Beginnings of Learning
Beginnings of Learning Part I Chapter 9 School Dialogue Brockwood Park 27th September 1970
Questioner: Can we talk about reaction and how the moment we are reacting we don't see that we are reacting, only afterwards?
Krishnamurti: Do you all want to discuss that? I think we can include that if we could discuss something with wider scope. We all want to fulfil, don't we?
Questioner: What do you mean by fulfil?
Krishnamurti: Don't you feel that you would like to express yourself in different ways? - either writing a poem, or wearing a certain type of dress, or you want to become something in life.
Questioner: In fact, when you talk about it you see through it, but it's deeper than that.
Krishnamurti: We're going to go into it more deeply. A woman feels that she is not fulfilled if she does not have a baby. A man feels frustrated if he does not work, if he does not do something in life. If you want to become something and are not able to, you feel frustrated, don't you? - you feel thwarted. What is it that wants to fulfil? What is behind that desire to fulfil? Who is it that is fulfilling?
Questioner: It can be an idea, for instance.
Krishnamurti: I don't know, let's find out. If you say, "This is my way of dressing, this is my way of acting, I want to express myself", what is this thing that wants to express itself? When I say `myself', what is that?
Questioner: Isn't that an image of oneself? Krishnamurti: I don't know what you mean by that - find out. Don't you feel this? Or am I talking about something irrelevant? What do you say?
Questioner: At the moment I don't have a particular way of saying, "This is my way of doing anything."
Krishnamurti: What do you mean `my'? What do you mean by, "It is my personal expression"? What is the thing behind it, the `me' the `self' that says, "I must express myself, I must fulfil"?
Questioner: (1) Your ego?
Questioner: (2) It can be a reaction to feeling insecure.
Questioner: (1) And that's why it comes about, the feeling, "That's my way."
Questioner: (2) Isn't it a question not so much of `my' way or `your' way, but of finding out if there is a way which isn't influenced by `you' or by `me'?
Krishnamurti: Which can only happen if I understand what is this `me' that is always projecting itself, thrusting itself forward. What is that? "My opinion, my judgement, my way of dressing, my way of keeping order" - what is that `me'? Are you learning about that `me'? Do you want to find out what that `me' is? There are two different things: to learn about the `me', and to find out if there is a `me' at all.
Questioner: To learn about the `me' first you have to make the `me' exist.
Krishnamurti: That's right, to learn about it. You see the
Krishnamurti: When I said there is a `me', I've already stabilised it. Questioner: (1) The purpose is to learn about it.
Questioner: (2) I know that it's there.
Krishnamurti: Which means that I have a feeling it is there; all I have to do is to learn about it - its expressions, its way of acting, its resistances, its appetites and so on.
Questioner: One feels that this is the situation one is in, that one feels the `me' does exist. Although I can say verbally that by saying this I am setting up the image of `me', deeply within the feeling seems to make this `me' there, so perhaps I can watch those feelings.
Krishnamurti: We are trying to find out if there is a `me', a `self' which has to be studied. Or is there no `me' and therefore, when I say "I want to express myself," what does that mean? Don't you feel the `me' is important? What is that `me' which says, "I must fulfil, I must become, I must be this, that's my taste, I can go my way?"
Questioner: Is it something I cling to?
Krishnamurti: You understand, Sarah, that when you say `me' you have already established it, haven't you? And you resist anything that opposes that.
Questioner: Why? Why should we resist?
Krishnamurti: I have established `me' first. `I' am this, `I' am my prejudice, `I' want to dress in a particular way, `I' think this is the right way to have a tidy room.
Questioner: It's been drummed into us in childhood.
Krishnamurti: That is the `me' that must express itself, otherwise it feels thwarted. No? If I say, "Look, Sarah, I don't like the way you dress", you will tell me that is the way you want to express yourself, that is your order. Now before you state, "This is my order, my way of dressing," what is that `me'? Have you established the `me' that wants to express itself? Questioner. What is the `me' that says "You don't like the way I dress?"
Krishnamurti: If I said to you I don't like the way you dress, what does that mean?
