The Observer is the Observed
Bombay, India. Public Talk 28th March, 1948
As this is the last talk, I will try to make a brief resume of what we have all been discussing and talking about during the last three months. Natu- rally, it has to be rather concise and may perhaps be puzzling at first; but if you will kindly think it over, I believe certain things will be clear, even though others may need further explanation, more going into - which we have been trying to do during the discussions. But I think the obvious fact remains that most of us have many problems, many anxieties and conflicts, and we appear not to be able to solve them. I think it is because we don't see the picture clearly, we don't read the problem deeply and carefully, without prejudice, whatever it be - whether emotional, psychological, intellectual, social, or economic. The problem itself contains the answer; the answer is not away from the problem. Our whole question, then, is how to read the problem very clearly and swiftly, because the problem is never the same. It is constantly varying, moving, never still. It is like a swift-running river. And to understand such a problem, we must understand the creator of the problem, which is the mind, the self, the `I'. But most of us are made happy by things created by the hand or by the mind; we are content with things, produced either by the machine, or by ideation, by thought, by belief. But things made by the hand or by the mind are all sensate; they soon wear out and pass away, as by constant use a machine wears itself out. So, things made by the hand wear themselves out; and so do things produced by the mind - the idea, the opinion, the belief, the tenet. The value of these things made by the mind soon wears away, and so there is a constant struggle to maintain permanency in those things which are inherently impermanent. The things made by the hand are misused by the mind. Food, clothing, and shelter, are given wrong values by the mind; and a mind that gives wrong values creates misery. Our conflict, then, arises from the values which the mind establishes for the things made by the hand; and in their misuse lies our misery.
So, the mind, which is the intellect, with its will and its capacity for evaluation, must be understood; because, as long as the mind is not understood, with its desires, with its pursuits and the capacity to evaluate according to its prejudices, notions, knowledge - as long as the mind is not understood, obviously there is conflict, there is misery. Will, after all, is the expression of desire, the outcome of craving, of the desire to be; and as long as that will - with the capacity to evaluate, which is the function of the intellect - is not gone into deeply, understood, and given its full significance, there is bound to be conflict, there is bound to be misery. So, if there is no understanding of will, of the intellect, and of the creations of the mind - which are not separate processes, but a total process - , there is bound to be conflict; and the understanding of the mind is self-knowledge. Self-knowledge makes one straight. What is crooked is the evaluer, the interpreter, the misuser, the corrupter, that is, the mind; and as long as there is no self-knowledge, which is awareness of the process of the mind, of the `I', there must be wrong evaluation of things made by the hand or by the mind, and therefore there must be conflict, misery. Self-knowledge is the beginning of wisdom, and without self-knowledge there is no happiness.
So, in order to understand a problem, however complex it may appear, whether it is an economic, social, or psychological problem, one must be able to see it clearly, without distortion; but this is not possible as long as there is no self-knowledge. And self-knowledge cannot be realized as long as there is no meditation. Because, meditation is a process of continual revelation of every thought and every feeling; it is not the fixation on a particular picture or idea, but a constant awareness, a constant understanding of every thought, every feeling, as they arise. Meditation is not choosing one particular form and dwelling upon it, but it is a continual discovery of the meaning of every thought and of every feeling. To do this, there must be no condemnation. Our problem is sorrow, the sorrow that exists in relationship, the sorrow that comes through wrong valuation, the sorrow that comes through ignorance; and sorrow can be dissipated, dissolved, only when there is the unfolding of self-knowledge. That knowledge is not of the higher self or of the lower self - which is a division within the field of the mind, and therefore a false division, a self-protective division without any reality. Self-knowledge is awareness of the self without division; and as long as there is no self-knowledge, the multiplication and re-creation of our problems will continue. That is why the individual is enormously significant. For he is the only transformer, he alone can bring about a revolution in his relationship, and therefore a revolution in the world, the world of his relationship. Only through self-knowledge can there be transformation, and this transformation cannot come into being through any miracle, through book learning, but only through constant experimentation, through constant discovery of the process of one's being. This process is a total process, and not a separative process. It is not in antagonism to the world, because the individual is a total process, he is a result of the world. Without the world, without the other, without relationship, the individual is not; and he who would be transformed and realize happiness cannot isolate himself. Only when there is constant discovery of the activities of the self, of the `I', with its cravings, anxieties, pursuits and false creations, only when there is complete understanding of the ways of the self, the hidden and the open workings of the mind - only then can there be happiness. Happiness comes not in evaluating, but when the mind is not occupied with itself, when the mind is silent, then happiness comes into being; and such a happy man can then resolve the problems about him.
