Saanen 4th Public Discussion 6th August 1966
We started our discussions with the question of belief, the role it plays in man's life, and whether beliefs, dogma; formulas, ideals are necessary, because they really prevent action. When a mind is anchored to a belief, to a dogma, to an ideal, action must inevitably not only breed conflict, but contradiction, therefore action is never innocent, clear. Clear action is only possible when there is no contradiction and no confusion. As human beings we are very confused, and few of us are aware of that fact. When we are aware, we try to run away from it. The more confused we are, the greater is the demand to find an anchorage, some place, some ideation, some experience, some knowledge which we hope will give us clarity. This confusion in action has been bred into us by society, of which we are a part. Society includes politics, religious dogmas of various kinds, nationalities with their contradictions, sovereign states with their vested interests in their armies, their navies and other military groups. Society, of which we are a part, is responsible for this contradiction, this confusion.
We are confused and we think that by clearing up the symptoms, or by investigating them, we will be free of confusion. We think that we can clear up some of the symptoms by not belonging to any religion. Nowadays a sane, intelligent man doesn't belong to any organized religion, does not hold to any particular dogma, or consider himself of any particular nationality. Only those who are committed to a certain pattern still cling to a belief, to a nationality. The more awake we are to what is taking place in the world, the more we abandon belonging to any particular religion, nationality, race or colour.
We are likely to blame the symptoms and seek their cause. Confusion is much deeper than that. We must discuss it, go into it together, to find out if action can be free from confusion, so that action is fresh, innocent, clear; so that it doesn't breed more and more confusion and misery. We are confused, and there is no denying it. The more clever we are, the more we find anchorages, and we think from that state of relative stability that our actions are clear. They are not. On the contrary, the more we are secured to a belief, the greater is the confusion. This is obvious when we look at the world. The more we assert that we are Catholics, Hindus, Buddhists, communists or whatever, the more contradictory our lives are and the more it breeds war. It is like those scientists who invent the most dreadful means of destruction, and yet say that they love their children. The two can't go together. They are responsible for this confusion; each one of us is also responsible, because we still hold on to our nationalities, to our particular religions, to our particular ideologies.
We must discuss this problem of confusion because it is going to help us to understand how to face fear. When the mind is not afraid, when it has no fear of any kind, then only can it function extraordinarily clearly. Then it will not create confusion for itself. If we realize that we are confused, first of all, why are we confused? When we ask why, we examine the symptoms and the causes.
As a human being, I am confused; and I say, "Why?". I see that I am a Hindu, with all my superstitions, with all my partial truths, my partial way, and all the rest, which are inventions of a mind which is afraid. I hold on to all that and create a contradiction between you, who are a Christian, and me, as a Hindu. You dislike any particular form of belief and they dislike yours; so we dislike each other. Though we tolerate each other, though we talk about brotherhood and all that nonsense, actually, as long as I belong to my religion and you belong to yours, there is a contradiction between us. We may tolerate, but there is always this sense of antagonism, which inevitably must breed confusion.
I hope you are asking yourselves why you are confused. What is your response to this question? Do you examine the cause and the symptoms? Do you examine the causes that have produced this confusion - because you belong to a particular religion or nationality, or are committed to a particular course of action, as communists, socialists or what you will? Do you say, "I must be free of those in order to be clear, in order not to be confused"? That's the action you generally take, isn't it?
We are confused; being confused, we examine the causes through the symptoms, and we say, "We must get rid of those causes". We want to get rid of them because we want to have a state of mind which is not confused.
I see that I am confused because I belong to some stupid religion. All religions are stupid, because they are inventions of very cunning minds which are afraid to face facts, life, fear. I say to myself, "I must get rid of this". Through the symptoms I try to find the cause, and then try to get rid of the cause. Will that produce a state of mind that is not confused? Please don't agree or disagree. Examine it carefully.
Questioner: It's a new conflict.
Krishnamurti: Yes, and my mind is conditioned by a particular propaganda. All religions, all new revolutions are propaganda. I want to get rid of it in order not to be confused. The getting rid, the pushing away is a conflict, and that breeds more confusion.
Questioner: I don't think society is the only cause of our confusion.
Krishnamurti: Of course not. Society, relationship....
Questioner: The whole of it. We are confused by our human nature.
Krishnamurti: That's part of the psychological structure of society, which includes you.
Questioner: It's not only that.
Krishnamurti: All right; add one more.
