AN OPEN DISCUSSION
Ojai, Camp, 1929
To the question, "Where does obedience come in your plan of education?" Krishnaji gave a reply along these lines:
"Why should any child obey? But I should make him obey in certain things. A child will obey another if he has respect for another. If I have in myself respect for the child and for myself and for others, that child will respect me, and when I ask him to do something, sensibly, he will do it. You see, we all want to make others obey when we do not obey ourselves... Individuals who demand obedience, reverence, authority, should have no place in education."
Another questioner wanted to know if there was grace from above that could help. There was not, according to Krishnaji.
"There is no grace from above that can help. If you rely on outside authority to help you, you are not achieving. Nobody can cancel your karma, as you call it. Nobody can give you that attainment, that happiness, that understanding, from outside. It is a continual process of acquiring. No divine being plants into you understanding. No amount of worship, no amount of faith, hope, or anything else you like, will awaken that flower in you. It comes by your own continual unfoldment, by struggle, by strife, by rejoicing, by understanding."
How far can we go in desirelessness without stultifying ambition and thereby stopping human progress? Was a question that puzzled someone else?
"Please don't stop desire," was the response. "You cannot stop desire; that is, if you try to stultify desire you are dead, but if you want your desire magnificent, free, then your perception of life will be magnificent."
"The moment you organize thought, it becomes a religion and it is dead. But if you use organization to carry that thought outward, which is a very difficult thing to do, then you are perfectly justified in using it."
"Sir, why do you want to contact your fellow man? To help, isn't it so? That is why these organizations exist. That is the primary idea that lies behind most organizations, to help; but I want you to find out if you are truly helping. I am not asking you to leave any organization. I am not interested in that."
One remark of his about individual uniqueness was very graphic:
"You have a mosaic made up of little stones of innumerable colours. Their sizes must be perfect, their colours must be perfect; each little stone must be perfect and the whole together must be perfect. So that stone must be produced in its own self as perfectly as possible; then it will fit in the whole. But you must have a vision of the whole first, then the manner of your development will be unique."
From corruptibility to corruptibility, through corruption you must grow to perfection: but having established that which is the standard -not of the world, but to the world- having that standard as your guide, you then become for yourself the true guide, you then become the true master of your own actions; then you are in the position to judge for yourself the quality of your incorruption.
"Now these questions are to be answered -not to solve your problems- but rather to awaken further interest, further understanding, by my answers. So please do not think that by my answering them, you have solved them. On the contrary, these questions are all solved for me. These are the questions that you have kindly put to me, and I will answer them only in so far as they appear to me; and if you accept them as final authority, I am afraid you will find that they do not solve your problems.
QUESTION: Could you kindly describe for us the feelings or reaction, viz: the state of consciousness experienced in the physical body by one having attained liberation?
KRISHNAJI: Sirs, I can describe to you a feeling, which very few, probably, have experienced, but of what value is it? I will explain as far as it is possible to put it into words, but it is so hopeless to put anything in words. When you attain liberation, that perfection, you are, and in you all things cease and have their being. It is not a sentimental thing nor an emotional thing nor an intellectual thing, but it is as the wind, swift as the violent waters -it is everything. In you there is the whole process from the very beginning until the end, and yet in you there is no beginning and no end -you are. There you are really the creator because there you find your absolute poise.
Truth is not relative, it is absolute; and to a person that is caught in the relative, the absolute is ever escaping, so it is very difficult to understand unless you yourself are made incorruptible; and I am interested in that, not in describing to you what it is, what it feels like. Of that you will know when you have attained.
The root of immortality is understanding and the very beginning of understanding is the true discipline gathered from the final fulfilment of all life.
QUESTION: In regard to those who do not fully understand your mission or teachings, and even if they may never fully comprehend from the presentation, can any harm result from the effort to understand?
KRISHNAJI: Sir, why do you make it my mission and teaching? Isn't it what you people want? Don't you want to be free and happy? It isn't my mission. It is your mission. It is what you are seeking, and not what I am seeking. Because you are making it mine, that is the reason you don't understand. Because you are not aware of your suffering, of your narrowness, of your limitations, of your corruption of life, you give to another the authority to lead you. And as I am not accepting that authority, it is useless to say it is my teaching or my message. It is the message and teaching of life, which is in everything and in everyone; and the moment you understand that, it is yours and not mine. So, as it is yours, my purpose is only to awaken that knowledge, that desire to discover for yourself. And as it is yours, you must struggle to understand.
QUESTION: How can one stimulate a desire for freedom?
