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The Ending of Time

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Ojai 6th Conversation with David Bohm 15th April, 1980 `the Ending of Time'

Dr Bohm: Yesterday I was discussing with some people in San Francisco and they said you had said that insight changes the brain cell. They were very interested but I wasn't able to say a lot more. I wonder if we could discuss that.

Krishnamurti: As it is constituted the brain functions in one direction, memory, experience, knowledge. And it has functioned in that area as much as possible. And most people are satisfied with it.

B: Well they don't know of anything else.

K: Of anything else. And also they have placed knowledge in the supreme importance, and so on and so on. If one is concerned with fundamental change, where does one begin? Suppose 'X' feels he will go along a certain direction set by mankind. And he has been going there century after century, and when he asks himself what is radical change, is it in the environment, is it in the human relationship, is it a sense of love which is not in the area of knowledge and so on? Where is it to begin? You understand my question? Unless there is some mutation taking place inside here, inside my mind, the brain, I may think I have changed, or it may be a superficial change, but it won't be change in depth.

B: Yes, well I think the first thing is to say that what is implied there is that the present state of affairs involves not only the mind but also the nervous system, the body, all is set in a certain way.

K: Of course. Yes that is what I meant, the whole movement is in a certain way. And along that way I can modify, adjust, polish, a little more, a little less and so on, but if a man is concerned with a very radical change, where is he to begin? As we said the other day we relied on the environment to change us, society to change us, various forms of disciplines and so on, but I feel they are all the same direction.

B: Well, yes in so far as they all emanate from this thing, the way the mind is set, the body is set, they are not going to change anything. There is a total structure involved which is in the brain, in the body, in the whole of society.

K: Yes, yes. So what am I to do? What is 'X' to do? And in asking this question, what is there to change? You understand sir?

B: What do you mean by that, what is there to change? What is to be changed?

K: Yes, what is to be changed? Both, what is there to be changed and what is there to change?

B: To make the change, do you mean?

K: To make the change, yes. Not only to make the change but...

B:... to undergo the change?

K: Yes, basically what is there to change? I see, 'X' sees he can change certain things along this way, but go much further than that - what is one to do? I am sure man has asked this question. You must have asked it. But apparently the mutation hasn't taken place. So what is 'X' to do? He realizes the need for a radical revolution, a psychological revolution, he perceives the more he changes it is the same thing continued, the more he enquires into himself the enquiry is still the same, and so on and so on. So what is there to change? Unless 'X' finds a way to change the brain itself...

B: But what will change the brain?

K: That's it, that's it. The brain that has been set in a pattern for millennia. I think it is no longer what should I change, it is imperative that I change.

B: So in discussing yesterday it was agreed that there must be a change but the question is how can the brain change?

K: One must introduce, come to that point. If this question is put to you as a scientist, or as a human being who is involved in science, what would your answer be?

B: I don't think science can deal with that because it doesn't go far enough, it can't possibly probe that deeply into the structure of the brain anyway. Many questions are positing the relationship of brain and mind, which science has not been able to resolve. Some people would say that there is nothing beyond the brain.

K: Purely materialistic, I understand all that.

B: If it is not materialistic then for the moment science has very little to say about it. May be some people would try to but science generally has been most successful, most systematic, in dealing with matter, any attempt to do otherwise is not very clear.

K: You tell me - I am 'X' - you tell me, inside change in the brain cells and so on. My immediate answer to that is, how?

B: Yes, that is what everybody asks.

K: That's it. Everybody asks that. It is not a matter of faith. It is not a matter of changing the pattern to another pattern. So you leave me without any direction. Right? You leave me without any instrument that can penetrate this.

B: Except you are implying that there is something beyond the brain, it seems clear, in putting that question. We don't know. The very statement implies that insight is somehow beyond the brain else it couldn't change the brain.

K: Yes. So how am I to capture it? I can't capture it but...

B:... how will it come about?

K: Yes, how is this to come about?

B: I think one should clear up: are you saying that something which is non-material can affect matter, this is the implication.

K: I am not sure.

B: I think clearing this up would make it more clear what your question is. It is somewhat puzzling if you don't.

K: All that you have said to me is, insight changes, brings about mutation in the brain. Now you explain what insight is, which is not a result of progressive knowledge, it is not a progressive time, which is not a remembrance, which may be the real activity of the brain.

B: All right. Let's put it differently: the brain has many activities which include memory and all these that you have said, and in addition there is a more inward activity, but it is still the activity of the brain.

K: Then it would be the same.

B: Yes that is what is not clear, you see - in putting this thing something seems to be not quite clear.

K: Yes. We must be very clear that it is not the result of progressive knowledge, it is not come by through any exercise of will.

B: Yes. I think people can generally see that insight comes in a flash, it does not come through will. Those who have considered it at all can see that. Also that probably chemistry won't bring it about, drugs, you know.

K: I think most people see that.

B: Those who are concerned.

K: Some people do see it. How am I, 'X', to have this insight. I see your logic, I see your reason.

B: In some ways it may disturb people, it is not clear what the logic is, what is going to make this change in the brain, is it something more than the brain, is it something deeper in the brain? This is one of the questions.

