What it means to be totally aware
Can the mind be free of every motive to investigate?
1st Public Discussion, Saanen
July 27, 1977
Krishnamurti: We are going to have a dialogue about any subject. Dialogue implies conversation between two people, people who are concerned about serious things. It is not an intellectual game, or idealistic exchange, or exchange of mere ideas, but rather it is a conversation - I hope friendly - between us. So what shall we start with?
Questioner: Sir, I am a student confronted with theories, activities, speculations and my mind is occupied with this during eight to ten hours a day. And I have a great passion to live a simple life, a life with beauty, among all these complex circumstances. Is that possible?
K: Right, sir. The questioner says - I don't know if I need to repeat it, must I?
K: All right. The questioner says that he is a student dealing with theories, ideas, speculations, and he wants to lead a very simple life, a life of beauty, quietness and fairly simple. How is this to be managed. Any other questions?
K: I can't hear, sir, sorry, but if somebody hears it, will you repeat it to me, please?
K: Are you saying, sir, many philosophies and teachers say that suffering is necessary. Is that it? All right. That is one question. Another?
Q: Is it possible to look at the psychological and physiological state as one movement?
K: Is it possible to observe the physiological as well as the psychological states as one movement. Obviously.
Q: Sir, you said the other day that we should keep our discontent alive. Later on you also said that we should be able to live so that we have no conflict. I can’t quite understand each of the two parts and I can’t take them as one.
K: I didn't hear the first part of the question.
Q: First you said we should keep our discontent alive, and the other day you said
K: No conflict.
Q: no conflict.
K: To keep discontent alive without conflict. Is this possible? Or one day you said be discontented and also - in the next talk - live without effort. How do you bring this about, together?
Q: Why is it so difficult to be totally aware?
Q: How can a person die to all attachment and function in the material world?
K: How can a human being unattached totally, is it possible to function in this world. Is that enough?
Q: What do you mean by responsibility?
K: I think that is enough. May we start with these few questions together and go on with them, should we?
One wants to live a simple life, uncomplicated, and yet at the same time a beautiful life. But being a student, who is concerned with ideas, speculations, theories and so on, how is this possible? That is one question. The other is: what is responsibility, what do you mean by that word 'responsibility'? And another is, one day in one of your talks you said one must keep this discontent alive, and in another talk, there must be no effort. Is this possible? And how is one - not how - is it possible to be totally and completely aware? Right? Now can we start with that.
I think if we could talk over together as a dialogue, what does it mean to be totally aware, and I think we can then ask the question of responsibility, being a student how to live a life of simplicity amidst the world of theories, ideas and so on. And the other question which is, conflict and discontent. Can we start? Would you object to that, sir? Would any of the questioners object if we start with: what does it mean to be completely and totally aware? Can we start with that? Then I think the other questions will be answered through that.
According to the dictionary meaning - I prefer to look at the dictionary and see what it means, not translate what I think is awareness, or what you think, but according to the dictionary awareness implies sensitivity: to be sensitive to the environment, to all the things, most of the things that are happening in the world outside, and also to be sensitive, to be aware of what is happening, going on within oneself, within the skin, as it were. That is, to be aware not only to nature, to other human beings, to all the beauty of the world, and the political chaos, the contradictions, the hypocrisy, all that outwardly, and also to be aware inwardly - one's own problems, conflicts, desires, misery, confusion and so on. So it is a movement of sensitivity to the outer as well as to the inner. That is, I think, the real meaning of being aware. We all agree to that, do we? Please, I am not laying down the law, I am just exchanging with you what does it mean to be aware, that is generally understood.
Q: Sir, are you saying there are two awarenesses or are you just aware of the outer and the inner?
K: I am going into that, I'm going into that.
Q: There are a lot of people here speaking a lot of words, asking questions about, awareness. But has it changed their lives? What do you say? Has there been a radical transformation in their lives? That is one thing I would like to ask these people. How many people have actually been changed throughout the years by what you have said?
K: How many people have been changed by your talks. Bene?
K: Right. How many people have been radically changed by your fifty years and more of talking all over the world? Right, sir?
Q: Ask the people who have been here.
