The Brockwood Talks and Discussions 1969 1st Public Talk 6th September 1969
I FEEL THAT I ought to be sitting on the ground with all the rest of you, instead of up here on this platform. I think it must be understood from the very beginning, that this is not a position of authority. I'm not sitting up here as a kind of Delphic Oracle, laying down the law or trying to persuade you to any particular kind of attitude, action or thought. But since we are here, apparently in all seriousness, and since you have taken the trouble to come all this distance, I think we ought to find out why human beings throughout the world live in isolation, divided by their particular beliefs, pleasures, problems and ideals. We find them belonging to various groups such as the Communists, the Socialists, the Christians, Hindus and Buddhists, all further dividing themselves into innumerable sects with their own particular dogmas.
Why do we live with this sense of duality, opposing each other at all levels of our existence, resisting each other and bringing about conflict and war? This has been the pattern of human activity throughout the world, probably from the very beginning of time, with this sense of separation dividing the artist, the soldier, the musician, the scientist, the so-called religious man, the man of business. Although they talk of love and peace on earth, in this way there can be no peace, in this way men must be at war with each other; and one wonders whether it must always be like this.
So is it possible for human beings, who are at all serious, to find out if they can live in a state of non-duality - not ideologically or theoretically, but actually, both in form and essence? Is it at all possible for you and me to live a life in which this sense of duality ceases completely, not only at the verbal level, but also in the deeper layers and recesses of one's own mind? I feel that if this is not possible, then we must continue at war with each other - you with your particular opinions, beliefs, dogmas and conclusions, and I with mine - so there is never real communication or contact.
Here we are actually confronted with this issue, not ideologically but actually. One of the major political problems is the unity of mankind. Is it at all possible? Can individuals, you and I, live a life in which there is no duality at all, in which opinions, beliefs and conclusions do not divide people or bring about resistance? If we put that question to ourselves, deeply with all our heart, our whole being, I wonder what our response would be? Can we freely enquire together into this question this morning?
Communication and relationship always go together. If there is no communication, there is no relationship - not only between you and the speaker but also between yourselves. If we merely remain at the verbal level, the formal level, communication remains very superficial, and doesn't go very far. But to be related at the non-verbal level requires the ending of this isolating, dual existence, the `me' and the `you', the `we' and the `they', the Catholic and Protestant and so on. Therefore, to enquire into the question of whether it is possible to live a life in which there is no sense of separation or division, one must be aware of oneself, because as we are, so is the world. The world is not separate from us; the community, the collective, is not separate from each one of us - we are the community, we are the world. We may state that we are the world - but do we really have the feeling that we are utterly part of this whole world.
To go into this question one must inevitably be aware of the whole structure and the nature of oneself; not only inwardly but also outwardly, in the form, knowing that the word divides, as the Englishman, the Frenchman. Opinions and conclusions in any form bring about separation and isolation, as do sectarian beliefs. Outwardly, my sitting up here on the platform divides. Inwardly, inside the skin, as it were, there are also various forms of division and separation whose very essence is the `me', the self, the ego, put together by thought. Can this process - of which one must be aware both outwardly as well as inwardly - be understood and dissolved? I think that is probably the major problem in the world rather than the economic problem. Even living in this Welfare State with all its social security, we find the people divided, isolated, each going his own particular way, immersed in his own problems.
And so, becoming aware of oneself both outwardly and inwardly, can this isolating process, this resistance, really be dissolved? This is very complex, because it is the very nature of thought to divide, to bring about fragmentation - as the observer, the experiencer, the watcher, and the thing that is watched, experienced or observed. There is division, i.e. the space created between the observer and the observed. That division is brought about by thought. We are not saying this dogmatically, one can observe it, experiment with it and test it. As we said, there can be no communication as long as there is division. And what we consider to be love, will also divide if it is the product of thought or hedged about by thought.
