Varanasi 5th Public Talk 28th November 1964
From recent discoveries of the anthropologists man has apparently been living on this earth for about two million years. And man has left in caves, for about seventeen thousand years, records of the struggle, the battle, the unending sorrow of existence - the battle between good and evil, between brutality and the thing he seeks everlastingly: which is love. And man has not apparently solved his problems: not mathematical problems, not scientific or engineering problems, but human problems of relationship, how to live in this world peaceably, how to be in intimate contact with nature and see the beauty of a bird on a naked branch.
Coming down to modern times, our problems, human problems, are increasing more and more: and these problems we try to resolve, according to certain patterns of morality, behaviour, and according to the various commitments that one has given one's mind to. According to our commitments, patterns of behaviour, religious formulas and sanctions, we try to solve our problems, our agonies, our despair, our inconstancy and the contradictions of our life. We take up a certain attitude as a communist, a socialist, this or that; and from that attitude, from that platform as it were, we try to solve our problems piecemeal, one after the other - this is what we do in our lives.
One may be a great scientist; but that very scientist in his laboratory is entirely different from the scientist at home, who is a national, who is bitter, angry, jealous, envious, competitive with his fellow-scientists for a greater name, for greater popularity and for more money. He is not concerned with human problems at all; he is concerned with the discovery of various forms of matter and the truth of all that.
And we too, being ordinary human beings, not experts, not specialists along any particular line, are committed to a certain pattern of behaviour, to certain religious concepts, or to national poison; and from that we strive to solve the ever increasing, multiplying problems.
You know there is no end to talking, no end to reading. Words can be piled upon words; and the phrasing, the beauty of the language, the reason or the illogicity of what is being said either persuades you or dissuades you. But what is important is not the piling up of words and listening to talks and discourses and reading, but rather resolving the problem - the human problem, your problem - not piecemeal, not as it arises, not according to circumstances, not according to the pressures and strains of modern existence, but from a totally different activity. There are the human problems of greed, envy, the dull spirit of the mind, the aching heart, the appalling insensitivity of man, the brutality, the violence, the deep despair and agony. And during the two million years we have lived, we have tried to solve these problems according to different formulas, different systems, different methods, different gurus, different ways of looking, asking, questioning; and yet we are where we are, caught in this endless process of agony, confusion and endless despair.
Is there a way of resolving the problems entirely, completely, so that they never arise, and if they do arise, we can meet them instantly and resolve them, dissipate them, put them away? Is there a total way of life that gives no soil to problems, is there a way of living - not the pattern of a way, of a method, of a system; but a total way of living - so that no problem at any time will arise, and if it does arise, it can be resolved instantly? Because a mind that carries the burden of problems becomes a dull, heavy, stupid mind. I do not know if you have watched your own mind and the minds of your wives, husbands and your neighbours. When the mind has problems of any kind, those very problems - even mathematical problems, however complex, however painful, however intriguing, intellectual - make the mind dull. By the word "problem" I mean a difficult question, a difficult relationship, a difficult issue which remains unresolved, and which is carried from day to day. So we are asking if there is a way of living, if there is a state of mind which, because it understands the totality of existence, has no problem, and which, when a problem does arise, can resolve it immediately. Because the moment a problem is carried over even for a day, even for a minute, it makes the mind heavy, dull, and the mind has no sensitivity to look, to observe.
So, is there a total action, a state of mind that resolves every problem as it arises, and has no problem in itself, at whatever depth, conscious or unconscious? I do not know if you have ever asked that question of yourself. Probably not, because most of us are so sunk, so held in the problems of everyday existence - earning a livelihood and the demands of a society which psychologically builds a structure of ambition, greed, acquisitiveness - that we have no time to enquire. This morning we are going to enquire into this, and it depends upon you how deeply you enquire, how earnestly you demand, with what clarity and intensity you observe.
We have apparently lived for two million years - a terrible idea! And probably, as human beings are, we shall live another two million years, caught in the everlasting pain of existence. Is there a way, is there something that will free man from this, entirely, so that he will not live even a second in agony, will not invent a philosophy which satisfies him in his agony, will not have a formula which he applies to all the problems that arise, thereby increasing those problems? There is! There is a state of mind that can resolve problems immediately, and therefore, the mind, in itself, has no problem, conscious or unconscious.
