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Jiddhu Krishnamurti (1895 - 1986)

Questioner (1): Can we discuss the observer and the observed and their relation to awareness?

Questioner (2): May we discuss what it really means to lead a religious life?

Questioner (3): Could we talk about intelligence and meditation?

Krishnamurti; Now what is a religious life? In talking that over, we shall come upon this question of the observer and the observed, intelligence and meditation and the rest of it. I don't know if it interests you at all to find out what religion means. Not the accepted meaning of that word, the belief in some saviour, in some form of God, in some ritual and so on, which is all propaganda and for me has no value whatsoever - that is not a religious life. Are you quite sure we all see that fact? You may not belong to any sect or group, or any community that believes - or doesn't believe - in God. That belief - or unbelief - in God is another form of fear: the mind wanting some kind of security, certainty; because our life is so uncertain, so confused, so meaningless, we want something to believe in. So can we also put aside the hope that something outside, a superior agency, exists? To enquire, all that must obviously be put aside.

Thought can imagine anything - gods or no gods, angels or no angels - it can produce every form of neurotic perception, idea and conclusion. Knowing that intelligently, man then says: how can thought be quiet, so that the mind is free to enquire? Thought is capable of inventing, or imagining every form of conclusion, of projecting an image in which the human mind finds security; that security, that image, becomes an illusion - the Saviour, the Brahma, the Atman, the experiences you have through various forms of discipline and so on. So the problem is: can thought become completely still? Some say you can make it still only through a system which a teacher has invented through discipline and control. Can a system, discipline, conformity, make the mind really quiet? Or doesn't following a system, practising day after day, make the mind mechanical? - and being mechanical, then you can control it like any other machine. But the brain is not quiet, it has been shaped and conditioned by the system which it has practised. Such a brain, being mechanical, can be controlled and thinks such control is quietness, stillness. Obviously it is not. Please don't just accept what the speaker is saying. But do we all see the necessity of having a completely quiet mind? For when the mind is quiet it can see and hear much more, see things as they are - not invent, not imagine.

So can the mind become completely still without coercion, without compulsion, without discipline? - discipline being will, resistance, suppression, conformity, fitting into a pre-established pattern. If you do that, you are forcing the mind through conflict to conform to the pattern established by the system. So discipline in the ordinary sense of the word is out. The word discipline means to learn; not to conform, not to suppress,not to control, but to learn.

Can the whole structure of the brain and the mind be completely quiet without any form of distortion by will, by desire, by thought? That is the problem and knowing it, people have said, "It is not possible." Therefore they went in the other direction, used control, and discipline, did all kinds of tricks. In Zen meditation they sit, paying attention, watching and if they go to sleep they are struck to keep awake. This kind of tremendous discipline is mechanical and therefore controllable; it is done in the hope of achieving an experience which will be true.

In his search for some super-transcendental experience man has said: the mind must be absolutely quiet to receive something which it has never experienced before; he has never tasted the smell, the quality of it, therefore the mind must be still. And they have said there is only one way of making the mind still: to force it. When there is the operation of will in bringing about a quiet mind, there is distortion. A mind which is distorted cannot possibly see "what is". Are we doing this? - that is, not exercising will, not forcing the mind to be mechanical through any form of discipline or system, in which are included all the tricks of Yoga - which is totally wrong. Those people who teach physical exercises make it into a perfect racket.

So seeing all that, can the mind become completely still - the mind and the brain, because it is very important that the brain be completely quiet. The brain, which is the result of time, with all its knowledge, experience and so on, is always active to every stimulus, responding to every impression, to every influence, and can that brain also be quiet?

Questioner: Why should it be quiet? It has a lot of different functions.

Krishnamurti: It must be active within the field of knowledge, because that is its function. If I did not know that a cobra was a most poisonous snake I would play with it and get killed. The knowledge that it is poisonous is self-protection, therefore knowledge must exist - technologically, in every way. That knowledge has been acquired, but we are not interfering with it, we don't say, "You must not have knowledge", on the contrary, you must have knowledge of the world, of the facts. But that knowledge has to be used impersonally.

So the brain has to be quiet; if it makes any movement, its movement will be in the direction of security, because it can only function in security, whether that security be neurotic, rational, or irrational. The brain has to have that quality of sensitivity so that it can function in knowledge, fully, completely, efficiently, sanely, healthily, and not from the point of view of "My country", "For my people", "For my family", "For me". But also there must be that quality of sensitivity which makes the brain completely quiet - that is the problem. I have explained, described the problem, but it has nothing whatsoever to do with the fact. The fact is whether you, listening to this, have put aside every form of organized belief, every form of wanting more and more experience. Because if you are desirous of wanting more experience, then the desire is in operation, which is will.

