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Jiddhu Krishnamurti (1895 - 1986)

Most of us live a very superficial life and are content to lead such a life, meeting all our problems superficially and thereby increasing them, because our problems are extraordinarily complex, very subtle and need deep penetration and understanding. Most of us like to treat our problems at a superficial level according to the old tradition, or we try to adjust ourselves to a modern tendency, so we never resolve totally and completely any of our problems, such as war, conflict, violence and so on. We also tend to look only on the surface, not knowing how to penetrate deeply;within ourselves; either we observe ourselves with a certain disgust, with a certain foregone conclusion, or we look at ourselves hoping to change what we see.

I think it is important, that we should understand ourselves totally, completely, because as we said the other day, we are the world and the world is us. This is an absolute fact; it is not merely a verbal statement or a theory, but something that one feels deeply, with all the agony of it, the suffering, the pain, the brutality, the fragmentation, the division of nationalities and religions. And one can never solve any of these problems without really understanding oneself, because the world is oneself; and if I understand myself there is a living at a totally different dimension. Is it possible for each one of us to under- stand ourselves, not only at the superficial level of our minds, but also to penetrate the deep levels of our being? That is what we are going to talk over together this morning; when we say we are going to talk it over together, it doesn't mean that I talk and you listen - we are going to share it together.

How is one to look at oneself? Is it possible to look at oneself completely without the division of the conscious and the deeper layers of consciousness, of which we are perhaps completely unaware? Is it possible to observe, see the whole movement of the "me", the self, the "what I am", with a non-analytical mind, so that in the very observation itself there is instantly a total understanding? That is what we are going to investigate; it is a very important problem, to discover whether one can go beyond oneself and find reality, to come upon something that is not measurable by the mind, to live without any illusion. This has been the major aim of every religion throughout the world; and in the process of this search to go beyond oneself, they have been caught in various myths, the Christian myth, the Hindu myth, the whole culture of myths which is unnecessary and totally irrelevant.

Now is it possible to look at ourselves non-analytically and therefore observe without the "me" observing? I want to understand myself and I know the "me" is very complex; it is a living thing, not something dead; it is a living, vital, moving thing, it is not just an accumulation of memories, experiences, and knowledge. It is a living thing as society is a living thing, because we have created it. Now, is it possible to look without the observer looking at the thing called the observed? If there is the observer looking, then he must look through fragmentation, through division and where there is division, both in myself and outwardly, there must be conflict. Outwardly, the national conflicts, the religious conflicts, the economic conflicts, and inwardly there is this vast field, not only superficially but a wide area about which we know almost nothing. So, if in looking there is this division as the "I" and the "not I", as the observer and the observed, as the thinker and the thought, as the experiencer and the experience, then there must be conflict.

One asks whether it is possible - I am not saying it is, or it is not; we are going to find out for ourselves - to observe oneself without this division. And to find that out, we hope to come to that state of perception which is without division, but not through analysis - when there is a division between the analyser and the thing analysed. In observing myself, there is the actual fact of this division. When I observe myself I say, "This is good, This is bad", "This is right, this is wrong", "This has value, this has no value", "This has relevancy and that has not". Therefore, when I look at myself, the observer is conditioned by the culture in which he has lived; so the observer is the memory, the observer is the entity that is conditioned - the "me". According to that conditioned background of the "me", I judge, I evaluate; I observe myself according to that culture, and according to my conditioning I hope to bring about a change in the observed. This is what we are doing all the time: hoping to change what is observed through analysis, through control, through reformation and so on. That is a fact.

And I want to find out why this division exists, so I begin to analyse to discover the cause. The analysis is not only to find the cause, but one also hopes to go beyond it. I am angry, greedy, envious, brutal, violent, neurotic, or whatever it is, and I begin to analyse the cause of this neurotic state.

Analysis is part of our culture because we have been trained from childhood to analyse, hoping that in this way we shall solve all our problems. Volumes have been written on it; the psychologists hope to find the cause of neurosis, understand it and go beyond.