K: Of course.

B: It is not quite clear logically.

Q: Are you saying sir that there is a function of the brain which acts without reference to its content?

K: To the past, to the content.

Q: It acts without it. But that this isn't something which is changing the whole brain, coming into the brain, but it is a capability of the brain to...

B: That is a good question, yes. It is on the right line as far as I see it. Is there a function in the brain which is independent of the content, which is not conditioned by the content, but it might still be a physical function?

K: Yes, I understand. Sir, is this the question? Apart from the consciousness with its content, is there in the brain an activity which is not touched by consciousness?

B: By the content, yes.

K: By the content - content is the consciousness.

B: Yes, but sometimes you use it in another sense. Sometimes you talk of consciousness, that there could be another kind of consciousness.

K: Yes, we will leave that.

B: So if we call it content it would be more clear.

K: All right. A part of the brain which is not touched by the content.

B: All right then. That suggests that it may be possible for the brain to change. Either the brain is entirely controlled by its content, or in some way it is not that conditioned, it has some...

K: That is a dangerous thing.

B: But that is what you are saying.

K: You see the danger of it. I am moving away from it. I see the danger of admitting to myself, and so of trying to tell somebody else, admitting to myself that there is a part of the brain...

B: An activity.

K:... all right, an activity of the brain which is not touched by the content.

B: It is a possible activity. It may be that has not been awakened.

K: It has not been awakened. That's right.

Q: But what is the danger?

K: That is simple enough. The danger is that I am admitting there is god in me, that there is some super human, something beyond the content and therefore that will operate on this, or that will operate in spite of this.

Q: But which part of the brain sees the danger? Is it that part...

K: Slowly, slowly. Which part of the brain that sees the danger - of course the content sees the danger.

Q: Does it?

K: Oh yes because the content is aware of all the tricks it has played.

B: It is similar to many of the old tricks.

K: Yes. Go ahead sir.

B: Those tricks we have discussed before - the assumption of god within and the imagination of god within, therefore the apparent proof, there is a danger obviously.

Q: But you see could the brain seeing the danger make that statement nevertheless, because that statement nevertheless might be pointing to the right direction.

B: The point is that even though it is dangerous it may be necessary to do so, it may be on the right track.

K: No, no. The danger is that it is not only traditional, not only that man has thought about it and previous to 'X' said that this thing exists, therefore the unconscious, which is part of the content, is capturing that and says, 'Yes' - so it sees the danger instantly.

Q: It sees its own trap.

K: Yes, it sees the trap which it has created. Right sir? So it avoids that trap. That is sanity: to avoid a trap is sanity. Is there an activity which is totally independent of the content? That activity, is it part of the brain?

B: Is it a natural activity of the brain? Material in the brain.

K: Which means what?

B: Well if there is such a natural activity it could awaken somehow and that activity could change the brain, it could change.

K: But would you say it is still material?

B: Yes. There could be different levels of matter you see.

K: That is what I am trying to get at. Right?

B: Right. But you see, if you think that way, there could be a deeper level of matter which is not conditioned by the content. For example we know matter in the universe is not conditioned by the content of our brains generally. There could be a deeper level of matter not conditioned in that way which could...

K: So it would still be matter, refined or super or whatever, it is still - what I am trying to find out is that it would still be the content.

B: Why do you say that? You see you have to go slowly because do you say matter is content?

K: Yes.

B: Inherently but that has to be cleared up because it is not obvious.

K: Let's discuss it. Let's grip this. Thought is matter.

B: Well thought is part of the content, it is part of the material process. Whether it exists independently as matter is not so clear. If you say water is matter then you can pour water from one glass to another, it has an independent substance, but it is not clear whether thought could stand as matter by itself except with some other material substance like the brain in which it takes place. Is that clear?

K: I don't quite follow.

B: If you say water is matter then it is clear. You could take water and it stands inside whatever it is, in the ocean. Now if you said thought is matter then thought must have a similar independent substance.

K: I don't quite follow this. Sorry.

B: You said air is matter. Right? Water is matter. Now waves are not matter, they are just a process in matter. Is that clear what I mean?

K: Yes. A wave is a process in matter.

B: A material process. Is thought matter, or is it a process in matter?

K: Ah!

Q: May one ask, is electricity considered matter?

B: In so far as there are electron particles it is matter but it is also a movement of that, which is a process.

Q: So it is two things.

B: Well you can form waves of electricity and so on.

Q: Waves would be the matter but not the electrical action.

B: Well the electrical action is like the waves but the electricity consists of particles.

K: Sir, what is the question you have just asked me?

B: Is thought matter, or is it a process in matter? For example, in the matter of the brain.

K: Is thought...

B: Is thought a material substance, or is it a process in some other material substance, like the brain?

K: It is a material process in the brain.

B: Yes, scientists would generally agree with that.

K: Let's stick to that.

B: If you said it was matter they would become very puzzled.

K: I see.

Q: It doesn't exist apart from the brain cells. It resides in the brain.

K: That is, thought is a material process in the brain. That would be right. Then is that material process independent - can that material process ever be independent?

