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Madras 1979

Madras 3rd Public Talk 6th January 1979

May we go on with what we were talking about when we met the last two times here? We were saying - weren't we? - that we must think together, not what to think but how to think. And we are, as we said previously, that we were taking a journey together, sharing the problems, the various incidents and happenings in our daily life. And we are not concerned with theories, probabilities, suppositions, but with what is actually going on. The word 'actually' means that which is happening, happening now, not only externally, outside of us but also inwardly. And we said one can have correct examination inwardly only when we understand what is happening outwardly, because one can deceive oneself enormously examining ourselves, our attitudes, our prejudices. But if we approach it from the outward world, then perhaps we shall have clear observation of ourselves. We said also that the society in which we live is created by us, by every human being, not by some divine edict. The society in which we live is the expression of our greed, our ambition, our sense for power, violence and so on.

So this afternoon, if I may, I would like to share together, of course, to talk about time, to investigate the nature of culture and tradition. And also we pointed out the other day, if you don't mind my repeating it again, that this is a serious meeting, gathering. I mean by that word 'serious', weighty, heavy - not casual, not something that you come on an evening, a pleasant evening, sit under a tree and listen to talk, but we are sharing together our investigation. Our concern, as we pointed out the other day, is that our society is so corrupt, so dangerously violent, and all the rest of it, unless every human being, each one of us radically, psychologically brings about a revolution in himself, then there is no possibility of bringing about a change in the world. That's what we talked about. Perhaps you might remember it.

With what we are talking about you may not agree, or you may agree: agreement or disagreement is irrelevant. We are not dealing with opinions, ideas or speculative philosophy. We are dealing with what is actually going on in our daily life, because as we pointed out again, we must begin near to go very far. But most of us start with theories, abstractions that are very far and therefore valueless, irrelevant. So, I hope that we are clear on this point, that we are not concerned with philosophy, philosophy being, as it is understood now, a series of suppositions, theories, concepts, conclusions - the word actually means the love of life, love of truth.

So, first, why have human beings throughout the world been caught up in tradition, whether it is the tradition of a day or a week or three thousand years. Why? The very word 'tradition' means - doesn't it - something handed down from generation to generation. And also the word etymologically means betrayal, treason. And this tradition is to hand over, given from generation to generation, certain values, certain beliefs, ideas, rituals, concepts, conclusions. This has been going on, handed down for century upon century. And like a steam-roller flattening the human being with these values, conclusions and so on. And when those values, conclusions, concepts, principles and so on, have been thrown aside, as is happening now, we are back to where we started. We are violent, greedy, anxious, insecure, uncertain, confused human beings. That's what is going on actually. Right? Since tradition held human beings along a certain groove, when those traditions are thrown overboard, as they are being done now, we are where we started. Perhaps we have more comforts, more bathrooms, able to drive cars, transportation and communications and so on. But as human beings we suffer, we are envious, we are violent, there is a great deal of fear, utter insecurity. The world is becoming more and more dangerous. This is all a fact. And this tradition implies - does it not - a process of evolution - from the wheel to the jet plane, there has been evolution, it has taken many, many, many centuries for the wheel to come to the jet. And in this tradition, there is so-called culture. Culture, the word implies, to cultivate, to grow, to blossom, to flower - the human mind as well as the human heart. And as human beings living in a certain tradition, have we flowered, morally, perhaps intellectually we have, more or less, that is we are spinning a lot of words, theories, principles, ideals and try to live up to them, which are all an intellectual process. Culture, as we pointed out, implies the freedom of man not to be steam-rolled by centuries of tradition, and in that there can be no culture. That is obvious. Where the mind is following tradition, rituals and all the rest of it, in that there can be no possibility of the human mind and human heart growing, developing, you know all the rest of it. Technologically, we have advanced tremendously. That is based on the accumulation of knowledge, but morally, so-called spiritually, we are almost savages, with a lot of superstition, ideals, principles which have no meaning whatsoever. Right? That is the state of our daily life. Technologically we are excellent, at least we try to be. And we have never challenged ourselves whether it is possible to live ethically at its highest. And when one sees what is happening in the world and in ourselves, that is our greatest challenge, that we each individual, each human, cultivate in freedom.

