The movement of thought and becoming
When there is freedom
2nd Public Talk, Saanen
July 08, 1980
You must have a lot of courage to face this weather.
May we go on with what we were talking about on Sunday? We were saying that human beings have evolved for millions of years. Evolution implies time, not only physical time but psychological, inward time. Man has grown from the very beginning of time, of his existence, through various experiences, calamities, accidents, fears, anxieties and so on. Our brain has evolved in that direction. And I think no one can dispute that point. And so it has formed a pattern, a pattern, a mould according to which it lives. This pattern, this mould is the process of time, which is called evolution. And so the brain and the mind - both are the same - can never be free. I hope you are thinking over together, this is not a propaganda, or persuading you to think in a particular direction. We are thinking together, trying to find out the causes why human beings live the way we are living, though we have had million years of experience, sorrow, fear, pleasure and so on. We were asking yesterday, or the day before, why, what is the cause of all this terror, misery, confusion, uncertainty. And we were saying that one of the causes may be that from the very beginning man has sought security, not only in the environment, but also inwardly security. That may be one of the causes of this present calamity.
And also we said it may be that during all this evolutionary time man has cultivated the idea of individuality - the me and the you. The 'me' separate, struggling, fighting against you to survive. And that may be one of the causes of this present misery, confusion, and terror. And also we said one of the major causes may be thought itself. And we pointed out, where there is a cause there can also be an end to that cause. I think this we must clearly understand right from the beginning. A cause, a beginning, a motive, which has its own effect and that causation can continue all the time. And that cause can be ended. I think this is obvious if you go into it for yourself.
As we said yesterday on Sunday, if you have physical pain there is a cause for that pain. And that cause, that pain can be ended. Similarly, psychologically there may be a cause for our suffering, for our fears, anxieties, and so on. And that cause, if there is a cause, can be ended. This is a law, and you can't help this is so.
And we were asking yesterday, or the day before, what is the basic cause of all this confusion? Is there one cause or several causes? I do not know if you have gone into it and thought over it, or merely passed it by and have not given your attention to it to find out for yourself, but as we go along perhaps we shall be able to find out the one cause, or several causes. If there are several causes for our misery, is it possible to analyse these causes? Please go very carefully with me, we are thinking together, I am not telling you what to think. I am not doing any kind of propaganda. I am not the speaker is not persuading you in any direction. Because we must be free to observe and find out, and therefore there is no authority, there is no group, or sect, or person, who will tell you. We have to be so alert to find out for ourselves.
So we are saying: are there many causes for this, or there is only one supreme cause, which includes all other causes? You are following? We said, may be, one of the causes may be this constant desire for security, to be safe, to be protected, to feel that one is stable, without any uncertainty. And we said also there may be a cause, which is, man has always thought of himself as an individual, separate from the whole of humanity, and therefore he has built a wall of division between himself and the rest, and that may be one of the causes. And the other cause is, may be, thought itself.
So man and his brain and mind have been moulded through time, through what is called evolution, millions and millions of years. And time has not given him freedom. He may be free outwardly. He can go about from country to country, from job to job, from one business to another, certainly not in the totalitarian countries but in the democratic, so-called democratic society there is a certain amount of freedom, physically. But psychologically, inwardly, the mind which includes the brain, has been moulded through time, and therefore it is never, never free. And it may be one of the causes that man has made himself a prisoner psychologically and therefore there is no freedom for him to flower. Right? I hope we are meeting each other. Please, if I may ask, we are thinking together. You have to exercise your brain, your mind, your heart to find this out because if we don't, we are going to destroy each other. That is what is happening in the world. One nation becoming more important than the other, one tribe more important than the other, building up armaments - you know all the rest of it. Four hundred thousand million dollars in war every year. You understand the craziness of this?
