Krishnamurti with Alain Naudé 1

Episode Notes

Alain Naude was Krishnamurti’s private secretary in the 1960s. He met Krishnamurti in 1963 whilst a music lecturer at Pretoria University and a professional concert pianist. He gave up his teaching and performing in 1964 to work with Krishnamurti. Fluent in several languages, he was very helpful at international gatherings and in attracting younger audiences to Krishnamurti’s talks at a time of cultural change in the West.

This conversation with Krishnamurti was recorded in Malibu, California in 1972 and begins by asking: Why do we divide the world as 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 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? Will is not the factor of change. Radical revolution in consciousness takes place when there is no conflict at all.


Alain Naudé: Sir, you speak about the whole of life. It seems that people are so confused. When we look about us there is so much disorder everywhere. First of all, in the world we see that there are wars, we see ecological disorder, we see political disorder, we see social disorder and crime, and all the evils of industrialisation and overpopulation, and it seems that the more people try to solve these problems the more they augment. And then there is this other entity, man himself, who also is full of problems – he has the problems of the world about him and at the same time he is full of problems inwardly. He has loneliness, he has despair, he has jealousy, he has anger – and all this we may call confusion – and presently he dies. And then we’ve always been told that there is yet something else, which has variously been called God, eternity, creation – and about this, man knows nothing. He has tried to live for this, he has tried to live in relation to this, but this again has made problems. It seems, sir, from what you have said so many times, that one must find a way of dealing with these three problems, these three entities, at the same time, because the problems within these three entities are the problems confronting man. And this, sir, is what you speak about. Is there a way to ask the question properly so that it will answer these three sets of problems at the same time?

Krishnamurti: First of all, sir, if one may ask, why do we divide – the world, the human being, and the divine – why is there this division? Or it is only one movement, which must be taken on the wave itself. And so first let’s find out why we have divided this whole existence, as the world outside of me, the world inside of me, and something beyond me.

AN: Yes, sir.

K: Is it that this division exists because of the chaos outwardly, and so we are only concerned with the chaos, of the outer chaos, and totally neglect the inner chaos, and not finding a solution for the outer or for the inner, then try to find a solution or a concept, a belief, in the divine?

AN: Yes, sir.

K: So I think we ought to, if I may suggest, in asking a question of this kind, are we dealing the three things separately or as a total movement, as a unitary movement?

AN: Yes. How can we make them into a unitary movement, sir? How are they related? With what kind of life… what is the action in man which will make them the same?

K: I wouldn’t come to that yet.

AN: Yes, sir.

K: I would ask: Why has man divided the world, divided his whole existence into these three categories?

AN: Yes, sir.

K: Why? From there move.

AN: Yes, that’s right, sir.

K: Now, why have I, as a human being, divided the world outside of me, the world inside of me and the world which I am trying to grasp, of which I know nothing, of which I hope, of which I give all my despairing hope, and so on?

AN: Yes, that’s right, sir.

K: Now, why do I do this? Is it, sir – tentatively, we are saying – is it that we have not been able to solve the outer existence, with its chaos, confusion, destruction, brutality, violence and all the horrors that are going on, therefore we turn to the inner and hope thereby to solve the outer? And not being able to solve the inner chaos, inner destruction, the inner insufficiency, the inner brutality, violence and all the rest of it, and not being able to solve anything there, either, then we move away from both the outer and the inner to some other dimension?

AN: Yes, it is like that, sir. That’s what we do.

K: That is what is happening all the time around us and in us.

AN: Yes, sir. There are the problems outside, which engender the problems inside. Not being able to deal with either, or both, we create the hope of some other, some third state, which we call God.

K: Yes, an outside agency.

AN: An outside agency, which will be the consolation, the final solution.

K: Solution. One sees this.

AN: Yes, sir.

K: The more one is aware of all this phenomenon that is going on, one is aware of these three movements.

AN: Yes. But it is a fact also, sir, that there are things which are really outer problems – the roof leaks, the sky is full of pollution, the rivers are drying up – there are such problems – and wars; wars can also be… They are visible outer problems, and there are problems which we think to be inner problems – our secret and closed longings, fears and worries.

