Bombay 3rd Public Talk 24th February 1961
We were discussing the day before yesterday when we met, the question of fear. Fear is a product of thought, thought is the word and the word and thought are within the dimensions of time. We were also discussing how important it is for the mind, the totality of the mind, to be rid of fear because, obviously, fear does corrupt, does corrode the process of thinking. Fear creates all kinds of illusions, escapes and various forms of conflict; it prevents the quality of that energy which is creative. And I would like this morning that we discuss this quality of energy. Please don't give deeper significance as yet to that word. Let us go slowly, because really to go very far and very deeply one must begin very very close and not merely just take things for granted.
Every form of motion is energy; every thought is energy; the energy in Nature, the energy of water, the energy of a machine, and everything that we do is a form of energy; only with us energy takes various forms and expressions. Almost all our activities are forms of that mechanical energy, because all our activities are born out of thought, whether conscious or unconscious. Do think it out with me slowly. Thought is mechanical, thought can never be free and therefore energy is never free. Thought is mechanical - I mean by that that thought is the response of memory, and memory is obviously mechanical. All knowledge is mechanical. What is additive or taken away from is mechanical; all additive processes, surely, are automatic mechanical responses. Thought creates for itself contradictions through conflict. For most of us, energy is the conflict arising from thought which is born of self-contradiction - the good and the bad; the "what should be" and the "what is; the division between poetry and mathematics, between enormity and immensity and the particular; the contradictions; the duality, the division. And the greater the division, the greater the consciousness of that division, the greater the tension; and the greater the tension the greater the activity and the energy. I do not know if this is clear to you. These are obvious facts.
One has to be aware of this contradiction within oneself, of the fact that the greater the tension that contradiction produces the greater the activity, the greater the energy. People who have this tremendous tension are extraordinarily active. The man who is completely addicted - I am using that word "addicted" in the dictionary sense - to a belief, is extraordinarily active. We are not considering whether that activity is good or bad, whether it is socially beneficial or not - that is irrelevant for the moment. And the complete identification with a group, with a nation, with a party and its dogmas, gives astonishing energy. You know of such people, don't you? That energy is automatic, mechanical, because it is born out of thought. Thought is the response of memory or of knowledge or of past experience; and all additive processes are mechanical, because they are the result of thought.
So we see that there is an extraordinary division in us and outside of us, and we always try to bring them together, to cement them - the duality in the metaphysical, the physical, the mental, the emotional. And this division, and the maintenance of this division, not only produces a certain energy but also brings imaginatively or theoretically the opposites together, creating an extraordinary energy. There is the physical energy which is expressed in every movement, every step that we take crudely or very beautifully; there is the energy of the superb athlete expressing physically this energy; there is the emotional energy when you feel very strongly about something, a righteous anger, a sense of what you must do; and there is that energy which comes into being when you find your vocation. The man who has found his vocation, is extraordinarily active, full of energy, full of doings. Then there is the intellectual energy, when you are pursuing an idea, putting various ideas together, correlating, discussing, arguing, deducing, dissecting, inducing - it has tremendous energy.
Sir, I am not saying anything out of facts, I am just repeating what we all know. The man who hates has extraordinary energy, as in a war; look what astonishing things they do in a war. The energy, the fear which produces a defensive armament - that also produces extraordinary energy. Fear, hate, anger, jealousy, envy, ambition, seeking a result - all these do create an inward sense of vitality, a drive, a compulsive movement. Physically there is automatic energy. Everything else is surely energy produced by thought. So the energy that we expend and gather is within the field of time which is within the field of thought; and so that energy is always destructive. The ambitious man is a most destructive human being, whether he is spiritually ambitious or wanting to be something in this world.
Now the question is: is there an energy which is not within the field of thought, which is not the result of self-contradictory, compulsive energy, of self-fulfilment as frustration. You understand the question? I hope I am making myself clear. Because, unless we find the quality of that energy which is not merely the product of thought that bit by bit creates the energy but also is mechanical, action is destructive, whether we do social reform, write excellent books, be very clever in business, or create nationalistic divisions and take part in other political activities and so on. Now, the question is whether there is such an energy, not theoretically - because when we are confronted with facts, to introduce theories is infantile, immature. It is like the case of a man who has cancer and is to be operated upon; it is no good discussing what kinds of instruments are to be used and all the rest of it; you have to face the fact that he is to be operated upon. So, similarly, a mind has to penetrate or be in such a state when the mind is not a slave to thought. After all, all thought in time is invention; all the gadgets, jets, the refrigerators, the rockets, the exploration into the atom, space, they are all the result of knowledge, thought. All these are not creation, invention is not creation, capacity is not creation; thought can never be creative, because thought is always conditioned and can never be free. It is only that energy which is not the product of thought that is creative. Can the mind of the individual, of each one of us, penetrate into that energy factually, not verbally?
