New Delhi 1964
New Delhi 5th Public Talk 5th November 1964
As we were saying the other day, it is really very important for a human being to come directly into contact with problems. We have many problems at all the levels of our consciousness, of our being - not only economic, social, but much deeper problems. We live with these problems and we never seem to transcend and go beyond them. We put up with many problems and drag along as best as we can; and then there is the inevitable death at the end. But a mind that lives accepting, putting up with, problems is surely a dull mind, and it is incapable of an efficient contemporary outlook. One has to solve all the problems; one cannot live with them. Living with a problem is like living with a disease; it either destroys you, or you do something about it and you get cured; and if it cannot be cured, you accept it and you do the best you can. Most of us live with problems, we have got used to them. And as the earth is divided into races, groups, nationalities, sexes, religious beliefs, so our minds are divided; and each division has its own problems. It seems to me that a mind that is incapable of solving any of the problems that it is confronted with, is a mind that slowly deteriorates, a mind that goes to pieces, a mind that becomes insensitive; and that thereby its problems increase.
So, we have to solve these problems, not as an individual but as a human being. I think there is a difference between an individual and a human being. We are collective human beings, with our peculiar tendencies, nationalities, religious beliefs, dogmas; we are still the mass. We are not individuals at all; individuality comes much later. When you break through all the conditions - all the national, religious conditions - then you become an individual. But as most people are collective in the mass, one's relationship with society becomes more and more complex, more and more demanding - demanding greater efficiency, a greater, wider outlook. Either one resolves these problems as a whole, or one is destroyed. And that happens with all civilizations: when a civilization, when a group of people cannot resolve its problems, then that civilization, that group is destroyed. These are historical facts. We, as human beings, have many problems. I mean by that phrase "human being" the entity that is the result of many million years. That entity, that human being, has many problems; and unfortunately he has divided his problems and accepted fragmentary answers.
Please, as I have been saying in all these talks, you are not listening to a lot of words. We are trying to commune with each other, we are trying to understand the problems that each one of us has. And merely listening to a lot of words either intellectually or emotionally, or with a barrier, rejecting or accepting thoughtlessly, stops all communication. We have to commune together, we have to understand the problems that each one of us has. These problems are many, most complex, demanding a solution, demanding that you should come into contact with them and be free of them; and therefore you and I must listen to each other. You are listening to the speaker. But probably you are not listening to your own problems, because when you have a problem your only desire is to resolve it. And you cannot resolve a single problem by itself; all problems are interrelated. Whether they are scientific problems, religious problems, psychological problems, economic or social problems, whatever the problems may be - they are all interrelated. You cannot solve any problem fragmentarily. You cannot divide your life as a scientist, as an artist, as a writer, as an economist, as a communist, as a socialist, as a capitalist, and try to solve the problems of human beings from that particular, narrow, limited point of view - that way they will never be solved. And I think this is the first thing one has to realize: however clever one is, however much one may accept the latest theory, the latest philosophy, the latest jargon, or however much one may be influenced by society, one has to solve the problems that one has, as a whole - not as a bureaucrat, not as a housewife, not as a communist or a socialist. You have to take man as a whole and resolve those problems as a whole, not separately. I think this is the most important thing to realize: that is, as we have divided the earth into the capitalist and the communist, into the Western and the Eastern Block, as India and another country, so we have divided our problems, each division trying to solve its own problems unrelated to the whole.
So, if we are going this evening to resolve our problems - it is possible to resolve our problems totally - we will go into them. But to resolve them, you must leave your particular corner which you have so diligently cultivated, and look at the problem as a whole. And you cannot look at the problem as a whole, if you do not understand the whole question of time. You know time. There is only one time by the watch, there is no other time. There is actually no tomorrow, except that thought has created tomorrow. Actually there is no tomorrow. Please be patient, I am going into it. It requires a great deal of enquiry - not merely saying, "What nonsense you are talking about! There is a tomorrow. I have to go to the office. I have to have money to buy this and do that. I have to go to a certain place tomorrow." Of course there is a tomorrow, again, chronologically, as twenty-four hours by the watch; but is there any other time? We have made time - not chronological time but psychological time - as a means of resolving our problems: "I will resolve my problem tomorrow", "I will do this" and "I will do that". So thought has invented time which is unreal, and that is one of our difficulties.
Please, this requires a great deal of enquiry not accepting or denying, because all our education, all our ways of thinking - the creation of a Utopia which is to sacrifice the present for the future, the development of character, and the idea, "I will be", "I will succeed", "I will gain", "I will become" - are all within the field of time which thought has created. And what thought has created is not real. There is only one time, that is time by the watch.
