Bangalore 2nd Public Talk 11th July, 1948
In a talk like this it is more important, I think, to experience what is being said rather than to discuss merely on the verbal level. One is apt to remain on the verbal level without deeply experiencing what is said; and experiencing an actual fact is much more important than to discover if the ideas themselves are true or not, because ideas are never going to transform the world. Revolution is not based on mere ideas. Revolution comes only when there is a fundamental conviction, a realization, that there must be an inward transformation, not merely an outward one, however significant the outward demand may be. What I would like to discuss here during these five Sunday meetings is how to bring about, not a superficial change, but a radical transformation which is so essential in a world that is rapidly disintegrating. If we are at all observant, it should be obvious to most of us whether we travel or remain in one place, that a fundamental change or revolution is necessary. But to perceive the full significance of such a revolution is difficult; because, though we think we want a change, a modification, a revolution, most of us look to a particular pattern of action, to a system either of the left or of the right, or in between. We see the confusion, the frightful mess, the misery, the starvation, the impending war; and, obviously, the thoughtful demand action. But unfortunately, we look to action according to a particular formula or theory. The left has a system, a pattern of action, and so has the right. But can there be revolution according to any particular pattern of action, according to a line laid down, or does revolution come into being from the awakened individual's interest and awareness? Surely, it is only when the individual is awake and responsible that there can be a revolution. Now, obviously, most of us want an agreed plan of action. We see the mess, not only in India and in our own lives, but throughout the world. In every corner of the world there is confusion, there is misery, there is appalling strife and suffering. There is never a moment when men can be secure; because, as the arts of war are developed more and more, the destruction becomes greater and greater. We know all that. That is an obvious fact which we need not go into. But is it not important to find out what our relationship is to this whole confusion, chaos and misery? Because, after all, if we can discover our relationship to the world and understand that relationship, then perhaps we may be able to alter this confusion. So, first, we must clearly see the relationship that exists between the world and ourselves, and then perhaps, if we change our lives, there can be a fundamental and radical change in the world in which we live.
So, what is the relationship between ourselves and the world? Is the world different from us, or is each one of us the result of a total process, not separate from the world but part of the world? That is, you and I are the result of a world process, of a total process, not of a separate, individualistic process; because after all, you are the result of the past, you are conditioned through environmental influences, political, social, economic, geographical, climatic, and so on. You are the result of a total process; therefore, you are not separate from the world. You are the world, and what you are, the world is. Therefore, the world's problem is your problem; and if you solve your problem, you solve the world's problem. So, the world is not separate from the individual. To try to solve the world's problem without solving your individual problem is futile, utterly empty, because you and I make up the world. Without you and me, there is no world. So, the world problem is your problem. it is an obvious fact. Though we would like to think that we are individualistic in our actions, separate, independent, apart, that narrow individualistic action of each human being is, after all, part of a total process which we call the world. So, to understand the world and to bring about a radical transformation in the world, we must begin with ourselves with you and me, and not with somebody else. Mere reformation of the world has no meaning without the transformation of you who create the world. Because, after all, the world is not distant from you; it is where you live, the world of your family, of your friends, of your neighbours; and if you and I can fundamentally transform ourselves, then there is a possibility of changing the world, and not otherwise. That is why all great changes and reforms in the world have begun with a few, with indivi- duals, with you and me. So-called mass action is merely the collective action of individuals who are convinced, and mass action has significance only when the individuals in the mass are awake; but if they are hypnotized by words, by an ideology, then mass action must lead to disaster.
