Bombay 8th Public Talk 8th March 1961
The last time we met here, we were talking about fear, sorrow and compassion. One could see very clearly that when the mind is crippled with fear, there cannot be compassion, nor sympathy, nor pity; a mind that is tortured by suffering, to whatever degree, to whatever depth, cannot feel the extraordinary power of compassion. The scientific mind being precise, clear in its investigation, cannot feel this compassion which can only be when the mind has understood itself. The outward investigation of things does not necessarily lead to the inward comprehension of things; but the inward comprehension of things does bring about an understanding of the outer. The inner comprehension is of the religious mind. The totality of the mind includes all its feelings, ambitions, fears, anxieties, capabilities, the power of observation, the power of position, the power of prestige, cruelty, the venomous hatred and all the rest of it.
Today, let us go into and understand time and timelessness. To understand this whole process of time, with all the complexities involved in it, one has to understand what is influence. Let us investigate this a little; through the understanding of influence, we shall understand what is time and timelessness. If we could, instead of merely discussing it at the verbal level, or intellectually spitting it all up, understand the mind that is conditioned by time, which is essentially the word and the influence, perhaps we shall come to understand what it is to be timeless. So let us investigate what is influence.
We are, each one of us, influenced by environment; we are the result of all kinds of influences - good and bad, beautiful and ugly, the influence of the past, the racial inheritance, the family tradition; we are influenced by the food we eat, the dress we wear; every thought, every movement is the result of influence. We are influenced by newspapers, by the magazines, by the cinema, the books we read; we are influenced by each other, consciously or unconsciously. There is this process of response to a challenge, which is from past influence. Please, Sirs, when I am saying this do not accept it.or deny it, but just observe it - how you live, how you are influenced by the Gita, the Upanishads, the guru, the politician, the newspapers. We are the result of propaganda, the subliminal propaganda or the obvious propaganda - the subliminal propaganda being very very subtle, suggestive. The immediate yesterday is not so important, but the memories of ten years ago have hypnotic vitality. If we observe, religiously, economically, socially we are the result of the traditions that this country has inherited, you and I have inherited, from the past. When you say you believe in God, you are influenced, you have been told; and also there is your own desire to find some safety, some security, some permanency; so you are brought up to believe. There are others, those in the communist world, who are brought up not to believe - again influenced. So you are no more religious than those who are brought up not to believe, because you are the result of propaganda, you are the result of your circumstances, you are the product of your environment; obviously, whether you accept it or not, that is a psychological fact. Calling yourself a Hindu, a Parsi, is obviously the result of your conditioning. So also is calling yourself a Russian and all the rest of it.
So the mind is the result of conditioning, of innumerable influences, conscious and unconscious. The unconscious is much more powerful, much more potent than the conscious mind; the unconscious mind is the residue, the storehouse of innumerable memories, traditions, motives, impulses, compulsions. Please, watch your own mind, watch yourself when I am talking, you are not just listening to a vague description to which you are approximating.
Question: Sir, how did the first mind come into being?
Krishnamurti: We can observe theoretically how the first mind came into being. Obviously it came into being through sensation, through hunger, through taste, smell, touch. We have developed the arm to stretch, to catch. That is not the problem, Sir. How we began we can enquire into, we can suppose, we can investigate; but the fact is, here we are. To investigate the origin of all things is to approach it scientifically, as the scientists, the biologists are investigating the origin of life. You have to investigate what you are actually now. When you investigate, the problem arises whether there is a beginning or an ending - not what was the beginning.
We started with the question of time and timelessness. If we investigate the problem of time, we must investigate the problem of existence which is living, which is influence, which is the result, what we are. And to discover what we are, we have to take ourselves `as we are', and be ruthless in our investigation of what we are - not suppose that we were something in the beginning of all things. If we can understand what is in the present, then we will see the beginning and the ending of the thing. There is no beginning and no ending, and you cannot comprehend that extraordinary sense of timelessness unless you understand the mind that is in the present. I am not avoiding the question about what was in the beginning. How will you find it out? You are not biologists, investigators; you are not specialists who can investigate the whole problem of what was, how all life came into being. The specialists have experimented, they have created life in a test-tube. What does it matter if we are not going to find out the origin of all things?
Let us see the mind, our minds, yours and mine. The human mind, as it is now, is the result of the environment. You can see that very clearly if you observe yourselves in your relationship with society, with your neighbours, with the country. We object to being told we are the result of our environment, because we think we are something extraordinarily spiritual, as though the environment is also part of the whole existence of man. So it is very important to understand if it is possible to extricate the mind - for the mind to extricate itself - from all influences. Is that possible? Because it is only when the mind has extricated itself from all influences that it can find what is the timeless. To understand what is time - not put it aside, not create a theory, not involve your mind in suppositions and wishes and all that - you actually have to investigate your own mind; and you cannot investigate if you are not aware of the extraordinary impacts of influences.
