Flight of The Eagle
Flight of The Eagle Chapter 12 Saanen 6th Public Dialogue 8th August 1969
Krishnamurti: We were asking how to put aside the whole menagerie that one has in oneself. We are discussing all this because we see - at least I see - that one has to penetrate into the unknown. After all, any good mathematician or physicist must investigate the unknown and perhaps also the artist, if he is not too carried away by his own emotions and imagination. And we, the ordinary people with everyday problems, also have to live with a deep sense of understanding. We too have to penetrate into the unknown. A mind that is always chasing the animals that it has invented, the dragons, the serpents, the monkeys, with all their troubles and their contradictions - which we are - cannot possibly penetrate into the unknown. Being just ordinary people, not endowed with brilliant intellects or great visions, but just living daily, monotonous, ugly little lives, we are concerned how to change all that immediately. That is what we are considering.
People change with new inventions, new pressures, new theories, new political situations; all those bring about a certain quality of change. But we are talking about a radical, basic revolution in one's being and whether such a revolution is to be brought about gradually or instantly. Yesterday we went into all that is involved in bringing it about gradually, the whole sense of distance and the time and effort needed to reach that distance. And we said, man has tried this for millennia, but somehow he has not been able to change radically - except perhaps for one or two. So it is necessary to see whether we can, each one of us and therefore the world - because the world is us and we are the world, they are not two separate states - instantly wipe away all the travail, the anger, the hatred, the enmity that we have created and the bitterness that one bears. Apparently bitterness is one of the commonest things to have; can that bitterness, knowing all its causes, seeing its whole structure, be wiped away on the instant?
We said that is possible only when there is observation. When the mind can observe very intensely, then that very observation is the action which ends bitterness. We also went into the question of what is action: whether there is any free, spontaneous, non-volitional action. Or is action based on our memory, on our ideals, on our contradictions, on our hurts, our bitterness and so on? Is action always approximating itself to an ideal, to a principle, to a pattern? And we said, such action is not action at all, because it creates contradiction between what `should be' and `what is.' When you have an ideal there is the distance to be covered between what you are and what you should be. That `should be' may take years, or as many believe, many lives incarnating over and over again till you reach that perfect Utopia. We also said there is the incarnation of yesterday into today; whether that yesterday stretches back many millennia or only twenty-four hours, it is still operating when there is action based on this division between the past, the present and the future, which is `what should be.' All this, we said, brings about contradiction, conflict, misery; it is not action. Perceiving is action; the very perception is action, which takes place when you are confronted with a danger; then there is instant action. I think we came to that point yesterday.
There is also the instant when there is a great crisis, a challenge, or a great sorrow. Then the mind is for an instant extraordinarily quiet, it is shocked. I don't know if you
observed it. When you see the mountain in the evening or in the early morning, with that extraordinary light on it, the shadows, the immensity, the majesty, the feeling of deep aloneness - when you see all that your mind cannot take it all in; for the moment it is completely quiet. But it soon over. comes that shock and responds according to its own conditioning, its own particular personal problems and so on. So there is an instant when the mind is completely quiet, but it cannot sustain that sense of absolute stillness. That stillness can be produced by a shock. Most of us know this sense of absolute stillness when there is a great shock. Either it can be produced outwardly by some incident, or it can be brought about artificially, inwardly, by a series of impossible questions as in some Zen school, or by some imaginative state, some formula which forces the mind to be quiet - which is obviously rather childish and immature. We are saying that for a mind that is capable of perception in the sense we have been talking about, that very perception is action. To perceive, the mind must be completely still, otherwise it can't see. If I want to listen to what you are saying, I must listen silently. Any vagrant thought, any interpretation of what you are saying, any sense of resistance prevents the actual listening.
So the mind that wants to listen, observe, see or watch must of necessity be extraordinarily quiet. That quietness cannot possibly be brought about through any sense of shock or through absorption in a particular idea. When a child is absorbed in a toy it is very quiet, it is playing. But the toy has absorbed the mind of the child, the toy has made the child quiet. In taking a drug or in doing anything artificial, there is this sense of being absorbed by something greater - a picture, an image, a Utopia. This still, quiet mind can come about only through the understanding of all the contradictions, perversions, conditioning, fears, distortions. We are asking whether those fears, miseries, confusions, can all be wiped away instantly, so that the mind is quiet to observe, to penetrate.
