Krishnamurti to Himself
Krishnamurti to Himself Ojai California Friday 6th May, 1983
IT WAS A pleasant morning, cloudy, a slight nip in the air, and the hills were covered and quiet. There was a scent of orange blossom, not very strong but it was there. It is a peculiar, penetrating smell and it came into the room. And all the flowers this morning were ready for the sun to come out. The clouds would soon pass away and there would be bright sunshine later on.
The car went through the little village, past the many small hamlets, the oil derricks, oil tanks, and all the activity around those oil fields, and at last you came to the sea. You passed again through a big town, not too big, past the various lemon and orange groves, and you came upon, not patches of strawberries, not small cabbage fields, but acres of them, miles of them - strawberries, celery, spinach, lettuce and other vegetables - miles of flat rich soil between the hills and the sea. Here everything is done on a grand scale, almost too extravagant - miles of lemons and oranges, walnuts and so on. It is a rich land, beautiful. And the hills were so friendly that morning.
At last you came to the blue Pacific. It was like a pond this morning, so quiet, so extraordinarily still, and the morning light was on it. One should really meditate on that light, not directly on the sun but on the reflection of the sun on the glittering water. But the sea is not always like that; a month or two ago it rolled in fury, smashing the pier, destroying the houses around the beach, bringing havoc, even to the high road along it. Now they were repairing the smashed pier with all the lumber washed ashore, great quantities of it. Today, though, like a tamed animal, you could stroke it, you could feel the depth and the width and the beauty of this vast sea, so blue. Nearer the shore it was a Nile green. To go along that road beside the sea in the salty air was a most pleasant thing, just to see the hills, the waving grass and the vast sea of water.
All this disappeared into the huge ugly town, a city that has spread for miles upon miles upon miles. It was not a very pleasant city, but people lived there and seemed to like it.
I don't know if, sitting on the beach, you have ever watched the sea, watched the waves come and go. The seventh wave seems to be the largest, thundering towards the land. There is very little tide in the Pacific - at least not here, not like those tides that pull out many miles and come in so rapidly. Here there is always a little ebb and flow, coming in and going out, repeated for centuries upon centuries. If you can look at that sea, the sparkle of the dazzling light, and the clear water, with all your senses highly awakened to their excellence, in that observation there is not the centre as you, watching. It is a beautiful thing to watch that sea, and the sand, clean, washed every day. No footprint can remain there, even the little birds of the sea never leave their mark, the sea washes them away.
The houses along the beach are small, tidy; probably very rich people live along there. But all that doesn't count for anything - their riches, their vulgarity, their smart cars. One saw a very old Mercedes with exhaust pipes outside the bonnet, three on each side. The owners seemed to be very proud of it, they had polished it, washed it, taken such great care of it. Probably they had bought that machine rather than many other things. You could still do a great many miles in it; it was well put together to last.
Sitting on the shore watching the birds, the sky and hearing the distant sound of passing cars, it was a most beautiful morning.You went out with the ebb and came in with the tide. You went out far and came back again - this endless movement of in and out and out and in. You could see as far as the horizon where the sky met the waters. It was a big bay with blue and white water and tiny little houses all around it. And behind you were the mountains, range after range. Watching without a single thought, watching without any reaction, watching without identity, only endlessly watching, you really are not awake, you are absent minded, not all there; you are not you but watching. Watching the thoughts that arise and then fade away, thought after thought, thought itself is becoming aware of itself. There is no thinker watching the thought, the thinker is the thought.
Sitting on the beach watching the people pass by, two or three couples and a single woman, it seems that all nature, everything around you, from the deep blue sea to those high rocky mountains, was also watching. We are watching, not waiting, not expecting anything to happen but watching without end. In that watching there is learning, not the accumulation of knowledge through learning that is almost mechanical, but watching closely, never superficially but deeply, with a swiftness and a tenderness; then there is no watcher. When there is a watcher it is merely the past watching, and that is not watching, that is just remembering and it is rather dead stuff. Watching is tremendously alive, every moment a vacancy. Those little crabs and those seagulls and all those birds flying by are watching. They are watching for prey, for fish, watching for something to eat; they too are watching. Somebody passes close by you and wonders what you are watching. You are watching nothing, and in that nothingness everything is.
