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Ojai 1985

J. Krishanmurti Ojai 4th Public Talk 19th May 1985

One hopes that you haven't come out of curiosity. In spite of the articles that have appeared in magazines and newspapers, they're just words. Don't be enticed by those words. If one may suggest. Don't please be impressed by the reputation, by the age, by all that has been written and talked about. Because we are talking over together, not that the speaker is important. The personality has no value at all in this world. But what we are going to talk over together has importance. And as the world is in such a state, we ought to be serious. We ought to be quite earnest about what we think; why we think; what our prejudices are; why we belong to a particular sect or group; why have we certain ideologies; why do we pursue what merely pleases us, what we like and dislike, what appeals to us, what is attractive to us.

If we could this morning at least, for an hour or so, if we could put aside all that, which is quite arduous, because we only function in the particular routine, according to our opinions, judgments, evaluations. Which may be right or wrong, but we never question them. We never question our beliefs, our ideals, our faith, why we have all this. One thinks it's important especially not to be persuaded by the speaker, not to be impressed. This is not a gathering which will stimulate you, excite you, intellectually, emotionally, or ideologically. For the speaker, it's very important to look at all this travail and sorrow of mankind. If we are here together, to be very honest to ourselves, there is no self-deception, no coming to any definite conclusion, but investigating, moving, going further. Then we can talk over things together. Not merely listen to the speaker, collect a few ideas, or agree or disagree, but we could this morning put aside agreement and disagreement altogether from our life, at least even for this morning.

Then we can converse together like two friend, walking along a nice wooded path, talking over their problems, not persuading each other, because they are friends, they have known each other for some time. Either those friends are casual, or real friends. If they are real friends in the deepest sense of that word, then there is no barrier between them. They can talk about their intimate problems. Their crises - not only the economic, social, and religious or political, but the crisis in their consciousness, crisis in their lives. And to talk over these things, they must be free. And freedom is very important. Not the freedom to do what you like, which is what we're all doing. Because each one wants to express himself, fulfil himself, be somebody; you know all that self-interest that's going on in the world - whether in the name of god, in the name of church, in the name of politics, and so on.

So we should enquire this morning, amongst other things, because we're going to discuss, as we have during the last three talks and questions and answer meeting, we have discussed various aspects of our life - the conflict, our daily conflict with each other, and daily conflict in oneself, and the terrible things that are happening in the world. They are really terrible, appalling. If you have been in some of these countries, you come directly into contact with all this. Not read through newspapers and magazines and political speeches. The world is in a really grave crisis. We seem to be indifferent to it. And man has been appallingly cruel to other men. Which is war, concentration camps, which are still going on, holocaust, not only during the last war, but this torturing human beings, confining them to concentration camps, killing them for ideologies by the million - not just six million of a particular group of people. China, Russia has killed millions. We are indifferent to all this.

And as human beings we have evolved millennia upon millennia, we are still what we are, what we have been - slightly sophisticated, slightly good-mannered, slightly better-fed, clothed, all the outside medieval dresses of the priests. But inwardly we are what we have been, rather brutal, cruel, self-interest. We are talking this over together. The speaker is not telling anything new. We'll go into what is new and what is creation a little later. But these are obvious facts. That millions are starving, poverty is on the increase, overpopulated earth. You ought to go and see some of all this. Then you will not merely be concerned with your own personal interests. And man, human beings, have always sought freedom. That's been one of their racial, religious, economic and social searches, that they should be free. And that freedom has been abused in the democratic world. Which is, that we are all separate individuals to do exactly what we want to do. Nobody must hinder, nobody must restrain us. That's what we all want to do. And that's what is happening the world over, except in the totalitarian world they are subjugated by the elite, told what to do, what to think, what to paint; what kind of literature, what kind of music, and so on. We are just pointing out all this, we're not taking sides. If one understands all this, not merely verbally, but understands within one's heart and depth of one's being, then we will act. Observing and acting are the same. They are not two separate activities.

So we talked during the last three talks about conflict, psychological wounds with their consequences, guilt. Probably every human being goes through it, or holds in something that has to be held. We've talked about fear. And yesterday morning we talked about together sorrow and the ending of sorrow, and what is love, compassion - which has nothing whatsoever to do with kindliness, with pity, with prayers, devotion. All that has nothing whatever to do with love or compassion which has its own intelligence. We were talking about it together yesterday morning.

