Awakening of Intelligence
Part 6, Public Dialogues Madras 1968
The Awakening of Intelligence Part VI Chapter 4 4th Public Dialogue Madras 12th January 1968 'A Fundamental Question'
Krishnamurti: What shall we talk over this morning together?
Questioner: Is not love a method?
Questioner: Am I right in assuming, Sir, that time and spaceare one of our problems?
Questioner: What is the relation between memory and thought?
Questioner: We must have memory in order to function in daily existence, technological developments and so on, but is memory not also an impediment?
Krishnamurti: I don't know if you have heard the previous questions - I had better repeat them. First, has love a method?
Questioner: Is not love a method?
Krishnamurti: Is not love a method? - a lovely idea isn't it? What was the other?
Questioner: The relation between thought and memory.
Krishnamurti: And your question, Madame, was - memory is necessary in daily existence, in technological development and so on, but is not memory also an impediment? Any more things that you want to throw in?
Questioner: We want to be aware of every thought, feeling and action, but thought, feeling and action go on being coloured and then are suppressed when the mind is silent. How can that take place?
Krishnamurti: Is that really what you are all interested in?
Questioner: We have disorder in our daily life - how are we to go about bringing order?
Krishnamurti: We have disorder in daily life, how are we to set about bringing order? Is that right, Sir?
Questioner: Or do we have to wait for a change to come of its own accord?
Questioner: What is clear thinking?
Krishnamurti: All right. Let's take that up - shall we? And we can answer your questions and bring them all in. Is that all right?
What is clear thinking? Shall we discuss that? And relate it, if we can, to our daily living. What is clear thinking? Is thinking ever clear? We had better not go too quickly. First of all, let's find out what we mean by clarity, and what we mean by thinking. What do we mean by clarity? Clear - when you look through the water on a lake and see the bottom of that lake you see everything very clearly, the pebbles, the fish, the ripples on the water and so on. And you see very clearly, in bright light, the shape of the tree, the leaf, the branch, the flower - what do we mean by clarity?
Questioner: A direct impression.
Krishnamurti: Oh! no. A definite outlined impression, is that it?
Questioner: Complete understanding.
Krishnamurti: Clarity means complete understanding. We haven't come to that level yet. We are talking about what we mean by that word "clear"?
Questioner: Free of any obstruction.
Questioner: To see things as they are, actually see things as they are.
Questioner: To see without space. Questioner: Sir, sometimes we don't get clarity if we look at the moon and a cloud at the same time we see the moon moving and not the clouds.
Krishnamurti: Sir, we are talking about a word, the meaning of that word, its semantics.
Questioner: More details.
Questioner: I think it has something to do with light, Sir, seeing.
Krishnamurti: Sir, would you mind just waiting a minute to examine this before we say anything else. What do we mean by the word "clear"? I see you clearly. I see the trees, the stars of an evening, very clearly.
Questioner: Without obstruction.
Krishnamurti: Without obstruction. When the eye can see everything very, very clearly. The seeing - that is what we mean, when there is no obstruction, no barrier, no screen, no fog, and if your eyes are short-sighted you put on glasses to see more clearly into the distance and so on. Clarity - right - is that clear? I think we are clear as to the meaning of that word.
Then what do we mean by thinking?
Krishnamurti: Thinking Sir, what does it mean?
Krishnamurti: Sir, look. The speaker is asking you a question. What is thinking?
(Interruption from audience)
Krishnamurti: The speaker is asking you a question: what is thinking?
Krishnamurti: The speaker is asking you: what is thinking? And you don't even give space and time to find out what thinking is. A question is being put to you, it is a challenge to you. And you bubble over! You don't say, "Now how am I to find out what thinking is? How does thinking take place? What is the origin or the beginning of thinking?" It is a chal- lenge and you have to respond to it. And to respond to it you have to (if you want to respond to it adequately) you have to examine what thinking is, how it happens. The speaker asks you - what is thinking? And what does the mind do when it receives this challenge? Do you search?
Questioner: What we are doing now.
