Saanen 3rd Public Discussion 5th August 1966
We will continue with what we were discussing yesterday, unless you have some other question you want to discuss.
Questioner: Why don't we face the fact? What prevents us?
Krishnamurti: We cannot come to that issue till we have completely understood why we escape, and what this movement of escape is. In order not to face what actually is, we have cultivated many escapes. Without understanding why we escape, what the movement of that escape is, and what is involved in the whole structure of that movement, we cannot possibly face the fact. We also must understand what action is. My action in moving away from the fact to something, as was pointed out yesterday, is a static movement, though we may think that it is an actual, positive movement. Until we understand this very, very clearly, we cannot possibly face the fact. There is no question of jumping, avoiding, or skipping over something. Unless we go into this very slowly, step by step, we cannot possibly come to the realization of facing a fact.
Before we go into this question, I would like to ask whether meeting every day like this, and discussing, is a bit too much. Are you sure? We have to work very hard. To share anything there must be not only the giver, but also the receiver; it is complimentary, a movement together. We have to walk together; we must have energy, vitality interest, drive. Can we go on like this for seven days and not get tired of it? You say not, so we'll continue.
We said yesterday that we have cultivated innumerable beliefs, dogmas, ideas, formulas, repetitive activity, as a psychological means of self-defence. It is impossible to understand what is, if we have beliefs, because these beliefs will prevent us from looking at the fact. All of us have these beliefs, dogmas, ideas or ideals. We always want to become better, do something nobler, understand more. It is a running away, an action of escape from what is. We asked what this movement away from what is means, the movement itself. We think we are moving, acting, and we saw yesterday that the movement is static. It has no vitality, because the thing that one is going to is the projection of what is, a continuity of what has been. It is not something new. The movement that we make away from what is, is not a movement at all; it is just a change to something else which is not actual.
I have to act with regard to the fact, with regard to what is, with regard to what I find. There must be action, and I have to investigate and understand what is meant by action. If I don't understand that fully, if I am concerned with changing the fact, with doing something about it, I can't face the fact. I must understand what action is; and 99.9 per cent of our actions are an approximation of a belief, an idea, a concept, an image. Our action is always trying to copy, to conform to an idea. I have an idea that I should be brotherly; I have an idea as a communist; or I have the idea that I am a Catholic; according to the idea I act. I have certain memories of pleasure or of pain, certain remembrances of some deep fear, an image of that fear; and according to those memories I act, avoiding some particular issues, and acting for profit, for a deeper happiness. All of this is ideation, and according to that ideation, I act. When there is an idea, and action, there is conflict between the two. The idea is the observer, and the act of what I am going to do is the object.
I see that I am afraid. I have an idea about fear, what I should do how I should avoid it. I have an opinion. The "I" is the idea, the opinion, the memory, the formula, the observer, the censor; and the fear is the object about which I am going to act according to the idea. There is a conflict between the observer and the observed; that is one of the most difficult things to understand, to come over or to go beyond, and if I don't understand it, if I don't see the deep significance or the meaning of it, I can't deal with the object which is called fear.
Why is there an interval of time, of space between the observer, who is the idea, and the object? You are looking from your balcony and see that mountain and the waterfall. There is an interval between you and the mountain with its waterfall; there is a space, a time lag which makes for distance. When there is this interval of space, of time, then the observer is different from the thing that he has observed. Please don't agree; this is a most complex thing. You're following the explanation verbally; but the explanation is not the fact. The word "mountain" is not the mountain; it's just a symbol to indicate the mountain. The fact is not the word. Explanation is not understanding. Please don't agree and say, "Yes, get on with it; tell me more".
If you realize that the observer has a space between himself and the observed, and in that space there is conflict, then you want to do something. The more intense the conflict, the more demand there is for action. The observer says, "What am I to do? How am I to act? How am I to get over it?".
In the same way that there is a distance from you who are looking out of the window to the mountain and its waterfall, there is distance between the observer and the thing he calls fear. He wants to do something. He wants to break, go, get beyond it, destroy it. With regard to that waterfall, you can go to it; you can walk there, if you have the energy. That's no problem. You can turn your back on it and forget it, but with fear you can't. It is always there. Unless you really understand action which is not based on an idea, in which there is no observer and the observed, you can't meet the fact.
