Krishnamurti with Alain Naudé 6

Episode Notes

This conversation between Krishnamurti and Naudé was recorded in Malibu in 1972. Naudé begins by asking: Are the various scriptures of India and the Middle East similar to or in contradiction to your teaching? Krishnamurti later asks: Can thought end right through one’s consciousness? Must thought not end for something new to be observed? How does the mind look at itself? Does it look as an observer different from the observed, or without the observer and therefore there is only the observed? Can consciousness empty itself of its content? What has happened to the mind that has discarded the weight of becoming, of tradition, myth, gurus and authority? A mind that has no space can never find truth. A mind that is not empty can never find truth. Remaining with the fact of hurt. When you are nothing, you love. There is a movement in silence that has no beginning and no end, a movement that is always new. Inquiry is different from effort, from seeking, from achievement.

Alain Naude was Krishnamurti’s private secretary in the 1960s. He met Krishnamurti in 1963 whilst a music lecturer and 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.


Alain Naudé: Sir, if we may, I’d like us to speak today about the Upanishads. I know this isn’t something you usually speak about, but many people have asked certain questions.

Krishnamurti: For the simple reason, sir, I haven’t read them.

AN: Yes, sir. Many people have asked questions about them, and if you don’t mind, perhaps, without saying that this is the authority of the Upanishads, perhaps we could just examine a few statements which come into the Upanishads and which have been the most important thing in the lives of countless millions of people through the centuries. The Upanishads say, sir, that there is only one reality, that this reality, whether we call it God or Brahman, or whatever, is all there is; that the world is illusory, as an independent reality, but real as consciousness, as Brahman. And they say also, we are essentially that Brahman, part of that Brahman. And all the great sages of India, all the great teachers of India, have, in a way, been a commentary, a historic commentary through the centuries on the Upanishads. And if one looks at all the great teachings of all the great sages of India there is this unity in them.

K: You mean, you are saying, they have based their… the background of their teaching is the Upanishads.

AN: They haven’t always taught because they were conditioned by the Upanishads, but in some instances they didn’t even know the Upanishads, and when they started teaching they were confronted, of course, by all the orthodox Brahmins, whom we know, and these Brahmins said, ‘But you are saying the same as the Upanishads,’ And it did seem to emerge, time and again, that they were saying the same as the Upanishads, even if they didn’t know the Upanishads.

K: I understand.

AN: They, finally, were saying the same thing: that there is, beyond the mind, beyond thought, beyond the ego, a reality, which, to use a Christian term, is God in the heart of man, and that this is the only reality there really is. Then they’ve also said that this is pure consciousness. They’ve also said that the world of form and names and time is illusion. They’ve also said the human ego is illusion. They’ve all come back to saying there is only one reality and that is God, and that is consciousness. And we can know that within our hearts. And it can only be known when the ego is silent. And so one gets notions of silence, one gets notions of space, one gets notions of timelessness and the illusory nature of form and space and the universe, which to us seems so tangible. Would it be possible at all to speak about that, sir?

K: Yes, sir. Start. What is the question?

AN: The question is: Is this essentially different from what you are saying?

K: You’re asking, sir, aren’t you, whether what the Upanishads, the Gita, the various scriptures of India…

AN: …and the Middle East.

K: …and the Middle East, the Sufis, and all that – are they similar to your teaching. Is that what you’re saying?

AN: Or are they in contradiction to your teachings?

K: Are they in contradiction, similar, and so on.

AN: Yes, sir.

K: First of all, I haven’t read any of them. Secondly, are we approaching this from a point of view of authority in the sense, because of their ancient, established, traditional assertions, and so they have become extraordinarily authoritarian and accepted and revered, or are we looking at it from two people – one who has read these things and doesn’t accept them as final authority but merely is willing to investigate, explore the truth of their assertions, in relationship to what is being said by K.

AN: Yes.

K: So both of us are examining.

AN: Yes.

K: You on your side, knowing, having read all the various scriptures, perhaps deeply…

AN: Quite a few of them – not all, sir.

K: Most of them.

AN: Most of the important ones.

K: Most of the important ones. And K, not having read them, and is willing to explore together this whole question of reality.

AN: Thank you, sir. We would be very grateful.

K: Which is, we move away from every form of concept, whether it is the ancient concept of the Upanishads, the Vedas, the Gita, and the various sacred literatures of the world – which are really formulas, concepts, as far as people quote them or hold to them; they must remain in the world of concepts and formulas. Now if you and I can move away altogether from this, if I may use the word, abomination of concepts, of formulas, but examine whether there is such a reality, whether there is a oneness of life, whether there is an absolute, irrevocable, unapproachable reality by the mind – mind being thought – then we, both of us, are in a position of moving hesitantly with a mind that is not accepting or denying, so that we, both of us, are journeying, moving together, into a realm, or into a field where – though we begin with thought, with reason, logic – where reason, logic, thought, cannot possible enter. If that is clear between us two…

AN: Yes, sir.

