when an earthquake comes, it destroys everything - and so on. So, go into this yourselves, Sirs, and find out whether your aggression is born of fear, or of the fact that you are enclosed tightly, both outwardly and inwardly. Inwardly you have no freedom - intellectually you are not free, you repeat what others have said. Technological inventions, society, the community, all that is felt constantly as a pressure on you which you are not capable of meeting and therefore you explode, you feel frustrated. Now, which is it - to which category do you belong? Find out, Sirs. (Long pause.) If you are frightened, and therefore you are aggressive, how are you going to deal with fear? And if you are free of fear will you lose the pleasure of being aggressive? And knowing that you will lose the pleasure of being aggressive, you do not mind being afraid. Right? Do you follow this? (Pause.) Fear is unpleasant and aggressiveness is more pleasant. Right? And so I do not mind being a little bit afraid because aggressiveness with its pleasure balances fear.
Questioner: I am aware of the difficulties of the situation.
Krishnamurti: Ah, I don't know what you are aware of, Sir. Go into it. I am just asking you. So you may prefer to be aggressive, but at the same time be afraid. So you really don't mind being afraid or being aggressive.
Krishnamurti: Sirs, this is a very difficult question because each one will interpret aggressiveness in his own way. But if we could face this question of fear and see if we can understand fear and see whether there is a possibility of being free from fear, then when that is gone through, then would there be aggressiveness - your kind, my kind, his kind or her kind? You follow Sir? So let us take that one thing. Is fear causing aggressiveness? Obviously it is. I am afraid of not having any belief and therefore I am aggressive about the belief I have. So fear has produced aggressiveness with regard to belief! That is simple. Right? (Are you all having an early-morning sleep, or what!) So, is it possible to be free of fear? (At last!) One only puts that question when one really wants to be free of fear. Is it possible to live without fear? It is a very complex problem. It is not a matter of saying, "Yes, we must live without fear" and make a lot of platitudes about it. But can one live without fear? What does it mean? Physically, what does it mean? We will go step by step. What does it mean physically to live without fear? Is it possible, in this society as it is constructed, in a culture of this kind, whether the culture is Communist or the present culture, or an ancient culture, is it possible to live in a society without fear?
Questioner: It is not possible.
Krishnamurti: Why? Most extraordinary, Sirs! When one comes to basic questions you are all very silent.
Questioner: I'm only thinking of what would happen to my life.
Krishnamurti: Are you afraid that if you had lasting security in a stable society, you would have no fear. (Inaudible) (Yes Sir. That is understood, Sir.) So, you will not be afraid if you can have a guarantee that the life, the daily existence you are used to will not be disturbed from the pattern you are used to. Right? And on that basis we build a society. Obviously. That is what the Communists have done. So you say it is not possible to live in a society without fear. Is that so? No?
Questioner: I think it must be possible but I don't know how to do it.
Krishnamurti: Ah! If you think it must be possible, that is only a concept. The fact is that one is afraid to live in a society as it is, without fear. Right?
Krishnamurti: (We are doing that, Sir. That is what we are discussing, Sir.) One of our fears is that to live in a society one has to be aggressive. Let us for the moment accept that - that to live in a society of any kind, Communist, Capitalist, or Hindu or Moslem you have to be aggressive and therefore frightened in order to survive at all. Leave it there. Now at what other level of our existence are we afraid? I can understand that I am afraid that I may not have enough food for tomorrow and therefore I lay up stores for a month or for two days and I am going to guard it and to see that nobody steals it. And I'm afraid that the Government will come along and do something or other, and so I am afraid. I can understand that. Now are we only aggressive there, at that level. Are we only afraid at that level?
Questioner: Inwardly we are also the same.
Krishnamurti: What do we mean by "inwardly"? What does that mean Sir?
Questioner: (Inaudible. Several comments.)
Krishnamurti: So there is fear at another level. It is suggested that there is fear in relationship, and therefore we are aggressive in relationship. Now why are we afraid in relationship? (I don't know what "truthful" means, Sir.) Why are we afraid in relationship? Are you afraid of your wife, or your husband, or your neighbour, or your boss? I know it's a rather awful thing to admit that you are afraid of your wife! One is afraid in every kind of relationship. Why?
Krishnamurti: Why am I afraid? Please be simple about it because it becomes very complex presently and if we are not simple at the beginning we shall not understand anything. Why am I afraid of my wife or my neighbour, or my boss (which is relationship) - why?
Questioner: (Several comments, inaudible.)
Krishnamurti: My dear chap you're not married! So leave it for the moment. Your calamity will come presently!
