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Awakening of Intelligence

Part 2, New York 197

The Awakening of Intelligence Part II Chapter 3 3rd Public Talk in New York 25th April 1971 'Religious Experience. Meditation'

Krishnamurti: We said that we would talk over together a very complex problem, which is: is there a religious experience, and what are the implications of meditation? If one observes, it appears that throughout the world man has always been seeking something beyond his own death, beyond his own problems, something that will be enduring, true and timeless. He has called it God, he has given it many names; and most of us believe in something of that kind, without ever actually experiencing it.

Various religions have promised that if you believe in certain forms of rituals, dogmas, saviours, you might, if you lead a certain kind of life, come upon this strange thing, whatever name one likes to give to it. And those who have directly experienced it, have done it according to their conditioning, to their belief to their environmental and cultural influences.

Apparently religion has lost its meaning, because there have been religious wars; religion does not answer all our problems, religions have separated peoples. They have brought about some kind of civilising influence, but they have not changed man radically. When one begins to enquire if there is such a thing as religious experience and what that experience is, why one calls it "religious", obviously one must first have a great deal of honesty. It is not to be honest according to a principle or a belief, or to some form of commitment, but to honestly see things exactly as they are, without any distortion, not only outwardly, but also inwardly: never to deceive oneself. For deception is quite easy if one craves for some kind of experience, call it religious or otherwise - if one takes a trip and so on. Then you are bound to be caught in some kind of illusion.

One has to find out for oneself, if one can, what religious experience is. One needs a great sense of humility and honesty, which means never to ask for experience, never to demand for oneself a reality or an achievement. So one has to look very closely at one's own desires, attachments and fears and understand them wholly, if one can, so that the mind is in no way distorted, so that there will be no illusion, no deception. And one has to ask also: what does it mean to experience?

I do not know if you have gone into that question at all. Most of us are bored with the usual experiences of every day. We are tired of them all, and the more one is sophisticated, intellectual, the more one wants to live only in the present - whatever that may mean - and invent a philosophy of the present. The word experience means to go through, to go right to the end and finish with it. But unfortunately for most of us, every experience leaves a scar, a memory, pleasant or unpleasant, and we want to retain only the pleasant ones. When we are asking for any kind of spiritual, religious, or transcendental experience, we must try to find out first of all whether there is such an experience, and also what experience itself means. If you experience something and you cannot recognise it, then that experience ceases to be. One of the essential meanings of experience is recognition. And when there is recognition, it has already been known, has already been experienced, otherwise you could not recognise it.

So when they talk about religious, spiritual, or transcendental experience - that word is so misused - you must already have known it, to be able to recognise that you are experiencing something other than an ordinary experience. It seems logical and true that the mind must be able to recognise the experience, and recognition implies something you have already known, therefore it is not new. When you want experience in the religious field, you want it because you have not solved your problems, your daily anxieties, despairs, fears and sorrows, therefore you want something more. In that demand for more lies deception. That is fairly logical and true, I think. Not that logic is always true, but when one uses logic and reason healthily, sanely, one knows the limitations of reason. The demand for wider, deeper, more fundamental experiences only leads to a further extension of the path of the known. I think that is clear, and I hope we are communicating, sharing with each other.

Then also in this religious enquiry one is seeking to find out what truth is, if there is a reality, if there is such a thing as a state of mind that is beyond time. Search again implies a seeker - doesn't it? And what is he seeking? How will he know that what he has found in his search is true? Again, if he finds what is true - at least what he thinks is true - that depends on his conditioning, on his knowledge, on his past experiences; search then merely becomes a further projection of his own past hopes, fears and longings.

A mind that is enquiring - not seeking - must be totally free of these two, that is, of the demand for experience and the search for truth. One can see why, because when you are seeking, you go to various teachers, read various books, join various cults, follow various gurus and all the rest of it, like window-shopping. Such a search has no meaning whatsoever.

So when you are enquiring into this question, "What is a religious mind, and what is the quality of mind that is no longer experiencing anything at all?" - you must find out if the mind can be free from the demand for experience and can completely end all seeking. One has to investigate without any motive, without any purpose, the facts of time and if there is a timeless state. To enquire into that means to have no belief whatsoever, not to be committed to any religion, to any so-called spiritual organization, not to follow any guru, and therefore to have no authority whatsoever - including that of the speaker especially. Because you are very easily influenced, you are terribly gullible, though you may be sophisticated, may know a great deal; but you are always eager, always wanting, and therefore are gullible.

