The Mind of J. Krishnamurthi: 1
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But modern artists seem to be so impoverished and emply, inwardly. It w'as in a Bombay journal, some months back. K: No, 1 never made this statement. I'm very fond of India. I contradict this. Who nas been attributing such things to me? K; But I am not settled there. J travel around and move from country to country and have not been to the States for the last five years. In fact, a greater part of any years these days 1 spend in India — about five months in a year. My books are published in the States, true, but that is only because I have a few friends there who help me in editing my manuscripts I have no home there, no Ashram, or anything of that type.
We went for two or three walks to- gether to the seashore; once or twice we sat on the verandah of the upper floor of the new Star Office, which had been lent to me as my quarters during my stay. I found Krishnamurti. Are we to think of the individual libe- rated as still active in some way or another? They take it as putting a full stop to life. It is wrong, he said to regard liberation as annihilation. It is more truly a beginning. And yet, in one sense, it is not a beginning at all, since pure life is altogether out of Time. Still, for the purpose of answering this particular question, we may speiik of it as a beginning; for it is the commencement of True or Natural Life.
Up till the point of liberation we are leading a sham life. We are in the realm of illusion. Only after that do we enter upon life, as it is really meant, to be. A goal it is, for those who are striving to reach it; but in it- self it is more truly a starting point. There is nothing in liberation, as such, he went on, to preclude further activity in the phenomenal worlds, Tliere can, of course, be no compulsion, since freedom from compulsion is implicit in the idea of liberation.
But if the liberated life so wills, it can manifest itself in the worlds of matter', and, in so far as it enters into those worlds, it will come under the law of those worlds, which is evolution. Formerly there was or seemed to be an Ego, and growth appeared as the unfolding of this. Now there is no longer an Ego; it has disappeared for ever at libe''ation.
The chief mark of post-liberation activity will be that it is ab- solutely natural, effortless, spontaneous, unsclfcon- scious. The life thus manifested in the material worlds will have its roots in the Eternal. It will have realised its own universality. That is to say, will its experience be referred, as ours is, to an appreceiving centre? Will it preserve any kind of conscious self-identity, or will it, by reason of its universality, lose this completely in its identifi- cation of itself with the life of others? It still, so to speak, looks out on the world through its own eyes and refers all its experience to itself.
It is tha; far more subtle thing — individual uni- queness. And here we come to another thing which must almost elude our powers of thought. In- dividual uniqueness is not a differentiation on the form side, as the Ego is. It is a differentiation inherent in the life itself, and it only comes into full action, if one may put it so, when the Ego has ceased to exist. Such uniqueness is what makes every individual life dif- ferent from every other and gives it its own centre of consciousness: and even when the universal life has been realised, this uniqueness remains.
The nearest we can go to it in concrete lan- guage, is to describe it as the focus through which the universal life is released, and through which it mani- fests freely after liberation. For a human being there can be no complete merging in the Absolute, in the sense of evaporation into the Totality of Life. The differentiation, however, abstract and tenuous, involved in this individual uniqueness is everlasting; and it is this tliat makes possible any subsequent evolutionary growth, which the liberated life may still experience in the world of form, if it so wills.
For, when once it has been purified of all egoism, it becomes, one may say, a new window through which the universal life can realise itself. Every individual life, in this way. And the point at which this gift is handed over to the universal life is what we call liberation. For it is then that the Ego relin- quishes that which it has helped to build up; and a' greater life takes this over.
To put it another way, tlie Ego dies in order that Life may live. That which is liberated is iUways life, not the individual. Indeed it is at the expense of the in- dividual that. Life atone benefits by the transaction, ft is true that the indivi- dual uniqueness, which persists on Ixith sides of the liberating process, finds that, instead of belonging to the Fgo, it has really all along belonged to The life universal. But that discovery is made at.
The process towards liberation must always seem like the killing out of inviividuality — hence its painfulness. Liberation, then, is the liberating of life by the destruction of separateness, so that this life can thenceforward function in its fullness through the pure form of individual uniqueness. And this is the Natural Life, referred to before, which is established, and which first comes into possession of itself, at liberation. Is there any mark, [ asked him.
