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5th Public Dialogue - 4th August 1968
5th Public Dialogue - 4th August 1968
Krishnamurti: There are three more discussions. What do you think it would be worthwhile to explore?
Questioner: The first question you asked me when we met thirty years ago was: 'What is it you are seeking?'
Krishnamurti: Shall we talk that over together? There are several written questions, perhaps they can be answered in considering what it is that we are seeking. Shall we go into that?
First of all, you say: 'What is it we are seeking?' I would like to put the question the other way round, that is: 'Why do we seek at all?' not 'what are we seeking?' We shall talk that over too; but why should we seek and what is there to seek, to search for, to find out? I think the two questions are closely related don't you? Why should I seek anything at all, except perhaps physical necessities, food, clothes and shelter; but beyond that, why should I seek anything? Is this a wrong way of putting it?
Questioner: We seek because we are unhappy.
Krishnamurti: Ah, no. I can think of the answers too, but I am just putting the question. You ask: 'What is it we are seeking?' That is a valid question; and also there may be another valid question: 'Why should one seek at all?'
Questioner (1): We are discontented.
Questioner (2): We have to have curiosity.
Krishnamurti: Please, Sirs, these two questions are quite important, if you go into them. What is it we are all seeking and why should we seek at all? Perhaps in answering what you are seeking, you might answer also the other question, why should one seek at all?
Let's begin the other way. What is it that each one of us is searching for, seeking, exploring, reaching out to, longing for not only intellectually but with our hearts; what is it we are all wanting secretly, not only on the surface, but deep down in the very recesses of our own minds? What is it we want? The word 'search' implies doesn't it something very, very serious, something on the verge of the impossible, the feeling that it is something sacred, the truth, the ultimate, beyond the reach of man and so on. That's what is implied, isn't it, in that word 'search', 'seek'? If I am ill, I have to seek a doctor to get well. If I am unhappy psychologically, torn because my wife has left me, or because I don't fit into society, or don't get on well with my job, I am also seeking. And if all these things are granted, are fairly secure, I am also seeking something beyond the limits of thought. So when we talk about seeking, we have to be more or less clear. The scientist in his laboratory is seeking, exploring, enquiring. What category of search are we talking about? It was suggested: I am unhappy, I want to be happy, and I seek, search, long for somebody, some situation, some condition that will give me this sense of well-being, this sense of contentment. Or, I see what the world is, the chaos, the confusion and the misery there, and I want to find an answer to all this. Not merely an answer through the discovery of the causes and their explanations and going beyond, or controlling them, but I also want to find out what all this is about, if there is anything permanent, something that cannot be corrupted by man, by thought. Because one is crowded with so many experiences, with so much knowledge, one may seek a state of innocency, and so on. What is it each one of us is seeking?
Questioner: A state of everlasting bliss.
Krishnamurti: Can bliss be everlasting? Those two words 'everlasting' and 'bliss' may not go together. We'll go into it. Is that what you are seeking, everlasting bliss? Won't you get rather bored with that everlasting bliss? Or is bliss something that you cannot seek? It's like seeking happiness; happiness is after all a by-product, something that comes. So I think before we begin to define what we are seeking, let us find out for ourselves, for each one of us if we can, if we are really seeking, or are driven by circumstances to seek. I don't know if you see the difference. I say I am seeking because my wife, or husband, or something else has forced me to seek, because I am unhappy, because my job is not satisfying, I don't get enough money, my boss is cruel so I am seeking. Circumstances or environment, are pushing me. Would you call that seeking?
Questioner (1): It may be, to start with.
Questioner (2): It may he an escape.
Krishnamurti: I don't know what it is I am asking you. What is it you are seeking you, not somebody else?
Questioner: Maybe we all experience that there is something within us which is not shaped by our surroundings, which asks us to go forward.
Krishnamurti: We know what that word means, 'to search', 'to seek', 'to grope after', to reach out in the dark and come upon something that is extraordinary, which will be a great satisfaction and so on. And what is it each one of us not somebody else is really seeking? not what one should seek.
Questioner: Unconsciously, we are seeking something beyond, we don't realize it, but we seek through money, and so on.
Krishnamurti: Sir, to answer that question, wouldn't you take a minute or two to find out? Instead of immediately responding, wouldn't you take time to find out for yourself what it is that each one of us is really seeking? You may not be seeking at all. So please be silent, give two minutes to find out. ( Long Pause)
Questioner: I am seeking inner peace.