Question: Why don't you do miracles? All teachers did.
Krishnamurti: What do you mean by miracles? Healing the physically sick, and those who are sick psychologically? Both these things have been done. Others have done it, and I also have done it. But surely that is not important, is it? To be healed psychologically is more important than to be healed physically, because psychological illness affects the body, which in turn brings about disease. Therefore, the psychological state of health is far more important than physical health - which does not mean that we must deny physical well-being; but mere concentration on physical health will not bring about psychological well being. Whereas, if there is a transformation in the psyche, in the mind, then that will inevitably effect the well-being of the physical. So, the miracle which we all want, which we are all waiting to see happen, is really a sign of laziness, of irresponsibility. We want somebody else to do the job for us. If I may talk about myself, I also at one time did healing; but I found it was far more important to heal the mind, the inward state of being. Because, when each one of us can find inward riches, then there will be an amelioration of physical ill health. Merely to concentrate on healing the outward may make for popularity, draw large groups, but it will not lead man to happiness. So, we should concentrate on healing the inward emptiness, the inward disease, the inward corruption, the inward distortion - and that can be done only by you. None can heal you inwardly, and that is the miracle of it. A doctor can heal you outwardly, a psychoanalyst can help you to be normal, to fit into society; but to go beyond that, which means to be really healthy, to be inwardly true, clear, wholly uncorrupted - that you alone can do, and no one else; and I think that to heal oneself completely and surely is the greatest miracle. That is what we have been doing here during the last three months: seeing for ourselves the causes of inward disease, inward conflict, inward contradiction, seeing things as they are, very clearly, purely and precisely; and when all things are seen clearly, then the miracle happens. Because, when that which is, is perceived without distortion, there is understanding; and that understanding brings a healing quality. But understanding can come only through your own individual awareness and not through the miracle of another, not through the impression, the influence, the compulsion, or the imposition of the idea of another. Surely, miracles do happen. They are happening all the time, only we are not aware of it. Physically and psychologically, inwardly as well as outwardly, you are not the same today as yesterday. The body is undergoing transformation all the time, and so is the inward nature, the mind; and if we can follow it easily and swiftly, then we will see what an extraordinary miracle is happening in us and about us - the miracle being the constant newness, the freshness of life, the infinite beauty, the pliability, the depth of existence. But one cannot follow swiftly if one is tethered, if one is bound, if one is ceaselessly occupied with one's own achievements, anxieties and pursuits. For a man who is ambitious, there is no miracle, because he knows what he wants and he achieves it; but the man who is uncertain, who asks nothing, to him life is a miracle, a miracle of constant renewal; and we shall miss that renewal if we are merely seeking a result, an end.
Question: You have said that some transformation has taken place in all your listeners. Presumably, they have to wait for the manifestations of that transformation. How then can you call it immediate?
Krishnamurti: Surely, as long as we are looking for transformation, there will be no transformation. As long as we think in terms of yesterday, today and tomorrow, there can obviously be no transformation, because the mind is still caught in the net of time. If I want to change immediately, now, if that is my intention, then it is not possible, because I am thinking in terms of time, of today and tomorrow. As long as we are thinking in terms of time, of the present and the future, there cannot be transformation, because then transformation is merely a change, a continuity; but the moment thought is free from time, then there is a timeless transformation which is not a contradiction. That is, as long as a problem is thought about, the problem will continue. Thought, which is the result of the past, creates the problem; and that which is the result of the past cannot resolve the problem. It can look at it, it can examine it, it can analyze it, but it cannot resolve the problem. The problem - any problem whether a mathematical problem, a problem of relationship, or a problem of ideation - is resolved only when the thought process comes to an end, only when the mind, which is thought, the result of many yesterdays, ceases. That which is the result of time cannot bring about transformation; and when it does, either there will be a change which is a modified continuity, or the problem will become more complex. Whereas, if there is passive awareness of the problem, observation of it without condemnation or justification, then you will see there is an immediate transformation, an immediate cessation of that problem. After all, when we talk about transformation, what do we mean? The cessation of a problem, surely. Why does a man want to be transformed? Because he is in misery, in conflict, because he has daily anxieties; and there can be transformation, resolution of the problem, only when the mind, the thinker who is the creator of that problem, understands himself - which means, when the thought process about a problem comes to an end. You do this always when