Rishi Valley 1982
Rishi Valley 3rd Talk with Students 16th December 1982
Krishnamurti: What shall we talk about?
Student: Could we continue from where we left off last time?
K: Where did we leave off?
S: The deconditioning of the brain.
K: Are you really interested in it or you just want to talk about it, just for the fun of it? All right sir, let us talk about it, shall we? You know what the brain is. Most of you must have in your biological study, you must have been told what the brain is. Apparently the brain is the most important part of the body; the heart and the liver are the most important organs of the body. You know what these three functions are. But the brain is an extraordinary instrument. It is now limited. It now only functions - we only use a very, very small part of the brain. We do not use all of the brain, and our brain has evolved from the ape till we are so-called well educated sophisticated human beings. Is that clear? Right?
S: Has the brain really evolved from the ape?
K: That is what the scientists say. You can accept that or you can accept what the Fundamentalists in the Christian world say, that man was created 4500 years ago by god. You can accept that or the scientific theory, or you can invent your own. But if you invent your own, you have to be very careful that it can stand logical investigation. Otherwise you can say my brain is the most important, you know, some kind of fancy, romantic thing we can make out of it. But from what the scientists, biologists and the archaeologists have said, man has evolved as he is now standing on two feet about 40,000 years ago, and our brain has evolved for a much longer period. That is a fact. That is what the scientists say. I rather think they are right. For myself I think that man evolved from the ape. My grandfather was not quite the ape, probably his great-grandfather was. And this brain has evolved, grown, matured, has learned a great deal, has had immense experience, and that is again a fact.
And during all these forty centuries he has always been afraid, afraid of the physical world, living in the forests - the tigers and so on, physical danger, and also there were the psychological dangers, the inward dangers, of which there is fear, pleasure, pain, sorrow, anxiety, loneliness and so on. We are all educated. I don't quite know what it means. Here you are all being educated to become what? Greater monkeys? Glorified clerks, glorified bureaucrats? So you are being educated to become something, to earn a livelihood, to marry, to have a house, and to have a job, to maintain your family and so on. So you go to the office or to the factory or, if you are interested, in carpentry, for the rest of your life from 9 o'clock to 5 o'clock, go to the office day after day, month after month, year after year, till you die. That is your life. Right? Would you agree to that? You may have a weekend holiday or a month's holiday, but the next moment you get a job for the next fifty years or more, you will become a slave to your job. Right? That is what you are all going to do. Unfortunately. Right? Agree to that? Would you agree to this? So, like a computer - you know what a computer is. Do you know? A computer is an electronic machine which is programmed. You know what a programme is? A professor talks to it, programmes it, as it is called, so that the computer knows what the professor knows. It is put on a tape or whatever they do, and it can repeat what the professor told the machine about mathematics. That is what a computer is. And they are trying to build a computer which will be almost like the human brain. Already they have computers that can invent. You understand all this? The mother computer may be very good but the next generation computer is still better than the mother and so on and so on. They are working at it furiously to bring about a computer which has ultra mechanical intelligence. Right? You understand all this? Ultra mechanical intelligence which can think much more rapidly than human beings, calculate much faster than human beings, in a second what a human brain may take a couple of months and so on. So the computer is programmed. Is that clear? You are also programmed. You have been programmed for the last 5,000 years as a Hindu. You have been programmed as a Muslim within the last 1400 years. Mohammed was 600 A.D., therefore about 1400. And the Buddhist for the last 2500 years, he has been programmed to be a Buddhist. You understand? So you are all programmed. You are all functioning mechanically. Right? When you study engineering, which requires mathematics and so on, your study is programming you to become an engineer. Right? Do you see this? So your brain is programmed to think that you are a Hindu or an Arab or a Jew or a Catholic. So your brain is mechanical. The computer is then a far better instrument. But of course there is a great deal of difference between a machine and the brain. Now what makes the brain deteriorate? That is what your question is. Right? Are you interested in all this?
S: You have made a statement just before this that a computer is better than the brain.
