Varanasi 3rd Public Talk 24th November 1964
We were talking the day before yesterday about the question of maturity: which is, really to be in a state of mind which is not in a state of contradiction. And that maturity demands energy. Now this morning, if we may, we would like to talk about the nature of this energy - not as an idea; because an idea about energy is entirely different from the fact of energy itself. We have formulas or concepts of how to bring about a quality of energy that is of the highest quality. But the formula is entirely different from the renovating, renewing quality of energy itself.
So we are not talking about the idea but the fact itself. And I think this is where most of us find it difficult. We live so much in ideas, in concepts, in what way or how to bring about the highest form of energy; and then having formed an image, a concept, we work according to that concept to bring about this energy. And therefore the concept and how to bring about this energy and the fact of energy itself are in a state of continuous contradiction. A man who is full of physical energy does not talk about the idea of energy; he is energetic. But the man who has not sufficient energy, who is ill, who is not mentally balanced - he has concepts about how this energy should be brought about. Whereas this morning when we are talking about this energy, we must be very clear that we are not talking about a concept, but the fact itself. We are not talking about the opinion, the assertion, the nature of this energy, or how to bring about this energy. But if we begin to see the fact itself and not the idea, then the contradiction will begin to disappear immediately.
So, we are going to talk about this energy. And the highest form of this energy, the apogee, is the state of mind when it has no idea, no thought, no sense of a direction or motive - that is pure energy. And that quality of energy cannot be sought after. You can't say, "Well, tell me how to get it, the modus operandi, the way". There is no way to it. To find out for ourselves the nature of this energy, we must begin to understand the daily energy which is wasted - the energy when we talk; when we hear a bird, a voice; when we see the river, the vast sky and the villagers, dirty, ill-kept, ill, half-starved; and the tree that withdraws of an evening from all the light of day. The very observation of everything is energy. And this energy we derive through food, through the sun's rays. This physical, daily energy which one has, obviously can be augmented, increased, by the right kind of food and so on. That is necessary, obviously. But that same energy which becomes the energy of the psyche: that is, thought - the moment that energy has any contradiction in itself, that energy is a waste of energy.
Please follow this. We will go into it step by step. If we do not follow it logically, sanely, rationally, we won't come to that tremendous force, to the quality of energy that is completely at its highest - because in that alone is movement without time. And we waste our energy, this psychological energy, the energy that brings about thought, the energy that stores up memory, the energy that is the remembrance of things past the energy that has been and will be: which is all the mechanism of thought. Whenever that energy meets a contradiction and does not understand it and is not free of that contradiction, then that energy is wasted. Contradiction is: thinking one thing and doing something else, at the lowest level, not at the highest level but at the level of our daily living. To speak harshly to another and then to regret it later - the regret is waste of energy which is the outcome of speaking harshly, which is the beginning of the waste of energy; and therefore, this creates the memory that one should not be harsh and that one must be kind; this creates the duality in which the conflict is waste of energy. Sirs, I hope you are following this.
So, conflict of any kind - physically, psychologically, intellectually - is a waste of energy. Please, it is extraordinarily difficult to understand and to be free of this, because most of us are brought up to struggle, to make effort. When we are at school, that is the first thing that we are taught: to make an effort. And that struggle, that effort is carried throughout life: that is, to be good you must struggle, you must fight evil, you must resist, control. So, educationally, sociologically, religiously, human beings are taught to struggle. You are told that to find God you must work, discipline, do practice, twist and torture your soul, your mind, your body, deny, suppress; that you must not look; that you must fight, fight, fight at that so-called spiritual level - which is not the spiritual level at all. Then, socially, each one is out for himself, for his family.
Please watch this yourself; we are going into something very, very deep. If you will go with the speaker - not follow him; not authoritatively; but walk along with him, take the journey together with him - then you will come upon this extraordinary energy which renews itself without the least effort, which renovates the mind so that the mind remains young, fresh, innocent.
