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The Future Is Now

Varanasi 1985

The Future Is Now Chapter 7 21st November 1985 Discussion with The Campers Varanasi

KRISHNAMURTI (K): This is supposed to be a conversation between us. You are going to question me, question the speaker; we are going to have a discussion, a deliberation, take counsel together, weigh together, consider together, balance things together. It is not that one person answers your question or your queries; not that the speaker considers and then you agree - that is rather childish - but, rather, we are going to have a conversation together. probably, you are not used to this - really to talk to somebody openly, frankly; probably you never do, even to your wife or husband or somebody closely related. You put on your mask, you pretend. If you could, put aside all that this morning and consider what questions we have, what we would like to talk over together, what you are most concerned with; not just some absurd stuff, but rather, what you really want to find out.

Before we begin to discuss - how do you approach a question? You understand what I am asking? How do you regard a question, a problem; how do you weigh the problem; how do you come very close to the problem? We cannot expect the speaker to answer your question because in the question itself may be the answer. Do you understand? So, whatever the question we are going to discuss this morning, let us examine it first, not wait for an answer. Have we understood this fact, or is it mysterious?

I have got a question for you - I am not going to answer it - Why do you separate living, your daily living from your ideas of the spiritual? Why do you divide the two? Why do you separate the so-called religious life and the monotonous, lonely, daily life? You answer my question.

First participant (P1): Because it needs a different kind of energy. The spiritual life and the ordinary, mundane life involve two different kinds of energy.

K: That is, two different kinds of energy - one for the so-called spiritual, religious life, and another kind of energy for the mundane life. Now, I am not going to answer the question. Let us find out if what you are saying is a fact.

You say that those people who are religious, who put on those funny robes, need a kind of energy quite different from that of a man who travels around and makes money or of the poor man in the village. Why do you divide the two? May I put that question? Energy is energy, right? - whether it be electrical energy or motor-driven energy or solar energy or the energy of a river in flood. So why do you divide energy? Is it that the man with a beard, strange clothes, has more energy, or that he is trying to concentrate his energy on a particular issue? You understand, sir?

P2: There are various kinds of energy: one is the energy of thought, which can be stilled; there is another, the energy of insight, which does not get stilled, and there is yet another, the energy of mind which brings about compassion and other things.

K: Certainly not.

P2: Pardon, sir?

K: Sir, we are talking it over, I am not laying down the law. Would you mind listening.

P2: What is the relationship of the three aspects of energy, of thought, of insight, and of mind?

K: You answer it. P3: May I sir?

K: Why not? You have a right to answer him.

P3: Just because we want to be comfortable, we divide energy into various compartments. I do not think there can be many types of energy. Energy can be only one.

K: Yes, I should have thought so myself. You see how we divide everything. We divide spiritual energy, mental energy, the energy of insight, the energy of thought.

P3: Then it gets so complicated.

K: I know it complicates it, doesn't it? Why not be very simple? The energy of the body, the energy of sex, the energy of thought, it is all energy. It is one thing; only we divide it. Why? Find out, madam, why do we divide it?

P4: We are conditioned to divide it.

K: Yes, sir. Why are you conditioned? Why do you accept this division? India-Pakistan, Russia-America - why do you divide all this? Tell me.

P5: The division is a reality.

K: Of course it is a reality. Why do you make obvious statements, sir?

P5: There is a difference between the truth and the reality. K: All right, what do you call reality?

P5: What we see.

K: Therefore, you say that reality is right in front of you, right? - It is what you see visually, optically. Is the tree a reality?

P5: Yes, sir.

K: All right, is what you think a reality?

P5: Sometimes we have to think. K: Is your wife a reality? I am asking you a question: what do you mean by `my wife'?

P6: There is the psychological attitude that I have towards my wife and there is the reality of my wife who has her own psychology.

K: Are you saying, sir - if I may put it in my own words - that the image of your wife, the image which you have built up, is different from your wife; is that it?

P6. It may happen sometimes that the image coincides with the reality of what my wife is.

K: Have you looked at your wife? Have you seen her, enquired into her ambitions, her anxiety, the pain of bearing children and all the rest of it? Have you considered what the wife is? You have built an image about her, haven't you?

P6: Not necessarily.

K: I do not say necessary or unnecessary. It is a fact that you, if you are married, or if you have some friend, build an image about her? Don't you? Not necessarily, but it takes place, right?

P6: Yes, sir.

