Talk and Dialogues Saanen 1967 4th Public Dialogue 5th August 1967
We said yesterday that we would go on talking about the question of knowing oneself. We have been discussing the problem of violence, and to understand it fully one has to comprehend the whole structure of the self, the me: what I actually am. Therefore it seems to me important to go into the question of knowing oneself. Because, if I do not under stand myself completely, I have no basis for rational thinking; I have no foundation for action, I have no roots in what is virtue. Unless I understand myself, I am always in contradiction, in confusion and hence in conflict and misery. And being in conflict, in sorrow, inevitably that must express itself in some form of violence. So it seems to me very important to understand oneself, not according to any specialist, or to any religious concept of what is the `me', or the self, but actually to become aware of it as it operates, as it functions. But if I try to understand myself according to some philosopher or psychologist, then I am trying to understand them; what they think about me, what they think is my structure, my nature.
Most of us are secondhand human beings and there is nothing original in us (not that we are seeking any originality). But merely to operate in a secondhand way without any original feeling or any original understanding must inevitably lead to conflicts, miseries and endless anxieties. So I hope you and I (the speaker as well as yourself) see the importance of knowing ourselves. If we both agree that it is vital to understand ourselves completely, then we have a quite different relationship, then we can walk together, then we can both delve into the most secret corners of our minds. But if you are not interested then I am afraid all communication between the speaker and yourself comes to an end.
There are several questions that have been sent such as: `I would like to live at peace, but to live at peace means I must give up food, clothes and shelter, which means I must die and if I die the violent people will create a society.' This kind of question is really quite inadmissable, because we have talked enough about the necessity of food, clothes and shelter and whether it is possible to live in this world of brutality at peace with ourselves; so I won't go into such questions.
So, if we could this morning devote our whole energy to understand ourselves and go to the very end of it (not just give up if we don't like it) then perhaps we shall discover for ourselves a state of mind that is not in conflict at all and therefore can live in this world at peace, both outwardly and inwardly. So, shall we converse together about this question of understanding ourselves?
Where do we begin to understand ourselves? Here I am, and how am I to study myself, observe myself, see what is actually taking place in myself? I can only observe myself in relationship, because all life is relationship. If I reject all relationship and isolate myself, become a hermit, even then I have relationship; I live in relationship, so I can only understand myself in observing my relationship to ideas, to people, to things. Right? What do you say?
Questioner: (In French) For the mind to perceive, energy is needed. Does this energy come from silence?
Krishnamurti: But Sir, if you don't mind, that's not what we are discussing this morning. What we are trying to find out is, how to understand oneself. Here I am, a bundle of contradictions, miseries, conflicts, anxieties, hopes, wishing to have a silent mind; I am a whole bundle of energy in contradiction. I want to understand myself because I see that without understanding myself there is no basis for any action; I can act, but it will always result in greater misery, greater confusion. So I must understand myself. Now where shall I begin? And I see I cannot exist by myself, I exist always in relationship, whether conscious or unconscious. That relationship is with people, with various ideologies, or with things, money, houses, furniture, food. In studying my relationship with these things, with outward things as well as inward things, I begin to understand myself. Is this clear?
Questioner: When I observe myself I see myself in very different states. Is the self a reality, or not?
Krishnamurti: We're going to find out. Look, will you do something this morning? Forget all that you know about yourself; forget all that you have thought about yourself. We're starting to find out; we are going to start as though we knew nothing. Then it is worthwhile. But if you start with all the old furniture that you have collected for the last thirty years you can't travel very far. So let us begin as though we were on a new journey.
It rained last night heavily and the skies are beginning to clear; it's a new day, a fresh dawn, and you must meet that fresh day as though it were the only day. But if you meet it with all the remembrance of yesterday, you will never meet the freshness of today. So what we are doing now is to start to understand ourselves for the first time. And I see I can only understand myself in relation to people, things and ideas. I cannot understand myself sitting in a corner, meditating about myself, or withdrawing, isolating myself in some monastery. I can only understand myself in relation ship; because every other form is merely an abstraction and has no validity at all. If we could start with that, each one of us, then we'll go far, but if we start with abstractions - what should be, how to keep the mind silent, all the things that you have heard this unfortunate speaker say - then you'll be lost. Whereas if this morning we could go step by step into this, you will discover many things for yourself.
Questioner: When I'm aware of what's happening in me...
Krishnamurti: No, Sir, you've gone far ahead of me. I said you can only understand yourself in relationship. Right?