Questioner: I see a danger; I react; I seek protection instinctively; and I see confusion myself on account of this danger. Krishnamurti: We want to protect ourselves physically or psychologically, so we invent beliefs, dogmas, gods, all of which are part of our culture, our heritage, our society. They all create confusion. How will we be rid of that confusion? If we do not get rid of it, action will always be confused and will always breed conflict. We generally say, "I am confused; there is the cause, I want to get rid of the cause'. We find the cause through the symptoms. We examine, examine, examine the symptoms, find the various causes, and then struggle to get rid of them. Does that free the mind from confusion? I want to face the fact, which is fear; and facing that fact, I have to act. I can't just sit back and say, "Well, I'm afraid". I have to act, negatively or positively; and to act, the mind must be free of all confusion. If not, I'll create more fear, more confusion. What shall I do?
Questioner: At one moment there was no confusion, and at other moments I am confused. I remember the moment of clarity in moments when there is no clarity, and I get depressed.
Questioner: There is the higher self,and there are various sheaths of confusion. I must peel them off to get to the centre.
Krishnamurti: That is an invention of the Hindus, and the Christians have their own inventions. I'm asking, "What will you do?".
Questioner: Look at the fact.
Questioner: Examine fear.
Krishnamurti: You say to examine fear; another says to look at the fact. Do you know what it means to examine, to look? It is so easy to say, "Examine" and so easy to say, "Look at the fact". Do you know what is involved in examination? To examine anything, there must be no confusion; there must be freedom. If the scientist goes to his laboratory full of worries about his family or whatever it is, he can't look. He must be free to examine. To look at a fact, I must also be free; I mustn't bring a confused mind. How will you meet this problem?
Questioner: Any form of commitment to any impulse, to any influence, to any propaganda, whether it is done through a religion or by a business man, whether it is the propaganda of my wife, or me to my wife, is the breeding ground of confusion.
Krishnamurti: Then I have a problem. I am committed to so many things: I believe, and I don't believe; I am ambitious, seeking success, position, prestige, power. I am haughty, and parts of me are timid; they have a sense of humility, a withdrawal, a desire to be kind. There is this immense contradiction in me; and in the very denying of one, I am creating a conflict which breeds its own confusion. I see all this. What am I to do?
Questioner: When I see all this, the only question I can Put to myself is whether analysis is necessary at all.
Krishnamurti: I wish that some of you who have been through all this would discuss it. Is analysis necessary? If it is nor necessary, then how will we find the cause, and having discovered the cause, not through analysis but by some direct perception, how will we get rid of it?
Questioner: I think that as long as I have the wish....
Krishnamurti: The moment you say "as long as", or "When there are no wishes", you are just postponing the problem.
Questioner: You don't have to accept confusion as beautiful, enjoyable, and a necessary part of life.
Krishnamurti: I don't. Confusion is terrible! It's destroying the world. The politician, the priest, the scientist, are all confused. I am confused in my relationships. Everything that we are caught in is confusion. I don't have to accept it; it is a fact. What am I to do?
Here is a fact: we are confused. Not that it is beautiful; it's a part of life that we must put up with. Any intelligent man doesn't want to put up with it. He wants to kick it out; he wants to throw it away; and in the very act of getting rid of it, there is confusion also. What are you going to do?
Questioner: If possible, we should make our mind silent.
Krishnamurti: Sir, you must have been hungry, and wanted food immediately.
Questioner: Yes, but I waited.
Krishnamurti: You waited, but you got it. Now you say, "I'll wait and see if I can cultivate silence". During that interval of waiting and cultivating silence, you are breeding more and more confusion. Please don't say, "if", "when", "sometime", "somehow". Those have no meaning.
We are confused, and we know very well the cause of this confusion - the newspapers, the radio, the priests, the politicians, our own desires - there is this turmoil going on all the time. How will we be free of the turmoil?
Questioner: Confusion comes when there's a split. If you admit the split, you are no longer in confusion; you are no longer divided.
Krishnamurti: That's "when" and "if" again. I want to find food, and you have given me ashes - " when," "if", "should", "must", "believed", "don't believe in all that; believe in this".
All the things you are suggesting - " do this", "don't do that", "Think this", and "Don't think that", "You should", "You should not" - all have no meaning.
Questioner: Why is action necessary?
Krishnamurti: Living is action. To go from this tent to have my food, I have to act. If I'm somewhat insane, I can end up saying, "There is no action; I can't act", and just wait for someone to feed me. There are people like that.
