Varanasi 4th Public Talk 7th January 1962
We were talking the day before yesterday when we met here, about conflict and the ending of conflict. I would like to approach the same question differently.
One perceives throughout the world a general deterioration, perhaps not mechanically, but in every other way; there is no creative burst. And is it possible for individuals to break through this mechanical barrier of existence and explode dangerously into that creative mind which must of necessity be utterly free from all conflict, because creation cannot be the result of conflict? Any man, I am sure, who has invented or written a poem, who has caught something of the otherness, must have had a mind which is completely quiet, not made quiet, not disciplined, not ridden by problems and hopelessness and despair - but quiet in the sense of being normally a mind without any effort, but disciplined in freedom without control. Such a mind is not the result of time, it does not come about by putting various thing; together. It is there, or not there. This whole idea of change which brings about conflict because of change, is a form of conflict. At least for us all, change is conflict because we refuse from the very beginning to search out and discover the fact or the truth of security.
So, for most of us, change implies conflict. We are driven by circumstances, by propaganda, by necessity, and we change; out of that change and compulsion there is obviously a certain modification. But this modification and the multiplication of modification do not bring about that mind which has the quality of newness, something totally unpremeditated, and which is not the outcome of detailed deliberation or of much deliberation. How is it possible to bring this about? What is the quality, what is the catalyst that is necessary completely to revolutionize all our thinking, not gradually, but immediately? Because through a gradual process obviously there is no mutation; the very word `mutation' implies immediacy. How am I, an individual living in this world, surrounded by so many problems, so many influences - how am I to see the totality of life? The enormous effort involved in conflict at any level does not bring about mutation. I think that is fairly clear. For it is obvious to any thinking man that a gradual process does not answer his immediate problems. And as we live in immediate problems, each problem dissociated from the other, how is it possible to see something totally? I think that is where the issue lies: to see that this quality of the mind is not brought about through any institution, through any education, through any religious practice or discipline, or through any effort. One has to see that totally, because if one can see the thing totally, in that perceiving, in the very act of that perception, comes mutation. I would like to talk about that this evening a little bit.
We have relied on time as a means of bringing about a change. We have used time as a means of arriving somewhere in the changing process of our consciousness. We have used time as a stepping stone. And seeing not only the world-situation but also that time in any form, at any level, does not bring about the new quality of the mind - if one sees that, not only intellectually or verbally but also being in contact with it emotionally, sensitively as one is when one sees a snake - , then time has no validity except chronologically. Otherwise, there is no time; every other form of time is laziness, psychological laziness, psychological evasion, psychological postponement. If one realizes actually, not verbally, that time has no meaning any more, then in the realization of that there is mutation.
Some one sees something very clearly, you see something very clearly, totally; and I do not. You see the whole implication of man's dependence on institutions - the whole implication, in which is implied authority, guidance, dependence, formal ideation - , and I do not. It takes me many years to see what you see. Why does this take place, that you see and I do not see? You see something entirely, totally, with all your being. You see the evil of authority - if I can use that word `evil' - and you shun it completely, right through; and I do not; I come to it later, and even the coming to it later is only partial. I see authority is not right in that direction; but I see authority is necessary in another direction. My perception, my arrival at the denial of authority is still partial; it is not total as yours is. Why is this? You see and I do not see; why? You do not go through experience, you do not add, you see it immediately with a freshness; and I see it out of my barren mind. Why? I may ask such a question and there may be no answer to it. I think there is, but there may be no answer. One must ask that question, and I think that is a fundamental question. Why are you not an artist and I am an artist, why are you clever and I am not clever? - these are very, superficial, and not fundamental, questions. But the other is a fundamental question.
