London 5th Public Dialogue 6th May 1965
I would like this evening, if I may, to talk about change and about meditation. One must have asked oneself, I'm quite sure, whether one changes at all. I know that outward circumstances change; we marry, divorce, have children; there is death, a better job, the pressure of new inventions, and so on. Outwardly there is a tremendous revolution going on in cybernetics and automation. One must have asked oneself whether it is at all possible for one to change at all, not in relation to outward events, not a change that is a mere repetition or a modified continuity, but a radical revolution, a total mutation of the mind. When one realizes, as one must have noticed within oneself, that actually one doesn't change, one gets terribly depressed, or one escapes from oneself. So the inevitable question arises, can there be change at all? We go back to a period when we were young, and that comes back to us again. Is there change at all in human beings? Have you changed at all? Perhaps there has been a modification on the periphery. but deeply, radically, have you changed? Perhaps we do not want to change, because we are fairly comfortable. We have a government that looks after one, a welfare state, an assured job, old age pensions, and all the rest of it; so perhaps there is no motive to change. And when there is a motive to change, it is change within the field of the known.
I would like to have you find out for yourselves this evening whether it is at all possible for you to bring about a real revolution. I am not talking about change from house to house, from country to country, or going from one type of religious bigotry to another; that's no change at all. I am talking about a deep, psychological mutation, a transformation, a new mind, a totally different existence, which is not in the field of time. One must listen, not sentimentally, not aggressively, not doubting or questioning, but simply listen, in order to discover for oneself the art of learning about oneself. This act of listening will perhaps reveal that there is no change at all in our life. We go on as we are, a little bit discontented, depressed, lonely, miserable; going on to old age, full of sorrow, with unresolved problems; and that's our life. Most of us get used to all that; our minds get dull, heavy, stupid; we accept the inevitable and thereby get terribly bored with life, its routine and its apparently utter lack of significance. Or we invent a purpose, a significance, and according to that significance and that purpose we try to bring about a pattern of existence; but it is still, as one observes, no change at all.
So, do we change? Is there a change at all? And if we do change, is it a movement which is not in time? A change in space, in time, created by thought, or put together by thought, is no change at all. Because change brought about through an act of will, which is the space between what I am and what I should be, is still within the field of time.
I want to change. I see that I am terribly unhappy, depressed, ugly, violent, with an occasional flash of something other than the mere result of a motive; and I exercise my will to do something about it. I say I must be different, I must drop this habit, that habit; I must think differently; I must act in a different way; I must be more this and less that. One makes a tremendous effort and at the end of it one is still shoddy, depressed, ugly, brutal, without any sense of quality. So one then asks oneself if there is change at all. Can a human being change? A change within the field of time, one observes, is no change.
I want to be peaceful; I want to be quiet, inwardly silent, aware, intelligent, vital; I want to have a sense of beauty; and I strive after it all. This striving becomes an effort, and I am never actually what I want to be. I am always just groping after it. So, at the end of a few years or a few months or a few days, one gives it up and goes back to the old pattern. One is depressed, becomes cynical, gets irritable, takes to drink or to church, or whatever it is that one does. Or one goes to an analyst and explores the unconscious, taking months, or years, if one has the money. We carry on that way, endlessly, with a terrible sense of fear, anxiety and dread, until we die in despair. We are fairly familiar with all that. So one asks oneself, "How is it possible to change, without all this process, and suddenly find oneself in a new dimension?".
As we said the other day, the "How" is disorder; disorder arises from asking the question, "How am I to jump from this to that; how am I to bring about a change within myself so fundamental, so radical, that I have a new mind, that I am a new human being?". Scientists are talking about the coming of the new man, with a new mind. I don't know what they mean, and I am not concerned. I am concerned, if I am at all interested, not about the coming generation, not with what is going to happen in a hundred years, or twenty years, or tomorrow, but with what I am actually, and whether it is possible to change and dissolve this helpless, hopeless endeavour that has no meaning. So I ask myself, "How am I to do it?".
