You are here

3rd Public Talk - 18th July 1974

3rd Public Talk - 18th July 1974

Facebook iconTwitter icon
Talks in Saanen 1974

At the last two meetings we were concerned with the understanding of our actions, of our behaviour and the content of consciousness. Unless we understand the nature and the structure of this consciousness in which we act, through which all our behaviour and all our thinking takes place, until we understand that, it seems to me, we shall always be floundering, confused, always living in constant battle within ourselves and outside; we shall never be able to find peace, a sense of deep inward tranquillity. In a world that is getting madder and madder every day, where there is so much brutality, violence, deception and chicanery, it is so necessary that all of us should understand this immense problem of living.

We are going to concern ourselves this morning, with what is called materialism. Materialism means the evaluating of life as matter, matter in its movement and modification; also matter as consciousness and will. That is what the materialists maintain. We have to go into it to find out if there is anything more than matter and if we can go beyond it. This is not merely an intellectual amusement and investigation but rather a deep enquiry as to whether our minds and our whole social, economic and religious life is entirely material, in the sense that materialism means having an opinion that all existence is matter, its movement, its modifications, including also its consciousness and will.

We are ruled by our senses - taste, smell, touch and so on - and they play a great part in our life. And thought, the capacity to think, is also material. The brain - if you examine it, if you are rather aware of its activities - holds in its cells memory, memory as experience and know, ledge. What these cells hold is material; so thought is matter. And you can imagine, or construct through thought, as thought, 'otherness', that is to say, other than matter; but it is still matter as imagination. We know that we live in a material world, based on our sensations, desires and emotions and we construct a consciousness which is essentially the product of thought with its content. We know that, if we do not just romanticize but go into it very deeply and seriously; yet knowing that, we say there must be 'otherness', something beyond that. So thought begins to investigate the ' other'. Yet when thought investigates the ' other' it is still material. It is important to understand this because we are all so romantically minded, all our religions are sentimental and romantic. Living in this very small field of materialism we want to have something much great beyond. That is a natural desire. So thought constructs a verbal or non-verbal structure of god, otherness, immensity, timelessness and so on and so on, but it is still the product of thought, so it is still material.

So thought creates the form outside, thinking that that form, that image, that prototype is not material. But that form is the product of thought, the ideal is still the product of thought, so it is still material. If you go to India, or elsewhere in the East, they will tell you they accept that, but they say there is a higher self, there is a super-consciousness, which dominates the material, or encloses the material; as in the West you have the soul. They call it by a Sanskrit word, Atman and so on. But the Atman, the super consciousness, the soul, is still the product of thought. Thought is matter; whatever its movements, inside, outside, in trying to go beyond itself, it is still material.

So the question arises: is the mind mechanical? That is, in your mind, are your thoughts, your feelings, your reactions, your responsibilities, your relationships, your ways, your opinions and so on and so on, merely mechanical? - that is, responding according to its conditioning, according to environmental influence and so on. If that is the totality of the mind then we live in a tremendous, inescapable prison.

This has been the problem of man right through the ages. He knows he lives by the senses, by his desires, by touch, by appetites, sexual, intellectual, otherwise, and he questions - 'is that all?' Then he begins to invent - the gods, the super gods, super-consciousness and so on and so on. Having invented and projected a form he pursues it thinking he is tremendously idealistic, or tremendously religious. But his pursuit of what he calls god or truth is still the pursuit of the product of thought, which is material. See what he has been doing. See what his churches, temples and the mosques have done to him, to each one of us, sense this great deception on which he has been fed, which he thinks is extraordinarily idealistic. When one realizes that, in seriousness, it is rather a shock, because one is stripped of all illusion.

So one then begins to ask - if one has gone that far - is there a movement other than the movement of thought? How does one find out? If one is trying to find out if there is something beyond the material, then one must examine what is the cause of one's search. Is the cause of one's search an escape from this? You see, cause means motive. Is all one's enquiry motivated? Because if it is, the root of that is either the seeking of pleasure or the escape from fear; or if it is total dissatisfaction with what is, then it projects its own answer. Therefore to enquire into 'the other' my mind must be without cause.

