Krishnamurti with Pupul Jayakar 2

Episode Notes

Pupul Jayakar was a trustee of Krishnamurti Foundation India, and for decades was a friend of Krishnamurti’s. She helped publish many of his books in India, along with writing a biography which was published soon after his death. Her other books include The Earth Mother, The Buddha and God is Not a Full-Stop.

This second conversation was recorded in the summer of 1978, at Brockwood. Krishnamurti asks: What does the word ‘conscious’ mean to you?, saying that thought can never be aware of the total content of consciousness. Can the mind perceive the totality? Is there a love or a quality which is not part of consciousness? Is it possible to observe with all one’s senses? Is there a totally different dimension to consciousness, not invented by thought? Can this be discovered? What quality is necessary to move out of the circle of consciousness? How can we know order when we live in total disorder? When thought is completely, absolutely still, there is an action


Pupul Jayakar: I thought we could inquire today into some of the terms you use. Through the years I have a feeling that these words have been used with different meanings. The words I am wanting to raise, are consciousness, mind, brain cells, thought.

Krishnamurti: And thought.

PJ: And thought. I would like to know from you, sir, thought and the brain cells are a material process and in a sense can be, one knows where one stands with, though there is a great deal still to discuss with regard to the brain cells particularly. But you use the word consciousness and you use the word mind, sometimes as if they were one, sometimes you use the word mind as synonymous with thought and sometimes you seem to suggest that mind contains thought, but is not.

K: So shall we begin with the word consciousness?

PJ: Yes, all these four words.

K: Is that all right, if you?

PJ: Yes, as long as we’ll bring in all the words here. [Laughs]

K: Oh yes, we’ll in all the words here. What does conscious mean to you? What does the word and the content of that word mean to you? Consciousness, to any of us – what does it mean?

PJ: The sense of existence? Of existing?

K: Of?

PJ: Existing. Being. Existing really. That one is. You only discover the fact that one is because consciousness is there.

K: See how you are using the word consciousness is synonymous with existence.

PJ: with existence.

K: You are using consciousness to mean that.

PJ: Yes.

K: I think I am, if I may point out, I think one is using the word consciousness in a different way. Not of existence only but all the turmoil in that existence…

PJ: Yes.

K: All the mischief and trouble and anxiety, fear, pleasure, sorrow, love, hate, the hurts one receives, all that is implied in that word consciousness, to me.

PJ: Yes, but that is existence.

K: Yes, but existence… I am a little bit…

PJ: Why are you not prepared to accept that word?

K: I am a little bit shy of that word because I don’t think existence conveys the totality of one’s consciousness.

PJ: Doesn’t it, sir?

K: I am sure. I said I am rather shy of that word. It may include, but I’m…

PJ: The existence is everything. The want, not want…

K: The whole…

PJ: The looking, the memory, the desire, the… It’s everything.

K: All right, we won’t quibble over that word…

PJ: It means the total content of what exists.

K: The total content of one’s life.

PJ: Yes, the total content of one’s life.

K: Yes, total content of one’s life. Right. Is one aware of the total content of one’s life?

PJ: Not in a total sense.

K; I am asking that. That’s why I am asking.

PJ: Because, sir…

K: Or am I only aware of the parts of consciousness, at different times? One is aware that one is hurt psychologically. And perhaps both physiologically which reacts upon each other and so on. One may be aware of that hurt for a period, for a day or two. And then one moves away from that hurt to pleasure – let’s…

PJ: Yes.

K: And so we are not concerned with the totality of consciousness, but rather the parts of it.

PJ: Because that is how it reveals itself.

K: Does it? Does the part reveal the whole?

PJ: No, I don’t say the part reveals the whole. That you are saying, sir. I am saying that the part is revealed – and I’ll use the word now – in the mind as a fragment. Consciousness reveals itself in the mind as a fragment.

K: I am not sure. Wait a minute. I’d like to be clear on this point. Does consciousness reveal the part in the mind or thought – please, let me go slowly – or thought, being in itself a fragment, only can see the fragmentation of consciousness. Not the fragment as seen in the mind. Just let me be clear on this.

PJ: Yes. You are saying that thought can be only aware…

K: No, I am saying, thought being…

PJ: …being in itself fragmented…

K: …being in itself a fragment…

PJ: Yes.

K: …a broken piece, can see the fragment of consciousness only.

PJ: I don’t quite follow that Krishnaji. Thought…

K: Wait, wait. I am hurt.

PJ: Yes.

K: Psychologically, somebody says something brutal to me and I am hurt. That’s part of my consciousness, the hurt. Just a minute. Thought is part of consciousness. Thought is a broken piece, a limited movement, and that movement or that fragment says, I am hurt. So thought, being in itself a fragment, cannot see the whole.

PJ: But when thought says I am hurt…

K: Thought doesn’t say I am hurt.

PJ: Sees that it is hurt.

K: No, thought doesn’t say I am hurt. I say I am hurt.

PJ: But it is a…

K: I am jealous.

PJ: Yes.

K: I am anxious.

