I wonder why you come to listen to me. Is it out of curiosity or you have nothing better to do? Or do you want to find out what the speaker has to say? If you want to find out what he has to say you have to listen. To listen is an art. The word « art » means to put everything in its right place, that's the real meaning of the word « art ». And if you are going to listen this evening to a discourse, and if one may suggest one has to listen not with your own opinions, your prejudices and your conclusions and ideas but rather listen neither agreeing or denying, disagreeing. To listen requires a certain form of communication between the speaker and yourself. Communication implies not only a verbal exchange but also to think together, actually think together and share together not ideas, not words but rather the thing that lies behind the word, to read between the lines, to have an insight which we both share. So listening is not only an art but a responsibility.
And if you are at all serious, not merely intellectually amused but serious in front of a declining and degenerating world, specially in this country then a quality of mind that demands to investigate, to explore, to examine, not merely the description, the verbal picture but rather to investigate together why this country is becoming daily more and more confused, more and more corrupt, a way of life that is becoming mechanical. And when we use the word « degeneracy » we mean what the dictionary says, an inferior state of mind which is not excellent. And together, if you will this evening, go into this problem because it is very serious why a group of people, a community, living in this country, and this is happening all over the world, and we are not comparing India with the rest of the other countries, but merely taking the country as it is, which is the people as they are, which is yourself, and to find out why, what is the central core of this terrible decay, of this degeneracy, of this mechanical way of life. We have not only personal problems but also we have peripheral issues, like inflation, over-population, economic chaos and so on and so on, they are all peripheral issues. And a serious mind demands and must find an answer why there is this decline both religiously – and that's the first degeneration, there is no religion in this country at all. We are going to talk about it, so don't be shocked. There is a sense of a total unrelated to world events, each one is concerned with his own little problem, with his own survival, with his own security, with his own personal salvation. All this indicates a mind, a heart that is becoming more and more incapable of dealing with the problem as a whole. And we have to find an answer because there is so much suffering, incalculable misery, a despair of which one may not be aware, or conscious, but it is there. We are not exaggerating nor being pessimistic, but merely stating what is going on. Technologically there is extraordinary improvement, things are going so fast but human beings are not keeping up with that rapid growth in technology.
So seeing all this, wars, violence, corruption, a social structure that is totally immoral, division, conflict, suffering and the brutal violence that is spreading throughout the world, seeing all this, one wants to find out, if one is at all really serious, not playing with words, not playing with ideas or speculating about the problem but if one really earnestly enquires into it, which we are going to do, then that enquiry demands on your part an observation which is not prejudged, which is not prejudiced, which is not parochial, which is not Hindu or any other particular race or caste. So to investigate there must be freedom otherwise you cannot investigate. That's obvious. If I want to find out something my mind must be free to enquire, must not be caught in its own prejudices, in its own beliefs and conclusions. And that's the first requirement of any enquiry, of any examination. And I hope together, being free if that's at all possible, that is not being a Hindu with all your ugly tradition, your superstitions, and all the rest of it, and being free to look, to observe, to find out. And I hope we can do this together.
What is the reason of this decay? Not peripheral reasons, not reasons which are superficial, which any economist, socialist or philosopher invents or describes, but rather together face this question, why you in India, living in this country, not comparing India to Europe and America or Russia – this country – why, what has happened? You know this is a question one asks after fifty years of coming to this country every winter, and seeing the decline every year. What is the reason, what has happened to the mind? As we said, please neither agree nor disagree but examine. Which is, examine not the words, the ideas, the speculative inferences but why this has happened. And where do you enquire? Do you enquire after some philosophical assertion, or do you enquire an idealistic formula, or do you enquire what you are, what you have become. Right? That's where the enquiry has to begin, otherwise it has no value, otherwise it becomes merely an amusing entertaining enquiry without any result. So to enquire you have to enquire within yourself why human beings living in this country have allowed themselves to be what they are, what they have become – non-religious, though you may do puja three times a day, go to temples, follow innumerable gurus, read the Gita, Upanishads, those are all extraneous events, what other people have said. And by reading those books you think you are religious, by going to some guru and worshipping his nonsense, his systems, his meditation, you think you have become suddenly extraordinarily religious. Or somebody who does some miracle, and you think by attending those tricks you suddenly have found religion.
So if you observe yourself very seriously, are you religious? The word « religion » means according to the dictionary, not what you think religion should be, because your opinion of what you think religions should be may be just your own hope, your own wish, your own longing, your own prejudice and therefore it has no validity. Religion means gathering all your energy, both intellectual, physical, psychological, all your energy so that it is totally aware of all its activities, not fragmented but as a whole, a holistic activity. That's what religion means. Are you so religious?
And the next question is: thought plays an extraordinary part, thought has done most extraordinary things technologically, it has constructed the aeroplane, everything, thought has created that, the whole scientific field of knowledge, the whole world of medicine and so on and so on. Thought also has created wars, divided people. Please observe it for yourself, don't agree with me, the speaker has no value at all, he is not doing propaganda. Thought has divided people, thought has separated religions, thought has created the gods which you worship, the saviours, the gurus, the masters, the whole field is the projection of thought, your ramas, sitas, and gurus, you know the whole world of that. So you have created your gods whom you worship. So you are worshipping yourself in a round about way. Are you observing all this? Are you aware that what the speaker is saying is a fact or non-fact? That thought, your thought, your daily thought, not your idealistic thought which is still part of thought, that thought has accumulated tremendous knowledge in one field and that knowledge is operating in that technological world and thought as knowledge is destroying the human beings. I'll explain as we go along.
Have you ever observed yourself, that you are functioning, thinking, acting according to knowledge. Knowledge means experience, accumulated memory, and you are acting, functioning, according to that memory, which has become mechanical. Right? You are following this? And as thought is fragmentary – thought is never whole – all action becomes fragmentary. So knowledge in one field, in one area is absolutely necessary and when mind merely functions on knowledge as most do, then it becomes mechanical and the decline begins. Right? Am I talking Greek? You understand the question? Knowledge to which you give such tremendous importance, is always in the past and part of that knowledge is tradition, and when you are acting, living in that area as you do then the mind must become mechanical. Right? That is, memory is experience and knowledge stored up in the brain and that knowledge is reacting all the time. You can observe it in yourself. And we say that one of the basic reasons for the decline of people in this country is that they are living in an area of mechanical knowledge. And therefore the mind must decline, the mind must degenerate, when you are living according to the knowledge of others, the Gita, the Upanishads, you know, all the books that you read, you are living on the knowledge, or the experience, or the say-so of other people and therefore your life is second-hand. Right? Aren't you surprised, or you just sit there listening to all this? You understand what I am saying? I am not insulting you, I am just pointing out, you are second- hand people, or third-hand people. And when you discover that, not because the speaker tells you but you discover it for yourself, the truth of it, the fact of it, that you are living on knowledge, on tradition, which is a continuity of knowledge. And therefore a civilisation, a culture, a people that live merely on knowledge must inevitably decline.
And to find out a way of living which is non-mechanical, which is not based on knowledge, is the regeneration. That is, in one area knowledge is essential, otherwise you can't go home, otherwise you can't understand English, otherwise you can't recognise your wife or husband. Knowledge in that area is necessary. But when the mind merely lives, nourished by memory, by knowledge of others, specially, then the inevitable decline takes place. So is it possible, please do listen to this for two minutes, if you will – is it possible to live a life where the area of knowledge is sustained and to act in relationship, because life is relationship between you and another, in that relationship no continuity of knowledge from day to day? You understand my question? Because you see I am using the word « knowledge » in the sense as accumulated experience in human relationship which becomes memory stored up in the brain and according to that memory responds. It's excellent in the field of technology but in the field of relationship between human beings then it becomes a destructive and a mechanical thing, which prevents what one can call love. Right?
I wonder if you are following all this? Are we communicating with each other or not? I think you are used to going to meetings, aren't you, being lectured to, talked at. And here one is saying things which apparently you don't catch, apparently you haven't even thought about all this, you haven't even enquired. Do you understand my question? I am asking very seriously, why you as a human being living in this country are declining, degenerating, why your minds are not fresh, why there is no love at all. And that may be this mechanical activity of the brain, of the mind, of ideas, and the utter lack of what one can call deep affection, compassion. These two factors may be right through the world the essence of this decline. You understand?
Haven't you got a problem of this kind? Isn't it your problem? Or are you merely concerned with over population, inflation, and how to get on with your wife or your husband, get a better job, corruption, you know, all the superficial things, which dominate most people, and if you are enquiring you must go very much deeper, not merely find superficial answers to superficial issues. Aren't you concerned? You understand my questions, my problem? It is not mine, it is your problem, I am putting it to you for you to face and answer. How can human beings live on tradition, which is a mechanical process, on mere knowledge? Which makes the mind mechanical therefore it has no energy.
Leave that for the moment, and look at something else. Have you ever gone into the question of what love is? Or you don't even think about it? Have you gone to find out that extraordinary thing which one calls love, compassion? Is compassion knowledge? Is compassion the cultivation of thought? Is love a mere remembrance of certain incidents, knowledge? You understand my question? You have to answer this. So one asks: is there love in this country? Please, I am not saying it does exist or doesn't exist in Europe or America or Russia, I am asking you who live in this country non-comparatively. Or you have reduced love to sex, pleasure, or it has become duty, responsibility, a thing which is the outcome of a comfortable life, or something which you call devotion. You understand all my questions? Because it may be this factor, that in your heart there is no love, and you are living entirely within the field of knowledge.
Let's go into it a little more. You see when one observes what is going on in the world, the political division, the wars, the Arabs and the Jews and the Russians and the Chinese, and the Americans and the constant strain, and struggle and the brutality, the threat of war, starvation, all that, when you consider all that, not just your little problem, your problem is involved in all this but you have to take the whole thing, the whole thing, not just one fragment of it. Now when you look at all that non-personally, objectively, the chaos, the immense suffering not only personal but the collective suffering of man, what is your answer to this? For God's sake. What do you say? Retreat into some philosophical jargons and slogans? So if you are at all serious you have to find this out, whether human beings, that is you and I, whether we can bring about a total revolution in ourselves psychologically because when you change fundamentally you affect the whole consciousness of the world. You understand sirs? God! You understand this? Look: Lenin, whether you agree with him or not agree with him, has affected the consciousness of the world. Right? Stalin has, Hitler has, and the priests have affected the consciousness of the world by their belief, by their saviours and all the rest of it. Every human being – please look at it for yourself, it's the truth, it's a fact – every human being when there is a fundamental change in himself affects the consciousness of the world because you are the world, the world is you, you are India, geographically as well as psychologically. And when you change not at the superficial level but fundamentally, radically, because you are the world, because the world is you, you affect the consciousness. That's a fact, isn't it? We don't seem to be communicating with each other at all. Haven't the inventors of Rama and Krishna affected your consciousness, everlasting songs about them? Of course it has affected your consciousness. And so if you as a human being transform yourself you affect the consciousness of the rest of the world. It seems so obvious.
And can knowledge transform man? Do you understand my question? Oh God! You have knowledge about so many things, you have read so much, you have philosophies galore, after all philosophy means the love of truth in daily life, not theories, not speculative concepts, it is the living, the love of truth in daily life, which means tremendous honesty. And the love of being honest. So can the human mind, your mind, transform itself through knowledge? Or knowledge has no place in the regeneration of man. Knowledge is mechanical, you can add and take away from knowledge, and when you live in that area as most people do – memory, experience, knowledge – if you live in that area the mind must inevitably become mechanical. That is, in your relationship, in daily relationship between man and woman you function on knowledge, don't you? No? Don't you have an image of her and she has an image of that person, which is, essentially the image is knowledge, and you live in that relationship based on knowledge and therefore there is no freedom. Are we meeting at all? So I am asking you: what place has knowledge in the transformation of man and society? We are saying knowledge has no place because knowledge is mechanical, which I have explained. Then what is the element, what is the core, the root, which is not the product of thought and therefore a factor which is not knowledge? You understand my question? Please do. Look, sir: I want to transform myself because I see what I am, miserable, confused, ugly, brutal, avaricious, hateful, jealous, ambitious, cunning, deceitful, say one thing and do another, double talk, an idealist and that ideal has nothing to do with my daily life, I see all that, this contradiction, this conflict, this struggle from the moment I am born until I die. And I say to myself, how can I change all this? That requires not slackness, laziness, I must find out, not according to some philosopher, not according to the Gita, that doesn't interest me at all because that's rather a bore. I want to find out. What am I to do? Now put yourself in that position, please put yourself in that position and see, ask yourself seriously what are you to do. That is, can the knowledge that you have acquired either through self-knowing, understanding yourself, or the knowledge that you have acquired from others, the knowledge that you have gained through experience, whether this knowledge is going to transform you. You understand? Or a different energy, a different factor is necessary to bring about a transformation.
