What is blocking us from change?
The essence of goodness is a mind that is not in conflict
4th Public Discussion, Ojai, California
April 19, 1979
Krishnamurti: Do you think it's worthwhile to have these discussions? Because apparently we never resolve any question but come to the very end of it. We have so many questions, each one saying what he wants to say; irrelevant. So could we, as this is the last discussion, could we talk ever together as two friends, a dialogue, and choose a subject which is common to all of us and go to the very end of it, step by step. Could we do that? Would that be worthwhile? Then please choose your subject.
Questioner: Continue with what we were talking about on Tuesday, about responsibility – let’s finish that.
Q: (Inaudible) love and freedom.
K: Could we discuss what we were talking about last Tuesday, responsibility, and also another suggests freedom, love and responsibility.
Q: I have no subject, but I have a question I would like to ask you, which I have written down and I gave today. So that you would hear it, I wrote it down. Maybe he would read it to you.
Q: He says: you have been talking to people for over fifty years, and also there are these schools, this one and those in other countries, in all of this time, out of this talking, out of these schools has there come about the total radical transformation of even one single human being?
K: You have had schools here in this country, Canada, England and five or six schools in India, and you have been talking over fifty years and has there been one single human being who has been transformed. Do you want to discuss that?
Q: Sir, could we relate to that a discussion of what is impeding our transformation? We are coming here and I think we are very many of us very serious in wanting to transform.
K: Would we discuss seriously what do you mean by transformation.
Q: What is impeding.
Q: What impedes the transformation.
K: What impedes - that he said - what impedes the transformation. What impedes human minds from really bringing about a mutation in themselves? Do you want to discuss that?
Q: May I make a suggestion, please. I appreciate the pioneering you have done – thank you. I am also a pioneer known as Cosmic Lady sometimes, and reflect the fact that the UFOs and the time travel and a new dawn is coming – a quantum leap in cosmic consciousness, and I would like to put those thoughts out into this great seed gathering, for discussion.
Q: She says, I am known as the Cosmic Lady. I am interested in such things as UFOs and the dawning of a new age. Could we bring that into the discussion.
K: You could. So do you want to discuss, talk over together, and go step by stop if we discuss anything together, to the very end of it. Which is, if you want to choose that subject: why is it or is it possible to bring about a radical transformation and what are the things that block us?
Q: In relation to that, can we talk about observation without the observer; the art of doing that.
K: That is a very good question: the art of seeing without the observer. Perhaps we can include that question, sir, in discussing what about if it possible to bring about a change and what is preventing us. Right? Shall we discuss this step by step and go to the very end of it? Not stop in the middle of it and talk about something else. Could we do that?
K: Right. At last!
Q: Sir, if it’s
K: Capacity and
K: Self-acceptance - I don't know what that means. Perhaps all these questions can be included in this. May we go?
K: First of all, what do we mean by change? What do we mean by bringing about a transformation or mutation in our consciousness? You understand? That is what it means. What does it signify, what is the meaning of change, mutation? They are all the same words - transformation. What do we mean by that? May I proceed a little bit?
K: Is it change if you know what you are changing into? You understand my question? If one knows what you must become, is that change?
K: Go slowly, sir, think it out carefully. If one has an idea, a concept, a conclusion, an end to which you conform, to which you change to, or from this to that, is that change? Or is it a continuation of the same thing but modified. You have understood my question? One may project what one should be. The projection of that is from one's own desire, from one's own belief, one's own demands, and you project that. And when you want to become that, you are becoming what you are, perhaps slightly modified. Is that clear? So, when we have an object or an end in view, projected by our own experience, from our own knowledge, from our own belief and conclusions and opinions, such movement is not change at all. Could we Let's talk that over before we take the next step.
If one says, 'I must change myself in order to be good', that goodness is a concept, is an idea, or a series of conclusions to which you are conforming, or to which you think you are changing from this to that. We are asking: is that change at all?
Q: (Inaudible) continuing of desire.
K: It is part, is it not, sir, a continuation of what has been. If one desires a new experience - I am taking that as an example - and strives after that experience, and when you do experience that thing after which you are striving, you must be able to recognise it, you must be say, 'This is the something which I am feeling, which I am experiencing'. Which means that you have already recognised it, and therefore recognition means that you cognise again that which you have already experienced. I wonder if you see that. Right? Are we meeting each other there?
Q: Sir, it’s very it’s easy – well, I can understand it intellectually and then it’s easy to deceive yourself as you are not doing that, and go on wasting a lot of time
K: I quite agree, sir. Therefore, do we see this fact as a fact, not as an idea? That to change from this to that, that being a projection of this, then it is not change at all. It is like moving always in the direction of north, going further and further and further but in the same direction, and therefore it is not change; but it is a change, a mutation when you are going north and you go diametrically opposite - south, or east or west. You have moved from one direction, from one dimension to totally another direction, another dimension. That is a change. But if you keep on going in the same direction, of course there is a modification, there is a change of scenery, change of experience, but it is in the same direction. Is that clear, sirs? Can we go on from there? Let's talk it over.
