Order in oneself
Is it possible to observe the whole movement of consciousness?
5th Public Discussion, Saanen
July 30, 1978
We have had seven talks, and this will be the fifth dialogue, discussion, conversation. I think during these talks and discussions we have touched most of the points - of human relationship, our existence, our way of thinking, looking. And if one may ask, one wonders how much or to what extent we have changed. If we are at all familiar with our prejudices, and if we are, what do we do about them? Hold on to them, or let them go? Or if you find yourself attached to somebody, to some ideals, to some belief, if you are at all aware and familiar with your attachment, how far one has let them go, knowing all attachment leads to a great deal of sorrow, and pain, and all the rest of it, which we went into.
And also if one is aggressive, as most human beings are, some more and some very little, if we have during these talks and discussions, or dialogues and conversations together, if we are free, or if we are aware and know how deeply we are aggressive, and whether we have changed at all. And if we are familiar with our prides and vanities, and habits, how deeply are we free of them? Or we carry them on for another year, or for many years, and never are aware of our own peculiarities, and idiosyncrasies, our aggressions, our attachments, our prejudices, fears and so on. Then we live merely on words. And words are ashes. And if you like to live with ashes, not as monks, but just live with words, then I am afraid one lives very superficially and with very little meaning.
So as this is the last discussion, what shall we talk over together this morning?
Questioner: Could we talk about what do you mean by bringing order into one’s life?
Krishnamurti: Could you kindly talk about order and what you mean by it. Not what I mean by it, what do we mean by it.
Q: As we talked yesterday of the ending of thought, is the free energy the very essence of the image which is the content of thought? Is it that way?
K: Yes sir. What is the question?
Q: The question is, is the energy which gets free if thought is ended, if this energy is the very essence of the content, that means the image that thought makes?
K: No, sir, no, no, I am afraid we have misunderstood each other. We said yesterday going over the whole movement of thought, what is the origin of thought, the origin being the registration of an event, of an experience, of a pain, of a grief and so on, the registration which takes place in the brain, and from that memory thought arises. That's clear. Then that thought creates the image and all that energy is limited, conditioned, held within a very narrow space. And we said when we understand the whole structure and the nature of thought then thought itself finds its own limitation, and therefore releases that energy which has been canalised along a narrow groove. We explained that very carefully, we went into it.
Q: Yesterday you said the brain is collective, thousands of years old. Whether that statement is true or false I really don’t know. But I am deeply concerned with what is going on in the world and I do not see how putting everybody into the same basket is going to bring about love and compassion in the world.
K: Into the same boxes?
Q: In the same basket. Well, everybody together
K: No, no, we are not putting, I better The questioner says, I do not know how love and compassion can come about if we put every human being into the same basket. I am afraid we never said that, nor implied. So will discuss. What do you want to discuss, talk over?
Q: We see the man but we don’t see humanity. Is humanity the essence, the truth of man, and can we speak about humanity?
K: Can we seek about..
Q: Can we speak about the essence of man, that humanity that we don’t see. We see the man but not the essence.
K: Ah, we don't see the essence of man but we only see the man. Now which of these shall we discuss? Would it be worthwhile to talk over together this question of order? Could we? Would it be worthwhile to discuss that?
First of all what do we mean by that word 'order'? What does that convey to each one? When you hear that word 'order', what do we mean by it, what is your feeling, your response, your instinctual answer? Order, according to the totalitarian people, is to obey the few, and conform to a certain pattern they have established. I am putting it in most simplistic terms, but that's good enough to understand what we mean when we are examining the word 'order'. That's what they mean. There will be no dissent, we all think alike, we all work for the State, whatever the State may mean, which is according to Lenin, Marx, and so on and so on. And so anybody who deviates is called dissident, and destroyed. That's one kind of order. We are going to question it.
