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Saanen 1979

Saanen 5th Public Dialogue 29th July 1979

If I may I would like to, the speaker would like to talk over with you a question which perhaps might be of vital interest - perhaps. Why is it - this is a question mark, not the cause - why is it that two people are not able to think together? You understand the question? They think together when they are frightened. If two people are frightened they think about it together. Or when there is some kind of physical catastrophe, they forget their personal prejudices, judgements, hopes, their own problems, and face it together. And if there is some impending danger, they again come together in their thoughts, in their feelings. You must have noticed all this. Why is it when we have no catastrophes, physical dangers, or something threatening us, we are not able to come together and think the problem together? Is it that two people, if they like, or have great affection for each other, or love each other, then there is a possibility of thinking together? Isn't that so?

Can we this morning spend a little time on this question? Perhaps this will help us to understand the confusion and the misery of our daily life. Because we have not been able, so far, in all these discussions and talks, to meet actually together. Is it that we don't love each other? You know, this has been tried very often in various ways to bring people together, round a belief, round a person, round an ideal, round a concept. You must have noticed this, it is so. But each person translates the concepts, the ideals, the persons, the authority according to his own inclination. Therefore the person, the authority, the principle don't bring them together, which you have seen again. Why is this? In what manner does this happen? You understand my question? Because I think if we can think together we can then investigate more deeply into our personal lives, into our confusion and face the world with all its monstrosities, with its horrendous degeneration, then perhaps we might investigate together how to bring about a good society, a good way of living. You have understood? Can we go into this?

Can we think together, first?

Q: Could be look at the differences between catastrophe, shared catastrophe and the shared belief? The differences between these two.

K: Could we go into catastrophes and belief. When there is a war we are all together, unless you are a conscientious objector, or a pacifist, then you have a terrible time, you are shot, or sent to prison, but the vast ninety nine person say, "Hurrah, let's all fight". You know all the rest of it. But a belief is much must subtle. You may believe in god, or in Jesus, or Christ, or whatever it is, but each one translates that belief in his own way, in his own pattern, according to his own experience. And so there is always a division. Even if you follow somebody whose authority you accept, again there is division between people. You have seen this all over the world.

So we are asking: is it possible to think together without authority, without a belief, without a crisis - the world is in a crisis anyhow - but putting all that aside, can we, you and the speaker, think together? What we mean by thinking together, meet at the same point, meet at the same level, with the same intensity, which is not possible if you hold on to some belief, if you hold on to your own particular opinion, if you have certain experiences and say, "That's much better than anything else". So can we, this morning, somehow put aside our personal beliefs, experiences, judgements, points of view, and meet together?

Q: Can we be open enough?

K: No sir - yes. I wonder in what way you are using the word 'open'? Because that is rather a difficult word. I think I am open but I am really closed inside. So can you and I put aside our particular point of view, our particular opinion, our experience? I met the other day a man who said, "You will solve all these problems if you are a vegetarian" - you understand? All your problems will be solved. And you could not convince him. He was absolutely hooked up in it - to use a modern word. And most of us are like that, only it isn't vegetarianism, bananas, or something but our own deep conclusions which we have come to, for various reason. Can we let all that go, at least for this morning, set it aside and meet together? You understand my question? Can we do it?

Q: Let us try.

K: Not try, do it! When you try you can't do anything. I don't say, "I will try to climb the mountain", I climb the mountain. So can we, this morning, go into this question: is it possible without any pressure, without any kind of persuasion, without any reward or punishment, say, "Look, let's come together and think about it" - can we do it? Please! Because if we can then together we can investigate our own personal problems, our own personal lives, together. But if you withhold, and others examine, you are not part of it. Can we do this?

