Bombay 1st Public Talk 12th February, 1950
Is it not important to find out how to listen? It seems to me that most of us do not listen at all. We listen through various screens of prejudice, examining what is being said, either as a Hindu, a Muslim, a Christian, or with a mind already made up. We do not listen freely, easily and silently. We listen with the intention to agree or to disagree, or we listen in a spirit of argumentation, we do not listen to find out; and it seems to me very important to know how to listen, how to read, to see, to observe. Most of us are incapable of listening truly, and it is only through right listening and hearing that we understand. Understanding comes, not through effort, not through any form of conformity or compulsion, but only when the mind is very quiet. In trying to find out what the other man is saying, there is no strain, no effort, but an easy flow, a swift delight; but we cannot find out what the other man is saying if we listen with any kind of prejudice. Perhaps I may have something new to say, and it will be most difficult for those who are prejudiced, in favour or against, to really understand. Because most of us are conditioned by social, economic, religious influences, and so on; we are copyists, we imitate, and therefore we disregard that which is new, we call it revolutionary or absurd and put it aside. But if we can examine, if we can look at it with freedom from all prejudices, from all limitations, then perhaps it is possible to understand and to commune with each other. There is communion only when there is no barrier; and an idea, a prejudice, is a barrier. When you love somebody, you commune, you have no idea about the person whom you love. Similarly, if we can establish a relationship of real communion between us so that you and I understand the problem together, then there is a possibility of a radical revolution in the world. After all, the world does need, not mere reformation, not a superficial revolution, but a fundamental, radical revolution, a revolution which is not based on an idea. Revolution that is the outcome of an idea is not a fundamental transformation, but merely the continuance of a modified idea or pattern. So, let us see if during these talks we can establish between the speaker and the listener a communion that is beyond mere words. Words are necessary for communication, but if we merely remain on that level, surely there is no understanding. Understanding comes when we go beyond the verbal level; but the highly cultivated mind lives on words, it is capable of examining only through the screen of words, and such examination is obviously not understanding; on the contrary, it merely leads to further arguments and disputations.
So, is it not possible for us to establish real communion, not merely on the verbal level, but at a deeper, more worthwhile level? Surely, that is possible; but to do it, you and I have to look at our problems anew - our problems being those of living, of relationship, of the strife between man and man, between groups of people, - we have to approach and examine them afresh, for only then is there a possibility of bringing about a fundamental change in our lives and therefore in the life of society. Our first basic problem is one of relationship, is it not; and that relationship is based on the morality of the past or of the future, that is, on traditional precepts, or on an idea of what ought to be. Our morality, upon which our action is based, is the outcome of the past, of the traditional, or of the future which is the ideal; and when we base our action on the future or on the past, obviously there is no action at all. As long as we live by hope we cannot act, because hope is obviously the response of a future demand, and as long as we base our action on a hope, on an Utopia, on the ideal of perfection or a scheme of what ought to be, we are not living in the present. An idea is always of the future or of the past, and when relationship is considered in term; of the future or the past, naturally no action is possible - action being immediate, always in the present, in the now.
One of our enormous problems is, is it not?, to bring about a fundamental revolution in the present existing order. Seeing the disproportion and maldistribution, the whole economic structure of rich and poor, the conflict between those who have and those who have not, and so on, we try to solve the economic and social problems through a scheme, through an idea, through a pattern. There is the pattern, the system of the left and of the right, and these systems are invariably based on an idea. That is, the left starts out to resolve the problem by having a new system which is in conflict with the right; and as long as we are in conflict over ideas, on which alI systems are based, obviously there is no solution. To put it differently, there are the problems of starvation, of unemployment, of wars, and we approach them, having already in mind a certain definite system for resolving each one of them. Can any system, whether of the left or of the right, resolve any problem? Both those who are committed to the left and those who are committed to the right consider that they have the perfect, the final, the absolute system, and so both approach the problem of starvation, of unemployment and wars, with an idea, with a prejudice. The result is that the systems, the ideas, the beliefs, are in conflict with each other, and the problems remain. If you and I really want to start resolving a problem, surely we must examine the problem directly with out the prejudice or screen of a system; for it is only when the mind is free from systems, whether of the left or of the right, that it is possible for us to face the problem itself.