Then there has been Victorian order - if I can use the word Victorian in the sense about the end of the 19th century, which meant keep everything outside orderly, but inwardly you might have chaos, mess, misery, sex, but outwardly show that you are very orderly. In response to that, in opposition to that, we have cultivated quite recently permissiveness - do anything you like. Right? To the man, or woman, who is living in the permissive society order is abomination. And to the man or the woman who lives in the Victorian era order is control, don't express your emotions, hold back, restrain. And you have the totalitarian order. Right? These are very simple facts, these are daily facts of life. And inwardly - outwardly they say we must have order - inwardly we are very disorderly. Right? Would you say we are, or we are not? Disorderly means contradiction, confusion, giving importance to one thing in opposition to other things, sex becomes enormously important and perhaps that is the only important thing, and the rest you put it aside, or delegate it to a secondary place. And inwardly there is constant struggle, battle - all that is disorder. Right? Is this surely, obviously clear.
Now what makes for disorder, both outwardly and inwardly? And do we know, are aware, or familiar, or cognisant, that we live in disorder? Outwardly there is disorder when there is war, that is total disorder, that is total terrorism - organised, blessed by the priests and respectable. That is, total terrorism is obviously disorder, but it is respectable disorder, recognised by every human being as something necessary. And there is disorder when there are nationalities and all the rest of it. So outwardly there is disorder and inwardly there is disorder. Right? Are we familiar with our disorder inwardly? We know, we are familiar when we read the newspapers, magazines and so on, that there is this monstrous disorder. Now it is much more arduous, or one has not given attention to be acquainted with our inner disorder. Right? Now I am asking myself, and you are asking, what is the root of this disorder, why do we live this way, for god's sake - if there is god. You understand what I am saying? Why do we live like this? Why do we tolerate it? Just a minute, sir. Why do we accept it? There is disorder between man and woman, in their relationship, however intimate, however pleasant, however comforting, however satisfying and so on and so on. There is constant struggle between man and woman, in their relationship, which is disorder. Right?
Q: It is not necessary. It isn’t always so.
K: Oh, it is not always so. There may be exceptions, granted. One or two, or half a dozen, or a few people in the world may have a marvellous relationship with each other, but appalling, frightening relationship with the world. I said, may be.
So, are we, first of all, familiar with this? We are outwardly and inwardly. Are we inwardly familiar, know, aware, cognisant, see or observe that we live in disorder - exceptions, there may be that lady and a few others. If we are not aware that we live in disorder, who is going to tell you that you are living in disorder? Nobody cares. On the contrary they want you to live in disorder. Right? It is profitable for the society, for the business, and all the rest of it, that you live in disorder because the moment you have order in yourself you become a danger.
So please, if you want to discuss this, have a conversation with each other, and go into this matter of order, please find out for yourself whether you are familiar, know, are aware, cognisant (laughs) with your way of life inwardly, find out whether it is orderly or disorderly. Orderly may mean conforming to a pattern. Right? Conforming to a tradition. That is generally called orderly. Conforming to what the religious people have said - the monks, the gurus, the teachers, the so-called sacred books, if you follow those, and conform to those, you say, 'I am living orderly'. Does conformity bring about order? Or it is the very root of disorder? One conforms when one puts on trousers and shirt in this country. When one goes to India one puts on different clothes. That's not conformity. We are talking of conformity psychologically, inwardly. Do we conform? Does one know, realise that you are conforming?
Q: Sir, can we see that the cause of disorder is the same as the cause of deterioration?
K: Yes, sir No, don't, forget what we talked about deterioration. Don't bring it in because you are going back to the same old pattern.
First of all, do you know, you are aware for yourself, that you are conforming - to the idea of marriage and not marriage, both the same. You may live with a girl or a boy and say, 'We are not conforming', but those who are married, are they also conforming because they sign a paper or something or other? You follow? You have to be cognisant, aware, whether you are conforming.
Q: Any idea, any thought of conformation, because if the thought is repeating, then it conforms.
K: Sir, don't bring in - a little more complex - we will go further, deeper into this. Begin with this: am I or you conforming to a pattern, whether established by a society, or whether I have established it for myself, it is still conforming. You understand? I may reject the outward authority altogether, but inwardly I have the authority of my experience, of my knowledge, and to that I conform. And that is also conformity. So are you aware of this fact for yourself? If you are not, then who is going to awaken you? Who is going to put pressure on you so that you say, 'Yes, I am in disorder, I have found out.' Because through pressure you won't find out. It is the pressure from outside that makes you conform, or not conform. So if one may ask again, if you are asking yourself, are you psychologically in any way conforming? Sirs, this is one of the most subtle and important points if you go into it very deeply. You have to conform to certain laws, you have to drive on the right side in Europe, and in England the left side. If you say, 'I am not going to conform' and drive on the right side, the policeman will be after you, the cop will come and tell you, 'Please drive on the left side.'
