New Delhi 1966
New Delhi 3rd Public Talk 22nd December 1966
Shall we continue with what we were talking about the other day? We were saying that a radical revolution in the way of living, in our whole outlook, in our activity, in our state of consciousness is absolutely necessary. And we pointed out the reasons for it. Considering what the world is like now - the utter confusion, the misery, the wars, the corruption, a life in which there is nothing new, a mind that is not renewing itself totally each day, fresh, young, innocent - a complete mutation of the mind is necessary. Our minds are the result of centuries upon centuries of propaganda. We have been shaped by circumstances, by our own inclinations and tendencies. We are the result of time, time in which the mind has matured, has grown, has - if you like to use that word - evolved from the animal to the present state.
And our present life as it is actually now - not theoretically, not idealistically, not as one would wish it to be, but the actual fact of what it is today - is a life of sorrow, is a life of frustration, deep anxiety, a sense of guilt, a groping after something other than what is, a life in which there is a constant battle, not only outwardly but also inwardly. Our life is a battlefield for endless, meaningless struggle. There are those who struggle for power, as most of us do. Power gives one a certain sense of being - politically, economically or inwardly. One can dominate people through propaganda; you can dominate your neighbour, your wife, your husband - all that implies a sense of power. And it also implies a life of constant competition normally, a better life outwardly, better conditions and so on - ambition, competition, a sense of meaningless pursuit, a terribly lonely life, a despairing life, though one may not be aware of all this. But one generally is not aware because one is too frightened by the observation of all this. But that is a fact.
This is our daily life, in which there is no affection, no love; there is a sense of insecurity always seeking security, a life in which there is always the end, which is death. And this is what we call living. Being frightened we invent our gods, we invent theories intellectually, theologically, religiously. We have ideas, formulas about what we should be. And we function according to formulas - which is called an intellectual way. And we are very proud of that intellect; the more one is clever, the more is one ruthless, brutal - and generally the intellect is always that. And that is our life. Whether we like or don't like it, that is a fact which we seem to be incapable of changing. And especially in the modern world, life is becoming more and more mechanical - going to the office every day for the next forty or fifty years, and being bullied, insulted by the superior and so on.
And we said, is it at all possible to bring about a radical revolution in this life? Of course we do change a little bit here and there, but compelled by circumstances; a new invention will alter outwardly the way of our life and so on. So we see actually what is taking place in our consciousness, in our life every day. I think anybody who is at all aware, not only of himself but of the world`s affairs sees this taking place, that we are the result of circumstances and their influences, we are the result of enormous propaganda - religious, political, commercial and so on. I do not know if you have noticed, or if you have read that one of the Russian Generals very high up, a Field-Marshal, said in his report to the high authorities that through hypnotism they are teaching soldiers.
You understand? They are teaching soldiers through hypnotism new techniques, which means teaching them how to kill more cleverly, how to protect oneself though killing another. I do not know if you realize the implications of all this, that through hypnosis you can learn a great many things - a new language, a new way of thinking and so on. Hypnosis is after all propaganda. You have been told every day of your life to believe in God and you believe in God. Or if you are told there is no such thing as God, that also you believe. You believe in an atman, because that is the popular thing, and it has been handed down through centuries; and you also like to believe that there is something very superior in you, which is permanent, which is divine and so on - which is all an intellectual concept and does not actually alter the ways of your life. And politically it is so obvious: what is going on in this country. Religiously, politically and inwardly we are the result of what has been and what people have said. And the more clever, the more cunning, the more psychologically able one is to persuade you, you believe him; and that is your life. You are a Hindu because you have been told you are a Hindu, and circumstances have forced you; or a Muslim, a Christian and so on and on.
