The Observer is the Observed
Ojai, California. 8th Public Talk 1945
The problem of relationship is not easily comprehended, it requires patience and pliability of mind-heart; mere adjustment or conformity to a system of conduct does not bring about the understanding of relationship; such adjustment and conformity cloud and intensify the struggle. If we would deeply comprehend relationship it must be approached afresh each day, without the scars or memories of yesterday's experiences. These conflicts in relationship build a wall of continuous resistance and instead of bringing wider and deeper unity create insurmountable differences and disunity.
As you would read an interesting book without skipping a page, so relationship must be studied and understood; the solution to the problem of relationship is not to be found outside of it but in it; the answer is not at the end of the book but is to be found in the manner of our approach to relationship. How you read the book of relationship is of far greater importance than the answer, or the overcoming of the struggle that exists in it. It must be approached every day anew without the burden of yesterday; it is this liberation from yesterday, from time, that brings creative understanding.
To be is to be related; there is no such thing as isolated being. Relationship is a conflict within and without; the inward conflict extended becomes world conflict. You and the world are not separate; your problem is the world's problem; you bear the world in you; without you it is not. There is no isolation and there is no object that is not related. This conflict must be understood not as a problem of the part but of the whole.
You are aware, are you not, of conflict in relationship, of the constant struggle between you and another, between you and the world? Why is there conflict in relationship? Does it not arise because of the interaction of dependency and conformity, of domination and possessiveness? We conform, we depend, we possess because of inward insufficiency which gives rise to fear. Do we not know this fear in intimate, close relationship? Relationship is a tension, and deep awareness is necessary to understand it.
Why do we crave to possess or dominate? Is it not because of the fear of insufficiency? Being fearful we long to be secure; emotionally and mentally we desire to be safe and well anchored in things, n people, in ideas. Inwardly we crave security which express outwardly in dependency, conformity, possessiveness and so on. It is the burning and seemingly ceaseless void that drives us to find a refuge, a hope, in relationship, and we confuse the urge to avoid our anguish of loneliness with love, duty, responsibility.
But what is the true significance of relationship? Is it not a process of self-revelation? Is not relationship a mirror in which, if we are aware, we can observe without distortion our private thoughts and motives, our inward state? In relationship the subtle process of the self, of the ego, is revealed and through choiceless awareness alone can inward insufficiency be transcended. Conflict ceases in the aloneness of Reality. This transcending is love. Love has no motive; it is its own eternity.
Questioner: How can I become integrated?
Krishnamurti: What do we mean by integration? Does it not mean to be made whole, to be without conflict and sorrow?
Most of us try to be integrated within the superficial layers of our consciousness; we try to integrate ourselves so as to function normally within the pattern of society; we desire to fit into an environment which we accept as being normal; but we do not question the significance or the value of the social structure about us. Conformity to a pattern is considered integration; education and organized religion aid us towards this conformity.
Has not integration a deeper significance than mere adjustment to society and its patterns? Is conformity integration? Is not integration pure being and not just the satisfaction of our desire to be made whole, to become normal? The motive behind the urge for integration is surely of great significance.
The urge for integration may arise from ambition, from the desire for power, from the fear of insufficiency and so on. Coordination is necessary to achieve a result, but consider what is involved in the idea of attainment of desire; self-assertiveness, envy, enmity, the pettiness of success, strife and pain. Some people suppress the craving for worldly success but indulge in the craving to become virtuous, to be a Master, to attain spiritual glory, but the craving to become ever leads to conflict, confusion and antagonism. This again is not true integration. True integration comes when there is awareness and so understanding through all layers of consciousness. Our superficial consciousness is the result of education, of influence and only when thought transcends its own self-created limitation can there be true integration. The many opposing and contradictory parts of our consciousness can be integrated only when the creator of these divisions ceases to be; within the pattern of the self there can be only conflict, there can never be integration, completeness.
Integration comes with the freedom from craving. It is not an end in itself but if you seek self-knowledge, ever deeply, then integration becomes the way to Reality.
