Bombay 9th Small Group Discussion 29th January, 1973 Silence and Disorder
Questioner: I wonder whether we can talk about silence and how it is reached, or whether silence has many facets and forms. Whether there is only one silence which is absence of thought; or whether silence which arises through different experiences or different situations is different in nature, dimension and direction.
Krishnamurti: Where shall we start this? There are so many things.
Q: What is silence?
K: Are you saying, is there a right approach - right in the sense, we'll describe what 'right' is - to silence? And if there is, what is that first? You started off with that, didn't you?
K: And whether there are different varieties of silence, which means different methods by which to arrive at silence, and what is the nature of silence. So, shall we go in that order first? Is there a right approach to silence, - 'right', we'll put it in quotes. What do we mean by 'right'?
Q: Is there the one, or if all silences are of the same nature then there may be many approaches.
K: Yes, but I'm just asking what do we mean by 'right approach'?
Q: That is what I mean by right, the one.
K: The only one.
Q: The one, as against the hundred.
K: Yes, therefore what is the one? What is the true, natural, reasonable, logical, and beyond the logic, what is that approach? Is that it?
Q: I don't know. I would say that when consciousness is not operating, then thought is not operating.
K: I would like to go into it.
Q: That is what is generally understood. We can define silence as the absence of thought.
K: I can go blank, you know, just without any thought, just looking at something and go blank. Is that silence?
Q: How do you know if it is true silence?
K: Let's begin by asking, is there a right approach to silence, and what is that 'right'? And are there many varieties of silences and is silence an absence of thought, which implies in that a great many things, such as 'I can go blank' - suddenly I'm thinking a great deal and I just stop and look at something, and go blank; daydream, vaguely daydream. That's why I would like to approach this question by asking, is there a true approach to silence? You started with that question, I think we ought to take that first, and go into the other things afterwards.
Q: You seem to be taking us to the true approach rather than the nature of true silence.
K: I think so. Because there are those people who have practised silence; controlling thought, mesmerizing themselves into silence, and control their chattering mind to such an extent that the mind becomes absolutely dull, stupid - and silent. So I want to start with the enquiry from this point of right approach. Otherwise we'll wander off. It seems more sane to find out is there a 'right' - again, 'right' is somehow not the word - is there a natural, sane, healthy approach - sanity is healthy - is there a healthy, logical, objective, balanced approach to silence? Right? Could we proceed from that? What is the necessity of silence? I know from what people have told me - and I've talked a great deal about it too, not 'I' but one has talked about it a great deal - what is the necessity for silence?
Q: The necessity for silence is very easy to understand. People, in ordinary day living, have constantly chattering minds, constantly irritated minds, when it comes to a rest there is a feeling of being refreshed, the mind is refreshed, quite apart from anything else. So the silence in itself is important.
Q: And also, even in the ordinary sense, there's no seeing or listening, there is no seeing of colour, there's no seeing of things unless there is a certain quality of silence. That's in the ordinary sense.
Q: And it's true there is a whole tradition that silence is important, is necessary, and therefore in all these systems there is the watching of time ... (inaudible). These are all related.
Q: I seems to make people make use of the state of silence. It is not an unhealthy state of silence. But there is a state of silence.
K: Suppose you don't know a thing about what other people have said, why you should be silent. Would you ask the question?
Q: Even at the level of the tranquillizer, you would ask the question.
K: So, you asked the question in order to tranquilize the mind. Right? Because the mind is chattering and it's wearisome and exhausting, so you say, is there a way of tranquilizing the mind without the drugs? We know the way of tranquilizing the mind with drugs, but is there another way which will naturally, healthily, sanely, logically, bring about tranquillity to the mind? Right? How do you approach this? How would I, being weary, exhausted by the chattering of the mind, ask myself, can I, without the usage of drugs, quieten the mind? Is there a way of doing it? That's natural, I would ask that. Now, is there?
Q: There are many ways of doing it.
K: Ah, I don't know any way. You all say there are many ways. I come from a land, I don't read, except detective stories and historical books and so on. I come from a land where we don't know any of these things. Right? First hand, I'm talking about. So I say, now, can the mind do this? Can the mind, without effort, because effort implies disturbance of the mind, it doesn't bring about tranquillity, it brings about exhaustion and exhaustion is not tranquillity. It's like a business man, at the end of the day, exhausted, takes a drink, to be quiet, to calm his nerves, and so on. Conflict will not bring about tranquillity. Conflict will bring about exhaustion and the exhaustion may be translated as silence by those who are completely washed out at the end of the day, they say, 'At last, I can go into my meditation room and be quiet'. Right? So, is it possible to bring about tranquillity to the mind without conflict? I would put that question.
