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Choiceless Awareness

Bangalore 7th Public Talk 15th August, 1948

I think by understanding relationship we shall understand what we mean by independence. Life is a process of constant movement in relationship, and without understanding relationship we shall bring about confusion and struggle and fruitless effort. So, it is important to understand what we mean by relationship; because, out of relationship society is built, and there can be no isolation. There is no such thing as living in isolation. That which is isolated soon dies.

So, our problem is not what is independence, but what we mean by relationship. In understanding relationship, which is the conduct between human beings whether intimate or foreign, whether close or far away, we shall begin to understand the whole process of existence and the conflict between bondage and independence. So,we must very carefully examine what we mean by relationship. Is not relationship at present a process of isolation, and therefore a constant conflict? The relationship between you and another, between you and your wife, between you and society, is the product of this isolation. By isolation I mean that we are all the time seeking security, gratification and power. After all, each one of us in our relationship with another is seeking gratification; and where there is search for comfort, for security, whether it be a nation or an individual, there must be isolation, and that which is in isolation invites conflict. Any thing that resists is bound to produce conflict between itself and that which it is resisting; and since most of our relationship is a form of resistance we create a society which inevitably breeds isolation and hence conflict within and without that isolation. So, we must examine relationship as it actually works in our lives. After all, what I am - my actions, my thoughts, my feelings, my motives, my intentions - brings about that relationship between myself and another which we call society. There is no society without this relationship between two people; and before we can talk about independence, wave the flag, and all the rest of it, we have to understand relationship, which means we must examine ourselves in our relationship with another.

Now, if we examine our life, our relationship with another, we will see that it is a process of isolation. We are really not concerned with another; though we talk a great deal about it, actually we are not concerned. We are related to someone only as long as that relationship gratifies us, as long as it gives us a refuge, as long as it satisfies us. But the moment there is a disturbance in the relationship which produces discomfort in ourselves, we discard that relationship. In other words, there is relationship only as long as we are gratified. This may sound harsh, but if you really examine your life very closely, you will see it is a fact; and to avoid a fact is to live in ignorance, which can never produce right relationship. So, if we look into our lives and observe relationship, we see it is a process of building resistance against another, a wall over which we look and observe the other; but we always retain the wall and remain behind it, whether it be a psychological wall, a material wall, an economic wall, or a national wall. As long as we live in isolation, behind a wall, there is no relationship with another; and we live enclosed because it is much more gratifying, we think it is much more secure. The world is so disruptive, there is so much sorrow, so much pain, war, destruction, misery, that we want to escape and live within the walls of security of our own psychological being. So, relationship with most of us is actually a process of isolation, and obviously such relationship builds a society which is also isolating. That is exactly what is happening throughout the world: You remain in your isolation and stretch your hand over the wall, calling it nationalism, brotherhood or what you will; but actual, sovereign governments, armies, continue. That is, clinging to your own limitations, you think you can create world unity, world peace - which is impossible. As long as you have a frontier, whether national, economic, religious, or social, it is an obvious fact that there cannot be peace in the world.

Now, the process of isolation is a process of the search for power; and whether one is seeking power individually or for a racial or national group, there must be isolation, because the very desire for power, for position, is separatism. After all, that is what each one wants, is it not? He wants a powerful position in which he can dominate, whether at home, in the office, or in a bureaucratic regime. Each one is seeking power, and in seeking power he will establish a society which is based on power, military, industrial, economic, and so on - which again is obvi- ous. Is not the desire for power in its very nature isolating? I think it is very important to understand this; because, the man who wants a peaceful world, a world in which there are no wars, no appalling destruction, no catastrophic misery, on an immeasurable scale, must understand this fundamental question, must he not? As long as the individual seeks power, however much or however little, whether as a prime minister, as a governor, a lawyer, or merely as a husband or a wife in the home, that is, as long as you desire the sense of domination, the sense of compulsion, the sense of building power, influence,surely you are bound to create a society which is the result of an isolating process; because, power in its very nature is isolating, is separating. A man who is affectionate, who is kindly, has no sense of power, and therefore such a man is not bound to any nationality, to any flag. He has no flag. But the man who is seeking power in any form, whether derived from bureaucracy or from the self-projection which he calls God, is still caught in an isolating process. If you examine it very carefully, you will see that the desire for power in its very nature is a process of enclosure. Each one is seeking his own position, his own security, and as long as that motive exists, society must be built on an isolating process. Where there is the search for power, there is a process of isolation, and that which is isolated is bound to create conflict. That is exactly what is happening throughout the world: each group is seeking power and thereby isolating itself, and this is the process of nationalism, of patriotism, ultimately leading to war and destruction.