Questioner: You may be wise about some things but why are you, as it has been represented to me, against organization? Would you please explain why you consider it a hindrance in our search for Reality? Krishnamurti: Why do we organize? Is it not for efficiency? We organize our existence in order to live; we can organize our thought-feeling so as to make it efficient but efficient for what? For killing, oppressing, gaining power?
If certain ideas, beliefs, doctrines appeal to you, you join with others to spread effectively what you believe and for this you create an organization. But is the understanding of Reality the result of propaganda, organized belief, enforced or subtle conformity? Is Reality discovered through the doctrines of churches, cults or sects? Is Reality to be found through compulsion, through imitation?
We think, do we not, that through conformity, through formulation of beliefs we shall know the Real? Must not thought-feeling transcend all conditioning to discover the Real? Thought-feeling now experiences that in which it is educated, in which it believes, but such experience is limited and narrow; such a mind cannot experience the Real. Conformity can be organized efficiently; adherence to a formula, to a doctrine can be effectively manipulated but will that lead to Reality? Does not Reality come into being when there is complete liberation from all authority, from all compulsion and imitation? This state of being we experience only when thought is utterly still. Only in freedom is there the experience of the Real.
Regimentation of thought-feeling in the name of religion, peace and freedom is made attractive and acceptable; your tendency is to accept authority; you desire to be led; you look to others to direct your conduct. The radio, movies, newspapers, governments, churches are moulding your thought and feeling, and because you desire to conform their task becomes easy. Your craving for security creates fear and it is fear that yields to the oppression of authority; fear forces you not how to think but what to think. Only in freedom from fear is there the discovery of the Real.
Group effort, without conforming to authority, could be very significant through the revelation of inward individual motives and purposes; the group could mirror the activities of the self and through relationship awaken self-awareness. But if the group is used for self-assertiveness through propaganda or as a means of escape then it can become a hindrance to the discovery of Truth.
Creativeness comes into being when thought-feeling is not held within any pattern, within any formulation. The self is the result of conformity, of conditioning, of accumulated memory; so the self is never free to discover; it can only expand in its own conditioning and organize itself to be efficient and subtle in its assertiveness, pursuits and demands, but it can never be free. Only when the self ceases to become is there the Real. To be free to discover, the memory of yesterday must cease; it is the burden of the past that gives continuity and continuity is conformity. Do not conform in order to be free for this does not bring freedom and in freedom alone is there creative being. Freedom cannot be organized and when it is it ceases to be freedom. We try to enclose the living Truth in gratifying patterns of thought-feeling and thereby destroy it.
Questioner: I would like to ask you if the Masters are not a great source of inspiration to us. As life is unequal there must be Master and pupil, surely?
Krishnamurti: Is not this inequality the result of ignorance? Does not this division of man into the high and low deny the Real? Is not this domination and submission of man the outcome of ignorance and thoughtlessness?
Our social structure is built upon division and difference of levels of the clerk and the executive, the general and the soldier, the bishop and the priest, the one who knows and the one who does not know. This division is based on sensate value, which sets man against man. This social pattern breeds endless opposition and antagonism and there can be an end to conflict within this pattern only when thought-feeling transcends greed, ill will and ignorance.
With our acquisitive and competitive mentality we try to grasp Reality and build a ladder for achievement; we create the high and the low, the Master and the pupil. We think of Reality as an end to be achieved, as a reward for righteousness; we think it is to be attained through time, and so maintain the constant division between Master and pupil, the successful and the ignorant.
The wise, the compassionate do not think of man in terms of division; the foolish are caught up in the social and religious division of man. Those who are conscious of this division and know it to be false and stupid overcome it but yet they persist in division with regard to those they call Masters. If you perceive the misery in this sensate world caused by the division of man into the high and the low, why then are you not aware of it on all planes of existence? In the sensate world the division of man against man is the result of greed and ignorance and it is also greed and ignorance that create the follower and the leader, the Master and the pupil, the liberated and the unenlightened.
The questioner asks if a Master or a saint is not a source of inspiration. When you draw inspiration from another it is only a distraction, hence uncreative and illusory. Inspiration is sought in many ways but invariably it breeds dependence and fear. Fear prevents understanding, it puts an end to communion, it is a living death.
