The Future Is Now
Longer, Unedited Versions
Rajghat 2nd Public Talk 19th November 1985
May we go on with what we were talking about yesterday morning? As we said, we are taking a long journey together, in a railway, a very long journey, right throughout the world, and that journey began two and a half million years ago. And, during that long interval of time, and distance, we've had a great many experiences. And those experiences are stored in our brain, conscious or deeply unconscious, deep layers of it. And, together, you and the speaker, are going to examine, explore. It's not the speaker alone talks, we're all talking together, only the speaker is putting it into words. And the words have a very significant meaning, not just vocabulary, but the depth of the word, the significance of the word, the meaning of the word. And, as we said yesterday, you and the speaker, are taking the journey together, you can't just go to sleep. You can't just say yes, I agree, or disagree. We went into that. We are not agreeing or disagreeing. We are merely looking out of the window, seeing what extraordinary things man has gone through, what experience, what pain, what sorrow, what unbearable things man has created for himself, and for the world. We are not taking sides, pro and con, please understand this very carefully. We are not taking any side, either left or right or centre. This is not a political meeting, this is not an entertainment, this is a serious gathering. If you want to be entertained, you should go to a cinema, or football, but this is a very serious meeting, as far as the speaker is concerned. He has talked all over the world, unfortunately or fortunately he may have created a reputation, and probably you are coming here because of that reputation, but that's no value at all. So please, together we are going to examine, sitting together in that train, taking an infinitely long journey. We are not trying to impress you. You understand? We are not trying to force you to look at something. We are looking at our daily life, and all the background of a million years, let's keep it to a million years, good enough, and one must listen to all the whispers, hear every movement, see everything as it is, not as you would wish it to be, actually what you see out of the window as the train goes by.
And, you have to keep awake to see everything that you're passing, hear every whisper, hear every sound, the beauty of the hills, the rivers, the stretch of water, and all the beauty around you. Shall we talk about beauty for a while? Would it interest you? Yes - don't say yes, yes, it's a very serious subject, like everything in life. So please, probably you've never asked what is beauty - not the beauty of a boy.
So to listen, not only to our own inward thoughts, feelings, and our opinions and judgments, but also to hear the sound of what other people are saying, not your gurus, that's all rather childish, but what other people are saying, what your wife is saying, what your neighbour is saying, to listen to the sound of that crow, to feel the beauty of the world, the beauty of nature. So, we're going to, for the moment, to enquire into what is beauty. Right? Because you are passing in that train the most wonderful scenery, the hills, the rivers, the great snowclapped mountains, deep valleys, not only things outside of you, but also the inward structure, the nature of your own being, what you think, what you feel, what your desires are. One has to listen to all this, not just say yes, right, wrong, this is what I think, what I shouldn't think. Or just merely follow some tradition, either modern tradition, with the psychology, physicists, doctors, computer experts, and so on, but also to listen, very quietly, without any reaction, to see the beauty of a tree. So we're going together to talk about beauty.
What is beauty? Have you been to museums? In the old middle-ages, or Renaissance, of the great painters, have you seen them, some of you? Probably not. I won't take you around the museum, I'm not a guide. But instead of looking at pictures, paintings, and the statues of the ancient Egyptians, Greeks, and Romans, and the moderns, we are looking, asking, enquiring, demanding to find out, what is beauty? Not the form, not a woman or a man, or a small child that's extraordinarily beautiful, all children are. So, what is beauty? I'm asking the question sir, please answer to yourself first, or you've never thought about it. Not the beauty of a face, but the beauty of a green lawn, of a flower, of the great mountains, with the snow covering them, and the deep valleys, and the still tranquil waters of a river. All that is outside of you. And you say how beautiful that is. What does that word beauty mean? Because it is very important to find that out because we have so little beauty in our daily life. If you go through Benares you know all about it. The filthy streets, the dust, the lorries. And you ask yourself, seeing all this, not the mere tenderness of a leaf, or the tender generosity of human beings, but to enquire very deeply, this word that is used by poets, painters, sculptors, and you are asking yourself now, what is this quality of beauty? Do you want me to answer it, or will you answer it? Go on, sir.
Q: You answer it.
Q: Because we don't know.
K: The gentleman says, you answer it because we don't know. Why? Why don't you know? Why haven't we enquired into this enormous question? You have your own poets, from the ancient people until now. They write about it, they sing about it, they dance, and you say, I don't know what beauty is. What a strange people we are. But, if you ask who is your guru, who is your god, I believe there are 300,000 gods in India, pretty good, in Europe or America there is only one god. With you there are 300,000 more. You can choose any of them to amuse yourself.