And we are going to enquire into that this morning. And though the speaker is going to use words and penetrate as far as possible through the communication of words you have to listen and understand. You are a human being, not an individual, because you are still the world, the mass; you are part of this terrible structure of society. There is individuality only when there is a state of mind when the mind has no problems, when it has completely extricated itself from the social structure of acquisitiveness, greed, ambition.
We say that there is a state of mind that can live without any problem and can resolve instantly any problem that arises. You have to see how important it is not to carry a problem over, even for a day or for a second. Because the more you have a problem unresolved, the more you give it soil in which it can take root, the more the mind, the heart, the nervous sensitivity is destroyed. So it is imperative that the problem should be resolved immediately.
Is it possible, after having lived for two million years with the conflicts, the misery, the remembrance of many yesterdays - is it possible for the mind to free itself from that, so that it is complete, whole, not broken up ? And to find that out, one has to enquire into time, because problems and time are closely related.
Please, you are not listening to me, you are not listening to my words and descriptions. Don't be mesmerized by my words, by the speaker on the platform. This is not propaganda, because propaganda is a lie; there is no truth in repetition.
So, you are enquiring into your own mind, into your own heart, as a human being who has lived for so long, with so much anxiety and despair and fear. The speaker is only indicating. We are walking together. And you have to walk, not sit back and say, "Proceed ahead of me and tell me all about it" - we are not in that relationship. Therefore, when we walk together we have to see the same things together - see the same bird, smell the same breeze that is bringing the freshness of the river, see the same tree, see the same dirt, the people who are dirty, squalid. We have to see everything that is seen, together, at the same time, with the same intensity; otherwise, you and I cannot commune about something which demands tremendous enquiry, not verbal acceptance or denial. So if you and I are going to take the journey together into this question, you have to be much more alert, vital, awake, intense than the speaker himself; only then can you proceed.
So we are going to enquire into time. That is, after having lived for two million years, must we go on living another two million years, in sorrow, pain, anxiety, everlasting struggle, death? Is that inevitable? Society is progressing, is evolving that way: evolving through war, through pressure, through this battle of East and West, through the various contentions of nationality, the common market, the blocks of this Power and that Power. Society is moving, moving, moving - slowly, in a sense asleep, but it is moving. Well, perhaps in two million years, society will come to some kind of state, where it can live with another human being without competition, with love, with gentleness, with quiet, with an exquisite sense of beauty. But must one wait two million years to come to that? Must one not be impatient? I am using the word "impatient" in the right sense: being impatient, having no patience with time. That is, can we not resolve everything, not in terms of time but immediately?
Do think about this. Do not say it is not possible or it is possible. What is time? There is chronological time, time by the watch - that is obvious, that is necessary; when you have to build a bridge, you have to have time. But every other form of time - that is, "I will be", "I will do", "I must not" - is not true; it is just an invention of a mind that says, "I will do it". If there is no tomorrow - and there is no tomorrow - then your whole attitude is different. And actually there is no such time - when you are hungry, sexual, or lustful, you have no time; you want that thing immediately. So the understanding of time is the resolution of problems.
Please see the intimate relationship between the problem and time. For instance, there is sorrow. You know what sorrow is - not the supreme sorrow, but the sorrow of being lonely, the sorrow of not achieving something you want, the sorrow of not seeing clearly, the sorrow of frustration, the sorrow of having lost somebody whom you think you love, the sorrow of seeing something very clearly, intellectually, and not being able to do it. And beyond this sorrow, there is a still greater sorrow: the sorrow of time. Because it is time that breeds sorrow. Do please listen to this. We have accepted time; which is the gradual process of life, the gradual way of evolving, the gradual change from this to that, from anger to a state of non-anger gradually. We have accepted the gradual process of evolution, and we say that is part of existence, that is part of life, that is God's plan or the communist plan or some other plan. We have accepted it, and we live with that not ideationally, but actually.
