The Brockwood Talks and Discussions 1969 2nd Public Dialogue 11th September 1969
Krishnamurti: What shall we talk over together?
Questioner: Can we discuss how craving sustains conditioning?
Questioner: The non-dualistic nature of the mind.
Questioner: The problem of change.
Questioner: Sir, you spoke about energy and you said attention was energy and that it did not use up energy. I don't understand that.
Questioner: The question of seeing. The difference between seeing and recognising a description of one's mental structure.
Krishnamurti: Could we approach all these questions by enquiring into what we mean by learning? - I am just suggesting, I am not pushing this forward as my particular question. Perhaps we could then understand conditioning and the attention of awareness which does not waste energy, and so on. Could we begin there and then bring all the questions into that?
Here is a question, put at the beginning: craving strengthens conditioning. And any form of resistance, contradiction, opposing desires, are a waste of energy because in that there is involved a great deal of effort, struggle, frustration and fear. All that is a waste of energy. Could we learn about it? - not be told what to do, or how to think or how not to waste energy. But learn together about this question: craving strengthens one's conditioning and any form of resistance is a waste of energy. And what do we mean by learning? Can we approach it that way? Would that be worthwhile? Instead of my telling you what it is and you telling me what it is, can't we learn about it?
What does learning mean? Not only at the school level, at the university level, or the technological level, but also learning through experience. In this is involved testing - going through a particular form of experience and learning from it, and utilising what one has learnt as a means of testing. So I think it might be worthwhile to find out what we mean by learning. It is really quite a complex problem; it needs a great deal of enquiring into it, thinking about it - perhaps more feeling your way into it.
Now here is a question: resistance is a waste of energy. I hear that statement, I want to find out the truth of it or the falseness of it - I want to learn about it; I don't accept it, I don't reject it - I want to find out. First of all, there is a great deal of curiosity; not curiosity about somebody else, but about that statement, whether there is a fragment of truth in it, or anything that is worthwhile which can be tested, learnt about, experienced and lived. Therefore when I hear such a statement, I am really quite curious, like a schoolboy, who wants to know and who asks many questions.
Questions: Sir, I think curiosity is one of the essential ingredients of learning, because otherwise you are forcing yourself to do something.
Krishnamurti: Quite. Otherwise it becomes mechanical, mere cultivation of memory. So we say curiosity is necessary. Now wait a minute - am I curious? Not about how you live or what you do, what you think, which becomes gossip, interference, impudence - that is not curiosity, that is ugly. I am curious to find out for myself whether that statement has any meaning for me at all. When there is curiosity, there is energy, isn't there? I am really excited about it, I am not casual about it, I am not indifferent, I am really curious. And that curiosity gives me an impetus, a drive to find out.
Questioner: In fact we have to consider the motive of the curiosity.
Krishnamurti: I am curious - there is no motive. If there is a motive, there is no curiosity. I want to learn because I am curious. If it is in order to gain more money, that is not curiosity; the motive then is much more important, more vital than curiosity itself. Am I curious without a motive? I want to find out. I recognise in myself there is no motive. I just want to learn whether the statement that resistance is a waste of energy is true or false. So I say to myself: do I resist anything, psychologically as well as physically? It is quite interesting if you really go into it - shall we?
Please bear in mind that I have no motive, I just want to find out, I am curious. When a first-class scientist is exploring, he is not driven by a motive. A person who has a motive that he might achieve great fame and money and all the rest of it - such a person is not a scientist. He is just like anybody else, using science for his own benefit.
So I am just curious - there is no motive behind curiosity - that is a fact. I am talking about myself, not about you. Now I want to find out if I resist - I may resist a dozen things in life, my wife, the children, the boss, society, what somebody says to me. I am free to enquire, free to find out in what way I resist. Shall I examine this resistance in fragments? You understand what I mean - I resist here, there and so on.
Questioner: I don't quite follow you. We were talking about resistance, and you were saying just now that curiosity channels energy naturally. So then where is the resistance?
Krishnamurti: No, I want to examine if I am curious about resistance which is waste of energy. Questioner: I see, thank you.
