Tuesday, July 12, 1966
Shall we continue with what we were talking about the day before yesterday? We were saying in different words the importance of a total revolution in the mind. We are used to changes in patches, fragmentary changes, and these changes take place either under compulsion, as a means of defense, or for a purpose, a moral, ethical purpose. We all recognize that there must be a fundamental, radical, total revolution of the mind. Man has lived for so long in conflict, within himself and without, in misery, functioning within the borders of his egotism, wars, deception, dishonesty, cruelty – with those things we are quite familiar. Those who are at all serious see the importance of a change, of a mind that can grapple with all these problems and yet live in this world, not withdrawing from it into a monastic life, yet living totally differently. I think we all see that.
One also sees that there are fragmentary changes through the act of will. I want to change. I exercise a great deal of will, effort, and try by perseverance, constancy, and pursuit to bring about a modification, but there is no total change. There is this extraordinary battle going on within oneself, which expresses itself in outward conduct, outward relationship. If one is at all serious, how is one to bring about a complete change in the mind? I'm sure one must have asked this question dozens of times. What is one to do? One knows that one lacks sensitivity, affection, a great, deep quality of genuine affection which is not tinged with any self-interest or self-pity. One knows that one functions within the borders of the ego, the everlasting, self-centered activity. Knowing all this, what is one to do? How is one to break through this boundary of self-defense so that one is absolutely free from conflict, from misery, from sorrow, from all the travail of human existence?
That is what we are going to discuss – whether it is at all possible to live on the instant so completely that time doesn't exist, not to change by slow degrees, not to be free in some future time, or in some future life if there is one, not to think that I will be something tomorrow. How is this to happen?
People have tried different ways, forcing themselves not to think at all because they see that thought is the origin of all mischief. They have tried drugs, of various degrees, that will heighten their sensitivity, that will give a different quality to their actions. They have tried drugs that will drive away all fear so that there is no defense, so that they are completely open, so that there is not the thought of « me » at all. They have tried so many ways, identifying themselves with an idea which they call God, or with the state, or with some future existence. They put up with constant miseries, sorrows, and anxieties. We all know this; we have tried various forms of this kind. Perhaps it may have a little effect temporarily, for a day or two. But it soon wears off and we are back again, perhaps a little heightened, but back again to the daily routine, to the daily, dull, insensitive existence, putting up with our misery, defending, quarreling, eking out our life until death comes. Again, we know this. We ask ourselves if it is at all possible to totally shed, put away, eschew this sort of existence so that we have a totally different mind, a totally different existence, so that there is no division between nature and ourselves, between another and ourselves, so that there is a heightened, deepened quality and meaning to life. I think that is what most of us are seeking. We may not be able to articulate it, put it into words, but deep down that's what most of us want, not personal happiness. That has very little meaning, but what does have meaning is a life that has tremendous significance in itself, a life in which there is no conflict at all, where there is a total absence of time. Is it possible?
One can ask that question intellectually, verbally, theoretically, but such a question obviously leads to a theoretical answer, to a possibility, which is conjectural, conceptual, but not factual. But if one asks seriously, with full intent and passion, because one sees the futility of the way one lives, if one really asks it, then what is the answer? What is one to do or not do? I think it is very important to ask this question for oneself, not accept the question put by the speaker, because a question put by the other has very little, superficial value. But if one asks it oneself, in all earnestness and therefore with intensity, then one has a relationship with the speaker and one's mind is willing to examine, to penetrate deeply, without any motive, without any purpose or direction, but with an urgency that must be answered, an urgency that puts away all time, all knowledge and really penetrates to find out if it is at all possible to break through the boundaries of self-centered activity.
We were talking about this the day before yesterday, about the observer and the observed. We were saying that the observer is the observed, that the whole of consciousness, which is the mind, thinking, feeling, acting, ideation – all the turmoil, confusion, and misery in which we live – the whole of that is within the observer and the observed. Please listen, if I may suggest, not to the speaker, but to the fact of your own mind when it hears the statement that all consciousness is divided between the observer and the observed. There is the experiencer demanding experiences, whether of pleasure or the putting away of pain, demanding more and more, accumulating knowledge, pain, suffering, and there is the thinker, the observer, the experiencer, separate from the observed, from the experienced.