You see and I do not see - why does this happen? I think it happens because one is involved in time; you do not see things in time, I see it in time. Your seeing is an action of your whole being, and your whole being is not caught in time, you do not think of gradual arrival, you see something immediately; and that very perception acts. I do not see; I want to find out why I do not see. What is the thing that will make me see something totally, so that I have understood the whole thing immediately? You see the whole structure of life, the beauty, the ugliness, the sorrow, the joy, the extraordinary sensitivity, the beauty - you see the whole thing; and I cannot. I see a part of it, but I do not see the whole of it. If the question is clear and if you have really put it to yourself - not because I am putting it to you - if you are actually putting that and not finding an excuse or explanation and not seeking an answer - obviously because you do not know - then you and I are in communion with regard to that questioning. I do not know if I am making myself clear. The man who sees something totally, who sees life totally, must obviously be out of time. Sirs, do listen to this, because this has something actually to do with our daily existence, it is not something spiritual, philosophical, out of daily existence. If we understand this, then we will understand our daily routine, boredom. and sorrows, the nauseating anxieties and fears. So do not brush it away by saying, `What has it to do with our daily existence?' It has. One can see - at least for me, it is very clear - that you can cut, like a surgeon, the whole cord of misery immediately. That is why I want to go into it with you.
Time is an extraordinary thing; and time is really only true, mechanically. There has been a yesterday, there is a today and there is a tomorrow; and there is no other time. It will take time to build a house, to educate the children; it will take time to go from here to your house. But actually there is no other time. It is only thought that invents time - thought which says, `I must become something great, noble; I must arrive'. And the process of thinking is conflict; and out of that conflict, out of that barrenness, time is born, psychologically, inwardly. If there was no time psychologically, if there was no tomorrow at all psychologically, the next moment, you would be an entirely different being. If somebody were to tell you that you are going to die the next instant, and not give you time to think, you would see the whole of life immediately, because it is thought which interferes with perception. Thought is time, thought is the reaction of memory, of many thousands years of man's inheritance, of a thousand memories, experience. But one has to step out of it; otherwise, there is no possibility of ever being free from sorrow, of being free from conflict. Do what you will - take any tranquillizer; do every form of tricky meditation to pacify your mind, to dull your mind; play with all the sacred books in the world - unless you understand the seed of sorrow which is time, there is no end to sorrow; and you do not see something of that, totally.
All this implies the denial of experience, the denial of knowledge. Not mechanical knowledge, not scientific knowledge, not knowledge of mathematics - all such knowledge is essential, necessary, to exist, to survive physically; and to survive physically at the highest level, all that is necessary. But you have to see the whole significance of experience and be out of it, because when you are experienced, there is no freedom from sorrow, there is still sorrow, there is still effort, there is still a battle going on. You may know how to avoid, how to resist; it all implies further conflict, further deepening of the barren thought. So, there can be mutation only when the mind has denied time in the sense of every single thing that is involved in time - progress, arriving, self-fulfilling, becoming, achieving; you have to wipe away all that.
What is the thing that is necessary to bring this about? No words or symbols. Symbols have no meaning, they are used only to communicate; by themselves, they are not important. The thing is not the word. So, what brings about that timeless quality into life? I think there are only two things, affection and integrity.
By `integrity' I do not mean being true to something - that is merely conformity, that is merely an adjustment, imitation. To have an ideal and to conform, to have a belief and to conform, to have an experience or an idea and adjust to that, to be true to that - that is not `integrity'. I mean by the word `integrity' a mind which pursues the self, `the me', and learns all about it. In the learning of all about it, there is an intensity, which is not born out of knowledge, but born out of learning. Learning about myself - which is endless - is not the same as acquiring knowledge about myself; the two things are entirely different. The more I am learning about myself - the conscious, the unconscious, the whole of the inward movement of myself - , out of that there is integrity. And if I am merely acquiring knowledge about myself, gathering information about myself and being true to that which I have gathered, then in that there is a dualistic conflict - to the thing I have learnt, to that which I know, I must be true; and so there is the furthering of conflict. All knowledge does increase conflict about oneself, whereas learning about oneself does not. So, there has to be this learning, not only about myself but about everything. And to learn, the mind must always be alert, always watching, always attending, testing, feeling, highly sensitive; and that is not possible when there is knowledge, when you are merely gathering.