So I am asking - please ask yourself whether you are conforming to tradition, to your aggressive, violent responses, are you conforming to all that? You see how difficult, what a tremendous problem this is. And if you are imitating, not outwardly, I not talking of the outward imitation - long hair, short hair, beards and no beards, and all the rest of it, but inwardly, psychologically imitating. Will you take time, one afternoon, or one evening, or some time during the day, to look at yourself? Right? This is what you are doing now: you are, if I may most respectfully point out, you are looking at yourself and discovering for yourself whether you are conforming, imitating, and if you are conforming to a certain pattern, another conforms to another pattern, so there is conflict between the two and so disorder. Right?
Then if you are aware, know, realise, see, that you are in disorder, will you remain with it - you understand? - not try to change it, not try to say 'I must go beyond it, I must suppress it, I must understand it, I must rationalise it', but just holding it in your arms as it were, without any movement? The baby is asleep in your arms (laughs), the moment you move it wakes up and cries. You understand sir? I wonder if I am making myself clear, am I?
So that is the point: will one comprehend and bring about order in one's life by rules, by discipline, by control, by suppression; or will you observe in yourself disorder and not run away from it, not translate it into your own idiosyncrasies, temperament, and aggressive but merely look it, observe it, watch it?
We said, if you have followed - if I may go on with it - we said yesterday, or in one of these discussions or talks, that the word 'art' means to put things in their proper place. Right? In their proper place, not giving one or the other importance. If you give importance to technology then other ways of existence are not on the same level, therefore there is disharmony. If you give sex, as most people do, except perhaps there are exceptions, the most important, the highest, all consuming importance, the only thing that matters in life, then again you exaggerate and bring about disharmony. If you put money as all important, again contradiction takes place. Or if you say power, domination is all important, again Therefore to live harmoniously means to put everything in its proper place - will you do it? Or you just (Laughs) Mots en l'air Will you do this - not give your body the tremendous importance the west gives, the western world: how they look, how they dress - you follow? - this tremendous concern, which doesn't mean you mustn't dress properly, decently and all the rest of it. Will you do all this? If you don't, why do you talk about order? There is no point at all! But if one wants to live in order and therefore live in harmony with a sense of great beauty, perhaps also peace, then you must have order.
Order isn't to go from window to window - window-shopping! You understand the phrase 'window-shopping'? Never buy anything but go (laughs) - you follow? - from shop to shop, and you think that is an extraordinarily wide mind - go from one book to another, one teacher to another, one guru to another, one priest to another, one philosopher. You follow? Never, never, never staying in one place and finding out. Why do people do that? Have you ever wondered? They go to India, they are fed up with their priests here, so perhaps there is something there and that is romantic - all that nonsense. And this is called gathering knowledge, or this is called an open mind. It isn't really an open mind, it is a big sieve, with large holes, with nothing but holes in it. We are doing this all the time in different ways. So we asking: are you serious enough, committed enough, dedicated enough, to live a life of total order?
Q: It seems easier to live in disorder.
K: I can't hear.
Q: (In French)
K: Ah, it is much easier to live in disorder - is it?
Q: Yes, yes.
Q: They have not realised at all what is disorder if they like to live in disorder.
K: Please, just for an hour this morning, let's find out for ourselves if we like to live in disorder, apparently most people do, disorder in their room, and so on - if they like it that's one matter, there is nothing to be said about it. But if you say that living in disorder brings about havoc in one's life, misery, confusion, violence and all the rest of it, then obviously one must become aware, cognisant, know, familiar, with one's disorder. Do it at least for an hour, or half an hour that we have left, or three quarters of an hour, while you are sitting here quietly talking over - find out. Not as a group therapy, which is too silly, but you know, sitting quietly to find out, to become familiar with oneself.
