Bombay 2nd Public Talk 22nd February 1961
We were considering the other day when we met what is necessary in the present chaotic, confused and conflicting world. We were considering not only the immediate action necessary but also a continuous action, and we can only have such action when we comprehend the totality of the problem. And to comprehend the whole, we need a different mind, a new mind, a mind that is not merely concerned with the particular but with the total; and comprehending the total, the mind can play with the comprehension of the particular. And we were also talking about a state of exploration, rather than exploring. I think those two are different activities, are they not? A mind that is merely concerned with exploring, not only outwardly but inwardly, is in a state of restlessness, a state of push, urge; but a state of exploration is a negative awareness in which there is perception without recording, it is a state of pure seeing.
I do not know how far we have understood the significance of seeing. I think it is necessary to consider it further. I wonder if we see anything. You know what I mean by seeing? Looking, observing, perceiving, the quality of listening - all these are implied in seeing; and the seeing is prevented when there is an opinion about the fact of that which you are seeing. I look at you and you look at me. I do not know most of you, but you know me. You have opinions about me, conclusions, ideas, certain judgments; you have pictures, images, symbols. You don't see me actually, because you have ideas about me. So you never see, you never perceive, you never listen; these ideas, opinions, conclusions, a certain tradition, what you have read - those prevent you from seeing. Do experiment, as I am talking, with what I am talking about.
Surely, seeing implies putting aside all these and merely observing, listening, seeing, perceiving, absorbing, seeing actually what is the fact; it is much more vitalizing and from that you derive enormous energy. Opinions don't give energy. Conclusions, ideas, give a certain form of energy which dissipates, which is destructive, which creates tension and contradiction, because most of our actions are born out of the conflict of contradiction and the tension that contradiction brings about. So if you could see without bringing judgments, evaluation, acceptance and denial, if you could merely perceive things, facts as they are, inwardly as well as outwardly, then that very perception brings an extraordinary quality of energy. Actually there is no outward state distinct from the inward state; they are not two different states, they are really one continuous movement like the tide going out and coming in. To be aware of the fact - that alone does bring about a certain sense of vitality, energy, a quality of beauty. So we are talking about the necessity of such perception. It is only a new mind that can comprehend the significance of seeing something totally.
The new mind is not something to be achieved, is not something to be worked for, is not an ideal - an end to be achieved, a goal, something to be striven after. It comes into being instantaneously and it is only possible when there is such seeing. Time prevents this perception. A mind that thinks in terms of gradualness, in terms of distance, space, in terms of "from here to there", as movement "from here to there", as an achievement, as an end - such a mind cannot see a thing totally. So, perhaps it might be worthwhile if we could discuss a little bit of what time is; because, I think it is very important to go beyond time.
Time is thought, and thought is the process of memory that creates time as yesterday, today and tomorrow, as a thing that we use as a means of achievement, as a way of life. Time to us is extraordinarily important, life after life, one life leading to another life that is modified, that continues. Surely, time is the very nature of thought, thought is time. And as long as time exists as a means to something, the mind cannot go beyond itself - the quality of going beyond itself belongs to the new mind which is free of time. Time is a factor in fear. By time, I don't mean the chronological time, by the watch - second, minute, hour, day, year, but time as a psychological, inward process. It is that fact that brings about fear. Time is fear; as time is thought, it does breed fear; it is time that creates frustration, conflicts, because the immediate perception of the fact, the seeing of the fact is timeless. The perceiving, the awareness, the state of exploration in which there is the immediate perception of the fact - for instance, the fact that one is angry - is timelessness. What you will do about anger, to get rid of it, what you cannot do and what you will do - all this is allowing time to enter into that.
So, to understand fear, one must be aware of time - time as distance, space; me which thought creates as yesterday, today and tomorrow, using the memory of yesterday to adjust itself to the present and so to condition the future. So, for most of us fear is an extraordinary reality; and a mind that is entangled with fear, with the complexity of fear, can never be free; it can never understand the totality of fear, without understanding the intricacies of time. They go together.