So we have put this question unconsciously perhaps, then we say, « Yes, I cannot do it by myself, therefore I need a guru » and the guru is of my choice, who must please me, I don't go to a guru who tells me, « Get to work ». And I escape into ideas, ideals and so on and never face this. Now since you are here, you are good enough to come this evening to listen, look at it: can your knowledge that you have acquired transform your envy? Take that one factor. Can you totally be free of it? That is, can your knowledge of what it is to be envious and the results of envy, and the cause of envy, you know all that because your minds are very good at analysing, most minds are if they are given certain opportunity, you have that knowledge and will that knowledge transform your envy? Please, look at it, go into it. What will end envy? You know what envy has done in the world, you know the cause of envy, which is pleasure, and so on – we won't go into the cause of it now for the time being. And all that knowledge, because knowledge is time and the mind that seeks cause of envy is caught in time, so I am asking will time solve it? You follow? I am putting the question differently.
And if you are serious and want to find out how to end totally, so that it never comes back again, this problem of envy, because our whole social and religious structure is based on envy, the hierarchical outlook, the one who knows, the one who doesn't know, all that is based essentially on envy, with all its competition, with all its ruthlessness and so on. Now after examining all that, not only verbally, descriptively, and you know that you are envious, can you end that envy through the information you have all about it? You understand my question? For God's sake say, yes, or no. Then what will end it? Determination? Now when you determine to end envy there is a conflict, isn't there. So you may suppress it, you may overcome it, you may escape from it, but it is still there. So knowledge will not open the door so that you are free of envy.
Then the problem is: what will? Please ask yourself. Because envy, with jealousy, is hatred in a different form, and a world that lives on hate, a human being that is nourished by hate cannot bring about a different world, a different culture, a different existence. So it is absolutely necessary – I am taking that as an example – to end envy. Now how is this done? You understand my question at least? May I go on? Right? At least some do.
Now how do you look at envy? Please watch yourself. You know you are envious, don't you, and how do you observe that envy? How do you see it? How do you know it? This is really a very important question. When you say, « I am envious », is you who says, « I am envious », different from envy? You are following this? Is the feeling of envy different from the observer of that feeling? You understand my question? If the observer is different from the feeling then there is a division therefore there is a conflict. Right? There is conflict. So wherever there is a division, Arab, Jew, Hindu, Muslim, Buddhist and non-Buddhist, Christian, non-Christian, wherever there is a division politically, inwardly, psychologically there must be conflict. That's a law, that's the truth. So when you observe envy, is the observer different from the observed? Or they are both the same, the observer is the observed. Do you understand? So when the observer is the observed conflict ceases, doesn't it? And what happens? When conflict ceases between the observer and the observed because the observer is the observed, the thinker is the thought, the experiencer is the experience and so on, when the observer is the observed, when the observer is the envy, therefore there is no division and therefore there is no conflict, therefore what has taken place? Do you want me to tell you? Are you again becoming second-hand? Of course you are. You understand my question?
We live in conflict, we are nourished in conflict, and the conflict comes about when there is division. And I took the feeling which is called envy, and one sees the result, the effect and the cause of that envy, the effect in the world, the effect in oneself, the bitterness, the anger, the jealousy, you know the hatred that is born out of envy, the bitterness, and will knowledge resolve that envy? You may rationalise it and say, « Yes, we need envy to live in this world otherwise I am destroyed », you know all the reasons, you give false reasons to enjoy your own envy. Now, then you ask, is the observer different from the observed? If he is different there must be conflict, suppression, rationalisation, overcoming it and the battle begins, all that. But the fact is the observer is the observed, the observer is envy itself. Now when you realise that, what has taken place? What has taken place when you have dissipated your energy in conflict, in suppression, in rationalisation, in overcoming, what has happened to that energy when you are not doing that? You have all that energy collected, haven't you? And when you have that energy, complete energy which is not dissipated, then what takes place? You are still waiting for the second-hand mind? Good God! What takes place? Don't theorise, don't say, « love ». What actually takes place in you? You understand? Before you said you are aware that you are envy and you say, « How terrible, I must control it, I must suppress it », one must have envy otherwise one can't live in this world, which is rationalisation, and you have done that all your life. And when you realise that the observer is not different from the observed, the observer is the envy, therefore what has happened?
Krishnamurti: Oh, come off it, sir! You are just talking, has it disappeared in you? Second-hand mind in operation! You don't do it and that has been what has happened to this country, they talk and they invent ideas or repeat somebody else, they never go into it to find out. You observe yourself and you will find the answer, it is very simple. When you are not dissipating energy through suppression, overcoming and all the rest of it, you have that tremendous energy to deal with the fact. The fact is envy. You are that envy, envy is not separate from you, your consciousness is its content. I won't go into that now. Your consciousness is made up of its content, you are envy. And you say, « All right, I am envy » and your whole mind if you are serious is giving all its energy to this question of envy. So what takes place?
Sirs, look what you are doing, you are going to repeat it after me, discuss it, reject it or accept it, or say, yes, somebody else has said the same thing and you think you have understood. That's the tragedy of this country, they have never gone into themselves, they have never found themselves in that reality of knowing what is actually going on. I'll show it to you. When the observer is the observed, that is, the envy is the observer, the « me » who says, I am envy, that « me » is envy, that's a fact. Not knowing what to do we invent an outside agency, « God will resolve this », an analyst will resolve this, somebody else will do all the trip for us and that means you are accepting authority. In spiritual matters there is no authority, including your gurus, your Bhagavad Gita and your Upanishads, nothing. That makes you, if you rely on that, you are second-hand human beings, which you are. Now what takes place? I feel envy, that's a fact. How do I know that it is envy? Please follow this a little bit. How do I know that it is envy? Because I have previous memory of that feeling. So instinctively the previous experience recognises envy, and that recognition strengthens the envy. Right? Do you understand what I am saying? That is your previous knowledge, your knowledge of envy recognises the present envy, therefore it says, yes, I know all about it, and then it accepts it and goes on. Look, you see what the mind has done, when it recognises that envy it is memory that is operating, which is knowledge and therefore it cannot deal with the present feeling with a past memory. It only strengthens that feeling.
So the problem then is, can the mind, can that feeling be observed without any recognition? You follow? Which means not bringing your previous knowledge into it. Therefore the previous knowledge is the observer. And so you create a division. Now when there is no division, when you see all this, you have abundance of energy. Then that fact of envy can be dealt with instantly, it's gone. It is only the lazy, inattentive mind that knows the cause, the effect and goes on. But the attentive mind, which means the mind that has seen the whole nature and the structure of envy and therefore has gathered that energy and can deal with that fact, the fact being the observer is the observed, the observer is envy, therefore there is no movement at all. Have you learnt it by heart?
And when you realise this then the question arises: is there a way of living – please listen – is there a way of living daily life without a single conflict? Not as an idea, not as a slogan, not something you repeat and so on, but to find out for yourself a way of living in which there isn't a shadow of struggle, except in the technological field which you carry over into the psychological world. So I am asking you: in the realisation that the observer is the observed, that is, the « me » that says, « I am envy », that « me » is envy itself. Then there is no movement away from it, because you can't move away from it, you are it. Therefore you have all that energy, that energy dissipates the fact of envy. Have you understood? Have an insight into it, not my explanation of it.
So is conflict part of affection, part of love? We have to find an answer to this, you as a human being, individually as well as collectively – you are collective, you are not individual, sorry, individuality means a non-fragmented human being – you are the collective; now you have to find an answer how to live a life without a single conflict. And you will find it when you understand this whole problem of the observer and the observed, the experiencer and the experience, because the experience is the experiencer. You understand this? Because after all you are seeking experience, aren't you? When you go to your guru, aren't you seeking experience? You want experience and how do you know that experience unless you recognise it? Therefore the experiencer is the experience. So the mind finds then there is no questing after experience.
So a mind that lives mechanically in the field of knowledge, technologically, such a mind does not necessarily deteriorate; but a mind that lives in the field of psychological knowledge, the knowledge of experience, either your own or of another, the accumulated tradition or the tradition of a day, such a mind living in the field of its own particular knowledge brings about its own decay, which is what is happening all through the world, and especially in this country because you have never gone into yourself, and said, « Look, I have to find an answer to all these problems », not through books, and through teachers and through others. And this requires energy. And you have abundance of energy when you want to do something, you have plenty of energy to earn money, to go to the office day after day, but if you applied that same energy, that same intensity to go into yourself and find out how to live a life without a single shadow of conflict, then you will affect the whole consciousness of the world. Right, sirs.
7th December 1974
We were talking yesterday about the art of listening. The word « art » means to put everything in its right place. And to listen, there must be no comparison. You can't compare what is being said with what you already know or judge or evaluate; neither agreeing nor disagreeing, resisting or accepting, but actually listen to those crows, and to the wind among the leaves. There is also an art of seeing, seeing not only what is happening about one outwardly – the confusion, the misery, the starvation, the dirt and the beauty of a lovely tree in the sun set, the branch and the swaying leaves – the ways of the politicians, the affairs of businessmen, the crookedness of human thought but also to see inwardly, which is much more difficult. It needs a great awareness, attention to see exactly what is going on within oneself, within one's mind – the motives, the contradictions, the cunningness of thought, the movement of desire, the ambition, the greed, the envy, the corruption, the various activities of the mind – hidden and obvious. To observe all that becomes quite imperative in times like these when we are bombarded all around. We are bombarded by newspapers, politicians, priests, by philosophers; and to be aware and to observe our reactions – mechanical, innate, cultivated, educated reactions and so on – one must have no resistance, no shade of distraction but merely watch without any movement of thought, exactly « what is ». That is quite an art and if you can watch exactly, without any movement, what is taking place within one, then you will find the content of your consciousness. Consciousness is capacity – intellectual, emotional, physical – with all its sensory demands. One becomes aware of the content of one's whole being. I do not know if you have ever tried, not be pained by what one sees, discouraged or depressed, but to look at exactly what is going on, so that all peripheral movements come to an end and there is immobility of all movement, there is cessation of all movement, but only seeing actually what is. Please experiment with what we are saying as we are exploring.
The content of our consciousness is consciousness; without the content there is no consciousness. I am going to go into it, because it is important to understand the nature of fear and pleasure and what love is. The content, if you have observed, if you are self-critically aware, is that which thought has put into consciousness. The Gods, the traditions, the cultural heritage, the immediate impressions, the attachments, the sense of great loneliness, the sense of frustration, the drive of ambition, the innumerable hurts, the wounds that one has received from childhood, the various compulsive desires, sexual lusts, the furniture that one clings to, the furniture which is knowledge, the beliefs, the dogmas, the rituals, all the things that man has sought and is seeking are the contents which make up our consciousness. That is simple, that is clear, that is obvious. Rama and Krishna, Jesus and various other religious propaganda have been thrown at us, century after century and through it all has run pleasure and fear, the two principal mainstreams – the pursuit of pleasure and in its wake the ebb and flow of fear.
So, that is the content of our consciousness. Now is one aware of it? Is one so aware that there is a certain quality of sensitivity not only biologically, physically but a much deeper sensitivity of the psyche, the inward tenor that receives, that sees, that vibrates to something that is going on? Are you aware of this, of your content, not only at the conscious level, but also at the deeper levels, deeper layers? If one is conscious, aware of the movements of thought, of desire, of pleasure, of the inevitable movement of fear at one level, one knows that the superficial content of our consciousness is the education which one has received from childhood – the hurts, the agonies, the anxieties, the ache of loneliness and suffering. And is it possible to observe it at deeper level, at the very root? Is it possible for a conscious mind to observe the very deep hidden demands, motives, hopes, fears, causes of pain and so on? You may be conscious or aware of your desires at a superficial level as most people do, but to enquire into the deeper hidden consciousness, the hidden contents, to be aware of every intimation and hint that has projected into consciousness, requires a mind that is very sensitive, watchful.