As we said the other day and we are saying again today, there must be a transformation in the mind, not peripheral reformation, but a revolution deep in the mind, to solve our problems - the problems which thought has created, whether religious, economic, social or moral and so on. If one is really serious, not flippant, not merely amused by intellectual theories, or philosophies, that are invented by thought, then one must be concerned and totally committed to this question of transforming the content of consciousness; for it is in this content that makes up consciousness. We went into that, and asked: who is the entity that is to change it? We said that the observer is the observed and that when there is a division between the observer and the observed, the 'me' and the 'not me', then there is conflict. That conflict is essentially a waste of energy. And when you look into it and find that the observer is the observed, you remove conflict altogether and you have enormous energy because it is no longer wasted in conflict.

Now this energy is either in the field of thought, or it is in energy totally different from thought. And we are asking now: if for a mind that is burdened, conditioned and shaped by materialistic thought, is there a movement other than that of thought? We said, to find that out we must look into the cause of this search. Where there is a cause there is time; the cause produces an effect and that effect again becomes a cause. Is this too difficult? It is not really difficult because this is our life. It becomes difficult when you treat it, or look at it, as something apart from our daily life.

Put it differently. What is virtue, morality? Is morality transient? Is morality relative? Or is it absolute? For us, in the modern world, morality is relative, and that relativism is nearly destroying us. So one asks: what is virtue? Is there an absolute virtue; a sense of no hate under any circumstance? Is there a complete peace, an absolute peace, which can never be disturbed? Can one live without any sense of violence? Or is violence relative? - hate modified and so on. So what is virtue? If you hit me and I hit you back and apologize for it later, that becomes relative. If I have a cause for hating you, or disliking you, or being violent, that cause makes my action not complete, therefore relative. Is there a way of living which has no cause - because the moment you have a cause living becomes relative. If I have cause to love you because you give me comfort, psychologically, physically, sexually, morally, it is not love. So where there is a cause, action must be relative. But when there is no cause action will be absolute. See what takes place in your life, not in the explanation I am giving. If I depend on you, if I am attached to you, that dependence and attachment has a cause, it is because I am lonely, or I am unhappy, or

I want companionship, I want your love, your affection, your care and so I am attached to you. From that attachment there is great sorrow, there is pain, because you do not love me, or you tolerate me, or give me a little of your affection and turn to somebody else, so there is jealousy, antagonism, hate and all the rest that follows. Where there is a cause, then action, morality, must be relative.

Can the mind be free of form, free of the ideal, of that form as a cause, so that the mind is capable of going beyond itself. It is very simple really; words make it so difficult. Words are necessary in order to communicate, but if you merely live at the verbal level they are absolutely useless. It is like ploughing, ploughing, ploughing and you destroy the earth merely by ploughing.

