Krishnamurti with with Alain Naudé 3
Alain Naudé 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 whether there is a permanent ‘me’? Unless I am free from the vulgar, I will continue representing the whole vulgarity of humanity. I lead the usual life, along the small river, following that current. I am that current and ‘the me’ is bound to continue in that stream, with millions of others. I am not different from those millions of others. When you say, ‘My brother is dead,’ and ask whether he is still living, as a separate consciousness, I question whether he was ever separate from the stream. If there was a permanent self, it would be of this stream. Realising that I am like the rest of the world, that there is no ‘me’ separate, I can incarnate only if I step out of the stream. Change takes place away from the stream; in the stream there is no change. What happens if you step out of the stream? The stepping out is the incarnation. When one steps out of the stream, one has compassion.
Krishnamurti: You know, sir, the other day, Sidney Field came to see me. His brother died recently. You knew him and we knew… we met him here. He was very concerned whether his brother was living, whether he was living in a different level of consciousness, whether there was John as an entity born next life. And did I believe in reincarnation, and what did it mean, and so on – he had lots of questions because he was having a difficult time with himself because his brother whom he liked, whom we have known for years and years and years… So I think out of that conversation two things came out, rather interesting. One – on two occasions – this is not just on one occasion, he came twice – at lunchtime we discussed the same thing: Is there a permanent ego? If there is such thing as a permanent something then what is its relationship from the present to the future?
Alain Naudé: Yes.
K: The future being next life or ten years later.
K: That is, if you admit or accept or believe or assert that there is a permanent ego, then reincarnation…
AN: …is inevitable.
K: Is – not inevitable, I wouldn’t put it inevitable – there is a… it is plausible.
K: Because the permanent ego, the me – if it is permanent – can be, in ten years time, be changed. It can incarnate differently in ten years time.
AN: We read this all the time in the Indian scriptures, sir. We read about children who remember the past life, we read about little girls who say, ‘What am I doing here? My home is in some other village, I am married to so-and-so and I have three children.’ And in many cases I believe that this has been verified.
K: That is, sir – I mean, I don’t know.
AN: So we are told.
K: So there is that. If there is no permanent entity then what is reincarnation? Both involve time, both involve a movement in space – space being environment, relationship, pressure – all the thing existing within that space of time.
AN: Within time and temporal circumstances.
K: That is, culture and so on.
AN: That’s right. Within some sort of social set-up.
K: Right. So is there a permanent me? Obviously not. But Sidney said, ‘Then what is it I feel, that John is with me? When I enter the room I know he is there. I’m not fooling myself. I’m not imagining. I feel him there, as I feel my sister who was in that room yesterday. It’s as clear, as definite as that.’ I don’t know… (inaudible)
AN: And also, sir, when you say, ‘Obviously not,’ would you mind explaining that?
K: We’ll see that. We’ll see. So he says, ‘My brother is there.’ I said, ‘Of course he is there, because first of all, you have your associations and memories of John and that is projected, and that projection is your remembrance.’
AN: Yes. So that the John who was contained within you is there.
K: Is there. Now wait a minute.
AN: Because he is still contained within you and you are there.
K: That’s one. ‘Or’ – not or – ‘and when John lived he was associated with you. His presence was with you. When he was living you might not have seen him all day but his presence was in that room.’
AN: That’s right. His presence was there. And perhaps this is what people mean when they speak of an aura.
K: Yes. No, aura is a different thing. Wait a minute, don’t let’s push that in yet.
Mary Zimbalist: May I interrupt and ask, when you say he was in that room, whether alive or dead, was there something external to his brother and his sister that was there, or was it in their consciousness?
K: No, it is both in their consciousness and outside consciousness.
MZ: But projected from them. Is it generated from the person?
K: No, no, no. I can project my brother and say he was with me last night or I feel him in the room, or…
MZ: That emanates from your consciousness or imagination.
K: That may emanate from me or John, who died ten days ago – his atmosphere, his thoughts, his way of behaving was still remaining there. Physically he might have gone.
AN: Yes – the psychic momentum.
