Ojai 4th Public Dialogue 14th April 1977
Krishnamurti: What shall we talk over together this morning?
Questioner: Sir, what opens the door to perception and understanding, or does it open by itself?
K: Does one open the door to perception and understanding, or does it open by itself.
Q: Could we consider if there really is such a thing as a teacher, or rather simply an environment in which the student learns?
K: Is there such a thing as a teacher for students, or will it not be an environment that will help them to learn.
Q: Last Tuesday you said the facing of sorrow and suffering or pain, passion comes. I was wondering, would you discuss that and the connection or lack of connection of that idea, or fact, and boredom, negativity, contempt, anxiety, criticism and low energy.
K: Sir, there are too many questions in one question.
Q: Could you also talk about the hyperactivity of the mind? Whether negative or positive thinking starts it. Can self enquiry be cultivated in spite of pleasure of the self, or whether that matters.
Q: Sir, why does one keep slipping back into despair?
K: First his question was, what is passion, and does it come out of grief and pain. And the rest of the other question, sir, I couldn't make out. So if you don't mind one question will be enough. And also the other question is, this gentleman asks, why does one so often slip into despair.
Q: What is intelligence? What enables intelligence to awaken in the educator and in the student, particularly if intelligence is not a result?
K: What is intelligence, and if intelligence is not a result then how can that intelligence be transmitted or conveyed to the student.
Q: Or even how can it awaken in the educator himself?
K: Or how can that intelligence awaken in the educator himself.
Q: Can we discuss further the relation between desire and love?
K: What is the difference between desire and love.
Q: The relationship.
Q: Can we discuss discipline?
K: Discipline. Could you discuss discipline.
Q: Our relation to the suffering of others, and people and animals, and any living things.
K: Yes, what is the relationship between suffering of human beings and animals and so on. I think that's enough, don't you?
What is intelligence, can it be awakened in us and so help the student to understand it. And is intelligence something to be striven after, or does it come naturally. That's one of your questions. And what is passion, does it flower from suffering and pain. Why does one so often slip into despair. What is the relationship between human beings who suffer and animals who are tortured and suffer. Now out of all these questions which do you think we ought to discuss, take it up?
K: Can we begin by talking over together, having a dialogue between ourselves, between friends, what is intelligence, and how does it come into being, can it be cultivated, and can that intelligence be awakened in the student. Perhaps if we could go into that question fully the other questions might be included in it.
What is the intellect? What is intellect? The capacity to reason, to perceive, to understand, to grasp the significance of a word or a statement. That is generally understood to mean the intellect. The capacity of the brain to reason objectively, sanely, if it is possible, and not be caught in opinions and judgements. That is the general meaning of intellect. And what is the function, or relationship of the intellect, which all of us have, that capacity to reason, healthily or not healthily, sanely or insanely, what is the relationship of the intellect to thought? Please, you don't mind my going step by step? May we go on that way? What is the relationship of the capacity to reason sanely or insanely, its relationship to thought? Is intellect - all the meaning which we have given - different from thought? You understand?
Is not thought the whole movement of memory, experience, knowledge - the whole movement of that is thought. Can thought reason correctly, rationally, and therefore the intellect is part of that thought? Are we meeting each other?
K: Yes? May we go on? Please, it's no good going on by myself, unless both of us discuss it, understand what we are talking about. We are trying to establish if there is any difference at all between thought and the intellect. The intellect is the product of thought, and if it is the product of thought then thought, can it reason correctly, accurately, sanely? That we must first establish, then we can proceed from there in the understanding of what is intelligence.
As thought is conditioned, as thought is fragmentarily, as thought is the movement of time, and the movement of measure, can that thought which is the past, which is the product or the response of the past, can it ever meeting the movement of the present, can that ever be rational, sane, healthy? You are following this, sir? Because we have given such importance to thought. Right? We have given such extraordinary value to all the construction of thought. All the movement of thought, which has made the gods, the rituals, the saviours, built churches, temples, mosques, the whole movement of thought is based upon knowledge which is past. Right, can we go on from there? It's a dialogue, please. We are not asserting anything. We are together investigating, informing each other, the nature of thinking. So we say thought - what, sir?