KRISHNAJI: How can a man that is in prison stimulate the desire for freedom? What a question to ask! Sirs... is not the suffering of another, are not the tears of another, the laughter, the rejoicing, the corruption, sufficient to give you that burning desire to free others and yourself? But you want artificial stimulation, a drug, an enticement, a reward for your good actions, and you want me to tell you of a new God, to whom you can offer for your stimulation, to build a new altar. I hope you are thinking; not accepting what I am saying, nor rejecting. The dancing shadows, the clear sunshine, the bird on the wing, the light on the waters, the suffering of a man, or a woman, the delight, the rejoicings of your neighbours -if that does not give you sufficient desire- woe to you!
As life is one, the forms of that life are many. The moment you understand that the forms have little value, then they have their place. But to come to that perfect life, you must make your own form as perfect as possible.
QUESTION: To what extent is there freedom of action?
KRISHNAJI: Absolute. Man is free to do exactly as he wishes, and he is doing that now, anyhow. Because he is free, he wants to find excuses for his corruption. Because he is free, he is afraid that he might go wrong, and invents theories, creeds, churches, and temples. Man, being free, absolutely unconditionally being his own master, he is limited, and through that limitation he must strive toward freedom, and that is the process of life.
QUESTION: Would working for one society only tend to narrow one's view and effectiveness?
KRISHNAJI: Again, it depends on you, for if your mind is narrow, whatever you do will be narrow.
QUESTION: What is it in our nature that makes us do things contrary to our better judgment, and how may we overcome this difficulty?
KRISHNAJI: By not doing wrong. By struggling. Sir, again, the idea of overcoming something -it is not a question of overcoming. There is no such thing as failure. If I have not the strength to walk up to the mountaintop, I make the effort, fall down, and make another. It does not mean that I am failing.
You will spoil everything if you base your understanding on individuals, even on Krishnamurti. There is a much greater thing than this form, which you call Krishnamurti, which is Life; and of that Life I speak, and of that Life I would urge you to become disciples, and with that Life I would urge you to be in love.
Beauty is that love which is incapable of perversion. With that man must concern himself before he can create.
One act of understanding shall put a man on a pinnacle of great vision.
It is no good your merely congregating together in a chorus of agreement. But if one of you really lives one act, one thought that has its foundation in the root of immortality -that is, life itself- or have a feeling which has its foundation in that which is eternal, then that shall put you in a condition which will give you a greater understanding, a greater rejoicing, a greater unfoldment of that which is eternal.
Ignorance is that which is created by the individual within himself by the intermingling and admixture of that which is fleeting and lasting. Therefore ignorance has no beginning, but it has an end.
That which is real shall not bind. That which is fleeting shall bind, corrupt and put a limitation. So, the wise man, having that as his measure by which he shall judge his actions, his thoughts, his emotions, his whole life as a whole, shall begin to disentangle himself from that ignorance which is the admixture of the real and the unreal, of life and death.
Therefore, you cannot kill the self, but you can make the self grow so enormous, so vast, that it includes all life.
After all, if you follow an individual, you create out of that individual a shrine, and hence, by the limitation of your desires, limit that which you are seeking.
Don't you see, that is what I have been saying for the last few days; that the moment you perceive for yourselves the goal, the object, the fulfilment of all life for yourselves, then you do not want to follow anyone but the Truth; then you do not rely on anything but the Truth; then you do not want comfort from anything or anyone. But from the understanding of Truth there is born strength in yourselves.
If you did not say as you do, Krishnamurti says so and so, but if you realised that what I have said is the truth for its intrinsic value, it is yours and you can repeat with certainty -that certainty which cannot be shaken by any doubt or by any person. That is what I want to create in your minds and in your hearts; not the desire to follow Krishnamurti, because Krishnamurti will die.
All forms are transient things; they hold within themselves ultimate decay, and that of which I am speaking knows of no decay. The moment you adhere to that which does not die, then your integrity, your purpose, your ecstasy is lasting, fundamental, has its foundation in that which is everlasting.
Sirs, there is revolt in the world against the established order, tradition, and so on, but that revolt is not intelligent from my standpoint. That revolt is like a stream that overflows its banks; but the intelligent revolt chooses that which is essential, understanding that essential thing in the light of that freedom, of that perfection which I have described.
QUESTION: What then is the true or positive function of the mind?
KRISHNAJI: Sane balanced judgement is the function of the mind, but to arrive at that judgement, mind must have its counterpart equally balanced, and that is affection. That is the danger of this division of mind and heart. As I said yesterday, you cannot divide mind and heart. It is the same substance.
Please realise that you have to attain this ocean, this sea of life, without limitation, without corruption, which is free and eternally active. And you should rejoice at one who has attained and find out from him the glad news; and by discovery and by understanding, alter the very condition of your thoughts, the state of your hearts, so that you yourselves shall come in that shadow of perfection.