Q: We know what the mind does with that.
K: Of course, of course.
Q: It hears that and says, ‘OK, the change I want is to go south’.
K: Of course. Therefore find out, sir. Look: one is going north and you realise going the same direction is no change at all. So you say change then means going quite the opposite, which is south. But if you keep on going south it will be the same thing.
K: Just see. Just go slowly, slowly. Right? So one has discovered something very serious, which is to move to have no direction.
K: Just Go step by step, sir. First step is that one desires, one wants to change. That is a fairly intelligent demand, if one is at all aware. Then one asks what do we mean by change? Generally implied from the known, move in the direction of the unknown. I am using different words. I don't know what the unknown but I try to move towards it. But it is the same direction. So, to discover change implies not having any movement towards any direction. Which doesn't mean you stay in the same place. I wonder if you get this.
Q: Sir, you don’t necessarily stay in the same place but it seems like you have to stop or end.
K: All right. If you stop - you have been going north - and if you stop, why do you stop? To go in another direction?
Q: No, because going north is (inaudible)
K: Find out, sir. One stops going east, and if you stop going in that direction what takes place, actually?
Q: You cast about for another direction.
K: Yes. That is right, sir. You are looking for directions, whether it is south-southeast or south-southwest, and so on - always moving in a direction. And we are saying such movement doesn't bring about a change at all. See how very complex this is, first of all, and requires a little subtlety, which is: the mind has always moved in a lateral, horizontal or vertical, with all the degrees, variable degrees. Right? Is that clear? So it is now conditioned to move within that circumference - horizontal, linear, vertical, and the various degrees between linear, horizontal and vertical. That is what we are used to, and that is what we call change, and that is what we call progress. Right? I wonder if you see this.
Q: Does the mind have to move to take care of the biological process?
K: We will come to that, sir, we will come to that. First just see this, see the significance of this, the meaning of it, the inwardness of it.
Q: Is this not our habitual response to the outer and the inner?
K: I know. Of course, that's what we said. This is our life, this is the way we live. I am pushed in this direction one is pushed in this direction by various influences, desires, purposes, and if that isn't suitable, one is driven in another direction. And this constant movement from one degree to another degree is called progress, change, and all kinds of things - acquiring knowledge, moving. Right? So we are asking if that is change at all. We are discussing change in the sense, deep fundamental mutation, transformation, psychological revolution. That is what we are talking about. We must bear that in mind constantly.
Q: Is that what is called ‘satori’?
K: Now just a minute, sir. The moment you use the word 'satori' - the Japanese Zen meditation and experience - you are comparing, aren't you. When you say, 'Is that what you', you are comparing. Right? The moment you are comparing, you are not observing. You are caught in the movement of comparison. You are not seeing - if you will forgive me to point out - that you are not actually observing how our mind operates. You may call it 'satori', Indians may call it the Hindus may call it 'samadi' and various words, but that has no meaning. What has meaning is to see if one's mind is moving always in a certain direction - north, south, southeast, 300 degrees, or 150
Q: The trouble with the idea of not moving, not taking a direction and not standing still.
K: That is just it. Wait, sir - find out, find out. See what is implied in it. You know, sir, this is a very serious question because - I mustn't go into this too deeply, too quickly - if this is clear, that any directional movement is not change, is not mutation - the very word is something totally different. Is this clear? Can we go on from there? Sir, don't go not verbally - for yourself.
Q: Sir, it doesn’t seem clear because if we have no direction then don’t we become rather apathetic?
Q: If we have no direction then isn’t that apathy.
K: No. Wait, wait - listen to this. Isn't apathy going the same direction? No, see that, sir. You asked a question: if you have no direction don't you just collapse, isn't there apathy, no activity of energy. You see? Which means one is really apathetic when you are moving in the same direction. It is routine, mechanical. I have learnt a lesson, one has learnt a lesson and you keep on repeating it. One is a Freudian - carry on; a Gestalt, or some other latest psychologist, and you follow that line - much easier. But to say, look, let's find out if there is any possibility of movement - just listen to it - of movement in which there is no direction.
Q: The mind can’t
K: Ah, this is too much. You haven't gone into all this. This is too much.
Q: Sir, would enlightenment have anything to do with what you are talking about, that if we were aware that we already are a part of that which is, there is no direction
K: There is a danger in that, sir. That is what the Hindus have been saying for three thousand years, or five thousand: we are inwardly Brahman, God, the Highest Principle, and through various lives and experience we are going to peel off our ignorance till we achieve that ultimate thing. That is a supposition, that is a belief, that is an idea. And also it is directive. Right? This is really rather difficult. You have chosen rather a very, very difficult subject.
Q: What is the nature of direction?