We have this problem, the problem which man right from the beginning has sought to solve, which is: is all life mechanical? Is all life material? - material in the sense of having an opinion, or evaluation, that all existence is matter, its movement, its modification - that mind and consciousness, with its will, is also matter; that your whole life is that. You may pretend it is not, but actually it is that. Being enclosed in that, thought creates a form, the ideal of the supreme, the highest form of excellence, great nobility, the gods, as well as all the other things that thought has put together in the world - the immense technological movement. It is all matter. And living on this shore - as we are, with our wars, our hatreds, our political appallingness - living on this side of the river, which is matter the mind says: I want to go across, there must be something there because this life is too stupid'. And it is stupid; just to go to the office, to earn money, to take responsibility, to struggle, compete, worry, to despair, to have anxieties, immense sorrows and then die. We say that is not good enough - we may put it more philosophically, in more extravagant or romantic language - and we want something more. Then we say: 'How are we to cross this river to the other shore?' We ask 'Who will take us across?' When we ask that question there is the priest, the guru, the man who knows and he says, 'Follow me' and then we are done because he is exactly like us, because he still functions within the field of thought. He has created the gods, Jesus, Buddha, Krishna, he has created the form and that form is as materialistic as your sensations, it is the product of thought. Now, if that is absolutely clear and there is no romantic escape, no ideological washing of the hands, no comfort and everything else that leads to such illusions, if it is absolutely clear that any movement and modification within the field of consciousness is merely moving from one object to another within the field of thought, then what is the mind to do? - or not to do? First, such a mind must be in total order - you understand? - material order. Because if it is in disorder it cannot go away from itself. Thought is matter and all its activity within consciousness has created extraordinary confusion and disorder - politically, religiously, socially, morally, in relationships, in every direction it has created disorder; and that is your life. Unless there is absolute order - and I am using the word ' absolute' not ' relative' - unless there is absolute order within that area, any cause to move away from that area is still the product of disorder. So there must be order. Now how does this order come about - politically, religiously, intellectually, morally, physically, in relationships - order, an absolute order, not a convenient order, not a relative order? How is the mind, which has been trained, educated, conditioned, to live in disorder and to accept disorder to bring order in itself? Bear in mind, that if you say there is an outside agency which will bring order then that outside agency is the product of thought and therefore it will create contradiction and therefore disorder. If you say the action of will will bring about order, then what is will? 'I will do that' - look at it, find out. When you are aggressive, when you say, 'I must do that', what is that will which is in action? It is - is it not? - desire; a projected end to be achieved; a projected end conceived by thought - the desire for success, the achieving of an end projected by thought as an ideal, as a form, as an original pattern. Can thought bring order? - which is the way the politicians and the so called priests and all the reformers are trying to achieve it. Can thought bring order? Thought has created disorder. So what is one to do?

Now, can the mind, your mind observe, see, this disorder? One is in disorder, one sees that the exercise of will, the following of another, having desire to overcome it, is still within the field of disorder. So one says to oneself 'What am I to do; what is the mind to do'? first of all, does one know disorder, does the mind see disorder - or does it know the description of disorder? You describe to me the mountain, its beauty, the snow, its lines against the blue sky, the depth of shadows in the forest, the running waters, the murmur of trees, the beauty of it all; you describe it to me and the description catches my mind and I live with that description But the description is not that which is described. So one asks oneself, am I caught in the description, or am I actually seeing disorder? One is intellectual, the other is factual. Now, is the mind observing its disorder which means no word, not caught in the description, but merely observing this enormous disorder? Can the mind so observe? And in observing its own disorder, is there an 'observer' looking at it, or is there no observer at all, but merely the observing?

I observe you, I see you. I met you last year. You were pleasant or unpleasant to me, you flattered or insulted me, or neglected me. The memory of that remains - the memory. This year I meet you and the memory responds. That memory is the past and also that memory is the observer - of course.

Can the mind observe all the disorder, social and moral and so on, which is created by thought - in which I am, which is part of me - can it observe this disorder without the observer? If the mind can do it then what takes place?

If the observer is there looking at disorder then there is a division between the observer and the observed, in that division conflict takes place - I must control it, I must change it, I must suppress it, I must overcome it and so on; there is conflict. Now when the observer is not, and there is only observation, then there is no conflict, there is merely observing. Then there is energy to go beyond disorder.

Where there is division there must be disorder. The observer rooted in the past is essentially the factor of division. Now can the mind see the truth of that and observe the disorder - the actual disorder of your life-, not the description? Can it observe your disorder, your confusion, your anxieties, your contradictions, your selfish demands, all that, observe? And if it observes without the observer there is then the going beyond it, which means total order, not relative order, mathematical order - that is essential before you can go any further. Without order in the material world, in the world of matter, in the world of thought, the mind has no basis, no foundation on which to move. Therefore there must be observation of behaviour, which is order. Do I behave according to a motive, according to circumstances? Is my behaviour pragmatic - you follow? - or is it under all circumstances the same? - not the same in the sense of copying a pattern. Is it a behaviour which is never relative, which is not based on reward and punishment? Enquire into it, observe it and you will find how terrible your behaviour is, how you look to a superior and inferior and all the rest of it. There is never a constant movement free of the motive of reward and punishment.