So a mind that is enquiring into the question of what is religion, must be entirely free of any form of belief, any form of fear; because fear, as we explained the other day, is a distorting factor, bringing about violence and aggression. Therefore the mind that is enquiring into the quality of the religious state and movement, must be free of this. That demands great honesty and a great sense of humility.

For most of us, vanity is one of the major impediments. Because we think we know, because we have read a great deal, because we have committed ourselves, have practised this or that system, followed some guru peddling his philosophy, we think we know, at least a little bit, and that's the beginning of vanity. When you are enquiring into such an extraordinary question, there must be the freedom of actually not knowing a thing about it. You really don't know, do you? You don't know what truth is, what God is - if there is such a thing - or what is a truly religious mind. You have read about it, people have talked about it for millennia, have built monasteries, but actually they are living on other people's knowledge, experience and propaganda. To find out, surely one must put aside all that completely, and therefore the enquiry into all this is a very serious matter. If you want to play with it, there are all kinds of so-called spiritual, religious entertainments, but they have no value whatsoever to a serious mind.

To enquire into what is a religious mind, we must be free of our conditioning, of our Christianity, of our Buddhism, with all the propaganda of thousands of years, so that the mind is really free to observe. That is very difficult because we are afraid to be alone, to stand alone. We want security, both outwardly and inwardly; therefore we depend on people, whether it is the priest, or the leader, or the guru who says: "I have experienced, that is why I know." One has to stand completely alone - not isolated. There is a vast difference between isolation and being completely alone, integral. Isolation is a state of mind in which relationship ceases, when in your daily life and activity you have actually built a wall around yourself, consciously or unconsciously, so as not to be hurt. That isolation obviously prevents every form of relationship. Aloneness implies a mind that does not depend on another psychologically, is not attached to any person; which does not mean that there is no love - love is not attachment. Aloneness implies a mind that is deeply, inwardly without any sense of fear and therefore without any sense of conflict.

If you go as far as that, then we can proceed to find out what discipline means. For most of us discipline is a form of drill, of repetition; either overcoming an obstacle, or resisting or suppressing, controlling, shaping, conforming - all that is implied in the word discipline. The root meaning of that word is to learn; a mind that is willing to learn - not to conform - must be curious, must have great interest, and a mind that already knows, cannot possibly learn. So discipline means to learn why one controls, why one suppresses, why there is fear, why one conforms, compares, and is therefore in conflict. That very learning brings about order; not order according to a design or pattern, but in the very enquiry into the confusion, into the disorder, there is order. Most of us are confused for a dozen reasons, which we needn't go into for the moment. One has to learn about confusion, about the disorderly life one leads; not try to bring order into the confusion, or into the disorder, but to learn about it. Then, as you are learning, order comes into being.

Order is a living thing, not mechanical, and order surely is virtue. A mind that is confused, conforming, imitating, is not orderly - it is in conflict. And a mind that is in conflict is disorderly and therefore such a mind has no virtue. Out of this enquiry, out of learning, comes order, and order is virtue. Please observe it in yourself, see how disordered one is in one's life, so confused, so mechanical. In that state one tries to find a moral way of living, which will be orderly and sane. How can a mind that is confused, conforming, imitative, have any kind of order, any kind of virtue? The social morality, as you observe, is totally immoral; it may be respectable, but what is respectable is generally disorderly.

Order is necessary, because only out of order can there be a total action and action is life. But our action brings disorder; there is political action, religious action, business action, family action - they are fragmentary actions. And naturally such action is contradictory. You are a businessman and at home you are a kindly human being - at least you pretend to be; there is contradiction and therefore there is disorder. A mind that is in disorder cannot possibly understand what virtue is. And nowadays, when there is permissiveness of every kind, virtue and order are denied. The religious mind must have this order, not according to a pattern, or a design laid down by you or by another. But that order, that sense of moral rectitude, comes only when you understand the disorder, the confusion, the mess that one lives in.

