Bombay 5th Public Talk 21st February 1954
It seems to me, that, if we could find for ourselves an ever-refreshing and refilling source of happiness or bliss, most of our problems would be solved. We are everlastingly searching after that source in all our relationships, in the things that we pursue with motive and sometimes without motive. The things that we accumulate as knowledge and the things of the heart and the mind are all surely an indication, are they not?, that we want to find some inexhaustible source of bliss from which we can always live and be happy and create. But that fountain seems to elude us. We are always pursuing a phantom, and we never have the substance itself. I think, perhaps if we could consider what we have been discussing the last few times we met here - namely, the problem of religious revolution - if we know how to bring about that revolution, it may give us that source, and bliss may come into being in our lives.
Is total revolution a matter of process? Is it a matter of how to get there? Total revolution is not a revolution through a process, through gradual adjustments, denials, resistance and discipline. Total revolution is in the moment. Every other form of revolution or change, it seems to me, is a process of adjustment to a particular pattern, to an ideal, to an Utopia, or what you will; it is a gradual process; and, it seems to me, such a process, such a gradual approach, the so-called evolutionary method, is not religious - it may be scientific, but it is radically not a religious approach at all. It seems to me very important to understand this religious state and be there but not come to it. That is not possible, it seems to me, if we think in terms of time - as getting there, arriving, practising a certain method, having a certain approach which will gradually reveal that astonishing, creative release of the timeless. It is a matter of dying each day to all the things that we know, all that we have experienced, all that we have learnt. The important thing is the dying but not how to die each day.
Before we proceed further, it is very important to find out how we listen. If you are an intellectual, if you have read a great many books, if you have acquired great knowledge, and if your brain and your mind is full, can you listen? Does not that very knowledge interfere with what is being said, with your discovery of truth? Your brain may be very sharp, intellectual, capable of progressive rational examination; but will such a mind, the so-called intellectual mind, come to that state? That state surely can only be when the activity of the mind has ceased. So, is it not important for this so-called intellectual mind, to put aside if it can, all the things that it has leant, studied, read? I am sure that, other wise, the intellectual mind will never find that which is real. The intellectual mind is capable of great deception; because, in the process of analysis, it discards, it puts away; there is always the fear of uncertainty and therefore it clings to some form of belief, as most intellectuals do.
Is it not important for those of us who are not too brainy, to know how to listen? The average person who is struggling, who is miserable, feels lost; he does not know where to find comfort, where to find understanding, on whom to rely; because all the political and so-called religious leaders have led him nowhere, there is greater confusion, greater contradiction in his life. Being the average, so-called mediocre mind, he is everlastingly struggling to be something. Is it not very important for him to find out how to listen? The mediocre man, the average man, like any other mind, really wants to find a method of immediate action; he wants to know what to do, because he is caught in circumstances, in life that has become a routine, a boredom, a self-revealing frustration. Is it not important for a mind which is always striving for an end, for a result, for something to get at, for something by which it will be guided, to know how to listen because what we hear is translated in terms of action - not that action is not important? It seems to me that the happy man knows to live, and living is his action; but the unhappy man is everlastingly seeking a pattern of action.
As most of us are unhappy, struggling, trying to find some light or happiness, we are more concerned to listen in order to find a pattern of action; and so we are caught in this vain search for a pattern for action and we lose the art of listening, listening not only to what is being said here, but to everything about us - to the roar of the sea, to the song of birds, to children's voices, to the books that we read. We do not listen because our minds are too occupied, and our occupations are petty. Even the mind that is occupied or concerned with the search for God, is petty because it is occupied. It is only the mind that is free, quiet and unoccupied, that has bliss, that has infinite space; to such a mind comes that which is eternal. A mind that is occupied with worries, with the salvation of mankind, with social reforms, with knowledge - such a mind can never listen, because there is no space, no emptiness, in which a new thing, a new seed, can come into being. I think it is very important to have such a space in your mind, unoccupied, quiet, without striving; because, only in those dark moments, the light is seen dimly; but you cannot see this when the mind is constantly occupied, pursuing, asking begging.
There are those minds which listen, which are immature - the students. They also listen, do they not?, in order to learn, in order to gather information according to which they are going to live; they want examples, similes; they want to be shown the way what to do, how to listen. Surely, all such minds - the student, the average, and the so-called intellectual person - are occupied, they have no space, no emptiness in which something real or something false can be discovered. Surely, a mind must have space in which a new seed can be born - the seed that comes, not through striving, not through a process, not through the deliberate evolution of the imitator, not through any practice in order to arrive. The mind must have that small space in the mind, however else the mind is occupied, and that little space must be undisturbed, uncontaminated; in that space, eternal fountain of bliss can come into being. But, to create that space is not an act of volition; you cannot say: `How am I going to create it'? The moment you put the `how', then your mind is occupied.
