Ojai 14th Public Talk 28th August 1949
This morning I shall answer some of the questions first, and then wind up with a talk. Many questions have been sent in, and, unfortunately, it has not been possible to answer all of them. So, I have chosen those which are representative and have tried to answer as many of them as possible. And also, in answering questions, naturally one cannot go into full details, because that would take too long; and so one can only deal with the fundamentals; the details will have to be filled in by yourself. Those of you who have been coming here regularly will find that, if you carry away not merely a memory of the words and the pleasant sensations of listening under trees, of being distracted by birds, cameras, notes, and the various thing; that divert the mind - if you live not merely in words, but are really living, actually experiencing those things that we have discussed, then you will find that, having understood the outline from the answers which have been somewhat brief and succinct, you can fill in the details.
Question: Ideas do separate, but ideas also bring people together. Is this not the expression of love which makes communal life possible?
Krishnamurti: I wonder when you ask such a question, whether you do realize that ideas, beliefs, opinions, separate people; that ideologies break up, that ideas inevitably disrupt? Ideas not hold people together - though you nay try to bring together people belonging to differing and opposed ideologies. Ideas can never bring people together, which is obvious. Because, ideas can always be opposed and destroyed through conflict. After all, ideas are images, sensations, words. Can words, sensations, thoughts, bring people together? Or does one require quite a different thing to bring people together? One sees that hate, fear, and nationalism, bring people together. Fear brings people together. A common hatred sometimes brings together people opposed to one another as nationalism brings together people of opposing groups. Surely, these are ideas. And is love an idea? Can you think about love? You are able to think about a person whom you love, or the group of people whom you love. But is that love? When there is thought about love, is that love? Is thought love? And, surely, only love can bring people together, not thought - not one group in opposition to another group. Where love is, there is no group, no class, no nationality. So, one has to find out what we mean by love.
We know what we mean by ideas, opinions, beliefs, which we have sufficiently discussed during the past several weeks. So, what do we mean by love? Is it a thing of the mind? It is a thing of the mind, when the things of the mind fill the heart. And with most of us, it is so. We have filled our heart with the things of the mind, which are opinions, ideas, sensations, beliefs; and around that and in that we live and love. But is that love? Can we think about love? When you love, is thought functioning? Love and thought are not in opposition, do not let us divide them as opposites. When one loves, is there a sense of separateness, of bringing people together, or disbanding them, pushing them away? Surely, that state of love can be experienced only when the process of thought is not functioning - which does not mean that one must become crazy, unbalanced. On the contrary. It requires the highest form of thought to go beyond.
So, love is not a thing of the mind. It is only when the mind is really quiet, when it is no longer expecting, asking, demanding, seeking, possessing, being jealous, fearful, anxious - when the mind is really silent, only then is there a possibility of love. When the mind is no longer projecting itself, pursuing its particular sensations, demands, urges, hidden fears, seeking self-fulfilment, held in bondage to belief - only then is there a possibility of love. But most of us think love can go with jealously, with ambition, with the pursuit of personal desires and ambitions. Surely, when these things exist, love is not. So, we must be concerned, not with love, which comes into being spontaneously, without our particularly seeking it, but we must be concerned with the things that are hindering love, with the things of the mind which project themselves and create a barrier. And that is why it is important, before we can know what love is, to know what is the process of the mind, which is the seat of the self. And that is why it is important to go ever more deeply into the question of self- knowledge - not merely say, `I must love', or, `Love brings people together', or, `Ideas disrupt', which would be a mere repetition of what you have heard, therefore utterly useless. Words entangle. But, if one can understand the whole significance of the ways of one's thought, the ways of our desires and their pursuits and ambitions, then there is a possibility of having or understanding that which is love. But that requires an extraordinary understanding of oneself. When there is self-abnegation, when there is self-forgetfulness - not intentionally, but spontaneously; that self-forgetfulness, self-denial, which is not the outcome of a series of practices, disciplines, which only limit - then there is a possibility of love. That self-denial comes into being when the whole process of the self is understood, consciously as well as unconsciously, in the waking hours as well as in dreaming. Then, the total process of the mind is understood as it is actually taking place in relationship, in every incident, in every response to every challenge that one has. In understanding that, and therefore freeing the mind from its own self-erecting, self-limiting process, there is a possibility of love. Love is not sentiment, not romanticism, not dependent on something; and that state is extremely arduous and difficult to understand, or to be in. Because our minds are always interfering, limiting, encroaching upon its functioning; and therefore it is important to understand first the mind and its ways; otherwise we shall be caught in illusions, caught in words and sensations that have very little significance. And as, for most people, ideas merely act as a refuge, as an escape, ideas which have become beliefs, naturally they prevent complete living, complete action, right thinking. It is possible to think rightly, to live freely and intelligently, only when there is ever deeper and wider self-knowledge.