Is not the creative being of Reality the norm? You look to others for hope and guidance because you are empty and poor; you turn to books, to pictures, to teachers, to gurus, to saviours to inspire and strengthen you, you are ever in hunger, ever seeking but never finding. In the creative being of Reality alone is there the cessation of conflict and sorrow. But separation and inequality will be maintained as long as there is a becoming; as long as the pupil craves to become a Master. This craving to become is born of ignorance for the present is the Eternal. Only in the aloneness of Reality is there completeness; in that flame of creative being there is no other but the One.
Through right means only can Reality be discovered for the means is the end; the means and the end are inseparable; through self-awareness and self-knowledge there is the flame of Reality. It does not lie through another but through your own awakened thought. None can lead you to it; none can deliver you from your own sorrow. The authority of another is blinding; only in utter freedom is the Supreme to be found. Let us live in time timelessly.
Questioner: Do you believe in progress?
Krishnamurti: There is the movement of so-called progression, is there not, from the simple to the complex? There is the process of constant adjustment to environment which brings about modification or change, taking on new forms. There is constant interaction between the outer and the inner, each aiding in modifying and transforming the other. This does not demand belief; we can observe society becoming more and more complex, more and more efficiently organized to survive, to exploit, to oppress and to kill. Existence which was simple and primitive has become very complex, highly organized and civilized. We have "progressed; we have radios, movies, quick means of transportation and all the rest of it. We can kill, instead of a few, thousands upon thousands in a moment; we can wipe out, as the phrase goes, whole cities and their people in a few burning seconds. We are well aware of all this and some call it progress; bigger and better houses, more luxury,more amusements, more distractions. Can this be considered progress? Is the expansion of sensate desire progress? Or does progress lie in compassion?
We mean by progress also, do we not, the constant expanding of desire, of the self? Now in this process of expansion and becoming can there ever be an end to conflict and sorrow? If not, what is the purpose of becoming? If it is for the continuation of struggle and pain, of what value is progress, the evolution of desire, the expansion of the self? If in the expansion of desire there is the cessation of sorrow then becoming could have significance, but is it not the very nature of craving to create and continue conflict and sorrow?
The self, the I, this bundle of memories, is the result of the past, the product of time, and will this self, however much it may evolve, experience the Timeless? Can the I, becoming greater, nobler through time, experience the Real?
Can the I, the accumulated memory, know freedom? Can the self which is craving, and so the cause of ignorance and conflict, know enlightenment? Only in freedom can there be enlightenment, not in the bondage and pain of craving. As long as the I thinks of itself as gaining and losing, becoming and not becoming, thought is time-bound. Thought held in the bondage of yesterday, of time, can never experience the Timeless.
We think in terms of yesterday, today and tomorrow; I was, I am and I will become. We think-feel in terms of accumulation; we are constantly creating and maintaining the idea of time, of continual becoming. Is not being wholly different from becoming? We can only be when we understand the process and significance of becoming. If we would deeply understand we must be silent, must we not? The very greatness of a problem calls for silence as does beauty. But, you will be asking, how am I to become silent, how am I to stop this incessant chattering of the mind? There is no becoming silent; there is or there is not silence. If you are aware of the immensity of being then there is silence; its very intensity brings tranquillity.
Character can be modified, changed, made harmonious, but character is not Reality. Thought must transcend itself to comprehend the Timeless. When we think of progress, growth, are we not thinking-feeling within the pattern of time? There is a becoming, modifying or changing in the horizontal process; this becoming knows pain and sorrow but will this lead to Reality? It cannot for becoming is ever time-binding. It is only when thought frees itself from becoming, liberates itself from the past through diligent self-awareness, is utterly tranquil, that there is the Timeless.
This tranquillity of understanding is not produced by an act of will for will is still a part of becoming, of craving. Mind-heart can be tranquil only when the storm and the conflict of craving have ceased. As a lake is calm when the winds stop, so the mind is tranquil in wisdom when it understands and transcends its own craving and distraction. This craving is to be understood as it is disclosed in every day thought-feeling-action; through constant self-awareness are the ways of craving, self-becoming, understood and transcended. Do not depend on time but be arduous in the search of self-knowledge.
