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2nd Public Talk - 16th July 1974
2nd Public Talk - 16th July 1974
We were saying that the world outside and in us is in such a chaotic condition and that the politicians, the leaders, the religious priests, are all trying to solve our problems in the field of thought. This has been so for centuries upon centuries; trying to solve all our human problems at the level of thought. One sees that suffering still goes on, there are endless wars, governments are more or less corrupt, politicians play a crooked game and ideologies and systems have taken the place of morality and intelligence.
Seeing all this, objectively, without any prejudice, without being dedicated to any particular ideology or a system, one observes that thought is divisive and that excellence in thought is not necessarily excellence in conduct.
As we said, these are serious talks, not mere entertainment, not something to amuse or to be cried over. We are concerned with something one has to go through, investigate deeply, as deeply as one can, verbally and non verbally. That demands a great deal of care, affection and consideration, a sense of intimate communication with each other. It demands that you and I share the thing together; that you share it, not by just listening to a series of words or ideas or concepts because they are not ideas or concepts with which to agree or disagree, but rather, by really taking part in it with all your heart, with all your mind, with all your energy; then such serious concern and commitment does reveal a great deal, does reveal, not only the source of our thought and its mischief, but also the source of action. We live by action, we cannot possibly avoid action; you may withdraw from the world into a monastery but that is still action; you may take a vow, that is action. You may specialize in a particular field which gives you an opportunity for your talent and a career, that is action. Action is also in relationship between you and another. The movement of life is action.
And thought, in civilizations so far, has produced actions which are conflicting, contradictory, opposing, therefore breeding great mischief and misery. Is excellence in thought and therefore action, possible - or is there always conflict when thought produces action?
You are following all this? This is your life and if you would understand your life, your behaviour, your conduct, your relationship, and in its confusion find out what to do so that action is excellent at all levels, then you must enquire if there is an action which is not fragmented by thought. Thought is fragmentary in its very nature and yet through thought you are trying to find at all levels an action which will not be contradictory, which will not be regretful, which will be whole, total, complete. We must examine very carefully whether such action can be the product of thought before we take the next step. Is there an action which is supremely excellent yet not based on the movement of thought?
Why is thought, upon which we live, upon which our whole social morality is dependent, divisive? Thought is matter, it is the response of the past; it creates the movement of time, as yesterday, today and tomorrow. Thought has its source and root in the past; and having its root in the past it must create time as movement. One sees that by its very nature, by its very function and structure, that it has its being essentially in the past, it lives in tradition, in the accumulated knowledge that society has acquired and in the great accumulation of scientific knowledge, all of which is in the past. Thought is essentially a movement from the past, therefore it must be divisive; it can pretend, or stipulate, or conceive, that it is beyond time, it can imagine a timeless state, but it is still thought. It can pretend that it is going beyond its own limits, it is still thought. So thought creates a boundary of time around itself and that is the factor of division.
We are all reared in the field of thought. Education is the movement in thought, the getting of more and more knowledge, the refinement of thought and so on and so on. Thought being divisive then whatever action it creates must be fragmented which therefore gives rise to conflict. This is the principle. Man has lived, historically as we know it, in a series of crises and responses which inevitably breed more conflict. One sees in the modern world what is going on. There is a crisis, thought tries to answer it and in the very answering it more problems are created. Arms are supplied to one country knowing well that that is going to create more trouble, and so on and so on.
So, can thought ever bring about an action that is total, whole, sane not contradictory? Because our life is contradictory. We live at different levels, at the business level, the family level, the scientific level, the religious level, or at the artistic level; each opposing the other, each specializing in his own department. Specialization - which is the fashion now - becomes exclusive and therefore contradictory and therefore destructive. The man who specializes in religion, he is called a saint and is the most destructive man because he has specialized in one department - like the military man and so on and so on. So, thought trying to excellent in its action specializes and brings about more conflict, more division. Each specialization has its own ambitious end, each career has its own reward, contradictory, opposed to affection, care, consideration and love.
Looking at it, one asks: is there an action which is whole, not fragmentary; an action in which there is no regret, no sense of fulfilment, no sense of frustration? Is there such an action? Because that is what we are asking all our life, for whatever we do brings a certain pain, a certain confusion or a certain reward in the pursuit of which we create more division. It is inevitable and natural and logical to ask if there is an action which is not born out of the movement of thought.