Sirs, to find out, to understand, one has to listen as you would just listen to the crow, to those boys shouting, to those bells, without commenting, without saying, "He is talking, and I must listen to find out what he means". If you listen to those birds, to those crows, to the noise in the street, to the boys shouting, to that gun going, and also to listen to what is being said here, then it is totality of listening. All these are facts - the noise of the gun, the crow, the children shouting, the bus rattling by, the noise in the street. And the moment you resist one fact against another and decide to listen to one and not to the other, then you are not listening at all. Listening is a total process, and therefore there is no resistance; and therefore there is an immediate perception of the fact, if you are so listening with an extraordinary casualness. There must be a sense of casualness to catch the Real. A mind which is merely serious and does not know what it is to be casual, to be playful, to be light, can never see the fact. And a serious mind which does not know what it is to be casual, may have a certain amount of energy, but such energy is destructive.
Now let us consider the totality of fear. A mind that is afraid, that has deep within itself anxiety, a sense of fear, the hope that is born out of fear and despair - such a mind obviously is an unhealthy mind. Such a mind may go to temples, churches; it may spin every kind of theory, it may pray, it may be very scholastic, may outwardly have all the polish of sophistication, obey, have good manners and politeness, and behave righteously outwardly; but such a mind that has all these things and its roots in fear - as most of our minds have - obviously cannot see things straight. Fear does breed various forms of mental illnesses. No one is afraid of God; but one is afraid of public opinion, afraid of not achieving, not fulfilling, afraid of not having the opportunity; and through it all there is this extraordinary sense of guilt - one has done a thing that one should not have done; the sense of guilt in the very act of doing; one is healthy and others are poor and unhealthy; one has food and others have no food. The more the mind is enquiring, penetrating, asking, the greater the sense of guilt, anxiety. And if this whole process is not understood, if this whole totality of fear is not understood, it does lead to peculiar activities, the activities of the saints, the activities of politicians - activities which are all explainable, if you watch, if you are aware of this contradictory nature in fear, both the conscious and the unconscious. You know fear - fear of death, fear of not being loved or fear of loving, fear of losing, fear of gain. How do you tackle this, Sirs?
Fear is the urge that seeks a Master, a guru; fear is this coating of respectability, which every one loves so dearly - to be respectable. Sir, I am not talking of anything which is not a fact. So you can see it in your everyday life. This extraordinary per - vasive nature of fear - how do you deal with it? Do you merely develop the quality of courage in order to meet the demand of fear? You understand, Sir? Do you determine to be courageous to face events in life, or merely rationalize fear away, or find explanations that will give satisfaction to the mind that is caught in fear? How do you deal with it? Turn on the radio, read a book, go to a temple, cling to some form of dogma, belief? Let us discuss how to deal with fear. If you are aware of it, what is the manner of your approach to this shadow? Obviously one can see very clearly that a mind that is afraid, withers away; it cannot function properly; it cannot think reasonably. By fear I do not mean the fear at the conscious level only but also in the deep recesses of one's own mind and heart. How do you discover it, and when you do discover it what do you do? I am not asking a rhetorical question, don't say, "He will answer it". I will answer it, but you will have to find out. The moment there is no fear, there is no ambition, but there is an action which is for the love of the thing but not for recognition of the thing which you are doing. So, how do you deal with it? What is your response?
Obviously, the everyday response to fear is to push it aside and run away from it, to cover it up through will, determination, resistance, escape. That is what we do, Sirs. I am not saying anything extraordinary. And so fear goes on pursuing you like a shadow, you are not free of it. I am talking of the totality of fear, not just a particular state of fear - death, or what your neighbour will say, fear of one's husband or son dying, one's wife running away. You know what fear is? Each one has his own particular form of fear - not one but multiple fears. A mind that has any form of fear cannot obviously have the quality of love, sympathy, tenderness. Fear is the destructive energy in man. It withers the mind, it distorts thought, it leads to all kinds of extraordinarily clever and subtle theories, absurd superstitions, dogmas and beliefs. If you see that fear is destructive, then how do you proceed to wipe the mind clean?
Question: Try to probe into the cause of fear.
Krishnamurti: You say that by probing into the cause of fear you would be free of fear. Is that so? You know why you are afraid of what people might say, your neighbour might say, of public opinion; you might lose your job, you might lose several things, you might not be able to get your daughters married into respectability. Every person is afraid of some kind of thing or other and knows why he is afraid; and yet, fear is not eradicated. Trying to uncover the cause and knowing the cause of fear does not eliminate fear. Can you deal with fear by running away from it? If it can be dealt with only by understanding fear, how do you understand fear?
