Talks and Dialogues Sydney 1970 1st Public Talk 21st November, 1970
I THINK IT quite important that we understand each other, because we are not concerned with any Oriental philosophy or with any theory; we are not indulging in speculation, any form of theoretical assumptions. We will be concerned only with things as they are and to see if the human mind can radically bring about a change in things as they are. Therefore it is necessary to observe very clearly without any prejudice, without any conclusion what actually is going on in the world; not according to the Asiatic outlook or the Western or the communist or the capitalist but observe the various happenings that are taking place in the world.
First of all, one sees right through the world a great deal of violence, incredible brutality, destruction, a meaningless kind of violence and revolt, revolt against the established order, revolt against war, revolt against all the social moralities.
Obviously social morality is immorality. One observes the division, the fragmentation that's going on, not only at the physical level but also at the religious level. physically, geographically, there is division between nationalities, sovereign governments with their armies, defence, and so on; there is the economic division, the division between black and white and among the coloured people. There is also division among the religious people, so-called religious people. There is the Catholic against the Protestant, the Hindu against the Muslim and so on. Right through the world there is fragmentation, the businessman and the artist, the scientist and the layman, the technician and the ordinary person. This is a fact and one sees what incredible conflict exists between human beings.
Religions, that is organized beliefs based on propaganda, have not solved this problem at all. Politicians haven't solved it. On the contrary, religions have separated man against man, politicians keep the country, the people apart and you can see both outwardly and inwardly there is fragmentation, division.
The very nature of division is to bring about conflict and man has tried many, many ways to bridge this conflict, through ideals, through revolt, through revolution - physical revolution - through every form of assertion, aggression, violence to see if man can live at peace, not only within himself but also outwardly. And this has been going on for millions of years - man fighting man, outwardly and inwardly.
When we are confronted with such a problem, what is the response? knowing that man has tried so many ways to get rid of this problem, through physical revolution which ends in tyranny, bureaucracy, dictatorship and he has tried religiously in belief - worshipping one God or one idea, one set of symbols, and again all that has failed, completely failed because man is still at war. Within the last 5,000 years I believe there have been 15,000 wars and we have never been able to solve any of our human problems. We know how to escape from them, through amusement, through every form of deception, hypocrisy, negligence, indifference, callousness.
It is only the very serious people that live, not the people who want to be entertained, want to be amused; and I hope during these five talks, that those who are here are really serious people. This is not an entertainment, either philosophical or intellectual. We are concerned, in observing all this, how to bring about a radical change in man, how to bring about a total revolution, not the revolution of bloodshed, physical revolution; that doesn't lead anywhere, as one has observed in the various kinds of revolution that have existed before. Physical revolution has no meaning; there is only one revolution, psychological, inward revolution because the human being - you - is the society. You have built this society and in that society, in that culture you're caught; therefore, you are the world and the world is you, not verbally, theoretically or intellectually, but actually. You are the world and the world is you and if you are confused, if you are disturbed, if you are neurotic, unbalanced, whatever structure you create as social morality, as law, as ethics or as religion must equally be confused. So, do please understand this very clearly from the very beginning of these talks.
We are concerned in bringing about a radical revolution in the human mind because the human mind creates the social, economic, religious structure out of its despair, out of its fear, out of its loneliness, misery, sorrow. Unless the human being, you, radically, fundamentally change, there is no possibility of having a different kind of world. When we say `you', you are not opposed to the community, you are the community, you are the collective. When we are concerned with a change of the human being, we are concerned with the radical revolution of the mind, not opposed to the collective mind. The collective mind is your mind, you are part of the culture in which you have been brought up, in which you have been educated, you're not separate from the society, from the world, so, unless you as a human being radically change there is very little hope for a peaceful, religious society.
To bring about this change, man has tried everything. He has taken drugs, has joined innumerable cults, organized beliefs, worshipped this god and that god, joined various schools of meditation, read infinitely, but he remains exactly as he was before, slightly modified but essentially self-centred, aggressive, violent, concerned about himself. These are facts not assumptions, not theories. This you can observe if you are at all aware not only of yourself but also about what is happening in the world.
