Extraits choisis 4ème partie

READINGS ON (suite et fin)


Compiled with Permission of the Krishnamurti Foundation Trust forBrockwood Park Staff week January 2004

Rishi Valley, 19th December 1984

Pupul Jayakar (PJ) : If you remember, Krishnaji, three days ago we started discussing the ground of a mind from which a new mind emerges. While discussing it, you said that from a ground which is conflict, fear, anger, the new can never emerge; you said that something entirely new is necessary. You also spoke about the senses operating at their highest, simultaneously. I want to start with a question: I'm a newcomer to your talks; I hear this. Where do I begin?
J. Krishnamurti (K) : Probably at first you won't make head or tail of it. You won't know what K is talking about. So we will have to establish the linguistic, the semantic, meaning, and also be aware of our relationship to nature. Yes, I would begin with that. I would question why there are no wild animals here at all. I would go into that because if we lost touch with nature of which we are a part, we would lose touch with humanity, with our fellow beings. I would begin there - with my relationship to nature, with my relationship to the beauty of all that.
Pupul, how do you look at nature? How do you look at those hills which are supposed to be amongst the most ancient hills in the world? How do you look at those rocks, those boulders, those trees, those dry rivers and streams? How do you look at those poor village children who walk twelve miles a day to a school? How do you look at those poor people who have not enough food to eat?
PJ : So you are saying, sir, that the starting point of inquiry is in the outer.
K : Absolutely. You see, Pupul, if I don't have the obvious common sense criteria, then how can I ever have a clear perception of myself? Do you understand?
PJ : Yes, I understand.
K : Because the outer is a manifestation of myself. I'm part of nature. Without understanding the beauty of the land, the rivers and every part of this extraordinary world we live in, this brutal world we live in, with all the cruelty, the terrorism, and so on, how can I ever have a clear perception of myself? What is my relationship to all that? Am I blind to it all? Am I silent to it all? Or do I have certain conclusions which dominate me? And conclusions are a product of thought, nature is not.
PJ : Sir, we all think that we look at nature. We think that we look at the trees, that we look at the flowers, and at the rocks. We feel that we look. We feel that as we have eyes, we look. But there is something in the looking and in the relationship that you are talking about, which obviously is not the looking which we are used to.
K : How do you look at nature? Do you look at it only. with your eyes? Is the perception of the long evening shadows and the very small shadow of the midday sun merely a visual perception? That is, do you look at those marvelous shadows only with your eyes? Or do you look at them with your whole being; with all your senses? How do you look at all this? How do you perceive all this? Do you perceive it as though it was something outside you or as something of which you are a part?
PJ : I think one can actually say that there is a looking in which the seer does not exist. But I don't want to start there. That's why I'm coming to you as a beginner, a beginner who says, “I look with my eyes”. I want to start from there.
K : I would reply to that: Do you only look? Or do you also hear - hear the sound of the whisper among the deep shadows of the trees, the sound of the breeze and of running water? My question is: do you listen, see and feel?
PJ : Sir, if you are seeing, listening, feeling, then it is a state where everything exists. But I don't know anything about that. So, I would like to approach it from the point of view of a beginner rather than of any other.
K : Would you agree that human beings have lost touch with nature?
PJ : Yes, completely; because when they see, their eyes move over. They never look directly. They never look - period. They consider it too trivial.
K : That's just it. They consider viewing nature as something trivial. They consider nature as something that can be exploited.
PJ : You see, sir, the mind has divided itself. It considers looking at a leaf or a leafs movement as something unimportant; what is important is something vast.
K : So, let's begin. What is important? For the average man, for the ordinary person, what is important? Food, clothes, shelter - that's all that he is concerned with.
PJ : No, sir. Beyond that there is the sacred, the divine. God.
K : Of course, but I'll come to that later. I'm just beginning with needs - food, clothes, shelter. When he has that, then he begins to think about God as something extraordinary ....
PJ : And he wants to think of it in a vast ....
K : He sees the evening sky and the sun rising and sees the immensity of this marvelous world, and he says, “Who created all this?” Right?
PJ : The capacity to see that the small and the vast are at the same level of importance ....
K : Yes, there's no vast and small.
