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Rishi Valley 1983

Rishi Valley 3rd Talk with Students 16th December 1983

Krishnamurti: As this is the last talk what would you like me to talk about?

Student: About seriousness.

K: Yes. What would you like to know about it?

S. Looking at oneself, looking hard into oneself and not letting it be just an idea, really to come into contact.

K: Contact with what?

S. Contact with whatever you are looking at.

K: Looking at oneself, being in contact with oneself, observing oneself, aware of what you are doing.

S: Not even that.

K: All that. And you call that seriousness?

S: How can one do that?

K: Why do you make it complex? I want to look at myself, not in the mirror, but where do I look to see what I am? Are you interested in all this? I want to know myself; I am a very complex human being and I have inherited so many experiences, so many concepts, opinions, judgements, tradition, vast accumulation of memories both conscious as well as unconscious; I am all that - my beliefs, my faith, guilt, my anxieties, my loneliness, depression, ambition, remorse, guilt, pain, sorrow, affection - I am all that. Now, how do I look at myself? Where do I see myself as I am?

S: How do I feel that I am all that?

K: I am going to point out, sir. Let's talk about it, shall we. As I pointed out the other day, hearing and listening are two different things. I can hear what you say verbally, understand what you are talking about verbally, intellectually, but actually I am not listening. Do you see the difference between listening and hearing? Hearing with the ear and listening not only with the ear but much more deeply. You were hearing last night some western classical music, you listened and you appreciated it. You listened to it very, very carefully - the beauty of it, the greatness of it, the vitality, the originality, the depth of it - and as you listened you began to see the beauty, movement, running, exploding it. Now how will you do the same in understanding yourself? Do you understand that question?

S: Yes sir.

K: I want to know what I am, let's begin very simply. I can't look at it in my mirror. My mirror tells me what I look like outside. But that mirror can't tell me what is inside, what my thoughts are, what my feelings are. Now is there another mirror in which I can see myself very clearly? You wanted to talk about relationship: don't you see yourself very clearly in your relationship, how you react, what your responses are, in what way you show your prejudices, the weight of your opinion, of like and dislike, of reward and punishment? You begin to observe slowly, bit by bit, in the mirror of relationship. Are you doing that as I am talking to you?

You and I are related because you have seen me several times here; we have walked together, maybe had something of a discussion together. And in that discussion, that walk, in listening to that music - you listened much more than I did - there was a certain relationship. In that relationship, which is a mirror, you can observe yourself, your reactions, all that. Can you? Will you?

S: Yes, it is out there.

K: It is not out there. Just look at it. You are looking at, in that relationship, your reactions, your opinions, your prejudices, your fears and so on. Are all these reactions different from you?

S: Yes.

K: Examine carefully, if you don't mind my telling you respectfully, don't answer immediately.

S: When I say I am observing my relationship with somebody, it seems as if I am dividing myself into two different entities. I am observing something. It seems to be different. When I say, this is my mind, what does that mean?

K: Is your mind, is your prejudice, is your anger, different from you?

S: I don't understand.

K: I am angry, impatient. Is that impatience, anger, greed, different from me?

S: No.

K: When you say `no', what do you mean by it?

S: It is the same thing.

K: So, you are the anger, you are the prejudice, you are the greed. So there is not something outside of you or inside of you at which you are looking. You are that. Suppose you are this colour, you are that colour. You can describe that colour, but the description is different from the colour. Look, I can describe the Himalayas because I have been up there - the beauty, the grandeur, the enormity of it, the immensity of it, snowcapped, clear blue sky and the marvellous sense of aloofness and the great sense of solidarity, the glory of a mountain. I can describe all that, but the description is not the mountain, is it?

S: No, it is not.

K: Why do you say that?

S: It is not the same thing.

K: So, I can describe my reactions, but the description is not my reaction. What is the difficulty? I said I can describe my reactions. The verbal description is different from the actuality. The word `auditorium' is different from the actual fact. Do you see that?