And in this field the human being lives, whether in America or in Russia or wherever it is. And we are asking whether it is at all possible for a human being to throw away all this, and completely bring about a mutation, not intellectually but actually. That is the problem, it seems to me, that each human being has to face, because we can go on for another thousand years and more just as we are, battling with each other, deep in sorrow, calling ourselves by this name or that name, belonging to this nationality or that nationality, to this religion or that - which is all so utterly immature and has no meaning any more. And all that is the result of propaganda, whether the propaganda of the Gita or the Bible or the Koran, or of Marx-Lenin theories. You understand? That is what we are, nothing original, nothing which is true; but we are secondhand human beings. Again this is a fact and that is our life. And through it all there is a sense of deep, abiding fear, from which comes violence, imagining ways of escaping from that deep fear. And we have developed a network of escapes from that extraordinary fear that human beings have. As I said, most of us are aware of this fact.
Now, what can one do to bring about a tremendous mutation in this state? You understand my question? After we have talked a little this evening, perhaps you will be good enough to ask questions, as you did the last time that we met here.
So that is our problem. How am I, who is the result of time, of an endless series of circumstances which have compelled me to act, think, feel in a way which has so conditioned my mind - how am I to bring about a total revolution? We are using the word "mind" to cover the total being - the physical, the emotional, the neurological, the brain and so on - the totality of consciousness which is the mind. And how is it possible for a human being to bring about a total revolution in this? I do not know if you have ever asked yourself that question: probably not. You may have to change a little bit here and there and according to your pleasure and pain. Especially when it gives pleasure, when it promises to give delight, you try to change a little, or you want the continuance of a particular delight or a particular pleasure. But what we are asking ourselves is something entirely different.
As a human being is it possible for me to change completely - not change to something, because the something is a formula, an ideal, from Marx, Lenin, or your own particular ideal and so on. Do you understand? The change from what is to what should be is no change at all, as we explained last time. And we are deceived by this movement, because what is is the fact and what should be is not the fact. Because in that time interval between what is and what should be there are various forms of influences, environmental stresses and strains, and there is always change going on. But if one formulates what should be and tries to change according to that, the change gives one a certain feeling. A certain sense of moving towards what should be gives one a vitality. What actually has taken place psychologically is that the mind has formulated a pattern according to which it is going to live and that pattern is projected from the past. And so it is a movement of the past and therefore a movement of the dead; it is not a living thing at all. If you observe this in yourself, you will see this very clearly.
So, how is it possible for a human being like you and me to make the mind young, fresh, innocent, tremendously alive? Our whole life is a process of challenge and response; otherwise life becomes dead - most of us are dead anyhow. Actually life is a process of challenge, a demand and a response - whether that demand, that challenge, is outward or inward, it does not matter. And as long as that response is not totally adequate, totally complete to the challenge there is friction, there is a battle, there is a strain, there is suffering and so on - obviously. As long as I do not respond totally to any issue, I must live in conflict. Do you understand, sir?
And life now demands - unless we want to live very superficially, casually, and there live a life that has no meaning whatsoever - that we bring about a revolution in ourselves. So we have to find out for ourselves if it is possible to bring about this mutation. That means is it possible to die totally to the past, die totally to what has been, so that the mind is renewed, made fresh? Because, as we said the other day, thought is always old. You understand? Thought is the response of memory. If you had no memory you would not be able to think. So that memory is the result of accumulated experience. Whether it is the accumulated experience of a community or of society, or it is your own particular individual accumulation of memories, it is still memory. So the whole of consciousness, whether you call it high or low, is memory. You understand? And in that field which is consciousness, there is nothing new. You can say, "Well, there is God who is totally new, there is atman that is always fresh; but it is still within the field of that consciousness and therefore within the range of thought. And thought is memory, whether it is your memory or the memory of the propaganda of a thousand years. You follow? Thought can never bring about this revolution.