Questioner (Q): My senses have been very deeply dominated by my thinking. I see for myself that when I go for a walk, I'm not really looking, I'm not really listening. I am all the time thinking, and from that thinking I occasionally glance at something or the other. So in a sense there is no looking, no seeing, the actuality of a tree.
PJ : If you were to try to get someone to look at one leaf, at one single leaf, you will find out how difficult it is. But why take someone else? When one does it oneself, one realizes how difficult it is to look at a thing.
Q : As you said, we glance at it and move away.
K : Would you blame religion? Would you blame the orthodox, established religions that have prevented man from considering nature as part of himself? You see, religions have said, “Suppress all your senses. Don't look out there; always look inside you”.
Q : Krishnaji, would you say that the modem urban man is to a great extent not influenced by religions?
K : No, we are not talking about an urban man or about a rural man, a man who lives in a big town or in a little town or village. We are talking about the ordinary man who has seen the sannyasis, the monks, the Trappists who never speak. And all these so-called religious people have maintained that desire is to be suppressed, that the senses are to be suppressed because they distract.
Q : Yes, this has been upheld not only by religion but also by society.
K : Of course. You see, the religious leaders have not said : ”Look at all the wonders of this world. Look at its beauty; feel it; absorb it; be of it”. What they have done is to create images - images that are made by the hand and by the mind. And images that are made by the mind are more important than the other. Sir, you have a temple nearby - Tirupati. Thousands go there; millions are spent on it - why? Now, if I were an .ordinary man and I were to hear all this, as Pupulji pointed out, where would I begin?
Q : But, wouldn't you say, Krishnaji, to even ask that question, the ordinary man must have seen somewhere, somehow, that his world is limited?
K : Yes, he knows death.
Q : He has to be already a little bit discontented with his God, with his ....
K : I question that,, sir. I question whether he is discontented or skeptical about his Gods.
Q : Then what makes him ask the question, “Where do I begin?”
K : He doesn't ask this question.
PJ : He does. He does when he is in sorrow; he does when he is suffering; he does when there is death.
K : He does when there is sorrow. He does when there is death. He does when he sees a rich man go by in a marvelous car and he has to walk ten miles to go to that same place. It is then that he will begin to say, “What is all this? Why should I not be as rich as that man?”
Q : But that is not asking the same question.
K : It is part of that, sir.
PJ : Otherwise how does one start?
Q : Sir, but you see, there are a number of people who generally live very happy lives. They have no sorrow - at least the sorrow that is common to most people: poverty, ill-health, lack of education, and so on. Yet they come upon these questions, and they go, very seriously, into them.
K : You are talking of those people who are exceptional. We began by asking, “If I were an ordinary man where would I begin?” Let us say that I am an ordinary man, fairly educated, and surrounded by the very complex problems of existence - suffering, pain, anxiety, and all the other activities of thought - where would I begin to understand the very complex society in which I lived? That is a real question, and that is the question with which Mrs Jayakar began.
PJ : You see, we take it for granted - when we listen to Krishnaji - that the beginning must start within. We have all taken it that way, namely, that the beginning has to start within, with the discovery of “what is”. We have never looked at the outside and seen the outside as the same movement as the movement within. Therefore the callousness, therefore the corruption ...
K : Why have we neglected or discarded or despised all the things from nature?
PJ : Because we divide. We divide the outer world as the world of desire and the inner world as the real world.
K : And also because for both the Buddhists and the Hindus the outside world is maya, an illusion. K, however, is saying quite the contrary. And that's why I feel it's important to understand one's relationship to nature, to the outer world. That's why I feel it is important to understand one's relationship to the world in which all the misery, confusion, brutality, and corruption is going on. Look at that first and, then, from the outer, move to the inner. But if you start and stop at the inner, you will have no measure. You stay with worship; you follow Jesus or some guru. That is what you call religion. Right? The rituals, the paraphernalia - that is what you call religion.
I feel, personally, that we must start with what we see, with what we hear, and what we feel outside. You see, the question is: How do I look at my wife, my children, my parents, and all the rest who are outside? Take death. When I see somebody carrying a dead body - in this country it's simple; just two or three people carrying a corpse - I begin to ask, “What is death?” Death is there outside of me, but I begin to inquire. I can't just go off by myself into a mountain cave and there inquire what death or God is. Of course, I can imagine a lot of things, but if I have not established a right relationship with nature, with another person - wife, husband, anyone - how can I ever establish the right relationship with the immensity of the universe?
