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7th Public Talk - 28th July 1974
7th Public Talk - 28th July 1974
For the last two weeks we have met here talking about human problems; our chief concern and commitment - if we have been at all serious - has been the transformation, the radical change, of the human mind. The human mind includes the brain, the heart, the organism as a whole, the mind that has created this world around us, the world of corruption, violence, brutality, vanity and all the structure which brings about war. We have been concerned with the change of the content of consciousness because the content makes consciousness. Unless that radical revolution, that psychological change, comes about, there will be no end to conflict, no end to suffering and all the violence that is going on throughout the world. This change cannot possibly be brought about without knowing oneself, which is self knowledge; not knowledge of the higher self or the knowledge of some supreme consciousness, for they are still within the field of thought. Unless one understands oneself, the self of every day, what it thinks, what it does, its devotions, its deceptions, its ambitions, all its self-centred activities, its identification with something noble or ignoble, the state or some ideal, one is still within the field of the 'me'. Unless one understands that narrowing field, of which one is so little aware, the field in which there is the unconscious as well as the conscious, which is concerned with the individual ego, its individual ambitions and reactions which are essentially a part of the whole, part of the community, part of the culture in which it lives, whether it is the Christian culture or the Hindu, the Moslem, the Buddhist, the Jewish, and so on, unless we understand that radically, the content of consciousness cannot possibly be transformed.
'Understanding' is not an intellectual, an emotional or a passing thing, it is something that comes with action; therefore it is a complete understanding and not a partial understanding. So in understanding oneself, one's consciousness and its content - for there is no consciousness without content - one sees there are two principle factors, pleasure and fear. They cannot be separated. Where there is the pursuit, the insistence and the demand for pleasure, there must be in its wake, fear. In understanding fear one must not disregard the fact of pleasure. Thought is the measure of fear. Thought is the response of memory, which is experience and knowledge stored up in the brain cells and tissues.
Thought is matter. The whole world is constructed, is based, in its very nature and substance and activity, on thought. One has to find out whether it is thought that has bred fear; not how to be free of fear. freedom from fear will inevitably come about when one understands the structure, the nature, and the functioning of thought.
When one observes the whole process of thought, which has created the world with all its religions, with all its gods, with its saviours, Christ, the Buddhas, Krishnas, which has created the materialistic world in which we live, one sees that as long as we function there and remain there, fear must continue. fear is the cause of loneliness, of deprivation, both physical and psychological, the cause of attachment to property, to people, ideas, concepts, nationalities, families. As long as there is this functioning of thought within the material world - and it has to function in that world - fear must remain. What else has one if one lives in that world, for there one must seek security, physical or psychological. As long as the mind seeks material security, as long as the mind asserts a permanency, there must be fear. Yet the brain can only function effectively, objectively, rationally, if it has complete security - that is obvious. When it has not security, it finds security in the belief in gods, in symbols, in ideologies, in nationalities, which leads to neurotic action. As long as I call myself a nationalist of a particular country, I am behaving neurotically, I bring about conflict and division between people - that is one of the causes of fear. When you realize that, when you are aware of its whole nature, are you still a nationalist? If you are, there must be the continuance of pleasure and of fear.
If the mind lives totally in the material world, then nothing exists but matter, matter, which is manoeuvrable, which is thought, consciousness and will; if the mind lives there, fear will go on, because there, there is nothing else but the demand for material security and permanency. Where there is that demand, there must be fear.
