TALK May 2017 PART 1 

Freedom From the Known (You are the world)

Freedom From the Known Chapter 4

We said in the last chapter that joy was something entirely different from pleasure, so let us find out what is involved in pleasure and whether it is at all possible to live in a world that does not contain pleasure but a tremendous sense of joy, of bliss.

We are all engaged in the pursuit of pleasure in some form or other - intellectual, sensuous or cultural pleasure, the pleasure of reforming, telling others what to do, of modifying the evils of society, of doing good - the pleasure of greater knowledge, greater physical satisfaction, greater experience, greater understanding of life, all the clever, cunning things of the mind - and the ultimate pleasure is, of course, to have God.

Pleasure is the structure of society. From childhood until death we are secretly, cunningly or obviously pursuing pleasure. So whatever our form of pleasure is, I think we should be very clear about it because it is going to guide and shape our lives. It is therefore important for each one of us to investigate closely, hesitantly and delicately this question of pleasure, for to find pleasure, and then nourish and sustain it, is a basic demand of life and without it existence becomes dull, stupid, lonely and meaningless.

You may ask why then should life not be guided by pleasure? For the very simple reason that pleasure must bring pain, frustration, sorrow and fear, and, out of fear, violence. If you want to live that way, live that way. Most of the world does, anyway, but if you want to be free from sorrow you must understand the whole structure of pleasure

To understand pleasure is not to deny it. We are not condemning it or saying it is right or wrong, but if we pursue it, let us do so with our eyes open, knowing that a mind that is all the time seeking pleasure must inevitably find its shadow, pain. They cannot be separated, although we run after pleasure and try to avoid pain.

Now, why is the mind always demanding pleasure? Why is it that we do noble and ignoble things with the undercurrent of pleasure? Why is it we sacrifice and suffer on the thin thread of pleasure? What is pleasure and how does it come into being? I wonder if any of you have asked yourself these questions and followed the answers to the very end?

Pleasure comes into being through four stages - perception, sensation, contact and desire. I see a beautiful motor car, say; then I get a sensation, a reaction, from looking at it; then I touch it or imagine touching it, and then there is the desire to own and show myself off in it. Or I see a lovely cloud, or a mountain clear against the sky, or a leaf that has just come in springtime, or a deep valley full of loveliness and splendour, or a glorious sunset, or a beautiful face, intelligent, alive, not self-conscious and therefore no longer beautiful. I look at these things with intense delight and as I observe them there is no observer but only sheer beauty like love. For a moment I am absent with all my problems, anxieties and miseries - there is only that marvellous thing. I can look at it with joy and the next moment forget it, or else the mind steps in, and then the problem begins; my mind thinks over what it has seen and thinks how beautiful it was; I tell myself I should like to see it again many times. Thought begins to compare, judge, and say `l must have it again tomorrow'. The continuity of an experience that has given delight for a second is sustained by thought.

It is the same with sexual desire or any other form of desire. There is nothing wrong with desire. To react is perfectly normal. If you stick a pin in me I shall react unless I am paralysed. But then thought steps in and chews over the delight and turns it into pleasure. Thought wants to repeat the experience, and the more you repeat, the more mechanical it becomes; the more you think about it, the more strength thought gives to pleasure. So thought creates and sustains pleasure through desire, and gives it continuity, and therefore the natural reaction of desire to any beautiful thing is perverted by thought. Thought turns it into a memory and memory is then nourished by thinking about it over and over again.

Of course, memory has a place at a certain level. In everyday life we could not function at all without it. In its own field it must be efficient but there is a state of mind where it has very little place. A mind which is not crippled by memory has real freedom.

Have you ever noticed that when you respond to something totally, with all your heart, there is very little memory? It is only when you do not respond to a challenge with your whole being that there is a conflict, a struggle, and this brings confusion and pleasure or pain. And the struggle breeds memory. That memory is added to all the time by other memories and it is those memories which respond. Anything that is the result of memory is old and therefore never free. There is no such thing as freedom of thought. It is sheer nonsense.

Thought is never new, for thought is the response of memory, experience, knowledge. Thought, because it is old, makes this thing which you have looked at with delight and felt tremendously for the moment, old. From the old you derive pleasure, never from the new. There is no time in the new.

So if you can look at all things without allowing pleasure to creep in - at a face, a bird, the colour of a sari, the beauty of a sheet of water shimmering in the sun, or anything that gives delight - if you can look at it without wanting the experience to be repeated, then there will be no pain, no fear, and therefore tremendous joy.

It is the struggle to repeat and perpetuate pleasure which turns it into pain. Watch it in yourself. The very demand for the repetition of pleasure brings about pain, because it is not the same, as it was yesterday. You struggle to achieve the same delight, not only to your aesthetic sense but the same inward quality of the mind, and you are hurt and disappointed because it is denied to you.

Have you observed what happens to you when you are denied a little pleasure? When you don't get what you want you become anxious, envious, hateful. Have you noticed when you have been denied the pleasure of drinking or smoking or sex or whatever it is - have you noticed what battles you go through? And all that is a form of fear, isn't it? You are afraid of not getting what you want or of losing what you have. When some particular faith or ideology which you have held for years is shaken or torn away from you by logic or life, aren't you afraid of standing alone? That belief has for years given you satisfaction and pleasure, and when it is taken away you are left stranded, empty, and the fear remains until you find another form of pleasure, another belief.

It seems to me so simple and because it is so simple we refuse to see its simplicity. We like to complicate everything. When your wife turns away from you, aren't you jealous? Aren't you angry? Don't you hate the man who has attracted her? And what is all that but fear of losing something which has given you a great deal of pleasure, a companionship, a certain quality of assurance and the satisfaction of possession?

So if you understand that where there is a search for pleasure there must be pain, live that way if you want to, but don't just slip into it. If you want to end pleasure, though, which is to end pain, you must be totally attentive to the whole structure of pleasure - not cut it out as monks and sannyasis do, never looking at a woman because they think it is a sin and thereby destroying the vitality of their understanding - but seeing the whole meaning and significance of pleasure. Then you will have tremendous joy in life. You cannot think about joy. Joy is an immediate thing and by thinking about it, you turn it into pleasure. Living in the present is the instant perception of beauty and the great delight in it without seeking pleasure from it.

Poona, India, 1948 (Krishnamurti and the world crisis)


It is fairly obvious that most of us are confused intellectually. We see that the so-called leaders in all departments of life have no complete answer to our various questions and problems. The many conflicting political parties, whether of the left or of the right, seem not to have found the right solution for our national and international strife, and we also see that socially there is an utter destruction of moral values. Everything about us seems to be disintegrating; moral and ethical values have become merely a matter of tradition, without much significance. War, the conflict between the right and the left, seems to be a constantly recurring factor in our lives; everywhere there is destruction, everywhere there is confusion. In ourselves we are utterly confused, though we do not like to acknowledge it; we see confusion in all things, and we do not know exactly what to do. Most of us who recognize this confusion, this uncertainty, want to do something, and the more confused we are, the more anxious we are to act. So, for those people who have realized that there is confusion in themselves and about them, action becomes all-important. But when a person is confused, how can he act? Whatever he does, whatever his course of action may be, it is bound to be confused, and naturally such action will inevitably create greater confusion. To whatever party, institution or organization he may belong, until he clears up his own sphere of confusion, obviously whatever he does is bound to produce further chaos. So, what is he to do? What is a man to do who is earnest and desirous of clearing up the confusion about him and in himself? What is his first responsibility; to act, or to clear up the confusion in himself, and therefore outside of himself? I think this is an important question that most of us are unwilling to face. We see so much social disorder which we feel needs immediate reform that action becomes an engulfing process. Being anxious to do something, we proceed to act, we try to bring about reforms, we join political parties, either of the left or of the right; but we soon find out that reforms need further reform, leaders need regrouping, organizations demand more organizing, and so on. Whenever we try to act, we find that the actor himself is the source of confusion; so what is he to do? Is he to act when he is confused, or remain inactive? That is really the problem most of us face.

Now, we are afraid to be inactive; and to withdraw for a period to consider the whole problem requires extraordinary intelligence. If you were to withdraw for a time to reconsider, to revaluate the problem, your friends, your associates, would consider you an escapist. You would become a nonentity, socially you would be nowhere. If when there is flag-waving you do not wave a flag, if when everyone puts on a particular cap you do not have that cap, you feel left out; and as most of us do not like to remain in the background, we plunge into action. So, the problem of action and inaction is quite important to understand. Is it not necessary to be inactive to consider the whole issue? Obviously, we must carry on with our daily responsibility of earning bread; all the necessities must be carried on. But the political, religious, social organizations, the groups, committees, and so on - need we belong to them? If we are very serious about it, must we not reconsider, revalue the whole problem of existence? And to do that, must we not for the time being withdraw in order to consider, ponder, meditate? Is that withdrawal, inaction? Is not that withdrawal really action? In that so-called inaction there is the extraordinary action of reconsidering the whole question, revaluing, thinking over the confusion in which one live? Why are we so afraid to be inactive? Is it inaction to reconsider? Obviously not. Surely, the man who is avoiding action is he who is active without reconsidering the issue. He is the real escapist. He is confused, and in order to escape from his confusion, from his insufficiency, he plunges into action, he joins a society, a party, an organization. He is really escaping from the fundamental issue, which is confusion. So, we are misapplying words. The man who plunges into action without reconsidering the problem, thinking that he is reforming the world by joining a society or a party - it is he who is creating greater confusion and greater misery; whereas, the so-called inactive man who withdraws and is seriously considering the whole question - surely, such a man is much more active.

In these times especially, when the whole world is on the edge of a precipice and catastrophic events are taking place, is it not necessary for a few at least to be inactive, deliberately not to allow themselves to be caught in this machine, this atomic machine of action, which does not produce anything except further confusion, further chaos? Surely, those who are in earnest will withdraw, not from life, not from daily activities, but withdraw in order to discover, study, explore, investigate, the cause of confusion; and to find out, to discover, to explore, one need not go into the innumerable plans and blue prints of what a new society should or should not be. Obviously, such blue prints are utterly useless; because, a man who is confused and who is merely carrying out blueprints, will bring about further confusion. Therefore, as I have repeatedly said, the important thing, if we are to understand the cause of confusion, is self-knowledge. Without understanding oneself, there cannot be order in the world; without exploring the whole process of thought, feeling and action in oneself, there cannot possibly be world-peace, order and security. Therefore, the study of oneself is of primary importance, and it is not a process of escape. This study of oneself is not mere inaction. On the contrary, it requires an extraordinary awareness in everything that one does, awareness in which there is no judgment, no condemnation nor blame. This awareness of the total process of oneself as one lives in daily life is not narrowing, but ever expanding, ever clarifying; and out of this awareness comes order, first in oneself, and then externally in one's relationships.

So, the problem is one of relationship. Without relationship, there is no existence; to be, is to be related. If I merely use relationship without understanding myself, I increase the mess and contribute to further confusion. Most of us do not seem to realize this: that the world is my relationship with others, whether one or many. My problem is that of relationship. What I am, that I project; and obviously, if I do not understand myself, the whole of relationship is one of confusion in ever widening circles. So, relationship becomes of extraordinary importance, not with the so-called mass, the crowd, but in the world of my family and friends, however small that may be - my relationship with my wife, my children, my neighbour. In a world of vast organizations, vast mobilizations of people, mass movements, we are afraid to act on a small scale; we are afraid to be little people clearing up our own patch. We say to ourselves, `What can I personally do? I must join a mass movement in order to reform'. On the contrary, real revolution takes place, not through mass movements, but through the inward revaluation of relationship - that alone is real reformation, a radical, continuous revolution. We are afraid to begin on a small scale. Because the problem is so vast, we think we must meet it with large numbers of people, with a great organization, with mass movements. Surely, we must begin to tackle the problem on a small scale, and the small scale is the `me' and the `you'. When I understand myself, I understand you, and out of that understanding comes love. Love is the missing factor, there is a lack of affection, of warmth in relationship; and because we lack that love, that tenderness, that generosity, that mercy in relationship, we escape into mass action which produces further confusion, further misery. We fill our hearts with blue prints for world reform and do not look to that one resolving factor which is love. Do what you will, without the regenerating factor of love, whatever you do will produce further chaos. The action of the intellect is not going to produce a solution. Our problem is relationship, and not which system, which blue print to follow, what kind of United Nations Organization to form; it is the utter lack of good will in relationship - not with humanity, whatever that may mean, but the utter lack of good will and love in the relationship between two people. Have you not found how extraordinarily difficult it is to work with another, to think out a problem together with two or three? If we cannot think out problems with two or three, how can we think them out with a mass of people? We can think out problems together only when there is that generosity, that kindliness, that warmth of love in relationship; but we deny love and try to find the solution in the arid fields of the mind.

