Awakening of Intelligence
Part 6, Public Dialogues Madras 1968
The Awakening of Intelligence Part VI Chapter 3 3rd Public Dialogue Madras 9th January 1968 'Time, Space and The Centre'
Krishnamurti: What shall we consider together this morning?
Questioner: What is psychological memory, and how is it imprinted on the brain?
Questioner: Will you go into the subject of pleasure and thought?
Questioner: What is the concept of life, and of this world?
Krishnamurti: Do you want to discuss that? "What is the concept of life and of this world?" And also, what is the thinker, and thought... What do you say, Sirs, I don't mind what we discuss.
Questioner: Fan we continue talking about thought? The last talk ended with the problem of time and space.
Questioner: Could we talk a little more, explain more, about time, space and the centre, which we were talking about the other day?
Questioner: Why is it we want to discuss something from "the other day"? That is over.
Krishnamurti: Perhaps if we discuss this question of a concept of life, and living, we shall come upon the question of time, space and the centre. I think that all the other questions will be included in that. What is the concept of life? What do we mean by concept, the word? To conceive, to imagine, to bring out. A conceptual world is a world of ideas, formulas, a world of theories, a world of imaginative ideological formation. That is what we mean, don't we, when we talk about concepts? A conceptual world, an ideological world. First of all, what is its place in our relations with others, in the context of living? What is the relation between the conceptual world, which we have more or less described or verbally explained, what is the relationship between that, and actual daily living? Is there any relationship at all? I have toothache; that is an obvious fact. And the concept of not having toothache is an unreality. The fact is, I have it. The other is a fictitious thing, an idea. Now what relationship has the reality, the "what is", the actual daily living, to the formula, the concept? Has it any relationship? You believe, at least some of you, the Hindus, believe that there is the Atman. (We are on a touchy subject.) That there is something permanent. That is an idea, a theory, a concept, is it not? No? Shankara or the Vedantas or some bird said that there is this Atman, or whatever it is, the spiritual entity. That is just an idea, isn't it?
Questioner: Much more than that.
Krishnamurti: Much more?
Krishnamurti: It is said that there is some permanent thing...
Krishnamurti: (I do not assume, Sir.) There is this theory, Sir, the concept that there is a permanent state, a reality within each one, God, or whatever you like to call it. The Christians, the Muslims all say so, and different people use different words. Here you use a series of words. Now, is that not a concept which has no reality whatsoever?
Questioner: Now it is a concept, but in the course of time we hope to discover that thing for ourselves.
Krishnamurti: When you postulate that there is a certain thing, a something, then you will inevitably discover it! Psychologically, the process is very simple. But why state anything at all? Questioner: I am in love with the most beautiful woman in the world, but I have never seen her. Although I have not seen her it is a fact that she is beautiful.
Krishnamurti: Oh, come off it, Sir. It's not a bit like that. This will lead to cuckoodom. We have ideologies, concepts - the ideal of perfect man, the ideal of what should be, how the liberated person should act, think, feel, live and so on. But these are all concepts, aren't they?
Questioner: Surely what you call "what is" is also a concept!
Krishnamurti: Is it? When you have actual toothache, is that a concept: when you are actually miserable because you have no job, no food, is that a concept? When someone dies whom you love and you are in great sorrow, is that a concept?
Krishnamurti: What! A toothache is unreal? Where do you all live? When death comes in old age, or through an accident you break a leg, or whatever it is - is that theoretical, problematical? Is it a concept? Sir, we are dealing now with concepts. A concept of life. Why do you want concepts?
Questioner: To qualify life.
Krishnamurti: Why should I qualify life? I live, I suffer.
Krishnamurti: That's just it. "How do you go about it, to conceive life?" Why do you want to conceive life; about what things should be like? What is the reality about life, you ask. The reality of life is there, it is misery. There is pain, there is pleasure, there is despair, there is agony.
Questioner: They are only apparent.
