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Bombay 1961

Bombay 1st Public Talk 19th February 1961

We see throughout the world a dreadful and frightening chaos. Everywhere people are one against another, not only individually but racially, communally, as a country, as a group or as a race. Nationalism is rampant, increasing. The margin of freedom is very small not only for the individual but also for the community, for the mind. Religions are dividing people; they are not the unifying factor at all. And there is the increase of tyranny, either of the left or of the right. There are various. forms of religions, sects - innumerable, in thousands - all over the world saying that they have the real stuff. Religious tyranny is equally abhorrent to a mind that is really seeking what is truth, as is political tyranny; and both are on the increase. Catholicism with its dogma, with its creeds, with its excommunications and all the rest of it, is on the move, is spreading; so is Communism also on the increase, with its excommunications, liquidations and denials of human rights, thoughts and freedom, spreading poverty, squalor, chaos. In fact, the house is burning and literally burning; and there remains only the final explosion, which is the atomic bomb. All this we know in a minor or major degree.

Every individual not only has the feeling that something must be done to see the problem, not merely intellectually, but also feels the inward necessity of an urgent response to the whole total issue. When one does not feel the total issue, one goes about reforming socially, reviving the old religions, going back to the Upanishads, the Gita, or to some ancient thought, or following some leader who promises more. There is the feeling that as one cannot do by oneself, one must leave it to somebody else - to the guru, to the political leader. And there is reform in patches - giving land, appeasing, pacifying, coexisting, twisting words to mean different things apart from the direct meaning in the dictionary, to suit one's own or one's party's ideological intentions. Sir, there is corruption, there is misery, there is increasing industrialization all over the world; and industrialization without revolution only leads to mediocrity and greater suffering.

A revolution of a different kind is necessary - that is what I want to discuss; that is what I want to go into. But I think one must see the utter futility of religious organizations completely, the absurdity of those organizations and of merely following a certain idea, a certain plan for the salvation of man. To a mind that is seeking truth, a religious leader has no meaning any more. I do not know how you feel about all this. But watching going about, wandering about in the land, there is this sense of appalling death of human integrity, because we have handed over ourselves politically to a party or parties, or religiously to books, or to the latest saint who wanders about in a loin cloth with his particular social, political or religious panacea, appeasing, pacifying. I do not think I am exaggerating what is actually taking place, not only in this unfortunate country but also in the rest of the world.

Now you know this. I have only described what is a fact. A mind that gives an opinion about a fact is a narrow, limited, destructive mind. You understand, Sir? Let me explain a little bit further. This is a fact - what is actually taking place in the world. And you and I know it very well. You can translate the fact in one way, and I can translate it in another way. The translation of the fact is a curse which prevents us from seeing the actual fact and doing something about the fact. When you and I discuss our opinions about the fact, nothing is done about the fact; you can add perhaps more to the fact, see more nuances, implications, significance about the fact, and I may see less significance in the facts. But the fact cannot be interpreted, I cannot offer an opinion about the fact. It is so, and it is very difficult for a mind to accept the fact. We are always translating, we are always giving different meanings to it, according to our prejudices, conditionings, hopes, fears and all the rest of it. If you and I could see the fact without offering an opinion, interpreting, giving a significance, then the fact becomes much more alive - not more alive - , the fact is there alone, nothing else matters; then the fact has its own energy which drives you in the right direction. Opinions drive us, conclusions drive us; but they drive us away from the fact. But if we remain with the fact, then the fact has its own energy which drives each one of us in the right direction. So, we know the fact of what is happening in the world, without interpretations. The interpretation should be left to the politicians who deal with the immediate, with the possibilities, and who twist a possibility to suit their ideas, their feelings, their conclusions, their opinions and all the rest of it. They are the most destructive people on earth, whether they are the highest politicians or the lowest vote-catchers. You can see this happening right through the world - separating the people, dividing the land and enforcing certain ideas according to their prejudices, their petty little opinions. So, seeing all this, we also see this perverse desire to be guided by a guru, by a priest, by a man who knows more - which is perverse because there is no such thing as a man who knows more; we however think that there are people who know more. It is our life that we have to live, it is our misery, it is our conflict, it is our contradiction, our sorrows, that we have to deal with, not somebody else's; unfortunately we are incapable of solving them ourselves; and so we turn to others to help us and we are caught in those things that are of little importance.

So, seeing this whole picture and also the tremendous sorrow and the turmoil that is going on all over the earth, to respond rightly to this whole problem, we need a different mind - not the mind that is religious, not the mind that is political, not the mind that is capable in business, not the mind that is full of knowledge of the past, of books. We need a new mind, because the problem is so colossal.