There are all the various fears concealed in the very recesses of one's consciousness, racial, collective - the fear of famine - and so on. There is the whole of tradition which is essentially based on thought which is not only handing over from the past to the present, but also betrayal. Traditionalists are the betrayers, are treacherous people, whether in the religious, the political or in the scientific field.(The speaker is not being dogmatic. The speaker feels the responsibility to answer to the whole of human beings, not to the particular little self. Your little self is the rest of the world, so you are the world and the speaker feels utterly, totally, responsible for that. Therefore he speaks rather passionately; which is not put on for your amusement, or for your emotional reactions; he is not interested in that, that is neither here nor there.) So there are these hidden fears and the extraordinarily subtle forms of pleasure. Can they all be exposed - without analysis? We explained the futility of analysis, how the analyser and the analysed are the same. The process of analysis must be total, complete; for if there is any disproportionate or inaccurate analysis, that inaccuracy is taken over to the next analysis. So altogether analysis is paralysis; it takes time, you can go on analysing for the rest of your life and die analysing yourself. So, what is a mind to do when it realizes the absurdity, the falseness, of analysis or introspective examination - what is it to do? There is fear, both conscious and unconscious; the fear of death, of loneliness, of losing a job, the fear of what people will say, the fear of your own attachments and of their loss, the fears of not succeeding, not becoming great, and all the rest; when you realize all this and there is no analysis, what is the mind to do? Is this question clear?
To understand what the mind is to do, we must go into the question of meditation. When we use the word meditation, do not take up postures; do not sit suddenly straight - that is one of the things that has been brought over from India - hear it as though you have never heard the word before, or the meaning of that word, or anything about it. But unfortunately you cannot do that because you have a lot of gurus, sannyasis, swamis, and all the rest, that come to this country or to America, to teach you how to meditate, how to sit properly, how to breathe, how to concentrate and so on. So what is meditation? - not how to meditate; that is irrelevant, because the moment you understand what meditation is, it happens naturally, like breathing, you breathe naturally. To find out what meditation is, the real meaning, can you learn from another? Volumes have been written about it, people have meditated according to a particular system, Zen or the Hindu systems with their many, many varieties and methods; they all imply an end to be achieved, through control. Control implies a controller. And is the controller different from the controlled? They - the meditative groups with their systems and their philosophies, their breathing - they say control your thought; thought wanders about and that wandering about is a wastage of energy.
Therefore they say thought must be absolutely held, disciplined, subjugated in the pursuit of that thing - enlightenment, God, truth, what you will, the nameless! That implies a controller, obviously. And who is the controller? Is he different in quality, in nature, from that which he says he is going to control? This is very important to understand. The speaker wants to point out that one can give completely, in daily life, without any control, against all the traditions, against all your education, your social and moral behaviour. To live a life absolutely without any controls, means you have to understand very, very deeply, who is the controller and what is the controlled, for this is part of meditation. Is the controller different from that which he is controlling, which is thought? Some say the controller is different: he is the higher self, he is part of the higher consciousness, he is the essence of understanding or the essence of the past which has accumulated so much knowledge. But the controller is still within the field of thought; and however much that thought may be elevated, it is still within the area of time and measure. Do see the truth of this, not the verbal acceptance of it, or the intellectual comprehension of it, but the truth of the matter, that all the gods, Christian or Hindu, all of them, are the invention of thought. Thought can project itself into all kinds of states, into all kinds of illusions and when thought says, there is the higher self, it is still within the field of thought, and therefore that higher self is still matter.
When you see that the controller is the controlled, the whole aspect of meditation changes. Meditation means the emptying of consciousness of its content. Then only can the mind and the brain be absolutely quiet. That absolute - not relative - that absolute quietness is necessary to observe - not to experience. Experience we have had of every kind and thought desires more experience, the experience of another state, of another dimension. We are fed up with this world and its experiences - they are boring, they are limited, confined, narrow and we want an experience which is totally different. Now, to 'experience' involves recognition. If I do not recognize, is there an experience? I have had the experience of looking at a mountain, the beauty of it, the shadow, the lovely deep blue of an early morning, the whole sense of something extraordinary and magnificent. That experience cannot exist if there is no relationship to the past. And so experience implies recognition from the past. And the mind wants to experience something supreme; to recognize it, it must have already had it. Therefore it is not the supreme; it is still the projection of thought. So meditation is that in which there is no experience. In that there is no element of time, which implies movement and direction - direction implies will. Can the mind empty itself of time, direction and movement, which implies the ending of thought? That is the whole problem.