Q: Is it possible to bring about tranquility to the mind without conflict?
K: Without discipline, without distortion - all those are exhausting processes.
Q: Sir, this may sound absurd, but when I practice Pranayama there's no conflict in it, but there is silence; it doesn't exhaust you. What is the nature of that silence?
K: There, you are breathing, getting more oxygen into your system, and the oxygen naturally helps you to be relaxed.
Q: So that is also a state of silence.
K: No, I am not talking of that. I want to find out. We'll discuss the state of silence afterwards. But I want to find out whether the mind can be tranquilized, become tranquil without any kind of effort, breathing, enforcement, control, direction.
Q: The mind asks such a question if it is possible to have tranquillity of the mind without any outside help?
K: No, no, I didn't say outside help. I said, without conflict - please listen, sir - without conflict, without direction, without enforcement, without control, practices of breathing, doing this and ... without any enforcement of any kind, which is, I can take a drug, a tranquillizer and make the mind very quiet. It is on the same level as Pranayama. And I can control the mind and force the mind; my mind can be controlled and I've brought about silence. It is on the same level as breathing, drugs. So I want to start from a point where the mind is agitated, chattering, exhausting itself by incessant friction of thought, and it says, is it possible to be really quiet, without any artificial means? Right? To me that is a central issue. That's how I would approach it if I went into this. I would discard any artificial ... I would consider, if I were investigating, I would consider artificial, control, drugs, breathing ...
Q: Watching the breath.
K: Watching the breath. Watching your toe, watching the light.
K: Mantras. All those are artificial, which induce a peculiar kind of silence. So I would not consider - when I say I, I will use the word 'I' for the moment, with the understanding that K is not emphasising himself. K would consider ...
Q: And would you include the silence induced by nature to this list?
K: Which is all part of it.
K: That's it. I would consider all those artificial enforcements in order to induce silence.
Q: Krishnaji, when you look at a mountain you get silent.
K: Ah, wait no. When you look at a mountain what takes place? By the greatness, by the beauty, by the grandeur of the mountain, that absorbs you and makes you silent. That is still artificial.
Q: But that is only nature.
K: Like a child, given a good toy, is absorbed by the toy and for the time being, till it breaks down, he is very quiet. I would consider all those, any form of inducement to silence, to bring about silence, is artificial - for K.
Q: Seeking silence is a motive.
K: I am saying the motive too, the motive is artificial.
Q: Sometimes the bringing about of silence is accidental.
K: I want to find out, sir, whether it is accidental or is there a natural way, without inducement, without motive, without direction, without etc., etc., etc?
Q: Looking at a mountain, though it is a non-duality experience, you then would say, it is not silence?
K: I wouldn't call it silence. Because the thing is so great, for the time being that greatness knocks ...
Q: The absence of the 'me' is there, but the absence of the 'me' is not at the conscious level, but you say is it there? How?
K: Is it there? Look, you see a marvellous picture, a marvellous sunset, an enormous chain of mountains, and it's like the toy with the child. That greatness knocks out the 'me' for the moment and the mind becomes silent. Experiment with it.
Q: Yes, but you say that is not silence.
K: I wouldn't call that silence, because the mountain, the sunset, the beauty of something means, for the moment, the 'me' is pushed aside. And the moment that's gone, I'm back to my chattering or whatever it is. So, I want to be clear that any artificial, a motive, a directional, seems to K that it's a distortion which will not bring about the depth of silence, in which is included practices, disciplines, controls, identification with the greater and thereby making myself quiet, and so on and so on and so on. Then I ask myself, what is the necessity of silence? If it has no motive, would I ask that question?
Q: It is the state of mind that keeps silent.
K: I am not describing the mind.
Q: Not in the sense that ...
K: No, sir, no, sorry. I said, any inducement, in any form, subtle or obvious, I would consider doesn't bring about the depth of great silence. I would consider it as all superficial. I may be wrong. We're enquiring.
Q: That state of mind is already ...(inaudible).
K: Maybe. I don't know. So, what is the natural, healthy approach to tranquillity? Right? What is the natural approach?
Q: But then approach is motivation.
K: No. What is the natural - I won't use that word, even - what is the natural state of tranquillity? How does one come upon it naturally? As we have already said, if I want to listen to what you are saying, my mind must be quiet. That's a natural thing. If I want to see something clearly, the mind mustn't be chattering. That's a natural thing. No? What?
