Poona 1st Public Talk 24th January 1953
As there are going to be only four talks I think it is important to establish the relationship between the speaker and yourselves. The attitude an audience generally has towards a speaker is: the audience listening to certain ideas of the speaker and the speaker carrying on with his ideas which he wants to translate to the audience. But unfortunately, that is not so where I am concerned. I am not a lecturer. I am not giving you a speech for you to either confirm or to contradict.
What we are going to try today is to think out the problems together if we can, because it is your problem as well as mine; and if you merely listen, either to criticize or to accept or to deny, it will be utterly futile, because that is not my intention. What we shall do during these four talks is to find out the truth of the problem together. You are not going to listen to the truth of what I say, from me, but we are going to discover it together. We, you and I, shall discuss, shall talk it over, shall think out the problems together. I think it is very important to bear this in mind; otherwise, there will be a discussion only on the verbal level.
So, if I may suggest, please listen, not in order to confute or to conform, but really to go into the problems that confront us and which are multiplied everyday. Together we shall find out the true answer. Please bear this in mind - together. It is your problem as well as mine. We are going to discuss, to fathom the truth of the problem. So with that intention, please listen.
It is important to know how to listen, not only to me particularly, but to anybody. It is important to know how to listen, because if we know how to listen truly, something extraordinary happens to us; because then without any bias, without any prejudice, we can go to the root of the matter immediately. But if we throw up a lot of arguments, concoct devices or contradictions to see who is correct and who is not correct and to carry on with our own particular idiosyncracies and ideas, then we will not discover the truth of the matter at all. We shall only be concerned with our own particular conclusions, with our own point of view. So if I may suggest, it is important that we should listen truly; because if we can know how to listen, the truth will reveal itself. We do not have to explore the problem; but if we know how to listen to the song of a bird, to the voice of another, if we can listen as to music without any interpretation or translation, it definitely clarifies the mind; so similarly, if it is possible, let us listen with that intention - not to confute or to conform, but to directly find out the truth for ourselves.
We see about us, in the world, innumerable problems created by society, by individuals; and in the solution of a particular problem we seem to find an increase of the problem, we introduce new problems. Immediately we solve any one particular problem like starvation or any other problem, economic or social or spiritual, we awaken, do we not?, to other innumerable problems. As we find that in the solution of one problem other problems come into being, the mind gets more and more involved in problems. There is never a solution, definite or final, of any particular problem but always the multiplication of problems. I do not know if you have noticed this in your daily life. You think you have solved something; but, in its very solution, you find half a dozen problems have come into being.
Now, is it possible to solve any particular problem totally without increasing it and introducing other problems? That is one of our main concerns in life because we have got so many problems in the world - economic, social, religious - the destructive wars, the relationship of people with one another, the way of thought, whether there is God or not, and so on.
We want to be loved, and also we want to love; we want to have the capacity to discover, to find out what is truth - truth which is not merely the hearsay of another, which is not learnt from the book, whatever the book may be. We want to know Truth ourselves, to directly experience Truth without interpretation.
We have got many many problems; the whole day is full of problems - what kind of action we should do, what kind of job we should have, the desire for fulfilment and, without knowing it, the continuous chain of frustration. To solve these problems we generally turn to somebody, to a book, to a system, to a leader, to a guru, or to some direct experience which we have accumulated ourselves. The desire to find an answer through someone - through a guru, through a book, through a political panacea, through following another - only leads us, if we observe carefully, to frustration. Is that not in the lives of most of us? Politically you have followed, you have been to prison, you have been carried away by the enthusiasm of freedom or nationalism or what you will; at the end of it all, what have you? You have the word freedom; but the word is not freedom.
You have religious books, guides, philosophers; you do many rituals; and through all this there is fear, there is frustration, there is the hope that can never be fulfilled, there is bitterness, there is anxiety. This is the lot of all of us.