Krishnamurti: Do listen for a minute. You will have your chance, Sir. Give the poor speaker a chance. When that question is put to you what is the operation that your mind goes through? Where do you find the answer to that question?
Krishnamurti: Sir, watch it, think it out, go into it. I ask you where you live or what your name is - your response is immediate, isn't it? Why is it immediate? Because you have repeated your name umpteen times, thousands of times, and you know where you live. So between the questioning and the answer, there is no time interval - right? It is immediate. I ask you what is the distance between Madras and Delhi or New York, and there is a hesitation - right? So you look into memory, into what you have learnt or what you have read and you say, "Well the distance is so many miles". So you have taken time between the question and the answer, there is a lag of time - right, Sirs?
Now what happens when there is the question, "What is thinking?" How do you find that out?
Questioner: It takes one's mind to bring all the answers.
Krishnamurti: What do you do, Sir?
Krishnamurti: You probe into the memory and what do you get out of it? What is the answer?
Questioner: We study it a little more and more and then try to gather these extracts together.
Krishnamurti: Sir look, I am asking you now, this morning, don't wait until the day after tomorrow until you and I have gone, or are dead, but I am asking you now - what is thinking? And you - either you find out or you don't know - right? Which is it?
Questioner: It is the process of a mind giving an answer.
Krishnamurti: What do you mean by the process of the mind?
Questioner: Sir, what are you aiming at? - I don't understand.
Krishnamurti: What am I aiming at? Just a minute Sir, you have asked a question. What am I aiming at? What I am aiming at is very simple. I want to know, when that question is put, "What is thinking?", I want to find out what it is. (Interruptions from audience.) Sir, give the other fellow a chance, don't answer so readily. I want to find out what thinking is - how does it come about, what is the beginning of it? Right? It is very simple, Sir. Now what is it, how does it come about? That is, you asked me a question - say, "What is thinking?" - and I really don't know - right? Or I do know, I know the whole process of it - how it operates, how it begins, what is its mechanism - right? No?
Questioner: One feels how it operates but I am unable to explain.
Krishnamurti: One feels how it operates but one is not capable of explanation. Look, take a very simple thing, Sir. I ask you what your name is. You hear the words and then what happens?
Questioner: You really just answer.
( Various comments - inaudible.)
Krishnamurti: You reply, don't you? Say your name is so and so. What has taken place there?
Questioner: I have referred to my memory and my memory responds.
Krishnamurti: That's right, Sir, that's all. The question - to that question your memory responds and replies - right? Now I ask you - what is thinking? - and why doesn't your memory respond?
Questioner: Because... (inaudible).
Krishnamurti: It may be, Sir, go into it, find out - why don't you reply what thinking is? Whether you know or you don't know. If you know, you will say, if you don't know you will say, "Sorry I don't know". Which is it?
Questioner: I don't know.
Krishnamurti: The gentleman doesn't know. We are trying to answer the question, "What is clear thinking?" We more or less understood the meaning of the words clarity, clearness, clear. And we are finding it rather difficult to find out what thinking is. We say it is the response of memory to a challenge - right? And that response comes from accumulated memories, knowledge, experience. This is simple, Sir. You learn a language after having heard it from childhood, you can repeat it because you have stored up the words, the meaning of that word, the word in relation to the thing and so on, and you can speak because you have stored up the vocabulary, words, the structure and so on. Memory responds and the response of memory is thinking. Now what is the origin of thinking, the beginning of thinking? We know that after accumulating memory we respond and the response is thought. Now I want to find out also - that is, in order to find out what clear thinking is - I want to find out what is the beginning of memory? Or is that too difficult, too abstract?
Questioner: It is our conditioning.
Krishnamurti: No, I am afraid I am going too fast. Sorry. All right, Sirs. I won't go into it. What is thinking - we know now! So when you respond, when thought is the response of memory and memory is the past (the accumulated experience, knowledge, tradition, and so on) that response is what we call thinking, whether it be logical, illogical, balanced, unbalanced, sane, healthy, it is still thinking. Now, please follow the next thing, can thought be clear?