K: I am not trying to brow-beat you, sir, but each one has an image about the other. You have an image about me, otherwise you would not be here. So we create an image about another, depending on our temperament, depending on our knowledge, depending on our illusions, depending on our fantasies, and so on. We build an image about people: you have an image about the prime minister, you have an image about the person who is speaking to you. So we are asking a much deeper question, which is: can you live a daily life without images?

P7: The images that we build up are generally in relationship with ourselves. I build up an image around me. K: Yes, you have an image about yourself.

P7: Yes, and if we can achieve that state which you have been talking about - effacing the centre, the self - then the images would automatically drop. Then one can live without the image.

K: So, when you talk about relationship, what do you mean by that word? Sir, please, just listen quietly before you answer. Take a little breather. What is your relationship with another? You understand the word `relationship'? To be related - I am related to him through blood: he is my father, my brother, whatever it is. What do you mean by that word `relationship'? Carefully, sir, do not be so quick; go slowly.

P7: I am not using the word `relationship' in that sense.

K: I am talking in that sense.

P8: My care and concern for my friends, for my parents, for my children, including hatred - all that is included.

K: Do you really care? Or is it just an idea that you should care? If I may politely ask you, what do you mean by the word `related' - not what meaning you give to it, the meaning according to the dictionary.

P9: Contacts through the actual, not through words or images.

K: Sir, I am asking you a question; do not kick it around. What do you mean by related? I am related to him - what does that mean?

P10: I think when I say I am related, I become a part of that. K: Are you a part of your wife?

P10: Yes, partially.

K: Not total or partial. I am asking, what do you mean by the word `related'? P11: Sir, being associated with day-to-day life, a network of expectations from each other, duties and obligations.

K: Oh, God, you make it so very complex, don't you? I am just asking you what you mean by that word per se - for itself - not what you think it should be.

P12: Close touch; getting attached; to have something in common. If I have an image about you, then I have a relationship with you.

K: Do you have a relationship with me?

P12: Yes.

K: In what way? I am asking this seriously, sir; do not throw it aside.

P12: When I am looking at you without an image, I have relationship at that moment with you.

K: You really have not thought about it, sir. You are just throwing out words.

P13: I think we have diverted from the original question.

K: I know, I know. So, sir, let us go back. I will come back to this word; it is a very important word in our life.

Why do we divide the spiritual and the mundane? We divide India against Pakistan; we divide various religions - Christianity, Buddhism, Hinduism and so on; we divide, divide, divide. Why? Do not answer; just look at it, sir. We are taking counsel together; we are looking at the same problem together - why do we divide? Of course, there is a division between man and woman; or, you are tall, I am short; you are brown or white, I happen to be black - but that is natural, isn't it? I won't go into all that. So why do we divide?

P14: Because we have different ideas and different feelings and different interests, and we want to stick to them. K: Why do you want to stick to them?

P14: Because we are selfish and we have self-interest.

K: Do not reduce everything to selfishness. Why do we divide, I am asking. Who is dividing?

P15: The mind itself first divides into the inner perception and then the outer perception.

K: Sir, is that your own experience, or are you quoting somebody?

P15: Half-half.

K: Could we please be serious for a while and face these facts? Why have we divided the world around us - Pakistan, India, Europe, America, Russia and so on? Who has made all these divisions?

P16: I think it is ego, it is thought.

K: Are you guessing? Why don't we look at the facts first? We have different ideologies, different beliefs: one section of the world believes in Jesus, the other section believes in Allah, some other section believes in the Buddha, another section believes in something else; who has made all these divisions?

P17: It is we, mankind.

K: That means you.

P17: Yes, sir.

K: You have divided the world.

P17: Yes, sir.

K: Why? Why have you divided it?

P18: Fear and security.

K: Are you sure of what you are saying! P19: We divide ourselves because we derive pleasure from this division.

K: If you are being killed by the other party, is that also pleasure? Don't make casual remarks because this is not an entertainment; I am not here to entertain you.

So if you will kindly listen, I am asking you a question: who has divided the world into this? Has not man done this? You have done it - because you are a Hindu or a Muslim or a Sikh or some other sect, right? Man wants security, so he says, I belong to the Buddhists: that gives me identity, that gives me strength, that gives me a sense of place where I can stay. Why do we do this? Is it for security; because if I lived as a Hindu in a world of Muslims, they would kick me around? Or if I lived as a Protestant in Rome, I would find it awfully difficult because Rome is the centre of Catholicism, right? Who has done all this - made this colossal mess? You have done it, he has done it, she has done it. What will you do about it?Just talk about it? You don't want to act; you say, Let us carry on.

P20: You have no intention to help us but, when we are here, we find that you help us. How does that happen?

