Bombay 6th Public Talk 3rd March 1961
The day before yesterday, we went into the question of the religious spirit and the scientific spirit. What is the religious spirit, the religious mind? And what is the scientific mind? I feel those are the only two real minds that can resolve the problems of the world. The really scientific mind is contained in the religious mind. We know more or less what the scientific mind is. There is the logical mind, the mind that can think clearly, freely, without prejudice, without fear, can investigate into the whole problem of matter, life and speed and so on. Can that mind enter into the religious mind, or are they two different things? The religious mind is the mind that in no way follows tradition, that is utterly free from all authority; it is not investigating from a centre as knowledge, as the scientific spirit does. When the scientific mind breaks through the limitations of knowledge, then perhaps it approaches the religious mind.
Can we discover for ourselves what is the religious mind? The scientist in his laboratory is really a scientist; he is not persuaded by his nationalism, by his fears, by his vanities, ambitions and local demands; there, he is merely investigating. But outside the laboratory, he is like anybody else, with his prejudices, with his ambitions, with his nationality, with his vanities, with his jealousies and all the rest of it. Such a mind cannot approach the religious mind. The religious mind does not function from a centre of authority, whether it is accumulated knowledge as tradition, or it is experience - which is really the continuation of tradition, the continuation of conditioning. The religious spirit does not think in terms of time, the immediate results, the immediate reformation within the pattern of society. I do not know if you have thought about this matter since we last met here, and what your responses are? We said that the religious mind is not a ritualistic mind, it does not belong to any church, to any group, to any pattern of thinking. The religious mind is the mind that has entered into the unknown; and you cannot come to the unknown except by jumping, you cannot carefully calculate and enter the unknown. The religious mind is the real revolutionary mind, and the revolutionary mind is not a reaction to what has been. The religious mind is really explosive, creative - not in the accepted sense of the word `creative', as in a poem, decoration or building, as in architecture, music, poetry and all the rest of it - , it is in a state of creation.
How does one discover the religious mind - not discover it - , how can the radical transformation from the very roots of one's being come about? Now, the question arises: How to recognize a religious mind, how to recognize a saint? Are there any religious people in the world now? I think we shall be able to answer this perhaps irrelevant question if we could understand what we mean by the word "recognize". What does that word mean? I recognize you and you recognize me, because we have knowledge - you know me from the past and I know you from the past. To recognize is to see again, not only physically, visually, but also psychologically, inwardly. To recognize a saint, he must comply with the rules, he must conform to the conditions which society has laid down. Society says, "You are a saint because you have a loin cloth, you don't get angry, you have one meal, you are not married, you are this and that". He is a saint according to the pattern which we have; but if you explode the pattern - which you must, in order to find the religious mind - then there is no saint at all. I think it is very important to understand this. The Catholic church recognizes saints, canonizes them; it is very strict in this canonization - the saints must conform to certain regular rules, they must be under certain conditions and carefully watched over, they must do certain things, they must lead a certain kind of life, they must serve the church, they must conform to the pattern established by the church. Here, in this country, the saint must conform to your ideas about what a saint should be: he must have a saffron robe, lead the monastic life, do good work, be a religious-socio-political entity; he must please the government, he must please the public and he must conform to the authority of a book, the Gita, the Upanishads, or something else. And when you shatter the whole pattern of existence, of recognition, then who is the saint? He may be around the corner unrecognized.
Why do we want to recognize? We want to recognize a saint because we want to follow, we want to be led, we want to be told. The pernicious desire to follow, to be told what to do, is essentially the urge which every one feels, the urge of insecurity. Obviously, if one comprehends the word "recognize", it is an extraordinary word. We not only recognize somebody as being something, but also recognize in ourselves experience. When I recognize an experience as being this or that, I have categorized that experience - that is put it back in my memory, captured it by memory - and therefore it is not a living thing. It is very important to understand this, Sirs. But one can find out for oneself - not who is a saint, that is snobbishness - how to approach the religious mind; and we said it is possible only when the mind is no longer reacting to the positive as a negative. The perception, the seeing of something as the true or false is not a reaction; and that perception is only possible when the mind is in a state of negation which is not the opposite of the positive.
