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First Public Question and Answer Meeting in Madras

Tuesday, December 28, 1982

There are a lot of questions here, which I haven't seen. It's good to ask questions, and from whom do you expect the answer? Is the answer more important than the question? If the question... and to put the question rightly also requires an art. When you have put the question, are you putting it to somebody, or to yourself? And if the question is important, does the answer lie in the question or away from the question? I hope we are communicating with each other. Does the answer lie or contain or hold in the question itself and not away from it? So in answering some of these questions we are going to examine the question, not try to find the answer to it, because in the examination of that question the answer itself lies or revealed in the examination of that question. I hope this is clear, that you and I are going to examine the question. See the nature of the question, the significance of that question, and in the understanding of that question the answer is revealed in the question. Are we together in this – I hope.

In the first talk you said that thought is responsible for all our problems, and you also said that thought has failed to resolve those problems, and you raised the question: if there is any other instrument resolve our conflicts. Please explain.

Do we all agree, or see the truth that thought throughout the world has brought about a great technological advancement, whose future is incalculable, and that thought has created the wars, the destruction of human beings, thought has created all the religious edifices, and the content of those edifices, thought has created all this. Are we all together on this point? Are we? Would you agree to that? Or you believe that thought is not responsible for the content of your temples, the churches and the mosques. What's your reaction to it? Please, if you will kindly talk it over with the speaker. You understand what I have said? That thought, which is the act of thinking, is responsible for all the wars in the world, for the national divisions of the world, that thought has created the gods which we worship, all the rituals, the whole hierarchical outlook of religious structure. Would you agree to all that? Not just intellectually agree – that has no meaning. Do we see this? What's the difficulty? Would you kindly talk it over with me? Or do you think the gods, the various saviours, are not the result of actual thinking? No?

Questioner: The significance which thought creates is not thought. The significance is not the thought.

Krishnamurti: The gentleman says significance of thought is not thought. When we use the word « significance » which means the meaning – right, sir? – the meaning which thought conveys. Thought cannot be separated from its significance, can it? Or significance, the meaning, is contained in the thought. I think that – suppose – I think that India is the most spiritual country, and I think about it, surely it is thought that has given the significance that India is the most extraordinarily religious country. Right? What's the difficulty, sirs?

So, I am sure you don't agree with this because for a very obvious reason, that the things that we worship in the temples and so on are some miraculous happening, are something that is brought about through some kind of divine action. That's why we rather hesitate to accept or see the fact that thought has been responsible for all this. Right?

Questioner: Sir, we don't know of any other response. We do not know of any other response.

Krishnamurti: We are going to find out, but that requires a great deal of enquiry and freedom, otherwise you cannot find out. One has to put aside all that which is false. Right? How can one find anything new if we are attached to old traditions which are dead, to some belief that we hold dear, to some ideal we think is necessary – if we hold on to all those there is no freedom for enquiry. Right? Sir, a good scientist in his research, first he acquires, he has the knowledge of other people who have researched, has accumulated, and then he must set aside all that to find something new, otherwise he is not a top scientist, he is merely a machine repeating. Right? Would you agree to that?

Questioner: What is it that generates thought?

Krishnamurti: What generates thought. What do you think generates thought?

Questioner: Experience.

Krishnamurti: What is the beginning of thought?

Questioner: Thought is the result of something happening.

Krishnamurti: Thought is the result of something happening. The happening is, suppose I have a motor accident and I have broken my leg, and that is an experience which is stored in the brain – right, sir? – an experience stored in the brain, and that experience is knowledge of that accident, and from that accumulated knowledge of that accident, memory, and from that memory there is thought, that I had an accident which was very painful. It is the whole movement of experience, knowledge, memory and thought. That's the origin of thinking. Not the accident and then thought, the whole accident took place because I was driving badly, or somebody ran into me. What's the difficulty in this?

Questioner: But sir, you said that a good scientist... (inaudible) Would you say that that learning of what the previous scientists have discovered was necessary before he has to... (inaudible)

Krishnamurti: I'm afraid I haven't... (laughs) Has somebody heard? Would you kindly repeat it?

Questioner: She says, you said the discovery of the findings of the previous scientists had to be set aside for a scientist to discover something new.

