Thursday, April 14, 1966
Krishnamurti: What shall we talk about this evening?
Questioner: May we discuss the matter of emotional dependence?
Krishnamurti: Shall we go into the question of emotional dependence and the conflict that arises from it, or would you like to discuss something else?
Questioner: May we discuss silence?
Krishnamurti: I wonder why we ask questions. Someone has asked why there is conflict both in dependence and in freeing oneself from that dependence. Another has asked what silence is. I'm just asking myself why we ask any questions at all. Are we asking for some kind of easy explanation, or are we asking as a means of exploration? The latter means that there is no answer; you and I both are working together to discover the facts involved in that question. If we merely wait for an answer from someone, there is dependence; if the answer depends on another, we are caught in agreement and disagreement. We think we have worked very hard in agreeing and disagreeing, but that doesn't lead us anywhere. Perhaps the question has significance only when the questioner discovers for himself at what depth, or from what depth, the question is put.
We must be clear from the very beginning about these two questions, or any other questions. We must understand why we put them, and at what level or from what depth the questions come out. We must also realize that there is no answer. The understanding of the question itself, the solution, is in the question. It is not that you tell me, I listen, agree or disagree, and then comes the answer. In examining the question itself, we will come to some factual understanding.
If you are following all this intellectually, it has no meaning. If you say, « I agree with you; these are logical steps that you are taking bit by bit, » we don't meet; we have lost each other long ago. I hope that we are taking a journey together. It's not that I'm superior and you're inferior, that I'm the authority and you're mere followers – all that would be too silly. Why do we depend on another emotionally? Since we are dependent, how are we to free ourselves from the dependence, and from the pain of freeing ourselves without hurting another?
Questioner: May we also discuss the issues involved in attachment and detachment?
Krishnamurti: Physically we depend on the postman, on the milkman, on the supermarket. When we talk about dependence, what do we mean by that word? Is all relationship dependent? I depend on you and you depend on me emotionally – as a wife, a husband, a neighbor. Is all relationship, both intimate and superficial, dependent?
Analytically one can discover clearly why one depends. One is empty, insufficient within oneself; one does not have sufficient energy, drive, capacity, clarity; one depends upon another to satisfy that insufficiency, that lack of perception, the sense of not being able to stand by oneself morally, intellectually, emotionally, physically. One also depends because one wants to be secure. The first thing a child demands is security. Most people want security, in which is implied comfort. All these things are involved when one tries to find out why one depends emotionally, intellectually, and spiritually.
I depend on you because you give me pleasure, you give me comfort, you give me satisfaction, you give me a sense of security, a balance, a harmony, a companionship, a togetherness. We are going to examine presently whether it's real or unreal. I cling to you emotionally, physically, intellectually, or in some other way. In myself I'm isolated; I feel separate from everyone else. That separation is very painful. The demand to identify with another springs from that sense of isolation. Please don't accept what I am saying; we are examining, analyzing, going into it together.
Being isolated, we try to reach out for a companion, for friendship, for something that we can cling to. This is going on all around us, intellectually, emotionally, physically, in the deeper levels of consciousness – a constant demand to find someone, some idea, some hope, some kind of thing that will give a tremendous sense of being, a sense of identification with another or with ourselves. We do it because there is a sense of emptiness, of loneliness, of insufficiency in the ever self-centered activities. We identify with our state, with our religion, with our God, with our leader. Having hooked on to someone or to some idea, in that very process there is an uncertainty, there is a fear that the thing we are attached to may be rather pliable, insecure. We become jealous, aggressive, demanding, possessive, dominating, and the battle begins.
You want to be free, and I can't let you be free. You want to look at someone else, and instantly I'm confused, lost, jealous, anxious. This process is called relationship. To be in contact with another is relationship, but I'm not in contact with anyone because out of my fear, out of my loneliness, out of my anxiety, out of all my self-centered activities, I hold on. How can I be sure of another? Even though all marriages are made in heaven, how can I be sure of anything in life, including my own ideas, my own feelings? I can't be sure of anything, but I want to be completely grounded in my security with another. We know all this intellectually. We can analyze this verbally for ourselves without going to an analyst. The pattern is very familiar. I see all this and yet I can't break through, I can't release, I can't let go. What's the next step?
Comment:Conflict immediately comes in. There is also the point of letting go.
Krishnamurti: You can't let go. What is important is not letting go but finding out why you are dependent. If that is clear, then it's finished. Otherwise you may let one person go, but you will cling to someone else.
Questioner: How about a mother and her child?
Krishnamurti: That's a quite different relationship, isn't it?
Comment:There is an emotional dependence of the mother on the child.
Krishnamurti: The child is dependent on the mother, truly dependent, but is the mother dependent on the child? Of course she is.
Comment:She shouldn't be.
