New Delhi 1967
New Delhi 2nd Public Talk 23rd November 1967
Before we continue I think it is important that we understand what we mean by communication. In communication, it seems to me there is not only a sense of communion, that is an intimacy of exchange of feeling, of ideas, of exposing oneself totally, but we have to use words; and as the speaker uses English it is fairly simple if you understand the meaning of the words in English. But most of us when we hear a particular word, or a particular phrase, or a particular expression, are apt to translate it into our own language. And as most of the languages in India are loaded with Sanskrit words, they have their own particular meaning. So when you hear a certain word or a certain idea, a phrase, you are apt to translate it into your own particular expression of language, into your own terminology, and thereby you think you understand, but actually you don't. What takes place (when you translate what you hear into your particular language) is that you go back to the pattern of your conditioned thinking.
The other day, when we discussed awareness, you will have naturally translated it into your language, into a certain Sanskrit word which you think you have understood. But what has actually taken place is you have fallen back into the groove, into the pattern which the mind is used to. Whereas if you do not do that, but actually try to understand the meaning of that word in English itself, then you have to struggle to understand.
So communication becomes extremely difficult when you translate what you hear into your own particular language and thereby think that you understand it; you do not, you have merely gone back to the old pattern of your thinking, which is tradition. So could we abstain from that, stop translating and actually listen to the English words themselves? Unfortunately the speaker doesn't know any Indian language, so he has to speak in English, though it is rather unfortunate at the present time. If you will kindly not translate what you hear into your own language, then our communication will be much easier. And in communication, as I have already said, there is also communion, when two minds meet at the same time, at the same level, with the same intensity. That is, your mind and the speaker's mind meeting with a passion which is intense. Then there is a possibility of communion. You know when you love somebody there is a communion without words, without a gesture there is a communication taking place, and that is much more significant than intellectual understanding. Intellectual understanding is really not understanding at all; it is only a series of words, and we think we understand those words and the content of those words, and we seem to think we understand the idea intellectually. But what you hear is unrelated to daily action, to a total limit, and communion is only possible when there is a direct relationship: communication then becomes much more interesting, much more vital, more significant, meaningful.
As we were saying the other day, we are concerned with actual living, not with ideas or ideologies, because we live in a world that is greatly in confusion. There is misery, a great deal of wildness, despair, anxiety, a sense of hopeless loneliness, and without fundamentally bringing about a revolution in the actual quality of the mind, mere ideas, ideologies have very little meaning. Ideas, which are organized thought, and ideologies, that is, ideational, conceptual thinking, have no validity at all, because we have to deal with actual daily living. Our actual daily psychological living is so confused, so miserable - our daily life is like living in a battlefield. Not only is there a conflict deeply within but also outwardly, until we resolve this conflict totally. Any pretension or ideational thinking becomes hypocritical; it is like the politicians, not only in this country but everywhere else, who evoke God - then you know some shady work is going on. So what we are concerned with is to bring about, if possible - and it is possible - a total revolution, a psychological revolution, a psychological mutation in the very core of our being. And that is, I feel, the crisis in our lives.It is a crisis in consciousness, not an economic, social, or political crisis, it is a crisis in ourselves, as human beings. Without understanding and resolving that crisis, merely to bring about economic amelioration, a social improvement, has very little meaning.
