Krishnamurti with Pupul Jayakar 1
Pupul Jayakar, who died in 1997, was an Indian cultural activist and writer, best known for her work on the revival of traditional and village arts, handlooms, and handicrafts. She was a close friend of prime minister Indira Gandhi, and was her cultural advisor and biographer. Having been to a school established by Annie Basant, Pupul became involved with Krishnamurti’s work in the 1940s, becoming a trustee of the Indian foundation.
This first conversation was recorded in 1978, at Brockwood Park. Pupul asks: Has there been a radical change in your teaching, a movement away from observation, from the division between the thinker and the thought? They ask whether it’s possible to see the total content of consciousness and move out of it? Complete, total insight is only possible instantly, and that instant is not contained in time. The thinker and thought are not separate. Thinking is based on growth, becoming, evolving. Will the mind, being so heavily conditioned by the tradition of growth, listen?
Krishnamurti: We’re old hands at this so carry on.
Pupul Jayakar: (Inaudible)… it’s rather a new situation… (inaudible).
K: You wouldn’t like others to join in?
PJ: I don’t mind. Please do; if at any point you feel like joining in. I feel… in fact, it would help me because, you know, it…
K: Avanti; that’s better.
PJ: I’ve been wanting to ask you a question for several years. It’s not one question, but in the sense the one question contains the totality of your teaching, and I think if you could answer it, it might help clarify certain issues.
I have heard you for thirty years, and I feel that through these thirty years, there has been a movement in the teaching. I’m using the word movement deliberately; I’m not calling it a development, but rather an unfoldment – unfolding rather; not unfoldment. In ‘48, when I first heard you, you had been very concerned with the whole problem of the thinker and thought, with self-knowledge, and the observation of one thought, pursuing that thought to an end, another thought intervening, pursuing that to an end; and you practically took the hand of the person who was with you – practically took the hand; I’ll use those words again – and led him into this; led him into the process of self-knowing, which ultimately is the key to all your…to your teaching. To observe for the first time thought in consciousness. You then went on to the whole problem of judgement, condemnation, the observing of judgement and condemnation and the movements beyond.
There were many other facets of this. There was the whole problem of the thinker and thought, whether the thinker was separate to thought, or whether it was part of thought itself. This awakening to thought itself – to me at least – has been the most crucial point of understanding. You went on to… you accepted, you said that the pause between two thoughts was silence. The ending of thought was silence. Today you do not say that, sir. There has been, over these thirty years, a… you hardly speak of the thinker and thought. You hardly speak of the observation of thought, the movement of condemnation, the observation of condemnation and the movement beyond. You today speak of a totality of seeing, a holistic seeing, which seems to wipe away the need for all the rest. My question is: has your teaching, in a sense, moved from there to what it is today; or is it a deepening of the teaching; or is that you can arrive at this holistic position without going through the whole process of observation through self-knowing? You no longer take the person by the hand and take them into the process. I’d like to know whether you feel that there has been… have you moved away from…? You haven’t moved away.
K: No, but I think you used the word unfolding. I think that would be more correct. Rather, it’s in the same direction, and I think it is a widening, a deepening; and, as you used the word holistic, rather than go minutely in detail, as we did thirty years ago, if I remember rightly from what you say. So the question that you’re asking: is it that one has moved away completely from the past teaching to the present position, where it’s more direct, more simple, more… – not more – it is direct, simple and comprehensive. Would you accept that?
PJ: It may be from your point of view, but what about the person who listens? Is it possible – my query is, is it possible, without the moving through the other, to immediately jump…
K: Yes, quite right.
PJ: …into the holistic position?
K: I get the point.
PJ: You speak today, which you never did before, of a total immobility in consciousness.
PJ: …a total non-movement. You make another statement; I’ll state it now, that we can discuss it in greater detail. You say the ending of thought is not silence. You have said it a number of times. The space between two thoughts is not silence.
K: I would say the space between two thoughts is not silence. But the ending of thought – total ending of thought – is silence.
