An energy that will solve all our problems
The quality of energy that will transform man
2nd Public Talk, New Delhi
November 25, 1973
May we go on talking about what we were discussing yesterday evening? We were saying that there are those who perceive, see clearly, and those who conceive from those who have perceived; they formulate ideas of 'what should be', an abstraction of 'what is'. And most people throughout the world live on ideas, on formulas, concepts. And all our activity is based on those principles of ideals and ideas. And we live not directly with the problems of life but the conclusions that we have drawn from the problems of life. Ideas are much more important than actuality. We never come face to face with the real, the everyday life, the everyday conflicts - political, religious, personal, communal - but we approach them with conclusions: Marx, Lenin, or the capitalist, socialist, or the religious people who have conclusions. And so we live a fragmented life. If you have noticed yourself, observed yourself, you would have seen how broken up we are inwardly, how contradictory. The contradiction lies not in the perception of the fact, but the conclusion which we have drawn from the fact.
And I think this is very important, if you are at all serious, to understand this. Because we have broken up life into many parts, not only outwardly but inwardly - nationalism, capitalism, the artist, the businessman, the politician and so on, outwardly - India, Pakistan, America, Russia, geographical as well as national division. And inwardly there is always the centre as the observer and the observed, the experiencer and the experienced, the thinker and the thought. And inwardly we have divided ourselves into the higher and the lower: higher consciousness and lower consciousness, the atman, you know, all the tremendous division that we have built in ourselves. And our lives are fragmented, broken up, and we try to find identity amongst these fragments. And we are asking also: what is the identity of this country? What is the culture of this country? - if it ever existed at all.
And it becomes very important to find this out, to find out if we can live a non-fragmentary life, a life that is whole, that's not broken up, a life that is sane; and therefore a life which is whole is also holy. And we are trying to find out when the world is disintegrating around us - everywhere you look there is confusion, misery, conflict, outwardly as well as inwardly. And one asks, if one is serious, whether it is at all possible to live a life in which there is no conflict at all. There are those who assert contradiction is necessary. Out of contradiction a synthetic action takes place, between the contradictions, a thesis, and therefore contradiction is necessary, as capitalism, communism. And the conflict of these two produces a different flower. And we do the same inwardly; that where there is contradiction in us, which is really various fragments of ourselves in battle with each other, out of that conflict a different kind of energy comes into being. That's what we hope. Right?
And is it possible, in a world that is perpetually in battle, not only as war but the battle of relationship, the battle of power, position, the corruption that is going on at every level of our life, is it possible to bring about a different kind of energy - of which we touched yesterday - which will solve all our human problems? Because, as we pointed out yesterday, education has been the cultivation of the known, and therefore conformity. I hope there are some educators here. Politics and governments, as we said yesterday, are corrupt, some more and some less. In our human relationship there is conflict, and when you see all this around you and you realise there must be a radical change in the social as well as in the human structure - not biologically but psychologically - such a revolution demands a different kind of energy. Not the energy which we derive now through conflict. Am I making myself clear?
Sirs and ladies, may I ask, how do you listen to what is being said? What is your response inwardly, without articulating it, to what is being actually put into words? How do you translate what you hear? Do you translate it as an idea, or you merely listen and therefore have the capacity to perceive directly? You understand? Isn't there? When you see danger, there is a direct perception and you act instantly. Now, do you see danger in the world? What is happening around you and what is happening inwardly - see it directly. And therefore when you perceive directly, there is instant action, as there is, when you see danger, there is instant action. So, are you listening and therefore seeing the danger actually of what is happening, or are you listening to words and from that draw a conclusion with which you agree or not agree, and therefore postpone action? Am I making myself clear?
