Rajghat 2nd Public Talk 1st December 1963
If I may, I shall talk for about half an hour or so, and then perhaps you will be good enough to ask some questions.
I think it would be deeply interesting, not as a curiosity, to find out what one is vitally interested in. Perhaps that interest varies according to circumstances, pressures and strains. Either we deal with the immediacy of the strains and the problems and therefore are merely satisfied with superficial answers; or through these superficial, intermittent, passing problems, crises and strains, there might arise, if one is persistently enquiring and is vitally interested, a deeper awakening of interest. Perhaps each one of us, not only individually but collectively, might have this interest and might be seeking an answer.
Before we go into that, I think we ought to be clear that there is no collective action or individual action. We are the collective. If we understand what is action, then it won't be collective or individual. This unfortunate division as the collective and as the individual seems to me so utterly fallacious. I know it is a common way of dividing life as personal and collective, individual and universal, and all the rest of it. But if one examines a little more closely and deeply, one finds that there is no such thing as the individual - this comes at a much later stage of our enquiry. But for most of us there is only a collective attitude and activity, collective conditioning. If you look at yourself you will find you are the collective, you are the result of all the various pressures, strains and cultures. So, really to enquire into what the vital interest is, perhaps one will come to it not as an individual or as the collective, and will therefore answer the problems not individually or collectively. We have to find out what is the vital interest that must exist in a world where there is chaos, brutality, violence, upheavals, miseries, despair - what is the real demand. Perhaps if we can really ask that, then we might be able to attack the problem. And in the very understanding of the problem, it will be neither the collective nor the individual. Because, after all, your problem is my problem, it is everyone's problem. You are unhappy, so is another. It isn't your particular individual problem which you have so carefully nurtured or cultivated, or hope to resolve. It is the problem of man.
So, what is man's fundamental interest? You can only put that question when you put it yourself, not as an individual. Because you are not an `individual' - you may have a separate body, a certain series of nervous, neurological, psychological reactions, but as an individual you are not. You are a mere human being conditioned, shaped, by society, whether that society is a thousand years old or a month old. So, if we could find out what is the deep, vital, continuous interest, perhaps, in understanding that, the minor problems of everyday existence will be solved. I am afraid it is not worthwhile merely trying to resolve the immediate peripheral problems, because there will be no end to them. But if you could get at the root-problem, if you can so put it, then from there you can explore. Then the so-called daily problems of existence may be resolved.
So, what is it we are really seeking? Perhaps, we will say we are seeking God, we are seeking truth, we are seeking happiness; or if we are trained in a particular culture, in a particular society, we say we want Nirvana and this or that - not ideationally, but actually. I do not know if you see the difference. The idea is entirely different from the actuality. The idea is non-existent. When a man talks about liberation, to him liberation is an idea; it is what he has learnt, what he hopes for, what he wishes. But the idea is entirely different from the actual. The actual is : we are mistaken, confused; we are in misery; we are in insecurity and we are everlastingly seeking security; we want to be loved; we want to love; we have fear, despair - not only these are the actual things of your daily life, but also these are deep down in our consciousness. Surely, it is only when the mind which is very clear, healthy - which means, free from all this confusion, completely free from the conflicts, the miseries, the despairs, the anxieties - , only when the mind is quiet, that it can seek; perhaps then, it won't seek at all, it is something entirely different.
So, either we deal in abstraction - which has no value at all - or we deal with the fact, the `what is', and from there proceed. To put it differently, without understanding the whole psychological structure of one's being, without enquiring, understanding, resolving the structure of the way one thinks - consciously or unconsciously - , the motives, the purposes, the fears, it seems to me utterly vain, meaningless, to deal in abstractions: what is God what is this and what is that. All this has no meaning unless you are very clear, unconfused. A mind that has totally put away all conflict, that conflict has never touched - it is only such a mind that can discover what is truth, what is real, if there is God, and so on.
