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Krishnamurti on Education

Talks to Teachers

Krishnamurti on Education Talk to Teachers Chapter 4 'On the True Denial'

Teacher: In one of your talks to the children you said that when a problem arises one should solve it immediately. How is one to do this?

Krishnamurti: To solve a problem immediately, you have to understand the problem. Is the understanding of a problem a matter of time or is it a matter of intensity of perception, an intensity of seeing? Let us say that I have a problem: I am vain. It is a problem with me in the sense that it creates a conflict, a contradiction within me. It is a fact that I am vain and there is also another fact that I do not want to be vain. Firstly, I have to understand the fact that I am vain. I have to live with that fact. I must not only be intensely aware of the fact but comprehend it fully. Now, is comprehension a matter of time? I can see the fact immediately, can't I? And the immediacy of perception, of seeing, dissolves the fact. When I see a cobra there is immediate action. But I do not see vanity in the same way - when I see vanity either I like it and therefore I continue with it, or I do not want it because it creates conflict. If it does not create conflict there is no problem.

Perception and understanding are not of time. Perception is a matter of intensity of seeing, a seeing that is total. What is the nature of seeing something totally? What gives one the capacity, the energy, the vitality, the drive, to deal with something immediately, with all one's undivided energy? The moment you have divided energy you have conflict and therefore there is no seeing, there is no perception of something total. Now, what gives you the energy to make you jump when you see a cobra? What are the processes that make the organic as well as the psychological, the whole being, jump, so that there is no hesitation, so that the reaction is immediate? What has gone into that immediacy? Several things have gone into that action which is immediate: fear, natural protection, which must be there, the knowledge that the cobra is a deadly thing.

Now, why have we not the same energetic action with regard to the dissolution of vanity? I am taking vanity as an example. There are several reasons that have gone into my lack of energy. I like vanity; the world is based on it; it is the basis of the social pattern; it gives me a certain sense of vitality, a certain quality of dignity and aloofness, a sense that I am a little better than another. All this prevents that energy which is necessary to dissolve vanity. Now, either I analyse all the reasons which have prevented my action, prevented my having energy to deal with vanity, or I see immediately. Analysis is a process of time and a process of postponement. While I am analysing, vanity continues and time is not going to end it. So I have to see vanity totally and I lack the energy to see. Now, to gather the dissipated energy requires a gathering not only when I am confronted with a problem such as vanity, but a gathering all the time, even when there is no problem. We do not have problems all the time. There are moments when we have no problems. If at those moments we are gathering energy, gathering in the sense of being aware, then, when the problem arises, we can meet it and not go through the process of analysis.

Teacher: There is another difficulty: when there is no problem, and no gathering of this energy, some form of mentation is going on.

Krishnamurti: There is a waste of energy in mere repetition, reaction to memory, reaction to experience. If you observe your own mind you will see that a pleasurable incident keeps on repeating itself. You want to go back to it, you want to think about it, so it gathers momentum. When the mind is aware there is no wastage, is it possible to let that momentum, to let that thought flower? Which means never to say, "This is right or wrong", but to live the thought over, to have a feeling in which the thought can flourish so that by itself it will come to an end.

Should we approach the problem differently? We have been talking about creating a generation with a new quality of mind. How do we do this? If I were a teacher here, it would be my concern - and a good educator obviously has this concern at heart - to bring about a new mind, a new sensitivity, a new feeling for the trees, the skies, the heavens, the streams, to bring into being a new consciousness, not the old consciousness remolded into a new shape. I mean a totally new mind, uncontaminated by the past. If that is my concern, how do I set about it?

First of all, is it possible to bring about such a new mind? Not a mind which is a continuity of the past in a new mould but a mind that is uncontaminated. Is it feasible, or must the past continue through the present to be modified and be put into a new mould? In which case there is no new generation, it is the older generation repeated in a new form.

I think it is possible to create a new generation. And I ask: How am I, not only to experience this within myself, but to express it to the student?

If I see something experimentally in myself I cannot miss expressing it to the student. Surely it is not a question of I and the other, but a mutual thing, isn't it?

Now how do I bring about a mind that is uncontaminated? You and I are not newborn, we have been contaminated by society, by Hinduism, by education, by the family, by society, by newspapers. How do we break through the contamination? Do I say it is part of my existence and accept it? What do I do, sir? Here is a problem - that our minds are contaminated. For the older ones it is more difficult to break through. You are comparatively young and the problem is to uncontaminate the mind; how is it to be done?

Either it is possible, or it is not possible. Now how is one to discover whether it is or not? I would like you to jump into it.

Do you know what is meant by the word "denial"? What does it mean to deny the past, to deny being a Hindu? What do you mean by that word "deny"? Have you ever denied anything? There is a true denial and a false denial. The denial with a motive is a false denial. The denial with a purpose, the denial with an intention, with an eye on the future, is not a denial. If I deny something in order to get something more, it is not denial. But there is a denial which has no motive. When I deny and do not know what is in store for me in the future, that is true denial. I deny being a Hindu, I deny belonging to any organization, I deny any particular creed and in that very denial I make myself completely insecure. Do you know such a denial, and have you ever denied anything? Can you deny the past that way - deny, not knowing what is in the future? Can you deny the known?

Teacher: When I deny something - say Hinduism, there is a simultaneous understanding of what Hinduism is.