K: The psychic momentum, the physical heat.
AN: That’s right.
MZ: Are you saying there is a sort of energy, for want of a different word, which human beings give off?
K: Obviously, obviously. You know, there was that photograph of a parking lot taken. A photograph was taken of a parking lot where there had been many cars, and the photograph showed, though there were no cars there, the form of the cars.
AN: Of the cars that had been there. Yes, I saw that one.
K: That is, the heat which the car had left came on the negative.
AN: Yes. And also, one day, when we were all living in Gstaad – the first time I was your guest in Gstaad, we were living at Les Caprices – you left for America before any of us left Gstaad and I went into that flat – you were still alive and you were on your way to America – and your presence was there, extremely strong.
K: Yes, sir, that’s just it.
AN: Your presence was in that flat so strongly that one felt one could touch and speak to you. This was not simply because I was thinking of you, because I had been thinking of you before I entered the flat.
MZ: Presumably it doesn’t mean, either, that I was thinking of the flat, of you, of the life there either.
AN: Who knows, who knows?
K: So there are three possibilities, you see.
MZ: What is the third?
K: Wait, wait.
AN: We’re coming to that. So now we are examining possibilities, are we? The first possibility is…
K: That is, I project it out of my remembrance and consciousness, or…
AN: …pick up…
K: …pick up…
AN: …residual energy.
K: …energy of John.
AN: Yes, like a smell which would linger.
MZ: That’s what I was thinking of.
AN: Now what is the third?
K: Or John’s thought, John’s existence is still there.
AN: Right – that’s the third possibility.
MZ: What do you mean by that, Krishnaji – John’s existence?
K: I live in this room.
AN: No, the third is that John is really there, the way he used to be there before he died. That is the third possibility.
K: But this happens. I live in a room, or you live in a room for a number of years or you are familiar, and the presence of… that room contains my energy, my thoughts, my feelings – it’s all there.
AN: Yes, just as a wood contains its own energy and feelings.
K: Of course.
AN: And when one goes into a new house…
K: …you feel it, yes.
AN: …it sometimes takes some time before you can get rid of the person who was before you, though you may never have known him.
K: You see? So those are the three possibilities.
K: And the other is John’s thought. Because John clings to life.
AN: Yes. So therefore John’s…
K: …thought, John’s desires, are there in the air, not in the room.
K: Yes, they are there. It’s like a thought…
AN: Yes, now would that mean, sir, that John is conscious of them, that there is a being who is self-conscious, calling himself John, who is thinking those thoughts?
K: I doubt it.
AN: I think that is what the people who believe in reincarnation would postulate.
K: So see what happens, sir. That is, the three…
AN: Four possibilities.
K: Four possibilities now. And the idea that John – see it – the idea that John, whose physical body is gone, exists in thought.
AN: In his own thought or someone else’s?
K: In his own thought.
AN: Yes, exists as a thinking entity.
K: As a thinking entity, he exists.
AN: As a conscious being.
K: That is, John – listen to this, it is rather interesting – John continues because he is the world of vulgarity, of greed, of envy, of drinking, sex, of competition. That is the common pattern of man. That common pattern continues, though John… and John may be identified with that, or is that. I don’t know if…
AN: John is the desires, the thoughts, the beliefs, the associations…
K: …of the world.
AN: Which are incarnate and which are material.
K: Which is the world, which is everybody.
AN: Yes, yes.
K: So, you see, there are six…
AN: This is a very big thing you are saying, sir.
K: Yes, sir.
AN: It would be nice if you could explain it a little better.
K: If I…
AN: When you say that John persists, John continues because there is the continuation of the vulgar in him – the vulgar being worldly material association.
K: That’s right – fear, wanting power, position – all that.
AN: Yes. Desire.
AN: Desire to be, as an entity.
K: Yes, so that, because that is a common thing of the world, he is of the world, and the world does incarnate. I don’t know if you see.
AN: Just a moment. You say the world does incarnate.
K: Yes. That is, take the mass of people – they are caught in this stream, and that stream goes on.
