the thinker is the thought

Bombay, 3rd Public Talk, 17th February 1965

Posted in 60's by adam on October 26, 2009


We have been talking for many years about seeing, observing, looking. Is it possible to look at a flower, a tree, or a face, without naming it, without identifying yourself with it through condemnation, or justification, or explaining? That is, is it possible to look at it without thought? This does not mean that you go blank; but you look at it. And it is only possible to look, when there is no sense of the “me” interfering with the look. You understand? That is, there is the fact that I am violent. And I have pushed away from me the silly idea of not being violent, as that is too juvenile, too absurd, and has no meaning. What is is the fact – that I am violent. And also I see that to struggle to get rid of it, to bring about a change in it, needs effort, and that the very effort which is exercised is a part of violence. And yet, I realize that violence must be completely changed, transformed; there must be a mutation in that.
Now, how is it to be done? If you just push it aside, because this subject is, very difficult, you will miss an extraordinary state of life: existence without effort, and therefore, a life of the highest sensitivity which is the highest intelligence. And it is only this extraordinarily heightened intelligence that can discover the limits and the measure of time, and can go beyond that. Do you understand the question, the problem? So far, we have used the ideal as a means or as an incentive to get rid of what is; and that breeds contradiction, hypocrisy, hardness, brutality. And if we push that ideal aside, then we are left with the fact. Then we see that the fact must be altered, and that it must be altered without the least friction. Any friction, any struggle, any effort destroys the sensitivity of the mind and the heart.
So what is one to do? What one comes to do is to observe the fact – to observe the fact without any translation, interpretation, identification, condemnation, evaluation – just to observe. It is fairly easy to observe a flower without naming it, without saying “I like” or “I don’t like”. Just to observe – one can do that with outward things which do not interfere psychologically, emotionally. But it is difficult to observe violence in that manner – which is, not to name that feeling of violence, not to condemn it, not to judge it, not to evaluate it, not to identify it, but just to observe it. When you just observe the fact, then you will see that there is a different behaviour, as there is when the electron is observed. When you look at the fact without any pressure, then that fact undergoes a complete mutation, a complete change, without effort.
We dissipate energy by denying the fact, by suppressing it, by wishing to escape from it or dominate it or control it or suppress it. We are exercising energy in doing this. And when we stop doing that, naturally, without effort, then we have all that energy to observe; and that very energy of observation, with the fact – which is also energy – becomes a total energy, and therefore, there is no contradiction.
Then there is the fact: the thinker and the thought. You observe this in yourself as the experiencer and the experienced. Again, there is the division, a contradiction, a duality and, therefore, a conflict. What we are trying to do is rather to share together – which is really a sense of real affection, a great sense of love in which there is no sense of conflict at any time, when you are in an office, when you are at home, in your family, with your wife, with your husband, doing anything, any action, without effort. And it is possible only when every contradiction is understood, is observed.
And one of the major contradictions in our life is this: the division between the thinker and the thought. The thinker for most so-called religious people is the Atman and all that stuff; something that is first, and thought afterwards. But if you observe, there is no first, there is only thinking; thinking invents the thinker and the thinker assumes a permanency in time, as the Supreme, the higher self the Atman; but it is invented by thought. Without thought, there is no thinker, so we have this contradiction not only at the conscious level, but at the unconscious level. There is this division, mine and not mine; having experience and to experience more; to change the thought by the thinker. So there is this duality, a battle that is going on consciously or unconsciously, all the time. And as long as we maintain the thinker as the centre, as the observer, there must be conflict; and hence action breeding further conflict. So one has to observe thought without the thinker – that is, not to condemn thought; not to change it; not to suppress it; not to say this thought is good, that thought is right, this thought is noble, that thought is ignoble; but just to observe thought.
Then, you will say, “Who is the observer who observes thought?” The observer, the thinker, exists only when there is the idea to transform the thought, to suppress the thought, to change the thought, to dominate the thought, to control the thought. Only when there is the activity of doing something about the thought, is there the thinker. But when that whole activity stops, there is thinking, and not the observer thinking. And when you so observe, you will see that, in the observation, the thought undergoes a fundamental revolution; and, therefore, life, existence is such that there is no contradiction in action. This is not an ideal; this is not something for you to achieve. Do not think in that way any more. This is a natural process, if you understand this extraordinary phenomenon of observation: to observe oneself without any desire, without any sense of wanting to change, to mutate, to suppress just to observe.
You know, we observe or we have the habit of observing, looking, seeing and hearing at the level of dimension which is time. We look at everything through time – not only chronological time, but the time which the mind has invented as tomorrow. Actually, there is no tomorrow. We have invented it psychologically. There is only tomorrow, in the sense of chronological time. We look at thought, at greed, at envy, at ambition, at our stupidity, at our brutality, at violence, at pleasure and love, through this dimension of time, and we use time as a means to transform the thing that we observe. Hence the contradiction between the fact which is living, and time which is fixed.
So one has really to look at life, this vast field – not the tribal life of an Indian, or a Christian, or a Buddhist, or a German, or a Russian, or a Communist, which are all tribal with their witch doctors; but the life which is enormous, palpitating, vital, immense – with eyes that are merely observing, and therefore act totally, act with all one’s being, at every minute. Then there is no contradiction, because one has understood the whole nature of duality or contradiction.
We explained the feeling of insufficiency, emptiness, missing; as desire – desire to which thought gives continuity – and escaping from it as a form of action; or filling that emptiness as another form of action. We also explained the contradiction between the thinker and the thought, and the contradiction between the fact, the what is, and the ideal. When you have understood this whole process by observing – not intellectualizing, not getting emotionalized; but just by observing – then you will see that life is action; not different actions at different levels contradicting each other, but a total activity as existence, as a movement, then you can go to the office, you can do everything totally, not contradictingly.
Only a mind that has observed all its activities, all its behaviour – it is only such a mind that can live without effort; and therefore its action is not contradictory; and therefore it is not in bondage to time.

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Bombay, 3rd Public Talk, 17th February 1965

Madanapalle, 3rd Public Talk, 26th February 1956

Posted in 50's by adam on October 26, 2009


Now, seeing this whole pattern of existence, without going into too many details, is it possible for the mind to free itself from the known – the known being the psychological accumulations of the past? There is also the known of everyday activity, but from this the mind obviously cannot be free; for if one forgot the way to one’s house, or the knowledge which enables one to earn a livelihood, one would be bordering on insanity. But can the mind free itself from the psychological factors of the known, which give assurance through association and identification?
To inquire into this matter, we shall have to find out whether there is really a difference between the thinker and the thought, between the one who observes and the thing observed. At present there is a division between them, is there not? We think the `I’, the entity who experiences, is different from the experience, from the thought. There is a gap, a division between the thinker and the thought, and that is why we say, `I must control thought’. But is the `I’, the thinker, different from thought? The thinker is always trying to control thought, mould it according to what he considers to be a good pattern; but is there a thinker if there is no thought? Obviously not. There is only thinking, which creates the thinker. You may put the thinker at any level, you may call him the Supreme, the Atman, or whatever you like; but he is still the result of thinking. The thinker has not created thought; it is thought that has created the thinker. Realizing its own impermanency, thought creates the thinker as a separate entity in order to give itself permanency – which is after all what we all want. You may say that the entity which you call the Atman, the soul, the thinker, is separate from thought, from experience; but you are only aware of a separate entity through thought, and also through your conditioning as a Hindu, a Christian, or whatever it is you happen to be. As long as this duality exists between the thinker and the thought, there must be conflict, effort, which implies will; and a mind that wills to free itself, that says, `I must be free from the past’, merely creates another pattern.
So, the mind can free itself – and thereby, perhaps, that otherness can come into being – only when there is the cessation of effort as the `I’ desiring to achieve a result. But you see, all our life is based on effort: the effort to be good, the effort to discipline ourselves, the effort to achieve a result in this world, or in the next. Everything we do is based on striving, ambition, success, achievement; and so we think that the realization of God, or truth, must also come about through effort. But such effort signifies the self-centred activity of achievement, does it not? It is not the abandonment of the self.
Now, if you are aware of this whole process of the mind, the conscious as well as the unconscious, if you really see and understand it, then you will find that the mind becomes extraordinarily quiet without any effort. The stillness which is brought about by discipline, control, suppression, is the stillness of death; but the stillness of which I am speaking comes about effortlessly when one understands this whole process of the mind. Then only is there a possibility of the coming into being of that otherness which may be called truth, or God.

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Madanapalle, 3rd Public Talk, 26th February 1956

Amsterdam, 5th Public Talk, 26th May 1955

Posted in 50's by adam on October 25, 2009


Question: Will you please explain what you mean by awareness.