K: Physical direction is: go towards Ventura, or Santa Barbara or Los Angeles - you take a road and go, because your house is there. There is a direction. And if you are educated, have degrees, that is a direction to get a particular job - professor, scientist, psychologist and so on, so on, so on. So, please, culturally we are conditioned to function in a direction, in a particular, or obscure, or meditative, or cosmic direction. Right? You become a first class engineer and for the rest of the life you pursue that. You are a brilliant physicist, and there you are - Nobel prize and all the rest of it - you follow that. And the religious groups have certain concepts - follow that. This is a very, very difficult subject you have chosen. If you want to go into it very deeply you have to apply your mind to this, not just romantic entertainment.
Q: Sir, doesn’t this mean that one has to be very aware of even the subtlest form of ideal or idea
K: Of course, sir, of course. So we are asking: transformation implies, does it not, uprooting that which has been. Not modifying that which has been.
Q: Are you implying that we cannot know change?
K: That's right. The moment you are aware that I have changed, you are not changed. That's the beauty of it, if you see this.
Q: There is no pleasure
K: No, sir. Haven't you noticed the moment you say, 'I am very happy' - have you not noticed this? Something has escaped from you.
Q: Sir, what we call growth, it actually dissipates the capacity for transformation.
K: Yes, sir. There is biological growth - right? - from the child to adolescence and manhood and dying - the whole process. You see, you have got something terribly difficult you have entered into, which is: there is biological process of evolution, the cultivation of the mind, the brain. And that perhaps, that idea that man grows from childhood to adolescence and so on, that may be our idea of change too. You follow? Being a child, growing into So psychologically you may have the same idea. And this biological growth and evolution and decay will also have psychologically the same thing. So we are saying transformation implies non-movement as time and measure. You see
Q: (Inaudible) to measure and direction. Could we talk a bit about time?
K: Yes. I am coming to that, sir. Just first see. We are always measuring, aren't we? - I have been, I shall be. Right? I don't know if you have gone into this. Lord! The whole Western philosophy and psychology is based on measurement, both technologically - right? - if you have no measurement you can't produce a man-of-war, or an aeroplane. You must have the rule, the measurement. Right? The whole of the Western civilisation is based on that. Because thought is measurement. Right? Do you see that? Anything that moves from here to there is a measurement. Is this too difficult?
K: Sir, this is the real meaning of meditation if you go into it. This is too difficult.
So, the Eastern world has also said in the ancient days, measurement is illusion. To discover the immeasurable there must be no measurement. I don't know if you've gone - naturally. But they employed thought to achieve the immeasurable: you must control, you must meditate, you must sacrifice, you must behave - all pattern laid down through measurement, which measurement is thought. You are following all this? I wonder if this
Q: It seems to me at least, sir, that they (inaudible) a sort of physical measurement is necessary, that...
K: Of course physical measurement is necessary. To build this chair you must have measurement.
Q: And when I think I am religious I might quit measuring to build a chair.
K: Oh, no, no, no. Religious man may measure and build a chair. No, you are mixing up so much. That is why, sir, you are not thinking consecutively. That's the worst of it.
Q: It seems that the nature of thought is movement from the past to the present, this comparison.
K: Look, sir, we started out asking: what is change? As long as there is the more, which is measurement, the comparison which is measurement: I have been, I shall be - is a measurement. Right? So long as there is this faculty of the mind to move from this to that and to that and to that and to that, which is a continuation of measurement, there cannot be change.
Q: As long as there is the faculty there cannot be change?
K: No, no, I didn't The faculty of measurement. You are entering something which
Q: Don’t you mean the faculty of psychological measurement?
Sir, all right, let's
Q: When you use ‘faculty’, is faculty part of thought?
K: Of course. Look, sir, one wants to change because one sees that one is ignorant. You may have a great deal of knowledge of outward things - how to go to the moon, and create a bomb, and build a man-of-war, or become an excellent plumber, electrician or a physicist - one realises that is fairly that must be done. And also one says to oneself: how am I how is one to change? And what does it mean to change? That is what we are concerned with. What does it mean to change? And we have always changed from this to that, from that to that. In the same direction. That is clear. Right, sir? Whether the direction be north, south, east, west or south-southeast or south-southwest, it is always directional. Right? Now, is that change? We think it is change. But is that basic change? Or that is not change, but to have a mind that has no directional movement at all, but has movement. I wonder if you get this.
Sir, look, we expend our energy in a particular way - sexual, ambitious, competitive, greedy, engineering, success. Right? And we are saying all these have not changed man. Right? Would you agree? They have modified - they build better roads, better cars, better aeroplanes, better way to kill, and so on, so on, so on, so on - but psychologically, inwardly man has not changed. He has been afraid from the ancient of days till now. He has been violent from the ancient times till now. He has been envious, brutal from immemorial time. So man has not changed deeply. And one asks why. Right? Man being you and I - human beings - why? Is it because he has always considered movement must be directional; growth must be directional. It is biologically: plant an acorn, it will be an oak. It will take time. So, why has not man, human being, changed fundamentally? I am asking you why.
Q: Is not the block that the mind is in constant movement? It thinks it has to move.
K: Madame (Inaudible) Why haven't you changed?
Q: Because we haven’t wanted to.