PJ: Yes. But the moment it says I am, it is a thought formation.

K: I want to go slowly into this. So one has to go into this question of I which is put together by thought.

PJ: Yes.

K: The name, the form, the attributes, the qualities, the characteristics, the environmental, all the rest of it, genetic and so on – that thing, thought has made a structure, which is the ‘me’, the ‘I’.

PJ: Yes.

K: Then I say, I am hurt. Thought doesn’t say that.

PJ: Who says it?

K: The thing that thought has put together as ‘me’. Look, let’s look at it factually. Scott calls me a fool. And I don’t like it. I think I am awfully brilliant and he comes along and tells me, you are an ass, you are stupid. I am hurt. You don’t, but I am saying. I am hurt. In exploring that hurt thought comes into operation. Then we discover that thought has built the ‘me’.

PJ: Yes.

K: So thought is never aware that it is hurt, but I am hurt, which is different from thought. Thought thinks.

PJ: Thought thinks it is different.

K: Different. That’s it.

PJ: Yes.

K: That’s all.

PJ: Thought thinks it is different.

K: Thought thinks it is different from the structure which it has built.

PJ: Which is hurt.

K: Which is hurt. So, thought can never be aware of the total content of consciousness. It can be only aware of the fragments.

PJ: What is the total content of consciousness.

K: We are going to find out. So when we are discussing the word consciousness, you used the word existence, consciousness implies existence. I said it doesn’t quite give the full meaning – that word. It may. So I am looking for a word that will give the holistic meaning to consciousness. You understand?

PJ: Has it a holistic meaning?

K: Uh?

PJ: Can you put it within the holistic situation.

K: I think one can. First of all, what is the content of consciousness? Everything that thought has put there.

PJ: Yes.

K: So, and thought in examining consciousness, can only see the fragment.

PJ: Yes.

K: So thought cannot fundamentally perceive or comprehend the totality of consciousness. That’s simple. Now, when one like me uses the word perhaps wrongly that consciousness is the totality of life, not only my life, your life, X life, but the life of the animal – the totality of all that.

PJ: You are using it today very differently.

K; Yes, sorry.

PJ: You are.

K: I know. I am moving away from what I said.

PJ: This last sentence you have said that consciousness is the totality of life.

K: Totality of life.

PJ: The insect, the bird…

K: Totality of life. They have their own feelings, I have mine – you follow? I think consciousness is global, but limited.

PJ: Ah? Is global but limited?

K: But limited. I am just feeling around. Just go slowly. What do you say? Nobody jumps on me here. I won’t go into this for a moment. Let’s…

PJ: Because what you have said is very new and I would like to pursue it. Because you have always said, consciousness is its content.

K; Yes.

PJ: The content is the past as experience. Now you are saying consciousness is totality…

K: …of life.

PJ: …of life.

K: Yes.

PJ: Which is very different to my experiences of life.

K: What do you mean ‘your experience of life’? Just a minute. Your experience of life is the experience of every human being.

PJ: Yes, but there are many aspects, many…

K: There are different colours, but it is the same direction.

PJ: Yes, same direction. But you are implying now that the totality of all…

K: …life.

PJ: …life, in which after all, what is within me maybe the experiences of man.

K: Yes, let’s limit it to that. Your life is the life of man.

PJ: Yes.

K: Of humanity, right?

PJ: Yes.

K: So you are not different from humanity.

PJ: No.

K: Basically you might have different hair… I am not talking about that. So basically you are humanity, you are the mankind.

PJ: Yes.

K: Your consciousness is the consciousness of mankind.

PJ: Yes. But you have said something different, Krishnaji.

K: Wait, wait, I am coming to that. I am coming to that. Mankind goes through all kinds of travail, all kinds of trouble, terrible time it goes through. And every human being is that. Right?

PJ: Yes.

K: Doesn’t everything go through this? The animal, the insects, the trees, all nature, goes through various kinds of turmoil – we use the word turmoil in the sense, disturbance. No?

PJ: Do you mean by this, Krishnaji, that consciousness is the whole of phenomenal life?

K: Both phenomenal – wait, wait, just a minute, just a minute. I have to go carefully. What do you mean by the word phenomenal? – phenomenon.

PJ: That which can be perceived by the senses.

K: Perceived, touched, tasted and so on.

PJ: Yes.

K: That’s only part of it, isn’t it?

PJ: what is the other part?

K; All the accumulated knowledge, experience and so on, all the psychological agonies of man, which you cannot touch, which you cannot taste. Psychological turmoil may affect the body, the organism and then the organism tastes the pain of anxiety.

PJ: Which is the anxiety of mankind.

K: Yes. This is the process of mankind. So it is global.

PJ: You are using the word global in a very…

K: I know… I withdraw that word.

PJ: There is something very…

K: It is – what?, universal? It is common. It is the fate of man. It is what is happening in the world.

PJ: Why would you then object to the word cosmic in a sense?

K: Cosmic? I think the word cosmic means order. Cosmos opposed to chaos.