So it is important to find out how you are actually listening; whether you are listening at all. Or are you listening through a screen of opinions, through a screen of certain your own judgements, your own conclusions, or of what you know - therefore you are not listening. Because the speaker has to say something. He wants to convey something to you, and that's why you are sitting there and I am unfortunately sitting up here. And he has something to say, very clear, and he wants to communicate that clarity to you - not that you must accept it or deny it, but to investigate it, to look at it, to see directly what he is saying. Therefore you must share it. And when you are sharing, there is neither agreement nor disagreement. You are sharing food together. And therefore it matters enormously how you listen. Because what we are talking about is not at the verbal level or at the intellectual level, which is always functioning in the field of the known. I wonder if you get all this. I'll have to go into all this with you presently - I will.
So first of all, as we were saying yesterday, you are the world and the world is you. That's a fact. Do you see it directly, and therefore act, or do you listen to that statement and draw a conclusion and act according to that conclusion, and therefore not act? You have understood what I have said? The world is you and you are the world. You are the product of the culture in which you have lived. The culture, the religion, the language, the food, the climate, the tradition, the books - all that is in your consciousness. So you are the world. Your consciousness is the consciousness of the whole of humanity. Now, you listen to that - how do you act? What is going on in your mind? You say, 'Well, is that so?' You make a statement of such a sweeping kind: 'Is that so?' That is a legitimate question and you can investigate that. That what you think, how you act, what you do is the result of the culture, the climate, the books that you have read, from your parents, tradition and so on. You are the result of all that. Now, when you hear that, after exploring a little bit, do you see it directly, or do you see it as an idea? You understand? Is it an idea or a direct perception? If it is a direct perception you will act instantly. That's what we are going to go into this evening.
As I said, our consciousness and its content is the consciousness of human beings - yours. In that consciousness, which has the centre as the 'me', the self, in that consciousness there are two active principles going on all the time. Please observe it in yourself, because you have to be a light to yourself. You cannot light your inward light from another. Nobody can light it for you. You have to be a light to yourself, and you have to see for yourself what your consciousness is - your consciousness being your thoughts, your desires, your activity of will, the 'me' and the 'not me', your gods, your temples, your rituals, your images of yourself and of another, your ambitions, your greed, your tortures, the tears, the anxiety, the misery, the confusion, the suffering - all that is the content of your consciousness, which is the human consciousness. Right? Do you see that? Directly. As I said, in that consciousness there are two active principles. Please don't memorise this, just observe it in yourself. If you don't observe it in yourself you will not be a light to yourself. When the world is about you in chaos, in darkness - and it always is - you have to be a torch in yourself, a light, clarity, because you are the world. If in your consciousness there is a transformation, you are transforming the consciousness of the world, of the human beings.
These two principles are pleasure and fear: pleasure in various forms and fear in multiple shades of fear, conscious as well as unconscious. In yourself, if you observe closely, there are these two principles in action all the time: fear and pleasure. Pleasure in the search for power, in the search for domination, not only nature but also over people. Watch it in yourself, please. Pleasure in possession, in attachment, in the accumulation of knowledge which gives you power, position, in the cultivation of the intellect, because the intellect functions in the field of knowledge. There is the pleasure of sex, the pleasure that you have when you see a beautiful sunset, when you see a mountain against a blue sky, the pleasure of reading a beautiful poem and a bird on the wing. So there are various forms of pleasure. And also there is this fear - fear of losing a job and the fear of ultimate death; fear of not success, not fulfilling, not being somebody, not achieving enlightenment - whatever you may call that - fear of being alone, fear of loneliness, fear of not being loved.
So there are these activities always going on in our mind. Unless we resolve them or understand them very clearly, whatever social system you may invent, these two principles are going to conquer it. You're following? So it is utterly important to understand this: the nature of pleasure and the fear that is constantly there - whether you are conscious of it or not, it is always there. So we are going to look at it, not deny pleasure or yield to pleasure, but we are going to investigate it. Because when one understands the nature of pleasure then the whole problem of will and control has no place. I wonder if you understand this. We are educated to control. Our whole religious, moral, social, environmental, is to control. Have you noticed it? To me, to the speaker, control is totally unnecessary. He has never controlled nor exercised will. And when one understands the structure and the nature of pleasure, control is totally unnecessary. We think control brings order, both outwardly and inwardly. Control does breed disorder. We are going to go into that. Please understand this very, very carefully, because you will think, 'Oh, then we'll live as we want, without control'.