Obviously, when you listen to me you are being influenced, aren't you? When you listen to that bell in the street which that garbage-collecting lorry makes, that very sound is influencing; everything is influencing. Can the mind be aware of these influences, watch every influence that is shaping the mind and extricate itself; or be aware of it and walk through it? So that is a problem, which means really the understanding of the whole, of the many yesterdays. There is now, as I am talking to you, the impact of influence in the present, and your response to what is being said is, surely, the memory of a thousand yesterdays. The thousand yesterdays are the result of a thousand previous yesterdays with their influences and with their challenges and responses, with their conditioning - which is memory, which is time. Isn't it? Sir, have you noticed in yourself that yesterday is not so very important, the memories of yesterday fall away very quickly, but the memories of the past ten years have an extraordinary hypnotic vitality? I do not know if you have noticed it. What you did ten years ago, how you felt ten years ago, or what you felt when you were a young boy running about, suddenly capturing the light on the trees, the memory of swimming, that freedom, no responsibility, the fullness of living where there was no conflict, where there was a complete sense of joy - you remember all that, all that has extraordinary vitality, much more than the memories of yesterday. That is influencing us, that is shaping our thinking.
So we understand time as the influence of a thousand yesterdays. So we begin to investigate time as memory, as yesterday, time as today, and time as tomorrow - time as yesterday going through the passage of today, coming out shaped, conditioned, moulded into tomorrow. So there is not only the time by the watch, the chronological time; but also there is the time as memory, stretching backwards and forwards, this memory as the unconscious, hidden deep down in the vast recesses of one's mind.
So, there is time by the watch, by the chronometer as yesterday, today, tomorrow; there is time from place to place, from here to there, before and after; and there is the time of `becoming: `I am this' and `I shall be that; I am today brutal, violent, ugly, stupid; and tomorrow or perhaps after ten tomorrows, I will be `that'. So there is time from here to there. All aspiration is that - one day I shall. achieve, one day I shall become the Manager, one day I shall become the chief boss of the whole show. So there is in this time the urge to fulfil; and with the urge of fulfilment there is the inevitable frustration and sorrow, which is still a part of time. We know this, we accept this as inevitable, as a part of our natural existence and hope that one day through time, gradually, life after life, or after a series of many tomorrows, we shall arrive there. We say a seed becomes the tree, and there must be time for the seed to become the tree. I planted it yesterday; I watch it today; and in ten years time, it will be a lovely thing, full of leaves, shadows innumerable. So I pretend that I shall also be one day reaching that place where there is permanency. So we begin to introduce permanency and the transient, and say that eventually we shall arrive at the permanent.
Is there anything permanent? Permanency in relationship, permanency of house, of government, permanency of something or other, permanency of truth, God - this means a continuity which means time. We accept all this like children who are told what to do, and for the rest of our life we are slaves to what is being said. So unless we understand this whole process of time, we shall not enter into that state which may exist or may not exist.
Should I accept the state of timelessness? All that we know is time. Because we are slaves to it, it tortures us; there is a continuous battle from `what is' to `what shall be'. So we have to understand that; let us be clear.
There is a time according to the watch, there is a time when the train leaves, there is a time when the aeroplane leaves the earth, there is a time when you just go to your office, there is a time when you must sow, there is a time when you must reap - that is one kind of time. Then there is the time - inward time - which is memory; that is extraordinarily complex, extraordinarily subtle; and without grappling with it, without understanding it, without going into it ruthlessly like a scientist who investigates something, you cannot find out if there is or if there is not a state when time is not. As long as there is cause and effect, there must be time; as long as there is action based on an idea, there must be time - the time being: bridging the act or approximating the act according to an idea. You see the difficulty? When I am dull and I am trying to become clever - that is also part of time. When I realize I am violent and I am trying to practise, to discipline, to control, to become non-violent, the gradation, the gradual process to `become' demands time. We are all brought up that way. When in the school, you are told that you must be the best boy - at once, there is time. All competition is time - competition of the clerk to become the Manager, and the Manager competing to become the Supermanager, the Director and, eventually something bigger. There is not only chronological time, but also psychological time, the time of `becoming'.
Question: Mind, Time and Experience seem to be one thing; but memory cannot be time because memory is of the past. It is part of the conception of time.
