Flight of the Eagle
Flight of the Eagle
By J. Krishnamurti
E-Text Source: www.jiddu-krishnamurti.net
Chapter 1 - London - 16th March 1969 - Freedom
Chapter 2 - London - 20th March 1969 - Fragmentation
Chapter 3 - London - 23rd March 1969 - Meditation
Chapter 4 - Amsterdam - 3rd May 1969 - Can Man Change?
Chapter 5 - Amsterdam - 10th May 1969 - Why Can't We Live in Peace?
Chapter 6 - Amsterdam - 11th May 1969 - The Wholeness of Life
Chapter 7 - Paris - 13th April 1969 - Fear
Chapter 8 - Paris - 24th April 1969 - The Transcendental
Chapter 9 - Saanen - 3rd August 1969 - On Violence
Chapter 10 - Saanen - 6th August 1969 - On Radical Change
Chapter 11 - Saanen - 7th August 1969 - The Art of Seeing
Chapter 12 - Saanen - 8th August 1969
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London 2nd Public Talk
16th March 1969
For most of us, freedom is an idea and not an actuality. When we talk about freedom, we want to be free outwardly, to do what we like, to travel, to be free to express ourselves in different ways, free to think what we like. The outward expression of freedom seems to be extraordinarily important, especially in countries where there is tyranny, dictatorship; and in those countries where outward freedom is possible one seeks more and more pleasure, more and more possessions.
If we are to inquire deeply into what freedom implies, to be inwardly, completely and totally free - which then expresses itself outwardly in society, in relationship - then we must ask, it seems to me, whether the human mind, heavily conditioned as it is, can ever be free at all. Must it always live and function within the frontiers of its own conditioning, so that there is no possibility of freedom at all? One sees that the mind, verbally understanding that there is no freedom here on this earth, inwardly or outwardly, then begins to invent freedom in another world, a future liberation, heaven and so on.
Put aside all theoretical, ideological, concepts of freedom so that we can inquire whether our minds, yours and mine, can ever be actually free, free from dependence, free from fear, anxiety, and free from the innumerable problems, both the conscious as well as those at the deeper layers of the unconscious. Can there be complete psychological freedom, so that the human mind can come upon something which is not of time, which is not put together by thought, yet which is not an escape from the actual realities of daily existence? Unless the human mind is inwardly, psychologically, totally free it is not possible to see what is true, to see if there is a reality not invented by fear, not shaped by the society or the culture in which we live, and which is not an escape from the daily monotony, with its boredom, loneliness, despair and anxiety. To find out if there is actually such freedom one must be aware of one's own conditioning, of the problems, of the monotonous shallowness, emptiness, insufficiency of one's daily life, and above all one must be aware of fear. One must be aware of oneself neither introspectively nor analytically, but actually be aware of oneself as one is and see if it is at all possible to be entirely free of all those issues that seem to clog the mind.
To explore, as we are going to do, there must be freedom, not at the end, but right at the beginning. Unless one is free one cannot explore, investigate or examine. To look deeply there needs to be, not only freedom, but the discipline that is necessary to observe; freedom and discipline go together (not that one must be disciplined in order to be free). We are using the word `discipline' not in the accepted, traditional sense, which is to conform, imitate, suppress, follow a set pattern; but rather as the root meaning of that word, which is `to learn.' Learning and freedom go together, freedom bringing its own discipline; not a discipline imposed by the mind in order to achieve a certain result. These two things are essential: freedom and the act of learning. One cannot learn about oneself unless one is free, free so that one can observe, not according to any pattern, formula or concept, but actually observe oneself as one is. That observation, that perception, that seeing, brings about its own discipline and learning; in that there is no conforming, imitation, suppression or control whatsoever - and in that there is great beauty.
Our minds are conditioned - that is an obvious fact - conditioned by a particular culture or society, influenced by various impressions, by the strains and stresses of relation- ships, by economic, climatic, educational factors, by religious conformity and so on. Our minds are trained to accept fear and to escape, if we can, from that fear, never being able to resolve, totally and completely, the whole nature and structure of fear. So our first question is: can the mind, so heavily burdened, resolve completely, not only its conditioning, but also its fears? Because it is fear that makes us accept conditioning.
Do not merely hear a lot of words and ideas - which are really of no value at all - but through the act of listening, observing your own states of mind, both verbally and non-verbally, simply inquire whether the mind can ever be free - not accepting fear, not escaping, not saying, `I must develop courage, resistance,' but actually being fully aware of the fear in which one is trapped. Unless one is free from this quality of fear one cannot see very clearly, deeply; and obviously, when there is fear there is no love.
So, can the mind actually ever be free of fear? That seems to me to be - for any person who is at all serious - one of the most primary and essential questions which must be asked and which must be resolved. There are physical fears and psychological fears. The physical fears of pain and the psychological fears as memory of having had pain in the past, and the idea of the repetition of that pain in the future; also, the fears of old age, death, the fears of physical insecurity, the fears of the uncertainty of tomorrow, the fears of not being able to be a great success, not being able to achieve - of not being somebody in this rather ugly world; the fears of destruction, the fears of loneliness, not being able to love or be loved, and so on; the conscious fears as well as the unconscious fears. Can the mind be free, totally, of all this? If the mind says it cannot, then it has made itself incapable, it has distorted itself and is incapable of perception, of understanding; incapable of being completely silent, quiet; it is like a mind in the dark, seeking light and never finding it, and therefore inventing a `light' of words, concepts, theories. How is a mind which is so heavily burdened with fear, with all its conditioning, ever to be free of it? Or must we accept fear as an inevitable thing of life? - and most of us do accept it, put up with it. What shall we do? How shall I, the human being, you as the human being, be rid of this fear? - not be rid of a particular fear, but of the total fear, the whole nature and structure of fear?
What is fear? (Don't accept, if I may suggest, what the speaker is saying; the speaker has no authority whatsoever, he is not a teacher, he is not a guru; because if he is a teacher then you are the follower and if you are the follower you destroy yourself as well as the teacher.) We are trying to find out what is the truth of this question of fear so completely that the mind is never afraid, therefore free of all dependence on another, inwardly, psychologically. The beauty of freedom is that you do not leave a mark. The eagle in its flight does not leave a mark; the scientist does. Inquiring into this question of freedom there must be, not only the scientific observation, but also the flight of the eagle that does not leave a mark at all; both are required; there must be both the verbal explanation and the non-verbal perception - for the description is never the actuality that is described; the explanation is obviously never the thing that is explained; the word is never the thing.
If all this is very clear then we can proceed; we can find out for ourselves - not through the speaker, not through his words, not through his ideas or thoughts - whether the mind can be completely free from fear.
The first part is not an introduction; if you have not heard it clearly and understood it, you cannot go on to the next.
To inquire there must be freedom to look; there must be freedom from prejudice, from conclusions, concepts, ideals, prejudices, so that you can observe actually for yourself what fear at all? That is: you can observe very, very closely, intimately, what fear is only when the `observer' is the `observed.' We are going to go into that. So what is fear? How does it come about? The obvious physical fears can be understood, like the physical dangers, to which there is instant response; they are fairly easy to understand; we need not go into them too much. But we are talking about psychological fears; how do these psychological fears arise? What is their origin? - that is the issue. There is the fear of something that happened yesterday; the fear of something that might happen later on today or tomorrow. There is the fear of what we have known, and there is the fear of the unknown, which is tomorrow. One can see for oneself very clearly that fear arises through the structure of thought - through thinking about that which happened yesterday of which one is afraid, or through thinking about the future - right? Thought breeds fear - doesn't it? Please let us be quite sure; do not accept what the speaker is saying; be absolutely sure for yourself, as to whether thought is the origin of fear. Thinking about the pain, the psychological pain that one had some time ago and not wanting it repeated, not wanting to have that thing recalled, thinking about all this breeds fear. Can we go on from there? Unless we see this very clearly we will not be able to go any further. Thought, thinking about an incident, an experience, a state, in which there has been a disturbance, danger, grief or pain, brings about fear. And thought, having established a certain security, psychologically, does not want that security to be disturbed; any disturbance is a danger and therefore there is fear.