And the problem arises then if you go into it very deeply: as thought cannot bring about this mutation, what is the function of thought at all? I must use thought in the office; in doing things, in cooking and washing dishes, in using a language - as we are now doing - thought must exist. If you are asked where you live, your response would be immediate, because you are very familiar with the place where you live. Therefore there is very little gap, there is hardly any gap between the question and the answer. Obviously, sirs. And if a deeper question is asked, the time interval you take between the question and the answer will be greater; and in that interval you are looking, you are searching, you are asking, you are expecting, you are waiting for somebody to tell you. The whole of that is still the field of consciousness which is memory; and from that memory we hope to bring about a change. Right? And that memory from which springs thought will always be old; so there is nothing new in thought. Thought can invent new things, new ideas, new purposes, a new way of electioneering, a new way of political thinking and so on. But it is still based on memory, knowledge, experience - which is the past. So, thought, however clever, however cunning, however erudite, cannot bring about this complete revolution in the mind. And that revolution, that mutation is absolutely necessary, if we are to live a different kind of life. So, is it possible to die to thought? Do you understand the problem? Though we must have thought and use it most efficiently without any personal inclination, tendencies, use it carefully with tremendous reason, care, with great honesty and without any self-deception, thought cannot possibly create the new. Right?
So from that arises the problem: what is death? For most of us death is something to be avoided, something of which we are frightened, something that is to be put away in the distance. And we know that death exists, death of the physical organism; but also we think of death as an end. If you believe in reincarnation and so on, then you don't actually face the fact. Then you are avoiding the issue. There is a challenge which says, "You are going to die". Don't avoid it, but look at it, go into it, find out all that you can about it. But to do that there must be no fear whatsoever. But fear is created by thought - you have noticed that, perhaps. That thought projects itself in time as "tomorrow, or in fifty years' time I am going to die", or "I am going to be happy", or "I am going to heaven", or whatever it is, and thought creates fear. You must have noticed all this. Have you? And this fear prevents you from looking, from observing. So the fear is the observer, isn't it? The fear is the one entity, the centre, the censor, the observer, the thinker, the experiencer, the centre from which you look, you think, you act. The fear is the observer, the thinker who creates time between himself as the observer and the thing observed. You understand all this, sirs?
Look, sir, make it very simple. Have you ever looked at a tree? I doubt it very much. You know, we have no sense of beauty. There is the sky, a flower, a reflection of the sunset on water, the flight of a bird, a beautiful face, a lovely smile; but we never look. When we do look, there is space between the observer and the observed. Right? There is space between you and the tree. And in that space you have your thoughts about the tree, the image about the tree. You have also your ideas, your hopes, your fears and the image about yourself. You have the image about yourself and your fears. Those images are looking at the tree. And therefore you never look at the tree. But when you have no image of the tree, or of yourself, then the distance between the observer and the observed does not exist at all: the observer is the observed. Please, if one understands this thing, it is a tremendous revolution in itself - that there is no observer separate from the observed.
Look, sir, make it much more familiar to yourself. Have you ever looked at your wife, or your husband, or your children, or your neighbour, or your boss, or at any of the politicians? I doubt it. All the world over politicians are mischievous, because they are dealing with the immediate. And the person who deals with the immediate and doesn't take the whole, deals with confusion, mischief and war. Have you ever looked at these people? If you have, what is seen? The image you have about a person, the image you have about your politicians, the Prime Minister, your God, your wife, your children - that image is being looked at. And that image has been created through your relationship, or through your fears, or through your hopes. The sexual and other pleasures you have had with your wife, your husband, the anger, the flattery, the comfort and all the things that your family life brings - a deadly life it is - have created an image about your wife or husband. With that image you look. Similarly, your wife or husband has an image about you. So the relationship between you and your wife or husband, between you and the politician is really the relationship between these two images. Right? That is a fact. How can two images which are the result of thought, of pleasure and so on, have any affection or love?
So the relationship between two individuals, very close together or very far, is a relationship of images, symbols, memories. And in that, how can there be real love? Do you understand the question?
So we never look, not only at life but also at death. We have never looked at life. We have looked at it as something ugly, something dreadful, or as a life of constant battle which we have had, struggle, struggle - monetary struggle, emotional struggle, intellectual struggle and so on. We have accepted it as inevitable. And having accepted it we invent a theory that perhaps in some future life, next life or whatever it is, we shall be rewarded. That is the way we live: and each religion throughout the world has invented some hope - reincarnation, resurrection and so on; we are not going into all the details of it, because this is not the occasion, and there won't be time.
