Is there time psychologically?
Is it possible to live a life without a single problem?
3rd Public Talk, Bombay
January 29, 1983
It's a rather noisy place, isn't it? We have to talk over together, not only this evening but tomorrow - and tomorrow will be the last talk - we have to cover a great deal during these two talks, and as we are going to deal with a difficult subject we must together perceive for ourselves what is truth and what is false. Not to be told what is false or what is true, what is ignorance and what is knowledge but to find for ourselves a quiet corner in ourselves, living in this dreadful city, living in small spaces, dirty, working all day long, commuting, going to great distances in crowded trains and buses, we must find for ourselves a quiet corner, not in a house or in a garden or in an empty lane but deep within ourselves, because from there act, live and find out for ourselves what is beauty, what is time, the nature and the movement of fear, the pursuit of pleasure and the ending of sorrow. We must have such a corner, not in the mind but in the heart - the mind in the heart, because then where there is affection and love, intellect, understanding, then comes out of a clarity, and from that there is action. But for most so us, we live such a strenuous, conflicting lives, so much pressure around us, such terrible things are going on in the world, if we don't find for ourselves some inward space, a space not created by thought, which we will go into when we talk about meditation and so on, but to find a space uncontaminated, clear, in which there is a light which is not lit by another, a light to ourselves so that we are totally free, for we are not free human beings. We think we are free. We think because we can choose, because we can do what we want, we think we are free but freedom is something entirely different from the desire to do our own thing. So, we must together this evening and tomorrow, find for ourselves, without guidance, without help, without any outside agency telling us what to do, how to behave, what is right action but to find in ourselves a space that has no ending and no beginning.
And if one may point out again - and I hope you will not mind - that this is not a lecture. A lecture being telling or explaining a certain subject for you to be instructed, to learn. A lecture generally means that, but this is not a lecture. Here we are having a conversation together like two friends, perhaps walking in a quiet lane full of trees and beauty of flowers, and the singing of many birds, sitting down on a bench, unfrequented, solitary, and having a dialogue because we are concerned, both you and the speaker are concerned with our daily life, not with something beyond and romantic and fantastic, because if we don't make our own lives clear, unruffled, non-chaotic, then whatever one may do will have no meaning. So we must begin very near to go very far. The near is what we are.
So please, if one may point out, it is your responsibility to think together, not to accept, because one must have a great deal of scepticism, a scepticism that is not trammelled by fear, a scepticism, a doubt, so that one begins to question not only what the speaker is saying, but also what you think, in what you believe, your faith, your conclusions, your religion. One must have tremendous questioning, doubt, enquiry; not accept because throughout the world religion has played an extraordinary part in narrowing down the mind, narrowing down one's investigation through doubt, through question, through deep exploration. So please, we are going together, look at many things which confront our daily life. We are not going to talk about any philosophy, any dogma or encourage any faith. But a mind that is questioning, doubting, demanding to find out for oneself what is true, what is illusory, what is fantastic and what is false.
First of all we are going to enquire together, what is beauty? You may say what has that to do with our daily life? Our daily life is rather ugly, self-centred, concerned about oneself, our daily life is a labour, conflict, pain, anxiety and that sense of desperate loneliness - that's our daily life. And to understand that, one must have not only a great sense of perception, seeing actually what is going on. So one of the factors of our life is time. Has time - we are going together to find out what is time, how great part time plays in our life and whether time - which is the process of division, time which is a beginning and an ending, time which is becoming - whether that time, apart from chronological time, apart from the time of the sun rising, sun setting, the beauty of a full moon and the slip of the new moon, whether time has a part in or excludes beauty. This is important to understand for us because we have lost all sense of aesthetic way of living. We have lost the sense of natural beauty. Not the beauty of a face only, or the good taste of clothes and so on, but the quality of beauty. Beauty cannot exist without love. Beauty is not of time. Creation is not of time. We will go into that as we go along.
