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5th Public Talk - 23rd July 1974
5th Public Talk - 23rd July 1974
We have been talking over together the nature and the structure of thought, its place and its limitations and all the processes and functions involved in the movement of thought. If I may, this morning - and it is rather lovely after all these days of rain and cloud to see the mountains, the shadows and the rivers, and to smell the pleasant air - I would like to talk about the question of responsibility and who is answerable to what. In observing, objectively, without any opinion or judgement, what is going on in the world, the recent wars, the appalling misery and confusion, one asks, who is responsible, or answerable, for all this? To really find the right response, the right answer, we must look at the whole phenomenon of existence; at the one end you have the extraordinary development of technology - which is almost destroying the earth - and at the other you have what may be called the hope, the demand, the entreatment of god, truth or what you will. There is this vast spectrum, this vast field of existence, which is our daily living and we seem to be incapable of responding to the whole of it, rather than just part of it. So we must find out for ourselves the right response, the right answer, to all this. If we merely answer to, or are responsible for, a very small part of it, which is ourselves and our little circle, our little desires, our petty little responsibilities, our selfish enclosed movement, if we only respond to that, neglecting the whole of it, then we are bound to create not only suffering for ourselves, but suffering for the whole of mankind. Because, as we said the other day, our consciousness is its content; when there is the transformation in that consciousness you affect the whole of the consciousness of human beings. This is a fact. It is not imagination, not a theory, not a speculative hope. If you change radically the content of your consciousness you are affecting the consciousness of your neighbour, of your children, of your society, of all the consciousness of human beings. This is so; Hitler, Lenin, Stalin, Mussolini, all of them, affected mankind, because they created in themselves a change - whether a good or bad change we are not discussing.
So, is it possible to be responsible, to answer adequately, to the whole, the whole of mankind and therefore be responsible to nature, to your children, to your neighbour, to all the movement that man has created in his endeavour to live rightly? Is it possible to feel that immense responsibility, not only intellectually, verbally, but very deeply, so as to be able to answer to this whole of human struggle, pain, brutality, violence and despair?
To respond totally one must know what it means to love. That word love has been misused, so spoilt, so trodden upon; but we will have to use it and give to it a totally different kind of meaning. To answer to the whole there must be love and to understand that quality, that compassion, to have that extraordinary sense of energy which is not created by thought, we must understand suffering.
When we use the word love, understand that it is not a verbal or intellectual communication of the word, but the communication or communion that lies behind the word. Now first we must understand suffering and be able to go beyond it, otherwise we cannot possibly understand what responsibility to the whole is, which is real love. As we said the other day, we are sharing this thing together, we are partaking, not only verbally, intellectually, but going far beyond that. To share it is our responsibility. That means you must not only hear the word, listen to the meaning of the word semantically, but also share in the movement of self enquiry and go beyond it. You must take part in this whole movement, otherwise you will treat it merely verbally or intellectually or emotionally and then it is nothing.
So as we said, to understand this responsibility to the whole and therefore that strange quality of love, one must go beyond suffering. What is suffering? Why do human beings suffer? This has been one of the great problems of life for millions of years. And apparently very very few have gone beyond suffering and they have become heroes or saviours, or some kind of neurotic religious leaders and there they remain. But as ordinary human beings we never seem to go beyond suffering. We seem to be caught in it; and we are asking now, this morning, is it possible to be really free of it? There are various kinds of suffering; the physical and the various psychological movements of suffering, the ordinary organic pains through disease, old age, ill health, bad diet and so on and the enormous field of psychological suffering. Can you be aware of that field? Can you know intimately the structure, nature and function of that suffering? Can you know how it operates, what are its results, crippling the mind, enclosing it in self-centred activity, more and more? Are you aware of it? You can have a great deal of pain through a disease and not allow it to interfere with the activity of the mind; you can dissociate from the physical pain so that that pain does not create neurotic activity; it requires considerable attention to the intelligence of the body. When the body is not dictated to by taste, by the tongue, by the various forms of artificial stimulation, then the organism has its own intelligence.
Probably you will not pay the least attention to all this after you have left here, but at least during this hour do give a little attention and care. Because there is a lot to learn, a lot that you should know, though you may not act upon it, because most of us are rather lazy, indolent, easy going, accepting things as they are and carrying enormous burdens throughout our life. But at least you should know about these things, as you are good enough to be here.
