Krishnamurti on Energy
‘The most creative energy has no identification; it comes with freedom, and that energy is creation.’
This week’s episode on Energy has six sections.
The first extract (2:35) is from Krishnamurti’s second talk in Madras 1986, titled ‘What is energy?’
The second extract (16:19) is from the second question and answer meeting in Ojai 1983, titled ‘How do we waste energy?’
The third extract (26:46) is from Krishnamurti’s fourth talk at Brockwood Park in 1974, titled ‘An energy that resolves our problems’.
The fourth extract (38:39) is from the seventh talk in Saanen 1975, titled ‘Is there an energy that brings unity?’
The fifth extract (56:07) is from Krishnamurti’s eighth talk in New Delhi 1962, titled ‘An incorruptible energy’.
The final extract in this episode (1:06:59) is from a direct recording by Krishnamurti in 1984, titled ‘Silence builds up great energy’. This is an exclusive to this podcast, having not been previously released.
What Is Energy?
What is energy? This has been one of the questions of scientists, and they said energy is matter. But previous to that: what is energy? It may be matter, it may be every kind of thing, but what is energy? Primordial energy? Who brought this energy about? This has been a very, very serious question. So we are together taking a long journey into this together – you and I are walking up the same stream. You are not just following the speaker, you are not just saying, ‘Yes, that sounds very good, the Upanishads and the Gita have said it, so we understand.’ It isn’t a bit like that.
First of all, one has to have great doubt, great scepticism. You don’t doubt anything; you accept everything. So doubt, scepticism of your own experience, of your own thoughts, of your own conclusions, doubting, questioning, not accepting a thing from any book, including my own. I am just a passer-by, not important.
We are going to inquire together. It is very important, please – together. You know what that means – cooperating together to build something, to inquire into something, to see what is clear, what is doubtful, what is not clear. You are doing it. The speaker has done this, but you have to do it. So we are together walking up a very long stream. You can make that stream a very, very, very strong current that will wipe you away, throw you onto the banks, or you can deal with it. So it requires your energy.
We are asking: what is energy? (Sound of crows) That crow calling is part of energy. The trees, the birds, the stars, the moon, the rising of the sun, the setting of the sun, it is all energy. Probably you doubt it, but it doesn’t matter. And whatever you speak requires energy. The first cry of the baby out of the womb, that cry is part of that energy. To play a violin, to speak, to marry, sex, everything on earth requires energy. So we are inquiring together what this energy is, what is the origin, what is the source, how has it begun, who created this energy? Please, careful, don’t say God, and run away with that. I don’t accept God. The speaker has no gods. Is that all right? You accept that? You will accept anything, so it doesn’t matter. I will go on. Please don’t allow yourselves to accept what the speaker is saying at any moment – in his books, in his talks, in his videos, and all that business.
So what is this energy? We cannot possibly exist without this energy. There is no existence on earth without this energy: the trees; tremendous energy to pull up water right to the top, tons of it. That is tremendous energy. To build an aeroplane, hundreds of people are responsible for it. To go to the moon, and so on. So whatever we do, or don’t do, is energy. The dancer, the violinist, the painter, the housemother, the army general – everything requires energy. That is a fact. Whether you accept it or not, it doesn’t matter. And we are inquiring: what is that energy? The origin of it, not just energy, accepting what the scientists say, which is energy is matter and so on. I won’t go into all that because the speaker has talked to many of them about this matter. And the religious people say God, and that ends it. Or some guru says it. That also ends it. They don’t inquire, they don’t doubt, they don’t question, they don’t have scepticism.
So here we are saying, if you can, abandon all that – your books, what the Sanskrit, ancient people have said – abandon all that and leave it at the roadside, and we will take a journey together. If you can’t put all that aside, or leave it on the roadside, you can’t follow the speaker, you can’t understand the speaker. Don’t bother to understand him, it doesn’t matter. But unfortunately you hear a lot of words and you say, ‘Yes, that sounds reasonable,’ and so on and so on. We are not dealing with words. Words are not the mountain. The word ‘mountain’ is not the mountain. The word ‘K’ is not K. So your name is not you. I recognise you, but your name is not you. I think this is important to understand. The word is not the actual. The word is not the tree. The word ‘tree’ is not that. So we have to be very careful now, not to be entangled with words.
We are going into something that requires all your energy, all your brain, which is matter, which is the accumulated experience of a million years. And all that evolution means energy. So I am saying, I am asking myself, you are asking for yourself, I begin to ask myself, is there energy which is not contained or stimulated or held within the field of knowledge? Within the field of knowledge, that is, within the field of thought. So I ask myself: is there an energy which is not put together, stimulated, arranged by thought?
