Bombay 8th Public Talk 3rd March 1954
This is the last talk of this series and there will be no more discussions.
Living has so many accidents and the mind gets so many scars. As we grow older, the accumulation of accidents, experiences, the constant battle with life, leaves many scars on the mind. We only know suffering with very little joy, and problems increase; that seems to be the lot of most of us, whatever our capacities are - intellectual, scientific or otherwise. We seem to burden our minds with all kinds of activity, our hearts wither away with the sense of frustration, fear and the everlasting shadow of loneliness. Very few of us are happy, and we never know the feeling of being creative. Having been grooved, it is very difficult to heal the mind again so that it is once again fresh and unspotted. And in the search of this happiness, this feeling, we pursue so many things, we have so many desires unfulfilled and fulfilled. And our society, our culture, our parents, our neighbours, husbands, wives are all the time impinging on the mind, shaping the mind, conditioning the mind, so that we hardly are individuals, though we have a particular name, a special face. If we are lucky, we have a house and a little bank account, and also a few capacities - that is, what we call individuality. But beyond the name and the few little qualities and the little puddles which we call our minds, we are not individuals at all; we are conditioned entities with very little freedom.
We think we are free when we choose; but we are not, are we? Where there is choice, there is no freedom because that very choice springs from our conditioned state. We think we have a will of our own, and we exercise that will through choice. But, if you observe, you will see that will is the outcome of innumerable desires, of many forms of frustration, fears; and these frustrations, fears, desires are the outcome of our conditioning, of our background; so when we choose, we are never free. Choice in itself indicates the lack of freedom. A man who is really free has no choice; he is free, not to do this or that, but to be. As long as we have choice, we are really not free and we are not really individuals.
It is very important to understand this, because most of us live with choice - choosing a virtue, a person, an action - and choice invariably leads to misery; there is no good choice and bad choice. Only the mind that is free from choice, is capable of perceiving what is true. Truth does not come through choice. Truth does not come with analysis, with the capacity to choose between this and that, right and wrong; on the contrary, all choice is the outcome of our conditioning which is based on fear and acquisitiveness. We, you and I, call ourselves individuals but we are really not individuals at all. It is only when we are free from the background, from our conditioning, that there is real individuality; and that requires a great deal of thought, enquiry.
Let us now talk about creativeness which, I think, is essential in this world that is so confused, where the mind is ridden with so many systems, so many methods, where, all the time, the mind is seeking certitude through methods, through action and therefore it is never free to be creative, to understand what that creative reality is. Unfortunately most of us, do not directly experience something true, because we have read so much, listened to so many talks, accumulated so much knowledge; and, having read, we compare. If we can listen not only to what I am saying, but to everything in life, with a deep inward listening, then we will see that freedom comes in spite of all the accidents to the mind, in spite of all our frustrations, in spite of our stupid activity that leads us nowhere.
Is it possible for the mind that is gathering so much knowledge, that has had so many experiences of centuries, and wherein every accident leaves a residue which is called memory, to be free of all that, so that it is rejuvenated, it is fresh? I think, the real problem with all of us is to be reborn anew, and not to give room to memory, to tomorrow.
I think it is very important to understand this because most of our lives are a series of continuities, broken off and begun again. Our daily life of routine, of earning a livelihood, of doing social activities, of going to political, religious, social meetings, is all the same, continuity in the same direction. There is never a breaking off, because the mind is always afraid to live anew, not knowing a thing, because mind surely is always seeking the certitude of being something.
Our problem is we want to be something; every one of us, the saint as well as the sinner, wants to be something; and so we cultivate memory, and so there is no ending; and so there is never real discovery; there are only accidents and the choice of accidents. That is our life. Through all this confusion, through this demand for action, there is always fear.
Can we free ourselves from the past and be reborn again with a freshness of mind? Can we live happily, not doing work with intellectual demand, but living fully each day, each minute, with the worship of that minute. If that can be done, life is very simple, because a happy man has no problem. It is the unhappy man, the frustrated man, that seeks action to overcome his frustration.
Is it possible for each one of us to wipe away the past, to put an end to it, not through a gradual process, but to cut it off? We have to put this question to ourselves and leave it at that. If you say `How am I to do it'? then you have already destroyed it because the `how' perpetuates the memory of yesterday.
I think, it is really important to completely live each day so fully, so creatively, so richly, that you have no tomorrow. After all, that is life, is it not? Love knows no tomorrow. Love is not of the mind. As we have only cultivated the mind, we do not know how to love; and the continuity which we give to memory precludes every form of love; and that is one of our difficulties.