So the brain, the mind, which are one, has never been free. And without freedom man cannot flower. He cannot possibly go beyond himself. And that may be one of the major causes of our confusion because inwardly we are not free. We have been moulded through time to certain patterns. If you have observed your own mind, your own brain in operation one can find out very easily that we have repeated a certain pattern, walked along a certain path for a million years. We have been brainwashed by the priests for two thousand years in the West, brainwashed in the East for perhaps three, four, five thousand years and more. So our brains are conditioned. Our brains are moulded according to a certain edict, sanctions - sanctions by the teachers, by the philosophers, by the priests. The priests acting between you and that. They are the saviours. Perhaps it was good at a certain time, in ancient Egypt, ancient Eastern civilisations, but now that kind of thing has become rather infantile.
So what is the cause of all this? Man technologically, intellectually, scientifically, in all those directions has evolved enormously. He has become extraordinarily clever, erudite, capable, not only to kill each other but to heal each other - medicine, surgery and so on. And as we pointed out the other day, science is trying to find through matter the ultimate. If you have talked with scientists it is so. That is, through matter, outside, and investigate, investigate, investigate, accumulate a great deal of knowledge about the outer, and hoping to find out through that the original, the origin of all this. The scientists are doing that.
The religious people say there is god. And that god has created this world. That god must be rather a miserable god, rather confused, corrupt god to make this world as it is. Or you have your own particular pet theory - the origin of all this. Intellectually conceived, intellectually comprehending the many philosophers, the theologians, the theoreticians of the Communists as well as the Christian theologians, and so on, you might have certain conclusions, opinions, judgements. But if you want to find out the origin of all this you must set aside everything of all that, obviously. And that demands not only a certain quality of strength, of perception, but it requires very careful observation, not analysis. Again, analysis is the pattern of time. We have analysed, analysed, analysed, not only the world outside of us but also philosophers, psychologists, psychotherapists have analysed our minds and have come to certain conclusions, certain concepts and so on. And we are conditioned by these people. And to find out what is the original cause of all this one must be free of all that, otherwise there is no freedom. Freedom is not to go from this village to that village, or freedom of choice in your job, freedom of speech, freedom of this and that, but real freedom lies when the mind and the brain, or the whole organism of psychological structure is free from all the patterns, from all the moulds, from all the impositions of others on our minds and heart.
So if you are serious, and I hope you are, and you must be, because of this coming and sitting here in spite of this awful weather, I hope you are serious enough to go into all this. It is not just this morning or the day before yesterday, but it will be a continuous enquiry, observation. Don't please say, 'I have heard him. I have understood', or 'He is talking nonsense', and walk out. One must have a great deal of patience. Impatience is time. Patience is not time. Patience means observation, close, careful, critical, step by step observation. That is real patience. In that observation there is no time. But if you are impatient to get on then you are running ahead without understanding the beginning.
So what is the cause of this misery? Is it the demand for security? Is it this illusion that we are separate, our brain is totally different from another brain, our minds, our behaviour is different from you and another? Or is it thought? There is no Western thought or Eastern thought. Thought is thought whether you live in Asia, Far East or Middle East or in the West, it is still thought. Maybe thinking in a particular way, or in a particular direction, in a certain pattern, but that is still thought. Whether that thought is employed, exercised in the East or in the West, it is still thought. Perhaps conditioned by the environment in the West or in the East, but it is still thinking. So is that the cause of all this? Because if you have observed historically, man has gone on through this, in this way of living: fighting each other, strife, conflict, unhappiness, anxiety, a sense of constant, abiding fear, and the pursuit of pleasure, suffering, and a flash of love, translated as sex, and the idea of compassion - which is merely an idea but not something living.
So we are going to, together - please we are walking on the same road together, I am not leading you, I am not telling you, I am not assuming any authority because, though I sit on a platform. And I really mean all this. So we are walking together to find out, not through analysis. We must go into this question of analysis. When there is analysis there is division. The analyser and the analysed. Right? The one assumes he knows and therefore he is able to analyse. Observe your own mind sir, this is happening all the time when we are analysing. In the process of analysis time is necessary. 'I may not be able to analyse clearly today but I am going to learn, acquire knowledge how to analyse' - and that implies day after day, month after month, or week after week and gradually learn the art of analysis. Analysis implies there is a division of the analyser and the analysed. Right? So there is constant interpretation between the two, inter-relations between the two, one judging the other - you are following all this? - one imposing his dictum on the other. All that implies not only time but a constant division between the two. Right? Right? Are we going along together, please?