K: Oh, you have plenty of energy. When you want something you get it, whether it is sex, money, position, anything you want, you have immense energy.
Q: Sir, she said because we haven’t wanted to. We haven’t changed because we haven’t wanted to.
K: If you wanted to, what will you do? It comes to the same thing, you see.
Q: You wouldn’t know it if it did happen.
K: Sir, look: if you wanted to changed what will you do? I am asking you. You would exercise will. You would say, 'Well, I must achieve that', which means you have already move in the direction - which you have done for a thousand years.
Q: Sir, isn’t part of the difficulty that the thing which moves in a direction does not observe its own movement?
Q: You see, the explanation that you give is tremendously clear – it seems very obvious. And yet there is something in
K: I'll show it to you in a minute. We are going to go into it step by step. We said, what is it that is blocking us?
Q: Wanting to change is one of the first blocks to change.
K: Then you accept what you are.
Q: You can’t do that either.
Q: So what we’ve said is that the only thing we know is that we don’t change, what is not change.
K: Madame, that is what I am asking you. Why you, human being, have not changed? You are not meeting the point. Find out, sir, look, look. You may smoke. That has become a habit - nicotine and all the rest of it. And you know it is very harmful to your health, for your brain, for your heart but you still go on. And you don't say, now let me observe why I don't drop it. If you drop it because of your health, because of some other reason, you are not actually dropping it. Right? You may drop the cigarettes but the motive is not to change radically, it's changing - just drop a cigarette. (Laughs) You understand what I am trying to
Q: Could you explain that a little better?
K: A little better. All right. Why do you smoke? It must have tasted for the first time rather unpleasant. Right? But people around you smoke. It tastes perhaps good - so the commercials say so. So first you smoke and it is unpleasant and then you get in the habit of it. Then doctors come along and say it is very bad for your health, for your lung, cancerous, for your brain it dulls, etc., etc. All the doctors are saying this. And for what reason will you drop smoking? You are frightened and so you say, 'By Jove, I will have pain therefore I mustn't smoke'. But the desire to smoke may be stopped, but you have other desire - you are following? - which has its own habits. So you are always moving - we come back to the same point - you are always dropping one thing, picking up another, and this is the modern world. Go from one guru to another, one better guru than the other, or one religion better than the other, one sect is better than the other, and so on and on and on. But it is always from one centre to another centre. Right? Is this clear? Let's move, sir.
So we are saying any movement of thought projected in a particular direction, and achieving that end is not basic transformation of man.
Q: What you are saying implies that someone has to be able to stand completely alone.
K: No, leave the word 'alone', for the moment.
Q: What you are saying is we mustn’t look for gratification?
K: Yes, sir. (Laughs) No, you see then you have reduced it to such a little affair - gratification. Why do you want to be gratified? Who is to gratify? You follow? Why do you So, sir, let's proceed, otherwise we come to
So change implies non-movement of thought. This is - you see. Right? Because thought says, 'I want that'. I have had that had sufficient, 'I must have that'. And so it is constantly moving from this to this to this to this. And that is what we call change, generally. And we are saying no, that is not change at all. Change implies when thought has no object towards which it is moving. It has projected enlightenment - right? - god, whatever it has projected and says, 'It must be achieved', therefore I must sacrifice, I must do this, I must do that, but it is in the same direction.
Q: One can see that this is what one has done, moved in direction, and one can see that movement in direction is all the same, and yet...
K: Wait, wait. Is that so? Have you seen it verbally, intellectually, or as truth?
Q: Apparently one has not because...
K: That's the point. Let's stick to that. Why? You say - may we talk to each other? - you say, I see verbally, intellectually clearly this thing.
Q: And I can also see factually that this is what I did do in the past.
Q: That’s a fact.
K: That's a fact. And I say, what prevents why don't you see it as a whole, with your whole being? What prevents you?
Q: It seems to be, that at the moment of movement there is no awareness of movement.
K: Yes, go on, sir, explain a little more.
Q: At the moment that the movement in a direction is taking place, there is no awareness that this is movement.
Q: You mean there is no awareness of direction when the direction is taking place.
K: I am not sure.
Q: There is no centre.
K: I am not sure what you are saying. I am not saying you are wrong, but I am not sure. Which is, I want one wants to be a congressman and, you know, you work for it. You know the direction you want to go, you are aware of all the implications, all the mischief, etc., etc. - you are going in that direction. You also want to be enlightened and you read books and you study what is implied and you say, to achieve to enlightenment I must do certain things - celibacy, poverty, etc., etc., etc. So you conform to that pattern, if you want that. And you know you are deliberately doing this.
Q: At the very moment of wanting it...
K: you may be unaware of it.