Now, the "How" is very important to understand. When we put to ourselves the "How", it implies time, practice, method, system, a pattern to be followed and struggled after; therefore it involves time, time being the space between me as I am and what I should be, or something which I cannot imagine myself to be. That implies space; therefore to cover that distance, time is necessary: a second, a day or even a year. When we ask "How", and seek a method, we think that by pursuing a system, a method, a pattern of discipline, of order, we can forget all the other pressures that exist around us, which are always influencing and modifying. There is always a contention, a battle, a conflict, a question; and therefore the "How" essentially brings about disorder. One must be completely free and understand all this. The "How" implies either going back to an old pattern, or creating a new pattern and following it; hence the battle between what I am and what
So, it is a stupid question on my part to ask, "How am I to do it; how am I to change?". Of course, if one is a little bit neurotic, a little unbalanced, one goes to various analysts. Perhaps one gets a little change, and adjusts oneself to a society that is always in decay. We are not concerned for the moment with the people who are unbalanced.
So, how is - I am using the "How" merely as a question - how is one o find oneself in that? I think that here the question of meditation comes in. I am not talking of meditation as a method. It has nothing whatever to do with method; because method is the "How", and we have pushed that aside as being inadequate, immature, juvenile. To put the same question differently, any change in time is no change. We are talking of fundamental change; fundamental, radical mutation; so the mind must discover a new movement, which is out of time. All movement of the mind is in time, as thought, as pleasure and the duration of pleasure. I know this time; and I see that in it no change is possible.
There must be a movement which doesn't belong to this time.
I see that the time which mind and thought have built, put together, is a movement which breeds sorrow, pleasure, agony; it has its own movement, its own evolution; it grows and decays. I know that very well. The mind cannot ride on that movement. There must be a movement which is not of this nature; and the mind must discover it, a movement which is not of this time, but of a different time altogether - if I can use the word "time" to indicate a movement which is not sullied by the psychological time which I know. There must be a time which has no beginning and no end. It is a movement which does not belong to this dimension at all. That's speculation. When I say, "There must be", that is a speculation. So I go off on that. I want to discover that time; I pursue it. That demands a heightened sensitivity, so I play with drugs, with every form of stimulation, hoping to capture it; and having captured it, to repeat the pattern.
So I see that any movement of the mind must always be in time. Yet my mind wanders, tremendously active, projecting ideas and visions, struggling, trying to concentrate, trying to restrain; it is endlessly in movement. It sees itself in movement and therefore it makes a tremendous effort to be quiet. This enforcement, this discipline, this conformity to a pattern, in order to arrive at quietness, is generally called meditation - which of course is too childish, too absurd.
Yet I see that the mind must be extraordinarily quiet; because I know that movement in any direction, at any level - movement towards God, towards peace - any movement is always within time. You see the problem? Here I am, having a mind which is fairly sane, fairly rational, healthy, and it wants to change. It must change. The way I live is too stupid, too unintelligent; it has no meaning. So the mind says, "I must change", and it tries to change gradually. It rejects that way, if it is intelligent; it says, "That's too absurd. I only repeat the pattern over and over again, modified". It sees that there is a possibility of a change that is completely quiet; so it struggles to be quiet, which again is within the borders of time. It must change immediately, or not at all.
I can't look to tomorrow, I can't practise, I have no time for discipline or to conform to a pattern which is supposed to give me that peace, or that sense of silence. By understanding all this, my mind has become astonishingly sensitive and alert, tremendously aware of itself. The difficulty is that very few come to this with terrific energy, because when you reject time, in the sense in which we are using the word, all movement, conscious or unconscious movement in any direction, has come to an end.
May I go on with this? Questioner: Yes, Yes.
Krishnamurti: No,no! Are you doing it, actually following it inwardly, or are you merely following the words? Because this implies a tremendous, non-experiencing mind which is completely alone, because it has understood loneliness, its own loneliness and isolation, its self-centred activities which create walls around itself, its moralities which are immoral, its virtues which are not virtues at all but mere adjustment to a pattern. It has finished with ambition, greed, envy and all the things that we go after: pleasure, the sense of power, domination; otherwise it can't proceed. How one finishes with these things is very important. If one says, "I will do it gradually", that of course has no value. They must drop away immediately, without any effort.