So, religiously, you are taught to make an effort. And sociologically also, you must struggle to attain, to achieve, to become: you must be better than your neighbour, you must have more. Ambition drives you; and that ambition is really a form of self-fulfilment - in the family, in society. That self-fulfilment, identifying itself with the group, with the race, with the nation, makes this constant effort, struggling, struggling, struggling. And there is this effort because of this contradiction: when you are ambitious, when you are fulfilling, there is always the possibility and the inevitability of being frustrated. And that very frustration drives you more, creating greater tension. And if one has the capacity, that tension expresses itself through writing poems or through various forms of distortions from that tension.
Socially, we make effort through our ambition, greed, envy, hate, pleasure; and that effort is the wasting of energy. Please observe it in yourself. And sexually, the very process becomes a tremendous problem for most people. Just see the reason of it, not what to do. We will go into that, and you will understand it as you go into it. Intellectually, you are suffocated; you never think for yourself originally, you repeat; you accumulate knowledge from books, and you can repeat endless phrases from the Gita or the Koran or from the latest writer, or this or that. So, intellectually, you are thwarted, suffocated, controlled, shaped, and there is no release intellectually. Nor emotionally - emotionally in the sense not sentimentally. A sentimental being is an ugly being, because he becomes cruel, stupid, insensitive. I am not talking of sentimentality. I am talking of a person who is emotional. That emotion is thwarted when he has no appreciation of beauty.
To see the beauty in the face of a person, the beauty of a river, the beauty of a leaf on the roadside, the beauty of a smile, the beauty of a bird on the wing, you need passion, you need great feeling. But we have no feeling. Feeling implies care - to care for your children, for your neighbour, for your wife, for your servant, if you have a servant - really to care. And we don't care, because we have no sense of passion and therefore no intimacy, no communion with beauty. We are suffocated, we are thwarted, because to us beauty is sexuality, and religions throughout the world have said, "To find God, you must not look at a woman". So, emotionally, we are thwarted, we are obstructed; we are destroyed by these sayings, by these half mature mahatmas, gods and saints.
So the only thing that we have then is sex. Suppressed, intellectually, emotionally, there is no outlet, there is no sensitivity. And naturally the only thing that is left is sex. In the office, in daily life, you are insulted. The ugliness of modern existence where you are merely a cog in a vast social machine - do look at yourself, please. So the wife, and the husband and sex - sex becomes extraordinarily important and out of proportion, and therefore sex becomes a problem; in that problem energy is wasted. Because we have no release in our thinking, we create the image, we think about the thing that gives us pleasure in life - which is sex. And physically, we have to go to an office every day, struggle - not having enough food; you know the whole business of existence.
So, all around, we are wasting energy. And that waste of energy in essence is conflict: the conflict between "I should" and "I should not", "I must" and "I must not". Once having created duality, conflict is inevitable. So one has to understand this whole process of duality - not that there is not man and woman, green and red, light and darkness, tall and short; all those are facts. But in the effort that goes into this division between the fact and the idea, there is the waste of energy. I do not know if you have not noticed that people indulge in talk - giving public talks, or talks at home or with themselves - always concerned with ideas - the socialist idea, the communist idea, or the capitalist idea. They are caught in ideas, not in facts. When you are completely concerned with the fact and not with the idea, then there is no conflict.
Please, if you understood this one simple thing in life, then you understand the nature of conflict and therefore be free of it. Unless one totally eliminates every form of conflict, one is wasting energy completely. And the energy cannot be wasted, because the mind needs every cord of energy, to keep in with the movement of life - which is action - to flow with life. And to flow with life which is tremendous, which is not an idea, which is not a social reform, which is not the socialist or the communist or the Hindu attitude - to move with this extraordinary thing called life which is a movement, and to keep in with that movement without any friction demands tremendous energy. Therefore one has to understand this - not how to save energy.
