Awakening of Intelligence
6th Public Talk Saanen
29th July 1971
The Action of Will and the Energy Needed for Radical Change
ONE NEEDS A great deal of energy, vitality, interest to bring about a radical change in oneself. If we are interested in outward phenomena, we have to see what we can do with the rest of the world in the process of changing ourselves; and also we must see not only how to conserve energy, but how to increase it. We dissipate energy endlessly, by useless talk, by having innumerable opinions about everything, by living in a world of concepts, formulas, and by the everlasting conflict in ourselves. I think all this wastes energy. But beyond that, there is a much deeper cause that dissipates the vital energy that is necessary not only to bring about a change in ourselves, but also to penetrate very deeply beyond the confines of our own thought.
The ancients said, control sex, hold your senses on a tight rein, take vows so that you don't dissipate your energy: you must concentrate your energy on God, or whatever it is. All such disciplines are also a wastage of energy, because when you take a vow, it is a form of resistance. It needs energy not only for a superficial external change, but also to bring about a deep, inward transformation or revolution. One must have an extraordinary sense of energy which has no cause, which has no motive, which has the capacity to be utterly quiet, and this very quietness has its own explosive quality. We are going to go into all that.
One sees how human beings waste their energy, in quarrels, in jealousies, in a tremendous sense of anxiety, in the everlasting pursuit of pleasure and in the demand for it; it is fairly obvious that this is a wastage of energy. And is it not also a wastage of energy to have innumerable opinions and beliefs about everything? - how another should behave, what another should do and so on. Is it not a waste of energy to have formulas and concepts? In this culture we are encouraged to have concepts according to which we live. Don't you have formulas and concepts in the sense of having images of how you should be, what should happen? - in the sense of thought which rejects "what is" and formulates "what should be"? All such endeavour is a waste of energy and I hope we can proceed from there.
What is the basic reason behind dissipation of energy? Apart from the cultural patterns that one has acquired of wasting energy, there is a much deeper question, which is: can one function, and carry on daily life without any form of resistance? Resistance is will. I know you are all brought up to use will, to control, in the sense of "you must, you must not, you should, you should not". Will is independent of the fact. Will is the assertion of the self, of the "me", independent of "what is". Will is desire; the manifestation of desire is will. We function superficially, or at great depth, in this assertion of the resistance of desire as will, which is unrelated to the "fact" but dependent on the desire of the "me", of the self.
Knowing what will is, I am asking: is it possible to live in this world without the operation of will at all? Will is a form of resistance, a form of division. "I will" against something "I will not", "I must" against "I must not". So will is building a wall in action against every other form of action. We only know action either as conforming to a formula, to a concept, or as approximating according to an ideal and acting in relationship to that ideal, to that pattern. That is what we call action and in that there is conflict. There is imitation of what "should be", which we have projected as an ideal according to which we act; therefore there is a conflict between the act and the ideal, because in that there is always an approximation, imitation, conformity. I feel that is a total wastage of energy and I am going to show why.
I hope we are watching our own activities, our own minds, to see how we exercise will in action. To repeat, will is independent of the fact, of "what is; it depends on the self, on what it wants - not on "what is", but on what it wants. And that want is depending on circumstances, on the environment, the culture and so on; it is divorced from the fact. Therefore there is contradiction and resistance against "what is", and that is a wastage of energy.
Action means the doing now - not tomorrow, not having acted. Action is in the present. Can there be action without an idea, without a formula, without a concept? - an action in which there is no resistance as will. If there is will there is contradiction, resistance and effort, which is a wastage of energy. So I want to find out if there is an action without any will as the assertion of the "me" in resistance.
You see, we are slaves to the present culture, we are the culture, and if there is to be a different kind of action, a different kind of life and so a different kind of culture altogether - not the counter-culture, but something entirely different - one must understand this whole question of will. Will belongs to the old culture in which is involved ambition and drive, the whole assertion and aggression of the "me". If there is to be a totally different way of living, one has to understand the central issue, which is: can there be action without formula, concept, ideal, or belief? An action based on knowledge, which is the past, which is conditioned, is not action. Being conditioned and dependent on the past, it must inevitably create discord and therefore conflict. So I want to find out if there is an action in which there is no will at all and choice does not enter.
We said the other day, where there is confusion there must be choice. A man who sees things very clearly (not neurotically or obstinately) does not choose. So choice, will, resistance - the "me" in action - a wastage of energy. Is there an action unrelated to all this so that the mind lives in this world, functioning in the field of knowledge and yet free to act without the impediment of the limitation of knowledge? The speaker says there is an action in which there is no resistance, no interference of the past, no response of the "me". That action is instantaneous because it is not in the field of time - time being yesterday, with all the knowledge and experience which acts today, so that the future is already established by the past. There is an action which is instantaneous and therefore complete, in which will does not operate at all. To find that out the mind must learn how to observe, how to see. If the mind sees according to a formula of what you should be, or what I should be, then the action is of the past.
Now I am asking: is there an action which is not motivated, which is in the present and which does not bring contradiction, anxiety and conflict? As I said, a mind which has been trained in a culture which believes and functions and acts with will, such a mind obviously cannot act in the sense we are talking about, because it is conditioned. So can the mind - your mind - see this conditioning and be free of it so as to act differently? If my mind is trained through education to function with will, then it cannot possibly understand what it is to act without will. Therefore my concern is not to find out how to act without will, but rather to find out if my mind can be free of its conditioning, which is the conditioning of will. That is my concern, and I see, as I look into myself, that everything I do has a secret motive, is the outcome of some anxiety, of some fear, of the demand for pleasure and so on. Now can that mind free itself instantly to act differently?
So the mind must learn how to look. That, for me, is the central problem. Can this mind, which is the result of time, of various cultures, experiences and knowledge, look with eyes that are not conditioned? That is, can it operate instantly, being free of its conditioning? So I must learn to look at my conditioning without any desire to change, to transform, to go beyond it. I must be capable of looking at it as it is. If I want to change it, then I bring about the action of will again. If I want to escape from it, there is again a resistance. If I keep one part and reject others, again it means choice. And choice, as we pointed out, is confusion. So can I, can this mind, look without any resistance, without any choice? Can I look at the mountains, the trees, my neighbour, my family, the politicians, the priests, without any image? The image is the past. So the mind must be able to look. When I look at "what is" in myself and in the world, without resistance, then out of that observation there is instant action which is not the result of will. Do you understand?
I want to find out how to live and act in this world; not go off into a monastery, or escape to some Nirvana asserted by some guru who promises, "If you do this, you will get that" - all that is nonsense. Putting that aside, I want to find out how to live in this world without any resistance, without any will. I also want to find out what love is. So my mind which has been conditioned to the demand of pleasure, of gratification, of satisfaction and therefore of resistance, sees all that is not love. So what is love? You know, to find out what is, one must deny, put aside totally what is not. Through negation come to the positive; do not seek the positive, but come to it by understanding what it is not. That is, if I want to find out what truth is, not knowing what it is, I must be able to see what is false. If I do not have the capacity to perceive what is false, I cannot see what truth is. So I must find out what is false.
What is false? Everything else that thought has put together - psychologically not technologically. That is, thought has put together the "me", the self with its memories, with its aggression, with its separativeness, with its ambitions, competitiveness, imitation, fear and past memories; all that has been put together by thought. And thought has put together the most extraordinary things mechanically. So thought, as the me, which has in essence no reality whatsoever, is the false. When the mind understands what is false, then the truth is there. Similarly, when the mind really enquires deeply into what is love, without saying "it is this", "it is that", but enquires, then it must see what it is not and completely drop it; otherwise you can't find the real. Is one capable of doing that? To say for instance, "Love is not ambition". A mind that is ambitious, wanting to achieve, wanting to become powerful, that is aggressive, competitive, imitative, such a mind cannot possibly understand what love is - we see that, don't we?
Now can the mind see the falseness of it? Can it see that a mind that is ambitious cannot possibly love and drop it instantly because it is false? Only when you deny the false completely, then the other is. So can we see very clearly that a mind seeking gain, or achievement, either in the world, or in the so-called spiritual seeking of enlightenment, cannot love? The drive to find out, to achieve is ambition. Therefore can the mind see the falseness of it and completely drop it instantly? Otherwise you won't find out "what is", and you will never find out what love is. Love is not jealousy, is it? Love is not possessiveness, it is not dependency. Do you see that? Do not carry it over with you to the next day but drop it instantly. The dropping of it instantly does not depend on will. It depends on whether you actually see the falseness of it. When you drop that which is false, that which is not, the other is.