So to understand something, even your wife, your husband, or your politicians you must observe. And to observe there must be no barrier between the observer and the observed. Right? Otherwise you cannot see. If I want to understand you as a human being, I must get rid of all my prejudices, my impressions, my tendencies, the circumstantial pressures and so on; I must get rid of them totally and then look. Then I begin to understand it, because I have freed myself from fear. Right? As long as there is the observer and the thing observed, the thinker and the thing thought about, there must be fear, uncertainty, confusion.
To observe death is to observe life. You understand, sirs? We have neither observed living, nor are we capable of observing death. When you know how to observe living with all its complexities, with all its fears, despairs, agonies, aching sorrow, loneliness, boredom, when you know how to look at it - not whether you like it or dislike it, whether it gives you pleasure or no pleasure; but just to observe - then you will be capable of observing death. Because then there is no fear. So to die is to live. But we do not know how to die to everything every day, to all the things that we have learnt, to all the things that we have gathered as character and so on. In something that continues in time, there is nothing new. It is only when there is an ending that there is something new. But, you see, we are frightened to end everything that we know. Have you ever tried to die to one of your pleasures? That is good enough to begin with. To end without reason, without argument - that is what is going to happen when death comes to you, there is no argumentation with death. In the same way if you know how to die to one of your pleasures; to the smallest and to the greatest, then you will know what it means to die. Because death is a most extraordinary thing. Death means a renewal, a total mutation, in which thought does not function at all, because thought is the old. But when there is death, there is something totally new.
You know, sirs, when the mind is empty, the mind is silent, not endlessly chattering about something or the other. When the mind is completely empty, being silent, it is capable of renewing itself entirely without any outside pressures, circumstances; then it is something clear, pristine and there is a joy which is not pleasure.
Perhaps now you would ask some questions.
Questioner: My last question which I put at the last meeting - where does soul go after death?
Krishnamurti: That gentleman asks the same question as he did the last time. He wants to know what happens to the soul when he is dead. How do you know there is a soul? Do you know, or is it an idea which has been handed down to you, as it is being done in Russia that there is no such thing as a soul. You understand, sirs? You are repeating a question that you have been told. You have not found out for yourself if there is a soul. Is there one? Which means what? Look at it first - not with your fears, with your hopes, with your memory; but just look. What is implied in `soul'? There is something permanent, continuous, which is beyond thought, something not created by thought. Right? That is generally what we call the atman, the soul and so on: something not within the field of time and thought. But if thought can think about it, it is in the field of thought; therefore it is not permanent. Right, sirs?
I am not being logical, logic can deceive you very easily. But when you observe very closely, then you need no logic; you just observe and see fact after fact.
There is no such thing as permanency in your own life. Sirs, have you observed there is nothing permanent? Even your government, your Ministers, your own self, your own ideas, your own anxiety - nothing in life is permanent. But thought, the observer, says, "There is something permanent. I must have something permanent; otherwise life is a movement without meaning". So it invents the Marx-Lenin theory, it invents a God, soul and so on; it creates a permanency out of its own fear, which is the intellectual form of deception. So there is nothing permanent, not even your house, your family, your relationship. You know to discover that nothing is permanent is one of the most important things. Only then is your mind free - then you can look, you can see the sunset; and in that there is great joy.
You know the difference between pleasure and joy? Pleasure is the result of thought. I have had pleasure from the sunset, looking at a face and so on. At that moment of looking there is neither pleasure nor displeasure. I just observe that sunset. A second later thought comes in and says how lovely that was; and thought then thinks about that loveliness, more and more; from that comes pleasure. If you observe this for yourself, you will see this. You have had sexual pleasure and you think about it, the more you think about it, the more pleasurable it is, and this goes on. But joy is an immediate thing; and you can make that joy into pleasure by thinking about it.
