Saanen 4th Public Dialogue 7th August 1965
What shall we talk about together this morning?
Questioner: We started out to see if the thinker could actually be known. Is there anything more we can do along that line?
Questioner: Can you not speak about the now?
Questioner: Is it possible to see ourselves as we are, without condemnation or justification? Questioner: Sir, you said that the moment the positive and the negative meet, there is an explosion. Does it means that at that moment the whole positive is exploded?
Krishnamurti: Oh, no, we were talking about something completely different. Let us leave to yesterday what we discussed yesterday. One questioner wants to know what is the now. Another question is, "Why do we always condemn or justify, without actually observing what is?". Shall we talk over the question of the now? In doing that, perhaps, sir, we will answer your question, and probably yours, too, madame. The now, the active movement of the present, involves the understanding of time, doesn't it?
Questioner: Is time a movement of the mind?
Krishnamurti: We will go into what time is, not only chronological time, but also the other areas where thought creates or breeds or puts together this thing called time. Time involves distance, a movement....
Questioner: If we keep on using the mind, we are going to be leaving the now. Every thought we have takes us out of the now.
Krishnamurti: Ah, yes. Every thought one has is a movement away from the now. But to understand the now, whatever that is, mustn't we regard the whole area where time is employed? Mustn't we consider time as the past, the present, which is the now, and the future, which are all one movement? Can we separate the now as something distinct and apart from the past or the future?
Questioner: The now contains within itself all the past.
Krishnamurti: I understand all that.
Are we talking things over verbally, intellectually, argumentatively and dialectically, or are we trying to find out actually how to live in a state where time doesn't breed disorder?
Questioner: Well, you see, if you are living in the now, then there is order.
Krishnamurti: My lady, how am I to live in the now? What does it mean?
Questioner: Well, you are already in the now.
Krishnamurti: Oh, oh!
Questioner: But the mind keeps interfering with that.
Krishnamurti: All right, you say I am really living in the now, but the mind interferes. How am I to stop this interference? How am I to stop the mind from interfering?
Questioner: By being aware and seeing that every movement of thought is taking you out of the now.
Krishnamurti: Why does the mind move away from the now? If the now is so extraordinarily important and all-significant, why does the mind, or thought, or desire move away from the now? To understand the now, or to live in the now, I have to understand the whole area of time, the whole field of the movement of thought, the movement of the mind, the movement of desire, and all that.
Questioner: Isn't that going back again the old way?
Krishnamurti: I am not going back the old or the new way. Look, madame, does one understand what it means to live completely in the now?
Questioner: You don't have to understand it, you have to live it. It doesn't need any understanding, it only needs constant and immediate awareness.
Krishnamurti: But unfortunately one has not this constant awareness. How is one to cultivate it? How is one to get at it?
Questioner: Well, you see, if you are living in the moment,you are always knowing what it is to live in the now.
Krishnamurti: All right, all right. But if I live in the now, what does that mean? What does it mean to live in the now?
Questioner: It means not to have a problem. There is no problem. If you do have a problem, the mind creates it. I have listened to you, and I have tested this in my life.
Krishnamurti: I understand, madame. Practising is not living.
Questioner: A great deal depends on the meaning one gives to the words one uses.
Krishnamurti: I know, that's why we are trying to clarify the meaning of the words that we are using. I want to find out what it means to live in the now.
Questioner: You don't have to find out; you just live it.
Krishnamurti: Look, let's all have a little patience about this. Please don't get irritated with that lady, or amused by her. Let's all find out together what it means to live in the now. What does it mean?
Questioner: Are you asking me the question.)
Krishnamurti: I am asking everybody.
Questioner: It means you have no problems. All the problems are created by the mind moving out of the now.
Krishnamurti: Then if I have no problems, I might be either totally asleep, or totally awake. Which is it?
Questioner: Totally awake.
Krishnamurti: Now, what does that mean, totally awake? Don't say, "No problems". Don't say, "You will know when that state arrives", and all the rest of it. What does it mean to have a mind that is living in the present and has no problems? Does it mean that it is totally asleep, or totally awake? Wait a bit! What does it mean to be totally awake?
Questioner: You live only one moment at a time. You only have one moment at a time in life, only the mind makes you think there is a past and a future. If you can live this one moment properly,you do not need to be concerned about anything else.