His answer was that there is one simple mark, which holds good of every manifestation of pure, or universal, life. It is that it acts but never reacts. Until we have got rid of the Ego. Take love, for example. This is, in most ca. A person who does not happen to set up this reaction, we do not love.
But after liberation, when pure life is at work, what occurs is quite the reverse. Then love becomes a life-force going out from ourselves. It may be compared to a searchlight, which renders loveable all on whom its beam may happen to fall. It is thus independent of its objects, since the light can be turned just as easily upon one as another. And the same thing is true of everything else in the liberated life. Wisdom, for instance, is not knowledge derived from anything outside. It is a light which, going forth from ourselves, illumines everything which it may touch.
It is pure life mani- festing as cognition. And here, incidentally, we can sec the meaning of the statement, so often made by Krishnamurli, that the liberated life means the poise of love and reason. The explanation is that, after the characteristics of pure life, they become positive, act- ing outward from an inner centre, and are never driven back upon themselves by reactions.
No impact from outside can disturb its equilibrium; on the con- trary, it is ever ready to leap forth in any direction, as soon as the impulse comes from within. The great thing that we have all to do, therefore, said Krishnamurti, is gradually to change our reactions into actions. Every movement of the life within us must become self-originating. Such substitution of pure action for reaction is the true de- tachment; for it is, of its own nature, indilTerent to objects. It is also liberation; for the sole life of the Ego — which itsclt is the sole obstacle to freedom — consists in reactions.
Abolish the reactions and sub- stitute pure actions and the Ego automaticaHy dis- appears. Here then is one way of working tor libe- ration. It will be a life of pure action, devoid of reactions; and we can fit this in, m tiieiiglit, with any kind of activity on the form side One fuither point, he a. The statement, therefore, that liberation can be reach- ed at any stage should be modified. Krishnamurti explained what he meant by this last remark. Pure life, he said, cannot be subdivided. It is an absolute. From this point of vaew the whole journey towards liberation it one can put it so i; one long liberation The great thing is to be facing in the right direction.
After that, the length of time which the journey may take docs not matter. Tliat is w'hy he speaks sometimes of the necessity of aiming at perfection in all the little things of life. By doing this. YOUNG Though slender, frail, and graying, Jidda Krishna- murti is intense, extremely alert, and spiritually so awake that what he says potentially illuminates eveiy corner of the human soul. In the presence of this world-famed thinker, lecturer, author, my own aware- ness and understanding were turned on to such a de- gree as to change the course of my everyday existence.
In June, , 1 talked with Krishnamurti at his home in Ojai, California. Our conversation took place in a small, severely plain sitting room, set aside for such purposes and kept separate from the rest of the rambling house overlooking the Ojai Valley. We sat opposite each other: he, completely attentive, using hand gestures and facial expressions to amplify the meaning of what he said; I nervous and excited. Clearly this inner dis- turbance must be understood. How can anyone live intelligently and sanely without sclf-knonwlcdge?
And just how well do wc know ourselves? Are we fully aware all day and every day of what we're thinking and feeling? What do you think of the birds. To think rightly you must know yourself. To know yourself you must be detached, absolutely honest, free from judgement. Close examinarton will automatically do this, like slowing down the mo- vie.
You cannot write all of them, but as many as possible. I suppose one could make sure no one could understand it. Also during an activity, such as washing dishes, you can't write, but the process of watching is going on. Afterwards you can write down your thoughts. I said. Are you aw'are all the time? The difficult thing is to activate the faculty.
Was this a momentary state? Under what circumstances would it flourish? Habits of con- demnation, justification, and anxiety acted as distrac- tion from awareness and prevented objective observe tion. I felt I needed more help. A week later T invited Krishnamurti to a picnic at a resort where we were staying iluring our vacation m Ojai. After lunch 1 questioned him further about aware- nes. Your body is jr. So yoirre merely moving within the circle of experience. Then look at it and watch your reactions to it.