If you see the importance, the sheer beauty and the necessity of quietness, then that space is there; that space is the dying to everything that one has known, to all the memories, to all the experiences, to all the accumulations of knowledge, information. We do die, the body is undergoing a change obviously; there is an ending to the noble, the ignoble. But the mind refuses to die to the things of yesterday. We carry over from day to day, and this carrying over is memory by which we give continuity to that. We hope that, in this continuity of learning, acquiring modifying, changing here and there, there will be a revolution, a radical transformation. That which can continue is never a religious transformation. It is only when thought comes to an end and has no continuity, that there is a dying to the mind and, in that a radical transformation can take place.
Just listen to this. Don't say: `How am I to get those things of which you say?' I am not saying anything, I am just describing the state of the mind, a machinery, an organism that is perpetually making a noise, that can never hear silence. Our thoughts are in constant motion, in constant movement; and thought is the continuity of yesterday - which is the process of time - and, in the process of time, there can never be a radical transformation; there can be only a change, an escape, a modification, but not that real religious revolution in which there is no process but there is `being'. For instance, a man who is acquisitive, however much he may practise, control, discipline - which is the process of time - will never find a state in which that non-acquisitive state is. Freedom from acquisitiveness is not a process, it is a state which must happen; and the happening can only take place when there is dying; because, it is only when you come to an end that there is something new.
The mind refuses to come to an end because mind is the result of time, of centuries of compulsion, of conformity, of imitation; the mind only knows struggle, judgment, values based on that struggle; and it is trying to change by struggling, by saying: `I must change; there must be an action by me which will produce happiness.' So we have economic, scientific, or social revolutions, but not the real religious revolution which is the only revolution. Religion is not the worshipping of idols, the performance of ritual, or the pursuit of the ideals of the mind. Surely religion is something entirely different to the repetition of what the ancient teachers have said in the Vedas or in the Upanishads - all that must go, it must all end in the fire of silence.
The difficulty is we never want to be uncertain, we are afraid of losing everything. So the mind, being uncertain, pursues certainty; thereby it creates fear; out of fear comes imitation, the establishment of authority - political, religious, or of one's own volition - because the mind demands a state of continuity in which it is certain. And a mind that is seeking certainty has never space in which the real can come into being. So it seems to me that those of you who are listening should be concerned not with `how' but rather with `being' - to be, to have some space in the mind, in which there is no movement of thought, thought being the continuity of yesterday. Thought can never produce a new world. The intellect can never produce a new state. It is only when thought comes to an end, when I am dead to all the yesterdays, that there is a possibility of that religious revolution which is so necessary to create a new world. Every God must go, for the real God to come. We have too many Gods now in our mind, so the real God can never come into being. Just see the truth or falseness of it, just listen to the fact whether it is true or not. Just to know the fact, in itself is liberation. To know that, there must be an ending of yesterday, one must die to the memories, to the enrichment of one's experiences, to the knowledge that one pursues in order to be certain; all that must come to an end; for, they are all things made by the mind.
The mind is the result of time. You, as the self, as `the me', as the ego, are a product of the mind. The character, the tendency, the various disciplines, the various controls and persuasions are all the result of time; they are the product of time. Mind is what nature, what the environment, has made it through culture, through fear, through imitation, through comparison, through so-called education; such a mind - do what it will, progress, struggle - can never bring about an action which is the outcome of bliss, which is the outcome of the revolt to find reality. Really one has to see the simplicity of it - not the simplicity of the external, but the simplicity of being in that state - not to arrive, not to struggle to be something, but to be like a flower. It is in itself perfume, it is in itself beauty; there is no effort, no struggle.
The mind that struggles to have the timeless beauty of that perfume, is incapable of knowing it. The mind that struggles can never know it; all its rituals, all its experiences, all its sacrifices, are in vain, because the self is always there and the self is the centre of all thinking. One must die to that thinking every day. The rebirth in tomorrow is the religious revolution. Let us now consider the problem of isolation. When you have a problem, have you not isolated yourself? You have no communion, because I You have no communion, because your mind is so concerned with the problem and with the solution of that problem, that you shut yourself off from the real understanding of that problem. When the mind is occupied with the problem, the mind is isolating itself. Don't put your mind to work, but see what creates the problem. It is the mind. The mind in isolation, in that state of non-communion, has a problem and then we ask questions to find an answer which will unlock the problem. So we are looking for a key and not at the problem itself. A mind that is occupied with the problem can never look into the problem.