Now, is it possible to have action without idea? - that is really the basic question. The idea is obviously a hope, it is based on the future or on the past; and can we live without hope? Obviously, to live without hope implies understanding the present directly, not in terms of the past or of the future. If we look into our own minds and examine the basis of our thought, we will see that we are thinking in terms of the ideal, of the future, of the hope of becoming something, of attaining a new state. Hope always leads to death, in hope there is no life; for life is in the present, not in the future. Life is neither in the future nor in the past, but in the process of living now. So, is it not possible to examine all our problems anew whatever they be - economic, individual or collective - , to look at them without the pattern, the hope of the future, and without the prejudice, the conditioning of the past? Surely, every challenge is new, otherwise it is not a challenge; and to meet that challenge, our minds must be fresh, new, not burdened with the past or with the hope of the future. And is it possible for the mind to meet a problem without either the conditioning of the past, or the escape, the hope of the future? Surely, it is possible only when you and I, as individuals, are capable of understanding the problem, whatever it be, personal or collective, and responding to the challenge adequately, fully and completely; and it is only when the mind is not burdened with knowledge, with experience, that one can respond to the challenge adequately, naturally. That actually means, does it not?, that the mind must be capable of being very quiet; because it is only when we are not struggling, when we do not put forward an idea, when the mind is very quiet, that understanding comes. I do not know if you have noticed this in your own daily life. When you are agitated, worrying over a problem, surely you do not understand it; but when the mind is very quiet, free from the past and the future, then it is capable of meeting the challenge adequately. It is the inadequacy of our response to the challenge that creates the problem, and our response to the challenge must be inadequate as long as our actions are based on either the past or the future, on either tradition or hope. Therefore, a man who would really understand the problem of existence and so bring about a radical revolution, must be free from the past and the future, from hope and from tradition, from the ideal and from what has been. Such a state of mind is creative, and it is only the creative mind that can understand the present problems, not the mind that is riddled with ideas, inventing schemes and following ideals, not the mind that is merely copying, imitating; because, the challenge is always new, and if we want to understand, we must meet it anew.
So, reality, or whatever name you like to give it, is a state of being in which the mind is no longer swinging between the past and the future, but is perceiving and understanding what is from moment to moment. The past and the future are not what is. The what is, is the new, it is unrelated to the past and the future; and to meet it, the mind itself must not be caught in the swing of the past and the future, the mind must not be a passage, a movement of the past to the future. The understanding of what is, is reality, and reality is not of time; and a mind that is the product of time cannot understand reality. So, the mind must be utterly still, not made still, not compelled, disciplined or controlled; and it is still only when it understands this whole process of becoming, this movement of time from the past through the present to the future. Several questions have been sent in, and before I answer them, may I suggest that you and I together try to find the right answers. It is very easy to ask a question and wait for an answer, that is merely a schoolboy trick; but it requires a mature, an intelligent, exploring mind, a mind that is free from prejudices, to take the journey of discovery. So, in considering these questions, we are going to take a journey together and find the truth - not an answer to suit you or me. Truth, surely, is not opinion, truth is not dependent on knowledge; and where there is knowledge, truth is not. Truth is not the result of experience; for experience is memory, and merely to live in memory is to deny truth. To discover truth, the mind must be free, swift and pliable. Therefore, there must be that art of listening, of hearing, which reveals the truth without effort; because, effort is obviously desire, and where there is desire there is conflict, and conflict is never creative. So, in considering these questions, please do not wait for an answer because there is no answer. Life has no such answer as a `yes' or a `no', it is much too vast, immeasurable; and to fathom the immeasurable, the mind must be free, silent. Our quest is not to find an opinion, a conclusion with its admissions and denials, but to discover the right answer, the truth of the question. If I may suggest, you and I are going to see if we cannot discover the truth of the problem; because it is truth alone that frees you from the problem, not your or my opinion, however wise, however erudite. The man of knowledge, the man of opinion, the man of experience, will never find truth; for the mind must be very simple to find truth, and simplicity is not achieved through learning.