Is freedom a matter of time? Time being division in movement. Time is movement. Obviously. And in that movement there is division, as yesterday, today and tomorrow. The yesterday meeting the present, modifying itself and proceeding to the future. This is the movement of time in which there is division. To get from here to there, it takes time. From the wheel to the jet has taken centuries. Time. So, there are two different kinds of time: the biological time and psychological time. The time that a child goes through adolescence grows up to a man, and so on, that takes years, like a seed planted, it takes time to become a tree. And we are questioning whether there is psychological time at all? That is, psychological evolution, that is, to become or to be. I hope we are communicating with each other. I think this is rather important that we understand this question, that time - it is really quite extraordinary if you come to think of it - we have depended on time, we thought our whole human progress is a development in time. We have achieved technologically great varieties of excellence, and to achieve that one has to have an enormous amount of time. All accumulation of knowledge is time. And we are asking whether there is psychological time at all, that is, psychological evolution, that is, I will be something, I will achieve goodness. The very word 'achieve' implies time: I am not this but I will be that, both in the business world as well as in the so-called world of spirit, mind. Is it that we have seen a seed grow into a tree and have accepted that as a process of growth in time and therefore move with that concept, with that understanding into the psychological field? You are following all this? Psychologically we think we are growing, we are developing, we will become something, and we are questioning that very concept, very idea, very feeling that we will be. Right? All organizations are based on this, both worldly as well as so-called religious: give me time, I will achieve enlightenment through practice, through systems, through mechanical processes - which you achieve in the world, in the mechanical world - you apply the same attitude, the same approach, or come with the same approach, to the psyche.

There is no psychological evolution at all. Right? Please, don't accept what is being said, or deny, but listen first. You may have your own opinions, your own conclusions, your own beliefs, your own way of approaching the problem of time, but since you have taken the trouble to come here, obviously you have to listen to what the other fellow has to say. Listen, not casually listen, or listening interject your own opinions, your own comparative values, and so on. Just listen. Then after having listened, you can begin to examine. But you cannot examine before you have listened. That implies giving attention, not partial attention, attending one minute or a few minutes, and then thinking about something else. Right? Which implies, attention needs freedom. Because if you are investigating there must be freedom to observe. Right? We are actually doing this, I hope, not accepting what is being said and turning it into a theory or an idea, but actually listening to find out for yourself whether evolution, gradual growth, psychologically exists or not, and if it is not, then how do we deal with a problem? You understand? With a reaction, with say, for example, with fear? You are following all this? We must be very clear in this matter. Time is fear. Time is pleasure. Time is sorrow. And is love involved in time? You are following all this? We are denying the total acceptance, up to now of psychological evolution altogether.

So we are going to examine that. There is no need to examine the wheel and the jet. That's fairly clear, that's obvious. The whole of science is based on the accumulation of knowledge. And not being burdened with that knowledge, you examine more and acquire more knowledge, and you are all the time adding more and more and more knowledge - knowledge being the past. Now, we are asking, is time necessary, time being movement in division? Right? Please understand this carefully. Time is movement with divisions, yesterday, today, tomorrow, or time immemorial, time which has no beginning, and time that may end. Eternity is out of time, that which has a continuity is not eternity, it is still part of time. You are following all this? If one observes oneself, because we as a human being, as a human being, we are the representative of all mankind, because we suffer, we go through all kinds of tortures like every other human being - we are poor, we are rich, we are greedy, we are suffering, we are lonely, we have no love, all that is the rest of mankind. So, you as a human being are the rest of mankind, which is not an intellectual concept. You can turn it into an intellectual concept, but it has no value, like any other theory. But if one sees the truth of it, the actual reality of it, with your heart, with your mind, then a human being becomes an extraordinarily serious, committed human being - not an individual, because we are not individuals. Individual means indivisible, not broken up, not fragmented. And most human beings are fragmented. Right? So we are not individuals at all. We may think, because we have a name, we have a bank account, or a car, or wife or house - we call ourselves individuals. I think that is wrong usage of the word. We are human beings like every other human being living in the world with enormous problems, our relationships are very complex, our sorrows are limitless and so on.