When one becomes aware of all this, what is one to do, how is one to act? Thought must be exercised, logically, sanely, healthily and completely, and yet not create division. If there is sensitivity, which is part of love, then thought has no place in it at all, knowing that thought brings fragmentation, separation and division. So how is one to live in a world that is completely divided and which glories in such division and separation? How is one to live so that there is complete harmony, inwardly as well as outwardly? The moment we have a formula, a system, that very system or formula brings about a separation - your system and my system. So the question of `how' doesn't enter into this at all. When I ask myself `How am I to live with great sensitivity?' - which is probably the very essence of love - and `How am I to act or do anything without bringing about separation?' the `how' implies a method, a system: by doing this you will achieve that - this harmony, this state of non-duality. But that very word `how' breeds division; that is, there is the idea of harmony, a formula, an ideology, which thought has conceived of as being harmonious, as living without division, which is to be the final achievement. And there is the separation between that and the actual state I am in with the `how' as the medium, the way to that ideal. So the `how' immediately breeds the division between `what is' and `what should be'.
If one can completely discard the `how', the method, the system, then there is no ideology at all, no idea of what `should be'. Then there is only `what is' and nothing else. The `what is', is the fact that the way one lives and feels, thinks, acts, loves, is the way of separation and division. That is the actual fact. Can that fact be transformed into something which is non-dualistic? Can I observe the fact that my life is dualistic, separated and isolated; that however much I might say to my wife, `I love you', I live in separation, because I am ambitious, greedy, envious, with antagonisms and hatreds boiling in me. That is the fact.
Can the mind look at that fact non-dualistically? That is, can I, the watcher, instead of regarding that fact as something separate from me, can I look at it without this separation? Can I look, can the mind look not as an observer or an entity that wishes to change or transform what it observes, but look at it without the observer? Can the mind observe only the fact - not what thought says about the fact - the opinions, the conclusions, the prejudices, judgments, the like and dislike, the feelings of frustration and despair. just to observe without thought reacting to what is observed. I think that is real awareness: to observe with such sensitivity that the whole brain, which is so conditioned, so heavily burdened with its own conclusions, ideas, pleasures and hopes, is completely quiet and yet alive to what it is observing. Am I making myself clear?
One observes what is happening in the world: the constant political and religious separations and divisions, the wars that are going on all the time, not only between individuals but throughout the world. And one wants to live completely at peace because one realizes that conflict in any form is not creative, that it is not the ground in which goodness can flower. And this world is part of me; I am the world - not verbally, but actually, inwardly. I have made the world and the world has made me. I am part of this society and this society is being put together by me. Is it possible to live our lives not only in outward form but deeply inwardly, so that no isolating process is taking place at any time? Because only then is it possible to live in peace, not vegetate but be highly alive, thoughtful and sensitive.
In what way is one to act in daily life without this division? To behave, to talk, to use words which do not create this division between you and me. Surely it is only possible by being totally aware, completely sensitive, not only to what is going on inwardly but also outwardly - the manner of my speech, the words, the gestures, the acts. To be so aware demands a great deal of energy. And have we that energy? One realizes that a great deal of energy is necessary to be alert, aware, sensitive. To understand this separative, dualistic life of resistance needs great energy, both physically and mentally - the energy of great sensitivity. One asks `How is all this energy to come about', knowing that one wastes energy in useless talk, through indulging in various forms of images, sexual and otherwise, the energy that is spent in am- bition and competitiveness that is part of this dualistic process of one's life, on which society is built.
Can the mind and also the brain, can this whole structure which is the `me', be aware of all this - not fragmentarily but totally? That is real meditation, if I can introduce that word rather hesitantly: the mind being aware of itself without creating the observer, the outsider who is looking in. That is only possible when there are no ideologies at all and no sense of achievement - that is, when there is no sense of time. Time, as evolution, exists only when there is this sense of `what is' and `what should be'. All the effort, the strain and the struggle to achieve `what should be' is a great waste of energy. Can one just perceive that, be aware of the fact that thought, not knowing what it should do with `what is, (however ugly or beautiful it may be), and not being able to understand it or go beyond it, thought has projected the idea of how it should be; hoping thereby to overcome `what is'. But to overcome `what is' one must have time to do it gradually, slowly, day after day.