Q: Would you characterize much of what you do as thought?
K: Would you characterize what the speaker is doing as a movement of thought. My word! May we come to that a little later - I am not going to avoid it, I am not cunningly moving away from it, I will answer it, but first understand this thing. Because if I tell you how the speaker functions without understanding all this, then you will say, 'What are you talking about, you are mad'. So I think it is important to understand before I can answer that question, what is thinking, and what are the things that thought has created, and thought being very limited, the scientists are now accepting, I was told by Dr Bohm and others, that even the scientists are accepting the very limitations of thought. So we are saying, thought is a fragment. Right? Whatever it creates, whatever it thinks is still in the field of fragmentation. Right? So thought can never perceive the whole because thought is directional, thought moves with a motive, thought functions with remembrances. So it will invariably, under all circumstances, whether technological, scientific, human, religious, or superstitious, illusory, it is fragmentary. Do we see this fact? Not, I tell you the fact and you see it - do you see this as a fact for yourself?
Q: Where does sanity and insanity fit into what you are saying?
Q: We began by saying intellect is reason, logic, sanity, what is the relationship of intellect to thought. Then we say thought is fragmentation. Then the gentleman asks, how does sanity fit into that picture.
K: It doesn't. One can reason using thought as an instrument of expression, one can reason, and think that reasoning is very sane, but if that intellect is neurotic, whatever it does is still neurotic. So it can never be sane. Right? I don't know if you agree to this, if you see that. Sanity implies - let's go back. The word 'whole' implies health, sanity of the mind, and the perceiving of that which is holy, sacred. That word covers all that: health, sanity and holiness, h-o-l-y. So can thought perceive the whole, can the intellect perceive the whole? You understand my question? Because it is fragmentary it can never perceive the whole.
Q: Would this imply that logic and reason are mechanical?
K: Yep! I mean, yes. I am becoming an American! You have understood what he asked, which is, is thought mechanical. Now you, please, how would you answer that question? I said, yes - or yep! Now how would you answer that question?
Q: What are the other functions of the mind besides thought, or thinking?
K: Wait, sir. How would you answer that question, is the mind, the brain, thought mechanical?
Q: Mechanical means repetition.
K: Mechanical means - it has several meanings: repetition, there must be a motive which keeps it going, an energy which keeps it going. So is the intellect, thought, mechanical? I do not know if you have not noticed for yourself that we live in habits, we are creatures of habits - sexual, nutritional, committed to a belief, an idea, or an ideal, a conclusion, and living in that field all the time is mechanical - repeating, believing, caught in tradition, ancient or modern. So the whole process of our existence is mechanical, as it is. Right, sir?
Q: Obviously thought is mechanical, but I am not so sure about the intellect.
K: The gentleman says, if I understood it rightly, he says is intellect also mechanical.
Q: Thought in the past would be recording things over and over.
K: Is not the intellect also fragmentary?
Q: It's true intelligence, is it?
K: We are coming to that, slowly we are coming to it, go step by step so that we both understand that, we are speaking accurately.
Q: Intelligence is perception and adds rational data without the use of thought. Is that possible?
K: I don't quite understand.
Q: He is confusing intelligence and intellect, not seeing the distinction between them.
K: He says, if I understand rightly, that intellect is intelligence.
Q: Or asking.
K: He's asking. Please, I said thought is fragmentary. Right? Intellect must be fragmentary. Intellect which is reason, understanding, capacity to grasp things, but that intellect cannot perceive the whole because it is still fragmentary because thought is functioning. When thought is functioning, whether it operates through the intellect, or uses the intellect as a means of understanding, thought being fragmentary, whatever it does or produces, using the intellect, the intellect is still fragmentary.
Q: What would it mean then to speak of right reason?
K: I am coming to that, sir. Just a minute.
Q: What is the difference between intellect and thought?