Krishnamurti: That is what was asked - I am taking that as an example. Shall I look at resistance as a fragmentary process? I resist you because what you say may be true, and I want to resist because I am frightened of you. I am frightened of not being able to sit on the platform - you follow what I mean? So shall I examine this statement applicable to myself in myself, in fragments? I don't know if I am making myself clear.
Questioner: Yes. It wouldn't be wise.
Krishnamurti: Or shall I be able to look at it, learn about it, as a whole? Belief is a form of resistance - would you say that? I am a Hindu, or a Muslim or a Christian - there is a resistance against all other forms of belief, all other dogmas. I am a Communist and I reject everything else. Therefore I am resisting.
Questioner: So anything that impinges on the mind...
Krishnamurti: Wait, we'll come to that presently. Go slowly step by step. Don't come to any conclusions. I have found something: any form of conclusions is a resistance. I conclude that is wrong and this is right; that is a conclusion and I resist what I consider wrong, and hold on to what I consider good. I resist my wife because she dominates me, or I resist any form of questioning because I may find myself in a state of uncertainty, which I dislike, which may invite fear. Therefore I resist.
So shall I look at these fragments of resistance and try to learn from each fragment, or can I look at this whole form of resistance and learn from it? Let's go together, otherwise it's no fun - at least for me. Questioner: I don't see how this whole form of resistance expresses itself other than through lots of little resistances.
Krishnamurti: Yes, I quite agree. But I have put that question - don't accept it, we are learning - I may be totally wrong. I say to myself, `Shall I learn bit by bit, watch myself resisting any form of infringement of my freedom by the society, the priest, the government, or by my wife?' that is one form of resistance. And the other form of resistance is belief; because I am frightened if I don't have that belief, something might happen to me. Shall I learn from each example or is it possible to learn about the whole of resistance - not bit by bit?
Questioner: Do you mean that there is a common reason at the back of every form of resistance?
Questioner: Or a common factor - that it is caused by the same thing?
Krishnamurti: Look - I am resisting in various ways. My question would be: why am I resisting at all, what for? Not the reason of it. I want to see the fact that I am resisting. First I must know I am resisting. I am curious to find out if I am resisting. At the moment I am aware that I am resisting, there is already the discovery of the cause. I am resisting you, because I think I am much more intelligent, superior, more spiritual than you, and what you say might pull me down a little in front of the others; therefore I am going to resist you.
So I recognise I am resisting and I am learning about it. My mind is curious, and therefore I find out why I am resisting - not only you, but I see the whole of resistance. Are we going on together, are you sure?
Krishnamurti: I have formed an opinion, right or wrong, and I stick to it and I resist every other opinion. I believe in something and it is my knowledge, or others have informed me, and it strengthens my opinions. Now why do I have opinions at all? I recognise opinion is a form of resistance. Now I am going to learn, and with that sense of urgency and energy I find out why I am resisting altogether. Is not my whole life - please listen to this - the whole of my life a way of resistance? I think I am somebody, I have an image of myself and I don't want you to destroy that image. Or I have various forms of beliefs, dogmas, knowledge, experiences, which have given me a certain vitality, strength and technique to tackle life, and I am going to resist everything else.
So I say to myself, `I see this very clearly, I have found out something, which is: my whole life is a form of resistance'. No? Please, I am only communicating with you - don't agree or disagree.
Questioner: You mean it is a selection of one set of possibilities as against another?
Questioner: And therefore you are resisting the others. And that forms your particular character.
Krishnamurti: That's right. The Greek word character comes from engrave, engraving on the mind - that is my character. My mind has been engraved upon and I have a particular character - strong, weak, purposive, direct, dominating, this or that. And the thing that has been engraved on my mind is going to continue, resisting everything else. So I am asking myself, `Is my life a form of resistance, is living a form of resistance?'
Questioner: Yes, because with that resistance I build up my security. I feel secure in that and I am afraid to let it go. Krishnamurti: Are you saying, Madam, that resistance is a form of building up security? Is it? I am not saying it is not, I am just asking - is it? I don't want to reduce it to one word - this is much too explosive - you cannot just say that one word explains everything.
Questioner: One of the things one might be resisting is embarrassment, or shame.
Krishnamurti: Of course, all that is implied. I don't want to examine each detail, but see this whole problem of resistance. Is my life based on resistance, because I have an image of what I must be, what I should be, what I am, or what I want to achieve?
