Mind Without Measure
Longer, Unedited Versions
New Delhi 2nd Public Talk 31st October, 1982
May we continue with what we were talking about yesterday evening? Communication with each other, to communicate something to another, unless they are really willing to listen, however friendly, however good intentioned, unless one is able to listen to another, communication becomes rather limited, misunderstood and apt to be misguided. So we are going to talk over together this evening many things; and one has to use words to communicate, of course unless we are extraordinarily telepathic, without words we can communicate, I am afraid that is not possible, but words are necessary. Each one uses words rather casually, without much intonation, quality behind that word, and one doesn't listen to another actually. If you do listen there is always a defence, there is always a resistance to anything that is said, something new, and perhaps over which you have not thought, so the immediate reaction is to resist, or not listen, because it might be disturbing.
So there is an art of listening. That is to listen to what is being said, not interpret what is being said to your own convenience, to your own traditional language, but if you understand English, I hope some of you do, then to listen to the word, the meaning of that word, to see if we understand each other. And to listen one has to have not only a certain quality of attention but also a sense of affection, a sense of trying to understand what the other fellow is saying. A communication is possible at depth, as well as superficially, when both of us are concerned about the same subject, or the same idea, the same concern about a certain thing, then we are both in communication with each other. But if you resist, as perhaps you are going to resist a great deal to what the speaker is going to say, then communication is not possible. And as you are all good enough to come to the talk - I don't know why, but you are here.
So one has to learn the art of listening. When you listen to music which you like, there is no resistance, you go with it, you shake your head, you clap your hands, you do all kinds of things to express your appreciation, your understanding, your understanding of the quality of the music and so on. There, there is not any form of defence, any form of resistance, you are going with it, flowing with it. So please in the same way kindly listen, not to be instructed, not to be told what to do, but to understand what is being said, not the person who is saying it, but what is being said. If you are merely concerned with the person, that is, with the speaker, and not with what is being said, then you are not in communication with him. So forget the person altogether. He is just a telephone. You understand? So that you are actually listening to what is being said, and discover for yourself if you are resisting, and why you are resisting. One resists or there is a defence because you don't want to be disturbed, or you are not accepting anything new, you don't want anything new, or you don't really care what is being said. So please, as we are going to talk over together like two friends, please listen very carefully. Learn the art of listening, not to the speaker only, but to your wife, to your husband, to your children, to the birds, to the wind, to the breeze, so that you become extraordinarily sensitive in listening. And when you listen you capture quickly, you don't have to have a lot of explanations and analysis and descriptions, you are flowing with it.
So please as we are talking together as two friends, sitting in a park, or in a wood, quiet, birds are singing, plenty of dappled light coming through the leaves on the floor, and there is a sense of appreciation of beauty, and when you so listen the miracle takes place - when you listen. It is like sowing a seed and the if the seed is vital, strong, healthy, and the ground is properly prepared, it inevitably grows. So if one may point out, one has to learn the art of listening. And if you listen very, very carefully you capture it so quickly, the meaning of what the other is saying. Perhaps many of you have listened to the speaker for a number of years, unfortunately, and you get used to it. You get used to his language, his gesture, how he looks and so on, and you gradually slip off. And you say, 'Why haven't I, after years of listening to this man, changed?' - because they have actually not listened with their depth, with their heart, with their mind, with their whole energy. So don't blame the speaker but rather learn, if one may suggest most respectfully, the way of listening. There is great beauty in listening, to a bird, to a wind among the leaves, and to a word that is spoken with depth, with meaning, with passion.
We were saying yesterday that the future of man is at stake. And the future man has no existence in isolation - isolation as a nation, isolation as a group, isolation in religions, isolation as an individual, and isolation in consciousness. For most of us thinking is individual. What I think, what you think, there, there is a difference, a division, your opinion against my opinion, my thought against your thought, or your husband's thought, your wife's thought. So thinking is not individual. Thinking is the ordinary factor of the poorest, ignorant man, and the greatest Noble prize winner, scientist, they both think. But we have the idea that your thinking is yours, but whereas thinking is the nature of man. Clear, this point? So when you think, it is not your individual thinking, it is the capacity of the brain to be active and respond in words, in thought. This is the nature of man. But we have reduced it as, my thinking opposed to your thinking, or you agree with my thinking, or I agree with your thinking. This must be made very clear in these talks: we are thinking together, it is not your thinking and you accept my thinking. We are thinking together, which is very difficult because for most of us we have got strong opinions, biased, conclusions, we have experienced so much, so we think it is our experience, our conclusion. So when a new outlook is put before you, you refuse to look at it.