Now all this is to lay the foundation for meditation. If you don't lay the foundations, meditation then becomes an escape. You can play with that kind of meditation endlessly. And that is what most people are doing - leading ordinary, confused, messy lives and somehow finding a corner to bring about a quiet mind. And there are all these people who promise to give you a quiet mind, whatever that may mean.

So for a serious mind - and it is a very serious thing, not a game - one must have this freedom from all belief, from all commitments, because one is committed to the whole of life, not to one fragment of it. Most of us are committed to physical or political revolution, or to a religious activity, to some kind of religious, monastic life and so on. Those are all fragmentary commitments. We are talking of freedom, so that you can commit your whole being, your whole energy, vitality and passion to the whole of life, not to one part of it. Then we can proceed to find out what it means to meditate.

I don't know if you have gone into this at all. Probably some of you have played with it, have tried to control your thoughts, followed various systems, but that is not meditation. One has to dispose of the systems one has been offered: Zen, Transcendental Meditation, the various things that have been brought over from India and Asia, in which people are caught. One has to go into this question of systems, of methods, and I hope you will; we are sharing this problem together.

When you have a system to follow, what happens to the mind? What do systems and methods imply - a guru? I don't know why they call themselves gurus - I can't find a strong enough word to deny that whole world of gurus, of their authority, because they think they know. A man who says "I know", such a man does not know. Or if a man says, "I have experienced truth", distrust him completely. These are the people who offer systems. A system implies practice, following, repetition, changing "what actually is" and therefore increasing your conflict. Systems make the mind mechanical, they don't give you freedom, they may promise freedom at the end, but freedom is at the beginning, not at the end. To enquire into the truth of any system, if you have no freedom at the beginning, then you are bound to end up with a system and therefore with a mind which is incapable of subtlety, swiftness and sensitivity. So one can dispose entirely of all systems.

What is important is not controlling thought, but under, standing it, understanding the origin, the beginning of thought, which is in yourself. That is, the brain stores up memories - you can observe this yourself, you don't have to read books about it. If it had not stored up memories it would not be able to think at all. That memory is the result of experience, of knowledge - yours, or of the community, of the family, of the race and so on. Thought springs from that storehouse of memory. So thought is never free, it is always old, there is no such thing as freedom of thought. Thought can never be free in itself, it can talk about freedom, but in itself it is the result of past memories, experiences and knowledge; therefore it is old. Yet one must have this accumulation of knowledge, otherwise one could not function, one could not speak to another, could not go home, and so on. Knowledge is essential.

In meditation one has to find out whether there is an end to knowledge and so to freedom from the known. If meditation is a continuation of knowledge, is the continuation of everything that man has accumulated, then there is no freedom. There is freedom only when there is an understanding of the function of knowledge and therefore freedom from the known.

We are enquiring into the field of knowledge, where it has its function and where it becomes an impediment to further enquiry. While the brain cells continue to operate, they can only operate in the field of knowledge. That is the only thing the brain can do, to function in the field of experience, of knowledge in the field of time - which is the past. Meditation is to find out if there is a field which is not already contaminated by the known.

If I meditate and continue with what I have already learnt, with what I already know, then I am living in the past, within the field of my conditioning. In that there is no freedom. I may decorate the prison in which I live, I may do all kinds of things in that prison, but there is still a limitation, a barrier. So the mind has to find out whether the brain cells, which have developed through millennia, can be totally quiet, and respond to a dimension they do not know. Which means, can the mind be totally still?

This has been the problem of all religious people throughout the centuries; they realize that you must have a very quiet mind, because then only can you see. If you are chattering, if your mind is constantly in movement, rushing all over the place, obviously it cannot look, it cannot listen totally. So they say, "Control it, hold it, put it in a prison; they have not found a way of bringing about a mind that is completely and utterly quiet. They say, "Don't yield to any desire, don't look at a woman, don't look at the beautiful hills, the trees and the beauty of the earth, because if you do, it might remind you of a woman, or a man. Therefore control, hold on, and concentrate." When you do all that, you are in conflict, and therefore there has to be more control, more subjugation. This has been going on for millennia, because they realize they must have a quiet mind. Now, how does the mind become quiet? - without effort, without control, without giving it a frontier? The moment you ask "how" you are introducing a system. Therefore there is no "how".