K: Wait, wait, wait. Let us first listen to what he has to say. He says you have talked for about fifty or more years, and has there been any human being, one or two that are radically changed.
Q: Like yourself. It seems to me that people will speak your words but that is as far as it will go because they don’t implement your words enough, they don’t live. You must experience it only.
K: I don't know quite follow, sir, what you are saying.
Q: What I am saying is, they try and live according to your words instead of trying to follow themselves.
K: No, I don't quite understand what he is saying. Would you talk a little more quietly, sir. I will answer it sir, I will repeat your question.
Q: What I am asking is this: people come here, there are a lot of people coming here for many years, and it seems that they have not in their daily life effected the radical change that you are talking about.
K: That is what I am going into.
Q: Now, I ask myself why.
K: Don't. If you answer the question yourself you are...
Q: I can’t answer the question because I have not arrived at where you are at. The words seem to be particular and peculiar to you. But they have no meaning or relevance to my life simply because one has got to follow oneself. And it seems quite futile asking questions about what awareness is when you don’t know what the meaning of awareness is. And you have to experience it.
K: We are trying to explain, sir, the meaning of that word first - awareness. And with regard to the other question: you have talked for over fifty years, and has there been any one person who is radically transformed by your words? Right? If I may point out, it is not my responsibility to see if anybody is changed, or not. It is up to them. It would be an impudent action on my part if I said, Have you changed? It is up to each one who listens, or who cares to listen, or who is serious. It is up to them, and not up to me. That's all.
Q: I agree. So they’re still not serious.
K: It is up to you, sir, as well as up to every other person. May we go on?
That is, we were asking...
Q: Right. Thank you very much.
K: Not at all, sir. We were asking: what is it to be aware? We said according to the dictionary, it has several meanings but I am taking the principal meaning of that word, which is, to be conscious, to be in touch, not verbally, but inwardly, to be in touch, to be conscious, to be sensitive to the outer and to the inner. When one is sensitive there is no division as the outer and the inner. And we are saying, is it possible - that is the question - which is, is it possible to be aware totally, completely. It implies, does it not - this is a dialogue, I am not giving a speech, so please share in the question and answers - we are saying, the questioner is saying, is it possible to be completely aware? Now is there a difference - I am asking you - between the outer, that is the political, social, economic, and all the things that are happening in the world, the violence, the brutality, the appalling political chicanery, deception, all that is going out there, is it not also going on inwardly? Is society created by us, or society just exists by itself? You understand my question? So if we are related, or sensitive to what is happening in the world, with all the violence and so on, who is responsible for it? And to be aware of that responsibility, which means to be sensitive, to be conscious, of one's own violence, double talk, say one thing and think something else, wanting complete security, nationalities, and so on, so on, so on. Can one be totally aware of this movement? That's the question. Please answer it, discuss it, talk it over.
Can a human being, again who is the representative of the whole of humanity, which we discussed very clearly, which is obvious, which is factual, can a human being be aware of that noise of the train, the wind among the leaves, the beauty of the mountains, the environment and also be aware what is going on inwardly?
Is it possible to be aware - no, I must go a little more deeply. One is aware of this tent. Right? Conscious, the shape of it, the structure of it, the length of it, the proportions of it. Right? And also one is conscious, one is aware, sensitive to the people sitting around you - the colour of their dress, how they look, the colour of their shirts, and what the ladies wear, and so on, so on, to be aware of it, conscious of it, sensitive to it. Right? But in that awareness comes the question, I like that blue shirt, and I don't like that red shirt, I like that person, I don't like that person - for various reasons. Now can you observe - we are asking - can one observe the person sitting next to you, the dress they wear, the colour, without choosing, without saying, I like, I don't like, just to observe? Is that possible, can you do it? That's fairly simple, isn't it? No? What? Can't you do that?
Q: Maybe when you point it out, yes it is possible, but in daily life we don’t.
K: I am coming to that, sir, you want to go ahead too quickly. You might observe the shirt the speaker is wearing, and you say, Well, sorry, that's too much colour. I don't like it. It is sewn badly - which is perfectly right - made in India! (Laughter) No, please wait, a minute, things are made very well in India, perfectly, but this happened to be a bad tailor. And you can look at it without any condemnation or approval, can't you? Right? That's fairly simple, isn't it?