K: …then it becomes very interesting to find out, to explore into the question of what is truth. Not according to K or to the Upanishads, or according to certain saints, so-called liberated people, gurus, and all the minor deities, or even the Shankaras of the world. It will become very factual, very real, if our minds can begin with the clarity of thought; pursue it logically to its end, then see when thought ends, whether there is anything else.

AN: Yes, yes.

K: Not according to the Upanishads and so on.

AN: No. Not starting with a conclusion.

K: But starting with the examination of what the Upanishads, the Gitas, the sacred literature of the world says, then discard them completely and move.

AN: That’s right.

K: Right.

AN: Yes, sir.

K: First of all, the word is not the thing; the description is not the described. That must be clear between us.

AN: Yes.

K: Right. Now, can thought ever capture or enter into the field of reality?

AN: Obviously not.

K: Why do you say obviously not?

AN: Because…

K: Wait, sir, go slowly, because there is…

AN: Because reality contains the faculty of thinking and therefore thinking cannot contain reality. Reality is a part… no, thought is a part of reality.

K: It all depends what you call reality.

AN: That which is.

K: That flag is flying there, on that treetop.

AN: Yes.

K: That’s a fact.

AN: It’s a fact.

K: That’s real.

AN: That’s real.

K: Real in the sense…

AN: …it is there.

K: …it’s a visual perception.

AN: You can go and touch it, you can smell it, you can…

K: And both of us see it.

AN: Yes.

K: And all the three of us see it.

AN: Yes, yes.

K: It is not just I see it and invent.

AN: Correct.

K: Therefore, it is not a personal perception.

AN: It is not an idea, or a personal perception.

K: Yes, therefore…

AN: It is not dependent on the person.

K: Yes – dependent on the person – therefore…

AN: It is not part of the observer, as you would say.

K: Yes. Therefore, we must see together, the three of us…

AN: Yes.

K: …whether thought can enter into a field, or if there is a field which is the unknown, which can never be described in words. So we have to go…

AN: We have to find out whether thought can go beyond itself.

K: Yes.

AN: Obviously not. (Laughs)

K: Can thought, naturally, not with any motive, with any purpose, with any direction, with any volition, can thought come to an end by itself?

AN: Yes.

K: That’s the first thing we’ll have to investigate if we are going to find out if there is anything called the real.

AN: Beyond that, yes.

K: Is that possible? Can your thought and her thought naturally, easily, without any effort…

AN: …subside.

K: …subside.

AN: Obviously, it can – because it very often does. There are moments in the day when one is not thinking…

K: Yes, but…

AN: …in terms of anything, about something.

K: …but when thought ends, is there the real? You said just now that thought does end – it happens often during the day, casually, when the mind isn’t occupied with something or other, it ends. Is the ending the beginning of the real?

AN: Or has the real a beginning and an end? Or is it, perhaps, that thought is contained by that which was always real before it started and after it ended? In other words, the casual is not the ending of the thought, but the casual is the thought itself.

K: That’s just what I want to find out. That when we say it ends during the day…

AN: It’s much better to say it happens.

K: It happens, or whatever it is…

AN: It happens in a limited sort of way, during the day.

K: Sir, there are several things involved in it. It may be that conscious mind is not aware that it is thinking.

AN: Sometimes it is and sometimes it is not.

K: Therefore, conscious mind may not be aware of it.

AN: Sometimes it doesn’t…

K: Or it may be that the unconscious is thinking, of which the conscious is not aware. When we talk about thought ending, it is the ending of the movement of itself, both at the conscious… at the deeper levels of consciousness.

AN: Ah, this is interesting, sir. Are you saying this: If we say that thought ends, we must be quite sure that this is true? Because we may think it ends, and this may only mean we are not aware of it.

K: That’s all.

AN: And if it really ends, it must end consciously and…

K: Right through.

AN: …unconsciously. Therefore, it is not enough to say, ‘I am not aware of my thought.’ One must be able to say, ‘There is no thought.’

K: Yes. So one must be…

AN: We see there are two different things entirely.

K: Entirely.

AN: The one thing is: I don’t know I’m thinking, and the other thing would be: There really is no thinking at all, consciously or unconsciously.

K: That’s why it is very important, because when you use the word ‘casually during the day,’ it may be the mind tired, the superficial mind tired, relaxed, quiet, and thinks it is the ending of thought, but whereas, there are the deeper levels, deeper layers…

AN: It continues.

K: It can be moving, moving, moving, moving.

AN: Of course. One sees that even on a walk, when one is not preoccupied with a problem, thinking goes on all the time, because one is recognising the walk, one is indulging in soliloquy…

K: Yes, sir – all the rest of it.

AN: …of the trees and the grass and so on.

K: So…

AN: So really the ending of thought is a much more difficult affair than it would seem.

K: Much more subtle, much more…

AN: …profound.

K: …profound than merely stopping at some level.