PJ: You see…
K: That means the total ending of time; time coming to a stop is complete silence.
PJ: Now, the query is: can a person who has not seen time in operation in consciousness within himself as thought, as judgement, as becoming, is not familiar with the process of becoming within himself, can that person, from a state of becoming, but not being aware of becoming, suddenly leap into the other?
K: Obviously not.
PJ: Then, sir, then we are back where we are.
K: Not quite. Let’s be clear. You are asking, Pupulji, aren’t you, has there been a radical change in the teaching? Has there been, after thirty years, a movement away from observation, from the division between the thinker and the thought, and the whole content of consciousness? Is there a different… or a fundamental change from that of thirty years ago to today? Is that the basic question?
PJ: That’s the basic question.
K: Won’t you join, some of us, in this game? Could we begin from today, and from today look back? Not from yesterday look to today, but from today look to yesterday. You follow what I’m saying?
K: Could we do that?
PJ: But a person like me, looking from today to yesterday, had a yesterday.
K: Yes, yes, but you are looking at yesterday with a different mind, with different eyes, which you hadn’t yesterday.
PJ: Agreed, sir; but my query is: without the yesterday…
K: There would be no today.
PJ: …would it be possible to look back at the yesterday?
K: Without yesterday…
PJ: Without the yesterday, would it be possible for today to look at back at the yesterday?
PJ: You see…
K: Without yesterday…
PJ: Without the yesterday…
K: Could you look back…?
PJ: From the today…
K: From today, look back…?
PJ: To yesterday.
K: Now, wait a minute; I haven’t quite understood this question. Go slowly. Without yesterday, you are saying…
PJ: No, you said: Can you look back from the today to yesterday?
K: To yesterday; that’s all I’m said.
PJ: And I say: I had a yesterday…
PJ: …therefore from today I can look back at the yesterday.
K: Yes; naturally.
PJ: But if I had not the yesterday…
K: Yes; you couldn’t; obviously.
PJ: Obviously I couldn’t.
K: Obviously you can’t.
PJ: Now, the query is…
K: No… wait; go slowly; go slowly. If you had no yesterday, you cannot, you are saying, you cannot look back from today to yesterday.
PJ: No, I make a statement further. I cannot be today.
K: You cannot be today; obviously. But there is something else in it. Which is, let’s make it clear to ourselves. I had… one had yesterday, and from yesterday you look at today. We are suggesting: look from today to yesterday. And to that you add: ‘If I had no yesterday, I couldn’t look from today.’ But I didn’t introduce that… not having yesterday. You carried on a little bit further. Don’t carry it a little bit further, but wait to proceed slowly. That is, thirty years ago, which is yesterday, there were certain category or certain expression of this teaching; and, after thirty years, you are saying, has that teaching of thirty years ago undergone a deep change. To that I said, from today, as you are today, can you look back to thirty years ago, and not the other way round. That’s all that I’m saying. Don’t bring in a new element into it for the time being.
K: Would you say then that from today there has been a change, when you look back to thirty years ago? I’m not turning the table onto you. I’m just asking. Not to catch you out or anything of that kind, but to find out how you look at the past from today. I think that’s a valid question.
PJ: Yes, I’ll answer this. There has been no change; basically there is no change.
K: Why do you say that?
PJ: Because inbuilt into this holistic seeing is the seeing and listening which I came to yesterday. There cannot… the holistic seeing, or the immobility which you speak about, holds all that.
K: Wait a minute; wait a minute; what are you saying? The past… or rather the present holds the entirety of the past.
PJ: Entirety of the past. I’m not speaking of it as memory, Krishnaji. Please let me make it very clear.
K: No, I understand what you’re saying.
PJ: I’m not speaking of it as memory.
K: The present holds the past.
PJ: The totality…
K: Totality of the past. Is that so? And what do we mean by the present? Sorry, I’m not quarrelling over words but I would like to find out what you mean by the word, that present?
PJ: Now, you asked me a question.
K: Can you look from today to yesterday.