We are confused and we know the causes. It doesn't take a great deal of intellect or a great deal of intelligence to find out the causes - ourselves in relation to society, religion, politics, the army, the navy, the king, the queen; the division of nationalities; the prejudices; the bombings; the scientists who invent monstrous means of destruction, breeding children whom they say they love. You know you must act. You can't just say, "I'll sit and wait for someone to tell me what to do". What will you do?
Questioner: If I see that I am distorted, it doesn't seem to matter whether the distortion is there or not, while I am looking at it. The trouble seems to appear when I cease looking at the distortion and try to do something about it.
Krishnamurti: That is the problem.
Questioner: The answer can't be just to cease looking at the distortion. Krishnamurti: We are going to find out.
Questioner: Don't you see any harmony in the world? We have here a very beautiful structure, where every girder is working against the others. That is not confusion; that is an example of harmony.
Krishnamurti: Is there harmony in the world, actually, not theoretically? In heaven everything is harmonious. Actually, in this world is there harmony, between me and my wife, between me and my parents, between me and whatever it is?
Questioner: The more we know of this world and the more we understand it, the more we find amazing harmony.
Krishnamurti: You say that the more we know, the more harmony there will be. We know a great deal. We have lived for two million years. There have been fifteen thousand wars in the last few thousand years, yet we know we mustn't kill each other. We know how ridiculous it is to divide ourselves into French, German, English, whatever it is. We also know how to invent new gadgets, and go to the moon. We know so much, and yet we are not harmonious.
Look at your problem. You are confused. Don't invent that there is harmony, that angels hover over you to protect you. If you cut out all that, as you must, you're faced with the fact that the scientist creates disharmony; the politician, you in your office, the business man, the army, the navy, the flier - everyone is adding, adding, adding to it, each contradicting the other, each saying that you must do this and you must not do that. There have been Mussolinis, Hitlers, Churchills, all telling us what to do. You know all this. What will you do? Will you invent some more beliefs, join some more organizations, follow a new leader? If you are aware, what will you do?
Questioner: I will throw the whole lot overboard and get on with my own life.
Krishnamurti: Your own life is, related to every other life; you can't just throw them all overboard.
I see clearly the futility of analysis. I see that it is absurd to try to discover the cause. I know what the causes are: my fear, my demand for protection, the beliefs which I have - my country is. bigger, nobler than your country, my leader is more perfect than your leader, there is only one Saviour, and there is. only one God - fighting, fighting, fighting. I'm part of it all. My right hand does something which my left hand doesn't know, and my left hand does, something which my right hand doesn't know, like the scientists, like the politicians, like the priests, because they all have beliefs. They start from a conclusion. I see all of this, of which I am a part; and I also see it is a waste of time to analyse through the symptoms. Therefore I say to myself, "What am I to do?".
I have been through all this rigmarole. Personally I haven't, but I have seen people go from one church to another, from politics to no-politics, to communism and then get rid of communism - through one mess after another, through life for forty years. Is there a different way of approach? Is there a different way of looking at all this, a way which is total, not fragmentary? All thinking is fragmentary - my country, my God opposed to your God. Thinking in any form must be fragmentary. I have looked at everything in fragments: God in heaven, hell on earth; businessmen making money, concerned with new buildings, and destroying Vietnam; organized religions seeking power, position, converting more people to make the religions more popular; people starving, and people dividing themselves into countries, into races. All that is fragmentary. I say to myself, "That is not the way to understand confusion, through fragments". Thought cannot resolve the confusion, because thought has bred confusion.
Questioner: My thoughts are the opposite of my feelings.
Krishnamurti: Don't say that thoughts are the opposite of feelings; feelings are a part of your thoughts. We can't separate them. We seem unable to look at anything totally. We look at things fragmentarily; we consider things through thought; and ;thought in essence breeds confusion. The real function of any politician, or any human being is to bring about the unity of mankind, not English mankind, or French or German, but the whole of mankind; not the east and the west and the south and the north. These are the inventions of a mind which is fragmentary; and this fragmentation is the result of thinking. Thinking in itself is fragmentary and will not solve this problem. When it tries to resolve the problem, thought will only create more fragments which will create more confusion.
