The Way of Intelligence
Chapter 4, Seminars Madras 1979
The Way of Intelligence Chapter 4 Part 2 2nd Seminar Madras 3rd January 1979 'The Nature of A Religious Life'
K: We said that according to scientists like Bronowski and others there is the ascent of man only through knowledge. Achyutji pointed out that knowledge is destroying the world. We were enquiring into this question of what is a religious mind and what you would consider a religious life.
A.P.: Sir, the trouble is that with the advancement of technology, knowledge has become diversified, specialized; the mind tends to lose the sense of wholeness with the result that the fragmented mind of man is the source of mischief. Knowledge is preventing us from seeing the whole. Is it possible for us to understand the process by which we can glimpse the religious mind?
K: Sir, you said just now that knowledge is preventing a holistic outlook, holistic in the sense of an outlook that is whole. I wonder if that is so. Or is it that the intellect has become so supremely important that it has brought about a deep fragmentation? Is it that the worship of the intellect with all its activities has brought about a sense of the breaking up of the whole nature of man? I am just putting that forward to be discussed, not as a theory. Would you accept that? Because, the intellect implies the whole movement of thought, the cognition through, the understanding through, thought. When you use that word, the implication is, thought has understood what is being said. Thought which is the instrument of the intellect, being essentially limited, has brought about this cleavage, this fragmentation of man. Thought is not the movement of a religious mind.
D.S.: You said thought is not the movement of a religious mind. Certainly the religious mind thinks.
K: Let me explain that. Thought, I said, cannot contain the religious mind. Thought in itself being a fragment, whatever it does will bring about fragmentation, and a religious mind is not fragmentary.
P.K. Sundaram: Knowledge, in so far as it is mediated by the mind, must be considered essentially as transitive - it always wants an object. It is intentional, it must go forth from itself to find an object for itself. When it does so, naturally it dissects. Thought always dwells on dualities without which it cannot even live. So, the religious mind must transcend duality, the duality between thought and object.
K: I am questioning whether there is duality at all.
P.J.: Sir, what do you mean when you question the fact of duality? K: I question whether duality exists.
S.P.: But we are living in duality.
K: The opposite may be an illusion.
S.P.: The thinking process itself functions in duality.
K: Let me expand it a little more. Has the fact an opposite?
S.P.: Will you say thought is a fact?
K: Thought is a fact. What it has invented, apart from technology, is an illusion - the gods, the rituals. What is considered a religious mind - is an illusion, illusion being a perception with a certain direction, a prejudice, a fixation. We are saying that a fact, that is, anger or envy, has no opposite.
P.J.: I question this whole business of duality and fact. We use the word `illusion' because you have introduced the word.
K: I use the word `illusion' in the sense - sensory perception of external objects which is coloured, which is destroyed by belief, by prejudice, by opinion, by a conclusion. I would call that an illusion.
P.J.: I will use a phrase which you used in another context. My face is observable in the mirror; Achyutji's face is also observable. I divide my face from that of Achyutji's face; there are two. That too is a part of consciousness within me. How can you say that the two which are within me are an illusion? It is this separation which divides us, which brings into being the problem of becoming which moves away from being. It is in this movement to become that all the other processes of comparison, opposites, want, not want, the more, the less, exist.
K: How do you perceive Achyutji, how do you observe him? How do you look at him?
P.J.: When you ask that question, the response comes from the thirty years I have been hearing you. K: Put away all the thirty years. How will you now observe Achyutji? What is the process of observation? If that observation is pure - in the sense, without any kind of motive, distortion, prejudice, so that there is nothing between your perception and the object which you perceive - then that very perception denies duality.
R.R.: I don't have that pure perception.
K: That's the problem. The whole question to me is: there is only the fact. A fact has no opposite. But we accept duality: I am angry; I must not be angry.
R.R.: But in my perception I see Achyutji separate.
K: Which means what? Your perception is conditioned. Can you observe putting aside that conditioning?
S.P.: Would you say that so long as there is conditioning, there is duality?
K: I would.
S.P.: Then is not duality a fact?
K: No. It is the conditioning that decides duality.
P.J.: It decides?
K: It says there is duality.
P.J.: You used a phrase: put aside. What is implied in it?
K: Putting aside implies there is no `you' to put aside.
R.D.: Is putting aside an illusion?
K: No. Let me explain. The perception of sorrow and the moving away from that perception is the continuation of sorrow. That continuation which is memory, which is remembrance of an incident which was sorrow, creates duality.
And can the observation be so complete that there is no observer and the thing observed, only observation? `Putting away' means to be aware of this whole movement away from the fact, which creates duality. Then there is pure observation in which there is no duality.
D.S.: Krishnaji, are you saying that in the act of seeing Achyutji, there is an awareness of the very act of making the separateness?