If you say, "How am I to save energy?", then you have created a pattern of an idea - how to save it - and then conduct your life according to that pattern; therefore there begins again a contradiction. Whereas if you perceive for yourself where your energies are being wasted, you will see that the principal force causing the waste is conflict - which is, having a problem and never resolving it, living with a deadly memory of something gone, living in tradition. One has to stand the nature of the dissipation of energy; and the understanding of the dissipation of energy is not according to Sankara, Buddha or some saint, but the actual observation of one's daily conflict in life. So the principal waste of energy is conflict - which doesn't mean that you sit back and be lazy. Conflict will always exist as long as the idea is more important than the fact.
Now we will go into the question of how we waste our energy through fear - I am taking that as an example; you can take any other example: greed, envy, ambition, or what you will. But understanding the structure, the nature and the meaning of fear, we shall be free of the idea and be able to face the fact - which is extraordinarily difficult - not come to the fact with an opinion which may have been remembered as an experience or as an idea or as an opinion, but face that fact; the two things are entirely different.
So we are going to examine fear and see what the fact is and what the opinion is. If you don't like fear, we will take, a little later, violence. We will take, first, fear and then violence. Because most people, practically everybody, has fear; and they are violent - practically everybody - in their thought, in their speech; and if they are not violent in their thought or in their speech, they are violent in their family - if it is not in the family, deep down there is the sense of violence. So I'm going to examine these two facts.
Fear does not exist in itself. Fear exists in relation to something - fear of public opinion; fear of death; fear of one's husband or wife; fear of losing a job. So fear exists in relation to something, it is caused by something. Now you say, "If I can find the cause of the fear, then I shall be free of the fear; and you then analyse or introspect or examine the cause which brings about fear. Now this analysis, this examination is a waste of energy. Please understand this. Probably you have never thought about all this; so just listen to it, neither accepting nor denying; just look at it.
You say you are afraid and then you try to find a cause; you search, look, examine; and if you can't find a cause, you ask somebody, a psychoanalyst, or your guru; or somewhere you look until you find a cause. Look at what has happened! The fact of it is: you are afraid. Then you look to the cause - that is, you have allowed a time interval. The time interval is the analysis, the introspection, the asking, the searching. Then you come upon the cause. Then you say, "How am I to dissolve that cause?" So the fact is one thing, which is fear; and you have wandered right away from it, in trying to find out the cause and to eliminate the cause. So you have spent many days or even a minute, and the many days or the minute is a waste of energy. What is important is to understand fear - not the analysis; not the introspective examination; not, after having found the cause, how to get rid of the cause; all this process is a waste of energy.
Don't agree with me, please; watch it. You see, I am working. I am thinking aloud with you and you are not co-operating with me. You want me to lead you, and you are following - that is the misfortune of modern education, the misfortune of religious life and the misfortune of conformity.
So what is the fact in fear? Will the discovery of the cause of fear eliminate fear? Have you ever done it? You could spend a couple of hours or a couple of minutes to find out the cause. You can find it out, very simply and very quickly. And after having found it, has the fear gone? Obviously not. You are back where you started. So you say to yourself, "There is something wrong in the process."
So what is the fact of fear? Now how do you find out? Not by running away from it, obviously - taking to drink, going to temples, turning on the radio, chattering endlessly, or reading innumerable books. Every form of escape from fear is a waste of energy. That is taken for granted; so we won't discuss it; that is fairly obvious. So what is the fact of fear? One is afraid of what another says, or one is afraid of the fact of death. Now, what is fear, what is the fact in fear? What is the truth in fear? - not the uncovering of the cause, not running away from it. What is the truth in that fear?