PJ: But the totality of this. After all cosmic is the totality of this. It is not the fragment.

K: No, no, because I want to be careful there. To use the word cosmic, cosmos apparently means order. Human mind is not in order. Human consciousness is not in order.

PJ: Yes, but you have brought in many other elements, apart from the superficial fragmentary movement of the human mind. You have brought in the whole of the racial past, the whole of this accumulated centuries and centuries…

K: …tradition, genetic, the whole…

PJ: The whole of it.

K: Yes.

PJ: Which is order. When it is total…

K: I wouldn’t say cosmic. To me, I mean, if one has to be careful with one’s words, cosmos means total order opposed to chaos which is disorder. And the human mind, our consciousness, is in disorder. Right?

PJ: Yes.

K: So it cannot be called cosmic.

PJ: The human mind cannot be called cosmic.

K: No, human consciousness I am talking about.

PJ: But then how do you bring into human consciousness the total content of life?

K: No, we are not understanding each other.

PJ: Aren’t you bringing in the totality of life?

K: Uh?

PJ: Aren’t you bringing in the totality of life?

K: No, I have no belief. I am just stating, consciousness, as we have just now used, is the common factor of mankind.

PJ: Yes.

K: That consciousness, with its content, is confusion…

PJ: Yes.

K: …conflict, all the rest of it. It is that.

PJ: Yes.

K: That consciousness cannot be called cosmic.

PJ: No. It cannot be called cosmic, no.

K: No. That’s all. That’s all.

PJ: Yes, agreed. But you have gone much beyond that in what you have said about consciousness.

K: Yes.

PJ: It is not just the individual…

K: No, I question whether it is individuality at all.

PJ: No. Remove the word individual.

K: That’s why, yes.

PJ: You know, experience, confusion, chaos, anxiety, fear, anger – when you talk of the total fact of life…

K: Yes. No, no, can thought be aware of the totality of consciousness – that’s what we said.

PJ: You said it cannot be aware.

K; Yes, it cannot be. So, what is the question you are raising?

PJ: You see I wanted to – this has come about because we raised the initial question, what is the distinction between…

K: …consciousness, mind…

PJ: …consciousness, mind, brain and thought.

K: Right. We have more or less understood what we mean by consciousness.

PJ: Yes. And thought also.

K: And thought also. Wait a minute. I want to be clear. If thought cannot be aware of the total content of consciousness, then what is it that is going to perceive the totality? You follow? Because if I don’t perceive the totality of my consciousness and I can only lead with the fragments of my consciousness, the fragments are endless. Right? So there must come into operation a factor that sees the totality of consciousness. Right? No?

PJ: I see it. Yes.

K: So what is that factor? Is it the mind? Wait a minute. I am going to question that. Is it the mind. It certainly is not thought.

PJ: It’s not.

K: It certainly is not the brain cells, the brain.

PJ: No, when you say it is certainly not the brain cells, it is certainly not the brain cells as they exist.

K: The brain cells as they exist – I don’t know, I am not a brain specialist, the cells carry the memories. And the memories are part of thought. Therefore, brain as it is now…

PJ: …exists now.

K: …which we are employing, cannot perceive the totality of consciousness.

PJ: Yes, as it is now.

K: right. Thought cannot see it because thought is part of consciousness, right?, the brain, the activity of the brain cannot comprehend the totality of consciousness, then we come to the mind. Can the mind perceive the totality? Then we say, what is the mind? Are we… come to discuss… What is the mind? I want… Look, Pupulji, … be more – if you can use the word practical…

PJ: Yes.

K: …I hate that word, I don’t like…

PJ: What is the mind? I really would like to…

K: No, because I want to find out whether there is a state, there is a movement beyond consciousness. You follow?

PJ: Yes. That’s basically the…

K: That is the basic question in this. Therefore I must understand the movement of thought, there must be an understanding of the activity of the brain which is part of thinking, whether that brain can manufacture, or invent or fabricate or produce a perception which is beyond this consciousness.

PJ: Yes.

K: I don’t think it can, as it is. So, then we are asking, can the mind perceive the totality of consciousness. Then we say, what is the mind.

PJ: You have used the word mind in several ways.

K: Yes. I know. Is the mind, intellect, part of it? Of course. Can the intellect perceive the totality of consciousness?

PJ: Is the intellect separate from thought?

K: No, it’s not, it’s not. But we think intellect is the most extraordinary thing we have. Right? All the intellectual people. How we worship the intellect! Right?

PJ: Yes.

K: All the intellectual books. You know all the rest. You don’t have to go into it. So, can the intellect perceive the totality of consciousness? Obviously not, because intellect is part of thought. And usage of thought brilliantly or negligently or efficiently or loosely. So intellect is part of the mind. Mind is also part of emotions, feelings, sentiment.

PJ: Yes.

K: Now, can sentiment, romanticism, feeling, emotions, perceive the totality?

PJ: But you are using mind as if it were an instrument. You see, you say, can it perceive.

K: Can it become aware. Doesn’t matter, all right.

PJ: I would like to ask you, is the mind an instrument or a field?