Krishnamurti: What do you mean, "only apparent"? Oh, you mean it is an illusion! You mean that there is nothing like pleasure, pain, war? That this is a lovely world? (Laughter). When they take away your job you say there is no such thing, do you! When you have no food, you say that that is an illusion, do you? No? Then what are you talking about? You say it is not real? What do you mean? You say a concept is a means to an end? Really this is a most extraordinary world. What are we all talking about! We very carefully analysed that word "concept", what it means. Right? The gentleman says many people need the concept. Well keep it, Sir, keep it.
Questioner: I did not say that. I said many people need to understand the word "concept".
Krishnamurti: We explained it just now. So let us get on with it. We asked what relationship the concept has with daily living. Daily living is the daily grind of going to the office, the daily grind of the torture of loneliness, misery and so on. What relationship has that, which is the actual, which is what is, which is what is going on every day in our lives, what has that to do with the concept?
Questioner: Can I say something?
Krishnamurti: Delighted, Sir. You take the field.
Questioner: (Long speech. Inaudible.)
Krishnamurti: Ah! He says if we really understood the concept, life would be different, and he quoted some other gentleman, I do not know whom. Why should I understand concepts? When I am full of misery, when I have no food, when my son has died, when I am deaf, dumb, stupid - what has the concept got to do with all that? Concept being the word, the idea, the theory. What has that to do with my aching loneliness?
Krishnamurti: What Sir, what Sir! I think we must get on with it, otherwise we shall get nowhere. We are unwilling to face facts and we spin around with a lot of words. Reality is not a concept; reality is my daily life. Right? The reality is that I am in torture, and pain is not a theory, is not a concept, it is an actual process in life. So I say to myself - why do I have concepts about pain? It is such a waste to have concepts about pain. So I do not want concepts, I want to understand pain. Right?
The problem then is - what is pain? There is physical pain, such as toothache, stomachache, headache, and disease, and also there is pain at a different level, at the psychological level. Now, how am I to be free of that? Free of inward pain. I can go to a doctor to be cured of physical pain. But there is psychological pain in the sense that I suffer. What do I suffer? What does one have pain about, Sir?
Questioner: Loneliness and fear.
Krishnamurti: Right! Loneliness and fear. And I want to be free of it, because this loneliness and fear are always a burden, they darken my thinking, my outlook, my vision, my way of acting. So, my problem is how to be free from fear, not from any theory; that has gone overboard. I do not accept any theory about anything. So, how do I get rid of fear? Will a concept help me to get rid of fear? It is what you were saying earlier, Sir; but will having a concept about fear help me to get rid of that fear? You say "Yes", you say "it is a scientific thought", "it is a basis for reality", it is a "logical conclusion". Do take a simple example, Sir, and work it out for yourself. Don't introduce scientific, logical and biological facts. There is fear; will a concept of no-fear help you get rid of fear? Sir, don't theorize about it. You have a fear, haven't you? No? Don't just throw words about. You have fear, don't you? Will a concept help you to get rid of that fear? Do think it out, Sir; go into it. Don't go back into some theory, Sir. Do please stick to one thing. There is fear. You are afraid of your wife; you are afraid of death, afraid you might lose your job. Will any theory, concept, help you to get rid of those fears? You can escape from them. If you are afraid of death you can escape from that fear by believing in reincarnation, but fear is still there. You don't want to die, though you may believe in all kinds of stuff, the fact is that fear is still there. Concepts do not help to get rid of fear.
Questioner: They may gradually help us to be free.
Krishnamurti: Gradually? By that time you will be dead. Sirs, don't theorize, for God's sake. These useless brains that theorize!
Questioner: Is it not escaping also to try and get rid of fear? Krishnamurti: Oh, how childish we are! You can escape from your wife, but your wife is still at home.
Questioner: You can change your way of life.
Krishnamurti: Sirs, do please let us be simple about this, you know what fear is, don't you? You know what violence is, don't you? Will a theory of non-violence help you to get rid of violence? Take that one simple fact. You are violent; that is a reality. In your daily life you are violent, and will that violence be understood through a concept, the concept of non-violence? (Long pause.)