AN: A conscious preoccupation.

K: Yes.

AN: Understood.

K: So can thought end right through one’s consciousness? And mustn’t it end for something new to be observed?

AN: Of course, sir.

K: Go slowly, go slowly.

AN: It must end if one will find out if there is something else.

K: Yes. So, our first…

AN: That is why thought cannot find out if something else is…

K: So our first concern is to explore consciousness, both at the superficial level and at the various different layers…

AN: Yes.

K: …so that we understand right through, and therefore can say: Well, there is a cessation of thought completely.

AN: Yes, thought, feeling, and so on.

K: Right through.

AN: Yes. Cessation of the self.

K: I don’t want to use the word self yet, here; I’m just keeping to the word thought.

AN: Yes, sir.

K: Now, how is one to find out?

AN: This is very interesting.

K: How is one to be aware, not as the observer being aware of the thing observed, but be aware in the choiceless, negative sense, that the whole structure of consciousness is completely empty and still?

AN: Would you mind explaining, sir, why you say not as an observer being aware but without an observer? Because the observer is again thought.

K: Yes. So when I said that, I meant not observing as an outsider looking in. When you look at a shop window you are looking from the outside…

AN: …at something else.

K: …at something else – at your dress, hat, whatever it is.

AN: Yes. There is this duality of me and it.

K: Now, that is one way to observe.

AN: Yes.

K: There is the other way to observe, which is the hat, the dress, the dhoti, whatever it is, aware of itself.

AN: Yes, sir. This is very important. So you are asking, sir, can we observe to the greatest depth of our consciousness, not as apart from it but as being it.

K: Yes. As it. So, can the mind observe itself and be aware of the conscious levels and the deeper levels…

AN: …right to the bottom of it.

K: …right to the depth of its being, so that it knows where conscious thinking ends and the next layer begins, and so on?

AN: But, sir, isn’t that knowing itself a conscious operation?

K: No, I don’t think so. I think it is… Conscious operation means I am conscious of that tree there.

AN: Yes – volition is involved.

K: Not only volition. I’m conscious you’re sitting there, or she’s sitting there, I am conscious – the trees, the hill, the flag.

AN: Yes. What I’m asking, sir, is: How can the conscious ever examine the unconscious?

K: We’re going to go into that.

AN: Because while there is examination it is always of the conscious.

K: No, we’re going to go into that. You can observe these many layers, or these several layers, under the microscope of thought. And so there is the thought looking through the microscope at the object.

AN: Yes, commenting.

K: Commenting, dissecting, arguing…

AN: …recognising, cataloguing.

K: …and all the rest of it. Which is the observer observing the observed.

AN: Separate.

K: Which is the observer separate from the observed.

AN: Yes.

K: That’s one way of looking.

AN: And in that case, the looking is always conscious.

K: Whereas, when the observer is the observed, there is no consciousness as the observer.

AN: Yes.

K: This we must be very clear.

AN: It’s a very subtle point, but I think…

K: …you’ve got it.

AN: I think that I’m following.

K: Right. Then we can move, then. So how am I… how is the mind looking at itself? Is it looking as an observer different from the observed, or is it looking…

AN: …without that… (inaudible)

K: …without the observer, and therefore there is only the observed?

AN: Without the separation. Perhaps at this stage, sir, you could tell us how we may be certain that the mind is looking at itself without that separation.

K: Oh, I don’t think you can be certain. Don’t put it in terms of being certain, because then you fall into the trap of absolutism. I don’t know if you follow what I mean. If you say, ‘I must be certain…’

AN: Then, again, it is the observer.

K: Observer. That means…

AN: Well, sir, I’d like to put it differently, then.

K: Wait! Look at it, look at it, go slow, sir, go slow.

AN: How may we…

K: Go slowly, go slowly. That means you want to be sure. That means you want to be sure and satisfied, comforted, established…

AN: I understand, sir.

K: …and feel that…

AN: Again there is a separation.

K: Yes. All that you…

AN: And then we say: How would one tentatively…

K: I’m not sure. All that you can…

AN: …proceed to observe without this separation?

K: All that you can say is, ‘I’m going to look, I’m going to watch, I’m going to see.’ Not see in order to be certain.

AN: Of course.

K: It is a good point, this.

AN: Beautiful point, sir.

K: Because otherwise we get lost into something else.

So, can the mind observe? Do it, sir – now we are doing it. Can the mind observe itself without the division of the observer? And then he becomes aware, doesn’t he, that this whole movement of different layers are so interrelated, they can never be separate from the conscious, unconscious, deeper.

AN: Exactly. This is so, sir.

K: Yes.

AN: Another thing – yes.

K: So, it is a river moving. It’s only the man sitting on the bank that says… that gives a name to the river and watches the water flowing outside himself. But if he is himself the river, there is no naming. He’s part of that movement. So, can the mind be so aware, without any choice, of all the layers of consciousness? Because consciousness is thought; consciousness is the content of thought, which is knowledge – past, present, future.

