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Jiddhu Krishnamurti (1895 - 1986)


You have said when we were discussing Tantra, that there is a way of awakening energy. The Tantrics concentrate on certain psychic centres, and thereby release the dormant energy in those centres. Would you say there is any validity in this? What is the way of awakening energy?

Krishnamurti: What you said just now, concentrating on the various physio-psychical centres, implies, does it not, a process of time? So I would like to ask, can that energy be awakened without a process of time?

P: In this whole process, the traditional way demands correct posture and an equilibrium of breath. If the body does not know how to sit erect, and how to breathe rightly, there can be no ending of thought. To bring body and breath to an equilibrium, a process of time becomes inevitable.

Krishnamurti: There may be a totally different approach to this problem. Tradition starts from the psychosomatic, the posture, the breath control and gradually through various forms of concentration to the full awakening of energy. That is the accepted way. Is there not an awakening of this energy without going through all these practices?

P: It is like the Zen-Masters who say the real master is one who puts aside effort, and yet in Zen to master archery a tremendous mastery over technique is necessary. It is only when there is total mastery that effort drops away.

Krishnamurti: You are beginning at this end rather than at the other - this end being time, control, energy, perfection, perfect balance.

All this seems to me like dealing with a very small part of a very vast field. Tradition gives great importance to the past, to breathing, to the right posture. All these are limited to a corner of the field and through that corner you hope to have enlightenment. The corner then becomes a trick. Through some kind of psychosomatic acrobatics, it is hoped that you will capture the light, the whole universe. I do not think enlightenment is there - not through one corner. It is like seeing the sky through a small window and never going outside to look at the sky. I feel that way is an absurd way of approaching something totally vast, timeless.

P: Even you would admit that correct posture and right breathing strengthen the structure of the mind.

Krishnamurti: I want to approach all this quite differently. In approaching it entirely differently, it is necessary to throw out all that has been said. I see the corner is like a candle in sunshine. The candle is being lit very carefully in brilliant sunshine. You are not concerned with sunshine, but work away at lighting the candle.

There are other things involved; there is the awakening of energy which has been dissipated so far.

To centralize energy, to gather the whole of it, attention is involved, and the elimination of time altogether.

I think there are these major factors - time, attention which is not forced, which is not concentration, which is not centred round a part, and the gathering of energy. I think these are the fundamental things one has to understand because enlightenment must be and is the comprehension and understanding of this vast life - life being living, dying, loving; the whole travail and going beyond it.

The traditional Masters would also agree that you have to have attention to go beyond time. But they are the worshippers of the corner. They use time to go beyond time.

P: How Sir? I take a posture and direct my attention. What is the time involved in this?

Krishnamurti: Is attention the result of time?

P: No. You ask a question and there is immediate attention. Is this attention the product of time?

Krishnamurti: No, certainly not.

P: Your question and my attention being there, is there time involved? If you would regard this as so, the self-knowing process which is going on all the time also involves time. My mind twenty years ago would not have known the present quality. This state had no existence then.

Krishnamurti: Let us go slowly. We are trying to understand something which is out of time.

P: The tradition says prepare the body and mind.

Krishnamurti: Through time you prepare the body and mind to receive, to comprehend, to be free of time. Through time can you do this?

P: The tradition also posits that through time you cannot go beyond time.

Krishnamurti: I am asking, when you say through time you perfect the instrument, is it so? I question that. Through time can you perfect the instrument? Now first of all who is it that is perfecting the instrument? Is it thought?

P: It would be invalid to say only thought. There are many other factors involved.

Krishnamurti: Thought, the knowing of thought, intelligence, are all maintained by thought. To say thought must end and intelligence must come into being is again an action of thought. The statement, thinker and thought are one, is again an action of thought. You are saying perfect the instrument through thought. To me the traditional approach to perfect the instrument through thought and so to go beyond, and the act of cultivating intelligence and the going beyond time - all these are still in the area of thought. That is so. Therefore in that very thought there is the thinker. That thinker says this must happen, this must not happen. That thinker has become the will of achievement. The will to perfect the instrument is part of thought.

P: In this circle which you are talking; about, in that which you are describing just now, is also implied the questioning of the very instrument which is thought.

