New Delhi 1967
New Delhi 3rd Public Talk 26th November 1967
If we may, we will continue with what we were talking about the last time that we met here. We were saying how essential it is to be completely free from fear. Fear, conscious or unconscious, dissipates energy and we need a great deal of energy, not only to live with all the innumerable problems we have, but also to go beyond these problems. Most of us have very little energy because we dissipate it in so many ways: we don't eat properly, we are confused, struggling, in constant battle with ourselves and with the world. We need an abundance of energy to penetrate through all these conflicting problems and come to a state of mind that is not at all distorted, that is not tortured, that is in balance and capable of clarity and penetration; for that, energy is wholly necessary. But unfortunately we waste our energy in effort.
We are going to go into this question of effort; what is involved in it, the nature of it, the structure of it and whether it is possible for the mind never to be in conflict; not ultimately but every day, in everything that we do. Is it possible for the mind, which is the result of time, of experience, of accumulated knowledge, to live without any struggle, without any conflict and therefore without any effort? I am sure it must have happened to you in your daily life, there are rare moments when you function as though you were completely abandoned, completely in harmony with yourself, with the world, with everything about you, so that there is no struggle, no effort, no striving after something. When you see the clarity of an evening or of the morning very clearly, when you are completely one with nature, when every tree says something to you, and every flower is a delight - you must have had these moments, when the mind is not disturbed - and is it possible to live like that? Is it possible to function efficiently, technologically, almost like a computer, without a battle within oneself? Because I feel we human beings are tortured entities, driven by innumerable, contradictory desires, driven by our demand to fulfil, to achieve, to succeed, to compete - we are always comparing what is, with what should be. And this comparison is one of the factors of conflict.
As we said the other day (I hope you will not mind it being repeated) this is not a talk to which you listen and go home with a few sets of ideas, agreeing or disagreeing. We are thinking out together our problems, we are taking a journey together into ourselves, into our lives, into our conflicts, into our miseries, into our unutterable loneliness and despair. You are not merely listening to a few words, but listening so that you really hear your own mind working operating, functioning, so that you see yourself very clearly; not `what is good' or `what is bad', but actually see what is. If one could listen in such a manner, not only to what the speaker is saying but also to the birds, to what your neighbour says, to your boss in the office, to yourselves when you are soliloquizing talking to yourself - listen so that you find out, so that you learn! And I hope you will listen that way because we are not making any propaganda, we are not telling you what to do. It is a terrible thing to rely on another about the way of life, to be told what to do, how to behave, what righteousness is or is not - this seems to me a state of immaturity and no one can make you mature; all that one can do is to listen and learn. But learning is a very difficult art. Most of us know how to accumulate knowledge and from that knowledge act. Please observe what we are talking about in yourselves. We learn, we accumulate knowledge and experience, we have a great many memories and from those memories, that knowledge, experience we act, and from that acting learn more and add to what has already been accumulated. This is our daily life. But is that learning? Is not learning something from moment to moment? - not accumulating and then adding more to that accumulation. If one doesn't know a particular language, one learns the grammar, reads and gradually accumulates words, phrases, learns how to use the words, and so on; from that accumulation one begins to speak the language, adding more words. And that is what we generally do in daily life: accumulate and then act, and from that action, learn to add more, or to take away. But one must question whether such a process is actually learning. To learn means, does it not, that you are learning about something that you don't know. You are learning about something which you don't know, and from that state of learning you are acting. So learning is always in the present, in the active present, not a thing which you have accumulated and from which you act. I think there is a great deal of difference between these two. One is mechanical, that is, having accumulated knowledge, acting from that; and the other is non-mechanical, it is an active present, which is always learning and not accumulating. And that is the only way to live: in the present. Perhaps, if there is time, we can go into it.
