Motive prevents observation
Can the mind be free of every motive to investigate?
2nd Public Discussion, Saanen
July 28, 1977
If you don't mind we will continue with what we were talking about yesterday. Which is: is it possible to be totally awake, aware? And if you will allow me I will talk about it for a little while and then you can have a dialogue about it. And we are only going to discuss, talk over together, what does it mean to be aware totally. And if you don't mind I won't answer any other question except that because I think if we could go into this very deeply we will find out how to look at ourselves. And from that observation one begins to see what is the meaning of knowing oneself. Because without knowing yourself you have no basis for action. Without knowing yourself one wanders around with all kinds of absurd ideas, commits oneself to all kinds of activities, caught in various traps. So I think it is very important if we could go into this question of what does it mean to be totally, completely aware. And I think most of our questions will be answered in the discovery for ourselves what it means to be aware. May I go into that that way? Would you allow me?
First of all, one can see the importance of being a light to oneself. It doesn't mean to cling to some idea that one has discovered, or experienced a light, in oneself. But that comes about by understanding fully, deeply what awareness means. I am going to talk it over with you first, and then please, question, let's talk it over, have a dialogue together.
I don't think awareness can be practised. If you practise it then it becomes mechanical. Right? That's simple enough. It is like a man who plays the piano, if he practises all day long he might practise the wrong notes. So awareness implies no practice at all. It is free observation without any distortion, without any bias, without any prejudice, without any conclusion - free observation and exposition. Not only observation of the world around one, but also from the outer observation move inward because unless one understands the outer very carefully merely starting with the inner awareness may be distorting, may be illusory, may be non-factual. Whereas observing the outer, your reactions to the outer, whether you are a Christian, Buddhist, Hindu, Muslim, British, American, whatever that is, so if you are conditioned as most of us are, and if you look at the outer with that conditioned mind then you can't observe freely.
So awareness implies that one is conditioned, and from that conditioning we have created the world - the moral, ethical, cultural, political, religious world, as well as the psychological world. Right? We are conditioned by our culture, by the society in which we live, which we have created, and we are conditioned by the religions, by the priests, by the family, the tradition, the tradition of war, as the tradition of god, as the tradition of rituals. We are conditioned by the name, by the connotation attached to that name. All this is a form of conditioning.
Now just a minute. So the human being conditioned at the beginning, and then he conditions it. He conditions himself through greed, and then he creates a society which helps him to be greedy. Right? This is simply logical. So it is an interaction between the outer and the inner. It is not the outer is different from the inner, it's interaction, constant ebb and flow. It's clear, isn't it? So we are asking: is it possible to be aware of one's conditioning, totally, both the conditioning of the conscious mind as well as the deep-rooted conditioning of which one may not be aware at all? And we are going to deal with both. Please, I am talking now so as to go into it fully. You are going to discuss it with me afterwards. I will stop after a certain time.
So is it possible for a human being, without a motive - if a human being has a motive to examine and be free of that conditioning, that very motive is born out of his past conditioning. I wonder if you see that. We will discuss it. If I have a motive to be free of my conditioning because I have pain, or pleasure, fear, or this or that, the motive is born out of my conditioning. And so the motive dictates how I observe my conditioning. Right? See the importance of this. So I must observe my conditioning, whatever it is, good, bad, indifferent, mediocre, and excellent, whatever it is, I must examine it, look at it without any motive. Because I see the logic of it, the reason of it - where I have a motive, that motive is the outcome of my conditioning, and that motive dictates further conditioning, modifying it, or changing it a little bit here and there, but that motive being born out of my conditioning operates on further conditioning. That's clear.
