First and Last Freedom
Question - 17
Question: Memory, you say, is incomplete experience. I have a memory and a vivid impression of your previous talks. In what sense is it an incomplete experience? Please explain this idea in all its details.
Krishnamurti: What do we mean by memory? You go to school and are full of facts, technical knowledge. If you are an engineer, you use the memory of technical knowledge to build a bridge. That is factual memory. There is also psychological memory. You have said something to me, pleasant or unpleasant, and I retain it; when I next meet you, I meet you with that memory, the memory of what you have said or have not said. There are two facets to memory, the psychological and the factual. They are always interrelated, therefore not clear cut. We know that factual memory is essential as a means of livelihood but is psychological memory essential? What is the factor which retains the psychological memory? What makes one psychologically remember insult or praise? Why does one retain certain memories and reject others? Obviously one retains memories which are pleasant and avoids memories which are unpleasant. If you observe, you will see that painful memories are put aside more quickly than the pleasurable ones. Mind is memory, at whatever level, by whatever name you call it; mind is the product of the past, it is founded on the past, which is memory, a conditioned state. Now with that memory we meet life, we meet a new challenge. The challenge is always new and our response is always old, because it is the outcome of the past. So experiencing without memory is one state and experiencing with memory is another. That is there is a challenge, which is always new. I meet it with the response, with the conditioning of the old. So what happens? I absorb the new, I do not understand it; and the experiencing of the new is conditioned by the past. Therefore there is a partial understanding of the new, there is never complete understanding. It is only when there is complete understanding of anything that it does not leave the scar of memory.
When there is a challenge, which is ever new, you meet it with the response of the old. The old response conditions the new and therefore twists it, gives it a bias, therefore there is no complete understanding of the new so that the new is absorbed into the old and accordingly strengthens the old. This may seem abstract but it is not difficult if you go into it a little closely and carefully. The situation in the world at the present time demands a new approach, a new way of tackling the world problem, which is ever new. We are incapable of approaching it anew because we approach it with our conditioned minds, with national, local, family and religious prejudices. Our previous experiences are acting as a barrier to the understanding of the new challenge, so we go on cultivating and strengthening memory and therefore we never understand the new, we never meet the challenge fully, completely. It is only when one is able to meet the challenge anew, afresh, without the past, only then does it yield its fruits, its riches.
The questioner says, "I have a memory and a vivid impression of your previous talks. In what sense is it an incomplete experience?" Obviously, it is an incomplete experience if it is merely an impression, a memory. If you understand what has been said, see the truth of it, that truth is not a memory. Truth is not a memory, because truth is ever new, constantly transforming itself. You have a memory of the previous talk. Why? Because you are using the previous talk as a guide, you have not fully understood it. You want to go into it and unconsciously or consciously it is being maintained. If you understand something completely, that is see the truth of something wholly, you will find there is no memory whatsoever. Our education is the cultivation of memory, the strengthening of memory. Your religious practices and rituals, your reading and knowledge, are all the strengthening of memory. What do we mean by that? Why do we hold to memory? I do not know if you have noticed that, as one grows older, one looks back to the past, to its joys, to its pains, to its pleasures; if one is young, one looks to the future. Why are we doing this? Why has memory become so important? For the simple and obvious reason that we do not know how to live wholly, completely in the present. We are using the present as a means to the future and therefore the present has no significance. We cannot live in the present because we are using the present as a passage to the future. Because I am going to become something, there is never a complete understanding of myself, and to understand myself, what I am exactly now, does not require the cultivation of memory. On the contrary, memory is a hindrance to the understanding of what is. I do not know if you have noticed that a new thought, a new feeling, comes only when the mind is not caught in the net of memory. When there is an interval between two thoughts, between two memories, when that interval can be maintained, then out of that interval a new state of being comes which is no longer memory. We have memories, and we cultivate memory as a means of continuance. The `me' and the `mine' becomes very important so long as the cultivation of memory exists, and as most of us are made up of `me' and `mine', memory plays a very important part in our lives. If you had no memory, your property, your family, your ideas, would not be important as such; so to give strength to `me' and `mine', you cultivate memory. If you observe, you will see that there is an interval between two thoughts, between two emotions. In that interval, which is not the product of memory, there is an extraordinary freedom from the `me' and the `mine' and that interval is timeless.
Let us look at the problem differently. Surely memory is time, is it not? Memory creates yesterday, today and tomorrow. Memory of yesterday conditions today and therefore shapes tomorrow. That is the past through the present creates the future. There is a time process going on, which is the will to become. Memory is time, and through time we hope to achieve a result. I am a clerk today and, given time and opportunity, I will become the manager or the owner. Therefore I must have time, and with the same mentality we say, "I shall achieve reality, I shall approach God". Therefore I must have time to realize, which mean I must cultivate memory, strengthen memory by practice, by discipline, to be something, to achieve, to gain, which mean continuation in time. Through time we hope to achieve the timeless, through time we hope to gain the eternal. Can you do that? Can you catch the eternal in the net of time, through memory, which is of time? The timeless can be only when memory, which is the `me' and the `mine', ceases. If you see the truth of that - that through time the timeless cannot be understood or received - then we can go into the problem of memory. The memory of technical things is essential; but the psychological memory that maintains the self, the `me' and the `mine', that gives identification and self-continuance, is wholly detrimental to life and to reality. When one sees the truth of that, the false drops away; therefore there is no psychological retention of yesterday's experience.
You see a lovely sunset, a beautiful tree in a field and when you first look at it, you enjoy it completely, wholly; but you go back to it with the desire to enjoy it again. What happens when you go back with the desire to enjoy it? There is no enjoyment, because it is the memory of yesterday's sunset that is now making you return, that is pushing, urging you to enjoy. Yesterday there was no memory, only a spontaneous appreciation, a direct response; today you are desirous of recapturing the experience of yesterday. That is, memory is intervening between you and the sunset, therefore there is no enjoyment, there is no richness, fullness of beauty. Again, you have a friend, who said something to you yesterday, an insult or a compliment and you retain that memory; with that memory you meet your friend today. You do not really meet your friend - you carry with you the memory of yesterday, which intervenes. So we go on, surrounding ourselves and our actions with memory, and therefore there is no newness, no freshness. That is why memory makes life weary, dull and empty. We live in antagonism with each other because the `me' and the `mine' are strengthened through memory. Memory comes to life through action in the present; we give life to memory through the present but when we do not give life to memory, it fades away. Memory of facts, of technical things, is an obvious necessity, but memory as psychological retention is detrimental to the understanding of life, the communion with each other.
Question - 18
Surrender to `What Is'
Question: What is the difference between surrendering to the will of God and what you are saying about the acceptance of what is?