K: Or…?

PJ: … a field?

K: Mind is a field. Are you saying that? You are asking. Is the mind a field?

PJ: Or an instrument.

K: The mind that covers the whole field. Or only a part of the field, a corner of the field or a segment of the field.

PJ: You see, I want to get clarity from you on the usage of your words.

K: We are finding clarity.

PJ: That is why I am pursuing this. I might see mind as synonymous with thought. I might see.

K: So the mind – wait, wait, Pupul – the mind includes the intellect.

PJ: Yes.

K: Intellect is part of thought.

PJ: Yes.

K: Feelings, emotions, sentiments, romanticism, imagination – all that is part of thought also.

PJ: And senses?

K: Uh?

PJ: And senses?

K: The senses are not, but thought identifies itself with the senses.

PJ: What part do the senses play in all this? We know the process of perception, sensation.

K: That’s simple.

PJ: That’s simple. But certainly there is another…

K: I don’t think emotions, sentiment and all that can offer a perception of the whole. Not sentiment, not emotion, not sensations.

PJ: So that you would rule out all the senses as such?

K: Senses, yes.

PJ: You would rule out the senses?

K: No, no, I don’t rule out the senses. The senses exist.

PJ: Yes.

K: I feel pain when you put…

PJ: Are they being wrongly used?

K: No, when thought, I said, when thought identifies itself with that…

PJ: With the…

K: …with the sensation, then that sensation becomes the ‘me’.

PJ: Yes, then there is a movement outward towards…

K: Towards – I want, I don’t want and all the rest of it. So the mind you say is the field. Field for what? Matrix?

PJ: No, because matrix again circumscribes it.

K: Yes. So field again is circumscribed.

PJ: But you see there is no word.

K: So, no, I am just asking, whether the mind, includes brain, which is thought, emotions, intellect – wait a minute, wait a minute, wait a minute – is love part of the field? Part of the mind?

PJ: So, if love is not part of the mind…

K: Uh?

PJ: If love is not part of the mind…

K: I don’t know, I am asking. I don’t think it is. Sensation is part of the mind. And thought identifying itself with sensation which is pleasurable, says…

PJ: That is…

K: …simple enough. So, is love different from consciousness?

PJ: The moment you bring in the word love, sir…

K: We’ll go into it, we’ll go into it…

PJ: …you have…

K: …it is very important. We’ll go into it. That is what we…

PJ: I mean…

K: …part of our consciousness – love.

PJ: As we know it, it is a part?

K: As we know it. So I include that. So does the mind include love – which is based on sensation, pleasure, desire – as what we call love. Am I wrong, ladies? What we call love is based on sensation, desire, pleasure. I love you, I love something – you know all that. So, is love, as we know it, love is part of our consciousness. Right? Which is jealousy, antagonism, quarrel, all the rest of it.

PJ: But you didn’t use love in that sense.

K: What?

PJ: If you use it in that sense, then it is no different from any other emotion.

K: So, is there a love or is there a quality which is not part of consciousness?

MZ: …quality of love from sensation, there is no sensation?

K: Oh no, no, no, there is sensation. No, you don’t muddle the thing. We said sensation exists. When thought identifies with any particular sensation and pursues that particular sensation, as pleasure or pain, then it builds up the structure of the ‘me’.

MZ: But is there not sensation that does not lead to those things? That doesn’t create a ‘me’, that isn’t used by thought, but is simply…

K: Sensation, of course, of course, sensation.

MZ: …perception.

K: Of course, sensation. I see that there is perception of the tree. Moment you say, I don’t like that tree, etc. etc.

MZ: …

PJ: But is there sensation involved in that?

MZ: Well, that’s what…

K; Now we are entering into a different field altogether. Is beauty sensation?

MZ: No. But is not the perception of beauty inevitably involved in a sensation if the perception of it can be described as sensation.

K: No. I am not sure it does. I am not sure it does.

PJ: You see, the problem arises because when you have gone through all the other things – intellect, mind…

K: …brain, thought…

PJ: …thought, you have only discussed the senses as identified with desire which goes to … structure of the self. I ask, have the senses any other role.

K: Yes. The senses have – wait a minute, let me get this clear. I think it has. I have got the germ of it, the kernel of it. To observe with all your senses, there is no identification with a particular sense.

PJ: Yes.

K: Right?

Q1: Are you saying the senses become one, in the sense are you implying the senses become one…

K: No. No, I am not implying, sir. Can you look at something with all your senses awakened?

PJ: Isn’t it, sir, a question of ‘can you look and listen’?

K: With all your senses.

PJ: At the same instant of time.

K: Yes.

PJ: In the same moment of time.

MZ: You once said that that was seeing when to see seeing with all your senses and in the particular instance when you said that, it involved everything, the sense of hot and cold, the sense on your skin, the sense of experience…

K: Maria, if I may, not what I said now, we are examining again, anew. Is it possible to observe with all your senses? And in that state is there a movement of thought at all? When there is a movement of thought, then it is a particular…

PJ: …sense operating.