S: Yes.

K: So the word is not the thing. Are you clear? Your name is not you. S: But sir, very often we tend to...

K: Wait, I haven't finished. That means you are not listening, you are so quick with your answer. So you have learned something: that the word is not the thing, the actual thing. See the implications of that: my wife - the word `wife' is not the actual person. But the word becomes very important, not the person. So, you begin to discover that the brain is full of words, not actuality. Have you found that? Here is my sister, that is the end of it. The word `sister' is not the person.

S: But she is called by that name. The name is associated with that person.

K: That is right. When you associate the name with that person, the word becomes all-important.

S: When I say `sister', it is associated and connected with the thing.

K: All right. You know the word `microphone'. There is a microphone. The word is not the actuality.

S: What can you call it without the word?

K: What would you call that thing without the word? I don't know. What would you call yourself without the word? What would you call yourself if you hadn't your name? Would you invent another name?

S: Yes.

K: You are not thinking, you are just responding. Find out. I say to you, the word `microphone' is not the actual thing. That's all. I didn't go any further. So you begin to differentiate the word, the word is not actually the thing. So you begin to differentiate between the actual and the idea - the actual and the idea about the actual. The idea about the actual is not real.

So in relationship you begin to discover what you are, whether that relationship be a very intimate one like husband and wife, or friends and so on. Let's look at it the other way. Are you related to nature?

S: Yes sir, you are yourself nature.

K: You are saying you yourself are nature. How do you know?

S: You are on the earth only, on the earth itself.

K: All right, you are part of nature, you are saying. What is your relationship with nature - all those flowers, all the hills, the trees, the monkeys, the dry river?

S: The relationship is life.

K: I am asking you, what is your relationship with nature? Don't just say, life. Look, what is your relationship to a tree? You see that tree, don't you? What do you feel about it?

S: Affection.

K: Affection? Do you love that tree?

S: I admire the tree.

K: Do you? And then what? You are missing something. You are not paying attention to what I am asking.

S: Sir, it is because of the tree that you come into existence.

K: You are just saying any old thing.

S: My relationship with the tree is: I am looking at it, I feel it, and I am related to it for sometime, whatever. And it is separate from me.

K: I hope so. Though you are separate from that tree, what is your reaction to it? You understand my question? Don't go to sleep.

S: When I see a tree, I just look at that. I don't feel happy or anything like that. I just know it is a tree, that's all.

K: The word `tree' is not the actual. Now, do you look at it? Take time to look at it? Do you listen to it? Do you listen to the sound of it?

S: (Inaudible)

K: I am asking you something, you reply so quickly. You don't listen to somebody, do you, you have already made up your mind what so say. I am not scolding you, sir, I am just telling you. I am just telling you, you don't listen. I am saying, do you ever stand still and look at a tree, the whole of it? And do you hear the sound of it? See the beauty of it? The extraordinary capacity of it?

S: Not always; whenever possible.

K: You have not even done it. You have never looked at a tree and seen the beauty of it, the quietness, the dignity, the sound, the extraordinary thing that a tree is. Now, do you look at your sister or your wife or your husband that way? Look at them? Or do you say, this is my sister and get on with it? I am asking you sir, because it is very important to understand this. We live by relationship. We cannot exist without relationship. Even the hermit, even the sannyasi or the monk is related. He may disappear into a monastery, into a forest, but he is still related to the world. Right? The world of memory, of all his experiences, he still carries with him. So, relationship is life. Relationship is extraordinarily important in life. Where there is conflict in relationship there is no relationship. So you find or discover or see yourself in the mirror of relationship. Is this clear? S: Clear.

