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Jiddhu Krishnamurti (1895 - 1986)


This is the last talk of the series. There won't be any more talks after this meeting is over, at least for the time being.

Most of us, I think, are aware that every form of persuasion, every kind of inducement, has been offered us to resist self-centred activities. Religions, through fear, through promises, through fear of hell, through every form of condemnation, have tried in different ways to dissuade man from this constant activity that is born from the centre of the `me'. These having failed, political organizations have taken over. There again, persuasion; there again the ultimate utopian hope. Against any form of resistance, concentration camps and every form of legislation, from the extreme to the very limited, have been used and enforced; and yet, we go on in our self-centred activity. That is all we know. If we at all think about it, we try to modify; if we are aware of it, we try to change the course of it; and fundamentally, deeply, there is no transformation, there is no radical cessation of that activity. We know this. At least, the thoughtful are aware of this; they are also aware that when that activity from the centre ceases, only then can there be happiness. Most of us are not aware of this. We take it for granted that it is natural, and that the consequential action is inevitable, only to be modified, controlled and shaped. Now, those who are a little more serious, more earnest, not sincere - because sincerity is the way of self-deception and therefore is out of the question - must find out how one, being aware of this extraordinary total process of self-centred activity, can go beyond.

To understand what this self centred activity is, one must obviously examine it, look at it, be aware of this entire process. If one can be aware of it then there is the possibility of its dissolution; but to be aware of it requires a certain understanding, a certain intention to face the thing as it is, to look at the thing as it is, and not to interpret it, not to modify it, not to condemn it. We have to be aware of that activity which we are doing from that self-centred state; we must be conscious of it. That is one of our primary difficulties because the moment we are conscious of that activity, we want to shape it, we want to control it, we want to condemn it, or we want to modify it; but we are never in a position to look at it directly; and when we do, very few of us are capable of knowing what to do.

We realize that self-centred activities are detrimental, are destructive and that every form of self-centred activity - such as that of identification with the country, with a particular group, with a particular desire, with desires that produce action, the search for a result here or hereafter, the glorification of an idea, the pursuit of example, worship of virtue and the pursuit of virtue and so on - is essentially the activity of a self-centred person. All his relationships with nature, with people, with ideas are the outcome of that activity. Knowing all this what is one to do? All such activity must voluntarily come to an end, not self-imposed, not influenced, not guided. I hope you see the difficulty in this.

Most of us are aware that this self centred activity creates mischief and chaos; but we are only aware of it in certain directions. Either we observe it in others and are ignorant of our own activities; or being aware, in relationship with others, of our own self-centred activity, we want to transform, we want to find a substitute, we want to go beyond. Before we can deal with it, we must know how this process comes into being. Must we not? In order to understand something, we must be capable of looking at it; and to look at it, we must know its various activities at different levels, conscious as well as unconscious, and also the conscious directives, the self-centred movements of the unconscious motives and intentions. Surely, this is a self-centred process, the result of time. Is it not?

What is it to be self-centred? When are you conscious of being the `me'? As I have suggested often during these talks, don't merely listen to me verbally but use the words as a mirror in which you see your own mind in operation. If you merely listen to my words, then you are very superficial and your reactions will be very superficial; but if you can listen, not to understand me or what I am saying, but to see yourself in the mirror of my words, if you use me as a mirror in which you discover your own activity, then it will have a tremendous and profound effect; but if you merely listen as in political or any other talks, then I am afraid you will miss the whole implication of the discovery for your self of that truth which dissolves the centre of the `me'.

I am only conscious of this activity of the `me' when I am opposing, when consciousness is thwarted, when the `me' is desirous of achieving a result. The `me' is active, or I am conscious of that centre, when pleasure comes to an end and I want to have more of that pleasure; then there is resistance and there is a purposive shaping of the mind to a particular end which will give me a delight, a satisfaction; I am aware of myself and my activities when I am pursuing virtue consciously. That is all we know. A man who pursues virtue consciously is unvirtuous. Humility cannot be pursued and that is the beauty of humility.