And this division has been one of our conditionings that the analyser is totally different from the analysed. But is that so? Is not the analyser the analysed? Are we going along together? When I analyse my anxiety, I, in analysing that thing called anxiety, how do I know that it is anxiety? You are following all this? Because I remember the previous experience of anxiety, I have remembered that, it is stored up in my brain, and the next time that a reaction takes place I recognise it and say that is anxiety. So there is always this division constantly maintained. But the fact is, if you observe, when you are angry you are not different from anger. Only later on you say, 'I have been angry'. I wonder if you are following all this! Please - right? - can we go on? Encourage me. (Laughs) Don't encourage me! (Laughter).
So when one realises analysis maintains this division constantly, the I, the observer, is different from the observed - psychologically I am talking about, not that I am not different from the tree, I am different, but psychologically this division is the essence of conflict, the essence of trying to be something which you are not, and therefore struggle. That is the pattern in which the brain has lived. Right? And we are saying that process of analysis doesn't bring about freedom at all. On the contrary, it maintains constant conflict. And a mind, a brain, in constant conflict must wear itself out, it is never fresh, it is never flowering, but is in conflict along the same path. Are we together in this? Do we see this? I am afraid you won't because you may be analysts. It may be your profession. And when you are tied to something you have already entered the path of corruption. Right? You are following all this? Please don't be angry with me or upset. I am just pointing out the facts. Either you can look at the facts and act, or you say, 'It is too much for me. As an analyst I depend on my wife, responsibility, my children, my patients, my Cadillacs, my Rolls Royces, my - whatever car it is' - and carry on. But if you are serious in your enquiry into all this you must give your mind entirely to it.
So analysis prevents clear observation. To observe is much more important than to have an analytical mind. We have lost the power of observation, but we have cultivated the art of analysis. We never observe clearly what is going on in our minds and hearts without any distortion. And as our minds and hearts are so distorted, so corrupt, we think that corruption, that distortion can be straightened out through analysis. And therefore that analysis is never clearly seeing the importance of it, the significance of it because we are committed to it. It is like a man committed to a belief will never see himself how ridiculous it is.
So we are saying what is important is to observe the activity of our own minds and hearts. And that observation is prevented if there is any form of distortion, any form of direction, which means any motive. Therefore it requires an extraordinarily attentive mind. Right? Are we moving together? It may be something new, or something you haven't heard before, or you have read it in some book or other. You know it would be marvellous if you had read no book. Personally I haven't. If you have read no book at all, you have heard no preacher, no priest, no philosopher, no guru, and you can then come to it fresh, come to it so that you can observe your whole complete structure. But unfortunately we are all very clever people, well-read, or read sloppily, picking up a little bit here, a little bit there, a little bit there, and think, adding it all up and say, 'I have got some knowledge.' Whereas if you are observing - it is really marvellous if you can do it, because in that there is freedom to observe, and that is the essence of freedom. Without that you cannot possibly enter into all this.
I hope you are working as hard as the speaker is doing.
So we are saying: unless the cause is found there is no ending to the pattern. Right? What is the cause of all this, of human misery? That is, you are humanity - please see this - you are humanity, your brain has grown through a million years, it is not your brain, it is the common brain of man. Therefore you are the world, and the world is you. You are not Swiss, German, and all that nonsense. You are actually a human being, like those human beings in the Far East, starving, unhappy, brutally butchered, you are those who suffer, anxious, you know, you are all that psychologically. So your mind, your heart, is humanity. You are not separate. If you can understand this!
So we are saying: our mind is a common mind, common brain which has grown through time, and that brain and mind has functioned along a certain direction all these years - millennia. And we are going on in the same way, only modifying, adjusting, withdrawing, shrinking, expanding but it is the same direction. And when you see all this, how man is destroying himself and the earth and the air, and nature, the animals, one feels tremendously responsible. And what is the origin of all this? What is the cause of all this? Right? Let's move.