B: Independent of what?

K: Independent of something that is not a material process - no, wait a minute, I must go slowly. I know what I am trying to express. I must be careful That's all I know. Right? A material process in the brain.

B: Yes, OK.

K: To which we all agree.

B: Yes, you would get very wide agreement on that.

K: Yes. Our question is: can that material process in the brain bring about a change in itself.

B: That is the question, yes.

K: In itself, and if that material in itself can change it would still be a material process.

B: Yes.

K: Right?

B: Well thought is always going to be apparently a material process.

K: So it will still be a material process. And therefore it is not insight. We must come back to that.

B: You are saying that insight is not a material process? That is what you are saying.

K: Go slow. I must be careful of using the right words. Thought is a material process in the brain and any other movements springing from that material process is still material.

B: Yes, it has to be.

K: Has to be, right. And is there another activity which is not a material process?

B: Well of course people have asked that question for ages. Is there spirit beyond matter, right?

K: Spirit, Holy Ghost! Is there a material process in the brain, is there some other activity which - it cannot be related to this, to the material process.

B: Well it cannot depend on it. Insight cannot depend on the material process as it would be just another material process.

K: It cannot depend on it. Insight is not dependent on the material process, which is thought.

B: But you were saying it the other way round: that the material process may depend on insight, may be changed by insight.

K: Ah, wait, wait. The material process is dependent on it, and not that dependent on this.

B: Yes, that is what you are saying, isn't it?

K: Yes. Slowly, slowly.

B: Now you see, generally speaking people would not see how something non-material could affect something material, you see.

K: Yes, quite.

B: It might be easily agreed that something non-material is not affected by matter but then how does the operation work the other way?

K: What do you say? The brain, thought is a material process, with its content. Any activity from that is still part of that. Now is insight part of that?

B: Well we have agreed it is independent of that. It takes place independently of that, it can't be part of it.

K: That's right.

B: There's something the other way. But it can still act within the material process, that's the crucial thing.

K: Yes, That's right. That's right. It is independent of the material process but yet it can act upon the material process.

B: Well let's discuss that a little. You see...

K: Yes, be careful, we mustn't enter into the Holy Spirit!

B: Generally speaking in science if A can act on B it is usually reciprocal action of B on A. We don't find situations where A acts on B and B never acts on A.

K: I see, I see.

B: This is one of the difficulties you have raised.

K: I understand. But B can act on A.

B: But generally we don't find this elsewhere, we generally find that if B acts on A then A can act on B. In human relations if I can act on you, you can act on me - right?

K: Yes. But if I don't act - we say human relationships are interaction.

B: Yes, mutual relationships.

K: Mutual relationship. In that relationship there is response and so on. Now if I don't respond to your action, I am independent of it.

B: Yes. I think that if we are trying to make this clear in science: you see science generally finds that this situation is not possible to have a one-sided action.

K: Quite. I have understood it. So we are continually insisting that the material process must have a relationship to...

B: Well an action. You see relationship is an ambiguous word here. If you said action it would be more clear.

K: All right. The material process...

B:... must be able to act.

K:... must be able to act on the non-material, and the non-material must act on the material.

B: But that would make them both the same.

K: Exactly! Exactly!

Q: Not necessarily. Could one envisage may be that insight is a much larger movement than the material process of the brain, and therefore that much larger movement can act on the smaller movement but the smaller movement cannot act on the larger movement.

K: Yes, we are saying the same thing.

B: The small movement has no significant action on the larger movement. You can have a situation that if you drop a rock in the ocean, you know the ocean absorbs it with no significant...

K: Quite, quite.

Q: Well then they would still have an action amongst themselves but there is only one action that is significant

K: No, no, be careful. Don't enter into that too quickly. Sir, love has no relationship to hate.

B: Well, again it is the word 'relationship'. You see would you say hate has no action on love?

K: They are independent.

B: Independent, they have no action on each other. Right.

K: Ah, this is a very important thing to discover. Love is independent of hate. Where there is hate the other cannot exist. Right?

B: Yes.

K: Right?

B: Yes, they can't stand side by side acting on each other.

K: No, they can't. So when you scientists say A must have a relation to B, B must have a relation to A - right? We are contradicting that. Love is...

B: Well not all scientists have said that but of course a few have said otherwise - I don't like to bring in Aristotle, but he said...

K: Bring in Aristotle, both of you.

B:... there is an unmoved mover, you see, he says that god is never moved by matter, he is not acted on by matter but he acts. Do you see? So that is an old idea then. Since that time science has thrown out Aristotle and said that is impossible.

K: If I see clearly that love is independent of hate, hate cannot possibly act on love, love may act on hate, or where hate is the other cannot be.

B: Well those are two possibilities, which are you saying?

K: What are the two possibilities?

B: Well you said, one is that love may act on hate, and the other is that they have no action at all on each other.

K: Yes.

B: Which?

K: I understand. No sir, love cannot act on hate.

B: Right. They have no relationship. But perhaps insight could.

K: Slowly. I am moving, edging my way into it. I want to be quite clear on this point. Violence and to be without violence are two entirely different factors. Right?

B: Right.