K: Yes, sir, but…

AN: There is the world and there is man’s reaction to it, man’s living in it.

K: No…

AN: And so there are these two entities, at least in a practical sort of way we can say there are. And so, probably, trying to solve practical entities overflows into the inner state of man and engenders problems there.

K: Sir, that means we are still keeping the outer, the inner, as two separate movements.

AN: Yes, sir, we are, we do.

K: And I feel that is a totally wrong approach.

AN: Yes.

K: The roof does leak, and the world is overpopulated, there is pollution, there are wars – every kind of mischief is going on. And, not being able to solve that, we turn inward, and not being able to solve the inward issues we turn to something outer, still further away from all this.

AN: Yes, sir.

K: Whereas, if we could treat the whole of this existence as one unitary movement then perhaps we would be able to solve all these problems most intelligently and reasonably and in order.

AN: Yes, sir. Yes, sir. It seems that’s what you speak about, sir. Would you mind telling us how these three problems are really one thing?

K: I am coming to that, sir, I am coming to that. That is, the world outside of me is created by me. Not the tree, not the clouds and the seas and the beauty of the landscape but the human existence in relationship, which is called society, that is created by you and by me.

AN: Yes.

K: So the world is me and me is the world.

AN: Yes, sir.

K: I think that’s the first thing that must be established – not as an intellectual or an abstract fact but an actual feeling, an actual realisation – this fact, not a supposition, not an intellectual concept but as a fact that the world is me and I am the world. The world being the society in which I live, the society with its culture, morality, social inequality – all the chaos that’s going on in society is myself in action.

AN: Yes, sir.

K: And the culture is what I have created, in which I am caught.

AN: Yes, sir.

K: I think that is irrevocable and absolute fact.

AN: Yes, sir. Yes. How is it that people don’t see this enough, sir? We have politicians, we have ecologists, we have economists, we have soldiers, all trying to solve the problems outside, simply as outer problems.

K: Because, probably the lack of right kind of education, the specialisation, the desire to conquer the outer – go to the moon and play golf there – and so on, so on. We always want to alter the outer, hoping thereby to change the inner.

AN: Yes, sir.

K: Create the right environment – which the communists have said hundreds of times – then the human mind will change according to that.

AN: That is what they say, sir.

K: Yes.

AN: That is what everybody seems to have said.

K: More or less what everybody says.

AN: In fact, every great university, with all its departments, with all its specialists, one could almost say that even these great universities are founded and built on the belief that the world can be changed by a certain amount of specialised knowledge in different departments.

K: Yes, sir. I think we miss this basic thing, which is, the world is me and the world is… I am the world.

AN: Yes, sir.

K: I think that feeling, not as an idea – that feeling brings a totally different way of looking at this whole problem.

AN: Yes, sir.

K: Now if…

AN: Yes, it’s an enormous revolution – already to see the problem as one problem, as the problem of man and not the problem of his environment, this is an enormous step, which people will not take.

K: People won’t take anything, sir. I mean, anything intelligent they reject, because they are used to this outward organisation and disregard totally what is happening inwardly.

AN: Yes.

K: So when one realises that the world is me and I am the world, then my action is not separative, is not the individual opposed to the community or the importance of the individual and his salvation, but the… I think this is important to understand, which is, when one realises that the world is me and I am the world, and whatever action takes place, whatever change takes place, will change the whole of consciousness of man. Am I…?

AN: Yes, sir. Would you like to explain that, sir?

K: You see what I mean, sir? I, as a human being, realise that the world is me and I am the world – realise, feel, deeply be committed, deeply be passionately aware of this fact.

AN: Yes, sir – that my action is in fact the world.

K: The world.

AN: My behaviour is the only world there is, because the events in the world are behaviour.

K: Quite.

AN: And behaviour is the inner. So the inner and the outer are one…

K: Yes, sir.