Then also you have to enquire into relationship, for it is still the material world. Relationship is of the highest importance, because life is relationship. What is your relationship? Have you any relationship? Relationship means to respond adequately to any challenge in that relationship.

Enquiring into relationship; is my relationship with you personal and intimate, or not so intimate; is it based on my opinions, my memories, my hurts, my demands, my sexual appetites? If it is, then my relationship with you is relative, it changes - I am moody one day, not moody the next day, the next day I am affectionate and the third day I hate you and the fourth day I love you and so on and so on. In that relationship, if it is not satisfactory, I will go to somebody else. This is the game that we have been playing for centuries, now it is more open, more extravagant, more vulgar - that is all. So my mind has to find out what its relationships actually are. Unless there is complete harmony in the world of material in which I live, which is part of me, in me, which is my consciousness, the mind cannot possibly go beyond itself. That is why your meditations, your postures, your breathing, your going to India and searching... well, never mind!... is so utterly meaningless.

So, is my relationship relative? - is all relationship relative? Or is there no relationship at all except when the division as the me and the you does not exist? I am related to you because I love you, because you give me food, clothes, shelter, you give me sex, you give me companionship, I have built a marvellous image about you, we may get annoyed with each other, irritated, but that is trivial. And I hold on to you, I am attached to you, and in that attachment there is great pain, there is great sorrow, suffering, torture, jealousy, antagonism, and then I say to myself, 'I must be free of that'. And in freeing myself from that I attach myself to somebody else. And the game begins again. So I say to myself, 'What is this relationship? Is there a relationship, can there ever be a relationship?' There is the 'me' that is pursuing my appetites, my ambitions, my greed, my fears, my wanting to have more prestige, greater position and so on and so on; and there is the other also pursuing his or her own demands. So is there any relationship possible at all between two human beings, each functioning on and each pursuing his own exclusive, selfish, demands? So there may be no relationship in that direction, but there may be relationship when there is no 'me' at all. When the 'me', as thought, is non-existent, I am related - related to you, the trees, the mountains, to the rivers, to human beings. That means love - does it not? - which has no cause.

Consciousness with its content is within the field of matter. The mind cannot possibly go beyond that under any circumstances, do what it will, unless it has complete order within itself and the conflict in relationship has come totally to an end; which means a relationship in which there is no 'me'. This is not just a verbal explanation. The speaker is telling you what he lives, not what he talks about. If he does not live it, it is hypocrisy, a dirty thing to do.

When the mind has order and the sense of total relationship, then what takes place? Then the mind is not seeking at all; it is not capable of any kind of illusion. That is absolutely necessary, because thought can invent anything, any experience, any kind of vision, any kind of super-consciousness and all the rest of it. There is no ideal, there is no form, there is only behaviour, which is order and the sense of relationship for the whole of man. There you have the foundation.

