MIND WITHOUT MEASURE TALKS IN NEW DELHI 1ST PUBLIC TALK 30TH OCTOBER, 1982 'THE ROOT CAUSE OF CONFUSION'
This is not a lecture, but rather a conversation between two people, between you and the speaker, not on a particular subject, instructing and shaping your thought or opinions. We are two friends sitting in a park on a bench, talking over together our problems, friends who are concerned deeply with what is going on in the world, with the confusion, the chaos that exists throughout the world. I wonder if you have a friend with whom you talk, to whom you expose your own feelings, your concepts, your ideas, disillusionment, and so on. We are going to talk over together in that manner - exploring, enquiring, without any bias, in great friendship, which means, with great affection, respecting each other, without having some kind of hidden thought, hidden motives.
First, let us look at what is happening around us, outwardly, without any bias, not as an Indian, not as a German, Englishman, American or Russian. We are human beings, whatever country we belong to. One observes countries going through a great deal of confusion, great uncertainty; there is chaos. People have no direction. But, unfortunately, we are conditioned, we are confused, uncertain, insecure, and we try to find a solution in the past, go back to our own traditions. This is what is happening throughout the world. There are the fundamentalists who accept the Bible as their authority, the fundamentalists of Islam who look to the Koran. There are the fundamentalists who look to Marx. So, when we are uncertain, confused, greatly disturbed, we look to the past, to some kind of authority, some kind of book, to find a direction. Now, in this country, as you observe, there are too many books, too many labels. So, here tradition is uncertain. You have all the leaders, all the gurus, but all the so-called saints have not helped mankind.
What is the root cause of all this confusion? When one can find the cause, then one can end it. A cause has an end. We are asking what is the cause or what are the causes of this confusion, this lack of integrity, this sense of desperate degeneration. What is the root of all this? Most of us play with symptoms. We say it is due to overpopulation, bad government. Throughout the world it is the same - lack of leadership, lack of morality. These are all symptoms. One never asks what is the cause of all this. When we begin to enquire into the cause, each one of us will give different opinions. The more learned we are, the greater is the assertion of the cause or causes. But we are not very learned people. We are ordinary people, we are laymen, we are not very bright, very intelligent. But we are caught in this great turmoil that exists in the world and here in this country. Every nation, every group, is preparing for war. All countries, especially the industrial countries, are supplying armaments to the rest of the world. Nobody asks, `Why do we have to have wars, why do we have to kill each other, murder each other?' They are talking about stopping nuclear wars, but not ending all wars. Why have human beings reduced themselves to this condition? This is very important to ask. Why do we have to kill other people? Is it for your nation, for your particular group? We have accepted the idea of war as a historical process and it has become a reality. But the root of it is, we live in an illusion, illusion that our country must be protected. What is your country? What are you protecting - your house, your home, your ideas, your bank account? The whole world is degenerating, going to pieces, and we are not enquiring into fundamental causes.
Now, what is the cause? Is it that you have so far looked to political leaders, religious leaders, economic leaders with their particular ideas, with their particular systems, to help you, so that you are always depending on others to guide you, to tell you what to do? Is that the root cause of this, or do you blame the environment? The environment is the government having no proper leader, no righteous guru. That is the environment - something outside of you. Is that the cause of this, which means that you have relied entirely on authority - the authority of tradition, authority of books, authority of leaders, gurus, and so on? When you depend, you gradually become weak, you become feeble. You are incapable of thinking clearly. This is a fact. Newspapers tell you what to think. All the meetings, the discourses that you attend, instruct. So the lack of self-reliance, the lack of a sense of responsibility for oneself - that may be the root cause of all this confusion. We have become irresponsible because we depend.
Is it possible to be a light to oneself and not depend on a single person? You have to depend on the milkman, on the postman, on the policeman who keeps order at the crossroad. You depend on a surgeon, on a doctor. But inwardly, psychologically, one doesn't have to depend to think clearly for oneself, to observe one's own reactions and responses, if one can be completely a light to oneself. Do you understand what that means - to be a light to oneself? It is not self-confidence, not self-reliance. Self-confidence is part of selfishness. It is part of egotism. But to be a light to oneself requires great freedom, a very clear brain, not a conditioned brain. But to have an active brain, to challenge, to question, to doubt, that means to have energy. But when you depend on others, you lose energy.
