Ojai 6th Public Talk 13th November 1966
This is the last talk. It's a lovely morning. The sunlight is clear on the mountains, the new grass is coming up, and you see very clearly the beauty of the land. As one looks at all this extraordinary beauty and colour and light, there is a joy, there is a sense of freedom; and naturally one asks: what is beauty? Is it something that is the outcome of some stimulation, an appreciation of an object, of a movement of light among the leaves? And does it depend on one's mood, on one's education, or on one's state of mind?
Is beauty awakened by an object, or is beauty something entirely different? Is there a state of mind which is awakened to beauty without the object, not the appreciation of a man-made thing or of nature, but is there beauty without the object? Is there a sense of beauty, not only physical but much more deeply psychological, inward? Without these mountains, without the light, without that clarity which exists especially in California - is there beauty beyond all that? That sense of beauty can come only when the mind is completely at rest, quiet, undisturbed, and is not provoked or induced by circumstances, by social environment and education. And is that beauty personal? Is not beauty something that comes when there is freedom, total freedom? Without freedom, obviously, there is no peace. Peace is not something that you buy, or that state between two conflicts, outward or inward, but that comes when the mind is no longer harassed, no longer driven by any impulse; is not concerned with its own peculiar self centered activity; then there is that freedom, and that freedom is very difficult to come by. Unless that freedom exists, there is everlasting searching, asking questions, gathering information, knowledge and experience, piling up memory endlessly; and this search that one indulges in - searching for truth, searching for love, searching for companionship, searching for happiness, searching for something beyond all this - surely exists only when the mind, out of its immense dissatisfaction, is seeking satisfaction.
As we said, during these talks please listen, not to the words - I hope you don't mind - not to the words or to the phrases or to the cunning thought cleverly developed, but rather listen to discover for yourself a state of mind that is no longer seeking, hunted, driven, perpetually after something. Unless one discovers that, a state where there is no longer search but intense aliveness, intense alertness, intense penetration of clarity, unless one discovers that, one is caught, not only in this deep discontent, but also in this ever time-binding quality of seeking. Most of us right through the world are very, very disturbed and discontented. In the East it takes one form: first food, clothing and shelter, for there is immense poverty and overpopulation. In the West it takes the form of having been well fed from womb to tomb, secure, greatly at ease, with leisure, prosperity; and being dissatisfied, wanting more prosperity, more things, more books, more amusement. But there is deeper discontent, which is not satisfied by the external acquisitiveness. Then one haunts, one pursues the inward acquisition, the inward mind that is demanding complete satisfaction from this endless discontent. We seek something that is enduring, satisfying; we call it by different names: God, truth, bliss, happiness. The things that one invents, the symbols that one has, the pictures, the paintings, the music, the museums, the endless forms of outward expression which will be satisfactory, sexually, psychologically, intellectually - that's what most of us are seeking. Man is always seeking, and the search is brought about by his deep inward discontent, dissatisfaction, frustration, despair; and the very seeking brings about its own conclusion. We seek and find something in a group, in a community, in social welfare, in politics, or in innumerable sects of religion: the Catholic, the Protestant, and I don't know how many there are in this little village. T he earth is broken up, not only geographically, nationally, but also it's broken up in the name of God, in the name of peace, in the name of love, by various religions, by various sects, with all their vested interests, exploiting people, and so on. Few find satisfaction in these man-made things: in books, going to concert after concert, talking endlessly about them, comparing who is the best musician, which is the best painter, and so on and on and on and on.
Behind all these intellectual, literary, artistic activities, or going to an office endlessly for over thirty, forty years, the utter boredom of it all, everyone wants to find something that will be utterly, completely, wholly satisfactory and gratifying; and religions throughout the world have offered this. They have offered gods, beliefs, dogmas, rituals, and in these there is great pleasure, there is great gratification; and, having found that gratification, we stay there, and we don't want to be disturbed; we don't want to be questioned. We have built a house which we hope will be permanent, lasting, and we are afraid of any storm, of any movement of life that will be disturbing, that will be destructive, that will be revolutionary. And this we call seeking reality, God, happiness, and so on.