Thought is responsible for fear; also, thought is responsible for pleasure. One has had a happy experience; thought thinks about it and wants it perpetuated; when that is not possible there is a resistance, anger, despair and fear. So thought is responsible for fear as well as pleasure - isn't it? This is not a verbal conclusion; this is not a formula for avoiding fear. That is, where there is pleasure there is pain and fear perpetuated by thought; pleasure goes with pain, the two are indivisible, and thought is responsible for both. If there were no tomorrow, no next moment, about which to think in terms of either fear or pleasure, then neither would exist. Shall we go on from there? Is it an actuality, not as an idea, but a thing that you yourself have discovered and which is therefore real, so you can say, `I've found out that thought breeds both pleasure and fear'? You have had sexual enjoyment, pleasure; later you think about it in the imagery, the pictures of thinking, and the very thinking about it gives strength to that pleasure which is now in the imagery of thought, and when that is thwarted there is pain, anxiety, fear, jealousy, annoyance, anger, brutality. And we are not saying that you must not have pleasure.
Bliss is not pleasure; ecstasy is not brought about by thought; it is an entirely different thing. You can come upon bliss or ecstasy only when you understand the nature of thought - which breeds both pleasure and fear.
So the question arises: can one stop thought? If thought breeds fear and pleasure - for where there is pleasure there must be pain, which is fairly obvious - then one asks oneself: can thought come to an end? - which does not mean the ending of the perception of beauty, the enjoyment of beauty. It is like seeing the beauty of a cloud or a tree and enjoying it totally, completely, fully; but when thought seeks to have that same experience tomorrow, that same delight that it had yesterday seeing that cloud, that tree, that flower, the face of that beautiful person, then it invites disappointment, pain, fear and pleasure.
So can thought come to an end? Or is that a wrong question altogether? It is a wrong question because we want to experience an ecstasy, a bliss, which is not pleasure. By ending thought we hope we shall come upon something which is immense, which is not the product of pleasure and fear. What place has thought in life? - not, how is thought to be ended? What is the relationship of thought to action and to inaction? What is the relationship of thought to action where action is necessary? Why, when there is complete enjoyment of beauty, does thought come into existence at all? - for if it did not then it would not be carried over to tomorrow. I want to find out - when there is complete enjoyment of the beauty of a mountain, of a beautiful face, a sheet of water - why thought should come there and give a twist to it and say, `I must have that pleasure again tomorrow.' I have to find out what the relationship of thought is in action; and to find out if thought need interfere when there is no need of thought at all. I see a beautiful tree, without a single leaf, against the sky, it is extraordinarily beautiful and that is enough - finished. Why should thought come in and say, `I must have that same delight tomorrow'? And I also see that thought must operate in action. Skill in action is also skill in thought. So, what is the actual relationship between thought and action? As it is, our action is based on concepts, on ideas. I have an idea or concept of what should be done and what is done is approximation to that concept, idea, to that ideal. So there is a division between action and the concept, the ideal, the `should be; in this division there is conflict. Any division, psychological division, must breed conflict. I am asking myself, 'What is the relationship of thought in action?" If there is division between the action and the idea then action is incomplete. Is there an action in which thought sees something instantly and acts immediately so that there is not an idea, an ideology to be acted on separately? Is there an action in which the very seeing is the action - in which the very thinking is the action? I see that thought breeds fear and pleasure; I see that where there is pleasure there is pain and therefore resistance to pain. I see that very clearly; the seeing of it is the immediate action; in the seeing of it is involved thought, logic and thinking very clearly; yet the seeing of it is instantaneous and the action is instantaneous - therefore there is freedom from it.
Are we communicating with each other? Go slowly, it is quite difficult. Please do not say, so easily, `yes.' If you say 'yes,' then when you leave the hall, you must be free of fear. Your saying `yes' is merely an assertion that you have understood verbally, intellectually - which is nothing at all. You and I are here this morning investigating the question of fear and when you leave the hall there must be complete freedom from it. That means you are a free human being, a different human being, totally transformed - not tomorrow, but now; you see very clearly that thought breeds fear and pleasure; you see that all our values are based on fear and pleasure - moral, ethical, social, religious, spiritual. If you perceive the truth of it - and to see the truth of it you have to be extraordinarily aware, logically, healthily, sanely observing every movement of thought - then that very perception is total action and therefore when you leave you are completely out of it - otherwise you will say, `How am I to be free of fear, tomorrow?,
Thought must operate in action. When you have to go to your house you must think; or to catch a bus, train, go to the office, thought then operates efficiently, objectively, nonpersonally, nonemotionally; that thought is vital. But when thought carries on that experience that you have had, carries it on through memory into the future, then such action is incomplete, therefore there is a form of resistance and so on.
Then we can go on to the next question. Let us put it this way: what is the origin of thought, and who is the thinker? One can see that thought is the response of knowledge, experience, as accumulated memory, the background from which there is a response of thought to any challenge; if you are asked where you live there is instant response. Memory, experience, knowledge is the background, is that from which thought comes. So thought is never new; thought is always old; thought can never be free, because it is tied to the past and therefore it can never see anything new. When I understand that, very clearly, the mind becomes quiet. Life is a movement, a constant movement in relationship; and thought, trying to capture that movement in terms of the past, as memory, is afraid of life.
Seeing all this, seeing that freedom is necessary to examine - and to examine very clearly there must be the discipline of learning and not of suppression and imitation - seeing how the mind is conditioned by society, by the past, seeing that all thought springing from the brain is old and therefore incapable of understanding anything new, then the mind becomes completely quiet - not controlled, not shaped to be quiet. There is no system or method - it does not matter whether it is Zen from japan, or a system from India - to make the mind quiet; that is the most stupid thing for the mind to do: to discipline itself to be quiet. Now seeing all that - actually seeing it, not as something theoretical - then there is an action from that perception; that very perception is the action of liberation from fear. So, on the occasion of any fear arising, there is immediate perception and the ending of it.
What is love? For most of us it is pleasure and hence fear; that is what we call love. When there is the understanding of fear and pleasure, then what is love? And `who' is going to answer this question? - the speaker, the priest, the book? Is some outside agency going to tell us we are doing marvellously well, carry on? Or, is it that having examined, observed, seen non-analytically, the whole structure and nature of pleasure, fear, pain, we find that the `observer,' the `thinker' is part of thought. If there is no thinking there is no 'thinker,' the two are inseparable; the thinker is the thought. There is a beauty and subtlety in seeing that. And where then is the mind that started to inquire into this question of fear? - you understand? What is the state of the mind now that it has gone through all this? Is it the same as it was before it came to this state. It has seen this thing very intimately, it has seen the nature of this thing called thought, fear and pleasure, it has seen all that; what is its actual state now? Obviously nobody can answer that except yourself; if you have actually gone into it, you will see that it has become completely transformed.
Krishnamurti: It is one of the easiest things to ask a question. Probably some of us have been thinking what our question will be while the speaker was going on. We are more concerned with our question than with listening. One has to ask questions of oneself, not only here but everywhere. To ask the `right' question is far more important than to receive the answer. The solution of a problem lies in the understanding of the problem; the answer is not outside the problem, it is in the problem. One cannot look at the problem very clearly if one is concerned with the answer, with the solution. Most of us are so eager to resolve the problem without looking into it - and to look into one has to have energy, intensity, a passion; not indolence and laziness as most of us have - we would rather somebody else solved it. There is nobody who is going to solve any of our problems, either political, religious or psychological. One has to have a great deal of vitality and passion, intensity, to look at and to observe the problem and then, as you observe, the answer is there very clearly.