K: Because - you have understood his question? - at the moment of wanting enlightenment - I am taking that word; please, that word has lost its meaning - every Tom, Dick and Harry of a guru talks about enlightenment, so it has lost its vitality, its depth, its beauty. So we will use that word as it is used commonly - enlightenment. Now, you seek enlightenment, one seeks enlightenment. What was the cause of the search? You may be conscious of it, or unconscious of it. Right? So before you move towards enlightenment obviously a sane man asks, why do I want it? What is the reason? Am I bored with life? Am I bored with my job? Am I bored with my wife, my girlfriend, and so on, so on, and I want something I have experienced so many things but this may be totally different kind of experience, so I would like that. So consciously or unconsciously there is the cognisance of this movement. You may not be actually aware of this whole structure of this movement, but obviously, whether one is aware or unaware, this movement takes place from wanting from being this, that. So you cannot, if I may point out, one cannot possibly say one is not aware of it.
Q: Krishnamurti, I appreciate and accept how you are using the concept of change, but I myself as a self-conscious time traveller in an earth body believe that at any given moment millions of things on many levels are birthing and dying, metamorphosing, and that we are now coming to an age or time – and there are no coincidences – where the great mind of time and space is coming through us, but we have to know how the wisdom works.
Q: So the transformation from mankind is coming to a great leap of incredible wiseness on the planet, where we stop having wars. But I hear how you are saying – I believe we can’t be too simplistic anymore...
K: Right, sir?
Q: We are aware even though
K: Sir, it's like
Q: Just a minute. We are aware, you say, even though we may be unconsciously aware.
Q: You see my difficulty?
K: I understand, sir, I understand.
Q: Do you know what that means, sir?
K: Yes. That means you are being driven in a particular direction without knowing. Wait, see the danger of what you are... You are being coercised, pressurised, driven, brainwashed - any word - in a particular direction.
Q: It is like when we become angry, at the moment of anger you are not aware, it is only after you say, ‘I was angry’.
K: Yes, that is right. But we are talking of something different from that. That is, sir, don't you know when you are greedy?
Q: Yes. Afterwards.
K: No, wait. See the reaction. You see something in the window and you want it. What has taken place? The seeing of that dress, that trouser, that coat, that car, that woman, that man, or whatever it is - seeing, the sensation, the contact and say, 'I like that, that's exciting'. Which is, thought creates an image, you sitting in the car and driving. You follow? This whole movement is obviously either it is so quick or you observe as it is arising. That is seeing, contact, sensation, thought creating the image, you in the car and driving - all that is so quick.
Q: No, one can see that.
K: Yes, if you observe. If you are very aware of this movement then you can see how it arises. And also you can see the moment the thought comes in with its image the trouble begins.
Q: So there’s nothing further than that?
Q: The seeing.
K: I am only saying, the seeing, the contact, sensation, if that is all then it is very simple. But the moment thought takes over and creates the image, then you want.
Q: I understand that, but you said before that we may be unconsciously aware. Now, you just described...
K: Unconsciously aware in the sense one is not aware of the quickness of this movement.
K: It takes over so quickly. In a second it is there. But if you slow down the process...
Q: Having the energy.
K: Slow down the whole process, then you see, like cinema, like the movie, the film, you can turn it very fast or very slowly, then you will see everything in action. That is all I am pointing out.
Q: Slowing down with a motive; if I slow it down with a motive I won’t slow it down.
K: Of course. I'm just
Q: That’s what happens.
K: Of course. The moment you So let's move.
Q: In slowing down, does the thing that moves become aware of its own movement?
K: Yes, sir.
Q: Which means watching.
Q: How do you slow it down?
K: Sir, there is no - look, there is no 'how', because the moment you have a 'how' you have fallen into a system, you have fallen into a direction, you are lost. You have begun the same game again. But see, sir - look, I want to see something, one wants to see a picture of a painting. One goes to a museum and sees some painting, and you want to see the whole of it so you look very, very carefully don't you? Every part of it - detail, by detail, different depths, different quality of colour and the movement of colour and so on, you watch, slowly you watch it and then you go further back and see the whole thing. There is no slowing down because you want to see the details. You understand? Therefore there is no effort made to slow down. You want to see it clearly, that's all.
Q: How does one observe emotion?
K: No, one can't observe the motion. You are asking a question which is
So, we are talking about change. Why haven't you changed? What is the block, blockage, the impediment that prevents you from changing? That is the question we are asking, let's stick to it. Is it fear?
Q: Fear of the unknown.
K: Is it laziness? Is it the mind has so conformed to a pattern of living that it refuses to Says, 'This is all right, why do you want to change it?'
K: Because change might imply insecurity. Therefore you say, 'No, sorry, I can't be insecure'. You follow? There may be many several reasons for not changing. And the reasons are fairly logical, fairly clear, and so you say, 'Please, what is wrong?'
Q: Does that mean then that we don’t actually see the danger of it? The danger that if we dared there would be an immediate change.
K: Sir, isn't it very dangerous, the way we are living? To the things of the earth, to the things of the air, to the things of the sea, isn't it dangerous the way we are living?
Q: (Inaudible) there is no love.
Q: Are we afraid of dissolving ourself and losing ourself?