We act: our action, as it is now, is a reaction, isn't it? A insults B: B reacts, and that reaction is his action. If A flatters B, then also B reacts, and his action is a reaction. B is pleased with it; he remembers that he is a good man, he is a friend and all the rest of it; and from that there is a subsequent action - which is, A influences B and B reacts to that influence, and from that reaction is further action. So, that is the process we know, a positive influence, a response which may be the positive continued or the opposite negative action - reaction and action. In that way we function. And when we say, "I must be free from something", it is still within the field of it; when I say, "I must be free from anger, from vanity", the desire to be free is a reaction; because anger, vanity might have brought you misery, discomfort, you say, "I must not be that". So the "must not" is a reaction to "what was" or "what is", and from that negative there is a series of actions as discipline, control - " I must not", "I must". From an influence, from a conditioning, there is a reaction, and that reaction creates further action. Therefore, there is a positive and a negative response, a positive push and a negative push; and from the negative push there is a response, an answer, an action.
Now, in that state of mind which is reacting, can you observe anything? If I react to the rituals which all religions insist upon, and say "Oh, what nonsense it is!" and push it away from me, do I understand the whole significance of rituals? I understand the whole significance of rituals when I do not react but examine the rituals - which is the scientific spirit.
So the examination of something is not possible if it is a reaction. A says that all spiritual organizations - whether they are small or colossal, perfectly organized and controlled from Rome or from Benaras or from somewhere else - are detrimental to man's freedom and discovery of what is truth, and all the rest of it. Now is that statement a reaction on the part of the individual A? It is not a reaction when A has looked at it, and out of comprehension, out of seeing the truth of it, says, "Don't belong to any organization of such a kind". Organizations are necessary as educational institutions, as post offices, as government, as this and that; but even those, when the mind is not extraordinarily alert, capture the mind and make the mind a slave - though not so much as the religious organizations based on belief, on authority, and all the rest of it. Am I making the thing clear? So a negative approach, perception, reveals the truth or the falseness of action. Can the mind look, observe, without reaction? Can I look at those flowers without reaction? There is bound to be a reaction if the mind is observing from a centre, the centre which is the positive and the negative state. Sir, don't accept what I am saying. Observe yourself. Observe your own mind. I say, "How immature it is to call yourself a Hindu or an Indian, or a Catholic or a Communist, or what you will"! You react to me; don't you? You are bound to react though you may pretend not to react. You say, "that man says so and so; let me be quiet and hold myself in". But you are bound to react, because I have used very strong words - how silly, how stupid, how unhealthy, how immature, infantile. Now when you react, you don't find the truth or the falseness of that statement, you are merely reacting. Now to find the falseness or the truth of that statement, the mind cannot react; it must observe, it must comprehend that statement.
You can comprehend the truth or the falseness of a statement only if you have no centre from which you are observing - which means, if you are not being committed. If I am committed to Communism, to a party, I push away anything that you say about Communism, I do not want to listen to it, because I have seen what Marx has said and that is all I accept; and from that centre of commitment, acceptance, security, I react; and in that process, I do not observe, I am incapable of observing, examining. So can the mind look at something without the centre? Observation without the centre is the negative process.
Question: The sense of recognition has always been there ever since our childhood; we have been brought up in that manner by means of our education, our background and all that; therefore, whatever we see, whatever we observe, there is bound to be reaction.
Krishnamurti: I understand, Sir. But is it possible for the mind to break through the conditioning and observe?
Sirs, you presume you are believers in God, you have been brought up in that idea, you are conditioned with that idea. Whether there is God or there is no God, you don't know; but you believe in God, you have been brought up from childhood in that way, and so your mind is conditioned to that word; your tradition, your literature, your songs, Puja, myths - all say that you must believe. You have been brought up in that way to believe just as a Communist in Russia has been brought up not to believe; so there is not much difference between that and this. One is brought up to believe in something, the other is brought up not to believe in it. Now, to find out if there is God or if there is no God, or if there is something more than mere thought, you must shatter the whole background, mustn't you? You must break through the conditioning in which you have been brought up. When the mind sees the truth that any form of conditioning is destructive to perception, then the mind is capable of breaking through; then the breaking through is not a reaction.
And that opens the whole field of self-knowing - to observe the whole process of thought, the motives. The awareness, without judgment, of the whole structure of one's own mind, the knowing of one's own mind is self-knowing. But leave that for the moment - we may probably discuss it another time.
The mind that observes from a centre is bound to react, and such a mind is incapable of discovering what is true. If A's mind functions from a centre, and A meets a saint - a man who puts on a sanyasi's robe, has one meal a day or half a meal, meditates and goes to sleep - , A reacts only from that centre, from the pattern of his conditioning. But if there is no centre from which to recognise, observe, then A sees the truth or falseness of that entity - which has much more vitality than merely accepting the conditioned human being, which is the process of recognition.