And this morning we ought to talk over together, please bear that in mind all the time if you will, that we are talking over together. The speaker is not telling you what to think, but what is thinking, not what to think - the right thought, wrong thought, noble thought, ignoble thought, the ideological thought, dialectical thought: all that is still thinking. Put it any framework, in any cadre, it is still thinking. Whether it be the thinking of the right or the extreme left or the extreme right or the extreme centre it is still thinking.

Thinking has brought about enormous good to man. Thinking has produced great technology. Thinking has produced medicine, surgery. Thinking also has produced terrible wars, brutal, appalling cruelties. So what we are talking about is what is thinking, not how to think, or thinking together. When we understand the nature of thinking, not merely verbally or intellectually, but understand the quality of thinking, the source of thinking, really when we grasp it then we can go much further. But merely to remain in the realm of thinking, clever lawyers, shady lawyers, they all think. Whether it is the hermit, whether it is the monk, whether you are related to your wife and the recognition, all that is the movement of thought. Either we think together and therefore form a clique, or belonging together to some ideological state, thinking together to become Catholic, Protestant, and all the divisions of Christianity. I don't know if you have noticed in this little village there must be dozen churches. Oh, I don't know the number, one has never counted them. But it's still thinking.

And as we went into that question, what is thinking? We won't go into it now. If you are interested in it, you can read or think about it, but it's fairly simple, not complicated. That is, all our thinking is based on memory. All our thinking is based on knowledge. Whatever that knowledge be, whether it is great knowledge, accumulated knowledge, or the knowledge of a human being who is totally ignorant, doesn't know how to read or write, living in a little hamlet, poverty-ridden shack, he's still thinking.

So thinking is based on experience, and experience is always limited, therefore knowledge is always limited, now or in the future or in the past. And our memories are also limited, because they're all based on knowledge and experience. So thinking is always, always in the future or in the present or in the past. It's limited. Where there is limitation there must be conflict. If I - if one is thinking about oneself all the time, as most people do - how they look, how they walk, how they behave, what kind of religion they belong to, what is their faith, what is their - and so on. You know, thinking endlessly about themselves or about their ideas and so on. So thinking has divided mankind - Americans, Russians, Asiatics, Indians, Far East, Near East, Jew, Arab, and so on. So wherever there is limited thought - and thought is always limited - there must be conflict, either physical conflict or intellectual conflict or ideological conflict or conflict between man and woman - which is going on now.

So we must ask at the end of the day, observing all this, what is freedom? Can there be ever complete, unbroken freedom? The word 'freedom' means also not only to act freely, to think freely, but also that word contains originally love. Freedom also means compassion. And we have made that freedom, which is a most extraordinary thing, so absolutely necessary for human beings, into a very, very small affair. That is each one wants to do exactly what he wants, or what he thinks he should have. And that limits the immense freedom implied in that word. Freedom is not from something: from my complex or from my prejudice, all that's rather childish. Forgive me for using that word. Freedom implies the end of total, not only attachment, that's again an attribute of one's ego, the absence of the 'me', the absence totally of self-interest. Let's think, talk it over together.

And we are going to talk over together this morning, as we did the previous day, why do we live in disorder? Because we're going to talk over together death. As we said yesterday morning, we are going to talk about it. It's not a morbid subject. It's not something to be avoided. It's not something that concerns old people. It concerns you from the moment you're born 'til you die. It is the inevitable lot of all of us. That's one certainty. There may be no other certainty, no other finality. But death is facing each one of us. We are going to talk about it presently. But to understand that, the immense significance of it, not the fear of it, or how to get over, how to meet death pleasantly - books are being written about it. Lovely idea, isn't it? How to be happy to die. So we are going to talk about it.

But before we do we ought to find out for ourselves, because it may be related, please quietly listen to it. We are talking over together amicably, not persuading you in any direction nor giving you comfort, nor saying, yes, there is something beyond death. Those games have been played by every religion, by every guru, by every crook. (Laughter) Please don't laugh, this is much too serious - not we shouldn't have humour, it's good to laugh, but laughter may be the means of avoiding facing facts. So one has to be aware of that. Not that we shouldn't have humour, laugh with all your being at a good joke. The speaker has collected a lot of jokes - not vulgar jokes, but good jokes.

