Krishnamurti in India 1970-71
Krishnamurti in India 1970-71 Chapter 9 4th Public Talk Madras 17th January 1971
WE seem to think that the moment we have acquired some technical knowledge at a University or an institution like this we have fulfilled all responsibility. Yet having neglected the vast field of life with all its complexities, merely cultivating a particular knowledge apparently has not solved any of our human problems. One may be able to go to the moon or create marvellous superstructures or live under the sea and so on, but the human relationship with its problems has not been solved. And education, one hoped, would not only build a technological world where man would be freed from the machine to do other things, but also he would lead a different kind of life, a different kind of existence, bringing about a different society, a different culture, a totally different religion. Education has not fulfilled that, nor science, nor government, nor communism, nor any other kind of theoretical, ideological utopia.
So we are faced with the problem of human relationship, how to bring about in that relationship a radical change, because human relationship is society, is the structure, the nature of society. If one is at all serious in a world that is so chaotic, so mad, so brutal, so meaningless, one has not only to transform the outward structure but also the inward psychological states of our mind and our consciousness. We are not separate from the world, we are the world. We have created, the past generation has created, this mad, stupid world; and the younger generation, if they are not careful, if they are not alert, not watchful, will also join the older generation in a few years and bring about another mad, stupid society. So it is a tremendous responsibility not only on the part of the educator but also on the part of the student to consider what kind of world we are going to live in - not a world of utopia or a perfect technological world, but a world of human relationship where we can live and function at peace with each other. I think that is the tremendous problem that is facing the world at the present time.
One sees what is actually happening - revolt, destruction, brutality, war, disruption, anarchy. If we are at all observant, if we are aware at all of what is going on - the utter, mad chaos - then it behoves us as human beings to see what our minds, our hearts can do about this transformation of the human mind. Philosophers have not done that. Philosophers have spun innumerable theories, marvellous, sociological or religious theories, or a world of higher mathematics; but actually they have not changed the world. No philosophy has ever changed the world. Philosophy means the love of truth, not the truth of yours or that of the speaker, but actually what is. It means finding out "what is", the actual, not the theoretical, not the abstract, whether the actual, the "what is" can be totally changed. That is what we are concerned with or should be concerned with. When the house is on fire, not to indulge in talking about the theories of combustion. We are confronted with a world that is aflame, that is chaotic, that is so utterly confused. So it comes as a responsibility on the part of each one of us to see what one can as a human being, do in this chaos. And there is no question whatsoever about this chaos, the political divisions, the national divisions, the regional divisions and also the religious - the Catholic, the Protestant, the Hindu, the Buddhist, the Muslim - the varieties of division that organized religions have created throughout the world.
When you have observed all this, not from reading a newspaper, sitting in a comfortable chair or as a professor in a university theorizing about it, but actually facing the problem, confronting what the human responsibility is with regard to this problem, you will ask how the human mind which has been put together through millennia, through so-called evolution, that mind so heavily conditioned as a Hindu, Buddhist, communist and so on, how can that mind, which is the intellect, ever bring about a radical revolution? It can probably bring a physical revolution - the Communist, the French and other forms of revolution. The intellect can theorize and force people to conform to a particular pattern of society, which is what is happening in certain parts of the world. So when you observe all this, you ask what is the human being to do? You cannot escape from it - either religiously, economically or inwardly withdraw. You cannot possibly escape from this chaos, because we are related to it. We have bred this chaos, we have brought it into being by our daily life. So seeing this, what can one do? As a human being, confronted with this enormous problem, being related to that problem, not as an observer but as one who takes part in it, who is contributing to it, what can he do? How can he as a human being, transform both outwardly and inwardly, psychologically and socially? What can he do? I do not know if you are interested in this question at all. Most of us are not, because we have certain formulas, certain ideals, concepts through which we hope to resolve these problems, and we hope through the particular system, a particular method - whether it is the communist or other systems - we are going to change the world. Systems are created by human beings, by you, by the clever people; and one hopes, one desires that through the system a particular change can be brought about.
