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Jiddhu Krishnamurti (1895 - 1986)


In Buddhism they mention three categories of people in the world: the ordinary worldly man who has his pleasures, pain, etc; the path-winner, the person who has a glimpse of the direction; then the arhat. The worldly man might perform rituals but he is still a worldly man till he has an experience, a glimpse of the direction. The path-winner wanders away but always comes back, till such time when there is no more going back to the first stage.

Krishnamurti: A man who is of the world has a glimpse of the path - how does he have it? And once he is on the path he may wander back and forth, wander and come back to the path and finally settle down and reach the state of being an arhat. Are you asking how the worldly man is to have a glimpse?

Questioner C: What is sadhana? sadhana means to attain, to prepare that by which you attain siddhi. siddhi means goal.

Krishnamurti: That through which you attain a goal - a system, a method, a process; that means time.

C: Does it imply time? It does not necessarily imply time.

Krishnamurti: If I have to go through the gate to attain, going through the gate to attain is time.

That is a process of time. Sadhana implies a process of time.

C: Tradition also says sadhanas are useless.

Krishnamurti: Most people insist on sadhana, though they say it is not necessary. It has become part of the tradition.

B: They say it is better to go through sadhana, but they do not guarantee that you will reach through sadhana.

Krishnamurti: The word sadhana implies a process and process means things put together, and the putting together means time. Even the most scientific concept of time is things put together in a horizontal or vertical position. So sadhana means time. Though you may say it is not necessary, the word implies time. So, what is the question, Sir; what does tradition say?

B: The Buddhist tradition says that a man in sorrow has a glimpse of this. Then he is the path-winner and then he works out his salvation and becomes an arhat. What kind of operation or movement is involved in the second stage?

C: They say when you get into the non-dual state, there is no going back.

Krishnamurti: How do you come to it? C: Since it is not a process, they do not say how you come to it. They say you cannot come to it by hearing people, by studying, by rituals and sadhana. They put it negatively.

Krishnamurti: It is a question of duality. Being in the world implies duality, then there is a getting a glimpse of a non-dualistic state and the getting back to the dualistic state; is that it?

C: They say there is no duality at all, but on account of the intellectual process you create duality. Once you realize the non-duality, then there is no question of worldliness creeping into it.

Krishnamurti: Living in a dualistic state as human beings do, by negating rituals, will that get you to a non-dualistic state? You may say that there is no dualistic mould or level; a dimension in which there is no duality at all. The mind caught in the dualistic state, by negating beliefs, rituals, etc., will it come to the "other"? Is that what the tradition says? Shall we approach this problem in a simple way, which is: one lives in a dualistic state. That is a fact. One lives in the dualistic state in which there is pain, sorrow, conflict and all that. And man says, how am I to get out of it? The non-dualistic state is merely a theory. Man does not know it. He does not know in the sense he might have read about it, but it is secondhand information. It has no value. Disregard what others have said about it.

I only know a dualistic state in which there is sorrow, pain. That is a fact. That is from where I start.

C: Some people have conflict and misery and realize that the dualistic state is the cause of the trouble. So they want to get rid of it. Some do not start from this, but they feel discontented and read, and having read, they start imagining the non-dual state.

Krishnamurti: It is a theory. The fact is one thing and the idea about the fact is another. We are not concerned with the man who supplies a conclusion derived by a specialist. We are only discussing about a man who is in conflict and is discontented with that conflict. How does he get out of it?

C: The traditional way is to explore through books. Man attains by negating and resolves by knowledge.

Krishnamurti: Proceed step by step. I am in conflict. Now, how do I resolve it? You say by knowledge. What is knowledge?

C: The realization of conflict is knowledge.

Krishnamurti: I do not have to realize it, I am in conflict. I know I am in conflict, in pain, in sorrow. What do you mean by knowledge and what do you mean by conflict? To know that I am in conflict, is that knowledge? Or do you call knowledge what I should do about that conflict? When you use the word "knowledge", what do you mean by that? What is the sanskrit equivalent of that word?

C: Jnana.

Krishnamurti: What does that mean? Knowledge about what? Is it the know- ledge about the cause of conflict?

C: Jnana will also apply to the nature of conflict and how it arises.

Krishnamurti: How does it come into being and how does it work? What is the nature and structure of it? To know the cause is to know the structure and the nature of pain. Do you call that knowledge?

C: Sir, jnana has been divided as that which pertains to the phenomenal world and that which refers to the non-phenomenal world.

Krishnamurti: What do you mean by conflict?

C: Conflict is duality.

Krishnamurti: We know what the word "knowledge" is. What do you mean by the word "conflict"?

C: Dwandva - conflict between the two - hot and cold, pleasure and pain, happiness and sorrow.

Krishnamurti: So let us proceed: I am in conflict. I want to go out and I want to stay here; I am unhappy and I want to do something which makes for happiness. I acquire knowledge about it by seeing the cause, the nature, the structure of this conflict. The understanding of the cause, the nature, the structure of this conflict is knowledge: And knowing that, having this knowledge, will it free the mind from conflict? So you are saying knowledge will free the mind from conflict, right, Sir?

