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Saanen 1972

Saanen 1st Public Dialogue 2nd August 1972.

I think we have to lay ground rules before we begin to converse together. I think the word 'discussion' is rather misplaced. Discussion means explanation or examination through argument, opinion against opinion, judgement against judgement, one's characteristic conclusions against another's. I think that word 'discussion', we shouldn't use, if I may suggest. But rather use the word 'dialogue', which means converse together, talk over things together.

So what shall we talk over together today? I mean by talking over really as two friends with a very serious problem. As two friends, companions, with affection, with consideration, with attention, really talk over what they feel, what they think, what their problems are, how to solve them. If we could do that during these seven days I think it would be worth while.

So we need in order to talk over things together a certain quality of affection, not tolerance, because that's an ugly word, because then you put up with each other - I tolerate you and you tolerate me. Whereas if we could seriously, with consideration, with a great deal of affection, and naturally, attention - talk things over, then perhaps we could come to some kind of resolution of our problems. May we do that? So what shall we talk over this morning - one problem, you know, one thing, let's go to the very end of it, each day, you understand - then it will be worthwhile.

Q: Sir, there seems to be a distinction between the older and the younger people. And there is a difference in time between some people. There is also a distinction between long hair and short hair. Now, of course, this distinction exists within our minds, but when we stand in front of people, perhaps this distinction doesn't necessarily enter into our relationship; these are only sort of boxes that we put people in in our mind. There are sort of partitions we put them in which only exist as a sort of dictionary existence but not as an actual existence when we face these situations with another person. But there is also within our minds distinctions.

K: So what is the question, sir?

Q: The question is: how shall we go beyond this division?

K: Obviously many so-called young people, short hair, long hair, whatever it is, asked if they could have a discussion, a dialogue together in the tent, here, and so I thought we should have one meeting of that kind. It isn't that there is a time-lag between the young and the old, but just the feeling that young people have their own peculiar problems and they want to discuss. That's all.

Q: I did not want to say anything against that, I only wanted to make this question about the compartments that we put in our minds.

K: I understand sir. Right? So what shall we talk over together this morning?

Q: Is it possible to transform the human mind?

Q: I'm wondering what it is that prevents a person from being aware of his own inward state. He says he is going to watch himself and he's not going to escape. And one wants to run away, smoke a cigarette or whatever it is and he says, "I won't run away; I'm going to watch myself." And yet one still doesn't watch oneself, one doesn't see...

K: Now we can take that. One question, which is, he asks - how is it possible for me to watch myself, not force myself to watch myself, not deliberately avoid escapes, but just watch myself. Can we discuss that? Do you really want to go into it? Right?

What is the necessity of watching oneself? Why do you think one should watch oneself?

Q: To learn about oneself?

K: I watch myself in order to learn what is actually going on - factually, not theoretically, not in abstraction, what is going on in myself. I want to learn. Now what does that word mean, to learn, because I think we ought to be clear when we use words that have different meanings. What do we mean by that word to learn. I want to learn about myself. First of all, myself is a living thing, isn't it? Right? Or you don't think it's a living thing.

Q: The word myself?

K: No, not the word but the fact - myself, the 'me'. I want to learn about myself. Right? We are examining the two words 'learn' and 'myself' - not the word but the content of that word. Myself is a living thing, isn't it - I'm adding, taking away, there is - it is a living, not a dead block of material or wood, because it is always moving. Are we clear on that?

Q: Why dow we want to be concerned with ourselves at all?

Q: I want to watch myself and learn about myself but let's say I'm unhappy, and I'm running away and always...

K: Wait, sir, we're coming to that.

Q: ...it has no meaning and I want to be able to learn about myself.

K: And the lady asks, why are you so concerned about yourself?

Q: I didn't say that in answer to that.

K: No - she asks, why is one so concerned about oneself.

Q: Because we are unhappy?

Q: Because we compare ourselves with other people.

K: Is it a habit? Is it a necessity? To be not concerned, to learn, is different from being concerned, surely. I am concerned about my property, to hold it. I'm concerned about my dog. I'm concerned about my garden. But here we are trying to learn, which is entirely different from being self-centred, in a self-centred way be concerned. So that's clear.

Now I want to learn about myself. What do I mean by that word to learn? Is there a difference between knowing myself and learning about myself? I'm sorry to be - this is not splitting hairs - I want to learn, I want to find out the meaning of words, you understand, sir - otherwise we'll talk two different things. So when I say I want to know myself, and when I want to learn about myself, is there a difference between these two words?