K: Too bad. I do not want to help anybody. It is wrong to help another, except surgically, with food, and so on. The speaker is not your leader; we have said it a thousand times all over Europe, America and here.

P20: You may not help us, but you make us understand things.

K: No! We are having a conversation together. In that conversation we may begin to see things clearly for ourselves. Therefore nobody is helping you; it is a conversation.

P21: Yes, sir. K: Don't say, `Yes sir'. Did you hear what I said - that the speaker is not here to help you in any way? He is not your guru, you are not his follower. The speaker says all that is an abomination.

P22: Why is there so much cruelty in nature that one being has to eat another in order to survive?

K: A tiger lives on smaller things, right? So the big things eat little things. And you are asking why nature is so cruel.

P22: No, sir. Why is there so much cruelty in nature?

K: First of all, why is there so much cruelty in nature? - that is natural, perhaps. Don't say there is cruelty in nature. Why are you so cruel? Why are human beings cruel?

P23: I want to get rid of my pain and sorrow; therefore, if anybody hurts me, I also react or respond in a similar manner.

K: Sir, have you ever considered that all human beings suffer - all human beings in the world, whether they live in Russia, America, China, India, Pakistan, wherever it is? All human beings suffer.

P23: Yes, sir.

K: Now, how do you solve that suffering?

P23: I am interested in my own suffering.

K: What are you doing about it?

P23: I have come here to be enlightened by you.

K: What shall we do together, sir, together? Not I help you or you help me; what shall we do together to get rid of sorrow?

P23: I don't know, sir.

K: Are you sure?

P23. Yes sir. K: No, no, answer carefully; this is a very serious question. Are you sure you don't know how to be free of sorrow?

P23: Yes, sir. I do not know how to get rid of my sorrow.

K. Just a minute, just a minute - remain in that state. Would you listen sir, please? He said a very serious thing. He said, `I really don't know how to be free of sorrow.' When you say, `I don't know,' is it that you are waiting to know? You understand my question?

P23: Yes, sir.

K: I don't know but I may be expecting some kind of answer. Therefore when I am expecting, I step out of not knowing.

P23: What does it mean - stay in not knowing?

K: I will tell you what it means; I am not helping you. It is a very serious matter when you say I am not helping you, because we have been helped for so many thousands of years. Sir, when you say `I don't know,' what does that mean? I don't know what Mars is. He is an astro-physicist, and I go to him to find out what Mars is.

P23: But I am not interested in Mars.

K: I know you are not interested in Mars; nor am I. But I am taking that as an example. I don't know what Mars is, and I go to an astro-physicist and say, `Sir, tell me what Mars is.' He tells me that Mars is various combinations of gas and all the rest of it, and I say, `That is not Mars; your description of Mars is different from Mars.' So I ask you, when you say `I don't know,' what do you mean by that - `I don't know'? I am not waiting for an answer - which may be crooked, which may be false, which may be illusory, therefore I am not expecting, right? Are you in that state - `I don't know'?

P24: We are stunned when we remain in that state. K: Remain in that state. I don't know how to swim in the Ganga.

P25: I cannot do anything about it.

K: You cannot. When you do not know what is the cause of suffering, how it can be ended - you don't know, right? So remain in that state and find out. When you put a question you expect an answer, don't you? Be honest, be simple. You expect an answer from a book, from another person or from some philosopher - somebody to tell you the answer. Would you put a question and listen to the question? You understand what I am saying? When you put a question, would you wait for the question to reveal itself? I know if I can understand the question properly, I will find the answer. So the answer may be in the question.

That is, I put a question to you; don't try to find an answer, but find out if you have understood the question - the depth of the question or the superficiality of the question or the meaninglessness of the question. Would you look at the question first? So I am suggesting, sir, if you put a question to the speaker, the speaker says the question itself has vitality, energy, not the answer because the answer is in the question. Right? Find out. The question contains the answer.

P26: An intelligent mind can put a right question. I feel I am not intelligent at all so how can I ask a right question?

K: You cannot. But you can find out why you are not intelligent. He is intelligent, I am not. Why? Is intelligence dependent on comparison? You understand, sir? Did you listen to my question?

P27: Many times we find an answer to our question, but we require somebody else's approval of that answer.

K: So the answer is not important but the approval of another is important. P28: The correct answer is important, and therefore approval of the correct answer is required.

K: By whom? By your friends, who are equally unintelligent? By whom do you want the approval - public opinion? the governor, the prime minister or high priests? From whom do you want approval, sir? You don't think at all; you just repeat, repeat.

P29: Sir, I remain with the situation `I don't know', but it is tiresome.

K: Why is it tiresome?

