Madras 6th Public Talk 20th January 1952
I think it is important to understand the relationship between the speaker and yourself, for one is apt to listen to these talks and discussions with either complete indifference, curiosity, a certain attitude of scepticism; or with a natural inclination to take up a pro or anti attitude, an attitude of addiction. To me, both these approaches seem utterly wrong. What is important is to understand that you and I are two individuals, not a collective group belonging to two sects or religions; that we are, as two individuals, trying to solve the problem. That is always my approach, and not the one where I sit on a plat form advising what you should do, or laying down the law - which would be stupid. But if you and I as two individuals can look at the problem, understand it, go into the root of it, then perhaps we shall be able to help the many problems that confront each one of us, That is the only approach, I think, any intelligent person caught in the present confusion must adopt. We are so apt to believe, to accept; and that is because, in belief, in acceptance, there is a certain security, a certain escape, self-aggrandizement. If we can look at the problems with clarity and honesty of purpose, then we can solve the problems easily. But that is very difficult; because, most of us are so corrupt in our thinking, because we have so many vested interests - economic, religious and psychological. It is difficult for most of us to think apart from these backgrounds. If I may suggest, that is the only approach for solving any of the innumerable problems awaiting solution; you as an individual and I as an individual are resolving our problems in our little world of relationship.
What we have been discussing for the last few weeks has been the question of the self and its ways. Can we see that the self is the root cause of all evils? The `me' or the self with all its extraordinary deviations and subtle actions is responsible for all our ills. Every intelligent man must resolve this problem of `self', not hedge it about, cover it about; he must understand how, in daily living, he gives sustenance, vitality and continuity to the self. If we would solve any of the world's problems, we must surely understand the whole process of the self with all its complexities, both the conscious and the unconscious. That is what we have been discussing, taking different aspects of it.
Organized religion, organized belief and totalitarian states are very similar, because they all want to destroy the individual through compulsion, through propaganda, through various forms of coercion. The organized religion does the same thing only in a different way. There, you must accept, you must believe, you are conditioned. The whole tendency both of the left and of the so-called spiritual organizations is to mould the mind to a particular pattern of con- duct; because the individual left to himself becomes a rebel. So, the individual is destroyed through compulsion, through propaganda, and is controlled, dominated for the sake of the society, for the sake of the state and so on. The so-called religious organizations do the same, only a little more suspiciously, a little more subtly; because, there too, people must believe, must repress, must control and all the rest of it. The whole process is to dominate the self in one form or another. Through compulsion, collective action is sought. That is what most organizations want, whether they be economic organizations or religious. They want collective action, which means that the individual should be destroyed. Ultimately, it can only mean that. You accept the Left, the Marxist theory or the Hindu, Buddhist or the Christian doctrines; and thereby you hope to bring about collective action. Surely cooperation is different from coercion.
How is collective action brought about, or how is it to be brought about? Up to now, it has been through belief, economic promise of a welfare state, promise of a bright future; or it has been through the so-called spiritual method, through fear, compulsion and various forms of reward. Does not cooperation come when there is intelligence which is not collective, which is neither collective nor individual? That is what I would like to discuss, talk over together, this evening.
To discuss that problem profitably, you must find out what is the function of the mind. What do we mean by the mind? As I have been pointing out, you are not merely listening to me; but you and I are together investigating this question, the function of the mind. By sheer accident, I happen for the moment to be sitting on a platform, talking it over with you; but really you and I are together tackling the problem, together investigating the whole question.
When you observe your own mind, you are observing not only the so called upper levels of the mind but also watching the unconscious, you are seeing what the mind actually does. Is it not? That is the only way you can investigate. You should not superimpose what it should do, how it should think or how it should act and so on; that would amount to making mere statements. That is, if you say the mind should be this or should not be that, then you stop all investigation and all thinking; or, if you quote some high authority, then you equally stop thinking. Don't you? If you quote Sankara, Buddha, Christ or X Y Z, there is an end to all pursuit, to all thinking and all investigation. So, one has to guard against that. You must put aside all these subtleties of the mind and you must know you are investigating this problem of the `me' together with me.
