Why should we get hurt?
You are only aware now, or never
1st Public Discussion, Saanen
July 28, 1976
I think there is a difference between dialectical questioning and dialogue. Dialectical questioning or investigation, implies, according to the dictionary, to find the truth through opinions. That is the literal meaning of dialectical approach. Whereas dialogues are between two friends who know each other fairly well, know their vocabulary, the usage of words, and together, with a spirit of real enquiry find truth - by enquiry, not by asserting opinions. So it is up to you to choose which you want: either through opinions to investigate if there is truth, which I question very much because opinions imply prejudices, personal idiosyncrasies and so on; whereas dialogue implies that both of us are deeply interested in a problem, we are not prejudiced, we don't want a certain definite answer, but together we are investigating to find the truth of the problem. You see the difference? One is dialectical approach, the other is approach to truth through careful, non-personal, objective investigation. That means we both of us start with no opinions, no conclusions, no assertions, but together, as two friends, and I mean by friends who are really concerned with a problem, to investigate it together by sharing it, and thereby perhaps coming upon what is truth. Right? So if that is clear during all these dialogues that we are going to have, which is, not asserting opinions, or prejudices, or conclusions, 'I believe', that is a conclusion, whereas if you are investigating we are both open and we can go very far if we both are free to look objectively into things.
Now what are the questions you would like to ask?
Questioner: I would like to ask a personal question. Very often I feel held in, closed, and out of that state of feeling so much closed in I wish to come out and breathe some freedom. My question is: is it possible to have pain, naturally come out of this and flower?
Krishnamurti: Just let me repeat the question. He asks, one feels held in, bound, enclosed, and is it possible naturally to come out of that and flower. That is his question.
Q: (In French)
K: May I repeat the question briefly, otherwise don't make it too long. the questioner says, as far as I understand it, that there is a state of attention which he has come to, which is partial, which is fragmentary and during sleep does it become more full. Is that the question, sir?
K: Ah! He becomes conscious of his sleeping state, which is fragmentary. I understand now. What other questions? Just a minute, sir.
Q: I find the fears are so huge, and the sorrow is so huge, that the body has its own intelligence, the nervous system, the senses, it takes like physical time, the body says, ‘I can only take so much’, the body won’t allow so much.
K: There is so much fear, and so much sorrow, that biologically, organically the body cannot stand it.
Q: It can only allow so much.
K: It can only tolerate so much Now, you are going to put the question?
Q: I would like to discuss the ‘me’. I would like to know whether it is hunger, the ‘me’, the image-maker, and not thought, not memories. For example, if I am hungry for food, I think of food. I am not referring to food-hunger so much as hunger for love as being the ‘me’. I think frustration of this love-hunger breeds fear, and they both breed thoughts and images and then they nurse the fear.
K: What is the question, sir?
Q: Well, is the ‘me’ merely the past images, or do you think it is hunger, love-hunger?
K: Like love and hunger.
Q: Yes, a hunger to be loved, or a hunger for food.
K: I see, I understand the question. Is the 'me', the ego, an image created by thought, or is it like hunger, like hunger for love?
Q: Yes, sir.
Now just a minute, that's enough questions. Can we take one question amongst several of them and investigate that one question to the very end so that we all are of the same movement, going along the same way, keeping up the same speed. Which is, I am asking, can we take among these questions one central question and work that out completely so that at the end of it you will know for yourself. Right? Can we do that? That is, either we discuss that gentleman's question, which is, attention, fragmentary and the state of sleep in which there is a different state of attention; or, is the primary demand love, as hunger, and the 'me' is only the result of thought; or, do you want to discuss that question which is, most human beings are enclosed by their activity, by their sorrow, by their problems, by their inhibitions, by their education, and so they are held, as it were, in a fortress, bound, and they want to release themselves completely, break through; or, the sorrow and fear are so great, the organ can only stand so much, tolerate so much. Now which of these questions do you think, if we took one question out of these four, we can investigate together? That is, is the primary urge for love, which is not the ego, the 'me' put together by thought, therefore the primary demand of every human being is to love and to be loved. and why do human beings enclose themselves: enclosed by their education, society, by their frustrations, you know, all that, enclosed and not being able to get out of that enclosure naturally. and is there an attention, which is totally different in the state of sleep and therefore can that attention be maintained during waking hours - if I understand the question rightly. and the other is, fear, sorrow, the physical organism cannot stand too much of it. Now which of these?