So, as long as this centre of activity in any direction, conscious and unconscious, exists, there is this movement of time, and I am conscious of the past and the present in conjunction with the future. The centre of this activity, the self-centred activity of the `me', is a time process. That is what you mean by time; you mean the psychological process of time; it is memory that gives continuity to the activity of the centre which is the `me'. Please watch yourselves in operation; don't listen to my words or be mesmerized by my words. If you watch yourself and are aware of this centre of activity, you will see that it is only the process of time, of memory, of experiencing and translating every experience according to memory; you also see that self-activity is recognition, which is the process of the mind. Now can the mind be free from it? That may be possible at rare moments; that may happen to most of us when we do an unconscious, unintentional, un-purposive act. Is it possible for the mind ever to be free from self-centred activity? That is a very important question first to put to ourselves, because in the very putting of it, you will find the answer. That is, if you are aware of the total process of this self-centred activity, fully cognizant of its activities at different levels of your consciousness, then surely you have to ask yourselves if it is possible for that activity to come to an end - that is, not to think in terms of time, not to think in terms of what I will be, what I have been, what I am. From such thought, the whole process of self centred activity begins; there also begin the determination to become, the determination to choose and to avoid, which are all a process of time. We see, in that process, infinite mischief, misery, confusion, distortion, deterioration taking place. Be aware of it as I am talking, in your relationship, in your mind.

Surely the process of time is not revolutionary. In the process of time, there is no transformation; there is only a continuity and no ending. In the process of time, there is nothing but recognition. It is only when you have complete cessation of the time process, of the activity of the self, is there the new, is there revolution, is there transformation.

Being aware of this whole total process of the `me' in its activity, what is the mind to do? It is only with the renewal, it is only with the revolution - not through evolution, not through the `me' becoming, but through the `me' completely coming to an end - there is the new. The time process can't bring the new; time is not a way of creation.

I do not know if any of you have had a moment of creativity, not action - I am not talking of putting something into action - I mean that moment of creation when there is no recognition. At that moment, there is that extraordinary state in which the `me', as an activity through recognition, has ceased. I think some of us have had it; perhaps, most of us have had it. If we are aware, we will see in that state that there is no experiencer who remembers, translates, recognizes and then identifies; there is no thought process which is of time. In that state of creation, creativity, or in that state of the new which is timeless, there is no action of the `me' at all.

Now, our question surely is: Is it possible for the mind to experience, to have that state, not momentarily, not at rare moments but - I would not use the word `everlasting' or `for ever', because that would imply time - to have that state, to be in that state without regard to time? Surely, that is an important discovery to be made by each one of us, because that is the door to love; all other doors are activities of the self. Where there is action of the self, there is no love. Love is not of time. You can't practice love. If you do, then it is a self-conscious activity of the `me' which hopes through living to gain a result.

So, love is not of time; you can't come upon it through any conscious effort, through any discipline, through identification, which are all a process of time. The mind, knowing only the process of time cannot recognize love. Love is the only thing that is new, eternally new. Since most of us have cultivated the mind which is a process of time, which is the result of time, we do not know what love is. We talk about love; we say we love people, love our children, our wives, our neighbour; we say we love nature; but the moment I am conscious that I love, self- activity has come into being; therefore it ceases to be love.

This total process of the mind is to be understood only through relation ship - relationship with nature, with people, with our own projection, with everything. In fact, life is nothing but relationship. Though we may attempt to isolate ourselves from relationship, we cannot exist without relationship; though relationship is painful from which we try to run away through isolation by becoming a hermit and so on, we cannot do that. All these methods are an indication of the activity of the self. Seeing this whole picture, being aware of this whole process of time as consciousness, without any choice, with out any determined, purposive intention, without the desire for any result, you will see that this process of time comes to an end voluntarily. not induced, not as a result of desire. It is only when that process comes to an end, that love is, which is eternally new.