Thought gives you a great deal of energy. To go to the office every morning at 9 o’clock, thought gives you that energy. I must earn more money, have a better house – thought, thinking, gives you the energy. I believe it took two or three thousand people to build the rocket that went to the moon. So all that requires energy – to shake hands with you, to say, ‘How are you?’, to recognise old friends sitting across there.
So I know thought, thinking, thinking about the past, thinking about the future, planning for the present, that gives tremendous energy. Thinking I must build a house, I go to the architect, I agree with him, and so on, so on. And you require a great deal of energy to be educated. From ignorance, as they call it, from not knowing mathematics, you gradually learn – energy – to college, university, and then you become some kind of something or other. And you have a job, and to that every day of your life you go. Or you retire at an early age and die. So thought creates this energy. Please understand this. To build an aeroplane, think what has gone into that – hundreds of people have worked at it, step by step by step, constructed it, and they have produced a 747 or whatever it is, the most marvellous machine, that can never go wrong, or man can make it go wrong, and so on and so on. So thought is an extraordinary instrument of creating energy.
If one doesn’t see that as an actual fact, then you are off the mark – you don’t see it as an actual fact that thought creates tremendous energy. You want to become a rich man; you work like blazes to get rich. You want to do some kind of crazy propaganda, and you work very hard, you join groups, sects, gurus and all the rest of that business.
So thought is an extraordinary instrument of engendering energy.
Krishnamurti in Madras 1986, Talk 2
How Do We Waste Energy?
We should really inquire how we waste our energy, not saying, ‘All my energy is taken away through daily work,’ but we should inquire how we waste our energy, and whether it is possible to conserve energy and use it when necessary, and retain it when it is not.
How do we waste our energy? Please understand my question – not how to use energy, that energy which demands inquiry into being unselfish and intelligent, but rather let’s inquire, approach this question from a different point of view, which is, to find out how we waste energy. Then it will be very clear.
Do we waste energy by chattering, endless talk? Most of us do – endless talk. And is it a waste of energy to be constantly in conflict, in the office, at home, and so on? Is not conflict within oneself and outside a waste of energy? Not how to be free of conflict, for the moment, but to observe how we waste our energy in conflict, the concept or illusion that we are individuals and so fighting everybody, against everybody, enclosing ourselves in a little, neurotic state, building a wall around ourselves through fear, and so on. That is also a great deal of wastage of energy. To pursue an ideal is a waste of energy – not the ending of a fact.
Suppose one is violent. You pursue non-violence, which is non-fact. The pursuit of non-violence is a waste of energy, whereas to understand the nature of violence, go into it deeply, the complexity of violence, and see if it is possible to end it, that is not a waste of energy. But to pursue a non-fact, which is the ideal, whether it is a political ideal or Marxist ideal, communist ideal, is a waste of energy.
Isn’t it a waste of tremendous energy building armaments against each other? No? I don’t know if you have been listening to some of the television explanations of how Russia is building up its armaments, and America. As you listen to it very carefully, it all seems so insane, so extraordinarily irrational. So one wonders if one is going mad. Probably most of the people who are involved in all this are rather neurotic in different ways. Probably most of us are.
So to find out for oneself how we waste our energy. And the greatest waste of energy is to be concerned with oneself. No? Because to be concerned with oneself, with one’s neurotic state, and to be unaware of it, to be concerned with one’s own issues and one’s own problems, one’s own achievements, is a very, very limited energy. It is very limited, and therefore your energy is limited. But when there is freedom from that there is immense energy. But to be free from that concern with oneself and with one’s hurts and in return wanting to hurt others, that concern with oneself is bringing about great chaos in the world. To seek one’s own enlightenment, following your own particular little guru, is such a waste of energy. We’ll talk about it more when we talk about meditation. So is it possible not to waste energy along all these lines?
And if you have that energy, what will you do with it? Will one become more mischievous, more violent, more beastly? So in the conservation of energy which comes about by understanding the wastage of energy, conserving that energy – not that you conserve energy; when there is energy not wasted, there is energy – in the discovery of how you waste your energy, there is the beginning of intelligence. That intelligence is not wastage of energy; that intelligence is extraordinarily alive. One cannot possibly be intelligent if one is selfish. Selfishness is part of division, separation. I am selfish and you are selfish; in our relationship we are selfish.
So to understand the nature of the wastage of energy, not only superficially, but very, very deeply, out of that investigation, probing, questioning, one comes to a certain quality of energy which is the outcome of intelligence, not merely setting aside wastage of energy.