So, let us proceed from that. Is your mind, your brain, conditioned? Do you understand that word `conditioned'? From the moment we are born, the brain is being conditioned, shaped by tradition, by religion, by the literature you read, by the newspapers, by parents. the brain has lived for millions of years. It has had great many experiences. It has faced wars, sorrow, pleasure, pain, agony, great disturbances. And it is conditioned as a Hindu, as a Sikh, as a Muslim, as a Christian. Why is it conditioned? We are enquiring seriously whether your brain which is conditioned - if you are aware of it - can that conditioning be resolved? Do we see actually that we are conditioned? Do both of us agree to this at least? If you are conditioned, it means your being becomes mechanical - you repeat that you are a Hindu, you are a Muslim, you are a Marxist, and so on. Your brain becomes mechanical, repeating the same thing over and over again. So, first, do we, two of us, talking together as friends, realize actually that our brains are conditioned? Then we ask whether it is possible to free the brain from being a Hindu, a Muslim, a Christian, a Marxist. We are human beings, not labels. But labels count a great deal. That is what is going on.
Where there is conditioning, there is no freedom. There cannot be love, there cannot be affection. It is imperative, absolutely essential for the future of humanity that we are concerned with the brain which is conditioned. If one is aware of that, then we can proceed to ask whether it is possible to free the brain. The relationship between the brain and the mind can come, is understood, when the brain is completely free. Then the brain is the mind. We will go into that later as we go along.
We are conditioned, and we are asking whether it is possible to be free. Don't say it is or it is not, because that will be absurd; whereas if you are enquiring, then you are learning through investigation. Where do you begin to enquire whether it is possible to free the brain from its conditioning, to enquire whether it is possible not to be a Hindu or a Muslim or a Sikh, but a human being with all the travails of humanity, the anxieties, the uncertainties, the depth of sorrow and pain? Do you begin to enquire from the outside or do you begin to enquire from inside? That is, is the outside world different from the world in which we live inside? Do you understand that question? The society, the morals, the outward world - is that different from you or have you created it? Please look at this: The world is you and you are the world. It is very important to understand this. In our disorder, in our confusion, in our desire for security, we have created a world outside of us as society, which is corrupt, immoral, confused, everlastingly at war, because we in ourselves are confused, we are in conflict.
So where do you begin, knowing that you have created this world? You have to begin with yourself, not with the alteration of the system, of the outer world. It means, not looking for a new leader, new system, new philosophy, new gurus, but looking at yourself as you are. Can you observe yourself as you would observe your face in a mirror? Can you observe your reactions, your responses, because your reactions and your responses are what you are. So let us begin to enquire there.
Life is a process of relationship. There is no life without relationship. This is a fact. You may be a hermit, you may be a monk, you may withdraw from all society, but you are related. As a human being, you cannot escape from being related. You are related to your wife, to your husband, to your children, you are related to your government, you are related to the hermit who withdraws because you feed him, and he is related to his ideas. So relationship is the basis of human existence. Without relationship there is no existence. You are either related to the past, which is, to all the tradition, to all the memories, to the monks, or you are related to some future ideation. So relationship is the most important thing in life. Do you see the truth of that, not verbally, not intellectually, but actually with your heart and mind?
We are enquiring what is your relationship with another, however intimate or not. Is it that you are from childhood hurt, wounded psychologically, and therefore, from that hurt. from that psychological wound, you bring about violence? The consequence of being hurt, inwardly wounded, is that you enclose yourself more and more in order not to be hurt. And your relationship with another then becomes very narrow, limited. We must first enquire whether it is possible to find out if you can never be hurt. What is the root of being hurt? What is the cause? When I say I am hurt, my pride is hurt, what does that mean? My teacher has hurt me, my parents have hurt me. We are all hurt. We are all wounded by an accident, by a word, by a look, by a gesture. So what is it that is hurt? You say I am hurt. What is that `I' which is being hurt? Is it not an image that you have built about yourself?
We are asking a very serious question: What is it that is hurt? The brain has the capacity to create images. The images are the illusions. We have illusions, war is an illusion; we accept it. You accept killing another human being, another life, as part of the image which you have. You have many, many images. And one of the images is, I am being hurt. We are enquiring what is the entity that is being hurt. The entity is the image that I have built about myself. I think I am a great man and you come along and tell me, `Don't be an idiot.' I get hurt. Where there is comparison, there is hurt. When I compare myself with somebody who is more clever, more bright, more intelligent, that is, when there is measurement, there must be hurt. So please enquire whether you can live without comparison, without measurement. We are always comparing ourselves with someone. It begins at the school when the boy is told that he must be as good as his brother. That is comparison, that is measurement, and that process continues throughout life.