Let's examine the habit of smoking and the habit of envy. Smoking gives you certain sensations of pleasure, something to do with your hands; everyone does it, it is socially accepted. Can you drop it completely, immediately, without the exercise of will, without motive? If you cannot, you are caught in time, and therefore there is no release from the habit.
Envy is deeply ingrained in most people. It takes so many forms; not only envy of a man who is more intelligent, who is famous, but also the envy which is always comparing. For it, the "more" is important: more learning more information, competition, trying to struggle, trying to understand, trying to become intelligent, trying to find God, doing this and doing that - eternally more, more; not only more and better bathrooms and refrigerators, but psychologically more. Can one see the implications of it instantly, and drop it, without analysis, without seeking the cause of envy, which we've gone into; not allowing time to interfere with it at all, and therefore ending it immediately?
To end this thing, this habit immediately, there must obviously be a sense of awareness. You must know what you are doing with your hands. You must be aware of how deeply ingrained this envy is - aware without judgment, without choice; with an awareness. which merely sees and acts. It can only see and act instantly when it is aware of the whole implication of envy, and the understanding of that envy. The structure, the implication, is not of time. You can see instantly.
I do not know if you have gone into this matter of being aware and what it means. There is nothing mysterious about it; you don't have to practise it. It begins with outward things: being aware of trees, people, colours, noise, endless chatter, outward escapes, the shape of a room and its colour - begin there and ride on that tide; come in, go inward. You can only ride on that tide which is coming in when there is no choice, no comparison, no condemnation. Just ride it. Out of this there is physical order, which is obviously necessary. Physical order is austere. For most of us austerity is harsh, a disciplined result, a denial, a sacrifice, a conformity; and therefore, when there is discipline, a conformity, a forcing, it becomes violent; and generally all austerity is the denial of affection. But when one is very much aware of the words, thoughts, the whole structure of the mind, then there is order. One must have order, because that is the essence of virtue. It does not matter how many clothes one has, or how many houses, or if one has no houses and just a loincloth. Out of this austerity there is simplicity - not in things, not but inwardly. So the mind, having brought order, is very sane, and therefore has no illusions - it is only time that creates illusion, as thought. Then there is a movement which is silence.
Now, all this is meditation. It doesn't matter where you are. You can do this when you are riding in a bus, You have to take a special posture, take deep breaths; all that has very little meaning, because a stupid mind can sit very erect and practise breathing indefinitely; it will still remain a stupid mind, and its gods will still be stupid.
We are talking about a meditation which is a natural thing. If one has gone that far, one will know for oneself one won't know for oneself! A mind that is aware of itself as silent is not a silent mind. It is a mind which is experiencing, and therefore there is the observer, the experiencer - and the thing experienced. When the experiencer experiences silence, it is not silence; therefore the question becomes: can the experiencer cease to be, immediately? To understand that, one has to understand pleasure, which we tried to go into the other day. You can see what gives continuity to pleasure; it is thought, thinking about it. I take pleasure in something or other and I think about it; by so doing I give strength, vitality and nourishment to that which has been pleasurable. If thought does not give continuity to pleasure, there is an immediate end to it. You cannot deny a reaction; but to give continuity to reaction in the form pleasure or pain brings about the duration of time.
Conceit and vanity have gone. The mind becomes extraordinarily quiet, and so do the body, the nerves and the brain cells themselves. With most of us the brain functions only along certain lines, in certain grooves, which we are constantly using as memories, as routines, as habits, as reactions - the familiar grooves. So the brain becomes more and more insignificant, dull, weary - the brain itself, and the individual cells, I don't know if you have observed it. I may not be talking in scientific language, but you know what I'm talking about. That brain has to be activated, that brain has to become tremendously active; and to bring about this intense activity, one has to be aware of everything one does.