AN: The point is that at whatever level, when there is thought there is an observer. And, if one is aware of thought without an observer, there is nothing to be aware of.

K: Not quite, sir. I don’t…

AN: Because there is no thought when there isn’t an observer.

K: Don’t come to any conclusion yet. Don’t come to any conclusion yet.

AN: Yes, sir.

K: Don’t ever come to any conclusion.

AN: Yes, sir – sorry.

K: You follow, sir? Then we fall back on the Upanishads and the Gitas and all the rest of it. What we are trying to find out is: Is there ending of thought if there is any content in consciousness? And any content makes consciousness. I don’t know if you… The content of consciousness is consciousness.

AN: Yes.

K: The two are not separate.

AN: Yes.

K: There can be only a statement, not a verbal assertion or a realisation, when the content of consciousness has emptied itself completely, and therefore the ending of thought is.

AN: Yes, sir. Yes, sir.

K: Right?

AN: Yes, sir.

K: Now can…

AN: But when one knows the ending of thought, this again is thought.

K: Of course – that’s what I said.

AN: So, can one ever know?

K: No, I did not say… Therefore, I say: Can the content of consciousness… can consciousness empty itself of its content?

AN: Yes, sir. And you say, also, that when consciousness is empty of its content, there is no more consciousness, because the consciousness is its content.

K: Yes.

AN: We’ve reached quite a point.

K: Now, how is the mind, which is made up of the content…

AN: Which is its own content.

K: …which is content, which is the content, whether one or ten or a hundred – how is that mind to empty itself of all its content?

AN: The real question then is: How is mind to stop? Or one could say: How is content to stop? It’s the same thing.

K: No, no, no, no. No, I want to put it differently. My consciousness, your consciousness…

AN: …is its content.

K: …is the content.

AN: Yes, is thinking.

K: …is the content of tradition, of the myth, of the character, the tendency, the memories – the known.

AN: The mind is what it thinks, as it were.

K: Yes – all the content.

AN: Yes. Yes, sir.

K: The culture, the anti-culture.

AN: The thoughts, known and unknown.

K: Yes. Now can that be emptied, ever? And if it cannot be emptied then thought has no ending.

AN: Right, sir. Now, sir, we’ve come to a very important point.

K: Yes, sir.

AN: You’ve said that the whole of our culture, all our memories, all our tendencies, all our character, all our temperament, all this is in the mind, all this is the mind; all this, in fact, is thought; all this is there, whether we know it or not.

K: That’s right.

AN: It’s either conscious in acting or it is unconscious.

K: That’s right, that’s right.

AN: And you’re saying: Can all this somehow disappear. And if it disappears there’s no consciousness left, because this is consciousness. And you are saying, also, if it cannot disappear, then we’ve come to the end of the whole discussion.

K: That’s right. Until that’s a fact, as the fact there’s the hill, until this is a fact, not a conclusion.

AN: Not a theory.

K: Not a theory, not a conclusion – as factual as you’re sitting there.

AN: Yes.

K: You follow?

AN: Yes, that thought has ended.

K: That the content, the mind has emptied itself of its content.

AN: Therefore, ended.

K: Yes. See…

AN: When this is so there will be no one to say that this is a fact.

K: We’re going to find out. We’re going to find out. Don’t come to any conclusion. We’re going to find out.

AN: Because that which recognises…

K: I don’t know anything about it. We’re going to find out. You see, this, they say, through control, through discipline, through subjugation, through imitation, this will come.

AN: Through some system. Of course, this is ridiculous.

K: Therefore, discard it.

AN: Ridiculous – because who’s going to discipline whom?

K: I mean, that’s too…

AN: It’s like the left hand trying to pull away the right hand.

K: Sir, that’s too immature, too thoughtless a remark.

AN: Indeed. This whole country is full of people who run to all kinds of institutes for what they call training; and this is illusion.

K: This is the most…

AN: You can learn to dance or…

K: When you see this, and when humanity is doing all that, you say: That is illusion.

AN: In other words, there is no training in thought to end thought.

K: That is illusion.

AN: It is illusion. You can even mathematically show it as so.

K: Of course, of course. Obviously, you don’t have to…

AN: Thought will never end thought. Spaghetti machines will always make spaghetti.

K: So, can the content of the mind empty itself? Now just hold on a minute, sir. So they say it can be done only slowly.

AN: This also is absurd.

K: It’s the evolutionary process.

AN: It’s absurd.

K: Wait, sir. Look at it. Don’t call it absurd; see what the world is doing.

AN: Oh, yes.

K: And go to a guru, he will teach you how to end it. You follow? All that is the process of evolution, and that, in that sense, evolution is illusion.

AN: Yet this comes back to, brings us back to what we said yesterday. There was a point when you didn’t say what you are saying today.

K: Yes.