So it seems to me, the primary interest for any healthy mind has to be with facts as they are. A human being living in this world has not only to acquire food, clothes and shelter but also to resolve the psychological conflicts, stresses, strains, fears. For this, the first thing that one has to do is to know oneself - not as an idea, but actually to understand the movement of thought which is not logical, which is capricious, vagrant, without purpose and occasionally with purpose. One has to understand this whole mechanism of thought, not logically but actually, what it is. If we are really examining it logically, then all that logic - which is never spontaneous but a reasoned, calculated process - can produce, is only a computer. That is what we are becoming, if we are at all aware; we are becoming rather poor imitations of the extraordinary machines called computers. If we merely look at ourselves logically, cultivate memory which will direct what we should do and what we should not do, then such logical consecutive action will inevitably lead to mechanistic activity - which is that of the computer.
I do not know if you have followed all the things that are going on in the world. We, human beings, whether we are religious, whether we are scientific, or whether we are extraordinarily clever, are all becoming imitations of computers. Our chief concern is the cultivation of memory, logical memory: `I have done this and I must do that; `I should be that; `I am not that, but I am going to make an effort to be that'. All this is based on memory, and logical memory leads to a life of the computer. I am not saying that you should be illogical; on the contrary, we should be aware of the process of a mind that merely functions on memory. I hope we can go into this, because this is very important. There has to be a quality of spontaneity - that is, you have to discover yourself anew each time, to see yourself actually as something that is changing all the time. You have spontaneously to see this change that is going on all the time. And if you can observe it, see it, spontaneously, then the mechanistic process of memory will have very little significance.
I do not know if you have observed yourself. If one observes oneself, one finds that one obviously desires certain changes, certain conformities, certain modifications and that those desires for modification, for change, are really based on memory, on association, of the pattern established by society or which one is a part. So, to understand oneself, there must be spontaneity. But to observe freely is one of the most difficult things to do. Because, after all, the mind, the being, is in constant movement, is in constant change under various conscious or unconscious strains, pressures; when we look at that mind, that being which is undergoing change all the time, with a memory which is stabilized, then we shall not be able to understand it. I do not know if I am making myself clear. If I want to understand you, I must look at you afresh; I cannot look at you with all my memories: whether you have slandered me, whether you have flattered me, whether you have been kind or unkind to me, and so on. These memories obviously, prevent me from understanding.
So, is it possible to look at oneself? It is imperative to look at oneself. If you do not understand yourself, there is no basis for any thought, for any clarity; then you will just live in a world of words, of ideas which have no relation to daily existence, to what is happening in the religious world. There is a wide gulf between idea and action, between your daily existence and all your demands about God, about truth. When a man is in confusion, he has to understand confusion and be clarified; and out of that clarity he can look. But being confused, to seek God, to seek truth, is absurd and has no meaning. The whole structure of the mind is confused; and one has to look at it, not in the mirror of memory but anew each time; one has to look at each thought, each feeling, each reaction, as though one is looking at it for the first time. Is that possible? If it is not possible, we will merely cultivate more and more memory, make it more and more refined and ultimately become extraordinarily mechanistic - and a computer can do it much better than our little mind.
So, if it is clear, the question is, is it possible to look at yourself, to look at every thought as it arises, as though you are meeting it for the first time? Otherwise, you merely translate or interpret what you see according to your memory, and therefore, you won't understand the actual movement of thought which may have its source in the past but which may appear as new. You have to look at it anew. If this is clear, then we have to find out, if it is at all possible, the relationship between memory and perception, seeing. How do you observe, see? Do you observe, see, through thought? Or do you actually see? Do you see me, the speaker, through all the knowledge, information, reputation, ideas, that you have? Do you merely have the opinion which you have cultivated about the speaker? Or do you actually see? Do you follow what I mean? I think this is very important, if you could really understand this very simple fact: do you actually see, or do you see through your memories? Seeing through your memories is not seeing. Is it possible to look, to see, to observe, without the whole response of the mechanism of memory in operation? Otherwise, it will be merely carrying on something of the past, a modified continuity of what has been; and therefore, the mind is never fresh, never young, never innocent to look, to observe.
