Jiddu Krishnamurti

Eight Conversations   2
Table Of Content
1st Conversation …………………………………………………………………………………………………3
2nd Conversation ………………………………………………………………………………………………..6
3rd Conversation……………………………………………………………………………………………….10
4th Conversation……………………………………………………………………………………………….15
5th Conversation……………………………………………………………………………………………….18
6th Conversation……………………………………………………………………………………………….21
7th Conversation……………………………………………………………………………………………….25
8th Conversation……………………………………………………………………………………………….29   3
1st Conversation
Questioner: I should like, suddenly, to find myself in a totally different world,
supremely intelligent, happy, with a great sense of love. I’d like to be on the other
bank  of  the  river,  not  to  have  to  struggle across, asking the  experts  the  way.  I
have  wandered  in  many  different  parts  of  the  world  and  looked  at  man’s
endeavours in different fields of life. Nothing has attracted me except religion. I
would do anything to get to the other shore, to enter into a different dimension
and see everything as though for the first time with clear eyes. I feel very strongly
that there must be a sudden break through from all this tawdriness of life. There
must be!
Recently when I was in India I heard a temple bell ringing and it had a very
strange  effect  on  me.  I  suddenly  felt  an  extraordinary  sensation  of  unity  and
beauty such as I had never felt before. It happened so suddenly that I was rather
dazed by it, and it was real, not a fancy or an illusion. Then a guide came along
and asked me if he could show me the temples, and on that instant I was back
again in the world of noise and vulgarity. I want to recapture it but of course, as
you say, it is only a dead memory and therefore valueless. What can I do, or not
do, to get to the other shore?
Krishnamurti:  There  is  no  way  to  the  other  shore.  There  is  no  action,  no
behaviour,  no  prescription  that  will  open  the  door  to  the  other.  It  is  not  an
evolutionary process; it is not the end of a discipline; it cannot be bought or given
or invited. If this is clear, if the mind has forgotten itself and no longer says – the
other bank or this bank – if the mind has stopped groping and searching, if there
is total emptiness and space in the mind itself – then and only then is it there.
Questioner: I understand what you say verbally, but I can’t stop groping and
longing, for deep within me I do not believe that there is no way, no discipline, no
action that will bring me to the other shore.    4
Krishnamurti: What do you mean by «I do not believe there is no way»? Do you
mean a teacher will take you by the hand and carry you over?
Questioner: No. I do hope, though, that someone who understands will directly
point to it, for it must actually be there all the time since it is real.
Krishnamurti  Surely  all  this  is  supposition.  You  had  that  sudden  feeling  of
reality when you heard the temple bell, but that is a memory, as you said, and
from that you are drawing a conclusion that it must be there always for it is real.
Reality is a peculiar thing; it is there when you are not looking, but when you do
look,  with  greed,  what  you  capture  is  the  sediment  of  your  greed,  not  reality.
Reality is a living thing and cannot be captured, and you cannot say it is always
there.  There  is  a  path  only  to  something  which  is  stationary,  to  a  fixed,  static
point.  To  a  living  thing  which  is  constantly  in  movement,  which  has  no  resting
place  how  can  there  be  a  guide,  a  path?  The  mind  is  so  eager  to  attain  it,  to
grasp it, that it makes it into a dead thing. So, can you put aside the memory of
that state which you had? Can you put aside the teacher, the path, the end – put it
aside so completely that your mind is empty of all this seeking? At present your
mind  is  so  occupied  with  this  overwhelming  demand  that  the  very  occupation
becomes a barrier. You are seeking, asking, longing, to walk on the other shore.
The other shore implies that there is this shore, and from this shore to get to the
other  shore  there  is  space  and  time.  That  is  what  is  holding  you  and  bringing
about this ache for the other shore. That is the real problem – time that divides,
space that separates, the time necessary to get there and the space that is the
distance  between  this  and  that.  This  wants  to  become  that,  and  finds  it  is  not
possible because of the distance and the time it takes to cover that distance. In
this  there  is  not  only  comparison  but  also  measurement,  and  a  mind  that  is
capable of measuring is capable also of illusion. This division of space and time
between  this  and  that  is  the  way  of  the  mind,  which  is  thought.  Do  you  know,
when  there  is  love  space  disappears  and  time  disappears?  It  is  only  when
thought and desire come in that there is a gap of time to be bridged. When you   5
see this, this is that. Questioner: But I don’t see it. I feel that what you say is true,
but it eludes me.
Krishnamurti:  Sir,  you  are  so  impatient,  and  that  very  impatience  is  its  own
aggressiveness. You are attacking, asserting. You are not quiet to look, to listen,
to  feel  deeply.  You  want  to  get  to  the  other  shore  at  any  cost  and  you  are
swimming frantically, not knowing where the other shore is. The other shore may
be this shore, and so you are swimming away from it. If I may suggest it: stop
swimming.  This  doesn’t  mean  that  you  should  become  dull,  vegetate  and  do
nothing,  but  rather  that  you  should  be  passively  aware  without  any  choice
whatsoever and no measurement – then see what happens. Nothing may happen,
but if you are expecting that bell to ring again, if you are expecting ail that feeling
and delight to come back, then you are swimming in the opposite direction. To be
quiet requires great energy; swimming dissipates that energy. You need all your
energy for silence of the mind, and it is only in emptiness, in complete emptiness,
that a new thing can be.    6
2nd Conversation
Questioner:  All  so-called  religious  people  have  something  in  common  and  I
see this same thing in most of the people who come to hear you. They are all
looking for something which they variously call nirvana, liberation, enlightenment,
self-realization,  eternity  or  God.  Their  goal  is  defined  and  held  before  them  in
various  teachings,  and  each  of  these  teachings,  these  systems,  has  its  set  of
sacred books, its disciplines, its teachers, its morality, its philosophy, its promises
and  threats  –  a  straight  and  narrow  path  excluding  the  rest  of  the  world  and
promising at its end some heaven or other. Most of these seekers move from one
system to another, substituting the latest teaching for the one they have recently
dropped.  They  move  from  one  emotional  orgy  to  another,  not  thinking  that  the
same process is at work in all this seeking. Some of them remain in one system
with  one  group  and  refuse  to  budge.  Others  eventually  believe  that  they  have
realized whatever it is they wanted to realize, and then they spend their days in
some withdrawn beatitude attracting in their turn a group of disciples who start
the  whole  cycle  over  again.  In  all  this  there  is  the  compulsive  greed  to  attain
some realization and, usually, the bitter disappointment and frustration of failure.
