Ojai 9th Public Talk 30th August 1952
Those who have attended these talks fairly regularly will know that we have been considering the very complex problem of change. This evening I would like to discuss, if possible, the power that brings about change, and what it is; and whether there can be a direct experiencing of that power, that energy, or what you will. I think we realize that some kind of energy, force, or power is necessary for change. Politically we see it very clearly. There are the extreme forms of tyranny, and also the more persuasive methods of bringing about a reform through the power of organization. Most of us rely on some form of compulsion, on political, religious or social coercion, because we are caught in inertia, we are lazy, slothful. For most of us, change implies danger, and so we are unwilling to go through this psychological revolution which is so essential if we are to create a world in which human beings can act cleanly, decently.
We have been considering the various approaches to this problem of change; and it seems to me that we inevitably come to the central question as to what it is that brings about this change. What is that power, that energy, that force? Compulsion, self-discipline, any kind of coercion, creates resistance; and resistance does produce energy, power, which brings about a certain form of change. You must have noticed in your own life that the more you resist something, the more energy you have; the more you discipline, the more concentrated, focus ed you are, the greater the power. But does that bring about a fundamental change? Is that the power that is necessary for this inward, psychological revolution? Does the cultivation of the opposite bring about this essential transformation? If I hate, will the cultivation of love bring about a radical change? Is not the opposite of hate still within the field of hate? Is goodness the opposite of evil? Must I go through evil to find goodness? Is goodness the outcome of any form of compulsion, any form of discipline, coercion, suppression? Does not the cultivation of goodness, of compassion, of kind- liness, merely emphasize the "me", the self? That is, suppose I hate, and, realizing its implications, I sedulously cultivate goodness, kindliness; does not that process strengthen the "me", the self? The cultivation of goodness obviously brings about a certain change; there is power, there is energy. But surely, that change is still within the field of the "me", of the self, of the mind, is it not? And as I have pointed out, the more you cultivate goodness and become conscious that you are good, the more evil there is; for evil is the outcome of the self.
Let us say you realize all this, and you also see the necessity of a fundamental transformation. How are you to bring about that revolution? What is the power, the creative energy that brings about that revolution, and how is it to be released? You have tried disciplines, you have tried the pursuit of ideals and various speculative theories: that you are God, and that if you can realize that Godhood or experience the Atman, the highest, or what you will, then that very realization will bring about a fundamental change. Will it? First you postulate that there is a reality of which you are a part, and build up round it various theories, speculations, beliefs, doctrines, assumptions, according to which you live; and by thinking and acting according to that pattern you hope to bring about a fundamental change. Will you?
Suppose you assume, as most so called religious people do, that there is in you, fundamentally, deeply, the essence of reality; and that if, through cultivating virtue, through various forms of discipline, control, suppression, denial, sacrifice, you can get into touch with that reality, then the required transformation will be brought about. Is not this assumption still part of thought? Is it not the outcome of a conditioned mind, a mind that has been brought up to think in a particular way, according to certain patterns? Having created the image, the idea, the theory, the belief, the hope, you then look to your creation to bring about this radical change.
So, one must first see the extraordinarily subtle activities of the "me", of the mind, one must be come aware of the ideas, beliefs, speculations, and put them all aside; for they are really deceptions, are they not? Others may have experienced reality; but if you have not experienced it, what is the good of speculating about it or imagining that you are in essence something real, immortal, godly? That is still within the field of thought, and any thing that springs from thought is conditioned, is of time, of memory; therefore it is not real. If one actually realizes that - not speculatively, not imaginatively or foolishly, but actually sees the truth that any activity of the mind in its speculative search, in its philosophical groping, any assumption, any imagination or hope is only self-deception - , then what is the power, the creative energy that brings about this fundamental transformation? I do not know if you have come so far in your meditations, in your thoughts, in your daily awareness as to have rejected completely all assumptions, all imaginations, all speculative hopes, fears and demands. Surely, any person who is really seeking must come to that, must he not? And if you have come so far, what happens? What then is the force, the energy, the creative some thing that brings about a radical change?
