Rishi Valley 1967
Rishi Valley 2nd Public Talk 8th November 1967
If I may, I would like to talk this morning, about conduct and what is involved in it; and perhaps, if we have time, I would like also to go into the question of what is called love.
All human activity is behaviour. Through the centuries we have developed codes of conduct, these become laid down by the society, by the culture, in which we live, and by the so-called saints and religious teachers; this code or pattern, this norm of behaviour, becomes traditional and automatic, that is, mechanical. This you can observe throughout the world - whether the code is Christian, Buddhist, Hindu, or Islamic - behaviour is according to an established pattern. And human beings throughout the world have fixed ideas about conduct, an ideology as to how human beings should behave which is the norm, the accepted traditional authority; this is to be seen among the primitive as well as the highly civilized, sophisticated and industrialized societies. But the actuality of behaviour, the everyday actual behaviour, is entirely different from the ideological behaviour. One can observe this not only outwardly but in oneself.
As we were saying the other day, we are not merely hearing a few ideas or reasoned out conclusions and so on, but we are in the very act of listening - which is different from hearing, - actually experiencing what is going on within ourselves, - not as ideas or as something that one should or should not do, - but directly experiencing that which is being said. Otherwise, it seems to me, these talks will be like the wind passing through the leaves, and one cannot live on noise, - however pleasant or unpleasant the noise may be, - one has to live and living is behaviour in relationship. This is what we are going to talk over together this morning.
So there are codes of conduct which we human beings, throughout the world, have accepted, the traditional, religious and social morality, and so on. And one observes that they have become mechanical, and it is part of our tradition as Hindus or Muslims or Christians to accept ideologically what is considered to be right conduct and try to live up to that standard, according to that code. That's what each one of us is doing all the time. And conduct becomes mechanical and behaviouristic within the pattern that lays down what is right and what is wrong behaviour; whether it be in the Communist society or in the so-called free society. So we are going to find out if there is behaviour or conduct which is not based on a code, on tradition, on mere repetition.
For most of us life is a constant battle, a constant struggle from the moment we wake until we go to sleep again. And in the battlefield, called living, we try to set a formula, a code of conduct on how to behave every day, and the following of this code - however pleasant, however religious, - breeds automatic responses - one can observe this within oneself. But, is behaviour necessarily merely automatic, mechanical, or can it be something which has nothing whatsoever to do with tradition and mechanical responses? If so, is such behaviour the outcome of a certain freedom? - for if behaviour is not born out of freedom must it not be always mechanical? Please, it is very, - if I may point out, - very important for us to understand this thing; and by that word `understand' I do not mean intellectually, because there is no intellectual understanding of this matter, either one understands it completely or not at all; there is not first intellectual understanding and then actual understanding.
We are trying to find out if there is a conduct which does not become mechanical, repetitive, conditioned to a certain pattern, - whether that pattern be ancient, modern, or the pattern of yesterday which one has set for oneself. If I behave now as I behaved yesterday, it is repetitive behaviour and therefore mechanical. Or if I behave according to the tradition established by society, then again it becomes repetitive.
Is repetitive action virtuous action? If behaviour and conduct are merely repetitive processes then all human relationships actually cease. If I behave mechanically every day, - repeating a certain code of conduct which I have learnt, which I find profitable, or which is pleasant, repeating that over and over again, - my relationship with you ceases, completely - I have become a machine.
If my behaviour is according to either the code of the Hindu, the Muslim, the Buddhist or the Christian or the Communist, then I must be in opposition to other cultures. But the world is no longer so rigidly divided into the Hindu, the Muslim, the Catholic and all the rest of it; must there not be a behaviour which is completely human and yet free beyond all nationalistic, linguistic, geographical divisions?
One can see that behaviour is repetitive, - doing something automatically and mechanically, how I behaved in a certain way yesterday, it was pleasant, I think it is right and I repeat that today and I will repeat it tomorrow - but this repetition of behaviour, is it virtue? - virtue being order. A certain mechanical repetition does bring about a kind of order. But is not such order, because it is repetitive, disorder? This is seen, politically, when the tyrant, when the dictator, when the `party' says "You must think that way, you must behave that way" - as do also the religious leaders; and repeatedly enforcing that, they hope to bring about order; but actually they create disorder, as is evidenced historically - everyday. So order is not brought about by repetition, by a code, by a pattern of behaviour, yet if there is no order man cannot live at peace. We must have order, but one sees that order can only, come about when there is no disorder. I cannot pursue the pattern of order by repetition but I can see that that pursuit creates disorder. And if I understand the fundamental causes of disorder, then out of that understanding there is order, - not the other way round.
