Jiddu Krishnamurti The Urgency Of Change

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Awareness
Questioner: I should like to know what you mean by awareness because you
have often said that awareness is really what your teaching is about. I’ve tried to
understand it by listening to your talks and reading your books, but I don’t seem
to  get  very  far.  I  know  it  is  not  a  practice,  and  I  understand  why  you  so
emphatically repudiate any kind of practice, drill, system, discipline or routine. I
see the importance of that, for otherwise it becomes mechanical, and at the end
of it the mind has become dull and stupid. I should like, if I may, to explore with
you to the very end this question of what it means to be aware. You seem to give
some  extra,  deeper  meaning  to  this  word,  and  yet  it  seems  to  me  that  we  are
aware of what’s going on all the time. When I’m angry I know it, when I’m sad I
know it and when I’m happy I know it.
Krishnamurti: I wonder if we really are aware of anger, sadness, happiness?
Or are we aware of these things only when they are all over? Let us begin as
though we know nothing about it at all and start from scratch. Let us not make
any assertions, dogmatic or subtle, but let us explore this question which, if one
really went into it very deeply, would reveal an extraordinary state that the mind
had probably never touched, a dimension not touched by superficial awareness.
Let  us  start  from  the  superficial  and  work  through.  We  see  with  our  eyes,  we
perceive  with  our  senses  the  things  about  us  –  the  colour  of  the  flower,  the
humming  bird  over  the  flower  the  light  of  this  Californian  sun,  the  thousand
sounds of different qualities and subtleties, the depth and the height, the shadow
of the tree and the tree itself. We feel in the same way our own bodies, which are
the  instruments  of  these  different  kinds  of  superficial,  sensory  perceptions.  If
these perceptions remained at the superficial level there would be no confusion at
all. That flower, that pansy, that rose, are there, and that’s all there is to it. There
is  no  preference,  no  comparison,  no  like  and  dislike,  only  the  thing  before  us
without any psychological involvement. Is all this superficial sensory perception or   4
awareness quite clear? It can be expanded to the stars, to the depth of the seas,
and to the ultimate frontiers of scientific observation, using all the instruments of
modern technology.
Questioner: Yes, I think I understand that.
Krishnamurti: So you see that the rose and all the universe and the people in
it,  your  own  wife  if  you  have  one,  the  stars,  the  seas,  the  mountains,  the
microbes, the atoms, the neutrons, this room, the door, really are there. Now, the
next step; what you think about these things, or what you feel about them, is your
psychological  response  to  them.  And  this  we  call  thought  or  emotion.  So  the
superficial  awareness  is  a  very  simple  matter:  the  door  is  there.  But  the
description of the door is not the door, and when you get emotionally involved in
the  description  you  don’t  see  the  door.  This  description  might  be  a  word  or  a
scientific treatise or a strong emotional response; none of these is the door itself.
This  is  very  important  to  understand  right  from  the  beginning.  If  we  don’t
understand this we shall get more and more confused. The description is never
the described. Though we are describing something even now, and we have to,
the thing we are describing is not our description of it, so please bear this in mind
right  through  our  talk.  Never  confuse  the  word  with  the  thing  it  describes.  The
word is never the real, and we are easily carried away when we come to the next
stage of awareness where it becomes personal and we get emotional through the
word.
So there is the superficial awareness of the tree, the bird, the door, and there
is the response to that, which is thought, feeling, emotion. Now when we become
aware of this response, we might call it a second depth of awareness. There is
the awareness of the rose, and the awareness of the response to the rose. Often
we are unaware of this response to the rose. In reality it is the same awareness
which sees the rose and which sees the response. It is one movement and it is
wrong  to  speak  of  the  outer  and  inner  awareness.  When  there  is  a  visual   5
awareness of the tree without any psychological involvement there is no division
in  relationship.  But  when  there  is  a  psychological  response  to  the  tree,  the
response  is  a  conditioned  response,  it  is  the  response  of  past  memory,  past
experiences, and the response is a division in relationship. This response is the
birth of what we shall call the «me» in relationship and the «non-me». This is how
you  place  yourself  in  relationship  to  the  world.  This  is  how  you  create  the
individual  and  the  community.  The  world  is  seen  not  as  it  is,  but  in  its  various
relationships to the «me» of memory. This division is the life and the flourishing of
everything we call our psychological being, and from this arises all contradiction
and  division.  Are  you  very  clear  that  you  perceive  this?  When  there  is  the
awareness of the tree there is no evaluation. But when there is a response to the
tree, when the tree is judged with like and dislike, then a division takes place in
this awareness as the «me» and the «non-me», the «me» who is different from the
thing observed. This «me» is the response, in relationship, of past memory, past
experiences. Now can there be an awareness, an observation of the tree, without
any judgement, and can there be an observation of the response, the reactions,
without  any  judgement?  In  this  way  we  eradicate  the  principle  of  division,  the
principle  of  «me»  and  «non-me»,  both  in  looking  at  the  tree  and  in  looking  at
ourselves.
Questioner: I’m trying to follow you. Let’s see if I have got it right. There is an
awareness of the tree, that I understand. There is a psychological response to the
tree,  that  I  understand  also.  The  psychological  response  is  made  up  of  past
memories and past experiences, it is like and dislike, it is the division into the tree
and the «me». Yes, I think I understand all that.
Krishnamurti:  Is  this  as  clear  as  the  tree  itself,  or  is  it  simply  the  clarity  of
description?  Remember,  as  we  have  already  said,  the  described  is  not  the
description. What have you got, the thing or its description?
Questioner: I think it is the thing.    6
Krishnamurti: Therefore there is no «me» who is the description in the seeing of
this fact. In the seeing of any fact there is no «me». There is either the «me» or the
seeing, there can’t be both. «Me» is non-seeing. The «me» cannot see, cannot be
aware. Questioner: May I stop here? I think I’ve got the feeling of it, but I must let
it sink in. May I come again tomorrow?
* * *
Questioner:  I  think  I  have  really  understood,  non-verbally,  what  you  said
yesterday. There is the awareness of the tree, there is the conditioned response
to the tree, and this conditioned response is conflict, it is the action of memory
and past experiences, it is like and dislike, it is prejudice. I also understand that
this response of prejudice is the birth of what we call the «me» or the censor. I see
clearly that the «me», the «I», exists in all relationships. Now is there an «I» outside
of relationships?
Krishnamurti:  We  have  seen  how  heavily  conditioned  our  responses  are.
When you ask if there is a «me» outside of relationship, it becomes a speculative
question as long as there is no freedom from these conditioned responses. Do
you see that? So our first question is not whether there is a «me» or not outside of
conditioned  responses,  but  rather,  can  the  mind,  in  which  is  included  all  our
feelings,  be  free  of  this  conditioning,  which  is  the  past?  The  past  is  the  «me».
There is no «me» in the present. As long as the mind is operating in the past there
is the «me», and the mind is this past, the mind is this «me».
You can’t say there is the mind and there is the past, whether it is the past of a
few days ago or of ten thousand years ago. So we are asking: can the mind free
itself from yesterday? Now there are several things involved, aren’t there? First of
all  there  is  a  superficial  awareness.  Then  there  is  the  awareness  of  the
conditioned response. Then there is the realization that the mind is the past, the
mind is this conditioned response. Then there is the question whether this mind
can free itself of the past. And all this is one unitary action of awareness because   7
in  this  there  are  no  conclusions.  When  we  say  the  mind  is  the  past,  this
realization is not a verbal conclusion but an actual perception of fact. The French
have a word for such a perception of a fact, they call it «constatation». When we
ask whether the mind can be free of the past is this question being asked by the
censor, the «me», who is that very past?
Questioner: Can the mind be free of the past.
Krishnamurti: Who is putting that question? Is it the entity who is the result of a
great many conflicts, memories and experiences – is it he who is asking – or does
this question arise of itself, out of the perception of the fact? If it is the observer
who is putting the question, then he is trying to escape from the fact of himself,
because, he says, I have lived so long in pain, in trouble, in sorrow, I should like
to go beyond this constant struggle. If he asks the question from that motive his
answer will be a taking refuge in some escape. One either turns away from a fact
or one faces it. And the word and the symbol are a turning away from it. In fact,
just  to  ask  this  question  at all is already an act of escape,  is  it  not?  Let  us  be
aware whether this question is or is not an act of escape.  If  it  is,  it  is  noise.  If
there is no observer, then there is silence, a complete negation of the whole past.
Questioner: Here I am lost. How can I wipe away the past in a few seconds?
Krishnamurti: Let us bear in mind that we are discussing awareness. We are
talking over together this question of awareness.
There is the tree, and the conditioned response to the tree, which is the «me»
in relationship, the «me» who is the very centre of conflict. Now is it this «me» who
is asking the question? – this «me» who, as we have said, is the very structure of
the past? If the question is not asked from the structure of the past, if the question
is  not  asked  by  the  «me»,  then  there  is  no  structure  of  the  past.  When  the
structure is asking the question it is operating in relationship to the fact of itself, it
is frightened of itself and it acts to escape from itself. When this structure does
not ask the question, it is not acting in relationship to itself. To recapitulate: there   8
is the tree, there is the word, the response to the tree, which is the censor, or the
«me», which comes from the past; and then there is the question: can I escape
from  all  this  turmoil  and  agony?  If  the  «me»  is  asking  this  question  it  is
perpetuating itself.
Now, being aware of that, it doesn’t ask the question! Being aware and seeing
all  the  implications  of  it,  the  question  cannot  be  asked.  It  does  not  ask  the
question at all because it sees the trap. Now do you see that all this awareness is
superficial? It is the same as the awareness which sees the tree.
Questioner:  Is  there  any  other  kind  of  awareness?  Is  there  any  other
dimension to awareness? Krishnamurti: Again let’s be careful, let’s be very clear
that we are not asking this question with any motive. If there is a motive we are
back in the trap of conditioned response. When the observer is wholly silent, not
made silent, there is surely a different quality of awareness coming into being?
Questioner: What action could there possibly be in any circumstances without
the observer – what question or what action?
Krishnamurti: Again, are you asking this question from this side of the river, or
is  it  from  the  other  bank?  If  you  are  on  the  other  bank,  you  will  not  ask  this
question; if you are on that bank, your action will be from that bank. So there is an
awareness of this bank, with all its structure, its nature and all its traps, and to try
to  escape  from  the  trap  is  to  fall  into  another  trap.  And  what  deadly  monotony
there is in all that! Awareness has shown us the nature of the trap, and therefore
there is the negation of all traps; so the mind is now empty. It is empty of the «me»
and  of  the  trap.  This  mind  has  a  different  quality,  a  different  dimension  of
awareness. This awareness is not aware that it is aware.
Questioner: My God, this is too difficult. You are saying things that seem true,
that sound true, but I’m not there yet. Can you put it differently? Can you push me
out of my trap?    9
Krishnamurti: Nobody can push you out of your trap – no guru, no drug, no
mantra, nobody, including myself – nobody, especially myself. All that you have to
do is to be aware from the beginning to the end, not become inattentive in the
middle of it. This new quality of awareness is attention, and in this attention there
is  no  frontier  made  by  the  «me».  This  attention  is  the  highest  form  of  virtue,
therefore it is love. It is supreme intelligence, and there cannot be attention if you
are not sensitive to the structure and the nature of these man-made traps.    10
Is there a god?
Questioner: I really would like to know if there is a god. If there isn’t life has no
meaning.  Not  knowing  god,  man  has  invented  him  in  a  thousand  beliefs  and
images. The division and the fear bred by all these beliefs have divided him from
his fellow men. To escape the pain and the mischief of this division he creates yet
more  beliefs,  and  the  mounting  misery  and  confusion  have  engulfed  him.  Not
knowing, we believe. Can I know god? I’ve asked this question of many saints
both in India and here and they’ve all emphasized belief. «Believe and then you
will know; without belief you can never know.» What do you think?
Krishnamurti: Is belief necessary to find out? To learn is far more important
than to know. Learning about belief is the end of belief. When the mind is free of
belief then it can look. It is belief, or disbelief, that binds; for disbelief and belief
are  the  same:  they  are  the  opposite  sides  of  the  same  coin.  So  we  can
completely put aside positive or negative belief; the believer and the non-believer
are the same. When this actually takes place then the question, «Is there a god?»
has quite a different meaning. The word god with all its tradition, its memory, its
intellectual and sentimental connotations – all this is not god. The word is not the
real. So can the mind be free of the word?
Questioner:  I  don’t  know  what  that  means.  Krishnamurti:  The  word  is  the
tradition, the hope, the desire to find the absolute, the striving after the ultimate,
the movement which gives vitality to existence. So the word itself becomes the
ultimate, yet we can see that the word is not the thing. The mind is the word, and
the word is thought.
Questioner: And you’re asking me to strip myself of the word? How can I do
that? The word is the past; it is memory. The wife is the word, and the house is
the  word.  In  the  beginning  was  the  word.  Also  the  word  is  the  means  of
communication, identification. Your name is not you, and yet without your name I   11
can’t ask about you. And you’re asking me if the mind can be free of the word –
that is, can the mind be free of its own activity?
Krishnamurti:  In  the  case  of  the  tree  the  object  is  before  our  eyes,  and  the
word refers to the tree by universal agreement. Now with the word god there is
nothing to which it refers, so each man can create his own image of that for which
there  is  no  reference.  The  theologian  does  it  in  one  way,  the  intellectual  in
another, and the believer and the non-believer in their own different ways. Hope
generates this belief, and then seeking. This hope is the outcome of despair – the
despair of all we see around us in the world. From despair hope is born, they also
are two sides of the same coin. When there is no hope there is hell, and this fear
of hell gives us the vitality of hope. Then illusion begins. So the word has led us
to illusion and not to god at all. God is the illusion which we worship; and the non-
believer  creates  the  illusion  of  another  god  which  he  worships  –  the  State,  or
some utopia, or some book which he thinks contains all truth. So we are asking
you  whether  you  can  be  free  of  the  word  with  its  illusion.  Questioner:  I  must
meditate on this.
Krishnamurti: If there is no illusion, what is left?
Questioner: Only what is.
Krishnamurti: The «what is» is the most holy.
Questioner: If the «what is» is the most holy then war is most holy, and hatred,
disorder, pain, avarice and plunder. Then we must not speak of any change at all.
If «what is» is sacred, then every murderer and plunderer and exploiter can say,
«Don’t touch me, what I’m doing is sacred».
Krishnamurti:  The  very  simplicity  of  that  statement,  »  `what  is’  is  the  most
sacred», leads to great misunderstanding, because we don’t see the truth of it. If
you see that what is is sacred, you do not murder, you do not make war, you do
not  hope,  you  do  not  exploit.  Having  done  these  things  you  cannot  claim   12
immunity from a truth which you have violated. The white man who says to the
black rioter, «What is is sacred, do not interfere, do not burn», has not seen, for if
he had, the Negro would be sacred to him, and there would be no need to burn.
So if each one of us sees this truth there must be change. This seeing of the truth
is change.
Questioner: I came here to find out if there is god, and you have completely
confused me.
Krishnamurti:  You  came  to  ask  if  there  is  god.  We  said:  the  word  leads  to
illusion  which  we  worship,  and  for  this  illusion  we  destroy  each  other  willingly.
When  there  is  no  illusion  the  «what  is»  is  most  sacred.  Now  let’s  look  at  what
actually is. At a given moment the «what is» may be fear, or utter despair, or a
fleeting joy. These things are constantly changing. And also there is the observer
who says, «These things all change around me, but I remain permanent». Is that a
fact, is that what really is? Is he not also changing, adding to and taking away
from himself, modifying, adjusting himself, becoming or not becoming? So both
the observer and the observed are constantly changing. What is is change. That
is a fact. That is what is.
Questioner: Then is love changeable? If everything is a movement of change,
isn’t love also part of that movement? And if love is changeable, then I can love
one woman today and sleep with another tomorrow.
Krishnamurti:  Is  that  love?  Or  are  you  saying  that  love  is  different  from  its
expression? Or are you giving to expression greater importance than to love, and
therefore making a contradiction and a conflict. Can love ever be caught in the
wheel of change? If so then it can also be hate; then love is hate. It is only when
there is no illusion that «what is» is most sacred. When there is no illusion «what
is» is god or any other name that can be used. So god, or whatever name you
give it, is when you are not. When you are, it is not. When you are not, love is.
When you are, love is not.    13  14
Fear
Questioner:  I  used  to  take  drugs  but  now  I  am  free  of  them.  Why  am  I  so
frightened  of  everything?  I  wake  up  in  the  mornings  paralysed  with  fear.  I  can
hardly  move  out  of  bed.  I’m  frightened  of  going  outside,  and  I’m  frightened  of
being inside. Suddenly as I drive along this fear comes upon me, and I spend a
whole  day  sweating,  nervous,  apprehensive,  and  at  the  end  of  the  day  I’m
completely exhausted. Sometimes, though very rarely, in the company of a few
intimate friends or at the house of my parents, I lose this fear; I feel quiet, happy,
completely relaxed. As I came along in my car today, I was frightened of coming
to see you, but as I came up the drive and walked to the door I suddenly lost this
fear, and now as I sit here in this nice quiet room I feel so happy that I wonder
what I was ever frightened about. Now I have no fear. I can smile and truthfully
say: I’m very glad to see you! But I can’t stay here for ever, and I know that when
I leave here the cloud of fear will engulf me again. That is what I’m faced with. I’ve
been  to  ever  so  many  psychiatrists  and  analysts,  here  and  abroad,  but  they
merely delve into my memories of childhood – and I’m fed up with it because the
fear hasn’t gone at all.
Krishnamurti:  Let’s  forget  childhood  memories  and  all  that  nonsense,  and
come  to  the  present.  Here  you  are,  and  you  say  you  are  not  frightened  now;
you’re happy for the moment and can hardly imagine the fear you were in. Why
have  you  no  fear  now?  Is  it  the  quiet,  clear,  well-proportioned  room,  furnished
with good taste, and this sense of welcoming warmth which you feel? Is that why
you are not frightened now?
Questioner:  That’s  part  of  it.  Also  perhaps  it  is  you.  I  heard  you  talk  in
Switzerland, and I’ve heard you here, and I feel a kind of deep friendship for you.
But  I  don’t  want  to  depend  on  nice  houses,  welcoming  atmospheres  and  good
friends in order not to be afraid. When I go to my parents I have this same feeling
of warmth. But it is deadly at home; all families are deadly with their little enclosed   15
activities, their quarrels, and the vulgarity of all that loud talk about nothing, and
their hypocrisy. I’m fed up with it all. And yet, when I go to them and there is this
certain warmth, I do feel, for a while, free of this fear. The psychiatrists can’t tell
me what my fear is about. They call it a «floating fear». It’s a black, bottomless,
ghastly pit. I’ve spent a great deal of money and time on being analysed and it
really hasn’t helped at all. So what am I to do?
Krishnamurti:  Is  it  that  being  sensitive  you  need  a  certain  shelter,  a  certain
security, and not being able to find it, you are frightened of the ugly world? Are
you sensitive?
Questioner:  Yes,  I  think  so.  Perhaps  not  in  the  way  you  mean,  but  I  am
sensitive. I don’t like the noise, the bustle, the vulgarity of this modern existence
and  the  way  they  throw  sex  at  you  everywhere  you  go  today,  and  the  whole
business of fighting your way to some beastly little position. I am really frightened
of all this – not that I can’t fight and get a position for myself, but it makes me sick
with fear. Krishnamurti: Most people who are sensitive need a quiet shelter and a
warm  friendly  atmosphere.  Either  they  create  it  for  themselves  or  depend  on
others who can give it to them – the family the wife, the husband, the friend. Have
you got such a friend?
Questioner: No. I’m frightened of having such a friend. I’m frightened of being
dependent on him.
Krishnamurti:  So  there  is  this  issue;  being  sensitive,  demanding  a  certain
shelter, and depending on others to give you that shelter. There is sensitivity, and
dependence;  the  two  often  go  together.  And  to  depend  on  another  is  to  fear
losing  him.  So  you  depend  more  and  more,  and  then  the  fear  increases  in
proportion to your dependence. It is a vicious circle. Have you enquired why you
depend? We depend on the postman, on physical comfort and so on; that’s quite
simple. We depend on people and things for our physical well-being and survival;
it  is  quite  natural  and  normal.  We  have  to  depend  on  what  we  may  call  the   16
organizational  side  of  society.  But  we  also  depend  psychologically,  and  this
dependence,  though  comforting,  breeds  fear.  Why  do  we  depend
psychologically?
Questioner: You’re talking to me about dependence now, but I came here to
discuss fear.
Krishnamurti:  Let’s  examine  them  both  because  they  are  interrelated  as  we
shall  see.  Do  you  mind  if  we  discuss  them  both?  We  were  talking  about
dependence.  What  is  dependence?  Why  does  one  psychologically  depend  on
another?  Isn’t  dependence  the  denial  of  freedom?  Take  away  the  house,  the
husband, the children, the possessions – what is a man if all these are removed?
In himself he is insufficient, empty, lost. So out of this emptiness, of which he is
afraid, he depends on property, on people and beliefs. You may be so sure of all
the things you depend on that you can’t imagine ever losing them – the love of
your family, and the comfort. Yet fear continues. So we must be clear that any
form of psychological dependence must inevitably breed fear, though the things
you  depend  on  may  seem  almost  indestructible.  Fear  arises  out  of  this  inner
insufficiency, poverty and emptiness. So now, do you see, we have three issues –
sensitivity, dependence and fear? The three are interrelated. Take sensitivity: the
more sensitive you are (unless you understand how to remain sensitive without
dependence, how to be vulnerable without agony), the more you depend. Then
take  dependence:  the  more  you  depend,  the  more  there  is  disgust  and  the
demand to be free. This demand for freedom encourages fear, for this demand is
a reaction, not freedom from dependence.
Questioner: Are you dependent on anything?
Krishnamurti: Of course I’m dependent physically on food, clothes and shelter,
but psychologically, inwardly, I’m not dependent on anything – not on gods, not on
social morality, not on belief, not on people. But it is irrelevant whether or not I am
dependent.  So,  to  continue:  fear  is  the  awareness  of  our  inner  emptiness,   17
loneliness  and  poverty,  and  of  not  being  able  to  do  anything  about  it.  We  are
concerned  only  with  this  fear  which  breeds  dependence,  and  which  is  again
increased  by  dependence.  If  we  understand  fear  we  also  understand
dependence.  So  to  understand  fear  there  must  be  sensitivity  to  discover,  to
understand  how  it  comes  into  being.  If  one  is  at  all  sensitive  one  becomes
conscious of one’s own extraordinary emptiness – a bottomless pit which cannot
be  filled  by  the  vulgar  entertainment  of  drugs  nor  by  the  entertainment  of  the
churches, nor the amusements of society: nothing can ever fill it. Knowing this the
fear increases. This drives you to depend, and this dependence makes you more
and  more  insensitive.  And  knowing  this  is  so,  you  are  frightened  of  it.  So  our
question  now  is:  how  is  one  to  go  beyond  this  emptiness,  this  loneliness  –  not
how  is  one  to  be  self-sufficient,  not  how  is  one  to  camouflage  this  emptiness
permanently?
Questioner: Why do you say it is not a question of becoming self-sufficient?
Krishnamurti:  Because  if  you  are  self-sufficient  you  are  no  longer  sensitive;
you  become  smug  and  callous,  indifferent  and  enclosed.  To  be  without
dependence, to go beyond dependence, doesn’t mean to become self-sufficient.
Can the mind face and live with this emptiness, and not escape in any direction?
Questioner: It would drive me mad to think I had to live with it for ever.
Krishnamurti: Any movement away from this emptiness is an escape. And this
flight away from something, away from «what is,» is fear. Fear is flight away from
something. What is is not the fear; it is the flight which is the fear, and this will
drive  you  mad,  not  the  emptiness  itself.  So  what  is  this  emptiness,  this
loneliness? How does it come about? Surely it comes through comparison and
measurement, doesn’t it? I compare myself with the saint, the master, the great
musician, the man who knows, the man who has arrived. In this comparison I find
myself wanting and insufficient: I have no talent, I am inferior, I have not «realised;
I am not, and that man is. So out of measurement and comparison comes the   18
enormous cavity of emptiness and nothingness. And the flight from this cavity is
fear. And the fear stops us from understanding this bottomless pit. It is a neurosis
which  feeds  upon  itself.  And  again,  this  measurement,  this  comparison,  is  the
very  essence  of  dependence.  So  we  are  back  again  at  dependence,  a  vicious
circle.
Questioner:  We  have  come  a  long  way  in  this  discussion  and  things  are
clearer.  There  is  dependence;  is  it  possible  not  to  depend?  Yes,  I  think  it  is
possible. Then we have the fear; is it possible not to run away from emptiness at
all,  which  means,  not  to  escape  through  fear?  Yes,  I  think  it  is  possible.  That
means we are left with the emptiness. Is it possible then to face this emptiness
since  we  have  stopped  running  away  from  it  through  fear?  Yes,  I  think  it  is
possible.  Is  it  possible  finally,  not  to  measure,  not  to  compare?  For  if  we  have
come this far, and I think we have, only this emptiness remains, and one sees
that this emptiness is the outcome of comparison. And one sees that dependence
and fear are the outcome of this emptiness. So there is comparison, emptiness,
fear,  dependence.  Can  I  really  live  a  life  without  comparison,  without
measurement?
Krishnamurti: Of course you have to measure to put a carpet on the floor!
Questioner:  Yes.  I  mean  can  I  live  without  psychological  comparison?
Krishnamurti:  Do  you  know  what  it  means  to  live  without  psychological
comparison when all your life you have been conditioned to compare – at school,
at games, at the university and in the office? Everything is comparison. To live
without comparison! Do you know what it means? It means no dependence, no
self-sufficiency, no seeking, no asking; therefore it means to love. Love has no
comparison, and so love has no fear. Love is not aware of itself as love, for the
word is not the thing.    19
How To Live In This World
Questioner: Please, sir, could you tell me how I am to live in this world? I don’t
want to be part of it yet I have to live in it, I have to have a house and earn my
own living. And my neighbours are of this world; my children play with theirs, and
so one becomes a part of this ugly mess, whether one wants to or not. I want to
find  out  how  to  live  in  this  world  without  escaping  from  it,  without  going  into  a
monastery or around the world in a sailing boat. I want to educate my children
differently, but first I want to know how to live surrounded by so much violence,
greed, hypocrisy, competition and brutality.
Krishnamurti:  Don’t  let’s  make  a  problem  of  it.  When  anything  becomes  a
problem  we  are  caught  in  the  solution  of  it,  and  then  the  problem  becomes  a
cage, a barrier to further exploration and understanding. So don’t let us reduce all
life to a vast and complex problem. If the question is put in order to overcome the
society in which we live, or to find a substitute for that society, or to try to escape
from it though living in it, it must inevitably lead to a contradictory and hypocritical
life. This question also implies, doesn’t it, the complete denial of ideology? If you
are really enquiring you cannot start with a conclusion, and all ideologies are a
conclusion. So we must begin by finding out what you mean by living. Questioner:
Please, sir, let’s go step by step.
Krishnamurti: I am very glad that we can go into this step by step, patiently,
with an enquiring mind and heart. Now what do you mean by living?
Questioner: I’ve never tried to put it into words. I’m bewildered, I don’t know
what to do, how to live. I’ve lost faith in everything – religions, philosophies and
political utopias. There is war between individuals  and  between  nations.  In  this
permissive society everything is allowed – killing, riots, the cynical oppression of
one country by another, and nobody does anything about it because interference   20
might mean world war. I am faced with all this and I don’t know what to do; I don’t
know how to live at all. I don’t want to live in the midst of such confusion.
Krishnamurti: What is it you are asking for – a different life, or for a new life
which comes about with the understanding of the old life? If you want to live a
different  life  without  understanding  what  has  brought  about  this  confusion,  you
will always be in contradiction, in conflict, in confusion. And that of course is not a
new life at all. So are you asking for a new life or for a modified continuity of the
old one, or to understand the old one?
Questioner: I’m not at all sure what I want but I am beginning to see what I
don’t want.