So, we now consider psychological suffering, which apparently man has not been able to resolve. He has been able to escape from it, through various channels, religious, economic, social, through political and business activities, through various drugs and every form of escape but never confronting the actual fact of suffering. What is suffering? Is it possible for the mind to be completely free of the psychological activity that brings about suffering?
One of the major reasons for psychological suffering is the sense of isolation, the feeling of total loneliness, the feeling that you have nothing to depend upon, that you have no relationship with anyone, that you are totally isolated. You have had this feeling I am quite sure; you may be with your family, in a bus, or at a party or what you will and you have these moments of an extraordinary sense of isolation, an extraordinary sense of lack of total nothingness. Also, suffering, psychologically, comes through attachment. Attachment to ideas, or ideals, to opinions, to beliefs, to concepts. Please observe this in yourself. The word is the mirror in which you are looking in which to see the operations of your own mind - so look there.
Another cause of suffering, is the great sense of loss - loss of prestige, loss of power, loss of so many things. The loss of somebody whom you think you love, in death, that is the ultimate suffering. Now can the mind be free of all this? Otherwise it cannot possibly know this sense of love for the whole. If there is no love for the whole of existence - which is not only your existence but that of total man - then there is no compassion and you will never understand, do what you will, what love is. In the love of the whole the particular comes in; but when there is the particular love of the one then there is the absence of the other.
It is absolutely imperative that we understand and go beyond suffering. Is that possible? That is, is it possible for the mind to understand this sense of deep inward loneliness? When we feel lonely it is rather frightening, rather depressing and from that various kinds of moods arise; now without escaping, without rationalizing, can you observe it? - without any movement of escape? When you feel lonely, with all the implications involved in it, the escapes, the attachments, can you look at it without any movement of escape? Can you be aware of it without rationalizing, without trying to find the cause of it, just observing it. In that observation you discover that your escape is through attachment to an idea, to a concept, to a belief. Now can you be aware of that belief and how it is an escape? - when you observe it quietly, the escape and the belief disappear, without any effort. But the moment you introduce effort there is the observer and the observed and therefore the conflict. But when you are aware of all the implications of loneliness then there is no observer, there is only the fact of this feeling of being utterly isolated. This isolation takes place through your daily activity, your ambition, greed, envy, your concern with your own desire to fulfil, to become somebody, to improve yourself. You are so concerned with your little self and that is part of your loneliness. During the day, or during sleep, in all your activities you are so concerned about yourself - the' me' and 'you', 'we' and 'they' - concerned and committed to yourself, wanting to do things for yourself in the name of your nation, in the name of your god, in the name of your family, in the name of your wife and all the nonsense that goes on.
Loneliness comes into being through the daily activities of self concern. When you become aware of all the implications of loneliness you see this. You see it, you do not theorize about it. When you look at something closely the details come out, at a tree, at a river, or the mountain, or a person, in that observation you see everything, it tells you, you do not tell it. So when you observe, when you are so greatly without any choice, aware of this loneliness, then the thing disappears altogether.
Then one of the causes of suffering is attachment. I am attached to a person, attached to an idea, attached to an opinion, attached to tradition and so on and so on. Why is the mind attached - attached to furniture, attached to a house, attached to your wife - why? It is one of the reasons for great suffering. Being attached and finding it is painful, we try to cultivate detachment, which is another horror.
Attachment is a form of occupation for the mind. If I am attached to you then I am thinking about you, I am worrying about you, I am concerned about you, in my self-centred way, because I do not want to lose you; I do not want you to be free, I do not want you to do something which disturbs my attachment, for in that attachment I feel, somewhat at least, temporarily secure. In attachment there is fear, jealousy, anxiety, suffering. Now just look at it. Do not say, 'What am I to do?' - you cannot do anything. If you try to do something about your attachment then you are trying to create another form of attachment. Do you follow this? So just observe it. When you are attached to a person you dominate that person, you want to control that person, you deny freedom to that person. When you are attached you are denying freedom altogether. If I am attached to communist ideals then I bring destruction to others - which is what is happening.
So, seeing that attachment is one of the causes of sorrow, then is it possible for the mind to be free of attachments? - which does not mean that the mind becomes indifferent. If I am concerned with the whole of existence, I must respond, answer, to the whole and not just be concerned with my particular little desire to be attached to you and my wanting to get over that little anxiety or pain, my jealousy and all the rest of it. For the quality of love can only come into being when the mind is concerned with the whole and not with the particular. When it is concerned with the whole there is love and then from the whole the particular has a place.