K: …sense operating. If you are going to pursue this further, as a human being it is a natural curiosity, natural urge to find out, is there a totally different dimension which is not the dimension of consciousness as we know it? Not invented by thought – I don’t mean that. Right?

PJ: Yes.

K: And it becomes important to find that out.

PJ: You see, you have examined and negated all the known instruments we have, with which we operate.

K: Yes.

PJ: The only instrument which you don’t totally negate is the quality of the sensory movements.

K: How can I negate senses?

PJ: No. That being quite independent, that containing in it, having the capacity to contain in it no illusion – let me put it this way…

K: The illusion is created by thought.

PJ: Yes. So that having it in itself the capacity to be free of illusion…

K: Yes, yes, surely. Then that is only possible when there has been an awareness of the movement of thought, the activity of thought.

PJ: Yes.

K: The whole nature of thought. Then senses do not produce the psychological structure as the ‘me’. That’s all.

Q1: Is this awareness, Krishnaji, also part of the field of mind?

K: You are asking the same question as Scott is asking, which is… I would for the moment say not, because the mind we said is the intellect which is the movement of thought, the mind we said is also all the emotions, feelings – all that, which is part of the mind, which is part of consciousness, and thought can say I am aware of my consciousness. But that awareness is still limited. Right?

PJ: Yes.

K: So that kind of awareness is still part of the mind. Look, Pupul, let’s make it little more, come down to earth. It is not theoretical, but let’s come down to earth. As a human being one perceives that one’s consciousness is in total disorder. Right?

PJ: Yes.

K: And any movement away from that disorder will inevitably lead to illusions. But my question is, if I – I am using myself as an example of a human being – my consciousness is in disorder. I am aware of it. Anger, jealousy, hate, possessiveness and domination, attachment, and all these things are going on endlessly in my brain, in my consciousness. I want to bring about order in it. I see the necessity of order. Order means harmony. Is this possible to bring it about? Right? We’ve discussed consciousness. We’ve discussed thought. We’ve discussed the mind and the feelings and so on. What instrument is necessary or what quality is necessary to move out of this entailing circle of consciousness?

PJ: You see, sir, this last question is very valid.

K: Yes.

PJ: The previous question that I want to bring about order, is one of the things I have never understood.

K: Wait a minute, let’s be clear. I am using the word ‘I want’ colloquially. Just a minute, Pupul, let’s be clear, let me have my word. I am using it quickly to convey that there must be order. Not ‘I want order’…

PJ: No, there must be order.

K: There must be total order to be cosmic. I don’t know what cosmos is, but one realises that there is total disorder in one’s life. And therefore there is misery, confusion, uncertainty, quarrels, all the extraordinary things that go on in everyday life. So order is necessary. Now, who is to bring that order? That’s my point. Will the mind bring this order? Mind bring order? Will feelings, sensations, imagination, all that, will that bring order. Will thought bring order? On the contrary. Thought cannot.

PJ: All these are fragments.

K: Fragment. So what will? Now, discuss this. Let’s go into that.

PJ: That is why I say, there is only one instrument you leave…

K: The senses?

PJ: …which has the possibility of being free of taint.

K: The senses.

PJ: The senses. Otherwise you have blocked every instrument I have.

K: Every hole human mind has invented, we’ve blocked it. Have we also blocked the senses?

PJ: I see that when the senses operate as identified with thought, they only strengthen the structure which is causing the confusion, which is the basic cause of confusion.

K: So, is there a separation between thought and senses?, so that thought is not acting, but only senses?

PJ: Isn’t there?

K: I am asking.

Q1: Is perception achieved with the senses?

K: No, I perceive – the perception of the tree through the eyes.

Q1: Yes.

K: Through optical nerves and all the rest of it.

Q1: But that kind of optical perception does not bring about order.

K: No.

Q1: So do the senses have any place in bringing about the kind of perception…

PJ: Forgive me, but isn’t the nature of seeing quite different from the…

K: …from the optical…

PJ: …optical thing which goes and says tree? There is the seeing or listening per se independent of what is seen or what is heard? That instrument in itself is not corrupted – if I may put it this way, sir – in itself it is not corrupted. Now I say…

K: What are you saying? The instrument itself – that is the instrument which is thought…

PJ: No, the instrument which is seeing, listening, is not corrupted. It gets corrupted when it gets identified with thought.

K: That’s correct – with opinions, with judgements, evaluation – quite.

PJ: Yes.

K: So, listening correctly, accurately, is incorruptible.

PJ: Is incorruptible.

K: Yes that’s quite. That is so. But is that the instrument that will help a human being, oneself, a human being like us to bring about order?

PJ: If you deny all instrument…

K: I must be careful here.

PJ: Yes.

K: What do you mean by instrument?

PJ: Instrument is, you see…

K: You are saying the mind is an instrument for…

PJ: Brain is an instrument, thought is an instrument…

K: Yes, if we are using the word instrument in that sense, yes I agree.

PJ: You deny it.