Now, without relationship, there is no possibility of existence in life; and as long as relationship is based on power, on domination, there must be the process of isolation, which inevitably invites conflict. There is no such thing as living in isolation - no country, no people, no individual, can live in isolation; yet because you are seeking power in so many different ways, you breed isolation. The nationalist is a curse because through his very nationalistic, patriotic spirit, he is creating a wall of isolation. He is so identified with his country that he builds a wall against another. And what happens, Sirs, when you build a wall against something? That something is constantly beating against your wall. When you resist something, the very resistance indicates that you are in conflict with the other. So nationalism. which is a process of isolation, which is the outcome of the search for power, cannot bring about peace in the world. The man who is a nationalist and talks of brotherhood is telling a lie, he is living in a state of contradiction.

So, peace in the world is essential, otherwise we will be destroyed; a few may escape, but there will be greater destruction than ever before unless we solve the problem of peace. Peace is not an ideal; an ideal, as we discussed, is fictitious. What is actual must be understood, and that understanding of the actual is prevented by the fiction which we call an ideal. The actual is that each one is seeking power, titles, positions of authority, and so on - all of which is covered up in various forms by well meaning words. This is a vital problem, it is not a theoretical problem nor one that can be postponed - it demands action now, because the catastrophe is obviously coming. If it does not come tomorrow, it will come next year, or soon after, because the momentum of the isolating process is already here; and he who really thinks about it must tackle the root of the problem, which is the indivi- dual's search for power, creating the power-seeking group, race, and nation.

Now, can one live in the world without the desire for power, for position, for authority? Obviously one can. One does it when one does not identify oneself with something greater. This identification with something greater - the party, the country, the race, the religion, God - is the search for power. Because you in yourself are empty, dull, weak, you like to identify yourself with something greater. That desire to identify yourself with something greater is the desire for power. That is why nationalism, or any communal spirit, is such a curse in the world; it is still the desire for power. So, the important thing in understanding life, and therefore relationship, is to discover the motive that is driving each one of us; because what that motive is, the environment is. That motive brings either peace or destruction in the world. And so it is very important for each one of us to be aware that the world is in a state of misery and destruction, and to realize that if we are seeking power, consciously or unconsciously, we are contributing to that destruction, and therefore our relationship with society will be a constant process of conflict. There are multiple forms of power, it is not merely the acquisition of position and wealth. The very desire to be something is a form of power, which brings isolation and therefore conflict; and unless each one understands the motive, the intention of his actions, mere government legislation is of very little importance, because the inner is always overcoming the outer. You may outwardly build a peaceful structure but the men who run it will alter it according to their intention. That is why it is very important, for those who wish to create a new culture, a new society, a new state, first to understand themselves. In becoming aware of oneself. of the various inward movements and fluctuations, one will understand the motives, the intentions, the perils that are hidden; and only in that awareness is there transformation. Regeneration can come about only when there;s cessation of this search for power; and then only can we create a new culture, a society which will not be based on conflict, but on understanding. Relationship is a process of self revelation, and without knowing oneself, the ways of one's own mind and heart, merely to establish an outward order, a system , a cunning formula, has very little meaning. So, what is important is to understand oneself in relationship with another. Then relationship becomes, not a process of isolation, but a movement in which you discover your own motives, your own thoughts, your own pursuits; and that very discovery is the beginning of liberation, the beginning of transformation. It is only this immediate transformation that can bring about the fundamental, radical revolution in the world which is so essential. Revolution within the walls of isolation is not a revolution. Revolution comes only when the walls of isolation are destroyed, and that can take place only when you are no longer seeking power.

I have several questions, and I will try to answer as many of them as possible.