So is it possible for me to observe without any motive? See what we are doing, going step by step into it. Is it possible for me, for one to observe without any motive? If one sees the logic of it, the truth of it, that is, a motive born out of my conditioning still maintains the conditioning. Do you, and I, see the truth of it? When I do, the motive disappears. I don't have to struggle against it. Right? If I have a motive to be free of my conditioning, that motive is dictated by the desire to be free of my trap in order to be something else. To be something else is born out of my conditioning, to be something else is the reaction to my conditioning, dictated, directed by the motive. That's clear. May I go on? Please, we are going to discuss this, with me, have a dialogue with me.
So one asks: is it possible to be free of motive, all motives, not just one motive? And that is only possible if I see the movement of a motive. Right? How the motive is born, what its actions are, what its responses are, how that very motive curtails, limits further examination, therefore seeing the truth of that the motive, all motives disappear. I wonder if you see this. We are going to discuss this together, have a dialogue. So.
Now the very fact, having no motive, gives freedom of observation. Right? Right? Now one observes, that is, having no motive I am becoming aware of my consciousness - right? - of one's consciousness. So in becoming aware without motive, and therefore no choice in the observation of my conditioning, because the motive dictates the choice - I wonder if you see all this! We will discuss it. So there is no choice in observation. Observation then is freedom to look. The motive is the factor of the past, the motive is the past. Right? The motive is the observer. Without the motive there is no observer. Are we getting something of this? You are following? So the mind is free to observe without any choice, without any motive, because I see choice is the outcome of my conditioning, motive is the outcome of another form of conditioning, so seeing the truth of that there is freedom to observe without the observer. Hai capito? Some of we'll discuss, we will go into it later.
So there is an observation only - no correction, no direction, no suppression, no control, there is just observation. I observe - there is an observation, not 'I observe' - there is an observation of authority. One of our conditionings. Authority implies fear, conformity, imitation, obedience, following somebody - much more is involved in that authority. Authority of one's own experience, authority of one's own knowledge, or the authority that has been imposed through society and so on and so on.
So in the observation of authority, that is the art of observation - please follow this - the art of observation is to see that authority has a certain place - doctors, medicine, technology, but authority has no place in the field which we call the psyche. Right? Art means, as we said at the beginning, to put everything in its right place. Right? See the beauty of it, sir: to put everything where it belongs, not through choice but through observation. Have you got it? Right? I'll go on.
(Sound of train) They have better road beds and therefore they are going faster, more noise!
So authority has its right place, I have observed it - there is an observation of it. And there is fear. I am just taking a few of the contents of our consciousness of which we are becoming aware. Fear has its right place - which is the fear to protect the instrument, the organism, and it has no other place. You're understanding? Pleasure, and how thought pursues pleasure - we went into all that. And what is love, what is sorrow - we went into all that. So is there a possibility of being aware of the whole of it at a single observation and not pursue, take fragment by fragment, because they are all interrelated, they are not separate, they are not fragments which exist by themselves. They are all interrelated, acting upon each other. So in this observation is it possible to observe totally the whole movement? You understand? It is possible only when we understand the meaning and the significance of thought - thought, experience, knowledge, stored up in the brain as memory, and the action of that memory - thought. Again the art of putting, of giving thought its right place and no other.
Now we are asking: is it possible to be aware of this total movement as a single unit? Or must you go through fragmentary observation of the fragments? That's one point. Second point is: can the conscious mind investigate the unconscious, the deeper layers of consciousness? You understand my question? That's part of observation, that's part of being totally, completely aware. As most of us are educated to live on the superficial conscious level we find it awfully difficult, or impossible, to open up - not to a psychologist, or a psychotherapist, to ourselves, to open up everything, because again if we have understood fear then it is possible to open. You understand? If you have gone into the question of pleasure, love, suffering, death, then the whole cave, the whole hidden things are exposed. You don't have to go after them but they come out. Have you understood any of this?