So our question is, whether it is possible as human beings to bring about not only intellectually, but actually, a complete mutation, a complete revolution in the way of our thinking, living, feeling. You know there is a difference between individuality and humanity, between a human being and an individual. Primarily we are human beings, not individuals at all. Human beings whether they live in America, Russia, Europe, or here, have their problems, they are miserable, unhappy, lonely, anxious, fearful - which is common to man - violent, in deep despair, trying to escape from the utter meaninglessness of life. They either go to churches or temples or read books, take to drink or drugs, and all the various forms of escape. We are human beings and individuality is only a local entity. The local person, that is a Hindu, a Buddhist, a Communist, a Socialist, a Muslim - conditioned locally by the climate, by the culture, by the food, by the clothes, by manners and so on - he functions as an individual. But primarily he is a human being: one of the human beings that exist in America, in Russia, in China, in India, who are in travail, who are in deep sorrow. And in understanding the larger, that is the human, we shall be able to understand the individual. But the understanding of the individual will not necessarily bring about comprehension of the human. What we are concerned with is the mutation of the human mind, because the mind is capable of extraordinary things. And we are only using a very small part which has become the individual, which has become the traditional, the conditioned, and in that limited, conditioned state we function, forgetting the vast capacity of the mind. So one has to understand the fundamental difference between the human and the individual - the individual in society and the human as a total entity - and when we are concerned with the greater, then the lesser will be understood.
We were saying the other day that there are fundamentally only two problems for man, for the human: freedom and love. Freedom implies order. But order, social order, is now chaotic, contradictory, it is disorder. As you observe the society in which you live, what you call order is essentially disorder because there is violence. Each human being is in competition with another, there is brutality, there is competition to destroy the other, and so on, which essentially is disorder. War, hate, ambition, are disorder and we accept this disorder as order, don't we? We accept this morality, the social morality, as orderly, but when you observe it very closely it is disorder. I think that is fairly clear, unless one is totally blinded by tradition, by one's own convenience, and so on.
To be free from this disorder is order. Please follow this a little bit. To be free from disorder, which is the social order, is to be actually in order. So one cannot seek order. Order is a living thing, it is changing, it is moving, it is vital, creative; it isn't just functioning within a pattern established by society, by culture. That society, that culture has produced great disorder, great misery, conflict, and this conflict, this confusion, however supposedly moral, is immoral, it is disorder. If the mind can understand this disorder, and free itself from it, then naturally there will be order. Then the mind won't seek a pattern of order. I don't know if I am making myself clear on this point. This is really very important to understand. Through negation of what is disorder, there is order. But if you pursue order, positively, then you will have disorder. If you will negate completely that which is not order - which we consider positive - then out of that negation comes the positive order, which is living. When I see, when the mind understands very clearly, that hate is not love, or that jealousy is not love, when you completely deny jealousy anywhere, then you may come upon what love is. You cannot cultivate love, but you can deny that which it is not. So out of denial, of that which is not true, comes what is true, and what is true, what is order, cannot be pre-established; if you do, then you are merely suppressing disorder which will burst out again at another time. Look, all the tyrannies, the dictatorships - the Russian, the Chinese, the Hitlerian, Mussolinian and so on - they said, "This is order, this is the way you must think, act, function". And Stalin and others have liquidated millions, literally millions, to bring about order, what they considered order - which is bringing disorder, obviously, because there is the demand for freedom. There is the demand that the mind shall be free, not be suppressed, not be ordered about by a dictator.
So, in the understanding of our life which is disorder - not an idea of disorder - out of that understanding comes order. Order is not an idea, there is no concept about order; order is virtue and one cannot have a pre-conception of virtue, of what virtue is. Please do follow this a little bit, because just as you cannot possibly cultivate humility, that is follow a certain system or method (if you do, then it is not humility), so order cannot be cultivated as an ideology according to which you live; this brings about conflict, and conflict is essentially disorder. Do follow this. Conflict within or without is disorder. So the question is: is it possible to understand this whole structure of disorder without creating its opposite, for when you create the opposite it breeds disorder. So can you understand disorder without conflict. The moment there is conflict there is the indication of its opposite: that you must be orderly. Order is virtue, but when these two opposites exist there is conflict. Can the mind, without creating the opposite, understand disorder without conflict? This is not an intellectual question, this is not something of a puzzle, but it is essentially our problem. We live in a state of disorder - in your own houses there is disorder, confusion, the mess and the dirt, the squalor, which is projected outwardly in your office and in your way of thinking, walking, sitting, spitting, and everything that goes on. Can one be aware of that and of whether that awareness will bring about a radical revolution, now! Freedom is not from something - please do understand, we are going through rather difficult things and explanation is never the actual thing; unfortunately we think that by explaining we understand something, but we don't. Explanation is one thing and actuality is another. The word tree is not the tree, but we confuse the word with the tree. So freedom, what we call freedom, is freedom from something: freedom from anger, freedom from violence, freedom from this utter despair. And when you are free from something are you actually free? Please do go into it in yourselves, observe it. Or is freedom something entirely different and not from something? Being free from something is a reaction and the reaction can go on repeating itself indefinitely. But the freedom we are talking about is entirely different, the sense of being completely free - not from anything. And this quality of awareness of what is implied in being free from something, awareness of the whole structure of it, will naturally bring about a freedom which is not a reaction. Is this all getting rather too complicated? Yes?