Q: To me there is - knowing is something dead, final, and learning is a constant movement.

K: The lady says, knowing myself is a dead statement, whereas learning about myself is a constant movement. That is, I know you because I met you yesterday, or know you because I've seen you for several years. I have an image about you and I can add to that image, then I say, I know you. But in the meantime you might have changed, but I retain the picture of you which I have had for the last five years. So when I say, I know you, I am judging you from my dead conclusion about you. So we can leave that word 'know' aside. So what does it mean then to learn?

Q: To be aware of what you are thinking and feeling every moment.

K: To be aware of what you are thinking and feeling every moment. Learn.

Q: I guess to learn is to collect information.

K: Learning means collecting information. You see - let me go on, may I go on a little bit and then you can. I want to learn about myself. Myself is a living thing, though myself is the result of various experiences, memories, conclusions and so on, through those conclusions, memories, experiences, one adds all the time, it isn't a dead thing. So it's a living thing. I want to learn about myself - learn means, doesn't it, learn about myself who is living, all the time changing, adjusting, conforming, denying, pushing, aggressive - I want to learn about that.

Now to learn I must have curiosity, mustn't I? Right? Because I know nothing about myself, I'm going to learn about it. But if I come to it with a prejudice - prejudice being a previous judgement, previous opinion - I can't learn about it. So to learn about myself I must come to it without any prejudice, without any conclusion, without any judgement, otherwise I can't learn. I want to learn Italian or Russian. I must come to it afresh, because I know nothing about it.

So if I want to learn about myself I mustn't come to it with a conclusion. Right? Now this is going to be the difficulty. Because when I look at myself I say, "How ugly", "How beautiful", "This is rights; this is wrong." Those are all conclusions which I have arrived at previously, therefore I am not learning. Right?

Q: We must approach without pre-set limitations.

K: That's right, sir. Now can I observe myself without prejudice, for or against. If I can't there is no learning. Now please begin - we are talking over together. You want to learn about yourself and I want to learn about myself. First of all I want to learn about myself because there is a division between you and me, not only biological differences but psychological differences, which bring about a division between you and me and therefore there is a battle between you and me, we and they and so on. So I want to learn about myself to see why there is this division. To learn. Now to learn implies, doesn't it, that it is a constant movement and therefore it is not an accumulation of knowledge about myself. Please see the difference. Right?

Q: (Inaudible)

K: That's what we are doing now. Wait, I'm coming to that, madam - go slowly. I want to learn about myself. First I see that myself is a living thing. And if I come to it with any prejudice, I can't learn.

Q: That question about myself: To learn about myself, I feel I wish to be myself. If there's learning, then there's a separation and that's what's painful, the separation.

K: I'm coming - wait a minute, sir. You're all too quick for me. I want to go into it step by step and then see for myself why there is a division between the observer, who is trying to learn about the observed. Now is there a division between the observer and the observed? We're going to find out, sir - go slowly. We must be clear on this because then we can proceed quickly. Learning implies that any form of accumulation as knowledge will prevent further learning, it will be only an addition to what I already know. So I am looking at myself with the previous conclusions which I have had about myself. Is that learning? Look, I want to learn about myself, and to learn about myself I must look at myself without any conclusion, mustn't I? No?

Q: When we say I am a living entity, we have there an assumption.

K: No, when I say I am a living entity, is that assumption or is it a fact?

Q: But as we understand ourselves, when we say we are a living entity, then we mean we are living, conscious?

K: Yes, living.

Q: And so we are discovering ourselves in life.

K: We are discovering ourselves, we are observing ourselves, we are learning about ourselves. There is no discovering of ourselves factually if we come to it with a prejudice.

Q: What is the difference between a fact and a conclusion?

Q: Please look at the yellow question, the yellow piece of paper on which he has written his question.

K: He has written a question on a piece of paper - I won't. Sorry. This is a friendly discussion, a dialogue, communication, talking things over - how can you give me a piece of paper, when we are two friends sitting here.

Q: I have no microphone, so he cannot talk from so far.

K: I don't know what to do.

Q: How do you know when you're seeing a fact and how can you distinguish that from when you come to a conclusion? I don't see the difference between a fact and a conclusion - seeing a fact about yourself and coming to a conclusion.