K: Yes, sir! We are so selfish that we don't want to change. That is the basic reason. You see, you don't If you go into this very carefully, a great many things are involved in this extraordinary thing if you go into it. Which is, first of all, to live without any comparison. Right? Can you live without any comparison? - both physically as well as psychologically. Find out what it means to compare. Which is, one is this, the example is perfect, I must become that. Or compare oneself with something higher, both economically, socially, physically. Right? This comparison is measurement, isn't it. So stop measuring. Can you? (Laughs) You can't do it. Never to compare. See what happens to a mind...
Q: Sir, the ‘never’ is here though. The ‘never’ is here. When you say ‘never’, the ‘never’ is here, happening now.
K: Don't compare. Finish it.
Q: There’s no direction.
K: Don't compare. I am taking that example. See what that means. What is implied, what a mind is that has no sense of comparison. We think through comparison is evolution, growth, progress, change. We say, on the contrary, comparison is merely a projection in the same direction: 'I am this, I must become that'. Right? The example of nobility, greatness, spiritual, and all the rest of it. To have no sense of comparison. Doesn't that bring a tremendous freedom?
Q: Does that bring about absolute equality?
K: Sir, this country has talked about equality of opportunity, equality democratically, equality in justice - right? - and this country has great sense of outward equality. You can go up to a man and say Or you can, being a very small person, you can become the President, or whatever it is. Equality is much more deeper than that, isn't it? Go on, sir, think it out. Psychologically you are not equal to another, are you? You think you are somebody else. So there is vanity. So, equality can only exist in goodness. Goodness is it has no division. So let's leave that for the moment.
Q: Did you say non-comparison is better than comparison? You say that as comparison.
Q: Sir, look: in a school when you compare A with B, what happens to A? You destroy A, don’t you? You are always telling him, ‘You must be more clever, you must be like B who is clever, who is bright and active, and you are lazy’ – fight, compare, competition. So, if you don’t compare what takes place? You have never tried these things.
Q: The mind doesn’t move in that direction anymore.
K: So what takes place?
K: No, no. You are too quick. You don't investigate. You compare, don't you, sirs? Don't you? No? You are all so silent. Don't you? Obviously. Now if you don't compare, what takes place?
Q: No, confusion. Confusion, because you see without guidelines.
Q: We have to look at everything by itself.
K: Sir, look: if you don't compare, that is a change, isn't it?
Q: A space.
K: Don't compare. That is an absolute change, because your minds have been comparing, comparing, comparing. And knowledge is comparison too - more knowledge, less knowledge, the professors with their immense knowledge - history, physics, biology and so on - great knowledge. Knowledge is progressively comparative.
Q: We compare ‘what is’ with our knowledge.
K: Yes. I am... But you compare one material with another material. Quite right, you should - one is poorer than the other. If you have the money you choose the better, and so on. But we are talking psychologically, not to have this burden of comparison.
Q: That’s equality.
K: You don't even do it and find out, you just
So when you don't compare you have stopped wasting your energy in a particular direction, haven't you? Right? You have that energy. So what takes place? So, you have discovered that when you drop completely comparison you have this immense energy.
Q: The mind becomes quick.
K: Quicker, alive.
Q: The question is, if we don’t take that energy and waste it
K: Wait, wait, madame, you are too quick, you don't do the thing step by step. As we said, go slowly, you will discover things for yourself, which is important. Not what I have discovered and tell you - that is silly. But to discover all these things for oneself, firsthand.
Q: As soon as the idea of non-comparison comes in, it sets up a whole new chain of comparison, between the mind that is comparing and that which has suggested by you as non-comparison.
Q: He says, we make an idea of non-comparison.
K: Of course, of course.
Q: It sets up another sequence of comparison.
K: Of course, of course. Sir, when you go to a museum and watching several pictures - Picasso, Michelangelo - Picasso a little bit I withdraw Picasso (laughter) - Michelangelo and so on, so on, so on - when you are all the time comparing you never observe one completely. Because in comparison, when you are comparing, somebody has told you this is a better painter than that, and you want to accommodate yourself to the better, to the man who specialised in pictures, he says, 'This is the best picture'. So you are conditioned - you follow? - by propaganda, by other people and so on, so on. So you never look at a picture completely, forgetting who has painted it. In the same way, if you are always comparing you never look at yourself completely. Right? You understand, sir?
Q: So are you saying that as long as there is comparison there is division?
K: Not only division but there is never total observation of the thing which you are looking at.
Q: Do you have full acceptance then?
K: Sir, let's proceed. What is blocking you, each one of us, from change, radical change? Is it we are always dealing with parts? You understand, sir? Or, taking the whole structure of our psychology and ending it. Not bit by bit by bit, taking one part after another. Is that one of our difficulties?
Q: It seems that the self can take refuge anywhere, and that as one moves step by step, dealing with an aspect here, an aspect there, the self will take refuge somewhere else.
K: Yes, sir. So it will take the rest of your life.
Q: In fact it will never take place.
K: That's right.
Q: So how can we move to the centre?
K: I am going to show you something that...
Q: In relationship, sir, not just in retrospect.
