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The Mirror of Relationship

Ommen Camp, Holland
5th Public Talk 1st August, 1936

Our minds have become the battleground of ideals, fears and illusions, desires and denials, hopes and frustrations, regimentation and spontaneity. Can we bring the conflict in the mind to an end without creating at the same time emptiness, aridity and frustration? You can suppress conflict for a while by forcing the mind into a certain mould, but this merely creates illusions and maladjustments in life. Most of us try to subjugate our desires, or give them full freedom, but conflict is not thereby ended.

Is there a way by which we can end conflict and sorrow without destroying creative intelligence and integral completeness? Can there ever be choiceless living, that is, can there ever be action without denial or aggressive want? Can there be action which is spontaneous and thus free of the conflict of opposites? Can there ever be a life of fullness without the withering process of discipline, denial, fear and frustration? Is such a state of deep comprehension ever possible? I wonder how many of you are vitally conscious of this conflict in the battlefield of the mind.

A life of fullness, a life of choiceless action, a life free from the withering process of subjugation and substitution, is possible. How is this state to be realized? Systems and methods cannot produce this happy state of mind. This condition of choiceless life must come about naturally, spontaneously; it cannot be sought after. It is not to be understood or realized or conquered through a discipline, through a system. One can condition the mind through training, discipline, and compulsion, but such conditioning cannot nourish thought or awaken deep intelligence. Such a trained mind is as the soil that is barren.

Few of us are deeply conscious of conflict, with its suffering, its subtle, evasive uncertainties, and at the same time of that struggle for certainties on which the mind relies for its security and comfort. The deep and vital consciousness of conflict is as the tilling of the soil. There must only be the process of tilling the soil, there must only be the choiceless awareness of conflict. Now, when there is conflict there is either the desire to escape from it or there is the desire to utilize it for future achievement. But there must be only the deep consciousness of suffering, of conflict, which is but the tilling of the soil, and the mind must not allow itself to search for remedies, substitutions and escapes. There must be the tilling of the soil, the upheaval, the revolution of the mind, and yet, at the same time, there must be stillness, silent perception, without denial, acceptance or resignation. Mind, when it is in conflict, immediately seeks a remedy, and thereby creates artificially an escape for itself, thus hindering the full comprehension of suffering; but through spontaneous discernment alone can there be that direct comprehension, which brings about choiceless adjustment to life. Where there is imitation there must also be fear, and action which is imitative is unintelligent. The discipline of compulsion, of fear, leads to the slow withering of the mind, and there cannot be that choiceless and spontaneous relationship to environment, which alone is right action.

There can be right action only when there is the comprehension of the whole process of the "I", which is but the process of ignorance. As long as there is not the discernment of the process of consciousness, of this vast complex of ignorance, memories, wants, tendencies, conflicts, the mere imitation of conduct cannot possibly bring about intelligent and harmonious order in the world, and happiness to man. Such imitation may produce a superficial order of economic industrialism, but it cannot create intelligence. To comprehend the full significance of the "I" process, intelligent persistency is essential, not casual awareness at odd moments.

Action born of want or fear can only intensify ignorance and increase limitation and thereby maintain the "I" process. Through the voluntary cessation of want and fear, intelligence is awakened. The awakening of intelligence is the beginning of true action. This intelligence alone can bring about spontaneous adjustment in life without the compulsion of choice.

Question: How can I awaken intelligence?

Krishnamurti: Where there is no intelligence, there must be suffering. Intelligence can be awakened through choiceless perception of the mind that it is creating for itself escapes by dividing itself into different parts, into different wants. If the mind is aware of these illusory divisions with their values, then there is the awakening of intelligence. The process of choice is merely one want overcoming another, one illusion dispelling another, one set of values substituting itself for another. This duality in consciousness perpetuates conflict and sorrow, and conflict is the lack of integral action.

Question: I realize that the liberation of the individual is essential, but how can lasting social order be established without mass effort? Krishnamurti: In all my talks I have been pointing out the utter necessity of individual comprehension. Social order is the outcome of individual comprehension. The emphasis on individual liberation is not an encouragement to selfish activities or narrow self-expression. Only by liberating thought from the limitations which now cripple the mind, can intelligence be awakened, and intelligence alone can bring about true social order. To be responsible for one's actions and to be integral in one's thought implies completeness of being, especially in a world where mass movement seems to be of the greatest importance. It is comparatively easy to create mass enthusiasm for concerted action, but it is very difficult to comprehend oneself and to act rightly. Out of deep comprehension alone can there be co-operation and lasting social order.

These talks are not meant to induce mass effort or concerted action; they can only help to create individual comprehension and effort and so free the individual from the prison of self-created limitation. The awakening of integral comprehension of oneself, which is choiceless discernment, will alone bring about true social order, in a world free of exploitation and hatred.

Question: Does art belong to the world of illusion or to reality? What relation has art to life?

Krishnamurti: Art divorced from life has no reality. Art should not be a superficial expression of man's dual life, but it should be an integral expression of indivisible man. At the present time, art expresses but one aspect of man and so merely emphasizes division. Thus there is a strange separation between actual life and art. When art is the true integral expression of man, his life and activities, then it is of reality, then it has direct relationship with us and our environment.

Question: When faced with the agony of the death of someone we love greatly, it is difficult to maintain that life is the most essential thing, and that the consideration of the hereafter is futile. On the other hand, one wonders whether life is, after all, anything more than the physiological and biological processes conditioned by heredity and environment, as some scientists maintain. In this confusion what is one to do? How should one think and act to know what is true? Krishnamurti: As the questioner himself points out, some scientists maintain that heredity explains man's individual tendencies and peculiarities, and others assert that he is the result of environment, merely a social entity. From these confusing assertions, what are we to choose? What is man? How can we understand the significance of death and the deep agony that comes with it? By merely accepting the various assertions, can we solve the sorrow and the mystery of death? Are we capable of choosing, among these explanations, the one that is true? Is it a matter of choice?

What is chosen cannot be true. In opposites, the real cannot be found, for opposites are merely the interplay of reactions. If what is true is not to be found in opposites and that which is chosen does not lead to the comprehension of truth, then what is one to do? You must comprehend for yourself the process of your own being, and not merely accept the investigation of scientists or the assertions of religions. In fully discerning the process of your own being, you will be able to comprehend suffering and the agony of loneliness that comes with the shadow of death. Until you perceive the process of yourself, profoundly, the consideration of the hereafter, the theory of reincarnation, the explanations of the spiritists, must remain superficial, giving temporary consolation which only prevents the awakening of intelligence. Discernment is essential for the comprehension of the "I" process. Through discernment alone can be solved the many problems which the "I" process is ever creating for itself.

You try to get rid of suffering by explanations, drugs, drink, amusement, or resignation, and yet suffering continues. If you would bring sorrow to an end you must understand the process of division in consciousness which creates conflict and makes the mind a battlefield of many wants. Through choiceless discernment, there is awakened that creative intuition, intelligence, which alone can free the mind-heart from the many subtle processes of ignorance, want and fear.

The Mirror of Relationship

Ommen Camp, Holland
5th Public Talk 1st August, 1936

Jiddu Krishnamurti. The Mirror of Relationship. The collected works of J.Krishnamurti, 1936..1944.


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