What is the function of the mind? To find that out, you must know what the mind is actually doing. What does your mind do? It is all a process of thinking. Is it not? Otherwise, the mind is not there. As long as the mind is not thinking consciously or unconsciously, without verbalizing, there is no consciousness. We have to find out what the mind that we use in our every day life, and also the mind of which most of us are unconscious, do in relation to our problems. We must look at the mind as it is and not as it should be.
Now what is mind as it is functioning? It is actually a process of isolation. Is it not? Fundamentally it is that. That is what the process of thought is, It is thinking in an isolated form, yet remaining collective. When you observe your own thinking, you will see it is an isolated, fragmentary process. You are thinking according to your reactions, the reactions of your memory, of your experience, of your knowledge, of your belief. You are reacting to all that. Aren't you? If I say that there must be a fundamental revolution, you immediately react. You will object to that word `revolution', if you have got good investments, spiritual or other wise. So, your reaction is dependent on your knowledge, on your belief on your experience. That is an obvious fact. There are various forms of reaction. You say `I must be brotherly', `I must cooperate', `I must brotherly', `I must cooperate', `I must be friendly', `I must be kind' and so on. What are these? These are all reactions; but the fundamental reaction of thinking is a process of isolation. Please do not readily accept it, for we are together investigating it. You are watching the process of your own mind, each one of you; which means, you are watching your own action, belief, knowledge, experience. All these give security. Do they not? They give security, give strength to the process of thinking. As we discussed yesterday, that process only strengthens the `me,' the mind, the self whether that self is high or low. All our religions, all our social sanctions, all our laws are for the support of the individual, the individual self, the separative action; and in opposition to that, there is the totalitarian state. If you go deeper into the unconscious, there too, it is the same process that is at work. There, we are the collective influenced by the environment, by the climate, by the society, by the father, the mother, the grandfather; you know all that. There again, is the desire to assert, to dominate as an individual, as the `me'.
So, is not the function of the mind, as we know it and as we function daily, a process of isolation? Aren't you seeking individual salvation? You are going to be somebody in the future; in this very life, you are going to be a great man, a great writer. Our whole tendency is to be separated. Can the mind do anything else but that? Is it possible for the mind not to think separatively, in a self-enclosed manner, fragmentarily? That is impossible. Because of this, we worship the mind; the mind is extraordinarily important. Don't you know, the moment you are a little bit cunning a little bit alert and have a little accumulated information and know ledge, how important you become in society? You have seen how you worship those who are intellectually superior, the lawyers, the professors, the orators, the great writers, the explainers and the expounders! Haven't you? You have cultivated the intellect and the mind.
The function of the mind is to be separated; otherwise, your mind is not there. Having cultivated this process for centuries, we find we cannot cooperate; only we are urged, compelled, driven by authority, fear, either economic or religious. If that is the actual state, not only consciously but also at the deeper levels, in our motives, our intentions, our pursuits, how can there be cooperation? How can there be intelligent coming together to do something? As that is almost impossible, religions and organized social parties force the individual to certain forms of discipline. Discipline then becomes imperative in order to come together, to do things together.
So, until we understand how to transcend this separative thinking, this process of giving emphasis to the `me' and the mind whether in the collective form or in individual form, we shall not have peace; we shall have constant conflict and wars. Now, our problem is how to dissolve this, how to bring about an end to the separative process of thought? Can thought ever destroy the self, thought being the process of verbalization and of certain reactions? Thought is nothing else than reaction; thought is not creative; but it is only the expression of the creativeness in words, which we call thought. Can such thought put an end to itself? That is what we are trying to find out. Aren't we? I think along these lines: - `I must discipline', `I must identify', `I must think more properly', `I must be this or that'. Thought is compelling itself, urging itself, disciplining itself, to be something or not to be something. Is that not a process of isolation? Therefore, it is not the integrated intelligence which can function as a whole, from which alone there can be cooperation. Do you see the problem now? I am not proposing a problem myself. You must know that this is your problem, if you are not already aware of it. You may put it in different ways, but fundamentally, this is the problem.