Questioner: There is fear in relationship because "he" or "she" or "my boss" can withhold something from me. (Further comment inaudible.)
Krishnamurti: How are you going to discuss this when you won't go step by step! Don't jump, don't conclude. Are you afraid of your neighbour, of your boss? Fear - you know. He might take away your job. He might not give you a rise, he might not encourage you. And also you are maybe afraid of your wife because she dominates, she nags, she bullies, she is not pretty. So one is afraid. Why? Because one yearns for continuity. Let us go slower than that. I am sorry to insist on going very slowly, step by step. I am afraid of my wife, why? I am afraid because - it is very simple - she bullies me and I don't like to be bullied. I am fairly sensitive and she is aggressive, and I'm tied to her through ceremony, through marriage, through children. And so I am frightened. She dominates me and I don't like it. Right Sirs? I am frightened for that reason, because I am fairly sensitive and I like to do things differently. I like to look at trees, I like to play with the children, I like to go to the office late, or do this or that, and she bullies me, and I don't like to be bullied. So I have the beginning of fear of her. Right? And also, if I retaliate and say "Don't bully me" she will withhold her sexual pleasure, my pleasure with her. So I am frightened of that. Right Sirs? Still you are all very silent about this! You are an extraordinary generation! I am frightened because she wants to pick a quarrel with me, and so on. So what shall I do? I am frightened and I am supposed to be related to her. She dominates me, she bullies me, and she orders me about, she has contempt for me. And, if I am a strong man, I have contempt for her. You know! So what shall I do? I am frightened. Do I acknowledge that fact, or do I cover it up and say "It's my karma", "It's my conditioning", you know - you complain against society and your environment.
Questioner: I suppose one has to suffer in silence.
Krishnamurti: Suffer in silence! You do that anyhow.
Questioner: Divorce her!
Krishnamurti: Divorce is rather expensive and takes too long, so what will you do?
Questioner: Put up with it.
Krishnamurti: Now what takes place? Follow it, Sirs. What takes place? You are frightened and you put up with it. So what is happening to you? You are frightened and you get used to this fear. You get used to the bullying, used to the environment, so gradually you become duller and duller. Gradually you lose all sensitivity. You don't look at trees which you looked at before, you never smile. So gradually you become dull. That is exactly what has happened with you gentlemen and ladies. Because you have got used to it. You have got used to this rotten society, to the filthy streets. You look neither at the filthy streets nor at the lovely sky of an evening. So, fear (your not having understood it) reduces you to dullness. What will you do, Sirs! Don't just say "Yes, you're perfectly right". The doctor has diagnosed your disease and he asks what you are going to do? You have got used to the Upanishads, the Gita, the dirt, the squalor, the bullying of the wife, the bullying of the politicians, you have become totally insensitive, dull. You may cleverly give lectures, and read and quote and all that, but inwardly you are dull. So what will you do? (Pause) No answer?
Questioner: Get rid of it all.
Krishnamurti: How? With a lovely gesture?
Questioner: Get rid of the relationship.
Krishnamurti: Walk out on her, and on the children? And fall into another trap? So what will you do, Sir?
Questioner: Find out why she bullies me.
Krishnamurti: She won't tell me. She has her own miseries. She has God knows what problems. She is unsatisfied, perhaps, sexually. Perhaps she is ill - Oh, a dozen things there may be. You know, she feels she must have a rest, have a holiday, have some time without her husband, away from him, take a holiday. So I can't find out from her why she bullies me. I have to deal with myself, first. Gosh. You people are so... So, what shall I do?
Questioner: Resist her.
Krishnamurti: I can't do that.
Questioner: Try to reconcile.
Krishnamurti: Oh my God! She keeps to her character and I keep to mine. So what shall I do?
Questioner: You become indifferent.
Krishnamurti: That is what you have already done. You are completely indifferent to everything - to the trees, to the beauty, to the rain, to the clouds, to the dirt, to the wife, to the children. You are completely indifferent.
Questioner: Maybe we have to doubt everything that we have accepted up to now.
Krishnamurti: Look Sir, it's a much more serious problem than just this verbal exchange. Because you have become indifferent, callous - through fear, through bullying by the Gods, the Upanishads, the Gita, by the politician, by the wife. You have become dull, haven't you? So how do you awaken to this dullness and throw it out? You understand my question? I have been made dull by my wife, by the repetitions of the blasted sacred books, by the society in which I live, I have become completely indifferent. I don't care what happens to me or what happens to others. I have become callous, hard. I recognise that. That is a fact. You may not recognise it. You may say, "Well I may have little spots here and there which are fairly sensitive". Those little spots have no value at all, when the major field is dull. So, what shall I do? I recognise that as a fact. And the question is not how to get rid of it! I don't condemn it. I say, "That is a fact." So what shall I do? Well, Sirs. What shall I do?
