Meditation is the beginning of order
The quality of energy that will transform man
4th Public Talk, New Delhi
December 02, 1973
This is the last talk. I think we said that we were going to talk about meditation this evening. In talking about meditation we are only dealing with words and not the act of meditation. And when we are considering what is meditation, we really should go into the whole problem of what is religion and what is order and if there is, in meditation, any direction. It's really a very complex question, this whole problem of what is religion, what is meditation and if it is at all possible to release a totally different kind of energy that is necessary for creation. In the ordinary sense of that word 'religion', in which is implied belief, worship, prayer, temples, mosques, churches and all the rest of that - absurdities, if we are to go into it very deeply, as we must, one has to set aside completely, wholly, all the traditional forms of worship, all the traditional acceptance and beliefs of a deity, and we must come to it anew, afresh. The function of religion - not what we have called religion - but the real function of religion is to transform man totally, so that he lives in complete harmony, which means complete order and therefore righteous behaviour. That is the total meaning of a religious mind. And when that is established in action, in behaviour, in right relationship with his fellow man, then we can proceed to enquire what is really meditation.
The word 'religion' has quite a different meaning. Each one will give it his own particular or peculiar, comforting meaning, but the actual meaning, according to a dictionary, means 'gathering together' - nothing to do with the structure of thought which has put together all the religious beliefs, their rituals, their ideologies, the priests, the various saviours, gurus and all that. That is not religion. And religion, if we look at it very, very closely and seriously is not a factor of dividing people, as the Christian, the Hindu, Buddhists and so on, which it now has. Therefore, a man, a serious person concerned with religious life cannot possibly belong to any organised religion.
And, as we said, the function of religion is the fundamental transformation of man, how he lives, what is the process of his thinking, his behaviour, his compassion, his everyday action in the very root of his being. If that is clear between us, that tradition in which you are educated has nothing whatsoever to do with truth. Tradition is dead weight on the mind. Tradition cannot possibly lead to truth, lay out a path to truth. There is no path to truth. And if we, you and the speaker, are going to investigate into this whole problem, you and I, you and the speaker, must be free of any preconception, must be free of your belief, you must totally, completely, cease to be a Hindu, or a Muslim or a Christian. But I am afraid you are not going to do that, because tradition is very strong on you, binds you, that's your you are in that prison. And a man in prison of any tradition, recent or ancient, cannot possibly understand what truth is. That's obvious. And if we are to share together, as we are going to this evening, the question of the release of a totally different kind of energy, which only a religious mind or religion can bring about, we have to find out together what is order. Because without order, both inwardly and outwardly, there is conflict, wastage of energy; any action that one does will be incomplete and therefore bringing more confusion, more sorrow, more mischief. Right? We are following each other?
Please, we are taking a journey together into something which man has sought from the very beginning of time, something that it can never be put into words. It has no symbol. It has no description. And yet man has sought it, because man has said, 'Life is very short. Life has hardly any meaning and there must be a meaning to life'. And in his search for that reality he got trapped by the priests, by the gurus, by so-called saviours, by those people who thought they were enlightened. They were sidetracked. And here we are trying to explore together. Please bear in mind that we are sharing this together. You are not merely listening to a series of descriptions or words but sharing something that requires your great attention, and you cannot possibly attend if your mind is trapped, sidetracked, is incapable of giving its whole energy, however little that energy is, to the discovery, to the understanding of this problem.
And to go into it, we must first understand what is order. We live in disorder. Don't you? You live in disorder, don't you? Disorder, not only inwardly but outwardly, in confusion, not knowing what to do, but be told what to do by politicians or by the gurus or by books. There is disorder because there is self-contradiction. Please observe all this in yourself. Don't agree with me, with the speaker. That's utterly meaningless - agreement or disagreement. What has meaning is to see what the speaker is saying is true by watching yourself. That means you must have a certain quality of awareness of your own movement of thought, of your daily life. In our own life there is disorder, contradiction, different attractions, desires pulling in different directions. The drive of will in one direction and the denial of that direction by another desire: wanting peace and living in violence, wanting security and by the very act deny security; fear, which is also another form of pleasure. So we live in this disordered life.