All  this  seems  to  me  very  unhealthy.  These  people  sacrifice  ordinary  living  for
some imaginary goal and a most unpleasant feeling emanates from this kind of
milieu: fanaticism, hysteria, violence and stupidity. One is surprised to find among
them  certain  good  writers  who  otherwise  seem  quite  sane.  All  this  is  called
religion. The whole thing stinks to high heaven. This is the incense of piety. I have
observed it everywhere. This search for enlightenment causes great havoc, and
people are sacrificed in its wake. Now I would like to ask you, is there in fact any
such thing as enlightenment, and if so, what is it?
Krishnamurti: If it is an escape from everyday living, everyday living being the
extraordinary  movement  of  relationship,  then  this  so-called  realization,  this  so-
called  enlightenment,  or  whatever  name  you  like  to  give  it,  is  illusion  and   7
hypocrisy. Anything that denies love and the understanding of life and action is
bound to create a great deal of mischief. It distorts the mind, and life is made a
horrible affair. So if we take that to be axiomatic then perhaps we may proceed to
find out if enlightenment – whatever that may mean – can be found in the very act
of living. After all, living is more important than any idea, ideal goal or principle. It
is because we don’t know what living is that we invent these visionary, unrealistic
concepts which offer escape. The real question is, can one find enlightenment in
living, in the everyday activities of life, or is it only for the few who are endowed
with  some  extraordinary  capacity  to  discover  this  beatitude?  Enlightenment
means  to  be  a  light  unto  oneself,  but  a  light  which  is  not  self-projected  or
imagined,  which  is  not  some  personal  idiosyncrasy.  After  all,  this  has  always
been the teaching of true religion, though not of organized belief and fear.
Questioner: You say the teaching of true religion! This immediately creates the
camp  of  the  professionals  and  specialists  versus  the  rest  of  the  world.  Do  you
mean,  then,  that  religion  is  separate  from  life?  Krishnamurti:  Religion  is  not
separate from life; on the contrary it is life itself. It is this division between religion
and life which has bred all the misery you are talking about. So we come back to
the basic question of whether it is possible in daily life to live in a state which, for
the moment, let us call enlightenment?
Questioner: I still don’t know what you mean by enlightenment?
Krishnamurti:  A  state  of  negation.  Negation  is  the  most  positive  action,  not
positive  assertion.  This  is  a  very  important  thing  to  understand.  Most  of  us  so
easily accept positive dogma, a positive creed, because we want to be secure, to
belong, to be attached, to depend. The positive attitude divides and brings about
duality.  The  conflict  then  begins  between  this  attitude  and  others.  But  the
negation of all values, of all morality, of all beliefs, having no frontiers, cannot be
in opposition to anything. A positive statement in its very definition separates, and
separation is resistance. To this we are accustomed, this is our conditioning. To   8
deny all this is not immoral; on the contrary to deny all division and resistance is
the highest morality. To negate everything that man has invented, to negate all
his values, ethics and gods, is to be in a state of mind in which there is no duality,
therefore no resistance or conflict between opposites. In this state there are no
opposites, and this state is not the opposite of something else.
Questioner: Then how do you know what is good and what is bad? Or is there
no good and bad? What is to prevent me from crime or even murder? If I have no
standards what is to prevent me from God knows what aberrations?
Krishnamurti: To deny all this is to deny oneself, and oneself is the conditioned
entity  who  continually  pursues  a  conditioned  good.  To  most  of  us  negation
appears  as  a  vacuum  because  we  know  activity  only  in  the  prison  of  our
conditioning, fear and misery. From that we look at negation and imagine it to be
some terrible state of oblivion or emptiness. To the man who has negated all the
assertions  of  society,  religion,  culture  and  morality,  the  man  who  is  still  in  the
prison  of  social  conformity  is  a  man  of  sorrow.  Negation  is  the  state  of
enlightenment which functions in all the activities of a man who is free of the past.
It is the past, with its tradition and its authority, that has to be negated. Negation
is freedom, and it is the free man who lives, loves, and knows what it means to
Questioner: That much is clear; but you say nothing about any intimation of
the transcendental, the divine, or whatever you like to call it.
Krishnamurti:  The  intimation  of  that  can  be  found  only  in  freedom,  and  any
statement  about  it  is  the  denial  of  freedom;  any  statement  about  it  becomes  a
verbal  communication  without  meaning.  It  is  there,  but  it  cannot  be  found  or
invited, least of all imprisoned in any system, or ambushed by any clever tricks of
the mind. It is not in the churches or the temples or the mosques. There is no
path to it, no guru, no system that can reveal its beauty; its ecstasy comes only
when there is love. This is enlightenment.    9
Questioner: Does it bring any new understanding of the nature of the universe
or of consciousness or being? All the religious texts are full of that sort of thing.
Krishnamurti: It is like asking questions about the other shore while living and
suffering on this shore. When you are on the other shore you are everything and
nothing, and you never ask such questions. All such questions are of this shore
and  really  have  no  meaning  at  all.  Begin  to  live  and  you  will  be  there  without
asking, without seeking, without fear.