Question: Our lives ore empty of any real impulse of kindness, and we seek to fill this void with organized charity and compulsive justice. Sex is our life. Can you throw any light on this weary subject?
Krishnamurti: To translate the question, our problem is, is it not?, that our lives are empty, and we know no love; we know sensations, we know advertising, we know sexual demands, but there is no love. And how is this emptiness to be transformed, how is one to find that flame without smoke? Surely, that is the question, is it not? So, let us find out the truth of the matter together.
Why are our lives empty? Though we are very active, though we write books and go to cinemas, though we play, love, and go to the office, yet our lives are empty, boring, mere routine. Why are our relationships so tawdry, empty, and without much significance? We know our own lives sufficiently well to be aware that our existence has very little meaning; we quote phrases and ideas which we have learnt - what so and so has said, what the mahatma, the latest saints or the ancient saints, have said. If it is not a religious, it is a political or intellectual leader that we follow, either Marx, or Adler, or Christ. We are just gramophone records repeating, and we call this repetition `knowledge'. We learn, we repeat, and our lives remain utterly tawdry, boring and ugly. Why? Why is it like that? If you and I really put that question to ourselves, won't we find the answer? Why is it that we have given so much significance to the things of the mind? Why has the mind become so important in our lives - mind being ideas, thought, the capacity to rationalize, to weigh, to balance, to calculate? Why have we given such extraordinary significance to the mind? - which does not mean that we must become emotional, sentimental and gushy. We know this emptiness, we know this extraordinary sense of frustration; and why is there in our lives this vast shallowness, this sense, of negation? Surely, we can understand it only when we approach it through awareness in relationship.
What is actually taking place in our relationships? Are not our relationships a self-isolation? Is not every activity of the mind a process of safeguarding, of seeking security, isolation? Is not that very thinking which we say is collective, a process of isolation? Is not every action of our life a self-enclosing process? You yourself can see it in your daily life, can't you? The family has become a self-isolating process; and being isolated, it must exist in opposition. So, all our actions are leading to self-isolation, which creates this sense of emptiness; and being empty, we proceed to fill the emptiness with radios, with noise, with chatter, with gossip, with reading, with the acquisition of knowledge, with respectability, money, social position, and so on and on. But these are all part of the isolating process, and therefore they merely give strength to isolation. So, for most of us, life is a process of isolation, of denial, resistance, conformity to a pattern; and naturally in that process there is no life, and therefore there is a sense of emptiness, a sense of frustration. Surely, to love someone is to be in communion with that person, not on one particular level, but completely, integrally, profusely; but we do not know such love. We know love only as sensation - my children, my wife, my property, my knowledge, my achievement; and that again is an isolating process, is it not? Our life in all directions leads to exclusion, it is a self-enclosing momentum of thought and feeling and occasionally we have communion with another. That is why there is this enormous problem.
Now, that is the actual state of our lives - respectability, possession, and emptiness - , and the question is, how are we to go beyond it? How are we to go beyond this loneliness, this emptiness. this insufficiency, this inner poverty? I do not think most of us want to. Most of us are satisfied as we are; it is too tiresome to find out a new thing, so we prefer to remain as we are - and that is the real difficulty. We have so many securities, we have built walls around ourselves with which we are satisfied; and occasionally there is a whisper beyond the wall, occasionally there is an earthquake, a revolution, a disturbance which we soon smother. So, most of us really do not want to go beyond the self-enclosing process; all that we are seeking is a substitution, the same thing in a different form. Our dissatisfaction is so superficial; we want a new thing that will satisfy us, a new safety, a new way of protecting ourselves - which is again the process of isolation. We are actually seeking, not to go beyond isolation, but to strengthen isolation so that it will be permanent and undisturbed. It is only the very few who want to break through and see what is beyond this thing that we call emptiness, loneliness. Those who are seeking a substitution for the old will be satisfied by discovering something that offers a new security; but there are obviously some who will want to go beyond that, so let us proceed with them.