AN: And then at a certain time you did say what you’re saying today. Therefore, there was an event in time which made the difference. And also, I think, that there was a process of human maturity, of maturity, because you did change during that, you became more and more sharp…

K: Of course.

AN: …you became more and more awake, you became more and more responsible, or whatever it was, sir.

K: The body was…

AN: You didn’t just wake up one morning and speak this way.

K: No.

AN: There was a process which wasn’t your doing, which wasn’t the result of volition. One might say it’s like the ripening of the pear on the tree…

K: It is natural.

AN: Whatever it was. Yes.

K: Now, let’s come back.

AN: But you didn’t bring it about…

K: Oh, no, no, no.

AN: …by manipulation of the mind.

K: So let’s come back to this. Can the mind, consciousness, empty itself? Otherwise, the idea of ending thought remains merely as a word and an idea.

AN: A fancy.

K: A fancy.

AN: Yet another thought.

K: Therefore, push that out. You see, sir, what we have done? We have discarded illusion.

AN: We have discredited the illusion of thought ending itself.

K: No, just – don’t… Do leave two minutes. We have put aside the idea, put aside the illusion that time, guidance, control, suppression, imitation, following, is an illusion, and therefore it can never empty the mind of its own content.

AN: That’s right, sir. We’ve done that. We’ve done that. That’s established.

K: See what that does to the mind. You have discarded, the mind has discarded, the whole cultural illusion.

AN: The mind has discarded sadhana, as it is called.

K: Sadhana…

AN: Processes.

K: Processes. Discarded it.

AN: Discarded all processes of ending itself.

K: Therefore you have ended time.

AN: Yes.

K: No, this… Go slowly, go slowly.

AN: You have ended the element of time in the ending of thought. Yes, of course.

K: Go slow. Look at it, look at it. So the mind has now put aside the element of time as a process which will empty the mind. The mind has put aside the whole idea of discipline – you follow? – all that.

AN: Yes – obedience, conformity…

K: …authority…

AN: …imitation, authority.

K: All the rest of it has gone. So what has happened to the mind that has actually discarded this tremendous weight of illusion?

AN: It has understood something.

K: Therefore, what has happened?

AN: It’s much clearer.

K: No, no, don’t be too quick. What has happened to the mind – do watch it, sir – that has discarded this weight of tradition, this weight of…

AN: …becoming.

K: …becoming, myth, guru-leading, authority, all that – discarded, put it completely away from you – what has happened? That is the content of the mind. Wait, sir.

AN: We have simply discarded a recipe to end the content.

K: No. We have discarded the sum of the content of the mind.

AN: Sum of the content. Sum of the content.

K: We have discarded…

AN: The content had all its collected…

K: Wait, sir.

AN: …past, and among that was the idea of ending it through disciplines – we’ve discarded that part.

K: No, we have discarded much more than that. We have discarded authority; the mind has discarded authority.

AN: Yes. Time.

K: Time, effort.

AN: Yes.

K: Conformity. Now, discarded it, therefore the content has become – is not so heavy.

AN: Yes.

K: So, that’s gone. Then what else is there in that content…

AN: …in the consciousness.

K: …in consciousness.

AN: Temperament.

K: Wait, go slowly.

AN: History. One would say all the tendencies that have always been there. Perhaps in modern language they would call this the subconscious.

K: What else is there, sir? Look at it quietly.

AN: Everything else which constitutes the self, sir, is still there.

K: This is part of the self.

AN: Yes. Part of the self has been dealt with.

K: Dealt with.

AN: The self’s recipes about itself have been dealt with.

K: Has been operated, and the wound has no mark, has left no mark.

AN: No, there’s no wound.

K: There’s no wound – has left no mark.

AN: Now what remains is the self.

K: Now wait, sir. Don’t translate the self. Please go slowly, not too quickly. It has left no mark; therefore the mind has operated upon itself, cutting itself and leaving itself empty, without any content.

AN: No, sir.

K: Wait. Partly, partly, partly.

AN: Not yet, not yet.

K: I said part, sir.

AN: Yes, sir.

K: Go slowly, sir. Then what is the other part? Is that not the major part?

AN: Yes, sir.

K: Because desire is part of that. Desire says: I must become, I must achieve, I want to empty the mind (laughs), so as to reach heaven. So, with that operation we have also put aside desire.

AN: Yes.

K: With that operation also you have put out…

AN: So sorry, sir. We have put aside a particular recipe. Have we put aside the desire to end the mind? Because this is…

K: I have no desire.

AN: …this is what we were speaking about since the beginning of this discussion – the ending of consciousness in all its layers.

K: I have no desire to end the consciousness. I have only…

AN: But we said that we were going to find out…

K: Find out.

AN: …what is beyond the mind.

K: Yes, we’re going to examine. Wait, sir.

AN: But unless we have the desire to go ahead, we cannot examine.

K: Not at all. Not at all. We said thought is very limited. Thought is never new. Thought is always old.

AN: Yes.

K: It’s only with the ending of thought something new can take place.