Questioner: No, it is always conditioned.
Krishnamurti: No, do please find out. Can thought be clear?
Krishnamurti: You see you are just supposing. You live on abstraction and that is why you cannot be practical. You live on concepts, ideas and theories and when you move out of that field you are completely lost: when you have to answer something directly, of yourself, you muddle along. We asked, "Can thinking, which is the outcome of memory (memory is always the past, there is no living memory) can thinking, which is of the past, ever be clear?" This is a very interesting question, Sirs. Can the past produce clear action? Because action is thought - right?
Questioner: Yes, that is a fact.
Krishnamurti: Sirs, have we understood the question? We have more or less analysed the word "clear", and we have more or less analysed what thinking is. So the next thing we are asking is, can thinking (which is the outcome of a long past, which is not living, and is therefore always old) can that thing which is old, the past, ever be clear? You understand, Sir? If I do anything out of tradition, (which is the past, however noble, ignoble, or stupid) - if I do anything out of tradition, can that action be clear?
Questioner: It cannot because memory and tradition belong to the past...
Krishnamurti: I am asking, Sir, can action born out of the past, the doing, which is always in the present, the doing, not "having done" or "I will do", but the actual doing - can it ever be clear?
Questioner: The word action and the word clear have nothing to do with each other. "Clear" applies to seeing everything...
Krishnamurti: All right. Can that action be fresh, new, direct, as direct as when you meet fire and you move away. So I am asking, "When we live and function in the shadow of the past, is there any clarity?" Leave action out because that disturbs you - I know why it disturbs you - because you are never used to acting, you are used to conceptual thinking. And when you are faced with action, you get confused, because your life is confused, and that's your affair.
So, when you act from the past, from tradition, is it action, is it something living?
Questioner: Why should there be any difference between clarity and action? Krishnamurti: Oh! we can discuss this ad nauseam. But I am just asking, Sir. You are all tradition-ridden, aren't you? - traditionalists. You say this or that is sacred, or repeat some shloka, or, if you don't do any of that, you have your own tradition, your own experience, which you go on repeating. Now does this repetition bring understanding, clarity, freshness, newness?
Questioner: It is an aid to understanding the present situation.
Krishnamurti: Is the past an aid to understanding the present?
Questioner: Things break down.
Krishnamurti: Wait Sir, wait Sir. Look at it. Does the past help you to understand the present?
Questioner: The past is...
Krishnamurti: Just listen, Sir, what she has said. You have had thousands and thousands of wars, does it help you to prevent all wars? You have had class division - Brahmin and non-Brahmin and all the hate involved - does the past help you now to be free of all caste?
Questioner: It should.
Krishnamurti: It should - then we are lost! When you say, "It should" it is an idea, it is not an action. You will still be a Brahmin, you will still be superstitious, you will still be violent.
Questioner: People don't want to be free of the past.
Krishnamurti: It doesn't matter if you are free or not - don't be free of it, live in your misery. But if you want to understand this thing called clear thinking and going beyond it, you have to face certain things. If you say "Well, I don't want to change my traditions"...
Questioner: Can you not help us to at least make a... ?
Krishnamurti: We are doing that, Sir, we are doing that. Look Sir, if the past is a help, if tradition is a help, if culture is a help, to live now, fully, clearly, happily, sanely and flower in goodness, the past then has a value - but has it? Do you, with all your tradition, live happily? Questioner: The past is like looking through smoked glass.
Krishnamurti: That's right. So the past doesn't really help you.
Questioner: A little bit.
Krishnamurti: Don't say "No", because you are only speaking of another idea; unless you do it, cut yourself from the past, you can't say "Yes, it is no good".
Questioner: We have the chance to understand you because we have listened to you for years. A child has no such chance.
Krishnamurti: "We have the chance to understand you because we have listened to you for forty years - a child hasn't - and all the rest of it!" Why do you bother to listen to the speaker at all? Even for a day or, worse, for forty years? How tragic it all is! I don't know where you people live.
