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Rishi Valley 1984

Rishi Valley 1st Talk with Students 7th December 1984

K: What shall we talk about this morning? What would you like to talk about? No? What interests you? What would you like to do, or talk about?

S: Fear.

K: Fear? I thought you were rather fed up with that word. Do you really want to talk about fear? Yes? All of you want to talk about fear?

S: Comparison.

K: Comparison. Anything else? Fear, comparison and something else? Some of the older people there, the older boys.

S: Love.

K: Love. Good lord! Fear, comparison, love and what else?

S: Prejudice.

K: Prejudice. Fear, comparison, love, prejudice. Now which would you like to talk about first? Among those four questions, which would you like to talk about first? Go on. This is not an examination so you don't have to be afraid. Shall we talk about prejudice first? Do you know what that word means? Prejudge. That means you don't know me but you have already judged me. Right? You don't know something but you already have an opinion about it, a judgement about it. So out of that arises prejudice. Have you prejudices? Of course you have. You don't like certain people, or a certain class of people, because you are prejudiced against them. You mightn't like your teachers but you may be prejudiced against them. Right? Have you got prejudices? Have you? You are all very silent. Don't you talk? Would you all like to sit quietly? Then talk! Or have you lost your tongues? Good lord, don't you talk? All right, I'll also sit quietly. Until you talk to me I won't talk to you. There we are!

S: Why is it that one gets prejudiced?

K: You understand the word prejudice? You don't belong to my caste, to my group, to my ideological community, so I am prejudiced against you. It arises, doesn't it, from having an opinion about somebody. Do you know what opinion means? No? Yes? Have you opinions?

S: Yes.

K: Why? I have an opinion about the prime minister? Right? I have an opinion about the governor, or about the man next door, or about your educator, your teacher, or you might have an opinion about me. Right? Why do you have opinions? You don't know me so why have opinions about me? You really don't know your teacher, what he thinks, what he feels, what his life is, whether he is unhappy or happy, whether he is ambitious and so on. You don't know anything about him but you already have an opinion about him. Right? From that opinion you have a prejudice, you are prejudiced. So why do you have opinions at all?

S: It appears as though opinions are inherent in us.

K: Is there anything inherent in human beings? Why do we take anything for granted that there is something inherent? You know what that word inherent means? Something born, something established; inherent in, say for instance, a tamarind tree, it is inherent that tree is a tamarind. Right? Have we human beings anything inherent? Or it is cultivated? You understand? Or educated?

S: It is cultivated.

K: Cultivated. Who cultivates it?

S: We do.

K: We ourselves. Right? Why? Think it out. Don't say, just think it out. Why do you have inherent prejudice, who cultivated it? Your parents? Or you belong to that caste, your parents say, 'I don't like that man' and you say, 'I also don't like him.' Is there anything that is part of you, anything that is inherent, inborn, or is it cultivated? If it is cultivated, it is either cultivated by your friends, by your parents, by your community, by your society. Right? So why do your parents have them? Why does society educate you to have prejudices?

And would you ask also what is society? Discuss with me, come on!

S: Sir, society seems to depend on prejudices.

K: Prejudices. Yes. So have you asked what is society? What is the society? Don't go to sleep! Come on you older people up there: what is society? Who created this society? The social structure? You know what society is? The government, the bureaucracy, the community, the individuals in the community and their relationship with the community, with the government, with the whole bureaucratic, religious structure around us. That's generally called society. Agreed? Would you agree to that? Hey, don't you talk? I am sure you do, you chatter away like monkeys, but here you refuse to talk. Are you nervous? Are you shy? If you don't talk with me, how am I to talk with you? I won't hit you, I won't beat you, I won't bite you! Are you not used to asking questions, trying to find out? Or you just read books, memorize, and pass exams? Is that it? How am I to talk to you if you don't talk to me? Shall we keep silent again?

S: Sir, I'd like to know about prejudice which you create for yourself.

K: By all human beings.

S: By yourself, not by the others around you.

K: You have prejudices.

S: Because somebody has done something.