And then what is order? You understand my question? Can a mind that lives in disorder, a life that is completely confused, can that mind find out what is order? Can you find out what is order when you are confused? And is order a blueprint established by somebody else, or established out of your own confusion? You are following all this? We are asking: can a mind, your mind, living in disorder, without any beauty, without any compassion in the deep sense of that word, can such a mind, burdened with tradition, frightened, contradictory life, can such a mind find order? Is order the opposite of disorder? If it is the opposite then that very order has its roots in disorder. Right? If my mind is confused, dull, weary, the order can only be an idea, a conclusion, a something projected out of my disorder. And the projection out of my disorder is the guru. Are you following all this? Out of my confusion I project order, what I think is order or enlightenment, and identify my projection with a particular guru or a particular saviour or a particular concept, and thinking that is order. Right? It is out of my chaos, out of my confusion and therefore, what happens? When I am confused and I project my order, identify that order with somebody, I have only projected further my confusion. So, when I follow the order of somebody, I am continuing to live in disorder. Please do see this. This is logical, sane. It doesn't demand your romantic acceptance or denial, but look at it. So, out of my confusion, out of my disordered life, I try to find order, because I must live in order. The brain demands order, because where there is order there is efficiency. Where there is order there is complete security. And the brain can only function in total security. So it seeks out of its confusion order, and that order becomes neurotic. So, out of confusion any order projected is the order of neuroticism. When you follow your guru you are neurotic. So, and when you look to governments, to social structure, to environment to bring about this order, then you are being exploited, because the mind must have, brain must have complete security. I don't know... I don't want to go too deeply into this question because we haven't time.
When you go to sleep - please listen to this - you live a disordered life during the day, and when it goes to sleep, the brain tries to find order through dreams, through various forms of dreams and so on - it wants order. And when there is no order it takes shelter in a belief, because that gives it security. And when you have a belief, which has become your order, then that belief creates disorder, because you have your belief, my belief, and another's belief. So there is contradiction and fear that particular belief will be destroyed, by logic, by reason, by incidents.
So, what then is order? You've understood? Any movement of thought which thought, which has created confusion in my life, in your life - can thought create order? Thought which has created disorder. You are following all this? Please give your life to this. Give your attention, your care, your affection to find out. Can the mind, which is thought, can thought which has created disorder - thought as nationalities, thought as a Hindu, thought as You follow it? Thought has created this disorder, this division. And thought says now, 'I must have order'. And thought projects an order, which then becomes further disorder. Right?
So we are asking: can the mind, can the life that one leads, confused, can that be transformed into order? Right? Now, how do you look at disorder? How do you look at your life which is in disorder? How do you observe it? Please do it with me. Do you observe it with a hope of having an order? Do you observe it without any distraction, verbal or imaginary, or a preconceived idea of what disorder is and what order should be? How do you look at it? Do you look at it as an outsider looking in, or do you look at it as factual, without judgement? Right? Please, this is go into this a little bit. It is very important to understand this. How you observe this disorder, how are you aware of this disorder, and who is it that is aware of the disorder? Is the observer who looks at disorder different from disorder? Or the observer is the observed and therefore the observer is disorder? I wonder if you understand all this. Are we meeting each other or is it something too impossibly difficult or absurd that we are talking about?
Look sir, suppose my life is in disorder - my life - how do I look at it? Wanting to change it? Then changing into what? Do I look at it with a conclusion, with a judgement, with an opinion? And who is the entity that is looking at disorder? Is the entity separate, or the entity itself is disorder? Therefore the observer is the observed - please listen carefully - and therefore no conflict between the observer and the observed. There is only disorder, not how to create order, because the entity that observes is the observed, therefore there is no division. And where there is a division there is conflict, and that conflict is the very cause of disorder.