Question: Can I remain a government official if I want to follow your teachings? The same question would arise with regard to so many professions. What is the right solution to the problem of livelihood? Krishnamurti: Sirs, what do we mean by livelihood? It is the earning of one's needs, food clothing and shelter, is it not? The difficulty of livelihood arises only when we use the essentials of life - food, clothing and shelter - as a means of psychological aggression. That is, when se the needs, the necessities, as a means of self-aggrandizement, then the problem of livelihood arises and our society is essentially based, not on supplying the essentials, but on psychological aggrandizement, using the essentials as a psychological expansion of oneself. Sirs, you have to think it out a little bit. Obviously, food, clothing and shelter could be produced abundantly, there is enough scientific knowledge to supply the demand; but the demand for war is greater, not merely by the warmongers, but by each one of us, because each one of us is violent. There is sufficient scientific knowledge to give man all the necessities; it has been worked out, and they could be produced so that no man would be in need. Why does it not happen? Because no one is satisfied with food, clothing and shelter, each one wants something more; and, put in different words, the "more" is power. But it would be brutish merely to be satisfied with needs. We will be satisfied with needs in the true sense, which is freedom from the desire for power, only when we have found the inner treasure which is imperishable. which you call God, truth, or what you will. if you can find those imperishable riches within yourself, then you are satisfied with few things, which few things can be supplied.

But, unfortunately, we are carried away by sensate values. The values of the senses have become more important than the values of the real. After all, our whole social structure, our present civilization, is essentially based on sensate values. Sensate values are not merely the values of the senses, but the values of thought, because thought is also the result of the senses; and when the mechanism of thought, which is the intellect, is cultivated, then there is in us a predominance of thought, which is also a sensory value. So, as long as we are seeking sensate value, whether of touch, of taste, of smell, of perception, or of thought, the outer becomes far more significant than the inner; and the mere denial of the outer is not the way to the inner. You may deny the outer and withdraw from the world into a jungle or a cave and there think of God; but that very denial of the outer, that thinking of God, is still sensate, because thought is sensate; and any value based on the sensate is bound to create confusion - which is what is happening in the world at the present time. The sensate is dominant, and as long as the social structure is built on that, the means of livelihood becomes extraordinarily difficult.

So, what is the right means of livelihood? This question can be answered only when there is a complete revolution in the present social structure, not according to the formula of the right or of the left, but a complete revolution in values which are not based on the sensate. Now, those who have leisure, like the older people who are drawing their pensions, who have spent their earlier years seeking God or else various forms of destruction, if they really gave their time, their energy, to finding out the right solution, then they would act as a medium, as an instrument for bringing about revolution in the world. But they are not interested. They want security. They have worked so many years for their pensions, and they would like to live comfortably for the rest of their lives. They have time, but they are indifferent; they are only concerned with some abstraction which they call God, and which has no reference to the actual; but their abstraction is not God, it is a form of escape. And those who fill their lives with ceaseless activity are caught in the middle, they have not the time to find the answers to the various problems of life. So, those who are concerned with these things, with bringing about a radical transformation in the world through the understanding of themselves, in them alone is there hope.

Sirs, surely we can see what is a wrong profession. To be a soldier, a policeman, a lawyer, is obviously a wrong profession, because they thrive on conflict, on dissension; and the big business man, the capitalist, thrives on exploitation. The big business man may be an individual, or it may be the State; if the State takes over big business it does not cease to exploit you and me. And as society is based on the army, the police, the law, the big business man, that is, on the principle of dissension, exploitation and violence, how can you and I, who want a decent, right profession, survive? There is increasing unemployment, greater armies, larger police forces with their secret service, and big business is becoming bigger and bigger, forming vast corporations which are eventually taken over by the State; for the State has become a great corporation in certain countries. Given this situation of exploitation, of a society built on dissension, how are you going to find a right livelihood? It is almost impossible, is it not? Either you will have to go away and form with a few people a community, a self-supporting, cooperative community - or merely succumb to the vast machine. But you see, most of us are not interested in really finding the right livelihood. Most of us are concerned with getting a job and sticking to it in the hope of advancement with more and more pay. Because each one of us wants safety, security, a permanent position, there is no radical revolution. It is not those who are self-satisfied, contented, but only the adventurous, those who want to experiment with their lives, with their existence, who discover the real things, a new way of living.