Questioner: Yes, but what puzzles me is, what you mean by relationship.
Krishnamurti: We're going to go into it. You see, it's a fresh morning, Sir. First, let's be clear that I can understand myself only by studying my relationship and my reactions in those relationships. I am related to things: property and material things. What is my reaction towards those things, to money, to clothes, to food, to houses? By studying my reactions I am beginning to understand myself in relation to those things. Right? Are we doing that? You have a relationship to your house, to your property, to property as the family - and that's a very complex question, how you react to your property, to things. Don't brush it aside; this is very important to understand. Suppose I have plenty of money, what is my relationship to that thing called money? By understanding my reaction I understand myself. My reaction is myself. Right? So I'm beginning to see very clearly what my reaction is with regard to money; whether I hate rich people because I'm poor, or I want to be as rich as the rich man.
So I begin to study myself through my reaction to things. I need food, clothes and shelter, that's absolutely necessary. But what is my reaction to them? Do they give me an inner satisfaction - you understand? - an inner security? If so, I attach tremendous importance to property, therefore I'm willing to defend my property? And defending my property I'm violent, and therefore I create a society in which, through money, I gain tremendous satisfaction. I've discovered a tremendous lot about myself. Are you doing this with me? I discover that I'm using property, things - which I need, which are necessary - as a means of inward security, satisfaction, and therefore property becomes extraordinarily important. Right? Ah, wait - don't say no! Please, it is not a question of saying yes or no; we are studying ourselves by our reaction to things. Do I use property as a status symbol? I'm beginning to understand myself in relation to things - what is my relationship to things - relationship - you understand? To have a relationship means to be related to, to be in contact with - doesn't it? May I go on? Am I in contact with property, with things, or, am I in contact with the satisfaction which things give me, therefore I use things to gain satisfaction, and so things become of secondary importance, because my primary desire is to find satisfaction, to have security? Right? And I discover something very odd about myself - that I want property, things, and also I see the danger of it, and I want to avoid it; I want to put it aside and yet I want to hold it. Right? So contradiction in me has already begun. I like to have a lovely house, nice garden, lots of servants, and that gives me a tremendous sense of security, position, prestige, an inward gratification. I use things for my own gratification, therefore I protect those things which give me the satisfaction and hence I am in a state of defence all the time.
Questioner: (In French) I don't see the importance of knowing myself, but hearing you explain that it is important, I then discover that it is important - is this not an escape?
Krishnamurti: You discover the importance of knowing yourself because someone has asserted that it is important. You don't see the importance for yourself. Why don't you see it? It's like a man living in blindness and saying, it's not important to have eyes. Are you being stimulated by the speaker, who lays emphasis on understanding oneself, to be interested in that? Then it has no value at all. All right Sir, let's proceed: I discover myself in relationship to things because to us things are extraordinarily important. Don't let's fool ourselves. Money, houses, material things that you touch, feel, taste, are extraordinarily important. And why have they become important? Please follow this. Why have they become important to me or to you? I need food, I need shelter, I need clothes, but why have they become of such colossal importance in life? What do you say Sirs?
Questioner: They become important to us because we are empty inside.
Krishnamurti: In ourselves we are nothing, so we fill that emptiness with furniture - no, no, don't laugh - with books, with money, with cars. Right? So they become important, because they fill my state of mind which is completely dull, empty. Are we doing that?
Questioner: Sir, I don't think that's a conscious reason for it.
Krishnamurti: I don't know. Sir, you are discovering yourself, you're not telling me.
Questioner: Well, to me, my conscious reason is that I see very poor people and all sorts of misery - they can't pay the doctor and so on - and I don't want to be like that. And what keeps me from being like that? It's the material things, so therefore the objects acquire a great importance.
Krishnamurti: Yes Sir, we said that: it is of very great importance.
Questioner: That's the reason why we give them importance.
Krishnamurti: That's one of the reasons. That's not the major reason. One of the reasons is that I don't want to be like the poor man, therefore I defend what I have. Right? Therefore I'm in a state of violence. I have discovered that; you're not telling me, I'm not telling you. I have discovered by comparison that it is better to be well off. You're more respected, you become a respectable bourgeois and all the rest of it. We are still examining (you understand, Sir?) I'm studying myself. When I use things to cover my own insufficiency, to cover my own emptiness, shallowness, my own shoddiness of being, with furniture, with houses, with name, with all that, what happens? Pursue that. What happens in this process?