K: I may have a son who is part of that stream, and in that stream there is John also, as a human being who is caught in it, and my son may remember some of John’s attitudes.
AN: Naturally. Ah, but you’re saying something different now.
K: Yes, yes, yes.
AN: You’re saying that John is contained in all the memories which different people have of him.
K: Of course.
AN: In that respect we can see that he does exist. Because I remember, a friend of mine died not long ago and it was very clear to me, when I thought about it, that in fact he was very much alive in the memories of all the people who had loved him.
K: That’s just it.
AN: Therefore he was not absent from the world. He was still in the stream of events which we call the world.
K: That’s right.
AN: Which is the lives of different people who had associated with him.
K: That’s right.
AN: In that sense, we see that he can live, perhaps forever, like Julius Caesar.
K: Forever, unless he breaks away from it, breaks away from the stream. Sir, wait a minute. A man who is not vulgar – let’s use that word vulgar, vulgarity, to represent all this – greed, envy, power, position, hatred, desires – all that.
AN: Yes, the assertion of what I call me.
K: Me. Let’s call that the vulgar – vulgus, in… (inaudible). Now, unless I am free from the vulgar I will continue representing the whole of vulgarity, the whole vulgarity of man.
AN: Yes, I will be that vulgarity, by pursuing it and, in fact, incarnating in it, giving it life.
K: Therefore, I incarnate in that vulgarity. Right? You follow? That is, first I can project John, my brother.
AN: First point. In my thought I can imagine or remember him.
K: Remember him.
AN: Second point. I can pick up his kinetic energy, which is still around.
K: His smell, his taste, his saying the words.
AN: The pipe which is unsmoked, there on the desk, the half-finished letter.
K: All that reminds me, yes.
AN: The flowers he picked in the garden.
K: Yes. So that is the second. Third: the thought remains in the room.
AN: The thought remains in the room.
K: The thought, the feeling…
AN: His thought.
K: His thought.
AN: One might say the psychic equivalent of his kinetic energy.
K: Yes, that.
AN: His thought remains almost as a material smell.
MZ: Yes, as a physical smell.
K: That’s right, that’s right.
AN: The energy of his thought remains like an old coat that would hang around.
K: That’s right.
K: Four is: If he has got a very strong will, very strong, active desire and thought, that also remains.
AN: No, but that’s not different from the third point.
K: No, that’s the fourth point.
AN: Now just a minute, the third point is that thought remaining.
AN: Which is will, which is desire. Now, the fourth point…
K: …is this stream of vulgarity. Right?
AN: That’s not very clear, sir
K: Look, sir, I live an ordinary life, like millions and millions of people. Right?
AN: Yes, pursuing goals and hopes and fears.
K: The usual life, I lead the usual life – a little modified, a little bit…
AN: A materialistic existence.
K: …higher, lower, it’s along the same… over the rocks and along the small river – I follow that current. I am that current. Now, me, who is that current, is bound to continue in that stream – which is the stream of millions of people. I’m not different from millions of other people.
AN: Yes. Therefore, are you saying, sir, that even dead, I continue because the things which were me are continuing?
K: Are continuing, in the human being.
AN: They are also contained in other human beings; therefore I survive. I was not different from the things which preoccupied and filled my life.
K: That’s right.
AN: Since these things which occupied me and filled my life survive, in a manner of speaking I survive since they do.
K: That’s right. Now we’ve got…
AN: That’s four points.
K: Four points.
AN: Now, the question is about the fifth. Is there a conscious thinking entity…
K: That’s what I’m coming to.
AN: …who knows that he is, after the moment when everybody has said, ‘There goes poor old John, we’ve put him in the ground’? Is there a conscious entity who, immaterially, says, ‘Good gracious, they’ve put that body in the ground but I have consciousness of being alive’?
AN: That is the question I think…
K: …which most people…
AN: …which is difficult to answer. All these other things, we see…
MZ: Sidney was in effect asking this.
K: Of course. He was asking that question.
AN: Because we see that everybody does exist in these other ways, after death.