This does not mean that you must not ask questions; on the contrary you must ask questions; you must doubt everything everybody has said, including the speaker.
Questioner: Is there a danger of introspection in looking into personal problems?
Krishnamurti: Why shouldn't there be danger? To cross the street there is a danger. Do you mean to say, we must not look because it is dangerous to look? I remember once - if I may repeat an incident - a very rich man came to see us and he said, `I am very, very serious and concerned with what you are talking about and I want to resolve all my `so and so' you know the nonsense that people talk about. I said, 'All right, Sir, let us go into it,' and we talked. He came several times, and after the second week he came to me and he said, `I am having dreadful dreams, frightening dreams, I seem to see everything around me disappearing, all kinds of things go; and then he said, `Probably this is the result of my inquiry into myself and I see the danger of it; after that he did not come any more.
We all want to be safe; we all want to be secure in our petty little world, the world of `well established order' which is disorder, the world of our particular relationships, which we do not want to be disturbed - the relationship between wife and husband in which they hold together tight, in which there is misery, distrust, fear, in which there is danger, jealousy, anger, domination.
There is a way of looking into ourselves without fear, without danger; it is to look without any condemnation, without any justification, just to look, not to interpret, not to judge, not to evaluate. To do that the mind must be eager to learn in its observation of what actually is. What is the danger in `what is'? Human beings are violent; that is actually `what is; and the danger they have brought about in this world is the result of this violence, it is the outcome of fear. What is there dangerous about observing it and trying to completely eradicate that fear? - that we may bring about a different society, different values? There is a great beauty in observation, in seeing things as they are, psychologically, inwardly; which does not mean that one accepts things as they are; which does not mean that one rejects or wants to do something about `what is; the very perception of `what is' brings about its own mutation. But one must know the art of `looking' and the art of `looking' is never the introspective art, or the analytical art, but just observing without any choice.
Questioner: Is there not spontaneous fear?
Krishnamurti: Would you call that fear? When you know fire burns, when you see a precipice, is it fear to jump away from it? When you see a wild animal, a snake, to withdraw, is that fear? - or is it intelligence? That intelligence may be the result of conditioning, because you have been conditioned to the dangers of a precipice, for if you were not you could fall and that would be the end. Your intelligence tells you to be careful; is that intelligence fear? But is it intelligence that operates when we divide ourselves into nationalities, into religious groups? - when we make this division between you and me, we and they, is that intelligence? That which is in operation in such division, which brings about danger, which divides people, which brings war, is that intelligence operating or is it fear? There it is fear, not intelligence. In other words we have fragmented ourselves; part of us acts, where necessary, intelligently, as in avoiding a precipice, or a bus going by; but we are not intelligent enough to see the dangers of nationalism, the dangers of division between people. So one part of us - a very small part of us - is intelligent, the rest of us is not. Where there is fragmentation there must be conflict, there must be misery; the very essence of conflict is the division, the contradiction in us. That contradiction is not to be integrated. It is one of our peculiar idiosyncrasies that we must integrate ourselves. I do not know what it really means. Who is it that is going to integrate the two divided, opposed, natures? For is not the integrator himself part of that division? But when one sees the totality of it, when one has the perception of it, without any choice - there is no division.
Questioner: Is there any difference between correct thought and correct action?
Krishnamurti: When you use that word `correct', between thought and action, then that `correct' action is `incorrect' action - isn't it? When you use that word `correct' you have already an idea of what is correct. When you have an idea of what is `correct' it is `incorrect,' because that `correct' is based on your prejudice, on your conditioning, on your fear, on your culture, on your society, on your own particular idiosyncrasies, fears, religious sanctions and so on. You have the norm, the pattern: that very pattern is in itself incorrect, is immoral. The social morality is immoral. Do you agree to that? If you do, then you have rejected social morality, which means greed, envy, ambition, nationality, the worship of class, all the rest of it. But have you, when you say `yes'? Social morality is immoral - do you really mean it? - or is it just a lot of words? Sir, to be really moral, virtuous, is one of the most extraordinary things in life; and that morality has nothing whatsoever to do with social, environmental behaviour. One must be free, to be really virtuous, and you are not free if you follow the social morality of greed, envy, competition, worship of success - you know all those things that are put forward by the church and by society as being moral.
Questioner: Do we have to wait for this to happen or is there some discipline we can use?
Krishnamurti: Must we have a discipline to realize that the very seeing is action? Must we?
Questioner: Would you talk about the quiet mind - is it the result of discipline? Or is it not?
Krishnamurti: Sir, look: a soldier on the parade ground, he is very quiet, with a straight back, holding the rifle very exactly; he is drilled, drilled day after day, day after day; any freedom is destroyed for him. He is very quiet; but is that quietness? Or when a child is absorbed in a toy, is that quietness? - remove the toy and the toy becomes what he is. So, will discipline (do understand this, Sir, once and for all, it is so simple) will discipline bring about quietness? It may bring about dullness, a state of stagnancy, but does it bring about quietness in the sense, intensely active, yet quiet?
Questioner: Sir, what do you want us people here in this world to do?
Krishnamurti: Very simple, Sir: I don't want anything. That's first. Second: live, live in this world. This world is so marvellously beautiful. It is our world, our earth to live upon, but we do not live, we are narrow, we are separate, we are anxious, we are frightened human beings, and therefore we do not live, we have no relationship, we are isolated, despairing human beings. We do not know what it means to live in that ecstatic, blissful sense. I say one can live that way only when one knows how to be free from all the stupidities of one's life. To be free from them is only possible in becoming aware of one's relationship, not only with human beings, but with ideas, with nature, with everything. In that relationship one discovers what one is, one's fear, anxiety, despair, loneliness, one's utter lack of love. One is full of theories, words, knowledge of what other people have said; one knows nothing about oneself, and therefore one does not know how to live.
Questioner: How do you explain different levels of consciousness in terms of the human brain? The brain seems to be a physical affair, the mind does not seem to be a physical affair. In addition, the mind seems to have a conscious part and an unconscious part. How can we see with any clarity in all these different ideas?
Krishnamurti: What is the difference between the mind and the brain; is that it, Sir? The actual physical brain, which is the result of the past, which is the outcome of evolution, of many thousand yesterdays, with all its memories and knowledge and experience, is not that brain part of the total mind? - the mind in which there is a conscious level and the unconscious level. The physical as well as the nonphysical, the psychological, isn't all that one whole? - is it not we who have divided it as the conscious and unconscious, the brain and the not-brain? Can we not look at the whole thing as a totality, nonfragmented?
Is the unconscious so very different from the conscious? Or is it not part of the totality, but we have divided it? From that arises the question: how is the conscious mind to be aware of the unconscious? Can the positive which is the operative - the thing that is working all day - can that observe the unconscious?
I do not know if we have time to go into this. Are you not tired? Please, sirs, do not reduce this to an entertainment, as one can, sitting in a nice warm room, listening to some voice. We are dealing with very serious things, and if you have worked, as one should have, then you must be tired. The brain cannot take more than a certain amount, and to go into this question of the unconscious and the conscious requires a very sharp, clear mind to observe. I doubt very much if at the end of an hour and a half you are capable of it. So may we, if you agree, take up this question later?
London 3rd Public Talk
20th March 1969
We were going to talk over this evening the question of the conscious and unconscious, the superficial mind and the deeper layers of consciousness. I wonder why we divide life into fragments, the business life, social life, family life, religious life, the life of sport and so on? Why is there this division, not only in ourselves but also socially - we and they, you and me, love and hate, dying and living? I think we ought to go into this question rather deeply to find out if there is a way of life in which there is no division at all between living and dying, between the conscious and the unconscious, the business and social life, the family life and the individual life.
These divisions between nationalities, religions, classes, all this separation in oneself in which there is so much contradiction - why do we live that way? It breeds such turmoil, conflict, war; it brings about real insecurity, outwardly as well as inwardly. There is so much division, as God and the devil, the good and the bad, `what should be' and `what is.'