Questioner: But this problem about which you have spoken now, the attraction to objects in order to fill our emptiness, I think this is psychological, and has its origin in more concrete things. If we take an animal for instance....
Krishnamurti: Ah, I don't want to take an animal.
Questioner: I know from my own experience that without food I'm violent.
Krishnamurti: But Sir, we have said that. I need food, I need shelter, I need clothes. There is no question about that. Every animal needs them.
Questioner: Hence my attachment - it is due to fear.
Krishnamurti: Yes Sir, but why are we attached? I must have those things. Why do I give them such extraordinary importance?
Questioner: But I feel that if I do not have them I will die.
Krishnamurti: Of course, of course, so you give them such tremendous importance. Is that the reason you give importance to food, clothes and shelter? Find out, Sir, in yourself.
Questioner: (In French) Money is a symbol, but in fact it is part of the organization of material life on which the spiritual life is based. One must study it and understand the intricate part money plays in life and its meaning. Krishnamurti: That is not the question, but what is my relationship to it. I want to know my relationship to things: to money, to houses, to food, clothes and shelter. In that way I shall find out about myself. That's what we are discussing. not how money conditions us. Of course it conditions; the man who has no money is conditioned by not having it, and the man who has got money is also conditioned. We know that Sir.
Questioner: (In French) We need material things, but why is it that we are empty without them?
Krishnamurti: Why should I be empty? No, Sir, look - we are studying ourselves. I am saying to myself: I want to understand myself and therefore I can understand myself only in relationship to things, to people and to ideas. Probably there is only one relationship, which is the relationship I have in regard to ideas, and that is the only thing that matters - ideas. You follow Sir? Not food, not people, but the image, the symbol I have about food, clothes, shelter and people. Right? There's nothing wrong in having food, clothes and shelter, but it is the idea I have about it. So I have a relationship, not with things or with people but only with symbols and ideas. Is that so? Do you find that out?
Questioner: I think, Sir, that we identify ourselves with things and they become part of us.
Krishnamurti: Yes, sir, we identify ourselves with things and therefore they become part of us.
Questioner: When I get a lot of money for myself I feel great pleasure for a moment and then the pleasure dies and I must go and get something else. It seems that there is only an image, because when I have the object, it doesn't continue to give pleasure, so there must again be the idea of getting more and this goes on and one is never satisfied. Krishnamurti: I am learning that really things don't matter at all, nor people, but what matters immensely is my ideas about things and people.
Questioner: Sir, the relation I have with the idea is the relation between me and myself, because the idea is a part of myself.
Krishnamurti: No, no. That is a conclusion. You've already decided you're the projection of yourself, therefore you're identified with the projection and therefore you're continuing yourself. But that doesn't help me to understand myself. Sir, put it round the other way. What is most important to me and to you? Look at yourself, please. Not money, food, clothes and shelter, but what it will give you. Right? You have an image, a symbol, an idea about this - about property and about people. Are you related to people? Am I related to people, to my friend, to my wife, to my husband? Or am I related to the image which I have created for myself about people?
Questioner: It's a habit.
Krishnamurti: All right, it's a habit. Why have I created this habit? Why am I not directly in relationship with things - with property - we'll call it that for the moment - and with people? Why should I have ideas? And if you say, `that's a habit', then how did that habit come into being? Why am I a slave to this habit?
Questioner: Because I'm not lively enough.
Krishnamurti: Don't say, I'm not lively enough. You and I are trying to understand ourselves, so please don't come to any conclusions, or say `I should be, I am not but I should be'. All that has no meaning. In studying myself in relation to property, to people, I see what is tremendously important to me. Much more important than people or property are the ideas, the feelings, the images I have about them. Right?
Questioner: (In Italian: inaudible)
Krishnamurti: No, Sir. Go into it a little more slowly. Why have things not their own value, people their own value, why do I put greater value on the images, thoughts, ideas I have about them? Why? You've understood, Sir? You're not important at all - what is important to me is my idea about you, my image about you. Why have I created this image? If you say, `it's a habit', all right it's a habit. But why am I caught in this habit, how did this habit come into being?
Questioner: Because life has frightened me.
Krishnamurti: Therefore, I am living in abstractions. Right? Not in reality, but in abstractions. Therefore, my relationship to you is an abstraction. I am not actually related. I live in abstractions, in ideas, in images, and I say: why have I done this? Why have I created the image about you?
Questioner: Could it be that the basic reason is that....
Krishnamurti: Don't be abstract, find out!