K: Deny it. Because this very instrument has become corrupt. And that which is corrupt cannot make something which is incorruptible.

PJ: And yet – I am bringing in something else – yet you say there is the other.

K: Oh yes, definitely. Now wait a minute. I am a human being. I am in disorder. My consciousness is in total disorder. Help me please to move out of that realm, dimension, altogether. You follow? So, gurus have come and said do this, this, this and it’ll help you. Christ, Buddha, all the priests have said follow this, believe in that, do rituals, and all that – it hasn’t brought about order. So one rejects all that in toto, completely. Right?

PJ: Yes.

K: Then what is one to do?

PJ: What is actually meant…?

K: What?

PJ: What is actually meant by…?

K: Actually means…

PJ: No, let me finish my sentence – be a light unto yourself?

K: Be a light unto yourself…

PJ: What is actually meant?

K: Surely it mean, don’t look to another. Don’t rely on another. Don’t depend on another. Don’t ask another to help you.

PJ: Is the word light at all significant?

K: What?

PJ: Is the word light at all significant?

K: Light oneself, in the sense, don’t live in the shadow of others. That’s rather good. [Laughs] Sorry. Don’t be a second-hand human being. Be a light to yourself. So, just a minute, Pupul, this is what I want to find out. I must find out. I, in the sense, one must absolutely find out. I don’t rely on you, I don’t rely on the church, on priests, on gurus, on scriptures, on nothing. But I rely on the common intention of man to find something beyond this chaos, which is not the priest’s invention, you understand?, for God’s sake – what? What am I to do that is not a reliance on another? So, it is a cooperative enquiry. Not my personal salvation, it’s a cooperative, communal enquiry to find this out. It is not a personal salvation. Oh, God! It’s too damn silly. So what is to be done? We are abolishing the mind, we are abolishing the activity of thought, the activity of the brain as we know it now is limited, right? Pupulji, right? We have also denied any pressure of environment, of tradition, pressure of pity – all pressure has gone out of it. How am I as a human being, to discover the other? Discover quotes and all the… Come on.

Q: Krishnaji, it seems that whatever it is Pupulji says, the instrument, would have to be something that is not fragmentary.

K: Yes, and it also can’t be an instrument.

Q: But…

K: Instrument implies a limited thing. Right, sir?

PJ: No, sir, I don’t…

K: And therefore its operation must be limited.

PJ: I don’t know whether…

K: Instrumentare. What is… I’ll have to look up in the dictionary. I wonder if you…

PJ: You see, I am trying to figure out – what I am trying to say is, the moment you use it for something…

K: Yes, yes.

PJ: …you are finished.

K: Like I use the violin to get popular or use the violin to get more money. I am not an artiste

PJ: So the moment you say I use the instrument in order to reach the other, it is over.

K: Oh yes, quite.

PJ: But still that doesn’t deny…

K: What?

PJ: The energy which it holds.

K: What?

PJ: It does not deny the energy which it holds, which is an unlimited energy.

K: Ah, you are theorising, Pupul.

PJ: No, sir, it is not. Forgive me, sir, I am not theorising at this moment.

K: What are you trying to say. I don’t understand it.

PJ: I am saying, the moment I say I use the instrument of my senses for something…

K: Oh, of course, of course.

PJ: …it is finished.

K: Finished. That’s obvious.

PJ: I cannot deny…

K: You cannot deny the senses.

PJ: …and that the senses in themselves are not corrupt. Senses are not corrupt.

K: All right. The senses in themselves are not corrupt. Wait a minute.

PJ: Otherwise there’d be blind, deaf.

K: Oh, in that sense, yes.

PJ: They are not corrupt.

K: Yes. Yes. Then what? When thought doesn’t identify itself with one or two senses, which builds the ‘I’ psychologically, then those senses are natural.

PJ: In their natural state.

K: They are natural, healthy – normal, healthy. Now, will those senses which are healthy, bring about a different dimension?

PJ: I don’t know, because the way one operates, they are never in that state.

K: They are never…?

PJ: …in that state.

K: Therefore is it possible for thought not to identify with the senses?

PJ: That’s the query. I am asking whether that is the query.

K: …is it possible, obviously. It is obvious. I see a beautiful object, human or otherwise, and I can observe it without any – my God!, I must identify with it, or I must have it – you can observe it.

PJ: No, it’s like having a discussion with you and all your senses operating in the discussion with you. It’s not that I want to get anything from you.

K: No, no. I hope not. You won’t. Go on. What?

PJ: But there is a possibility of such a situation.

K: Oh, yes, possibility. But I am not interested in possibility. I am concerned, Pupul, as a human being, my only problem is this.

PJ: But how do I posit the other?

K: I don’t know. I don’t posit the other. I don’t know what order is. How can I know what order is when I live in total disorder? I can postulate, I can imagine, I can theorize, I can cunningly, verbally, intellectually spin a lot of theories about it. But actually verbal statements have no meaning. What has meaning is, there is disorder. What is to happen to move from this dimension to a totally different dimension, which is not the invention of thought? Right? If that is your question – I don’t know if it is.

