TRADITION AND REVOLUTION PREFACE BY
PUPUL JAYAKAR AND SUNANDA
PATWARDHAN NEW DELHI 11TH MAY 1972
Since 1947 J. Krishnamurti, while in India, has been regularly
meeting and holding dialogues with a group of people drawn from
a variety of cultural backgrounds and disciplines – intellectuals,
politicians, artists, sannyasis. During these years, the methodology
of investigation has richened and taken shape. What is revealed in
these dialogues, as if through a microscope, is the extraordinarily
fluid, vast and subtle mind of Krishnamurti and the operational
process of perception. These dialogues are, however, not questions
and answers. They are an investigation into the structure and nature
of consciousness, an exploration of the mind, its movements, its
frontiers and that which lies beyond. It is also an approach to the
way of mutation.
There has been in these dialogues a coming together of several
totally varied and conditioned minds. There has been a deep
challenging of the mind of Krishnamurti, a relentless questioning
that has opened up the depths of man’s psyche. One is a witness not
only to the expanding and deepening of the «limitless» but also to
its impact on the limited mind. This very enquiry leaves the mind
flexible, freeing it from the immediate past and from the grooves of
centuries of conditioning.
In these dialogues Krishnamurti starts questioning from a totally
tentative position, from a state of «not-knowing», and in a sense,
therefore, he starts at the same level as the participants. During the
discussion, various analytical enquiries are made; tentative and exploratory. There is a questioning without seeking immediate
solution: a step by step observation of the processes of thought and
its unfoldment – a movement of penetration and withdrawal, every
movement plunging attention deeper and deeper into the recesses
of the mind. A delicate wordless communication takes place; an
exposure of the movement of negation as it meets the positive
movement of thought. There is the «seeing» of fact, of «what is»,
and the mutation of «what is». This is again perceived from various
directions to examine its validity.
The nature of duality and non-duality are revealed in simple
language. In that state of questioning, a state when the questioner,
the experiencer has ceased, in a flash, «truth» is revealed. It is a
state of total non-thought.
The mind which is the vessel of movement, when that
movement has no form, no «me», no vision, no image, it is
completely quiet – In it there is no memory. Then the brain cells
undergo a change – The brain cells are used to movement in time.
They are the residue of time and time is movement; a movement
within the space which it creates as it moves – When there is no
movement, there is tremendous focus of energy – So mutation is
the understanding of movement, and the ending of movement in
the brain cells themselves.»
The revelation of the instant of mutation, of «what is», provides
a totally new dimension to the whole field of intellectual and
There may be repetitions in the dialogues but they have not
been eliminated, because to do so would have inhibited the
understanding of the nature of consciousness and the method of enquiry.
We feel that these discussions will be of major significance and
of assistance to those seeking a clue to the understanding of the self
and of life.
TRADITION AND REVOLUTION DIALOGUE 1
NEW DELHI 12TH DECEMBER 1970 ‘THE
FLAME OF SORROW’
We were walking in the open gardens near a huge hotel. There was
a golden blue in the western sky and the noise of the buses, cars
went by. There were young plants full of promise, watered daily.
They were still building, creating the gardens and a bird was
hovering in the sky, fluttering its wings rapidly before it plunged to
the earth; and in the east, there was the nearing of the full moon.
What was beautiful was none of these things but the vast emptiness
that seemed to hold the earth. What was beautiful was the poor
man with his head down, carrying a small bottle of oil.
Krishnamurti: What does sorrow mean in this country? How do
the people in this country meet sorrow? Do they escape from
sorrow through the explanation of karma? How does the mind in
India operate when it meets sorrow? The Buddhist meets it in one
way, the Christian in another way. How does the Hindu mind meet
it? Does it resist sorrow, or escape from it? Or does the Hindu
mind rationalize it?
Questioner P: Are there really many ways of meeting sorrow?
Sorrow is pain – the pain of someone dying, the pain of separation.
Is it possible to meet this pain in various ways?
Krishnamurti: There are various ways of escape but there is
only one way of meeting sorrow. The escapes with which we are
all familiar are really the ways of avoiding the greatness of sorrow.
You see, we use explanations to meet sorrow but these
explanations do not answer the question. The only way to meet sorrow is to be without any resistance, to be without any movement
away from sorrow, outwardly or inwardly, to remain totally with
sorrow, without wanting to go beyond it.
P: What is the nature of sorrow?
Krishnamurti: There is personal sorrow, the sorrow that comes
with the loss of someone you love, the loneliness, the separation,
the anxiety for the other. With death there is also the feeling that
the other has ceased to be, and there was so much that he wanted to
do. All this is personal sorrow. Then there is that man, ill-clad,
dirty, with his head down; he is ignorant, ignorant not merely of
book knowledge, but deeply, really ignorant. The feeling that one
has for the man is not self-pity, nor is there an identification with
that man; it is not that you are placed in a better position than he is
and so you feel pity for him, but there is within one the sense of the
timeless weight of sorrow in man. This sorrow has nothing
personal about it. It exists.
P: While you have been speaking, the movement of sorrow has
been operating within me. There is no immediate cause for this
sorrow but it seems like a shadow, always with man. He lives, he
loves, he forms attachments and everything ends. Whatever the
truth of what you say, in this there is such an infinitude of sorrow.
How is it to end? There appears to be no answer. The other day
you said in sorrow is the whole movement of passion. What does it
Krishnamurti: Is there a relationship between sorrow and
passion? I wonder what sorrow is. Is there such a thing as sorrow
without cause? We know the sorrow which is cause and effect. My
son dies; in that is involved my identification with my son, my wanting him to be something which I am not, my seeking
continuity through him; and when he dies all that is denied and I
find myself completely emptied of all hope. In that there is self-
pity, fear; in that there is pain which is the cause of sorrow. This is
the lot of everyone. This is what we mean by sorrow.
Then also there is the sorrow of time, the sorrow of ignorance,
not the ignorance of knowledge but the ignorance of one’s own
destructive conditioning; the sorrow of not knowing oneself; the
sorrow of not knowing the beauty that lies at the depth of one’s
being and the going beyond. Do we see that when we escape from
sorrow through various forms of explanation, we are really
frittering away an extraordinary happening?
P: Then what does one do?
Krishnamurti: You have not answered my question, «Is there, a
sorrow without cause and effect?» We know sorrow and the
movement away from sorrow.
P: You have talked of sorrow free of cause and effect. Is there
such a state?
Krishnamurti: Man has lived with sorrow from immemorial
times. He has never known how to deal with it. So he has either
worshipped it or run away from it. They are both the same
movement. My mind does not do either, nor does it use sorrow as a
means of awakening. Then what takes place?
P: All other things are the products of our senses. Sorrow is
more than that. It is a movement of the heart.
Krishnamurti: I am asking you what is the relationship between
sorrow and love.
P: They are both movements of the heart. Krishnamurti: What is love and what is sorrow?
P: Both are movements of the heart, the one is identified as joy
and the other as pain.
Krishnamurti: Is love pleasure? Would you say joy and pleasure
are the same? Without understanding the nature of pleasure, there
is no depth to joy. You cannot invite joy. Joy happens. The
happening can be turned into pleasure. When that pleasure is
denied, there is the beginning of sorrow.
P: At one level it is so, but it is not so at another level.
Krishnamurti: As we said, joy is not a thing to be invited. It
happens. Pleasure I can invite, pleasure I can pursue. If pleasure is
love, then love can be cultivated.
P: We know pleasure is not love. Pleasure may be one
manifestation of love but it is not love. Both sorrow and love
emerge from the same source.
Krishnamurti: I asked what is the relationship between sorrow
and love? Can there be love if there is sorrow – sorrow being all the
things that we have talked about?
P: I would say «yes».
Krishnamurti: In sorrow, there is a factor of separation, of
fragmentation. Is there not a great deal of self-pity in sorrow? What
is the relationship of all this to love? Has love dependency? Has
love the quality of the «me» and the «you»?
P: But you talked of passion……
Krishnamurti: When there is no movement of escape from
sorrow then love is. Passion is the flame of sorrow and that flame
can only be awakened when there is no escape, no resistance.
Which means what? – Which means, sorrow has in it no quality of division.
P: In that sense, is that state of sorrow any different from the
state of love? Sorrow is pain. You say when in that pain there is no
resistance, no movement away from pain, the flame of passion
emerges. Strangely in the ancient texts, kama (love), agni (fire),
and yama (death) are said to be the same; they are placed on the
same level; they are all identical; they create, purify and destroy to
create again. There has to be an ending.
Krishnamurti: You see, that is just it. What is the relationship of
a mind which has understood sorrow and therefore the ending of
sorrow? What is the quality of the mind that is no longer afraid of
ending, which is death?
When energy is not dissipated through escape, then that energy
becomes the flame of passion. Compassion means passion for all.
Compassion is passion for all.
TRADITION AND REVOLUTION DIALOGUE 2
NEW DELHI 14TH DECEMBER 1970 ‘ALCHEMY
Questioner P: I was considering whether it would be worthwhile to
discuss the ancient Indian attitude to alchemy and mutation and to
see whether the findings of alchemy have any relevance to what
you are saying. It is significant that Nagarjuna, one of the great
propounders of Buddhist thought, was himself an alchemist
Master. The search of the alchemist in India was not directed so
much to turning base metal into gold, as to an investigation into
certain psychophysical and chemical processes in which, through
mutation the body and mind could be made free of the ravages of
time and the processes of decay. The field of investigation included
mastery of breath, the partaking of an elixir brewed in the
laboratory, a substance wherein mercury played a vital part, and a
triggering of an explosion in consciousness. The action of the three
leads to a mutation of body and mind. The symbolism used by the
alchemist was sexual; mercury was the male seed of Shiva, mica
the seed of the goddess; the union of the two, not only physically
and in the crucibles of the laboratory but in consciousness itself,
brought into being a mutation; a state that was free of time and the
processes of ageing, a state that was unrelated to the two
constituents that in total union had triggered the mutation. Has this
any relevance to what you are saying?
Krishnamurti: You are asking about the state of consciousness
which is out of time.
P: In every individual one can see the male and female element in operation.
The alchemist saw the need of union, of balance. Is there any
validity in this?
Krishnamurti: I think one can observe this in oneself. I have
often observed that in each one of us there are the male and female
elements. Either they are in perfect balance or in a state of
imbalance. When there is this complete balance between the male
and the female, then the physical organism never really falls ill;
there may be superficial illness but deep within there is no disease
which destroys the organism. This is probably what the ancients
must have sought – identifying it with mercury and mica, the male
and the female and through meditation, study, and perhaps through
some form of medicine tried to bring about this perfect harmony.
One can see very clearly in oneself the operation of the male and
female going on. When one or the other gets exaggerated, the
imbalance creates disease; not superficial ailments but disease at
the depths. I have noticed personally within myself under different
situations and climates, with different people who are aggressive,
violent, the female takes over and becomes more prominent. This
prominence, the other uses to assert himself. But when there is too
much femininity around one, the male does not become aggressive
but withdraws without any resistance.
S: What are the male and female elements?
Krishnamurti: The male is generally aggressive, violent,
dominating and the female is the quiet, which is taken for
submissiveness and then exploited by man. But submissiveness
which is taken to be the quality of the female, is really gentleness
which gradually conquers the other. When the female and the male are in complete harmony, the
quality of both changes. It is no longer male or female. It is
something totally different, in relation to what is considered as
male and female. The male and the female as the positive and
negative because of their very nature are dualistic, whereas the
complete balance, a harmony of the two has a different quality.
May I say something? It is like the quality of the earth in which
everything lives but is not of it. I have noticed this operating very
often. When the whole mind withdraws from the physical and the
environment, it is as though it is very far away; far away not in
space and time, but a state which nothing can touch. This state is
not an abstraction nor a withdrawal but an inward, absolute, non-
being. When this perfect harmony takes place, because there is no
conflict, it has its own vitality. It does not destroy the other. So
conflict is not only in the outer but also in the inner and when this
conflict completely comes to an end, there is a mutation which is
not touched by time.
P: The alchemist called this the birth of Kumara, of the magical
child – he who never grows old, he who is completely innocent.
Krishnamurti: It is very interesting – but alchemy has become
synonymous with so much phony magic.
P: But the alchemists, the Masters who were known as rasa
siddhas – the holders of the essence – maintained that what they
described they had seen with their own eyes, that what they
recorded was not from hearsay nor from the dictation of a teacher.
There is another factor of interest. A great deal of attention was
paid in alchemy to the instrument, the vessel. The science of
metallurgy developed out of this – one of the vessels or yantras was known as the garbha yantra, the womb vessel. It is a key word in
Is there such a thing as preparing the womb of the mind? in
which time is involved.
P: The alchemists were also conscious that at the point of
mutation, of the fixation of mercury, of the birth of the timeless,
time was not involved.
Krishnamurti: Do not use the word preparation. Let us put it this
way. Is there a necessary state, a necessary background, a
necessary vessel which can contain this? I should say no, because
when they found the boy Krishnamurti, the people who were
supposedly clairvoyant for the time being, saw that he had no
quality of selfishness and therefore he was worthy of being the
vessel and I think that has remained right through.
S: That may be so, but what about ordinary people like us? Is
this a privilege given only to a very very few, one in a thousand
years or more, or can this happen to people who are concerned
with all this, who are committed to all this, who are really serious
in this enquiry?
Krishnamurti: To answer this question certain physical factors
and psychological states are necessary. Physically there must be
sensitivity. Physical sensitivity cannot possibly take place when
there is smoking, drinking, eating meat. The sensitivity of the body
must be maintained. That is absolutely essential. Traditionally such
a body generally remains in one place supported by disciples, by
the family. The body is not shocked or exposed.
Can a man who is very serious in all this, can he with a body
which has gone through the normal brutalizing effects, can he make that body highly sensitive? And also the psyche that has been
wounded through experience, can it throw off all the wounds and
marks and renew itself so that there is a state in which there is no
hurt? These two are essential – sensitivity and the psyche not
having a mark. I think this can be achieved by any person who is
You see the womb is always ready to conceive. It renews itself.
P: Like the earth, the womb has that inbuilt quality of renewal.
Krishnamurti: I think the mind has exactly the same quality.
P: The earth is dormant, the womb is quiet and in both there is
this inbuilt capacity for renewal.
Krishnamurti: The earth, the womb and the mind are of the
same quality. When the earth lies fallow and the womb is empty
and the mind without any movement, then renewal takes place.
When the mind is completely empty, it is like the womb; it is pure
to renew, receive.
P: This then is the vessel, the receptacle.
Krishnamurti: Yes, this is the vessel, but when you use the word
vessel and receptacle, you must be exceedingly careful.
This inbuilt quality of the mind to renew itself can be called
P: It is known as kumara vidya.
Krishnamurti: So what makes the mind old? Obviously the
movement of the self makes the mind old.
P: Does the self wear away the cells?
Krishnamurti: The womb is always ready to receive. It has a
quality of purifying itself all the time, but the mind which is
burdened with the self – friction is self – has no space to renew itself. When the self is so occupied with itself and its activities, the
mind has no space in which to renew itself. So space is necessary,
both for the physical and the psyche. How does this go with
alchemy? P: The language they use is different. They talk of
mutation through union.
Krishnamurti: All that implies effort, friction.
P: How does one know?
Krishnamurti: If it implies any form of process, any form of
achievement, it implies effort.
TRADITION AND REVOLUTION DIALOGUE 3
NEW DELHI 15TH DECEMBER 1970 ‘THE
CONTAINMENT OF EVIL’
Questioner P: One of the most vital problems that has concerned
man is the necessity of containing evil. It appears as if at certain
times in history, because of various circumstances, evil has had a
wider field within which to operate. The manifestations of evil are
so wide, the problems of evil so complex that the individual does
not know how to deal with them.
What would you say is the way of dealing with evil? Is there
such a thing as evil independent of good?
Krishnamurti: I wonder what you mean. The bush with so many
thorns – do you call that evil? Do you call a serpent with poison,
evil? No savage animal is evil – neither the shark nor the tiger.
So what do you mean by the word evil? Something harmful?
Something that can bring tremendous grief, something that can
bring great pain, something that can destroy or prevent the light of
understanding? Would you call war evil? Would you call the
generals, the rulers, the admirals evil because they help to bring
about war, destruction?
P: That which thwarts the nature of things can be called evil.
Krishnamurti: Man is brutal, is he evil?
P: If he is thwarting, if he through malignant intention makes
certain things deviate….
Krishnamurti: I was just wondering what that word evil means.
What does evil mean to an intelligent mind; a mind that is aware of
all the horrors in the world? P: Evil is that which diminishes consciousness, that which
Krishnamurti: Fear, sorrow, pain do that. Would you say that
evil is the encouragement of fear? Is evil a means to further
sorrow? Is evil social or environmental conditioning which
perpetuates war? All these limit consciousness and create darkness
and sorrow. Evil, according to the Christian idea, is the devil. Does
the Hindu have any idea of evil? If he has an idea of evil, what
would it be? Personally I never think of evil.
Would you say that in the flowering of goodness, there is no
evil at all? That this state does not know evil? Or is evil an
invention of the mind which breeds fear and creates the good? P:
May I say something? If you go deep down into the recesses of the
human mind, into the history of mankind, there has always been
the sorcerer, the witch who subverts the laws of nature, who brings
fear and darkness. It is one of the strangest elements in the human
mind. It is because of this terrible fear of the unknown, that
darkness without limit, without end, that prevails through the
history of man, that the human being has cried out for protection; a
cry that echoes through human consciousness. It is this which is the
unknown, un-named matrix of fear. It is not enough to suggest that
it is fear. It is all that and more.
Krishnamurti:Are you saying that deep in man, in the inner
recesses of the mind, there is the fear of the unknown, of
something that man cannot touch or imagine? Being afraid so
deeply, he demands protection of the gods and anything that brings
an awakening of that danger, any intimation of that hidden thing,
he calls evil? P:This darkness exists deep in human consciousness all the
Krishnamurti:Is evil the opposite of the good, or is it totally
dependent of the good?
P:It is independent of the good.
Krishnamurti:You are saying it is independent. So, is evil
something that is in itself unrelated to the beautiful, to love?
Against evil, man has always sought protection, as he would
against an animal. There is this hidden dark danger. Man is aware
of it, he is frightened and seeks through incantations, rituals,
prayers and so on to put it away and be guarded. The bush that is
so full of thorns protects itself against the animal and the animal
would call that evil as it cannot get at the leaves. Is there such a
force, such an embodiment of evil which is totally apart from the
good, the beautiful? There is this whole idea that evil is fighting
good. This evil is seen as embodied in people and evil is always
fighting the good and the gentle. I am asking, is evil totally
independent of the good? You must be very careful not to become
P: «Fear» of something is opposed to goodness. But the darkest
fears are not «of anything».
S: It is not only protection and fear and the fear involved in evil,
but protection in order to move forward.
P: The demand for protection, the mantras as spells, the
mandalas as magical diagrams and the mudras as magical gestures
were intended to provide protection against evil.
Krishnamurti: You see when you go deeply into consciousness,
you reach a point where the unknown appears as the dark, and there you stop, because you get frightened. The mind penetrates
deeply up to a point, and below that point there is this feeling of
dark emptiness. Because of the darkness, you have prayers,
incantations, and because of the fear of the dark, you ask for
protection. Can the mind go through the darkness, which means
can the mind not be afraid? Can it operate so that the darkness
becomes light? Can you penetrate the darkness of which you are
afraid, which you have named «evil»? Can you penetrate that so
completely that darkness does not exist? Then, what is evil?
P: When the ritual mandala is drawn, the entry into the mandala
is through spell and mudra. In this entry into the darkness, what is
the spell which will open the gates?
Krishnamurti: Consciousness as thought, investigates itself – its
depth. As it enters it comes upon this darkness. This investigation
is not a process of time. And you are asking what is the spell or
energy that will penetrate to the very bottom of the darkness, what
is that energy and how is it to come into being?
The very energy which started investigating is still there, more
heavy, vital as it enters, penetrates. Why do you ask whether there
is need of greater energy?
P: Because energy dries up. We penetrate up to a point and do
not go further.
Krishnamurti: Because of fear, because of apprehension of
something we do not know, we dissipate energy instead of bringing
it into focus. I want to penetrate into myself. I see entering into
myself is the same movement as the outer. It is entering into space.
In entering into space, there is a certain demand, a certain energy.
That energy must be without any effort, without any distortion. As it enters, it gathers momentum. If it has no passage through which
it can escape, it is not distorted. It becomes deeper, wider, stronger.
Then you reach a point where there is darkness. And how does one
enter that darkness with this tremendous energy? (pause)
P: The first question with which we started was how is evil to
be contained. You have said as one penetrates the sea of darkness,
darkness is not; light is. But when there is evil in human beings, in
certain situations, in certain happenings, is there any action which
can contain this evil?
Krishnamurti: I would not put it that way. Resistance to evil
strengthens evil. So, if the mind is living in goodness, then there is
no resistance and evil cannot touch it. Therefore there is no
containing of evil.
P: Is there only goodness then?
Krishnamurti: We have to go back to something else – the mind
has gone into darkness and it is finished with darkness. But is there
evil which is independent of all that? Or is evil part of goodness?
You see in nature there is the big living on the little, the bigger
on the big. I would not call that evil. The deliberate desire to hurt
another; is that part of evil? I want to hurt another; is that part of
evil? I want to hurt you because you have done something to me; is
P: That is part of evil.
Krishnamurti: Then that implies will. You hurt me, and,
because I am proud, I want to retaliate. Wanting to retaliate is an
action of will. Whether it is the will to react or to do good, both are
P: Again coming back to the mandala; evil can enter when the gateways are not protected. Here, your eyes and ears are the
Krishnamurti: So you are saying when the eyes see clearly, ears
hear clearly, then evil cannot enter.
To go back, the deliberate intention, the collection of intentions,
the thinking it over, which is all the deep intention to hurt, is part
of will. I think that is where evil is – the deliberate act to hurt. You
hurt me, I hurt you; I apologize and it is finished. But if I hold,
retain, strengthen deliberately, follow a policy to hurt you, which is
part of the will in man to do harm or good, then there is evil.
So is there a way of living without will? The moment I resist,
evil must be on one side, and the good on the other and there is
relationship between the two. When there is no resistance, there is
no relationship between the two. And love then is an open space,
without any words, without any resistance. Love is action out of
emptiness. As we had been discussing yesterday, when the male
elements deliberately become assertive, demanding, possessive,
dominating, man invites evil. And the female, yielding, yielding,
yielding and deliberately yielding in order to dominate, also invites
So, where there is the cunning pursuit of domination, which is
the operation of will, there is the beginning of evil.
You see against that evil we try to protect ourselves. We are
ourselves creating evil and yet we draw a circle a diagram round
the doorstep of the house to seek protection from evil, and
inwardly the serpent of evil is operating.
Keep your house clean. Forget all the mantras; nothing can
touch you. We ask protection of the gods whom we have created. It is
really quite fantastic.
All these wars, all the racial hatreds, all the accumulated hatreds
which man has been storing up, that must have a collected hatred, a
gathered evil. The Hitlers, the Mussolinis, the Stalins, the
concentration camps, the Atillas; all that must be stored, must have
a body somewhere.
So also, the feeling of «do not kill, be kind, be gentle, be
compassionate» – that also must be stored somewhere.
When people try to protect themselves against the one, the evil,
they are protecting themselves against the good too, because man
has created these two. So, can the mind enter into darkness and the
very entrance into it, is the dispelling of darkness?
TRADITION AND REVOLUTION DIALOGUE 4
NEW DELHI 16TH DECEMBER 1970 ‘THE
AWAKENING OF ENERGY’
Questioner P: You have said when we were discussing Tantra, that
there is a way of awakening energy. The Tantrics concentrate on
certain psychic centres, and thereby release the dormant energy in
those centres. Would you say there is any validity in this? What is
the way of awakening energy?
Krishnamurti: What you said just now, concentrating on the
various physio-psychical centres, implies, does it not, a process of
time? So I would like to ask, can that energy be awakened without
a process of time?
P: In this whole process, the traditional way demands correct
posture and an equilibrium of breath. If the body does not know
how to sit erect, and how to breathe rightly, there can be no ending
of thought. To bring body and breath to an equilibrium, a process
of time becomes inevitable.
Krishnamurti: There may be a totally different approach to this
problem. Tradition starts from the psychosomatic, the posture, the
breath control and gradually through various forms of
concentration to the full awakening of energy. That is the accepted
way. Is there not an awakening of this energy without going
through all these practices?
P: It is like the Zen-Masters who say the real master is one who
puts aside effort, and yet in Zen to master archery a tremendous
mastery over technique is necessary. It is only when there is total
mastery that effort drops away. Krishnamurti: You are beginning at this end rather than at the
other – this end being time, control, energy, perfection, perfect
All this seems to me like dealing with a very small part of a
very vast field. Tradition gives great importance to the past, to
breathing, to the right posture. All these are limited to a corner of
the field and through that corner you hope to have enlightenment.
The corner then becomes a trick. Through some kind of
psychosomatic acrobatics, it is hoped that you will capture the
light, the whole universe. I do not think enlightenment is there – not
through one corner. It is like seeing the sky through a small
window and never going outside to look at the sky. I feel that way
is an absurd way of approaching something totally vast, timeless.
P: Even you would admit that correct posture and right
breathing strengthen the structure of the mind. Krishnamurti: I
want to approach all this quite differently. In approaching it
entirely differently, it is necessary to throw out all that has been
said. I see the corner is like a candle in sunshine. The candle is
being lit very carefully in brilliant sunshine. You are not concerned
with sunshine, but work away at lighting the candle.
There are other things involved; there is the awakening of
energy which has been dissipated so far.
To centralize energy, to gather the whole of it, attention is
involved, and the elimination of time altogether.
I think there are these major factors – time, attention which is
not forced, which is not concentration, which is not centred round a
part, and the gathering of energy. I think these are the fundamental
things one has to understand because enlightenment must be and is the comprehension and understanding of this vast life – life being
living, dying, loving; the whole travail and going beyond it.
The traditional Masters would also agree that you have to have
attention to go beyond time. But they are the worshippers of the
corner. They use time to go beyond time.
P: How Sir? I take a posture and direct my attention. What is
the time involved in this?
Krishnamurti: Is attention the result of time?
P: No. You ask a question and there is immediate attention. Is
this attention the product of time?
Krishnamurti: No, certainly not.
P: Your question and my attention being there, is there time
involved? If you would regard this as so, the self-knowing process
which is going on all the time also involves time. My mind twenty
years ago would not have known the present quality. This state had
no existence then.
Krishnamurti: Let us go slowly. We are trying to understand
something which is out of time.
P: The tradition says prepare the body and mind.
Krishnamurti: Through time you prepare the body and mind to
receive, to comprehend, to be free of time. Through time can you
P: The tradition also posits that through time you cannot go
Krishnamurti: I am asking, when you say through time you
perfect the instrument, is it so? I question that. Through time can
you perfect the instrument? Now first of all who is it that is
perfecting the instrument? Is it thought? P: It would be invalid to say only thought. There are many other
Krishnamurti: Thought, the knowing of thought, intelligence,
are all maintained by thought. To say thought must end and
intelligence must come into being is again an action of thought.
The statement, thinker and thought are one, is again an action of
thought. You are saying perfect the instrument through thought. To
me the traditional approach to perfect the instrument through
thought and so to go beyond, and the act of cultivating intelligence
and the going beyond time – all these are still in the area of
thought. That is so. Therefore in that very thought there is the
thinker. That thinker says this must happen, this must not happen.
That thinker has become the will of achievement. The will to
perfect the instrument is part of thought.
P: In this circle which you are talking; about, in that which you
are describing just now, is also implied the questioning of the very
instrument which is thought.
Krishnamurti: But the questioner is part of thought; the whole
structure is part of thought. You can divide, subdivide, change, but
it is all within the field of thought, and that is time. Thought is
memory, thought is material; the material is memory. We are still
functioning within the area of the known and the man who is
cultivating thought says he will go to the unknown through the
known, perfect the known and get enlightenment. Again all this is
P: If everything is thought, it must then be necessary to give
birth to a new instrument.
Krishnamurti: When thought says it must become silent and becomes silent it is still thought. What the traditionalists do is to
work within the field of thought which is the corner of the field.
But it is still the result of thought. Atman is the result of thought.
The brahman to which man looks up, is the result of thought. The
man who experienced it had nothing to do with thought. It just
happened, whereas his disciples came along and said do this, do
that. It is all within the field of thought.
P: Then there is no proceeding.
Krishnamurti: See how thought plays tricks upon itself – I must
have balance, I must have the right posture in order that the life
energy flows through. Right? I say thought is of the past. Thought
can create the most marvellous instrument – it can go to the moon,
to Venus; but thought can never possibly touch «the other» because
thought is never free, thought is old, thought is conditioned.
Thought is the whole structure of the known.
P: What do you mean by «the other»?
Krishnamurti: That is not it.
P: That is not what?
Krishnamurti: This is within the field of time; thought which is
time. That is within the field of silence. Therefore find out if
sorrow can end. Come out of the corner. Find out what life is, what
death means, what it means to end sorrow. If you have not come
upon this, playing tricks upon thought has no meaning. You can
awaken all the kundalinis, but to what purpose?
Therefore a man teaching how to awaken the kundalinis or
making man proficient in archery in the Zen way or in the practice
of the various forms of Tantra are all within the bondage of time,
which is thought. I see that and I see that it is going round in circles. The circle may be higher but it is still a circle, a bondage,
which is time.
So I would not touch it. I would not touch it because I see the
nature, structure and order of this corner. The corner has no
meaning to me. When there is the marvellous sun, all the siddhis
and powers are like many candles.
Can the mind, listening to this, wipe it away? The very listening
is the wiping away. Then you have it. Then there is attention, love;
everything is there. You see, logically, this holds whereas the other
does not. The exercise of the brain is to find the truth and the false;
to see the false as the false. You see when the boy Krishnamurti
saw the truth, it was over. He gave up all organizations, etc. He had
no training «to see».
P: But you had training. You were put through a vigorous
training of the body.
Krishnamurti: So they tell us. Because the body was neglected.
And so they said if he was not looked after he would fall ill.
P: But Sir, apart from physical discipline, there were
instructions as to how to bring up that boy.
Krishnamurti: It was like combing the hair, doing asanas,
pranayama; it was all at that level.
B: It is very subtle. I am not saying that what happened had any
relationship to the illumination, but it is necessary to look after the
Krishnamurti: Yes, it is necessary to keep the body healthy.
P: Sir, if I may say so, you have the way of the yogi, you look
like a yogi, your body takes the pose of a yogi. You have been
doing asanas, pranayama, every day for so many years. Why? Krishnamurti: That is not important. It is like keeping my nails
clean. I am saying the other is so childish; spending years in
perfecting the instrument. All that you have to do is «to look».
P: But if one is born blind, only when a person like you comes
and says, look, something happens. Most people would not
understand what you are talking about.
Krishnamurti: Most people would not listen to all this. They
would brush it aside.
B: The other is easier. It gives something whereas this gives
Krishnamurti: This gives everything if you touch it.
B: But the other is easier.
Krishnamurti: You see I am terribly interested in this. How has
the mind of Krishnamurti maintained this state of innocence?
P: What you are saying is not relevant. You may be an
exception. How did the boy Krishnamurti come to it? He had
money, organization, everything and yet he left everything. If I
were to take my grand-daughter and leave her with you and she
had no other companion but you, even then she would not have it.
Krishnamurti: No, she would not have it. (pause) Wipe out all
this. P: When you say that, it is like the Zen koan; the goose being
out of the bottle. Did you have a centre to wipe away?
P: So you had no centre to wipe away? You are unique and
therefore you are a phenomenon, and so you cannot tell us you did
this and so it happened. You can only tell us «This is not it» and
whether we drown or not, no one else can tell us. We see this. We
may not be enlightened, but we are not unenlightened. Krishnamurti: I think it is tremendously interesting – to see that
anything that thought touches is not the real. Thought is time.
Thought is memory. Thought cannot touch the real.
TRADITION AND REVOLUTION DIALOGUE 5
NEW DELHI 19TH DECEMBER 1970 ‘THE
FIRST STEP IS THE LAST STEP’
Questioner P: Yesterday, while you were on a walk, you said the
first step is the last step. To understand that statement, I think we
should investigate the problem of time and whether there is such a
thing as a final state of enlightenment. The confusion arises
because our minds are conditioned to think of illumination as the
final state. Is understanding or illumination a final state?
Krishnamurti: You know, when we said that the first step is the
last step, were we not thinking of time as a horizontal or a vertical
movement? Were we not thinking of movement along a plane? We
were saying yesterday, when we were walking, if we could put
aside height, the vertical and the horizontal altogether, and observe
this fact that wherever we are, at whatever level of conditioning, of
being, the perceiving of truth, of the fact, is at that moment the last
I am a clerk in a little office, with all the misery involved in it;
the clerk listens and perceives. The man listens and at that moment
really sees. That seeing and that perception is the first and the last
step. Because, at that moment he has touched truth and he sees
something very clearly.
But what happens afterwards is that he wants to cultivate that
state. The perception, the liberation and the very perception
bringing about liberation; he wants to perpetuate, to turn it into a
process. And therefore he gets caught and loses the quality of
perception entirely. So, what we are saying is that any process involves finality. It is
a movement from the horizontal to the vertical; the vertical leading
to a finality. And therefore we think that perception, liberation is a
finality; a point which has no movement. After all, the methods,
the practices, the systems imply a process towards a finality.
If there were no conceptual idea of finality, there would be no
P: The whole structure of thought is built on a horizontal
movement and therefore any postulation of eternity has to be on
the horizontal plane.
Krishnamurti: We are used to reading a book horizontally.
Everything is horizontal – all our books.
P: Everything has a beginning and an ending.
Krishnamurti: And we think the first chapter must inevitably
lead to the last chapter. We feel all the practices lead to a finality;
to an unfoldment. It is all horizontal reading. Our minds, eyes and
attitudes are conditioned to function on the horizontal and at the
end, there is a finality. The book is over. You ask if truth or
enlightenment is a final achievement; a final point beyond which
there is nothing?
P: From which there can be no slipping back. I might for an
instant perceive, and the quality of that, I understand. A little later,
thought arises again. I say to myself «I am back in the old state». I
question whether that «touching» had any validity at all. I put a
distance, a block between myself and that state – I say, if that were
true, thought would not arise.
Krishnamurti: I see; I perceive something that is extraordinary;
something that is true. I want to perpetuate that perception; give it a continuity so that perception – action continues throughout my
daily life. I think that is where the mistake lies. The mind has seen
something true. That is enough. That mind is a clear, innocent
mind, which has not been hurt. Thought wants to carry on that
perception through the daily acts. The mind has seen something
very clearly. Leave it there. The next step is the final step. The
leaving of it is the next final step. Because my mind is already
fresh to take the next final step. In the daily movement of life, it
does not carry over. The perception has not become knowledge.
P: The self as the doer in relation to thought or seeing has to
Krishnamurti: Die to the thing that is true. Otherwise it becomes
memory, which then becomes thought, and thought says how am I
to perpetuate that state. If the mind sees clearly, and it can only see
clearly when the seeing is the ending of it, then the mind can start a
movement where the first step is the last step. In this there is no
process involved at all. There is no element of time. Time enters
when, having seen it clearly, having perceived it, there is a carrying
over and the applying of it to the next incident.
P: The carrying over is the not seeing or perceiving.
Krishnamurti: So, all the traditional approaches which offer a
process must have a point, a conclusion, a finality and anything
that has a finality, a final point, is not a living thing at all.
It is like saying there are many roads to the station. The station
Is truth a finality that once you have achieved it, everything is
over – your anxieties, your fears and so on? Or does it work totally
differently? Does it mean that once I am on the train, nothing can happen to me? Does it mean that I expect the train will carry me to
my destination? All these are horizontal movements.
So a process implies a fixed point. Systems, methods, practices
all offer a fixed point and promise man that when he achieves it, all
his troubles are over. Is there something which is really timeless?
A fixed point is in time. It is in time because you have postulated
it. Because there has been thinking over of the final point, and the
thinking of it is time. Can one come upon this thing which must
have no time, no process, no system, no method, no way?
Can this mind which is so conditioned horizontally, can this
mind, knowing that it lives horizontally, perceive that which is
neither horizontal nor vertical? Can it perceive for an instant?
Can it perceive that the seeing has cleansed and end it?
In this is the first and the last step because it has seen anew.
Your question is, is such a mind ever free of trouble? I think it
is a wrong question. You are still thinking in terms of finality,
when you put that question. You have already come to a
conclusion, and so are back again into the horizontal process.
P: The subtlety of it is that the mind has to ask fundamental
questions but never the «how».
Krishnamurti: Absolutely. I see very clearly; I perceive.
Perception is light. I want to carry it over as memory, as thought,
and apply it to daily living and therefore I introduce duality,
So I say how am I to go beyond it? All systems offer a process,
a fixed point and the ending of all trouble.
Perceiving is light to this mind. It is not concerned with
perception any more because if it is concerned, it becomes memory. Can the mind, seeing something very clearly, end that
perception? Then, here the very first step is the last step. The mind
is fresh to look. To such a mind, is there an end to all troubles? It
does not ask such a question. When it happens, it will see. See
what takes place. When I ask the question «Will this end all
trouble?» I am already thinking of the future and therefore I am
caught in time.
But I am not concerned. I perceive. It is over. I see something
very clearly – the clarity of perception. Perception is light. It is
over. Therefore the mind is never caught in time. Because I have
taken the first step, I have also taken the last step each time.
So we see that all the processes, all the systems, must be totally
denied because they perpetuate time. Through time you hope to
arrive at the timeless.
P: I see that the instruments used in what you are saying are the
fact of seeing and listening. These are sensory movements. It is
through sensory movements that conditioning also comes into
being. What is it that makes one movement totally dissolve
conditioning and another to strengthen it?
Krishnamurti: How do I listen to that question? First of all, I do
not know. I am going to learn. If I learn in order to acquire
knowledge, from which I am going to act, that action becomes
mechanical. But when I learn without accumulating – which means
perceiving, hearing, without acquiring – the mind is always empty.
Then what is the question?
Can the mind which is empty ever be conditioned and why does
it get conditioned? A mind which is really listening, can it ever be
conditioned? It is always learning, it is always in movement. It is not a movement from something towards something. A movement
cannot have a beginning and an ending. It is something which is
alive, never conditioned. A mind that acquires knowledge to
function is conditioned by its own knowledge.
P: Is it the same instrument which is operating in both?
Krishnamurti: I do not know. I really do not know. The mind
which is crowded with knowledge sees according to that
knowledge, according to that conditioning.
P: Sir, seeing is like switching on light. It has no conditioning in
Krishnamurti: The mind is full of images, words, symbols.
Through that, it thinks, it sees.
P: Does it see?
Krishnamurti: No. I have an image of you and I look through
that image. That is distortion. The image is my conditioning. It is
still the same vessel with all the things in it, and it is the same
vessel which has nothing in it.
The content of the vessel is the vessel. When there is no
content, the vessel has no form.
P: So it can receive «what is».
Krishnamurti: Perception is only possible when there is no
image. That is very simple. You see, to go back, perception is only
possible when there is no image – no symbol, no idea, word, form,
which are all the image. Then perception is light. It is not that I see
light. There is light. Perception is light. So perception is action.
And a mind which is full of images cannot perceive. It sees
through images and so is distorted.
What we have said is true. It is logically so. I have listened to this. In the factor of listening there is no «I». In the factor of
carrying it over, there is the «I». The «I» is time’
TRADITION AND REVOLUTION DIALOGUE 6
NEW DELHI 21ST DECEMBER 1970 ‘ENERGY
Questioner P: Science and yoga both maintain that when a living
organism is exposed to tremendous energy there is a mutation. This
happens when there is excessive exposure to radiation – it may lead
to a mutation in the genes. It also happens according to yoga, when
thought is placed in consciousness before the fire of energy. Do
you think this has meaning in terms of what you are teaching?
B: Radiation brings deformity. There can be destructive
mutation. A laser beam pierces steel and flesh. It has the power to
destroy as well as to heal.
Krishnamurti: What would you say is human energy? What is
energy in human beings? Let us keep it very simple.
P: Energy is that which makes movement possible.
B: Energy is at different levels. There is the energy at the
physical level. Then the brain itself is a source of energy; it sends
out electrical impulses.
Krishnamurti: All movement, radiation, any movement of
thought, any action is energy. When does it become intense? When
can it do the most astonishing things? When can it be directed to
do incredible things?
P: When it is not dissipated. When it is brought into focus.
Krishnamurti: When does that happen? Does it happen in anger,
hatred, violence? Does it happen when there is ambition, when
there is tremendous desire? Or does it happen when a poet has the
urge, the vitality, the energy to write? P: Such energy crystallizes and becomes static.
Krishnamurti: We know this form of energy. But the energy we
know does not bring about a change in the human mind. Why?
This energy becomes intense when there is fulfilment in action.
When does it move to a different dimension? An artist or a
scientist, using his talent, intensifies energy and gives expression to
it. But the quality of his mind, of his being, is not transformed by
P. We are missing something in all this.
Krishnamurti: You are asking whether there is a quality of
energy which transforms the human mind? That is your question.
Now, why does it not take place in the artist, in the musician, in the
writer? P.: I think it is because their energy is one-dimensional.
Krishnamurti: The artist still remains ambitious, greedy, a
S: Why do you say that greed would come in the way of energy
operating? Man may be ambitious but he is also good. These are
the elements which structure his self.
Krishnamurti: We are asking why, when man has that energy,
that energy does not bring about a radical change?
P: Man has energy to operate in his environment. But there are
large areas of his being where there is no movement of energy.
Krishnamurti: Man uses energy, operates fully in one direction,
and in the other he is dormant. Energy is dormant in one part of his
existence, and in the other part it is active.
P: Even man’s sensory instruments are utilized partially.
Krishnamurti: He is a fragmentary human being. Why does this
division take place? One fragment is tremendously active, the other does not function at all. One fragment is ordinary, bourgeois, petty.
When do these two fragments coalesce to become harmonious
energy? An energy which is not fragmented? An energy which
does not function fully at one level while at another level its
voltage is low?,
P: When the sensory instruments operate fully.
Krishnamurti: When does this take place? Do they operate
completely when there is a tremendous crisis?
P: Not always, Sir. The action of crisis can also be partial; you
can jump when you see a snake but you can jump into a bush of
Krishnamurti: When does the fragment cease to be a fragment?
Are we not thinking in terms of movement, in terms of action, in
terms of change? We have accepted the movement to be, the
movement of becoming. We have accepted fragmentation. The
movement of becoming is always a movement in fragments. Is
there a movement which does not belong to these categories? See
what happens if there is no movement at all.
P: I have always found it difficult to understand this question of
yours. The nature of the very question suggests the other, the
S: One really does not know the dormant movement.
Krishnamurti: At the beginning we said there was
fragmentation. One fragment is very alive and the other is not
B: The energy of the artist, the whole of his being, operates one-
dimensionally. There is non-awareness.
Krishnamurti: I am not at all sure. One fragment is alive. You are saying the other fragment is not aware of itself at all.
P: The artist paints, he also has an affair with a woman. He does
not see these actions as fragments.
Krishnamurti: We have gone beyond that. We see he is
fragmented. He operates in fragments – one is active and the other
is dormant. In that dor- mancy there is action going on. One is very
active and the other is action in a minor key. We see this.
Now the question is, can this energy heighten to bring about a
mutation in the brain cells?
P: Can it take the sluggish part along and alter its very structure
so that there is a transformation in both?
Krishnamurti: I may be a great sculptor. A part of me is
dormant. You ask, can there be a mutation not only in the dormant
but also in that energy which goes into the making of the sculptor?
The question is, am I willing to accept that I may cease to be a
sculptor? Because that may happen. When I go into this problem of
a change in the very brain cells themselves, it is possible I may
never be a sculptor. But it is very important for me to be a sculptor.
I do not want to let that go.
P: Let us leave the sculptor. Here we are in front of you and you
say, look, this change in the structure of the brain cells may be the
ending of all the talent, of all significant action. We accept what
Krishnamurti: That is right. If you are prepared to let go, then
what takes place? Which means, you let go the talent, the
fulfilment, the perpetuation of the «me». Now when does this
mutation in the brain cells through energy take place?
You see, where energy is being dissipated through talent and through other channels, energy is not completely held. When this
energy has no movement at all, then I think something happens,
then it must explode.
I think then the quality of the brain-cell itself changes. That is
why I asked why we are always thinking in terms of movement?
When there is no movement inwardly or outwardly, when there
is no demand for experience, no awakening, no seeking, no
movement of any kind, then energy is at its height. Which means,
one must negate all movement. When that takes place, energy is
completely quiet, which is silence.
As we said the other day, when there is silence, then the mind is
transforming itself. When it is completely fallow, when nobody is
cultivating it, then it is quiet like the womb.
The mind which is the vessel of movement, when that
movement has no form, no «me», no vision, no image, it is
In it there is no memory. Then the brain cells undergo a change.
The brain cells are used to movement in time. They are the
residue of time and time is movement; a movement within the
space which it creates as it moves. When the mind sees this, when
it sees the futility of all movement in the sense of time, then all
So when the mind denies totally all movement, therefore all
time, all thought, all memory, there is absolute quietness, not
Therefore, the question is not how to bring about mutation, but
to enquire into the structure of the brain cells. The realization that
any movement from the brain cells gives continuity to time itself, puts an end to all movement. Movement is always in the past or in
the future – movement from the past through the present to the
future. That is all we know and we want change in this movement.
We want the movement, and yet we want change in this
movement, and therefore the brain cells continue. (Pause)
It is amazingly simple. I do not know if you see this. We all
want to complicate it. Any effort to stop movement is contradiction
and therefore, time, and therefore no change at all. The seekers
have all talked of a higher movement, the hierarchical movement.
The question is, can the mind deny to itself all movement?
You see, as you watch your brain, there is the centre which is
completely quiet and yet listening to everything that is going on –
the bus, the birds. We want to stop the noise outside but keep on
with the inner noise. We want to stop outer movement but carry on
with the inner movement.
When there is no movement, there is tremendous focus of
So mutation is the understanding of movement and the ending
of movement in the brain cells themselves.
TRADITION AND REVOLUTION DIALOGUE 7
NEW DELHI 25TH DECEMBER 1970 ‘THE
OBSERVER AND»WHAT IS»‘
Questioner P: The problem of duality and its ending cannot be
understood unless we go into the nature of the thinker and thought.
Can we discuss this?
Krishnamurti: How do the Hindu thinkers, the Advaita
philosophers deal with this problem?