Krishnamurti: Is what you don’t want based on your free understanding or on
your  pleasure  and  pain?  Are  you  judging  out  of  your  revolt,  or  do  you  see  the
causation of this conflict and misery, and, because you see it, reject it?
Questioner: You’re asking me too many things. All I know is that I want to live
a different kind of life. I don’t know what it means; I don’t know why I’m seeking it;
and, as I said, I’m utterly bewildered by it all.
Krishnamurti: Your basic question is, isn’t it, how are you to live in this world?
Before you find out let us first see what this world is. The world is not only all that
surrounds  us,  it  is  also  our  relationship  to  all  these  things  and  people,  to
ourselves, to ideas. That is, our relationship to property, to people, to concepts –
in fact our relationship to the stream of events which we call life. This is the world.
We  see  division  into  nationalities,  into  religious,  economic,  political,  social  and
ethnical groups; the whole world is broken up and is as fragmented outwardly as
its  human  beings  are  inwardly.  In  fact,  this  outer  fragmentation  is  the
manifestation of the human being’s inner division.
Questioner: Yes, I see this fragmentation very clearly, and I am also beginning
to see that the human being is responsible.    21
Krishnamurti:You are the human being!
Questioner: Then can I live differently from what I am myself? I’m suddenly
realizing that if I am to live in a totally different way there must be a new birth in
me,  a  new  mind  and  heart,  new  eyes.  And  I  realize  also  that  this  hasn’t
happened. I live the way I am, and the way I am has made life as it is. But where
does one go from there?
Krishnamurti: You don’t go anywhere from there! There is no going anywhere.
The going, or the searching for the ideal, for what we think is better, gives us a
feeling that we are progressing, that we are moving towards a better world. But
this movement is no movement at all because the end has been projected out of
our misery, confusion, greed and envy. So this end, which is supposed to be the
opposite of what is, is really the same as what is, it is engendered by what is.
Therefore  it  creates  the  conflict  between  what  is  and  what  should  be.  This  is
where our basic confusion and conflict arises. The end is not over there, not on
the other side of the wall; the beginning and the end are here.
Questioner: Wait a minute, sir, please; I don’t understand this at all. Are you
telling me that the ideal of what should be is the result of not understanding what
is? Are you telling me that what should be is what is, and that this movement from
what is to what should be isn’t really a movement at all?
Krishnamurti: It is an idea; it is fiction. If you understand what is, what need is
there for what should be?
Questioner: Is that so? I understand what is. I understand the bestiality of war,
the horror of killing, and because I understand it I have this ideal of not killing.
The ideal is born out of my understanding of what is, therefore it is not an escape.
Krishnamurti: If you understand that killing is terrible do you have to have an ideal
in  order  not  to  kill?  Perhaps  we  are  not  clear  about  the  word  understanding.
When we say we understand something, in that is implied, isn’t it, that we have   22
learnt  all  it  has  to  say?  We  have  explored  it  and  discovered  the  truth  or  the
falseness  of  it.  This  implies  also,  doesn’t  it,  that  this  understanding  is  not  an
intellectual  affair,  but  that  one  has  felt  it  deeply  in  one’s  heart?  There  is
understanding only when the mind and the heart are in perfect harmony. Then
one says «I have understood this, and finished with it», and it no longer has the
vitality to breed further conflict. Do we both give the same meaning to that word
understand?
Questioner: I hadn’t before, but now I see that what you are saying is true. Yet
I honestly don’t understand, in that way, the total disorder of the world, which, as
you so rightly pointed out, is my own disorder. How can I understand it? How can
I  completely  learn  about  the  disorder,  the  entire  disorder  and  confusion  of  the
world, and of myself?
Krishnamurti: Do not use the word how, please.
Questioner: Why not?
Krishnamurti: The how implies that somebody is going to give you a method, a
recipe,  which,  if  you  practise  it,  will  bring  about  understanding.  Can
understanding  ever come  about  through  a  method? Understanding means love
and the sanity of the mind. And love cannot be practised or taught. The sanity of
the mind can only come about when there is clear perception, seeing things as
they  are  unemotionally,  not  sentimentally.  Neither  of  these  two  things  can  be
taught by another, nor by a system invented by yourself or by another.
Questioner:  You  are  too  persuasive,  sir,  or  is  it  perhaps  that  you  are  too
logical? Are you trying to influence me to see things as you see them?
Krishnamurti:  God  forbid!  Influence  in  any  form  is  destructive  of  love.
Propaganda  to  make  the  mind  sensitive,  alert,  will  only  make  it  dull  and
insensitive. So we are in no way trying to influence you or persuade you, or make
you depend. We are only pointing out, exploring together. And to explore together   23
you must be free, both of me and of your own prejudices and fears. Otherwise
you go round and round in circles. So we must go back to our original question:
how am I to live in this world? To live in this world we must deny the world. By
that  we  mean:  deny  the  ideal,  the  war,  the  fragmentation,  the  competition,  the
envy and so on. We don’t mean deny the world as a schoolboy revolts against his
parents.  We  mean  deny  it  because  we  understand  it.  This  understanding  is
negation.
Questioner: I am out of my depth.
Krishnamurti: You said you do not want to live in the confusion, the dishonesty
and ugliness of this world. So you deny it. But from what background do you deny
it, why do you deny it? Do you deny it because you want to live a peaceful life, a
life of complete security and enclosure, or do you deny it because you see what it
actually is? Questioner: I think I deny it because I see around me what is taking
place. Of course my prejudices and fear are all involved. So it is a mixture of what
is actually taking place and my own anxiety.
Krishnamurti: Which predominates, your own anxiety or the actual seeing of
what  is  around  you?  If  fear  predominates,  then  you  can’t  see  what  is  actually
going  on  around  you,  because  fear  is  darkness,  and  in  darkness  you  can  see
absolutely nothing. If you realize that, then you can see the world actually as it is,
then you can see yourself actually as you are. Because you are the world, and
the world is you; they are not two separate entities.
Questioner: Would you please explain more fully what you mean by the world
is me and I am the world?
Krishnamurti: Does this really need explaining? Do you want me to describe in
detail what you are and show you that it is the same as what the world is? Will
this description convince you that you are the world? Will you be convinced by a
logical, sequential explanation showing you the cause and the effect? If you are   24
convinced by careful description, will that give you understanding? Will it make
you feel that you are the world, make you feel responsible for the world? It seems
so  clear  that  our  human  greed,  envy,  aggression  and  violence  have  brought
about the society in which we live, a legalized acceptance of what we are. I think
this is really sufficiently clear and let’s not spend any more time on this issue. You
see, we don’t feel this, we don’t love, therefore there is this division between me
and the world. Questioner: May I come back again tomorrow?
* * *
He came back the next day eagerly, and there was the bright light of enquiry
in his eyes.
Questioner: I want, if you are willing, to go further into this question of how I
am to live in this world. I do now understand, with my heart and my mind, as you
explained  yesterday,  the  utter  importance  of  ideals.  I  had  quite  a  long  struggle
with it and have come to see the triviality of ideals. You are saying, aren’t you,
that  when  there  are  no  ideals  or  escapes  there  is  only  the  past,  the  thousand
yesterdays  which  make  up  the  «me»?  So  when  I  ask:  How  am  I  to  live  in  this
world?»  I  have  not  only  put  a  wrong  question,  but  I  have  also  made  a
contradictory statement, for I have placed the world and the «me» in opposition to
each other. And this contradiction is what I call living. So when I ask the question,
«How am I to live in this world?» I am really trying to improve this contradiction, to
justify it, to modify it, because that’s all I know; I don’t know anything else.
Krishnamurti: This then is the question we have now: must living always be in
the past, must all activity spring from the past, is all relationship the outcome of
the past, is living the complex memory of the past? That is all we know – the past
modifying the present. And the future is the outcome of this past acting through
the present. So the past, the present and the future are all the past. And this past
is what we call living. The mind is the past, the brain is the past, the feelings are
the past, and action coming from these is the positive activity of the known. This   25
whole process is your life and all the relationship and activity that you know. So
when you ask how you are to live in this world you are asking for a change of
prisons.
Questioner:  I  don’t  mean  that.  What  I  mean  is:  I  see  very  clearly  that  my
process  of  thinking  and  doing  is  the  past  working  through  the  present  to  the
future.  This  is  all  I  know,  and  that’s  a  fact.  And  I  realize  that  unless  there  is  a
change  in  this  structure  I  am  caught  in  it,  I  am  of  it.  From  this  the  question
inevitably arises: how am I to change?
Krishnamurti: To live in this world sanely there must be a radical change of the
mind and of the heart.
Questioner: Yes, but what do you mean by change? How am I to change if
whatever I do is the movement of the past? I can only change myself, nobody
else can change me. And I don’t see what it means – to change.
Krishnamurti:  So  the  question  «How  am  I  to  live  in  this  world?»  has  now
become «How am I to change?» – bearing in mind that the how doesn’t mean a
method, but is an enquiry to understand. What is change? Is there any change at
all? Or can you ask whether there is any change at all only after there has been a
total change and revolution? Let’s begin again to find out what this word means.
Change  implies  a  movement  from  what  is  to  something  different.  Is  this
something  different  merely  an  opposite,  or  does  it  belong  to  a  different  order
altogether?  If  it  is  merely  an  opposite  then  it  is  not  different  at  all,  because  all
opposites are mutually dependent, like hot and cold, high and low. The opposite
is contained within, and determined by, its opposite; it exists only in comparison,
and things that are comparative have different measures of the same quality, and
therefore they are similar. So change to an opposite is no change at all. Even if
this going towards what seems different gives you the feeling that you are really
doing something, it is an illusion.    26
Questioner: Let me absorb this for a moment.
Krishnamurti:  So  what  are  we  concerned  with  now?  Is  it  possible  to  bring
about in ourselves the birth of a new order altogether that is not related to the
past? The past is irrelevant to this enquiry, and trivial, because it is irrelevant to
the new order.
Questioner: How can you say it is trivial and irrelevant? We’ve been saying all
along that the past is the issue, and now you say it is irrelevant.
Krishnamurti: The past seems to be the only issue because it is the only thing
that holds our minds and hearts. It alone is important to us. But why do we give
importance to it? Why is this little space all-important? If you are totally immersed
in it, utterly committed to it, then you will never listen to change. The man who is
not wholly committed is the only one capable of listening, enquiring and asking.
Only  then  will  he  be  able  to  see  the  triviality  of  this  little  space.  So,  are  you
completely immersed, or is your head above the water? If your head is above the
water then you can see that this little thing is trivial. Then you have room to look
around. How deeply are you immersed? Nobody can answer this for you except
yourself.  in  the  very  asking  of  this  question  there  is  already  freedom  and,
therefore, one is not afraid. Then your vision is extensive. When this pattern of
the past holds you completely by the throat, then you acquiesce, accept, obey,
follow, believe. It is only when you are aware that this is not freedom that you are
starting  to  climb  out  of  it.  So  we  are  again  asking:  what  is  change,  what  is
revolution?  Change  is  not  a  movement  from  the  known  to  the  known,  and  all
political revolutions are that. This kind of change is not what we are talking about.
To progress from being a sinner to being a saint is to progress from one illusion
to another. So now we are free of change as a movement from this to that.
Questioner:  Have  I  really  understood  this?  What  am  I  to  do  with  anger,
violence and fear when they arise in me? Am I to give them free reign? How am I   27
to  deal  with  them?  There  must  be  change  there,  otherwise  I  am  what  I  was
before.
Krishnamurti: Is it clear to you that these things cannot be overcome by their
opposites? If so, you have only the violence, the envy, the anger, the greed. The
feeling arises as the result of a challenge, and then it is named. This naming of
the feeling re-establishes it in the old pattern. If you do not name it, which means
you do not identify yourself with it, then the feeling is new and it will go away by
itself. The naming of it strengthens it and gives it a continuity which is the whole
process of thought.
Questioner: I am being driven into a comer where I see myself actually as I
am, and I see how trivial I am. From there what comes next?
Krishnamurti:  Any  movement  from  what  I  am  strengthens  what  I  am.  So
change is no movement at all. Change is the denial of change, and now only can
I put this question: is there a change at all? This question can be put only when
all movement of thought has come to an end, for thought must be denied for the
beauty of non-change. In the total negation of all movement of thought away from
what is, is the ending of what is.    28
Relationship
Questioner: I have come a long way to see you. Although I am married and
have  children  I  have  been  away  from  them,  wandering,  meditating,  as  a
mendicant.  I  have  puzzled  greatly  over  this  very  complicated  problem  of
relationship. When I go into a village and they give me food, I am related to the
giver, as I am related to my wife and children. In another village when somebody
gives  me  clothes  I  am  related  to  the  whole  factory  that  produced  them.  I  am
related  to  the  earth  on  which  I  walk,  to  the  tree  under  which  I  take  shelter,  to
everything. And yet I am alone, isolated. When I am with my wife, I am separate
even during sex – it is an act of separation. When I go into a temple it is still the
worshipper  being  related  to  the  thing  he  worships:  separation  again.  So  in  all
relationships, as I see it, there is this separation, duality, and behind or through it,
or around it, there is a peculiar sense of unity. When I see the beggar it hurts me,
for I am like him and I feel as he feels – lonely, desperate, sick, hungry. I feel for
him, and with him, for his meaningless existence. Some rich man comes along in
his big motor car and gives me a lift, but I feel uncomfortable in his company, yet
at the same time I feel for him and am related to him. So I have meditated upon
this  strange  phenomenon  of  relationship.  Can  we  on  this  lovely  morning,
overlooking this deep valley, talk over together this question? Krishnamurti: Is all
relationship out of this isolation? Can there be relationship as long as there is any
separateness, division? Can there be relationship if there is no contact, not only
physical but at every level of our being, with another? One may hold the hand of
another and yet be miles away, wrapped in one’s own  thoughts and problems.
One may be in a group and yet be painfully alone. So one asks: can there be any
kind of relationship with the tree, the flower, the human being, or with the skies
and the lovely sunset, when the mind in its activities is isolating itself? And can
there  be  any  contact  ever,  with  anything  at  all,  even  when  the  mind  is  not
isolating itself?    29
Questioner: Everything and everybody has its own existence. Everything and
everybody is shrouded in its own existence. I can never penetrate this enclosure
of another’s being. However much I love someone, his existence is separate from
mine. I can perhaps touch him from the outside, mentally or physically, but his
existence is his own, and mine is for ever on the outside of it. Similarly he cannot
reach me. Must we always remain two separate entities, each in his own world,
with his own limitations, within the prison of his own consciousness?
Krishnamurti: Each lives within his own tissue, you in yours, he in his. And is
there  any  possibility,  ever,  of  breaking  through  this  tissue?  Is  this  tissue  –  this
shroud, this envelope – the word? Is it made up of your concern with yourself and
his with himself, your desires opposed to his? Is this capsule the past? It is all of
this, isn’t it? It isn’t one particular thing but a whole bundle which the mind carries
about.  You  have  your  burden,  another  has  his.  Can  these  burdens  ever  be
dropped  so  that  the  mind  meets  the  mind,  the  heart  meets  the  heart?  That  is
really the question, isn’t it?
Questioner: Even if all these burdens are dropped, if that were possible, even
then  he  remains  in  his  skin  with  his  thoughts,  and  I  in  mine  with  my  thoughts.
Sometimes  the  gap  is  narrow,  sometimes  it  is  wide,  but  we  are  always  two
separate islands. The gap seems to be widest when we care most about it and try
to bridge it.
Krishnamurti: You can identify yourself with that villager or with that flaming
bougainvillaea  –  which  is  a  mental  trick  to  pretend  unity.  Identification  with
something is one of the most hypocritical states – to identify oneself with a nation,
with a belief and yet remain alone is a favourite trick to cheat loneliness. Or you
identify yourself so completely with your belief that you are that belief, and this is
a neurotic state. Now let’s put away this urge to be identified with a person or an
idea or a thing. That way there is no harmony, unity or love. So our next question
is: can you tear through the envelope so that there is no more envelope? Then   30
only would there be a possibility of total contact. How is one to tear through the
envelope? The «how» doesn’t mean a method, but rather an enquiry which might
open the door.
Questioner: Yes, no other contact can be called relationship at all, though we
say it is.
Krishnamurti: Do we tear the envelope bit by bit or cut through it immediately?
If we tear it bit by bit, which is what analysts sometimes claim to do, the job is
never done. It is not through time that you can break down this separation.
Questioner: Can I enter into the envelope of another? And isn’t his envelope
his very existence, his heartbeats and his blood, his feelings and his memories?
Krishnamurti: Are you not the very envelope itself?
Questioner: Yes.
Krishnamurti:  The  very  movement  to  tear  through  the  other  envelope,  or
extend  outside  of  your  own,  is  the  very  affirmation  and  the  action  of  your  own
envelope: you are the envelope. So you are the observer of the envelope, and
you  are  also  the  envelope  itself.  In  this  case  you  are  the  observer  and  the
observed: so is he, and that’s how we remain. And you try to reach him and he
tries to reach you. Is this possible? You are the island surrounded by seas, and
he is also the island surrounded by seas. You see that you are both the island
and the sea; there is no division between them; you are the entire earth with the
sea. Therefore there is no division as the island and the sea. The other person
doesn’t see this. He is the island surrounded by sea; he tries to reach you, or, if
you are foolish enough, you may try to reach him. Is that possible? How can there
be a contact between a man who is free and another who is bound? Since you
are the observer and the observed, you are the whole movement of the earth and
the sea. But the other, who doesn’t understand this, is still the island surrounded
by water. He tries to reach you and is everlastingly failing because he maintains   31
his insularity. It is only when he leaves it and is, like you, open to the movement
of the skies, the earth, and the sea, that there can be contact. The one who sees
that the barrier is himself can no longer have a barrier. Therefore he, in himself, is
not  separate  at  all.  The  other  has  not  seen  that  the  barrier  is  himself  and  so
maintains the belief in his separateness. How can this man reach the other? It is
not possible.
* * *
Questioner:  If  we  may  I  should  like  to  continue  from  where  we  left  off
yesterday. You were saying that the mind is the maker of the envelope around
itself,  and  that  this  envelope  is  the  mind.  I  really  don’t  understand  this.
Intellectually  I  can  agree,  but  the  nature  of  perception  eludes  me.  I  should  like
very much to understand it – not verbally but actually feel it – so that there is no
conflict in my life.
Krishnamurti: There is the space between what the mind calls the envelope
which  it  has  made,  and  itself.  There  is  the  space  between  the  ideal  and  the
action. In these different fragmentations of space between the observer and the
observed, or between different things it observes, is all conflict and struggle, and
all the problems of life. There is the separation between this envelope around me
and  the  envelope  around  another.  In  that  space  is  all  our  existence,  all  our
relationship and battle.
Questioner:  When  you  talk  of  the  division  between  the  observer  and  the
observed do you mean these fragmentations of space in our thinking and in our
daily actions?
Krishnamurti  What  is  this  space?  There  is  space  between  you  and  your
envelope,  the  space  between  him  and  his  envelope,  and  there  is  the  space
between the two envelopes. These spaces all appear to the observer. What are
these spaces made of? How do they come into being? What is the quality and the   32
nature  of  these  divided  spaces?  If  we  could  remove  these  fragmentary  spaces
what would happen?
Questioner: There would then be true contact on all levels of one’s being.
Krishnamurti: Is that all?
Questioner:  There  would  be  no  more  conflict,  for  all  conflict  is  relationship
across these spaces.
Krishnamurti: Is that all? When this space actually disappears – not verbally or
intellectually  –  but  actually  disappears  –  there  is  complete  harmony,  unity,
between  you  and  him,  between  you  and  another.  In  this  harmony  you  and  he
cease and there is only this vast space which can never be broken up. The small
structure of the mind comes to an end, for the mind is fragmentation.
Questioner: I really can’t understand this at all, though I have a deep feeling
within me that it is so. I can see that when there is love this actually takes place,
but I don’t know that love. It’s not with me all the time. It is not in my heart. I see it
only as if through a misty glass. I can’t honestly grasp it with all my being. Could
we, as you suggested, consider what these spaces are made of, how they come
into being?
Krishnamurti:  Let’s  be  quite  sure  that  we  both  understand  the  same  thing
when we use the word space. There is the physical space between people and
things,  and  there  is  the  psychological  space  between  people  and  things.  Then
there is also the space between the idea and the actual. So all this, the physical
and psychological, is space, more or less limited and defined. We are not now
talking of the physical space. We are talking of the psychological space between
people and the psychological space in the human being himself, in his thoughts
and activities. How does this space come about? Is it fictitious, illusory, or is it
real? Feel it, be aware of it, make sure you haven’t just got a mental image of it,
bear in mind that the description is never the thing. Be quite sure that you know   33
what we are talking about. Be quite aware that this limited space, this division,
exists in you: don’t move from there if you don’t understand. Now how does this
space come about?
Questioner: We see the physical space between things….
Krishnamurti: Don’t explain anything; just feel your way into it. We are asking
how this space has come into being. Don’t give an explanation or a cause, but
remain with this space and feel it. Then the cause and the description will have
very  little  meaning  and  no  value.  This  space  has  come  into  being  because  of
thought, which is the «me», the word – which is the whole division. Thought itself is
this  distance,  this  division.  Thought  is  always  breaking  itself  up  into  fragments
and  creating  division.  Thought  always  cuts  up  what  it  observes  into  fragments
within space – as you and me, yours and mine, me and my thoughts, and so on.
This space, which thought  has created between what  it observes, has become
real; and it is this space that divides. Then thought tries to build a bridge over this
division, thus playing a trick upon itself all the time, deceiving itself and hoping for
unity.
Questioner: That reminds me of the old statement about thought: it is a thief
disguising himself as a policeman in order to catch the thief.
Krishnamurti:  Don’t  bother  to  quote,  sir,  however  ancient  it  is.  We  are
considering what actually is going on. In seeing the truth of the nature of thought
and its activities, thought becomes quiet. Thought being quiet, not made quiet, is
there space?
Questioner: It is thought itself which now rushes in to answer this question.
Krishnamurti: Exactly! Therefore we do not even ask the question. The mind
now is completely harmonious, without fragmentation; the little space has ceased
and there is only space. When the mind is completely quiet there is the vastness
of  space  and  silence.  Questioner:  So  I  begin  to  see  that  my  relationship  to   34
another  is  between  thought  and  thought;  whatever  I  answer  is  the  noise  of
thought, and realizing it, I am silent.
Krishnamurti: This silence is the benediction.    35
Conflict
Questioner: I find myself in a great deal of conflict with everything about me;
and also everything within me is in conflict. People have spoken of divine order;
nature  is  harmonious;  it  seems  that  man  is  the  only  animal  who  violates  this
order, making so much misery for others and for himself. When I wake up in the
morning I see from my window little birds fighting with each other, but they soon
separate and fly away, whereas I carry this war with myself and with others inside
me all the time; there is no escaping it. I wonder if I can ever be at peace with
myself.  I  must  say  I  should  like  to  find  myself  in  complete  harmony  with
everything about me and with myself. As one sees from this window the quiet sea
and the light on the water, one has a feeling deep within oneself that there must
be a way of living without these endless quarrels with oneself and with the world.
Is there any harmony at all, anywhere? Or is there only everlasting disorder? If
there is harmony, at what level can it exist? Or does it only exist on the top of
some mountain which the burning valleys can never know?
Krishnamurti: Can one go from one to the other? Can one change that which
is to that which is not? Can disharmony be transformed into harmony?
Questioner: Is conflict necessary then? It may perhaps, after all, be the natural
order  of  things.  Krishnamurti:  If  one  accepted  that,  one  would  have  to  accept
everything society stands for: wars, ambitious competition, an aggressive way of
life – all the brutal violence of men, inside and outside of his so-called holy places.
Is  this  natural?  Will  this  bring  about  any  unity?  Wouldn’t  it  be  better  for  us  to
consider  these  two  facts  –  the  fact  of  conflict  with  all  its  complicated  struggles,
and the fact of the mind demanding order, harmony, peace, beauty, love?
Questioner:  I  know  nothing  about  harmony.  I  see  it  in  the  heavens,  in  the
seasons,  in  the  mathematical  order  of  the  universe.  But  that  doesn’t  give  me
order  in  my  own  heart  and  mind;  the  absolute  order  of  mathematics  is  not  my   36
order. I have no order, I am in deep disorder. I know there are different theories of
gradual  evolution  towards  the  so-called  perfection  of  political  utopias  and
religious  heavens,  but  this  leaves  me  where  I  actually  am.  The  world  may
perhaps  be  perfect  in  ten  thousand  years  from  now,  but  in  the  meantime  I’m
having hell.
Krishnamurti: We see the disorder in ourselves and in society. Both are very
complex. There are really no answers. One can examine all this very carefully,
analyse it closely, look for causes of disorder in oneself and in society, expose
them to the light and perhaps believe that one will free the mind from them. This
analytical process is what most people are doing, intelligently or unintelligently,
and it doesn’t get anybody very far. Man has analysed himself for thousands of
years,  and  produced  no  result  but  literature!  The  many  saints  have  paralysed
themselves  in  concepts  and  ideological  prisons;  they  too  are  in  conflict.  The
cause of our conflict is this everlasting duality of desire: the endless corridor of
the opposites creating envy greed ambition aggression, fear, and all the rest of it.
Now I wonder if there isn’t an altogether different approach to this problem? The
acceptance  of  this  struggle  and  all  our  efforts  to  get  out  of  it  have  become
traditional. The whole approach is traditional. In this traditional approach the mind
operates  but,  as  we  see,  the  traditional  approach  of  the  mind  creates  more
disorder. So the problem is not how to end disorder, but rather whether the mind
can look at it freed from tradition. And then perhaps there may be no problem at
all.
Questioner: I don’t follow you at all.
Krishnamurti: There is this fact of disorder. There is no doubt about it: it is an
actual fact. The traditional approach to this fact is to analyse it, to try to discover
the cause of it and overcome the cause, or else to invent its opposite and battle
towards that. This is the traditional approach with its disciplines, drills, controls,
suppressions, sublimations. Man has done this for thousands upon thousands of   37
years; it has led nowhere. Can we abandon this approach completely and look at
the problem entirely differently – that is, not try to go beyond it, or to resolve it, or
to overcome it, or to escape from it? Can the mind do this.
Questioner: Perhaps….
Krishnamurti: Don’t answer so quickly! This is a tremendous thing I am asking
you. From the beginning of time man has tried to deal with all his problems, either
by going beyond them, resolving them, overcoming them or escaping from them.
Please  do  not  think  you  can  push all that aside so lightly,  simply  with  a  verbal
agreement.  It  makes  up  the  very  structure  of  everybody’s  mind.  Can  the  mind
now,  understanding  all  this  non-verbally,  actually  free  itself  from  the  tradition?
This traditional way of dealing with the conflict never solves it, but only adds more
conflict:  being  violent,  which  is  conflict,  I  add  the  additional  conflict  of  trying  to
become non-violent. All social morality and all religious prescriptions are that. Are
we together?
Questioner: Yes.
Krishnamurti:  Then  do  you  see  how  far  we  have  come?  Having,  through
understanding,  repudiated  all  these  traditional  approaches,  what  is  the  actual
state of the mind now? Because the state of the mind is far more important than
the conflict itself.
Questioner: I really don’t know.
Krishnamurti: Why don’t you know? Why aren’t you aware, if you have really
abandoned  the  traditional  approach,  of  the  state  of  your  mind?  Why  don’t  you
know? Either you have abandoned it or you haven’t. If you have, you would know
it. If you have, then your mind is made innocent to look at the problem. You can
look  at  the  problem  as  though  for  the  first  time.  And  if  you  do  this,  is  there  a
problem of conflict at all? Because you look at the problem with the old eyes it is
not only strengthened but also moves in its well-worn path. So what is important   38
is how you look at the problem – whether you look at it with new eyes or old eyes.
The new eyes are freed from the conditioned responses to the problem. Even to
name  the  problem  through  recognition  is  to  approach  it  in  the  traditional  way.
Justification, condemnation, or translation of the problem in terms of pleasure and
pain,  are  all  involved  in  this  habitual  traditional  approach  of  doing  something
about it. This is generally called positive action with regard to the problem. But
when  the  mind  brushes  all  that  aside  as  being  ineffectual,  unintelligent,  then  it
has become highly sensitive, highly ordered, and free.