Question: Would you kindly explain the distinction you make between factual and psychological memory?
Krishnamurti: Do not let us bother for the moment with the distinction between factual and psychological memory. Let us consider memory. Why do we live in memories? Are memories separate from us? Are you different from memory? What do we mean by memory? It is the residue of certain incidents, experiences, sensations, is it not? You have had an experience yesterday; it has left a certain mark, a certain sensation. That sensation we call memory, verbalized or not; and we are the sum total of all these memories, all these residues. Surely, you are not different from your memory. There are conscious memories, as there are the unconscious. The conscious memories respond easily, spontaneously; and the unconscious memories are very deep, hidden, quiet, waiting, watchful. All of that, surely, is you and me: the racial, the group, the particular - all that, all those memories, are you and me. You are not different from your memories. Remove your memories, where are you? If you remove them, you will end up in an asylum. But, why does the mind - which is the result of memories, of the past - , why does the mind cling to the past? That is the question, is it not? Why does the mind - which is the result of the past, which is the outcome of yesterday, of many yesterdays - , why does the thinker cling to yesterday? Memories, without any emotional content, have their significance; but we give to them emotional content, as like and dislike: this I will keep, that I won't keep, this I will think about, and that I will ponder over in my old age, or continue in my future. Why do we do that? Surely, that is the problem, is it not? Not that we must forget factual or psychological memories. Because, all the impressions, all the responses, everything is there, unconsciously: every incident, every thought, every sensation which you have lived through, is there - hidden, covered up, but still there. And as we grow older, we return to those memories and live in the past, or in the future, according to our conditioning. We remember the pleasant times we had when we were youthful, or we think of the future, what we are going to be. So, we live in these memories. Why? We live as though we were different from those memories. Surely, that is the problem, is it not? We mean, by memories, words, don't we? Images, symbols, which are merely a series of sensations; and on those sensations we live. Therefore, we separate ourselves from the sensations, and say, `I want those sensations'. Which means that the I, having separated itself from memories, gives to itself permanency. But it is not permanent. It is a fictitious permanency.
Now, this whole process of the I separating itself from memory, and giving life to that memory in response to the present, this total process obviously hinders our meeting the present, does it not? If I would understand something not theoretically, verbally, abstractly, but actually, I must give my full attention to it. I cannot give my full attention to it if I am distracted by my memories, by my beliefs, by my opinions, my experiences of yesterday. Therefore, I must respond fully, adequately, to the challenge. But that I, which has separated itself from memory, thus giving itself permanency, that I, regards the present, looks at the incident, the experience, and draws from it according to its past conditioning - which is all very simple and obvious, if you examine it. It is the memory of yesterday - of possessions, of jealousies, of anger, of contradiction, of ambition, of what one ought or ought not to be - it is all these things that make up the I; and the I is not different from memory. The quality cannot be separated from the thing, from the self.
So, memory is the self. Memory is the word, the word which symbolizes sensation, physical as well as psychological sensation; and it is to that we cling. It is to the sensations we cling not to the experience; because in the moment of experience, there is neither the experiencer nor the experience - there is only experiencing. It is when we are not experiencing that we cling to memory, like so many people do, especially as they grow older. Watch yourself and you will see. We live in the past or in the future, and use the present merely as a passage from the past to the future; therefore, the present has no significance. All the politicians indulge in this, all the ideologists, all the idealists - they always look to the future, or to the past.