So, relationship is our problem, and without understanding relationship, merely to be active is to produce further confusion, further misery. Action is relationship; to be, is to be related. Do what you will, withdraw to the mountains, sit in a forest, you cannot live in isolation. You can live only in relationship, and as long as relationship is not understood, there can be no right action. Right action comes in understanding relationship, which reveals the process of oneself. Self-know ledge is the beginning of wisdom, it is a field of affection, warmth and love, therefore a field rich with flowers.

Question: The institution of marriage is one of the chief causes of social conflict. It creates a seeming order at the cost of terrible repression and suffering. Is there another way of solving the problem of sex?

Krishnamurti: Every human problem requires great consideration, and to understand the problem there must be no response, no rejection, no acceptance. That which you condemn, you do not understand. So, we must go into the problem of sex very closely, fully and carefully, step by step - which is what I propose to do. I am not going to lay down what should or should not be done, which is silly, which is immature thinking. You cannot lay down a pattern for life, you cannot put life into the framework of ideas; and because society inevitably puts life into the framework of moral order, society is always breeding disorder. So, to understand this problem, we must neither condemn nor justify, but we will have to think it out anew.

Now, what is the problem? Is sex a problem? Let us think it out together - do not wait for me to answer. If it is a problem, why is it a problem? Have we made hunger into a problem? Has starvation become a problem? The obvious causes of starvation are nationalism, class differences, economic frontiers, sovereign governments, the means of production in the hands of a few, separative religious factors, and so on. If we try to eliminate the symptoms without eradicating the causes, if instead of tackling the root we merely trim the branches because it is so much easier, the same old problem continues. Similarly, why has sex become a problem? To curb the sexual urge, to hold it within bounds, the institution of marriage has been created; and in marriage, behind the door, behind the wall, you can do anything you like and show a respectable front outside. By using her for your sexual gratification you can convert your wife into a prostitute, and it is perfectly respectable. Under the guise of marriage, you can be worse than an animal; and without marriage, without restraint, you know no bounds. So, in order to set a limit, society lays down certain moral laws which become tradition, and within that limit you can be as immoral, as ugly as you like; and that unrepressed indulgence, that habitual sexual action, is considered perfectly normal, healthy and moral. So, why is sex a problem? To a married couple, is sex a problem? Not at all. The woman and the man have an assured source of constant pleasure. When you have a source of constant pleasure, when you have a guaranteed income, what happens? You become dull, weary, empty, exhausted. Have you not noticed that people who before marriage were full of vital energy, become dull the moment they are married? All the springs of life have gone out of them. Have you not noticed it in your own sons and daughters? Why has sex become a problem? Obviously, the more intellectual you are, the more sexual you are. Have you not noticed that? And the more there is of emotion, of kindliness, of affection, the less there is of sex. Because our whole social, moral and educational culture is based on the cultivation of the intellect, sex has become a problem full of confusion and conflict. So, the solution of the problem of sex lies in understanding the cultivation of the intellect. The intellect is not the means of creation, and creation does not take place through the functioning of the intellect; on the contrary, there is creation when the intellect is silent. Only when there is creation does the functioning of intellect have a meaning; but without creation, without that creative affection, the mere functioning of the intellect obviously creates the problem of sex. As most of us live in the brain, as most of us live on words, and words are of the mind, most of us are not creative. We are caught in words, in spinning new words and rearranging old ones. Surely, that is not creation. Since we are not creative, the only expression of creativeness left to us is sex. In the sexual act there is forgetfulness, and in forgetfulness alone there is creation. The sexual act for a split second gives you freedom from that self which is of the mind, and therefore it has become a problem. Surely, creativeness comes into being only when there is absence of thought which is of the `me', of the `mine'. I do not know if you have noticed that in moments of great crisis, in moments of great joy, the consciousness of `me' and `mine' which is the product of the mind, disappears. In that moment of expansive appreciation of life, of intense joy, there is creativeness. To put it simply, when self is absent, there is creation; and since all of us are caught in the arid intellect, naturally there is no absence of self. On the contrary, in that field, in that striving to be, there is an exaggerated expansion of the self, and therefore no creativeness. Therefore, sex is the only means of being creative, of experiencing the absence of the self; and since the mere sexual act becomes habitual, that too is wearisome and gives strength to the continuity of the self; so sex becomes a problem.

In order to solve the problem of sex, we will have to approach it, not on any one level of thought, but from every direction, from every side, the educational, religious, and moral. When we are young, we have a strong feeling of sex attraction, and we marry - or are married off by our parents, as happens here in the East. Parents are often concerned only with getting rid of their boys and girls, and the pair, the boy and the girl, have no knowledge of sexual matters. Within the sacred law of society, the man can suppress his wife, destroy her, give her children year after year - and it is perfectly all right. Under the guise of respectability, he can become a completely immoral person. One has to understand and educate the boy and the girl - and that requires extraordinary intelligence on the part of the educator. Unfortunately, our fathers, mothers and teachers, all need this same education: they are as dull as dishwater, they only know the do's, don'ts and taboos, they have no intelligence for this problem. To help the boy and girl we will have to have a new teacher who is really educated. But through the cinema and the advertisements, with their half-naked girls, their luscious women and lavish houses, and through various other means, society is giving stimulation to sensate values, and what do you expect? If he is married, the man takes it out on his wife; if he is not married, he goes to someone under cover. It is a difficult problem to bring intelligence to the boy and the girl. On every side human beings are exploiting each other through sex, through property, through relationship; and religiously, there is no creativeness at all. On the contrary, the constant meditation, the rituals or pujas, the repetition of words, are all merely mechanical acts with certain responses; but that is not creative thinking, creative living. Religiously, you are merely traditional, therefore there is no creative enquiry into the discovery of reality. Religiously, you are regimented, and where there is regimentation, whether it is in the military or the religious sense, obviously there cannot be creativeness; therefore you seek creativeness through sex. Free the mind from orthodoxy from ritual from regimentation and dogmatism, so that it can be creative, and then the problem of sex will not be so great or so dominant.

There is another side to this problem: in the sexual relationship between man and woman, there is no love. The woman is merely used as a means of sexual gratification. Surely, Sirs, love is not the product of the mind; love is not the result of thought; love is not the outcome of a contract. Here in this country, the boy and the girl hardly know each other, yet they are married and have sexual relations. The boy and girl accept each other and say, `You give me this, and I give you that', or, `You give me your body, and I give you security, I give you my calculated affection'. When the husband says, `I love you', it is merely a response of the mind; because he gives his wife a certain protection, he expects of her and she gives him her favour. This relationship of calculation is called love. It is an obvious fact - you may not like me to put it so brutally, but it is the actual fact. Such marriage is said to be for love, but it is a mere matter of exchange: it is a bania marriage, it reveals the mentality of the market place. Surely, in such marriage there cannot be love, can there? Love is not of the mind; but since we have cultivated the mind, we use that word `love' to cover the field of the mind. Surely, love has nothing to do with the mind, it is not the product of the mind; love is entirely independent of calculation, of thought. When there is no love, then the framework of marriage as an institution becomes a necessity. When there is love, then sex is not a problem - it is the lack of love that makes it into a problem. Don't you know? When you love somebody really deeply - not with the love of the mind, but really from your heart - , you share with him or her everything that you have, not your body only, but everything. In your trouble, you ask her help, and she helps you. There is no division between man and woman when you love somebody, but there is a sexual problem when you do not know that love. We know only the love of the brain; thought has pro- duced it, and a product of thought is still thought, it is not love.

So, this problem of sex is not simple and it cannot be solved on its own level. To try to solve it purely biologically is absurd; and to approach it through religion, or to try to solve it as though it were a mere matter of physical adjustment, of glandular action, or to hedge it in with taboos and condemnations, is all too immature, childish and stupid. It requires intelligence of the highest order. To understand ourselves in our relationship with another requires intelligence far more swift and subtle than to understand nature. But we seek to understand without intelligence; we want immediate action, an immediate solution, and the problem becomes more and more important. Have you noticed a man whose heart is empty, how his face becomes ugly, and how the children he produces are ugly and immature? And because they have had no affection, they remain immature for the rest of their lives. Look at your faces sometime in the mirror - how unformed, how undefined they are! You have brains to find out, and you are caught in the brain. Love is not mere thought: thoughts are only the external action of the brain. Love is much deeper, much more profound; and the profundity of life can be discovered only in love. Without love, life has no meaning - and that is the sad part of our existence. We grow old while still immature; our bodies become old, fat and ugly, and we remain thoughtless. Though we read and talk about it, we have never known the perfume of life. Mere reading and verbalizing indicates an utter lack of the warmth of heart that enriches life; and without that quality of love, do what you will, join any society, bring about any law, you will not solve this problem. To love is to be chaste. Mere intellect is not chastity. The man who tries to be chaste in thought, is unchaste, because he has no love. Only the man who loves is chaste, pure, incorruptible.

Question: In the modern institution of society, it is impossible to live without organization. To shun all organizations as you seem to do is merely escapism. Do you call the postal system a nucleus of power? What should be the basis of organization in the new society?

Krishnamurti: Again, Sir, it is a complex question. Surely, all organizations exist for efficiency. The post office is an organization for the efficiency of communication; but when the postmaster becomes a quasi tyrant over his clerks, the post office becomes a means of power, does it not? The postmaster general is interested in the efficiency of communication, or he should be; his position is obviously not intended to be a means of power, authority, self-aggrandizement - which in fact it is. So, every institution or organization is used by human beings, not simply for efficiency of communication, distribution, and so on, but as a means of power - and that is what I am objecting to. Surely, the post office, the tramway, and various other public services, are a necessity in modern society, and they must be organized. The power house which creates electricity needs careful organization; but when that organization is used for political purposes as a means of self-aggrandizement, as a means of exploitation, obviously the organization becomes the tool of extraordinary brutality.

Now the religious organizations as Hinduism as Catholicism as Buddhism and so on are not for efficiency and are wholly unnecessary. They become pernicious; the priest, the bishop, the church, the temple, are an extraordinary means of exploiting men. They exploit you through fear, through tradition, through ceremony. Religion is obviously and truly the search for reality, and such organizations are unnecessary because the search for reality is not carried on through an organized group of people. On the contrary, an organized group of people becomes a hindrance to reality; therefore, Hinduism, Christianity, or any other organized belief, is a hindrance to truth. Why do we need such organizations? They are not efficient, because the search for truth lies in your own hands, it cannot be realized through an organization, not through a guru or his disciples when they are organized for power. We obviously need technical organizations, such as the post office, the tramway, and so on; but surely, when man is intelligent, every other organization is unnecessary. Because we ourselves are not intelligent, we turn over to those people who call themselves intelligent the power to rule us. An intelligent man does not want to be ruled; he does not want any organization other than that which is necessary for the efficiency of existence.

The necessities of life cannot be truly organized when they are in the hands of a few, of a class or a group; and when the few act as representing the many, surely there is the same problem of power. Exploitation arises when organizations are used as a means of power, whether by the individual, by the group, by the party or the State. It is this self-expansion through organization that is pernicious, such as a State identifying itself as a sovereign government, with which goes nationalism, and in which the individual is also involved. It is this expansive, aggressive, self-defending power that is objectionable. Surely, in order for me to come here, there must be an organization: I must write a letter, and that letter can reach you only if there is a properly organized system of postal distribution. All this is right organization. But when organizations are used by the clever, by the cunning, as a means of exploiting men, such organizations must be eradicated; and they can be eradicated only when you yourself, in your little circle, are not seeking power, dominance. As long as the search for power exists, there must be a hierarchical process from the government's minister to the clerk, from the bishop to the priest, from the general to the common soldier.