Questioner:  You’re  asking  too  much  of  me,  I  can’t  do  it.  I’m  incapable  of  it.
You’re asking me to be superhuman !
Krishnamurti:  You’re  making  difficulties  for  yourself,  blocking  yourself,  when
you  say  you  must  become  superhuman.  It’s  nothing  of  the  kind.  You  keep  on
looking at things with eyes that want to interfere, that want to do something about
what they see. Stop doing anything about it, for whatever you do belongs to the
traditional approach. That’s all. Be simple. This is the miracle of perception – to
perceive with a heart and mind that are completely cleansed of the past. Negation
is the most positive action.    39
The Religious Life
Questioner:  I  should  like  to  know  what  a  religious  life  is.  I  have  stayed  in
monasteries  for  several  months,  meditated,  led  a  disciplined  life,  read  a  great
deal.  I’ve  been  to  various  temples,  churches  and  mosques.  I’ve  tried  to  lead  a
very simple, harmless life, trying not to hurt people or animals. This surely isn’t all
there  is  to  a  religious  life?  I’ve  practised yoga, studied Zen and followed many
religious  disciples.  I  am,  and  have  always  been,  a  vegetarian.  As  you  see,  I’m
getting  old  now,  and  I’ve  lived  with  some  of  the  saints  in  different  parts  of  the
world, but somehow I feel that all this is only the outskirts of the real thing. So I
wonder if we can discuss today what to you is a religious life.
Krishnamurti: A sannyasi came to see me one day and he was sad. He said
he  had  taken  a  vow  of  celibacy  and  left  the  world  to  become  a  mendicant,
wandering from village to village, but his sexual desires were so imperious that
one morning he decided to have his sexual organs surgically removed. For many
months he was in constant pain, but somehow it healed, and after many years he
fully realized what he had done. And so he came to see me and in that little room
he asked me what he could do now, having mutilated himself, to become normal
again – not physically, of course, but inwardly. He had done this thing because
sexual  activity  was  considered  contrary  to  a  religious  life.  It  was  considered
mundane, belonging to the world of pleasure, which a real sannyasi must at all
costs  avoid.  He  said,  «Here  I  am,  feeling  completely  lost,  deprived  of  my
manhood. I struggled so hard against my sexual desires, trying to control them,
and  ultimately  this  terrible  thing  took  place.  Now  what  am  I  to  do?  I  know  that
what I did was wrong. My energy has almost gone and I seem to be ending my
life in darkness.» He held my hand, and we sat silently for some time.
Is this a religious life? Is the denial of pleasure or beauty a way that leads to a
religious life? To deny the beauty of the skies and the hills and the human form,
will that lead to a religious life? But that is what most saints and monks believe.   40
They torture themselves in that belief. Can a tortured, twisted, distorted mind ever
find what is a religious life? Yet all religions assert that the only way to reality or to
God, or whatever they call it, is through this torture, this distortion. They all make
the distinction between what they call a spiritual or religious life and what they call
a worldly life.
A man who lives only for pleasure, with occasional flashes of sorrow and piety,
whose whole life is given to amusement and entertainment is, of course, a worldly
man,  although  he  may  also  be  very  clever,  very  scholarly,  and  fill  his  life  with
other people’s thoughts or his own. And a man who has a gift and exercises it for
the  benefit  of  society,  or  for  his  own  pleasure,  and  who  achieves  fame  in  the
fulfilment of that gift, such a man, surely, is also worldly. But it is also worldly to
go  to  church,  or  to  the  temple  or  the  mosque,  to  pray,  steeped  in  prejudice,
bigotry,  utterly  unaware  of  the  brutality  that  this  implies.  It  is  worldly  to  be
patriotic, nationalistic, idealistic. The man who shuts himself up in a monastery –
getting up at regular hours with a book in hand, reading and praying – is surely
also worldly. And the man who goes out to do good works, whether he is a social
reformer or a missionary, is just like the politician in his concern with the world.
The  division  between  the  religious  life  and  the  world  is  the  very  essence  of
worldliness. The minds of all these people – monks, saints,  reformers – are not
very different from the minds of those who are only concerned with the things that
give pleasure.
So it is important not to divide life into the worldly and the non-worldly. It is
important  not  to  make  the  distinction  between  the  worldly  and  the  so-called
religious.  Without  the  world  of  matter,  the  material  world,  we  wouldn’t  be  here.
Without the beauty of the sky and the single tree on the hill, without that woman
going  by  and  that  man  riding  the  horse,  life  wouldn’t  be  possible.  We  are
concerned  with  the  totality  of  life  not  a  particular  part  of  it  which  is  considered
religious  in  opposition  to  the  rest.  So  one  begins  to  see  that  a  religious  life  is
concerned with the whole and not with the particular.    41
Questioner: I understand what you say. We have to deal with the totality of
living; we can’t separate the world from the so-called spirit. So the question is: in
what way can we act religiously with regard to all the things in life?
Krishnamurti: What do we mean by acting religiously? Don’t you mean a way
of life in which there is no division – division between the worldly and the religious,
between what should be and what shouldn’t be, between me and you, between
like and dislike? This division is conflict. A life of conflict is not a religious life. A
religious  life  is  only  possible  when  we  deeply  understand  conflict.  This
understanding  is  intelligence.  It  is  this  intelligence  that  acts  rightly.  What  most
people call intelligence is merely deftness in some technical activity, or cunning in
business or political chicanery. Questioner: So my question really means how is
one to live without conflict, and bring about that feeling of true sanctity which is
not simply emotional piety conditioned by some religious cage – no matter how
old and venerated that cage is?
Krishnamurti: A man living without too much conflict in a village, or dreaming
in a cave on a «sacred» hillside, is surely not living the religious life that we are
talking  about.  To  end  conflict  is  one  of  the  most  complex  things.  It  needs  self-
observation and the sensitivity of awareness of the outer as well as of the inner.
Conflict  can  only  end  where  there  is  the  understanding  of  the  contradiction  in
oneself. This contradiction will always exist if there is no freedom from the known,
which is the past. Freedom from the past means living in the now which is not of
time, in which there is only this movement of freedom, untouched by the past, by
the known.
Questioner: What do you mean by freedom from the past?
Krishnamurti: The past is all our accumulated memories. These memories act
in  the  present  and  create  our  hopes  and  fears  of  the  future.  These  hopes  and
fears are the psychological future: without them there is no future. So the present
is  the  action  of  the  past,  and  the  mind  is  this  movement  of  the  past.  The  past   42
acting in the present creates what we call the future. This response of the past is
involuntary, it is not summoned or invited, it is upon us before we know it.
Questioner: In that case, how are we going to be free of it?
Krishnamurti: To be aware of this movement without choice – because choice
again  is  more  of  this  same  movement  of  the  past  –  is  to  observe  the  past  in
action: such observation is not a movement of the past. To observe without the
image  of  thought  is  action  in  which  the  past  has  ended.  To  observe  the  tree
without  thought  is  action  without  the  past.  To  observe  the  action  of  the  past  is
again action without the past. The state of seeing is more important than what is
seen. To be aware of the past in that choiceless observation is not only to act
differently,  but  to  be  different.  In  this  awareness  memory  acts  without
impediment,  and  efficiently.  To  be  religious  is  to  be  so  choicelessly  aware  that
there is freedom from the known even whilst the known acts wherever it has to.
Questioner: But the known, the past, still sometimes acts even when it should
not; it still acts to cause conflict.
Krishnamurti: To be aware of this is also to be in a state of inaction with regard
to the past which is acting. So freedom from the known is truly the religious life.
That  doesn’t  mean  to  wipe  out  the  known  but  to  enter  a  different  dimension
altogether from which the known is observed. This action of seeing choicelessly
is the action of love. The religious life is this action, and all living is this action,
and the religious mind is this action. So religion, and the mind, and life, and love,
are one.    43
Seeing The Whole
Questioner: When I listen to you I seem to understand what you are talking
about, not only verbally, but at a much deeper level. I am part of it; I fully grasp
with my whole being the truth of what you say. My hearing is sharpened, and the
very seeing of the flowers, the trees, and those mountains with snow, makes me
feel I am part of them. In this awareness I have no conflict, no contradiction. it is
as though I could do anything, and that whatever I did would be true, would not
bring either conflict or pain. But unfortunately that state doesn’t last. Perhaps it
lasts  for  an  hour  or  two  while  I’m  listening  to  you.  When  I  leave  the  talks  it  all
seems to evaporate and I’m back where I was. I try to be aware of myself; I keep
remembering the state I was in when I listened to your talks, keep trying to reach
it, hold on to it, and this becomes a struggle. You have said, «Be aware of your
conflict,  listen  to  your  conflict,  see  the  causes  of  your  conflict,  your  conflict  is
yourself». I am aware of my conflict, my pain, my sorrow, my confusion, but this
awareness in no way resolves these things. On the contrary, being aware of them
seems to give them vitality and duration. You talk of choiceless awareness, which
again breeds another battle in me, for I am full of choice, decisions and opinions.
I have applied this awareness to a particular habit I have, and it has not gone.
When  you  are  aware  of  some  conflict  or  strain,  this  same  awareness  keeps
looking to see if it has already gone. And this seems to remind you of it, and you
never shake it off. Krishnamurti: Awareness is not a commitment to something.
Awareness  is  an  observation,  both  outer  and  inner,  in  which  direction  has
stopped.  You  are  aware,  but  the  thing  of  which  you  are  aware  is  not  being
encouraged or nourished. Awareness is not concentration on something. It is not
an action of the will choosing what it will be aware of, and analysing it to bring
about  a  certain  result.  When  awareness  is  deliberately  focused  on  a  particular
object, as a conflict, that is the action of will which is concentration. When you
concentrate – that is, put all your energy and thought within your chosen frontiers,
whether reading a book or watching your anger – then, in this exclusion, the thing   44
you  are  concentrating  upon  is  strengthened,  nourished.  So  here  we  have  to
understand the nature of awareness: We have to understand what we are talking
about  when  we  use  the  word  awareness.  Now,  you  can  either  be  aware  of  a
particular thing, or be aware of that particular as part of the total. The particular by
itself has very little meaning, but when you see the total, then that particular has a
relationship to the whole. Only in this relationship does the particular have its right
meaning;  it  doesn’t  become  all-important,  it  is  not  exaggerated.  So  the  real
question is: does one see the total process of life or is one concentrated on the
particular, thus missing the whole field of life? To be aware of the whole field is to
see also the particular, but, at the same time, to understand its relationship to the
whole. If you are angry and are concerned with ending that anger, then you focus
your  attention  on  the  anger  and  the  whole  escapes  you  and  the  anger  is
strengthened. But anger is interrelated to the whole. So when we separate the
particular from the whole, the particular breeds its own problems.
Questioner: What do you mean by seeing the whole? What is this totality you
talk about, this extensive awareness in which the particular is a detail? Is it some
mysterious,  mystical  experience?  If  so  then  we  are  lost  completely.  Or  is  this
perhaps what you are saying, that there is a whole field of existence, of which
anger  is  a  part,  and  that  to  be  concerned  with  the  part  is  to  block  out  the
extensive perception? But what is this extensive perception? I can only see the
whole through all its particulars. And what whole do you mean? Are you talking
about the whole of the mind, or the whole of existence, or the whole of myself, or
the whole of life? What whole do you mean, and how can I see it?
Krishnamurti: The whole field of life: the mind, love, everything which is in life.
Questioner: How can I possibly see all that! I can understand that everything I
see is partial, and that all my awareness is awareness of the particular, and that
this strengthens the particular.    45
Krishnamurti: Let’s put it this way: do you perceive with your mind and your
heart separately, or do you see, hear, feel, think, all together, not fragmentarily?
Questioner: I don’t know what you mean.
Krishnamurti: You hear a word, your mind tells you it is an insult, your feelings
tell you you don’t like it, your mind again intervenes to control or justify, and so
on. Once again feeling takes over where the mind has concluded. In this way an
event unleashes a chain-reaction of different parts of your being. What you hear
had been broken up, made fragmentary, and if you concentrate on one of those
fragments,  you  miss  the  total  process  of  that  hearing.  Hearing  can  be
fragmentary or it can be done with all your being, totally. So, by perception of the
whole we mean perception with your eyes, your ears, your heart, your mind; not
perception  with  each  separately.  It  is  giving  your  complete  attention.  In  that
attention,  the  particular,  such  as  anger,  has  a  different  meaning  since  it  is
interrelated to many other issues.
Questioner:  So  when  you  say  seeing  the  whole,  you  mean  seeing  with  the
whole of your being; it is a question of quality not quantity. Is that correct?
Krishnamurti:  Yes,  precisely.  But  do  you  see  totally  in  this  way  or  are  you
merely verbalizing it? Do you see anger with your heart, mind, ears and eyes? Or
do  you  see  anger  as  something  unrelated  to  the  rest  of  you,  and  therefore  of
great importance? When you give importance to the whole you do not forget the
particular.
Questioner: But what happens to the particular, to anger?
Krishnamurti:  You  are  aware  of  anger  with  your  whole  being.  If  you  are,  is
there  anger?  Inattention  is  anger,  not  attention.  So  attention  with  your  entire
being is seeing the whole, and inattention is seeing the particular. To be aware of
the whole, and of the particular, and of the relationship between the two, is the   46
whole problem. We divide the particular from the rest and try to solve it. And so
conflict increases and there is no way out.
Questioner: When you speak then of seeing only the particular, as anger, do
you mean looking at it with only one part of your being?
Krishnamurti: When you look at the particular with a fragment of your being,
the division between that particular and the fragment which is looking at it grows,
and so conflict increases. When there is no division there is no conflict.
Questioner: Are you saying that there is no division between this anger and
me when I look at it with all my being?
Krishnamurti: Exactly. Is this what you actually are doing, or are you merely
following  the  words?  What  is  actually  taking  place?  This  is  far  more  important
than your question.
Questioner: You ask me what is taking place. I am simply trying to understand
you.
Krishnamurti: Are you trying to understand me or are you seeing the truth of
what we are talking about, which is independent of me? If you actually see the
truth  of  what  we  are  talking  about,  then  you  are  your  own  guru  and  your  own
disciple,  which  is  to  understand  yourself.  This  understanding  cannot  be  learnt
from another.    47
Morality
Questioner: What is it to be virtuous? What makes one act righteously? What
is the foundation of morality? How do I know virtue without struggling for it? Is it
an end in itself?
Krishnamurti:  Can  we  discard  the  morality  of  society  which  is  really  quite
immoral? Its morality has become respectable, approved by religious sanctions;
and  the  morality  of  counter-revolution  also  soon  becomes  as  immoral  and
respectable as that of well-established society. This morality is to go to war, to
kill, to be aggressive, to seek power, to give hate its place; it is all the cruelty and
injustice of established authority. This is not moral. But can one actually say that
it is not moral? Because we are part of this society, whether we are conscious of
it or not. Social morality is our morality, and can we easily put it aside? The ease
with which we put it aside is the sign of our morality – not the effort it costs us to
put it aside, not the reward, not the punishment for this effort but the consummate
ease with which we discard it. If our behaviour is directed by the environment in
which  we  live,  controlled  and  shaped  by  it,  then  it  is  mechanical  and  heavily
conditioned.  And  if  our  behaviour  is  the  outcome  of  our  own  conditioned
response, is it moral? If your action is based on fear and reward, is it righteous? If
you behave rightly according  to some ideological concept  or  principle,  can  that
action  be  regarded  as  virtuous?  So  we  must  begin  to  find  out  how  deeply  we
have  discarded  the  morality  of  authority,  imitation,  conformity  and  obed-  ience.
Isn’t  fear  the  basis  of  our  morality?  Unless  these  questions  are  fundamentally
answered for oneself one cannot know what it is to be truly virtuous. As we said,
with what ease you come out of this hypocrisy is of the greatest importance. If
you  merely  disregard  it,  it  doesn’t  indicate  that  you  are  moral:  you  might  be
merely  psychopathic.  If  you  live  a  life  of  routine  and  contentment  that  is  not
morality  either.  The  morality  of  the  saint  who  conforms  and  follows  the  well-
established tradition of sainthood is obviously not morality. So one can see that   48
any  conformity  to  a  pattern,  whether  or  not  it  is  sanctioned  by  tradition,  is  not
righteous behaviour. Only out of freedom can come virtue.
Can one free oneself with great skill from this network of what is considered
moral? Skill in action comes with freedom, and so virtue.
Questioner:  Can  I  free  myself  from  social  morality  without  fear,  with  the
intelligence  which  is  skill?  I’m  frightened  at  the  very  idea  of  being  considered
immoral  by  society.  The  young  can  do  it,  but  I  am  middle-aged,  and  I  have  a
family, and in my very blood there is respectability, the essence of the bourgeois.
It is there, and I am frightened.
Krishnamurti: Either you accept social morality or reject it. You can’t have it
both ways. You can’t have one foot in hell and the other in heaven.
Questioner: So what am I to do? I see now what morality is, and yet I’m being
immoral all the time. The older I grow the more hypocritical I become. I despise
the  social  morality,  and  yet  I  want  its  benefits,  its  comfort,  its  security,
psychological  and  material,  and  the  elegance  of  a  good  address.  That  is  my
actual, deplorable state. What am I to do?
Krishnamurti: You can’t do anything but carry on as you are. It is much better
to stop trying to be moral, stop trying to be concerned with virtue.
Questioner: But I can’t, I want the other! I see the beauty and the vigour of it,
the cleanliness of it. What I am holding on to is dirty and ugly, but I can’t let it go.
Krishnamurti: Then there is no issue. You can’t have virtue and respectability.
Virtue  is  freedom.  Freedom  is  not  an  idea,  a  concept.  When  there  is  freedom
there is attention, and only in this attention can goodness flower.    49
Suicide
Questioner: I would like to talk about suicide – not because of any crisis in my
own life, nor because I have any reason for suicide, but because the subject is
bound to come up when one sees the tragedy of old age – the tragedy of physical
disintegration,  the  breaking  up  of  the  body,  and  the  loss  of  real  life  in  people
when  this  happens.  Is  there  any  reason  to  prolong  life  when  one  reaches  that
state,  to  go  on  with  the  remnants  of  it?  Would  it  not  perhaps  be  an  act  of
intelligence to recognise when the usefulness of life is over?
Krishnamurti:  If  it  was  intelligence  that  prompted  you  to  end  life  that  very
intelligence would have forbidden your body to deteriorate prematurely.
Questioner: But is there not a moment when even the intelligence of the mind
cannot prevent this deterioration? Eventually the body wears out – how does one
recognise that time when it comes?
Krishnamurti: We ought to go into this rather deeply. There are several things
involved  in  it,  aren’t  there?  The  deterioration  of  the  body,  of  the  organism,  the
senility of the mind, and the utter incapacity that breeds resistance. We abuse the
body  endlessly  through  custom,  taste  and  negligence.  Taste  dictates  –  and  the
pleasure of it controls and shapes the activity of the organism. When this takes
place, the natural intelligence of the body is destroyed. In magazines one sees an
extraordinary variety of food, beautifully coloured, appealing to your pleasures of
taste, not to what is beneficial for the body. So from youth onwards you gradually
deaden  and  destroy  the  instrument  which  should  be  highly  sensitive,  active,
functioning like a perfect machine. That is part of it, and then there is the mind
which for twenty, thirty or eighty years has lived in constant battle and resistance.
It knows only contradiction and conflict – emotional or intellectual. Every form of
conflict is not only a distortion but brings with it destruction. These then are some   50
of the basic inner and outer factors of deterioration – the perpetually sell-centred
activity with its isolating processes.
Naturally there is the physical wearing out of the body as well as the unnatural
wearing out. The body loses its capacities and memories, and senility gradually
takes over. You ask, should not such a person commit suicide, take a pill that will
put him out? Who is asking the question – the senile, or those who are watching
the senility with sorrow, with despair and fear of their own deterioration?
Questioner: Well, obviously the question from my point of view is motivated by
distress  at  seeing  senility  in  other  people,  for  it  has  not  presumably  set  in  in
myself yet. But isn’t there also some action of intelligence which sees ahead into
a possible breakdown of the body and asks the question whether it is not simply a
waste to go on once the organism is no longer capable of intelligent life?
Krishnamurti:  Will  the  doctors  allow  euthanasia,  will  the  doctors  or  the
government  permit  the  patient  to  commit  suicide?  Questioner:  That  surely  is  a
legal, sociological or in some people’s minds, a moral question, but that isn’t what
we are discussing here, is it? Aren’t we asking whether the individual has the right
to end his own life, not whether society will permit it?
Krishnamurti: You are asking whether one has the right to take one’s own life –
not only when one is senile or has become aware of the approach of senility, but
whether it is morally right to commit suicide at any time?
Questioner:  I  hesitate  to  bring  morality  into  it  because  that  is  a  conditioned
thing.  I  was  attempting  to  ask  the  question  on  a  straight  issue  of  intelligence.
Fortunately  at  the  moment  the  issue  does  not  confront  me  personally  so  I  am
able  to  look  at  it,  I  think,  fairly  dispassionately;  but  as  an  exercise  in  human
intelligence, what is the answer?
Krishnamurti: You are saying, can an intelligent man commit suicide? Is that
it?    51
Questioner: Or, can suicide be the action of an intelligent man, given certain
circumstances?
Krishnamurti:  It  is  the  same  thing.  Suicide  comes,  after  all,  either  from
complete despair, brought about through deep frustration, or from insoluble fear,
or from the awareness of the meaninglessness of a certain way of living.
Questioner: May I interrupt to say that this is generally so, but I am trying to
ask the question outside any motivation. When one arrives at the point of despair
then there is a tremendous motive involved and it is hard to separate the emotion
from  the  intelligence;  I  am  trying  to  stay  within  the  realm  of  pure  intelligence,
without emotion.
Krishnamurti:  You  are  saying,  does  intelligence  allow  any  form  of  suicide?
Obviously not.
Questioner: Why not?
Krishnamurti:  Really  one  has  to  understand  this  word  intelligence.  Is  it
intelligence to allow the body to deteriorate through custom, through indulgence,
through the cultivation of taste, pleasure and so on? Is that intelligence, is that the
action of intelligence?
Questioner: No; but if one has arrived at a point in life where there may have
been a certain amount of unintelligent use of the body which has not yet had any
effect on it, one can’t go back and re-live one’s life.
Krishnamurti: Therefore, become aware of the destructive nature of the way
we  live  and  put  an  end  to  it  immediately,  not  at  some  future  date.  The  act  of
immediacy  in  front  of  danger  is  an  act  of  sanity,  of  intelligence;  and  the
postponement as well as the pursuit of pleasure indicate lack of intelligence.
Questioner: I see that.    52
Krishnamurti: But don’t you also see something quite factual and true, that this
isolating  process  of  thought  with  its  self-centred  activity  is  a  form  of  suicide?
Isolation  is  suicide,  whether  it  is  the  isolation  of  a  nation  or  of  a  religious
organization, of a family or of a community. You are already caught in that trap
which will ultimately lead to suicide.
Questioner: Do you mean the individual or the group?
Krishnamurti: The individual as well as the group. You are already caught in
the pattern.
Questioner:  Which  will  ultimately  lead  to  suicide?  But  everybody  doesn’t
commit suicide!
Krishnamurti: Quite right, but the element of the desire to escape is already
there – to escape from facing facts, from facing «what is», and this escape is a
form of suicide.
Questioner:  This,  I  think,  is  the  crux  of  what  I  am  trying  to  ask,  because  it
would seem from what you have just said that suicide is an escape. Obviously it
is, ninety-nine times out of a hundred, but can there not also be – and this is my
question – can there not also be a suicide that is not an escape, that is not an
avoidance  of  what  you  call  the  «what  is»,  but  is  on  the  contrary  a  response  of
intelligence to «what is»? One can say that many kinds of neurosis are forms of
suicide;  what  I  am  trying  to  ask  is  whether  suicide  can  ever  be  other  than  a
neurotic  response?  Cannot  it  also  be  the  response  of  facing  a  fact,  of  human
intelligence acting on an untenable human condition?
Krishnamurti: When you use the words «intelligence» and «untenable condition»
it is a contradiction. The two are in contradiction.    53
Questioner: You have said that if one is facing a precipice, or a deadly snake
about  to  strike,  intelligence  dictates  a  certain  action,  which  is  an  action  of
avoidance.
Krishnamurti: Is it an action of avoidance or an act of intelligence?
Questioner: Can they not be the same sometimes? If a car comes at me on
the highway and I avoid it….
Krishnamurti: That is an act of intelligence.
Questioner: But it is also an act of avoiding the car.
Krishnamurti: But that is the act of intelligence.
Questioner: Exactly. Therefore, is there not a corollary in
living when the thing confronting you is insoluble and deadly?
Krishnamurti: Then you leave it, as you leave the precipice: step away from it.
Questioner: In that case the stepping away implies suicide.
Krishnamurti: No, the suicide is an act of unintelligence.
Questioner: Why? Krishnamurti: I am showing it to you.
Questioner: Are you saying that an act of suicide is categorically, inevitably, a
neurotic response to life?
Krishnamurti:  Obviously.  It  is  an  act  of  unintelligence;  it  is  an  act  which
obviously means you have come to a point where you are so completely isolated
that you don’t see any way out.    54
Questioner: But I am trying for the purpose of this discussion to assume that
there is no way out of the predicament, that one is not acting out of the motive of
avoidance of suffering, that it is not stepping aside from reality.
Krishnamurti:  Is  there  in  life  an  occurrence,  a  relationship,  an  incident  from
which you cannot step aside?
Questioner: Of course, there are many.
Krishnamurti: Many? But why do you insist that suicide is the only way out?
Questioner: If one has a deadly disease there is no escaping it.
Krishnamurti:  Be  careful  now,  be  careful  of  what  we  are  saying.  If  I  have
cancer, and it is going to finish me, and the doctor says, «Well, my friend, you
have got to live with it», what am I to do – commit suicide?
Questioner:  Possibly.  Krishnamurti:  We  are  discussing  this  theoretically.  If  I
personally had terminal cancer, then I would decide, I would consider what to do.
It  wouldn’t  be  a  theoretical  question.  I  would  then  find  out  what  was  the  most
intelligent thing to do.
Questioner: Are you saying that I may not ask this question theoretically, but
only if I am actually in that position?
Krishnamurti: That is right. Then you will act according to your conditioning,
according to your intelligence, according to your way of life. If your way of life has
been  avoidance  and  escape,  a  neurotic  business,  then  obviously  you  take  a
neurotic attitude and action. But if you have led a life of real intelligence, in the
total  meaning  of  that  word,  then  that  intelligence  will  operate  when  there  is
terminal cancer. Then I may put up with it; then I may say that I will live the few
more months or years left to me.
Questioner: Or you may not say that.    55
Krishnamurti:  Or  I  may  not  say  that;  but  don’t  let  us  say  that  suicide  is
inevitable.
Questioner: I never said that; I asked if under certain stringent circumstances,
such as terminal cancer, suicide could possibly be an intelligent response to the
situation.
Krishnamurti:  You  see,  there  is  something  extraordinary  in  this;  life  has
brought you great happiness, life has brought you extraordinary beauty, life has
brought  you  great  benefits,  and  you  went  with  it  all.  Equally,  when  you  were
unhappy you went with it, which is part of intelligence: now you come to terminal
cancer and you say, «I cannot bear it any longer, I must put an end to life.» Why
don’t you move with it, live with it, find out about it as you go along?
Questioner: In other words, there is no reply to this question until you are in
the situation.
Krishnamurti: Obviously. But you see that is why it is very important, I feel, that
we  should  face  the  fact,  face  «what  is»,  from  moment  to  moment,  not  theorize
about it. If someone is ill, desperately ill with cancer, or has become completely
senile – what is the most intelligent thing to do, not for a mere observer like me,
but for the doctor, the wife or the daughter?
Questioner: One cannot really answer that, because it is a problem for another
human being.
Krishnamurti: That’s just it, that is just what I am saying.
Questioner: And one hasn’t the right, it would seem to me, to decide about the
life or death of another human being.