If you find that you live in disorder, discover it for yourself, then what is one to do. Right? You understand? Right sir? To find out what to do, or what not to do, one has to go into the question: what is the very root of disorder? What is the very root that produces all this confusion, conflict, misery - you follow? Total disorder in the way we live, what is the root of it? Don't say, 'It's me', or the ego - those are words - or thought, But to find out - you follow? - for oneself.
Q: Krishnaji, we accept the terror of the majority clowning around the world saying it is order. I shout out of inner fire of anger, compassion till I get (inaudible) to my face leaving compliments to say you are even worse than Krishnamurti, whatever that means.
K: Sir, throw out all that, throw out Krishnamurti and all that nonsense and find out for yourself. Please, I am really not interested in myself, I am too old for all that kind of childish stuff.
Q: That we do not care for others, that is the source of disorder.
Q: She is saying we do not care for others.
K: What we do not care for others? We are talking about disorder, madame.
Q: (In French)
K: What is the reason for disorder. That is what I am asking. What is the reason, the source, the essence of disorder? Just a minute, don't quote anybody, including myself. Just a minute, sir. Because if you do you are just answering, saying something which others have said. So throw out what others have said, including this person. Don't belong to Krishnamurti. That would be fatal. Don't form Krishnamurti groups, for god's sakes.
K: No, sir, just a minute, I know, just, sir, for god's sake, give time to this!
What is the root of disorder? Anything that is limited - you understand? - anything that functions within a very narrow space must create disorder. If I love you as one human being and hate others (laughs) it must create disorder. Right? If I am attached to you and I don't care for the world at all as long as you and I are perfectly happy in our little home. So we are discovering something, that is, anything that acts, lives in a very small space, in a very small shell, or the shell being enormous, it is still limited. Anything that moves, functions and acts within a narrow space must create disorder. If I belong to that guru, and not to other gurus, then I am acting very limitedly. Right? Obviously. But if I have no gurus at all, I don't follow anybody at all, then I may act widely.
So I am asking you: is disorder brought about by a limited way of life? My husband and nobody else. I'll say I must be kind, I must be generous, I must be compassionate, I must love others - but they are just words because my whole centre is round one person, or one thing. That may bring about disorder. So I have found that any action, any action which is limited must create disorder. That is, if I act as a nationalist it is disorder. If I act as a Catholic, as a Protestant, Hindu, Buddhist, all the rest of that, it is disorder.
Now, have you looked at yourself, become familiar with yourself, and say, 'No, that is so, I will drop that - finished'? If you are interested in finding out what is order then everything that creates disorder is dropped away instantly. Like a scientist involved in research, that is the central thing he is concerned about, the rest of the things are secondary, but that is the main thing, he is giving his whole life to it. So can you find out for yourself if you are acting, living in a small circle?
Q: Do you think it is so easy to change oneself, to have the insight – there is disorder and this is the reason and on the next day
K: Is it so easy to change oneself - right? That is the central question. Just a minute, sir, sorry, I know you put I forgot. I apologise. Is it so easy to change oneself? I say yes. Don't believe it because you are not going to change so easily. But if you see the danger - you understand? Right, sir - real danger, as you see the danger of a precipice, you act. But you don't see the danger of limited action, limited way of living. Which is, I am attached to you, and you are mine, for god's sake, let's live together peacefully, don't let's quarrel - you follow? - and let's forget the world, the world is ugly, I have to go out into the world and earn money and all the rest of it, but we two are together. This becomes too childish!
Q: Isn’t there actually nothing else but order, and disorder is if I catch something out of this flow of order, so it stops
K: No, sir, there is no flow of order. I know, that is just an imagination, that there is supreme order, which is god.
Q: No, no. I don’t mean this. I mean the order is everything in itself, there is order in the thing itself, if I understand, if there is an understanding of all the things around. Then there is order.
K: Then there is order. When you understand the danger of disorder in life, which is expressed in different ways - conformity, living in a narrow little groove, that groove may be very wide but it is still narrow, if you see all that, not verbally, intellectually but actually the danger of it, it is finished. There is order.
Q: I think it is not so easy to change oneself. I have the insight now, I realise it is dangerous, then I go back to the City, I go back to my friends and I forget it.
K: The City, the business, the wife, the husband, are the most dangerous things (laughter) because all that involves attachment.