First one must understand this discontent. There is the obvious discontent of wanting a better car, a better house, and so on. We won't go into that. We will go into this question psychologically, which is much more vital, much more real, more penetrating. Why are we psychologically discontented? Because without finding out this discontent and ending it, or giving it such vitality that it is not satisfied in any way, a flame that burns without motive, without a purpose, but alive; without understanding discontent, the search has no meaning; and most of us, I presume, have come here this morning, or go to church, or do anything, because our life is so monotonous, so lonely, so utterly meaningless, and we want to find something that will be deeply gratifying, that will bring about deep content.
It is important, it seems to me, to find out why we seek at all, and what we are seeking, and from what depth this search comes into being. First of all, seeking is so utterly false; because the psychological process of it is very simple. I seek because I am dissatisfied; I am confused; and out of my confusion, out of my misery, out of my endless agony and suffering, I am seeking, seeking, seeking. What I am seeking really is already predestined, is already established, is already found, because I have projected what I want already, and therefore it is no longer seeking. It is really a movement of escape from what is; and this movement towards what is already known is called seeking.
Do please listen to this a little bit. This movement from what is to what should be, or this movement of seeking, is a movement which is essentially static; it's not a movement at all. And yet we're caught in this. I join this, I don't find satisfaction, and I discard it; I go from one trap to another, from one teacher to another; from one book, one system, one philosophy, one psychologist, one analyst, and one bishop to another; move, move, move, move; and this movement is what we call seeking. If you look at that movement very closely, you haven't moved at all. You are where you were, and you are always going to be there, only one deceives oneself; one hypnotizes oneself by thinking that this movement of so-called seeking gives a certain vitality, a certain inquiry, a certain movement from what is to what you want to discover, which is already fixed. It is not a movement at all; it is static. What is a movement is what is. That you don't have to seek. Am I making myself clear?
Krishnamurti: Good. Please do observe yourself. These words are merely a mirror to see what actually is, to see in that mirror what is actually taking place in yourself. Otherwise what you hear will have little value; otherwise it becomes merely an idea. Then you will interpret that idea, and ask how it should be put into action. Whereas, if one discovers that the fact is what is, and the movement away from that, which we call seeking, is static, has no vitality, and if one is aware of what is, there is no seeking at all. Then the movement of what is, is entirely different; then the seeking comes to a complete end. Then you have the energy to look at what is. Right?
So, being discontented, being dissatisfied, unhappy, miserable, deeply wounded, deeply anxious, deeply driven by some personal anguish - which is a fact, which is what is - being discontented with that, we go through all these processes of experiencing, of seeking, of learning, of putting aside. Why are we discontented, and with what? Please answer this question to yourselves. The speaker will go into it, but you have to answer it for yourself.
We are discontented through comparison; we are discontented because we want to bring about a change in what is; and we are discontented because we don't know what to do with what is. Being discontented with what is, we develop the idea of what should be, the ideal, the Utopia, the gods, heaven, and so on and on and on. Our action then is based on an idea, and the approximation to that idea is action, isn't it? I am discontented with what is, and I want to be something different from what is, the idea being rational or irrational, thought put together as an idea or an ideal, and I have that ideal, and according to that ideal I live, which is called action. And there is conflict between what is and what should be, and in that conflict we are caught; all our questions, demands, searching is that: between what is and what should be. And the greater the tension between what is and what should be, the greater the neurosis; and also, if one has the capacity, the greater the urge to express that conflict verbally: in the theatre; in music, in art, in literature, in so many ways. And being discontented with what is, we invent gods, which become our religion. That is the escape we have from what is. And is it possible to radically change what is? That is the real search, not the other. The other is no search at all. Is it possible to totally bring about a mutation in what is? To go into that, to go into this question of bringing about a total revolution in what is, one must have an extraordinary sense of awareness. You know what it means to be aware, to be aware of the trees, of the blue sky through the trees, of those hills beyond, of that noise of a motor, of the colours that are there in front just to be aware; and to be aware so choicelessly that you know very well that you can't change it. You can't change the mountain, except with a bulldozer; you can't change the beauty of that sky. But when we are aware of what is, we want to transform it; we are endlessly active about it; and there begins sorrow. Because with the ending of sorrow is the beginning of wisdom; and the ending of sorrow is the understanding of what is. And the understanding of what is can only come when you observe, when you are aware, when the mind is incapable of wanting to change what is - which doesn't mean it is satisfied with what is.