So the mind, the brain, the nerves, the body, everything is full of energy, because the mind has brought about order; and because it has order, it is virtuous - not the foolish thing called virtue. One has order, an order which has come about through awareness without any sense of conflict.
Up to now we have used time, and that's all we know: time as pleasure, as pain, as a movement to bring about a change, and so on. Psychologically I have used time in order to become something, in order to change, in order to establish a better relationship with my wife, with my neighbour, with my husband. If there is an understanding of all this, there is a total rejection, not a partial rejection; a total rejection of it all, of time. Not of physical time, because you will miss your train or your bus if you reject physical time.
Because the mind has rejected psychological time, there is tremendous order, and the mind naturally comes to a point where it has no movement of any kind, because it is no longer experiencing itself as a movement or not as a movement. It is silent because it has tremendous energy, because it is tremendously active - not in doing something, not in pursuing something, not in trying to transform. It has no movement, it is completely still; and therefore, being active, it is full of energy without motion, without movement. Then what takes place? In this stillness, which is full of energy, in a mind which is completely still, there is an explosion; and this explosion is movement in a different dimension of time.
After all, what is creation? I am not talking about the ability to paint, a talent to write, or the capacity to do great research and to invent. I don't mean that kind of creation at all. It is all right.
Questioner: Do you mean existence, or living?
Krishnamurti: I asked, "What is. creation?" Because most of us are secondhand people. What we create, what we bring out, what we express is still secondhand. You may be a marvellous painter, well known, selling your pictures for an enormous price, but is that creation? Is that the expression of a creative mind? Yet everyone wants to express. If you have talent, you burst to express it. If you are a secondhand writer, you will push it out. We think we are very creative people, but all that is not creation. We don't know what creation is. Creation is something that must be explosive each time. My mind is not only secondhand, a thing that has lived for two million years, but it has nothing new in it. If I have talent as an artist, I try to find a new expression, without arms, with one eye, or whatever it is - non-objective painting, and so on and on and on - but there is nothing new inwardly. As long as the mind does not discover that, it must live in routine, in boredom and in repetition.
Creation is very important; and to explode in this creation, the mind must be completely quiet, all energy without any action. It is like a kettle in which water is boiling; if there is no escape for the steam, the kettle bursts. And it is only then that there is something totally new.
Questioner: If I may make a suggestion, Krishnaji, I think we all are potential gods.
Krishnamurti: There is nothing to be said to that. You see, madam, we may be gods, we may be eternal, we may be this and we may be that. The Indians, the Hindus, have a marvellous system for all that; but that isn't good enough. It is what I actually am now that matters - my state as a bourgeois, with a secondhand mind; with my miseries, anxieties, quarrels, prejudices and battles; my agony, despair, hopes and all that. I can imagine what I am supposed to be, but the "supposed to be" is not a fact. Every day I am torn to pieces by my own thoughts. I am depressed and I am concerned to change that completely, that's all. What happens after that, when there is such a tremendous, radical change, you will find out.
Questioner: If once there has been an explosion, you want it again.
Krishnamurti: There is no explosion if there is an experiencer. Full stop. That is why I explained all that very carefully.
Questioner: Sir, if there is no effort, if there is no method, then any transition into the state of awareness, any shift into a new dimension, must be a completely random accident, and therefore unaffected by anything you might say on the subject.
Krishnamurti: Ah, no, sir. I didn't say that. (Laughter). I said one has to be aware. By being aware one discovers how one is conditioned. By being aware, I know I am conditioned: as a Hindu, as a Buddhist, as a Christian; I am conditioned as a nationalist: British, German, Russian, Indian, American, Chinese. I am conditioned. We never tackle that. That's the garbage we are, and we hope something marvellous will grow out of it, but I am afraid it is not possible. Being aware doesn't mean a chance happening, something irresponsible and vague. If one understands the implications of awareness, one's body not only becomes highly sensitive, but the whole entity is activated; there is a new energy given to it. Do it, and you will see. Don't sit on the bank and speculate about the river; jump in and follow the current of this awareness, and you will find out for yourself how extraordinarily limited our thoughts, our feelings and our ideas are. Our projections of gods, saviours and masters - all that becomes so obvious, so infantile. Questioner: This brings a most unfamiliar type of mind.