Now we have to examine what we mean by awareness. Don't translate it into Sanskrit, don't say "I must practise it". Just try to understand what that English word means and what is implied; the structure and the nature of that word.
As we sit here we see, are aware, conscious of, the various colours of the tent. You observe it, you see the various colours, and as you see it you respond, have your reactions of like or dislike to those colours. That is the simple beginning of awareness, of being aware of what you see. Most of us do not see at all; we pass a tree every day of our life and never stop to look at it. We see the squalor on the road and we do nothing about it. So we are not observing outwardly the trees, the birds, the sky, the clouds, the beauty of a sunset, the curve of a hill, the smile on a face. We are not aware of these at all, outwardly. But it becomes much more difficult to be aware inwardly, of what actually is going on. There, outwardly, it doesn't much matter, but inwardly it matters very much, because the moment you are aware of yourself, your thoughts, your feelings, your confusion, then you get agitated, you are anxious, you want to change them. But first what is important is just to observe, without any reaction.
Suppose I am angry, I observe it, I do not condemn it; I do not think it is right or wrong. I want to understand it, and to understand anything - it doesn't matter what it is - there must be neither condemnation nor justification; to understand something the mind must be completely quiet. If I want to understand you I must not have any prejudice about you. I must not say I like or dislike your face, your colour, your race, your language, the way you talk, the way you move. I must just observe you. And to observe very clearly, the mind must be quiet. It is not a question of how to make the mind quiet, which becomes absurd; the mind cannot be made quiet. If you do, there are dualities: there is the man who says, "I must make the mind quiet", and there is the actuality of the mind which wanders all over the place. This is a conflict. Whereas if one wants to understand oneself the mind has to be quiet to look; and you cannot look if you condemn, if you justify, if you falsify, if you are not honest. And as most of us are trained to be dishonest, never to look at things directly, it becomes extraordinarily difficult for people who have not actually looked - observed a tree, a cloud, the beauty of light on the water.
So awareness is this quality of mind which observes without any justification or condemnation, approval or disapproval, like or dislike - it merely observes. And it becomes rather difficult when you are stirred up emotionally, when your security, when your family, when your opinions, judgements and beliefs are shaken - and they will be shaken. There is nothing whatsoever that is secure; everything is in change and we refuse to accept this change, and hence the battle in ourselves. So when you observe yourself very quietly and the world about you, then out of this observation comes freedom - not the freedom from something. Is this fairly clear?
Now we are going to examine this question of fear. There are two things involved in this, there is the idea of fear and actual fear. With most of us it is fear as an idea, not the actual fact. Can I look at fear without the idea of fear, without the word with its associations related to fear? Most of us are afraid of the dark, of what people say, of losing a job, of not achieving, not becoming successful, a fear of their wife, of their husband, and so on. There are dozens of fears: fear of death, fear of living - we are a mass of fear!
