Krishnamurti with with Alain Naudé 4
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 fourth conversation between Naude and Krishnamurti was recorded in January 1972. Naude begins by asking about masters. ‘One finds in various teachings the idea of masters, conscious entities who work for the good of mankind. Is there a reservoir of wisdom? Do such entities exist, or does man want to have myths?’ Krishnamurti responds that there is a reservoir of goodness and a reservoir of violence and asks whether there something which is not these two, that is beyond these two? Is your mind capable of not being held in the reservoirs of goodness or violence? When you understand these two opposites and go beyond them, meditation is not in terms of vision or action, but the state of silence which is then operating, an energy which then flows. That energy has no character. When one asks, ‘Is there a hierarchy, a master, a group of evolved entities?’ you are asking from a point of view, or from desire, from hope. What is the relationship between the current of vulgarity and that which is beyond and above the opposites?
Alain Naudé: Sir, we are all familiar with the Theosophical story of the Masters, and quite often in your talks you have dismissed our preoccupation, any kind of preoccupation, with such hierarchies. Nevertheless, one finds in Theosophy, one finds in the Sufi teachings, and also in Buddhism one finds constantly this idea of Masters, this idea of conscious entities who work for the good of mankind, who work for this world, in a realm which isn’t visible to everybody. Is there a reservoir of wisdom? If so, where is it and what is it? And if so, what is its relationship to the evolution, to the consciousness which is familiar to us in the world today?
Krishnamurti: You know, one has been brought up as a Brahmin, and this idea of gradual enlightenment is very familiar. And also being, many years ago, in the Theosophical movement, not exactly identified with it but taking part in it, the idea of Masters, the hierarchical principle, and all these things are quite familiar. And for those who believe in this, it’s a very real fact – like Dr Besant.
AN: Even your own teachings, sir, were said, and is said, to have come from the Lord Maitreya, who would be in such a hierarchy. And we find also the Christians believe in angels, the Hindus believe, not only in gods, innumerable gods, but also in particular Masters, as distinct from the gods, who have some kind of role to play in a plan. This also makes us wonder if there is a plan for the universe, for what we may call mystery.
K: Quite. So, that is, this idea is quite familiar.
K: Perhaps not to the modern generation, perhaps not to the scientists, the artists, but in the religious field this is very well known. You are asking me whether I believe in such a hierarchy, whether I am conscious of such Masters and their hierarchical function, and what relationship has K at the present with this…
AN: With such entities.
K: …with such entities, if they exist, and so on.
K: I do not know if it is relevant, the question in itself, and I have often said it is not relevant at all, because Theosophists, the Hindus, the Sufis, the Tibetans that I have met, and some of the Buddhists in Ceylon, have often asked me this question.
K: Crudely, subtly, in a roundabout way, trying to catch me, trying to confirm what they believed, and so on and so on. And I have always said: Is it relevant to your life, is it relevant to the fact of suffering, is it relevant to the fact of sorrow, is it relevant to the fact that man lives in conflict endlessly, and so on? They have always said that is a very good way of avoiding my question. And I do not think it is an avoidance, but one has to, it seems to me, one has to go into this, not as a belief, whether I believe or you believe, but is it a fact? Is it a fact, as that hill is a fact and those people walking on those hills is a fact? Do such entities exist, first of all, or man wants to have a myth? Because a myth, consciously or unconsciously, gives security to man in his behaviour, a sense of steadying influence. A society that has no myth is a permissive society – in the ordinary sense. But a society, like in India, which believed in Brahmanism and the caste system and all that, held the society, for a time.
AN: It did.
K: And many people throughout the world want such a myth to guide them, to hold them to a particular pattern of behaviour.
AN: Yes, sir, this is clear.
K: We must bear all this in mind.
AN: We know that many people have myths. The communists have their myths.
K: Of course, the communists have their myths. But…
AN: No, apart from all that, is there a reservoir of goodness?
K: That’s what I want to get at. Is there…
AN: (Inaudible) …in particular entities?
K: Is there, apart from all this – apart from the myth, apart from imagination, apart from tradition…
AN: Wishful thinking.