AN: …because the events of history, the events of life, life itself, is in fact this point of contact between the inner and the outer. It is in fact behaviour of man. To understand that is…

K: Perfectly, sir. So, the consciousness of the world is my consciousness.

AN: Fantastic, sir. Yes, yes.

K: My consciousness is the world.

AN: Yes, yes.

K: Now, the crisis is in this consciousness, not in organisation, not in bettering the roads, bettering the… tearing down the hills to build more houses.

AN: Bigger tanks.

K: Bigger tanks, bigger wars.

AN: Intercontinental missiles.

K: Yes. So, my consciousness is the world and the consciousness of the world is me. When there is change in this consciousness, it affects the whole consciousness of the world.

AN: Yes, sir.

K: I don’t know if… I think this is also…

AN: This is marvellous, this is extraordinary to say, sir. It’s an extraordinary fact.

K: No, this is a fact, sir.

AN: So that in fact, it is consciousness that is in disorder. There is no disorder anywhere else.

K: Obviously.

AN: Consciousness is in disorder.

K: That’s right.

AN: Therefore the ills of the world are the ills of human consciousness.

K: That’s right.

AN: And the ills of human consciousness are my ills, is my malady, my disorder.

K: That’s right. So when I realise that my consciousness is the consciousness of the world, and the consciousness of the world is me, whatever change that takes place in me affects the whole of consciousness.

AN: Yes, sir. To this, sir, people always say, ‘Ah, that’s very well, but I may change and there will still be a war in Indochina…’

K: Ah, no, no.

AN: ‘…there will still be pollution…’

K: Wait, sir. Wait, sir. Quite right, there will be.

AN: ‘…and ghettos and overpopulation.’

K: There will be. Of course there will be. But if each one of us saw the truth of this, that the consciousness of the world is mine and mine is the world, and if each one of us felt the responsibility of that – the politician, the scientist, the engineer, the bureaucrat, the businessman – if everybody felt this. And it is our job to make them feel this.

AN: Yes, sir. Yes, sir.

K: And that is the function of the religious man, surely.

AN: Yes, sir.

K: So…

AN: This is an enormous thing you have said, sir.

K: Wait, let me go on. So, then it is one movement. It is not an individual movement and his salvation.

AN: That’s right.

K: It is the salvation – if you like to use that word – of the whole of man’s consciousness.

AN: The wholeness and the health and the holiness of consciousness itself, which is one thing, and in which is contained what appears to be the outer and what appears to be the inner.

K: That’s right. That’s right. Let’s keep to that one point.

AN: Yes, sir. So, sir, what you are speaking about is, in fact, that health, that sanity and that wholeness of this consciousness, which always has been, in fact, an indivisible entity.

K: Yes, that’s right. Now, when the educator, the people who organise things, when the writers, when the people who want to create a different kind of world than what it is now, if they realise it is their responsibility then the whole of consciousness of man begins to change. Which is what is happening in another direction – when they are emphasising organisation, division, then they are doing exactly the same thing.

AN: In a negative way.

K: In a destructive way. So, from that the question arises: Can this human consciousness, which is me, which is the community, which is the society, which is the culture, which is all the horrors that are produced by me, in the context of the society, in the culture, which is me – now, can this consciousness undergo a radical change? That is the question.

AN: Yes, sir.

K: Not escape into the supposed divine.

AN: That’s right, sir.

K: Not escape, because when we understand this change in consciousness, the other, the divine is there, you don’t have to seek it.

AN: Yes, sir. You have told us this, sir.

K: Yes.

AN: Would you please explain, sir, what this change in consciousness consists of?

K: That’s what we’re going to now.

AN: And then perhaps we can ask about the divine, if it arises.


K: First of all, sir, is there any possibility of change in consciousness? Right? Or, any change made consciously is no change at all. I don’t know… I want to get at this a little.

Would you stop a minute?

(Pause in recording)

K: …talk about change in consciousness, it implies changing from this to that.

AN: Yes, sir. And both this and that are within the consciousness.

K: Within – that’s what I want to establish first – that when we say there must be a change in consciousness, it is still within the field of consciousness.