K: The one cannot act upon the other.

B: Well in that case you could say that the existence of the one is the non-existence of the other, and there is no way to act together.

K: That's right.

B: They cannot be there together.

K: Absolutely. I'll stick to that. So where there is this material process in action, the other cannot exist.

B: Well then you are going to say - what is the other this time, insight or...

K: Yes.

Q: Well then that sounds as if insight cannot change that material process.

K: Eh?

B: Well that denies what we were saying before that there is an action from insight on the material process.

K: Now steady, yes. Where there is violence the other is not. Right? Non-violence, I hate to use that word, whatever it is.

B: Peace.

K: Peace.

B: Or order, harmony, right?

K: Where there is violence peace cannot exist. But where there is peace, is there violence? No, of course not. So peace is independent of the other.

B: Yes.

K: Now we are saying the material process, being independent of insight...

B: No, we didn't say that. We said it might depend on insight.

K: Suppose for the moment... independent of insight then insight cannot act on the other.

B: That's true, yes. If that is the case.

K: If that is the case.

Q: Sir you have said many, many times that intelligence can act upon thought, insight can act, can affect thought, but it doesn't work the other way round. You have said this in many forms.

K: If intelligence can wipe away ignorance, but ignorance cannot touch intelligence. Right? Where there is love hate can never exist. Right?

B: Well as long as there is love.

K: Yes I am saying that. Can love wipe away hate?

B: Well we said that doesn't seem to be possible.

K: It doesn't seem possible.

B: Because hate seems to be an independent force.

K: Of course it is.

Q: Is there a question of volume then?

B: What?

Q: Is there a question of volume, in other words if love can't wipe away hate, can there be enough units of love to supplant hate? Are we talking about a physical possibility?

B: Well I think that hate goes on its own independently.

K: I have come back.

B: It has its own momentum, you see, its own force, its own movement.

Q: I don't quite get this relationship of this love and hate, independence with this other discussion of insight.

B: That is what we have been trying to get at. There seems to be two different areas.

Q: It is an exploration really.

Q: Thought is a movement and insight seems to be a non-movement where everything seemingly is at rest and it can observe movement.

B: Yes, that is what we are trying to get at, the notion of something which is not affected by anything else.

Q: Or anything else can affect it.

Q: Aren't you then saying, if you look at this love/hate thing, aren't you in essence saying there is good and there is evil, and evil is a completely separate independent force on its own?

B: Well, it is independent of good.

Q: But isn't the process in the mind, or is it related to insight?

B: Well we are coming to that.

Q: Well take light and darkness, light appears and the darkness is gone.

Q: Well in a way it is just like the pattern of duality, isn't it? When you say there is good and there is evil and they are completely separate, if one is completely independent of the other...

B: Well when one is the other can't be, you see. That is all that we are saying so far.

Q: There is no relationship.

Q: Do you mean in a single brain?

B: In any brain, yes, or in a group, or anywhere. Well whenever there is hate going on in a group there is not love.

K: Sir, I have just thought of something - not thought of it, it just came to my mind. Love has no cause. Right? Hate has a cause. Insight has no cause. Right? The material process, as thought, has a cause.

B: Yes, it is part of the chain of cause and effect, yes.

K: That which has no cause, can it act ever upon that which has a cause?

B: Well it might. We see that the insight might act to change the...

K: I just want to go slowly.

B: Yes. We can see no reason why that which has no cause might not act on what has a cause. There is no obvious reason. It won't happen the other way round. What has a cause cannot act on what has no cause because the would deny the whole thing.

K: Yes, that's right. But apparently the action of insight has an extraordinary effect on the material process.

B: Yes, so as to change the whole causal - it may wipe out some causes for example.

K: It wipes out - I know what it wipes out, slowly - -as insight is causeless, which is not born out of cause, that insight has a definite effect on that which has cause.

B: Yes, well it doesn't follow but it is possible. I mean you put it as if it followed necessarily but it doesn't follow, so far it doesn't follow but we say it is possible.

K: No, no I don't say it is possible.

B: I am saying we haven't quite seen why it is necessary.

K: Let's say that it is possible, I can't admit possibility in this.

B: Well we are just saying that there is no contradiction when we say the word possible, I merely mean that there is no contradiction in saying that insight acts on...

K: All right, I see. As long as we are clear on the word 'possible'. We must be careful here. Love being without cause, and hate has a cause, the two cannot co-exist.

B: Yes. That is true. That is why there is a difference between love and insight. That is why it doesn't follow necessarily that if something has no cause it will act on something that has a cause. That is what I was trying to say.

K: I just want to explore a little more. Is love insight?

B: Well as far as we can see it is not the same exactly. Love is not identically the same as insight, is it?

K: Love is - what is the question?

B: Well you asked is love insight.

K: Yes, I asked that.

B: At first sight we see that they are not necessarily exactly the same thing.

K: Why?

B: Insight may be love but you see insight also occurs in a flash for example.

K: It is a flash of course. And that flash alters the whole pattern.

B: That's right.

K: But that flash operates on the whole pattern, uses the pattern in the sense, argue, reason, logic and all that. I don't know if I am making myself clear.