K: The gentleman says, I don't see the difference between a fact and a conclusion. Good Lord! Wait, I'll tell you. A fact and a conclusion. A fact is that I have a toothache. Right? The conclusion is, I must go to the doctor, dentist. One is a fact, the other is a conclusion, I must go to the dentist to have something done about it. Now a conclusion about myself prevents me from looking at the fact. That is, if I have a previous conclusion, which is a prejudice, I cannot see the fact. That's all we are saying.

Q: But that is an example.

K: I don't like examples, but he wanted to know the difference between a conclusion and a fact.

Q: I understand what you are saying better, that is, any prejudice about myself will prevent my seeing myself.

K: That's all. And am I looking at myself with various conclusions? Then I want to find out, who is the entity who is looking, learning. Who is that entity?

Q: Are you suggesting that this process is a lifelong process, never at any time must we have a conclusion?

K: Are you saying, the questioner asks, that throughout life one mustn't have any conclusions? You will find out. Please, you are not following step by step, you're going, thinking, that's the difficulty when we're talking with so many people.

Now let me begin again. I want to learn about myself. I cannot learn about myself if there is any form of conclusion. And I see I have got a great many conclusions about myself - good, bad, that I am great, ignoble, this or that. Now who is the entity that is gathering all these conclusions. Right? You're following? And so these conclusions divide from the fact. Right, sir?

Q: Sir, when I say I'm bad, is that a fact or a conclusion?

K: How do I know when I am angry - is that a fact or a conclusion? How do I know that anger is a fact and the opinion about anger is a conclusion. Right? Don't you know? The opinion, the judgement about anger is a conclusion. And the fact I'm angry is a fact.

Q: (Inaudible)

K: I understand that, sir. There are two things involved, aren't there - the observer and the thing he observes. The observer says, "I must learn about myself." And so there is a division between the observer and the observed. That's a fact. The observer says, "I must learn about what I observe." That is, the observer says, "I must accumulate knowledge about myself." Please think, look at it. There is myself and the observer. The observer says, "I must learn about this thing which is myself." Now is there a division between the observer and the observed?

Q: To my mind there is.

K: Why, why do you think that there is a division? Is the observer the entity that concludes, that says, "I must learn about myself"? The observer is the past, isn't it? The observer is saying, "I know a great deal and I must learn more about myself." The observer doesn't say, "I know nothing." The observer says, "Yes, I know about myself a little, because I've been angry, I've been prejudiced, I've been hurt, I've got a great many images." And with those images, hurts, with those judgements he looks at the thing he calls himself. No? So I say to myself, who is this observer who is saying, "I must learn; I must do this," you follow - who is this observer? Until I'm very clear about that I can't move any further. Be clear on this point.

So who is this observer?

Q: It is ourself.

K: Wait, go slowly - don't jump to conclusions, go slowly. Who is the observer in you?

Q: If you say, who is the observer, maybe it depends how you say it, but usually if I say that it is just another observer saying it.

K: No, just look at it slowly, take it slowly. I have my make-up which is divided, fragmented - the body, the heart, the mind. I have the image I have been hurt and I love - I'm broken up into a great many fragments. Now go slowly, please. Now who is the observer among those fragments.

Q: My parents.

K: Yourself.

Q: No, my parents.

K: Your parents. Your parents are the observers, are they? Are you being serious, sir? Or pulling my leg. Yes, sir?

Q: That keeps up the division of the observer and the observed.

K: That's what we are saying, sir.

Q: This arises unless I get a kind of slap on myself, then I...

K: Just wait - I don't want to be slapped, I don't want to suffer and then find out, I want to intelligently observe. I don't want to be shocked into this thing, that's silly.

Q: It seems to me that the division between the observer and the observed arises just from thinking, when I think about myself.

K: Look at yourself, sir, don't put it into words yet. Look at it. You are fragmented, aren't you? Now which of the fragments is the observer?

Q: Sir, I am leaning, but it is with a fragment.

K: I understand that, sir.

Q: Why do you come to the conclusion that we are fragmented?

K: Aren't you?

Q: I do not feel fragmented.

K: Then you're a happy person. Finish. When you say I want to learn about myself, it is a statement of fragmentation. No? So one fragment has assumed the power or the authority as the observer. That's all. Be clear on this. I am fragmented because I hate, I love. I am ambitious, I am greedy - you follow, fragmented, I am - it's not a question of why do I say it, it is a fact. We are not a harmonious whole - that's a fact.