AN: The way we see the trouble and the way we see the solution, which we call change.

K: Change.

AN: All that is within us.

K: Is all within the same area, and therefore no change at all.

AN: Yes, sir.

K: I don’t know…

AN: Yes, this is… Yes, sir.

K: That is, the content of consciousness is consciousness, and the two are not separate.

AN: Yes.

K: Let’s be clear on that point, too. Which is, consciousness is made up of all the things that have been collected by man, as experience, as knowledge, as misery, confusion, destruction, violence – all that is consciousness.

AN: Plus so-called solutions.

K: Yes. And in that consciousness, God, no God, various theories about God – all that is consciousness.

AN: Yes, sir. Yes, sir.

K: When we talk about change in consciousness we are still changing the pieces from one corner to the other, moving one quality into another corner of the field.

AN: Yes, juggling with the contents of this huge box.

K: Yes, that’s right – juggling with the contents. And therefore…

AN: We are changing variables in the same set of things.

K: That’s right. So, wait, you have put it perfectly, better that I have put it. That is, juggling, when we talk about changing we are really thinking of juggling the contents, juggling with the contents.

AN: Yes.

K: Right? Now, that implies a juggler and the thing with which he is juggling.

AN: Yes, sir. Yes.

K: But it is still within the field of consciousness.

AN: Are you saying, sir – there are two questions which arise, sir, if I may interrupt you.

K: Go on, sir.

AN: Are you saying that there is no consciousness at all outside of the content of consciousness? And are you saying, secondly, sir, that there is no entity at all to juggle, there is no entity called me outside of this content of consciousness?

K: Obviously not.

AN: But these are two enormous statements, sir. Would you be kind enough to explain them?

K: What is the first question, sir?

AN: The first thing you are saying, sir – if I have understood correctly – is that this consciousness, which we are discussing and which is all we are, and all we have, and which we have seen is the problem itself, you are saying, sir, that this consciousness is its very content, and that there is nothing to be called consciousness outside of the content of consciousness.

K: Absolutely right. That’s right.

AN: Are you saying that outside of man’s problems, outside of his misery, outside of his thinking, outside of the formulation of his mind, there is nothing at all we call consciousness?

K: Absolutely right.

AN: This is an enormous statement, sir. Would you explain this?

K: Yes, sir, there is…

AN: We all think, sir – and this has also been postulated by Indian religion since the beginning of time – that there is a super-consciousness outside of this shell – they call it Ahamkara – which is the consciousness we are talking about.

K: Sir, to find out if there is something beyond this consciousness I must understand the content of this consciousness.

AN: Yes, sir.

K: I must go… the mind must go beyond itself.

AN: Yes, sir.

K: Then I will find out if there is something… one can then find out if there is something other than this, or not. But to stipulate that there is has no meaning, it is just a speculation.

AN: Yes, sir. So, are you saying, sir, what we call consciousness, commonly, and what we are talking about is the very content of this consciousness, that container and contained are an indivisible thing?

K: That’s right.

AN: This is an enormous thing, sir.

K: Yes.

AN: And then the second point you are making is that there is no entity to decide and will and juggle when the contents to be juggled are absent.

K: That’s right.

AN: These are two enormous points, sir.

K: That is, sir…

AN: We have come a long, long way, sir.

K: That is, sir, my consciousness is the consciousness of the world.

AN: That’s the first point, sir.

K: And consciousness of the world is me.

AN: Yes – the same point.

K: Which is really a truth – you follow? – it’s not just my invention or your acceptance of that invention, it is an absolute truth. And the content of the consciousness is consciousness.

AN: Yes, yes.

K: Without the content, there is no consciousness.

AN: Yes, yes, yes.

K: Now, when we want to change the content we are juggling with the… we are juggling.

AN: Yes. Yes. The content is juggling itself – because you have made a third point that there is nobody outside of this content to do any juggling at all.

K: At all – quite right.

AN: So that the juggler and the contents are one.

K: Yes, juggler and the…

AN: And also the container and the contents are one.