K: Between the intellect and thought. What is the difference between the intellect and thought. You see, I am answering all the questions, why don't you answer it?
Q: The intellect is the response of thought, as we know it.
K: The intellect, the lady says, is the response of thought.
Q: In the service of thought.
K: In the service of thought. The intellect, the lady says, is at the service of thought.
Q: It produces all the knowledge we have acquired through the thought process.
K: I am afraid we can't hear. Please, if we once understood this together it becomes very simple. We said thought is under all circumstances fragmentary because thought is limited, because thought which is the response of memory is limited. You might acquire tremendous knowledge about everything, about the world, everything in existence, and that learning results in knowledge, and that knowledge is never complete, is never whole, therefore from that knowledge, the response is thought, that thought is limited, fragmentary. That is the first principle. If that is clear, then thought operates through the intellect.
Q: Through the intellect?
Q: I don't understand what you mean by 'through' the intellect.
K: Thought is part of the intellect.
Q: It's like the structural capacity to think.
K: Yes, madam. Look, I've just looked at a first-class dictionary, and it says, the intellect is the capacity to reason, the capacity to think clearly, to understand, to grasp. So thought is in operation. When you reason thought is in operation.
Q: So then instead of saying intellect is the tool of thought, we would say thought is the tool of the intellect.
K: Thought - you see, we shouldn't really separate the two, that's what I am trying to get at.
Q: Would you say that the intellect is like a movie screen and thought projects data onto it, and they work together?
K: Use your own intellect. Use your own intellect, which is part of the mind. We are speaking in English. You and the speaker understand English, so the understanding, the verbal understanding is part of the intellect, which is thought. You translate what you hear in English and that becomes the understanding, verbal understanding of what is being said. So thought is intellect. So intellect can never be, or perceive the whole. Intellect thinks it can. Thought thinks it can see the whole. Just a minute, madam. Right? But we are saying that thought being fragmentary can never see the whole. Right, sir?
Q: It's not quite clear.
K: You are not quite clear.
Q: Is intellect anything other than the manipulation of concepts, words and images?
K: That's right. That's right.
Q: Is that all it is?
K: That's all it is. Concepts - manipulation of concepts, beliefs, ideals, reactions, imagination, all that is the function of the intellect.
Q: What about logic?
K: Logic is part of it.
Q: Logic is the manipulation.
K: Of course. Logic is the manipulation of thought. If this is clear, not because I say so, because I am not your authority, I have no authority.
Q: You said that thought was part of the intellect at one point.
K: I said that thought is that part of the intellect.
Q: But then you said that thought is intellect.
K: Yes, thought is intellect.
Q: If thought is part of intellect then it would seem...
K: All right, we'll change it. I withdraw 'part', and say it is - thought is the essence of the intellect.
Q: There is no difference, they are one and the same?
K: You observe it in yourself, sir. I say to you, 'It's a beautiful day'. You listen to the words, the words convey a certain response in your memory, which becomes a thought, and you say, 'Yes, it's a lovely day'. Which means thought is operating, conveying and all the rest of it. So thought is the movement of the intellect. Thought being limited under all circumstances, whether it is technological, aspirational, imagining there is god, or imagining there is Jesus, this, that and the other, it is essentially limited.
Q: What about the relationship between thought and mind?
K: The mind, to me, I may be wrong, please question it, go into it, the mind is the intellect, the thought, the feeling, the nervous responses, the reactions, the whole structure of human thought, the whole content, which is consciousness is the mind, in which suffering, pain, anxiety, fear, the pursuit of pleasure, fear of death, the whole of that is consciousness which is the mind.
Q: What's the function then of meditation in relationship to consciousness?
K: Meditation, what is the function of meditation in relation to consciousness. What is the function of meditation in relationship to consciousness. Sir, meditation is the process of emptying the content of consciousness. Emptying the content of consciousness, which is the content makes consciousness. If there is an emptiness, emptying of all the content, the consciousness as we know it does not exist. It's a totally different dimension. We won't discuss that because that's a tremendously complex question - we will go into it perhaps on Saturday or Sunday.