there is an acute problem. You think about it, you worry about it, and thought can go no further; and you leave it. Then in that quietness the problem is understood and resolved, and in that moment there is immediate transformation. Sir, if you are aware of it, this is the process that we are going through daily, is it not? As a farmer cultivates the field in the spring, then sows and harvests, and lets the field lie fallow during the winter, so, if we are aware, we will see that the mind is cultivating, sowing, and harvesting; but, unfortunately, it never allows itself to lie fallow, and it is in that fallowness, as with the field, that there is renewal. As during the winter time, through rains, through storms, through sunshine, the field rejuvenates itself, so the mind re-creates and renews itself when every problem is dissolved. That is, by cultivating, by going fully deeply and completely into each problem, there is the death of that problem, and therefore a renewal. Experiment with this and you will see how extraordinarily quickly and easily every problem is resolved when it is seen very clearly, distinctly, and purely. But to see a problem very clearly, without distortion, you have to give your full attention to it - and that is where the difficulty lies. Our minds are constantly distracted, escaping, because to see a problem clearly might mean action which would bring about further disturbance; and so the mind constantly avoids facing the problem, thereby increasing that problem. But when the thing is seen very clearly, without distortion, then you will find that the problem itself has an answer.
So, as long as we think in terms of transformation, there cannot be transformation, either now or hereafter. Transformation comes into being immediately when every problem is understood as it arises, and the immediacy of that transformation depends on your understanding of the problem. You understand a problem only when there is no condemnation or justification, when you really look at it, when you can love the problem. Then you will see that that problem gives its answer, and therefore there is freedom; and at that moment of freedom there is a renewal, there is a transformation. The mind has renewed itself and is therefore free to attack the next problem that arises. Sir, life need not be a succession of problems. Life is a challenge and a response; the challenge is always new, and if the response is always conditioned by the old, then problems continue to arise. But if the response is as new as the challenge, then there is constant renewal, constant transformation; and the response is new only when thought, which is the product of memory - psychological, not factual memory - is understood and not stored up. Then the response is as new as the challenge, and therefore life is a constant movement, an effortless being in which there is bliss - not this constant struggle to become, to transform oneself into something.
Question: What are the foundations of right livelihood? How can I find out whether my livelihood is right, and how am I to find right livelihood in a basically wrong society?
Krishnamurti: In a basically wrong society, there cannot be right livelihood. What is happening throughout the world at the present time? Whatever livelihood we have brings us to war, to general misery and destruction - which is an obvious fact. Whatever we do inevitably leads to conflict, to decay, to ruthlessness and sorrow. So, the present society is basically wrong; it is founded, is it not?, on envy, hate, and the desire for power; and such a society is bound to create wrong means of livelihood, such as the soldier, the policeman, and the lawyer. By their very nature, they are a disintegrating factor in society, and the more lawyers, policemen, and soldiers there are, the more obvious the decay of society. That is what is happening throughout the world: there are more soldiers, more policemen, more lawyers, and naturally the business man goes with them. So, all that has to be changed in order to found a right society - and we think such a task is impossible. It is not, Sir; but it is you and I who have to do it. Because, at present, whatever livelihood we undertake either creates misery for another, or leads to the ultimate destruction of mankind - which is shown in our daily existence. So, how can that be changed? It can be changed only when you and I are not seeking power, are not envious, are not full of hatred and antagonism. When you, in your relationship, bring about that transformation, then you are helping to create a new society, a society in which there are people who are not held by tradition, who do not ask anything for themselves, who are not pursuing power because inwardly they are rich, they have found reality. Only the man who seeks reality can create a new society; only the man who loves can bring about a transformation in the world. I know this is not a satisfactory answer for a person who wants to find out what is the right livelihood in the present structure of society, You must do the best you can in the present structure of society - either become a photographer, a merchant, a lawyer, a policeman, or whatever it is. But if you do, be conscious of what you are doing, be intelligent, be aware, fully cognizant, of what you are perpetuating, recognize the whole structure of society, with its corruption, with its hatred, with its envy; and if you yourself do not yield to these things, then perhaps you will be able to create a new society. But the moment you ask what is right livelihood, all these questions are inevitably there, are they not? Because, you are not satisfied with your livelihood - you want to be envied, you want to have power, you want to have greater comforts and