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The Impossible Question

Part 1, Public Talks Saanen 1970

Impossible Question Part I Chapter 3 3rd Public Talk Saanen 21st July 1970 'Analysis'

It is really quite important to understand the whole problem of living: from the moment we are born till we die, we are always in conflict. There is always a struggle, not only within ourselves, but outwardly in all our relationships, there is strain and strife; there is constant division, and a sense of the separate individual existence in opposition to the community. In the most intimate relationships, each one is seeking his own pleasure, secretly or openly; each one is pursuing his own ambition and fulfilment, thereby generating frustration. What we call living, is turmoil. In this turmoil we try to be creative. If one is gifted one writes a book or a poem, composes a picture and so on, but all within the pattern of strife, grief and despair; yet this is what is considered creative living. In going to the moon, living under the sea, waging wars, there is this constant bitter strife of man against man. This is our life.

It seems to me that we should go into this matter very seriously, very deeply, and if we can, feel our way into a quality of mind where there is no strife whatsoever, both at the conscious level and also in the layers that lie below the conscious.

Beauty is not the result of conflict. When you see the beauty of a mountain or of swift running water, in that immediate reception there is no sense of striving. In our lives there is not much beauty because of the battle that is going on.

To find a quality of mind that is essentially beautiful and clear, that has never been touched by strife, is of the greatest importance; in the understanding of that - not merely verbally or intellectually, but in actually living it in daily life - we may have some kind of peace within ourselves and in the world. Perhaps this morning we shall be able, hesistantly and with sensitive watchfulness, to understand this battle we live in, and be free of it.

What is the root cause of this conflict and contradiction? Ask this question of yourself. Do not try to put into words an explanation, but simply enquire non-verbally, if you can, into the basis of this contradiction and division, this strife and conflict.

Either you enquire analytically or you perceive immediately the root of it. Analytically, you may unravel bit by bit and come upon the nature, the structure, the cause and effect of this strife within ourselves, between the individual and the State. Or you may perceive the cause of it instantly. In this way we may find out factually the cause of all this conflict and perceive the truth of it instantly.

Let us understand what it means to analyse, to attempt to discover intellectually, verbally, the cause of this conflict. Because once you understand the analytical process - see the truth or the falseness of it - you will be completely free of it for ever; which implies an understanding in which your eyes, your mind, and your heart perceive immediately the truth of the matter. We are used to, conditioned to, the analytical process and the philosophical and psychological approach to the various specialists; it has become a habit. We are conditioned to trying to understand this whole complex process of living analytically, intellectually. This is not to advocate its opposite - emotional sentimentality. But if you understand very clearly the nature and the structure of the analytical process, then you will have quite a different outlook; you will be able to direct the energy which had been given to analysis in a totally different direction.

Analysis implies division. There is the analyser and that which is to be analysed. Whether you analyse yourself, or it is done by a specialist, there is division, therefore there is already the beginning of conflict. We can do tremendous things only when there is great passion, great energy, and it is only this passion that can create a totally different kind of life in ourselves and in the world. That is why it is very important to understand this process of analysis in which the human mind has been caught for centuries.

Of the many fragments into which we are divided, one assumes the authority of the analyser; the thing that is to be analysed is another. That analyser becomes the censor; he, with his accumulated knowledge, evaluates the good and the bad, what is right and what is wrong, what should or should not be suppressed, and so on. Also, the analyser must make every analysis complete, otherwise his evaluation, his conclusion, will be partial. The analyser must examine every thought - everything which he thinks should be analysed, and that will take time. You may spend a whole lifetime analysing - if you have the money and the inclination, or if you can find an analyst with whom you are in love, and all the rest of it. You can spend all your days analysing and at the end of it you are where you were, with still more to be analysed.

We see that in analysis there is the division between the analyser and the analysed, and also that the analyser must analyse accurately, completely, or his conclusions will impede the next analysis. We see that the analytical process takes an infinite time and during that time many other things may happen. So when you see the whole structure of analysis, then that seeing is actually a denial, a negation of it; seeing what is involved in it, there is the negation of that action - which is complete action.

Questioner: What do you mean by action?

Krishnamurti: Action according to an idea, an ideology, one's accumulated experience. Action is always approximating itself to the ideal, to the prototype, so there is a division between action and ideal. Such action is never complete, analysis is never complete; the negation of that incomplete action is total action. When the mind has seen the futility, the meaninglessness of analysis, with all the problems which are involved, it will never touch it; the mind will never seek to understand `true' analysis.