Can the mind become quiet? I don't know what you are going to do about it when you see the problem, when you see the necessity, the truth of having this delicate, subtle mind, which is absolutely quiet. How is it to happen? This is the problem of meditation, because only such a mind is a religious mind. It is only such a mind that sees the whole of life as a unit, as a unitary movement, not fragmented. Therefore such a mind acts totally, not fragmentarily, because it acts out of complete stillness.

The foundation is a life of complete relationship, a life that is orderly and therefore virtuous, a life that is extraordinarily simple inwardly, and therefore totally austere - the austerity of deep simplicity, which means that the mind is not in conflict. When you have laid that foundation, easily, without any effort - because the moment you introduce effort there is conflict - you see the truth of it. Therefore it is the perception of "what is" that brings about a radical change. It is only the still mind that understands that in a quiet mind there is a movement that is totally different, that is of a different dimension, of a different quality. That can never be put into words, because it is indescribable. What can be described is what comes up to this point, the point when you have laid the foundation and seen the necessity, the truth, and the beauty of a still mind.

For most of us, beauty is in something, in a building, in a cloud, in the shape of a tree, in a beautiful face. Is beauty "out there", or is it a quality of mind that has no self-centred activity? Because like joy, the understanding of beauty is essential in meditation. Beauty is really the total abandonment of the "me", and the eyes that have abandoned the "me" can see the trees, the beauty of it all, and the loveliness of the cloud; that happens when there is no centre as the "me". It happens to each one of us, doesn't it? - when you see a lovely mountain, when you come upon it suddenly, there it is! Everything has been pushed aside except the majesty of that hill. That mountain, that tree, absorbs you completely.

It is like a child with a toy - the toy absorbs the child, and when the toy is destroyed the child is back again in whatever he is doing, in his mischief, in his crying. Likewise with us: when you see the mountain, or the single tree on a hill top, it absorbs you. And we want to be absorbed by something, by an idea, by an activity, by a commitment, by a belief, or we want to be absorbed by another; which is like the child with a toy.

So beauty means sensitivity - a body that is sensitive, which means the right diet, the right way of living, and you have all this, if you have gone that far. I hope you will, or are doing it now; then the mind will inevitably and naturally, unknowingly, become quiet. You can't make the mind quiet, because you are the mischief maker, you are yourself disturbed, anxious, confused - how can you make the mind quiet? But when you understand what quietness is, when you understand what confusion is, what sorrow is and whether sorrow can ever end, and when you understand pleasure, then out of that comes an extraordinarily quiet mind; you don't have to seek it. You must begin at the beginning and the first step is the last step, and this is meditation. Questioner: When you make the analogy of the mountain, the hills, the beautiful sky - that's wrong for these people, that's not the analogy for them - the analogy is the dirt.

Krishnamurti: Right, take that - the analogy of the dirty streets of New York, the analogy of squalor, poverty, the ghettos, the wars to which each one of us has contributed. You don't feel that way, because you have separated yourself, isolated yourself; therefore, having no relationship with another, you become corrupt and allow corruption to spread in the world. That's why this corruption, this pollution, these wars, this hatred, cannot be stopped by a political or religious system, or by any organization. You have to change. Don't you see this? You have to cease completely to be what you are. Not through will - meditation is the emptying of the mind of will then a totally different action takes place.

Questioner: If one can have the privilege of becoming totally aware, how can we then help those who are conditioned, who have a deep resentment in them?

Krishnamurti: Why, if I may ask, do you use the word privilege? What is there sacred or privileged about being aware? That's a natural thing, isn't it, to be aware? If you are aware of your own conditioning, of the turmoil, the dirt, the squalor, the war, the hatred, if you are aware of all that, you will establish a relationship with another so complete, that you are related to every other human being in the world. You understand this? If I am related to somebody completely, totally - not as an idea or an image - then I am related to every human being in the world. Then I will see I will not hurt another - they are hurting themselves. Then go, preach, talk about it - not with the desire to help another, you understand? - that's the most terrible thing to say, "I want to help another". Who are you to help another? - including the speaker.