Krishnamurti: Obviously.

Questioner: Or has he to put away as the previous scientists » knowledge and experience... (inaudible) find something new.

Krishnamurti: Of course, sir. If I am a physicist I study from college, from school, college, university, and have accumulated a great deal of knowledge about physics, matter, the enquiry into matter, and if I want to discover something new I must put aside all that which I have known. Sir, have you ever considered how the jet – you know, the jet aeroplane – came into being? It didn't just happen. The previous engineers who constructed the piston engine had gathered a lot of information, and had put that aside, said this isn't good enough, and they were looking, waiting, searching, and suddenly somebody discovered the jet. But we don't want to do that. One wonders whether one likes to live in this conditioned brain with all its problems – you follow? – and accept it and carry on.

So, the speaker said at the first talk that all the activities of thought, both important and unimportant, dangerous and search for safety, security, are all the movements of thought. It's so obvious. I don't know why we hesitate about this matter. Right, sirs? Can we go on from there? No. It is very difficult for us to accept a fact or a truth when we are attached to our own particular concepts. If you would kindly, for this morning at least, put aside all one's conclusions, beliefs and ideals, and look at something different. After all, when you have a refrigerator in your house, if you are rich enough or well-to-do, you have moved away from the old, haven't you? But in the same way would you kindly move away from the old and see what happens. You may not like it, it may disturb you life, but you can go back to it.

Questioner: (Inaudible) ...there is fear.

Krishnamurti: Of course, of course there is fear. That's why you are all hesitant. It's so obvious. If you are guaranteed that whatever the new instrument is, and you haven't to do anything, you would grab at it very quickly. But unfortunately we are so frightened of anything new – right? – because it is very disturbing. You have to scrap all the piston engines, you have to invest a great deal of money in something new. And that's what's called material progress – which you are doing. You are not frightened of having a new refrigerator or a new washing machine or a new car, but one is really frightened to let the old go. Which indicates that one's brain is functioning mechanically. Right, sir? I have known this, I am going to stick to it, and prove, guarantee me something, if there is the new, that I will also be safe. When you invest money – perhaps some of you do – when you invest money in a stock there is always fear that it might not succeed, but you invest it – right? – because there is the reward behind it. Here there is no reward. That's what your trouble is. Here there is no reward because it requires clear thinking, clear, objective, non-personal observation. Right, sirs?

Questioner: Sir, I have the realization that religion is a form of catharsis for those who are psychologically insecure. How would you explain the origin of our first thought?

Krishnamurti: Origin of first thought. Do you want my explanation?

Questioner: Very much, sir.

Krishnamurti: What for? I'll explain, but what for?

Questioner: (Inaudible)

Questioner: For thought to observe itself.

Krishnamurti: Have you ever done that?

Questioner: I'd like to try it. (Laughter)

Krishnamurti: You are all so crazy. (Laughs) You won't do anything original for yourself. You see, that means we are so authority-bound, so traditional, so mechanical, and you don't see the mechanical process of thought. All right sir, let's go back to it.

The questioner says, thought has created the problems, like war, like various forms of division between people, and thought then, having created the problem, then thought tries to find the answer to the problem. Right, sir? Would you agree to that? Would you agree to that? I have created a problem between myself and my wife, we have constant rows, disputes, quarrels. They arise because I want something and she wants something else, or she tells me what to do which I don't want to do. You understand? This constant division. Now, has thought created the problem between me and my wife? I am not married, fortunately. And I am asking you, has thought created the problem, this quarrel between me and my wife? Would you kindly answer this.

Questioner: Yes, sir.

Krishnamurti: Obvious, isn't it? No? By golly! You are the most extraordinary people all right. (Laughter) You refuse to see something obvious and acknowledge it. Thought has created the problem, quarrelling with my wife, and then thought says, I am going to try and resolve the problems. Right? First created the problem then it tries to solve the problem. You have it in this country politically, haven't you? It is all such a mess here. No? (Laughs) Even that you won't acknowledge. (Laughter) All right, sir, it's up to you.

Questioner: Is not a question of collective thought?

Krishnamurti: Yes, sir, it is collective thought. Do you understand when you said, sir, if I may respectfully ask, do you understand when you said, what the implication of that is?