So what is beauty? It's the same question sir, put into different words. What are you? What is the nature and the structure of you, apart from the biological factor. What are you? Pass some exams, get a degree, a job, become a physicist, a scientist, a treasurer for a government, what are you? That is very closely related to what is beauty. When you look at a mountain, snowcapped, deep valleys, blue deep hills, what do you feel, what's your real response to all that? Don't you know? Aren't you, for a second, or a few minutes, absolutely shocked by it? The greatness, the immensity, the blue valley, the extraordinary light, and the blue sky against the snowcapped mountains. What happens to you the moment you look at that - the grandeur, the majesty of the mountains, what do you feel? Do you for the moment, or for a few minutes, exist at all? You understand my question? Please don't agree, look at it very closely. At that moment when you look at something grand, immense, majestic, for a second you don't exist, right, you've forgotten your worries, and your wife, and your children, your job, all the messiness of one's life. At that moment you say you are stunned by it, which is, for that second, the grandeur has wiped away all your memory, for a second, then you come back. What happens during that second? Go on sir - what happens when you are not there? That is beauty. You understand? When you are not there. Don't agree sir. Don't shake your head, yes, yes. So, there, the grandeur, the majesty of a mountain, or a lake, or that river early in the morning, making a golden path, for a second you have forgotten everything. That is when the self is not, there is beauty. You understand what I am saying. When you are not, with all your problems and responsibilities, your traditions, and all that rubbish, not your family, then there is beauty. Right? When you are not there, like a child with a toy, as long as the toy is complex and he plays with it, the toy absorbs him, right, takes him over. The moment the toy is broken, he's back to whatever it was he was doing.
And we are like that. We are absorbed by the mountain, it's a toy for us for a second, or for a few minutes, and we go back to our world. And we are saying, without a toy, with nothing to absorb you, take you over, you understand what I'm saying - you know how a child behaves when you give him a toy? Or haven't you watched? The toy becomes to the child extraordinary, he's amused, and he plays with it. For a few minutes or a few hours or a few days the toy takes him over. Right? You understand my English? So the mountain has taken you over. Right? And, can you, without being absorbed by something great, be free of yourself? You understand my question? You don't understand this - you're too clever, that's what's the matter with all of you - too much learning. You're not simple enough - if you are very simple, not in clothes - deeply simple in yourself, you will discover something extraordinary. But you are covered over with a lot of knowledge, experience, and so on.
So let's move. We are going to talk over together many things. We've talked over beauty for a while, not the poet's beauty, not the poem, the literature, the essays, the beautiful novel, or the good thrillers. Probably you don't read thrillers - do you - oh, you are too holy! So let's look at ourselves. We have created the world. You, the speaker, his forefathers, past thousand years of generations and time. Right? So, what is all this about? You understand? You understand what I'm saying? What is all this noise about? Killing each other, maiming each other, dividing my god, your god. Why is this society so ugly, so brutal, so cruel? Yes sir, why? Who has created this monstrous world? I'm not being pessimistic or optimistic, but look at the world, the thing that's going on outside of you. Poor countries buying armaments. Right? Your country buying armaments, and immense poverty, competition. Right? Who has created all this? Will you say god has created it? He must be a messy god. So who has created this society? You are always talking about society. Who created it, who put it together? Lord you people! Haven't you put it together? Not you only, your fathers, your great grandfathers, the past generations of millions of years, they have created this society, through their avarice, envy. Right? Through their competition, they have divided the world: economically, socially, religiously. Right? Face the facts sir, for god's sake. You and the speaker, and his fathers, and fathers, back, back, back, and your fathers, as far as you can go, we have put this society together, we are responsible for it. Right, or do you deny this fact?
So we are responsible for this. Not gods, not some external factors, but we each one of us has created this society. You belong to this group and I belong to another group. You worship one god and I worship another god, you follow one guru, however silly and stupid they are, and I follow another. So we have divided society. Right? And we have divided not only socially, but also religiously. Right? Just look at it sir, for god's sake look at it. Geographically we have divided the world - Europe, America, Russia - we have divided the culture - Western culture and Eastern culture; we have made governments - labour, democratic, republican, communist. You understand sir, how our brain works - divides, divides, divides. Haven't you noticed this factor? And so, out of division comes conflict. Right? You have divided yourself as the good and the bad - I won't go into all that, it's too complex. For god's sake - you probably have never thought about any of these things.
So, we have created this society, so you are this society. You understand? You are the society. So, unless you change radically, you'll never change the society. Communists have tried this, forcing, compelling secretly, viciously, destroying millions, to force man, his psychology, his being, to submit to various forms of compulsion. You must know all of this. This is history - daily newspaper. And so where there is division, there must be conflict. Right? That's law. And we like conflict, apparently, so we live in perpetual conflict.
