Public Dialogues, Saanen 1968
Talks and Dialogues Saanen 1968 6th Public Dialogue 5th August 1968
Krishnamurti: What shall we talk over together this morning?
Questioner (1): Could we discuss intensity of passion that has no motive?
Questioner (2): Sir, is it possible to get rid of any image? I don't think so, because images are created by the first necessities of life.
Questioner (3): Can you speak about space and emptiness?
Questioner (4): Can you speak about action?
Questioner (5): Sir, you speak about energy; we have no energy, how can we get it?
Questioner (6): Can we talk about time?
Questioner (7): Is there some kind of incentive to action?
Krishnamurti: Yesterday we were talking about what one is seeking; and I thought we came upon a rather interesting question. I am sure all the other questions, which have just been asked, might be included in that.
There is this whole field of life political, economic, social and individual behaviour, communal and individual aggression, the ideologies of various political parties, and the religious groups at variance with one another; and there are individuals, that is human beings. There is this whole field of existence, broken up into fragments, each fragment in opposition to the other, the various desires opposing each other, the contradictions and so on. This is the field in which we live. And we said that this field, this structure, is brought about by oneself, by the egotistic activity of each individual. I think that was fairly clear. Now what is one to do? What action can one take, so that one acts not in fragments as a conservative, as a communist (and the communists are becoming rather old fashioned now), as a nationalist and so on and yet is talking about freedom, love, joy and beauty. There is this contradiction and the individual aspirations and motives and struggles. Seeing all that, what is the right action which covers the whole field, not just one segment of it? I think when we ask the question: `what is action?', that is included in it. That action must be a timeless action, not conforming with immediate necessities, with the behaviour of a society and therefore an individual behaviour; an action which must be whole, complete, total and therefore timeless. That question includes time. Is there such an action? Or is man everlastingly condemned to function in fragments and to be always in conflict? One sees the limitation of human behaviour and human understanding; but being aware of this; one may not know where the limitation lies. So shall we talk over together this morning, what action should come into being when we see all this? Would that be worthwhile?
Krishnamurti: Right Sir. That is one of the questions which has arisen out of this morning's questions.
How are we going to find out if there is an action that in its very activity does not bring about its own contradiction? You see what is happening in the world: they are talking about freedom, resisting a system imposed upon them, they are demanding a form of democratic government if there is such a thing as democratic government and they are fighting. And there are the religious people, the Catholics, Protestants, Hindus, contending with others, each condi- tioned to a particular form of belief, dogma, ritual. There is the whole communal, social relationship between man and man; again, one observes there is fragmentation. And in one's own life, as a human being, there is this battle going on, of contradiction, of opposing desires. Being aware of this, observing this, what action should one take? What should one do? Is there an action that will always answer totally under all circumstances? This is quite an interesting problem, if you put it to yourself. Must we always act conceptually, that is ideologically and therefore fragmentarily? Is there an action that covers the whole field, all the problems? Would that be an extravagant question? Has it any validity for each one of us? What do you say, please Sirs?
Questioner: Yes, it would.
Krishnamurti: Do find out, don't just say `yes' casually. Is one really serious to find such an action?
One has built an image about oneself. One can see how that image has come into being we won't go into the cause of it, of the many causes of it, which we did previously. There is the image that man has created in his relationship with others, which is the social image; there is the image of a Utopia, the perfect society, which the Communists imposed and accepted at the beginning they now have other kinds of images. Then there are the innumerable religious images: what one should be, that there is a God, that there is no God, there is a Saviour, or no Saviour, and so on. So there are images, patterns of behaviour contradicting each other and activities indulged in by each one of us, which contradict the social environment. There is the image that one wants peace, or happiness a formula that one has put together in order to find out of all this contradiction and confusion, a supreme image of reality, of hope, of bliss. We are confronted by what we have created. Is there an action that will be true under all circumstances and not bring about confusion, destruction, enmity? If that question is fairly clear, how would you set about finding out? How would you explore?
Questioner (1) (In French): The difficulty is to approach the problem correctly.
Questioner (2): Action is always relative to a situation. So I don't see a way to go into this question.
Krishnamurti: Action is only relative; therefore, being relative, it is progressive, getting better and better, riper, more convenient, more comfortable, and so on.
Questioner: What kind of intelligence can you use?
Krishnamurti: I don t know what kind of intelligence one can use I really don't know. I have put the problem to you because you raised some of these questions this morning - action, image, time, and whether one can go beyond all the images that one has built up.
Questioner: It is impossible, because one is using the bag of memories and desires which is ourselves.
