Tuesday, September 09, 2008
13. KRISHNAMURTI: THINKING
“Conflict exists as long as there is an observer, and the observer is the producer of images; he [she] is the tradition, he [she] is the conditioned being, he [she] is the censor. If you see that, not as an idea, but actually, then you will observe without the observer, then you will see the totality of existence.”
“Conflict in every form: between husband and wife, between two groups of people with conflicting ideas, between ‘what is’ and tradition, between ‘what is’ and the ideal, the should be, the future. Conflict is inner and outer strife. At present there is conflict at all the various levels of our existence, the conscious as well as the unconscious. Our life is a series of conflicts, a battleground – and for what? Do we understand through strife? Can I understand you if I am in conflict with you? To understand there must be a certain amount of peace.”
“ ‘What should be’ is an invention, is an escape from the fact of ‘what is.’ Because we do not know how to come to grips with ‘what is,’ we invent the future. If I knew what to do with my violence now, today, I should not think about the future. If I knew what it meant to die today completely, I should not be afraid of tomorrow, of death and old age, which are the products of thought, the conception of tomorrow. So, there is only one thing: ‘what is.’ Can I understand that? Can the mind completely understand it and go beyond it? That means, not admitting time at all, because time is an invention of thought. So, to understand ‘what is’ I must give my whole mind and heart to it. I must understand violence; violence is not something separate from me, I am violence; violence is not over there and I am here; I am the very nature and structure of violence. Any act on the part of the mind to do something about violence is still violence. So, the mind realizing that whatever it thinks about violence is part of violence, its thinking comes to an end and therefore violence ceases. The perception of that is immediate, not something to be cultivated through time, to be attained at some future date. So there is, in that perception, the seeing of something immediately; in that there is no time or progress or evolution; it is an instantaneous perception and action. And surely love is like that, is it not? Love is not the product of thought; love, like humility, is not something to be cultivated. You cannot cultivate humility; it is only the vain man [woman] [human] who cultivates humility, and when he [she] is ‘cultivating,’ that is, progressing towards humility, he [she] is being vain; like a man [woman] [human] who practices nonviolence, in the meantime he [she] is being violent.
“So, surely love is that state of mind when time, when the ‘observer’ and the ‘observed’ are not. You know, when we say we love another – and I hope you do – there is an intensity, a communication, a communion, at the same time, at the same level; and that communion, that state of love, is not the product of thought or of time.”
“As I said, search implies duality, contrast. Now, where there is contrast, duality, there must be identification with one of the opposites, and from this there arises compulsion. When we say we search, our mind is rejecting something and seeking a substitute that will satisfy it, and thereby it creates duality, and from this there arises compulsion. ….This clinging through attraction, or rejection through fear, creates influence over the mind. … That is, when the mind is trying to overcome, it must create duality, and that very duality negates understanding and creates the distinctions which we call class, religion, sex. That duality influences the mind, and hence a mind influenced by duality cannot understand the significance of environment or the significance of the cause of conflict. …. From this distinction there arises the classification of influences as beneficial and evil.
“Now, if you can become aware of this influence, then you can discern its cause. Most people seem to be aware superficially, not at the greatest depth. It is only when there is awareness at the greatest depth of consciousness, of thought and emotion, that you can discern the division that is created through influence, which negates understanding.”
“I am not giving you a mold or a code by which you can live, or a system which you can follow. All that I am saying is, that to live creatively, enthusiastically, intelligently, vitally, intelligence must function. That intelligence is perverted, hindered, by what one calls memory,….So long as there is this constant battle to achieve, so long as mind is influenced, there must be duality, and hence pain, struggle; and our search for truth or for reality is but an escape from that pain.
“And so I say, become aware that your effort, your struggle, your impinging memories are destroying your intelligence. To become aware is not to be superficially conscious, but to go into the full depth of consciousness so as not to leave undiscovered one unconscious reaction. All this demands thought; all this demands an alertness of mind and heart, not a mind that is cluttered up with beliefs, creeds, and ideals. Most minds are burdened with these and with the desire to follow. As you become conscious of your burden, don't say you mustn't have ideals, you mustn't have creeds, and repeat all the rest of the jargon. The very ‘must' creates another doctrine, another creed; merely become conscious and in the intensity of that consciousness, in the intensity of awareness, in that flame you will create such crisis, such conflict, that that very conflict itself will dissolve the hindrance.”