So, seeing that the world is in an appalling mess, with impending wars, starvation, the disease of nationalism, with corrupt organized religious ideologies at work - recognizing all this, it is obvious that to bring about a fundamental, radical revolution, we must begin with ourselves. You may say, "I am willing to change myself, but it will take an infinite number of years if each individual is to change". But is that a fact? Let it take a number of years. If you and I are really convinced, really see the truth that revolution must begin with ourselves and not with somebody else, will it take very long to convince, to transform the world? Because you are the world, your actions will affect the world you live in, which is the world of your relationships. But the difficulty is to recognize the importance of individual transformation. We demand world transformation, the transformation of society about us, but we are blind, unwilling to transform ourselves. What is society? Surely, it is the relationship between you and me. What you are and what I am produces relationship and creates society. So, to transform society, whether it calls itself Hindu, communist, capitalist, or what you will, our relationship has to change, and relationship does not depend on legislation, on governments, on outward circumstances, but entirely upon you and me. Though we are a product of the outward environment, we obviously have the power to transform ourselves, which means seeing the importance of the truth that there can be revolution only when you and I understand ourselves, and not merely the structure which we call society. So, that is the first difficulty we have to face in all these talks. The aim is not to bring about a reformation through new legislation, because legislation ever demands further legislation; but it is to see the truth that you and I, on whatever social level we may live, wherever we are, must bring about a radical, lasting revolution in ourselves. And as I said, revolution which is not static, which is lasting, revolution which is constant from moment to moment, cannot come into being according to my plan, either of the left or of the right. That constant revolution which is self-sustaining can come into being only when you and I realize the importance of individual transformation; and I am going to discuss with you, I am going to talk and answer questions from that point of view during the five Sundays that follow.
Now, if you observe, you will find that in all historical revolutions there is revolt according to a pattern; and when the flame of that revolt comes to an end, there is a falling back into the old pattern, either on a higher or a lower level. Such a revolution is not revolution at all - it is only a change, which means a modified continuity. A modified continuity does not relieve suffering; change does not lead to the cessation of sorrow. What does lead to the cessation of sorrow is to see yourself individually as you are, to be aware of your own thoughts and feelings and to bring about a revolution in your thoughts and feelings. So, as I said, those of you who look to a pattern of action will, I am afraid, be liable to disappointment during these talks. Because, it is very easy to invent a pattern, but it is much more difficult to think out the issues and see the problem clearly. If we merely look for an answer to a problem, whether economic, social or human, we shall not understand the problem, because we shall be concentrated upon the answer, and not upon the problem itself. We shall be studying the answer, the solution. Whereas, if we study the question, the problem itself, then we shall find that the answer, the solution, lies in the problem and not away from the problem. So, our problem is the transformation of the individual, of you and me, because the individual's problem is the world's problem, they are not separate. What you are, the world is - which is so obvious.
What is our present society? Our present society, whether Western or Eastern, is the result of man's cunning, deceit, greed, ill will, and so on. You and I have created the structure, and only you and I can destroy it and introduce a new society. But to create the new society, the new culture, you must examine and understand the structure which is disintegrating, which you and I have built together. And to understand that which you have built, you must understand the psychological process of your being. So, without self-knowledge, there can be no revolution, and a revolution is essential - not of the bloody kind, which is comparatively easy, but a revolution through self-knowledge. That is the only lasting and permanent revolution, because self-knowledge is a constant movement of thought and feeling in which there is no refuge, it is a constant flow of the understanding of what you are. So, the study of oneself is far more important than the study of how to bring about a reformation in the world; because, if you understand yourself and thereby change yourself, there will naturally be a revolution. To look to a panacea, to a pattern of action for revolution in outward life, may bring about a temporary change; but each temporary change demands further change and further bloodshed. Whereas, if we study very carefully the problem of ourselves, which is so complex, then we shall bring about a far greater revolution of a much more lasting, more valuable kind, than the mere economic or social revolution.
So, I hope we see the truth and the importance of this: that, with the world in such confusion, misery and starvation, to bring order in this chaos we must begin with ourselves. But most of us are too lazy or too dull to begin to transform ourselves. It is so much easier to leave it to others, to wait for new legislation, to speculate and compare. But our issue is to study the problem of suffering intelligently and wisely, to see its causes which lie, not in outward circumstances but in ourselves, and to bring about a transformation.