Is it thought. Thought is the movement from knowledge. You understand? Experience, knowledge, memory, thought, it is one movement. It is not first acquiring experience then knowledge, then memory, then thought; it is one unitary movement all the time going on, in the same direction. Right? Right sirs? Is that the essence, the real cause, not the individual, not this desire for security, but the very movement of thought that has brought about this present chaos in the world? Please enquire with me, don't agree or disagree, because then we can't meet. There is no communication if you disagree or agree. But if you are observing, moving, living then it is something vital. Thought has created marvellous things: the great cathedrals, the marvellous architecture, the great songs, poems, music, the extraordinary technology, the bomb, the atom, it is all the result of thought. The enormous accumulation of armaments to destroy each other, is the result of thought. And all the knowledge accumulated by the scientists is the result of thought. That is, if you are not thinking you cannot go to your home, you cannot speak language. So thought has an extraordinarily important place. But we are enquiring, observing, the cause of this misery of man, apart from the world of physical convenience, communication, telephone, and all the transportation - we are not talking about that, that is obvious. But is thought the essence of our misery? You understand? If it is, then can that end? You understand my question? Please join with me, don't go to sleep or yawn or scratch. Just please, give your attention to this.
You know any man who is suffering physically will do anything, will spend money, take a long journey, anything to get cured. But we don't seem to spend even half that time, or a quarter of that time, to enquire into all this - why human beings go through such agony of life, why life has become so dangerous, so utterly meaningless, as we are living. So is thought the origin of all this? And is thought the centre of all our existence? You understand? Our love, our affections, our remembrances, the creating of images, all that is the movement of thought. And our relationship with each other is the movement of thought. And thought, as we said, is the child of knowledge. If you had no knowledge you wouldn't be able to think at all. And knowledge is always limited. There is no complete knowledge about anything. There is a complete understanding of something beyond all this when knowledge comes to an end. We will go into that presently, much later. We are not selling something now for you to wait (laughs) and catch something later! But unless you follow this step by step it becomes very, very difficult to comprehend further. You understand? There is no complete knowledge about anything: about the universe, about astrophysicists - can't find it, the scholars, the philosophers, the gurus, all of them are based on knowledge. And that knowledge is incomplete. They may say, 'I believe in god who is supreme, omnipotent' and all the rest of it, 'and he alone knows complete knowledge, or the end of knowledge.' But we are not talking such nonsense. We are pointing out that knowledge is always limited because it is always within the shadow of ignorance. Right? Are we meeting each other? Please, come on sirs!
Even the greatest philosophers, the world specialists, the theoreticians, the people of the church and religion, they can never under any circumstances, unless they are foolish, claim complete knowledge. And so our thinking, which is born out of knowledge, is limited. Right? There is no complete thinking. So our actions then are limited. Our observations are limited as long as there is the functioning of thought. Right? If I observe you analytically, examining you analytically, then that analysis is the process of thought and therefore my observation and conclusion must be totally limited. Right? You are following this? It means a great sense of humility to observe. You understand, sir? Not 'I know, I will observe', but humility, that is, freedom from this certainty to observe. I will go into that presently.
So if thought is the origin of all this mess, and it looks like it - don't accept what I am saying - our misery, our war, the division amongst people, the division of religions, the division of professions, the division of this whole becoming is the movement of thought. I do not know if you have observed how in the physical world the man becomes a clerk, or a priest, or a foreman, or a business man, and is climbing the ladder. He is all the time becoming something, physically. The parish priest becomes the bishop, the bishop becomes a cardinal, archbishop, and the archbishop, the cardinal - becomes the pope. It is the same pattern physically repeated. Psychologically, inwardly, we are doing the same, becoming something all the time: 'I am not this but I will be that. I am not good but I will be better.' You understand? So this movement of becoming - please understand this - this feeling of becoming is the movement of thought in time. Right? And that may be the origin of all this mess. Everyone is trying to become something. Understand, physically, to become something - it is rather competitive, cruel, destructive, but one can see what is happening, and not go into that game. But to see it psychologically is quite a different matter. You hear this - please observe - you hear this, that is, psychologically you are becoming something all the time - conflict, conflict, conflict, struggle, fight, push. And that may be the cause of this destructive world in which we live.
