Rajghat 14th Talk to Boys and Girls 25th December 1952
Perhaps what I am going to talk this morning may be rather difficult; and if you do not understand all the implications in it, perhaps you would, if you are inclined, discuss it with your teachers and get more out of it by talking it over together. There are various factors, various feelings, various ways in which human beings deteriorate. You know what it is to deteriorate, to disintegrate? What does it mean to integrate? To bring together, to be complete - that is, to be integrated so that your feelings, your body, are entirely one, in one direction, not in contradiction with each other; so that you are a whole human being without conflict. That is what is implied by integration. To disintegrate is the opposite - that is, to go to pieces, to scatter away that which has been put together, to tear asunder. There are many ways in which human beings destroy themselves, disintegrate, go to pieces. I think one of the major factors is the feeling of envy, which is so subtle, which is regarded under different names - as something worthwhile, something beneficial, something which is creditable in human endeavour.
You know what envy is? It begins when you are very small - to be envious of your friend who looks better than you, who has better things than you, who has a better position than you; to be jealous if he is better than you in class, if he has got more marks, if he has better parents, if he belongs to a more distinguished family. So, jealousy begins at a very tender age, and gradually takes on the form of competition - to get better marks, to be a better athlete, to do something distinguished, to be more significant, more worthwhile, to outdo, to outshine others. It begins when you are very young at school and, as you grow older, it gets stronger and stronger - the envy of the rich to be richer, the envy of the poor to be rich, the envy of those who have had experience and who want more experience, the envy of those who write and want to write still better. The very desire to be better, to be more, to be something worthwhile, to have more experience is the process of acquisitiveness - to acquire, to gather, to hold. If you notice, the instinct in most of us is to acquire in order to get more and more saris, more and more clothes, more and more houses, more and more property. If it is not that, as you grow older, you want more experience, to have more knowledge, to feel that you know more than anybody else, that you have read much more than another; or that you are nearer to some big official higher up in Government; or spiritually, inwardly, to know that you have greater experience than another, to inwardly be conscious that you are humble, that you are virtuous, that you can explain and others cannot. So, the more you acquire, the greater the disintegration. The more lands, the more property you acquire, the more fame, the more experience, the more knowledge you gather, the greater the disintegration. You desire to acquire more; from this springs the universal disease of jealousy, of envy. Have you not noticed this not only in yourself, but in the older people about you - how the teacher wants to be a Professor, how the Professor wants to be the Principal, or how your own father and mother want to have more property, a bigger name? In the process of struggle in acquiring, you become cruel. In that acquisition, there is no love; in that way of life, you are in constant battle with your neighbour, with society. There is constant fear, and this is justified. So, we accept it as inevitable that we must be jealous, that we must acquire - though we give it a different name, a better sounding name than just acquisition, or creating envy. We call it evolution, growing, struggling; and we say that it is essential. But, you see, most of us are unconscious of all this; most of us are unaware that we are greedy, that we are acquisitive, that our hearts are being eaten away by envy, that our minds are deteriorating. When we do become aware of it, we justify it; or say that is wrong; or try to run away.
So, envy is a very difficult thing to uncover or to discover, because the mind is the centre of that envy. The mind is envious. The structure of the mind is built on acquisition and envy. Look at your thoughts, for example, at the way you are thinking. The way of thinking is, generally the way of mere comparison - "I can explain better, I have greater memories". `The more' is the working of the mind. You understand, that is its way of existence. Cut it off and you will see what happens to the mind. If you cannot think in terms of the more, you will find it extremely difficult to think. So, `the more' is the comparative process of thought which creates time - time to become, to be somebody. So, this is the process of envy, of acquisition - the thinking comparatively: `I am this and I would be, some day, that; `I am ugly but I am going to be beautiful some day'. So, acquisitiveness, envy, comparative thinking produces discontent, restlessness. In contrast to that, we say we must be contented, we must be content with what we have; that is what people say who are on the top of the ladder. Universal religions preach contentment.
