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Bombay 1964

Bombay 7th Public Talk 1st March 1964

This is the last talk in Bombay this year. I think very few of us realize what tremendous problems we are confronted with; very few of us are aware of their total implication, and very few desire to do anything about them actually. We realize, intellectually or verbally, when we read in a newspaper an article or two, or when we read a book, the immense revolution that is taking place outwardly. I mean by `realize' actually be confronted with them, not intellectually or verbally - but come directly into contact with them. And when one does, one realizes with a tremendous shock that man has lived for a million years and more, with very little comprehension, with very little change, and without transmutation or mutation - total mutation of the mind and the heart.

We have many problems: the utter lack of affection in the world, the sense of love which is completely absent; there is the problem of sex; then there is the question of guilt; and we have not comprehended fully what it means to be creative. We are confronted with these problems and we have to answer them, each one of us. And it seems to me, one of our greatest difficulties is that we look to thought as a means of solution of all the innumerable problems.

Thought is of time, and thought cannot possibly solve the problems of our life. I think that is the first thing we have to realize. Thought has time and authority, and thought cannot, under any circumstances, solve or confront the many, many intricate problems of life. There must be a totally new approach, an operational approach that can be tested out, worked out by each one. And to understand the limitations and the importance of thought, one has to see the mechanical process of thinking, and the futility, the utter superficiality, of all the philosophies that we have, because they are the product of thought.

And we have to go beyond the limitations of thought; and that is one of our major problems. And also we have to understand that the way of so-called traditional religion does not lead anywhere, and that the so-called religions have to be totally abandoned. And we have to find out for ourselves what is an individual. And finally, one has to find out the importance of religion and, in the discovery of what is truth, see the emergence of a state of mind that is in mutation. This is what we are going to talk about this evening: religion, the individual and mutation.

But before we go into that, one has to be very clear what the problems are that are facing each one of us. Because without understanding these problems, not merely verbally or intellectually but actually, without realizing the implications of all these problems and thereby sharpening our brains, we shall not be able to meet these problems and to go beyond them. That is the first important thing.

One sees what is going on in this world. First, there is the mechanical, technological progress, so vast, so dynamic, so all-consuming, that, unless one understands it, one is caught up in the mechanical process of it, and there will never be freedom for man, because man is going to have, through automation, through electronic brains, leisure. In fifty or more years, the economic problems of food, clothing and shelter will be solved, and man will be left with leisure. Factories can be run by a dozen people or so, not by three thousand or thirty thousand people. The electronic brains, the computers, the machines that are going to correct machines - all these are actually produced now. And man - you - is going to have leisure. And what is man going to do with that leisure? The organized religions are going to take over that leisure; amusement and entertainment are going to take over that leisure. This is going on. The church, the religious organizations, being aware of the implications of all this, are organizing themselves to control, to shape man's thought. And because they want it, there is entertainment - organized or individual amusements. So either we understand the whole significance of leisure, or we are going to be absorbed in these two channels and, as society, we will go on in a state of corruption.

Society is always in a state of corruption, and it behoves us to find out for ourselves how to come out of this corruption. You know what is happening in this country, as in the world? From the highest political office to the lowest, there is corruption. Everywhere in the world of art, music, there is tradition, there is no creation. Religion, as it is practised now, is absolutely meaningless and utterly disastrous for man; it has no meaning; it is an escape from the actual life of boredom, of fear; and all the rituals, with their priests, have no meaning whatsoever, though momentarily they give a kind of sensation. And the worship of authority as the guru, as the leader, will lead man nowhere; for they totally deny freedom.

So these are some of the problems. First, there is no freedom. You have to work to have that freedom, and it is only in freedom you can discover what is truth. You will not have freedom through any form of government - communist, socialist or otherwise. Governments are not going to solve your problems, nor science. You may go to the moon or go into the bowels of the earth, but the human mind will be the same, adjusting itself, modifying itself, carrying on at a superficial level of corruption, modifying, adjusting, reforming. Nor is any social reform, whatever its reputation, whatever its activity, going to give freedom to man. Every social reformation is the denial of the freedom of man, because he sustains the corruption of society. Probably you know all this, probably you have vaguely thought about all this; and probably you find there is no way out of it.

So we are going to find out for ourselves, if there is a way out of this chaos, this corruption, this utter decay. We have looked to an outside agency as God, to some spiritual authority, to help us out. And this has been going on, for centuries upon centuries: seeking aid from outside, through prayers, through worship, through obedience, through the worship of a guru, of a saint, and blindly or intelligently following them. We have tried so many ways to escape from the chaos which man has created, which you and I have created, which is the result of our activity.