Q: Is it natural or obvious?
K: It doesn't matter which word - natural or obvious. We have used those two words before. We'll use those two words again, natural, obvious. Right? Why do we make - silence is something tremendous ...
Q: In that is all poise, is all sanity.
K: So I would say, the basis for the depth of silence is poise, harmony, between the mind, the body and the heart - division for the moment - great harmony. The setting aside of any artificial methods, including control and all the rest of it. I would said that is the basis, the real basis is harmony.
Q: It doesn't solve anything.
K: Wait, wait. We haven't solved anything.
Q: We've agreed on the word, 'harmony'. What is that?
K: We'll come to that. Therefore I say, this is the basis for silence, for right silence.
Q: The whole thing is, I know conflict, I don't know.
K: All right. Therefore don't talk about silence. Deal with conflict, not silence. If there is disharmony between the mind, heart and body, deal with that and not with silence. If you deal with silence being disharmonious, then it is artificial. This is so. Now I am getting at it.
Q: I have an agitated mind.
K: So be concerned with the agitated mind, not with silence. Deal with 'what is', and not with 'what might be'. That comes logically, right. I'll stick to this.
Q: Are you asking, can the agitated mind deal with its own agitation?
K: That's a different question.
Q: She is saying that the agitated mind naturally asks the question, can there be silence.
K: Yes, so be concerned not with silence but why is it agitated?
Q: It can see the opposite state of mind.
K: Ah! That is then an opposite, a conflict, and the opposite has its roots within its own opposite and so on.
Q: Yes, the concept itself is part of the agitation.
K: So I would say, complete harmony is the foundation for the purity of silence.
Q: How does one move to the subjects of silence?
K: Let's go into that ... not into silence. We'll later on come to the question of the varieties of silence. So what is harmony? Right? Go on sirs.
Q: Harmony arises and comes again.
K: I want to find out, what is harmony? Between the mind, the body and the heart, a total sense of being whole, without fragmentation, without the over-development of the intellect, but the intellect operating clearly, objectively, sanely, and the heart, not sentimentally, gooey, emotionalism, outbreak of hysteria, but has a quality in it of affection, care, love, compassion, vitality, and the body has its own intelligence and unintefered by the intellect or by taste - all that. The feeling everything is operating, functioning beautifully, like marvellous machinery. Even though it's not physically well. This is important. Yes, sir? You were going to say something? No. Now is this possible?
Q: Is there a centre in that harmony?
K: In that harmony is there a centre? I don't know. We're going to find out. Can the mind, the brain, function efficiently without any friction, distortion, and so the mind, the intellect, the capacity to reason, the capacity to perceive, is sharp, clear? And when the centre is there it's not possible, obviously, because then the centre is translating everything according to its limitation. Am I reducing everybody to silence?
Q: Why does this division arise, between the mind, the body ...
K: Arise, because through our education, where emphasis is made on the cultivation of the intellect as memory and reason, as a function apart from living.
Q: That is the over-emphasis on the mind. Even without education, there can be an over-emphasis of emotions ...
K: Of course, that's what I'm saying.
Q: Yes, so ...
K: Man worships the intellect much more than the emotions. Doesn't he? And emotion is translated into devotion, into sentimentality, into all kinds of extravagance of expansions of emotionalism, hysteria and so on, and so on, and so on. We have done this all along. No?
K: That's fairly simple, sir. Why does the brain, as the repository of memory, why does it give such importance to knowledge? Technological, psychological, in relationship, why have human beings given such extraordinary importance to knowledge? I have an office, I've become an important bureaucrat, which is, I have knowledge about doing certain functions. And I become pompous, stupid, dull - why? Why do I give such importance to knowledge? Go on, sir.
Q: Is it the image?
K: No. It's very simple, security, obvioulsy.
Q: To make oneself important.
K: Obvioulsy. Knowledge gives you status. Don't you know bureaucrats, who are fairly high up, all they want is status.
Q: But that doesn't solve anything.
K: No, he asked that question. So, I must come back. Human beings have worshipped knowledge, knowledge is identified with the intellect. Right? The erudition, the scholar, the philosopher, the inventor, the scientist, are all concerned with knowledge. No? And they have created in the world marvellous things; going to the moon, new guns, submarines, Polaris - they have invented the most extraordinary things and the admiration, the sense of the marvel of knowledge, is overwhelming. And we say - we accept it. So, we have developed an inordinate admiration, almost verging on worship, for the intellect. All the sacred books and their interpretations, all that. Correct me, if I'm wrong. And in contrast to that there is a reaction which says, for goodness sake, let's be a bit more emotional about all this; let me have my feelings, I love being stupid, I love, you know. No? Devotion, hysteria, sentimentality, extravagance in expression. All that arises from this. And the body is neglected. You see this.