But to run the system, human beings are necessary. That is, you and I are necessary to run the system; and we as human beings remain unchanged. We try to run the system, and therefore become not only slaves to the system but seek power through the system, which again is what is obviously happening in the world. So again, what is one to do? You understand my question, you sitting here, educated in this place, or having been educated elsewhere, taken some degrees and having a job - if you can get it - and having settled down comfortably in a little house with a family and wife, children, with your particular idiosyncrasies, religious doctrine? and beliefs, stuck in a little corner, cultivating a very small part of a vast field of existence, what can you do?
This question is not a rhetorical question. It is not just put because one has to say something. It is put because we have to share the problem together, because it is your problem, it is your daily problem, whether you are occupied, whether you have a profession; whether you are unemployed, whether you are a Naxalite or a Communist or what you will. It is your problem and whether that problem can be solved at all is what we are going to try to find out this evening: to communicate, to share together, not intellectually, not verbally but actually. We are going to see how, if it is at all possible, to bring about a change, a psychological revolution, because if you merely bring about a physical revolution through violence, inevitably as history has pointed out, you will end up either having a dictatorship, or the dictatorship of a bureaucracy. So physical revolution is the most primitive, meaningless revolution, because the same pattern is repeated - modified perhaps - but again and again repeated. So what is necessary is a psychological revolution, an inward revolution.
Then the question is, how is this possible? How is a mind with its brain cells which have been conditioned as a Hindu, as a Protestant, and all the rest of that, how is that mind to undergo a radical change psychologically to bring about a revolution in ourselves, and therefore bring about a totally different kind of world? If we cannot do that, all education has no meaning whatsoever. It might give you a job in a competitive world but you have not solved the problem at all. The problem is so vast, one has to apply not only the capacity of the intellect but also all other faculties which we have.
The capacity of the intellect is to reason, collect data, as the computer does, objectively, explore sanely. And a good intellect does not come to a conclusion. It examines, it explores, but if the intellect is conditioned by personal demands, by personal prejudices, conditioned by the culture in which it lives, it is incapable of exploring, it is incapable of understanding. The intellect will not find the answer. That is obvious,is it not? You can go to the moon - intellect is efficient enough - or do the most fantastic things it is doing in the world, build the whole structure of an army that is ready to destroy. But the intellect divides people. The division between private life and public life, the division of nationalities, linguistic and all the rest of the various forms of division are brought about by the intellect, which is one of the functions of the intellect. And, probably the major function is to think, and thought, right throughout the world, both religious thought and worldly thought, has brought about this division, And thought tries to solve this problem, the problem of human relationship.
So one has to understand the whole structure and the nature of thinking, not according to any philosopher or psychologist but actually observe one's own thinking. Perhaps what I am going to say may be heretical, because you have all read so many books, you are full of knowledge of what other people have said, including the Gita, the Upanishads and all the rest of it. But you do not know what your own original thinking is because you are secondhand human beings, piled up with knowledge of other people and other things, and you don't know a thing for yourselves.
So here is a problem which we both share together and we have to find out the truth of the matter. One sees what is actually happening in the world, the division, the conflict, the contradiction, the political corruption. We do not have to go into all that because the description is never the described, and we are concerned not with the description but with what is described, with what is explained, which is "what is", and this thought has brought about, thought which is the response of memory, experience, knowledge.
Even those birds agree with us, if you are listening to those birds, and I hope you are, because listening to those birds completely, with complete attention, and hearing the beauty of a sound, not resisting it, not translating it into pleasure but merely listening to the beauty of a cuckoo or seeing the light of the sunset on the palm trees, just to observe - from that observation we learn, and what we learn is not what other people have taught us.