Then, there is the whole content of consciousness, the totality, not just the fragmentary – the incidents and accidents, fears and pleasures and hurts. One is totally the whole content and that very content limits consciousness. Do you see this? Look, if I am a Hindu the content of my consciousness, the religious content is what I believe, what I have been told to believe. And that propaganda has been going on for centuries and centuries and it has become tradition and I accept that tradition. That is one of the contents – and that very content, that very belief, that little tradition limits consciousness. The greater the limitation, the greater the prison in which that consciousness is held. In observing the content – the content is "what is" – every other movement ends. There must be a total attention. If I want to see you, to look at you, I must give all my attention to you, not bring in my prejudices, my likes and dislikes, but observe, see clearly. And, when you see this, not see it through description of words, but actually see it in yourself, you find these two dominant streams: of fear, of pleasure. You all have experienced pleasure – sexual, sensual, the pleasure of ambition, of possession, prestige, status, the pleasure of being appreciated, the pleasure of your own attachments, whether it is a house or a belief or a person. And with pleasure, there are the innumerable fears that one has – physical pain, fear of danger, of peril. These two are the principal streams in this consciousness. And without really deeply understanding, without having an insight into pleasure and fear, love becomes extraordinarily superficial, has very little meaning. So if one really wants to find out for oneself, not with conceit, not with a sense of discovery and the pride that comes with it, but to find out for oneself what it means, it is only possible if one understands the nature and structure of pleasure and fear. If one has not fully delved into these two, then love is another glorified form of pleasure or devotion to some ideas, some image created by the mind or by the hand; and that devotion to an external thing is really projected from an inward demand. That devotion then becomes a self-enjoyment, especially in this country where people are so devoted. Whereas life is a total unitary movement, it is not to be broken up. So your devotion is part of the pursuit of pleasure. And is one aware of the movement and the pursuit of pleasure, not resisting it, not denying it, not suppressing it, not rationalizing it, but just be aware of actually "what is", which is pleasure in all its subtle forms? Can you see it as it is in yourself, how your mind is pursuing pleasure endlessly? Then you will ask "what am I do to do with it, it is so instinctive, it is so natural, it is so easy? "And all religions, in the name of God, in the name of service to God ask you to suppress your desire, your hope, to control it. So, one is trained, conditioned, educated not to the understanding of pleasure but to give a greater strength to it by suppressing it or by enjoying it. And can you watch this? Can you observe the actual movement of pleasure – the pleasure of taste, the food that you eat to which you have become so accustomed? Have you noticed how difficult it is to change your particular habit of pleasure to a totally different kind of food? And you are caught, trapped in this and you accept it and carry on day after day. And occasionally you take a vow and do something – fast or shave your head or do something and carry on the next day with your pleasure. You satisfy your superstitions and carry on with the one thing that your mind wants, which is pleasure. We are not saying that it must be suppressed or given full freedom. We are saying: See what is implied in pleasure, see the nature of it, the content of pleasure, have an insight into it, understand it, go into it, be aware of its movement. Then you will find what is enjoyment and what is joy. You see a beautiful sunset and you have joy. At that moment, in seeing the sun set, in taking delight in it, what takes place? The delight of that moment is registered in the brain as memory and that incident of delight which has gone, is now stored up as memory and the pursuit of that delight as memory becomes pleasure. Right? You have followed this? It is the same with your sex, the same with every form of pursuit of this dominating, demanding urgency of pleasure.
The other side of the coin is fear – both physical and psychological. Fear is danger, pain, hurt, disease and the fear of its recurring again – the whole biological, physiological responses. Watch your mind how it operates. That is, one has had physical pain, then that is recorded in the brain. Then that very recording stimulates thought and thought says, "I hope I will not have it next week, "and fear is set going. And there are both, as we said, physical fears and psychological fears. One has received hurts from childhood. Haven't you been hurt at school, the teacher compares you with another who is cleverer than you are, and that very comparison is a wound? And that wound is perpetuated through college, through university, through life. One builds a wall around oneself not to be hurt any more, one withdraws and any approach inwardly is the awakening of fear, of being further hurt. Do you know all these things? The speaker has never been hurt and therein lies innocence; that is a different matter. And there are the fears of death, of loneliness, of being loved or having loved, not receiving reciprocation and so on. We live in darkness of this fear, whether you are conscious of it or not. And we are saying, if you look, if you observe that you are the fear and you are the pleasure without the division as « me » as the observer and the observed, then you remain with that reality. Please do tell me if we are communicating with each other.
Now, I am going to show you how to look. Please do give your heart and mind to this, not just casually sit down and listen, but give your attention to it. You are hurt, aren't you? Now, can you look at it, without any movement other than direct observation? I have been hurt,and I look at it without wanting to find out the cause of it. The wound is there and to go into the cause of that wound is a distraction to "what is". To rationalize it, to escape from it, to run away, is also a distraction to "what is". Can one then remain with that fact of the wound and look at it? And that is where the art comes in, the art of seeing, observing, to look without the observer. The observer is the past – the observer with all his resistance to that wound, the observer who has separated himself from that wound and is trying to do something about that wound. Can you look without the observer, the « me », which means without time ? Can you just see actually what is going on? Now, there are two factors in this: The wounds that you have received from childhood and the prevention of further hurts. And is it possible not to be wounded at all? You understand? The wounds that I have received, if I have received any, what am I to do with them, I can't forget them; there they are deeply embedded; I may forgive, I may do all kinds of things to cover the wounds, but they are there, what am I to do with them. Don't say "what am I do so that I am never hurt again". Have you put all these questions to yourself or am I putting these questions to you? How will you so completely feel the past wounds that no marks are left in your consciousness, you no longer will receive any hurts? Because the consciousness that is hurt will never know what love is. You may do social work, become a member of the communist, socialist party, go from one guru to another, but as long as you have not understood this deep hurt, love will never come to your heart. That is so obvious.
It is absolutely essential to find out for yourself whether that wound can be healed so completely that it leaves no mark. First of all, is it possible? If you say it is possible or it is not possible, you are blocking yourself, What have you done with the hurts that you have received? If one is aware, then you see that you have built a wall around yourself. You know, you have built a wall around yourself, if you are hurt, but you do not build a wall around yourself when you are flattered – but both are wounds. Flattery is a form of wound as is insult. Neither flattery nor an insult should leave a mark. You understand what I am talking about? Can one live a life in which there is no hurt, a life in which every form of flattery leave no mark? Then only will you know what compassion is. Compassion is the regenerating factor in life. That factor brings a new life, however degenerate one is. Compassion means passion for all, for everything. Compassion also includes working together.
Now, will you heal the wound which is part of the content of consciousness as attachment to your house, to your wife, to your children? Because you are attached, there is the fear of losing; therefore you cultivate detach- ment which is another form of conflict. All your books say "be detached" but you are really attached to your customs, to your temples, to your mosques, to your books, to your knowledge, to your experiences, to your beliefs, which are all part of your consciousness. And one of the contents of that consciousness is hurt. If you understand that one content completely, you will have understood the whole and you will know instantly how to deal with it. So, first, are you aware of the hurt and are you aware that you are resisting, that you are frightened that hurt might increase and invite more hurts? Are you aware that seeking the cause of that hurt is a waste of time? Isn't it ? So, what has happened? You are not spending your energy in enquiring into the cause of that hurt, you are not building a wall around that hurt in order not to be hurt more; you are no longer trying to cover it up. So you are merely watching, observing, seeing, which means you are giving complete attention to that hurt. When you give your complete attention, then you will see that the hurt is no longer there. Which means the mind that is not attentive gets hurt. It is only the mind that is inattentive that gets hurt. So give your whole attention and that whole attention is not possible when you are resisting, building a wall around that hurt, frightened about being further hurt. These are indications a inattention. And when you give your complete attention, then you will see that there is no hurt, then only you can proceed to find out what love is.
Is love pleasure? You understand the meaning of my question? We have said, pleasure invites always fear, and is pleasure love, is pleasure desire, is desire love? Is the remembrance of something pleasurable that has happened yesterday, is that love? We are caught in that circle. Don't agree or disagree. Watch yourself and you will see that we are caught in that area. Every human being is caught in that. The ambitious man driven by his desire, by his pleasure to become something in the political field or in the business field, in whatever field he wants to succeed in, can such a man love? He may talk about it endlessly but he does not know love. You are also in that field, you may nod your head and say I agree with you as some of you are doing, but you haven't left that field, though you verbally agree. That is why you are living on words and therefore degeneracy is setting in your heart and mind because you have lived on words. Knowledge is words. Knowledge is not wisdom. You can't buy wisdom. You can attend any school where they teach you knowledge, but there is no book, there is no school where wisdom can be taught. If there is such a school, scrap it, don't go near it. Wisdom comes only when you understand what love is, the enormous compassion and that compassion can only come when you understand the depth of suffering and when you understand the content of your consciousness which is yourself. The content of that consciousness is yourself and in the understanding of yourself flowers wisdom. Do you want to ask any questions?
Questioner: Sir, we live in a society that is particularly hurting human beings. The society that has created this education, created this hierarchical outlook on life, the society that tramples, that destroys, that brings about wars and destruction, a society that has no love, that is immoral, in such a society, we must inevitably get hurt.
Krishnamurti: Now, who has created this society? Surely you and I collectively have created this society. Are you an individual or are you the collective? You are not individuals, you are the collective. That is so obvious, isn't it? You all think in one way as Hindus with your superstitions, with your Gitas; the Muslims, the Christians have their superstitions and beliefs. You are all the collective. Individual means an entity who is not fragmented in himself, who is not broken up, who is whole whereas we are the collective, the collective greed, the collective hate, the collective desire, the collective ambition and the collective has created this society and we are responsible for it. To change that society we must change, By your changing, you bring about a transformation in the collective consciousness. But you are not willing to change because it is too difficult and you say it is the fault of society. You find excuses. It is part of your laziness and so you are caught in this and you accept your hurts. I have shown you the way to end your hurts. The ending of your hurt which is the collective hurt affects the consciousness of the collective, which is you.
8th December 1974
We have been talking about the art of listening and the art of seeing. We said the art of listening implies that you participate, share in what is being said. And you cannot share what is being said if your mind, if your thoughts are wandering all over the place or you are comparing what is being said to what already you know or translate what is being said to see if it conforms to what is said, and that is not the art of listening. We went into that sufficiently in the first talk. And also we talked about the art of seeing, the last time that we met here. That to observe, whether it be a tree, a mountain or hear a song or see the flutter of a leaf in the wind, one must observe without any screen between you and the thing you observe; otherwise you do not see at all. We talked about that also at some length. And also there is another art, which is the art of learning. The art of listening, the art of seeing and the art of learning.
For most of us, learning implies committing to memory a technology, a language, a method and so on. That is, acquiring knowledge and storing it up in the brain as memory and using that memory skilfully when the occasion demands. That is, the cultivation of memory for most of us becomes tremendously important. And learning has also another meaning: not only the acquisition of knowledge and acting according to that knowledge, which is knowledge being always the past and acting according to the past whether it be a tradition, a memory or an experience which one had stored up as information, as a linguistic acquisition, memory and so on, with which we are all quite familiar. There is another kind of learning which has nothing whatsoever to do with storing of knowledge. The storing of knowledge becomes, in action, mechanical. And where there is learning, that is the constant movement of learning and not storing up as memory is the art of learning. I do not know if it is possible to convey this to you in a language, but during the talk we'll go into it – the art of learning. When we have learnt something, it is stored up and according to that memory, we act: how to ride a bicycle, drive a car and so on, so on, so on. And that's all a mechanical process.
And learning has also a different significance. That is, coming to a challenge with a mind that is curious, alert, aware and wanting to understand not only the challenge but the response. That is, the mind is in a state of enquiry, in a state of exploration and never being satisfied by mere knowledge. I think we'll understand each other as we go along. And I think it is important to understand this a little bit at the beginning, even intellectually, because degeneracy in this country is becoming quite apparent and destroying people. And one of the factors of this degeneracy is the activity and the mechanical way of living in the field of knowledge. Always being told what to do, always referring to a past experience, always looking to somebody to guide it, so that we are never in the act of learning; but always storing up what other people have said and acting according to that or just repeating the theory and not actually living.
We want to talk this evening about several things: about death and the meaning of it, the immense sorrow, personal as well as the collective, and the essential freedom of passion. I hope that we are going together into these questions. Going together, taking a journey together implies that we must walk at the same speed, with the same intention, with the same intensity, with the same energy; otherwise we can't keep up with each other. And this talk, as well as the other talks, is not merely an interpretation of an idea, but rather the investigation, the enquiry together into this problem of suffering, passion and death. We are so accustomed to sorrow, to suffering. We are talking about psychological, inward suffering, which becomes distorted if the physical suffering is not properly understood, has not its proper place. So, we are talking over together as two people who are serious, who intend to understand this great problem of human suffering and why human beings have not passion; they have lust, which is entirely different from passion. Because without passion you cannot create and creation is not merely a repetition or a conformity to a pattern. Creation implies an understanding, not intellectually but deeply have an insight into this whole question of not only suffering but the feeling of great intensity. Because if you are merely functioning mechanically, as most people do, from memory to action and skill, this quality of passion is never there. And in the very enquiring into this question, one must go into the issue of suffering because they are two, both suffering and passion are related, both linguistically and actually.
Now, we are going to share this together, which means we are going to learn, not hear me, the speaker, learn it by heart, agree or disagree and then live or not live according to those ideas. Together we are going to find out for ourselves what is the meaning of suffering; if there is an end to suffering, not theoretically, but actually. And what takes place when there is this freedom from suffering? What happens? Bearing in mind all the time that description is not the described. Right? I can describe a tree, a mountain, a river or the beauty of a blue sea, but the actual sea, the actual tree is not the word, is not the description. So, do not let us get caught up in words; though words are necessary to communicate, one must go beyond the words to grasp the significance or have the insight. When you have the insight, learning becomes something entirely different. It is no longer the repetition of a memory. I hope you all understand.