AN: Yes.

K: New flower, new vision – whatever – new.

AN: Perception.

K: Perception and so on. In that there’s no desire.

AN: Yes.

K: But when I…

AN: There is understanding, instead.

K: No, there is no understanding. You say that’s a fact. I don’t have to understand the fact of that hill; it is there.

AN: Exactly.

K: But when mind says, ‘I must empty myself of the content,’ then desire comes in. So, in examining the content, we see how much of the content is this. That is, time, desire, process, achievement, all that.

AN: Yes, sir.

K: In discarding that we have very few things left in the mind.

AN: Are you saying, sir, that having discarded what you call time, we have also understood that time is the very element of the mind?

K: That’s right.

AN: And in discarding time, as a recipe, we have discarded so much of the mind that we have discovered that the rest of the mind is also time.

K: Yes. I don’t see why you call it a recipe.

AN: The recipe of getting rid of thought with a guru, with a system – these are recipes.

K: We said that – discard. When you discard authority you discard all systems, all methods, all formulas.

AN: That’s what I meant by recipes.

K: Yes. You discard all that – because that is so.

AN: Yes.

K: Right? It’s like the rain that washes away.

AN: Yes.

K: In the same way, the mind has washed itself of that. Now is there anything left?

AN: Everything else in the mind, sir.

K: What is that?

AN: All our problems.

K: Wait, sir, wait, sir, wait, sir, wait sir – slowly, slowly.

AN: All our problems, all our recognitions.

K: Wait. Go one word at a time: problem. Have you a problem when you have discarded time, when you have discarded authority, when you have discarded comparison, imitation, conformity? All that implies fear. Is there a thing called problem? You meet… one meets the trouble that certain people are creating at Ojai. One meets it; it is not a problem.

AN: Yes. But just a minute. It may be that I’m still upset about it.

K: Ah! Then your reason becomes a problem because you want…

AN: Yes, now, all we have discarded in this discussion…

K: No, go slowly, sir.

AN: All we have discarded in this discussion, sir, is methods of ending consciousness, but we have not thereby discarded everything we were going to end.

K: We’re going to find out.

AN: And then you say, ‘What is it that we were going to end?’ Consciousness. Then you say, ‘What is left in consciousness?’ I say, ‘I am worried about my wife, I’m worried about these people that are threatening me’ – I’m worried because of this and that. Or I’m hopeful or I’m frightened, or I’m lazy or I’m lonely.

K: Sir, these are all problems, aren’t they?

AN: That’s right, sir.

K: I’m saying: Is there a problem? Problem in the sense, a thing that’s not resolved, that is worrying you, that is upsetting you.

AN: Filling your consciousness.

K: Consciousness. A problem.

AN: Yes.

K: Which means you have carried it over the next day, emotionally.

AN: Yes.

K: And so on – we’ll call all that problems.

AN: Yes, sir. The problem is the mind and the mind is problem.

K: No, don’t… Keep it simple. Is there a problem, or are there events which you are meeting?

AN: Yes, sir. When we meet an event…

K: Wait, wait, wait. You are meeting. There are events, incidents, happenings, which the mind meets. If the mind is not – as we said – has discarded it completely, then you meet them. You may take time, you may take tomorrow, but you meet them without the sense of time, the sense of worry, the sense of fear, the sense of saying: It must be resolved in this way, that way, that way. You meet them. Therefore, it’s not a problem – that’s what I want to get at. You meet it. I have to climb that hill. I climb the hill, or not.

AN: Now, sir, all the things which we said were in consciousness, when we started to speak, are still there. They are still there. You’ve named them yourself. The total remembrance of all culture; everything that’s gone into me from the start is still there. It has not disappeared because I have dealt with spurious ways of ending it.

K: Sir, that’s what I said to you just now. Look at it, sir, this is quite interesting.

AN: Yes, sir. I’m sorry, sir, to…

K: No, no, no – quite right. Look at it, sir, this way. We said: Can thought end?

AN: That’s right.

K: We said: Thought may end at a certain level. But the ending of thought must be right through.

AN: To the bottom. That’s right.

K: Which means…

AN: And then we said it cannot be ended by all these petty formulas which have been handed down.

K: No, no, no. No. We’ve said: What are the contents of consciousness? Because without the… the content make up the consciousness.

AN: That’s right, sir.

K: If consciousness is the content, then in the emptying of that content, consciousness has a quite a different meaning.

AN: Yes, sir.

K: Go slowly. Now, we said: What are the contents? I’m not concerned at the moment with the ending of thought.

AN: That’s right, sir. What is the content?

K: What is the content? We said this.

AN: The whole of our conscious…

K: Wait, wait. We said: Time, process – what else did we say? – imitation, conformity, comparison – I’m keeping to that point – and the guru – all that. I say: Yes, I see that very clearly. The mind sees that very clearly and has put it aside completely. Then it has got its own remembrances, its own…

AN: …conditioning.