P: Patanjali’s Yoga-sutras postulate a state of liberation which
has anchors, and a state of liberation which is without anchors. In
the one, the thinker is the prop; it is a state where the thinker has
not ceased. In the other, there is a state where everything including
the thinker has ceased.
The Buddhist talk of kshana vada, time as instant, total and
complete in itself where the thinker has no continuity. The Advaita
philosophers talk of the cessation of duality and the attainment of
non-duality. They go through a dualistic process to attain this non-
dual state. Sankara approaches this state of non-duality through
negation (neti, neti). Nagarjuna, the Buddhist philosopher’s
negation is absolute; if you say there is God, he negates it; if you
say there is no God, he negates it. Every statement is negated.
B: Buddha says what exists is the «Solitude of Reality». You are
the result of your thoughts.
P: They have all talked about non-duality – the Buddha,
Sankara, Nagarjuna. But non-duality has become a concept. It has
not affected the structure of the mind itself. In India for centuries
the negative approach has been discussed, but it has not affected the human mind. The brain cells have remained dualistic; they
operate in time and are caught in time. Though negation and the
non-dual have been posited, there is no clue to apprehend these
states. Why has non-duality not affected the mind of man? Can we
go into it to see whether we can discover that which will trigger the
B: All other developments – scientific, technological – have
affected the minds of people. Man has discovered the non-dualistic
state but it has not affected his mind nor his life.
S: If every experience leaves a mark on the brain cells, what is
the impact of the state of non-duality, of oneness? Why is a
mutation not taking place in the relationship between the thinker
and the thought?
P: Is the mechanism which records the technological, the same
mechanism which «sees, perceives»?
Krishnamurti: The technological cell, the recording cell and the
perceptive cell –
P: And they seem to form the «ego».
Krishnamurti: The technological and the recording fragment –
these two make up the ego. Not the perceptive.
P: I am including «perceiving» also. The recording is concerned
with both – the technological and perception.
Krishnamurti: It may be a verbal explanation.
P: The core of man never seems to get affected. The basic
essential duality between the thinker and thought continues.
Krishnamurti: Do you think there is basically a duality or only
«what is», the fact?
P: When you, Sir, ask a question like that, the mind stands still and one says «yes, it is so». Then the query starts – am I not
separate from S, from B? Though the mind says «yes», it also
queries a split second later. The moment you asked the question,
my mind became still.
Krishnamurti: Why not stay there?
P: The query arises.
Krishnamurti: Why? Is it habit, tradition, the very nature of the
operation of the self, the conditioning? All that may be due to the
cultural imposition to survive, to function and so on. Why bring
that in when we are looking at the fact – whether there is duality
which is basic?
P: You say it may be a reflex action of the brain cells?
Krishnamurti: We are the result of our environment, of our
society, We are the result of all our interactions. That is a fact also.
I am asking myself is there a basic duality at the very core, or does
duality arise when I move away from «what is»? When I do not
move away from the basic non-dualistic quality of the mind, the
thinker there, has he a duality? He thinks. Does the thinker create a
duality when he is completely with «what is»?
I never think when I look at a tree. When I look at you, there is
no division as the «me» and «you». Words are used for linguistic
and communicative purposes. The «me» and «you» are somehow
not rooted in me. So, where does the thinker arise separate from
thought? Mind remains in «what is». It remains with pain. There is
no thinking of non-pain. There is the sense of suffering. That is
«what is». There is no feeling of wanting to be out of it. Where
does duality arise? Duality arises when the mind says, «I must be
rid of pain. I have known states of non-pain and I want to be in a state of non-pain» (Pause). You are a man and I am a woman. That
is a biological fact. But is there a psychological dualism? Is there a
basically dualistic state or only when the mind moves away from
There is sorrow. My son is dead. I do not move away. Where is
the duality? It is only when I say I have lost my companion, my
son, that duality comes into being. I wonder if this is right? I have
pain – physical or psychological grief. They are all included in
pain. A movement away from it, is duality. The thinker is the
movement away. The thinker then says this should not be; he also
says there should not be duality.
First see the fact that the movement away from «what is», is the
movement of the thinker who brings in duality. In observing the
fact of pain, why should there be a thinker in that observation? The
thinker arises when there is a movement, either backwards or
forwards. The thought that I had no pain yesterday – in that duality
arises. Can the mind remain with the pain, without any movement
away from it, which brings in the thinker?
The mind is asking itself how this dualistic attitude towards life
arises? It is not asking for an explanation of how to go beyond it. I
have had pleasure yesterday. It is finished. (Pause). Is it not as
simple as that?
P: Not really.
Krishnamurti: I think it is. You see, this implies non-
comparative observation. Comparison is dualistic. Measurement is
dualistic. There is pain today, there is the comparison with the non-
pain of tomorrow. But there is only one fact: the pain which the
mind is going through now. Nothing else exists. Why have we complicated this? Why have we built tremendous philosophies
round al1 this? Are we missing something? Is it that the mind does
not know what to do and therefore moves away from the fact and
brings duality into being? If it knew, would it bring about duality?
Is the «what to do» itself a dualistic process? Do you understand?
Let us look at it again. There is pain – physical or psychological.
When the mind does not know what to do in the non-dualistic
sense, it escapes. Can the mind caught in the trap, the backward
and the forward movement, can it deal with «what is» in a non-
dualistic way? Do you understand? So we are asking, can pain, the
«what is», be transformed without dualistic activity? Can there be a
state of non-thinking, in which the thinker does not come into
being at all; the thinker who says «I had no pain yesterday and I
will not have it tomorrow»?
P: See what happens to us. What you say is right. But there is a
lack of something within us; it may be strength, energy. When
there is a crisis, the weight of that crisis is sufficient to plunge us
into a state where there is no movement away from the crisis; but
in everyday life, we have «little» challenges.
Krishnamurti: If you really understood this, you would meet
these little challenges.
P: In everyday life, we have the chattering, erratic movement of
the thinker operating with its demands. What does one do with
Krishnamurti: I do not think you can do anything with it. That is
the denial. It is irrelevant.
P: But that is very very important. That is what our minds are –
the erratic part. One does not have the capacity to negate that. Krishnamurti: Listen, there is noise outside. I cannot do
anything about it. P: When there is a crisis, there is contact. In
normal living there is no contact. I go out. I can look at a tree and
there is no duality. I can see colour without duality. But there is the
other, the non-stopping, erratic no-sense part that is continuously
chattering. The thinker starts operating on it when it sees it
functioning. The great negation is to let it alone.
Krishnamurti: Settle the primary factor – to observe pain
without moving away from it – that is the only non-dualistic state.
P: Let us speak of the chattering mind instead of pain, because
that is the fact at this moment. The noise of that horn, the
chattering mind, that is «what is».
Krishnamurti: You prefer this and do not prefer that and thereby
begins the whole circle.
P: The central point is the observation of «what is» without
moving away. The moving away creates the thinker.
Krishnamurti: Because the noise, the chattering which was the
«what is», has gone, has faded away but the pain remains. Pain has
not gone. To go beyond pain non-dualistically; that is the question.
How is it to be done? Any movement away from «what is», is
dualistic because in that there is the thinker operating on «what is»,
which is the dualistic.
Now can one observe «what is», which is the dualistic? To
observe «what is», without the dualistic movement taking place,
will that transform «what is»? Do you understand my question?
P: Is it not really a dissolution of «what is»? That which was
Krishnamurti: I know only «what is», nothing else. Not the cause.
P: That is so. One can see that when there is no movement away
from pain, there is a dissolution of pain.
Krishnamurti: How does this happen? Why has man not come
to this? Why has he fought pain with a dualistic movement? Why
has he never understood or delved into pain without the dualistic
movement? What happens when there is no movement away from
pain? Not what happens to the dissolution of pain but what
happens to the mechanism that operates? It is simple. Pain is the
movement away. There is no pain where there is only listening.
There is pain only when I move from the fact and say this is
pleasurable, this is not pleasurable. My son dies. That is an
absolute, irrevocable fact. Why is there pain?
P: Because I loved him.
Krishnamurti: Look what has already happened unconsciously.
I loved him. He has gone. The pain is the remembrance of my love
for him. And he is no more. But the absolute fact is he is gone.
Remain with that fact. There is pain only when I say he is no more,
which is when the thinker comes into being and says, «my son is no
longer there, he was my companion,» and all the rest of it.
S: It is not merely the memory of my son who is dead which is
pain. There is loneliness now.
Krishnamurti: My son is dead. That is a fact. Then there is the
thought of loneliness. Then there is my identification with him. All
that is a process of thought and the thinker. But I have only one
fact. My son is gone, loneliness, the lack of companionship,
despair, are all the result of thought, which creates duality; a
movement away from «what is». It does not need strength or determination not to move. The determination is dualistic.
There is only one thing, which is the fact and my movement
away from the fact, from «what is». It is this that breeds bitterness,
callousness, lack of love, indifference, which are all the product of
thinking. The fact is my son is gone.
The complete non-perception of «what is» breeds the thinker,
which is dualistic action; and when the mind falls again into the
trap of dualistic action, that is «what is; remain with that – for any
movement away from that is another dualistic action. The mind is
always dealing with «what is» as noise, no noise. And «what is»,
the fact, needs no transformation because it is already «the
beyond». Anger is «what is». The dualistic movement of non-anger
is away from «what is». The non-movement from «what is», is no
longer anger. Therefore, the mind – once it has perceived, once it
has had non-dualistic perception – when anger arises again, does
not act from memory. The next time anger arises, that is «what is».
Mind is always dealing with «what is». Therefore, the dualistic
concept is totally wrong, fallacious.
P: This is tremendous action. The dualistic action is non-action.
Krishnamurti: You have to be simple. It is the mind that is not
clever, that is not cunning, that is not trying to find substitutes for
dualistic action, that can understand. Our minds are not simple
enough. Though we all talk of simplicity, that simplicity is of the
The non-dual means really the art of listening. You hear that
dog barking – listen to it, without a movement away from it.
Remain with «what is». (Pause) The man who remains with «what
is» and never moves away from it, has no marks. P: And when marks take place, to see that they take place. One
act of perception removes the mark.
Krishnamurti: Quite right. That is the way to live.
TRADITION AND REVOLUTION DIALOGUE 8
NEW DELHI 26TH DECEMBER 1970 ‘THE
BACKWARD FLOWING MOVEMENT’
Questioner P: I would like to ask you about the backward flowing
movement, a state in which there is a drawing in of sight, hearing
and the energies of sex. In the Yoga-sutra, there is a word
‘parivritti’, which denotes the state where thought turns back upon
itself. Is there such a state as the drawing in of the outward flowing
senses and of thought turning back on itself?
Krishnamurti: Like a glove taken inside out? Are you saying
that thought looking at itself, or swallowing itself, is the backward
P: What is meant by the word, the content of the word, is a
matter of experience.
Krishnamurti: You are asking, is there a state in which hearing,
seeing and the sensual energies draw themselves into one and there
is a moving backwards? What do you mean by backwards?
Are you saying that the hearing, the seeing and the sensual
energies are with drawing without outer propelling?
P: The normal movement of the eyes, ears and the sensual
energies is an outer movement, linked with object. Can there be a
freeing of the senses from object and a drawing-in of the senses?
Krishnamurti: I wonder if in the drawing in, the no hearing, no
seeing and the sensual energy not expanding, there is not a state
where there is the hearing of sound, the seeing everything and yet a
state of total quiet, a state of being withdrawn, a state where there
is no desire. P: It is not suppression of desire.
Krishnamurti: Is there a state where there is the hearing of
sound, the eyes seeing, objects existing, and yet there is no
sensuous desire? I think there is such a state. A state where there is
sensation, yet there is no desire. Not that one has become old, lost
vitality but there is no desire – desire being the seeing, touching,
sensation and out of that sensation, the wanting to possess.
P: What happens to the process of hearing when there is no
Krishnamurti: Do you hear that siren? There is the vibration of
sound and the interpretation that takes place when you hear the
siren. Now can you listen to it without any movement of memory
as thought? Can you hear only the sound? Can there be no image,
no naming, no interpretation? Can there be only sound? That is all.
And the sound is out of silence. Because the activity of thought has
come to an end, there is a hearing of sound out of emptiness. And
in the same way can there be a seeing out of emptiness? I see you, I
see that bottle; there is no image, no association or movement of
thought because there is no image formation. So out of real
emptiness, quietness, there is a seeing. Is that what you mean by
withdrawing the senses?
P: I am questioning out of the texts. In China and in India, the
withdrawing was considered important.
Krishnamurti: It is simple. Are you asking, can you look at a
woman or a man or a beautiful object without desire, fulfilment or
reaction? It is easy.
P: It is easy for you. See our difficulty.
Krishnamurti: I see a beautiful woman, car, child, furniture and so on. Can it be observed without any movement for acquiring or
discarding? It is very simple. It is the same for seeing and listening.
I think they are one movement, not separate movements.
Though the instruments of perception and hearing are separate,
they are all one movement.
P: Desire existed before God; even before man came into being.
The biological urge, the impetus is based on desire. How can you
take desire which has its own propelling force and say it has no
Krishnamurti: Let us be clear. I see a beautiful car, a really
beautiful car –
P: Let us say I fall passionately in love. I am torn, ravaged by
that desire. Can I see that person without desire operating?
Krishnamurti: What is it you are trying to ask?
P: Is there an actual withdrawal of sensory perception?
Krishnamurti: I wonder if we mean the same thing?
P: The car and may be even the woman can be looked at
without naming. But we are loaded with questions, with problems
of naming. It is not simple.
Krishnamurti: I wonder if the problem of naming is not related
P: Sir, a child is not exposed to knowledge and yet naming is a
natural reaction. I am questioning the nature of this inward
Krishnamurti: I am not sure I understand what you are trying to
say. There is withdrawing of sensory desires and fulfilment. Why
do you use the word «inward»?
P: There are practices to delve deep. With eyes and ears closed, you can delve deep inwardly. Is there any validity to delving?
Krishnamurti: Yes definitely.
What you call delving in is to shut your eyes, to shut your ears;
in that state is there a delving or is there a cessation of all
movement, which appears as though you were delving in? When
you really close your eyes and ears, there is no movement within or
without, as desire demanding fulfilment with all its frustrations;
when that does not take place, there is complete quietness. The
moment you use the word «delving in», that implies duality.
P: You hear that horn. To you is there no sound at all in it?
P: It is quite extraordinary. To you there is no sound. When you
close your ears, is there no inner sound, separate from you? We
hear an inner sound, a volume of it which is within us. Do you not
hear it? (Krishnamurti closes his eyes and ears.)
Krishnamurti: No. But one must be clear. When the eyes are
closed, one generally sees spots. If one observes those spots, they
P: Is there not an expansion, a contraction?
Krishnamurti: Nothing. When I close my eyes, there is
absolutely no movement of any kind.
P: That means your whole consciousness is different. When I
close my eyes, so many patterns are there. To you there is no
movement of sound or pattern.
Krishnamurti: That is why I want to go into this question of
knowledge. This person has not read the Yoga-sutras and the
religious books, and to him there is only a complete emptiness.
P: It is not because he has not read any religious books. Krishnamurti: There is no interference of knowledge.
P: The same phenomenon will not happen to anyone who is
ignorant of religious literature. It cannot happen to a communist.
Krishnamurti: It is knowledge as pattern that interferes. Pattern
is created by knowledge, experience. When there is no retention of
knowledge, then what is there? There is absolute quietness – eyes,
ears and desire – no movement. Why do you make this out as
something special? The man who is caught in association, idea,
thoughts, in patterns, such a man does not have an empty mind.
P: What you say is valid. There are many times when what you
say is valid within me.
Krishnamurti: My point is, those people who spoke of inward
movement, were they aware of its dualistic nature?
P: They must have been aware. The Yoga-Sutras say that the
seer is nothing more than the instrument of seeing. They make an
absolute statement like that.
Krishnamurti: Probably the man who saw, perceived the reality
said the seer and the seeing are one. Then the followers came along
and made theories without experiencing the state.
I cannot separate the observer from the observed. When I close
my eyes, there is no observer at all. Therefore, there is no inward
movement as opposed to the outward movement.
P: Do you see yourself as a person?
Krishnamurti: If you mean the body – yes. As an ego, as a
person talking on the platform, walking, climbing the hill – no.
P: The sense of existence, the sense of «I am; does it operate in
you? Krishnamurti: One of the things I have never had is the sense
of the «I». Never. P: «I exist» is the central core in all of us. It is the very fabric of
Krishnamurti: The peripheral expressions of Krishnamurti
appear to be a person.
But at the centre there is no person. I really do not know what it
means. You are asking, is there in you a centre, the «I am», the
sense of «I am». No. The feeling of «I am» is not true.
P: It is not as obvious as that. But the sense of existence, the
core of the ego within us, is unexplored. There is something which
holds it together and as long as it remains, what you are saying –
the no centre – has no validity for us.
Krishnamurti: There is no movement of the past as the «me» in
the centre, in the person. One has to go into this very carefully. As
we said the other day, the first step is the last step. The first
perception is the last perception and the ending of the first
perception is the new perception. Therefore, there is a total gap
between the first perception and the second perception. In that
interval, there is no movement of thought. There would be the
movement of thought when the memory of the first perception
remains, not when it is over. Can the mind not empty itself of
every perception? Can it not die to every expression, and when it
does, where is the root of the «I am»? When the mind is that, is
there any movement of pattern taking place? When eyes, ears and
desire are non-existent as movement towards or away from
something, then why should the mind have any pattern? The seeing
is the seer, in that there is no duality, but those who make that
statement into an axiom do not experience it and therefore it
remains a theory. P: The Sutras say there are many types of liberation. Liberation
is by birth. Some men are born that way. That is the highest form
of liberation. Then there is liberation by drugs which is part of
witchcraft; then liberation through the asanas, then liberation
through breath control, then liberation by understanding.
I have always felt that you have never been able to explain to us
how liberation happened to you.
Was your mind like ours and it underwent mutation? If so, then
there is a possibility of seeing for oneself and transforming the self.
But even that is not relevant. I see that another’s seeing cannot help
me to see. What I see is my own. One has to leave it there. One
cannot probe further.
Krishnamurti: As you said, liberation is divided between those
born liberated and those liberated through drugs, through yoga,
through breath control and understanding. These are just
explanations of a very simple fact.
P: Your mind is not like ours, that is a simple fact.
Krishnamurti: There are all these categories – drugs, breathing
and the enormous effort involved in understanding – but I do not
think it works that way at all.
P: I am not concerned with what the books say. I am very
concerned when my mind chatters. In the moment of perceiving, I
see that a certain withering away has taken place in me. But I am
not free of the desire to end this chattering.
Krishnamurti: Do you really want to end it?
Krishnamurti: Why does it not end? You see, it is very
interesting. There is no ending to chattering. P: That is what my mind refuses to see; that there is no action to
Krishnamurti: Why? Do you want to go into it?
Krishnamurti: First, why do you object if your mind chatters? If
you want to end chattering, then the problem starts. Duality is the
desire to end «what is». Why do you object to it? Noises are going
on, buses are passing, crows are cawing. Let chattering go on. I am
not going to resist it. I am not going to be interested in it. It is
there. It means nothing.
P: This is your magnitude. If you ask me what is the greatest
thing in your teaching, it is this. To say to oneself, to the chattering
mind, leave it there. No teacher has said this before.
Krishnamurti: Which means the peripheral influence has no
meaning at the centre.
P: All teachers have talked of putting an end to chattering, to the
Krishnamurti: Do you not see when chattering does not matter,
it is finished? It is strange how it works. I think this is the central
thing which the professionals have missed. Would you say from
the point of view of the guru that he is concerned only with the
P: No. He is concerned with the central change. To you there is
no difference between the centre and the periphery. Within the so-
called centre there is the first and the last step. The gurus would
say get rid of the peripheral chattering.
Krishnamurti: When the sun is shining, you cannot do anything
about it. When it is not there, what are we to do? (Pause) We do not see. (Pause) What will man make of the statement «let it
chatter»? The fact is there is no duality and the observer is the
observed at all times. The noise of the periphery is the noise of the
observer. When the observer is not, the noise is not. When there is
resistance, the observer comes into existence. Can one really see
that the seer is the seeing and not accept that statement as an
axiom, as an interpretation? But we see that the professionals have
made that into a slogan.
Is there liberation for the man who takes drugs, who takes to
breathing in and out, for years? It may lead to a distorted mind.
And the man who analyses and wants to understand, do you think
he will find liberation? So if you deny all that, it is there on a silver
platter. It is offered. Never repeat anything. Never say anything
you do not know, which you have not lived. That brings a
tremendous aloneness which is pure, crystal clear.
TRADITION AND REVOLUTION DIALOGUE 9
NEW DELHI 27TH DECEMBER 1970 ‘TIME AND
Questioner P: The key to your teachings appears to be in the
understanding of time. The human mind, the structure of the brain
cells have come to their present state with an in-built sense of time
– as the yesterday, the today and the tomorrow. It is along this axis
that the mind sustains itself. You appear to explode this process, to
break through and therefore give the mind a new state of time.
How is the time cycle to end? (Pause)
What is your concept of time? The Buddha talks of the endless
cycle of births and deaths, which is the yesterday, the today and the
tomorrow, and the liberation from this cycle.
Krishnamurti: What is time to you? Is it the movement of the
past through the present to the future; not only in space and time,
but also inwardly from the yesterday, to today and tomorrow? Or is
time that which is invo1ved in covering physical or psychological
distance; the time to achieve, to fulfil, to arrive? Or is time an
ending as death? Or is time the memory of a pleasant or unpleasant
happening; time to learn a technique or time to forget? All these
involve time. Time is not a concept.
P: We know time as a sense of duration, as clock time.
Krishnamurti: Time as duration, a process, a continuity and an
ending. There is not only physical time by the watch but also the
psychological inward time. Time by the watch is very clear – going
to the moon requires clock time. Is there any other time?
P: We see time by the clock, the sun setting and rising. Psychological time is not different from that. If physical time has
validity, my stating that I shall be tomorrow also has validity, not
only physically but psychologically. All becoming is related to the
Krishnamurti: All becoming is not only clock time but also the
desire to become.
P: The latter is possible only because there is tomorrow.
Krishnamurti: That means, you think if there was no physical
time, there would be no psychological time.
P: I question the distinction you draw between the two – the
physical and psychological time.
Krishnamurti: I go to Madras; that needs time as today and the
tomorrow. We can also see that because there is time – as
yesterday, today and tomorrow – one will be different, one will
change one’s character, one will become so-called perfect.
P: It is easy to see that time does not bring perfection. But the
nature of the movement of thought, the sprouting, is a projection in
time. I question the distinction you make.
Krishnamurti: I know that physical time exists. Even if I do not
think about tomorrow, there would be tomorrow. Why am I sure
that there will be a tomorrow apart from the chronological time?
It is fairly clear. This evening I will be going for a walk and
between now and the walk there is an interval of ten hours. In the
same way I am something and I want to be something else. In that
also there is time involved. I am asking myself if there is such time
at all. If I do not think about the walk, or about my becoming
something else, is there time?
P: Certain measurements have to be made. Krishnamurti: I need only physical measurement, no
psychological measurement. I do not have to say I will become
that; I will fulfil; I will achieve my ideal. All that involves time. If
it does not enter my consciousness, where is time? It is only when I
want to change this into that, there is time. I have no such desire.
P: So long as there is desire for improvement, a change for the
better, which to me is a fact, there is validity to the sense of time.
Krishnamurti: That is, two years ago, I did not do my exercises
properly. In two years, I have learnt, improved. I apply the same
kind of argument to an inward process, which is, I say I am this
and I will improve in two years time.
I know only physical time and I do not know any other time.
And why do you have any other time except the physical; any other
time except the chronological? Why?
You see, what is really involved is movement – the movement
of improvement; the putting together involves time, both physical
Is there any other movement except the movement of thought?
And thought is time – thought which says I have been and I will
become. If thought functioned only in the movement of the
physical, is there any other time? If there is no psychological
being, psychological ending, is there time? We always associate
physical time with psychological time, and therefore say: «I will
be». The verb «to be» is time.
Now what happens when you do not want to do anything, one
way or the other?
P: What would have happened if man did not have this
movement of becoming as time? Krishnamurti: He would have been destroyed. So the movement
of becoming was a movement of protection.
P: Then the movement of protection as time is necessary.
krishnamurti: Agreed, protection against fire. But is there any
other form of protection? P: Once you admit protection against
fire, the other protection is of the same nature.
Krishnamurti: If the psychological is non-existent, is there need
P: What you say is true. If the other is non-existent there is
nothing to protect. But we see that there is the other.
Krishnamurti: You accept that there is the other. You take it for
granted that there is. But is there the «other»? I need only physical
protection – food, clothes and shelter. Physical protection is
absolutely necessary. And nothing else. Physical protection
involves time. But why should there be protection about something
which may not exist at all? How can you protect me
psychologically? And that is what we are doing. We are doing
something to protect that which does not exist and we therefore
So, psychologically there is no tomorrow but there is tomorrow
because I need food.
P: If one sees that, in that is there the ending of time?
Krishnamurti: This is it. (Pause.) Shall we investigate further?
Consciousness is made up of content. Content makes
consciousness. They are not separate. The content is made up of
time. Consciousness is time and that we are trying to protect.
And we are using time to shield time as a conditioned state. We
are trying to protect that which has no existence. If we look at the content of consciousness, we find memories,
fears, anxieties, the «I believe», the «I do not believe`’, which are all
the product of time. And thought says this is the only thing I have,
I must protect it, shield it against every possible danger. What is it
that thought is trying to protect? Is it words? Dead memories? Is it
a formula or a movement; the formula which encourages
movement; which makes it move from here to there? Is there such
movement except as an invention of thought?
The movement of thought which is born of memory, though it
thinks of freedom is still of the past. Therefore, it cannot bring
about radical change. Therefore, it is deceiving itself all the time.
When you see that, is there time at all which needs self-protection?
If one really understood this, then one’s whole activity would be
entirely different. Then I would protect only the physical and not
P: Would that not mean a state of emptiness inside; a
meaningless emptiness inside?
Krishnamurti: If I only protect the physical and nothing else,
obviously it is like a glass which is being protected. Therefore, one
is frightened of being empty, of meaningless emptiness. But if one
sees the whole thing, there is an emptiness which is tremendously
S: Does time have a point at all, at which there is an impact?
How does one know the texture of time?
Krishnamurti: We live between regret and hope. If there is no
movement, psychological movement backwards or forwards, then
what is time?
Is it height, which again means measurement? If there is no measurement, no movement, no backward or forward movement,
no height and depth, actually no movement at all, is there time?
And also, why do we give such extraordinary importance to time?
P: Because time is age, decay, deterioration.
Krishnamurti: Follow it up. Time is decay. I see this body,
young and healthy, getting older, dying, the whole mechanism
unwinding. That is all I know. Nothing else.
P: The mind also deteriorates.
Krishnamurti: Why not? It is part of the decaying process. I
brutalize the mind to achieve, to succeed, which are all factors of
unnatural deterioration. Then what have I left? The body grows
old. I have regrets – I cannot walk up the hill any more. The whole
psychological struggle comes to an end and I am frightened. So I
say «I must have a next life.»
P: Does age diminish the capacity to see, to perceive?
Krishnamurti: No, if you have not spoilt it by scars, memories,
P: If not?
Krishnamurti: Then you are going to pay for it.
P: Then there is no redemption.
Krishnamurti: At any point the first step is the last step.
P: So time can be wiped out at any point.
Krishnamurti: Anyone who says let me be aware of this whole
movement and perceives totally for one second, the mind becomes
young again for that second. Then the mind carries that over and
P: The carrying over is karma,karma is also time.
Krishnamurti: There is past action, present action and future action. Cause is never a static thing. There are so many things
happening. The effect becomes the cause. So there is a constant
movement undergoing change all the time.
P: Karma in itself has validity.
Krishnamurti: I plant the seed, it will grow up. I plant the seed
in the woman and the child grows.
P: So psychological time has existed as karma. It has reality.
Krishnamurti: No. Is it the real? When you look, it ceases. Let
us look at this question of cause and effect. I plant a seed in the
earth and it grows. If I plant an acorn, it cannot grow to be
anything but the oak.
P: I do a certain action. The seed is already planted. That will
have its effect.
Krishnamurti: There I can change the effect. I plant the seed.
What the seed is, the bush will be, or the tree will be. I cannot
S: Can the effect be changed in psychological action?
Krishnamurti: Yes, of course. You have hit me for whatever
reason – either hit physically or used words. Now, what is the
response from me? If I hit you back, the movement continues. But
if I do not react when you hit me, then what happens? Because
there is observing, watching, I am out of it.
P: I understand at that level. I set a movement in motion. I
observe. The process has ended. That act affects another. It is
going to affect others.
Krishnamurti: It will affect your family, the world around you,
P: The causation, action and reaction arising out of that action are in a sense independent of my action.
Krishnamurti: The wave goes on.
P: If that is so, that is karma. A certain energy has been
released. It will work itself out unless it meets other minds which
Krishnamurti: The wave can only end when both of us see it at
the same level at the same time with the same intensity. This
means love. Otherwise you cannot end it.
TRADITION AND REVOLUTION DIALOGUE 10
NEW DELHI 28TH DECEMBER 1970 ‘DYING
Questioner P: There must be a way of learning how to die. To
know how to die is of tremendous importance to each one of us.
Krishnamurti: How do the traditionalists and the professionals –
and by the professionals I mean the gurus, the Sankaracharyas, the
Adi Sankaracharyas, the yogis – how do they answer this question?
P: Tradition divides life into various stages. There is
Brahmacharya, a stage of celibacy, when as a student, the boy
learns from a guru. The second stage is that of Grihastha, where
man gets married, has children, seeks accumulation of wealth and
so on. He also supports the sannyasi and the children and thereby
supports society. In the third stage, the Vanaprastha, man walks out
of the pursuit of worldly things and faces the stage of preparation
for the final one which is Sannyasa, in which there is a giving up of
name-home identity – a symbolic donning of the saffron robe.
There is also a belief that at the moment of death, all man’s past
comes into focus. If his karma as actions within this life have been
good, then that which is the last thought which remains with him at
the time of death, continues. That is carried over into the next life.
They also speak of the essential need for the mind to be quiet at the
time of death, for the quenching of karma, for the mind to be fully
awake at the moment of death.
Krishnamurti: Will a traditional man go through all this or is it
just a lot of words?
P: Generally, Sir, the orthodox Hindu has the Gita chanted at the time of death so that his mind cuts itself away from the
immediacy of family, fear, wealth, etc. This does not answer my
question. How is the individual to learn how to die?
Krishnamurti: Take a leaf in the spring – how delicate it is and
yet it has extraordinary strength to stand the wind; in summer it
matures and in autumn it turns yellow and then it dies. It is one of
the most beautiful things to see. The whole thing is a movement of
beauty, of the vulnerable. The leaf that is very very tender,
becomes rich, takes shape, meets summer and then when autumn
comes it turns gold. There is never any sense of ugliness, never a
withering away in mid summer. It is a perpetual movement from
beauty to beauty. There is fullness in the spring leaf as well as in
the dying leaf. I do not know if you see that.
Why cannot man live and die that way? What is the thing that is
destroying him from the beginning till the end? Look at a boy of
ten or twelve or thirteen – how full of laughter he is. By forty he
becomes tough and hard, his whole manner and face change. He is
caught in a pattern.
How does one learn to live and die, not just learn to die. How
does one learn to live a life in which death is a part; in which the
ending, the dying, is an innate part of living?
P: How is dying an innate part of life? Dying is something in
the future, in time.
Krishnamurti: That is just it. We put death beyond the walls,
beyond the movement of life. It is something to avoid, to evade,
not to think about.
The question is what is living and what is dying. The two must
be together, not separate. Why have we separated the two? P: Because death is a totally different experience from life. One
does not know death.
Krishnamurti: Is it? My question is why have we separated the
two; why is there this vast gulf between the two? What is the
reason why human beings divide the two?
P: Because in death, that which is manifest becomes non-
manifest. Because both in birth and in death there is an essential
mystery; an appearance and a disappearance.
Krishnamurti: Is that why we separate the two – the appearance
of the child and the disappearance of the old man? Is that the
reason why man has separated life from death? The organism
biologically comes to an end – birth, adolescence and death – the
young appearing and the old disappearing. Is that the reason? You
are saying the reason for division is because there is a beginning
and an ending; there is birth, childhood, maturity and death. Is that
the basic reason for the fear of death? There is obviously a
beginning and an ending. I was born, I will die tomorrow – there is
a beginning and an ending. Why do I not accept that?
P: In death is involved the cessation of the «me» – of all that I
have experienced. The final cessation of the «me» takes place.
Krishnamurti: Is that the reason for the inward division? That
does not seem to be the entire reason why man has divided life
P: Is it because of fear?
Krishnamurti: Is it fear that makes me divide the living and the
dying? Do I know what living is and what dying is?
Krishnami1rti: Do I know the joy, the pleasure, that is life and do I regard dying as the ending of that? Is that the reason why we
divide a movement called living and the movement called death?
The movement which we call living, is it living? Or is it merely a
series of sorrows, pleasures, despairs? Is that what we call living?
P: Why do you give it special meaning?
Krishnamurti: Is there any other form of living? This is the lot
of every human being. Man is afraid that this with which he had
identified himself will come to an end. So he wants a continuity of
this thing called life, never of ending. He wants a continuity of his
sorrows, of his pleasures, miseries, confusions, conflicts. He wants
the same thing to go on, that there never be an ending. And the
ending of all that, he calls death. So now what is the mind doing in
this? The mind is confused; it is in conflict, in despair. It is caught
in pleasure, in sorrow. The mind calls that living and the mind does
not want it to come to an end because it does not know what would
happen if it ended. Therefore it is frightened of death.
I am asking myself, is this living? Living must have quite a
different meaning than this.
P: Why? Why should it have a different meaning?
Krishnamurti: Living is fulfilment, frustration, and all that is
going on. My mind is used to that and has never questioned
whether that is living. My mind has never said to itself why do I
call this living? Is it a habit?
P: I really do not understand your question.
Krishnamurti: After all I must ask the question.
P: Why should I ask?
Krishnamurti: My life, from the time I am born till I die is one
eternal struggle. P: Living is acting, seeing, being: the whole of that is there.
Krishnamurti: I see beauty, the sky, a lovely child. I also see
conflict with my child, with my neighbours; life is a movement in
conflict and pleasure.
P: Why should I question that? The mind questions only when
there is sorrow, when there is a lot of pain.
Krishnamurti: Why not ask when you have pleasure? When
there is no pleasure there is pain.
P: Sir, life is not a series of crises. Crises of pain are few. They
are rare occasions.
Krishnamurti: But I see this is happening in life. I see it
happening and therefore question this division of living and dying.
P: You do but others do not. We see there is a division; it is a
fact to us.
Krishnamurti: At what level, at what depth, with what
significance are you making this statement? Of course it is a fact. I
am born and I will die. Then there is nothing more to be said.
P: It is not enough. The very fact we have asked how to learn to
Krishnamurti: I say learn also how to live.
P: And I have listened. I have not asked that question to myself.
Krishnamurti: Learn how to live. Then what happens? If I learn
how to live, I also learn how to die. I want to learn how to live. I
want to learn about sorrow, pleasure, pain, beauty. I learn. Because
I am learning about life I am learning about death. Learning is an
act of purification, not the acquiring of knowledge. Learning is
purgation. I cannot learn if my mind is full. The mind must purgate
itself to learn. Therefore the mind when it wants to learn has to empty itself of everything that it has known, then it can learn.
So there is the living which we all know. There has to be first of
all a learning about this daily living. Now, is the mind capable of
learning, not accumulating? Without understanding what is implied
in the first act of learning, can it learn? What is implied? When I
do not know, then my mind, not knowing, is capable of learning.
Can the mind not know so that it can learn about living – living in
which there is sorrow, agony, confusion, struggle? Can it come to
it in a state of not knowing and so learn? Such a mind capable of
learning about life is also capable of learning about death.
What is important is not the learning about something, but the
act of learning. The mind can only learn when it does not know.
We approach life with knowledge of life – with knowledge of
cause, effect, karma. We come to life with the sense of the «I
know», with conclusions and formulas and with these we fill the
mind. But I do not know about death. So I want to learn about
death. But I cannot learn about death. It is only when I know
learning that I will understand death. Death is the emptying of the
mind, of the knowledge which I have accumulated.
P: There can be learning of living in the learning about death.
Deep down in human consciousness there is this nameless fear of
ceasing to be.
Krishnamurti: The nameless fear of not being. The being is the
knowing that I am this, that I am happy, that I had a marvellous
time. In the same way I want to know death. I do not want to learn,
I want to know. I want to know what it means to die.
P: So that I am free of fear.
Krishnamurti: If I do not know how to drive a car, I am frightened. The moment I know, it is over. Therefore my knowing
about death is in terms of the past. Knowledge is the past, so I say I
must know what it means to die so that I can live. Do you see the
game you are playing upon yourself, the game which the mind is
playing upon itself?
The act of learning is something different from the act of
knowing. You see, knowing is never in the active present. Learning
is always in the active present. The learning about death – I really
do not know what it means. There is no theory, no speculation that
will satisfy me. I am going to find out, I am going to learn in which
there is no theory, no conclusion, no hope, no speculation, but only
the act of learning; therefore there is no fear of death.
To find out what it means to die, learn.
In the same way I really want to know what living is. So I must
come to living with a fresh mind, without the burden of
knowledge. The moment the mind acknowledges it knows
absolutely nothing, it is free to learn. But there is noth- ing to learn.
There is absolutely nothing to learn except the technological
learning how to go to the moon. Freedom of learning about what –
the thing that I have called living, the thing that I have called death.
I do not know what it means. Therefore there is living and dying all
the time. There is no death when the mind is completely free of the
known – the known being the beliefs, the experiences, the
conclusions, knowledge, the saying I have suffered and so on.
Intellectually we have carved life out beautifully according to
our conditioning. To achieve God «I must bc celibate», «I must
help the poor,» «I must take a vow of poverty.»
Death says you cannot touch me. But I want to touch death; I want to shape it into my pattern.
Death says you cannot touch me, you cannot play tricks upon
me. The mind is used to tricks – the carving something out of
Death says you cannot experience me.
Death is an original experience in the sense that it is a state I
really do not know. I can invent formulas about death – the last
thought is that which manifests itself – but they are other people`s
thoughts. I really do not know. So I am starkly frightened.
Therefore can I learn of living and therefore of dying?
So deny knowing – see what takes place. In that there is real
beauty, real love, the real thing takes place.
TRADITION AND REVOLUTION DIALOGUE 11
NEW DELHI 29TH DECEMBER 1970 ‘BEAUTY
Questioner P: Where is the resting place of beauty? Where does it
reside? Obviously, the outer manifestations of beauty are
observable; the right relationship between space, form and colour
and between human beings. But what is the essence of beauty? In
Sanskrit texts three factors are equated – the Truth, the Good, the
Beautiful – Satyam, Sivam, Sundaram.
Krishnamurti: What are you trying to find out? Do you want to
find out the nature of beauty? What do the professionals say?
P: Traditionalists would say – Satyam, Sivam, Sundaram. The
artist today would not differentiate between the seemingly ugly and
the seemingly beautiful, but would regard the creative act as the
expression of a moment, of a perception that gets transformed
within the individual and finds expression in the action of the artist.
Krishnamurti: You are asking what is beauty, what is the
expression of beauty, and how does the individual fulfil himself
through beauty? What is beauty? If you started as though you knew
nothing about it, what would your reaction be? This is a universal
problem with the Greeks, the Romans and with modern people. So
what is beauty? Does it lie in the sunset, in a lovely morning, in
human relationship, in the mother and the child, husband and wife,
man and woman? Does it lie in the beauty of an extraordinarily
subtle movement of thought and the beauty of clear perception? Is
that what you call beauty?
P: Can there be beauty also in the terrible, the ugly? Krishnamurti: In murder, in butchery, in throwing bombs, in
violence, in mutilation, torture, anger, in the brutal, violent,
aggressive pursuit of an idea, in wanting to be greater than
somebody – is there beauty in that?
P: In all these acts there is no beauty.
Krishnamurti: What is beauty if a man hits another?
P: In the creative act of the artist who interprets the terrible, like
the Guernica of Picasso, is there beauty?
Krishnamurti: So we have to ask what is expression, what is
creativeness. You are asking what is beauty? It lies in a sunset, in
the clear light of the morning, the evening, the light on the water,
relationship and so on. And does beauty lie in any form of
violence, including competitive achievement? Is there beauty per
se: and not in how the artist expresses himself? A child tortured
can be expressed by the artist, but is it beauty? P: Beauty is a
Krishnamurti: The «I» which sees is relative, conditioned and is
First of all, what is beauty? Is it good taste? Or has beauty
nothing whatsoever to do with all this? Does beauty lie in
expression and therefore fulfilment? Therefore the artist says I
must fulfil myself through expression. An artist would be lost
without expression which is part of beauty and self-fulfilment.
So before we go into all that, what is the inwardness, the
feeling, the subtlety of the word `beauty’, so that beauty is truth and
truth is beauty?
Somehow through expression we try to find beauty in
architecture, in a marvellous bridge – the San Francisco Golden Bridge or the bridge over the Seine – in the modern buildings of
glass and steel and the gentleness of a fountain. We seek beauty in
museums, in a symphony. We are always seeking beauty in the
expression of other people. What is amiss in a man who is seeking
P: The expressions of other people are the only sources of
beauty that are available to us.
Krishnamurti: Which means what?
P: In seeing the bridge a certain quality arises within me which
we call beauty. It is only in the perception of something beautiful
that the quality of beauty arises in many individuals.
Krishnamurti: I understand that. I am asking, is beauty in self-
P: One has to start with what exists.
Krishnamurti: Which is other people’s expression. Not having
the perceptive eye, the strange inward feeling of beauty, I say how
beautiful that picture is, that poem, that symphony. Remove all
that, the individual knows no beauty. Therefore he relies for his
appreciation of beauty on expression, on object, on a bridge or a
Does beauty demand expression, especially self-expression?
P: Can it exist independent of expression?
Krishnamurti: Perception of beauty is its expression; the two are
not separate. Perception, seeing, acting – perceiving is expressing.
In that there is no time interval at all. Seeing is doing, acting. There
is no gap between seeing and doing.
I want to see the mind that sees, where seeing is acting; I want
to observe the nature of the mind that has this quality of seeing and doing. What is this mind?
It is essentially not concerned with expression. Expression may
come but it is not concerned. Because expression takes time – to
build a bridge, to write a poem – but the mind which sees, the mind
to which perceiving is doing, to such a mind there is no time at all,
and such a mind is a sensitive mind.
Such a mind is the most intelligent mind. And without that
intelligence there beauty?
P: What is the place of the heart in this? Krishnamurti: Do you
mean the feeling of love?
P: The word «love`’ is a loaded term. If you are still, there is a
strange feeling; a movement takes place from this region of the
heart. What is this? Is this necessary or is it a hindrance?
Krishnamurti: This is the most essential part of it. There is no
perception without that. Mere intellectual perception is no
perception. Mere action of intellectual perception is fragmentary,
whereas intelligence implies affection, the heart. Otherwise you are
not sensitive. You cannot possibly perceive. Perceiving is acting.
Perceiving, acting without time is beauty.
P: Do the eyes, heart, do they operate at the same time in the act
Krishnamurti: Perception implies complete attention – the
nerves, the ears, the brain, the heart, everything, is at the highest
quality. Otherwise there is no perceiving.
P: The quality, the fragmentary nature of sensory action is that
the whole organism does not operate at the same time.
Krishnamurti: The whole thing – the brain, the heart, nerves,
eyes, ears, are never completely in attention. If they are not, you cannot perceive.
So what is beauty? Does it lie in expression, in fragmentary
action? I may be an artist, an engineer, a poet. The poet, engineer,
artist, scientist, are fragmentary human beings. One fragment
becomes extraordinarily perceptive, sensitive and its action may
express something marvellous, but it is still a fragmentary action.
P: When the organism perceives violence, terror or ugliness,
what is that state?
Krishnamurti: Let us take violence in its multifarious forms, but
why are you asking that question?
P: It is necessary to investigate this.
Krishnamurti: Is violence part of beauty, is that what you are
P: I will not put it that way.
Krishnamurti: You see violence. What is the response of a
perceptive mind in the sense in which we are using the word
«perceptive» to every form of destruction, which is part of
I got it. Is violence an act which is totally perceptive, or is it a
P: It is not clear; it is not that.
Krishnamurti: You brought in violence. I want to investigate
violence. Is violence the act of a totally harmonious perception?
Krishnamurti: So you are saying it is a fragmentary action, and
fragmentary action must deny beauty.
P: You have inverted the situation.
Krishnamurti: What is the response of a perceptive mind when it sees violence? It looks at it, investigates it and sees it as a
fragmentary action, and therefore it is not an act of beauty. What
happens to a perceptive mind when it sees a violent act? It sees
P: As such, to you the nature of the mind does not change?
Krishnamurti: Why should it change? It sees «what is». Go a
P: The seeing of «what is», does it change the nature of «what
is»? There is perceiving. There is violence which is fragmentary.
The perceiving of that, does it change the nature of violence?
Krishnamurti: Wait a minute. You are asking what is the effect
of the perceiving mind when it observes violence?
P: You said it sees «what is». Does it alter «what is»? The
perceiving mind, observing violence and seeing «what is», the very
act of seeing, does it act on violence, changing its nature?
Krishnamurti: Are you asking whether the perceiving mind
seeing the act of violence, of «what is» asks what shall I do? Is that
P: Such a mind does not do, but there must be action from the
perceiving mind changing the nature of the act of the other.
Krishnamurti: The perceiving mind sees a violent act. Such an
act is fragmentary. What action can there be by the perceiving
P: The perceiving mind sees violence on the part of X. Seeing is
Krishnamurti: But what can it do?
P: I would say if the perceiving mind acts, it must change the
violence in X. Krishnamurti: Let us get this clear. The perceiving mind sees
another acting violently. To the perceiving mind, the very seeing is
the doing. That is one fact. Perception is doing. This perceiving
mind sees X in violence. What is the action involved in that seeing
– stop violence?
P: All those are peripheral actions. I am saying that when a
perceiving mind is confronted with an act of violence, the very act
of perceiving will alter the action of violence.
Krishnamurti: There are several things involved. The perceiving
mind as it walks along sees an act of violence. The man who is
acting violently may respond non-violently, because the perceiving
mind is near him, close to him, and suddenly this happens,
P: One comes to you with a problem – jealousy. What happens
in an interview with you when a person comes to you who is
In the very act of perceiving, the confusion is not.