K: I said they are trying to make a computer equal or better than the brain. They are trying to manufacture it. I did not say they did. The Japanese and the American IBM and other companies are pouring millions of dollars and so on to discover or to invent or to bring about a computer that has the quality of the brain. They may succeed or they may not succeed. Right? But the fact remains that our brain is programmed. When you say, I am a BA, you are programmed. When you say, I am in the Indian Administrative Service, you are being programmed.
Now, the question was, if I can repeat it rightly, what are the factors that bring about the deterioration of the brain? And can these factors be stopped so that the brain can continue till it is worn out by long age? What will keep the brain young, fresh? Right? Now let us first find out what are the factors that bring about deterioration of the brain. Right? What do you think of the factors?
K: The gentleman says one of the factors that make the brain deteriorate is memory. Without memory what would you be? What would you do if you had no memory at all?
S: I would be a robot.
K: No, a robot is pretty intelligent. (Laughter)
S: You will repeat over and over again.
K: That's right. Now, go on. What will happen to you if you have no memory at all?
S: You destroy yourself.
K: No, what happens to you? You would be in a state of no memory.
S: You won't know anything. You won't know what is happening.
K: You won't know what is happening. You won't feel anything. You will just be a blank wall. Probably you would eat - the body has its own function. Right? Its own intelligence. So you would carry on, but no thought, no feeling. You know, I saw in America, when I was there last year or this year, a Japanese factory. You know the Honda car. They were manufacturing a Honda car. All the workmen were in white aprons and white gloves and there was a computer and a robot. You know what a robot is? The computer was telling the robot what to do and the robot was building the Honda car. When the robot made a mistake, the computer stopped the robot, told him what to do, and how to bolt or screw the nut properly, and went after it, kept this going. And the workmen, Japanese workmen, with white gloves wandered around looking at the thing. Right? So our brain without memory would be like a vegetable, a non-active, unaware, blind body. So is that one of the factors of deterioration?
K: That's right sir. I said that. So is that one of the reasons why the brain deteriorates?
S: It is not that we don't have memory, our memory is deteriorating. Probably that is the cause of it.
K: Yes sir. All right. So is that one of the factors, one of the causes why the brain deteriorates?
S: I don't think so.
K: You don't think so. Quite right, neither do I. So find out what are the other causes.
S: Due to memory, in our brain arise various contradictions, and I would say that the contradictions which arise in our brain are the causes for the deterioration of the brain.
K: Are you saying...
Narayan: He says contradictions that arise are partly due to memory. That's why the brain deteriorates.
K: Now, wait. What are contradictions? What do you call contradictions? Sir, don't go to sleep.
S: I am not sleeping.
K: I don't know, but you are keeping quiet. I don't know whether you are asleep or awake. So, if I may point out, this gentleman says one of the factors of deterioration of the brain is the contradiction. What do you mean by contradiction?
S: When you have two opposite thoughts.
K: When you have two opposing thoughts. Now, is that one of the causes of deterioration, contradiction? Contradiction means also, say one thing and do something else, think one thing and act quite the opposite of what you think. Right? What does that indicate? I say one thing and do quite the opposite. I think one thing and act totally differently from what I think. S: That means you don't have the strength to follow up your thought.
K: No, no. I am not asking strength. See what happens when there is contradiction in you. What happens?
S: You are thrown off balance.
K: No. Don't use these words. Just look at it carefully. What happens? Look at yourself. When you say one thing and do another, do something totally different.
S: I can't trust myself.
K: You can't trust yourself. Quite right. And those grown up people there. There is a boy who says you cannot trust yourself. What does that mean?
S: You become a hypocrite.
K: That's right. You become a hypocrite. You cannot trust yourself. What next?
S: You don't think, you just act.
K: You don't think but you act. I want you to move around. Go on.
S: You become like a computer. You are not thinking what you are doing. K: The computer thinks old boy.
S: It is programmed.
K: So are you. When you say I am a BA, or MA, you are being programmed. When you say I am a Hindu, I am a Muslim, I am a Christian, these statements indicate that you have been programmed. So what? Go on. You haven't touched the root of it. Please go on. Look. I say, I must love, and I hate. Right? I must be generous but I am not generous. What does that indicate - not indicate - what is the result of that? As that boy pointed out, I am a hypocrite.
K: That's right. At last. It took a long time. Now one of the causes, perhaps the major causes of the deterioration of the brain is conflict. Would you agree to all that? Yes sir?
