London 3rd Public Dialogue 29th April 1965
We were talking, the last time we met here, about time; but before we go into that, I would first like to talk about freedom and order. We seem to think that freedom is a matter of time, growth and evolution; that freedom is a reaction. As we have to live in a society, the problem then is, can there be freedom and yet order? When we look to time to bring order, we find that time invariably breeds disorder. Our society is not orderly; within it there are all the elements of destruction and violence. The social structure is based on acquisitiveness, competition and ambition, with all the signs of disorder. I think one more or less accepts that as inevitable, and lives in that pattern. Freedom within such a society cannot be; nor is freedom possible outside that society. If freedom is merely a reaction, then it breeds disorder, as time does. But if we understand freedom, not as something that you cultivate, not as a process, nor a thing to be achieved, then freedom has a quite different meaning. To understand this thing of freedom, one must also understand the nature of time, both physical and psychological time.
One has to accept physical time. One can't do otherwise. But when one looks to psychological time as a means of achieving freedom, or peace, one finds that such time only breeds disorder, because it is not based on a structure of reality.
What we are discussing is not a theory, a concept, something with which one can play intellectually. We are dealing with facts. In a society such as ours, freedom means disorder, because it is conceived of as a reaction. But if one understands the nature and the structure of time, perhaps one can see that there is a kind of freedom which is not a reaction. It is not freedom from something.
There are two obvious times: physical or chronological time; and the time which is constructed by thought, by the psyche, which is psychological time. We are not dealing with physical time but we are trying to determine whether through psychological time one can have freedom and therefore order. It is very important to have freedom from fear. One must understand fear and be totally free of it; otherwise there can be no order structurally, either outwardly or inwardly. One must understand not only the nature of fear, but also whether it is possible to be free of it immediately and not through the process of time. If we can free the mind, it will free itself of fear. We have used time as a means by which the mind can free itself. We hope to be free from fear through a process, whether it be analysis, discipline or understanding. We use time as a means of trying to rid ourselves of fear, of a habit or of the poison of nationalism. Is it possible? Can one be free of fear through time, by saying to oneself, "I will be free tomorrow"? Is it possible to be free of fear tomorrow, whether you restrict that tomorrow to a day, to a second or to many years?
Is there a different approach to the problem altogether? Fear in any form distorts, breeds illusion, brings about confusion. It is very destructive for a mind to be afraid and live in a state of fear. It breeds every form of illusion and conflict. Is it possible to be free of fear totally, completely - not tomorrow, but in the now which is not of time? Can one understand the whole structure, the nature and the significance of fear immediately, and bc free of it instantly? If not, then one must depend on time to free the mind from fear. This dependence on time, this usage of time, only breeds disorder. Whether one is afraid of one's neighbour, or of ideas, or of any form of social or psychological disturbance, it does breed fear, and that does bring about disorder. Is it possible to be free of fear, not only consciously, but also at the deeper levels of consciousness? Without freedom from fear, there is no peace, either among nations, races or continents. Peace is not possible when the world is divided, not only politically and economically, but also religiously. If one would understand what peace is, actually, not theoretically - not as an idea, as something to be pursued, lived up to as an objective or a directive - one must be within oneself totally at peace psychologically, not having any form of conflict.
All religions have maintained that time is necessary, the psychological time we are talking about. Heaven is very far away, and one can only come to it through the gradual process of evolution, through suppression, through growth or through identification with an object, with something superior. Our question is whether it is possible to be free of fear immediately. Otherwise fear breeds disorder; psychological time invariably does breed extraordinary disorder within one.
I am questioning the whole idea of evolution, not of the physical being, but of thought which has identified itself with a particular form of existence in time. The brain has obviously evolved to come to this present stage, and it may evolve still further, expand still more. But as a human being I have lived for forty or fifty years in a world made up of all kinds of theories, conflicts and concepts; in a society in which greed, envy and competition have bred wars. I am a part of all that. To a man who is in sorrow there is no significance in looking to time for a solution, in evolving slowly for the next two million years as a human being. Constituted as we are, is it possible to be free from fear and from psychological time? Physical time must exist, you can't get away from that. The question is whether psychological time can bring not only order within the individual, but also social order. We are part of society; we are not separate. Where there is order in a human being, there will inevitably be social order outwardly.
Questioner: Isn't the basis of fear the unconscious demand to be free of conflict?
Krishnamurti: Sir one can find out fairly easily the cause of conscious or hidden fears through analysis, through observation, through introspection, through examination, or by going into oneself very deeply. Will that help to be free of fear? Will discovering the cause, either by being told or by discovering it oneself, free the mind from fear? If one discovers it for oneself, it is much better than being told. To find out the cause through analysis implies time, doesn't it? And if one uses time as a means of discovering the cause of fear, what has one actually done? When one finds the cause, what has happened?