How are you to come to the end of thought; or rather, how is thought to come to an end? I mean the thought which is isolated, fragmentary and partial. How do you set about it? Will discipline destroy it? Will your so-called discipline destroy it? Obviously, you have not succeeded all these long years; otherwise, you would not be here. You must examine the disciplining process which is solely a thought process, in which there is subjection, repression, control, domination - all affecting the unconscious. It asserts itself later as you grow older. Having tried discipline for such a long time to no purpose, you must have found that obviously discipline is not the process to destroy the self. Self cannot be destroyed through discipline, because discipline is a process of strengthening the self. Yet, all your religions support it; all your meditations, your assertions are based on this. Will knowledge destroy it? Will belief destroy it? In other words, will every thing that we are at present doing, all the activities in which we are at present engaged in order to get at the root of the self, will all that succeed? Is not all this a fundamental waste in a thought process which is a process of isolation, a process of reaction? What do you do when you realize fundamentally or deeply that the thought cannot end itself? What happens? Watch yourselves, sirs, and tell me. When you are fully aware of this fact, what happens? You then understand that any reaction is conditioned, and that, through conditioning, there can be no freedom either at the beginning or at the end. Freedom is always at the beginning and not at the end.
When you realize that any reaction is a form of conditioning and there forgiving continuity to the self in different ways, what actually takes place? You must be very clear in this matter. Belief, knowledge, discipline, experience, the whole process of achieving the result or the end, ambition, becoming something in this life or in the next one, future life - all these are a process of isolation, a process which brings destruction, misery, wars from which there is no escape through collective action, how ever much you might be threatened with concentration camps and all the rest of it. Are you aware of that fact? What is the state of the mind? What is the state of the mind which says `It is so', `That is my problem', `That is exactly where I am', `I have rejected', `I see what knowledge and discipline can do, what ambition does'? Surely, there is a different process at work.
We see the ways of the intellect. We do not see the way of love; the way of love is not to be found through the intellect. The intellect with all its ramifications, with all its desires, ambitions, pursuits, must come to an end for real love to come into existence. Don't you know that when you love, you cooperate, you are not thinking of yourself? That is the highest form of intelligence - not when you are loved as a superior entity or when you are in good position, which is nothing but fear. When your vested interests are there, there can be no love; there is only the process of exploitation culminating in fear. So, love can come into being only when the mind is not there. Therefore, you must understand the whole process of the mind, the func- tion of the mind. Only then you can find out when deep revolution will take place.
This process of the mind is not understood in a couple of minutes, or by listening to one or two talks. It can only be understood when there is a big revolution in you, a deep interest to find out this discontent, this despair. But you are not in despair. You are well-fed intellectually and physically. You prevent yourself to come to that state in which you are in despair. You have always something to lean on. You can always escape, go to the temple, read books, listen to a talk, run away; and a man who escapes, cannot be in despair. If you are in despair, you are trying to find a way to be hopeful, to go away from despair. It is only a man who is really unconscious, who has discarded completely all these things, stands naked, who will find what love is; and without that, there is no transformation, there is no revolution, there is no renewal. There is nothing but imitation and ashes; and that is what our culture is at present. It is only when we know how to love each other, there can be cooperation, there can be intelligent functioning, coming together over any question. It is only then possible to find out what God is, what Truth is. Now, we are trying to find truth through intellect, through imitation - which is idolatry, whether it is made by hand or by mind. Only when you discard completely, through understanding, the whole structure of the self, that which is eternal, timeless, immeasurable, comes; you cannot go to it; it comes to you.
Question: Can the root of a problem like greed be completely eradicated by awareness? Are there various levels of awareness?