Questioner: It means you are expressing an opinion.
Krishnamurti: Am I prejudiced? What is it that says, "I don't like the way you dress?" And you reply, "That's my taste." There are two opposing statements. Who is it in you that says that's the way you want to dress? And who is the `me' that says, "That is not the way to dress"? Let's find out. Is it because I have a concept, an image, that miniskirts are much better? And you say, "I don't like them", you having your own idea of a long dress; and you say, "That's the way to dress." We have to live together in the same house, we come into contact. What do we do?
Questioner: I cling to the ideas which I have...
Krishnamurti: Don't theorize, then we are lost. See actually what the facts are, then we can deal with it. If you are speculating about it, then your speculation is as good as mine. What are these two: your `I' and my `I'?
Questioner: We both have a bundle of memories and experiences, we have developed certain preferences.
Krishnamurti: That `me' and that `you' who assert themselves, are they prejudiced?
Krishnamurti: Why do you say they are prejudiced?
Questioner: Let's investigate it.
Krishnamurti: Let's probe into it. Do I react to my conditioning and you to your conditioning? You like long dresses and I don't like them, or whatever it is. Questioner: The way you dress is an expression of your conditioning.
Krishnamurti: Is it my prejudice or is it yours? Two prejudices coming into contact with each other explode - they have to do something. Why do I give such importance to the way you dress? And why do you resist what I say? Why don't you say, "What does it matter"? Why don't we do this? Why this resistance?
Questioner: I think part of the resistance is to the way it is pointed out.
Krishnamurti: I may point it out crudely, or I may point it out more gently, but why do you resist?
Questioner: Because if somebody hits you in a forceful way, then you react automatically. But if they say, "Look, let's go into it, see why you dress the way you do," then you discuss it, as we are doing now.
Krishnamurti: We are doing it - but at the end of it, let's wipe it out, not just theorize day after day and talk about clothes - who cares!
Questioner: Didn't we make a distinction the other day between prejudice and preference? You said the other day...
Krishnamurti: I don t care what I said the other day - you have to find out. It's not important what I said - what do you say? I'm asking you, Sarah, please tell me when I say this about your dress - is it a prejudice on my part? And when you say, "This is my way of dressing," is that your prejudice?
Krishnamurti: Now what do you mean by prejudice - don't repeat what I said.
Questioner: When you have an idea about something and you're not willing to change it.
Krishnamurti: Why aren't you willing to change it? Who is the person who asserts this? Questioner: It's my `me'.
Krishnamurti: What is that `me'?
Questioner: (1) It's part of myself, my conditioning, it's something I depend upon because without it, what am I?
Questioner: (2) Are you something?
Krishnamurti: Isn't it part of your education to understand yourself?
Questioner: You asked if we care - but we do care, and I think it's very important...
Krishnamurti: I am sorry. You all apparently do care tremendously about the way you dress.
Questioner: But why shouldn't we?
Krishnamurti: I'm not saying you shouldn't. You do care, you give it a certain importance, that's all. Now what is the problem?
Questioner: The problem seems to me that we have to learn how not to react even if someone is prejudiced. We can't perhaps do very much about this prejudice, but supposing you say to me, "I don't like the way you dress",you may or you may not be prejudiced. But that is not what I have to go into, it's what I do about it.
Krishnamurti: What will you do? We live in the same house.
Questioner: If I don't understand deeply why I shouldn't dress that way, if I just change, then it's hypocritical.
Questioner: And I don't want to be hypocritical. So it seems I am left with nothing to do.
Krishnamurti: Why do we have such strong opinions about such trivial things?
Questioner: (1) I don't think it's the dress that bothers us - it's being hypocritical and taking somebody else's ideas or opinions for our own. Questioner: (2) Why do you have an opinion anyway? It's me versus your opinion.
Krishnamurti: Go on, Jimmy, help us out - don't just all sit quietly! She says, "I don't want to be hypocritical," that is, say one thing and do another.
Questioner: (1) But why is there the need to be hypocritical?
Questioner: (2) We have to be sensitive to the changing situation, but there is no set code, no set style of dress.