So we must first, if you will kindly allow the speaker to go on - time is a great factor in our life. There is time by the watch - the chronological time - and the time to learn a language, a skill, a time to achieve in this world - become from a clerk to the executive person and so on - there is time in that direction. Is there time psychologically, that is, inwardly? Please enquire with me, don't accept what the speaker is saying. Is there time, which means a progress from here to there? Ideologically, in the sense of becoming more noble, more free of greed, anger, violence, is there in this sphere of the psyche - you understand the word 'psyche' - this is what you are. That is, time is evolution. Right? From the seed to a tree, from the baby to a manhood, the growth, the becoming - all that implies time, time as evolution. Now we are going to question together whether there is psychological evolution at all. Right? You understand what - let the crows have their say! (Laughter)
Please, one must exercise one's brain, think together, not just let the words flow but to think clearly, not stimulated by the speaker but to question, to find out the implication of time. This is important because time and thought are the root of fear. And fear cannot end or fade away or be dissipated if we do not understand the nature of time and the nature of thought, which are the roots of all fear.
So we are examining together the nature of time. There is physical time - the new moon becoming the full moon, the seed growing into a great gigantic tree. Time is necessary to learn a language, a skill. Time is necessary to accumulate knowledge - there time is absolutely necessary. You may learn a language within a week or six months. To go from here to your house takes time, from one point to another. All physical movement, physical activity, learning, requires time. The psyche, that is the bundle of all your thinking, of all your feelings, of all your conclusions, beliefs, gods, hope, fears and all that - that's your bundle, that's your consciousness, that's what you are. Is that clear? That's what you are. That's what your consciousness is. Your consciousness is made up of all these things - your gods, your knowledge, your faith, your hope, your fears, your pleasures, your conclusions, your loneliness and the great fear of sorrow, pain - all that is your consciousness. We are asking whether that consciousness has evolution at all. Evolution means becoming what you are more and more and more. You have understood this? That is, I am greedy, envious, violent. Can greed evolve into non-greed? Or anger, loneliness become something gradually to something else? You are following all this? Are we making things clear? Right? Are we? Or we have all gone to sleep after a hard day.
Please, this is rather a difficult subject because all our tradition, all our religious training, our belief, our faith and all the sacred, so-called sacred literature tell you that you will become something - if you make an effort, if you strive after, if you meditate, that, from this to that, from what you are to what you should be, that is evolution. Now we are - the speaker is denying all that. Do you understand? The speaker is saying greed can never become better greed. There is only the ending of something, not becoming something. Do you understand? Most of you probably believe in reincarnation. I don't know why, it's fairly obvious why, why you believe in it? That is, from this life to next life, where you will have better opportunities, where you will be a little bit nobler, where you'll have a little more comfort, more enlightenment. That is from what you are to become what you should be. That is called evolution. The speaker is questioning that. He says there is no such thing as psychological evolution. You have to understand the nature of that statement, what is implied, that enlightenment, deep perception of that which is true, that which is beyond time, is not through progress, through a continuity. So there is no movement as evolution of the psyche, which means there is no becoming. I don't become noble, I don't achieve enlightenment if I practise, if I strive, if I deny this and control my - and so on, which is gradation in achievement. So one has to understand the nature of time. Time, as we said, essentially means to divide, break. Time implies a beginning and an ending. So we are going to talk over together the nature of fear, whether fear can end - now! - or it must end gradually. You understand the point? We are used to the idea that gradually we will be rid of fear, which is, I am afraid but give me time, I'll be over it. You've understood? Right? Please, don't look at me, it is not worth looking at me. Just think together.