Questioner: Well, I'm looking. The basic reason is that I am convinced that possessing the object will give me satisfaction.
Krishnamurti: No, Sir. Go into it a little deeper, you will find out. Look at it quietly. Don't verbalize yet, but just look at it. Here I am, I have given tremendous significance to things, to people, but what is much more important to me is not things or people, but the ideas I have about them. And why have I made this more important than things and people?
Questioner: To protect myself.
Krishnamurti: Do look, wait, Sir. Take two minutes and look at it. I am studying myself, not passing an exam. I say, `why have I done this?' Why have not only I, but all human beings done this? Whether they live in Asia or in Europe or in America, why have human beings done this?
Questioner: Sir, I think that the object itself, or the person, is for us too complicated to understand and therefore we create an image which is much simpler and easier to handle.
Krishnamurti: I have an image about you because the image is very simple, but you are very complicated. You are a living thing - moving, active, throbbing - and I cannot understand you, therefore I create a symbol about you. All the churches are filled with symbols, because a symbol is a dead thing. I can clothe it, I can put garlands round it, I can do anything I like, but I can't do that with a living thing.
Questioner: Words in themselves are symbols.
Krishnamurti: Of course.
Questioner: I have an image of myself when I look at you, and then....
Krishnamurti: Please Sir, we are studying ourselves. We are looking at ourselves and trying to understand ourselves, the reason being that without understanding ourselves we must always be in a state of confusion. Without understanding myself I must be violent; without understanding myself there is no virtue. So I must understand myself! And I say: in looking at myself, nothing matters at all except my ideas about things! Right?
Questioner: (In French) We must find a `milieu' that suits us and will let us flower.
Krishnamurti: You're going away from the point. To every human being - I see it in myself and I see it in you - ideas are much more important than things or people. Nationalism is an idea! And for that I'm willing to kill, destroy myself and lose my property.
Questioner: Giving importance to things is really to the ideas attached to those things. But we do also give importance to actual things.
Krishnamurti: The same thing Sir, isn't it?
Questioner: We don't tell ourselves that the idea is important, we tell ourselves the thing or the person is important, but the importance which we give to the thing or the person is idea.
Krishnamurti: Of course, that's what we are saying.
Questioner: Would you include among the things your own Philosophizing?
Krishnamurti: I am not philosophizing. If I were it would be included among things - to be thrown out of the window. Sir, you're going away all the time. Let us stick to this point. Here I am, I want to understand myself. In that understanding I've discovered something: that to me people are important and that involves ideas and I am attached to ideas. Now, I ask myself, why has this taken place.
Questioner: It's a kind of defence against something new - I neutralize things, cover them with my ideas....
Krishnamurti: That means, you're neutralizing, you're blocking, you're denying the living thing, but not your idea - doesn't it? You are a living thing - your wife, your husband, you - and to live with you without idea means living without the image; I have to be on my toes all the time. Right? I have to watch you. I can't have an image about you because it would prevent me from watching you. I have to watch your moods, your speech, the way you talk, I have to watch everything, and that becomes tremendously exacting, arduous. Therefore, it is much simpler to hold on to my image about you.
Questioner: (In French) There are times when things have more importance than ideas - such as in a moment of danger.
Krishnamurti: All right Sir, let's proceed. Only with regard to dead things I have no ideas, but I have ideas which protect me in my relationship with you as a husband, wife, friend - whatever it is - because you are much too active. So what has happened? I have an image about you which I have built and I keep on adding to that image. Right? Watch yourself, Sir! What happens in that state? I have an image about you and I live with that image. You become an abstraction; you're not real. My image about you is real. What happens then? What is my relationship to you? Have I any relation ship to you at all?
Questioner: There's a destructive quality in what you are saying.
Krishnamurti: No, Madame, watch yourself please. I am living in relationship with you - at least I think I am living in relationship with you - but actually I'm living with the image which I have put together about you. So I am living in the past. And you're also living in the past. Because you have an image about me and I have an image about you, and these two images have a relationship. Right, Sirs? Then what takes place, what actually takes place?
Questioner: Conflict takes place.
Questioner: Conflict, between the idea and the fact.
Krishnamurti: The questioner says, `there is conflict between the fact - you - and the image, which is non-fact.' And hence, there is conflict. Wait, wait, watch yourselves. Go into yourselves.
Questioner: Life is a flow and the image is static.
Krishnamurti: All right, is that a discovery you have made?