To observe, we need a fresh mind, we need a deep mutation. Mutation, the word itself, implies a complete change without cause, a complete revolution. And we need such a mind because the problems are so immense, not only in India but all over the world: the problems of starvation, overpopulation; the problems of progress; the mind becoming more and more superficial, more and more mechanical; and deep down, the agony, the despair, the frustration; wars; the longing for peace; the conflict between two powerful blocks, each demanding a certain type of action, a certain way of living. When you look at all these enormous, complex problems, you need to have a fresh mind, not an old traditional, decrepit mind; you need to have a mind that is no longer caught in any pattern of thought - it is the patterns of thought that have brought about the present state of affairs.
So, you need a fresh mind. That means a complete mutation, not in time but out of time. And that can only take place if you can observe without the whole mechanism of memory coming into operation. As a problem itself, it is very interesting. Whether you can do it or not - that depends on you. As an issue, as a question, as an enquiry, it is extremely interesting. We need a fresh mind, obviously; we need a mind that can look at things anew, without awakening the whole power of memory. And it is only possible if you can look at yourself - the self being not the higher self or the lower self, but the ordinary self; this division as the High with a capital H, an idea, not a fact. If you can see the motives, all the movements - conscious as well as unconscious - of every desire, of every thought, of every feeling, if you are totally aware of all that without any choice, if you can just observe, neither condemning nor comparing, if you can see this in operation, then out of that comes a fresh mind, a mind that is spontaneous. And it is only such a mind which has emptied itself of all memory, that can function, if necessary, with freedom; it is only such a mind that can meditate. And that is real mutation and nothing else.
Let us discuss. You may ask questions.
Questioner: My memory is inherent in me, it is part of me. How can I get rid of it?
Krishnamurti: The gentleman says that memory is inherent, is a part of us, and it is very difficult to get rid of it.
I do not say that we should get rid of it. You cannot get rid of memory. Please look at it! You are logically functioning now. You say, "I must get rid of my memory in order to have a fresh mind", and you will find methods of getting rid of certain memories logically; and you will end up mechanistically. What I said was that one must understand this whole mechanism of memory - not get rid of it; you cannot. The idea of getting rid of memory is nothing, you must understand it.
Now, what do you mean `by understanding'? It means: to observe it in action, not to do anything about it; just to observe it. Now, you react to everything; there is no space between that reaction and the fact. You have to have this empty space in which memory does not continuously jump in.
Questioner: It is only with my memory that I can recognize something. Can I recognize you if I have no memory of you?
Krishnamurti: The question is: how can I recognize you, if I have no memory?
You cannot. You met me yesterday or a week before, and you say you recognize me, because you have memory. But what has happened during that week, during those twenty-four hours? I have changed a great deal; there has been a change, a variation, due to various considerations, pressures, challenges to which I have answered inadequately, and therefore conflict and so on. You only recognize me, the form, and nothing else; and that form too is changing. So, obviously, you must, unless you have amnesia, have memory; that capacity must exist.
But if I insulted you, if I robbed you, if I cheated you, if things have happened to you - all that comes into operation when you meet me the next time; and so you push me aside, you cut me. You know that I have insulted you, that I have done you harm consciously or unconsciously; yet, you have to be aware of all that without letting your present relationship with me being interfered with by the memories of the past.
Questioner: Does this not imply that, if I have been robbed once by somebody, I should not allow that memory to operate when I meet him again, and thus I allow myself to be robbed again by that person?
Krishnamurti: The gentleman says that I should allow myself to be robbed again.
Is that a serious question? Or, are you merely trying to defend a particular pattern of thinking? If it is really a serious question, naturally you will protect yourself from being robbed. You do not want to he robbed twice by the same person. You may be robbed by another person, by a politician; but you do not want to be robbed by the same person twice. So you keep at a safe distance from him, but you look at him with a different spirit.
Questioner: Does mutation come about naturally, spontaneously? Or is it caused by an outside agency
Krishnamurti: Why do we divide the outside agency and the inward spontaneity?
The speaker tells you something. The speaker is the outside agency and he says that you must have the mutation, deep down. And obviously what he says is reasonable and you see the necessity of it; then you begin to enquire, "Is it possible or not possible?". If it is possible, how is that spontaneity to come about? Does it come through an outside agency - that is, through outside pressures, challenges, demands, culture and all the rest of it? Or does it come about when one understands these outward pressures with all their limited restrictions and so on?