I think one has to see the importance and urgent necessity of having this new mind - not how to get it. We have to see the importance of having such a mind, because the problem is really colossal, so intricate, so subtle, so diversified; and to approach, to understand, to go into it, to bring about right action, a totally different mind is needed. I mean by the "mind" not only the physical quality of the mind - the quality of the mind which is verbally, in thought, very clear; a good mind; a mind that can reason logically, sanely, without any prejudice - but also a mind which has sympathy, pity, affection, compassion, love; a mind that can look, see, perceive directly; a mind that can be still, quiet, peaceful within itself, not induced, not made still. I mean by "mind" all that, not just an intellectual thing, a verbal thing. I mean by the "mind", the mind in which all the senses are fully awake, sensitive, alive, functioning at their highest pitch; I mean the totality of the mind, and it must be new to meet this urgency.

Man has explored in the past, gone into it, watched it, knows all about the past; the scientist, as you know, has explored all that and is exploring in time, in space, with rockets, with satellites. The electronic machines are taking over the functions of the mind in regard to calculations, translations, composing this and that; they are taking over more and more of the functions of the mind because they can do the things more efficiently than the average brain or the most clever brain can. So again seeing all this, you need a new mind, a mind that is free of time, a mind which no longer thinks in terms of distance or space, a mind that has no horizon, a mind that has no anchorage or haven. You need such a mind to deal not only with the everlasting but also with the immediate problems of existence.

Therefore the issue is: is it possible for each one of us to have such a mind? Not gradually, not to cultivate it; because, cultivation, development, a process, implies time. It must take place immediately; there must be a transformation now, in the sense of a timeless quality. Life is death, and death is awaiting you; you cannot argue with death as you can argue with life. So is it possible to have such a mind - not as an achievement, not as a goal, not as a thing to be aimed at, not as something to be arrived at - because all that implies time and space? We have a very convenient, luxurious theory that there is time to progress, to arrive, to achieve, to come near truth; that is a fallacious idea, it is an illusion completely - time is an illusion in that sense. Such a mind is the urgent thing, not only now but always; that is quite necessary. Can such a mind come about, and what are the implications of it? Can we discuss this?

Sirs, the issue is: can we wipe out the whole thing and start anew? And we must, because the world is becoming something new totally. Space is being conquered, machines are taking over, tyranny is spreading. Something new is going on of which we are not aware. You may read the papers, you may read magazines; but you are not aware of the movement, the significance, the flow, the dynamic quality of this change. We think we have time. You know somebody goes and pacifies the people saying that time is there. Somebody else meditates according to a certain system; he says still there is time. And we say, "Let us go back to the Upanishads, revive the religions; there is time, let us play with it leisurely". Please believe me there is no time - not believe me - , it is so. When the house is burning, there is no time to discuss whether you are a Hindu, a Mussulman, or a Buddhist, whether you have read the Gita, the Upanishads; a man who discusses those things is totally unaware of the fact that the house is burning. And when the house is burning, you may not be aware of it, you may be dull or insensitive, you may have become weak.

So, can we discuss the possibility of such a mind? How do you discuss such a thing, Sirs and Ladies? How do you probe into this? I have put you a question, not merely verbally but also with my whole being; you have to respond to it, you cannot say, "Well, I will carry on my way; I belong to that society, this society; and this is good enough; my saint is good enough for me, he has found his vocation, he is doing good, he is reforming, and I am doing a petty little thing in my corner and all the rest of it" - all that is out.

How do you enquire into all this? How do you answer, what is your response to it? Is it possible? Obviously, you don't know. You cannot say: it is, or it is not. If you say that it is not possible, then there is nothing that can be done; then you have closed the door yourself. When you say that it is not possible and that you must have your guru, your saint, you have blocked yourself psychologically, inwardly. If you say, that it may be possible, and if it is a hope, then that hope implies despair also. If you say that it may be possible and if it is not a hope, then it means: it may be possible, you do not know. Do you understand the difference between the two?

The man who says, "No, such a mind is incredible, I won't have it, it is too beyond me, beyond my capacities, I cannot do it. It is not possible", has closed the door psychologically, inwardly. And there is the man who says, "Perhaps, it is possible, I do not know; surely, he is devoid of all hope. We must be clear that the quality of hope is gone. The moment you have hope, inevitably there comes frustration. You understand, Sir? A mind which hopes, invites frustration; and a mind which is hoping and therefore living in frustration is incapable of enquiry. Please do see this. So, a mind that says it may be possible, is not in a state of hope at all. It is not a mind that says: "It is possible to achieve", because again achievement implies hope; and therefore, where there is achievement there is always failure, therefore invitation to frustration. So a mind that says "it may be possible", such a mind alone can begin to enquire. Please see the importance of this, because it is not in doubt, it is not accepting, it is not denying.