I said very clearly that one must understand the nature and the structure of pleasure. And in that understanding there is order; not controlled order, which is what you have done all through centuries - that you must control, suppress, imitate, conform and you will find god or enlightenment, what you will. All the dictatorships are based on this - that you must conform, that there is no freedom, the idea of freedom is bourgeois, silly. But to understand what it means, the whole meaning of pleasure, when you investigate it together, as we are doing now, then you will see for yourself, out of that investigation order comes naturally. You understand?
Now, we are aware, aren't we, that around us there is great disorder - politically, religiously, ethically - almost everywhere there is such disorder, confusion. And we cannot live in disorder. The brain demands order, because in order there is security, and the brain can only function when there is complete order. And when there is disorder, as there is now, both outwardly and inwardly, the brain tries to find order in some neurotic belief, in some neurotic action. You are following all this? Am I making myself clear? If I am not, I'm sorry, I'll go on.
So brain, to function objectively, healthily, normally, must have complete order. And we have translated order in terms of control. And therefore the brain chooses in that control a neurotic behaviour in which it finds security. You can question me afterwards. But we are saying there is total order, mathematical order. When you understand the nature of pleasure and fear, which is not the order of the dictator, of the few over the many, who suppress, destroy anybody who disagrees. We are talking of an order that has never known disorder. You understand? Please. So, to find that out we must investigate what is pleasure. Now, am I making myself clear? I am pointing out the reason, the logic of understanding one of the principles of our life, out of which comes disorder, because we don't understand the meaning and the structure and the nature of pleasure.
Religions throughout the world have denied pleasure. Have you noticed it? Because pleasure means woman, beauty means woman. Have you noticed the monks in Europe and the sannyasis in this country? They have never known beauty. Not the beauty of a woman, but the beauty of a cloud, the beauty of a morning, full of delicate sky and light and warmth. They never see the tree, the full, rich tree that gives immense shadow and richness. Because all that means distraction through pleasure from the pursuit of what they call, through control, the real. So they have distorted the whole mind. And that's your religion, in which you totally deny the beauty of the earth, the beauty of a form, the beauty of a sunset and the clear stars, because that will encourage pleasure, therefore suppress it, control it, drive it down. Right? And that pleasure is always associated with sex. Therefore sannyasis, the monks must never marry, must have no sexual relation; they are devoted to god, whatever that nonsense means, because they have not understood pleasure. And when you deny pleasure you are destroying part of the brain that can function only in the totality of the world of nature, the world of laughter, the world of perception.
So we must understand for ourselves, that is share together, you and the speaker, the nature and the structure of pleasure. What is pleasure? You understand? Which man is always pursuing in different ways. The pursuit of god as pleasure - that's the ultimate pleasure. The pursuit and the constant image, the pictures of pleasure in sex. In this country you don't talk about it. It is irreligious, but you are boiling with it, you are burning with it, and you can never face it because you are frightened of it. That's your conditioning, that's your upbringing, the way you treat women. You know it better than I do. So religions has denied pleasure, and that is one of the fundamental reasons of disorder. Not that one must indulge in pleasure or yield, but one must understand it, look at it, see what is implied in pleasure. And to observe that movement which is called pleasure you must come to it without condemnation nor acceptance; you must be capable of looking at it.