Questioner: (Inaudible)

Krishnamurti: If thought is collective then your thinking is collective and therefore you are part of the collective. Right? So you are not an individual. (Laughs) You are all... Look sir, thought has created the problem. I am a Jew, you are an Arab. Right? Could you look at that, what is happening in the Middle East? I am a Jew, you are an Arab. I am a Jew because for the last three to four thousand years I have been programmed. Right? I have been told from childhood, and do various activities of childhood, that I am a Jew. Right? That is repeated to me day after day, day after day. So my brain is conditioned to the acceptance that I am a Jew. Right? And the other fellow across the border, which may be very near, he has been also told that he is an Arab, a Palestinian Arab. He's repeated that for the last fourteen hundred years, and he repeats that. Right? Right, sirs? Now, has not thought created the Jew and the Arab? Has not thought created that you are a Hindu? You accept that? If you accept that, then thought is responsible for the division between the Arab and the Jew, between the Hindu and the Muslim. Right? And thought then, because of this division, brings about conflict. Right? Pakistan and Hindu... India. Right, sirs? Which is, that division has brought about war. So thought is responsible for war. Right? And then thought says, I must solve this problem; we must seek peace. But I still remain a Jew and you still remain an Arab. No?

Questioner: (Inaudible)

Krishnamurti: I don't understand.

Questioner: A noble thought can... (inaudible)

Krishnamurti: I see. So there is a noble thought and ignoble thought. Right? But it is still thought. Right, sir? It is still thought. You may think what I say may be ignoble and you may be noble, but the division, the division between what is noble and what is ignoble is created by thought. No?

Questioner: (Inaudible) experience. Cannot thought arise spontaneously?

Krishnamurti: The gentleman asks, cannot thought and experience arise spontaneously. No, he didn't say that – I didn't hear properly.

Questioner: Besides thought arises out of memory and experience, cannot thought arise spontaneously?

Krishnamurti: Yes, I see. Thought arises from experience, knowledge, memory – right, sir? – and you are asking cannot thought arise spontaneously without knowledge.

Questioner: (Inaudible)

Krishnamurti: Yes, that's right, sir, that's right. Can thought arise spontaneously without knowledge, without experience and memory? That's the question, sir. Now what do you mean by spontaneity?

Questioner: Spontaneity means without having its base in the past memory...

Krishnamurti: Yes, sir, I am asking, if you will forgive me, I am asking what do you mean by the word « spontaneous »?

Questioner: Spontaneity means having its own... (inaudible)

Krishnamurti: Sir – to be spontaneous.

Questioner: Instantly having... (inaudible)

Krishnamurti: No, sir, the word, the meaning of the word means something you do spontaneously, you do it without thought – right? – which means you do something from freedom. Right? Are you free to do something, freely? If I may ask you a question, sir.

Questioner: (Inaudible)

Krishnamurti: You can't try freedom. Either you are free or not free. You can't say, « I will try to become free ». You see you are all... If you are really interested in all this would you kindly listen first? (Laughs) The speaker has said over and over again that thought is the result of experience, knowledge, memory stored in the brain, and from that memory thought arises. If I have no knowledge, no experience, no memory, what am I? I am in a state of amnesia. Right? You know that word « amnesia » means blank. Right, sir? Unless one has an accident or some kind of disease in the brain there is no – human beings are not all... have not all amnesia – that would terrible, wouldn't it. (Laughs) So please listen, find out, sir, for yourself whether thought is not responsible for all our miseries, and also thought is responsible for this extraordinary free flowing technology. Right? Would you agree to that?

Questioner: Sir, to find out this shouldn't one think?

Krishnamurti: Yes. Think – all right, let's think. Let's think. Now wait a minute, let's think. Right? Will you think with me? Or...

Questioner: Using thought as an instrument. It is said that thought is not the instrument to solve our problems.

Krishnamurti: I have said it, the speaker has said it. You may not believe it.

Questioner: Yes, I may not believe it, but then to find out the alternative instrument shouldn't I think what alternative instrument...