So we must first consider, as we have in the past, we must go into it a little more, why is it human beings, whatever race, colour, group and so on, why do they live in disorder? What is the reason, what is the cause, the root of disorder? We are asking each other this question. Don't please wait for me, for the speaker to answer the question, because you are responsible for the question. And you are responsible to find out why we accept disorder. Throughout the world politically, religiously, economically and socially there is such vast disorder in the world. War is the ultimate disorder. So what is the root of disorder? Have we ever questioned it? Or are you merely out of disorder, living in disorder, trying to find order? You understand what I am asking? A disordered brain cannot find order. Right? It seems so normal, sane. If I am confused, uncertain, caught in the boredom of life and boredom of doing things over and over again; whether it be sexual act, whether it be ideological - you see our brains have become so mechanical because we have been computerized by the specialists. Sorry there are some specialists here. We have been computerized, I mean programmed by the religions to believe this and not to believe that.

So - I am asking, we are asking each other - is the cause of disorder in ourselves, in our brain, is the cause, one of the causes - we're going to look at it, not say this is the one cause or there are many causes. We have to find out the real cause of it, not the multiple causes or causations. What is that? Why we live in disorder, which we have to face. If you don't want to face it, don't face it, it doesn't matter. But if we are honest, if you want to find out the causation of disorder, we have to enquire - not be prejudiced, not blame somebody for the disorder, or the society in which we live. The society in which we live, we have made it - grandfathers, great, great, great, great grandfathers. And we are making the society through our greed, through our ambition, through our aggression, through our self-interest and so on, so on. This is the society which we have created - the religious differences, national differences, and so on. Because our brains are fragmented, you understand, it's not whole, active completely. It's broken up inwardly, through desire, through pleasure, through aggression and violence and so on. It's never holistic. Is that one of the causes of disorder? Are you following this? Because our brains have been so conditioned, have been so programmed, which is the right word, like a computer. And so it thinks along a particular line, acts according to its faith, to its experience. You follow? Is that the cause of our disorder? I mean, we are examining it. We are observing, questioning, not analyzing.

May we go into that a little bit? We said not self-analysis or analyzed by the experts. Analysis implies to analyze, break it up. And who is it that is analyzing? You understand my question? I am asking you, who is it that is analyzing not only the political, religious and so on, but self-analysis, self-delusion, and say I must not be deluded, I must be honest. So we are asking, saying, it is not analysis because the analyzer who says I will analyze is the analyzed. There is no difference. Please listen to this. There is no difference between the analyzed and the analyzer. They are the same. See the common sense, the rationality of it. But we have separated the analyzer and the analyzed, or rather the thing to be analyzed. Right? So there is conflict between the analyzer and the thing to be analyzed. But if they are one, as they are, then the whole problem becomes quite different. There is no thinker apart from thinking. Right? The thought makes the thinker. But the thinker says to himself, I am separate from thought, therefore I can control thought. You understand? If you once understand really, conflict has a different meaning altogether. So we are not analyzing. There is only observation, not the entity who observes. Right? There is only observing things as they are. But the moment we say I must look very carefully, am I looking rightly, is this right, is this wrong, you are analyzing, separating the observer from the observed. Of course you're not the tree. I hope not. But when you observe these oaks, observe them without using the word I like, dislike, it's nice, it's not nice, all the rest of it. Therefore there is only observation. And that very clear observation without any bias, prejudices, that very observation is accurate. Go into it. So we are observing, observing our disorder in our daily life - the boredom of it, the tiredness, the mechanical part of it, and so on.

So is disorder caused by this division in oneself? You understand? I must be good, I am violent, but one day I'll be free from violence. I'm greedy but cruel, but one day I'll be... That is the entity who says I am different from the quality, then he has to come into conflict with the quality. But the quality is you. You understand this? If you really understand this in depth, then you eliminate conflict altogether, which is the cause of disorder. I wonder if you understand this? Look, I am not different from my quality, from my greed. But I have said, it has been my conditioning, greed is something outside or inside which I must control. Or I yield to greed. But the actual fact is greed is me. I am not different from greed. Vous avez compris, I mean, you have understood this?