Krishnamurti in Ojai 1983, Question and Answer Meeting 2
An Energy That Resolves Our Problems
We are concerned, if we are not at all playing with things, with the transformation of the mind, with the content of our consciousness, and to find out if there is a different kind of energy which will, if we can tap that energy, resolve our problems. That is the question which we are going to investigate together. When we use the word ‘investigate’, we mean that we share this problem together. It is your problem, and we have to go into it, we have to find out, each one of us, not according to somebody else, not according to some authority or some psychologist or philosopher but find out for ourselves if there is a different kind of energy which might resolve our human problems. The traditional energy, the intellectual energy, which man has expanded throughout the centuries, has in no way dissolved our problems. That is clear.
Now we are inquiring into the possibility if there is or if there is not a different kind of energy which is non-contradictory in itself, which is not based on the activity of thought with its divisive energy, an energy which is not dependent on environment, on education, on cultural influence.
Please do give a little attention to this. We are asking if there is a different activity, a different movement, which is not dependent on self-centred activity, the activity and the energy that the self, the ‘me’, with all its contradiction, creates – is there an energy which is not dependent on environmental conditioning? Is there an energy which has no cause, because cause implies time? That is what we are going to inquire into.
That is, the energy that man has expanded – intellectual, emotional, traditional energy, and self-centred energy – has not in any way solved our human problems, which are suffering, fear and all the pain that is involved in the pursuit of pleasure, and all the confusion created by thought in its fragmentary activity. We are asking if there is an energy, totally different. That is, we have only used a very small area of the brain and that small area is controlled and shaped by thought; and thought intellectually, emotionally and physically has created a contradictory energy – the ‘me’ and the ‘you’, we and they, what we are and what we should be, the ideal, the perfect prototype, and ‘what is’.
I hope you are following all this. You should, those of you who have heard the last few talks, should be able, I hope, to follow this, together. I think it is very important to understand that we are working together, that the speaker is not telling you what to do, because the speaker has no authority. Authority has been, in spiritual matters, very destructive because authority implies conformity, fear, obedience, following, acceptance. And when we are investigating together, the implication in that is there is no sense of following, no sense of agreeing or denying, but merely observing, inquiring. Together we are doing this. Therefore when we are together, ‘you’ and ‘I’ disappear. When we are doing any work together, the work is important, not you or I. And we are working together to find out if there is a totally different kind of energy, which is not based on a cause that divides the action of the present from the past.
Now, this inquiry implies our asking whether there is an area in the brain which is not contaminated by thought, an area in the brain or in the mind which is not the product of evolution, an area of that brain that is not touched by the culture which man, throughout the centuries, has created. The inquiry into that is meditation. From ancient times, we have used only one area of the brain, and a very small area in which there has been conflict between the good and the bad. You can see that in the paintings, in the symbols, in all the activities of man, this conflict between the good and the bad, between ‘what is’ and ‘what should be’, between ‘what is’ and the ideal. That conflict, that area has produced a culture – Christian, Hindu, Buddhist and all the rest of it – and by that culture, our brain, that area, small area, is conditioned. This is obvious. And can the mind free itself from that conditioning, from that limited area, and move into an area which is not within the area of time or direction?
Krishnamurti at Brockwood Park in 1974, Talk 4
Is There an Energy That Brings Unity?
In meditation, because the body and mind have become astonishingly sensitive, there is this field of clairvoyance, field of healing, field of investigating into occult things, hidden things. Unfortunately, it is becoming the fashion now to talk about the occult, the hidden, the mysterious – all that side. When the body is sensitive, the mind is active, accurate, therefore all these things come about. But they are totally irrelevant; they are playthings. Please, the speaker knows something of all this, and there is great danger in all that – unless you really want to pursue that like a child who has a toy. It has no value.
So we can proceed to inquire, after clearing the ground accurately, with the question: is there something, an energy which is totally different? Not the opposite, because the opposite of the energy of thought is still its own opposite, is still the movement of thought. Therefore we are using purposely a word that is totally different.
Now proceed. Also there is the whole question, brought over from India: the energy which they think will come about through awakening the various centres in the body which is called kundalini. Have you heard about this rubbish? It isn’t rubbish if you know what this is, but as you don’t know, you are playing with rubbish. Please forgive me if I talk frankly about all these nonsensical, unreal things, unless you have gone into it. You cannot go into it unless you have brought order in your life.
They have brought this word called ‘kundalini’ from India. It is now a fashionable thing to pursue. When it becomes common, it has lost its reality, its worthwhileness. When everybody is trying to awaken their beastly little what they call ‘kundalini’, it becomes too damn silly. A truth, when made common, becomes vulgar and therefore no longer truth.