Questioner: What gives the energy, the force, to this image that one has of oneself? Why is it so strongly engrained in the mind?
Krishnamurti: That is fairly simple, surely. Every form of influence is continually impinging on my mind - the family, society, my own desires.
Questioner: Isn't it that all these different resistances are a means of protecting this image, defending it?
Krishnamurti: Is that what you have found, Madam? Is that what you have learnt?
Questioner: Yes. Sometimes.
Krishnamurti: Now you see what has happened? Curiosity has aroused tremendous energy in me to find out. And I am looking, watching where I am resisting. I want to learn, because I see any form of experience which is not a conclusion, is an experience to be tested so one can say `that is so'. Any form of resistance divides people, therefore there is no communication, no relationship, therefore there is conflict and no peace. Questioner: Is not resistance the fear one has of the idea of death?
Krishnamurti: Yes. That is also included. So shall we go along? I hope you are all as intense about this as the speaker is, because I really want to find out if there is any form of resistance in me. I want to learn about the idea that I am a great man, the image, the idea of success, of popularity, reputation, being a leader - all those horrors. Is the mind resisting anything? Which means the mind has taken a position with regard to politics, economy, religion, the family - you follow? And it is unwilling to move from there.
Questioner: When we speak of resistance, the mind starts resisting resistance.
Krishnamurti: Yes, and tradition is also a resistance. So I want to find out if I have a tradition.
There is that statement: craving strengthens conditioning. Does it? Why do I crave? I understand that I crave for food when I am hungry. There is the biological, sexual urge and the image that thought builds around that urge; there is craving for sexual excitement, or the craving for power, for position, or for peace - is all that craving? The wanting, demanding, insisting - is it? I am hungry, I need food - is that craving or is it the natural response of an organism that needs food; would you call that craving? But craving comes when I say, `I must have that particular kind of food which tastes better'. And there is the whole structure of sexual demands. The biological urge is different from the craving which thought creates about the urge. Are you following?
Questioner: Will you please repeat that last sentence?
Krishnamurti: The biological urge is strengthened by thought creating or building an image of all that. That becomes the craving. Questioner: Are we afraid that if we don't crave we cease to live?
Krishnamurti: No, I don t say that. What does this craving mean? I am trying to enquire. There are natural, organic, biological urges and demands, and thought takes hold of them and transforms them into something called craving - appetites. Then thought says, `I must be careful, because I am a respectable man, therefore I must be wise in my appetites'. So there is a battle going on between two thoughts. I don't know if you follow what I mean? The thought that has created the image, the picture of the sexual demands, and the thought that says `be careful'. So thought forms a resistance against the thought which has created the picture, the sensation, the volume behind that. So you see how resistance has been formed.
Questioner: But, Sir, surely sometimes resistance might be necessary?
Krishnamurti: We are coming to that in a minute, first let's get the picture. So thought encourages in one direction and thought resists that. It says, `I must resist, otherwise I may be destroyed - by society, by my wife, etc; therefore it is good, it is wise, it is normal to resist'.
Questioner: The desire which is pushed on by thought, leads in a direction which disturbs the temporary equilibrium. And the opposing thought tries to restore it at a different level. That's what I see.
Krishnamurti: That's right, Sir. So I have learnt a great deal.
The mind is looking at itself to see whether there is any form of duality going on. Resistance is duality. There is opposition, contradiction, and in that there is conflict. Therefore I say to myself: the whole of resistance is a waste of energy. I've learnt that - it isn't that somebody else has told me, it isn't that the speaker on the platform has pointed it out and therefore I am repeating after him. It is something which I have actually learnt out of my curiosity, my energy and drive - not as an idea which I am going to apply, but as an actual fact. I see that resistance breeds duality and therefore conflict, which is essentially a waste of energy.
Now I'm going to enquire where it is necessary to resist, or if one can live without resistance at all. I want peace - God knows why, but I want it - I think it is marvellous to live in peace. You come along, because you have heard somebody say so, and tell me I can have peace if I do certain things - meditate, repeat words, listen to sound, sit this way, breathe that way, and so on. And I want that, because intellectually I can see that a mind that is very peaceful is extraordinarily alive, beautiful, has a certain vitality, intensity. So what you say appeals to me and I practice it and I get certain experiences and a certain feeling, a certain quiet. I want peace and I find peace can be had at a certain price and I am willing to pay for it, and I resist every other form of teaching.