Krishnamurti: I understand, madame. I'm afraid I have already talked a great deal about all that.
Questioner: But you have to live it.
Krishnamurti: Now, wait a bit! I may or I may not live it.
Questioner: I'm not saying that you are not living it.
Krishnamurti: I don't know; I may be. I am saying to myself, "I may live it or I may not live it; I don't know". But I am saying to myself, "What does it imply to live in a single moment totally?". What does it imply?
Questioner: Why do you want to know what it implies? (Laughter).
Krishnamurti: Ah, wait! My lady, I want to find out whether I am deceiving myself. I want to find out whether my living is so verbal that when I say," Well, I just live so completely in the moment ", this is a form of self-hypnosis. I may be creating the illusion that I am living totally in the now, in the moment; but actually I may be very dull, and have no sensitivity to anything that is happening, not only within the moment, but round it.
Questioner: What instrument are you using with which to find out if you are self-hypnotized?
Krishnamurti: That's right. What instrument am I using to find out? Generally we are using the instrument that has been created through reaction, through condemnation, through justification, as the instrument which is the censor; the intellectual background which has been cultivated along the line of a certain culture. That's the only instrument we have. Do we use that instrument to find out what the moment actually is? Or is there another movement, another instrument totally different, which is not born of time? I don't quite see how one can live completely, totally, in the present, without being free, both consciously and unconsciously, of the psychological social structure of greed and envy, and all the rest of it. I don't know what it means to live so completely in the moment. If you say to me, "Live", I say I do live; but I don't know, I can't know what it means to live completely in the moment. If I think I am doing so, I may be deceiving myself; I may be fooling myself about something which is not actual.
Perhaps, if you will kindly permit me, we will be able to come upon this now without trying to twist the whole of life into one moment.
Questioner: You cannot twist it into one moment. You are the whole of life up to that moment.
Krishnamurti: My lady, I understand. How am I to stop this dreadful mind that is going, that is wandering, twisting, creating illusions, that is battling with itself? How am I to put an end to it?
Questioner: It is necessary to be aware of it.
Krishnamurti: In being aware of all that, I am not living in the present. The present has gone away, because I am living. I am being aware of something which has already gone.
Questioner: You are watching every movement of the mind; you are paying attention and watching how the movement is trying to take the opposite view now.
Krishnamurti: I understand all that. I have talked and, as you have said, you have read about all this. If I may suggest, please don't come to any conclusion. Let us start all over again, because perhaps that way we will come upon it anew. Let us start again to find out what it means to live in the now, in a moment which is total. Let's find out again. Don't tell me, "Be aware of the past, be aware of the movement of the mind", and so on and on. That I know; we have done all that during the last fifteen talks. Leave all that aside; let's find a different approach to this. There may be a new, a different movement which will come naturally. What is the essence of time?
Questioner: A succession of events.
Questioner: It's merely a movement.
Questioner: It is nature of duration.
Krishnamurti: Look, I have asked a question. I don't know. I really don't know. One person says, "It is a movement, a succession of events"; another says, "duration; still another says, "distance". But is that the essence of time? I am not saying that it is not. I want to find out, don't you? You have given opinions, you have verbalized. It may be the truth, a fact, the essence, and you may have found it But I also want to find it. And another man wants to find it. So, give us a chance. Give that other man and me a little space between the question and the answer. A little space; not what you think and what I think, what your opinion is, what you find to be a fact. just give that person and me a little space to discover for ourselves.
Why do I demand space? And what do I mean by that space? I mean an interval, don't I? Don't push me; don't give more and more ideas, more words. Give me a little space, give me a little time in which I can probe, investigate, ask myself, look. A question has been asked, "What is the essence of time?" You have given answers. Perhaps you are much quicker than I am and see much more quickly than I do. But I also want to see. So I say to myself, "What is the essence of time, and how do I find it?". But if you are pressing in all the time with your opinions, with your ideas, with your knowledge, with your facts, I have no freedom in which I can discover for myself.
