Krishnamurti: Talk 5
Transcript of Talk 5, London, 25 June 1955
One of our problems, it seems to me, amongst so many others, is this dependence,dependence on people for our happiness, dependence on capacity, the dependence that leads the mind to cling to something. And the question is, can the mind ever be totally free from all dependence? I think that is a fundamental question and one which we should be constantly asking ourselves.
Obviously, superficial dependence is not what we are talking about, but at the deeper level there is that psychological demand for some kind of security, for some method which will assure the mind of a state of permanency; there is the search for an idea, a relationship, that will be enduring. As this is one of our major problems, it seems to me it is very important to go into it rather deeply, and not respond superficially with an immediate reaction.
Why do we depend? Psychologically, inwardly, we depend on a belief, on a system, on a philosophy, we ask another for a mode of conduct, we seek teachers who will give us a way of life which will lead us to some hope, some happiness. So we are always, are we not? searching for some kind of dependence, security. It is possible for the mind ever to free itself from this sense of dependence? Which does not mean that the mind must achieve independence, that is the only reaction to dependence. We are not talking of independence, of freedom from a particular state. If we can inquire, without the reaction of seeking freedom from a particular state of dependence, then we can go much more deeply into it. But if we are drawn away at a tangent in search of independence, we shall not understand this whole question of psychological dependence of which we are talking.
We know we depend, – on our relationships with people, or on some idea, or on a system of thought. Why? We accept the necessity for dependence, we say it is inevitable. We have never questioned the whole issue at all, why each one of us seeks some kind of dependence. Is it not that we really, deep down, demand security, permanency? Being in a state of confusion, we want someone to get us out of that confusion. So, we are always concerned with how to escape, or avoid, the state in which we are. In the process of avoiding that state, we are bound to create some kind of dependence, which be, comes our authority. If we depend on another for our security, for our inward well-being, there arise out of that dependence innumerable problems; and then we try to solve those problems, – the problems of attachment. But we never question, we never go into the problem of dependence itself. Perhaps if we can really intelligently, with full awareness, go into this problem. then we may find that dependence is not the issue at all, – that it is only a way of escaping from a deeper fact.
May I suggest that those who are taking notes should refrain from doing so. Because, these meetings will not be worthwhile if you are merely trying to remember what is said for afterwards. But if we can directly experience what is being said now, not afterwards, then it will have a definite significance, it will be a direct experience, and not an experience to be gathered later through your notes and thought over in memory. Also, if I may point it out, taking notes disturbs others around you.
As I was saying, what do we depend, and make dependence a problem? Actually, I do not think dependence is the problem; I think there is some other deeper factor that makes us depend. And if we can unravel that, then both dependence and the struggle for freedom will have very little significance; then all the problems which arise through dependence will wither away. So, what is the deeper issue? Is it that the mind abhors, fears, the idea of being alone? And does the mind know that state which it avoids? I depend on somebody, psychologically, inwardly, because of a state which I am trying to avoid but which I have never gone into, which I have never examined. So, my dependence on a person – for love, for encouragement, for guidance – becomes immensely important, as do all the many problems that arise from it. Whereas, if I am capable of looking at the factor that is making me depend, – on a person, on God, on prayer, on some rapacity, on some formula or conclusion which I call a belief, then perhaps I can discover that such dependence is the result of an inward demand which I have never really looked at, never considered.
Can we, this evening, look at that factor? – the factor which the mind avoids, that sense of complete loneliness with which we are superficially familiar. What is it to be lonely? Can we discuss that now and keep to that issue, and not introduce any other problem?
I think this is really very important. Because so long as that loneliness is not really understood, felt, penetrated, dissolved, whatever word you may like to use, – so long as that sense of loneliness remains, dependence is inevitable, and one can never be free, one can never find out for oneself that which is true, that which is religion. While I de&nd, there must be authority, there must be imitation, there must be various forms of compulsion, regimentation, and discipline to a certain pattern. So, can my mind find out what it is to be lonely, and go beyond it? – so that the mind is set totally free and therefore does not depend on beliefs, on gods, on systems, on prayers, or on anything else.
Surely, so long as we are seeking a result, an end, an ideal, that very urge to find creates dependence, from which arise the problems of envy, exclusion, isolation, and all the rest of it. So can my mind know the loneliness in which it actually is, though I may cover it up with knowledge, with relationship, amusement, and various other forms of distraction? Can I really understand that loneliness? Because, is it not one of our major problems, this attachment and the struggle to be detached? Can we talk this over together, or is that too impossible?