Krishnamurti: But we do. All the tyrannies do. And tradition does; tradition says
you must live this way, you mustn’t live that way.    56
Questioner: And it is also becoming a tradition to keep people alive beyond
the point where nature would have given in. Through medical skill people are kept
alive  –  well,  it’s  hard  to  define  what  is  a  natural  condition  –  but  it  seems  most
unnatural to survive for as long as many people do today. But that is a different
question.
Krishnamurti:  Yes,  an  entirely  different  question.  The  real  question  is,  will
intelligence allow suicide – even though doctors have said one has an incurable
disease? One cannot possibly tell another what to do in this matter. It is for the
human being who has the incurable disease to act according to his intelligence. If
he is at all intelligent – which means that he has lived a life in which there has
been love, care, sensitivity and gentleness – then such a person, at the moment
when  it  arises,  will  act  according  to  the  intelligence  which  has  operated  in  the
past.
Questioner: Then this whole conversation is in a way meaningless because
that is what would have happened anyway – because people would inevitably act
according to what has happened in the past. They will either blow their brains out
or sit and suffer until they die, or something in between.
Krishnamurti:  No,  it  hasn’t  been  meaningless.  Listen  to  this;  we  have
discovered  several  things  –  primarily  that  to  live  with  intelligence  is  the  most
important thing. To live a way of life which is supremely intelligent demands an
extraordinary alertness of mind and body, and we’ve destroyed the alertness of
the body by unnatural ways of living. We are also destroying the mind, the brain,
through  conflict,  through  constant  repression,  constant  explosion  and  violence.
So  if  one  lives  a  way  of  life  that  is  a  negation  of  all  this,  then  that  life,  that
intelligence,  when  confronted  with  incurable  disease  will  act  in  the  moment
rightly. Questioner: I see that I have asked you a question about suicide and have
been given an answer on how to live rightly.    57
Krishnamurti: It is the only way. A man jumping over the bridge doesn’t ask,
«Shall I commit suicide?» He is doing it; it is finished. Whereas we, sitting in a safe
house  or  in  a  laboratory,  asking  whether  a  man  should  or  should  not  commit
suicide, has no meaning.
Questioner: So it is a question one cannot ask.
Krishnamurti: No, it must be asked – whether one should or should not commit
suicide.  It  must  be  asked,  but  find  out  what  is  behind  the  question,  what  is
prompting the questioner, what is making him want to commit suicide. We know a
man who has never committed suicide, although he is always threatening to do
so,  because  he  is  completely  lazy.  He  doesn’t  want  to  do  a  thing,  he  wants
everybody to support him; such a man has already committed suicide. The man
who  is  obstinate,  suspicious,  greedy  for  power  and  position,  has  also  inwardly
committed suicide. He lives behind a wall of images. So any man who lives with
an  image  of  himself,  of  his  environment,  his  ecology,  his  political  power  or
religion, is already finished.
Questioner: It would seem to me that what you are saying is that any life that
is not lived directly….
Krishnamurti: Directly and intelligently.
Questioner:  Outside  the  shadows  of  images,  of  conditioning,  of  thinking….
Unless one lives that way, one’s life is a kind of low-key existence.
Krishnamurti: Of course it is. Look at most people; they are living behind a wall
–  the  wall  of  their  knowledge,  their  desires,  their  ambitious  drives.  They  are
already  in  a  state  of  neurosis  and  that  neurosis  gives  them  a  certain  security,
which is the security of suicide.
Questioner: The security of suicide!    58
Krishnamurti:  Like  a  singer,  for  example;  to  him  the  voice  is  the  greatest
security, and when that fails he is ready to commit suicide. What is really exciting
and  true  is  to  find  out  for  oneself  a  way  of  life  that  is  highly  sensitive  and
supremely intelligent; and this is not possible if there is fear, anxiety, greed, envy,
the building of images or the living in religious isolation. That isolation is what all
religions  have  supplied:  the  believer  is  definitely  on  the  threshold  of  suicide.
Because he has put all his faith in a belief, when that belief is questioned he is
afraid  and  is  ready  to  take  on  another  belief,  another  image,  commit  another
religious  suicide.  So,  can  a  man  live  without  any  image,  without  any  pattern,
without any time-sense? I don’t mean living in such a way as not to care what
happens  tomorrow  or  what  happened  yesterday,  That  is  not  living.  There  are
those who say, «Take the present and make the best of it; that is also an act of
despair. Really one should not ask whether or not it is right to commit suicide;
one should ask what brings about the state of mind that has no hope – though
hope is the wrong word because hope implies a future; one should ask rather,
how does a life come about that is without time? To live without time is really to
have this sense of great love, because love is not of time, love is not something
that was or will be; to explore this and live with it is the real question. Whether to
commit  suicide  or  not  is  the  question  of  a  man  who  is  already  partially  dead.
Hope is the most dreadful thing. Wasn’t it Dante who said, «Leave hope behind
when you enter the Inferno»? To him, paradise was hope, that’s horrible.
Questioner: Yes, hope is its own inferno.    59
Discipline
Questioner:  I’ve  been  brought  up  in  a  very  restricted  environment,  in  strict
discipline,  not  only  as  to  outward  behaviour  but  also  I  was  taught  to  discipline
myself, to control my thoughts and appetites and to do certain things regularly.
The result is that I find myself so hedged about that I can’t do anything easily,
freely  and  happily.  When  I  see  what  is  going  on  around  me  in  this  permissive
society  –  the  sloppiness,  the  dirt,  the  casual  behaviour,  the  indifference  to
manners – I’m shocked, although at the same time I secretly desire to do some of
these things myself. Discipline imposed certain values though; it brought with it
frustrations and distortions, but surely some discipline is necessary – for instance,
to sit decently, to eat properly, to speak with care? Without discipline one can’t
perceive  the  beauties  of  music  or  literature  or  painting.  Good  manners  and
training reveal a great many nuances in daily social commerce. When I observe
the modern generation they have the beauty of youth, but without discipline it will
soon fade away and they will become rather tiresome old men and women. There
is a tragedy in all this. You see a young man, supple, eager, beautiful with clear
eyes and a lovely smile, and a few years later you see him again and he is almost
unrecognizable – sloppy, callous, indifferent, full of platitudes, highly respectable,
hard,  ugly,  closed  and  sentimental.  Surely  discipline  would  have  saved  him.  I,
who  have  been  disciplined  almost  out  of  existence,  often  wonder  where  the
middle  way  is  between  this  permissive  society  and  the  culture  in  which  I  was
brought  up.  Isn’t  there  a  way  to  live  without  the  distortion  and  suppression  of
discipline, yet to be highly disciplined within oneself?
Krishnamurti: Discipline means to learn, not to conform, not to suppress, not to
imitate  the  pattern  of  what  accepted  authority  considers  noble.  This  is  a  very
complex question for in it are involved several things: to learn, to be austere, to
be free, to be sensitive, and to see the beauty of love.    60
In  learning  there  is  no  accumulation.  Knowledge  is  different  from  learning.
Knowledge  is  accumulation,  conclusions,  formulas,  but  learning  is  a  constant
movement, a movement without a centre, without a beginning or an end. To learn
about oneself there must be no accumulation in one’s learning: if there is, it is not
learning  about  oneself  but  merely  adding  to  one’s  accumulated  knowledge  of
oneself. Learning is the freedom of perception, of seeing. And you cannot learn if
you  are  not  free.  So  this  very  learning  is  its  own  discipline – you don’t have to
discipline yourself and then learn. Therefore discipline is freedom. This denies all
conformity  and  control,  for  control  is  the  imitation  of  a  pattern.  A  pattern  is
suppression, suppression of «what is», and the learning about «what is» is denied
when  there  is  a  formula  of  what  is  good  and  what  is  bad.  The  learning  about
«what  is»  is  the  freedom  from  «what  is».  So  learning  is  the  highest  form  of
discipline. Learning demands intelligence and sensitivity.
The austerity of the priest and the monk is harsh. They deny certain of their
appetites but not others which custom has condoned. The saint is the triumph of
harsh  violence.  Austerity  is  generally  identified  with  self-denial  through  the
brutality of discipline, drill and conformity. The saint is trying to break a record like
the athlete. To see the falseness of this brings about its own austerity. The saint
is stupid and shoddy. To see this is intelligence. Such intelligence will not go off
the  deep  end  to  the  opposite  extreme.  Intelligence  is  the  sensitivity  which
understands,  and  therefore  avoids,  the  extremes.  But  it  is  not  the  prudent
mediocrity of remaining half-way between the two. To perceive all this clearly is to
learn about it. To learn about it there must be freedom from all conclusions and
bias.  Such  conclusions  and  bias  are  observation from a centre, the self, which
wills and directs.
Questioner:  Aren’t  you  simply  saying  that  to  look  properly  you  must  be
objective?    61
Krishnamurti: Yes, but the word objective is not enough. What we are talking
about is not the harsh objectiveness of the microscope, but a state in which there
is  compassion,  sensitivity  and  depth.  Discipline,  as  we  said,  is  learning,  and
learning about austerity does not bring about violence to oneself or to another.
Discipline, as it is generally understood, is the act of will, which is violence.
People  throughout  the  world  seem  to  think  that  freedom  is  the  fruit  of
prolonged  discipline.  To  see  clearly  is  its  own  discipline.  To  see  clearly  there
must  be  freedom,  not  a  controlled  vision.  So  freedom  is  not  at  the  end  of
discipline,  but  the  understanding  of  freedom  is  its  own  discipline.  The  two  go
together inseparably: when you separate them there is conflict. To overcome that
conflict, the action of will comes into being and breeds more conflict. This is an
endless chain. So freedom is at the beginning and not at the end: the beginning is
the  end.  To  learn  about  all  this  is  its  own  discipline.  Learning  itself  demands
sensitivity.  If  you  are  not  sensitive  to  yourself  –  to  your  environment,  to  your
relationships  –  if  you  are  not  sensitive  to  what  is  happening  round  you,  in  the
kitchen  or  in  the  world,  then  however  much  you  discipline  yourself  you  only
become more and more insensitive, more and more self-centred – and this breeds
innumerable  problems.  To  learn  is  to  be  sensitive  to  yourself  and  to  the  world
outside you, for the world outside is you. If you are sensitive to yourself you are
bound  to  be  sensitive  to  the  world.  This  sensitivity  is  the  highest  form  of
intelligence. It is not the sensitivity of a specialist – the doctor, the scientist or the
artist. Such fragmentation does not bring sensitivity.
How can one love if there is no sensitivity? Sentimentality and emotionalism
deny sensitivity because they are terribly cruel; they are responsible for wars. So
discipline  is  not  the  drill  of  the  sergeant  –  whether  in  the  parade-ground  or  in
yourself – which is the will. Learning all day long, and during sleep, has its own
extraordinary discipline which is as gentle as the new spring leaf and as swift as
the  light.  In  this  there  is  love.  Love  has  its  own  discipline,  and  the  beauty  of  it   62
escapes  a  mind  that  is  drilled,  shaped,  controlled,  tortured.  Without  such  a
discipline the mind cannot go very far.    63
What Is
Questioner: I have read a great deal of philosophy, psychology, religion and
politics,  all  of  which  to  a  greater  or  lesser  degree  are  concerned  with  human
relationships. I have also read your books which all deal with thought and ideas,
and  somehow  I’m  fed  up  with  it  all.  I  have  swum  in  an  ocean  of  words,  and
wherever I go there are more words – and actions derived from those words are
offered  to  me:  advice,  exhortations,  promises,  theories,  analyses,  remedies.  Of
course one sets all these aside – you yourself have really done so; but for most of
those who have read you, or heard you, what you say is just words. There may
be people for whom all this is more than words, for whom it is utterly real, but I’m
talking about the rest of us. I’d like to go beyond the word, beyond the idea, and
live in total relationship to all things. For after all, that is life. You have said that
one  has  to  be  a  teacher  and  a  pupil  to  oneself.  Can  I  live  in  the  greatest
simplicity, without principles, beliefs, and ideals? Can I live freely, knowing that I
am enslaved by the world? Crises don’t knock on the door before they appear:
challenges of everyday life are there before you are aware of them. Knowing all
this, having been involved in many of these things, chasing various phantoms, I
ask myself how I can live rightly and with love, clarity and effortless joy. I’m not
asking how to live, but to live: the how denies the actual living itself. The nobility
of life is not practising nobility. Krishnamurti: After stating all this, where are you?
Do you really want to live with benediction, with love? If you do, then where is the
problem?
Questioner: I do want to, but that doesn’t get me anywhere. I’ve wanted to live
that way for years, but I can’t.
Krishnamurti: So though you deny the ideal, the belief, the directive, you are
very subtly and deviously asking the same thing which everybody asks: this is the
conflict between the «what is» and the «what should be».    64
Questioner:  Even  without  the  «what  should  be»,  I  see  that  the  «what  is»  is
hideous. To deceive myself into not seeing it would be much worse still.
Krishnamurti:  If  you  see  «what  is»  then  you  see  the  universe,  and  denying
«what is» is the origin of conflict. The beauty of the universe is in the «what is; and
to live with «what is» without effort is virtue.
Questioner:  The  «what  is»  also  includes  confusion,  violence,  every  form  of
human aberration. To live with that is what you call virtue. But isn’t it callousness
and  insanity?  Perfection  doesn’t  consist  simply  in  dropping  all  ideals!  Life  itself
demands that I live it beautifully, like the eagle in the sky: to live the miracle of life
with anything less than total beauty is unacceptable.
Krishnamurti: Then live it! Questioner: I can’t, and I don’t.
Krishnamurti: If you can’t, then live in confusion; don’t battle with it. Knowing
the  whole  misery  of  it,  live  with  it:  that  is  «what  is».  And  to  live  with  it  without
conflict frees us from it.
Questioner: Are you saying that our only fault is to be self-critical?
Krishnamurti: Not at all. You are not sufficiently critical. You go only so far in
your  self-criticism.  The  very  entity  that  criticizes  must  be  criticized,  must  be
examined. If the examination is comparative, examination by yardstick, then that
yardstick is the ideal. If there is no yardstick at all – in other words, if there is no
mind that is always comparing and measuring – you can observe the «what is»,
and then the «what is» is no longer the same.
Questioner: I observe myself without a yardstick, and I’m still ugly.
Krishnamurti: All examination means there is a yardstick. But is it possible to
observe so that there is only observation, seeing, and nothing else – so that there
is only perception without a perceiver?    65
Questioner: What do you mean?
Krishnamurti: There is looking. The assessment of the looking is interference,
distortion in the looking: that is not looking; instead it is evaluation of looking – the
two are as different as chalk and cheese. Is there a perception of yourself without
distortion, only an absolute perception of yourself as you are?
Questioner: Yes.
Krishnamurti: In that perception is there ugliness?
Questioner: There is no ugliness in the perception, only in what is perceived.
Krishnamurti:  The  way  you  perceive  is  what  you  are.  Righteousness  is  in
purely looking, which is attention without the distortion of measure and idea. You
came  to  enquire  how  to  live  beautifully,  with  love.  To  look  without  distortion  is
love,  and  the  action  of  that  perception  is  the  action  of  virtue.  That  clarity  of
perception will act all the time in living. That is living like the eagle in the sky; that
is living beauty and living love.    66
The Seeker
Questioner:  What  is  it  I’m  seeking?  I  really  don’t  know,  but  there  is  a
tremendous longing in me for something much more than comfort, pleasure and
the  satisfaction  of  fulfilment.  I  happen  to  have  had  all  these  things,  but  this  is
something much more – something at an unfathomable depth that is crying to be
released,  trying  to  tell  me  something.  I’ve  had  this  feeling  for  many  years  but
when I examine it I don’t seem to be able to touch it. Yet it is always there, this
longing to go beyond the mountains and the skies to find something. But perhaps
this thing is there right in front of me, only I don’t see it. Don’t tell me how to look:
I’ve read many of your writings and I know what you mean. I want to reach out my
hand  and  take  this  thing  very  simply,  knowing  very  well  that  I  cannot  hold  the
wind in my fist. It is said that if you operate on a tumour neatly you can pluck it
out in one pocket, intact. In the same way I should like to take this whole earth,
the heavens and the skies and the seas in one movement, and come upon that
blessedness on the instant. Is this at all possible? How am I to cross to the other
shore without taking a boat and rowing across the waters? I feel that’s the only
way.
Krishnamurti:  Yes,  that’s  the  only  way  –  to  find  oneself  strangely  and
unaccountably on the other shore, and from there to live, act and do everything
that one does in daily life.
Questioner: Is it only for the few? Is it for me? I really don’t know what to do.
I’ve  sat  silent;  I’ve  studied,  examined,  disciplined  myself,  rather  intelligently  I
think,  and  of  course  I’ve  long  ago  discarded  the  temples,  the  shrines  and  the
priests. I refuse to go from one system to another; it is all too futile. So you see I
have come here with complete simplicity.
Krishnamurti:  I  wonder  if  you  really  are  so  simple  as  you  think!  From  what
depth  are  you  asking  this  question,  and  with  what  love  and  beauty?  Can  your   67
mind  and  heart  receive  this?  Are  they  sensitive  to  the  slightest  whisper  of
something that comes unexpectedly?
Questioner: If it is as subtle as all that, how true is it, and how real? Intimations
of such subtlety are usually fleeting and unimportant.
Krishnamurti:  Are  they?  Must  everything  be  written  out  on  the  blackboard?
Please,  sir,  let  us  find  out  whether  our  minds  and  hearts  are  really  capable  of
receiving immensity, and not just the word.
Questioner: I really don’t know, that’s my problem. I’ve done almost everything
fairly intelligently, putting aside all the obvious stupidities of nationality, organized
religion, belief – this endless passage of nothings. I think I have compassion, and
I think my mind can grasp the subtleties of life, but that surely is not enough? So
what is needed? What have I to do or not to do?
Krishnamurti: Doing nothing is far more important than doing something. Can
the mind be completely inactive, and thereby be supremely active? Love is not
the  activity  of  thought;  it  is  not  the  action  of  good  behaviour  or  social
righteousness. As you cannot cultivate it, you can do nothing about love.
Questioner:  I  understand  what  you  mean  when  you  say  that  inaction  is  the
highest form of action – which doesn’t mean to do nothing. But somehow I cannot
grasp it with my heart. Is it perhaps only because my heart is empty, tired of all
action, that inaction seems to have an appeal? No. I come back to my original
feeling that there is this thing of love, and I know, too, that it is the only thing. But
my hand is still empty after I have said that.
Krishnamurti: Does this mean that you are no longer seeking, no longer saying
to yourself secretly: «I must reach, attain, there is something beyond the furthest
hills?»    68
Questioner: You mean I must give up this feeling I have had for so long that
there is something beyond all the hills?
Krishnamurti: It is not a question of giving up anything, but, as we said just
now, there are only these two things: love, and the mind that is empty of thought.
If you really have finished, if you really have shut the door on all the stupidities
which  man  in  his  search  for  something  has  put  together,  if  you  really  have
finished with all these, then, are these things – love and the empty mind – just two
more words, no different from any other ideas?
Questioner: I have a deep feeling that they are not, but I am not sure of it. So
again  I  ask  what  I  am  to  do.  Krishnamurti:  Do  you  know  what  it  means  to
commune with what we have just said about love and the mind?
Questioner: Yes, I think so.
Krishnamurti: I wonder if you do. If there is communion with these two things
then there is nothing more to be said. If there is communion with these two things
then all action will be from there.
Questioner: The trouble is that I still think there is something to be discovered
which will put everything else in its right place, in its right order.
Krishnamurti: Without these two things there is no possibility of going further.
And there may be no going anywhere at all!
Questioner: Can I be in communion with it all the time? I can see that when we
are together I can be somewhat in communion with it. But can I maintain it?
Krishnamurti: To desire to maintain it is the noise, and therefore the losing of
it.    69
Organisation
Questioner:  I  have  belonged  to  many  organizations,  religious,  business  and
political. Obviously we must have some kind of organization; without it life couldn’t
continue, so I’ve been wondering, after listening to you, what relationship there is
between freedom and organization. Where does freedom begin and organization
end?  What  is  the  relationship  between  religious  organizations  and  Moksha  or
liberation?
Krishnamurti: As human beings living in a very complex society, organizations
are needed to communicate, to travel, to bring food, clothes and shelter, for all
the business of living together whether in cities or in the country. Now this must
be organized efficiently and humanely, not only for the benefit of the few but for
everyone, without the divisions of nationality, race or class. This earth is ours, not
yours or mine. To live happily, physically, there must be sane, rational, efficient
organizations. Now there is disorder because there is division. Millions go hungry
while  there  is  vast  prosperity.  There  are  wars,  conflicts  and  every  form  of
brutality.  Then  there  is  the organization  of  belief  –  the  organization  of  religions,
which again breeds disunity and war. The morality which man has pursued has
led to this disorder and chaos. This is the actual state of the world. And when you
ask  what  is  the  relationship  between  organization  and  freedom,  are  you  not
separating freedom from everyday existence? When you separate it in this way
as  being  something  entirely  different  from  life,  isn’t  this,  in  itself,  conflict  and
disorder? So really the question is: is it possible to live in freedom and to organize
life from this freedom, in this freedom?
Questioner: Then there would be no problem. But the organization of life isn’t
made by yourself: others make it for you – the government and others send you to
war  or  determine  your  job.  So  you  cannot  simply  organize  for  yourself  out  of
freedom. The whole point of my question is that the organization imposed on us
by the government, by society, by morality, is not freedom. And if we reject it we   70
find  ourselves  in  the  midst  of  a  revolution,  or  some  sociological  reformation,
which  is  a  way  of  starting  the  same  old  cycle  all  over  again.  Inwardly  and
outwardly we are born into organization, which limits freedom. We either submit
or  revolt.  We  are  caught  in  this  trap.  So  there  seems  to  be  no  question  of
organizing anything out of freedom.
Krishnamurti: We do not realize that we have created society, this disorder,
these  walls;  each  one  of  us  is  responsible  for  it  all.  What  we  are,  society  is.
Society is not different from us. If we are in conflict, avaricious, envious, fearful,
we bring about such a society.
Questioner: There is a difference between the individual and society. I am a
vegetarian; society slaughters animals. I don’t want to go to war; society will force
me to do so. Are you telling me that this war,is my doing?
Krishnamurti: Yes, it’s your responsibility. You have brought it about by your
nationality,  your  greed,  envy  and  hate.  You  are  responsible  for  war  as  long  as
you  have  those  things  in  your  heart,  as  long  as  you  belong  to  any  nationality,
creed or race. It is only those who are free of those things who can say that they
have not created this society. There-
fore our responsibility is to see that we change, and to help others to change,
without violence and bloodshed.
Questioner: That means organized religion.
Krishnamurti:  Certainly  not.  Organized  religion  is  based  on  belief  and
authority.
Questioner:  Where  does  this  get  us  in  our  original  question  regarding  the
relationship between freedom and organization? Organization is always imposed
or  inherited  from  the  environment,  and  freedom  is  always  from  the  inside,  and
these two clash.    71
Krishnamurti:  Where  are  you  going  to  start?  You  must  start  from  freedom.
Where there is freedom there is love. This freedom and love will show you when
to co-operate and when not to cooperate. This is not an act of choice, because
choice is the result of confusion. Love and freedom are intelligence. So what we
are  concerned  with  is  not  the  division  between  organization  and  freedom  but
whether we can live in this world without division at all. It is division which denies
freedom and love, not organization. When organization divides, it leads to war.
Belief in any form, ideals, however noble or effective, breed division. Organized
religion  is  the  cause  of  division,  just  like  nationality  and  power-groups.  So  be
concerned with those things which divide, those things which bring about division
between man and man, whether they be individual or collective. The family, the
church,  and  the  State  bring  about  such  division.  What  is  important  is  the
movement of thought which divides. Thought itself is always divisive, so all action
based on an idea or an ideology is division. Thought cultivates prejudice, opinion,
judgement. Man in himself, being divided, seeks freedom out of this division. Not
being able to find it he hopes to integrate the various divisions, and of course this
is  not  possible.  You  cannot  integrate  two  prejudices.  To  live  in  this  world  in
freedom means to live with love, eschewing every form of division. When there is
freedom and love, then this intelligence will act in co-operation, and will also know
when not to co-operate.    72
Love And Sex
Questioner:  I’m  a  married  man  with  several  children.  I’ve  lived  rather  a
dissipated life in search of pleasure, but a fairly civilized life too, and I’ve made a
success of it financially. But now I’m middle-aged and am feeling concerned, not
only about my family but also about the way the world is going. I’m not given to
brutality  or  violent  feelings,  and  I  have  always  considered  that  forgiveness  and
compassion  are  the  most  important  things  in  life.  Without  these  man  becomes
subhuman. So if I may I should like to ask you what love is. Is there really such a
thing?  Compassion  must  be  part  of  it,  but  I  always  feel  that  love  is  something
much vaster, and if we could explore it together perhaps I should then make my
life into something worthwhile before it is too late. I have really come to ask this
one thing – what is love?
Krishnamurti: Before we begin to go into this we must be very clear that the
word is not the thing, the description is not the described, because any amount of
explanation, however subtle and clever, will not open the heart to the immensity
of love. This we must understand, and not merely stick to words: words are useful
for  communication,  but  in  talking  about  something  that  is  really  non-verbal  we
must establish a communion between us, so that both of us feel and realize the
same thing at the same time, with a fullness of mind and heart. Otherwise we will
be playing with words. How can one approach this really very subtle thing that
cannot be touched by the mind? We must go rather hesitatingly. Shall we first see
what  it  is  not,  and  then  perhaps  we  may  be  able  to  see  what  it  is?  Through
negation we may come upon the positive, but merely to pursue the positive leads
to assumptions and conclusions which bring about division. You are asking what
love  is.  We  are  saying  we  may  come  upon  it  when  we  know  what  it  is  not.
Anything that brings about a division, a separation, is not love, for in that there is
conflict, strife and brutality.    73
Questioner: What do you mean by a division, a separation that brings about
strife – what do you mean by it?
Krishnamurti:  Thought  in  its  very  nature  is  divisive.  It  is  thought  that  seeks
pleasure and holds it. It is thought that cultivates desire.
Questioner: Will you go into desire a bit more?
Krishnamurti: There is the seeing of a house, the sensation that it is lovely,
then there is the desire to own it and to have pleasure from it, then there is the
effort  to  get  it.  All  this  constitutes  the  centre,  and  this  centre  is  the  cause  of
division.  This  centre  is  the  feeling  of  a  «me»,  which  is  the  cause  of  division,
because this very feeling of «me`’ is the feeling of separation. People have called
this the ego and all kinds of other names – the «lower self» as opposed to some
idea of a «higher self» – but there is no need to be complicated about it; it is very
simple.  Where  there  is  the  centre,  which  is  the  feeling  of  «me»,  which  in  its
activities isolates itself, there is division and resistance. And all this is the process
of  thought.  So  when  you  ask  what  is  love,  it  is  not  of  this  centre.  Love  is  not
pleasure and pain, nor hate nor violence  in  any  form.  Questioner:  Therefore  in
this love you speak of there can be no sex because there cannot be desire?
Krishnamurti:  Don’t,  please,  come  to  any  conclusion.  We  are  investigating,
exploring. Any conclusion or assumption prevents further enquiry. To answer this
question  we  have  also  to  look  at  the  energy  of  thought.  Thought,  as  we  have
said, sustains pleasure by thinking about something that has been pleasurable,
cultivating  the  image,  the  picture.  Thought  engenders  pleasure.  Thinking  about
the sexual act becomes lust, which is entirely different from the act of sex. What
most people are concerned with is the passion of lust. Craving before and after
sex is lust. This craving is thought. Thought is not love.