Can you look at this whole problem: the church and the religions talking about goodness, God, the business man, the scientist breeding children and then sending them to war, destroying their own flesh and blood? Can you throw all that overboard, all of it, not through thinking, not because someone tells you to do it? You see that thinking has produced the contradictions, the divisions, the confusion, and so you say, "Out! I don't belong to anything. I do not commit myself to anything". Are you in that position? Can you honestly say that you are not committed to anything, to any formula, to any religion, to any priest, the priests not only in Rome, in Canterbury or in Benaras, but in Moscow or in the Labour party? You are committed to your family, to your country, to a particular form of belief, to a particular pleasure. Even though pleasure breeds pain, you still go on. You don't say, "This problem cannot be solved through fragmentary thinking at all". Since all thinking is fragmentary, what thought has created as the country, the religion, the god, the priest, the king, the queen must all go out! That's the greatest revolution. Can you put away all that completely, without effort because you see that it produces conflict; it's poison and you don't touch it?
Questioner: When a priest comes along and starts talking to me, I find myself getting confused again.
Krishnamurti: Avoid the priests! Don't go near them! Whether it is a politician, a priest, a propagandist or a book, don't go near it.
Questioner: What if you are in relationship with them?
Krishnamurti: I don't want relationships which breed conflict, which breed confusion. This means that I am willing to stand completely alone, completely innocent. I don't mind if you don't feed me; I don't mind if you don't come here every morning. I'm not committed to you.
Questioner: Once we are no longer attached, we can be completely open to anyone and they can no longer get at us, but we are not blocking them.
Krishnamurti: Therefore you have no resistance to them; they can say what they like.
Questioner: When you throw away all that, you have to throw away yourself because you are part of all that; and when you throw it away, you have already got rid of your confusion.
Krishnamurti: You have done it! There is no "me" to be thrown away. I am the result of all this, which I have created out of my fear, my ambition, greed, my envy. Can I, living in this world, be alone, be innocent? When I have put away all that, whatever the analysts, the psychologists, the doctors, the scientists, the modern priests, the whole lot of them say or don't say, I am no longer confused, but it is not the result of thinking, which only creates resistances. It is not through analysis, not through examination, not through desiring not to be confused, but through seeing totally. I cannot see totally if there is thinking. Now I am prepared to face fear. Now I am prepared to sec what fear is, because my fear has created all this - the country, the politician, the gods, the whole works. I have also said, "Thought breeds fragmentation", so I must be really alert to watch the fear, and not let thought interfere.
Can I, as a human being, not as an Englishman, not as a Catholic, not as a Hindu - all that is finished, given up as being too infantile, too immature - can I now look at fear, and do I know what it means to look, to listen? If I am listening with thought, then I am listening through fragmentation, as liking or not liking the noise of that airplane. If I don't know what it means to look, to listen, don't let me pretend by saying, "I should", "should not", "it must be", "must not be". If I don't know What it means to look or listen, that's a simple fact. Then I can proceed. Most of us are vain and pretentious; we have not a spark of humility; and it needs humility in the right sense, not in the priestly sense, to examine, to look.
Questioner: I look at fear but I want to get rid of it. This is the nature most healthy people. When I want to get rid - of it, what is taking place?
Krishnamurti: Why do I want to. Because it is agonizing; it is destructive; because I want to hold the pleasure which I have known. Behind the urge to get rid of it is the energy of pleasure. Without understanding pleasure I can't face fear. If I am looking at fear through pleasure, it is a fragmentary observation. My concern is to sustain pleasure, to continue pleasure, and fear interferes with it. Fear is the result of wanting pleasure continued, so I say, "I must get rid of it". Thought, which has bred fear, which demands the continuance of pleasure, denies or resists fear. I must again go into the very complex question of pleasure; I have to understand it. If I say, "Am I to get rid of the pleasure I derive from sex, from smoking, from enjoying the mountain?", my mind is already functioning fragmentarily. I must understand the whole structure of pleasure and see totally. Then pleasure has an entirely different meaning.
To face fear requires enormous passion, which is not pleasure. All that I know as passion is derived from pleasure. I remember the lovely, happy evening that I spent yesterday, the pleasure of sex, the memory of it, the image I have built up. I must understand the drive to be ambitious and the urge to fulfil, in both of which there is immense pleasure. To understand fear, and go beyond it, I must understand all these things - pleasure, thought, how thought breeds fragmentation, and the fact that fragmentation brings about such confusion that I'm incapable of any action which doesn't breed further confusion.
There's a different way altogether. You can see the whole thing immediately, see the whole structure instantly, not in terms of time. To do this there must be the highest form of sensitivity, both physical and mental. There must be tremendous sensitivity. Then you'll see it instantly, and you're out of it.
August 6, 1966
Saanen 4th Public Discussion 6th August 1966
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