Q : Krishnaji, in looking at the outer, you're saying that the brain quickens.
K : Of course; it becomes more sensitive.
Q : And, therefore, it can look at the inner without distortion.
K : Yes, without distortion.
Q : But, sir, half the world - the West - has always treated the outer as very, very concrete. All their energies have moved outward. But that doesn't seem to have brought about the inwardness either.
K : So we come to a much more serious question. What makes a man change? Would you begin with that? I'm envious, I'm brutal, I'm violent, I'm uncertain, I'm confused and jealous. There is hatred in me. I'm the result of thousands of years of evolution. Why have I not changed? That is one of the basic questions.
Q : And isn't it too early to ask that question?
K : Yes, it is early.
Q : But you are saying that, all the same, we have to come to it.
K : I have been through all this and I have come to it. And, also, I appreciate nature; I am in constant touch with it. So I begin; I look. But ultimately, I must ask myself - I, who am a human being, who suffers, who has fear and who is in turmoil, just like the rest of mankind – “Why have I not radically changed?”. That is my question.
Q : It is interesting that the ordinary man is much more concerned with gaining the object of his greed or with running away from the object of his fear, than with asking the question, “Why am I greedy?” or “Why am I afraid?”.
K : What is your question, sir?
Q : It is this question that you have raised: Why have I not changed?
K : Ask yourself, sir; ask yourself. I'm not being personal or disrespectful or impudent. Ask yourself why after thirty or forty years you are exactly as you were - modified, of course, but with no radical change. Why? I suggest that any rational and thoughtful person would ask this question. Sir, do you understand what I mean by “change”?
Q : No, sir, I do not understand.
K : By “change” I don't mean, for example, the rejection of Hinduism and the acceptance of Buddhism, or vice versa. For that would merely be the repetition of the same pattern over and over and over again.
Q : Yes, sir, but we don't see it as the same pattern; we see it as a different pattern. .
K : Take envy. That is a common factor for everybody, and it .has produced a great deal of trouble in the world. You see the consequences of envy, but you remain envious; Why is it that you don't - radically - wipe it put of your brain? Please don't make it complex. To watch the brain being envious, and to wipe it out - why hasn't that been possible? Why haven't you done it? You talk about it endlessly.
Q : Sir, there seems to be a kind of paradox, for I feel that suffering seems to be necessary in some ways for this radical change that you are talking about. Yet when one suffers and keeps on suffering, it has a blunting effect on the individual who suffers. So where do we go from there?
K : Sir, first of all, there is no division between the outer and the inner; they are one. Do you see that? Do you actually see the fact that the outer, that is, the society in which we live, and which we have created, and the inner, the “me”, are the same? I am part of society. Society is not different from me. That is one of the most fundamental facts. Do you, actually, recognize that fact, and not just agree with it? Secondly, there is division between you and me. You belong to one group or community or religion, and I belong to another group, another community, another religion, and so on. This division is created by thought and, therefore, it is tremendously complex. Now, you say, “I suffer, you suffer, the rest of humanity suffers”. But you never ask, “Can this suffering end?”.
Q : Sir, would you say that the two questions - “Can suffering end?” and “Why have I not changed?” - are the same?
K : They are the same.
Q : Is the answer to both the questions the fact that we don't have enough energy?
K : I would not say that you haven't got enough energy. You have plenty of energy when you want to do something. Right? When you want to make money, you work tremendously to get it. So I don't think it is a matter of energy.
Q : Is it that we do not want to change with our whole being? Why is it that the desire not to suffer or the desire to change radically - as you put it - is so easily dissipated in us?
K : Is it because there is no profit in that? We are profit-motivated, aren't we? We always want a reward. Our brains are conditioned to reward and punishment. Right? We work like the blazes if we can have a reward at the end of it - money, position, status, happiness, whatever it is.
PJ : Sir, I think we have moved away slightly. We were talking of the senses and their operation and …
K : Yes.
PJ : Now, the senses are energy. That which is outside is energy.
K : Have you seen the way grass grows through the cement?
PJ : But what is it that thwarts the energy of the senses? What is it that comes in the way of their real capacity?