How is the mind to find the truth in fear? First of all, one has to understand that fear is the result of thinking - isn't it? If you did not think, you would not be afraid, would you? That is, if you did not think about death - I am taking that as an example - you would have no fear of death, would you? It is the idea that you are going to die, it is the idea that you have seen others die, it is the idea that you want to put it as far away as you can and not think about it, that causes fear: that is, thinking about death causes fear. So you say, is it possible to live in life without thinking? Not go to sleep, not to vegetate, but to see the fact that thinking about death - which is, thought - creates the future. Right? Thought creates the future, thought creates the idea of public opinion and what public opinion is going to say; and that public opinion might deny you, deprive you of your job. So thinking about the future creates fear, breeds fear. And thinking about the past - when you were well, when you were happy, when you have had every comfort, whatever one has had; thinking about that as the past - and thinking about the future is fear. Right?
So, to understand fear, one has to understand the machinery of thought - not how to get rid of fear. As we have pointed out just now, thought breeds fear. And then you will say, "How am I to stop thinking?" You can't stop thinking - that would be too idiotic. But if you understood the whole process of the machinery of thinking, then you would be able to understand what is fear and be rid of fear. Is that clear so far?
So what is thinking? Thinking, as the electronic brain has shown and also as one can observe in oneself, is the response of memory. Thinking is the response or the reaction of the thing that happened yesterday, out of the thing that happened yesterday. An experience, an incident, an insult, flattery, a pain, a remembrance of the things of yesterday - when that reacts, that is the process of thinking. That is, when there is a time interval between the challenge and the response, in that time interval is the process of thinking.
Look, please don't shake your heads, observe it in yourselves; you are not agreeing with me. That is, all thinking takes place in the interval between the question and the answer - which is, challenge and response. That interval can be lengthened, or that interval can be a split-second. In that split-second, or in the lengthened interval, is the machinery of memory, looking, searching, asking, demanding, waiting, expecting; and then finding; and then responding. That is, when one is asked a familiar question "What is your name?", the response is immediate, because you are very familiar with your name, with your occupation, where you live; there is no time interval. There is a time interval of a split-second or a millionth of a second when you hear and immediately respond; but there is still an interval. Then when a question is asked which demands a great deal of enquiry, thinking, so-called thinking, remembering, then the time interval is greater. Right? You are following this? During that time interval your mind, your brain, everything is in operation, looking for the answer.
Then, there is an interval when you say, "I don't know", and you are waiting, looking, searching, asking. It may take a year, it may take a day, but you are waiting, expecting. And then when you find, you say, "This is the answer". Right? You know, sir, I believe that over five thousand books or four thousand books are printed every week. I don't know the exact number. A great many books are printed, and we get information from these books. The distance to the moon, the extraordinary discoveries they are making in science, the doctors, their operations, the medicines, and the extraordinary economic theories - volumes have been written about all these, and one has not the time to learn, to read all these books. If one is alert, awake, if one observes with delight, with sharpness, with clarity, then one does not have to read a book at all; it is there everywhere for one to look and learn. Then one does not depend on authority; then one does not depend on one's own experience either.
So what we are doing this morning is not that the speaker is giving you information, but rather that you and I are exploring together into this question of fear; and in exploring into that, one discovers the whole structure of thinking. So the fact is: thought breeds fear. The understanding of the machinery of thought means facing the fact without a time interval. And facing the fact without a time interval is immediate action. A man who does not allow a time interval to take place but only is concerned with the fact - such a man has no fear. But the time interval is what is really important to understand, and not fear. The time interval is created by thought, which is the word, the symbol, the idea. Most of us are afraid of the word, not of the fact. You are afraid of the idea of death, but not of the fact of death - you don't know the fact. If you were to meet the fact without the time interval then your action would be entirely different; there would be no time interval to be afraid of. I wonder if you are getting all this.
So one sees the time interval as a means of solution of a psychological fact - not the fact of building a bridge, for that, you must have time. Allowing any time interval to creep in is a waste of energy, because in that time interval is conflict. And the time interval is not only the search for the cause of fear, but also the analysis to discover the cause and the determination to be rid of that cause - all that is the time interval in which there is effort, and therefore it is a waste of energy. You see this, sirs?