Questioner: (Inaudible long speech.)
Krishnamurti: What are you saying, Sir! We are speaking English! Do you understand English, Sir? We are talking about violence. Have you ever been violent, Sir?
Krishnamurti: Good. Now did you get rid of violence by a concept?
Questioner: Seeing that one is violent one tells oneself to be calm.
Krishnamurti: I wonder if we are talking the same language. I give it up! You go on, Sir.
Questioner: (Continues inaudible statement.)
Krishnamurti: All right, Sir. You win.
Questioner: (Further inaudible speech.)
Krishnamurti: Thank God, Sir, you don't rule the world. You are losing time. You are wasting time. You are living in a world which is so unreal.
Questioner: (Continues to harangue. Inaudible.)
Krishnamurti: That is what we are saying, Sir. Face the fact itself. And you can only face the fact if you have no theories about the fact. Right? And apparently you gentlemen of the older generation do not want to face the fact. You like to live in a world of concepts. Please live there, Sirs. Now let us proceed. The question is, is it possible for the mind to be free of fear? Now what is fear? We feel afraid. (We are coming back to your question, Sir.) (Not your question, Sir. You want to live in a world of theories; live there. I am answering this other gentleman.) You ask who is the entity or the being that says "I am afraid"? You have been jealous, haven't you, envious? And who is the person who says "I am envious"?
Questioner: The ego. There is a sense of the ego.
Krishnamurti: Now who is the ego? Sir, do analyse it. You know what analysis is? Go into it, step by step. Who is it? Think it out Sir, and don't quote Shankara, Buddha or X Y Z ! When you say "I am afraid", who is the "I"?
Questioner: (Several inaudible suggestions.)
Krishnamurti: Don't quote. Do think it out, Sirs.
Questioner: Is it not thought that conceives of itself as being permanent at the moment it is envious?
Krishnamurti: Now, what is that moment when that thought regards itself as permanent? I am envious. I am conscious that I am envious. Now who is that entity, that thought which says "I am envious"?
Krishnamurti: Oh please, Sir! You do not analyse it; you just make a statement! Do go into it, Sir. You say that at that moment, when that thought makes the statement "I am jealous", that thought, for the time being, thinks itself permanent. Right? Now, why does that thought think it is permanent? Is it not that the thought has recognised a similar feeling which it has had before? Go slowly, step by step. I am envious. You know what envy is - I become aware that I am envious, now I am asking - "Who is the entity that has become aware? And how does that entity or that thought know that it is `envy'?" That thought knows that it is envy because it has felt envy. The memory of previous envy comes up and the person who feels it says, "Here it is again." Right? Here is the envy which I have had before. Otherwise you would think of it quite differently. Because thought was able to recognise the feeling, it was able to call it "envy". It had experienced the same feeling before. So it says ("it" being thought)... (Interruption from audience.) Sirs, I know it is very complex so we must go slowly step by step. (Sirs, would you mind getting the coughing over - all of you at once.) (Laughter) This is a very difficult question to go into and u jess you give it your fall attention you cannot understand its very intricate and subtle nature. We say - first of all there is envy; one becomes conscious of that envy; then thought says, "I have had that feeling before." Otherwise you would not be able to recognise that feeling which you have called "envy". What one has had as an experience before is given permanency, continuity through recognition of what is taking place now. So, thought has continuity because thought is the response of memory. Right? That thought, which is the outcome of yesterday's memory says, "Here it is again; it is envy". By calling it "envy" and recognising it, it has given it greater vitality. Thought is the response of the bundle of memories which constitute tradition, knowledge, experience and so on, and that thought recognises the feeling which it has now, "envy". So, thought is the centre, or the memory is the centre! Right? (Pause) Sirs, your centre says "It is my house, I live there, it belongs to me legally" and so on. You have certain memories, pleasurable and painful memories. The whole bundle of them is the centre, isn't it? The centre being violence, ignorance, ambition and greed - it has pain, despair and so on. That centre creates space around itself. Does it not? No? (Interruption). (Go slowly, Sirs... An interval?... Ah, the gentleman wants me to repeat what I have said. Sorry, Sir, I cannot repeat it, I cannot remember what I said.)