Surely, we can have a decent society only when individuals, you and I, are not seeking power in any direction, whether through wealth, through relationship, or through an idea. It is the search for power that is the cause of this disaster, this disintegration of society. Our existence at present is all power politics, dominance in the family by the man or by the woman, dominance through an idea. Action based on an idea is always separative, it can never be inclusive; and the search for power, whether by the individual or by the State, indicates the expansion, the cultivation of the intellect in which there is no love. When you love someone, you are very careful, you organize spontaneously, don't you? You are watchful, you are efficient in helping that one or this one. It is when there is no love that organization as a means of power comes into being. When you love others, when you are full of affection and generosity, then organizations have a different meaning, they are kept on their own level. But when the individual's position becomes all-important, when there is craving for power, then organizations are used as the means to that power - and power and love cannot exist together. Love is its own power, its own beauty, and it is because our hearts are empty that we fill them with the things of the mind; and the things of the mind are not things of the heart. Because our hearts are filled with the things of the mind, we look to organizations as a means of bringing order, of bringing peace to the world. It is not organizations, but only love that can bring order and peace to the world; it is not blueprints of any Utopia, but only good will that can achieve conciliation between people. Because we have no warmth of love, we depend upon organizations; and the moment we have organizations without love, the clever and the cunning come to the top and use them. We start an organization for the welfare of man, and before we know where we are, somebody is using it for his own ends. We create revolutions, bloody, disastrous revolutions to bring about world order, and before we know it, the power is in the hands of a few maniacs after power, and they become a powerful new class, a new dominating group of commissars with their secret police, and love is driven out.

Sirs, how can man live without love? We can only exist; and existence without love is control, confusion, and pain - and that is what most of us are creating. We organize for existence and we accept conflict as inevitable because our existence is a ceaseless demand for power. Surely, when we love, organization has its own place, its right place; but without love, organization becomes a nightmare, merely mechanical and efficient, like the army. When there is love, there will be no army; but as modern society is based on mere efficiency, we have to have armies - and the purpose of an army is to create war. Even in so-called peace, the more intellectually efficient we are, the more ruthless, the more brutal, the more callous we become. That is why there is confusion in the world, why bureaucracy is more and more powerful, why more and more governments are becoming totalitarian. We submit to all this as being inevitable because we live in our brains and not in our hearts, and therefore love does not exist. Love is the most dangerous and uncertain element in life; and because we do not want to be uncertain, because we do not want to be in danger, we live in the mind. A man who loves is dangerous, and we do not want to live dangerously; we want to live efficiently, we want to live merely in the framework of organization, because we think organizations are going to bring order and peace in the world. Organizations have never brought order and peace. Only love, only good will, only mercy can bring order and peace, ultimately and therefore now.

Question: Why is woman prone to permit herself to be dominated by man? Why do communities and nations permit themselves to be bossed by a leader or a fuhrer?

Krishnamurti: Now, Sir, why do you ask this question? Why don't you look into your own mind to find out why you want to be dominated, why you dominate, and why you seek a leader? Why do you dominate the woman or the man? And this domination is also called love, is it not? When the man dominates, the woman likes it and considers it as affection; and when a woman bosses the man, he also likes it. Why? It is an indication that the domination gives you a certain sense of closeness of relationship. If my wife dominates me, I feel very close to her, and if she does not dominate, I feel she is indifferent. You are afraid of indifference from your wife or your husband, from the woman or the man. You will accept anything as long as you do not feel someone is indifferent. You know how closely you want to keep to your guru; you will do anything - sacrifice your wife, honesty, everything - to be close to him, because you want to feel that he is not indifferent to you. That is, we use relationship as a means of self-forgetfulness; and as long as relationship does not show us what we actually are, we are satisfied. That is why we accept the domination of another. When my wife or husband dominates me, it does not reveal what I am, but is a source of gratification. If my wife does not dominate me, if she is indifferent and I discover what I really am, it is very disturbing. What am I? I am an empty, dour, sloppy being with certain appetites - and I am afraid to face all that emptiness. Therefore I accept the domination of my wife or husband because it makes me feel very close to him or to her, and I do not want to see myself as I am. And this domination gives a sense of relationship, this domination brings jealousy - the moment you do not dominate me, you are looking at somebody else. Therefore I am jealous because I have lost you; and I do not know how to get rid of jealousy, which is still on the plane of the brain. Sir, a man who loves is not jealous. Jealousy is of the brain, but love is not of the brain; and where there is love, there is no domination. When you love somebody, you are not dominating, you are a part of that person. There is no separation, but complete integration. It is the brain that separates and creates the problem of domination.

`Why do communities and nations permit themselves to be bossed by a leader?' What are communities and nations? A group of people living together. To put it differently, society, the community, the nation, is you, the individual, in your relationship with another; and this is an obvious fact. Why do you seek a leader? Obviously, you do it because you are confused, do you not? A man who is very clear, who is integrated, does not want a leader. To him a leader is a nuisance, a factor of disintegration in society. You seek a leader because you are confused; you do not know what to do, and you want to be told what to do, so you seek modes of conduct, socially, politically and religiously. Being confused, you seek a leader - follow the implications of this, Sir. If when you are confused you seek a leader who will lead you out of the confusion, it means that you are not seeking clarity, you are not interested in the cause of confusion, you merely want to be led out of it. But being confused, you will choose a leader who is also confused. (Laughter.) Do not laugh, but please see the importance of this. You won't seek a leader who is clear, because he will tell you to look to your own confusion, not to escape from it; he will say that the cause of confusion is in yourself. But you do not want that, you want a leader who will lead you out of confusion; and because your mind is confused, you will seek one who is also confused. How can one confused mind lead another out of confusion? A mind that is confused must have a leader who is also confused; therefore all leaders are inevitably confused, because you create the leader out of your own confusion - and this is very important to understand. When you realize this fact, you will not seek a leader, you will become responsible for the clearing up of your own confusion. It is only a confused man that, not knowing how to act, seeks a leader to help him to act; but the leader is also confused, and that is why leaders are a disintegrating factor in your life. The leader is projected out of your own confusion, therefore he is but yourself in a different form, as your governments are. It is self-projection that creates the leader: a national hero is yourself exemplified externally. What you are, or what you want to be, such is your leader; therefore, such a leader cannot bring you out of your chaos. The resolution of the chaos lies in your own hands, not in the hands of another. Regeneration comes through understanding yourself, not through following somebody, for that somebody is yourself with a greater power of words, but equally confused, equally tyrannical, equally traditional.

So, then, the problem is not the leader, but how to eradicate con- fusion. Can another help you in removing confusion? If you look to another to remove your confusion, he can only help you to increase it, because a confused mind can never choose that which is clear; since it is in confusion, it can only choose that which is confused. If you wish radically to get rid of confusion, you will set your own mind and heart in order, you will consider the causes that bring about confusion. Confusion arises only when there is no self-knowledge. When I do not know myself and do not know what to do or what to think, naturally I am caught in the whirlwind of confusion. But when I know myself, the whole total process of myself - which is extraordinarily simple if one has the intention to know oneself - , then out of that understanding comes clarity, out of that understanding comes conduct and right behaviour. So, it is of the highest importance not to follow a leader, but to understand oneself. The understanding of oneself brings love, brings order. Chaos exists only in relationship to something, and as long as I do not understand that relationship, there must be confusion. To understand relationship is to understand myself, and to understand myself is to bring about that quality of love in which there is well being. If I know how to love my wife, my children or my neighbour, I know how to love everyone. Since I do not love the one, I am merely remaining on the intellectual or verbal level with humanity. The idealist is a bore - he loves humanity with his brain, he does not love with his heart. When you love, no leader is necessary. It is the empty of heart who seek a leader to fill that emptiness with words, with an ideology, with an Utopia of the future. Love is only in the present, not in time, not in the future. For him who loves, eternity is now; for love is its own eternity.

September 19, 1948

talk May 2017, part 2

Freedom From the Known

Freedom From the Known Chapter 5

Before we go any further I would like to ask you what is your fundamental, lasting interest in life? Putting all oblique answers aside and dealing with this question directly and honestly, what would you answer? Do you know?

Isn't it yourself? Anyway, that is what most of us would say if we answered truthfully. I am interested in my progress, my job, my family, the little corner in which I live, in getting a better position for myself, more prestige, more power, more domination over others and so on. I think it would be logical, wouldn't it, to admit to ourselves that that is what most of us are primarily interested in - 'me' first?

Some of us would say that it is wrong to be primarily interested in ourselves. But what is wrong about it except that we seldom decently, honestly, admit it? If we do, we are rather ashamed of it. So there it is - one is fundamentally interested in oneself, and for various ideological or traditional reasons one thinks it is wrong. But what one thinks is irrelevant. Why introduce the factor of its being wrong? That is an idea, a concept. What is a fact is that one is fundamentally and lastingly interested in oneself.

You may say that it is more satisfactory to help another than to think about yourself. What is the difference? It is still self-concern. If it gives you greater satisfaction to help others, you are concerned about what will give you greater satisfaction. Why bring any ideological concept into it? Why this double thinking? Why not say, `What I really want is satisfaction, whether in sex, or in helping others, or in becoming a great saint, scientist or politician'? It is the same process, isn't it? Satisfaction in all sorts of ways, subtle and obvious, is what we want. When we say we want freedom we want it because we think it may be wonderfully satisfying, and the ultimate satisfaction, of course, is this peculiar idea of self-realization. What we are really seeking is a satisfaction in which there is no dissatisfaction at all.

Most of us crave the satisfaction of having a position in society because we are afraid of being nobody. Society is so constructed that a citizen who has a position of respect is treated with great courtesy, whereas a man who has no position is kicked around. Everyone in the world wants a position, whether in society, in the family or to sit on the right hand of God, and this position must be recognized by others, otherwise it is no position at all. We must always sit on the platform. Inwardly we are whirlpools of misery and mischief and therefore to be regarded outwardly as a great figure is very gratifying. This craving for position, for prestige, for power, to be recognized by society as being outstanding in some way, is a wish to dominate others, and this wish to dominate is a form of aggression. The saint who seeks a position in regard to his saintliness is as aggressive as the chicken pecking in the farmyard. And what is the cause of this aggressiveness? It is fear, isn't it?

Fear is one of the greatest problems in life. A mind that is caught in fear lives in confusion, in conflict, and therefore must be violent, distorted and aggressive. It dare not move away from its own patterns of thinking, and this breeds hypocrisy. Until we are free from fear, climb the highest mountain, invent every kind of God, we will always remain in darkness.

Living in such a corrupt, stupid society as we do, with the competitive education we receive which engenders fear, we are all burdened with fears of some kind, and fear is a dreadful thing which warps, twists and dulls our days.

There is physical fear but that is a response we have inherited from the animals. It is psychological fears we are concerned with here, for when we understand the deep-rooted psychological fears we will be able to meet the animal fears, whereas to be concerned with the animal fears first will never help us to understand the psychological fears.

We are all afraid about something; there is no fear in abstraction, it is always in relation to something. Do you know your own fears - fear of losing your job, of not having enough food or money, or what your neighbours or the public think about you, or not being a success, of losing your position in society, of being despised or ridiculed - fear of pain and disease, of domination, of never knowing what love is or of not being loved, of losing your wife or children, of death, of living in a world that is like death, of utter boredom, of not living up to the image others have built about you, of losing your faith - all these and innumerable other fears - do you know your own particular fears? And what do you usually do about them? You run away from them, don't you, or invent ideas and images to cover them? But to run away from fear is only to increase it.

One of the major causes of fear is that we do not want to face ourselves as we are. So, as well as the fears themselves, we have to examine the network of escapes we have developed to rid ourselves of them. If the mind, in which is included the brain, tries to overcome fear, to suppress it, discipline it, control it, translate it into terms of something else, there is friction, there is conflict, and that conflict is a waste of energy.

The first thing to ask ourselves then is what is fear and how does it arise? What do we mean by the word fear itself? I am asking myself what is fear not what I am afraid of.

I lead a certain kind of life; I think in a certain pattern; I have certain beliefs and dogmas and I don't want those patterns of existence to be disturbed because I have my roots in them. I don't want them to be disturbed because the disturbance produces a state of unknowing and I dislike that. If I am torn away from everything I know and believe, I want to be reasonably certain of the state of things to which I am going. So the brain cells have created a pattern and those brain cells refuse to create another pattern which may be uncertain. The movement from certainty to uncertainty is what I call fear.