K: In the other ways. Now you are asking a question, which is: Does John, whose body is burned, cremated, does that entity continue to live?
AN: Does that entity continue to have its consciousness of its own existence?
K: I question whether there is a separate John.
AN: You said at the beginning: Is there such a thing as a permanent ego? ‘Obviously not,’ you said.
K: No, no, I am questioning. When you say, ‘My brother John is dead,’ and ask whether he is living – living, you know, as a separate consciousness – I question whether he was ever separate from the stream.
AN: Yes, sir.
K: You follow what I’m saying, sir?
AN: Was there a John alive? – in effect is what… (inaudible)
K: When John was alive, was he different from the stream?
AN: The stream filled his consciousness of himself. His consciousness of himself was the stream knowing itself.
K: No, sir, just go slowly, slowly – this is rather complicated. The stream of humanity is anger, hate, jealousy, seeking power, position, cheating, corrupt, polluted – that is the stream. Right?
K: Of that stream is my brother, John. When he existed physically, he may have had a physical body, but psychologically he was of this.
AN: Yes, but there was an entity who…
K: Wait, wait, wait, wait. Therefore, was he ever different from this, from the stream? Or only physically different, and therefore thinking he was different. You follow my point?
AN: There was an entity who was self-conscious.
K: As John.
AN: Yes. He was self-conscious, and the stream was in relationship to himself – my pipe, my child, my life.
K: Yes, sir, but was John inwardly different from the stream?
K: No. That’s all my point. Therefore what is dead is the body, and the continuation of John is part of that stream. I, as his brother, would like to think of him being separate, because he lived with me as a separate… physically. But inwardly he was of the stream.
K: Therefore, was there a John who was different from the stream? And if he was different then what happens? You follow? That’s a much better question. I don’t know if you follow what I mean.
AN: But there is a stream, sir, from outside and there is a stream from inside. Vulgarity seen in the street is different from the man who feels himself to be acting in the moment of that vulgarity. I insult somebody; this is vulgarity. You see that vulgarity from outside and you say, ‘There is a vulgar act.’ I, who am insulting somebody…
K: …is part of that stream.
AN: …see the vulgar act in a different way.
AN: I feel self-conscious life at the moment when I insult. In fact I insult because there is conscious thinking about a me. I am protecting myself, so I insult.
K: But, sir, my point is: this is what is happening with a hundred, million people, millions of people. As long as I swim in that stream, am I different? Is there a real John different from the stream?
MZ: Was there ever a John, in fact?
K: That’s all my point.
AN: There was conscious determination which felt itself to be John.
K: Yes, but I can imagine, I can invent that I’m different.
AN: All right, there was imagination, thought, calling itself John.
K: Yes, sir, but…
AN: Now, does that thought still call itself John?
K: But I belong to that stream.
AN: You always belonged to the stream.
K: Therefore, I am not… there is no separate entity as John, who was my brother, who is now dead.
I mean, this is really quite… You follow, sir?
MZ: Are you saying that there was no individual human being…
K: This is what we call permanent.
MZ: …there was only humanity?
K: No, this is what we call permanent.
MZ: The permanent thing…
K: Ego is this.
MZ: …is what we think is individual. We think the ego is separate.
K: The individual, the collective, the self.
AN: Yes, the creation of thought which calls itself self, obviously is not permanent.
K: Is of the stream.
AN: That’s right.
K: Therefore was there ever a John? There is only a John when he is out of the stream.
AN: That’s right. That’s correct.
K: Now, go slow. So, first we are trying to find out if there is a permanent ego which incarnates.
AN: The nature of the ego is impermanence.
K: No, but all the reincarnationists, the whole of Asia and the modern people, certain people who believe in it, say there is a permanent ego.
AN: Yes, or at least a lasting one – at least it lasts, they say.
K: Yes, it is lasting – it’ll take many lives so that it can become dissolved and be absorbed in Brahman or in Nirvana or in light or in something or other. Now, is there, from the beginning, a permanent entity, an entity that lasts centuries and centuries and centuries? There is no such permanent entity, obviously. I like to think I am permanent. My permanence is identified with my furniture, with my wife, with my husband…
K: …circumstances, with my…
AN: Corroborated, as it were, by these things.