Q: The one of being enclosed and wanting to find freedom.
K: All right, let's begin with that, and perhaps we will include all the others. the questioner says, please discuss, or go into, why human beings are enclosed, held in, and never free.
Q: I would say it is a lack of awareness.
K: It is a lack of awareness. But that is a conclusion, that stops investigation by saying you should be that, it is lack of something - finished. But if we say, look, suppose the speaker, I, am enclosed, I am not free, I can't express myself, there is not an easy flow, there is not a freedom. Why are human beings right throughout the world - this is not his question, it is the question of humanity - why human beings are so encircled in themselves, why have they this burden of tremendous weight so that they don't ever feel free? Can we discuss that, discuss it in the sense investigate it, not say, 'Yes, you should be free', or 'Because you lack awareness' or this or that. So please, we are going to go into this question, why human beings - practically everyone in the world - unfortunately, have allowed themselves, or as it happens that they are living within four walls, as it were. Now can we investigate it.
How would you approach this problem? You understand my question? I am enclosed. I have been hurt, I have been shocked, I have had a great deal of pain, both physical and psychological, I have had a great many insults and so on and so on and so on. I am enclosed. and I feel I am a prisoner. Now how shall I approach this problem - you understand? What is my approach to it? Is my approach wanting to be free from this? You understand my question? Is my motive, which says, be free from this, therefore I have already started with a direction, therefore I am not investigating. the direction is going to guide me - you understand? I wonder if you grasp this. I am a prisoner, psychologically, specially psychologically, and I have a motive which is to break through this. the motive gives a direction, doesn't it? Be quite sure. Wherever there is a motive it obviously gives a particular line, particular direction, therefore I have already started in a direction, therefore I have stopped investigating. Is this clear? So am I free of motive in my investigation? If I am not free, then why, if I understand that any motive gives a direction and therefore it is impossible to investigate. That is, if I have a certain belief and I am rooted in that belief and I want to investigate, I can't. I have already started with a tremendous prejudice. So if I have a motive for my investigation then that motive makes the investigation in a particular direction, therefore it is not investigation at all. So am I free from motive in my examination why human beings are prisoners, psychological prisoners. You understand my question? First, are you free from it? You will be free from it when you see the truth - the truth that a motive gives a direction, and therefore you stop investigating. and hence you say, 'That's absurd, I'll drop it' - you follow? - it is a natural thing to drop a motive. I wonder if you understand this. You have understood this, sir?
That is - please be clear - if I want to be free from psychological prison which I have created, or others have created, or society has created, or my parents and so on, if my motive is to be free from the prison, then my eyes are focussed in a direction therefore I am not looking. Right? So I see I want to understand why I am enclosed, and I see also that if I have a motive it is not possible to investigate. That's simple. Therefore I have not motive. Right? Are you in that position? That any psychological investigation demands, it is necessary, that there should be no direction. That means you start with no belief, no - you are free of all that and therefore investigate. You understand? If I am a Buddhist and I have a certain direction, certain prejudices, I have read a great deal, and I am convinced of that, it is finished. Or a Catholic, it doesn't matter who it is.