Krishnamurti: Just simple awareness! Awareness of your judgments, your prejudices, your likes and dislikes. When you see something, that seeing is the outcome of your comparison, condemnation, judgment, evaluation, is it not? When you read something you are judging, you are criticizing, you are condemning or approving. To be aware is to see, in the very moment, this whole process of judging, evaluating, the conclusions, the conformity, the acceptances, the denials.
Now, can one be aware without all that? At present all we know is a process of evaluating, and that evaluation is the outcome of our conditioning, of our background, of our religious, moral and educational influences. Such so-called awareness is the result of our memory, – memory as the `me’, the Dutchman. the Hindu, the Buddhist. the Catholic, or whatever it may be. It is the `me’, – my memories, my family, my property, my qualities, – which is looking judging, evaluating. With that we are quite familiar, if we are at all alert. Now, can there be awareness without all that, without the self? Is it possible just to look without condemnation, just to observe the movement of the mind, one’s own mind, without judging, without evaluating, without saying “It is good”, or “It is bad”?
The awareness which springs from the self, which is the awareness of evaluation and judgment, always creates duality, the conflict of the opposites, – that which is and that which should be. In that awareness there is judgment, there is fear, there is evaluation, condemnation, identification. That is but the awareness of the `me’, of the self, of the `I’ with all its traditions. memories, and all the rest of it. Such awareness always creates conflict between the observer and the observed, between what I am and what I should be. Now. is it possible to be aware without this process of condemnation, judgment, evaluation? Is it possible to look at myself, whatever my thoughts are, and not condemn, not judge, not evaluate? I do not know if you have ever tried it. It is quite arduous, – because all our training from childhood leads us to condemn or to approve. And in the process of condemnation and approval there is frustration, there is fear, there is a gnawing pain, anxiety, which is the very process of the `me’, the self. So, knowing all that, can the mind, without effort, without trying not to condemn, – because the moment it says “I mustn’t condemn” it is already caught in the process of condemnation, – can the mind be aware without judgment? Can it just watch, with dispassion, and so observe the very thoughts and feelings themselves in the mirror of relationship, – relationship with things, with people and with ideas? Such silent observation does not breed aloofness, an icy intellectualism, – on the contrary. If I would understand something, obviously there must be no condemnation, there must be no comparison, – surely, that is simple. But we think understanding comes through comparison; so, we multiply comparisons. Our education is comparative; and our whole moral, religious structure is to compare and condemn.
So, the awareness of which I am speaking is the awareness of the whole process of condemnation, and the ending of it. In that there is observation without any judgment, – which is extremely difficult; it implies the cessation, the ending, of all terming, naming. When I am aware that I am greedy, acquisitive, angry, passionate, or what you will, is it not possible just to observe`it, to be aware of it, without condemning? – which means, putting an end to the very naming of the feeling. For when I give a name, such as `greed’, that very naming is the process of condemning. To us, neurologically, the very word `greed’ is already a condemnation. To free the mind from all condemnation means putting an end to all naming. After all, the naming is the process of the thinker. It is the thinker separating himself from thought, – which is a totally artificial process, it is unreal. There is only thinking, there is no thinker; there is only a state of experiencing, not the entity who experiences.
So, this whole process of awareness, observation, is the process of meditation. It is, if I can put it differently, the willingness to invite thought. For most of us, thoughts come in without invitation, – one thought after another: there is no end to thinking; the mind is a slave to every kind of vagrant thought. If you realize that, then you will see that there can be an invitation to thought, – an inviting of thought and then a pursuing of every thought that arises. For most of us, thought comes uninvited; it comes any old way. To understand that process, and then to invite thought and pursue that thought through to the end, is the whole process which I have described as awareness; and in that there is no naming. Then you will see that the mind becomes extraordinarily quiet, – not through fatigue, not through discipline, not through any form of self-torture and control. Through awareness of its own activities the mind becomes astonishingly quiet, still, creative, – without the action of any discipline, or any enforcement.
Then, in that stillness of mind, comes that which is true, without invitation. You cannot invite truth, it is the unknown. And in that silence there is no experiencer. Therefore that which is experienced is not stored, is not remembered as `my experience of truth’. Then something which is timeless comes into being, – that which cannot be measured by the one who has not experienced, or who merely remembers a past experience. Truth is something which comes from moment to moment. It is not to be cultivated, not to be gathered, stored up and held in memory. It comes only when there is an awareness in which there is no experiencer.

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Amsterdam, 5th Public Talk, 26th May 1955

Varanasi, 6th Public Talk, 12th January 1962

Posted in 60's by adam on October 25, 2009


Question: When I am aware of a thought, that thought ceases. Yet, there is the consciousness of the centre.

Krishnamurti: The gentleman says: when one is aware of one’s own thought, At that moment of awareness, thought stops; but yet there is a consciousness of the centre. A certain thought arises – of fear, of ambition, or of envy. When you are aware, when you become conscious of that thought, for the moment it stops; and later on again it comes back, because of the very simple reason that that particular thought born out of ambition has not been completely investigated, gone into thoroughly, understood. And you cannot go into it thoroughly because you condemn it or you justify it, because you say, `I cannot live in this world without ambition, therefore I must be ambitious’. You can only understand a thought completely when there is no condemnation or justification – which means that the thought must flower in freedom completely, and then end. But if the thought does not end, it is because you have condemned it or you have justified it – which is from the centre, from the background. The gentleman says that thought can be encouraged, justified or condemned only when it is moving, living, when it is acting; but, when you observe it, it stops, and therefore it cannot be examined. You can examine thought only when it is alive, moving; but by condemning, encouraging, justifying, we stop thought, and so that thought recurs. So, we have to find out why we condemn, we have to investigate thought – the whole process of resistance and so on.
The gentleman says that when you observe, there is the observer and the observed, the seer and the thing seen; and in that there is duality and therefore conflict and all the rest of it. Is it possible to see something without this? Is it possible to see something without the word, the word being thought? Is it possible to look at anything – the flower, my neighbour, my wife, my child, my boss, – without thought, without the word? Have you tried it? Try it sometime, and you will find out for yourself that you can look without the word – which does not mean that you have forgotten there is the past, which does not mean that you have obliterated all memory. It is like looking at a flower botanically and non-botanically.

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Varanasi, 6th Public Talk, 12th January 1962