Krishnamurti: That is a problem to the questioner. Is it to each one of us a problem? Greed cannot be chipped away little by little. That which you chip away, set aside, grows into greed in another form; and you know what greed does in society, between two individuals' relationship; you know the whole process of greed, economic or spiritual, of greed to be. The questioner asks how greed can fundamentally be eradicated, because he feels there must be a way, a process which will go to the root of the thing. If you say, `I wish to get rid of it slowly, gradually, till I become perfect', it is just a way of avoiding the issue. Is there a way of fundamentally eradicating it? Let us find out.
First of all, why do you want to get rid of greed? Is it not in order to get something else, in order to be something, because books say so or because you see results in society? What is the urge that makes you say `I must do away with it?' That is very important to find out. You may be the root, when you say `I do not want to be this, but I want to be that'. The want to be, positive or negative, may be the root. You are only saying `I will do this and that; by chipping that, by becoming that, you have not understood the motive; have you? Can greed be destroyed by will, by denial, by repression, by control or by identifying with some thing which is not greed? Can you destroy it? If you have tried it, the very process of identifying with some thing, is that not also greed? Certainly, it is also greed, because you want to avoid the pains, conflicts, and sufferings of greed without really solving it. You are trying to be some thing else. The motive, the desire, is still to be something. Is not desire to be something the very nature of greed? To be something is greed. Can you live in this world without being something? Can you live with out being anything, without titles, degrees, positions, capacities? Until you are prepared to be nothing, you must be greedy in different forms.
Have you true awareness of this function of greed and its destructive pursuits? Can the mind - after all, mind is greed - can the mind be nothing, not seeking, not desiring to be, to become? Obviously it can. It is only then, you are full; only then, you do not ask, you do not demand to be fulfilled. But you do not want to be nothing. All your struggle is to be something; is it not? If you are a clerk, you want to be something higher, to have better pay, more position, higher prestige, more ambitions, to be near the Master, far away from the Master, promise of reward in the future. You don't throwaway all that, be simple, be nothing, be really naked. Surely, till you come to that state, there must be greed in different forms. And you cannot come to that state, without being nothing. Your experiencing of nothing is a projection of the self and therefore a strengthening of the self. So, you cannot experience the state of nothingness any more than you can experience the state of love. When you experience anything, love is not; be cause, as I explained yesterday, that which you call experience is only a projection of your own desire and therefore a strengthening of the self. So if you see all this, if you are aware of all this - not only at the superficial level, which is to have little, to possess only one or two suits - , if you are aware of the whole significance of the desire to transform yourself from this to that, when you are fully cognizant of the whole process of greed, then greed will drop away.
Obviously, there are many layers of awareness. The spirit of marvel of what all is taking place, of the trees, the moonlight, the poor unfed child, the half-starved, the bloated tummies - they are all superficial awareness, observations. But if you can go a little deeper, there is awareness of how we are conditioned, not only at the conscious level but at a deeper level, awareness which comes through dreams, or movement when there is a little space between two thoughts, a certain unthought of, un-meditated observation. When you can go still deeper, that is, when the mind is absolutely without any reflection, recognition, when the mind is still, not experiencing, when the mind is not seeing what is stillness, there is intelligence.
Mind is always verbalizing experience and therefore giving strength to the memory and there fore to the self. Surely, the more we are conscious of all the ways of the self, the more we are aware of all our feelings; we understand every sorrow, every movement of thought; we not only observe it, but live with it without brushing it aside. That gives maturity; not age, not know ledge, not belief. That brings about integrated intelligence, which is not separative.
Question: We are all Theosophists interested fundamentally in truth and love, as you are. Could you not have remained in our society and helped us rather than separate yourself from us and denounce us? What have you achieved by this?
Krishnamurti: First of all, many of you are amused; others are a little bit agitated; there is apprehension. Don't you feel all this? Let us find out.