Q: And therefore Yoga and all that.
K: And practise Yoga to get the body well, and so this division takes place, unnaturally. And now we have to bring about a natural harmony where the intellect functions like a marvellous watch, where the emotions and affections, care, love, compassion, all those are healthily functioning, and the body which has been so spoiled, which has been so mis-used, comes into its own intelligence. So there is that. Now, how do you do it?
Q: I need knowledge.
K: I know, I made that very clear, sir. Don't let me repeat it all over again. I need knowledge, to talk to you in English I need knowledge of English. I don't know any other language in India, so I have to use English; that's knowledge. I have to ride a bicycle; that's knowledge. I have to drive a car; that's knowledge. I have to drive a motor; that's knowledge.
K: Yes, yes, yes. That's still within the field of knowledge.
Q: I am concerned with the problem because I have to solve it. I have to solve the problem with disease so I go to knowledlge.
K: I say that sir. Knowledge is necessary. But when knowledge is misused by the centre as the 'me' who has got knowledge, and therefore I am superior to the man who has less knowledge, knowledge then I use as a status for myself. I am more important than the poor chap who has no knowledge. I am a bureaucrat, soaked in some stupidity and I ...
Q: If I may say so, we started this discussion with silence, and the various ways in which we arrive at silence. Without dealing with the agitated mind, or the mind in conflict, he has pointed out that unless there is a harmony we cannot have the basis for even questioning or asking what is silence.
Q: Do you not make a distinction between knowledge and history and the new, the discovery of the new?
K: History? Of course, sir. Knowledge ...
K: Sirs, when knowledge - just listen, sir - when knowledge interferes in the discovery of the new, there is no discovery of the new. There must be an interval between knowledge and the new, otherwise you are just carrying on the old.
K: That's all that we are saying, sir. I want to get back. Radhaji asked just now, why is there division between the mind, the heart and the body. We see that; why? Now we say, how is this division to naturally come into deep harmony, naturally? Now, how do you do it? Enforcement? You can't do it. Ideals? Ideal of harmony, therefore I must lessen my intellect, you follow? It becomes too silly. Right? So what shall I do? Go on.
Q: Can I will it, or does it have to come into being by itself?
K: What do you say?
Q: I think I can't will it.
K: So what will you do?
Q: Go into silence.
K: Don't you know, sir - I mean, not you particularly. One is aware of this division, isn't one? Intellect, emotion, and the body, there is this tremendous division between all of them. A gap. How is the mind to remove all this gap, and be a whole mechanism functioning beautifully? What do the traditionalists say?
Q: Only effort. Clench your teeth.
K: Clench your teeth and bite into it, is that it?
Q: You have used the word harmony.
K: Use another word.
Q: That's just it. We had silence and you said we won't touch it.
K: Ah! We won't touch it.
Q: Then we take the word 'harmony', we cannot touch the word 'harmony'.
K: Then what will you do? Why pursue silence?
Q: So we come back to the only one thing we can do - disharmony.
K: That's all. That's all I'm saying.
Q: There is this division.
K: Therefore I say, let's deal with disharmony and not with silence, so when there is the understanding of disharmony, from that may flow naturally silence.
Q: To know that you have ended disharmony totally.
Q: But we haven't come to that.
Q: This morning I told somebdy, there is a Latin saying, 'I know what is right, but I don't follow it'.
Q: There is a mechanism which seems to deny your statement that if you deal with disharmony, harmony is so.
K: Don't bring in something from Latin. Face the thing as is. Pupul says we started out with silence and we said, look it's no good discussing silence until you find out if there is a natural way of coming to it. The artificial way is not - we have been through that - therefore we said, what is the natural way? The natural way is to find out if there is harmony, but we do not know anything about harmony because we are in a state of disorder. So let's deal with disorder, not with harmony, not with silence. With disorder.
Q: I wanted to say that according to our experience the disorder never yields. The disorder remains disorder.
K: We are going to find out, sir. Don't maintain it.
Q: No, I don't maintain it; that's my observation.
K: Your personal observation, of yourself?
Q: My observation of myself. I look and I look and observe and observe the disorder - and disorder looks at me. I look at the disorder and the disorder looks at me.