Q: Why do you say it is very simple, it is not simple for us. (Continues in Italian)
K: He says it is not simple for us. To look without judging is not possible.
Q: Not ‘it is not possible’, it is not simple as you say.
K: Ah, no, the gentleman is saying it is very difficult for us to be aware without judgement, judicar - without judging. And I say, is he speaking for himself, or generally, for all the people in the tent. He said, at last, I am speaking for myself. Now is that so? Can you not observe - please try it, this is a discussion, a dialogue, a conversation - can you observe without judgement, without approval, just to look? Is that not possible? No?
K: It is not possible? Why? Is it because one is so heavily conditioned to like and to dislike? I am just asking, I am not saying you are. I don't like the Russians, or I love the Russians, I don't like this, and I don't like that, but to observe. Because we will go into it a little deeper afterwards. Can you observe a tree, a mountain, a river, without - just to look at it, not say, I like,, I don't like, This is beautiful - you follow? - just to look at something. Is that not possible? Because if you cannot do that outwardly it becomes much more difficult when you go inwardly. Right? It is fairly easy to observe a car and say, That's not a nice colour, or just to look at it. And if one cannot do that then how can you observe yourself without any condemnatory process, just to observe what is actually happening? That is, to be aware without any choice. I believe, I was told the other day, when we use that word 'choiceless awareness' that is the essence of religion. May be, may not be. I am just passing it on to you.
So we are asking: if one is not sensitive, you can't be sensitive if you say, I don't like that, or I do like that, This gives me more delight in looking and that disgusts me. Because if one is not capable to observe without any movement of thought, which is like and dislike, condemning, accepting, how can one observe the extraordinary complexity of one's own existence inwardly? You understand my question?
Q: Can we ask the question the other way just to ask: is there someone here in this tent who can observe in this fashion, in this way (Continues in Italian)
K: Ah, bene. The gentleman says, in Italian, is there anyone here in this tent who can so observe, without judgement. That will answer that gentleman's question about whether anybody has changed or not. It's up to you.
Q: It can be done for a moment.
K: The gentleman says it can be done for a moment. Just for a second or two you can observe, observe, just observe. But a few seconds later the whole machinery of thought begins. Right?
Q: I can do it with will – with the use of will power.
K: My gosh, you people! He can do it with will, he can control and observe. I say that is not possible. When you control your like and dislike and observe, you are not observing totally. You are not giving your whole energy to observe. What! I can't understand the difficulty in this at all!
Q: Maybe the difficulty is, in this awareness and thought, there is no frontier.
K: Sir, can't you look at this poor man sitting on the platform, just look at him.
Q: Yes sir, I’m just coming up to why – why is it difficult. There is no frontier, separation between awareness and thought.
K: No, sir, we are not going even into that. I say, can't you look at the speaker with his pink or whatever it is, look at him, just look without all the machinery of thought saying, I like, I don't like, He is good, He is clever, 'He is this' - just to observe.
Q: There is a fear, sir, if I may speak for myself, that if one observes without judging standards of morality will disappear.
K: We will come to that, sir, you've we haven't gone to the very, very complex problem of observing, being aware, inwardly. We are just observing this. Can you listen to that noise of that train without saying, For god's sakes, I want to listen to you, and therefore resist the train, noise of the train?
Q: (Inaudible) or you mean present awareness only?
K: Sir, the gentleman asked - we haven't even approached his question, we are just exploring the question - the gentleman there asked: what does it mean, is it possible to be totally aware? He says, I want to be, I see the importance of it, but I can't do it, what does it mean? He is asking that question. And we are exploring the word, not the significance of the whole thing, just the word. I said the word means to be conscious, to know, to be sensitive. And one cannot be sensitive, judge if there is condemnation, judgement, just to observe.
There is that gentleman, Italian gentleman, I have known him for over, nearly sixty years - seventy? (Laughter) And I look at him, I talk to him and I have known him for all these years, I never once asked him, have you changed. It is up to him. If he does not change well, it is his misery. It is not my misery.
Q: You have talked for fifty years of your life, or sixty years, in order to produce what result? And you have not produced it.