So thinking is the nature of man, it is not your thinking or my thinking. This must be seen very clearly. You observe when you talk to a poor, illiterate, ignorant man, he is also thinking according to his knowledge, his perception, his activity, as the scientist, the greatest scientist, he thinks according to his experience, to his knowledge, and discovers something new and so on. This is the general factor of all human beings that thinking is not yours or mine, it is thinking. Can we go on from there? We understand each other, at least even intellectually, even verbally?
And when you observe what is going on in the world, outside of you, each country is isolating itself, each group is isolating - the Muslim, the Hindu, the Buddhist, the Tibetan, the Russian, the American, and so on, the Chinese, I don't have to enumerate all the names. This is what is happening, each group is isolating, one follows one particular guru, another, another guru, and so on. This factor of isolation is destroying the world, is separating humanity. This is an actual fact that is taking place in the world. Then inwardly each of us thinks we are separate. Tradition, religion, all that has conditioned our thinking that we are separate human beings. Of course we are separate in the sense that you are a man, you are a woman, I am a man, or I am a woman, you are a man, tall, short, light, black and so on, but we are talking at a depth. That is, human consciousness is general, is shared by all human beings, all human beings suffer, go through great agonies, shed tears, have this sense of loneliness, pain, anxiety, depression, uncertainty - the poorest and the most sophisticated, erudite human being, all have this general factor, they all share this. This is so. So our consciousness is not yours or mine, it is the consciousness of all human beings. This is very difficult for most people to see this, and to see the reality of it because we have been so conditioned - in Christianity you are a separate soul, here you are atman, you reincarnate over and over again until you reach god knows what. It is still the emphasis that you are separate, individual - is that so? We are questioning it. Therefore you have to find out, question, doubt, ask. Which means you are listening without any defence, without any resistance to this truth - we are using the word correctly. It is the truth. You may at the periphery, on the outside, have certain mannerisms, certain habits, certain tendencies, capacities, but if you move from the outer to the inner we all share the same common issues. So unless we realize this, not verbally, not intellectually, but in our heart, in our minds, in our blood, we are going to destroy each other, which is going on. So are we capable of listening to this fact - not your opinions about the fact, but the actual fact that our consciousness, which is the content - our consciousness is made up of its content, isn't it. Are you all puzzled? Are we all thinking together, or we are off to somewhere else?
Look: a great many books have been written about consciousness, there are specialists about consciousness, conferences about consciousness, all over the world, and scholars, experts who have studied, not themselves, but other poor victims, they meet and discuss. But we are not professionals, at least I am not, but one has enquired into the nature of one's own consciousness, observed the content of it, because without the content there is no consciousness. Right? Are you following all this? Are we moving together? Consciousness is made up of one's beliefs, one's tendencies, one's secret desires, anxieties, beliefs, loneliness, and so on. That is the content which makes up consciousness; without the content there is no consciousness as we know it. If you observe your own consciousness, that is, what you are - your consciousness is what you are - your fears, your desires, your pleasures, your loneliness, depression, anxiety and all that, that is what you are, what you believe - you believe that you are god, you are that, and so on. So the content makes consciousness. And that consciousness is conditioned, and since it is conditioned it must be in conflict. Aren't you all in conflict, of some kind or another? Conflict being dissension between two people, conflict with oneself, 'what is' and 'what should be', that's a conflict. A man who is violent, as all human beings apparently are violent, the content of our consciousness is part of that violence. And conflict arises when there is a duality. That is, I am violent, I should not be violent; or I have the ideal of non-violence, which this country loves - the idea of non-violence, or practising non-violence, but the fact is you are violent. That's a fact. The other is not a fact. I wonder if you see this.
