Krishnamurti Subtitles

Authority is destructive

Claremont - 15 November 1968

Conversation with Huston Smith

1:00 S: I am Huston Smith,
professor of philosophy
1:04 at the Massachusetts
Institute of Technology,
1:07 and I invite you to a conversation
1:10 arranged by the Blaisdell Institute
of Claremont, California,
1:14 with Krishnamurti,
who was raised by Annie Besant
1:18 and the Theosophists
to be a World Teacher,
1:22 and who, though he discarded
the mantle of Theosophy,
1:25 did indeed become
a sage of our century,
1:29 one whose voice is heard
as much by the youth of today
1:32 as throughout the world
for the last sixty years.
1:38 Krishnamurti, maybe this morning
I will have only one question
1:43 which in one way or another I will
be coming back to in various ways.
1:49 In your writings, in your speaking,
time and again
1:53 you come back to this wonderful
little word, ‘lucid and lucidity’,
2:01 but is it possible, living as we are
in this confused and confusing world,
2:07 torn by conflicting voices without
2:11 and conflicting passions within,
2:15 with hearts that seem star-crossed
and tensions that never go,
2:21 is it possible in such a life,
in such a world,
2:24 to live with total lucidity?
And if so, how?
2:33 K: I wonder, sir,
what you mean by that word ‘lucid’.
2:41 I wonder
whether you mean clarity.
2:49 S: That's what first
comes to mind, yes.
2:54 K: Is this clarity a matter
of intellectual perception,
3:04 or is it a perception
with your whole being,
3:10 not merely
a fragment of your being,
3:14 but with the totality
of one’s whole being?
3:18 S: It certainly has the ring
of the latter, it’s the latter.
3:21 K: So it is not fragmentary,
3:23 therefore it is not intellectual
or emotional, or sentimental.
3:30 And so is it possible in this confused
world, with so many contradictions,
3:40 and such misery and starvation,
not only outwardly, but also inwardly,
3:47 such insufficiency,
3:51 – outwardly there are
so many rich societies –
3:57 is it at all possible for a human
being living in this world
4:03 to find within himself
a clarity that is constant,
4:15 that is true in the sense
not contradictory,
4:25 is it possible for a human being
to find it?
4:28 S: That’s my question.
K: Your question.
4:30 I don’t see why not.
4:33 I don’t see why it shouldn’t
be found by anybody
4:40 who is really quite serious.
4:43 Most of us are not serious at all.
4:47 We want to be entertained,
we want to be told what to do,
4:53 we want someone else to tell us
how to live, what this clarity is,
5:01 what is truth, what is God, what
is righteous behaviour and so on.
5:06 Now if one could discard
5:12 all the authority
of psychological specialists,
5:22 as well as the specialists
in religion,
5:27 if one could really deeply negate
all authority of that kind,
5:37 then one would be relying
totally on oneself.
5:46 S: Well,
I feel I may be right off,
5:49 I am contradicting
what you are suggesting
5:51 because my impulse
after you have said
5:54 that it seems to you that it is
possible to achieve this lucidity,
5:58 my impulse is to ask you
immediately, how?
6:02 K: Wait, sir.
6:04 S: But you say, am I looking
to authority if I do that?
6:07 K: No, no. What is necessary is the
freedom from authority, not the ‘how’.
6:16 The ‘how’ implies a method,
a system,
6:20 a way trodden by others,
6:26 and someone to tell you,
'Do this and you will find it.'
6:32 S: Now, are you saying with this
6:34 that it is an inappropriate question
to ask you
6:37 how this lucidity
is to be achieved?
6:40 K: Not at all, but the ‘how’
implies that: a method, a system.
6:50 And the moment you have a system
and a method, you become mechanical,
6:54 you just do what you are told.
6:57 And that’s not clarity.
7:01 It is like a child
being told by its mother
7:04 what it should do
from morning until night.
7:07 And therefore it becomes
dependent on the mother,
7:10 or the father, whatever it be,
and there is no clarity.
7:15 So to have clarity,
the first essential thing is freedom
7:25 – freedom from authority.
