Awakening of Intelligence
Part 7, Public Talks Saanen 1971
The Awakening of Intelligence Part VII Chapter 1 1st Public Talk Saanen 18th July 1971 'What Is Your Over-riding Interest?'
WHAT IS YOUR primary interest, your deep, abiding intention? I think one should discover that for oneself. You must find that out and relate it to all the activities of daily life.
One may be deeply concerned with the world as it is, with the violence, the appalling chaos, the political divisions, and the corruption - which is death, not only outwardly but also inwardly. In discovering one's deep interest for oneself, one will be able to find out one's relationship with another, according to that interest. If that interest is vague, superficial, depending on surroundings and the wind that blows in any direction, then our activities, both outwardly and inwardly, will be rather casual, without any significance. During these talks and discussions, could you find out what is your major interest, whether you are really concerned with the world and your place in the world, with your relationship to another human being, your relationships politically, economically, socially and religiously? What is your deep, major interest in life? Is it acquiring money, prestige, security? Please listen to this carefully. If that is your real, vital, sustained interest, then you must see the consequences of such an interest. Or is your interest, considering the world and your relationship with it, not only to change yourself but also to change the world about you? Then you must also see the implications of this. Or is it that you want to establish a personal relationship with another so completely, so wholly, that there is no conflict: then also you must realize the consequences of this. Perhaps your interest is something more difficult: trying to find out what is the place of thought, as the measurable and the immeasurable. To discover in which direction our interest lies, we must be willing to dedicate ourselves completely to it, and not just play with it, casually accepting or rejecting it according to circumstances, according to environmental influences and our own likes and dislikes. If we are prepared to go into this completely, then we can establish a relationship between ourselves - ? relationship with the world, with our neighbour and with our intimate friend.
That is what we intend to do during these weeks, to find out where our major capacity and interest lies, and whether that interest is isolated, or is related to all human beings. If it is isolated and you are seeking your own particular enjoyment, your own particular salvation, your own particular safety, a good position in the world, then in talking this over together, we shall be able to find out whether such an interest has any validity, whether it has any significance at all. But your interest, your deep purpose may be to find out how to live a totally different life. Seeing things as they are, the violence, the brutality, the enmity and hatred, the corruption and the utter chaos, your aim may be to find out whether the human mind, your mind, the mind of each one of us, is capable of completely changing, so that, as a human being, you not only bring about a radical revolution in yourself but also outwardly - although the outward revolution and the inward revolution are not separate.
We are not talking of physical revolution: violence, bombs, killing people in the name of peace. That is no revolution at all; it is merely childish destruction.
I do not know if you have observed the violence all over the world. The younger generation were at first giving flowers to everybody, living in a world of "beauty" and imagination; when that did not work, they took to drugs, they became violent, and we are now living in a world of complete violence. You can see this in India, in the Middle East, in America.
As we grow older our capacities are dulled, the world is too much for us. Therefore, it behoves each one of us to find out our purpose, our intention, our major interest. Once we have discovered this we can discuss it, then we can take a journey together, providing that your interest and the speaker's are the same, because the speaker knows exactly his intention, his drive, his interest, and if your interest is something quite different, then our relationship becomes difficult. If, however, your interest is to understand this world in which we live as human beings - not as technicians - then we can establish a relationship and together we can talk things over - together we can take a journey. Otherwise these talks and discussions will have very little meaning.
Please bear this in mind, although you are here for a holiday amongst the mountains, the hills and the streams, and the tourist entertainments, in spite of all that, we have an opportunity of sitting together for a whole hour. You know, that is quite interesting, to sit together for an hour and talk over our problems without any pretence, without any hypocrisy, and without assuming some ridiculous facade. To have a whole hour together is really extraordinary, because so rarely do we sit and discuss serious matters with anybody for a whole hour. You may go to the office for a whole day, but it has far greater meaning to spend sixty minutes or more together in order to investigate, to seriously examine our human problems hesitantly, tentatively and with great affection, without trying to impose one opinion upon another; because we are not dealing with opinions, ideas, or theories.