So, seeing this, what is one to do? There are the activists who say you must act, do something, commit yourself, get involved. But getting involved, identifying yourself in a particular group or a particular structure of thought, philosophy, doesn't solve the problem. Seeing all this both outwardly and inwardly, what shall we do? We must act, we must bring about a revolution in ourselves. How can this revolution take place? We cannot possibly go on as we are going, because our life is very superficial.
The life that one leads has no meaning, spending years in the office, living a shallow, empty life, living a secondhand existence and everlastingly fighting, both inwardly and outwardly. What can one do? Action implies, not in the future, or in the past; action is the creative moment in the present. So, what shall I as a human being, living in this world, do? First of all, I must negate everything that man has psychologically built in himself. That is, through negation I shall find out what is the positive; you understand?
You know one of the most difficult things in life is to communicate. The word communicating means to think together, to feel together, to create together, share together. That's what we are going to do, share together. You're not just going to listen to the speaker, but share what the speaker has to say. You can only share if you neither disagree nor agree, but actually listen to find out. Listening is one of the most difficult things to do. Listening implies attention, and you cannot attend if your mind is chattering, if what is being said you compare with what you already know. The art of listening is very important and the art of listening is to communicate.
First of all, attempting to see things as they are, both outwardly and inwardly, man has tried several things. He thinks through analysis he can bring about change, analysis of what actually is going on, and through analysis to find the cause and bring about change in the cause. But analysis prevents action, that is, analysis implies time. Please, do listen to this, don't accept it or reject it, but listen to it, find out if the speaker is saying something false or true; find out, investigate, don't oppose it, or accept it, because we have to learn. We have accepted analysis as a way of resolution of our problems and the speaker says that way you'll never solve anything, and he's going to explain the reason why analysis is futile.
First of all, analysis implies time; to analyse day after day, week after week, examining, observing; analysing inevitably takes a very long time. Analysis implies the analyser and the analysed. And also that every analysis must be complete and true and finished, otherwise what the analyser has analysed he remembers and carries it over, which will prevent him from examining and analysing anew, right? You are following all this? Probably you have not heard all this before, it may seem rather strange to you, but if you have observed, if you have analysed yourself, you will find that there is the analyser, examining, investigating, questioning; so there is the division between the analyser and the analysed.
At the end of the talk you can ask questions, we can discuss, but you have first to find out what the speaker has to say. You may know your own thoughts very well, be familiar with your own ideas, opinions, but we are not dealing with opinions, with ideas. We are dealing with actually what is, and the actual fact is that man throughout the ages has thought that he could resolve his problems through analysis. We are showing that analysis does not solve the problem at all. We want to show you a different way of looking, not through analysis. When you understand the nature and the structure of analysis you totally discard it, and therefore your mind is free to observe anew. So you have to understand what is implied in analysis. You have to learn all about it, be familiar with it, then you can put it aside.
We are saying that analysis prevents action because it involves time. Analysis implies, also, the division between the analyser and the analysed, and hence the conflict between the analyser and the analysed. In analysis is implied the conscious and the unconscious. Why is there this division at all? It has been the fashion in recent years to talk a great deal about the unconscious. The unconscious is as trivial as the conscious; the unconscious is the residue of all the racial memories, the family memories, the religious, the cultural memories. We have divided it. We think that the unconscious is richer, nobler, wider, more significant; but, when you examine the unconscious - and you can examine it only when you are aware of what is going on, not only at the superficial level of thinking, but deeply - when you observe it, you can see all the motives, the violence, the anxieties, the fears and so on.
Analysis implies all this, and, as it involves time, action is not possible, action being total action. Is that clear, at least for the time being? We have to act; action means in the present, psychological revolution is only possible now, not at some future date. Therefore, analysis is not possible, is not the way; nor is will. Will implies contradiction, suppression, control, and we have done all that. We have suppressed, we have controlled, we have denied and yet there is no radical change in ourselves; so, analysis is not the way, nor is the exercise of will.