Now, I know that I am jealous because my wife looks at another man or you have a better job than me. I know why I am jealous. I know the nature and structure of jealousy, which is: I would like to be in your place. I would like my wife not to look at you: I know the cause, I know the effect; the reaction of it is I am jealous. I see the full structure of it as an engineer sees a structure, and the knowing of it, does it free me from it? Obviously it does not.

C: Knowledge which will resolve conflict is the kind of knowledge in which there is no duality:

Krishnamurti: How do you know - because somebody else has said it?

C: By looking into why jealousy arises. Why should I be jealous?

Krishnamurti: That is analysis. Does analysis free the mind from conflict?

C: Analysis alone will not.

Krishnamurti: Knowledge is the result of analysis. I analyse. I see why I am jealous. I was angry with my wife and so on, and she has left me. Does this knowledge free me from the fear of living alone without her?

C: The feeling of jealousy does cease.

Krishnamurti: How do you propose to end jealousy? I have analysed myself till I am sick, and the next minute I am jealous again.

C: That means by analysis you have not ended jealousy.

Krishnamurti: Analysis is part of knowledge. I have accumulated knowledge because I have analysed. I am jealous because I have tried to possess her. The realization of this is knowledge; and I possess her because I am afraid to live alone - and this is part of knowledge. And you are saying, through analysis there is accumulation of know1edge, and that knowledge is going to free you from jealousy. Does it?

C: No, Sir. I may analyse jealousy, as she is my wife and she has gone to another man; I may also say that there is no difference at all, what does it matter if she goes? It all depends on the individual.

Krishnamurti: That is all intellection. Intellection is part of analysis. As long as there is the intellect, knowledge, you are not free. So all knowledge is intellectual.

C: Jnana is not that intellectua1 process. The intellectual process ends with manas and buddhi.

Krishnamurti: So you are saying there is another factor which is beyond intellect, knowledge. Analysis, accumulation of knowledge through analysis is one kind of knowledge, and there is another, some other factor beyond that.

C: Which enables the buddhi to see, to discriminate.

B: How is knowledge acquired? Let us take the first step.

Krishnamurti: I have been on that road many times and I have acquired knowledge. I have seen that person often and I have talked to him. He has been friendly, non-friendly. All that is knowledge. I have accumulated through experience, through analysis, through incidents, information, which is called knowledge.

C: What makes that knowledge possible? What makes experience possible?

Krishnamurti: Experience is possible only when there is the experiencer. You hurt me, that is experience. You say something which I do not like, and that hurts me. That is an experience, then that experience becomes knowledge. Will that knowledge end conflict?

C: No.

Krishnamurti: Then what will end conflict? Do they say it is that entity which realizes the experiencer, who has gathered this knowledge that will end conflict? If so then there is a superior entity.

C: There is a principle through which all these several experiences, all the disparate experiences of the individual are made possible. How do I know I am the experiencer?

Krishnamurti: Because I have experienced before. I know I am the experiencer because you have hurt me before. The knowledge, the previous knowledge makes me the experiencer.

B: I see sunlight; sunrise, I fee1 that is my experience of having seen the sun......

Krishnamurti: Having seen the sunset once and seeing it day after day, the accumulation of that knowledge makes the experiencer.

C: They postulate an entity which does not experience.

Krishnamurti: The postulated entity is another opinion which I have acquired from somebody else.

It is fairly simple and clear. First I am aware, I get to know I am in conflict. I analyse it. Through analysis I have acquired knowledge that I am jealous; that is simple. Analysis, observation, watching, have given me information why I am jealous, which is knowledge: And that knowledge apparently cannot get rid of jealousy. Then what will get rid of it? Do not invent another superior seLf: I know nothing about it: I know only conflict, analysis, knowledge and I see knowledge does not get rid of conflict.

B: What is the sub-stratum of all experience? What is that out of which all experiences arise? What is the matrix?

Krishnamurti: Is it an accumulation of experience? The matrix is things put together. The matrix of the carpet is the warp and woof. The matrix of experience is experience. Are you asking, Sir, what is the thread that makes experience or are you asking what the matter is upon which the experience leaves a pattern?

C: Traditionalists consider that knowledge as gathering of experience, memory, belongs to the realm of manas and buddhi, and this is made possible by the atman which sheds light, and without atman, the manas cannot function.

Krishnamurti: What is the material upon which experience leaves a mark? Is there such material?

Now what is it on which any experience leaves a mark? Obviously, it is the brain. The fact is, the brain is the material; the cells are the material on which every incident leaves a mark, every experience, conscious or unconscious.

All the time the brain is receiving. I see that flower, it has already registered; I see you, it has already registered. Constant recording is going on. It is there. The racial inheritance, personal inheritance; all this is leaving a mark on the brain.

B: The function of the mind is energy.

Krishnamurti: The registration of the brain is part of energy. The whole thing is energy.