We only know unhappiness, sorrow, and frustration; and from that, there is action, which creates further misery, further suffering; so surely there must be freedom from the known for the unknown to be. The known is the mind and the ways of the mind. Mind can only reason, and reason is the outcome of memory, of the known. Reason cannot lead to the unknown, do what you will, whether you practise forgiveness, sacrifices, rituals, meditation. As long as the mind has its roots in the known, the unknown can never be. So, our problem is really to free the mind from the known. The mind cannot free itself from the known because the mind itself is the known, it is the result of time. So what is the problem? You understand the question? My mind is the result of the known; my mind can only function in the known; and my problem is how can the mind which is the result of time, cease? How can thought come to an end? Thinking is the result or the reaction of the known, of yesterday, of all the accumulations, of the wounds, of the accidents, of frustrations, fears. How can such thinking come to an end? The mind cannot bring it to an end. Mind cannot say `I will put an end to thinking', then, thinking is separate from the entity which says: `I will put an end to it.' The entity that desires an ending, is the product of thought.
Please listen to the extraordinary mystery of something which the mind cannot fathom. There is the astonishing mystery of the unknown; and without letting that operate, our life has no meaning. You may be very clever, you may have the most astonishing mind; but, without realization, without that unknown coming into being, life has no meaning. All that we can know is suffering and the dangers of frustrations. So, if we can see that the mind can never find the unknown; that without the unknown, life has no significance at all, life is a travail, life is sorrow, life is pain; and that the mind cannot do anything because any movement of the mind is the outcome of the known, is the movement of the known - if the mind realizes that - then the mind becomes quiet.
The realization that any movement of the mind is the outcome of the known, is meditation. There must be meditation in life - not the orthodox, stupid meditation; that is no meditation at all, that is merely self-hypnosis - to be aware of this whole process of living of choice how choice does not bring freedom, how choice denies freedom because choice is the outcome of the background. The freeing of the mind from the background, the freeing of the mind from all conditioning is real freeing. The mind freeing itself from the desire to be something, that process, is meditation. In that, there is the freeing of the mind from the known; then the mind becomes quiet. Now this quietness, this stillness of the mind, is not a thing which can be experienced or known without unconditioning the mind. It is not a thing to be sought after; if you do, that is merely another form of self-hypnotism, an illusion, it has no reality.
If the mind can free itself from its conditioning, from its desires, from all the disciplines, patterns, accidents, then, there is freeing of the mind from the past. Out of that freedom, there comes silence, a quietness of the mind. That stillness cannot be made, but it happens when the mind is free. It is the stillness of great movement in which there is no meaning; in that stillness, there is no search of anything, because it is not the outcome of any frustration, of any hope, of any desire. That which is in great movement, great speed, great action, is still. Then only, out of that stillness, does that mystery of creativity come into being, that truth which is not measurable by the mind; and without that, life can only mean more sorrow, more mischief, more frustration.
We are unhappy human beings and we want to escape from that unhappiness into every kind of activity; we are lonely entities, and we want to fill that loneliness with knowledge, with action, with amusement, with scriptures; but that emptiness cannot be filled, it can only be resolved when the mind realizes that in itself it is lonely, and does not try to cover it up or to run away. One must go through that loneliness in order to be still; then surely the creativity of truth comes into being.
This is not a matter of being continuously earnest. Anything that is continuous is merely a determined mind, a mind that says `I will be.' Therefore it perpetuates the memory of itself. But in moments of seriousness, which may last half an hour - that is enough - in that moment there is the awareness without choice, the awareness to see oneself as in a mirror without any distortion, the thing `as is.' That very awareness of the fact brings about liberation, - freedom. But when, in that mirror of awareness, you see yourself as you are, you condemn, you want to change the image, you want to reshape it, you want to give it a particular name; and therefore you give it a continuity. But, if you be simply aware of the image in that mirror of awareness, then you will see, in that awareness, there is an ending of everything that has been; and that awareness brings freedom, a quietness of the mind in which there is bliss.
What is important is not to give root to a problem. We have problems, they are there. Every accident is a problem; but not to give it a future, not to give it the minute in which it can take root, that is the problem - not that which we carry in our minds. The more the mind thinks of a problem, the more it gives soil in which the problem can take root. Do think, do watch, do listen to this, Sirs.
The problem is not how to solve a problem but how not to give the problem that I have, a continuity. It is the continuity that creates the problem, not the problem of yesterday. If I know, if I see the truth of that, then I will deal with the problem entirely differently; I will end the problem in myself as it arises, not giving it root - which is, not to enjoy, not to condemn; which means, really to have that astonishing quality of humility.
