Krishnamurti with Ravi Ravindra
This conversation between Krishnamurti and Ravi Ravindra was recorded in Ojai, California, in 1985. The inquiry includes: What do we mean by energy? The brain has tremendous energy. Is it possible for me to know what happens when I die, without inventing theories? Is all I have collected different from the ‘I’? The world is in disorder and 99% of people are disorderly. We rarely ask what death is. What does it mean to die? How do you find out?
Ravi Ravindra was born in India and later moved to Canada. He holds a Ph.D. in physics and an M.A. in philosophy, and is professor of Comparative Religion at Dalhousie University in Nova Scotia. He met Krishnamurti in the 1960s and the two met formally and informally over the years. Among his many books, Two Birds on One Tree and Centred Self, focussing on his time with Krishnamurti.
Dr Ravi Ravindra: The subject that…
Krishnamurti: It’s not making noise; it’s all right?
RR: I think it’s all right… yes. The subject that I wish to really raise with you, Krishnaji, is the question of death. Twenty years ago when I… in fact, first time I met you I had…
K: (Inaudible)… sir.
RR: I had raised this… Are you okay… (inaudible)?
RR: So that we can actually speak about this subject together rather than any sort of an argument about this…
K: No, no…
RR: …I feel that what would be useful first of all for us to take a few minutes to generally open the field; what is even an intelligent question about this, because one can ask lots of stupid questions about this; I have no doubt about that. And so that is one thing that I would like to… (inaudible).
K: I mean, this has been a very important question that has been asked for thousands and thousands of years. I wonder if there is any answer to it, or rather is it a matter of continuity or ending? This is the real problem, isn’t it?
RR: Yes, I think… (inaudible).
K: Or do you want to plunge into it right away?
RR: No, it is one of the problems; at least I feel…
K: No… Oh, yes, sir, say the other problem.
RR: All right; if I can… See, when I considered this I thought although that is really the more interesting problem which you just pointed to but there is another one which often comes as a… if you like, looking at somebody else’s death from the outside if… it is like a scientific…
K: Yes, sir; you’ve seen hearses, and gorgeous horses and… Christian world, more rich you are, the better horses, better Rolls Royces and limousines and all the rest of it, flowers galore – poor flowers. And in India they just carry the body to the river and burn it and they shed tears over it; and all the ceremonies that follow, before and after. Is that looking from outside?
RR: Yes, but then of course the question that… in a way, I immediately wanted to get at: still looking at it from the outside, one can say, when a person dies, the body has now ceased functioning, the…
K: Yes, sir, all the usual..
RR: …brainwave… but now, right there it is still an external question; can one say anything intelligent about: is there, for example, some sort of energy that is released from the body, that is now separated from the body, which is the sort of thing, for example, some of the newer data collected in the, you know, the near-death experiences that people have spoken about; they… sometimes the person has been pronounced dead but…
K: And comes up… (inaudible).
RR: …and he can also describe what was taking place…
K: Yes, sir…
RR: …even those medical details which he has no reason to know from his training…
K: Yes, sir; yes, sir; and there have also been cases where… buried alive and come back.
RR: Yes; at least one hears about it.
K: One hears about all (inaudible). I think one of the most beautiful things I have ever seen, apart from the hearse and horses and cars and flowers, I was walking one day, in Madras near the beach, towards the beach I was walking on (inaudible) and I heard a chant behind me, turned around and looked; the eldest son – they were all Brahmins – the eldest son was carrying round… he had a string or thick rope in a pot in which there was flour; and, I think it was two men carrying the dead father, and another man, altogether four people carrying, one behind and two people carrying the dead body and the son, eldest son in front; that’s four. And I followed them; and they took it to the sea, seashore, they had already collected a lot of wood there, put the body on it, burnt it, the son wept a great deal and they all went back. It was the most… I don’t know; it was the most beautiful thing… (inaudible) not only because of the lane which was full of trees and all the rest of the beauty of the land but also the sea was extraordinarily calm that day; and the fire, big fire; and the body; the son waited; I waited too, at a distance and the son lit the fire, did all kinds of ceremonies with the other priests; at the end of two hours – I’ve forgotten exactly – they all went back. You follow, sir? No fuss, no…
K: But probably all the fuss went on at home.
