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Krishnamurti in India 1970-71

Alternative Versions

Bangalore 2nd Public Talk 31st January 1971 'Mind in Meditation'

What is our daily living? If you can bear to look at it, if you can observe it, what is actually our everyday life? One can see that in that living there is a great deal of confusion, there is a great deal of conformity, contradiction, where every man is against another man, where in the business world you are ready to cut another's throat. Politically, sociologically, morally there is a great deal of confusion. And when you look at your own life you see that from the moment you are born until you die, it is a series of conflicts. Life has become a battlefield. Please observe it, not that you must agree with the speaker, or disagree with him, but just observe it. Just watch your actual daily living. And when you do so observe, you cannot help seeing what actually is going on: how one is in despair, lonely, unhappy, in conflict, caught in a series of competitions, aggressions, brutality, violence - that is actually our daily life. And that we call living. And not being able to understand it, or resolve it, or go beyond it, we escape from it into some ideology, into the ideology of some ancient philosophers, ancient teachers, ancient wisdom, and we think by escaping from the actual we have solved everything. And that is why philosophy, ideals, all the various forms of networks of escapes have not in any way resolved our problems; we are just as we were five thousand years ago or more, dull, repetitive, bitter, angry, violent, aggressive, with occasional flash of some beauty, happiness, and always frightened of that one thing which we call death.

And our daily life has no beauty, because again your religious teachers, your books, have said, "Don't have any desires, be desireless, don't look at a woman - because you might be tempted. And to find god, truth, you must be a celibate". And our daily life is contrary to all the sayings of the teachers; we are actually what we are - very petty, small, narrow minded, frightened human beings. And without changing that any amount of your seeking truth, or talking valiantly and most scholarly, or interpreting your Gita and the innumerable sacred books, has no value at all. So you might just as well throw away all the sacred books and start all over again, because they with their interpreters, their teachers, their gurus, have not brought enlightenment to you. Their authority, their compulsive discipline, their sanctions have no meaning at all. So you might just as well put them all aside and learn from yourself, for therein lies truth, not the truth of another.

So first is it possible to change our lives? Because our lives are in disorder, our lives are in fragmentation - being something at the office, go to the temple, if you are still inclined that way, something entirely different with the family, and in front of a big official you become, god knows, a frightened, desperate, sycophantic human being. And can we change all this? Because without changing our daily life, your asking what truth is, if there is a god or not, has no meaning whatsoever, because we are fragmented human beings, broken up; and until we are a total human entity, whole, complete, then only is there a possibility of coming upon that something which is timeless.

So first we must look at our life. Now how do you look at your life? Please follow this a little bit. We will make it as simple as possible because this is a very, very complex problem. And a very complex problem of existence must be approached very simply, not with all your theories, opinions and judgements because they have not helped at all. All your religious conclusions have no meaning. So we must be able to look at this life which one leads every day, able to see it exactly as it is. And that is going to be our difficulty, that is to observe.

Now what does that word 'observe' mean? There is not only the sensory perception with the eye. You see this bougainvillaea, sensory perception, then - please follow this step by step - then as you observe that colour then you make an image, you have already an image, you have a name for it, you like it or dislike it, you have preference. So the images that you have about that flower, that is, through that image you see it, you don't actually see it but your mind sees it more than the eye. Right? Please do understand this very simple fact, that we look not only at nature, which is being destroyed by human beings, pollution and all the rest of it that is going on in this terrible world, we not only look at nature with the eyes that have accumulated knowledge about nature, and therefore with an image, we also look at human beings with our various forms of conclusions, opinions, judgements and values. That is, you are a Hindu, another is a Pakistan, Muslim. You are a Catholic, another is a Protestant, Communist and so on and on and on - the division. So when you look, when you observe yourself, your life, you observe it through the image, through the conclusions that you have already formed. You say, "This is good", or "This is bad"? or "This should be" and "That should not be". You are following all this? So you are looking, observing with the images, conclusions that you have formed, and therefore you are not actually looking at life. You understand this very simple fact?