Krishnamurti: Then what next? If you have found that, what happens? Then you say, `I see that I'm always living in the past'. And life, which is moving, living, is always in the present, therefore I look at you with dead eyes. Right?
Questioner: Not especially with dead eyes; because if I want to understand a statue I turn it around but I cannot understand the whole statue. I always have only an image.
Krishnamurti: Yes, Sir, that's what we are saying.
Questioner: How can one discover with a mind which is held in the past?
Krishnamurti: We are going to go into that step by step.
Questioner: Why do I need to create images about every thing?
Krishnamurti: That's what we are asking Sir. Is it that we are creating images because we are frightened of this thing that is living? Watch it, Sir! Is that so in you?
Questioner: If only I were satisfied with the direct impact, but I seem to want something else.
Krishnamurti: Yes, go ahead, add.
Questioner: If I were to try and find satisfaction by touching the deeper things as they are, I would find that this whole world is very annoying.
Krishnamurti: Of course, that's part of it.... I'm bored, I'm frightened - it's all in that field. Now, why do I do this? Go a little deeper. I realize I'm doing this. Why am I doing this?
Questioner (1): It is seeking pleasure.
Questioner (2): Is it a process of building up a protective camouflage to hide what actually happens?
Krishnamurti: Yes, Sir, quite right. But why am I doing it?
Questioner: Because I can't live in the present.
Krishnamurti: Yes, Sir. Are you answering me? Or are you understanding it yourself?
Questioner: Isn't the question: why do we always keep the memories alive?
Krishnamurti: Yes, Sir. Why?
Questioner: When I think of something it will lead either to the past or to the future....
Krishnamurti: Quite right.
Questioner: The image gives a relationship to the past or to the future, not to the present.
Krishnamurti: Quite right, Sir. I agree, then what? I saw a sunset yesterday, it was a great pleasure, a great joy, and it has left a mark and this evening I look at the light on the hill with the eyes of yesterday, with the memories of yesterday. I'm doing this all the time. Why am I doing it? Go deeper Sir, go into it. Don't just verbalize it immediately.
Questioner: Because without memories one would be nothing.
Krishnamurti: Is that what you have learnt?
Questioner: Sir, I don't think I know reality. I see things always through images, so I don't really know what reality is.
Krishnamurti: Yes. Why? Please, we have explained enough, just stop for a few minutes and find out why you are doing this. One says it is pleasure, the other says it is `emptiness'. One says it is fear, the other says `it is habit', and so on. But go below the words, below the immediate discovery and understanding, go below that.
Questioner: If you watch a child....
Krishnamurti: I don't want to watch a child. Here I am.
Questioner: One minute it is satisfied with one thing, and then with another....
Krishnamurti: I know that, Sir.
Questioner: I do the same in a more complicated way.
Krishnamurti: Why am I doing this, why am I building images? Why can't I live with the living thing all the time - the living thing is moving, acting, it may be wrong, it may be right, but why can't I live with that?
Questioner: Who is building the images?
Krishnamurti: I'm coming to that, Sir. First see, go slowly, you'll come upon it yourself.
Questioner: Is there anybody there,? Is there anybody building?
Krishnamurti: You're going to find out.
Questioner: Can the living thing exist for me at all without the image, Sir?
Krishnamurti: Please listen to that question. Can the living thing - you - exist at all if I have no ideas about you? How quickly you answer, Sir. Does your wife live without your idea about her? Of course she does. Questioner: But not for me. Do I have any other cognizance of her existence?
Krishnamurti: You have an image about the speaker, haven't you? You have, unfortunately. Now, why do you have that image? The image built on reputation, propaganda, all that. Why have you got that image? Why can't you be directly in relationship with the speaker? Why do you have to have an image about him? Madame, do listen. How quick we are! Why can't you have a little patience to look?
Questioner: Because if I have the image and you are changing it is so difficult....
Krishnamurti: We said that. It is a protective reaction against a living thing. But why are we doing it?
Questioner: The image is a thought.
Krishnamurti: Why is thought building the image? You are studying yourself; you're not waiting for an answer from me.
Questioner: All my thought can do is just that; that's all it ever does.
Questioner: As long as we look and experience from a fragment, we are keeping the image alive. But if we could see the totality then we would be free of it.
Krishnamurti: No, Sir, that's not my question - not being free of anything. I am asking myself, why am I doing this all the time.
Questioner: I do not want to use initiative.
Krishnamurti: You see, you're not answering my question, you haven't discovered for yourself, you're not studying yourself. Questioner: But to face reality directly would he intolerable.