RR: Yes, probably.
K: (Laughs) All the priests and the ceremony; but the elegance of it, the quietness, the beauty of the whole thing; it was extraordinarily nice; and it was part of earth… (inaudible).
RR: Part of the nature.
K: So you’re asking, sir, when the body goes, is there an energy released from it? What is that energy? Memory?
RR: It is possible; as I said, I am only looking at it purely as a scientist might look at it externally.
K: Yes, sir, look at it ten different ways… (inaudible) – scientific; religious; superstitious…
RR: Yes, because one needs to…
K: …and wishful… wish…
RR: Wishful thinking.
K: You can put everything in the basket.
RR: Well, it seems possible; the only thing that I have gathered about it, Krishnaji, is that if there is this energy, first of all it does not seem to be true for every person who dies, this…
K: What do you mean?
RR: For some reason not every person seems to… say, for example, not everybody who is pronounced clinically dead comes back or…
K: I don’t know what you’re… I don’t understand what you told me; let’s be clear.
RR: Well, I… if one could use a phrase really for this energy – sometimes people say soul or something like this but this is simply a label…
K: Ah… Sir, just a minute; just a minute; don’t let the Christian…
RR: Let’s not…
K: …use the Christian word… (inaudible) soul…
RR: All right; so energy.
K: …or the Indian word, with the atman and so on; let’s forget these words.
RR: All right; so we just use the word energy.
K: Wait a minute, sir; what do you mean by that energy? The body, the organism has tremendous energy.
K: If we don’t maltreat it, we don’t drug it, drink and all the rest of it, smoke, then it’s got its own intelligence which is natural.
K: The organism functions regularly if it’s healthy and so on. It has… the organism has its own intelligent energy.
K: Right. The brain has its own… part of the organism is the brain.
RR: That’s right.
K: The brain has tremendous energy.
RR: But when that stops, which one can measure if a person dies…
K: Dies; let’s… What do you mean, measure?
RR: There are no brain waves.
K: Yes, yes; yes; while he’s living.
RR: No; when a person dies there are no more any brainwaves that can be recorded.
K: That is death (laughs).
RR: That’s right, death. Now, at that time, is there something that is not recorded by our instruments but still exists? That is one of the questions.
K: I… Now, sir, what is it that exists? The organism dies – put it in very simple language – the organism, including the brain and the… when the heart ceases to beat…
RR: That’s right.
K: …either through disease, accidents or old age, senility and so on; when the heart ceases to beat the oxygen doesn’t go to the head and there is the end of it; poor girl, poor chap or poor woman or whatever… Are you saying, asking, when that thing takes place, is there a release of greater energy?
RR: Or any kind of energy.
K: I mean… No, it must be much greater, or just the same old energy… (inaudible) the body and…
RR: No, it can’t be the same old energy; it has to be… (inaudible).
K: Why not?
RR: At least it doesn’t express the same way.
K: What do you mean? How does that energy express?
RR: I don’t know. This is…
K: Don’t say it’s the same way, then.
RR: No, it does not express the same way. I’m saying it because it, for example…
K: What do you mean, express what?
RR: The heart doesn’t beat…
K: No, that… We said that; the heart doesn’t beat, no oxygen to the brain and there is the death, the body is dead. Now, what?
RR: All right; so one of the questions then really is: is there any meaning to speak in terms of either a subtler energy or a subtler world or something in which this person… this person or something…
K: Therefore what you are asking, is it, is there something beyond mere physical, beyond the brain and the organism, the whole organism; is there a continuity of K, X?
RR: Actually, I am asking a little different question; although what you just said is a part of that…
K: What is the other part?
RR: What I mean is, for example, it may not be K; it may be…
K: That’s what I’m asking you.
RR: No; I was really thinking… for example, supposing Ravindra comes into existence because of a certain connection with this body…
RR: I have… after all, without my body I don’t exist; at least…
K: So we have to… Sir, let’s define carefully…
RR: All right.