We are concerned with establishing a relationship between one another, and that can only be done if we know our mutual interests, and how deep those interests lie, and what energy we have to resolve the major problems of our life. Our life is not different from the rest of the world: we are the world. I don't think any of us realize, deeply and continuously, that we are the world and the world is us. This must be deeply rooted within us. We have made this social structure, this violence, according to our desires, according to our ambition, greed and envy, and if we would change society we must first change ourselves; that seems such a simple, radical approach to the whole problem. But we think that by changing the outer structure of society, by throwing bombs, making political divisions and the like, we shall by some miracle all become perfect human beings; I am afraid that never works. And to realize that we are the world, not as a verbal statement or a theory, but to actually feel it in our hearts, is very difficult, because our education, our culture, has laid emphasis on our being separate from the world; that as individuals we have a responsibility to ourselves and not to the rest of the world, that as individuals we are free to do as we like, within reason. But we are not individuals at all; we are the result of the culture in which we live. An individual means an entity who is not fragmented, who is whole; we are not that. We are broken up, fragmented, in a state of contradiction within ourselves, therefore we are not individuals. So, seeing all this, what is our major interest in life?
You must give yourself time to think it over. Let us sit together quietly and find out. Is it that you have so many problems, economic, social, the problem of personal relationship and you would like to solve them all wholly and completely? Is it that you have sexual problems which you have not been able to solve, so the solving of that becomes your major interest? Is it that you want to live peacefully in a world that is noisy, corrupt and violent? Or does your interest lie in the direction of social reform and to that you are dedicated? And if you are, then what is your relationship to that society? Or are you interested in finding out the limitations of thought? Thought is limited, however logical, however capable it may be; thought is also inventive and experimental, producing marvellous things technologically, but it is still limited. Do you want to find out if there is something more, something beyond thought-the measurable and the immeasurable? You have to look at all these problems.
Questioner: I don't understand what you mean when you say, " We are the world" and " The world is us".
Krishnamurti: Is that your major problem? Don't bother about what I say. What is your problem, what is your major interest, and have you the energy, the capacity, the intensity, to solve that problem? It is really very important for you to find out. Don't concern yourself with what the speaker says; that is irrelevant. But find out for yourself what your interest is and see how much energy, passion and vitality you are prepared to give pursuing that interest; because if you have no passion, no intensity to pursue that interest then - if I may point out - corruption has set in and where there is corruption, there is death. Then from which end shall we begin? Can this total movement of living, this whole human existence be split up in this way? Don't agree or disagree, just listen. Do you first of all establish a physical relationship of order, giving social and economic security, and after laying the foundations, build a complete house and then move from there to the other, or is it one total unitary movement, indivisible, non-fragmented, wherever you begin, because the two are related, the two are inseparable.
We want complete physical order, and we must have order in our life inwardly as well as outwardly. We must have order, not military order, not the order of the older generation nor the order of the younger generation - the permissive society is disorder, it is corruption and decay; and the so-called order of the older people is really disorder, with its wars, its violence, its division and snobbery - it is also corruption. So, seeing both the permissive disorder of the young and the "ordered" disorder of the old, observing both, one realizes that there must be a different kind of order. And that order must assure physical security for everybody, not just for a few rich people, or for those who are well placed and have capacity. There must be physical security for everybody.
As you know, over six million people from the East have crossed the border into India. Do you realize what that means, not only for the refugees but also for the country that itself is already impoverished? How can you establish order there? And the young people have created total disorder with the so-called permissive society. They say the older generation have created disorder and they want to have nothing to do with it; they want a different way of living, so they do just as they like. But that too is disorder; both are disorder. I wish you could see this!
One realizes that there must be physical order, physical security, for every human being in the world. This has always been the dream of the revolutionaries, of the idealists and the philosophers; they believed that through physical revolution they could achieve their ambition. But it has never succeeded. There have been so many revolutions and it has never happened. Look at the Communists with their divisions, their armies and the totalitarian state, and look at all the horrors that go on in the rest of the world; there is no order anywhere. One realizes that there must be physical order. Now does that order depend on the administration of the law, on the authority of society according to its culture and environment? Or does it depend entirely on the human being, on each one of us, the way we live, the way we think, the way we act in our relationships with one another? So, let's begin there. That is, living as a human being in a destructive, chaotic, violent world, how am I, or how are you, going to bring about order? Does that order depend on you or on the politician? Does that order depend on you, or on the priest, or on the philosopher, or on an utopian ideal?