P29: I try to find out.

K: Don't try to find out. Here is a question: Why has man - why have we - made such a mess of the world, mess of our lives, mess of other people's lives? You understand, sir? It is a mess, it is a confusion; why? Listen to the question, go into the question.

Have you ever held in your hands a marvellous jewel? You look at it, don't you? You see the intricacies of it, how beautifully it is put together, what extraordinary skill has gone into it, right? The silversmith must have had marvellous hands. The jewel is very important; you look at it, you cherish it, you put it away in the case and look at it, don't you?

P29: I want to have it.

K: Yes, you have it in your hand, sir; I am saying you look at it. Your marvellous picture is painted by somebody or other and you look at it. It is in your room, it is yours - you just do not hang it and forget it; you look at it. In the same way, if I ask you a question, look at it, listen to the question. But we are so quick to answer it, so impatient. So I am suggesting, sir, look at it, take time, weigh it, see the beauty of the question. It may be an utterly unimportant question. Do it, sir. Then you will find that the question itself has a tremendous energy.

P30: Why do we not change?

K: Why, sir? Why don't you change.

P30: I don't know, but I do not change.

K: Are you satisfied where you are?

P30: No.

K: Then change!

P31: Sir, I would like to ask a question, please. There is a teacher in a class in which some boy is naughty. In order to put him right, he has to punish him. Should he go through that exercise of punishment, which means violence?

K: What do you mean by the word `violence'? Don't be quick, sir. What do you mean by violence? Hitting each other - would you call that violence? I hit you, you hit me back - that is a form of violence, isn't it? The grown-up person hits his child - that is a form of violence. Killing another is a form of violence, harassing another is a form of violence, trying to imitate another is a form of violence, right? Would you agree to that? Imitating, conforming to the pattern of another - that is violence, right? So I am asking you, how will you stop psychological violence and physical violence? Don't say people; how will you stop it?

P32: Sir, why is there variety in nature?

K: Thank god! Why do you bother about nature? Why are you concerned with nature?

P32: I am seeing the variety.

K: Don't you see the variety here?

P32: I see it even outside.

K: What are you going to do about it? P32: I want to know why.

K: Sir, I would request you to study yourself first, know yourself first. You know about everything outside you, but you know nothing about yourself. This has been an old question. The Greeks have put it in their own way; the Egyptians, the ancient Hindus have said too - know yourself first. Will you start with that?

P33: I am always putting this question to myself. Why am I in the bondage of physical pain? I keep on asking this question, but I don't get any answer.

K: You may be going to the wrong doctor. Sir, I know people who go from doctor to doctor. They have plenty of money, so they are trotting around from one doctor to another. Do you do that, or is it psychological pain?

P33: Physical as well as psychological.

K: Which is important? Which is a greater pain?

P33: When the physical pain is extreme, surely it is the physical pain that is important.

K: Sir, you have not answered my question. To what do you give importance?

P33: At the moment when I am suffering, I give importance to that.

K: You have not answered my question, sir, have you? I am asking you which is more important - psychological pain or physical pain?

P33: What do you mean by psychological pain?

K: I will tell you. Pain of fear, pain of loneliness, pain of anxiety, pain of sorrow and so on - all that is in the psyche. Now, to what do you give importance - to the psychological or to the physical pain?

P33: Psychological. K: Do you, really?

P33: Yes, sir.

K: Are you being obstinate, sir? If you give importance to the psychological pain, who is going to be the doctor?

P33: I.

K: What do you mean by `I'? You are the pain. You are not different from the `I'. The `I' is made up of pain, anxiety, boredom, loneliness, fear, pleasure - all that is the `I'.

P34: If I have understood that there is urgency to be aware all the time, how is it that I remain in that state only for a very short while during the day?

K: Because you don't understand what it means to be aware.

Sir, here is a question. It is a fact that the various centres of the KFI [The Krishnamurti Foundation, India] constantly and continuously stress and spread that they are the centre of K's teaching. So now when we have the Buddha's teaching, Christ's teaching and Krishnamurti's teaching, are these so-called teachings of K going to meet the same fate as those of the Buddha and Christ? Have you understood the question?

Sir, K has thought a great deal about the word `teaching'. We thought of using the word `work' - ironworks, big building works, hydroelectric works, you understand? So I thought `work' was very, very common. So we thought we might use the word `teaching', but it is not important - the word - right? The teachings of the Buddha nobody knows. I have asked them about the original teachings of the Buddha, but nobody knows. And Christ may have existed or may not have existed. That is a tremendous problem, whether he existed at all. We have discussed with great scholars about that. I would not go into it. And will K's teachings also disappear like the rest? You understand my question?