Now, to go beyond loneliness, emptiness, one must understand the whole process of the mind, must one not? What is this thing we call loneliness, emptiness? How do we know it is empty, how do we know it is lonely? By what measure do you say it is `this' and not `that'? Do you understand the problem? When you say it is lonely, it is empty, what is the measure? How do you know it is empty? You can know it only according to the measurement of the old. You say it is empty, you give it a name, and you think you have understood it, Is not the very naming of the thing a hindrance to the understanding of it? Look, Sirs, most of us know what this loneliness is, don't we?, this loneliness from which we are trying to escape. Most of us are aware of this inner poverty, this inner insufficiency. It is not an abortive reaction, it is a fact, and by calling it some name, we cannot dissolve it - it is there. Now, how do we know its content, how do we know the nature of it? Do you know something by giving it a name? Do you know me by calling me by a name? You can know me only when you observe me, when you have communion with me; but calling me by a name, saying I am this or that, obviously puts an end to communion with me. Similarly, to know the nature of that thing which we call loneliness, there must be communion with it; and communion is not possible if you name it. To understand something, the naming must cease first. If you want to understand your child at all, which I doubt, what do you do? You look at him, watch him in his play, observe him, study him, don't you? In other words, you love that which you want to understand. When you love something, naturally there is communion with it; but love is not a word, a name, a thought. You cannot love that which you call loneliness because you are not fully aware of it, you approach it with fear - not fear of it, but of something else. You have not thought about loneliness because you do not really know what it is. Sirs, don't smile, this is not a clever argument. Experience the thing while we are talking, then you will see the significance of it.
So, that thing which we call the empty is a process of isolation, which is the product of everyday relationship; because, in relationship, we are consciously or unconsciously seeking exclusion. You want to be the exclusive owner of your property, of your wife or husband, of your children, you want to name the thing or the person as `mine', which obviously means exclusive acquisition. This process of exclusion must inevitably lead to a sense of isolation, and as nothing can live in isolation, there is conflict; and from that conflict we are trying to escape. All forms of escape of which we can possibly conceive - whether social activities, drink, the pursuit of God. Puja, the performance of ceremonial's, dancing and other amusements - are on the same level; and if we see in daily life this total process of escape from conflict and want to go beyond it, we must understand relationship. It is only when the mind is not escaping in any form that it is possible to be in direct communion with that thing which we call loneliness, the alone; and to have communion with that thing, there must be affection, there must be love. In other words, you must love the thing to understand it. Love is the only revolution; and love is not a theory, not an idea, it does not follow any book or any pattern of social behaviour. So, the solution of the problem is not to be found in theories, which merely create further isolation; it is to be found only when the mind, which is thought, is not seeking an escape from loneliness. Escape is a process of isolation, and the truth of the matter is that there can be communion only when there is love; and it is only then that the problem of loneliness is resolved.
Question: India has an ancient tradition of simple living and few wants. At present, however, millions are held in the grip of involuntary poverty and privation, while at the other end of the scale this land is dominated by the rich upper classes who are already living a European mode of life. How can one discover the right relationship to possessions and comforts?
Krishnamurti: Sir, what do you mean by simplicity? Is it not important to find out first what is simplicity of life? Having but few clothes, a couple of loin cloths - is that a simple life? Is it a simple life to have few needs and be satisfied with one meal a day? The outward show of simplicity - is that simple? Or must simplicity begin at quite a different level, not at the periphery, but at the centre? So, let us find out what we mean by simplicity.
A mind that is complex, struggling to develop virtues, seeking power by trying to follow an ideal, to be nonviolent, disciplining itself, conforming to something, aiming at something, forcing itself in order to become something - is such a mind simple? Obviously not. But we want the outward show of simplicity, because that is very profitable; that is the traditional, the ideal. A mind that pursues the ideal is not a simple mind - it is an escaping mind. A mind in conflict, a mind that is conforming to a pattern, whatever it be, is not a simple mind; but where there is simplicity at the centre, there will be simplicity also at the periphery.