Krishnamurti: Can one get rid of the memories? Can one put aside all the accumulated memories and act differently, is that it? I don't know. I am asking you. Here is a problem, please do give a little attention to it. Here a problem is put to you, it is a challenge to you. You can't say `Well, I am sorry, I am not intelligent, it should be that way, but it is not; 'I wish I could get rid of my memories and begin all over again' that's no answer.
Questioner: There is a precipice between us and the problem, how can we reach over it?
Krishnamurti: Yes, Sir. I understand that. Look, don't ask me. First see the problem very clearly, don't create another image and say `If I could do this, that would happen'. This is the fact: we live in a world of fragments, each one antagonistically opposing the other; each one has his own particular form of aggression, each one has his own fear, each one is trying to live up to an image given by some professional writer of what society should be, what individuals must be. And as human beings are so limited in their understanding, that understanding has invented a super-entity who is going to save us all; which is another image right? Now, you see this problem. If you don't see it then we can't discuss the issue. But if one sees the problem one must naturally ask this question, it seems to me. So is there an action which is not fragmentary, which doesn't breed more confusion, more misery for oneself and for the neighbour?
Questioner: This would be the action of real love.
Krishnamurti: But I don't know what real love is! How do you answer this challenge?
Questioner (1): By asking yourself the question.
Questioner (2): Live with that question.
Krishnamurti: No. Take time, find out how you will answer this. Knowing that all the professionals political, economic, religious are always thinking in terms of fragments (they may talk about love, universal brotherhood and so on, but actually these are just formulas, not realities in their life; you cannot depend upon them. So there is a challenge which you have to answer.
Questioner: Sir, if you really look without an observer, the images will fall away and proper action will be indicated.
Krishnamurti: That's not an answer is it? If the images go away, the right action will come. But the image doesn't go! What am I to do, confronted with this issue? May I help a little? Questioner: First, I have to see the question very clearly.
Krishnamurti: Don't we? Look at what is happening. There is Japan, the second largest industrial country after America, competing with the rest of the world; there is the whole Communist world I don't know if you have read it a Russian scientist has written an article which has been published in an American paper, in which he says Stalin killed ten or twelve million people because of ideas. And there is the whole religious world of the Catholics with their innumerable images, with their wars, saying that theirs is the only true religion. There is the business world. There is the world of armaments, war. And here are you and I living in this mad, confusing world, being drafted into the army, resisting war, and so on. What am I to do? Go and join the army? Burn the draft-cards? Become a pacifist? Or run away from all this and join a monastery? Or lose myself in I don't know what reading books, writing, anything so as not to face the issue? That is what we are doing in the world. And when you are faced with it, forced into it, driven into a corner to answer it, you have no answer, you say `Well if you do this, that will happen'. The problem is clear, isn't it? Must it be repeated in ten different ways? Now, what am I to do?
Questioner: Deny all that and move away.
Krishnamurti: To deny what does that mean? I deny all this, but I have created all this! As a human being, I have produced this chaos in the world. You don't look at it. Here is a problem. I really don't know what to do. I can talk about it; I can invent `ifs' and `possibles' and `I wish it were different' which is all immature, childish. When the house is burning you don't talk about the colour of the person who started the fire, what kind of hose you are going to use, what kind of water it is. That's what you are doing. May I go into it a little bit?
Here is a problem. To me it is an actual, vital, urgent problem not a superficial problem as vital as the demands of sex, of hunger, to get rid of pain. I have no theories how to get rid of pain; I go to a doctor and he will give me some pill. But there is no doctor, there is no system, no philosopher who is going to answer us. So I have to find out. Can you stop there? How am I going to find out? It isn't just a vague hope; I say to myself, I am going to explore. That is the first thing I have to do explore. I have understood the intricacies of the problem, the complexity of it, the various shades of Communism, or Catholicism and seen it, read about it, come into contact with people, I have talked about it with the people who are involved in it, who are committed to Communism or Socialism, battling with each other, ready to kill each other. So the problem is very clear. And now I am going to explore how to answer it right?
First of all I must have a mind that is not prejudiced, that is not committed to the left or to the right. You understand? To believe neither in God, nor in a particular formula, be it Communist or Capitalist. To be involved but not committed. I don't know if you see the difference, do you? As a human being I am involved in all this, but I refuse to be committed to any of it. Would that be logical? If I am committed to a particular party I will always look at the world with those ideas, with those formulas; they may be reasonable or unreasonable, but I am committed to them. Therefore the first thing I am going to find out is whether, though I am involved, I am committed. Am I? Are you committed? As a Conservative, terribly frightened of the revolt which took place in Paris, I am horrified because I am frightened; being afraid I can't find what the right action is. I don't know if you are following all this?