S: Yes sir. I agree that it is perhaps one of the causes.
K: I said one. I said it may be the major. I am very careful in my usage of words. I said either one, or the major cause of deterioration is conflict. Right? Are you in conflict? Are you in conflict, any of you? S: Almost all the time you think of doing something but you do something else.
K: Yes. She is going to tell me.
S: I am always thinking something and doing something else.
K: Yes, but what is the result.
S: I get very upset when I do that.
K: You are in conflict, aren't you?
K: Now we are asking, is that one of the factors of deterioration? Like an engine, internal combustion machine, when it is well-oiled, smoothly running, it can go on indefinitely, but when there is a friction then it begins to wear itself out. Agree? So where there is conflict there is great friction in the brain and so one of the reasons for the deterioration of the brain is conflict, friction, strain. Right? Agree to this? Are you all under strain, friction, conflict? Of course, you are.
K: No, no.
K: You are in conflict at your age? You are enjoying yourself, you are not in conflict, old boy! Only those so-called educated big people don't enjoy, don't look at the sky, they are not curious, they don't look at a trail of ants going on the road.
S: At that moment you are not.
K: At the moment you are not, but I am saying,are you in conflict?
K: Sometimes, when? When are you in conflict?
S: When I am angry.
K: When you are angry. Go on. Good.
S: When I want to slap someone.
K: When you want to slap someone. (Laughter) You come over here. Come on. So, when you get angry, when you want to slap someone, when you can't pass your examinations.
K: When the teacher scolds you. I hope he doesn't. Does he scold you? S: No.
K: No. I am delighted. So when somebody scolds you, when you get angry, when you want to slap somebody, go on, what are the reasons which bring about conflict, struggle?
S: When you want revenge.
K: When you want revenge. Go on. You only think along that line, think along another line.
S: If you are not able to think logically and reason out, you will be in conflict.
K: He says if you don't think logically, you are in conflict. Even if you think logically, you may be in conflict. I may think very logically, I must not be greedy, I must not be angry, but I am angry. So there is conflict even though I think logically. Right?
S: What brings you in conflict?
K: I am asking what brings about conflict. You are asking. Right. They said just now contradiction; that is, saying one thing, doing another. Clear? That brings conflict, one of the causes. So, as I said, a machine well-oiled, perfectly balanced, good material, well-oiled, looked after, that machine can go on for years and years and years. And the human brain is also a machine. So when it is in conflict, it is like putting sand into a machine, then it can't run properly. You understand? Right? So if you are in conflict, one of the reasons of deterioration of the brain is conflict. Right sir? Are you?
S: Am I in conflict?
K: Yes. So your brain is deteriorating.
K: I am glad you acknowledge that. You may get an MA, BA, or BA, MA, I don't know why, but there it is. And what is the point of it when you are in conflict and your brain is deteriorating. What are you doing?
S: Destroying ourselves.
K: Why do you want to destroy yourselves?
S: I don't want to.
K: Then why don't you stop being in conflict?
S: How do I stop it?
K: I understand. You have asked a question: how do I put an end to conflict? When you ask how, what does that mean? Look. Think it out carefully. You think out carefully, when he says how, what does that word mean?
S: I want a method.
K: Sir, I am not asking, just listen to me first. When you use the word `how', what does that word mean?
S: You want a method.
K: Stop there. What do you mean by a method?
S: A solution.
K: No, method.
S: The way to do it.
K: Now, the way to do it, follow it up, what does it mean? Go on. Think clearly.
S: We want help.
K: Help. From who?
S: From his brain.
K: When you say how, it means a system. How am I to climb the mountain? Right? Then if you say, how am I to climb Everest, first you must have a certain kind of shoes and so on and so on. That means you want a system, a method, a plan according to which you act. Right sirs?
K: Now, what does that do?
K: No, listen to what I am saying. What does a system do to our brain? S: You try again and again.
K: Which is ugly. Isn't it? When you repeat over and over again, the brain is mechanical.
S: If you try one system, you get into another system.
K: That's it. You haven't understood what I am saying. Please listen first. When I follow a system, a method, and I repeat it over and over again, am I not? Which means what? That I am becoming more and more mechanical.
