The Mirror of Relationship
3rd Public Talk 20th December, 1936
I have tried to explain what is clear, creative thinking, and how tradition, anchorages, fear and security constantly impede the free movement of thought. If you would awaken intelligence, your mind must not escape into ideals and beliefs nor can it be caught in the accumulative process of self-protective memories. You must be conscious of the escape from the actual, and of living in the present with the values of the past or of the future.
If you observe yourself you will see that the mind is building up for itself security, certainty, in order to be free from fear, from apprehension, danger. The mind is ever seeking anchorages from which its choice and action may spring.
Mind is ever seeking and developing various forms of security, with its values and illusions: the security of wealth with its personal advantages and power; the security of belief and ideal; and the security which the mind seeks in love. A mind that is secure develops its own peculiar stupidities, puerilities, which cause much confusion and suffering.
When the mind is bewildered and fearful, it seeks impregnable certainties which become ideals, beliefs. Why does the mind create and cling to these anchorages of beliefs and traditions? Is it not because, perplexed by conflict and constant change, it seeks a finality, a deep assurance, a changeless state? And yet, in spite of these anchorages, suffering and sorrow continue. So mind begins to seek new substitutes, other ideals and beliefs, hoping again for security and happiness. The mind goes from one hope of certainty to another, from one illusion to another. This wandering is called growth.
When the conditioned mind becomes conscious of sorrow and uncertainty, it soon begins to stagnate by escaping into beliefs, theories, hopes. This process of substitution, of escape, only leads to frustration.
The search for security is but the expression of fear which distorts the mind-heart. When you see the significance of your search for security through belief and ideal, you become conscious of its falseness. Then the mind seeks through reaction against belief and ideal an antithesis in which it hopes again to find certainty and happiness, which is but another form of escape from actuality. Mind has to become aware of its habit of developing antitheses.
Why is the mind guarding itself strongly against the movement of life? Can a mind that is not vulnerable, that is looking to its own advantages through its self-created values, ever know the ecstasy of life and the completeness of love? The mind is making itself impregnable so as not to suffer, and yet this very protection is the cause of sorrow.
Question: I can see that intelligence must be independent of intellect and also of any form of discipline. Is there a way by which we can quicken the process of awakening intelligence and making it permanent?
Krishnamurti: There cannot be love, creative intelligence, so long as there is fear in any form. If you are fully aware of fear with its many activities and illusions, that very awareness becomes the flame of intelligence.
When the mind discerns for itself the hindrances that are preventing clear thought, then no artificial impetus is necessary for the awakening of intelligence. A mind that seeks a method is not aware of itself, of its ignorance, fears. It merely hopes that perhaps a method, a system of discipline, will dissipate its fears and sorrows. Discipline can only create habit, and so deaden the mind. To be aware without choice, to be conscious of the many activities of the mind, its richness, its subtleties, its deceptions, its illusions, is to be intelligent. This awareness itself dispels ignorance, fear. If you make an effort to be aware, then that effort creates a habit, impelled by the hope of escape from sorrow. Where there is deep and choiceless awareness, there is self-revelation which alone can prevent the mind from creating illusions for itself and thereby putting itself to sleep. If there is constant alertness of mind without the duality of the observer and the observed, if mind can know itself as it is, without denial, assertion, acceptance or resignation, then out of that very actuality there comes love, creative intelligence.
Question: Why are there many paths to truth? Is this idea an illusion, cleverly conceived to explain and justify differences?
Krishnamurti: To clear thinking can there be many paths? Can any system lead to creative intelligence? There is only creative intelligence, not systems to awaken it. There is only truth, not paths leading to truth. It is only ignorance which divides itself into many paths and systems. Each religion maintains that it alone has the truth and that through it alone God can be realized; various organizations assert or imply that through their special methods truth can be known; each sect maintains that it has the special message, that it is the special vehicle of truth. Individual prophets and spiritual messengers offer their panaceas as direct revelations of God. Why do they claim such authority, such efficacy for their assertions? Is it not obvious? Vested interest, in the present or in the hereafter. They have to maintain their delusions of prestige and power, or else what will happen to all the creations of their terrestrial glory? Others, because they have impoverished themselves by denial and sacrifice, imagine themselves grown in grandeur and so assume the spiritual right of guiding the worldly. It is one of the facile explanations of spiritual interests to say that there are many paths to truth, thus justifying their own organized activities and attempting at the same time to be tolerant to those who maintain similar systems.