So we are going to find out for ourselves whether fear can disappear through time or the very time itself is the root of fear. Right? Is that clear? So what is the root of fear? Please enquire together - what is the root of it, what is the cause of it? What is fear? You all know what fear is - fear of not becoming, not achieving, fear of the dark, fear of authority, fear of your wife or husband - fear has many, many, many aspects. We are not concerned with the many facets of fear, or wipe away one or two fears. It is like cutting the branches of a tree, but if you want to destroy the tree you must uproot the tree, go to the very root of it. So we are together - and please look at your own fear. You may put on saintly robes, take vows and all that kind of stuff but there is fear in you. So look at that fear. What is that fear? What is fear? Fear of an accident, fear of disease and of course there is the fear, ultimate fear, which is of death. Or the fear of living. And most of you who put on these strange robes and garlands have fear of living. It makes no difference, does it? What the speaker is saying will make no difference to those who are dressed in this fancy dress, will it? They will go on because they have got this idea that fear can be surrendered to an idea and they will be free of it. Fear is much too deep to surrender it or to dispel it or to control it or to suppress it. One must enquire into the root of it. What is the root of fear? Is it not time? Is it not remembrance? Is it not an experience which you have had which was painful and the fear of it recurring again, fear of disease? These are all the symptoms. We are not dealing with symptoms. We are concerned whether it is possible to uproot totally all fear. If that's clear, that we are concerned not with a particular fear, not your own special neurotic fear but the nature, the structure, the cause of fear. Because where there is a cause, there is an end. So we are going together find out the cause.
We are saying, one of the causes of fear is time. That is the future, that is fear of what might happen. Fear of the past, which is time, which is a remembrance, which is thought. So we are asking is time and thought, are they the root of fear, are they the cause of fear? Do you understand my question? I am afraid of what might happen. That is the future. Or I am afraid of something that has happened in the past that might happen again. That is, the past invading the present, modifying itself and going on. Right? So time is one of the factors of fear. It is so obvious, isn't it? Now we are asking whether thought is also a factor of fear, and if there is a difference between time and thought. Can you bear all this? Can you go on with this? Or you are getting tired already.
Krishnamurti: Please, sir. No sir, no questions. No sir, you can't.
K: We are saying that thought and time are the root of fear. We explained somewhat. You can work it out for yourself, the nature of time. Time is division - as yesterday, today and tomorrow. Time of something that has happened which was painful a week ago and might happen again. The remembrance of the past projecting into the future, and be afraid of that which might happen.
Now, is thought one of the causes or the cause of fear? So what is thought? What is thinking? The most ignorant who doesn't know how to read or write, who lives in a small village - poverty-ridden, unhappy - he thinks too, as you think, as the scientist thinks. So thinking is shared by all. So it is not your thinking. It's not individual thinking. I know it's difficult to accept this - go into it. You think at the moment, I hope. And we are asking: is thought one of the factors of fear? And so we are investigating what is thinking. Thinking is shared by all humanity, whether the most educated, sophisticated, rich, powerful and all the rest of it, or by the most simple, ignorant, half-starving person. It is common to all. Therefore it's not your thinking. You may express your thinking differently and I may express it in different words, but the factor is that we both think. And thinking is not yours or mine; it is thinking. Right? So what is thinking? Why has it become so extraordinarily important in our life? Please understand this, give your mind to this because love and thinking cannot go together. Compassion is not the product of thought. Love cannot exist in the shadow of thought. Love is not remembrance. So you must understand, please, give your heart and mind to the understanding of this: that thinking is common to all of us. It is not individual thinking. You may express it differently, another express it differently - more scholastically, more capable, but another may not - but thinking is shared by all. So what is thinking? When you are asked, when that question is put to you, you begin to think, don't you? Or do you listen to the question? If you listen to the question, which is your mind is not interfering - with your conclusions, with your ideas and so on - if you are listening with all your attention, which means with all your senses totally awakened, then you will see for yourself what is the origin of thinking.
The origin of thinking is experience. Experience gives knowledge, whether it is scientific knowledge or the knowledge about your wife or husband. Experience, knowledge stored in the brain as memory and response of memory is thinking. Right? This is very simple. It's a fact. You cannot think if there is no memory, if there is no knowledge, if there is no experience. So thinking is a process of time. Right? Because knowledge is a process of time and knowledge being never complete about anything, including your wife or your husband, or about your guru - knowledge can never be complete, therefore thought can never be complete, it must always be fragmented. Right? Is this clear?