At the actual moment as I am sitting here I am not afraid; I am not afraid in the present, nothing is happening to me, nobody is threatening me or taking anything away from me. But beyond the actual moment there is a deeper layer in the mind which is consciously or unconsciously thinking of what might happen in the future or worrying that something from the past may overtake me. So I am afraid of the past and of the future. I have divided time into the past and the future. Thought steps in, says, `Be careful it does not happen again', or `Be prepared for the future. The future may be dangerous for you. You have got something now but you may lose it. You may die tomorrow, your wife may run away, you may lose your job. You may never become famous. You may be lonely. You want to be quite sure of tomorrow.'

Now take your own particular form of fear. Look at it. Watch your reactions to it. Can you look at it without any movement of escape, justification, condemnation or suppression? Can you look at that fear without the word which causes the fear? Can you look at death, for instance, without the word which arouses the fear of death? The word itself brings a tremor, doesn't it, as the word love has its own tremor, its own image? Now is the image you have in your mind about death, the memory of so many deaths you have seen and the associating of yourself with those incidents - is it that image which is creating fear? Or are you actually afraid of coming to an end, not of the image creating the end? Is the word death causing you fear or the actual ending? If it is the word or the memory which is causing you fear then it is not fear at all.

You were ill two years ago, let us say, and the memory of that pain, that illness, remains, and the memory now functioning says, `Be careful, don't get ill, again'. So the memory with its associations is creating fear, and that is not fear at all because actually at the moment you have very good health. Thought, which is always old, because thought is the response of memory and memories are always old - thought creates, in time, the feeling that you are afraid which is not an actual fact. The actual fact is that you are well. But the experience, which has remained in the mind as a memory, rouses the thought, `Be careful, don't fall ill again'.

So we see that thought engenders one kind of fear. But is there fear at all apart from that? Is fear always the result of thought and, if it is, is there any other form of fear? We are afraid of death - that is, something that is going to happen tomorrow or the day after tomorrow, in time. There is a distance between actuality and what will be. Now thought has experienced this state; by observing death it says, `I am going to die.' Thought creates the fear of death, and if it doesn't is there any fear at all? Is fear the result of thought? If it is, thought being always old, fear is always old. As we have said, there is no new thought. If we recognise it, it is already old. So what we are afraid of is the repetition of the old - the thought of what has been projecting into the future. Therefore thought is responsible for fear. This is so, you can see it for yourself. When you are confronted with something immediately there is no fear. It is only when thought comes in that there is fear.

Therefore our question now is, is it possible for the mind to live completely, totally, in the present? It is only such a mind that has no fear. But to understand this, you have to understand the structure of thought, memory and time. And in understanding it, understanding not intellectually, not verbally, but actually with your heart, your mind, your guts, you will be free from fear; then the mind can use thought without creating fear.

Thought, like memory, is, of course, necessary for daily living. It is the only instrument we have for communication, working at our jobs and so forth. Thought is the response to memory, memory which has been accumulated through experience, knowledge, tradition, time. And from this background of memory we react and this reaction is thinking. So thought is essential at certain levels but when thought projects itself psychologically as the future and the past, creating fear as well as pleasure, the mind is made dull and therefore inaction is inevitable.

So I ask myself, `Why, why, why, do I think about the future and the past in terms of pleasure and pain, knowing that such thought creates fear? Isn't it possible for thought psychologically to stop, for otherwise fear will never end?'

One of the functions of thought is to be occupied all the time with something. Most of us want to have our minds continually occupied so that we are prevented from seeing ourselves as we actually are. We are afraid to be empty. We are afraid to look at our fears.

Consciously you can be aware of your fears but at the deeper levels of your mind are you aware of them? And how are you going to find out the fears that are hidden, secret? Is fear to be divided into the conscious and the subconscious? This is a very important question. The specialist, the psychologist, the analyst, have divided fear into deep superficial layers, but if you follow what the psychologist says or what I say, you are understanding our theories, our dogmas, our knowledge, you are not understanding yourself. You cannot understand yourself according to Freud or Jung, or according to me. Other people's theories have no importance whatever. It is of yourself that you must ask the question, is fear to be divided into the conscious and subconscious? Or is there only fear which you translate into different forms? There is only one desire; there is only desire. You desire. The objects of desire change, but desire is always the same. So perhaps in the same way there is only fear. You are afraid of all sorts of things but there is only one fear.

When you realize that fear cannot be divided you will see that you have put away altogether this problem of the subconscious and so have cheated the psychologists and the analysts. When you understand that fear is a single movement which expresses itself in different ways and when you see the movement and not the object to which the movement goes, then you are facing an immense question: how can you look at it without the fragmentation which the mind has cultivated?

There is only total fear, but how can the mind which thinks in fragments observe this total picture? Can it? We have lived a life of fragmentation, and can look at that total fear only through the fragmentary process of thought. The whole process of the machinery of thinking is to break up everything into fragments: I love you and I hate you; you are my enemy, you are my friend; my peculiar idiosyncrasies and inclinations, my job, my position, my prestige, my wife, my child, my country and your country, my God and your God - all that is the fragmentation of thought. And this thought looks at the total state of fear, or tries to look at it, and reduces it to fragments. Therefore we see that the mind can look at this total fear only when there is no movement of thought.

Can you watch fear without any conclusion, without any interference of the knowledge you have accumulated about it? If you cannot, then what you are watching is the past, not fear; if you can, then you are watching fear for the first time without the interference of the past.

You can watch only when the mind is very quiet, just as you can listen to what someone is saying only when your mind is not chattering with itself, carrying on a dialogue with itself about its own problems and anxieties. Can you in the same way look at your fear without trying to resolve it, without bringing in its opposite, courage - actually look at it and not try to escape from it? When you say, `I must control it, I must get rid of it, I must understand it', you are trying to escape from it.

You can observe a cloud or a tree or the movement of a river with a fairly quiet mind because they are not very important to you, but to watch yourself is far more difficult because there the demands are so practical, the reactions so quick. So when you are directly in contact with fear or despair, loneliness or jealousy, or any other ugly state of mind, can you look at it so completely that your mind is quiet enough to see it? Can the mind perceive fear and not the different forms of fear - perceive total fear, not what you are afraid of? If you look merely at the details of fear or try to deal with your fears one by one, you will never come to the central issue which is to learn to live with fear.

To live with a living thing such as fear requires a mind and heart that are extraordinarily subtle, that have no conclusion and can therefore follow every movement of fear. Then if you observe and live with it - and this doesn't take a whole day, it can take a minute or a second to know the whole nature of fear - if you live with it so completely you inevitably ask, 'Who is the entity who is living with fear? Who is it who is observing fear, watching all the movements of the various forms of fear as well as being aware of the central fact of fear? Is the observer a dead entity, a static being, who has accumulated a lot of knowledge and information about himself, and is it that dead thing who is observing and living with the movement of fear? Is the observer the past or is he a living thing?' What is your answer? Do not answer me, answer yourself. Are you, the observer, a dead entity watching a living thing or are you a living thing watching a living thing? Because in the observer the two states exist.

The observer is the censor who does not want fear; the observer is the totality of all his experiences about fear. So the observer is separate from that thing he calls fear; there is space between them; he is forever trying to overcome it or escape from it and hence this constant battle between himself and fear - this battle which is such a waste of energy.

As you watch, you learn that the observer is merely a bundle of ideas and memories without any validity or substance, but that fear is an actuality and that you are trying to understand a fact with an abstraction which, of course, you cannot do. But,in fact, is the observer who says, `I am afraid', any different from the thing observed which is fear? The observer is fear and when that is realized there is no longer any dissipation of energy in the effort to get rid of fear, and the time-space interval between the observer and the observed disappears. When you see that you are a part of fear, not separate from it - that you are fear - then you cannot do anything about it; then fear comes totally to an end.

Poona, India, 1948


This evening instead of making a long introductory speech, I will make a brief one and answer as many questions as possible. This meeting is meant for teachers and their problems, so I will answer questions only on the subject of education; and as there are twenty of them, I will have to answer briefly and succinctly.

It is difficult in modern civilization to bring about, by means of education, an integrated individual. We have divided life into so many departments and our lives are so unintegrated, that education has very little meaning except merely when learning a particular technique, a particular profession. Throughout the world, education has obviously failed - as the first function of education is to create a human being who is intelligent. To attempt to solve the problems of existence merely at their respective levels, separated into different departments, indicates an utter lack of intelligence. Our problem, then, is how to create an individual who is integrated through intelligence, so that he would be able to grapple with life from moment to moment, to face life as it comes with its complexities, with its conflicts, with its miseries, with its inequalities; an individual who can meet life, not according to a particular system either of the left or of the right, but intelligently, without seeking an answer or a pattern of action. Since education has not produced such an individual, and since there have been successive wars one after the other, each more devastating and destructive, bringing greater sorrow and misery to man, obviously the educational systems throughout the world have completely failed. So, there is something radically wrong with the way we bring up our children. We all acknowledge that there is something wrong, we are all aware of it, but we do not know how to tackle that problem. The problem is not the child, but the parent and the teacher; and what is necessary is to educate the educator. Without educating the educator, merely to stuff the child with a lot of information, making him pass examinations, is the most unintelligent form of education. The really important thing is to educate the educator, and that is one of the most difficult undertakings. The educator is already crystallized in a system of thought or a pattern of action; he is already a nationalist, he has already given himself over to a particular ideology, to a particular religion, to a particular standard of thought. So the difficulty is, is it not?, that modern education teaches the child what to think, and not how to think. Surely, it is only when one has the capacity to think intelligently that one can meet life. Life cannot be made to conform to a system or be fitted into a framework; and the mentality that has merely been trained in factual knowledge is incapable of meeting life with its variety, its complexities, its subtleties, its depths and great heights. So, when our children are trained in a particular system of thought, according to a particular discipline, obviously they are incapable of meeting life as a whole; because they are taught to think in terms of departments, they are not integrated. For the teacher who is interested, the question is how to bring out an integrated individual. To do that, obviously the teacher himself must also be integrated. One cannot bring up a child to be an integrated individual if one does not understand integration in oneself. That is, what you are in yourself is much more important than the traditional question of what to teach the child. The important thing is not what you think, but how you think, whether thought is merely an unintegrated process, or a complete, total process. Thought as an integrated process can be understood only when there is self-knowledge - and into this we will go during the later talks and discussions.

As there are numerous questions, I will try to answer briefly, quickly and definitely as many of the representative ones as possible. You may ask innumerable questions, but please bear in mind that to find the right answer you must have the capacity to listen, otherwise you will merely be carried away by words without much content. The art of listening is extremely arduous, because it consists in being interested and giving your full attention; but most of us are not interested in this question of education. We send our children to school, and that is the end of it; we consider that it is good riddance, and that it is the function of the teacher to educate them. Since most of us are not interested, it is extremely difficult to listen carefully and to understand. One may use the wrong word, the wrong phrase, an incorrect term; but the person who is very attentive goes through the inaccuracies of terminology and gets the gist of the meaning. So, I hope you will be able to follow swiftly and wisely.

Question: Do you approve of the Montessori and other systems of education? Have you any to recommend?

Krishnamurti: What is implied in a system of education? A framework into which you are fitting the child; and the questioner wants to know which framework will best help the child. Will any system of education really help to bring about integration? Or must there be, not a particular system, but intelligence on the part of the teacher to understand the child, to see what kind of child he is? There must be very few children for each teacher. It is very easy to have a system for a large number of people - that is why systems are popular. You can force a great number of boys and girls into a particular system, and then you, the teacher, need not spend your thought on them. You practice your system on the poor children. Whereas, when you have no system, you must study each child, and that requires a great deal of intelligence, alertness and affection on the part of the teacher, does it not? It means classes limited to five or six. Such a school would be extraordinarily expensive, therefore we resort to a system. Systems obviously do not bring about an integrated individual. System may help you to understand the child; but surely the primary necessity is that you, who are the teacher, should have the intelligence to use a system when necessary, and to drop it when it is not necessary. But when we turn to a system in place of affection, understanding and intelligence, then the teacher becomes merely a machine, and therefore the child grows up an unintegrated individual. Systems have a use only in the hands of an intelligent teacher: your own intelligence is the factor that will help. But most of us who are teachers have very little intelligence, therefore we turn to systems. It is so much easier to learn a system and to apply it, whether Montessori or any other, for then the teacher can sit back and watch. Surely, that is not education. Mere dependence on a particular system, however worthy, has very little significance. If the teacher himself is not really intelligent, when we adopt systems we are hindering intelligence. Systems do not make for intelligence. Intelligence comes only through integration, a complete understanding of the total process of oneself and of the child. Therefore, it is necessary for a teacher to study the child directly and not merely to follow a particular system, either of the left or of the right, either Montessori or any other. To study the child implies a swift mind, a quick response, and that can take place only when there is affection. But in a class of sixty children, how can you have such affection? Modern society demands that boys and girls should learn certain professions, and for that there must be efficiency in education. When your object is to produce, not intelligent, alert human beings, but efficient machines, obviously you must have a system. Such a system cannot produce whole, integrated individuals who understand the importance of life, but only machines with certain responses; and that is why the present civilization is destroying itself.