So we must go back and find out, what is the cause of this, all this. Is it desire, is it fear, is it pleasure, is this the avoidance of all pain, and therefore guilt? You understand all this, or am I going too fast? So let's begin to find out for ourselves what is desire. Right? That's the basis. Desire to have power, desire to achieve, desire to become somebody. Right? We are not against desire, we are not trying to suppress desire, or transcend desire, like the monks, like most of you, transcend, control, suppress, we're not going into that. We must, together, understand, what is desire. Right? What is desire? Are you working as hard as the speaker? Or you just say, well let's listen to that man, it's a nice day, a nice morning. So, we're asking, what is desire? How does it come about, what is it's source? Not how to suppress it, how to control it, or let it go, but the root of it. Aren't you interested in that? Aren't you interested to find out what is the root of it? Do you want me to explain? As usual. Sir, explanation is not the thing. Right? The word is not this - I may call it a microphone, and you will call it microphone, but the word is not that, therefore explanation is not that, the description is not that. When one describes a marvellous tree, the description is not the tree. So we are going to use words to convey to each other, but the words, the description, is not the fact. Right? So, at least one learns that. The word is not the thing. Right? My wife, the word wife, is not the wife. If we can understand that simple fact, you will treat her better.
So what is desire, and why does it dominate us? What is it's place, what is its nature? You understand? What is desire? You understand? All the monks all the world over, suppress desire, or wanting to transcend desire, or desire is identified with certain images, certain symbols, certain rituals. Right? You're all there some of you, the monks and all the rest of it. What is desire? Have you ever asked that question? Or do you yield to desire, whatever the consequences?
So we're going together, together, not wait for me, for the speaker to explain, but together we're going to look at it. Right? We live by sensation, don't we? There's a train going across the bridge: you hear it, you identify it. So we live by sensation - better food, better house, better wife. So sensation is life. Right? Part of life - sex is part of life, it's a sensation, pleasure. And we have a great many pleasures. Right? Pleasure of possession, and so on and so on. To us, sensation becomes extraordinarily important, part of life, right, part of our existence. If you have no sensation, you are dead. Right? All your nerves go, your brain withers, and so on. So we live by sensation. Right? Sensation being touch, feel, sensation; like putting a nail suddenly into your finger, that's sensation, pain you call it. When you see something ugly, how can you smile at it, that is part of sensation; tears, laughter, having humour, it's all part of sensation. Then what happens, we have this sensation. You see a beautiful house - which is it you want, more power, more money? The more; the more is part of sensation. Right? Right sirs? You're so hesitant, aren't you? So, what happens when you have a sensation? When you see something very beautiful, a car, a woman, a man, or a lovely house, what happens? You see the house, there is a sensation, then what takes place? Go slowly, you'll understand it. You see that lovely house, clean, with beautiful gardens, flowers, everything kept beautifully, that's sensation when you see it. Then what takes place? Sensation is natural. Right? It is inevitable, it is part of our life. Then I explain, you'll agree and say quite right, quite right, and go home, do the same thing.
So then, what takes place? You have seen that house, seen the garden, seen the beauty of the landscape, and how the house is built, with style, grace and sense of dignity, then thought comes along, makes an image of that sensation, and then says, I wish I had that house. You follow this - no, you don't. You see that house there - there is sensation. Just wait a minute, wait a minute before I go further. Sensation, then thought comes along and creates out of that sensation the desire to have that house. Right? Or something else. You see some politician riding in a big car, or cyclist ahead, and all the rest of that business, and you say, by Jove, I wish I had some power. That is, you have seen that, sensation, then thought comes and says, I wish I had that power. Right? At that moment desire is born. When sensation is given a shape, a form, then at that second desire is born. Do you understand what I have said? May I repeat it again, do you want it repeated?
Sir, you put a pin in my thumb, that's a sensation of pain. And, every record, every response is part of sensation. Right? Intellectual, theoretical, philosophical - sensation. We live by sensation. Be clear on that. We live by sensations, that is, senses responding, good taste, bad taste, it's bitter, it is sweet, and so on, we live by sensation. And when we see something which we have not got, like a house, like a car, like some, you know, that sensation becomes dominant when thought gives it an image. You understand? When thought comes along and says, I wish I had it. At that moment desire is born. Right? Don't look at me as if I am some crazy nut. You understand the subtlety of it? The depth of it. When thought gives a form, a structure, an image, to sensation, at that second desire is born.