luxuries, position and authority, and therefore you are inevitably creating or maintaining a society which will bring destruction upon man, upon yourself. And if you clearly see that process of destruction in your own livelihood, if you see that it is the result of your own pursuit of livelihood, then obviously you will find the right means of earning money. But first you must see the picture of society as it is, a disintegrating, corrupted society; and when you see it very clearly, then your means of earning a livelihood will come. But first you must see the picture, see the world as it is, with its national divisions, with its cruelties, ambitions, hatreds and controls. Then, as you see it more clearly, you will find that a right means of livelihood comes into being - you don't have to seek it. But the difficulty with most of us is that we have too many responsibilities; fathers, mothers, are waiting for us to earn money and support them. And as it is difficult to get a job the way society is at the present time, any job is welcome; so we fall into the machinery of society. But those who are not so compelled, who have no need of an immediate job and can therefore look at the whole picture, it is they who are responsible. But, you see, those who are not concerned with an immediate job are caught up in something else - they are concerned with their self-expansion, with their comforts, with their luxuries, with their amusements. They have time, but are dissipating it. And those who have time are responsible for the alteration of society; those who are not immediately pressed for a livelihood should really concern themselves with this whole problem of existence, and not get entangled in mere political action, in superficial activities. Those who have time and so-called leisure should seek out truth, because it is they who can bring about a revolution in the world, not the man whose stomach is empty. But, unfortunately, those who have leisure are not occupied with the eternal. They are occupied in filling their time. Therefore, they also are a cause of misery and confusion in the world. So, those of you who are listening, those of you who have a little time, should give thought and consideration to this problem, and by your own transformation you will bring about a world revolution.
Question: How can a man who has never reached the limits of his mind go beyond his mind to experience direct communion with truth?
Krishnamurti: Sir when you know the limits of your mind, are you not already beyond the limits? To be aware of your limits is surely the first step, the first process - which is very difficult, because the limits of the mind are erroneously subtle. In knowing that I am limited, in being aware of it without condemnation, there is already a freedom from that limitation, is there not? Surely, to know that I am a liar, to be aware of it without condemnation, without justification, is already a freedom from lying. To know the limits of the mind is already a tremendous liberation, isn't it? To know that I am tethered to a belief is already freedom from that limitation; but a mind which justifies that belief, that bondage, defending it and saying, `It is alright, I need it', such a mind can never know its limitation. When I know that I am tethered, limited by a belief, and am aware of that limitation without condemnation or justification, that is already a liberation from belief. Sir, experiment with this and you will see how extraordinarily active, how extraordinarily true it is. To know, to beware of a problem, is to be free from it; and a mind cannot experience truth if it does not know its limitation. That is why it is very important to have self-knowledge. Self-knowledge is not an ultimate goal, it is not the ultimate end. Self-knowledge is knowing one's limitation from moment to moment, and therefore perceiving the truth from moment to moment. Truth which is continuous is not truth, because that which continues can never renew itself; but in ending, there is a renewal. So, a mind that is not aware of its own limitation can never experience truth; but if the mind is aware of its limitation without condemnation, without justification, if it is purely aware of its limitation, then you will find there comes a freedom from the limitation; and in that freedom, truth is realized. There is not `you' unified to truth: `you' can never find truth. `You' must cease for truth to come into being, because 'you' are the limitation. So, you must understand where you are limited, the extent of your limitation; you must be passively aware of it, and in that passivity truth comes into being. Light cannot be unified with darkness. That which is ignorance cannot become one with wisdom. Ignorance must cease for wisdom to be. Wisdom is not an ultimate end, but it comes into being when ignorance is dissolved from moment to moment. Wisdom is not an accumulation, which gives continuity; wisdom is understanding the problem completely each minute, each second. So, wisdom, reality, is not caught in the net of time. Only through self-knowledge can the limitations, which the self has created, come to an end, and these limitations can be understood only from moment to moment as they arise. And each limitation, as you observe it, brings the truth, each moment you see the false, the truth is perceived; but to see the false as the false, and the truth as truth, is difficult, is arduous; it demands clarity of perception. A mind that is distracted can never see the false as the false, and the true as the true; and to see the truth in the false requires a swiftness of mind, a mind that is not tethered to any bondage, to any limitation.
Question: Attachment is the stuff of which we are made. How can we be free from attachment?