So this division, psychological division in each one of us may be one of the major causes of disorder. Sir, you understand this? I wish you would. It's not an intellectual feat. It's not something that you say, well, I'll cultivate it. Just see it as a fact. That as long as there is division psychologically in me, I am different from my quality, I am different from my word, I am different from my image, I am different from violence, that difference brings about conflict and conflict may be the root of disorder. Right? And when there is no separation, as the actor and the thing acting, but they are the same and one, inseparable, then if that is real, true, honest, accurate, then conflict ceases and a totally different movement takes place.

So one of the causes of disorder is the separation between nationalities, religions, you follow? The Hindus, the Buddhists, the Christians, you know all that division that goes on in this world. And without this when there is the cessation of disorder then order is natural, it's not something cultivated, it's not something that you repeat day after day, day after day. It comes naturally, easily, freely. And bearing this in mind, that conflict is the essence of disorder: between man and woman, between God and man (if there is God), between the good and the bad. Be careful please; there is a division. The good is not rooted in the bad. The good has no roots in the bad. You understand this? Good is not the opposite of the bad. If the good has a relationship with the bad, the good is still limited by the bad. Right? You understand this? Go on sirs, move. The opposite, that is violence and its opposite is non-violence. If the good is born out of the understanding of non-violence then it's not the good. Good has no relationship with the bad. This is the actual fact.

So let's talk about death. Because there is still to talk about, after death, what is religion? What is it that man from time beyond time, what is it man sought apart from physical comfort, physical pain, psychological anxiety and so on, he said there must be something beyond all this ugly brutality and vulgarity. There must be something that is not put together by thought. There must be something that is immense, nameless. Right? We're going to find out. We're going to observe and learn about it, together. So there are many, many things to be covered this morning and one hopes that you will have the patience, the energy, the vitality to attend to all this.

Death is something that is common to all of us. So in talking over together about this subject, which is of extraordinary significance, death is not a sensation. You understand? It's not something to be cried over, something to be remembered, avoided, something that you put on the mantelpiece and worship. It is an immense act. So we are going to talk over together that. Man has always been frightened of death. That's a fact. Why? What does death mean? Not what lies beyond death - we'll go into that presently. It is something extraordinary to die. Not something to be avoided, you're going to, you can't avoid it. One may die when one is very young, through some disease, through some accident, through the parents' fault, over drinking, smoking, you know the whole business of this ugly society. And there is death for old age - through accident, disease, senility and so on. So together we are going to enquire into it. Together. Please bear this in mind all the time. We are going to give your energy to find out the significance, the depth of that extraordinary event.

There's two things implied in it, basically. A continuity, and the ending of a continuity. You understand? We have lived 40, 50, 90, 120, whatever the length of time it be. And during that long interval from birth to death we have acquired so many things. Not only physical things: cars, houses, if you're lucky, a field about half an acre. And you've acquired knowledge, experience. You have collected lots of memories. Right? Lots of experience. You have collected, gathered both outwardly and psychological. You don't want to be deprived of what you have collected. What you have remembered, what you have suffered. So we want and we have a long continuity, racial inheritance, collective limited experiences. We are gathering like squirrels. Right? And to what we have gathered we are attached, tremendously. And that is a continuity. It may be a ten-day continuity or hundred years' continuity, the continuity of tradition, the continuity of identification with a race, with a group, with a family. You understand? This desire, this urge to continue, not only in myself but the inherited collection. If I die there is my son to continue. He inherits what I have collected physically. And also psychologically.

So there is this long, centuries and centuries upon centuries of collecting and continuity. Right? Death comes along, which is, the organism withers. Either we have used it sanely, rationally, healthily, or misused it through various drugs, you know all that's happening. So, the organism inevitably comes to an end. The ending is death. Right? So we must consider what does it mean to end. You understand? Continuity and the ending. We are together? We are talking over together? This is a conversation between you and the speaker.

So there is this continuity which you cling to, and there is the ending of that continuity. We have understood, I hope, what it means to continue. And so we said, I will die, but the next life there is something, I will live next life. Right? There'll be next life. That's the whole Asiatic, Pythagorean and some western people, ancient people, are saying there must be. And the whole of the East more or less believes in rebirth because they want to continue. They have never asked - some have asked - the ancient people, what is it that continues? Is there a continuity at all? Are you asking all this? No, you are not. I'm asking you. Is there continuity at all? And if there is no continuity what is it all about? Why should I collect any more? So I won't collect. Then they become hermits, the Indian monks, and you know all that. I won't collect, only I'll collect one idea: which is my god, my saviour, my gurus, you follow? One thing I've collected, and so I cling to that.

