He was standing by himself on the low bank of the river; it was not very wide and he could see some people on the other bank. If the talk was loud he could almost hear them. In the rainy season the river met the open waters of the sea. It had been raining for days and the river had broken through the sands to the waiting sea. With the heavy rains it was clean again and one could swim in it safely. The river was wide enough to hold a long narrow island green with bushes, a few short trees and a small palm. When the water was not too deep cattle would wade across to graze on it. It was a pleasant and friendly river and it was particularly so on that morning.
He was standing there with no one around, alone, unattached and far away. He was about fourteen or less. They had found his brother and himself quite recently and all the fuss and sudden importance given to him was around him. [Krishnamurti is writing here about his own boyhood at Adyar, near Madras.] He was the centre of respect and devotion and in the years to come he would be the head of organizations and great properties. All that and the dissolution of them still lay ahead. Standing there alone, lost and strangely aloof, was his first and lasting remembrance of those days and events. He doesn’t remember his childhood, the schools and the caning. He was told years later by the very teacher who hurt him that he used to cane him practically every day; he would cry and be put out on the veranda until the school closed and the teacher would come out and ask him to go home, otherwise he would still be on the veranda, lost. He was caned, this man said because he couldn’t study or remember anything he had read or been told. Later the teacher couldn’t believe that boy was the man who had given the talk he had heard. He was greatly surprised and unnecessarily respectful. All those years passed without leaving scars, memories, on his mind; his friendships, his affections, even those years with those who had ill-treated him somehow none of these events, friendly or brutal, have left marks on him. In recent years a writer asked if he could recall all those rather strange events, how he and his brother were discovered and the other happenings, and when he replied that he could not remember them and could only repeat what others had told him, the man openly, with a sneer, stated that he was putting it on and pretending. He never consciously blocked any happening, pleasant or unpleasant, entering into his mind. They came, leaving no mark and passed away.
Consciousness is its content: the content makes up consciousness. The two are indivisible. There is no you and another, only the content which makes up consciousness as the “me” and the not “me”. The contents vary according to the culture, the racial accumulations, the techniques and capacities acquired. These are broken up as the artist, the scientist and so on. Idiosyncrasies are the response of the conditioning and the conditioning is the common factor of man. This conditioning is the content, consciousness. This again is broken up as the conscious and the hidden. The hidden becomes important because we have never looked at it as a whole. This fragmentation takes place when the observer is not the observed, when the experiencer is seen as different from the experience. The hidden is as the open; the observation the hearing of the open is the seeing of the hidden. Seeing is not analysing. In analysing there is the analyser and the analysed, a fragmentation which leads to inaction, a paralysis. In seeing, the observer is not, and so action is immediate; there is no interval between the idea and action. The idea, the conclusion, is the observer the seer separate from the thing seen. Identification is an act of thought and thought is fragmentation.
The island, the river and the sea are still there, the palms and the buildings. The sun was coming out of masses of clouds, serried and soaring to the heavens. In only a loin cloth the fishermen were throwing their nets to catch some measly little fishes. Unwilling poverty is a degradation. Late in the evening it was pleasant among the mangoes and scented flowers. How beautiful is the earth.