Now, the questioner wants to know how to discover the right relationship to possessions and comforts. If we use possessions for psychological gratification, then obviously possessions lead to complexity. We use things, possessions, not as mere necessities, but to satisfy a psychological need, do we not? That is, property becomes a means of self-aggrandizement. Most of us are seeking titles, position, property, land, virtues, recognition; and all that implies, does it not?, a psychological need, an inward demand to be something. When our relationship to property is based on a psychological need, obviously we cannot lead a simple life, and therefore there must be conflict - which is so clear. That is, when I use property, people, or ideas as a means towards my psychological gratification, then I must possess - whatever it is, it is `mine'. Therefore, I must protect it, I must fight for it, and hence the conflict begins.
So, it is important, is it not?, to understand our relationship to property; but obviously, you cannot understand that relationship if you approach it through any particular pattern. Understanding is not according to any plain, whether communist or socialist, whether of the right or of the left. As long as we use property as a means of self-aggrandizement, there must be conflict, there must be a society which is based on violence. It is not merely an economic problem, but much more a psychological problem; and the economists who are trying to solve it on the economic level will always fail because the significance is much deeper. Aren't you using property, comforts, power, as a means of self-aggrandizement? To know that you have so much money in the bank, that you have a title, an estate - does it not give you importance, a sense of power? If it is not property you are after, then you want to be an official, a bureaucrat, a commissar, an ambassador, and God knows what else; and from that you get a sense of satisfaction, the feeling that you are somebody.
So, we base our relationship on self-aggrandizement; and as long as we use people, ideas and things for our self-aggrandizement, there must be violence. The problem cannot be solved through any pattern of economic or social action, but requires the understanding of our whole psychological being; therefore there must be an inward revolution, and not merely a revolution on the outside. It is very difficult to be as nothing, not to demand to be something, because most of us want to be successful, we are all after success in some form or other, are we not? In the business or social world, in politics, as a writer, as a poet, we want recognition, we want success in some form; so the problem is really much more inward and psychologi- cal than outward and objective. As long as we base our relationship on property, there must be this appalling division of those who have and those who have not, the rich and the poor; and we are trying to abolish that division through revolution based on an idea, which is a pattern of outside action determining how individuals shall behave in society without a fundamental, radical transformation at the centre, which is the psyche. That is why a revolution which merely substitutes one pattern for another is no revolution at all. We think that by having an outward revolution we can bring about a new world based on what should be. On the contrary, revolution can only be at the centre, in the psyche, and then it will produce real outward revolution; but do what you will, mere outward revolution can never bring about an internal revolution.
So, our problem is, not how to bring about a new pattern or a new substitution, But how to awaken the radical revolution in ourselves. That is the real problem; because, what you are, the world is Your problem is the world's problem, you are not separate from the world; you and the world are an integrated process, the world is not without you. So, unless there is a revolution at the centre, revolution on the outside has very little meaning. Most of us do not want to change, or `we want to change only superficially, while maintaining certain things as they are in relation to our psychological demands', but it is only a radical inward revolution that will transform the world. It must begin with you as an individual, you cannot look to the mass; for it is only individuals, not the mass, that can bring about transformation. Therefore, you and I must radically transform ourselves, and in that there is tremendous beauty, in that there is creative thinking. A man who is happy, who loves, does not want possessions, he is not carried away by success, by power, position or authority. It is the unhappy, the sorrowful, who seek power and success as an escape from their own insufficiency. Superficial discontent only leads to gratification and further discontent; and as most of us are only superficially discontented, we do not want to be free from discontent. To be free from discontent is to bring about a fundamental revolution. Contentment, which is not the opposite of discontent, is that state in which there is the understanding of what is; and the understanding of what is, is not a matter of time, it is not in the movement of the past to the future. The mind can be free only when it is simple, clean, and such a mind alone can be content. Only the mind that is free can establish right relationship to property. You will say, `That will take a very long time, because it is only a few who can do it. In the meantime, the world is going to pieces, and therefore we must organize collectively'. That is a very facile and specious argument. Actually, even though you organize yourselves to bring about a collective revolution, that also will take time; and how do you know that you have the key to the future? What gives you the authority and the certainty that by your particular revolution you are going to create a marvellous Utopia?