K: Therefore there is a duality, a contradiction in your observation as the observer, and the observed. A division. We can play with this endlessly. I am asking, sir. Please follow what we have so far discussed. We started out with silence, what is the nature of silence; are there different varieties of silence? Are there different approaches to silence? We also said, what is the beginning of silence, the approach to silence? We said, perhaps there may be a right way - 'right' in quotes. And we said, let's find out. Any artificial means to bring about silence is not silence. Any artificial means, we made that very clear, don't let's go back to that. If there is no artificial way then what is - is it possible to come upon silence naturally, without effort, without inducement, without direction, without artificial means? And in examining it, we said harmony. To that Pupul says, we don't know what this harmony is but what we do know is disorder. So let us put aside everything else and consider disorder, not what silence is. Therefore, a mind that is disordered enquires after silence. Silence then becomes the means of bringing about order or escape from disorder. Silence then is imposed on disorder. As that gentleman said, impose it, or run away from disorder. We stop all that and say, why is there disorder? Is it possible to end disorder? Right?
Q: Disorder expresses itself.
K: I don't know anything about it. I wouldn't say that.
Q: I would say it is a matter of perception. Let's discuss it. Is there any other way it expresses itself?
K: What is disorder? What is disorder in me?
Q: Disorder in me is that when thought arises then I want something.
K: No, No, you are attributing a cause; you are looking for a cause. Give me two seconds. You want to find out what is the cause of disorder. Right?
Q: I don't.
Q: I observe the nature of disorder; I don't look for the cause; I don't know the cause; I can never know the cause.
K: You observe disorder, right?
Q: I observe disorder.
K: One observes disorder in oneself, right?
Q: Yes. And I see that it is manifested as thought.
K: I don't know. I would like to go into that a little bit. I observe in myself disorder. Let's go into this very carefully because it's rather interesting. I observe myself in disorder. Why do I call what I observe disorder?
Q: A disturbance is disorder.
K: I just want to go step by step. Please I'm not trying to stop you, Sonaliji, I just want to find out. Why do I call it disorder? Which means I already have an inclination about what order is.
Q: Of course.
K: So, I am comparing what I have experienced, or known as order and thereby call 'what is' disorder. I don't do that. I say, don't do that; don't compare. Just see what disorder is. Can I know, can the mind know disorder without comparing itself with order?
Q: It might not know it is.
K: Wait, sir, I haven't finished; give me two seconds. So, can my mind not compare? Comparison may be disorder - comparison itself may be the cause of disorder. Measurement may be disorder. And as long as I am comparing, there must be disorder. I am a bureaucrat and I am comparing myself to a higher bureaucrat; therefore that is disorder. I am comparing my disorder at the present moment with a whiff of order which I smelt, and comparing and therefore calling this disorder. So I see - I am just looking at it, be a little patient - so I see comparison is really important, not disorder. As long as my mind is comparing, measuring, there must be disorder. Right?
Q: Sir, I look at myself and I see there is disorder because every part of me is pulling in a different direction.
K: I've never felt I'm in disorder.
Q: But we're not talking about K.
K: Wait, I know. I've never felt I'm in disorder. Except rarely, occasionally, when something ... and why? I say to myself, why are all these people talking about disorder? Do they really know disorder? Or you only know it through comparison?
Q: I know that I put it crudely but it is exactly the fact that when I don't get what I want, I call it disorder.
K: I don't call that disorder. That is - please, I want a Rolls Royce, I want to go to the moon, I can't get it but I don't call that disorder.
Q: There is no conscious comparison. You bring in words which I find very difficult. There is no conscious comparison of the mind itselfwhich says, this is disorder and I want order.
K: No, I'm only asking how do you know disorder?
Q: Is it only a sense of uneasiness? It's very difficult.
Q: I see a sense of confusion. One thought against another thought.
Q: It is confusion. You will say the word confusion again is comparing.
K: No, contradiction.
Q: I don't any thing else but I know confusion.
K: We only know contradiction which is confusion. I stick to that. You said my mind is in a state of confusion because it is contradicting itself all the time. All right. Proceed from there.
Q: There is a real difficulty here. You see, you talked about silence, then harmony, then disorder. We are completely moving away - this way. Otherwise why aren't we with disorder? We leave a part in order.
Q: I'm not leaving a part in either harmony or silence. I observe my mind and I see disorder.
Q: Not only the mind but the disorder in the whole mechanism.
K: Yes, I overeat and then there is disorder.
Q: I see disorder in harmony - we are not talking of that.