K: …wishful thinking – apart from those who have said, ‘I have seen,’ because that may be their own projection, their own desire, their own wish – so apart from all this, is there a group of people so highly evolved – not so much in the scientific field but in the psychological, religious field, that they help the human consciousness to further itself, to flow in a better, in a more beautiful, in a more quiet, in a more…
K: …orderly fashion?
AN: This also brings up the question whether there is a particular direction and a particular plan which such entities might be concerned with.
K: Yes, yes. So I think one has to look at this.
AN: Perhaps we could find whether or not it is relevant in examining a remarkable fact – the fact that you would be born, sir, at this particular time in history, where there seems to be so much possibility of change. Either something like that is part of an intention or it is perfectly the result of hazard, just chance.
K: No, I don’t think it’s chance.
AN: If it’s not chance then there is something else.
K: But, sir, you must bear in mind the fact that Dr Besant and her co-worker, Leadbeater, had been looking for a vehicle for Lord Maitreya, the World Teacher, long before I came on the… the boy, these two brothers came on the scene.
K: They had already chosen a boy.
AN: Yes, whom they subsequently…
K: Subsequently, immediately dropped when they realised this boy, K, was going to be the vehicle. So it was not…
AN: So it wasn’t that you gave them the idea of the World Teacher – the idea was there before.
K: Before. And the idea of a World Teacher existed in Hindu…
AN: It’s existed since the beginning of history.
K: The beginning of time – the second coming for the Jews, the Hindus, the Avatar, and so on, so on, so on. And the Buddhist tradition, too, where the Maitreya…
AN: Yes. The Maitreya comes into it – we find it in Zen quite often.
K: Tremendously, very much.
AN: Coupled with that idea of the World Teacher there is also the Theosophical and Hindu idea of a new race.
K: New race.
AN: Which, they say – they said very long ago – would come about in California.
AN: And it’s very extraordinary that a new race does seem to be taking place, happening in California.
K: So it cannot be a chance, a haphazard thing happening. So we must go into this rather carefully because…
AN: Yes, a great deal is involved.
K: A great deal is involved.
First of all, let us take the question of this tool, of this K, as a boy. He is coming into their orbit, as it were, from nowhere. They, choosing that boy, and putting all their eggs in that basket – if you can so put it.
K: And risking their reputation, especially Dr Besant’s reputation – she was very well known.
AN: Yes, she had more to lose than people realised.
K: And she completely believed that, totally believed, till she died.
K: She never once…
AN: And she said that her Master had told her this.
K: That’s what I am saying. This is her Master…
AN: So, these things tie up together – your particular function in the world, the prophecy, if one may call it that, of a new race, the idea of a plan, and also the reservoir of goodness, which we may call the Masters – all these things seem to be tied into the same picture.
K: Ah, do let’s be clear. No, I want to… Don’t let’s bring the reservoir for the moment. Let’s leave that aside; we’ll pick it up later. So, I want to show, if I may, that it was not a chance or a haphazard thing, but a very…
K: …orderly, a vision in the future, the Master and Lord Maitreya, the World Teacher, telling them that is the body, prepare it, be careful how you treat it, and so on, so on, so on.
AN: Yes, sir.
K: And to them that was a complete responsibility and a sacred order.
AN: Yes, sir. And we have also noticed how very seriously you take your work.
K: Yes, yes.
AN: And therefore it is relevant.
K: Therefore, I’m saying, to them – because I lived with them, I was brought up by them till I was… quite late, I heard these words of the Masters – KH, Master Morya, Lord Maitreya and so on – it was around me. Not just for a few hours but all day, all night (laughs), meditation, the books, and they were saying, ‘You must behave, you must make your body this way, that way, for the Teacher,’ and so on and so on. To them, especially to Dr Besant, it was a reality. You follow?
AN: Oh, yes.
K: It was a reality, not an imagination. To her, the Master appeared, the Master said: This is so, do that and do this and do that.
AN: Also to you, sir.
K: Wait. Also to me, because I was part of that environment.
AN: That’s right, sir.
K: And all that fitted into the old tradition – the Hindu, the Buddhist, the Tibetan, and therefore enormous acceptance of this fact, by people living, like Biascoechea in South America, saying: I dreamt that, saw that boy in my dream, and recognised – and so on, so on.
AN: Many things corroborated this feeling which Mrs Besant had – more strongly than an idea.