Sir, look, the beauty of the tree or the flower doesn't want to help you, it is there; it is for you to look at the squalor or at the beauty, and if you are incapable of looking at it, then find out why you have become so indifferent, so callous, so shallow and empty. If you find out that, then you are in a state where the waters of life flow, you don't have to do anything. Questioner: What is the relationship between seeing things exactly as they are and consciousness?

Krishnamurti: You only know consciousness by its content, and its content is what is happening in the world, of which you are a part. To empty all that is not to have no consciousness, but a totally different dimension. You cannot speculate about that dimension - leave that to the scientists, to the philosophers. What we can do is to find out whether it is possible to uncondition the mind by becoming aware, by becoming totally attentive.

Questioner: I don't know myself what love is or what truth is, or what God is, but you describe it as, "Love is God", instead of "Love is love". Can you explain why you say "Love is God"?

Krishnamurti: I didn't say love is God.

Questioner: I read one of your books...

Krishnamurti: I'm sorry, don't read books! (Laughter) That word has been used so much, is so loaded by man's despairs and hopes. You have your God, the Communists have their gods. So find out, if I may suggest, what love is. You can only find out what love is, by knowing what it is not. Not knowing intellectually, but actually in life putting aside what it is not - jealousy, ambition and greed, all the division that goes on in life, the me and the you, we and they, the black and the white. Unfortunately you won't do it because it needs energy, and energy comes only when you observe actually what is and don't run away from it. When you see actually what is, then in the observing of it, you have the energy to go beyond it. You cannot go beyond it if you are trying to escape from it, to translate it, or to overcome it. Just observe actually what is, then you have abundance of energy, then you can find out what love is. Love is not pleasure, and to really find that out, inwardly, for yourself, do you know what that means? It means that there is no fear, that there is no attachment, no dependency, but a relationship in which there is no division.

Questioner: Could you talk about the role of the artist in society - does he serve a function beyond his own?

Krishnamurti: Who is an artist? Someone who paints a pic- ture, writes a poem, who wants to express himself through painting or through writing a book or a play? Why do we divide the artist from the rest of us? - or the intellectual from the rest of us? We have placed the intellectual at one level, the artist perhaps at a higher level, and the scientist at a still higher level. And then we say, "What is their role in society?" The question is not, what is their role, but what is your role in society; because you have created this mess. What is your role? Find out, Sir. That is, find out why you live within this world of squalor, hatred and misery; apparently it does not touch you.

Look, you have listened to these talks, shared some of the things together, understood, let's hope, a great deal. Then you become a centre of right relationship and therefore it is your responsibility to change this terrible, corrupt, destructive society.

Questioner: Sir, could you go into psychological time.)

Krishnamurti: Time is old age, time is sorrow, time doesn't heed. There is chronological time by the watch. That must exist, otherwise you won't be able to catch your bus, cook a meal, and all the rest of it. But there is another kind of time, which we have accepted. That is, "Tomorrow I will be, tomorrow I will change, tomorrow I will become; psychologically we have created time - tomorrow. Is there a tomorrow, psychologically? That question fills us with dread to ask seriously. Because we want tomorrow: "I shall have the pleasure of meeting you tomorrow, I am going to understand tomorrow, my life will be different tomorrow, I will realize enlightenment tomorrow." Therefore tomorrow becomes the most important thing in our life. You have had sex yesterday, all the pleasures, all the agonies - whatever it is - and you want it tomorrow, because you want that same pleasure repeated.

Put that question to yourself and find out the truth of it. "Is there a tomorrow at all?" - except in thought which projects tomorrow. So tomorrow is the invention of thought as time, and if there is no tomorrow psychologically, what happens in life today? Then there is a tremendous revolution, isn't there? Then your whole action undergoes a radical change, doesn't it? Then you are completely whole now, not projecting from the past, through the present, into the future. That means to live, dying every day. Do it, and you will find out what it means to live completely today. Isn't that what love is? You don't say, "I will love tomorrow", do you? You love or you don't love. Love has no time, only sorrow has time - sorrow being thought, as in pleasure. So one has to find out for oneself what time is, and find out if there is a "no tomorrow". That is to live, then there is a life which is eternal, because eternity has no time.

Awakening of Intelligence

Part 2, New York 197

The Awakening of Intelligence Part II Chapter 3 3rd Public Talk in New York 25th April 1971 'Religious Experience. Meditation'

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