The Mirror of Relationship
Ommen Camp, Holland
7th Public Talk 3rd August, 1936
To discern reality mind must be infinitely pliable. Most of us imagine that beyond and above the mind there is reality, that beyond and above this consciousness of conflict and limitation, pleasure and sorrow, there is truth. But to understand reality mind must comprehend its own creations, its own limitations. To discern the process of consciousness, which is conceptual as well as actual, to go deeply into its tremendous subtleties, mind must be exquisitely pliable and there must be integral thought. Integral thought is not the result of training, control or imitation. A mind that is not divided into opposites, that is able to perceive directly, cannot be the result of training. It is not the outcome of one will dominating another will, one want overcoming another want. All antithesis in thought must be false. Mind consciously or unconsciously plays a trick on itself by dividing itself. Training and control indicate a process of duality in want, which brings about conflict in consciousness. Where there is conflict, subjugation, overcoming, a battle of antitheses, there cannot be pliability, mind cannot be subtle, penetrating, discerning. Through the conflict of opposites mind becomes conditioned; and conditioned thought creates further limitations and thus the process of conditioning is continued. This process prevents pliability.
How is one to bring about that state which is not the result of the conflict of opposites?
We must become aware of the conflict of opposites taking place in each one of us, without identifying ourselves with one of the opposites or interfering with the conflict. Conflict stirs up the mind, and as the mind dislikes being agitated it seeks an artificial way out of that disturbed condition. Such a way must be an escape or an opposite, which but creates for the mind further limitation. To be in conflict and at the same time to be vibrantly still, neither accepting nor denying it, is not easy. Being in a state of conflict and at the same time seeking no remedy or escape, brings about integral thought. This is right effort.
To free the mind from the conflict of the opposites, you must become cognizant of the process of overcoming one part of consciousness by another, one division by another. This process you call training the mind; but it is nothing more than the formation of a habit born of the opposites.
Let us consider the mind caught up in authority. There is the authority of outward compulsion, of groups, leaders, opinions, traditions. You may yield to this authority without fully comprehending it, and assert that it is from voluntary choice; but if you really examine yourself you will see that in that choice there is a deep desire for security, which creates fear, and to overcome that fear you submit yourself to authority. Then there is the subtle, subjective authority of accumulative memories, prejudices, fears, antipathies, wants, which have become values, ideals, standards. If you deeply examine it you will see that the mind is constantly accepting and rejecting authority and conditioning itself by new values and standards born of craving for self-protection and security. You may say to yourself that you are not in any way seeking security which creates the many subtle forms of authority, but if you observe you will see that you are seeking insecurity in order that you may become convinced of the falseness of security. So the idea of insecurity becomes only another form of security and authority. When you reject authority and seek freedom from it, you are but seeking the antithesis; whereas true freedom, the intelligent and awakened state of mind, is beyond opposites. It is that vibrant stillness of deep thought, of choiceless awareness, that creative intuition, which is the plenitude of life.
Question: If I am in conflict with family, friends, employers, and state laws, in fact, with the various forms of exploitation, will not seeking liberation from all bondage make life practically impossible?
Krishnamurti: I am afraid it would, if you were merely seeking liberation as an opposite of conflict and so an escape from actuality. If you desire to make life practical, vital, then you must understand the whole process of exploitation, both the obvious and the insidious. Mere escape from conflict with family, friends, and environment will not free you from exploitation. It is only in comprehending the significance of the whole process of exploitation that there is intelligence. Intelligence makes life possible, practical and vital. I mean by intelligence, not the superficial, intellectual process, but that change of will which is brought about by the integral completeness of one's whole being.