And so let's get back. When I am always looking over my shoulder to the past, I can never see anything clearly in the present, obviously. I need two eyes to look, but if I am looking over my shoulder all the time, I can't see the present. What I need to do is to look at the present, and I am not capable of looking at the present because I am burdened with the past, with my tradition. Tradition says to me "It is terrible to have a divorced wife; or my respectability says to me "That person is terrible because he is not moral", (whatever that may mean). We all do this. So what happens to my affection, to my kindliness towards that person? My prejudice, which is tradition, prevents me from being kind or affectionate to that person.
The past may help in the field of technology, but it does not help in the field of life. I know this is theory now and you will repeat that ad nauseam and think you have understood it. So the question arises: as thought is of the past and I have to live completely in the present to understand the present, how is the past to be put aside and yet be useful? That is what your question was. You understood my question? I have to live, to live in this world, and I need technological knowledge to go to the office - you know all that is involved in it, science, bureaucracy; this is the case if you are a professor or even if you are a labourer. And I see also - I have understood something this morning - that to live completely, fully, the past must not interfere; so I say to myself, "How is this possible? How is it possible for me to live in the technological world most efficiently, logically, with more and more technology, and yet live at another level, or even at the same level, without the interference of the past?" In the technological field I must have the past, in the other field of life - no past. Do we see this?
Questioner: Yes, now we have an understanding.
Krishnamurti: Ah, good! And I ask myself (don't laugh, Sir) - now I ask myself how this is possible.
Questioner: Is a double life possible?
Krishnamurti: No, you see, what you are leading is a "double life". You go to the temple, put on ashes; you know the set-up, ringing of bells and all the jingles. And at the same time you live at the technological level. You are leading a double life, and you say, "Is it possible?" Of course it is possible because you are leading it. We are not talking about a double life. Examine the complexity of this problem, that one has to have technological knowledge and that there must also be freedom from knowledge, from the past. Now, how is this possible? The double life which you are leading now is in existence, and therefore you are making a hideous mess of life, you go to the temple and at the same time run a machine. You put on ashes, or whatever you do, and go to the office. It is a form of insanity. Now, how is this possible? Have you understood my question, Sirs? You tell me how it is possible. Do you say it is not a double life?
Questioner: To use the technological knowledge only when it is necessary and not in other ways.
Krishnamurti: But you have to use such knowledge all the time - to go to your office, to go to your home, to follow the road, when you look at a tree, when you do the bureaucratic job, and so on; this mental operation is functioning all the time. People don't see this. You can't divide it, can you? Go slow, go slow. You can't divide life into technological life and non-technological life. That is what you have done and therefore you are leading a double life. So we are asking,"Is it possible to live so completely that the part is included in the whole?" Right? Are you getting it? Now we lead a double life, the part, we keep it separate, going to the office, learning a technology, all that, and going to church or the temple and ringing bells. So you have divided life and therefore there is conflict in your life between the two. And we are asking for quite a different thing, to live so that there is no division at all. I don't know if you see this?
Questioner: You want us to...
Krishnamurti: No, no, I don't want you to do anything.
Krishnamurti: Oh no, Sir. You are not meeting the question - please understand what the speaker is trying to convey. Don't go back to something he has said about psychological memory and all the rest of it. That is a set of words you have learnt. Find out what the speaker is trying to explain now. Can I live a life in which there is no division at all (sex, God, technology, getting angry) - you follow? A life in which there is no division, no fragments?
Questioner: The moment there is an end to these things...
Krishnamurti: Sir - please Sir, don't just throw out words. Now to continue: How am I, who live in fragments, many fragments not just two (my whole life as I live it is a fragmentary existence, which is a result of the past, which is the result of my saying, "This is right, that is wrong", "This is sacred, that is not sacred" or "Technology and all that doesn't really matter, one has to earn, but going to some temple is endlessly important") - how can I live without fragmentation? You understand the question, Sir, now?