K: Somebody has done something to you and therefore what? You get prejudiced against him? Either that prejudice is friendly, or antagonistic. Right?

S: How can you have a friendly prejudice?

K: How can you have friendly prejudice - don't you have friendly prejudice about your friend? You say, he is a nice man, or a nice girl, nice boy. You see we all have prejudices, unfortunately. Those prejudices prevent us from looking, observing, understanding another. Right? If I have prejudices against you, I won't be able to understand what you are talking about, or what you want to tell me, I cut you off. So to find out what you are, what you are actually telling me, I mustn't have prejudices, I mustn't have opinions, I must be free to listen to you. And by listening to you very carefully I understand you, what you want to tell me. But you are frightened of me, then I can't communicate with you, or prejudiced, or you have opinions about me. What is important is not to have prejudices, not to have opinions, so that you can understand, look at people. If you have prejudice you can't love people.

S: Sir, after meeting the person and if you find he is very stubborn, not very nice, then you form an opinion.

K: Of course. But he may be very nice, you may think he is not nice, but he may be very nice, you have to find out. And if you want to find out whether he is nice or not you have to listen to what he has to say. You can't have prejudice beforehand. Or even after. One must have a free mind, a free brain to understand something.

S: When you say you understand a person, it is also a prejudice.

K: No. I want to understand you. I want to listen to what you are saying. I want to find out why you think this, or that. Right?

S: You can't say anything about anyone.

K: You come over here. Come out here. Come and sit down.

S: What I am saying, it is the same thing, I mean if I say I understand a person, then that is another prejudice again.

K: No, no. Is that a prejudice? I understand, not you because I don't know you, I understand, say for instance, Mr Narayan. I have known him for a number of years and I have talked to him and he has talked to me, he has told me his problems, and I have understood. I have talked to him, I have communicated with him.

S: Then you can't really describe a person as he is.

K: No, I can't. Therefore I am not prejudiced.

S: Is that all there is to it then?

K: No. There is much more to it. A human being is a very complex person. Right? Very complex. I have only understood Mr Narayan very, very little, and that little doesn't prejudice me. I say I understand a little. And I really don't know Mr Narayan.

S: So you can't say anything about him unless you know him.

K: That's all, that's all. So I have no prejudice. I can't say, I know Mr Narayan. That would be stupid on my part if I say, 'I know Mr Narayan'. Right? I only know a little bit, that which he has told me, which he has conveyed to me, and so on. Very little. But if I want to know him, and he will allow me to know him - you understand - then I can talk to him, I can discuss with him, I can spend days with him. Right? Then I begin to say, 'I know, somewhat, Narayan'. There is no prejudice involved. Agreed?

S: Sir, there is a friend of mine, whenever I talk to him, suppose he rebukes me or something, and the next time I don't talk to him, isn't that prejudice?

K: I wouldn't call that prejudice. You talk to me and I insult you, and you don't like it, that's not prejudice. I have been rude to you, unfortunately, that doesn't make a prejudice. You say, he has been rude to me.

S: Then in future he will always attribute the quality of rudeness to that person and then he will keep avoiding that person.

K: Why?

S: Because you have attributed rudeness to him.

K: No, just listen. I have been rude to you - suppose. Then you avoid me. Right? Why?

S: I am afraid of getting hurt by you again.

K: Wait a minute. You are afraid of getting hurt again. Right? Now what do you mean by getting hurt?

S: Well I don't like the way you have behaved to me. Therefore I avoid you.

K: Quite right. Now what is it that is getting hurt?

S: Well I don't like what you said about me.

K: I know. You don't like what I said about you. Right?

S: Yes. And I'm afraid it will be repeated and I don't want to be insulted again and therefore I avoid you.

K: What is it that is getting hurt? You understand my question?

S: My feelings.

K: No, your feelings - what do you mean by your feelings? What is it - listen carefully - what is it that is getting hurt? You said, me, my feelings. What is 'me'? Think it out.

S: Could it be my ego that is hurt?

K: You come out here! Come on. I am glad you are a boy, there is a girl here, so come and sit here. Now what do you mean by ego?