So in order to look at our life as it is there must be freedom of observation. You must not look at it as a Hindu, as a bureaucrat, as a family man, as a - god knows what else! You must look at it with freedom. You understand? And that is the difficulty. You look at your life, the despair, the agony, the sorrow, this vast struggle, you look at it all with eyes that have said, and ears that have said, "This must change into something else", "This must be transformed in order to make it more beautiful". So actually when you are doing that you are not directly in relationship with what you see. Right? Are you following this? Not the explanation which the speaker is giving but actually observing your life, actually observing how you look at it. Whether you look at it with your image, with your conclusions and therefore not looking at it but looking through the past images and therefore not coming directly in contact with it. Right? So when you look at life, that is, the life of your daily existence, not the theoretical life, not the abstract life which says, "All human beings are one, all love" - you know, all that tommy rot! But actually when you observe it you see that you are looking with your past knowledge, with all the images, the traditions, the accumulation of all human experience which prevents you from looking. That is a fact which must be realized, that to observe actually your life you must look at it afresh. That is to look at it without any condemnation, without any ideals, without any desire to suppress it or change it, just to observe it.

Are you doing this? Are you using the speaker as a mirror in which you are seeing your own life? And because you are seeing it with conclusions it prevents you from looking at it directly, being in contact with it. Right? Are you doing it? Not that you will do it when you go home, because if you don't do it now you won't do it later. If you are not doing it then don't bother to listen. Look at the sky, look at that tree, look at the beauty of the light, look at the clouds with their curve, with their delicacy. If you look at it without any image you have understood your own life.

So that is, you are looking at yourself, at your life as an observer and your life as something to be observed. Right? There is a division between the observer and the observed. Isn't that simple? That is, you are looking at your life. You as an observer, something separate from your life. Right? So there is a division between the observer and the observed. Now this division is the essence of all conflict, essence of all struggle, pain, fear, despair. That is, where there is a division between human beings, the division of nationalities, the division of religions, social divisions, wherever there is a division there must be conflict. This is law, this is reason, logic. There is Pakistan on one side and India on the other, battling with each other; you are a Brahmin and another is a non-Brahmin and hate, division. So that externalized division with all its conflict is the same as the inward division, as the observer and the observed. You have understood this? If you don't understand this, you can't go much further because a mind that is in conflict cannot possibly ever understand what truth is. Because a mind n conflict is a tortured mind, a twisted mind, a distorted mind and how can such a mind be free to observe the beauty of the earth, or the beauty of the sky, the tree, the beauty of a child or a beautiful woman or a man; and the beauty of extreme sensitivity and all that is involved in it. So without understanding this basic principle, not as an ideal, as a fact that you are inevitably going to have conflict.

And so the question is, the next question: what is this observer? - you understand? The observer who has separated himself from the observed. Please this is not a philosophy, an intellectual affair, a thing which you can discuss, deny, agree or disagree; it is something that you see yourself, and therefore it is yours, not the speaker's. We see that when you are angry, at the moment of anger there is no observer, at the moment of experiencing anything there is no observer. When you look at that sunset, and that sunset is something immense, when you look at it at that moment there is no observer who says, "I am seeing the sunset". A second later comes the observer. That is, you are angry, at the moment of anger there is no observer, no experiencer, there is only that state of anger; a second later comes the observer who says, "I should not have been angry", or the observer says, "I was justified in being angry" - a second later not at the moment of anger, then is the beginning of division. You understand?

So how does this happen? At the moment of experience there is the total absence of the observer, and how does it happen that a second later the observer comes into being. Right? You are putting the question, not I, not the speaker, put it for yourself and you will find the answer. You understand sir, you have got to work. Because this is your life, and if you say, "Well I have learned something from the speaker", then you have learned absolutely nothing. You have just collected a few words and those few words put together becomes the idea. Ordered thought is idea, and we are not talking about ideas, we are not talking about a new philosophy. Philosophy means the love of truth in daily life, not the truth of some philosophical mind that invents.

So how does this observer come into being? That is, sir, when you look at this flower, at the moment you observe it closely there is no observer, there is only a looking; then you begin to name that flower. Right? Then you say, "I wish I had it in my garden, or in my house". Then you have already begun to build an image about that flower. So the image-maker is the observer. Right? Are you following all this? Watch it in yourself please. So the image and the image-maker is the observer, and the observer is the past, the 'me' as the observer is the past, the 'me' is the knowledge which I have accumulated, knowledge of pain, sorrow, suffering, agony, despair, loneliness, jealousy, the tremendous anxiety that one goes through, that is all the 'me', which is the accumulated knowledge of the observer, which is the past. Right? So when you observe, the observer looks at that flower with the eyes of the past. And you don't know how to look without the observer and therefore you bring about conflict.