There is the one who says, « I am angry. » The « I » is different from the anger. There is violence and the entity who experiences the violence. When one says, « I am jealous, » jealousy is something different from the entity that feels jealous. When one looks at a tree, or at one's wife or husband, at another person, there is the observer, seeing the other. The tree is different from the observer. The whole of one's consciousness and existence is divided between the observer, the experiencer, the thinker, and the thought, the experienced, the observed. There is a strong feeling of sex, or of violence. I am different from that feeling; I must do something about it; I must act. What am I to do? I must, and I must not. What should I do and what should I not do? There is this endless division, and the whole of that is our consciousness. Any change within that consciousness is no change at all because the observer always remains separate from the observed. Unless one understands this, one cannot proceed further.
When I say, « I am aggressive; I must not be aggressive, » or « I indulge in aggressiveness, » in that there is the « me », who is aggressive; aggressiveness is something different from me. I must fulfill; fulfillment is different from the entity that is trying to fulfill. There is always this division, and within this field we are trying to change. We are trying to say that we must not be violent; we must become nonviolent; we must not be aggressive; we must be less aggressive; we must not fulfill. All this is going on within the field, and within this field there is no possibility of radical change.
If there is to be a total revolution in the mind, the observer must cease, totally, because the observer is the observed. When you are angry, the anger is not different from the observer. The observer is anger. When you say you are a Frenchman, a German, a Hindu, a communist, or whatever it is, the idea is the « you ». The « you » is not different from the idea. If there is to be a total revolution – and there must be a total revolution – you can't carry on as you are, in endless battle, outward and inward, in confusion, misery, with a sense of guilt, a sense of failure, a sense of loneliness. There is no quality of affection or love. Love and affection are surrounded, hedged about with jealousy, anxiety, fear. There is a total change only when the observer is the observed, and the observer cannot do a thing about what he observes.
Shall we discuss that for the moment? Afterwards I'll continue talking.
Questioner: Sir, am I the tree?
Krishnamurti: Obviously you are not the tree. You are a complex entity, with your nationality, your tendencies, your ambitions, your fears, your frustrations, but you are not the tree. If you try to identify yourself with the tree, you are still not the tree. You can never be the tree. But if you as the observer cease and only look at the tree without all your conditioning, there is a quite different relationship between you and the tree.
Look, sir. Most of us are violent, aggressive. It is the remnant of the animal in us. How are we to be free of the violence and the aggressiveness? Obviously we cannot be free merely by saying that we must not be violent. That doesn't lead us anywhere because we have merely stated intellectually that we must not be; we are in a constant state of conflict, struggling not to be violent. The very struggle not to be violent is violence. We are not disciplined; we are not orderly, deeply within ourselves; and we discipline ourselves from morning till night. At least many ugly so-called saints do. All saints are ugly. They have forced themselves constantly to discipline, to conform to a pattern, to a pattern which they have established for themselves, or which has been established by another, and they try to beat the record. They are trying all the time, disciplining themselves, and that very act of conformity, discipline, forcing, is violence, from which they are trying to escape. They are not free from violence.
How am I, a human being with the relics of the animal, violent, aggressive, brutal, defending – how am I to be totally free from all violence? If I make an effort not to be violent, I am still violent. If I make any kind of effort to be nonviolent, the very effort to be nonviolent is part of violence. Then what am I to do? I must first see that the entity making effort to be nonviolent is in itself violence. Therefore the entity can do nothing. This is rather subtle and difficult to understand. Perhaps I understand it verbally, intellectually, but to understand it factually is something entirely different.
I realize that the whole of me is violence, not part of me, but the whole content of me, because I have been trained to make effort, to overcome, to defend, to be aggressive. The whole content of me is violence. The whole of me is violence. What can I do? Any movement towards nonviolence is still violence. Any movement on the part of the observer to be nonviolent is still part of violence because the observer is the observed. If this is really clear, that the observer is the observed, then all action on the part of the observer ceases, and when the activity on the part of the observer ceases, there is a totally different activity.