I am jealous, which is a common lot of our lives, which all of us know. I feel jealous for various reasons. Perhaps I accept it as inevitable, as a natural part of that is supposed to be love, and I say, "That is part of my daily existence". But when that jealousy turns into anxiety, hatred - and all jealousy inevitably has in it hatred - when the pressure, the strain of jealousy becomes very strong, then I am forced to do something. Then action takes place, action according to the observer, with regard to the object. Then I say, "I must get over it. What am I to do?". Anxiety comes out of it.
What then is action? Must action always breed conflict? Apparently it does. Whatever we do breeds friction in our relationship. In whatever we do there is conflict, there is misery, there is confusion. Why must action engender this anxiety, this fear, this strain, this conflict? Unless we answer that question very deeply, unless we realize it, we cannot possibly face the fact. Life is action; action isn't something we do apart from living. So we ask if there is an action which has no conflict in it at all.
Questioner: As long as....
Krishnamurti: Please, not "as long as". That is a supposition.
Questioner: When action is based on idea, there is always the observer and the observed.
Krishnamurti: Don't state in your own words the same thing which has been said. It is a fact that there is me and the object, the space; in that there is conflict. What will you do?
Questioner: If I am aware of the conflict....
Krishnamurti: Please, not "if". I am not being impatient; I am not avoiding the question, but these statements commencing with "if", "when", "should", "as long as", all these conditional clauses prevent you from actually looking at the fact.
Questioner: Who is the entity that is looking?
Krishnamurti: We haven't that point yet. Let's approach the problem differently. We see life as a struggle, a conflict; it's a breeding ground of hopeless despair, loneliness, anger, the desire to dominate, and the feeling that we are suppressed. That's our life. That's what we call existence, living; and in that field we act. Every action, however much interrelated with each other, creates more conflict, more battle, more confusion. At the end we ask if there is a life, an activity, an action which in no way brings confusion, conflict.
Questioner: There is a desire to fulfil and deep frustration because we do not.
Krishnamurti: Again, you are restating the same fact.
Questioner: I don't know about that yet.
Krishnamurti: Then, sir, if you don't know, say, "I don't know", and keep quiet.
Questioner: Will the answer come then?
Krishnamurti: To be quiet needs tremendous intelligence. A cow is quiet, ruminating. I'm not comparing; I'm just stating it. A man who is napping is very quiet, but to be really quiet, without seeking, without wanting, needs tremendous intelligence; and then perhaps the answer comes, but we are not in that position, so we must have the patience to go step by step, which we apparently are not willing to do.
Questioner: The process of living breeds conflict and strain.
Krishnamurti: Yes, that's what we have stated. Then what? You see, you won't proceed further. As long as there is space, an interval, between the observer and the observed, there must be conflict. Questioner: Why should the state of the observer and the observed create conflict?
Questioner: If there is love, there is no conflict.
Questioner: When I am really intelligent, there will be no fear.
Krishnamurti:When I am heavenly, saintly, tremendously, deeply, supremely intelligent, everything will be over. But I'm not! So please have the goodness not to introduce the words "when", "if", and "should". You are avoiding the question.
Questioner: There need not be conflict in action.
Krishnamurti: But we know action is conflict. I battle with my wife or my husband, with my boss. That's a fact.
Questioner: If you get a baby, is that possible? (Laughter.)
Krishnamurti: I'm afraid if I got a baby it would be a conflict! (Laughter.) I'm afraid this question can only be answered by the mothers here. (Laughter.) You see, we are back again in something that has no meaning at all. I hope you are having a good laugh - not at her expense; we are not laughing at her, but at the whole idea.
Questioner: Since I do not thoroughly understand either myself as the observer, or the actions that I do, how can I talk about some new action?
Krishnamurti:I am not talking about new action, or asking you to find a new action. First you have to realize that you never see the fact that there is the observer and the observed. Objectively you may; there is the mountain, and you. To get to the mountain, you take the train, go by car, or walk. There is an action. You never realize, psychologically, that there is an observer and the observed; that there is me, who is the observer, and the observed, anger. You say, "I'm angry". That's all you know. You must realize that you have never looked at this fact of the observer and the observed.
Questioner: I am lacking real love.
Krishnamurti: I am afraid we are not talking of real love, or false love. We are talking about an actual fact, that I lack love. Follow that; I lack that. That is the object; the "I" is the observer. I lack love. We don't realize this separation. We say, "I lack love", but when we realize the separation between what we generally call love, and I who want it, or I who don't have it, then there is the observer and the observed. The first thing to understand, to realize is that there is in me psychologically this fact, of which most of us are unaware, that I am separate from the thing which I observe. "I and God" is one of the ancient tricks we play; I must reach God. There is the object, and the observer. When I realize this, I either want to get hold of it, conquer it, dominate it, suppress it, run away from it, or I have opinions about it. The next fact I have to realize is that the observer is nothing but ideas, memories, formulas, opinions.