K: That’s right. The thinker who says, within this consciousness, that he must change is…

AN: …the consciousness he’s trying to change.

K: I think that’s fairly clear.

AN: And this also is the world he is trying to change.

K: Yes.

AN: So that the world and the consciousness and the person, the entity, who supposedly will change it, are all the same entity, masquerading, as it were, as three different roles.

K: Putting on a mask, pretending.

AN: To be three different entities.

K: Right.

AN: This is enormously important, sir.

K: If that is so – which is so – then what is a human being to do to bring about a total emptying of the content of consciousness, so that this particular consciousness, which is, the world is me and I am the world, with all its miseries – how is that to undergo complete change? Not within the consciousness – how is the mind, which is consciousness – to bring it quicker and more closer – the mind which is consciousness, with all its content, how is that mind, which is time, which is all the accumulated knowledge of the past, and so on and so on – how is that mind to empty itself of all its content?

AN: Are you saying, sir… Have you moved now, sir, to the next step? Are you saying, sir, that because of what you have so clearly explained, the question now arising is whether this consciousness can empty itself? Is that the real question now?

K: The next question.

AN: Having seen that the world and the consciousness and the individual are one entity, are you saying, sir, that the real question is the ending of this entity, the emptying of that consciousness? Is that what you are saying, sir?

K: Yes, sir.

AN: Because people will say – people, hearing what you have said a few times, thinking about it, understanding it imperfectly – they say: Can that consciousness be emptied? And when that consciousness is emptied – supposing this were possible – doesn’t that reduce one to a state of vegetable, vagueness and inertia? This is the question they ask.

K: No, sir, on the contrary, on the contrary. To have come to this point – the point that we have come to – requires a great deal of enquiry, a great deal of reason, logic, and with it comes intelligence.

AN: Because some people may think, sir, that the empty consciousness which you speak about, is something like that consciousness of the child at birth. Is this what you mean, sir?

K: No, sir. No, sir. Not at all, not at all. Just let’s go slowly at this, step by step. I’d rather go step by step into this. Let’s begin again.

My consciousness is the consciousness of the world. The world is me, and the content of my consciousness is the content of the world.

AN: And the content of consciousness is consciousness itself.

K: Itself. That is me.

AN: And also that is the entity who says he is conscious.

K: Yes. Now, all that – the organisations, the bureaucracies, the business – the whole of that is consciousness, of which I am a part. I can become a businessman, I can become a crook, I can become a saint, I can become a… go to the moon – you follow? – I am all that. Now, I am asking myself, realising I am that: What is change then?

AN: Yes, sir.

K: Let’s go slowly. Let’s go slowly, sir.

AN: That’s the question.

K: What is change then?

AN: What is change, which will solve these three sets of problems, that are really one?

K: Yes, what is implied by change? What is implied by revolution? Not the physical revolution.

AN: We’ve gone beyond that.

K: We’ve gone beyond that, because a physical revolution is the most absurd, primitive, unintelligent destruction.

AN: It’s fragmentation in this consciousness. Are you asking, sir, what is it which will restore order to this consciousness, an order which is whole?

K: Are you saying, sir: Can there be order within this consciousness? Aren’t you?

AN: Is that the next step, sir?

K: That’s what you’re asking, aren’t you?

AN: Yes, sir. Yes, sir. But since we see that the disorder, which is the sorrow and the suffering, is the disorder in this indivisible consciousness, the next question must be: What are we going to do about it?

K: Yes.

AN: And since there is no entity who can do something about it, outside of this disorder…

K: Wait, sir. Wait, sir. Wait, wait, wait, wait. Don’t jump to that immediately.

AN: Because we have seen that the disorder is the entity.

K: Do we realise that? No. Do I realise the thinker is part of this consciousness and is not a separate entity outside this consciousness?

AN: Yes, sir.

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

AN: Yes, sir.

K: The observer is the content.

AN: Yes, sir.

K: Now, do I realise that?

AN: This you have said, sir. Yes. We have realised, sir, that the world is human consciousness, and you have told us that human consciousness is not separate from its contents, and you have also said, sir, that there is no observer, in fact, separate from this content of consciousness.