So, before there can be a right livelihood, the obviously false means of earning a livelihood must first be seen; the army, the law, the police, the big business corporations that are sucking people in and exploiting them, whether in the name of the State, of capital, or of religion. When you see the false and eradicate the false, there is transformation, there is revolution; and it is that revolution alone that can create a new society. To seek, as an individual, a right livelihood, is good, is excellent, but that does not solve the vast problem. The vast problem is solved only when you and I are not seeking security. There is no such thing as security. When you seek security, what happens? What is happening in the world at the present tine? All Europe wants security, is crying for it, and what is happening? They want security through their nationalism. After all, you are a nationalist because you want security, and you think that through nationalism you are going to have security. It has been proved over and over again that you cannot have security through nationalism, because nationalism is a process of isolation, inviting wars, misery and destruction. So, right livelihood on a vast scale must begin with those who understand what is false. When you are battling against the false. then you are creating the right means of liveli- hood. When you are battling against the whole structure of dissension, of exploitation whether by the left or by the right, or the authority of religion and the priests, that is the right profession at the present time; because, that will create a new society, a new culture. But to battle, you must see very clearly and very definitely that which is false, so that the false drops away. To discover what is false, you must be aware of it, you must observe everything that you are doing, thinking and feeling; and out of that you will not only discover what is false, but out of that there will come a new vitality, a new energy, and that energy will dictate what kind of work to do or not to do.

Question: Can you state briefly the basic principles on which a new society should be built?

Krishnamurti: I can state the principles, that is very simple; but it would be of no value. What has value is that you and I should discover together the basic principles on which a new society can be built; because, the moment we discover together what are the basic principles, there is a new basis of relationship between us. Do you understand? Then I am no longer the teacher and you the pupil, or you the audience and I the lecturer - we start on a different footing altogether. That means no authority, does it not? We are partners in discovering, and therefore we are in cooperation; therefore, you do not dominate or influence me, nor I you. We are both discovering; and when there is the intention on your part as well as on mine to discover what are the basic principles of a new culture, obviously there cannot be an authoritative spirit, can there? Therefore, we have established, a new principle already, have we not? As long as there is authority in relationship, there is compulsion; and nothing can be created through compulsion. A government that compels, a teacher that compels, an environment that compels, does not bring about relationship, but merely a state of slavery. So, we have discovered one thing together, for we know that we both want to create a new society in which there can be no authority; and that has an enormous significance, because the structure of our present social order is based on authority. The specialist in education, the specialist in medicine, the military specialist, the specialist in law, the bureaucrat - they all dominate us. The Shastras say so, therefore it must be true; my guru says so, therefore it must be right and I am going to follow it. In other words, in a society where there is the search for the real, the search for understanding, the search for the establishment of right relationship between two human beings, there can be no authority. The moment you discard authority, you are in partnership; therefore there is cooperation, there is affection - which is contrary to the present social structure.

At present, you leave your children to the educator, while the educator himself needs educating. Religiously, you are merely imitative, copying machines. In every direction you are dominated, influenced, compelled, forced; and how can there be a relationship between the exploiter and the exploited, between those who are in power and those who are subject to power - unless you yourself want the same kind of power? If you do, then you are in relationship with that power. But if you see that any desire for power is in itself destructive, then there is no relationship with those who seek power. So, we begin to discover the basic principles upon which a new society can be built. Obviously, relationship based on domination is no longer a relationship. When there is no domination, no authority, no compulsion, what does it mean? Obviously, there is affection, there is tenderness, there is love, there is understanding. For that to take place, domination must disappear. But we can discuss this presently, if you will listen to me. You seem irritated - perhaps I am upsetting your apple cart a little bit; but you will go out and do exactly the same thing that you did before, because you are not really concerned with the finding of a new basic order. You want to be secure, you want your positions, or such positions as you have, and you want to use them for your own purpose, which you call noble; but it is still a form of self-expansion, exploitation.

So, our difficulty in these discussions and talks is that we are not very serious about all this. We would like things to be altered, but slowly, gradually, and at our convenience. W"don't want to be disturbed too much, so we are not really basically concerned with a new culture. The man who is concerned sees as false the obviously pernicious things such as authority, belief, nationalism, the whole hierarchical spirit. When all that is put aside, what happens? You are merely a citizen, a human being without authority; and when you have no authority, then perhaps you will have love, and therefore, you will have understanding. That is what is required: a group of people who understand, who have affection, whose hearts are not filled with empty words and empty phrases, the things of the mind. It is they who will create a new culture, not the spinner of words. Therefore, it is very important for each one of us to see himself in the mirror of relationship, for out of that alone can there be a new culture.