I hope you see the difference between being committed and being involved. This must be verbally very clear, otherwise we lose communication with each other. If I am committed to a particular formula, religious or philosophical, economic or social, and have given my life, my thought, my study, my energy to it, I have distorted my mind so that it is incapable of looking at anything else right? I say to myself `only politics can answer all these questions, only the right political system'. Therefore there is an opponent who says he also has the right system. So I am not going to be committed; I am involved in human struggle, involved in this colossal, intricate, complex problem. And I ask myself, `Am I involved?' Obviously that is a most sane thing to ask. Either you are, or you are not involved. If you are, you get out of it, or remain in it. Am I committed to any conceptual form of life, to any ideologies? One can understand political ideologies fairly easily and throw them out, but has one any ideologies inwardly? `I must be', `I should be', `society is this', `society must not', `this is moral', `this is not moral', 'this is right behaviour', `this is wrong behaviour', `there is God', `there is no God'. One must be terribly honest in all this, otherwise it leads to hypocrisy. It is for each one of us to answer that question. The speaker has none, that is obvious, he has been at it for forty-five years, shouting about it!
Then am I frightened of giving up the old? Even when one loves new ideas, new ways of life, new buildings, one is loving and stabilizing the new which becomes the old, and is living in it. I don't know if you are following this? I mean, for instance, saying `the new is marvellous, I am going to accept it', and then it becomes the old. That is what is called progress. So am I doing that too? Please watch what is taking place. This is actual meditation if you don't object to that word because we are really penetrating into the whole structure and nature of our thinking, our feeling, our activity.
Again, I am taking facts, not what `should be; I am just looking at it. I don't condemn it, I don't judge it, I am just observing the phenomena that are going on outwardly and inwardly. And I see there is no morality at all in society. It is an immoral society and I don't know what morality is; all the morality I know is immorality, which I have accepted, lived with, and yet I am rebelling against morality. Social morality is respectability; `kill your neighbour' for some ideology he may be ten thousand miles away kill him in business because you want to succeed, be aggressive, possessive, hold on to what you have, be competitive, seek status, position, power; all that has become very highly respectable, highly moral. I see that and I can't be moral along those lines. Therefore there may be a different kind of morality. To find out a different kind of morality I must completely deny the social morality. Are you doing it? You understand? Each one of us wants to be somebody, with the little knowledge that we have. I may dominate my wife and want to be somebody in the home; in the office I also want to be somebody. I want to sit next to God specially at his right hand! I want to do ten different things. I am very proud. So can I deny all that, not verbally, but actually deny the whole structure of pride, so that my mind is very clear? It has no personal axe to grind, in the name of God, in the name of society do you follow?
So I am learning about myself and that learning must be immediate. I can't say `Well, I will take time to learn little by little'. I must see all this immediately. When the house is burning you can't say `I will lay a pipe', you must find water immediately and act. And our house is burning. So can I see; the truth of all this instantly and therefore act instantly? (I don't know if you are meeting this?) Do I see all this, not as an idea or a conceptual perception, but am I actually seeing all this, the dangers of it, the poisonous nature of this world we live in, which we have created? Not as an abstraction, but actually in my life, am I doing this? To have no enmity, no grudge, no temptation, no aggression, and therefore to have a mind that is highly sensitive and intelligent. Not having one standard of action, but a mind which in the very freeing of itself from all these contradictory fragments has become highly sensitive and intelligent. And it is this t,~ intelligence that is going to act.
Intelligence is something different from intellectual capacity. You can't go to college to learn this intelligence by passing degrees and writing papers. This intelligence comes into being, not through time, but through direct perception, observation, seeing actually `what is' both outwardly and inwardly; the inner creating the outer. It is fairly obvious how the inner creates the outer the inward ideology of Communism has created the Communist world. Ideology being the word, the form and the content of the word, and communicating it to others through various kinds of propaganda, through oppression, through killing, through torture, through all the horror that occurs. Conceptual thought and action is not intelligence. We have made this world, this society, and our human relationships into `what should be', what is the right government', `what is the right god'. All those are formulae. It is conceptual thinking and verbalizing that conceptual thinking in action. (I don't know if you are following this?)