There is the suffering of loss, of losing somebody whom you love - 'love', you understand, I am using that word in quotation marks. Why do you suffer? You lose your son, your mother, your wife - why do you suffer? Is it that you are suddenly left hurt, very deeply, through the death of another? You have identified yourself with that person, he is your son, you want him, for you are yourself projected in him, you have identified yourself with him, and when he is no longer there you feel a tremendous sense of hurt because you have none other in whom to continue the sense of 'me'. So you are deeply hurt; from that hurt arises self-pity. You are not really so much concerned about the other but about yourself through the other. Therefore you are hurt when the other is not; and from that hurt and self-pity arises the desire to find somebody else through whom you can survive.
There is not only your personal suffering, but the vast suffering of man; the suffering which wars have brought about to innocent people, to the killer and the killed, the mother, the husband, the children, whether in the far East, the Middle East or in the West; there is this vast human suffering, both physically and psychologically. Unless the mind understands this whole problem it will only play with the word love; you can do social work and talk about the love of god, the love of man, the love all this, but in your heart you will never know what it is - right? So is your mind, your consciousness, capable of looking at this fact, looking at it, seeing what extraordinary misery is caused, not only to another but to oneself? Seeing how you deprive the freedom of another when you are attached and in attachment depriving your own freedom; and so the battle goes on between you and me. So can the mind observe this? Because it is only with the ending of suffering that wisdom comes into being. Wisdom is not a thing that you learn from books or from another. Wisdom comes in the understanding of suffering and all its implications, not only the personal but also the vast human suffering which man has created. It is only when you go beyond it that wisdom comes into being.
Then to understand, or come upon, this thing that we call love, we must also understand beauty - one of the most difficult things to put into words. Do you know what it means to be sensitive? - not sensitive to your desires and ambitions, to your hurts and failures or successes, most of us are sensitive to our own little demands, to our little pursuits of pleasure, fear, anxiety or delight. But we are talking of being sensitive, not to something, but being sensitive, both psychologically and physically. Physically, to be sensitive, is to have a very good supple body - healthy, not overeating and indulging - a sensitive body. To be sensitive psychologically - not that we are dividing the psyche from the body, they are inter-related - you cannot be sensitive in the psychological area if there is any kind of hurt. We human beings are hurt greatly, we have deep wounds, unconscious and conscious wounds, either self inflicted or caused by others, at school, at home, in the bus, in the office, in the factory, we are hurt. That deep hurt, conscious or unconscious, makes us psychologically insensitive, dull. Watch your own hurt if you can. A gesture, a word, a look, is enough to hurt. You are hurt when you are compared with somebody else, when you are trying to imitate somebody else, when you are conforming to a pattern you are hurt, whether that pattern is set by another or by yourself. We human beings are deeply wounded and those wounds bring about neurotic activity - neurotic beliefs and ideals. Again, is it possible to understand these hurts and to be free of them, never to be hurt again under any circumstances? We are hurt from childhood, as a result of various incidents or accidents; by a word, a gesture, a slighting look, gnawed; there are these wounds, can they be wiped away without leaving a mark?
If there is a hurt, you are not sensitive and will never know what beauty is. You can go to all the museums in the world, comparing Michelangelo with Picasso, whatever you like, being experts in the study of artists and their paintings and all the rest of it, but as long as a human mind is hurt and therefore insensitive, it will never know beauty. Without knowing that quality of beauty - which is not merely in the thing, in the product which man has made, in the line which an architect has given to a building, or in the mountain, the beautiful tree and all the rest of it - there is no love.
Can your mind know it has been hurt and not react to that hurt at the conscious or at the unconscious level? Can it know these hurts, be aware of them? It is fairly easy to be aware of conscious hurts but can you know those that are unconscious? Or must you go through all the process of analysis? Analysis implies the analyser and the analysed. And who is the analyser? Is he different from the analysed? If he is different why is he different? Who created the analyser to be different from the analysed? If he is different how can he know what the analysed is? The analyser is the analysed. That is obvious. At each stage of analysis there must be not the slightest misunderstanding for at the next analysis you cannot analyses completely because of that previous misunderstanding. And analysis implies time - you can go on, endlessly for the rest of your life and you will still be analysing as you are dying.