We are saying that thought, your thinking, is the response of memory, the memory that you or your ancestors or race have accumulated through millennia. It is stored there consciously or unconsciously, and that storehouse is the brain, is the brain cells, you can observe it in yourself. It is much more important to learn about oneself by observing oneself, which is self-knowing; for when you begin to know yourself, wisdom comes from it, and also when you begin to know the whole structure of yourself, then sorrow ends. So you have to observe yourself, the way you talk, the words you use, your behaviour, then you will see that your own mind - which is also the brain cells - is the repository of all experience, not only personal, immediate experience but all the racial, the past experiences collected there. Those brain cells hold all the memory, conscious, hidden and open. And any response from that memory is thinking. If you had no memory, you would not be able to think at all. So thought is the response of the past, which is knowledge, and so thought can never be free, thought is always old. This is again an absolute fact.
And we try to solve all our problems, not technological problems, through the only instrument we think we have, which is, intellect, which is thought, and we also see that thought has divided people as the Hindu, the Muslim, the Christian and so on. Thought has done this, and thought not being able to solve this problem, this human problem of relationship, has constructed a super-ego the super Atman, which we think is going to solve our problem. But that idea of the super-self is part of thinking, and so thought, which is time, which is the result of time, and the super-Atman, the Brahman, the soul, whatever you like to call it, is part of time and therefore not real. It is real only in the sense that thought has constructed it. So we have this problem now : that this world, the society, the culture, the human relationship, divisions - all this has been brought about by thought, by your thinking. I think that is obvious and real; it is not just a conclusion supported by facts and so on, but when one observes it, studies it, explores deeply - interested in this problem of human existence and human suffering, chaos, misery, in which man is caught - one can see that thought has brought about this division, conflict, misery. So thought as the intellect, however capable of reasoning, cannot possibly solve this problem.
Your thinking, however subtle, however shallow, is the result of the past. The past has been put together. What has been put together literally, horizontally or vertically, is time. Anything that has been put together demands time like any machine. Like the brain cells, all the collection of memories are the result of time, and we hope through time - which is thinking - to solve our human problems; and one can see that it can never be solved through thought, that thought is time,-that thought breeds fear and pleasure. Can thought - the everyday operation of thinking - can that solve any of our human problems? Obviously it cannot. So then, what else is there that can solve this? So to answer that question, one has to go into the problem of perception, seeing.
You know a mind is incapable of seeing clearly when it has any form of conclusion, prejudice. When you, as a Hindu or a Muslim or God knows what else, when you look at the whole world, this world of existence, through a particular little hole called Hinduism, communism or what you will, how can you see the totality of anything? So one has to be free of this conditioning to understand this marvellous, complex human relationship. And one has to understand this principle of pleasure, because for most of us, however lofty our thinking may be - thinking that is the response of the past and therefore conditioned - most of our morality and activity and our search and our striving are based on the principle of pleasure, is it not? Observe it, you can see it for yourself. Our ambitions, the desire for success, the competitive pursuit, the aggression, the violence, the relationship between people, is based on this principle of pleasure, and without understanding pleasure and fear we shall never know what love is. A mind that perceives can understand what pleasure is, what fear is, what love is, and also that immense problem of death, and if there is a reality at all.
So you have to understand all this, and to understand it you must be able to perceive, to look, not through the eyes of another, not what the analysts or the psychologists or the professors or the philosophers say, but look with your own eyes.
So we have to examine what pleasure is, and that is a very important question, because if you understand it, in the understanding of that, you will understand what love is, if there is or if there is not something beyond the things that thoughts have put together. So let us briefly enquire together what pleasure is. Is pleasure love? Is pleasure desire? What is pleasure? Actually observe yourself, your own pleasures, observe your own pleasurable demands, observe the pursuits of your own pleasures. Watch them and find out, though the speaker is going to describe, realize that the description is never the described, never. The word is never the thing. What is pleasure, which every human being pursues in most subtle forms and most crudely, sexually, in so many ways, what is that thing that man pursues endlessly? Have you observed when you see a lovely sunset, when the whole sky is filled with a roseate glow, as it is now in the west with the setting sun, you are experiencing a great delight, if you at all look and if you have the time to look?