What is pleasure? Have you ever thought about it? Though we are pursing it constantly, persistently, politically, the politicians want to hold their position, however corrupt it all is, they want to be, to have the central power in their hands, however ineffective, corrupt they are - that's their pleasure. The man who is ambitious, that's his pleasure. The competition is part of this pleasure. The worship of success, in religion as well as in the outer world, it's part of that pleasure. So what is why has pleasure become so extraordinarily important? You are following? We are sharing this together? Please, come with me. Are we? What is pleasure, and why is the mind so occupied with it? Why is the mind occupied at all? You understand? Aren't your minds occupied all the time with something or the other? The man who is seeking god, he wants to find god - that is his occupation. The housewife occupied with the kitchen, that's her occupation. The politician occupied with his position, with his power, with his gangsterism, that is his occupation. And the man who is sexually-minded, sensate, that is his occupation. All the occupations are the same; socially one may be better, but we are concerned with occupation. Why is the mind demanding occupation? And because it is demanding occupation the mind demands to be occupied with something, and pleasure becomes very important, greater than anything else.
And what is pleasure? Look at a picture, a painting, a car, a woman, a beautiful sunset - look at it. What takes place? There is visual perception - right? - then sensation, contact, desire. Are you following all this? Do it in yourself, sir, don't listen to me but watch it in yourself. You see something visually that stimulates, a sensation arises, then you touch it, or you touch it then the sensation, then desire to possess it or to avoid it. You see a sunset: at the moment of that light and the glory and the colours and the extraordinary sense of beauty shrouding the world, at that moment there is neither thought nor you, but that extraordinary thing in front of you. Then thought comes along and says, 'How lovely that is. How beautiful', and thought says, 'I must have that same delight tomorrow'. You are following this? So thought interferes and gives a continuity to something that is over; your sexual experience, you think about it, you have pictures, you go on and on and on, chewing the cud, and that is thought nourishing, sustaining that which has happened yesterday. You understand? That is, you see that sunset; at the moment of that seeing it, there is immense delight in the beauty of that sky and colours and the sun behind the hills. And that's the end of it, for that's over. But thought says, 'No, it is not over. I'd like to have it repeated'. The repetition of something that is over is the continuity of pleasure. Have you understood? Do you see this, sirs? Right. Now, wait.
Then let us look at fear. Most people are afraid; it's part of their education to cultivate fear - fear in school, fear at home, fear in college, fear in university, fear of the older people, fear of people in power, fear of your bosses, whether they are bureaucratic or in the factory, or the boss of your wife or the husband. We are educated in the field of fear - fear god - and we are afraid of so many, many, many things - fear of losing a job, fear of specially in a country that is overpopulated - poverty, hunger - there are all the biological fears, physical fears, of snakes, of disease, and the repetition of pain tomorrow and be frightened of that pain recurring tomorrow, fear of darkness, fear of not succeeding, fear of public opinion, fear of not being able to understand this extraordinary emptiness, loneliness of life, and the boredom of it. Look at it yourself, sir, you are frightened - not me, you. Look at yourselves, how scared we are, and that's why we take to drink, to drugs, to temples, to churches, mosques - every form of escape.
Now, can fear end? Is there an ending to fear? Not to one particular form of fear of which you may be which you are caught in, but fear as a whole. You understand? Not a particular fear. When you understand the nature of fear as a whole then you can deal with the particular. But you cannot understand the whole if you want to resolve the particular. Right? You are following all this? I wish I could convey all this in a few words, and you it's yours. But unfortunately that cannot be conveyed in a few words. It can be, if you really listen, if you feel intensely at the same time, at the same level, with the same intensity as the speaker, then you and I have understood it, words are not necessary. That's love.
So, to live in fear of governments, of your neighbour, of your wife or husband, of losing a job, fear of death, fear of loneliness, that's the human lot. And shall we deal one by one these various multiple forms of fear or go to the very root of it? Shall the tree be trimmed, or the tree of fear, at the very root understand it and end it? So what is fear? Because if you don't understand fear, every other human being will exploit you. You are an easy prey, to the priest, to the politician, to the guru, to your environment, you are an easy prey, you are exploited. But if there is no fear, not a thing can harm. Then you have a mind that is totally innocent. But most of us live in the shadow of fear. Now, can that fear end? Not at the end of your life, not through various practices and disciplines and controls, which do not end fear, only strengthen fear - can this fear end, so that the mind with its brain can function most effectively and therefore sanely and healthily? So it is very important to understand fear. Fear which is part of your consciousness; as part of your consciousness is pleasure, so is part of this is fear - conscious, hidden or obvious.