Saanen, 7th Public Talk, 25th July 1976

Posted in 70's by adam on October 25, 2009


So to understand oneself there must be observation, and that observation can only take place now. And the now is not the movement of the past which observes the now. You see the difference? I can observe the now from the past, from my past conclusions, prejudices, hopes, fears and all the rest of it. Which is an observation from the past of the present, and I think I am observing the now. But the observation of the now can only take place when there is no observer who is the past. You understand this? So observation of the now becomes extraordinarily important. Which, as we said the other day, the movement of the past, meeting the present must end there, that is the now, But if you allow it to go on then the now becomes the future, or the past, but never the actual now. I hope you understand all this.
So observation can only take place in the now; in the very doing of it when you are angry, when you are greedy, to observe it as it is. Which means not to condemn it, not to judge it, but to watch it and let it flower and disappear. You understand the beauty of it? Oh, come on! Traditionally we are educated to suppress, or to move within a certain direction. What we are saying is: to observe your anger, your greed, your sexual demands, whatever it is, and to observe without the past so that the anger flowers and disappears, withers away. And when you do that you will never be angry again. I don’t know if you have ever done these things: do it some time and you will discover it for yourself. To allow, through observation, in which there is no choice, just to observe your greed, your envy, your jealousy, whatever it be, and in the very observation of it, it is flowering and undergoing a radical change. The scientists are saying too that when you examine through a microscope, the very act of the observation of the cell, or whatever it is, undergoes a change. You understand this? The very observation without the background brings about a change. You understand?
So to be aware of oneself without any choice, and to see what is actually happening in the now, is to allow the whole movement of the self, the ‘me’, to flower, and as you observe it undergoes a radical transformation, if there is no background, if there is no observer who is the background. You have got this somewhat? Have you understood it sirs? Go at it!
So in doing that, obviously authority has no place. The man who says, “I know, I will do this or do that” – that is out, completely, for ever. So there is no intermediary between your observation and truth. We are going to find out presently, what truth is, if it can at all be described. So in doing that one becomes a light to oneself, so then you don’t ask anybody at any time how to do something. In the very doing, which is the observing, there is the act, there is the change.
So that is the first thing to learn – because we are learning – the first thing to learn is, that one has to be a light to oneself. And it is extraordinarily difficult to resist the tradition that you must be guided. You understand? That is why gurus from India are multiplying like ugly mushrooms, all over the world. Sorry but they are really bringing old tradition and putting it in different words and offering it. It is the old. In India this has been going on for thousands of years. I have seen many of the so-called pop gurus, they have come to see me, and they leave with great respect but they go on their own way.
So freedom to observe, and therefore no authority of any kind, is essential.
Then the search for experience, which we all want, must come to an end. I will show you why. We have every day various kinds of experiences. We have had sexual experience, experiences of various kinds through books, through – you know the whole demand for experience. The word ‘experience’ means to go through, to go through and finish, not to record it. The recording of it becomes a memory, and that memory distorts observation. Say, for instance, if one is a Christian, you have been conditioned for two thousand years, in all your ideologies, beliefs, dogmas, rituals, saviours, and you want to experience that which you call whatever it is. So you will experience it because that is your conditioning. As in India they have various gods, hundreds of them, and they are conditioned to that and they have visions of them, because according to their conditioning they see. So the demand for experience, when you are bored with all the physical experiences, we want some other kind of experience, the spiritual experience, the greatest demand to find out if there is god, to have visions and all the rest of it. You will have visions, experiences, according to your background, obviously, because your mind is conditioned that way. And to be aware of that, and to see what is implied in experiences.
What is implied in experiences? There must be an experiencer to experience. Right? The experiencer is all that he craves for, all that he has been told, his conditioning. And he wants to experience something which he calls god, or Nirvana, or whatever it is. So he will experience it. But the word ‘experience’ means recognition, recognition implies that you already know, therefore it is not something new. So a mind that demands experience is really living in the past, and therefore can never possibly understand something totally new, original. So there must be freedom from that urge for experience. Do you understand? You know this is going to be tremendously arduous, to go into this kind of meditation, because we all want rather easy, comfortable, happy, you know, an easy going life. And so when something difficult, which demands your attention, your energy, you say, “Well that is not for me, I’ll go another way.”
So no authority; no demand for any kind of experience. That means there is no experiencer – you understand? Are we sharing this together somewhat? Then to observe your fears, your pleasures, the sorrows and all the complexities of daily living in relationship, to observe all that. To observe very carefully. And we said to observe implies that there is no observer, therefore there is no question of suppressing, denying, accepting, but merely observing your fear, because when there is a fear it always distorts perception. When you are merely pursuing pleasure – again that is a distorting factor. Or when there is sorrow – again that is a burden. So the mind which is learning what is meditation must be free of this, and understand the daily, everyday relationship, which is much more arduous. Because, as we said, our relationship with each other is based on our own image of the other and so on. So as long as there is an image-maker, that image-maker prevents actual relationship with each other – right? So this is essential before we can go very deeply into the question of meditation. And that is why very few people meditate properly, rightly. They just play as an amusement, something that you add to that which you already have.
Now when that is carefully well established deeply – which is part of meditation – then we can proceed to find out whether thought can be controlled. You understand? Wherever you go either in India, or in a Zen monastery, or various forms of meditation, Tibetan, you know they are bringing all the stuff over from Asia because we are all so gullible, so ready to accept something you think is new, it is just as old as the hills. You give up Christianity and take on that burden – you follow? It is the same old game.
So the question is: whether thought can be controlled. All systems of meditation, systems being practice, method, day after day, day after day, they all assert that thought must be controlled, because thought is the disturbing factor for a still mind. You understand all this? Are we meeting each other somewhere? Is there a common ground between us? So thought, they say, must be absolutely held so that it cannot possibly chatter, go off. Therefore, they say, in order to control it various systems are necessary: the Zen system, the Tibetan system, the Buddhist system, and the various forms of Hindu meditation, which is in essence: control your thought. Right? I do not know if you have gone into this question at all. If you have, and if you have read something about it, or listened to gurus – if you have any gurus and I hope none of you have gurus, at least you won’t at the end of the talk – they all insist, because I have listened to all of them, they have come and told me a great deal about it, they asked the speaker to join them – oh, I won’t go into all that rubbish. They all insist that thought must be controlled and therefore thought must be held. One of the systems is Mantra yoga – you have heard of that. You know, Transcendental Meditation. Give it a good name like transcendental and then you change that into something marvellous. The word ‘mantra’, the root meaning of it is a sentence, a formula, a word that will bring about concentration – you understand? It can be Coca-cola (Laughter) – don’t laugh please, don’t laugh, you are caught in it, that is what I am objecting to, you are caught in it. It can be that drink, it can be another word, or a Sanskrit sentence, given to you by your guru for a hundred and fifty dollars and so on and so on and so on. The idea being to help to bring about concentration so that your thought is completely held – you understand?
Now when you look into it, who is the controller? You understand? You want to control your thought, you see the importance of controlling your thought, and you say “I will try to control it”, and all the time it slips away. You spend forty years in controlling – you understand? Every moment it is slipping away. So you have to enquire: who is the controller? And why is it so important to make such tremendous efforts to control? Effort – you follow? Which means conflict between the thought that moves away and another thought which says, “I must control it”, which is a battle all the time, struggle, conflict. All that goes on. So we must enquire into who is the controller? You understand? Is not the controller another thought? Right? So one thought, which assumes the dominance, says, “I must control the other thought”. One fragment trying to control another fragment. Please see this very carefully, because if you don’t see it what we are going into you will miss.
That is, thought has divided itself as movement, chattering, thinking about various things. When you want to look at something, concentrate, it goes off thinking about your shoes or something or other. And another thought which says, “I mustn’t do that, I must control it.” So both are thought. One assumes the dominance and tries to suppress the other. See this. See the validity of what is being said, not because I say it, it is so. That is, thought says, ‘It would be marvellous if I could control the thought which is wandering, so that I can experience Nirvana.’ – or whatever it wants to experience. So there is a division – please observe it – between the controller and that which needs to be controlled, and so there is a conflict between the controller and the controlled. And there are various systems that will help you to control. One of the systems is: become very slowly aware of everything you are doing, your breathing, your posture – oh, it’s all too… I can’t bear with that kind of stuff.
So what is important is to find out whether there is only thinking, not the thinker and the thought, and so the thinker controlling thought. So there is only thinking – you understand? Whether you think about boot laces or about god, or about your wife, or about some future happiness, or whatever it is, it is still thinking. So we are concerned not with how to control thought, but with what is the whole process of thinking? Now if one is aware of all that, then there is only thinking. You understand? Not the thought which is wandering, and the controller which says, “I must control it”. So there is only thinking. Why should it stop? You understand? If there is only thinking, why should it stop? So thinking is a movement, isn’t it? Thinking is a movement, a movement in time, from here to there and so on. Thinking is a movement as time. Now, can that time come to an end? That is the question; not how to stop thinking. Have you understood my question first? We have laid emphasis in meditation, people have, the gurus and all the rest of that group have laid emphasis on control. Where there is control there must be effort, there must be conflict, there must be suppression. And where there is suppression there are all kinds of neurotic behaviour and so on and so on.
So is it possible – please listen – is it possible to live without any control? You understand? Which doesn’t mean to do what you like, be completely permissive – you understand? We are asking a much more serious question, which is: in your daily life, psychologically can you live without any control whatsoever? You can. We have done it. Please this is a very, very serious thing because we don’t know a life, in which there is no shadow of control. We all know only control. So to understand a life without control, one must go into it very, very deeply. That is, control exists where there is comparison. I compare myself with you and I want to be like you, because you are more intelligent, more bright, more spiritual, god knows what else. So I want to be like you, so I make an effort to be like you. If there is no comparison whatsoever psychologically, what takes place? I am what I am. I don’t know what I am but I am that. There is no movement towards something which I think is more. So what takes place? When there is no comparison what has taken place? Am I dull because I have compared myself with you, who are clever, bright, and therefore I have become dull? Or the very word ‘dull’ makes me dull? You understand? I wonder if you understand all this?
You know when you go to a museum you look at various pictures, and you compare them, Michelangelo – you know various artists and say “This is better than that” – we are traditionally trained that way. In the school we say we must be better than ‘A’, and you struggle, struggle to be ‘A’. And college examinations and the whole movement of that is comparison, make effort. Now we are saying that when you understand the movement of measurement, and when you see the unreality of it, psychologically, then you have ‘what is’. You understand? You have exactly ‘what is’. You can only meet ‘what is’ when you have energy. That energy has been dissipated in comparison – right? So now you have that energy to observe ‘what is’. To observe the now with that energy. Therefore ‘what is’ now undergoes a radical transformation.
So thought has divided itself as the controller and the controlled. But there is only thinking. There is no controller, or the controlled, but only the act of thinking. Thinking is a movement in time as measure. And can that naturally, easily, without any control, come to an end? You understand my question? When I make an effort to bring it to an end, thinking is still in operation. I am deceiving myself by saying that the thinker is different from the thought. So my question is entirely different. Which is: there is only thinking. The thinker is the thought. There is no thinker if there is no thought. And therefore can this thinking, which is a movement in time, come to an end? Which is, can time have a stop? Now I’ll show it to you if you’ll go into it.
We said time – please pay attention, if you are tired take a rest and I will stop too, if you are not tired we will go on – time is the past. Right? There is no future time. There is future time only when the past meets the present, modifies it and moves on. So time is a movement from the past, modified but still moving on. We are saying that movement must stop. You understand? Which is the whole movement of knowledge – right? Which is the whole movement of that which has been known. Unless you are free from that movement there is no freedom to observe the new – you understand? So we are saying that movement must stop. Now you can’t stop it by will, which is to control. You can’t stop it by desire, which is part of your sensation, thought, image. And so how is this movement to come to an end, naturally, easily, happily, so that it comes to an end, without your knowing?
Have you ever given up something that gives you great pleasure at the moment, dropped it instantly? Have you ever done it? You can do it with pain and sorrow, I am not talking of that, because you want to forget it, put it away. But something that gives you immense pleasure. Have you ever done it? To drop it instantly without any effort. Have you? I’ll show you. The past is always our background. We live in the past. He has hurt me, he has told me, I want this – you follow? – our whole life is spent in the past. The incident of now is transformed into memory, and memory becomes the past. So we live in the past. The movement of the past – can that stop? That is what we are asking. You understand? Now it can stop only – this is not a trick, this isn’t something you repeat and say, “Yes, I have stopped it”, that is too damn silly – it means that the past, which is a movement, and the now which is non-movement – you understand? You have understood this? I have just discovered something.
The past is the movement, modified through the present, to the future. That is the movement of time. The past is a movement, always moving, moving, moving, moving, going forward, meeting the present and moving. The now is non-movement, because you don’t know what the now is; you only know movement. Right? When that movement meets the now there is no movement at all – you understand? Please this is not a verbal communication, it has to be felt, known deeply, understood. You see the immovable is the now. The now is the past meeting the present, we said that, do you remember? – the past meeting the present and ending there. That is the now. So the movement of the past meets the now, which is immovable, and stops. You understand? So thought, which is a movement of the past, meets the present completely, and ends there. This has to be meditated over, thought over, you go into it.
So the next thing is: the mind, which is not only matter, which is the brain, which is also sensation, which is also all the things that thought has put into that mind, which is consciousness, in that consciousness there are all the various unconscious demands. And we are asking: can that totality of consciousness be observed as a whole, not fragment by fragment? Do you understand my question? Because if we examine fragment by fragment it will be endless. It is only when there is an observation of the totality there is an ending to it, or leading to something else. You understand? So can this totality of consciousness be observed, totally? It can if you will do it. Which is, when you look at a map, you are looking at it with the desire to go to a certain place. So there is a direction. So when you are seeking a direction it is very simple – right? You are in this town, you want to go to Bern, or Zurich, or Geneva, whatever it is, and the direction is there. So to observe the whole map is to have no direction. That is simple. See how simple it is, for god’s sake don’t make it complex. So in the same way, to look at this whole consciousness is to have no direction. Which means to have no motive, because the moment, when you look into a map and want to go from here to there you have a motive for going there, your pleasure, this or that. So your motive gives the direction. But when you can observe totally anything, yourself or your consciousness, it is to have no motive and therefore no direction, then you see the whole, as you see when you look at a map wholly. Right? Then you don’t misplace Germany with Italy, or Italy where England is. So you look at the whole map when there is no direction, which means no motive.
So to observe your consciousness wholly there must be no motive, no direction. And is that possible when you have been trained to do everything to act with a motive? There is no action without a motive – that is what we are trained to do, educated for, all our religions, everything says you must have a motive. But the moment you have a motive, which is either pleasure or pain, reward or punishment, that gives you a direction and therefore you can never see the whole. If you understand that, see that actually then you have no motive. Not, “How am I to get rid of my motive?” You understand? You can only see something totally when there is no direction.
All this is part of meditation, so that there is no centre from which a direction can take place – you understand? The centre is the motive. If there is no motive there is no centre, and therefore no direction.