I think it would be worthwhile to spend this evening in trying to find out if there is a way of living - not theoretically or intellectually but actually - a way of life, in which there is no division whatsoever; a way of life in which action is not fragmented, so that it is one constant flow, where every action is related to all other actions.
To find a way of living in which there is no fragmentation one has to go very deeply into the question of love and death; in understanding that we may be able to come upon a way of life that is a continuous movement, not broken up, a way of life that is highly intelligent. A fragmented mind lacks intelligence; the man who leads half a dozen lives - which is accepted as being highly moral - obviously shows lack of intelligence.
It seems to me that the idea of integration - of putting together the various fragments to make a whole - is obviously not intelligent, for it implies that there is an integrator, one who is integrating, putting together, all the fragments; but the very entity that tries to do this is also part of that fragment.
What is needed is such intelligence and passion as to bring about a radical revolution in one's life, so that there is no contradictory action but whole, continuous movement. To bring about this change in one's life there must be passion. If one is to do anything worthwhile, one must have this intense passion - which is not pleasure. To understand that action in which there is no fragmentation or contradiction, there must be this passion. Intellectual concepts and formulas will not change one's way of life, but only the very understanding of `what is; and for that there must be an intensity, a passion.
To find out if there is a way of living - daily living, not a monastic living - which has this quality of passion and intelligence one has to understand the nature of pleasure. We went into the question of pleasure the other day, of how thought sustains an experience, which has given for the moment a delight, and how by thinking about it pleasure is sustained; where there is pleasure there is bound to be pain and fear. Is love pleasure? For most of us moral values are based on pleasure; the very sacrificing of oneself, controlling oneself in order to conform, is the urge of pleasure - greater, nobler, or whatever it is. Is love a thing of pleasure? Again that word `love' is so loaded, everyone uses it, from the politician to the husband and wife. And it seems to me that it is only love, in the deepest sense of the word, that can bring about a way of life in which there is no fragmentation at all. Fear is always part of pleasure; obviously where there is any kind of fear in relationship there must be fragmentation, there must be division. It is really quite a deep issue, this inquiry as to why the human mind has always divided itself in opposition to others, resulting in violence and what it is hoped to achieve through violence. We human beings are committed to a way of life that leads to war and yet at the same time we want peace, we want freedom; but it is peace only as an idea, as an ideology; and at the same time everything that we do conditions us.
There is the division, psychologically, of time; time as the past (the yesterday), today and tomorrow; we must inquire into this if we are to find a way of life in which division does not exist at all. We have to consider if it is time, as the past, the present and the future - psychological time - that is the cause of this division. Is division brought about by the known, as memory, which is the past, which is the content of the brain itself? Or does division arise because the `observer,' the `experiencer,' the `thinker' is always separate from the thing which he observes, experiences? Or is it the egotistic self-centred activity, which is the `me' and the `you,' creating its own resistances, its own isolated activities, which causes this division? In going into this, one must be aware of all these issues: time; the "observer" separating himself from the thing observed; the experiencer different from the experience; pleasure; and whether all this has anything whatsoever to do with love.
Is there tomorrow psychologically? - actually, not invented by thought. There is a tomorrow in chronological time; but is there actually tomorrow, psychologically, inwardly? If there is tomorrow as idea, then action is not complete, and that action brings about division, contradiction. The idea of tomorrow, the future is - is it not? - the cause of not seeing things very clearly as they are now - `I hope to see them more clearly tomorrow'. One is lazy; one does not have this passion, this vital interest, to find out. Thought invents the idea of eventually arriving, eventually understanding; so for that, time is necessary, many days are necessary. Does time bring understanding, does it enable one to see something very clearly?
Is it possible for the mind to be free of the past so that it is not bound by time? Tomorrow, psychologically, is in terms of the known; is there then the possibility of being free from the known? Is there the possibility of an action not in terms of the known?
One of the most difficult things is to communicate. There must be verbal communication, obviously, but I think there is a much deeper level of communication, which is not only a verbal communication but communion, where both of us meet at the same level, with the same intensity, with the same passion; then only does communion take place, something far more important than mere verbal communication. And as we are talking about something rather complex, which touches very deeply our daily life, there must not only be verbal communication but also communion. What we are concerned about is a radical revolution, psychologically; not in some distant future, but actually today, now. We are concerned to find out whether the human mind, which has been so conditioned, can change immediately, so that its actions are a continuous whole, not broken up, and therefore pitted with its regrets, despairs, pains, fears, anxieties, its guilt and so on. How can the mind throw it all off and be completely fresh, young and innocent? That is really the issue. I do not think this is possible - such a radical revolution - so long as there is a division between the `observer' and the observed, between the `experiencer' and the experienced. It is this division that brings about conflict. All division must bring about conflict, and through conflict, through struggle, through battle, obviously there can be no change, in the deep psychological sense - though there may be superficial changes. So how is the mind, the heart and the brain, the total state, to cope with this problem of division?
We said we would go into this question of the conscious and the deeper levels, the unconscious: and we are asking why is there this division, this division between the conscious mind, occupied with its own daily activities, worries, problems, superficial pleasures, earning a livelihood and so on and the deeper levels of that mind, with all its hidden motives, its drives, compulsive demands, its fears? Why is there this division? Does it exist because we are so occupied, superficially, with endless chatter, with the constant demand, superficially, for amusement, entertainment, religious as well as otherwise? Because the superficial mind cannot possibly delve go deeply into itself while this division arises.
What is the content of the deeper layers of the mind? - not according to the psychologists, Freud and so on - and how do you find out, if you do not read what others have said? How will you find out what your unconscious is? You will watch it, will you not? Or, will you expect your dreams to interpret the contents of the unconscious? And who is to translate those dreams? The experts? - they are also conditioned by their specialization. And one asks: is it possible not to dream at all? - excepting of course for nightmares when one has eaten the wrong food, or has had too heavy a meal in the evening.
There is - we will use the word for the time being - the unconscious. What is it made of? - obviously the past; all the racial consciousness, the racial residue, the family tradition, the various religious and social conditioning - hidden, dark, undiscovered; can all that be discovered and exposed without dreams? - or without going to an analyst? - so that the mind, when it does sleep, is quiet, not incessantly active. And, because it is quiet, may there not come into it quite a different quality, a different activity altogether, dissociated from the daily anxieties, fears, worries, problems, demands? To find that out - if that is possible - that is, not to dream at all, so that the mind is really fresh when it wakes up in the morning, one has to be aware during the day, aware of the hints and intimations. Those one can discover only in relationship; when you are watching your relationship with others, without condemning, judging, evaluating; just watching how you behave, your reactions; seeing without any choice; just observing, so that during the day the hidden, the unconscious, is exposed.
Why do we give such deep significance and meaning to the unconscious? - for after all, it is as trivial as the conscious. If the conscious mind is extraordinarily active, watching, listening, seeing, then the conscious mind becomes far more important than the unconscious; in that state all the contents of the unconscious are exposed; the division between the various layers comes to an end. Watching your reactions when you sit in a bus, when you are talking to your wife, your husband, when in your office, writing, being alone - if you are ever alone - then this whole process of observation, this act of seeing (in which there is no division as the `observer' and the `observed') ends the contradiction.
When this is somewhat clear, then we can ask: What is love? Is love pleasure? Is love jealousy? Is love possessive? Does love dominate? - the husband over the wife and the wife over the husband. Surely, not one of these things is love; yet we are burdened with all these things, and yet we say to our husband or our wife, or whoever it is, `I love you.' Now, most of us are, in some form or other, envious. Envy arises through comparison, through measurement, through wanting to be something different from what one is. Can we see envy as it actually is, and be entirely free of it, for it never to happen again? - otherwise love cannot exist. Love is not of time; love cannot be cultivated; it is not a thing of pleasure.