Questioner: Can there be sex without this desire of thought?    74
Krishnamurti: You have to find out for yourself. Sex plays an extraordinarily
important  part  in  our  lives  because  it  is  perhaps  the  only  deep,  firsthand
experience  we  have.  Intellectually  and  emotionally  we  conform,  imitate,  follow,
obey. There is pain and strife in all our relationships, except in the act of sex. This
act,  being  so  different  and  beautiful,  we  become  addicted  to,  so  it  in  turn
becomes a bondage. The bondage is the demand for its continuation – again the
action of the centre which is divisive. One is so hedged about – intellectually, in
the family, in the community, through social morality, through religious sanctions –
so  hedged  about  that  there  is  only  this  one  relationship  left  in  which  there  is
freedom  and  intensity.  Therefore  we  give  tremendous  importance  to  it.  But  if
there were freedom all around then this would not be such a craving and such a
problem. We make it a problem because we can’t get enough of it, or because we
feel  guilty  at  having  got  it,  or  because  in  getting  it  we  break  the  rules  which
society has laid down. It is the old society which calls the new society permissive
because  for  the  new  society  sex  is  a  part  of  life.  In  freeing  the  mind  from  the
bondage of imitation, authority, conformity and religious prescriptions, sex has its
own place, but it won’t be all-consuming. From this one can see that freedom is
essential for love – not the freedom of revolt, not the freedom of doing what one
likes  nor  of  indulging  openly  or  secretly  one’s  cravings,  but  rather  the  freedom
which  comes  in  the  understanding  of  this  whole  structure  and  nature  of  the
centre. Then freedom is love.
Questioner: So freedom is not licence?
Krishnamurti:  No.  Licence  is  bondage.  Love  is  not  hate,  nor  jealousy,  nor
ambition, nor the competitive spirit with its fear of failure. It is not the love of god
nor the love of man – which again is a division. Love is not of the one or of the
many.  When  there  is  love  it  is  personal  and  impersonal,  with  and  without  an
object. It is like the perfume of a flower; one or many can smell it: what matters is
the perfume, not to whom it belongs.    75
Questioner: Where does forgiveness come in all this?
Krishnamurti:  When  there  is  love  there  can  be  no  forgiveness.  Forgiveness
comes  only  after  you  have  accumulated  rancour;  forgiveness  is  resentment.
Where there is no wound there is no need for healing. It is inattention that breeds
resentment  and  hate,  and  you  become  aware  of  them  and  then  forgive.
Forgiveness encourages division. When you are conscious that you are forgiving,
then you are sinning. When you are conscious that you are tolerant, then you are
intolerant. When you are conscious that you are silent, then there is no silence.
When you deliberately set about to love, then you are violent. As long as there is
an observer who says, «I am» or «I am not», love cannot be.
Questioner: What place has fear in love?
Krishnamurti: How can you ask such a question? Where one is, the other is
not. When there is love you can do what you will.    76
Perception
Questioner:  You  use  different  words  for  perception.  You  sometimes  say
«perception»,  but  also  «observe»,  «see»,  «understand»,  «be  aware  of».  I  suppose
you  use  all  these  words  to  mean  the  same  thing:  to  see  clearly,  completely,
wholly. Can one see anything totally? We’re not talking of physical or technical
things, but psychologically can you perceive or understand anything totally? Isn’t
there  always  something  concealed  so  that  you  only  see  partially?  I’d  be  most
obliged  if  you  could  go  into  this  matter  rather  extensively.  I  feel  this  is  an
important question because it may perhaps be a clue to a great many things in
life.  If  I  could  understand  myself  totally  then  perhaps  I  would  have  all  my
problems solved and be a happy superhuman being. When I talk about it I feel
rather excited at the possibility of going beyond my little world with its problems
and agonies. So what do you mean by perceiving, seeing? Can one see oneself
completely?
Krishnamurti:  We  always  look  at  things  partially.  Firstly  because  we  are
inattentive and secondly because we look at things from prejudices, from verbal
and  psychological  images  about  what  we  see.  So  we  never  see  anything
completely. Even to look objectively at nature is quite arduous. To look at a flower
without any image, without any botanical knowledge – just to observe it – becomes
quite  difficult  because  our  mind  is  wandering,  uninterested.  And  even  if  it  is
interested it looks at the flower with certain appreciations and verbal descriptions
which  seem  to  give  the  observer  a  feeling  that  he  has  really  looked  at  it.
Deliberate looking is not looking. So we really never look at the flower. We look at
it through the image. Perhaps it is fairly easy to look at something that doesn’t
deeply touch us, as when we go to the cinema and see something which stirs us
for the moment but which we soon forget. But to observe ourselves without the
image – which is the past, our accumulated experience and knowledge – happens
very rarely. We have an image about ourselves. We think we ought to be this and   77
not that. We have built a previous idea about ourselves and through it we look at
ourselves.  We  think  we  are  noble  or  ignoble  and  seeing  what  we  actually  are
either depresses us or frightens us. So we cannot look at ourselves; and when
we do, it is partial~ observation, and anything that is partial or incomplete doesn’t
bring understanding. It is only when we can look at ourselves totally that there is
a possibility of being free from what we observe. Our perception is not only with
the  eyes,  with  the  senses,  but  also  with  the  mind,  and  obviously  the  mind  is
heavily  conditioned.  So  intellectual  perception  is  only  partial  perception,  yet
perceiving  with  the  intellect  seems  to  satisfy  most  of  us,  and  we  think  we
understand. A fragmentary understanding is the most dangerous and destructive
thing. And that is exactly what is happening all over the world. The politician, the
priest,  the  businessman,  the  technician;  even  the  artist  –  all  of  them  see  only
partially.  And  therefore  they  are  really  very  destructive  people.  As  they  play  a
great part in the world their partial perception becomes the accepted norm, and
man is caught in this. Each of us is at the same time the priest, the politician, the
businessman, the artist, and many other fragmentary entities. And each of us is
Questioner: I see this clearly. I’m using the word see intellectually, of course.
Krishnamurti: If you see this totally, not intellectually or verbally or emotionally,
then you will act and live quite a different kind of life. When you see a dangerous
precipice or are faced by a dangerous animal there is no partial understanding or
partial action; there is complete action.
Questioner: But we are not faced with such dangerous crises every moment of
our lives.
Krishnamurti: We are faced with such dangerous crises all the time. You have
become accustomed to them, or are indifferent to them, or you leave it to others
to solve the problems; and these others are equally blind and lopsided.
Questioner: But how am I to be aware of these crises all the time, and why do
you say there is a crisis all the time?    78
Krishnamurti:  The  whole  of  life  is  in  each  moment.  Each  moment  is  a
challenge. To meet this challenge inadequately is a crisis in living. We don’t want
to see that these are crises, and we shut our eyes to escape from them. So we
become blinder, and the crises augment.
Questioner: But how am I to perceive totally? I’m beginning to understand that
I see only partially, and also to understand the importance of looking at myself
and the world with complete perception, but there is so much going on in me that
it is difficult to decide what to look at. My mind is like a great cage full of restless
monkeys.
Krishnamurti:  If  you  see  one  movement  totally,  in  that  totality  every  other
movement  is  included.  If  you  understand  one  problem  completely,  then  you
understand all human problems, for they are all interrelated. So the question is:
can one understand, or perceive, or see, one problem so completely that in the
very understanding of it one has understood the rest? This problem must be seen
while  it  is  happening,  not  after  or  before,  as  memory  or  as  an  example.  For
instance, it is no good now for us to go into anger or fear; the thing to do is to
observe  them  as  they  arise.  Perception  is  instantaneous:  you  understand
something  instantly  or  not  at  all:  seeing,  hearing,  understanding  are
instantaneous. Listening and looking have duration.
Questioner: My problem goes on. It exists in a span of time. You are saying
that seeing is instantaneous and therefore out of time. What gives jealousy or any
other habit, or any other problem, duration?
Krishnamurti:  Don’t  they  go  on  because  you  have  not  looked  at  them  with
sensitivity,  choiceless  awareness,  intelligence?  You  have  looked  partially  and
therefore allowed them to continue. And in addition, wanting to get rid of them is
another problem with duration. The incapacity to deal with something makes of it
a problem with duration, and gives it life.    79
Questioner:  But  how  am  I  to  see  that  whole  thing  instantly?  How  am  I  to
understand so that it never comes back?
Krishnamurti: Are you laying emphasis on never or on understanding? If you
lay emphasis on never it means you want to escape from it permanently, and this
means the creation of a second problem. So we have only one question, which is
how to see the problem so completely that one is free of it. Perception can only
be out of silence, not out of a chattering mind. The chattering may be the wanting
to get rid of it, reduce it, escape from it, suppress it or find a substitute for it, but it
is only a quiet mind that sees.
Questioner: How am I to have a quiet mind?
Krishnamurti: You don’t see the truth that only a quiet mind sees. How to get a
quiet mind doesn’t arise. It is the truth that the mind must be quiet, and seeing the
truth of this frees the mind from chattering. Perception, which is intelligence, is
then  operating,  not  the  assumption  that  you  must  be  silent  in  order  to  see.
Assumption can also operate but that is a partial, fragmentary operation. There is
no relationship between the partial and the total; the partial cannot grow into the
total. Therefore seeing is of the greatest importance. Seeing is attention, and it is
only inattention that gives rise to a problem.
Questioner: How can I be attentive all the time? It’s impossible!
Krishnamurti:  That’s  quite  right,  it  is  impossible.  But  to  be  aware  of  your
inattention is of the greatest importance, not how to be attentive all the time. It is
greed that asks the question, «How can I be attentive all the time?» One gets lost
in  the  practice  of  being  attentive.  The  practice  of  being  attentive  is  inattention.
You cannot practice to be beautiful, or to love. When hate ceases the other is.
Hate can cease only when you give your whole attention to it, when you learn and
do not accumulate knowledge about it. Begin very simply.    80
Questioner: What is the point of your talking if there is nothing we can practise
after having heard you?
Krishnamurti: The hearing is of the greatest importance, not what you practise
afterwards. The hearing is the instantaneous action. The practice gives duration
to  problems.  Practice  is  total  inattention.  Never  practise:  you  can  only  practise
mistakes. Learning is always new.    81
Suffering
Questioner: I seem to have suffered a great deal all my life, not physically, but
through death and loneliness and the utter futility of my existence. I had a son
whom I greatly loved. He died in an accident. My wife left me, and that caused a
great  deal  of  pain.  I  suppose  I  am  like  thousands  of  other  middle-class  people
with sufficient money and a steady job. I’m not complaining of my circumstances
but I want to understand what sorrow means, why it comes at all. One has been
told that wisdom comes through sorrow, but I have found quite the contrary.
Krishnamurti: I wonder what you have learnt from suffering? Have you learnt
anything at all? What has sorrow taught you?
Questioner: It has certainly taught me never to be attached to people, and a
certain bitterness, a certain aloofness and not to allow my feelings to run away
with me. It has taught me to be very careful not to get hurt again.
Krishnamurti: So, as you say, it hasn’t taught you wisdom; on the contrary it
has made you more cunning, more insensitive. Does sorrow teach one anything
at all except the obvious self-protective reactions?
Questioner: I have always accepted suffering as part of my life, but I feel now,
somehow,  that  I’d  like  to  be  free  of  it,  free  of  all  the  tawdry  bitterness  and
indifference without again going through all the pain of attachment. My life is so
pointless  and  empty,  utterly  self-enclosed  and  insignificant.  It’s  a  life  of
mediocrity, and perhaps that mediocrity is the greatest sorrow of all.
Krishnamurti: There is the personal sorrow and the sorrow of the world. There
is the sorrow of ignorance and the sorrow of time. This ignorance is the lack of
knowing oneself, and the sorrow of time is the deception that time can cure, heal
and change. Most people are caught in that deception and either worship sorrow   82
or explain it away. But in either case it continues, and one never asks oneself if it
can come to an end.
Questioner: But I am asking now if it can come to an end, and how? How am I
to end it? I understand that it’s no good running away from it, or resisting it with
bitterness and cynicism. What am I to do to end the grief which I have carried for
so long?
Krishnamurti: Self-pity is one of the elements of sorrow. Another element is
being attached to someone and encouraging or fostering his attachment to you.
Sorrow  is  not  only  there  when  attachment  fails  you  but  its  seed  is  in  the  very
beginning  of  that  attachment.  In  all  this  the  trouble  is  the  utter  lack  of  knowing
oneself.  Knowing  oneself  is  the  ending  of  sorrow.  We  are  afraid  to  know
ourselves because we have divided ourselves into the good and the bad, the evil
and the noble, the pure and the impure. The good is always judging the bad, and
these fragments are at war with each other. This war is sorrow. To end sorrow is
to see the fact and not invent its opposite, for the opposites contain each other.
Walking in this corridor of opposites is sorrow. This fragmentation of life into the
high and the low, the noble and the ignoble, God and the Devil, breeds conflict
and pain. When there is sorrow, there is  no  love.  Love  and  sorrow  cannot  live
together.
Questioner: Ah! But love can inflict sorrow on another. I may love another and
yet bring him sorrow.
Krishnamurti: Do you bring it, if you love, or does he? If another is attached to
you, with or without encouragement, and you turn away from him and he suffers,
is it you or he who has brought about his suffering?
Questioner: You mean I am not responsible for someone else’s sorrow, even if
it is on my account? How does sorrow ever end then?    83
Krishnamurti: As we have said, it is only in knowing oneself completely that
sorrow ends. Do you know yourself at a glance, or hope to after a long analysis?
Through analysis you cannot know yourself. You can only know yourself without
accumulation, in relationship, from moment to moment. This means that one must
be aware, without any choice, of what is actually taking place. It means to see
oneself as one is, without the opposite, the ideal, without the knowledge of what
one has been. If you look at yourself with the eyes of resentment or rancour then
what you see is coloured by the past. The shedding of the past all the time when
you see yourself is the freedom from the past. Sorrow ends only when there is
the  light  of  understanding,  and  this  light  is  not  lit  by  one  experience  or  by  one
flash  of  understanding;  this  understanding  is  lighting  itself  all  the  time.  Nobody
can  give  it  to  you  –  no  book,  trick,  teacher  or  saviour.  The  understanding  of
yourself is the ending of sorrow.    84
The Heart And The Mind
Questioner:  Why  is  it  that  man  has  divided  his  being  into  different
compartments  –  the  intellect  and  the  emotions?  Each  seems  to  exist
independently  of  the  other.  These  two  driving  forces  in  life  are  often  so
contradictory that they seem to tear apart the very fabric of our being. To bring
them together so that man can act as a total entity has always been one of the
principle aims of life. And added to these two things within man there is a third
which is his changing environment. So these two contradictory things within him
are further in opposition to the third which appears to be outside himself. Here is
a  problem  so  confusing,  so  contradictory,  so  vast  that  the  intellect  invents  an
outside agency called God to bring them together,  and  this  further  complicates
the whole business. There is only this one problem in life.
Krishnamurti: You seem to be carried away by your own words. Is this really a
problem to you or are you inventing it in order to have a good discussion? If it is
for a discussion then it has no real content. But if it is a real problem then we can
go into it deeply. Here we have a very complex situation, the inner dividing itself
into  compartments  and  further  separating  itself  from  its  environment.  And  still
further,  it  separates  the  environment,  which  it  calls  society,  into  classes,  races
and economic, national and geographic groups. This seems to be what is actually
going on in the world and we call it living. Being unable to solve this problem we
invent a super-entity, an agency that we hope will bring about a harmony and a
binding quality in ourselves and between us. This binding quality which we call
religion  brings  about  another  factor  of  division  in  its  turn.  So  the  question
becomes: what will bring about a complete harmony of living in which there are
no  divisions  but  a  state  in  which  the  intellect  and  the  heart  are  both  the
expression of a total entity? That entity is not a fragment.    85
Questioner: I agree with you, but how is this to be brought about? This is what
man has always longed for and has sought through all religions and all political
and social utopias.
Krishnamurti: You ask how. The «how» is the great mistake. It is the separating
factor. There is your «how» and my «how» and somebody else’s «how». So if we
never used that word we would be really enquiring and not seeking a method to
achieve a determined result. So can you put away altogether this idea of a recipe,
a  result?  If  you  can  define  a  result  you  already  know  it  and  therefore  it  is
conditioned and not free. If we put away the recipe then we are both capable of
enquiring  if  it  is  at  all  possible  to  bring  about  a  harmonious  whole  without
inventing  an  outside  agency,  for  all  outside  agencies,  whether  they  are
environmental or superenvironmental, only increase the problem.
First of all, it is the mind that divides itself as feeling, intellect and environment;
it  is  the  mind  that  invents  the  outside  agency;  it  is  the  mind  that  creates  the
problem.
Questioner:  This  division  is  not  only  in  the  mind.  It  is  even  stronger  in  the
feelings.  The  Muslims  and  Hindus  do  not  think  themselves  separate,  they  feel
themselves separate, and it is this feeling that actually makes them separate and
makes them destroy each other.
Krishnamurti:  Exactly:  the  thinking  and  the  feeling  are  one;  they  have  been
one from the beginning and that is exactly what we are saying. So our problem is
not the integration of the different fragments but the understanding of this mind
and heart which are one. Our problem is not how to get rid of classes or how to
build better utopias or breed better political leaders or new religious teachers. Our
problem is the mind. To come to this point not theoretically but to see it actually is
the  highest  form  of  intelligence.  For  then  you  do  not  belong  to  any  class  or
religious group; then you are not a Muslim, a Hindu, a jew or a Christian. So we
now have only one issue: why does the mind of man divide? It not only divides its   86
own functions into feelings and thoughts but separates itself as the «I» from the
«you», and the «we» from the «they». The mind and the heart are one. Don’t let us
forget it. Remember it when we use the word «mind». So our problem is, why does
the mind divide?
Questioner: Yes.
Krishnamurti:  The  mind  is  thought.  All  the  activity  of  thought  is  separation,
fragmentation. Thought is the response of memory which is the brain. The brain
must respond when it sees a danger. This is intelligence, but this same brain has
somehow been conditioned not to see the danger of division. Its actions are valid
and necessary when they deal with facts. Equally, it will act when it sees the fact
that  division  and  fragmentation  are  dangerous  to  it.  This  is  not  an  idea  or  an
ideology or a principle or a concept – all of which are idiotic and separative: it is a
fact. To see danger the brain has to be very alert and awake, all of it, not just a
segment of it.
Questioner: How is it possible to keep the whole brain awake?
Krishnamurti: As we said, there is no «how» but only seeing the danger, that is
the whole point. The seeing is not the result of propaganda or conditioning; the
seeing is with the whole brain. When the brain is completely awake then the mind
becomes quiet. When the brain is completely awake there is no fragmentation, no
separation, no duality. The quality of this quietness is of the highest importance.
You can make the mind quiet by drugs and all kinds of tricks but such deceptions
breed  various  other  forms  of  illusion  and  contradiction.  This  quietness  is  the
highest form of intelligence which is never personal or impersonal, never yours or
mine.  Being  anonymous,  it  is  whole  and  immaculate.  It  defies  description  for  it
has no quality. This is awareness, this is attention, this is love, this is the highest.
The brain must be completely awake, that’s all. As the man in the jungle must
keep terribly awake to survive, so the man in the jungle of the world must keep
terribly awake to live completely.    87  88
Beauty And The Artist
Questioner: I wonder what an artist is? There on the banks of the Ganges, in a
dark little room, a man sits weaving a most beautiful sari in silk and gold, and in
Paris in his atelier another man is painting a picture which he hopes will bring him
fame. Somewhere there is a writer cunningly spinning out stories stating the old,
old problem of man and woman; then there is the scientist in his laboratory and
the  technician  putting  together  a  million  parts  so  that  a  rocket  may  go  to  the
moon. And in India a musician is living a life of great austerity in order to transmit
faithfully  the  distilled  beauty  of  his  music.  There  is  the  housewife  preparing  a
meal, and the poet walking alone in the woods. Aren’t these all artists in their own
way? I feel that beauty is in the hands of everybody, but they don’t know it. The
man who makes beautiful clothes or excellent shoes, the woman who arranged
those flowers on your table, all of them seem to work with beauty. I often wonder
why  it  is  that  the  painter,  the  sculptor,  the  composer,  the  writer  –  the  so-called
creative  artists  –  have  such  extraordinary  importance  in  this  world  and  not  the
shoemaker  or  the  cook.  Aren’t  they  creative  too?  When  you  consider  all  the
varieties  of  expression  which  people  consider  beautiful,  then  what  place  has  a
true  artist  in  life,  and  who  is  the  true  artist?  It  is  said  that  beauty  is  the  very
essence  of  all  life.  Is  that  building  over  there,  which  is  considered  to  be  so
beautiful,  the  expression  of  that  essence?  I  should  greatly  appreciate  it  if  you
would go into this whole question of beauty and the artist.
Krishnamurti: Surely the artist is one who is skilled in action? This action is in
life and not outside of life. Therefore if it is living skilfully that truly makes an artist.
This skill can operate for a few hours in the day when he is playing an instrument,
writing poems or painting pictures, or it can operate a bit more if he is skilled in
many such fragments – like those great men of the Renaissance who worked in
several different media. But the few hours of music or writing may contradict the
rest of his living which is in disorder and confusion. So is such a man an artist at   89
all? The man who plays the violin with artistry and keeps his eye on his fame isn’t
interested in the violin, he is only exploiting it to be famous, the «me» is far more
important than the music, and so it is with the writer or the painter with an eye on
fame.  The  musician  identifies  his  «me»  with  what  he  considers  to  be  beautiful
music, and the religious man identifies his «me» with what he considers to be the
sublime. All these are skilled in their particular little fields but the rest of the vast
field of life is disregarded. So we have to find out what is skill in action, in living,
not only in painting or in writing or in technology, but how one can live the whole
of life with skill and beauty. Are skill and beauty the same? Can a human being –
whether he be an artist or not – live the whole of his life with skill and beauty?
Living is action and when that action breeds sorrow it ceases to be skilful. So can
a  man  live  without  sorrow,  without  friction,  without  jealousy  and  greed,  without
conflict of any kind? The issue is not who is an artist and who is not an artist but
whether a human being, you or another, can live without torture and distortion. Of
course  it  is  profane  to  belittle  great  music,  great  sculpture,  great  poetry  or
dancing, or to sneer at it; that is to be unskilled in one’s own life. But the artistry
and  beauty  which  is  skill  in  action  should  operate  throughout  the  day,  not  just
during a few hours of the day. This is the real challenge, not just playing the piano
beautifully. You must play it beautifully if you touch it at all, but that is not enough.
It  is  like  cultivating  a  small  corner  of  a  huge  field.  We  are  concerned  with  the
whole field and that field is life. What we always do is to neglect the whole field
and  concentrate  on  fragments,  our  own  or  other  people’s.  Artistry  is  to  be
completely awake and therefore to be skilful in action in the whole of life, and this
is beauty.
Questioner: What about the factory worker or the office employee? Is he an
artist? Doesn’t his work preclude skill in action and so deaden him that he has no
skill in anything else either? Is he not conditioned by his work?
Krishnamurti: Of course he is. But if he wakes up he will either leave his work
or so transform it that it becomes artistry. What is important is not the work but   90
the waking up to the work. What is important is not the conditioning of the work
but to wake up.
Questioner: What do you mean, wake up?
Krishnamurti:  Are  you  awakened  only  by  circumstances,  by  challenges,  by
some disaster or joy? Or is there a state of being awake without any cause? If
you are awakened by an event, a cause, then you depend on it, and when you
any dependence is the end of skill, the end of artistry.
Questioner:  What  is  this other  awakened state that  has no cause? You are
talking about a state in which there is neither a cause nor an effect. Can there be
a  state  of  mind  that  is  not  the  result  of  some  cause?  I  don’t  understand  that
because  surely  everything  we  think  and  everything  we  are  is  the  result  of  a
cause? There is the endless chain of cause and effect.
Krishnamurti:  This  chain  of  cause  and  effect  is  endless  because  the  effect
becomes the cause and the cause begets further effects, and so on.
Questioner: Then what action is there outside this chain?
Krishnamurti: All we know is action with a cause, a motive, action which is a
result. All action is in relationship. If relationship is based on cause it is cunning
adaptation, and therefore inevitably leads to another form of dullness. Love is the
only thing that is causeless, that is free; it is beauty, it is skill, it is art. Without love
there is no art. When the artist is playing beautifully there is no «me; there is love
and beauty, and this is art. This is skill in action. Skill in action is the absence of
the «me». Art is the absence of the «me». But when you neglect the whole field of
life and concentrate only on a little part – however much the «me» may then be
absent, you are still living unskilfully and therefore you are not an artist of life. The
absence of «me» in living is love and beauty, which brings its own skill. This is the
greatest art: living skilfully in the whole field of Life.    91
Questioner: Oh Lord! How am I to do that? I see it and feel it in my heart but
how can I maintain it?
Krishnamurti: There is no way to maintain it, there is no way to nourish it, there
is no practising of it; there is only the seeing of it. Seeing is the greatest of all
skills.    92
Dependence
Questioner:  I  should  like  to  understand  the  nature  of  dependence.  I  have
found  myself  depending  on  so  many  things  –  on  women,  on  different  kinds  of
amusement,  on  good  wine,  on  my  wife  and  children,  on  my  friends,  on  what
people  say.  Fortunately  I  no  longer  depend  on  religious  entertainment,  but  I
depend on the books I read to stimulate me and on good conversation. I see that
the young are also dependent, perhaps not so much as I am, but they have their
own particular forms of dependence. I have been to the East and have seen how
there  they  depend  on  the  guru  and  the  family.  Tradition  there  has  greater
importance and is more deeply rooted than it is here in Europe, and, of course,
very much more so than in America. But we all seem to depend on something to
sustain  us,  not  only  physically  but,  much  more,  inwardly.  So  I  am  wondering
whether it is at all possible to be really free of dependence, and should one be
free of it?
Krishnamurti:  I  take  it  you  are  concerned  with  the  psychological  inward
attachments.  The  more  one  is  attached  the  greater  the  dependence.  The
attachment is not only to persons but to ideas and to things. One is attached to a
particular environment, to a particular country and so on. And from this springs
dependence and therefore resistance.
Questioner: Why resistance? Krishnamurti: The object of my attachment is my
territorial or my sexual domain. This I protect, resisting any form of encroachment
on it from others. I also limit the freedom of the person to whom I am attached
and  limit  my  own  freedom.  So  attachment  is  resistance.  I  am  attached  to
something or somebody. That attachment is possessiveness; possessiveness is
resistance, so attachment is resistance.
Questioner: Yes, I see that.    93
Krishnamurti: Any form of encroachment on my possessions leads to violence,
legally or psychologically. So attachment is violence, resistance, imprisonment –
the imprisonment of oneself and of the object of attachment. Attachment means
this  is  mine  and  not  yours;  keep  off!  So  this  relationship  is  resistance  against
others.  The  whole  world  is  divided  into  mine  and  yours:  my  opinion,  my
judgement, my advice, my God, my country – an infinity of such nonsense. Seeing
all this taking place, not in abstraction but actually in our daily life, we can ask
why there is this attachment to people, things and ideas. Why does one depend?
All being is relationship and all relationship is in this dependence with its violence,
resistance and domination. We have made the whole world into this. Where one
possesses  one  must  dominate.  We  meet  beauty,  love  springs  up,  and
immediately  it  turns  to  attachment  and  all  this  misery  begins  and  the  love  has
gone out of the window. Then we ask, «What has happened to our great love?»
This is actually what is happening in our daily life. And, seeing all this, we can
now ask: why is man invariably attached, not only to that which is lovely, but also
to every form of illusion and to so many idiotic fancies?
Freedom is not a state of non-dependence; it is a positive state in which there
isn’t  any  dependence.  But  it  is  not  a  result,  it  has  no  cause.  This  must  be
understood very clearly before we can go into the question of why man depends
or falls into the trap of attachment with all its miseries. Being attached we try to
cultivate a state of independence – which is another form of resistance.
Questioner: So what is freedom? You say it is not the negation of dependence
or the ending of dependence; you say it is not freedom from something, but just
freedom. So what is it? Is it an abstraction or an actuality?
Krishnamurti: It is not an abstraction. It is the state of mind in which there is no
form  of  resistance  whatsoever.  It  is  not  like  a  river  accommodating  itself  to
boulders here and there, going round or over them. In this freedom there are no
boulders at all, only the movement of the water.    94
Questioner:  But  the  boulder  of  attachment  is  there,  in  this  river  of  life.  You
can’t just speak about another river in which there are no boulders.
Krishnamurti: We are not avoiding the boulder or saying it doesn’t exist. We
must first understand freedom. It is not the same river as the one in which there
are the boulders.