K: Yes. And that it was not haphazard, a thing that… chance happens, you pick up a boy and he turns out to be…
AN: He wasn’t picked up because they found him. Rather, they found you because they already had this belief.
K: Belief – that’s it. Now, so… Now then the question is: Is it a particular Master or Masters, or is there a – I don’t like to use the word consciousness – a state in which all wisdom is gathered, which has its own peculiar ‘consciousness’, in quotes, which, seeing the world as it is and says: Something must happen, some new element must enter into this. Which… others may have translated it as the Masters, as the angels, as the devas, as the…
K: Gods. Because our mind works in symbols, in myths, and we are reluctant to accept such a state of wisdom, a reservoir, which has its own peculiar…
AN: …inner organisation, inner…
K: …its own peculiar perception – let’s call it, for the moment – which says: There is this opportunity and we take that.
K: Now it is a really… We are asking two things: Whether there are the Masters, and this state of consciousness.
K: Which is represented by the Masters.
AN: In popular language and belief.
K: In belief. One must go very, very, very delicately into this. One must tread very softly, because otherwise we’ll miss it.
AN: Yes. It’s too easy to make it vulgar and outward.
K: Vulgar, outward. That’s why I want to think slowly, go into it, feel my way step by step.
AN: Yes. Discover it the way a rose would open.
K: Yes. The fact is, this boy, when they found him, was not bright, was vacant, was almost, if I may use the word, moronic.
AN: You have used it often.
K: Yes. And they couldn’t condition…
AN: He didn’t predict his own destiny.
K: And they couldn’t condition him, either the Brahmins or the Theosophists or the European culture, and so on and so on. Why he wasn’t conditioned, that’s another matter, which is quite strange. It may be purely biological, physiological.
AN: Or it may be because this destiny…
K: …prevented it.
AN: …had foreseen and…
K: …kept him aloof.
AN: …found somebody who would not be contaminated.
K: So, what I am trying to find out is, in talking this over, whether these two, the Masters and this extraordinary sense of wisdom, which exists because man has been investing in it – the goodness of man, the beauty of man, the love of man – not the love of pleasure, I don’t mean that.
AN: Yes, sir. Are you saying that this reservoir of goodness would be the storehouse of all that which is finest in humanity?
K: Partly. Wait a minute, be careful – partly, partly, partly. And also…
AN: That which is finest in man would be somehow in some contact with it.
K: Not in man. Wait, look at it. Take the other thing too. There must also be a reservoir of man’s evil, man’s brutality, man’s violence, man’s aggression, his appalling behaviour. You follow? If you admit one, you must admit the other.
AN: Sir, I wonder if that is so, or is there something which is beyond both?
K: That’s what I – first, go slowly – that’s what I want to… go slowly into this. Unless we see it, both – you follow? – balance, consider both, we’ll miss it.
K: So there is this reservoir of goodness – let’s call it, for the time – and also the reservoir of violence.
AN: There is good and evil, like two ends of the seesaw.
K: You see… Good and evil – yes, yes. Look, the people called it… This was the highest expression of man, which represented the Masters, the White Lodge, the white; and this…
AN: …the black.
K: The black, the evil.
K: And there was battle between these two, always.
AN: Yes. One sees this in the Bible; one sees this in Milton’s most sublime poetry.
K: One sees this in India, one sees it in Hindu literature – everywhere these two elements exist.
AN: Even in music.
K: Yes, of course – music and… everything – in human behaviour, in everything, you will see these two. And we are asking: Is there something which is not these two, but beyond these two?
K: Go slow, go slow. If it is these two, then it’s very limited.
AN: Yes. It’s one of two opposites.
K: Not only one of two opposites but also it has the collection of human goodness – which is all right, very nice, it is beautiful, but it is a very small affair.
AN: Yes. It’s determined.
K: Yes, it’s determined, it is shaped, it has its character, it has its…
AN: …beginning and its end.
K: And also the other.
AN: Yes. Neither is absolute and neither can be called divine.
K: Therefore – that’s the point, you see, we are finding something very good – therefore, to belong to either is still human.
AN: And limited.
K: And limited. It’s still within the field of the relative, of mortality, of conflict, of disease, corruption, of beauty – you follow? – all that.