Questioner: (3) But your sensitivity is not the same as somebody else's.
Questioner: (4) It's not my sensitivity or your sensitivity, there is such a thing as sensitivity.
Questioner: (5) That's what we're trying to find out, is there such a thing and how can you get to that thing?
Krishnamurti: Is that your problem?
Questioner: Yes, yes.
Krishnamurti: How to be sensitive, not to any particular problem or to your own particular desires, but to be sensitive all around. What prevents you from being sensitive? - sensitive to my feelings, to somebody else's feelings, somebody's ideas, opinions, prejudices.
Questioner: This is not an objective situation, we all have a different idea of what to wear, you couldn't be equally sensitive to all the ideas...
Krishnamurti: So you have to be sensitive all round, objectively and inwardly. Why aren't you? Is it because you don't want to be hurt, therefore you'll resist, you'll build a wall round yourself and at the same time say, "I want to be sensitive." Is that it?
Questioner: It's more a question of wanting to be able to function.
Krishnamurti: You can function very well if you are extremely sensitive. That's the only way to function. You are very quick then, adjusting, not saying, "This is right, I'm going to stick to it." To every situation you are adjusting quickly - that's part of sensitivity, isn't it? Not your sensitivity, as she points out, or my sensitivity, which is absurd.
Questioner: Also, isn't there a larger dimension to the sensitivity? In other words, I can be sensitive to what you say, but there's a larger thing.
Krishnamurti: Of course, that's what I'm implying.
Questioner: We live in a certain place and time and so forth, it wouldn't be appropriate to wear a suit of armour. There's a lot to be sensitive to. We tend to be sensitive about ourselves and to nothing else.
Krishnamurti: Let's include all that. Why aren't we sensitive? What is preventing us from being sensitive all round? - to you, to me, objectively and subjectively.
Questioner: It is preventing us getting to know each other.
Krishnamurti: He said that the fear of being hurt makes us insensitive, so we withdraw. Is that one of the major reasons for insensitivity? You have established the image of yourself which says, "I must dress that way, it doesn't matter what the situation is, because I'm used to that way."
Questioner: We're so concerned with our place in the whole that we don't look at the whole at all.
Krishnamurti: That's it. Are you afraid of being hurt? Now what is the thing that is going to be hurt? Why don't you want to be hurt, what is it that fears being hurt?
Questioner: The ego, the self.
Krishnamurti: The ego? What is that ego? What is it that says - "I don't want to be hurt."
Questioner: It's all your past.
Krishnamurti: Go step by step, otherwise you'll miss it. When you say, "I don't want to be hurt," why are you saying that? Because you've already been hurt? Is that it? You've felt the pain of it and you say, "I don't want to be hurt again." You shrink back, you have been hurt in childhood and you say, "I don't want to be hurt." Now when you say that, it means doesn't it? - that you've already been hurt, and you remember the past hurt and you don't want that to be repeated. Watch it: "I don't want to be hurt." `I' being the memory of the past hurt, which says, "I must be careful". So what happens when you say, I don t want to be hurt"! What is the next step?
Questioner: You've got a resistance.
Krishnamurti: You resist, don't you? Then what happens? Watch it, don't speak, see what happens. You build a wall round yourself in order not to be hurt. Then what happens?
Questioner: You get more hurt.
Krishnamurti: I'm not going to help you with this. Go on, Jimmy. When I build a wall round myself in order not to be hurt, what takes place? You do the same and I do the same, each one is doing this. What happens?
Questioner: There is no communication.
Krishnamurti: No communication? And you're trying to do things together, trying to cooperate, each building a wall around himself or herself. That is the basis of hypocrisy. When you say, "I don't want to be a hypocrite", you are really saying, "Leave me alone, don't hurt me." You are sensitive in your way, I am sensitive in my way - which has no meaning.
Questioner: I want to understand, I don't just want to accept something I'm told.
Krishnamurti: I see that I don't want to be hurt and I build a wall around myself, and you do the same - and as long as this wall exists there is no cooperation. I talk about cooperation and when I say to you, "Please, this occasion doesn't demand that kind of dress," you say, "That's prejudice."