What is death? - What is the relationship between love and death? I think we will find the relationship between the two when we understand the meaning of `death; to understand that we must obviously understand what living is. What actually is our living? - the daily living, not the ideological, the intellectual something, which we consider should be, but which is really false. What actually is our living? - the daily living of conflict, despair, loneliness, isolation. Our life is a battlefield, sleeping and waking; we try to escape from this in various ways through music, art, museums, religious or philosophical entertainment, spinning a lot of theories, caught up in knowledge, anything but putting an end to this conflict, to this battle which we call living, with its constant sorrow.
Can the sorrow in daily life end? Unless the mind changes radically our living has very little meaning - going to the office every day, earning a livelihood, reading a few books, being able to quote cleverly, being very well-informed - a life which is empty, a real bourgeois life. And then as one becomes aware of this state of affairs, one begins to invent a meaning to life; find some significance to give to it; one searches out the clever people who will give one the significance, the purpose, of life - which is another escape from living. This kind of living must undergo a radical transformation.
Why is it we are frightened of death? - as most people are. Frightened of what? Do please observe your own fears of what we call death - being frightened of coming to the end of this battle which we call living. We are frightened of the unknown, what might happen; we are frightened of leaving the known things, the family, the books, the attachment to your house and furniture, to the people near us. We are frightened to let go of the things known; and the known is his living in sorrow, pain and despair, with occasional flashes of joy; there is no end to this constant struggle; that is what we call living - of that we are frightened to let go. Is it the `me' - who is the result of all this accumulation - that is frightened that it will come to an end? - therefore it demands a future hope, therefore there must be reincarnation. The idea of reincarnation, in which the whole of the East believes, is that you will be born next life a little higher up on the rungs of the ladder. You have been a dishwasher this life, next life you will be a prince, or whatever it is - somebody else will go and wash the dishes for you. For those who believe in reincarnation, what you are in this life matters very much, because what you do, how you behave, what your thoughts are, what your activities are, so in the next life depending on this, you either get a reward or you are punished. But they do not care a pin about how they behave; for them it is just another form of belief, just as the belief that there is heaven, God, what you will. Actually all that matters is what you are now, today, how you actually behave, not only outwardly but inwardly. The West has its own form of consolation about death, it rationalizes it, it has its own religious conditioning.
So, what is death, actually - the ending? The organism is going to end, because it grows old, or from disease and accident. Very few of us grow old beautifully because we are tortured entities, our faces show it as we grow older - and there is the sadness of old age, remembering the things of the past.
Can one die to everything that is `known,' psychologically, from day to day? Unless there is freedom from that, known, what is `possible' can never be captured. As it is, our `possibility' is always within the field of the `known; but when there is freedom, then that `possibility' is immense. Can one die, psychologically, to all one's past, to all the attachments, fears, to the anxiety, vanity, and pride, so completely that tomorrow you wake up a fresh human being? You will say, `How is this to be done, what is the method?' There is no method, because `a method' implies tomorrow; it implies that you will practice and achieve something eventually, tomorrow, after many tomorrows. But can you see immediately the truth of it - see it actually, not theoretically - that the mind cannot be fresh, innocent, young, vital, passionate, unless there is an ending, psychologically, to everything of the past? But we do not want to let the past go because we are the past; all our thoughts are based on the past; all knowledge is the past; so the mind cannot let go; any effort it makes to let go is still part of the past, the past hoping to achieve a different state.
The mind must become extraordinarily quiet, silent; and it does become extraordinarily quiet without any resistance, without any system, when it sees this whole issue. Man has always sought immortality; he paints a picture, puts his name on it, that is a form of immortality; leaving a name behind, man always wants to leave something of himself behind. What has he got to give - apart from technological knowledge - what has he of himself to give? What is he? You and I, what are we, psychologically? You may have a bigger bank account, be cleverer than I am, or this and that; but psychologically, what are we? - a lot of words, memories, experiences, and these we want to hand over to a son, put in a book, or paint in a picture, `me.' The `me' becomes extremely important, the `me' opposed to the community, the `me, wanting to identity itself, wanting to fulfil itself, wanting to become something great - you know, all the rest of it. When you observe that `me,' you see that it is a bundle of memories, empty words: that is what we cling to; that is the very essence of the separation between you and me, they and we.
When you understand all this - observe it, not through another but through yourself, watch it very closely, without any judgment, evaluation, suppression, just to observe - then you will see that love is only possible when there is death. Love is not memory, love is not pleasure. It is said that love is related to sex - back again to the division between profane love and sacred love, with approval of one and condemnation of the other. Surely, love is none of these things. One cannot come upon it, totally, completely, unless there is a dying to the past, a dying to all the travail, conflict and sorrow; then there is love; then one can do what one will.
As we said the other day, it is fairly easy to ask a question; but ask it purposefully and keep with it until you have resolved it totally for yourself; such asking has an importance; but to ask casually has very little meaning.
Questioner: If you do not have the division between the `what is' and the `what should be' you might become complacent, you would not worry about the terrible things that are going on.
Krishnamurti: What is the reality of `what should be'? Has it any reality at all? Man is violent but the `should be' peaceful. What is the reality of the `should be,' and why do we have the `should be`? If this division were to cease, would man become complacent, accept everything? Would I accept violence if I had no ideal of nonviolence? Nonviolence has been preached from the most ancient days: don't kill, be compassionate, and so on; and the fact is, man is violent, that is `what is.' If man accepts it as inevitable, then he becomes complacent - as he is now. He has accepted war as a way of life and he goes on, though a thousand sanctions, religious, social, and otherwise, say, `Do not kill' - not only man, but animals; but he does kill animals for food, and he does go to war. So if there was no ideal at all you would be left with `what is' Would that make one complacent? Or would you then have the energy, the interest, the vitality, to solve `what is'? Is not the ideal of nonviolence an escape from the fact of violence? When the mind is not escaping, but is confronted with the fact of violence - that it is violent, not condemning it, not judging it - then surely, such a mind has an entirely different quality and there is no longer violence. Such a mind does not accept violence; violence is not merely hurting or killing somebody; violence is equally this distortion, in conforming, imitating, following the social morality, or following one's own peculiar morality. Every form of control and suppression is a form of distortion and therefore violence. Surely, to understand `what is,' there must be a tension, a watchfulness to find out what actually is. What actually is, is the division man has created by nationalism, which is one of the major causes of war; we accept it, we worship the flag; and there are the divisions created by religion, we are Christians, Buddhists, this or that. Can we not be free of the `what is' by observing the actual fact? You can only be free of it when the mind does not distort what is observed.
Questioner: What is the difference between conceptual seeing and actual seeing?
Krishnamurti: Do you see a tree conceptually or actually? When you see a flower, do you see it directly, or do you see it through the screen of your particular knowledge, botanical or nonbotanical, or through the pleasure it gives? How do you see it? If it is conceptual seeing, that is to say, it is seen through thought, is it seen? Do you see your wife or your husband? - or do you see the image you have about him or her? That image is the concept through which you see conceptually; but when there is no image at all then you actually see, then you are actually related.
So, what is the mechanism that builds the image, that prevents us from actually seeing the tree, the wife, or the husband, or the friend, or whatever it is? Obviously - although I hope I am wrong - you have an image about me, about the speaker - no? If you have an image about the speaker, you are really not listening to the speaker at all. And when you look at your wife, or your husband, and so on, and you look through an image, you are not actually seeing the person, you are seeing the person through the image, and therefore there is no relationship at all; you may say `I love you', but it has no meaning at all.