We must go into this very carefully because we are trying to understand why human beings live perpetually in conflict. Why there is a contradiction - I am, I should be, I am violent, I must become non-violent. And the non-violent is an idea, is a concept, is not an actuality because I am violent. Do you see this actuality, this is a fact? The other is non-fact. But we have created, or we think the pursuit of non-violence will help us to become non-violent, we will be free from violence. This is rather important, go into it, I will go into it slowly. I am violent, human beings are violent. I am violent, let's understand the content of that word. What does violence mean? There is physical violence, you with a gun shoot me, or you hit me, or you throw a bomb at me, you slap me, you injure me - that's a physical violence. What is psychological violence? The inward anger, hatred, wanting to dominate people. Right? Not only physical domination but the domination of ideas - I know, you don't know, I will tell you and you will obey. That's domination. I wonder if you follow all this. The gurus are violent because they are dominating people with their ideas, with their system of meditation and all that business. Please understand this, we are not attacking the gurus, they can jump in the lake or swim, whatever they want, but I am just pointing out what violence is, the psychological dependence, imitation, conformity, domination, all that is inward violence. That's a fact. Can we deal with the fact and not with the idea of the opposite, only deal with facts, and there is no opposite. Right? There is an opposite as darkness and light, woman and man, tall and short, black and white and so on, there is a difference, but inwardly is there duality at all? Do you understand, are we following each other, or am I talking to myself?
We are trying to understand why human beings live in conflict, and whether it is at all possible to be totally free of conflict, then the brain works astonishingly, then there is great energy, vitality, passion. But a mind that is constantly in conflict, not only wears down physically but also the brain becomes weak, worn out, old age and so on. So we are concerned this evening to understand why human beings live in conflict, not only with each other - the Arab and the Jew, the Muslim and the Hindu, and all that - but also in our relationship with each other. And actually we are asking, is there a duality, or only 'what is'? You understand my question? There is only 'what is', that is, I am violent. Now is it possible to be free of violence, not to become non-violent? Is this clear, are we meeting each other? Are we meeting each other? May I go on?
Q: We are not clear.
K: You see, here, this country has propagated this idea of non-violence. Being violent they are propagating something which they are not, and if you ask them, 'I am practising non-violence' - you understand, practising. That means I am gradually, day by day, practising to become that, not to understand violence but to become something which I have called non-violence. See the difference? And hence there is conflict. Right? When I am observing, learning, enquiring into the fact there is no conflict, but if my mind is all the time saying, I must achieve non-violence, then there is conflict. But if I say, look, I am violent, what is the root of violence, what is the nature of violence, I don't condemn it, I observe it.
Now, wait a minute, here it is very important to understand what we mean by observing. Now when you observe the full moon, do you observe it, do you see the beauty of that light, you see the grandeur, the extraordinary quality of that light, or do you say, 'Yes, it's a full moon' and you do something else? So what do we mean by observing? Do you ever observe the mountain, with all that grandeur, majesty, the snow-cap, and the deep valleys full of dark shadows, the extraordinary majesty of mountains. When you observe for a single moment all your problems have gone because the majesty of that has driven away all your problems, for a second. Have you noticed this? But the old problems come back immediately.
So we are going to talk over together, what does it mean to observe. Now suppose I am violent, how do I observe that violence, because I want to understand the nature of that violence, I want to explore, discover, the extraordinary factors that contribute to violence, so how do I observe it. First, is violence - please listen to this - is violence different from me? Right? You understand my question? I am asking, is that violence, which I see when I say, I am violence, is that violence difference from me, or I am that violence. When you are angry, you are angry, it is not you are different from anger. You are different from anger only when you want to control it, only when you say, I must suppress it. But are you actually different, separate, from violence? Please you must go into this very carefully because most people say, I am different from that object which I call violence. Is that so? Is the word 'violence' separated? You understand? Through tradition, through constant talking about violence and so on, the word itself has created a separation from observation. I wonder if you are following all this. Are your brains working actively, as the speaker is? I'll go on if you are interested, it's up to you to find out.
So the observer says, I am different from that, I am different from violence. So we have to enquire who is the observer. Right? The observer is the past who has known what violence is. It is the past, it is the knowledge, is the experience, is all the stored-up memories; those memories, those various forms of knowledge, and the movement of all that is the past. Thought has divided itself as the past, the present and the future. Right? So thought has divided itself as the observer and the observed. Right? Thought has said, I am not violent, but violence is not part of me. But when you look at it very closely, you are violent, you are angry, you are greedy, envious, competitive, depressed, you are all that. Right? You are not the watcher, the observer is not different from that which he is observing. Please understand, this is very important because this will, if you really truly understand this with your heart, with your mind, with all your being, conflict comes to an end because there is no duality at all. Forget all your books, Vedanta and all the rest of it, the fact is there is no opposite except physically. Psychologically, inwardly there is only the fact. The fact is, one is violent, angry, jealous, hatred and so on.