K: That would be a humanitarian approach.
AN: Yes. Decidedly, yes.
K: But there is something much more than this.
AN: Yes. There must be, to contain both.
K: Ah, wait a minute.
AN: Something which contains two opposites must…
K: I wouldn’t ‘contain these two’. Wait a minute, sir. I wouldn’t bring these two… These two exist.
K: And man has been struggling throughout the ages to dominate that.
AN: For one to dominate the other.
K: The other. This battle has been going on – you see it in the ancient caves, you see it in every literature, in every religious…
AN: Yes, taking the… (inaudible)
K: Right. You see, both these are known.
AN: Known, yes.
K: The other is unknown. And they try to capture the unknown through this known.
K: One says: Behave. Behave properly, be conditioned to behave properly, be righteous, don’t do this, don’t do that. Those are all…
AN: Dedicate yourself to the good.
K: Those are all in the field, in the pattern of the known.
AN: Yes. One might call this, with more or less vulgarity: the active moralists.
K: Active moralists, and also…
AN: The karma yogis of the world – in all religions and all times.
K: Of course, of course. And also the other, the sense of appalling, frightening collection of human brutality, the vulgarity, the fears, the evil, the cruelty, all that. These two can never join. And yet that’s what we are doing. You follow?
AN: Not quite, sir.
K: When anger, hatred is suppressed by goodness, which is the cultivation of goodness…
AN: An opposite.
K: …an opposite, you produce nothing.
AN: Yes – the left hand trying to overpower the right.
K: So as long as we think in these two opposites, categories, we shan’t find the other. Right?
AN: Yes, sir.
K: So is your mind – this is really important – is your mind capable of not being held in these two? Which is not an avoidance of the question whether Masters exist or don’t exist – we’ll come to that.
AN: Yes, sir.
K: If a mind is caught in these two, balancing – one year I’m awfully good, the next year I burst.
AN: Yes, because good and evil define each other.
K: Yes. So, to find out something beyond and above these two…
AN: These two must disappear.
K: Must be out of the way.
AN: Out of the question.
K: Out of the question. Which means the mind must not be caught in the web of these two.
AN: Yes – in judging according to these two, pursuing one or the other.
K: So, if one’s mind is beyond these two, then is there a state, of silence, of emptiness, of energy, which is not yours or mine, the Christian or the Hindu – that has nothing to do with all that – is there such a state which is conscious of itself? You follow?
AN: Yes, sir.
K: And which says: Some terrible things are happening in the world and let’s find somebody, the Avatar principle – not in terms of good and bad. I don’t know if…
AN: Yes, sir.
K: …if I’m making myself clear.
AN: Yes, sir. Is there something which intervenes, something which is beyond these two limited opposites?
K: Yes. All opposites are limited.
AN: Yes. One creates the other.
K: So, personally – this is rather a difficult question to answer and also to commit oneself – which I hate to do, to say yes, and then for the rest of my – ‘You have said yes, therefore it must be’ – you follow?
K: For me, there is a sense of vast silence, a vast emptiness, in which there is this extraordinary sense of energy, beauty and all the rest of it – which may express itself in the Master, in that – you follow? – only if you are out of these two realms, out of these two categories of opposites.
AN: Yes. Are you saying, sir, there is something beyond these opposites which may be, which may possibly be tapped or touched, only when one is free of these two opposites, and perhaps then one can call such a being a Master – someone who touches it all?
K: Therefore, it becomes irrelevant. That’s my point.
K: But you see – this is very important – there is, for me there is.
K: I am not saying this out vanity, out of all that stupid stuff.
AN: That’s understood, sir. Naturally.
K: I was going to say something, which is: When I… when someone asks if there is a hierarchy, if there is a Master, they are asking the question from these two points, from these two opposites.
K: And they will find the Master of these two opposites.
AN: Yes, the black or the white one.
K: They will find it.
K: And when the real thing touches someone and lives in him…
AN: Yes, that’s right.
K: …they only think in terms of these two.
AN: They won’t recognise…
K: They can’t.
AN: …that which is beyond their vision.
K: Therefore, they recognise it only in these two opposites.
K: Therefore, when they ask if there is a Master, they are asking from these two opposites and therefore the answer is: You are asking an irrelevant question.