Now it becomes a little more difficult. Is love pleasure? Is love fulfilment? If you really want to have a mind that has love you have to go into it very deeply. We are asking: is love pleasure, gratification, fulfilment? We said that the demand for pleasure is the continuity of thought, which pursues pleasure as desire and will, separate from "what is". We have associated love with sex, and because there is pleasure in it we have made an extraordinary thing of it. Sex has become the most important thing in life. We have tried to find some deep meaning in it, a deep reality, a sense of great union, oneness, and other transcendental things. Why has sex such significance in our life? Probably we have nothing else; maybe in every other field we are mechanical. There is nothing original in ourselves, nothing creative - not "creative" in the sense of producing pictures, songs and poems, that is a very superficial part of what is really a sense of creativeness. As we are more or less secondhand people, sex and pleasure have become extraordinarily important. That is why we call it love, and behind that mask we do all kinds of mischievous things.
So can we find out what love is? This has been a question man has always asked. Not being able to find out this he says, "Love God", "Love an idea", "Love the State", "Love your neighbour". Not that you shouldn't love your neighbour, but this has become merely a social operation; it is not the love that is always new. So love is not the product of thought, which is pleasure. As we said: thought is old, not free, it is the response of the past, and so love has no real relationship with thought. As we know, most of our life is a battle, the strain, the anxiety the guilt the despair, the immense sense of loneliness and sorrow that is our life. That is actually "what is" and we are unwilling to face it. When you face it without choice and resistance, what takes place? Can you face it? - not try to overcome fear, jealousy, this or that, but actually look at it without any sense of wanting to change it, conquer it, control it, just to observe it totally, and give your whole attention to it. When you look at our daily life of travail, our daily bourgeois or non-bourgeois life, what takes place? Haven't you then tremendous energy? Energy has been dissipated in resistance, in overcoming, in going beyond it, trying to understand it, trying to change it. So when you do look at this life as it is, is there not then a transformation of "what is"? That transformation takes place only when you have this energy in which the operation of will does not exist at all.
You know, we like explanations, we like theories, we indulge in speculative philosophy and we are carried away by all that which is so obviously such a waste of time and energy. We must face what actually is: the misery, the poverty, the pollution, the wretched division of peoples and nations, the wars which we human beings have created - they haven't come into existence miraculously, each one of us is responsible for all this - we must face what actually is. And also we must face one of the most important things in life, which is death. That is one of the things that man avoids all the time. Ancient as well as modern civilizations have tried to go beyond that, to somehow conquer it, to imagine there is immortality, a life after death - anything but face it. Can my mind face something of which it knows absolutely nothing? Most of you, unfortunately, if I may say so, have read so much about these things. You have probably read what Indian philosophers and teachers have said; or you have read other philosophers and had your Christian training. You are full of other people's knowledge, assertions and opinions. You are bound to be, although you may not consciously acknowledge it, it is there in the blood because you were brought up in this civilization and culture. And here is something of which you know absolutely nothing. All you know is that you are frightened of coming to an end. And that is what death is.
Fear prevents you from looking at it, as fear has prevented you from living without anxiety, sorrow, guilt - you know all that brutal business. Fear has prevented you from living and fear prevents you from looking at what death is. Fear demands comfort and so there is the idea of reincarnation, the renewal in another life and so on. We won't go into this because what we are concerned with is, whether your mind can face the reality of an ending. That is what is going to happen, whethcr you are healthy, or a cripple, or fairly well off, anytliing can happen - old age, disease, or accident. Can the mind look at this enormous unknown question? Can you look at it as though for the first time? - having nobody to tell you what to do, knowing that to find comfort is an escape from the fact. So can you, as though for the first time, face something which is inevitable?
What is the state of mind that is capable of looking at something of which it knows absolutely nothing - except that there is organic death? The organism comes to an end through heart failure, through tension, through disease, and so on. But the psychological question is: can the mind face something, realizing it knows absolutely nothing about it, look at it, live with it and understand it completely? Which means, can it look at it without any sense of fear? The moment you have fear you have choice, there is will, there is resistance, and that is a wastage of energy. The ending of energy as the "me" is the capacity to look at death.
To face something of which I know absolutely nothing demands great energy, doesn't it? I can only do that when there is no will, no resistance, no choice, no wastage of energy. To face something unknown, there must be the highest form of energy, and when there is that total energy, is there a fear of death? Or is there a fear of continuity? It is only when I have lived a life of resistance, will and choice that there is fear of not being, or of not living. When the mind is faced with the unknown, and all these things have gone, there is tremendous energy. And when there is that supreme energy, which is intelligence, is there death? Find out.
Questioner: Sir, this morning you have questioned what the religions say, which prompts me to ask: how is it that I can understand what you say on an intellectual level. It seems to be sensible, it seems to be reasonable, and yet I lack the passion.
Krishnamurti: The questioner says: what you say makes some sense intellectually, verbally, but somehow it does not penetrate, it does not go very deep, it does not touch the source of things; so that I can break through. It does not bring that sense of driving vitality, that sense of living with it. I am afraid that is the case with most people.
Krishnamurti: Please don't answer. Let us examine. The gentleman says: what you say is logical, intellectually I accept it, but I don't feel it deep in my heart so as to bring about a change, a revolution in myself and to live a totally different kind of life. And I say: that is the case with most of us. We go part of the way, take the journey a little distance and then drop out. We keep up the interest for ten minutes and the rest of the time think about something else. You go away after the talk and carry on with your daily life. Now why does this happen? Intellectually, verbally, logically, you understand; but apparently it does not touch you deeply, so that you will burn out the old, like a fire. Why doesn't this happen? Is it lack of interest? Is it a sense of deep laziness, of indolence? Examine it, Sir, don't answer me. If it is lack of interest, why aren't you interested? When the house is burning - your house - when your children are going to grow up to get killed, why aren't you interested? Are you blind, insensitive, indifferent, callous? Or deep down haven't you got the energy and are therefore lazy? Examine it, don't agree or disagree. Have you become so insensitive because you have your own problems? You want to fulfil, you are inferior, you are superior, you are anxious, you have a great sense of fear - there is all that; and your problems are smothering you, therefore you are not interested in anything unless you solve your problems first.
But your problems are the other man's problems, your problems are the result of this culture in which you live. So what is it? Total indifference, insensitivity, callousness? Or is it that your whole culture and training has been intellectual, verbal? Your philosophies are verbal, your theories are the product of tremendously cunning brains and you have been brought up in that. Your whole education is based on it. Is it that thought has been given such extraordinary importance? - the clever, cunning, capable, technological mind, the mind that can measure, construct, fight and organize. You have been trained in that and you respond on that level. You say, "Yes, I agree with you intellectually, verbally, I see the logic, the sequence of it." But you cannot go beyond it because your mind is caught in the operations of thought which is measurement. Thought cannot measure depth or height, but only on its own level.
So this is really an important question for everybody, because most of us agree with all this verbally, intellectually, but somehow the fire doesn't get lit.
Questioner: I think there is no change because the important things are not on the intellectual level but on another plane.
Krishnamurti: That is what we said, Sir. There is no change, the gentleman says, because psychologically, economically, socially, in education, we are conditioned. We are the result of the culture in which we live. And he says as long as that is not changed in us we won't take any deep interest. So what is going to make you interested? I am asking: why is it that though you listen to all this logically, and I hope with a healthy mind, this does not light a fire so that you burn with it? Please ask yourselves, find out why you agree logically, verbally, superficially, yet it does not touch you deeply. If your money or your sex is taken away it will touch you. If your sense of importance is taken away, then you will struggle. If your gods, your nationalism, your petty bourgeois life is taken away, you will fight like cats and dogs. Which all indicates that intellectually we are capable of anything. Technologically, going to the moon, we live on the level of thought, but thought cannot possibly ignite the flame which changes man. What changes man is to face all this, to look at it and not always live on that very superficial level.