To study any problem, there must be the intention to understand it, the intention to go into it, to unravel it, not to avoid it. If the problem is sufficiently great and immediate, the intention also is strong; but ff the problem is not great, or if we do not see its urgency, the intention becomes weak. Whereas, if we are fully aware of the problem and have a clear and definite intention to study it, then we shall not look to outward authorities, to a leader, to a guru, to an organized system; because the problem is ourselves, it cannot be resolved by a system, a formula, a guru, a leader or a government. Once the intention is clear, then the understanding of oneself becomes comparatively easy. But to establish this intention is the greatest difficulty, because no one can help us in understanding ourselves. Others may verbally paint the picture; but to experience a fact which is in us, to see without judgment a particular thought, action, or feeling, is much more important than verbally to listen to others, or to follow a particular rule of conduct, and so on.
So, the first thing is to realize that the world's problem is the individual's problem; it is your problem and my problem, and the world's process is not separate from the individual process. They are a joint phenomenon, and therefore what you do, what you think, what you feel, is far more important than to introduce legislation or to belong to a particular party or group of people. That is the first truth to be realized, which is obvious. A revolution in the world is essential; but revolution according to a particular pattern of action is not a revolution. A revolution can take place only when you, the individual, understand yourself and therefore create a new process of action. Surely, we need a revolution, because everything is going to pieces; social structures are disintegrating, there are wars and more wars. We are standing on the edge of a precipice, and obviously there must be some kind of transformation, for we cannot go on as we are. The left offers a kind of revolution, and the right proposes a modification of the left. But such revolutions are not revolutions; they do not solve the problem, because the human entity is much too complex to be understood through a mere formula. And as a constant revolution is necessary, it can only begin with you, with your understanding of yourself. That is a fact, that is the truth, and you cannot avoid it from whatever angle you approach it. After seeing the truth of that, you must establish the intention to study the total process of yourself; because, what you are, the world is. If your mind is bureaucratic, you will create a bureaucratic world, a stupid world, a world of red tape; if you are greedy, envious, narrow, nationalistic, you will create a world in which there is nationalism, which destroys human beings, a social structure based on greed, division, property, and so on. So, what you are, the world is: and without your transformation, there can be no transformation of the world. But to study oneself demands extraordinary care, extraordinarily swift pliability, and a mind burdened with the desire for a result can never follow the swift movement of thought. So then, the first difficulty is to see the truth that the individual is responsible, that you are responsible for the whole mess; and when you see your responsibility, to establish the intention to observe and therefore to bring about a radical transformation in yourself.
Now, if the intention is there, then we can proceed, then we can begin to study ourselves. To study yourself, you must come with an unburdened mind, must you not? But once you assert that you are Atman, paramatman, or whatever it is, once you seek a satisfaction of that kind, then you are already caught in a framework of thought, and therefore you are not studying your total process. You are looking at yourself through a screen of ideas, which is not study, which is not observation. If I want to know you, what do I have to do? I have to study you, have I not? I cannot condemn you because you are a Brahmin or belong to some other blinking caste. I must study you, I must watch you, I must observe your moods, your temperament, your speech, your words, your mannerisms, and so on. But if I look at you through a screen of prejudice, of conclusions, then I do not understand you; I am only studying my own conclusions, which have no significance when I am trying to understand you. Similarly, if I want to understand myself, I must discard the whole set of screens, the traditions and beliefs established by other people, it does not matter if it is Buddha, Socrates, or anybody else; because, the "you", the "I", is an extraordinarily complex entity, with a different mask, a different facet, depending on time and occasion, circumstance, environmental influence, and so on. The self is not a static entity; and to know and understand oneself is far more important than to study the sayings of others or to look at oneself through the screen of others. experiences. So, when the intention is there to study ourselves, then the screens, the assertions, the knowledge and experiences of others, obviously have no value. Because, if I want to know myself, I must know what I am, and not what I should be. A