That is an experience. That experience has given a great delight, and you pass on to other things, but the mind, the brain cells have registered that delight and there is the demand for the repetition of that delight. Please watch it in yourself, the repetition of that delight when you saw the sunset - it may have been two minutes ago - and you want that repeated, that is, the memory of that sunset has been registered and that thinking about the incident, the experience, the happening, that thinking about it gives a continuity to pleasure.
You have had sexual experience or other kinds of experiences, you think about it, you chew over it, image after image, which is thought thinking about a past event - pleasurable or painful - and it gives continuity to what is called pleasure. So thought creates both, gives continuity, nourishment to pleasure and to fear. That is - you have had pain, a physical discomfort, a suffering both physical and psychological. It has happened several days ago, last month or last week, and you think about it hoping that it will not happen again. So thinking about something, which you do not want to happen and may happen, is the beginning of fear.
So thought sustains pleasure and fear and, if you observe, joy, ecstasy, an immense sense of delight has nothing whatsoever to do with thought. It happens when you are not occupied, when your whole mind is not chattering, suddenly you find there is a great sense of delight, of beauty and a great joy. Then thought comes along and says, "I would like that joy to be repeated", and then that joy which is so natural and unexpected becomes pleasure. So thought is the response of the past - memory which means thought - is the response of knowledge.
And there is the response, challenge of death, and you respond according to the memory of the known. The known is of yesterday, what you know, your experiences, the images of your family, the knowledge that you have accumulated, all that you have collected, that is the past. Therefore you are frightened of what may happen tomorrow, the unknown death. You see all this, you see how thought has divided people linguistically, nationally, racially, and thought pursuing everlastingly pleasure and always avoiding fear. You see all this, which is the result of thought, the result of both rational intelligence and irrational intelligence, the intellect - rational, capable, efficient - and the intellect also being irrational, neurotic, conditioned, illogical, has created not only the social structure with all its morality, with all its economic divisions, injustice, all that but also thought has created in us this battle, this everlasting conflict. So when you see all that and realize what thought has done, then what are you going to do?
What are you? You are educated - whatever that word may mean - which is merely cultivating a little corner of the vast field of existence. From that little corner you think you are going to solve all the problems, disregarding the rest of the field. I do not know if you have observed it in yourself, and if you have not, do please observe it now. You have technological knowledge, you are living in a little corner, hoping to understand the whole field, and when you are functioning from a little corner, obviously you must live a life of contradiction. If you are a communist, if you are a Maoist, from that little corner you can only look at the world through Communist or Maoist eyes.
So one has to look at life with eyes that are not conditioned. And that is the whole problem - whether the mind with its brain cells can free itself completely from the past and look anew. Knowledge is necessary, otherwise you could not get from here to over there, you could not function, you could not get to be a good technician, you would not be able to talk English or Tamil or whatever you talk, you would not be able to recognize your wife or your friends. So knowledge is necessary but it becomes a total hindrance when thought, functioning from the past, which is, the past being the knowledge, operates. While seeing that knowledge with all its complexity is absolutely necessary to you as a scientist, as an engineer, that you cannot put knowledge aside and become a primitive and go back to tribalism, you also see that know- ledge in human relationship creates conflict.
Look, it is very simple. If one is married or if one has a friend with whom one lives during a number of years or a few days or a few weeks, one has built an image of each other. You have put together an image about her or him. That image has been put together through various insults, pleasure, dominance, disregard - you know what relationship is especially between a husband and wife - you have an image of each other. That image is the past and the understanding between those two images you call relationship - you leading your own private life and she leading her own private life, you with your ambitions and she with hers - and the past is preventing actual relationship. The past destroys all relationship, human relationship.