K: There is the organism, including the brain, the whole thing; and there is… from childhood there is this encouragement or this urge as the me: ‘my book; my property; my wife and my God and my religion, my beliefs’ and so on and so on and so on. Is that what you’re saying? Is that I? I’m not clear what you are… (inaudible).
RR: Well, I am actually not very clear myself, Krishnaji; this is why I’m trying to… trying to really…
K: Ah, I thought you had somewhat gone into this.
RR: Well, I have sort of gone into this but I’m trying to express this in a way so that we can in fact speak about it together in the same language.
K: Yes; we are both using English.
RR: Well, we both are using English but we are using it in a…
K: No, let’s be clear again. You can’t use, twist words and say, ‘This… I give a special meaning to that word; I’ll stick to it.’
RR: Yes; yes; yes. No, we won’t use any tricky words.
K: Not ‘if’; then we are entering the world of supposition, hypothesis and that theories; that has no value; it is like asking me, ‘If I go up to Toka-Toka, that mountain, what will you see?’ I say go up there and see.
RR: Yes, yes. But it’s not really in that sense is not what I meant; so maybe I should rephrase it, Krishnaji. The body itself has a sort of organisation to it…
K: It is marvellously organised.
K: I was talking to a doctor the other day; marvellously organised; every detail is gone into: how the heart functions, the liver, the bladder – you know? – the whole… it’s amazing.
K: It is so extraordinarily protected – right? – and so concise, organised; it is a most tremendous instrument; I don’t think we realise how…
K: …how… what… long evolution from the ape and so on – we’ll come to this… (inaudible). I don’t think we pay… otherwise we would be so careful with it. You know, I was watching once, a long time ago, a racehorse being groomed; how it was trained; how they looked after it; such care; such minute detail – right? – and here we don’t… we just throw it about – drink, all… – you know, the whole… – drug… (inaudible) anything to find stimulation. That… So you… are you saying, if I understand it correctly, that is there something separate from the whole organism, including the brain, the whole organism that is released?
K: If I understand you rightly; you are using this; that is, released at the moment of death.
RR: Yes; that’s at least one of the questions; so…
K: What is the other question?
RR: No, let’s go into this first.
K: That’s one of… (inaudible); either we deal with the whole question or not bit by bit by bit.
RR: All right. But the other thing is that this… supposing something is released, it does not have to be…
K: I wouldn’t suppose… you are supposing; I’m not.
RR: (Laughs) Well, I’m asking you.
K: Ah, no; I don’t… I told you; I, personally I can’t stand theories.
K: I can’t stand… – ‘I can’t stand’ in the sense, it has no meaning; I can invent anything I like, if I’m very clever or a professional philosopher, I can invent…
RR: But, Krishnaji, we sometimes have theory just temporarily, in the sense that we then try to see if it actually agrees with what one… (inaudible).
K: Oh, yes; but first you must lay the basis; you can’t just say, ‘This, this, this.’
RR: No. So the basis… all right; first thing what we know is of course the organisation of the body.
K: The organic functioning of the body is the most extraordinary instrument who… nature has created. Right?
K: And then, what next? I’m born, go through life, all kinds of problems, incidents, misery, etc., etc., whole gamut of excitement and sorrow, pain… all the rest, loneliness, and at the end of it the body goes. Right? That’s what happening in the world: killed in a war or accident in a motor accident or disease or old age, etc., etc. Now, what? That’s a fact.
RR: So does anything get released?
K: That’s it; is there anything – not ‘if’ – is there anything beyond the mere physical existence with all its miseries and pleasures, stimulation, loneliness, despair – you know? – the whole human existence? Is there anything that continues which I can recognise?
K: Right? I can recognise now, not (laughs)…
RR: Later on; yes.
K: When I pop off.
K: The same question was put by one of the senators in Washington, in a different… (inaudible) words: is there a continuity of memory? Same question. Now, what? How will I know now? Is it possible for me to know what happens when I die? I can’t invent theories – you follow? – I say, ‘Yes, I was born last life in Athens; I was (inaudible),’ or ‘I was in India born as a saint.’ You follow, sir?
K: So what’s your question then?