Question: What must we do to have really good government, and not merely self-government?

Krishnamurti: Sirs, to have a good government, you must first understand what you mean by government. Don't let us use words without a referent, words without meaning. without something behind them. The word "watch" has a referent, but "good government" has no referent, To find the referent, we will have to discuss what we mean by "government" and what we mean by "good", but merely to say what is good government has no meaning.

So, first, let us find out what we mean by "good". I am not splitting hairs, I am not being school-boyish discussing at a union; because, it is very important to find out what we are talking about, and not merely use words that have little meaning. I know we are fed on words; it creates an impression for, us to talk of having self-government and wave the flag - you know the whole business of being enchanted with words when our hearts and minds are empty. So, let us find out what we mean by "good government".

What do we mean by "good"? "Good" obviously has a referent based on pleasure and pain. "Good" is that which gives you pleasure, "bad" that which gives you pain, whether outwardly or inwardly, whether inside or outside the skin. That is a fact, is it not? We are discussing the fact, not what you would like it to be. The fact is, as long as you seek pleasure in various forms - as security, as comfort, as power, as money - , that plea- sure is what you call "good", and anything that disturbs the state of pleasure, you call "not good". I am not discussing philosophically. but actually. Pleasure is what you want, so obviously you call "good" that which gives you security, comfort, position, power, safety. Do you follow? That is, "good government, is that body which can supply what you want; and if the government does not give you what you want, you say, "Throw it out" - unless it is a totalitarian government. Even totalitarian governments can be destroyed if the people say, "We don't want this". But nowadays it is almost impossible to bring about physical revolution, because the airplanes and other war machines without which there cannot be modern revolution are in the hands of the government. So, the "good" is what you want, is it not? Sirs, don't let us fool ourselves and spin a lot of words about abstract "good" and abstract "evil". Actually, in your daily life, the fact is that those who give you what you want, you call "good", "noble", "efficient", and so on, using various terms. What you want is gratification in different forms, and that which can give it to you, you call beneficent.

So, the government is the body which you create out of your want, is it not? That is, the government is you. What you are, the government is, which is an obvious facE in the world. You hate a particular country, and elect those people who will support your hate. You are communalistically inclined and you create a government that has your communalistic outlook - which is again an obvious fact, we need not elaborate it. Since what you are, your government is, how can you have "good" government? You can have good government only when you have transformed yourselves. Otherwise, the government is merely a bureau, a group of people whom you have elected to supply you with what you want. You say you don't want war, but you encourage all the causes that breed war, like nationalism, communalism, and so on. That being your condition, you create a government, as you create a society, after your own likeness; and having created that government, the government in turn exploits you. So, it is a vicious circle. There can be good - I won't call it "good" - there can be sane government only when you yourself are sane. Sirs, don't smile. It is a fact; we are insane, we are not rational, clean human beings. We are unbalanced, therefore our governments are unbalanced. Do you mean to say, Sirs, that, seeing the whole world caught up in the appalling catastrophe of war and the production of war machines, a sane human being does not want to break it up? Therefore, he will find out what are the causes of war, and not say, "Well, it is my country, I must protect it" - which is too immature and silly.

Now, one of the causes of war is greed - greed to be something greater - which causes you to identify yourself with the country. You say, "I am a Hindu", "I am a Buddhist", "I am a Christian", "I am a Russian", or what you will. That is one of the causes of war. And a man who is sane says, "I am going to get rid of that insane imitation which ultimately produces destruction". Therefore, We must first create sanity, not a plan for a new government, or a so-called "good" government; and in order to be sane, you must know what you are, you must be aware of yourself. But again, you see, you are not interested. You are interested in waving flags, you are interested in listening to speeches which have no meaning, you are interested stimulation. All these are indi- cations of insanity. And how can you expect a sane government when the citizens are not fully awake when they are half-alert and unbalanced?

Sirs, when you yourselves are in confusion, you create the leader who is confused, and you will hear the voice of him who is confused. If you are not confused, if you are clear, tranquil, you will have no leader; if you are clear, you will not wait for the government to tell you what to do. Why does a man want a government? Sirs, some of you smile, and you will push it out. Because you don't know how to love rationally, humanly, you want somebody to tell you what to do; therefore there is the multiplication of laws, laws, and more laws, what you must and must not do. So, it is your fault, Sirs. You are responsible for the government that you have, or are going to have; because, unless you radically transform yourselves, what you are, your government is. If you are communalistically-minded, you will create a government that is like you. And what does it mean? More disturbance, more destruction.

