Rishi Valley 1967
Rishi Valley 3rd Public Talk 11th November 1967
The other day we were talking over together the question of love, and we came to a point, I think, which needed much greater penetration, a greater awareness of the issue.
Most of us have lost touch with nature, we are urban people living in crowded cities with all their problems, having little space both outwardly and inwardly, living in crowded apartments or small houses, and having very little space even to look at the sky of an evening or morning. The lack of space creates psychological problems, and as civilization tends more and more towards large cities, man, I feel, is completely losing touch with nature and thereby a great source of beauty. I do not know if you have observed how very few of us look at a sunset, or the moonlight, or look on the reflection of light on the water. And if we have lost touch with nature, naturally, we tend to develop intellectual capacities, we go to museums, concerts, and various amusements, probably hoping, thereby, to experience something more, to feel a little more vital than we do in the daily routine and boredom. I do not know if you have noticed, in yourself, how little you are in actual touch with nature, and how closely we all live and whether this circumstance has any, significance, except for utilitarian purposes.
Most of us have no sense of beauty, - I am distinguishing between beauty and good taste. Good taste is not necessarily the appreciation of something very beautiful, good taste can be cultivated, copied, imitated; but the feeling of beauty cannot be copied, one cannot possibly have a system to cultivate beauty, or go to school to be taught to appreciate beauty. And without this quality, this sense of beauty, I do not see how there can be love.
Most of us have developed intellectual capacities, - so-called intellectual capacities, which are not really intellectual capacities at all, - we read so many books, filled with what other people have said, their many theories and ideas. We think we are very intellectual if we cannot quote innumerable books by innumerable authors, if we have read many different varieties of books, and have the capacity to correlate and to explain. But non of us, or very few, have original, intellectual conception. Having cultivated the intellect, - so-called - every other capacity, every other feeling, has been lost and we have the problem of how to bring about a balance in our lives so as to have not only the highest intellectual capacity and be able to reason objectively, to see things exactly as they are, - not to endlessly to offer opinions about theories and codes - but to think for ourselves, to see for ourselves very closely the false and the true. And this, it seems to me, is one of our difficulties, the incapacity to see, not only outward things, but also such inward life that one has, if one has any at all.
I think we ought to enquire into what we mean by the word 'see'. When we say we see a tree or a flower or a person - do we actually see the tree, or do we see the image that the word has created? This is to say, when you look at a tree, or a cloud of an evening that is full of light and delight, do you actually see with your eyes, and also intellectually, with feeling - totally, completely? Or do you merely see with the word and its associations so that you do not actually see the tree at all? Have you ever experimented with that, with seeing an objective thing like a tree, or a flower, or a bird, without any association? If you see it with an associated image, then that image, word, or concept, prevents you from looking at the tree, actually. As you are sitting here there are so many trees around you, hills and the light, - do look. Look, see how you perceive it, and notice what actually takes place when you look. Do you look at it without space or with space? Do you look at it with a verbal concept, or do you look at it without the word, without the association, without the mental picture or image? Is it possible to look without the 'observer' and therefore without a space between the 'seer' and that which is seen? It is important to understand this because we are going to go into something that requires careful investigation and if we cannot really `see', `see' in the true sense of that word, - see without any conception, without any prejudice, without condemnation or justification, then we shall not be able to proceed. It is only then that it is possible to be directly in contact with anything in life. If I have an image about you and you have an image about me, naturally we do not see each other at all. What we actually see are the images which we have about each other, that's all. My image prevents me from actually being in contact with you. Do please go into it as we are talking. Observe it in yourself and see how far you can be free of the image, to look. And to be free of the image, so that you can see directly, demands its own discipline; not self-imposed or externally imposed discipline.
So, we are to investigate together, without any sense of authority, without any sense of "You know and I don't know" or "I know and you don't know" - the question of whether it is possible to be free of the space which we create - not only outside of ourselves but also in ourselves - which divides people, which separates, in all relationships. Am I making myself fairly clear?
Without love and the sense of beauty, there is no virtue; without love all action must inevitably lead to mischief, but when there is that love and beauty you can do what you will, whatever you do is right, whatever you do has order. Without love, any theory, any formula or concept about reality has no meaning whatsoever.