So I need freedom, freedom from your opinion, from your knowledge, from your facts, from your ideas of truth, which may be true, or may not be true. These are all trying to influence me, push me in a corner where I say, "Yes, you are right", and I accept it. I don't want to do that. I want to be free. There must be freedom, not only from your opinions, your judgments, your truth, but also freedom from my own prejudices and conclusions, from what I have understood, what I have read - I must be free from all of them.
I am beginning to find out that, to answer that question as to what the essence of time is, there must be freedom. I must also have space not cluttered up with noise. I must have freedom, and space which is silent. It is a new question to me. So there must be freedom, there must be a sense of silence in which there is no demand, no impingement of immediate answer, no pushing, no asking.
I must have freedom, and there must be space in the mind which is completely quiet, not waiting or expecting an answer, but completely quiet. Then one may find out for oneself, not opinion, but the truth of what the essence of time is. I may find it tomorrow, I may find it next year, but that doesn't matter. What matters is that the field must be right, the foundation must be laid.
Questioner: What is time?
Krishnamurti: Sir, we are not asking what time is. We are trying to find out the essence of time, like the essence of a pine tree or the essence of a flower.
Questioner: Is time a quantity or a quality?
Krishnamurti: The gentleman wants to know if time is a quantity or a quality. Someone suggested yesterday that questioners should be taxed. (Laughter). And the reply to that suggestion was, "You are a fascist". (Laughter). Not that we are taxing here, not that there is a Mussolini or a Hitler, but I think it was an amusing idea.
All right. I've got it! Have you? Any movement, in any direction, involves a centre and an object toward which it is moving. I go from here to the chalet, to the rooms in which I live. There is a movement from here to there. That involves time, not only physiological time, but also the time that says, "I am hungry; I want to get there". So any movement, in any direction, from the centre to the periphery, is of time. So the essence of time is non-movement. What do you say? It is very interesting. Please listen.
I only know time as movement, as thought, as the movement of an idea in action. I don't know any other time. I know time as the past, with all the memories, knowledge and experience, through the present, through the now, which we call action, which creates the tomorrow. So time is that, is this movement, endless movement from the past to the future, from the centre to a particular object, from the object to the centre as a reaction. All that we know is only a movement within the field of time. And if there is no movement at all, is that time? The essence of time is the cessation of all movement, and therefore no-time. The essence of time is no-time. I think that will hold right through. And the lady means that the now is that no-time in which there is no movement.
So, this movement which is put together, which has been bred through time, which is the whole of me - not only the physical, but the conscious and the unconscious, the whole structure of me, - is movement in the field of time. How is that movement to end - not in sleep, not in illusion, not in an ideological I formula - without any kind of effort from the mind?
If you like, put it the other way round. Each one of us, each human being, is the result of time - 2 million years, more or less - and he has a lot of history behind him; not only factual history, but fictitious history, communal history, the story of his fathers, his mothers, his traditions, all that he is. That story has a life of its own, a tremendous life, the unconscious, the past. The conscious mind also has its own activities - going to the office every day, following a certain routine, a certain pattern. So there is a hiatus, a division between that immense, unexplored part, and the casual living of daily conscious life. That is what is taking place in each one of us. Each has a movement of its own; each has its own life, drive, purpose, fear, anxiety and despair. Can this division be done away with, so that it is one movement, and not contradictory movements? This means a total consciousness of the past and the present, not a fragmentary past and a fragmentary present.
The mind is aware of, perceives, or listens to the history of the past, which has a life of its own, moving, living. The mind is also aware of the daily life. The two are not completely divided; they have a certain rather tenuous relationship. One has to be totally aware of these two processes, the conscious process and the unconscious process. Is it possible to be aware of this whole structure without introducing time?
Are you interested in what we are talking about?
Krishnamurti: Why? We are interested because that is the only life we have. Any other life is merely speculation, a field in which the theologians can have a thundering good time. But this is the only life one has; and in this life there is such misery, confusion, anxiety, ill health, disease, death, wanting to be well - all that is going on in each one of us. The mind is tormented, and naturally wants to find a way out of it all. But to find a way out may be an escape; one has to be extremely careful not to escape. One has to find out what escape means. I may say that I don't want to escape, but I may be escaping all the time. So, the mind has to find out how it is escaping.