Now, being fragmented, one of the fragments assumes the power as the observer, and therefore he maintains the division. Now, keep to that, see the fact of that - as long as one of the fragments assumes authority, as the observer, that observer maintains a division. Now, my next question is, how is the observer not to divide himself apart from the other fragments?

Q: By seeing himself as the cause of the division.

K: By seeing himself as the cause of division - do you see yourself as the cause of division? Sir, I'm not asking an impudent question but is it a mere verbal statement, an intellectual concept, or as an actual fact, that you see that the observer is the cause of division. Do you see it? Do you feel it?

Q: I feel it, sir.

K: Then there is no observer. If I see the cause of division is nationalism, you understand, and therefore war, all the rest of it, if I actually see the danger of it, its finished, isn't it? - I'm no longer a nationalist. Now in the same way, if I see very clearly the observer maintains, sustains, nourishes this division, the danger, then the observer is not. There is only the observed.

Q: Yes, but only momentarily - tomorrow it comes back again.

K: It may be momentarily we discover the danger of it. Now is that so? Do you momentarily see the danger of a precipice, do you momentarily see the danger of a wild animal, or you see it at all times?

Q: I don't feel this as my opinion, I feel that life is demonstrating this everlastingly.

K: Yes, sir. Look, though we say this, nationalism is a poison, we contribute to war by being a national. So we never realize the danger of the observer who maintains the division. That's all I'm saying - do you see the danger?

Q: No.

K: No. Let's be honest. You don't see the danger. Why? Go into it, take time. Why don't you see the danger of division?

Q: Because we...

K: Wait, don't please find excuses. See the fact first. There is Germany and Russia, divided, England - you follow - Italy, India and Pakistan, divided, divided, divided. That causes conflict, war, hatred. And one feels that division is the most deadly thing. Now, why don't you feel this? Why don't you see it?

Q: (Inaudible)

K: Madam, don't you see the danger of nationalism?

Q: Yes, I do.

K: Then are you national?

Q: No, I'm not.

K: That's very simple, because you see the danger. That's all - keep to that. What, sir?

Q: As soon as we see that you come to a conclusion about it...

K: I understand, sir. See it without a conclusion. The moment you conclude, that conclusion becomes the observer. You follow this?

Q: The conclusion observes.

K: Be simple, sir - step by step. I am asking, who is the observer who says, "I must learn about myself." The observer is one of the fragments of which I am, so when there is an observer, he maintains this division. That's a fact, not a conclusion. Right, sir? That's a fact, that as long as there is a division between India, Pakistan, Russia, China, there must be conflict. Wait, sir. There must be conflict. As long as there is a division in myself there must be conflict.

Q: Sir, does not the State depend on nationalism?

K: Why do you make it so complicated, sir? I'm just going from one fact to another. One fact is that there is an observer and the observed. When I am angry, I say to myself, "I must not be angry." A division. That's all.

Q: When I feel very unhappy I say, "I must work; I must see what it is, why I am unhappy..."

K: Wait, that's good enough. When I am unhappy I say to myself, 'Why am I unhappy, what is the cause of it?' So that is the division, isn't there - there is an observer who says, "I must examine why I'm unhappy." Now, is the observer different from the thing he observes? Wait, madam, take two seconds to look at the question.

Q: It is the observer who is unhappy.

K: Look, I am angry, there is anger. At the moment of anger there is no observer. Look at it. At the moment of your happiness, there is no observer. Only a second later, you says, "How happy I have been." At the moment of anger there is no observer, only a second later there is the observer who says, "My anger was justified or I mustn't be angry."

Q: A child developing...

K: Leave the child alone - you see how we cannot stick to one thing - you.

Q: (Inaudible)

K: Wait, of course we are showing, trying to find out if life can be lived without conflict. Don't just say, yes, and pass it off as a theory we're trying to find out.

Q: Is this an automatic thing?

K: Madam, look at it - you don't have to ask me - look at it. I am happy. At the moment of happiness there is no observer, is there? Don't say hesitantly - either it is or it is not. When you are happy, when you are angry, when there is tremendous sense of sorrow.

Q: But it doesn't last, always something happens.

K: It's only a moment after that you say, "I have been happy. I have been angry." So division arises. Watch it - please go slowly. At the moment of enjoyment, at the moment of great delight, there is no observer. That delight has moved, gone. Then you remember that delight. The remembrance is the observer. Listen to it, please just listen to it.