K: I don't want to produce... Sir, you are totally
Q: You have gone a step further – you have started one school. Now, when you are going into (Inaudible) That might work (Inaudible) That you want to produce a result.
K: Would you kindly listen to me. I will answer your question, sir.
Q: You can only answer it in words, what about people, are you changing people?
K: Wait, you have gone back to the question.
Q: Excuse me, Krishnamurti, I am not a follower of yours but I think I would like to point out to those two gentlemen over there, his aim is not to enlighten you, that is something you have to do for yourself. His aim in life is to keep and maintain the enlightenment of his own being.
Q: He is here!
K: Sir, I can answer the question for myself, you don't have to! (Laughter and clapping) Would you please listen. Please, I am talking very seriously, why I am talking, why I have not deviated for the last sixty years from what I have been saying, I will tell you why if that interests you.
(Laughs) First of all, the speaker doesn't expect anything from anybody. Right? Because he said, look, he said very carefully from the beginning, no authority. He said that sixty years ago. I am eighty two now. Sixty years ago he said that - no authority, therefore don't follow anybody, including me. You have to be a light to yourself, not light your candle or your fire at the fire or the candle of another, including myself. So you by listening, if you care to listen, are responsible for yourself, not for me. And I also said, the speaker does not expect anything from anybody, all of you. If you want to drink at the fountain, drink it. And if you don't, don't. It is very simple. If I expected anything from you I would be disappointed, I would be hurt. I would feel, 'My god, I have done nothing in my life'. But I don't feel that. I am very serious, I don't feel that way. I am talking - and the urge to talk is born out of compassion - without any cause. I carefully explained, compassion has no cause. So that is why I am talking. And also you might ask a flower on the road-side, why do you have such beauty, why do you have such perfume. And if the flower was able to talk, it would say, Look, I am like that, what are you going to do about it?.
So let's continue with what we were talking about.
K: Madame, we are talking about awareness. Please ask that question...
Q: Awareness is to be aware without thought (Inaudible)
K: I don't understand your question, madame. I can't hear it. If somebody has understood will you tell me?
Q: She says we are conditioned to like and dislike things. How can we stop this?
K: Yes, we are conditioned to like and dislike, can we talk it over how to stop this. And also I forgot when those questions arose why you have schools. There too we are not expecting anything except to help them to understand life. That's all. If they don't it's up to them. Let's proceed.
We are having a friendly conversation, a friendly conversation between two people, you and I, or many of us together, which is about - is it possible to be totally aware. We are going to go into that question. It is a very complex question, and if one can go together into it you will see what is implied in it. But you are refusing. I am saying, to be aware implies to be sensitive, to be conscious of the outer as well as the inner. If one is not sensitive to the outer, it becomes much more difficult to be sensitive to the things that are happening inside the skin as it were. So I began by saying, can you observe something without judgement. That's all. Just to look. Not say, I like - I know you are conditioned, I know it is very difficult, you make it terribly difficult by making it an intellectual thing. But to look at something, just look without all the operation of thought entering into it. If you cannot then it is impossible to look with clarity, without any judgement about what is happening inside you, which is very, very complex.
So I just began by pointing out, to look at the outer without any judgement. If that is not possible, find out why it is not possible, not how to be free of the conditioning, but why is it not possible. Find out. It is not possible because your whole education from childhood has been to say, develop this conditioning of like and dislike. Right? I like Italians, I hate the Russians. Right? That's how we operate. Or I hate the person who is speaking here. So it doesn't matter.
So I am just asking you to kindly observe what is happening outside - violence - right? - divisions of religions, political divisions, building up instruments of war. Right? This is happening outside. Concentration camps - people who disagree politically are sent to mental hospitals, torture. All this is going on outside. Can you look at it first without identifying yourself with any of them. Right? If you cannot do it, find out why. Is it because you are an Englishman who is so stuck in his conditioning, or an Indian who is so traditionally bound? Nationality in India didn't exist at all for centuries, millennia. It is only the British, and other foreigners, brought it in, and they began the national wars, conflicts and all the rest of the nonsense.