K: That’s all. They’re all words and images of thought. I don’t actually possess that chair. I call it mine.
AN: Exactly. You think that it’s a chair and that you own it.
K: I like to think I own it, but…
AN: …that’s just an idea.
K: So – watch it – so there is no permanent self. If there was a permanent self, it would be this stream.
K: Now, realising that I am like the rest of the world, that there is no separate K or separate John as my brother, then I can incarnate if I step out of it. Incarnate in the sense, the change can take place away from the stream. In the stream there is no change.
MZ: Yes, but if there is no… (inaudible)
AN: Now you’re saying permanence is outside of the stream. If there is permanence it is outside of the stream.
K: No, sir, permanency… semi-permanency is the stream.
AN: And therefore it’s not permanent. If there is anything permanent it is not the stream. It’s therefore out of the stream.
K: Out of the stream.
AN: Therefore, if there is an entity…
K: There can’t be.
AN: …then it must be out of the stream. If there is any entity at all. But we say all entities, as we know them, are of the stream.
K: Of the stream. See that, it’s very important.
AN: Yes, this is self. Therefore, that which is true, that which is permanent, is not a something.
K: Is not in the stream.
AN: That’s right.
(Pause in recording)
K: When Naudé dies, as long as he belongs to the stream, that stream and its flow is semi-permanent.
AN: It goes on. It’s a historical thing – it goes on.
K: It goes on. But if Naudé now says, ‘I will incarnate – not in the next life, now, tomorrow, which means I will step out of the stream’ – he is no longer belonging to the stream, therefore there is nothing permanent.
AN: Therefore there is nothing to reincarnate.
K: That’s it.
AN: Therefore, that which reincarnates, if reincarnation is possible, is not permanent anyway.
K: No, is the stream.
AN: Is the stream, is the very temporal.
K: No, don’t put it that way. Is the stream.
MZ: Is not personal, is not a separate entity.
AN: Is not real.
K: No, you are putting it much too… As long as I belong to the stream…
AN: …I don’t really exist.
K: …there is no separate entity. I am the world.
AN: That’s right.
K: When I step out of the world is there a me to continue?
AN: Exactly. It’s beautiful.
K: So, what we are trying to do is to justify the existence of the stream.
AN: Is that what we’re trying to do?
K: Of course. When I say, ‘I must have many lives, therefore I must go through the stream.’
AN: No, what we are trying to do then is we are trying to establish that we are different from the stream.
K: We are not.
AN: We are not. We are not different from the stream.
K: So, sir, we see that. Then what happens? If there is no permanent John or K or N or Z, what happens?
You remember, sir – I think I read in the Tibetan tradition or some other tradition – that when a person dies, is dying, the priest comes in or the monk comes in and pushes, sends all the family away, locks the door, and says to the dying man, ‘Look, you’re dying. Let go. Let all your attachments, all your worldliness, all your ambitions – let go. Because you are going to meet a light in which you will be absorbed if you let go. If not, you’ll come back.’ Which is, come back to the stream – you will be the stream again.
AN: You’ll be of the stream.
K: Of the stream.
AN: Yes, exactly. (Laughs)
K: So what happens to you if you step out of the stream?
AN: If you step out of the stream, you cease to be. But the you which was, was only created by thought anyway.
K: Which is the stream, and all the rest of all the…
AN: Yes, desires – vulgarity.
AN: Which is the same as thought.
K: What happens if you step out of the stream? The stepping out is the incarnation.
AN: Exactly right.
K: Yes, sir, because that’s a new thing you are coming into. Not you – there is a new dimension coming into being.
K: Now, what happens? You follow? You, Naudé, have stepped out of the stream. Just a minute, sir, follow it. You, Naudé, stepped out of the stream.
K: What happens? You are not an artist – listen to this – you are not a businessman, you are not a politician, you are not a musician – all that identification is part of the stream.
AN: All the qualities.
K: All the qualities – part of the stream. When you discard all that, what happens?
