Exploration Into Insight
Exploration Into Insight ' Self-knowledge and The Teaching'
P: What is the relationship between your teaching, as expressed in the words you use in your books and in your talks, and the actual process of self-knowing? In all other ways of arriving at truth, the words of the teacher are taken as an indication of a direction, something to move towards. Are your words of the same nature and, if so, what is their relationship to the perceptive process of self-knowing?
K: I wonder whether I have understood the question. Am I right if I put it this way: What is the relationship between the word and the actuality that K is talking about? Is that it?
P: When K talks about discipline, or talks about the holistic approach, that is the word. Then there is the actual process of self-knowing and what is revealed in self-knowing. What is the relationship of K's word to this revealed knowing?
K: I don't quite catch this.
P: You say `no authority', no psychological or spiritual authority. We have a tendency to take that expression `no authority' and apply it to our lives; which is, not be in that state, not discover freedom from authority in the process of self-knowing, but simply to try to see whether we can reach a state of non-authority. We take your word as the truth.
K: I understand. `No authority,' is it an abstraction of words and therefore an idea and then one pursues that idea? When K says `no authority', is it self-revealing, or is it merely a conclusion, a slogan?
A: There is also another side: when you say `no authority', does it become a commandment, a commandment to which one tries the nearest approximation? K: Yes, that's right.
A: One is in the field of action, and the other is in the field of abstraction.
P: There is self-knowing; that which is revealed in the process of self-knowing is not knowable through the word. One hears you speak, one takes in what you say, or one reads your books and applies it to one's daily life; therefore there is a gap between self-knowing and your word. Now, where does truth lie?
K: Neither in the word nor in the self-revealing. It is completely apart.
P: Can we discuss that?
K: I listen to K and he talks about self-knowing and lays emphasis on self-knowing, how important it is, that without self-knowing there is no foundation. He says this. I listen to it. In what manner do I listen to that statement? Do I listen to it as an idea, a commandment, a conclusion? Or is it that in my self-knowing, I realize the implications of authority and therefore see that what he says tallies with what I discover for myself? If I listen to the word and draw a conclusion about that word as an idea and pursue the idea, then it is not self-revealing. It is merely a conclusion. But when I am studying myself, when I am pursuing my own thoughts, then in the words of K there is a self-discovery?
P: Now, is the word of K necessary to self-discovery?
K: No. I make a statement: without self-knowing whatever I think whatever I do or proceed with, has no basis. So I come to talk or read a book because I am interested in self-knowing and I pursue that. And when I hear K talking about `no authority', what is the state of my mind when I hear those words? Is it one of acceptance, is it a conclusion which I draw, or is it a fact?
P: How does it become a fact? Does it become a fact through the discovery of that in the perceptive process of self-knowing? Or is it a fact because you have said so? K: The microphone is a fact. It is not because I say it is the microphone.
P: But when you say `microphone', it is not a fact in the same sense as the microphone is a fact.
K: So, the word is not the thing. The description is not that which is described. So, am I clear on that point, that the word is never the thing? The word `mountain' is not the mountain. Am I clear on that? Or is the description good enough for me and I get entangled in the description? Do I accept the description wanting that which is described and clinging to the idea? Don't reject the verbal structure altogether. I use language to communicate; I want to tell you something. I use words which we both know. But we both know that the words we use are not the actual feeling which I have. So the word is not the thing.
D: One talks either through the mental process or one talks without the mental process.
K: Sir, they are two different points. Either you communicate through the word or you communicate without the word.
D: No, words are there; but when we listen to you, we know you are not talking the way we talk.
K: Why do you say that?
D: It is a difficult question, but it is a definite feeling as factual as seeing a microphone. K is not talking the way I talk, the source of his words lies much deeper than the words we use.
K: I understand, sir. I can say superficially, `I love you', but I can also say `I really love you'. It is quite a different thing - the tone, the quality of the word, the depth of the feeling. The words convey the depth.
D: I will go a little further.
K: Go further.
D: They really convey a deep feeling which is indefinable, which we call love - but I do not know the word for it. K: You may not know the word, yet I may hold your hand, I may make a gesture.
D: That's true. But now between the gesture and the word, there is no linkage.
K: Is that what you are trying to convey, Pupul?