We have so many problems in life, not only economic, social, which are all surface problems, but the unconscious problems, the deep problems which control and shape the economic, the outer issues. They are the result, the fruit, of our confusion, of our inward struggle. The mere superficial alteration of the economic will not break down the inward entity which is shaping everything to suit itself. So to really understand the problem, the mind must not be occupied with the problem. But most of us are so eager to solve the problem confronting us, that we want an immediate answer; for us the answer is very important because we think that, by having an answer, we have solved the problem. A mind that seeks the answer is a very superficial mind, it is really a mediocre mind.
We are all educated to find answers, to be told what to do, to copy, to practise what we are told to do. Surely life is a process of living from day to day, and living has no answer. There is only the problem and living is the problem. A mind that is merely seeking an answer to the problem will find an answer; but the problem will still remain and it will come in another form. So, if I know how to understand the problem, if I can know how to look at the problem, then the problem is resolved. Because I do not know how to look at the problem, I seek the answer. I cannot deal with the problem if I condemn it. That is the real basic thing that prevents us from understanding the problem. The problem is there so long as we judge, condemn, compare. Sir, when you do not condemn, when you do not judge or compare, is there a problem for the mind?
The mind that condemns, judges, analyses, compares, creates the problem. Do not say: `How am I to act?' If you learn a method, the method becomes the master of your mind and again there is the problem; but if you see the truth of the statement that to condemn, to judge, to compare creates the problem, then you will see that the problem itself has already full significance.
Question: I see how wrongly I have been educated. What am I to do? Can I re-educate myself or am I mutilated for life?
Krishnamurti: Sir when the mind is diseased, when the brain is diseased, then education is impossible, is it not? But we are living human beings, and there is that quality, that intelligence which can be awakened, which can educate itself. There is no human entity who is so mutilated that he cannot bring regeneration to himself.
To understand how wrongly we have been educated is a very difficult thing to do. Before you say you must re-educate yourself, must you not know how you have been wrongly educated? Is it so easy to say that you have been wrongly educated? That is, you may be educated to a particular technological job and you find that is not your way of life, but you are sticking there because of your responsibilities. To break that and to go to a new job, is that education? Or to learn a new language, to learn a new technique, is that education? Surely, to find out what is wrong education requires a great deal of perception, insight. It is not so easily to be asserted that most of us are wrongly educated.
Education from childhood has been the cultivation of fear and that is all we know. We have ever been brought up with that. Through examination, through comparison with the clever boy, with what the father was, with the mother, with the uncle, we are made stupid through various forms of compulsion from parents, from teachers, from society; the cultivation of fear is there. As we go out of college, we fit into a wrong pattern of life and do what we are told to do. Fear produces the inevitable course of life; and as we grow, life becomes darker and more confused. That is your life; but parents do not understand that fear destroys and that fear does not come into being if there is no comparison from childhood, if there are no examinations but only records kept of each child.
All our education has been the cultivation of fear - religious, economic, social. Everything is based on fear. You want to be somebody; otherwise you are nobody; therefore you struggle, compete, destroy yourself. Only that man is `nobody', who is not afraid. Being nobody is true education. There is the sense of anonymity in the great things of creative life. Truth is anonymous, not yours or mine. There cannot be anonymity when the mind is frightened. So to uncover the ways of fear and to be free - not at the end of life but to be free from the very beginning so that I understand what fear is - that is real education. From childhood, the ways of fear are to be understood so that, as one grows, one can meet fear, can meet all the problems of life, so that one's mind, though it always meets problems, is always fresh, new, so that there is no deteriorating factor such as the memory of yesterday.
Question: Has prayer no validity, or is true prayer the same as meditation?
Krishnamurti: Prayer and the thing that you call meditation are acts of volition. Are they not? We deliberately sit down to meditate, we take a certain posture, concentrate in order to understand. We pray because we suffer. Behind prayer and the ways of meditation that we know, there is an act of volition, an act of will. When you pray, obviously it is an act of will; you want, you beg, you ask; as a result of your confusion, misery, suffering, you ask some one to give you knowledge, comfort; and you do have comfort. The asker generally receives what he asks for; but what he receives may not be the truth, and generally it is not the truth. You cannot come to truth as a beggar. Truth must come to you; then only you see the truth, not by asking. But we are beggars, we everlastingly seek comfort, we seek some kind of state in which we will never be disturbed; we ask for that, and we will have the reward; but the reward is death, stagnation. Don't you know the people who demand peace? They have peace, but their peace is isolation and they keep on repeating the same phrases which they memorize. The mind makes them quiet. It is like a stagnant pool with moss, the words are covered with the activities of the mind. The mind is made dull. Surely, that is not meditation.