Now the question is, can sensation not be caught by thought, which is also another sensation. You understand sir? Sensation, and give it time for thought to give it shape, that is an interval between sensation and thought giving it a contour. Right? Do it. See what is implied in it when you do it, not say yes, yes I agree with you.
Q: If you put a pin in my hand there is pain.
K: There is pain, then what thought does - no, wait sir, look at it, go slow, don't rush. I have pain in the thumb, in the finger, then, I want that pain to be stopped, so I go to a doctor or whatever I do. Right? Right sir? I want that pain stopped. Are we asleep? Yes. Sir, pain is another form of sensation. Right? Then thought says I must stop it. You don't say, let me look at that pain. Right? Haven't you done all this? If I'm ill, which I've sometimes been, I say, all right, wait until you feel - see what it means, what pain means, what pleasure means. Don't you do that, or is it immediately doctor? What? Immediately a doctor. My god.
Q: The whole response of pain - the pain and a doctor.
K: Yes sir, give an interval. You understand? Not say but I must go to a doctor, too quick. Give it an interval, a time, and you learn a lot from that.
So, I'm saying, when there is time in between sensation and thought, an interval, a long interval, or short interval, you'll understand the nature of desire. In that there is no suppression, no transcending. If you have a car, and when you drive it, not knowing the mechanism of it, the internal combustion of it, the machinery of it, you are always a little nervous that something might go wrong. Right? But if you know, if you have dismantled that car, as the speaker has done, totally dismantled it, don't get nervous, or something or other, when you dismantle it, and put it together very carefully, know all the parts, then you're master of the machinery, of that machine. Right? Then you're not afraid, you can put it together again. You understand? So, if you understand the nature of desire, the way desire begins, then you're not afraid of it, then you know what to do with it.
Q: You give yourself a pain...
K: I've explained sir. Sir let's move to something else.
There's something which you and I, the speaker, should talk over together. We have lived for thousands of years, and we have never understood the nature of fear. Right? What is the source of fear, what is the cause of fear. Right? We apparently have never ended fear, biological fear as well as, certainly much more, psychological fears, inward fears: fear of death, right, fear of not having, not possessing, not being, fear of loneliness. Right? We have so many fears. Don't you know it? Don't you know your fears? No? You're a rummy crowd - not know your own fears. Out of these fears you create gods. Right? Out of these fears you create rituals, spiritual hierarchies, gurus, all the temples of the world are out of fear. Right? And, fear of your wife, fear of your governor, fear of your policeman, you know, we've got thousands of fears. And we're asking, what is fear, not your particular form of fear. You understand, you understand sir? Not my fear and your fear, what is fear? If you understand the machinery of a car, you're not afraid of the car. Right? You know how to run it, when it should be serviced, and looked after and all the rest. So if you know, realize, understand, be with the nature of it, the cause of it, the root of it, then you will transcend fear, the fear is gone. Right? We're going to do that this morning.
We're asking what is fear, what's the cause of it, not how to end it, not how to transcend it, control it, depress it, and run away from it, as you're doing. So what is the cause the source of fear? Think it out, sir, go into it for a minute. Take your fear, your particular fear, or fears, what is the root of it? Security, desire for more, it's all, you understand? So, if you haven't found it, you will ask somebody, like the speaker, what is the cause of it? Will you listen, to it, listen, actually listen, as you listen to your boss, who might throw you out, give you less money, you listen? You listen with all your heart, with your fears, with your apprehension, you might lose your job, therefore please tell me what to do. Will you so listen to what he is saying? Or you say, yes. So I'll explain. May I? But you know how to do your job in an office. Right? So I'll explain. It's rather complex, and you like complexity. But, the explanation is not the thing. Right? The word fear is not fear. Right? The word is not the thing.
What is fear? What is the cause of it? Is the word fear the cause of fear? You understand? The word fear, does that evoke fear in you? Are you sure? So fear is a fact. And the word is not the fact. Right? Don't look puzzled, sir, it's simple, very simple. The word tree, is not the tree. So the explanation is not a means to end fear. So we have to examine then, what is time, because time is fear - tomorrow something might happen, my house might fall down; my wife might turn to another man; my husband has gone off and I'm in sorrow - fear. You understand? Fear of the past, fear of the future, fear of the present, anything might happen. So the past, the future and the present is caught in the wheel of time. Right? Right? Yesterday, today, and tomorrow is time. Right? I have been that, I won't be that, but I am not that now. Right? I have been, I shall be, but I am not. So the whole process is a movement in time. Movement means time. From here to there is a movement, and that means time to come from this place to that place needs time. So movement is time. All movement is time. Right? By the clock - come nearer sir, if you're in the sun sir, you too come and sit, there's plenty of room for god's sake. Don't be nervous, come close - so the past, the present, and the future is a movement which we call time. I was young once, now I'm ninety - this is time.