We do not have to seek truth. Truth is not something far away. It is the truth of the mind, truth of its activities from moment to moment. If we are aware of this moment-to moment truth, of this whole process of time, this awareness releases consciousness or that energy to be. As long as the mind uses consciousness as the self activity, time comes into being with all its miseries, with all its conflicts, with all its mischiefs, its purposive deceptions; and it is only when the mind, understanding this total process, ceases, that love will be. You may call it love or give it some other name; what name you give, is of no consequence.

Question: How can one know if one is deceiving oneself?

Krishnamurti: How do you know anything? What is the process of knowing? Please follow this and you will soon find out whether you are deceiving yourself or not. That is, if you are earnest in your question, you can find out.

You want to know when you are deceiving yourself. Now, what do we mean by deceiving? When do you know? When you are interpreting, is it not? You only know when you recognize, when there is the interpretation process going on, when you are experiencing and translating that experience; then you say `I know'. As long as there is the process of recognition, there is knowing.

What do we mean by self-deception? When do we deceive ourselves, consciously or unconsciously? Most of us, though we deceive ourselves, are totally unaware that this process is going on. We may be superficially aware, aware at the superficial levels of consciousness of the word; we may be aware of the self-deception in a vague way. But that will not do. We must know that at all levels, fundamentally. That is rather difficult. We must enquire, we must find out, we must search and understand what we mean by deception. When do we deceive ourselves, delude our selves? Only when there is an imposition on ourselves or on others. That word `delusion' surely implies that. Does it not? Imposing a certain experience on others or being attached to that experience, which is the imposing of that experience on ourselves. What I am saying is not difficult to follow. If you go step by step, it is quite simple. Self-deception exists as long as I am trying to impose an experience on others or on my self, as long as I am translating an experience through attachment or through identification or through the desire to convince another.

So self-deception is a process of time. It is an accumulated process. `I have had an experience as a boy and I want that experience to conti- nue. I am convinced that experience as a lad is true and I want to convince you of it, because I have experienced it and I hold on to it; that is how we know. So, the knowing which is the interpretation of experience, brings about self-deception which is a process of time.

Don't you know when you are deceiving yourselves? Don't you know it? There is a fact and you translate that to suit your own vested interests, your own likes and dislikes; and immediately, there has begun self-deception. When you are incapable of facing a fact and are translating that fact in terms of your memory, immediately self-deception has begun. I have a vision which I translate and to which I hold on; there is the experience which I translate according to my like or dislike and proceed to deceive myself through my past experience; there self-deception begins, starting with interpretation.

When I am capable of looking at the fact without any kind of comparison or judgment, without translating, then only there is the possibility of not being deceived. When I do not want anything out of it, when I do not want a result, when I do not want to convince you of it or convince myself about it, this possibility of not being deceived exists. I must look directly, be in contact with the fact, without any interpretation between me and that fact. Between me and that fact, the time process which is deception, should not be there.

I have an experience as a boy, as a lad, of a guru, a Master or what you will; then, what happens? I interpret it according to my likes, my conditioning. Then I say `I know'. There begins self-deception. I cling to an experience which is translatable. An experience that is translatable, is the beginning of self-deception. From there I proceed, I build up this whole process of knowing. If I have capacities, I convince you of my experience; and you, uncritical, superstitious, follow me because you also want to be deceived, you also want to be in the same net. The net has to be thrown away. You can plough the ground every day, do nothing but plough, plough and plough; but until you sow a seed, you won't get anything. That is how we are deceiving ourselves constantly and deceiving others.

So, to discover for oneself if there is self-deception is very simple, very clear. As long as there is the interpreter translating the experience, there must be deception. Don't say there is infinite time to get free from the experiencer, from the translator. That is another of your ways of self deception; that is your desire to evade the fact.

If we want to know whether we are deceiving ourselves, it is very clear and it is very simple. It is only when you do not ask, when you do not put out the begging bowl for another to fill, then only you will know the state in which no deception is possible.

Question: You say that through identification we bring about separation, division. Your way of life appears to some of us to be separative and isolating and to have caused division among those who were formerly together. With what have you identified yourself?

Krishnamurti: Now, let us first see the truth of the statement that identification divides, separates. I have stated that several times. Is it a fact or not?