source link:
Saanen, 7th Public Talk, 25th July 1976

Bombay, 4th Public Talk, 31st January 1979

Posted in 70's by adam on October 23, 2009


So as we were saying, thought has no opposite but it can create its own opposite; and therefore thought creating its own opposite brings about conflict. But there is only thinking, though that thinking divides itself into multiple forms, both actual, transitory, illusory and what is being perceived. And thought has put together the whole concept, conclusion, ideal. So we must consider thought as a material process. Thought has not created nature – the animals, the forests, the rivers, the mountains. But thought has made the chair out of nature. Thought has created illusion, which is also actual. So thought is reality; the thing it has created is reality – like this, this microphone. But thought cannot possibly understand, or even conceive what truth is. So bearing this in mind that thought under no circumstances whatsoever, whatever path thought has laid down, which is illusory, to truth is unreal. There are no paths to truth.

source link:
Bombay, 4th Public Talk, 31st January 1979

‘The thinker and the thought’, Chapter 15 of The first and last freedom

Posted in 50's by adam on October 22, 2009


In all our experiences, there is always the experiencer, the observer, who is gathering to himself more and more or denying himself. Is that not a wrong process and is that not a pursuit which does not bring about the creative state? If it is a wrong process, can we wipe it out completely and put it aside? That can come about only when I experience, not as a thinker experiences, but when I am aware of the false process and see that there is only a state in which the thinker is the thought.
So long as I am experiencing, so long as I am becoming, there must be this dualistic action; there must be the thinker and the thought, two separate processes at work; there is no integration, there is always a centre which is operating through the will of action to be or not to be – collectively, individually, nationally and so on. Universally, this is the process. So long as effort is divided into the experiencer and the experience, there must be deterioration. Integration is only possible when the thinker is no longer the observer. That is, we know at present there are the thinker and the thought, the observer and the observed, the experiencer and the experienced; there are two different states. Our effort is to bridge the two.
The will of action is always dualistic. Is it possible to go beyond this will which is separative and discover a state in which this dualistic action is not? That can only be found when we directly experience the state in which the thinker is the thought. We now think the thought is separate from the thinker; but is that so? We would like to think it is, because then the thinker can explain matters through his thought. The effort of the thinker is to become more or become less; and therefore, in that struggle, in that action of the will, in `becoming’, there is always the deteriorating factor; we are pursuing a false process and not a true process.
Is there a division between the thinker and the thought? So long as they are separate, divided, our effort is wasted; we are pursuing a false process which is destructive and which is the deteriorating factor. We think the thinker is separate from his thought. When I find that I am greedy, possessive, brutal, I think I should not be all this. The thinker then tries to alter his thoughts and therefore effort is made to `become; in that process of effort he pursues the false illusion that there are two separate processes, whereas there is only one process. I think therein lies the fundamental factor of deterioration.
Is it possible to experience that state when there is only one entity and not two separate processes, the experiencer and the experience? Then perhaps we shall find out what it is to be creative, and what the state is in which there is no deterioration at any time, in whatever relationship man may be.
I am greedy. I and greed are not two different states; there is only one thing and that is greed. If I am aware that I am greedy, what happens? I make an effort not to be greedy, either for sociological reasons or for religious reasons; that effort will always be in a small limited circle; I may extend the circle but it is always limited. Therefore the deteriorating factor is there. But when I look a little more deeply and closely, I see that the maker of effort is the cause of greed and he is greed itself; and I also see that there is no `me’ and greed, existing separately, but that there is only greed. If I realize that I am greedy, that there is not the observer who is greedy but I am myself greed, then our whole question is entirely different; our response to it is entirely different; then our effort is not destructive.
What will you do when your whole being is greed, when whatever action you do is greed? Unfortunately, we don’t think along those lines. There is the `me’, the superior entity, the soldier who is controlling, dominating. To me that process is destructive. It is an illusion and we know why we do it. I divide myself into the high and the low in order to continue. If there is only greed, completely, not `I’ operating greed, but I am entirely greed, then what happens? Surely then there is a different process at work altogether, a different problem comes into being. It is that problem which is creative, in which there is no sense of `I’ dominating, becoming, positively or negatively. We must come to that state if we would be creative. In that state, there is no maker of effort. It is not a matter of verbalizing or of trying to find out what that state is; if you set about it in that way you will lose and you will never find. What is important is to see that the maker of effort and the object towards which he is making effort are the same. That requires enormously great understanding, watchfulness, to see how the mind divides itself into the high and the low – the high being the security, the permanent entity – but still remaining a process of thought and therefore of time. If we can understand this as direct experience, then you will see that quite a different factor comes into being.