So, when we realize that we are the world and the world is us - realize - not intellectually play with words - one has a tremendous responsibility. And that's why perhaps we avoid that responsibility by calling ourselves individuals. And being a representative of all man kind, as each human being is, and when that human being psychologically transforms himself it affects the whole consciousness of mankind. Please listen to all this. Don't accept it; look at it. Examine it. And the speaker is only concerned with that, not with theories and so on. That is, is it possible for human beings, not through evolutionary process, not through time, but fundamentally, radically, basically change, totally? Because that is our challenge, because traditions have gone, religions have no meaning any more; institutions have their limited place but cannot possibly transform men; no government can possibly change man - they may improve the outward circumstances, but deeply they cannot - as it has been shown in Russia, and all the rest of it. We don't have to go through all that.

So, understanding all that, we are asking: is there a possibility of transformation of man in which time as movement with its division has no place? You have understood my question? Because our whole ethical, moral and so-called spiritual world is based on time. In the business world, in the political world, unfortunately, the hierarchical system exists, the pecking order. And in the so-called world of the mind and heart, we have also this pecking order. This is so obvious. And, is it possible for a human being psychologically to change fundamentally, without having time at all? You understand sir? This is a very important question to ask - you may not find the answer, but one must ask it. Right? Because we have lived for a million years, probably more or less the same psychologically. There has been tremendous technological revolution and progress. So, let us find out if it is possible for a human being to be free totally of this idea of evolution, psychological evolution which involves time. Right?

Will you examine, can we examine it together? That is, your tradition says: take time. Right? All your scriptures, religions, everything is based on time. Our brains work in time. We are conditioned by time, and we are asking a question which puts aside time, which denies totally evolution. Right? So we are going to investigate whether a human being can really bring about this radical change in which time is not involved at all. Right? Are we meeting each other? Right? That is, are we sharing this thing together, are we deeply interested in this question? Or are you just waiting for me to examine it, explore it, investigate it, and you say, 'Yes that is possible or not possible, I have different opinions and conclusions', and go away? Which implies that you are not really sharing in the problem at all. Because we have lived for over a million years and more, and we are practically the same as we were, psychologically, inwardly. Right? And to reverse the whole process - is that possible?

How do you examine, in what manner or what capacity of the mind is capable of investigating something which appears totally impossible, a mind which is so heavily conditioned by time to which a new kind of proposition is put? Is it capable first of all of receiving problems, receiving the question, or it has been so heavily conditioned it is incapable of even hearing it? So, what is actually going on with each one? Do you hear the question and make it into an abstraction which means avoidance or being so heavily traditionally conditioned, you say, 'Sorry, I am not going to even listen. It does not mean a thing to me'. Or you have the quality of mind that says, 'Let us go into it - not theoretically but actually'? Which is, whether fear which is one of the reactions from timeless, immemorial time, whether that fear can totally end without involving time at all? Is that clear? Right? Perhaps, fear is a little more complex, we will take it up a little later - whether a human being from childhood who has been hurt psychologically, both physically as well as psychologically - listen to it carefully - whether that hurt, the inward hurt, which expresses itself outwardly by withdrawing, by resisting, by wanting to be more violent to another because you are hurt yourself, whether that hurt which has been gathered, which has been kept cherished, almost loved, can that hurt be totally abandoned instantly without time? Right? You see the fun of it? It is not fun, it is really very, very serious if you go into it, but the very question is so challenging and therefore demands your attention, demands your care, demands your response totally to it.