So what is time? What is time? It took you time to come from Benares to here. It'll take time for you to get back. So, there is time by the clock. Right? There is time to cover a distance, there is time as the past, the present, and the future. Right sir? All this is time. Right? The past shapes the present, right, circumstances and so on. Please, this is very difficult, don't agree or disagree, just listen, find out. The past is now operating. Right? And the future is shaped by the present, modified, circumstances have changed, certain incidents happen, so the past is modified, changed, altered. Right? And the future is what happens now. Right? So all time, the past, the present, and the future, is contained now. Ah, this puzzles you - go slowly, I'm not in a hurry. Sir, this applies to life, not just to theory. You are a Brahmin, oh sorry, you don't like Brahmins here. You were something yesterday, an incident takes place today that changes, modifies slightly, alters the past circumstances, the past, and the future is what you are now. Right? Modified. That's clear, isn't it? Or is this still a puzzle? That is, the past, the present, and the future are now. If there is no mutation now - you understand the word mutation - if there is no mutation now, you'll be exactly the same as you've been before. Right? I think I'm Indian, with all the circus behind it, and I'll be Indian again tomorrow. Right? That's logical, and that being Indian divides me from Muslim. Right? And I'll quarrel with him, not only for his land, increase of population and all the rest of it. So tomorrow is now. I can't go on explaining it to you. You understand this? So what you do now matters, much more than what you will do tomorrow. Right?
So what are you going to do? If tomorrow is now, that's a fact, it's not my theory or your theory, it's a fact: I am greedy now, if I don't do anything about it now, I'll be greedy tomorrow, that's all. Can I stop being greedy today? Right? Will you? No, of course not. So you will be what you have been. This is the pattern of humanity, for millions of years. You don't mind killing, be honest, you don't mind killing. You subscribe to it, you want your country to be strong. Right? Don't be ashamed of it, this is a fact. And so you gather armaments, you may not actually do it, you do it through tax, through buying a stamp, you support. Right? So, if you don't stop being an Indian now, you'll be an Indian tomorrow. So what are you going to do now? Oh you people, stop, you stop there. I'm asking what will you do now?
Q: Stop being an Indian.
K: Will you? You know what the implications are - not the passport, not the paper. Not to be associated with any country, not to be associated with any group, with any religion - they're all phoney anyhow. Is that possible, will you do it? Not you sir. Will you see the importance that if there is no mutation now, today, you'll be exactly the same tomorrow. This is not optimistic or pessimistic, this is a fact. For two and a half million years we have killed people. Right? As Buddhists, as Hindus, as Christians, perhaps Christians have killed more than anybody else. You're not Christian so I can easily say that! I've tackled this question in front of the Christians. So you understand the seriousness of it - don't play with it. If there is no radical mutation now, now, I'll be the same tomorrow.
So time is a factor in fear. Right? I'm afraid of what might happen tomorrow. I am afraid of not passing an exam. Right? A girl or a boy, wanting to pass some examination in order to have a better job, more money, a better chance, better this, says I'm going to work, work, work to pass that exam. I might not - fear comes in, and so on. Fear is a common factor of all mankind - it's not you, of all mankind. So can that fear, you understand, fear, not one branch of it, can the root of fear be totally demolished? That is, to have no fear of any kind. The speaker says it is eminently possible. That it can be done so radically. Either you kill the speaker, or you worship him, which are both the same. You understand? And that's what you're doing now. So, that's one of the factors of our life. And we have lived with fear for a million years, or more and we still carry on. So the speaker is saying, fear can be totally ended. Don't say it illumines one, and all that nonsense. You can end it if you put your brain, your heart into it, completely, not partially. And then you will see for yourself what immense beauty there is in it. A sense of utter freedom. Not freedom of a country, or some government, but the sense of enormity of freedom, greatness of freedom. Right? Will you do it, today, now? From today, seeing the cause of fear, end it. It is time. Time means thought, time is a movement, isn't it? We all agree, and thought is also a movement. Don't be dazzled by all this, it's very simple. Time is movement, thought is movement, so time is thought, and thought is time. Thought is based on knowledge, memory, experience, and so on, and time is also very limited in our life. As long as there is fear, biologically, physically, psychologically, it destroys us.
So, if one may ask, after listening to this fact, not theory, what are you going to do? Time is the factor of fear and thought, so if you don't change now, you won't ever change, ever again. This constant postponement. Right.
The Future Is Now
Longer, Unedited Versions
Rajghat 2nd Public Talk 19th November 1985
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