So, in finding out what is a religious mind, obviously one can see certain things. The ritualistic mind is not obviously the religious mind, it is too immature. You get a little kick out of doing puja, going to the temple, to the church; it is like going to a cinema because you get a certain pleasure, a certain kick out of it. Obviously the authority of the scriptures, the authority of the saint, the authority of what is being said, the authority of a guru - all authority is obviously destructive. And can the mind break through authority, not as a reaction, but seeing the falseness of authority? The perception is not a reaction. Therefore a mind which can look without the centre is in a state of negation - not the negation of the opposite.
You can understand verbally what is being said, but that is not relevant; are you applying it, is it a thing that you are actually going through? When you really put aside authority, God, the books, the Gita, the Upanishads, the authority of the saint - not as a reaction, but because there is perception through negation which is not the reaction to the positive - , then through this negation the mind is not working from a centre, from a conclusion, from an idea; and therefore, the mind is timeless - because a mind that is using a word, symbol, is caught in time.
Sir, I do not know if you have ever thought out or gone into this whole process of verbalizing, giving a name. If you have done so, it is really a most astonishing thing and a very stimulating and interesting thing. When we give a name to anything we experience, see or feel, the word becomes extraordinarily significant; and word is time. Time is space, and the word is the centre of it. All thinking is verbalization, you think in words. And can the mind be free of the word? Don't say, "How am I to be free?" That has no meaning. But put that question to yourself and see how slavish you are to words like India, Gita, Communism, Christian, Russian, American, English, the caste below you and the caste above you. The word love, the word God, the word meditation - what extraordinary significance we have given to these words and how slavish we are to them. Think of it, Sirs - a sannyasi going about interpreting the Gita and thousands following him - , the word Gita is enough. So the mind is a slave to words. Can the mind be free of words? Play with it a little, Sirs.
Question: The word disappears but comes again.
Krishnamurti: The word disappears but comes back. So you are so greedy, aren't you? You want to capture the mind which is without the word, always, permanently, everlastingly. We are talking of no time, and you are talking of time, which disappears but which you want to maintain. You follow? Do see the difficulty, Sir. I am not saying it is not difficult, but see how slavish we are to words. The word is the process of recognition, and with the recognizing process we want to enter into something unknown, and you can't. God is not something to be recognized - to be recognized would be very cheap; your pictures, your statues, or this or that are not God. So the word creates the mind and the mind creates time as thought. Is there a thinking without the word? When the mind is not cluttered up with words, then thinking is not thinking as we know; but it is an activity without the word, without the symbol; therefore it has no frontier - the word is the frontier.
The word creates the limitation, the boundary. And a mind that is not functioning in words, has no limitation; it has no frontiers; it is not bound. Look, Sirs! Take the word love and see what it awakens in you, watch yourself; the moment I mention that word, you are beginning to smile and you sit up, you feel. So the word love awakens all kinds of ideas, all kinds of divisions such as carnal, spiritual, profane, infinite, and all the rest of it. But find out what love is. Surely, Sir, to find out what love is the mind must be free of that word and the significance of that word.
The scientific mind is functioning from knowledge to knowledge. It is the additive mind. But a scientific mind may explode, break through, go beyond knowledge; then it may enter into the religious mind which can contain it. And the religious mind is obviously a mind that has finished with the past - not the factual past but the psychological past. The religious mind is never in the process of accumulating memory as a psychological impetus, as a means to psychological action. A religious mind is not giving root to the word, and so it is free from the authority of the word.
Question: Is there not the undefined barrier of inchoate propensity beyond the word?
Krishnamurti: I do not quite understand that, Sir. Now, what does that mean? The questioner asks: is there not a clear, precise state beyond the word which is inchoate, not formed? From where are you looking? Are you looking from beyond the centre or looking from the centre? Are you speculating, or are you actually experiencing as we are going along? You do not know what a religious mind is, do you? From what you have said, you don't know what it means; you may have just a flutter or a glimpse of it, just as you see the clear, lovely blue sky when the cloud is broken through; but the moment you have perceived the blue sky, you have a memory of it, you want more of it and therefore you are lost in it; the more you want the word for storing it as an experience, the more you are lost in it.
Question: From a non-verbal state in childhood we have come to the verbal state. Now you tell us to eliminate all the past that we have gathered. Is it possible to go now, instantaneously, to that state of being non-verbal?