Krishnamurti: That's just it, sir. This brings about a very unfamiliar state of mind.
Questioner: One is not at all certain whether there is an inside or an outside.
Krishnamurti: There is definitely an outside. There is no uncertainty about the outside.
Questioner: One is not certain whether the consciousness is outside or inside.
Krishnamurti: There is outside: the lamp, the trees, the houses; I see these things. There is a body. I see the outside. But we don't know what is behind the outside, what is inside the house. Since what we want is only to breed more security, we are afraid to be uncertain. We only want security; that is why we become very familiar with the things we know, and why we hold on. For any creation to take place, mustn't there be emptiness, which is space? You can't be sure and certain of space. You can't be sure and certain that in this space something will happen. That's just it; we are so frightened to be alone. One can understand that one can't live in complete insecurity, physically. One must have food, clothing and shelter. That is accepted; we won't even discuss it. But to assure food, clothing and shelter for everybody, the inward mess must come to an end. We can't be divided into nationalities - all that stupid stuff. We want outward security without doing anything inwardly; and when there is outward security, as there is in this and other countries, the mind soon begins to decay. People commit suicide, there is violence and delinquency, adult delinquency as well as juvenile delinquency; every form of amusement and entertainment - you know what is going on. So, one must have this extraordinary sense of alertness and awareness, not something vague and irrational but very factual.
Questioner: Sir, what you say can only be a hypothesis for someone who hasn't explored where you have explored.
Krishnamurti: Obviously, sir, obviously.
Questioner: And to someone who does know that state of awareness, it adds nothing. So, why do you go on talking, sir? (Laughter).
Krishnamurti: Why do I go on talking? First of all, it is not because I get a "kick" out of talking. When one addresses an audience, a small one like this or a larger one, as is generally the case in India, it is difficult not to get a "kick" out of it, not to feel tremendously important. I don't. You will say, "How do you know that you don't?". (Laughter). Because I've gone into it. I have stopped talking, watched myself, and I've never got a "kick" out of this talking to people. Never. So it is not of great importance. Then, is it to help people? Please listen carefully. Is it to help people? No. That would imply a form of conceit: "I know, and you don't; therefore let me teach you". Then there is the relationship of teacher and disciple, leader and follower, which is abhorrent, which is Hitler and all that business, religious or political. It is not that either. So it is not as an amusement, an entertainment, for satisfaction or fulfilment, nor to help people that one talks. If you do not help yourself, no one is going to help you. Then is it to express oneself, like a poet or an artist? No. When one denies all that, what is left?
Questioner: Nothing! (Laughter).
Krishnamurti: Please, this is very serious; it is not amusement. Questioner: Communication.
Krishnamurti: No, I'm not concerned with that. That gentleman asked, "Why do you speak?".
Questioner: Sir, you speak because a friend asks you to.
Krishnamurti: No, I don't.
Questioner: Because people want to listen to you.
Krishnamurti: That is, if they want to. No, sir. When you are not using the audience for your satisfaction, when you are not talking in order to help another, in order to feel yourself a helper, doing good - move away all those, what have you left?
Krishnamurti: Ah, wait a bit, wait a bit! Love. Are you doing it out of love? Is that it?
Krishnamurti: Oh, Lord! (Laughter). No, sir. You are asking questions that have no meaning.
Questioner: Is it that you want to share it?
Krishnamurti: What does that mean? Are you suggesting that one should exploit people, using the audience, appearing to help them and thereby becoming important? That's all one knows: help, service, doing good. When you see the absurdity of all that, what is there left? When you have done that, ask the question. Ask it then. But if you have done all that, you won't ask the question. Then our relationship is entirely different.
May 6, 1965
London 5th Public Dialogue 6th May 1965
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