Krishnamurti: We have said that, Sir, wait a minute. I want to find out why I am doing this. Why, when I look at a sunset today, the past sunset comes into my mind, and when I look at you - husband, wife, children, brother, whoever it is - I look at you through the image which I have about you - about clothes, about food, about every thing. I live in abstraction and I say to myself, I know this, but why am I doing it? Now how do I find out?
Questioner: By watching ourselves.
Krishnamurti: How do you watch yourselves?
Questioner: Your reactions, your thoughts....
Krishnamurti: We've been through that, Sir. Now I'm watching myself to find out why I create this image?
Questioner: Because we're holding on to it.
Krishnamurti: No, Sir. Watch it.
Questioner: I seem to keep doing it, because I'm not aware I'm making images.
Krishnamurti: First, I'm not aware that I'm building the image, but when I do become aware, then I ask myself - `why am I doing this?' Please Sir, would you listen for two minutes quietly? I've asked this question and it's very important for me to find out. You can't answer it for me. I have to find out for myself. Now, how am I going to find out?
Questioner: The image itself is showing me.
Krishnamurti: Madame, I said, give me a chance. Let me speak for two minutes. It's very important for me to find out. I don't want you to tell me at all, because if you tell me I say, `that might be it', and I might try to imitate or follow that and say `well it must be that'. I don't want any of your suggestions. I want to find out for myself, as you must - for yourself. How do you do that? First, I must stop listening to your chattering as well as to my chattering. Right? I must stop listening to you - all your suggestions - and also I must stop listening to all my machinations, my fabrications. Do you agree? That means - what?
Questioner: Looking, Sir. just looking.
Krishnamurti: How do I look? Don't quote me. How do I look? I can only look when I am fairly quiet. Having asked myself and said, `I must find out why I create this image', am I then quiet or am I restlessly searching for an answer?
Questioner: If you're looking, Sir, then thought never interferes.
Krishnamurti: Sir, please forgive me. I know I must be aware. I know I must observe. But to observe, to be aware I must be fairly quiet, mustn't I? That's all. I've asked the question, `why do I build up these images?' After having asked that question I must be quiet, mustn't I? Are we - are you - quiet? Or are you waiting for somebody to tell you? If you're quiet, and you are aware in that quietness, what is your response?
Questioner: Isn't there simply awareness?
Krishnamurti: But I haven't understood why I have built this image.
Questioner: It seems that you are the only person who is going to be able to answer your question.
Krishnamurti: Not at all! I don't want to take that responsibility. I'll answer it for myself. Questioner: Sir, may it not be that thought keeps intervening; this thought is our memory, our conditioning, and if we are aware of that - aware of ourselves - then we the `I' don't exist any more?
Krishnamurti: Sir. Here is a problem, say a mathematical problem. I have searched every means to find out why I do it, in every avenue, and I can't find an answer, what do I do?
Questioner: I leave it.
Krishnamurti: You leave it, or, as I don't want to leave it, I can't just drop it, I want to find out now.
Questioner: You must pause.
Krishnamurti: Yes, you must pause, you must wait. Are you doing it?
Questioner: There's nothing for it but to realize that one doesn't know anything about it.
Krishnamurti: Now we're off. Do you pause, do you keep quiet wait, look?
Questioner: How can I be quiet when asking this question? It is still troubling me.
Krishnamurti: Listen. You have asked a question. And how do you find the answer? You can't keep on asking, asking. You say, `yes, I have asked it, now I want to see where the answer is'. Right? So you leave the question. You say, `now, to find an answer, to look, I must have a pause, there must be a lag, there must be quietness to look'.
Questioner: But where is the asking in this lag? I forget the asking?
Krishnamurti: Have I? I've finished with it. I've asked and I say, `I want to find out why I am building this image'. I've asked it. I can't keep on asking. How am I going to find out? Who is going to tell me? You? If you tell me, will it be real to me? It's only real if I can find out for myself, and to find out for myself there must be no bias, no prejudice, no tension, no saying, `the answer must be this or that; therefore I must be quiet, mustn't I? Which means thought must not interfere! Thought which has created the image. Right? And the image which thought has created is old because thought is always old. Therefore I see that and say, `the moment thought interferes I shan't find the real answer'.
Questioner: Instead of thought we should be filled with love.
Krishnamurti: I'm afraid I cannot fill myself with love; I don't know what it means.
Questioner: All right Sir, I think we followed you up to this point.