K : Is it our conditioning? Is it our education? Because, as you know, we are always told to control.
PJ : Yes, sir, but I think that there must be some seed, some insight, that has been responsible for this teaching, namely, that we have to not only be very careful with our energy but also channel it properly. The whole of life and the whole of education is, I feel, merely a channeling of this energy and, so, perhaps in itself it is an incorrect approach.
K : Yes.
PJ : Because what is necessary is the conservation of energy. Now, how does one conserve energy? How does one create energy?
K : Would you conserve energy? Or is it that the more you expend energy the more there is?
PJ : But you can also allow energy to fritter away.
K. : That's just it. You see, for a person like K, there is no distraction or attraction.
PJ : This is the magical thing. For K there is no distraction in the mind; there is no triviality.
Q : Also, there is no preoccupation.
K : That's right.
Q : In the very saying, “I will conserve energy”, there is a channeling of energy.
PJ : No. What I said was from a different viewpoint. We see that energy disperses. Whatever energy a human being has, he is dispersing it all the time. There must be something at the root of it.
K : No, Pupul, just look. You are conditioned from childhood to this idea of reward and punishment. Right? Your mother says, “If you do this, I'll give you a sweet. If you don't do that, I will punish you”. When you enter school, the same principle is carried on: better marks in the examinations, and so on - you follow? Our brains are conditioned to reward and punishment. Right? So you expend all your energy to avoid punishment and gain a reward. And a reward gives you tremendous energy.
PJ : But, sir, of a different quality.
K : Wait, wait. I say that a reward gives me tremendous energy to work, work, work. And then you come along and tell me that this reward and punishment is a conditioning, and that in that there is no freedom. Heaven isn't a reward; enlightenment isn't a reward. But I have been trained from childhood to seek reward. So there is a battle and I waste my energy in that battle. I want happiness; I want peace. And I do everything to accelerate that.
PJ : Sir, life is so complex that if I ever try to solve it, I never will. But you have given us a key. The key is this total operation of the senses. Can we explore and go into that?
K : Yes, let's do it. (Laughing, asks) Aren't we doing that?
PJ : Because that wipes out everything, and there is nothing to be done.
K : Are seeing and hearing separate, or are they one? Do you understand my question? When you perceive something, for example, this question, is the seeing of it and the hearing of it separate, and also is there a thinking about it? You see, the moment you think about it, you are not listening to the question. The point is, can you see, that is, perceive, and hear at the same time? - Not as two separate things. You see, I was talking to a scientist last year - a biologist who is concerned with nature, and so on. He asked me, “Do you hear the sound of a tree? Do you hear the sound of a tree, not when it is moving with the wind, but when it is absolutely quiet, for example, early in the morning or as the sun is setting? Have you heard a tree when there is no breeze? A tree has a peculiar quality of sound”. And I said, “Yes, a, tree has a peculiar quality of sound”. Can you hear and see that sound at the same time? Or do you divide it? Do you follow what I'm saying?
PJ : I follow, sir. . .
K : Sound is an extraordinary thing by itself, but I don't want to enter into that now. The question is whether you can see something without division. That's all I'm asking. See, hear, feel, smell, taste - without any division. It's as though you were completely immersed in it.
Q : Sir, you have frequently said that meditation is a sixth or seventh sense, and that if one doesn't have it, one is missing a lot. What exactly is the essential nature of meditation according to you?
K : The essential nature of meditation is never to be conscious that you are meditating. Do you understand what I am saying? If you attempt to meditate - sit in a certain posture, sit back quietly,
breathe and all the rest of the tricks you play - then it is like any other business. You merely want to achieve. And meditation is not an achievement. If you meditate according to a system, a method, and so on, then it is an achievement. At the end of it all - your endeavor, and so on - you say, “Ah, at last I have got peace!”. (Laughs) It is the same as saying, “At last, I have a million dollars in the bank”. In the business world you do this, this and this to get money, but you can't do anything to get this. You see, meditation, to K, is something that cannot be consciously achieved.
PJ : Is it separate from the state of seeing-listening?
K : That is in itself meditation.
Q : You speak of a contact with nature. There seems, to me, meditation going on. in a very sensitive way when there is a contact with nature - especially the kind of contact that you describe.