Comment:One cannot stop the activity.
Krishnamurti: Sir, please do listen to this. We'll take time. We'll go into it slowly; don't be impatient. You look at a tree. What actually takes place? There are vibrations from the sight of it as the eyes look at the tree, and immediately the knowledge of that tree comes into being. You say, « That's a pine; I like it, » or « I don't like it; it gives me hay fever, and I must get away from it. » You look at that tree with all the background, with all your knowledge, with all your thoughts. You can't stop the thoughts, the knowledge, all the things that arise as a reaction when you look at the tree. What are you looking at? You are not looking at the tree, but at the background which is looking at the tree. Now, don't bother about the tree, but observe the background. How do you look at the background? Do you condemn it? Do you say, « It is preventing me from looking at the tree, and therefore I must stop it; I must break through »? How do you look at it? Do you look at it as someone outside the background? Do you look at it as the observer and the observed, or do you look only at the background, without the observer? And if there is no observer, is there a background?
The tree has no importance whatsoever. What has importance is how you look, what your background is, and how you look at your background. Therefore self-knowledge is of the highest importance. Without knowing all the reactions, all the background, the consciousness, the demands, the fears, the whole of that which makes up the « you », without knowing that, it is absolutely useless to try to look at the tree without the observer. What you are anxious about is to see the tree, to try to identify yourself with the tree and to feel something most extraordinary. If you want to feel something most extraordinary, then you should take LSD, lysergic acid. It gives you a heightened sensitivity for the time being, and then there is no division between you and the tree. Not that you are the tree, but there is no division, no time, no interval; there is a tremendous feeling that the whole of the universe is you, and you are not separate from the universe. Not that I have taken LSD!
You must understand the nature of yourself, your tendencies, your idiosyncrasies, your prejudices, the structure of your relationship with another, the anatomy of fear in which you are caught, the urge to fulfill, the urge to be someone with all its frustrations, the pursuit of pleasure, sexually and in so many other different directions. If the mind is not aware of all that, of the conscious as well as the unconscious, then the interval between nature and yourself can never be transcended.
It is very important to find out how you look at yourself and who the entity is that looks. Is the observer that looks at himself different from the thing he observes? Obviously not! The thinker who looks or the center, the evaluator, the judge who looks at himself is manufactured, put together by thought, and therefore is the result of thinking. There is no difference between the thinker and the thought; they are one. When you realize that, totally, not partially, then all the content of the unconscious comes out, easily, because there is no defense, no condemnation, no judgment. It is a movement in which all the background flows and moves, finishes. When anything is in constant movement, there is no resting place, and therefore there is no residue.
That is the real problem for any intelligent, serious man. Seeing the world, seeing humanity, the « me », and the necessity of a total, radical revolution, how is it possible to bring it about? It can only be brought about when the observer no longer makes an effort to change, because he himself is part of what he tries to change. Therefore all action on the part of the observer ceases totally, and in this total inaction there is a quite different action. There is nothing mysterious or mystical about all this. It is a simple fact. I begin not at the extreme end of the problem, which is the cessation of the observer; I begin with simple things. Can I look at a flower by the wayside or in my room without all the thoughts arising, the thought that says, « It is a rose; I like the smell of it, the perfume, » and so on and on and on? Can I just observe without the observer? If you have not done this, do it, at the lowest, most simple level. It isn't really the lowest level; if you know how to do that, you have done everything. Then you can look at yourself without the observer; then you can look without the observer at your wife, at your husband, at all the demands of society, at your boss in the office. You will see that your relationships undergo a total change because there is no defense, no fear.