We are well acquainted with the obvious forms of exploitation but there are the many subtle forms of which we are unconscious. If you would really comprehend exploitation in its obvious and subtle forms, you must discern the "I" process, that process which is born of ignorance, want, fear. All action born of this process must entail exploitation. Many people withdraw from the world to contemplate reality, and hope to bring the "I" process to an end. You should not withdraw from life to consider life. This escape does not bring the "I" process of igno- ance, want, and fear to an end. To live is to be in relationship, and when that relationship begins to be irksome, limited, it creates conflict, suffering. Then there is the desire for the opposite, an escape from relationship. One does very often escape, but only into a shallow, arid life of fear and illusion, which intensify conflict and bring about slow decay. It is this escape which is impractical and confusing. If you would strip life of all its ugliness and cruelty you must, through right effort, bring the self-sustaining process of ignorance to an end.
Question: If truth is beyond and above all limitations it must be cosmic, and hence embrace within it every expression of life. Should not such cosmic consciousness, therefore, include the understanding of every aspect and activity of life, and exclude none?
Krishnamurti: Do not let us concern ourselves about what is cosmic consciousness, truth, and so on. That which is real will be known when the various forms of illusions have ceased. As the mind is capable of such subtle deceptions and has the power to create for itself many illusions, our concern should not be about the state of reality, but to dispel the many delusions that are consciously or unconsciously springing up. By belonging to a religious organization with its dogmas, beliefs, creeds, or by being one of these new dogmatic nationalists, you hope to realize God, truth, or human happiness. But how can the mind comprehend reality if it is twisted by beliefs, prejudices,dogmas and fears? Only when these limitations are dissolved can there be truth. Do not preconceive what is and then adjust to that conception your wants.
To love man you think you must belong to some nationality; to love reality you think it is necessary to belong to some organized religion. As we have not the capacity to discern truth among the many illusions that crowd our mind, we deceive ourselves by thinking that the false as well as the true, hate as well as love, are essential parts of life. Where there is love, hatred cannot exist. To comprehend reality you need not go through all the experiences of illusion.
Question: How can we solve the problems of sex?
Krishnamurti: Where there is love the problem of sex does not exist. It becomes a problem only when love has been displaced by sensation. So the question really is how to control sensation. If there were the vital flame of love, the problem of sex would cease. Now sex has become a problem through sensation, habit and stimulation, through the many absurdities of modern civilization. Literature, cinemas, advertisements, talk, dress - all these stimulate sensation and intensify the conflict. The problem of sex cannot be solved separately, by itself. It is futile to try to understand it through behaviouristic or scientific morality. Artificial restrictions may be necessary but they can only produce an arid and shallow life.
We all have the capacity for deep and inclusive love, but through conflict and false relationship, sensation and habit, we destroy its beauty. Through possessiveness with its many cruelties, through all the ugliness of reciprocal exploitation, we slowly extinguish the flame of love. We cannot artificially keep the flame alive, but we can awaken intelligence, love, through constant discernment of the many illusions and limitations which now dominate our mind-heart, our whole being. So what we have to understand is, not what kind of restrictions, scientific or religious, should be placed on wants and sensations, but how to bring about deep and enduring fulfilment. We are frustrated on every side; fear dominates our spiritual and moral life, forcing us to imitate, conform to false values and illusions. There is no creative expression of our whole being, either in work or in thought. So sensation becomes monstrously important and its problems overwhelming. Sensation is artificial, superficial, and if we do not penetrate deeply into want and comprehend its process our life will be shallow and utterly vain and miserable. The mere satisfaction of want or the continual change in want destroys intelligence, love. Love alone can free you from the problems of sex.
Question: You say that we can become fully aware of that"I" process which is focussed in each one of us individually. Does that mean that no experience can be of any value except to the person who has it?