So, there is an integrity which is not born of conflict, which is not imitative, which is not conforming, but which comes into being by itself, without seeking, when there is learning about oneself. That integrity is necessary; and also affection. You know, the explosion of affection is not calculated, is not thought out. You know what I mean by affection? It is obviously the feeling, the sensitivity for beauty - whether a man, or a woman, or a child, or a bird, or a tree. And that is much more necessary, much more vital, than even integrity. Out of affection there comes the beauty of integrity. This affection cannot be analysed and begotten; and no book will give it to you, neither your wife nor your husband will give it to you; of course, society can never bring it to you. I think this affection comes when you have denied everything totally - father, mother, society, virtue - , not knowing what is tomorrow. You can deny knowing what is tomorrow; but that is not denial. When you deny totally everything including yourself - first of all yourself, all the traditions and the values, totally - , then out of this extraordinary sense of not knowing the next moment, comes affection - not bitterness, not the sordid stuff of thought. So, affection and integrity are the two catalysts. If you notice, affection and integrity are not of time. You cannot have more integrity - that is mere political jargon. You cannot be more affectionate - you are affectionate, or you are not.
So, the perceiving of something totally is to deny. Please try it and you will find how extraordinarily impossible it is for most of us to deny. Because, we are yes-sayers, we have never said to ourselves `no' to anything. We are always compromising, always dodging - we say `no' to something not pleasurable; to pain we say `no'. But, to say `no' to pleasure also, to completely deny and to remain in that denial - I think that is the quality of timelessness, and out of that timelessness there is affection.
Question: You always talk of time but never of space.
Krishnamurti: The gentleman says, `You always talk of time and never of space.'
Space is thought, from here to there, from here to the moon. To reach the moon, you need a mechanical means, a rocket; and for that you must have time to cover the space of two hundred and fifty thousand miles or whatever it is. Now, is there space between me - between this - and that which I want to be? We said there is space - `I want to be one day the saint, or the big business executive'. From being what one is to arrive at saintliness, there is space which demands time - a gradual process. Through time will you become a saint? All the saints say so. They practise, they deny, they sacrifice, they control, they go through all the machinery of thought to become something. But if you saw directly now, for yourself, that there is no space, no time, except the time and the space which thought creates, what happens?
Look, sirs, there is deterioration - no one will deny that - in this country; there is terrible decline - intellectual, moral, physical. In every way, there is deterioration. Perhaps I should not use the word `deterioration', because when I use that word it implies that one has reached the height and then declined. Probably it has never reached the height; it is going along the same path, then declining, getting worse - not reaching a point and declining. That is a fact. You see that in education, you see that in political morality; you see that in everything, it is going down, down, down. Don't you? There are more industries, more dams, more railways; but they are all mechanical. You know it. You see corruption - will time mend it, will a new Government mend it? Will a new party - communist or socialist - change it? That may or may not. I question whether they can change it.
The individual has to change - not the individual on the periphery, on the outside, but the individual right in it. He has to explode. And will this explosion take time and space, time being from here to there? You follow? You know the fact that there is deterioration - the fact, not my assertion of the fact. It is there under your nose, you know it in detail and in bigness; everything is going down. And what do you do? Will you take time to change it? By the time you have taken to change, it has gone down further. So you have to stop it. The action has to be immediate, it cannot be tomorrow, because between now and tomorrow you are down further. It has got to be started immediately, and therefore there is no time; you cannot think in terms of past, future or present. Deterioration has got to be completely stopped. And you can only stop it if you see the totality of the decline, not little bits of goodness, improvement, betterness here and there, this and that.
If you see this total disintegration, inwardly, totally, you do not have to do anything about it. The very perception will bring about a tremendous upheaval and explosion. That is why you must see this thing, not when you are eighty and down in the grave, but now. What will make you see it, what will induce you, influence you, what will be the offering, what will be the punishment that will make you see it totally? Obviously, no God, no institutions, no books, no promise, no reward, nothing. You have to see it yourself completely.