P: One of our difficulties, in understanding and going beyond, is that one takes your word, either the spoken word or the written word, and it becomes an abstraction to which one approximates. Then, on the other hand, there is the process of self-knowing in which the truth of your word can be revealed; but it does not normally happen that way. It always seems to me that listening to you without obstacle may bring about a change in the nature of my mind as such, but the discovery of the actuality of the words you use, can only be revealed in the process of self-knowing.
K: What am I to say to that?
P: Sir, I think first of all we should investigate self-knowing. We have not done it for a very long time.
K: Let us do that. `Self-knowing' was being spoken about, thousands of years ago, by Socrates and by others before him. Now, what is self-knowing? How do you know yourself? What is it to know oneself? Do you know yourself from the observation of experience; from the observation of a thought and from that thought the observation of another thought springing up, and we are reluctant to let go the first thought, so that there is a conflict between the first thought and the second thought? Or is self-knowing to relinquish the first thought and pursue the second thought and then the third thought that arises dropping the second, following the third; dropping the third and following the fourth; so that there is a constant alertness and awareness of the movement of thought? Now, let's proceed. I observe myself being jealous. The instinctual response to jealousy is rationalization. In the process of rationalization I have forgotten, or put aside, jealousy. So I am caught in rationalization, in words, in the capacity to examine and then to suppress. I see the whole move- ment as one unit. Then arises the desire to run away from it. I examine that desire, that escape. It is an escape into what?
P: Sometimes escape into meditation.
K: Of course, that is the easier trick - into meditation. So, I say, what is meditation? Is it an escape from `what is'? Is that meditation? It is not meditation, if it is an escape. So, I go back and examine my jealousy: why am I jealous? because I am attached, because I think I am important and so on. This whole process is revelation. Then I come to the point: Is the examiner, the observer, different from the observed? Obviously he is not. So true observation is when there is no observer.
P: You said, `Obviously he is not'. Let us go into that.
K: The observer is the past; he is the past, the remembrance, the experience, the knowledge stored up in memory. The past is the observer and I observe the present which is my jealousy, my reaction. And I use the word 'jealousy' for that feeling because I recognize it as having happened in the past. It is a remembrance of jealousy through the word which is part of the past. So, can I observe without the word and without the observer which is the past? Does the word bring that feeling or is there feeling without the word? All this is part of self-knowledge.
P: How does one observe without the word?
K: Without the observer, without a remembrance. That is very important.
P: How does one actually tackle the problem of the observer?
A: May I say that in the watching of the observer, there is also the disapproval or the approval of the observer of himself.
K: That is the past. That is his conditioning. That is the whole movement of the past, which is contained in the observer.
A: That condemnation is the barrier.
K: That is what Pupul is asking. She says: How do I observe the observer? What is the process of observing the observer? I hear K say that the observer is the past. Is that so?
Par: In asking such a question, another observer is created.
K: No, I do not create anything. I am merely observing. The question is, what is the observer? - who is the observer? How do I observe this microphone? I observe it through a word that we have used to indicate that it is a microphone; it is registered in the brain as a microphone, as remembrance; I use that word to convey the fact of the microphone. That's simple enough.
P: Does one observe the observer?
K: I am coming to that. How does one observe the observer? You don't.
P: Is it the inability to observe the observer which gives one the understanding of the nature of the observer?
K: No. You do not observe the observer. You only observe `what is' and the interference of the observer. You say you recognize the observer. You see the difference? Just go slowly. There is jealousy. The observer comes in and says: `I have been jealous in the past; I know what that feeling is.' So I recognize it and it is the observer. You cannot observe the observer by itself. There is the observation of the observer only in its relationship to the observed. When the observer arrests the observation, then there is awareness of the observer. You cannot observe the observer by itself. You can only observe the observer in relation to something. That is fairly clear. At the moment of feeling there is neither the observer nor the observed, there is only that state. Then the observer comes in and says, that is jealousy and he proceeds to interfere with that which is, he runs away from it, suppresses it, rationalizes it,justifies it, or escapes from it. Those movements indicate the observer in relation to that which is.
FW: At the moment when the observer exists, is there a possibility of observation of the observer?
K: That is what we are saying. I am angry or violent. At the moment of violence there is nothing. There is neither you the observer nor the observed. There is only that state of violence. Then the observer comes in which is the movement of thought. Thought is the past - there is no new thought - and that movement of thought interferes with the present. That interference is the observer and you study the observer only through that interference. It tries to escape from what is irrational in violence, to justify it and so on, which are all traditional approaches to the present. The traditional approach is the observer.