What do we mean by identification? Don't just merely and verbally indulge in it, but look at it directly. You identify yourself with your country. Don't you? When you do that what happens? You immediately enclose yourself through that identification with a particular group. That is a fact, is it not? When you call yourself a Hindu, you have identified yourself with particular beliefs, traditions, hopes, ideas; and that very identification isolates you. That is a fact, is it not? If you see the truth of that, then you cease to identify; therefore you are no longer a Hindu or a Buddhist or a Christian, politically or religiously. So, identification is separative, is a deteriorating factor in life. That is a fact; that is the truth of it whether you like it or not.

The questioner goes on to ask if I have, through my action, brought about division among those who were formerly together. Quite right. If you see something true, must you not state it? Though it brings trouble, though it brings about disunity, should you not state it? How can there be unity on falsity? You identify yourself with a idea, with a belief; and when another questions that belief, the idea, you throw that other fellow out; you don't bring him in, you push him out. You have isolated him; the man who says what you are doing is wrong, has not isolated you. So, your action is isolating, and not his action, not the action of the person who points to the truth. You don't want to face the fact that identification is separative.

Identification with a family, with an idea, with a belief, with any particular organization is all separative. When that is directly put an end to, or when you are made to look at it and are given a challenge, then you who want to identify, who want to be separative, who want to push the other fellow out, say that man is isolating.

Your way of existence, your way of life, is separative; and so you are responsible for separation. I am not. You have thrown me out; I have not gone out. Naturally, you begin to feel that I am isolating, that I am bringing division, that my ideas and my expressions are destroying are destructive. They should be destructive; they should be revolutionary. Otherwise, what is the value of anything new?

Surely, Sirs, there must be revolution, not according to any particular ideology or pattern. If it is according to an ideology or pattern, then it is not revolution, it is merely the continuation of the past; it is identification with a new idea and therefore it gives continuity to a particular form; and that is certainly not revolution. Revolution comes into being when there is an inward cessation of all identification; and you can only do that, when you are capable of looking straight at the fact without deceiving yourself and without giving the interpreter a chance to tell you what he thinks of it.

Seeing the truth of identification, obviously I am not identified with anything. Sir, when I see a truth that something hurts, there is no problem; I leave it alone. I cease to identify there or elsewhere. You realize that the whole process of identification is destructive, separative; whether this process takes place in religious beliefs or in the political dialectical outlook, it is all separative. When you recognize that, when you see that and are fully aware of it, then obviously you are freed; therefore there is no identification with anything. Not to be identified means to stand alone, but not as a noble entity facing the world. This has nothing to do with being together. But, you are afraid of disunity.

The questioner says I have brought disunity. Have I? I doubt it! You have discovered for yourself the truth of it. If you are persuaded by me and therefore identify yourself with me, then you have not done a new thing; you have only exchanged one evil for another. Sirs, we must break to find out. The real revolution is the inward revolution; it is a revolution that sees things clearly and that is of love. In that state, you have no identification with anything.

Question: You say there can be cooperation only when you and I are as nothing. How can this be true? Is not cooperation positive action, whereas being as nothing is almost unconscious negativity? How can two nothingness be related and what is there for them to cooperate about?

Krishnamurti: The state of nothingness must obviously be an unconscious state. It is not a conscious state. You can't say I am as nothing. When you are conscious as being nothing, you are then something. This is not a mere amusing statement, but this is a fact. When you are conscious that you are virtuous, you become respectable; a person who is respectable can never find what is real. When I am conscious that I am as nothing then that very nothingness is some thing. Simply because I have made that statement, don't accept it.

There can be cooperation only when you and I are as nothing. Find out what it means, think out and meditate about it. Don't just ask questions. What does that state of nothingness mean? What do you mean by it? We only know the state of activity of the self, the self-centred activity. Whether you are following some guru, master, that is all irrelevant. We only know the state which is self-action. That obviously creates and engenders mischief, misery, turmoil, confusion and non-cooperation. And then the problem arises: `How is one to cooperate?'