Also, we are so entrenched in prejudice, in tradition with its special beliefs and dogmas, that we repeat dogmatically, readily, that there are many paths to truth. To bring about tolerance between the many divisions of antagonistic and conditioned thought, the leaders of organized interests try to cover up, in weighty phrases, the inherent brutality of division. The very assertion of paths to truth is the denial of truth. How can anyone point out a way to truth - which has no abode, which is not to be measured, or sought after? That which is fixed is dead, and to that there may be paths. Ignorance creates the illusion of many ways and methods.
Through your own conditioned thought, through your own desire for certainty, finality, through your own fears which are constantly creating safety, you fabricate mechanical, artificial conceptions of truth, of perfection. And having invented these you seek ways and means to maintain them. Each organization, group, sect, knowing that divisions deny friendship, tries to bring about artificial unity and brotherhood. Each says: You follow your religion and I will follow mine; you have your truth and I will have mine; but let us cultivate tolerance. Such tolerance will only lead to illusion and confusion.
A mind that is conditioned by ignorance, fear, cannot comprehend truth, for out of its own limitation it creates for itself further limitations. Truth is not to be invited. Mind cannot create it. If you comprehend this fully, then you will discern the utter futility of systems, practices, and disciplines.
Now you are so much a part of the intellectual and mechanical process of living that you cannot perceive its artificiality; or you refuse to see it, for perception would mean action. Hence the poverty of your own being. When you begin to be aware of the process of thought and become conscious that it is creating for itself its own emptiness and frustration, then that very awareness will dispel fear. Then there is love, completeness of life.
Question: Do you not see, sir, that your ideas can lead us but to one result - the blankness of negation and ineffectiveness in our struggle with the problems of life?
Krishnamurti: What are the problems of life? To earn a living, to love, to have no fear, no sorrow, to live happily, sanely, completely. These are problems of our life. Am I saying anything that can lead you to negation, to emptiness, that can prevent you from comprehending your own misery and struggle? Do you not ask me this question because your mind is accustomed to seek what is called positive instruction? That is, you want to be told what to do, advised to practise certain disciplines, so that you may lead a life of happiness and realize God. You are accustomed to conform, in the hope of greater and fuller life. I say, on the contrary, conformity is born of fear, and this imitation is not the positive way of life. To point out the process in which you are caught, to help you to become aware of the prison of limitation which the mind has created for itself, is not negation. On the contrary, if you are aware of the process that has brought you to this present condition of sorrow and confusion and if you understand the full significance of it, then that very comprehension dispels ignorance, fear, want. Then only can there be a life of fullness and true relationship between the individual and society. How can this lead you to a life of negation and ineffectiveness?
What have you now? A few beliefs and ideals, some possessions, a leader or two to follow, an occasional whisper of love, constant struggle and pain. Is this richness of life, fulfilment and ecstasy? How can the bliss of reality exist when the mind-heart is caught up in fear? How can there be enlightenment when the mind-heart is creating its own limitation and confusion? I say, consider what you have, become aware of these limitations, and that very awareness will awaken creative intelligence.
Question: Is freedom from conflict possible for anyone at any time, regardless of evolution? Have you come across another instance, besides yourself, in which the possibility had become an actuality?
Krishnamurti: Do not let us inquire whether someone else has freed himself from ignorance and conflict. Can you, burdened with illusion and fear, free yourself from sorrow at any time? Can you, with many beliefs and values, free yourself from ignorance and want? The idea of eventual perfection is but an illusion. A slothful mind clings to the satisfying idea of gradual growth and has accumulated for itself many comforting theories.
Can the movement from experience to experience bring about creative intelligence? You have had many experiences. What is the result? From such experiences you have only accumulated self-protective memories, which guard the mind from the movement of life.
Can the mind become aware, at any moment, of its own conditioning and begin to free itself from its own limitation? Surely, this is possible.
You may intellectually admit this, but it will have no significance whatsoever so long as it does not result in action. But action entails friction, trouble. Your neighbour, your family, your leader, your values, all these create opposition. So the mind begins to evade the actual and develop clever, cunning theories for its own protection. The conditioned mind, fearing the result of its effort, subtly escapes into the illusion of postponement, of growth.
The Mirror of Relationship
3rd Public Talk 20th December, 1936
Jiddu Krishnamurti. The Mirror of Relationship. The collected works of J.Krishnamurti, 1936..1944.