Now, for me, that is the greatest sorrow: to allow time to dictate the change, the mutation. Have I to wait ten thousand years and more, have I to go through this misery, conflict, for another ten thousand years, and slowly, gradually change little bit by little bit, take my time, move slowly? And to accept that and to live in that state is the greatest sorrow. If I lose my son, my wife, my husband; if I fulfil or if I don't fulfil - those are all very trivial things. I can resolve all sorrow if I understand the greatest sorrow which time breeds.
Please listen to all this. Most of you, being conditioned to the acceptance of time, say, "In some future life I will change, I will be good; not in this life, it is too much; I have ten thousand lives more, why hurry?" So the moment you accept time as a means of change, you do not see the falseness in that fact and therefore the truth of that - that is the greatest sorrow. Not, if I fail or if I don't fail, if I become a rich man or a poor man - that is all so utterly petty in relation to something much vaster. So is sorrow, grief - the loss of something good; the loss of something beautiful; the fear of what might be; the fear of what is called evil: this sorrow we live with. A mind that is in sorrow is a dull mind. Whether it is the sorrow of the Christ for mankind, and he bearing his sorrow - it is still a dull mind.
Is it possible to end that sorrow immediately? That is the real crux of the matter. Because once I resolve sorrow, everything is over - sorrow in the deeper sense of that word. Because a mind in sorrow can never know what it means to love.
For most people sorrow is self-pity, I have lost my son and I am left; and I am pitying myself that I have been left lonely, with nobody to help me fulfil - you know the whole business of self-pity. So is it possible to end that sorrow immediately, and not allow this habit of gradually getting rid of sorrow? That sorrow is not resolved by time; and we know that sorrow cannot be solved by time. You can live ten thousand years or ten days, or one day, or a split-second more: but time will not resolve sorrow. So, one has to learn immediately, not gradually; because there is no learning anything gradually - psychologically. If I learn a language, it will take time, many days, because I have to get used to the rhythm of the words, the sound of a strange word, the grammar, the syntax, how to put the words together, how to use the right word, the right verb, and so on. But here, if I allow time, sorrow will increase. So I have to learn about sorrow immediately, and the very act of learning is the complete cutting away of time. To see something immediately, to see the false immediately - that very seeing of the false is the action of truth which frees you from time.
I am going a little bit into this question of seeing. As we came in just now, there was a parrot - green, bright, with its red beak, on a dead branch against the blue sky. We do not see it at all; we are too occupied, we are too concentrated, we are disturbed, so we never see the beauty of that bird on the dead branch against the blue sky. The act of seeing is immediate - not "I will learn how to see". If you say, "I will learn", you have already introduced time. So, not only to see that bird but also to hear that train, to hear the coughing, this nervous coughing that is going on all the time here - to hear that noise, to listen to it is an immediate act. And it is an immediate act to see very clearly, without the thinker - to see that bird, to see what one is, actually - not the theories about Super Atman and all the rest of it, but to see actually what one is.
To see implies a mind that has no opinion, that has no formula. If you have a formula in your mind, you will never see that bird, that parrot on that branch against the sky, you will never see the total beauty of it. You will say, "Yes, that is a parrot of such and such a species, and the dead branch is of such and such a tree, and the blue of the sky is blue because of light, specks of dirt; but you will never see the totality of that extraordinary thing. And to perceive the totality of that beauty, there is no time. In the same way, to see the totality of sorrow, time must not come in at all.
I will show you, sirs! I have lost my son and I am in sorrow. What is involved in that sorrow? I am going to analyse it, a little bit quickly. First, there is the shock of losing somebody in whom I have invested. Please, I am being ruthless - not sentimental. I have invested in my son my hopes, my immortality, my continuity; he is the heir to my property if I have a property; he is going to fulfil much more than I. And suddenly that son is cut off, and I am left without an entity in whom I have invested my own personal hopes, fears, everything. So I am lonely. Then, being lonely, I begin to have self-pity, and say "Oh, how terrible!" I begin this whole circle of self-pity, and I begin to cry over my son. Really I am crying over my own state of emptiness, loneliness, self-pity, the sense of being frustrated, and so on.