One can see that any form of analysis is postponement of action; so what is one to do if analysis is not the way and exercise of will is not the way, will implying suppression, conformity, conflict, adjustment? If that has not produced a radical revolution in human beings then what is the way which is not any of this? I do not know if you ever asked this question of yourself. Man has tried several ways: identifying himself with the greater, with a principle, with an ideal, hoping thereby to dissolve his own anxieties, his own fears, his own misery, and he has not succeeded. Therefore, one must find a totally different way, a totally different perception and that's what we're going to do.
We are going to find out, together. You are not learning from the speaker, the speaker is not your teacher, is not your authority. We are going to learn together. Therefore, you as a human being, are your own teacher, your own disciple; therefore, there is no outside authority beyond your own intelligence. It is your own intelligence, your own understanding, that is going to bring about a radical revolution. Please, do not listen, accepting a thing. We are learning together.
One of our difficulties, perhaps a major difficulty, is that we are all conformists. We conform very easily. Those who are in revolt against society are conformists. They reject one form of conformity and accept another form of conformity. They reject authority outside and accept another kind of authority. Where there is authority, there must be conformity; therefore, there is no freedom. Freedom exists only when we understand the whole structure and the nature of ourselves. Without freedom there is no creation, there is no life, there is no beauty. So, freedom is absolutely essential: freedom from authority, not to do what you like. One has to investigate and under- stand the whole nature of conformity, why human beings conform. We conform not only superficially but deeply. We conform to the latest fashion whether it's long hair, mini skirt or midi skirt. We conform to the social pattern, we conform to the morality which society has established, which, when you observe it, is actually immoral, and yet we conform - why? Why is it that the human mind accepts authority so easily? Obviously, fear, fear of going wrong, fear of getting hurt, both physically and psychologically, fear of not doing the right thing, fear of losing a job. If one lives in a Communist world, one accepts communism; if one lives in a Catholic world a Protestant finds it extremely difficult. So, we're all conformists, we obey. Authority, apart from the legal authority, and we're talking about psychological acceptance of authority, makes the mind shallow, makes our life empty. We become secondhand human beings, which we are. The word individuality means indivisible. An individual means an entity who is indivisible, not fragmented but whole. And we're not. We're not individuals at all. This is the result, partly, of authority, conformity and accepting.
You observe all this in life, everyday life, not life at the moment of great crisis, but every day you see this going on, both within and outwardly, and when you reject analysis, when you reject authority, when you are no longer conforming - except superficially - what is the quality of the mind? What is the quality of the mind that has rejected all this, these things which haven't helped man? Hasn't it become extraordinarily sensitive, alive, free to look?
Most of us - all of us - are conditioned by the culture in which we live. You are conditioned as Australians with a lovely climate and all the rest of it, by the education, by the belief, by the religious structure in which you're caught, so you are conditioned. And a conditioned mind thinks it can solve the human problem. It cannot. It must be free of that conditioning. If I, born in India, remain a Hindu and want to resolve the whole human structure, human problem, human misery according to the conditioned mind in that particular culture, it will be impossible.
To solve the human problem the mind must be entirely unconditioned, that is, it has to become aware of its own conditioning, aware to observe without any choice, without any distortion and that's why it's very important to understand conflict. Every form of conflict distorts the mind. We are saying there is a way of living which is not the way of analysis, the way of will, the way of conformity, but to observe, to see things actually as they are.
I wonder if you have ever observed anything, that is, to see things actually as they are, not as you wish them to be, or you hope they should be, but actually as they are? Have you ever observed a cloud? Have you ever observed your wife, or your husband or your friend, to see actually what is? It is not possible to observe clearly if you have a formula, if you have ideals, if you have images, if you assume you know. You can only observe with clarity, without distortion, when there is no image at all; when you look at a cloud, to look at it without the word. Do it sometime and you will see what happens when you look at something, a cloud, without a single word, or look at your wife or your husband or your friend without the image which you have built during 30 or 40 years or 10 days; just to observe.
