Can time end?
Is it possible to observe the whole movement of consciousness?
3rd Public Discussion, Saanen
July 28, 1978
Krishnamurti: What shall we talk about this morning? No questions?
Questioner: What does meditation mean in daily life? Would you explain that please.
K: What does meditation mean in daily life - is that the question, sir?
Q: What is personality?
K: What is personality. I really don't know.
Q: (In French)
K: I understand. I think, as far as I can make out, the questioner is asking: as I am walking along something happens in me, and that moves me very much, and gradually that disappears. Again it comes. He is hurt by what he sees around him. He sees there is suffering and he goes through it.
Q: No, he sees contradiction, he said when he saw someone smoking as soon as you leave the tent, or something, he feels the contradiction between what has been said and what is actually taking place outside.
K: He is hurt, shocked, suffers, when he sees what actually is going on around him outside, and this contradiction: what is said here, and what is actually going on outside. What is one to do? That's it?
Any other questions?
Q: How can consciousness be conscious of itself totally?
K: How can consciousness be aware of itself. I was going to talk about that a little bit this morning, if you want.
So there are these questions, any more? One, what place has meditation in daily life? One sees the world in such contradiction, what is going on around us, there is so much suffering and so on and it is quite the opposite of what is being said here, what is one to do?
Q: Why is man afraid of truth?
K: Why is man afraid of truth.
Q: Could you say a few words about the healing energies?
K: Could you talk about the energy that heals. Now
K: The first part of the question I understood, sir, but the second part I don't quite follow. He has been initiated - please don't laugh at us - he has been initiated into something which Guru Maharajji, that is the boy has initiated him. And though he has lived with it he is not liberated, he is unable to surrender. All right. Now wait a minute, that's enough.
What is meditation in daily life; why is man frightened of truth; can consciousness be aware of itself; and why is it when we are here together in the tent and when we go out we see such contradiction and that makes one anxious, suffer; and also the last question, which is being initiated by somebody and he is unable to surrender himself to what he thinks he should surrender to - that's what the gentleman says. Now which of these questions would you like to go into?
Q: Can consciousness be aware of itself?
K: Would you like to talk over together the question, which that gentleman raised, can consciousness be aware of itself? Would you like to go into that? That is, can thought - we will begin slowly, go into it slowly - can thought be aware of itself? That is, can thinking be aware of the root of its thought, the movement of thinking, and all the process of thought, can that movement be aware of itself? That is the question that was raised, not only by that gentleman, it was also raised by somebody over there yesterday morning. The same question: can the mind, with all its content, which is never still, which is always active, moving, can that movement be aware of itself?
Why do you want to know? Why do you want know such a problem? It's just, I want to find out. When you put that question, why are you putting it? Because if you are serious about the matter it is one of the most it demands a great deal of attention to find out whether thought, the thinking, can be aware of its own movement. Either you have put it out of curiosity, just some question to ask; or you are asking that question to eliminate totally the division between the thinker and the thought. Do you understand my question?
Perhaps we will go into this when we also consider what place has meditation in daily life. And can you surrender yourself to somebody - that is what that gentleman asked.
Can we dispose of that last question? That is somebody with some - you know, all the rest of it, these gurus - they come and say, 'Surrender yourself to me. I know, you don't but give yourself over to me and I will help you. Give over your property, your money, your everything, and you won't have any money problem after that' - you follow? This is the actual fact that is going on in the world. We are so terribly gullible. The same pattern has been repeated by the churches all over the world - surrender yourself to God, to Christ, to this, give over everything that you have, we will look after you, join. And they promise this. And at the end, where are you? No money. Many people have come to the speaker with this problem, given over everything they have - houses, property, money - you understand - left their homes, and then the man is off, the guru is off in some kind of lovely house and you are stuck. So the first thing is with regard to that, don't accept any authority. Right? There is the authority of a first class surgeon; but in so-called spiritual matters, in matters of the mind and psychology, there is no authority, so nobody can initiate you into something. That is just one of those tricks that human beings play on others.