Questioner: I have still got my river with its boulders, and that’s what I came to
ask about, not about some other unknown river without boulders. That’s no good
to me.
Krishnamurti: Quite right. But you must understand what freedom is in order to
understand  your  boulders.  But  don’t  let  us  flog  this  simile  to  death.  We  must
consider both freedom and attachment.
Questioner: What has my attachment to do with freedom or freedom with my
attachment?
Krishnamurti: In your attachment there is pain. You want to be rid of this pain,
so you cultivate detachment which is another form of resistance. In the opposite
there is no freedom. These two opposites are identical and mutually strengthen
each  other.  What  you  are  concerned  with  is  how  to  have  the  pleasures  of
attachment  without  its  miseries.  You  cannot.  That  is  why  it  is  important  to
understand  that  freedom  does  not  lie  in  detachment.  In  the  process  of
understanding attachment there is freedom, not in running away from attachment.
So our question now is, why are human beings attached, dependent?
Being nothing, being a desert in oneself, one hopes through another to find
water. Being empty, poor, wretched, insufficient, devoid of interest or importance,
one  hopes  through  another  to  be  enriched.  Through  the  love  of  another  one
hopes  to  forget  oneself.  Through  the  beauty  of  another  one  hopes  to  acquire
beauty. Through the family, through the nation, through the lover, through some
fantastic  belief,  one  hopes  to  cover  this  desert  with  flowers.  And  God  is  the   95
ultimate lover. So one puts hooks into all these things. In this there is pain and
uncertainty,  and  the  desert  seems  more  arid  than  ever  before.  Of  course  it  is
neither more nor less arid; it is what it was, only one has avoided looking at it
while escaping through some form of attachment with its pain, and then escaping
from that pain into detachment. But one  remains arid and empty as before. So
instead of trying to escape, either through attachment or through detachment, can
we not become aware of this fact, of this deep inward poverty and inadequacy,
this dull, hollow isolation? That is the only thing that matters, not attachment or
detachment. Can you look at it without any sense of condemnation or evaluation?
When you do,are you looking at it as an observer who looks at the observed, or
without the observer?
Questioner: What do you mean, the observer?
Krishnamurti: Are you looking at it from a centre with all its conclusions of like
and dislike, opinion, judgement, the desire to be free of this emptiness and so on
– are you looking at this aridness with the eyes of conclusion – or are you looking
with eyes that are completely free? When you look at it with completely free eyes
there  is  no  observer.  If  there  is  no  observer,  is  there  the  thing  observed  as
loneliness, emptiness, wretchedness?
Questioner:  Do  you  mean  to  say  that  that  tree  doesn’t  exist  if  I  look  at  it
without conclusions, without a centre which is the observer?
Krishnamurti: Of course the tree exists.
Questioner:  Why  does  loneliness  disappear  but  not  the  tree  when  I  look
without the observer?
Krishnamurti: Because the tree is not created by the centre, by the mind of the
«me».  But  the  mind  of  the  «me’,  in  all  its  self-centred  activity  has  created  this
emptiness, this isolation. And when that mind, without the centre, looks, the self-
centred  activity  ends.  So  the  loneliness  is  not.  Then  the  mind  functions  in   96
freedom. Looking at the whole structure of attachment and detachment, and the
movement of pain and pleasure, we see how the mind of the «me» builds its own
desert and its own escapes. When the mind of the «me» is still, then there is no
desert and there is no escape.    97
Belief
Questioner:  I  am  one  of  those  people  who  really  believe  in  God.  In  India  I
followed  one  of  the  great  modern  saints  who,  because  he  believed  in  God,
brought about great political changes there. In India the whole country throbs to
the beat of God. I have heard you talk against belief so probably you don’t believe
in God. But you are a religious person and therefore there must be in you some
kind of feeling of the Supreme. I have been all over India and through many parts
of Europe, visiting monasteries, churches and mosques, and everywhere I have
found this very strong, compelling belief in God whom one hopes shapes one’s
life.  Now  since  you  don’t  believe  in  God,  although  you  are  a  religious  person,
what exactly is your position with regard to this question? Why don’t you believe?
Are you an atheist? As you know, in Hinduism you can be an atheist or a theist
and yet be equally well a Hindu. Of course it’s different with the Christians. If you
don’t  believe  in  God  you  can’t  be  a  Christian.  But  that’s  beside  the  point.  The
point is that I have come to ask you to explain your position and demonstrate to
me  its  validity.  People  follow  you  and  therefore  you  have  a  responsibility,  and
therefore I am challenging you in this way.
Krishnamurti: Let us first of all clear up this last point. There are no followers,
and I have no responsibility to you or to the people who listen to my talks. Also I
am  not  a  Hindu  or  anything  else,  for  I  don’t  belong  to  any  group,  religious  or
otherwise. Each one must be a light to himself. Therefore there is no teacher, no
disciple. This must be clearly understood from the very beginning otherwise one
is influenced, one becomes a slave to propaganda and persuasions. Therefore
anything that is being said now is not dogma or creed or persuasion: we either
meet together in understanding or we don’t. Now, you said most emphatically that
you believe in God and you probably want through that belief to experience what
one might call the godhead. Belief involves many things. There is belief in facts
that you may not have seen but can verify, like the existence of New York or the   98
Eiffel  Tower.  Then  you  may  believe  that  your  wife  is  faithful  though  you  don’t
actually know it. She might be unfaithful in thought yet you believe she is faithful
because you don’t actually see her going off with someone else; she may deceive
you in daily thought, and you most certainly have done the same too. You believe
in  reincarnation,  don’t  you,  though  there  is  no  certainty  that  there  is  any  such
thing?  However,  that  belief  has  no  validity  in  your  life,  has  it?  All  Christians
believe that they must love but they do not love – like everyone else they go about
killing, physically or psychologically. There are those who do not believe in God
and yet do good. There are those who believe in God and kill for that belief; those
who prepare for war because they claim they want peace, and so on. So one has
to ask oneself what need there is to believe at all in anything, though this doesn’t
deny  the  extraordinary  mystery  of  life.  But  belief  is  one  thing  and  «what  is»  is
another. Belief is a word, a thought, and this is not the thing, any more than your
name is actually you.
Through experience you hope to touch the truth of your belief, to prove it to
yourself,  but  this  belief  conditions  your  experience.  It  isn’t  that  the  experience
comes to prove the belief, but rather that the belief begets the experience. Your
belief in God will give you the experience of what you call God. You will always
experience  what  you  believe  and  nothing  else.  And  this  invalidates  your
experience. The Christian will see virgins, angels and Christ, and the Hindu will
see similar deities in extravagant plurality. The Muslim, the Buddhist, the Jew and
the Communist are the same. Belief conditions its own supposed proof. What is
important  is  not  what  you  believe  but  only  why  you  believe  at  all.  Why  do  you
believe? And what difference does it make to what actually is whether you believe
one thing or another? Facts are not influenced by belief or disbelief. So one has
to ask why one believes at all in anything; what is the basis of belief? Is it fear, is
it  the  uncertainty  of  life  –  the  fear  of  the  unknown  the  lack  of  security  in  this
everchanging world? Is it the insecurity of relationship, or is it that faced with the   99
immensity of life, and not understanding it, one encloses oneself in the refuge of
belief? So, if I may ask you, if you had no fear at all, would you have any belief?
Questioner: I am not at all sure that I am afraid, but I love God, and it is this
love that makes me believe in Him.
Krishnamurti: Do you mean to say you are devoid of fear? And therefore know
what love is?
Questioner: I have replaced fear with love and so to me fear is non-existent,
and therefore my belief is not based on fear.
Krishnamurti: Can you substitute love for fear? Is that not an act of thought
which is afraid and therefore covers up the fear with the word called love, again a
belief?  You  have  covered  up  that  fear  with  a  word  and  you  cling  to  the  word,
hoping to dissipate fear.
Questioner:  What  you  are  saying  disturbs  me  greatly.  I  am  not  at  all  sure  I
want to go on with this, because my belief and my love have sustained me and
helped  me  to  lead  a  decent  life.  This  questioning  of  my  belief  brings  about  a
sense of disorder of which, quite frankly, I am afraid.
Krishnamurti:  So  there  is  fear,  which  you  are  beginning  to  discover  for
yourself.  This  disturbs  you.  Belief  comes  from  fear  and  is  the  most  destructive
thing. One must be free of fear and of belief. Belief divides people, makes them
hard,  makes  them  hate  each  other  and  cultivate  war.  In  a  roundabout  way,
unwillingly,  you  are  admitting  that  fear  begets  belief.  Freedom  from  belief  is
necessary to face the fact of fear. Belief like any other ideal is an escape from
«what is». When there is no fear then the mind is in quite a different dimension.
Only  then  can  you  ask  the  question  whether  there  is  a  God  or  not.  A  mind
clouded by fear or belief is incapable of any kind of understanding, any realization
of what truth is. Such a mind lives in illusion and can obviously not come upon   100
that  which  is  Supreme.  The  Supreme  has  nothing  to  do  with  your  or  anybody
else’s belief, opinion or conclusion.
Not knowing, you believe, but to know is not to know. To know is within the
tiny field of time and the mind that says, «I know» is bound by time and so cannot
possibly understand that which is. After all, when you say, «I know my wife and
my  friend»,  you  know  only  the  image  or  the  memory,  and  this  is  the  past.
Therefore you can never actually know anybody or anything. You cannot know a
living  thing,  only  a  dead  thing.  When  you  see  this  you  will  no  longer  think  of
relationship in terms of knowing. So one can never say, «There is no God», or «I
know God». Both these are a blasphemy. To understand that which is there must
be freedom, not only from the known but also from the fear of the known and from
the fear of the unknown.
Questioner: You speak of understanding that which «is» and yet you deny the
validity of knowing. What is this understanding if it is not knowing?
Krishnamurti:  The  two  are  quite  different.  Knowing  is  always  related  to  the
past and therefore it binds you to the past. Unlike knowing understanding is not a
conclusion,  not  accumulation.  If  you  have  listened  you  have  understood.
Understanding is attention. When you attend completely you understand. So the
understanding of fear is the ending of fear. Your belief can therefore no longer be
the predominant factor; the understanding of fear is predominant. When there is
no fear there is freedom. It is only then that one can find what is true. When that
which «is» is not distorted by fear then that which «is» is true. It is not the word.
You  cannot  measure  truth  with  words.  Love  is  not  a  word  nor  a  belief  nor
something that you can capture and say, «It is mine». Without love and beauty,
that which you call God is nothing at all.    101
Dreams
Questioner:  I  have  been  told  by  professionals  that  dreaming  is  as  vital  as
daytime  thinking  and  activity,  and  that  I  would  find  my  daily  living  under  great
stress and strain if I did not dream. They insist, and here I’m using not their jargon
but  my  own  words,  that  during  certain  periods  of  sleep  the  movement  of  the
eyelids indicates refreshing dreams and that these bring a certain clarity to the
brain.  I  am  wondering  whether  the  stillness  of  the  mind  which  you  have  often
spoken  about  might  not  bring  greater  harmony  to  living  than  the  equilibrium
brought about by patterns of dreams. I should also like to ask why the language
of dreams is one of symbols.
Krishnamurti: Language itself is a symbol, and we are used to symbols: we
see  the  tree  through  the  image  which  is  the  symbol  of  the  tree,  we  see  our
neighbour through the image we have about him. Apparently it is one of the most
difficult things for a human being to look at anything directly, not through images,
opinions, conclusions, which are all symbols. And so in dreams symbols play a
large  part  and  in  this  there  is  great  deception  and  danger.  The  meaning  of  a
dream is not always clear to us, although we realize it is in symbols and try to
decipher them. When we see something, we speak of it so spontaneously that we
do not recognise that words are also symbols. All this indicates, doesn’t it, that
there  is  direct  communication  in  technical  matters  but  seldom  in  human
relationships and understanding? You don’t need symbols when somebody hits
you.  That  is  a  direct  communication.  This  is  a  very  interesting  point:  the  mind
refuses  to  see  things  directly,  to  be  aware  of  itself  without  the  word  and  the
symbol. You say the sky is blue. The listener then deciphers this according to his
own reference of blueness and transmits it to you in his own cipher. So we live in
symbols, and dreams are a part of this symbolic process. We are incapable of
direct and immediate perception without the symbols, the words, the prejudices
and conclusions. The reason for this is also quite apparent: it is part of the self-  102
centred  activity  with  its  defences,  resistances,  escapes  and  fears.  There  is  a
ciphered  response  in  the  activity  of  the  brain,  and  dreams  must  naturally  be
symbolic because during the waking hours we are incapable of direct response or
perception.
Questioner: It seems to me that this then is an inherent function of the brain.
Krishnamurti:  Inherent  means  something  permanent,  inevitable  and  lasting.
Surely any psychological state can be changed. Only the deep, constant demand
of the brain for the physical security of the organism is inherent. Symbols are a
device of the brain to protect  the  psyche;  this  is  the  whole  process  of  thought.
The «me» is a symbol, not an actuality. Having created the symbol of the «me»,
thought identifies itself with its conclusion, with the formula, and then defends it:
all misery and sorrow come from this.
Questioner: Then how do I get around it?
Krishnamurti: When you ask how to get around it, you are still holding on to
the symbol of the «me», which is fictitious; you become something separate from
what you see, and so duality arises.
Questioner: May I come back another day to continue this?
* * *
Questioner: You were good enough to let me come back, and I should like to
continue  where  we  left  off.  We  were  talking  about  symbols  in  dreams  and  you
pointed  out  that  we  live  by  symbols,  deciphering  them  according  to  our
gratification.  We  do  this  not  only  in  dreams  but  in  everyday  life;  it  is  our  usual
behaviour. Most of our actions are based on the interpretation of the symbols or
images that we have. Strangely, after having talked with you the other day, my
dreams have taken a peculiar  turn.  I  have  had very disturbing  dreams  and  the
interpretation  of  those  dreams  took  place  as  they  were  happening  within  the   103
dreams. It was a simultaneous process; the dream was being interpreted by the
dreamer. This has never happened to me before.
Krishnamurti: During our waking hours, there is always the observer, different
from the observed, the actor, separate from his action. In the same way there is
the dreamer separate from his dream. He thinks it is separate from himself and
therefore in need of interpretation. But is the dream separate from the dreamer,
and  is  there  any  need  to  interpret  it?  When  the  observer  is  the  observed  what
need is there to interpret, to judge, to evaluate? This need would exist only if the
observer  were  different  from  the  thing  observed.  This  is  very  important  to
understand. We have separated the thing observed from the observer and from
this arises not only the problem of interpretation but also conflict, and the many
problems  connected  with  it.  This  division  is  an  illusion.  This  division  between
groups, races, nationalities, is fictitious. We are beings, undivided by names, by
labels. When the labels become all important, division takes place, and then wars
and all other struggles come into being.
Questioner: How then do I understand the content of the dream? It must have
significance. Is it an accident that I dream of some particular event or person?
Krishnamurti: We should really look at this quite differently. Is there anything to
understand?  When  the  observer  thinks  he  is  different  from  the  thing  observed
there  is  an  attempt  to  understand  that  which  is  outside  himself.  The  same
process  goes  on  within  him.  There  is  the  observer  wishing  to  understand  the
thing he observes, which is himself. But when the observer is the observed, there
is no question of understanding; there is only observation. You say that there is
something to understand in the dream, otherwise there would be no dream, you
say that the dream is a hint of something unresolved that one should understand.
You  use  the  word  «understand»,  and  in  that  very  word  is  the  dualistic  process.
You think there is an «I», and a thing to be understood, whereas in reality these   104
two entities are one and the same. Therefore your search for a meaning in the
dream is the action of conflict.
Questioner: Would you say the dream is an expression of something in the
mind? Krishnamurti: Obviously it is.
Questioner: I do not understand how it is possible to regard a dream in the
way you are describing it. If it has no significance, why does it exist?
Krishnamurti:  The  «I»  is  the  dreamer,  and  the  dreamer  wants  to  see
significance  in  the  dream  which  he  has  invented  or  projected,  so  both  are
dreams, both are unreal. This unreality has become real to the dreamer, to the
observer  who  thinks  of  himself  as  separate.  The  whole  problem  of  dream
interpretation arises out of this separation, this division between the actor and the
action.
Questioner: I am getting more and more confused, so may we go over it again
differently? I can see that a dream is the product of my mind and not separate
from it, but dreams seem to come from levels of the mind which have not been
explored, and so they seem to be intimations of something alive in the mind.
Krishnamurti: It is not your particular mind in which there are hidden things.
Your mind is the mind of man; your consciousness is the whole of man. But when
you  particularize  it  as  your  mind,  you  limit  its  activity,  and  because  of  this
limitation, dreams arise. During waking hours observe without the observer, who
is the expression of limitation. Any division is a limitation. Having divided itself into
a «me» and a «not me», the «me», the observer, the dreamer, has many problems –
among them dreams and the interpretation of dreams. In any case, you will see
the  significance  or  the  value  of  a  dream  only  in  a  limited  way  because  the
observer is always limited. The dreamer perpetuates his own limitation, therefore
the dream is always the expression of the incomplete, never of the whole.    105
Questioner: Pieces are brought back from the moon in order to understand the
composition of the moon. In the same way we try to understand human thinking
by bringing back pieces from our dreams, and examining what they express.
Krishnamurti:  The  expressions  of  the  mind  are  the  fragments  of  the  mind.
Each fragment expresses itself in its own way and contradicts other fragments. A
dream  may  contradict  another  dream,  one  action  another  action,  one  desire
another desire. The mind lives in this confusion. A part of the mind says it must
understand  another  part,  such  as  a  dream,  an  action  or  a  desire.  So  each
fragment  has  its  own  observer,  its  own  activity;  then  a  super-observer  tries  to
bring them all into harmony. The super-observer is also a fragment of the mind. It
is these contradictions, these divisions, that breed dreams.
So  the  real  question  is  not  the  interpretation  or  the  understanding  of  a
particular dream; it is the perception that these many fragments are contained in
the whole. Then you see yourself as a whole and not as a fragment of a whole.
Questioner: Are you saying, sir, that one should be aware during the day of
the whole movement of life, not just one’s family life, or business life, or any other
individual aspect of life?
Krishnamurti: Consciousness is the whole of man and does not belong to a
particular man. When there is the consciousness of one particular man there is
the  complex  problem  of  fragmentation,  contradiction  and  war.  When  there  is
awareness  of  the  total  movement  of  life  in  a  human  being  during  the  waking
hours, what need is there for dreams at all? This total awareness, this attention,
puts  an  end  to  fragmentation  and  to  division.  When  there  is  no  conflict
whatsoever the mind has no need for dreams.
Questioner: This certainly opens a door through which I see many things.    106
Tradition
Questioner: Can one really be free of tradition? Can one be free of anything at
all? Or is it a matter of sidestepping it and not being concerned with any of it?
You talk a great deal about the past and its conditioning – but can I be really free
of  this  whole  background  of  my  life?  Or  can  I  merely  modify  the  background
according  to  the  various  outward  demands  and  challenges,  adjust  myself  to  it
rather  than  become  free  of  it?  It  seems  to  me  that  this  is  one  of  the  most
important  things,  and  I’d  like  to  understand  it  because  I  always  feel  that  I  am
carrying  a  burden,  the  weight  of  the  past.  I  would  like  to  put  it  down  and  walk
away from it, never come back to it. Is that possible?
Krishnamurti:  Doesn’t  tradition  mean  carrying  the  past  over  to  the  present?
The past is not only one’s particular set of inheritances but also the weight of all
the collective thought of a particular group of people who have lived in a particular
culture and tradition. One carries the accumulated knowledge and experience of
the race and the family. All this is the past – the carrying over from the known to
the present – which shapes the future. Is not the teaching of all history a form of
tradition? You are asking if one can be free of all this. First of all, why does one
want to be free? Why does one want to put down this burden? Why?
Questioner: I think it’s fairly simple. I don’t want to be the past – I want to be
myself; I want to be cleansed of this whole tradition so that I can be a new human
being. I think in most of us there is this feeling of wanting to be born anew.
Krishnamurti:  You  cannot  possibly  be  the  new  just  by  wishing  for  it.  Or  by
struggling to be new. You have not only to understand the past but also you have
to find out who you are. Are you not the past? Are you not the continuation of
what has been, modified by the present?
Questioner: My actions and my thoughts are, but my existence isn’t.    107
Krishnamurti: Can you separate the two, action and thought, from existence?
Are  not  thought,  action,  existence,  living  and  relationship  all  one?  This
fragmentation into «me» and «not-me» is part of this tradition.
Questioner: Do you mean that when I am not thinking, when the past is not
operating, I am obliterated, that I have ceased to exist?
Krishnamurti:  Don’t  let  us  ask  too  many  questions,  but  consider  what  we
began with. Can one be free of the past – not only the recent but the immemorial,
the  collective,  the  racial,  the  human,  the  animal?  You  are  all  that,  you  are  not
separate from that. And you are asking whether you can put all that aside and be
born anew. The «you» is that, and when you wish to be reborn as a new entity, the
new  entity  you  imagine  is  a  projection  of  the  old,  covered  over  with  the  word
«new». But underneath, you are the past. So the question is, can the past be put
aside  or  does  a  modified  form  of  tradition  continue  for  ever,  changing,
accumulating, discarding, but always the past in different combinations? The past
is  the  cause  and  the  present  is  the  effect,  and  today,  which  is  the  effect  of
yesterday, becomes the cause of tomorrow. This chain is the way of thought, for
thought  is  the  past.  You  are  asking  whether  one  can  stop  this  movement  of
yesterday  into  today.  Can  one  look  at  the  past  to  examine  it,  or  is  that  not
possible at all? To look at it the observer must be outside it – and he isn’t. So here
arises another issue. If the observer himself is the past then how can the past be
isolated for observation?
Questioner: I can look at something objectively….
Krishnamurti:  But  you,  who  are  the  observer,  are  the  past  trying  to  look  at
itself. You can objectify yourself only as an image which you have put together
through  the  years  in  every  form  of  relationship,  and  so  the  «you»  which  you
objectify is memory and imagination, the past. You are trying to look at yourself
as though you were a different entity from the one who is looking, but you are the
past,  with  its  old  judgements,  evaluations  and  so  on.  The  action  of  the  past  is   108
looking at the memory of the past. Therefore there is never relief from the past.
The continuous examination of the past by the past perpetuates the past; this is
the very action of the past, and this is the very essence of tradition.
Questioner: Then what action is possible? If I am the past – and I can see that
I  am  –  then  whatever  I  do  to  chisel  away  the  past  is  adding  to  it.  So  I  am  left
helpless! What can I do? I can’t pray because the invention of a god is again the
action of the past. I can’t look to another, for the other is also the creation of my
despair. I can’t run away from it all because at the end of it I am still there with my
past. I can’t identify myself with some image which is not of the past because that
image is my own projection too. Seeing all this, I am really left helpless, and in
despair.
Krishnamurti:  Why  do  you  call  it  helplessness  and  despair?  Aren’t  you
translating  what  you  see  as  the  past  into  an  emotional  anxiety  because  you
cannot achieve a certain result? in so doing you are again making the past act.
Now, can you look at all this movement of the past, with all its traditions, without
wanting to be free of it, change it, modify it or run away from it – simply observe it
without any reaction?
Questioner:  But as we have been  saying  all  through  this  conversation,  how
can I observe the past if I am the past? I can’t look at it at all!
Krishnamurti:  Can  you  look  at  yourself,  who  are  the  past,  without  any
movement  of  thought,  which  is  the  past?  If  you  can  look  without  thinking,
evaluating, liking, disliking, judging, then there is a looking with eyes that are not
touched by the past. It is to look in silence, without the noise of thought. In this
silence there is neither the observer nor the thing which he is looking at as the
past.
Questioner:  Are  you  saying  that  when  you  look  without  evaluation  or
judgement the past has disappeared? But it hasn’t – there are still the thousands   109
of thoughts and actions and all the pettiness which were rampant only a moment
ago. I look at them and they are still there. How can you say that the past has
disappeared? It may momentarily have stopped acting….
Krishnamurti:  When  the  mind  is  silent  that  silence  is  a  new  dimension,  and
when there is any rampant pettiness it is instantly dissolved, because the mind
has now a different quality of energy which is not the energy engendered by the
past. This is what matters: to have that energy that dispels the carrying over of
the past. The carrying over of the past is a different kind of energy. The silence
wipes the other out, the greater absorbs the lesser and remains untouched. It is
like the sea, receiving the dirty river and remaining pure. This is what matters. It is
only this energy that can wipe away the past. Either there is silence or the noise
of the past. In this silence the noise ceases and the new is this silence. It is not
that  you  are  made  new.  This  silence  is  infinite  and  the  past  is  limited.  The
conditioning of the past breaks down in the fullness of silence.    110
Conditioning
Questioner:  You  have  talked  a  great  deal  about  conditioning  and  have  said
that one must be free of this bondage, otherwise one remains imprisoned always.
A statement of this kind seems so outrageous and unacceptable! Most of us are
very deeply conditioned and we hear this statement and throw up our hands and
run away from such extravagant expression, but I have taken you seriously – for,
after all, you have more or less given your life to this kind of thing, not as a hobby
but with deep seriousness – and therefore I should like to discuss it with you to
see how far the human being can uncondition himself. Is it really possible, and if
so, what does it mean? Is  it possible for me, having lived  in  a  world  of  habits,
traditions  and  the  acceptance  of  orthodox  notions  in  so  many  matters  –  is  it
possible for me really to throw off this deep-rooted conditioning? What exactly do
you mean by conditioning, and what do you mean by freedom from conditioning?
Krishnamurti:  Let  us  take  the  first  question  first.  We  are  conditioned  –
physically, nervously, mentally – by the climate we live in and the food we eat, by
the culture in which we live, by the whole of our social, religious and economic
environment,  by  our  experience,  by  education  and  by  family  pressures  and
influences.  All  these  are  the  factors  which  condition  us.  Our  conscious  and
unconscious  responses  to  all  the  challenges  of  our  environment  –  intellectual,
emotional,  outward  and  inward  –  all  these  are  the  action  of  conditioning.
Language is conditioning; all thought is the action, the response of conditioning.
Knowing that we are conditioned we invent a divine agency which we piously
hope  will  get  us  out  of  this  mechanical  state.  We  either  postulate  its  existence
outside  or  inside  ourselves  –  as  the  atman,  the  soul,  the  Kingdom  of  Heaven
which is within, and who knows what else! To these beliefs we cling desperately,
not seeing that they themselves are part of the conditioning factor which they are
supposed to destroy or redeem. So not being able to uncondition ourselves in this
world,  and  not  even  seeing  that  conditioning  is  the  problem,  we  think  that   111
freedom is in Heaven, in Moksha, in Nirvana. In the Christian myth of original sin
and  in  the  whole  eastern  doctrine  of  Samsara,  one  sees  that  the  factor  of
conditioning has been felt, though rather obscurely. If it had been clearly seen,
naturally  these  doctrines  and  myths  would  not  have  arisen.  Nowadays  the
psychologists also try to get to grips with this problem, and in doing so condition
us still further. Thus the religious specialists have conditioned us, the social order
has conditioned us, the family which is part of it has conditioned us. All this is the
past  which  makes  up  the  open  as  well  as  the  hidden  layers  of  the  mind.  En
passant it is interesting to note that the so-called individual doesn’t exist at all, for
his  mind  draws  on  the  common  reservoir  of  conditioning  which  he  shares  with
everybody  else,  so  the  division  between  the  community  and  the  individual  is
false: there is only conditioning. This conditioning is action in all relationships – to
things, people and ideas.
Questioner:  Then  what  am  I  to  do  to  free  myself  from  it  all?  To  live  in  this
mechanical state is not living at all, and yet all action, all will, all judgements are
conditioned  –  so  there  is  apparently  nothing  I  can  do  about  conditioning  which
isn’t conditioned! I am tied hand and foot.