It is not a question of whether you need it. It is a question whether you want it, whether you want to be happy, whether you want to be free and establish yourself in perfection. And the majority of you do not want it, and hence all these innumerable vain useless questions. You do not want it as a hungry man wants food. You do not want it as a thirsty man wants water. You do not want it as a drowning man wants air, or as a man that is covered with wounds wants a healing balm. An ointment that shall cure all sorrow, all suffering, is to be found in that which is lasting and that which is life, and of that I speak.
You are killing the future by the past; you are more interested in the dead of yesterday than the living of today and of the future, the flower of life of tomorrow.
QUESTION: Isn't the theory of individual freedom really anarchy and a dangerous menace to social life, because all communities contain individuals who are lacking in their conception of their duties to others?
KRISHNAJI: Sir, why do you bother about other people? Why don't you live yourself? You are always concerned about your neighbour, about his weakness, his gossip and his corruptibility. You are concerned about the criminal and society, while in your own heart is the criminal. You call individual freedom anarchy. If the individual is not happy, as he is not at the present time, he is creating chaos and anarchy around him, by his selfishness, by his cruelty. You are all so concerned with the helping of another. It is a lovely thing just to help another; but what is your help? To bring him to another cage, to another chaos and to another shadow? Or do you want him to be free? Do you want him to evolve in his own loveliness? There are two kinds of influences -one tyrannical, and the other that gives encouragement, that gives understanding, that gives simplicity and affection. Your influence is tyrannous. You want everyone to be of a particular kind and that is why you have all these religions, these acts of morality. But there is the other influence which, when truly understood, gives nourishment, encouragement, because each individual must find by himself and through himself that which is lasting.
"What is it then that you want in life -love, possessions, or that feeling of comfort which men call happiness? If that is the jewel hidden in the secret sanctuary of your heart, then you will pursue it and acquire that which you desire; but if, on the other hand, you desire that happiness which is eternal, that life which is absolute, unconditioned -if that is your desire, if that is what is hidden in the sanctuary of your heart, then you will pursue that. As the lotus utilizes the mire to produce its lovely blossoms, so you will utilize the transient life to produce the perfect flower of your understanding.
"I feel," said one speaker, "that as time goes on, the central message of Krishnaji is going to make absolutely revolutionary changes in the values that are given to the arts. At present they are looked upon as luxuries. The arts will become as essential in the life of the student of the future as either food or drink."
"After all, painting pictures, writing poems, are only expressions of what you feel inside. If you feel small, petty, your writings, your paintings, your whole expression, will be small; but if you know how to live; then your art, whatever it is, will have the stamp of the eternal."
"I hold that no useful purpose can come out of fear. It does not matter whether it is for getting the right behaviour or the right conduct or peace. If by fear you make a person act rightly, it is not right action. Sirs, you cannot produce loveliness through fear, beauty through fear, and that is why you have so many catastrophes, wars, so much selfishness, rampant competition and corruption -all this is from fear or the lack of true understanding."
Man is absolute authority to himself, man is his own master, he is not liable to outer circumstances; he is, by his own sorrows, by his own complications, by his own misunderstandings, part of the world, and the world around him is his expression.
Life has no technical process of fulfilment; life has no special way by which it must tread toward its glory; life has no special meditation, yoga. It is by constant assimilation and by rejection, by examining, by analysis, by careful consideration of every little event of the day that you grow to perfection.
You cannot achieve anything by fear at any time whatsoever, because the moment you have fear in your mind and in your heart, you are putting a limitation on that desire which is seeking freedom. Desire is self, and in the purification of that desire is the fulfilment of life.
Again I say, for true affection the right standard is that love which is detached because it is attached to all things. It is like the flower that gives perfume to every passer-by and does not care to whom it gives its delicious fragrance; so should true love be. And towards that all affection must struggle, must evolve, must progress -towards that perfect love. Now you will ask me: "How shall we do it? How shall we arrive at that perfect love?" By liking someone, in however small a way, from corruptibility to corruptibility, till you arrive at that incorruptibility of love. There is no other way than by constant struggle, by strife, by gathering great storms of love and rejecting them.
Realising the great truth, it were better that you should fall from a great height than from the pavement. The mediocrity of life, the smallness of life, consists not in falling, but in falling off a small place. Were you to fall from a great height, from the house-tops, from the great mountains, then the world would rejoice and know that there is a great man, for his fall was great. For mediocrity, the smallness of mind and the smallness of emotion stifle Truth and it cannot abide with those that are fearful of their fall.
For, having a full understanding of that eternal Truth, or partial at least it may be, your love should from now on withstand that wave of corruptibility. Because if there were ten -if there were one who really was capable of pure, detached affection, that affection which gives encouragement, that points ever with clarity towards the perfection of all love, then that one individual would awaken within the hearts of many that love which cannot be tinged by corruption.
You shall walk by and people shall marvel and take comfort in your existence.
AN OPEN DISCUSSION
Ojai, Camp, 1929
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