S: Say, like I think of myself as a person, like I think of myself as someone and someone says I am not that person, it hurts me.

K: That's right. What is that person? What are you? Sit comfortably.

S: Well I think myself to be.

K: I know. What do you think yourself to be? Go on, old boy. You said that you would get hurt if somebody was rude, your ego. Now what do you mean by your ego? Why do you mean you? What are you?

S: What I thought of myself.

K: Yes. What have you thought of yourself? You mightn't like to tell us but what have you thought about yourself? That you are a great man? That you are clever?

S: Yes sir.

K: That you are much more intelligent than me?

S: Yes.

K: Or somebody else.

S: Well I don't know that I compare my intelligence with another person. I mean I just know my own capacity to do something. That's all. But I don't think I have to compare myself with another.

K: I didn't say that. If you act according to your capacity then you don't compare yourself with anybody, do you? But when do you compare yourself with somebody?

S: When you think you are better than that person, or you are worse than that person.

K: You compare with somebody. Now, I compare myself with somebody here, and I feel very dull because he is much cleverer, much more beautiful, has much more capacity, he has travelled a great deal, etc., etc. So I compare myself with him, or her, and I feel dull. Right? Right?

S: Yes.

K: Why do you compare? Tell me.

S: Well you said in a person..

K: No, why do you compare? I compare myself with that person, and I feel because he is so clever, so intelligent, I feel dull. Right? So I ask myself why do I compare.

S: Sir, I think it is because I am bit insecure in myself.

K: Insecure?

S: Yes.

K: Would you come out here too?

S: OK!

K: You compare yourself with another because you are insecure.

S: Yes.

K: What do you mean by being insecure? Careful!

S: Sir, maybe something earlier has happened and I am a bit frightened by it, or a bit hurt by it. Say something happens, take for example if I do better than someone else, and then I compare my performance with that other person and I say, oh, I have done better. When I start thinking that I am not as bad as what I thought I was last evening, and it does give you a sense of security.

K: So what do you mean by having security? Careful! Careful, think it out. Look at it. A man has a lot of money, he feels secure, more or less, he is also frightened but he feels secure. A man who has great capacity, he feels secure. A man who has got a good position, like a good professor in a university, where he cannot be turned out, he feels completely safe. Like the prime minister, getting elected, he feels safe. Right?

S: You are better off than him.

K: You think so, good! You mean the prime minister or the businessman?

S: I think the prime minister would feel much less secure.

K: Much less secure? Yes, you are quite right. So what do you mean by being secure? Listen carefully, listen carefully. Everybody wants to be secure: your father, your mother, you, the prime minister, the guru, everybody, every human being on this earth wants to be secure. Now what do you mean by secure? Careful, think it out.

S: When you have no problems, and no worries.

K: That's right. No problems, no worries. That is one type. Is there a human being that has no problems?

S: No, sir.

K: Right. So he is not secure. Now go on. Who is secure in the world? Is anybody secure in the world?

S: No. Temporarily secure.

K: Temporarily secure - you are a good boy! Where have you come from?

S: Delhi, sir.

K: Delhi? Delhi is the most insecure place. Now, nobody is secure, are they? Nobody. Agree?

S: Nobody is totally secure.

K: Permanently. They may be secure for five years, or two years. There is insecurity because we are all going to die, we may lose our position, a war may come and destroy us, and so on and so on. And yet human beings all over the world want to be secure. Right? Agree? Everybody, including you, me, everybody wants to be secure. And there is no security because my wife may run away, I might fall ill, I might lose my money, I might lose my reputation. Yet the human brain - you understand, you know what the human brain is, do you? What is it? You agreed, old girl. You said, yes. What do you mean by the brain?

S: Whatever is inside our skull.

K: Yes, what is inside the skull. Quite right. Right? What is inside the skull. Now, what is inside the skull? Think it out. What is inside the skull?

S: Something that...

K: No, listen: what is inside your head, there. Be simple and then you will find out lots more if you begin simply. What is inside your skull.

S: Grey matter.