Question: You say that all thought is mechanical; and yet, you ask us to enquire and find out. Is not this reflection an as thought?
Krishnamurti: Sir, surely you must use reason to abolish reason. We must have the capacity to think precisely, clearly. It is only when you are clear that you can go beyond, not when you are confused, messy. We are going to use thought and see how far thought can go, what the implications of thought are, and not accept thought as being mechanical or not. Unless you have found it, there is no meaning. We live by thought - your jobs, all your relationships, everything is the result of thought. So one must understand this extraordinary organism. The process of all thinking is the inward nature of thought. Unless you understand this, unless you find it out yourself, there is no meaning in your saying that this extraordinary energy is there, or it is not there.
Sir, a nationalist - whether Russian or American or Indian or Chinese - when he feels very strongly for his nation, has a certain amount of energy; and obviously that energy is most destructive, cruel, stupid - I use the words "cruel", "stupid" in the dictionary sense without any condemnatory sense. For him that is extraordinarily important; driven by that energy, he does extraordinary things - he will kill, build; he will sacrifice; he will do all the various kinds of activities. Now, a mind that is caught in that nationalistic spirit or in the caste or the provincial spirit, can, unless it profoundly cleanses itself, never understand the other energy, though it may talk about it. A mind that has fear in its deep recesses and functions in that fear, cannot understand anything beyond its own energy. We have exorcised thought, but our fears remain. We have accepted ambition as a very noble thing; we have accepted competition and the conflict in competition as a part of our existence; and we do not know a life without conflict, inward, outward, deeply and superficially; and this conflict does create a certain amount of energy. All scriptures, all saints tell you that, in order to have this extraordinary energy, you must be bachelors, you must discipline yourself, you must give up your homes, you must not look at women, you must discipline your mind so completely that nothing exists except a withered mind, you must destroy your desire, you must not look at a tree and enjoy a tree. Tradition says, "To have that energy, you must deny." So you follow it. Those who are very well-read, who discuss with me sometimes - they are full of this, "Sadhana" or whatever they call that, full of discipline, what they must do and what they must not do, because they want that energy - as though by sacrifice or suppression, by denial, they are going to have that extraordinary energy. Man, for centuries, upon centuries, has been seeking that energy - which is timeless - he calls it God or some other name.
Question: Sir, is that energy God's?
Krishnamurti: The gentleman asks if that energy is God's. That is one of our favourite hopes to call it soul, the permanent, spiritual entity which is asleep, which, when given a chance, will blossom. A mind that is so full of its own self-centred activities, with its own ambitions, drives, urges, has its everlasting hope to grasp the other, and as it cannot grasp the other, it invents the thing "soul", the permanent entity, and says that we are all of the essence of that energy.
Now, let us come back. We know contradiction. We know the divisions that exist - the mathematician, the poet, the writer, and the labourer. We know the conflict between the mathematician and the man who wants to be a poet. We know the contradiction in us - I want to be a great man, the most well-known man, the most famous man; and in the very process of becoming that, I am frustrated. In this there is conflict and this very conflict produces another form of energy.
So from what source is our action? Let us begin from there. Why are you doing things, going to the office, making money, having a home, or writing an article, or criticizing government? From what source are you doing all this?
Question: To release tension one writes - is it? Krishnamurti: I wish the gentlemen and ladies who write articles would discuss this. Do I write an article, am I here talking to you out of self-contradiction which creates a tension which must have a release? Do I talk because I am in a state of self-contradiction? Do I go round talking to people, meeting them, and all the rest of it because inwardly I am in contradiction and therefore that contradiction creates a tension? You know that the greater the contradiction, the greater is the tension, and that tension must have a release, and therefore the release is to talk or to write. Is that why I am talking? I know my talking is not out of contradiction; I do not care whether I talk or do not talk, write or do not write; therefore it is not out of any self-centred contradictory tension or trying to do good, to help people and all the rest of it. So it is not that. Now, turn it on yourself. Why are you doing anything? Are you acting out of your contradiction, out of tension; or do you feel compelled to do this or pushed into it? We have also heard people say that the "Inner Voice" tells them to do this or that - which is their wish transformed into the "Inner Voice", a feeling of compulsion, a desire to do something. But please don't give me reasons; go into it yourself a little and find out why you are doing certain things.