Questioner: In answering the question of how to solve a psychological problem lastingly, you spoke about the three consecutive phases in the process of solving such a problem, the first one being the consideration of its cause and effect; secondly, the understanding of that particular problem as part of the dualistic conflict; and then the discovery that the thinker and the thought are one. It seems to me that the first and second steps are comparatively easy, while the third level cannot be attained in a similar simple, logical progression. Krishnamurti: I wonder if you have observed for yourself the three phases I suggested in trying to solve a psychological problem? Most of us can be aware of the cause and effect of a problem and also be aware of its dualistic conflict, but the questioner feels that the last step, the discovery that the thinker and the thought are one, is not so easy nor can it be understood logically. These three states or steps I suggested only for the convenience of verbal communication; they flow from one to the other; they are not fixed within a framework of different levels. It is really important to understand they are not different stages, one superior to the other; they hang on the same thread of understanding. There is an interrelationship between cause and effect and the dualistic conflict and the discovery that the thinker and his thought are one.
Cause and effect are inseparable; in the cause is the effect. To be aware of the cause-effect of a problem needs certain swift pliability of mind-heart for the cause-effect is constantly being modified, undergoing continual change. What once was cause-effect may have become modified now and to be aware of this modification or change is surely necessary for true understanding. To follow the ever changing cause-effect is strenuous for the mind clings and takes shelter in what was the cause-effect; it holds to conclusions and so conditions itself to the past. There must be an awareness of this cause-effect conditioning; it is not static but the mind is when it holds fast to a cause-effect that is immediately past. Karma is this bondage to cause-effect. As thought itself is the result of my causeseffects it must extricate itself from its own bondages. The problem of cause-effect is not to be superficially observed and passed by. It is the continuous chain of conditioning memory that must be observed and understood; to be aware of this chain being created and to follow it though all the layers of consciousness is arduous; yet it must be deeply searched out and understood.
So long as the thinker is concerned with his thought there must be dualism; as long as he struggles with his thoughts dualistic conflict will continue. Is there a solution for a problem in the conflict of opposites? Is not the maker of the problem more important than the problem itself? Thought can go above and beyond its dualistic conflict only when the thinker is not separate from his thought. If the thinker is acting upon his thought he will maintain himself apart and so ever be the cause of opposing conflict. In the conflict of dualism there is no answer to any problem for in that state the thinker is ever separate from his thought. Craving remains and yet the object of craving is constantly being changed; what is important is to understand craving itself, not the object of craving.
Is the thinker different from his thought? Are they not a joint phenomenon? Why does the thinker separate himself from his thought? Is it not for his own continuity? He is ever seeking security, permanency, and as thoughts are impermanent the thinker thinks of himself as the permanent. The thinker hides behind his thoughts and without transforming himself tries to change the frame of his thought. He conceals himself behind the activity of his thoughts to safeguard himself. He is ever the observer manipulating the observed, but he is the problem and not his thoughts. It is one of the subtle ways of the thinker to be troubled about his thoughts and thereby avoid his own transformation.
If the thinker separates his thought from himself and tries to modify it without radically transforming himself conflict and delusion inevitably will follow. There is no way out of this conflict and illusion save through the transformation of the thinker himself. This complete integration of the thinker with his thought is not on the verbal level but is a profound experience which comes only when cause-effect is understood and the thinker is no longer caught in dualistic opposition. Through self-knowledge and right meditation the integration of the thinker with his thought takes place and then only can the thinker go above and beyond himself. Then only the thinker ceases to be. In right meditation the concentrator is the concentration; as generally practised the thinker is the concentrator, concentrating upon something or becoming something. In right meditation the thinker is not separate from his thought. On rare occasions we experience this integration in which the thinker has wholly ceased; then only is there creation, eternal being. Till the thinker is silent he is the maker of problems, of conflict and sorrow.
The Observer is the Observed
Ojai, California. 8th Public Talk 1945
Jiddu Krishnamurti texts. The Observer Is the Observed. Contains reports of spontaneous discourses about life and reality, given at different times between 1945 and 1948.