How? (Not "according to what method", because the moment you have introduced method you have introduced fragmentation). "How am I to do it?" is the question, but you say immediately, "Tell me the method" and "the method" means: a method which you practise as opposed to something else and therefore the whole thing is back where we started. So there is no method. But the question of "How" is merely asking, finding out, not searching for a method. Now, how is it possible so to live that there is no fragmentation at all? You understand my question, Sir? That means no fragmentation at all at any level of my being, of my existence.
Questioner: What is being, Sir?
Krishnamurti: What is being? - I am sorry we are not discussing that, Sir. You see you are not even paying attention. You pick up a word like "being" or a phrase like "what is the purpose of life", and off you go. But that is not what we are talking about. Look, Sir, how am I to live so that there is no fragmentation at all? I don't say, "Well, I'll go and meditate" - which becomes another fragmentation, or "I must not be angry", "I must be this or that; these sentences all involve fragmentation. Can I live without any fragments, without being torn apart? Right, Sir? Have you understood the question?
Now who is going to answer you? Will you go back to memory? What the Gita said, what the Upanishads said, what Freud said, or somebody else said? If you went back and tried to find out what they said about living without fragmentation, then that would be another fragment, wouldn't it?
Questioner: What of those who don't seek their aid?
Krishnamurti: If you do not seek their aid, then where are you? How do you find this out? How do you find out how to live so that there is no fragmentation at all? Oh, Sirs, you don't see the beauty of this.
Questioner: By integration.
Krishnamurti: I knew you'd give that answer. (Laughter) The questioner says, "By integration" - integrating with what? Integrating all the fragments together? Or putting all the pieces together? And who is the entity that is putting all the pieces together? Is it the Higher Atman or the Cosmos or God or the Soul or Jesus Christ or Krishna? All that is fragmentation - you follow? So you have this challenge, and how do you respond to it, that is of the first importance - you understand? You are challenged, how do you respond to it?
Questioner: You work it out in life so that you become harmonious. Krishnamurti: Ah, lovely! When? (Laughter).
Questioner: Every day.
Krishnamurti: There is no day, every day.
Questioner: Every morning.
Krishnamurti: Now, look what you are doing. You are just adjusting yourself to the challenge. You are not answering it. (Laughter) How do you answer this, Sir?
Questioner: It is not a question of answering at all because we are trying to meet you with the word.
Krishnamurti: Find out, Sir, what you are doing. Find out. Here is a challenge and you can't go back to any books - right? You can't go back to your authority, the Gita and all that rubbish. So what will you do? You see I can go on explaining, Sir, but you will just accept it, as you have accepted so many things, and carry on. So let's look at it.
Here is a new challenge. The challenge being that I have lived in fragments all my life (the past, the present and the future, God and the devil, evil and good, happiness and unhappiness, ambition and no ambition, violence and non-violence, hate, love and jealousy) these are all fragments; all my life I have lived that way.
Krishnamurti: We have been through all that, Sir. Give the speakers two minutes, will you kindly?
Now, what is the answer? I have lived a fragmentary, destructive, broken life and now I have to live - now the challenge put to me has been: "Can I live without any fragmentation?" That is my challenge. Now how do I respond to it? I respond to it by saying, "I really don't know" - right? I really don't know. I don't pretend to know. I don't pretend tO say "Yes, here is the answer". When a challenge is put to you, a new challenge, the instinctive response - I do not mean instinctive - the right response is humility: "I don't know." Right? But you don't say that. Can you honestly say you don't know? You can, good. Then what do you mean by that feeling, "I don't know"? Questioner: (Inaudible)
Krishnamurti: Don't answer it too quickly, find out. Use your brain cells.
Questioner: The recognition of fact, Sir.
Krishnamurti: I have recognised the fact, otherwise I wouldn't even answer it.
Questioner: I have no means of finding out. I do not know and I don't know the means of finding out.
Krishnamurti: Now wait. I don't know - right? Now what is the state of the mind - please follow it, listen quietly - what is the state of the mind that says "I really don't know"?
Questioner: Lack of... ?