So, there can be a sane society, a sane world, only when you, as part of that society, that world, are breaking away, that is, becoming sane; and there can be sanity only when you spurn authority, when you are not caught in the nationalistic, patriotic spirit, when you treat human beings as human beings, not as brahmins, or as of any other caste or country. And it is impossible to treat human beings as human beings if you label them, if you term them, if you give them a name as Hindus, Russians, or what you will. It is so much easier to label people, for than you can pass by and kick them, drop a bomb on India or Japan. But if you have no labels, but merely meet people as human beings, then what happens? You have to be very alert, you have to be very wise in your relationship with another. But as you don't want to do that, you create a government befitting yourself.

Question: What is eternal love or death? What happens to love when death breaks its thread? What happens to death when love asserts its claim?

Krishnamurti: Now again, let us find out what we mean by death and what we mean by love. Sorry, some of you get bored with all this. Are you bored?

Audience: No, Sir.

Krishnamurti: I am surprised, because we have taken up very serious things. Life is serious, life is very earnest. It is only the empty headed and the dull at heart who are trivial, and if you are bored with the serious things of life, it indicates your own immaturity. This is a question with which everyone is concerned, whether it be the totalitarian, the politician, or you; because, death awaits each one of us, whether we like it or not. You may be a high government official, with titles, wealth, position, and a red carpet; but there is this inevitable thing at the end of it. So, what do we mean by death? By death we obviously mean putting an end to continuity, do we not? There is a physical death, and we are a little bit anxious about it; but that does not matter if we can overcome it by continuing in some mother form. So when we ask about death, we are concerned with whether there is continuity or not. And what is the thing that conti- nues? Obviously, not your body because every day we see that people who die are burnt or buried. Therefore, we mean, do we not? a super sensory continuity, a psychological continuity, a thought continuity, a continuity of character, which is termed the soul, or what you will. We want to know if thought continues. That is, I have meditated, I have practiced so many things, I have not finished writing my book, I have not completed my career, I am weak and need time to grow strong, I want to continue my pleasure, and so on; and I am afraid that death will put an end to all that. So, death is a form of frustration, is it not? I am doing something, and I don't want to end it; I want continuity in order to fulfil myself. Now, is there fulfilment through continuity? Obviously, there is fulfilment of a sort through continuity. If I am writing a book, I don't want to die till I have finished it; I want time to develop a certain character, and so on. So, there is fear of death only when there is the desire to fulfil oneself; because to fulfil oneself, there must be time, longevity, continuity. But if you can fulfil yourself from moment to moment, you are not afraid of death.

Now, our problem is how to have continuity in spite of death, is it not? And you want an assurance from me; or, if I don't assure you of that, you go to somebody else, to your gurus, to your books, or to various other forms of distraction and escape. So, you listening to me and I talking to you, we are going to find out together what we actually mean by continuity, what it is that continues, and what we want to continue. That which continues is obviously a wish, a desire, is it not? I am not powerful, but I would like to be; I have not built my house, but I would like to build it; I have not got that title, but I would like to get it; I have not amassed enough money but I will do so presently; I would like to find God in this life - and so on and on. So, continuity is the process of want. When this is put an end to, you call it death, do you not? You want to continue desire as a means of achievement, as a process through which to fulfil yourself. Surely, this is fairly simple, is it not? Now, obviously thought continues in spite of your physical death. This has been proved. Thought is a continuity; because, after all, what are you? You are merely a thought, are you not? You are the thought of a name, the thought of a position, the thought of money; you are merely an idea. Remove the idea, remove the thought, and where are you? So, you are an embodiment of thought as the "me". Now, you say thought must continue because thought is going to enable me to fulfil myself, that thought will ultimately find the real. Is that not so? That is why you want thought to continue. You want thought to continue because you think thought is going to find the real, which you call happiness, God, or what you will.