So we know what it means to have a continuity. So we have to enquire into what does it mean to end? End, voluntarily, not through age old, disease and some kind of awful pain - you follow? All that. What does it mean to end anything? Right? Therefore one asks, is continuity creation or invention? Are you following all this? Can continuity ever be creative? Or where there is continuity as knowledge there is invention. Right? That is, invention is based on knowledge. Right? Scientific invention, mechanical inventions and so on. Because there is previous knowledge. Which is, following the same line of invention - gathering more knowledge, inventing more, that's what is happening technologically.

So is creation not just the baby, creation, is it related to ending? You understand? So we're going to find out. Please, I'm talking, you're not joining in this. Don't get too tired, please. So what is ending? Can I end - please listen - habit? Can I end habit tomorrow? Or today? Enquire into it, voluntarily, not through desire, through a direction because somebody says end it, then you'll get a reward and all that immature stuff. But find out for ourselves what it means to end something, easily, happily, without any effort. That means ending not only certain physical habits but the habits that the brain has cultivated to live safely. You understand? End it. That's what it means to die, doesn't it? Because we are a vast accumulation of memories. We are a bundle of memories. Right? I wonder if you see this. Not, I am spiritual and God and all that stuff - that's still memory. The Indians have their own explanation. Separate atman - I won't go into all that.

So death means the ending. Right? You may not accept it, you may not like it, but that's a fact. You can't take everything with you. You might like to keep it until the last moment - if you've a bank account, and have everything comfortable, you might like to keep it until the last second. We used to know a man who had collected a lot of money, he was immensely rich. And he was dying. And he kept a lot of it in his cupboard. Literally, I happened to be there. He told his son to open the cupboard, to look at all the diamonds, gold and bank account, notes. And he was looking at it happily, and he was dying. (Laughter) And he never realized he was dying, because the money mattered enormously - not that which is contained in that cupboard. So is there an ending to one's deep memories? To one's attachment? Ah, let's take that up.

Is there an ending to your attachment? What is attachment? Why are we attached to something or other - to property, money, to wife, to husband, to some foolish conclusion, to some ideological concept? Why are we so attached? Enquire into it. Let's talk it over together. And the consequences of attachment.

If I'm attached to you, if the speaker is attached to you as an audience, think what his state of brain must be. He's frightened he may not have an audience. He becomes nervous and almost apoplectic. And he is attached to exploit people, to have a reputation. You understand? So the consequences of attachment, if you observe it very closely, whether it be a wife, husband, a boy or a girl or an idea, or a picture, or to a memory, to an experience, the consequences are that it breeds fear of losing. Right? And out of that fear there is jealousy. You are following all this? How jealous we are. Of those in power - you follow? All the jealousy. From jealousy there is hatred. Of course, jealousy is hatred. And when you are attached there is always this suspicion, secrecy. Haven't you noticed all this? I don't have to tell you. It's so common in the world. And can you, if you are attached to something or some idea, some person, can you end it now? That is death. Which means, can you live with death all the day long? Ah, think of it sir, go into it. You will see the greatness of it, the immensity of it. That is, not commit suicide, we are not talking of that silly stuff, but to live with that, ending all sense of attachment, all sense of fear. Which means having a brain that is acting but never having direction, purpose, all the rest of it. Acting. That is to live with death every second, never collecting, never gathering, never giving anything a continuity. Sirs, you don't know, if you do it you will see what it means. That is real freedom. And from that freedom there is love. Love is not attachment. Love is not pleasure, desire, fulfilment.