K: …knowledge, conditioning. Then I tackle, the mind tackles that then.

AN: That’s where we are now.

K: That’s where we are. I’ve discarded that. Now there are the contents of memories, remembrances…

AN: …tendencies, preferences.

K: No, I don’t want… I’m going step-by-step to find out. Remembrances.

AN: Yes.

K: Which is, remembrance being imagination, contriving.

AN: Yes. Habit.

K: Just keep it, these three: contriving, imagining, remembering. Keep those three.

AN: Yes, sir.

K: Remembering. I must remember, mind must remember where the bathroom is. Mind must remember the road. Mind must remember the words to speak. Mind must remember the technology it has acquired.

AN: Yes – all useful knowledge.

K: Knowledge. It must… So… But knowledge becomes dangerous or corrupt when desire says: I must use knowledge in this direction, in order to…

AN: …in order to guarantee myself.

K: Right.

AN: Protect.

K: Therefore, when a certain part of consciousness is removed, then I remember. I remember, yes.

AN: Are you saying, sir, that knowledge is an impediment when it is used from a centre, feeling itself to be me?

K: That’s all, that’s all.

AN: That’s right.

K: Therefore, I must have memory, remembrance. I may not have imagination, unless I’m an artist or something of that kind.

AN: It doesn’t matter much if I have or not.

K: Therefore, I don’t contrive, say: Well, I’m going to do this to that man; I’m going to get this.

AN: Yes, it doesn’t matter.

K: No, not only… It doesn’t occur.

AN: I can’t do it if the centre called me is not using knowledge.

K: That’s it, that’s it.

AN: It is only a centre using knowledge which makes imagination and contriving.

K: So, I’ve seen this very clearly. So then that is not to be discarded; I keep that.

AN: Keep what?

K: Mind keeps knowledge.

AN: Without it we perish.

K: Therefore, see what has happened. Mind has discarded the use of knowledge as self…

AN: …fulfilment.

K: …fulfilment, or as a means to self-aggrandisement, as a means of self-perpetuation.

AN: Continuation.

K: As a means of self-identification, with my work, my picture, my…

AN: In other words, when the mind acts from the thought of self then all knowledge is corrupted.

K: So, I’ve seen that.

AN: So, are you saying, sir, that in our original consideration, which is to end thought in all its layers, we are really not concerned with ending knowledge?

K: No.

AN: We are only concerned with ending another kind of thought, which is the thought from a centre called the me.

K: Yes. That’s it.

AN: And it was this very same thought, from a centre called me, which was hanging onto all these systems and gurus and processes and time.

K: You have said that, sir. So what has happened? Now, what are the other contents of consciousness? The myths, the traditions?

AN: Again, they don’t matter at all unless I wield them from a me.

K: No, no. No, no, no. No, no, no. Don’t…

AN: They are not myths if I…

K: Sir, don’t say, ‘I’ve knowledge.’ Knowledge, as something which has been handed down to me as books, as this or that…

AN: Yes, technical knowledge.

K: …technical knowledge. But a myth is also part of knowledge because…

AN: Only if I believe in it.

K: No, no, no. Don’t, sir, don’t discard it so quickly. Go slowly, sir. That is myth. The Indian myths have held the people together.

AN: Yes, many of them, many myths.

K: Many myths have held the people together. And when there is no myth, as in this country for the time being, people disrupt – permissive and all the disruption takes place.

AN: A certain sort of disorder.

K: So, the myth which this mind has acquired because it was born in India, and, with its caste system, with its – all the rest of it – is there any remnant of that myth – which makes the mind behave in a certain pattern, which brings about a certain stability in society? If there is that myth then consciousness must continue to produce thought according to that myth.

AN: That’s right.

K: Therefore, there must be discarding of that myth, and yet have stability of conduct.

AN: Yes.

K: See what I have discovered, what we have discovered.

AN: Yes, yes.

K: Right?

AN: Yes.

K: Right. So I…

AN: Myths are out.

K: Out.

AN: But technical knowledge – yes.

K: See what I have…

AN: And stability of conduct is necessary.

K: Therefore, the stability of conduct is not based on any myth, on any conditioning, but on facts – which needs no remembrance.

AN: Ah, no, it needs remembrance of technical knowledge.

K: I’ve said that – facts.

AN: Yes.

K: So, what have I left? What has the mind left now? Myths – included in myths: the tradition, the racial inheritance, the various stories, the personal, the imagination inventing gods in order to behave properly…

AN: Yes – survival and so on.

K: …and the communication between the conscious and unconscious is part of that myth – and all that.

AN: All that’s discarded, because there is no desire from a centre called me.

K: So, sir, watch it, sir. So what have I left? What is the other content of consciousness?

AN: Only facts.

K: Only facts. Ah, see the beauty of it.

AN: Which is not consciousness.

K: Sir, just see the beauty of it – only facts. The mind hasn’t got to think about the facts.