Right? So having no motive, there being no direction, and so no choice, there is a total awareness. You get it? Complete awareness. Why the Russians are behaving that way (laughs), why the British, the Americans, the Hindus, why religions are this way. Because we have observed the outer very carefully, how you are trapped by the gurus because you want to find out something - you are eager, when one is very young, and fresh and innocent and wanting to enthusiastically find out, there comes along some man who says, 'I'll tell you all about it', and you are caught. To be aware of all that. Which means to be aware of your desire, desire being - we went into it - will and so on, desire with its illusions, which is to follow somebody who is going to give you the light. To practise something hoping thereby that you will have this extraordinary delight, or ecstasy, joy. Ecstasy, as we said, is a state of mind which is beyond the self.
So both consciously as well as deep down there is a total awareness - right? - and from that total awareness in which there is no choice there is complete action, to act without a motive which is out of compassion. You get it? Which is out of clarity. And that compassion, clarity gives the skill to operate, to function, to act. This is total awareness. Have you got it? Right?
Now let's discuss it.
Questioner: Are you actually doing that all the time?
Krishnamurti: Sir, do it. I am not asking you to do anything.
Q: I am asking you.
K: I am not answering you. If you have listened very carefully you will have answered it yourself.
K: Sir, just listen. Can you be free of motive? Begin with that, knowing a motive is born out of your conditioning. That conditioning dictates what kind of motive you have. That conditioning has come into being right from the time we are born, from the past, millennia after millennia. It isn't just a newly conditioned mind, it is the result of millennia's existence of man. Man has operated always with a motive - of god, country, you know all the rest of it, I don't have to go into it.
So please, first, let us talk about this, this one thing: is it possible for you to be free of a motive. If you have a motive, is that love? I'll put it round the other way then perhaps we will get together a little more clearly. When I love you, if I have a motive because I want companionship, sex, or I am lonely, or you are nice, attractive, sensuously I would appreciate it - you follow? - if I have any form of motive can there be love? Find out.
So we are asking: after explaining the whole movement of motive logically, sanely, have you a motive in observation? That's all. Let's stick to that one thing. If one has a son or a daughter and you love them, but you say, 'Yes, he must be an engineer, and she must marry the rich man', etc., etc., but is that love? Right? So ask yourself if in your observation of the world outside you and the world inside you, which we will come to presently, are you free of a motive when you observe the world - the communists, their tyranny, what is happening in Russia, and there is the affluent society of America, and the amazing poverty of the Asiatic countries, including Africa, when you look at it, have you a motive? - wanting to help them, wanting to feed them. Go on, sir, examine it. Or have you a motive when you have a wife and a husband, a girl and a boy? If you have then you can't observe. That is a simple fact.
Q: (In French)
K: No, e'coutez, no, forget the culture. You see we are going off. Have you a motive in your observation?
K: No, please begin with this, you will go into it a little later. Have you a motive when you follow your guru - if you have a guru? I hope you haven't, but if you have a guru - a long beard, brown, or a white man with a white beard (laughs) - it is the same thing - have you when you follow somebody, a guru, have you a motive? (Sound of train) Attendons, monsieur.
Q: If I observe only because I want to understand, that is a motive.
K: That's a motive.
Q: So how do you observe?
K: No, no. If you see the truth that motive of any kind - righteous, or pleasurable - any motive - is born out of your own conditioning, and you want to be aware totally of your conditioning, then motive prevents you from observation. That's all. That's a simple fact.
Q: I know that all my actions have a motive. That’s clear. But I am afraid that without motive, without desire, I will fall into indifference.
Q: (In Italian)
K: He says, if I have no motive I might fall into indifference. Is that so? Or are you imagining that you might fall into indifference? Because you have not seen the truth that motive distorts observation, but you have already concluded that if there is no motive the whole thing will collapse. But therefore we have to talk over together the question, whether it is possible to be free of a motive. Right? Not project what will happen without a motive. That's a clever trick to prevent oneself from not having a motive.
Q: Is not the principle of pleasure and pain the foundation of the biological need for survival?