So it is very important in order to investigate that there should be freedom to observe. and you can only observe when there is no direction, when there is no motive. Right? So have you dropped the motive? If you have dropped the motive then what is the prison? You understand? I have no motive, I am looking at 'what is', which is my prison - my various hurts, wounds, all the things we go through life which make us shrink, become like a snail that draws in. Now that is the fact, we are looking at that. What has happened? Is it that I have been hurt from childhood? - at home, school, college, university, all through life, being somewhat sensitive, a human being is hurt. So he begins to withdraw. Right? He begins to enclose himself. So one of the causes of this withdrawal, with this isolation, with this sense of imprisonment - one of the factors - is hurt. Right? Now all human beings are hurt. Right? Now when we generalise all human beings it gives us much more vitality. You follow? I wonder if you understand that? When I say I am hurt, it is a very small affair, but when I see all human beings are hurt it becomes something tremendous. You understand? I wonder if you understand this. So is it possible not to be hurt - never! You understand? One has been hurt when one is young and the hurt remains through life with most people. Right? We carry that burden, and therefore we resist people, we withdraw, we isolate ourselves, we become bitter, from that, violence and so on. Now we are asking, is it possible to be free of the past hurt or hurts and so being free one is never hurt. You understand? There is the curing process of the past and the prevention. I wonder if I am are we meeting each other? Oh, come on sir, this is a dialogue. (Laughs)
You understand my question? There is the past hurt, and is it possible to be free of those past hurts, and to prevent future hurts - right? - so that the brain is never hurt? So it remains young - I wonder if you understand - and therefore innocent. the word innocent - it comes from Latin and so on - which is, incapable of being hurt. So we are going to look at it. I have been hurt, suppose I have been hurt as a human being from childhood. I know what happens when there are these hurts, I am aware of it - that I withdraw, that I resist, that I isolate myself in order not to be hurt more. Right? Are you aware of this process? Please, come on!
Q: It is very difficult to be aware because there is so much agony, so much resignation in this process.
K: It is difficult to be aware because there is so much agony involved in it. Let's keep to that one word - there is so much agony involved in becoming aware that I am hurt. You understand what he is saying? Oh, come on. Don't go to sleep, please. This is your problem, you understand, it is not only his problem, it is the human problem. We are all hurt from childhood. the greater the hurt, the greater the violence. What were you saying sir?
Q: I want to say something. Would you say that every human being from childhood on, experiences this being hurt? Then apparently, to me at least, it looks like an essential dimension of being a human being. So then I think, for my part at least, I feel it is not the intention, the purpose of my existence to refrain from being hurt. Apparently it is part of my existence. So I have, maybe, to cope in a more creative way with being constantly, again and again hurt. I feel that being hurt is part of the process of growth.
K: It is natural to be hurt. It is natural to be hurt as a means of growth, as a means of evolution, as a means of progressing, you must be hurt.
Q: There is a difference in being hurt and carrying that hurt over, making that hurt something psychological. It is a completely different thing. If someone pushed me I am hurt at that moment, but that is a different hurt, it has nothing to do with psychological hurts.
K: Sir, look, that gentleman says part of human existence is to be hurt, it is natural. I am questioning that. Why should we be hurt? and look what damage it does psychologically, inwardly, how it affects our brain. It is not, 'I think it is a part of life to be hurt', but see the result of it.
Q: But how can you prevent being hurt?
K: I am coming to that. We are coming to that: how to prevent hurt, and what to do with the hurt that we have. But if we say hurt is part of life, war is a part of life, killing each other is part of life, disease is part of life - psychological disease - then that's the end of that argument. But if we say, is it possible to prevent being hurt and what to do with the hurt that one has, then we can go into the question.
Q: Sir, how do we know we are hurt?
K: How do you know you are hurt - don't you know you are hurt? Oh, no, come on sir!
K: Sir, look, when in the school, or in the family, the child is told, you are not as good as your brother, or your sister, you have already hurt that child. Right? and in class, in a school where A is compared with B, and the teacher says A is not as clever, or as intelligent as B, you have already hurt the child. So where there is comparison and competition there is a hurt. This is so obvious. Now are we - the gentleman asked too - are we aware that we are hurt? Come on sir. Be simple about it, don't complicate it. Are you aware that you are hurt?
K: Thank god! (Laughter) at least somebody is fairly frank and comes to it. Do you see the result, are you aware of the result of this hurt, what happens? That is, isolation, resistance, and resistance implies violence, and a sense of gradual isolation. From that all kinds of bitterness, lack of love, lack of sense of freedom, all that arises. Are you aware of this? Of course, any person is aware of this, aren't you? Right.
There is that past hurt, how do we wipe that out? If you say, 'I must not be hurt', or 'I won't resist', it is already another form of resistance. I wonder if you see that. You understand? I am hurt, and I am aware of that hurt and the results of that hurt, and if I say, 'I won't be hurt, I'll forget my hurt', therefore I am already resisting. Right? Therefore that is another form of resistance. Oh, come on!
