Saanen 3rd Question & Answer Meeting 25th July 1980
May I repeat again what we said the other day about questions? The word derived from the Latin which means to seek. Not find an answer but to seek; to seek the answer in the question itself, not away from it. And in answering these questions we are seeking or exploring together. The speaker may explain but together we are entering into these questions, together we are seeking to find out the truth in the question, not away from it. So we are sharing the question together and trying to find a true correct answer.
1st QUESTION: I am dissatisfied with everything. I have read and thought a great deal but my discontent with the whole universe is still there. What you talk about makes me more discontented, more disturbed, more troubled. I now feel frustrated, antagonistic to you. What is wrong with what you are saying? Or is something wrong with me?
I think the more one observes the world, what is happening, over population, pollution, corruption, violence, and observing all that practically in every country in the world, one is trying to find an answer to all this. That is one part of the question.
And the other is: the questioner says "I am discontented, not only with what you are saying but with everything around me. With my job, with my wife, with my husband, with my girl-friend, or boy, or whatever it is. I am discontented". And that is the common lot for most of us. Either it becomes a consuming flame, or it is dampened down by seeking some kind of satisfaction in various activities of life. And discontent, instead of allowing it to become a consuming flame, most of us almost destroy it. We are so easily satisfied, we are so gullible, we are so ready to accept, and so gradually our discontent withers away and we become the normal mediocre human beings without any vitality, without any energy, without any urge to do anything.
But the questioner says I have been through all that, I have read a great deal and thought about life a great deal, probably have been all over the world, and I have not found an answer to this discontent. And people who are thoughtful, aware what is happening around them and in themselves, aware that politics, science, religion has not answered any of our deep human problems. They have technologically evolved, developed and so on, but inwardly I am discontent. And listening to you as the speaker, I am more disturbed, more discontented and antagonistic to what you are. What is wrong with you and what you are saying? Or there is something wrong with me?
First of all let us be very clear that when there is discontent, is that discontent per se - you understand? - per se, in itself, or you are discontented with something? You understand? I may be discontented with the world, with the philosophies, with the various instructions of various religions. But that discontent is with something, towards something or in something. It is not the discontent which has no cause, and therefore can be ended. As we said the other day, where there is a cause there is an end. Has this discontent a cause, and therefore it can be resolved, ended? Or this discontent has no cause? Please go with the speaker, we are sharing this question together. As we said, one can be discontented with so many things, as human beings are, better house, better this and better that - you understand? The moment there is a measure there must be discontent. You have understood this? I wonder. I'll go on.
I am glad you are antagonistic to what is being said. Instead of accepting and sitting quietly and saying, yes, but I am antagonistic to you. Don't accept. You are causing me much more disturbance, I feel frustrated, therefore I am urged towards this sense of antagonistic attitude. So we must be very clear whether this discontent has a cause and if it has a cause then that discontent is seeking contentment, satisfaction, gratification. So this discontent creates the opposite, to be contented, to be satisfied, to be completely bourgeois, like the Communists are. And if that is this search, desire, if that is what you want when you are deeply discontented, to find something with which you can be completely contented, never to be disturbed, then that discontent will find a way to gather satisfaction, and therefore that discontent is withered, gone.
Perhaps that is what most of us are doing - probably all of you, if I may point out, you are discontented. You have been to this, to that, to that talk, to that person and so on and so on, and you perhaps come here wanting some kind of satisfaction, some kind of certainty, some kind of assurance, some gratifying truth. And if that is so then you will find satisfaction very easily, which most of us do - in the kitchen, in some aspect of religion, or enter politics - Left, Right, Centre or Extreme Left, Extreme Right - and carry on. This is what generally happens with all of us. And so you gradually, inevitably narrow down the mind, make the mind small. And the capacity of the brain is so immense, you have reduced it to mere satisfaction. You understand?