You see, as long as I pursue an idea, however noble, however imaginatively godly, theoretically supreme, there is always the duality of the seeker and the thing which he seeks, is there not? There is the entity who hates, and the entity who is pursuing peace, love; the one who is good, and the other who is evil. That is our struggle, our conflict; and I think that is the central problem - how to bridge the duality, how to go beyond. That is, suppose I hate, I have no affection in my heart. My heart is full of the things of the mind; it is cunning, devious, calculating, and I realize it. Also I feel that there can be a transformation in the world only when there is more love, a state of compassion, and therefore I pursue love. So there is in me the duality of love and hate, with its struggle: the private thought and the public life, that which I am, and that which I am trying to be. There is a constant inward battle, conflict - and if we can understand that, then perhaps we shall find out how to awaken the energy, that creative something which will bring about a transformation. To understand that the thinker and the thought are one - to experience it, not repeat it verbally, which has no meaning - , that, it seems to me, is the central problem. The self, the "me" is made up of this struggle of duality, is it not? There is the "me" and the "not-me", the bundle of memories, of conditioning's, of hopes, and what it wants to be. The struggle between what is and what should be, the ever lasting conflict between what I am and what I want to be, not only consciously, but deep down, unconsciously, in the obscure recesses of my mind and heart - is not that very struggle the process of the "me"? But if I can really experience that the thinker is the thought, the observer is the observed, then there is a release of that creative energy which brings about a fundamental transformation.
So, if you are at all aware of your self, you will know that there is this constant struggle going on, which only emphasizes, gives nourishment, strength to the "me", to the "I-ness", to the ego, to the self - whether it be the higher or the lower self, it is all the same, because it is all within the field of thought. And is not the thinker created by thought? Is the thinker separate from thought? As long as the thinker is trying to control thought, shape it, give it a certain direction, which is the process of discipline, that very struggle gives strength to the thinker and so gives vitality to the "me", and it is in this centre of the "me" that the revolution, the change must take place. And how is that to come about? I see clearly that no form of compulsion, no discipline, no incentive, no hope, no vision can bring it about, because in all these there is a duality, the what is and what should be, the observer and the observed; and as long as the observer exists, there must always be the struggle to achieve the thing which he has observed, which he has thought out. This struggle gives strength to the thinker, which is the "me", the self. I see that very clearly, so what am I to do?
Perhaps, in coming to this point, we have used the conscious mind; we have followed the argument, we have opposed or accepted it, we have seen it clearly or dimly. That is, the conscious mind is active in pursuit of what the speaker is saying. But to go further and experience more deeply requires a mind that is quiet and alert to find out, does it not? It is no longer pursuing ideas; because, if you pursue an idea, there is the thinker following what is being said, and so you immediately create duality. If you want to go further into this matter of fundamental change, is it not necessary for the active mind to be quiet? Surely, it is only when the mind is quiet when it can understand the enormous difficulty, the complex implications of the thinker and the thought as two separate processes - the experiencer and the experienced, the observer and the observed. Revolution, this psychological, creative revolution in which the "me" is not, comes only when the thinker and the thought are one, when there is no duality as the thinker controlling thought; and I suggest it is this experience alone that releases the creative energy which in turn brings about a fundamental revolution, the break- ing up of the psychological "me". But this is an extremely difficult thing to realize, because the mind is so conditioned to struggle, to be separate, to be secure, to be permanent, that it is afraid to think of the problem anew. We have probably never experienced this state in which the thinker is absent, in which the observer is not, because we are so conditioned by the idea, so accustomed to the feeling that the thinker is all ways separate from his thought; and you are not going to experience it by merely listening to me. But if you have earnestly followed these talks and have really experimented with yourself during the past week; you are bound to come to the point when you are fully aware that there is this extraordinary division between the thinker and the thought. Most of us are still unaware of this division. We are caught up in the conflict between the thinker and the thought, in the everlasting battle of the "me", the self, to acquire, to reject, to suppress, to become something. With that we are very familiar; but we are not aware of the division. If, becoming aware of the division, the thinker seeks to destroy it, to bridge it over, he increases the division, because then the thinker is again seeking to be something which he is not, thereby giving him self greater strength, greater security.