So, in the observation of disorder, out of that comes the flowering of order. Do you understand this? Please. Because it's your life - your life which is so messy, so miserable, so unfortunately shoddy. And it is immensely important that life shouldn't be wasted, and not to waste it means no wastage of energy. And the wastage of energy takes place when there is conflict between the observer and the observed. And that very conflict is disorder, and disorder means wastage of energy. So, one must see the truth of this, that the observer is the observed, and then the energy that has been wasted in conflict, that very energy creates order which is a living thing, from moment to moment, not an order put into a frame and imitated. Do youHave I made this clear?
So, such order, which is really in essence virtue, and that virtue cannot be cultivated - I cannot cultivate humility. If I cultivate humility I know what vanity is. And I am trying then to cultivate vanity and make it into humility - which is an impossibility. So, virtue is not to be cultivated. It's a living thing from moment to moment. And that virtue, that order is a living thing which can only come about when one observes disorder in one's life and the observer is the observed and therefore the end of conflict. If you understand this, not intellectually, verbally, but with your heart, with your blood, with your whole being, then you will have order instantly, immediately. Because it is very important that action take place instantly.
Don't you act instantly when you see some danger? There is no hesitation. You don't see the danger of disorder and therefore you say, 'Well, let's drag on'. But if you saw the tremendous danger of disorder and with all its neurotic behaviour, see the fullness of disorder, and therefore to see the fullness of that disorder, the observer is the observed, and therefore out of that perception there is immediate action. Therefore your life begins to have order. It's a flower that grows endlessly in goodness.
And without that order, how can a mind know what meditation is? Without order - which is not brought about by thought - that order is brought about through perception only, not through mentation. The order through mentation is disorder. So, when the mind is in order, therefore whole, therefore sane, then we can proceed to find out what are the implications of meditation. To find that out, one must discard totally all authority - the authority of a system, the authority of a method, the authority of a practice. Practice, system, method implies a direction, a fixed point towards which you are making progress step by step. And who has fixed that point? Do you understand what I am explaining? Who has put that fixed point? Because unless that point is fixed, stable, steady, your system, your method, your practice has no meaning. And before you practice, follow a method, a system, you must find out if there is a fixed point at all. Your gurus, your tradition, your whomever you follow, they think they know, and you being gullible, being frightened accept them. They know, and you poor fellows don't know. And what do they know? Go on, examine it. What do they know? The word 'to know', knowledge, implies the accumulation of information, of ideas, which means knowledge means something that has been accumulated - it is the past. 'I know you' - which is the past. So when the people say, 'I know there is god, I know, I am enlightened, I am a self-realised person', a lot of words that mean absolutely nothing. What do they know? They only know that which they have projected. And that which they have projected they can recognise out of knowledge. So what they know is the past, something that's gone, dead. And you who follow them are also dead. You may be very active in your laboratory as a scientist, as an engineer, spend years and years at whatever you are doing, and then at the end of your life you get rather weary and attach yourself to some guru, taking comfort, because you have spent your life and now at least you can have some comfort in some dark shadow of somebody else's imagination. Right?
So, when you practice, follow a system, all that implies control. Please listen to this. This is the tradition in which you have been brought up from childhood - control. Control your thought, control the way you breathe, control your activities, control your desires, control your sexual appetites, and so on and on and on. And your guru, your leaders, your whatever they are, you follow them because traditionally they say the same thing - control. 'Control your thought so that your mind is still. It is only out of that stillness you can see a reality'. Right? Now, why do you control at all? Please, this is very serious, do give your attention to this. Why do you control at all? What is the necessity of control? Control implies direction, will - will as resistance, will in a direction. Direction and resistance, both are movements. Movement means time. And through time, through the movement of thought, you hope to achieve a point which you have already fixed. So you are worshipping your own shadow. You understand all this? So can one lead a life without any control? - sexual, being ambitious, being greedy, being violent, frightened, and trained, encouraged, educated to control. Therefore, control implies suppression, control implies imitation, conformity. And that's what you have done.