PJ: No, obviously, we started with that. I mean, I am defining each term as it comes along.

K: Quite.

PJ: To get a clear picture.

K: We are very clear now. At least I hope so. Now what is the action or inaction to move – movement from this to that? This has been an age-old problem. It is not something new. So they said starve, fast, pray, be a celibate…

PJ: …negate…

K: …go to church, pray – everything, but still there is nothing but disorder. So what shall we do? What is the action which is inaction that will negate this whole thing of disorder? Is there a total negation or is it always – must be partial? You follow what I mean? I can negate attachment, I can negate jealousy, I can negate all hurts, and so on. That way it is endless. Right? Right? So is there a negation of disorder totally?

Q: But, sir, that cannot be a movement. Because movement implies…

K: …time and – I know. But I am just using the word act. Any word which implies a negation of disorder without wanting order, without the movement towards order. You understand what I mean? Is there a negation of total disorder? Can one deny that totally? What, sir?

Q: Is it the action of keeping, of being completely still without the…

K: No, look, Harsha – if I may call you – I’ll call you Harsha and get on with it. I am in disorder as a human being. I can separate disorder – there is disorder here, there is disorder… and in the very denial of a part there is certain type of order. Right? But it is not total order. Right? Like water in the harbour, but it is not the sea. Right? But it is the same water, but it is not the sea. So parts I can deny, but those denials are never the whole. Right? So I am asking, can there be a total denial of disorder?

Q: But you are asking if there can be any action that can lead to that.

K: No, denial, not action. Let me put it this way. Do you see that partial denial is no denial at all?

Q: Yes.

K: Right? Is there a denial which is not partial? Right? Is there a denial of the whole content of consciousness which is disorder? Are we stuck?

PJ: Sir, the denial of, you see, of total disorder, is a concept.

K: Uh?

PJ: Is a concept.

K: Ah, ah, ah.

PJ: Forgive me…

K: It is not a concept.

PJ: If it were not a concept, a total disorder, disorder as it operates within me, yes.

K: Wait, wait, as it operates in you, is that operation partial, fragmentary?

PJ: Each disorder as it arises is fragmentary.

K: So…

PJ: The disorder is not fragmentary. The way I meet it is fragmentary.

K: The fragmentary denial is creating disorder.

PJ: Yes. That’s the…

K: Yes, yes. I have said it. The fragmentary denial is disorder.

PJ: Fragmentary denial is the disorder.

K: So, all my life I have fragmentarily denied.

PJ: That is why when you talk of a total disorder, it creates, you know, a sense of something which one…

K: No…

PJ: If this is something which is comprehensible that a partial denial is disorder, a fragmentary denial…

K: …contributing to disorder.

PJ: …is disorder.

K: Yes. Right. From that, when we say partial denial is contributing to disorder, is there no partial denial at all. Therefore, total order.

PJ: The other you cannot even think of, let’s put aside total order. Let us talk about whether it is possible to totally deny.

K: Whether it is possible to…

PJ: …deny non-fragmentarily.

K: Yes. That’s what, all right, let’s stick to that. Good enough. So, the mind itself being fragmentary, when the mind says, I deny…

PJ: …it is partial.

K: …it is still – when thought says that, it is still, when the intellect, reason, logic says, it is still disorder. Right? Because they are all fragments. Now, what is the action or inaction that will say no partial denial?

PJ: You are using the word inaction. No, let me pursue it a bit.

K: Uh? Inaction?

PJ: You are using the word inaction. Is it that one is incapable of this, of inaction?

K: Of…?

PJ: Of inaction? The not doing…

K: …a thing about it.

PJ: …a thing about it.

K: Yes. That’s what I am trying to get at. We have done everything possible to clean up the consciousness. Uh? Right? We pray, we fast, we beg, we follow, we sacrifice, we deny – there is this constant activity to bring about order. Right? No?

PJ: Obviously, sir.

K: So, is there an action which is non-action? And that is only possible when I really, totally, completely negate everything.

Q: Krishnaji, the word deny implies action. Perhaps we could say, perhaps allowing something to go by.

K: No, no, no, no, no, no. That would too slick.

PJ: But in a state of total attention, no action.

K: You see, action implies now. The doing now. Is there such a thing as doing now without the past and the future? This leads to complication.

PJ: Now you are opening up a whole new…

K: I know. You see, we have been conditioned to say, I will do something to clear up the disorder. I will pray, I will follow Jesus, I will join Zen Buddhism, this, that, meditation, I am doing this all the time. Right? I am talking of inaction of the ‘I’. Non-action of the ‘I’. Is that possible?

Q: Krishnaji, can you explain what you actually mean when you say ‘I’.

K: We’ve been through that, sir. I’ll explain, don’t accept it. The ‘I’ is put together by thought. The ‘I’ is part of the name, your name, your form – the form of your body, face and so on – your particular characteristics, your particular tendency, your genetic, heredity result – all that is the product of thought. And the ‘I’ is the product of thought.

Q: Would that mean the whole of my consciousness?

