Bombay 4th Public Talk 1st February 1981
May we continue with what we were talking about yesterday? We were talking about time and action, and we were saying that if you allow time in action then conflict arises. We said yesterday that there are three types of time - genetic time, biological time, that is genetic, psychological time and time by the watch, day light, sunlight. There are three types of time and we were talking mostly yesterday about psychological time, the time we allow to do something. Time is necessary to learn a language, to learn a technique, to learn a skill, and to go from here to there needs time physically, and we were asking if there is time in the field of psychology, in the field of the psyche? That is, the inward state of man, his responses, his anxieties, his depressions, his immense loneliness, fear, sorrow, and does it take time to end these? That is, is it necessary to have time to end fear, anxiety, to comprehend the whole nature of loneliness or to end sorrow. We have dealt with it rather briefly and perhaps it may be necessary to go into it again.
But before we go into that, I would like to talk about beauty, not the beauty of a face, or a dress, or the beauty of a gesture, the beauty that lies in a word, but the beauty of a tree. If you approach it commercially, that is, make a profit out of that tree, then you don't see naturally the enormous, the intrinsic essence of the beauty of a tree. And we consider beauty in a picture, in a painting, in architecture, the marvellous cathedrals, the old temples, and the extraordinary silent beauty of a mosques; we pass them by, we never look at them with all our hearts and minds and feel the quality of a tree that is alone in a field. We have lost all that quality of perceiving beauty. We think beauty lies in a statue, in a building, in a woman or in a man. When you look at a mountain in the still sky of an evening with the light on it, the enormous weight and the grandeur and the solemnity of a mountain, the very beauty of it, the magnificent skyline of it against a clear blue sky, you become utterly silent, all your thoughts, and your worries, and your problems are driven away for a moment and you face this and you say how beautiful it is. I don't know if you have ever seen a mountain or a tree. When you look at the vast expanse of the sea with all its quiet undercurrent, the tremendous weight of water, and the crushing of the waves against the sands. If you do look, for the moment you are not there, only the sea, only the tree, only the magnificent mountain, and the deep valley with all its shadows, you are not there when you see beauty. I wonder if you understand this.
You with your worries, with your money problems, or if you have problems with your wife or your husband, your loneliness, your despair, all that is put aside when you see something magnificent, which indicates there is only beauty and truth and love in you if your problems are not there. And to act from that sense of beauty which is morality, for us morality is being more or less dictated by society, by the circumstances in which we live or according to the sanctions, edicts, of a religious establishment. But there is the sense of beauty in which alone there is morality which is to act, which is to behave, to conduct oneself. Without that beauty you have no morality.
So we must go into this question this evening, not only what is the mind or the brain that perceives the enormity of beauty and truth and also morality which is to behave correctly, to conduct oneself with dignity, with respect for others, with homage, with a sense of right action. If we could go into this very carefully, perhaps we shall discover for ourselves, living in a world that is becoming more and more dangerous, more and more ugly, destructive, degenerating, we will be able to find for ourselves a sense of great beauty from which alone love, good behaviour, all that comes.
You know verbal communication is not really communication at all. You hear the words, they have a certain meaning to you and perhaps the speaker is using words which may have a different content altogether. So communication becomes rather complicated. The speaker would like to tell you what it is to live in a sense of total wholeness, complete action in which the self is not. And where there is self, the `me' with all one's problems, with all one's despairs, anxieties, miseries, confusion, and in that state one tries to find right action, in that state one tries to find clarity. And a confused mind can never find clarity. You may go to all the temples, read all the books, follow all the gurus with all their absurdities, one never will find this clarity of perception. And to understand the nature of what is action and correct action, right action and to find out for oneself, not be told, not be guided, but to find in oneself, the action which is utterly moral, in which there is no sense of regret, sense of hurting and so on. So together let us explore this question of behaviour. Why human beings throughout the world are behaving so utterly crazily, so utterly without any meaning, living a life that has no depth, no substance. And life is action. Life is action in relationship. There is no other action - perhaps the action of sending man to the moon, that is a different kind of action. There, thousands were needed to put together a machine that could go to the moon. There, they worked for prestige, a sense of accomplishment, and also for money. They co-operated together to produce a marvellous machine that could travel to the moon and return. But we human beings seem to be utterly incapable of finding out for ourselves, not from books, not from another, but for oneself deeply how to behave. There are all kinds of theories about behaviour, the behaviourist, the theory of what makes man behave as he is doing, what makes him so corrupt, so utterly undignified, without any sense of beauty, sensitivity, affection, care. And could we this evening go into this question of why you, as a human being, living in this extraordinary beautiful world - the earth is very beautiful, the rivers, the seas, the mountains - why we live such shabby, ugly, cruel lives.