Now to observe the fact without its opposite which thought has invented. Right, do you see this? To observe 'what is'. In that observation the observer is the observed, the thinker is the thought. Right? The experiencer is the experience. But we have separated it. We are saying, I must experience enlightenment, or I must experience - whatever you want to experience. So the thinker is the thought, there is no thinker without thought. The observer is the observed, the analyser is that which he is analysing. I'll put it in ten different ways, but that is the fact, the observer is the observed, therefore you eliminate altogether the sense of duality inwardly. Then there is no question of suppressing it, escaping from it, analysing it, it is there. Then what takes place? Do you understand? Are we together, at least a little bit, half of the way? What takes place when there is the actual realization of this truth, that there is only the fact, not the invented opposite, only that which is? In that there is no division as the observer and the observed, then what takes place? You understand? Have you ever done this, or is it just all theories to you? You understand my question? Man has lived in conflict from time immemorial; if you see those caves in France, in certain parts of the world, there is always the battle between the good and the bad, the good against the evil. Right? This has been the history of man, conflict. And we are asking if this conflict in man can end, then he is a human being, vital, creative, you understand, he is something extraordinary.
And when there is this realization that you are violent, not you separate and violence is separate, you are that. You are brown, you have certain characteristics, you have troubles, you are a professor, scientists, all that you are, all that is not separate from you. So what takes place when this fact, this truth is realized? Not intellectually, not verbally, but deep down as a fact, as truth, what takes place? Have you not eliminated altogether the opposite, there is only this. And - please follow this - and to live with that, like a precious jewel that you have discovered and you are watching it. See the beauty of that jewel, the light, the facets, the many aspects of it, as you are watching it, which is part of yourself. Therefore the watching, observing is extraordinarily important. So that there is no division whatsoever between the watcher and that which is watched. Then you realize nothing can be done about it. You are brown, you can't change it; you have dark hair, you can't change it - of course you can change it by various colours and so on. But the fact when there is such observation it is not the word, it's not the memory, it is something totally new, you are facing this new reaction which you have called violence anew. That is, have you ever observed anything anew? Have you seen the moon, the new moon that is coming up, as though for the first time in your life? Have you looked at your wife, or your husband, as though for the first time? Have you? Or, she is my wife, he is my husband, you know, just a mechanical observation. So to observe requires great enquiry, energy, vitality to see actually 'what is'.
So we are now concerned with the elimination altogether of all kinds of conflict. That is, why do we have opinions? You understand my question? You have opinions, haven't you, judgements, why? Political opinions, religious opinions. Please enquire, don't just listen to what the speaker is saying, enquire into this. Why do you carry opinions, it is a burden? I am a Brahmin, you are not, I am a Sikh, you are not, I am a Muslim - you follow. Why these opinions? It indicates a mind that is, or a brain which is so crowded with opinions it is becoming small, petty, narrow. It is not free to enquire, look.
So we must go into this question why human minds, the human brain is always occupied, never free, never quiet. You are practising quietness, that's your meditation. It's like a pianist practising the wrong note. You understand this? So enquire into all this, please, because we are reaching a crisis, or we have a crisis in the world, a tremendous crisis, and also crisis in our consciousness, in us.
And we also ought to talk over together, as we talked yesterday, that life is a process of relationship. Why in our relationship with each other, however intimate, sexual, however close, why there is conflict, why two people cannot live peacefully. Have you ever asked that question? Why? Because it is very important, if I don't know how to live peacefully with my wife, with my husband, with my girl friend, whatever you like, I cannot live peacefully in the world. I may talk about peace, I may write a great deal about peace, go all over the world talking about peace, but I am quarrelling with my wife, or with my husband. So there is conflict in our relationship, why? Please enquire. Do you want me to tell you, or are you enquiring with the speaker? See the difference. You are waiting - actually the truth - you are waiting for me to tell you. But if you are really enquiring it is a sharing, a moving together. So we are thinking together, that's so important. Not agreeing together, but thinking, step by step, going together, like walking hand in hand down a lane, where there is so much beauty, love and affection. Why is there this dissension, this division between man and man, and woman and man, in our relationship? Have you noticed? They are like two parallel lines never meeting; you may sleep with your wife or your husband - or is that not mentioned publicly? Would you kindly tell me, is it not mentioned publicly? In this country it is kind of hidden, secret, keep it closed, don't talk about it, everybody shies away from it, not from the act, but talking, looking. We are such hypocrites. We never say what we mean and stick to what you mean.