Can the mind stop forming images? - in the sense of which we are speaking. It is only possible when the mind is completely attentive at the moment, at the instant of the challenge or the impression. To take a very simple example: you are flattered, you like that, and the very `like' builds the image. But if you listen to that flattery with complete attention, neither liking nor disliking, listen to it completely, wholly, then an image is not formed; you do not call him your friend, and alternatively, the person who insults you, you do not call him your enemy. `Image forming' arises from inattention; when there is attention there is no building up of any concept. Do it; one finds out, very simply. When you give complete attention to looking at a tree, or a flower or a cloud, then there is no projection of your botanical knowledge, or your like or dislike, you just look - which does not mean that you identify yourself with the tree, you cannot become the tree anyhow. If you look at your wife, husband or friend without any image, then relationship is something entirely different; then thought does not come into it at all and there is a possibility of love.
Questioner: Are love and freedom concomitant?
Krishnamurti: Can we love without freedom? If we are not free, can we love? If we are jealous, can we love? Frightened, can we love? Or, if we are pursuing our own particular ambition in the office and we come home and say `I love you, darling' - is that love? In the office we are brutal, cunning, and at home we try to be docile, loving - is that possible? With one hand kill, with the other hand love? Can the ambitious man ever love, or the competitive man ever know what love means? We accept all these things and social morality; but when we deny that social morality, completely, with alI our being, then we are really moral - but we do not do that. We are socially, morally, respectable, therefore we do not know what love is. Without love we can never find out what truth is, nor find out if there is such a thing - or not such a thing - as God. We can only know what love is when we know how to die to everything of yesterday, to all the images of pleasure, sexual or otherwise; then, when there is love, which in itself is virtue, which in itself is morality - all ethics are in it - then only does that reality, that something which is not measurable, come into being.
Questioner: The individual, being in turmoil, creates society; to change society are you advocating that the individual detach himself, so as not to depend on society?
Krishnamurti: Is not the individual the society? You and I have created this society, with our greed, with our ambition, with our nationalism, with our competitiveness, brutality, violence; that is what we have done outwardly, because that is what we are inwardly. The war that is going on in Vietnam, for that we are responsible, you and I, actually, because we have accepted war as the way of life. Are you suggesting that we detach ourselves? On the contrary, how can you detach yourself from yourself? You are part of this whole mess and can only be free of this ugliness, this violence, everything that is actually there not by detachment, but by learning, by watching, by understanding the whole thing in yourself and thereby being free of all the violence. You cannot detach yourself from yourself; and this gives rise to the problem of `who' is to do it. `Who' is to detach `me' from society, or, me, from myself? The entity who wants to detach himself, is he not part of the whole circus? To understand all this - that the `observer' is not different from the thing observed - is meditation; it requires a great deal of penetration into oneself, non-analytically; by observing in relationship with things, with property, with people, with ideas, with nature, one comes upon this sense of complete freedom inwardly.
London 4th Public Talk
23rd March 1969
I should like to talk about something which I think is very important; in the understanding of it we shall, perhaps, be able to have for ourselves a total perception of life without any fragmentation, so that we may act totally, freely, happily.
We are always seeking some form of mystery because we are so dissatisfied with the life we lead, with the shallowness of our activities, which have very little meaning and to which we try to give significance, a meaning; but this is an intellectual act which therefore remains superficial, tricky and in the end meaningless. And yet knowing all this - knowing our pleasures are very soon over, our everyday activities are routine; knowing also that our problems, so many of them, can perhaps never be solved; not believing in anything, nor having faith in traditional values, in the teachers, in the gurus, in the sanctions of the Church or society - knowing all this, most of us are always probing or seeking, trying to find out something really worthwhile, something that is not touched by thought, something that really has an extraordinary sense of beauty and ecstasy. Most of us, I think, are trying to seek out something that is enduring, that is not easily made corrupt. We put aside the obvious and there is a deep longing - not emotional or sentimental - a deep inquiry which might open the door to something that is not measured by thought, something that cannot be put into any category of faith or belief. But is there any meaning to searching, to seeking?
We are going to discuss the question of meditation; it is a rather complex question and before we go into it, we have to be very clear about this searching, this seeking for experience, trying to find out a reality. We have to understand the meaning of seeking and the searching out of truth, the intellectual groping after something new, which is not of time, which is not brought about by one's demands, compulsions and despair. Is truth ever to be found by seeking? Is it recognizable when one has found it? If one has, can one say, `This the truth' - `This is the real'? Has search any meaning at all? Most religious people are always talking about seeking truth; and we are asking if truth can ever be sought after. In the idea of seeking, of finding, is there not also the idea of recognition - the idea that if I find something I must be able to recognize it? Does not recognition imply that I have already known it? Is truth `recognizable' - in the sense of its having already been experienced, so that one is able to say, `This is it'? So what is the value of seeking at all? Or, if there is no value in it, then is there value only in constant observation, constant listening? - which is not the same as seeking. When there is constant observation there is no movement of the past. `To observe' implies seeing very clearly; to see very clearly there must be freedom, freedom from resentment, freedom from enmity, from any prejudice or grudge, freedom from all those memories that one has stored up as knowledge, which interfere with seeing. When there is that quality, that kind of freedom with constant observation - not only of the things outside but also inwardly - of what is actually going on, what then is the need of seeking at all? - for it is all there, the fact, the `what is, it is observed. But the moment we want to change `what is' into something else, the process of distortion takes place. Observing freely, without any distortion, without any evaluation, without any desire for pleasure, in just observing, we see that `what is' undergoes an extraordinary change.
Most of us try to fill our life with knowledge, with entertainment, with spiritual aspirations and beliefs, which, as we observe, have very little value; we want to experience something transcendental, something beyond all worldly things, we want to experience something immense, that has no borders, that has no time. To `experience' something immeasurable one must understand the implications of 'experience.' Why do we want `experience' at all?
Please do not accept or deny what the speaker is saying, just examine it. The speaker - let us again be definite about that matter - has no value whatsoever. (It's like the telephone, you do not obey what the telephone says. The telephone has no authority, but you listen to it.) If you listen with care. there is in that, affection, not agreement or disagreement, but a quality of mind that says, `Let's see what you're talking about, let us see if it has any value at all, let us see what is true and what is false.' Do not accept or deny, but observe and listen, not only to what is being said, but also to your reactions, to your distortions, as you are listening; see your prejudices, your opinions, your images, your experiences, see how they are going to prevent you from listening.
We are asking: what is the significance of experience? Has it any significance? Can experience wake up a mind that is asleep, that has come to certain conclusions and is held and conditioned by beliefs? Can experience wake it up, shatter all that structure? Can such a mind - so conditioned, so burdened by its own innumerable problems and despairs and sorrows - respond to any challenge? - can it? And if it does respond, must not the response be inadequate and therefore lead to more conflict? Always to seek for wider, deeper, transcendental experience, is a form of escape from the actual reality of `what is,' which is ourselves, our own conditioned mind. A mind that is extraordinarily awake, intelligent, free, why should it need, why should it have, any `experience' at all? Light is light, it does not ask for more light. The desire for more `experience' is escape from the actual, the `what is'.
If one is free from this everlasting search, free from the demand and the desire to experience something extraordinary, then we can proceed to find out what meditation is. That word - like the words `love,' `death,' `beauty,' `happiness' - is so loaded. There are so many schools which teach you how to meditate. But to understand what meditation is, one must lay the foundation of righteous behaviour. Without that foundation, meditation is really a form of self-hypnosis; without being free from anger, jealousy, envy, greed, acquisitiveness, hate, competition, the desire for success - all the moral, respectable forms of what is considered righteous - without laying the right foundation, without actually living a daily life free of the distortion of personal fear, anxiety, greed and so on, meditation has very little meaning. The laying of that foundation is all-important. So one asks: what is virtue? What is morality? Please do not say that this question is bourgeois, that is has no meaning in a society which is permissive, which allows anything. We are not concerned with that kind of society; we are concerned with a life completely free from fear, a life which is capable of deep, abiding love. Without that, meditation becomes a deviation; it is like taking a drug - as so many have done - to have an extraordinary experience and yet leading a shoddy little life. Those who take drugs do have some strange experiences, they see perhaps a little more colour, they become perhaps a little more sensitive, and being sensitive, in that chemical state, they do perhaps see things without space between the `observer' and the thing observed; but when the chemical effect is over, they are back to where they were with fear, with boredom, back again in the old routine - so they have to take the drug again.