And if you are not satisfied with anything, if you are discontented with the whole universe, as the questioner put it, not be dissatisfied because you haven't got a house, or you haven't got money - you know, at that level. So this discontent, has it no cause and therefore it is a discontent in itself, not because of something? Is that clear? Am I making this clear? Are we getting together and making this clear? That is, I am discontent if I am seeking contentment. That is very simple and very easy. But if I am totally completely dissatisfied with everything, with the government, with the religion, with science, with politics, everything. And such people are rare, such people have this flame of discontent. And perhaps such a person comes here, listens, reads, hears, and that discontent increases, it becomes all consuming. So what shall we do? You understand the question clearly? What shall we do with a human being who is totally and completely dissatisfied with all the structure of thought?
As I said, such a person is a very rare human being. Such a person one can meet because he is - please listen carefully - he is in an immovable state - right? He is not seeking, he is not wanting, he is not pursuing something or other - he is aflame with this thing. And the speaker is also immovable - right? You understand what I am saying? What he says is so, not because he is dogmatic, superstitious, romantic, or self-assertive. He says that if you know, comprehend your consciousness with its content and the freeing of that consciousness from its content there is a totally different dimension. He has said this for sixty years, not because he has invented it; it is so. He has discussed with scientists, philosophers, great scholars and so on. And they have acknowledged, some of them, that it is so. Scientists seek that which is beyond through matter. And the speaker says human beings with their brain and heart and mind are matter, and instead of looking at matter outside of you, enquire into this matter who you are, and you can go much further, and more he has said. The ending of sorrow is the ending of fear and so on. And there are these two entities, one - are you following all this? - one completely discontented, nothing satisfies him, words, books, ideas, leaders, politics, nothing and so he is in a state of immobility. And the other is equally is immovable, he will not budge, he will not yield. Are you following all this? What happens?
When two human beings, one completely from his depth of mind and heart is dissatisfied, and the other from his depth of his mind and the depth of his heart and so on says "It is so". These two entities meet. You understand what I am saying? This is not romantic, it is not something invented, something out of imagination. This is so. One feels antagonistic to the other, which means he has already moved. I don't know if you follow it? He has not remained completely dissatisfied. The moment he says, "I am antagonistic to you and your talk and all that", he has moved away from what is burning. Therefore he has already softened. I wonder if you understand this? And the other has no antagonism. He says, "It is so". When this person meets the other without antagonism, without wanting something from the speaker, then he is alight. Have you understood this? No, I see you don't understand this.
If this discontent develops antagonism, it is no longer discontent. Right? And so he is aflame with what he calls discontent. It is a flame. And the other too is a flame. You understand? Then both are the same. Fire is a fire. It is not your fire, and my fire, it is fire. When the fire is dampened, then the two are different. You understand?
So if the speaker may ask: are you, as a human being, living in this terrible world, and if you have followed what they are saying that the earth will be almost uninhabitable, what is your condition of discontent? Is it merely puerile, childish, immature? Or if you are a human being totally aflame with discontent, never developing a reaction against that - being frustrated, being antagonistic, but let that flame be alive, then both are the same.
2nd QUESTION: One realizes deeply the importance of awareness, of one's inner and outer actions, yet one slips into inattention so easily. Must there be a Krishnamurti, the books, the cassettes, to keep us alert? Why? Why this gap between understanding and immediate action?
You have understood the question? Why is inattention so easy, so common? It is taking place all the time. And to be aware of what is happening inside the skin, and what is happening outside the skin. Sorry to use that word. And must there be somebody to remind you of it? Right? That is the question.
Clothes don't make a man - right? By putting on good clothes you don't become a man. By putting on robes, monks', you don't become a saint. Let's be very careful here. Either the clothes remind you that you must be constantly aware, then you depend on the clothes, whether the clothes be some kind of... it is unimportant. Or without this outward garment, can one be aware without slipping into inattention? And why is there a gap between understanding, realizing, comprehending, and immediate action? That is the question - right?