B: Well I think once the flash has operated then the pattern is different and therefore it would be more rational.

K: No, what I am trying to say is: you have a flash but you can be logical

B: The flash may make logic possible because you may have been confused before the flash.

K: Ah, yes, yes sir. Aristotle may have come to all this by logic.

B: Well he may have had some insight, we don't know.

K: We don't know but I am questioning it.

B: Well we really don't know how his mind operated because there are only a few books that survived.

K: Would you say he had insight by reading a few of his books?

B: I haven't really read Aristotle directly, very few people have because it is hard. Very few people have actually read Aristotle, what he directly said. Most people read what other people said about Aristotle. There are a few phrases of Aristotle which are common - the unmoved mover. And he has seen some things which suggest that he was quite intelligent, at least.

K: What I am trying to say is that insight is not partial ever. I am talking of total insight, not partial insight.

Q: Krishnaji, could you explain that a little bit more? What do you mean by not partial insight?

K: An artist can have a partial insight. A scientist can have a partial insight. I am talking - 'X' is talking about total insight.

Q: Not an insight bound by a certain area.

K: It is total insight.

Q: You see the artist is also a human being, so...

K: But his capture of insight is partial.

Q: Is that necessarily so?

Q: It is directed to art, painting or whatever the art is. So you mean an insight that illuminates a limited area, or subject, is that what you mean by partial insight?

K: Yes.

Q: Yes, it concerns music or whatever. Then what would be total insight, it would encompass what?

K: The total human activity. Right sir?

B: Well that is one point. But coming back we were discussing before that this insight would illuminate the brain, the activity of the brain, and in that illumination it seems that the activity of the brain, the material activity of the brain will change. Would that be fair?

K: Let's go slowly.

B: Yes, we must get this point clear, then we could raise the question of totality. Now we are saying that insight is an energy perhaps which illuminates the activity of the brain. And in that illumination the brain itself begins to act differently.

K: That's right sir. That's all. You are quite right. That is what takes place. Yes.

B: This illumination, we say its source is not in the material process, it has no cause.

K: It has no cause.

B: But it is a real energy.

K: It is pure energy. That's right, sir.

B: Pure energy. It is like saying - well we know the lightening flash has a cause but it flashes on the ground which is not connected with the cause of what is on the ground.

K: Quite, quite.

Q: Iron filings, all halter-skelter, and you put a magnet and suddenly they are all in order.

B: Well that's a cause, that is the magnetic field acting as a cause, you see.

K: Yes, sir, that's quite right. Which means is there action without cause?

B: Yes, without time, cause implies time.

K: Time, of course. That is, this flash has altered completely the pattern which the material process has set.

B: Yes. Could you say that the material process generally operates in a kind of darkness and therefore it has set itself in a wrong path.

K: Darkness, yes. The material process naturally sir, it is quite simple. That is clear. The material process acts in ignorance, in darkness. Right? And this flash enlightens the whole field. Which means ignorance, darkness has been dispelled. Right. I will hold to that.

B: Well then you could say then in that sense darkness and light cannot co-exist for obvious reasons.

K: Obviously.

B: Nevertheless the very existence of light is to change the process of darkness.

K: Quite right. I hold to that. Quite right.

Q: But what contributes the flash?

K: What?

B: What will produce the flash?

K: Wait, I haven't come to that yet. I want to go step by step, into this, otherwise we will get...

B: Yes. Now we must make it very clear that you are saying that the process, the material process of the brain can depend on this flash which has no cause, which therefore is outside the chain of ordinary material process.

K: Yes, yes.

B: That is as far as we can say.

K: What has happened is that the material process has worked in darkness and has brought about such confusion and all the rest of it, the mess that exists in the world. And this flash wipes away the darkness. Right? Which means what? The material process then is not working in darkness. Right?

B: Right. Yes. But now let's make another point clear. Here is the flash but it seems the light will go on.

K: The light goes on.

B: The flash has gone but the light is going on, right?

K: The light is there, the flash is the light.

B: We have to consider, you see you have the flash now, right. At a certain moment, the flash is immediate but then as you work from there there is still light.

K: Why do you differentiate flash from light?

B: Well just simply the word 'flash' suggests something that happens in one moment.

K: Yes.

B: We should clear this up. You see we are saying that your insight would only last in that moment. Let's clear it up.

K: Yes.

Q: Can we call it sudden light?

K: Just a minute. I must go slowly. What is this sir?

B: Well it is a matter of language.

K: Is it merely a matter of language?

B: Maybe not, but if you use the word 'flash', like a flash of lightening gives light for that moment but then the next moment you are in darkness until the next flash of lightening.

K: It is not like that.

B: Right. So what is it? Is it that the light suddenly turns on and stays on? The other view is to say that the light suddenly flashes on and stays on.

K: No. Because when we put that question 'stays on and goes off', you are thinking in terms of time.

B: Yes, well we have to clear this up because it is the question everybody will put.

K: The material process is working in darkness, in time, in ignorance and so on, in knowledge, ignorance, all that. When that insight takes place there is the dispelling of that darkness. That is all we are saying.