I am not saying that you should not have opinions; that's not the point. The observer, the censor, the entity that judges, condemns, approves, that dominates, that wants to fulfil is there. I want to be a great writer; or I have a particular line which I think is marvellous in writing. There is a separation: I and the thing. Action becomes a means to fulfil or to overcome the object, and there is conflict. Questioner: What is the entity who observes and sees the thing, the object?
Krishnamurti: The question is easy to ask, but to find the answer requires a great deal of penetration, insight.
I see a mountain. Of course, I and the mountain are not the same. I might like to identify myself with the& beauty of the mountain, but I am not the mountain. That's a fact. However much I may pretend, or have mystical experiences about the mountain, the fact remains that I am different from the mountain. It becomes much more complex, much more difficult to understand and go into, when we realize, first, that "I" and the object are two different states. When I realize that, I act; and that action breeds more conflicts, more trouble, more travail, more pain. What am I to do with regard to envy, with regard to the desire which I have to dominate someone? I know that what I do will breed more conflict, and I say, "How stupid of me; I don't want to breed more conflict; I don't want more strains". How am I to put an end to conflict in action?
Questioner: Don't act.
Krishnamurti: My life is action. Talking is action; breathing is action; to see something is an action; to get into a car, to go to my house is action. Everything I do is action. You tell me, "Don't act"! Does that mean just to stop where I am, not think, not feel; to be paralysed, to be dead?
Questioner: The idea, which is unreal, and reality can never go together.
Krishnamurti: I realize that action is life. Unless I am totally paralysed, dead or insensitive, I must act. I see that every action breeds more pain, more conflict, more travail. I am going to find out if there is an action in which there is no conflict.
Questioner: How am I to find union between the observer and the observed?
Questioner: By accepting conflict.
Krishnamurti: For three million years we have accepted conflict. Our life is conflict. There is a war on between my wife and myself. I want to dominate; I want to become powerful; I want to be known. I live in a perpetual state of conflict with myself and with society, of which I am a part. I live in conflict; and I realize that whatever I do breeds more conflict, more confusion, more misery to myself. So I say, "What am I to do? How am I to act?". Don't tell me "Love", "Be complete", "Be identified with peace", "Be unified with God; none of those mean anything.
Questioner: We must understand our actions.
Krishnamurti: How am I to understand action? To understand something, I must look at it; I must examine it; I mustn't be prejudiced about it; I mustn't have a defence against it; I mustn't escape from it; I must become very familiar with it. To understand j anything I must look with no barrier j between myself and what I look at. But I have barriers; I want to suppress the beastly thing; I want to run away from it.
Questioner: If one watches one's thoughts, one's feelings, one's activities, then one begins to understand.
Krishnamurti; Who is the watcher that's looking at the thought, who says, "I understand it"? Is the entity that is observing different from the thought. Thought is the entity, which means that the observer is the observed.
I say to myself, "I must understand my feelings, my thoughts, my activities, my relationships. Whatever I do, I must look, observe, watch." I watch my thought. It goes all over the place, wandering, contradictory. I look at it and try to understand it, to control it, or to identify myself with it. I make an effort, and that effort is a conflict, but when I realize that the thinker, the observer is the thought, is the observed, then conflict comes to an end.
Questioner: In the tale of "Beauty and the Beast", which we all know, Beauty liberates the Beast. Must we acknowledge evil reality as part of ourselves?
Krishnamurti: I'm not talking about reality, about beauty, about the animal. There is a simple fact. Don't translate it into terms of your own particular idiosyncrasy. I think, and I say, "By Jove, I must watch my thinking". I watch it, and my thoughts are ugly, beautiful, noble or something. I am different from the thought. As long as this difference exists between the thinker and the thought, there must be conflict, because I'm always doing something about it - trying to understand it, to break it down, to examine it, to suppress it. But is the thought different from the thinker? Thought has invented the thinker; so there is nothing to understand about thought. You will see the beauty of it, if you go with it.
Questioner: We acknowledge that the thought and the thinker are one.
Krishnamurti: There is no acknowledging; there is no identifying; there is no bringing together.
Questioner: Why can't we go along quickly together?