I know all that. So I say to myself, can I live completely, right through my whole being without resistance, not having to resist this or that, follow this person and not that person - can I live that way, not theoretically but actually? Can I live my daily life without any resistance? If you want my coat, shall I resist? If you want any of my property will I yield, and not resist you? If you say, `Do this, think this way, don't think that way' - shall I resist you? Where shall I yield and not yield? How can you tell me, or I tell you where to yield and where not to yield? Or have I to learn about it? If you tell me that I must yield here and not there, you have already set a resistance going in me. But I am going to find out for myself where I must yield without resistance, and where I must not yield. That means I shall find out how to act at a particular moment. Not come to that moment with a conclusion. If I come to that moment with a conclusion I am already resisting. Because I have no principle - which is a conclusion - I have no ideology and there is freedom. So I say to myself, `I am learning, I have found the truth - I have no opinion, no conclusion, there is no resistance'. Clarity has made that perception clear, and I say, every minute of the day I am going to find out.
Questioner: Isn't it that we are afraid of the energy... ?
Krishnamurti: The fear is energy - you cannot be afraid of a fear. Fear is a form of energy. No?
Questioner: But it seems that one is constantly diverting energy into resistance or fear, or something else.
Krishnamurti: Look: I am afraid. I am going to learn about fear. I am not going to translate it into saying `it is a waste of energy', or `it is energy', and so on. I have no conclusion about fear; therefore I am free, curious to learn. You follow? So I am going to learn what fear is - a form of resistance, because I am afraid I might die tomorrow, or I am afraid of my father and mother.
Questioner: Is the fear of death unconsciously at the root of the whole of the resistance against every day?
Krishnamurti: Sir, are you afraid to go into the question of fear? Actually, deeply are you aware that you are afraid? Shall I resist fear by cultivating courage? - which is a form of resistance that is called courage. It isn't courage, it is a resistance. I am afraid, and I am escaping from it. Escape is resistance to what is - surely. So I want to find out if I am escaping. There are so many ways of escape, don't let's go into them. And there is fear - what shall I do with it? I am not escaping because I see resistance doesn't dissolve fear, doesn't push it away. Questioner: When I have seen that fear and resistance are only the fear of death, can I not realise - at least intellectually - that life and death are the same thing? At that moment the fear will vanish.
Krishnamurti: It is not quite like that, is it? I am not really interested in death - that is inevitable, it will come later. But I am really frightened of my wife - I'm sorry, I'll take something else! (laughter) Frightened of what, Sir?
Questioner: Inadequate responses?
Krishnamurti: Let's take that. I am frightened of my incapacity to respond fully to life. And I am not resisting, I am not escaping, I am full of curiosity to find out why I am frightened because I can't respond fully. The fact is I can't. What am I frightened of?
Questioner: Because it's so uncomfortable to live with.
Krishnamurti: Which means what? - I dislike living uncomfortably. Or I find that I cannot respond completely, adequately, because my mother and father beat me when I was a baby - you know the whole process of going back to childhood. So, am I frightened because of my inadequate response? All right, I'm inadequate, why should I be frightened of it? Because I have an image that I must respond fully - if I don't I will be unhappy, I'll be in conflict, I'll be miserable, uncomfortable and all the rest of it - and therefore I say, `I am inadequate' and this frightens me; therefore fear is a form of resistance. Do you get it? If I have no picture of what adequacy is, then I am just inadequate - all right.
Questioner: Is it not being aware of what is?
Krishnamurti: No, Madam, listen to it a little bit - I haven't finished yet. I am inadequate. I have fear because I have an image that I should be adequate; but if I have no image, what tells me I am inadequate? Please, don't shrug it off.
Krishnamurti: Quite right. Do please listen. He said, it is comparison. Why do I compare? That is my habit, isn't it, from childhood on through university and throughout life. I have always lived in a society, in a state of mind, that is continually comparing - a bigger car, a smaller car, more beautiful, less beautiful, more intelligent, less intelligent, more money, less money, and so on. You follow? Why am I comparing? I am curious, I am learning - you understand? I see comparison has caused inadequacy in me. If I don't compare there is no inadequacy. I am what I am - I may be stupid, but that is all right.