A petty mind has always a problem; the little mind is always occupied, and this occupation goes on, day after day. The petty mind can never solve the problem, because, whatever it solves, however much it thinks about the problem, it is still petty, small, confused. All that the petty mind can do is not to give the problem a future. If the mind has a problem and does not give it a future, it is no longer petty because it is not occupied; it is the occupied mind that is small. The occupied mind is like a river that receives everything, all the sewage of the town, dead bodies, the good and the bad; and because it is in constant movement, it is no longer a puddle, it is a living stream, everything is living in it, and it is not dead. So the mind that has a problem and is occupied, can never understand its own problem; all that it can do is to put an end to its continuity, and not to give the problem soil in the tomorrow of its memory.
All this may sound very difficult; but it is not, if you really observe how your mind likes to continue with a problem, day after day. Your mind is occupied with something - with what the neighbour says, or what the book says, or what the purpose of life is - everlastingly making its own grooves. An occupied mind is a small mind, and the small mind will always have problems. Question: I feel that it is not enough for people to hear you. In order to understand what you are saying, people have to be nurtured and educated by a careful study and explanation of your teachings and through books about your teachings, and by the organizations of study groups. Only then will people understand you better. Please tell me if I am right?
Krishnamurti: In this question is involved, is it not?, the mediator, the interpreter, the priest - `I understand, but the others do not understand.' `I understand a little and I must share that little' - which is entirely different. So let us enquire into this whole question.
Who creates the interpreter, the mediator? You. If you understand something directly, you don't need the interpreter, the mediator, the priest. But, if I do not understand I look to somebody else to explain, and he will explain according to his conditioning, according to his aptitude. So, I create the interpreter, the mediator, the priest, the sub-teacher. I am lazy, I am not aware of myself - which is so simple; you don't have to read books about that, it is so clear. To be aware of yourself in all the things that you do, to watch yourself - not according to some pattern, that is not watching, but merely to watch yourself - talking at dinner, at table, in your office; just watching and seeing how you condemn, how you compare, how cruel you are - just to watch it all, to watch choicelessly: that does not need interpreters, mediators. Just to know what is happening to your mind, to know for yourself how your mind operates - not according to somebody else - that is not difficult; you don't need interpreters mediators, for that. But you need interpreters, mediators, if you are frightened, if you don't know yourself and if therefore you look to somebody.
Sir, following is evil, all following is evil. There is no good following and bad following; whether you follow politically, religiously, or whether you follow your own experiences or ideals, all following is evil, because it creates authority, it creates the follower. The mentality that says: `I do not know, but you know; so tell me, give me a safe seat in heaven' creates the mediators, interpreters, the priests, who are going to act and save us. The political leaders, priests, commissars, or the poor Catholic priests are all the same, because the followers say `We do not know'.
Please listen though you may have heard this many times, listen as though for the first time. If you listen to this as though you were hearing this for the first time, it will have meaning, it will have depth. But you say, `I have heard this hundreds and thousands of times because I have grown with you for the last twenty five years and I know what you are going to say', you are not experiencing directly the thing that is being said, and therefore your mere listening to the words has no meaning.
As long as the mind seeks certitude, you must have interpreters; and a mind that is seeking certitude is never free, it is always frightened; the very demand to be certain about something - an ideal, a relationship, a truth to be made certain - implies that you must have a mediator, somebody who is going to help you. But if what you have heard is truth to you - not according to somebody, but is really truth to you - then you will talk rightly, you will dance rightly, you will live, you will love, you will create; then you have not to create authority, then you have no following, then you don't belong to any society.
But the difficulty with most of us is that we are so uncertain and confused in ourselves that we want help; but the help we want is the help that a blind man can give to another blind man. But there is help which comes when I know that I am confused, uncertain, and remain in that state. To know I am uncertain, to know I am confused, to know that I do not know a thing, that very state is a state of humility, is it not?, a profound sense of humility, which creates its own action. A man who is nothing - he does not intellectually say he is nothing, but knows it inwardly, he is aware that in the state of uncertainty he can be nothing - does not want an interpreter.
Please beware of interpreters, guard against interpreters. The interpreters can only give you certainty, he cannot give you freedom. Freedom comes only amidst the total awareness of the whole process of living.
Question: You say that one must die to be reborn, that in the ending there is beginning. But to us, all ending is suffering, whether it is ending of life or of a happy and rich experience. How then can I see the truth of the ending you talk about?
Krishnamurti: Sir do you see the truth of what I am talking about? All that you see is the fact that, that which has continuity, that which goes on through time, is always in sorrow. That is all you know, is it not?, with occasional rare moment of delight, a joy, but otherwise all that you know is sorrow. Sorrow comes with all the innumerable aptitudes of the `I', or `the me' of the `ego'. You have to see you have to realize that that which continues psycho, logically, inwardly, brings sorrow. Sir, don't you know that that which has an ending, has always a freshness, a beginning? If I do not end my thoughts of today, complete them, finish them today, I carry those thoughts over to tomorrow; and in that, there is no freshness, no newness; the mind becomes dead. But if I simply see that fact, that is enough. The very perception the very awareness of that fact without any choice, without any condemnation, is the ending in which there is a newness.