One sees that disorder is produced by this mechanical process of repetition and that our conduct is based on that. I have an ideology according to which I try to live; by repeatedly trying to conform I hope that I wiLL eventually establish order within myself and outwardly. Then how is it possible to behave without the time element? - for repetition is time. Giving continuity to what I did yesterday through today and tomorrow, is time. Is this getting too difficult, abstract?
Look, time has established, - centuries of time, - a code of conduct and if I repeat that over and over again - mechanical behaviour, - that repetition is a form of time, isn't it? Such repetitive behaviour makes us slaves to time and is also disorder. So we must find a conduct which is not of time and which is not according to any code, for they are both repetitive.
To put it differently, - is virtue or morality within the pattern of time? We see that conduct and behaviour is based on the principle of pleasure. And we see that when the principle of pleasure is active, the principle or pain is also active. Is there a code of behaviour which is not based on the principle of pleasure and hence also the generation of pain? - is there behaviour which doesn't belong to this category? Let us leave it there for the moment and approach it differently.
What is love? Can we understand it verbally and intellectually, or is it something that cannot be put into words? And what is it that each one of us calls love? Is love sentiment? Is love emotion? Can love be divided as divine and human? Is there love when there is jealousy or hatred, or competitive drive? Is there love when each one of us is seeking his own security, both psychological as well as worldly, outwardly? Don't agree or disagree, because you are caught in this. We are not talking of some love which is abstract, - an abstract idea of love has no value at all. You and I can have a lot of theories about it, but actually - the thing that we call love - what is it? There is pleasure, sexual pleasure, then in that there is jealousy, the possessive factor, the dominating factor, the desire to possess, to hold, to control, to interfere with what another thinks. Knowing all the complexity of this, we say that there must be love that is divine, that is so beautiful, untouched, uncorrupted, - we meditate about it and get into a devotional, sentimental, emotional attitude and are lost. Because we can't fathom this human thing called love we run away into abstractions which have absolutely no validity at all. Right. So what is love? Is it pleasure and desire? Is it love of the one and not of the many?
To understand the question - what is love? - one must go into the problem of pleasure, whether sexual pleasure or the pleasure of dominating another, of controlling or suppressing another; and whether love is of the one denying the love of the other. If one says "I love you" - does it exclude the other? Is love personal or impersonal? And we think that if one loves one, one can't love the whole, and if one loves mankind then one can't possibly love the particular. This all indicates, does it not, that we have ideas about what love should be. This is again the pattern, the code developed by the culture in which we live, or the pattern that one has cultivated for oneself. So ideas about love matter much more than the fact - ideas of what love is, what it should be, what it is not. The religious saints, - unfortunately for mankind - have established that to love a woman is something totally wrong - you cannot possibly come near their idea of God if you love someone, - it is sex, and taboo, it is pushed aside by the saints - but they are eaten up with it, generally. So to go into this question of what love is, one must first put away all ideas, all ideologies of what love is, or should be, or should not be, and the division as the divine and the not divine. Can we do that? And they are doing that, mind you, - the Hippies, the Beatles, the Italian Capellonis and various others say, "All that is rubbish, wipe it out; that is the invention of the creeps" - the creeps are the older generation! Yet they have ideas and talk a great deal about love, in which is involved sex and all the rest. And also they say - when you love there is no war and so on and on and on.
Now can we, - not as a reaction, but because we understand this whole process of division between the idea and the fact, - can we put away the ideas and actually face the fact - the actuality? Otherwise, this division as between what should be and what is, is the most deceptive way of dealing with life. The Gita, the Bible, Jesus, Krishna, all these people, these books, say you `should', - `should', - `should', - put away all that, completely - it is all ideas, ideology, the what `should' be, - then we can look at the actuality. Then one can see that neither emotion nor sentiment has any place at all where love is, concerned. Sentimentality and emotion are merely reactions of like or dislike. I like you and I get terribly enthusiastic about you - I like this place, oh, it is lovely and all the rest, - which implies that I don't like the other and so on. Thus sentiment and emotion breed cruelty. Have you ever looked at it? Identification with the rag called the national flag is an emotional and sentimental factor and for that factor you are willing to kill another - and that is called, the love of your country, love of the neighbour, love of your - ? One can see that where sentiment and emotion come in, love is not. It is emotion and sentiment that breed the cruelty of like and dislike. And one can see also that where there is jealousy, there is no love, - obviously. I am envious of you because you have a better position, better job, better house, you look nicer, more intelligent, more awake and I am jealous of you. I don't in fact say I am jealous of you, but I compete with you, which is a form of jealousy, envy. So envy and jealousy are not love and I wipe them out; I don't go on talking about how to wipe them out and in the meantime continue to be envious - I actually wipe them out as the rain washes the dust of many days off a leaf, I just wash them away.