I do not know if you have not observed how human beings suffer right throughout the world. That's one of the common factors of our human existence. Young, old and the dying, this anxiety, the grief, the acquaintance with sorrow and so on. And man, which is you and I, we have tried to find the cause of it. We have tried to escape from it, we have tried to rationalise it, we have given so many reasons, explanations for this sorrow. And apparently our minds are never free from it. If one is at all conscious, aware of oneself, of one's environment, of one's society in which one lives, the culture in which we have been brought up, of which we are, the part of which we are – if you are aware of all that, not only as a community but as a nation, as a group of people, one must inevitably ask if there is an end to sorrow? Can man be ever free from sorrow, is that possible? Because sorrow, like fear, is a tremendous burden. It distorts our thinking. It makes us bitter, anxious, frightened. And if you observe yourself, you will see how being in sorrow for various reasons, whether it's the death of a friend or a son or a wife or a husband or somebody on whom you depended. All this, the sorrow of great loneliness, if one has observed it and not accepting it as inevitable, which most of us do, one has to find out not merely verbally, intellectually, but deeply, inwardly, profoundly if there is an ending and has sorrow any meaning at all. Most of us think it has a meaning, a purpose and that will make us more, God knows what, more enlightened, that we must go through this area of sorrow. Now if one is aware, conscious, knows that one suffers, and why has one, a human being, put up with it? Why are we burdened everlastingly from it? No man seems to have resolved it. Except perhaps some mystical entity. And not being able to resolve it, we translate it as a path or a period through which we must go through in order to be more wise, more capable, more enlightened. Or we worship a figure who represents sorrow. I do not know if you have not noticed all this in yourself and in others. What we are asking is not only the cause of it, but also the ending of it. One can find quite comparatively easily the cause. Though one can find the cause apparently sorrow goes on. I can tell you or another can tell you the cause of sorrow is your loneliness, is that you are attached to somebody and when that somebody goes away or dies or turns away from you, there is anger, bitterness, anxiety, fear, sorrow. One knows the cause, it doesn't need great analysis. And yet sorrow goes on. So is it worthwhile, is it necessary to spend time and energy in the analysis of finding out the cause? You understand my question? Are we meeting each other?
You suffer, don't you? Not from toothache, that you can deal with, but psychologically, inwardly: suffer for another, suffer for the stupidity of mankind, suffer for the cruelty of people, the degeneracy, the feeling of utter loneliness, of sorrow, the ignorance of human beings, not in the technological world but in the real sense of that word, to be ignorant, to be ignorant of oneself. All that awakens in one a great sense of sorrow, sadness, a grief, if one is at all sensitive. And there is the sorrow of losing somebody, death. You shed tears and you feel great loss, emptiness, a sense of loneliness. These are all the various causes of sorrow. So analysis into the cause is inaction, does not produce action. Right? Are we clear about this? Are we meeting each other? Please tell me, I can go into it more.
Analysis implies several things, which we talked about the other evening, not only the analyser and the analysed, the division, the enormous amount of time spent in trying to find out the cause and therefore caught in time and therefore cause is the very essence of time. And knowing all the causes, there is never one cause, there are multiple causes, and to search out for the multiple causes does not resolve the problem of suffering. If one sees the truth of that, have an insight that the discovery of the cause of suffering is not the ending of suffering, then we can proceed to find out whether it is possible to end sorrow. Right? Are we meeting each other? Look, all right. I suffer. I'm taking this as an example. I suffer for various reasons; I am not very interested in the cause of that suffering. The actual fact is I am suffering – my son, my wife, my brother, everything is taken away from me and I am left lonely, isolated, having no relationship with another, bound to my own sorrow. And knowing that the cause of it has no value, that's one discovery I have made, discovery, not I have been told, therefore it is first-hand, I have discovered for myself that the mere search for the cause of sorrow is not the ending of sorrow. It's, on the contrary, it is time-binding, away from the fact of sorrow. And I see my mind wants to escape from it because I can't understand it, what is involved, what is the significance, what is the meaning of it. So, it wants to escape from it. Don't you want to escape from it? All your gods, your entertainments, your rituals, your reading the Gita, the Upanishads, whatever that book you call sacred, which is not sacred at all but just printed word which you make sacred. And so you escape from it, trying to find comfort in something, comfort in an idea, in a picture, in a concept, in some hope, escape, a move away from the fact of « what is ». And the very moving away from « what is », is the beginning of sorrow. You understand this? So, I see that. So it's not a determination not to escape, but the fact that escape does not solve the problem of sorrow. On the contrary, escape becomes a neurotic activity. So the mind having an insight into escape and the futility of escape, comes back to the fact of suffering. Therefore there is no escape. You are following? It's not that I have determined not to escape, but I see the futility of escape.
Then I see also that any form of overcoming sorrow is still another waste of energy. Are you following all this? So, my mind sees the waste of energy in the search of cause of sorrow, in all the multiple escapes the mind, thought has invented and there are thousand escapes, subtle forms and seeing that, seeing the futility, the uselessness because you can't escape from something that is always there, you can cover it up, you can run away from it, you can hide it, but it's there. And so the mind says « All right, I won't ». Naturally there is no escape so there is no overcoming it, there is no rationalising it, which are all forms of escapes. Right? Are we meeting each other? Please do this. Not just merely listen to the speaker, what he is saying, but listen to the words, find out the meaning of it, whether it has significance and do it as you are sitting there.
Then what has my mind left? There is the fact of sorrow, not only the sorrow, personal sorrow but also this vast sorrow of human beings, the collective sorrow, as there is collective degeneracy which this country is an expert at – I am not comparing this country with other countries; I am just stating the fact of this country non-comparatively; don't say aren't the other countries degenerate; of course they are, but we are talking about India, you. So, when you say aren't other countries degenerate too, you are merely escaping and avoiding the fact that you are. It's like saying to a politician « Aren't you corrupt », he says « We are not as corrupt as the other country ». (laughter). Yes, you laugh. That very laughter indicates that you are escaping from the fact that you are not facing corruption in your life.
So, what has happened? My mind has had a tremendous shock, which is suffering, and it is trying to escape from it, run away from it, avoid it. And the escape, the avoidance, the flight away from it, is the wasting of energy. And the mind needs energy, vitality to understand the suffering. Are we doing this? It's no good my talking if you are not doing it. This is a serious thing, not just a thing that you play with. So, what takes place? There is no escape, there is no rationalisation, I don't say it is my karma, but that doesn't solve the fact. So, no escape of any kind, verbally or theoretically or actually. So, what have you left? Is the sorrow that one feels, is there an entity that is wanting to resolve that sorrow? You understand? Look, I am not escaping at all now, I have finished all escapes. And is there a movement in me, a thought that says « I must go beyond it. I can't tolerate this, I must go beyond it, I must end it »? That means the entity is different from sorrow. Right? Have you understood? And is the entity different from sorrow or the entity is sorrow? Right? Therefore, when the entity is the sorrow, there is no conflict about it, therefore there is no escape – it is. And then what takes place? You've understood my questions? Do please, it's fun. It is tremendously important for you to understand this. I wish I could exchange it all with you, but you can't unfortunately. What takes place when there is no escape, physically, psychologically, trying to find out a cause, no avoidance of it, and seeing that the very entity who is attempting to understand sorrow is sorrow, then what takes place? Don't learn this by heart. Then it'll be another chapter of your second-hand life. What takes place when all movement of thought which tries to escape from the fact of this ache, this sense of anxiety, this great acquaintance with grief, without any escape, for that reality, then what comes out of that? You know, the word « passion » is different from lust. Lust is sensuous, excitement, having great desire, pleasure, sexual or other forms of deep enjoyment through sensory perception, the compulsory eating, all that is involved in that word « lust ». The word « passion » has its root in suffering.
So, when sorrow is there without any escape whatsoever by thought, because thought has produced this sorrow – do you understand? I have lost my son and it's partly self-pity, partly I have put all my hope and all that in him and he is gone and thought then says « I am lonely, I have put everything in that boy and now he is gone » or that girl. In India you don't care for girls, do you?, you care for boys – I forgot. So passion comes out of this sorrow. And that passion has no cause. That's the beauty of that. No cause. It is not personal. It is not personal because sorrow is not only limited to a person but also there is this great sorrow of humanity. The great sorrow of humanity is totally impersonal. I can only understand the great sorrow of humanity if I have the passion that comes out of understanding or deeply going into this question of sorrow. Then passion is not personal. And without that passion there is no creation. You may paint pictures, you may write poems, you may do all kinds of skilful things with your hand or with your mind, but without that passion which comes out of suffering, there is no creation.
In the same way, we are going together into this great problem of death because you will not understand if there is no passion. You are following all this? If you are frightened, you won't understand it. Passion is free of fear and pleasure. Pleasure is the continuance or the sustenance or nourished by desire which is the process or the movement of thought as pleasure and fear. But passion has nothing whatsoever to do with pleasure, and therefore no fear. And it's only such a mind that says, « I want to find out ». Find out what it means to die, why humanity has never solved this problem. The ancient people, the ancient cultures considered death as a – life as a way of living for death. Death was much more important than living and so on, so on. There are various forms which we needn't go into now because time is limited. Man has tried to avoid in every way this immense mystery called death. You have in this country comforting belief of reincarnation. You have been brought up in it, that's your tradition, and the whole of Asia probably believes in that tradition because at one time India exploded over the whole of Asia. Not now, thank God, at one time, long ago, as Greece exploded over the whole of Europe. And the mind knowing that there is death either through accident, disease, old age and so on, death is inevitable, and knowing it because you see it all about, you can't avoid it, you take comfort in a belief. And that belief is, that you will be born next life under better conditions, more money, better house, if you do the right thing now – and you don't do the right thing now anyhow. So your belief has no validity at all, it's just an idea and you play around with that. But there is the fact that there is death.
Now, how do you meet it? What is death? Have you ever given thought to all this or the first time that you are listening to all this? Or you are full of knowledge of what other people have said about death. And if you want to find out, you have to put aside all the things that people have said, from the Upanishads down to the next guru, all your comfort, your fear to find out. You understand, sirs? For that you must have passion to find out.
What is it to die and who is dying? The body, the organism with its brain, which is such a marvellous instrument, both the organism and that extraordinary brain is going to die, come to an end, stop breathing, through pain, through a life that has been absurd, cruel, diseased, the body has never been looked after properly, cared for, because the body has its own intelligence. And that inevitably that organism by constant use with all the shocks and travail and conflicts and despair, and the whole thing, that organism comes to an end. But we are attached, we are attached to the family, to the wife, to the husband, to children, to jobs, to all the knowledge that one has acquired, experiences, skills, all that comes to an end. And is there – please listen, it's your life – is there something permanent in all this which will continue? You understand my question? Is there in you something permanent, something that must perfect itself through time, which is incarnate, which means take form next life. The word « incarnate » comes from carnal, that is taking flesh. Is there something in you that goes on till you reach Brahmin, God knows what else! Is there such a thing? Please, I know, what people have said. You understand? Your books, your religion, everything says, but as we said the other day, you must question everything to find out. So is there anything permanent in you? Or there is nothing permanent – permanent being everlasting, enduring, enduring beyond death. If there is nothing permanent, why is the mind then attached to everything? Attached to the form, to the name, to the bank account, to your wife, to your children, to your furniture, to your books, to all your customs, traditions, to your petty little gods – those gods which you have invented and worshipped – all that is your consciousness. And the content of that consciousness is various forms of your attachments, recognitions, experiences and so on. Now, is there in that consciousness something real, permanent? You have to find out, not agree or disagree. You have to give your life to find out, as you give your life for money. You know, I do not know if you have not noticed, you are interested in sex, money and religion at the end. Oh, you people! And you are supposed to be religious people because you happen to read some silly book called Gita.
So, is there anything permanent? Or is everything in your consciousness put together by thought? Your Atman, your super consciousness, your etc., etc., all that is the movement of thought. Right? You cannot possibly dispute that. Your attachment to your money, to your tradition, to your food, everything, is there in the content of your consciousness. In that consciousness is there anything permanent, or every movement is thought? So thought is a material process because thought is the response of memory stored up in the brain, therefore it is material. It can invent a god, a super atman, super this and that but it is still material. I wonder if you understand all this. Therefore, can you die to your attachments, which you are inevitably going to do when you die? You can't take it with you; perhaps you might like to keep it till the last minute. As the rich man says « Let me keep it till the last minute »! But can you die to everything that you have collected, thought has collected, to your gods, to your tradition, to your ways, everything? Have you ever tried? Have you ever said, « I know what this means, I'll meet death today » – today in the sense I have pushed away death far away because I am frightened of it, now I want to find out if I can bring it very close, be intimate with it. That means dying to all my attachments, dying to all the things that I think and I have put together. Then what happens? You understand the question?
Then what is immortality? If there is nothing permanent, the « me » is not permanent, it's just a series of structural words, feelings put together, held together by thought and that has no reality except in words, in attachments. So, is there immortality? When I meet death, when I have abandoned all attachment, when the mind has completely let go everything. Are you doing it now? Or you're just listening to words? Then you will find, if you have gone deeply so far that there is – no, I won't tell you because you are so copybook minded, but we'll approach it differently.