Krishnamurti: The very factor of conditioning in the past, in the present and in
the future, is the «me» which thinks in terms of time, the «me» which exerts itself;
and now it exerts itself in the demand to be free; so the root of all conditioning,is
the thought which is the «me». The «me» is the very essence of the past, the «me»
is time, the «me» is sorrow – the «me» endeavours to free itself from itself, the «me»
makes efforts, struggles to achieve, to deny, to become. This struggle to become
is time in which there is confusion and the greed for the more and the better. The
«me»  seeks  security  and  not  finding  it  transfers  the  search  to  heaven;  the  very
«me» that identifies itself with something greater in which it hopes to lose itself –
whether that be the nation, the ideal or some god – is the factor of conditioning.    112
Questioner: You have taken everything away from me. What am I without this
«me»?
Krishnamurti: If there is no «me» you are unconditioned, which means you are
nothing.
Questioner: Can the «me» end without the effort of the «me»?
Krishnamurti: The effort to become something is the response, the action, of
conditioning. Questioner: How can the action of the «me» stop?
Krishnamurti: It can stop only if you see this whole thing, the whole business
of it. If you see it in action, which is in relationship, the seeing is the ending of the
«me». Not only is this seeing an action which is not conditioned but also it acts
upon conditioning.
Questioner:  Do  you  mean  to  say  that  the  brain  –  which  is  the  result  of  vast
evolution with its infinite conditioning – can free itself?
Krishnamurti: The brain is the result of time; it is conditioned to protect itself
physically, but when it tries to protect itself psychologically then the «me» begins,
and all our misery starts. It is this effort to protect itself psychologically that is the
affirmation  of  the  «me».  The  brain  can  learn,  can  acquire  knowledge
technologically,  but  when  it  acquires  knowledge  psychologically  then  that
knowledge asserts itself in relationship as the «me» with its experiences, its will
and its violence. This is what brings division, conflict and sorrow to relationship.
Questioner:  Can  this  brain  be  still  and  only  operate  when  it  has  to  work
technologically  –  only  operate  when  knowledge  is  demanded  in  action,  as  for
example in learning a language, driving a car or building a house?
Krishnamurti:  The  danger  in  this  is  the  dividing  of  the  brain  into  the
psychological  and  the  technological.  This  again  becomes  a  contradiction,  a   113
conditioning, a theory. The real question is whether the brain, the whole of it, can
be still, quiet, and respond efficiently only when it has to in technology or in living.
So we are not concerned with the psychological or the technological; we ask only,
can this whole mind be completely still and function only when it has to? We say
it can and this is the understanding of what meditation is.
* * *
Questioner: If I may I should like to continue where we left off yesterday. You
may remember that I asked two questions: I asked what is conditioning and what
is freedom from conditioning, and you said let us take the first question first. We
hadn’t time to go into the second question, so I should like to ask today, what is
the state of the mind that is free from all its conditioning? After talking with you
yesterday it became very clear to me how deeply and strongly I am conditioned,
and  I  saw  –  at  least  I  think  I  saw  –  an  opening,  a  crack  in  this  structure  of
conditioning.  I  talked  the  matter  over  with  a  friend  and  in  taking  certain  factual
instances  of  conditioning  I  saw  very  clearly  how  deeply  and  venomously  one’s
actions are affected by it. As you said at the end, meditation is the emptying of
the mind of all conditioning so that there is no distortion or illusion. How s one to
be free of all distortion, all illusion? What is illusion?
Krishnamurti: It is so easy to deceive oneself, so easy to convince oneself of
anything  at  all.  The  feeling  that  one  must  be  something  is  the  beginning  of
deception,  and,  of  course,  this  idealistic  attitude  leads  to  various  forms  of
hypocrisy.  What  makes  illusion?  Well,  one  of  the  factors  is  this  constant
comparison  between  what  is  and  what  should  be,  or  what  might  be,  this
measurement between the good and the bad – thought trying to improve itself, the
memory of pleasure, trying to get more pleasure, and so on. It is this desire for
more,  this  dissatisfaction,  which  makes  one  accept  or  have  faith  in  something,
and this must inevitably lead to every form of deception and illusion. It is desire
and  fear,  hope  and  despair,  that  project  the  goal,  the  conclusion  to  be   114
experienced.  Therefore  this  experience  has  no  reality.  All  so-called  religious
experiences  follow  this  pattern.  The  very  desire  for  enlightenment  must  also
breed  the  acceptance  of  authority,  and  this  is  the  opposite  of  enlightenment.
Desire,  dissatisfaction,  fear,  pleasure,  wanting  more,  wanting  to  change,  all  of
which is measurement – this is the way of illusion.
Questioner: Do you really have no illusion at all about anything?
Krishnamurti: I am not all the time measuring myself or others. This freedom
from measurement comes about when you are really living with what is – neither
wishing  to  change  it  nor  judging  it  in  terms  of  good  and  bad.  Living  with
something  is  not  the  acceptance  of  it:  it  is  there  whether  you  accept  it  or  not.
Living with something is not identifying yourself with it either.
Questioner: Can we go back to the question of what this freedom is that one
really wants? This desire for freedom expresses itself in everybody, sometimes in
the  stupidest  ways,  but  I  think  one  can  say  that  in  the  human  heart  there  is
always  this  deep  longing  for  freedom  which  is  never  realized;  there  is  this
incessant struggle to be free. I know I am not free; I am caught in so many wants.
How am I to be free, and what does it mean to be really honestly free?
Krishnamurti: Perhaps this may help us to understand it: total negation is that
freedom.  To  negate  everything  we  consider  to  be  positive,  to  negate  the  total
social morality, to negate all inward acceptance of authority, to negate everything
one has said or concluded about reality, to negate all tradition, all teaching, all
knowledge except technological knowledge, to negate all experience, to negate
all the drives which stem from remembered or forgotten pleasures, to negate all
fulfilment,  to  negate  all  commitments  to  act  in  a  particular  way,  to  negate  all
ideas,  all  principles,  all  theories.  Such  negation  is  the  most  positive  action,
therefore it is freedom.    115
Questioner: If I chisel away at this, bit by bit, I shall go on for ever and that
itself will be my bondage. Can it all all wither away in a flash, can I negate the
whole  human  deception,  all  the  values  and  aspiration  and  standards,
immediately? Is it really possible? Doesn’t it require enormous capacity, which I
lack, enormous understanding, to see all this in a flash and leave it exposed to
the  light,  to  that  intelligence  you  have  talked  about?  I  wonder,  sir,  if  you  know
what  this  entails.  To  ask  me,  an  ordinary  man  with  an  ordinary  education,  to
plunge into something which seems like an incredible nothingness…. Can I do it?
I don’t even know what it means to jump into it! It’s like asking me to become all
of a sudden the most beautiful, innocent, lovely human being. You see I am really
frightened  now,  not  the  way  I  was  frightened  before,  I  am  faced  now  with
something which I know is true, and yet my utter incapacity to do it binds me. I
see the beauty of this thing, to be really completely nothing, but….
Krishnamurti: You know, it is only when there is emptiness in oneself, not the
emptiness of a shallow mind but the emptiness that comes with the total negation
of everything one has been and should be and will be – it is only in this emptiness
that  there  is  creation;  it  is  only  in  this  emptiness  that  something  new  can  take
place. Fear is the thought of the unknown, so you are really frightened of leaving
the  known,  the  attachments,  the  satisfactions,  the  pleasurable  memories,  the
continuity and security which give comfort. Thought is comparing this with what it
thinks is emptiness. This imagination of emptiness is fear, so fear is thought. To
come back to your question – can the mind negate everything it has known, the
total  content  of  its  own  conscious  and  unconscious  self,  which  is  the  very
essence  of  yourself?  Can  you  negate  yourself  completely?  If  not,  there  is  no
freedom.  Freedom  is  not  freedom  from  something  –  that  is  only  a  reaction;
freedom comes in total denial.
Questioner: But what is the good of having such freedom? You are asking me
to die, aren’t you?    116
Krishnamurti: Of course! I wonder how you are using the word «good» when
you say what is the good of this freedom? Good in terms of what? The known?
Freedom is the absolute good and its action is the beauty of everyday life. In this
freedom alone there is living, and without it how can there be love? Everything
exists and has its being in this freedom. It is everywhere and nowhere. It has no
frontiers. Can you die now to everything you know and not wait for tomorrow to
die? This freedom is eternity and ecstasy and love.    117
Happiness
Questioner: What is happiness? I have always tried to find it but somehow it
hasn’t come my way. I see people enjoying themselves in so many different ways
and many of the things they do seem so immature and childish. I suppose they
are happy in their own way, but I want a different kind of happiness. I have had
rare  intimations  that  it  might  be  possible  to  get  it,  but  somehow  it  has  always
eluded me. I wonder what I can do to feel really completely happy?
Krishnamurti: Do you think happiness is an end in itself? Or does it come as a
secondary thing in living intelligently?
Questioner:  I  think  it  is  an  end  in  itself  because  if  there  is  happiness  then
whatever you do will be harmonious; then you will do things effortlessly, easily,
without any friction. I am sure that whatever you do out of this happiness will be
right.
Krishnamurti: But is this so? Is happiness an end in itself? Virtue is not an end
in itself. If it is, then it becomes a very small affair. Can you seek happiness? If
you do then probably you will find an imitation of it in all sorts of distractions and
indulgences.  This  is  pleasure.  What  is  the  relationship  between  pleasure  and
happiness?
Questioner.  I  have  never  asked  myself.  Krishnamurti:  Pleasure  which  we
pursue  is  mistakenly  called  happiness,  but  can  you  pursue  happiness,  as  you
pursue  pleasure?  Surely  we  must  be  very  clear  as  to  whether  pleasure  is
happiness.  Pleasure  is  gratification,  satisfaction,  indulgence,  entertainment,
stimulation. Most of us think pleasure is happiness, and the greatest pleasure we
consider  to  be  the  greatest  happiness.  And  is  happiness  the  opposite  of
unhappiness?  Are  you  trying  to  be  happy  because  you  are  unhappy  and
dissatisfied? Has happiness got an opposite at all? Has love got an opposite? Is
your question about happiness the result of being unhappy?    118
Questioner: I am unhappy like the rest of the world and naturally I don’t want
to be, and that is what is driving me to seek happiness.
Krishnamurti: So happiness to you is the opposite of unhappiness. If you were
happy  you  wouldn’t  seek  it.  So  what  is  important  is  not  happiness  but  whether
unhappiness  can  end.  That  is  the  real  problem,  isn’t  it?  You  are  asking  about
happiness  because  you  are  unhappy  and  you  ask  this  question  without  finding
out whether happiness is the opposite of unhappiness.
Questioner: If you put it that way, I accept it. So my concern is how to be free
from the misery I am in.
Krishnamurti:  Which  is  more  important  –  to  understand  unhappiness  or  to
pursue  happiness?  If  you  pursue  happiness  it  becomes  an  escape  from
unhappiness and therefore it will always remain, covered over perhaps, hidden,
but always there, festering inside. So what is your question now? Questioner: My
question now is why am I miserable? You have very neatly pointed out to me my
real state, rather than given me the answer I want, so now I am faced with this
question, how am I to get rid of the misery I am in?
Krishnamurti: Can an outside agency help you to get rid of your own misery,
whether that outside agency be God, a master, a drug or a saviour? Or can one
have  the  intelligence  to  understand  the  nature  of  unhappiness  and  deal  with  it
immediately?
Questioner: I have come to you because I thought you might help me, so you
could call yourself an outside agency. I want help and I don’t care who gives it to
me.
Krishnamurti:  In  accepting  or  giving  help  several  things  are  involved.  If  you
accept it blindly you will be caught in the trap of one authority or another, which
brings with it various other problems, such as obedience and fear. So if you start
off  wanting  help,  not  only  do  you  not  get help – because nobody can help you   119
anyway – but in addition you get a whole series of new problems; you are deeper
in the mire than ever before.
Questioner: I think I understand and accept that. I have never thought it out
clearly before. How then can I develop the intelligence to deal with unhappiness
on my own, and immediately? If I had this intelligence surely I wouldn’t be here
now, I wouldn’t be asking you to help me. So my question now is, can I get this
intelligence  in  order  to  solve  the  problem  of  unhappiness  and  thereby  attain
happiness? Krishnamurti: You are saying that this intelligence is separate from its
action. The action of this intelligence is the seeing and the understanding of the
problem,itself.  The  two  are  not  separate  and  successive;  you  don’t  first  get
intelligence and then use it on the problem like a tool. it is one of the sicknesses
of thinking to say that one should have the capacity first and then use it, the idea
or the principle first and then apply it. This itself is the very absence of intelligence
and  the  origin  of  problems.  This  is  fragmentation.  We  live  this  way  and  so  we
speak of happiness and unhappiness, hate and love, and so on.
Questioner: Perhaps this is inherent in the structure of language.
Krishnamurti: Perhaps it is but let’s not make too much fuss about it here and
wander away from the issue. We are saying that intelligence, and the action of
that  intelligence  –  which  is  seeing  the  problem  of  unhappiness  –  are  one
indivisibly.  Also  that  this  is  not  separate  from  ending  unhappiness  or  getting
happiness.
Questioner: How am I to get that intelligence?
Krishnamurti: Have you understood what we have been saying?
Questioner: Yes.
Krishnamurti:  But  if  you  have  understood  you  have  seen  that  this  seeing  is
intelligence. The only thing you can do is to see; you cannot cultivate intelligence   120
in  order  to  see.  Seeing  is  not  the  cultivation  of  intelligence.  Seeing  is  more
important than intelligence, or happiness, or unhappiness. There is only seeing or
not  seeing.  All  the  rest  –  happiness,  unhappiness  and  intelligence  –  are  just
words.
Questioner: What is it, then, to see?
Krishnamurti: To see means to understand how thought creates the opposites.
What  thought  creates  is  not  real.  To  see  means  to  understand  the  nature  of
thought,  memory,  conflict,  ideas;  to  see  all  this  as  a  total  process  is  to
understand. This is intelligence; seeing totally is intelligence; seeing fragmentarily
is the lack of intelligence.
Questioner: I am a bit bewildered. I think I understand, but it is rather tenuous;
I must go slowly. What you are saying is, see and listen completely. You say this
attention is intelligence and you say that it must be immediate. One can only see
now. I wonder if I really see now, or am I going home to think over what you have
said, hoping to see later?
Krishnamurti: Then you will never see; in thinking about it you will never see it
because thinking prevents seeing. Both of us have understood what it means to
see. This seeing is not an essence or an abstraction or an idea. You cannot see if
there  is  nothing  to  see.  Now  you  have  a  problem  of  unhappiness.  See  it
completely,  including  your  wanting  to  be  happy  and  how  thought  creates  the
opposite.  See  the  search  for  happiness  and  the  seeking  help  in  order  to  get
happiness. See disappointment, hope, fear. All of this must be seen comple- tely,
as a whole, not separately. See all this now, give your whole attention to it.
Questioner: I am still bewildered. I don’t know whether I have got the essence
of it, the whole point. I want to close my eyes and go into myself to see if I have
really understood this thing. If I have then I have solved my problem.    121
Learning
Questioner: You have often talked about learning. I don’t quite know what you
mean by it. We are taught to learn at school and at the University, and life also
teaches  us  many  things  –  to  adjust  ourselves  to  environment  and  to  our
neighbours,  to  our  wife  or  husband,  to  our  children.  We  seem  to  learn  from
almost  everything,  but  I  am  sure  that  when  you  speak  about  learning  this  isn’t
quite what you mean because you also seem to deny experience as a teacher.
But when you deny experience aren’t you denying all learning? After all, through
experience, both in technology and in human everyday living, we learn everything
we know. So could we go into this question?
Krishnamurti: Learning through experience is one thing – it is the accumulation
of conditioning – and learning all the time, not only about objective things but also
about  oneself,  is  something  quite  different.  There  is  the  accumulation  which
brings  about  conditioning  –  this  we  know  –  and  there  is  the  learning  which  we
speak about. This learning is observation – to observe without accumulation, to
observe in freedom. This observation is not directed from the past. Let us keep
those two things clear.
What  do  we  learn  from  experience?  We  learn  things  like  languages,
agriculture,  manners,  going  to  the  moon,  medicine,  mathematics.  But  have  we
learnt about war through making war? We have learnt to make war more deadly,
more efficient, but we haven’t learnt not to make war. Our experience in warfare
endangers  the  survival  of  the  human  race.  Is  this  learning?  You  may  build  a
better house, but has experience taught you how to live more nobly inside it? We
have  learnt  through  experience  that  fire  burns  and  that  has  become  our
conditioning but we have also learnt through our conditioning that nationalism is
good.  Yet  experience  should  also  teach  us  that  nationalism  is  deadly.  All  the
evidence  is  there.  The  religious  experience,  as  based  on  our  conditioning,  has
separated man from man. Experience has taught us to have better food, clothes   122
and  shelter,  but  it  has  not  taught  us  that  social  injustice  prevents  the  right
relationship  between  man  and  man.  So  experience  conditions  and  strengthens
our  prejudices,  our  peculiar  tendencies  and  our  particular  dogmas  and  beliefs.
We do not learn what stupid nonsense all this is; we do not learn to live in the
right  relationship  with  other  men.  This  right  relationship  is  love.  Experience
teaches  me  to  strengthen  the  family  as  a  unit  opposed  to  society  and  to  other
families. This brings about strife and division, which makes it ever more important
to  strengthen  the  family  protectively,  and  so  the  vicious  circle  continues.  We
accumulate, and call this «learning through experience», but more and more this
learning brings about fragmentation, narrowness and specialization.
Questioner:  Are  you  making  out  a  case  against  technological  learning  and
experience, against science and all accumulated knowledge? If we turn our backs
on that we shall go back to savagery.
Krishnamurti:  No,  I  am  not  making  out  such  a  case  at  all.  I  think  we  are
misunderstanding  each  other.  We  said  that  there  are  two  kinds  of  learning:
accumulation through experience, and acting from that accumulation, which is the
past,  and  which  is  absolutely  necessary  wherever  the  action  of  knowledge  is
necessary. We are not against this; that would be too absurd!
Questioner: Gandhi tried to keep the machine out of life and started all that
business which they call «Home industries» or «Cottage industries» in India. Yet he
used modern mechanized transport. This shows the inconsistency and hypocrisy
of his position.
Krishnamurti: Let’s leave other people out of this. We are saying that there are
two kinds of learning – one, acting through the accumulation of knowledge and
experience, and the other, learning without accumulation, but learning all the time
in  the  very  act  of  living.  The  former  is  absolutely  necessary  in  all  technical
matters,  but  relationship,  behaviour,  are  not  technical  matters,  they  are  living
things and you have to learn about them all the time. If you act from what you   123
have  learnt  about  behaviour,  then  it  becomes  mechanical  and  therefore
relationship becomes routine.
Then  there  is  another  very  important  point:  in  all  the  learning  which  is
accumulation and experience, profit is the criterion that determines the efficiency
of  the  learning.  And  when  the  motive  of  profit  operates  in  human  relationships
then it destroys those relationships because it brings about isolation and division.
When the learning of experience and accumulation enters the domain of human
behaviour, the psychological domain, then it must inevitably destroy. Enlightened
self-interest on the one hand is advancement, but on the other hand it is the very
seat of mischief, misery and confusion. Relationship cannot flower where there is
self-interest  of  any  kind,  and  that  is  why  relationship  cannot  flower  where  it  is
guided by experience or memory.
Questioner: I see this, but isn’t religious experience something different? I am
talking about the experience gathered and passed on in religious matters – the
experiences of the saints and gurus, the experience of the philosophers. Isn’t this
kind of experience beneficial to us in our ignorance?
Krishnamurti: Not at all! The saint must be recognised by society and always
conforms  to  society’s  notions  of  sainthood  –  otherwise  he  wouldn’t  be  called  a
saint.  Equally  the  guru  must  be  recognised  as  such  by  his  followers  who  are
conditioned by tradition. So both the guru and the disciple are part of the cultural
and religious conditioning of the particular society in which they live. When they
assert that they have come into contact with reality, that they know, then you may
be  quite  sure  that  what  they  know  is  not  reality.  What  they  know  is  their  own
projection from the past. So the man who says he knows, does not know. in all
these  so-called  religious  experiences  a  cognitive  process  of  recognition  is
inherent. You can only recognise something you have known before, therefore it
is  of  the  past,  therefore  it  is  time-binding  and  not  timeless.  So-called  religious
experience  does  not  bring  benefit  but  merely  conditions  you  according  to  your   124
particular  tradition,  inclination,  tendency  and  desire,  and  therefore  encourages
every form of illusion and isolation.
Questioner:  Do  you  mean  to  say  that  you  cannot  experience  reality?
Krishnamurti: To experience implies that there must be an experiencer and the
experiencer  is  the  essence  of  all  conditioning.  What  he  experiences  is  the
already-known.
Questioner: What do you mean when you talk about the experiencer? If there
is no experiencer do you mean you disappear?
Krishnamurti:  Of  course.  The  «you»  is  the  past  and  as  long  as  the  «you»
remains or the «me» remains, that which is immense cannot be. The «me» with his
shallow  little  mind,  experience  and  knowledge,  with  his  heart  burdened  with
jealousies and anxieties – how can such an entity understand that which has no
beginning and no ending, that which is ecstasy? So the beginning of wisdom is to
understand yourself. Begin understanding yourself.
Questioner: Is the experiencer different from that which he experiences, is the
challenge different from the reaction to the challenge?
Krishnamurti:  The  experiencer  is  the  experienced,  otherwise  he  could  not
recognise the experience and would not call it an experience; the experience is
already  in  him  before  he  recognises  it.  So  the  past  is  always  operating  and
recognising itself; the new becomes swallowed up by the old. Similarly it is the
reaction  which  determines  the  challenge;  the  challenge  is  the  reaction,  the  two
are  not  separate;  without  a  reaction  there  would  be  no  challenge.  So  the
experience of an experiencer, or the reaction to a challenge which comes from
the experiencer, are old, for they are determined by the experiencer. If you come
to  think  of  it,  the  word  «experience»  means  to  go  through  something  and  finish
with it and not store it up, but when we talk about experience we actually mean
the opposite. Every time you speak of experience you speak of something stored   125
from which action takes place, you speak of something which you have enjoyed
and demand to have again, or have disliked and fear to have repeated.
So really to live is to learn without the cumulative process.    126
Self-Expression
Questioner: Expression seems to me so important. I must express myself as
an artist otherwise I feel stifled and deeply frustrated. Expression is part of one’s
existence. As an artist it is as natural that I should give myself to it as that a man
should express his love for a woman in words and gestures. But through all this
expression  there  is  a  sort  of  pain  which  I  don’t  quite  understand.  I  think  most
artists would agree with me that there is deep conflict in expressing one’s deepest
feelings on canvas, or in any other medium. I wonder if one can ever be free of
this pain, or does expression always bring pain?
Krishnamurti: What is the need of expression, and where does the suffering
come  into  all  this?  Isn’t  one  always  trying  to  express  more  and  more  deeply,
extravagantly, fully, and is one ever satisfied with what one has expressed? The
deep  feeling  and  the  expression  of  it  are  not  the  same  thing;  there  is  a  vast
difference between the two, and there is always frustration when the expression
doesn’t  correspond  to  the  strong  feeling.  Probably  this  is  one  of  the  causes  of
pain, this discontent with the inadequacy of the utterance which the artist gives to
his feeling. In this there is conflict and the conflict is a waste of energy. An artist
has  a  strong  feeling  which  is  fairly  authentic;  he  expresses  it  on  canvas.  This
expression  pleases  some  people  and  they  buy  his  work;  he  gets  money  and
reputation.  His  expression  has  been  noticed  and  becomes  fashionable.  He
refines  it,  pursues  it,  develops  it,  and  is  all  the  time  imitating  himself.  This
expression  becomes  habitual  and  stylized;  the  expression  becomes  more  and
more important and finally more important than the feeling; the feeling eventually
evaporates.  The  artist  is  not  left  with  the  social  consequences  of  being  a
successful painter: the market place of the salon and the gallery, the connoisseur,
the critics; he is enslaved by the society for which he paints. The feeling has long
since  disappeared,  the  expression  is  an  empty  shell  remaining.  Consequently
even  this  expression  eventually  loses  its  attraction  because  it  had  nothing  to   127
express; it is a gesture, a word without a meaning. This is part of the destructive
process of society. This is the destruction of the good.
Questioner: Can’t the feeling remain, without getting lost in expression?
Krishnamurti:  When  expression  becomes  all-important  because  it  is
pleasurable, satisfying or profitable, then there is a cleavage between expression
and feeling. When the feeling is the expression then the conflict doesn’t arise, and
in this there is no contradiction and hence no conflict. But when profit and thought
intervene, then this feeling is lost through greed. The passion of feeling is entirely
different  from  the  passion  of  expression,  and  most  people  are  caught  in  the
passion of expression. So there is always this division between the good and the
pleasurable.
Questioner: Can I live without being caught in this current of greed?
Krishnamurti:  If  it  is  the  feeling  which  is  important  you  will  never  ask  about
expression. Either you have got the feeling or you haven’t. If you ask about the
expression, you are not asking about artistry but about profit. Artistry is that which
is never taken into account: it is the living.
Questioner: So what is it, to live? What is it to be, and to have that feeling
which is complete in itself? I have now understood that expression is beside the
point.
Krishnamurti: It is living without conflict.    128
Passion
Questioner: What is passion? You’ve talked about it and apparently you give it
a  special  meaning.  I  don’t  think  I  know  that  meaning.  Like  every  man  I  have
sexual passion and passions for superficial things like fast driving or cultivating a
beautiful  garden.  Most  of  us  indulge  in  some  form  of  passionate  activity.  Talk
about his special passion and you see a man’s eyes sparkle. We know the word
passion comes from the Greek word for suffering, but the feeling I get when you
use this word is not one of suffering but rather of some driving quality like that of
the wind which comes roaring out of the west, chasing the clouds and the rubbish
before it. I’d like to possess that passion. How does one come by it? What is it
passionate about? What is the passion you mean?
Krishnamurti: I think we should be clear that lust and passion are two different
things.  Lust  is  sustained  by  thought,  driven  by  thought,  it  grows  and  gathers
substance in thought until it explodes – sexually, or, if it is the lust for power, in its
own violent forms of fulfilment. Passion is something entirely different; it is not the
product of thought nor the remembrance of a past event; it is not driven by any
motive of fulfilment; it is not sorrow either.
Questioner:  Is  all  sexual  passion  lust?  Sexual  response  is  not  always  the
result of thought; it may be contact as when you suddenly meet somebody whose
loveliness overpowers you.
Krishnamurti:  Wherever  thought  builds  up  the  image  of  pleasure  it  must
inevitably be lust and not the freedom of passion. If pleasure is the main drive
then it is lust. When sexual feeling is born out of pleasure it is lust. If it is born out
of  love  it  is  not  lust,  even  though  great  delight  may  then  be  present.  Here  we
must  be  clear  and  find  out  for  ourselves  whether  love  excludes  pleasure  and
enjoyment. When you see a cloud and delight in its vastness and the light on it,
there is of course pleasure, but there is a great deal more than pleasure. We are   129
not condemning this at all. If you keep returning to the cloud in thought, or in fact,
for  a  stimulation,  then  you  are  indulging  in  an  imaginative  flight  of  fancy,  and
obviously here pleasure and thought are the incentives operating. When you first
looked at that cloud and saw its beauty there was no such incentive of pleasure
operating. The beauty in sex is the absence of the «me», the ego, but the thought
of sex is the affirmation of this ego, and that is pleasure. This ego is all the time
either seeking pleasure or avoiding pain, wanting fulfilment and thereby inviting
frustration. In all this the feeling of passion is sustained and pursued by thought,
and  therefore  it  is  no  longer  passion  but  pleasure.  The  hope,  the  pursuit,  of
remembered passion is pleasure.
Questioner: What is passion itself, then?
Krishnamurti:  It  has  to  do  with  joy  and  ecstasy,  which  is  not  pleasure.  In
pleasure there is always a subtle form of effort – a seeing, striving, demanding,
struggling to keep it, to get it, In passion there is no demand and therefore no
struggle. In passion there is not the slightest shadow of fulfilment, therefore there
can be neither frustration nor pain, Passion is the freedom from the «me», which is
the centre of all fulfilment and pain. Passion does not demand because it is, and I
am not speaking of something static. Passion is the austerity of self-abnegation in
which the «you» and the «me» is not; therefore passion is the essence of life. It is
this that moves and lives. But when thought brings in all the problems of having
and holding, then passion ceases. Without passion creation is not possible.