Unless one lays the foundation of virtue, meditation becomes a trick to control the mind, to make the mind quiet, to force the mind to conform to the pattern of a system that says, `Do these things and you will have great reward.' But such a mind - do what you will with all the methods and the systems that are offered - will remain small, petty, conditioned, and therefore worthless. One has to inquire into what virtue is, what behaviour is. Is behaviour the result of environmental conditioning, of a society, of a culture, in which one has been brought up? - you behave according to that. Is that virtue? Or does virtue lie in freedom from the social morality of greed, envy and all the rest of it? - which is considered highly respectable. Can virtue be cultivated? - and if it can be cultivated then does it not become a mechanical thing and therefore have no virtue at all? Virtue is something that is living, flowing, that is constantly renewing itself, it cannot possibly be put together in time; it is like suggesting that you can cultivate humility. Can you cultivate humility? It is only the vain man that `cultivates' humility; whatever he may cultivate he will still remain vain. But in seeing very clearly the nature of vanity and pride, in that very seeing there is freedom from that vanity and pride - and in that there is humility. When this is very clear then we can proceed to find out what meditation is. If one cannot do this very deeply, in a most real and serious way - not just for one or two days then drop it - please do not talk about meditation. Meditation, if you understand what it is, is one of the most extraordinary things; but you cannot possibly understand it unless you have come to the end of seeking, groping, wanting, greedily clutching at something which you consider truth - which is your own projection. You cannot come to it unless you are no longer demanding `experience' at all, but are understanding the confusion in which one lives, the disorder of one's own life. In the observation of that disorder, order comes - which is not a blueprint. When you have done this - which in itself is meditation - then we can ask, not only what meditation is, but also what meditation is not, because in the denial of that which is false, the truth is.
Any system, any method, that teaches you how to meditate is obviously false. One can see why, intellectually, logically, for if you practice something according to a method - however noble, however ancient, however modern, however popular - you are making yourself mechanical, you are doing something over and over again in order to achieve something. In meditation the end is not different from the means. But the method promises you something; it is a means to an end. If the means is mechanical, then the end is also something brought about by the machine; the mechanical minds says, `I'll get something.' One has to be completely free from all methods, all systems; that is already the beginning of meditation; you are already denying something which is utterly false and meaningless. And again, there are those who practice 'awareness.' Can you practice awareness? - if you are `practicing' awareness, then you are all the time being inattentive. So, be aware of inattention, not practice how to be attentive; if you are aware of your inattention, out of that awareness there is attention, you do not have to practice it. Do please understand this, it is so clear and so simple. You do not have to go to Burma, China, India, places which are romantic but not factual. I remember once travelling in a car, in India, with a group of people. I was sitting in front with the driver, there were three behind who were talking about awareness, wanting to discuss with me what awareness is. The car was going very fast. A goat was in the road and the driver did not pay much attention and ran over the poor animal. The gentlemen behind were discussing what is awareness; they never knew what had happened! You laugh; but that is what we are all doing, we are intellectually concerned with the idea of awareness, the verbal, dialectical investigation of opinion, yet not actually aware of what is taking place.
There is no practice, only the living thing. And there comes the question: how is thought to be controlled? Thought wanders all over the place; you want to think about something, it is off on something else. They say practice, control; think about a picture, a sentence, or whatever it is, concentrate; thought buzzes off in another direction, so you pull it back and this battle goes on, backward and forward. So one asks: what is the need for control of thought at all and who is the entity that is going to control thought? Please follow this closely. Unless one understands this real question, one will not be able to see what meditation means. When one says, 'I must control thought,' who is the controller, the censor? Is the censor different from the thing he wants to control, shape or change into a different quality? - are they not both the same? What happens when the `thinker' sees that he is the thought - which he is - that the `experiencer' is the experience? Then what is one to do? Are you following the question? The thinker is the thought and thought wanders off; then the thinker, thinking he is separate, says, `I must control it.' Is the thinker different from the thing called thought? If there is no thought, is there a thinker?
What takes place when the thinker sees he is the thought. What actually takes place when the `thinker' is the thought as the `observer' is the observed? What takes place? In that there is no separation, no division and therefore no conflict therefore thought is no longer to be controlled, shaped; then what takes place? Is there then any wandering of thought at all? Before, there was control of thought, there was concentration of thought, there was the conflict between the `thinker' who wanted to control thought, and thought wandering off. That goes on all the time with all of us. Then there is the sudden realization that the `thinker' is the thought - a realization, not a verbal statement, but an actuality. Then what takes place? Is there such a thing as thought wandering? It is only when the `observer' is different from thought that he censors it; then he can say, `This is right or this is wrong thought,' or `Thought is wandering away I must control it,` But when the thinker realizes that he is the thought, is there a wandering at all? Go into it, sirs, don't accept it, you will see it for yourself. It is only when there is a resistance that there is conflict; the resistance is created by the thinker who thinks he is separate from the thought; but when the thinker realizes that he is the thought, there is no resistance - which does not mean that thought goes all over the place and does what it likes, on the contrary.
The whole concept of control and concentration undergoes a tremendous change; it becomes attention, something entirely different. If one understands the nature of attention, that attention can be focused, one understands that it is quite different from concentration, which is exclusion. Then you will ask, `Can I do anything without concentration?' `Do I not need concentration in order to do anything?' But can you not do something with attention? - which is not concentration. `Attention' implies to attend, that is to listen, hear, see, with all the totality of your being, with your body, with your nerves, with your eyes, with your ears, with your mind, with your heart, completely. In that total attention - in which there is no division - you can do anything; and in such attention is no resistance. So then, the next thing is, can the mind in which is included the brain - the brain being conditioned, the brain being the result of thousands of thousands of years of evolution, the brain which is the storehouse of memory - can that become quiet? Because it is only when the total mind is silent, quiet, that there is perception, seeing clearly, with a mind that is not confused. How can the mind be quiet, be still? I do not know if you have seen for yourself that to look at a beautiful tree, or a cloud full of light and glory, you must look completely, silently, otherwise you are not looking directly at it, you are looking at it with some image of pleasure, or the memory of yesterday, you are not actually looking at it, you are looking at the image rather than at the fact.
So, one asks, can the totality of the mind, the brain included, be completely still? People have asked this question - really very serious people - they have not been able to solve it, they have tried tricks, they have said that the mind can be made still through the repetition of words. Have you ever tried it - repeating `Ave Maria,' or those Sanskrit words that some people bring over from India, mantras - repeating certain- words to make the mind still? It does not matter what word it is, make it rhythmic-Coca Cola, any word - repeat it often and you will see that your mind becomes quiet; but it is a dull mind, it is not a sensitive mind, alert, active, vital, passionate, intense. A dull mind though it may say, `I have had tremendous transcendental experience,' is deceiving itself.
So it is not in the repetition of words, nor in trying to force it; too many tricks have been played upon the mind for it to be quiet; yet one knows deeply within oneself that when the mind is quiet then the whole thing is over, that then there is true perception.
How is the mind, the brain included, to be completely quiet? Some say breathe properly, take deep breaths, that is, get more oxygen into your blood; a shoddy little mind breathing very deeply, day after day, can be fairly quiet; but it is still what it is, a shoddy little mind. Or practice yoga? - again, so many things are involved in this. Yoga means skill in action, not merely the practice of certain exercises which are necessary to keep the body healthy, strong, sensitive - which includes eating the right food, not stuffing it with a lot of meat and so on (we won't go into all that, you are all probably meat eaters). Skill in action demands great sensitivity of the body, a lightness of the body, eating the right food, not what your tongue dictates, or what you are used to.