Krishnamurti: Surely there is a vast difference, is there not? Surrendering to the will of God implies that you already know the will of God. You are not surrendering to something you do not know. If you know reality, you cannot surrender to it; you cease to exist; there is no surrendering to a higher will. If you are surrendering to a higher will, then that higher will is the projection of yourself, for the real cannot be known through the known. It comes into being only when the known ceases to be. The known is a creation of the mind, because thought is the result of the known, of the past, and thought can only create what it knows; therefore what it knows is not the eternal. That is why, when you surrender to the will of God, you are surrendering to your own projections; it may be gratifying, comforting but it is not the real.
To understand what is demands a different process - perhaps the word `process' is not right but what I mean is this: to understand ‘what is’ is much more difficult, it requires greater intelligence, greater awareness, than merely to accept or give yourself over to an idea. To understand what is does not demand effort; effort is a distraction. To understand something, to understand what is you cannot be distracted, can you? If I want to understand what you are saying I cannot listen to music, to the noise of people outside, I must give my whole attention to it. Thus it is extraordinarily difficult and arduous to be aware of what is, because our very thinking has become a distraction. We do not want to understand what is. We look at what is through the spectacles of prejudice, of condemnation or of identification, and it is very arduous to remove these spectacles and to look at what is. Surely what is is a fact, is the truth, and all else is an escape, is not the truth. To understand what is, the conflict of duality must cease, because the negative response of becoming something other than what is is the denial of the understanding of what is. If I want to understand arrogance I must not go into the opposite, I must not be distracted by the effort of becoming or even by the effort of trying to understand what is. If I am arrogant, what happens? If I do not name arrogance, it ceases; which means that in the problem itself is the answer and not away from it.
It is not a question of accepting what is; you do not accept what is, you do not accept that you are brown or white, because it is a fact; only when you are trying to become something else do you have to accept. The moment you recognize a fact it ceases to have any significance; but a mind that is trained to think of the past or of the future, trained to run away in multifarious directions, such a mind is incapable of understanding what is. Without understanding what is you cannot find what is real and without that understanding life has no significance, life is a constant battle wherein pain and suffering continue. The real can only be understood by understanding what is. It cannot be understood if there is any condemnation or identification. The mind that is always condemning or identifying cannot understand; it can only understand that within which it is caught. The understanding of what is, being aware of what is, reveals extraordinary depths, in which is reality, happiness and joy.
Question - 19
On Prayer and Meditation
Question: Is not the longing expressed in prayer a way to God?
Krishnamurti: First of all, we are going to examine the problems contained in this question. In it are implied prayer, concentration and meditation. Now what do we mean by prayer? First of all, in prayer there is petition, supplication to what you call God, reality. You, as an individual, are demanding, petitioning, begging, seeking guidance from something which you call God; therefore your approach is one of seeking a reward, seeking a gratification. You are in trouble, national or individual, and you pray for guidance; or you are confused and you beg for clarity, you look for help to what you call God. In this is implied that God, whatever God may be - we won't discuss that for the moment - is going to clear up the confusion which you and I have created. After all, it is we who have brought about the confusion, the misery, the chaos, the appalling tyranny, the lack of love, and we want what we call God to clear it up. In other words, we want our confusion, our misery, our sorrow, our conflict, to be cleared away by somebody else, we petition another to bring us light and happiness.
Now when you pray, when you beg, petition for something, it generally comes into being. When you ask, you receive; but what you receive will not create order, because what you receive does not bring clarity, understanding. it only satisfies, gives gratification but does not bring about understanding, because, when you demand, you receive that which you yourself project. How can reality, God, answer your particular demand? Can the immeasurable, the unutterable, be concerned with our petty little worries, miseries, confusions, which we ourselves have created? Therefore what is it that answers? Obviously the immeasurable cannot answer the measured, the petty, the small. But what is it that answers? At the moment when we pray we are fairly silent, in a state of receptivity; then our own subconscious brings a momentary clarity. You want something, you are longing for it, and in that moment of longing, of obsequious begging, you are fairly receptive; your conscious, active mind is comparatively still, so the unconscious projects itself into that and you have an answer. It is surely not an answer from reality, from the immeasurable - it is your own unconscious responding. So don't let us be confused and think that when your prayer is answered you are in relationship with reality. Reality must come to you; you cannot go to it.
In this problem of prayer there is another factor involved: the response of that which we call the inner voice. As I said, when the mind is supplicating, petitioning, it is comparatively still; when you hear the inner voice, it is your own voice projecting itself into that comparatively still mind. Again, how can it be the voice of reality? A mind that is confused, ignorant, craving, demanding, petitioning, how can it understand reality? The mind can receive reality only when it is absolutely still, not demanding, not craving, not longing, not asking, whether for yourself, for the nation or for another. When the mind is absolutely still, when desire ceases, then only reality comes into being. A person who is demanding, petitioning, supplicating, longing for direction will find what he seeks but it will not be the truth. What he receives will be the response of the unconscious layers of his own mind which project themselves into the conscious; that still, small voice which directs him is not the real but only the response of the unconscious.
In this problem of prayer there is also the question of concentration. With most of us, concentration is a process of exclusion. Concentration is brought about through effort, compulsion, direction, imitation, and so concentration is a process of exclusion. I am interested in so-called meditation but my thoughts are distracted, so I fix my mind on a picture, an image, or an idea and exclude all other thoughts. This process of concentration, which is exclusion, is considered to be a means of meditating. That is what you do, is it not? When you sit down to meditate, you fix your mind on a word, on an image, or on a picture but the mind wanders all over the place. There is the constant interruption of other ideas, other thoughts, other emotions and you try to push them away; you spend your time battling with your thoughts. This process you call meditation. That is you are trying to concentrate on something in which you are not interested and your thoughts keep on multiplying, increasing, interrupting, so you spend your energy in exclusion, in warding off; pushing away; if you can concentrate on your chosen thought, on a particular object, you think you have at last succeeded in meditation. Surely that is not meditation, is it? Meditation is not an exclusive process - exclusive in the sense of warding off, building resistance against encroaching ideas. Prayer is not meditation and concentration as exclusion is not meditation.
What is meditation? Concentration is not meditation, because where there is interest it is comparatively easy to concentrate on something. A general who is planning war, butchery, is very concentrated. A business man making money is very concentrated - he may even be ruthless, putting aside every other feeling and concentrating completely on what he wants. A man who is interested in anything is naturally, spontaneously concentrated. Such concentration is not meditation, it is merely exclusion.
