New Delhi 1961
New Delhi 2nd Public Talk 11th January 1961
We said last time when we met that we would discuss the question of intelligence; and I think if we could go through it as deeply as possible and as fully, perhaps it might be very beneficial to see whether the mind has the capacity of fully comprehending problems and thereby discovering what it is to be really intelligent. To go into it very deeply, it seems to me, first we must understand what is a problem; then how the mind comprehends or is aware of the problem, how it understands the problem - which leads, does it not?, to the understanding of self-knowledge. Knowledge is always in the past. Self-knowing is an active process of the present, it is an active present. And in understanding a problem one discovers, doesn't one?, the active process of knowing the instrument - that is, thinking, not theoretically, not academically, but actually - , one experiences the process of knowing. We will go into that and perhaps we will be able to discover what it is to be intelligent.
I don't see how we can discuss in a serious manner what is intelligence, if we do not understand how we think. A mere definition of intelligence has no significance. The dictionary has a meaning, and you and I can give definitions, conclusions. But it seems to me that the very definition and giving a conclusion indicates a lack of intelligence rather than intelligence. So, if you think it is worth while also, we could go into this problem of intelligence rather widely and extensively, rather with fun, with a sense of gaiety - with a desirable seriousness which has also its own humour. So if you would let me talk a little bit, then you can pick up the threads and afterwards we can discuss together.
I feel a mind that has a problem is incapable of really being free. A mind that is ridden with problems can never be really intelligent. I will go into all that. We will discuss all that presently. A mind that is increasing problems, that is the soil of problems, that starts to think from a problem, is no longer capable of intelligently approaching the problem. And a problem surely implies a thing that the mind does not understand, it finds hard to understand, cannot grapple with, cannot penetrate through to a solution. That is what we call a problem. It may be a problem with my wife, with children, with society, individually or collectively; the problem implies a sense of not being able to find a solution, an answer; and therefore that which we cannot find an answer or a solution for, we call that a problem. A mechanic who understands a piston engine, knows all the things connected with a piston engine - to him it is not a problem; because he knows, there is no problem to him. And also knowledge creates problems. I don't know if we could discuss that a little bit.
Knowledge invariably creates problems. If I don't know anything about not killing, then brutal violence and the rest of it would be no problem. It is only the knowledge that creates the problem, which is a contradiction in myself - I want to kill and I don't want to kill. It is the knowledge that is preventing me from killing, or it is the knowledge that creates a problem. And having created a problem, surely that very knowledge has forecast the solution also. I think this we must understand before we can go further into the question of comprehending what is intelligence
Let us be clear that we are discussing, not academically nor theoretically as theoreticians but actually, to experience what we are talking about. We are trying to find out, as we said, what it is to be intelligent. Can the mind be intelligent when it is burdened with problems? And in order not to be so burdened, we try to escape from problems. The very desire to find a solution is an escape from the problem. It is also an escape to turn to religions, to conclusions, to various forms of speculations. And as we have problems at every level of our existence - economic, social, personal, collective, national, international, all the rest of it - we have problems, we are burdened with problems.
And is life a problem? And why is it that we have reduced all existence into a problem? Whatever we touch becomes a problem; love, beauty, violence, everything that we know of is in terms of problems. If the mind is capable of being free from problems, then to me that is the state of intelligence - which we shall discuss as we go along.
So, first we have problems. Problems exist because of our knowledge. Otherwise, we would have no problems. When the mind has a problem the solution is already known. It is only the technique of finding the solution that we are seeking, not the answer, because we already know the answer. Shall we discuss that a little bit first?
Problems arise out of knowledge. And that very knowledge has already given the solution. The solution is already in the knowledge, consciously or unconsciously. What we are seeking is not the solution, but the technique of achieving the solution which is already known. If I am an engineer or a scientist, I have a problem because I already know. The knowledge invites the problem. Because I know the problem which is the result of my knowledge, that knowledge also has supplied the solution. Now I say, "How am I to bridge the problem with the solution which is already known?" So, it is not that we are seeking solutions, answers, but how to bring about the solution, how to realize the solution. I think we have to realize that it is not the answer that we want, because we know the answer; a problem indicates the answer, and the interval between the problem and the answer, the time interval is the technological interval of bringing that solution into effect. You see it requires a great deal of self-knowledge to understand this - which means really the knowledge not only of the self that is active every day - going to the office, selling, buying, quarrelling, being jealous, envious, ambitious and all the rest of it, the outward symptoms of this egocentric activity - but also of the unconscious, the deep recesses of the mind, the untrodden regions of the mind. So, all this knowledge which is stored up creates the problem. The mere seeking of an answer to the problem is really, essentially, a technological search for the solution which is already known; and for this, one must go into the whole problem, into this whole thing called consciousness. I do not know if I am making myself clear, or I am making this a little more complex. After all, if I have intelligence, if there is intelligence, then there are no problems, I can tackle the problems as they arise. And can a mind be without a problem?