The next question is: what place has meditation in life, in daily life? Or meditation is something separate from daily life. Or you introduce the idea of meditation into daily life. You understand? There are three problems, and more, involved in this. That is, you are introducing the idea of meditation - the idea - and trying to find out what place that idea has in daily life. First of all, is it an idea - that you must meditate, that you must do this, that you must do that - come to a conclusion and introduce that concept into daily life? Right sir? You have understood that question? Or try to find out what relationship action has with the total awareness of consciousness. That is, why should one meditate at all? We lead our daily life rather unhappily, shoddily, conflict, misery, suffering, deceived by others and so on. That's our daily life. Why do you want to introduce meditation into that? Or in the understanding of conflict, sorrow, arrogance, pride, and so on, in understanding the meaning, the structure of these things, the reactions, that is part of meditation. Not you meditate and then introduce into action, into daily life, but rather during the daily life, when you go to the office, when you are working in the factory, or ploughing a field, or talking to your wife, or husband, girl, or boy you are aware of your reactions, and the comprehension of those reactions, the understanding not intellectually but why you are jealous, why this state of anxiety exists in you, why you accept authority, why you depend on another, in the investigation of those things that exploration itself is meditation - not the other way round. If you meditate and then introduce that what you think is meditation in daily life there is conflict. You think this is so, and you are bringing that into action, into daily life, so there must be contradiction. Whereas if one is envious, as most of us are, what is the nature of envy, why are we envious, not right or wrong, we should not be, or should be, why does this envy arise? In enquiring into that, and freeing through enquiry greed, envy, that is the movement of meditation. In that there is no conflict, you are enquiring constantly. Right? This demands your attention, this demands that you must be serious, not just play with words.
So meditation has a place in daily life when there is an enquiry into the whole nature and structure of your being - of your reactions, what is the state of your consciousness, why you believe, don't believe, why you are influenced by institutions and so on and so on - all that is an actual movement of meditation. Right? If one is actually, not theoretically, actually doing it then you begin to understand the nature of consciousness. Right? You are not imposing something on it, according to Freud, according to some psychologist, some guru, or somebody or other. You are enquiring into your whole being, that being is your consciousness.
So we have answered these questions and we have come to that point. So let's begin very simply and go into it, if you are willing. I wonder if you have ever enquired into the whole movement of thought, the whole activity of thinking, and whether thought, thinking, can see itself moving. You understand my question? Let's be clear that the question is clear. So please this is rather important if you want to go into it, if you are at all serious in this matter, and it is really very important to comprehend the question first. Which is, I can say, 'I am aware of my consciousness' - through my belief, through my fears, through my pleasures, through my sorrow. So the content of my consciousness I can be aware of by saying, 'Yes, I am afraid, I am greedy, I suffer, I am arrogant, I have pride' and so on, which is the content of consciousness of which I am aware. Right? So there is in that, 'I am different from my consciousness'. Right? Does this interest you? I hope so.
So there is the 'me', the observer observing his consciousness. But the 'me' is greedy, the 'me' is anxious, the 'me' is frightened, the 'me' is full of anxiety, uncertainty, sorrow, which is my consciousness, so I am not different from my consciousness. Right? Is that clear? I am not different from what I think. I am not different from the experiences I have had. I am not different or something totally opposite to my anxiety, fears, and all the rest of it. I am all that. I may think I am god, but the very thinking is part of me, which invents god. I hope you see all this.
So then we come to the question: if the observer is the observed, which is the consciousness, then the question arises, can that consciousness be aware of its own movements? To put it very, very simply: is there an awareness of the arising of anger - anger itself - so that there is not me different from anger? Please, you don't mind my going into it a little bit? Are you interested in all this?