Krishnamurti: Obviously it happens because of contact. You
have taken the trouble to discuss violence and something happens
because of direct sharing together of the problem. There is
communication, sharing. That is simple. You see a man far away
acting with violence. What is the action of the perceiving mind
P: There must be tremendous energy from a perceiving mind.
That must have some action.
Krishnamurti: It may act. You cannot be certain of that as you
can be close- ness. The other may wake up in the middle of the
night, he may be aware of the strange response coming later,
depending upon his sensitivity. It may be due to the perceiving mind and its impact, whereas this close communication is different.
It does change.
Let us come back. You were asking what beauty is. I think we
can say the mind which is not fragmentary in itself, which is not
broken up, has this beauty.
P: Has it any relationship to sensory perception if you close
your eyes, your ears……
Krishnamurti: It is independent of that. When you close your
ears, eyes, there is no fragmentation and so it has this quality of
beauty, of sensitivity. It is not dependent on external beauty. Put
the instrument of such a mind in the middle of the noisiest city.
What takes place? Physically it gets affected but not the quality of
the mind, which is not fragmented. It is independent of the
surroundings, therefore does not concern itself with expression.
P: That is the aloneness of it.
Krishnamurti: Therefore beauty is aloneness. Why is there this
craving for self-expression? Is that craving part of beauty, whether
it is the craving of a woman for a baby, a husband for sexuality in
that moment of tenderness, or the artist craving for expression?
Does the perceptive mind demand any form of expression? It
does not, because perceiving is expressing, is doing. The artist, the
painter, the builder finds self-expression. It is fragmentary and
therefore its expression is not beauty.
A mind that is conditioned, which is fragmentary, expresses that
feeling of beauty, but it is conditioned. Is that beauty? Therefore,
the self which is the conditioned mind, can never see beauty, and
whatever it expresses must be of its quality.
P: You have still not answered one aspect of the question. There is such a thing as creative talent; the ability to put together things
in a manner which gives joy.
Krishnamurti: The housewife baking bread, but «not in order
to». The moment you do that you are lost.
P: Creating joy.
Krishnamurti: Not because of something else. The speaker does
not sit on the platform and speak because he gets joy.
The source of water is never empty. It is always bubbling,
whether there is pollution or the worship of water; it is bubbling, it
Most people who are concerned with self-expression have self-
interest. It is the self which makes for fragmentation. In the
absence of self, there is perception. Perception is doing and that is
I am sure the sculptor who carved the Mahesha Murti at
Elephanta created it out of his meditation. Before you put your
hand to a stone or a poem, the state must be of meditation. The
inspiration must not be from the self.
P: The tradition of the Indian sculptor was that.
Krishnamurti: And the petty, the little, the big painter are all of
that category – of self-expression.
Beauty is total self-abandonment and with total absence of the
self there is «that». We are trying to catch «that» without the
absence of the self and creation then becomes a tawdry affair.
TRADITION AND REVOLUTION DIALOGUE 12
MADRAS 3RD JANUARY 1971 ‘THE PARADOX
Questioner S: In physics we have certain unsolved problems. If the
world is fully causal, then you cannot change anything. If the
world is not fully causal, you cannot find any laws for such a
world. Either the world is causal or not. Of course, if you think of
cause and effect as one single entity, if all the world is one and
there is no separation into pieces, then of course there is no cause
If the whole universe is physical and suffers physical laws, then
you have no choice. In a purely physical thing, there is no option.
Even if the soul or whatever it is, is different from the kind of
things that we are talking about, it still has no special significance
if it is subject to physical laws. You cannot say that there is no
cause-effect relationship because it is not natural. You cannot also
accept cause and effect because there is no control over it and so
what is the point in saying it? This is the paradox. What is the way
out of this paradox?
Krishnamurti: Are you talking of karma?
S: No. The physical universe is closed. There is no movement
here at all.
Krishnamurti: All this implies time, does it not? That is,
anything put together, horizontal or vertical, is time. Cause and
effect are in time. Cause becoming effect and the effect being the
cause, are all within the field of time. Whether I move my hand up
this way or that, whether the movement is linear or vertical – all these are in within the field of time. Are you asking, Sir, can we
move out of time?
S: No. The experience of a physical law is within time. One
does not ask questions within that law and what option does one
Krishnamurti: None at all. Within the prison you can operate,
but it is always within the field of time, cause-effect and effect-
cause are within the field of time. Memory, experience, knowledge
are within time and thought is the response of all that. If I have no
memory, I cannot think; I will be in a state of amnesia. And
thought is the response of memory. Thinking is within the field of
time because it is put together through experience, knowledge,
memory and memory is part of the brain cells.
So thought can never move out of the field of time, because
thought is never free. Thought is always old. Between the intervals
of two thoughts, one may come upon something new and translate
it in terms of time. There is a gap between two thoughts. In that
interval there might be a different perception and the translation of
that perception is time, but the perception itself is not of time.
S: I have several questions to ask here.
Krishnamurti: Go slow. Otherwise living in time there is
nothing new. Living in time, thought which is put together, when
thought tries to investigate something beyond time, it is still
thought. So, as long as thought and time are within the field, it is a
prison; I can think it is freedom but it would be merely a
conception, a formula. It is like a man who is violent and pretends
he is non-violent, and the whole ideological conception in this
country of being non-violent and violent at the same time is a pretension.
So, as far as thought functions, it must function within the field
of time. There is no escape from it at all. I can pretend I am
thinking outside time, but it is still within time. Thought is old,
whether it is the atman, the super ego, it is all part of thought.
S: Where is the way out of the paradox?
Krishnamurti: The intellect, thought functions there. And we are
trying to find an answer here as a physicist, biologist,
mathematician, as a bourgeois or as a sannyasi.
S: But there are laws in physics.
Krishnamurti: Of course there are. This is anyhow a madhouse
and we are trying to find an answer within this. This is a fact. I
have to accept it as it is. Then my question is, is there an action
which is not of this? Here all action is fragmentary. You are a
religious man, I am a scientist. In this everything is in a state of
S: Fragmentation carries laws.
Krishnamurti: Of course, but these laws have not solved human
problems. Apart from physics you are a human being. Take the
problem as it is, that human beings live in fragments, that society is
broken up. There is fragmentation. And thought is responsible for
S: Thought is also responsible for all the other things.
Krishnamurti: Surely. The priests, the inventions, the
discoveries, the Gods, the yogis, everything. So that is what
actually is. The problem is how we live here and find something
else. You cannot. The question is not how to integrate the various
fragments, but how is it possible to live without fragmentation? S: To the extent to which it is possible, you have no questions.
At that point it ceases to be physics. At that level I am no longer a
Krishnamurti: Of course. You are first a human being, a non-
fragmentary human being. Your action can then be a non-
S: For the non-fragmented person physics does not exist.
Krishnamurti: What is the importance of an artist?
S: He transports people into states which they themselves are
not able to reach. Still fragmentary, but different.
Krishnamurti: Being fragmented, he needs self-expression and
the self is part of the fragmentation. So would you deny the artist
his function? Now the physicist is important. But he does not come
before the universe, the human heart, the human mind. He is as
important or not important as the artist.
S: There is a difference in the quality. The artist is usually non-
Krishnamurti: The artist is clear in his feeling, but the
expression goes wrong because he is conditioned to objectivism,
non-objectivism and all that. So, can I live in this world non-
fragmentarily; not as a Hindu, Buddhist, Christian, communist, but
as a human being?
S: Why not just live; why the word «human»?
Krishnamurti: The way we live is not human at all. It is a battle
– country, wife, children, the boss – we live that way. We are at war
with each other. If you call that living, I say that is not it. This
perpetual struggle is not living.
S: Life is not a perpetual struggle all the time. Krishnamurti: But most of the time it is. The window is closed.
S: But why the word «human»?
Krishnamurti: Sir, I did not use the word «individual». You
know the meaning of the word «individual» – one who is
indivisible. Man is not. So one realizes this fact of fragmentation,
time and the constant battle for position, power, prestige, success,
domination and the effort to escape from all this to reach
enlightenment through the mantra, through yoga. How is this
everlasting chattering, that is going on all the time, to come to an
end? Is it at all possible not to be fragmented? How is it possible
for the brain cells themselves to be quiet, because that is the
mechanism of time, because that is being put together slowly over
years. That is what we call evolution. That is the central question.
S: And that is rightly so. You bring the problem back to
physics, because physics talks about the external universe but it
does not talk about brain cells. If you had only a fragment of
reality, then you do not accept it as consistent. If it is consistent,
then it is fiction. Could the fragment be self-consistent?
Krishnamurti: I would put it this way. I would suggest, is it
possible for a human being to be a physicist and be self-consistent
without fragmenting himself?
I see time is the central factor. Thought is the response of
memory, thought is time.
S.: For the experiencer…
Krishnamurti: The experiencer is the experienced, the observer
is the observed. The observer is over there and looks at it. There is
space and time. The observer separates himself through
conclusions, images, formulas, etc., and so creates space and time, and this is one of the major fragmentations.
Can the observer look without the observed who is the maker of
time, space, distance? After all, Sir, how do you discover anything,
say, as a physicist?
S: I am peculiar, I invent them.
Krishnamurti: There must be a period in which the inventor is
Krishnamurti: If he is constantly in movement, there is
continuity. There must be a break. In that he sees something new.
The observer sees through the image and it is continued in time.
And so he cannot see anything new. If I look at my wife with the
image of years, and I call that relationship, there is nothing new in
So is it possible to see something new without the observer?
The observer is time. Can I look at «what is», the fragmented
without the observer that is time? Can there be a perception
without the perceiver?
S: There is no perception without the perceiver, but the
perceived is sort of waiting to be perceived.
Krishnamurti: The tree is there all the time without the
perceiver, and the perceiver is looking at it through fragmentation,
through the censor. Can the censor be absent and yet be observed?
S: Certainly not. Perception is a single act. There is no
possibility of breaking it up.
Krishnamurti: Who is the censor? Who is the perceiver? Who is
using the verb «to perceive»?
S: When you are perceiving, you do not talk about the perceiver.
Krishnamurti: I look at the tree with knowledge. Can the
observer observe without the past? Who is the thinker, the
S: When you perceive, you do not need all this.
Krishnamurti: There is the tree. Can I look at it without the
Krishnamurti: There is only that. Then the perceiver comes into
operation. So the image-maker can look without the image.
Otherwise you cannot invent.
S: We were talking about communication. If time itself is the
product of thinking, then how can thinking be imprisoned in time?
Then what makes time common to all people?
M: Different people have the same notion of time.
Krishnamurti: I wonder if they do.
M: Can it be answered?
Krishnamurti: Why do you want a concept of time? You look at
the watch, you have no concept about it.
S: The idea of time as movement is associated with the watch.
Krishnamurti: Within the rising and setting of the sun, there is
numerical time, but is there any other psychological, inward time?
S: There is another time when you think of action in the future.
Krishnamurti: So time is the movement of the past through the
present to the future. That is time. S: Time is part of thought.
Krishnamurti: Time is thought. Time is sorrow.
S: How can thought transcend itself? What is the significance of
saying that thought cannot transcend itself? Krishnamurti: But it is all the time trying it. Let me put it this
way. What is the validity of time? I have to go from here to there,
from this house to the other house, from one continent to another
continent; I will be a manager of this factory – all that involves
time, which is being put together, in sequence or not in sequence.
S: There is a great limitation to this. Time is single but
experiences are not single. Time is one dimensional: one string
with beads collected on it. Experience connected together gives
you an impression of time, but time itself is one dimension, a
single string. You can think of different strands and scales of time.
They are a string of time. The connectivity of things can be
complex. We do not experience the multiple connectivity of it. We
can, of course, experience several things together; for example, I
am listening to you, part of my mind may be thinking of something
else, I may be shaking my toe; because my understanding is
functioning, I watch all that. I see a series of pictures but I do not
Krishnamurti: That means the self is absent.
S: There is no single self.
Krishnamurti: That is, there is no centre.
S: There is no centre which has time in it.
Krishnamurti: That means in oneself there is no fragmentation
at all. At the very core of one’s being, there is no fragmentation.
S: Put that way, one sees there is a state in which there is no
Krishnamurti: Can one find out a quality in which there is no
fragmentation, which means the ending of thought; thought breeds
fragmentation, which is time? Look, Sir, when you go through the world there are separate
actions – social, political, communal, the hippy action – all
fragmented. Is there an action which is not fragmented but which
will cover all that?
S: When you use the word «action», action is associated with
Krishnamurti: I mean the active present.
S: Yes, it is.
Krishnamurti: It means there is a quality of mind in which there
is no fragmentation at all. It is active present all the time.
What relationship has all this with love? What is the
relationship between me, you and the artist? I think that is the core
of relationship. Love has been reduced to sex and all the morality
round it. If love is not there, fragmentation will go on. You will be
a physicist, I will be something and we will communicate, discuss,
but they are mere words.
S: How do you communicate? There has been some
communication after you have talked. How do I understand that?
How is it that I understand it?
Krishnamurti: What does the word «communication» mean?
You and I have something in common. Common implies sharing.
S: How is it possible to share?
Krishnamurti: Wait, we are using time to communicate.
«Common» implies that both of us want to understand, examine,
share an issue together. I am not giving, you are not receiving. We
are sharing. So a relationship of sharing is established. You are not
sitting on the platform and I on the ground. What really happens
when you share a problem like sorrow in human beings? It is tremendous.
S: At the time you are sharing sorrow, after a while you do not
see the person. I can understand that with deep personal emotions,
but with an idea it is not possible.
Krishnamurti: What is the point of sharing ideas?
S: We share insights.
Krishnamurti: Which is understanding. But ideas are not
understanding. On the contrary, formulas about understanding
prevent understanding. Sir, when you share together, what takes
place? Both of us have the same intensity, at the same time, at the
same level. That is love. Otherwise there is no sharing. After all,
Sir, to understand something together, I must forget all my
experiences, prejudices, and so must you. Otherwise we cannot
Have you ever discussed with a Communist, with a Catholic?
S: I try to understand him.
Krishnamurti: But he will not understand you. That is simple.
Take Chardin. He may have travelled extensively, covered a wide
canvas, but he was fixed as a Catholic. You cannot share with a
man who is fixed. Sharing implies love. Can a man who is fixed in
a certain attitude, can he love?
S: He can have mystical experiences.
Krishnamurti: Because he is conditioned. He sees Krishna,
Christ. He sees what he wants to. The question is whether the mind
can uncondition itself? Not through time, for when the mind uses
time to undo time, it is still within time.
Real understanding is out of time.
There is so little of love, of sharing, but of the other there is plenty. (Pause)
Sir, here we ask the question what is meditation? Whether the
mind can be free of all its content because consciousness is made
up of the content?
M: Most often when you talk of understanding you think of one
individual. To have communication you must have two minds.
Also there are some thoughts which occur to me. I may later on
find out it has already occurred to other people, but are there
thoughts which arise only when two people are together?
S: M says there are situations when two people have ideas
together which neither could have got independently.
Krishnamurti: When two people come together, what takes
place? You express something verbally. I hear it, translate it and
answer it; that is verbal communication. And in that process certain
other factors enter. You do not quite know what you are saying. I
hear it, partially understand and partially answer. So
communication remains broken. If you say something very clearly
and I listen to you without any reaction, there is immediate
May I put it this way? Because I do not know what love is, I
want you to love me. I know what love is and, therefore, I can
communicate with you. I do not want anything.
But you are asking a further question and that is, is there a
necessity at all for communication; necessity in the sense that
through communication I uncover something more, I discover
something new. Like a man who plays the violin, uses the
instrument for himself or uses the instrument and there is nothing
beyond it. S: Neither for good nor evil.
Krishnamurti: Yes, like a flower – take it or leave it, because
through communication we discover something together, and
without communication can I discover something without
When you and I have a common interest, and intensity at the
same level and at the same time, then communion is possible non-
verbally. I do not have to tell you «I love you».
I think we are caught so much in words, in linguistic, semantic
enquiry. The word is not the thing. The description is not the
S: And since this high level of communication is not a
technique or a skill, the question arises, how does one learn
anything? A child is able to learn.
Krishnamurti: Is learning a process of accumulation? That is
what we do. I learn Italian, store up the words, then I speak. This is
what we call learning. Is there learning which is non-
accumulation? The two are totally different actions.
S: May I ask something? It may be totally irrelevant, but you
will understand. Is there «the other»? Are there «other» people?
Krishnamurti: It all depends upon what you mean by «the
other», «the other people».
S: Most times there is multiplicity – but there is also aloneness.
S: Since aloneness is real………………
Krishnamurti: Why do you call aloneness real and the other
unreal? We know loneliness, resistance, the dual movement of
action, defensive or aggressive action, being caught in thought, and that brings greater isolation – we and they, my party and yours.
Now can the mind go beyond isolation, beyond resistance which
means can it be completely alone? Not in the sense of isolation. It
is only then that I discover something new, that which is real.
S: I have experience of that state, but you caught me at that
point when you asked me, «why do you divide». There are two
situations. There are states when I do not see multiplicity and there
are states in which I see multiplicity. I have a feeling that the states
in which I see multiplicity are falling off.
Krishnamurti: Be careful, Sir. You are caught. Falling off – what
do you mean, that is time. Anything that you can get rid of slowly
is time, whereas the other does not involve time at all. So do not
get caught, Sir. (Pause)
So is there a perception and action without time? I see danger,
physical, and there is instant action. I do not say I will gradually
withdraw from danger. So is there a perception of this sense of
loneliness, resistance? Is there a perception, a seeing the danger of
it completely, and the very seeing is the getting rid of it?
S: If you see the whole thing completely, there is no falling off.
It is not there.
M: That is, there is no preparing for it.
S: This statement is at variance with my experience. I have
experienced timeless moments. I loved it. I have a memory of it.
Krishnamurti: Leave it alone, Sir.
S: When I hold it, then it is pleasure.
Krishnamurti: That is what it is. Pleasure is the one main ruling
TRADITION AND REVOLUTION DIALOGUE 13
MADRAS 4TH JANUARY 1971 ‘TRADITION AND
Questioner A: I was in the self-preparation group of the
Theosophical Society in 1923-24. In that group, there was a
preparation for understanding – viveka, vairagya and love. It was a
traditional approach. A change came about when you said let us
break away from organizations, from all disciplines. In the work At
the Feet of the Master, shama is translated as control of the mind
and dama as control of the body. In the traditional approach, shama
seems to have been neglected. Less attention seems to have been
given to the meaning and implication of shama and more than due
stress laid on dama. Shanti has become a one word symbol of inner
peace and it is the past-passive participle of the verb shama. So if
shama is not understood, shanti is also not understood.
Krishnamurti: What do you mean by the word «sadhana»?
J: Sadhana means discipline; to acquire.
A: You neglect shama, the process by which arising of impulses
and the subsiding of them takes place.
Krishnamurti: What do you mean by the word `process’ – from
here to there, to proceed, a movement from here to there. A
movement from here to there necessitates «sadhana». Process
A: This process of observing the ways of the mind involves
Krishnamurti: Time is involved in process, in discipline, in
order to arrive. All that implies time, time that includes space – from here to there – and that space can be covered through time.
J: Ramana says it is pathless, free of process, free of time.
A: Even when we realize that it is not good to suppress the
arising and ending of desire, that realization is still a process, and is
Krishnamurti: When we say we live in time, what do we mean
by that? What does living in time mean?
A: The mind is geared to yesterday, today and tomorrow.
Krishnamurti: Not only the mind, but the numerical time – I
come here at such and such a time. Living is within this numerical
time, chronological time. Is that all my life? Is there any other
A: There is psychological time which is created by the mind.
Krishnamurti: What do you mean by time as created by the
mind? A: The mind has a way of prolonging pleasure. My
movement in chronological time is influenced by my mind.
Krishnamurti: What is this mind?
Krishnamurti: What is memory? You were in Bangalore and
today you are in Madras. You remember Bangalore. Remembrance
of a past experience or occurrence is memory. That leaves a mark.
What is the substance on which the mark is left?
There was an experience yesterday. It has left a mark, pain or
pleasure, that is irrelevant. It has left a mark. On what has it left a
mark? Why has it left a mark? What does the word experience
Experience means to go through, to propel, to throw out. When
that experience is not completely washed out, it leaves a mark. On what does it leave the mark? There is a substance on which the
mark has to be left. What is the substance?
A: The censor.
Krishnamurti: What do you mean by the censor? I see
yesterday’s experience has left a mark. On what has it left a mark?
J: On mind which is consciousness.
Krishnamurti: Which consciousness? The content of
consciousness is consciousness. Without the content, there is no
consciousness. Content is consciousness. The two are not separate.
Find out on what memory leaves a mark.
A: That part of the mind, the brain which carries the residue.
Krishnamurti: Residue is experience. Marks are left on the brain
cells themselves. See what it has done; experience unfinished,
leaves a mark on the brain cells which hold memory. Memory is
matter. Otherwise it cannot hold and leave a mark on the brain
cells which are also matter.
See what happens, Sir. Every incomplete experience, leaves a
mark which becomes knowledge. The weight makes the mind dull.
The brain as accumulated knowledge has received information,
which is knowledge.
A: How does one cope with a challenge?
Krishnamurti: What is coping with a challenge? If you respond
according to past information, you do not know how to deal with
the new problem.
So, experience leaves a residue as memory on the brain cells,
which becomes the storehouse of knowledge. Knowledge is always
the past. So the brain cells act, respond, function according to the
information, knowledge, residue of the past. Brain is being put together through time which is the past. And so, a mind crowded
with knowledge is not a free mind.
J: Because its responses are arising out of the known.
A: At a certain level, it is essential.
Krishnamurti: Of course, half our life is that.
We see that this brain, which is put together through millennia,
lives with the experience of the present and the past, the racial past,
the familial, the personal past, and they are all weighted down
there. We call this progress. We know technological progress, from
the bullock to the jet. And the brain says that is the only way it can
function with its memories; and thought says it wants to get out of
the prison; so thought moves to the future – which is
enlightenment, which again is a movement of thought. See what
we are doing.
A: We apply the same principle of the bullock cart and the jet –
that the mind through acquired knowledge, through discipline,
through control of all desires, can move to freedom.
Krishnamurti: I do not think we are still clear. We accumulate
knowledge, which is experience, memory, and through knowledge
we try to find a way out.
Krishnamurti: The traditional approach is through knowledge.
And can knowledge bring about freedom? If it can, then discipline,
control, sublimation, suppression are all necessary, because that is
all we know. That is tradition; tradition means to carry over.
A: I see clearly it is not possible. Then why does it not stop?
Krishnamurti: I see clearly that this is a fact. It is not an
assumption, a theory. I see knowledge, which is the accumulation of centuries, is a prison and yet the mind cannot drop it.
A: This knowledge is verbal. My knowledge is based on words.
Krishnamurti: Is it verbal? I hit you. You hit me. Pain is there.
The memory of that pain is there.
You hit me; I have physical pain. The remembrance of the pain
is verbal but the pain is not verbal. Why has the mind translated the
pain into words? Watch it, Sir.
Krishnamurti: Watch it. You hit me. I have pain. That is a
physical fact. Then I remember it. The remembrance is the word.
Why has the fact become a word?
J: To give continuity.
Krishnamurti: Is it to give continuity to pain? Or continuity to
the man who has given pain?
A: He has to reap the consequences.
J: It gives continuity to the man who receives the pain.
Krishnamurti: Look. You hit me. There is physical pain. That is
all. Why do I not end it? Why does the brain say «A has hit me»? It
has already translated the pain into words. Why? Because it wants
to hit back. If it did not do that, it could say, «Yes, A has hit me» –
full stop. But the brain remembers not only pain which becomes
the psychological mark but also the man who causes the hurt.
R: Who remembers?
Krishnamurti: The cell.
A: The «I» process.
J: What is getting recorded in the cell is the image of the man
who hit. Krishnamurti: Why should I remember the man?
J: Even if I forgive him, it is the same. Krishnamurti: What happens is: I translate the fact into words,
«You hit me». The moment you hit, there is pain and the «I» which
says, «A has hit me, how could he, what have I done.» All these are
waves of words.
So your traditional approach to this problem is through
knowledge; that you must have knowledge to arrive, to achieve
freedom. And your knowledge is verbal. And I say, is that so? The
experience of being hit is knowledge.
Now what is the traditional approach to this whole problem of
pain, suffering, of being hurt? What is the traditional response?
Why has tradition maintained that knowledge is necessary as a
means to enlightenment?
A: This is oversimplification. Verbalizing of pain is one part,
but the entire field of knowledge is racial. The word is the essence
Krishnamurti: Is it?
J: It is not so.
Krishnamurti: So we have to see what knowledge is (which
comes from the word «to know»). Is it knowing, the active present,
or the having known? The active present of the word «to know» is
knowing, not having known.
A: When we talk of knowledge, it presupposes having known.
Krishnamurti: Tradition says having knowledge is essential to
freedom, enlightenment. Why has this been maintained? There
must have been people who must have questioned knowledge.
Why have the Gita, the gurus not questioned? Why did they not see
that knowledge means the past, that the past cannot possibly bring
enlightenment? Why did the traditionalists not see that discipline, sadhana have all come from knowledge?
J: 1s it because people felt that memory must be maintained?
Krishnamurti: Why did the professionals not see that knowledge
is the self? They talked everlastingly about wiping away the self.
A: So long as communication is verbal, you cannot wipe away
Krishnamurti: Do you mean to say that the professionals can
never look at anything without the word?
A: The word is compulsive, non-volitional.
Krishnamurti: You hit me. There is pain. I see that. Why should
that be built up as memory? You are not answering my question.
Why did the professionals not see the simple fact that accumulated
knowledge can never lead to freedom?
A: Some of them did see.
Krishnamurti: Why did they not act? The professionals are you,
the professionals whom you have read; therefore why cannot you
drop it? Which means you have not dropped tradition. Personally, I
see a very simple fact. You hit me. There is pain. That is all.
A: What about pleasure?
Krishnamurti: The same thing.
A: It involves an effort to drop. Krishnamurti: Then you enter
the same circus – naming, the word, which means to strengthen the
knowledge that you hit me. I do not stop there. You hit me that is a
fact. My son is dead. That is a fact. To become cynical, bitter, to
say «I loved him and he is gone» – all that is verbalization.
A: So long as the chattering of the mind goes on –
Krishnamurti: Let it chatter. Look. Fact is one thing and the
description is another. We are caught in description, in explanation but not with the fact. Why does that take place first of all? When
the house burns, I act and I must. What is action here? You have
hit me. Here there is only complete inaction, which means no
A: This happened to me when my brother died.
Krishnamurti: Then what takes place? Why do we get caught in
knowledge and make it so extraordinarily important? The capacity
to reason, argue; why has it become so important? The computers
are taking over that function. Why have the professionals been
caught in this trap?
So, can the brain cells, put together through time as knowledge,
function in knowledge when necessary, and yet be completely free
A: I have pleasure. I say «How nice, wonderful; I do not drop
Krishnamurti: I have had an affair. Pleasure is involved in it.
Then thought comes along and says I would like to repeat it.
Which is what? Affair, memory, reaction of memory as thought,
thought building images, demanding images which is part of
tradition, carrying over. I have had a pleasurable experience
yesterday. Carrying over to tomorrow is tradition.
A.: Also joy.
Krishnamurti: The moment you reduce it to pleasure, it is gone.
A: Is there only pleasure and pain or is there more in
Krishnamurti: We cannot answer that unless we understand
pain, pleasure and knowledge. The professionals have been blind
and they have made millions of people blind. The monstrosity of it! The whole of this country, the Christian world, all over it is the
The next question arises, whether the brain cells can function at
one level with complete objectivity, with sane knowledge, without
bringing the pleasure principle into it, pleasure through prestige,
status and all that? And can the brain cells also realize that freedom
is not in knowledge? That realization is freedom. How does this
J: One point here – when thought craves to die, it continues.
Krishnamurti: What would be the professional’s answer to this
question? Why does thought cling?
J: Samadhi. I stay in samadhi and come back.
Krishnamurti: There is no meaning in that. Do the brain cells
see themselves as a repository of knowledge? Does the brain cell
realize it for itself? Not as a superimposed realization, but that
when the principle of pleasure acts, then the mischief begins? Then
there is fear, violence, aggression, everything follows. A: When the
field of knowledge is distorted by pain and pleasure, then the
whole mischief starts.
Krishnamurti: Why did the traditionalists, the professionals, the
scriptures, the spiritual leaders not see this? Was it because
authority was tremendously important – the authority of the Gita,
the experience, the scriptures. Why? Why did they not see this?
Because, man is the result of all this. And so you have the man
who says I have read the Gita, I am the authority. Authority of
what? Of somebody else’s words, of knowledge?
A: We can know the various systems without being involved in
them. The tradition does bring you a certain clarity. We know how the professionals worked and how you work. You say knowledge
is entirely of the past.
Krishnamurti: Obviously. If I am tethered to a post, I cannot
A: Then why did the professionals not see it?
Krishnamurti: They were after power.
A: You do not understand. When you say they wanted power,
that is not so.
Krishnamurti: Look. What is taking place in each person? We
see something very clearly for a moment. The perception is
translated into experience as knowledge. There it is. I have seen it.
It is finished. I do not have to carry it with me. The next minute I
J: Why is there a watcher?
Krishnamurti: Look, why does the brain insist on a continuity in
knowledge? Why does the brain continue in the multiplicity of
knowledge? Why does it keep on adding, multiplying, «I did this
yesterday, she was so kind; why is this going on and on?
Look Sir, the brain cannot function healthily, sanely, if it is not
completely secure. Security means order. Without order the brain
cannot function, it becomes neurotic. Like a child it needs
complete security. When the child is secure, feels at home, it is not
frightened, then it grows up as a marvellous human being. So the
brain needs security and it has found security in knowledge. That is
the only thing it can be secure in – experience as knowledge which
acts as the future guide. So it needs security and it finds it in
knowledge, in belief, in family.
A: The traditionalists provided that security through knowledge. Krishnamurti: The mind wants security. If the professional said
I really do not I know, he would not be a professional.
A: Yet security at a certain level is essential.
Krishnamurti: One has to negate the Gita, the Bible, the guru,
the whole thing.
One has to negate totally all the constructions that thought has
put together, to wipe away and say «I do not know, I do not know a
thing.» One has to say «I will not say a thing, I do not know. I will
not repeat a thing which somebody else has said.» Then you begin.
TRADITION AND REVOLUTION DIALOGUE 14
MADRAS 5TH JANUARY 1971 ‘CONFLICT AND
Questioner A: When you say that memory is the function of the
brain cells, do the brain cells as a source of intellect have any valid
part to play in their own silencing?
Krishnamurti: We were talking yesterday of why knowledge
has been made important as a way of enlightenment. Apparently
every religious teacher has insisted on knowledge, not only in the
East but also in the West. And as tradition is so strong in this
country, it is really necessary to find out what part this whole
systematized thinking plays in attaining enlightenment. What part
does the environmental conditioning play in enlightenment? How
does culture, the conditioning by culture come into being? You
must cover the whole field. Take a traditional outlook like that of
Nagarjuna or Sankara. Approach it from there.
A: The traditionalists say, all action, activity, arises from
causes, and these causes are known.
Krishnamurti: You are making an incorrect statement. You are
stating from cause to effect. There is no such thing.
A: It starts with this sutra: «All these manifestations of
behaviour, it is the Buddha who has given you the source of all
these manifestations. If you know the cause, you can eliminate the
cause.» This is the statement of the Buddha. By understanding the
cause you get rid of it and he has told you the cause. All
manifested thought, behaviour, is within the field of cause-effect.
Krishnamurti: I question this. We also see that what was cause becomes the effect and effect becomes the cause. There is no fixed
cause, there is no fixed effect. If there is a fixed cause, everything
is fixed. Then there is no explanation enquiry, movement possible.
The acorn will produce an oak tree. On this principle, we think
karma operates. Now is there a fixed point at all or is there a
constant movement which the mind and brain are incapable of
following, living? And so the mind says there is cause and effect
and it is held in that pattern.
A: Is there such a thing as cause and effect? If there is a chain of
cause-effect, at any point you can hold it. At the cause point where
effect becomes the cause, that is the key to this. Krishnamurti:
Who is to hold it?
A: Where the effect becomes the cause, that is the point.
Krishnamurti: You insulted me yesterday, that is the cause. The
insult may have been the result of my previous insult to you, and in
reacting again there are a series of actions, modifications going on
all the time.
You insult me; at that moment, if I am totally aware, if the mind
is totally aware, there is no cause-effect at all. You insult me. The
response to that insult is from the old brain that has divided itself,
that has been functioning in a pattern. At the moment of insult, for
the old brain not to respond can only happen when there is
complete attention. In that moment of attention there is no cause-
A: If there is no attention, it becomes the cause of another
chain. Therefore, where an effect germinates itself into a new
cause, it is there that action comes which is different.
Krishnamurti: I do not think so. I insult you. That may be the result of my unconscious neglect of you. It has hurt you and you
want to hurt me. The cause is my not greeting you, and the cause is
I was interested in the birds, in the movement of their wings. I am
an artist. I want to look at a bird in all its movements. Where is
cause and where is effect? I see a movement of the leaves in the
breeze, and I do not greet you. You are an old friend and you get
J: The cause is in oneself.
Krishnamurti: The observation of the movement is not in
J: Insult arises within me, not within you.
Krishnamurti: I have unintentionally given a cause to insult you.
J: What makes me feel insulted is within me. Cause and effect
are within me.
Krishnamurti: You are saying, though I did not greet you, the
very fact of that insult was born in you, not given to you. I am not
at all sure.
A: I have affection for you and I see you watching the bird, I
will understand, but if I do not have affection, then I will blame
you. So causation is always within.
Krishnamurti: I see very clearly what you say.
A: It is not always a one to one relationship. Instead of saying
this cause arises with this person, the general law is as follows:
«Thus the whole thing arises with a matrix of not-knowing –
avidya. You come to the focus of «I». In avidya is samskara, all
that man has done. From that is consciousness, out of
consciousness comes naming. These lead to the body and the six
senses: then you see.» Cause is used in a broad cosmic sense. But you start from the
point of «I see» and start only from there.
J: Sankara says you cannot say how ignorance began and he
denied causation. Cause-effect can be ended. Before you go any
further you have to exhaust the intellect. Krishnamurti: Is this part
A: No, Sir, it is not. Awakening of intelligence is not sui
J: You cannot bypass the intellect. We do not know how the
process began, but we can end it.
Krishnamurti: From the seed, multiple cell, till man appeared.
From unitary cell it moves on.
A: The biologist does not go beyond manifestation. To assume
it is a wrong thing.
Krishnamurti: There is ignorance and there is always
A: Samskara is that which is put together.
Krishnamurti: Put together in time which means evolution.
A: Then you come to the next point, vijnana, which is
Krishnamurti: Is consciousness different from samskara? That
which has been put together is consciousness.
A: No Sir, it is the matrix. Within that comes your
consciousness, my consciousness.
Krishnamurti: Let us find out.
A: The matrix is common to all of us.
Krishnamurti: Samskara, you say, means put together.
A: Literally it means tendencies. Krishnamurti: I am asking what is consciousness.
Consciousness is made of content. Without the content, is there
consciousness at all? The content of consciousness is
consciousness. Content has been going on for centuries.
A: Is content all or is it a segment?
Krishnamurti: I see all my conditioning makes for
A: Man has existed for many, many years. Before his
consciousness came into being, the matrix was already there.
Krishnamurti: Thought began with the unitary cell. Man has
lived for more than thirty-five thousand years; during that time he
has collected all kinds of experiences. All that is consciousness.
A: Out of this has come consciousness.
Krishnamurti: I do not separate the two. There is no separation
of the two. If there is no content, there is no consciousness. In
consciousness there are many fragments, and it is not one solid
content. There are different levels, activities, attitudes,
characteristics; all that is total consciousness. One part of that total
consciousness, a fragment of that assumes importance. Then it says
«I am consciousness» or «I am not consciousness», «I am this», «I
am not this».
A: You have made a distinction between consciousness which
has different levels and that point at which it says «I am different».
At that point it becomes different.
R: «I» and the «not I», the division is there.
A: Then there is a difference between the matrix and the self.
Krishnamurti: Look, the content of consciousness is consciousness.
Without the content there is no consciousness. The content is made up of various divisions – my family, your family, and all that; it is
made up of fragmentation. One of the fragments assumes
importance over all other fragments.
R: The classical way of saying this is, the reflection imagines it
is the prototype.
A: The moment there is the focus, the individualization starts.
Krishnamurti: Be careful. This is very important. When you use
the word «individual» it means indivisible, in himself, no fragment.
So one fragment assumes the authority, the power to criticize, the
censor – all within the area which we call consciousness.
A: In the case of consciousness as the not-identified, what
Krishnamurti: I do not know a thing about identification.
A: The moment identification starts the significance is that I
identify myself with the part. That is the point of separation.
Krishnamurti: Do not assert anything. The content of
consciousness is consciousness. When there is no content there is
no consciousness. In that content are tremendous factors of
conflict, of fragmentation. One fragment assumes authority, one
fragment does not identify itself with other fragments. It feels
insecure – there are such vast conflicts there. It does not identify
with any fragment, it does that only when it says «I like this, I do
not like this».
R: What is that «I»?
A: It is my own past.
J: «I» is the fragment.
A: Buddha said it is the totality of all impressions, the complex
of impressions, which has created an identity for itself but which has no true identity.
R: There is consciousness and it has immense diversity.
Krishnamurti: There are many fragments. How is it that one
fragment becomes important, and the importance then goes on?
I see something. There is the whole field of fragmentation,
which is consciousness. When does the «I» come into being?
A: Is it not implied in the field of consciousness itself? The «I»
which comes out of it is latent in it.
Krishnamurti: There are all these fragments. Why does the mind
not leave it alone? I see my consciousness is made up of various
fragments. Why does it not leave it alone? What takes place?
Krishnamurti: There is fragmentation, contradiction, there is
conflict. That is all that takes place. Conflict takes place. Within
that conflict is the desire to end conflict.
A: Where there is conflict, if I am not identified, it does not
affect me. At that point it does not become conflict.
Krishnamurti: There is only conflict, opposition, contradiction
in consciousness. There is this field of consciousness which we
have described. Where there is opposition, contradiction, that is the
field of conflict. There may be fragments. Each fragment being
fragmentary will produce conflict, pain, pleasure, sorrow, agony,
That is the field. Then what takes place?
A: I want to end it.
Krishnamurti: Here this whole structure of consciousness is a
battlefield. A: Why do you say so? Consciousness is full of irreconcilables.
The moment I use the word «conflict» I have identified myself.
Krishnamurti: This field of consciousness being divided is the
source of conflict – India and Pakistan. I am a Hindu and you are a
Muslim. The fact is, division inevitably brings conflict.
A: That is so till you come to the point of naming; naming
changes the quality.
Krishnamurti: Look at the field of conflict. There is division.
Where there is division there must inevitably be conflict – my
family, your family, my God, your God.
A: Does every divided fragment become aware?
Krishnamurti: I see the fact that where there is division there
must be conflict. In this consciousness where there are so many
fragments, there must be conflict. In the phenomenal world he is a
Hindu and I am a Muslim, and that is breeding war and hatred.
This is a simple, straight phenomenon. We all talk of unity and
keep on with our divisions.
See, Sir, what takes place. In this field there is conflict,
contradiction, fragmentation, division; when the conflict becomes
acute then comes the «me» and «you». Otherwise I leave it alone. I
float along in this conflict, but the moment conflict becomes acute
– there is war, the Hindu-Muslim war, then I am a Hindu and you
are a Muslim; identification takes place with something which I
think is greater – with God, nation, idea.
So long as the conflict is mild, I leave it alone. My point is, as
long as there is no conflict, there is no»I».
There is no «I» if there is no conflict. We are saying, therefore,
conflict is the measure of the «I». There was no conflict yesterday, there is conflict today, and I hope there will not be conflict
tomorrow. This movement is the «I». This is the essence of the «I».
A: There are many other facets.
Krishnamurti: Is the tree different from the branches? It may
have ten hundred branches. The structure of consciousness is based
on this conflict. We are not discussing how to end conflict.
R: The traditional view is, division is the «I» and the separation
from the conflict is also «I».
A: As long as conflict is not observed, is hidden, «I» is not.
R: Does this all begin here or does the arising of «I» go deeper?
Krishnamurti: Is there a self, the «I», which is to be studied, or is
the «I» a movement? A: You say the «I» begins as a movement in
Krishnamurti: No. There is an assumption that the «I» is static.
Is it so? Is the «I» something to be learnt about? Or is the «I» a
movement? Do I learn about something or do I learn in movement?
The former is non-existent. It is fallacious, it is an invention.
So the central fact is division. It is the source of all conflict.
That conflict may take different shapes, levels, but it is the same.
Conflict may be pleasant, I may like to be bullied, beaten by my
wife, but it is a part of the structure of conflict.
R: The nature of consciousness is conflict.
Krishnamurti: It is not its nature. Consciousness is conflict. If I
have no conflict, what happens to me?
A: You say there is no «I» if there is no conflict. Does that mean
the state of non-conflict is non-consciousness?
R: The state of non-conflict is beyond conflict. The dimension
in which we live is conflict. A: Sir, I said intensification of conflict includes naming.
Krishnamurti: Naming is all included in this. The average man
swims along till a conflict becomes acute.
A: When conflict becomes acute, then naming starts.
Krishnamurti: What is naming? Why do we need naming at all?
Why do I say «my wife», why? Investigate it.
A: At one level it is for communication, at another level it is
Krishnamurti: Why do I say «She is my wife?»
R: We want to prolong that «which is».
A: Because I want a continuity in that.
Krishnamurti: Sir, I say «my wife; why?
A: Security, I want to hold on to her.
Krishnamurti: Look, I say the word is not the thing. It never is.
The word is only a means of communication. The fact is not the
word. The fact that she is «my wife» is legally true, but what have I
done when I say it? Why have I named it? To give continuity, to
strengthen the image I have built? I possess her or she possesses
me, for sex, for comfort and so on. All these strengthen the image
about her. The image is there to establish her as mine. In the
meanwhile, she is changing; is looking at another man. I do not
acknowledge her freedom, and I do not acknowledge freedom at
all, for myself. So what have I done when I say she is my wife?
A: You are saying we do not like movement, we like everything
Krishnamurti: I want to possess her, and that is why I need her.
The brain cells establish a pattern of habit and refuse to leave habit.
A: The entire consciousness is words, knowledge. I want to understand this, what you are saying.
Krishnamurti: Knowledge is put together. Knowledge
horizontally or vertically is put together. Knowledge is a process.
Process implies time. Time implies thought. So through thought,
through knowledge, through time, you are trying to find something
which is out of time, which is not knowledge, which is not thought.
A: The whole process which we have described must also be
Krishnamurti: The use of words is to communicate, to share
together something common between two people. The common
factor between human beings is despair, agony, sorrow. Can this be
dispelled through time or can they be dispelled instantly?-Is this
process to be ended with words or without words? The word is not
the thing. You may describe the most marvellous food, but the
description is not the food.
A: Use of words demands a complete understanding of the field
Krishnamurti: Words are necessary to communicate.
Communication means sharing together common problems.
The word is not the thing, but we have to use the word in order
to understand the thing.
Why do we make words so important? Words are meant to
communicate. We have to be precise.
A: In order that communication takes place there have to be
Krishnamurti: When does communication take place – the
sharing together of a common problem? A: It can take place non-verbally.
Krishnamurti: To me communication means sharing together,
thinking together, creating together, understanding. When are we
together? Surely, not on the verbal level alone. We are together to
share the problem, when we are tremendously vital, passionate, at
the same level with the same intensity. When does this happen? It
happens when you love something. When you love, it is finished. I
kiss you, and I hold your hand, it is finished. When we lack that
thing, we spin around with words. I am sure all the professionals
So our problem is how to meet, to come together at the same
time, at the same level, with the same intensity. That is the real
question. We do that when there is sex which we call love.
Otherwise you battle for yourself and I battle for myself. This is
the problem. Can I, who am in sorrow, say, «Let us come together,
let us talk it over», and not talk of what Nagarjuna, Sankara and
TRADITION AND REVOLUTION DIALOGUE 15
MADRAS 7TH JANUARY 1971 ‘THE NATURE
Questioner A: All our lives we have been thinking in terms of
cause and operating on cause. Our whole life is living with cause,
finding out the cause and trying to control the cause. Even when
we know the cause we cannot operate on it. This is also a part of
our experience. Buddha discovered the cause of suffering and was
liberated from suffering. You say cause is effect and effect is
cause, and you also point out that in this cause and effect, time is
inescapable. Even after listening to you, the impact of cause and
the operating on cause has become an integral part of one’s
thinking. Can we go into it?
Krishnamurti: What is the question?
A: To explore the validity of the cause-effect sequence in
respect of understanding.
Krishnamurti: What does it mean – to explore? What is the state
of the mind which explores rather than the fact of exploration? You
say all action has a cause and that cause affects action and without
understanding cause, do what you will with action, it will always
be limited. So explore the cause, understand the cause and thereby
bring about a mutation in action.
I do not know the cause of my action. There may be obvious
causes and other causes which are undiscoverable by the conscious
mind. I can see the superficial causes for action; but these
superficial causes have very deep roots in the recesses of one’s own
being. Now, can the conscious mind not only examine the superficial
but also uncover the deeper? Can the conscious mind ever examine
the deeper layers? And what is the state of the mind which
explores? These three questions are important. Otherwise
discovering the cause has no meaning.
R: You explore when you do not know.
Krishnamurti: First we asked what is the quality of the mind
which is exploring? What is it exploring – the superficial or the
causes which are so deeply hidden? So before I begin to explore, I
must find out the state of the mind which explores. Now, what is
the state of the mind, the quality of the mind that can explore? You
say the Buddha said this, somebody said that, and so on, but what
is the quality of the mind that has the capacity, that can explore?
What is the `I’ which explores – is it crooked, myopic, far-sighted?
I must see the quality of the mind which looks at the carpet before I
can see anything. Obviously, it must be a free mind. Have you a
mind that is free from any conclusion? Otherwise you cannot
A: We have unconfessed postulates and we see and drop them.
Krishnamurti: What you are doing is analysis. You are
analysing step by step. When you analyse, what takes place? There
is the analyser and the thing analysed. The analyser must be
extremely clear-sighted to analyse, and if this analysis is in any
way twisted, it is not worth anything. The analytical, intellectual
process implies time. By the time you have enquired through
analysis, through time, other factors enter which distort the cause.