So the fact is, if you are interested in pursuing a religious life, you have to do this, which means leading a really serious life - no drugs, all that is out. And also there must be no seeking or demanding experience. Because when you are seeking experience - transcendental, or whatever you like to call it - you are seeking because you are bored with the daily experiences of life and you want to have an experience which is beyond this. And when you are experiencing what one calls a transcendental, or a different level of experience, in that there is the experiencer and the experienced; there is the observer who is experiencing and the observed which is the experience. So there is division, there is conflict: you want more and more experience. That also must be completely set aside, because when you are enquiring, experience has no place.

One sees clearly that it is absolutely necessary that the brain, the mind, the whole system, the organism, must be quiet. As you can see, if you want to listen to something like music, your body, your mind is still - you are listening. And if you are listening to somebody who is talking, your body becomes quiet. When you want to understand something, the mind, the brain, the body, the whole organism, become quiet naturally. Look how you are all sitting quietly! You are not forcing yourself to sit quietly, because you are interested to find out. That very interest is the flame that makes the mind, the brain, the body, quiet.

Now what relationship has meditation to a quiet mind? The word meditation means to measure: that is the root meaning of it. Thought alone can measure, thought is measurement. Please, this is important to understand. One really should not use the word "meditation" at all. Thought is based on measure, and the cultivation of thought is the action of measurement - technologically and in life. Without measurement there could be no modern civilization. To go to the moon you must have the infinite capacity to measure.

Although measurement is essential, is obviously necessary, how can thought - which is measurable, which is measure - not enter? Let us put it round the other way. When there is this absolute quietness of the mind, of the whole organism, including the brain, measurement as thought ceases. Then one can enquire if there is such a thing as the immeasurable. The measurable is thought, and as long as thought is functioning the immeasurable cannot be understood. Therefore it has been said: control, beat down thought. And the whole Asiatic world went into the immeasurable, neglecting the measurable. You are following this?

Still using the word "meditation", what relationship has that to a very still mind? Can thought be really quiet, which means for the body, the mind and the heart to be in complete harmony? - yet seeing the truth that thought is measurable and that all the knowledge which thought has produced is essential. And also seeing the truth that thought, which is measurable, can never understand the immeasurable.

So if one has gone as far as that, then what relationship has this quality of the immeasurable with daily life? Are you all asleep? Are you all being mesmerized by the speaker?

We know thought is measure, we know all the mischief that thought has done in human life, the misery, the confusion, the division between people. "You believe and I don't believe," "Your God is not my God: thought has brought about havoc in the world. Thought is also knowledge, so thought is necessary. To see the truth of that, and that thought can never investigate the immeasurable, is to see that thought can never experience it as an experiencer and the experienced. So when thought is absolutely quiet, then there is a state, or a dimension, in which the immeasurable has its own movement. Now what relationship has that to daily life? Because if it has no relationship, then I shall live a life very carefully measuring my morality, my activity, according to the measurement of thought, but it will be very limited.

So what is the relationship of the unknown to the known? What is the relationship between the measurable and that which is not measurable? There must be a liaison: and that is intelligence. Intelligence has nothing whatsoever to do with thought. You may be very clever, very good at arguing, very learned. You may have experienced, lived a tremendous life, been all over the world, investigating, searching, looking, accumulating a great deal of knowledge, practised Zen or Hindu meditation. But all that has nothing whatsoever to do with intelligence. Intelligence comes into being when the mind, the heart, and the body are really harmonious.

Therefore - follow this, Sirs - the body must be highly sensitive. Not gross, not overindulging in eating, drinking, sex, and all the rest that makes the body coarse, dull, heavy. You have to understand all that. The very seeing the fact of that makes you eat less, gives the body its own intelligence. If there is an awareness of the body, which is not being forced, then the body becomes very, very sensitive, like a beautiful instrument. The same with the heart; that is, it is never hurt and can never hurt another. Not to hurt and not to be hurt, that is the innocency of the heart. A mind which has no fear, which demands no pleasure - not that you cannot enjoy the beauty of life, the beauty of trees, of a beautiful face, looking at children, at the flow of water, at the mountains and the green pastures - there is great delight in that. But that delight, when pursued by thought, becomes pleasure.