So how is the mind to uncover the deep unconscious wounds? And there are the wounds which the race has collected. When the conqueror subjugates the victim he has hurt him; that is a racial hurt. The Imperialists, the makers of Empires, to them everybody is beneath them and they leave a deep unconscious hurt on those who have been conquered - it is there. How is the mind to uncover all these hidden hurts, deep in the recesses of its consciousness? I see the fallacy of analysis - right? Our tradition is to analyse and I have put aside the tradition of analysis. So what has happened to the mind when it has denied, put aside, or seen the falseness of something, the falseness of analysis? - it is free of that burden, therefore it has become sensitive. The mind is lighter, clearer, it can observe more sharply. By putting aside the tradition of analysis and introspection which man has accepted, the mind has become freed. By denying the tradition you have denied the content of the unconscious. The unconscious is the tradition; it is the tradition of religion, the tradition of marriage, of so many things. One of the traditions is to accept hurt and having accepted hurt then analyse to get rid of it. Now when you deny that, because it is false, you have denied the content of unconsciousness. Therefore you are free of the unconscious hurts.
The mind by observing its hurt and not using the traditional instrument to wipe away that hurt - which is analysis, which is talking it over together, you know all that goes on, group therapy and individual therapy and collective therapy - wipes it away by being aware of the tradition and in denying that tradition you deny the hurt which accepts that tradition. The mind then becomes extraordinarily sensitive - the mind being the body, heart, brain, nerves, the total thing becomes sensitive.
We said that beauty is not in the museum, it is not in the picture, it is not in the face, it is not in any response from the background of your tradition. The mind, having put all that aside, because it is sensitive and because suffering has been understood, there is passion. Passion is different from lust, obviously. Lust is the continuation of pleasure and the demand for pleasure in different forms, sexually or in the religious entertainment that goes on in churches and temples and all the rest of it. So when the mind is beyond suffering, then there is that quality of passion, a quality which is totally necessary to understand the extraordinary sense of beauty. That beauty cannot possibly exist when the 'me' is constantly asserting itself. You may be accepted by the world as the greatest painter, but if you are concerned with your little self you are no longer an artist. You are only furthering through art your own selfish continuation.
Now we have a mind that is freed, that has gone beyond this sense of suffering, it is free from all hurt and therefore incapable of being hurt again under any circumstance, whether it is flattered or insulted, nothing can touch it - which does not mean it has built a resistance; on the contrary, it is excellently vulnerable. Then the mind will begin to find out what love is. Obviously love is not pleasure, because you have now been through all that and put it aside - not that you cannot enjoy the mountains, trees, and the rivers and the beauty of the land, but when that beauty becomes the pursuit of pleasure it ceases to be beauty. Love is not pleasure. Love is not the pursuit or the avoidance of fear. Love is not attachment. Love has no suffering. Love means the love of the whole, which is compassion. And that love has its own order, order both within and without, an order which cannot be brought about through legislation. Now when you understand this and live it, daily - otherwise all that we have spoken about has no value at all, it is just a lot of words without any meaning, just ashes - then life has quite a different significance.
Questioner: If I am aware during the day of all my thoughts and actions, really aware, clearly, limpidly, with a quality of lightness, what takes place in sleep, what is the movement in sleep?
Krishnamurti: What goes on during sleep? There are dreams, pleasant and unpleasant, dreams which indicate something that may happen in the future, dreams that warn me of certain actions and so on dreams. Now can the mind during so-called sleep renew itself totally?
Is one really aware during the day? One says one is aware, or one thinks one is aware, which is worse. But actually is one aware of the fact, not the word but the fact? The word is never the thing, the description is never the described. So, I am aware not of the word, not of the description, but of the actual fact that I am angry, I am jealous, that I am conceited, vain, stupid, full of vanity, hurt, pride, anxiety; and I am aware of that, actually. Somebody can tell me I am hungry but that is not hunger. So in the same way am I aware actually? Or is it that I think I am aware? If
I am so aware during the day, during the waking hours then the unconscious brings its intimations; it wants to tell you something, its prejudices, its fears, its anxieties, its hurts, its extraordinary hidden demands. Being consciously, totally aware one begins to discover what the unconscious is saying. Now if one does that during the day what takes place at night? Does the same process go on? If it does, then it is a continuation in dreams of what you have done during the day.
I am aware - or rather, not fully aware but partially aware. I want to be aware because I think what you are talking about is fairly rational. I want to be aware and I try to be so; but it is a very difficult thing to be aware. So I play with it for a time, drop it, pick it up, drop it, pick it up and go on that way during the day. Then during the night the same game is going on in dreams. The mind is never at rest, it never has complete relaxation, complete quietness; it has been working, working, working during the day, it keeps on working, working at night. If during the day it does not find order, then at night it goes on trying to find it. You have watched all this I am sure.