And we ought to talk over together what is religion. Shall we go on? Are you tired? Would you like to take a breather? It's a very serious subject, is death and every other human endeavour, every human experience, sorrow, pain, grief. This is also a very important question. What is religion? Not the unbeliever or the believer, but from the days of ancient people, they have said, this isn't good enough, the way we are living is meaningless. We can give meaning to life, which is an intellectual process. But the real depth and the significance of life, what is it all about? And so in that enquiry they said there must be something beyond all this. Right? And the word 'religion,' the word itself - they haven't found a meaning of that word, you understand, the etymological meaning of that word. So we must together find out what is true, actual religion. Not the religion invented by thought? Right? Not the religion organized like Christianity or Hinduism or Buddhism. That's not religion. That's just any other big business. Right? I'm not condemning it, I'm just observing. We are observing it. I really mean it, I'm not condemning it. Speaker has no sense of condemnation in him, he just sees these are facts, which we avoid. And we are now facing it. Christianity is one of the greatest, richest things in the world. There is a temple in South India where every third day it has a million dollars. Right? With those million dollars every third day they have universities, colleges, feed the poor, you follow? Do all the regular social things, but that's not religion. Going to church once a week - (laughs) sorry to laugh about all this. Going once a week, confession, accepting the wafer, the medieval dress and all the singing and dancing or whatever you do in all those places. That's what we consider religion, which has absolutely nothing to do with our life, with our daily unfortunate, miserable, happy, unhappy life. It is something traditional, we have been brought up in it, or we can deny it and say that's all nonsense, and become cynical about it all.

But if we are serious, and one hopes you are, even for this morning, what is it to have a religious brain? To the speaker the brain is different from the mind. Go slowly, I'll explain a little bit. The activity of the brain is not only neurological but also psychological. Right? It is the centre of all sensation. It's the centre of all stimulation - sensation, urges, desires. It's the centre of all thinking. And it's limited. It can invent God, it can invent immense space, but it's still in the area of the brain. You understand? Whereas the mind is outside the brain. Don't please accept this. Though we have discussed this matter with certain scientists, some of them accept, some of them say, why this poor old chap is just wooly. (Laughter) It's all right.

So look at it carefully for yourself. The speaker is not an authority, so don't accept in these matters authority, for God's sake look at it for yourself. Your brain is conditioned, programmed, educated to be Oxford, Cambridge, here Harvard and so on, distilled knowledge. You acquire from the professor, from the teacher knowledge, and then you pass it on. And the whole activity is within the skull. And therefore however much it may imagine, it is still within the brain. Therefore it's limited. Love is not within the brain. For god's sake, realize it. Right? Love cannot be in the brain. You can't think about love - the love between you and your wife or husband, whatever it is. It is there as sensation. Therefore that sensation is not love. Death is not a sensation. Right? So to the speaker the brain is something separate from the mind. We'll go into it if we have time. You don't mind if I go on a little longer?

So we can see, if you are sane, rational, observing totally impersonally, without any bias, all the things that man has put together as religion, you understand, is not religion. The incense, the rituals, the worship, the prayer, all the hierarchy, the immense wealth of these people, immense, marvellous paintings, the Vatican, tremendous jewels in certain temples in India. Surely worshipping, kneeling, genuflecting, all that is not religion. Don't be angry. Please just listen, observe.

The fundamentalists, the evangelists, the fundamentalists not only in this country, Iran in the Muslim world. And this fundamentalism is growing slowly like some terrible disease in India too. Because it gives them - you understand - a sense of power, position, unlimited. So all that, the preaching, the sermons; all the beauty of a marvellous Catholic ritual. You have seen the Cardinals officiating in Venice or in Rome it's a marvellous sight. It's like a military thing operating, but beautiful. But that's not beauty as we've talked about the other day. So all that is not religion. Right? Intellect, which is the power to discern, the power to distinguish, to see what is true, what is false; that's the power of the intellect. And the world over the intellectuals have denied all this. Not that the speaker is intellectual, I'm just saying. So all that's not religion. Can the brain, which has been conditioned to all this, be free of it? Not tomorrow, now. There is no tomorrow. We went into that. Time - oh, I won't go into all this, no, it is too long. Time is now. So that ends if all that has no meaning, then one can ask, what is religion? Right?

Then comes the whole question of what is meditation? Because meditation and to find out, find out, not experience. You understand? To see what is truth, not my truth or your truth, or the Christian truth or the Hindu truth. If it is mine and yours, then it's not truth. Right? It's mine. I keep it, and you keep it. How can it be? Like love is not mine, and yours. So, truth has no nationality, no religion, no path to it, no system. So we have to come to it, find out. Not I find out, you find out. It's to see it together. And there is this whole question of meditation, awareness, attention. Right?