Is love pleasure and desire, in which is sex - just look what is involved in it, is love pleasure? You know, that word love, is so loaded - I love my country, I love that book, I love that valley, I love my king, I love my wife, love of God, - it is so heavily loaded. Can we free that word - for we must use that word, - can we free that word from all these encrustations of centuries? We can do that only when we go into this question - is love pleasure and desire? Conduct, we said, is based on the principle of pleasure, even when we sacrifice, it is still based on pleasure. You observe it throughout life. We behave in a certain way because it pleases us, essentially. And we say, - if we have not thought about it a great deal, - that love is pleasure. So we are going to find out whether love is beyond pleasure and if it therefore includes pleasure. What is pleasure? From where I am sitting, through the division in those trees, I can see the hill and the rock on top of it, it is somewhat like the Italian countryside with a castle and village on the hill. I can see the flowers with sparkling leaves in the bright sunlight, it is a great delight, it is a great pleasure, - isn't it? That scene is really most beautiful. There is the perception and the tremendous delight in it, that is pleasure, isn't it? And what is wrong with it? I look at that, and the mind says - "How lovely, I wish I could always look at that, not live in filthy towns, - live here quietly and stagnate". I want it to be repeated and tomorrow I'll come and sit here, - whether you are here or not, - and look at that, because I enjoyed it yesterday and I want to enjoy it today. So there is pleasure in repetition. Right? There was the sexual enjoyment of yesterday, I want it repeated today and tomorrow. Right? I see that scene of the hill, the trees, the flowers, and there is at that moment complete enjoyment, the enjoyment of great beauty. What's wrong with it? There is nothing wrong with it; but when thought comes in and says "By Jove, how marvellous that was, I want it repeated again" - that repetition is the beginning of the desire, the looking for pleasure, for tomorrow. Then the pleasure of tomorrow becomes mechanical. Thought is always mechanical, and it builds an image of that hill, of those trees; it is the memory of it all, and the pleasure which I had must be repeated; that repetition is the continuity of desire strengthened by thought. We say, love is pleasure, love is desire - but is it? - is love the product of thought? The product of thought is the continuity of desire as pleasure. Thought has produced this pleasure by thinking about what was pleasurable yesterday, which I want repeated today. So is love a continuity of thought, or has thought nothing whatsoever to do with love? And one can only say - thought has nothing whatsoever to do with love; But one can say it authentically, only when one has really understood this whole question of pleasure, desire, time, thought, - which means there is freedom. Conduct can only be immediate in freedom. Sirs, look, as we said earlier, repetitive conduct, behaviour to a pattern, breeds not only mechanical, repetitive relationship but disorder, in that there is a time element. And we have enquired if there is a behaviour, a conduct, which is completely free, each minute, each second; it is only in that complete behaviour, in each moment, that there is virtue, having no continuity as yesterday and tomorrow.
So freedom is in the moment of action, which is behaviour, it is not related to yesterday or tomorrow. Sirs, look at it the other way. Has love roots in yesterday and tomorrow? What has root in yesterday is thought. Thought is the response of memory, and if love is merely memory, obviously it is not the real thing. I love you because you were nice to me yesterday, or, I don't like you because you didn't give me an opportunity for this or that - then it is a form of thought which accepts and denies.
Can there be love, which has no emotion no sentiment, which is not of time? - this is not theoretical but actual, if you really face it. Then you will find that such love is both personal and impersonal, is both the one and the many, is like the flower that has perfume, you can smell it or you can pass it by; that flower is for everybody and for the one who takes the trouble to breathe it deeply and look at it, a great delight.
Can we talk about this, ask questions and go into it more deeply, go into more detail, if you want to?
Questioner: When there is conflict from pressures it is impossible to bring about that state in which love is not personal. If I may also say so, in that state the word love disappears and many other words we are using all the time. Could we discuss that?