So what is meditation? Surely meditation is understanding - meditation of the heart is understanding. How can there be understanding if there is exclusion? How can there be understanding when there is petition, supplication? In understanding there is peace, there is freedom; that which you understand, from that you are liberated. Merely to concentrate or to pray does not bring understanding. Understanding is the very basis, the fundamental process of meditation. You don't have to accept my word for it but if you examine prayer and concentration very carefully, deeply, you will find that neither of them leads to understanding. They merely lead to obstinacy, to a fixation, to illusion. Whereas meditation, in which there is understanding, brings about freedom, clarity and integration.
What, then, do we mean by understanding? Understanding means giving right significance, right valuation, to all things. To be ignorant is to give wrong values; the very nature of stupidity is the lack of comprehension of right values. Understanding comes into being when there are right values, when right values are established. And how is one to establish right values - the right value of property, the right value of relationship, the right value of ideas? For the right values to come into being, you must understand the thinker, must you not? If I don't understand the thinker, which is myself what I choose has no meaning; that is if I don't know myself, then my action, my thought, has no foundation whatsoever. Therefore self-knowledge is the beginning of meditation - not the knowledge that you pick up from my books, from authorities, from gurus, but the knowledge that comes into being through self-inquiry, which is self-awareness. Meditation is the beginning of self-knowledge and without self-knowledge there is no meditation. If I don't understand the ways of my thoughts, of my feelings, if I don't understand my motives, my desires, my demands, my pursuit of patterns of action, which are ideas - if I do not know myself, there is no foundation for thinking; the thinker who merely asks, prays, or excludes, without understanding himself, must inevitably end in confusion, in illusion.
The beginning of meditation is self-knowledge, which means being aware of every movement of thought and feeling, knowing all the layers of my consciousness, not only the superficial layers but the hidden, the deeply concealed activities. To know the deeply concealed activities, the hidden motives, responses, thoughts and feelings, there must be tranquillity in the conscious mind; that is the conscious mind must be still in order to receive the projection of the unconscious. The superficial, conscious mind is occupied with its daily activities, with earning a livelihood, deceiving others, exploiting others, running away from problems - all the daily activities of our existence. That superficial mind must understand the right significance of its own activities and thereby bring tranquillity to itself. It cannot bring about tranquillity, stillness, by mere regimentation, by compulsion, by discipline. It can bring about tranquillity, peace, stillness, only by understanding its own activities, by observing them, by being aware of them, by seeing its own ruthlessness, how it talks to the servant, to the wife, to the daughter, to the mother and so on. When the superficial, conscious mind is thus fully aware of all its activities, through that understanding it becomes spontaneously quiet, not drugged by compulsion or regimented by desire; then it is in a position to receive the intimation, the hints of the unconscious, of the many, many hidden layers of the mind - the racial instincts, the buried memories, the concealed pursuits, the deep wounds that are still unhealed. It is only when all these have projected themselves and are understood, when the whole consciousness is unburdened, unfettered by any wound, by any memory whatsoever, that it is in a position to receive the eternal.
Meditation is self-knowledge and without self-knowledge there is no meditation. If you are not aware of all your responses all the time, if you are not fully conscious, fully cognizant of your daily activities, merely to lock yourself in a room and sit down in front of a picture of your guru, of your Master, to meditate, is an escape, because without self-knowledge there is no right thinking and, without right thinking, what you do has no meaning, however noble your intentions are. Thus prayer has no significance without self-knowledge but when there is self-knowledge there is right thinking and hence right action. When there is right action, there is no confusion and therefore there is no supplication to someone else to lead you out of it. A man who is fully aware is meditating; he does not pray, because he does not want anything. Through prayer, through regimentation, through repetition and all the rest of it, you can bring about a certain stillness, but that is mere dullness, reducing the mind and the heart to a state of weariness. It is drugging the mind; and exclusion, which you call concentration, does not lead to reality - no exclusion ever can. What brings about understanding is self-knowledge, and it is not very difficult to be aware if there is right intention. If you are interested to discover the whole process of yourself - not merely the superficial part but the total process of your whole being - then it is comparatively easy. If you really want to know yourself, you will search out your heart and your mind to know their full content and when there is the intention to know, you will know. Then you can follow, without condemnation or justification, every movement of thought and feeling; by following every thought and every feeling as it arises you bring about tranquillity which is not compelled, not regimented, but which is the outcome of having no problem, no contradiction. It is like the pool that becomes peaceful, quiet, any evening when there is no wind; when the mind is still, then that which is immeasurable comes into being.
Question - 20
On the Conscious and Unconscious Mind
Question: The conscious mind is ignorant and afraid of the unconscious mind. You are addressing mainly the conscious mind and is that enough? Will your method bring about release of the unconscious? Please explain in detail how one can tackle the unconscious mind fully.
Krishnamurti: We are aware that there is the conscious and the unconscious mind but most of us function only on the conscious level, in the upper layer of the mind, and our whole life is practically limited to that. We live in the so-called conscious mind and we never pay attention to the deeper unconscious mind from which there is occasionally an intimation, a hint; that hint is disregarded, perverted or translated according to our particular conscious demands at the moment. Now the questioner asks, "You are addressing mainly the conscious mind and is that enough?" Let us see what we mean by the conscious mind. Is the conscious mind different from the unconscious mind? We have divided the conscious from the unconscious; is this justified? Is this true? Is there such a division between the conscious and the unconscious? Is there a definite barrier, a line where the conscious ends and the unconscious begins? We are aware that the upper layer, the conscious mind, is active but is that the only instrument that is active throughout the day? If I were addressing merely the upper layer of the mind, then surely what I am saying would be valueless, it would have no meaning. Yet most of us cling to what the conscious mind has accepted, because the conscious mind finds it convenient to adjust to certain obvious facts; but the unconscious may rebel, and often does, and so there is conflict between the so-called conscious and the unconscious.
Therefore, our problem is this, is it not? There is in fact only one state, not two states such as the conscious and the unconscious; there is only a state of being, which is consciousness, though you may divide it as the conscious and the unconscious. But that consciousness is always of the past, never of the present; you are conscious only of things that are over. You are conscious of what I am trying to convey the second afterwards, are you not; you understand it a moment later. You are never conscious or aware of the now. Watch your own hearts and minds and you will see that consciousness is functioning between the past and the future and that the present is merely a passage of the past to the future. Consciousness is therefore a movement of the past to the future.