Now, to see the whole of that, to see this whole process how sorrow comes out of the death of a particular person whom I have identified with myself as "my son", to see the totality of that, the loneliness, the sense of being frustrated, my investment, self-pity; to see the whole of that at one glance, not analytically - if you see it immediately, then you have put a stop to time, haven't you?, and therefore to sorrow. Because it is time that breeds this sorrow - " Oh, I had hoped my son will be that; I had hoped my son will become much bigger than me; I had invested my immortality, the continuity of the name through him". You have used time to further your own existence, and when that further existence identified with your son is cut off, you are caught in time. I don't know if you are following all this.
So if you see the totality of this whole process, then you are no longer in sorrow - you are in a state of high sensitivity, observing. And that observation is prevented when you say, "My son will be reborn and we shall be re-united" which is again "time". So what is important is to see immediately, and to demand - not just say, "Well, I will learn about it" - that you must see everything immediately, clearly; that you must see your own states, the social condition, that you must see everything about you, not according to your likes and dislikes, not according to the particular pattern of the social structure that you know; but see everything clearly, without any centre, without any opinion. Then you will see that the non-interference of time with the fact will never create problems.
Please look at it in another way. You know, actually we have no love - that is a terrible thing to realize. Actually we have no love; we have sentiment; we have emotionality, sensuality, sexuality; we have remembrances of something which we have thought as love. But actually, brutally, we have no love. Because to have love means no violence, no fear, no competition, no ambition. If you had love you will never say, "This is my family" - you may have a family and give them the best you can; but it will not be "your family" which is opposed to the world. If you love, if there is love, there is peace. If you loved, you would educate your child not to be a nationalist, not to have only a technical job and look after his own petty little affairs; you would have no nationality. There would be no divisions of religion, if you loved. But as these things actually exist - not theoretically, but brutally - in this ugly world, it shows that you have no love. Even the love of a mother for her child is not love. If the mother really loved her child, do you think the world would be like this? She would see that he had the right food, the right education, that he was sensitive, that he appreciated beauty, that he was not ambitious, greedy, envious. So the mother, however much she may think she loves her child, does not love the child.
So we have not that love. Now love cannot be cultivated, obviously; it is like cultivating humility - it is only the vain man, the man of arrogance, who can cultivate humility; that is a cloak to hide his vanity. As humility cannot be cultivated, so love cannot be cultivated. But you must have it. If you don't have it, you cannot have virtue, you cannot be orderly, you cannot live with passion - you may live with lust, which we all know. So if you have no love, you have no virtue; and without virtue there is disorder.
Now, how are you going to get love? You understand the problem? You must have love, as you must have water when you are thirsty. How are you going to get it? With time? In a future life, the future life of tomorrow, or when you die, or in the next life? or the next second, which is still the future? Will that give you this sense of love with care, which means beauty? Love and beauty go together - they are not separate. Unfortunately, for most of us, beauty means sensuality, sexuality. Your scriptures, your saints, your gurus, your sanyasis - all of them have done this to you, so that you have no feeling no beauty, no love. I do not know if you realize what a tragedy it is!
And since you must have love as a human being, what will you do? There is no time. You can't say, "Well, I can't have it. I can live without love, because I have lived without love for two million years, and I will live another two million years without love" - that means perpetual sorrow for the next two million years. So what can you do? You understand my question now? Sorrow cannot be put away or be resolved through time, nor can love be invited through time. And time is: ten days ahead, or the next minute, or the next second. What will you do? Will you jump in the lake? Unless you find love, you are already in the lake. And you have to find it, as you have to find food. This is a much more demanding, much more strenuous thing that demands intense vitality.
So what will you do? If you say, please tell me what to do, then you are missing the bus entirely. But you have to see the importance, the immensity, the urgency of that question - not tomorrow not the next day or the next hour, but see it now while you are sitting. And to see that, you must have energy. So just see immediately - the catalyst that makes the liquid into solid or vapourizes it immediately does not take place if you allow time, even a second. All our existence, all our books, all our hope is tomorrow, tomorrow, tomorrow. This admittance of time is the greatest sorrow.