How do you comprehend something? If you have a son, how do you understand him? Have you ever tried to understand your son, wife, your guru, neighbours, politicians, and the rest of it? Have you? What does it mean to understand your little girl? What do you do? First, you must observe the child - observe, watch, see the child when it is playing, when it is laughing, crying. It is necessary to observe; and you cannot observe if you project all your ideas - such as, the child must be good but she is naughty; she is to be compared with the other child, and so on. It is only when you are not projecting, into your observation, these ideas and opinions that you observe; and from that observation you begin seeing the deeper meanings. That observation is the quality of affection. Sirs, haven't you tried all this? Probably not. In the same way how do you understand fear? It is essential that the mind be free of fear. Otherwise, your gods, your pujas, and your religiosity, respectability mean nothing; they might just as well be dead. To you, fear is not something that you must understand, grapple with and put away, to be free from; you accept it as part of your existence, therefore you treat it very casually, it does not matter.
Question: To observe fear alone - will it lead us to something?
Krishnamurti: Look, Sirs. We talked about a mind that is in a state of exploration, not exploring; we talked about seeing facts, and how thought is time, and thought produces fear. It is thought that says "I am angry, I am ambitious, I must not be jealous and so on". We have not isolated fear, only I took that to go into, as you might just take sex or death or something else. But as fear is the most extraordinarily common thing for most of us, I thought of going into it, of seeing the nature of fear - not only a particular fear but the whole nature of fear.
Question: It is so terrifying that we have not got the capacity to understand or look at it; instead of that, we try to imagine some divine power which will protect us.
Krishnamurti: Divine power protecting a petty little mind which is afraid to look at itself! Is that divine power so interested in you? Sir, you must get away from that kind of thinking.
How do you deal with fear? Fear is a result, fear is a process of thought, thought being the product of time as the consequence of memory - fear, not only the immediate fear but the deep down fear of several centuries of activities, impulse, compulsion and all the rest of it, which is deep down in the unconscious. How do you deal with total fear knowing all the causes?
In the totality of mind there is fear, there is anxiety, there is ambition, there is envy, there is frustration, there is fulfilment, there is aspiration, despair, a hoping; there are the Masters, the qualities, the discipline. When you are considering the totality of the mind, fear is not isolated; but for most of us fear is isolated. It is excellent to have that totality of perception, then you can deal with it; but most of us have not got that extraordinary, exquisite subtle sense of totality. Most of us are caught in one particular fear which dogs all our life for the rest of the time. Having isolated it, how do you deal with it? That is the problem for most of us, you understand, Sir?
Question: The moment you understand it, it falls away by itself.
Krishnamurti: What is the significance of that word "understand"? Do you deal with fear one by one as it arises, or do you tackle the whole fear? And to tackle the totality of fear, you cannot approach it in isolation as the thing isolated. I do not know if I am conveying anything to you. Sir, look! I am afraid of what public opinion is, I see the cause of it, how childish, immature it is to be afraid of public opinion. I see the absurdity of it, but I am still afraid I may lose my job. I need not tell you what public opinion does to people. Now, do you deal with that in isolation, as a thing apart, or do you proceed with public opinion in such a way that it will lead you to the total comprehension of fear? If I had the capacity or a way of looking at the fear of public opinion, then that might open the door to the total, complete understanding of fear. That is my point, you understand? Every movement of thought strengthens fear, I am not concerned for the moment with that. I am afraid, of public opinion, I know the cause thereof, I know the significance of all that. Now, will the exploration of that lead to the opening of the door to the totality of fear? That is all my concern, not how to get rid of fear. If one incident can lead to the totality, then the mind will be completely free of it. I do not know if I am making myself clear.
Sirs, let us move from fear for the moment. There is violence and non-violence. I am violent and there is the ideal of non-violence; and I try to approach this through discipline, conflict, contradiction, this terrible. adjustment to the ideational non. violence, which all your gurus, swamis, yogis, all the sacred crowd do - which is, violence and adjust oneself to non: violence. Now, please follow this. The fact is violence, the non-fact is non-violence. Non-violence is an illusion, it is. a word, it has no reality. Violence is a reality; the other has no reality at all, it is just a speculative idea, thought that you must be non-violent because the leaders say it is profitable, because then you will achieve political independence, and you can play around with words; hut the fact is you are violent. I have to understand something actually by looking at the fact: which is, the mind must never be caught in the illusion of words and ideas, away from the fact. Sirs, when a politician talks about non-violence, peace and all that, you have to set it aside because the fact is violence. Now, how do I understand violence?