Contentment is not a contrast, the opposite of acquisitiveness, as it is generally understood. Contentment is something which is much vaster and much more significant than the opposite of acquisitiveness, than the opposite of envy - which is to become a vegetable, a dead entity, as most people are. Most people are very quiet but inwardly they are dead; and because they have cultivated this feeling of the opposite, the opposite to everything that they are, they say `I am envious and I must not be envious'. In contrast to the everlasting struggle of envy, you may deny all that you are, you may say you are not going to acquire, you may say you are going to wear a loin cloth. But, this very desire to be good, this very desire to pursue the opposite is still in time, in the vision of envy, in the feeling of envy; you still want to be something. But contentment is not that. Contentment is something much more creative, something more profound. Contentment is not when you choose to be content; contentment does not come that way. Contentment comes when you understand what you are, what you actually are and not what you should be.
You think contentment comes when you achieve all that you want. You want to be a Collector or the greatest saint, and you think you will have contentment by that. So, through the process of envy, you hope to arrive at contentment. That is, through a wrong process, you want to achieve the right result. Contentment is not that. Contentment is something very vital. It is a state of creativeness in which the understanding of what actually is, exists. If you understand what you are actually, from moment to moment, from day to day, then, if you pursue that, if you understand that, you will see that out of it comes an extraordinary feeling of vastness, of limitless comprehension. That is, if I am greedy, I want to understand that, not how to become non-greedy; the very desire to become non-greedy is still greed.
Our religious structure, our ways of thinking, our social life, everything is based on acquisitiveness, on an envious system; and for centuries, we have been brought up like that. We are so conditioned that we cannot think apart from `the better', `the more'. Because we cannot think apart from that, we make envy into a virtue; we do not call it envy, we call it by a different name; but if you go behind the words and look at it, you will see this extraordinary feeling is egotistic, which is self-inclusive, which is limiting thought.
The mind that is limited by envy, by `the me', by acquisitiveness of things or of virtue, such a mind can never be a truly religious mind. The religious mind is not a comparative mind. The religious mind sees what is, and understands the full significance behind it. That is why it is very important to understand yourself, to understand the workings of your mind, the motives, the intentions, the longings, the desires, the constant pressures of pursuance, which create envy, acquisitiveness, the comparative mind. It is only when all these come to an end that you really understand what is; then, you will know true religion, what God is.
Question: Is truth relative or absolute?
Krishnamurti: First of all, let us look behind the meaning and significance of that question. We want something absolute, don't we?, something permanent, fixed, immovable, eternal, something definite. The human craving is for something permanent, something that is not decaying, that has no death, so that the mind can cling to an idea or to a feeling that is everlasting. Or the mind seeks the Absolute, something that does not die, that does not decay as thought does, as feeling does. Or the mind says, `Is there something permanent'? First, we must understand all this before we can understand this question and answer it rightly.
The mind, the human mind, wants something permanent in everything - in relationship, in my father, in my wife, in my husband, in my property, in virtue - something which cannot be destroyed; and so we say God is permanent or truth is absolute. What is truth? Is truth something extraordinary, something beyond, outside, unimaginable, abstract? Or, is truth something which you discover from moment to moment, from day to day? If it is something to be accumulated, to be gathered through your experiences, then it is not truth; because, the same spirit of acquisitiveness lies behind this gathering. Is truth something which lies beyond, which can only be found through profound meditation? Then there is a process of acquisitiveness and also, at the same time, a process of denial, of sacrifice.
Truth is something to be understood, to be discovered in every action, in every thought, in every feeling, however trivial, however transient; truth is something to be looked at, to be listened to - as to what the husband says; or what the wife says; or what the gardener says; or what your friends say; or what your own thinking is. To discover the truth of what you think - because your thoughts may be false or your thoughts may be conditioned - to discover that your thought is conditioned, is truth. To discover that your thought is limited, is truth; that very discovery sets your mind free from limitation. If I discover that I am greedy - discover it, not be told by you that I am greedy - that very discovery is truth; that very truth has an action upon my greed. Truth is not something which is gathered, accumulated, stored up, upon which you can rely as a guide. If you do, it is only another form of the same thing, another form of possession. It is very difficult for the mind not to acquire, not to store. When you realize this, you will find out what an extraordinary thing truth is. It is timeless, because the moment you capture it, it is not truth - as when you say, `It is mine', `I have found it', `It is so', `It is not so'.
So, it depends on the mind whether truth is absolute or timeless. Because, the absolute is unchangeable; and the mind that says, `I want the absolute, that which has no death, that which is never decaying', such a mind wants something permanent and creates the permanent. But a mind that is being aware of everything that is happening inwardly, and sees the truth of it, such a mind is timeless; such a mind only can know what is beyond words, beyond names, beyond the permanent and the impermanent.