Now, that becoming is the movement of thought. You are following this? I compare myself with you psychologically, I say, 'How intelligent you are, how affectionate, how considerate' - how this that and the other, and I am attempting to become that. Comparison is the movement of thought. Right? Va bene.
Sir, look I have stated this: now what does the mind do when you hear this statement? It doesn't observe immediately what is happening in yourself, but hearing a statement of that kind the mind makes an abstraction of it, into an idea and then you dispute about that idea. Whereas the actuality is different from the idea. The word 'suffering' is different from the actual suffering. Right? Now if you listen kindly to what is said, that the mind and heart and the brain - they are all one really - have been conditioned through time, through culture, through religion, to become something, and in this becoming there is competition, struggle, ruthlessness, violence and so on. When you hear that, is it an actuality to you, or an idea? You follow this? Is it an idea, or a fact? Because this is very important to understand this. Because our minds are always functioning in ideas, not with facts, psychologically, I am talking. Psychologically the brain immediately makes an abstraction of a fact, which is called the ideal and so on, so on, so on. Whereas if you observe, the fact is more important than the idea. And you can deal with the fact, you can do something about the fact, but you cannot possibly do something about an idea, except create more contention, different opinions about ideas and the ideologists and all the rest of it follows. But if you observe the fact, that is: the brain, the mind and the heart - it is all one - this mind is always trying to become something. That is a fact, not an idea.
Now just go slowly. Is the fact different from you who are observing the fact? You are understanding all this? The fact is each one of us in different ways is trying to become something, not only in the outer world but also psychologically primarily. Psychologically, primarily, inwardly affects the outer completely, not the other way round, which the Communists try to assert. If you observe, it is the other way round. They had marvellous theories, the Communists, at one time: having no government, no army, everyone was equal - and look what has happened! So ideas are the most destructive, not facts. The fact is this: and we are saying, is that the cause of all this misery of man? Which is, thought has built this structure, psychological structure, which is based on, be something other than what is. Right? Are you following this, sirs?
So if that is the cause, then is it possible to live in this world, psychologically without becoming anything? Which doesn't mean that you are what you are. You understand? Because what are you? You are nothing but becoming. I wonder if you see that! I am tired. Not tired, I am putting so much into this. (Laughs) Do you understand this sirs? That is, if you say I don't become anything, what am I? Then I might become a vegetable, do nothing. But have you ever enquired, gone into this question of not becoming anything? Which means the total ending of comparison, and imitation, conformity - psychologically. You follow? That is, if there is to be an end to the cause of this human global misery, and if that is the cause that each human being right throughout the world, whether he is living in a small little village, or on a most high, sophisticated thirtieth floor, they are still following the same pattern set through millennia. And if that is the cause it can be ended, naturally. Then what is man? You follow? Is he just nothing? Follow this carefully. In becoming are you something? You are following all this? Psychologically becoming something, you are nothing at the end of it. I wonder if you realise it. But we are afraid of that.
So if that is the cause, and a cause has always an ending, and is this becoming the movement of thought? I want to know myself - self-knowledge. See the fallacy of this. Sorry! (Laughs) I want to know myself and I begin to analyse, I begin to observe, I begin to question. The very observation, the very questioning, the very movement inwardly as it were, is still the movement of becoming. You have understood? I wonder if you see all this because this is really very we are coming to some very basic things. So any movement of the mind not to become or to become is the same. I wonder if you see this. Yes sir? Right? To become is the movement of thought. And you say, 'I see it and I must end it and become something else,' - it is still the movement of thought in a different direction. Right? So can that movement of thought end? Is this all too abstract? No, no, I don't deal in abstractions, personally. I have a horror of all that.
So my mind, the mind, the human mind - not my mind - your mind, the mind has followed this direction for centuries upon centuries, encouraged by the priests, by the philosophers, by the learned people, to know more, more, more, not only about yourself but outside. And if when somebody comes and says, 'Look what you are doing', then the idea that you must know yourself is, to pursue that path, which is again to learn about yourself, so as to become something, or to become nothing. So it is the same movement in both directions.