If you watch your own mind at work, you will see that the movement to the past and to the future is a process in which the present is not. Either the past is a means of escape from the present, which may be unpleasant, or the future is a hope away from the present. So the mind is occupied with the past or with the future and sloughs off the present. That is the mind is conditioned by the past, conditioned as an Indian, a Brahmin or a non-Brahmin, a Christian, a Buddhist and so on, and that conditioned mind projects itself into the future; therefore it is never capable of looking directly and impartially at any fact. It either condemns and rejects the fact or accepts and identifies itself with the fact. Such a mind is obviously not capable of seeing any fact as a fact. That is our state of consciousness which is conditioned by the past and our thought is the conditioned response to the challenge of a fact; the more you respond according to the conditioning of belief, of the past, the more there is the strengthening of the past. That strengthening of the past is obviously the continuity of itself, which it calls the future. So that is the state of our mind, of our consciousness - a pendulum swinging backwards and forwards between the past and the future. That is our consciousness, which is made up not only of the upper layers of the mind but of the deeper layers as well. Such consciousness obviously cannot function at a different level, because it only knows those two movements of backwards and forwards.
If you watch very carefully you will see that it is not a constant movement but that there is an interval between two thoughts; though it may be but an infinitesimal fraction of a second, there is an interval that has significance in the swinging backwards and forwards of the pendulum. We see the fact that our thinking is conditioned by the past which is projected into the future; the moment you admit the past, you must also admit the future, because there are not two such states as the past and the future but one state which includes both the conscious and the unconscious, both the collective past and the individual past. The collective and the individual past, in response to the present, give out certain responses which create the individual consciousness; therefore consciousness is of the past and that is the whole background of our existence. The moment you have the past, you inevitably have the future, because the future is merely the continuity of the modified past but it is still the past, so our problem is how to bring about a transformation in this process of the past without creating another conditioning, another past.
To put it differently, the problem is this: Most of us reject one particular form of conditioning and find another form, a wider, more significant or more pleasant conditioning. You give up one religion and take on another, reject one form of belief and accept another. Such substitution is obviously not understanding life, life being relationship. Our problem is how to be free from all conditioning. Either you say it is impossible, that no human mind can ever be free from conditioning, or you begin to experiment, to inquire, to discover. If you assert that it is impossible, obviously you are out of the running. Your assertion may be based on limited or wide experience or on the mere acceptance of a belief but such assertion is the denial of search, of research, of inquiry, of discovery. To find out if it is possible for the mind to be completely free from all conditioning, you must be free to inquire and to discover.
Now I say it is definitely possible for the mind to be free from all conditioning - not that you should accept my authority. If you accept it on authority, you will never discover, it will be another substitution and that will have no significance. When I say it is possible, I say it because for me it is a fact and I can show it to you verbally, but if you are to find the truth of it for yourself, you must experiment with it and follow it swiftly.
The understanding of the whole process of conditioning does not come to you through analysis or introspection, because the moment you have the analyser that very analyser himself is part of the background and therefore his analysis is of no significance. That is a fact and you must put it aside. The analyser who examines, who analyses the thing which he is looking at, is himself part of the conditioned state and therefore whatever his interpretation, his understanding, his analysis may be, it is still part of the background. So that way there is no escape and to break the background is essential, because to meet the challenge of the new, the mind must be new; to discover God, truth, or what you will, the mind must be fresh, uncontaminated by the past. To analyse the past, to arrive at conclusions through a series of experiments, to make assertions and denials and all the rest of it, implies, in its very essence, the continuance of the background in different forms; when you see the truth of that fact you will discover that the analyser has come to an end. Then there is no entity apart from the background: there is only thought as the background, thought being the response of memory, both conscious and unconscious, individual and collective.
The mind is the result of the past, which is the process of conditioning. How is it possible for the mind to be free? To be free, the mind must not only see and understand its pendulum-like swing between the past and the future but also be aware of the interval between thoughts. That interval is spontaneous; it is not brought about through any causation, through any wish, through any compulsion.
If you watch very carefully, you will see that though the response, the movement of thought, seems so swift, there are gaps, there are intervals between thoughts. Between two thoughts there is a period of silence which is not related to the thought process. If you observe you will see that that period of silence, that interval, is not of time and the discovery of that interval, the full experiencing of that interval, liberates you from conditioning - or rather it does not liberate `you' but there is liberation from conditioning. So the understanding of the process of thinking is meditation. We are now not only discussing the structure and the process of thought, which is the background of memory, of experience, of knowledge, but we are also trying to find out if the mind can liberate itself from the background. It is only when the mind is not giving continuity to thought, when it is still with a stillness that is not induced, that is without any causation - it is only then that there can be freedom from the background.
Question - 21
Question: We know sex as an inescapable physical and psychological necessity and it seems to be a root cause of chaos in the personal life of our generation. How can we deal with this problem?
Krishnamurti: Why is it that whatever we touch we turn into a problem? We have made God a problem, we have made love a problem, we have made relationship, living a problem, and we have made sex a problem. Why? Why is everything we do a problem, a horror? Why are we suffering? Why has sex become a problem? Why do we submit to living with problems, why do we not put an end to them? Why do we not die to our problems instead of carrying them day after day, year after year? Sex is certainly a relevant question but there is the primary question, why do we make life into a problem? Working, sex, earning money, thinking, feeling, experiencing - you know, the whole business of living - why is it a problem? Is it not essentially because we always think from a particular point of view, from a fixed point of view? We are always thinking from a centre towards the periphery but the periphery is the centre for most of us and so anything we touch is superficial. But life is not superficial; it demands living completely and because we are living only superficially we know only superficial reaction. Whatever we do on the periphery must inevitably create a problem, and that is our life: we live in the superficial and we are content to live there with all the problems of the superficial. Problems exist so long as we live in the superficial, on the periphery, the periphery being the `me' and its sensations, which can be externalized or made subjective, which can be identified with the universe, with the country or with some other thing made up by the mind.
So long as we live within the field of the mind there must be complications, there must be problems; that is all we know. Mind is sensation, mind is the result of accumulated sensations and reactions and anything it touches is bound to create misery, confusion, an endless problem. The mind is the real cause of our problems, the mind that is working mechanically night and day, consciously and unconsciously. The mind is a most superficial thing and we have spent generations, we spend our whole lives, cultivating the mind, making it more and more clever, more and more subtle, more and more cunning, more and more dishonest and crooked, all of which is apparent in every activity of our life. The very nature of our mind is to be dishonest, crooked, incapable of facing facts, and that is the thing which creates problems; that is the thing which is the problem itself.
