Bombay 7th Public Talk 28th February 1954
I would like to discuss this evening rather a difficult problem and I hope you will listen with consideration, not for the result, not at the end but from the beginning. I feel that neither the reformer nor the radicalist has the real solution of the problem. Their actions are born out of confusion. Now, most of us are concerned with action; we must do something, we must change the social order radically. Our whole outlook, our whole valuation, is based, is it not?, on the result. The reformer and the radicalist both promise us results. Both are sure of their results; they say, they are not confused beings; and they are clear in their pattern of action and will.
Now, I would like to discuss a step which is not action at all. The action we know is born out of choice, out of determination. As we know, as we observe in the world, action is of various forms - acceptance of authority, liquidation, redistribution, decentralisation and so on. But I feel that there is an action which is not action at all nor is it reaction. We know the action of choice, of determination, of result, of an Utopia; but such action is not true action because it leads to conflict, to struggle between man and man. So we have to find out a state from which action springs and which is not the reaction or the result of the action of a reformer or of a radicalist. It seems to me very important to find out whether we are confused or not because the action which comes out of, a confused state is not true action.
We all know that we are confused. If we are not confused, then our action would have been true action. But we are not certain. No human being, neither the capitalist nor the Communist, nor the Socialist, is quite clear. But they all want to be clear and the very desire to be clear creates the action of uncertainty, because basically they are all confused.
I think that it is an important thing to admit to oneself that one is confused. But one does not admit it. The reformist and the radicalist assert that they know and that they are clear; and therefore their action which is born out of confusion inevitably breeds destruction and uncertainty.
Now, most of us know that we are confused, not at one layer of consciousness but right from the conscious to the unconscious layers, but we dare not admit it. If we really try to understand the question of action and if we go into it, not verbally, not intellectually, we would have to admit that we are confused and it is the seeing of this confusion that itself produces an action which is not of the mind. We start all our actions on the assumption that we know. But we only say that we know. Beyond that do we know anything? The reformist and the radicalist say that they know, and they drive others into the pattern of their action, which has really come out of confusion. Any action of a confused mind is bound to be a confused action.
I am confused and in that confused state of mind I persuade myself to accept a particular way; but basically, I am confused and out of that confusion I try to create certainty which is essentially a confused certainty. But I give it a name and a pattern and some people follow me. But the fact is, that they and I are all confused. You and I are confused. Our political, social and religious leaders, all are confused. If we can admit that, not merely intellectually or verbally but actually, we will see that the result of all this action is bound to be confused.
Each one of us must see, that we are confused basically. But it is very difficult for us to admit that we are confused. Now if we are confused, can we say that we must act? If I am confused and if I see that I am confused, what would happen is, that my confusion would bring about its own action which is uncertainty. I think, it is very important t,o understand this because then action will take care of itself. For the moment, I am not concerned with action. think that relationship must be established between you and me. I do not believe in the action of a reformist or of a radicalist; all that I am concerned with is confusion. Therefore there is humility and there is no assertion.
Now let us see what happens to a mind that knows that it is confused. It has no leader because to choose a leader out of confusion is an action of confusion. Obviously, to have a theory, to have a plan, to have a pattern of action born out of confusion is still confusion. Please don't say `What are we to do then'? If you admit that you are confused, it means you know nothing. So it would be futile for you to follow any authority, any book, any leader, or any pattern of action with regard to what is good, what is bad, what is right, or what is wrong.
A man who is confused does not know what is right and what is wrong. He has no leader. He knows no authority, no book, on which he can rely because his mind is fundamentally confused. He is not in a state in which he can read a book or follow an authority. I am not mesmerizing you to admit that you are confused. But you have to think for yourselves and see whether you are confused or not; and if so, whether your decision as regards what is right and wrong has any meaning.
Now if the whole world is in a state of confusion, you are also confused because you are a part of that world. So if you are really aware that you are confused, then what action would be yours? Your action would be neither the action of a reformer nor that of a radicalist. So what do you do? When there is no choice, when there is no leader, no guide, no following of any authority - because you are aware that the very choosing out of confusion is still confusion - what do you do? What happens to your mind? A man who is confused and knows that he is confused, does not know what to do, because he is uncertain. But our social, political and religious leaders think that if they tell us that they are confused, we might abandon them and therefore nobody is prepared to admit that he is confused. But once we admit that we are confused, our whole pattern would be destroyed. The very confusion of our mind brings an action which is not a reaction of the mind but which is an action of uncertainty; therefore there is no Utopia, no leader, no teacher.
In a state of entire confusion you are trying to find out what is true. There are many others who are like you, who are in a state of confusion; and all of you come together. But all of you are in a state of confusion, in a state of uncertainty, and therefore there is little cooperation between you.
Now the man who says that he knows, is really not admitting that he is confused. But the man who admits that he is confused and therefore is incapable of knowing anything, is a sincere man. When I say I do not know, in the deepest sense of the word, I admit that I am confused; and therefore there is a state of humility. I do not become humble, but there is a state of humility, which, itself is an action, and that action is real action. Because I see I am confused, leaders have no significance at all; I will not follow anybody and my mind will be quiet. My mind will no longer be certain; it will be in a state of humility. That which is really humble is in a state of love. This love is not something which can be cultivated. Without this love, life has no meaning. Now most of us are concerned with problems and their solution. But we should always be concerned with the understanding and the resolu- tion of the problem, so as not to create more problems. Our solution of a problem only serves as a root to the problem in the future. You may find a solution of the problem which you have today; but that solution is such that it carries the problem over to tomorrow and gives rise to other problems tomorrow - that is, it is not a real solution at all.