K: When you look from today to yesterday, you are looking not only with memory of yesterday, but you’re also looking at it with different eyes.
PJ: Yes; that’s what I’m trying to say.
K: Yes; yes.
PJ: But my query still is not answered.
K: No, perhaps not, but we’ll explore it as we go along. I was asking if you could look from today to the whole of yesterdays. It’s a very interesting question, this. I don’t know what the others feel. At least I think it is extraordinarily… inviting a great deal. So thirty years ago there was certain teaching; and today it’s a holistic teaching – let’s put it… for the time being – and you’re asking whether that… this whole movement of thirty years has brought about a basic change. I wouldn’t say it has changed. I would say there is no basic change.
PJ: No, but I… Now, this is my query. My query is: without the process of self-knowing…
K: Without thirty years.
PJ: …without the process of self-knowing and the observation of the whole process of becoming…
K: Yes, I understand; I understand.
PJ: …is this possible?
K: Yes; without those thirty years of exploration, discussion, invitation to the whole examination of consciousness and its content, and so on and so on, without all that, can you… can one apprehend, be aware, have an insight to the whole thing immediately? Yes.
PJ: This is what I would like to explore.
K: Yes. Yes.
K: How shall we explore this thing? Right?
PJ: Because if I may make one statement: thirty years ago, you may not have felt it, but the people who were around you felt it, that you literally took them by the hand.
K: Yes; yes; I know; they have told me.
PJ: And now you’ve put up… you’ve lifted your hands.
K: Yes; I understand.
PJ: This whole position today is lifting your hands away totally.
K: I understand. And perhaps we’re also a little more mature.
PJ: But what has brought this maturity?
PJ: What has brought about this maturity? The thirty years?
K: No; no.
PJ: Then, sir?
K: No; no; let’s go into it a little bit. Why do you, if I may ask, go back to thirty years? I’m not stopping you, you understand, I’m just asking you. Why do you go back to thirty years? It’s like being married…
PJ: No… I understand.
K: …and suddenly the husband says, ‘Do you remember thirty years ago?’ And the wife says, ‘Why the Dickens are you going back thirty years?’
PJ: No, I’ll tell you why, sir. For me, I’ve been wanting to do something; that is, to see very objectively what has taken place in the teaching for thirty years, not only as it has come through in the written word, but as it has come through in me.
K: Yes; yes.
PJ: You see? So as I was going into it for myself. I… certain things become very obvious.
PJ: …that there are distinctly three periods where a change took place; a totally different position… (inaudible).
K: Would you explain a little bit?
PJ: There was this period when you talked of self-knowledge and what I have discussed already. Then, around the 60s, you moved away from there and you talked about this totality of seeing; and you were concerned with the totality of seeing; but yet you talked of the ending of thought as being silence. Today you have put all that aside. You speak, in the sense – if I may use the word; forgive me for using it – it’s a more cosmic way of speaking. It’s a… you know, it embraces the… you never discuss any particular subject. You take the total and bring it in.
K: Yes; yes.
PJ: And you have made certain statements in the last couple of years, which I thought I would go into slowly, because this is a very vast field.
K: We’ll do it; we’ll do it; plenty of time.
PJ: (Inaudible)… you’re using mind, thought, consciousness, brain cells; and I would like to question you further on that, because I don’t think it is possible to understand, unless the terminology is now clearly defined…
K: Clearly… (inaudible).
PJ: …because you’ve used all these in various ways.
PJ: And so you’re using a more scientific language now, if I may put it. You have made statements; I’ll put the statement to you: that the brain cells themselves can hold the holistic.
K: Did I? I must be clear on this.
PJ: (Inaudible)… that’s why I wanted to move slowly into this position.
K: So let’s begin, first thing. What is the first thing you’re asking? Leave the three things; we’ll come to that.
PJ: The first and major query is: if you say that you… all that process of self-knowing, and going into it, and observation and… was… is not necessary, and that the holistic position is possible immediately…
PJ: …then the question is: what is it that triggers it?
K: Oh, my Lord…
PJ: Because this is a…
K: Yes, I understand.
