A religious life is a life in which the self is not

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A series of seven dialogues between Krishnamurti and Alain Naudé, recorded in Malibu, California, 1971-72.

Krishnamurti · Conversation with Alain Naudé 1 · The circus of man’s struggle

Why do we divide the world, the human being and the divine?

When I realise that my consciousness is the consciousness of the world, and the consciousness of the world is me, whatever change takes place in me affects the whole of consciousness.

Can human consciousness undergo a radical change?

To find out if there is something beyond this consciousness I must understand the content of consciousness. The mind must go beyond itself. 

Do we realise that the observer, seeing the content, examining, analysing, looking at it all, is the content itself?

If there is no thought, there is no thinker.

If the observer is the observed, what is the nature of change in consciousness. 

Man has become accustomed to take it for granted that will is the only way to bring about change, but will is not the factor of change. 

Consciousness only exists when there is conflict between fragments. 

Radical revolution in consciousness and of consciousness takes place when there is no conflict at all. 


Krishnamurti · Conversation with Alain Naudé 2 · On good and evil

Q: Do good and evil really exist or are they simply conditioned points of view?

Goodness is total order, not only outwardly but inwardly especially.

Is virtue the outcome of planning?

You cannot will to do good. Either you are good or not good; you cannot will goodness.

Will is the concentration of thought as resistance.

Are poisonous snakes, sharks and the appalling, frighteningly cruel things in nature evil?

The moment we assert that there is absolute evil, that very assertion is the denial of the good.

Goodness implies total abnegation of the self, because ‘the me’ is always separative.

Order means behaviour in freedom. Freedom means love, not pleasure. When one observes all this, one sees very clearly that there is a marvellous sense of absolute order.


Krishnamurti · Conversation with Alain Naudé 3 · Is there a permanent ego?

Is there a permanent ‘me’?

Unless I am free from the vulgar, I will continue representing the whole vulgarity of man.

I lead the usual life, along the small river, following that current. I am that current and ‘the me’ is bound to continue in that stream, with millions of others. I’m not different from those millions of others.

When you say, ‘My brother is dead,’ and ask whether he is living, as a separate consciousness, I question whether he was ever separate from the stream.

There is no permanent self. If there was a permanent self, it would be this stream.

Realising that I am like the rest of the world, that there is no ‘me’ separate, I can incarnate if I step out of the stream.

Change takes place away from the stream; in the stream there is no change.

What happens if you step out of the stream? The stepping out is the incarnation.

When the man of the stream steps out and looks, he has compassion.


Krishnamurti · Conversation with Alain Naudé 4 · Masters and hierarchy

Q: One finds in various teachings the idea of masters, conscious entities who work for the good of mankind. Is there a reservoir of wisdom? Do such entities exist, or does man want to have myths?

There is the reservoir of goodness and the reservoir of violence. Is there something which is not these two, that is beyond these two?

Is your mind capable of not being held in the reservoirs of goodness or violence?

When you understand these two opposites and go beyond them, meditation is not in terms of vision or action, but the state of silence which then is operating, an energy which then flows. That energy has no character.

When one asks, ‘Is there a hierarchy, a master, a group of evolved entities?’ you are asking from a point of view, or from desire, from hope.

What is the relationship between the current of vulgarity and that which is beyond and above the opposites?


Krishnamurti · Conversation with Alain Naudé 5 · Stepping out of the stream of the self

Is there in me a place where there is no corruption, where there is real, absolute peace, order?

The stream of vulgarity has its source in the self, ‘the me’, the ego.

When there is no self, there is a responsibility for humanity.

What is the relationship between this stream, the self which is perpetuating the stream, and the unknown?

How is a man who is in the stream to understand instantly, without going through the evolutionary process?

You step out of the stream if you deny time, in the sense of becoming, being, achieving, comparing.

Can the mind, without any motive, negate the self?


Krishnamurti · Conversation with Alain Naudé 6 · A mind that is not empty can never find truth

Q: Are the various scriptures of India and the Middle East similar to or in contradiction to your teaching?

Can thought end right through one’s consciousness? Must thought not end for something new to be observed?

How does the mind look at itself? Does it look as an observer different from the observed, or without the observer and therefore there is only the observed?

Can consciousness empty itself of its content?

What has happened to the mind that has discarded the weight of becoming, of tradition, myth, gurus and authority?

A mind that has no space can never find truth. A mind that is not empty can never find truth.

Remaining with the fact of hurt.

When you are nothing, you love.

There is a movement in silence that has no beginning and no end, a movement that is always new.

Inquiry is different from effort, from seeking, from achievement.


Krishnamurti · Conversation with Alain Naudé 7 · Religion and meditation

Q: Is there any connection between the supernatural and religion?

Is a religious life to lead a good life?

A religious life is a life in which the self is not.

We get caught in the so-called mysterious. But when the self is not, there is a greater, vaster mystery.

Self-knowing is much more important than acquiring some kind of power.

What place has meditation in religious life?

Meditation is not control, is not a practice, is not an effort to achieve a glorious experience, or to remain in a particular state of consciousness.

If the self is, the religious life is not. Can one dissolve the self?

Why are certain human beings entrenched in the myth of Jesus or Krishna?

Attachment destroys freedom.

Where there is freedom there is joy. It is that quality of mind that has this sense of joy and freedom that perceives.

Meditation means freedom and joy to observe, without any attachment, without any partial perception.


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