Question: But how, sir?
Krishnamurti: The lady asks `how?'. `How' implies time, 'how' implies space between here and there, and how to arrive there. This demands a new mind, a new dimension, a new quality in the mind; and I say you can have it now, immediately, if you see this thing totally. Do not ask, `How to see?'. When you are asking for a method, a system, you are off in a wrong direction. Systems have been invented by man to postpone the moment of explosion.
Question: Is there a difference between struggle and conflict?
Krishnamurti: They are the same.
Question: You have used the word `affection'. Do you differentiate it from love?
Krishnamurti: Yes; as long as you understand, do not quibble over words, Let us talk more seriously.
Question: Perception is either voluntary, or else we must wait for faith to bring it; what else is it?
Krishnamurti: The gentleman says: Either it must be voluntary, uninfluenced, or you must wait. That is what you are doing. The waiting is deterioration.
Question: How to perceive it? Krishnamurti: Leave it for the moment, I shall come back to this. When I say, ` What shall I do in the meantime till the explosion takes place?' the interval between that moment and now, waiting for that explosion, is a deterioration. I do not know if you catch all this.
If there is no way, you do it immediately and voluntarily, completely, then you do not look to time, do you? You have to do it, and the urgency itself is its action.
Question: This very thing is not perceived; with that intensity which you wish.
Krishnamurti: What are you going to do? Will you wait? If you deny time, if you deny the whole process of all the saints, of all the gods and all the books, of all tradition, you wipe it away as you have to. Your problem arises only when you have not wiped it away. What will make you wipe it all away, to die to everything of the past? What will make you do it? Nothing. Only you have to see it, and you do not see it. Why? Why don't you see this thing?
Question: It seems to be a paradox. Unless you see it, you are not able to perceive it totally; you see it verbally.
Krishnamurti: Seeing verbally, seeing emotionally, seeing partially, you do not see it. Then what? Do pursue it, go to the very end of it.
Question: It comes to the end, there is nothing there. I do not know what to do.
Krishnamurti: Then, do not do anything. You laugh! I am saying something very seriously: do not do anything except the mechanical things. But you are doing, all the time, something else. Do not do anything psychologically, inwardly; do nothing except what you have to do ordinarily in daily existence. Have you ever done it, and not go off into a mental hospital? I do not mean that way; but actually do nothing, inwardly.
Question: I beg to differ from your thesis. I may be excused. I beg to differ from you. It may appear that we are declining. If you take the things as they are, the moment we appear going down, actually the desires are gradually coming up, and will get cleansed in due course.
Krishnamurti: The gentleman says that because you have had freedom politically now, all the hidden suppressed desires and anxieties are coming up, and that they will disappear; and also that this process of giving up all the things that have been held back for centuries is not deterioration, but is just cleansing. Is it so? Is bringing all this up cleansing? How long are you going to continue with this inward spitting out? If you say it will take time, then the very fact that you will take time is an indication that you are deteriorating.
If I may explain, I am not talking of a thesis, I am not making a talk just to get a Ph.D. or to get your approval. We are dealing with facts, not with ideas. A man in sorrow does not talk about a thesis, he wants to know how to end sorrow. There are several ways to end it - drugging yourself, going to church, taking tranquilizers, chemicals, forgetting, escaping - but that does not solve the question; it is still there when you go back. One has to be aware of all this process and watch the escapes - drugs, drinking, women and all the things that one does to avoid the real thing.
Question: If I may interrupt you, there is a way and that is to surrender to God. It is not theoretical, but practical.
Krishnamurti: The gentleman says there is one way: to surrender oneself to God.
How do you surrender yourself to God? What does it mean?
Question: We should not be affected by the results of our action. We should have that attitude.
Krishnamurti: What is my duty. Is it what society tells me?
Question: It differs from person to person.
Krishnamurti: It is what my guru tells me, what my family tells me. What is my duty? I refuse to have a duty.