We said we would also take the question of violence. Most of us are violent - not merely physically; beating somebody, getting angry or ambitious or competitive, which are all violence. Don't fool yourself by saying that violence is merely a physical action. Violence is also this tremendous action: imposing on oneself a discipline, a pattern of discipline; suppression, control, subjugation, domination. It is not just violence, as the thing which we daily experience; it is much more subtle than that. So deep down and superficially, outwardly, we are violent - that is the fact, because we have grown from the animal, we are frightened; and the stronger the animal the more violent it is.
I do not know if you have not noticed the dogs on this campus. You must have heard them every night, keeping you awake; and how violent they are! You know, there is something extraordinary about noise. The more you fight noise, the more you resist it, the less sleep, the less quiet you have. But if you allow the noise to pass through you as the wind passes through the window, without resisting it, then you will see that the dogs can howl their heads off, and your mind is not disturbed. Please try it.
Most of us are violent, and so we have invented the idea that we must be non-violent. Look at what has happened! I am violent - in my gesture, in my attitude, in my exclusiveness, in my isolation, in my pride, in my envy, in my ambition. I am violent, conforming to violence, and then I invent the idea of non-violence. The fact is one thing and the formula, the idea is another thing in which we are caught. Right? This schizophrenia - the double attitude towards life, never facing the fact but always endlessly talking about a fictitious idea which has no reality at all - has created conflict immediately. I am not brotherly; because, to be brotherly, there must be no nationality, no family - family, not in the sense I'll not have a wife and a child, but the idea of the family. The family is, obviously, antisocial immediately; it is always opposed to the rest of the world. We won't go into that.
So being violent and not knowing that we are violent, and not being able to resolve that violence, hoping to get rid of that violence through an idea or an ideal, we pursue the ideal. The speaker has no ideal whatever, because the speaker only deals with facts and not with ideals. The fact can only be observed when there is no time interval. One has to realize this, as one sees here is violence.
Now one has to find out this: has the word "violence" created violence or the fact itself? Do you understand it? Sir, the word is not the thing, the word "woman", the word "child", the word "door" is not the woman, is not the child, is not the door. For most of us, the word is the door, is the child, is the woman. Look at yourself, consider it yourself and you will see how words play an extraordinarily important part - a communist, a brahmin, a bureaucrat, an engineer, he is an ICS, he earns two thousand; all words. So one has to find out if the word is bringing about the violence, or if there is violence independent of the word. Please examine it for yourself. It requires a great deal of attention to find this out.
Most of us are caught in the word and not in the fact. So the word becomes an abstraction of the fact; so most of us deal with the abstraction and not with the fact. To deal with the fact is not to allow the time interval between the seeing and the action, and therefore the seeing is the action. And because seeing the fact without the time interval is action, there is no violence. If you have gone into this, you will see how the mind can completely and utterly free itself from every form of violence.
And it is only when the mind is not dissipating in conflict and therefore is not allowing any time interval to intervene between the observer and the fact - only then is there the cessation of the waste of energy; we are thus eliminating every form of conflict - every form of conflict, which is duality. Duality will exist always, if the fact is opposed through an opinion, through an idea and through a time interval. when the fact remains without any frills of time, then there is an action which is immediate and instantaneous.
So one begins to see that the waste of energy is caused by conformity to a pattern, that the waste of energy is caused by thought - the time interval caught between the past and the future. A mind that is socialistically, politically, communistically trained, can never look at a fact; it always looks at the fact through its opinion, through its conditioning. There is another factor of contradiction which is much more complex, much more demanding of attention; that is the duality between the thinker and the thought - which we have no time to go into now. What we have gone into is sufficient, if you have followed so far. So there will be no waste of energy when the mind is capable of facing a fact without any time interval, whether the fact is the very simple fact of taking away a stone from the road, or mending a road, or taking a thorn out of the way, or whether it is the fact of yourself - what you actually are; not what you think you are, but what actually you are.