Can one actually do it? Can you actually look at yourself with complete quietness? When the mind is active then it is distorting what it sees, translating, interpreting, saying `I like this,' `I don't like it.' It gets tremendously excited and emotional and such a mind cannot possibly see.
So we are asking, can ordinary human beings like us do this? Can I look at myself, whatever I am, knowing the danger of words like `fear' or `bitterness' and that the very word is going to prevent the actual seeing of `what is'? Can I observe, being aware of the pitfalls of language? Also, not allowing any sense of time to interfere - any sense of `to achieve,' `to get rid of' - but just observe, quietly, intently, attentively. In that state of intense attention, the hidden paths, the undiscovered recesses of the mind are seen. In that there is no analysis whatsoever, only perception. Analysis implies time and also the analyzer and the analyzed. Is the analyzer different from the thing analyzed? - if it is not, there is no sense in analysis. One has to be aware of all this, discard it all - time, analysis, resistance, trying to reach across, overcome and so on - because through that door there is no end to sorrow.
After listening to all this, can one actually do it? This is really an important question. There is no `how.' There is nobody to tell you what to do and give you the necessary energy. It requires great energy to observe: a still mind is the total energy without any wastage, otherwise it is not still. And can one look at oneself with this total energy so completely that the seeing is acting and therefore the ending?
Questioner: Sir, is not your question equally impossible?
Krishnamurti: Is this an impossible question? If it is an impossible question then why are you all sitting here? just to listen to the voice of a man talking, to listen to the stream going by, have a nice holiday among these hills and mountains and meadows? Why can't you do it? Is it so difficult? Is it a matter of having a very clever brain? Or is it that you have never in your life actually observed yourself and therefore you find this so impossible? One has to do something when the house is burning! You don't say, `It is impossible, I don't believe it, I can't do anything about it,' and sit and watch it burn! You do something in relation to the actuality, not something in relation to what you think should be. The actuality is the house burning - you may not be able to put the fire out completely before the fire engine comes, but in the meantime - there is no `in the meantime' at all - you act in relation to the fire.
So when you say it's an impossible question, as difficult, as impossible as putting a duck into a little bottle - it shows that you are not aware that the house is burning. Why isn't one aware that the house is burning? The house means the world, the world which is you, with your discontent, with all the things that are going on inside you and the world outside you. If you are not aware of this, why aren't you? Is it that one is not clever, that one has not read innumerable books, is not sensitive to know what is happening inside oneself and not aware of what is actually going on? If you say, `Sorry, I'm not,' then why aren't you? You are aware when you are hungry, when somebody insults you. You are very much aware if someone flatters you or when you want fulfillment of sexual desires; then you are very much aware. But here you say, `I am not.' So what is one to do? Rely on somebody's stimulation and encouragement?
Questioner: You say that there has to be a mutation and that this can be done by watching one's thoughts and desires and this has to be done instantly. I have once done this and there has been no change. If we do what you suggest, is it then a permanent state, or must it be done regularly, daily?
Krishnamurti: This perception which is action, can this be done once and for all, or must it be done every day? What do you think? Questioner: I think it can be done after listening to music.
Krishnamurti: Therefore music becomes necessary like a drug, only music is much more respectable than a drug. The question is this: must one watch every day, every minute, or can one watch it so completely one day that the whole thing ends? Can I go to sleep for the rest of the time, once I've seen the thing completely? You understand the question? I am afraid one has to watch every day and not go to sleep. You have to be aware, not only of insults, of flattery, of anger, of despair, but also of all the things that are happening around you and inside you all the time. You can't say, `Now I am completely enlightened, nothing will touch me'.
Questioner: At the moment, or the minute, or the time that it takes to get this perception and to understand what has happened, are you not then suppressing a violent reaction you had when the insult came? Isn't this perception simply the suppression of the reaction which would take place? Instead of reacting you perceive instead - the perception may just be the suppression of the reaction.
Krishnamurti: We went into this pretty thoroughly, didn't we? I have a reaction of dislike - I don't like you and I watch that reaction. If I watch it very attentively it unfolds, it exposes my conditioning, the culture in which I have been brought up. If I am still watching and have not gone to sleep, if the mind is watching what has been exposed, many, many things are revealed - there is no question of suppression at all. Because I am interested to see what is happening, not in how to go beyond all the reactions. I am interested to find out whether the mind can look, perceive the very structure of the me, the ego, the self. And in that, how can any form of suppression exist? Questioner: I sometimes feel a state of stillness; can there be action out of that stillness?