Surely, then, it is really important that the problem be viewed, not on a particular level, but profoundly, intimately, and with an integrated approach, for in that alone is there a solution. You cannot be integrated if you approach the problem with any sense of resistance, through any form of compulsion or conformity. Therefore, the thing that brings about integration is love; but to love the problem, you cannot impose on it any particular theory or discipline. If you really want to solve this problem of right relationship to property, you must be able to understand the whole structure of your being. But you see, you want quick answers, you want an immediate response, an easy solution to this problem; and no one on earth can give it to you. There is no immediate solution to a very complex problem. The immediacy is in the response of the individual, not in the solution of the problem. You can change immediately if you so desire - but you don't. It is when you have a crisis that you have to change. A crisis means that you approach the problem with extraordinary completeness, otherwise it is not a crisis. But you do not want crises in your lives; that is why you have lawyers, that is why you have priests, that is why you have official revolutionaries. You avoid crisis; but when you are up against it, then you will find the right answer.
Question: What is self-knowledge? The traditional approach to self-knowledge is the knowledge of Atman as distinct from the ego. Is that what you mean by self-knowledge?
Krishnamurti: Look Sirs you are all well-read, aren't you? You have read all the religious books, and that is how you know about the Atman; otherwise you do not know anything about it. You have read it in the books and you like the idea, so you accept it; but you don't really know whether it exists or does not exist. You want permanency, and the Atman guarantees it. Now, suppose you had not read a single religious book about the Atman, the Super - Atman, and all the rest of it, what would you do? You might invent; but if you had no previous knowledge, what would be your approach? And that is my approach - I have not read a single religious or psychological book, because I do not want them. Not that I am conceited; but since the whole business is inside you, you can discover it for yourself - but not by looking outside. Otherwise, how do you know that Sankaracharya, Buddha, or the very latest authority, is not wrong?
So, to discover truth, there must be freedom; freedom, not at the end, but at the very beginning. Freedom is not at the end, liberation is not an end product; it must be at the beginning, otherwise you cannot discover. Therefore, there must be freedom, freedom from the past - and that is what you and I are going to find out. You want to know what is self knowledge. It is not of the ego, not of the Atman - you do not know what that means. All that you know is that you are here, an entity in relationship with another, with your wife and children, with the world - that is all you know. That is the actual fact. Whether the Atman exists or not is merely a theory, a speculation, and speculation is a waste of time; it is for the sluggish, the thoughtless.
Now, what am I? That is all that matters: what am I? I am going to find out what I am; I am going to see how far I can go in that direction and find out where it leads. Because, that is the fact - not the Atman, not the ego, not the super-super-super. I do not think about those things, even though Buddha and Christ and everybody may have talked about them. What I can know is my relationship with property, with people, with ideas. So, the beginning of self knowledge lies in the understanding of relationship, and that relationship plays on all levels, not on one particular level only. I have to find out what my relationship is with my wife, with my children, with property, with society, with ideas. Relationship is the mirror in which I see myself as I am, and to see myself as I am is the beginning of wisdom. Wisdom is not something that you can buy in books or go to a guru to acquire; that is mere information, and wisdom is not information. Wisdom is the beginning of self-knowledge, and that wisdom comes when you understand relationship.