So, fear is the child of thought. Right? I am afraid because I have done something not right, that I might be condemned for it. That is, to think about it. You understand, this is simple enough. Right, sir? So thought and time are the factors of fear. Now, is thought different from time? Or thought is time. Thought is a movement, isn't it? It's a material process. Whatever thought has done is material. Your gods are created by thought, your rituals are created by thought. All the things that go on in the name of religion are created by thought - the gods, the gurus, everything is created by thought. And thought being limited, fragmented because knowledge is limited and all action then becomes limited, and where there is limitation, there must be fear. So we are asking is thought and time, work together or are they different, or there is only thought which divides as time, as progress, as evolution, as becoming.
Sirs, as we said, please explore all this, search out. Don't let your brains become dull by knowledge, by doing all the rubbish we do. Life is both intellect, emotion, senses, but if you let thought dominate them all, as we do, then our life becomes fragmented, shallow, empty.
We ought to talk over together, what is love? Would you say that you love somebody; love without attachment, love without jealousy? If there is attachment, there is no love. If there is any kind of antagonism, hate, love cannot exist. Where there is fear, love cannot exist. Where there is ambition, love cannot exist. Where there is power of any kind, the other cannot be. If you have power over your wife or if you possess your husband, if you are ambitious, then love is not. So we are asking do you love, because without love suffering will go on.
So, we ought also to enquire - perhaps not enquire - search out, seek out whether there is a possibility of ending sorrow, because all these are linked together - sorrow is not different from fear, sorrow is not different from thought, sorrow is not different from hate, the wounds, the psychological wounds that we receive - they are all related to each other. It's one issue, not separate issues. It's something that you have to approach it wholly, not partially. But if you approach it intellectually, ideally or idealistically, romantically, then you don't see the wholeness of life. So, we are asking, we are searching out if there is a possibility of ending sorrow. Fear, pleasure and sorrow have existed from time beyond thought. Man has always had these three factors in life - fear, the pursuit of pleasure, and sorrow. And apparently man has not gone beyond them. They have tried every method, every system that you can think of. They have tried to suppress it, they have tried to escape from it, they have tried to invent a god and surrender all this to that invention, but that hasn't worked either. So we must find out whether sorrow can end. And to understand the nature of sorrow, the cause of sorrow; is that cause different from fear? Is that cause different from pleasure - pleasure of achievement, pleasure of possession, pleasure of having great power, pleasure of talent, pleasure of wealth?
I do not know if you have not noticed, this country is becoming more and more materialistic. Money matters an awful lot to all of you and yet you go and worship, not god, money. If you are pursuing that path of material happiness, you are going to end up in such chaos. And the world is doing that. There is threat of war - the atom bomb. That is the end of materialism. But you don't understand all this.
So let's find out whether sorrow and fear can ever end. And the pursuit of pleasure is infinite, is endless, not only sexual pleasure, the pleasure of becoming something, the pleasure of achievement, the pleasure of being attached to somebody, whether that attachment is to a person, to an idea, to a conclusion, to a person. And where you are pursuing that pleasure there is always the shadow of fear with it. And where there is fear, there is sorrow. So please do not take one thing as though something separate, a fear is separate, but they are all together, they are all interrelated and one must deal with them all wholly, not separately. If that is clear - and we are not dealing sorrow separately as though it was something different from fear. So we are looking, searching out the nature of sorrow and the ending of sorrow because where there is sorrow, there is no love. Sorrow expresses itself in so many ways - the sorrow of loneliness, the sorrow of seeing this vast country: poverty, corruption, utter disregard for another human being, carelessness. When you watch all this day after day, that's also sorrow, the utter neglect of all the politicians right all over the world. They only want power, position. And where there is power there is evil. And sorrow is the loss of someone you love, whatever that love may mean. Sorrow of losing, sorrow of ending something that you have cherished, something that you have held on, the sorrow of doubt, the sorrow of seeing one's own life such empty shell, meaningless existence. You may have money, sex, children, be very fashionable, rich, but it is an empty life, there is no depth in it. Seeing that, perceiving the nature of it, is also sorrow. The sorrow of a man who has everything and nothing. The sorrow of ignorance.