P: In a sense, therefore, the observer manifests itself only in terms of escaping from the present.
K: Escapes, or rationalizations.
D: Or interference.
K: Any form of interference with the present is the action of the observer. Don't accept this. Tear it to pieces, find out.
Par: If there is no past, is there no interference?
K: No, that is not the point. What is the past?
Par: The accumulated, stored contents of my experience.
K: Which is what? Your experiences, your inclinations and motives, all that is the movement of the past, which is knowledge. Movement of the past can only take place through knowledge, which is the past. So the past interferes with the present; the observer comes into operation. If there is no interference, there is no observer, there is only observation.
In observation there is neither the observer nor the idea of observation. This is very important to understand. There is neither observer nor the idea of not having an observer; which means there is only pure observation without the word, without the recollection and association of the past. There is nothing, only observation.
FW: In that way is the observation of the observer possible?
K: No, I said: The observation of the observer comes only when the past interferes. The past is the observer. When that past interferes with the present, the observer is in action. It is only then that you become aware that there is an observer. Now, when you see that, when you have an insight into that, then there is no observer, there is only observation.
So can I observe `no authority' per se, not because you have told me?
P: No, I can only observe one thing: the movement of authority. I can never observe `no authority'.
K: Of course not. But there is the observation of authority; the observation of authority which is in the demand from another for enlightenment; the leaning on, the attachment to another, all that is a form of authority. And is there `authority' in operation in my brain, in my mind, in my being? `Authority' may be experience, knowledge depending on the past - a vision and so on. Is there an observation of the movement of thought as `authority'?
P: What is important? Is it the observation of every movement of my human mind, of my consciousness, or is it the attempt to discover in my consciousness the truth, the actuality of what you are saying? It is a very subtle thing. I do not know how to put it.
S: Can I put it this way? For instance, I observe hurt.
K: Do you observe hurt because K said it?
S: I see that I am hurt. I see the emergence of hurt. The observation of the hurt is something which I can do as part of self-knowing. But where do I create authority? When Krishnaji says: `Once you see hurt it is over,' it is then that I create authority. Then I project a certain state, a movement towards that state, because I do not want to be caught in the trap of constant observation of hurt. But there are several other factors in consciousness. I see that instead of the observation of hurt, I hear from time to time a person saying that the observation of the hurt without the observer is the ending of hurt. That is where I create authority.
K: I understand. I observe the hurt and all the consequences of the hurt, how that hurt has come into being and so on. I am aware of the whole process of that hurt and in my mind I hear K saying, once you see that in its entirety, holistically, then it is over, you will never be hurt. He has said that.
S: It is there in my consciousness.
K: What is in your consciousness? The word?
S: Apart from the word, the state which he communicated when he uttered that, because when K is talking, he seems to indicate a `state' beyond the word.
K: Sunanda, look: I am hurt. I know I am hurt. By listening to you I see the consequences of all that - the withdrawal, the isolation, the violence, all that I see. Do I see it because you have pointed it out to me? Or do I see it though you have pointed it out to me?
S: Obviously the fact is there, you have come into my life and I have listened to you.
K: Then the question arises; K says once you see it fully, holistically, then the whole hurt is over. Where is the authority there?
S: Authority is there because it affirms a state which I would like to have.
K: Then examine that state which is ambition, which is desire.
P: I would like to examine your use of the word `holistic' and also enquire into something you have said, which is: Can you hold hurt and remain with it - that is, holistically? What is involved in holding?
K: I am hurt. I know why I am hurt. I am aware of the image that is hurt and the consequences of that hurt - the escape, the violence, the narrowness, the fear, the isolation, the withdrawal, the anxiety, and all the rest of it. How am I aware of it? Is it because you have pointed it out to me? Or I am aware of it, I see it and I am moving with you? In that there is no authority. I am not separate from what you are saying. That's where the catch is.
S: Up to a point there is movement with you. K: I am moving with you.
D: So your word is like a pointer.
K: No, no.
S: So long as I am moving with you, there is a relationship.
K: The moment I break that relationship, then begins my question: How am I to do it? If I am following exactly what you are saying - seeing that the image is hurt and then the escape, the violence - I am moving with you. It is like an orchestra, an orchestra of words, an orchestra of feeling, the whole thing is moving. As long as I am moving with you, there is no contradiction. Then you say `Once you see this as a whole, the thing is over - 'am I with you?