Now we can proceed. No action of will, therefore no action of deception or illusion. No attachment to belief, to dogmas, to rituals, to all the myths that man has put together through thought. Then what takes place to a mind that has done this? Not imagined it has done; actually has done. To such a mind, there is that quality of silence, a silence that is not between two noises, a silence that is not between two thoughts. Please watch it in yourself; you will see this. A silence that has not been put together by thought because it desires to be silent. Because there has been order in our daily life, because there has been no conflict as the will, there is no division politically, religiously, no practice, therefore out of all that comes a natural intelligence, a natural sensitivity, and therefore a mind that is astonishingly quiet. That is, a mind that has put a stop to time. The mind has not put it, but it has inevitably come about.
Time is the movement of thought as measure. Time is thought. And thought as measure is from here to there, psychologically as well as physically. And when there is this movement of time as achievement, as experience, as gaining something, it is still the activity of thought, and therefore it is fragmentary, not whole. From that, when the mind has perceived the totality of thought – that is the totality of the movement of thought, all its varieties, all its movements, all its subtleties hidden and open – when the mind is totally aware of all that, then time, to such a mind, comes to an end, and therefore there is complete quietness. So perception can only take place in silence.
You follow this? Please, are we sharing this together or am I pursuing my own investigation? If you want to hear what the speaker is saying, you have to listen, you have to pay attention. If you want to listen – if you don’t, that is quite a different matter – but if you want to listen, you have to pay attention. That means care. That means you have to listen without any prejudice, without conclusion, without comparing what you hear with what you already know. All those inhibit, prevent listening. So when you want to listen, you must be completely silent, naturally. When you want to see the mountains, the flowing of the water in a river, there must be total observation, not the observer observing. So there is this silence.
And what is the unifying character, what is the unifying movement that brings about no division between man and man? That is a tremendously important question. When the world is divided, nation against nation, people against people, ideas against ideas, democracy, so-called democracy against autocracy, and so on, when there is this tremendous division taking place in mankind, in human beings outwardly as well as inwardly, what is the unifying factor? If there is no unifying factor, we are going to destroy ourselves – the unifying factor being cooperation. So what is that unifying factor in meditation? That is one of the most urgent things, absolutely necessary. Politics and politicians are not going to bring this unity, however much they may talk about it. It has taken them thousands of years just to meet each other – at Bonn or Moscow or in Washington, or some other hideous place – thousands of years. Think of such a mentality that is going to bring unity to mankind. What is that factor?
We are talking about a totally different kind of energy which is not the movement of thought with its own energy. And will that energy which is not the energy of thought bring about this unity?
Are you interested in this? It is your problem, isn’t it? – unity between you and your wife, unity between you and another. You see, we have tried to bring about this unity. Thought sees the necessity of this unity and therefore has created a centre. Like the sun is the centre of this universe, holding all things in that light, so this centre created by thought hopes to bring unity, mankind together. Great warriors try to do this, great conquerors. They did it through bloodshed. Religions have tried to do it, and those religions who have tried to do it brought about more division with their cruelty, with their wars, with their torture. Science has inquired into this, and because science is knowledge, the accumulation of knowledge and the movement of knowledge, which is thought, being fragmentary it cannot unify.
So is there an energy which will bring about this unity, this unification of mankind? And we were saying in meditation this energy comes about because in that meditation there is no centre. The centre is created by thought. But something else, totally different, takes place, which is compassion. That is the unifying factor of mankind. To be compassionate. Not that you will become compassionate, which is again another deception – but be compassionate. That can only take place when there is no centre, the centre being that which has been created by thought – thought which hoped by creating a centre it can bring about unity – like a federal government, like a dictatorship, like autocracy. All those are centres hoping to create unity. All those have failed, and they will inevitably fail. There is only one factor, and that is this sense of great compassion. Compassion comes when we understand the full width and depth of suffering. That is why we talked a great deal about suffering. Suffering not only of a human being – the collective suffering of mankind.
Don’t understand this verbally or intellectually, but somewhere else. In your heart feel the thing. And as you are the world and the world is you, if there is this birth of compassion, you will inevitably bring about unity. You can’t help it.
Krishnamurti in Saanen 1975, Talk 7
An Incorruptible Energy
A mind has energy through resistance, through conflict, through contradiction. We all know that form of energy, but there is an energy which comes when there is no conflict of any kind, and which is therefore completely incorruptible. I am going to explain presently. I mean by the mind the totality of consciousness, and more. The brain is one thing and the mind is another. The brain, which is the result of time, which is sensation, which has accumulated knowledge through centuries of experience – that brain is conditioned, as also the total consciousness is conditioned. These words ‘consciousness’ and ‘conditioning’ are very simple. What you are, the educated, the unconscious, the accumulated mind, the accumulated consciousness of time – all that is you. What you think, what you feel when you call yourself a Hindu, when you call yourself a Muslim, a Christian or this or that – all this story about yourself is the total consciousness. Whether you think you are the Supreme Self or the greatest Atman or this or that, it is still within the field of consciousness, within the field of thought. And thought is conditioned.