It is one of the easiest things in life to listen to someone telling you something, to accumulate knowledge, reading books on psychology, on the latest scientific discoveries. You accumulate all that, store it up, and try to utilize it in your daily life, which means that you are trying to conform, to imitate what has been, the past. You are always living in the past. The past is your existence. The existentialists come along and tell you, « You must live in the present. » What does it mean, the present? Have you ever tried to live in the present, to deny the past, deny the future, and live completely in the present? How can you deny the past? You cannot scrub it away! The past is of time: your memories, your experiences, your conditioning, your tendencies, your urges, your animalistic instincts, intuitions, demands, pursuits – all that is the past. The whole of the consciousness is the past, the whole of it. And to say, « I will deny all that and try to live in the present » has no meaning; but if you understand the process of time, which is the past, all the conditioning, all the background which flows through the present and forms the future – if you understand this whole movement of time, then when there is no observer as one who says, « I must be » or « I must not be, » then only is it possible to live not in the past, not in the future, not in the « now. » Then you are living in a totally different dimension which has no relationship to time.
If you listen as most of you have listened to the speaker for forty years or more, you are still caught in the web of time. If you were to listen to your own processes, to your own thinking, to your own ideas, to your motives, to your fears, and understood them totally, not fragmentarily, then you and the speaker could proceed at a level that is not always this petty, little affair.
Questioner: All my life is a mechanical process. Is not the seeing of that also a part of consciousness?
Krishnamurti: Of course it is, when there is the observer.
Questioner: What is the relationship of the brain which accumulates daily facts and the new brain?
Krishnamurti: How will I find this out? I need the daily facts; I need to have technological knowledge; I need to have memory to go to my house; I need the memory which recognizes my wife, my husband, my house, my job. What relationship is all that to something which is not mere knowledge, mere accumulation of the past? What relationship has that which is made up of time, which is the result of time, to something which is not of time? There is no relationship. How can there be? How can a routine, mechanical process have a relationship with something which is not mechanical or routine at all? There must be a mechanical functioning and at the same time a totally different functioning which is not of time.
Let us go into this. It requires an understanding of time. The time process is mechanical: yesterday, today, tomorrow; what I was, what I am, what I shall be. Accumulation, memory, identification, the various quarrels, the desire to fulfill – all that is a mechanical process, a time process. That must go on if I am to live in this world at all and function normally. I only know that; I only function in that; I do not know the other which is a dimension in which time is not. People have talked about it; people have said they have experienced it; they have described it; they have done all kinds of things about that and have tried to bring that into this. There must be an understanding of the whole process of time, time by the psyche as well as by the watch. I must understand time psychologically as well as time by the watch.
Let me put it differently. Reality cannot be earned. One cannot say, « I will do this, » or « I will do that, » or « I will try to observe the observer and perhaps experience something. » That state cannot be gained, earned, bought. All that one has to do is to observe the activity of oneself, become aware of one's own activity without any choice, see it actually as it is.
Questioner: Is progress in this direction possible without suffering?
Krishnamurti: Sir, in this direction there is no progress at all. We cannot progress towards it. Progress means gradual growth, gradually growing day after day, suffering painfully and eventually achieving something beyond thought. That is how we have been trained; that is how we have functioned, but towards that there is no progress. Either it is, or it is not.
Sirs, will you please consider until we meet again one simple fact? Observe yourself without criticizing, without condemning, without defending. Just observe what is taking place. Just listen to that train going by without irritation, without feeling that it is interfering, that it is a nuisance, and so on. Just listen; watch all the activities of your life, the way you talk, the way you eat, the way you walk. Don't correct the walk; don't correct the way you eat. Just watch, so that by that watching you become astonishingly sensitive. This requires great sensitivity and therefore great intelligence, not conclusions, not experience. To be intelligent you need tremendous sensitivity. There can be sensitivity only when the body is also sensitive – the way you observe, see, hear. Out of that minute observation, without any choice, without any evaluation, justification, comparison, condemnation, you will see that your body becomes extraordinarily alert, sensitive. The whole of your brain, the whole of your mind, the whole of your entity becomes sensitive. Then you can proceed to inquire, but merely to inquire theoretically what is or what is not is of very little importance.
Second Public Talk in Saanen
Tuesday, July 12, 1966
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