7:29 S: And I feel in a kind of bind,
7:32 because this freedom is attractive
too and I want to go towards that,
7:37 but I also want to pick your mind
and ask you how to proceed?
7:43 Am I moving away from my freedom
if I ask you how to proceed?
7:49 K: No, sir, but I am pointing out
the difficulty of that word,
7:57 the implication of that word,
the ‘how’.
8:02 Not whether one is wandering
away from freedom,
8:07 or any other thing of that kind,
8:11 but the word ‘how’ implies
intrinsically a mind that says,
8:20 'Please tell me what to do.'
8:24 S: And I ask again, is that a mistaken
question, is that a wrong question?
8:30 K: I should think that’s
a wrong question, the ‘how’.
8:34 But rather if you say,
what are the things,
8:40 the obstructions that prevent clarity,
then we can go into it.
8:45 But if you say, right from
the beginning, what is the method
8:51 – there have been a dozen methods
and they have all failed,
8:57 they have not produced
clarity, or enlightenment,
9:01 or a state of peace in man.
9:04 On the contrary, these methods
have divided man:
9:08 you have your method,
and somebody else has his method,
9:11 and these methods are everlastingly
quarrelling with each other.
9:17 S: Are you saying that once
you abstract certain principles
9:21 and formulate them into a method,
9:24 this becomes too crude
to meet the intricacies...
9:28 K: That’s right, the intricacies,
9:29 and the complexities
and the living quality of clarity.
9:34 S: So that the ‘how’ must
always be immediate,
9:37 from where one stands,
the particular or the general.
9:41 K: I would never
put the ‘how’ at all.
9:43 The ‘how’ should never
enter into the mind.
9:46 S: Well, this is a hard teaching.
9:48 It may be true and
I am reaching for it,
9:51 and yet I don’t know
that it’s possible
9:53 – I don’t feel that
it’s possible completely
9:56 to relinquish the question
how and everything.
9:59 K: Sir, I think we shall be able
to understand each other
10:04 if we could go a little slowly,
not into the ‘how’,
10:08 but what are the things
that prevent clarity.
10:15 S: All right, fine.
10:16 K: Through negation,
through negation come to clarity,
10:21 not through the positive method
of following a system.
10:26 S: Fine. All right. This is
the 'Via Negativa', that is good.
10:33 K: I think that is the only way.
10:35 The positive way of the ‘how’
has lead man to divide himself,
10:43 his loyalties, his pursuits,
you have the ‘how’ of yours,
10:49 and the ‘how’ of somebody else,
10:51 and the method of this
– and they are all lost.
10:54 S: Fine.
10:55 K: So if we could
put aside that question,
10:58 ‘the how’ for the time being,
11:00 – and probably you will never
put it, afterwards.
11:03 And I hope you won’t.
S: Well, we’ll see.
11:08 K: So what is important
is to find out
11:18 what are the obstructions,
the hindrances, the blocks
11:24 that prevent clear perception
of human anxiety, fear, sorrow,
11:36 and the ache of loneliness,
the utter lack of love and all that.
11:42 S: Let’s explore
the virtues of the negative.
11:45 What are these obstacles?
K: Now, first of all, I feel,
11:53 there must be freedom.
11:57 Freedom from authority.
12:00 S: Could we stop right there
on this matter of authority ?
12:03 When you say we should
renounce all authority,
12:07 it seems to me that
the goal of total freedom
12:11 and self-reliance is a valid one,
12:14 and yet along the way it seems to me
that we rely, and should rely,
12:19 on all kinds of authorities
in certain spheres.
12:23 When I go to a new territory
12:25 and I stop to ask the filling station
attendant which way to go,
12:29 I accept his authority as he knows
more about that than I do.
12:34 Isn’t this...
K: Obviously, sir,
12:38 the specialist knows a little more
than the layman,
12:43 the experts, whether in surgery
or in technological knowledge,
12:51 obviously they know much more
than any other person
12:55 who is not concerned
with that particular technique.
12:59 But we are considering not authority
along any particular line,
13:07 but the whole problem of authority.
13:11 S: And in that area is the answer
to understand the areas
13:17 in which there is
specialised authority,
13:21 which we should accept, and where...
K: And where authority is detrimental,
13:25 authority is destructive.