Q: Isn't the content of consciousness thought?
K: Yes, sir. The content of consciousness are all the things that thought has put in it. Please forgive me, we won't go into that because we can do it on a different occasion.
Q: Doesn't the mind stop when it realizes...
K: We haven't come to that yet, sir.
Q: Could we ask it this way: if consciousness is only the manipulation of concepts, images, symbols, memories, experiences, does it ever see anything for itself?
K: So let's see. We start now, if you all see this as an actuality, not because I tell you, that thought is fundamentally limited, and whatever it does within the area of consciousness is still limited. It can imagine consciousness is as wide as heaven, but it is still the product of thought. It can imagine the most lovely things, it is still the product of thought. It can say, there is god, it is still the product of thought. It can say anything, illusory, factual, it is still within the field of consciousness. Right?
Q: What is thought limited to?
K: No, thought is limited in itself, it is not limited to something. Goodness! Sir, you haven't seen the first thing: that thought is the response of memory, stored up in the brain as memory, which is the result of experience and accumulation of knowledge, so it is limited. Please stop there. Let's get on with it.
So what then is intelligence? You understand? If thought is fragmentary, and so the intellect also is fragmentary, and is intelligence part of this fragmentation? If it is not, then fragmentation has no relationship to the whole. That is, sir, when I say I am a Hindu, the assertion of that is based on memory, conditioning, superstition and so on, so as long as there is conditioning which is the product of thought, whatever it does is still limited, fragmentary, illusory. So the question is then, what is intelligence, if all this is not intelligence, what is intelligence? You understand my question? Are we meeting each other somewhere?
K: Not in the Oak Grove!
Q: Would intelligence be the recognition of the limitation of thought?
K: Yes, sir. Yes, sir.
K: You haven't listened to him, we are so occupied with our own conclusions. He says, is it not intelligence that realizes the limitations of thought. And we said, yes. So we are going to go into the question of what is intelligence, apart from the dictionary meaning. Because the dictionary meaning says, intelligence is the capacity to read between the lines. You understand? Legere, I won't go into it. To read between the lines, which means you must observe what occurs between two spaces of thought. I am translating it, it doesn't say that in the dictionary. It comes from the word 'legere' to read - to read, psychologically read, and read objectively 'what is', all that is implied in intelligence, that word, according to the dictionary. We are not using that word, intelligence, in that sense, because all that is implied in thought. You understand? To read very carefully between two lines, is to penetrate that which is not said through thought, that which is not printed on the page, you have to exercise thought to penetrate what is between the lines. I wonder if you get this.
So we are saying, what is intelligence.
Q: Is it the complete integration of intellect and thought?
K: No, find out. Go into it, sir. If thought is limited, whatever it does brings about conditioning. When I say, I must be brotherly, it is part of that conditioning. So whatever it does is limited and therefore conditioned. Now is intelligence the product of thought?
K: The product of reason?
Q: Intelligence is cessation of thought.
K: Is that a fact to you, or just an idea? You see, that's why I don't want to... Can thought bring about intelligence?
K: Or is intelligence totally independent of thought? And if it is independent, totally, can intelligence then use thought? Not the other way round.
Q: Intelligence is...
K: Please, just listen, forgive me, I am not being impatience, but please just listen. Which is, we said, thought is limited, fragmentary, it is the movement of time, which we will go into a little later, the question of time. And if that is so, then we are asking, does thought bring about intelligence? If it does, that intelligence is still fragmentary. Right? Therefore it cannot be intelligence. Wait, wait. So what is intelligence? If we say thought cannot bring about intelligence then intelligence is totally independent of thought. So have you listening to this grasped, or had an insight into these two facts? Insight, that is see the truth of this, that thought is limited, and thought cannot under any circumstances bring about intelligence, cultivate intelligence, under no circumstances, therefore thought is unrelated to intelligence. Intelligence we say is the capacity to see the whole - the whole of the movement of thought. The capacity to see that. The capacity to see thought is limited, to have an insight, that insight is intelligence. I wonder. Right, sir. Now wait a minute, wait. Therefore intelligence can analyze; thought because it is fragmentary, whatever it analyses will still be fragmentary. Whereas intelligence analyzing will be analyzing always with the background of the whole. I wonder if you see all this? Right?