hypothetical "me" has no value. If I want to know the truth of something, I must look at it, not shut the door on it. If I am studying a motorcar, I must study it for itself, not compare a Packard with a Rolls Royce. I must study the car as the Rolls Royce, as the Packard, as the Ford. The individual is of the highest importance, because he, in his relationships, creates the world. When we see the truth of that, we shall begin to study ourselves irrespective of the assertions of others, however great. Then only shall we be able to follow without condemnation or justification the whole process of every thought and feeling that exists in us, and so begin to understand it. So, when the intention is there, I can proceed to investigate that which I am. Obviously, I am the product of environment. That is the beginning, the first fact to see. To find out if I am anything more than merely a product of environmental and climatic influences, I must first be free from those influences which exist about me and of which I am the product. I am the result of the conditions, the absurdities, the superstitions, the innumerable factors, good and bad, which form the environment about me; and to find out if I am something more, I must obviously be free of those influences, must I not? To understand something more, I must first understand what is. Merely to assert that I am something more has no meaning until I am free from the environmental influences of the society in which I am living. Freedom is the discovery of not merely a denial of them. Surely, freedom comes with the discovery of truth in everything that is about me - the truth of property, the truth of things, the truth of relationship, the truth of ideas. Without discovering the truth of these things, I cannot find what one may call the abstract truth or God. Being caught in the things about me, obviously the mind cannot go further, cannot see or discover what is beyond. A man who is seeking to understand himself, must understand his relationship to things, to property, to possessions, to country, to ideas, to the people immediately about him. This discovery of the truth of relationship is not a matter of repeating words, verbally throwing at others ideas about relationship. The discovery of the truth of relationship comes only through experience in relationship with property, with people, with ideas; and it is that truth which liberates, not mere effort to be free from property or from relationship. One can discover the truth of property, of relationship, of ideas, only when there is the intention to find out the truth and not be influenced by prejudice, by the demands of a particular society or belief, or by preconceptions concerning God, truth, or what you will; because, the name, the word, is not the thing. The word "God" is not God, it is only a word; and to go beyond the verbal level of the mind, of knowledge, one must experience directly, and to experience directly one must be free from those values which the mind creates and clings to. Therefore, to understand this psychological process of oneself is far more important than to understand the process of outward environmental influences. It is important to understand yourself first, because in understanding yourself you will bring about a revolution in your relationships and thereby create a new world.
I have been given several ques- tions, and I shall answer some of them.
Question: How can we solve our present political chaos and the crisis in the world? Is there anything an individual can do to stop the impending war?
Krishnamurti: War is the spectacular and bloody projection of our everyday life, is it not? War is merely an outward expression of our inward state, an enlargement of our daily action. It is more spectacular, more bloody, more destructive, but it is the collective result of our individual activities. So, you and I are responsible for war, and what can we do to stop it? Obviously, the impending war cannot be stopped by you and me, because it is already in movement; it is already taking place though still chiefly on the psychological level. It has already begun in the world of ideas, though it may take a little longer for our bodies to be destroyed. As it is already in movement, it cannot be stopped - the issues are too many, too great, and are already committed. But you and I, seeing that the house is on fire, can understand the causes of that fire, can go away from it and build in a new place with different materials that are not combustible, that will not produce other wars. That is all that we can do. You and I can see what creates wars, and if we are interested in stopping wars, then we can begin to transform ourselves, who are the causes of war. So, what causes war - religious, political or economic? Obviously, belief, either in nationalism, in an ideology, or in a particular dogma. If we had no belief, but goodwill, love and consideration between us, then there would be no wars. But we are fed on beliefs, ideas and dogmas, and therefore we breed discontent. Surely, the present crisis is of an exceptional nature, and we as human beings must either pursue the path of constant conflict and continuous wars which are the result of our everyday action, or else see the causes of war and turn our back upon them.