So, if one understands the whole significance of memory, one does not put away memories or destroy them or try to be free of them, but one understands how the mind is attached to memory and thereby strengthens the me. The me, after all, is sensation, a bundle of sensations, a bundle of memories. It is the known, and from the known we want to understand the unknown. But the known must be an impediment to the unknown; because, to understand reality, there must be a newness of the mind, a freshness - not the burden of the known. God, or reality, or what you will, cannot be imagined, cannot be described, cannot be put into words; and if you do, that which you put into words is not reality; it is merely the sensation of a memory, the reaction to a condition; and therefore it is not real. Therefore, if one would understand that which is eternal, timeless, the mind as memories must come to an end. Mind must no longer cling to the known, therefore it must be capable of receiving the unknown. You cannot receive the unknown if the mind is burdened with memories, with the known, with the past. Therefore, the mind must be entirely silent - which is very difficult. Because the mind is always projecting, always wandering, always creating, breeding; and it is this process that must be understood in relationship to memory. Then the distinction between psychological and factual memory is obvious and simple. So, in understanding memory, one understands the process of thinking which is, after all, self-knowledge. To go beyond the limits of the mind, there must be freedom from the desire to be, to achieve, to gain.
Question: Is not life true creation? Are we not really seeking happiness, and is there not serenity in life, that true being of which you speak? Krishnamurti: In answering this question, to understand it fully and significantly, should we not perhaps understand first this idea of seeking? Why are we seeking happiness? Why this incessant pursuit to be happy, to be joyous, to be something? Why is there this search, this immense effort made to find? If we can understand that and go into it fully, which I will do presently, perhaps we shall know what happiness is, without seeking it. Because, after all, happiness is a by-product, of secondary importance. It is not an end in itself; it has no meaning if it is an end in itself. What does it mean to be happy? The man who takes a drink is happy. The man who drops a bomb over a great number of people feels elated, and says he is happy, or that God is with him. Momentary sensations, which disappear, give that sense of being happy. Surely, there is some other quality that is essential for happiness. For happiness is not an end, any more than virtue. Virtue is not an end in itself; it gives freedom, and in that freedom there is discovery. Therefore, virtue is essential. Whereas, an unvirtuous person is slavish, is disorderly, is all over the place, lost, confused. But to treat virtue as an end in itself, or happiness as an end in itself, has very little meaning. So, happiness is not an end. It is a secondary issue, a by-product which will come into being if we understand something else. It is this understanding of something else, and not merely the search for happiness, that is important.
Now, why do we seek? What does it mean to make effort? We are making effort. Why are we making effort? What is the significance of effort? We say we are making an effort in order to find, in order to change, in order to be something. If we did not make effort, we should disintegrate, or retard, go back. Is that so? Please, this is very important to go into fully, and I will try as much as I can this morning to go into it. If we did not make effort, what would happen? Would we stagnate? But we are making effort. And why? Effort to change, effort to be different in ourselves, to be more happy, to be more beautiful, to be more virtuous - this constant strife and constant effort. If we can understand that, then perhaps we will understand more deeply, other issues.
Why do you seek? Is the search prompted by disease, by ill health, by moods? Do you make an effort because you are unhappy and you want to be happy? Do you seek because you are going to die, and therefore you want to find? Do you seek because you have not fulfilled yourself in the world, therefore you want to fulfil here? Do you seek because you are unhappy, and, hoping for happiness, you seek, you search, you try to find out? So, one must understand the motive for one's search, must one not? What is the motive for your eternal search? - if you are really searching, which I question. What you want is substitution: as this is not profitable, perhaps that will be; as this hasn't given me happiness, perhaps that will. So one is really seeking, not truth, not happiness, but a substitution that will give one happiness; a thing that will be profitable, that will be safe, that will give one gratification. Surely, that is what we are seeking, if we were very honest and clear in ourselves; but we clothe our gratification with words like God, love, and so on.
Now, why do we not approach this question differently? Why don't we understand what is? Why are we not capable of looking at the thing exactly `as is'? Which means that, if we are in pain, let us live with it, look at it, and not try to transform it into something else. If I am in misery, not only physically but especially psychologically, how am I to understand it? By not wishing it to be different, surely. First, I must look at it, I must live with it, I must go into it; I mustn't condemn it, mustn't compare it, wish it to be something else; I must be entirely with that thing, must I not? Which is extremely arduous, because the mind refuses to look at it. It wants to go off at a tangent, it says, `Let me seek an answer, a solution, there must be one'. In other words, it is escaping from what is. And this escape, with most of us, is what we call search - search for the Master, search for truth, search for love, search for God: you know the various terms we use to escape from what exactly is taking place. And, do we have to make an effort to understand what is taking place? We have to make an effort to escape when we don't want it. But when it is there, to understand it, do we have to make an effort? Obviously, we have made effort to escape, to avoid, to cover up what is; and, with that same mentality, which is to make an effort in order to avoid, in order to escape, we approach what is. Do you understand what is, with an effort? Or, must there be no effort to understand what is? So, that is one of the problems, is it not? This constant effort to avoid the understanding of what is, has become habitual with most of us, and with that same mentality of making an effort in order to escape, we say, `All right, I'll drop all escapes and make an effort to understand what is'. Do we understand anything really, significantly, deeply, do we understand anything that has a meaning, through effort? To understand something, must there not obviously be a passivity of the mind, an alertness which is yet passive? Please, you cannot arrive at that passivity of the mind which is alert, through effort, can you? If you make an effort to be passive, you are no longer passive. If one really understands that, the significance of that, and sees the truth of it, then one will be passive. One doesn't have to make an effort.