So the way of analysis is entirely wrong. So, there has to be a
dropping of analysis. J: I am confused.
Krishnamurti: Yes, it is a fact we are confused. We do not know
what to do and we begin to analyse.
A: The process of analysis is to us something concrete. You
said while you operate on cause, some other factors enter. Does it
mean the analysis of the problem becomes inconsequential?
Krishnamurti: I think the whole process is wrong. I am
concerned with action which is put together by a series of
analytical examinations, analytical implications in which time is
involved. By the time I find what I sought, I am exhausted, dead. It
is difficult with the conscious mind to analyse, to examine the
hidden layers. So I feel this whole intellectual process is wrong. I
say this without any disrespect.
A: We have only that tool – the intellect, as a means of
examination. Is the intellect capable of examination except to
collect, recollect, foresee, analyse? Intellect is capable of that. It is
only a fragment. Therefore, the examination by a fragment can
only bring about a fragmentary understanding. What do we do?
R: I cannot do anything.
Krishnamurti: You say the intellect is the only instrument one
has which has the capacity to examine. Has it? Has the intellect the
capacity to examine or does it examine only partially? I see the
truth of that, not as a conclusion, not as an opinion, but the fact that
the intellect being partial can examine only partially and therefore I
no longer use the intellect.
A: Such a mind can lapse into belief. You are saying the mind
Krishnamurti: The drug-taking, the whole of that, is part of the same phenomenon.
A: When the mind superficially turns away from analysis, it
falls into other traps; so this has to be done rigorously with the
Krishnamurti: Analysis is not the way.
A: With what instrument do we explore? Our reason must
corroborate what you say.
J: You arrive there by some path which is not analytical. We see
the logic of it. Krishnamurti: I tell you analysis is not the way of
understanding. I give you the logical sequences using reason. That
is only an explanation. Why don’t you see the truth that analysis is
not the way?
A: When you say «I examine and this is so», it is pure logic.
Krishnamurti: What you have done is to come to a conclusion
through logic, but we are not talking of logic. Logic has led you to
analysis. Somebody says your logic is false, because your logic is
based on the fact of intellect, which is partial; therefore partial
examination is no examination at all.
A: It is partial analysis.
Krishnamurti: It is like saying that I love my wife partially.
A: In the effort to understand environment, nature, outer
phenomenon man has developed certain instruments and here too
we use the same instruments; but they are inadequate.
Krishnamurti: They are not inadequate. They are not adequate.
Analysis, process, involves time. As it involves time, it must be
partial. The partial is brought about by the intellect, because the
intellect is part of the whole structure.
A: What is the instrument which explores when you put the question? When we put the question, we go back to the intellect.
Krishnamurti: You began by saying that the intellect is the only
instrument of examination. I say the intellect is partial and,
therefore, your examination will be lopsided. Therefore your
examination is invalid.
A: It is very clear that the intellect is partial and cannot see, but
it starts working through habit.
Krishnamurti: «A» began by telling of cause-effect, effect-cause
– those are processes of analysis. Analysis implies time and in such
analysis there is the analyser and the analysed. The analyser must
be free from past accretions, otherwise he cannot analyse. As he
cannot be free of the past, analysis has no validity. Seeing that, I
say it is finished. Therefore, I am looking for another way.
A: This is the shortest summary – with logic, logic is wiped out.
Krishnamurti: I see analysis is not the way. That frees the mind
from a false process altogether. So the mind is much more vital. It
is like a man walking with a heavy burden and the heavy burden is
A: But with us the burden comes back.
Krishnamurti: The moment you perceive something to be true,
how can it return? The moment you see that the snake is
dangerous, you do not go back to the snake.
A: Nagarjuna says «if you see what I am saying as a concept,
you are finished.»
J: Is there some other way?
A: You say something. The moment you say something, the
instrument stops operating, because that instrument is not going to
say anything more. Krishnamurti: But that instrument is very sharp, very clear; it
abstains from any partial action taking place.
A: It is constantly watching, it can operate. Krishnamurti: No,
Sir, the whole analytical process is finished.
A: When we have gone through this….
Krishnamurti: No, we are not exploring. I am showing you how
to explore. What you have done is you have used intellect, the
partial instrument and thought that was the complete answer. See
how the mind has deceived itself, how it says «I have analysed all
this», but it has not seen how partial it is, and therefore it is
valueless. The intellect itself has become valueless as an
instrument apart from other factors. I am asking myself if intellect
is not the instrument of examination, then what takes place?
A: One comes to believe in the need for support or for the help
of some prop, when one comes to this point.
Krishnamurti: The factor is, intellect is an incomplete
instrument and cannot understand a total factor, a total movement.
Then what is examination? If the intellect cannot explore, what is
the instrument that can explore? What do Sankara, Nagarjuna,
Buddha say about this? Find out. Do any of them deny the
A: They say explore with the help of the terra firma.
Krishnamurti: That is with partial vitality, energy, explore the
whole energy. How can it? Why have they said this?
R: The Vedantic concept is that with the intellect you cannot
see, but with the Self or the atman, which is of the very nature of
perception, you can see.
A: As our minds have been heavily conditioned, when we get a support, we hold on.
Krishnamurti: What we want to find out is, analysis and the way
of the intellect is not exploration at all. It is like saying «I go partly
into the tunnel.» What is the quality of the mind if the intellect is
not the instrument»?
A: When the intellect is totally put aside, then the mind has
nothing of the past in it.
Krishnamurti: Who is it that has to put it aside? Then you are
back again into the dualistic principle.
A: We see the intellect is partial.
Krishnamurti: Therefore, we are asking: What is the quality of
the mind that can explore – mind being not only the intellect but the
brain cells, the biological, the physical, the nerves, the whole thing,
the total, the complete. What is the quality of the mind that can
explore? I see that any partial movement is incomplete and,
therefore, does not get anywhere. I see that partial seeing is no
seeing at all, and therefore I am finished with it. It is completely
over. The mind then asks what the nature of perception is that is
total. And it is only such a total perception that can examine. And
it may not need to examine at all, because that which has to be
examined is of the partial field – division, analysis, exploration.
I am asking what total perception is, what is the quality of total
A.: Movement of any kind cannot be total perception.
Krishnamurti: What is total perception?
R: It seems as if there is no instrument because the instrument
belongs to something.
Krishnamurti: What is the difficulty? When you look out of the window and see these bushes, how do you look at them? You are
usually thinking about something and at the same time looking. I
say you have to look, that is all. What is the difficulty? We never
look. If I look at a picture, I look. I do not say this painter is so and
so, this painter is better than somebody else. I have no measure. I
do not verbalize. We said just now partial looking is no looking at
all, therefore, the mind has finished with the partial, so when I do
look, I look.
R: The element of habit is so strong.
Krishnamurti: Therefore, the mind which is caught in habit
cannot explore. So we have to examine the mind which is caught in
habit and not exploration. We have to understand habit. Forget
exploration, causation, analysis. Forget all that. Can the mind
understand habit? Let us tackle that.
A: Whatever you say with the intellect is partial.
Krishnamurti: See the truth of it, not the 1ogic of it. You can
supply the logic later. What you thought was the door is not the
door. You will not move towards that once you see it, but you do
not see it.
R: What is the difference between perception and recognition?
For us perception is only there in the form of recognition.
Krishnamurti: You recognize through association. Recognition
is part of the habit of association. So I am saying you cannot
examine, explore with a mind which is used to habit. Therefore,
find out the mechanism of habit. Do not find out how to examine,
but find out what is habit.
A: Habits are grooves.
Krishnamurti: How have habits been formed? That is the door. I am going through that door, now why does the mind fall into
habit? What is habit? How is it that the mind falls into habit? I am
going to analyse it.
We use analysis which is partial, which is not total
understanding. Knowing that it is valueless, we still continue – why
does the mind fall into habit? Is it because it is the easiest way to
function? To get up at six, to go to bed at seven. There is no
friction; I do not have to think about it.
A: I look at a tree. I do not have to think about it. And yet the
mind says it is a tree.
Krishnamurti: It is a habit. Why does the mind fall into habit? It
is the easiest way to live; it is easy to live mechanically. Sexually
and in every other way it is easy to live that way. I can live life
without effort, change, because in that I find complete security. In
habit there is no examination, searching, asking.
R: I live within the field of habit.
Krishnamurti: So habit can only function within a very small
field. Like a professor who is marvellous but functions in a very
small field; like a monk who operates within a very small cell. The
mind wanting safety, security, no change, lives in patterns. That is
a partial examination. But it does not free the mind from patterns.
So what shall I do?
A: Having seen this, knowing that partial understanding is no
understanding, how does the mind free itself totally from habit?
Krishnamurti: I am going to show you.
A: We have examined habit, but the mind does not get out of it.
Krishnamurti: You will never go back to the analysis of habit.
You are no longer going to examine the causes of habit. So the mind is free of the burden of analysis which is part of habit. So you
have got rid of it.
R: Yes, yes –
Krishnamurti: No. It must go. Not merely verbally. Habit is not
only symptomatic, but psychosomatic. When we have examined
habit as we have done, it is over.
A: We are not free of habit.
Krishnamurti: Because you are still insisting the door is there.
We started out saying «I know». There is a certain sense of
arrogance. You do not say «I want to find out.»
Then what is total perception when the mind is free from habit?
Habit implies conclusions, formulas, ideas, principles. All these are
habits. Habit is the essence of the observer.
R: It is all that we know of the «I».
Krishnamurti: To find this out, I go to a book. That is where the
damage is done, the damage which the other people have
established, the Sankaras, the Buddhas and all the others. I prefer
this one, I prefer the other one, and so on. I will not let go because
that is my vanity. I argue. You know the cartoon which says «My
guru has more enlightenment than yours». That is about all.
Therefore, Sir, humility is necessary. I know absolutely nothing
and I am not going to repeat a word which I have myself not found.
I really do not want to know. I know this is not the way. I do not
want to know anything more. That is all. The door which I thought
was real is not the door. What happens later? I do not move in that
direction, I will find out.
TRADITION AND REVOLUTION DIALOGUE 16
MADRAS 8TH JANUARY 1971 ‘ORDER AND
Questioner A: The greatest hindrance to perception is idea. What is
the difference between fact and the idea about a fact?
Krishnamurti: How do the professionals regard perception, the
seeing, the fact?
R: In Vedanta, it is said that consciousness acts through the
sense organs. It sees an object. Consciousness takes the form of the
object. It is like water taking the shape of the vessel. That is
Krishnamurti: What is perception, the seeing, to you? You see
the chest of drawers; you have the image of the chest of drawers,
therefore, recognize it as the chest of drawers. When you see that
piece of furniture, do you have the image first or do you see first,
have the image and then recognize?
R: Instantaneously the image arises, then we call it a chest of
A: There is seeing, and the immediate naming.
Krishnamurti: So I do not have the image first. There is seeing,
association, recognition, naming. I do not start with the naming, the
image. That is fairly easy. I see you this morning. I saw you
yesterday and, therefore, there is an image of you. So that image is
you. Is there a difference between the physical object of perception
and the mental image of perception?
A: There is a difference between the two. One is purely an
image of a shape as in the case of an object, the other is an image created by reactions, which are not merely form and shape.
Krishnamurti: Take a simple thing. You see a snake. The brain
cells are conditioned to snakes; they know that snakes are
dangerous. The brain is conditioned from childhood to the danger
of a snake and so it reacts. The child, not knowing the danger, may
not react, but the mother comes along and tells it.
The chest of drawers, the picture, the naming of it, has formed a
picture in the brain cells. So I say it is a chest of drawers. The brain
cells have been conditioned by a particular environment to call it a
chest of drawers.
A: The question is, therefore, before seeing the fact, the idea
about the fact arises which may not necessarily be factual.
Krishnamurti: Are you saying that there is violence, one feels
angry, then the naming of the feeling and the naming is to
strengthen the past?
A: I meet my brother. He has quarrelled with me and I am on
my guard when I meet him next. So I am unable to see him at all. I
am only seeing the idea.
R: The brain cells carry the image of the hurt.
Krishnamurti: There is violence, anger. At the moment of anger,
there is no naming. A second later, I call it anger. The naming of
that feeling as anger is to record that fact and strengthen the past,
the memory, which has recognized that feeling as anger.
R: This is something which is different from naming.
Krishnamurti: We are coming to that. There is the chest of
drawers, there is the person, then all the emotional reactions. One
is angry; at the moment of anger there is no naming, a second later
there is naming. Why do we name? Why do we say «I am angry»? Why is there
the need to put it into words? Or is it merely habit; an instant
A: A defence mechanism starts. The recognition itself is
creating a situation which says «I do not want to get into conflict.»
Krishnamurti: That is one part of it – naming as a process of self-
defence. Why does one name a particular reaction?
R: Otherwise, one would not feel that one was existing.
Krishnamurti: Why do we name it, why do I name? You have
hurt me and I name it and form a certain self-defence.
A: If I did not name, there would not be continuity.
Krishnamurti: Why does the mind give it a continuity?
R: To feel that it exists.
Krishnamurti: What exists – feeling, anger?
Why has naming become so important? I name my house, my
wife, my child. Naming strengthens the me. If I did not name, what
would happen? Anger would be over.
Why should there be continuity? Why does the brain, the mind,
operate in continuity? Why is there this verbalization all the time?
A: Verbalization establishes that there is some residue.
Krishnamurti: Why do we do this? It may be a habit, a form of
giving continuity to a sense of anger and the not ending of it. All
that indicates that the mind needs occupation. Now, why is the
mind demanding to be occupied with sex, God, with money? Why?
A: The mind gets stimulated all the time. If there were no
stimulus, the mind would fall asleep.
Krishnamurti: Is it so? Is this very occupation not putting the
mind to sleep? A: Why does the mind slacken when it is not occupied?
Krishnamurti: On the contrary, the moment we begin to enquire
why there is this necessity for any kind of occupation, the mind is
A: Mere absence of occupation is not enough.
Krishnamurti: Of course, there are many who get duller and
duller every day without any occupation. But the question is why
does your mind want to be occupied? Will it go to sleep if it is not?
Or is it fear of emptiness that makes the mind want to be occupied?
I am enquiring. In enquiry the mind will not go to sleep. It is
only the mind that is not occupied which can enquire.
So most of us fall into habits which prevent looking.
I am a Hindu and for the rest of my life I am a Hindu. You are a
Muslim and for the rest of your life you are a Muslim. But if I ask
myself why I am a Hindu, I open the door to enquiry.
So naming may be part of this fear of not knowing what to do.
A: Fear of leaving the shore of the known.
Krishnamurti: That is all. So, can the mind, the brain cells, can
they observe the reaction called anger, not name it and so be
finished with it? If it does that, there is no carrying over. When
next time the reaction arises, which I have named as fear, it has
quite a different meaning, a different quality.
A: Our difficulty is that we meet anger with idea.
Krishnamurti: Why have we ideas, formulas? Let us begin again
– we know anger, the naming, the conditioned response. Now, we
see naming is a factor which gives continuity to anger. I see the
truth that by naming we give continuity. So I do not name. As I see
the danger of the snake and do not touch it, I do not touch this also. I see that the naming of the fact gives continuity to something
which I have called anger and so naming gives duration. So
naming is finished. Therefore, anger undergoes a change.
R: It seems as if during the moment when we are capable of
observing anger, anger disappears, and anger exists in the moment
when we are not capable of observing.
Krishnamurti: No. You call me a fool. I get angry. I do not like
your calling me a fool. I see that. I see the falsity of naming. So
where is the response? This instantly happens. Instead of naming,
this happens and therefore, there is no hurt at all. «A»‘s question is
why do we have formulas at all. We have ideas first and then
A: Instead of one act of perception we have our deep
conditioning. All these together, the cultural, the sociological, the
anthropological – are a ready frame of reference which give us a
sense of security.
Krishnamurti: Why do you do this, Sir?
R: We have been brought up that way.
Krishnamurti: That is not good enough. Do you not know why
we do this? We know economically and sociologically it is
beneficial. Tribalism still persists. It is tremendously important.
Step out of the formulas, patterns of Hinduism, Islam, you will
then see what happens.
Personally, I have no formula. Why do you have it? Find out.
Formulations, which are patterns, give you safe conduct in
action. We lay down the line according to which we act and in that
there is safety. So fear of insecurity must be one of the reasons why
we have formulas, ideas. The mind wants to be certain. The brain cells function perfectly only when there is complete security. I do
not know if you have noticed it in yourself. The brain cells
function only when there is perfect order. And there is perfect
order in a formula.
A: You mean physiologically, we have an inbuilt desire for
Krishnamurti: Even physiologically, if I do not have a certain
type of order, the organism rebels. Order is absolutely necessary,
essential. Formulas are the safest way to have order.
Have you not noticed that before you go to sleep, the brain cells
establish order? «I should not have done this, I should not have said
this.» And when going to sleep, unless you establish order, it
creates its own order. These are all facts. The brain cells demand
order which is security. And formulas are one of the safest ways of
conducting one’s life without disorder. It is much safer to follow a
guru. Formulas are necessary for a mind that wants order, that
hopes to find order. What happens? As it hopes to find order in
tribalism – the Brahmin tribe, the Hindu tribe, the national tribe –
and if you step out of that, there is danger. So to call oneself an
Indian is to be safe. To belong to Jehovah, is to be treated as one
belonging to that group. As long as I belong to some sect, some
guru, I am safe. Now what happens when you have a formula? You
have your formulas and I have my formulas.
You have your security, and I who have no time, accept it. What
happens to me when I accept your formula? Do you not know what
happens when I am a Hindu? There is division, therefore
insecurity. The brain cells demand order, because they want to
have harmony. They use formulas as a means to order. The brain cells demand order, demand security, otherwise they cannot
function properly. Seeking order through formula creates division,
disorder. Once I see the real danger, then what happens? Then I do
not seek safety in formula, then I enquire whether there is safety in
any other direction, whether there is such a thing as safety.
A: But the brain needs safety.
Krishnamurti: The brain must have order.
A: Order is not safety.
Krishnamurti: Order is safety, order is harmony, but the very
search for order ends in disorder. So, seeing this, I drop all
formulas. I am no longer a Hindu, a Buddhist, a Muslim. Drop all
this. Dropping is intelligence. In the very dropping the mind has
become very intelligent. Intelligence is order. I do not know if you
In enlightenment there is order. Therefore, the brain can
function in perfect condition. Then relationship has quite a
The brain cells are seeking order in disorder. They do not see
the nature of disorder. They do not understand what is disorder. It
is when the brain cells reject tribalism, formulas, that in the very
rejection is inte1ligence, which is order.
TRADITION AND REVOLUTION DIALOGUE 17
MADRAS 11TH JANUARY 1971 ‘OBJECT,
KNOWLEDGE AND PERCEPTION’
Questioner A: I think we should go into the question of perception
of beauty. You said the other day that the tradition had ignored the
field of beauty. We need to explore into this.
Krishnamurti: So what is the question? What is beauty? You
mean perception and then beauty? Surely it is not perception and
beauty, but perception. What would be the traditional approach to
R: One source of tradition maintains that beauty is the sense of
happiness which comes when there is the ending of desire or thirst
Krishnamurti: Is this a theory or a reality?
R: The writer expressed what he felt; after all, he wrote a long
time ago and only fragments of his writings remain.
A: Kalidasa says that the experience of beauty is new every
R: Both in India and Greece there was this feeling that ultimate
perceptions are perceptions of beauty, truth and goodness.
Krishnamurti: Are we discussing beauty or perception? We will
discuss perception. What is the traditional approach to perception?
R: They talk about it at length and there are many contradictory
A: Perception is ‘pratyaksham’, perception is seeing the self-
nature of things, the essential quality of things.
Krishnamurti: Seeing the essence of something is perception, is that it? I am talking not of what you see but the act of seeing. Do
they talk about the act of seeing and not what is seen?
R: They talk of what is valid knowledge and what is not valid
Krishnamurti: Seeing is one thing and seeing something is
another. Which is it they are talking about? Seeing per se or seeing
something, which is it?
A: I think seeing. They are concerned with the constant danger
of seeing wrongly.
Krishnamurti: No. We are not talking of seeing rightly or
wrongly, but what is perception; not what you see – the chair, the
rope, the snake,
A: Is there a difference between seeing and knowing?
Krishnamurti: Seeing, knowing and seeing the object; seeing
through knowledge the object, the image, the symbol; and seeing –
these are entirely different. What do they say about seeing?
R: They do not discuss it this way.
Krishnamurti: Like hunger is in itself: it is not related to food.
You have food because you are hungry, but the nature of hunger is
hunger. What is seeing, perceiving to you? Not seeing the object,
but the quality of the mind that perceives? Seeing the object with
the eyes is one thing, seeing with knowledge is another. I am
talking about seeing in itself. Is there a seeing without knowledge,
without the object? I see that cupboard. Seeing that is with word
and knowledge, the word being associated with the cupboard. Is
there a seeing without the image, without the object? Seeing the
object through knowledge, through image, symbol, the word, the
intellect; and seeing without knowledge and image, a seeing without object.
A: What is seeing without object? One can see without
knowledge. As you say, there is a cupboard without the image but
still we know it is a cupboard, which means it is an object.
Krishnamurti: There is the little bush, and whether I see it or
not, it will grow into a tree. It is independent of my seeing. I can
call it mango and, therefore, associate it with the species mango,
and the mango will grow even if I do not see it.
R: The existence of it has nothing to do with seeing……
A: The object exists without our seeing, but such a perception
may exist without the object.
Krishnamurti: That tree continues to exist.
A: In the Buddhist meditation they have referred to sky when
they ta1k about perception without object. The sky is an object and
yet not an object.
Krishnamurti: The dictionary meaning of the word «perception»
is to become aware of, to apprehend. That is, you see the cupboard,
you have a preconception of it; that is not perception. Is there
seeing without preconception? Only the mind that has no
conclusion, such a mind can see. The other cannot. If I have
previous knowledge of that cupboard, the mind identifies it as
cupboard. To look at that cupboard without the previous
accumulation of prejudices or hurts, is to look. If I have previous
hurts, memories, pain, pleasure, displeasure, I have not looked.
Is there a looking without object, without the knowledge of the
object? Of course, there is. Can you look at that tree, without the
knowledge of the bush, the image, the symbol, and all the rest of
it? Just look. Someone came to see me. He was a movie director. He had
taken LSD, and they had tape recorded it. He was sitting back in a
chair and waited for the effect. Nothing happened. He waited and
moved his position a little. Immediately the space between him and
the object disappeared. The observer before had space between
himself and the thing he observed, which happened to be a flower.
The moment space disappeared, it was not the flower, it was
something extraordinary. That was an effect of the drug. But here it
is different. The space between the observer and observed is not;
the observer is the holder of the knowledge and it is knowledge
that recognizes the cupboard. It is the observer who sees the
First see what happens. The observer with his knowledge
recognizes the cupboard. Recognition implies previous knowledge.
So the observer is knowledge as the past. Now we are asking, is
there perception without the observer, that is knowledge, which is
the past? Perception for itself, not for or about something.
R: If the knowledge of the past is not there, the observer is not
there. If the observer is not there, knowledge of the past is not
Krishnamurti: Therefore, it is possib1e to see without the
observer. I am saying «possible». The possibility becomes a theory,
therefore we should not deal with theories but see that the observer
is the residue of the past. So the observer cannot possibly see. He
can see only through the screen of the past. There fore, his seeing
is partial. If there is to be perception, the observer must not be
there. Is that possible?
R: What happens to an artist? He perceives obviously with a perception which is not the ordinary perception which we have.
Krishnamurti: Now wait a minute. Is perception intellectual?
R: No, the intellect is the past.
Krishnamurti: Therefore, it is not the seeing of an artist or the
non-artist, but the seeing without the past. That is really the
problem. The artist may see for a moment without the past but he
R.: It is a momentary perception.
Krishnamurti: Is there an act of perception, without the
observer? Act means immediate action, not a continuous action?
And the word itself, «act», means doing, not having done or will
So, perception is an action, not in terms of knowledge; not the
action of the actor with his knowledge. So the professionals are not
concerned with action, are they? They are concerned with
knowledge and action. Is that right?
R: I do not know. There are some texts in which they have said
that the perception of beauty is that moment when time, name,
form and space do not exist.
Krishnamurti: We are not talking of beauty. Perception implies
action. I know what action is when the observer acts. The observer,
having learnt a particular language or technology, having acquired
A: Does perception mean direct contact between organ and
object, between the sense-organ and object?
R: Traditionalists talk about mediate and immediate perception.
Mediate perception is through the instrument, through a medium,
whereas immediate perception does not require the sense-organ with which to see. Perhaps immediate perception is nearer to what
you are talking about.
Krishnamurti: You see the perception of knowledge and action,
is action from the past. That is one thing. Perception, action is
another. A: Perception itself is action, so there is no time.
Krishnamurti: The time interval comes to an end between action
and knowledge, knowledge as the observer. That knowledge and
action is time-binding and the other is not. So this is clear.
Then what is beauty in relation to perception?
R: It is the ending of the desire for experience. This is what the
Krishnamurti: The seeing of goodness, beauty, love, truth, put
all that aside.
Now what is beauty? What is necessary for the perceiving of
R: It is not mere perception, because perception can be of
everything, even of that which is not beautiful.
Krishnamurti: Do not bring in the ugly. Perception is acting,
perceiving is acting – leave that. We are talking of beauty. You
have said what the professionals have said. Now, what is beauty?
Let us forget what others have said. I want to find out what is
beauty. We say that building is beautiful, that poem is beautiful,
that woman is beautiful. The feeling of a certain quality is beauty –
the expression becoming the means of recognition of beauty. I see
a building, and say how marvellous. So through the object we
There are various expressions of beauty. Through the object we
say that is beautiful. Through the object, we recognize what beauty is. Now put that aside. Beauty is not expression. Beauty is not the
object. What is beauty then? Is it in the beholder? The beholder is
the observer. The observer with his past knowledge recognizes
something to be beautiful, because his culture has told him it is
beautiful, his culture has conditioned him.
A: The woman who gives pleasure is beautiful, and when she
does not give pleasure, she is no longer beautiful.
Krishnamurti: I discard expression, I discard the object created
and I discard the perceiver seeing beauty in the object. I discard all
these. Then what is the quality of the mind that has discarded
them? I have discarded everything that man has said about beauty
because I see it is not in anything that has been said. What has
happened to the mind which has discarded thought, thought which
has created the object? What is the quality of the mind which has
discarded all the structures put together by man who has said this is
beautiful, this is not beautiful:
Obviously the mind is very sensitive, because it was carrying a
burden before and now it is lighter. Therefore, it is sensitive, alert,
R: You said you have discarded the object and the thought
which has created the object.
A: Thought is knowledge.
Krishnamurti: Thought is knowledge, which has accumulated
through knowledge, through culture which says beauty is this.
Thought is the response of memory which has created the object. I
have discarded all that, the idea of beauty as truth, goodness, love.
Perception of that is action and the action is the putting away, not
«I am putting away», but the putting away. So the mind is now free. Freedom implies not freedom from something, but freedom. It is
highly sensitive. Then what takes place? The mind is free, highly
sensitive, is no longer burdened by the past; which means in that
mind there is no observer at all; which means there is no «me»
observing, because the «me» observing is a very, very limited
affair. The «me», the past, is the observer, the «me» is the past. See
what we have done. There is object, knowledge and perception;
through knowledge we recognize the object; and we are asking the
question, is there perception without knowledge, without the
observer? So we discard the two: object and knowledge. In
perceiving there is the action of discarding.
Again we ask what is beauty? Beauty is generally associated
with object; the object created by thought, feeling, thinking. And
we discard that.
Then I ask myself what is the quality of the mind that has
discarded. It is really free. Freedom implies a mind that is highly
sensitive. In the action of discarding, it has brought about its own
sensitivity, which means there is no centre in that activity.
Therefore, it is a sensitivity without time, without a centre as the
observer, which means a state of mind that is intensely passionate.
R: When the object and the knowledge of the object are gone,
there is no focus.
Krishnamurti: Do not use the word focus. The mind discarding
what «it is not», is free. The act of perceiving what «it is not» has
released the mind and the mind is free. It is not free from it, it is
not free from the object, but it is free.
A: The act of perceiving and discarding of that knowledge are
instantaneous and simultaneous. Krishnamurti: That is freedom. The act of perceiving has
brought about freedom, not from something. When the mind is
sensitive, there is no centre, there is no «me» in it, there is the total
abandonment of the self as the observer. Then the mind is full of
energy because it is no longer caught in the division of sorrow,
pain and pleasure. It is intensely passionate and it is such a mind
that sees what is beautiful.
I see something: which is, suffering is a partial activity of
energy. It is a fragmentary energy.
Energy is pleasure, energy is pain; to go to the office, to learn is
energy. Human beings have divided this energy into fragments.
Everything is a part, is a fragment of the various other fragments of
energy. When there is no activity of the fragment, there is complete
focussing of all energy.
I hate somebody and I love somebody. Both are energy –
fragmentary energy acting in opposite directions – which breed
conflict. Suffering is a form of energy; a fragment which we call
suffering. So all our ways of 1iving are fragmented. Each is
fighting the other. If there is a harmonious whole, that energy is
passion. So that energy is this, is the mind that is free, sensitive, in
which the «me» as the past is completely dissolved and, therefore,
such a mind is full of energy and passion, and therefore that is
TRADITION AND REVOLUTION DIALOGUE 18
MADRAS 14TH JANUARY 1971 ‘ENERGY AND
Questioner A: After listening to yesterday’s talk, I wonder what is
meant by energy? We only know fragmentary energy.
Krishnamurti: Would you put it differently? Would you say that
all energy is fragmented?
A: If I hear your talk and I look at all the fields of my activity, I
seem to know nothing but fragmentary energy.
Krishnamurti: That is energy which is fragmented.
A: In observation I see that I know only fragmented energy and
I do not know what you are talking about.
Krishnamurti: There is physical energy, intellectual energy,
emotional energy, there is the energy of anger, of greed; they are
all various forms of energy, like human energy and cosmic energy.
They are all divided, but they are energy.
A: I listen to you, but I never seem to come upon what you say.
Krishnamurti: Traditionally it has been said sexual energy must
A: Traditionalists hold that unless all dissipations of energy are
halted, one will never know the «other». It does not seem to be that
way. Between suppression and the negation you speak about, there
is no relationship. The truth is I only know fragmented energy.
Krishnamurti: It may be the traditional approach that holds us to
a particular pattern, to that energy which is fragmentary.
A: It may be because every form of energy we know is
destructive. Our intellectual energy creates systems and patterns; our emotional energy is reaction against individuals.
Krishnamurti: Yesterday did the speaker not say that all energy
springs from one source of energy?
A: What you are saying comes from a different source. And you
say that the function of the intellect is to see that intellect itself is
fragmentary and, therefore, it is inadequate.
When the intellect sees its inadequacy, that is the highest truth
the intellect can perceive. It is only when you come to this that
there is the «other». All that we seem to know is the fragmentary,
and you speak of something else.
Krishnamurti: Then what will you do? How do you stop the
fragmentation of energy?
A: I would not say how, because that action itself is a becoming
Krishnamurti: Then what will you do? How do the
professionals, the traditionalists, approach this problem – the
problem of various forms of energy contradicting each other and
one form of energy assuming the dictatorship of the rest, trying to
control, to suppress? Does this happen by introducing the atman?
A: It is shunyata, voidness. Having eliminated, this is a void. In
the void is everything. Did you come to this spontaneously?
Krishnamurti: What do the professionals say?
A: Sankara says: «Acquire learning and the prestige that goes
with it, so what? Acquire wealth and the power that goes with it, so
what? Visit many countries, feed and entertain your friends, help
the poor and the sick, bathe in the Ganga, give alms in vast
quantities, repeat mantras by the million, etc., so what? All these
are of no avail unless the Self is realized.» And Sankara ends by saying that only he who discovers that all
these forms of prestigious action are bereft of significance for self-
knowledge, he alone is capable of self-realization.
Krishnamurti: I cannot imagine that this question has not been
tackled by the professionals.
A: They call it chitta and chaitanya. The common «root» is
N: Chit is consciousness.
A: Do they go into the fragmentary nature of the mind or do
they say that the mind’s activities are unreal?
Krishnamurti: So, what is the question, what is it that we are
trying to discuss, explore?
A: We only know the various fragmented expressions of
energy. Is it possible to see the entire field? Or is it a wrong
Krishnamurti: If one fragment or many fragments exist, who is
the entity that is going to observe the totality of energy? Are our
minds so conditioned that we cannot break ourselves from the
A: We are so conditioned.
R: The other day at the discussion you said that someone slaps
me. I feel hurt, etc., but if attention is given at that moment, then I
do not feel hurt. There is no recording of it. But the fact is, reaction
is instantaneous. I react to that hurt instantaneously. How is it
possible to give attention at that moment?
Krishnamurti: What is the problem? I have been seeing only
this fragment (pointing to a portion of the carpet) and you say this
fragment would not exist if there was no total carpet. There is this little bit of carpet which is part of this whole carpet. I am saying in
this fragment there are many other fragments. My whole life has
been spent in observing the fragment. You come along and say this
is part of the whole, this would not exist if the other did not exist.
But I cannot take my eyes off this fragment. I agree that this can
only exist because of the whole carpet but I have never, never
looked at the whole carpet. I have never moved away from this.
This fragment exists because of the whole carpet. My attention has
been fixed on this little bit of carpet. And I do not know how to
remove my eyes and look at the whole carpet. If I can do that, there
is no contradiction. If I can remove my eyes and look at the whole
carpet, I see there is no contradiction, no duality. But if I say I must
suppress the fragment in order to see the whole, there is duality.
R: It is intellectually clear.
Krishnamurti: It is a very good exercise. Then what do you do?
The intellect is also a part. It is one of the fragments within the
carpet. I am still not looking at the carpet. If intellect sees,
perception is back to the fragment.
First, intellectually I have to understand what is being said. This
is part of the whole. And as long as perception is focused on the
fragment, there is no perception of the whole carpet. You say I
understand this intellectually. So, you have already moved away.
You also see that intellect is a fragment. You are looking at the
whole with different parts.
R: What is looking is also a fragment.
Krishnamurti: Therefore, deny the fragment. (Pause)
You see, we are used to reading in straight lines. Therefore, we
are always thinking in straight lines. If we were used to reading, like the Chinese, vertically, then our whole thinking would be
vertical. So thinking itself is a linear thinking. All that is a form of
fragmentation. So, what is the question? Form your question.
Is there a perception which is not linear nor vertical, and,
How do you see something totally? What is the capacity of
perception that sees the whole structure of human life, the whole
field, at a glance?
I think I see something.
Look, there is the whole field of life, the physical, the
emotional, the intellectual, the psychosomatic existence; and in that
there are various contradictions – sorrows, anxieties, guilts,
ambitions, humility, pride, sex, non-sex, God, no-God,
communism – this is the whole fie1d of existence. Now, how does
the mind see the whole of this field? If it does not see the whole
field, but merely tackles one problem, it will create more mischief.
A: It comes to this, this whole process, the seventy-five
thousand years of the history of man, the entire past produces this
and dies. This is «what is», there is no going back. But even this is
arrived at without any movement.
Krishnamurti: First listen. There is this whole field of existence,
all that we have described. There are other factors also. Now, how
do I look at this whole map with all the little bridges, hamlets,
towns, all that at one glance? I cannot go up in an aeroplane. The
atman is the aeroplane invented by thought.
You come and tell me, look, if you try to answer the whole of
existence through one of the fragments, you will only create more confusion. Therefore you say, the whole of it. You say that and
disappear. It is my job to find out. How do I set about it? I do not
know what this total perception is. I see the beauty, logic, the
sanity of it. I say, how am I to proceed?
A: There is very great intensity, passion in this because I also
feel this is the precipice. There is no sluggishness left. It is all there
at this moment.
Krishnamurti: You have this problem, this baby left in your lap.
What are you going to do? You must answer. What is it that
prevents total perception?
A: I see intellectually that I cannot see the whole of it.
Krishnamurti: Leave it there. What is it that prevents total
perception of this vast complex, existence? Have you an answer? I
have got it. Find out. (Pause)
When I enter the room, one object catches my eye. The lovely
bedspread, and I casually look at other things. I say that is rather
beautiful, the colouring, the design and it gives great pleasure.
So, what has happened? There is this whole field of existence.
The eye catches the one thing. What is it that prevents the seeing of
other things; that which makes other things shadowy, distant? Just
R: The observer.
Krishnamurti: Go slow. That is beautiful but my observation of
the other is still vague. This is clear. It watches this very clearly.
The other is rather cloudy.
Now, in this vast field of existence, I catch one thing and the
rest recedes, becomes very vague. Why is it that one thing becomes
important? Or why has perception focused on that? Why is the eye, why is perception attracted to this only?
R: It is pleasant.
Krishnamurti: Which means what? The element of pleasure.
There is this whole field and one thing only attracts me. So what
happens? I translate the whole of the field of existence into
pleasure. I enter this room, I look at the bedspread and I say I like
it and there it is. And there is this vast existence and in it, the one
thing that attracts me is the maintenance of pleasure at any price.
A: For most people life is painful.
Krishnamurti: It is painful because we are thinking in terms of
pleasure. Pleasure is the principle, is the factor which is preventing
me from seeing the whole.
A: I was investigating this morning. Sankara says fear of pain is
the thorn in the bush.
K: I see this whole field of life only in terms of pursuing
pleasure. I see the whole of this, with all the complexities, in terms
of pleasure or wanting pleasure. Does that prevent total perception?
R: It is very complex. Here is the fragment which is part of the
whole. Then our attention is on this fragment. What is giving
attention is a fragment. What is wanting pleasure out of this is a
Krishnamurti: We have said all this.
R: So, pleasure is a fragment.
Krishnamurti: No, no.
I want pleasure throughout life. There is no other thing I want.
Money, sex, position, prestige, god, virtue, ideas – this is
understood – pleasure through everything.
And I do not see pleasure is the thorn. I do not see that. So, in perception there is one guiding factor, and if that is the guiding
factor, how can I see the whole field which pleasure has brought
about? I want pleasure; therefore, I create a society which will give
me pleasure. My drive is pleasure. And that society has its
morality, and that morality is always based on the principle of
How can the mind see the whole of the field when there is only
the search for pleasure? What is the factor of pleasure? It must
always be personal – it must be mine, not yours. I will sacrifice my
pleasure for the greater pleasure in collective work, but it is still
pleasure. Pleasure is always personal.
So, look what I have done, life then becomes a movement of
A: The validity of everything is pleasure.
Krishnamurti: So, as long as the mind is pursuing pleasure as
the «me», how can I see this whole thing? I must understand
pleasure, not suppress it, not deny it.
So, it is important to see the whole, not the particular and the
particular must always exist when there is the pursuit of pleasure.
And there must be understanding of pleasure, not the cutting it off
by the intellect.
A: It cannot be cut off.
Krishnamurti: What man has done, what religions have taught is
to cut off with the intellect. What tortures the saints go through, the
burning, the mutilating. That is the traditional way.
So, I see the central factor that when one thing becomes all-
important, then I do not see the whole of life. Why is there this
pursuit of pleasure? A: The pleasure principle is too strong.
Krishnamurti: What do the professionals say about this pursuit
A: They say that every pleasure leads to pain; man contemplates
pain but it still leads to fragmentation. To concentrate on pain
instead of pleasure is the same thing.
Krishnamurti: Why has man pursued pleasure at any cost?
A: Biological needs are so deeply ingrained in us.
Krishnamurti: There is nothing wrong in that – we need good,
clean food. What is wrong with that? A clean floor to sleep on,
what is wrong? But see what happens – I must have it tomorrow.
That means today’s biological need has been made into tomorrow’s
pleasure; which is, thought has taken over. So thinking is the factor
one has to understand, not pleasure. A: We have come to see that
pleasure is transferred in thought.
Krishnamurti: Now you have got it.
So, before you do anything with pleasure, understand thinking.
Before you strengthen pleasure, before you nourish it, first find out
what is thinking.
A: The movement of thought as pleasure has to be understood.
Krishnamurti: No, it is thought itself which sustains this. What
shall I do with thinking? How do I stop thinking about sex or food,
A: We started with energy. At this point it becomes fragmented.
Krishnamurti: Thought in essence is the maker of fragments.
Tradition has always talked of the suppression of thought. Act and
forget it completely and do not carry it over.
TRADITION AND REVOLUTION DIALOGUE 19
MADRAS 16TH JANUARY 1971 ‘FREEDOM AND
Questioner A: You were saying the brain cells themselves are
conditioned by the past, the biological and historical past, and you
said the structure of the brain cells could change. Could we go into
that? The brain cells seem to have an activity of their own?
Krishnamurti: I was going to ask this morning whether the
professionals have ever talked of the brain cells.
R: The Indian philosophers do not mention the brain cells.
Krishnamurti: Why? Is it because when they speak of the mind,
they include the brain cells?
A: They say the mind is matter. They do not go further.
Krishnamurti: Everything is recorded in the brain cells. Every
incident, every impression is imprinted in the brain; one can
observe the vast number of impressions in oneself. You are asking
how it is possible to go beyond, to make the brain cells quiet?
A: Normally you would think that the brain would be an
instrument of the intellect.
Krishnamurti: But is not the intellect the instrument of the brain
rather than the other way?
A: Is it?
Krishnamurti: Let us investigate it. The capacity to reason, to
compare, to weigh, to judge, to understand, to investigate, to
rationalize and to act is all part of memory. The intellect formulates
ideas and from that there is action.
A: The materialistic view is that thought is to the brain what bile is to the liver and that the phenomenal manifestation is the
result of the movement of the non-phenomenal. What the
traditionalists say is that at death there is the complete cessation of
the brain, but the complete cessation of the brain leaves, in a subtle
way, a residue.
Krishnamurti: A thought?
A: The residue exists independently of the brain which has
become dead. Therefore, it creates another focus. Out of its
activity, something new emerges.
Krishnamurti: The brain cells are the repository of memory. The
reaction of memory is thought. Thought can be independent of
memory. It is like throwing a stone which is independent of the
hand which throws it. Whether that thought incarnates is another
A: I have a mug full of water; I pour the water into the bucket
and then I take out the water again. It is not the same water I threw
in. It is much more than what I put in.
Krishnamurti: This is fairly simple. What are you trying to say?
R: The brain cells and their activity are not the ultimate source
of all this false movement.
A: You bring us to action. Now, we are all the time involved in
activity. In discussing with you, we see activity leads to mischief.
To see this is the beginning of action. Are we going to take it at the
level of the brain cells or at the level of the residue; the residue
which triggers the brain activity?
R: The traditional description is: I eat with my hands. There is a
smell of food. I wash my hand, the odour remains. So the
experience during life leaves a residue impression. The body dies but some kind of odour of experience remains which seeks more
A: You were saying the intellect itself is the result of the
activity of the brain. But with the intellect I see what effect the
accumulations of the past, as memory, have left on me. Even when
the intellect sees this, the activity of the brain cells is in motion.
Krishnamurti: Are you trying to say that the brain cells are
receiving all the time; they are recording all the time, in the state of
sleeping and in the state of waking. That recording is an
independent movement. That independent movement creates the
capacity to think, to rationalize. The intellect can then observe the
operation of the movement of thought. It can observe how thought
has created itself. And that is again part of the whole structure of
the brain cells. What is the question?
A: How is the structure of the brain cells to change?
Krishnamurti: That is quite a different matter. The brain cells
are recording all the time – perception, design, colour, everything is
being registered. One element assumes a tremendous importance.
And these brain cells, receiving impressions all the time,
consciously or unconsciously, are building the capacity to think, to
rationalize. The instrument of this rationalization is the intellect.
The two are not separate.
A: Without the intellect, would there be rationalization?
Krishnamurti: Is the intellect independent of the brain cells? Is
the capacity to rationalize independent of the brain cells or being a
part of them can it ever be independent? You cannot rationalize
independently, because the brain cells and the intellect are part of
cause-effect. And can the intellect observe the background of memory, which is the brain?
I believe modern scientists are trying to isolate the various cells
which contain memories and to explore the cells, to investigate
biologically. You can do that under the microscope and if the
intellect is the product of the brain, the intellect must always be
conditioned by memory, by knowledge. It can project very far but
it is still tethered. The intellect can seek freedom, it can never find
it. It can be free only within the radius of its own tether; in itself it
is limited. And freedom must be beyond this intellectual capacity,
must be something outside the field.
Now, what is it that is aware of this whole phenomenon that the
intellect can never be free? It can think it is free and it can project
an idea, but it is not freedom because it is the product of the brain
cells which are the residue of memory.
What is it that is aware that the intellect cannot go beyond the
range of its own radius? I do not know if you understand the
A: The intellect itself can be aware of this.
Krishnamurti: I do not know. I am asking.
R: The intellect is a fragment.
Krishnamurti: There is no freedom within the field. Therefore
the intellect says there must be freedom outside the field. It is still
rationalization, and therefore its search outside is still within the
field. Then what is it that is aware of the whole field? Is it still
Krishnamurti: Why not? Is it not still rationalization? It was
said that the brain cells are the recording machine. They are recording everything. That record has created an instrument which
is the capacity to investigate, to explore, to criticize, which you can
call the intellect. Then the intellect seeks freedom outside itself. It
sees that there can be no freedom within the field and that freedom
is outside. So it thinks it moves outside the field of itself. After
having stated that, what happens? It sees that whatever movement
it makes is within the field. Whatever movement springs from it is
within the field; extend the field horizontally or vertically but it is
still within the field. Therefore it is always within a prison.
The intellect sees that, observes that, explores that. You are now
asking how the brain cells are to change? Proceed.
This is the movement man has been caught in. And not knowing
how to get out of it, he has invented the atman.
A: The Buddhists say this process which has come into
existence with a cause, has an end and the perception of it is a dead-
Buddhism maintains that the perception of the dead-end (they
use the word pudgala) is to see, that in this there is no permanency,
and that rebirth is the rebirth of the ignorance of this process. So
when you observe this process as impermanent, then it must create
absolutely no attachment to this process. All that is given to you is
to see the impermanence, and seeing this, there is no attachment to
this: and this is the dead-end. Contemplate this.
The Buddha saw only once – disease, old age and death. Seeing
it once, he never turned back. The boy Krishnamurti also never
looked back. The Buddha said, see the impermanency of it, in that,
there is no effort at all. Krishnamurti says just «see».
Krishnamurti: Then what is the question? How are these recording instruments with their own capacity, their own
movements, how are they to switch off and enter a different
dimension, even for a short period? You cannot go back to the
Upanishads. In that is authority.
A: We come to the point where the intellect realizes that
whatever it does is within the field and therefore, what?