And as we grow older with more and more experience, more and more living a life of frustration, we find, do we not?, that we are losing the essential thing in us, which is faith. What I mean by faith is not what you have been used to, namely the faith in the leader, faith in the guru, faith in the book, faith in your own particular experience. You may not believe in anything and it is quite right not to believe; if you do not believe, there is a possibility of discovering. But unfortunately, to be without faith leads to cynicism, leads to scepticism, to a life of superficial enjoyment, superficial activities, to doing good superficially. If we do not turn into cynics, we are active, doing good; but that fire which is so essential for creative thinking is denied, is destroyed. I think it is that thing, that fire, that we must find - not the answer to any particular problem, because answers to problems are comparatively easy.
If you are intelligent, if you have the capacity, if you have energy, then it is comparatively simple to study the problem. The perfect studying of the problem is the answer itself; the answer is not away from the problem. But to study, to find out the truth of the problem, you need energy, you need vitality; and that vitality and that energy is destroyed, when you are following somebody, when you are following your guru, when you are following your political leader or an economic system. All your creative energy is gone in following something; in disciplining your mind to a particular pattern of action. When the leader fails, when the leader dies, when something happens, you are left alone.
So it is possible to have that creative faith - if I can use that word - without identifying it with a particular pattern of thought? I am not referring here to the faith in a guru, in a book or in your experience, but to that faith that comes, that confidence which you have, through your own direct experiencing - not the experience of tradition, not the experience of your teachers, but your own direct understanding of the problem, your dealing with the problem energetically, and therefore having that extraordinary confidence, that capacity to discover the Truth of a particular problem. Surely that is the answer, is it not? Because without that we are not creative human beings. And that is what is necessary in the world at the present times - not leaders, not systems, not innumerable multiplication of gurus, but the capacity on the part of the individual to discover what is Truth for himself.
Truth is not yours or mine. It is not personal. It is something that comes into being when the mind is very clear, simple, direct and silent. It can only come in that state. You cannot pursue it. You try to pursue it when you are crippled with the anxiety to find an answer to a particular problem.
So, what we now need is the confidence or the faith in the discovery of what is Truth. We cannot discover what is Truth if our minds are conditioned. After all, the window through which we look at life is conditioned. We are conditioned as a Hindu, as a Mussulman, as a Christian, as a Buddhist - that is, we are conditioned to think in a particular way. The behaviour, the pattern of action, is already inculcated in us from childhood. So when we grow up, as we begin to experience, we experience through that screen of conditioning; this is an obvious psychological effect whether we like it or not.
We are never free to discover. We have so far tried one particular form of conditioning - Capitalist or Socialist. We now say, `That form is foolish; therefore, let us become Communists'. Becoming Communists is also another conditioning. Through any conditioning will you ever solve the problem? On the contrary, to solve any problem you must be free to think out, to experience directly that problem. And because we are so conditioned religiously economically, climatically, in every way, we are not free to look, to observe, to discover. We are bound, specially here in this country; we are incapable of thinking independently, freely for ourselves, without guides, books, leaders. Do please think about this, because that is what the problem is. Because we are image-worshippers, we have so many examples, so many heroes. Our minds are so crippled with imitation that we are incapable of putting aside all books and leaders, and of thinking out every problem for ourselves and discovering the Truth.
In discovering the Truth of any thing there is the feeling of thinking together. Do you understand the implication of that? So far, we have followed someone and in the very following we have created division. It is no use saying we are together in following some leader, because basically we are separated and therefore there is never a creative feeling of building together - that this is our earth, that you cannot live without me and I cannot live without you. That is the feeling that we have to build together and not that one political or religious leader, or one dynamic personality has to lay down the plan; the feeling that this is our earth, the feeling that this crumbled civilization can be brought together, rebuilt; the feeling that you and I together are building this civilization anew.
This feeling of `ourness' cannot come into being if you and I are not free to discover the Truth - the Truth being not yours or mine. It is only in the discovery of what is Truth that there is a possibility of the feeling that we are creating together, that we are living together, that we beautify the earth together. Please think about what I am saying. Don't just discard it thinking that this is also one of those speeches we hear occasionally. Don't brush this aside; because, this is the vital necessity at the present time.