There are three states of the mind - the mind that says, "It is not possible", the mind that hopes to achieve, and the mind which says, "It may be possible". The first two are different minds, they are only thinking in terms of time, in terms of hope, despair, achievement, frustration. But an enquiring mind is devoid of these two. Now, if that is clear - clear in the sense that you see the truth that a mind is capable only when it has freed itself from hope, despair, and all that and from saying, "It is not possible, it is only for the few", then you wipe those two out; then the mind says, "It may be possible; it is only such a mind that can enquire. Now, Sir, what is the quality of your mind?

Question: We are full of fear, we cannot get over this fear.

Krishnamurti: A mind which is afraid is incapable of enquiry. It is not a question of how to be free of fear. If my feeling is to enquire, fear ceases, fear becomes of secondary importance. In trying to climb a mountain, if there is fear that you are too old, or you are too young, you may not have the capacity of climbing, therefore you do not climb; but if you feel the necessity of climbing, the fear goes away. It may be in the background but you climb.

Question: May I know what you mean by enquiry, or trying?

Krishnamurti: I did not use that word `try'. I said `enquiry'. I am not using that word merely in the dictionary meaning but also to mean a mind that is enquiring, looking. To enquire, you must have freedom, the mind must not be tethered to any form of beliefs, conclusions. To enquire implies that all personal idiosyncrasies, vanities, hopes must be put aside for the time being; it means the `result' is not important. To enquire implies that in the very process I am suffering, I may change, or there might be a tremendous revolution inwardly, outwardly. And to enquire into it, obviously fear, conclusions, all the things that weigh us down must be put aside - not put aside, because the very urgency of enquiry puts all that aside. The very urgency, the very necessity for enquiry becomes essential; therefore the other things become of secondary importance, they have no meaning at all for the moment. You understand, Sir? It is like war - in war, as you know, all things, all factories, all resources of the human mind, everything comes to defend; they are not thinking of the possibility, fears, hopes - everything is gone. So is your mind. Now you are listening to all this; is your mind in a state of enquiry? Is your mind demanding of itself such an enquiry?

Question: When you are talking, most of us are thinking of our own problems. That is the difficulty.

Krishnamurti: That is wrong, if you will forgive me. Most of us are thinking of our problems because we are conditioned according to our problems, and so the problems are our chief concern and we come here to see if we can solve the problems. I know that, and you know that. You want to know how to live with your husband, with your wife; you want to know what awareness is; you want to know whether this guru, that saint is right; whether there is life after death; what there is after death, if there is immortality; what happens if you are having a negative mind; you want to know how to meditate - problems, problems. When the house is burning what happens? Don't you know? The fire is more important than your immediate problems - not that your problem does not exist: it is there; but the fire is more important. This does not mean what the Communists say in a roundabout way: that it is important you act in a certain direction because your problems are there. I am not talking in that sense at all; that is double talk. I say that your problems matter, but you will deal with them much more completely, thoroughly, absolutely when you understand how to enquire.

Sir, don't you know there is corruption in this country? Don't you know there is poverty? Don't you know there is squalor, there is in everything that is going on in this country, lack of beauty, lack of love, lack of sympathy, appalling squalor, degradation where the mind is dead? Don't you know all this?

Question: That is in appearance and it is something like a dream.

Krishnamurti: If it is a dream, then live in it, Sir. Then treat the world as a dream and Maya, and don't bother, don't listen to what is being said. If you treat the world as an illusion, then there is no problem. But you don't treat the world as an illusion when you are hungry, when your job is gone, when you don't know whence your next meal comes, when your wife runs away from you, when you have no children and want children; when there is death awaiting any moment, you don't say the world is an illusion. The world is in chaos, whether you like it or not.

Question: Is feeling an aspect of mind, Sir?

Krishnamurti: Surely, I said that. The mind includes desires, love, hate, jealousy, emotions - the whole, total thing that is vibrating, alive. The man who says that the world is Maya, illusion, or the man who says, "Settle the economic problem first, then everything will be alright; bread first" - all that is included in the mind. The thought, the contrary thought, the urgency, demands, cruelty, gentleness, the sense of love, tenderness - all that is the mind. So, Sirs, how is it that you don't feel the urgency of the moment as you would feel if you are ill, if you need an operation? And why don't you feel the urgency? How do you enquire into the urgency?