The mind that has looked into the process of analysis has become very sharp, alive, sensitive, because it has rejected that which we had considered to be the way and means of understanding.

If you see very clearly for yourself - not forced or compelled by the argument and reasoning of another - the falseness or the truth of analysis, then your mind is free and has the energy to look in another direction. What is the `other direction'? It is the immediacy of perception that is total action.

As we said, there is division between the analyser and the thing to be analysed, division between the observer and the thing observed: this is the root cause of conflict. When you observe, you always do so from a centre, from the background of experience and knowledge; the `me' as the Catholic, the Communist, the `specialist, and so on, is observing. So there is a division between `me' and the thing observed. This does not require a great deal of understanding, it is an obvious fact. When you look at a tree, at your husband, or wife, there is this division. It exists between yourself and the community. So there is this observer and the thing observed: in that division there is inevitably contradiction. That contradiction is the root of all strife.

If that is the root cause of conflict, then the next question is: can you observe without the `me', the censor, without all the accumulated experiences of misery, conflict, brutality vanity pride, despair, which are the `me'? Can you observe without the past - the past memories, conclusions and hopes, without all the background? That background - as the `me', the `observer' - divides you from the observed. Have you ever observed without the background? Do it now, please. Play with it. Look at the outward things objectively; listen to the noise of the river, look at the lines of the mountains, the beauty, the clarity of it all. That is fairly easy to do without the `me', as the past, observing. But can you look at yourself inwardly, without the observer? Do, please, look at yourself, your conditioning, your education, your way of thinking, your conclusions, your prejudices, without any kind of condemnation or explanation or justification - just observe. When you so observe there is no `observer' and there. fore no conflict.

That way of living is totally different from the other - it is not the opposite, not a reaction to the other, it is entirely different. And in it there is tremendous freedom and an abundance of energy and passion. It is total observation, complete action. When you have completely seen and understood, your action will always be clear. It is like looking at the total extent of the map, not the detail of where you want to go.

So one finds out for oneself, as a human being, that it is possible to live without any kind of conflict. This implies an enormous revolution in oneself. That is the only revolution. Every form of physical, outward revolution - political, economic, social - always ends up in dictatorship, either of the bureaucrats or of the idealist or of some conqueror. Whereas this inward, complete and total revolution, which is the outcome of the understanding of all conflict, which is caused by the division between the observer and the observed, brings about a totally different kind of living.

Now please let us go into it further, if you will, by asking questions about it.

Questioner: How can one divorce oneself from problems, when one lives in a world full of problems?

Krishnamurti: Are you different from the world? You are the world - are you not?

Questioner: I am just a person who lives in the world.

Krishnamurti: `Just a person who lives in the world' - dis- associated, unrelated to all the events that are taking place in the world?

Questioner: No, I am part of that. But how can I divorce myself from it?

Krishnamurti: You cannot possibly divorce yourself from the world: you are the world. If you live in Christendom, you are conditioned by the culture, by the religion, by the education, by the industrialization, by all the conflicts of its wars. You cannot possibly separate yourself from that world. The monks have tried to withdraw from the world, enclosing themselves in a monastery, but nevertheless, they are the result of the world in which they live; they want to escape from that culture by withdrawing from it, by devoting themselves to what they consider to be the truth, to the ideal of Jesus and so on.

Questioner: How can I look into myself with all the worries that are on my mind, with making money, buying a house, and so on?

Krishnamurti: How do you look at your job? How do you consider it?

Questioner: I consider it as a means to survive in the world.

Krishnamurti: `I must have a livelihood in order to survive., The whole structure of society, whether here, or in Russia, is based on survival at any price, doing something which society has set up. How can one survive safely, lastingly, when there is division between ourselves? When you are a European and I am an Asian, when there is division between ourselves, each one competing to be secure, to survive, therefore battling with each other individually and collectively, how can there be survival? A temporary survival? So the real question is, not that of survival, but whether it is possible to live in this world without division; when there is no division we shall survive, completely, without fear. There have been religious wars; there have been appalling wars between the Catholics and the Protestants - each saying,'We must survive'. They never said to themselves, `Look, how absurd this division is, one believing this and the other believing that; they never saw the absurdity of their conditioning. Can we put the whole energy of our thinking, our feeling, our passion, into finding out whether it is possible to live without this division, so that we shall live fully, in complete security? But you are not interested in all that. You just want to survive. You don't your survival is in spite of non-survival.