Krishnamurti: What we were discussing is the bringing about of a new mind and if it is possible. A mind that is contaminated cannot be a new mind. So we are talking of decontamination, and whether that is possible. And in relation to that I began by asking what you mean by denial, because I think denial has a great deal to do with it. Denial has to do with a new mind. If I deny cleanly, without roots, without motive, it is real denial. Now is that possible? You see, if I do not completely deny society in which is involved politics, economics, social relationships, ambition, greed - if I do not deny all that completely, it is impossible to find out what it is to have a new mind. Therefore, the first breaking of the foundation is the denial of the things I have known. Is that possible? Obviously, drugs will not bring about a new mind; nothing will bring it about except a total denial of the past. Is it possible? What do you say? And if I have felt the perfume, the sight, the taste of such denial, how do I help to convey it to a student? He must have in abundance the known - mathematics, geography, history - and yet be abundantly free of the known, remorselessly free of it.

Teacher: Sir, all sensations leave a residue, a disturbance which lead to various kinds of conflict and other forms of mental activity. The traditional approach of all religions is to deny this sensation by discipline and denial. But in what you say there seems to be a heightened receptivity to these sensations so that you see the sensations without distortion or residue.

Krishnamurti: That is the issue. Sensitivity and sensation are two different things. A mind that is a slave to thought, sensation, feeling, is a residual mind. It enjoys the residue, it enjoys thinking about the pleasurable world and each thought leaves a mark, which is the residue. Each thought of a certain pleasure you have had, leaves a mark which makes for insensitivity. It obviously dulls the mind and discipline, control and suppression further dull the mind. I am saying that sensitivity is not sensation, that sensitivity implies no mark, no residue. So what is the question?

Teacher: Is the denial of which you are speaking different from a denial which is the restriction of sensation?

Krishnamurti: How do you see those flowers, see the beauty of them, be completely sensitive to them so that there is no residue, no memory of them, so that when you see them again an hour later you see a new flower? That is not possible if you see as a sensation and that sensation is associated with flowers, with pleasure. The traditional way is to shut out what is pleasurable because such associations awaken other forms of pleasure and so you discipline yourself not to look. To cut association with a surgical knife is immature. So how is the mind, how are the eyes, to see the tremendous colour and yet have it leave no mark?

I am not asking for a method. How does that state come into being? Otherwise we cannot be sensitive. It is like a photographic plate which receives impressions and is self-renewing. It is exposed, and yet becomes negative for the next impression. So all the time, it is self-cleansing of every pleasure. Is that possible or are we playing with words and not with facts?

The fact which I see clearly is that any residual sensitivity, sensation, dulls the mind. I deny that fact, but I do not know what it is to be so extraordinarily sensitive that experience leaves no mark and yet to see the flower with fullness, with tremendous intensity. I see as an undeniable fact that every sensation, every feeling, every thought, leaves a mark, shapes the mind, and that such marks cannot possibly bring about a new mind. I see that to have a mind with marks is death, so I deny death. But I do not know the other. I also see that a good mind is sensitive without the residue of experience. It experiences, but the experience leaves no mark from which it draws further experiences, further conclusions, further death.

The one I deny and the other I do not know. How is this transition from the denial of the known to the unknown to come into being? How does one deny? Does one deny the known, not in great dramatic incidents but in little incidents? Do I deny when I am shaving and I remember the lovely time I had in Switzerland? Does one deny the remembrance of a pleasant time? Does one grow aware of it, and deny it? That is not dramatic, it is not spectacular, nobody knows about it. Still this constant denial of little things, the little wiping's, the little rubbing's off, not just one great big wiping away, is essential. It is essential to deny thought as remembrance, pleasant or unpleasant, every minute of the day as it arises. One is doing it not for any motive, not in order to enter into the extraordinary state of the unknown. You live in Rishi Valley and think of Bombay or Rome. This creates a conflict, makes the mind dull, a divided thing. Can you see this and wipe it away? Can you keep on wiping away not because you want to enter into the unknown? You can never know what the unknown is because the moment you recognise it as the unknown you are back in the known.

The process of recognition is a process of the continued known. As I do not know what the unknown is I can only do this one thing, keep on wiping thought away as it arises.

You see that flower, feel it, see the beauty, the intensity, the extraordinary brilliance of it. Then you go to the room in which you live, which is not well proportioned, which is ugly. You live in the room but you have a certain sense of beauty and you begin to think of the flower and you pick up the thought as it arises and you wipe it away. Now from what depth do you wipe, from what depth do you deny the flower, your wife, your gods, your economic life? You have to live with your wife, your children, with this ugly monstrous society. You cannot withdraw from life. But when you deny totally thought, sorrow, pleasure, your relationship is different and so there must be a total denial, not a partial denial, not a keeping of the things which you like and a denying of the things which you do not like.

Now, how do you translate what you have understood to the student?

Teacher: You have said that in teaching and learning, the situation is one of intensity where you do not say "I am teaching you something". Now this constant wiping away of the marks of thought, has it something to do with the intensity of the teaching-learning situation?

Krishnamurti: Obviously. You see, I feel that teaching and learning are both the same. What is taking place here? I am not teaching you - I am not your teacher or authority, I am merely exploring and conveying my exploration to you. You can take it or leave it. The position is the same with regard to students.

Teacher: What is the teacher then to do?

Krishnamurti: You can only find out when you are constantly denying. Have you ever tried it? It is as if you cannot sleep for a single minute during the day time.

Teacher: It not only needs energy, sir, but also releases a lot of energy.

Krishnamurti: But first you must have the energy to deny.

Krishnamurti on Education

Talks to Teachers

Krishnamurti on Education Talk to Teachers Chapter 4 'On the True Denial'

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