If you depend on the priest, on the politician, on a theory, on a belief, or on an ideal, see what takes place! You are then conforming to a pattern set by the politician, by the theorist, by an utopian ideal; hence there is a conflict between what you are and what you think should be. And that conflict is part of this violence, this disorder. So can you perceive that order in society can be brought about only by you and by nobody else? We are responsible for that order by our conduct, by our thoughts, by our way of life - the whole of it. And is that your real, deep, abiding interest, to discover what that order is? One must live when the world is in confusion and chaos, with its suffering and destruction - and to understand this confusion, one must live in total, complete order. If you are interested, if you are prepared to give your energy, your capacity, your passion to finding out what that order is, then we can go into it, then we can share this thing together; you won't be just an outsider looking in, because it's your problem and you must put your teeth into it! If that is your real, deep interest, then you must be passionate. I'm not talking about lust, about physical passion or sexual passion. I'm talking of that passion which comes when there is deep interest.
Say, for instance, one is deeply interested in finding out if sorrow can ever end (deeply interested, not superficially because it brings a reward, but because you really want to find out)-sorrow, the grief, the pain, the anxiety, the fear, which we all feel. If that sorrow can ever come to an end, then you will find that only then comes real passion, real intensity. So, is it your intention to discover for yourselves whether, living in this world, whether it is possible to bring about such order within yourselves? - because you are the world, and the world is you.
Questioner: You said you must have passion, but earlier on you stated that as we grow older our passion is dulled: so what are we to do?
Krishnamurti: Do our passions become dull as we grow older? Perhaps our physical passions do, because our glands are not working so efficiently, but we are not talking about the passion of the young or of the old and the dissipation of that passion. We are talking about having an interest, a vital interest, a major issue with which you, as a human being, are concerned - not a gift, a technique, a capacity. If you have such a deep interest and you live with it, then out of that comes passion. And that passion doesn't disappear just because you have grey hair.
Questioner: What happens when you have this deep interest, but also you have the desire for pleasure?
Krishnamurti: You have pleasure on the one hand and a vital, abiding interest on the other. please just listen to it! Is there a contradiction between pleasure and a vital interest? If I am vitally interested in bringing about order within myself and in the world around me, then that becomes my most profound pleasure. I may have a nice car, I may look at a girl, or at the hills and all the rest of it; but they are all passing, trivial things which will in no way contradict my vital interest which is my pleasure. You see, we divide pleasure in ourselves; we say it would be nice to have a lovely car or listen to beautiful music. There is great delight in listening to music; it may quieten and pacify your nerves by its rhythm and quality of sound; it may carry you away to distant places, far away, and in that there is great pleasure. But that pleasure does not detract from your vital interest; on the contrary. When you have a tremendous interest in something, then that very interest becomes the major pleasure in your life; and all other pleasures become secondary and trivial; in that there is no contradiction. But when we are not sure of our major interest in life, then we are pulled in different directions by various pleasures and objects; and then there is a contradiction. So one has to find out, and I hope you will find out during these coming weeks, what is your major interest in which passion and pleasure exist.
Questioner: Do you not think that this order can only come about by giving to God the place he should hold in our lives? All the chaos that exists in the world today is because we live without the idea of God?
Krishnamurti: To bring about this order in our lives, should we give first place to God? If we have no knowledge of God, no feeling for God, no understanding of that thing called God, then order becomes mechanical, superficial, and changeable. God is the most important thing, the questioner says, and then out of that will come order. Now, we are trying to investigate; we are not going to deny or to assert; we are trying to find out, to enquire. Our main difficulty is that we all interpret, or imagine what God is, according to our own culture, according to our own background, our fears, our pleasures, our sense of security and so on. Surely that is obvious. And if we don't know this ultimate reality and have no knowledge of it, can that bring about order? We are enquiring, trying to find out. Or must you have physical order first, which is measurable, and then having established that order, find out the immeasurable, in which order is something entirely different?
This has been the point of view of all the religious people throughout the world: concern yourselves with God and then you will have perfect order. And each religion, each sect, translates what God is according to its own beliefs and, brought up in that belief, we accept that interpretation. But if you really want to find out if there is such a thing as God, something that cannot possibly be put into words, something which is unnameable, if that really is the major interest in your life, then that very interest does bring about order. To find that reality, one must live differently: there must be austerity without harshness; there must be love. And love cannot exist if there is fear, or the mind is pursuing pleasure. So, to find that reality one must understand oneself, the structure and the nature of the self; and the structure and the nature of oneself is measurable by thought. It is measurable in the sense that thought can perceive its own activities, thought can see what it has created, what it has denied, what it has accepted; and when one realizes the limitations of thought, then perhaps one can go into that which lies beyond thought.
Questioner: The problem of the parent is what to teach our children.
