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Jiddhu Krishnamurti (1895 - 1986)


Question: Emotions are strong. Our attachments are strong. How does looking and seeing reduce the strength and power of these emotions?

Trying to control, suppress, or sublimate emotions and attachments in no way reduces the conflict, does it? Are one's emotions so extraordinarily strong that they act? First one has to be conscious, aware, to know or recognise, to see, that one's emotions are strong and also that one is attached. When one is so conscious, what takes place?

One is conscious of one's attachment, or of one's strong emotions of hate, jealousy, antagonism, like and dislike. Now, do they, being so strong, overshadow and control one's actions? One is examining, looking at the emotions and attachments which are apparently very strong and one sees that they act as barriers to clear unconfused thinking, to clear action, Is one aware of that or does one take it for granted? Does one say, "Yes I have very strong emotions, I am terribly attached, but it does not matter, it is part of life. I do not mind struggling. I do not mind having quarrels with everybody"? Now when one says one is aware, what does one mean by that - to know, to recognise? Is thought recognising the attachment? One says, "Yes, I am attached" - is it the activity of thought that says, "I am attached"?

When one says, "I am attached", is it an idea or is it a fact? The fact is not the idea. This microphone: I can create an idea of it but the microphone is a fact. I can touch it, see it. So,is my attachment a concept, a conclusion, or is it a fact? Now, when you observe the fact, not the idea, not the conclusion about the fact, but the fact itself, is the fact different from you who are observing the fact?

When you are observing the fact through an idea, or through a conclusion that you have heard from somebody, you are not looking at the fact. If you are looking at the fact you are not verbalizing the fact. So, how do you look at it? As something separate from yourself? Is attachment something different from yourself or is it part of yourself? The microphone is something apart from yourself, but attachment, the emotion, is part of yourself. Attachment is the `me'. If there is no attachment there is no 'me'. So awareness of your emotions, your attachments, is part of your nature, part of your structure. If you are looking at yourself there is no division, there is no duality as the `me' and attachment. There is only attachment, not the word but the fact, the feeling, the emotion, the possessiveness in attachment. That is a fact; that is `me'.

So, what am I to do with the `me'? When there was division between `me' and attachment I could try to do something about it; I could try to control it, I could say, "I must suppress it", - which we do all the time. But if it is `me', what can I do? I cannot do anything; I can only observe. Before, I acted upon it; now I cannot act upon it because it is `me'. All I can do is observe. Observation becomes all important, not what I do about it.

So there is observation, not, "1 am observing". There is only observation. If in that observation I begin to choose and say, "I must not be attached", I have already moved away, I am no saying that it is not `me'. In observation there is no choice, there is no direction, there is just pure, absolute, observation, and then the thing that is being observed dissolves. Before, you resisted it, you controlled it, you suppressed it, you acted upon it; but now in that observation all energy is centred. It is only when there is the lack of that energy that there is attachment. When there is complete observation without any interference of thought - why should thought come in? - you are just observing as you observe the thing that you call the fly. Just observe in the same way your emotions and attachments, then there is the gathering of all energy in that observation. Therefore there is no attachment. It is only the unintelligent who are attached, it is only those who do not see the full implications of attachment who are attached. They pervade the world, they are the stronger element in the world and we are caught in that. But when you come to examine this closely, then you are no longer caught in that and you are no longer dissipating energy in something which has no meaning. Your energy is now centred completely in observation, therefore there is total dissipation of attachment. Test it, do it and you will find out. You have to examine the thing very, very closely so that your mind is absolutely clear in the observation. It is only the unaware who jump over the cliff. The moment you are aware of danger, move. Attachment is a danger because it breeds fear, anxiety, hate and jealousy, being possessed and being not possessed - the whole of that is a tremendous danger. And when you see that danger there is action.