TALKS AND DIALOGUES SAANEN 1968 7TH PUBLIC DIALOGUE 6TH AUGUST 1968
Krishnamurti: What shall we talk over together this morning?
Questioner (1): Could we talk about the quality of our looking and seeing?
Questioner (2): Could we discuss the religious mind?
Questioner (3): What does it mean to die every day to everything?
Questioner (4): Could you go into the question of order and education?
Questioner (5): Maybe we could discuss authority.
Questioner (6): What does it mean to be serious?
Questioner (7): Can we speak about discipline?
Questioner (8): Can we discuss responsibility?
Questioner (9): What to do when we are back at home?
Krishnamurti: I think that is about the right question! (Laughter)
Questioner: We must not seek: we must have a different approach to what we have gone into.
Krishnamurti: I wonder if we should take up this question: what is the quality of seeing? And perhaps we could combine it with the question of authority, discipline, the religious mind and what we shall do when we go back home. Aren't you at home here? (Laughter) I wonder what you call home: the house, the children, the husband, the wife, the furniture, the little garden if you have one or the flat, the accustomed things, the usual worries, the habits, the sexual satisfactions, the office and the daily routine is that what you call home? That is rather an interesting point, isn't it? We'll come to that too.
What is the quality of seeing? First, when we see with our eyes, (the visual perception), do we actually see, or is it the memory, the image, the conclusion, that sees? Do please find out. We are beginning to discuss what discipline is this is discipline. Discipline, as the word itself is understood, means to learn; not merely to conform, to adjust, to obey, to imitate. But when we ask this question: `what is the quality of the mind that sees', do we merely see with the eyes, or how do we see the object, which awakens innumerable associations, memories, incidents, pleasure and pain and so on? What is the actual seeing there? To discover for oneself what it is to see to see what is actually taking place one has to have a certain quality of discipline, hasn't one? Is one seeing only with the eyes, or is one seeing through a screen of words, the words which awaken the form, the content and so on. To be aware of whether you are seeing the object you are looking at only through the eyes, or through the many associations that object evokes, is the beginning of discipline. isn't it? I don't know if you are following? To look at this microphone I must pay attention to it, look at all the details, the network, the metal, the wiring; to look at it with attention is already the beginning of discipline. The very interest to look brings about the necessary discipline to observe. Discipline is not something outside of you with which you conform, or to which you adjust yourself. So we have disposed of this whole idea of discipline (I wonder if you have?), discipline in which there is authority. The pattern which becomes the authority, the knowledge, the experience how- ever necessary, makes the mind imitative, either suppressing or conforming, and so on.
When we look at something, either we look with eyes that are very clear, or we look with the image right? How do we look? How do you look at a tree, at a cloud, at the lovely morning-light, or your neighbour, or the politician, or your wife, your husband, your children how do you look at them? What takes place when you look? Is it possible to look at yourself without any image? Is it possible to look at the political party, or the ideology to which you are committed? Is it possible to look if you are biased? Is it possible to see very clearly if there is any form of fear? Is there any clarity of perception when I am thinking conceptually? Is it possible to look at what another says if you do not like it, if you do not agree with what he says, though you may withhold your judgment, or you may consider he is not being accurate but can you listen to what he is saying without any bias, for or against? It is not possible to see clearly so long as one is not aware of one's bias, of the image one has about oneself or about another, of the commitment one has to a political party, or to an ideology. When one observes one's beliefs, dogmas, conclusions, one realizes that as long as one has those screens, those hindrances, those distractions, it is not possible to see very clearly. If I like you, I can't see you clearly, can I? My prejudice, my pleasure of liking you forbids me to see what you actually are. Or if I dislike you, equally I can't see very clearly what you are; I won't even listen, either I get angry, or push you away.
We are asking: is it possible to see without the image? Obviously it is one of the most complex issues, because we are storing up every conscious or unconscious experience. Every experience is leaving a mark, a conclusion, knowledge; and with this conclusion, this knowledge which becomes the tradition, the inheritance can I see anything new with that? Or when I see something new, I twist it to suit my own particular idiosyncrasy, my own particular conditioning. I don't know if you are following all this? Are we communicating with each other? Under these circumstances, which are facts, not ideas or something abstract, is it possible to see anything clearly? Obviously it is not. If I am very conservative and I happen to live in Paris, when there are student revolts I am horrified, because my conservatism rebels against all that. So I am incapable of seeing clearly what is taking place, what is justified, what is an excess and so on. My fear would prevent my seeing the activity of those students clearly right? So the question is: is it possible to be free from these thousands of experiences that are pouring in all the time free in the sense that they don't leave a mark? Can a scientist any kind of trained specialist see the whole existence of life, or only a special part of it? If I say `I know', won't that assertion, with all its aggression, fear, prestige, sense of power, authority, prevent me from looking? And can one know, or be aware that experiences do leave a mark, a scratch, an accumulation of knowledge, a tradition, and in the very observing see that they don't interfere? Is this possible specially when I am emotionally attached to something? If one is committed to the army, to the whole structure of armament and nationalism, obviously one can't see clearly what is implied in it, and one will resist, one will become the aggressor. Seeing all this, one asks oneself, what is the nature and the quality of seeing, that is not clouded by the past? Is this question clear? Can we go into it?
