The Mirror of Relationship
Ommen Camp, Holland
3rd Public Talk 28th July, 1936
How is one to awaken that intelligence, that creative intuition which comprehends the significance of reality, without the process of analysis and logic? By intuition I do not mean wish-fulfilment, which it is for most people. If morality, which is relationship, is based upon intelligence and intuition, then there is richness, fullness and an abiding beauty in life. But if we base our conduct and relationship on industrial and biological necessities, then action must inevitably make our life shallow, uncertain and sorrowful. We have the possibility of this intelligence or intuition, but how can it be awakened? What is it that we must do or not do, to awaken this intelligence?
All craving with its fears must cease before there can be this creative intuition. The cessation of want is not the result of denial, nor through careful analysis can want be rationalized away. The freedom from want, from its fears and illusions, comes through persistent and silent perception, without the deliberate choice of volition. By this deep observation you will perceive how want engenders fear and illusion, and breaks up consciousness into the past, present and future, into the higher and the lower, into accumulated memories and those to be acquired. So ignorance, with its wants, prejudices and fear, is creating duality in consciousness, and from this duality arise the many problems of control and conflict. From this duality there arises the process of self-discipline through the authority of ideal and memory, which controls and limits action and thus brings about frustration. This limitation of action creates, naturally, further limitations, and so brings about friction and suffering. Thus the wheel of ignorance, fear, prejudice, is set going and prevents complete adjustment to life. Where there is want, there must also be accumulative memories, self-protective calculations, which give to consciousness continuity and identification.
This consciousness with its division and conflict creates for itself limitation through its own volitional activities and so maintains its own individuality. It is imprisoned in its own creation, in its own environment, of dark confusion, incessant struggle and frustration. If you silently observe without the interference of choice you will discern this process of ignorance and fear. When the mind perceives that it is engendering its own ignorance and so its own fear, then there is the beginning of choiceless awareness. Through silent observation and deep discernment in which there is no choice and so no conflict, there comes the cessation of ignorance. It cannot be brought about through denial or through mere rationalization. This is the true process of awakening intelligence and intuition.
Limited consciousness is the conflict of innumerable wants. Become aware of this conflict, this ceaseless battle of division, but do not try to dominate one part of consciousness with its wants, by the other. When the mind identifies itself with want or with opposites, there is conflict; then the mind tries to escape through illusion and false values and thus merely intensifies the whole process of want. With deep discernment there comes the cessation of want, the awakening of intelligence, of creative intuition. That intelligence is reality itself.
Question: I have lost all enthusiasm, all urge in life, which at one time I remember I had. Now, life to me is colourless, a hopeless void, a burden that somehow I must bear. Could you indicate the possible causes which might have brought about this condition, and explain how I might break through this hard shell in which I seem to be?
Krishnamurti: Through false values we force ourselves into certain grooves of action, and adjust our thoughts and feelings to certain conditions. So, through our own conditioning we lose our enthusiasm, and consequently life becomes dull and burdensome. To break through this shell of hopelessness we must be conscious of our limited thought and action. When we have become aware of this state, and instead of battling against this hopeless void we deeply consider the causes of frustration, then, without any conflict of antitheses there takes place that vital change which is fulfilment, the rich comprehension of life. If one has merely disciplined the mind without understanding the process of consciousness, or subjugated mental activities and conduct to the authority of an ideal without discerning the stupidity of authority, then life becomes arid, shallow and vain.
Unless one fully comprehends the process of consciousness, illusion may momentarily give the necessary impetus to action, but such action must inevitably lead to misery and frustration. The conflict between illusions, though seemingly purposeful and satisfying, must inevitably lead to confusion and sorrow. We have to become aware of the many fears and illusions, and when mind frees itself from them, there is the rich plenitude of life.
When you begin to realize the utter futility of want itself, there will be the awakening of that intelligence which brings about right relation- ship with environment. Then only can there be richness and beauty of life.