3rd Conversation
Questioner:  I  see  the  importance  of  ending  fear,  sorrow,  anger  and  all  the
travail of man. I see that one must lay the foundations of good behaviour, which is
generally  called  righteousness,  and  that  in  that  there  is  no  hatred  or  envy  and
none of the brutality in which man exists. I see also that there must be freedom –
not  from  any  particular  thing  but  freedom  in  itself  –  and  that  one  must  not  be
always in the prison of one’s own demands and desires. I see all this very clearly
and I try – though perhaps you may not like the word try – to live in the light of this
understanding. I have to some extent gone deeply into myself. I am not held by
any  of  the  things  of  this  world,  nor  by  any  religion.  Now  I  would  like  to  ask:
granted  that  one  is  free,  not  only  outwardly  but  inwardly,  of  all  the  misery  and
confusion of life, what is there beyond the wall? When I say the wall, I mean fear,
sorrow  and  the  constant  pressure  of  thought.  What  is  there  that  can  be  seen
when the mind is quiet, not committed to any particular activity?
Krishnamurti: What do you mean when you say: what is there? Do you mean
something to be perceived,  to be felt, to be experienced, or to be understood?
Are you asking by any chance what is enlightenment? Or are you asking what is
there when the mind has stopped all its wanderings and has come to quietness?
Are you asking what there is on the other side when the mind is really still?
Questioner: I’m asking all these things. When the mind is still there seems to
be nothing. There must be something tremendously important to discover behind
all thought. The Buddha and one or two others have talked about something so
immense that they can’t put it into words. The Buddha said, ‘`Don’t measure with
words  the  immeasurable.»  Everyone  has  known  moments  when  the  mind  was
perfectly  still,  and  there  was  really  nothing  so  very  great  about  it;  it  was  just
emptiness.  And  yet  one  has  a  feeling  that  there  is  something  just  around  the
corner which, once discovered transforms the whole of life. It would seem, from
what people have said, that a still mind is necessary to discover this. Also, I see   11
that only an uncluttered, still mind can be efficient and truly perceptive. But there
must be something much more than simply an uncluttered, still mind – something
much more than a fresh mind, an innocent mind, more even than a loving mind.
Krishnamurti:  So  what  is  the  question  now?  You  have  stated  that  a  quiet,
sensitive,  alert  mind  is  necessary,  not  only  to  be  efficient,  but  also  to  perceive
things around you and in yourself. Questioner: All the philosophers and scientists
are perceiving something all the time. Some of them are remarkably bright, many
of them are even righteous. But when you’ve looked through everything they’ve
perceived or created or expressed, it’s really not very much, and there is certainly
no intimation of anything divine.
Krishnamurti: Are you asking if there is something sacred beyond all this? Are
you  asking  if  there  is  a  different  dimension  in  which  the  mind  can  live  and
perceive something that is not merely the intellectual formulation of cunning? Are
you asking in a roundabout way if there is or is not something supreme?
Questioner: A great many people have said in the most convincing way that
there  is  a  tremendous  treasure  which  is  the  source  of  consciousness.  They  all
agree that it cannot be described. They disagree about how to perceive it. They
all seem to think that thought must stop before it can manifest itself. Some say it
is the very matter from which thought is made, and so on and so on. All agree
that  you  are  not  really  living  unless  you  have  discovered  it.  Apparently  you
yourself say more or less the same thing. Now I’m not following any system or
discipline  or  guru  or  belief.  I  don’t  need  any  of  these  things  to  tell  me  there  is
something transcendental. When you look at a leaf or at a face, you realize that
there  is  something  far  greater  than  the  scientific  or  biological  explanations  of
existence. It seems that you have drunk at this source. We listen to what you say.
You carefully show the triviality and the limitation of thought. We listen, we reflect,
and we do come upon a new stillness. Conflict does end. But what then?
Krishnamurti: Why are you asking this?    12
Questioner: You’re asking a blind man why he wants to see.
Krishnamurti:  The  question  wasn’t  asked  as  a  clever  gambit,  or  in  order  to
point out that a silent mind doesn’t ask anything at all, but to find out whether you
are really searching for something transcendental. If you are, what is the motive
behind that search – curiosity, an urgency to discover, or the desire to see such
beauty as you have never seen before? Isn’t it important for you to find out for
yourself whether you are asking for the more, or whether you are trying to see
exactly what is? The two are incompatible. If you can put aside the more, then we
are  concerned  only  with  what  is  when  the  mind  is  silent.  What  actually  takes
place when the mind is really quiet? That is the real question, isn’t it – not what is
transcendental or what lies beyond?
Questioner: What lies beyond is my question.
Krishnamurti:  What  lies  beyond  can  be  found  only  if  the  mind  is  still.  There
may  be  something  or  there  may  be  nothing  at  all.  So  the  only  thing  that  is
important  is  for  the  mind  to  be  still.  Again,  if  you  are  concerned  with  what  lies
beyond, then you are not looking at what the state of actual stillness is. If stillness
to you is only a door to that which lies beyond, then you are not concerned with
that door, whereas what is important is the very door itself, the very stillness itself.
Therefore you cannot ask what lies beyond. The only thing that is important is for
the mind to be still. Then what takes place? That is all we are concerned with, not
with what lies beyond silence.
Questioner: You are right. The silence has no importance to me except as a
Krishnamurti: How do you know it is a doorway and not the thing itself? The
means is the end, they are not two separate things. Silence is the only fact, not
what you discover through it. Let us remain with the fact and see what that fact is.
It is of great importance, perhaps of the greatest importance, that this silence be   13
silence in itself and not something induced as a means to an end, not something
induced through drugs, discipline or the repetition of words.
Questioner:  The  silence  comes  of  its  own,  without  a  motive  and  without  a
Krishnamurti: But you are using it as a means.
Questioner: No, I have known silence and I see that nothing happens.