K: Stating a truth is one thing but the realisation of it is another.

AN: That’s right, sir. I think we do not fully understand that there is any observer, any entity separate from… We do not understand that there is no entity separate from this thing we are trying to change.

K: That’s right. So when we talk of change, it implies that there is an entity separate, within the consciousness, who can bring about a transformation.

AN: Yes, sir. We all think this, we think that we can somehow step aside from the mess, look at it and again juggle with it.

K: Yes.

AN: We always tell ourselves, ‘Well, I’m still here to do something about it,’ and so we juggle more and…

K: …more mess, more confusion.

AN: There’s just a little change of décor and things get worse.

K: So, first is, sir…

AN: Would you explain, sir, this observer?

K: Let’s begin again. I want to begin again. Which is: The world is me; I am the world. The consciousness of the world is my consciousness; my consciousness is the world.

AN: Yes, sir.

K: In that consciousness are all the content of human endeavour – mischief, human misery, human cruelty – all the human activities are within that consciousness.

AN: Yes, sir.

K: Within that consciousness, man has brought about this entity which says, ‘I am separate from my consciousness.’ The observer there, he says, ‘I am different from the thing observed.’ The thinker says, ‘My thoughts are different from me.’

AN: Yes, he does.

K: So, is that so, first? Let’s move step by step. Is that so? Or, is it the thinker is the thought?

AN: We all believe, sir, that the two entities are different. We say to ourselves, ‘I mustn’t be angry, I mustn’t be sorrowful, I must improve…’

K: Yes, self-improve.

AN: ‘…I must change myself’ – we are saying this, either tacitly or consciously, all the time.

K: Because we think there are these two, 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.

AN: That’s right, sir.

K: If there is no… the thing observed, there is no observer.

AN: Yes, sir. Are you saying, sir, that there is no permanent entity such as an observer, there is only an observer with regard to each observation, there is only a thinker with regard to each thought…

K: Wait, sir.

AN: …that in the absence of the thought there is no thinker…

K: Let’s see if I am understanding your question rightly.

AN: But there are a hundred observers and a hundred thinkers during the course of the day.

K: Wait. I am just saying: Is that so? I observe that red eagle flying by, going by.

AN: Yes, sir. Yes.

K: I see it there. When I observe that bird, am I observing with the image I have about that bird, or I am merely observing… or there is only mere observation? If there is an image – which is word, memory and all the rest of it – then there is an observer watching the bird go by.

AN: Yes, sir.

K: If there is only observation then there is no observer.

AN: Yes. Yes, sir.

K: I don’t know if you…

AN: You’re saying that either I observe the bird with an image, in which case there is an observer, or I just look at the bird, in which case there is no observer.

K: No observer at all.

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

K: Because the observer is the past, the observer is the censor, is the accumulated knowledge, experience, memory. With that, which is the observer, he observes the world.

AN: Yes, sir.

K: Which is, his accumulated knowledge is different from your accumulated knowledge.

AN: Yes, sir. Yes. In other words, he’s observing himself.

K: Himself.

AN: He’s observing what he thinks, what he has been taught and as he has been conditioned to observe. Yes, sir. In this case, of course, it’s quite clear that the observer is observing only himself. We see, for instance, that if there is a war on, the Germans will look at a particular plane quite differently from the way the French will, if they are on opposite sides of the war. Therefore, what they are seeing is themselves.

K: So, sir, when one realises the observer, the experiencer, the thinker is the thought, is the experience, is the observed, then the question is: What is the meaning of change?

AN: Yes, sir. Are you saying, sir, that this total consciousness, which is the mess, is in fact 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?

K: That’s just it, sir. If the observer is the observed, what is the nature of change in consciousness? That’s what we are trying to find out.

AN: Yes, sir.

K: That if we realise that there must be a radical revolution – not physical revolution, radical revolution in consciousness – how is this to take place? Is it to take place through the observer? And when the observer is separate from the observed then his change is merely juggling with the various contents of consciousness.