Krishnamurti: You see, the dead-end man has said that and
stops there. But another dead-end man says I must have something
more; and so the atman comes in.
A: The Buddhists said there is no soul. That which putrefies
will end. It will terminate. Do not get attached. That is all that you
can do. It leads to the void, or shunyata.
R: The Vedantins also said the same thing.
A: They invented maya. It absorbed the whole of their
Krishnamurti: The distinction between the two is non-existent.
The intellect itself says, this movement is within this field. Is there
any other movement? It does not say there is or there is not. It
cannot rationalize, because if it says there is, it is back in the same
field – the positive or negative.
The question then is, is there a movement other than this
movement? Otherwise there is no freedom. A thing that functions
from a centre within its own radius, however wide, is never free.
What is freedom?
A: When it asks is there another movement, I cannot know.
Krishnamurti: I know this is prison. I do not know what
freedom is. A: You have taken away one confusion, that all is maya.
Tradition has made that a conclusion.
Krishnamurti: My question is, is there freedom at all? Tradition
would say yes, there is moksha. It is all immature.
A: Faced with this question, I have absolutely no instrument
now to deal with this.
Krishnamurti: No, you have the instrument of rationalization,
the intellect. Is there no validity in this enquiry? I am asking, if
there is no freedom within this field, then what is freedom?
A: The intellect can never know.
Krishnamurti: Do not say it cannot know. Intellect can only
know freedom within the field, like a man knowing freedom within
a prison. It then asks what is freedom? If this is not «it», then what
is freedom? Is there such a thing at all? And if there is no such
thing, let us make the best of this – more toilets, more hangers,
more rooms, make the interior perfect. So man can never be free.
The intellect rejects that there can be no freedom because it is
inconceivable that there is no way out of this prison. The clever
brains invent maya, atman, brahman. Now, I am asking myself, if
there is no freedom, is the mind everlastingly condemned to live
within this field? What is the point of it all? The communists, the
materialists say you cannot get out. (Pause)
I have got it: I am not concerned whether the brain cells change
or not. I see that this concern about freedom, freedom which is not
a formula, which is not a conclusion, is not freedom. Right?
Then the mind says if this is not, then what is freedom?
Then it says I do not know.
It sees that in that non-knowing, there is an expectation to know.
When I say I do not know what freedom is, there is a waiting
and an expectation to find out. That means the mind does not say it
does not know, but is waiting for something to happen.
I see that and I discard that. (Pause)
So I really do not know.
I am not waiting, expecting. I am not hoping something will
happen, some answer will come from an outside agency. I am not
expecting a thing.
There it is. There is the clue.
I know this is not «it». There is no freedom here. There is
reformation, but not freedom. Reformation can never bring
freedom. Man revolts against the whole idea that he can never be
free, that he is condemned to live in this world. It is not intellect
that revolts, but the whole organism, the whole perception. Right?
Therefore it says that as this is not «it», I do not know what
freedom is. I do not expect a thing, I do not hope or try to find what
freedom is. I really do not know.
That not-knowing is freedom. Knowing is prison. This is
I do not know what is going to happen tomorrow. Therefore I
am free of the past, free of this field.
The knowing of the field is the prison, the not-knowing of the
field is also the prison.
Sir, look, I know yesterday. I know what happened yesterday.
The knowing of what happened yesterday is the prison.
So, the mind that lives in a state of not-knowing is a free mind.
Right? The traditionalists went wrong when they said do not be
attached. You see, they denied all relationships. They could not
solve the problem of relationships, but they said do not be attached
and so broke away from all relationships. They said «Be detached»,
therefore they withdrew into isolation.
To live with the knowledge of this field is prison. And not to
know the prison is also not freedom.
And so a mind that lives in the known, is always in prison. That
Can the mind say I do not know, which means the yesterday has
It is the knowledge of continuity which is the prison.
A: To pursue this requires ruthlessness. Krishnamurti: Do not
use the word ruthlessness. It requires tremendous delicacy. When I
said I really do not know, I really do not know. Full stop. See what
it does. It means a real humility, a sense of austerity. Then,
yesterday has ended. So the man who has ended yesterday is really
beginning again. Therefore he has to be austere. I really do not
know; what a marvellous thing that is. I do not know if I may die
tomorrow. Therefore there is no possibility of having any
conclusion at any time, which means, never to have any burden.
The burden is the knowing.
A: Can one come to this point and stay there?
Krishnamurti: You do not have to stay.
A: The mind has a way of switching back. Words take you only
to a point. There is no room for switching back.
Krishnamurti: Go slow. Do not put it that way. We see this. We
see the man who speaks of detachment, we see the man who invents the atman. We come along and say, look, both are wrong.
In this field there is no freedom.
Then we ask, is there freedom at all? I say I really do not know.
It does not mean I have forgotten the past. In the «I do not know»
there is no inclusion of the past nor a discarding of the past, nor a
utilization of the past.
All that it says is, in the past there is no freedom. The past is
knowledge, the past is accumulation, the past is the intellect. In that
there is no freedom.
In asking is there freedom at all, man says «I really do not
know». He is free of the known.
R: But the structure of the brain cells remains.
Krishnamurti: They become extraordinarily flexible. Being
flexible they can reject, accept; there is movement.
A: We see something as action. So far we only know activity.
We can never reject activity. It goes on. In laying down bare
activity, it ceases to be a barrier to action. The normal day to day
living is a process which goes on.
Krishnamurti: Are you asking what is action? What is action to
a man who does not know? The man who knows is acting from
knowledge and his action, his activity is always within the prison,
projecting that prison into the future. It is always within the field of
What is action to the man who says I do not know? He does not
even ask, because he is acting.
You are missing something, which is, not to know whether
tomorrow is there. Can you go into that? I will have my meal in the
afternoon, I will go for a walk; apart from that all action to a man who knows is total inaction; his action is always mischievous. The
activist is always committed, involved. You see action is
relationship in the field of the known. It is there in detachment, in
attachment, in dominance, in subservience. Life is relationship.
Have the professionals talked about relationship?
Krishnamurti: To them relationship meant attachment and
therefore they talked of detachment. But I have to live in this
world. Even in the Himalayas, I need food. There is relationship.
That may be the reason why the whole Indian movement of
detachment has made the mind so stupid, repetitive.
A: The Buddha in his first sermon said that both detachment
and attachment are ignoble. The two represented the Hindu idea of
running away from the world.
Krishnamurti: Why did they not consider relationship? When
the sannyasi renounces the world he cannot renounce relationship.
He may not sleep with a woman but he cannot renounce
relationship. I am asking myself, if you deny relationship, action
becomes meaningless. What is action without relationship? Is it
doing something mechanical?
A: Action is relationship.
Krishnamurti: Relationship is the primary thing. Otherwise
what exists? If my father did not sleep with my mother, I would not
exist. So relationship is the basic movement of life. Relationship
within the field of knowledge is deadly, destructive, corrupt. That
is the worldly.
So, what is action? We have separated action from
relationships: as social action, political action, you follow? We have not solved this problem of relationship. We discard it because
it is too deadly to discuss relationship, because I know I have a
wife and something may happen. So I do not want to discuss it. All
that I say is I must be detached. If you accept all living is
relationship, then what is action? There is one kind of action of
technology, of mechanical action, but every other action is non-
mechanical. Otherwise I reduce relationship into turning the wheel.
That is why we have denied love.
A: Can we examine our relationship with nature?
Krishnamurti: What is my relationship with nature – the birds,
sky, trees, flowers, the moving waters? That is my life. It is not just
relationship between man and woman, but al1 this is part of my
life. I am talking of relationship to everything. How can I be
attached to the forest, to the river? I can be attached to the word,
but not to the waters. You see, we miss the whole thing because we
confuse the word with the thing.
A: Is it a question of re-awakening sensitivity?
Krishnamurti: No. The question is what is relationship? Be
related to everything. Relationship means care; care means
attention; attention means love. That is why relationship is the
basis of everything. If you miss that, you miss the whole thing.
Yes, Sir, this is the prison. To know is the prison and to live in the
knowing is also the prison.
TRADITION AND REVOLUTION DIALOGUE 20
RISHI VALLEY 21ST JANUARY 1971 ‘THE
MATRIX OF TRADITION’
Questioner B: In Buddhism they mention three categories of
people in the world: the ordinary worldly man who has his
pleasures, pain, etc; the path-winner, the person who has a glimpse
of the direction; then the arhat. The worldly man might perform
rituals but he is still a worldly man till he has an experience, a
glimpse of the direction. The path-winner wanders away but
always comes back, till such time when there is no more going
back to the first stage.
Krishnamurti: A man who is of the world has a glimpse of the
path – how does he have it? And once he is on the path he may
wander back and forth, wander and come back to the path and
finally settle down and reach the state of being an arhat. Are you
asking how the worldly man is to have a glimpse?
Questioner C: What is sadhana? sadhana means to attain, to
prepare that by which you attain siddhi. siddhi means goal.
Krishnamurti: That through which you attain a goal – a system,
a method, a process; that means time.
C: Does it imply time? It does not necessarily imply time.
Krishnamurti: If I have to go through the gate to attain, going
through the gate to attain is time.
That is a process of time. Sadhana implies a process of time.
C: Tradition also says sadhanas are useless.
Krishnamurti: Most people insist on sadhana, though they say it
is not necessary. It has become part of the tradition. B: They say it is better to go through sadhana, but they do not
guarantee that you will reach through sadhana.
Krishnamurti: The word sadhana implies a process and process
means things put together, and the putting together means time.
Even the most scientific concept of time is things put together in a
horizontal or vertical position. So sadhana means time. Though
you may say it is not necessary, the word implies time. So, what is
the question, Sir; what does tradition say?
B: The Buddhist tradition says that a man in sorrow has a
glimpse of this. Then he is the path-winner and then he works out
his salvation and becomes an arhat. What kind of operation or
movement is involved in the second stage?
C: They say when you get into the non-dual state, there is no
Krishnamurti: How do you come to it? C: Since it is not a
process, they do not say how you come to it. They say you cannot
come to it by hearing people, by studying, by rituals and sadhana.
They put it negatively.
Krishnamurti: It is a question of duality. Being in the world
implies duality, then there is a getting a glimpse of a non-dualistic
state and the getting back to the dualistic state; is that it?
C: They say there is no duality at all, but on account of the
intellectual process you create duality. Once you realize the non-
duality, then there is no question of worldliness creeping into it.
Krishnamurti: Living in a dualistic state as human beings do, by
negating rituals, will that get you to a non-dualistic state? You may
say that there is no dualistic mould or level; a dimension in which
there is no duality at all. The mind caught in the dualistic state, by negating beliefs, rituals, etc., will it come to the «other»? Is that
what the tradition says? Shall we approach this problem in a simple
way, which is: one lives in a dualistic state. That is a fact. One
lives in the dualistic state in which there is pain, sorrow, conflict
and all that. And man says, how am I to get out of it? The non-
dualistic state is merely a theory. Man does not know it. He does
not know in the sense he might have read about it, but it is
secondhand information. It has no value. Disregard what others
have said about it.
I only know a dualistic state in which there is sorrow, pain. That
is a fact. That is from where I start.
C: Some people have conflict and misery and realize that the
dualistic state is the cause of the trouble. So they want to get rid of
it. Some do not start from this, but they feel discontented and read,
and having read, they start imagining the non-dual state.
Krishnamurti: It is a theory. The fact is one thing and the idea
about the fact is another. We are not concerned with the man who
supplies a conclusion derived by a specialist. We are only
discussing about a man who is in conflict and is discontented with
that conflict. How does he get out of it?
C: The traditional way is to explore through books. Man attains
by negating and resolves by knowledge.
Krishnamurti: Proceed step by step. I am in conflict. Now, how
do I resolve it? You say by knowledge. What is knowledge?
C: The realization of conflict is knowledge.
Krishnamurti: I do not have to realize it, I am in conflict. I know
I am in conflict, in pain, in sorrow. What do you mean by
knowledge and what do you mean by conflict? To know that I am in conflict, is that knowledge? Or do you call knowledge what I
should do about that conflict? When you use the word
«knowledge», what do you mean by that? What is the sanskrit
equivalent of that word?
Krishnamurti: What does that mean? Knowledge about what? Is
it the know- ledge about the cause of conflict?
C: Jnana will also apply to the nature of conflict and how it
Krishnamurti: How does it come into being and how does it
work? What is the nature and structure of it? To know the cause is
to know the structure and the nature of pain. Do you call that
C: Sir, jnana has been divided as that which pertains to the
phenomenal world and that which refers to the non-phenomenal
Krishnamurti: What do you mean by conflict?
C: Conflict is duality.
Krishnamurti: We know what the word «knowledge» is. What
do you mean by the word «conflict»?
C: Dwandva – conflict between the two – hot and cold, pleasure
and pain, happiness and sorrow.
Krishnamurti: So let us proceed: I am in conflict. I want to go
out and I want to stay here; I am unhappy and I want to do
something which makes for happiness. I acquire knowledge about
it by seeing the cause, the nature, the structure of this conflict. The
understanding of the cause, the nature, the structure of this conflict
is knowledge: And knowing that, having this knowledge, will it free the mind from conflict? So you are saying knowledge will free
the mind from conflict, right, Sir?
Now, I know that I am jealous because my wife looks at another
man or you have a better job than me. I know why I am jealous. I
know the nature and structure of jealousy, which is: I would like to
be in your place. I would like my wife not to look at you: I know
the cause, I know the effect; the reaction of it is I am jealous. I see
the full structure of it as an engineer sees a structure, and the
knowing of it, does it free me from it? Obviously it does not.
C: Knowledge which will resolve conflict is the kind of
knowledge in which there is no duality:
Krishnamurti: How do you know – because somebody else has
C: By looking into why jealousy arises. Why should I be
Krishnamurti: That is analysis. Does analysis free the mind
C: Analysis alone will not.
Krishnamurti: Knowledge is the result of analysis. I analyse. I
see why I am jealous. I was angry with my wife and so on, and she
has left me. Does this knowledge free me from the fear of living
alone without her?
C: The feeling of jealousy does cease.
Krishnamurti: How do you propose to end jealousy? I have
analysed myself till I am sick, and the next minute I am jealous
C: That means by analysis you have not ended jealousy.
Krishnamurti: Analysis is part of knowledge. I have accumulated knowledge because I have analysed. I am jealous
because I have tried to possess her. The realization of this is
knowledge; and I possess her because I am afraid to live alone –
and this is part of knowledge. And you are saying, through analysis
there is accumulation of know1edge, and that knowledge is going
to free you from jealousy. Does it?
C: No, Sir. I may analyse jealousy, as she is my wife and she
has gone to another man; I may also say that there is no difference
at all, what does it matter if she goes? It all depends on the
Krishnamurti: That is all intellection. Intellection is part of
analysis. As long as there is the intellect, knowledge, you are not
free. So all knowledge is intellectual.
C: Jnana is not that intellectua1 process. The intellectual
process ends with manas and buddhi.
Krishnamurti: So you are saying there is another factor which is
beyond intellect, knowledge. Analysis, accumulation of knowledge
through analysis is one kind of knowledge, and there is another,
some other factor beyond that.
C: Which enables the buddhi to see, to discriminate.
B: How is knowledge acquired? Let us take the first step.
Krishnamurti: I have been on that road many times and I have
acquired knowledge. I have seen that person often and I have
talked to him. He has been friendly, non-friendly. All that is
knowledge. I have accumulated through experience, through
analysis, through incidents, information, which is called
C: What makes that knowledge possible? What makes experience possible?
Krishnamurti: Experience is possible only when there is the
experiencer. You hurt me, that is experience. You say something
which I do not like, and that hurts me. That is an experience, then
that experience becomes knowledge. Will that knowledge end
Krishnamurti: Then what will end conflict? Do they say it is
that entity which realizes the experiencer, who has gathered this
knowledge that will end conflict? If so then there is a superior
C: There is a principle through which all these several
experiences, all the disparate experiences of the individual are
made possible. How do I know I am the experiencer?
Krishnamurti: Because I have experienced before. I know I am
the experiencer because you have hurt me before. The knowledge,
the previous knowledge makes me the experiencer.
B: I see sunlight; sunrise, I fee1 that is my experience of having
seen the sun……
Krishnamurti: Having seen the sunset once and seeing it day
after day, the accumulation of that knowledge makes the
C: They postulate an entity which does not experience.
Krishnamurti: The postulated entity is another opinion which I
have acquired from somebody else.
It is fairly simple and clear. First I am aware, I get to know I am
in conflict. I analyse it. Through analysis I have acquired
knowledge that I am jealous; that is simple. Analysis, observation, watching, have given me information why I am jealous, which is
knowledge: And that knowledge apparently cannot get rid of
jealousy. Then what will get rid of it? Do not invent another
superior seLf: I know nothing about it: I know only conflict,
analysis, knowledge and I see knowledge does not get rid of
B: What is the sub-stratum of all experience? What is that out of
which all experiences arise? What is the matrix?
Krishnamurti: Is it an accumulation of experience? The matrix
is things put together. The matrix of the carpet is the warp and
woof. The matrix of experience is experience. Are you asking, Sir,
what is the thread that makes experience or are you asking what the
matter is upon which the experience leaves a pattern?
C: Traditionalists consider that knowledge as gathering of
experience, memory, belongs to the realm of manas and buddhi,
and this is made possible by the atman which sheds light, and
without atman, the manas cannot function.
Krishnamurti: What is the material upon which experience
leaves a mark? Is there such material?
Now what is it on which any experience leaves a mark?
Obviously, it is the brain. The fact is, the brain is the material; the
cells are the material on which every incident leaves a mark, every
experience, conscious or unconscious.
All the time the brain is receiving. I see that flower, it has
already registered; I see you, it has already registered. Constant
recording is going on. It is there. The racial inheritance, personal
inheritance; all this is leaving a mark on the brain.
B: The function of the mind is energy. Krishnamurti: The registration of the brain is part of energy.
The whole thing is energy.
So brain is the repository of all recording – sensory, non-
sensory. That is the tape which has been collected for centuries.
That is knowledge. If you did not know where you lived, you could
not go there. Because you have been there, you know it.
Knowledge does not necessarily free the mind from conflict.
Right? We see that. Then what will free the mind without the
introduction of the atman which is part of the tradition, knowledge
which I have acquired? Though I may call it atman, it is the same
field of knowledge.
C: How does it come within the field of knowledge?
Krishnamurti: Unless I think about it, there is no atman.
C: Thinking about it is not realizing it. It is not within the
comprehension of thought.
Krishnamurti: Thinking about something is still within the field
of thought. A man who thinks about atman is still within the field
C: The man who talked of atman never thought he realized that.
The only experience which they cite is that you have a sound deep
sleep and you wake up. How do you remember that you had a
sound sleep? In deep sleep the mind does not work.
Krishnamurti: How do you know when it does not work? The
brain cells are working day and night.
Only when you get up the next morning do you know that you
are tired or you have had a good sleep, etc. They are all the
functions of the brain. So atman is within the field of thought. It
must be. Otherwise, you would not use that word. We are saying atman is part of the brain. Thought says it cannot solve the problem
through thought and, therefore, there must be the atman.
C: But they have said the atman is outside experience.
B: Explain the material of experience.
Krishnamurti: I see the flower, I name it. There is a naming of
it, the form, the verbalization; verbalization is the memory, because
the brain has seen and says that is a flower.
B: Does it operate if I close my eyes?
Krishnamurti: Of course, shut your eyes, close your ears, you
can still think. The moment I say there is God, the thinking about it
is within the field of thought.
The man who has not thought at all, to him there is no God. The
ancient ones thinking about something superior, wanting
something greater, said there was God. That was the product of
thought. So that was within the field of knowledge.
C: Not much importance is given to God in the Upanishads.
According to their conception God and brahman are the same.
Krishnamurti: You see, someone comes along who is not a
Hindu and says God, Jesus. What is the difference? He has been
brought up in his culture, and you in this culture say atman.
C: We say both. God is personal, atman is not personal.
Krishnamurti: They are all the product of thought. Look, how
deceptive the mind has become, caught in words. I have
accumulated knowledge about suffering and suffering does not
end, and not knowing how to end it, thought says there must be
some other factor. So it invents the atman. It thinks about it. Other
wise the atman would not have come into existence. So atman does
not end it either, because it is part of knowledge. Knowledge about suffering has not ended suffering.
The atman does not end suffering either.
C: But they themselves have said that thought will not solve the
Krishnamurti: But atman is the product of thought.
C: But atman is experienced by them. It is their personal
Krishnamurti: When they say they experience atman, what does
C: They say it cannot be described.
Krishnamurti: Of course it cannot be, but it is part of thought.
C: To them it was not part of thought. They realized it.
Krishnamurti: How do I realize anything? I must recognize it,
must I not? What do I recognize?
C: Recognition means seeing a thing without the process of
thought. Krishnamurti: I recognize you because I have met you
yesterday. If I did not, I would not know you.
C: That is not the process by which you recognize brahman.
Krishnamurti: Be simple. Let us talk logically. I must recognize
a new experience. What is the process of recognition? I must have
known it already, like the flower, the yellow flower – I could not
recognize it if I had not seen it. So recognition of an experience is,
that it has already been experienced. Therefore, atman has already
been experienced to recognize it. It is, therefore, within the field of
experience. So when they say you cannot experience it, what do
they mean by it?
The fact is, I suffer; I say «I want to end suffering». So, why do
I bring in the atman? It has no value at all. It is like a man who is hungry and you describe food to him.
C: I agree that whatever they have said does not help.
Krishnamurti: On the contrary, they have destroyed the mind by
introducing a factor which does not help.
Krishnamurti: See it. Say, I will never talk about the atman, it
does not mean a thing. So, how do I face this? How can the mind
resolve the factor of sorrow? Not through atman. That is too
childish. It can only resolve it, not through knowledge, but by
looking at it without knowledge.
C: Is this possible?
Krishnamurti: Do not introduce atman. Try it. Test it out. The
other you cannot test. Put it away completely. Then what happens?
Then how do I look at suffering – with knowledge or without
Do I look at it with past eyes? Do I look with eyes which are
filled with the past, therefore, translate everything in terms of the
B: We cannot use the past as a means to free ourselves from
Krishnamurti: When you say that you see what suffering is, you
are directly in relationship with suffering, not the observer
observing suffering. I look at suffering without the image and the
image is the past. The image of the past may be the atman. Of
course, it is. Test it. Test the image as you would test it in the
laboratory. In the same way you can test this. The other you
cannot. The atman which I see is part of thought. There is no
testing there at all. Here there is testing. I am looking at this sorrow with past experience. My past experience divides the past as the
past and the present. There is duality. The present is sorrow and I
am looking at the present through the past, and translating it in
terms of the past. If the mind can look at it without the past, there
must be a different meaning altogether. So, I have to test it. Can the
mind look without past memory? Can I look at that flower without
past knowledge? Test it; you can do it or not do it.
TRADITION AND REVOLUTION DIALOGUE 21
RISHI VALLEY 23RD JANUARY 1971 ‘THE
GURU, TRADITION AND FREEDOM’
Krishnamurti: Cou1d we enquire – not only from the traditional
point of view but also relate the who1e field of tradition to what we
have been talking about, to see the divergence, the contradictions,
the similarities and dissimilarities? And a1so see if there is
anything new in what we are saying. Let us discuss this; question it
back and forth.
A: We might start with the four purusharthas – dharma, artha,
kama and moksha. If we examine the traditional approach to living,
we see that tradition begins with the fact that human existence has
these four aspects and each of them is vital, essential for the
development of understanding.
Krishnamurti: Should we not begin with the meaning of it all?
A: The fundamentalists started with the meaning of it all, with
the four aspects.
Krishnamurti: Should we not enquire what it all means – human
existence, human sorrow, conflict? What does it all mean? How do
the professionals answer this question?
SW: In the tradition, we find two clear directions. The orthodox
direction which goes by verbal interpretation of facts and the
breakaway tradition, as seen in Dattatreya and the yoga vasishtha.
The seers who broke away, said «no guru», «We have discovered it
for ourselves», «I will not swear by the Vedas», «the whole of
nature, the whole world is my guru», «observe and understand the
world». In Buddha also, there was a breaking away. His teaching represents the core of the breakaway pattern. Those who broke
away were closely linked with life.
If you read the yoga vasishtha, it says that the mind is full of
thoughts, conflicts; and these conflicts arise because of desire and
fear; unless you are able to resolve them, you cannot understand. It
talks of negative thinking. Max Mueller and some others
misinterpreted the word nirodha. The word does not mean
suppression, it means negation.
A great deal is said about gurus. The yoga vasishtha says that
giving initiation and such other actions are meaningless.
Awakening of the disciple is in right understanding and in
awareness. That alone is the most primary responsible fact. These
essentials are the core of the breakaway tradition.
R: And yet there are many places in the yoga vasishtha where it
says without a guru, you cannot find anything.
A: Breakaway from what? If it is a breakaway from the social
system, the breakaway tradition also continues the social system.
SW: To the problem of understanding, tradition gives a formal
verbal approach. In the breakaway tradition, this is not so. The
breakaway is not from society. Both these traditions exist. In the
mathas or monasteries, they talked of the Vedas but what they said
had nothing to do with life; there were others who related all that
they understood to life. But whatever was said had nothing to do
with the society.
R: How is it that the guru tradition has become so important?
Krishnamurti: Shall we discuss this question of guru? Shall we
begin with that? What does the word «guru» mean?
SW: «Desika» is the right word, not guru. Desika means one who helps to awaken the disciple; one who helps the seeker to
understand. The word means one who learns.
R: The disciple is called shishya. Shishya is one who is capable
SW: Guru means vast, beyond, great.
Krishnamurti: The guru is one who is great, beyond, one who is
profound, then what relationship has he to a disciple?
SW: In the Upanishads, it is one of love and compassion. The
Upanishads maintain that compassion is the contact between the
guru and the disciple.
Krishnamurti: How has the tradition now become authoritarian?
How has a sense of discipline, of following, of acceptance of
whatever the guru says, how has that been introduced into the
relationship? The authoritarian, compulsive, destructive
relationship comes in the way of real thinking, it destroys initiative.
How has this relationship come into being?
SW: It is difficult to say. The two approaches must have existed
for a long time. In one tradition, the guru is taken as a friend, as a
person the disciple loves; in that the guru is not authoritarian at all.
The other tradition exploits. It wants authority, followers.
A: Swamiji’s main point is that there has not been a
homogenous stream. There is the outsider and the conformist. A
non-conformist is one who rejects society; he is outside society.
R: We come back again to your first question – what is it all
about, apart from the question of gurus what is the fundamental
answer to life?
Krishnamurti: I wonder if we could find out. Could you dig into
it? Could you dig everything out of me? You understand what I mean? You come to a well and you get water according to the size
of your bucket; whatever vessel you carry, that amount of water
you get. You have read a great deal of the ancient literature, you
have practised, you have read what we have talked about. You are
well-equipped from the traditional point of view, and you know
what is happening in the world. Now, you and I meet. Dig out of
me as much as you can. Question me about everything, from the
beginning to the end. Ques- tion deeply as the conformist and as
the non-conformist, as a guru, as a non-guru, as a disciple and as a
It is like going to a well with tremendous thirst, wanting to find
out everything. Do it that way, Sir. Then I think it will be
SW: Then can I be absolutely free?
Krishnamurti: Break all the windows, because I feel wisdom is
infinite. It has no limits, and because it has no frontiers, it is totally
impersonal. So with all your experience, knowledge and
understanding of tradition and the breakaway pattern which also
becomes tradition, with what you know and what you have
understood, from your own meditations, from your own life, you
come to me. Do not be satisfied by just a few words. Dig deep.
SW: I would like to know, how you came to it yourself?
Krishnamurti: You want to know how this person came upon it?
I could not tell you. You see, Sir, he apparently never went through
any practice, discipline, jealousy, envy, ambition, competition,
wanting power, position, prestige, fame. He did not want any of
them. And therefore there was never any question of giving up. So
when I say I really do not know, I think that would be the truth. Most of the traditional teachers go through, give up, practice,
sacrifice, control; they sit under a tree and come upon clarity.
SW: Then, another thing I would like to ask is, in your
teachings, sensitivity, understanding, passive awareness, are factors
that must saturate one’s living. How did you come upon this?
A: You may have had nothing to give up and therefore no
discipline, no sadhana, but what about people who have something
to give up?
Krishnamurti: You are asking how I came upon this? I really
could not tell you. Why do you bother about it? What importance
is it how I got it?
SW: It is curiosity, it is joy.
Krishnamurti: Let us go beyond that.
SW: The moment you say awareness, attention, sensitivity, one
is so full of wonder, appreciation. How did you come to this? How
is it that this man is able to talk like this? And when we analyse
what you say, it is so scientific, rational and so full of meaning.
Krishnamurti: You know the story of how the boy was picked
up; he was born in the most orthodox Brahmin family; he was not
conditioned by the tradition nor by any other factors through life –
as a Hindu, as a theosophist. It did not touch him. First of all, I do
not know why it did not touch him.
A: This question which he asks may be put in another idiom.
How did it happen that a person who was in the midst of an
environment which laid maximum stress on phenomenal life did
not get caught in that life?
SW: K came by it. He is not able to explain but he talks and he
uses certain terms and the whole logic of it is there; and it is a wonder to the listener how without anything he has come to it and
yet there is logic.
Krishnamurti: How is it that a man like K, not having read the
sacred books, the scriptures of the east or west, how is it that not
having experienced, given up, sacrificed, gone through the gamut
of all this, how does he say these things? I really could not say, Sir.
A: You gave the answer a minute ago; you said wisdom is not
Krishnamurti: But he says how is it that you got the wisdom
without all this?
SW: I am not asking how he came by it but in his talk there is
such cogency, rationality, such perfect logical sequences. It comes
and the listener finds beauty, joy. It is in his heart.
Krishnamurti: When you say it has come because it is in his
heart, I do not know how to put it. It comes. I do not know how;
not from the heart or from the mind, but it comes. Or would you
say, Sir, that it would come to any person who is really non-
SW: Perfectly, yes.
Krishnamurti: I think it would be the most logical answer.
SW: Or is it that you saw the misery of mankind and then got
Krishnamurti: No. To answer this question really properly,
completely, one has to go into the whole question – there was that
boy who was picked up; he went through all kinds of things – he
was proclaimed the Messiah, he was worshipped, enormous
amounts of property were given to him, he had a great following.
All that did not touch him. He gave up land as he accepted land. There was that boy and he had never read philosophy, psychology,
the sacred books and he never practised anything. And there was
the quality of speaking from emptiness.
SW: Yes, yes.
Krishnamurti: You understand, Sir, there is never any
accumulation from which he speaks. So when you ask such a
question, «How do you say these things?,» that involves a much
greater question, which is, whether wisdom or whatever you would
like to call it, can be contained in any particular consciousness or it
lies beyond all particular consciousness?
Sir, look at this valley, the hills, the trees, the rocks – the valley
is all that. Without the content of the valley, there is no valley.
Now, if there is no content in consciousness, there is no
consciousness – in the sense of the limited. When you ask a
question, «How is it that he says these things?» I really do not
know. But it can be answered, that when it happens, the mind is
completely empty. This does not mean that you become a medium.
SW: I derive from this, that infinity is beauty, rationality, logic.
It is full of symmetry in its expression.
Krishnamurti: Sir, having said that which we just now said,
what do you want to find out? You have capacity, you have read a
great deal, you have knowledge, experience, you have practised
and meditated – from there, ask.
SW: Consciousness is bondage. Only from emptiness can one
have entry into it.
Krishnamurti: So you are asking how can a human being empty
SW: There is a traditional idea of the adhikari, the person who can learn. And the traditional idea is that there are levels or
differences in the persons who can receive or learn. What he can
learn, depends on that difference. There are three levels. In the
orthodox texts, they are mentioned as sattva, rajas and tamas.
Those who belong to the first category – sattva – can have
understanding by listening to a teacher, of understanding. The rajas
category have to listen and recollect when they face a problem of
life. The tamas ones cannot learn because their minds are too gross.
In order to make the mind subtle, there are many methods,
upasanas. Yoga starts with breath-control, meditation, the standing
on the head. Even then, they say the asanas are only meant as a
cleansing. It is said, whatever you do, be passive, observe «what
Krishnamurti: You say, as human beings are constituted, there
are levels, gradations of receptivity. They are not through with the
becoming process and for such people, is it possible to come upon
SW: That is one part of it. The other is that with most people,
there are moments of understanding. But they slip away. It is a
constant struggle. What does one do?
Krishnamurti: What is the question?
SW: What is such a person to do?
Krishnamurti: Knowing there are levels, is it possible to cut
across these levels?
A: Is that a question of time?
SW: Can we cut across these levels or are there processes by
which we can transcend the levels?
R: Tradition says that a long process of time is necessary. SW: I do not agree with that.
R: One must have the competence to understand.
A: I say my life is a life of becoming. When I come and sit with
you, you say time is irrelevant. I say «yes» because it is clear, but I
am back again in the field of time, effort, etc., and this thing which
I feel I understand, slips away.
Krishnamurti: The question is fairly clear. The question is that
when I listen, I seem to understand and when I go away it is gone.
And the other point is, how is one who is not bright, who is not
rational, to break through his conditioning and come upon it? What
is your answer to this?
SW: My answer from experience, the traditional answer, let
man do some type of meditation by which the mind is made much
Krishnamurti: That is, do certain practices, do certain exercises,
breathing, etc., till the mind is capable of understanding. And the
other who says when I listen to you, I understand but it slips away.
These are the two problems. First of all take a mind that has no
capacity; now, how is it capable of seeing? How is such a mind
capable of seeing, understanding, without practice, without the
time process? Time implies process, right? Without time, how is
such a mind to come upon this? My mind is dull. My mind has not
the clarity to understand this thing immediately. So you tell me to
practice, to breathe, to eat less, you ask me to practice all the
methods and systems which will help to make my mind sharp,
clear sensitive. All that involves time and when you allow time,
there are other factors which enter into the mind. If I have to go
from here to there, to cover that distance takes time. In covering that distance there are other factors entering during the voyage so
that I never reach there. Before I reach there I see something
beautiful and I am carried away. The way is not a straight, narrow
path on which I walk. Innumerable factors are happening. These
incidents, happenings, impressions are going to change the
movement of direction. And that thing which I am trying to
understand is not a fixed point either.
A: The point that it is not a fixed thing should be explored.
Krishnamurti: I say my mind is confused, is disturbed, I do not
You tell me to understand by doing these things. So you have
established understanding as a fixed point, and it is not a fixed
SW: It is not a fixed point.
Krishnamurti Obviously. If it is a fixed point, and I am going
towards it, there are other factors which enter in my journey
towards it and these factors are going to influence me much more
than the end.
A: That end is a projection of the unknowing mind.
Krishnamurti: That way is not the way at all. First see it. It is
not a fixed point, and it can never be a fixed point; therefore, I say
that is a false thing altogether. Then as it is not the way, since you
are denying the whole thing, you have wiped away a tremendous
field – all practices, all meditations, all knowledge. Then what have
I left? I am left with the fact that I am confused, that I am dull.
Now, how do I know I am dull, how do I know I am confused?
Only through comparison, because I see that you are very
perceptive and I say, through comparison, through measurement, I am dull.
I do not compare and I see what I have done through
comparison. I have reduced myself to a state which I call dull
through comparison, and I see that is not the way either. So I reject
comparison. Am I dull then, if I do not compare? So I have
rejected the system, a process, a fixed end which you have evolved
as a means of enlightenment through time. I say comparison is not
the way. Measurement means distance.
SW: Does it mean, that this understanding is not a matter vitally
connected with capacity at all? We started with capacity.
Krishnamurti: I say I listen to you Swamiji but I do not
understand. I do not know what it is that I do not understand, but
you show me – time, process, fixed point, etc. You show it to me,
and I deny them. So what has happened to my mind? In the very
rejection, denial, the mind has become less dull. The rejection of
the false makes the mind clear; and the rejection of comparison
which is also false, makes the mind sharp.
So, what have I left now? I know I am dull only in comparison
with you. Dullness exists in my measuring myself with what is
called brightness and I say I will not measure. Therefore, am I
dull? I have completely rejected comparison and comparison
means conformity. What have I left? The thing I have called dull is
not dull. It is «what it is». What have I left at the end of all this? All
that I have left is, I will not compare any more. I will not measure
myself with somebody who is superior to me and I will not tread
this path which is beautifully laid down for me. So I reject all the
structures which man has imposed upon me to achieve
enlightenment. So, where am I? I start from the beginning. I know nothing
about enlightenment, understanding, process, comparison,
becoming. I have thrown them away. I do not know. Knowledge is
the means of getting hurt and tradition is the instrument by which I
get hurt. I do not want that instrument and, therefore, I am not hurt.
I start with complete innocence. Innocence means a mind that is
incapable of being hurt.
Now, I say to myself, why did they not see this simple fact that
there is no fixed point. Why? Why did they pile all this on the
human mind so that I have to wade through all this, to discard all
It is very interesting, Sir. Why go through all this process if I
have to discard it? Why did you not tell me do not compare; truth
is not a fixed point? Do I flower in goodness through comparison?
Can humility be gained through time, practice? Obviously not. And
yet you have insisted on practice, why? When you insist on
practice, you think that you are going to a fixed point. So you have
deceived yourself and you are deceiving me.
You do not say to me: you know nothing and I know nothing,
let us find out if what all the things human beings have imposed on
other human beings are true or false. They have said enlightenment
is something to be achieved through time, through discipline,
through the guru. Let us find out, search it out.
Why have human beings imposed upon human beings
something which is not true? Human beings have tortured
themselves, castigated themselves to get enlightenment as though
enlightenment was a fixed point. And they end up blind. I think
that is why, Sir, the so-called man of error is much nearer the truth than the man who practises to reach the truth.
A man who practises truth becomes impure, unchaste.
TRADITION AND REVOLUTION DIALOGUE 22
RISHI VALLEY 24TH JANUARY 1971
‘FREEDOM AND THE PRISON’
Krishnamurti: I wonder if we could discuss this morning what
perception means. Apart from what the traditionalists and the
professionals and the commentaries have said, what does
perception mean? What is it to perceive? Is it a mere intellectual
process or is it visual perception or is it a combination of both? Is it
a psychosomatic state or is it something entirely different?
The mind takes in much more than the eye does. So when we
talk about perception, what do we mean by that word? Is it an
intellectual perception, a verbal conclusion, a verbal
comprehension? Does the eye see in a linear or horizontal
Questioner B: You mean the eye as the sense-organ here?
SW: Is the perception of the eye, the visual, sensory perception
of the eye not uniform? We come to this room, I see the design of
the carpet. Very soon I am seeing and not seeing. The physical eye
is also not seeing all in a uniform state. There must be some factor
other than the contact of the object and the senses in the awareness
of «I see». The first awareness of inattention comes to me that way.
Krishnamurti: I have not come to that point. I am trying to
understand what that word perception conveys. I am not speaking
of attention and inattention. All that I know is that I see. There is
visual perception. There is sensory perception. I see you sitting
there. Then there is the image which sensory perception plus the intellectual capacity of thought holds. That is what we generally
call perception, is it not?
A: What is the meaning of the word «perception»?
Krishnamurti: To perceive: where does inattention or attention
come into this?
A: I see an object. Then there is an image of that object. Then
there is the memory of that image. Then I see something else and
again the whole process begins.
Krishnamurti: All the sensory impressions, the impressions that
are recorded, the conscious and the unconscious, the various
images, conclusions, prejudices, all that is involved in perception.
Look, there is visual perception and the various images that
perception, asso- ciation, prejudices, have built up. And I see you
and I have another series of images, and so thousands and
thousands of images are recorded, taped and held in the brain cells.
And when I meet you I turn on attention and the images emerge.
This is what we call perception, is it not? This is the machinery that
is in operation in the word «perception-‘ is it not? This is the
ordinary operational process of perception. I want to see. That is all
I know. Where does the trouble begin? Now, what is wrong with
A: The factor of sensitivity and the varying degrees of
sensitivity, are they not a vital element in perception? My
perception of squalor is different from that of yours. Can you
separate perception from the degrees of sensitivity? Perception is
not the same to you and me.
Krishnamurti: When I have all these accumulated images,
conscious or unconscious, my mind is loaded with them. Where is the place for sensitivity?
A: Perception is not a passive act of memory. There is always
something new which is there with every new perception. With
every new response, which I call perception, the factor of degree is
inherent. I do not understand why and from where the degree
comes, because ignorance is imponderable.
B: Even this seeing is like a camera; it sees its shutters, not the
A: I look through the idea; then there is no perception.
Krishnamurti: The mind which is crowded with impressions and
information about the object, sees. The mind, the brain, the whole
structure is never empty. It is full and through this burden it looks.
It looks at you with its associations, with jealousy, pleasure, pain.
What is wrong with that?
R: I am never face to face. I see there is sensory perception,
then the images, then the like, dislike; those are facts also. They are
facts which I do not realize.
Krishnamurti: They are facts, as much as the fact that you are
sitting here. Then what takes place? Each time I see you through a
screen. What is wrong with that? Is it not a natural process?
SW: In that state I do not see at all.
Krishnamurti: First I want to be clear about this. There are
thousands of impressions, thousands of sensory perceptions,
thousands of conclusions – let us cover the whole of that by the
word «conclusions». Through these conclusions I look, and by
looking through these conclusions, they thicken or become faint;
they never disappear. Each succeeding sensory perception thickens
the same perception. This is the process which is going on all the time, all through life.
So image-making and conclusion are of the past. Perception is
immediate. Sensory perception is immediate and the conclusion
becomes the past. So, I am looking at you through the eyes of the
past. That is what we are doing. That is a fact. What is wrong with
it, Sir? Why should I not look at you that way? What started with
perception is not perception at all. Do not condemn it yet. That is
what we are doing all the time. I want to be sure before we go any
further. Go slow. So, all visual perception is translated in terms of
conclusions. Now, what takes place? That is a fact which we all
know. That is tradition, is it not? That is experience. Experience,
knowledge, tradition, all that is contained in the word «past» and
the word «conclusion; and that is the structure and the nature of the
brain cells. The brain cells are the past: They retain the memory of
the past because in that there is safety – in the biological processes
as well as in the psychological accumulations. In that there is
SW: How is there safety? Am I really safe?
Krishnamurti: Do not question it yet. Look at it. Otherwise you
would not know your name, you would not know how to go to
Bangalore, recognize your husband or wife. In that tradition,
knowledge, experience, conclusions, there is nothing new,
therefore there is nothing disturbing, therefore there is the feeling
of complete safety. That is absolutely right.
SW: There is nothing to disturb.
Krishnamurti: Anything new is disturbing and as the brain cells
need order they find order in the past.
A: But to come back to your question, what is wrong with that? Krishnamurti: There is nothing wrong in that. I am enquiring
into the nature of sensory, visual perception, into the operations of
the brain, the mechanism of thought, and how the mind operates;
there is safety in sensory perception, image, conclusion, the past.
All that is tradition. In tradition there is safety: In the past there is
SW: Security implies struggle.
Krishnamurti: Security implies the sense of not wanting to be
disturbed. I do not know if you have noticed it: the brain needs
order. It may establish order in disorder which is neurosis. It needs
order and therefore it will find order in disorder and become
neurotic. See this?
The brain demands order because in order there is security.
SW: That is perfectly clear.
Krishnamurti: In tradition there is order. In continuity there is
order. The brain seeking order creates security, a harbour where it
feels safe. And K comes along with revolutionary ideas and tells
you, this is not order, and so there is conflict between you and him.
You reduce the new in terms of the old and there find safety,
security. Why does the mind do this? The Russian revolution and
the French revolution upset the whole established structure but
soon the brain created order out of disorder, and there was an end
A: We have discovered something – that the moment I see
something new which creates a disturbance, perception is the
instrument by which I convert the new into the old.
Krishnamurti: That is the biological process of the brain. It is a
biological necessity for the brain, because in that it finds the most efficient way of working.
A: Will you examine the inbuilt incapacity of the brain to see
and distort the new?
Krishnamurti: Wait, Sir. Unless I see that the brain cells
themselves under- stand the danger of the past, the danger of
seeking security in the past, the brain cells will not see anything
new. If they see something new they will translate it in terms of the
old. Therefore, the brain cells themselves have to see the immense
danger of what they consider security in the past.
A: Which means a total change.
Krishnamurti: I do not know a thing. I only see sensory
perception, images, conclusions, safety in conclusions. It may be a
new conclusion, a disorderly conclusion, but there is safety there;
however neurotic it is, in that neuroticism there is safety:
See the beauty of it. This is the truth and that is why it is
beautiful. How is the brain which is insistently demanding security,
how is that brain to see that in the past there is no security, but
always in the new?
The brain cells are seeking security, both in disorder and in
order. If you offer a system, a methodological order, the brain
accepts it. That is the whole biological process. That is the whole
traditional process – security in the past, never in the future, never
in the present, but the absolute security in the past. Absolute.
And that is knowledge: biological knowledge, technological
knowledge and the knowledge which has been gathered through
experience. In knowledge there is security and knowledge is the
past. So what is the next question?
SW: There is a modified continuity in this process. This creates a feeling of progress.
Krishnamurti: The moment you have knowledge it can be
continued, modified, but it is still within the field of knowledge;
the whole thing is there. What is wrong with this?
SW: All that you say is fact. However, there is another factor.
This is not the whole thing: There is something radically wanting
Krishnamurti: What is wanting in this? Go step by step. This is
the structure. What is the something which is not quite right? Find
out. I will show it to you.
SW: There is no permanency.
Krishnamurti: What are you saying? Knowledge is the most
permanent thing. I see knowledge is necessary, and knowledge is
the past and thought is the response of the past and so the mind is
always living in the past. So the mind is always a prisoner. (Pause)
What does a prisoner talk about? Freedom? Why did you not
see it? Being in prison he talks about freedom, moksha, nirvana.
He knows his prison is not freedom, but he wants freedom, because
in freedom there is joy, there is beauty, there is something
happening. His present life is a repetitive, mechanical continuity.
So, he has to invent an ideal, he has to invent a moksha, a heaven.
There is safety also in the future. Right? So he invents god, he
pursues god, truth, enlightenment, but as he invents, he is always
anchored to the past. This anchorage is necessary – biologically it is
necessary. Can the brain see that knowledge is essential and can
the brain see the danger of knowledge which brings about division?
Does knowledge bring division? Can it, Sir? Is knowledge the
factor that divides? SW: Yes, of course.
Krishnamurti: Do not agree. «See.» Can the brain cells seek
security in knowledge, and know that in knowledge there is danger
A: Knowing that knowledge is necessary here….