Which is, would it be possible to talk over together, together, whether it is possible to bring about a good society. The intellectuals throughout the world have given up that idea, it is hopeless. I don't know if you are aware of it. Nobody talks about a good society any more. Right? They are taking about existentialism, new kinds of philosophy, go back to the bible, the new gods, and all the rest of it. Nobody, as far as one knows, is concerned with bringing about a good society in which we can live happily, without fear, without terror, without all the horrible things that are going on in the world. Can we do this, this morning? - not a good society in the future, then the future would be an ideal - right? Then we will discuss endlessly which is the better ideal. But whereas if we could investigate together whether human beings, you and the other, can we live a good life, not in the future, now? You understand my question? Please this is very important because around us morally, physically, intellectually there is disintegration. You must have observed this. And any serious person being concerned with all this, he must demand not only of himself but of others whether it is possible to lead a good life and therefore bring about a good society. You have understood?

Now let's begin.

Q: What means a good society?

K: You have already gone away. We will find out what is a good life if we are able to think together. Right? If I define or describe what is a good life, then you will disagree, and I will disagree, or somebody else will disagree, or say, "That is not good enough, we must add a little more to it". And we shall be wandering off. That's simple.

Q: Share your being and not your thinking.

K: To share your being, not your thinking.

Q: Could we, sir, look at the obstacles to leading a good life?

K: We will come to that sir. I wish I hadn't mentioned the good life, I am sorry! Or a good society. Let's leave that for the moment. Let's find out whether we can think together. Which is, the speaker is not persuading you to think in any particular direction, he is not stimulating you to think in a certain direction, or coercing you, influencing you, stimulating you, then we can't think together. Whereas if you and I see the necessity, the absolute necessity, of a group of people, or a set of people, thinking together. That is, thinking about something - you understand? Thinking about - god, what is good, what is bad, whether it is possible to create a good society, or not - thinking about is not thinking together. You see the difference? I wonder if you see this.

Thinking about involves opinions, evaluation, because you might think about it and others will say, "It is not quite like that", so there will be divergence of opinions and points of view, if you are thinking about something. But we are not thinking about something but thinking together. I wonder if you see the difference?

Q: We don't see the urgent necessity of this. The question is, why?

K: I know why. Because we are not interested. Sir, look at it carefully. Is this point clear? To think about something brings about divisions of opinion - right? If you think about god, think about it, then you will think your way, and I will think my way, and another will think his way - right? And we shall be tearing at each other with our own judgements, opinions, conclusions. But if we could think together, not about something, but the see the necessity of thinking together. Is this difficult?

Q: Yes.

K: Am I putting it all right? Or would you like to put it differently?

Q: Put it differently.

K: Just a minute.

Q: Investigate together.

K: Before you investigate together you must think together.

Q: Thinking is really the barrier.

Q: (Inaudible).

K: Look here sir, if you and the speaker loved each other - loved in quotes - we would be thinking together, wouldn't we? No? What do you say?

Q: The problem is that we don't love each other.

K: Just a minute sir, please, let us consider this. I want, the speaker wants to think with you. He says, if I could think with you, the thinking is common. But if you and I were thinking together about something it is not common. You understand? This is clear, isn't it?

Q: This is clear. But is it possible to think without the object and the subject?

K: Our friend says, is it possible to think without the object and the subject. Which means can you think without those two? Of course you can. You are missing it. You see how difficult it is to be able to feel the common necessity of being together, to act together - right? Won't somebody help me?

Q: When you and I think together, it doesn't matter whose thought it is, we both are enjoying - the thought comes first, it doesn't matter if it is my thought, or your thought - is that it?

K: Would you kindly learn, learn what it means to think together - right? Learn. We have discussed about listening, the art of listening, the art of seeing, the art of learning. And now we are going to learn together about the art of thinking together - right? Could we do that? At least learn, not object, not project. You don't know what it is to think together, so we are having a class in a school and the speaker happens to be the teacher. And he says, please you come here without knowing what it means, you are going to learn because you are curious, you want to find out what the speaker, the teacher has to say, so you say, "Please, I am prepared to learn" - right? Are you?

Q: Yes.