Questioner: But Sir, it's not always like that.
Krishnamurti: Of course nothing is always like that.
Questioner: I mean, it is not always comparison that makes one feel inadequate.
Krishnamurti: I am examining comparison, Madam. My life is comparative, I want peace, I am not peaceful. How do I know that I have not the idea of peace? So why do I compare? Please follow this. Can I live without comparison? The ideal, the hero, the bigger man, the lesser man, the inferior, the stupid - can I live without any comparison, at any time?
Questioner: It seems to be the linguistic structure of thought that has comparison built in.
Krishnamurti: Quite so - in language itself there is comparison and I have seen that; therefore I am not going to say, `I am more or I am less'. The very structure of the `me' is comparative. Questioner: Don't we confuse comparative facts with comparative judgments?
Krishnamurti: Comparative fact - that is, this colour is red, I prefer blue, I don't like this. The fact - that is fairly clear. But I want to get my teeth into much deeper things than that, which is: can I live completely without comparison? Not the comparison of judgment, that is, `you are fairer than I am' - obviously I am brown and you are fair - so what? But I am asking myself, I am full of curiosity to find out whether the mind can live without comparing. And is not the mind itself the result of comparison? The tall and the small, more - less. I can only live non-comparatively when I am absolutely looking at the fact and not what the fact should be or must not be.
Questioner: But, Sir, take two facts side by side.
Krishnamurti: No, no, there is no such thing as two facts side by side. Look, there is one fact at a time, not two facts at one time.
Questioner: No, but it is a way of perceiving difference.
Krishnamurti: No, that is what that lady was saying just now.
Questioner: Not only in red and blue, but in many things, in people and objects.
Krishnamurti: Opinion, then.
Questioner: And events and so on.
Krishnamurti: No. Madam, look - there is only one fact. A second later maybe, there'll be another fact.
Questioner: And then we see the difference.
Krishnamurti: Yes, then what? What are you trying to say, Madam? Questioner: I am trying to say that one learns by seeing the difference about oneself. One only sees one thing in oneself, one doesn't see that there are other things. From time to time one compares and it is a way of learning.
Krishnamurti: Do please listen to what you are saying. Do I learn through comparison?
Questioner: We do learn.
Krishnamurti: Please find out, don't insist.
Questioner: We do, yes. I mean I have found it out.
Krishnamurti: No, no, Madam - that doesn't mean anything. Sorry, forgive me if I contradict you. Do I learn anything by comparing or do I only learn by looking at the fact and enquiring about that fact; not by comparing that fact with another fact? I have a Chinese vase, and a Persian vase. By looking at the Chinese vase I learn all about it. But if I begin to compare the two, I am learning about something else, not about the fact of the Chinese vase. Questioner: Krishnaji, but certain facts in relation to other facts...
Krishnamurti: Wait a minute.
Questioner: For instance, if you were considering the speed of something, you would learn it in relation to the speed of other things; that would be part of the fact, would it not? That's comparison.
Krishnamurti: You are saying - you learn about that fact much quicker than I do.
Questioner: No, I am speaking of the objective relation of two facts. There is a relationship; for instance light has a different speed than the motor car. Those two are facts, and their relationship is a further fact. One has to consider the two things in order to learn something about them.
Krishnamurti: All right. The Mercedes goes much faster than the bullock cart. That is a fact and that doesn't touch me or interfere with my life.
Questioner: You learn about the speed by going in the bullock cart. When you are in the Mercedes you feel the speed of the Mercedes, there is no need to compare it with the bullock cart.
Krishnamurti: Wait a minute. Not only that - there is another fact involved. Do I learn by comparing myself with you, who learn much more quickly? - there is speed involved in this too. You learn something extraordinarily quickly, you see very clearly; immediately resistance arises and all the implications of it. Your perception is instantaneous, with mine I have to go little by little. You act much more quickly, my action is slower. Why am I comparing myself with you? Where does speed come into this - the more, the less - why?
Questioner: Because of the images.