Question: As communalism is so rampant in India, how shall we guide the child away from it?

Krishnamurti: Is the child communalistically minded? It is the home and the social environment that is making him communalistically or separatively minded. By himself he does not care whether he plays with a Brahmin or a non-Brahmin, a Negro or an English boy. It is the influence of older people, of the social structure, that impinges on his mind, and naturally he is affected by it. The problem is not the child, but the older people, with their false, communalistic, separative tendencies. To `guide the child away from it', you will have to break the environment, which means breaking down the structure of modern society. Until you do that, obviously the child will be communalistic. Very few of you want complete revolution: you want patchwork reform, you want to keep things as they are. If you really want to break down the communalistic spirit, your attitude has to change completely, has it not? Look at what happens. At home you may discuss with the child how absurd it is to have a sense of class division, and he will probably agree with you, but when he goes to school and plays with other boys, there is this insane communalistic, separative spirit. So, there is a constant battle between the home and the social environments. Or it may be the other way round: the home may be traditional, narrow, bitter, and the social influence may be broader. Again, the child is caught between the two. Surely, to raise a sane child, to make him intelligent, to help him understand so that he sees through all these stupidities, you have to understand and discuss with him all the faults of traditional acceptance and authority. That means, Sir, that you have to encourage discontent; whereas, most of us want to discourage, to put away discontent. It is only through discontent that we see the falseness of all these things; but as we grow older, we begin to crystallize. Most young men are discontented, but unfortunately their discontent is canalized, standardized: they become class governors, priests, bank clerks, factory managers, and there it ends. They get a job and their discontent soon withers away. To keep this discontent alert, awake, is extremely arduous; but it is discontent, this constant enquiry, this dissatisfaction with things as they are - with government, with the influence of parents, wife or husband, with everything about us - that brings creative intelligence. But we do not want such a child, because it is very uncomfortable to live with someone who is all the time questioning, looking into the accepted values. We would rather have people who are fat, contented, lazy.

It is you grown up people who are responsible for the future - but you are not interested in the future. God knows what you are interested in, or why you have so many children because you do not know how to bring them up. If you really loved them instead of merely wanting them to carry on your property and your name, then obviously you would tackle this problem anew. You might have to start new schools; it might mean that you yourself would have to become the teacher. But unfortunately you are not very earnest about anything in life except making money, having food and sex. In those things you are fairly integrated, but you do not want to face or approach the rest of the complexities and difficulties of life; and therefore, when you produce children, and they grow up, they are as immature, unintegrated, unintelligent as yourself, in constant battle with themselves and with the world.

So, it is the older people who are responsible for this communalistic spirit. After all, Sirs, why should there be divisions between man and man? You are very like another. You may have a different body, your face may be unlike mine, but inwardly, inside the skin, we are very much alike: proud, ambitious, angry, violent, sexual, seeking power, position, authority, and so on. Remove the label and we are very naked; but we do not want to face our nakedness or transform ourselves, and that is why we worship labels - which is too immature, utterly childish. With the world crashing about our ears we are discussing what caste one should belong to, or whether one should wear the sacred thread, or what kind of ceremony one should perform - which all indicates utter thoughtlessness, does it not? I know you are listening, Sirs and Ladies, and some of you nod your heads; but the moment you go home you will do exactly the same thing - and that is the sadness of existence. If when you hear a truth you do not act upon it, it acts as a poison. You are being poisoned by me because you are not acting upon it. That poison naturally spreads, it brings ill health, psychological unbalance and disturbance. Most of us are used to listening to talks - it is one of the pastimes of India. You listen, go home and carry on; but such people have very little significance in life. Life demands extraordinary, creative, revolutionary action. Only when that creative intelligence is awakened is there a possibility of living in a peaceful and happy world.

Question: Obviously there must be some kind of discipline in schools, but how is it to be carried out?

Krishnamurti: Surely, Sir, there have been experiments in England and in other places in which schools have had no discipline of any kind at all; the children were allowed to do what they liked and never interfered with. Those schools obviously feel that children need some kind of discipline in the sense of guidance - no rigid `do's' and `don'ts', but some kind of warning, some kind of hint or intimation by way of showing the difficulties. Such a form of discipline, which is really guidance, is necessary. The difficulty arises when discipline is merely forcing the child into a particular pattern of action through compulsion, through fear. The character of such a child is obviously distorted, his mind is made crooked through discipline, through the many taboos of `do' and `don't; so he grows up, as most of us have done, with fear and a sense of inferiority. When discipline forces the child into a particular framework, surely he cannot become intelligent, he is merely the product of discipline; and how can such a child be alert, creative, and therefore grow into an integrated, intelligent man? He is merely a machine functioning very smoothly and efficiently, a machine without human intelligence,

So, the question of discipline is quite a complex problem, because we think that without discipline in life we shall spill over, we shall become too lustful. That is the only problem with which we really concern ourselves: how not to become too lustful. You may spill over in any other direction - seek position, be greedy, violent, do anything - as long as you are within limits regarding sexuality. It is very strange, is it not?, that no religion really attacks exploitation, greed, envy, but they are all interested in the sexual act, frightfully concerned about sexual morality. It is very odd that organized religions should be so concerned about that particular morality, and let the other things rip. One can see why organized religions place their emphasis on sexual morality. They do not look into the problem of exploitation, because organized religions depend on society and live on it, and therefore they dare not attack the root and foundation of that society; so they play with sexual morality.

Though most of us talk of discipline, what do we mean by that word? When you have a hundred boys in a class, you will have to have discipline, otherwise there will be complete chaos. But if you had five or six in a class, and an intelligent teacher with a warm heart, with understanding, I am sure there would be no need for discipline; she would understand each child and help him in the way required. Discipline in schools becomes necessary when there is one teacher to a hundred boys and girls - then you jolly well have to be very strict; but such discipline will not produce an intelligent human being. And most of us are interested in mass movements, large schools with a great many boys and girls; we are not interested in creative intelligence, therefore we put up huge schools with enormous attendances. At one of the universities I believe there are 45,000 students. What are you going to do, Sirs, when we are educating everybody on such a vast scale? Under such circumstances, naturally there must be discipline. I am not against educating everybody, it would be too stupid of me to say so. I am for right education, which is the creation of intelligence; and this can come about, not through mass education, but only through consideration of each child, studying his difficulties, his idiosyncrasies, his tendencies, his capacities, taking care of him with affection, with intelligence. Only then is there a possibility of creating a new culture.

There is a lovely story, an actual fact, about a bishop who read the Bible to the illiterate people of the South Seas, and they were delighted to listen to these stories. He thought to himself that it was marvellous, and that it would be a good thing if he went back to America, collected money, and founded schools all over the South Sea Islands. So he collected a great deal of money in America, returned to the Islands, founded schools, and taught the people how to read. At the end of it they were reading the comic papers, the Saturday Evening Post. Look, and other exciting, suggestive magazines! That is exactly what we are doing. Also, it is an extraordinary thing that the more people read, the less revolt there is. Sirs, have you ever considered how we worship the printed word? If the government issues an order or gives information in print, we accept it, we never doubt it. The printed word has become sacred. The more you teach people, the less there is a possibility of revolution - which does not mean that I am against teaching people to read; but just see the danger involved in it. Governments control people, dominate their minds and hearts, through cunning propaganda. That is happening not only in totalitarian countries, but all over the world. The newspaper has taken the place of thought, the headline has taken the place of real knowledge and understanding.

So, the difficulty is that in the present social structure, discipline has become an important factor because we want large numbers of children to be educated together and as quickly as possible. Educated to be what? To be bank clerks or super-salesmen, capitalists or commissars. When you are a superman of some kind, a super-governor or a subtle parliamentary debater, what have you done? You are probably very clever, full of facts. Anybody can pick up facts; but we are human beings, not factual machines, not beastly routine automatons. But again, Sirs, you are not interested, You are listening to me and smiling at each other, and you are not going to do a thing about radically changing the educational system; so it will drag on till there is a monstrous revolution, which will merely be another substitution - there will be much more control, because the totalitarian governments know how to shape the minds and hearts of the people, they have learnt the trick. That is the misery, that is the unfortunate weakness in us: we want somebody else to alter, to reform, to build. We listen and remain inactive; and when the revolution is successful and others have built a new structure and there are guarantees, then we step in. Surely, that is not an intelligent, creative mind; such a mind is only seeking security in a different form. To seek security is a stupid process. To be secure psychologically you must have discipline, and the discipline guarantees the result - the making of human beings into routine office holders, whether bank clerks, commissars, kings or prime ministers. Surely, that is the greatest form of stupidity, for then human beings are merely machines. See the danger of discipline - the danger is that the discipline becomes more important than the human being; the pattern of thought, the pattern of action, far more important than the people who fit into them. Discipline will inevitably exist as long as the heart is empty, for then it is a substitute for affection. As most of us are dry, empty, we want discipline. A warm heart, a rich, integrated human being is free, he has no discipline. Freedom does not come through discipline, you do, not have to go through discipline to be free. Freedom and intelligence begin near, not far away; and that is why, to go far, one must begin intelligently with oneself.

Question: Since till now a foreign government has prevented the right kind of education among our beloved people, what should be the right kind of education in a free India?

Krishnamurti: What do you mean by a `free' India? You have succeeded in substituting one government for another, one bureaucracy for another; but are you free? The exploiter exists as before, only now he is brown, and you are exploited by him as you were by the other. The usurer exists as before, the communalism, the class divisions, the quarrels over separate provinces, over which province shall have more or less, over which group in that province shall have the jobs - all these factors still exist. So the same conditions continue as before, only now there is a difference which is psychological. You have got rid of a group of people, and this acts on you psychologically. You can stand up again now; now, at least you are a man whereas, before, somebody was treading on your neck. The white man may not be treading on your neck, but a brown man is, who is your own brother and much more ruthless. Don't you know he is much more ruthless, having no morality? What do you mean by a `free' India? You will probably have your own army and navy - you are following after the rest of the world with their armies, navies, air forces, and regimentation. To see an old people like you playing with things that children should play with is a sad sight, is it not? It is just like an old man flirting with a young girl, it is an ugly thing. That is what you call `free', and you ask what kind of education you should have in a `free' India! First, to have education of the right kind, you must become intelligent. You cannot be intelligent by merely substituting one government for another, one exploiter for another, one class for another. To bring about a new kind of education. all these must go, must they not? You must start anew. That means radical revolution - not of the bloody kind, which does not solve a thing, but a radical revolution of thought, of feeling, of values. That radical revolution can be brought about only by you and me; a revolution that will create a new, integrated individual, must begin with you and me. Since you are not putting a stop to racialism, organized dogmatism in your religion, how can you produce a new culture, a new education? You can speculate about it, you can write volumes about what the new education should be; but that is an infantile process, another escape. There can be no creation until you throw down the barriers and are free, and then you will be able to build a new culture, a new order, which means you have to revolt against the present conditions, against present values - revolt in the sense of seeing their true significance, understanding them intelligently, and thinking things out anew. It is comparatively easy to dream of an Utopia, a brave, new world; but that is sacrificing the present for the future - and the future is so uncertain. No man can know what the future will be, there are so many elements intervening between now and the future. We hope that by creating a conceptual Utopia, a mental idealization, and working for it, we shall have solved the problem; but we shall certainly not solve the problem that way. What we can do, if we are intelligent people, is to tackle the problem ourselves in the present. Now is the only eternity, not the future. I must give full attention to the problem now. Merely to discuss what should be the right kind of education for people in a free India is quite obviously stupid. India is not free: there is no free India. You have a flag and a new anthem, but surely that is not freedom. You speak in your mother tongue and think you are awfully patriotic, nationalistic, and that you have solved the problem. Sir, solving this problem requires thinking anew, not looking through the spectacles of the old formula. That is why it is imperative, for those who are serious, to create a revolution by regenerating themselves; and there cannot be regeneration unless you break away from the old values, examining them and seeing their significance and their worth, not blindly accepting any one of them as good. That is why it is important to look into ourselves and to see the manner, the ways of our own thinking and feeling. It is only then that we are free, only then that we can produce a new culture and a new education.