What do we mean by the problem of sex? Is it the act, or is it a thought about the act? Surely it is not the act. The sexual act is no problem to you, any more than eating is a problem to you, but if you think about eating or anything else all day long because you have nothing else to think about, it becomes a problem to you. Is the sexual act the problem or is it the thought about the act? Why do you think about it? Why do you build it up, which you are obviously doing? The cinemas, the magazines, the stories, the way women dress, everything is building up your thought of sex. Why does the mind build it up, why does the mind think about sex at all? Why? Why has it become a central issue in your life? When there are so many things calling, demanding your attention, you give complete attention to the thought of sex. What happens, why are your minds so occupied with it? Because that is a way of ultimate escape, is it not? It is a way of complete self-forgetfulness. For the time being, at least for that moment, you can forget yourself - and there is no other way of forgetting yourself. Everything else you do in life gives emphasis to the `me', to the self. Your business, your religion, your gods, your leaders, your political and economic actions, your escapes, your social activities, your joining one party and rejecting another - all that is emphasizing and giving strength to the `me'. That is there is only one act in which there is no emphasis on the `me', so it becomes a problem, does it not? When there is only one thing in your life which is an avenue to ultimate escape to complete forgetfulness of yourself if only for a few seconds, you cling to it because that is the only moment in which you are happy. Every other issue you touch becomes a nightmare, a source of suffering and pain, so you cling to the one thing which gives complete self-forgetfulness, which you call happiness. But when you cling to it, it too becomes a nightmare, because then you want to be free from it, you do not want to be a slave to it. So you invent, again from the mind, the idea of chastity, of celibacy, and you try to be celibate, to be chaste, through suppression, all of which are operations of the mind to cut itself off from the fact. This again gives particular emphasis to the `me' who is trying to become something, so again you are caught in travail, in trouble, in effort, in pain.
Sex becomes an extraordinarily difficult and complex problem so long as you do not understand the mind which thinks about the problem. The act itself can never be a problem but the thought about the act creates the problem. The act you safeguard; you live loosely, or indulge yourself in marriage, thereby making your wife into a prostitute which is all apparently very respectable, and you are satisfied to leave it at that. Surely the problem can be solved only when you understand the whole process and structure of the `me' and the `mine: my wife, my child, my property, my car, my achievement, my success; until you understand and resolve all that, sex as a problem will remain. So long as you are ambitious, politically, religiously or in any way, so long as you are emphasizing the self, the thinker, the experiencer, by feeding him on ambition whether in the name of yourself as an individual or in the name of the country, of the party or of an idea which you call religion - so long as there is this activity of self-expansion, you will have a sexual problem. You are creating, feeding, expanding yourself on the one hand, and on the other you are trying to forget yourself, to lose yourself if only for a moment. How can the two exist together? Your life is a contradiction; emphasis on the `me' and forgetting the `me'. Sex is not a problem; the problem is this contradiction in your life; and the contradiction cannot be bridged over by the mind, because the mind itself is a contradiction. The contradiction can be understood only when you understand fully the whole process of your daily existence. Going to the cinemas and watching women on the screen, reading books which stimulate the thought, the magazines with their half-naked pictures, your way of looking at women, the surreptitious eyes that catch yours - all these things are encouraging the mind through devious ways to emphasize the self and at the same time you try to be kind, loving, tender. The two cannot go together. The man who is ambitious, spiritually or otherwise, can never be without a problem, because problems cease only when the self is forgotten, when the `me' is non-existent, and that state of the non-existence of the self is not an act of will, it is not a mere reaction. Sex becomes a reaction; when the mind tries to solve the problem, it only makes the problem more confused, more troublesome, more painful. The act is not the problem but the mind is the problem, the mind which says it must be chaste. Chastity is not of the mind. The mind can only suppress its own activities and suppression is not chastity. Chastity is not a virtue, chastity cannot be cultivated. `The man who is cultivating humility is surely not a humble man; he may call his pride humility, but he is a proud man, and that is why he seeks to become humble. Pride can never become humble and chastity is not a thing of the mind - you cannot become chaste. You will know chastity only when there is love, and love is not of the mind nor a thing of the mind. Therefore the problem of sex which tortures so many people all over the world cannot be resolved till the mind is understood. We cannot put an end to thinking but thought comes to an end when the thinker ceases and the thinker ceases only when there is an understanding of the whole process. Fear comes into being when there is division between the thinker and his thought; when there is no thinker, then only is there no conflict in thought. What is implicit needs no effort to understand. The thinker comes into being through thought; then the thinker exerts himself to shape, to control his thoughts or to put an end to them. The thinker is a fictitious entity, an illusion of the mind. When there is a realization of thought as a fact, then there is no need to think about the fact. If there is simple, choiceless awareness, then that which is implicit in the fact begins to reveal itself. Therefore thought as fact ends. Then you will see that the problems which are eating at our hearts and minds, the problems of our social structure, can be resolved. Then sex is no longer a problem, it has its proper place, it is neither an impure thing nor a pure thing. Sex has its place; but when the mind gives it the predominant place, then it becomes a problem. The mind gives sex a predominant place because it cannot live without some happiness and so sex becomes a problem; when the mind understands its whole process and so comes to an end, that is when thinking ceases, then there is creation and it is that creation which makes us happy. To be in that state of creation is bliss, because it is self-forgetfulness in which there is no reaction as from the self. This is not an abstract answer to the daily problem of sex - it is the only answer. The mind denies love and without love there is no chastity; it is because there is no love that you make sex into a problem.
Question - 22
Question: What do you mean by love ?
Krishnamurti: We are going to discover by understanding what love is not, because, as love is the unknown, we must come to it by discarding the known. The unknown cannot be discovered by a mind that is full of the known. What we are going to do is to find out the values of the known, look at the known, and when that is looked at purely, without condemnation, the mind becomes free from the known; then we shall know what love is. So, we must approach love negatively, not positively.
What is love with most of us? When we say we love somebody, what do we mean? We mean we possess that person. From that possession arises jealousy, because if I lose him or her what happens? I feel empty, lost; therefore I legalize possession; I hold him or her. From holding, possessing that person, there is jealousy, there is fear and all the innumerable conflicts that arise from possession. Surely such possession is not love, is it?
Obviously love is not sentiment. To be sentimental, to be emotional, is not love, because sentimentality and emotion are mere sensations. A religious person who weeps about Jesus or Krishna, about his guru or somebody else, is merely sentimental, emotional. He is indulging in sensation, which is a process of thought, and thought is not love. Thought is the result of sensation, so the person who is sentimental, who is emotional, cannot possibly know love. Again, aren't we emotional and sentimental? Sentimentality, emotionalism, is merely a form of self-expansion. To be full of emotion is obviously not love, because a sentimental person can be cruel when his sentiments are not responded to, when his feelings have no outlet. An emotional person can be stirred to hatred, to war, to butchery. A man who is sentimental, full of tears for his religion, surely has no love.