K: Wait, wait. Keep it to that, at that very, very simple level. If I happen to be a professor of biology and you didn't know anything about biology, you would come fresh, curious, perhaps bored, but you want to learn because if you learn you will pass exams, get a job and so on. So you are forced to listen - right? But here we are not forcing you, we are together trying to find out what it means to think together. And the speaker unfortunately is the professor, and you are the students. Are we in that relationship? Which is, the professor is not authoritarian, he wants to teach, and you are the students, about physics, mathematics, or whatever it is. So you don't know but you are going to learn. Right?

So let's start from that. You don't know, so you can't say, what do you mean by that, what do you mean by this, if so why, because you don't know biology - right? So you are prepared to listen - right? So we are in that position, are we?

Q: Yes.

Q: Yes, please go on.

K: No, no, please. Don't assume it, don't pretend. Don't put on a mask. We are in that position. If we are in that position then the professor says, do you know anything about thinking? The western thinking, and the oriental thinking: the western thinking conditioned, pursuing technology, and the eastern thought doesn't know what it is pursuing - right? There is the western thinking and the eastern thinking. The world has been divided that way - right? You are learning. And he said that division is wrong, there is only thinking, which is neither east nor west. Thinking in the west has pursued a certain line. In the east, mainly in India, therefore spreading over Asia, it has pursued a different direction, but the source of the river is the same, taking two branches, which is, thinking - right? Is that clear? Right?

And you are western, and the speaker is neither eastern nor western. That is very important. He belongs neither to the west, nor to the east. So he is concerned only with the capacity and the energy and the vitality of thinking. Right? So he says, how is it, in what manner, does your thinking differ from the other's thinking? Even in the western world your thinking is apparently different from your fellow western being. You are following this - right?

Now he asks a question, which you must answer: how has this come? You understand? Let me put it differently. The western technology, western outlook, western culture, western philosophy, western religion, is based essentially on the Greek. They are the originators of the west - right? Democracy, analysis, science, philosophy, the dialogues of Plato and so on and so on. Greece was the origin of the west - right? There is no question about it, you don't have to doubt this. I am a professor I know! I am glad we can laugh. And Greece has said, measurement is the beginning of technology - right? That is, thought is measurement - right? You are following this? If you don't understand this the professor will explain it. So thought has become extraordinarily important because on that all architecture, science, mathematics, the whole technological development has come from the idea of measurement. Without measurement you can't do anything - right? You can't build a bridge, you can't build a boat, submarine, and so on and so on. Right? You are taking notes!

And the east has said, measurement is necessary but through measurement you can't find the immeasurable - you are following all this? So they said, thought, though it is necessary, is bound by time, the past, the present, and the future, which is time, and that process of thinking will never find that which is inexhaustible, immeasurable, timeless - right?

So these are the two movements in the world - you are following all this? Or you are getting bored? Because you are going to have an examination at the end of it!

Q: Professor, as I am a student I say, tell me what you know.

K: I am telling you what I know.

Q: The teacher/pupil relationship is to ask, tell me what you know. It is very simple. Does it happen that you keep something back? Are there secrets, or are you as a person totally available? Are you keeping something back?

K: No, I am not. I am a professor of mathematics. I am not keeping anything back.

Q: But we are not talking about that, about mathematics, but about life. If you are the professor, please tell me what you know.

K: I am telling you sir. I am telling you, sir.

Q: May I ask a question? Does it happen that you are keeping something to yourself, keeping it back?

K: Are you keeping something back?

Q: Does it happen? And are you totally available?

K: If I am not keeping anything back, am I available. For what?

Q: To give me secrets.

K: Sir, look, I have just told you.

Q: You are acting, you are not really giving answers.

K: I am not acting, I am not performing, I am not keeping any secrets.

Q: Never, or now?

K: Of course not, I said I have no secrets. It is not never, or now. I have no secrets.

Q: (Inaudible). Why don't you talk about the otherness?

