Bookmark to Stumbleupon. Give it a thumb StumbleUpon   subscribe    Tell a friend 

Jiddhu Krishnamurti (1895 - 1986)


As we grow older and go out of this institution after receiving education, so-called education, we have to face many problems. What profession are we to choose, so that in that profession, we can fulfil ourselves, we can be happy; so that in that profession or vocation or job, we are satisfied and are not exploiting others, we are not being cruel to others? We have to face death, suffering, disasters. We have to understand starvation, overpopulation, sex, pain, pleasure, the many confusing and conflicting and contradictory things in life, the wrangles, the conflicts between man and man or between woman and man, the conflicts within, the struggles within and the struggles without, wars, the military spirit, ambition and that extraordinary thing called peace which is much more vital than we realize. We have to understand the significance of religion; not the mere worship of images nor the mere speculations which, we think, give us the right to assume the religious feeling, but also that very complex and strange thing called love. We have to understand all this, and not merely be educated to pass examinations; we have to know the beauty of life; to watch a bird in flight; to see the beggars, the disasters, the squalor, the hideous buildings that people put up, the foul road, the still fouler temples; we have to face all these problems. We have also to face whom to follow, whom not to follow, and whether we should follow anybody at all.

Most of us are concerned with doing a little bit of change here and there, and we are satisfied with that. As we grow older, we do not want any deep fundamental change, because we are afraid. We do not think in terms of transformation, we only think in terms of change; and you will find, when you look into that change, that it is only a modified change which is not a radical revolution, not a transformation. You have to face all these things, from your own happiness to the happiness of the many, from your own self-seeking pursuits and ambitions to the ambitions and the motives and the pursuits of others; you have to face competition, the corruption in oneself and in others, the deterioration of the mind, the emptiness of the heart. You have to know all this, you have to face all this: but you are not pre- pared for it. What do we know when we go out from here? We are as dull, empty, shallow as when we came here; and our studies, our living in school, our contacts with our teachers and their contact with us have not helped us to understand this very very complex problem of life. The teachers are dull, and we become dull like them. They are afraid and we are afraid. So, it is our problem, it is your problem as well as the teachers' problem, to see that you go out with maturity, with thought, without fear, so that you will be able to face life intelligently. So, it appears very important to find an answer to all these problems; but there is no answer. All you can do is to meet these very complex problems intelligently as they arise. Please follow this. Please understand this. You want an answer. You think that, by reading, by following somebody, by studying some book, you will find an answer to all these very complex and very subtle problems. But you will not find answers, because these problems have been created by human beings who may have been like you. The starvation, the cruelty, the hideousness, the squalor, the appalling callousness, the cruelty, all this has been created by human beings. So, you have to understand the human heart, the human mind, which is yourself. Merely to look for an answer in a book, or to go to a school to find out, or to follow an economic system however much it may promise, or to follow some religious absurdity and superstition, to follow a guru, to do puja, in no way will help you to understand these problems, because they are created by you and others like you. As they are created by you, you cannot understand them without understanding yourself; and to understand yourself as you live, from moment to moment, from day to day, year in and year out, you need intelligence, a great deal of insight, love, patience.

So, you must find out surely what is intelligence, must you not? You all use that word very freely; and by repetition of that word, you think you become intelligent. The politicians keep on repeating certain words like `integration', `a new culture', `you must be intelligent', `you must create a new world; but they are all empty words without much meaning. So do not use words without really understanding them. We are trying to find out what intelligence is; because, if we know what it is and if we can have the feeling of it - not merely a definition of it, because any dictionary will give that - the knowing of it, the understanding of it, it will help each one of us, as we grow, to meet the enormous problems in our life; if we have it, then we shall find out how to deal with these problems. Without that intelligence, do what you will - read, study, accumulate knowledge, fight, quarrel, change, bring about little changes here and there in the pattern of society - you will never alter, there will be no transformation, there will be no happiness. So, is it not necessary to question what it is we mean by intelligence? What is intelligence, not the definition of the word, but what does it mean? I am going to find out what it means; and perhaps, for some of you, it is going to be difficult; but do not bother with trying to understand it, with trying to follow the words; but try to feel what I am talking about. Try to feel the thing, the quality of it; and then you will, as you grow older, begin to see the significance of what I have been saying. So, listen not to the word, but rather to the inward content of that word.