Krishnamurti: Just nothing?
Questioner: Certain kinds of discovery about oneself can come as a revelation. It can be very dramatic, not something one learns.
Krishnamurti: Yes, it can be very dramatic and all the rest of it, but the fear still remains. Look, sir, someone I like dies. I feel terribly upset about it, and I call that sorrow. I know why I am in sorrow; it is because I have lost a friend. I have lost someone whom I liked very much, and I'm lonely. I'm suddenly bereft of a companion with whom I used to discuss things. Knowing all that, does it free me, free my mind from sorrow? Do please observe a little more closely.
Questioner: Surely what makes one feel sorrow is a feeling of guilt because one has been so inadequate in one's relationship.
Krishnamurti: Yes, inadequate, repentant and all the rest of it.
Questioner: I keep thinking about it.
Krishnamurti: That's analysis, thinking about it, investigating it with regret and repentance, with a feeling of "I wish it hadn't been that way". But at the end of this long journey of discovery, is one free of fear or of sorrow? We have explanations: religious, psychological and factual. Will they bring about freedom from fear?
Questioner: One can look at the fact and be aware of it.
Krishnamurti: I feel that there is a different way of tackling this problem altogether. There must be. The way we have lived, we have not solved any problem. We still have the problem of fear, the problem of sorrow and the problem of anxiety. We still go on living in that mess. I feel there is a real way out, if we can approach this whole issue differently.
I see for myself that mere discovery of the cause of sorrow doesn't end sorrow. The explanations, the regrets, the thought of "I wish I had treated that friend better" - none of these resolve and finish my sorrow. Now, what have I done? In examining, in searching for the cause, I have wasted time, and energy. I need energy to meet something which I don't understand. I see that time as a process of analysis and investigation of the cause only breeds disorder and wastes energy. So I will not dissipate my energy looking for the cause. I know very well that the cause is self-pity. I push all of that completely aside - the explanation, the cause, the regret, the self-pity - I deny it and reject it totally, because I see the stupidity of it. It has no meaning.
Questioner: By trying to understand any problem, or feeling, or sorrow, I see that state of mind.
Krishnamurti: Look, sirs, I would like to convey something; I would like to tell you something. In order to understand what the speaker is saying, you must listen. You must not only listen to the words, but you must also get the feeling, the structure, the nature and the significance of what lies behind the words. To listen, you have to be tremendously attentive. Of course you have your own ideas, your own opinions, your own experience; put those aside for the time being, don't let them intervene and prevent listening. This does not mean that you must accept what is being said but quite the contrary. You are not being mesmerized, or being made to accept something which is totally different from your own ideas.
You are just listening to find out. We are saying that perhaps there is a totally different approach to the problem of sorrow, or of fear. To understand and to find out for yourself, you are not only listening to the speaker, but you are using the speaker, if I may employ the word "use", to see either the truth or the falseness of what he is saying. He is saying something very simple, that one has used time while searching for an explanation, in order to discover the cause of sorrow, thereby hoping to be free from it. That is what one has done. I say that is not the way to be free from sorrow.
You have to find out what the speaker means, what he wants to say. Therefore you have to listen. He says that when you are analysing, being introspective, and examining into causes, it is a waste of time and a waste of energy. To meet the challenge of fear or of sorrow, you have to have all your energy, and therefore you cannot afford to waste it in trying to find out what the cause is.
I will not waste one second of time or one iota of energy, on analysis or on self pity. I want to be free from fear. I see what happens if one is afraid. I see how fear distorts, how it prevents, how it corrupts and how it creates illusions. We have a network of escapes; and all that is a waste of energy, because it involves time, and time is disorder.
I have said that. Is it a fact to you, or do you have merely a verbal understanding? Is it a fact in the sense that the microphone in front of me is a fact? If I do not see the microphone and someone describes to me what it is, what its function is, and its structure, with me it is merely a verbal statement, but when I see it directly, it is factual. When you are hungry, that is a fact. No one has to tell you that you're hungry, or describe what hunger is. The fact reveals the structure of disorder, of time. Unless one comes to the point where this becomes a fact to oneself, one can't proceed further. When the mind realizes that time breeds disorder, and that this a fact, not a theory, a verbal statement or an intellectual concept, the very realization brings about a tremendous revolution; because one has denied psychological time.
Questioner: How can you hold this realization?