Krishnamurti: Oh, there we are! You people are so dull.
Questioner: I do not know.
( Various comments - inaudible.)
Krishnamurti: Oh, you are so immature, like children in a class! This is a very serious question we are asking and you just throw in a lot of words, you haven't even the humility to listen and find out for yourselves.
Questioner: It is not easy, I don't know.
Krishnamurti: When we say, when you say, as that gentleman said just now, he doesn't know, what is the state of mind that has replied "I don't know"?
Krishnamurti: You are - Sir, how old are you?
Krishnamurti: Oh, Sir. When I say "I don't know", I really don't know. But am I waiting to find out, or waiting for somebody to tell me - right? I am waiting. Therefore when I say "I don't know", it isn't an actual fact that I don't know, because I hope that somebody is going to tell me, or that I'll find out. Do you follow this? Right. Then you are waiting, aren't you? Why are you waiting? Who is going to tell you? Your memory? If your memory is going to tell you, you are back again in the same old rut. So what are you waiting for? So you say "I won't wait" - you follow, Sir? - there is no waiting. There is no "in the meantime" - you follow this? I wonder if you do. So when you say "I don't know", it means nobody knows - right? Because if anybody tells me, he will tell me out of fragmentation - no? So I don't know, therefore there is no waiting, there is no answer - right? So I don't know. Then I find out what is the state of the mind that says "I don't know" - are you following it? It is not waiting, not expecting an answer, not looking to some memory, authority, it ceases - all that has stopped. Right? So the mind - follow it step by step - so the mind is silent in the face of a new challenge. It is silent because it can't answer the new challenge. I don't know if you are meeting this; right, Sirs? (No. No. You don't understand?)
You know when you see a marvellous mountain, the beauty, the height of it, the dignity, the purity of it, it forces you to be silent, doesn't it? - this may last a second but the very grandeur of it makes you silent. And a second later all the reactions begin. Now if you see the challenge in the same way - but you don't because your mind is chattering - so you don't see the importance or the magnitude of this question, which is: can I live (living meaning now, not tomorrow or yesterday, or a second after, or a second before) can I live without fragmentation? It is an immense question - right? Why aren't you silent?
Questioner: Because I want to live without fragmentation.
Krishnamurti: Ah - which means what?
Questioner: I want to be out of it.
Krishnamurti: Which means what? Go into it. You don't see the immensity of the question. All that you want to do is to get into another state, therefore you don't see the magnitude of the question. Why don't you? Pursue it. You do see it, when you see a marvellous mountain, sparkling with snow in the clear blue sky with great, deep shadows, and absolute silence. Why don't you see this in the same way? Because you want to live in the old way. You are not concerned with seeing the full meaning of that question, but you say, "For God's sake tell me quickly how to get there".
Questioner: I am already seeking the solution of how to get there.
Krishnamurti: That's right. So you are more concerned with the solution than with the question. Which means what?
Questioner: I won't get it.
Krishnamurti: No. Which means what? Look at it, look at it, don't answer it yet - which means what?
Krishnamurti: No, Madame, stick to it.
Krishnamurti: You have understood the question? You don't see the magnitude of this question because you want to reach it, get it, you are greedy. So your greed is preventing you from seeing the immensity of it. So what is important? (Follow it step by step.) Not the immensity but your greed. Why are you greedy - about something which you don't understand at all? (You don't mind, Sir, my pursuing what your daughter says like that?)
Krishnamurti: Now, see why. Why are you greedy, when you haven't even understood what is involved in it? So you say, "How stupid of me to be greedy about something when I don't know what it means" - right? So what I have to do is not, not to be greedy, but to find out the implications, the beauty, the truth, the loveliness of that thing. Why don't you do that, instead of saying "I must get it"?
