Our Fragmented Consciousness


Krishnamurti: The consciousness of the world is my consciousness. In that consciousness is all the content of human endeavour, human misery, human cruelty, mischief, all human activities are within that consciousness. Within that consciousness man has brought about this entity which says, “I am separate from my consciousness.” The observer there says, “I am different from the thing observed.” The thinker says, “My thoughts are different from me.” First, is that so?

Naudé: We all believe that the two entities are different. We say to ourselves, “I must not be angry, I must not be sorrowful, I must improve, I must change myself.” We are saying this either tacitly or consciously all the time.

Krishnamurti: Because we think these two are separate. Now we are trying to point out that they are not separate, that they are one, because if there is no thought at all there is no thinker.

Naudé: That is right.

Krishnamurti: If there is nothing observed there is no observer.

Naudé: There are a hundred observers and a hundred thinkers during the course of the day.

Krishnamurti: I am just saying: is that so? I observe that red-tailed hawk flying by. I see it. When I observe that bird, am I observing with the image I have about that bird, or am I merely observing? Is there only mere observation? If there is an image, which is words, memory and all the rest of it, then there is an observer watching the bird go by. If there is only observation, then there is no observer.

Naudé: Would you explain why there is an observer when I look at the bird with an image?

Krishnamurti: Because the observer is the past. The observer is the censor, is the accumulated knowledge, experience, memory; that is the observer, with that he observes the world. His accumulated knowledge is different from your accumulated knowledge.

Naudé: Are you saying that this total consciousness which is the problem, is not different from the observer who is going to deal with it, and this would seem to bring us to a deadlock, because the thing we are trying to change is the person trying to change it? And the question is: what then?

Krishnamurti: That is just it. If the observer is the observed, what is the nature of change in consciousness? That is what we are trying to find out. We realize that there must be a radical revolution in consciousness. How is this to take place? Is it to take place through the observer? When the observer is separate from the observed, then this change is merely juggling with the various contents of consciousness.

Naudé: That’s right.

Krishnamurti: Now let’s go slowly. One realizes that the observer is the observed, the thinker is the thought, that is a fact. Let’s stop there a minute.

Naudé: Are you saying that the thinker is the totality of all these thoughts which create the confusion?

Krishnamurti: The thinker is the thought, whether it is many, or one.

Naudé: But there is a difference, because the thinker thinks of himself as some sort of crystallized concrete entity. Even through this discussion, the thinker sees himself as the concrete entity to whom all these thoughts, all this confusion belongs.

Krishnamurti: That concrete entity, as you say, is the result of thought.

Naudé: That concrete entity is…

Krishnamurti: …put together by thought.

Naudé: Put together by his thoughts.

Krishnamurti: By thought, not “his”, by thought.

Naudé: Yes.

Krishnamurti: And thought sees that there must be a change. This concrete entity, which is the result of thought, hopes to change the content.

Naudé: Itself.

Krishnamurti: And so there is a battle between the observer and the observed. The battle consists of trying to control, change, shape, suppress, give a new shape, all that, that is the battle that goes on all the time in our life. But when the mind understands the truth that the observer, the experiencer, the thinker, is the thought, is the experience, is the observed, then what takes place? – knowing that there must be a radical change.

Naudé: That is a fact.

Krishnamurti: And when the observer, who wants to change, realizes he is part of what has to be changed?

Naudé: That he is in fact a thief pretending to be a policeman to catch himself.

Krishnamurti: Right. So what takes place?

Naudé: You see, Sir, people don’t believe this; they say, “By exercising will I have stopped smoking, by exercising will I have got up earlier, I have lost weight and I have learnt languages; they say, “I am the master of my destiny, I can change” – everybody really believes this. Everybody believes that he is capable somehow of exercising will upon his own life, upon his own behaviour, and his own thinking.

Krishnamurti: Which means, one has to understand the meaning of effort. What it is, why effort exists at all. Is that the way to bring about a transformation in consciousness? Through effort, through will?

Naudé: Yes.

Krishnamurti: Which means what? Change through conflict. When there is the operation of will, it is a form of resistance; to overcome, to suppress, to deny, to escape – all that is will in action. That means life is then a constant battle.

Naudé: Are you saying that simply one element in this consciousness is dominating another?

Krishnamurti: Obviously. One fragment dominates another fragment.

Naudé: And that there is still conflict? There is still disorder by that very fact. Yes, this is clear.

Krishnamurti: So, the central fact still remains. There must be a radical transformation in consciousness and of consciousness. Now, how is this to be brought about? That is the real question.

Naudé: Yes.

Krishnamurti: We have approached it by thinking that one fragment is superior to the rest, to the other fragments within the field of consciousness.

Naudé: Indeed we have.

Krishnamurti: Now that fragment which we call superior, intelligence, intellect, reason, logic, is the product of the many other fragments. One fragment has assumed authority over other fragments. But it is still a fragment and therefore there is a battle between it and the many other fragments. So is it possible to see that this fragmentation does not solve our problems?