Krishnamurti: It is not a question of holding it. If you realize it, it is so.
Questioner: Does the environment help you to realize?
Krishnamurti: No, it has nothing to do with environment. It has nothing to do with what one is or what one is not. Simply, does one see the fact? Sir, in your bathroom you have a bottle marked "poison", and you know it is poison; you are very careful of that bottle, even in the dark. You are always watching out for it. You don't say, "How am I to keep away, how am I to be watchful of that bottle?". You know it is poison, so you are tremendously attentive to it. Time is a poison; it creates disorder. If this is a fact to you, then you can proceed into the understanding of how to be free of fear immediately. But if you are still holding time as a means of freeing yourself, there is no communication between you and me.
You see, there is something much more; there may be a totally different kind of time altogether. We only know two times, physical and psychological, and we are caught in time. Physical time plays an important part in the psyche, and the psyche has an important influence on the physical. We are caught in this battle, in this influence. One must accept physical time in order to catch the bus or the train; but if one rejects psychological time completely, then one may come to a time that is something quite different, a time which is not related to either. I wish you would come on with me into that time! Then time is not disorder; it is tremendous order.
Questioner: Sir, in psychological time I see that my mind has projected forward a future that doesn't exist. That creates disorder, because I respond to something that does not exist.
Questioner: However, this occurs on two. levels, the conscious and the unconscious, and it is very hard to penetrate into the unconscious.
Krishnamurti: Sir, we give tremendous importance, it seems to me, to the unconscious. Freud and company have given us an extraordinary thing, and weighted us down with this terrible thing; but I don't think it's important at all. It is such a trivial affair, and the conscious mind is also a very trivial affair. Why do we give such significance to the unconscious, and why don't we give significance to the conscious mind? Is it because we don't see that thought itself is insignificant?
Questioner: Is there not a better use of time, which will dissolve fear?
Krishnamurti: Look, sir. You are in sorrow. I am not wishing you to be in sorrow. Will tomorrow help you to get rid of it?
Questioner: Tomorrow it may be gone,. and often it is.
Krishnamurti: It may or it may not be gone. Generally it is not. The idea that it may be gone is just an idea. It is not a fact. Man has lived with sorrow, or deified sorrow. The Christians have worshipped sorrow. In India and in the East they explain it away, for they have the doctrine of karma. Explaining sorrow away or deifying it is a form of escape. One can also escape through drink or through drugs. You are asking if there is a right usage of time. Obviously there is.
Questioner: I think that my use of time in the past has been faulty, because I have used time stupidly.
Krishnamurti: What is right usage of time? Apart from physical time, time by the watch, what does time mean?
Questioner: Time means a change.
Krishnamurti: Time does mean a change. I am in sorrow. I need time, either tomorrow or the next moment, to change that whole. Does that take place? When one is hungry, when there is a real demand, does one say, "Well, I'll wait until tomorrow" ?
Questioner: Yes, but there are many other illustrations that shaw it would work. For example, I feel a desire. If I don't do anything about it, it passes away and I am not bothered by having to fight the thing.
Krishnamurti: Quite. Discuss it, sir; go on.
Questioner: As an illustration, the passage of time results in desires being eliminated, because they become painful.
Krishnamurti: Look at what you are saying. You are saying that time, which is part of pleasure, can be used to get rid of non-pleasure. So time gives you pleasure. That's all we want.
Questioner: Is not the dream state a state of the mind in which there is no psychological or physical time?
Krishnamurti: Dreams are something entirely different. I think dreams are a waste of time, a waste of energy. Why does one dream? It is fairly obvious, isn't it? One is so terribly occupied all day long, the conscious mind caught up in its quarrels and in all the other activities of one's waking hours. When one goes to sleep the conscious mind is somewhat less active, and the so-called unconscious projects all its intimations as dreams. We don't have to glorify dreams, for then we get the interpreters of dreams and all the rest of it. (Laughter).
If one is awake all day, watching everything, watching the way one walks, talks, dresses and thinks, watching one's relationship to people and to nature, giving attention to all that is hidden below, then the so-called unconscious comes up, and one does not have to dream at all.
Questioner: Can you point out why time, per se, can never solve sorrow.
Krishnamurti: I've been showing this. Look, sir. I lose my son. I investigate what is happening in my mind. I see that I am bereft of something upon which I relied. I have lost a companion, I have lost a son in whom I have invested not only money but also hopes, fears and longings. I cannot immortalize myself in him. I wallow in self-pity and regrets. Now, that has taken time. It has taken a day or a year; whatever it is, it has taken time. While I have been taking time, other influences, other strains have come into being. It is not just one continual discovery. There are other things interfering. But the cause never brings about the right effect. When there is a cause and an effect, there is a time interval. In that time interval there are all kinds of strains; therefore the effect is changed, and what was effect becomes the cause of a new series of changes. There is never a precise cause and a precise effect. So mere investigation of the cause which has produced my sorrow is a waste of time. If that is clear, is it a verbal clarity or a factual clarity?