Question: How far should government interfere in education, and should children be given military training?

Krishnamurti: This raises a most important question. What do you mean by government? People in authority, a few bureaucrats, cabinet members, the prime minister, and so on. Is that government? Who elects them? You do, don't you? You are responsible for them, are you not? You have the government that you want, so why do you object? If your government, which is yourself, wants military training, why do you object to it? Because you are racial, class-ridden, have economic frontiers, you must have a military government. You are responsible and not the government, because the government is the projection, the extension of yourself - its values are your values. Since you want a nationalist India, you must inevitably have the machinery that will protect a national sovereign government, with its pride of power, pomp and possession; therefore you must have a military machine whose function is to prepare for war - which means you want war. You may shake your head, but everything that you are doing is preparing for war. The very existence of a sovereign government, with its nationalistic outlook, must cause preparation for war; every general must plan for a future war, because that is his duty, his function, his metier. Naturally, if you have such a government, which is yourself, it must protect your nationalism, your economic frontiers, there must be a military machine. Therefore, if you accept all that, military training is inevitable. That is exactly what is happening throughout the world. England, which fought for centuries against conscription, is now conscripting. Fortunately, in this country, which is so vast, you cannot for the time being conscript everybody. You are disorganized. But given a few years, you will be able to organize, and then you will probably have the largest army in the world - because that is what you want. You want an army because you want a separate, sovereign government, a separate race, a separate religion, a separate class with its own exploiters; I assure you, you want to become the exploiter in turn, and so you keep up this game. And then you ask if government should interfere in education!

Sirs, there should be a class of people who are apart from government, who do not belong to society, who are outside it, so that they can act as guides. They are the chastisers, they are the prophets who can tell you how wrong you are. But there is no such group because the government in the modern world will not support such a group, a group that has no authority, a group that does not belong to the government, a group that does not belong to any religion, caste or country. It is only such a group that can act as a restraint on governments. Because governments are becoming more and more powerful, employing a majority of human beings, therefore more and more citizens are incapable of thinking for themselves. They are being regimented and told what to do. So, it is only when there is such a group, a vital, intelligent, active group, only then is there hope and salvation. Otherwise, each one of us is going to become an employee of the government, and more and more the government will tell us what to do and what to think - not how to think. Obviously, such a government, with its nationalism, its pride, envy and hatred, leading inevitably to war, must have a military machine, so in every school there must be the worship of the flag. If you are proud of your nationalism, of your economic frontiers, of your sovereign government, of your preparedness for war, you must have a government interfering with education, interfering with your lives, regimenting you, controlling your actions. That is exactly what you want. If not, you will break away intelligently from it. free yourself from nationalism, from greed, from envy, from the power that authority gives; and then, being intelligent, you will be able to look at the world situation and contribute to the establishment of a new education and a new culture.

Question: What is the place of art and religion in education?

Krishnamurti: What do you mean by art and what do you mean by religion? Is art the hanging up of a few pictures in a class room, drawing a few lines? What do you mean by art? What do you mean by religion? Is religion the spreading of organized belief? Is art merely imitating or copying a tree? Surely, art is something more than that. Art implies appreciation of beauty; while it may express itself in writing a poem, painting a picture, composing, it is the appreciation of beauty, that creative richness, the feeling of joy which comes from looking at a tree, at the stars, at the moonlight on still waters. Surely, art does not consist in the mere purchase of a few pictures and hanging them in a room. If you happen to have money and feel that it is safer to invest your money in pictures than in stocks, you do not become an artist, do you? Because you happen to have money and you invest your money in jewels, it obviously does not mean that you appreciate beauty. Surely, beauty is something different from mere security, is it not? Have you ever sat down to look at the waters as they run by, have you ever sat stall and watched the moon? Have you ever noticed the smile on a face? Have you ever observed a child laughing or a man crying? Obviously you have not. You are too busy thinking about action, repeating your mantrams, making money being carried away by lustful desires. Not having the appreciation of beauty, we surround ourselves with so-called beautiful things. Don't you know how the rich man surrounds himself with such things? There is an atmosphere of outward beauty, but inwardly it is empty as a drum. (Laughter.) Do not laugh at the rich man, Sirs: he is a reflection of life as a whole, and you want to be in that position too. So, the appreciation of beauty does not come through inner attachment to the outward expression of beauty. You may put on a lovely sari, powder your face, paint your lips; but that obviously is not beauty, is it? That is merely a part of it. Beauty comes, surely, when there is inward beauty; and there is inward beauty only when there is no conflict, when there is love, when there is mercy, when there is generosity. Then your eyes have meaning, your lips have riches, and your words have significance. Because we lack these things, we merely indulge in an outward show of beauty, we buy jewelry, pictures. Surely, those are not the actions of beauty. As most of our lives are hideous, ugly, dull and empty beyond words, we surround ourselves with things that we call beautiful. We collect things when the heart is empty; we create a world of ugliness about us because to us things matter enormously. And as most of us are in that state, how can we have art, beauty in the school or in education? When there is no art or beauty in your heart, how can you educate your children? What happens today is that the teacher is hampered with a hundred boys and girls - naughty and mischievous, as they should be. So you put up a picture and talk about art. Your schools indicate an empty mind, an empty heart. Surely, in such a school, in such education, there is no beauty. The light of a smile, the expression of a face - art is to see that these are beautiful, it is not merely the admiring of a picture painted by somebody else. Since we have forgotten how to be kindly, how to look at the stars, the trees, the reflections in the water, we require pictures; therefore, art has no meaning in our lives except as a topic of discussion in the club.

Similarly, religion has very little importance in our lives. You may go to the temple, do puja, wear the sacred thread, repeat words and mantrams ad nauseam, but that does not mean you are a religious person. That is merely the expression of a mechanical mind of very little content. Surely, religion consists in seeking truth, reality, not in surrounding yourself with substitutes and false values. The search for reality does not lie far off, it lies very near, in what you are doing, in what you are thinking, what you are feeling. Therefore, truth must be found, not beyond your horizon, but in you, in your words, actions, relationships and ideas. But we do not want such a religion. We want belief, we want dogma, we want security. As a rich man seeks security in pictures and diamonds, so you seek security in organized religion, with its dogmas, with its superstitions, with its exploiting priests and all the rest of it. There is not much difference between the so-called religious person and a man of the world: both are seeking security, only at different levels. Surely, that is not religion, that is not beauty. Appreciation of beauty, of life, comes only when there is enormous uncertainty, when you are paying attention to every movement of truth, when you see the movement of every shadow, of every thought and feeling, when you are awake to every movement of your child. It comes only when the mind is extremely pliable; and the mind can be pliable only when it is not tethered to a particular form of belief, whether belief in money or belief in an idea. When the mind is free to observe, to give full attention, only then is there creative realization. How extraordinary that most of us have become spectators in life, and not players. Most of us read books; and when we read, it is such twaddle, such piffle. We have lost the art of beauty, we have lost religion. It is the rediscovery of beauty and of reality that is important. Rediscovery comes only when we acknowledge the emptiness of our own mind and heart, when we are aware, not only of that emptiness, but of its depth, and when we are not trying to run away from it. We seek to run away through pictures, money, diamonds, saris, mantrams, innumerable outward expressions. It is only creative intelligence, creative understanding, that can bring to you a new culture, a new world, and a new happiness.

Question: Have diet and regularity any significance in the growth of a child?

Krishnamurti: Obviously they have. Have you the proper food to give the child today? But those who have the food are so un-intelligent about their diet; they merely eat to satisfy the palate, they love to eat. Look at your body. Do not smile and pass it by. You just eat what you have been accustomed to. If you are accustomed to highly contaminated food and if you are deprived of it, you are lost. You have actually given no consideration to diet. If you did, you would soon find out how simple it is to know what to eat. I cannot tell you what to eat, obviously, because each person has to think out and organize what is most suitable for him. Therefore, one must experiment, for a week, for a month. You do not want to experiment, because you want to continue with what you have been eating for the past ten or twenty years.

Most obviously, children need a regular life; at their tender age, when they are growing up bodily, they must have the right amount of sleep, the right diet, right care. These are obvious necessities in the life of a child. But you do not love the child; you quarrel with your wife, and you take it out on the child, or your wife takes it out on the child. When you come home late, you expect the child to keep awake for your amusement. The child becomes a toy to play with, and a means to pass on your name. You are not interested in the child, you are interested in yourself. Sir, if you were interested, you would have a revolution tomorrow; if you really loved the child, you would break up this educational system, this social environment. Then you would consider what he eats, whether he leads a regular life, and what is going to happen to him, whether he is going to be fodder for cannon. Then you would investigate the causes of wars, not merely quote others, and have a pattern of action. If you really loved the child, you would have no sovereign governments, no isolated nationalities, no separate religions with their ceremonies and organized dogmatism. If you really loved the child, all these things would change over night, you would avoid them, because they lead to chaos, they lead to destruction, they lead to sorrow and suffering. But you do not love the child, you do not care what happens to him as he grows up and looks after you when you are old, or carries on your name. That is what you are interested in, and you are not interested in the child. If you were, you would not have so many children: you would have one or two, and see to it that your child develops intelligence and the right culture. The pity of it is, Sirs, that it is not the fault of the educational system, but of ourselves - our hearts are so empty, so dull. We do not know love. When we say to a person, `I love you', that love is purely gratification - sexual pleasure, or the pride of possession, ownership. Mere pleasure and pride of possession are clearly not love. But it is only those two things that we care about; we are not concerned about our children, we are not concerned about our neighbour. The beggar as we go down the street gets no help, but we talk loudly about how we should help the unfortunate people. You join groups, you join systems, but the man in need goes empty handed. If you were really interested, your hearts would be rich with feeling and you would be ready to act, and you would change the system over night.

So, diet and regularity are necessary not only for the child, but for each one of us. To find out what is necessary, we must investigate, we must experiment with ourselves first and not with the child. At least we can give him clean food, see that he has a regular time for sleep and rest. It is because we have never thought about it that most children are so small, stunted and hungry. I am sure you are listening very attentively; and you will go home and make a noise, shout to see if the child is asleep, and stuff his mouth with sugar to show how much you love him! I do not think you know what you are doing, that is the pity and the misery of it. We are not aware of our actions, we are not aware of the words we use, we are not aware of the significance of our means of livelihood - we just live, drift, breed and die. When we have one foot in the grave we talk about God, because we want to be secure when we land on the other side; living a wretched, monstrous, ugly life here, we expect a beautiful life at the end of it. Beauty consists in loving a rich life, loving reality from the beginning to the end. There is no beauty in a life of exploitation, of greed and hatred, in seeking titles and possessions; and it is odd that you add one more object to your accumulations: God. What you are doing is too ugly for words, it has no meaning, no depth. Most of you live on words, and naturally your child is the same, he also grows up like you. There can be regeneration only when there is transformation of the mind and heart.

Question: As modern civilization is mostly technological, should we not train every child in some vocational profession?

Krishnamurti: Obviously, and then what? He becomes an engineer, a physician, a mathematician, a scientist or a bureaucrat; he keeps accounts for himself or for his boss. What have you done, Sir? You have taught him a profession. Is that the end of life? With most of you, it is the end of life. Having a profession s all right in its place, but there are more vital things in life, are there not? I may want to be an engineer or a musician, and being my parent, you shove me on to become a banker. So for the rest of my life I feel frustrated, and because I feel frustrated chase every woman I can think of, or turn to God. But I am still frustrated, empty. So, mere technological training or having a vocational aptitude does not solve all the problems of life. It does obviously solve problems at one level; but merely to live at that one level, as most of you do, is destruction. Sir, to make an integrated individual is extremely difficult. I must not only have a technological profession, but I must also have a clear mind, a warm heart. You cannot have a clear mind when it is rattling with a lot of noise which it calls knowledge. There can be integration only when there is warmth, when there is affection, when you love someone entirely, wholly; then affection, warmth and a clear mind will bring about integration. Such a human being is rare, and it is obviously the function of education to create such human beings. Life is not to be lived at one level, it must be lived all the time at different levels; then only is there harmony, is there beauty, is there warmth in relationship, in feeling, then only is there happiness.