PJ: I understand the other; I understand the careful observation, the understanding of the process of becoming, the movement into it; because here is the major departure you are making, from all the other teachers in the world – the Buddhas…
PJ: Who all said…
K: Time is necessary.
PJ: Not time, even though they don’t use the word time like this…
PJ: …which you said also twenty years, thirty years, forty years ago…
K: Yes; yes; yes, I understand. So…
PJ: You were making a statement today. You say something today, that the holistic position is possible… a holistic seeing is possible now. But what brings the maturity to the eye and the ear and the process of learning which makes it possible?
K: I understand. So where shall we begin our…?
PJ: When you say yes…
K: Let us examine, or explore the question. What is it that you are trying to tell me now? Now.
PJ: I am saying: you say that the holistic position is possible, here and now, without the thirty years of the…
PJ: …and I say that is my major query.
K: I understand. So let’s examine that; let’s find out. I may be wrong; I may be telling an untruth, or I may be saying something which is not accurate, so I must… one must go into this carefully. Are you implying that a blind man can see light; or without preparation, have a holistic view, now – it comes to that – without going through all the examination, explorations, and detailed observations, without whole of that activity, to see immediately the totality of all existence? Right? Is that your question? Basically?
PJ: Yes, that’s basically… (inaudible).
K: Yes. That is, without thirty years preparation – let’s quote… preparation in quotes – is it possible to see the totality of all existence – right? – to see the totality, wholeness of consciousness?
PJ: Which means a totally empty consciousness.
K: See… No; no, not ‘emptying’. I’m just… No, let’s go slowly. Seeing the totality of consciousness.
PJ: Yes, which is the past.
K: Wait; wait; wait; I know…. which is the past. You are asking a question, which is: without preparation, without the drill, without all that examination, is it possible to see the total content of consciousness and move out of it. Right?
PJ: And be totally immobile.
PJ: Yes, whatever word… (inaudible).
K: (Inaudible). Now, that is the question: is that possible? I say yes. I’ve stuck my neck out. I say yes. It’s not out of obstinacy… (inaudible) stubbornness, or holding on to something which I think nobody else has said, therefore it’s good to say it, or any of that absurd things, but I still maintain that it is possible to see the whole content of consciousness, which is the movement of thought, with all its different categories and types and characteristics; to see the total consciousness instantly, and move out of it. Not move… reach a point where the thought comes to an end. Let’s put it that way for the time being. Yes, I’ll stick to that.
PJ: Then was that position then not true?
K: No. I wouldn’t say that was not true.
PJ: Then? The position then was true.
K: Oh, no; no; I wouldn’t say that it’s not true.
PJ: Because the perception…
PJ: Look, sir…
K: I know; I know what I mean.
PJ: The perception of the thinker and the thought, was it total perception?
PJ: As total as this?
K: As this; quite right; but in explaining the totality of that perception – right? – you had to go into details; but it was total perception then as now.
PJ: But if you had not said, and there had not been a listening to that, that observe the mind, judging, condemning, wanting…
K: Justifying and all the rest of it.
PJ: …and if the mind had not actually seen that.
K: I understand your question.
PJ: This is not possible, sir.
K: I see.
PJ: This is what I say. How does one proceed?
K: No, I think, instead of putting all that… Pupulji, could we just say – I’m just suggesting it – could we say that the drill, the exploration, going through all that, without going through all that, is it possible? That is the real crux of the question.
PJ: Yes; but you have made us go through all that.
PJ: You have made us go through all that, sir. When I say you have made us… (inaudible)…
K: Yes, yes, yes, yes…
PJ: But we have gone through all that.
K: No, I question whether K went through that.
PJ: But why did K ask us to go through that?
K: It may be because… – I’m just examining it; I’m not saying it is so – maybe because he was saying something which may have appeared as new and therefore asking you to go into it in detail. I don’t know if I’m explaining myself.
PJ: Forgive me, sir…
K: I’ll forgive you anything. Go on.
PJ: What you said there was as total and as true as anything you say today.