And this morning we are going to find out for ourselves, what this quality of love is; we shall not find out or come upon it, if we approach with deliberation, with intent, because conscious effort to understand something prevents understanding. There must be freedom to look, and there is no such freedom if there is a conceptual idea, or image, or a symbol for that prevents you from looking. Can we look at ourselves, that is, not at the images that we have created about ourselves, the myths, the ideas of what we ourselves are, - which are not real, - but actually observe what we are, the actuality not the theory? The Hindu, through centuries, has created formulae, he is the Atman, or this, or that; he lives according to a concept that there is a permanent entity, a permanent god or whatever you like to call it, in himself, - that is just a theory, it is not an actuality. Some poor, intellectual religious, unbalanced person stipulated that, invented that idea, whether Shankara or somebody else, and we just accept it. We don't know and to find out, we must completely brush all that aside.
And we are going to look at ourselves actually as we are, not as we should be, because there is always conflict when there is this duality - that is, when we are unwilling to face the actual and are looking at its opposite. I am unwilling to face the fact that as a human being, there is violence in me, that I am angry, brutal, aggressive, ambitious, greedy, envious - those are facts; but I have a conceptual idea that I should not be greedy, I should not be violent, so I develop a conceptual world and live there. So there is a conflict between what is and the opposite which should be. Now is it possible to be free of the concept and actually face the actual? Is it? The actual is what we have to deal with, not the conceptual, not the fictitious world of ideas.
Human beings are violent, and our problem is, how to be completely free of violence? Because wherever there is any form of violence, - please follow this, - any form of violence, whether from suppression, or from self-imposed discipline to conform, to imitate, that violence is contrary to love, and to find out what love is we must be free of all that violence. Is it possible to be so completely free of violence - not only consciously, but at the deeper layers of consciousness? Am I putting the question clearly? Otherwise violence is a distortion and I can't see clearly. When I have the ideal of non-violence it creates a conflict between the actual and that fictitious ideal, and any conflict, any effort, is a form of distortion.
Is it possible to live only with the actual and not with the conceptual? - the conceptual being the belief in God, the ideological, the theoretical, the intellectual formulae. Is it possible only to deal with that which actually is and hence remove conflict altogether? Now, let us take the question of fear. Most people are afraid, thousands of fears they have, from the most petty to the deepest fears - and they cultivate bravery, the opposite. Or they escape from fear, through drink, through sex, through amusements, through entertainment and so on and so on. Now is it possible not to escape, not to create its opposite, but actually remain with the fact of fear and understand it and completely be free of it ? So what takes place? - when there is no escape from the fact of fear there is no opposite of fear - then all condemnation and judgement ceases. Right? I am just afraid, not, I should not be afraid, not, I must be free of fear. Or I don't understand what to do and I am in conflict with it, I actually remain with the fact and hence there is no conflict at all with the fact. Now what takes place when you have no opposite of fear, when there is no conflict in the sense of condemning it, justifying it or accepting it, when you are not escaping from it - what actually takes place? You understand? Now who is it that is afraid? - and is the observer who says "I am afraid" different from the thing observed, which is fear? Most of us say, for example, when angry, "I am angry" as though anger is something different from `me' - and hence we try to do something about anger, suppress it, get rid of it, or enjoy it. But is there such separation? - is not the person who says "I am angry", anger himself? So if there is no separation between the observer and the thing observed, you remove conflict and effort altogether. And with regard to fear, is there the observer who is different from that which he feels as fear? Please watch this in yourself. If there is a separation between you as the observer, and the fear - then in that division there is conflict. There is the desire to be free from it. You make an effort to overcome it. But the actual fact is, the observer is the fear - so the observer is the observed, the fear, and hence there is no conflict at all but simply the fact. Then what takes place? What actually takes place when there is no dissipation of energy through conflict, through separation, through justification or through condemnation? You eliminate all that totally, - then what takes place? Please I wish you would discuss this point with the speaker because then you would go into it much deeper.
What actually takes place?
Questioner: It's only theory.
Krishnamurti: You see you are really not seeing this. Just listen.
Questioner: Please talk more about the observer and the observed being the same.
Krishnamurti: All right Sir, let's go into it a little more. Is the observer static? Or is the observer constantly undergoing change, moving, in a flux? And when he says "I am afraid", and there is no division between the fact and the observer - has not the observer undergone a tremendous change? I don't know if you are following all this.
The observer is a living entity isn't it? Not the higher self and Atman and all that nonsense, cut all that out. But in actual fact the observer is a living entity, he thinks, he feels, he has reactions, he condemns, he justifies, he accepts, he disciplines himself - he is a living thing. The observer is a living thing, vital, and when he says "I am afraid" he has not only separated that fear from himself but what further has he done? He has made fear something static, has he not? Right? Is what we are saying reasonable, or is it fictitious and unreal? - or do you merely accept anything the speaker says?