Krishnamurti: You are seeking inner peace are you?
Questioner: Some people do.
Krishnamurti: Ah! Don't bother about what some people do! You know, there is a tremendous lot in that question. What is implied in it? I am seeking, I want to find. And how do I know when I have found it? To find something after which I have been groping and say 'this is it', I must already have experienced it. I must be able to recognise it when I find it, mustn't I? And the process of recognition implies that I have already known it right? Therefore there is nothing to seek! When we say 'I am seeking', it means I want to resuscitate something that I have experienced in the past I want that experience or that state of mind, or that joy, to come back; the word 'seeking' and 'finding' implies that, doesn't it? So when we say, 'I am seeking peace' if one is really seeking it, which I question very much I must know what it means, I must know the beauty of it, I must know the peace of it, I must know the way it functions in daily life, and go back to it to live with it, to take delight in it. And to recognise that peace, I must have had a feeling of it, I must have had an experience of it, which means really, I am seeking something which I have known and which has escaped me. That is what is implied in seeking and in finding. No comment?
Questioner: I understand what you have said, that this way of seeking is to search for something we have already known. But is there another way of seeking and finding, without the process of recognition coming into being?
Krishnamurti: It gets a little complex, doesn't it? Let's begin simply. What is it each one of us is seeking? Do please stick to it.
Questioner: One is seeking what one wants, what one needs.
Krishnamurti: What does one need? Clothes, food, shelter, comfort both physical and psychological security, both outwardly and inwardly, a sense of certainty, to be free from fear and so on is that what we want? Would you call that searching?
Questioner (1): That is not searching, that is seeking.
Questioner (2): A scientist, in his research, may not know what it is he wants to discover, but he has a certain feeling, in the same way, perhaps most of us feel there is something intangible we must find, which can't be put into words.
Questioner (3): We are seeking truth.
Krishnamurti: How do you know when you find it? How can you say, 'This is truth'?
Questioner: Because it gives one a sense of pleasure and security.
Krishnamurti: So truth gives you security, pleasure, satisfaction, certainty does it? That is what you think truth should give you. But it may give us a kick in the pants!
Questioner: I think we are seeking a large area of comprehension, something beyond the limitations of the horizon which we have. We seek to eliminate such limitations.
Krishnamurti: It is suggested that we are limited and that most of us are seeking to break down this limitation and go beyond. May I explore this a little bit in words?
Questioner: Sir, how will what you are going to do be different from seeking?
Krishnamurti: I don't know. Let's put it this way: there are moments of total self-forgetfulness, total absence of the 'me' and 'mine', of 'my worries', 'my despairs', 'loneliness', and all the rest of it, where the self is not always active. There are those moments, clear, bright, with a sense of freedom sense of clarity; maybe that is what one is seeking. You know when one is very angry, at that moment there is no 'me' operating at all right? At the moment of a great crisis there is not this confusion of the 'me', the struggle, the pain, the anxiety all that disappears. Is this right? And at the height of sexual experience there is complete self-forgetfulness. And perhaps this is what most of us are seeking, a state of not feeling the pressure, the strain, the constant activity of the 'me' with all its anxieties, fears, drama, tragedy and so on is that what we are seeking?
Questioner: Isn't that also knowing what you are after?
Krishnamurti: That may be so, Sir. I am just looking at it, as we have tried the other way I am taking this one. Can you put your finger on it and say, 'This is what I am seeking'? You can't, can you? Life is much too complex. Can you say 'This is what I want out of it'? I mean, if you say, 'This is what I want out of it' you would pick up something very small, wouldn't you?
Questioner: I have been worried about establishing real communion with my wife. For the time being I am seeking that.
Krishnamurti: Look, we human beings want food, clothes, and shelter that is obvious, that is what we want; there is the whole complex, social, economic relationship between man and man in order to produce clothes, food and shelter for each other. Then there is this vast field of psychological, inward struggle, with all its contradictions, constant battles, with an occasional flash of joy, the psychological feeling of loneliness, emptiness, of not being loved, and of loving some- body with all your heart so that there is no quality of jealousy or hate in it. And also we want peace, not the peace of the politician, but a peace that is beyond understanding. We also want to find out what happens after death, or what it means to die, and why one is so everlastingly afraid of it. Also one wants to find out if there is anything permanent, timeless. And one wants to see if one can go beyond the known, if there is such a thing as truth, God, bliss, innocence, a law which will operate right through life without any action on one's part, if there is a divinity, something sacred, which is not the invention of man. This is the whole complex of existence. And how can I say, out of this vast field 'I want that'? You follow what I mean? Can one say that? We do! 'I want health', 'I want to feel close to my wife', 'I don't want any image between her and me', 'I want to appreciate the beauty of nature, of relationship' and so on. Out of all this I am going to choose a little bit and say 'This is what I want'.