source link:
‘The thinker and the thought’, Chapter 15 of The first and last freedom

‘Power and Realisation’, excerpt from Chapter 29, The first and last freedom

Posted in 50's by adam on October 22, 2009


Perhaps, in coming to this point, we have used the conscious mind; we have followed the argument, we have opposed or accepted it, we have seen it clearly or dimly. To go further and experience more deeply requires a mind that is quiet and alert to find out, does it not? It is no longer pursuing ideas because, if you pursue an idea, there is the thinker following what is being said and so you immediately create duality. If you want to go further into this matter of fundamental change, is it not necessary for the active mind to be quiet? Surely it is only when the mind is quiet that it can understand the enormous difficulty, the complex implications of the thinker and the thought as two separate processes, the experiencer and the experienced, the observer and the observed. Revolution, this psychological, creative revolution in which the `me’ is not, comes only when the thinker and the thought are one, when there is no duality such as the thinker controlling thought; and I suggest it is this experience alone that releases the creative energy which in turn brings about a fundamental revolution, the breaking up of the psychological `me’.
We know the way of power – power through domination, power through discipline, power through compulsion. Through political power we hope to change fundamentally; but such power only breeds further darkness, disintegration evil, the strengthening of the `me’. We are familiar with the various forms of acquisition, both individually and as groups, but we have never tried the way of love, and we don’t even know what it means. Love is not possible so long as there is the thinker, the centre of the `me’. Realizing all this, what is one to do?
Surely the only thing which can bring about a fundamental change, a creative, psychological release, is everyday watchfulness, being aware from moment to moment of our motives, the conscious as well as the unconscious. When we realize that disciplines, beliefs, ideals only strengthen the `me’ and are therefore utterly futile – when we are aware of that from day to day, see the truth of it, do we not to the central point when the thinker is constantly separating himself from his thought, from his observations, from his experiences? So long as the thinker exists apart from his thought, which he is trying to dominate, there can be no fundamental transformation. So long as the `me’ is the observer, the one who gathers experience, strengthens himself through experience, there can be no radical change, no creative release. That creative release comes only when the thinker is the thought – but the gap cannot be bridged by any effort. When the mind realizes that any speculation any verbalization, any form of thought only gives strength to the `me’, when it sees that as long as the thinker exists apart from thought there must be limitation, the conflict of duality – when the mind realizes that, then it is watchful, everlastingly aware of how it is separating itself from experience, asserting itself, seeking power. In that awareness, if the mind pursues it ever more deeply and extensively without seeking an end, a goal, there comes a state in which the thinker and the thought are one. In that state there is no effort, there is no becoming, there is no desire to change; in that state the `me’ is not, for there is a transformation which is not of the mind.

source link:
The first and last freedom, Chapter 29: ‘Power and Realisation’

Brockwood Park, 2nd Conversation with Mary Zimbalist, 5th October 1984, ‘Fear’

Posted in 80's by adam on October 20, 2009


MZ: What is the fact of fear, sir?

K: I am coming to that. First we must establish the distinction between the idea of fear, the abstraction as the word fear, and the actual fear. The actual fear is the fact, not the abstraction of it. If one can move away from the abstraction then we can deal with fact. But if they are both running parallel all the time then there is a conflict between the two. That is, the idea, the ideology dominating the fact and the fact sometimes dominating the idea.

MZ: Most people would say that the fact of fear is the very painful emotion of fear.

K: Now let us look at that, not the idea of fear. So let us look at the fact – that is what I am coming to – the fact of actual fear, and to remain with that fact, which requires a great deal of inward discipline.

MZ: Can you describe what remaining with the fact of fear actually is?

K: It is like holding a jewel, an intricate pattern by an artist, who has brought this extraordinary jewel. You look at it, you don’t condemn it, you don’t say. “How beautiful” and run away with words, but you are looking at this extraordinary thing put together by hand, by cunning fingers and the brain that has brought this. You are watching it, you are looking at it. Turn it round, look at the various sides, the back and the front and the side, and you never let it go.

MZ: Do you mean that you just feel it very acutely, very sensitively, with great care.

K: With care, that is what happens.

MZ: But you feel it because it is an emotion.

K: Of course. You have the feeling of beauty, the feeling of the intricate pattern, and the sparkle, the brightness, and the sparkle of the jewels and so on. So can we deal with the fact of fear and look at it that way, not escape, not say, “Well I don’t like fear”, get nervous, apprehensive and suppress it, or control it, or deny it, or move it into another field. If we can do all that, just remain with that fear. So fear then becomes an actual fact, which is there, whether you are conscious of it or not, whether you have hidden it very, very deeply, it is still there.
So then we can ask very carefully and hesitantly, what is this fear? Why human beings, after this tremendous evolution, still live with fear? Is it something that can be, like a surgeon, operated upon and removed, like a disease, like cancer, or any other dreadful, painful disease? Is it something that can be operated upon? Which means there is an entity who can operate upon it, but that very entity is an abstraction of trying to do something about fear, that entity is unreal. What is factual is fear. And this requires very careful attention not to be caught in this abstraction of the one, who says, “I am observing fear”, or one who says, “I must put away fear, or control fear”, and so on. It is we are watching fear, not who is watching. The one who watches is also the outcome of fear. If this is clear, that the observer, to go back to our old saying, the observer is the observed, the thinker is the thought, the doer is the entity who is doing, there is no division. And so if there is no division, which is an extraordinary fact to realize, a fact, not an idea I must realize, it is an extraordinary fact that there is no division between the observer and the observed, and therefore there is no conflict. Conflict exists when there is the observer different from the observed, which is what most of us do and therefore live with perpetual conflict. That is another matter.
So can we look at that fear, and in the very act of looking, watching fear, one begins to discover the origin of fear, the beginning, what is the causation of fear. Because the very fact of looking at it is to see how it came about, not analyse fear because the analyser is the analysed. Not analyse, dissect fear but that very close, delicate watching reveals the content of fear, the content being the origin, the beginning, the causation because where there is a cause there is an end. Right? The cause can never be different from the result. So the discovery, or in the observation, in the watching, the causation is revealed.

MZ: Sir, the causation that you are speaking of is presumably not an individual fear, a particular fear? You are speaking of the causation of fear itself.

K: Fear itself, not the various forms of fear. See how we break up fear.

MZ: Yes.

K: That’s part of our tradition, to bring about a fragmentation of fear, therefore be concerned only with one type of fear, not the whole tree of fear; not a particular branch, or a particular leaf of fear but the whole nature, the structure, the quality of fear. And in observing that very closely, watching it, in the very watching there is the revelation of the causation – not you analyse to find out the cause but the very watching is showing the causation, which is time and thought. Of course. That is simple when you put it that way. Everybody would accept it is time and thought. If there was no time and thought there would be no fear.

MZ: Well, could you enlarge a little bit on that because most people think that there is something. That there is – how can I put it – they don’t see that there is no future, they think “I am afraid now” from a cause, they don’t see the factor of time involved.