Look, sirs, the whole problem is this. Our life is a constant struggle, a battlefield, an endless movement of achievement, fear, despair, agony, sorrow - that's our life, that's the fact; is it possible to be completely free of all that, not in heaven, not through the gods we have conceived and all the rest of that nonsense? If the mind is not free of that you cannot go any further, - you can merely invent, you can speculate, you can live in a dream world without any reality. So, is it possible to be free from all effort? - which doesn't mean one lives in a kind of vague, negative state, on the contrary. Now to find that out one must investigate the observer and the observed. And we ask - what is the observer? The observer is the thinker, the experiencer and so on. The observer is the result of many experiences, many incidents, accidents, influences, strains, stresses, knowledge, accumulated memory, tradition - all that. He, as the observer, is always adding and subtracting, it is a living movement of like and dislike, of weighing, comparing, judging, evaluating - he is all the time living. He is living within the field of what he calls consciousness, within the field of his own knowledge, influences and innumerable accumulations. That's an obvious fact. Then what is the thing observed? The observer looks at a tree, - let's go step by step, - the observer looks at a tree with all the botanical knowledge he has about that tree, saying that is a beautiful tree, it gives great shadow, or if he is a merchant of ideas he wants to translate that idea of that tree into various word pictures and so on, or he is a timber merchant and he wants to cut that tree down and sell it for timber and so on. So the observer, when he looks at the tree, - please do it with me - look at the tree there, or any tree, when you, the observer, look at that tree, you are looking with all the knowledge you have accumulated about that tree, with your like and dislike. Now, the observer is all that and the tree is naturally static, static in the sense it remains there, - right? What takes place when I look at that tree with all my accumulated knowledge, botanical and otherwise - what actually takes place? I am looking at that tree through the image I have about that tree - I am not actually looking at the tree. Now can I look at that tree, - can the observer look at that tree - without any image, knowledge? Can you? And if you do, what takes place? Without any sense of evaluating, judging, condemning, of like and so on - just to look. Then what takes place? You see you have never done it, that's why you can't answer.
Questioner: There would be no thought at all.
Krishnamurti: Oh no, no.
Questioner: No image.
Krishnamurti: Sirs, what are you saying? I am talking of looking at the tree, not thought or images.
Questioner: You are the tree.
Krishnamurti: You are not - you begin to invent. Sirs, you are really not even intellectual - you are just verbal. Now look at that tree without the image, without the associated ideas that you have about the tree. Your mind is free to look, isn't it? - is free to look. Right? So the first thing is that there is freedom to observe.
Now move - we have looked at the tree, - now move within, - you have an image about your wife or your husband or your friend or about the speaker. Now can you look at yourself without the image, can you look at another, whom you know fairly well, without the image - without any formula? If you can't do this, you cannot possibly go a step further - you can merely spin a lot of theories, write endlessly about democracy, politics, what Shankara said or this or that. Then what takes place? You see that the observer is the result of time because he has accumulated, he is the accumulation of man whether in America, Russia or India - and the accumulation is time. The observer is time, and as long as he functions within the field of time there must be separation between himself and the thing he observes.
The observer can only look when there is freedom. So he can look at fear, - please follow this, - he can look at fear only when there is freedom from the accumulated conditioning which says "I must be free" "I must go beyond it" "I must suppress it" "I must escape from it" - right? When there is freedom, he can look at fear, then there is no separation between himself and the fact which is fear. Therefore all conflict ceases, - and when there is a cessation of conflict, is there fear? Don't agree, Sir - do it and you will find out.
In order to look, as we said, there must be freedom. Freedom to look implies care, and the attention which is involved in that. Then there is a sense of protection, love. Do it and you will see the extraordinary beauty of this. Then, in that state, when we look out of freedom, in which there is care and attention, which implies affection and love - is there fear? There is fear only when the observer is different from the thing which he observes.