We need knowledge to function; to speak any language, we need knowledge; to drive a car we need knowledge; to do anything we need knowledge. What place has knowledge in meditation - or has it no place at all? It has no place because knowledge is merely a continuation of the past, it is still the movement of time, of the past. So, can the mind empty itself of the past and come upon that area of itself which is not touched by thought? You see, we have only operated, so far, within the area of thought, as knowledge. Right? Is there any other part, any other area of the mind, which includes the brain, which is not touched by human struggle, pain, anxiety, fear and all the violence, all the things that man has made through thought? The discovery of that area is meditation. That implies the discovery as to whether thought can come to an end, but yet for thought to operate when necessary, in the field of knowledge? We need knowledge, otherwise we cannot function, we would not be able to speak, nor be able to write, and so on. Knowledge is necessary to function and its functioning becomes neurotic when status becomes all important, which is the entering of thought as the 'me', as status. So knowledge is necessary and yet meditation is to discover, or come upon, or to observe, an area in which there is no movement of thought. Can the two live together, harmoniously, daily? That is the problem, not breathing - you understand - not sitting straight, not repeating mantras, paying a hundred dollars, or whatever you pay, to learn some ugly little word, and repeating that until you think you are in heaven - which is transcendental nonsense! That is the whole problem of yoga; the practising of yoga, proficiency in yoga, standing on your head and all the rest of it. The word yoga, means 'to join', to join the higher and the lower; that is what we now have. But it must have had quite a different meaning. Who is it that divided the two and who is it that joins them together? It is still thought.
Yoga exercises are excellent; the speaker does them every day, for an hour or more; but that is merely physical exercise, to keep the body healthy, and so on. But through them you can never come upon the other - never! Because if you give them all importance, you are not giving importance to the understanding of yourself - which is to be watchful, to be aware, to give attention to what you are doing, every day of your life; which is to give attention to how you speak and what you say, to what you think, how you behave, whether you are attached, whether you are frightened, whether you are pursuing pleasure and so on. To be aware of the whole movement of thought; for if you are and you are really serious about it, then you will have established right relationship, obviously. Relationship becomes extraordinarily important when all things about are chaotic - when the world is going to pieces, as it is. But when there is this establishment of total relationship, whole relationship, not between you and me, but human relationship with the whole of the world, then you have the basis. From there you can go on to behaviour - how you behave. If your behaviour is based on pleasure or on reward, it is not behaviour. It is merely the pursuit of pleasure from which fear arises. Relationship, behaviour and order, these are absolutely essential if you want to go into the question of meditation. If you have not laid this foundation, then do what you like - stand on your head, breathe in for the next ten thousand years and repeat words, words - there will be no meditation. Even go to India if you have the money - I do not know why you go to India - you will find no enlightenment there. Enlightenment is where you are. And where you are, you have to understand yourself. Having established that, laid the foundation there, order - not mechanical order - order which is virtue, from moment to moment, which is not following a pattern, not the order of the establishment, the order or the virtue of society, which is immoral, then you can go into the question of finding out what meditation is.
Meditation implies a quality of mind that is absolutely silent - not made silent, not a contrived act brought about through will, but a silence that comes naturally when you have established order, relationship and behaviour. Silence is necessary. If my mind is chattering - as most minds are - in that chatter there may be a period of silence - between two chatterings there may be a period of silence - but that is not silence. Silence is not the absence of noise; it is not the absence of conflict. Silence comes only when the content of consciousness has been completely understood and gone beyond; which means the observer and the observed are one and there is no controller. When there is no controller - which does not mean that you live a life of indiscipline - when there is no controller, no observer, then action is instantaneous and it brings a great deal of energy.