K: I agree, but he may be saying something out of totality,
K: …as he’s now saying something out of totality.
K: In that saying, there may have been a detailed examination.
PJ: Yes; yes.
K: But that examination was born from the totality. A perception…
K: …and therefore it is still total.
PJ: I agree; I think it is so.
K: So… I think so; yes.
PJ: But the position still remains, that to the person who comes for the first time, is that still not necessary?
K: Yes, you are saying same thing.
PJ: Is that not necessary?
K: Mustn’t you go…
PJ: Must you not see the process of becoming in consciousness?
K: Yes, must you not go through the school, college, university, and reach the final examination? Without going through that, can you come to that?
PJ: (Inaudible)… because that would… I know you will say no because that would involve a process, and it would involve time. I know that that is, but I say that that was total and true, then.
K: As now
PJ: …as now.
K: Yes. What… then what is the question.
PJ: But for the person who starts.
K: I understand. You’re going round the same thing.
PJ: Yes, because it is the most crucial thing, you know, we have to deal with young people.
K: I understand; I understand this.
PJ: …and this is the most crucial thing.
K: I understand this… (inaudible).
PJ: If you say that you can plunge straight into this holistic position, then as you showed us then, show us now.
K: Yes. Right. That’s the problem. Right; I understand. Let’s get this clear. K is saying that there is… no preparation is necessary. Preparation of thirty years… I mean, let’s suppose that. Now, is that valid? You understand my…? That is, can one observe without the past? Right? Can one have an insight without all the weight of yesterdays? And that insight being instantaneous. Would you…? Right? Am I stating the question correctly?
K: So perception of the totality can be only… can only come about instantly.
K: Not through time, thought, exploration…
PJ: Yes… (inaudible).
K: Right; right. That perception of the whole can only take place instantly. Now, if that is so, then what is the need of preparation?
PJ: Would you call that preparation?
PJ: Would you have called that preparation?
PJ: The observing…
K: Ah, thirty years; I’m talking of thirty years.
PJ: No. You see, I want to drop the thirty years…
K: All right…
PJ: …because, you see, if you bring it in thirty years as time…
K: I know…
PJ: …I understand what you say.
K: I would like to point this out, that it is only possible to have complete, total insight immediately, instantly, and that instant is not contained in time.
K: Right. Right?
K: I… X cannot see that. He says, ‘Tell me what to do to have this extraordinary insight immediately; and he says, ‘Tell me,’ and you tell him – just a minute; just a minute – you said observe the thinker and the thought; there is no division between the thinker and thought; there is no… – wait – as I am… as he is explaining, are you listening, or is there a process of abstraction taking place which puts you away from the instant action? I wonder if I’m saying…
PJ: Yes; I understand. You see, Krishnaji…
K: Wait; wait; just half a minute. That is, he says the thinker and the thought are identical; they are not separate. Do you see instantly the truth of it? Or do you say, ‘I must think over this. I must need further explanation of it’?
PJ: May I say one thing?
PJ: I can’t help bringing in this. There’s a mind which has… I won’t bring in time, but still has had thirty years.
K: Mind… – wait – the mind, the brain is the result of million years.
PJ: Yes, but it has observed, and that observation has deepened…
K: I understand; I understand all that…
PJ: …and when you make a statement like this, it is capable of receiving it.
K: I question whether it is not capable also without the thirty years…
PJ: That’s all I’m…
K: …to see this thing.
PJ: This is what I would like to know, because if that is so…
K: Why haven’t people seen. That would be the normal question. Because… they don’t see because they are not actually listening.
PJ: No; moment you say…
K: No, just listen to it carefully. When this person says it is instant… perception is instant of the total, totality, etc., and he says, the questioner then says, ‘Please, how am I to get to that point where I see this immense thing instantly?’ Right? ‘Tell me what to do.’ Right? I don’t understand – wait a minute – I don’t understand what you’re talking about, but I’m caught in something else. I can’t understand what you say. Help me to understand what you say. Right?