Obviously that very way of thinking brings about a division, a separation. just to observe that, to be completely aware of it highly sensitively - not to think what you should do with it or how to overcome it - is, I think, all that the mind can do. To be actually aware of this dualistic process going on all the time, how it comes into being, watching it, being alert, sensitive only to `what is' and nothing else. If there is hate, anger, ambition, just be aware of it without trying to transform it. As soon as you try to change it, in that process there is the `me' who is changing it. But if one is able to observe hate or anxiety, or fear without the observer - just to observe - then this whole sense of division, of time, effort and achievement completely comes to an end. Then one can live in the world, both inwardly and outwardly in a non-dualistic state without resistance. Can we go into this by asking questions?
Questioner: If you want to live peacefully within yourself, and yet you feel that as part of the society you are responsible for what if going on in the world today, how can you live peacefully or with any degree of happiness, knowing the heartrending things that are happening?
Krishnamurti: I have to change myself, that is all. I have to totally and completely transform myself. Is that possible? As long as I consider myself an Englishman, a Hindu or belong to any particular group or sect, subscribe to any particular belief, conclusion or ideology, I will continue to contribute to this chaos, this madness around me. Can I then drop these conclusions, prejudices, beliefs and dogmas completely - drop them without effort? If I make an effort, I find myself back immediately in this dualistic world. So can I cease completely to be a Hindu, not only in outward form but in essence? Can I, both outwardly and inwardly, end all sense of the competitiveness, the hierarchical approach to life, comparing myself with somebody who is cleverer, richer, more brilliant? Can I do this without any sense of overcoming, without effort? Unless this is done, I am part of this chaos. Such a change is not a matter of time: it must happen now, immediately. If I resolve to change gradually, I will again fall into the trap of a division.
So is the mind capable of observing the fact that I am competitive, wanting to fulfil, with all the frustrations, fears, anxieties, guilts and despairs? Can I watch it, see it as a complete total danger? When one sees something very dangerous, one acts immediately. Approaching a precipice, one doesn't say, `I'll go slowly, I'll think about it' - you sheer away from it. Do we see the danger of separation, not verbally, but actually? You belong to something and I to something else, each with our own beliefs, our isolating pleasures, sorrows and problems. As long as this state of affairs continues, we must live in chaos. Living in this rather mad, sad and despairing world, with only an occasional burst of joy - the beauty of a cloud, a flower - the question is whether there can be total and complete change.
Questioner: Asking us to be silently aware of 'what is', seems to be asking too much, it is probably more than we can bear for any length of time without trying to escape from it.
Krishnamurti: If I cannot stand something I must leave it for a while. We see perhaps the implications of `what is' and that is too much. So we can not give complete attention all the time, we need sometimes to be inattentive. Isn't that so? If there is something I cannot bear, I must leave it for a while and take a rest from it; but during the rest, be attentive of your inattention. Say, I am jealous - let's take that very common thing. I give all my attention to it and see what is involved: hate, fear, possessiveness, domination, isolation, loneliness, the lack of a companion - all that. And I observe it, non-dualistically. If I give it my total attention, I will understand it completely and therefore there needs to be no rest from it. Having understood the danger completely, I have sheered away from it. It is only when I do not give my whole attention, but only my partial attention, that I get tired of it. I say, `I must have a rest from this nasty business' - and so I escape from it. So, knowing that we escape from it, and that in escape there is inattention, we are suggesting that we be aware of that inattention. Leave your jealousy, but be aware of that inattention while you are escaping. So that the very inattention becomes attention which sharpens the mind.
September 6th 1969
The Brockwood Talks and Discussions 1969 1st Public Talk 6th September 1969
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