Questioner: What is it in an occasion that dictates a specific dress? Krishnamurti: Leave the dress for the moment. You have a wall around yourself which is opinion, meaning,"I am this, don't come beyond" - you are resisting because you don't want to be hurt. So you build a wall of opinion, of assertion, of aggression. You are not pliable, there is not a free play in it.
Questioner: (1) There are two things: the person who is expressing his own opinion, and there is an objective situation. Those two things get so mixed up. When you're saying the situation here is dictating something, it comes from what you're doing here, what you learn, how you behave.
Questioner: (2) How can you separate what is our own conditioned valuation of the situation and the actual situation. We haven't understood what the situation is here at Brockwood.
Krishnamurti: Actually it's very simple. The situation is, each of us is protecting himself against the other, that's all. Right?
Questioner: I would say that's more important than all these other questions we've been raising.
Krishnamurti: The other things are all so unimportant. When we understand this, everything else will fall into place. We have been raised in this modern world to do and think what we want. And we have developed this antagonism to anybody who says, "This is different."
Questioner: I don't think we have been raised to do what we want. I think ever since we've been growing up, people have said, "Don't do this."
Krishnamurti: And then you resist that. And you break away from that and then you develop your own resistances. Behind all this - I'm just suggesting, I'm not saying it is so - there is this act of resistance; you in your way, I in my way, each person has the feeling, "I must protect myself" - justly or unjustly. Then what shall we do? Living in a small community of this kind, if each one has a wall of resistance around him, how shall we work together? You know, this is an everlasting problem, not just here in Brockwood.
Questioner: Everybody will have to drop their defences which means they will have to drop what they think about particular things in order to look at them.
Krishnamurti: Then what? I turn up in some absurd Indian clothes and you come and tell me, "Don't dress that way, it's not suitable for this occasion!" And I resist you.
Questioner: But this is where there is a lot of energy wasted.
Krishnamurti: I agree with you, it's a waste of energy.
Questioner: Sir, could we stay with the example you gave of absurd Indian dress. I can live with a person who wears Indian dress.
Krishnamurti: Not that you can live with a person wearing absurd Indian dress, that's not the point. Am I incapable of being sensitive to the occasion which demands a different kind of dress?
Questioner: Let's look at why an occasion demands a certain dress.
Krishnamurti: I'll show you. Have you seen Indian ladies wearing saris? The other day in London I saw an Indian lady wearing a long sari, in India that's the fashion. She was sweeping the street with her sari, it was getting filthy, but she was totally unaware of it. What would you call that?
Questioner: It's appropriate to her.
Krishnamurti: No, you don't get the point. She was totally unaware of what she was doing - that the long Indian dress was sweeping the street. She was unaware of it.
Questioner: But then, it's just as dirty in Bombay.
Krishnamurti: (Laughter.) You are missing the point: She was totally unaware of it.
Questioner: Well, that's her problem.
Questioner: Could I clarify whether the problem is that her dress was long and getting dirty, or whether it is the fact that she was wearing Indian dress in England? Krishnamurti: No, it's not that. I'm pointing out the insensitivity of a person who is unaware of what she is doing. That's all.
Questioner: But if you are sensitive to the situation...
Krishnamurti: That's all I'm saying. My point is, if that Indian woman in London was aware of what she was doing, she would obviously lift up her sari.
Questioner: Because she wouldn't want to waste her energy washing it.
Krishnamurti: Not only that, no, much more. The total unawareness of the occasion.
Questioner: It's a question of being asleep or being awake.
Krishnamurti: Yes. It s not, "Why do you care how she walks or what she does, it's her way of doing it," as you said. I am asking, are you aware of what you are doing - not of the occasion, not of what you wear. But are you aware why you dress the way you do? Why do you feel it's of tremendous importance that you do things the way you do? That's the problem, isn't it?
Questioner: You seem to imply that once I'm aware of the way I'm dressing, I'll change.