AN: The question you’re asking…
K: You follow, sir?
K: You are not asking a question which is true, which is beyond. And if you understood it you wouldn’t ask that question.
K: I don’t know if I’m making myself clear.
AN: Yes. Perfectly clear, sir, perfectly clear.
K: You see – it’s really quite exciting and really extraordinary, even though I talk about it – you see, when you understand these two opposites and really go beyond it, meditation then is not in terms of vision, in terms of action, but the state of silence which then is operating, an energy which then flows, not in terms of the opposites.
AN: Which is free.
K: Therefore, that energy has no character.
K: Character being resistance to evil or the maintenance of good.
AN: Character is always limited.
K: Limited, of course.
So, when you ask, when one asks, ‘Is there a hierarchy, a Master, a group of evolved entities,’ you are asking from a point of view or from a desire, from hope, caught in this web.
AN: Not necessarily, sir.
K: Wait. If you are really inquiring.
AN: No, not necessarily. One is asking whether there are beings who are in touch with this other thing…
K: Wait, wait, sir.
AN: …which is not one of these opposites, and who, nevertheless, have some intervention in the affairs of man.
K: Yes. They have an intervention in the affairs of men as long as men are in these two. As we said yesterday, there is this stream of sorrow, pain, anxiety, fear, greed, envy, there is this…
K: …vulgarity – we called it yesterday, vulgarity. Now, a really good man, in the deep sense of that word, does affect the stream, does shape the stream, does give a new direction to the stream.
K: Naturally, because he… But that good man may not be of that perception.
AN: You mean he may be relatively good.
AN: He may just be the opposite of some bad man round the corner.
K: Or he may have goodness which may colour a little bit of this.
AN: Yes, yes.
K: So, what is the relationship – wait a minute – between this current of vulgarity and that thing which is beyond and above the opposites?
AN: Which is immaculate.
K: Yes. What is the relationship of this stream to that?
K: You are asking.
K: It cannot have any relationship.
AN: Then the question would arise, sir…
K: Wait, sir, look at it carefully. Look at the answer first. We first asked if there is any relationship between this movement of vulgarity – we may use that word without any harshness behind it…
AN: Yes, this movement of the common… (inaudible)
K: Yes, the vulgarity, the vulgar; and that thing which is not, which is completely untouched. This is touched and that is untouched, this is made corrupt and that is not corrupt. What is the relationship of the corrupt to the uncorrupt? None.
AN: Then what would be the point of any incarnation at all of any Avatar?
K: The point then is – that’s just it – to…
AN: And then what are you teaching for?
K: Yes, that’s it, that’s it.
AN: The very fact that in the world of the corrupt one can point to that which is beyond is already a most powerful intervention.
K: That’s it. That’s all. You are not altering the current.
AN: You are, also.
K: Yes, but not…
AN: Two things are happening.
K: Yes, that’s just it.
AN: This is something else which arose yesterday, sir. May we speak about it?
K: Yes, go ahead, sir.
AN: You have often wondered, and you have often asked, in India particularly, how many people have stepped out?
AN: Apparently, though of course one doesn’t know, apparently the answer is: very few. You have always been speaking about stepping out of evolution. Nevertheless, whilst very few people may have stepped out, the evolution itself has been tremendously influenced by your teaching. One finds all over the world today a different kind of thinking, a different kind of feeling, which quite often echoes your words.
K: Yes, sir.
AN: Young people in California talk about awareness; your books are being sold on every campus in America. You have influenced the stream.
K: I understand, sir.
AN: Never mind how many people have jumped out of the stream.
K: But you see, what I am trying to say is: When the stream looks up…
AN: …to the sky.
K: …to the sky and hopes to reach that…
AN: Never the twain shall meet.
K: But that can touch this, but this can’t touch that.
AN: That was the original question: Can the sky touch the stream?
K: Yes. But the stream…
AN: Because the sky incarnates occasionally in the stream.
K: In the stream. But the stream, the vulgar, cannot possibly touch that. You see the difference?
AN: But the sky…
K: You see the difference, sir?
AN: Yes, sir. Of course.
K: Therefore, see the implication of that.
AN: Freedom can never express itself in bondage.