Krishnamurti: Are we discussing this theoretically or factually? Look at your own minds, Sirs. Your mind is the result of experience, which is the result of time, isn't it,? And the mind varies with the experiences, but it is still within the field of time. You may have different experiences and I may have different experiences; but that experience, which has created memory from which springs thought, is still within the field of time. Now, we are discussing time, unfolding it; we are not even discussing, we are just exposing it. It is not a question of my agreeing or your denying. We are just looking at the map.
Question: When I listen to you, I am being influenced by your thought; then I say: I will investigate what you are talking about. Don't you think the question, "I will investigate", also involves time?
Krishnamurti: Of course, Sir. The whole process of thinking involves time.
Question: How do you ask us to be aware of facts without being influenced?
Krishnamurti: I never said that, Sir, you are assuming it. I said: first let us be aware of the facts - neither accepting nor denying them. Where is the difficulty Sir? Before I enter into timelessness, if there is such a state, I must know first what time is - not according to Einstein, according to the Gita, or according to the latest professor, or the interpreter of the Gita. I want to know what my mind is like, which is the result of time, and I want to understand time.
If you want to understand something you must approach it simply, mustn't you? If you want to understand a very complicated machinery, you must begin to unscrew little by little taking one thing after another, bit by bit; you can't jump into it - you can, if you have the mind. But most of us have not got that sharp, clear, scientific mind, which is not prejudiced, which is not conceiving, formulating. So you have to look at time. There is the time of going to the office, the train time, time by the watch; and that is one time. Then there is this vast field of time which is experience, memory, thought, mind, aspirations, the becoming, the denying, the fulfilling, the mind which says: I must be something - all that is time, which we are discussing. We are looking at it, observing it; we are not denying it, we are not accepting it; but we are seeing something as it is.
So your mind is that - not what it was at the beginning and not what it will be at the end. I do not know what it was at the beginning, and what it will be at the end. But I take a slice off in this vast time, a gap, and look at it, which is `myself'. If you don't want to look at yourself, that is quite a different matter. I do not see how you can investigate - investigate in the sense: that you directly experience, directly observe, directly feel your way taking the thing as you are, not assuming what you were - which may be merely tradition and acting according to that tradition, not having any hope of what you will be, which too is within the field of time.
Question: Has time any relationship with God?
Krishnamurti: Do you believe in God, Sir? Belief in God, what does that mean, believing in something which you don't know? You hope and you believe there is God and that you will eventually reach God. We have to understand this process of time; and that is real meditation. Meditation is not sitting in a corner and doing all kinds of self-hypnotic processes. But to investigate the mind whether it is caught in time or whether the mind can be free of time - that is real meditation.
I want to find out if there is a timeless state, because as long as the mind is a slave to time there is no freedom. It is a slave to cause-and effect. I love you because you give me something; I go from here to there, because I want to get something; I see that to be non-violence is very profitable, economically and inwardly it gives me a sense of success - so there is cause-and effect. The mind which investigates, wants to find out if there is a state where there is no cause-and effect, which is pure energy - energy which has a cause-and effect is limited energy. If I say, "Be good", you may be good; this involves a pressure, an influence - is that goodness? If you are good with a motive, is that goodness? Or is goodness something which has no motive at all? Has love a motive? If I love my wife because she gives me her body, because she bears me children, she cooks for me, she looks after my laundry and the house when I earn a livelihood, is that love? Has love, compassion, a cause? You follow all this, Sirs? I want to find out, my mind is curious to find out; I cannot be curious if I accept various stupid, vague theories, however pleasant they may be; I must investigate, find out, be ruthless with myself.
So, let us begin. The mind is of time, is of experience; and that experience is based on memory; that memory is the record held within the mind - memory not only of my own personal experience but also the memory of man held within the unconscious, which is conditioning my thinking all the time, which is shaping my thoughts all the time, consciously and unconsciously. Can the mind which is the result of all that be free? You follow the problem? You understand the problem, Sirs? Then only can I find out if there is a timeless state; otherwise, I cannot possibly understand it. Theoretically it may be that a few saints - not saints that recognise themselves as saints; the public, the Church may call them saints; they never experience the timeless - , a few people out somewhere have experienced this. But let us not go into that now. Here I am, here you are; we are the products of influence which shapes our experiences; and those experiences being conditioned, our future experiences are also conditioned. I am asking myself, are we conscious of this fact? You understand? This is a very simple thing. Am I conscious when I say I am a Hindu or a Buddhist, or a Parsi? Do I know, am I conscious that I am believing, that my mind is operating in a conditioned state which is within the field of time? Do I know that mind - not that it is right or wrong? Do I know that much? Then, if I know that, then I say to myself, "Is it possible, being in that state, to see, to observe?"