Let's go into it: One is angry, at the moment of anger there is no recognition as being angry. Right? Have you noticed? At the second, at the moment of intense anger there is only that state. Later on you call it anger. Right? A second later. Which means that you have recognised from the past that which has happened in the past, and which is happening now, and you say, 'Yes that is anger'. Right? Are you following? So, please follow this. There is anger, at the moment of anger there is no recognition and the naming of that reaction. A second later the naming begins, the naming is from the past, the naming is the recognition from the past, the present reaction. So can you not name the present reaction, but just observe without naming it? The moment you name it you have recognised it and so strengthened the reaction. I wonder if you see this. Very interesting.
That is, the word is not the thing. The word 'tent', the 'marquee' is not the actual fact, but we are carried away by the word and not by the fact. So to comprehend, to see that the word has become tremendously important, and see the fact, the word is not the thing. So when there is anger, which is a reaction, to observe it without naming it and so that reaction begins to wither away. The moment you name it you have strengthened it, the strengthening is from the past.
So if that is clear we can go the next step. Which is, is it possible for the senses, which is the reaction of the senses, for the senses to be aware of themselves, not you are aware of the senses, but the senses themselves open? I will go into it. If you will kindly not follow what I am saying but kindly observe in yourself the reactions of the senses. Right?
Now we function our senses function separately - seeing, tasting, hearing, smelling and so on. They are all separate. You understand? Now can you observe is there a total movement of all the senses together? You have understood something of what I am saying? You understand, this is really quite fascinating to find out, because then you will see if you are observing if there is an observation of a person, of the movement of the waters of a sea, of the mountains, the birds, anything, or your friend, or your intimate person, if there is an observation with all the senses then there is no centre from which you are observing. You get it? Please do it, do it, test it out, don't accept anything the speaker is saying. Test it out for yourself. When you smell something lovely, a perfume of an early morning, when the air is clean, washed out by the rain and there is beauty in the land and so on, is one particular sense awake, or you are observing the total delicacy and the beauty of the morning with all your senses? You understand? Yes? Yes, sir?
Q: If I see that I am not different from the total content of my consciousness, and the question as to whether I can be conscious of my unconsciousness seems to be rather like asking can a camera take a photograph of itself.
K: But sir, look, I am coming to that point. I am slowly leading up to that. If you don't mind. Because unless you understand the sensory responses, whether the sensory responses are broken up - you follow? - or is there the response of all the senses together? If there is response of a particular sense, sensation, then what takes place? You understand? When there is only the reaction of a scent, through the nose, then all the other senses are more or less in abeyance. Right? Right, sir? Test it, test it out. So I am asking, when you smell a flower, is there total response of all the senses, not only smelling, the whole organism responding with its senses? I wonder if I am making this clear. No sir, don't agree.
Q: (In Italian) Please, when the train has passed; the train has a noise. I have listened to it only with my hearing. How is it possible to listen with all the senses?
K: Yes, he hears the noise of that train going by - that's a very good question. You all heard that train going by - right? Did you respond to that noise completely? You understand, sir? So that there is no resistance to the noise, there is no irritation from the noise. You are totally with the noise. Look at those mountains, which you have looked probably every day and every evening and every morning, not only with your eyes, optically you see it, but is there a perception of that mountain with all your senses, being? If there is, there is no centre from which you are being, from which you are looking. Test it out. You can't do it now. You can do it if you look at the tent, or look at your friend, or anybody, look as though you are looking with all your being, with your senses. Then you will see that you are looking at something for the first time, not with jaded eyes and memory and so on. We will come to that.
So the question then from there arises - not necessarily from there, but as we go along - can thought be aware of itself? I don't think you understand this. Or are we entering into something very, very complex and unnecessary? You are all very silent.
Q: Can’t we test it now by the hearing, the total hearing? What you have previously said
K: Yes, but I am asking the next question sir, which is, you are thinking now, aren't you? When I ask you a question the whole movement of thinking arises. Right? Obviously. Now I am asking whether that thinking itself sees itself thinking? No, it is not possible, right?
Q: We have always the impression that there is someone that is thinking but thinks it is another thing. We have always this impression, here, or in another part of my body.