Krishnamurti: Surely, attachment is not the problem, is it? Why are you attached, and why do you want to be detached? Why is there this constant strife between attachment and detachment? You know what is meant by attachment - the desire to possess a person, to possess things. Sir, why are you attached? What would happen if you were not attached? Surely, attachment becomes a problem only when there is the pursuit of detachment, only when that which is attached is not understood. Now, take an example. If you examine yourself, why are you attached to your wife, to your husband, to your money, to your house, to your property, to your ideas? Why? Because, without that person, you are lost, you are empty; without property, without a name, you are nothing; and without your bank account, without your ideas, what are you? An empty shell, arn't you? So, because you are afraid of being nothing, you are attached to something; and being attached - with all its problems, with its fears, with its cruelties, with its anxieties and frustrations - , you try to become detached, you try to renounce property, renounce your family, renounce your ideas. But you have not really solved the problem, which is the fear of being nothing - and that is why you are attached. After all, you are nothing. Strip yourself of your titles, of your M.A.'s, of your professions and little qualities, of your houses and properties, of your few jewels, and all the rest of it - and what are you? Knowing inwardly that there is an extraordinary emptiness, a void, a nothingness, and being afraid of it, you depend, you are attached, you possess; and in that possession, there is appalling cruelty. You are not concerned about another, you are only concerned about yourself - and that you call love. So, because you are afraid, because there is fear of that emptiness, you are willing to kill another, to destroy mankind. Now, why not accept the obvious, which is that you are nothing - not that you should be nothing, but that you are actually nothing? Sir, when you do accept it, there is no renunciation, neither attachment nor detachment. You simply don't possess - and then there is a beauty, then there is a richness, a blessing that you cannot possibly, understand as long as you are afraid of emptiness. Then life is full of significance, then life becomes really a miracle. But a man who is afraid of emptiness, of being nothing, is attached; and with attachment there arises the conflict of detachment, the conflict of renunciation, and all the appalling misery and cruelty that comes with attachment and dependence. A man who is nothing knows love, for love is nothing.
Question: Is extensional awareness the same as creative emptiness? Is not awareness passive and therefore not creative? Is not the process of self-awareness a tedious and painful process?
Krishnamurti: If awareness is practiced, made a habit, then it becomes painful and tedious; but awareness cannot be practiced, cannot be controlled, cannot be made into a conflict, a discipline - and that is the beauty of it. You are aware, or you are not aware. So, anything which is practiced becomes a boredom, tedious, painful, it means the exertion of will and effort, which creates distortion. Now, awareness is not that kind of thing at all. What is awareness, what is it to be aware? To be aware of things about you outwardly, of colour, of faces, of the sunset, of the shadows, of birds in flight, of the restless sea, of the trees in the wind - to be aware of all that is mere awareness of the superficial. You don't condemn a bird in flight, you merely observe it. But the moment you become aware of your inward nature, then you begin to condemn, you are incapable of looking at it without condemnation or justification. But to understand, there must be no condemnation or justification. So, to be aware, just to observe your thoughts, just to know what you are thinking and feeling without condemnation, without defence, without justification - surely, to be simply aware is not tedious, is not painful. But if you say, `I must be aware in order to get a result', then it becomes tedious. If you try to be aware in order to eradicate anger, jealousy, possessiveness, or whatever it be, then it becomes painful. Such awareness is not awareness. That is merely a process of introspection, trying to become something. In awareness, there is no becoming, but merely observation, a silent observation - as when you visit the cinema and see the film. Now, if you can observe, if you can be aware of yourself in action, in movement, without identification, then you will find that there is an extensional awareness. It begins, as I said, with superficial things. Then, as you go deeper and deeper, there is wide, extensional awareness. That awareness is necessary, because in that awareness all the hidden layers, all the hidden intimations, come into being. As there is deeper and wider, more extensional awareness, the intimations, the conflicts of the hidden, are dissolved; and then you will find there comes creative emptiness. This is all a total process, not a step-by-step process; because, in awareness, there is neither beginning nor ending. It is one whole process. The moment you observe a problem without condemnation, there is bound to be passive awareness; and when there is passive awareness, there is dissolution of the problem. That is, in passive awareness there is creative stillness, creative emptiness. Then, in that creative emptiness, reality comes into being, which dissolves the problem. So, where there is pain conflict, a tedious feeling, boredom, there is no awareness, but only a dull mind. Whereas, contrary to dullness, in awareness there is heightened sensitivity, and passive awareness is creative. The highest form of thinking is negative thinking; and when there is complete cessation of thought, when there is that passivity which is not a sleepy state, then there is creative being. I don't know if you have noticed that when the mind is full of problems, when the mind is full of thoughts, there is no creation. Only when the mind is empty, when the mind is still, when it has no problem, when it is alertly passive - only in that emptiness is there creation. Creation can only take place in negation, which is not the opposite of positive assertion. I am not using the word `negation' as the opposite of the positive. Being nothing is not the antithesis of being something. Being nothing is not related to being something. When the `being something' ceases completely, then there is nothingness. Only when all the problems which mind creates have ceased, when the mind is nothing, empty - which is not induced by discipline, by control - , only then does that passive, alert awareness come into being. And passivity must exist if a problem is to be dissolved. You can understand a problem only when you don't condemn it, when you don't justify it, when you are capable of looking at it silently, and that is not possible when you are seeking a result. A problem exists only in the search for a result; and the problem ceases if there is no search for a result. When the mind is silently observing, and therefore passive, there comes creative being, and creative being is a constant renewal. It is not continuity, it is a timeless state of being. In that state alone can there be creation, and therefore that state alone is revolution.