K: In relationship, sir. What is your relationship with another? Intimate or not intimate. Be actual, you know, put your teeth into it to find out. Is it sexual? Is it comfortable? Is it convenience? Is it that you are using another for your own benefit? Is it that it gives you satisfaction, fulfilment, a sense of wellbeing because being together and so on, so on, so on? Which is, we are exploiting each other. Is that it? See, you are all too frightened to go into this.
Q: But it is only another fragment, another aspect.
K: Wait, sir, I am going to show you something. That is only part, isn't it? Now, just look. Observe the part, and go through the part completely to the end, and then you will cover the whole. Look, I will go into it. Take relationship, go into it thoroughly.
One is related to another through attraction, sex, convenience, comfort, encouragement, escape from loneliness. So all these and other reasons make you attached to a person or to a thing. That is, you have a great longing, because you feel lonely, desperately depressed by yourself - right? - and you do not know how to solve that, so you accept another to escape from this. Right? That is, you are the centre always from which you are moving. Right? That is clear, isn't it? Are we meeting? That is, you have an image of your own loneliness, your own anxiety, your own sense of importance, your own impediments, your own inhibitions and so on, so on, so on, and you do not know how to solve this, inside you, and so you either go off to somebody to help you to solve it - psychologists and so on and so on - or you get attached to somebody to escape from this.
Now, we are saying, go through the part - this is only a part, relationship - go through a part completely to the very end. That means not theoretically, not verbally but actually end your attachment completely. You follow? Completely end it. Face wholly your loneliness. That may be why you got into sexual habits, and to escape from the loneliness that becomes the pattern, mechanical. So, face this extraordinary sense of loneliness.
K: Yes, sir!
Q: You say go slow...
K: I am doing it, I am doing it. I have taken one part, relationship - right? - and I am going through that part. We say, I am related; is it because I am lonely, I am frightened to be, I want comfort, I want somebody to help me? You follow? Psychologically, all this. I need a postman, I need a plumber, I need - that is not what we are talking about.
So, through the part, if I can go step and drop it as I go along, not just theoretically play with it and carry on. Drop it. Seeing I am lonely I am going to understand what this thing is: lonely, to be lonely. Why am I lonely? Is it all my activities are self-centred? - my seeking god, my seeking a position, power, my seeking clairvoyance, my desire to heal others. You understand? Is this all a means of avoiding actually what I am? Which is my extraordinary sense of idiocy - I am taking that. My vanity. So if you can drop those things actually, then what? Then I have discovered a state in which there is no direction at all. There is only dropping away of everything that I have held. You understand what I am talking about? Can you do this?
I have held one holds a furniture, a piece of furniture, and you identify with that piece of furniture and you are that furniture. I was told by a lawyer once, a man and a woman were seeking a divorce and they had been wrangling, wrangling about this and that, this property, that property - you know, they go through all that mess. And they had settled most things, and the last day the woman said, 'I must have that' - it was an ashtray. And they fought over it, over it. And the woman wanting, the man wanting the ashtray. It was an ashtray - you understand? - nothing important. So the lawyer took the ashtray and broke it. You understand all this? We are petty, sir.
So we are saying, change implies a state of mind that is not moving from a centre to another centre. Right? Can you do it? That is, a centre which is lonely and moving to a centre which is not lonely. Right? You understand this? The centre is lonely, and to move to a centre which is not lonely is still the movement of loneliness. Just see that. See the truth of it. If you see that, then you enquire why this loneliness. Is it that my actions are self-centred, which are isolating me all the time? You understand, sir? You follow all this? I am ambitious, I am greedy, I want this, I want that, I must have this - all that, in the world outwardly and inwardly. So, the essence of loneliness is this movement of isolation. Right? So, is there an action which is not self-centred? Right?
Q: Are you asking that now?
K: Yes, sir!
Q: One of the things that slows us down, our need for security. Doesn’t that slow us down?
K: Yes. No, wait a minute, sir, this is an important question, again. You must have physical security, obviously - clothes, food, shelter. But security we mean not only that, but inwardly we want security.
And we never question whether inwardly there is security at all. Inwardly one has found security in a belief - right? - in god, in some fanciful idea. Is that security? You may find security in your wife, in your girlfriend, or in your husband, boy. Is that security? And when you have security in a person, see how dangerous it is. If you have sought security in that woman or in that man then you become attached, jealous, angry - you follow? - the whole agony begins. Don't you know all this?
Q: If there is no security then there is no need for security.
K; That's right, sir. When you see psychologically there is no security, the very seeing is intelligence. Right? Obviously. In that intelligence there is tremendous security, not in this...
Q: Sir, you asked if there is an action that is not self-centred. Could we return to that question? The only action I know that is not self-centred is surrender.
K: Now, just a minute, sir. The only security, he says, is to surrender.
Q: The only action which is not self-centred is to surrender.
K: Yes, sir. That's what I understood, sir. The only action that is not self-centred is to surrender. Right? Surrender to what?
Q: To everything.
K: Ah! What?
