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The Mirror of Relationship

Ojai, California
1st Talk in the Oak Grove 5th April, 1936

People come to these talks with many expectations and hopes, and with many peculiar ideas; and for the sake of clarification, let us examine these and see their true worth. Perhaps there are a few of us here whose minds are not burdened with jargons which are but wearisome verbal repetitions. There may also be others who, having freed themselves from beliefs and superstitions, are eager to understand the significance of what I say. Seeing the illusory nature of imitativeness, they can no longer seek patterns and moulds for their conduct. They come in the hope of awakening their innate creativeness, so that they may live profoundly in the movement of life. They are not seeking a new jargon or mode of conduct, smartness of ideas or emotional assertiveness.

Now, I am talking to those who desire to awaken to the reality of life and create for themselves the true way of thinking and living. By this I do not mean that my words are restricted to the few, or to some imaginary clique of self-chosen intellectuals.

What I say may not seem vital to those who are merely curious, for I have no empty phrases or bold assertions with which to excite them. The curious, who merely desire emotional stimulation, will not find satisfaction in my words.

Then there are those who come here to compare what I have to say with the many schools of thoughtlessness. (Laughter) No, please, this is not a smart remark. From letters I have received and from people who have talked to me, I know there are many who think that by belonging to special schools of thought they will advance and be of service to the world. But what they call schools of thought are nothing but imitative jargons which merely create divisions and encourage exclusiveness and vanity of mind. These systems of thought have really no validity, being founded on illusion. Though their followers may become very erudite and defend themselves with their learning, they are in reality thoughtless.

Again, there are many whose minds have become complicated by the search for systems of human salvation. They seek, now through economics, now through religion, now through science, to bring about order and true harmony in human life. Fanaticism becomes the impulse for many who try, through dogmatic assertions, to impose on others their own imaginings and illusions, which they choose to call truth or God.

So you have to find out for yourself why you are here, and under what impulse you came to listen to this talk. I hope we are here to dis- cover together whether we can live sanely, intelligently, and in the fullness of understanding. I feel that this should be the labour of both the speaker and the audience. We are going to start on a journey of deep inquiry and individual experiment, not on a journey of dogmatic assertions, creating new sets of beliefs and ideals. To discover the reality of what I say, you must experiment with it.

Most of us are held by the idea that by discovering some single cause for man's suffering, conflict and confusion, we shall be able to solve the many problems of life. It has become the fashion to say: Cure the economic evils, then man's happiness and fulfilment are assured. Or: Accept some religious or philosophical idea, then peace and happiness can be made universal. In search of single causes we not only encourage specialists but also develop experts who are ever ready to create and expound logical systems, in which the thoughtless man is entrapped. You see exclusive systems or ideas for the salvation of man taking form everywhere throughout the world. We are so easily entrapped in them, thinking that this seemingly logical simplicity of single causes will help us to remove misery and confusion.

A man who gives himself over to these specialists and to the single cause finds only greater confusion and misery. He becomes a tool in the hands of experts or a willing slave of those who can readily expound the logical simplicity of a single cause.

If you deeply examine man's suffering and confusion, you will see without any doubt whatsoever that there are many causes, some complex, some simple, which we must understand thoroughly before we can free ourselves from conflict and suffering. If we desire to understand the many causes and their disturbances, we must treat life as a whole, not split it up into the mental and emotional, the economic and religious, or into heredity and environment. For this reason we cannot hand ourselves over to specialists, who naturally are trained to be exclusive and to be concentrated in their narrow divisions. It is essential not to do this; nevertheless, unconsciously we give ourselves over to another to be guided, to be told what to do, thinking that the religious or economic expert, because of his special knowledge and achievements, can direct our individual lives. Most specialists are so trained that they cannot take a comprehensive view of life; and because we adjust our lives, our actions, to the dictates of experts, we merely create greater confusion and sorrow. So, realizing that we cannot be slaves to experts, to teachers, to philosophers, to those people who say they have found God and who seemingly make life very simple, we should beware of them. We should seek simplicity, but in that very search we should be aware of the many illusions and delusions. Being conscious of all this, what should we, as individuals, do? We have to realize profoundly, not casually or superficially, that no one particular person or system is wholly going to solve for us our agonizing problems and clarify our complex and subtle reactions. If we can realize that there is no one outside of ourselves who is going to clear up the chaos and confusion that exist within and without us, then we shall not be imitative, we shall not crave for identification. We shall then begin to release the creative power within us. This signifies that we are beginning to be conscious of individual uniqueness. Each individual is unique, different, not similar to another; but by this I do not mean the expression of egotistic desires.