What is it to be aware? Is this awareness, whatever it is, we will go into it presently, is it to be cultivated, developed, through practice, say, "I must be aware" and meditate on that awareness, and have some kind of thing to remind you of it constantly - whether a picture, a shirt which is most uncomfortable, a robe that irritates you so that you are constantly reminded to be aware. So let's find out what it means to be aware. We can't know everything that is happening in the world - right? What the politicians are doing, what the Secret Service is doing, what the army is doing, what the scientists who are helping the army, the government, are doing - we don't know what your neighbour is doing, nor what your wife or husband is doing inwardly. So we can't know everything. But we can know, or become aware of this movement inwardly. Now is that movement different from the outer movement? We must be very clear on this point. Is that which is outside, the pollution, the corruption, the chicanery, the deception, the hypocrisy, the violence, is that very different from us, from each one of us? Or it is a movement out and a movement in? Right? It is a constant movement, like the tide going in and out. Can one - please listen - can one be aware of this movement? Aware being know, recognize, see, observe. Or in the very process of observation of this flow, this unitary movement, take choice in it, make choice in this movement? "I like this, I don't like that. I am a subject of Britain and I like to be British" - or a Swiss citizen. It gives you a passport and you can travel all over the world. So in this movement, is the awareness based on choice, the observation? You are following all this sirs? Watch it sirs, as you are sitting there, if I may suggest, would you watch it, aware. And if you are, your reactions are so quick, you say, "I had better have that, and not that". Right?
So can you observe this movement, which is you and the world, and the world is you, this movement, can you observe without any choice? That observation is awareness, which you don't have to cultivate, which you don't have to have somebody to remind you of, books, tapes and all the rest of the business. Once you see for yourself the truth of this, that this movement out there and the movement in here are essentially similar. They may vary a little bit here and there but it is the same movement that has created the world, the society, the army, the navy, the scientists, the politician, that movement is you. And can you seriously not deceive yourself, it is no fun then, if you want to deceive yourself you are welcome, but it doesn't lead anywhere; but if you want to go into it very, very deeply, awareness without choice and the observation of this movement without any direction. That requires not compulsive, lopsided, neurotic awareness, saying "I am aware, I am fully aware" - and you know jolly well he is not because you see by his actions, by his attitude, by his values, that he already lives in the illusion that he is aware. One has to be extremely watchful.
And naturally that attention, awareness cannot be constant, cannot. But to know it is not constant - you are following this? - to be aware that it is not constant, is to be aware of inattention. I wonder if you understand sirs? You understand - I don't know what I have said but I will come back to it.
It is, to be aware of inattention is attention - right? And as one cannot reasonably, sanely say "I am going to be alert from the moment I wake up until the moment I go to sleep" - you can't, unless you are a neurotic, unless you practise, practise and say, "Yes, I am going to be aware, I am going to be aware" - then it becomes words and it has no meaning. But if you see that this attention, awareness cannot be maintained all the time, which is a fact, then inattention, not being attentive, has its values, has its meaning. You understand? Because in attention you discover that you are not attentive. Have you got it? Good.
And the questioner says, why is there a gap between understanding and immediate action? What do we mean by understanding? I understand that the Communist world, Russia, has entered Afghanistan. I understand that. I understand the terrible thing they have done - not only Russia but all countries have done this. And the present state in Afghanistan is terrible. I understand it. What has been the cause, the desire to expand, dominate and so on. I understand it. Somebody explains the nature and the structure of the atom, I listen carefully, I say, "Yes, I understand what you are saying". I listen to some philosopher and I say, "Yes, I understand the structure of your words and theories". That is, all that is intellectual discernment - right? And that is the function of the intellect, to discern, to evaluate, to analyse. And at that level you say, "I understand". And the questioner asks: why is there a gap between understanding of that kind and immediate action? The word is not the thing - right? K is not the word, or you are not the word. So that is the first thing one has to deeply understand, never is the word the thing, never is the explanation the actuality - right? Now understanding takes place not merely intellectually, only when the mind is quiet. You are telling me something, something serious, philosophic, it doesn't matter what it is, you are telling me something serious. And if my mind is chattering, wandering away, I can't fully comprehend what you are saying. So I must listen to you, not translate what you are saying, or interpret what you are saying, or listen partially because I am frightened of what you might say. Then the mind is disturbed, moving, changing, is volatile, whereas if I really want to listen to what you are saying, the mind must be naturally quiet. I hope it is now. Then there is a depth of understanding which is not merely intellectual, verbal.