Fear doesn't exist by itself, it exists in relation to something. We are going to examine fear without bringing in its opposite, courage, bravery and so on, actually looking at fear and not escaping from it. Most of us do escape, because we do not know how to tackle it, how to come to grips with it; so we take to drink, go to temples, churches, mosques, do all kinds of things. It is all an escape from the actual fact that one is afraid. So to understand fear, there must be no escape, not verbally, but actually no escape. And can I look at fear - fear of death, fear of losing my job, fear of not accomplishing, not becoming successful, not being clever, or whatever it is? Can you actually look at it? That is, become aware of it, without any choice - look at it. Now, it is not possible to look at it if you have an idea about fear. When you are hungry, you do not compare hunger with yesterday's hunger; yesterday's hunger is an idea, a memory, and that idea or that memory does not make you hungry now. If you are hungry actually now, it is not the idea or the memory of the hunger of yesterday. Right? So as hunger is immediate, not provoked by a memory, can you in the same way look at fear which is not the result of a memory? Please go slowly, this is a very complex problem. Does the idea and the association with a particular incident create fear, or is fear independent of association?
What is important in this is to find out how you are listening. What is actually taking place as you listen? Are you merely hearing words and are those words creating a certain memory, arousing certain feelings; or are you actually listening to the words and therefore listening to the actual fact of your own fear? I do not know if you are following this. Is the fear caused by the image you have in your mind about death, the memory of deaths that you have seen, the associations with those incidents, are they making you afraid? Which means, the image is creating fear. Right? Or are you actually afraid of coming to an end - not the image creating fear of the end? Is the word death causing you fear - the word - or is it the actual ending? If the word is causing fear, then it is not fear at all. Do listen to this very carefully. Are you afraid because of a memory? - I was ill two years ago and the memory of that pain, of that illness, remains and that memory, now functioning, says, "Be careful, don't get ill". That memory creates fear. The memory with its associations is bringing about fear, which is not fear at all, because I am not afraid actually; I have very good health, but the mind with its memory through time, is creating fear. Thought which is always the old, engenders fear, because thought is the response of memory and memories are always old. There is nothing new in thought; thought creates in time the feeling that you are afraid, which is not an actual fact. The actual fact is, you are well. But the thought which has experienced already, the experience which has remained in the mind as a memory, from that the thought arises, "Be careful, don't fall ill". And therefore one is afraid. So thought engenders fear. Right? That is one kind of fear. Is there fear at all, apart from that? Is fear the result of thought, and if it is, is there no other form of fear?
I do not know if you are meeting this point. "I am afraid of death", that is something that is going to happen tomorrow, or the day after tomorrow, in time. There is a distance from actuality to what will be. Thought has experienced this state, by observing death; it says: I am going to die. Thought creates the fear of death, and if it does not, is there any fear at all? So is fear the result of thought; thought being old, fear is always old. Please follow this carefully. Thought is old, there is no new thought. If you recognize a new thought it is already the old. So what we are afraid of is the repetition of the old; thought projecting into the future what has been. So thought is responsible for fear, and this is so; you can see it for yourself, when you are confronted with something immediately, there is no fear. It is only when thought comes in, then there is fear. So, our question is, is it possible for the mind to live so completely, so totally, in the present, that there is neither the past nor the future; and it is only such a mind that has no fear. But to understand this you have to understand the structure of thought, memory, time. And without understanding it, not intellectually, not verbally, but actually with your heart, with your mind, there is no freedom. But when there is total freedom then the mind can use thought without creating fear.