K: I think it is fairly simple. If there was no time, or if there was no saying “I am afraid because I have done something in the past,” or I have had pain in the past, or somebody has hurt me, and I don’t want to be hurt anymore – all that is the past, the background, which is time. And the future, that is, I am this now, I will die. Or I might lose my job, or my wife will be angry with me and so on. So there is this past and the future, and we are caught in between the two. That is, the past has its relationship with the future, the future is not something separate from the past, it is a movement of modification from the past to the future, to tomorrow. So that is time: this movement of the past, which is the past as I have been, and the future, I will be, which is this constant becoming. And that too is another complex problem which we won’t touch for the moment. That may be the causation of fear, the becoming.
So time is a factor, is a basic factor of fear. There is no question about it. I have a job now, I have money now, I have a shelter over my head, but tomorrow or many hundred tomorrows might deprive me of all that, some accident, some fire, some lack of insurance and so on, as it has happened in this house. All that is a time factor. Not the ending of time, but see the factor that fear is part of time, not say, “Can I end time?” – that is a silly question. Sorry to use the word ‘silly’. And also thought is a factor of fear. Thought. I have been, I am but I may not. The factor of thought, which is limited, which is another matter. Thought is limited because it is based on knowledge, knowledge is always accumulative and that which is being added to is always limited, so knowledge is limited, so thought is limited, because thought is based on knowledge, memory and so on.
So thought and time are the central factors of fear. Thought is not separate from time. They are one, they are not divorced, they are not separate. So these are the facts. This is the causation of fear. Now that is a fact, not an idea, not an abstraction, that thought and time is the cause of fear, not are. It is singular.
So a man then asks: how do I stop time and thought? Because his intention, his desire, his longing, is to be free from fear. And so he is caught in his own desire to be free but he is not watching very carefully the causation. When you are watching very carefully without any movement watching implies a state of the brain in which there is no movement, it is like watching a bird. And if you watch the bird very closely as we watched this morning that dove on the window sill, you watched all the feathers, the red eyes, the sparkle in the eyes, the beak, the shape of its head, the wings and so on, you watched very carefully, and that which you watch very carefully reveals not only the causation but the ending of the thing that you are watching. So this watching is really most extraordinarily important, not how to end thought, or can I be free from fear, or what do you mean by time, and all the complications of it, which is complex, But when we are watching fear without any abstraction, which is the actual now, and in that quality of the now, because the now contains all time, which is the present holds the past, the future and the present. So if we can listen to this very carefully, not only with the hearing of the ear, but listen to the word and go beyond the word, and see the actual nature of fear, not read about fear, but how watching becomes so extraordinarily beautiful, sensitive, alive.
All this requires an extraordinary quality of attention, because in attention there is no activity of the self. The self-interest in our life is the cause of fear. This sense of me and my concern, my happiness, my success, my failure, my achievement, I am this, I am not: this whole self-centred observation with all its expressions of fear, agonies, depression, pain, anxiety, aspiration and sorrow, all that is self-interest, whether in the name of god, in the name of prayer, in the name of faith, it is self-interest. Where there is self-interest there must be fear, and all the consequences of fear. Then one asks again: Is it possible to live in this world where self-interest is predominant, whether it is in the totalitarian world, with its search for power, and holding power, the capitalist world with its own power, self-interest is dominant, whether it is in the religious hierarchical catholic world or in every religious world self-interest is dominant and therefore they are perpetuating fear, though they talk about living with pacem in terris, which is peace on earth, they really don’t mean it because self-interest with the desire for power, position, for its fulfilment and so on, is the factor that is destroying not only the world but destroying our own extraordinary capacity of the brain. The brain has extraordinary capacity, as is shown in the technological world, the extraordinary things they are doing. And we never apply that same immense capacity inwardly to be free of fear, to end sorrow, to know what love is, and compassion with its intelligence. We never search, explore that field, we are caught by the world with all its misery.

source link:
Brockwood Park, 2nd Conversation with Mary Zimbalist, 5th October 1984, ‘Fear’

6th Conversation: Eight Conversations

Posted in Uncategorized by adam on October 20, 2009


Questioner: I have come to you to find out why there is a division, a separation, between oneself and everything else, even between one’s wife and children and oneself. Wherever one goes, one finds this separation – not only in oneself but in everyone else. People talk a great deal about unity and brotherhood but I wonder if it is ever possible to be really free of this division, this aching separation? I can pretend, intellectually, that there is no real separation; I can explain to myself the causes of these divisions – not only between man and man but between theories, theologies and governments – but I know, actually in myself, that there is this insoluble division, this wide gulf that separates me from another. I always feel I’m standing on this bank and that everybody else is on the other bank, and there are these deep waters between us. That’s my problem – why is there this gap of separation?

Krishnamurti: You have forgotten to mention the difference, the contradiction, the gap, between one thought and another, between one feeling and another, the contradiction between actions, the division between life and death, the endless corridor of opposites. After stating all this, our question is: why is there this division, this cleavage between what is and what has been or what should be? We are asking why man has lived in this dualistic state, why he has broken life into various fragments? Are we asking to find the cause or are we trying to go beyond the cause and the effect? Is it an analytical process or a perception, an understanding of a state of mind in which division no longer exists? To understand such a state of mind we must look at the beginning of thought. We must be aware of thought as it arises and must also be aware of that which it comes out of. Thought arises from the past. The past is thought. When we say we must be aware of thought as it arises, we mean we must be aware of the actual meaning of thought, not simply the fact that thinking is taking place. It is the meaning of thought which is the past. There is no thought without its meaning. A thought is like a thread in a piece of cloth. Most of us are unaware of the whole cloth, which is the whole mind, and are trying to control, or shape, or understand, the meaning of one thread, which is a thought. On what is the whole cloth of thoughts resting? Is it lying on any substance? If so, what is that substance? Is it lying on deeper thought or on nothing at all? And what is the material of this cloth?

Questioner: You are asking too many questions. None of this has ever occurred to me before, so I must go rather slowly.

Krishnamurti: Is thought the cause of all division, of all fragmentation in life? What is thought made of? What is the substance of those pieces of thread woven into that complex cloth we call the mind? Thought is matter, probably measurable. And it comes from the accumulated memory, which is matter, stored in the brain. Thought has its origin in the past, recent or remote. Can one be aware of thought as it arises out of the past – the recollections of the past, the action of the past? And can one be aware beyond the past, behind the wall of the past? This doesn’t mean still further back in time, it means the space that is not touched by time or memory. Until we discover this the mind cannot see itself in terms of anything other than thought, which is time. You cannot look at thought with thought, and you cannot look at time with time. So whatever thought does, or whatever it negates, is still within its own measurable boundaries.
To answer all the questions we have put, we must put yet a further question: what is the thinker? Is the thinker separate from thought? Is the experiencer different from the thing he experiences? Is the observer different from the thing he observes? If the observer is different from the thing he observes, then there will always be division, separation, and therefore conflict. To go beyond this cleavage we must understand what the observer is. Obviously he makes this division. You who are observing make this division, whether it be between you and your wife, or the tree, or anything else. Now what is this observer, or thinker, or experiencer? The observer is the living entity who is always moving, acting, who is aware of things, and aware of his own existence. This existence he is aware of is his relationship to things, to people and to ideas. This observer is the whole machinery of thought, he is also observation, he is also a nervous system and sensory perception. The observer is his name, his conditioning, and the relationship between that conditioning and life. All this is the observer. He is also his own idea of himself – an image again built from conditioning, from the past, from tradition. The observer thinks and acts. His action is always according to his image about himself and his image of the world. This action of the observer in relationship breeds division. This action is the only relationship we know. This action is not separate from the observer, it is the observer himself. It is the observer who talks about the world and himself in relationship, and fails to see that his relationship is his own action, therefore himself. So the cause of all the division is the action of the observer. The observer himself is the action which divides life into the thing observed and himself separate from it. Here is the basic cause of division, and hence conflict.
The division in our lives is the structure of thought, which is the action of the observer who thinks himself separate. He further thinks of himself as the thinker, as something different from his thought. But there can be no thought without the thinker and no thinker without the thought. So the two are really one. He is also the experiencer and, again, he separates himself from the thing he experiences. The observer, the thinker, the experiencer, are not different from the observed, the thought, the experienced. This is not a verbal conclusion. If it is a conclusion then it is another thought which again makes the division between the conclusion and the action which is supposed to follow that conclusion. When the mind sees the reality of this, the division can no longer exist. This is the whole point of what we are saying. All conflict is this battle between the observer and the observed. This is the greatest thing to understand. Only now can we answer our questions; only now can we go beyond the wall of time and memory, which is thought, because only now has thought come to an end. It is only now that thought cannot breed division. Thought which can function to communicate, to act, to work, is another kind of thought which does not breed division in relationship. Righteousness is living without the separative action of the observer.

Questioner: What then, where then, is that thing on which the cloth of thought exists?

Krishnamurti: It is that which is not the action of the observer. The realizing of this is great love. This realization is possible only when you understand that the observer himself is the observed: and that is meditation.

source link:
6th Conversation: Eight Conversations

Saanen, 3rd Public Discussion, 5th August 1966

Posted in 60's by adam on October 9, 2009


We will continue with what we were discussing yesterday, unless you have some other question you want to discuss.

Questioner: Why don’t we face the fact? What prevents us?