Let us go further. The state of the mind that is without a problem is what we call peace, what we call God, what we call the intelligent thing. That is essentially what we want, that is what the mind is constantly pursuing. But the mind has reduced all life into a series of problems. Death, old age, pain, sorrow, joy, how to maintain joy - everything is a nightmarish tale not only at the psychological level but at the individual level, and at the collective level and also at the unconscious level of the whole human being. So it seems to me, to be actively participating in intelligence one must go through all this; otherwise it becomes merely a theoretical issue.
Now, after having said all this, can we discuss this question of problem arising from knowledge? Otherwise, there is no problem. And when we talk of a problem we always imply that the answer is not known, the solution is not known. "If I only could find a solution to my problem" - that is our everlasting cry. But because of the very problem, we already know the solution. Could we just discuss that first and then proceed? And will that not lead to the uncovering of the solution, will that not be an active process of self-knowing?
Question: A mathematician has an unresolved problem. How is his mind to be free of it?
Krishnamurti: Sir, are you a mathematician? Are you discussing this as a mathematician? Or, are you discussing this question as a human being with a problem, not as a specialist with a problem?
Question: I know a little of mathematics.
Krishnamurti: We are discussing human problems. You say you have a problem of love. Question: Is that the result of prior knowledge? Sir, I love my children, I love my brother. I take their burden. I have a problem and therefore I want to be free of that.
Krishnamurti: What for? Why should you be free?
Question: Because it is a disturbance to my mind.
Krishnamurti: So, you see, mere escape is not the answer. You know the stupidity of escape and yet you keep on escaping. So that is becoming your problem. My wife and I cannot get on. I drink. That is an escape. That drinking has become a problem. I have a problem with my wife and now through escape I am taking a drink and that has also become a problem. So life goes that way. We have innumerable problems, one problem bringing another. Isn't that so, Sir?
So we are asking ourselves: don't problems arise out of knowledge? Let us discuss. I said that problems arise out of knowledge and because of that knowledge and because of the problem the answer is already known, the solution is already there.
Question: Sir, the use of the word "knowledge" is rather vague. You are covering so many things. Now take the instance of a car - that is technical knowledge. But that knowledge is quite different from a knowledge of the problem of life, or something where it is difficult to find a solution because of so many changing social conditions. And therefore knowledge does not always lead to a solution, it is not implied; sometimes in certain cases it may be implied, in certain cases it may not be.
Krishnamurti: I am not at all sure that it does not apply to everything. am just suggesting, Sir, I am not becoming dogmatic. Now wait a minute. You said the outward and inward, the outward knowledge and the inward knowledge. Why do we divide this as outward knowledge and inward knowledge? Are they to be kept in watertight compartments, or the outward movement is only the natural movement which becomes the inner? It is like the tide that goes out and then comes in. You don't say that it is the outward tide and the inward tide. The whole life is one movement going in and out, which we call the inner and the outer. It is one movement, isn't it, Sir? - not an outward movement apart from the inward movement. Essentially, is there a difference between outward knowledge and inward knowledge? It is not the outward knowledge that conditions the inward knowledge and it is not the inward knowledge that modifies the outward knowledge. Can we so demarcate knowledge as the outward and the inward and can we comprehend that knowledge is always in the past, it is something in which is implied the past?
Question: Sir, what about intuition?
Krishnamurti: Intuition may be a personal projection, a personal desire rectified, spiritualized and sublimated which becomes an intuition.
So, let us go back, if we may, to the point we were discussing. We have problems. As human beings we are cursed with various problems of life. The mind is always seeking an answer to these problems. But is there an answer which we do not already know and therefore is it any good seeking it? You follow? I wish we could discuss this.