Krishnamurti: No, I did not say that. You may or may not change, it's up to you. But I am suggesting - are you aware of it? And being aware, see all the implications - not just being aware that you've got trousers on. Are you aware when I say to you, "Sit properly with a straight back?" I'll tell you something very interesting. Brahmin boys in India up to the age of seven can do what they like, play around. At the age of seven they go through a certain ceremony and during that ceremony they are taught to sit completely still, with closed eyes. After the ceremony you become a real Brahmin and all the rest of it. From that day on you must sit properly, meditate, you are drilled. I'm saying that to show you how habits are built in, conditioned, and most of us are that way. To break down that conditioning you have to be aware of what you're doing. That's all. Questioner: Breaking down good habits as well as bad?
Krishnamurti: Everything. Habit means conditioning, a mechanical repetition, which is obviously not being sensitive. Now are you aware of what you're doing? When I say to you, "Please dress differently," are you taking my statement to help to be aware and therefore sensitive, or do you resist it? What do you do? To be sensitive implies learning. I say to you, "Jimmy, don't dress that way." Will you treat it as a help to be aware, or do you resist? Or do you feel you're being hurt, "I'm as good as you are, it's only your opinion," - all the battle of words and nonsense?
Questioner: So where do we react wrongly?
Krishnamurti: You have to take into consideration conformity, imitation, fear of being hurt, trying to find your own freedom apart from mine. Dominic said, "I don't want you to tread on my toes, I don't want to tread on yours." Are you aware of the implications of all that's going on? If you're not, you become a hypocrite. Do you know you're hurt and that you don't want to be hurt any more?
Questioner: If you are giving your full attention to the moment, you haven't got time to remember that you've been hurt.
Krishnamurti: No, but most of us don't know how to give complete attention to the moment. All that we remember is that we've been hurt and don't want to be hurt again. Have you got such hurts in you? What are you going to do about them. See what happens when you've got these hurts, they respond much more quickly than your reason does. Those hurts spring forward much quicker than, "Let's find out, let's learn." So you have to tackle that first. What will you do with those hurts?
Questioner: But those hurts are past.
Krishnamurti: Are they past and dead?
Questioner: That's what is reacting. Krishnamurti: Yes.
Questioner: It doesn't have to react.
Krishnamurti: Of course it doesn't have to, but it does. If you understand the whole mechanism of hurt, you will never be hurt again. Do you know what the mechanism of being hurt means? Find out. We have all been hurt some way or another. First, why have we been hurt?
Questioner: Sometimes it's because of our pride, our illusions.
Krishnamurti: Why are you proud? What are you proud about? Did you write a book? Or can you play tennis better, run faster than somebody else? We make these statements and say, "Yes, I'm proud." What does it mean? Because you're so nice-looking, so bright? And somebody comes along who is still brighter than you and you're hurt - you're jealous, you're angry, you're bitter, which is part of being hurt. So what will you do with those hurts which you have accumulated, which say, "I must not be hurt any more?" What are you going to do, knowing that the hurts are going to respond so quickly?
Questioner: I would say that hurts are really disillusionments and disillusionments are really learning, so they are not hurts.
Krishnamurti: Yes, but that is just an explanation. The fact remains that you are hurt. I put my trust in you and suddenly I find my trust has been betrayed: I get hurt. What is behind this hurt?
Questioner: I am sensitive.
Krishnamurti: Is that it? Can sensitivity ever get hurt?
Questioner: (1) Only the `I' in the middle of it.
Questioner: (2) The difficulty is really openness.
Krishnamurti: Exactly. And sensitivity is intelligence. So when you say, "I am hurt", who is the `I' that is asserting this all the time? Do you want to learn about that `I'? Or do you say, "What is there to learn about the `I'?" Do you see the difference? Questioner: Can you go into it a bit more?