So the question is: can that movement end? You understand, sir? Come with me. Because if thought is the cause of all this misery then can thought not move in any direction? I wonder if you are all following this! So one must go into this question: what is thinking? Because thinking has produced that noise (noise of train), but thinking has not produced the noise of that stream. Thinking has produced wars, thinking has produced division in our relationship, the division based on - oh, for god's sake - and the image that you have built about each other, naturally. Right? That image is the result of time. You may have a husband or a girlfriend or boyfriend, whatever it is, immediately the brain has formed an image. The image is the factor of separation, which is thought operating. When you say, 'I remember you', it is the recollection, the remembrance of the past which has been registered in the brain, and then I remember you. The image is formed, which is thought, a symbol. A symbol, a myth is not actual. Right? When you cross yourself, all the symbols in the churches aren't the actual, are not the truth.
So, as we said, thinking is a movement in time because time is a factor of acquiring knowledge through experience, through incidents, through accidents, through communication and so on, it has acquired knowledge. That knowledge is the movement of thought. Right? I have an experience of meeting you yesterday, it is registered in the brain, I remember it and I say, 'You are that person'. So it is very simple if you go into it. So thought is matter. Right? Oh, lord! Because I have discussed this with some scientists, some of them agree, some of them don't agree, but it doesn't matter, I am just telling you - you can agree or disagree, it doesn't matter. Knowledge, which is always incomplete, is stored in the brain. The brain is matter. Right? The cells are matter, they contain the memories, therefore thought is matter. Now wait, watch this. Scientists are trying to find out through matter outside what lies beyond, if there is. But they never go inside themselves, which is, thought is matter. You are following all this? And enquiring through themselves if there is something far beyond all this. Not the imposition that there is god or That is too immature and too silly. But we are now trying to enquire through matter - you are following? I wonder if you follow all this! - through thought, which is matter, and through that matter to find out the source of all this. Right? You have understood?
Quelle heure est il?
Questioner: Il est midi moins vingt.
Krishnamurti: Midi? J'ai parle une heure?
Q: Andata una ora I dieci minuti.
K: Cinque minuti, au cora.
You understand sir? See what is happening - if you go into it. Scientists and such people are trying to find out what lies beyond all this. If you have discussed with scientists they will agree to this, even though the astrophysicists who are looking into the skies and heavens, still it is matter. And we are saying The scientists are operating through thought, but we are saying that thought itself is matter and if that matter which is me - I can enquire into myself which is much more factual, much more drastic, highly disciplined, requires a certain quality of discipline, then it is possible to go infinitely further. And I will show it to you how to do this. Not show it, you have to walk with it.
So if thought is matter and thought has built the whole psychological structure - right? - my anxiety, my fears, my despairs, depressions, my moods, my love, everything thought has built; my feelings, my romantic dreams, my day-dreams, everything is that. Which is difficult to admit for those people who are so-called religious because they start off that there is something spiritual in them right off - that they are souls, divine, this or that. But all that is thought - the higher consciousness, lower consciousness. (Laughs) According to the Hindus, the Atman, the Brahman, and all the rest, is still the movement of thought creating something outside. Like the Christians have done - the saviour, all that.
So if thought is the cause of all this misery, then what is the place of thought, we have described, then has it no other place? You understand my question? We said thought has a place, otherwise we couldn't talk to each other, otherwise you couldn't go home, you couldn't catch a bus, you couldn't do your job, and all the rest of it, which is based on knowledge, skill and so on. There it is necessary. Thought must function, more objectively, more impersonally, more clearly, more efficiently. But thought has no other place except there. Right sir? Because thought is building this psychological structure of 'me' who wants to become, or not become.
So is that possible, to live in a world without any movement of thought building a structure of becoming? You understand my question? Find out. Unless there is no psychological structure, unless it isn't there, you cannot go much further. You understand? That is natural, logical. As long as there is a centre which is accumulating and becoming, that very centre is the essence of thought. And a mind that is not free from the structure which thought has built psychologically, the mind cannot possibly go any further. It can play tricks, it can live in illusions.
So in our next talks and the rest of it, we are going to go step by step into the freeing of the mind from all the conditioning, from all the accumulation of ages which has corrupted it.
Right, finished, sirs. May we get up?