So, can I look at myself actually as I am? - which is learning about myself, not according to some philosopher, not according to some analyst, not according to Shankara or anybody, but actually learning about myself, - because if I don't learn about myself, if I don't know myself, I cannot go very far. To learn about myself there must be freedom to look, to look there must be care and attention, with no sense of condemnation at all. So, self-knowing, - I am using the word `self' not with the big S or the little s, just the ordinary self, don't translate it into higher self, the Atman and the rigmarole that one has developed for so many centuries - self knowing, to learn about oneself, is very important. And oneself is moving, living, all the time undergoing a change; but if you try to learn about it with accumulated knowledge you don't learn. What is learning? Can I learn about something if I know already what it is? I can only learn something which I don't know, - let's say the Russian language - so I learn, I accumulate words, verbs, adjectives, how to place the verb and so on, I learn. That means I accumulate verbal knowledge about the language - Russian - and at the end of a certain time, if I am fairly proficient, I begin to speak it. I can then add more words, or modify words or invent new words, but can I use the same method with, regard to something which is living? I am a living thing, changing, changing under different pressures, circumstances, strains, every impact, every influence modifies me. There is a living thing and I want to learn about it. To learn about it, to learn about a living thing, I must come to it with a freshness of mind, not with an accumulated knowledge about myself.
I learnt something about myself yesterday, I learnt - it's the past tense - and with what I learnt I come to the fresh living of myself today and try to understand that living thing with yesterday's knowledge. What happens? I don't learn at all. I am looking at the living thing with the past knowledge, with what I learnt yesterday; so I must be free of what I learnt yesterday in order to look at the living thing, which is actuality, today. So to learn about myself there must be freedom from what I learnt about myself yesterday, in that way there is always a new, fresh contact with today and what actually is. Well, sirs? - and is not love like that? Love is not the product of thought. Love is not pleasure or desire, - which we went into the other day - love is a living thing, it is not hedged about, caught in jealousy - jealousy is the past. Is not love a living thing? - and therefore there is no thought as yesterday or tomorrow.
I know what many of you are probably thinking, which is, if that is so, what is my relationship with my wife, my husband - right?
Krishnamurti: I thought so! (Laughter) You understand, Sir? Listen exactly to what I said. I said love is a living thing, it has no yesterday nor tomorrow, it is always the active present. Not, I will love, or I have loved. And when here is that quality of love, what is your relationship to your wife or husband or to your neighbour? It's your problem, not mine, - don't wait for me to answer it - because you are married, you have children, husbands. It's your problem - how are you going to deal with it? You have to find out, first, if you really love your wife or husband. Do you? Love - not the pleasure you get out of your wife or husband, sexual or otherwise. Not the desire, not the comfort, not the keeping the house, cook and servant - all that is comfort and which you call love. You call that love. Therefore to you, love is pleasure, love is comfort, love is security, a guarantee for the rest of your life, - unless you get divorced, - a continuous sexual or emotional satisfaction. And all that you call love. Right? And somebody like the speaker comes along and says "Look, is that love?" and questions you, asks you to look inside it. Of course you refuse to look because it is very disturbing - you would rather discuss the Atman or the political situation in India, or the economic condition. But when you are driven into a corner to look, you realize it's really not love at all, it's mutual gratification, mutual exploitation.
As when you begin to enquire into love, to find out, feel the extraordinary nature of it, you must come to it with a fresh mind, mustn't you? Not say "I am married, what is my relationship with my wife?" "Must I leave her, or stay with her, if love has no past or tomorrow?" When the speaker says love has no yesterday or tomorrow, that is a reality to the speaker, not to you. You may quote it and make it into an idea, but that has no validity at all. But if you enquire, investigate, explore into what love is, try to find out, learn, with freedom from all condemnation, from all judgement, so that the mind is unconditioned already, then you can look, and when you can look with such freedom you will see that there is neither the observer nor the observed.
Questioner: Is there an end to desire?
Krishnamurti: Why do you put that question? Do you find that desire is very painful? Or do you find desire rather pleasurable? If it is pleasurable, do you want to put an end to something which is pleasurable? - certainly not, nobody does. To the politician when he reaches the top of the heap, it is a great pleasure, it is great ambition and desire fulfilled, he wants to continue with that pleasure, he doesn't want to end desire. But when desire becomes painful, creates trouble, brings sorrow, anxiety, then you want to put an end to desire. So one has to find out what desire is before you ask if it has an end or if it must everlastingly continue. What is desire? I know all the scriptures have said you must work without desire, you must be desireless - you know all that stuff, throw all that overboard and let's find out.
What is desire? You see a beautiful house, really well-proportioned, with a lovely garden, you look at it - then what takes place? You see with your eyes, this beautiful house, with a lovely garden, and there is a reaction, there is a sensation - and you say "I wish I had that house". There is perception, sensation, and thought comes in and says "I wish I had that house". I don't know if you are following all this - it is simple, is it not? I see that beautiful sari - I haven't got such a sari - and I say "I wish I had". So, thought strengthens and gives continuity to the pleasure which has arisen from the perception, which has become my desire.