K: Grey matter. Go on. Apart from the matter, the cells, the atoms, and all the nervous - I won't go into all that. So the brain is what you think, what you feel, what you react to, what you act, what you think and so on, it is there. Now - what were we talking about?

S: About the same thing.

K: What do you mean, the same thing?

S: About feeling.

K: I know, but how did we come to the brain?

S: Sir when you were discussing prejudice.

K: Trace it.

S: From prejudice we went to discussing insecurity, from insecurity to what the brain actually is. We said insecurity makes us feel low.

K: Look old boy, you missed a step.

S: Understanding the other person.

K: I know, that's later, earlier you missed a step. Everybody wants to be secure. Right? And apparently there is no security. Right? In the temples, in the gods - Tirupati, or in bureaucracy of Delhi, or the prime minister, or the local chief minister, there is no security. Right?

S: Yes, sir.

K: But I said the brain, inside the skull, needs tremendous security, otherwise it can't function properly. You get it? Are you following this carefully? The brain, your brain, needs extraordinary security to function properly. That's natural, isn't it? If you want to function properly, physically, you must have a very good body, very healthy body. Right? You must eat properly, exercise properly, rest properly and so on. So similarly the brain which has sought security, has not found security out there, so where will it find security?

S: In itself.

K: Now, you say, in itself. Now careful, think it out. What do you mean by that?

S: The brain can think of itself as something and therefore find security.

K: Now, just think it out. Is thought secure?

S: Not always.

K: No, why? Go on. You began to talk, don't keep quiet now.

S: (Inaudible)

K: I know, old boy, he said to me - what's your name?

S: Ajit.

K: Ajit told me that the brain can think it is secure and therefore it is secure. Right? But I questioned, I said to him, is thought secure? You may think one day this, and the next day that, another something else. So is there security in thinking?

S: Sir, I think so.

K: Come in front then. At last you are all waking up.

S: Suppose you think, OK, suppose I get low marks and when I think, OK, I have the will power I can stand it, then I feel secure, OK I have the will power I can do it. I can say, it's OK. And then you feel secure.

K: I know. So I am asking you, will thinking make you secure, thinking that you are secure?

S: If you get less marks than the others you begin to compare.

K: So you find security through comparison. Right?

S: Sometimes.

K: Sometimes.

S: When you find that you are better - suppose you get more marks and you find you are better off than the other person in study.

K: All right, you get better marks than I do, suppose. You feel secure.

S: Yes.

K: But that person gets better marks than you.

S: Well I don't want to compare with the other person because I want to feel secure, and if I compare with the other person...

K: I know, old boy, that sounds nice but you are comparing.

S: Yes.

K: Yes. Therefore you are insecure when you compare.

S: I will avoid comparing with that person because I will feel insecure.

K: With anybody, not only with that person, will you stop comparing with everybody?

S: No.

K: If you compare with other people you become insecure. Right? Because somebody is much cleverer than you.

S: Yes, but what I am saying is that I won't compare with that person, I'll compare with people who less better off than me. I am looking for security.

K: I understand. So do you ever compare with somebody less than you, or always somebody better than you?

S: Well sometimes it's both ways.

K: Both ways. When do you do that?

S: Quite often.

K: Be honest.

S: Well I really don't know. Sometimes I don't even follow it up.

K: You are too lazy.

S: Well that may be the fact, sometimes I don't even think I am comparing. I don't realize it.

K: We said this, any form of comparison, any form, below or above, makes you insecure. You may compare yourself with me and feel very superior, but there is somebody else who is superior to you, therefore you are always - you follow? So through comparison, we said, there is no security. Right? Clear?

S: Yes, but then it gives you a temporary security. It gives you a temporary security.

K: A temporary security but it is not secure. Right? And I say, the brain, your brain needs security otherwise you can't function. Right?

S: Yes, sir.

K: Carefully listen. We thought there is security in knowledge, passing exams, getting more information, gathering, you follow, getting a lot of knowledge one felt secure.

S: Why do you say that?

K: Why do I say that? That's what you are all doing.

S: Well then you just said that you are insecure.