Now, having disowned the picture, knowing thought has its limited function, the question is, how can there be a radical, psychological change which is not touched by thought? Thought obviously cannot change the pattern which it has built or will build, because that is the past. So, is there a movement, a psychological movement, which is not of the past? Because you see, to find out if there is God or no God, if you would seriously give your heart and mind to find out totally if there is such a thing as God or not, you have to put aside all belief, you have to put aside totally every form of fear, every form of conflict, you have to totally understand what pleasure is. If you do not, you have no basis for order, because order is virtue. Virtue is not something you cultivate, not something that you practise. Order comes into being only when there is understanding of disorder, the disorder in which one lives, the actual disorder, the hypocrisy, the conflict, the agony, the despair, the confusion that one lives in. There is disorder, and when you begin to understand that disorder, not correct it, not say it must not be or must be, but what you actually observe in your daily life, out of that comes order, which is living.
When you have this absolute order which is righteousness, which is action, in which there is this sense of non-division, then you have the foundation for meditation, and then there is a possibility of finding out whether there is or there is not something beyond time. Question: Is it possible to observe the psychological movement without thought, without the movement of thought?
Krishnamurti: Look, I want to know myself, I want to know what I am, not according to any religion, according to any teacher, any philosopher, any analyst or psychologist. I want to know myself as I am, not as I should be. So I have to look at myself, I have to look at myself as I am without any interpretation, without saying that it is good, it is bad, it is ugly, I must change, I must not change. I must look, I cannot change the sunset. I have to look, I cannot do anything about it. In the same way I have to watch myself, just observe.
Now, is that observation a movement of thought? That is, can thought look at the movement which thought has created - which is the "me"? The "me" is a bundle of memories, conditioned, put together through time, through experience, through knowledge; that "me" is the result of time, is the result of thought, whether that "me" is the super "me", the super - Atman moved to a higher level. All that is the "me", the "I", the ego, the self-centred activity. Now, can that be observed by thought, by the movement of thought, that which it has created? You understand the question?
Look, Sir, put it differently. I am all this bundle, collected through centuries upon centuries, which does not mean reincarnation. It has been collected through environment, through race, through knowledge, through time - evolved. Now that "me" is the observer, the censor, who says, "This is right, that is wrong, this should be done, this should not be done." That observer looks and what he looks at is the psychological movement of which he is a part. I don't know if you understand this.
Look, Sir, let us put it this way - one is envious. You know what it is to be envious - comparing yourself with somebody who has got more - that is envy. Now, there is that response which is verbalized, named as envy. At the moment of that response, when you are envious, there is no observer at all, there is only a state of envy. A few seconds later the observer comes along - which is the thinker - and says, "I should not be greedy", or gives explanations, reasons why he should not be greedy. So he separates himself from greed, so he becomes the censor, the observer, and then controls or suppresses or goes beyond the greed. So there is the observer and the observed. In that there is division; and that division is the source of all conflict, not only outwardly but inwardly.
Now, is there an observation without the observer? There is that palm tree. Can you look at it without the observer, the observer who names that as a palm tree - the observer of likes and dislikes - can you just look without the observer? You may be able to look at that palm tree objectively because it does not affect you. But can you look at your wife, at your husband, the man who insulted you, without the censor, just observe, without the past records? If you can so observe, then that observation is not the movement of thought.
Question: When you used the words "modern society is corrupt", your own mind has come to the conclusion and therefore it presupposes that society is corrupt. You have no right to make such an opinion.
Krishnamurti: Sir, I do not think it is an opinion, I do not think it is a conclusion. You observe this. You observe how man is confused, you observe the division in the world, you observe the division between the communist and the capitalist, between the Catholic and the Protestant, the Hindu, the Muslim - you know the division. And this division does breed conflict, and that saying that division brings conflict is not a conclusion, it is a fact, as factual as this microphone is there. You have had two wars between the Muslim and Hindu. That is a fact. Division breeds antagonism, resistance, fight, conflict and when you observe this you say that division brings conflict. That is not a conclusion. You are merely stating a fact.
Question: Why do you talk at all?