K: That's why, sir, you haven't probed into this matter very deeply. Forgive me for saying so, but I am just asking. You see I am asking something, which is, can one live a life without having a single conflict, a single effort, without any form of control? Please listen to this. Because we live with effort, we struggle. Right? There is always achieving, moving, and so our life is lived in constant struggle, constant battle, constant contradiction. Right? I must do this, I must not do that, I must control myself, why should I control myself, that is old fashioned, I will do what I want to do - all that is a movement of violence. Right? Right, sir? Now if one is enquiring, is it possible to live without any shadow of control? Which doesn't mean doing everything you want to do, which is too childish, because you can't. The permissiveness - now they are turning the other way round. They see the danger of it so they don't allow permissiveness, control. Now I am asking is it possible to live without any control? Probably you have never asked this question of yourself. Now I am asking you. Where there is control there is conflict. Right? There is a battle going on, which expresses itself in many, many different ways, this battle - violence, suppression, neuroticism, and permissiveness, all that goes on. So I am asking myself and you, whether I can live a daily life without a shadow of control? To live that way I have to find out who is the controller. You understand? Is the controller different from the controlled? And if they are both the same there is no need for control. I wonder if you understand this.
That is, sir, I am jealous because you have got everything and I have got nothing. And from that jealousy arises anger, hatred, envy, a sense of violence to have all that you have, and if I can't get it I get bitter, angry, all the rest of it follows. Right? So can I live without jealousy, which means without comparison? Test it out, sir. Can you live your daily life without comparing at all? Of course there is comparing when I chose this kind of trouser, I am not talking about that. I am talking psychologically not to have any sense of measurement, which is comparison. If you have no measurement at all, will you decay, will you become a vegetable, do nothing? You understand? Stagnate? Or because you are comparing, because you are struggling, you think you are living, but if you don't struggle it may be a totally different form of living.
Q: Let it happen.
K: No, not let it happen, sir, look at it. You meet a very intelligent man, erudite, scholarly, you know, well educated, good brain and all the rest of it, and you say, 'By Jove, I wish I were like him'. All our education is based on that: you must be as good as your brother, if not better. Right? Examinations are based on that, and so on and so on. So can you, having been through all that process where you have compared, struggled, violent, all the rest of it, can you say, 'I see the absurdity of living that way, I won't compare'? I won't measure my own dullness, my own state with somebody else. By comparing myself with somebody who is very clever, I see how terribly dull I am. Right? You understand? But if I don't compare with the man who is extraordinarily bright and intelligent, am I dull? Answer. Am I dull? On the contrary.
So can you live without comparison, without the example? So you find out that where there is control there must be the controller, who says, 'I must control this reaction', or 'I mustn't do that', but that has become a habit doing that, so I must control. Which means I have set a standard - right? - the standard is the measurement according to which I have measured and say, 'This is right', and I must live according to that. So measurement implies control. And if you don't measure yourself and call yourself dull compared to somebody else who is bright, you are dull when you compare, but when there is no comparison whatsoever you are something else. Right. So let's move from that.
Q: I think or I feel that the momentum of the thinking process is so strong that I cannot just set myself aside to it and say I won’t think anymore.
K: I didn't say that. Forgive me.
Q: I am saying this. Implied in your teaching there is this idea of total transformation, a mutation of the mind. Now this is supposed to be a radical change of consciousness itself. Now I imagine this to take place as a sudden insight, a flash of understanding, a conscious experience of consciousness itself. Is it possible
K: Sir, may I ask something: what are you trying to tell me?
Q: Well I am trying to tell you that I am actually getting very bored by this constant repetition of these ideas about – look at this beautiful sunset, and
K: Sir, wait a minute. If you are getting bored, just walk out. Q: Well I am not really that bored yet! I still have the hope that you might convey something. Did you hear what I said? I still hope you have something to say.
K: If you are mildly bored - I don't know what you are talking about.
Q: You don’t want to listen.
K: Could you kindly tell me what you want to say in a few words, sir?
Q: Well I am in a way waiting for you to explain the transformation, the insight, to the awareness of consciousness.