K: We have said that, sir. Art is putting things in their right place. Not painting pictures, appreciating Picasso or Rembrandt, or somebody else, putting everything in its right place. Then the motive which is to eat the right food, right diet, you know, blah, blah, blah, and yoga and all the rest of it has its right place. It would be insanity to say...
So proceed. After talking over together, I am going to stick to this one point till we completely understand it - not understand, act. Which is, are you free from motive? Or you first see that if there is no motive, my god, what shall I do? Which is, thought - see what has happened - thought projecting what might be, and then that very thought is frightened of what might be, and therefore do nothing, carry on. Bene? So is there a possibility of observing without a motive?
Q: Sir, I have a very strong urge to become more aware and this strong urge to become aware brings me to trying to be aware, you know. And is this different from motive?
K: No sir, it is not. I want to be aware. Right? I want to be aware. Why? Explore. Look into it. Why do I want to be aware? You mean to say when the house is burning you are not aware? Right? The house is burning, isn't it? Unless you are totally blind, totally indifferent, completely consumed with your own activities, obviously you are not aware of what is happening, which is the essence of neuroticism. No? So, as the house is burning, your house, you mean to say you are not aware of it? You are not aware of what is happening in Russia, in Italy, the chaos, Euro-communism, dictatorships, instruments of war, the tradition of war? Historically, there have been wars for five thousand years, practically everyday somewhere on the earth.
Q: (In French)
K: No, I said communism, American, everywhere the earth is being destroyed.
Q: (In French)
K: No. E'coutez. Listen. Forgive me, I said the whole world, including Euro-communism, communism, Marxism, Leninism, Mao, everywhere, America. Sir, don't pick up one word and throw a brick at it. The whole world is destroying itself. Human beings are destroying themselves. It is an absolute fact.
Q: (In French)
K: Sir, let's forget communism, Euro-communism, socialism.
Q: But education is based on the motive of learning. So if I want to learn what am I to do?
K: Sir, look. Of course. I want to learn mathematics, or engineering; there is a motive because that way I will be able to earn a livelihood. Right? Right? We said put it in its right place. Gosh, you don't
Q: I understand correctly what you want to say
K: Not what I want to say.
Q: What you’re saying is that a motive eats awareness, that is a fact. You see or you don’t see, there is no starting point to see, if it is a fact.
K: So if it is a fact to you, sir, are you free of motive to observe?
Q: If I see the necessity.
K: Ah, no (laughs).
Q: I am not saying that I see the necessity.
K: Not if you see the necessity. I want to observe whether I love my wife, or my girlfriend - love. If I have a motive, is that love?
Q: (In French)
K: I am afraid then we haven't understood at all what we have been saying. I want to observe my relationship - just keep to that one little thing - I want to observe my relationship with my wife, or my girl friend, or my children. I want to be aware of that relationship. If I have a motive because my wife gives me sex, pleasure, comfort, cooks my meals, washes my etc., etc., and I say, 'I love you, darling, because you do all those things' (laughs) - is that love? That's all. Let's stick - a simple thing - keep to that. And is it possible to have a relationship with a woman, or a man without a motive?
Q: Sir, if you say to a person, ‘I love you’ that is already a motive because it excludes other persons. You can say, ‘I love’ and that’s enough. If you say, I love you’ that means I don’t love another one.
K: Ah, no, no. Please you are going off. Sir, most of us...
Q: What is the reason that you choose that person? That is a motive. That’s clear isn’t it? Because you like another person more that someone else.
K: Don't you? (Laughter)
Q: Sir how many people are couples here?
K: Oh, for god's sake, sir, please!
Q: And why? Because they have a motive.
K: So sir, because of that motive is there love? That's all I am saying.
Q: No, when you say, ‘I love you’, you exclude other persons from your relationship. So you isolate yourself.
K: I am asking, sir, you may love that one. Don't exclaim, 'I can't love all the others'.
Q: But why not?
K: I don't know! (Laughter)
Q: Yes, but are we discussing it? Because you have a motive when you say, ‘I love you’. It is exclusive to that person.