The mind has to be empty to see clearly. So the relationship between the immeasurable, the unknown and the known, is this intelligence, which has nothing whatsoever to do with Buddhism, with Zen, with me or with you; it has absolutely nothing to do with authority or tradition. Have you got that intelligence? That is the only point that matters. That intelligence will operate in this world morally. Morality then is order, which is virtue. Not the virtue or the morality of society, which is totally immoral.

So that intelligence brings about order, which is virtue, a thing that is living, that is not mechanical. Therefore you can never practise being good, you can never practise trying to become humble. When there is that intelligence, it naturally brings about order and the beauty of order. This is a religious life, not all the fooling around with it.

Listening to the speaker have you understood this? - not verbally or intellectually, but actually seen the truth of this? If you see the truth of it, it will act. If you see the truth that a snake is dangerous, you act. If you see the danger of a precipice, the fact, the truth of it, you act. If you see the truth of arsenic, of poison, you act. So do you see this, or do you still live in the world of ideas? If you live in the world of ideas, of conclusions, then that's not truth, that's just a projection of thought.

So that is the real question: listening to this, as you have for the last three weeks, in which we have talked about all the varieties of human existence, of suffering, pain and pleasure, of sex and immorality, social injustice, national divisions, wars, and all the rest - do you see the truth of this, and therefore is there that intelligence which operates? - not "me" operating. When you say, "I must be myself", which is the slogan or the cliche of the modern generation, when you examine these words, "I must be myself", what is myself? A lot of words, a lot of conclusions, traditions, reactions, memories, a bundle of the past; and yet you say, "I want to be myself", which is too childish.

So having listened to all this, is there the awakening of that intelligence? And if there is that awakening of intelligence, then it will operate, then you don't have to say, "What am I to do?" Perhaps there have been a thousand persons here during these three weeks who have listened. If they really live that, do you know what is going to happen? We should change the world. We shall be the salt of the earth.

Questioner: Do I understand correctly, that for thought to cease the mind has to see deeply the truth of the poison of seeking security. Is that what you said?

Krishnamurti: Partly, Sir.

Questioner:The difficulty seems to be, that this part doesn't see, so the mind doesn't see it, and in order for the mind to see something there has to be quiet - it seems like a vicious circle. The difficulty is that it has not seen it.

Krishnamurti: No, Sir. First of all, why should a mind be quiet, why shouldn't it go on chattering? When the mind is chattering, you can't see anything very clearly, can you? You can't listen to anybody clearly. If you are looking at a mountain, seeing its beauty, your mind naturally has to be quiet; which means you have to give attention to that moment, to seeing. That's all. That is, if you listen to the fact that thought is measure, that thought has divided human beings, that thought has brought about wars - if you see the truth of it - not the explanation, the justification - you just see the fact of what thought has done. Obviously to see that fact your mind must be quiet. So it is not a vicious circle at all, Sir.

Questioner: May I ask you a question? You often talk about the beauty of the mountains and the stillness of the mind when looking at the beauty of a cloud. Can the mind be still when looking at something horrible?

Krishnamurti: Just listen carefully, observe the dark and the light, the slum and the non-slum. Can you watch that? Can there be an awareness in which these divisions don't exist? Is there an awareness in which the division between poverty and riches does not exist? Not the fact that there is not the division, with all its injustice, immorality, all that - but an awareness in which this division doesn't exist? That is, can the mind observe the beauty of the hill and the squalor, and not prefer, or incline to one, opposed to the other? That means an awareness in which choice doesn't exist. You can do this. Not that poverty should go on - you would do something, politically, socially and so on; but the mind could be freed from division, from this classical division between the rich and the poor, between beauty and ugliness, from the opposites and all the rest of it.

Questioner: I should like to ask you, is there a difference for you between thought and speculation?

Krishnamurti: Why should there be a difference between thought and speculation? Who is speculating - isn't thought speculating? Isn't thought theorizing that there is God, that there is no God, about how many angels can sit on a pinhead, and so on? It is the whole business ofthought to speculate - there is no difference, it is the same.

Questioner: One can be aware objectively of a tree, of a Fountain, of a person. Can thought observe its own movement? Is there awareness of itself, and is one aware of being aware? Krishnamurti: Yes: is there an awareness of thought watching itself?

Questioner: I don't like the word "watch".