Look Sirs, sovereign governments, each with their own army, have divided the world and are at each other,s throats, maintaining prestige and economic survival. Computers, without the politicians, in the hands of good men, can alter the whole structure of this world. But we are not interested in the unity of mankind. Yet, politically, that is the only problem. That can only be solved when there are no politicians, when there are no sovereign governments, when there are no separate religious sects - and you, who are listening to this, you are the people to do it.

Questioner: Does it not need conscious analysis to arrive at that conclusion?

Krishnamurti: Is it a conclusion, resulting from analysis? You just observe this fact. Look at how the world is divided by sovereign governments and religions; you can see it - is that analysis?

Questioner: Don't you think that in order to change all that, we also need an outward revolution?

Krishnamurti: An inward and an outward revolution at the same time. Not first one and then the other; it must be simultaneous. It must be an instant inward and outward revolution without emphasizing one or the other. How can that take place? Only when you see the complete truth, that the inward revolution is the outward revolution. When you see that, then it takes place - and not intellectually, verbally, ideally. But is there in you a complete inward revolution? If there is not and you want outer revolution, then you are going to bring chaos into the world. And there is chaos in the world.

Questioner: You speak of Governments, and Churches, and Nationalism,they have what we consider to be the power.

Krishnamurti: The bureaucrats want power and they have it. Don't you want power - over your wife or your husband? In your conclusions as to what you think is right, there is power; every human being wants some kind of power. So don't attack the power that is vested in others, but be free of the demand for power in yourself; then your action will be totally different. We want to attack the outward power, tear that power away from the hands of those who have it and give it to somebody else; we do not say to ourselves, `Let us be free of all dominance and possession'. If you actually applied your whole mind to be free of every kind of power - which means to function without status - then you would bring about quite a different society.

Questioner: If you are hungry you can't even begin to deal with these questions.

Krishnamurti: If you were really hungry you would not be here! We are not hungry and therefore we have time to listen, time to observe. You may say, we are a small group of people, a drop in the ocean, what can we do? Is that a valid question when we are confronted with this enormously complex problem of the world in which we live? As a human being, a simple individual, what can I do? If you were really confronted with the problem would you put that question? You would just be working - you understand Sir? When you say,'What can I do?', in that is already a note of despair.

Questioner: A lot of people are hungry, they have to take immediate steps to survive. What does all this mean to them?

Krishnamurti: Nothing. When I am hungry Sir, I want food - and all this has very little meaning. So what is your question?

Questioner: We are a minority, a small group. The vast majority, in India, in Asia, in parts of Europe and America, are really hungry. How can what we are saying here, affect all these people?

Krishnamurti: It depends on you, on what you do, even as the small minority. An enormous revolution in the world is created because a minority in themselves have changed. You are concerned with the misery of the world, the poverty, the degradation, the starvation, and you say,'What can I do?' Either you thoughtlessly join an outward revolution, try to break it all up and create a new kind of social structure - and in the process of that you will again establish the same misery or you will consider a total revolution, not partial, not merely physical, in which the inward structure of the psyche will act in an entirely different relationship with society.

Questioner: You speak as though inward revolution happens suddenly - does it really take place that way?

Krishnamurti: Is the inward revolution a matter of time, of gradual inward change? This is a very complex question. We are conditioned to accept that through gradual inward revolution there will be a change. Does it take place step by step, or does it happen instantly when you see the truth of the matter? When you see instant danger there is instant action is there not? Then your action is not gradual or analytical; when there is danger, there is immediate action. We are pointing out the dangers - the dangers of analysis, the danger of power, of postponement, of division. When you see the real danger of it not verbally, but actually, physically and psychologically - then there is instant action, the action of an instant revolution. To see these psychological dangers you need a sensitive, alert, watchful mind. If you say, `How am I to have a watchful, a sensitive mind?' you are again caught in gradualness. But when you see the necessity as when confronted by danger - and society is danger, all the things you are involved in are dangerous - then there is a total action.

21st July, 1970.

The Impossible Question

Part 1, Public Talks Saanen 1970

Impossible Question Part I Chapter 3 3rd Public Talk Saanen 21st July 1970 'Analysis'

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