Is forgiveness love? What is implied in forgiveness? You insult me and I resent it, remember it; then, either through compulsion or through repentance, I say, "I forgive you". First I retain and then I reject. Which means what? I am still the central figure. I am still important, it is I who am forgiving somebody. As long as there is the attitude of forgiving it is I who am important, not the man who is supposed to have insulted me. So when I accumulate resentment and then deny that resentment, which you call forgiveness, it is not love. A man who loves obviously has no enmity and to all these things he is indifferent. Sympathy, forgiveness, the relationship of possessiveness, jealousy and fear - all these things are not love. They are all of the mind, are they not? As long as the mind is the arbiter, there is no love, for the mind arbitrates only through possessiveness and its arbitration is merely possessiveness in different forms. The mind can only corrupt love, it cannot give birth to love, it cannot give beauty. You can write a poem about love, but that is not love.
Obviously there is no love when there is no real respect, when you don't respect another, whether he is your servant or your friend. Have you not noticed that you are not respectful, kindly, generous, to your servants, to people who are so-called `below' you? You have respect for those above, for your boss, for the millionaire, for the man with a large house and a title, for the man who can give you a better position, a better job, from whom you can get something. But you kick those below you; you have a special language for them. Therefore where there is no respect, there is no love; where there is no mercy, no pity, no forgiveness, there is no love. And as most of us are in this state we have no love. We are neither respectful nor merciful nor generous. We are possessive, full of sentiment and emotion which can be turned either way: to kill, to butcher or to unify over some foolish, ignorant intention. So how can there be love? You can know love only when all these things have stopped, come to an end, only when you don't possess, when you are not merely emotional with devotion to an object. Such devotion is a supplication, seeking something in a different form. A man who prays does not know love. Since you are possessive, since you seek an end, a result, through devotion, through prayer, which make you sentimental, emotional, naturally there is no love; obviously there is no love when there is no respect. You may say that you have respect but your respect is for the superior, it is merely the respect that comes from wanting something, the respect of fear. If you really felt respect, you would be respectful to the lowest as well as to the so-called highest; since you haven't that, there is no love. How few of us are generous, forgiving, merciful! You are generous when it pays you, you are merciful when you can see something in return. When these things disappear, when these things don't occupy your mind and when the things of the mind don't fill your heart, then there is love; and love alone can transform the present madness and insanity in the world - not systems, not theories, either of the left or of the right. You really love only when you do not possess, when you are not envious, not greedy, when you are respectful, when you have mercy and compassion, when you have consideration for your wife, your children, your neighbour, your unfortunate servants.
Love cannot be thought about, love cannot be cultivated, love cannot be practised. The practice of love, the practice of brotherhood, is still within the field of the mind, therefore it is not love. When all this has stopped, then love comes into being, then you will know what it is to love. Then love is not quantitative but qualitative. You do not say, "I love the whole world" but when you know how to love one, you know how to love the whole. Because we do not know how to love one, our love of humanity is fictitious. When you love, there is neither one nor many: there is only love. It is only when there is love that all our problems can be solved and then we shall know its bliss and its happiness.
Question - 23
Question: What relation has death to life?
Krishnamurti: Is there a division between life and death? Why do we regard death as something apart from life? Why are we afraid of death? And why have so many books been written about death? Why is there this line of demarcation between life and death? And is that separation real, or merely arbitrary, a thing of the mind?
When we talk about life, we mean living as a process of continuity in which there is identification. Me and my house, me and my wife, me and my bank account, me and my past experiences - that is what we mean by life, is it not? Living is a process of continuity in memory, conscious as well as unconscious, with its various struggles, quarrels, incidents, experiences and so on. All that is what we call life; in opposition to that there is death, which is putting an end to all that. Having created the opposite, which is death, and being afraid of it, we proceed to look for the relationship between life and death; if we can bridge the gap with some explanation, with belief in continuity, in the hereafter, we are satisfied. We believe in reincarnation or in some other form of continuity of thought and then we try to establish a relationship between the known and the unknown. We try to bridge the known and the unknown and thereby try to find the relationship between the past and the future. That is what we are doing, is it not?, when we inquire if there is any relationship between life and death. We want to know how to bridge the living and the ending - that is our fundamental desire.
Now, can the end, which is death, be known while living? If we can know what death is while we are living, then we shall have no problem. It is because we cannot experience the unknown while we are living that we are afraid of it. Our struggle is to establish a relationship between ourselves, which is the result of the known, and the unknown which we call death. Can there be a relationship between the past and something which the mind cannot conceive, which we call death? Why do we separate the two? Is it not because our mind can function only within the field of the known, within the field of the continuous? One only knows oneself as a thinker, as an actor with certain memories of misery, of pleasure, of love, affection, of various kinds of experience; one only knows oneself as being continuous - otherwise one would have no recollection of oneself as being something. Now when that something comes to the end, which we call death, there is fear of the unknown; so we want to draw the unknown into the known and our whole effort is to give continuity to the unknown. That is, we do not want to know life, which includes death, but we want to know how to continue and not come to an end. We do not want to know life and death; we only want to know how to continue without ending.
That which continues has no renewal. There can be nothing new; there can be nothing creative, in that which has continuance - which is fairly obvious. It is only when continuity ends that there is a possibility of that which is ever new. But it is this ending that we dread and we don't see that only in ending can there be renewal, the creative, the unknown - not in carrying over from day to day our experiences, our memories and misfortunes. It is only when we die each day to all that is old that there can be the new. The new cannot be where there is continuity - the new being the creative, the unknown, the eternal, God or what you will. The person, the continuous entity, who seeks the unknown, the real, the eternal, will never find it, because he can find only that which he projects out of himself and that which he projects is not the real. Only in ending, in dying, can the new be known; and the man who seeks to find a relationship between life and death, to bridge the continuous with that which he thinks is beyond, is living in a fictitious, unreal world, which is a projection of himself.
Now is it possible, while living, to die - which means coming to an end, being as nothing? Is it possible, while living in this world where everything is becoming more and more or becoming less and less, where everything is a process of climbing, achieving, succeeding, is it possible, in such a world, to know death? Is it possible to end all memories - not the memory of facts, the way to your house and so on, but the inward attachment through memory to psychological security, the memories that one has accumulated, stored up, and in which one seeks security, happiness? Is it possible to put an end to all that - which means dying every day so that there may be a renewal tomorrow? It is only then that one knows death while living. Only in that dying, in that coming to an end, putting an end to continuity, is there renewal, that creation which is eternal.
Question - 24
Question: Can the past dissolve all at once, or does it invariably need time ?
Krishnamurti: We are the result of the past. Our thought is founded upon yesterday and many thousand yesterdays. We are the result of time, and our responses, our present attitudes, are the cumulative effect of many thousand moments, incidents and experiences. So the past is, for the majority of us, the present, which is a fact which cannot be denied. You, your thoughts, your actions, your responses, are the result of the past. Now the questioner wants to know if that past can be wiped out immediately, which means not in time but immediately wiped out; or does this cumulative past require time for the mind to be freed in the present? It is important to understand the question, which is this: As each one of us is the result of the past, with a background of innumerable influences, constantly varying, constantly changing, is it possible to wipe out that background without going through the process of time?