K: And the mirror is not different from you. You are that mirror. Penetrate it, go into it, much deeper and deeper every day. Or, you may take twenty years to understand yourself bit by bit by bit. Or you can take it in, in one second the whole thing. Do you understand what I am saying? I can know myself by studying myself, what other people have said about me - philosophers, analysts, Freud and Jung and all the rest of them, I can also read some so-called sacred books, and say, I am that. But books and the words are not me. So, I have to find myself. This has been so from the ancient Greeks and the ancient Hindus: they have said `know thyself'. Right? And very few people really know themselves. They have not even tried. Now, I say to you, relationship is the most sacred thing in life, one of the most sacred, and in that relationship you can discover everything that you are. It either takes time, or you understand it instantly. This is more difficult because this requires going into the whole question of time, thought, perception, and to see the past does not interfere with your perception of the now. That requires extraordinary attention.

S: We base our relationship on experiences and memory.

K: Your experiences are based on memory. Now, wait. Go into it a little more. Would you have the capacity to think without experience? Do you understand my question? Think it out carefully. Don't answer something you don't know. Don't become like a parrot. I am asking, sir, all of you, `A' level, `O' level, all kinds of stuff - without experience is there thinking?

S: No, sir.

K: No? Go step by step. Why do you say `no'?

S: Because of experience only can we think. Without experience we cannot think.

K: You are saying, without experience there is no thinking. Is that what you are saying?

S: Yes.

N: He said, because of experience we think.

K: Yes. Now, is experience limited? Carefully answer this. Carefully go into it, boys and girls. Is experience limited?

S: No, sir.

K: Look at it carefully. Don't answer. Think it out.

S: Every day one has a new experience.

K: All right. What do you mean by experience?

S: Something interesting happens to us.

K: It can be unpleasant too.

S: It depends on you whether your experience is limited or unlimited.

K: You are not answering my question, old boy.

S: Sir, whether you want it or not, you gain experience.

K: Is that all that you have learnt in this school, just to repeat? I'll go slowly with you. Learn. Don't memorize, but learn, discover as you go along. I have an experience in a car; I wasn't paying attention and I bumped into another car. Right? And it has destroyed the radiator. So, that incident has been registered in the brain as memory. Right? And I have an experience of going up to the top of the hill and seeing what is on the other side. And there are other hills which are higher. So climbing this little hill is a limited experience. Do you understand? Going to a higher mountain, it is a little more - but that is still limited. All experience is always limited. Carefully, think it out. The scientists, during the last two hundred years, have accumulated tremendous experience, knowledge, bit by bit, theory, and that theory being proved or disproved; and then a new theory, a new hypothesis, proof and disproof, so gradually they build up an enormous amount of knowledge, but that is still limited because there is more to be discovered.

So all knowledge, whether in the past or in the future, is always limited.

S: If experience is limited that implies some sort of division.

K: No, no. Don't bother about division and all that. Just look at the fact that all experience is limited.

S: OK.

K: No, OK. It is so. Is that a fact for you, or are you repeating after me?

S: No, it is a fact.

K: Which means all experience, and therefore from experience you have knowledge, therefore knowledge is always limited. Right? Now proceed a step further. All knowledge is stored in the brain as memory. Right? Agreed? So memory, remembrance of things past and so on, from that memory thought arises. Right? Clear? So thought is always limited. Once you admit experience is limited, knowledge is limited, then memory is limited and thought invariably is limited. See the importance of this. Are you all paying attention to this, the older boys? Are you bored by all this? The upper classes? I am afraid you are. They don't pay attention. All right, some of you pay attention.

So thought born of memory, memory born of knowledge, knowledge born of experience, right through is limited. Right? The thing that limited thought has done is to divide the people - Indian, Muslim, thought has done this. Agreed? Thought has divided the religions, built big cathedrals, temples and mosques, and so on and all the things that are in it are invented by thought. Do you understand? Really see the truth of this because it will help you tremendously. So all our actions, our feelings, everything that we do, is limited because it is controlled by thought.

S: Our whole life revolves around thought.