AN: No, because if it does…

K: Wait. Sir, see what has happened. Mind hasn’t got to think about the fact. It observes the fact, observes the tree, observes the woman, observes the flag, observes – not my flag, your flag – observes it.

AN: Yes, sir.

K: Facts. Therefore, the consciousness is emptying… has emptied itself of all the content except the fact. So, when fact is the only predominating factor, thought is…

AN: …non-existent.

K: Except when the fact has to be used.

AN: Yes, which again is fact.

K: Yes. We say, ‘Look at that mountain.’ I can…

AN: It’s a fact that you can plant a pole this way and no other way.

K: See, sir, what has happened to my mind. I’ve emptied the… the mind has emptied itself of all its content except facts. Facts that you have hurt me, but I’m not going… You have hurt me – full stop. Or, I don’t… You’ve hurt me; it’s forgotten, it’s not important. So, as long as the mind deals with facts, the content is the emotional verbiage, the emotional…

AN: …garbage.

K: …garbage, round the fact.

AN: It’s very beautiful, sir. Perhaps this is what you meant when you said, some time ago, ‘I’ve been wondering what is the role of emotion, and I’ve come to the discovery that it has no role at all.’

K: So.

AN: Sentiment.

K: Now just see what has happened. Content has gone, only fact remains. Ah, sir! So the mind is…

AN: …empty.

K: …only with fact.

AN: There is no mind.

K: Therefore, it is completely beyond thought.

AN: Yes.

K: Thought, it can use fact, badly or…

AN: You mean such a mind can use…

K: …fact.

AN: Yes, it can use fact.

K: Only.

AN: Yes.

K: Not fact in the direction of a country, for a country…

AN: That perverts fact.

K: …for a family, for this, for that – thought.

AN: Yes, sir.

K: So we see what is the function of thought, and when thought comes to an end, completely, right through. Now… Which means, has thought ended? Thought has ended. As far as I’m concerned, thought has ended completely, right through.

AN: Yes, consciousness has ended.

K: As the me, with all the circles round it.

AN: Yes, that’s right.

K: All the circus round it.

AN: Yes, yes.

K: Ah. Then what is truth? That’s what we’re inquiring.

AN: What is there now?

K: What is there now. Nothing.

AN: Nothing. (Laughs)

K: And that’s a fact.

AN: Yes.

K: Nothing; therefore that’s the truth.

AN: Yes.

K: But you see how we translate nothing.

AN: We translate nothing in all kinds of ways – sunyata, the void, which one therefore imagines. Which is not nothing but which is ambition.

K: Nothing is emptiness.

AN: Yes. And emptiness means no me.

K: No me. Nothing means space.

AN: Yes, sir. This is most beautiful.

K: That is truth. A mind that has no space can never find truth. A mind that is not empty can never find the truth. A mind that is not completely still, in which the operation of thought is non-existent, can never find the truth. This is the thing. That is the real thing.

AN: Yes, sir.

K: And you listen to this, or you read it, someone reads it, and I say, ‘I must have it.’

AN: Humbug.

K: This is what has happened.

AN: Yes.

K: And there comes the exploiters: ‘Yes, you will have it, do this.’

AN: If you follow me; for a fee.

K: Fee – Transcendental Meditation, this meditation, that meditation…

AN: Scandalous.

K: You see, sir?

AN: Peddling God.

K: Peddling God. That is, the man sees the truth of this, completely, is that truth, then he talks, inevitably, to people, and they say, ‘Quite right.’ That becomes a…

AN: ‘What am I going to do to get that?’ (Laughs)

K: That becomes an idea, a formula, a practice, a guru, an authority.

AN: All kinds of perversions.

K: That is illusion. That is the world.

AN: Yes, that’s right.

K: And when the Upanishads say… when you say that is the illusion – that is illusion. The world isn’t illusion. I mean, those hills aren’t an illusion.

AN: No, no.

K: But when I have physical pain, it’s not an illusion.

AN: No, no, no.

K: But it is an illusion to say, ‘I want to be free from it and I hope to God that I always…’

AN: There’s only one illusion, it’s me. And it’s the workings of me.

K: So… Yes, sir. To remain with the fact. I have lied – which is a fact. I have hurt – which is a fact. When I know I have hurt, I won’t hurt.

AN: Yes, sir. And this is love.

K: You follow? It is not saying, ‘Oh, I hurt because…’

AN: No, no, that’s the self. Sir, would you say that love…

K: See the beauty of it, sir.

AN: …love is the same as what you’re saying? That love is a fact?

K: Love is a fact.

AN: To live in facts is to love?

K: Sir, when you are nothing, you love.

AN: That’s beautiful.

K: That means that. You see?

AN: When you love there will be order.

K: That’s it. It all fits. It’s logically right, sir.

AN: It’s beautiful, sir. It’s as clear as crystal.

K: What time is it?

AN: Thank you very much, sir.

Krishnamurti in Malibu, 27 January 1972

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