Questioner: You said this morning that when you are capable of looking at death as the absolute unknown, that includes that you are also capable of looking at life as it is, and that you are capable of action.
Krishnamurti: Yes, Sir. "When you are capable." The word "capable" is a difficult word. Capacity means working, or to have capacity for something. You can cultivate capacity. I can cultivate the capacity to play golf or tennis, or to put machinery together. Now we are not using the word "capacity" in the sense of time - you understand? Capacity involves time, doesn't it? That is, I am not capable now, but give me a year and I'll be capable of speaking Italian, French or English. If you have understood capacity as time, it is not what I mean. I mean: observe the unknown without any fear, live with it. That does not need capacity. I said you will do it, if you know what is false and reject that.
Questioner: Is it not a question of not knowing how to listen? You have said that to listen is one of the hardest things to do.
Krishnamurti: Yes, it is one of the hardest things to do, to listen. Do you mean to say that a man who is committed to social activity and has put all his life into it, is he ever going to listen to any of this? Or a man who says, "I have taken a vow of celibacy" - will he listen to all this? No, Sir. Listening is quite an art.
Questioner: You were saying that the difficulty is on the intellectual level and that we do not allow our feelings and our emotions to come into our relations with other people. But I have the impression it is exactly the contrary. I think that the trouble in the world is caused hy uncontrolled emotions and passions, probably born out of lack of understanding, but they are passions. We live a violent life.
Krishnamurti: Violent, of course, that's understood. Now, do you live an emotional life which needs conquering? Emotional, excited, the enthusiasms of pleasure and sentiment - do you live in that world? And when you do live in that world and when it gets disorderly, then the intellect comes in and you begin to control it, saying "I must not; but the intellect always dominates.
Questioner: Or it justifies.
Krishnamurti: It justifies or condemns. I may be greatly emotional but the intellect comes along and says: look, be careful, try to control yourself. Intellect always dominates - which is thought - doesn't it? In my relationship with another I get angry, irritated, emotional. Then what happens? That leads to trouble, a quarrel takes place between two human beings. Then I try to control it - which is thought; because it has established a pattern for itself of what it should do, or what it should not do, saying, "I must control". So we say, "There must be control," otherwise relationship breaks down. Isn't all that a process of thinking, of intellection? The intellect plays a tremendous part in our life, that is all we are pointing out. We are not saying emotions are wrong or right, or true or false, but thought with its measurement is always judging, evaluating, controlling, overcoming, and therefore thought prevents you from looking.
7th Public Talk Saanen
1st August 1971
Thought, Intelligence and the Immeasurable
WE HAVE BEEN talking about the various contradictory states of the world, outside our skin as it were, about the tortures of the refugees, and the horrors of war, about poverty, the religious and national separations of people, and the economic and social injustice. These are not merely verbal statements but actual facts of what is going on in the world: violence, terrible disorder, hatreds and every form of corruption. And in ourselves the same phenomenon is going on; we are at war with ourselves, unhappy, dissatisfied, seeking something which we don't know about, violent, aggressive, corrupt, astonishingly miserable and lonely and suffering a great deal. Somehow we don't seem to be able to get out of this, to be free of these conditionings. We have tried every form of behaviour and therapy, of religious sanctions and their pursuits, the monastic life, a life of sacrifice, denial, suppression and blindly seeking, going from one book to another, or from one religious guru to another; or we try political reforms, and make revolutions. We have tried so many things and yet somehow we don't seem to be able to free ourselves from this terrible mess inside ourselves as well as outwardly. We follow the latest guru who offers some system, a panacea, some way to crawl out of our own misery, and that again does not seem to resolve any of our problems. I think the average person here asks: I know I am caught in the trap of civilization, miserable, sorrowful, and leading rather a small, narrow life. I have tried this and that, but somehow all this chaos is still in me. What am I to do? How am I to get out of all this confusion?
During these talks we have gone into various things: order, fear, pain, love, death and sorrow. But at the end of these meetings most of us are where we began, with slight peripheral changes, but at the very root of our being our whole structure and nature more or less remains as it was. How is all that to be really jolted, so that when you leave this place, at least for one day, for one hour, there will be something totally new, a life that really has significance, has meaning, depth and width?
I don't know if you have noticed the mountains this morning the river and the changing shadows, the pine trees dark against the blue sky, and those extraordinary hills full of light and shade. On a morning like this, sitting in a tent to talk about serious things seems rather absurd, when everything about us is crying with great joy, shouting to the heavens the beauty of the earth and the misery of man. But since we are here, I would like to approach the whole problem in a different way. Just listen to it and not only to the meaning of the words, not only to the description, because the description is never the described - as when you describe the hills, the trees, the rivers and the shadows, if you don't see them for yourselves, with your heart and your mind, the description has very little meaning. It is like describing food to a hungry man; he must have food, not just words and the smell of food.
I don't quite know how to put all this differently, but I would like to explore - if you will do it with me - a different way of looking at all this, to look from a totally different dimension. Not the usual dimension of "me and you", "we and they", "my problems", "their problems", "how to end this and how to get that", how to become more intelligent, noble, but rather to see together if we can observe all these phenomena from a different dimension. Perhaps some of us are not used to that dimension, we don't know if there is actually a different dimension; we may speculate about it, we may imagine, but speculation and imagination are not the fact. So as we are only dealing with facts and not with speculations, it behoves us I think not only to listen to what the speaker is going to say, but also to try to go beyond the words and the explanations. It means you must also be sufficiently attentive and interested, sufficiently aware of the meaning of a dimension which we have probably not touched at all, to ask: can I look at that dimension this morning, not with my eyes, but with the eyes of objective intelligence and beauty and interest?
I do not know if you have ever thought about space. Where there is space there is silence. Not the space created by thought, but a space that has no frontiers at all, a space that is not measurable, that cannot be connived at by thought, a space that is really quite unimaginable. Because when man has space, real space, width and depth and an immeasurable sense of extension, not of his consciousness - which is merely another form of thought extending itself with its measurement from a centre - but that sense of space which is not conceived by thought, when there is that kind of space there is absolute silence.
With the overcrowding of cities, the noise, the exploding population, outwardly there is more and more restriction, there is less and less space. I do not know if you have noticed in this valley know new buildings are going up, there are more people, more and more cars polluting the air. Outwardly there is less and less space; if you go into any street in a crowded town you will notice this, especially in the East. In India you see thousands of people sleeping and living on the overcrowded pavement. And take any big town, London, New York, or where you will, there is hardly any space; the houses are small, people are living enclosed, trapped, and where there is no space there is violence. We have no space either ecologically, socially, or in our own mind; this is partly responsible for the violence, that we have no space.
In our own minds the space we create is isolation, a world built around ourselves. Please do observe this in yourselves and not only because the speaker is talking about it. Our space is a space of isolation and withdrawal. We don't want to be hurt any more, we have been hurt when we were young and the marks of hurt remain; so we withdraw, we resist, we build a wall around ourselves and around those whom we think we like, or love, and that gives a very limited space. It is like looking over the wall into another person's garden, or into another person's mind, but the wall is still there and in that world there is very little space. From that narrow, small, rather shoddy space we act, we think, we love, we function, and from that centre we try to reform the world, joining this or that party. Or from that narrow hold, we try to find a new guru who will teach us the latest way to enlightenment. And in our chattering minds, crowded with knowledge, rumours and opinions, there is hardly any space at all.
I do not know if you have noticed it, but if one has been observant, aware of the things around one and in oneself, has not just lived to earn money and have a bank account, this and that, one must have seen how little space one has, how crowded it is in ourselves. Please watch it in yourself. Being isolated in that little space, with enormous thick walls of resistance, of ideas and of aggression, how is one to have space that is really immeasurable? As we said the other day, thought is measurable, thought is measure. And any form of self-improvement is measurable; obviously, self-improvement is the most callous form of isolation. One sees that thought cannot bring about the vast space in which there is complete and utter silence? Thought cannot bring it, thought can only progress, evolve, in ratio to the end it projects, which is measurable. That space which thought creates, imaginatively, or of necessity, can never enter a dimension in which there is space which is not of thought. Through centuries thought has built a space that is very limited, narrow, isolated, and because of this very isolation, it creates division; where there is division there is conflict, nationally, religiously, politically, in relationship, in every way. Conflict is measurable - less conflict or more conflict, and so on.