By understanding these outside influences, you are free from them and therefore you are then faced with the simple fact that mutation must take place without any pressure, without any cause. Otherwise, you are merely yielding to circumstances, pushed by a motive.
Questioner: Sir, you have not explained why we divide.
Krishnamurti: Why do we divide? You ask a question and then wander off. I said very clearly why we divide the outer and the inner. It is a total process; by understanding the outer, you will come to the inner; and by going, penetrating, deeper and deeper, into the inner, you will find out whether that mutation is possible at all. But merely asking a question and leaving it has no meaning. You have to grapple challenge at all. But if you respond with this question and find out for yourself. And to find out for yourself, you must either reject the challenge, or observe how you respond to that challenge. If you respond verbally, that is intellectually, then it is not a challenge at all. But if you respond with your whole being - that is, physiologically, nervously, with your eyes, with your ears, with your heart, with your mind - , then, that challenge will, by the very response, open the door to further enquiry. But unfortunately, we do not want to listen to anything intensely, we do not want to feel intensely about anything. Probably, most of us have little passion - perhaps it is reserved for physiological, sexual passion and for nothing else. You need to have tremendous passion to find out what truth is. You cannot have passion if your heart is barren, controlled, beaten - that is what most of you are.
Questioner: If the mutation you talk of takes place, how can I do my present job, how can I maintain my present relationship with persons and things?
Krishnamurti: The gentleman says that if mutation takes place, we will lose our job, our relationship.
Is that so? Find out. You are speculating, aren't you? A hungry man does not speculate; he wants food and he is not satisfied by words. I am afraid most of us are satisfied by words; we have been fed by words for so many centuries.
We are talking of something quite different; of experiencing directly, enquiring directly, not speculating.
Questioner: What is the use of your talking? Why do you talk?
Krishnamurti: Sir, why do you learn? Why do you learn to read, why do you learn anything - about history, geography, mathematics? Why do you study at all? Either you study to make the mind intelligent, sharp, clear, precise; or you study merely to pass an examination and to get a job - which becomes a burden and in which you die. In the same way, we are talking, because one sees we must learn about life and look at it differently.
That is as simple as that.
Questioner: What is the aim of human life? What is the purpose of human life?
Krishnamurti: It is very simple, is it not? To live, to live vigorously without conflict, without misery, without despair; to love people. You cannot love if you have sorrow. Sorrow and love do not go together. So, if you want to find out what is love, sorrow must end. And can sorrow end - not only the little sorrow, but the sorrow that destroys human beings? Or, is that a part of the inevitable process of existence?
To end sorrow, one has to go into the whole problem of what is suffering - the physical pain as well as the psychological pain - and whether it can end. Without ending sorrow, you cannot possibly have or know or understand what love is. You may talk about love like a man who is ambitious. How can the ambitious man have sympathy, affection for somebody? You listen and you say, "It is right, logical; but in your heart you are ambitious; there is no relationship between what you listen to and what you actually are. But if you take what you actually are, and go into it with passion - not with calculated fears and hopes - , then out of that - you will find out for yourself whether sorrow can end.
Questioner: Is it possible to be free fear? Krishnamurti: Fear exists not only at the conscious level but deep down at the unconscious level. There is the fear with which we are familiar and to which we have become accustomed. There is also the fear deep down, hidden, concealed. Is it possible to be free of all fear?
To understand that, one must understand the whole content of consciousness. Now, you have to understand the fact, not what consciousness is according to somebody - whether that somebody is a great saint or a great teacher, or whatever he is. You have to understand the consciousness which is you - not in terms of what you have learnt from some book, or from what you have been told - , you have to observe. And that is what we are going to do, if you will follow what I am going to say.
This whole consciousness is of time - time being thought; thought being the response of memory; memory being the past, the past moving through the present to the future in a limited way or in an expansive way. The whole structure of the conscious as well the unconscious is in the framework of time - time being not only chronological time, but also psychological time. That is a fact, whether you agree or disagree; it is not a matter of agreement or disagreement, it is so.