So our question is: can you look, not only at the flower, but at your life, at your agony, at your despair, your sorrow, can you look at it without naming it, without saying to yourself, "I must go beyond it", "I must suppress it" - just to look at it without the observer. Do it please as we are talking now. That is, take your particular form, or particular tendency, or take, which most people are, envy. All right, let's take that. You know what envy is, don't you, very well? You are very familiar with that. Envy is comparison. The measurement of thought comparing what you are with what should be, or with what you want to become. So you know what envy is. So just look, take it. Now when that reaction comes into being, that is you are envious of your neighbour who has got a bigger car, better house, is an awful politician - you know, all the rest of it. And you look at that and you suddenly feel envious. That is, you have compared yourself with him, and envy is born. Now you have that envy, you know what that feeling is. Now can you look at that feeling without saying, "That is right", or wrong, without naming it? Without saying that it is envy. To look at it without any image, then you go beyond it. You have understood? Instead of struggling with envy, that you should or should not, that you must suppress it, and so on, without going through all that struggle and nonsense, without any meaning, observe your anger, your envy, without naming it, because the naming is the movement of the past memory which justifies or condemns. But if you can look at it without naming then you will see that you go beyond it.

So the moment you know the possibility of going beyond 'what is', you are full of energy. Right? It is the man who doesn't know how to go beyond 'what is', because he doesn't know how to deal with it, therefore he is afraid, he escapes. Then seeing the impossibility of it, such a person loses energy. You understand this sirs? If you have a problem and can solve it, then you have energy. A man who has a thousand problems and doesn't know what to do with them, he loses his energy. So in the same way, look at your life, what it is, ugly, petty, shallow, extraordinarily violent. These are all words to describe what is actually going on, not only the violence in sex but violence that abides with power, position, prestige. Now look at it with eyes that don't immediately jump with images.

Now that is your life. And look at your life in which there is what you call love. What is love? We are not discussing the theories of what love should be. We are observing what we call love. I love my wife. I love my - I don't know what you love. I doubt if you love anything at all. You know what it means to love? Is love pleasure? Is love jealousy? Can a man love who is ambitious? He may sleep with his wife, beget a few children; and the man who is struggling politically to become an important person, or in the business world, or in the religious world also, you understand, when he wants to become a saint, when he wants to become desireless. Now all that is part of ambition, aggression, desire. Can a man who is competitive love? And you are all competitive, aren't you? Better job, better position, better house, more noble ideas, more perfect images of yourself - you know all that business you go through and is that love? Can you love when you are going through all this tyranny, when you can dominate your wife, or your husband, or your children, when you are seeking power, is there a possibility of love? So in negating what is not love, there is love. You understand? You understand sirs? You have to negate everything which is not love, which is, no ambition, no competition, no aggression, no violence, either in speech, or in act, or in thought. Now when you negate that which is not love, then you will know what love is. And love is something that is intense, that you feel very strongly; love is not pleasure, therefore one must understand pleasure, not one's aim to love somebody, understand pleasure.

So if you can observe your life you will find out for yourself what love is because in that lies great passion, not love, passion. The word 'passion' comes from sorrow, the root meaning of that word 'passion' is sorrow. You know what it means to suffer? Not how to escape from suffering, or what to do about suffering, but to suffer, to have great pain inwardly. You understand? Then when there is no movement of escape from that sorrow out of that comes great passion, which is compassion.