K: Yes, you are waiting for me to explain how transformation takes place. It's very simple. Transformation takes place when there is no control, when there is no measurement, when there is no sense of 'me' operating on things, psychologically. That's all! And if that is not clear we will go into it. And if you say, 'I am bored by the repetition of this, what you say, over and over', I am sorry. If you are bored then walk out. If you are mildly bored tolerate it, and if you really want to understand it, give your attention to it. That's all. If you don't, it's all right.
Q: Is perchance permissiveness the outcome of control?
K: Yes, sir, permissiveness is the reaction to control, obviously. We have been trained from childhood, through certain period in history, Victorian it is called, that control, don't show your feelings, obey, follow, all that. Now in reaction to all that we say, out with all that nonsense, I am going to do what I like. And the parents also feel they shouldn't control, or some psychologists say it is terrible to control your children, they must do what they like. We have been through all that.
So we are saying, control is totally unnecessary, without having the other reaction which is permissiveness, totally unnecessary when you understand the whole business of control. That's all.
Q: Is that right thinking?
K: She wants to know, to live without control, is that right thinking? You follow, this becomes so Look, sir, please listen to something. I may be wrong, let's find out. Thought is measurement, right? Thought is moving in a certain direction - no? So any movement involves time. Right? From here to there and so on, both psychologically and physically. Time is measurement - right? Which is the whole momentum of thought is measurement.
Q: Can’t it also be only factual?
K: No, please, just a minute. Now I will have to begin again. So do we understand each other when we say thought in its momentum, in its moving, in its drive, is time - the past, the past going through the present modifying itself and the future, that is the momentum of time. That is the momentum of thought. And that is also the momentum of measurement, psychologically as well as physically. This is simple enough. Right, sir? Now I am asking: one lives that way, one is constantly caught in the past, one is the past, and that past modifies itself all the time, and moves forward. The past, modifying itself, going to the future. This whole momentum is time, measurement. Right? That's all. So why is it that we live in the past all the time? Why is it that we are not leaving the past, which doesn't mean you forget the past, you understand the whole nature of the past, and find out what it means - I am not saying, try, experiment with it, test it - what it means to live completely now. Which means the momentum of the past is no longer operating.
That is, put it differently, if you want to go into it more. Which is, people have asked throughout the centuries whether time has a stop. Right? Not chronological time, not whether the sun can remain perpetually in one place, but psychologically can time end? Don't you ask this question? Or you don't even observe this momentum. Which is, put it differently: knowledge has become tremendously important. Right? Not only technologically, where you must have knowledge, but also knowledge as experience, more - more and more and more understanding. Right? So we worship knowledge. I have said this a hundred times, if you are bored by it please tolerate it, have patience, if you can't tolerate it just walk out. The speaker is interested in telling you this. He wants you to find out something different than constant repetition. Unless you do it, what he has said becomes repetitive. It is not repetitive to the speaker. I would get bored much more than that gentleman if I repeated this to myself at every talk, I would walk out. I wouldn't be sitting here. But as you enquire into it you see much more, deeper and deeper, wider. 'Depth' is not measurement. I must be careful there!
If one sees the truth of this, how we live, that we are always functioning from the past, that our life is a momentum of remembrances, a momentum of recording and acting. Like a tape which is recording, our brain records, and from that recording act, which is all the momentum of time.
So one asks, if you are interested, if I can put it in ten different ways, which I have done, for the last fifty years, is it possible for the brain to record what is absolutely necessary, which is technology, how to drive a car, this, that, the other thing, and psychologically, inwardly not to record a thing? When you are hurt, not physically but psychologically, inwardly, why should it be recorded? You understand my question? What is the necessity of carrying on this hurt for years and years and years, what for, why should you record it? If you can answer that one question and find out whether it is possible not to record the hurt perhaps then the brain will only record that which is absolutely physiologically necessary, nothing psychological, emotional, etc. Right?
Q: Can the question be investigated without seeing the total consciousness can be conscious of itself?