We have divided this consciousness as the superficial and the hidden. The superficial is the educated mind, the modern mind: it goes to the office, however bored it is; it passes examinations; it has certain technological knowledge; it reads newspapers and reacts. That is the superficial mind. And then there is the hidden mind. The hidden mind is all the latent factors of the past; certain parts of it are awake, other parts of it are asleep.
I wish you would listen to this, actually observing your own state of consciousness. I am only using the words to describe; do not depend on the description, but watch it. Then you will go much further, deeply.
Now, how do we deal with the superficial fears? We either escape, or take a drink, or go to church, or repeat some mantram, or read a book. And reading a book, going to the temple, seeking God, or taking a drink are all the same, because they are all escapes from the fact of the fears of which you are conscious. Secondly, in regard to the unconscious with which we are not familiar, we have to get acquainted with it - and it is difficult. There is the hidden part of me, the hidden part of you with which you are not familiar, as familiar as you are with your conscious mind. To become familiar with it, to know all the contents of it, requires an attention, an observation which is attentive - not in terms of condemnation or justification, but merely attentive.
Attention is necessary in order to find out the whole content of the unconscious. I mean by `attention' a mind that is attentive without any subjective or objective condemnation, a mind which is merely attentive. I must go into the meaning of the word `attentive'. Because most of us do not know what it means; we know only what it is to be concentrated, to focus the attention, to focus the thought on a particular thing. And in that focussing of the thought on a particular thing, which is called concentration, there is an exclusive process - you are putting everything aside. Therefore, concentration is a form of resistance. Concentration is not attention because in attention there is no resistance. Attention can concentrate; even then, it is not exclusive.
One must be very clear between these two facts: the implication of concentration, and the implication of attention. In attention, there is complete emptiness; otherwise, you can't attend. Now, if you are attentive, you listen to that noise of the train on the bridge, you listen to the hoot of the train, you listen to the speaker, you watch the colours of the various people, you see the sparrows flying across the room, you see the people there - their smiles, their yawning, their scratching. But if you are concentrated, you cannot be aware of all this extraordinary movement.
So, you need attention to observe the unconscious; otherwise, you cannot observe it. This means that the conscious mind must not seek any result, it must not wish to transform what it sees, it must not try to interpret what it sees according to its likes and dislikes. So the conscious mind must be attentively aware, which means `aware without any preoccupation'. The conscious mind must be in a non-interpretative, non-condemnative state; this means it must be quiet - quiet, not forced, not compelled. And that is only possible, when there is no ambition, when the conscious mind is psychologically free from society - then the conscious mind is completely quiet; even the brain cells which are being highly sensitive, highly aware, are quiet; the conscious mind can be quiet, because there is no resistance. When the conscious mind is quiet - which means when the conscious mind is attentive - it has no thought, it is empty but aware; then it can observe. This observation is not analytical or interpretative. I won`t go into the question of analysis: who is the analyser or who is the analysed. This attention has no introspective or analytical quality; the conscious mind merely observes.
Then what is the unconscious? I am merely describing verbally. You can add more words, more description; but that will not help you to understand the unconscious. And you have to understand the whole content of the unconscious, not only the superficial but also the hidden; otherwise, you cannot possibly go beyond. You may talk everlastingly about God, truth - that is all too childish, immature. Unless the mind can comprehend the depth, the superficiality, the movement of every conscious and unconscious thing within the field of time, unless the mind understands all that, it cannot possibly under any circumstances go beyond itself. And it must go beyond itself to understand what is truth - even the truth of everyday, the daily truth, not the ultimate. So, you have to observe the unconscious or the subconscious, whatever name you give it. The word, the name, is not the thing. We are talking about the thing and not about the word, not about the symbol. When you are observing the thing, the word becomes unimportant.