Naudé: Because it causes the division and the conflict, which right from the start was our problem.

Krishnamurti: That is, when there is division between man and woman there is conflict. When there is a division between Germany and England or Russia, there is conflict.

Naudé: And all this is division within consciousness itself. Also, the exercise of will upon consciousness is again a division within consciousness.

Krishnamurti: So one has to be free of the idea that through will you can change the content. That is important to understand.

Naudé: Yes, that the exercise of will is simply the tyranny of one fragment over another.

Krishnamurti: That’s simple. One also realizes that to be free of will is to be free of this fragmentation.

Naudé: But religions in the world have always called upon will to come in and do something.

Krishnamurti: Yes. But we are denying the whole of that.

Naudé: Yes.

Krishnamurti: So what is a mind to do, or not to do, when it sees will is not the way, when it sees that one fragment taking charge over another fragment is still fragmentation and therefore conflict? – and therefore still within the field of misery. Then what is such a mind to do?

Naudé: Yes, this is really the question.

Krishnamurti: Now, for such a mind is there anything to do?

Naudé: When you say that, one says, “If there is nothing to do then the circus goes on.”

Krishnamurti: No, Sir. Look! The circus goes on only when there is the exercise of will.

Naudé: Are you saying that the circus that we have been discussing and trying to change, is in fact made up of will?

Krishnamurti: My will against your will, and so on.

Naudé: My will against another part of me.

Krishnamurti: And so on.

Naudé: My desire to smoke…

Krishnamurti: That’s just it. A mind which starts by saying, “I must change,” realizes that one fragment asserting it must change is still in conflict with another fragment, which is part of consciousness. It realizes that. Therefore it also realizes that will, to which man has become accustomed, which he takes for granted is the only way to bring about change…

Naudé:…is not the factor of change.

Krishnamurti: Is not the factor of change. Therefore such a mind has come to quite a different height.

Naudé: It has cleared up a great deal.

Krishnamurti: A vast quantity of rubbish.

Naudé: It has cleared up the division between the inner and the outer; the division between consciousness and its content. It has cleared up also the division between the conscious entity and the consciousness belonging to him and the various fragments. And it has cleared up the division between different fragments in that consciousness.

Krishnamurti: So what has happened? What has happened to the mind that has seen all this? Not theoretically but actually felt it and says, “No more will in my life”. Which means no more resistance in my life.

Naudé: This is so extraordinary it is like finding the sky at the bottom, one day. It is such a great change, it is difficult to say what the extent of that change is.

Krishnamurti: It has already taken place! That is my point.

Naudé: You are saying that there is no more will, there is no more effort, there is no more division between the outside and the inside…

Krishnamurti: …no more fragmentation within consciousness.

Naudé: No more fragmentation.

Krishnamurti: That is very important to understand, Sir.

Naudé: No more observer separate from what he has observed.

Krishnamurti: Which means what? No fragmentation within consciousness. Which means consciousness only exists when there is conflict between fragments.

Naudé: I am not sure that I have understood that. Consciousness is its fragments?

Krishnamurti: Consciousness is its fragments and consciousness is the battle between the fragments.

Naudé: Are you saying that there are only fragments because they are in conflict, in battle? When they are not battling together they are not fragments, because they are not acting as parts. The acting of one part on another ceases. That is what it means when you say fragmentation. That is what fragmentation

Krishnamurti: See what has taken place!

Naudé: The fragments disappear when they are not acting against each other.

Krishnamurti: Naturally! When Pakistan and India…

Naudé: …are no longer fighting, there is no more Pakistan and India.

Krishnamurti: Naturally.

Naudé: Are you saying that that is the change?

Krishnamurti: Wait, I don’t know yet. We’ll go into it. A human mind has realized that the world is “me” and I am the world, my consciousness is the consciousness of the world, and the world’s consciousness is me. The content of consciousness with all its miseries and so on is consciousness. And within that consciousness there are a thousand fragmentations. One fragment of those many fragments becomes the authority, the censor, the observer, the examiner, the thinker.

Naudé: The boss.

Krishnamurti: The boss. And so he maintains fragmentation. See the importance of this! The moment he assumes the authority, he must maintain fragmentation.

Naudé: Yes, obviously. Because it is a part of consciousness acting on the rest of consciousness.

Krishnamurti: Therefore he must maintain conflict. And conflict is consciousness.

Naudé: You have said that the fragments are consciousness; and are you now saying that the fragments are in fact the content?

Krishnamurti: Of course.

Naudé: Fragments are conflict. There is no fragment without conflict?

Krishnamurti: When is consciousness active?

Naudé: When it is in conflict.

Krishnamurti: Obviously. Otherwise there is freedom, freedom to observe. So radical revolution in consciousness, and of consciousness, takes place when there is no conflict at all.