Questioner: What do you mean by creation?
Krishnamurti: Freedom.
Questioner: What freedom?
Krishnamurti: Freedom from the «me» which depends on environment and is
the product of environment – the me which is put together by society and thought.   130
This freedom is clarity, the light that is not lit from the past. Passion is only the
present.
Questioner: This has fired me with a strange new feeling.
Krishnamurti:  That  is  the  passion  of  learning.  Questioner:  What  particular
action in my daily living will ensure that this passion is burning and operating?
Krishnamurti: Nothing will ensure it except the attention of learning, which is
action,  which  is  now.  In  this  there  is  the  beauty  of  passion,  which  is  the  total
abandonment of the «me» and its time.    131
Order
Questioner: In your teaching there are a thousand details. in my living I must
be  able  to  resolve  them  all  into  one  action,  now,  which  permeates  all  I  do,
because in my living I have only the one moment right before me in which to act.
What  is  that  one  action  in  daily  living  which  will  bring  all  the  details  of  your
teaching to one point, like a pyramid inverted on its point?
Krishnamurti: …dangerously!
Questioner: Or, to put it differently, what is the one action which will bring the
total intelligence of living into focus in one instant in the present?
Krishnamurti:  I  think  the  question  to  ask  is  how  to  live  a  really  intelligent,
balanced, active life, in harmonious relationship with other human beings, without
confusion,  adjustment  and  misery.  What  is  the  one  act  that  will  summon  this
intelligence  to  operate  in  whatever  you  are  doing?  There  is  so  much  misery,
poverty and sorrow in the world. What are you, as a human being, to do facing all
these human problems? If you use the opportunity to help others for your own
fulfilment, then it is exploitation and mischief. So we can put that aside from the
beginning. The question really is, how are we to live a highly intelligent, orderly
life  without  any  kind  of  effort?  It  seems  that  we  always  approach  this  problem
from the outside, asking ourselves, «What am I to do, confronted with all the many
problems  of  mankind  –  economic,  social,  human?»  We  want  to  work  this  out  in
terms of the outer.
Questioner: No, I am not asking you how I can tackle or solve the problems of
the world, economic, social or political. That would be too absurd! All I want to
know is how to live righteously in this world exactly as it is, because it is as it is
now, right here before me, and I can’t will it into any other shape. I must live now
in this world as it is, and in these circumstances solve all the problems of living. I
am asking how to make this living a life of Dharma, which is that virtue that is not   132
imposed from without, that does not conform to any precept, is not cultivated by
any thought.
Krishnamurti: Do you mean you want to find yourself immediately, suddenly, in
a state of grace which is great intelligence, innocency, love – to find yourself in
this state without having a past or a future, and to act from this state?
Questioner: Yes! That is it exactly.
Krishnamurti:  This  has  nothing  to  do  with  achievement,  success  or  failure.
There must surely be only one way to live: what is it?
Questioner: That is my question.
Krishnamurti:  To  have  inside  you  that  light  that  has  no  beginning  and  no
ending, that is not lit by your desire, that is not yours or someone else’s. When
there is this inward light, whatever you do will always be right and true.
Questioner:  How  do  you  get  that  light,  now,  without  all  the  struggle,  the
search, the longing, the questioning?
Krishnamurti:  It  is  only  possible  when  you  really  die  to  the  past  completely,
and this can be done only when there is complete order in the brain. The brain
cannot  stand  disorder.  If  there  is  disorder  all  its  activities  will  be  contradictory,
confused, miserable and it will bring about mischief in itself and around itself. This
order  is  not  the  design  of  thought,  the  design  of  obedience  to  a  principle,  to
authority, or to some form of imagined goodness. It is disorder in the brain that
brings  about  conflict;  then  all  the  various  resistances  cultivated  by  thought  to
escape from this disorder arise – religious and otherwise.
Questioner: How can this order be brought about to a brain that is disorderly,
contradictory, in itself?    133
Krishnamurti: It can be done by watchfulness throughout the day, and then,
before sleeping, by putting everything that has been done during the day in order.
In that way the brain does not go to sleep in disorder. This does not mean that
the brain hypnotizes itself into a state of order when there is really disorder in and
about it. There must be order during the day, and the summing up of this order
before sleeping is the harmonious ending of the day. It is like a man who keeps
accounts and balances them properly every evening so that he starts afresh the
next day, so that when he goes to sleep his mind is quiet, empty, not worried,
confused, anxious or fearful. When he wakes up there is this light which is not the
product  of  thought  or  of  pleasure.  This  light  is  intelligence  and  love.  It  is  the
negation of the disorder of the morality in which we have been brought up.
Questioner:  Can  I  have  this  light  immediately?  That  is  the  question  I  asked
right at the beginning, only I put it differently.
Krishnamurti:  You  can  have  it  immediately  when  the  «me»  is  not.  The  «me»
comes to an end when it sees for itself that it must end; the seeing is the light of
understanding.    134
The Individual And The Community
Questioner:  I  don’t  quite  know  how  to  ask  this  question  but  I  have  a  strong
feeling  that  relationship  between  the  individual  and  the  community,  these  two
opposing entities, has been a long history of mischief. The history of the world, of
thought, of civilization, is, after all, the history of the relationship between these
two opposing entities. In all societies the individual is more or less suppressed;
he must conform and fit into the pattern which the theorists have determined. The
individual is always trying to break out of these patterns, and continuous battle
between  the  two  is  the  result.  Religions  talk  about  the  individual  soul  as
something  separate  from  the  collective  soul.  They  emphasize  the  individual.  In
modern society – which has become so mechanical, standardized and collectively
active – the individual is trying to identify himself, enquiring what he is, asserting
himself. All struggle leads nowhere. My question is, what is wrong with all this?
Krishnamurti: The only thing that really matters is that there be an action of
goodness, love and intelligence in living. Is goodness individual or collective, is
love personal or impersonal, is intelligence yours, mine or somebody else’s? If it
is yours or mine then it is not intelligence, or love, or goodness. If goodness is an
affair of the individual or of the collective, according to one’s particular preference
or decision, then it is no longer goodness. Goodness is not in the backyard of the
individual nor in the open field of the collective; goodness flowers only in freedom
from both. When there is this goodness, love and intelligence, then action is not
in terms of the individual or the collective. Lacking goodness, we divide the world
into  the  individual  and  the  collective,  and  further  divide  the  collective  into
innumerable groups according to religion, nationality and class. Having created
these  divisions  we  try  to  bridge  them  by  forming  new  groups  which  are  again
divided from other groups. We see that every great religion supposedly exists to
bring about the brotherhood of man and, in actual fact, prevents it. We always try   135
to  reform  that  which  is  already  corrupt.  We  don’t  eradicate  corruption
fundamentally but simply rearrange it.
Questioner:  Are  you  saying  that  we  need  not  waste  time  in  these  endless
bargainings between the individual and the collective, or try to prove that they are
different  or  that  they  are  similar?  Are you  saying  that  only  goodness,  love  and
intelligence  are  the  issue,  and  that  these  lie  beyond  the  individual  or  the
collective?
Krishnamurti: Yes.
Questioner:  So  the  real  question  seems  to  be  how  love,  goodness  and
intelligence can act in daily living.
Krishnamurti: If these act, then the question of the individual and the collective
is academic.
Questioner: How are they to act?
Krishnamurti: They can act only in relationship: all existence is in relationship.
So  the  first  thing  is  to  become  aware  of  one’s  relationship  to  everything  and
everybody,  and  to  see  how  in  this  relationship  the  «me»  is  born  and  acts.  This
«me» that is both the collective and the individual; it is the «me» that separates; it is
the «me» that acts collectively or individually, the «me» that creates heaven and
hell. To be aware of this is to understand it. And the understanding of it is the
ending of it. The ending of it is goodness, love and intelligence.    136
Meditation And Energy
Questioner:  This  morning  I  should  like  to  go  into  the  deeper  meaning,  or
deeper sense, of meditation. I have practised many forms of it, including a little
Zen. There are various schools which teach awareness but they all seem rather
superficial, so can we leave all that aside and go into it more deeply?
Krishnamurti: We must also set aside the whole meaning of authority, because
in meditation any form of authority, either one’s own or the authority of another,
becomes  an  impediment  and  prevents  freedom  –  prevents  a  freshness,  a
newness.  So  authority,  conformity  and  imitation  must  be  set  aside  completely.
Otherwise  you  merely  imitate,  follow  what  has  been  said,  and  that  makes  the
mind very dull and stupid. In that there is no freedom. Your past experience may
guide, direct or establish a new path, and so even that must go. Then only can
one go into this very deep and extraordinarily important thing called meditation.
Meditation is the essence of energy.
Questioner: For many years I have tried to see that I do not become a slave to
the  authority  of  someone  else  or  to  a  pattern.  Of  course  there  is  a  danger  of
deceiving myself but as we go along I shall probably find out. But when you say
that meditation is the essence of energy, what do you mean by the words energy
and meditation? Krishnamurti: Every movement of thought every action demands
energy.  Whatever  you  do  or  think  needs  energy,  and  this  energy  can  be
dissipated  through  conflict,  through  various  forms  of  unnecessary  thought,
emotional pursuits and sentimental activities. Energy is wasted in conflict which
arises  in  duality,  in  the  «me»  and  the  «not-me»,  in  the  division  between  the
observer and the observed, the thinker and the thought. When this wastage is no
longer taking place there is a quality of energy which can be called an awareness
–  an  awareness  in  which  there  is  no  evaluation,  judgement,  condemnation  or
comparison  but  merely  an  attentive  observation,  a  seeing  of  things  exactly  as   137
they are, both inwardly and outwardly, without the interference of thought, which
is the past.
Questioner: This I find very difficult to understand. If there were no thought at
all, would it be possible to recognise a tree, or my wife or neighbour? Recognition
is necessary, isn’t it, when you look at a tree or the woman next door?
Krishnamurti: When you observe a tree is recognition necessary? When you
look  at  that  tree,  do  you  say  it  is  a  tree  or  do  you  just  look?  If  you  begin  to
recognise it as an elm, an oak or a mango tree then the past interferes with direct
observation.  In  the  same  way,  when  you  look  at  your  wife,  if  you  look  with
memories of annoyances or pleasures you are not really looking at her but at the
image which you have in your mind about her. That prevents direct perception:
direct  perception  does  not  need  recognition.  Outward  recognition  of  your  wife,
your  children,  your  house  or  your  neighbour  is,  of  course  necessary,  but  why
should there be an interference of the past in the eyes, the mind and the heart?
Doesn’t  it  prevent  you  from  seeing  clearly?  When  you  condemn  or  have  an
opinion about something, that opinion or prejudice distorts observation.
Questioner: Yes, I see that. That subtle form of recognition does distort, I see
that. You say all these interferences of thought are a waste of energy. You say
observe  without  any  form  of  recognition,  condemnation,  judgement;  observe
without  naming,  for  that  naming,  recognition,  condemnation  are  a  waste  of
energy.  That  can  be  logically  and  actually  understood.  Then  there  is  the  next
point which is the division, the separateness, or, rather, as you have often put it in
your talks, the space that exists between the observer and the observed which
creates  duality;  you  say  that  this  also  is  a  waste  of  energy  and  brings  about
conflict.  I  find  everything  you  say  logical  but  I  find  it  extraordinarily  difficult  to
remove  that  space,  to  bring  about  harmony  between  the  observer  and  the
observed. How is this to be done?    138
Krishnamurti:  There  is  no  how.  The  how  means  a  system,  a  method,  a
practice which becomes mechanical. Again we have to be rid of the significance
of the word «how».
Questioner: Is it possible? I know the word possible implies a future, an effort,
a striving to bring about harmony, but one must use certain words. I hope we can
go  beyond  those  words,  so  is  it  possible  to  bring  about  a  union  between  the
observer and the observed?
Krishnamurti:  The  observer  is  always  casting  its  shadow  on  the  thing  it
observes. So one must understand the structure and the nature of the observer,
not  how  to  bring  about  a  union  between  the  two.  One  must  understand  the
movement of the observer and in that understanding perhaps the observer comes
to  an  end.  We  must  examine  what  the  observer  is:  it  is  the  past  with  all  its
memories,  conscious  and  unconscious,  its  racial  inheritance,  its  accumulated
experience  which  is  called  knowledge,  its  reactions.  The  observer  is  really  the
conditioned entity. He is the one who asserts that he is, and I am. In protecting
himself, he resists, dominates, seeking comfort and security. The observer then
sets himself apart as something different from that which he observes, inwardly or
outwardly. This brings about a duality and from this duality there is conflict, which
is the wastage of energy. To be aware of the observer, his movement, his self-
centred  activity,  his  assertions,  his  prejudices,  one  must  be  aware  of  all  these
unconscious movements which build the separatist feeling that he is different. It
must  be  observed  without  any  form  of  evaluation,  without  like  and  dislike;  just
observe  it  in  daily  life,  in  its  relationships.  When  this  observation  is  clear,  isn’t
there then a freedom from the observer?
Questioner: You are saying, sir, that the observer is really the ego; you are
saying that as long as the ego exists, he must resist, divide, separate, for in this
separation, this division, he feels alive. It gives him vitality to resist, to fight, and
he  has  become  accustomed  to  that  battle;  it  is  his  way  of  living.  Are  you  not   139
saying that this ego, this «I», must dissolve through an observation in which there
is no sense of like or dislike, no opinion or judgement, but only the observing of
this «I» in action? But can such a thing really take place? Can I look at myself so
completely, so truly, without distortion? You say that when I do look at myself so
clearly then the «I» has no movement at all. And you say this is part of meditation?
Krishnamurti: Of course. This is meditation.
Questioner: This observation surely demands extraordinary self-discipline.
Krishnamurti: What do you mean by self-discipline? Do you mean disciplining
the self by putting him in a strait-jacket, or do you mean learning about the self,
the self that asserts, that dominates, that is ambitious, violent and so on – learning
about it? The learning is, in itself, discipline. The word discipline means to learn
and  when  there  is  learning,  not  accumulating,  when  there  is  actual  learning,
which  needs  attention,  that  learning brings about its  own responsibility, its own
activity, its own dimensions: so there is no discipline as something imposed upon
it. Where there is learning there is no imitation, no conformity, no authority. If this
is what you mean by the word discipline, then surely there is freedom to learn?
Questioner:  You  are  taking  me  too  far  and  perhaps  too  deeply,  and  I  can’t
quite go with you where this learning is concerned. I see very clearly that the self
as  the  observer  must  come  to  an  end.  It  is  logically  so,  and  there  must  be  no
conflict: that is very clear. But you are saying that this very observation is learning
and  in  learning  there  is  always  accumulation;  this  accumulation  becomes  the
past. Learning is an additive process, but you are apparently giving it a different
meaning altogether. From what I have understood you are saying that learning is
a constant movement without accumulation. Is that so? Can learning be without
accumulation?
Krishnamurti:  Learning  is  its  own  action.  What  generally  happens  is  that
having learnt – we act upon what we have learnt. So there is division between the
past and action, and hence there is a conflict between what should be and what   140
is, or what has been and what is. We are saying that there can be action in the
very movement of learning: that is, learning is doing; it is not a question of having
learnt  and  then  acting.  This  is  very  important  to  understand  because  having
learnt, and acting from that accumulation, is the very nature of the «me», the «I»,
the ego or whatever name one likes to give it. The «I» is the very essence of the
past and the past impinges on the present and so on into the future. In this there
is constant division. Where there is learning there is a constant movement; there
is no accumulation which can become the «I».
Questioner:  But  in  the  technological  field  there  must  be  accumulated
knowledge. One can’t fly the Atlantic or run a car, or even do most of the ordinary
daily things without knowledge.
Krishnamurti: Of course not, sir; such knowledge is absolutely necessary. But
we are talking about the psychological field in which the «I» operates. The «I» can
use  technological  knowledge  in  order  to  achieve  something,  a  position  or
prestige; the «I» can use that knowledge to function, but if in functioning the «I»
interferes, things begin to go wrong, for the «I», through technical means, seeks
status. So the «I» is not concerned merely with knowledge in scientific fields; it is
using  it  to  achieve  something  else.  It  is  like  a  musician  who  uses  the  piano  to
become famous. What he is concerned with is fame and not the beauty of the
music in itself or for itself. We are not saying that we must get rid of technological
knowledge; on the contrary, the more technological knowledge there is the better
living conditions will be. But the moment the «I» uses it, things begin to go wrong.
Questioner: I think I begin to understand what you are saying. You are giving
quite  a  different  meaning  and  dimension  to  the  word  learning,  which  is
marvellous.  I  am  beginning  to  grasp  it.  You  are  saying  that  meditation  is  a
movement of learning and in that there is freedom to learn about everything, not
only about meditation, but about the way one lives, drives, eats, talks, everything.    141
Krishnamurti:  As  we  said,  the  essence  of  energy  is  meditation.  To  put  it
differently – so long as there is a meditator there is no meditation. If he attempts
to achieve a state described by others, or some flash of experience….
Questioner: If I  may interrupt you, sir, are you saying that learning must be
constant, a flow, a line without any break, so that learning and action are one, or
a  constant  movement?  I  don’t  know  what  word  to  use,  but  I  am  sure  you
understand what I mean. The moment there is a break between learning, action
and  meditation,  that  break  is  a  disharmony, that break is conflict. In that break
there is the observer and the observed and hence the whole wastage of energy;
is that what you are saying?
Krishnamurti:  Yes,  that  is  what  we  mean.  Meditation  is  not  a  state;  it  is  a
movement, as action is a movement. And as we said just now, when we separate
action  from  learning,  then  the  observer  comes  between  the  learning  and  the
action; then he becomes important; then he uses action and learning for ulterior
motives. When this is very clearly understood as one harmonious movement of
acting, of learning, of meditation, there is no wastage of energy and this is the
beauty of meditation. There is only one movement. Learning is far more important
than  meditation  or  action.  To  learn  there  must  be  complete  freedom,  not  only
consciously but deeply, inwardly – a total freedom. And in freedom there is this
movement  of  learning,  acting,  meditating  as  a  harmonious  whole.  The  word
whole  not  only  means  health  but  holy.  So  learning  is  holy,  acting  is  holy,
meditation is holy. This is really a sacred thing and the beauty is in itself and not
beyond it.    142
Ending Thought
Questioner:  I  wonder  what  you  really mean by ending thought.  I  talked  to  a
friend about it and he said it is some kind of oriental nonsense. To him thought is
the highest form of intelligence and action, the very salt of life, indispensable. It
has created civilization, and all relationship is based on it. All of us accept this,
from the greatest thinker to the humblest labourer. When we don’t think we sleep,
vegetate or daydream; we are vacant, dull and unproductive, whereas when we
are awake we are thinking, doing, living, quarrelling: these are the only two states
we know. You say, be beyond both – beyond thought and vacant inactivity. What
do you mean by this?
Krishnamurti: Very simply put, thought is the response of memory, the past.
The past is an infinity or a second ago. When thought acts it is this past which is
acting as memory, as experience, as knowledge, as opportunity. All will is desire
based on this past and directed towards pleasure or the avoidance of pain. When
thought is functioning it is the past, therefore there is no new living at all; it is the
past  living  in  the  present,  modifying  itself  and  the  present.  So  there  is  nothing
new in life that way, and when something new is to be found there must be the
absence  of  the  past,  the  mind  must  not  be  cluttered  up  with  thought,  fear,
pleasure,  and  everything  else.  Only  when  the  mind  is  uncluttered  can  the  new
come into being, and for this reason we say that thought must be still, operating
only when it has to – objectively, efficiently. All continuity is thought; when there is
continuity  there  is  nothing  new.  Do  you  see  how  important  this  is?  It’s  really  a
question of life itself. Either you live in the past, or you live totally differently: that
is the whole point.
Questioner: I think I do see what you mean, but how in the world is one to end
this thought? When I listen to the blackbird there is thought telling me instantly it
is the blackbird; when I walk down the street thought tells me I am walking down
the street and tells me all I recognise and see; when I play with the notion of not   143
thinking it is again thought that plays this game. All meaning and understanding
and  communication  are  thought.  Even  when  I  am  not  communicating  with
someone else I am doing so with myself. When I am awake, I think, when I am
asleep I think. The whole structure of my being is thought. Its roots lie far deeper
than I know. All I think and do and all I am is thought, thought creating pleasure
and  pain,  appetites,  longings,  resolutions,  conclusions,  hopes,  fears  and
questions.  Thought  commits  murder  and  thought  forgives.  So  how  can  one  go
beyond it? Isn’t it thought again which seeks to go beyond it?
Krishnamurti: We both said, when thought is still, something new can be. We
both saw that point clearly and to understand it clearly is the ending of thought.
Questioner: But that understanding is also thought.
Krishnamurti:  Is  it?  You  assume  that  it  is  thought,  but  is  it,  actually?
Questioner: It is a mental movement with meaning, a communication to oneself.
Krishnamurti:  If  it  is  a  communication  to  oneself  it  is  thought.  But  is
understanding a mental movement with meaning?
Questioner: Yes it is.
Krishnamurti: The meaning of the word and the understanding of that meaning
is thought. That is necessary in life. There thought must function efficiently. It is a
technological matter. But you are not asking that. You are asking how thought,
which is the very movement of life as you know it, can come to an end. Can it
only end when you die? That is really your question, isn’t it?
Questioner: Yes.
Krishnamurti: That is the right question. Die! Die to the past, to tradition.
Questioner: But how?    144
Krishnamurti:  The  brain  is  the  source  of  thought.  The  brain  is  matter  and
thought  is  matter.  Can  the  brain  –  with  all  its  reactions  and  its  immediate
responses to every challenge and demand – can that brain be very still? It is not a
question of ending thought, but of whether the brain can be completely still. Can it
act with full capacity when necessary and otherwise be still? This stillness is not
physical death. See what happens when the brain is completely still. See what
happens.  Questioner:  In  that  space  there  was  a  blackbird,  the  green  tree,  the
blue sky, the man hammering next door, the sound of the wind in the trees and
my own heartbeat, the total quietness of the body. That is all.
Krishnamurti: If there was recognition of the blackbird singing, then the brain
was  active,  was  interpreting.  It  was  not  still.  This  really  demands  tremendous
alertness and discipline, the watching that brings its own discipline, not imposed
or brought about by your unconscious desire to achieve a result or a pleasurable
new  experience.  Therefore  during  the  day  thought  must  operate  effectively,
sanely, and also watch itself.
Questioner: That is easy, but what about going beyond it?
Krishnamurti:  Who  is  asking  this  question?  Is  it  the  desire  to  experience
something new or is it the enquiry? If it is the enquiry, then you must enquire and
investigate the whole business of thinking and be completely familiar with it, know
all its tricks and subtleties. If you have done this you will know that the question of
going beyond thought is an empty one. Going beyond thought is knowing what
thought is.    145
The New Human Being
Questioner:  I  am  a  reformer,  a  social  worker.  Seeing  the  extraordinary
injustice there is in the world my whole life has been dedicated to reform. I used
to be a Communist but I can’t go along with Communism any more, it has ended
in tyranny. Nevertheless, I am still dedicated to reforming society so that man can
live in dignity, beauty and freedom, and realize the potential which nature seems
to have given him, and which he himself seems always to have stolen from his
fellow man. In America there is a certain kind of freedom, and yet standardization
and propaganda are very strong there – all the mass media exert a tremendous
pressure on the mind. It seems that the power of television, this mechanical thing
that man has invented, has developed its own personality, its own will, its own
momentum; and though probably nobody – perhaps not even any one group – is
deliberately  using  it  to  influence  society,  its  trend  shapes  the  very  souls  of  our
children.  And  this  is  the  same  in  varying  degrees  in  all  democracies.  In  China
there seems to be no hope at all for the dignity or freedom of man, while in India
the government is weak, corrupt and inefficient. It seems to me that all the social
injustice  in  the  world  absolutely  must  be  changed.  I  want  passionately  to  do
something about it, yet I don’t know where to begin to tackle it.
Krishnamurti: Reform needs further reform, and this is an endless process. So
let us look at it differently. Let us put aside the whole thought of reform; let us
wipe it out of our blood. Let us completely forget this idea of wanting to reform the
world.  Then  let  us  see  actually  what  is  happening,  right  throughout  the  world.
Political  parties  always  have  a  limited  programme  which,  even  if  fulfilled,
invariably brings about mischief, which then has to be corrected once again. We
are  always  talking  about  political  action  as  being  a  most  important  action,  but
political  action  is  not  the  way.  Let  us  put  it  out  of  our  minds.  All  social  and
economic reforms come under this category. Then there is the religious formula
of  action  based  on  belief,  idealism,  dogmatism,  conformity  to  some  so-called   146
divine  recipe.  In  this  is  involved  authority  and  acceptance,  obedience  and  the
utter denial of freedom. Though religions talk of peace on earth they contribute to
the disorder because they are a factor of division. Also the churches have always
taken some political stand in times of crisis, so they are really political bodies, and
we have seen that all political action is divisive. The churches have never really
denied war: on the contrary they have waged war. So when one puts aside the
religious recipes, as one puts aside the political formulas – what is left, and what
is one to do? Naturally civic order must be maintained: you have to have water in
the taps. If you destroy civic order you have to start again from the beginning. So,
what is one to do?
Questioner: That is what I am actually asking you.
Krishnamurti: Be concerned with radical change, with total revolution. The only
revolution is the revolution between man and man, between human beings. That
is our only concern. In this revolution there are no blueprints, no ideologies, no
conceptual utopias. We must take the fact of the actual relationship between men
and  change  that  radically.  That  is  the  real  thing.  And  this  revolution  must  be
immediate,  it  must  not  take  time.  It  is  not  achieved  through  evolution,  which  is
time.
Questioner:  What  do  you  mean?  All  historical  changes  have  taken  place  in
time;  none  of  them  has  been  immediate.  You  are  proposing  something  quite
inconceivable.
Krishnamurti:  If  you  take  time  to  change,  do  you  suppose  that  life  is  in
suspension during the time it takes to change? It isn’t in suspension. Everything
you are trying to change is being modified and perpetuated by the environment,
by life itself. So there is no end to it. It is like trying to clean the water in a tank
which is constantly being refilled with dirty water. So time is out.    147
Now, what is to bring about this change? It cannot be will, or determination, or
choice, or desire, because all these are part of the entity that has to be changed.
So  we  must  ask  what  actually  is  possible,  without  the  action  of  will  and
assertiveness which is always the action of conflict.
Questioner:  Is  there  any  action  which  is  not  the  action  of  will  and
assertiveness?
Krishnamurti: Instead of asking this question let us go much deeper. Let us
see that actually it is only the action of will and assertiveness that needs to be
changed  at  all,  because  the  only  mischief  in  relationship  is  conflict,  between
individuals  or  within  individuals,  and  conflict  is  will  and  assertiveness.  Living
without  such  action  does  not  mean  that  we  live  like  vegetables.  Conflict  is  our
main  concern.  All  the  social  maladies  you  mentioned  are  the  projection  of  this
conflict in the heart of each human being. The only possible change is a radical
transformation of yourself in all your relationships, not in some vague future, but
now.
Questioner:  But  how  can  I  completely  eradicate  this  conflict  in  myself,  this
contradiction,  this  resistance,  this  conditioning?  I  understand  what  you  mean
intellectually, but I can only change when I feel it passionately, and I don’t feel it
passionately. It is merely an idea to me; I don’t see it with my heart. If I try to act
on  this  intellectual  understanding  I  am  in  conflict  with  another,  deeper,  part  of
myself.
Krishnamurti: If you really see this contradiction passionately, then that very
perception is the revolution. If you see in yourself this division between the mind
and the heart, actually see it, not conceive of it theoretically, but see it, then the
problem  comes  to  an  end.  A  man  who  is  passionate  about  the  world  and  the
necessity for change, must be free from political activity, religious conformity and
tradition – which means, free from the weight of time, free from the burden of the past, free from all the action of will: this is the new human being. This only is the
social, psychological, and even the political revolution.

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