What happens if you don't invite death, not commit suicide, if you don't invite death, what happens? You understand my question? There is a man who says all right, I want to find out what it means to die; I know the physical organism dies, the form, the name and that's inevitable and psychologically there is no tomorrow, there is only tomorrow when there is attachment and dependency, and being free, therefore there is no tomorrow. When there is death, there is no tomorrow. And what happens to those who do not enter into that area where death has no meaning anymore? What happens to the vast majority of people? Are you following all this? Because you are the vast majority of people. What happens to the vast majority of people who are attached, frightened, who cling to their husbands because they are frightened of their loneliness or their wives, who think there is a permanent reality because they have, traditionally it has been accepted, and you follow in that rut, what happens to all that vast majority of people? Have you ever thought about it; which is yourself. That is, sir, there is a vast stream of humanity caught in this; in this confusion of possession, recognition, attachment, pain, suffering, endless conflict, they are caught in this stream. And that stream is the collective stream. The collective culture of that stream, the collective literature, the collective painting, all that is in that stream. What happens? You understand sir, my question? What happens to you if you don't step out of that stream? Have you asked yourself what happens to you if you have never faced the reality of death – not at the end when you are unconscious or grasping with breath and disease, not at that moment, while living, fully alive, active, not asleep, what will happen to you if you do not step out of that stream? You will go on, won't you, in that stream, caught in that stream? That's the reality. Right? That's a fact. If you face that fact that you are caught in it, trapped in it, then you will do something. But if you say, « Well, all humanity is caught in it, let me also be in it, it's too much bother, it needs a great deal of energy, I have no energy except to earn money and sex », therefore you never step out of that stream and the stream goes on. And therein lies enormous sorrow, with it passion, which is compassion. You understand? You understand, sir? If you have a son whom you love – love means care, give your heart to your son, feel for him – and you understand the meaning of death and are stepping out of it, what do you feel for your son? Not emotions, not sentimentality. Then you work for it, you say look, for God's sake, look what you are doing. Passion comes with love.
Now, when you come to this, what is eternity? What is immortality? That is, a state of mind which has no death at all. That's what it means – immortality. Immortality which is no death. You understand what I am talking, no death? What is that state of mind that has no death? Not personal death, not my personal becoming immortal, that's nonsense because you are merely a set of words, ideas, ambitions, greed, trickery, chicanery, corruption and that can't become immortal. Even the good that you have is part of that, the opposite of the bad and so on; all that is within the area of knowledge. But a mind that knows this sense of complete death of the « me », what is there? And to find that out, not from books, not from the speaker, from anybody, you have to understand this whole problem, live it, what it means, what is involved in sorrow, love, passion and death. Right, sir.
Tomorrow evening we'll talk about meditation. And give your twenty-four hours from now till that time, to find out for yourself whether you are attached, whether you have motives, whether you can free yourself from attachments, which doesn't mean that you are detached. When you understand attachment, out of that depth of insight, the truth of being free, out of that comes a flowering of goodness. So we'll talk about it tomorrow. And you have to give your passion to that too.
Yes, sir? The gentleman wants to ask a question.
Questioner: Is suffering necessary to be passionate?
Krishnamurti: Is suffering necessary to be passionate? I thought I explained. The fact is, you suffer. That's the only fact. And you know nothing about passion, how can you, unless you are free of suffering? Right? So, don't say will suffering help me to become passionate. It'll help you to become lustful, not passionate. You understand this? Sir, look, you want to get something, you want to be rewarded, you want to find a compensation for suffering. Say if I suffer, if I get through that I hope to have passion. You understand, sir? So, to achieve passion, you say, « Well, I'll go through suffering ». But you can't buy passion so cheaply. Right, sir.
Questioner: Can't you have passion out of joy?
Krishnamurti: Can't you have passion out of joy? Have you listened to that question? Can't you have passion out of joy? Do you know what joy is?
Questioner: I hope I do.
Krishnamurti: He hopes he does. Do you know when you are joyful? Do listen, sir. Find out what I am asking, sir. I'm being polite. I'm not being impertinent or impatient. But you know what joy is? You say, « Yes ». And can you be conscious of your joy?
Questioner: Not clear.
Krishnamurti: Sir, I have asked a question, please. Can you be conscious, are you conscious when you say « I am joyful »?
Questioner: There is a state of mind with which you can commune.
Krishnamurti: Ah! You see, now we are back into the old trick – there is a state of consciousness with which I can commune. This is a good old pattern. There is a consciousness which is joyous, blissful and I can commune with it. So that consciousness which is joyful, blissful, is separate from me. So.
Questioner: No, I didn't say that. It is part of myself.
Krishnamurti: Therefore you cannot commune with something which is part of yourself. It is there. Sir, I don't think we understand each other. Sir, do you know when you are happy? Sir, sir, sir, please, don't, you haven't even understood what I have said. Forgive me, sir. I am asking when you know you are joyous, is it joy or joy is something that comes without your knowing it. You can know pleasure.
Questioner: Pleasure is for the ordinary man.
Krishnamurti: Ah! Pleasure is for the ordinary man. I am different.
Questioner: That is lust. That is lust which you spoke of. Pleasure is a kind of dignified lust.
Krishnamurti: So, I said sir, you have not answered my question, sir. Pleasure, you can know and cultivate it. You can spend endless days in the cultivation of pleasure.
Questioner: It's not like that.
Krishnamurti: Sir, I am telling you, sir.
Questioner: Pleasure is very easily available, you need not cultivate it. Joy you can cultivate.
Krishnamurti: You can cultivate pleasure. When you cultivate joy, it ceases to be joy, it becomes pleasure. Don't agree with me, sir or deny what I am saying. Examine it. A joy – I am walking along in the wood or walking in the street or looking at a sunset and suddenly there is a sense of great joy, uninvited. I don't know how it comes. It is there suddenly. Just listen to it. Just listen. Please listen. It is there. It comes, unexpectedly, uninvited, something that I haven't even thought about it. It is there. Then that moment or that second is registered in the brain as memory.
Questioner: Not so, sir.
Krishnamurti: Let me finish, sir. Please. Have the goodness to listen to what I have to say.
Questioner: It's not clear.
Krishnamurti: You do not disturb me, sir. But you are not listening to what the speaker has to say. Sir, don't you know this? All this happens often to you? Some uninvited moment of joy comes, a delight. Sir, I'm not asking you sir, I am not asking you to agree or disagree. Doesn't it often happen to you, suddenly a delight and every experience, every impact, every incident is registered in the brain? That's a fact. Then that incident and the pursuit of that incident by thought becomes pleasure. There was a joy, uninvited, unexpected, it came because I was not thinking about myself, I was not worried, I have no plan, I wasn't bothered by my wife, husband, property, just a moment of complete « non-me ». At that moment there is that extraordinary flame called joy, ecstasy. That is registered in the mind as memory, the brain, and the pursuit of that incident through memory is pleasure. You have understood? Now, the relationship between pleasure and joy is as far, wide and not related to each other at all because the one happens, the other you can cultivate. You cannot cultivate joy, you can cultivate pleasure. Finito.
Krishnamurti: What, sir?
Questioner: Can you cultivate goodness?
Krishnamurti: Can you cultivate goodness. What is goodness? What does it mean to be good? Listen to it, please, just listen to it, don't agree or disagree, just listen. What does it mean to be good? Cultivation implies time, doesn't it? You understand, sir? I will cultivate what I consider goodness. Right, sir? That means time – like a plant you cultivate a plant, watering it, looking after it and so on so that it gradually grows to its excellence. So is goodness something of time, something dictated by the environment, by the society, by the culture in which you live? Find out that first: if goodness is something with a motive, influenced by environment, by something that you have to do and so on or it is something out of time, not cultivable. If I am vain, I can cultivate humility. You understand? Because I say, by Jove, that is a nice thing to cultivate, but I am vain. But the cultivation of humility is still part of vanity. You understand? So I can cultivate something which I think is profitable, which I think is worthwhile. But is goodness something that can be bought, sold, cultivated? Is it a matter of time or something that I am totally unconscious of? You understand? When I am good, there is no me to be good and therefore there is no me to cultivate the beauty and the flower of goodness. Right, sir.
Krishnamurti: No sir, forgive me, I said that before, I might not have mentioned it now, I said it before. Please listen, sir. This country faces starvation, faces inflation, lack of food, poverty, the degeneracy of poverty. It is there. And to solve that problem, all humanity must join together, all mankind must come together. You understand, sir? You cannot solve this problem by yourself. Your problem is the world problem because you are the world and the world is you. But if you say India first, America first, Russia first, with all their plans, with all their power, position, so divide, keep dividing, dividing, dividing, you will not solve this problem of poverty at all. This problem of human physical suffering can only be solved by the unity of mankind. You understand, sir? You don't want that; you are proud to be Indians and the politicians exploit you, keep you there. We don't want to solve our human problems. That requires energy, that requires passion, that requires intensity. You follow, sir? Do you think a politician would be elected if he said « Forget your country, we are one human being, let's all work together, let's all co-operate together to solve this problem »? No, sirs, you have neither the energy to do that nor the energy to face yourself nor the passion to go into all this. And we get caught in a trap of slogans. Right, sir?
Questioner: What will personal freedom do or act upon the collective suffering? Will personal freedom affect the collective suffering?
Krishnamurti: What personal freedom will do – this will be the last question because it is nearly seven o'clock. What will personal freedom do or act upon the collective suffering? What will personal freedom – will personal freedom affect the collective suffering? That's the question. If I may very simply point out, find out if you are personally free first, not what will happen if I do that. Right, sirs.
14th December 1974
All our religions whether in the West or in the East are based on thought. The whole religious structure with their saviours, with their gurus, with their systems, with their beliefs and dogma, rituals, and all the petty little ceremonies that one indulges in daily, is essentially the product of thought. All our religions are based on the movement of thought, fear, hope, and a sense of a belief into something that we hope exists. All that, if one observes very carefully and diligently, is the product of this movement of thought, which is material. So there is absolutely nothing spiritual in these religions. Right?
We are sharing, investigating into all this. Not accepting or denying, but exploring together, and therefore being in communication with each other. We cannot be in communication or commune with each other if we have our own private thoughts, opinions, judgements. And that makes it impossible to investigate, to explore, to examine. And when we are communicating together, as we are, not only verbally but also beyond the word, it is necessary that we understand not only the words, the meaning of the word but also try to find out what lies between the words, to be able to read between the words, and listen to the peculiar deep meaning that lies behind the word. All that is implied in communication, which is thinking over together as two friends who are concerned, serious with the problems of life.
So observing what is going on in the world, not only political, economic, in the world of division between the Arab and the Jew, between the Hindu and the Muslim and so on and so on and so on, but also looking at the various religions, which have never brought peace to mankind. On the contrary. And their divisions, and they must be divided because they are essentially based on thought. So what is religion? What do we mean by that word? We know what it is not – all the circus that goes on in the name of religion. Please don't be insulted, we are just stating facts. All the churches and temples and the mosques, all the structure that has been put together by thought, however beautiful – some cathedrals, some mosques, some temples are extraordinarily beautiful, but that is nothing whatsoever to do with reality. And when one really, not verbally, discards all that, not because someone says you must discard it, or someone you feel knows better than you do says, "This is not religion", then you do not discard, it is merely accepting authority. And when you accept authority in spiritual matters that is the very essence of decay, degeneracy. All right? You are still with me? Verbally, or in reality?
When you discard all that nonsense, which means no sense, then we can begin to find out, if you are serious, what religion means. Do you understand? The ceremonies, the rituals, the temples and the vows you take as a compensation to your daily ugly life, you take vows to go to the temple and do all kinds of things as a compensation, and all that – the beliefs, the dogmas, the rituals, the private worship have nothing to do with the reality of what religion is.
And if one is serious because religion is the core of a new culture, without religion there is no culture. And because there is no religion in the world there is no culture. You may have beautiful paintings, write marvellous literature, paint most extraordinarily, compose lovely music, but that is not culture. That doesn't bring about a new quality of mind. And we need a new quality of mind when the whole world around us in collapsing, degenerating. And merely to revive the old religions, as some are trying to do, is meaningless. But a man who is deeply concerned, as he must be, if you are concerned with the world, with the starvation, with the wars, with the corruption, with the hypocrisy, with the total dishonesty that is going on, one must in all seriousness find out what is the true significance of the religious mind because it is only such a mind that can bring about a new culture; not a religious mind, not one religious mind but the religious mind of man, which is you, that means together. In the old days, if you have observed in history, watched the things about you, there were religious leaders. That very word is the denial of religion – a leader in the religious world. You understand? Because when there is a movement in religious matters, that very movement is the factor of degeneration because then you are following, you are merely accepting authority of another. When you understand the nature and the structure of authority, have an insight into it, in spiritual matters there is no authority, including that of the speaker.
Religion implies the understanding, the discovery for one's own mind, what is sacred. And also if there is such a thing as the eternal. Religion means the beauty, goodness, which means also excellence, and the finding, or coming upon something sacred; and the enquiry into something that is not touched by thought, because thought is time, thought is measure. And to find out if there is, or if there is not, something that is nameless, timeless, that has no beginning and no end, all that is religion. And as we said, without that quality of mind, which is explosive, not acquiescent, without that quality of mind you cannot have a culture which is absolutely necessary, a culture not brought about by a few but by a religious mind, which means a light to yourself, not the light of another but light which you have found for yourself. All that is implied in religion.