Most people are frightened of death. One of our problems then is; how to be totally free of fear, not of death. Because death must be extraordinary, like life. When you know how to live, then it becomes extraordinary. But as we do not know how to live, we do not know what is death. We are frightened of living and we are frightened of death, and out of that fear we invent all theories. So the question is: is it possible to be free completely of fear? This means one has to investigate into the whole problem of thinking. Because it is thought that creates fear, it is thought that creates pleasure. And can one observe fear silently, without any image, observe fear but not merely the word that creates fear. Because death is a word, and that word creates fear. So one has not only to be aware of the word, but also to be aware of a death which might happen to you through disease, accident, or in a natural way, to see what is implied, and to observe without any image about fear. And that requires tremendous attention, not concentration. Concentration is too immature, and any boy, any of you can do it. In your office you concentrate - that's nothing, that is too immature. But you have to be tremendously attentive. And you cannot be attentive as long as there is the observer who has his own images created by circumstances, tendencies, inclinations and so on. As long as those images exist from which springs thought, thought must always create fear.
Questioner: How do emotions form and what is their role in the state of mind about which you are talking?
Krishnamurti: How do emotions come into being? Very simple. They come into being through stimuli, through the nerves. You put a pin into me, I jump; you flatter me and I am delighted, you insult me and I don't like it. Through our senses emotions come into being. And most of us function through our emotion of pleasure; obviously, sir. You like to be recognised as a Hindu. Then you belong to a group, to a community, to a tradition, however old; and you like that, with the Gita, the Upanishads and the old traditions, mountain high. And the Muslim likes his and so on. Our emotions have come into being through stimuli, through environment and so on. It is fairly obvious.
What role has emotion in life? Is emotion life? You understand? Is pleasure love? Is desire love? If emotion is love, there is something that changes all the time. Right? Don't you know all that?
Questioner: Sir, just a minute.
Krishnamurti: Sir, I have not answered that gentleman's question. As I said the other day, we are so eager with our own questions that we do not listen to anybody else, and we are guided by our emotions or we are guided by intellectual ideas which are destructive. Whether you are guided by your emotions or guided by your intellect it leads to despair, because it leads nowhere. But you realize that love is not pleasure, love is not desire.
You know what pleasure is, sir? When you look at something or when you have a feeling, to think about that feeling, to dwell constantly upon that feeling gives you pleasure, and that pleasure you want and you repeat that pleasure over and over again. When a man is very ambitious or a little ambitious, that gives him pleasure. When a man is seeking power, position, prestige in the name of the country, in the name of an idea and all the rest of it, that gives him pleasure. He has no love at all and therefore he creates mischief in the world. He brings about war within and without.
So one has to realize that emotions, sentiment, enthusiasm, the feeling of being good and all that have nothing whatsoever to do with real affection, compassion. All sentiment, emotions have to do with thought and therefore lead to pleasure and pain. Love has no pain, no sorrow, because it is not the outcome of pleasure or desire.
Questioner: Sir, you have just observed that in total observation there is neither the observer nor thought, nor fear, and that one observes that the observer is the observed. My question is who is the observer who observes in that state? Krishnamurti: I will explain the question; if I am not repeating the question correctly, please correct me.
The questioner asks: who is the observer when there is no observer and the observed? The speaker said that when there is total complete attention, there is neither the observer nor the observed. So one must understand what one means by that word attention. There is no attention when there is any kind of endeavour, effort. Right? If I am making an effort to attend, my energy is gone in making the effort. So the first thing I have to realize is what it means to attend. And there is no attention if there is any form of trying to shape the attention, trying to limit it, trying to enforce it in a particular direction. And there is no attention if there is thought functioning according to inclination, pleasure, desire, or temperament, or compelled by circumstances - which is, if there is any form of image there is no attention.
Sir, all this means meditation, not the meditation that some of you may practise, which is the repetition of Ram, Ram, Sita, or whatever the name is. Such repetition of words makes the mind dull. And the mind which is made dull can be very silent, but it is still a dull mind.
So there is attention when there is no image, when there is no time. Time is a process of thinking within the field of consciousness, and all consciousness is the result of time and thought; and in that boundary of consciousness attention is not possible. And coming to this attention is the easiest thing. Because attention comes when there is an awareness of every action, feeling, thought that you have. That is, attention comes into being when there is self-knowing - not according to some philosophy or some psychologist and so on, but actually knowing yourself as you are, your thoughts, your gestures, the way you talk to your wife, to your husband, to your boss; just to be aware of your reaction, not to condemn it, not to justify it, not to translate it into something, but just to observe, to be aware choicelessly. From that comes this extraordinary attention in which there is neither image, nor time, nor thought. And in that state of attention - which is meditation - there is neither the observer nor the observed. Sir, try it, do it, don't ask me who is the observer when there is no observer or the observed; do it.