Q: One can be aware...

K: Please just listen to what I am saying. I have been happy, and it's gone. The memory of that happiness remains, the memory. That memory is the observer who says, "I would like to be more happy." So memory as thought is the dividing factor.

Q: One can be aware of enjoyment, one can be aware of it.

K: I did not say - when you are not aware of it, then begins the problem of separation. Why can't we be simple about this. Look, sir, You hurt me, you have hit me. At the moment of that - you follow - then the memory of that remains. Then I say, I must hurt you back. So the memory is the observer. Please apply it to yourself, sir - look at it for yourself. When you have great joy you don't think, do you? It is there, the full delight. It has gone. Then the memory of it remains, and you want more of it.

Q: No, it's not necessary.

K: It's not necessary, always, of course not. You've had sex, and at the moment of it there is no observer. Later on, the image, the picture, the remembrance, the imagination is the observer who says - what?

Q: (Inaudible)

K: Is memory part of the present? It's there, but memory is the result of an incident which has taken place, which has gone.

Q: But you don't always long for it.

K: Madam, don't you long for something?

Q: Sometimes yes.

K: I'm asking sometimes - yes. Now why do you long for it? Because you have a remembrance of something that was pleasant. That remembrance is the observer who says, "I wish I could have that again." That's all we are stating.

Q: I say that it's possible to have a memory and not long for it - one can have it or not to have it.

K: Of course.

Q: Why make a problem of it?

K: Who is making a problem?

Q: Well, you - that's what we're talking about.

K: Are you taking a superior attitude? (Laughter) I am asking something very simple. I want to find out, who is the observer. And can I look at the fact, is there observation of a fact without the observer. That's all I'm asking. You've got it, sir, up to now?

Q: Yes, for a moment, for example yesterday, there was observation of myself without any observer.

K: That's right, sir.

Q: For an instant.

K: That's good enough - wait a minute. Look, sir, for an instant there was an observation without the observer. It happens to all of us, it's not something mysterious. Now, what takes place, after that? Once for a second, five seconds, or a minute you observe without the observer, which is the past. You observed. Now, what then takes place next?

Q: Thought.

K: Wait.

Q: It seems that if one can only observe like that...

K: I'm going to show you something, sir. You have a memory of that, haven't you? And then you say, "I wish life could be lived that way." Which is what - listen to it carefully - that experience has left a memory, and that memory says, "Life should be lived that way." which is a conclusion. Therefore that conclusion prevents you from experiencing that thing next time. That's all. So don't conclude - you had that moment of extraordinary clarity - finished. Don't say, "I must have more of it." The 'more of it' is the observer who says, "How delightful that was; I must have more." He makes the problem. Yes, sir?

Q: I watched a movie on television - there's no observer at that time.

K: Quite right.

Q: Is that all we are talking about?

K: Oh no - not the movie. No, no.

Q: Then there is something else that we are looking for while we are watching that movie.

K: Sir, when you watch the movie, a film, what is taking place?

Q: There is no observer.

K: Wait, look at it, let's see. There it is, you're watching it - what takes place? It's an exciting scene.

Q: You're completely absorbed.

K: You're absorbed, aren't you. Wait, go slowly, sir. You are absorbed by that incident, by the things that are happening on the screen. A child is absorbed by the toy.

Q: An observer.

K: Just - you are absorbed. That is, the film drives out all your thinking, all the observer, because it's so exciting, if it is exciting - as the boy is absorbed by the toy. Now life isn't that film.

Q: At that moment it is.

K: Wait - because that's an escape. You're being absorbed by something outside of you.

Q: There is no 'you' escaping.

K: Sir, you are absorbed, aren't you?

Q: There's no observer. There's no you that's absorbed.

K: Wait, go slowly. You are absorbed, aren't you, by that scene.

Q: The statement is loaded because you say 'You' are absorbed.

K: No, the scene is so exciting that you for the moment cease to exist. Put it ten different ways. What has taken place there? That scene has pushed away all thinking, for the time being. When you have finished with that film and gone home, it is what you are at home what we are talking about, not about the film.

Q: I don't want to talk about the film.

K: Wait. So you are absorbed by the film. Another is absorbed by going to church, another is absorbed by a book, another is absorbed by Billy Graham. Wait, go step by step, sir.

Q: I think we should talk about why I went to the movie...

K: No, I'm not going to talk about why you went to the movie, I'm not interested.