K: You see disorder and then what? From there move.
Q: We are bound to ask. It is the nature of the mind to ask.
Q: I ask. There must be a way of finding a way out of this.
K: Yes. Then what?
Q: And then I observe myself asking that question.
Q: And then that, for the time being, comes to an end.
Q: The question needs answering. Look, sir, I am not talking - these steps we can discover, we needn't come to it by these steps.
K: No, don't do it.
Q: But I thought it would be best to go step by step. There's an ending there. To someone else there may not be an ending, but to me there is an ending. I see that there is an ending. I say, what is the nature of this? Is this silence? Then I come back to it. Or is there an undercurrent still operating? You see, the need of different qualities and natures and dimensions of silence. The traditional outlook is the gap between two thoughts is silence.
K: But that's not silence, silence between two noises is not silence.
Q: That's what ...
K: Listen to that noise outside and there's a gap and you call that silence? I say that's nonsense. That's an absence of noise. Absence of noise is not silence.
Q: It's the ending of the perception of oneself in a state of disturbance.
K: Pupul, you are not being clear. Sorry. I'm questioning, when you say disorder, what I am questioning is - I'm not at all sure that you know what disorder is. You call it tummy ache - I over ate - that is disorder, I over-indulge in emotional nonsense - that is disorder.
Q: I catch myself talking very loudly.
K: That is disorder. Now, so, what? Disorder; what is disorder? No, no - how do you know it is disorder? I overeat and I have a tummy ache - I don't call it disorder. I say, I over ate, I mustn't eat so much. Full stop.
Q: But I am in normal health, therefore when we ...
K: No, no. I don't go through all these processes. I overeat, I have pain, and I say to myself, I must be careful at the next meal.
Q: We moved from silence, to harmony and we found that it was impossible to go into the nature of harmony without going into disorder.
K: That's all. Keep to those three points.
Q: Why do you call it disorder?
Q: It's not necessarily a recognition of disorder, because when there is a conflict between the body, the mind ...
K: Therefore conflict you associate with disorder.
Q: No. The conflict makes one weary, as you say, and you instinctively feel there's something wrong with it.
K: So, what you're saying is, if I understand rightly, please correct me - conflict indicates disorder, right?
Q: Partly indicates disorder.
Q: Even when you don't name it there is conflict.
K: Conflict indicates disorder. Whether it is two thoughts, whether it is the body - conflict. What are we saying? Conflict is disorder.
Q: Indicates disorder.
K: No, - conflict is disorder. Not 'indicates'. You translate it as disorder.
Q: I don't understand the difference between it: you translate it as disorder and it is disorder. It is disorder and then it helps to translate it as disorder. What is the difference?
K: All right. I'm only saying conflict indicates disorder. So. Then what? From there, move. Move. You keep on going around in circles. Move.
Q: I said, there must be a way of being free of this.
K: Of what?
Q: Of conflict.
K: That's all.
Q: Of disorder.
K: That's the same thing. No, wait a minute. Silence, harmony, conflict. That's all. Not disorder. Conflict.
Q: You can take the word disorder and go through the same gymnastics with conflict, and come to the same question, 'what do I do about conflict?'
K: Wait. That's what we are concerned about. Please. Silence, harmony, conflict, right? Now, how am I to deal with conflict non-artificially? You know nothing, you are listening for the first time, therefore you have to go into it with me. Don't say 'how do I know it's for the first time?' - you don't know. Somebody comes along and says, look, look at this marvellous machinery and you look.
Q: I see this much, that I can't think of silence or harmony when I am in conflict. That much I see. It's clear sir.
K: So, is the mind capable of freeing itself from conflict? That is the only thing you can ask, right?
Q: Then you ask it.
K: I am asking. Is the mind capable of freeing itself from every kind of conflict? What is wrong with that question?
Q: It's the mind again which is asking.
Q: It is exactly the same question as can the mind be free from this conflict. I can't see the difference.
K: But I'm only saying - please, Pupulji - we have reduced it to conflict, right? Now I say, look, stick to that one thing, don't let's go round and round and round. Stick to that one thing, conflict, and see if the mind can be free of it. And don't go around saying, 'how'. Can the mind, knowing what conflict is, and what conflict does, end conflict? Surely that's a legitimate question? No? Why are you silent?
Q: Because you assume that the mind can be.
K: I don't. We are asking.
Q: If we look into this question of conflict, or rather, look into the aspect of it which is comparison, because there is no conflict without comparison.