Q: One should change one’s focus from the hurt to something else.
K: One could change the hurt to something else, to love.
Q: The focus.
K: The focus. One could change the focus onto something else, which is love. You see you are not - how can I - you don't go into this - how can I when I am hurt, very deeply wounded, it is there and try to focus on something else? That would be an escape. This is a fact, that is non-fact. Right?
Q: Isn’t it only the image we have of ourselves that is hurt?
K: We will come to that madam. You're too
Q: We want to know what it is that is hurt.
K: Sir please listen. What am I to do with the hurt which I have, and I see the results of it, what am I to do with that hurt?
Q: Experience it, experience it.
K: But I am experiencing that, I have got it. (Laughter)
Q: There is an idea that if you experience it thoroughly it will lessen or disappear. I don’t know where this is from.
K: You are saying if I can experience it thoroughly. I did not experience it thoroughly at the beginning, the result is there now. If I really paid attention at the beginning there would be no hurt, but I have not paid attention so I have got this hurt. What am I to do?
Q: Try and understand why you have been hurt.
K: I will tell you. I can understand why I have been hurt. I have got a marvellous image about myself and that image is hurt. Right? I have an image that I am a very clever man, and you come along and tell me I am a fool, that hurts me. My image is hurt. Right? My image is me. I am not different from my image. Right? Oh, my, is that clear? Am I different from my image?
Q: What is the solution to it?
K: You want a solution before you have gone into it. How impatient you are really, you want a quick way out of everything - a quick pill, quick Nirvana, quick meditation, quick everything! Now please listen. When we say, 'I am hurt', who is hurt? the image which I have about myself is hurt, isn't it? That is simple, no? Now is that image different from me? So I am that image. Wait sir, wait, I am coming to your question a little later. I am that image because I have created that image. That image has been built through the parents, society, through environmental influence and so on and so on, so on. So that image is me, I am not different from that image. So when you say something which is not pleasant that image gets hurt, which is me.
K: I can't hear, madame. Would somebody who has heard it repeat it? Yes sir?
Q: That our image changes after being hurt. When I am hurt my image of me changes. Then she said, shouldn’t we accept this change of images?
K: Images change after hurt. But the hurt remains. I may change my image, but the hurt remains. But you don't even investigate this thing.
Q: Isn’t it possible that a small child is being hurt before there are images?
K: I am afraid I can't answer the question because I don't know enough children. But you can see for yourself, madam, whether you are hurt - you. If you are hurt, and we are asking: who is hurt, the image you have about yourself? Or you, different from the image? You must answer this question.
Q: It is right what you say but my past hurts...
K: Which is what?
Q: The past.
K: Your past is the image which you have had about yourself. How extraordinary this is! Look, I am only interested in freeing myself from hurt - right? - and nothing else, I don't want all kinds of theories, tell me how to be free of my hurt, if I have it. and that hurt remains in spite of everything else. I may go to Japan and Zen Buddhism and all the rest of it, but the thing is there inside, I can't escape from it. I try to escape from it, it is there. What am I to do?
Q: You have to observe it.
K: I am putting that question to you to find out. What will you do? Because I see the necessity of being free from hurt because that brings all kinds of ugliness. So I must be free from it, there must be freedom from it, what am I to do?
Q: Why do you want to be free from it?
K: Oh, sir, come on, I explained that, motive. I see the result of it - right? - and what am I to do?
Q: You can’t help what gives the hurt, it is focussing, what gives the memory its sharpness, its potency.
K: Yes, the memory, the experience, the knowledge, which is the past, in the past there is that thing called 'me', the image, which has been hurt. Now I am asking you what is one to do? Just look at it first before you answer. What is one to do?
Q: Why this hurt continues.
K: Why this hurt continues?
Q: Yes. How do I see this hurt?
K: Why does this hurt continue. It is part of memory. One cannot wipe out memory, the experience of it or the knowledge of it. You can't get rid of it, it is there.
Q: But when you want to be free from it, then you also have a motive.
K: Sir, I explained to you. That is putting it quickly. Look, I have been hurt for various reasons and I see the result of those hurts, and I see the importance that these hurts must go. What am I to do?