Now having stated this, what is fear? Not your particular fear, of darkness or whatever your neurotic fears are, but what is fear? Is it part of our tradition, part of your culture, part of your education, part of heredity? And also is there not the fear of a pain that you have had yesterday and you don't want it repeated tomorrow? The fear of so many things. And can the brain which has been nurtured in the culture of fear - please follow all this - can that brain ever be free of fear? So what is fear? Why is one afraid? Afraid. I can understand a man is frightened of losing a job when there are ten thousand people after that job. One can understand the pain and the fear of not having that pain again. Those are all physical fears, the fear of physical survival. But our fears are not merely physical, but much more psychological, inward. Fear of dying. We are not going to discuss this evening, death. We'll do that next Saturday or Sunday.
Now what is this fear? Is thought responsible for this fear? You understood my question? I have had pain yesterday, last year, last week, and that pain has left a mark or experience as knowledge on the brain. Please follow this a little bit, it's not very difficult. That pain of a week ago, which was an experience, and that has become the knowledge, and that pain thought says must not be repeated tomorrow. Let me find a way, escape from it, drug, whatever it is, don't let it occur. So there is fear. Having had pain and fearing that it might happen tomorrow. That is a biological, a physical example. There is the fear of being utterly lonely. Haven't you experienced that thing, the fear of loneliness? And thought says, 'I am lonely'. It becomes aware of its loneliness, and that awareness breeds this fear. Right? So thought is responsible - I am cutting down because I haven't time to go on more and more, in detail - thought is responsible for the pursuit of pleasure and subtly sustaining pleasure. So the question arises from that: can thought, which is the movement of time - time being a week ago there was pain, tomorrow there mustn't be pain, which is a movement in time - and can thought be independent, or rather, thought be free, free not to continue?
So I am asking a question, which is: what is the function of thought? Is it to sustain pleasure, nourish it by thinking about it and pursuing it, and avoid or nourish fear by various activities as education and so on, so on; so what is the function of thought? You are following all this? Can the pain of yesterday be totally forgotten, not carry it over? The 'carrying it over' is the function of thought, now as it is. Can that pain or that loneliness and so on, so on, can that pain end? There was pain a week ago, that's the end of it. There was that beautiful sunset, and that's the end of it. Can thought remain quiet and not give to the beauty of that sunset and the delight of that sunset a continuity? Continuity means a movement in time. Time is movement and thought is movement. To see something very beautiful, and the ending of it. That requires not only a great self-awareness, but in that awareness there is tremendous discipline; not discipline imposed by an entity who says, 'I must have order'. Right?
So can thought so what is the function of thought? If you understand that then pleasure and fear do not breed disorder. There is an ending, or rather there is no continuity and the pursuit of pleasure. If you see this then you have understood the content of your consciousness, and when there is the understanding of the content of consciousness, which is always within the field of the known, there comes a different kind of energy altogether, not the energy created by thought in friction. Right, sir.
Do you want to ask any questions?
Questioner: Sir, you have not told what is the structure of pleasure.
Krishnamurti: The gentleman says I have not told the structure of pleasure. May I respectfully point out that you have not listened. The structure of pleasure is not drawn on a board. The structure of pleasure is in yourself, you can observe it. And if you have not observed, then you are waiting for somebody else to tell you the nature of that pleasure, which I have been doing.
Q: How the screen of concepts by listening can be removed. I am unable to remove it, sir
K: I understand. He says, why does the mind - I am putting it sir, correct me please if I am mistaken - why does the mind when it listens or sees something, listens to a statement or sees a fact, why does it draw a conclusion, and can that process of withdrawing from the fact come to an end. Is that the question, sir?
Q: Perfect, sir.