RR: Well, how does one actually know this or can… (inaudible)?
K: I think you can; that’s the whole point. Not ‘think’; it can; you… (inaudible). As you know, sir, we’ve been talking about this…
K: …for dozens of years. Now, the first question which one asks is: is there any movement – the movement is time and thought – is there any movement which has had a continuity, which is continuing now and will continue tomorrow – tomorrow in the sense, death, after death? Is that the question? You can put into that question all the other questions.
K: Right, sir? Would you agree to that?
K: Are you sure? Don’t say I… that’s partial.
RR: Well… No, no, I just don’t wish to be trapped by something in… (inaudible).
K: No, no; I…
RR: We wish to have a…
K: After all, we are discussing…
RR: …enlargement of the question.
K: Yes. We have enlarged, sir. There is the whole Buddhist theory of which you know.
K: Which I… I know a little bit of it; I don’t know all of it. That is… (inaudible) constantly changing – right? – a flame is never the same.
RR: That’s right.
K: I mean, I can see this myself. And there is the whole Hindu concept, which has spread all over Asia: reincarnation.
K: And the Christian world: resurrection and heaven. That sounds… (inaudible) resurrect what? And the same thing on the other side: reincarnation; incarnate next life. Is it not possible to incarnate this life? You understand my question…?
K: I won’t go into all that. So what is your question? Put all your questions first; don’t say this is one part of it, then next add another part of it and so on; by putting many parts you don’t make the whole.
RR: No, that is true but I suppose the other question that I have is almost really to say is the… from an internal point of view, is death mostly or merely an idea?
K: No, it’s a fact. I have collected a lot of experience – right? – lot of knowledge; I have been through – suppose; I’m talking… (inaudible) – I’ve collected from childhood, I recognise my father and mother; I’ve established my roots in a particular country, in a particular house, estate if I’m a rich man; if I’m a poor man, I just wander… – you follow? – so I establish from childhood roots in a particular ideation.
RR: That’s right.
K: Not facts; ideation. I’m identified with France or Germany or England, Russia and so on.
RR: So is the death…?
K: That’s the beginning.
RR: Is that the death of this ideation?
RR: When one… when I think about death…
K: Sir, would it be right to ask: what is death? Right? Would it be right to ask that question?
K: Not go through all this paraphernalia: what continues, what doesn’t continue…
RR: All right, so…
K: …is there energy; is there not energy be… released; or is it memory that continues as the me; reincarnates because I’ve lived bad life, next life I’ll pay for it; if I’ve lived good life, I’ll get rewarded next life; which is based on reward and punishment and all that stuff. Now, would you ask that question?
K: No, if I didn’t put… would you ask that question, what is death?
RR: I think so; in a way, I’m trying to really ask that question by all these various approaches.
K: Yes, what… I have… one has lived hundred years, fifty years, eighty years and during that long period or short period you’ve collected so much, gathered: property… (inaudible); children; money… Hm?
RR: Also information and knowledge.
K: Information, knowledge; the house I’ve built; I’ve worked so hard to collect money, gather money; a mortgage – you follow? – I’ve done all this in my life; and also as I am a scientist or a philosopher or a labourer, skill, I’ve collected so much knowledge, so much skill, capacity and so on; and death comes and says, ‘You can’t take it with you.’ Right? Right?
K: Death says you can’t take what you have collected. Right?
K: What you have collected. Be careful, sir. You have collected knowledge; tremendous lot of information; and all the memories, the pleasurable memory, ugly memories, painful memories – all that you have collected. Right? You see how you are hesitating? That’s what…
RR: Yes, I am hesitating because…
K: Not only what you have collected during this past… this life but also what your parents have collected, what their grandfathers… go back to thousand years or…
RR: But Krishnaji, related question though is, really in a way question which is related with it is what is I; because we…
K: That’s what I’m coming to.
RR: Because if I have collected this, then is it just a linguistic habit?
K: No; let’s find out, sir.
RR: Or is actually affecting me?
K: Let’s go into it. Is all this, which I have collected different from the I?
RR: That is, I think, a central question.
K: That’s the question.