So brain is the repository of all recording - sensory, non-sensory. That is the tape which has been collected for centuries. That is knowledge. If you did not know where you lived, you could not go there. Because you have been there, you know it.

Knowledge does not necessarily free the mind from conflict. Right? We see that. Then what will free the mind without the introduction of the atman which is part of the tradition, knowledge which I have acquired? Though I may call it atman, it is the same field of knowledge.

C: How does it come within the field of knowledge?

Krishnamurti: Unless I think about it, there is no atman.

C: Thinking about it is not realizing it. It is not within the comprehension of thought.

Krishnamurti: Thinking about something is still within the field of thought. A man who thinks about atman is still within the field of thought.

C: The man who talked of atman never thought he realized that. The only experience which they cite is that you have a sound deep sleep and you wake up. How do you remember that you had a sound sleep? In deep sleep the mind does not work.

Krishnamurti: How do you know when it does not work? The brain cells are working day and night.

Only when you get up the next morning do you know that you are tired or you have had a good sleep, etc. They are all the functions of the brain. So atman is within the field of thought. It must be. Otherwise, you would not use that word. We are saying atman is part of the brain. Thought says it cannot solve the problem through thought and, therefore, there must be the atman.

C: But they have said the atman is outside experience.

B: Explain the material of experience.

Krishnamurti: I see the flower, I name it. There is a naming of it, the form, the verbalization; verbalization is the memory, because the brain has seen and says that is a flower.

B: Does it operate if I close my eyes?

Krishnamurti: Of course, shut your eyes, close your ears, you can still think. The moment I say there is God, the thinking about it is within the field of thought.

The man who has not thought at all, to him there is no God. The ancient ones thinking about something superior, wanting something greater, said there was God. That was the product of thought. So that was within the field of knowledge.

C: Not much importance is given to God in the Upanishads. According to their conception God and brahman are the same.

Krishnamurti: You see, someone comes along who is not a Hindu and says God, Jesus. What is the difference? He has been brought up in his culture, and you in this culture say atman.

C: We say both. God is personal, atman is not personal.

Krishnamurti: They are all the product of thought. Look, how deceptive the mind has become, caught in words. I have accumulated knowledge about suffering and suffering does not end, and not knowing how to end it, thought says there must be some other factor. So it invents the atman. It thinks about it. Other wise the atman would not have come into existence. So atman does not end it either, because it is part of knowledge. Knowledge about suffering has not ended suffering.

The atman does not end suffering either.

C: But they themselves have said that thought will not solve the problem.

Krishnamurti: But atman is the product of thought.

C: But atman is experienced by them. It is their personal experience.

Krishnamurti: When they say they experience atman, what does it mean?

C: They say it cannot be described.

Krishnamurti: Of course it cannot be, but it is part of thought.

C: To them it was not part of thought. They realized it.

Krishnamurti: How do I realize anything? I must recognize it, must I not? What do I recognize?

C: Recognition means seeing a thing without the process of thought. Krishnamurti: I recognize you because I have met you yesterday. If I did not, I would not know you.

C: That is not the process by which you recognize brahman.

Krishnamurti: Be simple. Let us talk logically. I must recognize a new experience. What is the process of recognition? I must have known it already, like the flower, the yellow flower - I could not recognize it if I had not seen it. So recognition of an experience is, that it has already been experienced. Therefore, atman has already been experienced to recognize it. It is, therefore, within the field of experience. So when they say you cannot experience it, what do they mean by it?

The fact is, I suffer; I say "I want to end suffering". So, why do I bring in the atman? It has no value at all. It is like a man who is hungry and you describe food to him.

C: I agree that whatever they have said does not help.

Krishnamurti: On the contrary, they have destroyed the mind by introducing a factor which does not help.

C: Yes.

Krishnamurti: See it. Say, I will never talk about the atman, it does not mean a thing. So, how do I face this? How can the mind resolve the factor of sorrow? Not through atman. That is too childish. It can only resolve it, not through knowledge, but by looking at it without knowledge.

C: Is this possible?

Krishnamurti: Do not introduce atman. Try it. Test it out. The other you cannot test. Put it away completely. Then what happens? Then how do I look at suffering - with knowledge or without knowledge?

Do I look at it with past eyes? Do I look with eyes which are filled with the past, therefore, translate everything in terms of the past?

B: We cannot use the past as a means to free ourselves from suffering.

Krishnamurti: When you say that you see what suffering is, you are directly in relationship with suffering, not the observer observing suffering. I look at suffering without the image and the image is the past. The image of the past may be the atman. Of course, it is. Test it. Test the image as you would test it in the laboratory. In the same way you can test this. The other you cannot. The atman which I see is part of thought. There is no testing there at all. Here there is testing. I am looking at this sorrow with past experience. My past experience divides the past as the past and the present. There is duality. The present is sorrow and I am looking at the present through the past, and translating it in terms of the past. If the mind can look at it without the past, there must be a different meaning altogether. So, I have to test it. Can the mind look without past memory? Can I look at that flower without past knowledge? Test it; you can do it or not do it.