“The mind sees that distortion must take place when it follows an ideology, the idea of what should be as opposed to ‘what is;’ hence a duality, a conflict, a contradiction and so a mind that is tortured, distorted, perverted. There is only one thing, that which is, ‘what is,’ nothing else. To be completely concerned with ‘what is’ puts away every form of duality, and hence there is no conflict, no tortured mind. So meditation is a mind seeing actually ‘what is’ – without interpreting it, without translating it, without wishing it were not, or accepting it; a mind can only do this when the ‘observer’ ceases to be. Please, this is important to understand. Most of us are afraid; there is fear, and the one who wants to get rid of fear is the observer. The observer is the entity that recognizes the new fear and translates it in terms of the old fears, which it has known and stored up from the past, from which he [she] has escaped. So as long as there is the ‘observer’ and the thing observed, there must be duality and hence conflict, the mind becomes twisted; and that is one of the most complicated states, something which we must understand. As long as there is the ‘observer,’ there must be the conflict of duality. Is it possible to go beyond the ‘observer’? – The ‘observer’ being the whole accumulation of the past, the ‘me,’ the ego, the thought which springs from this accumulated past. So, meditation is the understanding of the whole machinery of thought. I hope, as the speaker is putting it into words, you are listening to and observing it very early, to see if it is possible to eliminate all conflict, so that the mind can be utterly at peace – not contented; contentment arises only when there is dissatisfaction, which again is the process of duality. When there is no ‘observer’ but only ‘observing,’ and hence no conflict then only can there be completely peace; otherwise, there is violence, aggression, brutality, wars, and all the rest of the ways of modern life. So meditation is the understanding of thought and the discovering for oneself whether thought can come to an end. It is only then, when the mind is silent, that it can see actually ‘what is,’ without any distortion, hypocrisy, or self-illusion.’
“When you look as one fragment looking at the other fragments, then that one fragment0 has assumed authority, and that fragment causes contradiction and therefore conflict. But if you can look without any fragment, then you look at the whole without the observer.”
“You are aware of anger with your whole being. If you are, is there anger? Inattention is anger, not attention. So attention with our entire being is seeing the whole, and inattention is seeing the particular. To be aware of the whole, and of the particular, and of the relationship between the two, is the whole problem. We divide the particular from the rest and try to solve it. And so conflict increases and there is no way out.”
“The first challenge is to observe ‘what is,’ which is to know yourself as you really are, not as you should be… Firstly, we must observe without identification, without the word, without the space between the observer and the thing observed; we must look without any image, without the thought, so that we are seeing things as they actually are.”
“When I say to myself, ‘I must not be violent,’ then there is the fact of my own violence and the ideal of what should be (that I must not be violent); hence there is a conflict between ‘what is’ and what should be, and, for most of us, that is our life.”
“If you really want to learn about yourself, then you must put away all the comforting authority of others, and observe.”
“When the observer finds out for himself that he [she] is the observed, he [she] is the violence, and that it is not something separate from him which he [she] can change or control, then the division between the observer and the observed no longer exists, so the observer has instantly removed the cause of conflict and contradiction within himself. However, the fact of violence remains – I am still violent by nature, my whole being is violent, and it is sheer nonsense to say that part of me is gentle and loving, while the other part is violent. Violence means division, contradiction, conflict, separateness, and a lack of love; but I have now realized the central fact, which is that the observer is the observed, and is, therefore, no longer in conflict with the observer. I am the world and the world is me; I am the community and the community is me. So to bring about a radical transformation in society and in oneself, the observer must undergo a tremendous change – that is, to realize that the observer and the observed are one. Now my mind can observe the image of what I consider to be violence and also my vested interests in the violence, because the whole image I have about myself and the violence must disappear, so that the mind is free to observe. And after observing, the fact still remains that I am violent, even though I may say that I and the violence are one; so what am I to do? When I observe that I am violent, and I see very clearly that the observer is that violence, then I realize I cannot possibly do anything at all, because any action whether it be positive or negative is still part of that violence.
“Let’s put it differently! There is this whole problem of egocentricity; we are enormously selfish, extraordinarily self-centered. We may go out of our way to help others, but deep down, the root, the core is this self-centered activity. It is like a tree whose main root has a thousand roots, and whatever the mind does or does not, nourishes this root. Am I making it clear, because we are dealing with a very complex problem, so please bear in mind what we said earlier – that the description is never the described. Mindful of this, therefore, one sees the necessity of being in direct contact with the fact of this egocentric operation that is going on all the time within each one of us, which is the action of separation, isolation, division, and fragmentation, and whatever one does is part of that action. So one asks oneself whether there is a different kind of action, but the very asking of that question is still part of this fragmentation. One then realizes one must look at violence in complete silence. What is important is for you to find out these things for yourself, so that you are free and not secondhand human beings. You must look to find out, to find out whether or not it is possible for the mind to be completely and totally free of this violence, pride, and arrogance, and so come upon a different quality altogether.”