Krishnamurti: And also knowledge is danger because it divides.
SW: To see both at the same time is difficult.
Krishnamurti: «See» it at the same time. Otherwise you will not
A: Knowledge divides what?
Krishnamurti: Knowledge in itself is divisive. The known and
the unknown. Yesterday, today and tomorrow. Yesterday, which is
the past, the today is modified from yesterday and tomorrow is also
modified. In that there is division. Knowledge is the «I know you;
in that is the image, the conclusion. But you, in the meantime, have
changed. My image of you divides us: Knowledge is security; and
can the brain cells seeking security in knowledge know that
knowledge at one level is necessary and at another level is divisive
and therefore dangerous? The factor of dividing is the building of
the image. So can the brain cells see that knowledge is necessary to
be physically secure? And can the brain cells see that knowledge
based on image derived from conclusion is divisive? Then what
SW: There are two types of image-making. In technological
knowledge also there is a recording, and that is also a form of
A: I think we were using the word «image-making» where there
is some emotional content. In the other it is not so. As an escape out of this, the projection of freedom comes.
Krishnamurti: It knows in this there is no freedom and therefore
it has to invent a freedom outside the prison.
When you see the whole structure of knowledge, then it is all
A: There is a question which I want to ask: Is it that the mind
has a capacity to verbalize something which it does not experience,
but would like to experience?
Krishnamurti: We have not yet finished, Sir. Psychological,
technological, biological knowledge is included in the word
«knowledge». I see, the mind sees, knowledge is divisive and
In this is the bondage of time. But, the brain cells also know that
in this there is no freedom, and they want freedom. In freedom may
be the super-security. And that is why man has from immemorial
times talked of freedom. But as freedom is not within the prison,
man has always thought of freedom outside. And we are saying
freedom is here, not outside, right?
SW: Desire for freedom, is it a biological characteristic? The
desire for super-security is it also not biological?
Krishnamurti: So, is there freedom in all the things which
thought has built including the thought of freedom? Look at it. In
this it cannot find freedom. So it says because thought has
constructed this freedom within the prison, therefore freedom must
SW: In other words is there freedom in knowledge?
Krishnamurti: Is there freedom in the past? Knowledge is the
past. Knowledge is the accumulation of a million years of experience. Does experience give freedom? Obviously not. So is
there such a thing as freedom?
SW: I do not know. I see freedom is not outside. It is a
projection. And yet there is no freedom inside.
Krishnamurti: I do not know. I have always thought of freedom
outside. All the religious books, practices, have thought of it over
there. There may be absolute freedom here.
I have got it: I know, the brain knows, thought is aware that it
has created this prison. All that thought knows is that demanding
security, it has created the prison. And it must have security,
otherwise it cannot function. So thought enquires where is
freedom? It seeks it somewhere where it is perceivable, where it is
not projected, not formulated, not invented, where it is not the
projection of the past which is still knowledge. Freedom must be
A: Is it an act of perception?
Krishnamurti: This is an act of perception. Visually I perceive
you. Visual perception has created all this. It is this knowledge that
has created all this. Knowledge and non-knowledge are still
projections of thought.
R: What is non-knowledge?
A: We say all knowledge, the past is the present and we are
thinking of the unknown as freedom.
Krishnamurti: Therefore the unknown is the known. It is very
simple now. This is the structure of the brain cells with their
memories which are responsible for thought. This is the structure
of thought. Thought says knowledge is necessary. Thought says,
because you have questioned it, there is no freedom either. So what is freedom? Is there such a thing at all?
A: We only see that whatever thought produces is not freedom.
Krishnamurti: So, what does it say? Is there security in thought?
Thought has created all this. Is there security in the very thinking
SW: It is thinking which has done all this.
Krishnamurti: Therefore, is there security? I have assumed
security. I have said I must have knowledge, but is that security? I
see wars, divisions, the yours and the mine, the we and the they,
my family, your family – is there security in all this?
See what I have found? In knowledge there is security, but not
in this which is the result of knowledge. So thought says to itself, is
there security in the very structure of thinking itself? Right?
Is there security in the past? Is there security in tradition? Is
there security in knowledge? The brain cells have sought security
in that, but is there security? The brain cells have to see for
themselves that there is no security there. So what happens?
(Pause.) I see there is no security there. It is a tremendous
discovery for me. So thought says, what next? I must kill myself, I
must destroy myself, because I am the greatest danger.
And now, who is the «I» who is going to destroy itself? So,
thought again says, «I must not divide».
SW: Slay the slayer.
Krishnamurti: The prison and the prisoner, the slayer and the
So, is there an ending of «myself» without division? Division
means contradiction. Is there an ending of myself without effort?
And in that is the quality of sensitivity. To come through all this and to come to the point requires tremendous subtlety, which is
sensitivity. So can thought end by itself?
All this has needed great attention, great awareness; the moving
step by step, never missing a thing, that has its own discipline, its
own order. The brain now is completely orderly, because it has
followed step by step, seeing its own logical attitudes, searching
into things that have no security, seeing that it has sought security
in division. Now it sees that in division there is no security,
therefore, every step is a step in order and that order is its own
So, order is perception of things as they are. Perception of what
you are, not my conclusion of what you are.
I say perception is seeing things as they are and I cannot see
things as they are if I have a conclusion. In conclusion, therefore,
there is disorder. Thought has sought security in conclusion which
has spread disorder. Therefore it rejects conclusion immediately,
because, it wants security. Therefore, thought functions only in
knowledge where it is necessary but nowhere else because
everywhere else the function of thought is to create conclusions,
images. There fore, thought comes to an end.
TRADITION AND REVOLUTION DIALOGUE 23
RISHI VALLEY 28TH JANUARY 1971
‘STABILITY AND KNOWLEDGE’
Questioner SW: I perceive a tree. Then an idea arises from memory
which says this is a mango tree. This idea comes in the way of my
looking at the tree and so I am not able to see the fact of the tree.
This screen of ideas interferes with the present and there is no real
Krishnamurti: Are you asking, Sir, what is relationship? What is
the relationship between the observed and the observer? What does
it mean to be related, to be in contact with? Relationship means to
be related: the relationship between two people; the relationship
between the concept, the ideal and the conceiver, the maker of the
ideal; the relationship of the one with the many; the relationship
between one thought and another thought and with the interval
between thoughts; the relationship between the present and the
future as death; the relationship between the world and myself; all
that is involved in relationship, is it not? I may renounce the world,
I may live in a cave but I am still related to my whole background
and the background is «me». I think relationship implies all that.
A: We always think of relationship in isolation, not as a part of
the whole. Relationship is always with something.
Krishnamurti: Can there be a relationship if there is a centre and
an observer to which you are related? When the centre feels it is
related to something, is that relationship?
A: It has been pointed out that it is only because I feel related to something that the «I» as the centre is strengthened. The centre
assumes a cohesive character only through its fragmented parts.
Krishnamurti: How do we discuss this? Let us see. Where do
we begin with this vast subject?
A: Would you start with belief, because belief is the basis of all
Krishnamurti: What does relationship mean to you?
A: To be in communication.
Krishnamurti: What does relationship mean to you? When you
look at me, at her, in what way are you related to me, to her? Are
A: I think so.
Krishnamurti: Let us examine it. I look at you, you look at me.
What is our relationship? Is there relationship at all except a verbal
R: There is a feeling of relationship when there is a movement
Krishnamurti: If both of us are moving towards an ideal, going
together to a point, is that relationship? Can there be relationship
when each one is in isolation?
SW: The first question you asked was, can there be relationship
if there is a centre?
Krishnamurti: If I have built a wall around myself, consciously
or unconsciously, a wall of resistance, of self-protection in order to
be secure, in order not to get hurt, to be safe, is there any
relationship at all? Do look at this. I am afraid, because I have been
hurt physically as well as psychologically and my whole being is
wounded and I do not want to be hurt any more. I build a wall around myself, of resistance, of defence, of «I know, you do not
know», to feel completely safe from being further hurt. In that what
is my relationship to you? Is there any relationship?
A: What do you mean by relationship in our daily normal life?
Krishnamurti: Why do you ask me? Look at yourself. In your
normal, daily life, what takes place? There is the going to the
office, being bullied, insulted by someone at the top. That is your
relationship. With your wounded pride you come home and your
wife says you are this, you are that, and you further withdraw and
you sleep with her – have you any relationship?
A: That means when the centre is there, there is no relationship
R: But there is ordinary goodwill.
Krishnamurti: But is there goodwill if I have got this wall of
resistance, this enclosure within which I live? What is my goodwill
towards you? I am polite. I keep a distance. I am always inside the
SW: Even in the life of an ordinary man, there are some
relationships which are not always from behind a wall.
A: You say there is no relationship. The fact is I am related in
this way because of a feeling of commitment. There is commitment
to one another. I am not acting in self-interest, but only in the
interest of the other.
Krishnamurti: You say I am acting in the interest of the other; is
that so? I follow the leader who hopes to revolutionize society,
inwardly and outwardly, and I follow him and obey. I commit
myself to a course of action, which both the leader and I have
agreed as necessary. Is there a relationship between me and the leader who is working for the same end? What does relationship
mean: to be in contact with, to be in close proximity?
A: The crux of this relationship is utility.
Krishnamurti: Our relationship is based on a utilitarian
R: I see if you apply this test, that there is no relationship.
Krishnamurti: You are not answering the deeper issue, which is,
as long as there is the observer who is committing himself to a
course of action, is there a relationship between you and me? A: Is
relationship then only an idea?
Krishnamurti: An idea, a formula, a pattern, a goal, a principle,
an utopia we both agree upon, but is there a relationship?
A: Is there no relationship between two people?
Krishnamurti: It is really an enormous problem. As I said, what
is relationship between one thought and another, one action and
another? Or is action a continuous movement, and therefore in
action there is no linking and, therefore, one action is not related to
another? Look, Sir, am I related when I look at that tree?
Relationship is a distance between me as the observer and the tree.
The distance may be 5′-2″ or a 100 yards, but where there is the
distance between the observer and the observed, is there any
possibility of relationship? I am married and I have built an image
of my wife and she has built an image of me. The image is the
factor of distance. Is there any relationship with my wife except the
physical? All of us co-operate in order to do something. To do
something brings us together but I have my own worries, she has
her own agonies – we are working together in that but are we
related, though we are working together for an idea? A: Sir, this point of working together has been understood but
not the other.
Krishnamurti: Just a minute. To build the rocket, I believe, it
took three hundred thousand people, each man technologically
working to create the perfect mechanism. They built a perfect
rocket and each man put aside his idiosyncracies and there was
what is called co-operation. Is that co-operation? You and I work
in order to build a house. We both have a common motive, but you
and I are separate human beings. Is that co-operation? When I look
at a tree, there is distance between me and the tree and I am not in
relationship with the tree. That distance is created, not by physical
space, but the distance created by knowledge.
Therefore, what is relationship, what is co-operation, what is the
factor of division?
SW: Images in one form or another divide.
Krishnamurti: Go slow. There is that tree. I look at it. The
physical distance between me and that tree may be a few yards, but
the actual distance between me and that tree is vast. Though I look
at it, my eyes, mind, heart, everything is very very far away. That
distance is incalculable.
In the same way, I look at my wife and I am very far away. In
the same way I am very far away in co-operative action.
SW: Is the word, the image, interfering in all this?
Krishnamurti: We are going to find out. There is the word, the
image, and the goal towards which both are co-operating. What is
dividing is the goal. What is dividing you and me is the goal.
SW: But there is no goal with regard to the tree.
Krishnamurti: Just stay there. Do not jump. We think working for a goal together has brought us in contact. In fact the goal is
separating us. A: No. How can you say the goal is dividing us?
Krishnamurti: I do not know. I may be wrong. We are
investigating. You and I have a goal; we work together.
SW: Is it a question of becoming?
Krishnamurti: Do look at it. I say goals divide people. A goal
does not bring people together. Your goal and my goal are
separate; they have divided us. The goal itself has divided us, not
co-operation, which is irrelevant to the goal.
SW: I see one thing, where two people come together for the
joy of something, that is different.
Krishnamurti: No. When two people come together out of
affection, love, joy, then what is action which is not divisible,
which does not divide? I love you, you love me and what is action
out of that love? Not a goal? What is action between two people
A: When two people come together in affection it may produce
a result but they are not coming together for the result. Therefore,
in any such coming together there is no division. Whereas if two
people come together with a goal, that is a divisive factor.
Krishnamurti: We have discovered something. Do go into it. I
see that when people come together with affection when there is no
goal, no purpose, no utopia – then there is no division. Then all
status disappears and there is only function – then I will sweep the
garden because it is part of the needs of the place.
R: Love of the place….
Krishnamurti: No, love. Not love of the place. You see what we
are missing. Goals divide people; a goal being a formula, a goal being an ideal.
I want to see what is involved. I see what is involved. I see as
long as I have a goal, a purpose, a principle, an utopia, I see that
very goal, that very principle divides people. Therefore, it is
finished. Then I ask myself how I am to live, to work with you and
without a goal?
I see that relationship means to be in close contact so that there
is no distance between the two. Right? And I see that in the
relationship to the tree and myself, the flower and myself, my wife
and myself, there is a physical distance and there is a vast
psychological distance. Therefore, I see I am not related at all.
So what am I going to do? So I say identify with the tree.
Commit yourself with the family; give yourself over; de-own
yourself in the goal and work together. All the intellectuals say the
goal is more important than you, the whole is greater than you, so
give yourself over, be completely involved with your wife, with the
tree, with the world.
What am I doing? I love nature. I commit myself to the world of
nature, to the family and to an idea that we must all work together,
for an end. What is happening, what am I doing in all this?
SW: Isolating myself. Krishnamurti: No, Sir, look at what is
A: The fact is I am not related. I struggle to build a relationship,
to bridge the gap between thought and thought. I have got to build
this bridge between thought and thought because unless I do this, I
feel absolutely isolated. I feel lost.
Krishnamurti: That is only a part of it. Go into it a little more.
What is happening to my mind, when my mind is struggling to commit itself to everything – to family, to nature, to beauty, to
SW: There is a lot of conflict there, Sir.
Krishnamurti: I realize as «A» has pointed out, I am not related
to anything. I have come to that point. Then, not being related to
anything, I want to be related, therefore, I commit myself,
therefore, I involve myself in action and yet the isolation goes on.
So, what is going on in my mind?
R: There is a constant struggle.
Krishnamurti: You see you have not moved away from that
point. I am not related and then I try to be related. I try to identify
myself through action. Now what is taking place in the mind?
(Pause.) I am moving into peripheral commitment. What happens
to my mind when it moves on the outside all the time?
SW: The mind gets strengthened.
A: I am escaping from myself.
Krishnamurti: Which means what? Do look at it. Nature
becomes very important, the family becomes very important, the
action to which I have completely given myself over becomes all
important and what has happened to me? It has completely
externalized everything. Now, what has happened to the mind that
has externalized the whole movement of relationship? What
happens to your mind when it is occupied with the external, with
SW: It has lost all sensitivity.
Krishnamurti: Do look at what happens inside you. In reaction
to the externalization, you withdraw, you become a monk. What happens to the mind when it withdraws?
SW: I am incapable of spontaneity.
Krishnamurti: You will find the answer. Look in there. (Pause)
What happens to your mind when you withdraw or when you
are committed? What happens when you withdraw into your own
conclusions? It is another world. Instead of one world, you create
another world which you call the inner world.
SW: The mind is not free.
Krishnamurti: Is that what is happening to your mind?
A: It is always committed.
Krishnamurti: The mind is committed to the outward
phenomena and the reaction to that is the inward commitment, the
withdrawal. The inward commit- ment is the reaction of your own
world of imagination, of mystical experience. What happens to the
mind that is doing this?
R: It is occupied.
Krishnamurti: Is that what is going on? She says it is occupied,
is that all? Put your guts into it. The mind externalizes its activity
and then withdraws and acts. What happens to the quality of the
mind, to the brain which is withdrawing and externalizing?
A: It does not face the fact.
R: There is a great fear. It becomes dull.
SW: It is not free to look.
Krishnamurti: Have you watched your mind when it is
externalizing all action outwardly and all action inwardly? It is the
same movement – the outer and inner. It is like a tide going out and
coming in. It is so simple is it not? What happens to the mind
going out, coming in? A: It becomes mechanical.
Krishnamurti: It is a mind that is completely without any
bearing, completely unstable, a mind that has no order. It becomes
neurotic, unbalanced, disproportionate, inharmonious, destructive,
because there is no stability in the whole movement.
A: It is restless.
Krishnamurti: Therefore, there is no stability. Therefore what
happens? It invents another outside action or withdraws. And the
brain needs order, order means stability. It tries to find order out
there in relationship and does not find it; so it withdraws and tries
to find order within and again is caught in the same process. Is this
a fact? (Pause)
The mind tries to find stability in co-operative action about
something. The mind tries to find stability in the family, in
commitment and does not find it and so translates, seeks
relationship with nature, becomes imaginative, romantic which
again breeds instability. It withdraws into a world of infinite
conclusions, utopias, hopes and again there is no stability and,
therefore, it invents an order in that. The mind being unstable,
narrow, not rooted in anything, gets lost. Is that what is happening
R: That explains the cult of the beautiful.
Krishnamurti: Cult of beautiful, cult of the ugly, cult of the
Is that what is happening to your mind?
Be there. Do not accept what I am saying.
So, a mind that is not stable, in the sense of firm, deeply rooted
in order, not an invented order – for an invented order must be death; such a mind is the most destructive mind. It goes from
communism to the guru, to Yoga Vashista, to Ramana Maharishi
and back again. It is caught in the cult of the beautiful, the cult of
the ugly, the cult of devotion, of meditation and so on.
How is the mind to be completely still? From that stillness,
action is entirely different. See the beauty of it, Sir. A: That is the
dead-end of the mind.
Krishnamurti: No, Sir. I am asking myself, how is this mind to
be completely still? Not stability in the sense of hardness, but a
stability that is flexible. A mind that is completely stable, firm,
deep, has its roots in infinity. How is that possible? Then what is
the relationship with the tree, with the family, with the committee?
I realize my mind is unstable and I understand what it means. I
know now for myself, I have understood for myself that this
movement is born of instability. I know that and so I negate that.
And I ask what is stability? I know instability with all its activity,
with all its destruction and when I put that away completely, what
is stability? I sought stability in family, in work, and I have also
inwardly sought stability in withdrawal, in experience, in
knowledge, in my capacity, in God. I see I do not know what
The not knowing is the stable.
The man who says «I know» and therefore, «I am stable» has led
us to this chaos.
The people who say we are the chosen ones, the vast number of
teachers, gurus have said «I know».
Rejecting all that, rely on yourself. Have confidence in yourself.
And when the mind puts away all this, when it has understood what is not stable and that it cannot know what is true stability,
then there is a movement of flexibility, of harmony, because the
mind does not know.
The truth of not-knowing is the only factor from which one can
The truth of that is the stable. A mind that does not know is in a
state of learning. The moment I say I have learnt, I have stopped
learning and that stopping is the stability of division.
So, «I do not know». The truth is «I do not know». That is all.
And that gives you a quality of learning and in learning there is
stability. Stability is in the «I am learning, not I have learnt». See
what it does to the mind. It completely unburdens the mind and
that is freedom; the freedom of not-knowing. See the beauty of it –
the not-knowing, therefore, freedom. Now what happens to the
brain which functions in knowledge? That is its function, is it not?
To function from memory to memory. In knowledge the mind has
found tremendous security and biologically that security is
necessary. Otherwise it cannot survive. Now, what happens to the
brain that says I really do not know anything except the biological
knowledge of survival? What happens to the rest of the brain? The
rest of the brain before was tethered. Now it is not occupied. It will
act but it is not occupied.
That brain has never been touched. It is no longer capable of
being hurt. There is a new brain born or the old brain is purged of
TRADITION AND REVOLUTION DIALOGUE 24
BOMBAY 6TH FEBRUARY 1971 ‘THE BRAIN-
CELLS AND MUTATION’
Questioner P: We have not dealt so far with what seems to be the
essence of your teaching and that is the problem of time, the
silencing of the brain cells and what happened to the processes that
operated in Krishnamurti. I am putting the three together because
as one observes the horizontal movement of time, that is the life of
K, one sees the boy born with his tradition of Brahminism, going
through a certain preparation in the Theosophical Society, being
initiated, writing certain books like The Search and The Path;
books in which enlightenment is looked upon as an end, as a fixed
point. In all these earlier books there is presumed to be a state
which has to be reached and there is a great struggle through
centuries towards it. Suddenly a change takes place in K; he
negates salvation, eternity as a fixed point and so destroys the
horizontal movement of time as such. Now what exactly took
place? If we could understand and see as if through a microscope
what happened to Krishnamurti, if we could examine what
happened to his brain cells which contained this horizontal
movement of time, it might be possible for us to understand time
and mutation in relation to the brain cells.
Krishnamurti: I understand. Do you understand, Sir?
D: Yes Sir. A very important question.
Krishnamurti: I wonder if that so-called horizontal movement
was not a very conditioned and superficial movement? The young
man, repeated what he was taught and at a given moment, there was a break. You follow?
P: No, I do not. What is meant by a superficial movement of
Krishnamurti: That is, the boy accepted, repeated, walked along
the path laid down traditionally and theosophically. He accepted it.
P: All of us do just that.
Krishnamurti: All of us do it in varying degrees. The question is
why did he pursue that journey?
P: No. The question is what was it that triggered that which
suddenly made him say that there is no fixed point?
Krishnamurti: Look at it as if «K» is not here. He is dead. How
would you answer this question. I am here and so may answer you
or may not, but if I were not here how would you answer it? P: One
way of doing so would be to examine what you have said, along
with the influences which have operated on you, at the time, to see
at what point the break took place and what were the crises, inward
or outward, that have been recorded, to produce that break.
Krishnamurti: But suppose you knew nothing of all that, and yet
you had to answer the question seriously now, what would you do?
What you say would take time, investigation. How would you find
out now? How would you find out if you were faced with this
problem that there was a young man who followed the traditional
path, the idea of a fixed point, the fixed goal, using time, evolution,
and at a given point he broke away. How would you unravel it?
D: It is like this. We boil water under heat. Up to a hundred
degrees it is uniform and then there is complete transformation.
Krishnamurti: But to come to that point takes time.
P: If I did not have the historical background, the only way of investigation would be to see whether this process is possible
within my consciousness.
D: I was driving at something else. The traditionalist would say
there is a process which, like the boiling point of water, leads to
transformation. Tradition only helps to take you up to the boiling
point. You can negate tradition but the necessity of tradition up to a
point is there.
P: If the historical data were not available of «K» being put
through various sadhanas and one were just given the fact of this
phenomenon of «K», the only way to investigate would be through
D: How would you explain the phenomenon?
F: You seem to be creating a relationship between the former
state of development and the present state of being. Is there a
relationship between the two? You say one leads to another, one
before another and you are arranging it in time.
P: The phenomenon of «K» is that he was born of Brahmin
parents…the whole history we know. I look at his background, I
notice that up to a point K talked of time, of salvation as a final
point and suddenly the whole thing was negated.
Krishnamurti: «F» says why do you relate this movement, the
horizontal movement to the vertical movement? There is no
relationship between the two. Therefore keep the two separate.
P: When I look at «K», I look at the whole background.
Krishnamurti: Look but do not relate the two.
P: The question is if what you say has to be meaningful, it is
essential to under stand this process of time and the freedom from
it. I therefore ask the question: What triggered it in you? If you tell me it happened, I will say all right. If it happens, it happens, if it
does not, it does not. I will continue my life.
F: There is no trigger.
P: A certain brain made certain noises and suddenly started
making other noises and «K» has been saying the brain cells
themselves are time. Do not let us get away from that. So the brain
cells of «K» which were time, underwent some kind of mutation.
Krishnamurti: I will show you very simply. The cultivation of a
brain, of any brain takes time. Experience, knowledge and
memories are stored up in the brain cells. This is a biological fact.
The brain is the result of time. Now this man at a point breaks the
movement. A totally different movement takes place, which
means, the brain cells themselves undergo mutation. And «P» says
you must answer and say what took place; otherwise what
happened was merely chance.
D: If it is chance, then we will accept it.
B: An answer by Krishnaji may help us to bring about a
mutation in ourselves.
S: Two explanations are possible. One is the theosophical
explanation that the Masters were looking after «K» and so he was
untouched by experience. Another explanation is that of
D: When «K» says that the boy K was not touched by
experience, how does he know? The boy wrote The Path, The
Search; I will not go into the end product where he was not
Krishnamurti: Just leave that for the moment. How did it
happen? What is your answer? Given these facts, faced with them, how do you answer this?
B: Sir, how can we answer the change in you which took place
in 1927? Mrs Besant has said that the two consciousnesses would
not be merged. We do not know. You alone can say what took
place. We have no personal knowledge nor the capacity to know.
Krishnamurti: Let us investigate it together.
F: I will put it this way. The man woke up into another state. If
you posit a causal link between the past and the present then what
you say is so. One does no lead to another. There is no connection.
P: I say the brain cells themselves cannot comprehend time
which is not a horizontal movement. Unless this is understood, we
cannot explore at very great depth into the problem of time.
Krishnamurti: Let us explore. First of all, is there time involved
If you ask me how did this happen to me, I really do not know.
You understand? But I think we can investigate it together. If you
ask me «did you go for a walk last night?» I would say yes.
Whereas if you ask me «how did this happen to you?», I really
could not say how. What is wrong with that?
P: In itself, it is all right. But we are trying to comprehend the
essential nature of this time movement and non-time movement –
leave yourself out of it, it is important that we investigate into the
nature of time, not at the level of chronological time and
psychological time for we have gone into that sufficiently.
Krishnamurti: Begin with perception; is seeing involved with
P: What happens to the brain cells in the process of seeing?
Krishnamurti: The brain cells in the process of seeing, either respond in old terms or are held back in abeyance; they hold
themselves back in abeyance without the past.
P: You say that in perception which is instantaneous, the brain
cells hold back. If they are not operating, do they exist?
Krishnamurti: They do, as the storehouse of knowledge which
is the past. The brain cells, we all agree, are the storehouse of
memories, experience, knowledge which is the past. That is the old
brain. In perception, the old brain does not respond.
P: Where is it?
Krishnamurti: It is there. It is not dead. It is there because I have
to use knowledge to think. The brain cells have to be used.
P: What operates then? If the brain cells are not operating, what
Krishnamurti: A totally new brain. The old brain is full of
images, memories, responses and we are used to responding with
the old brain. You say perception is not related to the old brain.
Perception is the interval between the old response and the
response which is new, which the old does not yet know. In that
interval there is no time.
F: There is a contradiction. In psychology, sensation is itself
direct. In the interval between sensation and perception, memories
jump in and distort. So sensation is timeless but the interval is time.
Krishnamurti: Let us get this clear. You ask me a question. The
old brain responds according to its information, according to
knowledge; if the old brain has no knowledge, no information,
there is an interval between the question and answer.
F: The interval is due to the sluggishness of the brain cells.
Krishnamurti: No. F: Memory traces continue in the brain.
Krishnamurti: You ask me what the distance is between here
and Delhi. I would not know. No amount of my thinking with the
brain cells would help. The fact is not registered. If it were, I would
then think about it and answer. But there is no knowing. In that no-
knowing, there is a state in which time does not exist.
D: No amount of waiting will make me know.
Krishnamurti: The moment I know, the knowing is time.
P: You have said two or three things; you have talked of a new
mind. The question is what has happened to the old brain?
Krishnamurti: The old is quiet.
P: Has it existence?
Krishnamurti: Of course it has; otherwise I cannot speak the
P: The problem is of time as a horizontal movement which has
continuity – I am asking the question; the moment you say the other
continues to exist –
Krishnamurti: Otherwise, I cannot function. P: When the new
exists, the other, the old, does not.
Krishnamurti: Perfectly right. Hold on for a moment. Let us call
it for convenience sake, the old and the new brain. The old brain
has, through centuries, collected all kinds of memories, registered
every experience and it will function on that level all the time. It
has its continuity in time. If it has no continuity, then it becomes
neurotic, schizophrenic, imbalanced. It must have sane, rational
continuity. Now that is the old brain with all its stored-up
memories. Such continuity can never find anything new because it
is only when something ends, that there is something new. F: Continuity of what? When you say continuity, it has a
Krishnamurti: It is adding, taking away, adjusting; it is not
D: There is a circular movement; it is a continuity.
Krishnamurti: First let me see this continuity, the circular
movement, as a repetition of the old. At a given point of time I call
it the new, but it is still the old. I hanker for the new and invent the
new within the circle.
P: There is the new which is a rearrangement of the old and
there is the «new’, which is not a rearrangement of the old. What is
the other new which is not the invention of the old? Is it
recognizable, is it perceivable?
Krishnamurti: It is perceivable but not recognizable.
P: So it is not an experience?
Krishnamurti: It is a perception without the observer.
D: But not in terms of the past.
Krishnamurti: Perception means something new.
F: Sensation is without the past. Sensation is not loaded. It is
Krishnamurti: The mind which has become mechanical craves
for something new. But the new is always within the field of the
known. You may call the movement within the field, horizontal,
circular, infinity, but it is always within that field: I want the new
in terms of the old. «P»‘s question was about the brain, which is the
result of time, experience, knowledge; what happens to that brain
when there is a perception which is new, in which there is no
experience, no observer; in which perception is not an experience to be stored up and remembered and therefore to become
F: The brain does not respond:
Krishnamurti: What makes it not respond? How does this
P: We should leave everything and remain here, because
something of vital significance is happening here. We have still not
got the feeling of it. I am listening to you. I am attentive. In that
state of attention there is nothing else but sound and movement.
Can I understand in that state what has happened to the whole
weight of the past?
Krishnamurti: It is fairly simple. I understand the question. The
past is in continuous operation; it is registering every incident,
every experience, the conscious and the unconscious: Everything is
pouring in, the sound, the seeing: P: The brain cells are acting
independent of whether I am conscious or unconscious.
Krishnamurti: Yes. Now when that brain is in operation, it is
always acting from the past. First of all, what is wrong with it?
P: If you observe it, it is like ripples being thrown up, thought as
ripples, and suddenly I am attentive and there are no ripples.
Krishnamurti: In that state of attention, there is perception. That
state of attention is perception.
D: When I see the fact that my brain is registering everything
and I suddenly realize that it is going on without the observer, that
annihilates me. If it goes on without me then I am finished.
Krishnamurti: It is like a recording machine that is registering
D: Why do I need to call it a machine? It is a wondrous thing. And I do not know the why and how of it.
Krishnamurti: You have heard that noise of the horn blowing.
The brain cells have registered it. There is no resistance or
D: There is more to it.
Krishnamurti: Go slow: This brain is a machine which registers.
It is a tape-recorder that is registering everything all the time. You
come along and challenge the brain. It will respond in terms of
like, of dislike, you are a danger and she is not a danger. In that
instant is born the «me».
It is the function of the brain to register:
D: That is a partial statement. That it registers is a fact but there
may be something more to it.
Krishnamurti: You are jumping ahead. The function of the brain
is to register, to record. Every experience, whether conscious or
unconscious, every sound, word, every nuance, is going on
irrespective of the thinker as a separate entity. Resisting that noise
which is unpleasant, listening to some flattery, to some insult,
wanting more or less – out of this registration emerges the «me».
P: When the registration takes place, I am conscious of the
Krishnamurti: Which is what? That it is pleasant or unpleasant.
At the moment of experiencing, there is no «I» in it at all.
P: There is a state with the sound and there is a state without the
Krishnamurti: Now comes the new action. I register that noise –
the hideous noise, the ugly noise – there is no response to it. The
moment there is response, that response is the «I». That response increases or decreases according to pleasure, pain, suffering.
Now, «P»s question was how is that brain which is doing all this
automatically, mechanically, all the time, how is that old brain
whether it is running horizontally or in circles, how is that brain
ever to see without the registerer or registration?
P: We have gone over this. I want to take it further from there.
We listen. Sound passes through us. There is attention. In that
state, for a second, horizontal movement has come to an end. What
has happened to the old brain?
Krishnamurti: But it is still there.
P: What do you mean it is still there?
Krishnamurti: Look at it. See what has happened. There is that
child crying. The sound is being registered, the child’s cry, why the
mother does not look after it, all the rest of it.
P: Do you record all that?
Krishnamurti. No. I am purely listening. There is complete
listening. Now what happens in that listening? What has happened
to the old brain in that listening? Have you understood the
question? We are taking the journey together. (Pause)
Let me put it differently. What is the essential need of a brain?
Must it not feel safe, secure, to function?
One sees the brain needs security. Then some event happens
and the brain sees the fact that to have presumed that there was
security, comfort is not true.
D: The brain cannot see it.
F: We take the brain as an accumulation of impressions and
storehouse of memories and so on, but the storehouse of memories is outside the brain and the brain is only a lens.
P: Why do we not observe our own minds at this moment,
instead of talking of the brain in the abstract?
Krishnamurti: Listen – your brain demands security; it needs a
great sense of protection, both physical and psychological. That is
all I am saying. That is its function. That is the essential point.
D: What is the basic query?
P: The basic query is that when there is this horizontal
movement of the mind as time, as memory, as brain cells
operating, what is it that makes the «other» possible and what takes
place when the «other» is?
Krishnamurti: I will tell you. The brain cells need security,
protection, safety to survive. They have survived for millions of
years. Now what takes place? In order to survive, the brain cells
say I must have nationalities, which brings disaster. So in its search
for security, the mind is always experimenting and gets stuck – the
guru, nationalism, socialism – it gets stuck and has to be rooted out.
Because the basic thing is that it wants safety and survival and
therefore it has invented a time sequence of survival – horizontal or
circular. When the basic necessity is granted, what happens? Is the
perception in terms of security not entirely different?
D: It is the demand for security that resists the question you are
Krishnamurti. No, I have got my security. So far for seventy
years it has not been damaged because it says survival, not at the
price of illusion. It says do not invent beliefs or ideas for in them
there is no security at all. Wipe them out because they are illusory.
Therefore it is completely secure; not in anything, but in itself it is secure. Before it sought security through something – through
family, through god, egotism, competition, through seeking.
Security through something is the greatest insecurity. It discards
that. Therefore it can perceive. Because it has no illusions, motives,
formulas, it can perceive. Because it does not seek any security, it
is completely secure. The mind is then free of illusions; illusion not
in the sense of Sankara, but just the illusion that I will find security
in family, in God, in knowledge which is the past.
Now what is there to perceive? «It» is perceiving.
F: We are as we are made; we know we are at the mercy of the
psychosomatic body and there we are very insecure. And there has
to be a different approach to this. It is something very vulnerable
because our bodies are so fragile.
Krishnamurti: So I will protect the body. There is no egotism
involved in it.
F: Vulnerability is connected with ego.
Krishnamurti: I will protect the body without the ego. I will
wash it, look after it. We think we protect the body through the «I».
Once we grant deeply the necessity for complete survival, for
protection, for safety for the brain, we will solve all the other
problems. Let us put it in this way: Is perception related to the
brain cells which demand security, survival at any price?
P: My mind does not function in this way. Therefore I find it
very difficult to listen. I am trying to work at a microscopic
examination of the mind to see whether it is possible to arrive at a
point when actually the brain cells cease functioning. Questions of
security or of non-security have no relevance. At this moment if I
raise these questions I am lost. Here I am before you and I want to understand this movement of time which is horizontal, to see
whether there can be a state of the brain cells ceasing to function.
Any queries, questions, answers, away from this will only lead to
Krishnamurti: Are you saying, having finished with what we
have said, my brain cells are in perpetual movement in one form or
P: I say I am listening to you. There is no movement in my
Krishnamurti: Why? Because you are listening with attention,
attention in which there is no centre to attend, a state in which you
are just attending?
P: Now I ask in that state, where is the weight of the past? I am
asking that question to understand the problem of time, and not
Krishnamurti: When you say I am attending, giving complete
attention, is there time in that?
P: Because there is no response, how do I measure?
Krishnamurti: When there is attention, there is no time, because
there is no movement at all. Movement means measurement,
comparison; from here to there and so on. In attention there is no
ripple, there is no centre, there is no measurement. The next
question is, what has happened to the old brain? Keep it there. It is
your question. What has happened? (Pause.) I have got it. What has
happened? Attention is not disassociated from the brain. Attention
is the whole body. The psychosomatic organism is attentive, which
is also the brain cells. Therefore, the brain cells are exceedingly
quiet, alive, not responding with the old. Otherwise you could not be attentive.
There is the answer. And in that attention the brain can function.
That attention is silence, is emptiness; call it what you like. Out of
that silence, innocence, emptiness, the brain can operate; but not
the thinker in terms of seeking security in something.
P: Does it mean the whole brain has undergone a
Krishnamurti: No. What has taken place is mutation. The
observer is not.
P: But the brain cells are the same.
Krishnamurti: Watch it. Do not put it that way; then you are
lost. Watch it in yourself. Attention means complete attention –
body, psyche, the cells; everything is there with life, alive. In that
state, there is no centre, there is no time, there is no observer as the
«me». There is no time in terms of the past but yet the past exists
because I speak the language. I have to go to the room. Right?
Then what happens to the brain cells? They are registering but
there is no «me». Therefore the «me» which is part of the brain cells
is wiped out.
TRADITION AND REVOLUTION DIALOGUE 25
BOMBAY 9TH FEBRUARY 1971 ‘GOD’
Questioner P: Krishnaji, at one level, your teaching is very
materialistic because it refuses to accept anything which does not
have a referent. It is based on «what is». You have even gone so far
as to say that consciousness is the brain cells and that nothing else
exists. And that thought is matter, and nothing else exists.
Now in terms of this, what is your attitude to God?
Krishnamurti: I do not know what you mean by materialistic
P: You have said, thought is matter, the brain cells themselves
are consciousness. Now these are material things, measurable, and
in that sense yours would be part of a materialistic position, in the
tradition of the»Lokayatas». In terms of your teaching what place
has God? Is God matter?
Krishnamurti: Do you understand clearly the word «material»?
P: Material is that which is measurable.
F: There is no such thing as the material, «P».
P: Brain is matter.
F: No, it is energy. Everything is energy but that energy is not
observable. You can only see the effects of energy which you call
matter. The effects of energy appear as matter.
D: When she says matter, she probably means energy. Energy
and matter are convertible, but still measurable.
Krishnamurti: That is, you are saying matter is energy and
energy is matter. You cannot divide them to say this is pure energy
and this is pure matter. D: The material is the expression or appearance of energy.
F: What we call matter is nothing but energy. It is only energy
as apprehended by the senses of perception. There is no such thing
as matter. It is only a way of talking.
D: Energy is E equal to Mc2.
P: You see Krishnaji, if we go into any aspect of your teaching,
it is based on that which is observable. The instruments of hearing,
of seeing, are within the field of sensory apprehension. Even
though you may talk of not naming, that which is observable is
through the instruments of seeing, listening. The instruments of the
senses are the only instruments we have with which to observe.
Krishnamurti: We know sensory seeing, sensory hearing, sensory
touching and the intellect which is part of the whole structure. Now
what is the question?
P: In that sense, the teaching is materialistic as opposed to the
metaphysical. Your position is a materialistic position.
F: If you want to stick to facts, the only instrument we have is
the brain. Now, is the brain everything or is it an instrument in the
hands of somebody else? If you say there is only brain, it will be a
materialistic position. If you say the instrument is materialistic then
the teaching is not materialistic.
P: The Tantrik position and the ancient alchemist position are in
one sense similar to Krishnaji’s position. Everything has to be
observed. There is nothing that has to be accepted that has not been
seen with the eyes of the seer. Seeing this I now ask, «what is your
view of God». I feel it is a very legitimate question.
F: Can you explain what God is?
Krishnamurti: What do you mean by God? We have explained energy and matter and now you ask what we mean by God? I never
use the word «God» to indicate something which is not God. What
thought has invented is not God. If it is invented by thought, it is
still within the field of time, within the field of the material.
P: Thought says I cannot go further.
Krishnamurti: But it may invent God because it cannot go
further. Thought knows its limitations. Therefore, knowing its
limitations, it tries to invent the limitless which it calls God. That is
P: When thought sees its limitations, it is still aware of an
existence beyond itself.
Krishnamurti: Thought has invented it. It can only go beyond
when thought comes to an end.
P: Seeing the limitations of thought is not the knowing of
Krishnamurti: So we must go into the knowing of thought and
D: When thought sees its own limitation, it practically debunks
Krishnamurti: When you say limitation, does thought realize it
is limited or does the thinker realize that thought is limited? You
see the point. Or does the thinker who is the product of thought
P: Why do you draw the distinction?
Krishnamurti: Thought has created the thinker. If thought did
not exist, there would be no thinker. Does the thinker, observing
the limitations, say «I am limited» or does thought itself realize its
limitations which are two different positions. Let us be clear in all this. We are exploring. There are the two – the thought and thinker.
The thinker, observing thought, sees through reasoning which is
the material, which is energy, that energy is limited. In the realm of
thought, the thinker thinks this.
D: When the thinker says thought is limited, both the thought
and the thinker become question-marks. Krishnamurti: No, not yet.
Thought is memory, thought is the response of knowledge.
Thought has brought about this thing called the thinker. The
thinker then becomes separate from thought; at least it thinks it is
separate from thought. The thinker, looking at reasoning, at the
intellect, at the capacity to rationalize, sees that it is very very
limited. Therefore, the thinker condemns reason; the thinker says
thought is very limited, which is condemnation. Then he says there
must be something more than thought, something beyond this
limited field. That is what we are doing. We are taking things as
they are. Does the thinker think that thought is limited or does
thought itself realize it is limited? I do not know if you see the
F: Thought is prior to the thinker.
P: Thought can end. Thought can never feel it is limited.
Thought can end – through what reason, do not ask. There is no
real reason but thought can end. But how does thought feel it is
Krishnamurti: That is my point. Does the thinker see he is
limited or does thought say, I cannot go any further? You see the
F: Why do you separate the thinker from the thought? There are
many thoughts out of which the thinker is also another thought. The thinker is the guide, helper, censor; he is the most dominant
Krishnamurti: Thought has gone through all this and established
a centre from which there is the observer, and the observer looking
at thought says thought is limited.
D: In fact, it can only say «I do not know».
Krishnamurti: It does not say that. You are introducing a non-
observable fact. First of all, thought is the response of knowledge,
thought has not yet realized that it is very limited. What it has done
in order to have security, is to put together various thoughts which
have become the observer, the thinker, the experiencer. Then we
are asking the question: Does the thinker realize that it is limited,
or thought itself realizes it is limited? The two are entirely
F: We know only a state of thinker thinking thought.
Krishnamurti: That is all we know. Therefore, the thinker
invariably says we must go beyond thought; therefore it questions:
Can one kill the mind? Does God exist?
F: You are giving existence to the thinker instead of thought.
Krishnamurti: The thinker is modifying, adding. The thinker is
not a permanent entity as thought is not permanent, but the thinker
is adjusting, modifying.
This is important. I may be mistaken. It is important to find out
whether the thinker sees it is limited or whether thought as idea –
idea being organized thought – thinks it is limited.
Now, who says it? If the thinker says it is limited, then the
thinker says there must be something more. Then the thinker says
there must be God, there must be something beyond thinking. Right? If thought itself realizes it cannot go beyond its own tether,
beyond its own rooted brain cells, the brain cells as the material, as
the root of thinking; if thought realizes that, then what takes place?
P: You see, Sir, that is the whole point. If you were to leave
your teaching at this point, I would understand. If you were to
leave it at this point, that thought itself sees this, the brain cells
themselves see it and leave it, then there is a total consistency and
logic; but you are always moving, going beyond this and you
cannot use any words. Thereafter call it what you like, but the
feeling of God is introduced.
Krishnamurti: I won’t accept the word «God».
P: You take us by reason, by logic to a point. You do not leave
Krishnamurti: Of course not.
P: That is the real paradox.
Krishnamurti: I refuse to accept it as a paradox.
F: The material of something and the meaning cannot be
interchanged. «P» is mixing up the two.
Krishnamurti: It is fairly simple what she says: The thinker and
the thought – we can see the whole logic of that, of what you say,
but you do not leave it there. You push it further.
P: Into an abstraction. I say that thought and the thinker being
essentially one, man has separated them for his own safety,
permanency, security. We are asking the question whether the
thinker thinks thought is limited and therefore posits something
beyond, because he must have security; or does thought say that
whatever movement however subtle, however obvious, reasonable,
thought is still limited. But K does not say that. K goes further into abstractions.
Krishnamurti: I realize that thought and the thinker are very
very limited and I do not stop there. To do so would be a purely
materialistic philosophy. That is what many intellectuals in the east
and west have come to. But they are always tethered, and being
tethered, they expand but remain tied to a pole which is their
experience, their belief.
Now, if I can answer the question – does thought itself realize
the limitations of itself, then what takes place? Knowing thought is
energy, thought is memory, thought is the past, thought is time,
suffering, then what takes place? It realizes that any movement of
thought is consciousness, is the content of consciousness, and
without the content there is no consciousness. Now what takes
place? Is that observable or not? I do not invent God.
P: I do not say that. I never said you invent God. I say up to this
point your position is material, rational, logical; suddenly you
introduce another element.
Krishnamurti: No. Look at it. Thought itself realizes – not the
thinker who thinks it cannot and therefore posits super-
consciousness, a higher self, God or whatever it will – but thought
itself realizes that any movement it makes is within the field of
time. Then what happens? Then thought becomes completely silent
– this is an observable, testable fact. The silence is not the result of
discipline. Then what happens?
P: Sir, let me ask you a question. In that state the registering of
all noise goes on, the machine which registers, what is that thing?
Krishnamurti: The brain.
P: The brain is the material. So this registering goes on. Krishnamurti: It goes on all the time, whether I am conscious or
P: You may not name it but the sense of existence goes on.
Krishnamurti: No, you are using the word «existence» but
recording goes on. I want to make the difference here.
P: Let us not move away. It is not that all existence is wiped
out. It would be if thought ends.
Krishnamurti: On the contrary.
P: Existence; the sense of existence «is».
Krishnamurti: Life goes on but without the «me» as the
observer. Life goes on, the registration goes on, memory goes on,
but the «me» which thought has brought about, which is the content
of consciousness, that «me» disappears; obviously because that
«me» is the limited. Therefore thought as the «me» says «I am
limited». It does not mean the body does not go on, but the centre,
which is the activity as the self, as the «me», is not. Again that is
logical because thought says I am limited. I will not create the
«me» which is further limitation. It realizes it and it drops away.
P: Having said that thought creating the «me» is the
Krishnamurti: Thought creating the «me» and the «me» realizing
it is limited and therefore the «me» is not.