So we are going to find out together why in human relationship we have such desperate, lonely, ugly conflicts. I am not married, suppose I am married - I have my ambition, my desires, my problems, in my office I am competitive, aggressive, I am pursuing my own direction, and the wife also is pursuing her own. Right? Ambitious, or not ambitious, too docile and I dominate and she resists, you know the whole game. So we are asking, why is there this conflict because we two have to live together, we have sex, we have children, but we two are separate. Right? This is a fact, isn't it. I dominate or she dominates me, she bullies me or I bully her, I scold her or she scolds me, I don't beat her but I am angry with her - I'd like to beat her but I am a little more controlled. No, sir, you laugh, these are all facts. But I am an individual, she is an individual, each must have his own way, sexually, in habits, in our desires - how can two people live together like that? Which means you have no love at all, for your wife or your husband. Do you know what it means to love another? Have you ever loved anybody? Is love dependence? Is love desire? Is love pleasure? I don't love my wife, she doesn't love me, we are two separate individuals, we may meet sexually but otherwise we carry on our own particular way. You understand, sir? Does love exist in this country? Don't say, does it exist in Europe. When the speaker is in Europe he talks about it, but we are talking about it here as we are in this country, in this part of the world. Is there love in this country? Do you love anybody? Can love exist with fear? When each one is becoming something - I am becoming a saint and she is not, or she is becoming a saint, I am not. When each one is becoming something - you understand? Please understand all this. It's your life. And when each one is becoming something how can there be love?
So what will you do? You understand my question? I have talked about it, what will you do? Get up and go home and forget all about it, or will you enquire if it is possible to love another without wanting a single thing from another, neither emotionally, physically, in any way, not ask my wife for anything psychologically - she may cook my meal, I may bring money, I am not talking about that, but inwardly. Love cannot exist where there is attachment. If you are attached to your guru there is no love in your heart. So this is very, very serious. Without love there is no right action. When there is love, whatever you do is right action. We talk about action, we do social work, but when there is love in your heart, in your eyes, in your blood, in your face, you are a different human being. Whatever you do then has beauty, has grace, is right action.
All this may be excellent words that you hear, but will you have this quality? It cannot be cultivated, it cannot be practised, it cannot be bought from your guru, from anybody, but without that you are dead human beings. So what will you do? Sir, please, do ask this question, find out for yourself, why this flame doesn't exist in you. Why you have become such paupers. You see unless we put our house in order - our house which is ourselves - there will be no order in the world. You may meditate for the rest of your life, without that your meditation has no meaning. So please most respectfully we are asking, what will you do after hearing all this, what's your response?
Q: I want to ask something.
K: Yes sir?
K: You didn't listen sir, forgive me for pointing out. You haven't listened to what the speaker has said previously. That thought is not yours or mine.
Q: I realize that it is not mine, it is not his, it is thought. So he does what he thinks.
K: No, sir. If you and I realize that thought is shared by all humanity, then there is no different thoughts, there is no you agreeing, I disagreeing. We'll go into it another time.
Q: Wouldn't that be love?
K: No, sir.
Q: You have been talking about radical change for the last fifty years, and I wonder sometimes, obviously there is no radical change in the world.
K: All right. Then why do you talk, is that it?
Q: Quite, precisely.
K: The gentleman asks - are you all interested suddenly in this? You have all become very active suddenly! The gentleman asks - this will be the last question, please - the gentleman asks, you have talked probably over fifty years, you have talked about fundamental change of human consciousness and so on and so on, for the last fifty years and more, and there is no change at all. Then the question is, why do you talk. I am not - the speaker is not talking for his amusement, for his fulfilment, for his encouragement, or if he didn't talk he wouldn't be depressed, he wouldn't feel lacking something. The speaker has tried not to talk for a year, therefore why do I talk. You understand? Have you ever asked why the lotus blooms, have you ever asked it? Have you, sir? Now just a minute, have you?
Q: You look very self satisfied.
K: Don't let this become an argument, please. Have you ever asked a flower why it grows, why it has so much beauty, why it has such marvellous colour, the depth and the smell and the glory of a simple flower? Or the speaker may be talking out of compassion - may be. But he is not talking for his self-fulfilment.
Mind Without Measure
Longer, Unedited Versions
New Delhi 2nd Public Talk 31st October, 1982
Texts and talks of Jiddu Krishnamurti. Krishnamurti quotes. Books about
J Krishnamurti. Philosophy.