K: I’m sitting in this house which doesn’t belong to me; I’m a guest here; I’m sitting in this house and I say, ‘Those are my books; if you don’t mind’ (laughs). Right?
K: So is the I different from all the things one has collected, including furniture, books, gramophone… (inaudible) radio, whatever you’ve collected; not only physical collection but intellectual collection; emotional collection – the whole thing gathered through one’s fifty, sixty, ninety, hundred years or more; all that one has held in one’s hand or one’s brain, all that, is that different from the I? Would the I exist if that… if all this collection didn’t exist? Is not all this collection a bundle of which I am?
RR: I hesitate a little bit, Krishnaji.
K: Yes; good; I’m delighted.
RR: Because what about a little baby who has not yet collected very much?
K: Wait a minute, sir; wait a minute; wait a minute. He has gathered… he has inherited. I read somewhere or I’ve been told that the baby recognises who is friendly to the mother, who is unpleasant to the mother – right? – they have tested… I believe they have tested… (inaudible); it may be true, it may not be true. So the baby grows – right? – cuddled, kissed, hugged, warm, can recognise the mother; recognise the mother because…
K: They have experimented with doves; you know, all that business.
K: Man who raised the baby doves, that’s the mother (laughs).
K: So the baby knows the mother, the father – right? – then identifies with them; begins.
K: ‘My family; your family; it’s my dog.’ So gradually, traditionally, through inheritance, the I is being built up – ‘It’s my book,’ two babies fighting; haven’t you seen them over a doll?
K: Year old, six months old, pulling at… Right? So is the I different from the thing I’ve collected; it may be a doll or it may be bank account, or I have bought that furniture for twenty thousand pounds, or dollars or… – right? – and it’s very precious to me because I’ve got so much… I’ve collected so much money… (inaudible) but I’ve got that; is that thought as mine different from me? Put it ten different ways.
RR: No, that is really one of the central questions because it seems to me that even if I don’t collect, certain kind of intelligence still works through me.
K: Which intelligence?
RR: Well, for example, in my…
K: The organic intelligence?
RR: Yes, organic…
K: Ah, organic intelligence is in the organism.
RR: But that’s also part of me.
K: That’s what I’m saying; I’m asking you (laughs) – you are falling into the trap.
RR: (Laughs) Falling into the trap? But you’re not trying to trap me.
K: No, of course not; I’m only joking; it’s not a trap.
RR: Well… see, in what sense is your body yours? This is actually a question which I don’t understand.
K: No, no. I identify myself with the body.
RR: Otherwise it’s just a body.
K: It’s an organism, marvellous…
RR: There is a body there and a body here.
K: Yes, it’s a marvellous organism; I don’t say ‘my body’ but I look after it very carefully.
RR: No, but you see, Krishnaji, this is… I’m not interested in…
K: It is being looked after very carefully.
RR: Yes; you see, but I’m not interested in the trap now; question is…
K: I’m not trapping you.
RR: You have naturally with your own body, if you like, a privileged relationship than you have with my body.
K: What do you mean? What do you mean? Now, go slowly.
K: I don’t… What is privileged?
RR: Say for example, if I am stupid I can ruin my body and if I…
K: As most people are doing.
RR: As most people are doing, yes; and if I try to be real intelligent I can take care of it; but however intelligent I try to be, I cannot take care of your body.
K: Of course not.
RR: All right, so…
K: Ah, I’m not sure.
RR: All right; (laughs) so this is actually one other question.
K: Yes, sir; I’m not sure. If I love somebody – I’m using the word love in its… deepest sense of that word – if I love somebody, I look after it; I’ll tell him what to do or not to do: ‘Please look…’ You follow? (Inaudible).
K: After all, I’m training a horse; a horse being trained, if you like to put it; and the man who owns that horse, which has cost a million or whatever it is says, ‘My… I must look after it.’ He doesn’t look after it; I pay him and all the rest of it; and here love doesn’t want any reward, any punishment; love is not that; so it says, ‘I love you; I’ll… we’ll look after it; I’ll help you to look after it.’ Not ‘help’ you… I’ll see that you look after it; I’ll watch over you; I can help… ah, not help; sir, love is not a help.