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Try to find out what you think about u. It will come to you later. There was a long silence during which we sat motionless. Anything one did was useless; yet, there was still an inner move- ment. It's like attempting to fill an empty, leaky bucket which can never be tilled. It never completely or permanently fills the whole vessel. So why do you go on doing this? Really tackle the whole thing. If you just sit back and say. The work of processing food was the most constructive occupation avaihible for me during the war. So why arc you depressed?
Why is that? David, why don't you really tackle this question of the void within? If you have a leaky, broken bucket, what do you do with it? As 1 disentangled niy'cif from the past, 1 first shed college conditioning, then school influences, and later some of my childhood fears.
As I faced things and began to look at myself honestly, I became less nervous; yet, there remained other layers of conditioning, particularly inherited un- conscic'us ones of my Hnglish and Scottish background. Being awake is like a flame illuminating every- thing within. First see it verbally. Tlien feel it out — being stimulated and being awake. Now go into it deeply, seeing its full significance. Really look at ttiis. Really see the dilTcrcnce between illumination and stimulation.
Jiddu Krishnamurti bibliography - Wikipedia
My nerves were calm. I felt the touch of something vital and tremendous.
Tlie expansion of conscioust. The thing tliat matters is to see the import- ance of light. But the thing that matters is to see the importance of light.
It wants to hold onto the light. I saw that in worry- ing about how to keep alert my mind was seeking a continuation of the experience and that this action was itself a cause of going to sleep. In this way the in- terview was a meditation, a process of self-knowing. There was an intensification of hearing, seeing, and feeling and my questions felt like interruptions during a concert or sunset. Experiment with it for a while. Be interest- ed in light apart from David Young. What happens to the other seventy per cent? In other words this watching is going on all the time. Listen as if listening to the rain.
It will tell you much more than you can tell it. Of course there must be some tension on your part; there must be interplay. For example, you work on your own and then you come to hear what 1 have to say. When you lis- ten, then do so without trying to get something out of it. You're reading a book. Read every page. How else can you know the whole story? Find out the whole story of pain and pleasure. Take sensuality in its most general sense — eating, sense of power, achiev- ing, taking sides — in fact craving in all its forms.
We have to watch very carefully all the time. Sup- pose we look at a picture; we judge it, criticize and so on, instead of really seeing what it has to say. It became more of an actuality to me — to gather informa- tion about oneself is merely to accumulate memories, but to observe the movement of action is a living process. By listening very quietly when alone and unoccupied, not only to outside sounds but alsc to my inner being, and by watching very carefully and feeling, any scrap of light, however small and apparently insignificant, I di. At the same time 1 still felt as if I were groping in a fog, so I had the urge to see Krishnamurti again in February, If one is ill one isri i so awake.
One has to be alert, physically, emo- tionally. When I say alone. I mean alone. If you haven't a room to your- self, go out under a tree somewhere. Spew out everything, jealousy, everything. Play with it. As it turned out, this interview had to last me seve- ral years. It became increasingly difficult to find space m my life for freshness. Youthful vitality was all too soon beginning to dwindle. The necessity for finding inner freedom from pres- sures and influences was urgent. Perhaps a better un- derstanding of meditation would help.
Fortunately, m June, ]d52, Krishnamurti was back in Ojai and he was kind enough to find time for a conversation with me. After we had exchanged greetings, he sat quietly and waited for my question. Those are the facts. Never mind about any explanation as to why you do these things. Just look at the facts. Really see them. Of course you can't inquire all day, but you can be alert.
Would you like to go for a walk? We walked at a brisk pace througli orange groves and talked about world conditions, but for the most part we enjoyed nature silently. Together we looked out over the beautiful valley and at the setting sun Always at this blessed hour there's peace — op- portunity for meditation. On first listening to Krishnamurti I had the impres- sion paradise was just around the corner and if we did as he said we'd be there. Tlie inclination was to use his words as a formula to be followed and to be im- proved upon as he used new phrases. The task, how- ever, proved to be impossible.
There was a constant conflict between what should be according to the for- mula and the actual. Obviously I was going about it the wrong way. Tliis opened a whole new world and indicated a meditative process quite different froom the usual prac- tices. Generally, meditation means repetition of a mant- ram, a phrase, a chant or else concentration on an image such as that of the Christ or Buddha or on an idea such as goodness, peace, or love.