Now the question is: how can thought enter into the other? Or can thought never enter it? I am the result of thought. All my activities, logical, illogical and neurotic, or highly educated and scientific are based on thought. "I" am the result of all that, and it has space within the walls of resistance. How is the mind to change that and discover something which is of a totally different dimension? Have you understood my question? Can the two come together? - the freedom in which there is complete silence and therefore vast space, and the walls of resistance which thought has created with its narrow little space. Can the two come together, flow together? This has been the problem of man religiously when he enquires at great depth. Can I hold on to my little ego, to my little space, to the things that I have collected, to my knowledge, experiences, hopes and pleasures, and move into a different dimension where the two can operate? I want to sit on the right hand of God and yet I want to be free of God! I want to live a life of great delight, pleasure and beauty, and also I want to have joy which is not measurable, which cannot be caught by thought. I want pleasure and joy. I know the movement, the demand, the pursuit of pleasure with all its fears, travails, sorrow, agony and anxiety. And I also know that joy which is totally uninvited, which thought can never capture; if it does capture it, it again becomes pleasure and then the old routine begins. So I want to have both - the things of this world and the other world.
I think this is the problem for most of us - isn't it? To have a wonderful time in this world - why not? - and avoid all pain, all sorrow, because I also know other moments when there is great joy which cannot be touched, which is not corrupt. I want both, and that is what we are seeking: to carry all our burden and yet to seek freedom. Can I do this through will? You remember what we said the other day about will? Will has nothing whatsoever to do with the actual, with "what is". But will is the expression of desire as "me". We think somehow through will we shall come upon the other, so we say to ourselves, "I must control thought, I must discipline thought". When the "I" says, "I must control and discipline thought", it is thought which has separated itself as the "I" and controls thought as something separate. It is still thought: the "I" and the "not I". And one realises - thought being measurable, noisy, chattering, running all over the place - that thought has created the space of a little rat, a monkey that chases its own tail. So one says: how is thought to become quiet? Thought has created the technological world of chaos, of war, of national divisions, religious separations; thought has brought about misery, confusion and sorrow. Thought is time, so time is sorrow. And you see all this if you have gone deeply, not at the instruction of another, but merely by observing this in the world and in yourself.
Then the question arises: can thought be completely silent and only function when necessary - when one has to use technical knowledge, in the office, when one is talking and so on - and the rest of the time be absolutely quiet? The more there is space and silence, the more it can function logically, sanely, healthily with knowledge. Otherwise knowledge becomes an end in itself and brings about chaos. Do not agree with me, see it for yourself? Thought, which is the response of memory, of knowledge, experience and time, is the content of consciousness; thought must function with knowledge, but it can only function with the highest intelligence when there is space and silence - when it functions from there.
There must be vast space and silence, because when there is that space and silence, beauty comes, there is love. Not the beauty put together by man, architecture, tapestries, porcelain, paintings, or poems, but that sense of beauty, of vast space and silence. And yet thought must act, must function. There is no living there, and then coming down. So that is our problem - I am making it a problem so that we can investigate together, so that both you and I discover something in this which is totally new. Because each time one investigates without knowing, one discovers something. But if you investigate with knowing, then you will never discover anything. So that is what we are doing. Can thought become silent? Can that thought, which must function in the field of knowledge totally, completely, objectively and sanely, can that thought end itself? That is, can thought which is the past, which is memory, which is a thousand yesterdays, can all that past, all that conditioning come totally to an end? - so that there is silence, there is space, there is a sense of extraordinary dimension.
I am asking myself and you are asking it with me: how is thought to end and not in the very ending of it get perverted, go off into some imaginative state and become rather lopsided, neurotic and vague? How is that thought, which must function with great energy and vitality, to be at the same time completely motionless? Have you understood my question? This has been the problem of every serious religious man - not the man who belongs to some sect based on organized belief and propaganda and therefore not religious at all. Can the two operate together, can they move together - not coalesce, not join together - but move together? They can only move together if thought does not separate itself as the observer and the observed.
You see, life is a movement in relationship, constantly moving and changing. That movement can sustain itself, move freely, when there is no division between the thinker and the thought. That is, when thought does not divide itself as the "me" and the "not me", as the observer, the experiencer, and the observed, the experienced; because in that there is division and therefore conflict. When thought sees the truth of that, then it is not seeking experience, then it is moving in experiencing. Aren't you doing this now?
Just now I said thought with all its knowledge, which is always accumulating, is something living; it is not a dead thing, therefore the vast space can move together with thought. When thought separates itself as the thinker, as the experiencer causing division and conflict, then that experiencer, observer, thinker, becomes the past which is stationary and therefore cannot move. The mind sees in this examination that where there is division in thought, movement is not possible. Where there is division the past comes in and the past becomes stationary, the immovable centre. The immovable centre can be modified and added to, but it is an immovable state and therefore it has no free movement.
So my next question to myself and so to you is: does thought see this, or is perception something entirely different from thought? One sees division in the world, national, religious, economic, social and all the rest of it; in this division there is conflict, that is clear. And when there is division and fragmentation in myself, there must be conflict. Then I am divided in myself as the observer and the observed, the thinker and the thought, the experiencer and the experience. That very division is created by thought, which is the result of the past - I see the truth of this. Now my question is: does thought see this, or does some other factor see it? Or is the new factor intelligence and not thought? Now what is the relationship between thought and intelligence? Do you understand my question? I am terribly interested in this personally, you can come with me or not. It is extraordinary to go into this.
Thought has created this division: the past, the present, the future. Thought is time. And thought says to itself: I see this division outwardly and inwardly, I see this division is the factor of conflict. It is not capable to go beyond it, therefore it says: I am where I began, I am still with my conflicts, because thought says, "I see the truth of division and conflict." Now does thought see that, or does a new factor of intelligence see it? If it is intelligence that sees it, what is the relationship between thought and intelligence? Is intelligence personal? Is intelligence the result of book knowledge, logic, experience? Or is intelligence the freedom from the division of thought? - the division which thought has created. Seeing that logically and not being able to go beyond it, it remains with it; it does not try to struggle with it or to overcome it. Out of that comes intelligence.
You see, we are asking: what is intelligence? Can intelligence be cultivated? Is intelligence innate? Does thought see the truth of conflict, of division and all the rest of it, or is it the quality of mind that sees the fact and is completely quiet with the fact? - completely silent, not trying to go beyond it, to overcome it, to change it, but is completely still with the fact. It is that stillness that is intelligence. Intelligence is not thought. Intelligence is this silence and is therefore totally impersonal. It does not belong to any group, to any person, to any race, to any culture.
So my mind has found that there is a silence, not something put together by thought, discipline, practice and all that horror, but a seeing thought cannot possibly go beyond itself; because thought is the result of the past and where the past is functioning it must create division and therefore conflicts. Can one see that and remain still with it? You know, it is like being completely still with sorrow. When somebody dies for whom you care, whom you have looked after, cherished, loved and been concerned with, there is the shock of loneliness, of despair, a sense of isolation, everything falls around you; can one remain with that sorrow not seeking explanations and the cause, thinking, "Why should he go and not I?" To remain completely still with it is intelligence. That intelligence can then operate in thought, using knowledge, and that knowledge and thought will not create division.
So the question arises: how is the mind, your mind, which is endlessly chattering, endlessly bourgeois - caught in a trap, struggling, seeking, following a guru and using discipline - how is that mind to be completely still?
Harmony is stillness. There is harmony between the body, the heart and the mind, complete harmony, not discord. That means the body must not be imposed upon, not disciplined by the mind. When it likes a certain kind of food, or tobacco, or drugs and the excitement of all that, to be controlled by the mind is an imposition. Whereas the body has its own intelligence when it is sensitive, alive and not spoilt; it has its own intelligence. One must have such a body, which is alive, active, not drugged. And also one must have a heart - not excitement, not sentiment, not emotion, not enthusiasm, but that sense of fulness, of depth, quality, vigour, that can only be when there is love. And one must have a mind that has immense space. Then there is harmony.