What is action, which is behaviour, in our daily life, not a theoretical action, not an ideological action, nor the action established by a doctrine, by a faith, by a belief, or by someone who is your leader, religiously or otherwise? What is action in our relationship with each other? How do we behave? When you look into yourself, if you ever have, when you look about you, the squalor, the dirt, the appalling corruption, all that we have created; we have not created nature, the tiger, the marvellous rivers, thought has not created them, but we have created the world in which we live. And that world is action. You cannot live without action, without relationship, which is, action is a movement in relationship, whether that relationship be most intimate or casual and so on. Why do we behave this way? We take drugs, alcohol, we indulge in so many useless ugly destructive ways. Why? Is it that we are escaping from ourselves? Is it that we are bored with life? Please examine what the speaker is saying. See it in your own life. Is it that we are trying to escape from this enormous weight of sorrow and loneliness? You may have been married with children, you may have - I hope - a good affectionate caring husband or wife, you may have all this, but inwardly, deeply, there is a sense of abiding loneliness. Is it that we are escaping from that, which is the action? You understand? That is why perhaps we are cruel, we are indifferent, because we are so concerned with our own loneliness.
What is loneliness? You understand this? Do you follow this? Because most of us are lonely. We want out of that loneliness companionship, we escape from it through every form of entertainment, religious as well as that which is most amusing. We escape in so many ways. But like a deep disease that must be cured it is always there. So one must go into this very carefully because if we don't understand it, our action, which is our daily relationship with each other will distort that relationship. That relationship then becomes merely exploiting each other to escape from this deep abiding loneliness. Why is man so lonely? I don't know if you are aware, if you have ever experienced the state of loneliness, isolation, having no relationship at all with others. Perhaps some of you have experienced this, or most of you. And if we don't understand that loneliness, our actions will be distorted. We are enquiring not only into action, but also into loneliness, which destroys, disrupts, distorts all relationship in action. Right? I hope you understand this. What is loneliness? Why is man so self-centred? Why is he so in his own life, he may have friends, married and all the rest of it, he is always concerned with himself. His actions are self-centred. He may be married, but he or she goes their way, ambitious, greedy, envious, suffering, aggressive, that is self-centred action. That is fairly clear. And is that the root of this deep loneliness of man? And can that loneliness utterly disappear? You understand my question?
As we said yesterday, when there is a hurt, psychological hurt, any action that takes place must inevitably be affected by the hurt. You understand this? We human beings, as we pointed out yesterday, get very hurt, not only about silly little things, but deeply hurt in not being able to fulfil, not being able to achieve, not being able to achieve, not being able to become something. We get deeply hurt and that hurt affects our actions. You can't escape from distorting action if you are hurt and we went into it. That as long as you have an image about yourself you are going to be hurt inevitably and when there is hurt, action will be destructive, will bring about conflict and so on. Now is it possible to be aware of this loneliness and not escape from it, but remain with it, not take a drink, not pick up a thriller, not rush off to some form of entertainment, but to completely, without any movement of thought, remain with that feeling of utter isolation. Then you will see, if you do that, that which one has felt as isolation disappears entirely, because it is thought that creates this sense of isolation. We went into the nature and source of thought. The source of thought which is experience. From experience you learn, which becomes knowledge - that knowledge as memory is stored in the brain, in the very brain cells and from that there is memory. And the reaction to that memory is thought. Right? This is a fact.
So from thought there is action. That is our way of life. So as thought created this sense of isolation, as thought has created this sense of `me', my house, my property, my wife, my husband, my quality. Right? My experience, this thought, which is limited because all thought is limited. Right? I wonder if you understand this? So, as we pointed out, knowledge from whatever book, from whatever experience, from any leader who says there is a great deal of knowledge I have acquired, all knowledge at whatever level, whether in the physical world or in the psychological world is always limited. There is no complete knowledge about anything. Therefore from knowledge comes thought. So thought is always limited. If one really understands the truth of this, then there is nothing sacred which thought has created. Right? So thought has built the whole psychological structure which is `me', which is `you'. And so that structure must inevitably create that sense of loneliness because thought itself is lonely. I will go into it a little bit. I have ventured on something, let's go into it. Right?