These methods are not without results but they are mechanical in na- ture and eventually deaden the mind. On the other hand, inquiry into what is, a perception of the truth, is ever fresh, ever vital. This was helpful and at least led me to see the importance of being a light unto myself. Now I realize I must rely on my own light, however dim it may be. Instead of merely reacting to events and circumstances, instead of looking to experience, to music, to gurus, or to some other influence to shock the mind into a different state, I see the mind has to be Its own challenge.
There is new energy. Tin no longer getting old too fast, and even though Fm sixty I feel eager for another twenty years work. Krishnamurti has given the modern world a clear, simple expression of the truth. As far as my own life is concerned his teachings have stood the test of time. Here is art, exploring the art of life: a convetsation, apparently casual, yet flashing with insight into ques- tions with which all alert minds labour. We are permitted to print the conversation, infortnally, as it took place, at Castle Eerde, Ommen, Holland, between J.
Krishna- murti and Leopold Stokowski, fanums conductor of the Philadelphia Orchestra. Tlic dramatist — stage, actors, lights, costumes, de- coration in color and form. It seems to me that music IS the least material of the arts, and perhaps we c mld even conceive of an art still subtler than that. He has developed whaL.. Inspiration, according to my idea, is keepim; intelligence, enthusiastically awakened.
A sculptor would express that intelligence in stone. You '. Wliat matters is the inspiration. Sir, that is the whole point. You get a new idea because you keep your intelligence awaken- ed. It was there be- fore. I have the feeling that it has been there in the background a long time — I do not know how long — and that it has just come forward. I am keeping my intelligence awake, and if there is beauty, I want to translate that vision into something that people will understand.
I am only one form in the sense that we are discussing, and there may be the form of a poet, a sculptor, a musician and so on. A clever man IS not an intelligent man. Or, I should rather say that a clever man need not necessarily be an intelligent man. Intuition is the highest point of intelligence. Now, you can only keep alive that in- telligence.
Intuition is, the apotheosis, the culmination, the accumulation of intelligence. May I ask you another question? If, as you say, liberation and hap- piness are the aim of our individual lives, what is the final goal of all life collectively? I say, it is exactly the same. What divides individuals? Your form is dif- ferent from mine, but that life behind you and behind me is the same. So life is unity; therefore your life and my life must likewise culminate in that which is eternal, that which is freedom and happiness.
Sir, isn't it like a child who says: teach me higher mathematics! My reply would be: it would be useless to teach you higgler mathematics unless you have first learnt algebra. People remember better what is brief. It has always seemed to me that art-works should be anonymous.
Tlie question in my mind is: Is a poem, or drama or picture or symphony the expression of its creator, or is he the medium through which creative forces flow? What I am interested in is to compare our sensations when we are creating in our respective me- diums? Do you ever feel a total stranger to what you have w'ritten? Tliat is not like me at all. And that is my whole point If yoit keep your mind, your emotions, your body in harmony, pure and strong, then that highest point of intelligence, out of which the intuition acts.
That is the only guide. Now take, for instance, poets, dramatists, musi- cians, all artists; they should be anonymous, detached from all that they create. To be, to give and to be detached from what you give. You see what I mean? They want their degrees and titles. You cannot describe that which gives you inspiration to write music, can you?
It is neither. It is far beyono matter, time and space. It is limited by its banks. Is there a standard or criterion of beauty in art, or does each person find his own beauty to which he res- ponds? The question is related to the question of taste. People are always.
By what authority do they say that? Then can any authority say what is good or bad in art? Sir, you hear music and I hear music; you hear a whole vast plane of vibrations, I only hear that much — but that much fits in with all your vast plane. It is a question of personal absorption, experience. So the answer is like that to the other question.
In itself it is both relative and ab- solute, but for us it is relative. What is the function of life, of all life? If each man realizes that freedom is the common goal, each one then in shaping, in adapting himself to this common goal can only create order. Then there must be order.
But if you and I were the authorities who laid down laws for.