Krishnamurti: When there is no conflict in love, it being impersonal, would you call it by another name? Sir, again you see, we are using that word conflict. When does conflict arise in love? That's a dreadful statement - isn't it? Do you see that? It's a dreadful statement that there is conflict in love. All our human relationships are a conflict, with the wife, the husband, with the neighbour and so on. Why does conflict exist at all between two human beings, between husband and wife and so on, in that relationship which we call love? Why? What does that word `relationship' mean - to be related, what does that mean? I am related to you, that means that I can touch you, actually physically or mentally, we meet each other - there is no barrier between us - there is an immediate contact even as I can touch this microphone. But in human relationship there is no such immediate contact, because you as the husband or the wife, have an image about the wife or the husband. Don't you have an image about the speaker? Obviously, otherwise many of you wouldn't be here. So you have a relationship with the image and if that image is not according to your pattern then you say "He is not the right man" - you have actually no contact with the speaker at all. You have a contact with the image which you have created about the speaker, just as you have an image about your wife and your husband, and the contact, the relationship between these two images is what you call relationship. The conflict is between these two images - and as long as these images exist there must be conflict. But if there is no image at all, which is something extraordinary, - into which one has to go very, very deeply - if there is no image at all, there is no conflict. If you have no image about me and I have no image about you - then we meet. But if you insist that I am a foreigner and you are a dogmatic Hindu soaked in tradition, well, it becomes impossible. So where there is love there is no conflict, because love has no image. Love doesn't build images because love is not touched by thought, - love is not of time.
As you have pointed out, Sir, - we are slaves to words as we are slaves to images, to symbols. The word, the symbol, is not the actuality and to find the actuality, see the actuality, one must be free of the word and the symbol.
Questioner: Can there be spontaneity in love?
Krishnamurti: Now I don't know what you mean by those words, `love' and `spontaneous'. Are we ever spontaneous? Is there such a thing as being spontaneous? Have you ever been spontaneous? Have you? Ah, wait Sir, don't agree or disagree. Look at the word, what is implied in it. To be spontaneous means you have never been conditioned, you are not reacting, you are not being influenced, that means you are really a free human being, without anger, hatred, without having a purpose in view - can you be so free? Only then could you say "I am spontaneous". To be really spontaneous involves not only the understanding of the superficial consciousness, but also the deeper layers of consciousness, because all consciousness is behaviour to a pattern. Any action within the field of consciousness is limited and therefore not action which is free - spontaneous.
Questioner: Repetition of action is necessary to life.
Krishnamurti: Obviously. Taking one step after the other, when you walk, is a repetitive action. Technological knowledge is repetitive action, all accumulated knowledge is repetitive. You are going home, knowing the address, taking that road which goes to your home, it is repetitive. And such repetitive action is obviously necessary otherwise you will be unbalanced. But if that repetitive action is the whole of our existence, - which we try to make it, then we are just machines, repeating the Gita, going to the same house, to the same office, the same sexual relations, - you know, repeat, repeat, repeat. Probably most of us do prefer such a quiet, dull, dead life of repetition, and this is what industrial society is producing; and the Communist world is also producing that, - "Don't be disturbed, don't disturb the status quo. We are in power, we know what is right. We are the providence and for God's sake don't interfere, we'll tell you what to do, be a machine".
We said that technological knowledge, all accumulation of knowledge, is a process of repetition. Cybernetics, electronics, every branch of knowledge is accumulated, repetitive. Now do we reduce all life to repetition, mechanical process? I know we do in fact because that is the most safe way of living. That is the safest course to follow and if one is so completely mechanized there is no answer. You understand Sirs? Take a devout Catholic, practising Catholic, he believes dogmas, performs rituals, completely without any thought, like many Hindus too. But in the office he behaves like a human being, destroying others, cheating others and so on. Most of us do not want to be disturbed because we have reduced ourselves to machines. It is so obvious.
Questioner: What is the final state Sir?
Krishnamurti: Ah! (Laughter) What is the final stage when there is not a mechanical, repetitive process? We see what a repetitive process does. But how will you find out what the other state is which is not repetitive? Can you? If I was foolish enough to tell you, then it would be a theory which you would be foolish to accept, wouldn't it? So can't you experiment, live, see what happens for yourself?
Questioner: But I want the final thing that a Guru has, you understand?
Krishnamurti: Oh, it's very simple Sir. The final thing is - climb the mountain and look over. You sit here and say "Please tell me the final thing you see on the top of the hill".
Questioner: The man who is there can tell about it.
Krishnamurti: So you sit here and he is on top of the hill and describes to you what he sees. Right? And you are quite satisfied! You don't say "Well, let me climb up there and see what it looks like" - you are satisfied by the image given by the interpreter who is on the top of the hill. And that is what we have done throughout centuries. Shankara and others - you know, they have described and we say - "perfect", - we are very happy with the description, which is to live on words. And a man who lives on words, he has no substance, he is a dead man. Right Sirs!
November 8 1967
Rishi Valley 1967
Rishi Valley 2nd Public Talk 8th November 1967
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