K: Conflict is comparison, contradiction, imitation, and conformity, suppression, all that; put all that into that one word and accept the meaning of that word, as we've defined it, and said 'can the mind be free of conflict?'
Q: Of course it can be free of conflict, but the question which arises is 'what is the nature of that freedom from conflict?'
K: How do you know before you are free? That becomes theoretical.
Q: There is an ending of the state of conflict. For a while, at least.
K: Is there an ending completely of conflict?
Q: What we are asking is what is the nature of this ending and what do we mean by total ending?
K: That's what we're going to find out.
Q: There is no ending of conflict.
K: He says that.
Q: The universe ...
K: Don't include the universe. In the universe apparently every thing is moving in order - Hoyle! The expanding universe.
Q: I'm talking of the mental universe.
K: Then don't use the word 'universe'. Let's stick to our mind which seems to be endlessly in conflict. That's all. Don't bring in universe.
Q: The universe which I am.
K: Don't justify it for God's sake. We are trying to get on with the stuff. Now how is the mind to end conflict, naturally, because every other method, system, is a compulsive method, a directional method, a method of control, and therefore all that's out. Now, can the mind free itself from conflict. I say, yes; where are you at the end of it? I think mind can be completely, utterly without conflict.
K: Don't use that word, 'forever', because then you are introducing a word of time, and time is a factor of conflict.
Q: Can that mind be totally conflict?
K: Can the mind be in a state of total conflict?
Q: Just be conflict?
K: Obviously. What are you trying to say? I don't quite understand.
Q: I feel myself totally helpless in a situation. The fact is there is conflict.
Q: And the fact is that any operation of the sense on that conflict ...
K: We have been through all that, don't bring it in.
Q: Seeing the nature of that, can the mind say, if it is conflict it is conflict.
K: I see what you are trying to say. Can the mind be aware of a state in which there is no conflict? Is that what you are trying to say?
K: Or, the mind can only know conflict. Do you know, is your mind totally aware of conflict? Or is it just words?
Q: You see ...
K: Stick to one thing. Simple. I'm being simple. Is my mind totally aware that it is in conflict? Or is there a part of the mind that says, I'm aware that I'm totally in conflict, or is there part of me watching conflict? Or is there part of me wishing to be free of conflict? Which means is there any fragment which says, 'I am not in conflict'? Or is there any fragment which separates itself from the totality of conflict? If there is a separate fragment, that's is all foolwery, then that fragment says, 'I must act, I must do, I must suppress, I must go beyond'. So is the mind - please, this is a legitimate question - is the mind totally aware that there is only conflict? That is your question, right?
Q: You say that the mind measures itself and calls it conflict, but true conflict is ...
K: Yes sir. that's what we are saying. Is your mind totally aware that there is nothing but conflict? Or is there a fragment which kicks away a little path and says, 'yes I know I am aware of conflict'. I am not in conflict, but I know'? So, is conflict a fragment, or total? I will keep to the same word, only put a different word for the time being - is there total darkness or a slight light somewhere?
Q: If that light were not there, could we be aware of it?
K: I don't know anything about it. I'm asking you. Don't ask me that question. When there is a fragmentation of the mind, that very fragmentation is conflict. Therefore, the mind, is it ever aware - just listen - ever aware that it is total conflict? And Pupul says, 'yes'.
Q: You are getting into words.
K: No No. I'm not trying to trick you.
Q: I refuse to move away.
K: I have not moved away.
Q: Therefore, I don't know anything about total conflict.
K: Therefore, you only know partial conflict.
Q: Quite, whether partial or ...
K: No, that is important.
Q: The fact is, the conflict whichit is. And I say, can there be a refusal to move away.
K: I'm not moving away; I haven't moved away. I haven't really moved away from silence, harmony, or conflict. I think it is an important question, because ...
Q: The very awareness of the mind indicates that there is a fragment.
K: That's all. Therefore, you say partially I am in conflict, therefore you are never with conflict.
Q: Total conflict cannot know itself, unless there is something else to know it.
K: We're going to go into that, a little bit.
Q: I am not making myself clear. Conflict is not necessary, why do ...
K: When the room is full of furniture - forgive this wrong example, a better example you may think of - when the room is full of furniture there is no space to move. I would consider that utter confusion - you follow? Wait, I am not finished. Is my mind so totally full of this confusion, so that it has no movement away from this, if it is so completely full of confusion, conflict and full of this furniture in the room, then what takes place? That's what I want to get at, not a partial this and a partial that and ... When the steam is full it must do something - explode. And I do not think we look at this confusion so totally; this conflict so totally.