AN: You have no identity.
K: Identity is here.
AN: Is the stream, is the qualities, the labels…
K: What happens to… Sir, that’s very interesting because, say, for instance, Napoleon, or any of these so-called world leaders, they killed, they butchered, they did every horror imaginable. They live and die in the stream. They are of the stream. That’s very simple and very clear. There is a man who steps out of the stream.
AN: Before physical death.
K: Before physical death. Of course, otherwise there is no point.
K: No, wait, sir.
AN: …another dimension is born.
K: Now what happens?
AN: The ending of the dimensions which are familiar to us is another dimension. But it cannot be postulated at all because all postulation is in terms of the dimensions we are in.
K: Yes, sir, I understand, but what happens? Suppose Naudé, you living now, step out of the stream. What happens?
AN: This is death, sir.
K: No, sir. No, sir.
AN: This is death, not physical death, but this is the death…
K: You step out of it. You move to a different terra, a different bank. What happens?
AN: Nothing can be said about what happens.
K: Wait, sir. Wait, sir. Wait, sir. You see, none of us step out of the river. And we are always, from the river, trying to reach the other shore.
AN: It’s like people talking about deep sleep from awakeness.
K: That’s it, sir. We belong to the stream, all of us. Man does belong to the stream. And from the stream he wants to reach that shore – never leaving the shore, this river.
AN: That’s right.
K: Now, the man says, ‘All right, I see the fallacy of this, the absurdity of my position, absurdity of stating even such an idea.’
AN: That’s right. You can’t state another dimension from the old dimension.
K: So I leave that. So the mind says, ‘Out,’ steps out. What takes place? Don’t say it is not…
AN: …can’t be verbalised.
K: Verbalised – I am not sure it cannot be.
AN: The only thing that one can say about it, in terms of the stream, is silence.
K: Wait, sir.
AN: Because it is the silence of the stream. And one can also say it is the death of the stream. And therefore, in terms of the stream, it is sometimes called oblivion, it is sometimes called…
K: Sir, sir, do you know what it means to step out of the stream? No character…
AN: No memory.
K: No, sir, see: no character, because the moment you have a character it’s of the stream. The moment you say you are virtuous you are of the stream – or not virtuous. To step out of the stream is to step out of this whole structure – moral, ethical.
AN: Out of all that is known.
K: You follow? So, creation as we know it is in the stream – Mozart, Beethoven – you follow? – or the painters – they are all here.
AN: I think perhaps, sir, that sometimes that which is in the stream is vivified, as it were, from something which is beyond.
K: No, no – can’t. No, no, don’t say these things, because it’s… No, I can create in the stream. While I am in the stream I can paint marvellous pictures. Why not? I can compose the most extraordinary symphonies. All the technique…
AN: Why are they extraordinary?
K: Because they need… the world needs it. There is the need and the demand and the supply.
AN: Yes, but why do we call this symphony extraordinary and not that one?
K: Sir, wait, wait. No, that’s a matter of… I mean, you are hearing a symphony of Mozart and an Indian meeting it says, ‘What a lot of noise.’ You follow what I mean? Doesn’t matter – leave all that.
Now I am saying to myself: What happens to the man who really steps out? Here, in the river, in the stream, energy is in conflict, in contradiction, in strife.
AN: In duality.
K: That’s going on all the time.
AN: Me and it, me and you.
K: The division, all that’s going on there. When he steps out of it, there is no conflict, there is no division as my country, your country – no division.
AN: Or any country.
K: Wait – no division, in the same sense. So what is the quality of that man, that mind, that has no sense of division? It is pure energy, isn’t it, which can express to the… which can show to the river, points where it should… – all the rest of it. So our concern is the stream and the stepping out of it, not what happens. Right?
AN: Absolutely, sir. And that is meditation, that is real living, because the stream is not life. The stream is totally mechanical.
K: You see, that means I must die to the stream.
AN: All the time.
K: All the time.
AN: Exactly that.
K: And therefore I must deny – see, sir – not deny – I must not get entangled with John, who is in the stream.