Intelligence is not conceptual thinking, nor its expression through words; but intelligence is this awareness of seeing what `actually is', and seeing my relationship to the world, which I as a human being have created; to actually see it in my life: my activity, my thought, my conservatism, my fears, my love of the new which becomes acceptance, and so on (which is my daily life). It is observing and watching the facts of that life looking at it; and out of this observation the mind becomes highly intelligent. It is this intelligence that is going to answer non-fragmentarily, as an action which will be right under all circumstances. It is this intelligence that is going to act, not a formula, of what action should be. Are we communicating with each other?
Audience: Yes. Krishnamurti: I wonder! Or am I off by myself? Don't say `yes' I am not at all sure.
Questioner: Sir, there is a practical problem. We are listening to you with our minds. Occasionally we are watching what happens, but the mind keeps cutting in. There may be a moment of perception, but then we are back to where we were.
Krishnamurti: I understand. The question is very simple. I see for a moment very clearly and at that moment I may act, but the old habits, the old traditions come back and I'm lost. Are you lost when you see something dangerous when you see very clearly a bottle marked `poison'? Even in the dark you are very careful, aren't you? You see, it is not how the ways of the past can be resisted, but rather to see very clearly what is, and your relationship to it. It is when we don't see very clearly, that the past comes into being and smothers us.
Questioner: Yes, this is the problem. Krishnamurti: Ah! It is not a problem. Don't make it a problem! We have got so many problems, don't add another one to them. Look, I see something very clearly and act, and the past comes as a tremendous wave and smothers everything. I can see why the past acts so imperiously, so directly: because there is habit, inheritance, the laziness of my mind, traditional acceptance of things as they are, because I am frightened and so on; it is fairly easy to find out why the past is so powerful. Leave the past alone for the time being. What is important is to see the past very clearly, which means to have eyes that are always looking to find out.
Questioner: Is it a question of the eyes being there already, or do they have to be developed in meditation?
Krishnamurti: What do you think? Don't answer, take time. Are the eyes there already to see very clearly? Or are those eyes to be cultivated? What do you think?
Questioner: Maybe they are blindfolded.
Krishnamurti: The same thing. How will you find out? Gradually evolve so that you see very clearly? Is there time to evolve? With the atom bomb, with the exploding population, with the threats of war, the hatred, the jealousies, the personal ambitions, you know all that is there time? Would you say when the house is burning, `Through time I must cultivate the technique of putting the fire out'?
Questioner: Sir, when one's action springs from intelligence, does the word action imply a force of conduct, or does each step in such action occur independent of every previous step? In each step is one acting from intelligence independent of prior steps?
Krishnamurti: Is this intelligence separate from the past activity, from the past limitation, from the past confusion? Well Sir, you will answer this question when you grapple with the problem, which is: is there time now, with the population increasing, exploding, which is leading to more aggression? I don't know if you realize that. The more crowded the cities and the countries become, the more aggression there is going to be, more destruction, more revolts; and there is the threat of war. Each country specially the two dominant, most powerful countries is preparing instruments of incalculable destruction against the other; and there is confusion, there is misery, sorrow in our hearts. Is there time to say `I will spend a few days to cultivate the capacity to see'? What kind of people are we? When the house is burning we say `Let it burn, I'll take time'.
Questioner: It seems to me this would be acting out of a motive.
Krishnamurti: I took that as an example. Don't run the 'motive' to death. What we have said just now is very clear. Is there time ? Or, do you see things instantly and act instantly on what you see? I wish you would go into it.
Questioner: To answer now will take a little time.
Krishnamurti: Sir, please do listen. We say, 'I can't see very clearly, the past is much too powerful, my conditioning is this or that, therefore I must break it down slowly' and so you need time through which to cultivate perception. Do you see anything through time? Do you see clearly through the process of cultivation? Or do you see things instantly?
Questioner: Can one make people see?
Krishnamurti: Will propaganda help you to see clearly?
Questioner: Can we help other people to see clearly?
Krishnamurti: Oh, lovely, lovely! (Laughter) Back to the good old world! When I don't see clearly myself, I want to help my neighbour to see clearly.
Questioner: Does this energy, which you talk about, come into being when the energy which comes through contradiction ceases?
Krishnamurti: We know we have energy through contradiction, through self-aggrandizement, egotistic activities there is endless energy in that. And we are talking of an energy which is not of that kind, which is of a different dimension. How does one come to it? Only when I see how this contradictory activity, which creates its own energy, is making a perfect mess of the world, outwardly and inwardly. I see that! And the very seeing of the wastage of that energy is the other energy.
5th August, 1968
Public Dialogues, Saanen 1968
Talks and Dialogues Saanen 1968 6th Public Dialogue 5th August 1968
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