One has lived seventy, forty or thirty years and one has happily or unhappily gathered lots of words, concepts; one has many memories of youth, of the pleasures and the delights of sex, one has struggled, got a job, fought one's way through this culture and there it is, the past, from schooldays until now. That is the past, that is the `me'. The `me', the `I', is a word with great content, within a framework which is always reshaping itself. And through that frame I look and distort everything. I have been hurt, not only physically but psychologically, inwardly; they have flattered me, they have respected me, they have insulted me. Can I look at the movement of life without all those accumulations, which are actually the `me', the `I', the `ego', the self-centred entity. That is the question, isn't it? Can one die to yesterday and be new, fresh, innocent today? It is only innocence that can see very clearly, isn't it? Not the rich man, not the poor man, not the clever, cunning theologian, nor the man with a great accumulation of knowledge, but only the innocent mind can see very clearly. And it is innocent, not because it is naive, but because it has understood what it means to look clearly and therefore can die to everything that it has known. Please let's talk it over together.
Can one do that? If one doesn't, one is never free, one is doomed, one is caught in a rat-trap, going round and round in a circle. So can we do it? Can we discuss it?
Questioner: The mind is never quiet.
Krishnamurti: Sir, look, we have posed a problem, a question, it is a challenge. Before you can answer it, there must be an interval between the question and the answer. In that interval either the mind is quiet to look, or is searching, groping, trying to find out the right answer, the right word. So what can one do? Be quiet, can't one? This is a new question, a new challenge, and you don't understand the whole implication of it; you can't immediately respond. You say: `let me look, let me listen to that question very quietly, very attentively', and to listen attentively you can't wander off with your thoughts, you must give your heart and mind to listen to that question. And then you say, 'is it possible to die, to put aside everything that one knows?' You don't die to the technological knowledge, the knowledge which is mechanical, which is necessary for going home, for the office you can't die to that. A scientist can't die to that vast accum- ulated knowledge. But we are talking of the knowledge that one has gathered psychologically, which has become a form of security, which prevents one from looking. Can one die to all that? Is the question clear?
Let's approach it differently. What is love? Is love memory? The remembrance of pleasurable things and holding on to them? Is love pleasure? For anything that disturbs, takes away that pleasure, is a very dangerous thing. I am afraid of a person, or an incident, or an accident that might take away my pleasure, therefore I am going to resist and I become aggressive. Is love accumulated pleasure, with its resentments, temptations, aggression, defence? What do you say? Is love part of jealousy, hate? Have you gone into the question of hate in yourself: someone has done you harm and you hate that person? Hate is memory isn't it? Over five years, or two days ago, someone has done me harm; I remember that hurt, that wrong, and I keep on thinking about it. Hate is the past right? And is love in the past? Is love a thing of the intellect? Don't say `Oh no, it is not, it is of the heart'. If it is of the heart, why is there hate, jealousy, envy, division, separation and so on, which is the outcome of conceptual thought, of the word with its form, content and design? So for most of us love is pleasure, accumulated by thought, given continuity by thought and when that pleasure becomes thwarted, blocked, it turns into jealousy, hate, aggression, fear and so on which are all part of the structure and nature of thought. And can I, can the mind, die to all that?
Suppose you have insulted me, or praised me: I look at it, I listen to what you say very closely, give attention it may be true, or it may not be true. If it is true, I see immediately that what you have said has some validity, why should I get hurt? If what you say is flattering, I also see there may be a motive behind that flattery, and I see the truth of it. Can the mind be awake to all this? The mind cannot be awake to all this if it is put to sleep by the past. So, can one let go of the past happily, easily, without any struggle, just to let it go? You know that silence when there is beauty and love there is no touch of the past. Has beauty the colouring of the past? Am I talking to myself, or are you all taking part in this conversation? I am afraid you are not! Or are you being thoroughly mesmerized?
Questioner: Love is something unknown.
Krishnamurti: Is it? Don't you love your wife or husband, your family? Don't you love your country the country being the vested interests, the bank account there, the accumulated knowledge, your house, all that don't you love it?