Fundamentally, are we, you and I, seeking the same thing? Can you seek truth in any organization? Can you give yourself a label and seek truth? Can you be a Hindu and say `I am seeking Truth'? Then, what you are seeking, is not Truth but fulfilment of belief. Can you belong to any organization, spiritual group, and seek Truth? Is Truth to be found collectively? Do you know love when you believe? Don't you know that, when you believe in something very strongly and I believe in something contrary, there is no love between us. When you believe in certain hierarchical principles and authorities, and I do not, do you think there is communion between us? When the whole structure of your thinking is the future, the becoming through virtue, when you are going to be somebody in the future, when the whole process of your thinking is based on authority and hierarchical principles, do you think there is love between us? You may use me for convenience, and I may use you for convenience. But that is not love. Let us be clear. Do not get agitated about these matters. You will not understand, if you get excited about it.
To find out whether you are really seeking truth and love, you must investigate, must you not? If you investigate, if you find out inwardly and therefore act outwardly, what would happen? You will be out side, wouldn't you? If you question your own beliefs, won't you find yourself outside? As long as there are societies and organizations - so called spiritual organizations who have vested interests in property, in belief, in knowledge - obviously, the people there are not seeking Truth. They may say so. So, you must find out if we are fundamentally seeking the same thing. Can you seek Truth through a Master, through a guru? Sirs, think it out. It is your problem. Can you find Truth through the process of time, in becoming something? Can you find truth through the Master, through pupil, through gurus; what can they tell you fundamentally? They can only tell you to dissolve `the me'. Are you doing that? If you are not, obviously you are not seeking Truth. It is not that I am saying that you are not seeking Truth; but the fact is that, if you are saying `I am going to be somebody', if you occupy a position of spiritual authority, you can not be seeking Truth. I am very clear about these matters, and I am not trying to persuade you to accept or to denounce, which will be stupid. I cannot denounce you, as the questioner says.
Even though you have heard me for twenty years, you go on with your beliefs; because, it is very comforting to believe that you are being looked after, that you have special messengers for the future, that you are going to be something beautiful, now or eventually. You will go on because your vested interests are there, in property, in job, in belief, in knowledge. You do not question them. It is the same all the world over. It is not only this or that particular group of people, but all groups - catholics, protestants, communists, capitalists - are in the same position; they have all vested interests. The man who is really revolutionary, who is inwardly seeing the truth of all these things, will find Truth. He will know what love is, not in some future date which is of no value. When a man is hungry, he wants to be fed now, not tomorrow. But you have convenient theories of time, of eventuality, in which you are caught. Therefore, where is the connection, where is the relationship between you and me, or between yourself and that which you are attempting to find out? And yet, you all talk about love, brotherhood; and everything you do, is contrary to that. It is obvious, sirs, that the moment you have organization, there must be intrigues for position, for authority; you know the whole game of it.
So, what we need is not whether I denounce you or whether you denounce or throw me out. That is not the problem. Obviously you must reject a man who says that what you believe or do is wrong; you have done so, or inwardly you should do so, because I say I am opposed to that which you want. If you would really seek, if you would find truth and love, there must be singleness of purpose, complete abandonment of all vested interests; which means, you must be inwardly empty, poor, not seeking, not acquiring positions of authority as displayers or bringers of messages from the Masters. You must be completely naked. Since you do not wish that, naturally, you acquire labels, beliefs and various forms of security. Sirs, do not reject; find out whether you are really, as you say, fundamentally seeking truth. I really question you, I really doubt you when you say `I am seeking Truth'. You cannot seek truth, because your search is a projection of your own desires; your experiencing of that projection is an experience which you want. But when you do not seek, when the mind is quiet and tranquil without any want, without any motive, without any compulsion, then you will find that ecstasy comes. For that ecstasy to come, you must be completely naked, empty, alone. Most people join these societies because they are gregarious, because they are clubs, and joining clubs is very convenient socially. Do you think you are going to find Truth when you are seeking comfort, satisfaction, social security? No, sirs; you must stand alone without any support, without friends, without guru without hope, completely and inwardly naked and empty. Then only, as the cup which is empty can be filled up, so the emptiness within can be filled up with that which is everlasting.
January 20, 1952
Madras 6th Public Talk 20th January 1952
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