K: First see what you are doing. You are being so-called educated, god knows what that means, you are all being educated to have more knowledge, aren't you, and you use that knowledge to be secure.

S: Yes, sir.

K: Yes, sir. So is knowledge secure? Will knowledge give you security?

S: That is also a temporary thing.

K: A temporary thing. But when the brain is in a temporary state, isn't it confused? Is this getting too difficult for you?

S: A little.

K: A little difficult. All right. Let's simplify it, shall we? Suppose I have studied, what, engineering, and I am good at engineering because I have passed exams and I have got a degree, whatever that stupid degree is, I have got a degree. And - listen - she has a better degree than me, so I am already insecure.

S: Yes, sir.

K: So my knowledge, however little, or however much, it doesn't give me security.

S: But if you have got the maximum knowledge possible.

K: There is no maximum knowledge. Think it out carefully. I'll show it to you. Are you getting tired of all this, a conversation between the four of us? Are you?

S: Thought makes you feel secure and insecure.

K: Wait, I'm coming to that. That's quite right, boy.

S: Let me ask you a question. Sir, it means you can't work properly unless you have proper security, you said the brain cannot function unless it has got security.

K: Got complete security.

S: Complete security.

K: Not temporary security.

S: Where can you get it?

K: Wait, wait, wait. First put the question clearly: if the brain has temporary security it is not secure.

S: What is security?

K: First see when the brain thinks it is secure, actually it is not secure. Right? It is not secure when it says, I have got knowledge, because you have got more knowledge than I have.

S: Then why do we compare?

K: I said because we are educated to compare. In all your schools, in this school you are given better marks, aren't you.

S: OK.

K: Not, OK. Just see what you are doing first. Here in this school somebody gives you better marks than the other fellow, and you feel a little superior and you get better exams and so on and so on. So we said very carefully, where there is comparison there must be insecurity. Right? So don't compare. Don't say, yes, and then keep on comparing.

S: What will stop us?

K: Stop it because it is silly, it is so.

S: So what we are talking we can't bring in to our daily lives. You have come twice before to Rishi Valley, you have talked, we understand but then we can't put it into our daily lives.

K: Why?

S: Like you are saying, don't compare.

K: Why don't you put things which you listen to in your daily life, why don't you?

S: Because it is something that I don't think is really possible, I don't think it is possible to stop comparing.

K: Wait a minute. Do you see the danger of comparison?

S: No.

S: Yes, sir.

K: Really see it?

S: Yes.

K: Do you see it as dangerous as a cobra?

S: No, sir.

S: No.

K: That's all. If you saw something dangerous you would stop it, wouldn't you? Why don't you see comparison is really a very dangerous business?

S: Sir, I think comparison is very dangerous.

K: We said so. We said it is very dangerous. We have pointed it out.

S: How can we stop comparing?

K: Don't stop it. Don't stop comparing but just see how dangerous it is, how meaningless it is, it doesn't give you security.

S: When we get down to stop comparing we can't do it. I mean understand that it is dangerous for my security and I want to be secure, so I want to stop comparing but I can't stop comparing.

K: Oh, yes you can if you see it really is dangerous to your security.

S: By now it has almost become a kind of built-in habit.

K: So break the habit. Look, if you are scratching your head and it becomes a habit, you stop it. Right? Now just a minute, go slowly. I said the brain which now lives in insecurity all the time, therefore whatever it does is confused, don't agree, see the facts, see that's a fact. The wall is a fact you don't hit your head against it.

S: Yes, sir.

K: Right? So see the brain which now lives in insecurity, without security, whatever it does will be confused. Right? Do you see that? Face it, old boy, don't take time over it. I'll put it another way. Gosh! Are you confused?

S: Yes, sir.

K: Now when you are confused whatever you do will be confused also.

S: Yes, sir.

K: Yes? Clear? Are you quite sure? Don't agree with me, I'm not important. S: Sir, you can have clarity in thinking in some field but then you needn't have it in another field.

K: Begin with one field and you will see what you mean by clarity. How can you be clear when you are confused? How can you be clear when you are seeking security in things that don't give you security? Right?