You want the good things of the world and also you want a good mind. You cannot have both. By the "good things of the world", I mean not the clothes one wears but the things that power gives, that money gives, that position, prestige, gives. We want to live with those things and also to have a very good mind - a mind which has no ambition, which has a sense of delight in the very act of living. We want both; in other words, we are concerned with the immediate ambitions, fulfilment, frustration, quarrels, jealousies, envy, aspirations; and we also say, "Well, time is beyond measure; and we want these two to live together. To have both is not possible. It is possible to have a good mind, the real mind; then ambition has no place - you may have a few clothes, shelter and money, and that is all. The good mind, the real mind is important, not the other; but now the other is important for us.

Is your mind enquiring? Is your mind in a state of enquiry? Obviously not. Now, how do you proceed with your mind that does not feel the urgency? How is such a mind to feel the urgency? Are you aware of your own mind? We need a new mind, the totality of the new mind, to answer to this chaos in this world. Now if you say it is not possible, it is one thing; if it is something to be achieved, it is another thing; but such categories of mind are not capable of enquiry. I ask you, "What is your state of mind, are you aware of it?" Do you say it is not possible, or do you still think in terms of hope, and all the significance of it? Or, does your mind say, "Let me enquire".

Question: It is somewhat difficult.

Krishnamurti: Life is difficult. To get up in the morning in time to come here, wait here for one hour and a half, come by bus, sit around doing nothing is difficult. Everything is difficult. Pleasure is not difficult, but with it come difficulties; but we want pleasure without difficulties, regrets, remorse. It is only when the mind is capable of living in that totality, that remorse, difficulty, pain have no meaning; it is only then there is living; then, there is movement.

So, are you aware? What do you mean being aware? What do you mean by awareness?

Have you ever seen a tree? How do you look at a tree? How do you see a tree? Do you see the branch, do you see the leaf, do you see the fruit, the flower, the trunk and imagine the roots underneath? How do you see the tree? And besides, have you ever looked at a tree, or you have just passed it by? Probably you have just passed it by and so you have never seen the tree. But when you look at a tree - look, see visually - do you see the whole tree or just the leaf, the whole tree or merely the name of the tree? How do you see a tree? Do you see the shape, the height, the beauty of a leaf, the wind playing with it, the tree moving with the wind, the nature of the leaf, the touch of the leaf, the perfume of the tree, the branches, the slender ones, the thick ones, the delicate ones, the leaf that flutters? Do you see the whole of the tree? If you don't see it as a whole, you don't see the tree at all. You may pass it by and say, "There is a tree, how nice it is!" or say, "It is a mango tree", or "I do not know what those trees are, they may be tamarind trees". But when you stand and look - I am talking actually, factually - you never see the totality of it; and if you don't see the totality of the tree, you do not see the tree.

In the same way is `awareness'. If you don't see the operations of your mind totally in that sense - as you see the tree - you are not aware. The tree is made up of the roots, the trunk, the branches, the big ones and the little ones and the very delicate one that goes there up; and the leaf, the dead leaf, the withered leaf and the green leaf, the leaf that is eaten, the leaf that is ugly, the leaf that is dropping, the fruit, the flower - all that you see as a whole when you see the tree. In the same way, in that state of `seeing' the operations of your mind, in that state of awareness, there is your sense of condemnation, approval, denial, struggle, futility, the despair, the hope, the frustration; awareness covers all that, not just one part. So, are you aware of your mind in that very simple sense, as seeing a whole picture - not one corner of the picture and say, "Who painted that picture?" Seeing the whole picture includes seeing the blue, the red, the contradictory colours, the shades, the movement of water, the sky. In the same way, are you aware of your mind in movement, the contradictory and the condemnatory attitudes, saying "This is good", "That is bad", "I do not want to be jealous", "I want to be good", "I have not got that, I want that", "I want to be loved" - all the everlasting chatter within the mind. Are you aware in that way? Don't say, "It is difficult; how am I to get it?" Don't begin to analyse, don't say: "Is this right, do I look at it rightly?", or "Oh, shouldn't I do it?". That is all part of awareness. Are you aware of your mind that way?

Question: At a few moments one is aware.