We are in a tremendous crisis, whether we know of it or not. And in this crisis you cannot follow the old-fashioned book, or leader; you have to find the Truth in your own heart and you can only find it when your mind is unconditioned. As long as there is conditioning that makes you pursue, follow, create ideologies, worship; as long as there is the conditioning of the mind either as a Hindu, a Communist, a Socialist or a Capitalist or what you will; you cannot find the Truth of any problem. And it is only when you and I discover the Truth which is not personal or individual, that there is a possibility of bringing about a revolution which is not a revolution of ideas but of Truth. That is what is needed in the present times.
It is also important to find out what your relationship is to that Creative Reality, God, or what you will - names are of no importance. You cannot find that Creative Reality if your mind is clotted with ideas, with words that have no meaning. You cannot find it or discover it if your mind is incapable of pulling itself away from traditional thought.
Truth is not something made up of the mind. The mind cannot perceive Truth. Truth is not a product of the mind; on the contrary, as long as the mind is active, is trying to scheme out, to discover, to dig out, it will not find Truth. It can only find it when there is understanding that frees the mind, when only there is a possibility of the mind being very silent. A silent mind is essential, a mind that is very still, with a stillness that is not brought about by discipline, by coercion, by persuasion. A mind that is disciplined is not a free mind; it is a narrow mind, it is a conditioned mind; therefore, it is incapable of finding out what is Truth. But a mind that understands, that penetrates, that is capable of directly experiencing in action, in relationship, in everyday living, such a mind is capable of discovering the Truth; and it is that Truth that sets us free from our problems.
Here are some questions and I shall try to answer them. In answering them, I am not concerned with the problem, nor to find an answer to the problem. While listening to me, if you are looking for an answer, you will never find an answer. But if you know how to study the problem, how to look at the problem, then you will find the answer in the problem itself, not away from it.
Most of you, unfortunately, have got a schoolboy mentality, which is to find an answer. You are only concerned in finding the answer which is at the end of the book or the answer from a teacher, from a guru or from a system, from a newspaper, through a book; that is, you want to find an answer away from the problem, in a panacea, in a word, in a name, and you think you have solved the problem. So, in answering these questions, please bear in mind that we are not trying to find an answer. We are trying to understand the problem, and in the very understanding of the problem we shall find an answer. Then the answer is not separate from the problem. Then you do not have the answer which you are trying to live up to. Then the answer is in your hands, to make what you like with it or to destroy it. Please follow this point carefully; otherwise you will miss what I am talking about.
Our mentality is, especially at meetings of this kind, to wait for an answer. But what we are going to do is to think out the problem together, to see the Truth of the problem together, because there is no answer to a problem. Problems are created by our thinking, by our life, by our actions, and we want an answer outside our thoughts, our daily activity, our daily relationship; and so we are everlastingly waiting for somebody to tell us what to do. And as people are only too willing to tell us what to do, we call them leaders; at the end of our search, there is frustration, there is despair, there is bitterness; all our life is wasted; then disintegration takes place in our very being. So it is only in studying the problem that it is possible to find a true answer?
Question: In an underdeveloped and economically backward country like India which has just attained political freedom, problems of material reconstruction are obviously primary. What is your contribution to the creation of a new social order here? Krishnamurti: Now, what is the problem involved here? We want an economic way of life, a new pattern of action, a new relationship between human beings in the economic field - specially in a country which has recently attained freedom, in a so-called underdeveloped country where there is overpopulation, where there is not enough food for the whole of the people, where there is a superficial revolution but not a fundamental revolution, where there is merely an exchange or rather substitution of leadership and not fundamental radical revolution in the ways of life or in the outlook. We say we want to create a new social, a new economic order, without radically transforming ourselves; we want a radical answer. Do you follow?
The questioner asks what my contribution is to this. He wants an answer, an economic panacea, a system for this country. Now, can you, as human beings living in this world of reality, be ideologically free and independent of any other country? Are not your economic relationships based on and related to other countries? So, there is no answer to the economic problem independently, apart from other countries.
So, the first fallacy is to want economic freedom, an economic solution for the people living in this country apart from other countries. The problem is rather confused, it is much deeper than the economic solution or reconstruction of this country. It is the problem of all human beings living together on this earth. Sirs, don't nod at me; that means absolutely nothing. What we need is a revolution - not an economic revolution, not a new economic order, not a revolution of ideas nor that of substituting one system for another, but a fundamental revolution in our thinking.