Now another question arises from this: is the brain totally conditioned? This brain of man, having thousands and thousands of experiences, educated with a great deal of accumulated knowledge, whether its own or from books and so on, it is there in the brain. And thought operates only within that field of the known. It can invent a field that says, 'Apart from knowing, I am there' - but that is too silly. So my mind is asking: is the whole brain conditioned, conditioned by the culture it has lived in, economic, social, environmental, religious? Is the mind, in which included the brain, totally conditioned within the borders of time? Is he mind a complete slave? Do not say yes or no, for then you have settled; if you say 'Yes' then there is nothing more into which to enquire; if you say 'No' there is nothing more either. But a mind that is asking, groping, looking, without any motive, without any direction, says, 'Is the mind totally conditioned, therefore mechanical?' And you see it is mechanical; when it is functioning in the field of knowledge it is mechanical, whether scientific, technological, or the priestly tradition, it is mechanical and there is repetition, repetition, repetition. That is what is going on; the repetition of a certain desire, sexual or otherwise, repeating, repeating, repeating. Therefore the mind asks itself, 'Is the totality of this thing mechanical; or is there, in this field of the mind, an area which is not mechanical?' Can the mind be free of causation; for where there is causation it must be mechanical - all movement as thought must be mechanical. Therefore, the mind asks: is there a movement which is not of time?

Questioner: Who is it then that observes when the observer and the observed are one?

Krishnamurti: I observe the tree; there is the tree and there is the 'me' that is observing it. The observer looks at the tree with the accumulation of knowledge about the tree - botanical and all the rest. Now when there is no knowledge as the observer looking at the tree, what takes place? Is there an observation as we know it now? What takes place when there is an observation of the tree, the mountain, or of a person - which is much more difficult, more involved rather - what takes place? First of all, the observer creates the distance - maybe a foot, or ten thousand miles - and distance means time. The observer is the creator of distance and time. When there is no distance and time what takes place? Is there an observer at all? Or only the thing that is? - only the tree and not the observer. Only that. Then what takes place when there is the observation of a human being? I observe you, the observer being the past, then there is a distance between me and the observed; in the past you have insulted me, the observer, flattered me, or whatever it is; that is the past and it creates the distance between me, the observer and you. But when the observer is not, the distance and time ceases, does it not? Do it and you will see this happen. Then there is no reaction, but only the observation - reaction is from the observer. So you exist, not the observer. But the observer says, 'I have been cheated; you have taken my money'. I remember that. Should the observer forget that? So I look at you without the reaction of the past, but knowing that it has happened. There is no reaction to it, but the fact is that; my mind observes without the reaction but the fact is there. It is the reaction to the fact that creates distance, not the fact.

So when the observer is not, which is when the 'me' is not, there is only the fact. And the operation of the fact matters, not my reaction. This requires great attention to one's observation, one's reactions.

Questioner: Who sees the fact?

Krishnamurti: There is this fact, the microphone, is there not? There is no question of who sees it. We both have agreed to call it the microphone - we won't call it the giraffe - in observing that there is no 'me' or 'you', there is just that fact. But if you say that it is not a microphone, then begins all the reactions.

Questioner: If I call what is going on disorder, does not that imply that I am imagining an order?

Krishnamurti: The mind is only concerned with disorder, not with order; because it is disordered it does not know what order is. A neurotic, unbalanced mind, how can it know order? All it can know, all it can be aware of, is its own disorder. Any projection from that disorder is still disorder, that is simple. So can the mind be aware simply of its disorder - in the sense of contradiction, imitation, conformity, all that is implied in disorder? Disorder is the fact. The reaction to that disorder is the reaction of the observer. Now, can the mind observe that disorder?

Questioner: Maybe I misunderstand you. The moment I use the word disorder, does that not...

Krishnamurti: The word disorder - is that actually disorder? Is hunger a word or a reality? When you are hungry that is a reality. But the word hunger is different from the reality - although the word may awaken hunger. When we use the word disorder; is that a description which then tells you what disorder is? Or is it that within the description you see the actual disorder? So can the mind be free of the word disorder and look and discover its actual disorder?

Can you disassociate the object and the name of the object? It is good to investigate this. The name and the object. I say it is my wife - or girl friend, my father, whatever it is. Wife is the name, the person is different from the word. Can I disassociate the word from the person? Does the word interfere with looking at the person? Do you follow? If it does, then the mind is a slave to the word and the person is then not important.

So we are caught in words. We are slaves to words and the word is then the object, of course - for most of us.

18th July , 1974