Question: What is external awareness?
Krishnamurti: Are you not aware that you are sitting in this hall? Are you not aware of the trees, of the sunshine? Are you not aware that the crow is cawing, the birds are calling, the dog is barking? Do you not see the colour of the flowers, the movement of the leaves, the people walking? That is external awareness. The stars at night, the moonlight on the water, the sunset, the birds, all that is external awareness. Is it not? And if you are thus externally aware, you are also inwardly aware of your thoughts, inwardly aware of your feelings, of your motives, of your urges, your prejudices, envies, greed, pride and so on. Are you not aware inwardly? The inward awareness begins to awaken, to become more and more conscious, through reaction - the reaction to what people say, the reaction to what you read. The reaction, the response of your relationship with other people, may be external; but that response is the outcome of an inward suspense, an inward anxiety, an inward fear. The outward awareness and the inward awareness bring about a total integration of human understanding.
Question: What is real and eternal happiness?
Krishnamurti; As I said the other day, when you are conscious of anything, conscious that it is so, what happens? Let me put it differently. When are you conscious? When are you aware of something? When are you conscious that you are ill, that you have tummyache? When you are completely healthy, you are totally unconscious of your body. It is only when there is disease, when there is friction, when there is trouble, that you become conscious of it. If you have a perfectly healthy body, are you aware of it? It is only when you have some kind of pain that you are conscious that you have a body. When you are really free to think completely, then there is no consciousness of thinking. It is only when there is friction, when there is a blockage, a limit, that you begin to feel, that you become conscious. Is happiness something of which you are aware? When you are healthy, are you aware that you are healthy? When you are joyous, are you aware that you are joyous? It is only when you are unhappy that you want happiness. Therefore, the question arises what is permanent and eternal happiness?
You see how the mind plays tricks. Because you are unhappy, miserable, because you are in poor circumstances and so on, you want something which is eternal, some permanent happiness. Is there such a thing? Instead of asking the ques- tion whether there is permanent happiness, find out how to be free from the diseases which are gnawing at you, how to be free from pain - not only the physical but the inward. When you are free, there is no problem of whether there is eternal happiness or what that happiness is. It is like a man who is in prison. He wants to know what freedom is; and lazy, foolish people tell him what freedom is; and to the man in prison, it is mere speculation. If he knew how to get out of that prison, he would not ask what freedom is; it would be there. Similarly, is it not important to find out why it is that we are unhappy, and in what is happiness? Why is it our minds are so crippled? Why is it that our thoughts are so limited, so small, so petty? If you can understand that, see the truth of that, then there is liberation; and that liberation is the discovery of the limited thought; and that discovery is the truth and that truth liberates.
Question: Why do people want things?
Krishnamurti: Don't you want food when you are hungry? Don't you want clothes, don't you want a house to shelter you? Those are normal wants, are they not? Healthy people naturally have wants. It is only the diseased man that says,'I do not want food'. It is a perverted mind that either must have many houses or no house to live in.
Your body is hungry, because you are using energy; so, it wants more food; that is normal. But if you say, `I must have the tastiest food, I must have the food that I like, that my tongue takes pleasure in', then there is perversion taking place. We all must have - not only the rich but everybody in the world must have - food, shelter and clothing; but if shelter, food and clothing are limited, controlled and divided among the few, then there is perversion, and there is the unnatural process set going. At the physical level, we must have food, clothing and shelter, not only for you but for the villager; but if you say, `I must accumulate, I must have everything', then you are depriving others of that which is essential for their daily needs. But you see it is not so simple as that, because we want other things than those which are essential for our daily needs. I may not want too many clothes; I may be satisfied with a few clothes, with a small room, though you may want to live in a house and not in a small room; but I want something more: I want to be a well-known person, I want to have an enormous amount of money, I want to be nearest to God, I want my friends to think well of me, I want to be well-known, I want to be a poet, I want money, many things other than merely the physical necessities. Inward wants prevent outward interests in every human being. It is a little difficult because the inward wants and the feeling that `I am the richest man', `I am the most powerful man', `I want to be somebody' and so on, are made dependent on things, on food, clothes, shelter; I lean on those things in order to become inwardly rich; therefore, so long as I am in this state, it is not possible for me to be inwardly rich, to be utterly simple inwardly.
December 25, 1952
Rajghat 14th Talk to Boys and Girls 25th December 1952
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