Why does the mind create this time, this time of the future, tomorrow, the next moment? Why do you say that you will do something tomorrow? Why do you say that you will give up smoking? The will - that is, "I will do something" - which is in time, in the future, is thought out by the mind. When you say, "I will do" or "I will try", when you say, "In the meantime" - all those indicate that you are dealing with an artificial time, but not with chronological time. So the mind invents time first as a postponement - please listen to this - as a means of postponing action. All our education is geared to the future, because we are so dissatisfied with the present, that we do not understand the present. The present is too complex. The present demands that you give your total attention to everything that you do, to all the thoughts, to all the feelings; it demands the care of everything that you do, the care of your word, the care of your gesture, how you talk, how you look - that demands tremendous energy, that demands great attention. But if you say, "I will be non-violent some other day", you have non-violence as an ideal which you practise - as is being done in this country, unfortunately - everlastingly talking about non-violence when, in your heart, you are violent. You invent this as an idea, as a postponement, as an ideal; and in the meantime you are doing what you want to do: you are violent, you are vicious, you are angry, jealous, envious; but eventually you will get over it.
So, the mind has invented time as gradualness - " gradually I will do that" - psychologically. Suppose I have to learn something. I cannot learn it immediately. I need time. I need several days, perhaps several months - that is by the watch. But that is quite a different time from the time when I say to myself, "I will do this", "I will become this", "I will develop a character", "I will resist", "I will suppress". When I say, "I will do this", the future is in the word "will" - the active present is not. The active present is in the verb "is". Please listen to this. Probably most of you have not thought about this at all. For some probably, it will be something strange and fantastic and unreal; something that cannot be done; therefore it becomes an ideal, a theory. But if one realizes that there is no psychological tomorrow, no tomorrow, then the thought will never say, "I will" - " I will be kind", "I will be generous", "I will be honest", or "I will be less corrupt". When the mind sees clearly this whole question of time as gradation, as gradualness, as a means of gradual progress, then time becomes totally unreal; then you are faced only with the actual chronological time, and there is no other time. Then your whole action is different. The mind has to realize that there is no tomorrow, but an invented tomorrow.
You have many problems that you think you will solve by investigating by postponing, by asking somebody what to do about it, or by the slow process of analysis - which are all the process of time. If you realize there is no time excepting the chronological time, then you are faced with solving the problem immediately, not postponing it. Sirs, when you have a problem of hunger or a problem of lust - those are very demanding problems - you do not say, "I will eat tomorrow", "I will satisfy my sexual appetite another day", because they are very urgent, they demand immediate action. But we, human beings, have invented this time as a means of postponing, as a means of not coming directly into contact with the problem, as a means of evasion.
Look at yourselves, please. Again, let me repeat. To learn you must have a mind that is curious, a mind that demands, questions critically, does not accept or deny. It is an enquiring mind, a mind that has no authority - neither the authority of the Government, nor of Moscow, nor of any country in the world, nor of your own guru. it is learning, enquiring, searching, asking; and that is the only way you learn. And you learn only when you deny everything and begin - for most of us, that is very difficult; we would rather live in the muddy, thoughtless, repetitive world creating many problems and dying with these problems.
So, one has to understand deeply the question of time. That is, one has to live so completely in the present, that the mind does not think about the future, because there is no future except what the mind invents. Now to live so completely in the present is, one of the most difficult things; it is not accepting the present and just living from day to day in a sloppy, ineffectual, emotional state - a state which does not regard the future or which is not concerned with what is going to happen. Most people, out of their despair, out of their misery, try to push all that away and just live from day to day - that is not living in the present. To live in the present implies that the mind is not thinking of tomorrow at all, because it has understood the whole process of time. You cannot live in the present - which demands tremendous energy, great attention - if your mind is conditioned as a Hindu, as a Sikh, or as a Muslim - you know all the stupid divisions that man has made. So one has to be free of all that, to live very ardently, completely in the present. Then time has quite a different significance; time is death.
We are going to talk about death in relation to time and we are going to talk about death in relation to love. But if you do not understand this whole process of time, you will not come into contact with and therefore understand the whole problem of death. And if you do not understand this extraordinary thing called death, you will not understand what love is. So time, death and love are interrelated. Naturally one has not the time to go in detail over this question of time. If you had no time as tomorrow, then you would be confronted with your particular problem, you would be intimately in contact with that problem. There is no question of postponing that problem. You have no time for analysis. It must be solved immediately. And it is possible to solve any problem immediately if the mind is not involved in time.