13:27 So there are two problems involved
in this question of authority:
13:34 there is not only
the authority of the expert
13:37 – let’s call him for the moment –
which is necessary,
13:41 but also the authority
of the man who says,
13:47 'Psychologically I know, you don’t.'
S: I see.
13:52 K: 'This is true, this is false',
13:54 'You must do this,
and you must not do that.'
13:57 S: So one should never
turn over one’s life to...
14:02 K: To anybody. anyone else.
14:05 K: Because the churches throughout
the world, the different religions,
14:12 have said, 'Give your life to us,
14:14 we will direct, we’ll shape it,
we will tell you what to do.
14:18 Do this, follow the saviour, follow
the church and you will have peace.'
14:25 But, on the contrary, churches
have produced terrible wars.
14:31 Religions of every kind have brought
about fragmentation of the mind.
14:38 So the question is not freedom
from a particular authority,
14:45 but the whole conceptual
acceptance of authority.
14:50 S: Yes. All right.
I think I see that
14:53 and one should never abdicate
one’s own conscience.
14:57 K: No, I am not talking
of conscience.
14:59 Our conscience is such
a petty little affair.
15:03 S: I am thinking about the conscience
of how I should live my life.
15:10 K: No, we started out to say,
asking the question,
15:14 why is it man, who has lived
for two million years and more,
15:20 why is man not capable
of clear perception and action?
15:26 That is the question involved.
S: Right.
15:28 And your first point is that
15:30 it is because he doesn’t accept
the full responsibility...
15:34 K: I don’t say that.
No, I haven’t come to that point yet.
15:39 I am saying that, as we said, we must
approach this problem negatively.
15:48 Which means I must find out
what are the blockages.
15:54 S: Obstacles.
K: Obstacles
15:56 which prevent clear perception.
S: Right.
16:01 K: Now one of the major
blocks, or hindrances,
16:06 is this total acceptance
of authority.
16:09 S: All right.
So be ye lamps unto yourself.
16:12 K: That’s right.
So you must be a light to yourself.
16:15 S: Very good.
K: And to be a light to yourself
16:18 you must deny every other light,
however great that light be,
16:24 whether it be the light
of the Buddha, or X Y Z.
16:28 S: Perhaps,
accept it here or there
16:32 but nevertheless you retain the say-so
as to where an insight might be valid.
16:39 K: No, no sir. No, no.
S : You would never accept...
16:42 K: My own authority?
What authority have I?
16:45 My authority is
the authority of the society.
16:49 I am conditioned
to accept authority:
16:51 when I reject the authority
of the outer,
16:53 I accept the authority of the inner.
16:57 And my authority of the inner
is the result of the conditioning
17:01 in which I have been brought up.
17:05 S: All right.
I thought I had this in place.
17:07 And I guess perhaps I still do.
17:10 The only point that I am not
quite sure about at this point is,
17:16 it seems to me
while assuming, accepting,
17:20 affirming and maintaining
one’s own freedom...
17:25 K: Ah, you can’t.
17:27 Sir, how can a prisoner, except
ideologically, or theoretically,
17:35 accept he is free?
17:37 He is in prison, and that is the fact
from which we must move.
17:43 Not accept a vague fantastic
ideological freedom
17:48 which doesn’t exist.
17:51 What exists is that man has bowed
to this total authority.
17:58 S: All right. And this is the first
thing we must see and remove.
18:05 K: Absolutely. Completely that
must go, for a man that is serious,
18:08 and wants to find out the truth,
or see things very clearly.
18:17 That is one of the major points.
18:22 And the demand of freedom,
not only from authority,
18:29 but from fear,
which makes him accept authority.
18:37 S: Right. That seems true also.
18:41 And so beneath the craving
for authority is...
18:44 fear. fear
18:46 which we look to authority
to be free from.
18:48 K: That’s right.
So the fear makes man violent,
18:54 not only territorial violence,
18:56 but sexual violence and
different forms of violence.
19:01 S: All right.
19:04 K: So the freedom from authority
implies the freedom from fear.
19:09 And the freedom from fear implies the
cessation of every form of violence.
19:19 S: If we stop violence
then our fear recedes?