Q: (Inaudible)

K: I am saying that, sir.

Q: Well, how can we discuss this together, because I'm saying that at that time there is no observer.

K: Quite right.

Q: We reached that point in conversation.

K: Quite right, I agree with you, sir.

Q: Now my next question is, are we talking about something more than that?

K: Much more, much more.

Q: That's what we want to know.

K: Much more. My life is not at the cinema, my life is not consumed by a book, my life is not absorbed by looking at a mountain, my life is what I am. They may absorb me for the time being, but I am back to myself when that is not. I am talking about myself when that is not. I don't say it's an escape, why do I go - I'm talking about myself when I am not at the cinema, when I am not reading a book, when I am not listening to some excited idiocy - I'm just watching myself, that's all.

Q: It is your idea, about the observer and the observed - it's not our learning, it's not our factual spontaneous idea.

K: That's fairly simple. So I am asking you now - forget your spontaneity, look at yourself, watch yourself - is there not an observer who is different from the thing he observes. That's all, sir - that's a fact, isn't it? When you look at yourself you don't have to have a subconscious or be told, it's a fact when you observe. Look, you have a mirror - when you look at yourself in the mirror, what takes place? The image is not you. And the image is different from you inwardly, though it is as if you look at it at yourself in a mirror, inwardly there is the image and the maker of the image.

Q: May I suggest that we are inundated by environmental pressure.

K: Sir, of course, that's one of the factors. We are inundated by external pressures. Who has created these external pressures? Go into it - who has created it? Society? The politicians? The doctors? The scientists? Yes?

Q: All of us.

K: Which is you.

Q: No, not necessarily.

K: So you - listen to this, watch it - you say there are external pressures all the time forcing us. And these external pressures are the politicians whom you have elected, the warmongers, the army, the businessman - of which you are part. No? Wait - so you are compressed by the pressures which you have created.

Q: Yes.

Q: Sir, I see many motives in myself, and each motive becomes the observer.

K: I quite agree, sir.

Q: And when I see that and I see that all observers are these motives. Also is the observer always false?

K: Yes, sir, I understand it, sir. Now look we have listened to each other for an hour - what have you learned. You learned, not what I have told you - what have you learned? Learnt means as a fact, that you know it as a fact, for yourself. Have you learnt for yourself as a fact that the observer is the past? Wait - have you learnt that? Now what do you mean by learnt? Have you learnt it, have you seen the fact that when there is an observer there must be division, there must be conflict? Do you see it as factual as you see a thunderstorm, a danger, an animal - it's real, not a conclusion, an idea? That's all.

Q: We don't see it.

K: That's right, sir, you don't see it.

Q: What is it that prevents it? What is it that prevents us seeing it?

K: Why do you ask it, sir? You're asking, what prevents you? What prevents you? Wait a minute - I've asked you what prevents you from seeing this fact as you would see danger, a precipice, as you would not swallow a poison, because you see the danger of it. Now what prevents you from not seeing this as clearly as that? Wait - take it to yourself, don't answer me yet. Is it laziness, is it that you have no energy, or is it that you don't want to see it, because if you see it, things may alter, you follow? Your life may be changed. So you are frightened to see it, so you say, "I don't see it; I don't see it; I don't see it."

Q: (Inaudible)

K: Please, sir, I'm asking you, the gentleman asked, why is it I don't see this clearly. Is your mind lazy, you understand - active, hasn't got the energy to say, "Well, I must find this out," because the mind has been fed on other people's ideas, you understand, lives on quotations, has become a secondhand instrument. Therefore it says, "I cannot see this." Therefore forget if you can't see it, but find out if you mind is secondhand. You understand? That's it. And to see that you must have energy, mustn't you?

So why is it that I don't see this thing which is so prevalent, which is so persuasive, which is so factual - all my life it is that way. I'm a Hindu, I'm a Buddhist, I'm a Christian, I'm a Communist, I'm young, I'm old, I'm good, I'm bad, Jesus is right and I'm wrong - this division. And why don't I see that this division in any form, outwardly, politically or religiously or psychologically, it's a deadly thing - why don't I see it? The Jew, the Gentile, the Arab - you follow, sir? Why don't you see it?

Q: Is it because we are subscribing to it and won't accept responsibility for the subscription.

K: That's right, sir, I'm saying that. And yet this thing creates war, this thing is going to destroy you.

Q: Because we have not learnt to think and we think we are able to thin.