So: meditation is the enquiry into that which is sacred. And also to find out – these are words, you can't find out if there is eternity – to feel that, to have that quality of a mind that is really timeless. So that is what we are going to do together. We are not going to meditate together, that is another phoney, imaginative, romantic nonsense, but we are going together to find out what it means to meditate, and what it means to have the capacity of freedom that can come upon that thing that is sacred, and from there move to something that may be timeless.
This is a very complex question. And what is complex can be understood only when the mind is really very simple, not childish, not immature, but simple. But most of you have probably read, or gone to some guru, or you have invented your own form of meditation, and so you are already burdened with something which you call meditation. And to find out what is meditation you have to enquire, you have to put aside your particular form of meditation, otherwise you can't find out if what you are doing is true or false. Now to enquire into something that one may call sacred you cannot possibly accept the authority of any book, any leader, any guru, any system, because your mind must be free to enquire, free to find out. And can you do this? As you are sitting there listening, can you put aside all that you know about meditation? And that will be very difficult because your mind operates in routine, in habit, mechanically, and to put away something that you are so accustomed to becomes extraordinarily difficult, because the mind has been conditioned to act mechanically and to put away this mechanical habit is extremely ardous. You have to see the danger of it. Then when you see the danger of it then it has no power. When you see a dangerous animal you leave it alone, it has no power. It is only when you don't know then the danger exists.
I want to find out what is meditation, because I know nothing about what other people have said about it. And I don't want to know what other people have said about it. Not that I am vain, not that I am conceited, not that I want to have original experience but I don't know if what those people say has any validity; they might be as neurotic as myself, as stupid, as cunning, as deceptive, as illusory, caught in an illusion. I am talking as a human being who is enquiring into it, I am not talking about myself personally. So I am a human being, an ordinary human being, who sees the reality that religions as they exist have no validity, no meaning, no significance whatsoever, with all their rituals, dogmas and superstitions, authority, and all that. Such a mind says, "I want to find out, I want to find out what it means to meditate", because perhaps that may be the ambience, the environment, the atmosphere which will reveal that which is sacred. So I must put all that aside; and I hope you are doing it, otherwise we cannot communicate with each other, unless you see for yourself the falseness of all the things that we have put together by thought, which you call religion, has no meaning at all. If you see that then you will discard all authority in these matters – not the authority of a doctor, not the authority of a policeman, which is obeying law, but you don't obey law anyhow, you are too clever, you make all kinds of devious ways to avoid law. That is your misery.
So what is meditation? And why should one meditate at all? Now the word meditation means to think over, to ponder over; and also meditation means the capacity to measure, and measure means movement between this and that. Which means comparison, which means imitation, all that is implied in that word meditation.
So I want to find out can a mind be without measure? You understand? Can a mind be without the movement of thought, which is time? Time is measure. Time is direction. Time, there is the time by the watch, there is the time as movement from here to there, time is necessary to cover from here to that – necessary time. Time is movement. And is meditation a movement in time? Can time, as a movement, find out something that is sacred? You understand my question? We said thought is a material process. And to investigate into what is meditation, what place has thought – thought being time, thought being measure, thought being direction, which is from here to there? What place has thought? Please. Has it any place at all? If it has no place at all, then what is the mind to do with thought? Has it any place at all? If it has no place at all, then what is the mind to do with thought. If it has no place in meditation, then what do you do with this extraordinary movement of thought in which the mind is caught up? The mind which is everlastingly chattering, the mind which says, "I will achieve, I will gain, I am comparing", it is moving all the time, incessantly. What will you do with that thought? You cannot deny it, it is there. And so you begin to say, « I will control it. I will learn concentration on an object, on an image, on what I think to be sacred, and dwell upon that and exclude every other thought ». That is what you are doing. And so the battle begins, the struggle to concentrate on something and the thought wandering off. This constant struggle going on. Concentration implies centring your thought on something that thought has chosen to be noble, to be excellent, to be real. Right? So thought has projected an idea, a picture, an image, and thought says, "I am going to concentrate on that". And in the process of concentration it must exclude everything else. And thought being fragmentary, its exclusion is the movement of fragmentation.
So concentration on an idea, on a picture, on something that thought thinks is necessary, is a movement in time, a movement of measurement, a movement in a particular direction, therefore it must be fragmentary. So seeing that I say, "I won't concentrate" – out, it is finished.
So a mind that is enquiring into the meaning of meditation comes upon this fact; that thought is measure, thought is the movement of time, thought sets a direction as will, and as thought in itself is a fragment, because thought is the response of memory, memory is the accumulation of knowledge as experience, which is the past and therefore it is a fragment, thought is a fragment. In investigating what is meditation, one discovers this.
What is one to do with this movement of thought? Should it be controlled? And if you are controlling it, who is the controller? Is not the controller himself the thought? So the controller is the controlled. Then what to do with the thought, with this movement of thought? The mind has to find out the art of putting thought in its right place. Which is, knowledge is necessary, knowledge is the movement of thought as experience, so thought is necessary in the field, or in the area of knowledge. To drive a car, to speak, to do your daily job, technology, and so on, knowledge there is necessary and thought must function most efficiently, clearly, non-personally in that area. So in the understanding of what meditation is the mind has discovered thought has its right place. And when it discovers that it has a right place then you will see that thought is no longer a matter of importance.
Then the next question is: the systems, the methods, the various practices that you do, has it any validity? Or is it the cultivation of a mechanical habit, which is part of thought? You understand? After all you have systems of meditation haven't you? Different kinds of systems of meditation from the Zen to the modern or the ancient methods or systems or practices of meditation. When you practise, what does that imply? It implies a direction. Right? You have set a direction and you are practising daily in order to achieve that end – the end, the guru, the book the other people have set, have laid down that is the end. So you practise in order to achieve a definite end, a fixed end. If it is a living thing you can't practise to arrive at it, it is moving all the time. So when you are practising a method, which means you have set a direction towards which you are moving, that direction and the end is put together by thought. So you are not out of thought. You are still in the movement of thought. Right?
So you then see, have an insight into that, and so no direction, which means no will. Will is after all the accentuation, the exaggeration of desire. Right? You desire to have enlightenment. You desire moksha, liberation, or heaven or whatever you call it, you desire it, and you work for it, if you are serious and you are not playing with it, which you probably are. But if you are serious you then set a direction, and say, "I'll do these things regularly in order to achieve that moksha, that heaven, that liberation" – whatever the aim is, the goal you have set for yourself, is still within the area of thought, within the area of matter, within the area of time, within the area of measure. So you have not left thought at all, you are still caught in it. And a mind that is enquiring into meditation sees he is aware of this fact, therefore no system, no method, no goal, no direction, and therefore no guru.
Then, as we said, the things that thought has put together as sacred are not sacred. They are just words to give a significance to life, because life as you live is not sacred, is not holy. And the word holy, H-O-L-Y comes from being whole, which means healthy, sane and therefore holy. All that is implied in that word. So a mind – please follow all this – a mind that is functioning through thought, however desirous it be to find that which is sacred is still acting within the field of time, within the field of fragmentation. So then can the mind be whole, not fragmented? This is all part of the understanding of what is meditation. Can the mind, which is the product of evolution, product of time, product of so much influence, so many hurts, so many travails, such great sorrow, great anxiety, it is caught in all that. And all that is the result of thought. And thought, as we said, is fragmentary by its very nature. And mind is the result of thought, as it is now. So can the mind be free of the movement of thought? Can the mind be completely non-fragmented? Can you look at life as a whole? Can the mind be whole, which means without a single fragment? Therefore diligence comes into this. A mind is whole when it is diligent, which means to have care means to have great affection, great love, which is totally different from the love of a man and a woman.
So the mind that is whole is attentive and therefore cares, and has this quality of deep abiding sense of love. Such a mind is the whole. That you come upon when you begin to enquire what is meditation. Then we can proceed to find out what is sacred. Please listen, it is your life, give your heart and mind to find out a way of living differently. Which means when the mind has abandoned all control. It does not mean that you lead a life of doing what you like, yielding to every desire, to every lustful glance or reaction, to every pleasure, to every demand of the pursuit of pleasure, but to find out, to find out whether you can live a daily life without a single control. That is part of meditation. That means one has to have this quality of attention. That attention, which has brought about the insight into the right place of thought, and thought is fragmentary, and where there is control there is the controller and the controlled, which is fragmentary. So to find out a way of living without a single control, that requires tremendous attention, great discipline, not the discipline that you are accustomed to, which is merely suppression, control, conformity, but we are talking of a discipline which means to learn. The word discipline comes from the word disciple. The disciple is there to learn. Now here there is no teacher, no disciple: you are the teacher and you are the disciple if you are learning. And that very act of learning brings about its own order.
Now: thought has found its own place, its right place. So the mind is no longer burdened with the movement as a material process, which is thought. Which means the mind is absolutely quiet. It is naturally quiet, not made quiet. That which is made quiet is sterile. That which happens to be quiet, in that quietness, in that emptiness a new thing can take place.
So can the mind, your mind, be absolutely quiet, without control, without the movement of thought? It will be quiet naturally if you really have the insight – the insight which brings about the right place for thought. From there thought has its right place therefore the mind is quiet. You understand what the word silence and quiet means? You know you can make the mind quiet by taking a drug, by repeating a mantram or a word, constantly repeating, repeating, repeating, naturally your mind will become quiet. And then such a mind is a dull, stupid mind. And there is a silence between two noises. There is silence between two notes. There is silence between two movements of thought. There is silence of an evening when the birds have made their noise, chattering and have gone to bed and there isn't a flutter among the leaves, there is no breeze, there is absolute quietness, not in a city but when you are out with nature, when you are with the trees, or sitting on the banks of the river, there silence descends on the earth and you are part of that silence. So there are different kinds of silence. But the silence we are talking about, the quietness of a mind, that silence is not to be bought, is not to be practised, is not something you gain, a reward, a compensation to an ugly life. It is only when the ugly life has been transformed into the good life; by good I mean not having plenty, but the life of goodness, the flowering of that goodness, the beauty, then the silence comes.
And also you have to enquire what is beauty? What is beauty? Have you ever gone into this question? Or will you find it in a book and tell me, or tell each other that book says what beauty is. What is beauty? Did you look at the sunset this evening as you are sitting there. The sunset was behind the speaker. Did you look at it? Did you feel the light and the glory of that light on a leaf? Or do you think beauty is sensory, sensuous, and a mind that is seeking sacred things cannot be attracted to beauty, cannot have anything with beauty, therefore only concentrate on your little image which you have projected from your own thought as the good. So you have to find out, if you want to find out what meditation is, you have to find out what beauty is. Beauty in the face, beauty in character – not character, character is a cheap thing, that depends on your environmental reaction, and the cultivation of that reaction is called character. The beauty of action, the beauty of behaviour, conduct, the inward beauty, the beauty of the way you walk, the way you talk, the way you gesture, all that is beauty. And without having that, meditation becomes merely an escape, a compensation, a meaningless action. And there is beauty in frugality, there is beauty in great austerity – not the austerity of sannaysi. The austerity of a mind that has order. Order comes when you understand the whole disorder in which you live, and out of that disorder comes naturally order, which is virtue. Therefore virtue, order is supreme austerity, not the denial of three meals a day or fasting, or shaving your head, and all the rest of that business.
So there is order, which is beauty, there is beauty of love, beauty of compassion. And also there is the beauty of a clean street, of a good architectural form of a building, there is beauty of a tree, a lovely leaf, the great big branches, to see all that is beauty; not merely go to museums and talk everlastingly about beauty. So silence of a quiet mind is the essence of that beauty. And because it is silent and because it is not the plaything of thought, then in that silence there comes that which is indestructible, which is sacred. And in the coming of that which is sacred then life becomes sacred, your life becomes sacred, our relationship becomes sacred, everything becomes sacred because you have touched that thing which is sacred.
And then we have also to find out in meditation if there is something, or if there is nothing, which is eternal, timeless; which means can the mind, which has been cultivated in the area of time, can that mind find out, come upon or see that thing that is from everlasting to everlasting? So it means can the mind be without time – though time is necessary to go from here to there and all the rest of it, can that mind, that very same mind which operates in time, going from here to there, not psychologically but physically, can that mind be without time? Which means can that mind be without the past, without the present, without the future? Can that mind be in absolute nothingness? Don't be frightened of that word. Because it is empty it has got vast space. Have you ever observed in your own mind if you have any space at all there? Just space, you know, a little space? Or is everything crowded? Crowded by your worries, by your sex, or no sex, by your achievements, by your knowledge, by your ambitions, fears, by your anxieties, your pettiness, crowded. And how can such a mind understand, or be in that state of being or having that enormous space? Space is always enormous.