As we said, the whole of consciousness is of time. The unconscious is the past with all its traditions and authorities and experience - not only the experiences of the present, but the experiences, the knowledge, the authorities of centuries and centuries of man, because you are the result of all men, not just one man. It is too narrow, limited, if we say that the unconscious is merely the result of one individual life, striving striving, striving - it is not a fact. The unconscious is the whole endeavour of man's existence, his conflicts, his hopes, his fears, his despairs. The whole of that is the unconscious, the collective as well as the collective operating through the so-called individual, the motives, the urges, the hidden recesses of the mind, of which the conscious mind is not aware at all, and which occasionally, through dreams, come into being. I am not going into dreams now; that will take too long. So, all that is time, obviously - time as the past operating in the present, which becomes the future; the yesterday, moving into today, becomes the tomorrow. That is how we live.
Being attentive, one can observe this process of time. Time becomes mechanical: I have done this yesterday; and the result of that is today, which will operate on the events, the challenges of tomorrow. The mind which is consciousness, the mind which is asleep or awake, hidden or open - that mind is the result put together by time. Your mind is the result of time. Now, please listen to this carefully. Is it possible for that mind to be free of time? Do not say "Yes or no". Do not put a superficial question: "Is it possible? Must I catch my train? What about lunch?". I am talking about the working of the mind at a deeper level. The mind has to be free of time.
Without being free of time, you cannot be free of fear. Because fear is the result of thought; if you did not think, if you had no thought about tomorrow, you will not be afraid of tomorrow. If there is no process of thinking with regard to something, of which you think you are afraid, there will be no fear. If death comes to one instantaneously, one has no fear of death. So thought which is the instrument of time, which is the response of memory, which is the past - that creates time; and out of that there is fear. Thought is the origin of fear; time gives soil to fear. So one has to understand fear and be free of fear - not the fear of the snake, but this deep down fear which gives sorrow, the fear which prevents affection, the fear which clouds the mind, the fear which creates conflict, the fear which brings about darkness, Most of us live in darkness and die in darkness. If one would really understand that fear, one must understand this whole process of consciousness which is of time.
Questioner: Are you not the creatures of destiny?
Krishnamurti: Is that of very great importance? Are you not the creatures of environment? When you are a Hindu, a Muslim and when you are so conditioned, obviously, you can foresee that you are the creatures of your condition and therefore of time, the creatures of a particular culture.
What is important to you to ask that question? Is it to find an answer to it? Or, have you put the right question? That is not the right question, because it has no meaning.
We live in this world, you and I. We are confused, we are unhappy; there is immense struggle, conflict. Is it possible to be free of all this? Or, are we everlastingly destined to live like this? If you say that we are destined to live in this chaos, in this confusion, in this conflict, and it is inevitable, then there is no problem; once you accept that as inevitable, you have no problem. Then you have the problem: how to decorate your conflict, how to make it a little more refined; but, deep down, you have no problem. But if you say, "Is it possible to step out of it completely?", then it becomes an astonishing, vital, question. And to answer it, not verbally, not theoretically, to answer that actually, in daily living, you need tremendous vitality. And to have that vitality, you have to observe, you have to be alive, you have to be intensely sensitive.
Questioner: Is everything preordained? What is the truth of it?
Krishnamurti: Obviously, if you are lazy, if you accept, if you function mechanically, you become a poor imitation of the computer. That is your destiny obviously; that is the truth.
To be free of destiny, you have to reject it. And to reject psychologically, you need vitality. I am not talking about putting on clothes or doing silly absurd things that people do. You have psychologically to reject the whole structure of society of which you are a part - not reject it, but deny it. If you reject it, deny it, in life and not in idea, then you are free of all destiny, nothing is ordained.
I said that a man who functions within the psychological field of a social structure, is destined; almost certainly he will function like a cog in a machine. But when a man rejects that psychologically - not being ambitious, not being greedy, not following, not accepting authority, and so on - , when he rejects all the psychological structure of the society of which he is, he rejects because he has understood all that. When a man has understood and therefore denies all that, for him there is no destiny; he is not a slave to circumstances.
Questioner: Is there not a middle course?
Krishnamurti: There is no middle course. Either you are that or this. There is no half-way - that is what we all want; we want the darkness of insecurity and the freedom of life; but we cannot have both. We want to be hot and cold. Do you know what happens, when you mix very hot water and very cold water? It becomes lukewarm. And that is what you are: You have become lukewarm. We need to have the fire.
Questioner: But lukewarm may be the truth. It is life.