PJ: But what you are saying… I mean, the moment that question is asked, it’s like asking, ‘You give me insight.’
K: No; no…
PJ: Yes, sir.
K: No; no; roundabout way, yes.
PJ: Yes, it is: ‘Give me insight.’
K: He says nobody can give it to you.
PJ: And there I’m stuck.
K: No; no; no.
PJ: You see…
K: You ask… – wait a minute; look at the question – you ask, ‘Can you give it to me?’ and K says, ‘No, sorry, it cannot be given to… by anyone.’ Wait a minute. What is your reaction to that statement, that nobody, no time, no evolution, no experience, nothing can give it to you; no guru and so on?
PJ: If you ask me, I would say yes… (inaudible).
K: Yes. But don’t you also ask: ‘Since it cannot be given, and I haven’t got that insight, what I am to do?’ That would be normal healthy reaction.
PJ: Yes; yes; yes.
K: To that K says: Listen to what he is saying. Listen; and not weave a theory or a speculative abstraction, but just listen, that nobody can give it to you. If you listen and if it is… and that is the truth, it must have a tremendous effect on yourself, because your whole attention is captured in listening. And for that, no time is necessary; no preparation is necessary.
PJ: But do you think – I will again bring this up – do you think a person who has not delved into the self…
K: I’m saying yes.
PJ: …can listen like this?
PJ: Can listen like this?
K: Cannot; because even though he may delve into himself ad nauseam, he won’t listen to this.
PJ: No, sir…
K: No, Pupul; just a minute. Would you listen to the fact that nobody can give it to you?
K: What has happened to your mind? If you are listening, what has taken place? If you are dependent on a guru, or an outside agency, or an agency which is being cultivated as God and so on, would you listen at all? Or you say, ‘I’m too frightened to what you’re saying, because that means I have to abandon everything.’ And this fear says, ‘No, sorry, I won’t listen to you, because that means I have to give up my whole dependency on something which I’ve cultivated for millennia.’ That is the difficulty, Pupul.
PJ: You have said something just now, but you have still not answered my first query: whether there has been a deep change in your teaching.
K: None at all. He talked about authority, he still talks about authority. He talked about fear, he still talks about fear. He talked about consciousness in different sets of terms, he still talks about it. And thought must end… all that he has talked then. What is the nature of desire…
PJ: May I ask you a question, Krishnaji? Do you think there has been a… – forgive me for using the word – have you, in these… – I won’t put the word years because again you will say time – but do you think there has been any inner change in you during these years? I’m asking this very seriously to you.
K: Just a minute; let me observe it; I’ve never been asked this question before. To be truthful and accurate. Your question is: Has there been a deep change in you from thirty years ago, or from the beginning? No. I think that’s accurate. There have been change in expression; there have been change in vocabulary, language and gesture – you know, all that – but there has been no fundamental change from the beginning till now.
PJ: So what we see as…
K: That is immobility. Got it? So let’s go into this. Narayan or Mr Smith or Dr Parchure listen to the statement that perception of the total is immediate. Time is not necessary; preparation is not necessary; examination, exploration will not get you… will not help you to perceive that instant totality. Then they say to me, ‘What is your next instruction? What I am to do?’ Right? To which the natural reply would be: Don’t do anything, but listen. Have you listened accurately to this statement that time, preparation, the whole process of evolution is unnecessary – have you listened to that statement? Not that you must accept that statement; not that you must take it and absorb it and say, ‘Yes, I’ve understood it,’ but have you listened to that? If you so listen, you have the instant perception.
Come on, sirs, discuss, Narayan; some of you. So, Pupul, the point is this, really: our whole attitude and our whole way of life is based on evolution – right? Right? – becoming, growing, achieving, finally reaching godhead and so on and so on and so on. I think that basic assumption, that basic conditioning is radically false. Right? Right? Now, when you say that, do I see the falseness of it, instantly? Or do I say, ‘Now, wait a minute; wait a minute; this, this that, that, the other’?
PJ: No, sir; I would say I see the truth of that.