So, is it possible to live without comparison, without measurement? This is a tremendously complicated question. Because, the word `better' is measurement. The word `more' is measurement. Self-improvement is measurement. Find out whether it is possible to live without measurement, which means, to live without comparison. Part of meditation is to enquire into not becoming; becoming is measurement. Is it possible in our relationship with each other, however intimate it is, not to have measurement? That means your brain must be active in your relationship; it must enquire into your relationship, whether in that relationship there is hurt and that hurt brings about greater fear, greater enclosure within oneself, and therefore isolation. And as long as there is isolation, either outwardly or inwardly, there must be conflict.
We are saying the brain has been conditioned to isolation as a Hindu, as a Buddhist, and so on. To enquire into this question. whether the brain can resolve its own conditioning, we must enquire into relationship. What is your relationship with another, with your wife, with your husband, with your children? Begin there, near at home, not far away. You know, sirs, to go very far you must begin very, very near. To go very far you must put your house in order. Can you be aware, alert, so that you are watching your relationship and are learning from that awareness how you respond, what your reactions are? That is life, that is everyday life. That requires constant attention to every reaction, to every thought. But most of us are so lazy. We have become lazy because we are dependent on others.
We have, as two friends, gone into the question of relationship, and we will enquire further into the nature of that relationship. Is the human brain your brain, or is it the brain of mankind? This is really a very serious question. Is your brain an individual brain or the brain of humanity? When you say it is my brain, when you say it is my consciousness, is it so? Or is it the consciousness of mankind? Enquire into it. You suffer, you are uncertain, you are anxious, you are in agony, pain. That is what you are. You have belief, knowledge, character, and that is what you are. And that is exactly what your neighbour is. He is suffering, he goes through agony, sorrow, pain, trouble. So, is your consciousness separate from the rest of mankind? No, of course not. If you admit that, if you see the truth of that, then are you an individual? You may think you are an individual because you are dark, you are short, because peripheral activity makes you think you are an individual, but deeply, are you not the rest of mankind? When you realize that, the truth of that, you will never kill another, because you are killing yourself. Then out of that comes great compassion, love.
Audience: What is an impersonal action?
Krishnamurti: What is an impersonal action? First of all, what is action? What do you mean by that word `action'? Either you act according to a pattern, or act according to some idea, act according to your experience which is the past, or act according to some ideal which is in the future, or act according to your knowledge which is the past, or act according to convenience. So what do you mean by that word? The word means acting, not having acted, or will act. But action means acting in the present. Whether that action is correct, true, actual, depends on the quality of your brain, of your heart, not just theory. So, sirs, enquire into what is action. We are all acting from morning till night. You are sitting there and the speaker is sitting here. And you listen and he is speaking - that is an action. If you listen, that is action, or if you don't listen, that is an action. How you listen is an action.
What do you mean by impersonal? You see we have concepts. What do you mean by person - word, name, form? Are you an individual to call yourself personal and then ask, `Can I be impersonal?' Are you an individual? You all think you are individuals. Your whole tradition, religions, tell you that you are an individual. Are you? Are you not the result of centuries of human endeavour? You don't want to question all those things. You are afraid. If you are not an individual, what would happen to you? Individuality is a form of isolation and, therefore, we are all at each other's throat all our life. We have no love for each other. We talk about love of god, but we do not love each other. And besides, god is the invention of man. I know you all believe in god, but you have invented that entity. If god does exist, and if he has created us, what a miserable god he must be. You don't want to look at it that way. You worship an illusion and you like the illusion and think that in illusion there is security. And you are finding out there is no security in illusion. Your god has betrayed you and yet you worship him - the Christian god, the Hindu god, the Muslim god. It is all so absurd and childish.
So, let us find out for ourselves if we can be a light to ourselves, not depend on anyone psychologically, inwardly, not depend on your wife, your husband, or your guru, or a book, but live a life, free, full of vitality, energy, so that your brain is acting, not mechanical. Our brains have become now a form of computer. Please do enquire into a different way of living.