K: No, that’s just it. You see, therefore, when there is all this enormous sense of prayer, in all the churches, in all the temples, in all the mosques, in all the synagogues, all over the world, prayer in different way…
AN: The stream is simply expressing itself.
K: Therefore, their idea of reaching, through prayer, God, has literally no meaning.
K: They’ll get benefit, because they are quiet, they are peaceful at that time, they perceive something, emphasises their goodness, but it’s all…
AN: Yes, sir, but the sky incarnates in the stream.
AN: Now, are there also entities of the nature of the sky who work in the stream in other ways, who are perhaps not visible?
K: Maybe, maybe.
AN: As devas, as angels, as Masters, as… (inaudible)
K: Maybe, maybe, maybe. But when…
AN: Because all your teaching is concerned with the sky, yet you are in the world of men.
K: Yes, sir.
AN: Therefore, this is an example of the stream teaching or pointing to the sky.
K: Yes. But you see, sir, it’s very…
AN: In so doing, even the stream is changed.
K: Yes. It’s very interesting when the man in the stream seeks or asserts or demands a Master.
AN: Yes. He doesn’t know what he’s talking about.
K: And therefore he is creating the Master, according to his stream.
K: Therefore, the Master is the opposite, and therefore belongs to the…
AN: Yes, sir, this is clear. People always find what they seek.
K: Therefore, we are saying, asking this, aren’t we: There is this whole hierarchical structure in all the religions.
K: And these organised religions are obviously part of the stream.
AN: Yes. And these religions give qualities to the structure, which obviously are of the stream itself.
AN: Therefore, the entities which they worship are similar to themselves.
K: Like – it is a myth, the Greeks had Jupiter, the mythology of the Greeks, the Romans had their mythology.
AN: The Christians have a particular kind of… (inaudible)
K: Of course.
AN: And the Virgin, who is very much like an Italian motherhood, one might say.
K: So, they want comfort in their misery.
AN: Yes, sir. We are not asking whether the structures which people project are true, but putting aside these things we see that they create their own image in these structures – we are asking: Is there also, is there, apart from this, is there the real?
K: There is, obviously.
AN: And this is interesting, sir.
K: You see, but one has to be terribly…
AN: But only the real can influence the stream, because that which is spurious and created by the stream can’t influence it; it’s of the same nature.
K: But we must be terribly careful that this idea of something beyond doesn’t become another myth.
AN: Yes, sir.
K: Therefore, one should…
AN: You’ve said that, sir, that the word is not the thing.
K: Yes. Therefore, it’s a very dangerous thing even to talk about it.
AN: Yes, sir.
K: You follow? And one has to kind of hedge round it.
AN: Yes. This is quite clear, sir.
K: Right. It’s very interesting, sir, because you see, I mean one can go into this infinitely more.
You see, Dalai Lama finding… the previous Lama finding the next Lama – those are all very simple and very clear.
AN: Are they, sir?
K: Aren’t they? Wait. That’s simple enough. What we are trying to find out is: Is there a state of mind – that – which is beyond evolution?
AN: Yes, sir.
K: You follow?
AN: Oh yes, sir. This is what you’ve always been talking about.
K: Beyond evolution being time – of course.
AN: Beyond becoming.
K: I mean…
AN: Which is not a progressive…
K: And that’s sacrilegious, talking even in terms of progress, time, becoming – it’s too silly. You follow? But there is that state, and whether that state can ever be put into words or made a fact, as the mountain, so that we say, ‘Yes, that exists.’ The moment I say it exists, it doesn’t exist.
AN: It’s limited.
K: It doesn’t exist. You follow, sir, what I mean? The moment that is made into a fact, which the vulgar movement can see and say, ‘That’s a fact that God exists,’ it doesn’t exist.
AN: That’s right. That’s right.
K: So, any assertion that it is or is not is a lie.
AN: Quite clear, sir.
K: Therefore, one has to be terribly watchful not to be caught in a lie.
AN: I think perhaps, sir, that is the real meaning of awe.
K: Of course.
AN: Yes. That was the feeling with which I asked the question, sir.
K: Quite right, sir. I get it. We have got it. We have answered it, haven’t we?
AN: Thank you very much, sir.
K: Wasn’t it good?
K: That’s good enough for today.
Krishnamurti in Malibu, 25 January 1972