RR: No, I…
K: Let’s move away from that.
RR: From the help part (laughs); yes. Krishnaji, still though, really, I don’t think one can escape the question which is that even though I have difficulty expressing it completely, the question still… the fact still is that whatever I is has a relationship…
K: Ah, ah; I don’t say what… I say I is this. I don’t say vaguely whatever it is; I don’t brush it off like that. I is… there is no I without the experience, without the knowledge, without the belief, without the faith, without the gods, without the saviours, without all gods in the world. The I is not separate from its collection, apart from physical collection.
RR: Well, how about a cat?
K: I don’t know…
RR: They don’t have any gods.
K: Wait a minute; I don’t know anything about cats; why do you bring in cats?
RR: Because cat has an organism just as I have.
K: (Inaudible)… sir, but it hasn’t got the brain as I have, as a human being has. It’s very limited; that energy in the cat is limited.
RR: All right, but…
K: The energy in the brain, which is fantastic, which is probably infinite, if we can use that word.
RR: All right, so… all right, let’s maybe stay with this for a moment… (inaudible) because that energy is maybe focused by the brain but it is not created by the brain.
K: I never… Sir, let’s go into it a little bit more. Would you admit or see the actuality the brain has got extraordinary capacity, fantastic capacity; from the most primitive to the highly sophisticated, it has got immense capacity. All the technological world…
K: … the computers, the material of war – you follow? – the whole… in a second I can get in touch with London or Moscow or whatever, Benares, if the line is free. Right?
K: So the brain has, if we can use that word, infinite capacity. Right?
K: And therefore it has got tremendous energy. We haven’t completely tapped that energy; it has got… thank God we haven’t tapped it, sir, otherwise we’d be killing each other completely (laughs).
K: Not completely; we’d be… You follow? So what is the question?
RR: But that energy…
K: It’s not mine.
RR: It’s not mine; and it is also not of that… simply the physical organism.
K: No, I said… Of course not. This body is put by my father and mother and the father and mother were produced and so on, a thousand years or more… (inaudible). But I say this is my body; don’t touch it; or do touch it.
RR: (Laughs) This intelligence…
K: What intelligence?
RR: …which is sometimes expressed by the body… (inaudible) by the brain…
RR: The intelligence which is… (inaudible).
K: I said, sir, the body has its own organic intelligence; it’s not imposed by thought…
K: If left… looked after, cared; it has got its own energy, its own… if it hasn’t its own intelligence, I couldn’t walk; I couldn’t go… etc., etc., so in the very brain… in the very cells themselves there is this intelligence to function, to multiply or not multiply, protect and so on and so on and so on.
RR: But you see, we also would say – I think this is a scientific statement, actually – that if I hate or if I love…
K: It releases a…
(Pause in recording)
RR: … some intelligence, real intelligence, not just cleverness; but then, of course, lots of people who live by hatred or stupidity; in both cases their organisms…
K: They live messily.
RR: All right; so their organism is either affected by order or by disorder.
K: Yes, sir; agreed; there… if you put it in those words…
RR: Okay; now…
K: But it’s so… it is so; if I live in disorder, my body becomes…
K: Yes; put it that way.
RR: All right.
K: If I live very tremendously orderly life. That depends what you mean by order and disorder; we won’t go into that.
RR: But in either case, both of these people die.
K: Of course; we all end up in the same place.
RR: All right; therefore one way of putting my question, Krishnaji, is, speaking objectively, how does it…
K: Put it, sir, what?
RR: How does the presence of an orderly person change the world as compared with or contrasted with a disorderly person? If they both die and the organism simply disappears, because we… (inaudible).
K: Wait a minute, sir. What do…? You see, that begins… brings about the discipline or… put it clear, clarity on saying what a particular word means: orderly and disorderly; do you want to discuss that?