Krishnamurti: That is the whole point. There is no other fact but silence which
has not been invited, induced, sought after, but which is the natural outcome of
observation and of understanding oneself and the world about one. In this there
has  been  no  motive  which  has  brought  silence.  If  there  is  any  shadow  or
suspicion  of  a  motive,  then  that  silence  is  directed  and  deliberate,  so  it  is  not
silence at all. If you can honestly say that that silence is free, then what actually
takes place in that silence is our only concern. What is the quality and the texture
of that silence? Is it superficial, passing, measurable? Are you aware of it after it
is over, or during the silence? If you are aware that you have been silent, then it
is only a memory, and therefore dead. If you are aware of the silence while it is
happening,  then  is  it  silence?  If  there  is  no  observer  –  that  is,  no  bundle  of
memories – then is it silence? Is it something intermittent which comes and goes
according  to  your  body  chemistry?  Does  it  come  when  you  are  alone,  or  with
people, or when you are trying to meditate? What we are trying to find out is the
nature of this silence. Is it rich or poor? (I don’t mean rich with experience, or poor
because it is uneducated.) Is it full or shallow? Is it innocent or is it put together?
A mind can look at a fact and not see the beauty, the depth, the quality of that
fact. Is it possible to observe silence without the observer? When there is silence,
there is only silence, and nothing else. Then in that silence what takes place? Is
this what you are asking?
Questioner: Yes.    14
Krishnamurti: Is there an observation of silence by silence in silence?
Questioner: That’s a new question.
Krishnamurti: It is not a new question if you have been following. The whole
brain,  the  mind,  the  feelings,  the  body,  everything  is  quiet.  Can  this  quietness,
stillness,  look  at  itself,  not  as  an  observer  who  is  still?  Can  the  totality  of  this
silence watch its. own totality? The silence becomes aware of itself – in this there
is no division between an observer and an observed. That is the main point. The
silence does not use itself to discover something beyond itself. There is only that
silence. Now see what happens.    15
4th Conversation
Questioner: I have got one predominating habit; I have other habits, but they
are  of  less  importance.  I  have  been  fighting  this  one  habit  as  long  as  I  can
remember. It must have been formed in early childhood. Nobody seemed to care
enough to correct it then and gradually as I grew older it became more and more
deep-rooted. It disappears sometimes only to come back again. I don’t seem able
to get rid of it. I would like to be completely master of it. It has become a mania
with me to overcome it. What am I to do?
Krishnamurti: From what you say you have fallen into a habit for many, many
years and you have cultivated another habit, the habit of fighting it. So you want
to get rid of one habit by cultivating another which is the denial of the first. You
are fighting one habit with another. When you can’t get rid of the first habit you
feel guilty, ashamed, depressed, perhaps angry with yourself for your weakness.
The one habit and the other are the two sides of the same coin: without the first,
the  second  wouldn’t  be,  so  the  second  is  really  a  continuation  of  the  first  as  a
reaction. So now you have two problems whereas in the beginning you had only
Questioner: I know what you are going to say because I know what you say
about awareness, but I can’t be aware all the time.
Krishnamurti: So now you have several things going on at the same time: first
of  all  the  original  habit,  then,  the  desire  to  get  rid  of  it,  then  the  frustration  of
having failed, then the resolve to be aware all the time. This network has arisen
because deeply you want to get rid of that one habit; that is your one drive, and
you are all the time balancing between the habit and the fighting of it. You don’t
see that the real problem is having habits, good or bad, not just one particular
habit. So the question really is, is it possible to break a habit without any effort,
without  cultivating  its  opposite,  without  suppressing  it  through  uninterrupted   16
vigilance  which  is  resistance?  Uninterrupted  vigilance  is  simply  another  habit
since it is generated by the habit it is trying to overcome. Questioner: You mean,
can I get rid of the habit without generating this complicated network of reactions
to it?
Krishnamurti: So long as you want to get rid of it, that complicated network of
reactions is actually in operation. The wanting to get rid of it is that reactionary
network. So really you have not stopped this futile reaction to the habit.
Questioner: But all the same, I must do something about it!
Krishnamurti: That indicates that you are dominated by this one desire. This
desire and its reactions are not different from the habit, and they feed on each
other. The desire to be superior is not different from being inferior, so the superior
is the inferior. The saint is the sinner. Questioner: Should I, then, just do nothing
about it at all?
Krishnamurti:  What  you  are  doing  about  it  is  to  cultivate  another  habit  in
opposition to the old one.
Questioner: So if I do nothing, I am left with the habit, and we are back where
we started.
Krishnamurti: Are we though? Knowing that what you do to break the habit is
the  cultivation  of  another  habit,  there  can  be  only  one  action,  which  is  to  do
nothing at all against that habit. Whatever you do is in the pattern of habits, so to
do nothing, to have the feeling that you don’t have to fight it, is the greatest action
of  intelligence.  If  you  do  anything  positive  you  are  back  in  the  field  of  habits.
Seeing  this  very  clearly  there  is  immediately  a  feeling  of  great  relief  and  great
lightness. You now see that fighting one habit by cultivating another does not end
the first habit so you stop fighting it.
Questioner: Then only the habit remains, and there is no resistance to it.    17
Krishnamurti:  Any  form  of  resistance  feeds  the  habit,  which  does  not  mean
that  you  go  on  with  the  habit.  You  become  aware  of  the  habit  and  of  the
cultivation of its opposite, which is also a habit, and this awareness shows you
that whatever you do with regard to the habit is the formation of another habit. So
now, after having observed this whole process, your intelligence says, don’t do
anything about the habit. Don’t give any attention to it. Don’t be concerned with it
because  the  more  you  are  concerned  with  it  the  more  active  it  becomes.  Now
intelligence is in operation and is watching. This watching is entirely different from
the  vigilance  of  resisting  the  habit,  reacting  to  it.  If  you  get  the  feeling  of  this
intelligence watching, then this feeling will operate and deal with the habit, and
not the vigilance of resolution and will. So what is important is not habit but the
understanding  of  habit  which  brings  about  intelligence.  This  intelligence  keeps
awake  without  the  fuel  of  desire,  which  is  will.  In  the  first  instance  the  habit  is
confronted  with  resistance,  in  the  second  it  is  not  confronted  at  all,  and  that  is
intelligence. The action of intelligence has withered the resistance to the habit on
which the habit feeds.
Questioner: Do you mean to say that I have got rid of my habit?