Krishnamurti: If you are conditioning thought by your own experience, how can the experience of another liberate it? If you have conditioned your mind through your own volitional activities, how can the comprehension of another free you? It may stimulate you superficially but such help is not lasting. If you comprehend this, then the whole system of what is called spiritual help, through worship and discipline or through messages from the hereafter, has very little significance. If you discern that the "I" process is maintaining itself through its own volitional activities, born of ignorance, want, and fear, then the experience of another can have very little significance. Great religious teachers have declared what is moral and true. Their followers have merely imitated them and so have not fulfilled. If you say that we must have ideals by which to live, this but indicates that there is fear in your mind-heart. Ideals create duality in consciousness, and so merely continue the process of conflict. If you perceive that the awakening of intelligence is the ending of the "I" process, then there is spontaneous adjustment to life, harmonious relationship with environment, instead of the compulsion of fear, or the imitation of an example, which but increases the "I" process of ignorance, want, fear.
Now if each one of you really perceived this, I assure you, there would be a vital change in your will and attitude towards life. People often ask me: Should we not have authority? Should we not follow Masters? Should we not have discipline? There are others who say: Do not talk to us about authority, because we have gone beyond it. So long as the "I" process continues there must be the many subtle forms of authority, of want, with its fears, illusions and compulsion. Authority of example implies that there is fear, and as long as we do not understand the "I" process mere examples will only become hindrances.
Question: Is there any such being as God, apart from man? Has the idea of God any value to you?
Krishnamurti: Why are you asking me this question? Do you want me to encourage you in your faith or support you in your disbelief? Either there is God or there is not. Some assert that there is, and some deny. Man is perplexed by these contradictions.
To discern the actual, the real, mind must be free of opposites. I have explained that the world is made up of unique forces without a beginning, which are not propelled by one supreme force or by one transcendental, unique energy. You cannot understand any other process of energy except that which is focussed in you, which is you. This unique energy in its self-active development becomes consciousness creating its own limitations and environment, both conceptual and actual.
The "I" process is self-sustaining through its own volitional activities of ignorance, want. So long as the "I" process continues there must be conflict, fear, and duality in action. In bringing the volitional activities to an end, there is bliss, the love of the true. When you suffer, you do not consider the cause of the whole process of suffering, but only desire to escape into an illusion which you call happiness, reality, God. If all illusion is perceived and there is deep discernment of the cause of suffering, which awakens right effort, then there is the immeasurable, the unknowable.
Question: Has the idea of predestination any actual validity?
Krishnamurti: Action arising each moment from limitation, ignorance, modifies and renews the "I" process, giving to it continuity and identity. This continuity of action through limitation is predestination. By your own acts you are being conditioned, but at any moment you can break the chain of limitation. So you are a free agent at all times, but you are conditioning yourself through ignorance, fear. You are not the plaything of some entity, of some mysterious force, good or evil. You are not at the mercy of some erratic forces in the world. You are not merely controlled by heredity or environment.
When we think about destiny, we imagine that our present and future are determined by some external force and so we yield to faith. We accept, on the authority of faith, that some unique energy, intelligence, God, has already settled our destiny. In opposition to faith we have science, with its mechanistic explanations of life.
What I say cannot be understood through the opposites. Thought is conditioned by ignorance and fear, and through its own volitional activities, consciousness sustains itself and maintains its identity. Action born of limitation must create further conditioning of the mind; that is, ignorance of oneself forms a chain of self-limiting actions. This process of self-determining and self-limiting thought-action gives identity and continuity to consciousness as the "I".
The past is the background of conditioned thought-action which is dominating and controlling the present and thereby creating a predetermined future. An act born of fear creates certain memories or self-protective resistances which determine future action. Thus the past controlling the present is overshadowing the future. So there is a chain formed which holds thought in bondage. The choiceless awareness of this process is the beginning of true freedom.
If the mind is cognizant of the process of ignorance, it can liberate itself from it at any moment. If you deeply comprehend this you will see that thought need not ever be conditioned by cause and effect. If this is understood, lived, there is vital freedom, without fear, without the superficiality of antithesis.
The Mirror of Relationship
Ommen Camp, Holland
7th Public Talk 3rd August, 1936
Jiddu Krishnamurti. The Mirror of Relationship. The collected works of J.Krishnamurti, 1936..1944.