So if you are aware of that let's move inwardly. Right? Now can you look at yourself without any judgement? I want to live a very simple life. That is one of the questions. But I am surrounded by ideas, theories, speculations, and that gives me a degree. You follow? Therefore how am I to live simply? So this is one of the problems. Look into it. We are asking, can you look at yourself, not according to me, or according to Jung, Freud, or professional psychologists, just to look at yourself? As you look at yourself, immediately you say, I am bad, or I am evil, or I am jealous. You follow? The whole machinery of the past, the tradition, the thought begins. But before the thought begins just have a space, a little space so that you can look without that machinery quickly coming into action. You understand? It seems so simple!
Q: Shall we give importance to everything or to some?
K: Shall we give importance to some things and not to others. Sir, we haven't come to that yet. You see we have already started - what is important, what is not important. I am just saying, look, I am looking at myself, I haven't come to anything.
Look, I begin: I want to look at myself, I want to see what I am, not who I am. What is all this going on in me? I just want to look first. I see I can only look without distortion if there is no judgement. Right? I see that. But I am being conditioned, having been conditioned so long - society, education, etc., family, tradition says you must judge. I know that. I have been conditioned. I say I'll hold that in a minute, I'll hold that back, but I just want to look. Right? Are you doing this as we are talking together? Or you've just gone off. Are we doing this together?
K: Right. That is, I want to look at myself. I want to see exactly the shape of my face in the mirror. Right? I look at myself in the mirror, the outer, and my face is my face. I can't say, well I wish I had a straighter nose, or black whatever it is. I just look first. All right? Then I say to myself, I wish it were not like that. Right? Why do I say it? Because I think your nose is better than mine. Right? So comparison is born. You understand? You are following this? Now can I look without comparison? You understand? My interest is to look, is to observe, and therefore as my interest is tremendously strong to look, comparison fades away. You understand? Because my whole urgency, urge is to observe. Therefore comparison doesn't exist at that moment, it may come later, I will deal with it later. But at the moment my interest is so great that I want to look. That interest pushes aside all comparison. Right?
Now, have you got that interest? I am not saying you must have it. Have you got it? If not, why not? You understand my question? If you haven't got that tremendous interest to know what is happening in the world, and what is happening inside you, and you have created the outer - the society, the whole structure is created by human beings, and as you are a human being who is the representative of all humanity, you are responsible for this terrible state. So I just want to observe.
Q: If you say, ‘I look at my face’, it’s a judgement.
Q: Even if you say, ‘I observe my face...’
K: No, no, no, no. Not my face, your face, X's face. That's a faon de parler (laughs). We don't say that is
Q: Even if you say, ‘a face’.
K: Jesus! Sir, all right, I want to look at you. I know you are American, by your speech - right? - or an Italian. And I don't like Americans, suppose - I don't say, please don't go off - and I say, 'Oh, he is an American' and turn my head away. Right? But my interest is to look, whether you call yourself an American, your language is American, whether you are vulgar, stupid, that's not my - I want to look, I want to see what you are.
Q: You take a photograph of it.
K: Yes, take a snapshot and you look at it. But wait a minute. Can you do the same about yourself? That is what I am coming to. You refuse to move from I want to go into this. This is tremendously important. I want, as a human being, I want to look at myself before I say who am I, what am I, condemn, judge, evaluate, this is good. I just want to look.
K: Sir, you are all making it so complex! It will become tremendously complex a little later, don't begin with complexity. My body, my mind, my - you follow? Just look at yourself. For god's sake!
Q: What do you mean by, ‘the house is burning’? (French)
K: You have understood his question? You say, what do you mean - the first question - oh my god! We are talking about awareness, you follow? I can't I'll repeat his question. He says, what do you mean 'the house is burning'? Don't you know the house is burning? Your house, the world is your house, the earth is your house. The earth is being destroyed, the rivers are being polluted, the air is becoming impossible to breathe with so many cars, and all the rest of it. Some fishes are being destroyed completely, the whales are disappearing, there are wars - preparing, whether it is in Egypt or Israel, it doesn't matter, it is part of your house. Are you aware of this, that it is your house? Not Israel and Egypt. Right? Are you aware of it, sensitive to it? Or you say, Poor chaps, it is their affair? If you are not aware of it, why are you not aware of it? The house is burning, you understand? You don't seem to realise what the world is going through.