K: That's right. So, your whole life is limited. And where there is limitation there must be conflict. Right? Look, when you are thinking about yourself all day long, that is a very limited affair. He thinks about himself and I think about myself and therefore what happens? We are perpetually in conflict; because whatever is limited must induce conflict. I think about myself and you think about yourself, and myself is a very small affair, and your thinking about yourself is a very small affair. And our relationship is a very small affair and therefore what is small, what is limited must induce, must bring about conflict. It is a small affair to belong to a country. `My nation, I am an Indian', it is very limited. And the Muslim says, I am Pakistani and all that. So, there is division, there is conflict. Where there is limitation there is division, and therefore there is conflict. This is the law.

S: You say where there is conflict, there is no relationship.

K: That is further. Do you get this?

S: But nothing is coming out of it.

K: Why should anything come out of that? You don't see something, your brains are so atrophied.

Sir, look, there is America and Russia, so-called super powers. This division exists where there is nationality. This division exists by their concepts of what government is, division brought about by ideals: I believe in Marxism and they believe in democracy; my country, my ideals, and they fight, fight. Right? So, ideals are limited, naturally. So there is conflict. Get it? Get is somewhat.

Now we began by saying you can see yourself, what you are, in the mirror of relationship. Now you can go infinitely far in yourself; you can't go very far outwardly. You can go up to the Himalayas - it may take you several days or several months by walking or a couple of hours in an aeroplane, but that is also limited. You can go round the earth - twenty-four thousand miles - twice or three times. That is limited. But when you know through your relationship what you are and penetrate that, then you can go immeasurable distance inwardly. I won't go into that because that is real meditation, and all kinds of things are involved.

The other day when we met, I asked you, `What is your future'? Not only your future, the future of your educators, the future of mankind. I asked you this: what is going to be your future? Don't go off, as we did the other day, on `what is time' and all that. Don't get lost in that. You are young - seven, ten, fifteen, eighteen, twenty, and you are off to university, college, get degrees, get married, if you can you get a job, or some other thing and there you are stuck for life. That is your future. Isn't that future very limited?

S: Yes, sir. It has been brought by thought.

K: It is brought about by thought, and there may be other factors; but it is limited. So your life, being limited, is going to create tremendous trouble for others and for yourself. Do your realize that?

S: Yes, sir.

K: So, what are you going to do? Do you understand? Wars are created through mediocre limitation. We went into all that, what is mediocrity. Mediocrity is, the root meaning, I explained, half way up the hill. You can be very good in a career but yet be thoroughly mediocre - as most people are. And your future life as your parents plan it, as your society plans it, you are going to lead a very limited life, and that very limitation is going to bring about conflict. When I am thinking about myself, you are thinking about yourself, all of us are bound to be in conflict. Right, sir? So, what are you going to do?

S: Why do we live that way?

K: Because you are afraid to let go that way.

S: If we let go, we will get confused.

K: Let go and see what would happens to you. Sir, work it out. Don't be so Utopian and indifferent. See what happens. I don't pass examinations, I am not interested in all this. Then what shall I do? I have to earn a livelihood.

S: I would look at the possibilities.

K: You would look at the possibilities? The possibilities are, you might become a cook, a gardener, a teacher or one of those awful politicians and business people, or a professor - it is all so terribly limited. Follow it, sir.

Now, when you say, thought is limited, what makes you say that? Yes, you see it, and then do you also see that where there is limitation, there is no space. It is limited, and therefore there must be various forms of contradiction, struggle, and all the rest of it. Now, when you say `yes, I see,' is that intelligence operating or are you merely agreeing with the idea? You understand what I am saying? These chaps are getting impatient, I'm sorry.

S: I want to do something, and I do something else.

K: Yes; that's as I said, limitation.

S: How do we break it?

K: You don't break it. You see how idiotic it is and move away from it. If I see that nationality is one of the causes of war, killing people by the million, an appalling idea, brutal, vicious, I no longer belong to any country. Sir, you are missing something really important.