When there is that profound perception of what has been said, false or true, one can discover the truth in the false - all right? Then in that state of silent observation action is naturally immediate, there is no gap between the two.
Look sirs, when you are standing on a precipice, you don't argue, your intellect doesn't say let's discern, think about it, you jump away from the danger - right? There is immediate action which is a form of self protection, which is healthy, natural, normal. You don't stand in front of a bus which is running you down, or stand looking at a dangerous snake, or animal. It is a natural, instinctive response to save yourself - unless you are drugged and say, "I am going to stop the tiger" - then of course jump out of the window and show you how strong I am against gravity and so on. But if perception is complete - you understand? - which can only take place when the mind is quietly listening, not accepting, not denying but listening, then that perception and action are the same. It is not perception and I'll wait for action. Right? May I move to the next question?
3rd QUESTION: I have understood the things we have talked over during these meetings, even if only intellectually. I feel they are true in a deep sense. Now when I go back to my country shall I talk about your teachings with friends, etc? Or since I am still a fragmented human being will I not produce more confusion and mischief?
This is really a very good question, we will go into it. You understand it?
I have understood the things that you have talked about - the things. You know the word thing comes from Latin, res, which is thought. Go into it. The thing, the statue, the painting, the books, the edicts, the sanctions of the church and so on, all of it are things. And thing is the movement of thought, which created the things, the statue, the painting, the symbols, the cross - you know, a dozen things. Now has one understood, not the thing, but the nature of thought, how it arises, and what is its activity? If that is fully deeply comprehended then the questioner says: when I go back to my home shall I talk about the teachings, your work, since I am still fragmented will I not create more mischief and confusion?
You know this is really a very good question. All the religious talk, the priests, the gurus, the whole works, are promulgated by fragmented human beings - right? Though they say "We are high up", they are still fragmented human beings. Right? And we are spreading all that, I don't know if you realize it. I may say I am a complete human being. I know heaven, I know illumination, I know all the rest of it - you understand? The moment you have said "I have attained", you are a fragmented human being. Right? The priests have said it, only, moderately. And we are spreading what they are telling us because we are fragmented human beings like them, therefore we accept another fragment. I wonder if you see this?
And the questioner says: I have understood what you have said somewhat, partially, not completely, I am not a transformed human being. I understand. And I want to tell others what I have understood - what I have understood. I don't say I have understood the whole works, I have understood a part. I know it is fragmented, I know it is not complete, I am not interpreting the teachings, or the work, I am just informing you what I have understood. What is wrong with that? But if you say, "I have grasped the whole damn thing and I am telling you" - then it becomes the authority, the interpreter, the chairman of the committee and such a person becomes a danger, he corrupts other people. But if I have seen something which is true, I am not deceived by it, true. I feel in that there is a certain affection, love, compassion, I feel that very strongly. Naturally I can't help but go out, it would be silly to say I won't. But I warn my friends, I say, "Look, be careful, don't put me on a pedestal". You haven't put me on a pedestal. This pedestal is only for convenience, which doesn't give the speaker authority whatsoever. But as the world is so corrupt and human beings who are tied to something or other - to a belief, to a person, to an idea, to an illusion, to a dogma, they are corrupt. And that corruption speaks. And we also are somewhat corrupt so we join the crowd.
If you see the beauty of these hills, the river, the extraordinary tranquillity of a fresh morning, the shape of the mountains, the valleys, the shadows, how extraordinary everything is in proportion, not made by the painter, seeing that won't you write to your friend? You say, "Come over here, look at this". Then you are not concerned about yourself but about the beauty of the mountain. You understand?
4th QUESTION: What do you mean when you ask us to think together? Do you intend that everybody who listens to you should think with you at the same time? Don't you think that this is acting as a guru, leading people to follow your ideas, thoughts and conclusions?