So, can sorrow end? It's not your sorrow; it's also mine and another's. Don't deal sorrow as your particular precious stuff. It is shared by all humanity. But when you deal with it as your particular sorrow, your private quiet sorrow, it's the sorrow of all human beings, whether you are a man or a woman, rich or poor, sophisticated or at the height of your excellence. So please do not deal with all these factors like fear, pleasure, sorrow, love and so on as something separate from each other, or that's yours, your secret pleasure, your secret sorrow. You must approach this whole thing wholly, not fragmentarily. If you approach it fragmentarily, you will never solve them. You see, this country is separating itself from all other countries. America is separating from all other countries, England, Russia and each country is trying to solve its own problems - poverty, lack of food, ignorance - not of books, that is fairly cheap - but ignorance of oneself. So either the politicians awake one day and see there must be a global relationship, not national relationship, a global, human relationship. One wants to cry when there is such appalling things are going on.
So please, look at grief, pain, sorrow as a movement of life, as a whole movement of life, not something different from life. This is our daily life. And to find out whether there is an end to all this - to misery, to conflict, pain, sorrow and fear, one must be able to perceive them, one must be able to be aware of them. So we must understand what is perception, how to look at all this. Is the observer who looks at all this: the poverty, the loneliness, the anxiety, the uncertainty, the suffering - is all that different from the observer? Or all that is the observer. You understand? Please, I will explain this. We have separated the 'me', who is the observer, different from that which he is observing. I say, 'I am suffering', and I say to myself that suffering must end, and to end it I must suppress it, I must escape from it, I must follow a certain system. So I am different from fear, from pleasure, from pain, sorrow. Are you different from all that? Or you may think that there is something in you which is totally different from all that. If you think that, that's part of your thought, therefore it's nothing sacred there.
So please, is the observer different from the observed? Don't make it absurd. You see a tree, when you say, 'Am I different from the tree?' - you are I hope - but when you are angry, envious, brutal, violent, are you not all that? The meditator is the meditation. Yes sir, think about it. So the observer is the observed. See the importance of this. Before we have divided the observer from the observed. That means there is a division between that and the other. So there was conflict. You could then control it, suppress it, fight it. But if you are that, if you are sorrow, if you are fear, if you are pleasure, you are this whole conglomeration of all this. And to realise that fact is a tremendous reality. Therefore there is no division and therefore there is no conflict. Then the observer is the observed, then there is totally different action takes place. It's a totally different chemical action takes place. It is not an intellectual achievement, but to see the truth of it, not the intellectual concept of the truth, but to see the fact that you are not different from your qualities. You are not different from your anger, jealousy, hate - you are all that. Do you know what happens when you realise that, not verbally but inwardly? Find out. You are waiting for me to tell you. I won't. (Laughter) You see how your mind works - you are waiting for me to tell you. You don't want to find out. If I tell you then you will say, yes, right or wrong, but you will go on. But when you find out for yourself the actual truth of it, that the observer is the observed, the watcher is the watched. When you watch the moon, the full moon of yesterday rising out of that smog, that moon is not you - unless you are loony! But you are the whole bundle of your consciousness. The content of your consciousness is what you are and the content of that consciousness is put together by thought. Now to find out, not the ending of thought, but to find out how to observe the content. When you observe without the division, then there is a totally different action takes place.
Sir, where there is love, there is no observer. There is no you and the one that you love. There is only that quality of love.