As we were saying, we need energy to look, to listen, to learn, but that energy is limited when we look or listen from particular knowledge, from an accumulated burden; and this energy is dissipated through effort. Now what does effort mean? - actually, not according to the dictionary, but when do we make an effort? When we do something that is pleasurable there is no effort, we do it easily. When there is something which you are obliged to do, which is rather a strain and painful, which is not satisfying, then it is an effort to do it. Effort implies, does it not, a state of mind in which there is duality; wanting something and not wanting it. When there is a contradiction in ourselves, then this contradiction creates a dual activity and to understand this dual activity, to go beyond it, is effort. As we said just now, when we do something which is pleasurable, there is no effort involved at all, we do it easily because it is satisfactory, it gives pleasure, there is no struggle. But in pleasure there is always pain - isn't there? Pleasure doesn't exist by itself, it brings with it a certain movement, which is contradictory to what is pleasurable. And this contradiction in pleasure itself brings about this battle of the opposites.
One is violent and the opposite of it is non-violence; there is a contradiction in it, violence and non-violence; this contradiction is the cause of conflict; which means effort. Now if one could remain with violence and not with its opposite, then there would be no contradiction. Please listen, this is very important to understand. Why do we have duality at all? There is duality - man, woman - light, shade - and all the rest of it but inwardly, psychologically, why do we have duality at all? Please think it out with me, don't wait for me to tell you, we are examining it together - there is no authority here at all. I am not an authority, therefore you need to exercise your mind as much as the speaker to find out why we have this duality, psychologically. Is it our conditioning? Is it that we have been brought up to compare what is with what should be? We have been conditioned in what is right and what is wrong, what is good and what is bad, that `this should be' and `that should not be', that this is moral and that is immoral - is that one of the many reasons? Why has this duality come into being at all? Is it because we believe that by thinking about the opposite it will help us to get rid of what is? Are you following this? Do we use the opposite as a lever to get rid of what is? Or is it an escape, from what is? That is, human beings are violent; that violence is shown in many different ways; the opposite of that is non-violence. We think that by practising non-violence or thinking about non-violence we will be rid of violence. But is that a fact? That is the ideal, that is what has been preached, that is one of the commodities, which India exports, which nobody believes in. So, is the opposite an escape from the actual, which is violence? Please examine it; it is your life, it is not my life.
So we use the opposite as a means of avoiding the actual about which we do not know what to do. If I know what to do about violence I will not think about its opposite. If I have the capacity, the energy, the clarity, the passion, to actually understand violence, then there is no need for the ideal - is there. So do we have the opposite in order to escape from what is, because we don't know how to deal with what is. Is it because we have been told for thousands. of years that you must have the ideal, the opposite, in order to deal with the present? Can the mind be free of the opposite when it is dealing with violence? Because one sees that one may preach non-violence for the rest of one's life and practise it, and yet be sowing the seeds of violence all the time. So if the mind can remain actually with what is, then there is no opposite. Can the mind never compare? Can it stop comparing 'what is' with `what should be', comparing your own state with some - body else's, so that it is always dealing with what is, never with what should be? - so that you have no ideal at all. Because it is the ideal that is creating the opposites. If I know how to be with what is then the opposite is not necessary. Then one has removed the fundamental cause of effort, of duality, and therefore one has the energy to face actually what is - right?
Can one do that? Can one - not theoretically, not verbally, not intellectually say, "That's perfectly true", and then carry on with the daily opposites - can one actually cease to compare? You know it is one of the most difficult things to do, not to compare yourself with somebody. This comparison has been taught from childhood; in every school you are told you are not as clever as the other. What- actually takes place when A compares himself with B, the hero, the saint, and so on - what happens? When this comparison takes place, what actually happens to A? A is destroying himself in order to be like B - isn't he? Do observe this, Sirs, in your own life. Becoming like somebody else is one of the causes of contradiction and hence waste of energy. But if you do not compare, will you vegetate, will you go to sleep? That's what we are afraid of. So,is it possible to remain actually with what is, without bringing in the ideal, or the opposite, or comparing? When you do not compare, when there is no ideal, no opposite, then is what is the actual? - does it exist at all? Is my question fairly clear?