What is the past? What do we mean by the past? Surely we do not mean the chronological past. We mean, surely, the accumulated experiences, the accumulated responses, memories, traditions, knowledge, the subconscious storehouse of innumerable thoughts, feelings, influences and responses. With that background, it is not possible to understand reality, because reality must be of no time: it is timeless. So one cannot understand the timeless with a mind which is the outcome of time. The questioner wants to know if it is possible to free the mind, or for the mind, which is the result of time, to cease to be immediately; or must one go through a long series of examinations and analyses and so free the mind from its background. The mind is the background; the mind is the result of time; the mind is the past, the mind is not the future. It can project itself into the future and the mind uses the present as a passage into the future, so it is still - whatever it does, whatever its activity, its future activity, its present activity, its past activity - in the net of time. Is it possible for the mind to cease completely, for the thought process to come to an end? Now there are obviously many layers to the mind; what we call consciousness has many layers, each layer interrelated with the other layer, each layer dependent on the other, interacting; our whole consciousness is not only experiencing but also naming or terming and storing up as memory. That is the whole process of consciousness, is it not?
When we talk about consciousness, do we not mean the experiencing, the naming or the terming of that experience and thereby storing up that experience in memory? All this, at different levels, is consciousness. Can the mind, which is the result of time, go through the process of analysis, step by step, in order to free itself from the background or is it possible to be free entirely from time and look at reality directly?
To be free of the background, many of the analysts say that you must examine every response, every complex, every hindrance, every blockage, which obviously implies a process of time. This means the analyser must understand what he is analysing and he must not misinterpret what he analyses. If he mistranslates what he analyses it will lead him to wrong conclusions and therefore establish another background. The analyser must be capable of analysing his thoughts and feelings without the slightest deviation; and he must not miss one step in his analysis, because to take a wrong step, to draw a wrong conclusion, is to re-establish a background along a different line, on a different level. This problem also arises: Is the analyser different from what he analyses? Are not the analyser and the thing that is analysed a joint phenomenon?
Surely the experiencer and the experience are a joint phenomenon; they are not two separate processes, so first of all let us see the difficulty of analysing. It is almost impossible to analyse the whole content of our consciousness and thereby be free through that process. After all, who is the analyser? The analyser is not different, though he may think he is different, from that which he is analysing. He may separate himself from that which he analyses but the analyser is part of that which he analyses. I have a thought, I have a feeling - say, for example, I am angry. The person who analyses anger is still part of anger and therefore the analyser as well as the analysed are a joint phenomenon, they are not two separate forces or processes. So the difficulty of analysing ourselves, unfolding, looking at ourselves page after page, watching every reaction, every response, is incalculably difficult and long. Therefore that is not the way to free ourselves from the background, is it? There must be a much simpler, a more direct way, and that is what you and I are going to find out. In order to find out we must discard that which is false and not hold on to it. So analysis is not the way, and we must be free of the process of analysis.
Then what have you left? You are only used to analysis, are you not? The observer observing - the observer and the observed being a joint phenomenon - the observer trying to analyse that which he observes will not free him from his background. If that is so, and it is, you abandon that process, do you not? If you see that it is a false way, if you realize not merely verbally but actually that it is a false process, then what happens to your analysis? You stop analysing, do you not? Then what have you left? Watch it, follow it, and you will see how rapidly and swiftly one can be free from the background. If that is not the way, what else have you left? What is the state of the mind which is accustomed to analysis, to probing, looking into, dissecting, drawing conclusions and so on? If that process has stopped, what is the state of your mind?
You say that the mind is blank. Proceed further into that blank mind. In other words, when you discard what is known as being false, what has happened to your mind? After all, what have you discarded? You have discarded the false process which is the outcome of a background. Is that not so? With one blow, as it were, you have discarded the whole thing. Therefore your mind, when you discard the analytical process with all its implications and see it as false, is freed from yesterday and therefore is capable of looking directly, without; going through the process of time, and thereby discarding the background immediately.
To put the whole question differently, thought is the result of time, is it not? Thought is the result of environment, of social and religious influences, which is all part of time. Now, can thought be free of time? That is, thought which is the result of time, can it stop and be free from the process of time? Thought can be controlled, shaped; but the control of thought is still within the field of time and so our difficulty is: How can a mind that is the result of time, of many thousand yesterdays, be instantaneously free of this complex background? You can be free of it, not tomorrow but in the present, in the now. That can be done only when you realize that which is false; and the false is obviously the analytical process and that is the only thing we have. When the analytical process completely stops, not through enforcement but through understanding the inevitable falseness of that process, then you will find that your mind is completely dissociated from the past - which does not mean that you do not recognize the past but that your mind has no direct communion with the past. So it can free itself from the past immediately, now, and this dissociation from the past, this complete freedom from yesterday, not chronologically but psychologically, is possible; and that is the only way to understand reality.
To put it very simply, when you want to understand something, what is the state of your mind? When you want to understand your child, when you want to understand somebody, something that someone is saying, what is the state of your mind? You are not analysing, criticizing, judging what the other is saying; you are listening, are you not? Your mind is in a state where the thought process is not active but is very alert. That alertness is not of time, is it? You are merely being alert, passively receptive and yet fully aware; and it is only in this state that there is understanding. When the mind is agitated, questioning, worrying, dissecting, analysing, there is no understanding. When there is the intensity to understand, the mind is obviously tranquil. This, of course, you have to experiment with, not take my word for it, but you can see that the more and more you analyse, the less and less you understand. You may understand certain events, certain experiences, but the whole content of consciousness cannot be emptied through the analytical process. It can be emptied only when you see the falseness of the approach through analysis. When you see the false as the false, then you begin to see what is true; and it is truth that is going to liberate you from the background.
Question - 25
On Action Without Idea
Question: For Truth to come, you advocate action without idea. Is it possible to act at all times without idea, that is, without a purpose in view?
Krishnamurti: What is our action at present? What do we mean by action? Our action - what we want to do or to be - is based on idea, is it not? That is all we know; we have ideas, ideals, promises, various formulas as to what we are and what we are not. The basis of our action is reward in the future or fear of punishment. We know that, don't we? Such activity is isolating, self-enclosing. You have an idea of virtue and according to that idea you live, you act, in relationship. To you, relationship, collective or individual, is action which is towards the ideal, towards virtue, towards achievement and so on.