Meditation means the emptying of consciousness of its content and that happens only when you observe your consciousness and its content without the observer. Can you look at your wife, your husband, your girl, your boy, or the mountain, without the observer? The observer is the past. As long as there is the observer, he will inevitably translate everything he observes in terms of the past; therefore he is the maker of time. He divides the observed and the observer; in that there is conflict. When there is observation without the observer, there is no conflict, no past, there is only the fact and you have the energy to go beyond it. Do it and you will find out.
Meditation implies a gathering of all energy; you have established order, relationship, behaviour, therefore you are not dissipating energy in that field. That energy is necessary to look without the observer and you have the energy to go beyond. With that energy, which has not been dissipated, the mind sees that there is an area which is not touched by thought. But all this requires tremendous attention and discipline. It is not just a plaything for immature people.
Meditation requires tremendous discipline. The word discipline in the dictionary means to learn; not that we must control, we must subjugate, imitate and conform. Discipline means, to learn. From the word discipline comes disciple; one who is willing to learn from the master - learn. But here there is neither a disciple nor a master but only the act of learning, all the time. And that requires a great deal of attention, a great deal of energy, so that you are watching and thus you create no illusions. It is so easy to create illusions; they come when you are pursuing, demanding, wanting, an experience. Desire creates illusions.
All this implies a mind that is very, very serious and a heart that is of love, that has never been hurt. We human beings from childhood on are hurt; our parents hurt us, and in the business world we are hurt. We are hurt in every direction, and when we are hurt we cannot possibly love. So is it possible for a mind that has been hurt, to be free of all that hurt, which is part of consciousness? And you will find, when you look at it, that it is utterly and irrevocably possible to empty all hurts and therefore to love, to have compassion. To have compassion means to have passion for all things, not just between two people, but for all human beings, for all things of the earth, the animals, the trees - everything the earth contains. When we have such comparison we will not despoil the earth as we are doing now and we will have no wars.
To a mind that is serious, totally dedicated, concerned, meditation means something extraordinary, something so immense. In meditation mind discovers space. This tent contains space. There is this tent; space is held within it and there is space outside it. Thought as the ' me' creates the narrow space in which it acts; it has created through hurt, through all kinds of reasons, a wall within which it lives. There is that narrow space and the space which thought has created outside of itself. Is there a space which has no frontiers, which has no boundaries and therefore, no centre? This is meditation, to find out.
As long as there is a centre, the 'me' or the idea of the' me', with all its attachments, that very centre creates a space round itself. Where there is a centre there must be a border. The border may be extended, but it is still limited by the space which the centre has created. Meditation means to come upon that space in which there is no centre, therefore no direction, therefore no time. Without meditation and the coming upon that thing which is not experiencable, which is not to be put into words, which has no time, which has no continuity, life has very little meaning. You may have a lot of money, or no money; you may be attached to your property, to your wife, to your friend, or you may worship your particular little god which thought has invented; but as long as you live there, there will be suffering, pain, anxiety, and violence. And that has no meaning in itself - obviously. So unless you come upon this - not invent it, not project it, not bring it about through any system - then only does life have an extraordinary sense of beauty and meaning.
Questioner: From what you have described about meditation, it appears to me you are entering a kind of vacuum. Is that so?
Krishnamurti: It is not you entering, nor I entering, into a vacuum. Are we proceeding, or enquiring verbally, intellectually and theoretically, or are we living so as to bring order out of this chaos, order in our daily life~ We live in disorder and by observing that disorder without the observer, there is order. Order is not a vacuum. Order implies no conflict; no division, outwardly or inwardly. This division as the 'me', and not the 'me', is disorder. To have order does not mean I am living in a vacuum on the contrary. It is the most extraordinary and intelligent action to have relationship not based on image. That is not a vacuum. To behave without a motive is love; love is not a vacuum.
So what we are talking about is not creating a vacuum. On the contrary, it is bringing about supreme, excellent intelligence. Intelligence is not a vacuum.
28th July, 1974