Question: Are not international schools for the cultivation of good will necessary?

Krishnamurti: Sir, is good will cultivated through internationalism? That is, different nations meet at a round table, but each nation holds on to its own sovereignty, to its own power, to its own prestige. So how can there be a meeting of people for the cultivation of good will? You hold on to your armies, I hold on to mine. Is there good will between two robbers? There is cooperation to share the spoils. Surely, good will is something wholly different; it does not belong to any group, to any nation, to any sovereign government. When the sovereign government becomes all important, then good will disappears. Most of our lives are spent in waving a flag, in being a nationalist, in worshipping the State, which is the new religion; so how can there be good will? There is only envy, hatred and enmity. Good will comes only when these labels are put aside, when there is no division between you and me, either of class, of money, of power or position. When we have good will we will not belong to any nation, you and I will live happily together, therefore there will be no talk of internationalism, or one world. To say that through nationalism we shall eventually become international, eventually have brotherhood, is a very wrong process of thought, is it not? It is false reasoning. Through narrowness, how can you go beyond all limits? It is only when you break down the narrow limits of the mind and the heart that you can proceed; and when the walls are thrown down, the vastness of the horizon of life is there. You cannot carry any narrowness when you invite the vast expanse of the eternal. Good will does not come through organization. Consider the fallacy of the ideal that you can join a society for brotherhood - it is only when you have no brotherhood in your heart that you join such a society. When you have brotherhood in your heart, you do not have to join any society, any organization. The importance you give to organization and to societies shows that you are not brotherly; you want to escape from the actual fact that you are not brotherly, therefore organizations become important and you belong to them. The difficulty is to be brotherly, to be good, to be kind, to be generous; and that is not possible as long as you are thinking about yourself. You are thinking about yourself when your child becomes all important as a means to your happiness, when he becomes a means of carrying on your name, your religion, your outlook, your authority, your bank account, your jewelry. When a man is concerned with himself and the extension of himself, how can he have love in his heart, how can he have good will? Is good will merely a matter of words? This is what happens in the world when all these eminent, clever and erudite politicians meet: they have no good will, far from it. They represent their country, which is themselves and you. Like them, we seek power, position and authority. Sir, a man of good will has no authority, he does not belong to any society, he does not belong to organized religion, he does not worship wealth, titles. The man who does not think about himself will obviously create a new world, a new order, and it is towards this man we must look for happiness, for a new state of culture, and not towards the rich, or those who worship riches. Good will, happiness and bliss come only when there is search for the real. The real is near, not far. We are blind, blinded by things, which prevent us from seeing that which is near. Truth is life, truth is in your relationship with your wife, truth is to be found in understanding the falseness of belief. You must begin near to go far. Action must be without motive, without seeking an end; and action which is not seeking an end can come only when there is love. Love is not a difficult thing. There is love only when the brain understands itself, when the thought process, with its cunning manipulations, with its adjustments, with its search for security, comes to an end; then you will find that the heart is rich, full, blissful, for it has discovered that which is eternal.

September 26, 1948


Commentaries on Living Series I Chapter 53 'Spontaneity'

SHE WAS AMONG a group of people who had come to discuss some serious matter. She must have come out of curiosity, or was brought along by a friend. Well dressed, she held herself with some dignity, and she evidently considered herself very good looking. She was completely self-conscious: conscious of her body, of her looks, of her hair and the impression she was making on others. Her gestures were studied, and from time to time she took different attitudes which she must have thought out with great care. Her whole appearance had about it the air of a long cultivated pose into which she was determined to fit, whatever might happen. The others began to talk of serious things, and during the whole hour or more she maintained her pose. One saw among all those serious and intent faces this self-conscious girl, trying to follow what was being said and to join in the discussion; but no words came out of her. She wanted to show that she too was aware of the problem that was being discussed; but there was bewilderment in her eyes, for she was incapable of taking part in the serious conversation. One saw her quickly withdraw into herself, still maintaining the long-cultivated pose. All spontaneity was being sedulously destroyed,

Each one cultivates a pose. There is the walk and the pose of a prosperous business man, the smile of one who has arrived; there is the look and the pose of an artist; there is the pose of a respectful disciple, and the pose of a disciplined ascetic. Like that self-conscious girl, the so-called religious man assumes a pose, the pose of self-discipline which he has sedulously cultivated through denials and sacrifices. She sacrifices spontaneity for effect, and he immolates himself to achieve an end. Both are concerned with a result, though at different levels; and while his result may be considered socially more beneficial than hers, fundamentally they are similar, one is not superior to the other. Both are unintelligent, for both indicate pettiness of mind. A petty mind is always petty; it cannot be made rich, abundant. Though such a mind may adorn itself or seek to acquire virtue, it remains what it is, a petty, shallow thing, and through so-called growth, experience, it can only be enriched in its own pettiness. An ugly thing cannot be made beautiful. The god of a petty mind is a petty god. A shallow mind does not become fathomless by adorning itself with knowledge and clever phrases, by quoting words of wisdom, or by decorating its outward appearance. Adornments, whether inward or outward, do not make a fathomless mind; and it is this fathomlessness of the mind that gives beauty, not the jewel or the acquired virtue. For beauty to come into being, the mind must be choicelessly aware of its own pettiness; there must be an awareness in which comparison has wholly ceased.

The cultivated pose of the girl, and the disciplined pose of the so-called religious ascetic, are equally the tortured results of a petty mind, for both deny essential spontaneity. Both are fearful of the spontaneous, for it reveals them as they are, to themselves and to others; both are bent on destroying it, and the measure of their success is the completeness of their conformity to a chosen pattern or conclusion. But spontaneity is the only key that opens the door to what is. The spontaneous response uncovers the mind as it is; but what is discovered is immediately adorned or destroyed, and so spontaneity is put an end to. The killing of spontaneity is the way of a petty mind, which then decorates the outer, at whatever level; and this decoration is the worship of itself. Only in spontaneity, in freedom, can there be discovery. A disciplined mind cannot discover; it may function effectively and hence ruthlessly, but it cannot uncover the fathomless. It is fear that creates the resistance called discipline; but the spontaneous discovery of fear is freedom from fear. Conformity to a pattern, at whatever level, is fear, which only breeds conflict confusion and antagonism; but a mind that is in revolt is not fearless, for the opposite can never know the spontaneous, the free.

Without spontaneity, there can be no self-knowledge; without self-knowledge, the mind is shaped by passing influences. These passing influences can make the mind narrow or expansive, but it is still within the sphere of influence. What is put together can be unmade, and that which is not put together can be known only through self-knowledge. The self is put together, and it is only in undoing the self that that which is not the result of influence, which has no cause, can be known.

Commentaries on Living Series I Chapter 54 'The Conscious and The Unconscious'

HE WAS A business man as well as a politician, and was very successful in both. He laughingly said that business and politics were a good combination; yet he was an earnest man in an odd, superstitious way. Whenever he had time he would read sacred books and repeat over and over again certain words which he considered beneficial. They brought peace to the soul, he said. He was advanced in years and very wealthy, but he was not generous either with the hand or with the heart. One could see that he was cunning and calculating, and yet there was an urge for something more than physical success. Life had scarcely touched him, for he had very studiously guarded himself against any exposure; he had made himself invulnerable, physically as well as psychologically. Psychologically he had refused to see himself as he was, and he could well afford to do this; but it was beginning to tell on him. When he was not watchful, there was about him a deep haunted look. Financially he was safe, at least as long as the present Government lasted and there was no revolution. He also wanted a safe investment in the so-called spiritual world, and that was why he played with ideas, mistaking ideas for something spiritual, real. He had no love except for his many possessions; he clung to them as a child clings to its mother, for he had nothing else. It was slowly dawning on him that he was a very sad man. Even this realization he was avoiding as long as he could; but life was pressing him.

When a problem is not consciously soluble, does the unconscious take over and help to solve it? What is the conscious and what is the unconscious? Is there a definite line where the one ends and the other begins? Has the conscious a limit, beyond which it cannot go? Can it limit itself to its own boundaries? Is the unconscious something apart from the conscious? Are they dissimilar? When one fails, does the other begin to function?

What is it that we call the conscious? To understand what it is made up of, we must observe how we consciously approach a problem. Most of us try to seek an answer to the problem; we are concerned with the solution, and not with the problem. We want a conclusion, we are looking for a way out of the problem; we want to avoid the problem through an answer, through a solution. We do not observe the problem itself, but grope for a satisfactory answer. Our whole conscious concern is with the finding of a solution, a satisfying conclusion. Often we do find an answer that gratifies us, and then we think we have solved the problem. What we have actually done is to cover over the problem with a conclusion, with a satisfactory answer; but under the weight of the conclusion, which has temporarily smothered it, the problem is still there. The search for an answer is an evasion of the problem. When there is no satisfactory answer, the conscious or upper mind stops looking; and then the so-called unconscious, the deeper mind, takes over and finds an answer.

The conscious mind is obviously seeking a way out of the problem, and the way out is a satisfying conclusion. Is not the conscious mind itself made up of conclusions, whether positive or negative, and is it capable of seeking anything else? Is not the upper mind a storehouse of conclusions which are the residue of experiences, the imprints of the past? Surely, the conscious mind is made up of the past, it is founded on the past, for memory is a fabric of conclusions; and with these conclusions, the mind approaches a problem. It is incapable of looking at the problem without the screen of its conclusions; it cannot study, be silently aware of the problem itself. It knows only conclusions, pleasant or unpleasant, and it can only add to itself further conclusions, further ideas, further fixations. Any conclusion is a fixation, and the conscious mind inevitably seeks a conclusion.

When it cannot find a satisfactory conclusion, the conscious mind gives up the search, and thereby it becomes quiet; and into the quiet upper mind, the unconscious pops an answer. Now, is the unconscious, the deeper mind, different in its make-up from the conscious mind? Is not the unconscious also made up of racial, group and social conclusions, memories? Surely, the unconscious is also the result of the past, of time, only it is submerged and waiting; and when called upon it throws up its own hidden conclusions. If they are satisfactory, the upper mind accepts them; and if they are not, it flounders about, hoping by some miracle to find an answer. If it does not find an answer, it wearily puts up with the problem, which gradually corrodes the mind. Disease and insanity follow.

The upper and the deeper mind are not dissimilar; they are both made up of conclusions, memories, they are both the outcome of the past. They can supply an answer, a conclusion, but they are incapable of dissolving the problem. The problem is dissolved only when both the upper and the deeper mind are silent, when they are not projecting positive or negative conclusions. There is freedom from the problem only when the whole mind is utterly still, choicelessly aware of the problem; for only then the maker of the problem is not.


The Urgency of Change '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 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 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, 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 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.

The Urgency of Change '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 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.

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 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 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 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 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.

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 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.



Question: The conscious mind is ignorant and afraid of the unconscious mind. You are addressing mainly the conscious mind and is that enough? Will your method bring about release of the unconscious? Please explain in detail how one can tackle the unconscious mind fully.

Krishnamurti: We are aware that there is the conscious and the unconscious mind but most of us function only on the conscious level, in the upper layer of the mind, and our whole life is practically limited to that. We live in the so-called conscious mind and we never pay attention to the deeper unconscious mind from which there is occasionally an intimation, a hint; that hint is disregarded, perverted or translated according to our particular conscious demands at the moment. Now the questioner asks, "You are addressing mainly the conscious mind and is that enough?" Let us see what we mean by the conscious mind. Is the conscious mind different from the unconscious mind? We have divided the conscious from the unconscious; is this justified? Is this true? Is there such a division between the conscious and the unconscious? Is there a definite barrier, a line where the conscious ends and the unconscious begins? We are aware that the upper layer, the conscious mind, is active but is that the only instrument that is active throughout the day? If I were addressing merely the upper layer of the mind, then surely what I am saying would be valueless, it would have no meaning. Yet most of us cling to what the conscious mind has accepted, because the conscious mind finds it convenient to adjust to certain obvious facts; but the unconscious may rebel, and often does, and so there is conflict between the so-called conscious and the unconscious.