Krishnamurti:Because we are refusing to face a very simple fact. We want to make everything so complicated. We can't just listen to the noise of that airplane passing overhead. When we listen to the noise, not as a listener and the noise, but when we are completely paying attention to the noise, then there is only noise, not the listener and the noise.
Questioner: We are conscious of the fact that there is the centre, and the thought.
Krishnamurti: The electronic brain replies to a question according to the information it has. We have stored up information through experience, through heredity, through culture, through impression, through influence, through climate. That electronic storing is the thinker, who separates himself from the thought, and then says, "I must do something about it". The actual fact is that the thinker is the thought, is the memory, is the experience, is the observer, is the experiencer and the experienced. If you realized this, if you really understood this very, very simple fact, life would change totally, absolutely, not tomorrow but now.
If you really realize that you are the result of your culture, your society, your economy, your religion - you are that; the two are not separate - if you actually realize that you are not different from it, if you realize it as you realize a pain, then you will see something entirely different take place.
We all crave experience. Do you understand what happens when you realize that the experiencer is the experience? Do you know what happens when you look at a flower without any kind of evaluation, without any kind of judgment, without the thinker thinking about the flower, just looking at it? Do you know what takes placer. have you ever tried it?
Questioner: We disappear. Krishnamurti: Do you? (Laughter.) I am asking in all seriousness; I didn't mean it cynically or humorously. When you look at the flower without "thinking", what takes place?
Questioner: There is only a state of seeing.
Krishnamurti: What do you all say? Have you ever tried to look at a flower, without going through all the process of analysis and knowledge, of thinking - just looking at it? What takes place?
Questioner: Integration takes place.
Questioner: The flower takes place.
Krishnamurti: May I suggest something? If you have half an hour or so to spare this afternoon, look at a tree or a flower, at your wife or your husband. just look, not as the husband who has had innumerable insults, flatteries, hurts, pleasures, sex, and all the rest. Will you try it and see what happens?
Questioner: Perhaps the observer disappears.
Krishnamurti: Try it!
Questioner: There is no conflict then.
Krishnamurti: This is a most extraordinary business.
Questioner: Sometimes we are saying within us, "I am yourself".
Krishnamurti: I am talking about a flower, and watching the flower. Now, would you listen to the noise that airplane is making? Just listen to it. (Pause.) Now, what has taken place? You listened. First find out what it means to listen.
Questioner: You become one with the noise.
Questioner: It fills you up; you are filled with it.
Krishnamurti: Are you listening to the noise?
Krishnamurti: It matters enormously how you listen. An airplane went over just now, and you listened. You say, "Yes, I listened to that noise; it filled me; or you say, "I didn't like that noise, because I wanted to ask you a question", or, "I want to listen to you". You have to find out, before you listen, what is listening. What is listening?
I have to find out what is listening; I have to find out how I listen. The noise is not important; but how I listen to the noise is important. How do you listen? Do you listen at all? These are not just trivial questions. You have to find out for yourself if you listen. Do you listen to your wife, to your husband, or do you have a set-up pattern going all your life, and when the pattern operates you call that listening? One of the most difficult things to do is to find out what it is to listen, when you are listening. You can only listen out of silence. When that airplane went over, some of you were listening to the noise; some were not listening, or not understanding what listening is. If you listen, you can't have noise. You can't have your mind buzzing away,. You can only listen when there is total silence.
Generally we realize that the thinker and the thought are two separate states, if we realize at all. Usually we are indifferent; we just think. But when we realize that the thinker is separate from the thought, what takes place r. First, we have to listen to that fact, which we have discovered for ourselves, that the thinking and the thought are two separate states. From that listening we discover that thought is the thinker; the two are not separate. There is no identifying, the thinker `identifying himself with the thought., Thought is the thinker.
You, the observer, look at that microphone. You say, "That is not me". Of course it's not you. Obviously you can't identify yourself with a dead thing, or with a living thing. There is the observer and the observed. How do you look at it? The "how you look" is more important than the object. Do you look at it with a lot of noise, with thoughts that the microphone is or is not good; it is this; it is that? Or do you look at it with complete silence? When you look at it with complete silence, what takes place? Don't wait for me to answer. I'm not going to tell you, because that would become another jargon to be repeated. To look at anything, to listen to anything, there must be complete silence. What is important is not the object, but the silence, the quietness, the attention, whatever word you may give to it. Only when the mind is completely silent can you look, can you listen. Then listening, acting, and seeing are the same. Do you see the beauty of it?
August 5, 1966
Saanen 3rd Public Discussion 5th August 1966
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