Most of us think that intelligence can be gathered or cultivated through acquiring more knowledge, more information, more experience, by having knowledge to utilize that knowledge, by having experience to meet life with that experience. But life is an extraordinary thing, it is never stationary; it is like a river, a lively thing that moves, that is never still. We think that, by having more experience, more knowledge, more virtue, more wealth, more possessions, more and more, we shall find out what intelligence is. This is why we respect people who have knowledge, the scholars, the people who have had rich full experiences. Is intelligence the outcome of `the more'? What is this process of `the more' - having more, wanting more? What is behind it? We are concerned, are we not?, with accumulating; and so we say, `If I know, I shall be able to meet life', `If I can understand what the purpose of life is, then I can follow along that path', `If I have more experience, then I shall meet the very complex problems of life'. So, we are very concerned, from childhood up to old age, with the problems of the more, having more, more and more.

Now, what happens when you have accumulated knowledge, experience, position? Whatever experience you may have, it is translated into the terms of the more so that you are never experiencing, you are always gathering; and this gathering is the process of the mind. The mind is the centre of this `more'. So, as it gathers, there is the more and more accumulating; and the more is the me, the self, the ego, the self-enclosed entity, which is only concerned with the more, either negatively or positively. So, with that mind, with the accumulated experience of the more, it meets life. So, in meeting life in which there is experience, it is only concerned with the more and so it never experiences, it only gathers; so the mind becomes merely the instrument of gathering, there is no real experiencing. How can you experience when you are thinking always of getting something out of that experience, something more? So, the man who is accumulating, the man who is gathering, the man who is desiring more, is never experiencing life. It is only when the mind is not concerned with the more, with the accumulating, that there is a possibility for that mind to be intelligent. When the mind is concerned with the more, every experience strengthens that self which is self-enclosing, `the me' which is the centre of all conflict; every experience only strengthens the egocentric process of life. Please follow this. You think experience is the freeing process. But it is not; for, as long as the mind is concerned with accumulation, with the more, the more experiences you have, the more strengthened you are in your egotism, in your selfishness, in your self-enclosing process of thought.

Intelligence is only possible when there is really freedom from the self, from the me, when the mind is not the centre of the demand for the more, the centre of the longing for greater, wider, more expansive regions of thought. So, intelligence is, is it not?, the freedom from the pressure of time; for `the more' implies time, the mind is the result of time. So, the cultivation of the mind is not intelligence. The understanding of this whole process of the mind is self-knowledge, to know oneself as one is, in which there is no accumulating centre. Then, out of that comes that intelligence which can meet life; and that intelligence is creative.

Look at your lives; how dull, how stupid, how narrow and silly they are because you are not creative! You may have children, but that is not to be creative. You may be a bureaucrat but that is not to be creative; in it there is no vitality, it is dead routine, a boredom. Your life is hedged about by fear; and so there is authority and imitation; so, you do not know what it is to be creative - I do not mean to paint pictures, to write poems or to be able to sing a song; but I mean the deeper nature of creativeness which, when once it has been discovered, is an eternal source, an undying current - and it can only be found through intelligence, because that is the source, that is the timeless thing. But the mind cannot find it; for, the mind is the centre of `the me', the self, the constant thoughts everlastingly asking for the more. When you understand all this, not only verbally but deep down, then you will find that with that intelligence there comes that creativeness which is reality, which is God, which is not to be speculated about or meditated upon. You won't get it through your meditation, through prayer for the more, or by the escape from the more. That thing can only come when you understand, from moment to moment every day, the complex reactions, the state of mind as you meet malice, envy. Knowing all that, there comes that thing which we call love; that love is intelligence; and with that intelligence there comes that creative state which is timeless.

Question: The formation of society is based on interdependence. The doctor has to depend on the farmer and the farmer on the doctor. Then, how can a man be completely independent?