We are hurt from childhood, inwardly, psychologically, inside the skin as it were, and the consequences of that hurt are resistance, building a wall around oneself, a withdrawal not to be hurt more, always having fear of getting hurt more and more, the consequences are violence, having no actual relationship with another - because you might get hurt and so on. The consequences one sees very clearly. Now, can all those consequences, which is the beginning of the hurt, end? To find that out - are you waiting for me to answer it - to find that out, and go into it very deeply, what is hurt? You say, the 'me', the me is the image which you have created about yourself or the society has imposed on you. The society is your relationship with another which is your making. So you are hurt because you have an image. The image is the symbol, the idea, the name, the form, the whole structure of the psyche. Right? That gets hurt and our conditioning is to get over that hurt gradually, do it, go into it, examine it, analyze it, find the cause and the action, which all takes time. Right? Now, is it possible not to have an image about oneself at all? Then there is no hurt. You understand? Right? Is it possible? As long as you have an image that you are a very powerful person, dominant, aggressive, beautiful, clear intellect, and the rest of it - the image that one builds up for oneself from childhood right through old age and death - we are asking, we are saying as long as that image exists there must be hurt, superficial or very, very deep. Right? Now, can that image, seeing the truth of it, you understand, seeing that as long as you have an image about yourself you are bound to be hurt and the consequences are you are violent, you are becoming more and more dull because you are withdrawing, fear and so on - seeing the consequences, seeing that the image is hurt, seeing the truth of it, not just the intellectual concept of it, the very perception is the very ending of the image. Right? Perception. So, we have to examine what we mean by perception, seeing.

We see both optically, visually, the things around us and we name them because it is part of our training, part of our conditioning, the moment you see this thing you call it a tree. That is, the action of knowledge operating in perception. You are following all this? Is there a perception without the accumulation of the past? To observe without time? Right? That is, when we observe, we observe not only visually, optically, but when we observe ourselves, if you have ever done it, which I doubt - most of you don't, I am pretty sure - if you observe yourself, in that observation there is the observer and the observed. Right? The one who witnesses and the observed, which is, the thinker and the thought. Right? The thinker is the thought. There is no division between the thinker and the thought. You will not accept this - examine it, please. The thinker is the result of many, many, many incidents of thought, which is the past. The thinker is put together by thought. So, thought is the thinker. Right? There is no division between the thinker and the thought. That division is created by time which is the movement in division. You are getting all this, sir? No? Right sirs. At least I must see somebody who says, yes, I have got it.

Q: I have got it.

K: No, no, you can't get it so quickly as that.

You see what we are trying to point out is, our conditioning through the millennia has been to make an effort, conflict. Conflict, effort, involves time. Right? Of course, because it is a division in time. Right sir? So there is always conflict, from childhood till we die, there is always struggle, struggle, battle because of this division in time. Right? (I am glad there is at least somebody who is seeing this.) And is it possible to act without effort, without time? That is, to perceive, and that very perception is action - not idea and then interval and action, which is the division of time. In that division various other incidents take place: if I have to go from here to there, then other things are happening. So, when there is the division in the movement of time, other incidents take place, which we call problems. I hope you are getting all this. Right sir? We are asking: can the brain which is so conditioned by millennia, by a million years, perceive and that very perception is instant action? Because we have no time. We are decaying, we are degenerating, we are corrupt, and if you allow time, you will become more and more degenerate, which is what is happening. Which is, when you say, I will not degenerate but I will regenerate, you have lost it: so, we are saying, what does it mean to perceive? You understand my question sir? Which is, can I - is there a possibility of this perception of the image, which gets hurt, and perceive the danger both biologically as well as psychologically, the danger of having an image - to see it instantly and the very seeing is the ending of the image, which does not allow time? Have you got it sir? Please, intellectually even grasp it. So, if you have grasped it verbally, which is the intellectual process, and the watching with intellect, what it does, the moment you have grasped it intellectually, it has already become an idea. Right? Of course. Right sir. It has already become an idea. Therefore, you have moved away from perception. I wonder if you see this. Right?