Q: What is the whole?
K: What is the whole. What makes you ask, if I may madam, what makes you ask that question?
Q: How can you operate from the background of the whole, how can you operate from the background of anything?
K: We said thought is necessary in certain areas, the area of technology, the area of communication, verbal communication, the area where memory must function: technological, verbal, how to ride a bicycle, drive a car and so on and so on and so on, there memory must function, otherwise you wouldn't know - that would be rather insane. Now we are saying that very thought which is based on knowledge, which is necessary, that thought says, 'I can understand the whole structure of man'. So whatever it investigates will be fragmentary. Right? I wonder if you see this?
Q: Isn't it that the best it can do is to come up with a formulation or a conclusion about the whole structure of man, or the whole?
K: But it is not the whole.
Q: It is not the whole.
K: So the description is not the described, the word is not the thing. Right?
Q: But that's not it.
K: That's all it can do. Thought can describe what the mountain is, but the description is not the actual.
Q: In other words...
K: Not 'in other words', just see the fact. Right? Can we move from there?
K: By Jove it takes a long time, doesn't it?! So what is intelligence? Intelligence is the capacity to see the truth that thought is limited. And how does that capacity come into being. You understand, that was your question. It can only come into being when thought - wait, I've got it! It can only come into being when there is the art of placing - when there is the placing of thought in its right place. Have you got something? That is, I need thought to speak - not I, I am going into that presently, that question, how do you - to communicate to you verbally I need to use thought. Right? Because words have been stored up in the brain and all the rest of it. But thought thinks, I can also perceive the whole, pretends, imagines, conceives, but that is not the whole. So we are saying the perception of the whole is intelligence. And how does that perception arise which is intelligence? Right, is this clear?
Q: I don't agree that we can think our way to the whole.
Q: He didn't say that.
K: I have been saying, sir - I never said you can think your way to the whole - I said on the contrary, thought will not lead to the perception of the whole. That's simple.
Q: But intelligence will.
Q: When thought is in order then it stops and intelligence can operate.
K: No, madam, just go slowly. Golly, you don't even listen to anything. Look, I see the world fragmented. Right? The world around me - me, you, we, they, the Hindus, the Buddhists, the Christians, fragmented, broken up. All that is the operation of thought, obviously. When I say I am a Hindu, it is the operation of thought. And so whenever thought operates it can only bring about fragmentation. That's an absolute fact - I won't go back on that, repeat, repeat. So thought can never make its way through to intelligence. So how does this intelligence come into being?
Q: The recognition of a thought as a thought, and only a fragment, is the beginning of intelligence.
K: I said so, we said so just now. He asked that question, that gentleman asked that question, and we said, yep!
Now let's go on, sir. Thought cannot bring about order in itself.
Q: It thinks it can.
K: See the difference. Thought thinks it can bring about order in itself. But thought being limited, whatever its order, is limited. I am using logic, simple. So the capacity to put thought in its right place is intelligence. That is, I do require knowledge, experience which will give me knowledge, therefore memory and thought, all that. That's clear. So to put that in the right place is intelligence. So that intelligence comes into being only when thought realizes whatever it does is limited, when it realizes its own limitation.
Q: Thought realizes.
K: Thought, oh, yes. Can thought realize its own limitation - you are asking?
K: What do you say? No, what do you say? Just think about this.
Q: It is still a thought, sir, no. If thought realizes its limitations it is still part of thought.
K: Of course.
Q: And so we suffer.
K: No, don't bring in suffering, please. My golly! So we are saying, thought cannot make its way or cultivate intelligence. Intelligence comes into being when thought sees - I must be careful here.
So, may I go into something else for the moment, totally related to what I am saying? To observe the mountain, how do you observe the mountain? There they are in a mist. Watch it, sir, watch it, look at it. Look at it first. How do you observe that mountain, that thing called mountain.