Krishnamurti: Good! Now let's proceed. I have found that thought creates this image and thought is interfering and so prevents the discovery of what is, why I create these images. Right? Why does thought interfere at all? So my problem is not why the mind creates these images, but why does thought, which is the creator of the image, constantly interfere?
Questioner: Then thought forms the ego....
Krishnamurti: Thought forms the image; don't bring in a new word, otherwise it will get complicated. We are saying simply. Thought has created the image, the image which I have built in my relationship with you, and that thought says to itself, now I must find out why I'm doing it. Thought is active. Right Sir? So thought thinks it will find out - go slowly, wait - so thought says, I have built this, I don't know why I have built it, but now I must find out. Thought thinks it will find out. What it will find out is an image which it has projected from past experience, therefore it is not a discovery, it is merely an activity of thought.
Questioner: Thought cannot have an answer.
Krishnamurti: Yes, Sir, that's what we said. Can you keep thought quiet? Can thought say to itself, look I have done the mischief now I will be quiet?
Questioner: Sir, if we really go into it deeply then we will see that thought cannot find an answer.
Krishnamurti: But why don't you see it? I have created an image about you through thinking about you, either pleasurably or because you have given me pain. Thought has created the image about you, through pleasure or through pain. Then I say to myself, why am I doing this? I ask that question and that question is asked by thought and thought is going to answer the question. So thought, if it answers the question, will be in the same category as the image. Right?
Questioner: But thought is not operating alone, it is operating with our feelings, all our psyche. We may say very easily that our thoughts are dictated by our feelings - that happens very often.
Krishnamurti: Yes, Sir, we have said all that.
Questioner: Sir, can we go a little bit more slowly now?
Krishnamurti: I am doing it, Sir.
Questioner: When thought discovers that it is the same thing as the image - can we look at that still more carefully?
Krishnamurti: I'll do it Sir. Say, I am married to you and I have built an image about you - sexual pleasure, or the insulting things you have said to me, the nagging, the flattery, the hurts - all that has gone to build up an image about you. Who has done this? Thought, thinking about the sexual pleasure, thought thinking about the insult, thought thinking about the flattery: you say, `How nice you look today, I like your looks! I adore you when you say that!' - so I have collected all that and I have created an image about you. The I is the thought. Right Sir? Wait. So thought has done this and thought is an abstraction, whereas you are real. The image is an abstraction, not real, but you are very real. So I run away from you in abstraction. And then I get hurt because you look at someone else. So, now I say to myself, `why am I doing all this?' Why is thought doing all this? - creating the image, adding to the image, taking things away from the image, and asking the question, `why is it doing it?' - and who is going to answer it? Is thought going to answer it?
Questioner: Thought cannot give the answer. We must see this.
Krishnamurti: If you understand it, what takes place?
Questioner: Then there's silence.
Krishnamurti: Don't use that word `silence'. Just look at what takes place - which means that you have no image. That's what is taking place. When thought says, I have built it and I am going to find out why I have built it, and sees the absurdity of such a question, then all image-making ceases.1 Right? Are you doing it? Then I can look at you - my wife or husband - without an image. Follow this. Go into it a little more deeply. What takes place when there is no more image?
Questioner: There's no observer then.
Krishnamurti: No Sir, go into it; don't reduce it. Go slowly Sir.
Questioner: There is real relationship. Krishnamurti: I don t know what that means! So far Sir, I've discovered only one thing: that thought has created the image and thought seeking to find an answer why, will create another image in which it will be caught. It's a vicious circle as long as thought is operating. Right? I have discovered that. Therefore thought is no longer creating an image. So what is my relationship - please follow this - what is my relation ship to things, to people.
Questioner (1): Direct awareness, Sir.
Questioner (2): When thought ceases, the real me, the self, becomes in a way more apparent.
Krishnamurti: Is there a real me without the thought? Sir, don't get caught in your own words, be careful.
Questioner: I see you as you are.
Krishnamurti: No, no, I'm not concerned about you. What takes place, what is that relationship when I have no image about you?
Questioner: The dead person becomes a living thing....
Krishnamurti: Sir, I wish you would do this, actually: put away the images you have about me, or about your wife, or about somebody else and look. Then find out what that relationship is.
Questioner: (In French) If I am in relationship then I can follow the moods and thoughts of that person.
Krishnamurti: That's not what I'm asking, if you don't mind. We are asking: `if I have no image about money, about property, about you - my wife or husband or friend - what is that relationship?'