Krishnamurti: Are you asking, `How can this stillness be maintained, sustained, kept going?' - is that it?
Questioner: Can I go on with my daily work?
Krishnamurti: Can the daily activities come out of silence? You are all waiting for me to answer this. I have a horror of being an oracle; because I happen to be sitting on a platform it doesn't give me any authority. This is the question: can the mind that is very still, act in daily life? If you separate the daily life from stillness, from the Utopia, from the ideal - which is silence - then the two will never meet. Can I keep the two divided, can I say this is the world, my daily life, and this is the silence which I have experienced, which I have felt my way into? Can I translate that silence into daily life? You can't. But if the two are not separate - the right hand is the left hand - and there is harmony between the two, between silence and the daily life, when there is unity, then one will never ask, `Can I act out of silence?'
Questioner: You are talking of intense awareness, intense looking, intense seeing. Could it not be said that the degree of intensity that one has is primarily what makes it possible?
Krishnamurti: One is essentially intense and there is that deep, basic intensity which one has - is that it?
Questioner: The way one comes to it with a passion, not for its sake, but it seems to be a primary requirement.
Krishnamurti: Which we have already. Yes?
Questioner: Yes and no. Krishnamurti: Sir, why do we assume so many things? Can one not take a voyage and examine, not knowing anything? A voyage into oneself, not knowing what is good or bad, what is right or wrong, what should be, what must be, but just take the voyage without any burden? That is one of the most difficult things, to voyage inwardly without any sense of burden. And as you voyage you discover - you don't start and say at the beginning, `This must not be so,' `This should be.' Apparently that is one of the most difficult things to do, I don't know why. Look, Sirs, there is nobody to help, including the speaker. There is nobody in whom to have faith, and I hope you have no faith in anybody. There is no authority to tell you what is or what should be, to walk in one direction, not in another, to mind the pitfalls, all marked out for you - you are walking alone. Can you do that? You say, `I can't do it because I am afraid.' Then take fear and go into it and understand it completely. Forget about the journey, forget about authority - examine this whole thing called fear - fear, because you have nobody to lean on, nobody to tell you what to do, fear because you might make a mistake. Make a mistake, and in observing the mistake you will jump out of it instantly.
Discover as you go along. In this there is greater creativeness than in painting, writing a book, going on the stage and making a monkey of oneself. There is greater - if I can use the word - excitement, a greater sense of...
Krishnamurti: Oh, don't supply the word.
Questioner: If daily life is performed without introducing an observer, then nothing disturbs the silence.
Krishnamurti: That is the whole problem. But the observer is always playing tricks, is always casting a shadow and thereby bringing further problems. We are asking whether you and I can take a journey inwardly, not knowing a thing and discovering as we go along, one's sexual appetites, one's cravings, intentions. It is a tremendous adventure, much greater than going to the moon.
Questioner: This is the problem; they knew where they were going, they knew the direction when they undertook to go to the moon. Inwardly there is no direction.
Krishnamurti: The gentleman says, going to the moon is objective, we know where to go. Here, taking a journey inwardly, we don't know where we are going. Therefore there is insecurity and fear. If you know where you are going you will never penetrate into the unknown; and therefore you will never be the real person who discovers what is the eternal.
Questioner: Can there be total, immediate perception without the help of a master?
Krishnamurti: That's what we've been talking about.
Questioner: We didn't finish the other question; this is a problem because we know where we are going; we want to hold on to pleasure, we don't really want the unknown.
Krishnamurti: Yes, we want to hold on to the apron strings of pleasure. We want to hold on to the things that we know. And with all that we want to take a journey. Have you ever climbed a mountain? The more you are burdened the more difficult it is. Even to go up these little hills is quite difficult if you carry a burden. And if you climb a mountain you have to be much freer. I really don't know what the difficulty is. We want to carry with us everything we know - the insults the resistances, the stupidities, the delights, the exaltations, everything that we have had. When you say, `I'm going to take a journey carrying all that,' you are taking a journey somewhere else, not into that which you are carrying. Therefore your journey is in imagination, is unreality. But take a journey into the things which you are carrying, the known - not into the unknown - into what you already know: your pleasures, your delights, your despairs, your sorrows. Take a journey into that, that is all you have. You say, `I want to take a journey with all that into the unknown and add the unknown to it, add other delights, other pleasures.' Or it may be so dangerous that you say, `I don't want to.'
Flight of The Eagle
Flight of The Eagle Chapter 12 Saanen 6th Public Dialogue 8th August 1969
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