I am violent and I see that the opposite does not help me to get rid of this violence; or I compare myself and my violence with somebody who has no violence at all. I see very clearly that in comparison there is conflict, that I introduce thereby a factor of duality, which is a waste of energy - so what have I left? Is it violence? Or is it a state of mind - please follow this - a state of mind that has become highly sensitive, highly intelligent, capable of immense passion, because then there is no effort? Effort is a dissipation of passion, which is vital energy, you can't do anything without passion. If that is so, when that actually takes place, because there are no ideals, no opposites, then the thing that I have called violence - does it exist at all? So you have to go into yourself, you have to examine it, you have to find out.
Let's put it differently. My mind is dull, I am insensitive and so on, and I compare myself with somebody who is very clever, intelligent, bright, alive. I strive to be like him, to become brighter, sharpen my mind through comparison. Now, if I don't compare at all, if I don't struggle to be different from my dullness, will my dullness remain? Because what have I done? I have ceased to compare, which is an act of intelligence. I have ceased to create the opposite and therefore there is no effort and therefore no contradiction. So what has happened to my mind? My mind has become extraordinarily alive, sharp, clear. It is only the dull mind that is violent, it is only the mind that is not capable of dealing with what is that becomes violent, ugly, stupid. So as long as there is a duality psychologically in any form, there must be conflict; and conflict is violence. Now one sees very clearly that as long as one is seeking pleasure there must be duality - right? Because love is not pleasure, love is not desire - please don't agree with this. One has to find out what pleasure is and what desire is, because we said we are concerned with freedom and that strange thing called love. We went into it, into the question of freedom. Perhaps we can devote a little of the time that is left this evening to this enquiry into what love is.
How do we enquire? What is the state of the mind that enquires? You cannot possibly enquire if you are not free, that is, if you are not free from saying `love is not this or that', or `love should be this and should not be that'. To examine, explore, anything, there must be the quality of freedom from all your prejudices, conditioning and so on, even from your own experience; only then can you begin to explore, to enquire, to find out. Otherwise you are merely examining from your own conditioning and you can't go very far. And the word love is heavily loaded: we say "Love is divine and not profane", "It is sacred", "It is this, it is that", love of God, love of country, love of the flag, "I love my family", "I love my wife, my husband". And we say, when there is love, we must love everybody, and not one, the particular.
To enquire into this is really an immense problem; one mst approach it freely - free, not from anything, but free to look, that is, to look without an image. Can you look at your neighbour, at your wife or husband without the image? And if you have no image, are you then related? Or is there relationship only because you have images? And can one put an end to the machinery that builds images? - the image about yourself, what you are, what you should be. As long as you have an image you cannot possibly see what you are; if you think you are Paramatman, or some image which has been handed down to you through generations, obviously such an image prevents you from finding out what is real. It is only the free mind, not a mind that is loaded with images, that can find whatever is to be found. In enquiring into this question we must unfortunately use that word `love', but it is such a hackneyed, brutalized word - the politician uses it, the husband says, "I love you", or speaks of the love of the family. Can one look at it, explore it, find out what that word indicates and go beyond the word? We are going to try and find out.
To find out what it is there must be a dying. Love is something that is not mechanical. What is mechanical is pleasurable, such as sexual experience - you want it to be repeated over and over again; thought has created images, symbols, ideas and thinking about it will increase and strengthen pleasure. This is what actually takes place. I have had an experience of the sunset yesterday, a lovely streak across the sky, full of light and beauty, and the birds were flying into it; there is that momentary pleasure, delight, a great enjoyment of beauty. Then thought accepts it and begins to think about it, judge, compare, and say, "I must have it again tomorrow". The continuity of an experience which has given a great delight for a second is sustained by thought, nourished by thought. When you look at that streak of light across the sky, at that moment there is no pleasure, no joy, there is an absolute sense of beauty; but the moment thought comes in, then you begin to enjoy it, you begin to say, "How lovely, I wish I could have more of it". So thought, which is always the old - thought is never new, it is the response of memory, experience, knowledge and so on - thought, because it is old, makes this thing which you have looked at and felt, old and from the old you derive pleasure, never from the new. Do you understand this? There is no time in the new; in the instant there is something new, there is no time to enjoy or to take delight in; only when thought comes in (which is old) it gives it a continuity.