Now, we are asking you a question, which is: can you live a life without control? Which means without any action of will. This is very important, please understand this, because meditation is the emptying of the mind totally of will and therefore direction, therefore resistance. Can you live a life in which there isn't a single factor of control, suppression, imitation? You put on trousers and obviously you are imitating. When you ride a bicycle you are imitating, drive a car you are imitating, when you follow become an engineer you are imitating the knowledge which you have acquired in action, and so on. So there is, of necessity, a certain form of imitation.
And can the mind - we are now talking - can the brain - please listen to me - can the brain function in the field of knowledge efficiently, and be free where will, direction, resistance doesn't exist at all? This is the problem of meditation, not what you want, to find god - that has nothing whatsoever to do with it. Because unless you have this harmony, this order, this sense of utter lack of control, silence is then the fabrication of thought. The silence which is brought about by thought is entirely different from the silence which total order brings about. And you must have silence. Mind must be completely still. But your stillness is only you only know or imagine you are still through control. That is not silence. Because that is silence of death. It is a fabricated, artificial silence which you call peace of mind. It will only be a little piece of mind.
So, can you live without control? And that's part of meditation, to find out in your daily life - in your sexual life, in your life at the office, in the life of everyday relationship, whether the mind can live without control and therefore without direction, and therefore no resistance. You can. I'll show it to you. Share it with me; not verbally. When you share food together, you are nourishing, you are putting it in your mouth, you taste it, you like it or you - you follow? - there is an enjoyment in eating if you are hungry. In the same way taste this, share it. We are eating together the manna.
As we explained, control means suppression. A mind that is suppressed is not a flowering mind. A mind that is imitative cannot be creative. A mind that conforms is always a frightened mind, an ambitious mind, a mind that's competitive. See the truth of that - you understand? - see the fact of that, that a mind that is trained to control itself - mind, body and the whole structure - control itself withers, it doesn't flower. The flower must have sunlight, open air, darkness at nights. During the dark period of night it grows, it has its own substance.
So, when the mind is shaped according to the tradition of control, it is a dying mind. See the truth of it, the actual fact of it. The perception of the truth brings about a mind that is free of control. The seeing the truth of it - not my truth or your truth but the truth of the fact, that as a flower needs sunshine, air, breeze and dew and water, and a period of darkness, so in the same way to flower in goodness there must be freedom from control. And that means a mind that is free from every action of will. You know this is the most difficult thing to do. It requires tremendous seriousness, your great attention. This is really the most profound religious way of living - not vows and all that thing, that's too childish.
So, can the mind be free of the movement of will as direction and as resistance? Resistance implies the safeguarding the image which I have built about myself. Resistance is a fortress behind which thought as the 'me' takes shelter; and that 'me' exercising will, wanting to achieve a result, a direction, as the 'me' says, 'I must be a politician', with all the corruption, it loves it; as the 'me' that says, 'I must be the greatest writer', or whatever it is. So, can the mind be free of the 'me', which is the entire structure of the past? And any movement of that past, from that past, is a projection of its own desires. Therefore its projections are the life of its own illusion. I wonder if you understand. So, mind - that is the brain, the whole intellectual capacity, the feelings - all that is the mind. Now can that mind be still? Not made still, which is what you have learnt from tradition, and practice suppression, control. I deny the whole of that. Therefore, can the mind be still? Because it is absolutely necessary to be still, for the mind to be still, because it is out of that stillness is the release of total energy.
Now, look at energy. Sorry to talk so much, forgive me, there is so much to say about all this. We know energy, physical energy, moving from here to there. Energy brought about through conflict, energy through desire, energy through imagination, sexual energy, energy of a pursuit of pleasure, becoming, wanting to be somebody here or inside. All those are forms of energy brought about through conflict. That's the energy we have. And with that energy we want to transform ourselves. Please follow this. The energy of idea or ideals, the energy of wanting to change myself and conform to the projection of what I think is the truth. That's energy. That is, the energy which is created through conflict between the observer and the observed. That's the only energy we know, and that cannot ever transform man. One needs a totally different kind of energy - not the energy of controlling, energy that you sexually, not indulging, you know all that tradition. I am not talking about that at all.