So, when we seek, we are seeking either with the motive of escape, or of trying to be something more than what is, or else one says, `I am all these things, I must run away' - which is unbalance, insanity. Surely, the search for truth, for the Master, is a state of insanity when the thing is there which must be understood before you can go further. That breeds illusion, ignorance. So, first one must find out what one is seeking and why. Most of us know what we are seeking, and therefore it is a projection, therefore unreal; it is merely a homemade thing. Therefore, it is not truth, it is not the real. And, in understanding this process of search, this constant making effort to be, to discipline, to deny, to assert, one must inquire into the question of what is the thinker. Is the one who makes the effort separate from the thing which he wants to be? Sorry, it may be a little difficult to pursue this, but I hope you don't mind. You have asked the question, and I am going to try to answer it.
Is the maker of effort different from the object toward which he is making effort? This is really very important; because if we can find the truth of this, we will see that there comes immediate transformation, which is essential for understanding - which is understanding, rather. Because, as long as there is a separate entity which makes the effort, as long as there is a separate entity as the experiencer, the thinker, different from the thought, from the object, from the experience, there will always be this problem of seeking, disciplining, bridging the gulf between the thought and the thinker, and so on. Whereas, if we can find the truth of this matter, whether the thinker is separate from the thought, and see the real truth of it, then there will be quite a different process at work. Therefore, you have to find out before you seek, before you find the object of your search - whether it is a Master or a cinema or any other excitement, they are all on the same level - , whether the seeker is different from the object of his search, and why he is different. Why is the maker of effort different from the thing which he wants to be? And is he different? To put it in another way: you have thoughts, and you are also the thinker. You say, `I think. I am this, and I must be that. I am greedy, or mean, or envious, or angry, I have certain habits, and I must break away from them'. Now, is the thinker different from the thought? If he is different, then the whole process must exist of making an effort to bridge, of the thinker trying to alter his thought, the thinker trying to concentrate, to avoid, resist the encroachments of other thoughts. But if he is not different, then there is complete transformation of the way one lives. So, we will have to go into that very carefully and discover - not at the verbal level at all; but experience it directly if we can, as we go along this morning. Which is not to be mesmerized by what I am saying, or accept it, because that has no meaning; but actually to experience for oneself, whether this division is true, and why it exists.
Surely, memories are not different from the me which thinks about them. I am those memories. The memory of the way to the place where I live, the memory of my youth, the memories of both inexperienced and fulfilled desires, the memories of injuries, resentments, ambitions - all that is me, I am not separate from it. Surely, that is an obvious fact, isn't it? The me is not separate, even though you may believe that it is. Since you can think about it, it is still part of thought, and thought is the result of the past. Therefore, it is still within the net of thought, which is memory.
So, the division between the maker of effort, the seeker, the thinker, and the thought, is artificial, fictitious; and the division has been made because we see that thoughts are transient, they come and go. They have no substance in themselves, and so the thinker separates himself to give himself permanency: he exists while thoughts vary. It is a false security; and if one sees the falseness of it, actually experiences it, then there are only thoughts, and not the thinker and the thought. Then you will see - if it is an actual experience, not merely a verbal assertion nor just an amusement, a hobby - then you will find, if it is a real experiencing, that there is a complete revolution in your thinking. Then there is a real transformation, because then there is no longer a seeking for quietude or aloneness. Then there is only the concern with what is thinking, what is thought. Then you will see, if this transformation takes place, that there is no longer an effort, but an extraordinary, alert passivity, in which there is understanding of every relationship, of every incident as it arises; therefore, the mind is always fresh to meet things anew. And hence that silence, which is so essential, is not a thing to be cultivated, but comes into being naturally when you understand this fundamental thing, that the thinker is the thought, and therefore the I is transient. Therefore, the I has no permanency, the I is not a spiritual entity. If you are able to think that the I is gone, or is something spiritual, everlasting, it is still the product of thought, and therefore of the known, therefore not true.