Now what is involved in analysis? It implies time, doesn't it? I need a great deal of time to analyse myself. I must very carefully examine every reaction, every incident, every thought and trace it to its source; all that takes time. Meanwhile other incidents are going on, other happenings, other reactions, which I am incapable of immediately understanding. That is one point: it takes time.

And analysis also implies that everything that is analysed must be final and complete, and if it is not (which it can't be), then that finding is incorrect, and with this faulty analysis I proceed to examine the next experience, the next incident, the next bit of the puzzle. So, all the time I am working from a false premise, consequently my judgments and evaluations are wrong and I am increasing the margin of error. Analysis, by its very nature, implies an analyser and the person or thing analysed, whether the analyser is the analyst, the psychologist, or you yourself; and the analyser in his examination nourishes and sustains the division, and therefore increases the conflict. Analysis implies all these things: time, evaluation of every experience and of every thought completely (which is not possible), and the division between the observer and the observed that increases conflict.

Now I can analyse my surface mind, its superficial daily activity, but how am I to understand, to investigate the much deeper layers, because I want to understand myself totally, right through? I don't want to leave any corner or dark spot unexamined; I want to analyse everything, so that nothing remains which the mind has not completely understood. If there is a corner that has not been examined, then that corner distorts all thought, all action. But analysis implies the postponement of action. When I am analysing myself, I am not acting; I am waiting until my analysis is over, then perhaps I shall act rightly; therefore analysis is the denial of action. Action means now, not tomorrow. Seeing all this, how can the mind understand its deep, hidden layers completely? All this is implied in understanding myself.

Can understanding come through dreams? That is, is it possible during sleep for dreams to reveal the deep layers of the unconscious, or the thing that is hidden? The specialists say that you must dream and that if you do not, it indicates a certain kind of neurosis. They also say that dreams help you to understand all the activities of the hidden mind. So one must enquire into the meaning of dreams and whether we should dream at all. Or are dreams merely in a symbolic form the continuation of our daily life?

During the day the mind is occupied with all the trivialities of daily life - office work, domesticity, the quarrels and the irritations of relationship, image fighting image, and so on. Then, just before you go to sleep, there is a taking stock of everything that has happened throughout the day. Doesn't this happen to you just before you fall asleep? You relive everything: "You should have done this, you ought to have said that or said it differently; you go over the whole period of the day, all your thoughts, all your activities, how you were angry, jealous and all the rest of it.

Now, why does the mind do this? Why does it take stock of the day's happenings and events? Is it not because the mind wants to establish order? The mind goes over the day's activities because it wants to bring everything into order; otherwise when you fall asleep, the brain goes on working and tries to bring order in itself, because the brain can only function normally, healthily, in complete order. So if there is no order during the day, the brain tries to establish order while the body is quiet, is asleep, and the establishment of that order is part of the dreams. Do you accept all that the speaker is saying?

Audience: No.

Krishnamurti: No? I am delighted. (Laughter.) Don't agree or disagree. Find out for yourself, not according to some philosopher, to some analyst, or psychologist, but find out for yourself. As long as there is disorder in your daily life, the brain must establish order otherwise it cannot function healthily, normally and efficiently. And when there is disorder, dreams are necessary to bring about order either deep down or at a superficial level.

Examining all this one asks is it necessary to dream at all because it is very important not to dream; it is very important to have a mind that is completely quiet when you are asleep, then the whole mind, the whole brain, the whole body can rejuvenate itself. But if the brain goes on working, working while you are asleep, then it becomes exhausted, therefore neurotic, overstrained and all the rest of it. So is it possible not to dream at all?

I am asking all these questions because I want to understand myself: it is part of understanding myself. We are not merely investigating dreams, assessing the importance or non-importance of dreaming. Unless there is a deep understanding of oneself, all action becomes superficial and contradictory and creates more and more problems.