So what takes place when during the day you are really, non-verbally, completely, conscious, aware of everything happening inside you and as much as possible around you - what takes place? In that awareness during the day you have established order, have you not? See the importance of this. You have established order; order being no contradiction, no conflict, no sense of 'me' dominating, which is disorder. So during the day by becoming totally aware - if that is possible and it is possible obviously - there is order; then the mind does not have to find order during sleep. Unless you have order during the day the mind tries to find it in sleep; the brain must have order, otherwise it cannot function happily, freely, effectively - obviously, for it is like a child, it must have security. When there is order the brain does not have to struggle to create order for itself; therefore there is no neurotic action during the day, nor does it invent neurotic actions which it thinks will give it security.
When there is complete order during the day the brain does not have to struggle to create order neurotically or order according to circumstances and so on, it is orderly. In that order there is complete security for itself and dreams then become merely a physical reaction - you have eaten wrongly, or this or that - then dreams have very little meaning. So, can your mind be totally aware during the day and bring order out of disorder?
Questioner: Why is it that sometimes one understands and at other times one does not? Why is it one thinks at times that one sees very clearly, without any conflict and yet at other times everything is dark?
Krishnamurti: What is understanding ? When one says 'I understand', 'I understand the problem', 'I understand my relationship with another', 'I understand the meaning of love', what does one mean by that word understand? Does one mean a verbal understanding? - implying that the words are a means of communication and that by using certain words one says, 'Yes, I have understood through the words what you mean' - therefore it is still verbal understanding. Or one understands the logic of certain things so that intellectually one understands. Now, one is asking something entirely different: is understanding something totally other? One has described what suffering is, and one says, 'Yes, I have understood; has one understood the words, or seen the whole picture that the words convey and the implications of what they have conveyed and one says, 'Yes, I see it, I understand the meaning, the verbal meaning, the content of what I have seen, and I have gone beyond it'. That is understanding: to grasp the whole thing instantly, which is non-verbal. When you grasp it totally you have understood completely, there is nothing more. Therefore you are outside that field. That is what I call understanding, then it has significance, it brings action. But when one merely understands intellectually, verbally or romantically or emotionally, it is just nothing at all. When you so understand something so completely you are beyond it, then the mind does not go back, there is nothing to go back to - you understand? It is not that at one moment there is all understanding and the next moment all dullness. When one understands suffering one is out of that and therefore the mind becomes extraordinarily clear.
Questioner: You talk about the transcendence of all our problems, of going beyond them. What is to stop us becoming maniacs?
Krishnamurti: When you have gone beyond suffering you will not ask that question. To go beyond suffering means intelligence. When there is that extraordinary quality of excellent intelligence - which is not personal or collective, it is just intelligence - then that intelligence operates in every field, there is no insanity; it is only when we have not that intelligence that we go insane.
Questioner: Is there any direction for the evolution of man?
Krishnamurti: So far, as one observes historically and from what one knows, the direction of man has been in the destruction of the earth, in the destruction of nature, in the destruction of all the living things around him. He is using up energy, exhausting the mineral oils and so on. There is the physical destruction first; then what is man doing psychologically? - is he progressing? psychologically is he creating order in the world?
Questioner: Society is a living system.
Krishnamurti: Society is a living system and that is such a lovely order, is it?
Questioner: It is not lovely, but it is order that did not exist before man came.
Krishnamurti: It is disorder this society we live in - injustice, violence, throwing bombs. Are we any different from previous generations? Have we progressed? Do you know what that word progress means? Originally I believe it meant to enter into the enemy's country fully armed! And we are doing that very beautifully. There is overpopulation, millions are starving, millions are being destroyed and also millions are being cured medically, there is division between races, classes, division between religions and millions of people being destroyed for ideologies; do you call all this progress? Is all this order? And seeing all this one is concerned, really concerned, about the transformation of the mind of man; that is what one is committed to and talking about - the transformation, the change, the revolution, of the mind of man; not in any particular direction for if you have a particular direction then that direction is set by thought, which is old and therefore it is part of the same machinery going on. One is concerned with human beings, human beings that have created this disorder, human beings that are populating the earth incredibly, human beings which have destroyed species of animals, human beings which breed wars, hatred, antagonism. And one is saying there can be no change out there unless there is a change in here.