K: In that exclusiveness is there a motive? So if there is a motive in that exclusive love of another, is that love? Therefore that's all. Now can you love that man, or that woman, without a motive? What is the difficulty?
Q: Can we use a different word from love?
K: He wants to introduce another word instead of love. Oh, for god's sake, sir, you're going off Call it mud! You see how we refuse to stay with one thing and go through with it.
Q: What we are talking about is getting to talk with you, seeing your life and your consciousness...
K: I am sorry, you are not looking at my life or your life.
Q: I am going to say something else. Now, you are the one putting the question: can you do something without a motive. On the other hand it is very clear that all of us are here because we have a motive. We want to understand you what we’re trying to do, as two friends, let’s say, the solution to human problems How can we get the total view?
K: Right sir. First of all, you are not understanding me at all.
Q: I’m listening to you.
K: Not you only, not you only, please sir, please listen.
Q: All the time, all these abstractions...
K: These are not Sir, would you mind, you have said enough. Please you have said enough, sir. I am going to answer, if you will permit me. Which is, you are not trying to understand what the speaker is saying. What the speaker is saying is, look at yourself. That's all. To look at yourself you must be aware, not aware of what K is teaching you, or telling you, but to be aware of what you are doing, why you are here. What is the motive behind your coming here. Are you aware of it, do you know your motive? To understand K, the speaker, or in talking over together you are understanding yourself. That's all. I have made this very, very clear from the very beginning when I began talking. But if you say, I am here to understand you, I say, there is nothing to understand me, you are understanding empty words. So, that's very clear, so don't let's go back to that.
What is the motive that you are here? Why. What is the motive in your listening? What is the motive when you want to find out, to look at yourself? What is the motive behind the desire that says, look at yourself? Please may I beg of you to keep to this one point.
K: The gentleman says, I come here because I feel a sense of liberation, freedom. Sir, please, I am not asking your personal motives for coming here. This is not a group therapy. I hope it is not. I don't want I don't No group therapy here. I am asking you to investigate for yourself what is the motive, if you see the truth of this simple fact that when you have a motive, that motive is born of your conditioning, and you strengthen that conditioning. That's all. And therefore you cannot be aware of your conditioning.
Q: I see the motive but nothing happens.
K: He sees the motive but nothing happens. (Laughter)
K: Bene, bene, bene. Si. I come here each year with an urge to find a new motive, a refined motive - different forms of the same thing, modified, or continued.
What shall we do? I won't move from this. You can move, go away, get up and go, perfectly right. You are free to do what you like outside the tent, not inside the tent. Because inside the tent we are responsible.
So I am holding to this one fact: do you, as a human being, who is the representative of all humanity - I repeat that over and over again - the repetition becomes a lie if you repeat it without understanding it. Right? The speaker sees the fact, therefore his repetition is not propaganda, is not a lie, he is just showing you what it is. But if you take the words and repeat it, it will be a lie, it will be hypocrisy, it won't be honest. But if you see it for yourself that you are, as a human being, the total essence of all humanity - there is great beauty in that. And if the question arose, saying what do you mean totally aware, please explain it. I have explained it before the discussion began, what the speaker means by the perception of the whole, holistic. The word 'holistic' means something much more than the parts. And the something much more is not possible when you are holding on to the parts. Which is, the part is, my motive is different from your motive. But if we are both of us free of motives we can both work, journey together. That's all.
So Monsieur Ortalani, etc., and all the others, after listening to this very carefully, logically, sanely, are you free of motive? Don't answer me, find out. That is if you want to answer that question: is it possible to be totally aware? It is only possible when there is an observation.
K: I'm afraid we can't hear, madame.
K: Madame, we are talking about a motive, not about love. Does one see that where there is a motive there is a distorting factor? That's all. Stick to something factual, not move into some other factors.