Krishnamurti: I am hurt by various people for various reasons. So I build a wall of resistance and you come along and say, "Learn about it", "Look at it". Am I looking at the `me' that is being hurt, the memories, which means another `I' that is looking at it, a superior `I' which says, "I must learn about the lower `I'." Do you see the falseness of this? You have established the `I' which has to be learnt about. But there is no such thing as `I' - it's just a series of memories. Actually, there is no `I' except your memories of being hurt. But you have said, "That is the `I' about which I'm going to learn." What is there to learn about the `I'? - it's just a bundle of memories, there's nothing to learn about it.
Questioner: You mean there's no self-knowledge?
Krishnamurti: There is plenty, that's what we're doing - look how far we have moved in self-knowledge.
Questioner: If we are talking and I see something clearly, at that moment it's all right. Then afterwards the thing that I've seen becomes knowledge and I think I'm still seeing clearly. And somebody comes along and says to me, "You're not seeing clearly," and I say, "I am", because I remember having seen clearly. Perhaps the reason I want to see clearly in the first place is just to build up this pleasurable feeling.
Krishnamurti: Obviously. You've been hurt and you don't want to be hurt any more, and so you resist. What will you do? - knowing that prevents affection, love, every form of cooperation, every form of communication, of relationship. What will you do with that thing?
Questioner: You have to find a way of living where you are not building an image of yourself all the time.
Krishnamurti: First of all, you have built an image; the next step is to prevent adding to it. There are two problems, aren't there? You have to prevent adding to it, as well as to cure and destroy the disease that you have. How will you set about this? I've explained it - you are not relating to it, that's all. Questioner: You have to be highly sensitive all the time.
Krishnamurti: Which means what?
Questioner: See exactly what the influences are...
Questioner: Stop the hurt.
Krishnamurti: No. Look, be aware of what you are doing, of what you are thinking, feeling. And if I tell you to dress differently, don't resist and fight me but use my words to help you to be aware. You have been hurt, you have built a wall of resistance and I say to you, "Sarah, don't do that because you'll prevent every form of relationship, you'll be miserable all your life." Do you receive what I say to you with understanding, because it will help you to break down the wall? Or do you say, "No, who are you to tell me, it's my way of living"? Which will you do, knowing that hurts and any wall of resistance prevents all relationships? Are you aware of this actually happening now? What's going to happen if I come along and say, "Sarah, you're not so nice-looking as I thought you were." Are you resisting?
Krishnamurti: What is taking place then?
Questioner: I am learning about it and not resisting.
Krishnamurti: Then what will you do?
Questioner: I'll see if what you say is right.
Krishnamurti: So what does that mean? You have no conclusion about yourself. Is that what is actually taking place?
Questioner: It is right now.
Krishnamurti: Take your hurts and go into it. Do you know what it means not to have any image about yourself? Questioner: We can imagine about it.
Krishnamurti: I can imagine good food, but I want to taste it in full! First, we said, "We are hurt; so we see actually, intelligently, sensitively, that we have built a wall round ourselves. Therefore we are hypocritical in saying, "We will cooperate, we will do this together." That's one point. The second point is: how am I, how is this mind to prevent image-making? Because if I have any image it is going to be hurt.
Questioner: Don't we make images of others?
Krishnamurti: Any image, whether you make it of yourself or another, is still an image. Do you see the two problems? I have memories of being hurt, which create a wall of resistance; and I see that prevents every form of relationship. The other is, can the mind not make any more images at all? What am I to do with the past hurts, with the past images? Come on, you're nearly asleep! How will you help me to get rid of my past hurts? I want your help, which means I want to establish a relationship in which this thing will be dissolved.
Questioner: (1) You'll help me to learn that I am hurt and to see when my hurt is reacting. Therefore I can't just have a superficial relationship with you.
Questioner: (2) Yes, but I want to show you that I'm hurt.
Krishnamurti: I want to be free of the past hurts, because I see logically, with reason, with sanity, that if the mind keeps those hurts it has no contact with anything - I am afraid all the time. Now do I see that very clearly? Do you understand it, see it as clearly as you see this table or chair? - which means you are giving attention to what is being said and watching it in yourself. Are you doing it, or are you casually looking at it with your mind somewhere else? If you give your attention to the past hurts, they'll obviously fall away. The next thing is, how are you going to prevent further images being put together? Suppose I come along and say, "How very intelligent you are!" or "You are such an ass, you're half asleep." What will you do? How will you prevent immediately making an image when I say that? Questioner: You are creating an image of me by your saying that.