Questioner: To ask this question is to be back in thought. Krishnamurti: No, no Madame, just look at it. I have no image about you - and that's a tremendous thing I've discovered. Then I say to myself, `what is my relationship, what is this relationship then, if I have no image?'
Questioner (1): This relationship ceases to be.
Questioner (2): Sir, it's an extremely difficult question to go into, because when we try to find out, put it into words, then thought springs into action.
Krishnamurti: Look, Sir, let's make it very simple. You're my friend, I have an image about you. Now, I have no image about you. (Don't answer me Sir.) I have no image about you. What has taken place in me? Not in my relationship with you, what has actuality taken place in me? I want to know, what has actually taken place in me?
Questioner: Every second is new.
Krishnamurti: Oh no. Please Madame, you're all guessing. This isn't a guessing game.
Questioner: You're a fact, you're no longer an idea.
Krishnamurti: Oh, no. You're not going into it. What has taken place in me when I'm not creating an image about everything? You don't even have time to examine and you are ready to answer! Please, look at yourself. Find out what happens if you have done this, if you're no longer an image. making entity, what has taken place?
Questioner: We cannot know because if we knew we would conceptualize it. We still have the image.
Krishnamurti: Sir, I said, if you have no image at all - and we went through the whole process of making the image - if you don't do that any more, what takes place? Questioner (1): The space where the image was is without the image.
Questioner (2): Sir, we seem to be one step behind, because we're not with you. Could we perhaps go back to the last step?
Krishnamurti: The last step was, that thought which has created the image - through pleasure, through pain and all the rest of it - that thought is asking, `why am I doing this?' And that thought says, I am doing it because - and therefore creates another image. Right? So, as long as thought is operating its function is to create images. We said, `I understand that, I've discovered that', so in the understanding of that, thought is in abeyance, quiet. Then I say to myself, what has taken place? When thought is completely quiet and not building an image about anything, what has taken place?
Krishnamurti: Make it simple. Thought has been chasing its tail, over and over again. And thought says, `what a silly thing I'm doing', and stops. Right? Then what takes place?
Questioner: I cannot stop it, Sir.
Krishnamurti: Then go on, chase the tail.
Questioner: Sir, then thought comes to an end, that's all we know now.
Krishnamurti: I'm showing you Sir; if you do it yourself, it's very simple. Thought has been chasing its own tail. Right? Now thought realizes how silly it is, therefore it stops! What takes place then? Please do it.
Questioner: At the moment when there is no image of you there is no image of myself..
Krishnamurti: No, Sir. That is not the question I'm asking. When thought stops chasing its tail what takes place at that moment, at that second?
Questioner: We don't know.
Krishnamurti: If you don't know, you haven't stopped chasing the tail.
Questioner: The thinker disappears.
Krishnamurti: You see, you're all so eager to answer. You haven't really looked at yourself at all. You haven't spent a single minute looking at yourself. If you had, you would have inevitably come to this point, which is, that thought is chasing its own tail all the time. Then thought itself realizes how absurd this is and therefore it stops. Now, when it stops what takes place?
Questioner: We would be very still.
Krishnamurti: How quick we are to answer, aren't we! Do we give up the game? That's what you're making it into, a guessing game. Look, Sir! Listen to this. When thought stops chewing its own tail endlessly, when it stops, what takes place?
Questioner: You are open to....
Krishnamurti: I am asking something which you're refusing to face. It is very simple; the moment thought stops chewing its own tail, you're full of energy - aren't you? Because in that chasing your energy has been dissipated. Right? Then you become very intense. No?
Krishnamurti: What happens to a mind that is very intense, not under tension, not under strain, but intense? What takes place? Have you ever been intense, about anything, have you? If you have what happens? Questioner: Then you are not, as far as....
Krishnamurti: Wait, wait, Sir, you say something and dissipate it. When you are intense, what takes place? There's no problem, and therefore you are not. You are only when there's conflict.
Questioner: Then you're out of the door.
Krishnamurti: You see, you're verbalizing. Don't do that Sir, please, we have gone into something very deep. If you would only go into it. In that intensity there is neither the observer nor the observed. Sir, when you love - go into it when you love, is there an observer? There is an observer only when love is desire and pleasure. When desire and pleasure are not associated with love, then love is intense isn't it? It is something new every day because thought has not touched it. 5th August 1967
Talk and Dialogues Saanen 1967 4th Public Dialogue 5th August 1967
Texts and talks of Jiddu Krishnamurti. Krishnamurti quotes. Books about
J Krishnamurti. Philosophy.