We must begin to be self-conscious, which most of us are not; in bringing the hidden into the open, into the light, we discover the various causes of disharmony, of suffering. This alone will help to bring about a life of fulfilment and intelligent happiness. Without this liberation from the hidden, the concealed, our efforts must lead us to delusions. Until we discover, through experiment, our subtle and deep limitations, with their reactions, and so free ourselves from them, we shall lead a life of confusion and strife. For these limitations prevent the pliability of mind-emotion, making it incapable of true adjustment to the movement of life. This lack of pliability is the source of our egotistic competition, fear and the pursuit of security, leading to many comforting illusions.

Though we may think we have found truth, bliss, and objectify the abstract idea of God, yet, while we remain unconscious of the hidden springs of our whole being, there cannot be the realization of truth. The mouthing of such words as truth, God, perfection, can have no deep significance and import.

True search can begin only when we do not separate mind from emotion. As we have been trained to regard life, not as a complete whole, but as broken up into body, mind and spirit, we shall find it very difficult to orient ourselves to this new conception and reaction towards life. To educate ourselves to this way of regarding life, and not to slip back into the old habit of separative thought, requires persistence, constant alertness. When we begin to free ourselves, through experiment, from these false divisions with their special significances, pursuits and ideals, which have caused so much harm and falsely complicated our lives, then we shall release creative energy and discover the endless movement of life.

Can the mind-heart know and profoundly appreciate this state of endlessness, this ceaseless becoming? Infinity has a profound significance, only when there is liberation from the limitations which we have created through our false conceptions and divisions, as body, mind and spirit, each with its own distinctive ideals and pursuits. When the mind- heart detaches itself from harmful and limiting reactions and begins to live intensely, with deep awareness, then only is there the possibility of knowing profoundly this ceaseless becoming. Mind-emotion must be wholly free from identification and imitation, to know this blessedness. The awakening of this creative intelligence will alone bring about man's humanity, his balance and deep fulfilment.

Until you become conscious both of your environment and of your past, and understand their significance - not as two contrasted elements, which would only produce false reactions, but as a co-ordinated whole - and until you are able to react to this whole, profoundly, there cannot be the perception of the endless movement of life.

True search begins only when there is a release from those reactions which are the result of division. Without the understanding of life's wholeness, the search for truth or happiness must lead to illusion. In pursuit of an illusion, one often feels an exhilaration, an emotionalism; but when one examines this emotional structure, it is nothing but a limitation, the building up of walls of refuge. It is a prison, though one may live in it and even enjoy it. It is an escape from the conflict of life into limitation; and there are many who will help and encourage you in this flight.

If these talks are to have any significance for you, you must begin to experiment with what I am saying, and live anew by becoming conscious of all your reactions. Be conscious of them, but do not at once discard some as being bad, and accept others as being good; for the mind, being limited, is unable to discern truly. What is important is to be aware of them. Then through that constant awareness, in which there is no sense of opposites, no division as mind and emotion, there comes the harmony of action which alone will bring about fulfilment.

Question: Are there not many expounders of truth besides yourself? Must one leave them all and listen only to you?

Krishnamurti: There can never be expounders of truth. Truth cannot be explained, any more than you can explain love to a man who has never been in love. Such a phrase as "expounders of truth" has no meaning.

What are we trying to do here? I am not asking you to believe what I say, nor am I subtly making you follow me in order that you may be exploited. Independently of me, you can experiment with what I say. I am trying to show you how one can live sanely and deeply, with creative richness, so that one's life is a fulfilment and not a continual frustration. This can be done when the mind-heart liberates itself from those false reactions, conceptions and ideas which it has inherited and acquired, the reactions born of egotistic fears and limitations, the reactions born of division and the conflict of the opposites. Those limitations and narrow reactions prevent the mind-heart from adjusting itself to the movement of life. From this lack of pliability arise confusion, delusion and sorrow. Only through your own awareness and endeavour, and not through authority or imitation, can these limitations be swept away.

Question: What is your idea of infinity?

Krishnamurti: There is a movement, a process of life, without end, which may be called infinity. Through authority, imitation, born of fear, mind creates for itself many false reactions and thereby limits itself. Identifying itself with this limitation, it is incapable of following the swift movement of life. Because the mind, prompted by fear and in its desire for security and comfort, seeks an end, an absolute with which it can identify itself, it becomes incapable of following the never ending movement of life. Until the mind-heart can free itself from these limitations, in full consciousness, there cannot be the comprehension of this endless process of becoming. So do not ask what is infinity, but discover for yourself the limitations which hold the mind-heart in bondage, preventing it from living in this movement of life.

The Mirror of Relationship

Ojai, California
1st Talk in the Oak Grove 5th April, 1936

Jiddu Krishnamurti. The Mirror of Relationship. The collected works of J.Krishnamurti, 1936..1944.

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