Now, religion - the religious mind is the supplier of that energy. And in that silence which is not produced by thought, that silence has no direction, that silence is not observable by the observer - you don't know - in that silence there is a totally different kind of energy. And that energy is the factor of creation, creating new way of life, creating a new way of writing. It's only religion that is creative, not the artist, the literate person, the critic, they are not creative. They are still functioning within the field of knowledge, and within the field of knowledge they are very noisy.
So, meditation is the beginning of order. Meditation is the awareness of the movement of thought as the 'me'. Meditation is the freedom, the total, absolute inward freedom, in which there isn't a single image. Freedom from all the things that man has put together as reality - philosophically, psychologically, other ways. Then when that takes place, the natural sequence is the flowering of silence. In that silence is that quality of energy that you have never touched before, and that is the transforming factor, that is the real creative movement of life. And in that silence there are a great many other things that go on, because in that silence - which means not only the mind as a whole but also the brain - the brain becomes orderly. It will function when necessary, otherwise it's completely quiet. And in this, or in this sense of silence, thought has no place. Therefore there is no time, and that silence cannot be measured. If you are capable of measuring it, it is not silence. It is the silence which thought has put together and therefore it knows, it can measure it: 'I am silent today, I will be silent tomorrow', 'Tell me how to be silent tomorrow'.
So, meditation is a most extraordinary thing if you know what it is. In that quiet stillness, that which cannot be described, which is nameless, which is not the product of time and thought, there is that movement, and that is all there is. And that is the creation.
Questioner: A question, sir.
Krishnamurti: Sir, wait a minute, sir. Can you ask a question out of silence? Please listen to my question. Can you live out of silence?
Q: Can you speak about silence?
K: Please listen, sir.
Q: Can you speak about silence?
K: Please, sir. I know your questions, they're all the same old traditional questions. Look sirs, I have sat on the speaker has sat on platforms for the last fifty years. Every question is put to him is traditional question. Every question is put to him about all these real matters, human matters, is out of not his investigation of himself, but about what somebody has said about him. Therefore your questions are out of the mouth of second-hand people. And when we are talking about silence, which is so immensely necessary in a world that has become so brutal, vulgar, stupid, mad, insane, and the transformation of a human mind is so urgently needed, and you are not facing that problem - your mind. Because your mind is the mind of the world. You are not different from the world. Your individuality is the individuality of the world. The individual means indivisible, not broken up. And you are broken up, fragmented. You may have the conceit that you are individual, but you are not. You are just part of the world - suffering, aching, frightened, unhappy, shedding tears. And you have brought this state about because you have followed, you have accepted, you have obeyed. You haven't said, 'Let me find out. I will move everything to find out, I will give my life to find out'. But you have spent your life in acquiring knowledge and becoming glorified clerks or ordinary clerks, and with that you are satisfied, and you want to know what silence is.
I told you, the speaker has pointed out the nature of that silence. That demands great seriousness, an attention with care, with affection. If you have no affection you cannot be attentive, you cannot be aware. Awareness implies affection, care - care for the world, care for your children, care for your job, care for your life. And if you have no care then you wither away as this culture is withering away. That's enough, sirs.
Q: Sir, there is one question, please, the last question. Sir, if we have to live with what we are, then why this exhortation to transformation and transmutation of the quality of mind?
K: Sir, that is the only question I will answer - everybody is getting up and going. If I have to live, the questioner says, the life which I am doing, why do you bother with exhorting us? I am afraid you have not understood what I have said, sir. The life that you are living, that has to be transformed. And to transform that life that you are living, what you are doing, that can be transformed when you know how to look at it. You cannot look at it with prejudice, with a pre-conclusion, with every form of opinion. Look at it simply as it is - your greeds, your envy, your ambitions, your fears, your callousness, indifference, your brutality - look at it as it is. How you look at it matters. Whether you look at it as an observer away from the observed, or you look at it as the observer is the observed. And when that takes place you have the tremendous energy to go beyond it.