The old tradition says that to understand myself I must analyse, introspect; but I see the falseness of all this. I reject it because it is false although most of the psychologists say the opposite. And in observing oneself one asks: why does one dream at all and is it possible for the whole mind to be completely quiet when one is asleep? I am not asking this question, you are. I am only suggesting it to you;you have to find out. Now, how are you going to find out?

I realize that when the organism is quiet, completely still, the body is able,to gather energy and is capable of functioning more efficiently. When the body has no rest, is driven from morning until night without a pause, it soon wears out, breaks down; but if the body can rest for ten or twenty minutes during the day, then it has more energy. The mind is very active, watching, observing, criticizing, evaluating, struggling and all the rest of it. And when it goes to sleep, the same momentum is kept going. So I am asking myself whether during sleep the mind can be absolutely quiet. Just see the beauty of the question, not the answer yet. Unless the body is extraordinarily still, without any movement, without any gestures or nervous twitches, and all the things that one does, unless it is absolutely quiet (not forced to be quiet) and relaxed, it cannot recuperate, it cannot gather energy.

Therefore I want to find out whether the mind can be absolutely quiet during the night when it is asleep; and I see it can only be quiet if every incident, every happening during the day is understood instantly, not carried over. If I carry over a problem from one day to the next, the mind is continuously engaged; but if the mind can solve the problem immediately, today, then it is finished. Is it possible for the mind each day to be so totally aware that problems no longer exist? By the evening, you have a clear, clean slate. If you do this, not just play with it, actually work at it, you will find that when the brain needs rest, it becomes very quiet, completely still; even ten minutes rest is enough. And if you pursue this very deeply, you will find that dreams become totally unnecessary because there is nothing to dream about; you are not concerned with your future, whether you are going to be a great doctor, a great scientist, or a brilliant writer, or whether you are going to reach enlightenment the day after tomorrow; you are not concerned with the future at all. I am afraid you don't see the beauty of all this! The mind is no longer projecting anything in time.

Now, having stated all that, can the mind, which is really the observer (not only the visual observer, the eyes and so on), can the mind observe without division? You understand the question? Can the mind observe without the division between the observer and the observed, because there is only the observed, not the observer.

Let us examine what the observer is. Surely the observer is the past, be it the past of a few seconds ago, of yesterday, or of many, many years, living as a conditioned entity in a particular culture. The observer is the sum total of past experiences. The observer is also knowledge. The observer is within the field of time. When he says I will be "that", he has projected "that" from his past knowledge - whether it be pleasure, pain, suffering, fear, delight and so on - he says I must become that. The past therefore is going through the present, which is modified and which he calls the future, but it is really a projection of the past: so the observer is the past. You live in the past, don't you? Just think of it. You are the past, you live in the past and that is your life. Past memories, past delights, past remembrances, the things that gave you pleasure and displeasure, the failures, the disappointments, the lack of fulfilment and the misery, everything is in the past. And through the eyes of the observer you judge the present, which is living, moving, not a static, dead thing.

When I look at myself, I am looking with the eyes of the past; so I condemn, judge, evaluate, "This is right", "This is wrong", good or bad according to my particular culture and tradition, according to the knowledge and experience which I have gathered. Therefore it prevents observation of the living thing, which is the "me". And that "me" may not be "me" at all, because I only know the "me" as the past. When the Muslim says that he is a Muslim, he is the past, conditioned by the culture in which he has been brought up; it is the same with the Catholic or the Communist.

So when we talk about living, we are talking about living in the past and there is conflict between the past and the present, because-I am conditioned. I cannot meet the living present unless I break down my conditioning, and my conditioning is deliberately brought about by my parents, my grandparents, to keep me in the narrow line of their belief, of their tradition, to continue with their mischief and their misery. We are doing that all the time; we live in the past, not only through our conditioning, through the culture in which we have lived, but also through every experience, incident and happening in our life. I see a beautiful sunset and I think how marvellous it is with the light, the shadows, the rays of the sun on the distant hills, and it has already been stored up as memory and tomorrow I say I must look at that sunset again and see its beauty. Then I struggle to find it, and when I can't, I go to a museum and the whole circus begins.