K: That’s very complicated. What? The world is in disorder; ninety nine percent of the people live disorderly: smoke, drink, fornicate and do all kinds of things; worship God in whom they don’t believe and go on the other side and kill somebody. Right? In their own life they are so messy; in contradiction in themselves; believing and not believing; hypocrisy; you know what is happening, sir, in the world – talk about peace and prepare for war. So the average person or more than average, ninety nine percent live disorderly lives, morally. And the investigation into disorder and expelling it, through… when you investigate, you are pushing everything that is disorderly; as you do it, there is order. You understand? Order isn’t something blueprint or… ‘Do this; don’t do that; this is right, this is wrong’ – that’s not order; it’s commandments.
RR: Yes (laughs); yes, I agree.
K: So order is a living thing. If there is… not only organism has its own order, otherwise it couldn’t think, it couldn’t feel, it couldn’t eat; it is in tremendous order. And this we put into it disorder, by excitement, by… you know, all kinds of things. Then you have diseases – right? – and doctors, medicines and so on; more diseases there are now, much more… (inaudible).
K: So when a human being lives in complete order and the organism cooperates with that order, because it is orderly by itself. So what’s the next question?
RR: I suppose the question really is, Krishnaji, that if in either case – let us merely, as an example, say an intelligent person and a stupid person…
K: It all depends what you call stupid, sir.
K: No, careful…
K: Yes, that’s better.
RR: (Inaudible)… so if a person lives disorderly and dies and a person tries to live orderly and also dies…
K: No; not ‘tries’, he…
RR: Either is…
K: Or not; of course.
RR: Right, but…
K: I mean, I have faith, suppose one has great faith in a saviour, Jesus or in an Indian god or something and that belief you think brings order, faith; it doesn’t. You follow? That’s why I want to be very clear.
K: You believe in God, you believe in Jesus, you believe in saviour; you believe in some god in India and do everything opposite to your belief. Moment you have power you are creating disorder – right? – whether your wife or the high priest or the hierarchy… (inaudible).
RR: So we’re saying then that to be ordered or… – maybe that is not the right impression – to be orderly…
K: Yes, sir, order.
RR: To be in order or to have order…
K: Yes; doesn’t matter; not ‘to be’; actually in order.
K: That requires tremendous care, watching, learning; you know? I won’t go into all that… (inaudible).
RR: You see, then there is no I there…
K: No, sir; we have to investigate what is the I; we haven’t done it.
RR: But we largely agreed, I think, Krishnaji, that it’s a collection…
K: I said order… I mean, the I is a bundle of all its collections: fears; pleasures; loneliness; despair; depression; anxiety; suffering; pain; boredom; lassitude… That is not separate… all that quality is not separate from me; I am that.
K: So that collection is my memory, is memory. Sir, be logical and then you can go beyond logic afterwards.
RR: All right.
K: If you care to.
RR: Well, Krishnaji, this makes clear sense to me; I have no difficulty with it, really at all.
K: Sir, because probably you don’t believe, because you have no faith.
RR: I don’t have to have faith.
K: No, but people have faith, tremendous faith…
RR: I see.
K: …and that’s going to save me.
K: I’m going to be carried to heaven.
RR: No, but Krishnaji, I wish to come back to this point; I’m not speaking now of the acquisition that I have, or the collection…
K: Yes, sir, I am the collection; collection is not different from me.
RR: Yes. But there is nevertheless this intelligence which is not me.
K: Which intelligence? Body intelligence?
K: Which other intelligence?
RR: I don’t know how else to put it; it…
K: Sir, let’s be clear; why do you make… the clear… intelligence created by thought.
K: Wait, sir. That intelligence is functioning in this world. It took tremendous intelligence to put a man on the moon; tremendous intelligence to create a computer or one of these marvellous submarines; the atom bomb and, you know, all the rest of it; it is the cunning intelligence of thought, to protect itself, to hurt others, the whole… that is what is generally called intelligence; to be a good businessman – right? – he’s an intelligent businessman; he’s got great skill and you call that … intelligent man who has got… etc., etc. So that is the limited intelligence.
RR: Yes; but now…
K: Ah, that’s limited intelligence. Then we can ask if that is limited, what is limitless…
K: Ah, that’s…
RR: But that is the important question, Krishnaji…
K: It’s not important; because you are not asking it.