K: The gentleman has read something which I wrote! And he wants me to talk about that instead of about thought. Perhaps we can talk about that at the end of the talk, at the end of this, which doesn't mean I am avoiding, which doesn't mean I am keeping it secret. You cannot possibly talk about the otherness, you cannot if you have read that book. If you haven't read it so much the better!

Q: Are you keeping something back?

K: Please sir, I have explained to you very carefully, I am not keeping anything back. I am approachable as you say, and so on. You see this is what happens.

Now, we have been distracted, purposely, perhaps rightly, but let's come back. So these two movements have taken place in the world. The western movement is gradually conquering the world, technology, measurement, precise thinking and so on and so on. And do our thoughts measure equally? You understand my question? No, you don't. The professor says, why is it, in what manner has this division between people taken place in their thinking? Is it education - you follow? Is it one group of people go from public school to college, to university and a good job, and therefore their thinking is different from the man who has not been educated so well, who labours, and there is the man who, educated, puts himself into the business world, and the man who is a scientist with technology and all that. Is that the origin of this division? You understand? You follow? The man who thinks entirely differently if he is educated to become a military, or the man who has been educated through a seminar to become a priest, his thinking is different from the businessman, from the scientists and so on and so on and so on. Is this the origin of this breaking up of thinking? You understand?

Q: You want to say that in this world every one of us has another kind of measurement?

K: Yes, partly. So I say is that the reason why you and the professor can't think together, because you are trained to think in one way, business, scientist, philosopher, or technician, and therefore we are all thinking differently. But the professor says, please, let us think together, not according to your way, or my way, or the scientist's way, but together.

Q: That would imply that we all have to be re-educated in exactly the same way.

K: No. No, sir. Suppose the professor has been educated in mathematics, and you come along and say, let us think together. It doesn't mean I drop my mathematics, I put it aside and see if I can think with you. Thinking together does not mean uniformity - right?

Q: It does seem that professional differences do make it difficult for people to communicate but it is much more their deep attitudes to life that prevent people from thinking together.

K: Madam, when you have learnt all the professor has to say, at the end of the class, you can ask him questions. I mean if you want to learn something you have to be quiet. If you want to learn how to play the violin you have to follow the teacher, the violinist, put your finger there, there, practise. But you are not doing that.

So we started. Thinking together does not imply conformity - right? Thinking together does not mean that you subject your own selves, put aside and copy somebody - right? You understand, sirs, we are learning. Learning to find out how to think together, which doesn't mean that we lose our - whatever it is we lose. Right? Can we proceed from there?

So thinking together, the professor says, implies that you and the professor, who has studied Aristotle, all the dialogues of various people - I have not, fortunately - the professor has studied all this and he says, I will put aside my learning, all that I have acquired, and you also put aside your learning, and let's meet. That's all he is saying. Right? Can you do that?

Q: The problem is putting it aside.

K: All right. The problem is putting it aside.

Q: Could we possibly look at how we put it aside.

K: Yes. All right sir.

Q: Don't let us leave that point.

K: I won't leave that point. You are a student, I am a professor, I have a right to answer it. The question is in what manner do you put aside your particular way of thinking? But first you know your particular way of thinking - right? Do you? Don't you know your particular way of thinking? That you are a follower of somebody, that you believe this, that you think this is right, this is wrong, and this should be, my experience tells me it is so. So are you aware of this fact? If you are aware, what does that awareness of the fact mean? When you are aware of the fact that you have your own particular opinion, and you are aware of it, what do we mean by being aware of your opinion? You understand? This is simple. Is that awareness a judgement awareness - you understand? You follow what I say? Is that awareness of your prejudice, an awareness in which you are judging your personal opinion, or just being aware of it? Not saying it is right, wrong, should be, must not be, just yes I have prejudice, I know I have prejudice - right? That's all. Wait, wait. Are you in that position now? That you know you have prejudices? Right? Then why do you have these prejudices? Is it your family, your education, your desire for security in a belief, in a point of view - right? You are following all this? You are going to have an examination at the end!

So are you aware of it that way? So you know, aware, that you have prejudices.