And a mind that has no space in daily life cannot possibly come upon that which is eternal, which is timeless. And that is why meditation becomes extraordinarily important. Not the meditation that you all practise, that is not meditation at all. But the meditation of which we are talking about transforms the mind. And it is only such a mind that is the religious mind. And it is only such a religious mind can bring about a different culture, a different way of life, different relationship, a sense of sacredness and therefore great beauty and honesty. All this comes naturally, without effort, without battle.
Madras, 4th Public Talk
15th December 1974
As there are only two talks – today and tomorrow – one has to be concise in what one has to say. I wonder if you are aware of what is happening to this country. This country is very beautiful; there are valleys, hills, snows, rivers, deserts and a great many varieties of trees and birds, and lovely earth, but you are not responsible for that. You are responsible for the deterioration that is going on in this country – morally, ethically, aesthetically. There is a great deal of corruption, degeneration, there is decay inwardly, spiritually. When one observes all this, as the speaker has done for the last fifty years, one wonders what is the reason for this moral decay, what is the fundamental cause of this degeneration. You might not like that word, you may think that India technologically is advancing and therefore you might consider that alone as progress, that the technological world is safe, is worthwhile, but when you consider religion, politics, economics and the human relationship between man and man, you are bound to find, observe, be aware that there is great decay and to find out the essence of this decay, one must consider what has happened today to the brain, to the whole structure of the human mind. We are not comparing India to Europe or America or Russia. We are taking the country as it is. Technologically, industrially, I suppose India is progressing, but mentally, intellectually, spiritually there is no flowering. You have many gurus, you have many temples, Gods, the vast superstitious structure called religion in India and that is not religion at all. Going to a temple or meditating according to a system which is no meditation at all; when one observes all this, one asks what is the cause, why is there this degeneration of the mind and heart. The word "degeneration" means inferior excellence. Because you give your concern, your heart to this matter to find out if this decay can be stemmed, then let us this evening share together this grave concern.
As we said, the mind with its brain, with its feeling, with the whole structure of human endeavour is based on thought. Thought has built this society which is utterly immoral, this social order which is a series of inter-battle between human beings; the thought which has put together religion. Thought is responsible for technological growth and industrialization of society, but thought is also responsible for all the wars, for the divisions of man against man, for the racial, national divisions; thought is responsible for all the Gods that you have; thought has put them together. I don't think you can dispute that. Thought is responsible for the social disorder, for the social immorality, for the wars, for the Gods, for all the mischief that is going on in this country, the corruption, the thoughtless lack of concern. Thought is also responsible for the extraordinary things it has done, the electricity, the medical care and so on. And we have relied on thought to solve our problems. One of the fundamental reasons for this decay, degeneracy, in this country is the cultivation of memory through which we hope to have security. Without understanding the process of thought, there can be no regeneration of human beings in this country. That is the premise. And thought is not going to solve your problems. Thought will not bring about a transformation in your consciousness. Your consciousness is put together by thought. The content of your consciousness is the product, is the result of your thought. The content, the Upanishads, Gita, the daily quarrels, the sex, all the authoritarian acceptance of your particular religious beliefs, doctrines, superstitions, all that is the content of your consciousness and unless there is a transformation in that content, this country will go down, degenerate more and more.
So the question is can the content of your consciousness be transformed because your consciousness is the collective consciousness. Please be aware of your own consciousness, of your own state, be aware of your conditioning, of the way you think, the way you look at life and so on. The content is put together by thought and the content makes up consciousness. The consciousness is its content. Have you understood this? Without the content of your consciousness, there is no consciousness; your attainments, your beliefs, your hopes, your fears, your racial and national pride and prejudice, all that is the content of your consciousness and the content makes up consciousness. Now, how is this content to be transformed? That is the central issue with which we are confronted. How is your mind, your consciousness with all its travail, with all its suffering, with all its anxieties, its pains, its fears, ambitions, etc., to be transformed? That is the problem. So first of all, memory is one of the factors of degeneration. Memory is mechanical. Memory is experience, knowledge as it is stored up in the brain and when you function within the area of knowledge which is the past, such a mind can never be free. And your concern is to bring about freedom; freedom from all your gurus, freedom from fear, freedom from anxiety, and so on. So knowledge as memory though very important, becomes a hindrance, a destructive factor which prevents further enquiry into human resources, the human mind. Thought is a material process because thought is response of memory; memory is experience; experience and knowledge are stored up in the brain cells and thought is the response which is borne out of knowledge and that knowledge becomes a hindrance to the discovery of something that is not the product of thought. So, if you observe the western world as well as the eastern world, all their culture is based on thought. Thought is measure and thought is time. Without measure, there is no technology. Sirs, you need measure to put anything together accurately. And measure is the basis of all technology. Thought is measure because without thought you cannot possibly create a technological world which is based on measurement. Where there is measurement, there must be time to achieve. If I want to learn a language, I need time, if I want to learn how to drive a car, I need time. I need time to acquire any technological skill. And that very thought based on memory as the cultivation of memory is what is destroying this country. To enquire into something that is not measurable which is religion, which is the immeasurable, and that is the very essence of religion, thought is not the instrument of investigation. We have exercised thought as a means of uncovering something which thought can never touch and religion is the only factor that can bring about regeneration of man. Religion is the only factor of a new culture. What do you mean by religion? Please listen to it: not all the superstitions, not all the beliefs, the dogmas, the churches, the mosques, the temples, none of them is religion; that is vast propaganda which has conditioned the human mind. Religion implies gathering together all your energy to understand something beyond the limitations of thought; gathering together all your energy to find out what is true; to find out for yourself, not according to somebody else, what it means to have enlightenment, what it means to have a quality of mind that is not caught in time. Your own consciousness must be transformed. So, from that arises then the question what place has thought in the transformation of man. That is, what place has knowledge in the transformation of man and society because society is the product of man's relationship with another, Without transforming, himself and society, merely talking about religion, worship and all that, are great verbal gestures which have no meaning.
So we are concerned to find out the right place of thought and whether thought can hold itself without any form of control. Look Sirs, you know absolutely nothing beyond the operation of thought. You actually don't know if there is something unknown, if there is God. You believe in God, you are told that there is God, you are frightened and you are ready to worship out of your fear, but you actually don't know. And you have to find out, which means you have to find out where thought is necessary, important, vital and where thought is not. As we were saying, one of the factors of degeneration of this country is the cultivation of memory and relying on that memory to bring about salvation to man. Through education, through school, college, university you have cultivated memory to give you security. You have sought security and you must have security – physical security. And you hope to gain that security through the cultivation of knowledge and you have now come to a point when that very security is being denied. Aren't you aware of this factor? Now, there are certain things which we have to go into. First of all, human beings right throughout the world suffer not only physically, but psychologically, inwardly and haven't been able to solve that problem. Suffering may be accepted and a mind that suffers is a clouded mind, a mind that is incapable of looking at the world as a whole. So our concern is: Is it possible for the mind not to suffer at all? Would you say Yes or No? And there is the question of fear, suffering and love. When the mind is caught in fear there can be obviously no love. You may talk about love, you may go and worship the guru and be devoted to him and all that nonsense, but there is always fear. Can the mind be free of fear? If it cannot, that is one of the factors of degeneration. Now, what is the cause of fear, the root cause of fear? There are many fears, – fear of death, fear of loneliness, fear of losing a job, fear of not being loved, dozens of fears, – but what is the root of fear? Have you ever gone into it? Not escape from it, not go away or find excuses or rationalize fear, but find out the basic cause of fear, because unless your mind is free of fear, there is no love and there will always be suffering. So it is a very important question to find this out because this is part of the content of your consciousness. This deep fear, human beings seem to be incapable of putting away. We are asking what is the root cause of fear. Is it security, psychological desire to be secure in your relationship with another and is there permanent security in relationship? We have to find out the root of it. One can describe, but the description is not the described. I can describe the various forms of fear, but the description, the verbal statement does not show you the fear for yourself. Can you be aware, as you are sitting there, which is your fear and what is the cause of it, how does it happen that you are afraid? Is not thought the very essence of fear? One was happy yesterday and perhaps tomorrow one might not be happy. The tomorrow is the projection of thought, frightened that it might not have that happiness which it had yesterday. Thought is afraid of death. That is, when you say "I am afraid of death", you mean while you are living, that which you call death must be postponed, put away further. Thought is afraid of that death. Thought is afraid of losing your job. Thought awakens in you the fear that you might not achieve something, whatever you want. Thought is responsible basically and fundamentally for fear.
Then the problem arises how can thought be controlled because thought is so active. It foresees what might happen. So thought is always much more active than the actual present. The question then is can thought be controlled? Then arises the question who is the controller. And not being able to answer that question who is the controller, you have introduced an outside agency as the Higher Self. Who is the controller? Is the controller different from the controlled? When you say if I could control my thought and therefore finish with fear, then who is it that is controlling thought? Is it not another fragment of thought? Thought is playing a trick upon itself and therefore there is no ending of fear. Therefore one has to observe that the controller is the controlled. You understand Sir? I see the necessity of thought being controlled. That is what you have all been educated upon, your whole meditation is based on that: Controlling your thought. Now when you go into it, you will see that thought is fragmentary and one fragment tries to control other fragments or tries to integrate other fragments but it is still the operation of thought. Do you see that? If you do, then you will see that the observer, the controller, the thinker is the thought, is the controlled, is the observed; there is no difference; there is no division. Where there is division, there must be conflict, like the Arabs and the Jews, the Muslims and the Hindus and all the rest of the division. When there is no division between the thinker and the thought, then there is no conflict and where there is no conflict, there is a transformation in consciousness. That is one point.
Then what is love? Is love the movement of thought? Is love the movement of pleasure? Is love the movement of desire? Because in this country you have been conditioned by all your saints, by your scriptures, by your gurus that love is something that might lead to sexual appetite. Therefore, you are told "don't desire; control your desire". You have been conditioned and if you observe your life closely, have you love? Do you love anybody? Love implies care. Love implies attention, love implies compassion and if there is fear, there is no compassion. If you are ambitious, there is no compassion. If you are pursuing pleasure at any price, there is no compassion, no love. So, to awaken the flower of compassion, the beauty of it, can you live a life in which thought has not created the image in relationship?
Sir, we have this problem in this country that love has gone from us. You have no love, you have devotion, devotion to your guru, to your God, to your scripture or to the image you have created which is the image of yourself really. You are devoted to all that, but that is not love because in the devotion there is fear. You are all seeking a reward. Don't you know all this? So, how do you come upon this flower of affection, care, love and compassion? How does it happen to you? How can you come upon it? Can you put aside your ambition, your tremendous self-concern, this desire to be successful? If you cannot, then this country of which you are, is going to degenerate more and more. So for this evening, there are certain factors that you have to see. That a new culture has to come about in this country and that culture cannot come without religion. Religion is not what is going on in this country. There is no religion in this country though there are all kinds of people who are doing miracles, grow long hair, you know all that childishness that is going on in this country, but that does not indicate a religious spirit at all. They are merely conforming to a religious pattern set by various people throughout the ages and this conformity to a pattern is not religion. Religion implies gathering all your energy so that you care, so that you have compassion, love. That is one factor and that is not possible if there is any kind of fear. Fear is the product of thought. Thought is fear, it is within the area of the known, within the area of knowledge and as long as you are operating with thought in that area, you are not only strengthening fear, but you are trying to escape from it and through escape your mind degenerates. It is only when you are capable of looking at fear, then, when you observe fear, is that fear different from the observer? Obviously not. Therefore when the observer is fear and therefore no conflict and when the observer is that fear, there is the gathering of all energy to go beyond it. Do it and you will find out.
Then there is the problem of suffering. You know sirs, we have accepted suffering as we accept almost everything. What is sorrow? Is sorrow loneliness, is sorrow the failure and the vulgarity of attachment? Is sorrow something that thought can resolve? I am asking you all these questions for you to consider, find out, exercise your brain to find out. What is sorrow? You lose somebody whom you think you love and there is suffering. You lose your eye sight and there is suffering, you lose your job and there is suffering. You lose something of yourself, you feel lonely and in that loneliness there is suffering. So human beings know what is suffering. Only they have not been able to go beyond it. Why? You suffer, there is no question about it. And when you suffer, what do you do? I am not talking about physiological suffering. I am talking about psychological suffering, the inward suffering. What do you do? Don't you run away from it? Don't you try to find the cause of that suffering which is another form of escape? Or perhaps you say "it is my karma" which is another silly way of avoiding suffering. So, when you are confronted with this suffering, what do you do, actually do? escape from it, not run away from it, not rationalize it, not try to find a cause because that is a waste of time. You can very easily find out the cause of suffering. If you escape, if you rationalize, if you try to find the cause of it, those are all movements of thought. So, can the mind look at that suffering, not as though it was separate from it? The observer is the sorrow. To remain with that, not to move away from that reality that you are sorrow, to remain with that fact, then you will see that all the energy that you have dissipated in rationalization, in escape, in trying to find the cause and so on, all that energy now the mind has and therefore it goes beyond the factor of suffering. And another factor, another thing with sorrow, is that sorrow doesn't bring about the flower of goodness. Goodness is not the product of thought. You are good or you are not. And to cultivate goodness is like cultivating humility. So as long as we are operating in the field of knowledge and rely on knowledge to bring about the transformation of man, that is one of the factors of deterioration of man.