Is love pleasure? Please think it out, don't say "Yes", or "No". That is, is love the product of thought? Can love be cultivated by thought? Thought can cultivate pleasure; thought can strengthen desire. But when the mind, through sensation and sensuality seeks pleasure by thinking about it, is that love? And is love desire? I see something very beautiful, a lovely house, a nice face, then thought captures it, makes it the old and out of that comes desire. You can see this in yourself, if you observe; if you see a car, a beautiful, highly polished car, there is visual perception, there is sensation, touch and thought comes in and says, "How nice it would be to have it". But is love desire and pleasure? One has to find out, one has to work hard to find out and you cannot work passionately to find out if it becomes an effort, because then you are trying to find out because you are in sorrow; then your effort is an escape from sorrow. So to find out what love is, we must die to the past, to past memories. You know there is something extraordinary about living and dying - they are very close together although thought keeps them miles apart. We consider living is one thing and dying is another. We think living is always in the present and dying is, something that awaits in a distant time. But living is not the battle of everyday life - that's not living at all, that is destruction. The way we live is all that we know, the daily battle, daily despair, the agony of life, the loneliness, anxiety, the immeasurable sorrow that one has - this is what we call living. We have never questioned whether this is living at all, we have accepted it and when you accept anything you get used to it, as one gets used to a lovely sunset. You can see it a thousand times and because you have seen it every day you can get used to loveliness and also to something which is not lovely.
So what we call living is a battlefield and death is something to be carefully avoided. But surely in our life, living and dying are always close together, you cannot live without dying. This is not an intellectual or paradoxical statement, but the actual fact. To live completely, wholly, every day as though it were a new loveliness, there must be a dying of every thing of yesterday; otherwise you live mechanically and a mechanical mind can never know what love is or what freedom is. Most of us are afraid of dying because we don't know what it means. We don't know what it means because we don't know what it means to live, therefore we don't know how to die. Because we are afraid of death we have all the innumerable beliefs, which are an escape from the actual. So is it possible for the mind, which is the result of time, experience and knowledge, to die to itself - just to empty itself completely? It is only the innocent mind that knows what love is, and the innocent mind can live in a world which is not innocent.
Perhaps some of you might like to ask questions about what we have talked about.
Questioner: Sir, what is the function of thought in everyday life?
Krishnamurti: The function of thought is to be reasonable, to think clearly, objectively, efficiently, precisely; and you cannot think precisely, clearly, efficiently if you are tethered to your own personal vanity, to your own success, to your own fulfilment.
Questioner: You have said we do not know what dying is - could you explain what dying is for our benefit?
Krishnamurti: You see, Sir, I haven't finished answering that question. We are always so eager with our own questions we have no respect for other people's questions.
Questioner: I apologize.
Krishnamurti: Please, Sir, you are not apologizing to me. I am nobody. All that we are saying is, when there is love there is no respect, it is only the disrespectful people who have respect. You have no respect for your servant, for your neighbour, for anybody, and therefore you are full of disrespect. But when there is love there is neither respect nor disrespect, there is only that quality of mind that loves.
Now that gentleman asked a question about thought, what is its function in daily life. Either we can use thought mechanically or thought can become extraordinarily active, and it cannot be active if it is merely functioning from a memory. I learn a technique, as an engineer or whatever you will, and that technique has given me certain qualities of proficiency and I keep on functioning with that technique. I live in a mechanical world, but I must understand the whole mechanism of thought, the structure of it, how thought begins - not come upon it after it has begun - understand whether it begins from a memory or begins out of total silence? If it begins from memory, it is always old and that's how we function in daily life. Thought is old and the mind becomes old with it because we function mechanically, in the family, in the office, when we walk, when we talk - it is always mechanical. Can the mind be freed from the mechanical habit, so that thought functions actively all the time, every day, in your office, in your home, when you look at your wife, husband, children? And the question that gentleman asked is, would you please go into the question of what is death. Isn't that right, sir? Again it's a vast, complex problem; there are several factors in it. There is actual physical dying, when the heart stops beating, either through accident, through disease, or normal old age. We don't die of norma old age, most of us die through accident for we have lived such a stupid life with so much strain and pressure that emotionally we are worn out, the heart is worn out. So there is actual, physical dying, coming to an end; that one knows, that doesn't demand a great deal of thought. But one is more afraid of psychological dying, the dying to everything I know - my family, children, house, furniture, my knowledge, gods, character, the `what I have done', `what I have not done', and the book I have not finished; the things I wanted to do and that I have not done. That is, we are frightened, not of the unknown but of leaving the things, dying to the things that we know - right?