We live in disorder. Right? That is clear. Not only outwardly, but inwardly. We are confused. There is constant change, there is no stability, there is not a sense of utterly being. I will go into it. So we live in disorder. If you are aware of your own life it is obvious. What has created that disorder? Thought. Right? Thought, which is limited and any action born out of that limitation must create disorder. Right? Please, first see the logic of it, the reason, because one must exercise the intellect, and the function of the intellect is to reason, is to question, is to discern, is to weigh, balance, but reason can never solve our problems. Right? However much you may exercise logic, a way of living that is merely the pursuit of limited thought in action. So thought is the origin of disorder and thought perceives disorder and tries to create order politically, religiously and in our relationship with each other. So thought is perpetuating disorder. I wonder if you understand this. So is there an action which is not the action of thought? So we have to enquire into something, which is, what is perception.
First of all one must learn the art of listening, listening to that noise without any resistance, listening to those crows calling to each before they settle down for the night, listening to your wife, to your husband to your children, so that you listen without any interpretation of resistance or translating what you hear, just the act of listening. You understand this? The act of listening. You will see that presently. Can we perceive, that is, visually see without naming? Which is without the interference of the word? To see a tree and not name it as a tree. You understand? Why do I ask if you understand? I am not going to ask any more. It is rather stupid on my part. If you understand you will pay attention. You will understand if it really concerns your life. And as we are talking about your life, your everyday life which is fear, anxiety, sorrow, which is ambition, cruelty, we are talking about your life, if you understand your life, the depth of it, the ugliness, the shoddiness and also the great beauty that lies beyond all this, it is your life, and if you are interested to bring about a radical revolution in the psychological world you will naturally listen without any effort, without any contradiction, you will listen first to find out if the speaker has anything to say, if the speaker is telling the truth or merely indulging in a lot of idiotic theories and words. It is important to find out for yourself by listening carefully and if you listen carefully you will see for yourself in the mirror of the words which the speaker uses, you will see for yourself exactly as you are, and if you want to go very deeply, enter into a totally different world of right action, right behaviour, then it is up to you to listen with great care, with affection, with a sense of urgency, only then you will find out for yourself that the speaker is telling the truth. So I am not going to ask any more if you understand. It is up to you.
As we were saying, it is very important to learn the art of listening. You listen to a certain kind of music that you like, you listen to it day after day, with all the notes, the nuances, the silence between the notes, the depth of the sound, gradually you get used to it. It is no longer so enormously beautiful as it began, as you once heard it for the first time. So you lose the art of listening. The art of listening is to listen not only to the words, the meaning of the words, we are both speaking English, and go beyond the words, get the substance, the meaning, the full significance so that we are not only listening to the words, to the cadence of the word, but also listening to something that lies behind the words. That is the art of listening.
And also the art of seeing. To see not only with your visual eyes, but to see without the remembrance of what you have already seen, that is, when you look at a sunset with its radius, with its extraordinary light, you remember other visions, other sunsets, or seeing that sunset, you want to see it again the next day. So you remember it and when you come back the next day you look at the sunset and it is not the same, because you are merely remembering what has happened, the previous sunset, therefore you are comparing, you are losing. So can you look without any remembrance, without any picture, without any word? To look at a tree, not to name it, just to look at it; can you do the same with regard to your wife, your husband, to look, to observe, not to record all the hurts, the nagging, you know all that goes on in relationship, just to observe.
Now I am going to go into this question, which is to observe actually what is going on in ourselves. That is, to observe without any distortion, and there is distortion when there is a motive, so to observe without motive. That is the art of observing. So the art of listening, the art of seeing, perceiving, observing, the art of listening is not only with the hearing of the ear but hearing the subtleties, listening between the words, listening to the depth and the beauty, not of the speaker, but listening to something that is much more subtle. If you have learnt such an art, which is not the learning of a language which takes time, but the learning of hearing, seeing is immediate. If you are listening it is immediate in which there is no time involved at all.
What is the central factor in our life, one of the central factors? It is, all we human beings want security physically as well as psychologically. Every child wants security, that is why it clings to the mother and so on and so on. Security is one of the greatest demands that human beings make, not only upon themselves, but security in the religious world, in the political world, in action and so on. That is the basic demand, the deep demand of a human being. Security in relationship, security in a belief, security not only in the physical world, to have a house, property, in the physical world you want security. Now can we listen to the demand that each one has, listen to the demand that each one wants security, listen to it? If you listen to it carefully, do you listen with a questioning, or do you listen merely demanding that you must have security? You understand? (I've caught myself!) Can you listen to your own demand for your security? That is, to be secure in your relationship, can you listen to that demand? So do you approach, do you answer that demand with a continuous urge for security or do you question it? Do you question your demand because you are listening to it and as you are listening are you doubting the demand or merely saying, I must have security? Find out. Find out for yourself whether you are asking, demanding, insisting that you must have security in a belief, in your relationship, in a dogma or security by having faith in god or whatever you have faith in. Do you listen to your own demand and if you listen are you listening with doubt, with scepticism, with asking, questioning or do you listen to it without any motive so completely that you will discover for yourself if there is security at all?