S: Then do you mean to say that our life is a confused life?

K: Yes, sir. That's just what I am telling you.

S: What do you do about it?

K: What do I do about your confusion? Or what do I do about confusion?

S: Sir, he means what does one do about one's own confusion.

K: Now, all right. That's much better. Now what do you do about your confusion? Do you know you are confused?

S: Yes, sir.

K: Wait, wait. Don't say, yes sir.

S: Well, it's a fact.

K: It's a fact. Now think it out carefully. You are confused. Right? Do you realize whatever you think will be confused?

S: Yes.

K: Of course. Whatever you do will be confused?

S: Yes.

K: Whatever your aunt tells you will be confused?

S: No.

K: She is confused too.

S: It seems if I am confused everything is.

S: No, I don't think that everything you do will have to be confused.

K: If your brain is confused, which you said yes, then whatever the brain does, think, feel, act, whatever it does it is confused. Right? Don't agree with me, think it out. Right?

S: I'm not really sure.

K: You don't understand?

S: No, it's not that. Now I feel confused so I don't know what I am doing.

K: That's it. Therefore let's find out why you are confused.

S: How can I get confused every time I am thinking about it?

K: I'm going to help you, we are going to find out whether we can clear up this confusion. Right?

S: Sir, are we capable of doing it if we are confused?

K: You are not.

S: So then...

K: Wait, wait. That's a good question you have put. You are too quick to answer it. How can a confused brain act unconfusedly? Right?

S: Yes, sir.

K: First of all, what do you call confused, who is confused? The brain or the whole of you?

S: The whole of me.

K: Right. Except the physical organism.

S: Well the brain is me.

K: Darling, just listen. When the whole of your physical organism is confused you will be ill. You are not ill now. Right? Therefore the body has its own capacity, intelligence to function properly, the body. You eat, digest and so on, your heart functions, your liver functions and so on, there is the natural process going on. Right? Unless you fall ill, unless you catch a virus, then it becomes ill. Right? Now we are talking about the brain. The brain is confused.

S: Sir, is the confusion of the brain the cause of all these troubles?

K: Yes, sir.

S: So the brain controls the body, it helps us to do things, it tells us what do to, then how can we say that?

S: He is saying that the brain commands the body.

K: Wait, sir. If the brain is confused, as it is, the body is also getting confused, it doesn't know what to eat, it gets ill. They react on each other.

S: So what you mean is that the body is not confused but the actions of the body are confused.

K: Your body is healthy. Right?

S: Yes, sir.

K: For the moment. Your body is healthy but if your brain is not healthy it is affecting the body.

S: Yes, sir.

K: And the body will affect the brain.

S: Yes, sir.

K: It is an interrelationship between the brain and the body, it's all one.

S: Then how can you get out of that?

K: Yes, that's why I am telling you, asking you to find out whether the brain can clear itself of its confusion.

S: I don't think the brain can clear itself.

K: Don't come to any conclusion.

S: I said, I don't think.

K: Don't even say that. You say, I don't know.

S: But is it capable of doing so, a confused brain?

K: We are going to find out, sir. Right?

S: Let's go on.

K: Find out, don't say, it is capable, or, not capable.

S: If it is confused then how does it do so many things right?

K: What do you call right?

S: In some cases we don't know what to do but in many cases we know what to do.

K: You haven't got the real basis of it, old boy. You may do things out of habit, you may do things out of tradition, you may do something because your educator tells you to do something. And you think you are doing the right thing but you may not be. No, you haven't got the principle, you are going off.

S: But you mean to say that the right thing is right for only one person, for himself?

K: No, sir. If it is right, it is right for everybody.

S: No, what I mean to say is, what he thinks is right, won't be right for everybody.

K: Not necessarily.

S: So you can't say, it is right.

K: No, that's all. You can't say, this is right. Somebody will say, no, that's wrong. So find out for yourself, not what is right and wrong at present, but find out for yourself whether your brain can become clear, unconfused.

S: How do you find out?

K: I am going to show you, help, I am going to point out to you, but will you listen to it?