19:25 K: Ah, no sir. It’s not a question
of recession of fear.
19:31 Let’s put it round
the other way, sir.
19:35 Man is violent,
linguistically, psychologically,
19:43 in daily life he is violent,
which ultimately leads to war.
19:49 S: There’s a lot of it around.
19:52 K: And man has accepted war
as the way of life,
19:57 whether in the office, or at home,
or in the playing field,
20:01 or anywhere, he has
accepted war as a way of life,
20:05 which is the very
essence of violence.
20:09 S: Yes.
20:11 K: And aggression
and all that is involved.
20:15 So as long as man accepts violence,
lives a way of life which is violent,
20:24 he perpetuates fear and therefore
violence and also accepts authority.
20:31 S: So these three
are a kind of vicious circle,
20:34 each playing into the other.
All right.
20:37 K: And the churches say,
live peacefully,
20:40 be kind, love your neighbour,
20:43 which is all sheer nonsense.
They don’t mean it.
20:48 It is merely a verbal assertion
20:54 that has no meaning at all.
20:57 It is just an idea
because the morality of society
21:02 – which is the morality
of the church – is immoral.
21:07 S: As we try
to see then these things
21:10 that stand between us
and lucidity and freedom,
21:13 we find authority
and fear and violence
21:18 working together to obstruct us.
21:23 Where do we go from there?
21:29 K: It’s not going to some place, sir,
21:32 but understanding this fact
21:35 that most of us live a life
in this ambience,
21:44 in this cage of authority,
fear and violence.
21:52 We can’t go beyond it,
unless one is free from it,
21:58 not intellectually or theoretically,
22:01 but actually be free
from every form of authority,
22:08 – not the authority of the expert
22:11 but the feeling of dependence
on authority.
22:17 S: All right.
22:19 K: Then, is it possible for a human
being to be free completely of fear?
22:29 Not only at the superficial level
of one’s consciousness,
22:33 but also at the deeper level,
what is called the unconscious.
22:39 S: Is it possible?
K: That’s the question,
22:41 otherwise you are bound
to accept authority. Of anybody.
22:46 Any Tom, Dick and Harry,
with a little bit of knowledge,
22:49 little bit of cunning explanation
or intellectual formulas,
22:54 you are bound to fall for him.
22:57 But the question
whether a human being,
23:02 so heavily conditioned as he is,
23:05 through propaganda of the church,
23:06 through propaganda of society,
morality and all the rest of it,
23:10 whether such a human being
can really be free from fear.
23:16 That is the basic question, sir.
23:18 S: That’s what I wait to hear.
23:22 K: I say it is possible,
not in abstraction,
23:26 but actually it is possible.
23:30 S: All right. And my impulse again
is to say, how.
23:33 K: Refrain. You see, when you say,
how, you stop to learn.
23:42 You cease to learn.
23:44 S: All right, let’s just forget
that I said that
23:48 because I don’t want
to get distracted.
23:50 K: No, no, you can never
even ask that, ever,
23:53 because we are learning:
23:56 learning about the nature
and the structure of human fear,
24:01 at the deepest level and also
at the most superficial level,
24:06 and we are learning about it.
24:08 And when you are learning
you can’t ask suddenly,
24:12 how am I to learn.
24:16 There is no ‘how’
if you are interested,
24:17 if the problem is vital,
24:20 it has to be solved
to live peacefully.
24:26 Then there is no ‘’how’,
you say, let’s learn about it.
24:30 The moment you bring in
the ‘how’ you move away
24:33 from the central fact of learning.
24:38 S: All right, that’s fine.
24:40 Let’s continue on the path
of learning about this.
24:45 K: Learning.
So, what does it mean to learn?
24:52 S: Are you asking me?
K: Yes. Obviously.
24:55 What does it mean to learn?
25:00 S: It means to perceive how one
should proceed in a given domain.
25:10 K: No, sir, surely.
25:13 Here is a problem of fear.
I want to learn about it.
25:17 First of all I mustn’t condemn it,
25:21 I mustn’t say, ‘it’s terrible’,
and run away from it.
25:26 S: It sounds to me that
you have been condemning it
25:29 in one way or another.