Are we doing it together? Or are you merely listening to the speaker or translating what he is saying into an abstraction, into an idea, the idea is not a fact, it is an abstraction, it has no reality. What has reality is your urge, search, longing for security in every direction because one thinks in security there will be no confusion, no sense of despair, you are secure, safe, protected. Do you listen to it carefully? That is, listen without any motive, therefore listening without any direction? And if you do, do you find out the truth about security that in your relationship with another there is no security at all? You may be attached to another, as one may be attached to a faith, to a belief, to a concept. You are attached to your wife or your husband or whatever it is. In that attachment is there security? And in attachment one feels one is secure. But see the consequences, listen to the consequences of attachment. There is fear, there is jealousy, anxiety, continuous possessive assertion, which all means that attachment breeds fear, can you listen to that. Can you observe the movement of attachment? Observe, you can't watch naturally with your eyes, but watch this movement taking place, as you can watch anger arising, so similarly can you watch and listen to the movement of attachment? So you will discover for yourself where there is attachment of any kind there must be corruption. You are not accepting the statement of the speaker, but you are discovering it for yourself, you see the truth of it, and therefore when you perceive - please listen carefully to this - when you perceive without any motive the nature of attachment, how attachment arises, out of loneliness, wanting some comfort, wanting security, when you see the implications not only logically, but see in depth the nature of attachment and listen to it completely without any motive, that attachment comes to an end, which does not mean you become callous, which does not mean that you become indifferent. You see, when you end something you are seeking something else. You understand? You say, if I end attachment what is there? That is, in the ending you are becoming. This is too complicated.
So can you observe, listen to yourself? We will take the question of fear. Most of us have various types of fear. Fear of the boss, fear of loneliness, fear of death, fear of not achieving what you want, fear of failure, many kinds of fears. Fear of tremendous loneliness and fear of not being able to do something which you want to do. We are burdened with an enormous sense of fear. Now can you listen to it? Can you observe your fear without trying to overcome it, trying to run away from it, suppress it, can you observe the nature of fear, how it arises? What is the movement of it, the whole nature of fear, can you observe it? Take your own particular fear, it may be darkness, it may be of your guru, it generally is, it may be fear of your wife, or husband, take your own particular form of fear and look at it. Of course you can't look at it visually, but you can feel it. You can feel it as it arises. And listen to it very carefully. Then you begin to enquire what is fear. Who created it, how does it come about? You can only ask that question when you are really listening to it. That is, suppose I have a fear of not achieving enlightenment, or achieving some political nonsense, or some religious nonsense, suppose I have a fear, can I listen to it so that it tells me the whole story, how it arose, how it came into being. Let fear tell the story, not I. You see the difference? So I am listening to the story of fear. The story is age, time beyond measure. It has been there with man from the beginning of time. Physical fear and psychological deep, unresolved, undiscovered fear, deeply in the resources of one's own mind. Now can I listen to it? To listen to it thought must not interfere. That is, to give a motive to the fear, saying, I must go beyond it, I must escape from it, it is terrible to be afraid - all the rationality of fear, and condemning it. Without that, can I listen? As I listen, it tells me the story, which is, time is the factor of fear, time, then as I listen it says, what is time. Don't say, who is asking the question, it is asking itself, it is moving, a living thing like a river that is moving. If it is only a seasonal river which is not great value, but a river which has got great volume of water behind it which fear has, then you can listen to it. In listening to it, it says, I am born out of time. Time is the factor that created fear. Time is the movement from here to there. Time is thought. So time and thought are the factors of fear - it is telling me, which is so obvious. It is very clear. That is, time, which is, something happened yesterday or a week ago which has caused, brought about a sense of fear, that fear is recorded in the brian, and that recording of an experience and the recording is a matter of time. That time may be instant, immediate but it is still within the field of time. Thought thinking about the cause of fear of yesterday or a week ago, remembers that incident, has recorded it and says, remembrance of the past is a factor of fear.