So the issue is with you, not with the speaker from whom you are expecting to get the answer. There is no answer. That is the beauty of it. You can sit cross-legged, breathe rightly, or stand on your head for the next ten thousand years. Unless you have put this question to yourself - not superficially, not verbally, not intellectually, but with your whole being - you will live with it for two million years - those two million years may be only tomorrow. So problems and time are intimately related - do you see it now?
And as sorrow and love cannot be resolved, or love cannot exist through time, what is the state of your mind that has put this question? I am putting the question: what is that state of your mind? But if you put that question to yourself - not casually, not sporadically, not when you have little time to spare; but actually put it with an intensity, with vitality and energy - are you waiting for an answer? If you wait, back again there is the whole repetition. If you ask somebody what is the answer, you go back into the proposition: that somebody knows and you don't know, and he will tell you what to do. And that is the most terrible thing to demand of a man or of yourself - for you to be told about something which nobody can tell you. I can tell you that you must love, I can tell you that love is not a thing to be cultivated. If you cultivate love, it becomes sympathy, kindliness, social work and all that petty, little stuff; it is as good as going to church; but it is not love. And one must have love.
Now, if you have put that question, then, what is the state of your mind that has put this question? Is it expecting an answer, is it waiting, is it looking into its memory to see where it can find an answer? All that admits of time, and therefore, if you are doing that, you have merely put the question verbally - and a drowning man looking for a straw has no meaning. So if you put that question with alacrity, with urgency, with potency, then what takes place in the mind? Because the mind will not allow time to come and interfere. And a mind that is not caught in time, does not belong to society - which does not mean it runs off, becomes a hermit, a sannyasi, a monk; that is just an escape from life, escape in its own, self-induced hypnotic visions and mysticism; that has nothing to do with reality. Reality is to see human existence every minute of the day with fulness, with vitality, with urgency. And it is only such a mind that is the religious mind - no other mind.
So what takes place when you do not allow time, when the mind does not allow time to come in, though the mind itself is the product of time? You are following? Because your brain is the result of two million years and much more, probably; and the mind is asking that brain not to be controlled by time, not to be shaped by time, not to respond to time. Certain parts of the brain are still animalistic - I won't go into all that; you can read a book and you will know about it, or you can observe yourself which is much simpler and much quicker and more direct, and you can see that a certain part of the brain which is called the cortex is still animalistic. And there is a great part of the brain which is not touched by civilization, by culture, by the animalistic brain; and if you allow time, that part will also be cultivated, will also be covered by the human experience of miseries, and you will be sunk for the rest of your life.
So, a mind that demands an answer to this question has not only to understand that it is the result of time, but also to deny itself, so that it can be outside the structure of time, of society. If you have listened - really listened with urgency, with intensity, you will have come into this - not only verbally, but actually - that you are no longer held in the clutches of time. The mind, though it is the result of two million or more years, is out, because it has seen the whole process and understood it immediately. Up to this one can come - that is fairly obvious. When one sees this thing, that is child's play. Though you are all grown-up people, the moment you see it, you say, "What have I been doing with my life!" Then the mind has no deception, has no pressures.
When the mind has no problems, no tensions, no direction, then such a mind has space, an infinite space both in the mind and in the heart; and it is only in that infinite space that there can be creation. Because sorrow, love, death and creation are the substance of this mind; this mind is free of sorrow, is free of time; and so this mind is in a state of love; and when there is love, there is beauty; and in that sense of beauty, in that sense of vast, infinite space, there is creation. And still further - further not in the sense of time - there is a sense of vast movement.
Now you are all listening to it, hoping to capture it verbally; but you won't - any more than you can capture love by listening to a talk about love. To understand love, you must begin very near - which is yourself. And then when you understand, when you take the first step - and that very first step is also the last step - , then you can go very far, much further than the rockets to the moon or to Venus or to Mars. The whole of this is the religious mind.
November 28, 1964
Varanasi 5th Public Talk 28th November 1964
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