Questioner: In the particular illustrations which you give, it is obviously a factual clarity.
Krishnamurti: So you are no longer depending on time.
Questioner: I say to myself that if I were aware over a period of time, then....
Krishnamurti: You cannot be aware through a period of time. Then it becomes mechanical. Sir, look. I come into the room, and I see the colours of the various dresses, the door, the windows, the disproportionate shape of the room, the light and all that. I see it immediately and I am aware of my reactions to all of it. I am aware of how those reactions arise and I am aware of my conditioning, whether it be classical, Victorian or something else.
Questioner: Yes, you are aware, but I am not.
Krishnamurti: If you proceed that way, you will discover, won't you? But if you come into the room, look around and try to discover your reactions, your conditioning, it takes time. And when you have taken time, there are other factors involved in it, not just one thing, and that is a waste of time. Now is it a fact that you are no longer using time as a means of being aware, of being rid of fear, or of sorrow?
Questioner: Doesn't time only come in when one starts thinking of oneself?
Krishnamurti: No, please, that is not the question. You are introducing something else. All right, I'll say yes, of course. Then what are you going to do about it? Again investigate how to get rid of that thought which thinks about itself?
If it is a fact, not an idea, not a word, not an intellectual concept or a theory, but something that is real, as it must be to some who are here, then we can proceed. There is no time at all through which I am going to be rid of something, and I know there is fear. I am afraid of public opinion, death, darkness or my grandmother. I am also aware that I am in sorrow. I have to meet it without time. That means I have to meet it with all the energy I have. I have the energy now, you understand. I did not have it before, because I used time as a means of escape. It brought disorder, because the fact is sorrow, and I introduced other factors which had no value at all. The other factors were mere escapes from the one fact. When I really reject time as an idea, a concept, or as something which I use in order to get rid of fear, then I have the energy to meet this thing, and all this requires enormous energy.
I am afraid, but I am not looking any more to time as a means of dissolving that fear. I have to meet it. Now, how do I meet it? All escapes, explanations, causes, all the ways to get over it: restraint, suppression, control - all those have gone. They all imply time and a waste of energy. Then how do I meet it?
Questioner: If all escape is gone, surely the fear itself is gone.
Krishnamurti: Don't come to that. Because if you go into it, you will see something else taking place.
Questioner: But if I don't know how to. do that, then....
Krishnamurti: Then it means you have not ridded yourself of the concept of time at all. The concept of time as thought is pleasure; you want and you continue that pleasure in different forms, and therefore you are not rid of time.
Questioner: You have to meet it directly.
Krishnamurti: To meet it directly, you have to know, you have to understand the structure and the nature of pleasure. Because pleasure is what we want.
Questioner: The emphasis is on pleasure.
Krishnamurti: That's what we are looking for; that's what we want. We want pleasure; we want the continuation of pleasure, not the understanding of sorrow, not the understanding of fear or time. We use time as a means of continuing pleasure and avoiding sorrow; that's all we are concerned with.
One has an experience of pleasure: a lovely sunset, a beautiful tree, a scene, a beautiful face; one gets a tremendous pleasure, and one wants that to be repeated. The repetition is time, not the instant of pleasure.
Questioner: It is a very difficult point, because if one feels fear or sorrow, then the mind is pulled away from it by all these influences; and you reject them, then....
Krishnamurti: No, no! When you reject time, you reject it because it is a fact. You are never pulled towards its effect, because you know its effect. It is only when your pleasure comes in looking at that precipice that you are pulled towards it.
Questioner: Is rejecting this concept of time a return to pleasure?
Krishnamurti: No, quite the contrary; time is the invention of thought as pleasure.
Questioner: No, I don't mean thought; I mean as an experience.
Krishnamurti: You have to understand pleasure. Let's go into it. What do we want? Really, what do all of us want?
Questioner: We want to be happy.
Krishnamurti: Happiness is pleasure, a continuation of pleasure, a repetition of something which is pleasurable: sex, an image, an experience, an idea, anything that gives pleasure.
Questioner: You want freedom.
Krishnamurti: No, sir! (Laughter).
Questioner: I mean freedom from unhappiness. If one thinks of happiness, one automatically thinks of unhappiness.