Krishnamurti: The questioner asks: is it possible instantaneously to wipe away the verbal state? The verbal state has been carefully built up through centuries, in relation between the individual and society; so the word, the verbal state is a social state as well as an individual state. To communicate as we are doing, I need memory, I need words, I must know English, and you must know English; it has been acquired through centuries upon centuries. The word is not only being developed in social relationships, but also as a reaction in that social relationship to the individual; the word is necessary. The question is: it has taken so long, centuries upon centuries, to build up the symbolical, the verbal state, and can that be wiped away immediately? - which implies, "don't we need time"? Can you use time to abolish time, or is some other factor necessary to break time? If I say, "it must be done gradually", the gradual may be a day or a thousand days or a million days, the gradual means employment of time. Through time are we going to get rid of the verbal imprisonment of the mind, which has been built up for centuries? Or must it break immediately? Now, you may say, "It must take time, I can't do it immediately". This means that you must have many days, this means a continuity of what has been, though it is modified in the process, till you reach a stage where there is no further to go. Can you do that? Because we are afraid, we are lazy, we are indolent, we say "Why bother about all this? It is too difficult; or "I do not know what to do" - so you postpone, postpone, postpone. But you have to see the truth of the continuation and the modification of the word. The perception of the truth of anything is immediate - not in time. Time implies distance, space; in that space lots of varieties of experiences and changes from your centre take place, and you are reacting to them; therefore each prolongation of a second means a modification of "what has been". Don't say that you can't understand what we are talking about. This is very simple if you apply your mind. The question involved is: can the mind break through instantly, on the very questioning? Can the mind see the barrier of the word, understand the significance of the word in a flash and be in that state when the mind is no longer caught in time? You must have experienced this; only it is a very very rare thing for most of us.
Question: From the scientific evolutionary point of view, we have developed from a non-word state to a word state. Can we reject the word now?
Krishnamurti: I did not reject the word. I see its effect, its influence, its imprisoning quality; I see the truth of it; it does not mean that I react; it does not mean I defend it or accuse it; it does not mean that I am free from it; but it means that there is a state when I recognize something as truth, and that state is a different state.
Question: How would you then distinguish the pre-word state - that is the primitive or the non-developed state - from the wordless state of which you are speaking?
Krishnamurti: I do not understand, Sir. The questioner asks what is the difference between the very primitive mind which has no words but only makes sound, and the other mind which has gone through centuries of cultivation of the word, the symbol, the idea? What is the difference between the two?
Why should we go through all this verbal cultivation for centuries if we have to come to that state when the mind is no longer a slave to the word, as is the primitive mind? Must I know sobriety only through drunkenness? Must I go through sorrow, to know what happiness is? We say "Yes; that is our tradition, that is our everyday life. And everyone tells us, "You go through this in order to get that". This we accept as inevitable. But I do not accept this as inevitable.
Let us consider suffering. Will suffering lead man to sorrow if he understands suffering - not in time, not in space? We all know suffering. Seeing somebody suffering, dying, seeing the wife blind, seeing the son dying, seeing the poverty, seeing the stupidity of one's mind and comparing - such as one has everything and the other nothing - we suffer. Suffering is a reaction from the centre, therefore it is destructive and does not lead to the purity of the mind. Is it necessary to suffer?
The mind is being developed through centuries in the employment of the word, and the word is the result of social communication and individual response. The questioner asks: when we talk about freeing the mind from the word, is not that state the same as that of the primitive? I do not think so, Sir. But perhaps the man who is really primitive may be closer to the other than the man who is waddling through all this. But unfortunately, we are neither the primitive kind nor the other, we are in-between; and the state of in-betweenness is mediocrity.
Question: When something happens unanticipated, it has a terrific impact on us and at that moment there is a state which can be called timeless; in that state there is no word at all, and one is stunned. Would you call that experience as timeless experience?
Krishnamurti: No, Sir. When you see something beautiful, you are stunned; you have a shock, an experience, and you are stunned; when you have a brutal attack you are stunned; there is the state of being paralysed - are all such states the same as the state without the word? No, Sir, there is a difference. You see a beautiful sunset, a lovely thing; and for the moment you are speechless. What has happened? That is merely a paralysed state for a few seconds, as when a clot of blood going to the brain paralyses half the body. In that state of course, the mind does not react. But the mind which is in that state is not the same thing as the religious mind.