K: Yes, that means your awareness is conditioned by the past and tradition and all that, therefore there is duality.
D.S.: But is there an awareness of this whole movement?
R.R.: What you have just said is a theoretical idea to me.
K: Why is it a theoretical idea?
D.S.: Because that is not my perception.
K: How would you get that perception - not my perception, but perception? If you would examine that, then perhaps we could go into the question of non-movement in which there is non-movement of perception.
R.R.: Non-movement of perception? You mean a perception that does not move? Please explain that.
K. We are saying that when there is perception without the observer, then there is no duality. Duality occurs when there is the observer and the observed. The observer is the past. So, through the eyes of the past the observation takes place and that creates a duality.
P.J.: The only point in question then is, when you said `When there is perception without the observer,' you used the word `when'.
K: Yes, because he says to me that it is a theory to him.
P.J.: That's why I ask: How is a person to come to a state in which the `when' has ceased?
Uma: I am observing, I find my observation is interrupted and I also know that it is interrupted because I don't have the energy to be in that state of observation. K: Why don't you have that energy? Perception does not need energy. You just perceive.
D.S.: There is validity when she says you lose energy. But is it a question of losing energy or is there a subtle kind of commitment when I look at Achyutji, much as I am attached in some way to creating duality? In other words, I want him to be there so that somehow or the other I can go on relating to him as a separate entity? That's where I think the energy is dissipated, because I am attached to creating him as an object. It is something I need; the mere presence of him is a duality, is a drug which satisfies me. That is where my energy gets dissipated. It is because in most cases it is a commitment to duality.
K: Not commitment. It is your tradition or conditioning. Your whole outlook is that.
D.S.: It is much easier for me in some sense to create the duality because then I know.
P.J.: Still we have not come to the core of the problem.
G.N.: There is a core of memory functioning. We are trained in memory functioning and it is always in some way associated with knowledge, and when you have memory functioning and knowledge, duality occurs.
K.K.: Why is it that all these are becoming problems? We are all the time converting facts into problems. We are all the time in the world of duality because we are all the time ordered by ideas. For me it is quite simple; I see that we can't remain with the fact because we are haunted by ideas.
G.N.: The difficulty is, we are acquiring knowledge all the time and knowledge is being converted into memory, and in this process there is duality creeping in. It may be a problem, it may not be. There is something more than that.
A.P.: I see that man can survive only as an indivisible whole, but the weight of my knowledge and the requirements of my daily living are stressing separateness, and separateness is so overpowering that it seems to eclipse the perception that man's well-being is indivisible. Do you think I am creating a problem because I am stating it? The problem is implicit in the human situation.
K: What is a problem? What is the meaning of the word?
A.P.: A contradiction.
K: No. A problem is something not resolved, something that you have not worked out, something which is bothering you, worrying you, that goes on day after day, for many years. He is asking: Why don't we resolve something that arises as a problem immediately and not carry on and on?
P.J.: Sir, what he has said is unacceptable. There are many other issues involved here. The issues are that it does not need Krishnaji to tell me that there is a source of energy, perception, which I have not touched. Without touching that, this partial solution of the problem keeps on existing, keeps me within the framework of time, for eternity. I know that the very imperatives of the human situation demand that there must be a source of energy which, once touched, will physically transform our ways of thinking.
K.K.: Will that become an ideal, an idea?
K: What do you call an idea?
D.S.: An idea is a thought that displays or presents a constructive perception. It presents or shows the way of ordering of a perception. It has to do with display, with show.
K: The root meaning is `to observe'. Look up a dictionary; you will see it means `to perceive', which means, to perceive that flower and not make an idea of that.
R.R.: It is not the sense in which it is generally used.
P.J.: Even if you take its present usage, idea is something which I move towards.
K. I hear a statement from you or from Dr. Shainberg. Why should I make an idea of it? Why can't I see a flower, that thing that is there and only observe it? Why should there be an idea?
P.K.S.: Without seeing it as a fly, I don't see the fly at all.
K: That thing that is moving there, sir, I may not call it a fly; I may call it something else but it is that thing.
D.S.: The whole act of perception in the nervous system is by an organization of that form.
K: Organization, yes. Not of that form. But I name it a fly.
S.P.: Are you saying you can see the form without naming?
K: Why can't you?
P.K.S.: Sir, is not the perception of the form on the same level as the perception of the fly?
K: Can I observe you or you observe me without forming a conclusion, without forming an idea of me?
P.K.S.: That is possible.
K: We started out discussing the place of knowledge in religious life. Let us start from here again and move around. We said knowledge is destroying the world without this religious mind. Then we started asking what is a religious mind. Now, what is a religious mind?
P.J.: The first question that arises out of that is, what is the instrument I have?
K: First of all, I use intellect, reason, logic. I do not accept any authority.
P.J.: And the senses?