So long as there is attachment, dependence, there must be exclusion. The dependence on nationality, identification with a particular group, with a particular race. with a particular person or belief, obviously separates. So it may be that the mind is constantly seeking exclusion, as a separate entity, and is avoiding a deeper issue which is actually separative, – the self-enclosing process of its own thinking, which breeds loneliness. You know the feeling that one must identify oneself as being a Hindu, a Christian, belonging to a certain caste, group, race, – you know the whole business. If we can, each of us, understand the deeper issue involved, then perhaps alI influence which breeds dependence will come to an end, and the mind be wholly free. Perhaps this may be too difficult a problem to discuss, in such a large group?
Audience: Can you define the word `alone’, in contrast to `loneliness’?
Krishnamurti: Please – we are surely not seeking definitions, are we? We are asking if each one of us is aware of this loneliness? not now, perhaps, but we know of that state, and we know, do we not?, that we are escaping from this state through various means and so multiplying our problems. Now can I, through awareness, burn away the root of the problem? – so that it will never again arise, or if it does. I will know how to deal with it without causing further problems.
Audience: Does that mean we have to break unsatisfactory bonds?
Krishnamurti: Surely that is not what we are discussing, is it? I do not think we are following each other. And that is why I am hesitant as to whether it is possible to discuss this problem in so large a group.
We know. do we not?, that we are attached. We depend on people, on ideas. It is part of our nature, our being, to depend on somebody. And that dependence is called love. Now I am asking myself, and perhaps you also are asking yourselves, whether it is possible to free the mind. Psychologically, inwardly, from all dependence. Because I see that through dependence many, many problem; arise, – there is never an ending to them. Therefore I ask myself, is it possible to be so aware that the very awareness totally burns away this feeing of dependence on another, or on an idea, so that the mind is no longer exclusive, no longer isolated, because the demand for dependence has totally ceased?
For example, I depend on identification with a particular group; it satisfies me to call myself a Hindu or a Christian; to belong to a particular nationality is very satisfactory. In myself I feel dwarfed. I am a nobody, so to call myself somebody gives me satisfaction. That is a form of dependence at a very superficial level, perhaps; but it breeds the poison of nationalism. And there are so many other deeper forms of dependence. Now, can I go beyond all that, so that the mind will never depend psychologically, so that it has no dependence at all, and does not seek any form of security? It will not seek security if I can understand this sense of extraordinary exclusion, of which I am aware, and which I call loneliness, – thus self-enclosing process of thinking which breeds isolation.
So the problem is not how to be detached, how to free oneself from people or ideas, but, can the mind stop this process of enclosing itself through its own activities, through its demands, through its urges? So long as there is the idea of the `me’, the `I’, there must be loneliness. The very essence, the ultimate self-enclosing process, is the discovery of this extraordinary sense of loneliness. Can I burn that away, so that the mind never seeks any form of security, never demands?
This can only be answered, not by me, but by each one of us. I can only describe; but the description becomes merely a hindrance if it is not actually experienced. But if it reveals the process of your own thinking, then that very description is an awareness of yourself and of your own state. Then, can I remain in that state? Can I no longer wander away from the fact of loneliness. but remain there, without any escape, without any avoidance? Seeing, understanding, that dependence is not the problem but loneliness is, can my mind remain without any movement in that state which I have called loneliness? It is extraordinarily difficult, because the mind can never be with a fact; it either translates it, interprets it. or does something about the fact; it never is with the fact.
Now, if the mind can remain with the fact, without giving any opinion about the fact, without translating, without condemning, without avoiding it, then, is the fact different from the mind? Is there a division between the fact and the mind, or is the mind itself the fact? For example, I am lonely. I am aware of that, I know what it means; it is one of the problems of our daily existence, of our existence altogether. And I want to tackle for myself this question of dependence, and see if the mind can be really free, – not just speculatively or theoretically or philosophically, but actually be free of dependence. Because, if I depend on another for my love, it is not love; And I want to find out what that state is which we call love. In trying to find it out, obviously all sense of dependence, security in relationship, all sense of demand. desire for permanency, may go; and I may have to face something entirely different. So in inquiring, in going within myself, I may come upon this thing called loneliness. Now, can I remain with that? I mean, by `remain’, not interpreting it, not evaluating it, not condemning it, but just observing that state of loneliness without any withdrawal. Then, if my mind can remain with that state, is that state different from my mind? It may be that my mind itself is lonely, empty, – and not that there is a state of emptiness which the mind observes.