Now how is the mind to come upon this? I am sure you are all asking this, perhaps not whilst you are sitting here, but when you go home, when you walk, you will ask: how can one have this sense of complete integrity, of unity of body, heart and mind without any sense of distortion, division or fragmentation? How do you think you can have it? You see the fact of this, don't you? You see the truth of it, that you must have complete harmony in yourself, in the mind, the heart and the body. It is like having a clear window, without any scratch, unsullied; then, as you look out through the window you can see things without any distortion. How can you have that?
Now, who sees this truth? Who sees the truth that there must be this complete harmony? As we said, when there is harmony there is silence. When the mind, the heart and the organism are completely in harmony there is silence; but when one of the three becomes distorted, there is noise. Who sees this fact? Do you see it as an idea, as a theory, as something you "should have"? If you do, then it is all the function of thought. Then you will say: tell me what kind of system I must practise to get this, I will renounce, I will discipline - all that is the activity of thought. But when you see the truth of this - the truth, not what "should be" - when you see that is the fact, then it is intelligence that sees it. Therefore it is intelligence that will function and bring about this state.
Thought is of time, intelligence is not of time. Intelligence is immeasurable - not the scientific intelligence, not the intelligence of a technician, or of a housewife, or of a man who knows a great deal. Those are all within the field of thought and knowledge. It is only when the mind is completely still - and it can be still, you don't have to practise or control, it can be completely still - then there is harmony, there is vast space and silence. And only then the Immeasurable is.
Questioner: I have been listening to you for fifty years. You have said one has to die every moment. This is more real to me now than it has ever been.
Krishnamurti: I understand, Sir. Must you listen to the speaker for fifty years and at the end of it you understand what he says? Does it take time? Or do you see the beauty of something instantly and therefore it is? Now why do you and others take time over all this? Why must you have many years to understand a very simple thing? And it is very simple, I assure you. It only becomes complex in explanation, but the fact is extraordinarily simple. Why doesn't one see the simplicity and the truth and the beauty of it instantly - and then the whole phenomenon of life changes? Why? Is it because we are so heavily conditioned? And if you are so heavily conditioned, can't you see that conditioning instantly, or must you peel it off like an onion, layer after layer? Is it that one is lazy, indolent, indifferent, caught in one's own problem? If you are caught in one problem, that problem is not separate from the rest of the problems, they are all interrelated. If you take one problem whether it is sex, relationship, or loneliness, whatever it is - go to the very end of it. But because you can't do it, you have to listen to somebody for fifty years! Are you going to say it takes you fifty years to look at those mountains?
Questioner: I would like to know about Hatha Yoga. I know many people who practise it but they betray themselves; they live obviously in imagination.
Krishnamurti: I was told that Hatha Yoga and all the complications of it was invented about three thousand years ago. I was told this by a man who had studied the whole thing very carefully. At that time the rulers of the land had to keep their brains and their thoughts very clear and so they chewed some kind of leaf from the Himalayan mountains. As time went on the plant died out, and so they had to invent a method by which the various glands in the human system could be kept healthy and vigorous. So they invented Yoga exercises to keep the body healthy and thereby to have a very active, clear mind. The practice of certain exercises - asanas and so on - does keep the glands healthy and active. They also found that the right kind of breathing helps - not to achieve enlightenment, but to keep the mind, the brain cells, supplied with sufficient air, so that they function well. Then all the exploiters came along and said: if you do all these things then you will have a quiet, silent mind. Their silence is the silence of thought, which is corruption and therefore death. They said: this way you will awaken various centres and you will experience enlightenment. Of course our minds are so eager, so greedy, wanting more experiences, wanting to be better than somebody else, better looking, to have a better body, so we fall into that trap. The speaker does various exercises, about two hours a day; don't copy him, you know nothing about it! So long as one has imagination, which is the function of thought, do what you will, the mind can never be quiet, peaceful, with a sense of great inward beauty and sufficiency.
Questioner: In this harmonious, integrated state, when the mind functions strictly in a technological way, is there then this separation of the observer and the observed?
Krishnamurti: I understand the question. What do you think? When there is complete harmony - real, not imaginary harmony - when the body, the heart and the mind are completely harmonious and integrated, when there is that sense of intelligence which is harmony, and that intelligence is using thought, then will there be the division of the observer and the observed? Obviously not. When there is no harmony there is fragmentation, then thought creates the division as the "me" and the "not me", the observer and the observed. This is so simple.
Questioner: You said in your second talk that one should be aware not only when awake but also during sleep.
Krishnamurti: Is there an awareness when you are asleep as well as when you are awake? Do you understand the question? That is, during the day one is superficially or deeply aware of everything that is going on inwardly; one is aware of all the movements of thought, the division, the conflict, the misery, the loneliness, one's demand for pleasure, the pursuit of ambition, greed, anxiety, one is aware of the whole of that. When you are so aware during the day, does that awareness continue during the night in the form of dreams? Or are there no dreams but only an awareness?
Please listen to this: am I, are you, aware during the day of every movement of thought? Be honest, be simple: you are not. You are aware in patches. I am aware for two minutes, then there is a great blank and then again a few minutes, or half an hour later, I realize I have forgotten myself and pick it up again. There are gaps in our awareness - we are never aware continuously and we think we ought to be aware all the time. Now first of all, there are great spaces between awareness, aren't there? There is awareness, then unawareness, then awareness and so on, during the day. Which is important? To be continuously aware? Or to be aware for short periods? What is one to do with the long periods when one is not aware? Amongst those three, what do you think is important? I know what is important for me. I am not bothered about being aware for a short period, or wanting to have awareness continuously. I am only concerned with when I am not aware, when I am inattentive. I say I am very interested in why I am inattentive, and what I am to do about that inattention, that unawareness. That is my problem - not to have constant awareness. You would go crazy unless you had really gone into this very, very deeply. So my concern is: why am I inattentive and what happens in that period of inattention?
I know what happens when I am aware. When I am aware nothing happens. I am alive, moving, living, vital; in that nothing can happen because there is no choice for something to happen. Now, when I am inattentive, not aware, then things happen. Then I say things which are not true, then I am nervous, anxious, caught, I fall back into my despair. So why does this happen? Are you getting my point? Is that what you are doing? Or are you concerned with being totally aware and trying, practising to be aware all the time?
I see I am not aware, and I am going to watch what happens in that state when I am not aware. To be aware that I am not aware is awareness. I know when I am aware; when there is an awareness it is something entirely different. And I know when I am not aware, I get nervous, I twitch my hands, I do all kinds of stupid things. When there is attention in that unawareness the whole thing is over. When at that moment of unawareness I am aware that I am not aware, then it is finished; because then I don't have to struggle nor say, "I must be aware all the time, please tell me a method to be aware, I must practise and so on" - becoming more and more stupid. So you see when there is no awareness and I know I am not aware, then the whole movement changes.
Now, what happens during sleep? Is there an awareness when you are asleep? If you are aware during the day-time in patches, then that continues while you are asleep - obviously. But when you are aware, and also aware that you are inattentive, a totally different movement takes place. Then when you sleep there is an awareness of complete quietness. The mind is aware of itself. I won't go into all this, it is not a mystery, it is not something that is extraordinary. You see, when the mind is deeply aware during the day, that awareness in depth brings about a quality of mind during sleep that is absolutely quiet. During the day you have observed, you have been aware, either in patches, or you have been aware of your inattention; then as you go through the day the activity of the brain has established order when you sleep. The brain demands order, even if that order is in some neurotic belief, in nationalism, or in this or that - but in that it finds an order which inevitably brings about disorder. But when you are aware during the day, and aware of your unawareness, then at the end of the day there is order; then the brain does not have to struggle during the night to bring about order. Therefore the brain becomes rested, it is quiet. And the next morning the brain is extraordinarily alive, not a dead, corrupt, drugged thing.
Public Dialogues Saanen 1971
1st Public Dialogue Saanen
4th August 1971
The Fragmentation of Consciousness
Krishnamurti: Could we in these dialogues work out one problem each morning, go into it thoroughly, so that we really understand it? This is a friendly conversation between us in which we can go into a problem together and see if we cannot resolve the problem that we take each morning. A dialogue is different from a dialectical argument; it is not seeking truth through opinion, or discussion, which means reasoning, logic, argument; that will not lead us very far. Can we take one problem this morning and go into it completely, not deviating from it but go into it step by step, in detail, hesitatingly, not offering an opinion - because then it is your opinion, your argument, against somebody else's - and also not indulging in ideologies, not quoting others, but take a problem that is vital to each one of us and work it out together? That would be worthwhile, I feel. Shall we do that?