Now you have got several problems. You have the problem of death, you have the problem of frustration. If you carry over the problem of frustration into tomorrow, you add strength to it. Please, do understand the significance of all this, and the need not to give root to any of our problems in the future.
How can I, how can the mind, not give root to the problem in the tomorrow? Do you understand what I am saying? If you can really grasp this, you will see that there is no problem at all. Today, you have a problem because you have made it a problem for the last few days; and therefore, your mind is never fresh; it is always living in the past which is really dead. But if we really understand and not give a root to our problems in the tomorrow, there would be no problem at all.
Question: I am addicted to drink. You say that discipline and self-control will not save me. Can you then tell me how I can be free from the vice of drinking?
Krishnamurti: Sir, there are many reasons why one drinks. There is frustration, the constant struggle in life, the struggle between husband and wife, family worries; and you want to escape from all this and therefore you drink. Now the question is how can you stop drinking? Will mere analysis - the analysis of frustration, the analysis of your worries - free you from the habit of drinking? When you know why you have a frustration, when you are aware of it, then that awareness itself, without choice, will act, and the habit will cease.
Please see the importance of what I am saying. You know the effects of drinking. Suppose you decide that, because you have seen the implications of drinking, you will drop the habit from tomorrow, then you will be creating a problem for tomorrow. Sometimes it also happens that to drop something you adopt a method; but that very method becomes your habit. So the mind is not really free from habit. Instead of one habit, it cultivates another habit. Even the routine of performing Puja or reading sacred books is a habit. It may be said that it is a good or respectable habit, and some other habit might be said to be an evil habit. But, psychologically, both are habits. If you want to get rid of these habits, you have to go to the root of them. If you really understand that there is no method, no system by which you can drop the habit, then you will see the truth; and that truth will act upon you, you will not have to act upon the truth.
Most of us want to act upon the truth; but if we let truth alone to act upon us, then truth will bring about its own action.
Question: I am a Hindu, and you ask me to be free from Hinduism. Can I be ever free from Hinduism?
Krishnamurti: This is a very complex question. We must go into it very carefully to understand it.
Now, you call yourself a Hindu. You have a certain background, there are certain traditions which you follow. You call yourself a Hindu, and therefore you want to follow the traditions of Hinduism. Now if you want to find out the true implications of following, if you want to find out whether following is evil or not, you have to see whether it is really necessary to follow your experience, your traditions and your culture. But in order to see this, you must be absolutely free.
Now, when you say that you are a Hindu, what do you mean by that? Can you say that you are a pure Hindu or a pure Aryan? There is no such person because we are a mixture of others' culture also. Most of us have the background of Hinduism with some western conditioning. So we are neither this nor that. But the mind wants to have a root in something. The mind wants to be secure in something and when it feels that it will be secure in Western culture, it gives up the Eastern culture and vice versa. That is exactly what is happening in the case of all of us; really speaking, we are in a state of confusion. It is only when we are totally free from any culture that we shall be able to see clearly. But if we accept one culture, either the Western or the Eastern, then it acts as a poison.
If we want to see clearly and to find out the real truth, then there must be complete clearness of the mind; and that can only come when you do not belong to any society. The truth will act upon you only when your mind is absolutely free, and that freedom can only come when you do not belong to any community. That means, when the mind is fearless, when it has no background, no root anywhere, then only can you see what is the Truth.
Question: Physically time has no dimension. But you speak of psychological time as different from chronological time. Can you tell me whether time is non-existent or it has existence which is phenomenal.
Krishnamurti: This is not a philosophical question, philosophical in the sense of theoretical or verbal. The question implies that time has a phenomenal existence. There is a tomorrow and there was also an yesterday. So time is chronological. That is a fact. But there is a difference between psychological time and chronological time. There is a time which the mind establishes, the time as distance between me and what I shall be, me and the idea, me and death, me and the future, me as mortal and me who would become immortal. There is a wide gap between what I am and what I shall be. We cannot deny phenomenal time. But the time which the mind creates - has it reality? There is what is. I think I should be something else than what I am. There is the distance between what I am and what I shall be according to my desire - to become immortal and so on. In all that, there are two things, `what is' and `what should be'. The moment I introduce the factor of desiring to change, I introduce time.
Suppose I am stupid. My being stupid is a fact. But the moment I say I must become clever, I condemn my stupidity and introduce the factor of time. But if I do not condemn the fact that I am stupid, then there is no sense of time. But the moment I decide to become clever, I introduce time. Now my mind is the result of time, and through the mind I am going to achieve what I want to achieve. So my mind is equivalent to time. But there is only one thing which is a fact and that is what I am today.
Now let us put it the other way. The mind is the result of the thought of yesterday, of today and what it will be tomorrow. Mind is the result of the thoughts, of the traditions, of the ideas, of centuries of man. The mind is the I. The future is the unknown; and the mind which is the result of the known is trying to get the unknown. Mind can never be free from the past. But if you look into it very closely, if you can really go into it precisely, then the past is burnt away. Then you will see the truth.
February 28, 1954
Bombay 7th Public Talk 28th February 1954
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