Meditation is the Indian word which the gurus have brought over to this country. The meaning of that word is 'to ponder over', the meaning, the dictionary meaning. To ponder over, to think over, to inform about something, to meditate. I meditate about the book I am going to write. Or meditate about the picture one is going to paint. But meditation is something apparently different. There is the meditation of the Zen Buddhists. If you are interested in word 'Zen,' it comes from the Sanskrit word 'Ch'an'. And one of the Buddhist priests went to China in the sixth century and preached Buddhism there. And they couldn't pronounce Ch'an, so it became 'zhia', then the Japanese took it over and it became 'Zen'. I've been told this, it may be wrong. You can take it as you please. So there is the whole movement and appreciation and the books about Zen. Then there is the Buddhist meditation, which is very complicated, I won't go into it. And there is the Hindu meditation. Then some people from Tibet have brought over their meditation. And the gurus invent their own meditation. Right? The word 'guru' in Sanskrit means weight, weight, heavy. And also that word has different meanings. Which is, one who helps to eradicate ignorance. You understand? Not the one who imposes his ignorance on others. (Laughter) I'm glad we can laugh. It means several other things, but that's enough.

So meditation, which is now being practiced the world over, is a deliberate act, a systematic practice, sitting cross-legged, breathing in a certain way, controlling your thought, silencing your reactions, holding, controlling, suppressing, or becoming aware bit by bit of your whole body - I won't go into that - awareness, keeping awake, not going to sleep. There are various systems and methods. Some are pleasant, some are unpleasant. Some when you meditate there is a guru who keeps you awake, either shouting at you or slightly beating you. (Laughter) Oh, yes, this is going on. Or you meditate on a picture, on a symbol, or on a poem, just a phrase. Which all implies direction, control, limited energy, forcing. Right? To the speaker all that is not meditation. To the speaker. Please don't accept it. There is a different kind of meditation altogether. Because those are all the result of conniving, manoeuvering. Right? So gradually if you practice all those things your brain inevitably becomes dull. Right? And you can have X-rays and alpha rays and all that kind of thing, and it shows you can do certain things extraordinarily well, but it's still within a very, very limited area. Right? So the speaker is saying - please don't accept this at all. Because it's no value accepting and saying, ah, you are right, you are wrong, this is absurd. Just observe it - conscious meditation is no meditation. Deliberate meditation is like any other form of achievement, in business. Right? I set out, being poor, to be a rich man. What's the difference between that man who pursues money, power, position, and the other fellow who says, I'll meditate to achieve nirvana or heaven or silence? None at all. Both are achieving what they want. Only one calls it spiritual, other calls it business. And we swallow them both.

So is there a meditation which is not deliberate? If you ask that question, setting aside everything, you'll find out. Which means, a brain, if you are interested to go into this deeply, a brain that is free from all accumulated knowledge. Face it. Because all knowledge is conditioned. Right? Because knowledge is always limited. We went into it the other day, why. Because knowledge is based on experience. And experience is always limited - whether it is the experience God, or whatever it is, God is your invention out of your fear, your anxiety, your desire to be secure, to have comfort, to rely, lean on somebody.

So the brain, which has its own rhythm - the speaker is not a specialist on the brain, but he has watched, not only his own petty little brain, but the brain of humanity - and that brain is everlastingly chattering, praying, asking, demanding help, you follow? Tremendously active. And can that activity calm down, become very quiet, still, without any movement, not induced, not cultivated silence? There is a great deal to be said about silence; not now, because it's nearly one o'clock. Silence between noise. Silence between two wars, peace. You understand? Silence between two notes. Between two words. Between two thoughts. All that is not silence. That's not the still, quiet, peaceful brain that is empty of everything that man has collected. And man has always sought from the beginning that which is nameless. He has given it different names, different aspects - here in Christianity it is one thing, in Hinduism it's another. In Hinduism you can believe or not believe, you are still a Hindu. You understand? You need never go to a temple, be utterly sceptical, doubt everything and yet be a Hindu. Marvellously cultivated brains they have. Now it is all becoming business.

So there is a meditation which is not conscious, deliberate. In that meditation there is utter stillness. It is not the stillness of thought. That stillness is not the product of thought. That's why it is very important to understand thought, thinking and all that. And when the brain is utterly quiet then that which is nameless is. That cannot be described, that cannot be given any quality, that is not the saviour, that is nothing, it is something entirely different.

So there is that something that is beyond time, because all time has stopped. That is the really true religious mind.


Ojai 1985

J. Krishanmurti Ojai 4th Public Talk 19th May 1985

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