Question: What do you mean by love?
Krishnamurti: Now, again we are going to discover by understanding what love is not; because, as love is the unknown, we must come to it by discarding the known. Surely, the unknown cannot be discovered by a mind that is full of the known. So, what we are going to do is to find out the values of the known, look at the known; and when that is looked at purely, without condemnation, the mind becomes free from the known, and then we shall know what love is. So, we must approach love negatively, not positively.
Now, what is love with most of us? When we say we love somebody, what do we mean? We mean we possess that person. From that possession arises jealousy, because ff I lose him or her what happens? I feel empty, lost, Therefore, I legalize possession. I hold him or her. From holding, possessing that person, there is jealousy, there is fear, and all the innumerable conflicts that arise from possession. Surely, is not love, is it? Don't shake your heads in assent; for if you agree with me, you are merely agreeing verbally, and such agreement has no meaning at all. You can agree only when you don't possess your property, your wife, your ideas.
Obviously, love is not sentiment. To be sentimental, to be emotional, is not love, because sentimentality and emotion are mere sensations. A religious person who weeps about Jesus or Krishna, about his guru or somebody else, is merely sentimental, emotional. He is indulging in sensation, which is a process of thought, and thought is not love. Thought is the result of sensation. So, the person who is sentimental, who is emotional, cannot possibly know love. Again, arn't we emotional and sentimental? Sentimentality, emotionalism, is merely a form of self-expansion. To be full of emotion is obviously not love, because a sentimental person can be cruel when his sentiments are not responded to, when his feelings have no outlet. An emotional person can be stirred to hatred, to war, to butchery. And a man who is sentimental, full of tears for his religion, surely such a man has no love. Obviously there is no love when there is no real respect, when you don't respect another, whether he is your servant or your friend. Have you not noticed that you are not respectful, kindly, generous, to your servants, to people who are so-called `below' you? But you have respect for those above, for your boss; for the millionaire, for the man with a large house and a title, for the man who can give you a better position, a better job, from whom you can get something. But you kick those below you, you have a special language for them. So, where there is no respect, there is no love; where there is no mercy, no pity, no forgiveness, there is no love. And as most of us are in this state, we have no love. We are neither respectful nor merciful nor generous. We are possessive, full of sentiment and emotion which can be turned either way: to kill, to butcher, or to unify over some foolish, ignorant intention. So, how can there be love? You can know love only when all these things have stopped, come to an end, only when you don't possess, when you are not merely emotional with devotion to an object. Such devotion is a supplication, selecting something in a different form. A man who prays does not know love. Since you are possessive, since you seek an end, a result, through devotion, through prayer, which makes you sentimental, emotional, naturally there is no love; and obviously there is no love when there is no respect. You may say that you have respect, but your respect is for the superior, it is merely the respect that comes from wanting something, the respect of fear. If you really felt respect, you would be respectful to the lowest as well as to the so-called highest; and since you haven't that, there is no love. How few of us are generous, forgiving, merciful! You are generous when it pays you, you are merciful when you can see something in return. So, when these things disappear, when these things don't occupy your mind, and when the things of the mind don't fill your heart, then there is love; and love alone can transform the present madness and insanity in the world - not systems, not theories, Either of the left or of the right. You really love only when you do not possess, when you are not envious, not greedy, when you are respectful, when you have mercy and compassion, when you have consideration for your wife, your children, your neighbour, your unfortunate servants who have not a day off, who have become your slaves. When you are respectful to them, not merely to your gurus, to the man above you, then you will know love. That love alone can transform the world, that alone can fill the world with mercy, with beauty. But if you fill your hearts with the things made by the mind or by the hand, then there is no love; and since your hearts are filled by these things, you are in constant battle with each other. But if you realize, if you are aware of all these things without coming into conflict with them, then there is a freedom, and in that freedom there is love which is not a theory. You can experience love with its blessings, with its perfume, with its loveliness, only when 'you' cease to be, when `you' cease to achieve, to become something; and such love alone can transform the world.