Q: I can only do something about the hurts when I am different from the hurts. One should be different from the hurts. and he has already said that we are not different from the hurts, so I can’t do anything about the hurts.
K: No, the gentleman says, I am the hurt, the image is the hurt, there is no difference between the image and me, I am that image. and that image has been hurt. and as long as I try to do something about it I am creating another image. Right? I wonder if you see that.
Q: The image is what is hurt, you can’t separate yourself from your images, so you can’t free yourself from the hurts.
K: Therefore what happens? If I am the hurt - you are not meeting it - if I am the hurt and the image is not different from me, which means the observer is the observed, then what takes place?
Q: You stay with it.
Q: If I see that, I stop dividing my mind.
K: That's right sir, that's right. If I see the truth that I am the image and the image is me, therefore there is no division, then quite a different process takes place. Which is, there is only observation, not freedom from hurt. There is only observation when you observe without the observer, if you will go into it - do you want me to go into this very carefully, you follow this? the observer is the past. Right? the observer is the memory, the experience, the knowledge, which is the past. So with the past he is looking at everything. Right? and with the past, as the observer, he is looking at the present. Right? Therefore between the present and the past there is a division created by the observer. You get it? So there is conflict between the observer and that which he observes. He says, 'I must change it, I must control it, I must suppress it, I must run away from it' and so on, but when the observer is the observed that conflict comes to an end. and this is the most important thing to discover, this truth: that the experiencer is the experience. Right? the thinker is the thought. There is no thinker if there is no thought. So the thinker is the thought. Though the thinker says, 'I am different', but in actuality the thinker is the thought. Right? the experiencer is the experience. I will show it to you if you are willing to listen.
I experience something. To know that I have experienced something I must recognise it, mustn't I? Of course. I must know what it is. Otherwise I can't say, 'I have experienced'. So recognition implies the past, doesn't it? - the past, with its knowledge, with its memory, is the experience, and he says, 'I am experiencing something'. So the experiencer is the experience. Till you see that we can't move away from it. Look, the gods, the gods that you have created, human beings have created, whether in Christianity, Hinduism or whatever it is, those gods are the projections of one's own thoughts, one's own desires. Right? Do you accept that? If once you accept that, do you know what happens? You understand my question? the image that you have made of god is the image that you have built. God hasn't made you into his image, but you have made god into your image. No? For god's sake, this is so simple! No? You agree, but the whole Christianity, the whole world of religious thought is based on that. Once you see that, you deny the whole structure of thought in religious matters.
So the hurt is not different from me, the 'me' is the image, and that image gets hurt, so I am that image. Like anger is not different from me, I am anger. I might think I am different but in actuality I am anger. So do you see the truth of it - not the idea of it? the actual truth that when you are angry that anger is you.
Q: It seems that it is not I who is angry.
K: Don't go off to other things. You see, you don't see the first principle of this, sir. When you are jealous, is that jealousy different from you? It is only different from you when you say, 'I am justified in being jealous. It is right to be jealous, my wife...' - you follow? Then there is a division between the statement and the fact. So the fact is that you are that feeling, which you call jealousy. That is simple. Now if that is an absolute truth which you see - you see, not I - then conflict comes to an end between the observer and the observed. You understand?
So there is hurt and that hurt is me, and the 'me' is not different from the hurt. Therefore what is to take place? All the energy which I have used in conflict - you understand? - between the observer and the observed, is not wasted. Right? I wonder if you see this. I have wasted energy in dividing the observer and the observed, the 'me' and the not 'me'. Right? I wasted that energy in conflict, in suppression, in trying to run away from it and all the rest of it. But when I do not run away and I see the truth that the observer is the observed, then what takes place?
Q: The energy is available.
K: Then energy is observation. Right? So I have found something: when there is complete energy there is no recording. You understand? When I give complete attention to your insult, there is no recording. It is only when I am not completely attentive there is recording. You get the point? Have you understood this simple truth? For god's sake, get it! You understand? I have wasted my energy in conflict. I say, 'I am not that hurt, I am different from that hurt', therefore I try to do something about that hurt. Right? I try to run away from it, suppress it, resist it, isolate and so on. But when I discover the truth that I am that hurt, then I have gathered all that energy, which I have wasted, in observing 'what is'. in observing 'what is' the thing undergoes a radical change. You have got it? So there is no hurt, that is, no hurt from the past either. So with that complete attention next time you call me a something or other it is not registered. Where there is complete attention, where there is complete energy of all the senses, there is no recording.