When my action is based on an ideal which is an idea - such as "I must be brave", "I must follow the example", "I must he charitable", "I must be socially conscious" and so on - that idea shapes my action, guides my action. We all say, "There is an example of virtue which I must follow; which means, "I must live according to that". So action is based on that idea. Between action and idea, there is a gulf, a division, there is a time process. That is so, is it not? In other words, I am not charitable, I am not loving, there is no forgiveness in my heart but I feel I must be charitable. So there is a gap, between what I am and what I should be; we are all the time trying to bridge that gap. That is our activity, is it not?
Now what would happen if the idea did not exist? At one stroke, you would have removed the gap, would you not? You would be what you are. You say "I am ugly; I must become beautiful; what am I to do?" - which is action based on idea. You say "I am not compassionate, I must become compassionate". So you introduce idea separate from action. Therefore there is never true action of what you are but always action based on the ideal of what you will be. The stupid man always says he is going to become clever. He sits working, struggling to become; he never stops, he never says "I am stupid". So his action, which is based on idea, is not action at all.
Action means doing, moving. But when you have idea, it is merely ideation going on, thought process going on in relation to action. If there is no idea, what would happen? You are what you are. You are uncharitable, you are unforgiving, you are cruel, stupid, thoughtless. Can you remain with that? If you do, then see what happens. When I recognize I am uncharitable, stupid, what happens when I am aware it is so? Is there not charity, is there not intelligence? When I recognize un-charitableness completely, not verbally, not artificially, when I realize I am uncharitable and unloving, in that very seeing of what is is there not love? Don't I immediately become charitable? If I see the necessity of being clean, it is very simple; I go and wash. But if it is an ideal that I should be clean, then what happens? Cleanliness is then postponed or is superficial.
Action based on idea is very superficial, is not true action at all, is only ideation, which is merely the thought process going on.
Action which transforms us as human beings, which brings regeneration, redemption, transformation - call it what you will - such action is not based on idea. It is action irrespective of the sequence of reward or punishment. Such action is timeless, because mind, which is the time process, the calculating process, the dividing, isolating process, does not enter into it.
This question is not so easily solved. Most of you put questions and expect an answer "yes" or "no". It is easy to ask questions like "What do you mean?" and then sit back and let me explain but it is much more arduous to find out the answer for yourselves, go into the problem so profoundly, so clearly and without any corruption that the problem ceases to be. That can only happen when the mind is really silent in the face of the problem. The problem, if you love it, is as beautiful as the sunset. If you are antagonistic to the problem, you will never understand. Most of us are antagonistic because we are frightened of the result, of what may happen if we proceed, so we lose the significance and the purview of the problem.
Question - 26
On the Old and the New
Question: When I listen to you, all seems clear and new. At home, the old, dull restlessness asserts itself. What is wrong with me?
Krishnamurti: What is actually taking place in our lives? There is constant challenge and response. That is existence, that is life, is it not? - a constant challenge and response. The challenge is always new and the response is always old. I met you yesterday and you come to me today. You are different, you are modified, you have changed, you are new; but I have the picture of you as you were yesterday. Therefore I absorb the new into the old. I do not meet you anew but I have yesterday's picture of you, so my response to the challenge is always conditioned. Here, for the moment, you cease to be a Brahmin, a Christian, high-caste or whatever it is - you forget everything. You are just listening, absorbed, trying to find out. When you resume your daily life, you become your old self - you are back in your job, your caste, your system, your family. In other words, the new is always being absorbed by the old, into the old habits, customs, ideas, traditions, memories. There is never the new, for you are always meeting the new with the old. The challenge is new but you meet it with the old. The problem in this question is how to free thought from the old so as to be new all the time. When you see a flower, when you see a face, when you see the sky, a tree, a smile, how are you to meet it anew? Why is it that we do not meet it anew? Why is it that the old absorbs the new and modifies it; why does the new cease when you go home?
The old response arises from the thinker. Is not the thinker always the old? Because your thought is founded on the past, when you meet the new it is the thinker who is meeting it; the experience of yesterday is meeting it. The thinker is always the old. So we come back to the same problem in a different way: How to free the mind from itself as the thinker? How to eradicate memory, not factual memory but psychological memory, which is the accumulation of experience? Without freedom from the residue of experience, there can be no reception of the new. To free thought, to be free of the thought process and so to meet the new is arduous, is it not?, because all our beliefs, all our traditions, all our methods in education are a process of imitation, copying, memorizing, building up the reservoir of memory. That memory is constantly responding to the new; the response of that memory we call thinking and that thinking meets the new. So how can there be the new? Only when there is no residue of memory can there be newness and there is residue when experience is not finished, concluded, ended; that is when the understanding of experience is incomplete. When experience is complete, there is no residue - that is the beauty of life. Love is not residue, love is not experience, it is a state of being. Love is eternally new. Therefore our problem is: Can one meet the new constantly, even at home? Surely one can. To do that, one must bring about a revolution in thought, in feeling; you can be free only when every incident is thought out from moment to moment, when every response is finally understood, not merely casually looked at and thrown aside. There is freedom from accumulating memory only when every thought, every feeling is completed, thought out to the end. In other words, when each thought and feeling is thought out, concluded, there is an ending and there is a space between that ending and the next thought. In that space of silence, there is renewal, the new creativeness takes place.
This is not theoretical, this is not impractical. If you try to think out every thought and every feeling, you will discover that it is extraordinarily practical in your daily life, for then you are new and what is new is eternally enduring. To be new is creative and to be creative is to be happy; a happy man is not concerned whether he is rich or poor, he does not care to what level of society he belongs, to what caste or to what country. He has no leaders, no gods, no temples, no churches and therefore no quarrels, no enmity.
Surely that is the most practical way of solving our difficulties in this present world of chaos? It is because we are not creative, in the sense in which I am using that word, that we are so antisocial at all the different levels of our consciousness. To be very practical and effective in our social relationships, in our relationship with everything, one must be happy; there cannot be happiness if there is no ending, there cannot be happiness if there is a constant process of becoming. In ending, there is renewal, rebirth, a newness, a freshness, a joy.
The new is absorbed into the old and the old destroys the new, so long as there is background, so long as the mind, the thinker, is conditioned by his thought. To be free from the background, from the conditioning influences, from memory, there must be freedom from continuity. There is continuity so long as thought and feelings are not ended completely. You complete a thought when you pursue the thought to its end and thereby bring an end to every thought, to every feeling. Love is not habit, memory; love is always new. There can be a meeting of the new only when the mind is fresh; and the mind is not fresh so long as there is the residue of memory. Memory is factual, as well as psychological. I am not talking of factual memory but of psychological memory. So long as experience is not completely understood, there is residue, which is the old, which is of yesterday, the thing that is past; the past is always absorbing the new and therefore destroying the new. It is only when the mind is free from the old that it meets everything anew, and in that there is joy.