Questioner: I understand all this, but is there a search without a motive?
Krishnamurti: Sir, do see the first question, which is: there is this vast field of existence, of different dimensions, different levels, different nuances, different feelings, different states, meanings, and so on, and being caught in all this activity, hope, despair, pain, anxiety, peace, hate, love and jealousy, can I say, out of all that, 'I want one blade of grass, one petal of this vast flowering beauty of life'? Is it logical to say that? That way we would approach the problem entirely wrongly. I don't know if you follow what I mean?
Questioner: We are seeking the excitement of life.
Krishnamurti: My god! Must you seek it? It's there! Questioner: There is one thing that's forgotten in all this seeking, in this vast terrain: that is 'oneself'.
Krishnamurti: That is what I am coming to, Sir. The 'one- self' is this terrain. Do look at it please, take time, have a little patience. There is this vast field I am living in, the contradictions, the demand for fulfilment the painters, the scientists, the military people, the politicians it's there. And that vast expanse is 'me' right?
Questioner: This searching is the very movement of life.
Krishnamurti: Madame, you are not even listening. All this is me right? This whole field is brought about through me, and I say, I will pick out one part that pleases me most, which will give me the greatest comfort call it truth, call it happiness, call it peace, call it whatever you like. And I see how absurd that is no?
Questioner: We are looking for what we've already found.
Krishnamurti: Sir, no. It is not like that. Do look at it first. How absurd it has become when I say, 'I am seeking truth', or 'I am seeking peace', 'I want harmony', 'I want God', or whatever. All this vast field is extended in front of me right? And I am that field no?
Questioner: I don't understand when you say 'I am that field'.
Krishnamurti: Aren't you that field? I am at one moment peaceful, the next moment angry, I want happiness, my wife has gone, I have no job, I want to fulfil, I want to express myself, I fight with others, I am aggressive, I am brutal, I am ready to kill somebody for my country, and I want God that is me no? And when I say, 'I am seeking', that becomes rather absurd, doesn't it? Seeking something out of this vast field which will give me complete happiness, complete safety, complete freedom. So my petty mind, which has created this terrible mess, says 'I want that' no?
Look, Sir, I'll put it another way. I am confused, I don't know what to do, I see this field in front of me, I see this is my life going to church on Sunday morning and cussing the world on Monday morning I am all that. I am literally con- fused, and out of this confusion I say, 'I am going to seek' right? And what I seek must also be confused. So will a man who sees very clearly ever seek?
Questioner: If a man sees very clearly he will not seek.
Krishnamurti: Therefore don't start with the idea of seeking! First acknowledge to yourselves with real humility, not with pride, that we are confused. And what does a confused man do? If I really, truly, with all my heart and brain, feel I am terribly confused what do I do? I don't go and elect a politician, I don't go to church to find out, I don't ask a guru to tell me what to do, because out of my confusion, I will choose a guru who will be equally confused no? So what do I do when I am confused? I don't seek right?
Questioner: The question for me is, to die to all this confusion, to die to my 'I'.
Krishnamurti: Sir, do please just listen for two minutes, don't accept it, but just listen. There is this field, and I am part of that field, it is not something apart from me, I have created this field, I know the causes of this confusion, I know the contradiction writing a book and inwardly hating the world all kinds of things are going on here, which shows me that I am literally confused. I admit it to myself in all humility, I don't say 'Part of me is not confused, there is a higher part of me, the Soul, the Atman whatever it is which is not confused'. The Atman, the Soul, which has been created by man out of his confusion, is also the result of that confusion right? So I am confused, and out of that confusion any action will produce further confusion. When I go to the guru, the best of them if there is such a thing and say, 'Please enlighten me', I will accept him, because out of confusion I don't know what to do; he will tell me what to do. And I get more and more confused. So I see any action, any search, any reaching out of this confusion is to further the confusion. Is that clear? This is logical, sane, ra- tional! So I won't seek. What I will do now is to find out why I am confused right?
Questioner: Why can't you stay in confusion and wait and see?