How does the mind operate after discarding all the illusion of words, of ideals, and the conflict between the fact and the reality of the ideal, and the attempt to approach the fact with the ideal and therefore continuing the conflict? You have got to discard totally all that, when you are dealing with the fact scientifically, to deal with the fact and not with illusion; the mind then has discarded the whole principle of imitation, conformity to a pattern, an idea. So the mind, by dealing with one fact, has discovered how the mind is taking to words, reaching conclusions which have no reality; and so there is only the fact. You understand? Then the mind is capable of looking at that fact. And what does it imply - " looking at a fact?"
Looking - what does it mean, Sir? How do I look at anger? Obviously, I look at it as an observer being angry. I say, "I am angry". At the moment of anger there is no "I; the "I" comes in immediately afterwards - which means time. So, can I look at the fact without the factor of time, which is the thought, which is the word? This happens when there is the looking without the observer? See where it has led me. I now begin to perceive a way of looking - perceiving without the opinion, the conclusion, without condemning, judging. Therefore I perceive that there can be "seeing" without thought which is the word. So the mind is beyond the clutches of ideas, of the conflict of duality and all the rest of it. So, can I look at fear not as an isolated fact?
Sir, fear and violence are just examples. Through one example you can see the whole universe of thought; by taking one thing, "fear", your mind has opened the door. If you isolate a fact that has not opened the door to the whole universe of the mind, then let us go back to the fact and begin again by taking another fact so that you yourself will begin to see the extraordinary thing of the mind, so that you have the key, you can open the door, you can burst into that. You understand, Sirs?
You always analyse fear very clearly, the cause of it, the results of it, the interrelated causes of it - you can see the whole pattern of fear. You are afraid of your neighbour, you are afraid of your wife, husband, death, losing the job, falling ill, not having enough money in old age, or that your wife might run away, your husband might look to somebody else, your sons, your daughters do not obey you, you know all this Sirs - fear, fear which each one of us has. And if it is not understood, it leads to every form of distortion, to mental illnesses. The man who says that he is as great as Napoleon is mentally unbalanced, like the man who is pursuing the Masters, gurus, the ideological patterns of existence. All that is unbalanced mental illness - I know you won't accept it, but it does not matter. To be sane is an extraordinarily difficult thing in a world of insanity, in a world in which people are mentally ill. Sirs, think of the absurdity of the churches with their dogmas, with their beliefs - not only the Catholic beliefs, but the Hindu, Islamic, Buddhist beliefs which millions of people cherish. It is all ill health, mental illness born of fear. You would sneer at the dogma which the Catholics believe in, that Virgin Mary went physically to heaven; you say "What absurdity!" But you have your own form of absurdity; so don't brush it aside. We know the causes of it. We know the extraordinary subtleties of it. By considering one fear, the fear of death, the fear of the neighbour, the fear of your wife dominating over you, you know the whole business of domination. Will that open the door? That is all that matters - not how to be free of it; because the moment you open the door, fear is completely wiped away.
Sir, the mind is the result of time, and time is word - how extraordinary to think of it! Time is thought; it is thought that breeds fear, it is thought that breeds the fear of death; and it is time which is thought, that has in its hand the whole intricacies and the subtleties of fear. So you cannot wipe away fear without understanding, without actually seeing into the nature of time which means thought, which means word. From that arises the question: is there a thought without word, is there a thinking without the word which is memory? Sir, without seeing the nature of the mind, the movement of the mind, the process of self-knowing, merely saying that I must be free of it, has very little meaning. You have to take fear in the context of the whole of the mind. To see, to go into all this, you need energy. Energy does not come through eating food - that is a part of physical necessity. But to see, in the sense I am using that word, requires an enormous energy; and that energy is dissipated when you are battling with words, when you are resisting, condemning, when you are full of opinions which are preventing you from looking, seeing - your energy is all gone in that. So in the consideration of this perception, this seeing, again you open the door.
February 22, 1961
Bombay 2nd Public Talk 22nd February 1961
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