Krishnamurti: First of all, what is our relationship with our children? please bear in mind that we are investigating together. If you are the father, you go to the office and come home late in the evening. If you are the mother, you have your own ambitions and drives, your own loneliness and miseries, your own worries about being loved or not being loved; the children have to be looked after and there is the cooking and the washing-up; and if there is not enough money, you also probably go off to earn a living. Then what is your relationship with your children? Have you any relationship?
We are investigating, we are enquiring. I am not saying you don't have any relationship. Then, as they grow up you hand them over to a school where they are taught how to read and write; there they form gangs with other children who are also imitating and conforming and who are equally lost. You have the problem not only of your own children but also of other children who are bullying gangsters. Then what is your relationship with your child? You have children and you want to educate them rightly. Now, if that is really your deep, vital interest, you have to find out what is the meaning of education. Is it merely for children to acquire a particular kind of technological knowledge, so that they can earn a livelihood in a world that is becoming more and more competitive, because there are more and more people and therefore less and less jobs? You must face all this.
The world is divided by nationalities, with their sovereign governments, their armies and their navies, and all the butchery that goes with them. And if you are only concerned with the development of technological knowledge, then see the consequences of all that; the mind becomes more and more mechanical and you neglect the whole field of life. When the children grow up, if they are lucky they are sent to a university, where they are shaped more and more, forced to conform and put in a cage. Is that your interest? Is that your responsibility? And because they don't want to be put into a cage, they are in revolt. Please, see all this. And when that revolt proves to be ineffective, there is violence.
How are you, as a parent, going to educate your children to be different? Can you form a new kind of educational system, or can you, with the help of others, start a school which will be totally different? To do that you must have money and a group of people who are really dedicated. If you are a parent, is it not your responsibility to see that such schools are created? So you must work for it; you know, life isn't a plaything. Now, is this your deep, vital interest or, as a parent, are you only concerned with your own ambitions, greed, envy, with your position at the office, getting higher pay, a larger house, a bigger car and so on? You have to look at all this. Therefore, where does education begin? Does it start at school or with you? That means, are you, as a parent, as a human being, re-educating yourself all the time?
Questioner: Is there any meaning in education, or will our children finish up just like us?
Krishnamurti: I was told that Socrates complained about the youth of his day. He said that they had no manners and no respect for their elders, that they were becoming permissive, and all the rest of it; and that was in Athens in the fourth century B.C. And we are still complaining about our children. So we are asking: does the education of children consist in training them to be like us, like other monkeys, or should education include not only technological instruction but also a deep understanding of the whole neglected field of life? The whole of life, not just one fragment of it, because the way we live we neglect all that, we are concerned only with one fragment; therefore there is chaos and violence in the world.
Questioner: Are you saying that we should only have one main interest? Should we not be interested in many things, in war, in pollution, and so on? Surely you have to be aware of these things, haven't you?
Krishnamurti: Sir, when there is a major interest in your life, then you are aware of everything. When you are interested in order, it is not only order in yourself but order in the world. You don't want wars; you feel for those people because they have no order. You know what is happening, therefore, you are very concerned with pollution, poverty and war. Wars are created by nationalities, by governments, by politicians, by dividing religion into sects and all the rest of it. in observing all that, I want order, not only order in myself, but in the world. And in wanting order, I have to find order in everything around me, which means I must work for order, `be dedicated to order, be passionate about order. That means I have no nationality, do you follow, Sir? Disorder is violence, therefore I must find out how to end completely all violence within myself.
Questioner: Do you believe in demonstrations?
Krishnamurti: You go up and down the street with a group of people demonstrating against the war in Vietnam. Do you want to end the war in Vietnam or do you want to end all wars? Can you demonstrate to end all wars or can you only demonstrate to end a particular war? Do think about this, give your heart to it. I can demonstrate against a particular war, but when I am concerned with the ending of all wars, not only outwardly but in myself, how can I demonstrate with a group of people? Do you also want to end all wars as I do? Do you understand? It means no nationality, no frontiers, no linguistic differences, no religious divisions - all that. No, Sir, you can't demonstrate, you have to live it. And when you live it, that in itself is a demonstration.
Questioner: Do not love and truth bring about order?
Krishnamurti: But do you know what love is, Sir? Do you know what truth is? Can you love if you are jealous, greedy, ambitious? And is truth something fixed, static, or is it living, vital, moving, without any path to it. You have to find all this out for yourself.
Awakening of Intelligence
Part 7, Public Talks Saanen 1971
The Awakening of Intelligence Part VII Chapter 1 1st Public Talk Saanen 18th July 1971 'What Is Your Over-riding Interest?'
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