Krishnamurti: I am going to point out, lady, I am going to do it presently. But first if you don't mind my telling most respectfully that we must think first. Right? Right? Do we think? Or repeat, repeat, repeat. Is repetition thinking? Right? I have been trained as an engineer and I repeat. Right? So are we aware that our brains are mechanical now? You see now there comes our difficulty. Right? Would you agree to that? That our brains now, the educated brains and the uneducated brains have become mechanical. Would you agree to that? Are we aware that your brain, your actions are mechanical? If you admit our brains are mechanical then your life is mechanical. No? Right? You are unwilling to admit that. Yes, that's just it. (Laughs)

Questioner: Sir, when you come to the conclusion that thought is responsible for all of our misery...

Krishnamurti: It's not a conclusion, it is a fact.

Questioner: Whether it is a fact... (inaudible) ...the knowledge is limited, so it is also a kind of knowledge.

Krishnamurti: Sir, the speaker has said knowledge is limited. Right?

Questioner: Yes, limited.

Krishnamurti: Are you aware the knowledge is limited?

Questioner: No, according to you. (Laughter) You say...

Krishnamurti: Sir, sir, sir, sir, just a minute if you don't mind. Are you merely accepting what the speaker says or have you investigated for yourself that knowledge, all knowledge – right? – not a particular subject, all knowledge, the scientific knowledge, the technological knowledge, the knowledge of books, the knowledge of your experience, all knowledge is limited.

Questioner: If it is limited it means it is also a kind of knowledge which is limited. So we can't say.

Krishnamurti: I don't quite understand this.

Questioner: Well we accept that knowledge is limited.

Krishnamurti: Don't accept it, sir, it's a fact.

Questioner: OK, it's a fact.

Krishnamurti: Not OK, it's a fact. (Laughter) Really most extraordinary. Sir, when you have pain – I hope you haven't – when you have pain you don't acknowledge that you have pain, you have pain. Right, sir? Right, sir? Now do you, do we see the fact that thought born of knowledge is always limited? Right, sir? Can we go on from there? That knowledge is limited, otherwise there would be no technological advancement – if it is limited you stop, but they are breaking through – you understand? – trying to find more and more and more. But whatever they find is always limited because there is something more. Right? Technologically. Agree to that, sir? So, as knowledge is limited, thinking which is born of knowledge must always be limited. Right? Would you agree to that? This is logical, sir, what are you... So what is limited must inevitably create problems. Right? Would you agree to that? Look sir, I am a Jew, you are a Hindu or a Muslim or Arab – the same thing, Islamic world. The division has taken place by thought. Right, sir? Thought has brought this division because thought itself is limited. Right? So, where there is division there is bound to be limitation. Right? Where there is limitation there must be conflict – I am a Jew, you are an Arab. Right? This is difficult. All right, sir? I am saying – put it differently – where there is division – Jew, Hindu, Arab – where there is a division there must be conflict.

Questioner: There can be without conflict... (inaudible)

Krishnamurti: Oh, can there be?

Questioner: (Inaudible)

Krishnamurti: Just a minute, sir, look into it. The Arab and the Jew; the Arab says, « God is with me », and a different kind of god is with the Jew – which is created by thought. Right? (Laughs) My golly. Let's go into it again. Would you acknowledge, or see the fact for yourself without my... without the speaker influencing you, that thought is limited. It can imagine the limitless but it is still born of thought. Right? Now, thought has divided the world into Christian, Buddhist, Hindu, Muslim – right? – so where there is division there must be conflict. Wait a minute, I'll bring it much nearer. Is there not division between you and your wife, or your husband? Right? Would you acknowledge? There is, sir? So where there is division there must be conflict, isn't there? Between you and – perhaps not you sir, I hope – but isn't there conflict between you and your wife? That is, if there was no division would there be conflict? No, obviously. So conflict arises always where there is a division – the poor and the rich, the communist and the non-communist, the Marxist and the capitalist and so on. Right? So where there is division, there must be conflict, it's law. Right? It's a law, it's an eternal law. Agree? Where there is division of any kind there must be struggle, conflict, problems.

Questioner: You cannot do without thought.