Now, through the continuity of thought, do you find the real? To put it differently, does the thought process discover the real? Do you understand what I mean? I want happiness, and I search for it through various means - property, position, wealth, women, men, or whatever it be. All that is the demand of a thought for happiness, is it not? Now, can thought find happiness? If it can, then thought must have a continuity. But what is thought? Thought is merely the response of memory, is it not? If you had no memory, there would be no thought. You would be in a state of amnesia, of complete blankness - as most peo- ple want to be. Thinking mesmerize itself and remains in a certain state which is a state of blankness. But we are not trying to discuss the state of amnesia, we want to find out what thought is. Thought, if you will look at it a little closely, is obviously the response of memory; and memory is the result of an uncompleted experience. So, through an incomplete experience you think you are going to find the complete, the whole, the real. How can it be done? Do you follow what I mean? Sirs, probably you are not thinking this out. You want to know if there is or if there is not continuity, that is all; you want an assurance. When you are seeking an assurance, you are seeking authority, gratification - you don't want to know the real. It is only the real that will liberate, not an assurance, or my giving you that assurance. We are trying to find out what is true in all this.

Since thought is the outcome of an incomplete experience - because you don't remember, in the psychological sense, a complete experience - , how can thought, through its own conditioned, incomplete state, find that which is complete. Do you follow? So, our question is, can there be a renewal, a regeneration, a freshness, a newness, through the continuity of the thought process? After all, if there is renewal, then we are not afraid of death. If for you there is renewal from moment to moment, there is no death. But there is death, and the fear of death, if you demand a continuity of the thought process. It is only thought that can continue, obviously, an idea about yourself. That idea is the outcome of thought, the outcome of a conditioned mind; because thought is the outcome of the past, it is founded on the past. And through time, through continuing the past, will you find the timeless?

So, we look to continuity as a means of renewal,as a means of bringing about a new state. Otherwise we don't want continuity, do we? That is, I want continuity only if it promises the new state; otherwise I don't want it, because my present state is miserable. If through continuity I can find happiness, then I want continuity. But can I find happiness through continuity? There is only the continuity of thought, thought being the response of memory; and memory is always conditioned, always in the past. Memory is always dead, it comes to life only through the present. Therefore, thought as a continuity cannot be the means of renewal. So, to continue thought is merely to continue the past in a modified form, and therefore it is not a renewal; therefore, through that passage there is no hope. There is hope only when I see the truth that through continuity there is no renewal. And when I see that, what happens? Then I am only concerned with the ending of the thought process from moment to moment - which is not insanity! The thought process ceases only when I understand the falseness of the thought process as a means of achieving a desirable end, or of avoiding a painful one. When I see the false as the false, the false drops away. When the false drops away, what then is the state of the mind? Then the mind is in a state of high sensitivity, of high receptivity, of great tranquillity, because there is no fear. What happens when there is no fear? There is love, is there not? It is only in the negative state that love can be, not in the positive state. The positive state is the continuity of thought towards an end, and as long as that exists, there cannot be love.

The questioner also wants to know what happens to love when death breaks its thread. Love is not a con- tinuity. If you watch yourself, if you observe your own love, you will see that love is from moment to moment, you are not thinking that it must continue. That which continues is a hindrance to love. It is only thought that can continue, not love. You can think about love, and that thought can continue; but the thought about love is not love - and that is your difficulty. You think about love, and you want that thought to continue; therefore you ask, "What happens to love when death comes"? But you are not concerned with love; you are concerned with the thought of love, which is not love. When you love, there id no continuity. It is only the thought that wishes love to continue, but the thought is not love. Sirs, this is very important. When you love, when you really love somebody, you are not thinking, you are not calculating - your whole heart, your whole being is open. But when you merely think about love, or about the person whom you love, your heart is dry - and therefore you are already dead. When there is love, there is no fear of death. Fear of death is merely the fear of not continuing, and when there is love there is no sense of continuity. It is a state of being.

The questioner also asks, "What happens to death when love asserts its claim? "Sirs, love has no claim - and that is the beauty of love. That which is the highest state of negation does not claim, does not demand: it is a state of being. And when there is love, there is no death; there is death only when the thought process arises. When there is love, there is no death, because there is no fear; and love is not a continuous state - which is again the thought process. Love is merely being from moment to moment. Therefore, love is its own eternity.

Choiceless Awareness

Bangalore 7th Public Talk 15th August, 1948

Jiddu Krishnamurti texts. Choiceless Awareness. What can the average decent man do to put an end to our communal problem?


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