Krishnamurti: It isn't a question of should be or should not be; the facts are that way. We are not approaching the problem directly if we say, « How am I to be free from dependence? » – whether we are dependent on a child or on another adult human being. We must go into the question of why we depend at all. Why do we depend, and is dependence relationship? Comment: There should be independence if we want relationship.
Krishnamurti: Is there relationship if there is dependence? I depend on you; is it a relationship?
Comment:It is not a relationship.
Krishnamurti: Yet that is what we call relationship.
Comment:We call it love, too.
Krishnamurti: We call it love; we call it protection; we give dozens of absurd words to it, but we have never really inquired into what relationship is. We are related because of inner uncertainty, the demand for security, the demand to be assured that we are related. It is a deeper, much more subtle dependence than the physical. If we did not depend, what would happen? We'd be lost; we'd have no anchorage; there would be no port where we could say, « Here I'm at home. » I battle all day with my boss in the office, and when I go home, there at least I'm completely secure.
We have all had the experience of tremendous loneliness, where books, religion, everything is gone and we are tremendously, inwardly lonely, empty. Most of us can't face that emptiness, that loneliness, and we run away from it. Dependence is one of the things we run to, depend on, because we can't stand being alone with ourselves. We must have the radio or books or talking, incessant chatter about this and that, about art and culture. So we come to that point when we know there is this extraordinary sense of self-isolation. We may have a very good job, work furiously, write books, but inwardly there is this tremendous vacuum. We want to fill that and dependence is one of the ways. We use dependence, amusement, church work, religions, drink, women, a dozen things to fill it up, cover it up. If we see that it is absolutely futile to try to cover it up, completely futile – not verbally, not a conviction and therefore agreement and determination – but if we see the total absurdity of it, that it is impossible to escape from it, whether through marriage, through drink, through God, through churches, through literature, through painting, through music, through husbands, through children, then we are faced with a fact. It is not a question of how to be free from dependence; that's not a fact; that's only a reaction to a fact.
Can I face this emptiness, this sense of isolation, the sense of not belonging to anything? It is something I've never faced before. I don't even know what it means because I have so carefully, so cleverly cultivated escapes from it. Though I know it is a fact, I am unwilling to face it. I know nothing can fill it, no words, no books, no literature, no art, nothing. Why don't I face the fact and see what happens?
The problem now arises of the observer and the observed. The observer says, « I am empty; I don't like it, » and runs away from it. The observer says, « I am different from that emptiness. » But the observer is the emptiness; it is not emptiness seen by an observer. The observer is the observed. There is a tremendous revolution in thinking, in feeling, when that takes place. It's not anger, and me separate from the anger, or me separate from jealousy, me separate from nationalism, and so on.
Questioner: Isn't the whole mental process, and all desire as well, image-making?
Krishnamurti: Of course it's image-making. All our relationship is image-making. You have an image about me, and I have an image about you; the images have relationship, not you and I. The two images have a battle about everything. Idealists and people with Utopias have images of what should be, and they try to force everyone, the whole community, to that state. One of the most difficult things is to be free of forming images. I want to go a little beyond that into the whole question of experience, the storing of memory, and the reaction of memory with regard to another with whom I have had an experience.
Can we be free of experience? Most of us crave experiences of pleasure and pain, which again is dependence. The more we demand a pleasurable experience – which is what most people want, whether it is God, sex or any of a hundred things – the more is involved this question of pain. I said at the beginning that if we are asking these questions purely intellectually, it has no value at all. If the asking is intense, it is possible to explore. We can't examine without passion, without vitality; and we can't have that vitality if it is a superficial question.
Can I face a fact without interpreting it? If I separate the fact from me, if I am lonely, I am the observer, and the loneliness is the thing observed. Then the actor comes into being, the actor being me. I can do something about it. I can replace it, cut it out, suppress it, resist it, justify it, struggle against it, run away from it, adjust myself to it, deny it or rationalize it, but if I see that anger is me, that loneliness is me – the rationalizer, the thinker, the actor – if I see that the observer is the observed, then there is no experience, then action becomes impossible in the ways I am used to as action.
When this takes place, contradiction and effort cease. If there is no contradiction, there is no effort. This doesn't mean that my mind is asleep. In the very effort to get rid of my dependence, my anger, my passion, my lust, in that very process of conflict the mind is breaking itself up. Conflict in any form, at any level, physical or psychological, breeds further conflict, and therefore the organism as well as the psyche is wearing itself out.
Action with regard to the fact of emptiness is not possible. The observer now is the observed, and action with regard to any fact doesn't exist. From that arises the negation of action. Inaction is the most tremendous action. The positive action that we know is reaction. The observer denies the fact. He denies that the fact belongs to him, and therefore he can act. When the observer is the observed, which is the fact, action becomes impossible. The mind which has previously divided itself into the observer and the observed has no division. There is no conflict between the observer and the observed. When this takes place, there is silence. Contradiction ceases. In silence there is tremendous attention.