Krishnamurti: We are going to find out, sir. You are saying that we cannot do without thought. Now, where are the limits of thought? You understand my question? That is, where do you draw the line? Thought has its place – right? – which is going to the office, going to do... speaking a language, driving a car, the whole world of technology – thought is necessary. Right? Now, where is thought not necessary? Find out, sir, come together, let's find out. Do you understand my question, sir? Thought is necessary. Thought is necessary to go from here to your house – right? – you take the road, the car, all the rest of it. And we also see that thought has created division; where there is division there must be conflict, that's a law. So where do you draw the line? Say thought is necessary, and thought is not necessary. I wonder if you understand this. Is thought necessary – just a minute, listen please, sirs – is thought necessary in relationship? Now you are stuck!

Questioner: The physical needs creates the division, my hunger and your hunger.

Krishnamurti: Hunger is hunger. It's not my – no, sir – it's not your hunger or my hunger, it's hunger.

Questioner: It's a fight for food. Survival creates the division.

Krishnamurti: Which is what?

Questioner: (Inaudible)

Krishnamurti: Don't say you don't know, let's look at it. Survival. I seek...

Questioner: (Inaudible)

Krishnamurti: I understand, sir. I need food and you need food. Now, in India there is overpopulation, multiplying every year by ten million or more. You understand the danger of all this, sir? And government is trying to solve the problem, I don't know if they are, but perhaps you know better. Now can they ever solve it? You want food and I want my – right? – hunger is both... is your – to survive we must be fed. Now if the population is increasing every year by fifteen million – I wonder if you realise what that means. Every year the population of Holland is added to this country. You understand, sir? Now how are you going to solve the problem? By being India? Which means what? A global relationship. Right? Would you agree to that? Global relationship which means no nationalities. Right?

Questioner: My physical needs creates a division – I become self-centred.

Krishnamurti: Yes, sir, I am saying that. Because your hunger, my hunger must be fed. And there are thousands of people in this unfortunate country not being fed. Right? One meal a day or less than that. And how is this multiplying population going to be fed? Either India has a great deal of rain, no failure of monsoons and so on, even then it will not be enough. Right? Therefore logically, humanly, sanely, there must be no division between people – America and – which means global interrelationship. Right? And no governments want to do that, because you elect them, because you still feel you are an Indian, he still feels a Pakistani. This is all so simple, sir. Can you drop your nationalism?

Questioner: The government encourages nationalism.

Krishnamurti: Of course, government encourages you to be nationalistic.

Questioner: You have competition between...

Krishnamurti: Yes, sir, yes, sir, I know all that. And you fall into the trap, and you like that.

Sir, let's come back. Would you, do you see the fact, if I may ask, that where there is division between my wife and myself there must be conflict? Right, sir? Now how will you get over that conflict?

Questioner: (Inaudible)

Krishnamurti: Wait, sir, look at it carefully. I am married, I have a wife, she thinks one way and I think another way. She wants babies and I don't want babies. She wants to be popular, belonging to some select group, and I say, silly, I just, I don't want that. You follow? There is constant division. Right? Isn't your problem this? No? Gosh, ashamed, we don't even face this fact. Right. Now how am I to get over this division, which thought has created, you understand? Right? I am ambitious, I am greedy, I am envious, I want to become the executive or the chief foreman in a factory, and she has her ambitions and so on. Right? So what shall I do? Both are created by thought. Right? So what shall I do? Advise me please.

Questioner: (Inaudible)

Krishnamurti: Drown my wife, are you saying? (Laughter)

Questioner: The moment I am aware... (inaudible)

Krishnamurti: Sir, just stick to one simple thing, sir. There is division between me and my wife, and that division must inevitably create conflict. Right? How am I to get over this division?

Questioner: Compromise.

Krishnamurti: Compromise. That's – all right, compromise. What am I compromising?

Questioner: The moment I want something and she wants something...

Krishnamurti: Sir, are you being factual or just imagining? How do I compromise with my wife? I don't want to go out at night to parties and all that, she does. Wait, sir, listen to this, sir. And what am I to compromise with? I don't want to go out at night to parties. I think parties are disgusting. Personally I do. (Laughs) I don't want to go out. And my wife who has been brought up differently because her father is rich and all that nonsense, and she says, « I want to go out » – where is the compromise?