May I go into something which may appear to be different, but which is not? We need energy; we have energy, physical energy, emotional energy, the energy of hate, the energy of lust, the energy of great passion and the energy of great tension which is brought about through the sense of frustration, division and lack of fulfilment. As one gets older the body becomes rather worn out, there comes disease and pain and energy wastes away. Most of our energy is the product of conflict - ' I am this, I should be that' - of fight and the aggressive desire to continue in a given direction. There is the energy that is brought about through an ideal, through commitment to that ideal; the whole Communist world is based on that, from the beginning of Lenin until now; destroy people by the million to get what you think is right. And that gives one tremendous energy. The saint, dedicated to an ideal, to a picture, to an imagination, to a formula, does have an extraordinary energy. The idealists have an extraordinary energy. In any form of specialization energy is required. The more you specialize the more energy you have, discarding all other forms of energy. This is what one sees, not only in oneself but also outside.
Thought creates its own energy, as is happening in the Western world; to produce such a marvellous machine as a submarine one must have tremendous energy and co-operation, energy that is brought about through an idea, through organized thought. And this kind of energy is always, in the deep sense of that word, destructive, because it is divisive. Now, is there an energy which is not destructive, which is not divisive, which is not mechanical, which is not based on idea or a commitment to an ideology? Is there an energy which is not in any way involved in the field of time as thought, movement? Life is action, in the very living all relationship is action, movement in action. And that movement, that action, is based on thought. At present, all political, religious, social and economic life and moral relativism - which is rampant in the world now - are based on thought, which is divisive, contradictory and breeding misery. Is there an action totally unrelated to all that? To find out one must have energy, neither mere intellectual energy, with all its accumulated knowledge, nor emotional energy, which is recognizable by thought and therefore still part of thought, but an energy which can come so as to bring about a total transformation in the very process of the mind? To enquire very deeply if there is an action which is not based on the movement of thought, you need a great deal of energy, not the energy of trying to find an end, not the energy that you have when you are moving in a particular direction, but the energy that can change the content of consciousness.
To put it differently: one knows what the content of one's consciousness is, if one is at all awake and aware, attending to one's behaviour, watching, listening. The desire to change that content is a movement in a particular direction; that does give energy but it is divisive. Yet one realizes that the content must be totally changed because we cannot go on as we are, unless we want to destroy the whole of humanity. The content makes consciousness, therefore when there is total transformation of the content there is a different kind of - I won't call it consciousness - a different level altogether. To bring about that change one needs tremendous energy.
So there must be freedom from direction - please see the logic of it, the sanity of it - there must be freedom from a conclusion, though a conclusion may give one a great deal of energy, but a kind of energy that is wasteful. The mind must be freed of the response of thought, it must be free of ideals because they again have direction. The mind must be free of all the divisive movements of thought, as nationality, as race, as religious division. Now, can your mind be free of all that? If it cannot then it is not possible, do what you will - stand on your head for ten thousand years, or meditate sitting in a posture, breathing rightly, for another ten thousand years - you will never find the other.
So, can the mind see how stupid, how unintelligent, ideals are; can it see the truth of it - not say that they are wrong and put them away - for when you see the truth of it you are free of it; not as when you logically or historically examine, but as when you see something poisonous you drop it; there is no conflict because intelligence sees it is too stupid to go that way. Can you free your mind from all this? Do you free it one thing at a time, or do you free it totally? If you free it one thing at a time, that takes energy, saying, ' Well, I'll look at my nationality, how stupid it is, I'll drop it: I'll look at my ideals saying they are too old fashioned, they do not lead anywhere, they breed conflict, I'll drop them.' Will you free the mind layer by layer, which will take time, which will take analysis - and analysis is paralysis? Will you go through that process taking long years?,
Or is there a way of looking at all this totally? - and therefore being totally free of it. Traditionally it is said that you must go step by step; first you must get rid of this and then that, control your body, breathe rightly. Not only traditional but modern psychology says, go step by step, analyse, tear away layer by layer. You can spend years, until you die, doing that. Now, is that not a wastage of energy? If it is, then how shall the mind empty itself of its content so that it has a totally different kind of energy, a totally different existence?