K: We are not able to think? Why are you not able to think?

Q: We have never practised it.

K: We are doing it here. You see - do it, sir, find out, take time. You're here, sitting down, talking over - why do you not see this. You're lazy? Are you lazy? Yes, that's a factor. You're lazy. Why are you lazy? Go to the end of it, don't just say, "I'm lazy" and sit back. Why are you lazy? You've overeaten, over indulged or you've not enough of the right kind of food - find out.

Q: Because of this conflict that the observer brings about.

K: So you say, "Well, this conflict is destroying our energy." Then why don't you stop it, find out how to stop it. I'm asking, therefore, enquire, go into it. That is, as long as there is an observer, there must be conflict. As long as there is nationality there must be conflict, as long as you are a Christian and somebody else is a Muslim, there's going to be conflict.

Q: So why is it so hard to enquire?

K: Why is it so hard to enquire? Because you have never done it before, because you've always been spoon-fed, because you've always accepted what others have said, what the psychologists, what the religious people, what the priest says, what the professor - you don't say, "I know nothing and I'm going to find out. And I'm not going to repeat a word which I don't know."

Q: Sir, it makes it difficult for me to understand this at the moment but as you say, it is dangerous, there is a second observer saying that the first observer is dangerous.

K: No, sir. Look - you've heard about the recent war in India between Pakistan and India? Haven't you? War between Israel and the Arab world - that's a fact isn't it? And the fact shows, as long as there is an Arab way of looking at life and an Israelite way of looking at life, there must be conflict. That's all.

Q: It seems like a new observer saying, that observation was wrong.

K: No, no - that's a conclusion. Do look at it, sir - you, not you - one is married - you have a relationship with a man or a woman. There are two entities, aren't there? As long as there is a division, not biological, but psychological division between the two, there must be conflict. You have an image and she has an image, and there must be conflict. Images are your conclusions - that she's good, that she's bad, that she thinks you're an absurd idiotic man, or whatever it is.

Q: Where does the awareness go when the body dies?

K: Where does the awareness go after the body dies - we haven't come to that point. Please stick to this thing; if you once understand this deeply, when you see this fact, you will see for yourself that you have not to depend on anybody. Come on, sirs.

Q: What happens to memory without having had an observer?

K: Yes, sir, I'm going to show you - that's a good question. Can you have knowledge without that knowledge being used by one of the fragments. Right? Have you understand my question, sir? Have I translated your question?

Q: Will you please repeat it, I couldn't follow you.

K: Would I repeat it. I have knowledge. There is accumulated knowledge which is part of the brain - the memories, which is knowledge, experience, the past. Now one of the fragments uses that memory, knowledge, for its own benefit, it exploits that knowledge. I see you are not getting it - let me begin again. The questioner asked, can knowledge, memory, all the scientific, technological personal memories that have been gathered through centuries, can that remain without an observer using that so that it creates a division. You've understood the question?

Q: (Inaudible)

K: That's right. Have you understood the question? There is all this scientific knowledge, all the knowledge which human beings have gathered, through millenia - which is the past. All knowledge is the past. I can add to it, more and more, but it is always in the past. Now when that knowledge is used in our relationship with each other, there is conflict. No?

I have lived with you, as a friend, as a wife, as a husband, boy or girl - I have lived with you. I have images of you, I have built a series of memories, incidents in our relationship. Those incidents, those experiences, those images are the knowledge. That knowledge divides you and me.

Q: Why should it?

K: Why should it? Because I'm living in the past.

Q: But everybody isn't living in the past. Everybody is not living in the past, why should we be living in the past - you take it for granted that we are living in the past.

K: I don't say that - I am pointing out, madam - I'm not saying you are living in the past - don't get angry with me. I'm just pointing out that as long as you have these memories, these images about me or I have about you, there must be division. I don't say you are living in the past - I'm just pointing out. Now, knowledge is necessary, otherwise I can't build a bridge, I can't go home, I can't ride a bicycle, I can't talk English. But that knowledge which is the past, when it interferes in our relationship, brings division. That's all. And that division is conflict. I don't say you have no conflict or you have conflict - it is up to you to find out. So knowledge can be used totally impersonally. But when that knowledge is used personally it creates a division. That's all.

Q: Who uses that knowledge?

K: Who uses that knowledge? Listen to the question - who uses that knowledge. Tell me, who uses that knowledge.