Questioner: That's not love, that is contaminated.
Krishnamurti: But we say we love. You don't say `I like my wife' do you? Are we playing games with words? You see, one of the difficulties is, that we don't want to face things as they are. We are so frightened, and also we are proud, we have no humility to actually see what there is in our life.
Questioner: There is an element of the past in love, one loves someone who is dead as if he were present.
Krishnamurti: This is a very interesting question. Once a lady came to see me whose husband had died some years ago, and she said `I would like to meet my husband again'. Please listen to this, I am not being cruel. I said, `Which husband do you want to meet? The one who slept with you, the one who dominated you, the one who went to the office and cheated, or did what he was told, the one who was frightened? Whom do you want to meet?' You answer it, please! Now, the question is: someone is dead, and I love him in the present. What is it you love in that person, in the present? I am not being cruel, I am just looking at facts.
Questioner: You love the memories. Krishnamurti: Is that it?
Questioner: Beyond all this we have to know something very different, a wider consciousness something comes maybe that is the real thing.
Krishnamurti: Is that the real thing? That through all this perception something comes to us? Maybe, Sir. Do listen. When we say, `I love', is it the memory of the past? `I love my son, my husband, my wife, they are gone, dead' and I love that person in the present. What is that person whom I love, in the present? It is my memory of that person, the attachment, the pain, the pleasure, the joy, the companionship, the tenderness, that quality of deep relationship that he or she brought into my life all that is the memory of that person and I love that person. Is love memory?
Questioner: Isn't it the realization of future possibilities?
Krishnamurti: Is it? Is love time? That is, I love the memory of my husband, my wife which is of yesterday, which is of the past and I love the Utopia, the ideology of tomorrow, which is still a memory, a thought. Is love thought, a word, a formula? I may love a formula, but is that love? So one asks: is love of time? You understand now? Is the picture clear? The past and the future, with their memories, with their hopes is that love? Is love made up of time?
Questioner: Isn't it possible to have a creative relationship with someone who is dead, because be or she is seen without the conflict of the living relationship?
Krishnamurti: Is it? I didn't have it when he or she was living, but now I am going to bring about a creative relationship with him what does it mean? How sad it all is, isn't it? No? We live in ideas, concepts, formulas, and we don't know what love is.
So we are asking: is it possible to see with love? To listen is the same thing as to see, in this sense. Is it possible to see and to listen with that quality of mind that is not burdened with the past, with that attention which is love? Is it? If it is not possible, then there is no way out of our vicious, deadly circle. Then we are caught. And in that prison we talk about freedom, God, love, truth, but it has no meaning; that is mere pretence, and thereby we cultivate hypocrisy and pride. What has love to do with all this?
Questioner: It seems to me, that when we say we love, unconsciously we are considering the past. Our attachment to our wife, our friends, our home and country is to something we know and so we are afraid of the future. We are attached to what we know, because we are afraid.
Krishnamurti: That's right. You are saying: my love is attachment. Yes Sir, that is what we all say. My love is attachment to my family, to my home, to my precious memories, I am afraid to let go, because in letting go I find I am lonely, and there is fear. And so the loneliness, the fear, prevents me from being free from attachment. I cultivate detachment, which is a clever trick, because I can't let go of attachment, being afraid of my loneliness, of my emptiness, of my incapacity to look at anything with a quality of freshness. So I cling to everything, to my money, to my job, to my beliefs, to my gods, to my experiences, to my family, to my country oh, don't you know all this?
Questioner. There is another question, Sir. The things I cling to, do I really know them, or only think I do?
Krishnamurti: That's right, Sir. Do I really know what it is I am clinging to? I cling to my house listen to this I cling, I am attached to that house I am that house! right? Have you seen a man riding a horse? Have you ever looked at it? The horse is much more dignified, more beautiful, lovely, with a freshness and the man on top there he is attached to the horse! (Laughter) He is the horse, but the horse is not the man. (Laughter) So when you are attached to your furniture my God! just think of it! you are the furniture, you are the pictures, you are the things that you are attached to, and that is worthless. The problem is, how to see clearly so that there is this flowering of love. You know, without love and beauty there is no truth, there is no god, there is only a morality which becomes immoral.
So you are going back home; what are you going to do there? You have to have shelter, food and clothes can you go back home with a fresh mind and a full heart? Dreadful things are happening in the world, and we are all part of that, we have made it the home, the nation, the army, the politicians, the crooked thinking, the hypocrisy, all that we are responsible for it; not the Americans in Vietnam and the war there. It is you and I who are responsible. Can you leave all this absurdity, this chaos and flower anew?
6th August, 1968