So time and thought have brought about fear. Look at it for yourself. You are discovering it. The speaker is not telling you. You are your own authority. There is no authority because then if you follow the authority, the statement of the speaker then you have not understood the nature of fear. But if you listen to your own fear very carefully then you will discover for yourself it is a matter of time and also, thought has created fear. So thought is time. Thought as time creates, brings about fear. That is the story which, in listening, in seeing, I have discovered, which is, you are discovering, not me. When you discover it, don't move away from what you have discovered. That is, I have discovered time and thought are the factors of fear: remain with that. Don't move away from it. Have you ever watched the new moon or the full moon? Watched it perhaps for five or ten minutes, even for a minute, without any movement of thought? Then you begin to see the beauty of a new crescent moon, the slip of it, the enormity that it is going to become. So if you watch very carefully this sense of fear, listen to the whole story of it. You know when a child is telling you a story, if you listen to your child who is telling you a story, you don't interrupt in the middle of it, you listen to it, you listen to it with great care because he enjoys telling some story which he has invented and you listen to it with care, with affection, though it may be nonsense you are full of affection so you listen, listen, listen. In the same way listen to fear, till the story is complete. Then you will see there is no fear at all.
And a mind, a brain that has no fear psychologically is an extraordinary brain; and it is very important to understand because a brain that is afraid can never understand the nature of the mind, which we will talk about some other time.
So we are learning the art of listening and seeing. In the seeing and in the listening there is no learning. Learning means accumulation which becomes knowledge - please follow this carefully - in listening and in seeing there is no learning from which you accumulate knowledge as you accumulate knowledge in mathematics or in physics. Here there is only seeing and listening. There is no learning. Therefore the brain is beginning to free itself from the known. Come on sirs. As we were saying, man has never been free from the known. The brain has always recorded, which becomes knowledge and knowledge is limited, therefore man, whatever he does, is limited. He is limiting himself, making himself fragmentary, broken up. And when you are listening very carefully without any motive, seeing without any distortion, in that there is no accumulation, so that next time you listen and see the previous knowledge doesn't interfere, you are listening afresh each time. Seeing each time anew. The tree is never the same, the sea is never the same, but if you look at it with your knowledge, with your words, then the tree is just a tree. But if you listen to the tree, to the sea and perceive the nature of fear, listen to it so completely to the last page of its story, then you will find that fear comes to an end, not that you become courageous, not that you become something beyond fear, the ending is important, not what lies further, because if you are enquiring what lies beyond fear then you are not listening to fear. It is very important if you want to listen, listen so completely, with your heart, with your whole being to fear, then that fear ends. And the brain then becomes extraordinarily active, alive.
And likewise listen to pleasure because man throughout the ages from time immemorial has sought pleasure, sexual pleasure, the pleasure of possession, pleasure of an athlete, pleasure in competition, in achievement, pleasure in having power, position, prestige, that is what man is seeking all the time, pleasure, pursuing pleasure in different forms. Now can you listen to it? Listen to it and not say, I must pursue pleasure, just listen to it. Because in pleasure there is a great deal of desire involved in it. Pleasure and desire go together.
And we went into the question of desire the other day, how it arises, which is, if one may repeat it briefly, there is seeing a dress, a car or a woman or a nice picture or a house or a lovely garden, seeing, then touching it, feeling it, then sensation, then thought creating the image, you having the garden or that dress. From that, desire arises and desire and pleasure go together. And if you can listen to it so completely then you discover for yourself pleasure and fear are two sides of the same coin. So you are beginning to discover for yourself the nature of pleasure. It is always insubstantial. Pleasure is never ending. You always want more, more, more. The ultimate pleasure is god. So can you listen very carefully to your own demand for pleasure, to your own state of brain when it is afraid so that you begin to see for yourself the source of it, how it arises, and the ending of fear? And when there is the ending of fear, pleasure undergoes a radical change. There is no longer the pursuit of it. This is the story of fear and pleasure.
Without understanding fear and pleasure however much you may seek truth, enlightenment, good behaviour unless these are radically, deeply understood, then action becomes a conflict, a repetitive thing. So there is an action which is not born of thought, which is the seeing and the listening and acting immediately, which means allowing no time between action and seeing. That requires a brain that is active. That is why it is important, as we pointed out the other day, that to observe the sea, the tree, the beauty of a night, with all your senses, not just one part of your senses, with all your senses which means all your brain, with your heart to observe, then that observation is action itself.
Bombay 4th Public Talk 1st February 1981
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