So you respond to a new question, a new challenge, invariably from the old. Greed is from the old. Therefore is it possible to cut off the past entirely? You understand? It is the past that is fragmentary, that is bringing about fragmentation, breaking up life. So my question is: is it possible to be free of the past totally so that I can live technologically? I don't know if you follow this? Can I be free from the past, can I be free from being a Hindu, Buddhist, Muslim, Christian, or anything else? Not "can I be; I must be. It is stupid for me to belong to any caste, to any religion, to any group. Out it goes. There is no time to think about it as you suggested. Out it has gone - you follow? So it is possible to cut the past completely; if you can do it in one direction you can do it totally. Right? (Oh, no, you don't see.)
So, can you, from this moment, be free completely of your nationality, of your tradition, of your culture, of your past? If you can't, you live in fragmentation, and therefore everlastingly life becomes a battlefield. And nobody is going to help you in this. No guru, no Communist, nobody is going to help you do it. And in your heart of hearts you know this jolly well. Well, Sirs? So thought is always old - right? Discover this for yourselves, don't repeat after me - discover it. And you see what an extraordinary thing you have discovered. So if you discover this - that thought is really old - then all the past - the Shankaras, the Buddhas, the Christ, the whole past is gone. No? But you don't discover it. You won't make the effort to discover it; you don't want to discover it.
Questioner: No Sir, there is the fear of being lost.
Krishnamurti: Well, be lost, you are lost anyhow!
Questioner: Not completely lost.
Krishnamurti: But you are lost, Sirs. What are you talking about? You are terribly lost. It is only a lost man that is everlastingly in conflict. You are lost, but you don't recognise that you are lost. So thought is always old; then, what is it - that is too difficult to go into now - I'll just put it forward and you will see for yourselves - what is it then that sees something new? You understand, Sirs? Thought is always old - follow it carefully - when the Adi Shankara, that old bird, said something, his thought was already old - do you understand? Therefore what he said was never new, he repeated in his own coinage of words something which he had heard, and you repeat it after him. So thought is never new and can never be new, and living now, every day, is something which is the active present; it is always active, in the present. Therefore when you try to understand activity in the present, with the past, which is thought, then you don't understand it at all; then there is fragmentation, and life becomes a conflict. So can you live so completely that there is only the active present now? And you cannot live that way if you haven't understood and thereby cut yourself off completely from the past, because you yourself are the past. You see you will unfortunately go on just listening - if I happen to come next year you will repeat the same old stuff.
Questioner: Sir, if we are not in the past, but in the present, does that not also become the past and the future - how are we to know that we are right?
Krishnamurti: You don't have to be sure you are right - be wrong! Why are you frightened about being right or wrong? But your question has no validity at all because you are just talking, you are just theorizing. You are saying, "If this happens, that would happen". But if you put it into action then you would know there is no such thing as "going wrong".
Questioner: Sir, when we go back home we see our children and the past comes in.
Questioner: Shankara may go.
Krishnamurti: I hope it has gone. Shankara may go but the children remain. (Laughter) Are the children the past? They are in one sense. And as they are living human beings, can you educate them to live completely, in the way we are talking about?
Questioner: Right Sir, you have answered it, sorry.
Krishnamurti: That means I have to help them to be intelligent, I have to help them to be sensitive, because sensitivity, highest sensitivity is the highest intelligence. Therefore if there are no schools around you, you have to help them at home to be sensitive, to look at the trees, to look at the flowers, to listen to the birds, to plant a tree if you have a little yard - or if you have no yard to have a tree in a pot and to look at it, to cherish it, to water it, not to tear its leaves. And as the schools do not want them to be sensitive, educated, intelligent (schools only exist to pass exams and get a job) you have to help them at home, to help them to discuss with you, why you go to a temple, why you do this ceremony, why you read the Bible, the Gita - you follow? - so that they are questioning you all the time, so that neither you nor anyone else becomes an authority. But I am afraid you won't do any of this because the climate, the food, the tradition is too much for you, so you slip back and lead a monstrously ugly life. But I think, if you have the energy, the drive, the passion, that is the only way to live.
Awakening of Intelligence
Part 6, Public Dialogues Madras 1968
The Awakening of Intelligence Part VI Chapter 4 4th Public Dialogue Madras 12th January 1968 'A Fundamental Question'
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