Krishnamurti: No, because I am envious of her. I want that same thing which she has, be as quick as she is, because I have compared myself with her. That comparison is very quick; why am I comparing myself? Can I live without being aware that you are much quicker than I am? Can I free myself linguistically from the comparative judgment about myself? Therefore, can I look at myself non-comparatively, non-verbally? - for the word in itself is comparative.
I am really very curious and therefore full of delightful energy, to find out if I can live without comparison at all. Comparison implies pretension. There is a great deal of hypocrisy in comparison. I want to be like Christ, like the Buddha, the hero, and I am not. I am comparing myself with them and pretending, striving, struggling to be that. And I say, what nonsense. I see that to live without comparison means complete honesty to oneself - not to anybody else. The moment I compare myself I am pretending, putting on a mask. It is like in a school. If B is compared to A - as it happens always, through examinations, in class, in every way - if he is told `you must be like A', you are destroying B. And that is the kind of education we have all had. So education becomes violent, destructive. Can we educate ourselves without comparing?
Questioner: Sir, we have to find out where comparison has its place, where it is necessary and where it isn't.
Krishnamurti: Of course, Sir. That's what we said.
Questioner: How can we not be aware of the differences? We are aware of them.
Krishnamurti: Oh, no, on the contrary. We are saying, be aware of this contradiction. Contradiction exists when there is a resistance. We've been through all that.
Questioner: I cannot see my head - I just see this part of my body - how could I compare it with the whole body which I see everywhere?
Krishnamurti: I only know I have a head through comparison? (laughter) I look in a mirror!
Questioner: It wasn't a very good example, but we do learn about ourselves by seeing things around us, in other people. It's not always brought about by envy - it is observation.
Krishnamurti: No, Madam.
Questioner: We can learn.
Krishnamurti: You are saying you can learn by watching others, in many ways. By watching the animal - its violence, its devotion, its pleasures - I learn, because I am part of the animal; my whole background is derived from the higher apes and all the rest of it. At least that is what the scientists say. Or the others will say, no, you are straight from God. Have I got to watch the animal to learn about myself? Have I got to watch you to learn about myself?
Questioner: It can be useful.
Krishnamurti: How can it be useful? Have I the eyes?
Questioner: But I am blind to myself.
Krishnamurti: Therefore you are blind to others.
Questioner: No, they can open up your eyes sometimes, in a flash.
Krishnamurti: They can wake you, every shock, every challenge, every questions does wake you. But do I depend on questions, a challenge, looking at others to keep awake?
Questioner: It is all part of it.
Krishnamurti: No, Madam - part of me is asleep, therefore I am not awake. It is like the curate's egg. [ed: A curate at the bishop's breakfast table was embarrassed to find his egg uneatable; asked by the bishop if his egg was bad, he replied, "It's good in parts!"]
Questioner: Is this form of comparison a desire to imitate?
Krishnamurti: Surely. Please Sir, don't take part of this and part of that, but find out whether you can live without comparison. And isn't that the only way to live? Doesn't that give you tremendous energy? But if I am comparing myself with the Prime Minister or with Jesus or whatever it is, what a waste of life it is!
So I am watching, I am learning about comparisons and therefore I know when comparison has its values and when it has no value at all.
Questioner: That is what I meant when I first said that it had some use.
Krishnamurti: No, forgive me again. We must start by saying, can one live without comparison. Not `it helps sometimes and doesn't help at other times', `comparison is necessary, or `it is not necessary'. When the right question is asked, and answered rightly, then that will bring about the right response when comparison is necessary. But I must ask the right question, the fundamental question first, which is - can I live without comparison, not `on some days' or `sometimes'. If I have answered that question, not verbally or intellectually, but deeply, totally, then I will know when it is necessary or when it is not necessary. It is like knowing what co-operation is - completely, deeply; then only will you know when not to co-operate. But to say, mustn't I co-operate with this and not co-operate with that, isn't it necessary sometimes? - that leads to greater and greater confusion. When you know how to co-operate fundamentally - not round an idea, round a feeling, round an emotion - but co-operate without any resistance, then you will also know very deeply, when not to co-operate. So one must ask the right question first.
September 11th 1969
The Brockwood Talks and Discussions 1969 2nd Public Dialogue 11th September 1969
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