K: Wait a minute; wait a minute; go slow. What do you mean you see the truth of it?
PJ: I can see listen to that without a ripple in consciousness.
PJ: A ripple in consciousness.
K: What is… verb?
PJ: Ripple; without a movement in consciousness.
K: Ah; ah. If you so listen, what takes place? What takes place if a Buddha said to me – I am in his presence – ‘The ending of sorrow is bliss; or compassion.’ He says that to me. I’m one of his audience. I don’t examine the statement. I don’t translate the statement into my way of thinking. I don’t question it; I don’t analyse it; I don’t say, ‘What do you mean by it?’ I’ m only in a state of acute, total attention of listening; nothing else; because that statement is enormous truth and tremendous content in that statement. That’s enough. You…?
K: Then you ask… then I would ask the Buddha – forgive me – I say, ‘Please, sir, I am not capable of that capacity of such intense activity of listening’ – or non… whatever it is – ‘so please help me.’ Right? So he says, ‘I will. First listen to what I’ve said, that there is no outside agency; or the agency which mind, thought has invented. Nothing will help you to have that tremendous insight.’ And I listen and I say, ‘My God, I’m frightened.’ That means I give up everything that I’m attached to. And then he says, ‘Sir, how am I to be detached?’ You follow? His reasoning his false – not Buddha’s – my reasoning is false; the listener’s reasoning is false. The moment he says, ‘How am I to be detached,’ he is lost. He says, ‘Be detached,’ and I, I’m not listening; I have great reverence for him, etc., etc., but I’m not listening because attachment has been a tremendous thing in my life, and in one stroke you say throw it out? And you must throw it out in one instant. What?
Stephen Smith: Is that instant also the instant of perception?
K: Yes, sir; moment you have perception into the fact that you must be free of attachment, that’s… must be free of all knowledge. Right? And the man who has spent his life collecting knowledge from books and all the rest of it, he says, ‘What the Dickens are you talking about?’
PJ: Krishnaji, may I ask one question more?
K: Lots of them; we’ve got today and tomorrow. Go on.
PJ: A statement like you say the Buddha makes, is it…
K: You brought his name, that’s why I took it up.
K: It doesn’t matter.
PJ: Is it a question… I’m putting it in this way; please…
K: Please; go ahead
PJ: …of holding the totality of that statement without the word?
K: Without the word. Of course; the word is not the thing. The statement, the description, the flowering and all that is not the thing, therefore the word… there must be freedom from the word. And then he says, ‘Please help to be free from the word.’ (Laughs) Then I’m lost. That’s why I’m saying the intensity of listening is the real crux of it.
PJ: But the… again you come down to it, what is it that gives that intensity?
K: That intensity? Nothing. When you are suffering, going through beastly time, you don’t say… you’re in it. That’s a simile… please don’t push it too far, but… You see, that’s what I’m finding… asking: you see, our whole way of thinking is based on growth, becoming, evolving. I see a child, baby, and he grows into manhood; I see technological development, taken years and years… So everything is a growth – right? – becoming, growing, expanding; and somebody comes along and says: That’s all right in a certain place but it has nothing whatsoever to do with enlightenment – let’s use a different word – nothing whatsoever to do. The mind being so heavily conditioned by this tradition of growth, I won’t even listen; he says that man is talking nonsense.
Our difficulty isn’t it, Pupul, you say something which is totally accurate, totally true; something immovable, irrevocable; and what you say has tremendous weight behind it, like a river with tremendous water behind it. And I listen to it, because I have commitments; I have… – you follow? – I’m attached; I’m crying over my husband or wife or girl because… this and that, and I don’t listen to what you… (inaudible) extraordinary statement. So to answer your question: Has there been from the 30’s, 40’s, till now a fundamental change in you? No. There’s been a considerable change in expression – right? – in the way of using of words and so on, but the basic thing is the same. What time is it?
Giddu Narayan: 5:08, sir. Eight minutes past five.
K: Is that enough for today, or should we carry on? I don’t mind.