My mind observes loneliness, and avoids it, runs away from it. But if I do not run away from it, is there a division, is there a separation, is there an observer watching loneliness? Or, is there only a state of loneliness, my mind itself being empty, lonely? – not, that there is an observer who knows that there is loneliness.
I think this is important to grasp,swiftly, not verbalizing too much. We say now “I am envious, and I want to get rid of envy”, so there is an observer and the observed; the observer wishes to get rid of that which he observes. But is the observer not the same as the observed? It is the mind itself that has created the envy, and so the mind cannot do anything about envy.
So, my mind observes loneliness; the thinker is aware that he is lonely But by remaining with it, being fully in contact, which is, not to run away from it, not to translate and all the rest of it, then, is there a difference between the observer and the observed? Or is there only one state, which is, the mind itself is lonely, empty? Not that the mind observes itself as being empty, but mind itself is empty. Then, can the mind, being aware that it itself is empty, and that whatever its endeavour, any movement away from that emptiness is merely an escape, a dependence, can the mind put away all dependence and be what it is, completely empty, completely lonely? And if it is in that state, is there not freedom from all dependence, from all attachment?
Please, this is a thing that must be gone into, not accepted because I am saying it. It has no meaning of you merely accept it. But if you are experiencing the thing as we are going along, then you will see that any movement being evaluation, condemnation, translation, and so on, is a distraction from the fact of `what is’, a so creates a conflict between itself and the observed.
This is really to go further a question of whether the mind can ever be without effort, without duality, without conflict, and therefore be free. The moment the mind is caught in conflict it is not free. When there is no effort to be, then there is freedom. So can the mind be without effort, and therefore free?
Question: I am now able to accept problems on my own behalf. But how can I stop myself suffering on my children’s behalf, when they are affected by the same problems?
Krishnamurti; Why do we depend on our children? And also, do we love our children? If it is love, then how can there be dependence, how can there be suffering? Our idea of love is that we suffer for others. Is it love that suffers? Or is it that I depend on my children, that through them I am seeking immortality, fulfilment, and all the rest of it? So I want my children to be something; and when they are not that, I suffer. The problem may not be the children at all, it may be me. Again we come back to the same thing,perhaps we do not know what it is to love. If we did love our children, we would stop all wars tomorrow, obviously. We would not condition our children. They would not be Englishmen, Hindus, Brahmins, and non-Brahmins; they would be children.
But we do not love, and therefore we depend on our children; through them we hope to fulfil ourselves. So when the child, through whom we are going to fulfil, does something which is not what we demand, then there is sorrow, then there is conflict.
Merely putting a question and waiting for an answer has very little meaning. But if we can observe for ourselves the process of attachment, the process of seeking fulfilment through another, which is dependence and which must inevitably create sorrow,if we can see that as a fact for ourselves, then there may be something else, perhaps love. Then that relationship will produce quite a different society, quite a different world.
Question: When one has reached the stage of a quiet mind, and has no immediate problem, what proceeds from that stillness?
Krishnamurti: Quite an extraordinary question, is it not? You have taken it for granted that you have reached that still mind, and you want to know what happens after it. But to have a still mind is one of the most difficult things. Theoretically, it is the easiest; but factually, it is one of the most extraordinary states, which cannot be described. What happens you will discover when you come to it. But that coming to it is the problem, not what happens after.
You cannot come to that state. It is not a process. It is not something which you are going to achieve through a practice. It cannot be bought through time, through knowledge, through discipline, but only by understanding knowledge. by understanding the whole process of discipline, by understanding the total process of one’s own thinking, and not trying to achieve a result. Then, perhaps, that quietness may come into being. What happens afterwards is indescribable, it has no word and it has no `meaning’.
You see, every experience so long as there is an experiencer, leaves a memory, a scar. And to that memory the mind clings, and it wants more, and so breeds time. But the state of stillness is timeless, therefore there is no experiencer to experience that stillness.