AN: One must repudiate the things of the stream.
K: That means I must repudiate my brother.
AN: I must repudiate having a brother. Give unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s.
K: See what it means, sir? Not repudiate.
AN: Step out of.
K: No, no.
AN: Because repudiation is…
K: I see John belonging to this. I see my brother belonging to this. And as I move away from the stream…
AN: One sees that the stream really…
K: You know, my mouth is open, my… no tears. That’s all. That’s what takes place. What are you… (inaudible)
I think that is compassion.
AN: When the stream is seen from that which is not of the stream.
K: Yes. When the man of the stream steps out and looks, then he has compassion.
AN: And love.
K: So, sir, you see, reincarnation, that is, incarnating over and over again, is in the stream.
This is not a very comforting thing, this. You follow? I come to you with… my brother died yesterday and you tell me this. I call you a terribly cruel man. But you are weeping. I am weeping for myself. You follow, sir? You are weeping for me, for the stream, for the people. You follow? But I call you cruel because I’m weeping for myself, for my loss.
AN: The stream is weeping for its own continuation.
K: You see, that’s why people don’t want to know, really. I like to think I want to know. You follow? I really don’t want to know if my brother is dead.
AN: I want to know that he is, not whether he is.
K: Sir, some other thing which is quite interesting, which is, Aldous Huxley told me once, after his first wife died, he went to… it happened somehow that he was with a medium. That medium, whom he had not met before, suddenly said, ‘I’ve a message for Mr Huxley.’ And Huxley, Aldous said that his wife, who was dead, told him something which he and the wife only knew and nobody else. Well, that’s fairly simple.
AN: How, sir?
K: Come off it. Aldous Huxley was living. His first wife, called X was living… His first wife died. The first wife had a… between themselves there is something which…
AN: Yes, some contact.
K: Contact. And which he had forgotten but the wife remembered.
K: Say, for instance, the husband and the wife had a secret: key to the safe.
AN: The key to the safe is under the carpet.
K: Under the carpet – let’s put it that way. Only he had forgotten it.
K: He was looking for it, thinking about it, saying, ‘For God’s sake, where is that key?’ So what happens? The wife who is dead still thinks of that key because he is worried. And also is wanting to tell him the key is under the carpet.
K: And the medium helps that. And they think, therefore, the wife lives. You follow what I mean?
AN: Now let’s put it this way. Does she live as much as she ever did? Because we have established that this friend that we were speaking about, in fact was never an entity.
AN: Now his brother is asking whether he is an entity now. You say he never was.
K: He never was. You see, sir, that we can’t accept.
AN: Now is he the same as he was before?
MZ: To the degree that he never was. I mean, that in itself had some meaning.
K: He belongs to the stream.
AN: It’s the same.
K: There are varieties in the stream – shadows, depths, you know, waterfalls and…
AN: But as they say in French, the more it’s different the more it’s the same. Plus ça change, c’est la meme chose.
This is very interesting.
MZ: But by your last anecdote, Krishnaji, you are giving back, in effect, the hope to the brother because…
K: But that’s what they want.
MZ: I know, but if that anecdote proves anything, it isn’t simply that the medium picked up something out of…
MZ: …Huxley’s subconscious.
K: Obviously must have. Either picked it out of his subconscious or the wife before dying – as she was dying, she hadn’t time or she hasn’t… – there was that feeling she must tell him. That feeling must remain in the air.
AN: In other words, what we remember of memory is what we pick up from the air.
K: Myself, I pick up yesterday’s what I did, what I didn’t do. Of course. You see, sir, how terrible it is to face something to which we have clung to. You follow? That my brother is a separate entity, I am a separate entity, when I and my brother belong to the stream. You follow?
AN: Yes. We are the stream.
K: We are the stream.
AN: The stream lives in us, and we have our vitality because of the stream.
K: The moment you step out of it you deny, you move away from the whole river. Then you can cry. But to cry what happens in the stream is just self-pity – you know, all that stuff.
I think that’s enough, don’t you?
Krishnamurti in Malibu, 24 January 1972