Krishnamurti: Wait, sir, just a minute. You know it is good to ask questions, but you must ask the right question. But the right question implies a very high quality of mind, a mind that is really serious, really earnest, wanting to find out - not a mind that just asks a flippant question and does not even pay attention to the answer. You see, most of us....
Questioner: I wanted to ask....
Krishnamurti: Sir, that gentleman asked a question: when there is no observer, does the observed exist? That is the first thing. When there is no observer, does that thing observed exist? Of course, it exists. It exists as it is; not as you would like it to exist. Observe a tree, observe it. If you have no symbol about that tree - symbol being the image, the botanical knowledge, the species and so on - but merely look at that tree, you give your whole attention to that looking. And to look with attention means to look with your nerves, your body, your ears, your eyes, your heart, everything that you have, and therefore it means energy. And that energy is dissipated when you have an image about the object. Then, if you do this, you will find out for yourself that a mind which is so completely attentive is an empty mind. And from that emptiness and silence there is action even with regard to the most ordinary thing. Questioner: Is thought and fear permanent in all living beings or do they come from somewhere else?
Krishnamurti: Is fear permanent in a human being?
Sir, what is fear? Fear cannot exist by itself, obviously. It exists in relation to something. I am frightened of my wife, I am frightened of my boss, I am frightened of death, I am frightened I might get ill; the boss can kick me out, if he has power - bosses generally have power these days - and I am psychologically afraid of it. So fear is in relation to actuality, which is danger. And also psychologically, inwardly, I am afraid. I am afraid I might get ill, because I have had pain, and that pain is a memory, and the memory says I must be careful not to get ill; I might be frightened of the dark and so on. So fear exists, as always, in relation to something, it does not exist by itself; and I can change that relationship. But if that relationship is based on pleasure and pain, it will always create fear. Therefore there is nothing inherent in human beings. We are the result of time, we are the outcome of the animal, and the animal is still with us.
Krishnamurti: Yes, sir.
Questioner: With regard to the total mutation in the mind, how are we to get that total...?
Krishnamurti: What? Sir, repeat.
Questioner: If we accept that the total mutation in the mind is sufficient to solve all the problems, how are we going to bring about that total mutation in the mind?
Krishnamurti: please correct me, sir, if I don't repeat the question properly. The gentleman asks: if we accept mutation as a necessity, how are we going to bring about that mutation? Is that right, sir?
Now, why do you want to accept it? If you accept it, you could also reject it, can't you? Right? And so I am asking you: why do you accept such things? Don't you for yourself realize the necessity, when you observe what extraordinary misery there is in yourself and in the world? Don't you want to change, not accept some idiotic idea from somebody else? So, there is no question of acceptance, first there is only a question of fact. You can reject the fact, saying that man cannot change, that man has been dumb for ten thousand years and he will always be stupid. And that is the end of it. But the moment you observe what is taking place in yourself and the utter despair of man, of which you must be aware - if you see that, then you must demand, then you inevitably ask the right question: which is, can man totally change? Sir, you know what I mean?
It is the third time that poor chap has got up to ask. Sir, you will ask the next time as soon as I finish this question.
Sir, the questioner asked: how is it possible to bring about mutation? Now when you ask `how', you want to know the method. Don't you? the `how' implies a method, a system, a way. Right? the `how' is always that. I do not know mathematics and I say, "How am I to learn it?" You are told there is a way, there is a method, there is a system, there is a formula, and you follow that and learn mathematics. Now, just listen to the word and the feeling of the word. Is there a system to help you to change? If there is a system, then you become a slave to that system and what it promises. Therefore it is not mutation. There are people who say that there is a method for meditating by which you will reach the highest - there is a method even in madness, but it is still madness. You understand? There is no method, sir. There is only attention, observation, beginning with yourself, because you are the result of the whole of human endeavour, human misery, human sorrow: You are the result of the past, whether the past is of the community or the past is of the race. And by merely asking `how', you are pursuing the past which is the mechanized process of thinking. So there is no `how; but you have only to observe yourself, to observe what you say, to observe and to be aware of what you think and the motives behind it, how you treat another, how you eat, how you walk, how you look at a woman, or how you look at a man, how you look at the stars or see the beauty of the sunset - to be aware of all that choicelessly. And out of that, if you can pursue it to the very end, you will find that the mutation comes without your knowing. Yes, sir.