Society which is relationship is the result of your relationship with another. Environment has made you, and you have made the environment. Seeing all this, what is man to do? There is no escape. No outside agency, no gods, nobody is going to come from Mars or Venus, in flying saucers, to save us. No religion, no belief, no dogma is going to purify the mind and the heart so completely that you come out of this with beauty, with an extraordinary sense of compassion and love.

So what is it that we can do? First, we must actually deny - actually deny the religion that we know; actually deny society as it is. I mean by society the psychological structure of society of which we are a part. We must deny that totally. You must deny completely, with all your mind and heart, authority. And you must deny entirely, ruthlessly, every demand of help through an outside agency beyond yourself.

Please listen to this. We seek help because we are in a state of misery, confusion, conflict, and we want to be helped. We want somebody to tell us what to do. We want some guidance, we want to take somebody's hand in this darkness, who will take us to the light. We are so confused, we do not know where to turn. Education, religion, leaders, saints - all these have utterly failed; and yet, because we are in sorrow, because there is conflict and confusion, we look to somebody to help us. And probably that is why most of you are here, hoping in some way to catch a glimpse of reality, hoping in some way to be led to that beauty of life.

Now, if you will kindly listen with your inner ear, with clarity, you will see that there is no help. The speaker cannot help you; he refuses to help you. Please understand this. Go with it slowly. He refuses totally, completely, to help you.

What you want is to sustain the corruption, live in corruption, and to help in that corruption. You want to be helped a little bit to live comfortably, to carry on with your ambitions, with your ways, with your envies, with your brutalities; to continue in the everyday existence, and yet modify it a little - become a little more rich, a little more comfortable, a little more happy. That is all you want: a better job, a better car, a better position. You really do not want to be completely, entirely, free of sorrow. You don't want to find out what is Love, and the beauty of it, the immensity of it. You don't want to find out what is Creation.

So what you really want is to be helped to continue in a modified form, in this wretched world, with the ugliness of your lives, with the brutality of your existence, with your everyday conflict. That is all you know; you cling to that and you want that modified. And anybody that helps you to live in that field - you think he is a great man, he is a saint, he is a marvellous saviour.

Therefore, the speaker says he is not giving you help. If you seek help from the speaker, you are lost. There is no help from anybody, of any type - that is a dreadful thing to realize for oneself. You have to realize the appalling, frightening fact that you, as a human being, have to stand completely on your own feet; there are no Upanishads, no Gita, no leaders, nothing that can save you; you have to save yourself. You know what that does when you realize that fact? It is a fact. When you actually realize that fact, either you sink further in your corruption, or that very fact gives you tremendous energy to break through the network of the psychological structure of society - break through, shattering everything. And then you will never seek help, because you are free.

A free man, a man who is not frightened, who has a clear mind, whose heart is vital, strong, energetic - he does not want help. And we, you and I, have to stand alone completely, totally, with no help from anybody. You have sought help politically, religiously from the gurus, socially in every way; they have all betrayed you. There have been revolutions - political and economic revolutions, communism, social revolutions. They are not the answers; they cannot help you, because they will bring more tyranny, more slavery.

It is only when you demand complete freedom and sustain that freedom, that you will find, through the operational approach, reality; and it is that reality that will set man free - nothing else. And it is one of the most difficult things to realize that you have to stand completely alone, by yourself entirely.

It is only the man who is free, that can co-operate. And it is the man who is free, who says: I will not co-operate. Co-operation, as it is generally understood, implies co-operating around a person, around an idea, or for a utopia, around the authority of a person, or the authority of an idea as the State. If you observe that kind of co-operation, it is not co-operation at all, it is mutual benefit; and when the authority changes, you change in order to derive your benefit from that; so it is a compulsive form of adjustment. We were talking about co-operation which is entirely different, because man must co-operate. We cannot live without co-operation. Life is relationship, life is co-operation. You and I cannot probably exist without co-operation. But to co-operate there must be freedom. You must be free and I must be free to co-operate. Freedom does not mean doing what we like: being ruthless and all the rest of the stupid reaction connected with that word. It is only the man who is free to love, who has no jealousy, hate, that wants nothing for himself, for his family, for his race, for his group. It is only the man who is free and knows the full significance of love and beauty, that can co-operate.

So what is necessary is to understand this freedom. Thought does not bring about this freedom. Thought is never free. Thought is merely a reaction to accumulated knowledge as memory, as experience; therefore it can never free man. And yet, everything that we do - every action, every motive, every urge - is based on thought. So one has to see for oneself the significance of thought, where it is necessary and where it is poison.