Krishnamurti: Life is relationship. You cannot live without having some kind of relationship. Even the sannyasi has relationship; he may renounce the world, but he is still related to the world. So life is the process of relationship. You cannot escape from relationship; and because relationship causes conflict, because in relationship there is fear, you depend either on the husband or on the parent or on the wife or on society. As long as we do not understand relationship - you understand what I mean by relationship; not only the relationship of the parent to the child, but the relationship of the teacher, the cook, the servant, the governor, the commander, the whole of society, which after all is the extension of the relationship of the one with the other - as long as we do not understand that relationship, there is no freedom from the dependency which is brought about through fear, through exploitation. Freedom comes only through intelligence, and only intelligence can meet relationship. Without intelligence, merely to seek freedom or independence from relationship is to pursue an illusion which has no meaning.

So, what is important is to understand relationship which causes conflict, misery, pain, fear. It is in exposing a great many things of the heart, of the mind, of loneliness, that there is understanding; and as we understand, there is freedom, not from relationship but from the conflicts that cause misery.

Question: Why is truth unpalatable?

Krishnamurti: If I think I am very beautiful and you tell me I am not, which may be a fact, do I like it? If I think I am very intelligent, very clever and you point out that I am rather a silly person, do I like it? It is very unpalatable to me; but you are pointing out, because it gives you pleasure, does it not? Your pointing out my stupidity gives you a sense of pleasure, a sense of vanity; it shows how clever you are. You take pleasure in pointing out my stupidity; but when it concerns your own stupidity, you do not want to find out what you are, you want to run away from yourself, you want to hide, you want to cover your own emptiness, your own loneliness, your own stupidity. So, you have friends who will never tell you what you are. You want to show to others what you are not; but, if others point out your mistake and show you what you are, you do not like it. So, you avoid knowing that which exposes your own inner nature.

Question: Up to now, our teachers have been very certain and have taught us as usual. But having listened to what has been said, following all the discussions, the teachers have become very uncertain. An intelligent student will know how to deal with the problem; but what will happen to those who are not intelligent?

Krishnamurti: Who are the teachers that are uncertain? What are they uncertain about? Not what to teach, because they can carry on with what they teach, with mathematics, with geography, the usual curriculum. That is not what they are uncertain about, are they? They are uncertain how to deal with the student, their relationship with the student. Is it not? They are uncertain of their relationship; because, up to now, they were never concerned with the student, they just came to the class, taught and went out. Now, they are concerned about their relationship with the student, whether they are creating fear, whether they are exercising their authority to make the student obey, and so destroying his initiative. They are concerned whether they are repressing the student, or whether they are helping him to find out his true vocation, or whether they are encouraging initiative, or whether they are compelling him to obey. They are concerned with themselves and with their relationships with students. Naturally, it has made them uncertain. But surely, the teacher, like the student, has also to be uncertain, to enquire, to search. That is the whole process of life from the beginning to the end, is it not? - never to stop in a certain place and say, `I know it is so'.

An intelligent man is never static, never says `I know'. He is always enquiring, always uncertain, always searching, looking, finding. The moment he says, `I know', he is already dead; and most of us, whether we are young or old, because of tradition or compulsion or the absurdities of our religion, or fear, or bureaucracy, are almost dead, with no vitality, with no vigour, with no self-reliance. So, the teacher has also to find out. He has to discover for himself his own bureaucratic tendencies so as not to corrupt the mind of others; and that is a very difficult process; that requires a great deal of understanding.

So, the intelligent student has to help the teacher, and the teacher has to help the student. That is relationship. What happens to the dull boy or girl who is not very intelligent? Surely no boy or girl is so dull as not to be able to feel, not to be able to understand this difficulty; because, when the teacher is uncertain, he is more tolerant, he is more hesitant with the dull boy, he is more patient, more affectionate; and therefore perhaps he may be able to help.

Question: The farmer has to depend on the doctor for the cure of physical pain. Is this also governed by dependent action. Krishnamurti: In it there is an element of fear. As I have explained already, it is a problem of relationship. If my relationship with you is based on fear, I depend on you economically, socially or psychologically. Inwardly, as long as fear exists, there is no independence; and the problem of freeing the mind from fear is quite a complex problem which we have discussed.

You see, what is important in all these questions and answers is not what one says or answers, but to find out in oneself the truth of the matter by constant enquiry, searching, looking, by not being caught in any particular system; because, it is the searching that creates initiative, that brings about intelligence. But to be merely satisfied by an answer dulls the mind. So, it is very important for you, while you are at this school, not to accept but to constantly enquire, to apprehend, to discover freely for yourself the whole meaning of life.

December 31, 1952