This is rather a bore! I wish you had never heard the word 'guru'. That is a discredited word. You don't know what it means. I believe the true meaning is one who dispels ignorance. Not adds the guru's ignorance to you - you understand? - but one who dispels ignorance. Not the ignorance of books, but the man who is unknowing himself acts. That is the meaning of the word 'guru'. It has got other meanings too, which we won't go into. And there have always been western gurus from the ancient times. You understand? The priests, acting between you and whatever he calls god, the saviour. This has also existed in India. And the questioner says, when the speaker asks us to think together, are you not setting up yourself as a guru? So let us examine what it means to think together, when the speaker says think together.
He very carefully explained each time that it is not accepting what the speaker is saying. It is not agreeing. It is not to accept the ideas, the conclusions which he may have. The speaker in fact has no conclusions. But he says think together in the sense, let's both of us observe together. Observe and let's find out what it means to observe. That doesn't give him any authority. You can make him into an authority, which would be unfortunate, but he doesn't accept any authority, or rather have any authority, or denies any kind of following, disciples. If he is accepting conclusions, ideals and so on and is accepting disciples then he is in a state of corruption, whoever it is. And for the last sixty years I have been saying this.
So please don't make me into a guru and I won't accept you as a disciple because the disciple destroys the guru, the guru destroys the pupil. Swallow that pill!
So there is no sense of authority in this. And when he says think together, it is very simple: if I am prejudiced, if I have all kinds of nauseating, compulsive, neurotic conclusions and I say let's think, which means I want to force it on you. But he says constantly, together, which means share together what we are observing, out there and in here. That is all.
And this desire, this longing for somebody to tell us. That is the root of it. Somebody to tell us how to live, how to love, how to think. That is, education has been how to think. You must think this way. And most of us unfortunately, young and old, long for some shelter - the more romantic, the more pleasurable, the more satisfying, the better it is. Apparently you seem to be incapable of standing alone. You know that word 'alone' means all one. When you are really alone, not contaminated, not corrupt because you aren't attached to something. When you are alone because being free you are that whole human entity, human world, but we are frightened to be alone. We always want to be with somebody, either with a person or with an idea, an image. You know what it means to be alone? It is not solitude, which is necessary, it has its own beauty, to walk alone in the woods, to walk alone along the river, not hand in hand with somebody or other, but to be alone, solitude, which is different from aloneness. If you are walking by yourself, you are watching the sky, the trees, the birds, the flowers and all the beauty of the earth, and also perhaps you are also watching yourself as you casually watch the woods and the trees and the flowers, you are also casually watching yourself as you are walking along. Not having a dialogue with yourself, not carrying your burdens with you, you have left those at your home.
So solitude reveals your loneliness, your vanity, your sense of depression and so on and so on. And when you have finished with solitude there is the other, which is not a conclusion, which is not a belief, which is not doing propaganda, telling you what it means to look. That is not propaganda, that is not pushing you in any direction. Because when you are directed, when you are guided, then you become a slave and therefore you lose totally freedom from the very beginning. Freedom isn't at the end, it is at the beginning, contrary to what the Communists say. But freedom can only be given to the disciplined who know how to live and so on - they are the dictators to tell us how to live! As the gurus and so on do, so we become their slaves. And where there is no freedom there is no love and truth.
Shall we go on with one more question? You aren't tired?
5th QUESTION: Why does sex play such an important part in each one's life in the world?
Why do you ask me? (Laughter) Don't laugh it off. Why does it play such an important part in your life?
You know there is a particular philosophy, especially in India, called Tantra, part of Tantra, which encourages sex. They say through sex you reach Nirvana. It is encouraged. I won't go into all the horrible details of it - so that you go beyond it, and you never do. And sex used to be taboo, keep it quiet, for god's sake don't talk about it, but now... I remember hearing on the television - 'Sex at any time, at any place, but be careful what you eat'!