Q: You can't say who uses that knowledge. It can't be said, what is using that knowledge.

K: We're going to find out if it can be said or cannot be said.

Q: It's a trap to ask the question.

K: Wait - he has asked it. He has asked it. Either you say, 'Look, that question is not valid,' or it is valid.

Q: It is an improper question.

K: We'll find out.

Q: I see it.

K: You see it. If he saw it he wouldn't ask it. Since he has asked it we must find out if that question is valid or not. His question was, who uses that knowledge. There is the knowledge, consciously and unconsciously, which is the 'me'. Right? The culture in which I have been brought up, the tradition, the religious beliefs, the superstitions - all those things are the knowledge which I have. There is that knowledge. Right? Now who uses that knowledge? Look at it - who uses that knowledge? It's there - I can't deny it, I can't say it doesn't exist - it is there. When does that knowledge come into operation? Go on, investigate, don't wait for me to answer it. When does that knowledge come into action?

Q: When the observer takes the memory out of the knowledge.

K: Make it much simpler, sir. My question was: you have all this accumulated knowledge, consciously or unconsciously, which is the content of your consciousness - I say to you, when does this knowledge precipitate in action? You answer it to yourself - you're not relying on me or some book.

Q: When I need it.

K: Wait - when you need it. What do you mean by need it? Wait - please, sir, do talk slowly - I don't understand you. Unless you actually do it, don't repeat something which is not yours. I am asking, when does this knowledge come into operation.

Q: When action needs it - when action needs this knowledge it comes into action through my speech.

K: Yes, sir - when does it come into operation? Why do you take such - I mustn't be inpatient. Go on.

Q: When you want...

K: Sir, I ask you what is your name. Don't you tell me?

Q: The answer comes from external stimulation.

K: He says from external stimulation. I ask you what's your name: the memory, which is accumulated, responds. Watch it - go slowly. Because you know your name very well, you have repeated it a thousand times. There is the knowledge - it only responds when there is a challenge. Now, go a step further: I ask you, what is the distance, or what is something more complicated, and you take time between the question and the answer, don't you? What takes place between that question and answer - the time lag - what takes place?

Q: Thought.

K: No.

Q: memory.

K: What takes place, sir? I ask you what is the distance between here and Geneva - what do you say? What takes place inside you? You are trying to remember, aren't you? You say, yes, somebody told me its 90 kilometres or is it 80, I'm not quite sure - you follow? The mind is investigating, isn't it, looking at it, trying to find out. And you say, yes, it's 90 kilometres or 100, whatever it is. Now I ask you something much more complex and you say, I really don't know. That is, immediate answer because you are familiar with it, with the question what's your name; a more complicated question and you take time. It may be one day, you look at books, you ask people - you take time. Then there is a question to which you say, "I really don't know how to answer it because I have no knowledge." So knowledge responds according to a challenge. If that response is not adequate, complete, then the observer comes into being. I wonder if you see it.

I've got something new - you see what I'm talking about? Now - I'm glad, I can explain it. Look, sir, when I ask you a question, what's your name, it's an adequate, complete answer, isn't it? Right? In that there is no conflict, is there? Now, I ask you something much more complex which needs time, and if you can find the answer to that challenge, that is a complete answer, in that there is no conflict.

Now, if I ask you something to which your answer is not adequate, complete, what takes place? There's conflict, isn't there? No? Come on.

Q: I give up.

K: You give up. But if it is a question that has to be answered, life and death, it's a crisis, and in that crisis, if you don't answer completely, there is conflict, isn't there? Come on sir. And that conflict is the inadequacy, which is the observer, who depends on memory. Come on - that's simple - I've got it.

K: So there is, to any challenge, if there is complete response, there is no observer in operation. That's a conclusion to you, not to me because I see it, it's a fact. So I say to myself, is there a living in which every challenge is met totally, not mathematical problems - any challenge in relationship, which is the most important thing in life, not mathematics only, because in that relationship there are challenges, can I, can the mind respond totally. Then if it can respond totally, there is no conflict and therefore there is no observer. Just see the fact, sir, see it, swallow it, chew it, let it be part of you.

So in your life, daily life, which is relationship, can you live in a way in which you respond totally to every relationship? That means you have to be extraordinarily sensitive, energetic and aware in that relationship - when you're talking to the cook, or to your servant, or to your boss or the factory etc.


Saanen 1972

Saanen 1st Public Dialogue 2nd August 1972.

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