Q: We hate, we are afraid, we are violent. We represent the whole of humanity. We seem to come here, or I came here, to try and resolve and reconcile those things. It seems to be that they are all irreconcilable.
K: Look, my friend, if you are here to resolve your problem with the speaker's help, you are not going to be helped. Right? A simple fact. If you have a sexual, mental, fear, sorrow, any problem, they are not going to be solved with my help.
Q: I agree.
K: And by talking over together, talking it over together, investigating together, exploring, then you yourself will help yourself - you are the humanity. That's all. Sir, if this doesn't please you, for god's sake don't come. Go to some guru, church, whatever you want, do whatever you want, but if you are here, and if you are serious, let us both of us meet on the same level. Right? On the same level, at the same time, with the same intensity. Right? Which is love. Otherwise we won't meet. So.
Q: You said the house is burning. How does one see the house is burning?
K: How does one see the house is burning. The newspapers tell you every morning, the radio tells you every evening, the televisions show you exactly what is happening. The news is printed all over the pages, and if you don't see the house is burning then something is amiss.
Q: Yes, but what I am saying is...
K: We haven't understood each other, sir. Let us drop the house burning, and look at something else. Which is, are you here with a motive?
Q: Of course.
K: Yes. What is that motive? Don't tell me! What is the motive? Find out. If the motive is to follow the teachings of K then you have totally taken the wrong direction. But if you come here with a motive to understand and talk over together, to solve the problems not according to me, but observing yourself totally, then that motive will disappear and you will understand yourself.
Q: Once one sees the house is on fire...
K: I said leave the house on fire! (Laughter) I said what is the motive you are here? Don't tell me but find out, etc. Sir please sit down, sir. I have repeated this a hundred times. Either it is the difficulty of language - motive means move, a momentum, an elan, a drive, a desire, all that is implied in the word 'motive', move. What makes you move? Fear? Sorrow? Your ignorance of yourself? Then if that motive, which is the drive, momentum, and you are here, then let's talk it over together, not that you are copying K, or following his teachings, or this or that, because I am not your guru. Don't be a follower of anybody. But in talking over together you see yourself, see yourself totally. That is to be totally aware of yourself. Then when you are totally aware of yourself there is no problem.
Q: I cannot live without a motive but I would like to.
K: Qu'est-ce qu'il dit?
Q: She cannot live without motive but she wishes to do it.
K: You cannot live without a motive but you wish to live without a motive. See the contradiction! See the contradiction. I want to live without a motive but I have motives, therefore there is conflict. Right? And if you like that conflict, carry on. And if you see the futility of that conflict you examine both, why you have a motive, how the motives are born, the desire, the urge, the compulsion, the drive, the momentum that makes you do something. And the other which is merely a verbal communication, which has no reality. What has reality is your motive. And when you see that motive is born out of your conditioning, therefore strengthens the conditioning, if you like it, carry on!
What time is it? Isn't that enough for this morning?
Q: We have a motive.
K: Is a motive complete? Motive is very complex.
K: No, don't analyse it, for god's sake, don't analyse it, just look at it. Look sir, please, just listen to me. Why do I talk? Why do I go through this? (Laughs) For over fifty years I have done this - why? What is my motive? I am going to answer it. Listen to it. What is my motive? If I have a motive, you understand, which would be to help you, to see that you are free of sorrow, to see that you love, and then I would fight with you, force you, compel you, I would play all kinds of tricks with you, offer you heaven. Right? And I won't do that. For the very simple reason that together we are going to look. We have created the world together - man and woman, baby, that also - but the world, society, morality, political structure, the economic structure, and so on, so on, that we have created together. So please, together. That means you have to look at yourself because yourself is the whole universe, yourself is the whole of humanity, therefore if you follow somebody else you are not a human being looking at yourself who is the whole of humanity. Because that man whom you follow is only taking a part, a segment, a tiny little observation. We are looking at the total observation. Right? That's enough for today.