We know now that any cooperation based on an idea leads to destruction, as has already been shown. Action, cooperation, based on an idea is separative. Just as belief is separative, so is action based on an idea. Even if you are convinced, or millions are convinced, still there are many to be convinced; and therefore there is contention going on all the time. So, we know that there cannot be fundamental cooperation, though there may be superficial persuasion through fear, through reward, through punishment and so on - which is not cooperation obviously.

So, where there is activity of the self as the end in view, as the utopia in view, that is nothing but destruction, separation; and there is no cooperation. What is one to do if one is really desirous, or one wants really to find out, not superficially but really, and bring about cooperation? If you want cooperation from your wife, your child, or your neighbour, how do you set about it? You set about by loving the person. Obviously!

Love is not a thing of the mind; love is not an idea. Love can be only when the activity of the self has ceased to be. But you call the activity of the self positive; that positive act leads to destruction, separativeness, misery, confusion, all of which you know so well and so thoroughly. And yet, we all talk of cooperation, brotherhood. Basically, we want to cling to our activities of the self.

So, a man who really wants to pursue and find out the truth of cooperation, must inevitably bring to an end the self-centred activity. When you and I are not self-centred, we love each other; then you and I are interested in action and not in the result, not in the idea but in doing the action; you and I have love for each other. When my self-centred activity clashes with your self-centred activity, then we project an idea towards which we both quarrel; superficially we are cooperating, but we are at each other's throats all the time.

So, to be nothing is not the conscious state; and when you and I love each other, we cooperate, not to do something about which we have an idea, but in whatever there is to be done.

If you and I loved each other, do you think the dirty, filthy villages would exist? We would act, we would not theorize and would not talk about brotherhood. Obviously, there is no warmth or sustenance in our hearts and we talk about everything; we have methods, systems, parties, governments and legislation's. We do not know that words cannot capture that state of love.

The word `love' is not love. The word `love' is only the symbol and it can never be the real. So, don't be mesmerized by that word `love'. It is not something new. That state can only come into being when the activity of the `me' has ceased; and in that cessation of the `me', you are co operating with what is to be done and not with any idea. Don't you know all this, Sirs? Don't you know that when you and I love each other, we do things so easily and so smoothly; we do not talk about cooperation; we do not talk about a system of how to do a thing and then battle over the system and forget the action. You smile and you all pass it by. We have grown old in our cleverness and not in wisdom.

Question: What system of meditation should I follow?

Krishnamurti: We are going to find out. You are not going to listen to my truth and make it yours. You can only imitate the words but that won't be truth. The symbol is not the real. When you worship the symbol you become idolatrous, and the man who is idolatrous can never find what is truth.

Now, you are going to find out what is the truth, not the ultimate, absolute and final truth but the truth of the system which will help you to meditate. That is, we are going to find out the truth if systems, methods, help you to meditate. You understand?

The questioner probably asks whether systems, methods and definite steps, will help you to meditate. We are going to find that out. Truth is not something far away, miles away for which we have to go. It is there right under your very nose, to be discovered every minute; it is there for you to discover with a fresh mind which is creative. We shall discover in this way the truth, the whole implication of meditation.

What is the implication of a system? Practice, doing the thing over and over again, repetition, copying and imitation. Is it not? All systems imply only this. Is it not? Through practice, through repetition, are you going to find happiness? That happiness, bliss, something which is not measurable, cannot come that way.

At the beginning of your practice, you have both the beginning and the ending of that practice; that is, what you begin with is also what you end up with; the beginning is the end. If I practice, if I copy, I will end up as an imitator, as a machine repeating. If my mind is only capable of repeating, practicing day after day a certain method, following a certain system, at the end my mind is still copying, imitating, repeating. Surely this is obvious, is this not? Therefore at the beginning, I have set the course which the mind shall follow; if I do not understand at the beginning, I shall not understand at the end. That is the obvious truth. So, I have discovered that the end is at the beginning. Systems through promises, through pleasure, rewards, punishments, make the mind mechanical, stupid, drunk. And at the beginning there is no freedom, and therefore there is no freedom at the end. The beginning matters enormously.