Unfortunately, many people, however intelligent they may be, feel that a posture or an approach is very relevant to meditation.
K : I know.
Q : So when you talk about meditation, a meditation in which all these things are eliminated, one is lost.
K : Be lost!
Q : But we are not lost in the way you mean.
K : Be lost, be lost.
Q : We are lost in confusion.
K : Sir, doing all this is confusion!
Q : How would you further guide us so that meditation becomes an actuality?
K : I don't know what you mean by meditation and actuality. Sorry, I'm not being facetious, but I really don't know what you mean by those two words: meditation and the actual. And also, perhaps, we are going off from what Pupulji started with.
Q : I asked the question in relation to the full operation of the senses; because the quality is very different from the scientific, technological attitude. The scientist or technologist is concerned only with the outer.
K : No, sir. They are also asking these questions. As I told you the other day, we were invited to Los Alamos, which is the National Laboratory of America. They're concerned not only about meditation, but also about what creativity in science is. Do you follow? They're going beyond a merely technological approach to life.
PJ : Sir, there can be no other ground of the creative – the operation of the senses are themselves the ground of the creative.
K : When you're watching this whole universe, watching, not seeking a reward or evading punishment but watching - the suffering of those villagers, of those little boys who walk twelve miles a day to school - in that very watching there is great perception, great love, great care. You see, watching is not merely with the senses, for in watching there is this quality of love, this quality of care.
PJ : Yes. Now we are getting to it.
K : Yes.
PJ : What awakens? I think there is a possibility for observing - I am speaking for myself - with all the senses.
K : The awakening of all the senses and the fullness of it - there's a quality of something totally different in that.
PJ : There must be something missing because - let me put it in other words - that explosion of the heart ...
K : That is a good phrase - ”explosion of the heart”.
PJ : That does not happen, sir. The explosion of the heart does not take place. That is really the crux.
K : Would you say that the brain is the centre of all our nervous, electrical responses? It is the centre of all thought. It is the centre of all confusion, of all pain, of all sorrow, anxiety, depression, aspiration, achievement, and so on. In the brain there is a great activity of confusion and of contradiction Love is not that. Therefore it must be something outside the brain. Just follow it logically. And we look at nature, or other human beings . ...
PJ : From inside the brain.
K : Yes, we look from inside the brain. We were walking yesterday with some of the people here, and there was complete silence even though there were bullock carts, children cycling, you know, all the other noises. There was nothing, just immense silence. And it was not silence out there. It was silence; the entire world was silent. And you were silent. And you felt the whole earth as part of you.
PJ : You see, sir, this is your statement, and I am listening.
K : Of course, it may be silly nonsense.
PJ : But the fact is that I do not wipe the tear of another.
K : No.
PJ : You see, sir, the senses working simultaneously give the brain great clarity, a great living, germinating creativity, but it doesn't wipe the tear of another.
K : No.
PJ : I am concerned with what it is that wipes the tear of another. Because unless that is there ....
K : Just a minute. Can the brain - that is my question - be so quiet that the activity of thought has completely ended in that second or in that period? Or is the brain always chattering?
PJ : Is it, sir, that the only thing which is legitimate is to be totally awake, that is, for the senses to operate fully and, then, never even query the other?
K : Of course. You don't even know the other. How can you question . . .?
PJ : . . . what is outside the skull.
K : Yes. All I know is what is within the skull. Right? And you come along and say, “As long as you're in there, you will solve nothing”. You point this out to me. And I listen to you because I see the logic of all this, the common sense of all this, and I say, “Quite right”. So I want to know what it is to make the brain quiet - though it has its own rhythms. We have tried everything, but the brain has never become quiet.
Meditation is not quietness. You try to bring quietness through control, through all kinds of tricks. But that's not the stillness and the beauty of silence. So where do we end up?
PJ : You see,, sir, everything else is man made. Only that is divinity and, unfortunately, we just don't know how to reach it, how to touch it.
K : I met a man the other day. He was a great painter. He said to me, “What man has made is the most beautiful thing”. That was the end of it for him. Then I pointed to a tree and said, “No one made that”, and he began to see. “Yes”, he said, “that's interesting”.

From ‘Fire in the Mind - Where do I Begin?’