K: Could I use a word, sorrow? May I? There is no moving away from sorrow. When you move away from sorrow, then it is just, you know, escape from it, or suppressing it - I won't go into all that. Can one be full of sorrow - not, 'can one'. Is there such a thing as being full of sorrow? Is there such a thing as being completely happy? When you are so aware that you are completely happy, it is no longer happy. In the same way when you are so completely full of this thing called confusion, sorrow, conflict, it is no longer there. It's only there when there is division. That's all.
Q: Then it seems to be a hopeless problem, because there is always this ...
K: That's why, remain with the truth of the thing, not with the conclusion of the thing. The truth of the thing is, until the mind is complete with something it cannot but create conflict. If I love you and there is attachment in it, it is contradiction and therefore no love. So I say, remain with the fact of that thing, don't introduce ... Is the mind totally aware, full of this sorrow, this confusion, this conflict? I won't move away 'till that is so.
Q: One peculiarity about your approach. When you draw a picture there is always a clear black outline, the colours don't match. In reality there are no outlines, there are only colours merging into each other.
K: This, to me, is very clear. This to me is very clear.
Q: That very clarity is ...
K: This to me is very clear. If the heart is full of love, and there is no part of envy in it, the problem is finished. It is only when there is a part that is jealous then the whole problem arises.
Q: Love is full of jealousies.
K: Ah. Therefore remain with it. Remain with that 'full' of envy, be envious. Feel it.
Q: Then its total nature undergoes change.
K: Tremendous change.
Q: No division.
K: It's when you say I'm envious and I must not be, somewhere in the dark corner, the education restraint, and then something goes wrong. But to say, yes, I am envious, and don't move from that. Moving is rationalising, suppressing, just remain with that feeling.
Q: The rationalist says, without repentance, no salvation.
K: I don't repent. I don't want to be saved.
Q: What is the difference between you being fully aware of the conflict and repenting the conflict?
K: Oh, oh, oh! Repentance means there is a repenter. An entity who repents, who regrets. I must stop.
Q: Feeling it fully.
K: No, don't feel it. If you are jealous, then you are just jealous.
Q: Then that is not perception.
K: That is perception.
Q: That can break down.
K: Oh, no, sir. That can break down only when you are trying to suppress it, go beyond it, rationalise it, and all the rest of it. But it's so simple.
Q: When you are in a mess are you not sorry for yourself?
K: Good God, no. That is the after-thought; 'I wish I wasn't in a mess'. When you are in a mess, be in a mess; see it, don't move away from it.
Q: That is only the after-thought. The very idea of not moving away is the after-thought.
K: I'm saying that. You're repeating.
Q: Time is merciless.
K: This is merciless. All the rest is playing tricks. When there is sorrow, be completely with it.
Q: There is no time in the now. In the now there is no moment ...
K: I don't know what you are talking about. I'm talking about sorrow, not time. My son is dead; look at the beggar there; I am full of sorrow. I don't have to invent sorrow, there it is, right in front of my nose. I'm in it. I won't move an inch from it.
Q: An action takes place.
K: Sir, when you are with something, action has taken place. I don't have to do something. A total action has taken place, which is the ending of that sorrow.
Q: How can we have tranquillity when the beggar is there?
K: Tranquillity is the ending of sorrow.
Q: Is it the acceptance of sorrow?
K: No. It's the same then as the worshipping of sorrow.
Q: No, no.
K: Of course it is.
Q: No, no. You accept sorrow as a ...
K: Ah, worshipping sorrow is also a form of accepting sorrow.
Q: No, you have no business to introduce words like that.
K: Why should I accept it?
Q: I accept my crippled child without worshipping it.
K: No, why should I accept it? It is like that, because ... Acceptance implies an accepter.
Q: Anything implies an operator. Anything implies an operator.
Q: If there is sorrow one is full of violence.
K: Be with violence.
Q: Won't there be a destruction with that violence?
K: No, that means you are moving away from the fact. When you are violent, be completely with it, which means not doing something violently is a moving away from violence. You've got it? Because you have moved away. Suppressing violence is also moving away, or trying to overcome violence, it is still moving away.
Q: You mean mentally be violent.
K: The state of violence you know it, you don't have to be.
Q: A distinction can be made, not being violent, but be with violence.
K: Be with, yes. That's what .. live with it, be with it, not be violent. Of course, we are violent, we don't have to be with it.
Bombay 9th Small Group Discussion 29th January, 1973 Silence and Disorder
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