Q: So you think
K: You understand? Danger. Wait a minute. It doesn't mean you can't be married and have a girl and all the rest of it, but see, please sir, see the danger of living as we are in a narrow small little circle. Right? You know, sir, Saanen, this little village, they speak German, you go two miles away they speak French, and those French people won't meet each other - you follow? - they keep themselves into a very small little circle. Now we are doing the same. Do you actually see the danger of that way of living? That's all. If you don't see it, how is one going to make you see it, help you to see it? Wait a minute. I don't see the danger of conformity to a tradition, to a pattern, whether external or inward, I don't see that causes disorder. You have explained to me in ten different ways, I refuse to see it. You understand? Because it is very disturbing. When I am accustomed to live in a disorderly way and you are asking me to look at it, it frightens me, I am appalled by it. If you talk to those people who have lived in the totalitarian states, they say, 'Yes, we have got used to it' - right?
Q: They have not got used to it.
K: How do you know madame?
Q: Well, one hears. Look what has happened.
K: One or two are dissenting. For god one or two. They are exceptions. There are one or two dissidents who are sent away to camps, to mental hospitals, and all the horror that they do. But the majority of them, apparently I am telling you, because I have talked to many of them, they say, 'We have got used to it'. You have got used to disorder, you have got used to wars, you have got used to quarrelling with your wife and husband. So you have got used to this living in this chaos. You know, sir, very interesting something: cosmos means order, the word, cosmos. And the universe is in order, is complete order. And we live in disorder and try to understand cosmos, the universe. I wonder if you are following what I am talking about - no. How can I understand something that is total order, without a break in it, when I myself am living in disorder? I can't, so I am not concerned with order. I am concerned with disorder and to say, 'Now, I am going to find out how to dissolve that disorder. I am going to find out, I am going to give my life' - you follow? - it is important. And I see various causes that bring about disorder, that is enough. Then I say, 'All right, I am so interested, so passionately concerned with order.' So I begin with disorder and find out what are the causes, then it is simple. That is, my whole concern is to live in order. As I don't know it so I go back and find out. You follow? I spend time, energy, enquiring into it.
Don't catch my enthusiasm, or my interest, my passion, don't catch it! Because it isn't yours.
Q: But you see, I am weak, I don’t have much strength. I tried one time, I found the reason of disorder which I somehow don’t want to lose, so I stop there, may be. Or I forget about it.
K: All right, sir. So in other words, you like to live in disorder. I am not condemning it, I am saying that is what happens.
Q: Wouldn’t you say that order is inherently there, and it’s our limitation.
K: Order is inherently in human beings and it is only thought that brings disorder. You follow? This is an old statement of all the religious people: there is order, god is order, heaven is order, I am born of heaven - you follow? - that little spark is in me, that will someday blossom and destroy disorder. This is, sir, we have played this game for a million years. You see how our mind works, which is tradition. You follow?
Q: Would you say that there is more order in your schools than in other schools?
K: Please, sir, you see what he is going off? You see he has gone off to the schools with which I am connected. He is not enquiring if he lives in disorder, he wants to find out if the schools are in disorder. You see the escape?
Q: It is not an escape, it is just a curiosity.
K: No, sir, it is not. I am not interested in this - forgive me.
Q: It is a very serious problem. If the people who are associated
K: Sir, sir, please, sir
Q: and working in these schools and they are dependent on your let’s say, order in order to make the school function. And that’s a very serious problem.
K: Oh, no. Nobody is concerned about the school here for the moment, or the teachers. We are concerned about disorder in each of us.
K: Don't go please, sir.
Q: your commitment is part of disorder.
K: Qu'est ce qu il dit?
Q: I think he is saying your commitment to the schools is part of disorder.
Q: Perhaps. I said, perhaps.
K: This is what happens when you discuss with people who are off to something else.
Q: Either you are trying to hypnotise us (laughter) according to, let’s say, your system of getting into your kind of order. If we want to find out order we have to do it according to ourselves. Now I find it very difficult to accept anything you say and sometimes I doubt very seriously that you are a complete orderly human being. Sometimes you make mistakes and I find it difficult to accept that you are perfect.