Questioner: Let me try again, my point is...
Krishnamurti: Yes, Sir, please, Sir, we are going into that, but we can't go into it if you don't understand this: that we are frightened of leaving things which we know, not of the unknown. You cannot be frightened of the unknown because you don't know what the unknown is - so there is nothing to be frightened of. If I don't know about something, how can I be frightened of it? If I don't know the danger, how can I be frightened of danger? I am only frightened of leaving the things which I know, daily life, daily associations, daily contacts, daily sensations, daily pleasures, daily pains. And we ask, when I die will not all these daily pains, agonies, brutalities, violence, despairs, go over into the next life? Or do you say, in all this turmoil, chaos, misery, confusion, sorrow, there is a spiritual entity which will go over? I don't know what you believe I don't know why you should believe in anything. If you believe that there is a spiritual entity in you, which is timeless, which you call by various names such as Soul, Atman, God, if it is in you and if you have thought about it, then it is thought that has created it and therefore it is not new, therefore it is not spiritual, it is the product of thought, it is the product of tradition, knowledge, experience, fear. What you actually know is your daily, unhappy, tortured life - you don't want to face that. And the living that you know, you want to take into the next life. But if you die to everything you know, including your family, your memory, everything that you have felt, then death is a purification, death then is a rejuvenating process; then death brings innocence and it is only the innocent who are passionate, not the people who believe, or want to find out what happens after death. What can probably happen is - I think it is so, but one mustn't be dogmatic about anything or assert anything - thought goes on. If I am attached to my house - just think of that, attached to your house, attached to your family, attached to your office, to your books, which is your life - then that attachment (which is the result of thought) that thought may go on like any other wave or vibration, but it has very little validity; what has validity is to die to all the things of one's petty life, petty demands, security, possessions, power, prestige. Die to it so that your mind is cleansed and is fresh and is made new, so that it remains young and therefore timeless. What creates time is thought rooted in the past.
Questioner: Sir, my point is whether this body is the end of everything or is there a spiritual entity, our Soul, which goes beyond it?
Krishnamurti: Sir, who is going to tell you? Me? As I said at the beginning, I am not an authority. Oh no, no, you have misunderstood.
Questioner: Your belief.
Krishnamurti: The gentleman wants to know my beliefs. (Laughter) I have no beliefs about anything.
Questioner: When you die, what will happen?
Krishnamurti: I really don't care. (Laughter) Sirs, how easily you laugh. What will happen to you when you die, will you laugh? (Laughter) When you leave your family, when you leave your tortured life, if you have lived a shoddy, petty life, when you die will you laugh and say, "I really don't care"? Because you do care, otherwise you wouldn't live like this; if you really didn't care you would be revolutionaries, not in the economic sense but inwardly, tremendously caught in a movement that is limitless. So, sirs, to find out what actually takes place when you die, you must die (laughter) - no, sirs, don't laugh - you must die psychologically, inwardly. Die to the things that you have cherished, to the things that you are bitter about, die to your pleasure - have you ever tried to die to one pleasure? - not reasoned it out but actually died to it? Then you will find out, if you have died to one pleasure, naturally, without any enforcement, what it means to die. But you see, to die means to be made completely new, which is to have a mind that is totally empty of itself, empty of daily longings, pleasures and agonies.
November 26, 1967
New Delhi 1967
New Delhi 3rd Public Talk 26th November 1967
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