The content of my mind is the content of your mind. The content of your consciousness is the content of my consciousness, slightly modified, with a little more or a little less colour, a little more or a little less elaborate, more artistic and less and so on, but it is more or less the same as your consciousness. The mind becomes aware of this and it says, ' How can I be aware of the totality of it?' - not only of the conscious but the unconscious. I know I can strip layer after layer, both of the conscious as well as of the unconscious; I know I can go through that process, taking time, analysing, knowing the danger of analysis. I can do that. That is the traditional, accepted way to do this - if you are serious and so interested. And I see that that takes infinite time, because every step in analysis must be accurate, otherwise the next step will be corrupted by the previous analysis. So, each analysis must be complete, true and final, otherwise I am lost. And can such analysis take place? And who is the analyser? Is not the analyser the analysed? So I see that that is not going to do a thing. So what am I to do? You understand my question? What is my mind to do when it has seen the absurdity of this? Now, has it actually seen the absurdity of it, or does it imagine it has seen it because somebody has said that it is absurd - because we are second-hand people - so that I am accepting the authority of another when I say, 'Yes, that is absurd'? That is a verbal assertion without any reality; that acceptance has no validity; it does not produce results. So the mind discards authority, whether traditional or the authority I have cultivated out of my own desires and selfishness; my authority which asserts that I know. The mind totally discards authority. Not the authority of law, I am obviously not talking about that, but the psychological authority of someone who tells you what to do because you are in confusion and look to somebody who will free you from this confusion - out of your disorder creating the authority. It is historically so: wherever there is disorder a man springs up and tyrannically brings about some kind of order - which is total disorder.
So, can the mind put away authority because it sees the truth of it, the significance of it, the nature of it? - not as a reaction against authority, which is what is going on. When you react against authority you are creating another authority - that is obvious.
So, can the mind, your mind, be free of this traditional approach. traditional analysis, introspectively trying to improve, because you see the truth of being free of it; therefore there is no guru, no saviour, there are no steps through meditation to come upon something extraordinary - there is something extraordinary, but not through this way. Can the mind put away all this, deny all this, without any resistance? To do that you must look. You must look outwardly and inwardly; hear the music of the world and the discord of the world and the music inwardly and the discord outwardly, because both are the same, we are an intrinsic part of the world. To do this we require energy and this energy is not brought about by concepts, by words. This energy comes when you have the insight into the disorder of a mind which functions mechanically in the movement of thought. So, no belief, no idea, no concept, no ideal, no commitment of any kind in that field. Then, through negation of what is false - not through resistance or reaction to the false - through choiceless rejection of what is false, you have a different kind of energy. It is simple enough. If you do climb a mountain you must discard all the things that you have been carrying on the plain, you must put them all aside. It is far more important to understand attachment and the corrupting factors of thought - which are attachment and power, domination in different forms, the corruption of property and possessions - than the search, or the taking of vows.
Most of us are attached to possessions, whether the possession of an antique table which you look after and polish very carefully, or a house, or a person, or an idea, or attached to a particular form of experience, attached to a group and so on and so on. Why is the mind attached, to our looks, our hair, our worries? - there are so many things we are attached to. Why? And knowing that possessions in any form are one of the major corrupting factors in life we say 'Do not possess, have a few clothes that are necessary but do not possess, take a vow of non-possession'. In that there is a lot of travail, 'I want that; I must give it up, I have taken a vow'. Possessions corrupt and we say we must be detached from possessions; so then there is all the conflict involved in that. Understanding attachment is much more important than detachment. Why is there attachment? Not, how to be detached, but, why the mind is attached - you see the difference? Why are you attached to your house, to your wife, to your girl, to your ideas, to your meditations, to your system - why? What would happen if you were not attached? Attachment gives a certain occupation to the mind; you constantly think about something. This constant occupation is one of the factors about which the brain and the mind says, 'Yes, I must be occupied with something - with my god, with my sex, with my drink - I must be occupied' - with the kitchen or with some social order, or commune, or whatever it is. Out of this demand for occupation there is attachment, you hold on to something. Why must the mind be so occupied? What would happen if it was not so occupied? Would it go astray? Would it disintegrate? Would it feel utterly naked, empty and would the fear of that emptiness demand occupation? - therefore the importance of the furniture, the book, the idea and so on. Out of the empty feeling and loneliness from not being totally whole, the mind is attached. Can the mind live, be vital, energetic, full of depth, without attachment? Of course it can.
One asks: is love attachment? - not that love is detachment. When love is attached or detached then it is painful - which we all know, we go through that ugly state. Power is another form of corruption, political power, religious power, power in the business world, power in the exercise of a certain talent that one has - the pleasure of power. When you dominate somebody, your cook or your servant, your wife or your husband, or somebody, there is tremendous pleasure. That is another factor of corruption. That energy, which is so necessary to bring about a transformation in the content of consciousness, is dissipated in all these ways. Can you see all this as fact, as a dangerous fact? - not a relative danger but a total danger for human beings.