K: Of course, that's implied. Logic, reason, all that is implied, sanity without any illusion, without a belief dictating my enquiry. That means a mind that is free to look.
P.J.: The difficulty is in your very statement of what you have said; you have annihilated the whole premise. K: Which is what?
P.J.: Which is the structure of human consciousness.
K: So, what is human consciousness?
P.J.: The structure of human consciousness is thought, belief, movement, becoming, identity.
K: And dogma. So, consciousness is the whole movement of thought with its content. I am a Hindu, I believe in puja, I worship, I pray, I am anxious, I am afraid - all that is this whole spectrum of movement.
P.J.: What place has the word `sanity' which you use in this totality?
K: One's consciousness is an insane consciousness.
G.N.: Do you imply that sanity is not caught in make-believe?
K: Sanity means sane, healthy, no make-believe. I don't pretend I am healthy, I don't pretend that I do puja and that it will lead me to some heaven. I say that is nonsense. So, sanity means a healthy mind, a healthy body, a healthy inwardness.
G.N.: If one is not sane, can one enquire?
K: How can I be sane when I am a businessman and go off to do puja? It is insanity.
P.J.: Are you saying that this consciousness which has all these elements can never enquire?
K: That is what I am saying. So, my consciousness is a bundle of contradictions, a bundle of hopes, illusions, fears, pleasures, anxiety, sorrow and all that. Can that consciousness find a religious way of life? Obviously it cannot.
S.P.: You say sanity is necessary for the mind to start enquiry, but this consciousness which is enquiring is full of contradictions. K: Such a mind cannot even understand or even be capable of enquiry. So, I'll drop the enquiry into a religious life, and enquire into consciousness. Then my enquiry is sane, logical.
P.J.: In all the traditional ways of approaching this whole content of consciousness, it is symbolized by one word `I', and the enquiry is into the nature and the dissolution of the `I'.
K: All right. Let us work at it. We say in religious life there is a total absence of the self. Then my enquiry is whether the self can be dissolved. So I say: What is my consciousness? I begin from there and see if it is possible to empty totally that consciousness.
P.J.: What is the nature of that emptying?
K: I am doing it now. Can I be free from my attachment? Can I be free from my absurd daily puja ? Can I be free from my nationalism? Can I be free from following some authority? I go on, and my consciousness is totally stripped of its contradictions. I hope that silences you.
Let us start enquiring whether it is possible to be aware totally, holistically, of our consciousness. If it is not possible, let us take fragment by fragment - but will that bring about comprehension of the total perception of consciousness?
P.K.S.: Will you not be open to the charge of being intellectual in your enquiry?
K: No. I put my heart into it. With my whole being I am enquiring. My heart, my affection, my nerves, my senses, my intellect, my thought, everything is involved in this enquiry.
R.R.: Sir, will you state the conditions of this enquiry?
K: You are a scientist. You observe and that very observation changes that which is being observed. Why can't you do that with yourself?
R.R.: Because my attention wanders. K: Which means what? When you are looking, in spite of your acquiring knowledge, you put that aside when you are watching. The very watching is the transformation of that which is being observed.
R.R.: Sir, maybe I am not expressing it rightly. If I observe myself, I think it is a fact for me that my attention wanders.
K: Let us begin step by step. I am watching myself. I can only watch myself; `myself is a bundle of reactions. I begin with things which are very near to me, such as puja. I see it, I look at it, I watch it, and I don't say, `Well, it pleases me because I am used to it.' I see it is absurd and put it away for ever.
R.R.: It does not seem to work like that.
K: Is it because of your habit?
R.R.: Yes, that is right.
K: So go into habit. Why do you have habit? Why do you have a mind functioning in habit which means a mechanical mind? Why is it mechanical? Is it because it is very safe to be mechanical, secure? And has this repetition of puja which gives you security, any real security in it or have you invested security in it?
R.R.: I give it security.
K: Therefore, wipe it away.
R.R.: This is where the difficulty is. I can see my mind is mechanical or caught in habit, but that does not seem to lead to what you seem to suggest, of cutting away.
K: Because your mind is still functioning in habit. Do you have a habit? Are there good habits or bad habits, or are there only habits? And why are you caught in them?
So let us come back. We are saying, consciousness that is in turmoil, in contradiction, wanders from one thing to another. There is a battle that is going on. So long as that consciousness is there, you can never pure perceiving. Is it possible to bring about in consciousness a total absence of this movement of contradiction?
S.P.: I can see the truth of repetitiveness, the mechanical action of puja, and it is out of my system. Speaking of other things, many fragments, the truth of them can be seen and negated. Even then the problem remains, which is the ending of the content of consciousness. There can be an ending of a fragment but the problem is that of ending the totality of consciousness.
K: Are you saying that sequentially you see fragment by fragment? Then you can never come to the end of the fragmentation.