The questioner wants to know what contribution I have to solve the problem of food, as food is the primary, important thing. Now, at which level, from what point of view, are we, you and I, approaching the problem? We all admit that food is the primarily important thing; without food, you and I cannot sit here. The problem of food is primary and it must be tackled immediately. But, let us study and understand this problem. We said that food is of primary importance. But is it really the primary necessity for the individual? Is there not something else much deeper?
You may have food, but have you solved the problem of human relationship, which is of primary importance? That is, you may have food, you may organize economic safety for every individual; but in bringing that about, you may lose yourself, you may no longer be free. That is what is happening in the world, Sirs.
In considering food as the primary important thing you hand over to a person or to a system your freedom, your capacity to think freely and independently and to discover what is Truth; and in that very process, you become slaves, and the capacity of creative being is destroyed. To put it differently, the primary necessity is not food. The primary necessity is for each individual to be creative. If the mind is assured of being creative, then nothing else very much matters. Then our emphasis is not on food, not on an economic plan or system, but on something else which will bring about the economic security of mankind.
Each one of us is ambitious. You want to be something in this world. If you are a clerk, you want to be the manager, the chief Executive, the Director; if you are a clerk in a court of law, you want to become the judge. You want to keep on climbing and climbing. So, as long as there is ambition, the desire to be somebody in this world, you are going to destroy any economic plan for the security of mankind. Therefore, so long as the urge to be somebody, to be great, to fulfil, to have a name, position, prestige, power, is the drive, then the primary necessity which is food will not come into being. Sirs, this is proved over and over again; it is not my own invention. When you observe this fact, you do not lay emphasis on food as the primary necessity; but you realize that there must be a fundamental revolution in our thinking for this necessity to come into being. You must do away with your communal divisions, castes and all the narrow petty-mindedness of human beings; there must be no nationalism, no artificial distinction; it is only then that there is a possibility of the primary necessity of mankind being fulfilled.
Therefore, the revolution for economic well-being must be inward and not outward. Do you agree to all this? Yes? But you say you cannot have fundamental inward revolution, because you have not the vigour, you have not the self-reliance; because you are exhausted; because you have done so many foolish things in your lives, followed so many leaders, teachers; because mentally you say you are exhausted. This inward revolution in which the mind is not seeking fulfilment through any ambition, requires a great deal of inside research, inward understanding. This means the setting aside of any particular ambition to discover and to solve this primarily important issue - which is, that everyone on the earth can have food, clothing and shelter. That is only possible when there is a feeling that this is our earth, that we are responsible for the whole of mankind. That is only possible when everyone of us is not struggling, achieving to be someone. Sirs, this is the fundamental revolution which will produce your new social order.
Question: Scientific inventions have turned from a blessing to a curse to humanity. Can you not help mankind to escape from the criminal folly of its cleverest and most powerful men?
Krishnamurti: Sir, it is your responsibility, is it not? We know the world; if we are not very wise, it is going to destroy itself. There is a super-hydrogen bomb which has been recently exploded and which in its explosion totally vapourised. Probably you have read about that terrible invention. War seems to be the perpetual occupation of civilized man. Now, how are we going to solve this? Inventions are necessary. Atomic energy may be used for producing the necessities of mankind; it may be the cheapest power and so on. But we must find out why men want to destroy each other, why we want to kill somebody else; that is the problem, not scientific inventions. Because the more we can discover about the scientific use of nature, the more we shall be free to enjoy. to look at the trees, the sky, the birds, the running waters, the sunset.
So it is not the fault of science. We must see why it is that you and I want to kill our next door neighbour - the Russian, the American, the English or the Mussulman. Why? That is our problem. Why do we hate, why do we create enmity, why have we no love? If we can really go into it, if we find out what it means to love someone, then probably we shall prevent wars.
One of the fundamental causes of war, we are told, is economic. But, much more than that, the fundamental cause is `the belief in something.' When I believe in something, I want to convert you to my ideas; and if you do not agree with me, I am going to liquidate you. You have a panacea, you have a system, you have the Bible or a book of Marx with truths, high dogmas, disciplines; and if I do not agree with your way of thinking, if I do not believe in God as you believe, then you destroy me. It is that thing that we must understand, why we create enmity between each other.