In observation there is direct relationship, but when you have an image about her or him you are not in relationship. Surely, love is that relationship in which there is no image. So the question is, is it possible to observe oneself and the world without any distortion, without any symbol, without any formula? If you can observe it that way, then you will find action is immediate, because such observation implies that there is no division between the observer and the observed; then you are directly in relationship. To look at a tree without the botanical knowledge, without the word, then, what takes place? The word, the knowledge about that tree, separates you from the tree. There is a distance, not only physical but psychological distance, and when the psychological distance disappears there is no identity with the tree but complete cessation of this distance. After all, that is love, isn't it?
When you say to somebody `I love you', what does it mean? Is it your loving the image that you have built about her or him? All the troubles, all the misery, jealousies, irritations, pleasure - sexual and otherwise - is that what you call love?
What we are saying is our human problems are so complex, yet so extraordinarily simple if we know how to look at them, if we know how to look at the problem, whether there is God or not, whether there is truth or not, to understand the problem of death, the problem of life, love, to be able to look without the image - which means to look without fear. We can go into this question of fear later because most human minds, consciously as well as unconsciously, are frightened. We are frightened human beings. Out of that fear we do the most extraordinary things, cruel, brutal, aggressive things.
To look with eyes that are not confused; and there will be confusion when there is the division between the observer and the observed, and this division takes place when there is the image, the formula, the concept, the ideal. Therefore, self knowing, knowing oneself as one is, is the beginning of wisdom. It cannot possibly be bought in books. One has to observe oneself, not by analysing, but observing oneself in relationship. In relationship all your reactions come out, your antagonisms, your fears, your anxieties, your bitterness, your loneliness. Without under- standing all that to try to find out if there is something beyond all human thought, if there is something real, true, is not possible. Therefore, we must lay the foundation and to lay the foundation one must observe one's life, daily, without any distortion.
Now perhaps, if you will, you can ask questions. You know one of the most difficult things is to ask the right question. The right question implies that you have thought a great deal, that you have enquired; and, we must ask questions, not only of ourselves, but about everything. We must doubt, question, to find out. Doubt is necessary, but also doubt becomes a danger. Doubt must always be held in leash. To ask questions is necessary, but if you ask a question and wait for somebody else to reply, then your questioning will have very little value, but if you question in order to discover, in order to communicate, in order to find out, asking together, investigating together, then such questions have value. To ask a question you must be intense, you must be passionate. What we are saying is that to question is to expose oneself. By questioning you are discovering yourself. This doesn't mean that the speaker is trying to prevent you from asking questions. All that he is saying is observe from what motive, what purpose, with what intention, with what passion, you're asking that question. Knowing from what depth you're asking that question, then, you'll have the answer corresponding to that depth.
Questioner: Do you say that there are cosmic laws?
Krishnamurti: Which is more important, to find out if there are cosmic laws or how to bring about order in our own lives? I'm asking sir, just asking. Which is more important? We're not children, we are supposed to be grown up. We are supposed to find out, aren't we, living in this world where there is so much disorder, so much confusion, so much sorrow; how to live without all this, how to live in order, not whether there is cosmic law. We'll find out afterwards if there is cosmic law and order if we have order and law in our own daily lives. Our lives are so disorderly, so confused, we are so miserable, suffering, physically as well as psychologically. What is important is to find out how to live peacefully with order, with beauty, and not escape into some cosmic theories, laws and assumptions. The beauty that is beyond our thinking can only be found when we know how to live properly. To enquire into the cosmic dimension is an escape from our daily lives.
First we must know how to walk, we must know how to build before we can reach up to heaven. We don't know what love is, we are so frightened. You know what we are, and without bringing order, beauty into our lives, we want to escape into some kind of symbolic nonsense.
Questioner: Is it possible to live in this world without bringing about an outward change and yet live in this world, free?
Krishnamurti: You're asking is it possible to live in this structure, in this society, and yet be free? Is it possible to live in this world, this world being the economic, social, the religious, cultural world and yet be free of that structure?
Questioner: Is it possible to become free while that structure still remains, and if so, how?