So, one has freed the mind, or the mind has freed itself from this everlasting search - that's finished; and that means a tremendous burden off one's shoulders. Then, being free, you can look; and to look you need great energy; and that energy comes only when there is awareness without conflict; this awareness in which there is no conflict of any kind, just observation. And there is a conflict only as long as there is the observer and the observed, which is what is. But what is, is the observer.
Please don't learn phrases, but see the actual fact. Then you will find that where there is the observer, the center, the censor, the experiencer, the entity that is always creating the division between the observed and the observer; as long as there is an observer, there is no freedom.
Every object, like this microphone, creates a space around itself, and is in space, isn't it? Not only the object outwardly, but an object inwardly, as the "me", as the experiencer, as the "I", as the thinker, that center creates a space in consciousness. This space in consciousness is always limited, because there is always the center. Right? One may expand this space from the center, but however much you may expand, it will always have a border, a frontier; and therefore that space is always psychologically limited, and therefore there is no freedom in that space. That center, that observer is obviously memory: memory of what has been, whether of yesterday, or a thousand years. That center is the tradition, is a conditioned state which has been put together by time, both chronologically and psychologically. That center is the accumulation of knowledge, of experience. That center is always the past; therefore that center is not a living thing; it is a dead memory of what has been. And when it creates its space - as most of us do - whether it is very, very, very small round itself, or is concerned with itself endlessly, with its activities, its propositions, its ideas, it's a shabby little thing round itself. That can expand, but however much it may expand through various tricks of thought, of compulsion, of drugs, it is always within this space which the center has created, and therefore there is no freedom; and therefore there is no peace at all. When one observes, one sees that only when there is space is there freedom; and that space cannot possibly exist, psychologically, as long as there is an observer. Right? And one must have space, as one must have beauty - beauty which is not man-made; which is not nature; which is not stimulated; which is not the product of thought - as one must have love. Without that space, and having no freedom, man is everlastingly seeking, searching, wanting, hoping, thereby living in endless sorrow and misery. This is a fact; you can observe it psychologically if you watch it, see yourself in a mirror, a psychological mirror. If you observe very, very, very closely, this is what's going on.
And so one asks oneself: is it possible to end that center? Not through time, you understand? Not through gradually getting rid of it, chipping away little by little, till there is nothing left - that involves time. When there is time, there is no space. Time is between the observer and that thing which he observes; that interval is time; and that interval is always static.
Is it possible, then, if there is no time at all, to end what is, to end the observer, and therefore to look without the interval of time? You understand the question?
Time is the space between the observer and that tree. The observer is static, and the tree is static, psychologically; and to cover the distance between the observer and the tree takes time; and that distance, which has been created by the observer and the observed, is always static, is always stationary. When one thinks of using time, or having time to bring about a change in the observer, you're only being caught in this static state. When you discover that, then you ask if it is possible to change instantly what is. We are using the word "understand" not verbally, not intellectually, but as meaning actually to see what is taking place, step by step.
So one asks: is it possible to end the observer who creates a space round himself and the object, and the movement towards that object; to change it, sublimate it? Whatever it is, it is static, and therefore utterly useless. Then how does one bring about a revolution in what is? The center is violence - I'm taking that as an example. It isn't really an example; it is a fact. One is violent. That's a fact. And the movement towards non-violence is a static movement; it's no movement at all; I explained that previously. Our question then is: is it possible to end violence, not through time, but immediately? Because, if there is an observer, he's always limiting the space, and therefore there is no freedom. Therefore as long as the observer exists, every form of attempt to transcend it, to go beyond it, is still a waste of time. Our question then is: is it possible to end the observer, not what is? When there is no observer, there is no what is. It is the observer that creates what is. So, how is it possible to end the violence, the aggression, the immense hatred that one has stored up, the resentment - how is it possible to end it, so that one is completely, totally free of it?