25th January 1975
I would like, if I may, this evening to talk about a rather complex problem of our life. We are going to investigate together this problem. To investigate is to trace out, so that you can trace out for yourself the human problems that arise in your daily life. We are concerned with the problem of living, daily living in which is involved fear, pleasure, sorrow and the immense problem of compassion, love. If one can learn the art of investigation for oneself, then one is free from authority, from following another, from accepting the ethics or the suggestions of others. The capacity to investigate demands that you are free to observe yourself, to look at yourself with all your problems and not rely on any one, because freedom is essential to investigate. If you are not free to look, if you are not free to examine, to trace out, then freedom has very little meaning. To investigate, one has to have this quality of mind to penetrate, to have an insight, so that you yourself are a master of your own action, so that your own mind is capable of examining seriously the problems that arise in your daily life because it is daily life which brings about a culture, a society either of highest excellence or of corruption. As we were saying yesterday, religion is the gathering of all energy to live a life daily of excellent morality, excellent action, a way of living that is not contradictory. And we are going to investigate, examine, trace out, the immense question of death because death is part of life, like love, like suffering, like ambition, greed, envy, the many hurts that one has received from childhood. All that is part of our daily life and without understanding all that, merely to enquire into reality has very little meaning. We are concerned with our daily existence which is our relationship with another, which creates society. In going into this problem, there are three important things: the art of listening the art of seeing and the art of learning. The word "art" means to put things in their right place; to put every action, every thought, every feeling, all our miseries in their right place. So, there is the art of seeing, the art of listening and the art of learning. Now we are going together to learn or observe the art of listening. What does it mean to listen? I do not know if you have ever tried to listen to your wife, to your neighbour, to your politician, to your guru. Can you listen without prejudice? Can you listen without translating or interpreting what you hear with what you already know ? If you compare with what you already know, you are not listening. That is fairly clear. If you are listening with the desire to gain something, obviously you are not listening. So the art of listening means the capacity to listen and not interfere with, either agreeing or disagreeing with what is being said. And the art of seeing implies that you observe without the screen of your own images, without the screen of your own desires, just as you observe that tree or you observe the sunset just to see and not interpret what you see. Then there is the art of learning. The art of learning is to accumulate knowledge in one direction. That is what you do when you learn a language, when you acquire a technological information and gain knowledge about what you are learning and accumulating, which is learning to acquire knowledge, and using that knowledge skillfully in action. And there is another kind of learning, a learning in which there is no accumulation, a constant movement of learning which is non-mechanical.
Having stated that, we are going to learn together, investigate together this immense question of what is death because that is part of our life. You may not like it, you may put it away from you, you may be frightened of it, but it is part of your life. Life is a total thing in which there is involved the technological knowledge, all the information that man has acquired through centuries upon centuries about mathematics, medicine and so on. And also life is this agony, the pain, the suffering, the loneliness, the anxiety, the uncertainty, the despair, all that is also part of our daily life; and also it is part of our daily life what it means to love, which is to care, to be attentive when you care for another, to have compassion and that compassion can only come when you understand the full significance of sorrow and that is also part of life. So, it is with this, the whole of life that we are concerned with, not one fragment of it, not one part or one fragment of it, but the whole of life in which is included this thing that man has never been able to solve, which man is frightened of, which is death. To investigate into this question, to examine it, to look closely into it, first there must be no fear. Obviously, if there is fear, you cannot examine the fear of death. Death is the end of the daily living, the ending of your attachment, the ending of your pleasure, the ending of your suffering, the ending of your position in the Government, central or local, and it puts an end either through old age, accident or disease. This is the common lot of every human being whether he is rich or poor, whether he thinks he has reached enlightenment or is the man of ignorance, it is the lot of every human being and we have never been able to find out psychologically what it means to die. We have avoided death as something to be not looked at, to be put far away. And we must find out, not accept what the speaker is saying, we are sharing together our investigation, so that it is yours, so that you understand it, so that your mind is capable of looking and not avoiding, your mind is capable of finding out what it means to die.
There is the physical organism, the body, through usage, through time, through pressure, through all kinds of shocks and influences, it wears itself out. Here arises a rather interesting problem which is, the brain, our brain, is now being bombarded; bombarded by the politicians, the gurus, by all the traditions and it is put under great strains, both outwardly and inwardly. And that brain which is the most extraordinary instrument man has, is being gradually destroyed, by wrong kind of education, by the daily strain, by psychological fears, demands, urges, so that the brain which should operate freely, easily without any effort, is being compelled, destroyed, distorted. I do not know if you are aware of all this. You have your technological influence on the one side, tradition on the other, the authority of the Gita, the Upanishads and all the rest of it, you are being bombarded all the time and the brain which is very subtle, sensitive is becoming degenerate. That is one of the problems. So through old age, misuse, disease, the body, the organism, the biological instrument dies. That is inevitable. Then the question is why is man so frightened of dying? Why are you, if you face it, frightened of death and what is it that dies? You understand my question? The body, your organism will decay, and you are rational enough to accept, but you are frightened. Of what? Of your personality coming to an end, of all the things that you have accumulated, your knowledge, your attachments, your pains, your hurts, the very essence of the ego, the « me », is that what you are frightened about, the « me » coming to an end? Is that what you are frightened about? The « me » which has gathered a great deal of information, which has suffered, which has enjoyed, which has worked, all that « me » is that permanent? If that is permanent, then what is the end of this permanency? If I am permanent, what is the end of it? More trouble, more pain, more anxiety, or there is no permanent « me » at all? Is the you, the form, the name, the quality and all the rest of it, is that permanent? So, you have to find out for yourself by investigating carefully, seriously, whether that « me » is permanent, the self, the ego, the super-consciousness, the Atman is that permanent, or there is nothing permanent.
Now you have to investigate, you have to go into this. Is your attachment to your husband, to your wife, to your possession, to your name, to your bank account and so on, is that attachment permanent or in all relationship there is nothing permanent? Are you investigating together with me this question? You are attached to your wife or to your son or whatever it is you are attached to. Now, why is the mind attached? You are attached to your wife or husband – let us take that for the moment. Why? What does that mean – to be attached? And this attachment you call love. This attachment you call responsibility; this attachment you call duty and so on. You are great in your verbal gesture when you say I am attached to my wife. When you are attached, there is pain involved in it, isn't there? There is fear involved in it and your attachment is part of your egotistic fear not to be alone. Your invention of the Atman, the superconsciousness, the Higher Self, all those are the products of thought; thought which is frightened of coming to an end. So death is the ending of the thing which thought has made into something permanent. That is, can one die each day? You understand my question? You have problems, don't you? Can that problem end each day, end it, not carry over the next day because the ending of a problem is part of death. That which continues has no creative energy, it is only that which ends that can begin anew. So is it possible for your attachment to end, not in some future time, but now; that means you are preparing for death each day, so that your mind is fresh, so that it is no longer carrying the burden of thousand yesterdays. And you especially in India believe in reincarnation, don't you?
Audience: Yes. Krishnamurti: And you have never enquired what it is that reincarnates, what it is that will be reborn, take a new form, You believe in reincarnation. You who live a shoddy life, a mischievous life, a corrupt life, a life of fear, a life in which there is no love and you want that life to be born another time. Is that what you want? And you believe in that. Also if you really believe, then what you do now matters enormously. Because what you do now will either help or destroy you in the next life. So what is important is not next life, but this life, what you do now, how you live it. You know life is like a vast stream in which human consciousness is caught and it is only for him alone who steps out of that stream, there is no attachment, a life that is highly moral, not dependent on environmental influence. It is only such a man who steps out of that life, of this life of misery, sorrow, confusion, corruption; it is only such a man who can come upon life which is eternally true.
Now let us investigate again what is meditation. Unfortunately most of you have practised some kind of meditation. Unfortunately for you, you have followed somebody who tells how you should meditate and they have told you that there are different stages in meditation and so on. They have bombarded your mind, your brain with their practices, with their systems, with their hope and so on. I wish you had never heard of that word because then only you can begin to find out the depth, the beauty, the necessity of what is meditation. It will be good if you could forget all that and start as though you knew nothing about it. Can you do it? Can you start as though you know nothing about meditation? Actually you don't. You do what other people have told you. But you have never started as though you never knew a thing about it. Then you can begin to investigate; then you are free to look into this question of what is meditation, but if you are already crowded, bombarded, filled with other people's ideas of what meditation is, as you are now, then you are incapable of finding out what is real meditation. So can you for this evening at least, forget, put aside your systems, your practices, the assertions of various gurus, the various stages of meditation with dances and all that rot that is going on in this country, can you put aside all that and together in freedom, not in belief, not with the acceptance of authority, but in freedom, investigate what it means to meditate. Can you do this or is it asking too much because your brain as we said is being bombarded by all the Gurus, by all the so called sacred literature, by the strain and stress of modern life; your brain is being slowly atrophied, is becoming slowly incapable of pliability, incapable of swiftness of perception. So one of the functions of meditation is for the brain to free itself from this external pressure, from all the shocks, strains and assertions of authority about spiritual matters, because your brain has its own rhythmic quiet movement. That brain can regenerate itself, renew itself, make itself young, fresh, untouched by all the pressures, by the various shocks of modern society and it is one of the major functions of meditation to keep that brain completely whole. Now we are going together to investigate into what is meditation. I am not telling you what to meditate about, how to meditate, that is too infantile, but if you are at all serious, together we are going to go into this question.
As we said, the brain which now has been so badly educated, that brain which can only function in complete security like a child, that brain needs complete security. When it is completely secure, then it can function efficiently. And that security is denied when there is fear. So, the first thing in the enquiry into what is meditation is the ending of fear. As I pointed out yesterday, when you escape from fear, when you try to rationalize fear, when you try to suppress fear, then you are wasting your energy but when you do not escape, but look, observe, then you have that energy to go beyond it. Then the problem is that thought has made certain activities, certain beliefs, certain concepts as a means of being secure. You believe in God, don't you? Now the belief in God gives you security, doesn't it? Do listen to this, please. The belief in God gives you security, but you don't know anything about God, except what some idiotic man talks about God. So you know nothing about God and whet you believe it and you think you will find security in a belief which has become neurotic because it has no validity. Your belief in God gives you a false hope of security. Your action based on a false belief, on a belief which is radically false, must be neurotic. That belief is based on fear. The desire to be secure gives to the brain a false sense of safety. That is one of the causes of the deterioration of your brain.
Then there is the question of thought. Thought is measure; thought is the movement of memory as knowledge; therefore thought is a material process. Thought is not something sacred. That thought is in constant movement, constantly thinking about the past, the present or the future, is constantly working, working. Haven't you noticed your own thoughts? It is ceaselessly operating and one of the factors of degeneration is this constant movement in the field of knowledge. You realize that thought must be controlled and this control is part of your so-called meditation. I am sure you have played that game for years, but you have never enquired who is the controller and if the controller is the controlled, then what is the necessity of control at all? You are conditioned, educated through tradition, through literature, through all the things that you call sacred that you must control thought. But you have never found out if you can live a life in which there is no control whatsoever. Because the controller is the essence of the past and the past with all its memories, fears and so on, controls another fragment of itself. Therefore, there is constant conflict. This constant inward battle between the controller and the controlled is another factor of the deterioration of your brain. Have you ever tried to find out a way of living in which there is not a single shadow of conflict? Or is that just an idyllic dream? So, meditation is the ending of conflict in oneself and in your relationship with another. Is not your relationship with another one constant battle except for the moments of forgetfulness, moments of great pleasure, sexual or otherwise? Don't you agree to that?
Audience: Yes, Sir.
Krishnamurti: So we accept this conflict, this struggle and we have never tried to find out, investigate whether it is possible to live a life in which there is no conflict. That demands great intelligence, not control, not suppression, which means the art of observing your relationship, the art of observing how you have an image about him and he has an image about you and therefore the conflict is between these two images, and whether you can live a life without a single image about yourself or another; that is part of meditation. Meditation is concerned with daily life, how you behave, how you talk, to watch your conduct. Meditation is freeing the mind from all conflict. Meditation is living a life, daily life, in which there is not a single conflict, a life in which belief has no place whatsoever, only facts. To discover a mind that is quiet, not compelled, not disciplined beyond measure, so that it is a mind that is alive, deeply quiet, a mind that is silent, that is part of meditation. All this is the totality of life – living in the technological world a life of excellence in manners, in behaviour, in conduct, and living a life in which death has been under- stood and therefore no fear of dying. And a mind that is completely quiet, not occasionally quiet. Then you will see if you have gone that far that thought which is measure, which is a material process, that thought functions in one area of knowledge only and does not move out of that field. Then only the mind will come upon that which is measureless, timeless and that which is eternally beautiful. All this is meditation and you must give your days and your thoughts and your heart to find out and for your mind to regenerate itself, to become fresh, young, alive, without fear, it is important to know the beauty and the reality of meditation.
26th January 1975