The other day a man who had travelled a great deal, seen a great deal, written something or other, came - an oldish man with a beard, which was well kept; he was dressed decently without the sloppiness of vulgarity. He took care of his shoes, of his clothes. He spoke excellent English, though he was a foreigner. And to the man who was sitting on the beach watching, he said he had talked to a great many people, discussed with some professors and scholars, and while he was in India he had talked to some of the pundits. And most of them, it seemed, according to him, were not concerned with society, not deeply committed to any social reform or to the present crisis of war. He was deeply concerned about the society in which we were living, though he was not a social reformer. He was not quite sure whether society could be changed, whether you could do something about it. But he saw what it was; the vast corruption, the absurdity of the politicians, the pettiness, the vanity, and the brutality that is rampant in the world.
He said, `What can we do about this society? - not petty little reforms here and there, changing one President for another, or one Prime Minister for another - they are all of the same breed more or less; they can't do much because they represent the mediocrity, or even less than that, the vulgarity; they want to show off, they will never do anything. They will bring about potty little reforms here and there but society will go on in spite of them.' He had watched the various societies, cultures. They are not so very different fundamentally. He appeared to be a very serious man with a smile and he talked about the beauty of this country, the vastness, the variety, from the hot deserts to the high Rockies with their splendour. One listened to him as one would listen to and watch the sea.
Society cannot be changed unless man changes. Man, you and others, have created these societies for generations upon generations; we have all created these societies out of our pettiness, narrowness, out of our limitation, out of our greed, envy, brutality, violence, competition, and so on. We are responsible for the mediocrity, the stupidity, the vulgarity, for all the tribal nonsense and religious sectarianism. Unless each one of us changes radically, society will never change. It is there, we have made it, and then it makes us. It shapes us, as we have shaped it. It puts us in a mould and the mould puts it into a framework which is the society.
So this action is going on endlessly, like the sea with a tide that goes far out and then comes in, sometimes very, very slowly, at other times rapidly, dangerously. In and out; action, reaction, action. This seems to be the nature of this movement, unless there is deep order in oneself. That very order will bring about order in society, not through legislation, governments and all that business - though as long as there is disorder, confusion, the law, the authority, which is created by our disorder, will go on. Law is the making of man, as the society is - the product of man is law.
So the inner, the psyche, creates the outer according to its limitation; and the outer then controls and moulds the inner. The Communists have thought, and probably still do, that by controlling the outer, bringing about certain laws, regulations, institutions, certain forms of tyranny, they can change man. But so far they have not succeeded, and they never will succeed. This is also the activity of the Socialists. The Capitalists do it in a different way, but it is the same thing. The inner always overcomes the outer, for the inner is far more strong, far more vital, than the outer.
Can this movement ever stop - the inner creating the outer environment psychologically, and the outer, the law, the institutions, the organizations, trying to shape man, the brain, to act in a certain way, and the brain, the inner, the psyche, then changing, circumventing the outer? This movement has been going on as long as man has been on this earth, crudely, superficially, sometimes brilliantly - it is always the inner overcoming the outer, like the sea with its tides going out and coming in. One should really ask whether this movement can ever stop - action and reaction, hatred and more hatred, violence and more violence. It has an end when there is only watching, without motive, without response, without direction. Direction comes into being when there is accumulation. But watching, in which there is attention, awareness, and a great sense of compassion, has its own intelligence. This watching and intelligence act. And that action is not the ebb and flow. But this requires great alertness, to see things without the word, without the name, without any reaction; in that watching there is a great vitality, passion.
Krishnamurti to Himself
Krishnamurti to Himself Ojai California Friday 6th May, 1983
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