Krishnamurti: That is what I am proposing, Madame. That is what I am saying. When I am confused, I stay with the confusion. Because if I reach out, it is an escape. If I don't know what to do, I don't go round trying all kinds of things, that's a waste of time; but let me look. I stay saying 'I am confused' right? I don't escape from it, I don't find somebody who is going to tell me what to do about it, I literally stay in that confusion. Can you? Not say 'There is a God who will help me', 'The politicians will bring about order in the world'. There is nobody they are all confused like you and anybody else. Have you talked to any of the politicians? Have you talked to any of the priests? Unless they are dogmatic and absolutists and say 'This is so', there is always a question mark, there is always an uncertainty, there is a doubt, in the most intelligent of them. So why can't I, being confused, stay there? Do you know what it means to stay with confusion? Do you?
Krishnamurti: What does it mean, Sir?
Questioner: When you don't know what is what.
Krishnamurti: Oh Lord! No.
Questioner: A state of conflict.
Krishnamurti: Wait, one moment. I am in pain. I have got a very bad toothache. Can I remain with it for a few seconds before I lift up the telephone and make an appointment with the doctor? My brother, my son, is dead, gone. Can you remain with that fact consciously, not in a state of shock, but remain with it? See what happens inside you, not rush off and say 'there is reincarnation, there is resurrection', 'there are mediums who say my brother is living', he says 'it is a marvellous world, where you live is a perfect hell, come over here all that kind of stuff. Can't I remain quietly with the fact?
Questioner: Generally we can't, we are frightened of our confusion.
Krishnamurti: Sir, don't do anything. I know what happens. Here is a great fact do look at it, Sir a great truth: we are confused, and any action out of that confusion will only bring further confusion. That's a fact. That's a reality. Remain with that reality. Don't say 'I must do this, I must do that' don't do anything, just look at that reality. Find out what happens. All this indicates, doesn't it, that you have never remained, or been with, something you don't like. You like to keep and hold on to something that you like. To hear this word 'confusion' is rather terrifying, and we don't like it. The word awakens an image, the word has its own frame and content; it communicates something to you, and you don't like the idea that you are confused, it is most humiliating. To you who have money, position, knowledge, who are a professor, or doctor, to say 'My God, I am confused' is a horrible idea! If you honestly I mean without any sense of hypocrisy say 'Yes, that is a fact', remain with the fact. And to remain with the fact implies great sensitivity in your approach to that fact no? I want to know, I'll just look, then I begin to discover. Is the confusion which I see around me, in me, different from the observer, from the entity that is looking at that confusion? Now I am really prepared to enquire; knowing all the time that I am confused, I won't come to any conclusion, I won't say 'This is right, this is wrong, this must be, this must not be'. I am going to investigate. And to investigate, I must have great feeling, sensitivity, a quality of freedom. And this will come if I remain with that fact.
Questioner: You said before that a confused person should stop seeking and now you start seeking again in another way.
Krishnamurti: Would you like to know what I really think? Would you? I don't seek at all. Full stop. Anything!
Questioner: Then in that case you don't care whether anybody understands you or not?
Krishnamurti: Wait, Sir. What am I to do? I point it out and if you say 'Well I can't understand you', I explain; and if you still can't understand, I go into it again, and if you say 'Go to Hell' I go to Hell and that is the end of it.
Questioner: Then I come back to what I suggested. There is no way out, anything I do is wrong. (laughter)
Krishnamurti: Look, Sir, there is this fact: I am confused. There is an awareness of that confusion and to remain with it, not twist it, not try to go beyond it, is to be silent with that confusion. (Long pause)
Don't you find, when you are silent with that confusion, not trying to do something about it, the confusion then if I may use that word without being misunderstood flowers. You know, when you plant a seed and it is growing, one day it will put out a flower; and as you watch it grow, it becomes full of light and beauty and colour and scent. There is this seed of truth, which is, that man as he is, is a very confused entity, and he is responsible, he has made this confusion that is a fact, that's the truth. Let the truth flower the truth o' the fact that human beings are confused. It will flower, it will show everything if you are quiet. But if you keep on digging, saying 'I must find out', 'There must be a cause" or 'I'll ask somebody to tell me what to do about it', it is like putting a seed in the earth and digging it up every day to see if it is growing. So when you plant a seed leave it alone. In the same way, if you see the truth of this, that you, that man, is confused, remain with it in silence; let it tell you, you are part of it, be open, be sensitive, be silent: it will flower and out of that comes clarity.
4th August, 1968