Q: But the material process...

K: Wait, sir, I am coming to it. It dispels that darkness. And thought, which is the material process, is no longer working in darkness, therefore that light has altered, has ended, no, has ended ignorance.

B: So we say this darkness is really something which is built into the content of thought.

K: The content is darkness.

B: That's right.

K: By Jove.

B: Then that light has dispelled that ignorance.

K: That's right sir. That's right. Dispelled the content.

B: But still we have to be very careful, you still have content in the usually accepted sense of the word, like you know all kinds of things.

K: Of course, of course.

B: So we can't say it has dispelled all the content.

K: It has dispelled the centre of darkness.

B: Yes, the source, the creator of darkness.

K: The self. Right? It has dispelled the centre of darkness which is the self.

B: Well we could say that a certain content, the self is part of the content and that part of the content which is the centre of darkness, which creates it and maintains it, is dispelled.

K: Dispelled. Yes. The centre of darkness, which has maintained the darkness, has been dispelled. I hold to that. Going on slowly.

B: We say now that means a physical change in the brain cells. That centre, that content which is the centre is a certain set form, disposition of all the brain cells and that in some way alters.

K: Of course sir, obviously.

You see sir, this is so, it has enormous significance. Right? That is in our relationship with our society, in everything.

Now the next question is, which Mrs Lilliefelt put, is: how does this flash come about? Let's begin the other way round. How does love come about? How does peace come about? Which is, peace being causeless, violence is cause, how does that causeless thing come about when my whole life is causation? There is no 'how'. Right? There is no 'how'. The 'how' implies a cause, so there is no 'how'. I must stop here a bit.

Q: Are you saying that since it is without cause it is something that just exists and that...

K: No, I don't say that it exists. That is a dangerous statement. Immediately.

Q: It has to exist at some point.

K: No. The moment you say it exists it is not.

B: Well you see the danger is that that is part of the content.

K: Be careful in these things.

Q: If you are using it as content. But if you were saying - or if I can make the next statement: it, say, is, and the mind is blocked, the brain is blocked from something that is without cause, or without any time quality, but the brain is blocked.

K: Don't use those words, no. No, no. We have gone through all that. You are beginning all over again. We have gone through all that. The question Dr Bohm put, posed, was: why do you say insight changes, brings about a mutation in the brain cells? That was the question. That question has been put after a series of discussions. And we have come to a point when we say that flash, that light, has no cause, and that light operates on that which has cause, which is the darkness, which is, that darkness exists as long as the self is there, is the originator of that darkness, that light dispels the very centre of darkness. That's all. We have come to that point. And therefore there is a mutation and so on and so on.

Then the question, when Mrs Lilliefelt put that question how do I get it, how does it happen. Right? That's all. I say that is a wrong question. There is no 'how'.

Q: There is no 'how' but there is darkness and there is light.

K: Just see first there is no 'how'. If you show me how you are back into the darkness. Right.

B: Right.

K: That's a tremendous thing to understand that. I am asking something else, a question sir, which is: why is it that we have no insight at all, why is it that it doesn't start from our childhood, this insight? You follow what I am talking about?

B: Well the way life is lived...

K: No, I want to find. Is it our education? Is it our society? Is it our - I don't believe it is all that. You follow?

B: What do you say then?

K: Am I making myself clear? It is some other factor. I am groping after it. I am groping after this, which is why don't we have it, it seems so natural?

B: Yes, well at first one would say something is interfering with it.

K: I don't want to go back. It seems so natural. For 'X' it is quite natural. Why isn't it natural for A, B, C, D, all the twenty six letters? Why isn't it possible? If we say blockage, education, which are all causes - right?

B: Yes.

K: Then to remove the blockages implies another cause. So we keep on rolling in that direction. There is something unnatural about all this.

Q: If you would say there are blocks...

K: I don't want to use that, that is the language of the darkness.

Q: Then you could say that the blocks prevent the insight from acting.

K: Of course. But I want to move away from these blockages.

B: Not exactly blockages, but we used the words centre of darkness, which we say is maintaining darkness, that something is going on.

K: To 'X' it seems so natural. Why isn't it natural to everybody? You follow what I am talking about?

B: That is the question.

K: That is the question I am asking. And you say blockages, the self, the society, environment, genetic inheritance - I say those are all causes. Now why isn't it natural to everybody? Right sir? Why is not love natural to everybody? Am I putting the question?

B: Well I think to make it more clear: you see some people might feel it is natural to everybody, but being treated in a certain way they gradually get caught in hate.

K: I don't believe that.

B: Well then you would have to ask: suppose you were to say that the young child meeting hate would not respond with hate. Why is that not natural?

K: Yes, that's right.

B: Yes, that is your question. Most people would say that it is natural for the young child meeting hate to respond with hate.

K: Yes, this morning I heard that. Then I asked myself why?

B: If you say it would be natural to meet hate without hate...

K: It seems so natural.

Now just a minute sir. 'X' has been put under all these circumstances - right - which could have produced blockages, which could have produced all the rest of it - but 'X' wasn't touched by it. You follow? Why is it not possible for everybody?