So freedom from fear is absolutely necessary. Freedom is absolutely necessary, because if there is no freedom there is no peace, there is no order, and therefore there is no love; and when there is love then you can do what you will. Then there is no sin, then there is no conflict. But to understand freedom and love, one has to understand non-verbally the quality of freedom that comes when disorder is understood. This disorder is understood when you understand the structure and the nature of thought, not according to the speaker, nor according to some psychologist. When you are understanding them you are not understanding yourself, you are understanding yourself according to some authority. To understand yourself there must be a complete throwing away of all authority. Don't please agree, that agreement is merely verbal, it has no meaning; but see why it is important, because all the authorities, your Gitas, your books, your gurus, your Mahatmas have led you to this terrible state of complete despair, loneliness, misery, confusion. You have followed them, at least you have pretended to follow them, and now you have to take the journey by yourself, there is no authority that is going to lead you, lead you to a bliss that is not to be found in any book, in any temple. You have to take the journey entirely by yourself. You can't trust anybody; why should you trust anybody? Why should you trust any authority? You say, "I am confused", "I don't know", "You know, so please tell me". Which means what? You are escaping from your own confusion, and to understand your confusion you cannot look to somebody to help you out of that confusion. That confusion has come into being because of this outward authority. Look at it, it is so clear.
There must be this sense of complete abandonment of all authority, which means a great deal of fear. Because, before, you have leaned on people, on your guru, on your book, on whatever you lean on. You put your faith in them, and what has taken place in your life? There is confusion, violence, misery and untold agony going on in your daily life. So no authority of any kind is going to help you. This abandonment of authority brings about a sense of complete aloneness, a sense of not being able to depend on any book, or any authority. You know what it does to you when you do that? Then you travel lightly. Then you do not carry other people's burdens and their authority; you are alone to find out, and you must be alone to find out what is true. What other people say truth is, is not true; that truth, that something beyond all time and space, is only possible when the mind is completely alone. I do not know if you have ever noticed, that being alone means being innocent. But we are not innocent, we carry the burden of what thousands of people have said; we carry the memories of our own misfortunes. To abandon all that totally, both at the conscious and at the unconscious level is to be alone, and the mind that is alone is innocent and therefore young. And it is only the young mind not in time not in age - the innocent, alive mind, that can see truth and that which is not measurable in words. And this can only come about naturally, not through your wishing, wanting, longing, all that is so immature - it can only come about when we understand the nature of freedom. The mind that is burdened with authority, with quotations, with knowledge of what has been (except technologically) such a mind is burdened with fear.
So what is important is the understanding and the structure of thought, not what other people say, but what you think. And when you think, if you are a Sikh, or a Hindu, a Muslim, or a Communist, or whatever it is, why do you think those things? Because you have been told, brought up in a certain culture, conditioned, and you keep on repeating like a gramophone record. That is not freedom. And because you are not free, you are creating disorder. Do please see this, see it passionately with great intensity and you will be out of it. You are conditioned and that conditioning is creating disorder, and in that limited conditioning you can never find order; there is order only when you have observed the structure and the nature of disorder in yourself. You yourself are the result of a thousand yesterdays, a thousand influences, a thousand authorities, of newspapers, radio, of your wife, of your husband, the culture you live in. As long as you live in that, there must be increasing disorder and therefore increasing misery.
Can we ask questions about what we have discussed this evening?
Questioner: What is your opinion about what ideals human beings should have?
Krishnamurti: I have no opinions. That's the most unintelligent thing to say, "What is your opinion about something". Why do you have opinions at all? Isn't it a waste of time to have opinions about what some people do or don't do, or say or don't say? So, the question is, if you can put away dialectical opinions altogether and the search through opinions (truth cannot be found through opinions) then we are confronted with the problem of human beings - must human beings have ideals? Why should they have ideals? You have your ideals all of you, I am sure, haven't you? That you must be good, that you must be noble, that you must love the violent, that you must be charitable, that you must be kind, loving, that you must be this and that. But are you actually? You have ideals galore, by the thousand, but what actually are you? What matters is what you are, not what your ideals are, but what your actual daily life is. Your daily life is violent, brutal, and what is the good of having an ideal of non-violence; that is a cheap escape. What matters is to face what you are. When you have an ideal, it is the opposite of what you are, and therefore you have conflict, you waste energy, there is escape; it is a brutal thing to have ideals. See the fact, not what the speaker says, which is totally unimportant. What is important is to see the fact. And the fact is, in your daily life you are violent, ambitious, greedy. Face that, and you can only face it if you have energy. You waste energy through ideals, and all ideals - whether the ideal of Buddhism or Communism or any other ideals - are idiotic, because they do not deal with the fact of what you actually are. Man has lived on ideals, which are words; words do not feed your mind or heart, they are just ashes. What is important is to face the fact. Face the fact that you are angry, envious, brutal, with an occasional flash of affection. That you are sexual, sensual. I don't say it's right or wrong, just look at it.