S: It has not happened.
K: I will tell you why. Because you have not listened.
S: You mean to say that I have not listened for twenty years?
K: It doesn't matter. One day is good enough. You have not listened. You are listening to the word, and you are carrying along the reaction. You are not moving with him.
R: Is there a difference between that listening and the holistic view?
K: No. Listen. Can you listen in the sense of no interpretation, no examination, no comparison?
R: No expectation.
K: Nothing, just listening. I am listening. It is like two rivers moving together there as one river. But I do not listen that way. I have heard you say `holistically' and I want to get that. Therefore I am no longer listening because I want that.
R: Therefore, the question of how to remain with whatever is, is a wrong question, isn't it?
K: I am remaining with it. R: Yes, but the question itself is a movement away from remaining with it.
K: Of course.
P: There is a feeling of intensity of sorrow and an observation to see that this sorrow is not dissipated by any movement away from it. In a moment of crisis there is an intensity of energy and to remain with it totally, the only action is the refusal to move away from it. Is that valid?
R: Does it not mean that one can only watch every movement which is away from it and not to say how am I to remain with it?
P: Sorrow arises and it fills you. That is the way it operates when it is something very deep. What is the action on that? What is the action that will enable it to flower without dissipation?
K: If it fills you, actually, if your whole being is filled with that extraordinary energy called sorrow and there is no escape; but the moment you move away in any direction, it is a dissipation of that energy. Are you filled with that energy which is called sorrow completely, or is there a part of you, somewhere in you, where there is a loophole?
R: I think there is always a loophole because there is a fear of anything filling one's whole being. I think that fear is there.
K: So, sorrow has not filled your being.
R: No, that is so.
K: That is a fact. So you pursue not sorrow but fear. The fear what might happen, etc. So you go into that, you forget sorrow and go into that.
D: The use of the word `holistic' implies actuality. Actuality itself is the whole.
K: No, no. Sir, let us understand the meaning of the word `holistic'. Whole means healthy, physically healthy. Then it means sanity, mentally and physically and from that arises holy. All that is implied in the word `holistic' or `whole'. D: This is clear for the first time.
K: When you have very good health and when the brain emotionally, intellectually, is sane without any quirk, without any neurotic movement, it is holy. That is the holistic approach. If there is a quirk, an idiosyncrasy, a belief, it is not whole, - so clean it up, do not talk about holistic. The holistic happens when there is sanity, health.
S: This is where the dilemma comes. Pursue the fragment you say. But unless one sees the fragment holistically...
K: Do not bother about holistically.
S: Then, how does one observe the fragment? Then, what is the process involved? Which comes first?
K: I am doing it. I do not know a thing about holistic. I do not know. I know the meaning of the word, the description of the word, what it conveys, but that is not the fact. The fact is that I am a fragment, I work, live, act in fragments, in myself. I know nothing about the other.
FW: This brings us to the initial question: What is the meaning of your word apart from our communication now? In my daily life, to remember what you say that you should never be hurt, has it a meaning when I am hurt?
K: No, I am hurt. That is all I know. That is a fact. I am hurt because I have an image about myself. Have I discovered that image for myself or has K told me that the image is hurt? That is very important to find out. Is it that the description has created the image or is it that I know the image exists?
S: One knows that the image exists.
K: All right. If the image exists, I am concerned with the image, not how to be rid of the image, not how to look at the image holistically. I know nothing about it.
S: `Looking at the image,' it seems to imply the concept of `holistic'. K: No, I know nothing of such concept. I only know I have an image. I will not be with anything but the fragment, with `what is' - the holistic is non-fact.
S: That is very clear. But how does one look at it, hold the hurt totally? That is where the question arises.
P: That is his statement.
S & P: `Totally.' That is your statement.
K: Of course. But throw it out.
S: Then there is no problem because one observes certain symptoms of hurt. There is an observation of it and it ends. This process goes on, I do not need K's telling me about it. This I know; to observe something at that level, everything that is arising in consciousness, the observing of it and the subsidence.
A: The discussion started on the very crucial question of authority. The point of starting this discussion on authority lies in this, that we make an authority of what you have said, then that is a barrier.
D: Something is missing in this.