B: We should make it more clear why we say it would be natural immediately not to respond to hate with hate.

K: All right. Limit it to that.

B: Even thought one hasn't thought about it, you know the child is not able to think about all this.

K: Is it possible to act - what is it?

B: Is it possible, meeting hate not to respond with hate, even though a young child, who hasn't thought about it, he doesn't know.

K: Yes right. Interesting this.

B: Because some people would say it would be instinct, the animal instinct...

K: Which is to hate.

B: Well, to fight back.

K: To fight back.

B: The animal will respond with love if you treat him with love, but if you treat the animal with hate he is going to fight back.

K: Of course.

B: He will become very vicious.

K: Yes.

B: Now some people would say that the human being in the beginning is like that animal and later he can understand. Right?

K: Of course. That is, the human being began his origin with the animal and the animal, the ape or any other animal, the wolf...

B: The wolf will respond with love too.

K: And we are saying: why...

B: Look, almost everybody feels that what I said is true, that we are like the animal when we are young children. Now you are saying why didn't the young child, why don't all children respond immediately, fail to respond to hate with hate?

K: That means, is it the fault of the parents?

B: Well what you are implying is that it is not entirely that, that there is something deeper.

K: Yes sir. I think there is something quite different. I want to capture that.

B: This is something that would be important.

K: How do you find out? Let's have an insight! I feel that there is something totally different. We are attacking it from a causational point of view. Would it be right sir, just a question mark, would it be right to say that the beginning of man is not animal?

B: Well that is not clear, you see. The present theory of evolution which has been followed, there have been apes, developing, you can follow the line where they become more and more like human beings.

K: Yes, I know.

B: Now when you say the beginning of man is not animal, then it is not clear.

K: I am asking. And therefore if the beginning of man is the animal therefore we have that instinct highly cultivated and that instinct is natural.

B: Yes, that instinct is cause and effect.

K: Yes, cause and effect and it becomes natural. And someone comes along and says, 'Is it?'

B: Right. Let's try to get this clear then. Let's make this clear because...

K: I mean from all the scientific and historical and all the archaeologists, they say man began from the ape.

B: Yes, began from other animals.

K: And that as all animals respond to love and to hate, we as human beings, respond instantly to hate by hate.

B: And vice versa, to love by love.

Q: Could we say that that is a question which cannot possibly be answered by scientists?

K: We are scientists.

B: It depends what you mean.

Q: I mean it in that sense that you see science tries to explain things to primary causes, and the biologist would say, well this kind of instinct has died out, it has died a natural death because man responded to hate with love.

B: Well that is one view, you could say that it would not have been helpful for survival to respond to hate with love, that it would have been a selection of people who responded to hate with hate.

Q: That is why I feel it is not a question of that kind which can be answered by such an approach.

K: So at the beginning there were people, or there were half a dozen people who never responded to hate because they had love, and those people, one or two had implanted this thing in the human mind also. Right? That where love is the other is not. And that has also been part of our inheritance. Right? Because those few said this, that. And why haven't we as human beings cultivated to respond to hate by hate, why haven't we cultivated the other? And the other is not cultivatable.

Q: They have tried to cultivate it.

K: No, it is not cultivatable.

B: It is not casual. It cannot be, cultivation depends on a cause.

K: On cause. So why have we lost that? If this is so.

Q: But when you ask why we have lost it, that implies that we have had it sometime.

K: No, no. You have missed it.

B: Some have had it.

K: Yes. Some, I said that, some 'X', 'Y', 'Z', or A, B, C, when man began implanted in man this thing, love, which is causeless, which will not respond to hate. All right. That has been implanted. And we have cultivated very carefully by thought, respond to hate by hate, violence by violence, and so on. Why haven't we moved along with the other line? You follow my question?

B: Yes,

K: Is this a futile question sir?

B: One doesn't see any way of proceeding.

K: I am not trying to proceed.

B: We have to understand what made people respond to hate with hate, why they didn't...

K: To 'X' the other seems so natural. To 'X' he never even thought about the other. So if that is so natural to 'X', why isn't it natural to 'Y' and so on? If he is a freak then there is no answer. That is a stupid way of pushing him off. If it is natural to 'X' it must be natural to others, why isn't it natural? You follow my question? Why?

You know this ancient idea which is probably in existence in the Jewish religion and in the Indian religions and so on, that the manifestation of the highest takes place, occasionally. That seems too easy an explanation. Have we moved in the wrong direction?

B: What do you mean by that?

K: We have taken the wrong turn.

B: You mean mankind? Yes, we have discussed that before, that there has been a wrong turning.

K: To respond to hate by hate, violence by violence and so on.

B: And giving supreme value to knowledge.

Q: Wouldn't another factor also be the attempt to cultivate the idea of love?

K: Who says that?

Q: Well people in literature, people have always tried to really produce love and better human beings.

B: That is the purpose of religion.

Q: It is the purpose of religion.

K: Wipe it out by one - if it is cultivatable, by what, thought? Thought is a material process. Don't go into all that. Love has no cause, it is not cultivatable, full stop.

Q: Yes, but you see the mind doesn't see that.