I cannot see anything, I cannot observe clearly, precisely, when I call myself a Hindu, a Christian, a Buddhist - which is the whole tradition, the weight of tradition, the weight of knowledge, the weight of conditioning. With that mind I can only look at life, at something, as a Christian, as a Buddhist, as a Hindu, as a nationalist, as a communist, as something or other; and that state prevents me from observing. That is simple.
When the mind watches itself as a conditioned entity, that is one state. But when the mind says, "I am conditioned", that is another state. When the mind says, "I am conditioned", in that state of the mind, there is the I as the observer, watching the conditioned state. When I say, "I see the flower", there is the observer and the observed, the observer is different from the thing observed; therefore there is distance, there is a time-lag, there is duality, there are the opposites; and then there is the overcoming of the opposites, the cementing of the dual - that is one state. Then there is the other state when the mind observes itself as being conditioned in which there is no observer and the thing observed. You see the difference?
You observe that your mind is conditioned: there is the observer who says, "I am conditioned; therefore the observer is different from the conditioned state. When you say, "My mind is conditioned, I am the result of time, I am the experiencer, and I have the experience", you are talking of the state when there is duality. When you say, "I am angry, and I must not be angry", when you say, "I know I am conditioned", and "how am I to be free from conditioning?", there is the "you" as the observer, as the thinker, saying, "I must be free". So there is the dual process going on; that is a fact. It is not that I am trying to establish it; that is a fact, that is how you think. You say, "I am violent, and I must become non-violent" - this country is ridden with that idea; in other countries it is something else. Here non-violence is a most extraordinary, lovely state, and you hug this and you say, "I must become that". I say that is the fact, that is what you think. There is the observer, the thinker, and the observed and the thought. So there is the duality which is time, the observer saying, "I must become non-violent; this involves time. It is a gradual process, and how to cement the two becomes the problem. You want to bring the two together, to bridge over. Then you say, "I must discipline, practise", and you go through various forms of discipline, control, subjugation, this and that, in order to bring these two together - which implies all the time an outside factor, the entity who is disciplining - the mind which is controlling, the mind which chooses, the mind which denies, the mind which accepts, as though it is separate from this thing itself. This is what you are doing. I am not describing, I am not telling you, you don't have to approximate to what is being said; this is what you are doing, and I say that all that involves time. Do you see that you are doing this? Do you observe that you are doing this?
I am ambitious; I want to be something for various reasons: power, prestige, this gives me power, there is patronage involved in this, I like that, I am ambitious. Ambitious and to be something - that involves time: I must work, I must be cunning, I must be ruthless, I must see the right people, pull strings, go and cow down, lick somebody`s boots, pay false respect, bend down, almost touch their feet, crawl on my knees. This is what is happening in the world. `I want to be something' that involves time; there is the observer, the thinker who says, "I am going to be that". Now, with that mind, you are asking, "Is there timelessness?" You are caught in time, the mind is held within that framework, held in that mould, and in that mould you are asking; "Is there timelessness?" I say it is a vain question. When you shatter the mould, you will find out. Then you will say, "please tell me how to shatter this in order to enjoy that lovely state" - which means, achieving an end; that becomes your ambition; then there is practice, discipline, change, again all in time.
When you observe, you are aware without the division as `observer' and the `observed'. The mind is aware of itself being conditioned - not the mind and the thought being separate. You see the difference, Sirs? This is very difficult, very complicated. The mind observes itself as the `observer', this is not a hypnotic thing. Watch yourself. When the mind is a slave to this `I want to be this or that', it is in the state in which there is the observer and the observed, the division, the duality, and all the rest of it. For that mind to realize that the observer is the observed, that there is no separation - it is an extraordinary experience. It is not a rare thing which you do experience. When you are angry, when you are in a tremendous experience, when you are passionate, when you are joyous, when you are carried away by something, in that state of experience, there is not the observer nor the observed. Haven't you noticed it, Sirs? When you are tremendously angry, in that moment, in that split-second, there is neither the observer nor the observed, you are in that state of experience. Later on you say, "How am I not to be angry? I must not be angry" and all that. Then time begins. These are facts, Sir, I am not saying something outside facts. This is not a theory. So, when the mind separates itself as the observer, thinker, as thought and the observer, you are perpetuating time; and then the problem arises: how to bridge the two, the idea and the action, approximating the action to the idea. This is what you are doing.