S: Sir, then how do you live? After you realize it, how do you live?

K: How do I live what?

S: If everyone over here sees that it is mediocre to become a cook or a gardener, then I mean they won't become a cook or a gardener, then where do we get food from?

K: If you realize that you are mediocre and you break through that, you are intelligent, then you cease to be mediocre, you are an intelligent human being. Then that intelligence will tell you what to do. You don't have to bother about it. You see this is the unfortunate part of it. I leave off in the middle of something interesting and you have still not grasped the real thing at all.

Now, look at it the other way. What do you consider religion? What is religion to you? Do you understand? You must answer this question.

S: In which way you want to live.

K: Is that religion - the way you want to live? I am asking you, sir, you see people going to temples in India, and you see the mosques, you see the churches, and inside the churches, inside the mosques, inside the Hindu temples, they worship and all that goes on. Do you call that religion? Go on sir, answer me.

S: An easy way to separate yourself from others.

K: No, when you go to a temple, there are lots of people there too. Do you mean to say you have lived in this country and you haven't enquired into all that. What do you say, sir, what to you is religion?

S: Religion is full of hatred, sir, because we can't understand each other.

K: As we can't understand each other, because we are full of hatred, religion has very little meaning. Is that it?

N. He says religion is full of hatred because we don't understand each other.

K: It is the same thing. You see, sir, how can you go out in the world and not understand all this?

S: What I understand by religion is all this - temples and mosques.

K: Do you consider that religion?

S: It is what I have been told.

K: Why do you accept it? Why don't you investigate it? You are old enough. Why don't you find out what religion is? Is it superstition, belief, tradition, going to the temples, doing puja?

S: It is not religion.

K: Then what is religion? If you say it is not religion and you really mean it, then you must find out what is religion, because man from the most ancient of times, has said, what is all this, there must be something much greater than all this. From the most ancient Sumerians, the Egyptians, the Greeks, the Israelites, all those people at Hara, Mohenjadaro, they all wanted to find out what god was, if not god, something else. And it has all come down to some kind of superstitious rubbish. Right? But there be something. What is religion, what is all this about?

S: You would be following your own set of ideas.

K: Religion is to follow your own set of ideas? What are your ideas? You know what ideas mean?

S: Religion is love, the true religion.

K: Religion is love? Do you love the trees? The blade of grass? You love the birds, the monkeys that come?

Sir, put your mind to this. Otherwise life has no meaning - going to the office every day, being a cook all day long, or being a big politician, or having a marvellous career. What is the point of all this?

S: One is forced to do something to keep body and soul together.

K: There is no answer to that! Then do something to keep the thing going. Then you become a cog in the machinery. You see, you are all on the defence, you don't investigate, you don't work it out, go into it. It is the function of the educator to help you in this. If I stayed here - I am not going to, so don't worry - if I stayed here as your educator, I would go with you into all this: what is meditation, is there something beyond all this, something sacred, and if the brain can be quiet, really quiet, and so on. But you see you are all trained, oriented to have a job, that's all we are concerned with. Get married, have a good career and to hell with everything else. Right? Be honest. So you are only concerned about yourself. And yourself is a very small affair. It's like a toad in a little pond, making a lot of noise. The whole world is going through tremendous catastrophe, nuclear wars - if there is a nuclear war, the warfare of germs, ordinary wars, conventional wars, the computer is going to take over your brain. If you go into an American supermarket the girl there doesn't even count, it is done by electronic and laser beams. Our brains are gradually becoming atrophied, as yours are. Unless you actually work, not repeat, repeat, repeat.

Sir, we have talked enough. Let us sit quietly for a while and see. When you sit quietly, watch your thoughts, follow them, whether you can pursue one thought or one thought is interrupted by another thought and so on, just watch it.


Rishi Valley 1983

Rishi Valley 3rd Talk with Students 16th December 1983

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