Introduction and Short Background
Society, we should keep in mind all the time that, for the murderer, as for ourselves, the goal is the same, which is freedom. It is no good killing him because he has killed some- one else. You also want experience, but experience which injures another, which interferes with another, cannot lead to your ultimate happiness and freedom. ITiat is, precept, example Sir, if you are a musician, and I am learning from you. I would watch every movement that you make.
Real facts or erudition? A survey of my lectures? A synthe-. We nc. It IS being used often nowadays, but in the sense of a change in the world which will lead to an inner change in man, while you demand an immediate and total revolution in consciousne. We have now electronic com- puters with performances improving at a fantastic rate; soon we shall be able to go to the moon or further; biology will soon unveil the mystery of life and even create life. We know all this; we do not need to go over it again. Among the universal confusion man seeks material security which only technology can give.
Re- ligiohs have become obsolete; they no longer influence the course of events; but tlie fundamental questions remain without answer. The questions of time, pain and fear. SUARES: We all agree that everything in the world is undergoing a fundamental change; why should we not expect a commensurate change happening in our minds? Will an electronic brain do? Consciousness is not only brain. I know. Have it all in mind and you will see at how deep a level the mutation is needed. SUARES: In France at present the view is spread- ing that since the world affairs have become infinitely complex, a collective mental effort is required which would assemble and integrate the tangled strands of our knowledge.
There is also the problem of religion. Can we think of a religion of the future, based on all we know about the universe and on the deepest feelings of the human heart?
And also the question of fear which lurks in every modern man, be he old or young. Could you tell me what are you aiming at? While he influences his surrounding, his surrounding will influence him. IRTI : Jt is not exactly so. Man a. It cannot affect the whole of him, the deepest in him. No outer pressure can do it; it can affect only t! Nor can psychoanalysis came mutation for all analysis needs time. Nor will it be precipitated by e.
In the ca. Society always contradict. It demands effort from its tuembers and creates conflict. But contradiction, con- flict.
Even words are only symbols. One must go beyond words. Leave them alone. Every theology shows iminaturily. Let us not lose the point. We were talking of experience and that an experience always conditions. Every experience, not only the so- called spiritual experience, has its roots in the past. My consciousness arrogates the opposite of itself, and imagines the opposite to be reality, happy, exalted and consoling.
The Catholic or the Buddhist builds and protects the image of the Holy Virgin or of the Buddlia and these constructions create intense emotions in the same unexplored layers of the unconscious, which have been responsible for the visions and now take them for reality. The symbols or the words become more important th.
The words and the conditioning by words give life to each other in a vicious circle. The memory of an intense emotion, the impact of an ecstasy, create the desire for a repetition and the symbol becomes the supreme inner authority, the ideal towards which all the efforts converge llie re-capture of the vision be- comes the goal of lif-. But thought itself creates a gap I'ctween the individual as he is and the symbol or the ideal. Mutation is not possible unless we bridge this gap. Mutation can happen only when all experience ceases completely. The awakened man is free from ex- periences.
But everybody seems to be in search of ever deeper and vaster experiences. We are all con- vinced that the more experiences we have, the more we are alive. But we do not li reality, vze live sym- bols, concepts, ideals and words. We feed on words. We live by words, not facts. In all walks of life, whether spiri- tual or sexual, in our work or leisure, we are stimulat- ed by words.
Words organise themselves into thoughts and ideas; they excite us and the greater the gap be- tween reality what we are and the ideal which we are not , the more intensely we imagine ourselves to live. And thus we destroy all possibility of mutation. Mutation is not possible as long as there is in consciousness a conflict of any kind. As long as the authority of the Church or State rules our minds, there can be no mutation. As long as your personal experiences create the inner authority based on memory, there can be no mutation.
As long as we adapt and imitate, there can be no mutation. As long as there is evasion of any kind, there can be no mutation.
As long as 1 strain in self-discipline, or believe in a revelation, or have an ideal, however ex- alted, there can be no mutation. As long as I try to know myself through psychological analysis, there can be no mutation. As long as wc cling to images, sym- bols or ideas, there can be no mutation. I would even go beyond; As long as there is thought, there can be no mutation. Die to systems, to sym- bols, to words, for they are all factors contributing to corruption.