Therefore, it is really important, essential to understanding, to have this sense of complete integration - which cannot be forced - between the thinker and the thought. It is like a deep experience which cannot be invited; you cannot lie awake thinking about it. It must be seen immediately; and we do not see it because we are clinging to past beliefs, conditioning, what we have learned - that the I is something spiritual, more than all the thoughts. Surely, it is so obvious that whatever you think is the product of the past, of your memories, of words, sensations, of your conditioning. You cannot think about the unknown, surely; you cannot know the unknown, therefore, you cannot think about it. What you can think about is the known. Therefore, it is a projection from the past. And, one must see the significance of all this, and then there will be the experiencing of that integration between the thought and the thinker. The division has been artificially created for self-protection, and is therefore unreal. When once there is the experiencing of that integration, then there is a complete transformation with regard to our thinking, feeling, and outlook on life. Then there is only a state of experiencing, and not the experiencer apart from the experienced, which has to be altered, modified, changed. There is only a state of constant experiencing - not the core experiencing, not the centre, the me, the memory, experiencing, but only a state of experiencing. We do this occasionally when we are completely absent, when the self is absent.
I do not know if you have noticed that when there is a deep experiencing of anything, there is neither the sensation of the experiencer nor the experience, but only a state of experiencing, a complete integration. When you are violently angry, you are not conscious of yourself as the experiencer. Later on, as that experience of anger fades, you become conscious of yourself being angry. Then you do something about that anger to deny it, to justify it, to condone it - you know, various forms of trying to pass it away. But if there is not the entity who is angry, but only that state of experiencing, then there is a complete transformation.
If you will experiment with this, you will see that there is this radical experiencing, this radical transformation, which is a revolution. Then the mind is quiet - not made quiet, not compelled, disciplined. Such quietness is death, is stagnation. A mind that is made quiet through discipline, through compulsion, through fear, is a dead mind. But, when there is the experiencing of that which is vital, which is essential, which is real, which is the beginning of transformation, then the mind is quiet, without any compulsion. And, when the mind is quiet, then it is capable of receiving, because you are not spending your efforts in resisting, in building barriers between yourself and reality, whatever that reality may be. All that you have read about reality, is not reality. Reality cannot be described; and if it is described it is not the real. And, for the mind to be new, for the mind to be capable of receiving the unknown, it must be empty. The mind can be empty only when the whole content of the mind is understood. To understand the content of the mind, one must be watchful, aware of every movement of every incident, of every sensation. Therefore, self-knowledge is essential. But if one is seeking achievement through self-knowledge, then again self-knowledge leads to self-consciousness, and there one is stuck; and it is extraordinarily difficult to withdraw from that net when once you are caught. Not to be caught in it, we must understand the process of desire, the craving to be something - not the desire for food, clothes and shelter, which is quite different, but - the psychological craving to be something, to achieve a result, to have a name, to have a position, to be powerful, or to be humble. Surely, only when the mind is empty, then only can it be useful. But a mind crowded with fears, with memories of what it has been in the past, with the sensations of past experiences - such a mind is utterly useless, is it not? Such a mind is incapable of knowing what is creation.
Surely, we must all have had experiences of those moments when the mind is absent, and suddenly there is a flash of joy, a flash of an idea, a light, a great bliss. How does that happen? It happens when the self is absent, when the process of thought, worry, memories, pursuits, is still. Therefore, creation can take place only when the mind, through self-knowledge, has come to that state when it is completely naked. All this means arduous attention, not merely indulging in verbal sensations, seeking, going from one guru to another, from teacher to teacher, doing absurd and vain rituals, repeating words, seeking Masters - all these are illusions, they have no meaning. They are hobbies. But to go into this question of self-knowledge and not be caught in self-consciousness, to go ever more deeply, more profoundly so that the mind is completely quiet - that is true religion. Then the mind is capable of receiving that which is eternal.
August 23, 1949
Ojai 14th Public Talk 28th August 1949
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