Questioner: Sir, there is a saying of Sankaracharya....
Krishnamurti: The gentleman's question is: there is a saying of Sankaracharya that the world is an illusion. What do you say?
You know I do not personally read any of these books - Sankaracharya, Gita, Upanishads, or any religious book, or any philosophical book or any psychological book. And when you repeat what Sankaracharya or somebody says, I say, "Don't listen to them. Don't follow anybody. Don't accept any authority". Because they might be all wrong and they generally are, the moment they become an authority. Technologically there must be authority: how to run a machine, a computer. But if you have any psychological authority, it is death, it leads to darkness. This country is full of this kind of authority, the authority of the family, the authority of the teacher, Sankaracharya, the Buddha, this or that; in the West it is Christ and so on. There are the professors, the philosophers, the Sankaracharyas who are burning themselves or who are fasting, the saints and all the rest of it. Don't follow anybody, including the speaker. Please, sir, I am saying this most earnestly. Don't laugh it off. You cannot see for yourself, or think for yourself originally - that has been the poison. To think for yourself means to revolt. You are not capable of revolting, you are frightened, because you might lose your job, you might go wrong. And so you accept tradition. Tradition is always dead, and you follow the dead things and therefore you are dying.
So a wise man - a man who is really honest, earnest - has no authority.
Questioner: Sir, one thing. You explained attention, but....
Krishnamurti; I will explain, sir. The questioner asks: You said that in attention there is no memory; how am I to be free of memory? Right, sir?
Sir, when you know the machinery, the significance and the structure of anything, then you begin to understand it. Then you can put it aside. Then you are really free of it. You understand?
I must stop, sir. It is seven o'clock.. This is the last question.
The questioner says that a human being is burdened with memory. To understand memory you must first see the structure of memory, how it comes. into being, and what its place is, and also where it must not interfere. You know how memory comes, sir? Do you know the beginning of memory? I see a beautiful face; there is perception, sensation, contact and desire. You follow this, sir? This is the process, isn't it? I see something - a sunset, a face, a tree - and there is visual perception; from that there is sensation; then the desire to touch it, sensation; then thought comes in and says, "That gives me pleasure, I must have more of it". Right?
So thought generated by sensation, desire, prolongs the pleasure principle. Where there is pleasure, there is pain, and the battle is on. And so memory becomes thicker and thicker; the older, the more traditional it is, the more heavy it becomes. And then you say, "How am I to get rid of it?" You cannot. All that you can do is to observe in the most minutest detail how it comes, how it begins. And to discover how it begins, your mind must observe silently. You understand, sir? To discover anything you must look; and to look, your look must be silent. Sir, if you look at your husband, your wife, or child, if you have any ideas about that child, or about the image of your wife or your husband, then you are not, silently looking; your mind is cluttered up with all these things, and therefore you cannot look. So, to look, your mind must be silent, and the very urgency of looking makes the mind silent. Not that you first have a silent mind and then look; but rather the very necessity of looking at the world's problem and therefore at your problem, that very urgency of looking makes the mind quiet, silent. That very look makes the mind silent, and then you can look at your memory and the beginning of the memory. The demand to look at your memory and to find out how it begins - that very demand makes the mind silent. Then you can look at the beginning of every movement of memory.
December 22, 1966
New Delhi 1966
New Delhi 3rd Public Talk 22nd December 1966
Texts and talks of Jiddu Krishnamurti. Krishnamurti quotes. Books about
J Krishnamurti. Philosophy.