Questioner: Very simple – you allow her to go and you don't go.

Krishnamurti: So she goes and I stay at home. (Laughter) And you call that compromise? (Laughs) You are all rather funny, sir. Do look at it, please, stick to one thing.

Questioner: You can't do anything about it, you just think about it.

Krishnamurti: No, sir. If there are a whole group of us, not just you and I, but the whole group of us, saying, look, nationalism is a disease – right? – « nationalism divides people, nationalism creates – one of the reasons for war is nationalism – economic war – you follow? – all that. So, I have thought about it and you have thought about it. As long as there is nationalistic division there must be starvation. Right? So the solution to that is no nationalism – right? – a global relationship. Now, people – it is now becoming more and more strong, nationalism – right? – British, British, British; French – you follow? – so one has to show to all the people logically, sanely, that nationalism is a disease. Then we might have food for all people. Right, sir?

Questioner: In Russia there is no starvation... (inaudible)

Krishnamurti: What are you talking about, sir? They are buying grain from all over the world. You people! No, sir, don't... You see you don't – sir, you always go back to something, explain something else. Please, just give this one thought, think about this, that where there is division there must be conflict. My wife and I quarrel, have rows every day. You understand what happens when I have a quarrel between my wife, and every day what is happening to me and to her? You aren't even aware of it. What is happening to her? Sir, we are destroying each other, aren't we? No? Now, if you see the fact, not theories about it, not intellectual comprehension, it is a fact that where there is division there must be destruction. Right? Destruction is quarrels, rows, each wanting his way. Right? So what shall I do? Thought cannot solve this problem. Right? Are you quite sure? Then what is the... what will you do? Thought is not the answer to our quarrels, to our divisions, then what shall I do?

Questioner: (Inaudible)

Krishnamurti: Yes, sir.

Questioner: (Inaudible)

Krishnamurti: Do you see nationalism as a danger?

Questioner: Somewhat.

Krishnamurti: Not somewhat, sir. Cancer is danger, isn't it?

Questioner: (Inaudible)

Krishnamurti: No, cancer. If I have cancer, I say, well, it is partly dangerous. (Laughs)

Questioner: (Inaudible)

Krishnamurti: I say nationalism is a cancer, is cancerous. Right?

Questioner: How is the family unit different from nationalism, sir?

Krishnamurti: Sir, you jump from one thing to another. You haven't given up your nationalism – you won't, I know you won't – but you have now turned to the family unit. What is a family unit? Me, my wife, or my wife and me, and my children. Right? I educate them, if I can, send them a good school if I can, and I am concerned. As the world is now overpopulated, my son goes off to Bombay or to Delhi or to America, and my family is in some village or in some town, the family is broken up. Right? There is no family unit. Even in India that is gradually being broken up. It has broken up in Europe and in America. And that's one of the calamities. You understand? Oh, you people don't even think about all this. Right, sir?

So is there another instrument which will solve this problem? You understand, sir? You understand my question? Thought has not solved it by yielding to her, or surrendering to her, or she surrendering to me – which is a terrible thing, isn't it? Why should she surrender to me, or I to her? When you surrender you are still what you are. So, what shall I do? Knowing that thought will not solve this problem, what shall I do?

Questioner: End my « me ».

Krishnamurti: Now, how do you end the « me »?

Questioner: By being aware.

Krishnamurti: Don't use just words, sir, don't play with me seriously. This is a serious talk, don't just play with words. Are you aware of your selfish attitudes? Are you aware that your wife is selfish and you are selfish? Are you aware that your children are also selfish? And this selfishness is increased by becoming an engineer, a physicist – they may be marvellous physicists, great scientists, but their life is mediocre. No? No? So what shall I do?

Questioner: Sir, awareness doesn't remove the division.

Krishnamurti: I am going to show you something sir, you don't... I know you are aware. You are aware of the division. Right, sir? And what havoc it is creating in the world. Agree? Sir, this is not an agreement, you have to feel this, you have to... it must be in your blood, that wherever there is division there must be conflict. That's a law, like gravity is a law. Right?

Questioner: Don't be a part of division.