Mutation can only come about when the mind is totally empty of all thought. It is like the womb - a child is conceived in the womb, because the womb is empty; and out of that a new birth is given. In the same way, the mind must be empty, it is only in emptiness that a new thing can take place - a totally new thing, not a thing that has continued through millennia.

So the question is then: how to empty the mind? Not the system; when I use the word "how", it is not "do these things and you will empty the mind". There is no system, there is no formula. You have to see the truth of that: that mutation is absolutely necessary for the salvation of man, for you and me, for our salvation, for our freedom, to be completely free from sorrow, from the agony of life.

You must have a mutation, a mind that is completely different, that is not the product of environment, of society, of reaction, of knowledge, of experience - all those do not bring about innocence, do not bring about freedom; they do not give this vast sense of space in the mind. it is only in that space that the movement of mutation takes place. And it is only that mutation that can save man, because it is that mutation which brings about the individual.

We are not individuals. We have names, separate names. You have a separate body; perhaps, if you are lucky enough, you have a bank account; otherwise, you are not an individual inwardly, psychologically. You belong to the race, to the community, to tradition, to the past, and therefore you have ceased to be creative. You have ceased to be aware of the immensity of the width and the depth and the beauty of Life.

Because we are not individuals, we do not know what it means to love. We know only what it means to love in which is contained jealousy, hate, envy, and all the mischief that thought can bring about. Do observe, if you will, your own so-called affection; observe yourself, your own affection for your wife and your family. There is not a spark of love; it is a unit of corruption, of attachment, of pain, of jealousy, of ambition, of domination. You may beget children; but, in that, there is no love; it is pleasure. And where there is pleasure, there is pain. And a man who would understand this thing called "love" must first understand what it is to be free.

Then, there is the question of sex which is a great problem in the world. You may be out of it, because of your age or because you have forced yourself. You have no sexual life, because you want to find God. I am afraid you won't find God. God wants a free man, a man who has lived, who has suffered, who is free. So you have to understand this question of sex. Please listen to what the speaker says. You may not go completely to the very end of the journey, but listen. Listen without condemning, without justifying, without comparing, without bringing all the memories into operation. Just listen freely, happily. Because, if you know how to listen, then you will know when the mind is empty. There is nothing that you can do to bring about that emptiness. Every action on your part is the action of the past, of thought, of time; and time is not going to bring you that freedom. But listen, actually enjoy listening to the sound of a bird, the single sound, each sound separate, distinct, vital, clear; listen to that crow; listen to the speaker completely - to each word, each statement without interpreting, without translating. Just listen. And out of that listening you will have the energy; out of that listening you will act completely, totally.

We do not listen. There are too many noises about us; inside us, there is too much talk, too much questioning, too much demanding, too many urges, compulsions. We have so many things and we never listen to any one of them completely, totally, to the very end. And if you would kindly so listen, you will see that, in spite of yourself, the mutation, that emptiness, that transformation, the perception of what is true, comes into being. You don't have to do a thing, because what you do will interfere, because you are greedy, you are envious, you are full of hate, ambition, and all the mischief that thought can make.

So if you can listen happily, effortlessly, then perhaps in the quiet, deep silence you will know what is truth. And it is only that truth that liberates, and nothing else. That is why you must stand completely alone. You cannot listen through another; you cannot see with the eyes of another; you cannot think with the thoughts of others. But yet, you listen through others, see through the activities, through the saints, through the dictum of others. So if you can put away all these secondary things, the activities of others, and be simple, quiet, and listen, then you will find out.

You know, when you look at a sunset or a lovely face or a beautiful leaf or a flower, when you actually see it, then there is space between you and that flower and that beauty and that loveliness, or between you and the misery and the squalor you see. There is space; you have not created it, it is there. You cannot do anything to make that space wide or narrow, it is there. But we refuse to look through that space simply, quietly, persistently. Through that space we project our opinions, our ideas, our conclusions, our formulas; and therefore there is no space. That space is covered over with yesterdays, with the memories, with the experiences of yesterday; therefore we never see, we never listen, we are never quiet. So, if you will, do listen this evening, not being hypnotized - that would be absurd, that would be too immature - , not accepting it, not denying it. Because we are dealing with your life and not with my life; we are dealing with your sorrows, your miseries, your authorities, your despairs and the agony and the boredom of life.

As we were saying, there is this question of sex, which has become tremendously important. Why? Look at your own lives. Why? First you have no other free pleasure. You are blocked intellectually; you repeat what others have said everlastingly, from childhood till you die. Your examination, your education, your technological information - all this is repetition, repetition. You are blocked intellectually. You dare not think independently. You don't deny. You are yes-sayers. You are followers, you are worshippers of authority. Therefore you are blocked intellectually, and therefore you have only one thing where you are free, original: your sex.