Q: What is the source of the attention?
K: There is no source of attention. First sir, please sir, don't bring in that question yet. Do you see this thing? - this marvellous thing, sir - so simple. Traditionally we are trained in this formula, that is, I am different from that. Right? I am different from my anger, my god is different from me, my belief and so on. That is, we traditionally accept that the experiencer is different from the experience, and so there is a constant division and conflict. Where there is division there must be conflict. Right? Do you see that? Nationally, religiously, economically, socially, wherever there is a division there must be conflict. That is a law.
and here I am. I have been hurt and traditionally I have said I am different from the hurt, therefore I will do something about the hurt - run away from it, escape from it, justify it, build a wall of resistance, and so on and so on, which are all wastage of energy. and when there is a perception that the observer is the observed, the wound is the 'me', then I don't waste any energy. with that energy I observe, which is complete attention. Now if you give complete attention if I flatter you, it has no meaning; or if I insult you, it has no meaning. Now can you do it at the moment of insult, not afterwards? You understand?
K: Sir, if you give your attention there is no hurt, or the mark of flattery. You understand? That means you have to go very deeply, as the questioner points out, into the whole problem of consciousness. You understand? Where the building of images goes on, where in the unconscious deep layers of one's mind the image-building is going on. I may say, 'Yes I have no image', but down there there are images. So can I be conscious, can I be aware of the totality of my consciousness - you understand? - the hidden as well as the open? the total area, field of my consciousness, can I be aware of the totality of it?
K: Let me finish, you can question me afterwards. We are used to dividing consciousness into the upper and lower - right? - subconscious, conscious. This division takes place because of thought. Thought is fragmentary because thought is the result of time, time being memory, time being the past, therefore thought is fragmentary. Right? I wonder if you see that. So the fragment can never see the whole. and we say, unless there is an observation of the whole there can never be freedom from that. Can I observe, can a human being observe the total content of consciousness - the total, not one segment, or one part, or partial, the totality of consciousness? the totality of consciousness is all that it contains, naturally - attachments, desires, the images which thought has put there, the sorrows, the pains, the anxiety - you follow? - the whole human endeavour, all human sorrow, misery, confusion, chaos, all that, at one glance. Can you see that as a whole? Can you see the tent - please listen - see the tent as a whole? Look at it, look at that tent and see if you can see the whole of it. I can see the whole of it, what is inside. Right? I can't see the whole of it on the outside. You understand? I wonder if you grasp this. I can see this in its entirety, it is fairly simple. But I can't see what is the outside of it. Right? So I can only see something entirely if I understand space. Is this too Can I go on? You see, I am talking, you are not joining me. I can see the totality of something when I have space. Right? I can only see the tent from the inside, the whole of it, but I can't see the tent from the outside. To see the whole of it I must not only observe the inside but the outside. Naturally.
Q: Which is the whole?
K: That is the whole. Just a minute, just a minute. So I must find out, to observe this human consciousness, to see it as a whole there must be space, mustn't there? To look at anything, to look at you, I must have space between you and me. If I am right up against you I can't see you. Right? So I must have space. What is space? Are you interested in this? What is space? If there is a centre the space is limited. You may extend it as far as possible, but it is still limited - right? - if there is a centre. If there is no centre space is immense. Right? We measure space from the centre to the circumference, but if there is no centre there is no measurement. Get it? There is no measurement. So when there is no measurement what have you, as your consciousness? I wonder if you see it. Don't state it yet, don't state it.
Look: I am attached to my furniture - there is a very nice table in my room at Brockwood, a beautiful table. I am very attached to it - if I am, I'm just saying - I am not, but if I am attached to it, it is a measurement, isn't it? I wonder if you see it. I am attached. I don't want you to touch it, I don't want you to harm it, no sunlight must come on it. You follow? So where there is a measurement as attachment, the space is very limited. Of course, sir. Because I am measuring from my centre of pleasure to that table, and that measurement limits it. Right? If there is no measure, which is from the centre to the table, then there is vast space. Right? Is that so with you? Don't agree. Is that so with you, that there is no centre? and if there is no centre, you see the whole of consciousness. I wonder if you do. It is marvellous, I am just You follow, sir? Look, I am getting excited about this, I must calm down.