From that silence we can ask a question: « What is creation? » Creation for most of us is doing, creating, painting, writing, expressing. An architect must express. If a woman is to fulfill, she must give birth to a child. Man is trying to fulfill, fulfill, fulfill, all the time, and is frustrated all the time. When the observer is the observed and the experiencer is the experience, then the search comes to an end. Then what is man to do? We demand experience, and we demand it because experience keeps us awake. Life is challenge and response. This challenge and response keeps us awake. There is tremendous doubt now about God. A few centuries ago that doubt didn't exist. Now everything is being questioned and we have to respond. There is outward challenge. Society is undergoing a tremendous change, and it is a challenge to man. The challenge keeps him moving, keeps him awake, driving, pushing. We depend on outward challenges, outward questions, outward urges, compulsions, incidents. If we see that, we put it away because it has no meaning any more. Then we have to keep awake, keep moving, keep active without experience, without being driven, without being pushed. When we reject the outer, we also have to reject the inner. The outer challenge is the same as the inward challenge. It's a tide, which ebbs and flows, goes out and comes in. We may say it's absurd to be influenced by people, by churches, by society, but the tide comes in, and we depend on it to keep us awake. But if we see the movement and no longer depend on it, then we have to be extraordinarily alert and awake.
Comment:Just to see; not to reject.
Krishnamurti: Yes, of course. How can I reject? The problem is arising in a different way with computers and automation taking over the world. Man is going to have much more leisure. Four days of it a week is coming. Three days a week is already here, from Friday afternoon to Monday morning. Social reform and all that will disappear because it will all be so beautifully organized. What will we do with this leisure? We may get lost in amusement, going to football games or to church, because that is what we want. But if we reject all that, if we see the absurdity of everlastingly chasing something, then we have true leisure. Then we look at things differently; the observer is the observed, and the action is inaction. That's a marvelous discovery.
To look at a tree completely, the mind must be totally silent. Have you ever observed a tree without the observer? Have you ever looked at another without memory, without the image, without the observer thinking, judging, evaluating, condemning, justifying? If you can do that, there is relationship with the person; otherwise, there is no relationship, and only your images, your words have relationship. « I love you » and « You love me » are but images speaking to each other endlessly. If right from the beginning we see that the observer is the observed, there is no effort or contradiction, and therefore no demand. Then we will know what creation is.
Comment:It is being.
Krishnamurti: We should never take anything for granted. Always doubt, but don't close any door. Silence is the observer, not the observer is silent. We only know the beauty of light because it is on the building, on the leaf, or in the shadow, in the movement of leaves. It is the observer observing the light and the breeze, and the movement of the leaf, who says, « How lovely! »
Comment:But that light actually is lovely.
Krishnamurti: The moment you say the light is lovely, you're lost. When the observer separates himself from the fact of loneliness or anger, then there is action. When the observer says, « I am not it, » or « I am it »; when there is the light on that building, on that leaf, and the wind, the breeze, is among those leaves, and you see it and say, « How beautiful, » you know beauty because of the movement of the light, because of that coloring, of that shape. But is it really beauty? The observer looking at it says it's beautiful. You see a painting; you say it's beautiful, or modern, subjective art. When you look at it, you are looking from a center, which is the observer who says that it is beautiful or ugly, in good taste or in poor taste, that a room is well proportioned, or that the movement a tree has in the breeze is lovely. You only know beauty because of an object, but is there beauty without the object? It is the same question as whether there is space without an object. If there is no space without an object, then there is never any freedom at all. If I only know I'm a prisoner because of the walls, these concrete walls, or walls that I have created around myself through resistance, if I only know space that way, in that space there can never be freedom. If there is no observer, no center from which I'm looking, then beauty has a quite different meaning. Then everything is beautiful. This isn't a concept; it is a fact.
Silence takes place in total inaction, which is positive action. Silence is emptiness. A silence in which there is the experiencer is no longer a silence. Then it's put together, and it can be un-put together. It's like love. I love you because you give me satisfaction. If love has a motive, it's no longer love. There is a center.
To come to this silence, as we have done, we have to be tremendously quiet. To see your wife, with whom you've lived for forty years, quarreled, and everything else; to look at her and see something new, there must be silence. The new is the creation of silence, not you creating silence, creating the new. That is creation.
Questioner: How can we have creation in an insane world?
Krishnamurti: The world is not sane because we are not sane. The world is not different from me. To have real peace, not the peace between two wars, two arguments, or two battles, we must live peacefully. There must be no anger, no jealousy, no ambition, no greed, no prestige. Because we can't live peacefully, we join peaceful organizations and function completely in the field of time. The new is never in the field of time. The thing which is timeless is God, or any name you like to give to it; the name doesn't matter.
Fifth Dialogue in Rome
Thursday, April 14, 1966
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