Questioner: How do you define human beings and the individual?
Krishnamurti: Do we need a definition to find out what a human being is? The dictionary will give you the definition; is that going to explain, reveal, what you actually are as a human being? So the danger is being caught in explanations and definitions. You are a human being, Sir, with all the troubles, with all the misery, with the agony of life and the conflicts,just as they are in America, Russia, China, everywhere. We are human beings, without any nationality; but the nationality, the culture, the climate, that is what conditions - which becomes the human, which becomes the individual. The individual is always limited, but when we understand human nature - the human being, what you are - then in that understanding, the individual can be understood and it has its own right place.
Questioner: How can the conditioned mind understand the unconditioned?
Krishnamurti: It cannot. What it can understand is its own conditioning, not the unconditioned. The unconditioned is an idea, a Utopia, an ideology - that you must be unconditioned. Yet the fact is you are conditioned. Can you be aware that you function, think, feel, as a Sikh, as a Muslim, as a Hindu, and so on? To be aware, which is to come directly into contact with it; and if you come directly into contact with it then you will never be a Sikh, or a Hindu, you throw away all that rubbish. That is what is dividing human beings, nationalities, frontiers, religions, ideologies. You have your ideology and another has his ideology, therefore you are in conflict with him. So throw away all that, make a clean sweep, and that means to live anew. Live a life which you have never lived before, a life of total freedom. It is only such a mind, such a life that can come upon this extraordinary thing called truth. That truth has no word, it has no image, it is not to be found in any book, in any temple, in any church. You all know this, but you all go back to your old ways. This demands an earnest life; it demands clarity on your part, not on the part of the speaker. It is your life and in your life you have to bring about this total revolution.
Questioner: Our daily life is one thing and the ideology of what you are talking about - freedom - is another.
Krishnamurti: I have no ideology as I have told you. I am just pointing out what is actually taking place in your daily life. Your daily life is what it is You can forget peace, a state of mind in which there is no thought, all that - forget it - it has no importance whatsoever; throw it overboard, drown it, wipe it away. But what is real is your daily life The way you walk in your office, the way you talk to your servant - if you have a servant. The way you treat your wife, your husband, your children, your neighbour. And if you don't know what you are doing, then you are totally blind, and blind people have no right at all to have ideals: they are a tremendous escape from their blindness. Sir, you know you can multiply words, but words do not bring about love. I can talk endlessly about being generous, kind, but you will not be generous or kind because you listen to me. You will be kind and generous and full of delight when you have understood the structure and the nature of yourself, and to understand yourself, there is no need for another. You just have to look.
Questioner: Will you answer a question from me? Sir, I have read your works and now want to ask you this: what has been your experience with people coming together to exchange their understanding and to read your works. Do you approve of this? What has been your experience of this?
Krishnamurti: Do you approve of group formation, round what we have talked about, and do you think it is worthwhile? Is that the question Sir? Do whatever you want to do! If you want to form a group, form it. If you don't, don't form it. If you want to understand yourself through a group, form a group. And if you say, "Well that will not help me to understand myself, to live a different kind of life", then don't join a group. You are responsible for yourself and for nobody else. It is your life. You stand completely alone, never asking, never begging, never seeking truth, because truth does not come to the seeker. You cannot invite it. It is like the wind, or the breezes that come if you leave the windows open - you cannot invite the breeze - and if you are lucky it might come and I hope you are lucky.
November 23, 1967
New Delhi 1967
New Delhi 2nd Public Talk 23rd November 1967
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