Why has sex become so important in our life? All the ads, of naked ladies, half dressed ladies and so on and so on. Why has society, not only in the present period, but also always, why has sex been so deeply embedded in man? - apart from producing children, I am not talking of that. Why? Probably it is the greatest pleasure a human being has. And in demanding that pleasure there are all kinds of complications and volumes have been written about the complications, the explanations and the psychological etcetera, etcetera. But they have never gone into this question - I have not been told, they may have - they have never asked this question why human beings have made this thing so colossally important in their life. Why? You could answer it probably as I can.
Let's go into it, shall we? I am not telling you about it, you know better, we are looking, observing, asking. As we said, it may be one of the greatest pleasures and freedom in that pleasure. Right? Our life is in a turmoil. Our life is a constant struggle, nothing original, nothing creative - I am using that word very carefully. The painter, the architect, the wood carver, he may say it is creative. The woman who bakes bread in the kitchen, kneading it - they say this is creative also. And sex is also creative, they say. So what is creation, what is it to be creative? You understand? The painters, the musicians, Beethoven, Mozart, Bach and the Indian singers with their devotion, they say that is the act of creation. Is it? You have accepted it - we have accepted Picasso as a great painter, great creator, putting one nose on three faces, or whatever it is. I am not denying it or being derogatory, I am just pointing out. This is what is called creation. But if you enquire, doubt, question, is that creativeness? Or creativeness is something totally different. That is, you are seeing the expression of creativeness - right? In the painting, in a poem, in the prose, in a statue, in music, that is expressed. Expressed according to his talent, to his capacity - it may be great capacity or a very small capacity. It may be modern Rock or Bach - sorry to compare the two! They are quite incomparable, but it doesn't matter.
So we human beings have accepted that as creative because it brings you fame, money, position, you are in the same room as the great artist - right? So I am asking is that creativity? Can there be creation in the most profound sense of that word, as long as there is egotism? As long as there is the demand for success and money? And the recognition of that? You understand? Then it is supplying the market. Don't agree with me please. I am just pointing it out. I am not saying I know creativity and you don't, I am not saying that. I say we never question these things. There is a state of creativity, you can doubt it but it doesn't mean a thing if you doubt it, it doesn't matter to me. I say there is a state where there is creation, where there is no shadow of selfishness. That is real creation, which does not need expression, it doesn't need fulfilment, which is myself fulfilling, or that fulfilment, it is creation. You know I don't want to go into all this. The origin of the word for the Christians is: god - you know, Genesis - suddenly came into being. The other is evolution. And perhaps sex is felt to be creative, apart from children. And also has it become important because everything around us is circumscribed. You are following all this? Everything around us, the job, the office, going there every day for fifty years, going to the church for fifty years, following some philosopher, some guru, you follow? All that has deprived us of freedom. And we are not free from our own knowledge. It is always with us, the past. You are following all this? And so sex, perhaps there is freedom there. But also there too it is circumscribed. You are following all this?
So we are deprived of freedom outwardly and inwardly, for generations upon generations we have been told what to do. And the reaction to that is: I'll do what I want. Which is also limited, based on your pleasure, on your desire, on your capacity and so on. So where there is no freedom all round, both outwardly and inwardly, and specially inwardly, then we have only one source which is called sex - is that right? Why do we give it importance? Do you give importance, equal importance, to being free from fear? No. Equally the energy, vitality, thought to end sorrow. No. Why don't you? Why only this? Because that is the easiest thing to hand. The other demands all your energy, which can only come when you are free. So naturally human beings throughout the world have given this thing such tremendous importance in life. And when you give something, which is a part of life, tremendous importance then you are destroying yourself. Life is whole, not just one part - right? If you give importance to everything then this becomes more or less unimportant. And the monks and all those people have denied all this and turned their energy - at least they think they have turned their energy, to god. But the thing is boiling in them, you can't suppress nature. But when you give that thing only all importance, then you are corrupt - you understand?
Saanen 3rd Question & Answer Meeting 25th July 1980
Texts and talks of Jiddu Krishnamurti. Krishnamurti quotes. Books about
J Krishnamurti. Philosophy.