And the second question is
K Bien, bien. Must there be complete transformation - listen to the question - must there be complete transformation, psychologically, all that we have talked about, before you put out the fire? You understand the question? I see the fire in the world, and the fire inside myself - the misery, the confusion, the idiocy, the pettiness, my arrogance, and all the rest of it. Until - the questioner says - until I radically transform myself it is not possible to put the fire out.
Q: You must become...
K: Sir, listen to the question first, find out what is implied in it: that I cannot do anything till I become perfect. Right? And the house is burning in the meantime. And the house is me. I am being burnt, so I'll wait till I become perfect. Right? This is the question that is asked not only by that gentleman but by everybody. Which is, can I teach, can I start a school, can I do anything till I have completely transformed? You see the absurdity of the question, need I explain it? I am not being rude to you, sir. But need that question be answered? Do you mean to say you wait till you become transformed; or you see the importance of putting an end to the fire, and that very essential urge to put out the fire is transforming you. You understand? Right.
Now please let's stick to one thing. What time is it?
Q: A quarter to twelve, sir.
K: Thank you. Let's go into this a little bit, may I? I want to look at myself. I know I am so conditioned that I cannot look at myself properly. Right? So I put that question - wanting to look at myself completely, I leave that. I then go and tackle or investigate, why am I conditioned, why do I accept it? And not just say, 'Well, I am conditioned', say, 'Yes'. I am conditioned, I know. Why do I accept it? Do you accept it because it is the easiest way of living?
K: So, wait a minute, sir, I want to observe and I see I cannot observe because I am conditioned, and I have never questioned because I am afraid I might not be comfortable. So I say I want to be comfortable, is that it? That's why I can't look. So why do I want comfort? Where am I to find it? I want it. But where am I to find it? So I find it in my companion - I think I find it - in my wife, with my girl, with a belief. So don't disturb all that, because my wife, so far I have found comfort in her, safe. But one day something is going to crack, so I am frightened. So. You follow? How far I have moved away? I want to observe and I find I am really afraid to observe. Right? Right? Are you following this? So I am going to find out why am I afraid. What am I afraid about? Losing my comfort, losing my security, losing my conditioning? It is this conditioning that is creating the misery in the world. Right? So the house is burning, I want to put out that fire, but I don't want to because I am frightened. Right?
Are you doing this? So in other words, sir, you want to remain mediocre which means - I am not condemning you, I am just pointing out - mediocrity means climbing half way up the hill; excellence means going right to the top of it.
So most of us would rather remain in our stagnant pools of little conditioning, and knowing that very conditioning is destroying the world. Right?
So look how far I have gone into it. I want to look and I find I am conditioned, I question why I am conditioned because in questioning why I am conditioned I find I want comfort, I want the easiest way. The easiest way is to accept.
K: Though there is contradiction I accept it. There is contradiction. So I would rather let things alone. Right? Is that what you are all doing? Please investigate, I am not saying you are doing it.
Q: Sir, when we are talking about this, including myself, we are taking up one part of this whole and going through different things. This one part is connected with other parts. We verbalise it and think we understand it. I can understand your message, that there is a different way of seeing yourself. Like you said, about the mirror thing, you look at yourself in the mirror and you see your face. But getting an open view of your own problem in the same way as you would get a clear picture of your face
K: How do you look at your own consciousness, is that it?
Q: In the same way as you look at your face.
K: Yes, sir. How do you look at your own consciousness, the questioner asks, as you look at your own face. Right?
K: You are a rummy crowd!
Q: In enquiring about conflict one stops for a moment. The feeling is there and one says what exactly am I thinking about at this moment. It is always something in the past that one can never be new with change, it is something in the future which has not arrived yet...
K: Look: at the end of an hour and ten minutes - three trains have passed - at the end of an hour and ten minutes, or more, that question has not been answered. The gentleman says, please tell me, I am really anxious to find out, how to be totally aware. That has not been answered. And he will go away and say, 'My god, when will that question be answered?' Because you really don't want to find out, do you, what it means to be totally aware?