Probably one has never asked this question. One puts up with it, gets used to it, and carries on. But if you put that question, either you put it casually, or you put it with the intention to find out; therefore you become very serious. And when you put that question, because you are serious, because you are intent, then you are aware of the whole process of the observer; which means that you are totally attentive, completely attentive; and in that attention there is no border created by the center. When there is complete attention, there is no observer.
When you look over at those mountains behind the speaker, they're blue; the line, the straight lines, and the valley, and so on; when you give your complete attention to look, is there an observer? The observer comes into being only when, in that look, there is inattention, which is distraction. So, only total attention brings about the cessation of the observer. And when there is the ending of the observer, there is the ending of the thing which he has created as what is; because, as we said, the observer is the observed.
Now, we have in this way eliminated all conflict of search. We have eliminated all conflict between what is and what should be. We have put away the observer, and therefore there is attention - even if it lasts a second, that's good enough. Don't be greedy to have more. In that greed to have more, you have already created the center, and then you're caught. In that attention there is no seeking at all, and therefore there is no effort, so the mind becomes extraordinarily alert, active, silent. It is not the silence brought about through conformity, suppression, control. That's not silence at all. It is not a state which is the result of some absorption in something, like a boy, like a child being absorbed by a toy. And then only can the mind be in a state of no experience; and this is important to understand.
We all depend on experience - experience being to go through something. We all depend on experience to keep us awake, a challenge, a question, an external impetus, an influence. Naturally for the moment that challenge, that external force, keeps us awake for a few minutes; and then one goes back to sleep. One depends constantly on experience to keep awake. When one realizes that, one rejects all outward stimulus, all outward or inward experience. Then one can ask: can the mind - I am making it very quick because I must go through it - can the mind be so intensely alert without experience? If it is made alert through experience, it is not alert, obviously. If an experience makes me love, then it is not love. Behind it there is a motive. So, such a mind is the religious mind; no longer seeking, no longer demanding experiences; it is not caught in visions. Such a mind has an activity totally different, at a different dimension, which thought can never possibly reach. Thought has a place, a very small place; but when one realizes that, thought has no place at all - which doesn't mean that you live on ugly little sentiments, emotions.
So one can function normally, healthily, sanely in this world, with a mind that is not cluttered up by thought; and it is only such a mind, the religious mind, that can know something beyond all the imaginations and structure of man's hope.
Do we ask any questions?
Questioner: You speak often of beauty in nature. would you please speak a little of beauty in human relationship.
Krishnamurti: What is relationship? Relationship is between the two images - I must be quick, otherwise it can drag on - between the images that I have about you, and you have about me. The images have relationship. You have hurt me; you have wounded me; you have dominated me; I've had pleasure; this and that - that is the image, and equally you have an image about me; and these two images are constantly meeting, and that we call relationship. In that there is no beauty, obviously. To be free of that image is to be free of the observer.
Questioner: If you become aware of what is, and beyond that, it would seem that one could also reflect sort of human emotions, even though he was aware of what is; and that to reflect these human emotions could not be avoided.
Krishnamurti: I don't know quite what you mean, sir, by saying "human emotions". Human emotions are aggression, which is part of the animal emotion. You mean to say you shouldn't avoid aggression, violence?
Questioner: Yes, as they are part of an animal, or of a child, so they are part of a human being.
Krishnamurti: Therefore they should not be avoided?
Krishnamurti: You know, sirs, there is no end to talking, to words, to attending meetings, and reading. But attending meetings, reading, discussing, have very little value, if attending meetings, discussion and all the rest of it are merely a stimulus; then you are dependent, as people are dependent on LSD, on music, on pictures, on doing something; and as long as one is dependent, one is in conflict; one is in despair. And one has to come, not through reading, to discover the whole process of knowing oneself; for the knowing of oneself is the beginning and the end of all misery.
November 13, 1966
Ojai 6th Public Talk 13th November 1966
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