Is not so-called religion one of the causes of enmity? Please do consider it. Do not brush it aside. You believe that you are a Hindu, and I am told from childhood that I am a Mussulman. I do certain rituals and you don't do certain rituals. So belief, rituals, divide us, do they not? You are a Brahmin and I am not. You believe in the only saviour - in Marx or in Jesus or in Buddha; if I disagree with you, you are going to push me aside.
So you see, fundamentally, one of the causes of enmity between men is `belief', and belief projects. I want some kind of security in life; I have money; I have position; but I want deeper security. So I project out of my mind the desire, the urge which compels me to find security in some super-idea, some super-man, some super-convictions or super-conclusions. So out of my very desire, I create belief, the idea of security, the idea there being God or no God; and to that my mind clings. So it is my belief which gives me a sense of security, of certainty; and I say that it is `my' urge, that it is `mine', because you are isolated from me by your belief. Gradually, out of all this, division or antagonism comes into being; you are an Englishman and I am a Negro; you are a Capitalist, I am a Communist. So, belief, the desire of the mind to be secure in some conclusion, in some conviction, is one of the causes of enmity.
Love is not a thing of the mind. I wonder if you love your children! I doubt it very much, because if you did, there would be no war; because if you love, you would not create in the mind the division of Hindu and Mussulman; if you love, you would, have no division of clerks and managers and so on. If you love the child, you would help him to grow into an intelligent human being without any conditioning so that his intelligence can pierce through all the conditioning of life.
So the cause of war is not outside of us but in us. We preach non-violence; we have ideals of brotherhood; we use so many words without much significance. The idealist is the worst warmonger. (Laughter). Sirs, please don't laugh. The man who preaches brotherhood is not brotherly; that is why he preaches brotherhood; the man who is brotherly does not talk of brotherhood. When a man has the ideal of brotherhood, it means he is not brotherly and he is going to be, some day, brotherly. We have developed a philosophy of postponement and an ideal; and the man who preached an ideal obviously is not that which he thinks he should be. It is only when we understand what we are in actual fact, not theoretically but actually, that there is a possibility of freeing ourselves from enmity.
We have to see the truth, how mankind is dividing itself by various theories, dogmas, principles, philosophies, beliefs; how each one is trying to fulfil, trying to become something in this world; and how this is the real cause of war, of destruction, of degeneration. But we do not want to face that; we want economic safety; we want outside conditions to be altered without radically, fundamentally bringing about a transformation in our own thinking, in our own feelings. It is only when we see this truth that there is a possibility of stopping wars, of seeing that the inventions which can be the means of appalling destruction do not bring greater misery and havoc to mankind.
Question: Your denunciation of all discipline would only lead young people to the already rampant cult of body-worship. Until all desire is sublimated, is not some form of self-control absolutely essential?
Krishnamurti: Sir, let us go into this problem very carefully and see the truth of the matter. First we must take things as they are: that the world has gone crazy about sensate values, that this so-called body worship, the cinemas and so on, is cultivated. And knowing that, you say we must discipline ourselves, we must control ourselves.
Now, what is meant by discipline? First let us understand the word, the implication of that word, and then we can approach the problem. What do we mean by discipline? Obviously, it is a process of resistance, is it not?, a process of controlling one desire by another desire, a process of conformity.
I think this is the only way and I must conform to it - to the social pattern or to my elders, or to the guru or to the political party. I must suppress what I think or what I feel, and I must conform to the system, to the plan laid down by the party. I must not deviate, I must not think differently, because what the system says is the absolute; the system may be changed by the leader tomorrow, but in the meantime I must conform to it. This is one attitude, which is conformity, resistance, either sublimation or substitution. We mean all these things when we talk about discipline.
What happens when we have disciplined? What has happened to you when you have followed a guru and disciplined your mind and heart to a pattern laid down by him? What has happened to your mind? You are no longer a living, vital entity; but you have a mind that is completely disciplined, controlled, remoulded; and behind that moulding, there is fear - fear of what the public will say; fear of not following the party, the leader; fear that you might lose your job; fear of going wrong. At the back of discipline which is. to resist, to conform, there is fear - fear of what your parents will say, what your wife, or husband or guru will say; what will happen. So the basis of discipline is conformity, resistance or substitution; and behind that, there is fear.