K: Sir, all right, sir. I would suggest that you hire a hall and talk.
Q: You can’t take a question? Isn’t this a discussion?
K: Ecoutez moi.
Q: It doesn’t interest us.
Q: OK, I’ll sum up. You look up to your own misery.
K: Yes, that's it.
Q: (Inaudible) (Clapping)
K: Quelle heure est-il?
Q: Twenty five past
K: We have talked nearly an hour, almost an hour - where are we?
Q: In disorder. (Laughter)
K: You have a good example of disorder, the lady says. A person who goes off talking about something else and is not concerned about disorder in himself. I am not saying you are in disorder, or in order, but find out for oneself if you live in disorder, not a la Krishnamurti.
Q: I feel like that disorder is here
K: Sir, will you give ten minutes to find out for yourself? You are here, perhaps some of you are glad (laughs) I won't bombard you anymore, but for ten minutes can you find out for yourself whether you live in order or disorder, understanding what disorder is and not introducing order as a means of pursuing a conformity. You understand? I have explained all that. Can we spend ten minutes seriously together to find out if you and I live in disorder.
This disorder is prejudice. This disorder is caused by conformity, psychologically, which is to follow tradition - pattern, obedience, and the opposite, not to follow, and reaction, which is still conformity, and so on. And what is the root of this disorder? We said the root may be acting, thinking, in a very small enclosed area, psychologically. You may travel all over the world, but inwardly, psychologically one may live in a very, very small space; or extend that space, say, 'I must have an open mind, think, look at everything', and from that hoping to act, and all that. So can you during these ten minutes give your energy to find out if you live in disorder, and the cause of it?
Please don't go off into meditation. It is there for you to look. If you find it is so, that you conform, that you are acting in a very, very small narrow circle, then can you look at it, observe it, and not try to do something about it? As we said the other day, when the scientist - good scientist, the first-class, top people, when they look through a microscope at a cell, or whatever they are looking at, if they come with a hypothesis, with a prejudice, with a desire to understand it, they are projecting their ideas onto it, so they don't see the thing itself. So they have discovered that if you observe without any 'prejudice', in quotes, the thing itself begins to move, to transform itself - you understand what I am saying? So can you, in the same way, look without any reaction to what you are looking at? That is, observing disorder, the cause of it, looking at it, not you want to transcend it, go beyond it, suppress it, run away, or say, 'This is all right' - nothing, just to look. Then if you so look, then the thing at which you are looking begins to transform itself. The transformation of itself is order No, no, attendez, attendez.
Q: I don’t know if there is a kind of pleasure also for you, maybe.
Q: Can we be quiet now?
K: It is not pleasure for me, madame.
Q: I am not so sure.
K: All right, all right, you are not so sure. All right. Vous avez compris? You have understood? Sir, will you listen? Please! I want to tell you something. Something - just listen, for the fun of it.
When you observe something without the past, without the prejudice, without anything, the very thing that you are looking at is living, moving, changing, and therefore it is never still. Therefore disorder is always still - still in the sense it is disorder all the time - you follow what I am saying? But if you watch it, that disorder in itself is transforming, becoming something else. So are you watching it that way?
Q: Is recognition involved in this watching?
K: It is not recognition. Oh, my I said if you recognise it, it is a memory. If you say, 'Yes, that is disorder, I am going to watch it', you have a memory of disorder, an idea of disorder, a concept, a formula and so on of disorder, and with those concepts you are looking. Then you are looking at disorder extensively. But if you look without remembrance, without saying, 'That is disorder', but look like a scientist who says, 'I want to see what is happening there. I don't want to bring to it what I think should happen there.' I don't know if the scientists do it, but I am saying I hope they do. Then that very thing that you are observing undergoes a tremendous transformation.
Q: If there is looking without memory isn’t there no seeing of movement because..
K: That's it, there is no movement but only observation.
Q: Because the recognition of movement would be memory already.
K: Yes. Will you do all this? Test it out, actually in daily life. That is the art of living. Which is, having put everything in its right place, then there is no disorder. But if you put everything in its right place because it is convenient, because you think you will save energy, because you think you will have order, (laughs) then you are creating disorder. Right? Finito.