Questioner (1): Could we discuss order?
Questioner (2): I find that in spite of all you have said I am still left with my inner emptiness. The urge to escape from it prevents me from looking - I am always escaping.
Questioner (3): I wonder if the method we use together really makes it possible for us to make a radical and lasting transformation? Because this method is on the conscious level and the forces which bind us are on the unconscious level. How can we really be liberated from the unconscious conditioning and motives? For instance, if I may give an example, I know lots of people who have been following you for many years, they don't judge from the point of view of nationalities any more, but they judge the hippies, which is the same thing.
Questioner (4): I have a problem in understanding awareness. My mind is aware when it is going through something, it labels it, and then I become separate from the experience. When I become aware, there is a separation between the obseved and the observer.
Questioner (5): What is it to look at life completely?
Questioner (6): You said, "I am the world and the world is me." What are the simple reasons for that assertion?
Krishnamurti: Which one of these problems shall we take this morning, so that when you and I leave the tent we have really understood it?
Questioner: Do you look at life as good or evil?
Krishnamurti: How do you actually look at life? Don't pretend. Don't let us become theoretical, hypothetical, and thereby slightly dishonest. Do you look at life as a whole, or do you look at life in fragments? - all broken up. Is it possible to look at this whole movement as a unitary process? And can I, who have been brought up in a certain culture which conditions me, consciously or unconsciously, to look at God and the Devil - the physical and the non-physical - can I consider this whole movement of life, or do I break it up? And when you do break it up then, out of that, comes disorder. Now, how do you actually look at life?
Questioner: In most of the discussions I have heard you start with the premise of disorder, not from the point of view of order.
Krishnamurti: I don't posit order, I start with disorder. We are in disorder, that is clear. There is war, the division of nationalities, there is man and woman fighting each other. We are at war with each other and in ourselves, that is disorder. This is the fact. It would be absurd to posit order - there is no order!
Questioner: Is there not order in natural life?
Krishnamurti: Probably there is, in nature. But that is not my question. Our question is: can you and I look at this whole phenomenon of existence as one unitary movement, not broken up as the conscious and the unconscious?
Questioner: But that would be order.
Krishnamurti: We are discussing that, I don't know where it is going to lead us. We are trying to find out through conversation whether our minds are capable of looking at life as a whole, as one unitary movement and therefore without contradiction.
Questioner: But isn't the definition of the unconscious that I am unable to look at it?
Krishnamurti: We must go into this slowly. Now suppose I cannot look at life as a whole. Am I aware that I look at life fragmentarily? Let us begin with that. Are you aware, do you know that you divide life?
Questioner (1): No.
Questioner (2): Is not "life as a whole" an abstract concept?
Krishnamurti: If we posit life as a unitary process, as an idea, then it is a concept. But if we realize that we live in fragments and ask whether that fragmentary division can be changed, then we may find out the other.
Questioner: It appears to me that I have to find out what I am first, before I can begin to change. I don't like hippies, and that's what I am! Possibly I can change it, if I first become what I am.
Krishnamurti: Look, Sir, we are not talking about change. This morning we are trying to go into the question: how do I consider life?
Questioner: If I am fragmented I can't see it as a whole.
Krishnamurti: That's it. Are we fragmented? Let's begin with that.
Questioner: May be fragmentation is not at the conscious level, as you said, as an artist, a scientist, a priest. The fragmentation is in the unconscious.
Krishnamurti: First of all be absolutely sure that you have discarded the superficial; that you are no longer caught in the various religious and nationalistic fragmentary approaches to life. Be quite sure you have discarded all that completely; it is one of the most difficult things to do. But let's go deeper.
Questioner: If these decisions do exist on the conscious level, isn't that a fragmentation in itself, to discard them?
Krishnamurti: We'll come to that. By going into the conscious and seeing how fragmentary it is, we will naturally come upon the other. Then they will come together, because we have divided life as the conscious and the unconscious, the hidden, and the open. That is the psychoanalytical, the psychological point of view. To me personally that does not exist. I don't divide into conscious and unconscious. But apparently for most of us there is this division.
Now, how are you going to examine the unconscious? You have said there is this division between the conscious and the unconscious, and one may be superficially free of the divisions that culture has brought about. How are you going to examine the unconscious with all its fragmentations?
Questioner (1): Hadn't we better examine whether there is a conscious and an unconscious, and find out whether or not they exist?
Questioner (2): What is the definition of the unconscious?
Krishnamurti: Apparently the definition of the unconscious is it is what we don't know about. We think we know what superficial consciousness is, but we don't know what the unconscious is. Just listen to what that gentleman said: we have made this division but is that a fact?
Questioner: If the unconscious is not a fact, after one talk at Saanen we would be liberated!
Krishnamurti: There is the conscious and the unconscious. I don't say the division exists, but that's what we have taken. Do you know your conscious mind - what you think, how you think, why you think? Are you conscious of what you are doing and what you are not doing? You think you understand the conscious but you may not actually understand it. Which is the fact? Do you really know the conscious? Do you know the content of the conscious mind?
Questioner: Isn't the conscious mind, what we understand, by definition?
Krishnamurti: You may understand one thing and you may not understand another. You may understand one part of the content of the conscious and another part you may not know anything about at all. So do you know the content of your conscious mind?
Questioner: If we knew it there wouldn't be this chaos in the world.
Krishnamurti: Of course, naturally.
Questioner: But we don't know it.
Krishnamurti: That's my point. We think we know it. We think we know the operations of the conscious mind, because there is a set of habits: going to the office, doing this and that. And we think we understand the content of the superficial mind. But I question it, and I also question very much whether the unconscious can ever be investigated by the conscious. If I don't know the content of the conscious mind, how can I examine the unconscious with its content? So there must be a different approach to it altogether.
Questioner (1): How do we know the unconscious exists?
Questioner (2): By its manifestations.
Krishnamurti: You say, "By its manifestations." That is, consciously you may be doing something, but unconsciously the motive may be entirely different from the conscious urge.
Questioner: Negative action.
Krishnamurti: Of course. Please let us try to understand each other. If the content of the conscious cannot be known completely, how can that conscious, which is superficial, which does not know itself, examine the unconscious with all its hidden content? Now you have only one means of examination, which is: to look at the unconscious consciously. Please see the importance of this.
Questioner: Isn't it true that for any inward conscious manifestation there is also a parallel outward manifestation?
Krishnamurti: Obviously. Can we put it this way: do I know the content of my consciousness? Am I aware of it, do I understand it, have I observed without prejudice, without any kind of formula?
Questioner: I think the problem is deeper. What you know, what you are aware of, that is your conscious, everything you are not aware of, don't know about, that is your unconscious.
Krishnamurti: I understand; that is what he said just now. Please give a few minutes thought to what somebody else has said, which is: if I don't know the content of my superficial consciousness, can that consciousness, which is not complete in the understanding of its superficiality, examine the unconscious? That is what you are doing now, aren't you? You are trying to observe the unconscious consciously. No?
Questioner (1): This is impossible. We cannot do it.
Questioner (2): There is no frontier between consciousness and the unconscious.
Krishnamurti: Therefore what will you do? Don't indulge in theories. Look, I have been brought up with a highly traditional Brahmanical background; the tradition of it is ruthless. From morning until night you are told what to do, what not to do, what to think. From the moment you are born you are conditioned. It is done consciously every day, by the Temple, by the mother, by the father, by the environment, by the culture which is Brahmanic. Then you move to another conditioning, and again to another conditioning. There is conditioning after conditioning. All this is laid upon you by society, by civilization, by accident, or by intention. Now, how are you going to divide this and that? - they are all interrelated. I may reject the Brahmanical tradition very quickly, or I may not, or I may think I have done it, yet still be caught in it. How am I to understand this whole content?
Questioner: I am that content.