Question: It may sound impertinent to say it, but it is easy for you to advise others to experiment with intelligent action; you will never lack bread. Of what use is your advice to the vast numbers of men and women in the world for whom intelligent action will only mean more hunger?
Krishnamurti: Why do you lay so much emphasis on bread? Bread is essential, but by merely laying emphasis on bread you are going to deprive man of it. By laying emphasis on any one need of man, who is indivisible, you are going to deprive him of that very thing which you emphasize. It is fear that leads to unintelligent action and consequently to suffering, and as individuals are held in this fear I am trying to awaken in them the perception of their self-created barrier of ignorance and prejudice. Because each individual is seeking self-security in many forms, there can be no intelligent co-operation with his environment, and there ensue many problems which cannot be superficially solved. If each one of us were fearless, not craving security in any form whatsoever, whether here or in the hereafter, then in this fearless state intelligence could function and bring about order and happiness. By merely considering one part, an artificial division of man who is indivisible, we cannot comprehend the whole of him, and it is only through the comprehension of the whole that the part can be understood. There has always been this problem, whether emphasis should be laid on bread, environment, or on mind and heart. In the past, too, this division has existed, this dualism in man of the soul and the body, each division insisting on its own set of values and thus creating much confusion and misery. And we continue to perpetuate, perhaps in new forms, this artificial and false division of man. One group considers only the importance of bread, and another lays emphasis on the soul. This division of man is utterly false and it must ever lead to unintelligent action. Intelligent action is the outcome of understanding man as a complete being.
Question: My sorrows have brought it home to me that I must no longer seek comfort of any kind. I feel convinced that another cannot heal the ache which is in me. And yet, since my sorrow continues, is there something wrong in the way I have taken my suffering? Krishnamurti: You say you no longer seek comfort, but surely has not that search been brought to an end deliberately, through decision, resolve? It is not the spontaneous result of comprehension. It is merely the outcome of a decision not to seek comfort because the search for comfort has brought you disappointment. So you say to yourself: I must no longer seek comfort. When a man who has been deeply hurt through attachment begins to cultivate detachment, praising it as a noble quality, what he is really doing is protecting himself from further hurt - and this process he calls detachment. So in the same way, fear of suffering has made you see that comfort, dependence, involves further suffering, and so you say to yourself: I must not seek comfort, I must be self-reliant. Yet want with its many subtle forms of fear continues.
Want creates duality in thought, and when one want creates suffering the mind seeks the opposite of that want. Whether it is a craving for comfort or the denial of comfort, it is the same, it is still want. So the mind maintains the conflict of opposites. When you begin to suffer, do not say, I must get rid of this or that want or cause, but silently observe, without denial or acceptance, and out of this choiceless awareness, want with its fears and illusions begins to yield place to intelligence. This intelligence is life itself and is not conditioned by the compulsion of want.
Question: It is said that occult initiations, such as those described by Theosophy and other ancient rites and mysteries, form the various stages of life's spiritual journey. Is this so? Do you remember any sudden change in consciousness in yourself?
Krishnamurti: Consciousness is undergoing constant change within its own restrictions and limitations. Within its own circle it is fluctuating, expanding and contracting, and this expanding is called by some, spiritual advancement. But it is still within the confines of its own limitation, and this expanding is not a change of consciousness but only a change in consciousness. This change of consciousness is not the outcome of mysterious rites, or initiations. He who discerns the futility of the change in consciousness, alone can bring about the change of consciousness. To discern and to change fundamentally needs persistent awareness. What is important is whether we can individually bring about this vital change. Let us concern ourselves not with the immediacy of change but only with the fundamental change of consciousness, and for this the "I" process with its ignorance, tendencies, wants, fears, must of itself come to an end.
The Mirror of Relationship
Ommen Camp, Holland
3rd Public Talk 28th July, 1936
Jiddu Krishnamurti. The Mirror of Relationship. The collected works of J.Krishnamurti, 1936..1944.