K: That is it. That’s the whole of your consciousness. You suffer, your agony, you want to be somebody, you fail to be somebody, get bitter, angry, frustrated, you go through the whole gamut of experience in one life. Right?

Q: So one has to negate the whole of one’s consciousness?

K: Who is to negate it? The mind? Thought? The senses? Therefore there must be an action which doesn’t belong to any of this. Right? And what is that action? They say, there is such action, therefore meditate, keep your mind still, practise – you know the whole circle they go through, which is all still movement of thought. There is action which is non-action when thought is completely, absolutely still. And then you say, please help me, tell me how to make my mind still. And you have all the industrialised gurus. Right, sir? What were you going to say? Sorry.

Q: I was going to ask you whether it is possible to, for this inaction to take place in the middle of a game of football, when some other action is going on.

K: When you are playing football there might be momentary absence of the self, momentary absence, but it is not – back again.

Q: Krishnaji, in order to perceive the total chaos at all there has to be that inaction of the ‘I’ in the first place.

K: What is that?

Q: In order to perceive totally…

K: Of course, of course, of course. But can you perceive totally your confusion?

Q: Not while the ‘I’ is operating.

K: Uh?

Q: Not while the ‘I’ is operating.

K: No, obviously not.

Q: So when we are talking about I perceive that I am in total disorder…

K: Do you perceive it?

Q: This is what we started off per se.

K: Yes.

PJ: No.

Q: If we did, if we did perceive that, in that perception which comes about out of total inaction of the ‘I’…

K: Ah, I see what you are saying.

Q: …in that is the negation.

K: No. No, no, no. Let’s begin again. Do you know – not you personally – do you know that you live in disorder?

Q: I know fragmentarily, not…

K: Yes, good enough. How do you know it is disorder?

Q: How do I know…?

K: …it is in disorder, fragmentarily? Because you have a pattern of order and so through comparing with the pattern you say, yes, I am in disorder. So, comparison itself breeds disorder, when you compare.

Q: Right.

K: So how do you know you are in disorder?

Q: In a moment of awareness you can see it clearly.

K: No, you know it when you are in conflict. I must do this, I can’t do it. You know it is conflict, struggle, which indicates there isn’t harmony, there is disorder, there is confusion. See, we always come to this point. We see for ourselves there is disorder and we don’t know what to do? Right? And we say, yes, there is disorder and carry on. I don’t want to carry on.

PJ: But the not doing something about it in a deep sense is not carrying on.

K: No. But one must be very clear not to deceive oneself.

PJ: …

K: I think one can live kind of…

PJ: …

Q: That’s what I was trying to say, Krishnaji. You say, we always come to this point and we can’t go any further. Isn’t that because we see it, we see it in bits and pieces. We don’t see it totally. So we are never in that state where there is nothing but disorder.

K: So what will make you see it totally? What will help you? Certainly not thought.

Q: No.

K: Mind and all the rest of it. So what will help you? Do you want to find out? If we do, what price are we willing to pay for it? Not the priestly price. Not the analyst’s price. What will you do for it?

Q: I think, that we probably know that the total absence of the ‘I’ – the ‘I’ is all I know.

K: Then what will you do, pay, give, whatever you do, to live…

Q: What I am trying to say is that we are probably afraid of taking that step because it’s the unknown.

K: Why do you project the unknown?

Q: The total absence of the ‘I’.

K: You don’t know what it is. You don’t know.

Q: I know we don’t know.

K: So remain there. Don’t project – my God if I live without me what will happen?

Q: But we don’t do it.

K: Uh?

Q: You say you end there, but we don’t do it.

K: Ah, that’s it, of course.

I think we better stop here. What time is it?

Q: Five twenty-five.

PJ: I am glad that these terms have been…

K: …cleared.

PJ: …cleared. You have used them in several ways.

K: But Pupulji, I would like to – after clearing up the decks, verbal decks, I am left with the deck which is what is so utterly confusing.

PJ: Am I?

K: I am left with it, with my confusion.

PJ: Am I? What am I left with, Krishnaji? If you have cleared all this, what am I left with?

K: If you cleared it. We have cleared the explanation of words we have used. That is not clearing the deck.

PJ: No, but if one has been moving with it, there has been a clearing.

K: Yes, but have I really cleared that thought under no circumstances whatsoever, can bring order? Have I really, truthfully, understood the truth of that?

PJ: You see, you can only listen to the truth of that.

K: All right put it – have I listened to the truth of it, so that it is such an absolute fact that thought has no place except a little corner of a vast field? Thoroughly tamed and tied to a post. [Laughs]

PJ: You have said some things today which have to be explored very greatly.

K: Which is that?

PJ: Many things. I don’t want to bring them up at this stage.

K: See, I am just wondering Pupul, why human beings give their life to something so idiotic as fasting, celibacy, Christ – you follow?, and not give a day to this. Look at all the sanyasis in India and the monks – my God, what they go through!

It’s enough, isn’t it? We better stop today.

Krishnamurti at Brockwood Park, 12 June 1978

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