S: You are deteriorating again.
K: That's right. When the brain becomes more and more mechanical, it is again deteriorating. So, conflict, a mechanical way of living, saying, I am a Hindu, I am a Hindu, I am a Hindu or I am an Arab, Jew - you follow?-any repetitive verbal statement or repetitive action is another factor of deterioration in the brain. Right?
S: What does that mean?
K: No. Do you understand that? Proceed.
S: It is inevitable.
K: It is inevitable if you are mechanical, if there is conflict in your life. Right?
S: Does that mean there is another solution?
K: Not another solution. Stop being mechanical, then you are out of it. Then find out if you can live without conflict. If you do, then you are out of it. Your brain is not deteriorating. You understand this? Now what will you do to find out if you can live without conflict?
S: I can stop being in conflict whenever I can.
K: No. Find out what are the causes of conflict. You understand? Suppose I have got tummy ache because I eat the wrong food. So if I stop eating the wrong food, then I have no tummy ache. Right?
K: So I have to find out what are the causes of conflict and if I can remove the causes, conflict ends. And we say and one of the causes of the conflict is contradiction: saying one thing and doing another; believing in god and killing people: believing that you must be a great saint and being very worldly. So where there is contradiction, opposition, contrary statements, contrary ways of living, there must be conflict, which means there must be conflict where there is division. You understand this? So find out if your life is free of division. You understand what I am saying? When a man says he is an Arab and the other man says he is a jew or a Muslim or a Hindu, Buddhist, there is conflict between them. When I say I am a nationalist, I am opposed to the nationalists of other countries. So don't be a nationalist. You understand this? Or the nonsense about the flags is nonsense. Agree?
K: Will you live that way?
S: I hope so.
K: Not `hope so'. You have to do it. If you want your brain to be extraordinarily alive, fresh, you have to do that. Right sirs? Will you do it after your examination, not before your examination! Will you end your conflicts? Otherwise your brain deteriorates.
S: Will competition bring about deterioration?
K: Yes sir. No, the constant repetition, to repeat over and over again I am a Jew, I am an Arab, I am a Hindu, this and that, just like a gramophone record playing the same tune over and over again, that is wearing out the brain.
S: Competitions. I feel nervous before an examination just because I may come last.
K: That's right. So, unfortunately examinations apparently are necessary. Either you have examinations at the end of your school career - right?-and so no examination until you leave - which would be marvellous. I am in the eighth class, the teacher looks up sees that I am studying properly. If he knows that I am studying properly, why should I have examinations? You follow? So I may have to have examinations when I leave school but a long way ahead. That's another matter. Have you understood this? That is, where there is conflict of any kind, the brain deteriorates.
S: Sir, the whole world is full of conflict.
K: You don't have to make a mountain out of it.
S: I mean, everywhere there is conflict.
K: I know. Everywhere you see it, I agree. Your father, your mother are in conflict. The society is in conflict. The government is in conflict. The priest is in conflict. He wants more money and all the rest of it. So practically every human being is in conflict. Right? So find out if you can live without conflict. That requires a great deal of intelligence. S: I get very scared when I see this conflict.
K: Yes. When she sees the conflict, she says she is scared. If you are scared, that's another form of conflict, isn't it?
K: So, one of the factors now we have found is conflict. Now what is the second factor?
S: When you do something without thinking.
K: When you do something without thinking, is that another factor of deterioration? That's what you are all doing. Agree?
K: You don't think, you go on doing something. You don't think why you should become an engineer, why you should become a clerk, why you should join the navy or the army, or this or that. You don't think, you say, well, I like it, I'll go and do it.
S: If I don't do it, what can I do?
K: If you don't do it, what can you do? That's a good question. Why don't those chaps over there put any of these questions? If you don't do a thing, what can you do?
S: If you don't do anything, you can't live.
K: There you are, that's your answer.
S: Somehow they are trying to live.
K: Anyhow you are trying to live. Therefore, you live in conflict.
S: If you want to climb the Everest, you must wear heavy boots. If you don't wear heavy boots and try to climb, you will die.