Krishnamurti: The gentleman says that only now and then he is so aware. That is good enough, is it not? You know the taste of what it feels like to be so aware. Only you say it must last, you must go on with it all day long. But are you aware of it, now - not tomorrow, not the day after tomorrow? Are you aware of it as we are talking together now? Awareness implies the seeing of the whole - not just the quarrels, the anxieties, the hopes, but the whole thing. Some of you have been on an aeroplane, haven't you? From there, you see the whole earth, how the earth is divided into little plots; from there, there are no frontiers, no stages, the earth is not yours or mine; from there, you see the rivers, trees, rocks, mountains, desert; you get a whole perspective, the depth, the height, and the beauty of all that; from there, the arid land is as beautiful as the rich land - the totality of the earth is seen in that sense of awareness.

Now, let us go back. Is your mind enquiring - enquiring not into what is the good mind, not into what is the new mind? Because the new mind is something which comes out of the void, out of complete negation; the new mind comes only in that state of revolution, when the mind is completely alone. And the mind cannot be alone and uninfluenced, solitary, it cannot be in a state of complete negation when you are caught in beliefs, in conclusions, in fears, in religious superstitions, in the ideological, ideational desires. And the mind has no sense of the void - in which state alone there is perception, there is the seeing of the total - when you are following somebody, when you have authority, when you are ambitious, when you are striving after being virtuous, non-violent.

So, can you, with that totality of your feelings, enquire not into the new mind but into the whole structure of the urge for power, the ambitions which all of us have? The urge for power - you understand, Sir? There is power spiritually - you know the saint, the man who has conquered himself, the man who says, "I know, I have read it, I have achieved it". There is the power physically through money, prestige, position, through function, through achieving a state of being near the powerful V.I.Ps, the I.C.S., the Chief Engineer, the big bosses. You understand all this, Sirs? `Can you enquire into that? If you are going to enquire into it, completely cut it out - not in time, but immediately. So can you with that sense of awareness see the anatomy of power, enquire and break it up so completely that when you leave, you are out of time - there is no time because, in this, time and space and distance are included? You understand? Can you, Sirs? It is like absorbing, digesting power. Go into it with such complete awareness, see the whole structure of it and the part you want in that structure - following a guru who leads you to safety, going to the Masters, belief in the Masters. Many among you have beliefs in something or other, and they come here year after year, I do not know why. Let them keep to their temples, Masters, play with them, have a good time with them, but not waste their time and mine here. You know what I think of all that. I am completely out of all that, as they all lead to power, prestige, position, security. But that is what you want; so have it then, chase, go after it.

Question: How to be free from all these things?

Krishnamurti: How? You don't want to be free from all this; if you wanted, you would step out of it. So, please don't ask me `how; I am asking you something entirely different. How little you pay attention! I am talking of the new mind, not the mind which says, "How am I to get somewhere"? The new mind does not come from a mind that is seeking achievement, wanting to be free. The new mind does not come through discipline. The new mind does not say, "How am I to be free?; it bursts into that state, it explodes. I am showing you, I am pointing out to you how to explode with your whole being - not gradually, not when it suits you occasionally, not when you are thinking of something else, not when you have a little time for this, not when you have spent all your life in going to your work and earning your livelihood. I am suggesting that a mind that is aware requires that the mind must enquire into your ambition, your desire for power, prestige, position, the way you treat people; how you crawl on your knees when you meet a big man, your desire for security, a job, position. See the structure of all this, be aware of it. And when you are totally aware of it, you are out of it in a flash, it has dropped out.

Question: You deny stages in this sort of revolution, or discovering in parts?

Krishnamurti: I certainly deny stages; I totally deny discovering in parts, gradually, in time, distance, space; I have explained why it is like that. "In parts" implies what? It implies conditioning, subtraction, time, gradualness, from here to there, from one state to another. It implies achievement, getting there, being somebody, arriving. And if you go into it, you will see that all this implies a sense of laziness, acceptance of things as they are - accepting the yesterdays, todays and tomorrows, accepting the division of the land, of the people. Sirs, don't you see this simple thing? How do you see a tree - part by part, or do you see it as a whole thing? It requires such extraordinary, such dynamic energy to see a whole thing. And do you derive that energy by little parts? Are you kind little by little? Do you love little by little? If you do love little by little, it is a gradual process; it is habit, it is not love; it is repetition. Sirs, don't you know all this? Please, Sirs, do consider whether you are enquiring into your ambitions, into the anatomy of power; you have to approach it not just little by little, but see the whole thing; and when you see the whole thing, it goes away in a flash.

February 19, 1961


Bombay 1961

Bombay 1st Public Talk 19th February 1961

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