Look! There is a gentleman over there who is wriggling his leg, and he is unaware. If you say, "Look, watch what you are doing", he will stop it for the moment, because his attention is drawn to that, and at that moment he is there completely. But a few minutes later, he will forget and begin again the nervous reaction - which means that he has not understood the habit, habit as time.
So, time is the product of thought; time is the result of our desire to do things gradually, psychologically, inwardly to do, to bring about a change, a transformation, gradually, because we are frightened. We are frightened to do something immediately, because we do not know what the future is going to be. If we did certain things, we do not know what would happen; therefore we want to take everything into consideration - the future, the yesterday, the tomorrow - and in the meantime the problems multiply. Whereas, if you had no tomorrow at all, tomorrow being the memory which responds as thought, and if you had understood the whole structure of memory, then you will see that time is a hindrance to immediate action.
Sirs, I see you are all rather puzzled; but that does not matter. Anyhow just listen to this, because this requires a great deal of attention, not enlightenment. You know what attention means? To attend, to give your whole being, your whole thought, your whole nerves and everything, at a given moment; in that state there is complete attention, and then every problem, even the smallest problem, ceases. You have to give your attention completely, let us say, to smoking or to your particular habit, sexual or otherwise; and you can only give your complete attention to it if there is no hindrance as "I will do it tomorrow" or "What will be the outcome of it? It must satisfy me" and all the rest of the memories, the responses of memory.
To understand death, you must come into contact with death. Please listen. For most of us, death is something to be avoided; for most of us, death is something far away - at least it may come tomorrow or in ten years' time - it is something in the distance. We do not want it near; therefore, we are frightened to come into contact with that strange thing called death. And because we are frightened, we invent theories: resurrection, reincarnation, hope and all the rest of it. Because we are actually frightened, thought has made death as something far away, to be avoided; and to escape from it is to have beliefs, dogmas, ideas. To understand death, we must understand life - the two are not separate. Do please listen to this. If you go into it, this thing called death is one of the most extraordinary things in life; and if you do not understand it, you do not understand living. The two are interrelated, they are not two separate events, because if we do not understand living we do not understand death.
What is your living, actually? Not theoretically, not ideologically, not something which you try to cover up, but actually, daily, every minute of your life, what is it? Have you considered it at all? Caught up in a career, going to the office every day, being insulted, the inhuman indignities, the miseries, the despair, the jealousies, the uncertainties, never being free of anything, but always carrying burdens, always afraid, always competing, being terribly ambitious about nothing at all, being very clever and cunning, being hypocritical, saying something which you do not mean at all, playing along because you cannot get power or position - this is what we call life. A life of confusion, conflict and misery, a life of deep sorrow, anxiety, despair; and out of that despair, philosophies, hopes - that is our life. And we want to carry that life beyond death. This is what we know, and the other we do not know. We do not know really what is death, but we are frightened of it; therefore we say, "The misery, the conflict, the travail that I live in - that is good enough". That is you with your stupidities, with your problems, with the person whom you think you love. And unfortunately, you do not know what that word "love" means at all. All that you mean is the person, the family with whom you have lived, with whom you have done things, your companionships, your sexual appetite - all that is identified, and that is all you know; and that is what you call life.
So, we do not understand life. Life is something to be lived, something to be enjoyed, not in terms of pleasure and pain. Life is something that demands complete attention to be lived from moment to moment, not in misery, not in conflict, not in sorrow and despair - to be lived. And you can only live completely in the present, when you have no future, when you have no time. You do not understand living because none of you have solved your problems of aching misery, your loneliness, your agonies, your despair. You have not solved your problems; they are there. You may hide them and you may run away from them. You may become a communist working in the service of mankind - which is all nonsense. But in your heart you have not solved a thing; and if you have not solved living, you will not have solved death. You may run away from it, you may have innumerable beliefs, comforts; or you may rationalize death away saying that it is inevitable, that death is part of existence just as conflict is part of existence. Because we have divided life into living and dying, we understand neither this nor that.
To understand anything, to understand you, or to understand the speaker, you must come intimately into contact, you must have no barriers, no fears, no speculative, theological ideas. You must come directly into contact. Do you know what it means to come directly into contact with something? Perhaps you know coming directly into contact sexually and nothing else. You are never in contact with life, with this tremendous movement, with this tremendous change, revolution, mutation that is going on. You are not even in contact with your own agony, because you have ideas about it - that it should not be, that it should be and so on. So, not understanding life which is part of dying, you do not understand death.