Die to you own psyche, the maker of time which has no reality, the time of memories and hopes. SUARES: When consciousness has lost its bear- ings and is deprived of the very notion of its own identity, what will remain then but despair, anxiety and fear?
As One Is: To Free the Mind from All Conditioning
And I ani prepared to admit tliat at its very depth conscious- ness needs that fear. To be aware of the cause-effect of a problem needs certain swift pliability of mind-heart for the cause-effect is constantly being modified, undergoing continual change Karma is this bondage to cause-effect. Karma is not an ever enduring chain So long as I do not know myself, the ways and compulsions of my own mind, unconscious as well as conscious, there must be suffering. After all, we suffer because of ignorance - ignorance in the sense of not knowing oneself. By your own acts you are being conditioned, but at any moment you can break the chain of limitation.
So you are a free agent at all times but you are conditioning yourself through ignorance, fear We are conditioned and that conditioning is our consciousness. This consciousness which is conditioning itself through it's own volitional activities, this ''I''-process of ignorance, wants, fear, illusion-is the centre of action.
This centre is continually reforming itself, and creating anew it's own limitations through it's own volitional activities and so there is always conflict, pain, sorrow. There must be a fundamental change in consciousness, in this very centre of action And what is consciousness? To be conscious of something, to be aware of, to be able to recognise, to understand, that is the whole field in which the mind is in operation, and that is more or less what we mean by consciousness. We began with the words consciousness, thought, brain, and mind.
We discussed consciousness, and K asked, "How do you define it? I said that consciousness was the sense of existing, of being. The sense that one "is. The part is revealed in the 'now' as the fragment," I responded. Thought is a fragment. Can thought, which is a fragment, see the whole of consciousness?. Thought is a broken piece in movement. That fragment, that thought, cannot see the whole. Thought does not see it is hurt; it says,'I am hurt'. Thought can never be aware of the total content of consciousness.
It can only be aware of the fragment. What is the total content of consciousness? You say consciousness implies existence-what will give holistic meaning to consciousness? Not only my life, your life, but the life of the animal, the tree; the totality of all life,'' said Krishnaji Do you mean consciousness is the whole phenomenon of life-of existence? Psychological turmoil, anxiety can affect the organism of man and plant.
That is the process of mankind. It is global. It is the common fate of man. You say it can perceive. Is the mind an instrument or a field? Is it the whole field-or part of the field? I don't think emotions-sensation-can possibly bring about a perception of the whole. A field circumscribed. The mind includes the brain. Is time part of the field-part of the mind? Krishnaji was extending the area of investigation. I see the germ of what it is.
To observe with all your senses-in that there is no identification, The question is, can you look with all your senses awakened? Krishnaji continued to probe as he questioned. Can I find out if there is a totally different dimension? A state where consciousness as we know it ceases? The only instrument you do not negate is the movement of the sensory. Then the senses do not produce the psychological structure, as the 'me'. The movement of thought, emotions, as fear, hate, attachment, are going on in the brain endlessly.
We want to bring about order in it. What instrument or quality is necessary to move out of this enchaining circle of consciousness? I see that there is total disorder in everyday life. Order is necessary. What will bring order? Pg Biography of K by Pupul Jayakar. What is sensation? If one may go into it now.
The actual meaning of that word is "the activity of the senses" Right? So what is the origin of desire? We live by sensation Right? We live by sensation. If I observe the whole process of desire in myself I see there is always an object towards which my mind is directed for further sensation. There is perception, contact, sensation and desire and the mind becomes the mechanical instrument of all this process.
So sensation becomes monstrously important and it's problems overwhelming and if we do not penetrate deeply and comprehend its processes our life will be shallow and utterly vain and miserable If there was no sensation both biologically and psychologically we would be dead human beings. That crow calling that is acting on the ear drum-nerves-and translating the noise into the cry of a crow. That is a sensation. You see a nice sari and shirt. Read Article at publisher's site.
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