So perception implies the comprehension of the word, the word has a relative value which is the understanding of the intellect, and being aware of that and not letting it wander off into an idea. And perception implies the operation of the intellect, the whole reactions at their highest level, and seeing what is exactly the truth of an image, and therefore the ending of it. Are you doing it or are you playing with words? Please. We are saying something that goes totally contrary to everything that you have accepted. So what you hear, don't let that become a tradition, then you are lost; but whereas if you actually listen - because what we are saying is the truth that as long as you have an image created by your society, by your colleges, universities, by your relationship with another and so on and so on, as long as you have an image about yourself, that image is going to get hurt, and that hurt expresses itself in various forms - trying to dominate people, trying to withdraw from and so on and so on. Seeing, listening to the truth of that, listening with all your capacity, your intellect, every nerve listening, then that very listening is the perception and ending of it, which has no time. You understand this? That is, violence is one of the inherited responses from the earliest of times. Right? Man has been violent from timeless time. And we have done everything to be free of that violence. We have invented non-violence, an idea which goes overboard. We have tried every way - to be gentle, to be kind, to be generous, and yet in our hearts, in our relationships with each other we are very violent people.

And religions, what they have said, 'Try, work, forget yourself, don't be violent, don't kill,' but from time immemorial we are still doing the same thing. So we say it will take time to dissipate this violence. Such a deception, you follow, sir? We have taken over a million years and we have not got rid of it, and we think in another million years we will be rid of it, in the meantime let me be violent. That is the game we play. So we are saying: is it possible to end that violence instantly? That means the understanding that psychologically, inwardly, there is no time at all, that you don't become. You follow sir? You don't become, you don't achieve enlightenment. Which means the whole movement of time.

So, we are saying: observe violence, which is to be angry, to hate, to be jealous, various forms of violence, and don't escape into a non-violent movement, which is the opposite. So, when you observe the fact, there is no opposite. Are you following all this? I observe violence in me. I am violent. Why should there be non-violence? That's my conditioning. Right? That's my hope. That's my intellectual concept - one day I will be non-violent. So the fact of violence, the fact has no opposite. Right? Do you see that? If you see that, it is finished. You understand? Because all our education, all our religion, everything traditional has said: work at it, gradually get rid of it. Which is movement in time, which is division. Time is division. So when there is observation of violence, only violence, the observer who is watching the violence - you follow? - that very observer is violence. Right? Right? So the observer is the observed. Are you getting tired? You understand sir? The moment you have a division is the movement in time, and therefore there must be effort which is, the observer is thinking, the observer thinks he is different from the thing he observes, and so the very division brings conflict, conflict, suppression and all the rest of it. But when the observer realizes that which he is observing is part of himself, so there is no division, there is no duality at all. Right? So, can you see this fact that you are violent, and the fact has no division.

So, what has taken place in the mind? What has taken place in your mind when you are only observing the fact and not inventing the opposite? You understand? That you are jealous, that you are envious, that is the fact, and the observer is the observed, which is envy. So there is no conflict or suppression with regard to a particular reaction. The reaction is a fact. Now, can the mind totally observe this reaction which is a fact, called jealousy? You get it sir? Observe without any movement of time. The moment you have the movement of time, you have brought about division. Is this actually taking place? Because, we are saying: you eliminate totally every form of conflict in which you have been conditioned for millennia, to live without a single conflict, which means to live without a single problem. I wonder if you understand this. You may have technological problems: how to go to the moon, it took them a long time, three hundred thousand people working at that one thing, it took many years. But if we understand the nature of time, the whole structure of time, psychologically as well as physical time, then we relegate physical time to its proper place. I have to catch a bus, train, aeroplane, whatever it is, go to the office, and so on. But psychologically there is no time. Which means to live a life without a single problem. Have you ever gone into this question? Right? Meditation is not a problem which you are all making into a problem: how to sit, how to breath, you know, the system, the methods, the various gurus offering various tricks, and all that.