Krishnamurti: You hear that statement, sir? Don't be part of division. He is just throwing words. You are not serious when you just say, don't be... drop your division. You can't. You people! Sir, just let's stick to it. We are divided – right? – my name, my form, my desires, my reactions, my education has helped me to keep divided. Right? And that division is creating great danger outwardly as war, and also with my wife and children. What shall I do? Pray to god? Run off? Leave, abandon my wife? Or she runs away. What shall I do? Don't go to sleep, please, find out what to do.

So I have to enquire something... I have to enquire, haven't I? Right, sir? What does enquiry mean? To enquire into something I must be free to enquire – there must be freedom to enquire. Right? I mustn't say, this is the way to solve it, this is the way to solve it, I must surrender, I must do this. Right? I must be free from all that to enquire. Right? Like a scientist, he is free to enquire. Right, sir? So are you free to enquire? Or in your enquiry there is a motive. You understand what I am saying, sir? If there is a motive, that motive is going to dictate your enquiry. Right, sir? So can you enquire without a motive, without an end, just to have the capacity, the intelligence to enquire. You understand, sir?

That is, I have a tremendous problem between me and my wife – which is the same problem in the world – you understand? This problem cannot be solved by thought. So what shall I do? I must find a new instrument which is not thought. Right, sir? Now, I have to enquire into it, I can't say, « Tell what is the new instrument ». Right? I have to enquire. Right, sir? Now, to enquire there must be freedom – from my tradition, from my conclusions, from my opinions. Right? I can't say I'll stick to my opinion, my conclusion, my tradition, and enquire, that is not possible. You understand? It is like a boat in a harbour which has dropped its anchorage, and says, « I must sail » – it must remove the anchor and then move. Right? Right, sir? The anchorage that you have dropped is your tradition, is your belief, is your condition, is your conclusions – drop them, otherwise you can't find the new. Right, sir? Right? Would you agree even logically to that? Can you drop your conclusion – that there is god, there is no god, that this system is better – conclusion. Do you know the meaning of that word « conclusion » means? To end all further discussion. I conclude you are great and I stop there. But if I don't conclude I have freedom to enquire. You follow, sir? Most of us have conclusions. Right? Now to enquire I must drop my conclusion. Right? Which means what? The brain then is becoming free. Right, sir? Conclusion now is conditioning the brain, is limiting the activity of brain. Right, sir? So if I drop my conclusions about politics, about god, about anything, drop it, then the brain becomes extraordinarily alive. Right? Right, sir?

Sir, look, some Indians are going abroad, aren't they? Here they feel there is no opportunity for them. They go abroad and do extraordinarily well – extraordinarily well in the sense of having a great deal of money. Right? Right, sir? They are doing very well, joining big companies, inventing new things. And here they say there is no opportunity. I heard an Indian, who is fairly well known on television in England, he was being interviewed, he said, the interviewer asked him, « Are you going back to India? », he said, and the Indian said, « No, there is no opportunity there ». Right? Opportunity being more selfish advancement. (Laughs) Right, sir? More money. Yes, sir.

So, will you give up your conclusion to investigate? Right, sir? Will you? To find out how to end this terrible destruction between me and my wife, between wife and me. You understand, sir? Can't we give up a conclusion to settle this? How tragic it all is, isn't it, sir? I can't give up a conclusion, or several conclusions, to end the battle between me and my wife. Right, sir? Which means what? We are so damn selfish. Right, sir? Unless you drop, understand naturally, logically, sanely, that any form of conclusion – the word « conclusion » means to end: I conclude a treaty, that means I conclude a marriage, I conclude that god exists, then I can't enquire. If I keep on repeating, « I believe in god, god, god », it just a repetitive conclusion. But if I really want to find out if there is god then I have to drop my conclusion and enquire. Which means I must be fearless to find out. Right, sir?

Questioner: (Inaudible)

Krishnamurti: Because – why am I clinging to my conclusions – because you think in conclusions there is safety, there is security. You don't know what will happen if you give up your conclusions and therefore you are frightened, therefore you hold on to your conclusions.

Questioner: How to break it?