Krishnamurti: I see, why do I talk at all? I really do not know. Sir, do you ask a flower, "Why do you flower?" Do not clap. Sir, do listen to it. This is not being clever. When you see something beautiful, do you say, "Why are you beautiful?" One talks generally with a motive, either to convert, or by addressing a large audience like this, one derives a great encouragement or terrible importance or derives from talking, a great deal of energy, as the politicians do. If there is a motive for talking, then you know it is exploitation. I have no motive for talking. If you want, listen; if you don't, don't. You neither encourage the speaker nor discourage. Take it or leave it. It is your life, your misery, your sorrow that we are concerned with and if you don't want to end your sorrow, your confusion, your agony, your torture of life, don't listen. Nobody is asking you to listen, forcing you to listen. This is not propaganda. We are concerned with changing "what is; and as you don't ask a flower why it blooms, don't ask the speaker why he speaks.
Question: Would you please talk or explain why there is so much difficulty in communication between individuals?
Krishnamurti: Sir, we are not individuals at all. We think we are individuals - that is merely a word, which has very little meaning. When you examine that word in the dictionary, not the opinion or theory of what an individual should be, you will find that it derives from the Latin word "indivisible" - not capable of being divided, broken up.
How can two human beings who are broken up in themselves communicate with each other, to "communicate" being to care, to co-operate, to work, to create together? There is a possibility of communication when both human beings share a common problem and are deeply concerned with the solution or the understanding of that problem. When you are deeply concerned, you can commune both verbally and non-verbally; but if one human being has certain opinions, conclusions, ideas and the other has opposing ideas, how can there be communication between the two? If you are a Hindu and I am a Muslim, how can we communicate? There is a possibility of communion only when you and I are both free of our petty little ambitions and tyrannies, that means when we are really individuals, indivisible. Then communion is possible. That means, when there is love between us - not opinion, not conclusions - when we really care dispassionately, intensely, then there is a possibility of communing with each other.
Question: How do you bring about order when there is so much disorder? How do you bring about an attitude which is indivisible, an attitude that is not broken up Krishnamurti: First of all, do we know that we live a disorderly life? Do you know that you live a disorderly life, a contradictory life, a public life and a private life, wanting this and wanting that, having ideals there and living a life without any meaning or relation to the ideal? You have the ideal of non-violence, and actually you are living a violent life. So this contradiction, this dual existence brings conflict, that is, disorder.
Are you aware of your life as disorder? Look at it, Sir, look at your own life and find out. You think one thing, say another, do another. This hypocritical existence, that is, having an ideal and living something entirely different from that ideal - that leads to hypocrisy, and that is disorder, isn't it? You see how silent you are? And you say, "You have just a theory." just listen to find out for yourself the truth of what is being said, or the falseness of what is being said. Find out, become aware of your disorder, the disorder of your life, not only outwardly but inwardly, and what has brought about this disorder - the cause.
Now when you say, "What has brought about this disorder," you are looking for a cause, aren't you? To analyse and to find out what the cause is takes time, doesn't it? I am in disorder and I want to find out how this has come into being. I know I can easily, very quickly find out the "why" of my culture, the society, the family, the tradition, the racial factors and all that - these are all the causes, the deeper causes. Now to examine all the causes which have brought about this disorder requires time, requires days, doesn't it? Do you see that, Sir? Now while you are examining, taking time to find out the cause, your life is still in disorder. So there is disorder and it is a waste of time, waste of energy, to find out what has brought this about.
What you can do is to observe that disorder, observe without trying to bring about order, without saying to yourself "I must bring order or I must suppress this disorder." just observe it, as you have observed that sunset, and you cannot do anything about that sunset. In the same way, observe that disorder without any choice, be aware of the disorder; and you will see that you are really aware of it. Then out of that awareness comes an order, which is an extraordinary living thing. That order is not according to blueprint, it is not a mechanical order. Therefore, look at this disorder, listen to it, observe it in yourself, and the observer is the cause of disorder, the observer is part of that disorder. Therefore you must look without the observer, and then you will see what comes out of it.
Krishnamurti in India 1970-71
Krishnamurti in India 1970-71 Chapter 9 4th Public Talk Madras 17th January 1971
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