Q: We are but most of our prejudices are unconscious.

K: I am making it conscious now. And one is helping each other to become conscious of our thinking which has produced this prejudice. Right? So are you aware of these prejudices? And these prejudices are keeping us apart - right? Isn't that so?

Q: Yes.

K: Now these prejudices keeping us apart prevents our thinking together. Right? So can you see the necessity of thinking together, say, "All right, I won't have prejudices"? Because thinking together becomes all important, not your prejudices, therefore prejudices you put aside - right? Are you doing it?

Q: My prejudice is that I feel that you pretend. Can you help me out of it?

K: That I pretend?

Q: Can you help me out of it?

K: He has a prejudice, according to what I have understood, that I am pretending. I don't know what I am pretending about, but that is irrelevant. So he says, "I have a prejudice. Help me to see it is a prejudice and seeing the prejudice prevents thinking together, and thinking together is most important, therefore I will drop my prejudice" - you understand? The dropping of the prejudice is not important, what is much more important is thinking together - right? And you cannot think together if you have a prejudice.

Q: Can I express another possibility? Can we look closely at one point that you are saying? You say that thinking causes division. I think that only thinking can create again a unity. You don't agree with that I think because of your secret. I don't think you understand entirely your secret, which is love. You say if one has love, which a being like you has, then with this love that one has then one can think together. I think as a western audience we cannot grasp this kind of love as you can. One has to discover that through thinking together. If he had this love, which you can have, I think it can only be an illusion.

K: As I understand it, I may be wrong, please correct it sir, that the speaker is able to love and therefore is able to think together. And the western mind, which doesn't know what love is, therefore it is impossible without that love to think together.

I said at the beginning there is only thinking, not western thinking and eastern thinking. Western thinking has devoted all its energy to technological, scientific business. And the eastern mind says, through thinking, measurement, you cannot come upon that state which is immeasurable. And they said the principle of that is Brahman, that is a Sanskrit word, you don't have to learn that.

So we have come to the point that as long as we do not love each other then thinking is not possible together - right? If I love you and you are full of prejudices, however much I may offer my open hand to you, you will reject it because you have your own importance, your own knowledge, your own conditioning and you say, "Sorry". That is what is preventing us. And if we don't meet there we cannot possibly create a good society. And the speaker says if we do not create a good society we are going to destroy ourselves, whether you are in the western technological world, you are going to destroy the world, if you have not this communication of love. That's all.

Now can you, after listening to all this, naturally put aside your prejudices, because thinking together is important? The greater puts aside the lesser, obviously. Can you do it? Does your interest lie in bringing about a good society, knowing the whole intellectual, religious organizations, intellectual, philosophical, deny all this - you understand?

Q: If we want to bring about a good society we have to understand what you say. And I feel there is no understanding between you and I.

K: How can I help you to understand what I am saying? It is very simple if you listen.

Q: What I am trying to say, sir, is that unfortunately I am not listening. I am trying to work out why I am not listening to you.

K: Look, let me put it this way. The speaker wants to create a good society.

Q: So does the listener over here.

K: I want to create a good society and nobody will listen to me. What am I to do? Jump into a lake?

Q: I feel this as well, sir.

K: A good society is not some life in the future. It must be a good society now because I am living it here. I want to live peacefully, without danger, without terrorism, without being kidnapped, without being bombed.

Q: There seems to be a desire in that.

K: And I say to you as I want to create a good society now, will you join me?

Q: That's why we are here.

K: To join me, the speaker says, put aside your prejudices, your nationalities, your religions, your gurus, your this and that, and let us come together. And apparently you don't want to. That is the problem. Either - this is not an insult - either you are too old, or being young you are caught in something else, sex, drugs, your own gurus, this or that. So you are not interested in creating a good society. Right?