When we have seen all this, there arises the problem of aloneness and loneliness. Aloneness is the state when the mind is alone, has no companion, has no shadow, but is really alone - which is not the product of influence, which is not put together. But one cannot possibly envisage or capture or understand that state of mind which is really alone, unless one understands what it is to be lonely - the process of isolation which leads to that state which we call loneliness. Now, sir, aren't you isolating yourself? Is not India isolating itself, calling itself India and thus cutting itself from relationships, from contact with other countries? Aren't you isolating yourself when you consider yourself as belonging to a particular nation? You may not accept that word "isolating", but that is a fact. When a politician uses that word "nation" in order to build up his country, isn't that an isolating process? Is not calling yourself a Hindu, a Christian, a Buddhist, a Mussulman an isolating process? When you have a gift, a talent, and you use that talent to build up yourself, is there not an isolating process? Aren't you isolating yourself, when you are identifying yourself with your family - not that there is not the family, but when you say, "It is my family", and go quivering about it? When you go into this deeper, whether you are walking or sitting quietly in the woods or in a bus, suddenly you realize how extremely lonely you are, suddenly you feel cut off from everything. Haven't you ever known that feeling with its darkness, with its isolation, with its fear, with its peculiar sense of helplessness, the sense of complete despair without a shadow of hope? Haven't you felt all this? Sir, any man who is at all awake must have felt this, and the ultimate expression of this is frustration. The man who has felt it, runs away from it - turns on the radio, goes to the temple, chatters, rushes to the husband or wife - seeking escape from this feeling called loneliness. We isolate ourselves socially, nationally, religiously, economically and in every way, though we may talk of brotherhood, peace, nation. This isolated mind says "I am going to find out" - it is just nonsense, it cannot find out. If one observes, one will find that in the process of isolation there is a sense of loneliness. I wonder if you have felt this. When you have felt loneliness, what have you done Sir?
Question: Read a book.
Krishnamurti: Read a detective book, turn on the radio, pick up the newspaper and read - which is what? All this is to fly away from loneliness.
When you fly away from something, it is the flight that creates the fear; it is not facing the fact that creates the fear, but it is the flight away from the fact. If I say, "Yes, I am lonely" and see that fact, then I am incapable of having fear. But the moment I wander away, take a flight, escape, the very process of wandering away from the fact is the process of creating fear; and then escaping from the fact to something else becomes all-important, absorbing; then I will protect, defend, fight and wrangle about that something; I escape from myself and I go to the guru; then I protect the guru. The guru, the object of escape becomes all-important, because that is your refuge from the fact. The fact is not the illusion, but the object to which you fly away from the fact is an illusion and it creates fear - whether it is the nation, the guru, the idea, the conclusion - you are battling with this all through life. Sir, that is a fact; see the fact, don't say "What can I do?" Don't do anything, just see the fact.
When you say, "I am lonely", and are facing that feeling, what does that mean? It means that you are through with the process of isolation, you have come to the ultimate thing. Now, how do you observe this feeling? Observation is not something colossal, intellectual, marvellous; it is just the logical observation of the fact, and that in itself is sufficient. Now, how do you observe the feeling? Is the mind observing the feeling without the word? Or, is the mind observing the feeling with the word - that is using the word to observe the feeling? If you look at it through the word, do you look at it at all? When you look at that feeling with the word, then you are a slave to the word, and the word prevents you from looking; therefore you are not capable of looking at it.
How to be free of the word? The "how" has no meaning, there is no method. You have to see the fact that you cannot look at something if you are caught by the word; you have just to see the fact. If you are interested in seeing, in observing, the feeling, then the word becomes irrelevant. Look, Sir, I want to understand a child - it may be my son or somebody else. To understand the child, I watch it playing, crying, doing everything, all day long. But if I watch him as `my' son, with the word from a centre, I am incapable of watching; I watch, but it has no significance. Similarly, to watch, to observe something clearly, the word must be irrelevant. Now, can you observe what you have called `loneliness' without any escape, can you face it without the word? The word `God' may create the feeling, but we know no God at all; but to find out God, the word must go out.
So, can the mind look at itself without the word? That requires an extraordinary precision of thought, precision of observation into oneself without any deviation. When the word is gone with its feeling, what remains? Find out, Sirs. I am not telling you what you should do - telling you has no meaning; to a hungry man, describing what food is has no value. But you have to come to the door of perception, which you must yourself open and look. If you are not capable of all that, that is your affair; but since you are here that is what we are doing.
So, the mind has to understand the whole significance of isolation. Everyone has tasted at some moments this extraordinary sense of loneliness which is there like a dark shadow. The mind will have to go through it to understand the meaning and significance of the word, whether the word is creating the feeling; and having seen the fact of the word, the mind will go beyond that - which means, it will really be free of all influence. And if you have gone through this, there is a jump - which means being completely alone, like a column of fire. When the mind is in that state, it is a religious mind; from that, there is action which is completely different from the action of a self-frustrated, isolated mind with its loneliness. Don't cover up the action of the self-frustrated mind with the sanyasi's robe, with the words of the Gita, and all the nonsense of sainthood.
March 3, 1961
Bombay 6th Public Talk 3rd March 1961
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