RR: (Laughs) I think we’re having a difficulty of language… (inaudible).
K: No; no, sir. Look, you want… you started by asking what is death… no, I asked that question; but you asked… we have to discuss about death; you said that.
K: Right? We haven’t tackled that question.
K: So let’s come back to it then. What is death? What is death? What is…?
K: No; continuity…
K: No; that means what? Ending. Right? Don’t use the word discontinue; it means… it leaves trails…. (laughs).
RR: No, no, no; that’s not what I meant. Yes, ending.
K: Continuity, the bundle continues or it ends. Right? We say… or rather, human beings say, ‘I hope there will be continuity, because I have gathered so much information, knowledge, suffered, pain, fears; I have collected so much faith in God; hugging God.’ You follow? All that I want to continue, through… (inaudible) or because I have faith I go to heaven or somebody saves me; or the other, which is, ‘I’ll be rewarded next time; if I kill, I’ll pay for it next time; if I behave, next life I’ll be better house; or become king’ – you follow? – or a sannyasi, monk; it’s the same thing, reward and punishment. Right? So… but human beings very rarely ask what is death; what does it mean to die? You…? Living, you ask this question while you are living, not when you reach the end; while you are living you ask this question. How do you find out? By reading other people’s experience? By saying yes, people have… How do you find out?
RR: No; that itself is the scientific approach…
K: Ah, ah, ah…
RR: I think… but that’s (inaudible).
K: Ah, I don’t call it scientific…
K: They are experimenting on somebody else.
RR: Yes; but now I wish to look at it…
K: I say to my… No; I investigate what it means: dying.
K: Right? And we have investigated briefly into what is continuity. Now we are investigating what does it mean to end, which is death. The organism dies; the brain dies; all the collection which I have gathered dies; not only property and… – you follow? – my wife, my children, my gods, by beliefs, my pain…
K: …but inwardly I have a tremendous longing for continuity; then I say what’s the meaning of all this? Right? So I cling to that fancy, to that delusion that there is a continuity, up in the heavens or next life. We don’t face this thing. That’s why Christians and the Muslims bury; they’ll be… one day they’ll be called; and the Hindus say, ‘Well, the body is the body… (inaudible) let’s burn it; get it over.’ But that is a terrible thing to face, so they say, ‘I believe; I believe in resurrection,’ – you follow? – ‘I believe in next life.’ It’s very comforting… (inaudible); it gives a great solace… (inaudible), ‘I haven’t lived in vain.’ Poor birds.
So what does it mean to die? You asked that question. What does it mean to die while you are living, actually, full of energy? Bearing in mind your brain is so cunning, so subtle because it says it has been trained, educated, belief in… in fifty thousand years there must be something more. The whole question of worship, prayer – you follow, sir? – as we were discussing… (inaudible). To die means to end all that bundle, all that memory. Right? Actuality; that’s actual. Right? So I ask my next question: can I die while I’m living – not commit suicide – while I’m living?
K: However miserably, however orderly, living a life of tremendous order. Can I… to all my collections – collection, psychological collection, can you die to all that; now, not at the end of my life, at the end of one’s life? Of course you can; let go; don’t carry on the burdens.
RR: No, it’s not that easy, Krishnaji; you have to agree.
K: Oh, that’s the difficulty, sir; nobody wants to let go; nobody says, ‘I won’t be… while I’m living I won’t be attached to anything.’ I may have a bank account, I may have a house but I won’t be attached. That is death. You can’t take your money with you or your house with you; all your Upanishads and your Gitas and the Bibles and the Korans – you can’t. That is orderly life, supreme order. So then you begin to find out what happens (inaudible); to live that way what… (inaudible). Either there is nothing – you understand? – actually nothing, not a thing; or there may be something; but you cannot find out… that cannot be if you don’t die every day. Do you understand? (Inaudible)… there is something, then you say, ‘My God, that’s comforting; I’ll eat it.’ Yes, sir; find out. Not you will find out… (inaudible). You see, don’t accept that word; doubt it; question. Don’t accept anything.
Yes, sir? Better stop… (inaudible).
Krishnamurti in Ojai, 29 April 1985