Krishnamurti: It is not how to break it – see the fact. I have got cancer. That's a fact. I don't say, « How to break it? », it's a fact. So I go to the doctor and the doctor says, « My friend, come immediately you have to be operated ». And I, if he is a good doctor and trust him and all the rest of it, I am operated. I may die but I am operated. Right, sir? But I may die. And if I don't, say, « I may die », therefore I am frightened, I don't get operated but I stand with pain. Right, sir? It's all so logical.

So I am concerned to end my division, quarrel with my wife. I am concerned. I really want to end this division between me and my wife, between me and the world. You understand, all the rest of it. And for that I have to give up – I see I cannot conclude, if I do there must be division, and the quarrel will continue. That's all. If you like quarrels, if you like rows endlessly until you die, it's your life. If you like to live that way, live that way. Don't talk about god and puja and all that kind of – that leads to hypocrisy. The rich man doing puja – right, sir? You see the cynicism of it? Right, sir?

Questioner: The trouble is the extent to which I am prepared to go to give up my selfishness.

Krishnamurti: I didn't say that. Give up your conclusion.

Questioner: (Inaudible)

Krishnamurti: No, but I don't want to include that – selfishness is such a complex, subtle process. Take one thing, which is conclusion, and find out if you can end it. I conclude I must be something, and my poor wife doesn't want any conclusion, she wants to be treated kindly, gently, affectionately. My conclusion is preventing that. Right? Will you give up your conclusion? I know you won't sir, you just nod your head but you won't.

Questioner: Sir, we have come to you as a patient to a doctor.

Krishnamurti: No. I have made it very clear. I have made it very clear, sir, if you don't mind my repeating it. We are together investigating, together thinking, to find out a way of living in which there is no conflict. We are thinking together. I am not your guru, I am not your doctor. I don't want to be your doctor, or your guru. Perhaps because you aren't worth it. Or you are not the right patient.

So, sirs, to end division you must have love. Right, sir? And you don't know what that word means in this country or in Europe. Right, sir?

Questioner: (Inaudible)

Krishnamurti: Sir, did you hear what I said? I'll repeat it, sir, if you don't mind. Where there is division there is no love. Right? Agree? Not agree – see the fact. See it, sir?

Questioner: Where there is division, only there can be love and harmony.

Krishnamurti: What?

Questioner: How can there be love and harmony if there is no division at all?

Questioner: If there is no division there cannot be love, the opposite.

Krishnamurti: Sir, have you been listening to what we have been talking about for nearly an hour and a half? Sir, apparently from this question of this morning, we have come to a certain point from which you can go further, which is, where there is division there cannot be the end of conflict. Right? Conflict will continue as long as there is division – between peoples, between nationalities, between people who are rich and poor. You follow, sir? As long as there is division there must be conflict. And between my wife and me there is conflict. And I want to end that conflict because I don't want to destroy her or destroy myself. Right, sir? The way we live is destroying us, so I want to end the conflict. And to enquire into how to end that conflict I must be free from my conclusions. Just one conclusion, or half a dozen conclusions – end them. Sir, see the fact. Conclusions divide. You understand, sir? You have concluded that you are a Hindu, I have concluded that I am a Muslim. Right? It is a conclusion. I hold to that conclusion, which means I won't think any more about it, it is so, I am a Muslim. I have concluded. You understand, sir? And you have concluded as an Indian. So can't you give up that conclusion? One conclusion. Can you? Because if you can't I am going to destroy her, and she is going to destroy me. Right, sir? So I say, « For god's sake, I'll give it up ». That has no value. Right? Because my urge is to live peacefully with her, to have affection for her, not treat her like a breeding instrument, to treat her as a human being. That means I must consider her, I must care for her, I must look after her, I must have sympathy, affection, love for her. But all this is meaningless to you because you have never enquired into the nature of love. Right, sirs?

So we have answered the question, that there is a new instrument, which is not thought. We can go – I'll go into it much more, but you must leave your position to understand what the speaker is saying. Right, sir? Not always repeat the old, say how to get rid... Enquiry means moving together. Right, sir? Will you do that? Because the world is in a tremendous danger, sir. Right? As long as I am quarrelling with my wife I'll quarrel with the rest of the world. If there is no order in my house I create disorder in the world. Right, sir?

First Public Question and Answer Meeting in Madras

Tuesday, December 28, 1982

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