I have a problem, say, a problem of love, which is: I want to love universally, whatever that may mean; I want to love everybody without difference, without up and down, without colour. I talk of universal love, and yet I love my wife. So, there is the universal and the particular, which becomes contradictory, not only verbally but actually. We don't know what universal love means, first of all, but we glibly talk about it. Don't we? This country has been speaking everlastingly about non-violence and preparing for war; there are class divisions and linguistic divisions. I am taking it as an example of our mind which talks about universal love and says God is love. You follow, Sir? There is universal brotherhood and I love my wife. How can I reconcile these two? That becomes a problem. How to transmute the personal, the particular, the within-the-wall to something which has no walls? You see, that becomes a problem. Isn't it? Now let us discuss that.
First there is the knowledge, knowledge that there is universal love. Or we have an occasional feeling, an extraordinary sense of unity and the beauty of that quality which says, "There is nothing to bother about, why are you bothered about everything?", and then I go back home and I have to battle with my wife. So there is this contradiction and we are always trying to find an answer. Is that an intelligent approach to search for an answer? When I say there is universal love, that is a knowledge. Isn't it, Sir? Isn't that a knowledge, an idea, a conclusion, a thing which I have heard? No? The Gita says we are all one and some other book says something like this; and so conclusions become our knowledge - either the conclusions imposed by tradition or by society, or our own conclusions which we have ourselves arrived at.
So, when we say we have a problem, what do we mean by that? Sir, you have problems, haven't you?, of some kind or other. Now what do we mean by that? What is the state of mind that says I have a problem? What is the fact about the problem?
Question: We want to come up to the standard we have set ourselves.
Krishnamurti: You try to approximate to the standard, the ideal, the example, and as you cannot approximate yourself to it, it creates a problem. I want to be the Manager and I am a clerk; so that creates a problem. I do not know and you know, and I want to reach that state when I also can say, "I know", so that creates a problem. Isn't that so, Sirs?
Question: The feeling of insufficiency.
Krishnamurti: Why do you make it a problem, Sir? I feel an insufficiency, I feel envy, I have no capacity, I am not intelligent. I feel this emptiness in me. I see people happy and I am not. That is a very concrete example, Sir. Now I feel insufficiency. And I am just asking myself why I make that into a problem. What is the quality that makes it into a problem? Do you understand, Sir, what I am saying? I realize I am insufficient. Why should it become a problem, Sir? I am insufficient and I want to reach that state of mind which is sufficient. I realize through comparison, by seeing you, you have cleverness, position, money, prosperity; and I have none of these. I see that, and suddenly it has become a problem to me. You the rich and I the poor - that has become a problem. I say to myself, "What has made the mind reduce this thing into a problem?" I see you beautiful and I am ugly, and the misery begins. I want to be like you, clever, beautiful, intellectual, you know all the rest of it. What has set the mechanism going? The mechanism is obviously comparison, isn't it? I am insufficient, you are sufficient; am ugly, you are beautiful; you are this and I am not, a contradiction. Now what creates this comparison? Why has the mind created the problem? Because, the mind has the capacity to compare and this comparison has been cultivate from childhood. You are not so clever as your brother, you are not so good as your uncle, you are not so beautiful as your sister and the rest of it - so from childhood this has been dinned into us. The mind says, "I am this and I must be that", and through comparison creates dissatisfaction. And this dissatisfaction, we say, leads to progress. This is the whole process.
I am dissatisfied with what I am, because I have the capacity to compare with something greater, with something less, with something superior or inferior. Right? If by some miracle you could remove from the mind the comparative quality, then I will accept what I am. Then I won't have a problem. So, can the mind stop thinking comparatively, and why does it think comparatively? Because, the fact is my mind is small. That is a fact. Why do I compare it with something else and create a problem out of it? My mind is small, my mind is empty. It is a fact. Why don't I accept it? Is it possible to see the fact that I am this, not in terms of comparison? One of the major factors of the cause of problems is comparison. And we say that through comparison we understand, we say that through comparison we grow; and that is all we know. Is it possible for the mind to put away all comparison? If it is not possible, then we live in a state of perpetual problems. And a mind ridden with problems is a stupid mind, obviously.
Question: Only an insane mind has no problem.
Krishnamurti: A gentleman says that only the insane mind has no problem. The insane mind so identifies itself with something that all other things cease to exist. Psychologically when a mind identifies itself with something, or says, "I am this", such a mind excludes every other issue and confines itself to that one thing. Now obviously it has no problem. Such a mind is an insane mind. But we are also insane, because we have got innumerable conclusions with which we identify and we exclude everything else. When I say, "I am a Muslim" or "I am a Hindu" and I refuse to recognise any other thing, I am insane.