PJ: I don’t want to tire you.
K: No, you don’t have… this is…
PJ: No, sir, because…
K: Pupul, may I suggest something: let’s carry on with this for a few days if necessary. I’m not tired.
PJ: There are other areas in which, I think…
K: (Inaudible)… delighted; let’s carry on. It doesn’t matter; if you all get bored… (French); we can carry on.
GN: There is obviously an intensification of listening which happens at given moments, either in situation like this or when one is alone, but as it stands, a human being, he’s not in that situation generally.
K: No, no, Narayan, are you…? We’re not talking generally…
GN: No, no…
K: …or when you’re alone, which may not be accurate. Or… I’m not saying… belittling what you’re saying, but when you use the word generally, you’re still thinking in terms of time, of evolution, growth.
K: Aren’t you?
GN: I’m not using generally in that way. If I take myself, I listen, but it is not this intense listening.
GN: There is a listening…
K: No just answer my question – why?
K: Ah, no, no; stick to… don’t fritter it away.
GN: No, what I want to ask is: Can one bring oneself to this state of listening?
K: Ah; no; no; no; no. I’m asking you, if I may: do you listen?
GN: I do.
K: With that intensity? If you do, then what takes place? To a statement: time, process, evolution, all that is totally beyond a point; totally abandoned; including knowledge; everything let go. Will you listen to that point? Which means that you are actually abandoned.
GN: There is certainly a moment like that…
K: Ah, ah, ah…
GN: …but my point is one goes back to a situation…
K: Ah, you cannot.
K: You cannot. That’s the whole point of her argument, of her discussion. I can…
GN: Yes. That means there has been no listening at all.
K: Of course.
GN: Because you are saying if we have listened intently, you cannot go back.
N: I don’t know…
K: If there is danger and you see the danger, you don’t go back to danger, unless you are neurotic, you are sadistic, and all the rest of it, of course you don’t go back. After all, you see, this thing, seeing totally, having an insight, it’s like a thunder, a lightening that destroys everything. Destroys – you understand?
GN: Yes; it does. But why does the mind slip back?
K: Ah, ah, ah…
GN: It does.
K: No, it can’t. Narayan, you are making… you are saying something which is apparently factual but it’s not. When you see something tremendously dangerous, you never go back to it. You move away completely from it.
Questioner: May I ask a question?
K: Yes, sir; please don’t ask me; ask, sir.
Q: Well, then, what is the use of going through, for instance, seven talks at Saanen where the whole thing is going to be investigated, when just this…?
K: Ah… (inaudible) the question, sir, because… What is the intention of the speaker? Why is he speaking? Right, sir? If he said, ‘Look, this thing is instantaneous; nobody can help you’ and walks out, what would happen? You say, ‘My God, I came all this way from Innsbruck, and in two words it’s finished!’ You wouldn’t even… You follow? So we have to go through all this process. Which is not – let’s be… – which is not denying the instant thing.
PJ: That’s it, sir; you’ve now said it.
K: What is that?
PJ: You have said it means going through the whole thing without denying the instant.
K: Yes, that’s it; that’s it.
PJ: But going through is…
K: Through it because people… – forgive me – people are so dull; or people won’t listen; people expect something, so you have to explain don’t, etc., etc.
PJ: Now you have answered the first question. This is the answer.
K: What is the…? I’ve answered it? I haven’t got it.
K: Which is that?
PJ: That you have to go through the whole thing without denying the instantaneous of it.
K: Of course; of course; of course. As we just now did with Narayan.
PJ: That doesn’t mean time is involved.
K: Not at all. But listening I’ll translate as time; I’ll translate as process; I’ll translate as step by step by step.
PJ: It’s time for your walk, sir.
K: Yes; shall we stop now?
K: Bene. You haven’t caught me out, have you?
K: It’s good, Pupul; this is a good discussion; let’s… (inaudible).
PJ: (Inaudible)… other things I have to ask you.
K: We’ll do it tomorrow… (inaudible).
Krishnamurti at Brockwood Park, 11 June 1978