S.P.: That is what we see after ten, fifteen years of observing.
K.: You can't. Therefore, you must say, is there an observation which is total? I hear the statement that through fragmentation, through examining the fragmentation in my consciousness which is endless, it cannot be resolved that way. Have I listened to it? Have I understood it deeply in my heart, in my blood, in my whole being, that examining fragmentation will never solve it? I have understood that; therefore, I won't touch it. I won't go near a guru. All that is out because they all deal with fragments - the communists, the socialists, the gurus, the religious people, everything is fragmented, including human beings.
S.P.: Have I to see all the implications at this point or have I to work it out?
K: No, no. Working out is a fragmentation. I can't see the whole because my whole being, thinking, living, is fragmented. What is the root of this fragmentation? Why has one divided the world into nations, religions? Why?
S.P.: The mind says it is the `I-ness' which acts.
K: No, that is intellectual. I said to you, listen. How do you listen to that statement? Listening with the intellect is frag- mentation. Hearing with the ear is fragmentation. Do you listen with your whole, entire being, or do you just say `Yes, it is a good idea'?
George Sudarshan: I feel very stagnant, checkered by this attack on knowledge. It is not knowledge which is causing fragmentation but its function. So, let me go back to the question: What is a religious life? It is cessation of the contradiction between causality and spontaneity. Most of the world around is causal: That is, this being so this happens, if this has happened, it must have been because of such and so. All this is comparison, copying. If you can't copy a system, then you cannot talk about a law or the system, and, therefore, there is much of the world which is of our experience, which we talk about in terms of causality. On the other hand, fortunately, we are also subject to the experience of spontaneity, experiences of movement with no cause, without time, in which there is only functioning. Much of the problem of life is, in fact, reconciling these two things because, somehow or the other, one feels these two are both real experiences and one would like to resolve the contradiction. As far as I have observed, it appears to me that when you are in the spontaneous mode of functioning, there is in fact no possibility of it being broken down. When you are happy, you are happy; then there is no question of anxiety about it. If at any time you feel that you would like to continue this mode, then, of course, the mode has already ceased. When you want to maintain an experience which you already have in time, corruption has set in, and it is only a matter of time before it will come to an end. Therefore, the whole question of how to end fragmentation is wrong. We cannot logically conceive it, we cannot dictate the rules, we cannot legislate it, we cannot write a manual about it. Therefore, in a certain sense, when it comes, it comes by itself. That is, in fact, the only true mode of existence.
K: So, what do we do? Say I am fragmented and carry on?
G.S.: It is not a question of `I am fragmented and let us carry on'. In the fragmented mode you try to perceive.
K: Being fragmented, I live a fragmented life and recognise it, and so leave it?
G.S.: Would you tell me how to end fragmentation, the process?
K: I will tell you, sir.
G.N.: No, not ending fragmentation by process, because once you say process, it can become mechanical.
K: Quite right.
S.P.: What Krishnaji is talking about is the ending of time as a factor to end fragmentation.
D.S.: One of the things that is emerging clearly for me is that something about the very framework of thought conditions and limits and fragments it.
K: Right sir, thought is fragmentary.
D.S.: And that framework?
K: Thought is not in that framework. Thought is always fragmentary. So, what is the root of fragmentation? Can thought stop?
G.S.: Just stop?
K: Not periodically, occasionally, spontaneously. To me all that implies a movement in time.
G.S.: As long as you are thinking, that is movement.
K: I said so. Thought is the root of fragmentation. Thought is a movement and so time is a movement. So, can time stop?
G.S.: May I make a slight distinction? You say thought is the cause of fragmentation. I ask, where did that thought arise - in the unfragmented state or the fragmented?
K: In the fragmented state. We answer always from a fragmented mind. G.S.: No.
K: I said, generally. And is there a speaking which comes of a non-fragmented mind?
G.S.: I am not sure I am following your terminology.
K: We said thought is fragmented, that it is the cause of fragmentation.
G.S.: What I am saying is that we see fragmentation and thought together. To say that one is the cause of the other is not true.
K: Cause and effect are the same.
G.S.: So, they are aspects of the same entity?
K: Thought and fragment are the same movement, which is part of time. It is the same thing, whether it is one or the other. So, I can ask, can time stop? Can psychological time, inward time, stop? Can the whole movement stop completely? There is a cessation of time. Time is not. I don't become time or my being is not in time. There is nothing, which means, love is not of time.
The Way of Intelligence
Chapter 4, Seminars Madras 1979
The Way of Intelligence Chapter 4 Part 2 2nd Seminar Madras 3rd January 1979 'The Nature of A Religious Life'
Texts and talks of Jiddu Krishnamurti. Krishnamurti quotes. Books about
J Krishnamurti. Philosophy.