The facing of the fact without the time interval is the cessation of the dissipation of energy and therefore the continuous movement of energy. And you will find that in that energy there is no resistance - which I have explained already. That energy does not meet any form of hindrance, because it understands, as it goes along, every resistance, every form of conflict, every contradiction - not waiting, asking, demanding - it is moving, living; every moment it is moving. Then, such an energy begins at the lowest level - really there is no lowest, but we will use that expression as a means of conveying our meaning - , it begins with daily life. I won't use the word "lowest", because then, of course, you will misuse it. The energy that is in the very action of everyday existence - what you think, what you do, what you feel, what you say and how you say it - when that energy of everyday movement is freed from every form of hindrance, from every form of conflict - which is contradiction - then that very energy moves with such rapidity, with such freedom. And it is only such energy that renovates, makes the mind young, fresh, innocent; and such energy reaches its highest point, and the highest point is the unnameable, the sublime.
Krishnamurti: Sir, before you ask the question - I will not interrupt you, you will ask your question - you have not allowed any time interval between your question and what you have heard. You are not even listening, sir. You are so ready to ask your question before I have finished. I have finished, but you have already prepared your question; you are not listening. All right, Sir, carry on. What is the question, sir?
Questioner: What is the time interval that you were explaining and what is that energy? Is it completely in motion, or is that static, sir?
Krishnamurti: How can energy be static? I am afraid I don't understand your question, sir. You began with one thing and you have ended up with another. What are you trying to tell us, sir? Sir, it is very simple. Why do you complicate a very simple fact? When you say, "I will change", there is a time interval, is there not? When you say, "I will do that tomorrow", there is a time interval, isn't there? I say that the time interval is a waste of energy. That is, when something can be done immediately - and all action is in the immediate - why introduce the interval of time? Why do you say, "I will do it"? Take this, for instance, sir: one is angry or jealous. Why don't you deal with that fact immediately, why do you allow a time interval by saying, "I will do it tomorrow", "I will get rid of it tomorrow"? Why? Because you are so used to postponing, you are so used to the habit of saying, "I will do it". So, gradually, you have increased the time interval so that you can carry on with the thing you want to do - which may be harmful; but you like it, and therefore you carry on. Why pretend?
Questioner: Is immediate action total action?
Krishnamurti: That is right, sir. I said, "Immediate action". That is one of the most difficult things to understand; so don't just say, "immediate action". You know, there are people who say, "Live in the present". To live in the present is one of the most extraordinary things. To live in the present - which is the immediate action - one has to understand the conditioning which is the past, and not project that past into the future; and one has therefore to eliminate the time interval and live in that extraordinary sense of the immediate. That requires great energy. But that energy is not derived through ideas, sir. Ideas give energy, as you know. Ideas have given energy - the idea as a nation will give you energy to fight another nation. And on that extraordinarily wasteful energy we are living, and we are satisfied with that energy. And when somebody comes along and says, "Don't waste energy", you immediately translate and say, "All right, I must be a bachelor, I must do this; and thereby again you build contradictions and you get caught in them.
So, to understand this whole question, sir, one must be very simple - not the simplicity of a loincloth, which is the outward exhibition of non-simplicity, but to be really simple - that is, to go within oneself and commune within oneself all the time, endlessly, without a time interval. You can go to the moon, Mars, Venus - that requires energy. See the astonishing energy of the engineers, the mathematicians, the labourers who put a million things together. I believe it takes a million separate parts to make a rocket, and these million parts must function faultlessly. That requires tremendous energy, and that energy is comparatively easy. But the energy to go within, never having a resting place, never letting that energy stagnate, never letting that energy look back or forward, but keeping it moving endlessly - it is only that energy that has gone so deeply, endlessly within itself, that knows the sublime.
November 24, 1964
Varanasi 3rd Public Talk 24th November 1964
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