Now, in that state of condition, resistance to life, you do create energy. The more the resistance, the more the conflict, the more energy you have; and that energy is of the most destructive kind. This is what is actually going on in the world. That energy dissipates itself. It is always corrupting. It always needs stimulation, always needs some form of attachment through which it can derive power, energy, growth. When one realises that fact and sees that fact, that our energy comes into being through resistance, and when you have understood the whole story of contradiction within yourself, then out of your seeing the fact, there comes a different kind of energy.
The energy I am talking about is not the energy preached by religion, it is not the energy of the brahmachari, the bachelor who refuses sex because he wants to have the supreme experience, because his whole process of living, the sannyasi life or the monk life, is a form of resistance. And that does give you energy – a very limited, narrow, destructive energy, which is what most religions offer. But what we are talking about is a totally different kind of energy. That energy is born out of freedom, not out of resistance, not out of self-denial, not out of ideational pursuits and discussions.
If you understand all this I have been talking about, and face these facts, then out of that comes an energy which is incorruptible – because that energy is passion. Not the passion of sex, or identifying yourself with a country or with an idea, which is destructive and gives you a peculiar kind of energy. Have you not noticed that people who have identified themselves with their nation, with their country, with their job, have a peculiar energy? So also most politicians, most so-called missionaries, or those who have identified themselves with an idea, with a belief, with a dogma, as the communists do, they have a peculiar energy which is most destructive. But the energy which is the most creative energy has no identification; it comes with freedom, and that energy is creation.
Man throughout the ages has sought God – either denied or accepted it. He has denied it as those do who are brought up as atheists or communists, or he has accepted, as the Hindus do because you have been brought up in the belief. But you are no more religious than the man who is being brought up in non-belief. You are all about the same. It suits you to believe in God, and it does not suit him to believe in God. It is a matter of your education, of your environmental, of cultural influence. But man has sought this thing throughout the centuries. There is something immense, not measurable by man, not understandable by a mind that is caught in resistance, ambition, envy, greed. Such a mind can never understand this creative energy.
There is this energy which is completely incorruptible. It can live in this world and function. Every day it can function in your office, in your family, because that energy is love – not the love of your wife and children, which is not love at all. That creation, that energy is destructive. Look what you have done to find out that energy! You have destroyed everything around you psychologically; inwardly you have completely broken down everything that society, religion, the politicians have built. So that energy is death.
Death is completely destructive. That energy is love, and therefore love is destructive – not the tame thing the family is made up of, not the tame thing religions have nurtured. So, that energy is creation – not the poem that you write nor the thing put in marble; that is merely a capacity or a gift to express something which you feel. But the thing we are talking about is beyond feeling, beyond all thought. A mind that has not completely freed itself from society psychologically – society being ambition, envy, greed, acquisitiveness, power – such a mind, do what it will, will never find that. And we must find that, because that is the only salvation for man, because in that only is there real action; and that itself, when it acts, is action.
Krishnamurti in New Delhi 1962, Talk 8
Silence Builds up Great Energy
There was a naval centre with its modern means of killing humanity. And you went along and turned to the right, leaving the sea behind. After the oil wells, you drove further away from the sea, through orange groves, past a golf course, to a small village, the road winding through orange orchards. The air was filled with the perfume of orange blossom, and all the leaves of the trees were shining. There seemed to be such peace in this valley, so quiet, away from all crowds and noise and vulgarity. This country is beautiful, so vast, with deserts, snow-capped mountains, villages, great towns and still greater rivers. The land is marvellously beautiful, vast, all-inclusive.
We came to the house, which was still more quiet and beautiful, recently built and with the cleanliness that houses in towns don’t have. There were lots of flowers – roses and so on – a place in which to be quiet, not just vegetate, but to be really deeply, inwardly quiet. Silence is a great benediction, it cleanses the brain, gives vitality to it, and this silence builds up great energy. Not the energy of thought or the energy of machines but that unpolluted energy, untouched by thought. It is the energy that has incalculable capacity, skills. This is a place where the brain, being very active, can be silent. That very intense activity of the brain has the quality and the depth and the beauty of silence.
Direct Recording by Krishnamurti in 1984