So, how is it possible for you and me, as individuals, to come to this experience, to this realization? We know the way of power - power through domination, power through discipline, power through compulsion. Through political power we hope to change fundamentally; but such power only breeds further darkness, disintegration, evil, the strengthening of the "me". We are familiar with the various forms of acquisition, both individually and as groups; but we have never tried the way of love, and we don't even know what it means. Love is not possible as long as there is the thinker, the centre of the "me". Realizing all this, what is one to do? Surely, the only thing which can bring about a fundamental change, a creative, psychological release, is every day watchfulness, being aware from moment to moment of our motives, the conscious as well as the unconscious. When we realize that disciplines, beliefs, ideals only strengthen the "me", and are therefore utterly futile - when we are aware of that from day to day, see the truth of it, do we not come to the central point when the thinker is constantly separating himself from his thought, from his observations, from his experiences? As long as the thinker exists apart from his thought, which he is trying to dominate, there can be no fundamental transformation. As long as the "me" is the observer, the one who gathers experience, strengthens himself through experience, there can be no radical change, no creative release. That creative release comes only when the thinker is the thought - but the gap cannot be bridged by any effort. When the mind realizes that any speculation, any verbalization, any form of thought only gives strength to the "me", when it sees that as long as the thinker exists apart from thought there must be limitation, the conflict of duality - when the mind realizes that, then it is watchful, everlastingly aware of how it is separating itself from experience, asserting itself, seeking power. In that awareness, if the mind pursues it ever more deeply and extensively without seeking an end, a goal there comes a state in which the thinker and the thought are one. In that state there is no effort, there is no becoming, there is no desire to change; in that state the "me" is not, for there is a transformation which is not of the mind.
Question: One must obviously know the bad in order to know the good. Does this not imply the process of evolution? Krishnamurti: Must we know drunkenness to know sobriety? Must you go through hate in order to know what it is to be compassionate? Must you go through wars, destroying your self and others, to know what peace is? Surely, this is an utterly false way of thinking, is it not? First you assume that there is evolution, growth, a moving from bad to good, and then you fit your thinking into that pattern. Obviously, there is physical growth, the little plant becoming the big tree; there is technological progress, the wheel evolving, through centuries, into the jet plane. But is there psychological progress, evolution? That is what we are discussing: whether there is a growth, an evolution of the "me", beginning with evil and ending up in good. Through a process of evolution, through time, can the "me", which is the centre of evil, ever become noble, good? Obviously not. That which is evil, the psychological "me", will always remain evil. But we do not want to face that. We think that through the process of time, through growth and change, the "I" will ultimately be come reality. That is our hope, that is our longing: that the "I" will be made perfect through time. What is this "I", this "me"? It is a name, a form, a bundle of memories, hopes, frustrations, longings, pains, sorrows, passing joys. We want this "me" to continue and become perfect, and so we say that beyond the "me" there is a "supreme", a higher self, a spiritual entity which is timeless; but since we have thought of it, that "spiritual" entity is still within the field of time, is it not? If we can think about it, it is obviously within the field of time, is it not? If we can think about it, it is obviously within the field of our reasoning.
Please, if I can think about the spiritual state, if I know what it looks like, what it tastes like, what its sensations are, it is already within the field of my knowledge; and my know ledge is based on memory, on conditioning. Surely, that which I call think about is not spiritual, timeless. Thought is the result of the past, of memory, of time; and thought has created this so-called spiritual entity because I am conditioned to accept that theory, I have been brought up from childhood to think in that way. Perhaps others are conditioned not to believe in a spiritual entity - which is actually happening in the world. They will deny that there is a spiritual entity, because they have been conditioned to think in those terms.
The mind, seeing its own impermanency, its own transiency, craves a permanent state; and the very craving creates the symbol, the sensation, the idea, the belief to which we cling. So, there is the "me" who is transient, and the "super-me", the higher self, which we consider to be permanent; and the mind is pursuing the permanent, thereby creating duality, the conflict of the opposites. In dividing thought into the superficial "me" which is impermanent, and the "me" which is concealed, far away, timeless, spiritual, with all the various degrees between the two, I have given birth to the conflict of duality; and to achieve the timeless, I say I must have time, there must be a psychological growth, a becoming. In this process there is always the "me", the observer, and the thing which he observes and is going to gain; and in giving himself to this struggle, he strengthens his longings, his desires. And to achieve what he is after, he must have time, the future; therefore he has reincarnation - if not now, tomorrow. But if we can cut across all that, then we will see that as long as there is the thinker apart from the thought, the observer separate from the observed, there must be conflict; and through conflict there can be no understanding, no peace.