But we do not want the new, we do not want to be reborn. All that we want is to be made certain. After all, what we want is permanency, a continuity for us with the indications of the permanent - a permanent house, a permanent relationship, a permanent name, a permanent family, a continuity of activity, success - that is all we want. We do not want a revolution, we do not want to die each day to everything, we want to perpetuate memory; that is why we practise, we discipline, we resist, because the mind abhors a state of uncertainty. Sir, it is only the uncertain mind that can discover, not a certain mind. It is only the mind that knows that it is confused and, in that confusion, is quiet, that can discover. But the mind that is certain, that has continuity, that is a series of memories - everlasting - such a mind can never discover truth.
So it is only the mind that comes to an end each day, that can find truth each day. Truth is something to be discovered from moment to moment, truth has no continuity in terms of time. That which continues is in a state of permanency which the mind can recognise; so the mind which has continuity, which has association which is the process of recognition, such a mind can never find what is real. It is only the mind that sees the fallacy of all this and there- fore choicelessly comes to an end, that can be creative; only such a mind can receive the creativity of truth.
Question: What is the relationship between me and my mind?
Krishnamurti: Now Sirs, let us go into this so that you and I directly experience what is being said. It is a process of meditation and without meditation there is no wisdom. Wisdom comes into being through self-knowledge. When I know myself as I am - not according to what other teachers have said or what anybody else has said - when I know what I am from moment to moment, that is self-knowledge; and that self-knowledge can only come into being through meditation. Meditation is to be aware of all the conflicts, in the mirror of my activities, of my relationships, of my states. So let us enquire into this question, the relationship between me and the mind.
Is the mind different from the me? Am I different, is the observer, the thinker different, from the thought? You understand, Sirs?
I say, `I think.' Is thinking different from the entity who says, `I am thinking'? We say that the two are separate, that `the me' thinks it is different from the thought. We assume that the me comes first; the ego, the Self is the thinker; that is the first, then the thought, the mind. So we have broken up the me and the mind. But is that a fact? You may break it up; but, in reality, is the me, the thinker, different from consciousness which says, which thinks, which exists? Can you remove the qualities of the diamond and say that what remains is the diamond? The me has various qualities, various memories, various activities, hopes, fears, frustrations which are all of the mind, are they not? Remove all your qualities; then, is there `you'? The mind is the me. The mind thinks there is the higher Self, the Atman, Paramatman, higher and higher; it is still what the mind projects; the mind has separated itself as the me and the thought.
After all, what is the mind? The mind is surely the conscious as well as the unconscious. The sea is not just the surface of the water which you see in the sunshine, sparkling, living; it is the whole depth that makes the Sea. Similarly, our mind is the whole content, whether we are conscious of it or not. The mind is so occupied, so taken up with activities, problems, that it never begins to question, to enquire, to find out, to fish in the unconscious. We know what is the unconscious; it is very simple. Our motives, our accumulated knowledge, the collection of experiences, fears, hopes, longings, frustrations - all that is our consciousness; the desire for God and the creation of Gods - all that is consciousness. So to divide the me and the mind has no reality.
Please see this, realize this. The whole of this consciousness is the me - the me that has a job; the me that has a wife, the husband; the me that is ambitious, envious, acquisitive; the me that values; the me that has a tradition; the me that wants to find reality, God; the me that is petty, acquisitive - all that is the mind, all that is consciousness. That consciousness, you may push far up and call it Atman, Parmatman, or whatever you like; but it is still a product of time, it is still consciousness. Now, with that consciousness, you want to find something which is beyond the mind itself; but you can never find that.
You may have occasional quietness when the whole consciousness right up to the bottom is still, and you may dream of something unimaginable, immeasurable, because in sleep your mind, your consciousness, may perchance occasionally be quiet. But when you are aware of all this pro- cess choicelessly this pattern of consciousness is broken and then you will see there is real stillness in the totality of your consciousness. That is something far beyond the measure of the mind. But to pursue what is beyond the measure of the mind has no meaning. What I say or what some one else says has no meaning. What has meaning is to be completely aware of this consciousness and of all its many layers. This awareness cannot be learnt through any analysis; one knows the whole thing if one is observant.
To know the whole process of the mind - all its inclinations, motives, purposes, its talents, its demands, its fears, its frustrations, its success - to know all that is to be quiet and not let that act. Then only that something which is beyond the mind, can come into being. That can only come when there is no invitation; that can only come when you are not seeking. Because our search is born out of frustration, the mind that seeks can never find. It is only the mind that understands the total process, that can receive the blessings of the real.
March 3, 1954
Bombay 8th Public Talk 3rd March 1954
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