Krishnamurti: Obviously I'm an ass myself when I tell you you're an ass! But I'm asking you how to prevent images being formed - whether they be pleasurable or painful.
Questioner: You have to be awake to the image-making process.
Krishnamurti: Help me to find out how to do it! Suppose I say to you, "What a nice person you are," that immediately brings a reaction and an image, doesn't it? Now, how will you prevent that taking place?
Questioner: The image is there already, it's been made - can we not just see that we have made this image?
Krishnamurti: No. There are two things involved. First the past and secondly the prevention of new images being made. Because otherwise I'm going to be hurt again and I don't want to be hurt because I want to live freely, I want to have no walls around me. So what am I to do?
Questioner: I want to find out why I am flattered or hurt by what you say.
Krishnamurti: One is pleasure, the other is fear.
Questioner: But what is the basis of this?
Krishnamurti: You depend on my statement, I don't know why, but you do. That's not the point. How do you prevent this image being formed? Do you want to know? What will you pay for it?
Questioner: My life.
Krishnamurti: What is the price of that life? - do you know what it means, Sir? It means you really are serious not to form any image about anybody, whatever they say. Are you willing to do that? How would you do it? I'll tell you. Each give me ten dollars. (Laughter.)
Questioner: We haven't got it.
Krishnamurti: Watch it carefully. I've said this is a very serious matter, far more important than taking a degree. You pay a great deal to get educated, but you neglect this. Without this, life has no meaning and you don't even pay a cent to find out. Which means, you don't even give that much energy to find out.Jimmy says, "I'll give my life to find out," which means he's willing to go to the very end of it to find out. I said, "Look, Jimmy, you've been hurt, and that hurt reacts in many ways. The root of that hurt is in an image you had of yourself, and that image doesn't want to get hurt." You saw the truth of that. You are willing to go into it and you saw the truth of that and you said, "I understood, I know how to deal with it. Any time it arises I'm going to be aware, pay complete attention to every moment when anybody says, `Do this, don't do that'! Now why don't you give the same attention when somebody says, "You're an ass?" Then you won't form an image. Only when you are inattentive, the old habit asserts itself. That means the mind says, "As long as there is any form of resistance, all relationship has no meaning." I see that very clearly. Not verbally, but I touch it, feel it. And I say, resistance exists because I don't want to be hurt. And why am I hurt? Because I have an image about myself, and I see there is not only the image about myself but there is another image in me which says, "I must get rid of this image." So there is a battle between the two images in me - the `higher' image and the `lower' image. Both images are created by thought. So I see all of that very clearly - clearly in the sense as I see anything dangerous. Therefore, the clarity of perception is its own action. Then I've finished with it, the past never comes again.
Now with that same attention I'm going to see that when you flatter me, or insult me, there is no image, because I'm tremendously attentive. Will you do this? It doesn't matter what is said, I listen, I don't say, "You are prejudiced" or "You are not prejudiced." I listen because the mind wants to find out if it is creating an image out of every word, out of every contact. I'm tremendously awake, therefore I find in myself a person who is inattentive, asleep, dull, who makes images and gets hurt - not an intelligent man. Have you understood it at least verbally? Now apply it. Then you are sensitive to every occasion, it brings its own right action. And if anybody says some- thing to you, you are tremendously attentive, not to any prejudices, but you are attentive to your conditioning. Therefore you have established a relationship with him, which is entirely different from his relationship with you. Because if he is prejudiced, you are not; if he is unaware, you are aware. Therefore you will never create an image about him. You see the difference? Will you do this? You have no idea what vitality you'll have.
Questioner: I think we have to help each other to do it.
Krishnamurti: That's it, that is cooperation. You are helping me and I am helping you. You are learning from me and I am learning from you not to create images.
Beginnings of Learning
Beginnings of Learning Part I Chapter 9 School Dialogue Brockwood Park 27th September 1970
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