Krishnamurti: Go slowly, don’t be too hasty in your assumption of having got
rid  of  it.  What  is  more  important  than  habit  is  this  understanding,  which  is
intelligence. This intelligence is sacred and therefore must be touched with clean
hands, not exploited for trivial little games. Your little habit is utterly unimportant.
If intelligence is there the habit is trivial; if intelligence is not there, then the wheel
of habit is all you have got.    18
5th Conversation
Questioner: I find I get dreadfully attached to people and dependent on them.
In  my  relationships  this  attachment  develops  into  a  sort  of  possessive  demand
which  brings  about  a  feeling  of  domination.  Being  dependent,  and  seeing  the
discomfort  and  pain  of  it,  I  try  to  be  detached.  Then  I  feel  terribly  lonely,  and
unable to face the loneliness I escape from it through drink and in other ways. Yet
I  don’t  want  to  have  merely  superficial  and  casual  relationships.  Krishnamurti:
There  is  attachment,  then  the  struggle  to  be  detached,  then  out  of  this  comes
deeper conflict, the fear of loneliness. So what is your problem, what is it you are
trying to find out, to learn? Whether all relationship is a matter of dependence?
You are dependent on environment and people. Is it possible to be free, not only
of environment and people, but to be free in yourself, so that you don’t depend on
anything or anyone? Can there be joy which is not the outcome of environment or
of people? The environment changes, people change, and if you depend on them
you are caught by them, or else you become indifferent, callous, cynical, hard. So
is it not a matter of whether you can live a life of freedom and joy which is not the
result  of  environment,  human  or  otherwise?  This  is  a  very  important  question.
Most human beings are slaves to their family or to their circumstances, and they
want to change the circumstances and the people, hoping thereby to find joy, to
live freely and more openly. But even if they do create their own environment or
choose  their  own  relationships,  they  soon  come  to  depend  again  on  the  new
environment and the new friends. Does dependence in any form bring joy? This
dependence is also the urge to express, the urge to be something. The man who
has  a  certain  gift  or  capacity  depends  on  it,  and  when  it  diminishes  or  goes
altogether  he  is  at  a  loss  and  becomes  miserable  and  ugly.  So  to  depend
psychologically  on  anything  –  people,  possessions,  ideas,  talent  –  is  to  invite
sorrow. Therefore one asks: Is there a joy that is not dependent on anything? Is
there a light that is not lit by another?    19
Questioner:  My  joy  so  far  has  always  been  lit  by  something  or  someone
external to myself so I can’t answer that question. Perhaps I don’t even dare to
ask it because then I may have to change my way of life. I certainly depend on
drink, books, sex and companionship.
Krishnamurti:  But  when  you  see  for  yourself,  clearly,  that  this  dependence
breeds  various  forms  of  fear  and  misery,  don’t  you  inevitably  ask  the  other
question,  which  is  not  how  to  be  free  of  environment  and  people  but,  rather,
whether there is a joy, a bliss, that is its own light?
Questioner: I may ask it but it has no value. Being caught in all this, this is all
that  actually  exists  for  me.  Krishnamurti:  What  you  are  concerned  with  is
dependence, with all its implications, which is a fact. Then there is a deeper fact,
which  is  loneliness,  the  feeling  of  being  isolated.  Feeling  lonely,  we  attach
ourselves  to  people,  drink,  and  all  sorts  of  other  escapes.  Attachment  is  an
escape from loneliness. Can this loneliness be understood and can one find out
for  oneself  what  is  beyond  it?  That  is  the  real  question,  not  what  to  do  about
attachment  to  people  or  environment.  Can  this  deep  sense  of  loneliness,
emptiness,  be  transcended?  Any  movement  at  all  away  from  loneliness
strengthens  the  loneliness,  and  so  there  is  more  need  than  ever  before  to  get
away  from  it.  this  makes  for  attachment  which  brings  its  own  problems.  The
problems  of  attachment  occupy  the  mind  so  much  that  one  loses  sight  of  the
loneliness  and  disregards  it.  So  we  disregard  the  cause  and  occupy  ourselves
with  the  effect.  But  the  loneliness  is  acting  all  the  time  because  there  is  no
difference between cause and effect. There is only what is. It becomes a cause
only  when  it  moves  away  from  itself.  It  is  important  to  understand  that  this
movement  away  from  itself  is  itself,  and  therefore  it  is  its  own  effect.  There  is,
therefore, no cause and effect at all, no movement anywhere at all, but only what
is. You don’t see what is because you cling to the effect. There is loneliness, and
apparent  movement  away  from  this  loneliness  to  attachment;  then  this
attachment with all its complications becomes so important, so dominating, that it   20
prevents one from looking at what is. Movement away from what is, is fear, and
we try to resolve it by another escape. This is perpetual motion, apparently away
from what is, but in actuality there is no movement at all. So it is only the mind
which sees what is and doesn’t move away from it in any direction that is free of
what is. Since this chain of cause and effect is the action of loneliness, it is clear
that the only ending of loneliness is the ending of this action.
Questioner: I shall have to go into this very, very deeply.
Krishnamurti:  But  this  also  can  become  an  occupation  which  becomes  an
escape. If you see all this with complete clarity it is like the flight of the eagle that
leaves no mark in the air.    21
6th Conversation
Questioner:  I  have  come  to  you  to  find  out  why  there  is  a  division,  a
separation, between oneself and everything else, even between one’s wife and
children and oneself. Wherever one goes, one finds this separation – not only in
oneself  but  in  everyone  else.  People  talk  a  great  deal  about  unity  and
brotherhood but I wonder if it is ever possible to be really free of this division, this
aching separation? I can pretend, intellectually, that there is no real separation; I
can explain to myself the causes of these divisions – not only between man and
man but between theories, theologies and governments – but I know, actually in
myself, that there is this insoluble division, this wide gulf that separates me from
another. I always feel I’m standing on this bank and that everybody else is on the
other bank, and there are these deep waters between us. That’s my problem –
why is there this gap of separation?