Krishnamurti: The same thing, sir. First of all, the social structure, the ethical, cultural structure in which is included economics, social, racial prejudices, religious beliefs, all that structure is me. I am part of that structure. I don't separate myself from that structure, I am the result of that structure. I am that culture. I am conditioned by the culture in which I have lived. Therefore, I am not separate from the culture. How am I, who am part of this culture to be free? If I am the social, economic, cultural structure, and there is no division between me and it, I am the world, the world is me. This is not a theory, this is not a speculation, this is what is basically true. Then what am I, a human being living in this structure of which I am, what am I to do? How am I to free myself from that structure? Shall I destroy that structure, physically, throwing bombs and all the rest of it? Or, do I see the fact that I am that culture and that culture is me? I see that in me I am confused, that I don't know what to do? To bring about a change in the structure I must change myself radically, because I am that culture. Is it possible for me who is part of the world, part of that structure, part of the establishment, to radically change myself?
What is this structure? What is the `me' who is the result of that structure? The structure is based on envy, greed, worship of success, power, position, prestige, the desire to be completely, isolatedly secure. All the wars, nationalities, divisions of religions, the family opposed to another family, all that is me. And can I in myself change all that, stop completely being competitive, imitative, conforming, violent? Obviously one can. And one must, if one wants to bring about a radical revolution both inwardly and outwardly. It must begin with the mind that is free from the conditioning which the culture has imposed upon it. And you ask how? The `how' is to observe, to become aware, be passionate to find out, not to be caught in a series of systems, which means you have to observe, learn and be intense and passionate to change. Not to change the world but change the world which is me. Questioner: Do you accept a counter culture opposed to the present culture?
Krishnamurti: You've understood the question? Counter culture opposed to what is creates another culture. Which means what? A counter culture implies a contrary to what is and, therefore, a division. Where there is a division of any kind between you and me there must be conflict. Counter culture is to produce another series of conflicts, like belonging to Catholicism and inventing a new religion to which to belong; which is another form of division. This is much more fundamental than the division of religions or economics and so on. We are saying that where there is contradiction in oneself and in society of which I am, there must be conflict. Therefore I must understand the whole structure of division, contradiction, why human beings live in contradictions.
Questioner: Marx explained it for you.
Krishnamurti: Explanation, it doesn't matter who explains, has very little meaning. A dozen people have explained, including Marx, why human beings live in contradiction. Apparently we are satisfied by explanations, whether Marx explains it, or the capitalists explain it, or the psychologists explain it, or the religious people explain it.
Explanation is not the explained. The description is not the described. What is important is to find out for yourself, not be told by Marx, by philosophers, by psychologists, but find out for yourself why you live in contradiction. You can find out very easily, and when you do, it will be yours, not Marx's, not somebody else's philosophy-
You see what happens to us? We read all these books and are capable of explaining what others have said but we don't know a thing about ourselves. But when you accept, when you see the radical fact that you are the world, then you have to have the passion, the intensity to learn about yourself. Then you become creative, something extraordinary; you put aside all books because you are the history of the world. Aren't you interested to find out why man is so aggressive, so violent, and whether that aggression and violence can ever end? Aren't you really interested in it? Probably not, because we enjoy being aggressive, being violent. Do you really want to go into this question of violence which seems to be such a pervading thing throughout the world and which is destroying man? Aren't you really interested to find out for yourself whether you can live absolutely, not relatively, but absolutely at peace with yourself?
You see, you don't ask those questions. You ask questions about the cosmos, you ask questions about what Marx said or what somebody else has said, you never wish to find out for yourself with your heart, whether the human being, you, can live at peace.
Questioner: What is the significance of dreams? And is there something beyond dreams?
Krishnamurti: What is the whole process of dreaming? Shall we go into it now or shall we go into it next time?
Questioner: Let's sleep on it.
Krishnamurti: You would like to sleep on it? (Laughter) Shall we discuss it tomorrow when we meet?
Talks and Dialogues Sydney 1970 1st Public Talk 21st November, 1970
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