Now, let us go back. Why does the mind create problems? One of thee factors of this creation lies in comparison. Now, can the mind by investigation, by looking, observing, understand the futility of comparison, the waste of comparison, because comparison leads to problems? Do you follow? A mind ridden with problems is not a mind at all, it is incapable of thinking clearly. So the truth is that comparison creates problems. I am ugly, I am violent; can I look at what I am without comparison?
Can you look at something without comparison? Can you look at the sunset without saying, "It is a lovely sunset but not so beautiful as the sunset yesterday"? Have you ever tried it? The very observation of, looking at, something without comparison has an extraordinary sense of discipline - not imposed - to look at something with such attention that there is no question of comparing. Is it possible to look at something without comparison? Is it possible to look at myself without comparison? Is it possible for the mind to be aware of itself without saying it is not so good as that? If and when the mind can do that, there is no problem. Is there?
Question: It is possible, but it is very difficult.
Krishnamurti: Now what do you mean by "difficult"? You are using that word "difficult" because your mind is not free from comparison. When you say that it is difficult, you are thinking in terms of achievement - which means comparison. A problem is a waste of energy, and any engineer will tell you that waste is unused energy. Now, if a problem is a waste of energy, can this energy be brought to look at the problem without comparison? When I compare, it is a waste of energy. Obviously it is an escape from what I am. Now, to look at what I am, to be with the fact of what I am, requires all my energy. Doesn't it? Have you lived with something beautiful or ugly?
Question: Sir, what do you mean by `live'?
Krishnamurti: Have you tried to live with something that is ugly or beautiful? If you live with something ugly, it either distorts you, or perverts you, or it makes you ugly. When you go down that street and you live in that street day after day, you are completely oblivious of the fact that you live in that dirt because you are used to it. So you have never lived with it - you are used to it, that has become your habit and you are blind. And to live with a beautiful tree: there are beautiful trees and you have never even looked at them - which means, you are totally oblivious of them. So you never live with anything, either ugly or beautiful. Now to live with something requires a great deal of energy. Doesn't it? To live with waste, doesn't it require a great deal of energy?
Question: Then we will get caught up in the squalor.
Krishnamurti: Either you are oblivious of it or you are really caught up.
Question: We are not caught, if we are indifferent to it.
Krishnamurti: As you are indifferent to the squalor, you are equally indifferent to the beauty. So, see the facts, Sir. Something very interesting is coming out of this, which is, the mind is dissipating its energy through problems. Obviously? the mind then through its dissipation becomes enfeebled and therefore cannot face facts. The fact is the mind is narrow, petty, stupid; and the mind cannot face that fact. And for the mind to live with "what is" is extraordinarily difficult, isn't it; that requires an enormous amount of energy, so that it can observe without being distorted.
Question: When you use the word, "insufficiency", does it not imply comparison?
Krishnamurti: Sir, I am only using that word in the sense the dictionary uses it, not comparatively. I am just saying I am insufficient. Insufficiency has a comparative meaning. But when I use the word "insufficient" in the dictionary sense, there is no comparison. I wish we could somehow, if we are really serious, disinfect all words, so that we have just the meaning of the words. To live with sufficiency or insufficiency, it requires a great deal of energy, so that the fact does not distort the mind.
Question: Sir, is insufficiency different from the mind? Can the mind look at it?
Krishnamurti: When I say I am insufficient, the mind is aware that it is insufficient. It is not outside of itself as the observer watching something observed. Sir, would you try, just for the fun of it, to live the whole day today with yourself, without comparison, just to live, to see what you are and live with it? Try to live with that garden, with a tree, with a child, so that the child does not distort your mind, so that the ugliness does not distort the mind, nor the beauty distort the mind. And you will find, if you do, how extraordinarily difficult it is and what an abundance of energy is necessary to live with something. And because we say one must have that energy to live with something totally, completely, we say there are various ways of gathering energy; but those are all dissipation of energy.
Please see the fact, the fact that the mind is insufficient, and live with it all day, see what happens, observe it, go into it. Let it have its way, see what happens. And when you can so live with it, there will be no insufficiency because the mind is freed from comparison.
January 11, 1961
New Delhi 1961
New Delhi 2nd Public Talk 11th January 1961
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