Sir, to be totally aware implies a choiceless observation of the content of your consciousness. The content is the society, the wars, the misery, the confusion, the repetitive pleasurable actions and so on, the content is there, can you observe it? Can you observe that you are afraid - not how to change it, not how to run away from it, or transform it, just to observe that fear? And to know, to be aware that you are pursuing pleasure - pleasure of possessing money, pleasure sexually, pleasure of a position, different forms of pleasure - are you aware of it? Now wait a minute, 'are you aware' means are you aware fragment by fragment? You understand? Are you aware of the many parts of the content of consciousness? Or are you aware instantly of the whole? The whole is more than the parts. But if you say I am going to look at each part, there will never be perception of the whole which is much more. So which is it that you are doing actually? Examining the parts - fear, jealousy, anxiety, sorrow, the house is burning, I am leftist, centrist, or extreme right, or extreme left politically, are you aware of the fragments, or you are aware of the totality of consciousness.
K: I know it, but find out if I am observing the parts and why are you observing the parts? Because you are conditioned. I look at my life as a Frenchman, as a Dutchman, or whatever it is. That is my tradition, I have been brought up in Holland and I have said, I am a Dutchman, and that is my conditioning, therefore I will always look fragmentarily. Just be aware of that, not how to go beyond it. The moment you become aware of it you are already out of it.
So consciousness with its fragments - each one of us is aware of the fragments. You understand, sir? The wheel is greater than the spokes. Right? You understand that? Oh my god! Don't you The whole is greater than the parts. That's all. But if I am conditioned, holding on to my parts, I will never see the whole. If I say, I have been born in India, I am a Brahmin, I am the tradition, etc., etc., which is the part, and I hold on, so I will fight for the part. Which is simple, that is what you are doing - America, Russia, you follow? Whereas if you see the whole of it then the parts disappear. Right, sir? Do it, please do it.
Q: Sir, how do you get to the total ‘you’?
K: I am showing it to you.
Q: No, well, you are not. You are not really showing it. You are talking about it.
K: No. All right, sir. I have got your question, wait sir. I will show it to you. If you will kindly listen, sir, I am pointing out something. First I say - please listen - first I say the word is not the thing.
Q: That’s right.
K: Right? So what I have described is not the actual, the truth.
K: Right? So can you when you are listening not be caught in words but see the thing that is being described? But that becomes difficult because we have lived in a world of words. So I have been saying from the beginning of every talk, the word is not the thing. The word 'mountain' is not the mountain. I may describe the mountain most eloquently, beautifully, or paint it, but the paint, the picture, the word, the description is not the thing. Therefore consciousness is the word, the content is the word and awareness is the word, so go beyond the word, which is, see your own consciousness, its content, etc., etc. So if you are merely caught by the description then you will fight with me for ever.
K: No, madam. Look, we human beings are used to being told what to do. We want to be awakened to all this. Right? We want to see all of this and go beyond it. And who is going to do it for you? If I see - please listen, sirs - if I see that I have to be a light to myself - right? - and that I cannot light this light from another, or through another, then I have to look at myself. Look. Look at the content of myself. But I cannot look at the whole as a whole because I am trained to look partially. So my concern then is, why do I look partially? I look partially because of my education, my tradition, my environment, the society, my wife, my father, my grandfather, they have all been looking at themselves partially. So I refuse to look, I refuse to look how they have told me to look. I say, I don't know, they may be totally wrong, probably they are, so I want to look, for the first time, to look. Sir, when you look there is no difference between the observer and the observed, there is only the state of looking.
Q: Krishnamurti, one question, please. Do I look partially because of my attachment, my conditioning, or because of all the things that I have done wrong in this present life of mine, and I know it? Like for instance if I am buying something for five francs and I am selling it for twenty five francs to somebody who needs it. It may be a luxury or may be a substance. I do see immoral things and I know it. It is not at this point that I like to make any kind of excuse for myself – my ego can make an excuse for anything, but I do not want to see the real me which is ugly, hideous.
K: Quite right, sir. When you say, 'hideous, ugly', you are already condemning it. For god's sake! Do look how we are caught in words. Sir, when you love somebody - I mean love, ordinary, not something extraordinary - for the moment you forget everything, don't you? You may want to hold her hand or sleep with her, or have her as your companion. In that there is no problem. We have made all this so terribly intellectual, verbal.
We'll continue, if we may, tomorrow morning.