Q: Don't you understand what you are saying. You are saying what we all feel, we want to create a good society. You are saying we can only create a good society if we think together. You are saying we can only think together if we have love. The only kind of love we can get in order to think together is the kind of love which most of humanity, particularly western humanity, has to spend ten, twenty, thirty years in the Mysteries. They had to die to get this love. Sure, you might have it but that doesn't help us. That is the point this man is making, and the point that this man is making. You must respect us enough to think that we are sincere.

K: I understand sir.

Q: I think examples are not very good. We all came here to learn a new language and I would like all of us to be like new born babies.

K: The gentleman says that the western world has to evolve, go through a number of years and die to their own prejudices and all the rest of it. That means the western world has to go through a great deal of evolution before it can come to this.

Q: We can only get a good society if we think together, that is true. And the only way we can think together is if we have love. I am saying that what I think you don't understand is what is your secret, is that you may have this love. But what I am saying is that western man...

Q: You don't have that love.

K: I understand sir. One moment. I understand. You are saying western man must be this, and this. And so you are saying you represent the western man. Right? Are you the western man who represents the whole of the west?

Q: No, I am saying generally. Of course there are exceptions. There will always be exceptions.

K: Can we sir, if I may most respectfully point out, can you drop that conclusion?

Q: If you like.

K: It is not what I like, sir.

(A lot of people talking together).

K: Are we in parliament? Are we in a debating society? Please sir, would you mind sitting down.

Q: I am very serious. I want you to prove that you have love, right now.

(A lot of people talking together).

Q: Has everybody said what they wanted to say. I have said all I need to say. Let's listen to Krishnamurti now. I think I have learnt something from Krishnamurti and that is why I was able to stand up and express myself. And I think the fact that other people can do the same shows Krishnamurti has helped us to free ourselves.

K: I hope you are all having a lovely time! One of the questions that gentleman asked is that he thinks all my life is a pretence. Just a minute sir. You asked that question. I don't see how I can answer that question. I don't think I am pretending. So that is the end of my answer.

So let's come back. Please, let's stop parlimentarianism and let's talk over together in a friendly spirit, for god's sake. As we said, neither the east nor the west knows what love is. Don't say the west doesn't know it, the east knows it. Both are caught in this world. Both have to live in this world. Both have to live on this earth, which is theirs, the earth is not west or east. Right? And the division has taken place for various reasons, which I have gone into, and can we meet without all these conclusions, that you are west, and east, that we must go through certain evolutionary processes, but know that we don't love and therefore we can't come together? And knowing that we don't love let's find out why, and if it is possible to love. It is only then you can create a good society; without that it is impossible. Various Greeks and others have postulated what a good society should be: justice, equality and so on and so on. All that is in the future. When you say what a good society should be, it means in the future - right? The very word 'should' implies time. And the speaker says that may be another illusion you are caught in. Whereas goodness born out of love can happen now. And from that a good society can be born. Instead of holding to that, going into that, we are dispersing our energies all the time - right? This is not impatience, or anger, or insults, we don't stick to this one thing.

So we have come to the point, can we think together because we love each other? That's all. Do you love anything, your children, your husband, your girl, your boy, your wife, do you love them? Or is it me always the first, and you the second? You understand? And where there is this division, me first and you second, it will never produce a good society. And therefore a good society can only come if you are good; which means you don't belong to any category of religions, of knowledge, of conclusions. You say, look, I want to become a good man. You don't. Please, you understand now? Will you do it?

We have had seven talks and this is the fifth discussion, and the last. If you observe, what have you learnt from all this - seven talks and five discussions? What is the treasure, or hot air, that you are going to carry out when you leave here? You understand? Have you found a jewel, an imperishable jewel so you can go off with it, or you are going away with a lot of words? You understand my question, sir? So the professor says at the end of the talks, "What have you learnt?" Have you learnt a lot words, east is east, and west is west, and all the rest of it? What we believe is better than what you say? So what have we learnt? Is there, out of all these talks and discussions and dialogues, that flame, the flame that lights the world - you understand? Lights our own life. Right sirs.


Saanen 1979

Saanen 5th Public Dialogue 29th July 1979

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

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