F: When this happens, why should I name what is going on as
thought at all?
Krishnamurti: I am not naming anything. I realize that thought
is the response of the past.
The «me» is made up of various additions of thought which
have created the «me», which is the past. The «me» is the past. The «me» projects the future.
Now the whole phenomenon is a very small affair. That is all.
Now what is the next question?
F: What has the state of this hopelessness to do with God?
Krishnamurti: It is not a state of hopelessness. On the contrary,
you have introduced the quality of hopelessness because thought
has said it cannot go beyond itself and therefore it is in despair.
Thought realizes that whatever movement it makes it is still within
the field of time, whether it calls it despair, fulfilment, pleasure,
F: So the realization of the limitations is a state of despair.
Krishnamurti: No, you are introducing despair. I am only saying
despair is part of thought. Hope is part of thought and that thought
says any movement I make, whether it is despair, pleasure, fear,
attachment, detachment, is a move- ment of thought. When thought
realizes all this is a movement of itself in different forms, it stops.
Now let us proceed further.
P: I want to ask you a question. You said existence goes on
without the «me». What or who proceeds further?
Krishnamurti: We have moved away from the word «God».
P: If my using the word «God» is very much within the field of
thought, I have put it aside. Now I am moving with that. Therefore
I am saying if thought as the «me» has ended, what is the
instrument of investigation?
Krishnamurti: We have come to a point where there is no
movement of thought. Investigating into itself so profoundly as we
are doing now, so completely, so logically, thought has ended. It is
now asking what is the new factor that comes into being which is going to investigate or what is the new instrument of investigation.
What is the instrument? It is not the old instrument. Right? The
intellect, its sharpness of thought, the quality of thought, the
objectivity, thought that has created tremendous confusion; all that
has been denied.
P: Thought is word and meaning. If in consciousness, there is
movement where there is no word and meaning, there is something
else operating. What is this?
Krishnamurti: We have said thought is the past, thought is the
word, thought is meaning, thought is the result of suffering. And
thought says I have tried to investigate and my investigation has
led me to see my own limitations. Now what is the next question?
What is investigation then? If you see clearly the limitations, then
what is happening?
P: Only the seeing.
Krishnamurti: No, seeing is visual and the sensory seeing
depends on the word, the meaning.
P: After what we have said, there is only seeing which operates.
Krishnamurti: I want to be clear. The seeing with sensory
perception, you say, is there. We have gone beyond that.
P: When you use the word seeing, is it a state where all the
instruments are functioning?
P: If there is one instrument functioning at a time, then it is
tethered to thought. When there is seeing and no listening, it is
tethered to thought. But when all the sensory instruments are
functioning, then there is nothing to be tethered to. That is the only
thing one can know. That is existence. Otherwise there would be death.
Krishnamurti. We agree, then what is the next question? What
is perception then? What is investigation there? What is there to
investigate? What is there to explore? Right? What have you to
say; you have all become silent?
P: When thought has come to an end there is nothing more to
Krishnamurti: When thought comes to an end, then what more
is there to investigate? Then who is the investigator? And what is
the result of investiga- tion? Now which is it? What is there to
investigate, or who is the instrument or what is the instrument that
P: One has always regarded investigation as moving towards a
Krishnamurti: Is it a forward movement?
P: We are trying to investigate God, truth, but as thought has
ended, there is no point towards which there can be movement.
Krishnamurti: Go slow; do not say anything categorically. All
that you can say is that there is no movement, no forward
movement. Forward movement implies thought and time. That is
all I am trying to get at. When you really deny that, you deny
movement, outward or inward, then what takes place?
Now begins an investigation of a totally different kind.
First of all, the mind, the brain realizes it wants order, security,
safety to function sanely, happily, easily. That is its basic demand.
Now the brain realizes that any movement from itself is within the
field of time and therefore, within the field of thought; then is there
a movement at all? Or is there a totally different kind of movement, qualitatively different, which is not related to time, to
process, to the forward or backward movements?
Now we are asking, is there any other movement? Is there
something which is not related to time?
Any movement as far as the brain is concerned, is within the
field of time, outwardly or inwardly. I see that. The brain realizes
that though it may think that it is extended infinitely, it is still very
Now, is there a movement which is not related to thought? This
question is put by the brain, not by some super-entity. The brain
realizes that any movement in time is sorrow. So it abstains from
any movement, naturally. Then it is asking itself if there is any
other movement which it really does not know, which it has never
That means one has to go back to the question of energy. There
is human energy and cosmic energy. We have separated energy as
human and cosmic. I have always been looking at human energy as
separate, limited, incomplete within its limited field. Now the
battle is over. Do you follow what I mean? Do you see it? I have
always regarded the movement of energy as being within the
limited field and separated it from cosmic, universal energy. Now
thought has realized its limitation and therefore, human energy has
become something entirely different. The division – the cosmic and
the human – is created by thought. The division ceases and another
factor has entered. To a mind which is not centred within itself,
there is no division. Then what is there to investigate or what is the
instrument of investigation? There is investigation but not the
investigation to which I am used – the exercising of intellect, of reason, and all the rest of it. And this investigation is not intuition.
Now, the brain realizes that in itself there is no division. Therefore,
the brain is not divided in itself as cosmic, human, sexual,
scientific, business. Energy has no division.
Then what takes place? We started by asking if thought is
materialistic? Thought is material, because brain is matter; thought
is the result of the material; thought may be abstract but it is the
result of the material. Obviously it is. Few have gone beyond.
F: The meaning of the body is consciousness; literally what is
the meaning of existence?
Krishnamurti: What is the meaning of this room? Let us begin.
Emptiness, because emptiness is created by the four walls and in
that emptiness, I can put a chair and use the room.
F: The room has meaning because «P» lives there.
Krishnamurti: Furnishes, lives, fears, hopes, quarrels.
F: What is consciousness and you say the content, but I am
asking more. What is the meaning, not the description?
D: The question of meaning is only for meaning.
Krishnamurti: «F» means something more. The meaning of my
existence. None at all……
F: Is there no question of your wanting to have meaning? What
is the meaning of Krishnamurti? Can you negate the self? Then
you are guillotined. The individual within, the censor, existence,
consciousness, body; there is the more – the abstract soul;
ultimately a soul around which everything impinges. Can you
Krishnamurti: The soul is the «me».
P: It is that which is the difficulty. There is a validity in «F»‘s question because the self is the most difficult thing to negate. If
you attempt to negate the «ego» and the self you never will. But if
you proceed as we have just done, that is all that is necessary.
F: What is the meaning of all this? Why should the «me» end?
The meaning of the atoms is organism, the meaning of organism is
consciousness. Why should it stop there?
Krishnamurti: It does not stop there. It stops there only when
thought realizes its limitations. Let us come back. What is the
instrument that is going to investigate, in which there is no
separation, in which there is no investigator and the investigated? I
see thought has really no meaning. It has meaning only within its
small field. Now it asks what there is to discover – not as a
discoverer discovering something.
What is the movement which is neither inward nor outward? Is
it death? Is it the total negation of everything? Then what takes
place? What is investigation?
When thought ends, we include everything in it; we include the
meaning, consciousness, the content of consciousness, despair,
failure, success. It is all within that field. When that ends, then
what takes place? The brain exists, the recording – the part which is
registering. The registering goes on. It must go on, otherwise, it
would become insane, but there is the whole, which is totally quiet.
Thought is no more involved. Thought does not enter into that field
at all. Thought enters into a very small field of the brain.
P: It is a fact that we use only a millionth part of our brain.
Krishnamurti: There is the other part.
F: There is no reason to suppose that the remnants of the brain
which are not used, can become anything more than other parts of consciousness.
Krishnamurti: No, do look at it.
F: Even biologically, you are not correct. The size of the brain
which is usable, determines the extent of consciousness If you use
more, consciousness will be greater.
Krishnamurti: The old brain is very limited. The entire brain is
the new which has not been used. The entire quality of the brain is
new; thought which is limited, functions in a limited field. The old
brain is not active because the limited has ceased.
P: You know what you are saying? If you see a little part of the
brain as limited, limitation ends.
Krishnamurti: No, limitation goes on.
P: But because it does not take over the whole part, nor limit
itself to itself the rest of the brain, which is not used, becomes
operable. Then this is again a totally materialist position.
Krishnamurti: Agreed. Carry on further.
P: That is all, there is nothing more to discuss.
F: I have an objection. Even if the entire brain is used fully, it
will still only be consciousness; it will be a tremendously enlarged
Krishnamurti: Depending if there is a centre.
D: If there is a centre, then you are not using the other.
F: We have been operating only within the limited. Now if you
move into the other, how do you know that that consciousness has
not a focalizing tendency?
Krishnamurti: Focalizing takes place when thought operates as
pain, despair, success, when thought operates as the «me». When
the «me» is silent, where is consciousness? F: After that, it all becomes conjecture. You presume the only
factor that can project the centre is disappointment, hurt. Thought
is limited. And therefore, it projects itself. Why should focalization
depend upon limitation?
Krishnamurti: Focalization takes place when thought is
P: If thought ceases with its meaning and word, if thought
ceases, whatever becomes operable is not recognizable as word and
F: You are becoming very narrow. I am still legitimately
questioning the point that frustration is the only point of
Krishnamurti: I included everything, not only frustration but
everything in the field of time. Now I see that the brain cells have
operated in a very small field and that small field with its limited
energy has created all the mischief. The old brain becomes quiet.
What we have called quietness is limitation becoming quiet. The
noise of that has ended and that is the silence of limita- tion. When
thought realizes that, then the brain itself, the whole brain,
P: Yet it registers.
Krishnamurti: Of course. Noise is going on.
P: Existence continues.
Krishnamurti: Existence without any continuance. Then what?
The whole brain becomes quiet, not the limited part.
F: It is the same thing to us.
P: If you do not know the other, and the other is not operable,
what becomes quiet for us is only limitation. Krishnamurti: Therefore, that quietness is not quietness.
P: This is something new which you are introducing.
D: What makes you say we are not using the whole brain?
F: I am saying my total brain is functioning but I am not
conscious because I am enclosing myself within the limited field.
Krishnamurti: Please stop first the movement of thought, then
see what happens.
D: When the movement of thought stops, things happen on their
own and then is the enquiry of what happens necessary?
P: I want to ask one question here. You have said that the
ending of the limitation of «me» as thought, is not silence.
Krishnamurti: That is the beauty of it.
P: Let me get the feeling of it. Please say it again.
Krishnamurti: I said when thought with its limitations says it is
silent, it is not silent. Silence is when the total quality of the brain
is still; the total thing, not just part of it.
F: Why should the total brain become silent?
Krishnamurti: The total brain has always been quiet. What I
have called silence is the ending of the «me; the thought which is
rattling around. The rattling around is thought. The chattering
around has stopped completely. When the chattering comes to an
end, then there is a feeling of silence but that is not silence. Silence
is when the total mind, the brain, though registering, is completely
quiet, because energy is quiet. It may explode but the basis of
energy is quiet. (Pause)
Now, there is passion only when sorrow has no movement.
Have you understood what I have said? Sorrow is energy. When
there is sorrow there is the movement of escape by understanding it, by suppressing it, but when there is no movement at all in
sorrow there is an explosion into passion. Now the same thing
takes place when there is no movement – outward or inward; when
there is no movement of silence which the limited «me» has created
for itself in order to achieve something more. When there is
absolute silent, total silence, therefore no movement of any kind,
when it is completely quiet, there is a totally different kind of
explosion which is……
P: Which is God. Krishnamurti: I refuse to use the word «God»
but this state is not an invention. It is not a thing put together by
cunning thought because thought is completely without movement.
That is why it is important to explore thought and not the «other».
TRADITION AND REVOLUTION DIALOGUE 26
BOMBAY 11TH FEBRUARY 1971 ‘ENERGY,
ENTROPY AND LIFE’
Questioner D: The other day we discussed God. We also discussed
energy and you spoke of human energy and cosmic energy. I will
state the scientific position. Scientists have measured energy and
have arrived at an equation: E=Mc2, a fantastic figure. This is
material energy and biologists have also proved that life-energy is
anti-entropic, which means that while material energy dissipates
itself, life energy does not. So this movement of anti-entropy is
against the material flow of energy which dissipates and ends in
dead uniformity. The human being generally moves with entropic
energy and, therefore, decays. Scientists have measured even the
time span of this energy. The problem is therefore: How can man,
being aware of this, be part of the movement of energy that is anti-
Krishnamurti: One can see quite simply, that that which is
mechanical wears itself out, given a certain time.
D: What is measurable can be manipulated by the mind, by man
and that is the why of the atom bomb. This energy, this movement
of entropy, dominates the world today. How do we get out of its
P: This is a very important point. If there is a movement of
energy which does not dissipate itself, which does not end, decay,
then from the point of view of the scientist as well as man, it is
probably the answer to all the problems of the world.
Krishnamurti: So what are you asking? How is man who is caught in the movement of this mechanical decay – it may take a
million years or ten million years – how can that decay be put to an
end? Or is there a contrary movement?
D: And the nature of that contrary movement?
Krishnamurti: Let us put that question again simply. Man is
caught in material energy, in mechanical energy; he is caught by
technology, by the movement of thought – you get the key to it?
Krishnamurti: There is the whole field of technological
knowledge and the movement in that knowledge; that is the field in
which man lives, which has tremendous influence on him, which is
really taking him over, absorbing him; the scientists and the
biologists have all measured the energy of that movement and that
energy is an energy of decay, an energy of waste. Scientists also
that there is a contrary movement of energy in the opposite
direction which is creative energy; the real human energy which is
non-mechanical, non-technological. Now, what is the question?
D: The modern biologists – Huxley, Chardin – say the species
has developed up to man from the smallest cell and in man there is
an emergence of consciousness; man as an entity can be conscious
of the whole evolutionary process.
P: From this another very interesting fact emerges. Chardin says
that the next leap forward will come by «a process of seeing»
which is the same as the traditional pashyanti. I think it is
important to explore this verb which has such a loaded traditional
meaning in India.
Krishnamurti: We will come to that if we can examine the decaying processes; the energy which is mechanical, which is
entropic. We are also trying to find that life-energy, which is non-
mechanical energy. What is this energy?
D: Biologists say it lies in cultural development, in the destiny
of man, not in a new species emerging.
A: This question faces modern man at many levels. After the
satellites went up, there was a new measurement of the cosmos.
We call that the measurable infinite. But man also knows there is
the immeasurable infinite. It comes to modern man the moment he
gets out of the immediate and gets to an understanding of the
environment in the widest sense.
Krishnamurti: Quite. They have measured thought. They have
D: If you flow with material energy you are doomed. It is only
inviting the entropic movement.
F: You said something – that they have measured thought. Do
you think thought is measurable ?
F: In what sense do you mean this?
Krishnamurti: In the sense that the electrical impulses of
thought are measured.
F: Thought is the measure of entropy.
P: Only that which has a beginning and an end can be measured.
Krishnamurti: So there is a movement which ultimately, in its
very motion, leads to decay.
F: It also leads to radiance and that is the end of entropy. There
are those two movements – there is a mechanical movement and an
anti-mechanical movement. A: The biologist’s approach is very tentative when he comes to
consciousness. Whenever he speaks of life-energy, he does not
speak with the same precision as the other. There is a recognition
that the anti-entropic is the unknown, the un-definable. After
having said that there is «the other», «the other» is still unknown.
D: One fact is certain. That the life-energy does not move in the
direction in which the entropic energy moves.
A: Let us take the movement of life-energy as something
unknown to us
We cannot manipulate it. In the measure that man becomes
conscious of the entire evolutionary process in himself, he becomes
aware of consciousness.
P: I think we are going round in circles. The observable thing is,
man is born, lives and dies. The phenomenon of a cyclic movement
of beginning and ending of energy is visible and deeply structured
in our consciousness – the thing emerging and disappearing, the
two manifestations of energy. Is there energy which is not
concerned with emerging or disappearing?
Krishnamurti: It is the same thing. Do we accept this that there
is a beginning and ending of energy?
F: Individuals may begin and end, but life does not. It creates.
Krishnamurti: Do not bring in the individual yet. There is a
movement of energy which is mechanical, which is measurable,
which may end, and there is life-energy which you cannot
manipulate; it goes on infinitely. We see that in one case there is
wastage of energy and in the other there is non-wastage of energy.
F: I do not see the other as a fact.
Krishnamurti: All right. Let us see the movement of energy which can reach a height and decline. Is there any other form of
energy which can never end, which is not related to the energy
which begins, continues and withers away?
F: That is a legitimate question.
D: Is there any form of energy that will not decay?
Krishnamurti: Now how are we going to find out? I have got it.
What is energy that decays?
F: What is the cause of energy you cannot answer.
Krishnamurti: What is energy that decays? I did not say what is
the cause of energy.
P: Material energy decays. Why does it decay? By friction?
D: By pressure?
Krishnamurti: Is there any other form of energy which does not
decay? One decays through friction. Is there any other form which
does not decay?
P: Not only does it decay but it is friction. I am positing it. Let
us investigate. Its very nature is friction.
F: No. I do not understand your method. The fact is that there is
energy overcoming friction, and energy dissipating in friction.
P: You say there is an energy which decays in friction through
friction. I say its very nature is friction. All that movement which
we call energy, in itself is friction. Show me why it is not so?
F: What is friction?
P: Friction is contradiction, resistance.
F: Why should energy be identified with resistance?
P: We say the nature of this which we call energy is friction. D:
Energy is the capacity, biological capacity, to overcome resistance,
but it dissipates itself in this process. Krishnamurti: Like in a machine.
P: So it is manifest as friction.
Krishnamurti: So is there an energy which has no resistance at
all, and therefore….
P: No. When you say that it does not touch resistance, it is not
so. Life is full of resistance. How can you say this?
Krishnamurti: Let us go into this. Any energy that meets
resistance wears itself out. A car going up the hill without enough
power; the energy created by the machine will wear out. Is there an
energy which can never wear out, whether you go uphill, downhill,
parallel, vertical? Is there an energy which has no friction in itself?
And if it meets resistance, it does not recognize resistance, it does
not recognize friction.
There is another factor to it. Energy also comes into being
through resistance, through manipulation.
P: The moment energy crystallizes……
Krishnamurti: Do not say that.
P: Why, Sir, the human organism is a crystallization.
Krishnamurti: The human organism is a field of energy, but do
not use the word crystallization.
I am keeping it very simple. There is energy that meets
resistance and wears itself out. In that whole field, there is the
energy brought about through resistance, through conflict, through
violence, through growth and decay, through the process of time.
Now we are asking, is there any other energy which is not of time,
which does not belong to this field?
A: Tradition calls it the timeless arrow.
F: You are asking whether there is energy which is irresistible? Krishnamurti: No. I only know energy which is in the field of
time. It may have a span of ten million years, but it is still in the
field of time. That is all we human beings know. And as human
beings we are enquiring if there is an energy which is not in the
field of time?
F: Do you mean, it is energy that does not undergo any
Krishnamurti: Look. I know energy, the cause of energy, the
ending of energy. I know energy as the overcoming of resistance, I
know the energy of sorrow, the energy of conflict, of hope, of
despair; they are within the field of time. And that is the whole of
my consciousness. I am asking, is there an energy which is not
time-bound, which is not within the field of time at all? Is there
energy which may go through the field of time and yet not be
touched by time? It is very interesting. Man must have asked this
question for centuries upon centuries, and not being able to find an
answer he said there was God and put God outside the field of
But putting God outside the field of time is to invite God into
the field of time. And therefore all that is part of consciousness.
And that decays. It decays, if I may use that word, because it is of
time, it is divisible. And my mind which is divisible, wanting to
find a timeless energy, proceeds to formulate an energy which it
calls God and worships that. All that is within the field of time.
So I ask, is there any other energy which is not of time? You
Krishnamurti: How do I find out? I reject God, because God is within the field of time. I reject the super-self, the atman, the
brahman, the soul, heaven, for they are all within the field of time.
Now I ask, is there energy which is timeless? Yes, Sir. There is.
Shall we go into it?
D: Yes, Sir.
Krishnamurti: How do I find out? Consciousness must empty
itself of its content. Must it not?
D: The question is, I am sitting on a chair, which is my
condition of existence. I cannot throw away the chair.
Krishnamurti: You cannot throw away the chair, but you can
throw away the content which time has created which one calls
D: The question is, if time is consciousness then there has to be
Krishnamurti: Wait. The content makes consciousness;
otherwise there is no consciousness.
P: May I ask something. Is the total emptying of consciousness
not the same as seeing the totality of consciousness?
Krishnamurti: It is. Agreed. I do not think I have made myself
clear. There is the fact of totally emptying consciousness; there is
another fact which is seeing with the totality, with all the content.
Seeing the field of time as a total state, seeing the whole field of
time – now what does that seeing mean?
Is that seeing different from the field of time or has that seeing
separated itself from the field of time and then thinks it is free and
looks at the field of time which is what we call perception?
D: Right, Sir. This perception presupposes a perceiver.
Krishnamurti: We go back to the same thing. So the question arises what is total seeing? I see logically, verbally; I comprehend
the whole consciousness of man, the whole of it. The whole of it is
the content of it and the content of it has been accumulated through
time, which is culture, religion, knowledge. Whether it expands or
contracts, it is still within the field of time. When it expands, it
includes God, not-God, nationalism or no-nationalism. It is the
whole movement of consciousness within the field of time. It is
time itself. What do you say «D», consciousness is time?
D: I have no other instrument but consciousness.
Krishnamurti: I am aware of that. I see consciousness is time
because the content of it is consciousness and the content has been
accumulated through centuries upon centuries. D: Consciousness is
Krishnamurti: We know that. How can my mind look at this
total field of time and not be of the field? That is the question.
Otherwise, it cannot look. Total perception must be free of time. Is
there a perception and seeing which is not of time? What do you
D: That is our question.
Krishnamurti: And if it is not of time, then perception is the life-
movement. Perception itself is the life-movement.
D: Logically that would be so.
A: Can we say perception itself is the life-movement? I do not
know anything about it.
Krishnamurti: Can my mind, which is of time, which is the
content of consciousness – content is the accumulated impressions,
the experience, the knowledge in time – can my mind being totally
of time, disassociate itself from the total field? Or is there a perception which is not of time and therefore sees the totality?
P: What I would say is I just cannot posit the «other». «A» is
A: The moment I posit it, it becomes the God of the
Upanishads. When you say it, I listen.
Krishnamurti: I have not yet said anything.
A: All I can say is that seeing that all consciousness is within
the field of time, I can remain with it. I am «it».
Krishnamurti: You are «it». Somebody comes along and says
that movement within the field of time is measurable and he asks is
there a perception – he does not say there is or there is not – is there
a perception which sees the totality of consciousness which is
Is there such a perception? That is a legitimate question.
P: May I say something? I see you. I see this room. I see the
interiority of my consciousness. There is no more than that. I can
see. It is a concrete thing. Seeing is concrete.
Krishnamurti: Are we wasting time?
P: We are not. We have to be concrete. This is seeing.
Krishnamurti: I understand «P», Here I am sitting in this room. I
see the content of the room and myself in it. Myself is the observer
who is conscious of the room, the proportion of room, the space of
the room, and I see this through the consciousness which is made
up of time.
P: I have taken a step back. Because I am seeing not only the
length and breadth of the room, I see X as separate from Y; I am
seeing. All this is the content of this room.
Krishnamurti: That is right. The observer and the observed are within the field of time. That is all. When the observer invents
something, that is still within the field of time. So any movement is
within the field of time. That is all I know. That is a fact. But
knowing that, somebody comes along and asks: Is there a
movement which is not of time? And that is a legitimate question.
P: I do not know.
Krishnamurti: You can put it to yourself. Therefore, it is
legitimate, because the very putting of it is legitimate. It may be a
P: Putting it makes it a fact, not legitimate.
D: But it is a question. Question implies something more than a
Krishnamurti: Which means, can the mind – I am proceeding
from the question – see the totality of itself? Have you understood
my question? Can the mind see itself as the field of time – not as an
observer seeing the field of time? Can the mind itself become
totally aware so that it sees consciousness as time? It is fairly
P: I do not see that. What is involved in seeing consciousness as
time? We started with this. There is a seeing of this room, the
interiority of the self, the not dividing the two, the outer and the
inner; that is the totality of time. There is no other totality.
A: Seeing the transitoriness is the seeing.
P: Where is the transitoriness? That is a loaded word. I just see.
D: If you just see then you do not see. The mind is part of time.
F: It is so clear. She only sees a section of me.
P: You are accepting too easily what Krishnaji is saying.
Krishnamurti: I only know one thing: I am the totality of consciousness.
P: The totality of consciousness at this moment is the perceiving
of the room and the interiority within me. That is all.
F: That is not all.
P: What else is there?
A: The other is seeing me not only as a person but as a vast
D: When you say «I see», is it a static movement you see or do
you see movement as flux?
P: I see that. (Pointing) I see you talking the next minute. Where
is flux in it?
A: Do you mean that the totality of what you perceive is in
P: I do not say that. I say where does time arise?
A: Is it seeing as static or as movement?
B: It will not do for us to conceptualize it.
P: When I am observing thought, I see it as flux. I see
movement. I see thought as movement; I wake up to a thought
having been, then again of thought having been, then again of
thought having been. And I put these together and say there is
movement. When Krishnaji says «perceive this room», I perceive
the room, the interiority; there is no perception of time. It is the
Krishnamurti: What is it that you are trying to say, «P»?
P: Your statement of the perception of consciousness as a
movement of time is not valid. If we do not get the concreteness of
seeing, we move into the field of the conceptual. Krishnamurti:
What you are saying, are you not, is that you perceive when you enter the room, the proportion, the space, the colour, and you
perceive consciousness with the same tactile feel?
P: Then «A» speaks and I perceive that. Then I connect the two,
and thought brings in time. There is no time apart from the
Krishnamurti: If there is perception, there is no time. I look and
there is no time.
P: You asked a question, «Do you see consciousness as the
whole content of time?» I questioned that statement – I want to
examine it with a microscope.
Krishnamurti: My mind is the result of time – memory,
experience, knowledge. My consciousness is within the field of
time. How can I see that the whole content is within the field of
P: Because of memory, of thought.
Krishnamurti: How can I see that the whole content is within
the field of time? Is it a conclusion which we have arrived at just
now or is it an actual perception? Let us go slowly. We have said
verbally that my mind, the brain, the whole of it is the result of
time. Is that a conclusion, or do I see it as a fact and not as a
conclusion? Right, Sirs?
P: How would you distinguish the two?
Krishnamurti: One is a formula, a conclusion, a statement, the
other I am finding out.
P: I find it very difficult. You know what you are trying to do,
Sir? Can there be a perception of an abstraction? The moment
thought is not, «what is» is an abstraction.
Krishnamurti: Wait. You have drawn your conclusions. I have not come to any. When you say it is an abstraction, it is a
P: I ask myself, when I say that consciousness is the product of
time, is it a statement or is it something I can see?
Krishnamurti: Is it a statement with verbal meaning, which I
accept, and therefore it becomes a conclusion, or is it an actual fact
as this room, an actual fact that the whole of my brain, the whole of
my consciousness is this enormous field of time? Is it as concrete
P: How can it be as concrete as the other?
Krishnamurti: I will show it to you in a minute. I see a
conclusion is not a fact, because thought has entered into it and
heard this statement and accepts it and makes it a formula and
remains with that formula. That is an abstraction. A formula is an
abstraction created by thought and therefore it is the cause of
conflict. It is the very nature of conflict. I see that very clearly.
Now, is there a perception which is not of thought, of the total field
of time as the mind? Formulas are the most deadly things.
Formulas and concepts are products of thought and, therefore, are
all within the field of time.
P: Why is it necessary to make this absolute statement at all?
Why is it necessary to make an absolute, finite, statement?
Krishnamurti. I will show you in a minute. I am enquiring into the
field of time. Time, we said, is consciousness. Time is the result of
centuries upon centuries of experience. That is my consciousness,
and the consciousness is made up of all the content. I hear you state
that and thought picks it up and makes a formula of it. I see that the
very formula is within the field of time, that very formula is the factor of friction. So I do not touch it. I have negated it. I am now
asking myself; have I negated it? Or am I still thinking, feeling that
I have negated it? Am I still trying to find a fact which is not
within the field of time? (Pause)
I am finding something – when thought operates, it must operate
within the field of time, it must come to a conclusion and
conclusion is part of consciousness; that is all. I now ask myself, is
there any movement of thought or am I pretending to myself that
there is no movement of thought and only perception? When I
come to this room, I see. There is no movement of thought. I just
see. The moment thought comes in, it comes into the field of time.
Now I am asking, is the mind deceiving itself by saying «I have no
formula», but is entrenched in formula; formula being thought,
which is consciousness? Or is there a perception which has nothing
whatsoever to do with thought? I only know that all consciousness
is within the field of time and thought is consciousness.
Therefore, I am enquiring – I do not want to deceive myself, I
do not want to pretend that I have got something which I have not
got. I see whenever thought comes into being, it must create a
formula, and the formula is within the field of time. The whole of
consciousness is time. I hear you say this. Now is it a formula
which I have accepted or is it a fact – the fact being there is a
perception of the total movement of thought?
P: You see, Sir, these are words which you use – the total
movement of thought – what is meant by those words? When you
ask whether we have accepted it as a formula, I have neither
accepted it as a formula nor is it a fact. It is neither of these.
Krishnamurti: But by listening, by examining, by investigating, you say this is so. It is not a question of accepting. Now, move a
step further. Is that «it is so», an acceptance of an idea, intellectual
and therefore still within the field of time?
P: I will never answer that question to you or to myself.
Krishnamurti: I am asking it.
P: What do I answer?
Krishnamurti: You are not asking that question. You know
nothing about it. I want to find out whether the mind that is the
result of time, hearing that statement, does it accept it as a
statement, as a formula, and therefore remains in time, or it sees
the truth, it sees the fact. Then what takes place? It is a fact.
Nothing more can be said when thought does not arise. I see the
room, but the moment thought says it has proportion, colour,
beauty, time enters – you follow? In the same way this whole field
of time exists only when thought operates. Now am I pretending
that this operation is a formula or is it a fact which is realizable,
which we can be aware of? Or is thought completely absent, and
only aware of time and nothing more? Then what takes place? I am
aware of this room without any interference of time.
P: At this moment, this instant what are you aware of?
Krishnamurti: The mind which is the result of time, hearing
what you are saying, that the whole of consciousness is time,
accepts that as a formula and says, «yes». the statement «yes» is the
perception of a conclusion which is the operation of thought.
Therefore, I see that there is still time operating in that sense.
So is there an operation of perception without thought? What
takes place then?
P: What are you perceiving at this moment? (Pause) Krishnamurti: (Makes a gesture brushing one hand over the
other) Nothing. That is it. It is logically right.
A: When we come, when we hear, the next moment it has
become a memory.
Krishnamurti: I am not concerned about you at all. Forgive me.
I am not concerned whether you see or do not see. I said to you I
am going to investigate. I am investigating. You are not
investigating. You are merely remaining with the formula. I see
this fact. Am I perceiving the formula with a formula, or
perceiving without a movement of thought without a formula?
Then «P» asks me, in that state what is there to perceive?
Absolutely nothing, because it is not of time. That is the factor of
F: The state which you are just now describing can be called
entropy of thought, a state where no movement is possible any
Krishnamurti: You are not investigating.
F: It has not ended here. You are ending it.
P: I want to ask another question. You say that there is nothing.
Is there movement?
Krishnamurti: What do you mean by movement, before I say
yes or no?
P: From here to there.
Krishnamurti: Measurable, comparable. Measurable means
movement. The movement, when it is measured, is within the field
of time. Right? And you are asking me whether in that
nothingness, there is movement? To you movement is measurable
and if I say there is, you will then tell me it is measurable and therefore it is in time.
P: There is movement in nothingness.
Krishnamurti: Which means what? The movement of time is
one thing and the movement of nothingness is not of time,
therefore not measurable. But it has its own movement which you
cannot possibly understand unless you leave the movement of time.
And that is infinite and that movement is infinite.
TRADITION AND REVOLUTION DIALOGUE 27
BOMBAY 15TH FEBRUARY 1971
‘INTELLIGENCE AND THE INSTRUMENT’
Questioner P: I wanted to ask you Krishnaji, if there is one
question which needs to be asked by the individual, which would
open the door to reality. Can all questions be reduced to the one
F: Is there such a thing as a door? We cannot ask a question
about that, for which there can be no metaphor.
Krishnamurti: I think she asks, in the sense of a door, an
opening, a breakthrough.
F: From your own experience what would you say is breaking-
through? There is no point of reference.
Krishnamurti: What is the question?
P: There are many things which we have discussed during the
last few days. Can all these questions converge into one question?
Krishnamurti: I think so.
F: I would not put it that way. I come to you because in you
there is an imponderable quality, a tiny seed of something which
makes you entirely different. I do not look for differences in
manifestation, but there is in you a tiny little touch of something,
that «elseness» of yours – now is there a key to that? Is there a
question which opens that up?
B: If I may ask, what is it that prevents one from seeing? The
difficulty is with us. Last evening when we heard Krishnaji’s talk
we felt that there was nothing which we would not be prepared to
do, if it was in us to do it. Can all that you say be held in one question? To you it is a very simple thing. You have an amazing
capacity of converting diversity into a single thing. This
convergence has not taken place in us. Could there be some action
which would make all questions melt into one question?
P: I would further ask, if it were not possible to simplify all
questions into one question, is there an instrument and what is that
instrument which will make this possible? There is one interesting
fact that I have observed in what Krishnaji has been saying in the
last few days, and that is, he does not say thought is totally
unnecessary. He says thought has a place and thought has no place.
There is a region where thought is necessary and there is a region
where thought has no function. The mechanism which makes it
possible for thought to operate only where it should and not where
it should not, without any evaluation, with- out the operation of
will, without a doer, without a director, without a trick; that
instrument, that mechanism is the essential thing.
How does it happen that thought arises only where it
legitimately should function and does not impinge into areas where
it should not function, because there thought has investment in
Krishnamurti: Now what is the question?
P: What is the instrument? How does this happen? We have
examined our minds with a microscope. Now we ask under whose
command do the brain cells function? What happens to them if
there is no one to direct, to command?
Krishnamurti: I thought «K» explained yesterday that it is
D: It is the same thing. Intelligence means instrument. Krishnamurti: Let us keep to the word «intelligence».
D: How does it happen? Intelligence functions in different
dimensions. The artist, the philosopher use intelligence, but that is
Krishnamurti: Intelligence is that quality of mind which can use
knowledge, all the vast field of knowledge, but not use knowledge
in another field.
F: The difference that exists between me and you, is it in the
degree of intelligence or is there another factor operating in you?
Krishnamurti: «P» asked a question, which is, what is the
essential demand in life? And she goes on further to ask whether
thought can operate sanely, efficiently in the whole field of
knowledge where it is necessary and not operate in another field
where it brings chaos, misery? Now what is the thing that can
prevent thought from operating so that it does not create misery?
Can we tackle this question differently? Can the mind, the
totality of the mind, empty itself of everything, of knowledge and
non-knowledge; the knowledge of science and language and also
the mechanism of thought that functions all the time? Can the mind
empty itself of all that? I do not know if I am making myself clear.
Can the mind empty itself not only at the conscious level but at the
deeper secret chambers of the mind? From that emptiness can
knowledge operate and not operate?
B: The question then would be emptiness?
Krishnamurti: Let us see. Can the mind empty the whole
content of itself as the past, so that it has no motive? Can it empty
itself and can that emptiness use knowledge, pick it up, use it and
drop it, but always remain empty? Emptiness in the sense of the mind being nothing; emptiness
which has its own movement, which is not measurable in terms of
time. A movement which is in emptiness, which is not the
movement of time, that movement can operate in the field of
knowledge and there is no other operation. That movement can
only operate in the field of knowledge and nowhere else.
P: Are they two movements?
Krishnamurti: That is why I said that movement can operate
only in knowledge; it has no two movements. Please follow. I am
just investigating. You are asking a question, which is, that from
what you have observed in your talks here, «K» has divided
knowledge and freedom from knowledge.
Knowledge operating in the field of science in which there must
be a certain will, a certain direction, an operative function, a
design; and knowledge not operating where there is no place for
thought and therefore of will.
B: You mean not even thought which is more than will?
Krishnamurti: Of course. Let us get the question clear. I am a
little bit doubtful of the question.
F: It seems sometimes we operate deliberately and sometimes
non-deliberately. I can see I do something of which I know
nothing, and yet I operate. So there are these two operations:
mental and non-mental. The movement of the two are not separate.
Krishnamurti: Watch your own mind, «F». You see thought
operating always within the field of knowledge. The knowledge
brings pain and that knowledge helps man to live more
comfortably environmentally. Right? – and that thought also brings
misery, confusion. That is a fact. F: I object to the «always».
Krishnamurti: Wait. Then you and I ask, is thought necessary?
Why does it create misery? Is it possible for thought not to create
misery? That is all. Keep it as simple as this.
F: My answer to that is the roots of misery are not known to me.
The promptings which create misery, I do not know.
Krishnamurti: We began with the superficial layers. Now we
will go into the secret chambers of the mind.
P: Surely we are not positing a state of consciousness where
thought will operate at the technological level and at the day-to-day
level of action where necessary, and if by some kind of trick,
electric shock, all other consciousness as thought were to be wiped
away, it would be enough? We are not postulating that surely.
Krishnamurti: Of course not.
P: But look Sir, the moment you speak of a place where thought
can operate legitimately and a place where thought has no
legitimate place you are postulating the other – a state which is non-
thought. If consciousness is only content, then what is the other?
D: I can go into a state of constant euphoria. Is that enough?
This can happen through lobotomy.
Krishnamurti: Then you become a vegetable.
D: Then if that is not so, what else is there in consciousness?
F: When you said that thought is consciousness, it is there that I
put a question mark? Is thought the entirety of consciousness? Can
we say that consciousness is nothing beyond thought? I would
Krishnamurti: So we have to go into the question of
consciousness. B: We are going back. You used the word «intelligence» in a
different way. That word is the key, if we know what it is. P: But
this also a very valid question-if content is thought, if all
consciousness is content and it is legitimate for thought to function
in the field of technology, and all impinging of thought in the
psychological direction is pain, then cutting thought away, will it
solve the problem?
P: Then what is the «other»?
F: Intelligence is different from consciousness. We must
distinguish between the two. Intelligence is much vaster than
consciousness. We can have unconscious intelligence.
P: What is consciousness?
Krishnamurti: What is consciousness? There is a waking
consciousness, there is hidden consciousness; consciousness of
certain parts of me, of the superficial mind, and a lack of total
awareness of the deeper layers of consciousness.
P: I would say, Krishnaji, that there is a consciousness in which
thought operates, then there is a consciousness where attention is
and where there is seeing; and a consciousness which is
unconscious of thought. I see these three states as they operate in
Krishnamurti: Three states which are the memory, –
P: Being awake when thought is not, –
Krishnamurti: Wait, wait. The memory, the operation of
memory as thought, as action; then attention, a state of attention
where there is no thinker.
P: And a state of being asleep when you are not aware of thought nor of attention.
Krishnamurti: So you are saying there is the operation of
thought, memory, having been and will be. Then there is a state of
attention and there is a state in which there is neither attention nor
thought, but a sense of being half asleep.
P: Half awake, half asleep.
Krishnamurti: All this is what you would call consciousness.
P: In all these states whether consciously or unconsciously,
sensory perceptions are in operation.
F: Do not bring in the unconscious. Do not call the unconscious
a form of consciousness.
D: I wanted to ask whether we cannot include dreams also into
it; that is the unconscious part.
F: Dreams are dreams because they become conscious.
P: The state in which one spends a large part of the day, one
goes out, images come and go; that is still consciousness.
F: This is a patchy thing. The point is consciousness is not a
Krishnamurti: Can we start this way? I am just being tentative –
there is consciousness, wide or narrow, deep or shallow. As long as
there is a centre which is conscious of itself, that centre may
expand or contract. That centre says I am aware or not aware. That
centre can attempt to go beyond the limitations which it has placed
around itself. That centre has its deep roots in the cave and super-
ficially operates. All that is consciousness. In all that there must be
P: May I ask you a question? Let us be very careful. Would you say there is no operation of consciousness in you?
Krishnamurti: We will come to that presently. That is not the
A: I wanted to ask whether there is such a thing as the matrix in
which there is not even a centre, because it is out of that the centre
A: Matrix is thought; the matrix of temporality.
P: Consciousness is that which registers. It is the only thing
which distinguishes life from a state of death. As long as there is
registering there is no death.
Krishnamurti: Are we speculating? Look, let us begin very
simply. When are you actually conscious?
P: When I am awake, when I am aware.
Krishnamurti: I would begin very simply. When am I
P: I am conscious of this discussion.
Krishnamurti: Let us keep it simple. When am I conscious?
Either through sensory reaction, through a sensory shock, a sensory
resistance, a sensory danger, a conflict in which there is pain-
pleasure. It is only in those moments that I say I am conscious. I
am aware of that lamp, the design; I perceive that there is a
reaction and I say it is ugly or beautiful. Is not that the basis of all
this? I do not want to speculate. I ask myself «when am I
conscious?» When I am challenged, when there is an impact,
conflict, pain, pleasure, then I am conscious.
D: But there may be no focus at all.
Krishnamurti: Wait Sir. I want to start here; otherwise we get lost in theory. This whole phenomenon is going on, whether there
is a deliberate awareness or not, this thing is operating all the time.
That is what we call consciousness.
F: The response to impact.
P: You mean there is no photographic consciousness. I see a
Krishnamurti: But you are seeing it. The mind is registering it.
That is, the brain cells are receiving all these impacts.
F: And in that is there no classification as pain, pleasure?
Krishnamurti: Impact as pleasure, pain, conflict, sorrow,
conscious, or unconscious, is going on all the time and there may
be an awareness of all that at one moment, and at other moments
there may not be. But it is going on all the time. So what is the next
P: This process itself is consciousness and the centre that
observes is also part of consciousness.
Krishnamurti: What is the next question?
B: What is the nature of the unconscious?
Krishnamurti: It is still the same. Only it is the deeper layer.
B: Why are we unconscious of the deeper layer?
Krishnamurti: Because superficially we are very active all the
time. B: So the density of the superficial layer prevents our being
conscious of the deeper layers.
Krishnamurti: I am making noises on the surface. It is like
swimming on the surface. So what is my next question?
B: Is it possible to integrate the various layers?
P: What is the relationship of thought to consciousness? Krishnamurti: I do not understand this question because thought
P: Is there anything else but thought?
Krishnamurti: Why do you put that question?
P: Because we started with the question that I observed you
speak of a region where thought has a legitimate place and a region
where thought has no legitimate place – and yet you say thought is
Krishnamurti: Slowly. Let us stop here. The first question was,
is thought part of this whole thing? What is its relationship to
consciousness? Consciousness is thought – pain, conflict,
registration, memory, remembrance. When the superficial
consciousness is making a lot of noise, you come and ask what is
the relationship between thought and all that? Thought is all that.
P: You have said something just now – thought is part of all
that. Then what is the rest?
A. All this is consciousness. Thought comes into operation
when the «I» wants to localize.
Krishnamurti: That is right.
F: When the brain is cut off then there is no thought.
Krishnamurti: Which is the memory squeezed, held and
paralysed. All that we have described, memory, everything, is
consciousness. Now thought comes into operation when I am
interested in a part of this. The scientist is interested in the material
phenomena, the psychologist in his area, because he has limited the
field of investigation. Then thought comes as a systematizer.
F. Is thought the non-self-consciousness?
Krishnamurti: When «P» asks what is the relationship between thought and consciousness, I think that is a wrong question.
Krishnamurti: There is no relationship between the two because
there are no two. Thought is not something separate from all this.
P: Is thought part of it or is thought all?
Krishnamurti. Go slow. I do not want to say something which is
F: Thought is co-extensive with consciousness. Let us not sub-
Krishnamurti: «P» asks «F», a very simple question. What is the
relationship between thought and all this?
F: Which is the «other». She has no business to speak of the two
P: I won’t accept this so easily because in everything «K» says
the «other is posited. Thought has a legitimate place in the field of
technology and it has no legitimate place in the other field and if
you were to perform an operation and wipe out thought, it is not
enough. Therefore the «other» is posited.
A: What I am trying to say is, is there in consciousness space
which is not covered by thought?
P: Quite right.
Krishnamurti: I am not at all sure. I do not say you are not right.
So go on.
A: I say there is space in consciousness which is not thought
and that is part of the human heritage. It is there.
Krishnamurti: I do not think in consciousness there is any space.
P: I want to put another question to you. When I perceive you
and listen to the whole thing operating, there is no movement of thought, but I am totally conscious. I cannot say –
Krishnamurti: Why do you call that consciousness? Wait, go
slow. «A» says there is space in consciousness. We have to answer
P: Whenever you make a statement like that, you immediately
come to this that wherever there is space there is a boundary.
A: I may be using the wrong word.
Krishnamurti: You have used the right word. But we do not see
that space cannot be contained in a frontier, in a boundary, in a
A: It is not space, if it is held within a circle, a square, a
rectangle. In one sense, of course, it is space.
Krishnamurti: Where there is a border there is no space.
D: According to the scientists, time and space are bound
Krishnamurti: But when we say consciousness has space, then
consciousness has time. Do not call that space. Space exists only
when there is time. Time is limitation. Space in the sense in which
we use the word does not exist in consciousness. That space is
something else. Leave that for the moment. Now what is the next
P: If we can take it from this point, I ask what is the relationship
of thought to consciousness. Is thought contained in
Krishnamurti: Do not use the word relationship. That means the
two; thought means all that. Thought is consciousness. Do not put
it in any other way.
P: Yes. Thought is consciousness, listening is consciousness, learning is consciousness. If thought is consciousness, is thought
not related to seeing as consciousness?
Krishnamurti: Put the question this way. Is there a state of mind
when there is no learning at all? You see the question?
P: You have left us far behind now.
F: There are fields in which we operate without consciousness.
Most of our relationships are beyond the reach of consciousness. I
Krishnamurti: I want to go slowly, please. Thought is
consciousness, listening is consciousness and learning is
consciousness. Listening, seeing, learning, hearing, is part of all
this, and memorizing and reacting to that memory is part of all this.
P: When any one of these is operating, there is no other. What
you then say is understandable. Then there is no duality. Now we
take the next step. When each of these operates, it is consciousness.
Krishnamurti: And it is not a dualistic consciousness.
P: Is it the part operating?
Krishnamurti: I would not use the word part. It is the focalizing
of consciousness. It is not the whole of consciousness. Look, I say
a few words in French or Italian; at that moment there is just that.