Obviously, what causes war is the desire for power, position, prestige, money, and also the disease called nationalism, the worship of a flag, and the disease of organized religion, the worship of a dogma. All these are the causes of war; and if you as an individual belong to any of the organized religions, if you are greedy for power, if you are envious, you are bound to produce a society which will result in destruction. So again, it depends upon you and not on the leaders, not on Stalin, Churchill, and all the rest of them. It depends upon you and me, but we do not seem to realize that. If once we really felt the responsibility of our own actions, how quickly we could bring to an end all these wars, this appalling misery!But you see, we are indifferent. We have three meals a day, we have our jobs, we have our bank accounts, big or little, and we say, "For God's sake, don't disturb us, leave us alone". The higher up we are, the more we want security, permanency, tranquillity, the more we want to be left alone, to maintain things fixed as they are; but they cannot be maintained as they are, because there is nothing to maintain. Everything is disintegrating. We do not want to face these things, we do not want to face the fact that you and I are responsible for wars. You and I may talk about peace, have conferences, sit around a table and discuss; but inwardly, psychologically, we want power, position, we are motivated by greed. We intrigue, we are nationalistic, we are bound by beliefs, by dogmas, for which we are willing to die and destroy each other. Do you think such men, you and I, can have peace in the world? To have peace, we must be peaceful; to live peacefully means not to create antagonism. Peace is not a ideal. To me, an ideal is merely an escape, an avoidance of what is, a contradiction of what is. An ideal prevents direct action upon what is - which we will go into presently, in another talk. But to have peace, we will have to love, we will have to begin, not to live an ideal life, but to see things as they are and act upon them, transform them. As long as each one of us is seeking psychological security, the physiological security we need - food, clothing and shelter - is destroyed. We are seeking psychological security, which does not exist; and we seek it, if we can, through power, through position, through titles, names - all of which is destroying physical security. This is an obvious fact, if you look at it.
So, to bring about peace in the world, to stop all wars, there must be a revolution in the individual, in you and me. Economic revolution without this inward revolution is meaningless, for hunger is the result of the maladjustment of economic conditions produced by our psychological states - greed, envy, ill will and possessiveness. To put an end to sorrow, to hunger, to war, there must be a psychological revolution, and few of us are willing to face that. We will discuss peace, plan legislation, create new leagues, the United Nations, and so on and on; but we will not win peace, because we will not give up our position, our authority, our monies, our properties, our stupid lives. To rely on others is utterly futile; others cannot bring us peace. No leader is going to give us peace, no government, no army, no country. What will bring peace is inward transformation which will lead to outward action. Inward transformation is not isolation, is not a withdrawal from outward action. On the contrary, there can be right thinking, and there is no right thinking when there is no self-knowledge. Without knowing yourself, there is no peace.
To put an end to outward war, you must begin to put an end to war in yourself. Some of you will shake your heads and say, "I agree", and go outside and do exactly the same as you have been doing for the last ten or twenty years. Your agreement is merely verbal and has no significance, for the world's miseries and wars are not going to be stopped by your casual assent. They will be stopped only when you realize the danger, when you realize your responsibility, when you do not leave it to somebody else. If you realize the suffering, if you see the urgency of immediate action and do not postpone, then you will transform yourself; and peace will come only when you yourself are peaceful, when you yourself are at peace with your neighbour.
Question: Family is the framework of our love and greed, of our selfishness and division. What is its place in your scheme of things?
Krishnamurti: Sirs, I have no scheme of things. See in what an absurd way we are thinking of life! Life is a living thing, a dynamic, active thing, and you cannot put it in a frame. It is the intellectuals who put life in a frame, who have a scheme to systematize it. So, I have no scheme, but let us look at the facts. First, there is the fact of our relationship with another, whether it is with a wife, a husband or a child - the relationship which we call the family. Let us examine the fact of what is, not what we should like it to be. Anyone can have rash ideas about family life; but if we can look at, examine, understand what is, then perhaps we shall be able to transform it. But merely to cover up what is with a lovely set of words, calling it responsibility, duty, love - all that has no meaning. So, what we are going to do is to examine what we call the family. Because Sirs, to understand something, we must examine what is, and not cover it up with sweet-sounding phrases.