Krishnamurti: Of course, consciousness is its content! Please see that. My consciousness is made up of the Brahmanical tradition, the theosophical tradition, the World Teacher - all that; the content of all this consciousness is that. Now can I look at this whole content as one, or do I have to look at it fragmentarily? Wait, see the difficulty first. Is there a content so deep down that I don't know it? Can I forever only know the superficial content? That is the problem. Now how am I to uncondition the mind which has such a content?
Questioner: You said that you were taking the example of a Brahmanical conditioning, which is still looking at it fragmentarily. But your relationship with a father, or a mother, or with somebody who was awfully nervous, or who frustrated you - this would be even more important. If you ask, "How do I uncondition the mind, or how do I uncondition myself", I would say: how do I change?
Krishnamurti: It is the same thing, Sir.
Questioner: For instance, I believe that first you must become what you are.
Krishnamurti: What are you? You are all that conditioning. Are you aware of all your conditioning? Before we talk about change, first we must ask: am I aware of my conditioning? Not only superficially but in the deep down layers. As the gentleman pointed out, I may be caught in a Christian, Communist, or Brahmanical tradition; but also I have lived in a family where the mother may have been brutal or nervous. Fortunately in the family in which this person grew up, there were thirteen children and nobody cared!
Questioner: I have the feeling that I am unconditioning myself by listening to you.
Krishnamurti: That's it, just listen, that is what I want to get at. Let's move!
Questioner: Attention must uncondition the mind.
Krishnamurti: No, Madam. That is speculation. Just let us follow this please. I am all my content: the content is my consciousness, the content is experience, knowledge, tradition, upbringing, the nervous father, the brutal or the nagging mother. All that is the content which is "me". Now am I aware of this content? Don't shrug your shoulders and say "I don't know; otherwise you can't move forwards. If you are not aware - I am afraid you are not, if I may point out - then how do we proceed?
Questioner: The mind is aware that it is conditioned. It sees the conditioning.
Krishnamurti: I understand. Look, I can see part of my conditioning; I can see I am conditioned as a Communist or a Muslim, but there are other parts of this. Can I investigate consciously the various fragments which compose the "me", the content of my consciousness? Can I consciously look at all this?
Questioner: But we are not separate from it.
Krishnamurti: I understand. How am I to look at the various contents of my consciousness? Or is that a totally wrong process?
Questioner: It must be.
Krishnamurti: We are going to find out, don't say, "It must be."
Questioner: I don't see how one can envisage all of these parts. It seems that if one can hold oneself to what one is seeing actually around one in the foreground of one's sight, without judgment or preconception as to how one should look at it, then one begins to see even the subconscious.
Krishnamurti: I understand. But you have not yet answered my question, which is: can you look at the content of your consciousness? - you being part of that content. If you cannot know the content of your consciousness, how can you say, "I am right", or "I am wrong", "I loathe this or that", "This is good", or "That is bad", "The hippies are nice", "The hippies are not nice"? You are not in a position to judge at all. So, can you know the content of your own consciousness?
Questioner: What is aware of the conditioning? That is the important thing, surely.
Krishnamurti: So let's go on a little bit. Does one realize one's consciousness is its content? Do you understand my statement? The content makes up consciousness. So consciousness is not separate from its content; the content is consciousness. Is that absolutely clear? Now, what do you do then? The fact is, the content makes up your consciousness; being a Communist, a Christian, a Buddhist, the influence of the father, the mother, the pressures of civilization, whatever it is, all that is the content. Do you say, "That is a fact"? Begin with that. Keep to it. Then what do you do?
Questioner: I see that the usual process of my trying to act on what I see, is in itself a fragmentation; and when that is seen clearly, I stop acting on what I see.
Krishnamurti: No, you are missing my point.
Questioner: We cannot do anything - there is nothing to be done.
Krishnamurti: Wait: don't move from there.
Questioner: This process must lead to the world order.
Krishnamurti: That's just it. The world order, or disorder, is the content of my consciousness, which is in disorder. Therefore I said, "I am the world, the world is me." The "me" is made up of all the different parts of the content, and so is the world. The fact is, the content of my consciousness is consciousness. How do I proceed from there to unravel the various contents, examine them, throw out some, keep some. Who is the entity that is examining? That entity, which seems separate, is part of my consciousness, which is the result of the culture in which I have been brought up. The second fact is: if there is an entity which examines each fragment of that content, then that examiner is part of the content, and that examiner has separated himself from the content for various psychological reasons of security, safety, protection; and also it is part of the culture. So on examination I find that I am playing a trick I am deceiving myself. Do you see this?
The division as the examiner, as the observer, separating himself from the content, analysing, rejecting or keeping - all that is also the result of the content. Do I see this very clearly? If I do, then what is action? I am faced with this problem. I am tremendously conditioned, and part of this conditioning is the desire to be secure. A child needs to be secure; the brain needs to be completely secure so as to function healthily. But that brain, wanting to be secure, may find security in some neurotic belief or in some neurotic action. So it has found security in tradition and holds on to it. And it has found security in this division as the observer and the observed, because that is part of the tradition; because if I reject the observer I am lost!
So I am now faced with the fact that division as the observer and the observed, or whatever movement I make, is part of the content. Are you clear on this? Then what is there to be done? We are not discussing the conscious or the unconscious, because it is part of this. We say the conscious mind observes at a certain level but there are deeper motives, deeper intentions, deeper vitalities, and the whole of that is the content of my consciousness, which is the world consciousness.
So what am I to do? My mind realizes that it must be free from conditioning, otherwise I am a slave to that; I see there will be wars, there will be antagonism, there will be division. So the mind, being intelligent, says it must uncondition itself at any price. How is this to be done without the division as the analyser and the analysed? - knowing the content is consciousness, and that any effort I make to get out of it is still part of that content. Do you understand? Then what is one to do, faced with this?
Questioner: Either accept the world as it is, or totally reject it - we can't accept it as it is.
Krishnamurti: Who are you to accept it? Why should you accept it or reject it? It is a fact. There is the sun. Do you accept it or reject it? It is there! You are faced with this and if you reject it, who is the person who is rejecting it? The person is part of that consciousness he is rejecting; only it is a part that does not suit him. And if he accepts, he will accept the part that suits him.
Questioner: But it is even more difficult than that; because if you are only conditioned to be a Hindu, you might not even know it. To go back to what you said before about a neurotic pattern: one may be fixed in a neurotic pattern and not know it.
Krishnamurti: That's why I am going to show you something, Sir.
Questioner: How can I reject it?
Krishnamurti: You can't reject anything. There it is! Now what is the action that takes place when you observe that you can't do anything?
Questioner: You stop. You feel that all this consciousness is not really it, and you might be a monster. And getting the feeling that you are this, you stop. But the process goes on, you can't help it.
Krishnamurti: No. The process goes on only when I have not understood the content of my consciousness: whether it is neurotic, or not, whether it is homosexual or not - the content - all that is implied. And if I choose one part and hold on to it, that is the very essence of neurosis. So any action on my part - which is part of the content of my consciousness - cannot be unconditioned; it cannot be done that way.
Then what am I to do? Have you got it? I will not reject or accept it. That is a fact.
Questioner: Everything you do only strengthens the division.
Krishnamurti: Therefore, what do you do?
Questioner: You can't do any thing.
Krishnamurti: Wait, you are too quick! You don't know what it means not to do a thing!
Questioner: May I just say what Freud said: you must bring what is the unconscious into the conscious.
Krishnamurti: I am not interested in what Freud says.
Questioner: I am.
Questioner: Because it is a fact. You can see it in nature.
Krishnamurti: Are you quoting Freud, or have you observed it yourself? Is it your own experience when you say that the unconscious pops up and acts, or that the unconscious prevents action? You are still thinking in terms of division - the conscious and the unconscious. I am not thinking in those terms at all.
Questioner: There isn't really a division.
Krishnamurti: But you still say: the unconscious pops up.
Questioner: It's just a word - like "will".
Krishnamurti: Oh no, when we use the word "unconscious" we are using it with the definite meaning that there is something which is not conscious. To me that is a statement of fragmentation. So if you know that you are fragmented that way, why do you hold on to it?
Questioner: Our unconscious works!