Krishnamurti: You have forgotten to mention the difference, the contradiction,
the gap, between one thought and another, between one feeling and another, the
contradiction  between  actions,  the  division  between  life  and  death,  the  endless
corridor  of  opposites.  After  stating  all  this,  our  question  is:  why  is  there  this
division, this cleavage between what is and what has been or what should be?
We are asking why man has lived in this dualistic state, why he has broken life
into various fragments? Are we asking to find the cause or are we trying to go
beyond the cause and the effect? Is it an analytical process or a perception, an
understanding  of  a  state  of  mind  in  which  division  no  longer  exists?  To
understand such a state of mind we must look at the beginning of thought. We
must  be  aware  of  thought  as  it  arises  and must also be aware  of  that  which  it
comes out of. Thought arises from the past. The past is thought. When we say
we  must  be  aware  of  thought  as  it  arises,  we  mean  we  must  be  aware  of  the
actual meaning of thought, not simply the fact that thinking is taking place. It is
the  meaning  of  thought  which  is  the  past.  There  is  no  thought  without  its   22
meaning. A thought is like a thread in a piece of cloth. Most of us are unaware of
the whole cloth, which is the whole mind, and are trying to control, or shape, or
understand, the meaning of one thread, which is a thought. On what is the whole
cloth  of  thoughts  resting?  Is  it  lying  on  any  substance?  If  so,  what  is  that
substance?  Is  it  lying  on  deeper  thought  or  on  nothing  at  all?  And  what  is  the
material of this cloth?
Questioner:  You  are  asking  too  many  questions.  None  of  this  has  ever
occurred to me before, so I must go rather slowly.
Krishnamurti: Is thought the cause of all division, of all fragmentation in life?
What is thought made of? What is the substance of those pieces of thread woven
into  that  complex  cloth  we  call  the  mind?  Thought  is  matter,  probably
measurable. And it comes from the accumulated memory, which is matter, stored
in  the  brain.  Thought  has  its  origin  in  the  past,  recent  or  remote.  Can  one  be
aware of thought as it arises out of the past – the recollections of the past, the
action of the past? And can one be aware beyond the past, behind the wall of the
past? This doesn’t mean still further back in time, it means the space that is not
touched by time or memory. Until we discover this the mind cannot see itself in
terms of anything other than thought, which is time. You cannot look at thought
with thought, and you cannot look at time with time. So whatever thought does, or
whatever it negates, is still within its own measurable boundaries.
To answer all the questions we have put, we must put yet a further question:
what  is  the  thinker?  Is  the  thinker  separate  from  thought?  Is  the  experiencer
different from the thing he experiences? Is the observer different from the thing
he observes? If the observer is different from the thing he observes, then there
will  always  be  division,  separation,  and  therefore  conflict.  To  go  beyond  this
cleavage  we  must  understand  what  the  observer  is.  Obviously  he  makes  this
division. You who are observing make this division, whether it be between you
and your wife, or the tree, or anything else. Now what is this observer, or thinker,   23
or  experiencer?  The  observer  is  the  living  entity  who  is  always moving, acting,
who  is  aware  of  things,  and  aware  of  his  own  existence.  This  existence  he  is
aware of is his relationship to things, to people and to ideas. This observer is the
whole machinery of thought, he is also observation, he is also a nervous system
and  sensory  perception.  The  observer  is  his  name,  his  conditioning,  and  the
relationship between that conditioning and life. All this is the observer. He is also
his own idea of himself – an image again built from conditioning, from the past,
from tradition. The observer thinks and acts. His action is always according to his
image about himself and his image of the world. This action of the observer in
relationship  breeds  division.  This  action  is  the  only  relationship  we  know.  This
action  is  not  separate  from  the  observer,  it  is  the  observer  himself.  It  is  the
observer who talks about the world and himself in relationship, and fails to see
that his relationship is his own action, therefore himself. So the cause of all the
division  is  the  action  of  the  observer.  The  observer  himself  is  the  action  which
divides life into the thing observed and himself separate from it. Here is the basic
cause of division, and hence conflict.
The division in our lives is the structure of thought, which is the action of the
observer who thinks himself separate. He further thinks of himself as the thinker,
as something different from his thought. But there can be no thought without the
thinker and no thinker without the thought. So the two are really one. He is also
the experiencer and, again, he separates himself from the thing he experiences.
The observer, the thinker, the experiencer, are not different from the observed,
the thought, the experienced. This is not a verbal conclusion. If it is a conclusion
then it is another thought which again makes the division between the conclusion
and the action which is supposed to follow that conclusion. When the mind sees
the reality of this, the division can no longer exist. This is the whole point of what
we are saying. All conflict is this battle between the observer and the observed.
This is the greatest thing to understand. Only now can we answer our questions;
only  now  can  we  go  beyond  the  wall  of  time  and  memory,  which  is  thought,   24
because only now has thought come to an end. It is only now that thought cannot
breed  division.  Thought  which  can  function  to  communicate,  to  act,  to  work,  is
another  kind  of  thought  which  does  not  breed  division  in  relationship.
Righteousness is living without the separative action of the observer.