Now, if you see that as real danger, as you would see the danger of a falling rock, you move away from it instantly and you are free of it. To observe this you need a certain sensitivity, both physical as well as psychological and you cannot have this sensitivity if you are indulging in all kinds of things - drink, sex, overworking - you know the whole business. So, if you are at all serious, if you give your attention, your care, your affection to this, then you will see for yourself that out of this freedom from the division which thought has created, there is another kind of energy, which is intelligence. That intelligence is not put together by thought; it is not the cunning intelligence of a politician or a priest or a businessman. It comes out of the freedom which is perceiving the falseness, the unreality of all that. Can your mind see it totally? - it cannot see it totally if it has any direction at all.
An intelligent mind acts in the field of thought intelligently, sanely, without resistance; it is free from the structure and implications of attachment, from the action of attachment, from the pursuit of power with all its complications, the ruthlessness of it. It sees the dividing process of thought, and seeing that clearly, totally, it has energy; that energy is intelligence. Having that energy, that intelligence, it can operate in the field of thought, not the other way round.
One can see that there is no division between the outside and the inside, it is an interrelationship. One sees it; and one needs energy to transform the mind. So one discards everything that is wasteful, every thing that is psychological, everything that breeds division and conflict within the mind. It can be done only when there is an observation of it, not a resistance to it. There is such observation only when the observer is the observed. The observer is the past, put together by thought in terms of experience, knowledge, memory, tradition; they are the essence of the observer. What he observes, which is the result of thought, is still thought. The chaos in the world, the misery, the starvation, the poverty, the brutality, the violence, the mess that is going on, the madness that is going on, is created by thought. And it is the observer who says, 'I must change all that' - if he is at all intelligent, if he is at all awake and not concerned with his own little pattern of life. But is the observer different from what he observes? He is put together by thought also, so he is the observed. Now when that takes place not as a verbal statement but as a reality, conflict ceases and the mind goes beyond the limitations which thought has imposed on action.
Now can you do this? If you cannot, why not? Is it because you are indolent, lazy, indifferent, not only to your own sorrow, to your own suffering, to your own misery, but to the misery of millions of people, to what is going on in Russia, in India, everywhere? Are you totally indifferent to all that, because you want to find God, you want to meditate, you want to learn how to breathe properly, how to have the right kind of sexual relationship and this and that? If you are concerned with the whole - you understand? - with the whole of humanity, not just your neighbour or your wife, but with the whole of humanity, then when you see that whole you can put the detail in order. But without the perception of the whole you cannot put the detail in order. That is why the politicians are failing, they never answer this problem, neither do the analysts, nor the priests - nobody does. It is only you and I, if we are utterly responsible, concerned, serious, committed, who will be able to answer this question because we have seen the whole and therefore are extraordinarily alive and intelligent and yet able to function in detail.
Questioner: Is the operation of intelligence insight?
Krishnamurti: What is insight - to have an insight into something? To have insight into attachment: what does that mean? To see what the nature of attachment is, what it does, why it arises. What is the structure of attachment and what are the responses and actions of attachment? To have an insight into all that you must look at attachment, your attachment. Your attachment to your possessions: have you ever looked at it? Have you ever looked at your ideas, your opinions? - why you have a thousand opinions? That is another occupation of the mind, to have opinions; and you think it is extraordinarily important to have opinions. To have insight into attachment means that you go behind the word, you go behind your reactions of asserting and not asserting and you see how the mind has built up this whole process of attachment. It is to observe it; and you can only observe it when you are not against it, when you are not opposed to it, when you do not want to retain or to discard it. You can only observe when you see that the observer is that thing which he is observing; he has created the attachment and then tries to disassociate himself from it, tries to change it, control it, shape it, deny it, alter it, go beyond it and all the rest of it. Now, when you have an insight of that kind, then out of that insight comes intelligence. Simple, Sir, but you have to do it - not endlessly talk about it.
Questioner: How can one live without foundations?