K: Of course, so I am asking old girl: what is another factor of deterioration of the brain. We said conflict. What is the other factor? S: (Inaudible)
K: Yes. Look sir, are you sure society is deteriorating?
K: Do you know it, or logically, verbally have studied it?
S: No, I can see it.
K: Go on. I am glad you are all waking up. Tell me about the other factor of deterioration.
S: It is the condition of the brain. As the brain is programmed, that's why it is deteriorating.
K: Have you all understood that? As my brain is programmed to be a Muslim, to be a Hindu, to become a BA or to be a doctor and so on, the very programming is another factor of deterioration. Would you agree to that? See, that means you are completely deteriorating, because you are all programmed. You are half living? Aren't you?
S: The brain depends on experience and we are being programmed since we are born, so what do we do?
K: I am being programmed from the moment I am born: my grandmother, my mother, my father, my people around me say, you must, you must not. You are this, you are that. Right? You are being programmed.
S: From the origin of mankind.
K: Yes sir. I said that, old boy. I said at the beginning.
S: If you want to decondition, can you negate the whole past?
K: All right. I have got your question. Are you saying: I have been programmed for 40,000 years and as long as I am living in the world of programmes, the brain must deteriorate? Now, can't you get out of it? It's too serious a question to go into because it requires a great deal of enquiry, questioning, asking, pushing.
S: Is there another form of deconditioning?
K: Yes, I understand. You are unconditioned from one form and fall into another form.
K: Of course, that is what we said.
S: Sir, then how did the mind evolve? Why is it only now the mind is beginning to destroy itself?
K: Probably sir, the moment it has accumulated knowledge through experience, that very beginning is the deteriorating factor. I won't discuss this because it is much too complicated.
S: If you are programmed, are you just like a computer?
K: Nearly. I said nearly.
K: Is that enough for now?
S: I think we should go on.
K: Who should go on? I should go on or you should go on? You see, that's what you are all used to: somebody else tells you what to do.
S: I didn't say you. I said we.
K: Then why don't you go on? (Laughter)
S: How can a computer be programmed?
K: I told you.
S: How can a carpenter be programmed?
K: Carpenter? (Laughter). Have you worked on a piece of wood? Have you done anything with your hands? What have you done?
S: Some pottery we have done.
K: You have done pottery. What else?
S: We have communicated.
K: Yes. What else have you done with your hands? Carpentry and what else? S: Painting.
K: Good. Tell me more.
S: Writing. Leather work.
K: Have you done any gardening?
S: Yes sir.
K: Dug in the earth?
S: Yes sir, gardening.
K: Have you milked a cow?
S: No sir.
K: Have any of you milked a cow?
K: For how long?
S: Have you sir?
K: Have I milked a cow? Yes. (Laughter) I milked a cow in California for about six months every morning and evening. There were others who were doing it too but I was doing it till I got what they call cow fever which made all my face swell. So I stopped. I did gardening, painted walls, helped to build a house.
S: When you milked a cow, did you do it when you wanted milk?
S: When you milked the cow, were you afraid of the cow fever.
K: No. I got it. After I got it, I stopped milking the cow. I don't know what you are talking about.
S: He is saying, did you milk the cow for drinking the milk yourself or for others?
K: No, we all drank the milk. And I also played tennis. I played golf. Do you know what golf is? I was very good at it.
S: How does the human brain get programmed?
K: When you repeat you are a Muslim, you are programmed.
S: What makes you repeat it?
K: What makes you. Because your mother has told you, your father has told you, your grandmother told you that you are a Muslim.
S: So you have to repeat it.
K: Yes, that's all.
S: Educating is like programming, isn't it sir?
K: Yes sir, you are being educated to be glorified monkeys.
S: Then why do they educate us?
K: Ask them. Ask him, and he will inevitably say to earn money. And that is what everybody is doing.
So I think it is time to stop, it's half past ten. That fellow wants me to go on, but he won't go on. That's enough, or are you escaping from your classes? We can sit here and have some fun. Is that what you want to do? That's enough. Let's sit quietly for a minute. Sit properly. Close your eyes. Let's sit very quietly. Watch yourself, what are you thinking about, will you?
Rishi Valley 1982
Rishi Valley 3rd Talk with Students 16th December 1982
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