Questioner: I feel helpless.
Krishnamurti: Then you cannot do anything, and then you have the whole state of India as it is! Now I want to do something; I really do. You, your Gods, your religious books, society, the culture in which you have grown up, all these have made me incredibly callous and indifferent. So what shall I do? Well, Sirs. What shall I do?
Questioner: Break with the whole thing.
Krishnamurti: Break? I'm afraid to break, am I not? First of all, am I conscious, am I aware that I am indifferent? Are you, Sirs? (What a generation you are!) (Long pause.) All right, Sirs, I will go through it. I have become callous, and I see the reasons for this in my wife, my family, overpopulation, the enormous weight of ten thousand years of traditions, the endless rituals, the squalor inside the house and outside the house, and so on. I see the reasons why the mind has been made dull, through education and so on. That's a fact. Now what shall I do? First of all, I do not want to live that way. Right? I cannot live that way. It is worse than an animal. (Oh! you are not interested.)
Questioner: Please go on.
Krishnamurti: So first I see the cause, and the effect, and I see it is impossible to live that way. Now what makes me say, It is impossible to live that way"? Please follow all this. (Sirs, please don't cough.) This requires great attention. What makes me say, "I must not live that way"? (Long pause.) I am insensitive. If it is painful and I want to change, then I am changing because I think something else will give me greater pleasure. (Oh! you don't see all this!)I want to change because I see that a mind that is so dull is really not existing and there must be change. If I change because it is painful - follow this, please - if I change because it is painful then I am pursuing pleasure. Right? And the pursuit of pleasure has been the cause of this indifference. This indifference has been caused because I have sought pleasure - pleasure in the family, in the Gods, in the Upanishads, Koran, Bible, in the Establishment. And all that has reduced me to this - indifference. The origin of the movement was pleasure, and if I revolt against this it will again be the pursuit of pleasure!
Are you following all this? I have realized something! I have realized that if I change with a motive of pleasure I shall be back in the same circle. Please, Sirs, do understand this - with your hearts, not with your silly little minds. Understand this with your hearts - that when you have started to seek pleasure you must end up in catastrophe, which is dullness. If you break away from that dullness because you want a different kind of pleasure then you are back in the same circle. So I say, "Look what I'm doing!" So I have to be very watchful of pleasure. I'm not going to deny it, because if I deny it I am seeking another, greater pleasure. So I see that pleasure reduces the mind to habits which bring about complete dullness. I hang up that picture on the wall because it has given me great pleasure. I have looked at it in the museum or in the gallery and I say, "What a lovely picture that is!" I buy it, if I have the money, and hang it up in my room. I look at it every day - and say "How nice". Then I get used to it. You understand? So the pleasure of looking at it every day has brought about a habit which now prevents me from looking. I don't know if you see this. Like sex! So habit, getting used to something, is the beginning of indifference. Are you following all this? You get used to the squalor of the next village as you pass it every day. The little boys and the little girls making messes on the road - the dirt, the squalor, the filth. You get used to it, and then you have got used to it. In the same way you have got used to the beauty of a tree, you simply do not see it any more. So, I have discovered that where I pursue pleasure there must be, deeply in it, the root of indifference. Oh! do please see this! There are no roots of heaven in pleasure, there are only roots of indifference and pain.