AN: That’s right, sir.

K: Now, let’s go slowly, slowly. When one realises that, then the observer is the observed, the thinker is the thought. That’s a fact. Right. Let’s stop there a minute.

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

K: The thinker is the thought, whether it is many or one or…

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

K: But, sir, that concrete entity, as you say, is the result of thought.

AN: Yes, sir.

K: Wait. The result of thought.

AN: Yes, that concrete entity is…

K: …put together by thought.

AN: …all these thoughts together.

K: Put together by thought.

AN: Yes. Yes. Put together by his thoughts.

K: Of course. By thought – not his – by thought.

AN: Yes, sir.

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

AN: Itself. Yes.

K: And so there is a battle between the observer and the observed. The battle consists of trying to control, change, shape, suppress, give it a new shape – all that. That is the battle that goes on all the time in our life.

AN: Yes.

K: But when I see, 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, there must… consciousness must undergo tremendous change. That’s a fact.

AN: That’s a fact.

K: And when the observer, who wants to change, realises he is part of the change…

AN: Yes, part of what has to be changed.

K: What has to be changed, and therefore no change at all.

AN: Yes. That he is in fact like a thief pretending to be a policeman, to catch himself.

K: Himself. Right. So what takes place?

AN: You see, sir, people don’t believe this, because they will say, ‘Ah, but through exercising will I have stopped smoking, through exercising will I have got up earlier, and I have lost weight, and I have learned languages.’ They say, ‘I am the master of my destiny, I can change.’ Everybody really believes this. Everybody will believe that he is capable, somehow, of exercising will upon his own life, his own behaviour and his own thinking.

K: Which means, sir, one has to understand the whole…

AN: Of course, this is the conflict you mentioned.

K: Yes, I understand. One has to understand the meaning of effort. What is effort? Why effort exists at all. Is that the way to bring about a transformation in consciousness or transformation of consciousness, through effort, through will? Right?

AN: Yes, sir.

K: Which means what? Change through conflict.

AN: Yes.

K: When there is the operation of will, will is a form of resistance – to overcome, to suppress, to deny, escape – all that’s a form of will in action. Right. That means life then is a constant battle.

AN: Yes, sir. Are you saying that simply one element in this consciousness is dominating another?

K: Obviously. One fragment dominates the other fragment.

AN: And that there is still conflict and there is still disorder, by that very fact.

K: Yes.

AN: Yes, this is clear, sir.

K: So, the central fact still remains. That is, there must be a radical transformation in consciousness and of consciousness.

AN: Yes, sir.

K: Right?

AN: Yes.

K: Now, how is this to be brought about? That is the real question.

AN: Yes, sir.

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

AN: Indeed we have, sir.

K: Now, that fragment which we call superior, intelligence, intellect, reason, logic, etc., etc., etc., is the product…

AN: …of the past.

K: …of the past, of the many other fragments. One fragment has assumed authority over other fragments.

AN: Yes, this is clear, sir.

K: But it is still a fragment, and therefore there is a battle between one fragment and the many other fragments.

AN: Yes, sir.

K: So is it possible to see that this fragmentation doesn’t solve our problems?

AN: That’s clear, sir. Because it makes the division and the conflict, which right from the start was our problem.

K: Yes. That is, when there is division between man and woman there’s conflict, when there is a division between Germany and England there is conflict – Russia, and so on, so on, so on, so on.

AN: Yes. And all this is division within this consciousness itself.

K: Therefore…

AN: And also the exercise of will upon consciousness is again the division within consciousness itself.

K: So one has to be free of the idea that through will you can change content.

AN: Ah. Yes, sir.

K: Because that is important to understand.

AN: Yes, sir, this is very important. The exercise of will is simply the tyranny of one fragment over some others.

K: That’s simple, sir, that’s simple. So, when one realises that, one is free of will, then one is also free of this fragmentation.

AN: Yes, because every religion in the world has always called upon will, sir, to come in and do something.

K: Yes, that’s right. But we are denying the whole of that, you see, sir.