The question then is - and it's quite important to understand this - can there be perception of a beautiful house, a beautiful face, a beautiful car - and to react to the perception is normal, if there is no reaction at all, you are dead - without thought interfering at all. The moment thought interferes you have begun the battle. I see that you are much more intelligent, bright, clear, than I am - I compare myself with you - you are more learned, I don't know why but you are and erudition is respected and I don't know why either - and I compare myself with you and I want to be like you and I think becoming like you is progress, evolution; but if I don't compare myself with you in any way at all, what happens? Am I then dull? You understand what I am saying? - that I know dullness only because I compare myself with you. Am I dull because I have compared myself with you, who are cleverer, if not, then how do I know that I am dull?
Questioner: I am aware of it.
Krishnamurti: No, no - you have invented it - Sir, do observe yourself. Look, I compare myself with you and I say I am dull. But if I don't compare myself with you, how do I know I am dull? I don't - right? I don't know. When I say "I don't know" - what does that mean? Am I waiting to become as clever as you are? I am hungry today - do I know I am hungry today because I was hungry yesterday? The memory of yesterday's hunger, does it tell me that I am hungry today? It doesn't, does it? So I have no comparison there at all. The actual fact is I am hungry today, and I know it without comparing it with the hunger which I had yesterday. Right? Now do I know I am dull because I compare myself with you, who are cleverer? Of course I do, but if I don't compare - am I dull? Now go into it, go into it slowly. I am what I am - I see what I am - I don't call it dull or clever - I don't use words, which are comparative - I am that, I am what I am - then what takes place? What takes place, sir, when I make no comparison whatsoever?
Krishnamurti: Oh! Satisfaction? To be satisfied is to become... First of all, sir, can you remove from within yourself all sense of measurement? I am cleverer than you are, I am more beautiful, less beautiful - can you remove all sense of comparison, all sense of measurement? You can't, can you? You have been conditioned from childhood to compare - in the class A is cleverer than B and B struggles furiously to be as clever as A - yet B, who is struggling, destroys himself in imitating A or another. That is what we call education - but that is irrelevant, for the time being. So you are conditioned to compare and if you don't compare what takes place? Not satisfaction.
Questioner: We stop struggling.
Krishnamurti: You stop struggling - if you stop struggling, will you go to sleep? You see, you can't answer this, unless you have no comparison, which means having no ideal, no hero, no Gita - no book will ever tell you about the comparative relation of yourself to somebody else. When there is complete cessation of all measurement of yourself and of another - then what takes place?
Questioner: We see ourselves.
Krishnamurti: No. You just invent, sir, you just throw out a lot of words, you don't do it. You do it, sir, and you will answer it rightly. When there is no measurement at all within yourself which compares yourself with another - what takes place?
Questioner: We see what we are and do things according to that.
Krishnamurti: We see what we are and do things according to what we see! We are not talking of... we must be talking Greek or Chinese! Questioner: If I don't compare then I am happy.
Questioner: But I do compare, I see that you are much greater and happier than myself and therefore I compare. That's why I come here because I realize that I am sorrowful and I come to listen to you because you are happy. How can I stop comparing?
Krishnamurti: If you are in sorrow, Sir, then are you free from sorrow by comparing yourself with another who you say is not in sorrow?
Questioner: No, but I want to be like you.
Krishnamurti: Ah, wait. You want to be like him, which is, you want to go beyond sorrow, - which means what? - that you must understand sorrow, not be `like' him. You must understand your sorrow, not the happiness of another. You must understand the thing that you call sorrow - how do you understand sorrow? By understanding yourself - what you are - what has brought about this sorrow, - whether it is self-pity, or a sense of loneliness, whether it is a sense of complete isolation and so on - you have to understand yourself, and you cannot possibly understand yourself if you say "I must be like the man who is happy".
To understand oneself there is no need for comparison or measurement at all, then you look at yourself and there is no self at all. in the same way, sir, meditation is the understanding of oneself, understanding oneself every day, what one says, what one does how one thinks, what one thinks, one's secret thoughts - to be aware of all that choicelessly, without condemning, without judging. To be aware of all that is meditation, then in that state of meditation one can go - the mind can go - beyond all time. Right, sirs.
November 11, 1967
Rishi Valley 1967
Rishi Valley 3rd Public Talk 11th November 1967
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