One sees that the first escape is to verbalize, and that's what we are doing all the time. We are aware of this movement of the total consciousness, and the escape comes when we say, "I like it", "I don't like it", or "That is jealousy", "This is anger", "This is greed", "This is the observer", "This is condemnation", "This is justification". Any movement away from the fact - a verbal movement, a movement of condemnation, justification or interpretation - is an escape.
So, escape is degeneration of the energy that is needed to face the fact. Whether I deliberately escape through amusement, through sex, through drink, through marijuana, or this, or that, any deliberate escape is an avoidance of the fact. I see that escape dissipates energy, and I need complete energy to face the fact. To understand the fact, there must be no escape; therefore I don't escape. There is no escape. It is not a question of how I am to stop escaping. realize that any form of escape - condemnation, verbalization, justification, saying, "I don't like it", "I like it", "It is pleasure", "It is pain", "I want to escape" - any form of escape is a dissipation of energy.
The mind realizes the dissipation of energy through escape, and therefore there is no escape. You don't condemn; you don't justify. You are concerned with the fact of what is. There is no interpretation, no trying to say, "But I don't like it; because condemnation, justification and interpretation are based on pleasure, on the idea that it will give you pain, and not pleasure. Seeing all that is a natural focussing of all energy to observe the fact alone. The fact is what is.
To observe the fact, the what is, is there a distance between the observer and the thing which is? I am escaping through worship, through reading or something else, and because you have talked to me, I suddenly realize how absurd it all is. My energy is centred, focussed. I wonder if there is another form of dissipation of energy. I discover that there is, much more of a dissipation than mere escape into something infantile, like fame or success. The mind discovers that between the what is and the observer, there is a space. There is a distance. That distance is a dissipation, because it involves time. But when there is a total cessation, naturally, voluntarily, easily, without denying, there is not the space, but only the fact, not the observer looking at the fact. If there is an observer looking at what is, then there is a distance. That distance is a waste of energy, because it involves time.
The mind discovers how extraordinarily subtle these forms of escape are, and in the discovering, the mind itself has become extremely subtle and sensitive. There must be an extreme sensitivity and subtleness to observe the fact.
Now, proceed a little further. Then the fact becomes unimportant. What is important is the mind that is looking at what is, not the fact. Look at that tree. What is important? The mind that looks at the tree is the important thing. The tree has its own importance; but when you are looking at the tree, when there is no movement of any kind - therefore complete energy, the highest form of sensitivity, extremely swift in its movement - then you will see that facts have very little meaning.
Suppose I am angry. All right. It is over and I don't hold on to it. That's the end of it. Not that I must end anger, that is too silly. But in understanding this whole process, the mind has become extraordinarily alive, sensitive, subtle - not partially sensitive, fragmentarily sensitive, as an artist, a poet, a writer or whatever it is, but totally sensitive - and a mind that is totally sensitive has no movement at all. Such a mind has no time; it is the essence of time, but it has no time.
That is the now. That means living in compete emptiness, an emptiness that is tremendously active; because the mind has not just gone to sleep and become empty, like an empty cup; the mind is empty because it has no movement. And from there, that functions. Then the question arises, is it possible to live a daily life in that state, going to the office with all the details of business? That state is the now; that is the very essence of time, which is no-time. Is it possible to live a daily life with that in mind? That, I'm afraid, you have to find out for yourselves.
Questioner: When there is distress, is it always caused by self-pity?
Krishnamurti; I wonder, madame, I if you have listened to what has been said - not that we are avoiding your question. But you have remained with your problem and have not listened to the things that have just been said. If you are following what is being said, distress is non-existent, because you meet it and don't translate it as pleasure, which breeds pain and distress. That's why one has to understand this question of pleasure, which is not easy; because our image of ourself, our attitude and our work, are all based on this demand for pleasure, not on a demand to face the facts as facts.
So, is it possible to live a life other than our daily, boring, strenuous life, which apparently has no meaning at all? Is it possible to live a life which is not based on pleasure? Again, you have to find that out. That opens the whole field of what love is. Because without that being, pleasure will continue, and the mind becomes a breeding ground of pain. One has a lot of work to do not only within this tent, but there is a tremendous work to do all the time; that needs great energy, and therefore no escaping.
August 7, 1965
Saanen 4th Public Dialogue 7th August 1965
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