Krishnamurti: We cannot come to that issue till we have completely understood why we escape, and what this movement of escape is. In order not to face what actually is, we have cultivated many escapes. Without understanding why we escape, what the movement of that escape is, and what is involved in the whole structure of that movement, we cannot possibly face the fact. We also must understand what action is. My action in moving away from the fact to something, as was pointed out yesterday, is a static movement, though we may think that it is an actual, positive movement. Until we understand this very, very clearly, we cannot possibly face the fact. There is no question of jumping, avoiding, or skipping over something. Unless we go into this very slowly, step by step, we cannot possibly come to the realization of facing a fact.
Before we go into this question, I would like to ask whether meeting every day like this, and discussing, is a bit too much. Are you sure? We have to work very hard. To share anything there must be not only the giver, but also the receiver; it is complimentary, a movement together. We have to walk together; we must have energy, vitality interest, drive. Can we go on like this for seven days and not get tired of it? You say not, so we’ll continue.
We said yesterday that we have cultivated innumerable beliefs, dogmas, ideas, formulas, repetitive activity, as a psychological means of self-defence. It is impossible to understand what is, if we have beliefs, because these beliefs will prevent us from looking at the fact. All of us have these beliefs, dogmas, ideas or ideals. We always want to become better, do something nobler, understand more. It is a running away, an action of escape from what is. We asked what this movement away from what is means, the movement itself. We think we are moving, acting, and we saw yesterday that the movement is static. It has no vitality, because the thing that one is going to is the projection of what is, a continuity of what has been. It is not something new. The movement that we make away from what is, is not a movement at all; it is just a change to something else which is not actual.
I have to act with regard to the fact, with regard to what is, with regard to what I find. There must be action, and I have to investigate and understand what is meant by action. If I don’t understand that fully, if I am concerned with changing the fact, with doing something about it, I can’t face the fact. I must understand what action is; and 99.9 per cent of our actions are an approximation of a belief, an idea, a concept, an image. Our action is always trying to copy, to conform to an idea. I have an idea that I should be brotherly; I have an idea as a communist; or I have the idea that I am a Catholic; according to the idea I act. I have certain memories of pleasure or of pain, certain remembrances of some deep fear, an image of that fear; and according to those memories I act, avoiding some particular issues, and acting for profit, for a deeper happiness. All of this is ideation, and according to that ideation, I act. When there is an idea, and action, there is conflict between the two. The idea is the observer, and the act of what I am going to do is the object.
I see that I am afraid. I have an idea about fear, what I should do how I should avoid it. I have an opinion. The “I” is the idea, the opinion, the memory, the formula, the observer, the censor; and the fear is the object about which I am going to act according to the idea. There is a conflict between the observer and the observed; that is one of the most difficult things to understand, to come over or to go beyond, and if I don’t understand it, if I don’t see the deep significance or the meaning of it, I can’t deal with the object which is called fear.
Why is there an interval of time, of space between the observer, who is the idea, and the object? You are looking from your balcony and see that mountain and the waterfall. There is an interval between you and the mountain with its waterfall; there is a space, a time lag which makes for distance. When there is this interval of space, of time, then the observer is different from the thing that he has observed. Please don’t agree; this is a most complex thing. You’re following the explanation verbally; but the explanation is not the fact. The word “mountain” is not the mountain; it’s just a symbol to indicate the mountain. The fact is not the word. Explanation is not understanding. Please don’t agree and say, “Yes, get on with it; tell me more”.
If you realize that the observer has a space between himself and the observed, and in that space there is conflict, then you want to do something. The more intense the conflict, the more demand there is for action. The observer says, “What am I to do? How am I to act? How am I to get over it?”.
In the same way that there is a distance from you who are looking out of the window to the mountain and its waterfall, there is distance between the observer and the thing he calls fear. He wants to do something. He wants to break, go, get beyond it, destroy it. With regard to that waterfall, you can go to it; you can walk there, if you have the energy. That’s no problem. You can turn your back on it and forget it, but with fear you can’t. It is always there. Unless you really understand action which is not based on an idea, in which there is no observer and the observed, you can’t meet the fact.
I am jealous, which is a common lot of our lives, which all of us know. I feel jealous for various reasons. Perhaps I accept it as inevitable, as a natural part of that is supposed to be love, and I say, “That is part of my daily existence”. But when that jealousy turns into anxiety, hatred – and all jealousy inevitably has in it hatred – when the pressure, the strain of jealousy becomes very strong, then I am forced to do something. Then action takes place, action according to the observer, with regard to the object. Then I say, “I must get over it. What am I to do?”. Anxiety comes out of it.
What then is action? Must action always breed conflict? Apparently it does. Whatever we do breeds friction in our relationship. In whatever we do there is conflict, there is misery, there is confusion. Why must action engender this anxiety, this fear, this strain, this conflict? Unless we answer that question very deeply, unless we realize it, we cannot possibly face the fact. Life is action; action isn’t something we do apart from living. So we ask if there is an action which has no conflict in it at all.

Questioner: As long as….

Krishnamurti: Please, not “as long as”. That is a supposition.

Questioner: When action is based on idea, there is always the observer and the observed.

Krishnamurti: Don’t state in your own words the same thing which has been said. It is a fact that there is me and the object, the space; in that there is conflict. What will you do?

Questioner: If I am aware of the conflict….

Krishnamurti: Please, not “if”. I am not being impatient; I am not avoiding the question, but these statements commencing with “if”, “when”, “should”, “as long as”, all these conditional clauses prevent you from actually looking at the fact.

Questioner: Who is the entity that is looking?

Krishnamurti: We haven’t that point yet. Let’s approach the problem differently. We see life as a struggle, a conflict; it’s a breeding ground of hopeless despair, loneliness, anger, the desire to dominate, and the feeling that we are suppressed. That’s our life. That’s what we call existence, living; and in that field we act. Every action, however much interrelated with each other, creates more conflict, more battle, more confusion. At the end we ask if there is a life, an activity, an action which in no way brings confusion, conflict.

Questioner: There is a desire to fulfil and deep frustration because we do not.

Krishnamurti: Again, you are restating the same fact.

Questioner: I don’t know about that yet.

Krishnamurti: Then, sir, if you don’t know, say, “I don’t know”, and keep quiet.

Questioner: Will the answer come then?

Krishnamurti: To be quiet needs tremendous intelligence. A cow is quiet, ruminating. I’m not comparing; I’m just stating it. A man who is napping is very quiet, but to be really quiet, without seeking, without wanting, needs tremendous intelligence; and then perhaps the answer comes, but we are not in that position, so we must have the patience to go step by step, which we apparently are not willing to do.

Questioner: The process of living breeds conflict and strain.

Krishnamurti: Yes, that’s what we have stated. Then what? You see, you won’t proceed further. As long as there is space, an interval, between the observer and the observed, there must be conflict. Questioner: Why should the state of the observer and the observed create conflict?

Questioner: If there is love, there is no conflict.

Questioner: When I am really intelligent, there will be no fear.

Krishnamurti:When I am heavenly, saintly, tremendously, deeply, supremely intelligent, everything will be over. But I’m not! So please have the goodness not to introduce the words “when”, “if”, and “should”. You are avoiding the question.

Questioner: There need not be conflict in action.

Krishnamurti: But we know action is conflict. I battle with my wife or my husband, with my boss. That’s a fact.

Questioner: If you get a baby, is that possible? (Laughter.)

Krishnamurti: I’m afraid if I got a baby it would be a conflict! (Laughter.) I’m afraid this question can only be answered by the mothers here. (Laughter.) You see, we are back again in something that has no meaning at all. I hope you are having a good laugh – not at her expense; we are not laughing at her, but at the whole idea.

Questioner: Since I do not thoroughly understand either myself as the observer, or the actions that I do, how can I talk about some new action?

Krishnamurti:I am not talking about new action, or asking you to find a new action. First you have to realize that you never see the fact that there is the observer and the observed. Objectively you may; there is the mountain, and you. To get to the mountain, you take the train, go by car, or walk. There is an action. You never realize, psychologically, that there is an observer and the observed; that there is me, who is the observer, and the observed, anger. You say, “I’m angry”. That’s all you know. You must realize that you have never looked at this fact of the observer and the observed.

Questioner: I am lacking real love.

Krishnamurti: I am afraid we are not talking of real love, or false love. We are talking about an actual fact, that I lack love. Follow that; I lack that. That is the object; the “I” is the observer. I lack love. We don’t realize this separation. We say, “I lack love”, but when we realize the separation between what we generally call love, and I who want it, or I who don’t have it, then there is the observer and the observed. The first thing to understand, to realize is that there is in me psychologically this fact, of which most of us are unaware, that I am separate from the thing which I observe. “I and God” is one of the ancient tricks we play; I must reach God. There is the object, and the observer. When I realize this, I either want to get hold of it, conquer it, dominate it, suppress it, run away from it, or I have opinions about it. The next fact I have to realize is that the observer is nothing but ideas, memories, formulas, opinions.
I am not saying that you should not have opinions; that’s not the point. The observer, the censor, the entity that judges, condemns, approves, that dominates, that wants to fulfil is there. I want to be a great writer; or I have a particular line which I think is marvellous in writing. There is a separation: I and the thing. Action becomes a means to fulfil or to overcome the object, and there is conflict.