Question: That depends upon the person. Krishnamurti: You and I are talking at cross purposes. We have questioned the very existence of God to find out if there is God. We have questioned radically the whole idea of duty, responsibility, and who the entity is who is to surrender.
Question: If we see a building, then naturally, the question arises: there is a person who has built it. When we see beauty, we appreciate the intelligence of the person who has built it. Our body can be compared to it. If there was no being that built it....
Krishnamurti: The gentleman says: if there is no being, God, who built our physical body, then how do you explain this whole process? The Communists do not believe in God, they spit on that word; they have been brought up to live in that way. Like you who have been brought up logically, sanely, rationally, to believe in God, they have also been brought up logically, sanely, rationally, not to believe in God. What is the difference between them and you? You are conditioned one way and they the other way. You are conditioned by centuries of propaganda, and they by forty years of propaganda; what is the difference? The existence of life does not depend upon the idea of God, it depends on ourselves. You first postulate an idea that there is God and work it all out - which means you have stopped enquiry, you have stopped questioning. Don't you see that education, everything, has failed in this world? There have been two disastrous wars, there are monstrous things going on. It is no good saying everything is all right. We shall all be involved when the atom bomb comes, and we have to do something.
That is why you have to question everything, leave not a stone or leaf unturned in your questioning even your logic which becomes so illogical when you are conditioned. When you remain a Hindu and reason from that background, your reasoning, your logic" your sanity is in question. You do not seem to see this. There must be a new world - not the Hindu world, not the Brahminical world, not somebody's pattern world. Something new must take place in each one of us, and the new cannot take place unless there is death, unless there is destruction, something which is a denial of all this and which is not a thesis.
Question: I am not talking in terms of a Hindu or of a Buddhist, when I say that there is a supernatural power which controls everything.
Krishnamurti: When you say there is a supernatural power which controls everything, what does it mean? Controlling these tyrannies, controlling these disastrous wars, controlling our sorrow, controlling that poor villager who trudges along every day for two annas when you and I live comfortably and talk about God?
Question: Is denial different from condemnation?
Krishnamurti : The gentleman says: this denial of which we were talking earlier - is it different from condemnation?
Obviously, condemnation is personal, like good taste; and to deny is like beauty which is not contaminated by personal taste. Do you realize what is happening in the world? People are denying all leadership, they are questioning all your superhuman gods, everything. It is not a matter of your belief; you are questioning your belief also. If you say - as the Catholics say - `Do not question my belief, that is a mystery; do not ask', then this is not place for that. For me there is a reality, not the thing which we have been taught; there is something much more significant than all these things - that we have to find out. And you cannot find that out if you do not deny everything totally. Sir, you must die to everything to be born anew, you must die to find a new thing.
Your question is: what is the difference between denial and condemnation? Your condemnation is based on your conditioning. If you do not condemn, if you see the truth of it, you are out of conditioning. We have been raised from childhood to condemn, to justify, to accept, to believe - right through the world, the communist world and this world. It is easy to condemn; and we think by condemning we understand, as we think by comparing we understand - which is absurd. When you see the falseness of condemning and thereby deny condemning, not knowing how to evaluate, you say that this is false, not knowing what is true. When you see that condemnation is a conditioned response, and therefore deny it, you are no longer condemning, you are merely seeing facts.
I am not condemning that gentleman's `all-pervading spirit'. The fact is that it is one of our favourite beliefs, imposed through centuries of man's endeavour. There is a cave in France in which about seventeen thousand years ago, the people who existed then painted pictures of extraordinary colours and vitality and breadth, of bulls fighting men. The bulls were the evil fighting the good. We are doing the same. I say I do not want to fight. That is a most irrational way, to fight, to struggle, to control, to be in conflict. You have to see something ugly as you see something beautiful. When you see the fact, that very fact will explode, will bring something new into being.
I say these are the facts: there is the threat of war; people are divided through religious, political divisions; a separation is going on, linguistically, nationally; and there is an inward decline also, psychologically. These are facts. There is a decline.