Krishnamurti: Yes, lukewarm, if you like - lukewarm water, lukewarm emotions, lukewarm living. Is that the middle path? No, sir. Don't say, "Yes".
The middle path means to see the false, and to see the truth in the false, and to walk in the middle. That is, when you know what is truth, when you see what is false, then, out of this perception, you walk. It is neither the middle nor the centre.
Questioner: What is really the difference between the brain and the mind?
Krishnamurti: The brain - we know what it is. The brain - the cells, the nerves, the responses and all that - is the inherited, animal instinct. Do not deny it. Biologically it is so. The brain is a part of the mind. The mind is the whole, and the brain is the fragment. Between the fragment and the whole, the relationship is tenuous. When you understand the whole structure of man - the brain, the mind, the feeling, the struggle, the conflict - the mind then has no limits, no frontiers. What is the relationship of darkness and light?
Questioner: But in the physical body, the brain is the medium.
Krishnamurti: It is obvious.
Questioner: You have said that one must look at the unconscious without interpretation; but the interpretation arises from the unconscious. What is one to do?
Krishnamurti: I said that the conscious mind has to be quiet, uninfluenced, not drilled into quietness; and that it is only possible for the conscious mind to be still when it has understood the psychological structure of the society in which it is living, and nothing more. The interpretation comes much later.
What is the act of interpretation? When do we interpret? When we do not see things directly, then interpretation takes place. When I see that, I do not need to interpret. That is obvious. But, later on, I begin to interpret; and interpretation comes and interferes.
But I say, "Look at it without interpretation; that can be done at any level, at any time". Try to look at a flower, do it some time; try to look at it without interpretation. Interpretation is a distraction. When you see the flower and you say it is a rose, the word that arises when you see the flower is a distraction from your observation of that flower. When you are interpreting, saying, "That is beautiful, I wish I had that", that interpretation becomes a distraction from seeing per se. The moment you have understood this process, that interpretation can stop. With regard to the deeper interpretation, I said that first you must make the superficial mind quiet - not make it; but it must become quiet. Then, whatever interpretation or intimation that comes from the unconscious - you will be able to deal with it, and break it down. If you do not understand how the conscious mind interprets everything, even the minutest thing, then you will never be able to understand the unconscious.
Questioner: How can you understand a human being without interpreting?
Krishnamurti; Have you ever noticed when the state of understanding comes? Have you ever noticed how, when you say, "I understand something", that comes?
Questioner: It comes instinctively, by intuition.
Krishnamurti: I do not understand what that word `intuition' means.
Questioner: I do not understand what you say, sir.
Krishnamurti: What is the state of mind that says, "I understand"? You say, "I understand what you are talking about", "I see what you say very clearly, I understand it immediately". What do you mean by saying, "I understand", and what is the state of mind which says, "I have understood"? You mean you have learnt from what has been said. I will go into it, you will see.
What we are asking is: what is the state of mind that understands, that says, "I understand, I see"? First of all, such a state of mind has no distraction; it is not distracted by the noise, by the colour, by any movement there is no sense of distraction, and therefore, there is no distraction. Because it has seen each distraction, the word `distraction' does not exist in such a mind. Then, what takes place?
When there is no distraction, there is attention; and that attention is silence, there is no operation of thought at all. The mind is completely empty and therefore silent. And when you say something true, I say, "I understand, it is true; when you say something false, I say, "It is false". So understanding is only possible when there is empty, silent attention in which there is no sense of distraction at all.
Before you understand what the state of mind is that understands, you have to go into the question of distraction. When you want to be concentrated on something, and your thought goes off, the going off is equally a distraction. I want to know why it goes off: That indicates that that particular thought has some interest. So, the mind examines every thought, every wandering off; never saying it is a distraction. Therefore, such a mind is astonishingly awake, very intelligent, sharp, clear, because it is not in a battle with concentration and distraction. Therefore, it is watching everything.
Questioner: Is there anything to do after watching?
Krishnamurti: All that you have to do is merely to watch. That is the greatest action. Out of that is action; and that is the only action.
December 1, 1963
Rajghat 2nd Public Talk 1st December 1963
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