What is death? You know what it is to die? The physical organism, because of the many diseases, strains and stresses and the psychosomatic diseases that exist - the body, the organism wears out. They may invent a pill, a drug that will give another fifty years more, to lead a sordid, anxious, miserable life. At the end of it, the organism wears itself down through disease, through accidents, through old age. We realize that; and so we say, "I am frightened of it", or "I will live the next life; our main concern is whether reincarnation is true or false, but not to come directly into contact with the thing called death and understand it.
Now, if you will, please follow the speaker, not in any authoritative sense of that word; do not merely accept or deny what he is saying, but give your full attention. You can only give your full attention if you are really demanding to know what it is to die. If you do not know how to die, you do not know how to live. To die implies the ending of everything as you know. What you know is memory, is it not? Your pleasures, your pains, your anxiety, your aches, your loneliness; the flatteries, the insults everything is memory stored up. That is the centre from which you function, that is the centre from which you act: memory.
Now, you have to die to that memory, to die to your vanity - not argue about your vanity, not find explanation why you should not compete, or why you should compete, or why you should not be ambitious. If you are not ambitious in this world, you are destroyed - this is an argument to support your particular drive of ambition. But you cannot argue with death. It is there; you cannot tell it "come another day". So, you have to come to death directly, with tremendous energy, not with just negligent, careless, thoughtless acceptance. But to come to it with tremendous vigour, you need a clear, healthy mind, a sane, rational mind, a mind that is a good mind, not a mind that is beaten, broken. And you can come to death intimately only when you die to the memory of your pleasure, immediately, not to something which you do not like - that, most people can die to - but to something that you love, that you like. Then you will find that the mind is no longer occupied with memory or with cultivating memory, because then memory ceases as time; you may use memory, but it ceases as a means to achieve in the field of time.
So, one has to die to everything, every day, to all relationship. You think it out and see what is implied in it. If you do not die to your relationship, whether it is your wife, or your children or your boss, then you merely continue a habit; and a habit dulls the mind, makes the mind insensitive, uncreative. And therefore you are always frightened of death, because death is something unknowable. You cannot capture it by the mind, by thought. You cannot capture love by thought, nor can you cultivate love by thought. You can understand love and know what it means to love, only when you die to jealousy, to envy, to the narrow field of the family, when thought does not indicate the actions of life. When you love, then you can do anything you want to do, because life has no conflict.
A mind that is ambitious, greedy, envious, seeking authority - such a mind has no love, though it may talk a great deal, like all the politicians, like all the gurus - they everlastingly talk about love; but their heart is empty, because they are full of conflict, full of burning desire; they have never a moment when everything in them is dead and when the mind is completely empty. Only when the mind is completely empty is it possible to know or to understand that extraordinary thing called love. When you say, "I love my husband, my child", you do not love; because if your husband turns away or the wife turns away from you, you are jealous, you are angry, you are bitter: and that is what you call love. Love has no attachment. Therefore love is not for the family.
So, to understand this extraordinary flame called love, there must be the understanding of time. And to know what love is, there must be death - death to everything that you have accumulated-; otherwise, you will not have a fresh mind. You must have a fresh mind, a young mind, an innocent mind, because the world is moving very fast, and you cannot understand it if you do not come to it with a fresh, young, innocent mind. If you come as a Sikh, as a Hindu, or as a Catholic, or with all the stupid stuff that one carries about with one, how can you understand this extraordinary thing called life which is so vast? To understand the immensity of it, you must die, every day, to everything that you know. Then out of that comes intimacy with death. Then there is no fear. When there is no fear of any kind, then there is love. Then love is not divided as mundane and spiritual; there is only love. And if you have not loved, do what you will, you will not solve the problems of the world, nor your own problems. Love implies care - care of your children that they have the right education, the right food, right clothing; the care of your servants, if you have servants. But in this country nobody cares; they are full of ideas, speculations, ideals: they will discuss endlessly what love should be, quote innumerable books, but they do not know what it means to love. Love means care, and you cannot care if you are competing, if you are comparing, if you are educating through competition. Therefore, there can only be love when there is this extraordinary sense of care of what you are doing - what you are doing in the office, because the office is not different from your life. It is a miserable office, but it is your life; you cannot shut it away. You spend forty years of your life in that office, but you have to care for it - what you do, how you think, how you are, how you order.
If you do not know what love is, then you will die a miserable human being, not knowing that immensity which we call life. And in the knowing of that fulness of life, there is the fulness of the unknown. And it is only the mind that has seen the significance of time, death and love - because they are all interrelated - only such a mind can explode into the unknown.
November 5, 1964
New Delhi 1964
New Delhi 5th Public Talk 5th November 1964
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