Questioner: What then, where then, is that thing on which the cloth of thought
Krishnamurti: It is that which is not the action of the observer. The realizing of
this is great love. This realization is possible only when you understand that the
observer himself is the observed: and that is meditation.    25
7th Conversation
Questioner: I am in conflict over so many things, not only outwardly but also
inwardly. I can somehow deal with the outward conflicts but I want to know how I
can end the conflict, the battle, which is going on within myself most of the time. I
want to be finished with it. I want somehow to be free from all this strife. What am
I  to  do?  Sometimes  it  seems  to  me  that  conflict  is  inevitable.  I  see  it  in  the
struggle  for  survival,  the  big  living  on  the  little,  the  great  intellect  dominating
smaller intellects, one belief suppressing, supplanting another, one nation ruling
another, and so on, endlessly. I see this and accept it, but it doesn’t somehow
seem right; it doesn’t seem to have any quality of love, and I feel that if I could
end this strife in myself, out of that ending might come love. But l`m so uncertain,
so confused, about the whole thing. All the great teachers have maintained that
one must strive, that the way to find truth, or God, is through discipline, control
and sacrifice. In one form or another this battle is sanctified. And now you say
that conflict is the very root of disorder. How am I to know what is the truth about
Krishnamurti: Conflict in any form distorts the mind. This is a fact, not some
opinion  or  judgment  given  thoughtlessly.  Any  conflict  between  two  people
prevents  their  understanding  each  other.  Conflict  prevents  perception.  The
understanding of what is, is the only important thing, not the formulating of what
should  be.  This  division  between  what  is  and  what  should  be  is  the  origin  of
conflict. And the interval between idea and action also breeds conflict. The fact
and the image are two different things: the pursuit of the image leads to every
form  of  conflict,  illusion  and  hypocrisy  whereas  the  understanding  of  what  is,
which is the only thing we really have, leads to quite a different state of mind.
Contradictory  drives  bring  about  conflict;  one  will  opposing  another  form  of
desire is conflict. Memory of what has been, opposed to what is, is conflict; and
this  is  time.  Becoming,  achieving,  is  conflict,  and  this  is  time.  Imitation,   26
conformity, obedience, taking a vow, regretting, suppressing – all this brings more
or  less  conflict.  The  very  structure  of  the  brain  which  demands  security,safety
which  is  aware  of  danger,  is  the  source  of  conflict.  There  is  no  such  thing  as
security  or  permanency.  So  our  whole  being,  our  relationships,  activities,
thoughts, our way of life, engender struggle, conflict, strife. And now you ask me
how  this  is  to  end.  The  saint,  the  monk  and  the  sannyasi  try  to  escape  from
conflict,  but  they  are  still  in  conflict.  As  we  know,  all  relationship  is  conflict  –
conflict between the image and the reality. There is no relationship between two
people, not even between the two images they have of each other. Each lives in
his  own  isolation,  and  the  relationship  is  merely  looking  over  the  wall.  So
wherever one looks, superficially or very, very deeply, there is this agony of strife
and pain. The whole field of the mind – in its aspirations, in its desire to change, in
its acceptance of what is and its wanting to go beyond it; all this is itself conflict.
So the mind itself is conflict, thought is conflict, and when thought says, «I will not
think», this also is conflict. All activity of the mind and of the feelings, which are
part of the mind, is conflict. When you ask how you can end conflict you are really
asking how you can stop thinking, how your mind can be drugged to be quiet?
Questioner:  But  I  don’t  want  a  drugged,  stupid  mind.  I  want  it  to  be  highly
active energetic and passionate must it be either drugged or in conflict?
Krishnamurti: You want it to be active, energetic, passionate, and yet you want
to end conflict?
Questioner:  Precisely,  for  when  there  is  conflict  it  is  neither  active  nor
passionate. When there is conflict it is as if the mind were wounded by its own
activity and loses sensitivity.
Krishnamurti: So it becomes clear that conflict destroys passion, energy and
sensitivity.    27
Questioner: You don’t have to convince me. I know it, but it doesn’t get me any
Krishnamurti: What do you mean by knowing?
Questioner: I mean that the truth of what you have said is apparent. But this
gets one no further. Krishnamurti: Do you see the truth of it, or do you see the
verbal structure of it – the actual fact or the explanation? We must be very clear
about  this  because  the  explanation  is  not  the  fact,  the  description  is  not  the
described;  and  when  you  say  «l  know»  it  may  be  that  you  perceive  only  the
Questioner: No.
Krishnamurti: Please don’t be so quick and impatient. If the description is not
the  described,  then  there  is  only  the  described.  The  described  is  the  fact,  this
fact: passion, sensitivity and energy are lost when there is conflict. And conflict is
all  thinking  and  feeling,  which  is  all  the  mind.  The  mind  is  all  like  and  dislike,
judgment,  prejudice,  condemnation,  justification  and  so  on.  And  one  very
important  activity  of  the  mind  is  description,  in  which  it  gets  caught.  The  mind
sees its own description and gets caught in it and thinks it sees the fact whereas
in reality it is caught up in its own movement. So where are we now, when there
is only what is and not the description?
Questioner: You were saying there is conflict, which is all the actions of the
mind, and this conflict destroys the sensitivity and the energy and the passion of
the mind itself. So the mind dulls itself by conflict, by working against itself.
Krishnamurti:  So  your  question  becomes:  how  can  the  mind  stop  working
against itself?
Questioner: Yes.    28
Krishnamurti:  Is  this  question  one  more  condemnation,  justification,  escape,
one more of these interfering activities of the mind which makes it work against
itself? If it is, then it breeds conflict. Is this question trying to get rid of conflict? If it
is,  it  is  more  conflict,  and  you  are  forever  in  this  vicious  circle.  So  the  right
question is not how to end conflict but to see the truth that where passion and
sensitivity are, conflict is absent. Do you see this?
Questioner: Yes.
Krishnamurti: So you can no longer be concerned with the ending of conflict; it
will wither away. But it will never wither so long as thought is nourishing it. What
is important is the passion and the sensitivity, not the ending of conflict.
Questioner: I see this, but that doesn’t mean I’ve got the passion; it doesn’t
mean I’ve ended the conflict.
Krishnamurti:  If  you  really  see  this,  that  very  act  of  seeing  is  passion,
sensitivity, energy. And in this seeing there is no conflict.
8th Conversation
Questioner: I left the world, my world of professional writing, because I wanted
to lead a spiritual life. I abandoned all my appetites and ambitions to be famous,
although I had the necessary talent, and came to you hoping to find, to realize,
the ultimate. I have been under this great banyan tree for five years now and I
find myself all of a sudden dull, washed out, inwardly lonely and rather miserable.