Krishnamurti: But the questioner is part of thought; the whole structure is part of thought. You can divide, subdivide, change, but it is all within the field of thought, and that is time. Thought is memory, thought is material; the material is memory. We are still functioning within the area of the known and the man who is cultivating thought says he will go to the unknown through the known, perfect the known and get enlightenment. Again all this is thought.

P: If everything is thought, it must then be necessary to give birth to a new instrument.

Krishnamurti: When thought says it must become silent and becomes silent it is still thought. What the traditionalists do is to work within the field of thought which is the corner of the field. But it is still the result of thought. Atman is the result of thought. The brahman to which man looks up, is the result of thought. The man who experienced it had nothing to do with thought. It just happened, whereas his disciples came along and said do this, do that. It is all within the field of thought.

P: Then there is no proceeding.

Krishnamurti: See how thought plays tricks upon itself - I must have balance, I must have the right posture in order that the life energy flows through. Right? I say thought is of the past. Thought can create the most marvellous instrument - it can go to the moon, to Venus; but thought can never possibly touch "the other" because thought is never free, thought is old, thought is conditioned. Thought is the whole structure of the known.

P: What do you mean by "the other"?

Krishnamurti: That is not it.

P: That is not what?

Krishnamurti: This is within the field of time; thought which is time. That is within the field of silence. Therefore find out if sorrow can end. Come out of the corner. Find out what life is, what death means, what it means to end sorrow. If you have not come upon this, playing tricks upon thought has no meaning. You can awaken all the kundalinis, but to what purpose?

Therefore a man teaching how to awaken the kundalinis or making man proficient in archery in the Zen way or in the practice of the various forms of Tantra are all within the bondage of time, which is thought. I see that and I see that it is going round in circles. The circle may be higher but it is still a circle, a bondage, which is time.

So I would not touch it. I would not touch it because I see the nature, structure and order of this corner. The corner has no meaning to me. When there is the marvellous sun, all the siddhis and powers are like many candles.

Can the mind, listening to this, wipe it away? The very listening is the wiping away. Then you have it. Then there is attention, love; everything is there. You see, logically, this holds whereas the other does not. The exercise of the brain is to find the truth and the false; to see the false as the false. You see when the boy Krishnamurti saw the truth, it was over. He gave up all organizations, etc. He had no training "to see".

P: But you had training. You were put through a vigorous training of the body.

Krishnamurti: So they tell us. Because the body was neglected. And so they said if he was not looked after he would fall ill.

P: But Sir, apart from physical discipline, there were instructions as to how to bring up that boy.

Krishnamurti: It was like combing the hair, doing asanas, pranayama; it was all at that level.

B: It is very subtle. I am not saying that what happened had any relationship to the illumination, but it is necessary to look after the body.

Krishnamurti: Yes, it is necessary to keep the body healthy.

P: Sir, if I may say so, you have the way of the yogi, you look like a yogi, your body takes the pose of a yogi. You have been doing asanas, pranayama, every day for so many years. Why?

Krishnamurti: That is not important. It is like keeping my nails clean. I am saying the other is so childish; spending years in perfecting the instrument. All that you have to do is "to look".

P: But if one is born blind, only when a person like you comes and says, look, something happens. Most people would not understand what you are talking about.

Krishnamurti: Most people would not listen to all this. They would brush it aside.

B: The other is easier. It gives something whereas this gives nothing.

Krishnamurti: This gives everything if you touch it.

B: But the other is easier.

Krishnamurti: You see I am terribly interested in this. How has the mind of Krishnamurti maintained this state of innocence?

P: What you are saying is not relevant. You may be an exception. How did the boy Krishnamurti come to it? He had money, organization, everything and yet he left everything. If I were to take my grand-daughter and leave her with you and she had no other companion but you, even then she would not have it.

Krishnamurti: No, she would not have it. (pause) Wipe out all this.

P: When you say that, it is like the Zen koan; the goose being out of the bottle. Did you have a centre to wipe away?

Krishnamurti: No.

P: So you had no centre to wipe away? You are unique and therefore you are a phenomenon, and so you cannot tell us you did this and so it happened. You can only tell us "This is not it" and whether we drown or not, no one else can tell us. We see this. We may not be enlightened, but we are not unenlightened.

Krishnamurti: I think it is tremendously interesting - to see that anything that thought touches is not the real. Thought is time. Thought is memory. Thought cannot touch the real.