To you, meditation is quite a different process. You want to learn concentration; you want to learn the method of achieving a result; you want to worship God, female or male, some stupid image; you want to pursue virtue. All this is meditation for you. When you pursue virtue, cultivate virtue, what happens? You have the action of the `me'. The `me' desires to be kind, to be generous, to have no greed; and you practice, day after day, month after month. Thereby, are you not strengthening greed in a different way? Because, you are becoming conscious that you are not greedy, and the moment you are conscious that you are not greedy, you are certainly greedy.

Your pursuit of virtue is a form of self-centred activity. That is not meditation. When you want to concentrate, your mind goes wandering and you try to pull it up; and there fore, you set up a battle. The mind is wandering off, and you attempt to concentrate. What does that indicate? When you are here, for the duration you are here, are not your minds really concentrated? That is, is there not instinctive, natural, concentration which is not a process of exclusion?

If your mind is petty, narrow, clever, cunning, ambitious, what is the good of your meditation, what is the good of your learning concentration? If you learn it, then it is another action of the self, which will help you to deceive others or to deceive yourself. So, you have seen the truth that concentration is not meditation; it is only a narrowing, exclusive process designed to force the mind to a particular pattern.

Imagine you have abolished all systems, the whole idea of systems has fallen away. What then? The idea of concentrating your mind on a particular object - Master, some image - which is only exclusion, which is a process of identification and therefore of separation, has also dropped away. Then what happens? Your mind be comes more cognizant, more aware. Do you not then see that any pursuit of the mind, any form of achievement, is a burden?

Please follow all this, meditate as I am talking; and you will see that any form of achievement of success, any sense of becoming, is still the action of the self, and therefore of time. When you see that clearly, fully recognize it, then there is no longer the pursuit of virtue. Then all sense of achievement, of being somebody, drops away; therefore the mind becomes quieter, more serene, not looking for a reward or punishments; it becomes completely indifferent to flattery and insult alike. What has happened to your mind? Don't go home and think about it there; think now. The things that were agitating you before, the things that acted in a separative way, being unconscious and fearful, seeking a reward, avoiding punishment, all these have gone away. The mind has become more quiet, more alert. There is gripping silence, not induced, not disciplined, not forced. Then what happens? Then, in that quiet state, ideas come up, feelings come up; and you understand them and put them away. Then, if you proceed a little further, you will see that in that state there are certain activities which are not self-projected, which come darkly and mysteriously without invitation, like the breeze, the sunset, like beauty. The moment they come, the mind, seeing the beauty, may like to hold on to it; it may then say `I have experienced that state', and then it clings to it and thereby creates the process of time, which is memory. That possibility also must go away.

You know how the mind is operating and how it wants a series of sensations, which are called marvellous, and how it is naming them. When you see the truth of all that, these things also go away. Now, what is the state of the mind that is not seeking, that is not pursuing, that is not desiring, that is not searching out a result, that is not naming, that is not recognizing? Such a mind is quiet; such a mind is silent; the silence has come very naturally without any form of enforcement, without any compulsion, without any discipline. It is the truth that has liberated the mind. In that state, the mind is extraordinarily quiet. Then that which is new, which is not recognizable, which is creation, which is love, call it what you will, which is not different from the beginning, comes. And such a mind is a blessed mind, is a holy mind. Such a mind alone can help. Such a mind can cooperate. Such a mind can be without any identification, be alone, without any self-deception.

What is beyond, is not measurable by words. That which is not measurable, comes; but if you seek like the foolish, then you will never have it. It comes when you are least expecting it; it comes when you are watching the sky; it comes when you are sitting under the shade of a tree; it comes when you are observing the smile of a child or the tears of a woman. But we are not observant; we are not meditating. We meditate only about a mysterious, ugly thing to be pursued, to be practiced and to be lived up to. A man who practices meditation, shall never know; but the man who understands the true meditation which is from moment to moment, only shall know. There is no experience of the individual. Where truth is concerned, the individuality disappears, the `me' has ceased to be.

February 10, 1952