Question: How can you call it a decline?
Krishnamurti: I take away that word `decline'. `Decline' implies reaching a height and then declining. I am merely stating facts. There is no peace in the world - peace implying brotherliness, etc.
Question: So, you have an ideal?
Krishnamurti: I have no ideal. If I may say so, probably you are here for the first time, and that is why you ask that question. First of all, the difficulty is semantic - that is, the meaning of words - how I use certain words and how you use them. We have to be in communion with each other, not only at the verbal level, but also in the meaning-level. You have to listen a little more.
Question: We are disintegrated, are we not?
Krishnamurti: Yes, everything implies a standard, a judgment, a condemnation. For me, the way I look at it is not from an ideation point of view at all, not an emotional standpoint. I see the mere fact that I am in sorrow - which is a fact. I do not say, `I have been happy; how shall I get back to it?' The fact is that I am unhappy; if my wife has left me, that creates sorrow; if my son is dead, that creates sorrow. I speak of the fact of being in sorrow, and how to resolve that fact. That is why all communication is difficult. Specially, in these matters, words and symbols play such an important part, and one has to go beyond the word and the symbol - which is not something mystical, extraordinary.
If I want to communicate something to you, I have to communicate it not only verbally, but also I have to express it so that you and I meet somewhere which is not at the verbal level. For most of us, the verbal level is the communication and the meeting point; and the verbal implies what was, what is and what will be.
Question: Comparison by itself is not evil.
Krishnamurti: When I say that waiting is deterioration, I am not comparing. I see the fact that when a man waits, obviously, something is happening to him - call it deterioration or what you like. When a man is not actively pursuing the fact that something must be done, when he waits - to that man who waits, something must be happening. And that state is deterioration. It is not because of comparison.
Question: There is a certain action associated with evil itself,
Krishnamurti: All affection implies suffering?
Question: Where there is affection, a man suffers out of that also. Don't you suffer?
Krishnamurti: I do not think so.
Question: To see somebody suffering?
Krishnamurti: I know it sounds terribly brutal. I see my son suffering. What shall I do, what can I do, factually? I give him a few rupees. That is all I can do.
Question: You cannot help suffering.
Krishnamurti: Why? His wife has left him, or his son has died, or he cannot get a job; and he suffers.
Question: Take something which is deeper..
Krishnamurti: What is deeper?
Question: Something, say a son's death.
Krishnamurti: 'The fact of love brings pain', we say, and we accept it. I question it. Is it self-pity? Is it identification with my son? Is it I am helpless, and I cannot do anything; therefore, I feel frustrated; therefore, in a roundabout way I feel sorry? Do I feel sorry because my son is dead and I am lonely? Without understanding all that, how can I say love and suffering go together?
Question: I feel they do go together.
Krishnamurti: All right.
Question: Are you denying suffering?
Krishnamurti: I am not denying suffering.
Question: Love we know, and also suffering.
Krishnamurti: That gentleman says that suffering and love go together. I do say that they go together as long as you have not investigated what you call suffering, as long as love and suffering have not been understood totally. But do not insist on saying that they go together, as another person says love and jealousy go together.
Question: I am not talking of my son, I am talking about suffering.
Krishnamurti: Somebody says that he also suffers for the country which does something terribly wrong. Is that suffering? Question: Attachment is the cause of suffering and not love.
Krishnamurti: As things are, we suffer; we say we love. I am not questioning, please. Please question yourself: whether love, what you call suffering, is not part of self-pity. It may , be loneliness, it may be the feeling of frustration, a feeling of not being able to do anything. If you could do something, then you will not suffer. There may be ten explanations, one of which might explain your suffering. After explaining away everything, where are you at the end of it?
That gentleman says that attachment breeds sorrow. Yes, we all know that. We are all attached. Then why don't you break it, why don't you extricate yourself completely out of attachment?
January 7, 1962
Varanasi 4th Public Talk 7th January 1962
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