K: I don’t, I don’t, I want to learn.
25:32 When I want to learn
about something I look
25:35 there is no condemnation at all.
25:39 S: Well, we were going at this
through a negative route...
25:43 K: Which is what I am doing.
25:44 S: And fear is an obstacle...
25:47 K: About which I am going to learn.
S: All right.
25:50 K: Therefore I can’t condemn it.
25:53 S: Well, it’s not good,
you are not advocating it.
25:56 K: Ah, no.
I am neither advocating or not.
25:58 Here is a fact of fear.
I want to learn about it.
26:04 The moment I learn about
something I am free of it.
26:09 So learning matters
– what is implied in learning.
26:17 What is implied in learning?
26:20 First of all,
to learn about something
26:23 there must be complete cessation
of condemnation, or justification.
26:30 S: All right. Yes, I can see that.
26:33 If we are going
to understand something
26:35 if we keep our emotions out of it,
and just try to dispassionately to...
26:42 K: To learn.
26:45 You are introducing words like
‘dispassion’, that’s unnecessary.
26:52 If I want to learn about
that camera,
26:55 I begin to look at it,
undo it, go into it.
26:58 There is no question
of dispassion or passion,
27:01 I want to learn!
27:03 So I want to learn
about this question of fear.
27:08 So to learn there must be
no condemnation,
27:15 no justification of fear,
27:19 and therefore no escape verbally
from the fact of fear.
27:26 S: All right.
27:28 K: But the tendency is
to deny it.
27:34 S: To deny the reality of fear ?
K: The reality of fear.
27:38 The reality that fear
is causing all these things.
27:43 To deny by saying,
‘I must develop courage’.
27:52 So, please, we are going
into this problem of fear
27:56 because it is really
a very important question:
28:01 whether human mind
can ever be free of fear.
28:06 S: It certainly is.
28:08 K: Which means, whether the mind
is capable of looking at fear,
28:19 looking, not in abstraction,
but actually at fear as it occurs.
28:26 S: Facing fear.
K: Facing fear.
28:29 S: All right, we should do this,
28:32 and I agree with you
that we can’t deny it.
28:34 K: To face it, no condemnation.
28:39 S: All right.
K: No justification.
28:43 S: Simply being truly objective.
28:46 K: Aware of fear.
28:48 S: Acknowledging?
28:50 K: I don’t acknowledge it.
28:53 If there is the camera there
I don’t acknowledge it, it is there.
28:58 S: All right. I don’t want to distract
our line of thought with these words.
29:03 K: Please, sir, that’s why one has
to be awfully careful of words here:
29:06 the word is not the thing, therefore
I don’t want to move away from this.
29:10 To learn about fear there must be
no condemnation or justification.
29:18 That’s a fact. Then
the mind can look at fear.
29:24 What is fear?
29:28 There is every kind of fear:
fear of darkness, fear of the wife,
29:32 fear of the husband,
fear of war, fear of storm,
29:37 so many psychological fears.
29:43 And you cannot possibly have
the time to analyse all the fears,
29:51 that would take the whole life time,
29:53 by then you have not even
understood any fear.
29:56 S: So it is the phenomenon
of fear itself rather than any...
29:59 K: Than any particular fear.
S: Right.
30:03 Now what should we learn?
30:04 K: Wait, I am going
to show you, sir, go slow.
30:08 Now to learn about something you
must be in complete contact with it.
30:18 Look, sir,
I want to learn about fear.
30:24 Therefore I must look at it,
I must face it.
30:28 Now to face something
implies a mind
30:34 that does not want
to solve the problem of fear.
30:41 S: To look at fear...
30:43 K: ... is not to solve
the problem of fear.
30:47 Look, look, this is very
important to understand
30:50 because then,
if I want to solve fear
30:55 I am more concerned with
the solution of fear than facing fear.
31:03 S: A moment ago though we
were saying we should think...
31:06 K: I am facing it. But if I say,
31:08 'I must solve it', I am beyond it
already, I am not looking.
31:14 S: You say that if we are trying
to solve the problem of fear,
31:16 we are not truly facing it.
Is that right?
31:20 K: Quite right, sir.