Q: I look.
K: How do you look at it, apart from your eyes, apart from visual perception, the nerves, the retina and so on, the nerves and so on, conveying to the brain, the shape of the mountain, all that. How do you look at it?
Q: We look at the mountain with the image, which is the word 'mountain'.
K: Yes, the word creates the picture, and the picture indicates that it is the mountain.
Q: That's not true.
K: That's not true, he says. You discuss with him, sir. Go on discuss it. Sir, don't say it is true, or not true, have a dialogue with him, friendly dialogue.
Q: When you see that it's a mountain first, but if you see the mountain first with no word involved, you just see it in the now, that it's a piece of land, you don't need to think about it being a piece of land you just see a mountain. There's no image involved in the past. It's in the present and it's just there.
Q: What is it?
Q: Well if you ask, what it is, then you have to give a name to it. Just look at it and not ask what it is, just look at it in the now, you are not thinking about what it is, or what it is going to become, you are just thinking of what you are looking at, you just standing and looking, you are just looking. There's no thought involved.
Q: What is the relationship between pain and intelligence?
K: Sir, we haven't even come to that.
Q: Sir, you can look at the mountain without the image.
K: You can look at the mountain, the gentleman says, without the image. Of course, sir, you can, just to observe without a picture.
Q: But I question that.
K: Sir, that's what you two have decided. That means what? To observe without the word. Right? Without the picture that you have conceived as a mountain. Right? Without the response which mountains awaken in you, just to observe. Just to observe. In that observation there is you and the thing you observe, so there is a distance between you and the thing you observe. Right? And the distance is time, to go there and so on. That distance brings a division. Right? Now can you look - please listen - can you look at your boy friend, or husband, or wife, can you observe without the name, without the picture, without the image, without all the movements that have taken place between you and her, or her and you, which is division. Right? Come on, please. Can you observe without the distance, that distance, time, interval. That's easy to look at the mountain! But can you look at your wife, or boy, or whatever it is, without the word, without the image which is the result of all your conflict, the struggle, the pain, the insults, the nagging, the pleasure, the fear, the domination, the attachment, all that brings about a division. Right? The division takes place when there is the observer. Right? Who is the past. So can you observe without all that, your wife, your girl friend? Go on, sir, look at it.
Q: If you do that then there is no observation.
K: On the contrary. If you do that, the gentleman says, there is no observation. All this is preventing you from observing the actual. Right? Right?
K: Watch it, sir. Don't question me, watch it in yourself. My ambition to become the most important executive in my business, or whatever it is, is separating me from her. Right? Because I am concerned with myself. And she is concerned with herself - her fulfilment, her blah, blah, blah. So is there an observation - please listen to this, because I am going to relate it presently to intelligence - is there an observation without the word, the image, the picture an so on?
Q: Yes, there is.
K: Don't say, yes, or no, sir, look, find out. What happens then if there is no division between you and her, which is the division of thought, memory, remembrances, conclusions, when there is none of that between you, what takes place?
K: You are observing her, or him, for the first time. No? So in the same way observe the movement of thought, be aware of the movement of thought so that this awareness puts thought in its right place. You understand? And this awareness is choiceless, because if there is choice there is immediately thought, and this awareness, penetrate it more and more in that awareness, it becomes attention. Right? I wonder if you are following all this.
K: Of course you are not. So attention means what? Attention can only take place when there is no centre as memory, conclusion, which are all the movements of thought. So attention implies no centre as the 'me' at all. The 'me' is put together by thought. So when there is no 'me' attention is intelligence. Fight me!