Meditation is something totally different, is it not? Please follow what I am saying and see the truth of meditation. To meditate, there must be the understanding of the mediator; that is the first requirement - not how to meditate; because, how to meditate only develops concentration which is exclusion. You may be absorbed in your exclusion, but that is not meditation. Meditation is the process of self-knowledge which is the knowledge of the mediator - not the higher mediator who is meditating, not the higher self which is searching. To think about the higher self is not meditation. Meditation is to be aware of the activities of the mind - the mind as the mediator, how the mind divides itself as the mediator and the meditation, how the mind divides itself as the thinker and the thought, the thinker dominating thought, controlling thought, shaping thought. So in all of us, there is the thinker separate from the thought; the thinker has become the higher Self, the nobler self, the Atman, or what you will; but it is still the mind divided as the thinker and the thought. The mind seeing thought in flux, impermanent, creates the thinker as the permanent, as the Atman which is permanent, absolute and endless. The moment the mind has created the higher self, the Atman, that higher self is still of time; it is still within the field of memory; it is an invention of the mind, it is an illusion created by the mind for a purpose. That is a psychological fact, whether you like it or not; you may resist it, you may say that it is all modern nonsense, that what is said in the Upanishads, in the Gita, is contrary to what I am saying. But if you really examine closely and are not afraid and do not resist, you will see that there is only thinking which creates the thinker, not the thinker first and thinking afterwards.
You do not think you are nobody. Because your thoughts are conditioned, because you think as a Hindu, you consider yourself to be a separate mind, a separate state in which there is the thinker. As long as there is an experiencer experiencing, there can be no true meditation. But the discovery that the experiencer is the experience, is meditation.
Can one discover for oneself - not according to what Shankara or Buddha has said - can one see the truth that the experiencer and the experience are one, that the thought and the thinker are integral? I can only discover it by the process of meditation - which is, to understand what is actually taking place, to observe the ways of my mind. That is not a trick, a thing to be learnt, that the experiencer and the experience are one. You cannot glibly repeat it, it means nothing. But the moment I see, through meditation, the truth of that, then meditation begins: then meditation is no posture for an hour but it is a state which continues throughout the day; because, the mind is in a state of awareness, not as the experiencer experiencing - therefore judging, weighing, clearing, evaluating - because, after all, every experience makes the experiencer, every thought makes the thinker, puts the thinker together.
Look what happens when you have an experience of any kind, your mind immediately registers it, remembers; the remembering of it is the creation of the experiencer, because then the experiencer says I must have more of it or the less of it. Watch your own minds and see how any experience creates the thinker, the rememberer, and then the thinker, the experiencer, says `There must be more', and so it perpetuates itself. It is the process of time. The mind is everlastingly seeking an experience - a richer, wider, nobler, deeper, purer experience - and so it receives: and the very reception is the creation of the chains that bind humanity. Memory is `the me' which is the experiencer. So when I, as the experiencer, seek God, when I seek truth, which I shall know, from which I shall receive help, my mind moves from the known to the known, from time to time; and this process is what you call meditation. But it is an ugly practice, it is not meditation at all, it is merely the perpetuation of the self in a different way. There is no meditation in the deeper sense of the word, when there are an experiencer and the experience.
There must be the cessation of the experiencer and the experience, the things which the experiencer recollects, recognises - which means, there must be a state in which there is no recognition; which means, dying to every experience as it comes and not creating the experiencer. If you really listen and see the truth or falseness of it, you will know what meditation is - not how one is to meditate, but to see the full significance of what meditation is.
After all, virtue is order. What you are, so you must be. Real virtue is a clean thing, but it is not an end in itself. What you put in the room is more important, not how clean your room is. So the cultivation of the mind or the building up of virtue is not important; that is not the emptying of the mind necessary to receive that which is eternal. The mind must be empty to receive that.
That which is measureless can only come into being, you cannot invite it, it will only come into being when the mind no longer demands, is no longer praying, asking, begging when the mind is free, free from thought. The ending of thought is the way of meditation. There must be freedom from the known for the unknown to be. This is meditation, and this cannot come through any trick, through any practice. Practice, discipline, suppression, denial, sacrifice only strengthen the experiencer, they give him power to control himself; but that power destroys. So it is only when the mind has neither the experiencer nor the experience, that there is that bliss which is, which cannot be sought, which comes into being when the mind is silent and free.
February 21, 1954
Bombay 5th Public Talk 21st February 1954
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