Measurement, we said, is thought. Measurement is a process of time, from here to that table. That is, thought is a movement in time - right? - in time as measure, from me to that. Right? If that movement is not - right? - then what is my consciousness made up of? Nothing. I wonder if you see all this. No, you don't see it. This is too difficult, you can't see this.
Q: If there is no centre, then is there a whole, is there a part?
K: When there is no measurement then there is the whole. Just a minute, I will show it to you in a minute, in a different way. Human consciousness is from a centre, isn't it? I am attached to that: my family, my house, my anger, my jealousy, my hope - from a centre the whole of consciousness is built. No? I am attached to that furniture, I am attached to that house, I am attached to that belief, to that idea, and my sorrow. You follow? Always from a centre moving out. Right? That is my consciousness. Look at your own, it is simple. and that consciousness is divided into the unconscious and conscious, which the western world has done, and the eastern world does it in a different way, that is irrelevant. So as long as this division exists there must be measurement. Right? I wonder if you see that. Then I begin to examine what is inside, underneath. I wonder if you see. So when there is no measurement there is no centre, and therefore the consciousness which human beings have known disappears and then there is a totally different dimension, a boundless dimension, because there is no measure. So as long as there is measurement, space is very limited, from me to that table, because it is very narrow. But if there is no table or the centre, space is immense.
Now can the mind observe the totality of consciousness? and it can only observe when there is no centre saying, 'This is right, this is wrong, this should be, this should not be' - you follow? I don't think you get this. Do you get it, sir?
Have I answered your question? That is, your question was: why human beings are so enclosed, self-enclosed, why they have built a wall around themselves, why they never flower and in the flowering end, end to attachments - you follow? - all that, why? and we said - we took one part of that, which is human beings are hurt, and they think that hurt is different from me. the 'me' then says, 'I am different, therefore I am going to control that hurt, I am going to change it, I am going to suppress it, I am going to run away from it, this is ugly, this shouldn't be'. But when the 'me' is that image, and that image is the hurt then I have all that energy, which I have wasted, to look at that hurt. and when there is complete energy in that observation there is no hurt, naturally.
Q: I don’t understand that, sir.
K: You don't understand. Is it a question of English? I will try and put it differently. Is the world different from you?
K: No, don't answer me, please. This is not a school examination! Don't answer me please. Is the world different from you as a human being? the world which is outside, not the physical world only, but the psychological world, the world of anger, the world of violence, the world of sorrow, the world of pleasure, the world of nationalities, the world of religious differences and beliefs, is that different from you? No. See the truth of it, not the verbal description, the truth of the matter. Go to India, or Japan, or Asia, or America, human beings may put on trousers, or put on kimonos, or dhotis in India, or this or that, but there essentially, deep down they have sorrow, anxiety, misery, uncertainty - you follow? - the agony of human existence is the same right through. So you are the world and the world is you. That is a truth. Do you see that? Or do you say, 'No, I am different from that Indian' - psychologically? Of course you are different, you are a woman or a man, lighter skin, dark hair, brown, white, socially, have more food, more clothes, whatever it is; but inwardly, deep down you have the same agony going on. So you are the world. Do you see that? Do you know what happens when you say, you are the world and the world is you? It gives you tremendous strength, tremendous vitality - you understand? - because then you are not 'me' alone fighting the rest of the world. You understand this? Then you are not in the generalisation there is vitality, if you know how to see the generalisation actually.
So in the same way the world is you, and you are the world. You are the experiencer and you think you are different from the experience. Again that is our prejudice, our tradition, our education. Whereas you are that experience, the experience is not different from the experiencer, therefore there is no searching for experience. You understand? You are free of experience then. and a mind is free of experience only when it is a light to itself. You understand? Which is truth. Got it? What is the time?
Q: Five to twelve.
K: Oh my god!