I wake up in the morning to find that I have not realized anything at all, that I was
perhaps better off a couple of years ago when I still had some strong religious
fervour. Now there is no fervour left and, having sacrificed the things of the world
to find God, I am without either. I feel like a sucked orange. What is to blame – the
teachings, you, your environment – or is it that I have no capacity for this thing,
that I have not found the crack in the wall that will reveal the sky? Or is it simply
that this whole quest, from beginning to end, is a mirage and that I would have
been better off never to have thought of religion but to have stuck to the tangible,
everybody fulfilments of my former life? What is wrong, and what am I to do now?
Shall I leave all this? If so, for what?
Krishnamurti: Do you feel that living under this banyan tree, or any other tree,
is  destroying  you,  preventing  you  from  understanding,  seeing?  Is  this
environment destroying you? If you leave this world and go back to what you did
before – the world of writing and all the everyday things of life – will you not be
destroyed, dulled and sucked dry there also by the things of that life? You see
this  destructive  process  going  on  everywhere  in  people  who  pursue  success,
whatever  they  are  doing  and  for  whatever  they  are  doing  and  for  whatever
reason.  You  see  it  in  the  doctor,  in  the  politician,  in  the  scientist,  in  the  artist.
Does anyone anywhere ever escape this destruction?
Questioner: Yes, I see that everyone is sucked dry. They may have fame and
wealth, but if they look at themselves objectively they have to admit that they are
actually nothing more than a showy facade of actions, words, formulas, concepts,   30
attitudes,  platitudes,  hopes  and  fears.  Underneath  there  is  emptiness  and
confusion, age and the bitterness of failure.
Krishnamurti: Do you also see that the religious people who have supposedly
abandoned the world are still really in it because their conduct is governed by the
same ambitions, the same drive to fulfil, to become, to realize, to attain, to grasp
and to keep? The objects of this drive are called spiritual and seem to be different
from the objects of the drive in the world, but they are not different at all because
the drive is exactly the same movement. These religious people also are caught
in formulas, ideals, imagination, hopes, vague certainties, which are only beliefs –
and they also become old, ugly and hollow. So the world A which they have left is
exactly the same as the world B of the so-called spiritual life. A is B, and B is A. In
this so-called spiritual world you are destroyed just as you were destroyed in that
other everyday world.
Do you think that this dying, this destruction, comes from your environment, or
from  yourself?  Does  it  come  from  another  or  from  you?  Is  it  something  that  is
done to you or something that you are doing?
Questioner:  I  thought  that  this  dying,  this  destruction,  was  the  result  of  my
environment,  but  now  that  you  have  pointed  out  how  it  takes  place  in  all
environments,  everywhere  and  continues  even  when  you  change  the
environment from A to B, or back again from B to A, I am beginning to see that
this destruction is not the result of environment. This dying is self-destruction. It is
something which I do to myself. It is I who do it, I who am responsible, and it has
nothing to do with people or environment.
Krishnamurti:  This  is  the  most  important  point  to  realize.  This  destruction
comes  from  yourself  and  from  nobody  and  nothing  else,  not  from  your
environment,  not  from  people,  not  from  events  or  circumstances.  You  are
responsible for your own destruction and misery, your own loneliness, your own
moods,  your  own  empty  hollowness.  When  you  realize  this  you  either  become   31
bitter or insensitive to it all, pretending that all is well; or you become neurotic,
vacillating between A and B, thinking that there is some difference between them,
or you take to drink or drugs like so many people have done.
Questioner: I understand this now.
Krishnamurti: In that case you will abandon all hope of finding a solution by
simply  changing  the  outer  environment  of  your  life,  by  simply  changing  from  B
back to A, for you will know that A and B are the same; in both of them is the
desire  to  achieve,  to  attain,  to  gain  the  ultimate  pleasure,  whether  in  so-called
enlightenment,  God,  truth,  love,  a  fat  banking  account  or  any  other  form  of
Questioner: I see this, but what am I to do? I am still dying, still destroying
myself. I feel sucked dry, empty, useless. I have lost all I had and gained nothing
in return.
Krishnamurti: You have not understood then. When you feel and say that, you
are  still  walking  the  same  road  we  have  been  talking  about  –  that  road  of  self-
fulfilment in either A or B. That road is the self-killing, that road is the factor of
dying. Your feeling that you have lost all and gained nothing in return is to walk
that road; that road is the destruction; the road itself is its own destination which
is  self-destruction,  frustration,  loneliness,  immaturity.  So  the  question  now  is,
have you really turned your back on that road?
Questioner: How do I know whether I have turned my back on it or not?
Krishnamurti:  You  don’t  know,  but  if  you  see  what  that  road  actually  is,  not
only its end but its beginning, which is the same as its end, then it is impossible
for you to to walk on it. You may, knowing the danger of it, occasionally stray on
to it in a moment of inattention and then catch yourself on it suddenly – but seeing
the  road  and  its  desolation  is  the  ending  of  that  road,  and  this  is  the  only  act.
Don’t say, «I don’t understand it, I must think about it, I must work at it, I must   32
practice awareness, I must find out what it is to be attentive, I must meditate and
go into it,» but see that every movement of fulfilment, achievement or dependence
in life is that road. Seeing this is the abandonment of that road. When you see
danger you don’t make a great fuss trying to make up your mind what to do about
it. If, in the face of danger, you say, «I must meditate about it, become aware of it,
go into it, understand it,» you are lost, it is too late. So what you have to do is
simply to see this road, what it is, where it leads and how it feels – and already
you will be walking in a different direction.
This is what we mean when we speak of awareness. We mean to be aware of
the  road  and  all  the  significance  of  that  road,  to  be  aware  of  the  thou,  sand
different movements in life which are on the same road. If you try to see or walk
on the «other road» you are still on the same old road.
Questioner: How can I be sure that I am seeing what to do?
Krishnamurti: You can’t see what to do, you can see only what not to do. The
total negation of that road is the new beginning, the other road. This other road is
not on the map, nor can it ever be put on any map. Every map is a map of the
wrong road, the old road.


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