Now, what is it that you call the family? Obviously, it is a relationship of intimacy, of communion. Now, in your family, in your relationship with your wife, with your husband, is there communion? Surely, that is what we mean by relationship, do we not? Relationship means communion without fear, freedom to understand each other, to communicate directly. Obviously, relationship means that - to be in communion with another. Are you? Are you in communion with your wife? Perhaps you are physically, but that is not relationship. You and your wife live on opposite sides of a wall of isolation, do you not? You have your own pursuits, your ambitions, and she has hers. You live behind the wall and occasionally look over the top - and that you call relationship. That is a fact, is it not? You may enlarge it, soften it, introduce a new set of words to describe it, but that is the actual fact - that you and another live in isolation, and that life in isolation you call relationship.
Now, if there is real relationship between two people, which means there is communion between them, then the implications are enormous. Then there is no isolation, then there is love and not responsibility or duty. It is the people who are isolated behind their walls that talk about duty and responsibility. But a man who loves does not talk about responsibility - he loves. Therefore he shares with another his joy, his sorrow, his money. Are our families such? Is there direct communion with your wife, with your children? Obviously not, Sirs. Therefore, the family is merely an excuse to continue your name or tradition, to give you what you want, sexually or psychologically. So, the family becomes a means of self-perpetuation, of carrying on your name. That is one kind of immortality, one kind of permanency. Also, the family is used as a means of gratification. I exploit others ruthlessly in the business world, in the political or social world outside, and at home I try to be kind and generous. How absurd!Or the world is too much for me, I want peace, and I go home. I suffer in the world, and I go home and try to find comfort. So I use relationship as a means of gratification, which means I do not want to be disturbed by my relationship.
So, what is happening, Sirs, is this, is it not? In our families there is isolation and not communion, and therefore there is no love. Love and sex are two different things, which we will discuss another time. We may develop in our isolation a form of selflessness, a devotion, a kindness, but it is always behind the wall, because we are more concerned with ourselves than with others. If you were concerned with others, if you were really in communion with your wife, with your husband, and were therefore open to your neighbour, the world would not be in this misery. That is why families in isolation become a danger to society.
So then, how to break down this isolation? To break down this isolation, we must be aware of it, we must not be detached from it or say that it does not exist. It does exist, that is an obvious fact. Be aware of the way you treat your wife, your husband, your children, be aware of the callousness, the brutality, the traditional assertions, the false education. Do you mean to say, Sirs and Ladies, that if you loved your wife or your husband we would have this conflict and misery in the world? It is because you do not know how to love your wife, your husband, that you don't know how to love God. You want God as a further means of isolation, a further means of security. After all, God is the ultimate security; but such a search is not for God, it is merely a refuge, an escape. To find God you must know how to love, not God, but the human beings around you, the trees, the flowers, the birds. Then, when you know how to love them, you will really know what it is to love God. Without loving another, without knowing what it means to be completely in communion with one another, you cannot be in communion with truth. But you see, we are not thinking of love, we are not concerned with being in communion with another. We want security, either in the family, in property, or in ideas; and where the mind is seeking security, it can never know love. For love is the most dangerous thing, because when we love somebody, we are vulnerable, we are open; and we do not want to be open. We do not want to be vulnerable. We want to be enclosed, we want to be more at ease within ourselves.