K: the questioner wants to know - this is the last question please, in five minutes we must stop - he wants to know about T.M. - the good old stuff! Transcendental Meditation. You know, please, we are looking at it objectively. We are not condemning it, we are not putting it aside, but looking at it. the word mantra, which is involved in Transcendental Meditation, mantra means a form, a formula, a series of words that will help to bring about concentration. You understand? the root meaning of that word, mantra, the root meaning of that word is to help to bring about concentration, through a picture, through a word, through a repetition of something, a formula, is to help you to bring concentration.
Q: I think it is different. It is not a concentration.
K: Please, sir, I said, the root meaning of the word.
K: My god! (Laughter) the root meaning. Please sir, don't take sides, you may be a transcendental meditative person or whatever it is, don't take sides, we are looking at it. So the root meaning of that word is to bring about concentration, to help through words, through sentences. Concentration is bringing all your energy to a certain point - right? - and resisting any encroachment on that point. Right? To concentrate on a book, or on a page, means I resist every other movement. Right? I am not saying about Transcendental Meditation, I am just saying what is implied in concentration. Put away every other thought but this particular thought. Right? and in that way there is a division: concentration and non-concentration. You follow? I concentrate for ten minutes and resist every other encroachment and therefore I create a division. That is implied in concentration. and in various forms of concentration there is the controller and the controlled. Right? I try to control my thought, which is, the controller is different from that which he controls. What he is controlling is the other thoughts, and the controller is also part of thought. So when you see the truth that the controller is the controlled, the whole phenomenon of concentration undergoes a total change.
Now in this Transcendental Meditation, the word 'transcendental' is an unfortunate word because it means to transcend all human conflicts, transcend above everything else. That is the implication: to transcend, to go beyond. Now by repeating certain words, first, loud, second, silently, third, repeat without the word so that the mind becomes more and more quiet. the idea being through constant repetition of a certain word you reduce the mind to be quiet. This is the idea of mantra and all the rest of it - to make the mind quiet. Which is, through a method, through a system, through somebody saying, 'Do this and you will get that'. the authority and acceptance of authority and gaining something. As we said earlier, in spiritual matters there is no authority because you have to be a light to yourself. There is no guru. There is no teacher. There is no leader.
Q: You don’t need to accept any leader if you practise Transcendental Meditation. You become calm very soon and very naturally. and my experience is, I was reading Krishnamurti many years and I accepted it. I was reading Krishnamurti before I was practising Transcendental Meditation, and it was very beautiful. and then I read Krishnamurti after twenty minutes of Transcendental meditation and it was much more than just quiet and beautiful. There is a probe of sensitivity during Transcendental Meditation, you haven’t got any goals during Transcendental Meditation. You just watch the mantra like you watch the river, and as the mantra has no meaning, neither the past nor the future extends, so that you learn to live right in the moment. Then when I read Krishnamurti the first time I always wanted to tell him that it was just what he wanted us to live, we learn it very naturally, without accepting any authority if we practise Transcendental Meditation. It is not something different from what Krishnamurti is teaching us. It is a misunderstanding – it is not suppression, it is not control, it is very natural, with uniqueness. There is nothing different.
K: I am afraid it is a great deal of difference, sir. Forgive me for contradicting you.
Q: I like to watch you – you are a student of Transcendental Meditation, I am sure.
K: You are sure I did Transcendental Meditation?
Q: No, I know it by reading your books.
K: Don't read the books! (Laughter) Sir, you are not getting what I am talking about. Look, the first principle in a religious life is - no authority, which implies that you must be a light to yourself, therefore non-dependence on anything - gurus, mantras, books, persons, ideas, nothing. That means to be a light to yourself it implies that you have to be totally alone. the word alone means all one. You understand, sir? the meaning of that word 'alone' means all one, all made into one. Oh, you people don't know all these things!
So when you are alone in that sense you have abundance of compassion therefore you are a light to yourself, then you can forget all the gods, all the mantras, all the teachers, nothing matters. But we are afraid to stand alone, to be a light to ourselves, making mistakes, failures, find yourself to have a light to yourself. That demands great attention, great care, and you can't get attention, love, care through books, through people, mantras - nothing.