We will put it differently. There is this microphone. Round it there is space. That is the centre, and it has space around it, and it exists in space; as this room has space within it. But also this room has space outside it. So the centre has a little space in itself, and also it has space outside it. (I am not talking of creation. Just listen quietly.) Please observe this, Sir, please go into it, please observe it completely, not merely intellectually. It is more fun if you actually go into it. But if you theorize about it then the discussion can go on indefinitely and it leads nowhere. Here is the centre, and the centre is a bundle of memories. (It is so fascinating, Sirs. Please go into it.) The centre is a bundle of memories, a bundle of traditions, and the centre has been brought about by tension, through pressure, through influence. The centre is the result of time, within the field of culture - Hindu culture, Muslim culture, and so on. So that is the centre. Now that centre, because it is a centre, has space outside it, obviously. And because of the movement, it has space in itself. If it had no movement it would have no space. It would be non-existent. Anything that is capable of movement must have space. So there is space, outside the centre and in it. And the centre is always seeking wider space, to move more widely. To put it differently, the centre is consciousness. That is, the centre has the borders which it recognises as "the me". As long as there is a centre, it must have a circumference. Of course. And it tries to extend the area of the circumference - by drugs, which is now called the "psychedelic expansion of the mind" - through meditation, through various forms of will, and so o-n. It tries to extend the space it is aware of as consciousness, to make it grow wider and wider and wider. But, as long as it is a centre its space must always be limited. Right? So as long as there is a centre, space must always be confined - like a prisoner living in a prison. He has freedom to walk in the yard but he is always a prisoner. He may get a larger yard, he may get a better building, more comfortable rooms, with bathrooms and all the rest of it, but he is still limited. As long as there is a centre, there must be the limitation of space, and therefore the centre can never be free! It is like a prisoner saying "I am free", within the prison walls. He is not free. Many people may realize unconsciously that there is no such thing as freedom within the field of consciousness, with a centre, and therefore they ask whether it is possible to extend consciousness, expand consciousness - by literature, by music, by art, by drugs, by various processes. But as long as there is a centre, the observer, the thinker, the watcher, whatever he does will be within the prison walls. Right Sir? Please don't say "Yes". Because there is distance between the border and the centre, time comes in, because he wants to go beyond it, transcend it, push it farther away. I don't know if you follow this? Sir, we are not dealing with theories, but if you do this actually inside yourself you will see the beauty of this thing. Questioner: Would you go into the tendency to expand.
Krishnamurti: You know what it means, to expand. A rubber band, you can stretch it, but if you stretch it beyond a certain point, it breaks. (Yes Sir. It will break beyond a certain point). I feel, living in Madras in a little house, that there is no space there. With my family, with my worries, with my office, my traditions - it is too deadly petty, and I want to break through it. There again is the desire to expand. And when society presses me in, drives me into a certain corner, I explode - which is again a revolt in order to expand. And when one lives in a small flat in a very crowded street and there is no open country to breathe in and no opportunity to go there, I become violent. The animals do this. They have territorial rights because they want space in which to hunt, and they prevent anyone else coming into that area. Right, Sir? So, everything demands expansion - trade, insects, animals and human beings, they all must have space. Not only outwardly, but inwardly. And the centre says, "I can expand by taking a drug." But you don't have to take a drug to have an experience of this kind of expansion. I don't have to take a drink to know what drunkenness is! I know what drunkenness is, I see it! I don't have to take a drink!