K: Sir, if you don't mind, we will deal with this question of the whole consciousness, whether it can be aware of itself, when we understand this whole cycle of movement of repetition. I can use the word 'repeat', but the word is not the feeling of repetition.
Q: Can’t we record when we have been hurt to avoid the next time to be hurt again?
K: Don't we protect ourselves from other hurts - right? - I have been hurt once, and I don't want to be hurt again so psychologically I build a wall round myself so as not to be hurt anymore - right sir? Is that what you are saying? Which means what? I isolate myself in order not to be hurt. Right? It is obvious. You have hurt me once, and you may hurt me again, therefore I withdraw, I build a wall of resistance, I isolate myself so that I won't be hurt. So from that isolation there is violence, obviously - fear. So why should I carry the first hurt? Is it possible not to be hurt at all? The word 'innocence' means a mind that is not hurt, that has never been hurt - not the symbol of a lamb and all that kind of stuff but actually a mind that has never been damaged. When it is damaged it is hurt. Right? Now is it possible to totally put it away, avoid being hurt? Which doesn't mean you become brutal or resist. Do you want to find out whether it is possible not to be hurt at all without becoming callous, indifferent, snooty and all the rest of it?
Q: Can I be free of a hurt that happened when I was a baby, when I was two or three years old, that I am unconscious of?
K: Have we time to go into this, do you want to go into this now? Will you give me two minutes so that I can finish this. If you don't want to listen, don't listen, you understand, you are free to go.
One has been hurt in childhood by the parents, by other boys and girls, one is hurt in school, college, university, one is hurt. Right? Now that is, now one is fifty, that is past, the hurt is behind, and you are asking, can that hurt, ancient, old, in the past, can that be totally wiped away. Right, that is the question. Right, sir? Not through analysis. Right? Need I go into that? That is, if you are here for the first time let me briefly state it. The analyser thinks he is different from the analysed. The analyser is not hurt, but the analysed is hurt. So the analyser who thinks he is not hurt, who thinks he is separate, is going to examine the hurt. Right? But the analyser is the hurt too. Right? So analysis has very little meaning in freeing the mind from hurt when one sees the analyser is the analysed. I must go into it. Please.
So there is no analysis. Why am I hurt, why am I keeping the hurts? Why do you keep your hurts? It is part of you. Right? Perhaps if you get rid of the hurt you might get rid of yourself. So the question then is: how is that hurt to be totally disarmed, not leaving a single scratch? Then I have to go into the question what is hurt, who is hurt? Right? The image that I have about myself is hurt. Right? I think I am a marvellous man, you come along and tell me, 'Don't be silly', that hurts me because I have an image about myself as being marvellous, clever, intelligent, bright and all the rest of that rubbish, and you come along and say, 'For goodness sake, what an ass you are'. The image which I have created about myself is hurt. Right? Whether that hurt is in the past or in the present. Obviously.
Then the question arises: is it possible not to have an image about oneself at all? Because as long as there is an image about myself somebody is going to tread on it. So I have to find out why the brain, the mind, has created this image about itself. Has it created it because in that image there is security? In that image there is safety? If there is no image, what am I? Therefore I am frightened, I cling to my image. And you are going to tread on it, politely, kindly, tolerantly, you are going to put your foot on it and I get hurt. So I have to find out whether there is a possibility of living without a single image - the image being my conclusions, my opinions, my aggressiveness, etc., etc., the 'me', the image. If I have no image you can't tread on it. If I have no image at all now, the past hurt is not. You understand, sir? Right? Now, may I go?
Q: In relation to that gentleman’s question, is a child of two or three years old, he can be hurt because he has an image of himself?
K: No, we cannot I don't know the little children.
Q: Can you repeat the question?
K: The question was as a child one is hurt. Right? Why? Your baby, your son, your girl, when she is about four or five, why is she hurt? All right. She loves that teddy bear, must take it to bed with her, loves it, kisses it, hugs it, holds it all day long. You come along and pull it away, some other child pulls it away, she begins to cry. Right? Taken away something which was mine - begins the whole cycle. Is that enough for this morning? Right.