S: Yes.

K: Wait, don't say, yes. Have you listened to anybody?

S: Yes.

K: Partially.

S: Yes.

K: Yes. Right? So you have never actually, completely listened to somebody. Right? Correct? Now will you listen to me completely?

S: I'll try.

K: Don't try, do it!

S: I have listened to some people completely.

K: Are you sure?

S: Yes, sir.

K: What does it mean?

S: That is without any opinions.

K: Careful, careful. Don't just invent, do it, actually do it. You cannot listen to me or to somebody else if you have prejudices.

S: Yes, sir.

K: If you have opinions.

S: Well if I don't know anything about that...

K: About anything.

S: Well if I don't know anything then I will have to listen.

K: Just listen, old girl, I want to tell you something. Right? Will you listen to me without prejudice, without opinions?

S: Well I don't know anything about that so I can't have any prejudice, because I don't know what it is about.

K: So will you listen?

S: Yes, sir.

K: That means listen very, very carefully. Right? The brain is the centre of all your emotions, your thoughts, your feelings, your reactions, your fears and all that, your brain is that. Right? Your brain is the centre of all this. If you had no brain you wouldn't be able to think, if you had no brain you wouldn't be able to feel. Right? Are you listening?

S: Yes.

K: So the brain is the centre of all your feeling, your fears, your pain, your sorrow, your pleasure, your anxiety, fear, all that is there. Right? Now, so the brain is so confused with all this. Right? So the brain thinks this is right and this is wrong, and so it is creating more and more confusion for itself. Right? Are you listening to it, or are you asleep?

S: Sir, you are asking us to listen without any prejudice, but we know about the subject.

K: I am telling you the story, listen to the story. Right? Listen to the story. I am telling you, the brain is an extraordinary instrument. The brain has invented so many things - the aeroplane, the jet, the computer, the submarine, the quick communication and so on - the brain has got extraordinary capacity. But its capacity is very, very small when it turns to itself. That is, I am afraid, I don't know what to do. You understand? So thinking about itself the brain has become small.

S: Sir, the brain doesn't think of itself.

K: It does because you are selfish. Right? This is too much for these people. Is it too much? Is it too much for you, too complicated for you?

S: I don't know because I don't know what you are trying to get at.

K: Quite right. She says, I don't know what you are trying to get at. What I am trying to get at is, a brain confused, whether it can clear its own confusion. Right? I say to you, it is possible.

S: That one's brain can clear one's own confusion?

K: Do you know your brain is confused?

S: Yes.

K: Now I am telling you, pay attention to that confusion; don't try to say, I must get clear, pay attention to why it is confused. I draw the curtain to prevent the light and I know to draw the curtain back will give me light. So in the same way the brain has the capacity to find it can clear up its own confusion. It has got the capacity, we are not using it.

S: So if we want to we can.

K: Of course you can, of course the brain can. The brain can, being confused, it can find out for itself the cause of the confusion and break the confusion because it has got extraordinary capacity.

S: The brain is me.

K: The brain is you.

S: So I will be doing it.

K: You are the brain. You are not different from the brain.

S: Yes, sir.

K: What you think, what you feel, you are, your name, where you come from, your family, all that is memory, all that is thought. So the brain has this capacity to go in one direction to an extraordinary extent, technologically - you know what it has done technologically? And being self-centred, selfish, that capacity has been reduced to a very small affair. Thinking about oneself is a very small affair. Because it is small it gets confused. A technician is not confused in what he is doing. Right?

S: Yes, but that again is technology, that's another field.

K: No, it is the same brain. The brain can work there with an enormous capacity but it is not working here. You understand?

S: Sir, in the same way a philosopher will study himself but he won't be able to do the technician's work.

K: He may, why not?

S: So in the same way a technician...

K: It doesn't matter. He says, I can do that too, but I am not interested in that, I am interested in something else. Right? First of all, sir, just see your brain, which is my brain also - I won't go into all that, it's not your brain - the brain has an extraordinary capacity, capacity to kill people by the million, capacity, the means of killing people, capacity technologically to communicate between New York and Rishi Valley in a few seconds. That's an extraordinary thing to happen. Right? Now that extraordinary capacity of the brain is limited, made small by thinking about oneself.