Krishnamurti: No Sir, please Sir, don't bring in other things. This is very complex Sir. If you go slowly into it, you will understand it. The centre, being the prisoner of its own limitation, wants expansion. It seeks expansion through identification - with God, with an idea, with an ideal, with a formula, with a concept. Please follow this, Sir! And it thinks it can live differently, at a different level, though it is living in a miserable prison. So concepts become extraordinarily important to a prisoner, because he knows he cannot escape. And the centre being thought - we examined that - then thought tries to expand by identification with something - with the nation, with the family, with the group, with culture - you know, expand, expand. But it is still living in prison! As long as there is a centre there is no freedom: right? (Don't agree Sir. For you all it is just a theory, and one theory is as good as another.) So, see what it does! It invents time as a means of escape. I will gradually escape from this prison. Right? I will practise, I will meditate, I will do this and won't do that. Gradually, tomorrow, tomorrow, next life, the future. It has not only created space which is limited, but also it has created time! And it has become a slave to a space and a time of its own. Ah! Do you see this, Sirs?
Questioner: How does memory... (inaudible)
Krishnamurti: It is very simple, Sir. You asked that question before. It is very simple if you look at it for yourself. Somebody hits you, insults you, and you have a memory of that. I hit you, and you are hurt, you are insulted, you are made little and you dislike it, and that remains in your brain, in your consciousness, the memory of me insulting you or flattering you. So the memory remains and the next time you meet me you say to yourself, "That man insulted me", "That man flattered me". The memory responds when you meet me again. That's all, it's very simple. Don't waste time on it.
Questioner: Where are we, after these discussions and talks?
Krishnamurti: I'm afraid I cannot tell you. If you understand what is being said and live it then you will be in a totally different world. But if you don't live it, daily, then you will just be living as you are. That's all.
So first the problem is that as long as there is a centre, and we know what we mean by "the centre", there must be time and limited space. That is a fact, as you can observe it in your daily life. You are bound to your house, to your family, to your wife, and then to the community, to society, and then to your culture and so on and so on. So this whole thing is the centre - the culture, the family, the nation - that has created a boundary, which is consciousness, which is always limited. And it tries to expand the boundary, to widen the walls, but the whole is still within the prison. So that is the first thing, that is what is taking place actually, in our daily life. Then the question arises (please listen, don't answer theoretically because that has no value), is it possible not to have a centre and live in the world? That is the real problem. Is it possible not to have a centre and yet live completely, fully, in this world? What do you say?
Questioner: One could be just a point.
Krishnamurti: But a point is still a centre! No, Madame, don't answer this question. If you just answer it means you have not gone into it.
Krishnamurti: That's it. I knew you'd say that, Sir; but you are still within the circumference. You don't... You keep on... Sir, have you ever been to prison? Not you, Sir, personally. Have you just visited a prison? If you have visited a prison you will have seen that they are expanding the walls. Bigger rooms, bigger prisons, more and more. But you are still within a prison. And we are like that. We live within the prison of our own thinking. With our misery, our culture, saying "I'm a Brahmin, a non-Brahmin, I hate this, I like this and I do not like that, I love this and not that", and so on. We live within this prison, I may expand it a little bit but it's still a prison. So this question arises (please don't answer, because this is a very fundamental question, which you cannot possibly answer glibly by a few words) you have to find out in life, in daily living. So we are asking: "Is it possible to live in this world, completely doing your job, doing everything with tremendous vitality, without a centre, knowing what the centre is, and knowing that to live in this world you need memory?" You see this, Sir? You need memory to go to the office, to function there. If you are a merchant you need a memory to cheat others or not, whatever you do. You need memory, and yet to be free of the memory which creates the centre. See the difficulty?.. So what will you do? (Interjection.) Sir, please don't answer, you're back to theories. When I've got a toothache, stomachache, or I'm hungry and I come to your house, what do you give me? Theories? Or chase me out? Here is a tremendous problem. It is not for India alone. It's a problem round the world, a problem of every human being.