There is the urge to commit oneself to something, to a party, to an idea, to a group, to a faith, to politics, to religion, to family, to a society, to a church, to the Communist party, the Socialist party, to a certain guru, to belong to something. You cannot be alone, there is no security in aloneness, there is no sense of well-being inwardly by yourself. Then there is the desire to commit yourself in order to do some action - a communal action, a collective action. Then there is the desire to help socially, economically, spiritually with the sense, "I know, you don't know; let me help". Therefore you are committing yourself to that. That commitment can be on specialized lines or on political lines or religious lines and so on. And we commit ourselves also to a party, to a group, to a country because that gives us an extraordinary sense of power, security. You may not have clothes, you may not have shelter, but to belong to the most powerful party - the Socialist, the Communist, the Democratic or the Republican party - gives you a certain position, power, a certain status. So we commit ourselves, and this is translated as "I cannot live by myself, I am a social entity and I must help society, I must repay to society what society has given me". You know the lovely words that we spin around - I am not saying this sarcastically. So, do you act through commitment? Are you functioning with the desire to be committed to something, so that you are out of this world of insecurity? Is that the source of your action, though you say it is social work, for the country, for the good of the people, for humanity, for God?
When a man says "I want to help people", he must question why he wants to help people at all. Is there such a thing as helping somebody inwardly? Outwardly you can give another clothes, shelter and a job, you can help him to specialise mechanically. Won't it be worthwhile to find out what is the urge? Is it charity, is it generosity, is it to appease one,s conscience, is it love? Why do you write an article and convince people - give land, don't give land, do this and don't do that? What is the motive? All our action has a motive. Motive is thinking, thought, which says "I am doing this for the good of the nation, of the world, for the good of my neighbour". And what you are doing then is very mischievous - whether the greatest saint does this or a petty little man does this.
The mind is of time; it is in itself the measurer and the very measuring creates energy. When you feel that you have controlled your body completely, don't you know that extraordinary sense of power, the quality of energy which is the measurement of the mind? And therefore, such measurement is within the dimensions of time. Now the question is whether all functions of the mind - however subtle, however deep, however thoughtful, however unselfish - are still within the dimension, within the scope, within the field of thought, and therefore limited; and therefore its energy must be limited and that energy must be contradictory. Can such a mind drop this whole process immediately and enter into the other - not gradually? The moment you say "gradually", you introduce time and therefore gradualness becomes the enslavement of thought.
Question: In some moments we do feel that there are no contradictions and no confusion, and there is also no reference to time. Is that creativeness?
Krishnamurti: The gentleman says that sometimes we do feel a state when there is no contradiction, when the mind is quiet, when there are no conflicts. He asks whether that would be a creative state. If there is such a state, the mind wants more of it or to continue it. Then you are a slave to your thought, to desire, to all things.
Somebody is telling you something, you listen. The very act of listening is the act of release. When you see the fact, the very perception of that fact is the release of that fact. The very listening, the very seeing of something as a fact has an extraordinary effect without the effect of thought.
Have you really listened to what has been said? When you have translated what you have heard into your own terminology, into Sanskrit, into the Gita, interpreted it, your mind has not absorbed, has not listened; it has merely translated what is being said to terms of its own comprehension - which means, you have not listened. Or you have listened to see how you can translate it into daily life - which again is not listening. Or you say "How can the mind be without thought, without knowledge?" All these activities prevent one from listening.
Look, Sir. Let us take one thing - say ambition. We have gone sufficiently into what it does, what its effects are. A mind that is ambitious can never know what it is to sympathize, to have pity, to love. An ambitious mind is a cruel mind - whether spiritually or outwardly or inwardly. You have heard it. You hear it; when you hear that, you translate it and say, "How can I live in this world which is built on ambition?" Therefore, you have not listened. You have responded, you have reacted to a statement, to a fact; therefore, you are not looking at the fact. You are merely translating the fact or giving an opinion about the fact or responding to the fact; therefore, you are not looking at the fact. Do you follow? If one listens - in the sense without any evaluation, reaction, judgment - , surely then, the fact creates that energy which destroys, wipes away, sweeps away ambition which creates conflict.
Sirs, you will leave this room this morning going back to your work and you will be caught up in ambition with your life, everyday life; you have listened this morning about ambition, and again you go and plunge into ambition. So you have created a contradiction, and the contradiction will become greater, the moment you come here again. You follow? And the tension will grow and out of that tension you give up ambition and become very religious and say, "I must not be ambitious" - which is equally absurd. But if you listen to what I am saying, you would have no contradiction any more, and ambition will drop away like a dead leaf from a tree.
The energy that ambition creates is destructive. Don't you see in this world destruction? So, explanations., convictions, are not going to free the mind from this position of ambition. Any kind of your discipline, denial, sacrifice is not going to free the mind. But the act of listening to a fact will free the mind from conflict and from the tension from that conflict, and therefore it has discovered a source of energy which is not merely thought.
February 25, 1961
Bombay 3rd Public Talk 24th February 1961
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