Now, can I look at myself with eyes that have never been touched by time? Time involves analysis, time involves holding on to the past, time involves this whole process of dreaming, recollecting, gathering the past and holding it, all that. Can I look at myself without the eyes of time? put that question to yourself. Don't say you can or cannot. You don't know. And when you look at yourself without the eyes of time, what or who is there to look? Don't answer me, please. Do you understand my question? I have looked at myself with the quality, the nature and the structure of time, the past. I have looked at myself through the eyes of the past; I have no other eyes to look. I have looked at myself as a Catholic, or something else, which is the past? so my eyes are incapable of looking at "what is" without time, which is the past.

Now I am asking a question, which is: can the eyes observe without the past?

Let me put it differently. I have an image of myself, created and imposed upon me by the culture in which I have lived; I also have my own particular image of myself, what I should be and what I am not. In fact, we have a great many images; I have an image about you, about my wife, my children, my political leader, my priest, and so on; so I have dozens of images. Don't you have them?

Questioner: Yes.

Krishnamurti: Now, how can you look without an image, because if you look with an image, it is obviously a distortion? You were angry with me yesterday, so I have created an image about you, that you are no longer my friend, that you are ugly and all the rest of it. If I look at you with that image next time I meet you, that image will distort my perception. That image is of the past, as are all my images, and I dare not get rid of any of those images because I don't know what it would be like to look without an image, so I cling to images. The mind depends on an image for its survival. I wonder if you are following all this. So can the mind observe without any image, without the image of the tree, cloud, hills, without the image of my wife my children, my husband? Can the mind be without any image in relationship?

It is the image that brings conflict in relationship. I cannot get on with my wife because she has bullied me; that image has been built up, day after day, and it prevents any kind of relationship; we may sleep together but that is irrelevant; so there is conflict. Can the mind look, observe without any image what has been put together by time? That means, can the mind observe without any image? Can it observe without the observer, which is the past, which is the `me"? Can I look at you without the interference of the conditioned entity, which is the `me"?

What do you say? "Impossible!" How do you know it is impossible? The moment you say it is not possible, then you have blocked yourself and if you say it is possible, it is also blocking you; but if you say let's find out, let's examine, let's go into it, then you will discover that the mind can observe without the eyes of time. And when it so observes, then what is there to be observed?

I started out learning about myself; I have explored all the possibilities of analysis, and I see that the observer is the past. The observer is much more complex; one can go much deeper into it. I see that the observer is the past, and the mind lives in the past because the brain has evolved through time which is the past. And in the past there is security - my house, my wife, my belief, my status, my position, my fame, my shoddy little self; in that there is great safety and security. So I am asking if the mind can observe without any of that, and if it can, what is there to see except the hills, the flowers, the colours, the people - you follow? Is there anything in me to be observed? Therefore, the mind is totally free.

You may ask what is the point of the mind being free. The point is that such a mind has no conflict, such a mind is completely quiet and peaceful, not violent, and it is only this quality of mind that can create a new culture, a new culture resolving this terrible thing called loneliness. Don't you know all this? Therefore not knowing how to resolve it, I attach myself to people, to ideas, to groups, to activities, to demonstrations, to climbing the mountains and all the rest of it. If only I could resolve totally this problem of loneliness so that it doesn't exist at all. How am I to be beyond this loneliness which man has inwardly fought at all times? He feels lonely, empty, insufficient, incomplete and he says there is God, there is this, there is that; he projects an outside agency. How can the mind free itself from this terrible burden of what it calls loneliness? Have you ever realized what horrors we commit out of this feeling of loneliness? We will go into this next time.

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