What is a problem? Please apply it. Test it in your life and you will see it will work. What is a problem? The problem is something that you have not resolved. There are mathematical problems, scientific problems, biological. We are not talking about them. We are talking about psychological problems between human beings, the problems that exist in our relationship with another, husband, wife - you know, and all the rest of it. A problem implies the non-resolution of it. Now, can you resolve that problem as it arises and end it, not carry it over even for a day? Because, see what happens - a problem continued makes the brain dull actually. You can test it out for yourself. The brain's activity is made slower because it is burdened, it makes itself incapacitated. It has no capacity or elasticity when you carry over a problem for many, many, many years, or even for a week. So the question is: can you end the problem as it arises? You understand? Are you interested in all this? Sir, do it. Don't accept the words but actually test it. Then it is worth it. But if you say: 'Yes, nice idea, nice thing, but I cannot do it. You tell me how to do it,' there is no how, because the how implies a method, a system. If somebody tells you what to do, you are back in the old game of tradition. Right? So, a mind that is clear has no tradition. So, one has a problem; problem implies that which has not been thought out, investigated, resolved. Our problems exist in the field of relationship. Right? And between man and woman, sexual, non-sexual, friendly - you follow - the whole communication between man and man and woman and man, the whole field of it, not just one particular problem, either sexual or this or that. We are dealing with the whole human problem in relationship, not a particular problem. Because, if we were examining only a particular problem, then we are dealing with a part and not with the whole. Is that clear? Come on sirs.

So we are dealing with the whole problem of human relationship, with the boss, in the factory, when you come home, with your wife, with your husband, sex, non-sex, domination, wanting to possess, attachment - all that implies problem. First of all, why do we have problems? Why do we live with problems? You understand? Is it we are lazy, is it that we have accepted as the norm of life to have problems, or is it that for millennia we have problems, why not now, carry on? Which means, the mind, the brain has accepted problems as part of life. Right? So, refuse to accept problems. You understand? Challenge the brain and the mind to have no problems. No, don't agree sir, you have to do it. Which means the problem arises as it inevitably will, unless you have real love in your heart - not sexual love, not love of power, position and all that nonsense; I won't go into that, that goes off somewhere else - but how to deal with a problem without allowing a single second of interval. Right?

We will go into it. A problem arises as long as there is a centre. Right? As long as there is the centre, there must be circumference, diameter - you follow? The whole circle. The whole circle is our problem. Right? To have no centre is to have no problem. Please sir see what is involved in it, not just shake your head and say: Yes, I agree with you. That has no meaning, but see what is implied in it. First of all, the depth of it, the beauty of it, the rationality of it, the sanity of it, that as long as there is a 'me' with a centre, I must have problems. Right? They may be very dangerous problems, destructive problems or superficial problems. And as long as there is a problem, there is no love. But of course that does not exist, so we can skip that. We shall come back to it later.

So, is it possible to live in a world, in the modern world, having a wife, husband, children, going to a job and all the rest of it, without having a centre? You understand sir? See the fact, the fact that as long as you have a centre, there must be problems, and if you say that's my life, to have problems, perfectly right, carry on. But if you say problems are most destructive, not only to the brain but the wholeness of the mind, the mind that is fit, alive, active, because every problem is like a blanket that smothers. So if you see the fact that the centre is to have problems - right? Not only hear it but see the truth of it - then what takes place? You understand? A mind, a being that has no centre and has to live with a wife and a husband, and the whole culture - no, not culture, I won't call it culture - the whole world, which means you are acting every minute. Life is action. Right? But when you act from a centre, you are introducing the whole problem. I don't know if you see it. See the framework of it, the wholeness of it. That is, the mind that is functioning with a centre has created innumerable problems - politically, economically, socially, and in the intimate or not intimate relationship. And having a problem is the most destructive way of living. That destroys the youth of the brain, the youth of the mind. If you listen to it and see the truth of it, it is over. There is no how. There is only the act of listening.

Tradition means - the word - to hand down from generation to generation values, rituals, dogmas, beliefs, gods, pujas - the whole thing that man is caught in, and in that tradition nothing can flourish. It is like a steamroller going over human beings, and if you accept that, all right, live with it, and be happy with it. But you are not going to answer the challenge of the world, the global challenge which is that man must free himself of everything to flower. Flowering can only take place in the soil of human relationship. Right sir? Not somewhere else in the Himalayas or in some monastery - even there, he is in relationship with his fellow beings. And culture which is to grow, to develop, to have the highest excellence ethically, is not possible when you are merely, your mind has become merely a machine, which tradition does. And tradition has said, accept time. Then, somebody comes along, like me, and says, don't, you won't find light, enlightenment, at the end of time, you will find it where you are now.


Madras 1979

Madras 3rd Public Talk 6th January 1979

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

Art of War

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