K: Sorry, sir. Just wait a minute, sir. You understand the question? The questioner says, I hear you say, we are the world and the world is us. You hear that and instantly you draw a conclusion from it, and the conclusion becomes far more important than the fact. And how can the mind stop this process of drawing instantly a conclusion? Now just listen, sir, just listen. I made this statement: the mind, the brain sees something, that plant, and immediately draws a conclusion - that it is green, that it's a variety of palm - and when you draw a conclusion, that is a verbal statement of what the tree is, the plant is, then you are not looking at the plant. Right? You are not looking at the plant. Which is important, to look at the plant or to draw a conclusion about the plant? You understand? Which is important? Wait a minute, I'll show you - which is important? To see your wife or your husband or your friend as he is or she is without the image you have about her or him. You understand? The image is the conclusion. And through a conclusion you cannot see your wife or your husband, but if you want to see your wife or your husband or your friend or whatever it is, you cannot have a conclusion. So you ask which is more important: to see the person, the wife, the husband, the children as they are, or your conclusion about them? If your conclusion is more important then you have a battle, then you have a conflict. But if you see the utter necessity of a relationship and the responsibility in that relationship to see the person as he is, then conclusions don't come into it at all.
Look, sir, all governments are corrupt, some more, some less. You know what your government is, don't you? Yes? You know what it is. Now, you listen to that statement and you have drawn a conclusion by saying, 'What can I do?' You are asking a wrong question, because you are corrupt, therefore you support a government which is corrupt. Full stop. So conclusions are not necessary. We draw a conclusion because we don't understand the fact. The fact is violence. Right? You are violent people. That's part of your education, part of your culture, part of heredity, your tradition - you are violent, that's a fact. But you draw a conclusion from it that you must be non-violent. That is, you have drawn away from the fact, you have gone away from the fact and you think by running away from the fact you are going to solve the fact. And you can never solve the fact of violence by running away from it, by having ideologies or concepts about it. You have got to face it in yourself. Right, sir.
Q: Sir, would you agree that there can be good thought as well as bad thought, both from individual as well as social point of view? What are the criteria to distinguish between bad and the good?
K: What is the criteria, socially and morally, between good thought and bad thought. We are concerned only with thought, not with good thought or bad thought. If you understand thought with all its depth it has a tremendous social significance. Thought is not cannot create virtue. Virtue is order. And when there is order it has tremendous significance socially, as well as for a human being in relationship with another. And thought cannot possibly create order. What creates order socially as well as inwardly is the understanding of thought, and out of that comes compassion. When there is compassion there is order. But you don't know what that word means. You only know it verbally, but you don't know it in your heart. Right, sir.
Q: Sir, I have one more question.
K: Sir, there is a point here too, sir.
Q: Sir, why is thought emanating for repetition of the pleasure? And from what does it emanate?
K: I don't understand your question.
K: Sir, would you put your question rather briefly? And this is the last question because it is nearly half past seven and I must stop.
Q: Why should the thought emanate for repetition of the pleasure?
K: Sir, monsieur, my friend, my friend, sir...
K: Are you talking about the sub-conscious, the unconscious?
K: Sir, that gentleman has come. What is the question, sir?
Q: What activates the thought? Who is the activator?
K: Are you saying, sir, who is the activator, as he points out, of thought?
Q: Sir, like after we witness, after we perceive a beautiful scene then thought emanates on its own for the repetition. Now what is that (inaudible)
Q: What he means is from the lower part of the personality...
Q: The upper part or the lower part, who is the activator? This is what he wants to say. The upper part is the pleasure-seeker or the lower part is the pleasure-seeker.
K: Sir, would you sit quietly for two minutes? Because you are asking questions which can be answered very simply. I don't know what your questions are, but what we have talked about for an hour and a quarter, we have gone into it fairly deeply and in somewhat detail - there it is in front of you. You can look at that map as a whole, and it is put in front of you. Look at the map first. Take care to look at that map which is yourself and then you will find all the answers your questions answered in that map.