S: That means I am limited.

K: Of course you are limited.

S: Sir, does that mean that out of one hundred per cent of our knowledge we use only around five per cent of it?

K: Yes, sir.

S: It is different to say, I am limited, and my capacity is limited?

K: The brain is limited by thinking about yourself.

S: Sir, what are we doing right now?

K: Just a minute, one thing at a time. If you are thinking about yourself as you are, as most people are, ninety-nine point nine per cent people are, thinking about themselves: their ideals, their hopes, their fears, their capacities, their success, their design. You follow, they are thinking about themselves. So thinking about oneself is a very small affair. Of course it is.

S: You can't think of everything all at once.

K: I did not say that. Thinking about yourself is a very small affair.

S: Sir, what you are doing now is a small affair, what you are talking about?

K: No.

S: But then we are talking about ourselves.

K: I am not talking about myself.

S: Well whatever we are saying is from what we hear.

S: Whatever we are talking is part of everyone, it is part of us.

K: Look, both of you are shouting at me. I'll come back to you. You asked me a question.

S: Yes, sir. What you are speaking right now is part of us.

K: Look, sir, we are examining together a human mind, a human brain. The human brain is yours, mine or hers. Right? And I said to you - listen carefully - I said to you, this brain has got extraordinary capacities, technologically, but it becomes very small when it is thinking about itself. Right? Each person thinking about himself, it becomes very small. Right? Therefore the capacity is limited there. And that limited capacity is destroying the world. When you are thinking about your own family, your own goodness, how much money you will have, and I think about myself, we are fighting each other. Right? So every human being is fighting another human being; in the business world, in the intellectual world.

S: Yes, sir.

K: So that becomes a very small affair. Right? Therefore that which is very small becomes the factor of confusion. This is a little bit difficult, leave it alone. Now you have listened to it?

S: I haven't followed the last part.

K: When you are looking after you own little room all day long, and all night along, and all the rest of your life, your own little room, and you don't look at all the marvel of this land, all the colours - look at it - all the colours, the beauty, the flowers, the poor people, but only concerned with your own little room, what does it do?

S: It makes me selfish because I am thinking of myself.

K: What does that do?

S: Sir, does it make us limited to ourselves?

K: Yes, sir. What does it do when you are thinking about yourself all day?

S: It makes us limited to ourselves.

K: Yes, sir, but what does that limitation result in?

S: Confusion.

S: Confusion of yourself, like you keep on thinking of yourself, and you feel confused of what you are.

K: Now just a minute. When you are thinking about your own country, India, India, India, India, what does that do?

S: It makes us insecure.

K: And the Pakistani is thinking, Pakistan, Pakistan, Pakistan. Right? What does it do?

S: It makes a conflict between the two countries.

K: That's right. Right? Conflict. So if I am thinking about myself and she is thinking about herself we are in conflict. Right? Right? Clear? Which means stop thinking about yourself. Will you?

S: I don't know.

K: That's it, nobody wants to.

S: Nobody wants to stop thinking about themselves.

K: That's right.

S: What do we think about then if we stop thinking about ourselves?

K: You will find out, first stop thinking about yourself.

S: Sir, we have to care for ourselves.

S: But if we care for others they will care for us.

K: What?

S: Sir, if we think about the other person, the other person will think about us.

K: Which is, thinking about a person is still limited. It's too complex, we won't go into all this. We have talked for an hour and a quarter. Isn't that enough? Right? I think that's enough for this morning, don't you? Don't be nervous.

So will you do something? Will you sit very quietly, comfortably, sit comfortably. Sit very quietly and find out, or watch every thought that comes into your brain, watch every thought.

All right, sirs.


Rishi Valley 1984

Rishi Valley 1st Talk with Students 7th December 1984

Texts and talks of Jiddu Krishnamurti. Krishnamurti quotes. Books about
J Krishnamurti. Philosophy.


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