The idealist, the utopian; the idea and the action; the idea as a cause and the act also as a cause - all this involves time. So the mind is caught in a cause-and effect chain. Now, when the mind observes itself as being conditioned, there is only action, there is no idea; at the moment of anger there is action, at the moment of passion there is action, there is no idea; the idea comes later. When you feel tremendously about something, strongly about something, there is no idea, you are in that state which is action without the idea; there is no approximating action to an idea - which is a curse of modern civilization, the curse of the idealist. Now we have gone through all that. Do you follow this? This is meditation, this is real work.
Can your mind be aware that it is conditioned - not as observer watching itself being conditioned - , experiencing now - not tomorrow, not the next minute - the state in which there is no observer, the same as the state you experience when you are angry? This demands tremendous attention, not concentration; when you concentrate, there is duality. When you concentrate upon something, the mind is concentrated, watching the thing concentrated upon; therefore there is duality. In attention, there is no duality, because in that state there is only the state of experiencing.
When you say, "I must be free from all conditioning, I must experience", there is still the `I', who is the centre from which you are observing; therefore, in that there is no escape at all because there is always the centre, the conclusion, the memory, a thing that is watching, saying "I must, I must not". When you are looking, when you are experiencing, there is the state of the non-observer, a state in which there is no centre from which you look. At the moment of actual pain, there is no `I'. At the moment of tremendous joy, there is no observer; the heavens are filled, you are part of it, the whole thing is bliss. This state of mind takes place when the mind sees the falseness of the state of mind which attempts to become, to achieve, and which talks about timelessness. There is a state of timelessness only when there is no observer.
Question: The mind that has observed its own conditions, can it transcend thought and duality?
Krishnamurti: You see how you refuse to observe something very simple? Sir, when you get angry, is there an idea in that stage, is there a thought, is there an observer? When you are passionate, is there any other fact except that? When you are consumed with hatred, is there the observer, the idea and all the rest of it? It comes later on, a split-second later; but in that state there is nothing of this.
Question: There is the object towards which love is directed. Is there duality in love?
Krishnamurti: Sir, Love is not directed to something. The sunshine is not directed to you and me; it is there.
The observer and the observed, the idea and the action, the `what is' and `what should be' - in this, there is duality, the opposites of duality, the urge to correlate the two; the conflict of the two is in that field. That is the whole field of time. With that mind, you cannot approach or discover if there is time or if there is not. How is it possible to wipe that away? Not how, not the system, not the method, because the moment you apply a method you are again in the field of time. Then the problem is: Is it possible to jump away from that? You cannot do it by gradation, because that again involves time. Is it possible for the mind to wipe away the conditioning, not through time but by direct perception. This means the mind has to see the false and to see what is truth. When the mind says, "I must find out what is timeless", such a question for a mind involved in time has no answer. But can the mind which is the product of time wipe itself away - not through effort, not through discipline? Can the mind wipe the thing away without any cause? If it has a cause then you are back again in time.
So you begin to enquire into what is love, negatively, as I explained before. Obviously, love which has a motive, is not love. When I give a garland to a big man because I want a job, because I want something from him, is that respect, or is it really disrespect? The man who has no disrespect is naturally respectful. It is a mind which is in a state of negation - which is not the opposite of the positive, but the negation of seeing what is false, and putting away the false as a false thing - that can enquire.
When the mind has completely seen the fact that through time, do what you will, it can never find the other, then there is the other. It is something much vaster, limitless, immeasurable; it is energy without a beginning and without an end. You cannot come to that, no mind can come to that, it has only `to be'. We must be only concerned with the wiping away, if it is possible to wipe it clean, not gradually; that is innocency. It is only an innocent mind that can see this thing, this extraordinary thing which is like a river. You know what a river is? Have you watched up and down in a boat, swam across the river? What a lovely thing it is! It may have a beginning and it may have an end. The beginning is not the river and the end is not the river. The river is the thing in-between; it passes through villages; everything is drawn into it; it passes through towns, all polluted with bad chemicals; filth and sewage is thrown into it; and a few miles further, it has purified itself; it is the river in which everything lives - the fish below and on top the man that drinks its water. That is the river; but behind that, there is that tremendous pressure of water, and it is this self-purificatory process that is the river.
The innocent mind is like that energy. It has no beginning and no end. It is God - not the temple-god. There is no beginning and no end, therefore there is no Time and Timeless. And the mind cannot come to it. The mind which measures in time, must wipe itself away and enter into that without knowing that; because you cannot know it, you cannot taste it; it has no colour, no space, no shape. That is for the speaker, not for you, because you have not left the other. Don't say there is that state - it is a false state, when that statement is made by a person who is being influenced. All that you can do is to jump out of it, and then you will know - then you won't even know - you are part of this extraordinary state.
March 8, 1961
Bombay 8th Public Talk 8th March 1961
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