Now, how can the mind understand the problem of conformity, which is imitation, as long as the urge is fear? Do you understand? What is vital is the understanding of the process of fear and thereby being intelligent - which does not mean to either conform, resist or find a substitute. It is an obvious fact that discipline destroys intelligence. Every teacher in a school disciplines. Because he has so many children to deal with, he must discipline, he must frighten them; and so he begins to discipline, to control; and thereby, he destroys intelligence - intelligence being the freedom to discover what is truth in every part of our life, from childhood upwards.
So discipline does not bring intelligence. You can only have intelligence when there is freedom, not fear. And a mind that is disciplined can never discover what is Truth - which means, a mind that is the outcome of fear can never find what is love. Please understand this, please see the Truth of it.
Do not say what will happen to me if I do not discipline myself. What has happened to you up till now? You are supposed to have disciplined yourself till now - at least you say you are disciplining yourself. Where are you? You are everlastingly struggling with what you should be and with what you are.
Why not put aside the ideological theory as to what you should be, which is not a fact, which has no truth in it. The fact is: what you are now. Why not understand what you are? The understanding of what you are does not demand discipline; on the contrary, you can investigate, go into it, search out the truth of it. But you see, most of us do not want to understand what we are; we are always seeking what we are not; we are always running after what we should be, hoping thereby to escape from what we are. The understanding of what we are is the only fact, the only reality; and in that understanding you will find out the infinite truth that `what is' is, and that `what is' is never static. But that requires a mind which is not burdened by fear, which is not crippled by ideas of dis- cipline or with what my father will say, what my mother, my guru, society is going to say.
Discipline prevents intelligence. Intelligence is the outcome of freedom from fear. But you see, you think you should not be free from fear. You think that fear keeps man on the true path and that therefore you must discipline your child not to rebel against you, and you teach him what you think is truth. So you begin to condition him through fear; you want him to conform to the social pattern of your society. So gradually you instil fear in him and thereby destroy his intelligence. That is what is happening to most of us, is that not so? Cleverness, erudition, being capable of argument, of quoting - those are not the signs of intelligence. A man who is intelligent is without fear. Fear is not to be dispelled by any compulsion or by any conformity. Fear is a venom that slowly works in your system, destroying clearness and clarity of perception.
So when you look at the problem of discipline, you will find that discipline is not important, and that what is important is to understand the process of the mind, the process of behaviour not only in yourself, but all about you. The understanding of yourself is essential. The understanding of yourself is not the withdrawal from life, to become a hermit or a monk. You cannot understand yourself in isolation; you can only understand yourself in relationship with another, because to live is to be related; and to understand yourself, you have to use the mirror of relationship, and that requires an enormous competence, not fear, not the mind which says, `This is wrong', or `That is correct' - that is a schoolboy mentality; it is immature thought that is always condemning justifying.
So what is important in this question is what we mean by discipline. An intelligent mind does not need discipline; it is disciplining itself all the time - that is, it is observing, adjusting; it is never in the rigid frame of what you call discipline. Sir, a creative mind is the most disciplined mind - not with the discipline which is the outcome of fear, but that discipline which comes with the mind that understands, that is constantly aware of its actions and of the movements of its own desires. Such an awareness does not demand discipline. It is only the lazy, crippled, disintegrated mind that is afraid to grow; therefore it says, `I must discipline, control; I must be this and I must be that or I must not be that; such a mind can never discover what is Truth. A disciplined mind can never discover what is Truth.
A disciplined mind can never know what is love. So we never know what love is. We only know the sensation of sex or of the vanity of being loved or of loving. We do not know what love is. Love is not a thing of the mind. Love is not the outcome of a cunning device which believes, which limits itself, or which is afraid. Love comes into being only when the mind understands the ways of envy. When it understands the ways of its own fulfilment, when it understands its desire and the fear of frustration, when all these have ceased, then only that thing which is not merely a sensation but is the quality of love which will solve all our problems, comes into being.
January 24, 1953
Poona 1st Public Talk 24th January 1953
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