Krishnamurti: All right: an awareness of itself. Now wait a minute, just look. Have you understood the question? You can be aware of the tree, of the hill, of your sitting there; there is an awareness of that. Is there an awareness of being aware?

You can be aware of the tree, the cloud, the colour of your shirt, and you can be aware objectively. You can also be aware of how your thought is operating. But is there an awareness of being aware?

When you are aware of a tree, as an observer, is that awareness? The tree is there and you are aware of that tree. You then become the observer and that becomes the observed, and you say, "That's not it." In that there is a division, as the observer and the observed. It is the same with the cloud, the same with you sitting there, and the person speaking, sitting on a platform and observing. In that too there is a division. In this too there is the observer watching you, the observed; in that there is division. One can be aware of thought. I am going step by step. Being aware of thought, in that also there is a division; the one who is aware separating himself from thought.

Now you are asking a question, which is: does awareness know, or is it aware of itself, without an observer? Of course not, the moment there is no observer, there is no awareness of being aware. Obviously, Sir, that's the whole point! The moment I am aware that I am aware, I'm not aware. Remain with it, Sir, for two minutes remain with it! The moment I am aware that I am humble, humility is not. The moment I am aware that I am happy, happiness is not.

So if I am aware that I am aware, then that is not awareness; in that there is division between the observer and the observed. Now you are asking a question, which is: is there an awareness in which division as the observer and the observed comes to an end? Obviously awareness means that - awareness means that the observer is not. Questioner: Can one be aware of the tree without the observer, without that space?

Krishnamurti: Look at it. When you look at a tree, there is space between you and the tree. Wait Sir, we are going step by step. When you look at that tree, there is a distance between you and the tree, there is the space, there is division. That division takes place when there is the observer who has an image of that tree as the oak, or the pine. So the knowledge, the image, separates the observer fr om the observed, from the tree. Please look at it. Can you look at that tree without the image? If you look at that tree without the image, without saying, "That is an oak", "That is beautiful or not beautiful", without like or dislike, then what takes place? What takes place when there is no observer, but only the observed? Go on, Sir, tell me what takes place - I'm not going to tell you!

Questioner (1): There comes about union.

Questioner (2): Oneness.

Krishnamurti; Oneness means the same thing.

Questioner: Awareness.

Krishnamurti: No don't invent, don't speculate.

Questioner: When I am aware of the tree I have a feeling...

Krishnamurti: I'm coming to that, Sir. Please listen to it step by step. I said to you: when you look ordinarily at a tree, there is the division between you and the tree. You are the observer and the tree is the observed. That's a fact. You, with your image, with your prejudices, with your hopes and all the rest of it - that is the observer. Therefore as long as that exists as the observer, there must be division between you and the tree. When the observer is not, but only the object, what takes place? - don't imagine, do it!

Questioner (1): There is stillness... thought does not work any more.

Questioner (2): We become the tree. Krishnamurti: You become the tree - my God, I hope not! Become the elephant! (Laughter) Do please listen. Do it. Look at a tree and see if you can look at it without any image. That is fairly easy. But to look at yourself without an image, to look at yourself without the observer, that's much more difficult. Because what you see is unpleasant or pleasant, you want to change it, you want to control it, you want to shape it, you want to do something about it.

So can you look at yourself without the observer, as you can if you look at the tree? Which means to look at yourself with complete attention. When there is complete attention there is no image. It is only when your mind is thinking, "I wish I had a better `me"', or "I am going to do so and so" - then when you are looking, there is inattention.

Questioner: Am I wrong if I say that we are in a state of awareness all the time? It's thought that invents the division.

Krishnamurti: Oh, no! That is another speculation of thought, that we are aware all the time. We are in a state of awareness only at moments, then we go off to sleep. The moments when we go off to sleep, the moments when we are inattentive, that is what is important, not when we are aware.

Questioner: Are we aware of the infinite affection you express when you translate intelligence into human life?

Krishnamurti: It's up to you, Sir!

Questioner: When I am aware of my image, and my image goes, then isn't that awareness in itself?

Krishnamurti: When I am aware of my image, does the image exist? It doesn't.

Questioner: Then that is awareness in itself.

Krishnamurti: That's right, awareness in itself without any choice. Sir, what is important in all this, is not what one has heard, but what one is learning. Learning is not accumulation of knowledge. When you go away from here, you will have various ideas about awareness, love, truth, fear and all the rest of it. Those very ideas are going to prevent learning. But if you are aware a little bit, then you are learning and then intelligence can operate through learning in daily life.

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