P: What about the English?
Krishnamurti: It is still there.
When thought is operating in that specific field, there is no
duality. When thought compares that particular operation to
another then there is duality. Right? I say how marvellous that
lamp is. It is finished. But when thought says I wish I had it in my
room, then there is duality. See what has been found, when there is
the simple functioning of thought without any motive, there is no duality.
P: This again is very difficult – thought is motive.
Krishnamurti: No. What is thought? I have a memory of that
sunset – I see that sunset. It is recorded at that moment, it is
finished. But thought comes along and says….
P: I am saying thought is motive, not the registration, because
thought is word, word is loaded, word is meaning.
Krishnamurti: There is memory of that sunset, then thought
says, I wish it would happen again. In that, motive operates.
D: Yes Sir. When you look at that sunset, motive is irrelevant.
P: Sunset is an impersonal thing, let us not take that. I am
jealous. There is a movement of jealousy as thought. You see
Krishnaji, this is in some subtle way connected with the problem of
containing – space – time –
Krishnamurti: «P», you just now said jealousy. Jealousy is the
factor of duality – that is, my wife looks at another man, and I feel
jealous because I possess her, she is mine. But if I observe, if I am
aware that she is not mine from the beginning, then the factor of
jealousy does not enter. She is a free human being as I am a free
human being. I allow her freedom.
P: I understand that. But we are talking about the structure of
thought. Thought arises in consciousness. In itself there is no
Krishnamurti: There is duality only when there is the operation
of motive, measurement, comparison. In the observation of a
lovely sunset, in seeing the light, the shadow, there is no duality.
The word «beautiful» may be dualistic in terms of the ugly, but I
am using the word without comparison. The moment I say I wish I had it again, begins the dualistic process. That is all.
P: We have somehow moved away.
Krishnamurti: I will come back, which is, consciousness is
perception, hearing, seeing, listening, learning and the memory of
all that and the responding according to that memory. All that is
consciousness, whether or not focalized. In that consciousness is
time; time which creates space because it is enclosed. Let us stop
there. In that there is duality, non-duality, the conflicts – I must, I
must not – the whole of that field is consciousness. All that is
consciousness. And in that there is no space at all because it has
boundaries, frontiers, which are limitations.
A: There is another factor which I would like to have included.
There are the perceptions of various peoples of the world – of the
African Continent, of the Latin American Continent; there is some
kind of movement constantly going on; there are the findings of the
physicists, the biologists – the perceptions and experiences of the
world are syphoning into my consciousness. How can we ignore all
that? If we only take the «I» and see the source of it, it is not
enough: What is this process by which that thing is syphoning into
me? The movement of the «I» as thought is something that is
constantly being fed and renewed by that. Unless I see this process,
I do not understand.
Krishnamurti: We said, Sir, the whole of this field of
consciousness is the movement of contraction and expansion, a
movement of information, knowledge, registration of knowledge,
motivation, change, the political theme, what is going on in the
Middle East, all that is happening in the environment, is part of me:
I am the environment and the environment is the me. In that whole field there is the movement of the me. I like the Arabs and I do not
like the Jews – within this consciousness, this comes up –
A: I question that. I say when I see all that, I am not even taking
sides because there are the African tribes liberated and then caught
up in militarism and all that.
Krishnamurti: See what happens. Colonialism, freedom from
colonialism, the tribe, then the identification with the tribe as the
me who belongs to the tribe.
A: In this wide canvas we see thought is syphoning into this
focus which we call consciousness.
Krishnamurti: All that is consciousness. Consciousness creates
the mischief by saying, «I like», «I do not like». I see that, I am a
witness to this «I like» and «I do not like» also, because that is part
of this movement over which I have no control at all.
A: I would say that may be so. But that is not the problem. The
problem is the identification which gives this weightage to the «I
like» and «I don’t like», that it builds around it.
Krishnamurti: Here I am born in India, with all the
environment, all the superstitions, the riches and poverty, the sky,
the hills, the economic, the social, the whole of that is me.
A: Something more.
Krishnamurti: Include the more.
A: The more is the entire historical and the pre-historical past. If
you include all that, then choice disappears.
Krishnamurti: Wait, Sir, I am all that, the past and the present
and the projected future; I am born in India with all the culture of
5000 years. That is all my point. That is what I call consciousness.
A: It is wider; it includes America, the whole world – Krishnamurti: But choice arises when you say you are a Hindu
and I am a Muslim; when there is focalization through
identification, there is then choice.
P: Let us come back to what we were saying. All this is
consciousness and the other is also a fact that when thought
operates, thought is consciousness, listening, seeing is
consciousness, and I ask the question «what is the relation between
thought and consciousness?»
Krishnamurti: It is a wrong question.
P: All right. We say consciousness is thought, seeing is
consciousness, listening is consciousness, thought is
Krishnamurti: All the heritage which «A» brought in is also
consciousness, past, ancient, present and all that.
P: You have been stating that it is legitimate for thought to
operate in fields where knowledge is necessary and when it
operates in other fields then it brings sorrow, pain, duality. The
question is: Does the other state which you are talking about, is it
Krishnamurti: Let us examine that. Stick to that question. What
do you say? P: I say it is consciousness because seeing is
Krishnamurti: Seeing that light is consciousness.
P: That is the first question.
Krishnamurti: Stick to that question for the moment. Thought
has a legitimate field of operation and if it impinges into other
fields then it brings pain, suffering. That which operates in this
area, is it still consciousness – consciousness as we know it with all the things we have put into it? The other is not.
P: The other is not what?
Krishnamurti: It is not thought.
P: But is it consciousness? I will open it out a little more. The
sensory perceptions operate. Seeing, listening operates, therefore
why do you say it is not consciousness?
Krishnamurti: I am saying consciousness in the sense that there
is no conflict.
P: There is no conflict in consciousness. There is only conflict
when consciousness operates as thought in the field where it has no
legitimate place. Why should there be conflict in consciousness
when thought is not operating?
Krishnamurti: There is no conflict at all there. Let us go slowly.
P: Then what is it that operates there?
Krishnamurti: Is intelligence consciousness? Intelligence is not
P: Now we are just listening. Now we come to a stage where we
Krishnamurti: My mind has followed all this. It has seen as «A»
pointed out, the whole content of consciousness as the past Indian
tradition, the whole human heritage and that I am all that.
Consciousness is all that. Heritage is consciousness. And that
consciousness as we know it, is conflict. And my chief concern is
to end that conflict, conflict being sorrow, pain. In examining that,
there is a discovery that it is all a process of thought. There is pain
and pleasure and from that the mind says it must operate in the
field of knowledge and not here. Legitimately it operates in one,
but not here. What has happened to my mind? It has become pliable, soft, alive. It sees, it hears. It does not have the quality of
conflict in it, and that is intelligence. And that is not consciousness.
Intelligence is not heritage whereas consciousness is heritage.
Do not translate intelligence as God.
Now that intelligence can use knowledge, that intelligence can
use thought to operate in the field of knowledge and therefore its
operation is never dualistic.
D: The language of intelligence must be different from the
language of thought.
Krishnamurti: Intelligence has no language, but it can use
language. The moment it has language it is back again in the field.
That intelligence having no language is not personal. It is not mine
P: It may not be personal but is it focalized?
Krishnamurti: No, it appears to focalize.
P: When it moves, does it focalize?
Krishnamurti: Of course, it must, but it is never in focalization.
P: It is never held?
Krishnamurti: It is like holding the sea in the fist: it is part of
the sea, but it is not the sea.
TRADITION AND REVOLUTION DIALOGUE 28
BOMBAY 16TH FEBRUARY 1971 ‘RIGHT
Questioner A: Sir, we have been listening to you with all the
attention of which we are capable, with our minds and with all our
analytical capacities. We have covered every inch of the ground
and we no longer accept anything we do not understand. Between
you and us there has been verbal communication and there has
been communication beyond words. By ourselves we have not
been able to penetrate the verbal barrier and reach that
understanding which comes beyond words. When I sit by myself, I
find that all communication with myself remains at the verbal
level. I wonder whether we could take up for discussion the
problem of communication.
Tradition has classified communication into four different states
vaikhari, madhyama, pashyanti and
TRADITION AND REVOLUTION DIALOGUE 29
BOMBAY 18TH FEBRUARY 1971 ‘BIOLOGICAL
SURVIVAL AND INTELLIGENCE’
Questioner P: There was something which Krishnaji said in his talk
yesterday. I do not know whether it will bear discussion. It was a
very startling statement. The question he posed was whether the
brain cells could strip themselves of everything except the
movement of survival, the pure biological necessity which alone
makes the organism exist? Krishnaji seemed to suggest that before
any movement in the new dimension could take place, this total
stripping to the bare bedrock was essential. In a sense he was
totally back to the materialistic position.
D: If you have survival as the dimension of existence, there is
no other dimension. Can this bear investigation? Is such stripping
of every element of consciousness as we have understood it,
possible? We have always claimed that the human being is more
than the urge for survival.
F: Are the brain cells not the repository of culture?
P: If you strip man of every psychological element except the
urge for physical survival, how is he different from the animal?
Krishnamurti: We know both biological and psychological
survival. The biological exists on survival, but psychological
factors have made that survival almost impossible.
F: You are now bringing in other elements.
Krishnamurti: There are these two elements – the biological and
the psychological. Psychological elements like nationalism are
preventing man from surviving. Psychological fragmentation is destroying the beauty of survival. Can one strip man of all the
P: Apart from the biological and psychological, is there
anything else? You spoke of stripping yourself of all factors, not
psychological. I am asking you is there any other element
excepting the biological and the psychological?
Krishnamurti: As far as we know these are the only two factors
that operate in man.
F: Is there not such a factor as psychological survival, apart
from the physiological?
Krishnamurti: Which means the survival of the psyche. The
psyche that is the result of environment, of heritage. Last evening
when we used the word «con- sciousness», we said the whole of
consciousness is the content of consciousness. The content of
consciousness is conflict, pain; the whole of that is consciousness.
D: You said also that intelligence is more than consciousness.
Krishnamurti: Wait. We said in understanding the fact of
consciousness and going beyond it, is intelligence. You cannot
come to that intelligence if this consciousness is in conflict. Now
all that we know is biological survival and the survival of
psychological consciousness. What is the next question?
P: You said or implied yesterday that there was a necessity to
strip so that nothing existed but biological survival.
Krishnamurti: Can you not strip the whole content of
consciousness which is psychological? In stripping, that
intelligence is in operation. There is the biological and intelligence
– there is no other.
P: You did not speak of intelligence yesterday. You said when there is this total stripping and no other thing, that operation is the
biological movement of survival and that perceives. Is there such a
Krishnamurti: Then the mind is not merely the survival element,
but there is another quality in it which perceives.
P: What is that quality?
Krishnamurti: What did «K» say yesterday?
P: He said there is a stripping and there is only the movement of
survival and that silence sees
Krishnamurti: Perfectly true. Now what is silence? What is the
nature of silence?
P: That seeing is something which we can affirm. But there was
this other thing said, so that we cannot help asking if man is
stripped of everything which we consider the elements of the
Krishnamurti: Which is conflict, pain.
P: Not only that, compassion –
B: We consider that man is human as opposed to the animal.
What are the things which differentiate man – intelligence, the
capacity to analyse, speech –
D: Man is a language animal. Language and man are co-related.
And that is the mark of man that distinguishes him from the rest of
the animal world. What language does to man is to enable him to
say «I am I». And the moment he goes beyond it, he speculates,
projects; he says «I am I» and in that «I» you can bring in the whole
cosmology. There is no language for the other.
B: And one more thing. Because of language, man has been
able to evolve culture and he cannot go back to the biological stage.
D: In twenty-five thousand years of evolution, of thinking, of
speaking and so on, there is very little change in man; the
environment has changed, but fundamentally there is very little
change in man.
P: One says right, or I accept what «B» or «D» says, but still I
am aware «I am». That statement is where it is. Krishnamurti: «B»
is saying very simply: strip man of all the psychological factors
and what is the difference between animal and man? Oh, there is a
P: The moment you posit a difference, then you are
investigating something else.
B: Man is aware of himself and the animal is not; that is the
Krishnamurti: Let us go back. There is psychological survival.
We want to survive psychologically and also biologically.
D: I say there is something else.
Krishnamurti: We will have to find out. Merely to posit that
there is something else has no meaning.
D: But you say all other aspects of the human being have ended.
Krishnamurti: When conflict, misery, pain have ended……
P: As also the fantasy, the wonder, imagination; that which has
made man reach out, reach in.
Krishnamurti: «K» said both the outer and the inner.
P: It is the same movement. When you say all this is to be
stripped, what happens? Is that legitimate to ask? Can we, in
discussion, can we in going through this, get the feeling of that stripping, that seeing?
Krishnamurti: We have said intelligence is beyond
consciousness and when the mind is stripped of the psychological
elements, in the very stripping there is the uncovering of this
intelligence. Or intelligence comes into being in the very stripping.
There is the biological survival and intelligence. That is all.
Intelligence has no heritage. Consciousness has heritage. We
are caught in the becoming within the field of consciousness.
Within the fie]d of consciousness we are trying to become. Strip all
that. Empty all that. Let the mind empty itself of all that. In the
very emptying comes intelligence.
Therefore there are only two things left: the highest form of
intelligence and survival which is entirely different from animal
survival. Man is not merely the animal because he is able to think,
P: Do you mean to say there is intelligence which manifests
itself in stripping?
Krishnamurti: Listen carefully. My consciousness is all the time
trying to become, change, modify, struggle, etc. That is all I know.
Biological survival and that. Everybody operates within these two.
And within that struggle we project something beyond
consciousness which is still within consciousness because it is
The mind that really wants to be free from the wrangle, the
back-chattering asks, can the mind strip «itself» of all the content of
«itself»? That is all. (Pause.) And in that, intelligence comes to be.
P: Is stripping, emptying an endless process?
Krishnamurti: Certainly not. Because then I am caught in the same phenomenon.
P: Let us pause here. Is it not an endless process?
Krishnamurti: It is not an endless process. P: You mean, once it
is done, it is done?
Krishnamurti: Let us go slowly. You must first understand this
verbally. My consciousness is made up of all that we have talked
P: Is the emptying of it, does it take time or is it free of time? Is
it piecemeal? Or is it an emptying of the whole?
Krishnamurti: Is that the question? The piecemeal and the
whole? Is that the question?
P: You see, putting the question as the piecemeal and the whole
is the query. What is revealed is the whole which contains the
B: Stripping has to be a joint process.
Krishnamurti: Discuss it.
P: What is it that one strips? Or what is it that one perceives? Or
is there dissolution of that which emerges? There cannot be
dissolution of anything else. What emerges is thought.
D: If all these go what remains?
P: When you say all goes, what does it mean?
B: Only awareness remains. Is complete awareness the whole?
Krishnamurti: She says Yes. What is the question?
P: Is the awareness of a point of consciousness – such as
jealousy – is the awareness of that one thing, the totality of all
Krishnamurti: When you use the word «aware», what do you mean by that word «aware»? If you mean aware of the implications
– in which there is no choice, no will, no compulsion, no resistance
– obviously it is so.
P: So at any point this is possible?
Krishnamurti: Of course.
P: Yes, because that is the door; the door of dissolution.
Krishnamurti: No. Hold it a minute.
P: I used that word «door» deliberately.
Krishnamurti: Hold on. Let us begin slowly because I want to
go step by step. My consciousness is made up of all this. My
consciousness is part of the whole, both at the superficial and at the
deeper level and you are asking, is there any awareness which is so
penetrating that in that very awareness the whole is present? Or is
it bit by bit? Is there a search, is there a looking in, an analysing?
D: The yogic position is that nature is a flowing river. In that
flow, man’s organism comes into being. As soon as it comes into
being, it has also the capacity to choose and the moment it chooses,
it separates itself from the now, from the river. This is a process of
separation from the flow and the only thing which brings this into
being is choice. Therefore, they say the dissolution of choice may
bring you to total emptiness and in that emptiness you see.
Krishnamurti: Right sir, that is one point. «P»s question was, is
this awareness, this process of stripping bit by bit? Is this
awareness in which there is no choice, the total? Does it empty the
whole of consciousness? Does it go beyond consciousness?
F: Supposing I cease to choose, is that stripping?
P: Is there an end to stripping?
Krishnamurti: Or is it a constant process? P: And the second question was where there is intelligence is
Krishnamurti: Let us start with the first question which is good
enough. What do you say? Discuss it.
P: It is one of those extraordinary questions where you can
neither say «Yes» nor «No».
D: It hangs on time or no time. If it is invited, it is time.
P: If you say it is not a question of time then it is not a process.
five minutes later it will emerge again. So this question cannot be
Krishnamurti: I am not sure. Let us begin again.
My consciousness is made up of all this. My consciousness is
used to the process of time, my consciousness thinks in terms of
gradualness, my consciousness is practice and through practice to
achieve, which is time. My consciousness is a process of time.
Now I am asking that consciousness, can it go beyond this? Can
we, who are caught in the movement of time, go beyond time?
That question, consciousness cannot answer.
Consciousness does not know what it means, because it can
only think in terms of time and when questioned whether this
process can end in which there is no time, it cannot answer, can it?
Now as consciousness cannot answer the question, we say let us
see what is awareness and investigate whether that awareness can
bring about a timeless state? But this brings in new elements. What
is awareness? Is it within the field of time, is it outside the field of
Now what is awareness? Is there in awareness any choice,
explanation, justification, or condemnation? Or is there the observer, the chooser? And if there is, is that awareness? So is
there an awareness in which there is no observer at all?
I am aware of that lamp and I do not have to choose when I am
aware of that lamp.
Is there an awareness in which the observer is totally absent?
Not a continuous state of awareness in which the observer is
absent, which again is a fallacious statement.
A: The word is swarupa shunyata. The observer becomes
empty. He is stripped.
Krishnamurti: Now is that awareness to be cultivated which
implies time? How does this awareness come into being in which
there is no observer? Are we meeting each other?
How is this awareness to come about? Is it the result of time? If
it is, then it is part of consciousness in which choice exists.
And you say awareness is not choice. It is observation in which
there is no observer.
Now how is that to come about without consciousness
interfering? Or does it come out of consciousness? Does it flower
out of consciousness? Or is it free of consciousness?
D: It is free of consciousness.
P: I want to ask two things. Does it come about when I ask the
question «who am I?
Krishnamurti: All the traditionalists have asked that question.
P: But it is an essential question. When I really try to investigate
the source of the ego itself, that is the one question. Or does
awareness come about when one tries to discover the observer?
Krishnamurti: No. The moment you try, you are in time. P: It is a question of language, of semantics. You can strip at
any point. Where is the observer? We are taking for granted that
the observer «is».
Krishnamurti: Let us begin slowly. One sees what
consciousness is. Any movement within that field, any movement
is still a process of time. It may try to be or not to be, it may try to
go beyond, it may try to invent something beyond consciousness,
but it is still part of time. So I am stuck.
P: I want to use words which are not your words. So I have
rejected all your words. I have to use my own instruments. What is
the element in me which seems to me the most potent and
powerful: It is the sense of the «I».
Krishnamurti: Which is the past.
P: I will not use your language. It is very interesting not to use
your language. I say the most potent thing is the sense of the «I»?
Now can there be a perception of the «I»?
F: That is a wrong question. I will tell you why. You ask can I
perceive the «I»?
Now the «I» is nothing but an insatiable hunger for experience.
Krishnamurti: «P» began by asking «who am I?» Is the «me», the
«I» an action of consciousness?
P: So I say let us look, let us investigate.
Krishnamurti: When I ask myself «who am I?», is that the
central factor in consciousness?
P: It seems so. And then I say let me see the «I», let me find it,
perceive it, touch it.
Krishnamurti: So you are asking, is this central factor
perceivable sensorily? Is the central factor tactable, to be felt, to be tasted? Or is that
central factor, the «I», something which the senses have invented.
P: That comes later. First of all, I see whether it is tactable.
Krishnamurti: When I have asked the question, «who am I?»,
one must also question who is investigating, who is asking the
question «who am I?».
P: I do not ask that question. I have asked that question over and
over again. I have discussed awareness endlessly. I leave it,
because the one thing which you have said is, do not accept one
word which is not your own. I start looking. Is this «I» which is the
central core of myself, is it tactable? I observe it in the surface
layers, in the depth layers of my consciousness, in the hidden
darkness and as I unfold it what takes place is a light within, an
explosion, an extension within. Another factor that operates is that
which has been exclusive becomes inclusive. So far I have been
exclusive, now the world movement flows in.
Krishnamurti: We see that.
P: And I find this is not something which can be touched,
perceived. What can be perceived is that which has been, which is
a manifestation of this «I». I see I had a thought of this «I`’ in
action, but it is already over. Then I explore – from where does
thought emerge? Can I find the springs of thought? Or where does
thought go? Can I pursue a thought? How far can I go with a
thought? How far can I hold a thought? Can thought be held in
consciousness? These are tangible things which I think the
individual has to completely feel for himself.
Krishnamurti: We have gone through this. I thought we had
done all this. F: I say all this is awareness.
Krishnamurti: Let us be simple. When I ask «who am I?», who
is asking the question? And one finds on investigation that the «I»
is not observable, touchable, hearable, and so on. And so, is the «I»
within the field of the senses? Or have the senses created the «I»?
P: The very fact that it is not within the field of the senses……
Krishnamurti: Do not move away from that. Is it not also within
the field of the senses? We jump too quickly.
Is perceiving a visual perception or something else?
D: We are going into the nature of awareness. Now how does
P: I want to put aside everything Krishnaji has said and I find
that the very enquiry, that the very investigation into the «I» creates
Krishnamurti: You are saying, the very enquiry brings about
awareness. Obviously I did not say it did not.
P: And in the enquiry one can only use certain instruments
which are the senses. Whether the enquiry is outside or within, the
only instruments which can be used are the senses, because that is
all we know – the seeing, listening, feeling – and the field is
illuminated. The field of the without and the field of the within is
illuminated. Now in this state of illumination, you suddenly find
that there has been a thought, but that it is already over.
Krishnamurti: Thought exists in the field of relationship and
observation. It does not exist by itself. It exists in observing
relationship – the lamp.
P: In this, if you ask is there a partial or total stripping, the
question is irrelevant. It has no meaning. Krishnamurti: Wait a minute. I am not sure. Is perception
partial? I have investigated through the senses, the senses creating
the «I», investigating the «I». The activity brings a lightness, clarity.
Not entire clarity, but some clarity.
P: I will not use the word some clarity, but clarity.
Krishnamurti: It brings clarity. We will stick to that. Is that
P: The nature of seeing is such, I can see here, and I can see
there, depending on the power of the eye.
Krishnamurti: We said perception is not only visual but also
non-visual. We said perception is that which illuminates.
P: Here I would like to ask something. You have said that
seeing is not only visual but non-visual. What is the nature of this
Krishnamurti: It is non-visual which is non-thinkable. It does
not pertain to the word. It does not pertain to thought. That is all.
Is visual perception non-verbal perception?
The non-visual perception is the perception without the
meaning, the expression, the thought.
Is there a perception without thought? Now proceed.
P: And that also is not such a difficult thing. I see there is such
perception. Now that perception can see close, can see far.
Krishnamurti: Wait. Perception. We are talking only of
perception. Not the duration, length, size or breadth of perception,
but perception which is non-visual which is not deep perception or
shallow perception. Shallow perception or deep perception comes
only when thought interferes.
P: Now in that is there partial stripping or total stripping? We started with that.
Krishnamurti: When there is non-verbal perception, what are
you asking? What are you asking further?
F: She is asking, in every perception, there is the non-verbal
element of mere perception. Then there is the psychological
superimposition. The stripping refers only to the psychological
superimposition. Is there a state of mind in which superimposition
does not occur and there is no stripping?
P: That is right. Perception is perception. We are asking is there
a perception in which stripping is not necessary?
Krishnamurti: There is no such thing as an everlasting
Is it identical with what you call intelligence?
Krishnamurti: I do not know. Why are you asking that?
P: Because it is timeless.
Krishnamurti: Timeless means timeless. Why do you ask? Is
perception which is non-verbal, is it not also non-time, non-
thought? If you have answered this question you have answered
F: There is the momentary time of the «now». And there is
another timeless in which one moves and lives.
Krishnamurti: I do not understand what you say.
F: Still, perception can be sensory.
Krishnamurti: Now is there perception that is non-verbal and
therefore not per- taining to thought? Then what is the question? A
mind that is perceiving is not asking this question, it is perceiving.
And each perception is perception. It is not carrying over
perception. Where does the question of stripping or not stripping arise?
P: I say even in perception which is not linked with thought,
perception is never carried into another thought. I see that lamp.
The seeing has not been carried. Thought is only being carried.
Krishnamurti: That is obvious. My consciousness is my mind, is
my brain cells, is the result of my sensory perceptions. That is my
consciousness. That is all consciousness. That consciousness is the
result of time, evolution, growth. It is expandable, contractable and
so on. And thought is part of that. Now somebody comes along and
asks «who am I?». Is the «I» the permanent entity in this
D: It cannot be.
Krishnamurti: This «I» – is it consciousness?
D: It is not permanent.
Krishnamurti: Consciousness is heritage. Of course it is.
F: We are mixing the concept of consciousness, with the
experience of consciousness.
Krishnamurti: This is very clear. «I» is that consciousness.
P: «I» has a great reality for me till I investigate.
Krishnamurti: Of course. The fact is after looking, observing, I
see I am the whole of this consciousness. This is not a verbal
statement. I am all that. I am the heritage. And is that «I» touchable,
observable? Can it be felt, twisted? Is it the result of perception, of
F: It is not the result. It is the inherited.
Krishnamurti: And then she asks who is that «I»? Is that «I» part
of consciousness, part of thought? I say yes. Thought is part of it.
Thought is the «I», except where thought is functioning technologically, where there is no «I». The moment you move
away from the scientific field, you come to the «I» which is part of
the biological heritage.
F: The «I» is the centre of perception, a working centre of
perception, an ad hoc centre and the other is an effective centre.
Krishnamurti: Be simple. We see consciousness is the «I». The
whole of that field is the «I». In the field, the «I» is the centre.
P: I want to put aside everything and tackle it in a new way. I
see that the most important element in me is the «I». Now what is
the «I»? What is its nature? One investigates that and in the very
process of observation there is clarity.
Krishnamurti: Full stop.
P: Clarity being not eternal.,….
Krishnamurti: But it can pick it up again.
P: I say, maybe.
Krishnamurti: Because I have an idea that perception is whole.
P: Is it a question which legitimately arises in this state?
Krishnamurti: In the state of perception it does not arise. It only
arises, exists when I ask, is this process eternal, everlasting?
P: And what would you say?
Krishnamurti: You are being asked. Answer. Wait. You have to
answer this question. At the moment of perception the question
does not arise. The next moment I do not perceive so clearly.
P: If I am alert to see that I am not perceiving so clearly, I will
Krishnamurti: So what am I doing? There is perception. That is
P: The doorway is in the question. The «key» of the doorway is in that question.
Krishnamurti: Let us be simple about this. There is perception.
In that perception there is no question of duration. There is only
perception. The next minute I do not see clearly. There is no clear
perception. It is muddled. There is investigation of pollution and so
clarity. Right? And again perception; move again; cover and
uncover – and this goes on. This is going on.
F: Is it a movement of time?
P: A very interesting thing takes place. The very nature of this
awareness is that it operates on the «other».
Krishnamurti: What do you mean by the «other»?
Krishnamurti: Wait. Attention and inattention. Then be aware of
inattention which becomes attention. This balancing is going on all
P: I observe the very nature of attention. It has its own action on
inattention. Now if I make a statement «it lessens inattention» it
would be an incorrect thing for me to say. The only thing I can
observe is that there is an action of attention on inattention.
Krishnamurti: Does that action on inattention wipe away
inattention so that inattention does not come again?
D: It is attentive to the inattentive.
P: I am going further than being attentive to the inattentive. I
say the nature of this attention is such that it operates on the brain
cells. I am very very hesitant when I say this. It is the nature of
attention to operate on the brain cells. That which is dormant in the
brain-cells – which re-emerges when it is exposed to attention, the
very nature of the dormancy undergoes a change. I would like this area to be investigated.
Krishnamurti: Let us begin again. Awareness – if there is choice
in that awareness we are back again in consciousness.
Awareness is non-verbal. Awareness has no relationship to
thought. That awareness we call attention. What takes place when
there is inattention: there is inattention. Why do you mix the two?
I am inattentive; there is no attention; that is all.
In that inattention there are certain actions going on. And those
activities bring further misery, confusion, trouble. So I say to
myself, I must be attentive all the time so as to prevent this
disturbance taking place and I say I have to cultivate attention and
therefore that very cultivation becomes inattention. The seeing of
that inattention brings attention.
Attention affects the brain cells.
Look what has happened. There is attention, and then
inattention. In inattention there is confusion, misery, and all the
rest of it. Now what takes place?
D: Dispelling of inattention has gone down in the unconscious.
P: Is it not really that you can do nothing about it?
Krishnamurti: I agree «P; hold on a minute. Do not say there is
nothing. We will find out. We are investigating. There is attention
and there is inattention. in inattention everything is confusion. Why
do I want to put the two together? When there is the urge to put the
two together, then there is an action of will which is choice. I
prefer attention; I do not prefer inattention – so I am back again in
the field of consciousness.
So what is the action where the two are never brought together?
I want to explore it a little bit. When there is attention, thought as memory does not operate.
There is no thinking process in attention. There is only attention. I
am only aware that I have been inattentive when the action
produces discomfort, misery or danger. Then I say to myself, I
have been inattentive and as attention has left a mark on the brain I
am concerned with the misery which inattention has brought about.
Then in investigating that misery, attention comes again leaving no
mark. So what is taking place? Actually what is taking place? Each
time there is inattention there is quick, instant perception of
inattention. Therefore perception is not of duration, of time.
Perception and attention leave no mark. The immediacy of
perception is always taking place.
TRADITION AND REVOLUTION DIALOGUE 30
BOMBAY 19TH FEBRUARY 1971 ‘THE MIND
AND THE HEART’
Questioner P: We have talked several times, and so far the
discussions have been related to the mind and its problems. What
we have not discussed is the movement of the heart.
Krishnamurti: I am glad you have raised that.
P: Is the movement of the heart a different movement from the
movement of the mind? Are they one movement or two
movements? And if they are two movements, what are the
elements which make these two movements different? I use the
words mind and heart, because these are the two focal points
around which certain sensory responses appear to focus. Are the
two movements in fact one movement?
Krishnamurti: Let us begin. What do you mean by movement?
P: Any kind of emotional response which we call love,
affection, goodwill, compassion, seems to ripple, to move from a
focal point which we identify as the region of the heart. These
ripples affect the heart, make it physically beat faster.
Krishnamurti: Which is the physical, the physiological
movement of the brain cells?
D: Or is it the nerves which have an impact on the heart?
Krishnamurti: It is a response of the nerves, the heart, the brain,
the whole organism, the psychosomatic organism. Now, is the
movement of the mind separate from the movement which is
generally called the heart? We are not speaking of the physical
heart, but of the emotions, the sentiments, the angers, the jealousy, the feeling of guilt – all the emotions that make the heart throb and
beat faster. Are the movements of the mind and heart separate? Let
us discuss it.
P: What we have been saying all along is that if one can strip
oneself till nothing remains but the movement of survival, the only
factor which distinguishes man is this strange movement of the
Krishnamurti: I think this division is artificial. First of all, we
should not start that way.
P: While we have been discussing with you, there has been a
silencing of the brain cells, there has been tremendous clarity, yet
there has been no response from the heart; there have been no
ripples. Krishnamurti: So you are separating the two. There is the
movement of the mind and the movement of the heart: let us
question whether they are separate? And if they are not separate,
then when the mind is empty of consciousness in the sense in
which we have used that word, what is the quality of the mind that
is compassion – that is love, empathy? Let us begin by asking
whether the movement of the heart is separate. Is any movement
P: What identity has anger with the movement of affection?
Krishnamurti: I am asking, is any movement separate?
P: Separate from what?
Krishnamurti: Is all movement unitary, like all energy is
unitary, though we may divide it up, fragment it?
All movement is one; a unitary movement. One has broken
movement up as the movement of the heart, the movement of
different categories; but we are asking, «Is the movement of the heart separate from the movement of the mind?» Is there such a
movement of the heart separate from the mind, mind being the
brain? I do not know if I can verbalize this – the mind, the heart,
the brain, are they one unit? And from that unit, movement flows; a
movement which is unitary. But we divide emotions, sentiments,
devotion, tenderness, compassion, enthusiasm from their opposites.
P: As also evil, cruelty, vanity. There is a pure intellectual
movement which is neither one nor the other; the pure
Krishnamurti: Is the technological movement different from the
movement of the mind?
P: I think thought has its own technology. It has its own
momentum, it has its own reason for existence, its own direction,
its own speed at which it operates, its own motives and its own
F: You cannot measure thought. Do not call it technology.
D: Thought-waves have been measured. Technology means
Krishnamurti: We said just now that compassion, love,
tenderness, care, consideration and politeness are one movement.
The opposite movement is contrary to that – it is violence and all
that. So there is the movement of the mind, the movement of
affection, love and compassion; and the movement of violence. So
there are now three movements. Then there is another movement
which says this must be or this must not be; has the assertion that
this must be or this must not be, anything whatsoever to do with
the mental movement?
D: Then there is the movement of the coordinator apart from the three.
Krishnamurti: Now we have the fourth movement – the
coordinator. The movement of affection as the movement of the
heart, then the movement of violence, callousness, depression,
vulgarity and all that; then the mental, intellectual movement and
the movement of the coordinator. So there are now four
movements and every one of these movements has its own
See how complex it becomes, and each subdivision is in
contradiction with its opposite. So it becomes multiple. This
psychosomatic organism has got dozens of con- tradictions, not
just mental movements, intellectual movements, emotional
movements, etc. There are simultaneous and contradictory
movements, multitudinous movements and there is the coordinator
trying to arrange things so that he can operate.
F: Is there not a selective mechanism, which picks up and calls
it thought, mind, heart and so on? Is that not the coordinator?
Krishnamurti: Coordinator, chooser, integrater, selecter, call it
what you will, they are all in contradiction with each other.
F: Why do you say they are in contradiction, because each one
is an independent movement?
D: But as one lives they seem to be in contradiction.
F: But each one is moving in its own.
P: As «F» says, at any given point if one is, the other is not.
F: Then there cannot be contradiction.
Krishnamurti: When one is, the other is not. But the coordinator
weighs these two – I want this and I do not want that.
F: That is the whole movement of life. P: We started by saying that so far we have gone into the
movement of the mind. Is there such a thing as the movement of
B: Is it a nourishing movement? Is it a movement of sustenance
– this which we call the movement of the heart? Is this not
necessary in order to see that the movement of the brain does not
D: We are not in the field of contradiction at all.
Krishnamurti: Contradiction is not when one is, and the other is
not, but when the coordinator says I would rather not have this but
have that; then begins the contradiction, the opposition as choice.
A: If I am full of hate, etc., I cannot take two steps beyond. The
question is, is the movement of the heart distinct from that of the
mind? Or does it have its own quality?
Krishnamurti: That is what «P» is saying. There is the
movement of the mind, the intellectual, technological movement;
there is the movement of the heart and there is the movement of
violence. Then there are several multitudinous movements in us
and the coordinator selects one or two to sustain himself. From
there what is the next question?
P: Are these movements parallel to each other? Ultimately they
are either the one movement or the other.
Krishnamurti: I am not sure.
P: Is the movement of the brain basically that which excites
A: Though one may not have personal hate or anger, when I
read about Bengal, certain emotions come and they are social
responses. I do not do a thing about it, whereas to have love, affection is a definite quality of enrichment; a sustenance; which
the mind cannot give you.
D: We have already agreed that the perception of the brain is
thought. Krishnamurti: Let us get the meaning of the words clear.
The response to various forms of stimuli we call emotion.
Is perception an emotion?
Now what is the next question? You ask, are there two
movements with their subdivisions; are they parallel?
P: Parallel means separate; they never meet.
Krishnamurti: Or are they really one which we do not know?
P: Take desire. Which category would you put it in – emotion or
B: Desire is from the heart.
P: Take the arising of desire. After a while it becomes thought.
Where will you put it?
A: It arises only as a thought.
F: The arising of desire as an immediate emotional response of
the heart, is not separate from thought. With the word «anger», the
heart beats faster. All that is one movement.
Krishnamurti: Desire, hate, love, we say, are emotive and
mental movements. Therefore there are these two movements. You
ask, are they parallel and therefore separate or is it all one
movement? I am not saying it is or it is not so.
P: I think that is not a valid question. The valid question is if
they are two separate movements, is it impossible for them ever to
come together? Or is it the very cause of the misfortune that we
have kept them separate?
F: That which perceives the pattern is thought. That which perceives without the pattern is emotion.
P: The moment you make such a statement either this is so to us
and therefore the duality has ceased, or otherwise it is a theory.
Krishnamurti: It is a theory. Conclusions, formulas mean
nothing. I say I do not know. I know only these two movements the
one the thinking, the intellectual, the rational movement; the
second the feeling of kindliness, gentleness, that is all. Are they
two separate movements? Or because we have treated them as two
separate movements, our whole misfortune, our confusion arises.
You see, «P», you can see we have till now divided the body and
the soul. The whole religious tendency in the west as well as in the
east has been this division of the soul and the body and we have
maintained that and the scriptures have maintained that. It is really
a psychosomatic state, not one or the other, but it is a
psychosomatic movement which invents the soul, etc. And so the
question is, are they two movements or have we accustomed
ourselves to the thought that the two are separate – the body and the
soul – till somebody says it is a psychosomatic state and I say
«yes», I understand.
P: But how can you neglect the fact that an emotional intensity
brings a new quality of being, a complete experience of what the
other person feels; a sense of unspoken understanding?
Krishnamurti: Do not bring that in yet. We are asking, are these
two movements separate? Or because we are so habit-ridden we
have accepted that they are two separate movements? If they are
not, what is the one unitary movement that includes thought as the
movement of the brain and the movement of the heart?
How do you investigate this question? I can only investigate it from fact to fact. I can have no theories
about it. I see the fact of perception. I see the fact of the movement
of thought. And I ask when there is no movement of thought, is
there a movement which is nonverbal? Have I explained myself?
If there is complete cessation of thinking which is movement, is
there a movement which is an emotive movement as love,
devotion, tenderness, care? Is there a movement separate from
thought; thought being verbal meaning, explanation, description,
etc? Or when the movement of thought comes to an end without
any compulsion, is there not a totally different movement which is
not that or this?
P: That is so, Sir, and I am saying this very very hesitantly.
There is a state when it is as if an elixir is released, when one is
overflowing; a state in which the heart is the only thing that is there
– I am using metaphors – and there can be action in that state, doing
in it, thinking in it, and everything in it, and there is a state when
thought has ceased and the mind is very clear and alert, but the
elixir is not present.
Krishnamurti: Let us stick to one thing. Just what is the factor of
P: What divides is an actual tactile sense. Here it is not
something which is mental. There is a certain ripple; a ripple is
Krishnamurti: I am not talking about that. What is the factor in
us that divides one as the emotive movement and the other as the
intellectual-thought movement? Why is there the soul and the
D: Would you admit that the very faculty of intellect sees that there is a movement which emerges from thought and another that
emerges from the heart. It is observable.
Krishnamurti: I say, why is there a division?
D: The hand is different from the leg.
Krishnamurti: They have different functions.
D: There is the function of the brain and there is the function of
A: As far as my experience goes, when the verbal movement
ceases, there is an awareness of the entire body in which emotional
content is and it is pure feeling. It is no more thinking, but pure
P: In the tradition there is a word called Rasa. It is very close to
what Krishnaji says. But rasa is a word which needs to be
investigated. Rasa is essence, it is that which fills. The tradition
differentiates different types of rasa but rasa is essence; that which
fills, that which permeates.
D: It is emotion.
P: It is much more; rasa is essence.
Krishnamurti: Keep to that word essence, perfume. Essence
means what it is. Now what happens? In observing the whole
movement of thought, in observing the content of consciousness,
the essence comes out of it. And in observing the movement of the
heart, in that perception, there is the essence. Essence is the same
whether it is this or that.
A: That is what the Buddhists also say.
Krishnamurti: When you use the word «essence», it is the
essence of all the flowers that makes the perfume and the quality.
In perceiving the whole movement of thought as consciousness – consciousness with its content which is consciousness – and in
observing that, in that very observation is the external refinement
which is the essence. Right? In the same way there is the
perception of the whole movement of the body, love, joy. When
you perceive all that, there is the essence and in that there are no
Essence has to come into being. Now how do you produce it?
Distil it? When the flowers are distilled, the essence of the flowers
is the perfume.
D: When the pollution goes, it is essence.
F: There is the essence of friendship, of affection.
Krishnamurti: No, no, I would not use essence of friendship,
essence of jealousy. No, no.
F: What do you mean by essence?
Krishnamurti: Just look. I have watched what we have been
doing during these discussions. We have observed the movement
of thought as consciousness; the whole of it and the content of the
movement is consciousness. There is perception of that. The
perception is the distillation of that and that we call essence which
is pure intelligence. It is not my intelligence or your intelligence
but it is intelligence, it is essence. And when we observe the
movement of love, hate, pleasure, fear, which are all emotive, there
is perception and, as you perceive, the essence comes out of that.
There are no two essences.
D: Here comes my question. What is the relationship between
essence as you perceive it and uniqueness? I think they are
Krishnamurti: I think I would rather use the word essence. P: The great masters of alchemy were called rasa-siddhas.
D: They who are established in rasa, that is, those who have
attained, who have their being in that.
Krishnamurti: During these days and before, one has watched
the movement of thought. One has watched it, and watched it
without any choice and in that is the essence; out of that choiceless
observation comes the essence of the one and the essence of the
other. Therefore what is this essence? Is it a refinement of
emotions, or is it totally unrelated? And yet it is related because it
has been observed. Right?
P: So energy which is attention….
Krishnamurti: Energy is essence.
P: Though operating on matter, essence is unrelated to both.
Krishnamurti: Let us begin again slowly with essence. Is it
unrelated to consciousness? I am taking it that one has observed
There has been a perception of movement as consciousness, as
thought and the content of that consciousness which is time and the
very observation of that, the flame of observation distils. Right?
In the same way the flame of perception brings the essence of
emotive movement. Now having this essence, what relationship
has it to that and to this?
I do not know if you see this. That was your question. Right?
None whatsoever. Essence has nothing to do with the flower.
Right. Though it is part of the flower, the essence is not of it.
F: Even grammatically it is not all right: although it is part of
the flower it is not of the flower.
Krishnamurti: Look, Sir, the other day I saw they were taking the bark of a tree to produce some kind of alcohol; that essence is
not the bark.
F: But it is in the bark.
D: It is realized because of the heat.
Krishnamurti: Heat of perception produces essence. So what is
the question? Is essence related to consciousness? Obviously not.
So the whole point in this is the flame of perception and the flame
of perception is the essence.
D: It creates the essence and it is the essence.
Krishnamurti: It is the essence.
P: Is perception creation, the moment of creation?
D: Do we create what we perceive?
P: Is perception creation?
Krishnamurti: I do not know what you mean by creation.
P: Bringing into being something which is not there.
Krishnamurti: Is perception creation? What do you mean by
creation? I know what perception means. Let us stick to that word.
I do not know what the meaning of creation is. Producing a baby?
D: No, I would not say that. Moving from here to there is also
Krishnamurti: Do not reduce everything to creation. Going to
office is not creation. You are asking what is creation? To create,
to produce, to create something which has not existed before.
When we use the word «creation’, to create something different, to
create a statue, to bring into being, what does that mean? Is it
essence? To bring into being what? It can bring into being only two
things: thought or emotion. D: Bringing into being means, essence manifest.
Krishnamurti: I ask of you what is meant by creation? I do not
know. Bringing into being something new or bringing into being in
the mould of the known.
P: Creation must be bringing into being the new, not the old.
Krishnamurti: Therefore let us be clear. Bringing into being
something totally new. At what level? Watch it. At the sensory
level, at the intellectual level, at the memory level; where?
Bringing into being something new; where? So that you see it, so
that you can visualize it? The man who produced the jet because he
was familiar with the piston, the internal combustion engine, was
that totally new? So when you say bringing into being something
totally new, at what level?
P: At the sensory level.
Krishnamurti: At the sensory? Can you paint a new picture
which is non-verbal? Can you paint something that is totally new?
Which is, can you bring into being something which is not self-
expression? It is not new if it is self-expression.
P: If creation is something entirely new which is unrelated to
any self-expression, then probably all self-expression ceases, all
Krishnamurti: Wait, wait.
P: I will say that because there does not exist anything which is
Krishnamurti: That is what I want to get at. The man who
discovered the jet – at the moment when he discovered it, there was
no self-expression. He translated it into self-expression. It is
something discovered, then it is put into a formula. I only know that the flame of perception has brought about the essence, and
now the question is, has that essence any expression? Does it create
D: It creates a new perception.
Krishnamurti: No. There is no new perception. The flame is the
perception. Flame is flame all the time. One moment pure flame of
perception, then forgotten, and again pure flame of perception, then
forgotten. Each time the flame is new.
D: Perception touches matter, and there is an explosion and
there is mutation. Now that which emerges out of it, you cannot
postulate. It is the discovery of the jet engine.
Krishnamurti: Let us put it this way. In that essence when there
is action, that essence is not concerned with self-expression. It is
concerned with action. Action then is total, not partial.
P: I want to ask one more question. The manifestation of
Krishnamurti: Which is action.
P: It has contact with matter.
Krishnamurti: There is action.
A: Up to perception we go with you.
Krishnamurti: No, Sir. You have gone further. There is a
perception which is flame, which has distilled the essence. You
cannot say I have got it. There is only essence. Now that essence
acts or may not act. If it acts, it has no frontiers at all. There is no
«me» acting. Obviously.
P: That itself is creation. Creation is not something apart from
Krishnamurti: The very expression of that essence is creation in action, not new action or old action. The essence is expression.
P: Then is perception also action? Krishnamurti: Of course. See
the beauty of it. Forget action. See what has taken place in you.
Perception without any qualification is a flame. It distils
whatever it perceives. Whatever it perceives it distils because it is
It is not a sensory perception. When there is that perception
which distils at every minute, when you say I am a fool, to
perceive that – and in that perception there is the essence – that
essence acts or it does not act, depending upon the environment,
depending upon where it is; but in that action there is no «me»,
there is no motive at all.
BOMBAY 19th February, l971