Please, this is really, if you wish to understand it, very important. So long as there is an experiencer who says “I must experience stillness”, and knows the experience, then it is not stillness; it is a trick of the mind. When one says “I have experienced stillness”, it is just an avoidance of confusion, of conflict, – that is all. The stillness of which we are talking is something totally different. That is why it is very important to understand the thinker, the experiencer, the self that demands a state which it calls stillness. You may have a moment of stillness, but when you do, the mind clings to it, and lives in that stillness in memory. That is not stillness, that is merely a reaction. What we are talking of is something entirely different. It is a state in which there is no experiencer: and therefore such silence. quietness, is not an experience. If there is an entity who remembers that state, then there is an experiencer, therefore it is no longer that state.
This means really, to die to every experience, with never a moment of gathering, accumulating. After all, it is this accumulation that brings about conflict, the desire to have more. A mind that is accumulating, greedy, can never die to everything it has accumulated. It is only the mind that has died to everything it has accumulated, even to its highest experience, – only such a mind can know what that silence is. But that state cannot come about through discipline, because discipline implies the continuation of the experiencer, the strengthening of a particular intention towards a particular object, thereby giving the experiencer continuity.
If we see this thing very simply, very clearly, then we will find that silence of the mind of which we are talking. What happens after that is something that cannot be told, that cannot be described, because it has no `meaning’, – except in books and philosophy.
Audience: If we have not experienced that complete stillness, how can we know that it exists?
Krishnamurti: Why do we want to know that it exists? It may not exist at all, it may be my illusion, a fancy. But one can see that so long as there is conflict, life is a misery. In understanding conflict, I will know what the other means. It may be an illusion, an invention, a trick of the mind, – but in understanding the full significance of conflict I may find something entirely different.
My mind is concerned with the conflict within itself and without. Conflict inevitably arises so long as there is an experiencer who is accumulating who is gathering, and therefore always thinking in terms of time, of the more and the less. In understanding that, in being aware of that, there may come a state which may be called silence, give it any name you like. But the process is not the search for silence, for stillness, but rather the understanding of conflict. the understanding of myself in conflict.
I wonder if I have answered the question? – which is, how do I know that there is silence? How do I recognize it? You understand? So long as there is a process of recognition, there is no silence.
After all, the process of recognition is the process of the conditioned mind. But in understanding the whole content of the conditioned mind, then the mind itself becomes quiet, there is observer to recognize that he is in a state which he calls silence. Recognition of an experience has ceased.
Audience: I would like to ask if you recognize the teaching of the Buddha that right understanding will help to solve the inner problems of man, and that inner peace of the mind depends entirely on self-discipline. Do you agree with the teachings of Buddha?
Krishnamurti: If one is inquiring to find out the truth of anything, all authority must be set aside, surely. There is neither the Buddha nor the Christ when one wishes to find what is true. Which means, really, the mind must be capable of being completely alone, and not dependent. The Buddha may be wrong, Christ may be wrong, and one may be wrong oneself. One must come to the state, surely, of not accepting any authority of any kind. That is the first thing, – to dismantle the structure of authority. In dismantling the immense structure of tradition, that very process brings about an understanding. But merely to accept something because it has been said in a sacred book has very little meaning.
Surely, to find that which is beyond time, all the process of time must cease, must it not? The very process of search must come to an end. Because if I am seeking, then I depend, – not only on another, but also on my own experience; for if I have learned something, I try to use that to guide myself. To find what is true, there must be no search of any kind, – and that is the real stillness of the mind.
It is very difficult for a person who has been brought up in a particular culture, in a particular belief, with certain symbols of tremendous authority, to set aside all that and to think simply for himself and find out. He cannot think simply if he does not know himself, if there is no self-knowledge. And no one can give us self-knowledge, – no teacher, no book, no philosophy, no discipline. The self is in constant movement; as it lives, it must be understood. And only through self-knowledge, through understanding the process of my own thinking, obsessed in the mirror of every reaction, do I find out that so long as there is any movement of the `me’, of the mind, towards anything, – towards God, towards truth, towards peace, – then such a mind is not a quiet mind, it is still wanting to achieve, to grasp, to come to some state. If there is any form of authority, any compulsion, any imitation, the mind cannot understand. And to know that the mind imitates, to know that it is crippled by tradition, to be aware that it is pursuing its own experiences, its own projections, – that demands a great deal of insight, a great deal of awareness, of self-knowledge.
Only then, with the whole content of the mind, the whole consciousness, unravelled and understood, is there a possibility of a state which may be called stillness, – in which there is no experiencer, no recognition.