Krishnamurti: Of course it does. Someone says he is heterosexual; deep down he is probably homosexual. We are always contradicting ourselves, always hypocrites. So I say all this is part of consciousness: tradition, Freud, holding on to it, not holding on to it, dislike of the hippies and liking the squares - it is all the same. So I am saying to you, the whole of the content is my consciousness. I will not choose one part, and not the other; not hold on to one part because that pleases me, or because I am conditioned that way.
Questioner: But when you say "the religious mind" - you talk about that...
Krishnamurti: I am afraid I do.
Questioner: ...you also make a division.
Krishnamurti: Ah, no, I say when there is no division of any kind, not only superficially, but in the content of consciousness itself, as the observer and the observed, when there is nothing of that, then there is the quality of the religious mind. That has been made very clear.
Now please just listen. When we say the content makes up consciousness - whether Freudian philosophy, or your particular experience - everything is included in that. The poor man in India has never heard of Freud, or Christ, but the man who has been brought up with the mythology of Christ, says: that is a fact. And the poor villager with his God, says: that is a fact. Both are the content of one's consciousness. Surely Sir?
Questioner: It is not clear.
Krishnamurti: You see, you refuse to let go of the particular fragment to which you are holding on. This is what I have to fight when I go to India, because for centuries they have been brought up with the idea that there is an Atman and Brahman, God. And they believe most fundamentally that enlightenment is only possible when these two come together. And I say it is nonsense, both are invented by thought.
Now I have come to this point: I see for myself that any movement within that content is still part of the content. I know it completely, it is as clear as that sunshine, it is an absolute fact. Then I say to myself: now, how is the mind to free itself from its conditioning?
Questioner: You will have to go beyond the conditioning.
Krishnamurti: No, to "go beyond" means still being part of it.
Questioner: But you can go beyond yourself when you are listening.
Krishnamurti: Yes, quite right.
Questioner: Because I feel that you have lost your conditioning, I am going to listen to you, actually listen.
Krishnamurti: I understand, Sir. You don't know me, please don't say, "you are unconditioned; you don't know what it means, so please don't judge.
Questioner: We don't want to get rid of our conditioning.
Krishnamurti: Keep it and live with it, be in turmoil, be in misery, have wars! If you like it, hold on to it. And that is what is happening! The Arab holds on to his conditioning and that is why he is fighting the Israelis. And the Israelis hold on to theirs. That is the world. I have my particular anchor and won't let go. So knowing all this, what is the mind to do?
Questioner: I become very quiet. I don't do anything.
Krishnamurti: Do you follow the statement? He says: when I am faced with this fact that I am wholly conditioned, I become silent. I can play tricks upon myself and say I am un-conditioning myself - which is part of my training, which is part of the content. He says, "I become silent". Is that so?
Questioner: I can't help bringing in the "I".
Krishnamurti: That's just it. He means really that it is a means of saying "I". Now what happens when you are faced with something about which you can't do anything? Until now you have thought, because of your conditioning, that you could do something, that you could change, that you could manipulate, that you could alter things; but it is still part of the same field, moving from one corner of the field to another. When you realize that any movement within that field is a conditioned movement, what takes place? When the Arab and the Israeli say: look, I am conditioned and you are conditioned, what takes place? Go on, Sir, what takes place?
Questioner: Then it is possible to live.
Krishnamurti: I realize I am totally conditioned and that any tricks I can play upon myself are part of my conditioning. Changing from being a Catholic to becoming a Hindu, from being a Hindu to Communism, then back to Zen, and from Zen to Krishnamurti and so on (Laughter) - it is part of my conditioning, it is part of this whole content. What happens when I realize this?
Questioner: The process stops itself.
Krishnamurti: Has it stopped with you? Don't theorize!
Questioner: It is a fact. It stops by itself.
Krishnamurti: It is much more complex than that. You are too quick, you are not going with it. You want a result.
Questioner: The mind that sees this, is not the same mind that started the enquiry.
Krishnamurti: That's it. Go slowly, Sir. What has taken place to a mind that started enquiring into its content and has discovered the extraordinary divisions, the contradictions, the fragmentation, the assertions, the aggression, all that; what happens to such a mind?
Questioner: It becomes very clear. It wins space, it is in another state.
Krishnamurti: Then Sir, I will put you a different question. What is your action in daily life - not just in a crisis - when you realize this fact?
Questioner: Maybe we don't realize this.
Krishnamurti: That's my point. Either you realize this as a fact, and that fact fundamentally changes the whole structure of your consciousness, or you don't realize it. If you don't realize it - as apparently you don't - and merely say, "I understand", it means nothing. When you are confronted with this fact, what is your action in daily life? Relate the two, then you will get the answer. That is: I realize that I am conditioned as a Hindu. I realize that I have been brought up in peculiar circumstances - the world teacher - the devotion, candles, worship, all that; facing the world, property, money, position, prestige - and I see all that is part of the content, part of "me', What is the relationship of that perception to my daily life? Unless I relate it, it remains verbal, theoretical, non-sensical. So I must relate it. If you can't answer it, then you have not realized it, then you are playing with words.
Questioner: It appears to me that every time you ask a question, there is a problem of everyone trying to find the answer. In the question should be the realization that you can't answer.
Krishnamurti: Of Course not, Sir. I am asking it because you have to ask that question.
Questioner: That's right. It's the person who asks the question who always looks for the answer.
Krishnamurti: That is what I am saying. Whether you are attached to one neurosis or another, when you realize all this, conditioning, what does that realization do to your daily activities?
Questioner: Does all effort on the part of the self cease?
Krishnamurti: You are going to find out. When you say, "I have understood it", if there is a division between that realization and your daily action, then there is conflict. That conflict is disorder, in which we live, both the world and you and another. So what takes place when there is a real perception of the truth, like "fire burns", "poison kills"? When you realize this fact as vitally as that, then what is your action in that realization in your daily life?
Questioner: This realization keeps me aware in daily life - that is all that is needed.
Krishnamurti: Oh no, Madam. It is nothing of the kind.
Questioner: It must totally change my way of living.
Krishnamurti: Find out, Sir. Of course it does. I am not being patronizing, I am just asking you: do you realize it, in the sense that when you have toothache there is an absolute realization of pain - you do something about it? You don't theorize about it, you go to the nearest drugstore, or to the dentist, there is action. In the same way, when the mind realizes totally that you are conditioned, that your consciousness is its content - and that any movement you make is still part of that consciousness - trying to get out of it, accepting it, or rejecting it, is still part of it - then how does the realization of that truth affect your life?
The realization of the truth of that fact is going to act. You understand? And that truth, being highly intelligent, will act according to the moment.
Questioner: But can you realize that, when you are still caught in your fears and your desires?
Krishnamurti: You can't. You are trying to overcome one fragment which is fear, by another fragment. That way you cannot get rid of it, so there must be a different approach to that fragment which you call fear. And the approach is this: to do absolutely nothing about fear. Can you?
I can't do anything about the noise of that train going by, therefore I listen to it. I cannot do a thing about the roar of that train. Therefore I don't put up a resistance to it, I listen. There is noise but it does not affect me. In the same way when I realize that I am neurotic, that I am holding on to a particular way of belief, a particular way of action, that I am homosexual, or whatever it is, that I have tremendous prejudices, I just listen to it totally. I do not resist it; I listen to it totally, completely, with my heart.
We started out by asking if I can look at the whole movement of life as a unitary process. The killing, the refugees, the war in the Middle East, the Catholics, the Protestants, the scientists, the artists, the businessmen, private life, public life, my family, your family - there is endless division. This division has brought about such disorder in the world and in myself. Can I look at all this as a marvellous single movement? I can't, that is a fact. I can't, because I am fragmented in myself. I am conditioned in myself. So my concern then is, not to find out how to live a unitary life, but to see if the fragmentation can come to an end. And that fragmentation only comes to an end when I realize that all my consciousness is made up of these fragments. My consciousness is the fragmentation. And when I say, "There must be integration, it must be brought together", it is still part of that trick I am playing upon myself. So I realize that. I realize it as a truth, like fire burns, you can't deceive me, it is a fact, and I am left with it. And I have to find out how it operates in my daily life - not guess, play, theorize. Because I have seen the truth of it, that truth is going to act. If I don't see it and pretend I have seen it, then I am going to make a hideous mess of my life.