So again, Sirs, to bring about transformation in our relationship is not a matter of legislation, of compulsion according to Shastras, and all that. To bring about radical transformation in relationship, we must begin with ourselves. Watch yourself, how you treat your wife and children. Your wife is a woman, and that is the end of it - she is to be used as a doormat!Don't look at the ladies, look at yourselves. Sirs, I don't think you realize what a catastrophic state the world is in at the present time, otherwise you wouldn't be so casual about all this. We are at the edge of a precipice - moral, social and spiritual. You don't see that the house is burning and you are living in it. If you knew that the house is burning, if you knew that you are on the edge of a precipice, you would act. But unfortunately, you are at ease, you are afraid, you are comfortable, you are dull, you are weary, demanding immediate satisfaction. Therefore you let things drift, and therefore the world's catastrophe is approaching. It is not a mere threat, it is an actual fact. In Europe war is already moving - war, war, war, disintegration, insecurity. After all, what affects another affects you. You are responsible for another, and you cannot shut your eyes and say, "I am secure in Bangalore". That is obviously a very shortsighted and stupid thought.
So, the family becomes a danger where there is isolation between husband and wife, between parents and children, because then the family encourages general isolation; but when the walls of isolation are broken down in the family, then you are in communion, not only with your wife and children, but with your neighbour. Then the family is not enclosed, limited, it is not a refuge, an escape. So the problem is not somebody else's, but our own.
Question: How do you propose to justify your claim of being the World Teacher?
Krishnamurti: I am not really interested in justifying it. The label is not what matters, Sirs. The degree, the title does not matter: what matters is what you are. So, scrap the title - put it in the wastebasket, burn, destroy it, get rid of it. We live by words, we don't live by the reality of what is. What does it matter what I call myself or don't call myself? What matters is whether what I am saying is truth; and if it is truth, then find out the truth and live by it for yourselves.
Sirs, titles, whether spiritual titles or titles of the world, are a means of exploiting people. And we like to be exploited. Both the exploiter and the exploited enjoy the exploitation. (Laughter), You laugh, you see! And that is all you will do, because you don't see that you yourself are exploited and therefore create the exploiter - whether the capitalistic exploiter or the communistic exploiter. We live by titles, words, phrases, which have no meaning; that is why we are inwardly empty, and that is why we suffer. Sirs, do examine what is being said, or what I say, and don't merely live on the verbal level, for on that level there can be no experience. You may read all the books in the world, all the sacred books and psychological books, but merely living on that level will not satisfy you; and I am afraid that is what is happening. We are empty in ourselves, and that is why we fall in with other peoples ideas, other peoples" experiences, moods, mottos, and thereby we become stagnant; and that is what is happening throughout the world. We look to authority, to the guru, the teacher, which is all on the verbal level. To experience the truth for yourself, to understand and not follow somebody else's understanding you must leave the verbal level. To understand the truth for yourself, you must be free of all authority, the worship of another, however great; for authority is the most pernicious poison that prevents direct experience. Without direct experience, without understanding, there can be no realization of the truth.
So, I am not introducing new ideas, because ideas do not radically transform mankind. They may bring superficial revolutions, but what we are trying to do is something quite different. In all these talks and discussions, if you care to attend them, we are trying to understand what it is to look at things as they are; and in understanding things as they are, there is a transformation. To know that I am greedy, without finding excuses for it or condemning it, without idealizing its opposite and saying. "I must not be greedy" - simply to know that I am greedy, is already the beginning of transformation. But you see, you don't want to know what you are, but what the guru is, what the teacher is. You worship others because it gives you gratification. It is very much easier to escape by studying somebody else than to look at yourself as you are. Sirs, God or truth is within, not in illusions. But to understand that which is, is very difficult; for that which is, is not static, it is constantly changing, undergoing modifications. To understand what is, you need a swift mind, a mind not anchored to a belief, to a conclusion, or to a party. And to follow what is, you have to understand the process of authority, why you cling to authority, and not merely discard it. You cannot discard authority without understanding its whole process, because then you will create a new authority to free you from the old one. So, this question has no meaning if you are merely looking at the label, because I am not interested in labels. But if you care to, we can undertake a journey together to find out what is, and in knowing ourselves, we can create a new world, a happy world.
Bangalore 2nd Public Talk 11th July, 1948
Jiddu Krishnamurti texts. Choiceless Awareness. What can the average decent man do to put an end to our communal problem?