Question: May we request you to state clearly whether there is God or not?
Krishnamurti: Sir, why do you want to know? What difference does it make if I state it clearly or not? Either I will confirm you in your belief, or shake you in your belief. If I confirm your belief, then you will be pleased, and you will go on with your sweet, ugly ways. If I disturb you, you will say, `Well, that is not important', and unfortunately you will still carry on as you are. But why do you want to know? Surely, that is more important than to find out whether there is God or not. To know God, Sir, to know truth, you must not seek it. If you seek it, then you are escaping from what is; and that is why you are asking whether there is God or not. You want to get away from your suffering, escape into an illusion. Your books are full of gods, every temple is full of images made by the hand; but there is no God, because they are all escapes from your actual suffering. To find reality, or rather for reality to come into being, suffering must cease; and merely to search for God, for truth, for immortality, is an escape from suffering. But it is more pleasant to discuss whether there is God or not than to dissolve the causes of suffering, and that is why you have innumerable books discussing the nature of God. The man who discusses the nature of God, does not know God; because, that reality cannot be measured. It cannot be caught in the garland of words. You cannot catch the wind in your fist; you cannot capture reality in a temple, nor in puja, nor in innumerable ceremonies. They are all escapes, like taking a drink. You take a drink, get drunk, because you want to escape; similarly, you go to a temple, do puja, perform rituals, or whatever it is you do - they are all escapes from that which is. And that which is, is suffering, the constant battle with oneself, and therefore with another; and until you understand and transcend that suffering, reality cannot come into being. So, your enquiry whether there is God or not, is vain, it has no meaning, it can but lead to illusion. How can a mind that is caught in the turmoil of daily sorrow and suffering, in ignorance and limitation, know that which is illimitable, unutterable? How can that which is a product of time, know the timeless? It cannot. Therefore, it cannot even think about it. To think about truth, to think about God, is another form of escape; for God, truth, cannot be caught by thought. Thought is the result of time of yesterday, of the past; and being the result of time, of the past, being the product of memory, how can thought find that which is eternal, timeless, immeasurable? As it cannot, all that you can do is to free the mind from the thought process; and to free the mind from the thought process, you must understand suffering, and not escape from it - suffering not only on the physical level, but at all the different levels of consciousness. That means being open, vulnerable to suffering, not defending yourself against suffering but living with it, embracing it, looking at it. Because, you are suffering now. You are suffering from morning till night, with an occasional ray of sunshine, with an occasional gap in the cloudy sky. Since you are suffering, why not consider that, why not go into it fully, deeply, completely, and resolve it? And that is not difficult. The search for God is much more difficult, because it is the unknown, and you cannot search for the unknown. But you can seek out the cause of suffering and eradicate it by understanding it, being aware of it, not running away from it. Since you have run away from suffering through various escapes, look at all those escapes, put them away and come face to face with suffering. In understanding that suffering, there is a release. Then the mind becomes free from all thought, it is no longer the product of the past. Then the mind is tranquil, without any problem; it is not made tranquil, but is tranquil, because it has no problem, it is no longer creating thought. Then thought has ceased - thought which is memory, which is the accumulation of experience, the scars of yesterday; and when the mind is utterly quiet, not made quiet, reality comes into being. That experience is the experience of reality, not of illusion, and such experience gives a blessing to man. Truth, love, is the unknown, and the unknown cannot be captured by the known. The known must cease for the unknown to be; and when the unknown comes into being, there is a blessing.
The Observer is the Observed
Bombay, India. Public Talk 28th March, 1948
Jiddu Krishnamurti texts. The Observer Is the Observed. Contains reports of spontaneous discourses about life and reality, given at different times between 1945 and 1948.