Therefore, our problem is this, is it not? There is in fact only one state, not two states such as the conscious and the unconscious; there is only a state of being, which is consciousness, though you may divide it as the conscious and the unconscious. But that consciousness is always of the past, never of the present; you are conscious only of things that are over. You are conscious of what I am trying to convey the second afterwards, are you not; you understand it a moment later. You are never conscious or aware of the now. Watch your own hearts and minds and you will see that consciousness is functioning between the past and the future and that the present is merely a passage of the past to the future. Consciousness is therefore a movement of the past to the future.

If you watch your own mind at work, you will see that the movement to the past and to the future is a process in which the present is not. Either the past is a means of escape from the present, which may be unpleasant, or the future is a hope away from the present. So the mind is occupied with the past or with the future and sloughs off the present. That is the mind is conditioned by the past, conditioned as an Indian, a Brahmin or a non-Brahmin, a Christian, a Buddhist and so on, and that conditioned mind projects itself into the future; therefore it is never capable of looking directly and impartially at any fact. It either condemns and rejects the fact or accepts and identifies itself with the fact. Such a mind is obviously not capable of seeing any fact as a fact. That is our state of consciousness which is conditioned by the past and our thought is the conditioned response to the challenge of a fact; the more you respond according to the conditioning of belief, of the past, the more there is the strengthening of the past. That strengthening of the past is obviously the continuity of itself, which it calls the future. So that is the state of our mind, of our consciousness - a pendulum swinging backwards and forwards between the past and the future. That is our consciousness, which is made up not only of the upper layers of the mind but of the deeper layers as well. Such consciousness obviously cannot function at a different level, because it only knows those two movements of backwards and forwards.

If you watch very carefully you will see that it is not a constant movement but that there is an interval between two thoughts; though it may be but an infinitesimal fraction of a second, there is an interval that has significance in the swinging backwards and forwards of the pendulum. We see the fact that our thinking is conditioned by the past which is projected into the future; the moment you admit the past, you must also admit the future, because there are not two such states as the past and the future but one state which includes both the conscious and the unconscious, both the collective past and the individual past. The collective and the individual past, in response to the present, give out certain responses which create the individual consciousness; therefore consciousness is of the past and that is the whole background of our existence. The moment you have the past, you inevitably have the future, because the future is merely the continuity of the modified past but it is still the past, so our problem is how to bring about a transformation in this process of the past without creating another conditioning, another past.

To put it differently, the problem is this: Most of us reject one particular form of conditioning and find another form, a wider, more significant or more pleasant conditioning. You give up one religion and take on another, reject one form of belief and accept another. Such substitution is obviously not understanding life, life being relationship. Our problem is how to be free from all conditioning. Either you say it is impossible, that no human mind can ever be free from conditioning, or you begin to experiment, to inquire, to discover. If you assert that it is impossible, obviously you are out of the running. Your assertion may be based on limited or wide experience or on the mere acceptance of a belief but such assertion is the denial of search, of research, of inquiry, of discovery. To find out if it is possible for the mind to be completely free from all conditioning, you must be free to inquire and to discover.

Now I say it is definitely possible for the mind to be free from all conditioning - not that you should accept my authority. If you accept it on authority, you will never discover, it will be another substitution and that will have no significance. When I say it is possible, I say it because for me it is a fact and I can show it to you verbally, but if you are to find the truth of it for yourself, you must experiment with it and follow it swiftly.

The understanding of the whole process of conditioning does not come to you through analysis or introspection, because the moment you have the analyser that very analyser himself is part of the background and therefore his analysis is of no significance. That is a fact and you must put it aside. The analyser who examines, who analyses the thing which he is looking at, is himself part of the conditioned state and therefore whatever his interpretation, his understanding, his analysis may be, it is still part of the background. So that way there is no escape and to break the background is essential, because to meet the challenge of the new, the mind must be new; to discover God, truth, or what you will, the mind must be fresh, uncontaminated by the past. To analyse the past, to arrive at conclusions through a series of experiments, to make assertions and denials and all the rest of it, implies, in its very essence, the continuance of the background in different forms; when you see the truth of that fact you will discover that the analyser has come to an end. Then there is no entity apart from the background: there is only thought as the background, thought being the response of memory, both conscious and unconscious, individual and collective.

The mind is the result of the past, which is the process of conditioning. How is it possible for the mind to be free? To be free, the mind must not only see and understand its pendulum-like swing between the past and the future but also be aware of the interval between thoughts. That interval is spontaneous, it is not brought about through any causation, through any wish, through any compulsion.

If you watch very carefully, you will see that though the response, the movement of thought, seems so swift, there are gaps, there are intervals between thoughts. Between two thoughts there is a period of silence which is not related to the thought process. If you observe you will see that that period of silence, that interval, is not of time and the discovery of that interval, the full experiencing of that interval, liberates you from conditioning - or rather it does not liberate `you' but there is liberation from conditioning. So the understanding of the process of thinking is meditation. We are now not only discussing the structure and the process of thought, which is the background of memory, of experience, of knowledge, but we are also trying to find out if the mind can liberate itself from the background. It is only when the mind is not giving continuity to thought, when it is still with a stillness that is not induced, that is without any causation - it is only then that there can be freedom from the background.


Question: We know sex as an inescapable physical and psychological necessity and it seems to be a root cause of chaos in the personal life of our generation. How can we deal with this problem?

Krishnamurti: Why is it that whatever we touch we turn into a problem? We have made God a problem, we have made love a problem, we have made relationship, living a problem, and we have made sex a problem. Why? Why is everything we do a problem, a horror? Why are we suffering? Why has sex become a problem? Why do we submit to living with problems, why do we not put an end to them? Why do we not die to our problems instead of carrying them day after day, year after year? Sex is certainly a relevant question but there is the primary question, why do we make life into a problem? Working, sex, earning money, thinking, feeling, experiencing - you know, the whole business of living - why is it a problem? Is it not essentially because we always think from a particular point of view, from a fixed point of view? We are always thinking from a centre towards the periphery but the periphery is the centre for most of us and so anything we touch is superficial. But life is not superficial; it demands living completely and because we are living only superficially we know only superficial reaction. Whatever we do on the periphery must inevitably create a problem, and that is our life: we live in the superficial and we are content to live there with all the problems of the superficial. Problems exist so long as we live in the superficial, on the periphery, the periphery being the `me' and its sensations, which can be externalized or made subjective, which can be identified with the universe, with the country or with some other thing made up by the mind.

So long as we live within the field of the mind there must be complications, there must be problems; that is all we know. Mind is sensation, mind is the result of accumulated sensations and reactions and anything it touches is bound to create misery, confusion, an endless problem. The mind is the real cause of our problems, the mind that is working mechanically night and day, consciously and unconsciously. The mind is a most superficial thing and we have spent generations, we spend our whole lives, cultivating the mind, making it more and more clever, more and more subtle, more and more cunning, more and more dishonest and crooked, all of which is apparent in every activity of our life. The very nature of our mind is to be dishonest, crooked, incapable of facing facts, and that is the thing which creates problems; that is the thing which is the problem itself.

What do we mean by the problem of sex? Is it the act, or is it a thought about the act? Surely it is not the act. The sexual act is no problem to you, any more than eating is a problem to you, but if you think about eating or anything else all day long because you have nothing else to think about, it becomes a problem to you. Is the sexual act the problem or is it the thought about the act? Why do you think about it? Why do you build it up, which you are obviously doing? The cinemas, the magazines, the stories, the way women dress, everything is building up your thought of sex. Why does the mind build it up, why does the mind think about sex at all? Why? Why has it become a central issue in your life? When there are so many things calling, demanding your attention, you give complete attention to the thought of sex. What happens, why are your minds so occupied with it? Because that is a way of ultimate escape, is it not? It is a way of complete self-forgetfulness. For the time being, at least for that moment, you can forget yourself - and there is no other way of forgetting yourself. Everything else you do in life gives emphasis to the `me', to the self. Your business, your religion, your gods, your leaders, your political and economic actions, your escapes, your social activities, your joining one party and rejecting another - all that is emphasizing and giving strength to the `me'. That is there is only one act in which there is no emphasis on the `me', so it becomes a problem, does it not? When there is only one thing in your life which is an avenue to ultimate escape to complete forgetfulness of yourself if only for a few seconds, you cling to it because that is the only moment in which you are happy. Every other issue you touch becomes a nightmare, a source of suffering and pain, so you cling to the one thing which gives complete self-forgetfulness, which you call happiness. But when you cling to it, it too becomes a nightmare, because then you want to be free from it, you do not want to be a slave to it. So you invent, again from the mind, the idea of chastity, of celibacy, and you try to be celibate, to be chaste, through suppression, all of which are operations of the mind to cut itself off from the fact. This again gives particular emphasis to the `me' who is trying to become something, so again you are caught in travail, in trouble, in effort, in pain.

Sex becomes an extraordinarily difficult and complex problem so long as you do not understand the mind which thinks about the problem. The act itself can never be a problem but the thought about the act creates the problem. The act you safeguard; you live loosely, or indulge yourself in marriage, thereby making your wife into a prostitute which is all apparently very respectable, and you are satisfied to leave it at that. Surely the problem can be solved only when you understand the whole process and structure of the `me' and the `mine: my wife, my child, my property, my car, my achievement, my success; until you understand and resolve all that, sex as a problem will remain. So long as you are ambitious, politically, religiously or in any way, so long as you are emphasizing the self, the thinker, the experiencer, by feeding him on ambition whether in the name of yourself as an individual or in the name of the country, of the party or of an idea which you call religion - so long as there is this activity of self-expansion, you will have a sexual problem. You are creating, feeding, expanding yourself on the one hand, and on the other you are trying to forget yourself, to lose yourself if only for a moment. How can the two exist together? Your life is a contradiction; emphasis on the `me' and forgetting the `me'. Sex is not a problem; the problem is this contradiction in your life; and the contradiction cannot be bridged over by the mind, because the mind itself is a contradiction. The contradiction can be understood only when you understand fully the whole process of your daily existence. Going to the cinemas and watching women on the screen, reading books which stimulate the thought, the magazines with their half-naked pictures, your way of looking at women, the surreptitious eyes that catch yours - all these things are encouraging the mind through devious ways to emphasize the self and at the same time you try to be kind, loving, tender. The two cannot go together. The man who is ambitious, spiritually or otherwise, can never be without a problem, because problems cease only when the self is forgotten, when the `me' is non-existent, and that state of the non-existence of the self is not an act of will, it is not a mere reaction. Sex becomes a reaction; when the mind tries to solve the problem, it only makes the problem more confused, more troublesome, more painful. The act is not the problem but the mind is the problem, the mind which says it must be chaste. Chastity is not of the mind. The mind can only suppress its own activities and suppression is not chastity. Chastity is not a virtue, chastity cannot be cultivated. `The man who is cultivating humility is surely not a humble man; he may call his pride humility, but he is a proud man, and that is why he seeks to become humble. Pride can never become humble and chastity is not a thing of the mind - you cannot become chaste. You will know chastity only when there is love, and love is not of the mind nor a thing of the mind. Therefore the problem of sex which tortures so many people all over the world cannot be resolved till the mind is understood. We cannot put an end to thinking but thought comes to an end when the thinker ceases and the thinker ceases only when there is an understanding of the whole process. Fear comes into being when there is division between the thinker and his thought; when there is no thinker, then only is there no conflict in thought. What is implicit needs no effort to understand. The thinker comes into being through thought; then the thinker exerts himself to shape, to control his thoughts or to put an end to them. The thinker is a fictitious entity, an illusion of the mind. When there is a realization of thought as a fact, then there is no need to think about the fact. If there is simple, choiceless awareness, then that which is implicit in the fact begins to reveal itself. Therefore thought as fact ends. Then you will see that the problems which are eating at our hearts and minds, the problems of our social structure, can be resolved. Then sex is no longer a problem, it has its proper place, it is neither an impure thing nor a pure thing. Sex has its place; but when the mind gives it the predominant place, then it becomes a problem. The mind gives sex a predominant place because it cannot live without some happiness and so sex becomes a problem; when the mind understands its whole process and so comes to an end, that is when thinking ceases, then there is creation and it is that creation which makes us happy. To be in that state of creation is bliss, because it is self-forgetfulness in which there is no reaction as from the self. This is not an abstract answer to the daily problem of sex - it is the only answer. The mind denies love and without love there is no chastity; it is because there is no love that you make sex into a problem.