Now, is there a method to get rid of the centre? You follow? A method? Is there? Method belongs to time, obviously, and therefore a method is no good, whether it is the method of Shankara, Buddha, your pet Guru, or no Guru, or you invent it. Time has no value and yet, if you are not free from that centre you are not free. Therefore you must always suffer. So a man who says, "Is there an ending to sorrow?" must find the answer to this - not in a book, not in some theory. One must find, see it. Right? So if there is no method, no system, no leader, no guru, no saviour - all introducing time - then, what will happen, what will you do? To have come to this point, what has happened to your mind? What has happened to your mind which has investigated this, very carefully, not jumped to conclusions, nor theories, nor saying "It is marvellous; but when it has done this, actually, step by step, has come to this point, put this question, what has happened to such a mind?
Krishnamurti: Oh no. Please Sir. What has happened to your mind, if you have done this? No, no. It is something that has happened to it. No you're only guessing, Sir. Don't guess. It's not a guessing game. Your mind has become highly active, hasn't it? Because to analyse so carefully, never missing, a point, logically, step by step, you have to exercise your brain, you have to exercise logic, you have to exercise discipline. So the mind has become extraordinarily sensitive, hasn't it? The mind, by observing what it is doing, what it has done, which is building up the centre, by merely observing, the mind has become extraordinarily alert. Right? You have done nothing to make it alert, but by merely watching the movement of thought, step by step, it has become extraordinarily clear. So, being clear, it puts the question, "How is the centre to disappear?" When it has put that question it is already seeing the whole structure of the centre. Seeing, actually visually, as I see that tree, I also see this.
Questioner: What is the entity which sees the action?
Krishnamurti: Sir, I said the mind... You go back to something, Sir, I'm awfully sorry but we can't go back. It is no good going back to something which you have not actually lived as we went along. You are inactive but think you have become active by putting a question like, "Who is the entity that sees?" But you haven't actually understood, observed, how the centre is formed - through memory, through tradition, through the culture one lives in, including religion and all the rest of it. The centre has been formed through economic pressures, and so on. That centre creates space, consciousness, and it tries to expand. That centre is saying to itself (nobody else is asking it) "I realize I am living in a prison, and obviously to be free from pain, sorrow, there must be no centre." It sees this. The centre itself sees it - not somebody else above or below telling the centre. So the centre says, seeing itself, "Is it possible for me not to be?" (Long pause.) That means that we have to go back to this question of seeing. Unless you understand that, you can't come to it.
Questioner: (Inaudible suggestion.)
Krishnamurti: Ah, no, no, no. Seeing, without emotionalism, sentimentality, like and dislike. Which does not mean that you see something without feeling.
Questioner: (Inaudible interjection.)
Krishnamurti: That is what you all do, Sir. You see that dirt on the road every day - and I have been here for the last twenty or thirty years, and I see that squalor every day. Of course you see it without feeling. If you felt, you would do something about it. If you felt the rottenness of the corruption in this country you would do something. But you don't. If you saw the inefficiency of the Government, if you saw all the linguistic divisions which are destroying this country, if you felt it, if you were passionate about it, you would do something. You don't. Which means you don't see it at all.
Questioner: (Inaudible interjection.)
Krishnamurti: Ah, no, no. "You see the bigger life" - what's the "bigger life"? You see how you want to twist everything to something else! You can't look at anything in a straight way, simply, honestly. So, unless you do it, we can sit here and discuss until Doomsday. What is seeing, is it this, is it that? But if you really saw the tree, without space and time, and therefore without the centre, then, when there is no centre and you look at the tree, there is vast space, immeasurable space. But first, one must learn, or watch, or hear how to look. But you won't do it. You won't begin the very complex thing called life, very simply. Your simplicity is to put on a loin cloth and travel third class and do so-called meditation, or whatever you do. But that is not simplicity. Simplicity is to look at things as they are - to look. To look at the tree, without the centre.
Awakening of Intelligence
Part 6, Public Dialogues Madras 1968
The Awakening of Intelligence Part VI Chapter 3 3rd Public Dialogue Madras 9th January 1968 'Time, Space and The Centre'
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