So what shall I do if I see that very clearly? Pleasure is such an enticing thing! You understand? I look at the tree: it is a great delight. To see a dark cloud full of rain and a rainbow, and this seems a tremendous thing. That is a pleasure, that is a delight, that is a tremendous enjoyment. Why can't I leave it there. You understand? Why do I have to say, "I must store it up"? (I don't know if you are following all this.) Then when I see the next day the dark cloud, full of rain, and the leaves dancing in the wind, the memory of yesterday spoils the sight of it. I have become dull. So what shall I do? I cannot deny pleasure, but this does not mean I indulge in pleasure. So I understand now that pleasure inevitably breeds indifference I see it. I see it as a fact as I see the microphone - not as an idea, not as a theory, not as a concept, but as an actual fact. Right? So now I am watching the operation of pleasure. You follow? The process of pleasure is what I am watching. As, "I like you" and "I do not like someone else", which is again in the same pattern. All my judgments are based on likes and dislikes. I like you because you are respectable. I do not like you because you are not respectable. You are a Muslim, or a Hindu, or you have sexual perversions and I prefer the other perversions - and so on. You follow? Like and dislike. So I watch it. And like and dislike is again a habit, which I have cultivated through pleasure. The mind now is watching the whole movement of pleasure, and you cannot watch it if you condemn it. Are you following this? So what has happened to my mind? Watch it, Sir. What has happened to my mind? (Oh! you just throw out words. You don't know what you are saying.) (That's right, Sir.) It has become much more sensitive. Right? Therefore much more intelligent. Now that intelligence is operating - not my intelligence or your intelligence, just intelligence. I do not know if you are following this. Before, there was indifference and I did not care. The mind did not care two pins whether I lived like a pig or not. And I realized I must change. And I see that to change to a greater pleasure is to come back to the same filth. So the mind has realized something, seen something. Not because somebody has spoken of it - but it has seen something very clearly - that where there is the pursuit of pleasure, this must inevitably breed indifference. So the mind has sharpened. And it is watching pleasure in every movement. And you can only watch anything freely, without reservation, condemnation, or judgment. So the mind is watching. And it says "What is wrong with me, why can't I look at a tree, why can't I see the beautiful face of a child or a woman?" I can't shut my eyes - blindly go running away to the Himalayas. It is there. Right? So what shall I do? Not look? Turn my head when I pass a woman? (Which the Sannyasis do, they know all the old tricks and all that.) So what shall I do? So I look. You understand? I look. I look at that tree, the beauty of the branch, the beauty of the curve of the tree. I look at a beautiful face, well proportioned, the smile, the eyes. I look. Follow this. When I look, there is no pleasure. Have you noticed it? Have you got it? Have you understood what we are talking about? When I look, where is there room for pleasure? I don't look with fear, saying "My God! Am I caught in the trap of pleasure!" But I look, whether it is at the tree, the rainbow, the fly, or a beautiful woman, or the man. I look. In that look there is no pleasure. The pleasure only arises when thought comes in.
Now without understanding this whole process - the saints, the ugly, immature human beings called saints, the Rishis, the writers, they have condemned this. Don't look, they say. And so - look. And when you see very clearly there is neither pleasure nor displeasure. It is there. The beauty of the face, the walk, the dress, the beauty of the tree. A second later thought comes in and says, "That was a beautiful woman". And all the imagery, sex, intimations, thrills, begin. Are you following all this, Sirs, and what are you going to do about it? What happens? Thought comes in, and what is important now is not pleasure, because that is understood, there is nothing to it. Look what has happened. The mind has become extraordinarily sensitive, and therefore highly disciplined, highly disciplined but not through an imposed discipline. By watching that I am callous, indifferent - watching it, and watching it - the mind has become sensitive. Watching is the discipline. I wonder if you have got this! In this kind of discipline there is no suppression; there is no suppression in the discipline that is necessary in order to see. So the mind has become highly sensitive, highly disciplined, and therefore austere - not the austerity in regard to clothes and food, all that is too immature and childish. And the mind now says it is watching pleasure and it sees that the continuity of pleasure is created by thought. Right? So I have entered into a totally different dimension. You understand? A dimension in which I have to work very hard and which nobody is going to tell me about. I can tell you, but you have to work for yourself. So I say - "Why does thought come into this at all?" I look at that tree, I look at a woman, I see that man going by in a rich car, a nice car, driven by a chauffeur, and I say "All right". But why does thought come in? Why? (Long pause) (Audience makes a suggestion.) No Sir, no Sir. I haven't learnt the art of looking. Do listen to this. I haven't learnt it. When I said "I see indifference, callousness" I had not really seen it. Seeing it - not changing callousness, but just to see it. So now, I am asking myself, "Why does thought come into the picture at all?" Why can't I just look at that tree, or that woman, or that car? Why? Why does thought come into this?
Questioner: Memory comes as a barrier.
Krishnamurti: Ask yourself the question, Sir, and don't just say "Memory comes as a barrier". You have just heard somebody else say that. You heard me say that a dozen times, and you repeat and throw back those words at me. They have no meaning to me any more. I am asking quite a different question. I am asking why thought comes into it at all. (Suggestion from audience.) Ask yourself, Sir, and find out the answer. Why this constant interference of thought? You understand Sir? It is very interesting if you go into it for yourself. At present you cannot look at anything without thought, without an image, without a symbol. Why? (Long pause) Do you want me to answer it? The gentleman sits very comfortably and says "Yes". "Please answer it, will you?" And it's not going to make a pennyworth of difference to him. (That's right, and it has become a habit. For the last fifty years, doing whatever you have done.) If it is a habit, then what shall I do? Do I see the habit as an idea or actually as habit - Do you see the difference? If you do then you must find out.