Krishnamurti: What do you mean by foundation? This is the question for most of us; we need a basis, a foundation, a something from which to start, on which we can rely, something which says 'that' is so. And then on that we build, we move; we say there is God, millions and millions have said there is God and on that they have built their life, that is their foundation. I may have a family, children, my responsibilities to them that is my foundation. Others may have the foundation of the ideology that the State as the only god - the Communists - and that is mine - you follow? Each one adopts a foundation according to his own temperament, according to his own conditioning in the culture in which he is born. So we say that a foundation, a basis, is necessary. Now, who has built that basis - Lenin, Marx, Trotsky, Stalin and so on, laid a foundation for you and me; if you accept that, on that you start? If I am a Catholic or a Hindu that is my basis. Now, how are these bases created? - obviously by thought - thought in different forms, in different manifestations. Now why does the mind need such foundations? Please ask that question of yourself. Why do you need a foundation? Is it because without it you would have no rudder, no direction, every whiff of wind would push you in every direction? Now, see what happens if I have a foundation; say for instance, if I have a foundation as a Hindu, what takes place? I live according to the Hindu tradition, according to the beliefs and dogmas handed down through the centuries. It is the past and that is my foundation. The result of that foundation is that I consider that I am not as you - you who are a
Muslim, Buddhist; I am not as you; I am willing to tolerate you - toleration is the invention of the intellect - to live amicably, but that has nothing to do with reality because I am rooted in my foundation as a Hindu. So there is conflict between you and me, me a Hindu and you a Muslim, a Catholic, and so on, a believer in God and a non-believer in God, in Jesus, in Buddha. So I say to myself: "Why should I have a foundation at all?' If I had no foundation, would I go wrong? Does a foundation give me direction, or does it bring confusion? A foundation as a Hindu, or as a Catholic, Communist, Socialist, whatever it is, breeds more confusion, greater misery, greater division. You have your conclusions, your foundation, and I have mine. So I see that foundations have brought man to great sorrow and misery: he is willing to fight and kill, for what? - for ideas, which are part of reasoned thought. And if my foundation is based on thought then I live in conflict and misery for the rest of my life. That is obvious. So I say to myself: can I live without any foundation? I know the tree cannot live without foundations, it must have roots in the soil, water, sunshine, darkness. The foundation of food, clothes, shelter, I need, but is a foundation of ideas necessary? Now, can I live without any such foundation? I can only answer that when I see the nature and the structure of that foundation. The very negation of that foundation is intelligence. Then wherever the mind is, in a palace, in a hovel, when walking along by yourself in woods and looking at the beauty of light and darkness, at the shadows and the immeasurable sky, that intelligence is in operation, and it needs no foundation at all. That intelligence is not mine or yours, it is intelligence.
Questioner: I see the implications of attachment but nevertheless I would like to ask you if there is not a certain biological attachment, as there are attachments in the animal kingdom. How can you possibly see the human race, composed of millions of people, with no possible attachments among themselves. Do you see, in all reality, the prospect of the human race with no attachment?
Krishnamurti: Are we talking to the millions of people; in India, Mexico and America are millions and millions of people, are we talking to them about attachment? Or are we talking about attachment to you? Because the millions of people are not concerned with this. They say, 'for god's sake give me food, clothing and shelter, I am starving, I am diseased' - they are not concerned with this. And you are asking: how do you answer those millions of people and ask them to be detached, or not be detached? You cannot, We are talking to you. If in your consciousness - which is the consciousness of millions of people - there is a transformation then that transformation affects the millions. Then you will have a different kind of education, a different kind of society - you follow - but not to ask: how can the millions and millions accept this idea of detachment? Of course you are attached to your mother when you are very young, you need a mother and a father to look after you; the child needs complete security, the more security of the right kind, then the happier it is.
Millions of people want security, they think they will find it in attachment, in their country, in their little house, they are willing to fight the rest of the world for their country - that is their attachment. The Catholic is willing to fight the Protestant for his attachment. So for the moment we are concerned with the people who are in this tent. You are here. We are talking to you. Can you change the content of you consciousness so that in that transformation you affect the consciousness of man? This is a fact. The so-called Catholics have for two thousand years talked to individuals, they have conditioned them and their consciousness has accepted this conditioning and you have thereby been Catholics, Protestants or Communists, and you have functioned from there, if you have been at all serious in what you have accepted. In that way your consciousness has affected the world. Go to a village in India; you find a Christian cross there; the villagers do not know what it is all about, but there is a nice place to sit and chat, or sing or do something or other and they go there. But it has affected the consciousness of the world by conditioning it to a certain idea. Now what we are saying is quite to the contrary. In the transformation of your consciousness with all its content, you have freedom, and in that freedom you have a tremendous energy, an energy which is the essence of intelligence. That intelligence will operate in every field if you are so aware of the total human existence. Everybody needs clothes, food and shelter, that is prevented by division, the economic, racial and national divisions - America is more powerful than Russia and so on - you follow? - that is what is happening. Once we talked about this to a prominent politician and he said, 'My dear man, that is impossible, that is so far away, a marvellous but distant life and ideal. I like what you are saying but it is impracticable. We have to deal with the immediate'. And the immediate is their power, their position, their ideology - the most impracticable and the most destructive thing. You know all this. Do you mean to say that if all the politicians in the world got together and said,' Look, forget your ideologies, forget your power, let us be concerned with human suffering, with human needs, food, clothing, shelter, then could we not solve this problem?' Of course they could. But nobody wants to. Everybody is concerned with their own immediate sickness, their ideologies.
16th July 1974