K: Look, sir, there is something very interesting which comes out of this. Are you learning or are you having an insight into it? Learning implies authority. Are you learning and acting from learning? I learn about mathematics, technology and so on and from that knowledge I become an engineer and act. Or I go out into the field, act and learn. Both are the accumulation of knowledge and acting from knowledge - knowledge becomes the authority. Either you accumulate knowledge and act or you go out, act and learn. Both are an acting according to knowledge. So knowledge becomes the authority, whether it is the authority of the doctor, the scientist, the architect, or the guru who says `I know' - which is his authority. Now, somebody comes along and says:Look, acting according to knowledge is a prison; you will never be free; you can not ascend through knowledge.' And somebody like K says: `Look at it differently, look at action with insight - not accumulate knowledge and act but insight and action. In that there is no authority.
P: You have used the word `insight'. What is the actual meaning of that word?
K: To have insight into something; to grasp the thing instantly; to listen carefully. You see, you do not listen, that is my point. You act, after learning; that is, in learning there is an accumulation of information, knowledge and you act according to that knowledge, skilfully or non-skilfully. That is learning; accumulating knowledge and acting from it. Then there is learning from acting, which is the same as the other. Both are acting on the basis of knowledge. So knowledge becomes the authority and where there is authority, there must be suppression. You will never ascend anywhere through that process; it is mechanical. Do you see both as mechanical movement? If you see that, that is insight. Therefore, you are acting not from knowledge; but by seeing the implications of knowledge and authority. Your action is totally different.
So where are we? Self-knowledge and the word of K. If there is a movement together, then it is over. It is very simple. You move.
P: Is the word of K and the movement with that word essential? Can the revelation be without the word?
K: All right. K says: `Be a light to yourself.' It does not mean you become the authority. K says: `Nobody can take you there; you can not invite that.' K says: `You can listen to K endlessly for the next million years and you will not get it.' But he says: `Be a light to yourself and you see holistically that thing. To know oneself is one of the most difficult things because in the observation of myself I come to a conclusion about what I am seeing; and the next observation is through that conclusion. Can one observe the actual anger without any conclusion, without saying right, wrong, good, bad? Can one observe holistically? Self-knowledge is not knowing oneself, but knowing every movement of thought. Because the self is the thought, the image, the image of K and the image of the `me.' So, watch every movement of thought, never letting one thought go without realizing what it is. Try it. Do it and you will see what takes place. This gives muscle to the brain.
S: Would you say that in a single thought is the essence of the self?
K: Yes. I will say `yes'. You see, thought is fear, thought is pleasure, thought is sorrow. And thought is not love. Thought is not compassion.
The image that thought has created is `me'. The `me' is the image. There is no difference between `me' and the image. The image is me. Now, I am observing the image which is me, which is, say, `I want to attain nirvana,' which means I am greedy. That is all. Instead of wanting money, I want the other thing. It is greed. So I examine greed. What is greed? `The more'? That means I want to change what is into the more, the greater. Therefore that is greed. So I say: `Now why am I doing this?' `Why do I want more?' is it tradition, habit, is it the mechanical response of the brain? I want to find out. Either I can find out with one glance or step by step. I can observe it with one glance only when I have no motive, for motive is the distorting factor. It is most interesting to know yourself because yourself may be the universe, - not the theoretical universe but the global universe. I want to know myself because I see very clearly that if I do not know myself, whatever I say is meaningless, is corrupt - not just verbally, I see that it is corruption. My action is corrupt action and I do not want to live a corrupt life. I see I must know myself. To know myself I watch; I watch my relationship to you, to my wife, to my husband. In that watching I see myself reflected in that relationship. I want my wife because I want sex; I want her comfort; she looks after my children; she cooks; I depend on her. So, in my relationship to her, I discover the pleasure principle, the attachment principle and the comfort principle and so on. Am I observing it without the past, without any conclusion? Is my observation precise? The moment one says `Be a light to yourself, all authority is gone including the authority of the Gita, the gurus, the ashramas. The question would be really interesting on its own. If I am a light to myself, what is my relationship politically, economically, socially? But you do not ask these questions. I am a light to myself - go on, work it out - I am a light to myself. I see that very clearly. I have no authority, no guide. Then how do I act with regard to tyranny, the tyranny of the guru, of the ashramas? To be a light to oneself means being holistic. Anything that is not holistic is corruption. A holistic man will not deal with corruption.
Exploration Into Insight
Exploration Into Insight ' Self-knowledge and The Teaching'
Texts and talks of Jiddu Krishnamurti. Krishnamurti quotes. Books about
J Krishnamurti. Philosophy.