K: No, first, have you understood, please. I must ask that question first before you attack me. Just a minute, sir, just a minute. Before you jump on me, have you understood what I have said? Be clear, otherwise what you say will have no relation to what I am saying. Right? I said - I'll repeat it carefully - I said you observe your wife or your husband; when you observe the observer is made up of the past. The past is your thoughts, your memories, your remembrances about her, all that. Now can you look at her without all these images, pictures, and all the rest of it? And that is only possible when there is great awareness of the movement of thought. Right? Can you observe your wife, or your whatever it is, without the movement of thought? The movement of thought occurs only when there is choice. I say, 'Yes, she has been good to me', and hold on to that, or hold on to, 'Oh, she has been etc., etc.'. So where there is choice there is no awareness because it is still the operation of thought. So to observe without the observer is to be totally aware of her, or her, me, you. So then in that awareness if there is no choice there is supreme attention. Attention can only take place when there is no movement of thought as the 'me', with all my pictures and all the rest of it. And that is intelligence.
Now, have you understood my statement? You may not agree, you may say, that's all blah, anything you like, but first understand what I have to say.
Q: How does that awareness arise?
K: I'll show you how. I have carefully pointed out: look at the mountain. Can you look at the mountain without the picture, without the word, without the symbol, without all the reactions arising out of seeing it - beautiful, ugly, I don't like that, I like - you follow? So can you observe that, which is fairly easy, but can you observe your wife and your girl friend, or your boy friend without the image, the name, all the accumulated pleasures and so on and so on?
Q: I can do that for a short space.
K: You do that for a short space, you can do that temporarily, for a short space, then it comes back. So what happens? Go on, just watch it carefully, watch it, sir, in yourself. Temporarily you may have this, awareness, and then the other things overflows. That temporary thing becomes a memory, doesn't it - I have had it for a second. And that remembrance makes thought demand more, wants more of that temporary remembrance, or that remembrance which was temporary. You understand, sir? I'll show it to you.
Why am I working for you all?
Q: We are working together.
K: Oh, you are not.
Q: So what quality in us does it take to use this awareness?
K: I am showing it to you, madam. It's not what quality. Can you observe the mountain without the word, just to observe. That's fairly easy, isn't it. You can. If you are interested in finding out what observation is you can do that. But now apply that to your wife, or to your husband or to your wife. Can you look at her, or him, without the name, without the remembrance, you follow, all that, can you?
Q: Is understanding a part of intelligence or a part of thought?
K: Understanding can only take place when your thought is not in operation. When you are silently listening for the first time.
Q: If I went to the mountain and I see an image...
K: Sir, did you hear what the speaker just now said to that question? If my mind is chattering while you are talking, telling me something, I can't understand it. Right? Because I am thinking of something else. But if I stop thinking of something else, and listen to what you have said, I understand you.
Q: How can I stop thinking?
K: No, I said very carefully, sir, - I'll stop thinking - that's all wrong. I said please you don't follow it step by step that's why. I said, sir, do quietly listen. Forgive me if I insist on asking this. I said first look at the mountain. Can you look at the mountain without the word? And perhaps some of you who have gone into the question of observation, to see, may understand this. And I said the next thing is, can you observe your intimate friend, your wife or your husband, or boy or girl, to observer - please listen - to observe her is only possible, or him, when the memories, conclusions, all the images which thought has built about her are in abeyance. Then you can see her as she is, as it is. Right? I have said this, very clear and very simple. That can only come when you are aware of the movement of thought. That is all I have said. Yes, sir?
Q: You are saying that intelligence operates in me only when I look at somebody else's wife.
K: I said your wife, your girl friend, not somebody else's wife, or somebody else's man. This is too absurd. Either you are serious, sir, either you are serious or you are making this into a picnic.
Q: I am trying to understand.
K: Please, sir, if you want to have an amusement I'll walk out, I'm not interested.
Q: There are some serious people here.
Q: I assure you that there are some serious people here. Now you say that by observing or being aware of thought then you can look.
K: No, sir, listen to what I have said. I have said, if you are aware of the movement of thought, be aware of the movement of thought, how it functions, how it operates. You follow?
Q: That is not stopping thought?
K: No, I said observe it, sir, which doesn't mean stopping it.
Q: I think that has to be cleared up because when you look at the mountain...
K: Sir, please, you haven't even...
Q: I understand what you say, but when you look at the mountain a thought comes in and it's a mountain...