Now, to understand relationship, to see very clearly in relationship the fact of what you are, there must be no condemnation or justification - you must look at the fact with freedom. How can you understand something if you condemn it, or wish it to be something other than it is? Through your understanding of relationship there comes the discovery from minute to minute of the ways of your thinking, the structure of your mind; and as long as the mind does not understand its total process, both the conscious and the unconscious, there can be no freedom. So, through the relationship of everyday contacts, of everyday action, you come to a point when you see that the thinker is not different from thought. When you say the Atman is different from the ego, it is still within the field of thought; and without understanding the process, the functioning of thought, it is utterly futile to talk of reality and the Atman, because they have no existence, they are merely the prejudices of thought. What we have to do is to understand the thought process, and that can be understood only in relationship. Self-knowledge begins with the understanding of relationship - which we shall discuss later.
Then there is the question of the thinker and the thought, the experiencer and the experienced, with which we are familiar. Is there a thinker as an entity separate from thought? Surely there is no separate entity; there is only thought, and it is thought that has created this separate entity called the thinker. Thought is the response of memory, both the conscious as well as the unconscious, the hidden and the open; memory is experience, and experience is response to a challenge, which becomes the experienced - that is the total process of our consciousness, is it not? There is memory, then experience, which is the response to challenge, then the naming process, which further cultivates memory. Memory responds as thought in relationship, and this whole process of thought, this cycle of memory, challenge, response, experience and naming, which becomes further memory, is what we call consciousness. That is all I am, that is all I know. So, I see that my mind functions within the field of time, within the field of the known; and can it function beyond that field? I see now the whole process of my thinking, which leads me to the question, can the mind go beyond thought, which is the result of the known? Obviously not; be cause, when thought seeks to go beyond, it is pursuing its own projection. Thought cannot experience the unknown, it can only experience that which it has projected, which is the known. Thought is the mind, which is the result of time, the result of the past; and I want to know if the mind can go beyond itself. Obviously it cannot, because the `beyond' is the unknown, it is not of time. So, the mind must come to an end - which means, the mind must be still, meditative. Meditation is not the becoming of something, but the understanding of the total process of relationship, which is self-knowledge. It is only when the mind is still, not compelled to be still, that there is a possibility of experiencing the un known.
So, then, can the mind, which is the result of experience, which is memory - can such a mind experience the unknown? Do you under stand the problem? Can the mind, which is memory, the product of time, experience the timeless?It is the function of the mind to remember; and is truth a matter of experience and remembrance? We will discuss all this further as we go along; but just listen to what is being said, go with it, play with it, do not resist it. The point is: the mind is the result of time, time being me- mory, and memory says, `I have experienced or have not experienced'. Is truth, the unknown, the immeasurable, a matter of experience, which means something to be remembered? If you remember some thing, it is already the known, is it not? So, is it not possible to experience something which is not in terms of time - which means experiencing in the sense of seeing the truth from moment to moment? If I remember truth, it is no longer truth; because memory is a matter of time, of continuity, and truth is not of time, truth is not a continuity. The truth of the Buddha is not the truth which you discover today. Truth is never the same, it has no continuity; it is only from moment to moment, it cannot be remembered. There is truth only when mind is completely silent. Truth is not something to be sought after, experienced, held and worshipped. There can be the experiencing of the timeless only when the mind is free from all conditioning. So, self-knowledge is the understanding of conditioning.
What is important is to under stand the total process of the mind. We will discuss it later; but we will have to see that truth is not some thing to be remembered. That which is remembered is of time, it is a thing of the past, and truth can never be of the past or of the future; truth can only be in the present, in that state where there is no time. Time is the process of the mind, the mind is thought, and thought is the response of memory. Memory is the experience of challenge and response, and because the response is inadequate it creates the problem in relationship. So, the understanding of the total process of the self lies in the understanding of relationship in daily life; and that understanding frees the mind from time, and there fore it is capable of experiencing reality from moment to moment, which is not a process of remembering - it can no longer be termed `experience', it is quite a different state altogether. That state of being is bliss, it is not something that you learn in books and repeat like gramophone records. Such a man is happy, he does not repeat, for him life has no problem. It is only the mind that creates problems.
February 12, 1950
Bombay 1st Public Talk 12th February, 1950
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