And you must also find out what death is, not at the last minute, not when you are sick, unconscious, diseased, incapable of clarity, observing; that happens to everybody, old age, disease and death. But while you are young, fresh, active, going to your beastly offices every day, returning to your particular little prison of a family, to find out while you are active, alive, what death means. The organism does go away, wear out, like old age, it is natural. It can last longer depending on the kind of life one leads, depending whether your life is a battlefield from the moment you are born until you die, then your body is worn out quicker, your heart goes through tension, through emotional tension the heart becomes weaker. This is an established fact. And while one is active to find out what the meaning and the significance of death means. And to find that out there must be no fear. And most of us are frightened of death, frightened of leaving the things that we have known. Please do listen to all this. Frightened of leaving your family, frightened of the things you have accumulated, of letting them go, your knowledge, your books, your office, you know what you have collected. And not knowing what is going to happen when you die the mind then, which is thought, says there must be a different kind of life, life must continue somehow, my life, your individual life. And you have then the whole structure of belief, reincarnation, you call it, don't you? Have you ever looked at what it is to incarnate. That is, next life. You understand? What is it that is to be reborn next life? All your accumulations of your knowledge. Right? All your thoughts. All the activities. All the goodness, or the evil or the ugly things that you have done because what you do now that is going to react next life. Right? You all believe that most hopefully, don't you? Which means, if you really believe it then that matter is what you do now, how you behave now, what your conduct is now, because next life you are going to pay for it. That is if you believe in all this - karma.

So if you are really caught in the network of this belief then you must pay complete attention to your life now, what you do, what you think, how you treat another. But you don't believe so vastly, so deeply. That is just a comfort, an escape, a worthless word. And to find out what it means to die, not physically that is inevitable, but to die. That is, to die to everything that is known, to die to your family, to your attachments, to all the things that you have accumulated, the known, the known pleasures, the known fears, die to it every minute and you will see what it means to die so that the mind is made fresh, young and therefore innocent. So that in you there is the incarnation of the next life, but the next day. You understand? To incarnate the next day is far more important than in the future. So that your mind is astonishingly innocent. Innocent, the word 'innocence' means a mind that is incapable of being hurt. You understand sir, the beauty of it: a mind that can never be hurt. And such a mind is an innocent mind. Therefore a mind that has been hurt must die to the hurts everyday so that it comes the next morning with a fresh clear unspotted mind, it has no scars. That is the way to live. That is not a theory, it is for you to do it.

So there must be the understanding of oneself completely. There must be this order which is not habit, which is not practice, which is not the cultivation of some virtue. Virtue comes into being like a flower of goodness when you understand disorder in your life. Out of disorder comes order.

Then you can begin to enquire: what is that which man has sought throughout the centuries upon centuries, he has been asking for it, trying to discover it? You cannot possibly understand it, or come upon it if you have not laid the foundation in your daily life. And then we can ask: what is meditation? Not how to meditate or what steps to take to meditate, or what systems and methods to follow to meditate, because all systems, all systems, all methods make the mind mechanical. You understand sir? Meditation is the most marvellous thing if you know the meaning of a mind that is in meditation, not how to meditate. We will see what is not meditation - you understand - then you will know what meditation is. What it is not, through negation you come upon the positive. But if you pursue the positive it leads you to a dead end.

We say meditation is not the practice of any system; you know people who sit and become aware of their toes, of their bodies, of their movements, you know practise, practise, practise. A machine can do that. So systems cannot reveal the beauty and the depth and the marvellous thing called meditation. Nor is meditation concentration. When you concentrate, or attempt to concentrate, in that concentration there is the observer and the observed.

So no system, no method, no concentration and a mind that has understood all this through negation. Such a mind then becomes very quiet naturally. In that there is no observer who has achieved some kind of silence. In that silence there is the emptying of the mind of all the past. Unless you do this in your daily life you won't understand the marvellous subtleties, the beauty, the extraordinary thing of it, unless you do it. Merely to repeat what the speaker says, don't do it. If you repeat it becomes a propaganda, which is a lie.

So when the mind has this complete order, mathematical order, and that order has come into being naturally through the understanding of the disorder of our daily life, then the mind becomes extraordinarily quiet. This quiet has vast space, not the quiet of a little room, it is not the quiet, the silence of the ending of noise, but a mind that has understood this whole problem of existence, love and death and the living, the beauty of the skies, the trees, the people, the beauty, which all your religious gurus have denied, and that is why you destroy your trees, your nature. When you have understood all this then you will know what happens in that silence. Nobody can describe it. Anybody who describes it doesn't know what it is. It is for you to find out.

Krishnamurti in India 1970-71

Alternative Versions

Bangalore 2nd Public Talk 31st January 1971 'Mind in Meditation'

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