AN: This is an enormous thing, sir – yes.

K: So, let’s begin. What is a mind to do or not to do, when it sees will is not the way, when it sees one fragment taking charge over other fragments is still fragmentation and therefore conflict and therefore still within the field of misery, then what is such a mind to do? Right?

AN: Yes, sir, this is really the question.

K: Right. Now, for such a mind is there anything to do?

AN: When you say that, sir, one says, ‘If there is nothing to do then the circus goes on.’

K: No. No, sir, look. The circus goes on only when there is the exercise of will.

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

K: Made up – my will against your will, and so on and on.

AN: Or my will against another part of me.

K: And so on.

AN: My desire to smoke…

K: Sir, sir, sir, that’s just it. Right?

AN: Yes, sir.

K: That is, a mind which starts by saying, ‘I must change,’ realises one fragment asserting that it must change is still in conflict with other fragments, which is part of consciousness.

AN: Yes, sir.

K: It realises that. Therefore, it also realises that will, to which man has become accustomed, which takes for granted that is the only way to bring about change…

AN: …is not the factor of change.

K: …is not the factor of change. Therefore, such a mind has come to quite a different height.

AN: Yes, sir, it has cleared up a great deal.

K: A vast quantity of rubbish.

AN: Yes.

K: Which is, first it has cleared up…

AN: …the division between the inner and the outer, the division between consciousness and its content.

K: That’s right.

AN: It has cleared up also the division between the conscious entity and the consciousness belonging to him.

K: That’s right, various fragments.

AN: Yes. And it has cleared up the division between different fragments in that consciousness. So there is a great…

K: What has happened to that mind that has seen all this? Not theoretically but actually felt it, says, ‘No more will in my life,’ which means no more resistance in my life.

AN: This is so extraordinary and so big, sir, that it’s like finding the sky at the bottom one day. It’s such a great change that it’s very difficult to say what the extent of that change is. It is an enormous…

K: It has already taken place. That’s my point.

AN: Yes, sir. This is so enormous that one cannot assess the extent of that change. You are saying, sir, that there is no more will, there is no more effort, there is no more division between the outside and the inside… (inaudible) … is responsible.

K: No more fragmentation within consciousness.

AN: No more fragmentation. No more observer.

K: Wait, no, that’s very important to understand, sir.

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

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

AN: I’m not sure that we have understood this, sir. Consciousness is its fragments.

K: Consciousness is its fragments, and consciousness is the battle between the fragments.

AN: Are you saying, sir, that they are only fragments because they battle?

K: And when there is…

AN: When they are not battling together they are not fragments, because they are not acting as parts. The acting of one part on another…

K: …ceases.

AN: That is what it means when you say fragmentation.

K: Yes.

AN: That’s what fragmentation is.

K: So see what has taken place, sir.

AN: So the fragments disappear when they are not acting against each other.

K: Naturally. When Pakistan and India…

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

K: Of course, naturally, sir.

AN: This is an enormous thing, sir. Are you saying, sir, that that is the change?

K: Wait, wait, wait, I don’t know yet. We are going into it. So a human mind, which has realised this, 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 the consciousness, with all its misery and so on, 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.

AN: The boss.

K: The boss. And so he maintains fragmentation.

AN: Yes, because he maintains division.

K: See the importance. The moment he assumes the authority, he must maintain fragmentation.

AN: Yes, sir, obviously, because it’s a part of consciousness acting on the rest of consciousness.

K: Therefore he must maintain conflict.

AN: Yes, sir.

K: And conflict is consciousness.

AN: You have said that fragments are consciousness, sir, and are you saying now that fragments are in fact that content?

K: Of course.

AN: Fragments are conflict. And there is no fragment without conflict.

K: When is consciousness active?

AN: When it is in conflict.

K: Of course – obviously. Otherwise there is freedom. There is freedom to observe.

AN: Yes.

K: So, radical revolution in consciousness and of consciousness takes place when there is no conflict at all.

AN: Thank you, sir.

Krishnamurti in Malibu, 27 March 1971

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