Now, is it possible for the thinker and the thought, for the observer and the observed, to be one? You will never find out if you merely glance at this problem and superficially ask me to explain what I mean by this or that. Surely, this is your problem, it is not my problem only; you are not here to find out how I look at this problem, or the problems of the world. This constant battle within, which is so destructive, so deteriorating - it is your problem, is it not? And it is also your problem how to bring about a radical change in yourself and not be satisfied with superficial revolutions in politics, in economics, in different bureaucracies. You are not trying to understand me, or the way I look at life. You are trying to understand yourself, and these are your problems which you have to face; and by considering them together, which is what we are doing in these talks, we can perhaps help each other to look at them more clearly, see them more distinctly. But to see clearly merely at the verbal level is not enough. That does not bring about a creative psychological change. We must go beyond the words, beyond all symbols and their sensations - the symbol of love, the symbol of God, the Hindu and the Christian symbols; for, though they create certain responses, they are all at the verbal level, at the level of images. We must put aside all these things and come to the central issue: how to dissolve the "me" which is time-binding, in which there is no love, no compassion. It is possible to go beyond only when the mind does not separate itself as the thinker and the thought. When the thinker and the thought are one, only then is there silence, the silence in which there is no image-making or waiting for further experience. In that silence there is no experiencer who is experiencing, and only then is there a psychological revolution which is creative.
Question: What are the essentials of right education?
Krishnamurti: Surely, this is a very complex problem, is it not? And do you think it can be answered in a few minutes? But perhaps we can see what is important in this question.
For what are we educating our selves and our children? For war? For greater knowledge, so that we can destroy each other? For techniques, so that we can earn a livelihood? For information, culture, prestige? Actually, why are we educating our children? We really don't know, do we? How can we know when we our selves are so utterly confused? Practically everything we do leads to war, to the destruction of our neighbours and ourselves. We are educating the child to compete, strengthening the "me", conditioning him so that he can survive in this battle; and we throw in various forms of information, knowledge. That is what we call education. Or, we condition the child to think along certain lines and act according to established patterns; we want him to be a Catholic, a Christian Scientist, a communist, a Hindu. and so on and on. So, first of all, is it not important that the educator himself be educated? Surely, education is not the mere teaching of facts - anyone can pick those up in an encyclopedia if he knows how to read. What is essential is to awaken intelligence so that the mind is able to question, to find out, and to meet life without getting caught in any form of conditioning, religious, social, or political; and for that, both the teacher and the parent have to be intelligent, have they not?
As this is a very complex problem which must be approached from different angles, we cannot merely lay down what are the essentials of right education; but we can see that what we are now doing throughout the world is false, destructive, uncreative. Creativeness is not the mere production of pictures, of inventions, it is not the writing of poems, of essays, books. That may or may not be creative. But what is important is the inward creativeness in which there is no fear, no desire for self-extension, no aggressiveness, no psychological dependence, a state in which there is a freedom, a sense of aloneness which is not loneliness. This is the truly creative state, and it is only when we have awakened it in ourselves that we can help the student in his gifts, in his studies, in his relationships, without emphasizing the "me". But to break down the self-enclosing activities of the mind and come to that creativeness requires an enormous watchfulness, a constant alertness within oneself.
So, our problem is not easy; but we must begin with ourselves, must we not? Self-knowledge is the beginning of wisdom, and wisdom is not the mere repetition of someone else's experience or phrases. Wisdom has no authority; it comes into being as the mind begins to understand the depths and extensions of its own nature, which cannot be speculated upon. To discover that which is creative, we must come to it anew; the mind must be empty, free from all knowledge, from all memory. Only then is there a possibility of a new relationship and a new world.
August 30, 1952
Ojai 9th Public Talk 30th August 1952
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