K: Then you are not watching the mountain.
Q: What do I think, do I have to stop thinking it's a mountain, and look at the mountain?
Q: By saying that you get away from looking at the mountain.
K: Sir, leave the mountain now. I am glad there are no coals or oil up there. Leave the mountain. Can you look at your wife, or your girl friend, or at yourself, which is much better - can you watch yourself, what you think, what you feel, what you want, what your pleasures are, sex, can you look at yourself without any previous conclusions, without saying, this is good, this is bad, I am beautiful, I am ugly, I am not so intelligent as you are, this, that - just watch, look at yourself as though you are observing yourself in a mirror. The mirror doesn't distort, unless the mirror is crooked. The mirror doesn't distort. In the same way look at yourself. Can you do that? Which means can you be aware of the movement of your thoughts? Without any distortion? The moment distortion takes place thought is in operation.
So we proceeded from there to be aware. And if you are aware, if there is any choice, that choice distorts observation. If you say, well, 'My nose must be straight', you are not looking at the mirror. So where there is choice awareness is a distorting factor. When there is no choice, that means in that awareness you are aware of the movement of thought, movement, not stopping it, and that awareness brings about the right place to thought, the right place to thought. And that awareness if there is a penetration more deeply is attention. In that attention there is no centre from which you are attending. If there is a centre that is the movement of thought. You can see if you give - please just listen - if you give all your attention to something there is no centre. Right?
Q: What actualizes the attention, that supreme attention in which there is no centre, even if you are not aware of it.
K: No, you haven't followed the whole step. You haven't followed the whole picture, the whole thing that we have been saying. There is no incentive, there is no motive.
Q: I realize that. I am just asking what actualizes that first? Are you saying there is supreme attention in the now.
K: Sir, would you listen to a statement without making an idea of it, without distorting it, without making a conclusion of it? I will make a statement. I say, the ending of sorrow is the beginning of intelligence. Listen to it, just listen to it, without drawing a conclusion, making an abstraction of it.
Q: What is the name of that thing that is looking without commenting on it.
Q: What is it that sees thought and sees thought's limitation? Is it thought itself?
K: If it is part of thought then it is still limited. You haven't got the roots of the matter.
Q: Sir, the interval, the space between me and what I have observed, what happens when I believe that I perceive that, or I have perceived that as a fact, and then my thought begins to take over once more? At that point. I believe that thought has been silent completely, and it is no longer, thought is in operation, that's my impasse.
Q: Why doesn't the silence continue - I think that's what he is asking.
K: Sir, are you asking, is intelligence continuous? Right? So that one moment you are intelligent and the rest of the day you are unintelligent. So you say, can this intelligence be sustained, last several days. Is that what you are asking? The moment you have asked that question, the question is not an intelligent question, because you are introducing thought which says, 'I must have it for a whole day'.
K: Ah, you don't see the beauty of all this.
Q: Sir, what does it mean for awareness to penetrate thought?
K: No, I didn't say that. I said, sir, please would you listen, I must stop because you can't sustain this for an hour and a half, your brains won't stand this. I said can you be aware, as you are aware of the tree, as you are aware of the colour of the dress you are wearing, the person who is sitting next to you and the sky, the trees, can you be aware, watch, the movement of thought? Then you say, who is watching. If thought is watching itself, it stops movement. You understand this? If I watch myself being angry, I stop being angry. Right? If I watch myself being happy, happiness stops.
So can you be aware of your movement of thought? This awareness is not identified with thought, just to watch it, sir, like watching this microphone, watch it. But if I say, 'It's a microphone, it's that colour, this, who is sitting behind it' I am not watching. So I say can you watch yourself as though you were looking at a mirror that doesn't distort? And I said, when there is this alert watchfulness which is awareness in which there is no choice, that moves into attention, in which there is no centre from which you attend. So when there is complete attention, with your heart, with your mind, with everything you have, to attend, then that intelligence begins to operate. Right.
Ojai 4th Public Dialogue 14th April 1977
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