Q: To the fact.
K: Wait, sir. Look. Careful. Go into it slowly, sir, don't... The Christian world has said surrender to god. See the danger. Which is, surrender to the idea of god, surrender to what people have said about god, Christ - you follow? - surrender. So I am asking: to whom are you surrendering?
Q: The higher being within you.
K: The higher being - you see, that is you have created the higher being.
Q: What about to ‘what is’?
K: I am concerned at 'what is' - it is there. You don't surrender to the sunshine - marvellous. You see, we use words that are so meaningless when you examine it.
Q: Perhaps we should discuss this in terms of psychological pressure.
K: Are we, in discussing the psychological pressures, are we having a dialogue about why human beings don't change? Sir, all right, take that one fact of pressure. Are you being pressurised by the speaker here?
K: Go carefully, sir. Are you being pressurised? Are you under pressure by the government, by institutions, by your education, by your priests, by your gods, by your beliefs? By the newspapers? So can you be free of pressure?
Q: You will be pressurised by external circumstances. That’s not going to go away.
K: No, wait. Yes, maybe pressure you may have pressure because you are in a crowded city or in an underground, tube, or whatever it is called. So physically, but psychologically. Come, sir, can you be free of pressure? From your wife, from your husband, from your girl, from your own urges? After all your own desire is a tremendous pressure.
Q: Yes. You can be freed of that pressure psychologically.
K: Are you saying you are free from psychological pressures?
Q: No, that is why I am here.
K: He's not. Therefore what will you do when you realise - please, just take this - when you realise that you are under pressure by your wife or girlfriend? Will you stop that pressure? Or your own sexual demands or your own loneliness. Say, 'Well, I can't'.
Q: Is there an action which is not self-centred?
K: I am doing it, sir. This is one of the Pressure is one of the activity of self-centre.
Q: Perhaps you could be indifferent (inaudible)
Q: I flick the pressure back into myself. I seem to flick the pressure in actual relationship
K: You see, sir, we never - if I may point out, sir, I hope you don't mind, if I may point out - we never look at a thing, at ourselves without saying, 'I am a...' - look, just look. You follow? I am attached - all right. Let me look at it. Let me find out what it means. You say, 'No, I mustn't be attached, or I mustn't' You understand? We are always moving away from that thing.
Q: But when I look I don’t see anything. There is nothing there.
K: Find out, is that so? You see, sir, mutation implies non-movement of the activities of the self. Which means all measurement as comparison, measurement of the more - you understand? - the more, the less, the desire to fulfil - all that is movement in measurement. So, a mind that has no measurement of any kind, that doesn't say, 'I am ignorant, I am going to be enlightened'. So find out, sir. Slow down the whole mechanism of thinking, and observe.
Q: (Inaudible) not with pressure.
K: Just observe.
Q: Which means that all our activity ceases.
K: Oh no. No, then activity may begin. Our activity is completely destructive when it is self-centred - obviously. Look what is happening, sir, all over the world.
Q: But at the moment of observation, doesn’t the activity of the mind...
K: Activity, sir, that again is a very difficult - we must first find out what action is. What is action? Do we act from a centre? From a belief, from a concept, from a principle, from an ideal? Which is always a centre. Right? Do we act from that? And the nobler the principle - which is still the centre - we think that is extraordinary. So there is action without the centre.
You see, sir, let me put it differently, if you don't mind listening. We consider all self-centred action positive. Right? Achievement is a positive thing. We create a dynamo which is very positive. And to be psychologically active and act from a centre, to be a businessman, to be this or that, is very active, positive action, which has resulted in chaos in the world. Right? In misery, confusion. So, there is an action which is non-positive. I wonder if you see this.
Q: Isn’t that surrender?
K: No, sir, I explained. You are sticking to the word 'surrender'.
Q: Is observation part of this?
K: Pure observation without any movement is action. Observation is action. If one observes very clearly attachment, watch it, not do positive action about it, through negation - negation is the most positive, not the other.
Q: When one is observing, totally observing, that action, is that the end of all that activity?
K: Yes. So, have you changed? At the end of an hour - is it?
Q: One o’clock.
K: After an hour and a half, have you caught the truth that change is non-movement in any direction? Right, sir? Even intellectually grasp? That means, change implies absolute observing 'what is'. You understand? Observing one's greed, one's loneliness, despair, depression, watching it without any desire to change this or that, just watching. Sir, you are watching this shade. You can't change the shade. You can't change that shadow. But we want to change the shadow which is ourselves. Just to watch it, and then the very watching of it is the ending of it. Of course, obviously.
Q: Krishnamurti, what if we have been living in a dream and the nightmare is dying and a new beginning is coming, one where we the people take care of each other. What do you think about that possibility? It is now becoming a dream where we take care of each other and our planet.
K: You are living in a nightmare, when do we take care of one another. Only when we know how not to be selfish. Right? Aren't we taking care of each other now? Not physically, but aren't we together taking care for physical ugliness psychological ugliness?
That's enough, sirs.