Then emotionally, you are not free to express. There too, you are blocked, hindered, contained. You never enjoy the sunset; you never see the tree; nor are you with the tree, in full enjoyment, in the full beauty of that tree. So, emotionally, intellectually, you are starved, cut off; and beauty means nothing to you - nothing. Otherwise, this country would be different. You have divorced religion from beauty. You will never sit up of an evening, quietly looking at the stars, the moon and the light on the water; you have the radio, the TV, the books, the cinema - anything but be alone with yourself to enjoy that which is about you. So emotionally, aesthetically, deep down you are completely blocked. So you have only one thing left - your own, original - , and that is sex.

And when sex becomes the only thing, it creates havoc in one's life. And that too becomes repetitive, and that too leads to various forms of domination, compulsion, the agony of relationship. That too leads to brutality, to dulling the mind - this repetitive pleasure. So there is no love; there is no beauty in our life, no emotional freedom. And so the thing is left which is called sex.

Then there is no discovery, for yourself, of reality. Because religions have made you followers, not investigators, not explorers, not the people who will discover. You are merely people who repeat endlessly, go to the church or to the temple, or deny and merely live superficially. So religion actually has no meaning, except when you are in a state of fear, disease, or when you want some kind of comfort.

Please listen, don't get bored. This is your life. You have to face these things. And ultimately there is that creation - not of children - , that creation which is beyond time and measure, which makes all things new all the time because it is out of time. But, yet, we are seeking always new expressions in the world of art, in the world of aesthetics. New expressions - that is all we are concerned with. We are not concerned with creation.

So those are the many problems that confront you, and you have to find out the right answer, for yourself. And there is the right answer which is: that there must be complete freedom for you, complete freedom from this sociological structure, the psychological structure of society which is fear, greed, envy, ambition, the seeking of power, the seeking of position, depending on money. The corruption of society - one has to be free of that. And yet, one has to live in this world vitally, strongly, energetically. And to do that, you have to work; you have to work inwardly, ruthlessly, to strip yourself of all the debris of society, of all the corruption of society. When you realize that you have to do it, for yourself, completely, and nobody is going to help you, you have a tremendous energy. Then, all your attention is given to that; then you have a mind, a heart that is tremendously alive, active.

So, self-knowing is operational; it is not a question of belief; it functions, it operates if you go after it steadily, day after day. Out of self-knowing comes awareness - that is to be aware of the birds, of the trees, of the squalor, of the dirt, of the beauty, of the colour, of everything about you outwardly. Because the outward movement brings you the inward movement. You cannot ride on the inward without understanding the outward movement. They are one; they are a unitary process just like a tide on the sea, that goes out and comes in. And you must ride on that tide without effort. You can ride on that tide without effort when you observe and when you listen to all the intimations of thought and the implications of your being, when you just listen. It does not demand analysis, introspection - that is deadly. All that it demands is that you look, that you listen and that you keep that space between the observer and the thing observed. If you keep that space completely empty, there is neither the observer nor the observed; there is only movement. And out of this self-knowing, there comes freedom which nobody, no god, no saint, no society can give you. You must have this freedom. Because otherwise, the churches with their organized belief and entertainment are going to take over, and you will live mechanically, stupidly, worthlessly. And from this freedom comes that state of mind when the brain is highly sensitive, because it has understood every movement of thought, every wave of feeling - because thought and feeling are not separate things; it is a whole process. And out of that understanding, out of that freedom, the mind is made young, fresh, and innocent. it is only out of this emptiness comes mutation; and from that alone can there be salvation for man. it is only when the mind has completely undergone this tremendous mutation out of time - not within the limits of society but completely outside society; not becoming a sannyasi, that is too immature - , when the mind has understood the whole fabric of society, which is yourself, that out of that understanding comes this extraordinary sense of aloneness.

Then you are completely, indissolubly alone. And only then, in that state of complete aloneness, does that movement which is the beginning and end of all things come into being. That is religion and nothing else. In that state, there is love, there is compassion and infinite pity. And in that state, there is neither sorrow nor pleasure, but a life that is vitally living, strong, vital, clear.

March 1, 1964


Bombay 1964

Bombay 7th Public Talk 1st March 1964

Texts and talks of Jiddu Krishnamurti. Krishnamurti quotes. Books about
J Krishnamurti. Philosophy.

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ancient Chinese treatise by Sun Tzu

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48 Laws of Power

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