P35: I have not said it.

K: Of course you have not said it; somebody has written it. Therefore it is interesting. The questioner says - probably you also think - that when K goes, as he must go, what will happen to the teaching? Will it go as the Buddha's teachings, which have been corrupted? You know what is happening; will the same fate await K's teaching? You have understood the question? It depends upon you, not upon somebody else. It depends upon you - how you limit it, how you think about it, what it means to you. If it means nothing except words, then it will go the way of the rest. If it means something very deep to you, to you personally, then it won't be corrupted. You understand? So it is up to you, not up to the centres and information centres and all the rest of that business. It depends upon you, whether you live the teachings or not.

P36: Has the truth its own power?

K: It has, if you let it alone.

P37: Sir, that question was put by me. May I clarify the question - what I mean by that?

K: Yes, sir, what is the question?

P37: Now, my question is this: You have so many times repeated for 70 years that you do not convince anybody of anything, you are not a teacher, you do not teach anything to anybody. Now I say that the centres of the KFI - whose president you are - they invite the public, `Come here, here are the teachings of Krishnamurti; you study here what he has to say. He has discovered so many things. Please come here and try to study.' You say you work as a mirror; when I use the mirror, does the mirror help me? K: Yes.

P37: It does help me, the light is helping me. Are these things not your teachings? So there is no harm if you say you are teaching something, you are clearing something. You yourself say that you work as a mirror; anything which works as a mirror is definitely helping me.

K: Yes, sir.

P37: That is my question.

K: Sir, in all his talks K has emphasized the fact that he is merely a mirror - right? - that he is merely a mirror reflecting what your life is. And he has also said you can break up that mirror if you have seen yourself very clearly; the mirror is not important. But what has happened throughout the world? They all want to be on the bandwagon. You know what that means? All want to share in the circus.

So I say, please don't bother,just listen to the teachings; if somebody wants to form a little centre in Gujarat, let him do it, but he has no power to say that he represents K, that he is a follower. He can say anything he likes, he is free to do what he likes. We are not imposing on anybody that they should do this or do that. Say, for instance, he starts by buying videos and all the rest of it and collects a few friends in his house. That is his affair. We are not saying, `Don't do this, do that.' If anybody did that, I would say, `Sorry, do not do it.' But they like to do it, they like to be interpreters, gurus in their little way. You know the game you all play. So if you want to do that, you are welcome to do it. The Foundation - unfortunately, I happen to belong to it, or fortunately - says you are free to do what you like - you understand, sir? Buy books, read books, burn books of K, do anything you like. It is in your hands. If you want to live it, live it; if you don't want to live it, it is all right, it is your business. Is this clear once and for all?

P37: Yes, sir.

K: The Foundation has no authority over your life, to tell you what not to do, or to say: `This is the centre from which all radiation goes,' like a radio station or a television station; we are not saying that. All we are saying is: Here is something which may be original, or may not be original; here is something for you to look at. Take time to read it; take time to understand it. If you are not interested, throw it away; it does not matter. If you like to live that way, live it. If you do not, just drop it. Don't make a lot of noise around you. Do you understand what I am saying, sir? Don't make a circus of it, a song-and-dance - don't say that you have understood and will tell others all about it. Right, sir?

It is time to stop. Now, if I may ask, what have you got out of this morning's talk, discussion? Nothing or something? I am just asking, sir, what has flowered in you after this morning? Like a flower blooms overnight, what has bloomed in you? What has come out of you?

P38: That we should have the habit of thinking together.

K: Did you really think together?

P38: Yes, I did.

K: Together - you and I - or were you talking to yourself?

P38: I was talking to myself also.

K: Yes. So I am just asking - you don't have to tell the speaker anything - I am just asking politely, if I may: We have met for over an hour, talked together, said many things according to our opinions; at the end of the journey this morning, where are you? - where we started, where we ended, or is there a new flowering? I am not going to say where you are. That will be impudence on my part, right?

It is an extraordinary world, sir! You don't seem to realize it is a marvellous world, the earth - beautiful, rich, vast plains, deserts, rivers, mountains and the glory of the land. This is an unique country. But human beings are set to kill each other for the rest of their lives. If you go on like this, you will keep on repeating the pattern: killing, killing, killing. You may repeat the most marvellous poems in Sanskrit (I do too), but all that is not worth a cent if you don't live it. That is all, sir.

The Future Is Now

Varanasi 1985

The Future Is Now Chapter 7 21st November 1985 Discussion with The Campers Varanasi

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