Then what is one to do? Who puts this question? One sees very clearly that our lives are in disorder, inwardly and outwardly; and yet order is necessary, as orderly as mathematical order and that can come about only by observing the disorder, not by trying to conform to the blueprint of what others may consider, or you yourself may consider, order. By seeing, by being aware of the disorder, out of that comes order. One also sees that the mind must be extraordinarily quiet, sensitive, alert, not caught in any habit, physical or psychological; how is that to come about? Who puts this question? Is the question put by the mind that chatters, the mind that has so much knowledge? Has it learned a new thing? - which is, `I can see very clearly only when I am quiet, therefore, I must be quiet.' Then it says, `How am I to be quiet?' Surely such a question is wrong in itself; the moment it asks `how' it is looking for a system, therefore destroying the very thing that is being inquired into, which is: how can the mind be completely still? - not mechanically, not forced, not compelled to be still. A mind that is not compelled to be still is extraordinarily active, sensitive, alert. But when you ask `how' then there is the division between the observer and the thing observed.
When you realize that there is no method, no system, that no mantram, no teacher, nothing in the world that is going to help you to be quiet, when you realize the truth that it is only the quiet mind that sees, then the mind becomes extraordinarily quiet. It is like seeing danger and avoiding it; in the same way, seeing that the mind must be completely quiet, it is quiet.
Now the quality of silence matters. A very small mind can be very quiet, it has its little space in which to be quiet; that little space, with its little quietness, is the deadest thing - you know what it is. But a mind that has limitless space and that quietness, that stillness, has no centre as the `me', the `observer,' is quite different. In that silence there is no `observer' at all; that quality of silence has vast space, it is without border and intensely active; the activity of that silence is entirely different from the activity which is self-centred. If the mind has gone that far (and really it is not that far, it is always there if you know how to look), then perhaps that which man has sought throughout the centuries, God, truth, the immeasurable, the nameless, the timeless, is there - without your invitation, it is there. Such a man is blessed, there is truth for him and ecstasy.
Shall we talk this over, ask questions? You might say to me, `What value has all this in daily life? I've got to live, go to the office; there is the family, there is the boss, competition - what has all this got to do with it?' Do you not ask that question? If you ask it, then you have not followed all that has been said this morning. Meditation is not something different from daily life; do not go off into the corner of a room and meditate for ten minutes, then come out of it and be a butcher - both metaphorically and actually. Meditation is one of the most serious things; you do it all day, in the office, with the family, when you say to somebody, `I love you" when you are considering your children, when you educate them to become soldiers, to kill, to be nationalized, worshipping the flag, educating them to enter into this trap of the modern world; watching all that, realizing your part in it, all that is part of meditation. And when you so meditate you will find in it an extraordinary beauty; you will act rightly at every moment; and if you do not act rightly at a given moment it does not matter, you will pick it up again - you will not waste time in regret. Meditation is part of life, not something different from life.
Questioner: Can you say something about laziness?
Krishnamurti: Laziness - first of all, what is wrong with laziness? Do not let us confuse laziness with leisure. Most of us, unfortunately, are lazy and inclined to be indolent, so we whip ourselves to be active therefore we become more lazy. The more I resist laziness the more I become lazy. But look at laziness, in the morning when I get up feeling terribly lazy, not wanting to do so many things. Why has the body become lazy? - probably one has overeaten, overindulged sexually, one has done everything the previous day and night to make the body heavy, dull; and the body says for God's sake leave me alone for a little while; and one wants to whip it, make it active; but one does not correct the way of one's life, so one takes a pill to be active. But if one observes, one will see that the body has its own intelligence; it requires a great deal of intelligence to observe the intelligence of the body. One forces it, one drives it; one is used to meat, one drinks, smokes, you know all the rest of it and therefore the body itself loses its own intrinsic organic intelligence. To allow the body to act intelligently, the mind has to become intelligent and not allow itself to interfere with the body. You try it and you will see that laziness undergoes a tremendous change.
There is also the question of leisure. People are having more and more leisure, especially in the well-to-do societies. What does one do with the leisure? - that is becoming the problem: more amusement, more cinemas, more television, more books, more chatter, more boating, more cricket: you know up and out, filling the leisure time with all kinds of activity. The Church says fill it with God, go to church, pray - all those tricks which they have done before, which is but another form of entertainment. Or one talks endlessly about this and that. You have leisure; will you use it to turn outwardly or inwardly? Life is not just the inward life; life is a movement, it is like the tide going out and coming in. What will you do with leisure? Become more learned, more able to quote books? Will you go out lecturing (which I do unfortunately), or go inwardly very deeply? To go inward very deeply, the outer must also be understood. The more you understand the outer - not merely the fact of the distance between here and the moon, technological knowledge, but the outward movements of society, of nations, the wars, the hate that there is - when you understand the outer then you can go very deeply inwardly and that inward depth has no limit. You do not say, `I have reached the end, this is enlightenment.' Enlightenment cannot be given by another; enlightenment comes when there is the understanding of confusion; and to understand confusion one must look at it.
Questioner: If you say that the thinker and the thought are not separate; and that if one thinks that the thinker is separate and thereby tries to control thought, that that merely bring back the struggle and the complexity of the mind; that there cannot be stillness that way, then I do not understand - if the thinker is the thought - how the separation arises in the first place. How can thought fight against itself?
Krishnamurti: How does the separation between the thinker and the thought arise when they are actually one? Is that so with you? Is it actually a fact that the thinker is the thought - or do you think it should be that way, therefore it is not an actuality for you? To realize that, you have to have great energy; that is to say, when you see a tree you have to have the energy not to have this division as, me, and the tree. To realize that, you need tremendous energy; then there is no division and therefore no conflict between the two; there is no control. But as most of us are conditioned to this idea, that the thinker is different from thought - then the conflict arises.
Questioner: Why do we find ourselves so difficult?
Krishnamurti: Because we have very complex minds - have we not? We are not simple people who look at things simply we have complex minds. And society evolves, becoming more and more complex - like our own minds. To understand something very complex one has to be very simple. To understand something complex, a very complex problem, you must look at the problem itself without bringing into the investigation all the conclusions, answers, suppositions and theories. When you look at the problem - and knowing that the answer is in the problem - your mind becomes very simple; the simplicity is in the observation, not in the problem which may be complex.
Questioner: How can I see the whole thing, everything, as whole?
Krishnamurti: One is used to looking at things fragmentarily, seeing the tree as something separate, the wife as separate, the office, the boss - everything in fragments. How can I see the world, of which I am a part, completely, totally, not in divisions? Now, just listen, Sir, just listen: who is going to answer that question? Who is going to tell you how to look - the speaker? You have put the question and you are waiting for an answer - from whom? If the question is really very serious - I am not saying your question is wrong - if the question is really serious, then what is the problem? The problem then is: `I can't see things totally, because I look at everything in fragments!' When does the mind look at things in fragments? Why? Love my wife and hate my boss! - You understand? If I love my wife I must also love everybody. No? Don't say yes, because you do not; you do not love your wife and children, you do not, although you may talk about it. If you love your wife and children, you will educate them differently, you will care, not financially, but in a different way. Only when there is love, is there no division. You understand, Sir? When you hate there is division, then you are anxious, greedy, envious, brutal, violent; but when you love - not love with your mind, love is not a word, love is not pleasure - when you really love, then pleasure, sex and so on have quite a different quality; in that love there is no division. Division arises when there is fear. When you love there is no `me' and `you,' `we' and `they.' But now you will say, `How am I to love? How am I to get that perfume?' There is only one answer to that; look at yourself, observe yourself; do not beat yourself, but observe, and out of this observation, seeing things as they are, then, perhaps you will have that love. But one has to work very hard at observation, not being lazy, not being inattentive.