K: But we explained all that sir. I want to go into something, forgive me, not that, I want to find out if it is natural to A, B, C, why isn't it natural to 'X' 'Y'? I think this is a valid question. Right?

B: Even another point is to say that you could see that the response of hate to hate just makes no sense anyway, why do we go on with it? Because people may believe in that moment that they are protecting themselves with hate, but it is no protection.

K: Oh, please give me some insight! It is a very good question sir. I think it is valid. A, B, C, are born without cause and 'X', 'Y', 'Z' are caught in cause. They walk along that way and those don't walk along that way. So why not 'X' 'Y' 'Z'? You understand? I keep on. Is it the privilege of the few? The elite? No, no. Let's begin the other way round sir. I hope it doesn't bore you.

B: No, go ahead.

K: 'X's' mind is the mind of humanity. We have been through that. The mind of humanity has been responding to hate with hate, violence by violence, knowledge by knowledge and so on. And A, B, C are part of humanity, but A, B, C do not respond to hate by hate, they are part of me, they are part of 'X's' conscience, part of all that. Please.

B: Why is there this difference?

K: Yes sir, that is what I am asking. One is natural, the other is unnatural. Why? Why the difference? Who is asking this question? Just a minute. Who is asking this question? The people, 'X' 'Y' 'Z' who respond to hate by hate, are they asking the question? Or A, B, C are asking the question.

Q: It would seem that A, B, C are asking this question.

B: It appears that way, that A, B, C have asked the question.

K: A, B, C are asking the question, yes.

B: But you see we were also just saying that they are not different.

K: They are not different.

B: We say they are different but also they are not different.

K: Of course. They are not different. Just a minute, just a minute. 'X', 'Y', 'Z' say A, B, C are different. A, B, C say they are not different. Right? We are not different. Which means what? How do you respond to it? Don't think about it. A, B, C, 'X', 'Y', 'Z'. 'X', 'Y', 'Z' don't put this question, only A, B, C put this question. And A, B, C say we are part of you.

B: There is one mind.

K: That's it, one mind.

B: Yes and how does it come that another part of this one mind says, no?

K: That's the whole thing. How does it come about that one part of the mind says we are different from A, B, C? Of course there are all kinds of explanations - Karma, reincarnation, blah, blah, blah. Remove all those explanations, what am I left with, the fact that A, B, C are different from 'X', 'Y', 'Z'. And those are facts. Right?

Q: They appear to be different.

K: Oh no, they are absolutely different, not appear.

B: There is a contradiction because you said before that A, B, C are saying they are not different.

K: I must be clear. A, B, C do not respond to that.

B: I think the question we wanted to be sure we come back to is: why do the people who cultivate hate say that they are different from those who don't.

K: Do they say that?

B: I think they do in so far as they would admit that there was anybody who didn't cultivate hate, then they would say they must be different.

K: Yes, because that is clear - light and darkness and so on. But I want to find out are we moving in the right direction? That is, A, B, C have given me that gift and I have not carried that gift. You follow what I mean? I have carried the other gift but not this - why?

Q: Did you say sir that it is implanted in all of us?

K: Of course. If man began there, with the animal, somebody there must have said, look.

Q: But in A, B, C it is natural and in the others it is latent but has never come out, is that it?

K: I am asking that. Right sir?

B: Right.

K: My father - I am talking respectfully - was responding to hate by hate, why has the son not responded in the same direction?

B: I think it is a question of insight.

K: Which means what? He had insight right from the beginning. You follow what I am saying. Right from childhood, which means what?

B: What?

K: That - I don't want to enter into this dangerous field yet.

B: What is it? Perhaps you want to leave that.

K: There is some factor that is missing sir. I want to capture it. You see if that is an exception then it is silly.

B: All right then we agree that the thing is dormant in all human beings - is that what you want to say?

K: I am not quite sure that is what I want to say.

B: But I meant that the factor is there in all mankind.

K: That is a dangerous statement too.

B: That is what you were saying.

K: I know, but I am questioning, when I am quite sure I will tell you.

B: All right. We tried this and we can say it seems promising but it is a bit dangerous. This possibility is there in all mankind and in so far as some people have seen it.

K: Which means god is in you?

B: No, it is just that the possibility of insight is there.

K: Yes, partly. I am questioning all this sir. The father responds to hate by hate, the son doesn't.

B: Yes, well that happens from time to time.

K: No, consistently from the beginning - why?

B: Well it must depend on insight which shows the futility of hate.

K: Why did that chap have it?

B: Yes, why?

K: And he says this seems so terribly natural, what is natural it must be to everybody. Water is natural to everybody.

B: Yes, well why isn't insight present for everybody from the beginning?

K: Yes, that is all I am asking.

B: So strong that even maltreatment cannot affect it.

K: Nothing can affect it, that is my point. I am getting at it slowly. Maltreatment, beating, being put into all kinds of situations, it hasn't affected it. Why? You follow sir? Wait a minute. We had better stop. We are coming to something.

The Ending of Time

Longer, Unedited Versions

Ojai 6th Conversation with David Bohm 15th April, 1980 `the Ending of Time'

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

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