Krishnamurti: Freedom, not freedom from just freedom.
Questioner: Just freedom.
Krishnamurti: If you are free from something, are you free?
Krishnamurti: Please. We have so little time left. I am not impatient, or anything of that kind, but you are missing so much by just going back and back.
Questioner: Carry on without the interruptions, sir.
Krishnamurti: Sir, it's no good my carrying on, because, after all, we want to communicate with each other. Verbal communication is no communication at all. There is communication when we are dealing with facts, which is real communication. When you hate me, you are in communion; when I love you, we are in communion; but if you are indifferent, and I am something else, we have no communion. So, look at it, sirs. As we said in the beginning, time breeds disorder. You can see what is happening in the world. There is starvation in India and other parts of Asia, unemployment in many places, and other terrible things including war going on in Asia. Science could feed man, clothe and shelter him, but cannot, because of the poison of nationalism, because of politicians and their ideas, their concepts. They say, "Belong to this party, that party", and the whole of the East starves. They say, "Well, we must go through nationalism, through our particular party", and in the meantime people starve. So we can see that time does breed disorder, not only politically, but inwardly. I see that. I see for myself as a fact that time breeds disorder, and that man must live in order. Otherwise we create illusions, we live in despair. I see that as a fact, and time no longer exists for a man who sees it. I am not a nationalist and belong to no party. I am not a Catholic, a protestant or a Hindu. I have the energy to meet the fact, which is fear, because I have understood pleasure. But most of us want just one thing: pleasure. If it is not sexual pleasure, it is some other form of pleasure. One gets fed up with different kinds of pleasure as one grows older, and then eventually seeks God (Laughter), or something else.
One has to understand this extraordinary drive of pleasure; and when one understands it, one also understands the nature of time which gives it duration as thought. It is all so simple, sirs - simple if you really see the truth of the nature of time. If you do, then what takes place? You are no longer shaped by time or pleasure as a principle.
You can look at the fact, not in terms of pleasure and pain, and therefore of time. Then what happens? When you meet a fact completely, as a whole, you meet the fact with peace, which is not pleasure. Peace is affection, isn't it? Don't agree, please; just examine the statement. Peace never has pleasure in it. That's the most beautiful thing about peace. And when time has been rejected, then you have energy to meet the fact. This means that the mind has undergone a revolution and therefore is meeting something in a totally different dimension. If one has only known pleasure, and the continuation of pleasure as time, as thought, one has only known the conflict which is disorder. One tries to escape from it, to mesmerize oneself with all kinds of activities, but that's the only thing one knows. One sees that and rejects it completely. Then the mind is not swayed by pleasure. It has a tremendous energy which is peaceful; it has no conflict, and it can meet fear.
How do we meet fear? That's what I want to know. We generally meet fear by trying to escape from it; therefore we never do actually meet it. We escape it through verbalization, through innumerable networks which man has made. We know all this: God, drink, sex, amusement, literature, painting, art - anything but the fact. When we stop all that, the mind becomes extraordinarily alert and very quiet. It cannot be quiet when it is always, everlastingly, seeking different ways of pleasure. Please don't misunderstand. There is nothing wrong with pleasure. To look at something beautiful is a lovely thing. But to get the right pleasure from it, one must not insist that it continue - that is where disorder comes in.
When you have rejected time, not as a reaction, but because you realize that it creates disorder based on the principle of pleasure, then you have the energy to meet the fact. Then there is no distortion. The pleasure which creates illusion and distortion has come to an end; therefore the fact can be met.
One of the most difficult things to understand is the whole principle or structure of pleasure. When you are highly sensitive, your whole being is sensitive, your body, your nerves, your eyes, your ears - everything about you is sensitive. The mere seeing of something very beautiful, or very ugly, is a moment of pleasure, but it should have no continuity. The moment it has continuity, one becomes insensitive; and being insensitive, there is disorder.
What takes place when one rejects time, when one rejects pleasure and its continuity, is that the mind is completely still, the brain is completely still; and this stillness, this quietness, this intensity, is the outcome of the fact which one has seen; and therefore there is no effort involved in it at all. There is effort when there is pleasure. If one has really grasped this, the mind has stepped out of the rut of the time-pleasure principle, and therefore is no longer looking to time as a means of evolution, of getting rid of something or of achieving. When there is the death of someone, the mind meets that challenge, that incident, without any movement. This does not mean a lack of sympathy; it does not mean cruelty. Death is an immense thing, too vast to be understood by a puny little mind. You can only meet something immense when the mind is quiet.
April 29, 1965
London 3rd Public Dialogue 29th April 1965
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