Questioner: What is the entity who observes and sees the thing, the object?

Krishnamurti: The question is easy to ask, but to find the answer requires a great deal of penetration, insight.
I see a mountain. Of course, I and the mountain are not the same. I might like to identify myself with the& beauty of the mountain, but I am not the mountain. That’s a fact. However much I may pretend, or have mystical experiences about the mountain, the fact remains that I am different from the mountain. It becomes much more complex, much more difficult to understand and go into, when we realize, first, that “I” and the object are two different states. When I realize that, I act; and that action breeds more conflicts, more trouble, more travail, more pain. What am I to do with regard to envy, with regard to the desire which I have to dominate someone? I know that what I do will breed more conflict, and I say, “How stupid of me; I don’t want to breed more conflict; I don’t want more strains”. How am I to put an end to conflict in action?

Questioner: Don’t act.

Krishnamurti: My life is action. Talking is action; breathing is action; to see something is an action; to get into a car, to go to my house is action. Everything I do is action. You tell me, “Don’t act”! Does that mean just to stop where I am, not think, not feel; to be paralysed, to be dead?

Questioner: The idea, which is unreal, and reality can never go together.

Krishnamurti: I realize that action is life. Unless I am totally paralysed, dead or insensitive, I must act. I see that every action breeds more pain, more conflict, more travail. I am going to find out if there is an action in which there is no conflict.

Questioner: How am I to find union between the observer and the observed?

Questioner: By accepting conflict.

Krishnamurti: For three million years we have accepted conflict. Our life is conflict. There is a war on between my wife and myself. I want to dominate; I want to become powerful; I want to be known. I live in a perpetual state of conflict with myself and with society, of which I am a part. I live in conflict; and I realize that whatever I do breeds more conflict, more confusion, more misery to myself. So I say, “What am I to do? How am I to act?”. Don’t tell me “Love”, “Be complete”, “Be identified with peace”, “Be unified with God; none of those mean anything.

Questioner: We must understand our actions.

Krishnamurti: How am I to understand action? To understand something, I must look at it; I must examine it; I mustn’t be prejudiced about it; I mustn’t have a defence against it; I mustn’t escape from it; I must become very familiar with it. To understand j anything I must look with no barrier j between myself and what I look at. But I have barriers; I want to suppress the beastly thing; I want to run away from it.

Questioner: If one watches one’s thoughts, one’s feelings, one’s activities, then one begins to understand.

Krishnamurti; Who is the watcher that’s looking at the thought, who says, “I understand it”? Is the entity that is observing different from the thought. Thought is the entity, which means that the observer is the observed.
I say to myself, “I must understand my feelings, my thoughts, my activities, my relationships. Whatever I do, I must look, observe, watch.” I watch my thought. It goes all over the place, wandering, contradictory. I look at it and try to understand it, to control it, or to identify myself with it. I make an effort, and that effort is a conflict, but when I realize that the thinker, the observer is the thought, is the observed, then conflict comes to an end.

Questioner: In the tale of “Beauty and the Beast”, which we all know, Beauty liberates the Beast. Must we acknowledge evil reality as part of ourselves?

Krishnamurti: I’m not talking about reality, about beauty, about the animal. There is a simple fact. Don’t translate it into terms of your own particular idiosyncrasy. I think, and I say, “By Jove, I must watch my thinking”. I watch it, and my thoughts are ugly, beautiful, noble or something. I am different from the thought. As long as this difference exists between the thinker and the thought, there must be conflict, because I’m always doing something about it – trying to understand it, to break it down, to examine it, to suppress it. But is the thought different from the thinker? Thought has invented the thinker; so there is nothing to understand about thought. You will see the beauty of it, if you go with it.

Questioner: We acknowledge that the thought and the thinker are one.

Krishnamurti: There is no acknowledging; there is no identifying; there is no bringing together.

Questioner: Why can’t we go along quickly together?

Krishnamurti:Because we are refusing to face a very simple fact. We want to make everything so complicated. We can’t just listen to the noise of that airplane passing overhead. When we listen to the noise, not as a listener and the noise, but when we are completely paying attention to the noise, then there is only noise, not the listener and the noise.

Questioner: We are conscious of the fact that there is the centre, and the thought.

Krishnamurti: The electronic brain replies to a question according to the information it has. We have stored up information through experience, through heredity, through culture, through impression, through influence, through climate. That electronic storing is the thinker, who separates himself from the thought, and then says, “I must do something about it”. The actual fact is that the thinker is the thought, is the memory, is the experience, is the observer, is the experiencer and the experienced. If you realized this, if you really understood this very, very simple fact, life would change totally, absolutely, not tomorrow but now.
If you really realize that you are the result of your culture, your society, your economy, your religion – you are that; the two are not separate – if you actually realize that you are not different from it, if you realize it as you realize a pain, then you will see something entirely different take place.
We all crave experience. Do you understand what happens when you realize that the experiencer is the experience? Do you know what happens when you look at a flower without any kind of evaluation, without any kind of judgment, without the thinker thinking about the flower, just looking at it? Do you know what takes placer. have you ever tried it?

Questioner: We disappear.

Krishnamurti: Do you? (Laughter.) I am asking in all seriousness; I didn’t mean it cynically or humorously. When you look at the flower without “thinking”, what takes place?

Questioner: There is only a state of seeing.

Krishnamurti: What do you all say? Have you ever tried to look at a flower, without going through all the process of analysis and knowledge, of thinking – just looking at it? What takes place?

Questioner: Integration takes place.

Questioner: The flower takes place.

Krishnamurti: May I suggest something? If you have half an hour or so to spare this afternoon, look at a tree or a flower, at your wife or your husband. just look, not as the husband who has had innumerable insults, flatteries, hurts, pleasures, sex, and all the rest. Will you try it and see what happens?

Questioner: Perhaps the observer disappears.

Krishnamurti: Try it!

Questioner: There is no conflict then.

Krishnamurti: This is a most extraordinary business.

Questioner: Sometimes we are saying within us, “I am yourself”.

Krishnamurti: I am talking about a flower, and watching the flower. Now, would you listen to the noise that airplane is making? Just listen to it. (Pause.) Now, what has taken place? You listened. First find out what it means to listen.

Questioner: You become one with the noise.

Questioner: It fills you up; you are filled with it.

Krishnamurti: Are you listening to the noise?

Questioner: Yes.

Krishnamurti: It matters enormously how you listen. An airplane went over just now, and you listened. You say, “Yes, I listened to that noise; it filled me; or you say, “I didn’t like that noise, because I wanted to ask you a question”, or, “I want to listen to you”. You have to find out, before you listen, what is listening. What is listening?
I have to find out what is listening; I have to find out how I listen. The noise is not important; but how I listen to the noise is important. How do you listen? Do you listen at all? These are not just trivial questions. You have to find out for yourself if you listen. Do you listen to your wife, to your husband, or do you have a set-up pattern going all your life, and when the pattern operates you call that listening? One of the most difficult things to do is to find out what it is to listen, when you are listening. You can only listen out of silence. When that airplane went over, some of you were listening to the noise; some were not listening, or not understanding what listening is. If you listen, you can’t have noise. You can’t have your mind buzzing away,. You can only listen when there is total silence.
Generally we realize that the thinker and the thought are two separate states, if we realize at all. Usually we are indifferent; we just think. But when we realize that the thinker is separate from the thought, what takes place r. First, we have to listen to that fact, which we have discovered for ourselves, that the thinking and the thought are two separate states. From that listening we discover that thought is the thinker; the two are not separate. There is no identifying, the thinker `identifying himself with the thought., Thought is the thinker.
You, the observer, look at that microphone. You say, “That is not me”. Of course it’s not you. Obviously you can’t identify yourself with a dead thing, or with a living thing. There is the observer and the observed. How do you look at it? The “how you look” is more important than the object. Do you look at it with a lot of noise, with thoughts that the microphone is or is not good; it is this; it is that? Or do you look at it with complete silence? When you look at it with complete silence, what takes place? Don’t wait for me to answer. I’m not going to tell you, because that would become another jargon to be repeated. To look at anything, to listen to anything, there must be complete silence. What is important is not the object, but the silence, the quietness, the attention, whatever word you may give to it. Only when the mind is completely silent can you look, can you listen. Then listening, acting, and seeing are the same. Do you see the beauty of it?

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Saanen, 3rd Public Discussion, 5th August 1966