You see, to face fear
31:26 the mind must give its
complete attention to fear,
31:34 and if you give partial attention
which is to say,
31:38 ‘I want to solve it
and go beyond it’,
31:40 you are not giving
it complete attention.
31:42 S: I can see if you have split
attention you're not fully attentive.
31:46 K: So, in giving complete attention
to the learning about fear
31:51 there are several problems
involved in it.
31:54 I must be brief
because our time is limited.
31:58 We generally consider fear
as something outside us.
32:04 So there is this question
of the observer and the observed.
32:11 The observer says, 'I am afraid',
32:14 and he puts fear
as something away from him.
32:20 S: I am not sure.
32:21 When I feel afraid, I am afraid,
I feel it very much in here.
32:26 K: But when you observe it,
it is different.
32:33 S: When I observe fear...
32:35 K: Then I put it outside.
32:38 S: Well, again that doesn’t
seem quite right.
32:42 K: All right.
At the moment of fear
32:46 there is neither the observer
nor the observed.
32:49 S: That is very true.
K: That is all I am saying.
32:51 At the crisis, at the moment
of actual fear there is no observer.
32:58 S: It fills the horizon.
33:00 K: Now, the moment you begin
to look at it, face it,
33:04 there is this division.
33:07 S: Between the fearful self and the...
K: The non-fearful self.
33:11 S: ... the bear who is going
to eat me out there.
33:14 K: So in trying to learn
about fear,
33:19 there is this division between
the observer and the observed.
33:25 Now, is it possible to look at fear
without the observer?
33:35 Please, sir, this is really
quite an intricate question,
33:38 a complex question,
one has to go into it very deeply.
33:43 As long as there is the observer
33:46 who is going to learn about the fear,
there is a division.
33:51 S: That’s true.
We are not in full contact with it.
33:55 K: Therefore in that division
33:56 is the conflict of trying
to get rid of fear, justify fear.
34:04 So is it possible to look at fear
without the observer,
34:12 so that you are completely
in contact with it all the time?
34:19 S: Well, then you are
experiencing fear.
34:23 K: I wouldn’t like to use
that word ‘experience’,
34:25 because experience implies
going through something.
34:31 Finishing with it.
34:33 S: All right.
I don’t know what word.
34:35 It seems better than ‘looking at’,
34:37 because ‘looking at’
does seem to imply a division
34:40 between an observer
and the observed.
34:41 K: Therefore we are using
that word ‘observing’.
34:45 Being aware of fear
without choice,
34:51 which means the choice
implies the observer,
34:55 choosing whether
I don’t like this, or I like this.
34:58 Therefore when the observer is absent
there is choiceless awareness of fear.
35:07 S: All right.
K: Right.
35:10 Then what takes place?
That’s the whole question.
35:15 The observer creates
the linguistic difference
35:22 between himself
and the thing observed.
35:29 Language comes in there.
35:33 Therefore the word prevents being
completely in contact with fear.
35:43 S: Yes. Words can be a screen.
35:46 K: Yes.
That’s all that we are saying.
35:49 So the word mustn’t interfere.
35:51 S: True. We have to get beyond that.
K: Beyond the word.
35:56 But is that possible,
to be beyond the word?
35:59 Theoretically we say, yes,
but we are slave to words.
36:04 S: Far too much so.
36:06 K: It is obvious,
we are slave to words.
36:08 So the mind has to become aware
of its own slavery to word,
36:14 realising that the word
is never the thing.
36:19 So the mind is free
of the word to look.
36:24 That is all implied.
36:27 Sir, look, the relationship
between two people,
36:35 husband and wife,
is the relationship of images.
36:41 Obviously,
there is no dispute about it.
36:46 You have your image,
and she has her image about you.
36:49 The relationship is
between these two images.
36:53 Now, the real relationship,
the human relationship is
36:57 when the images don’t exist.
37:01 In the same way the relationship
between the observer and the observed
37:09 ceases when the word is not.
37:12 So he is directly
in contact with fear.
37:18 S: We pass through.
K: There it is. There is fear.
37:23 Now there is fear
at the conscious level
37:27 – which one can understand
fairly quickly.
37:30 But there are the deeper
layers of fear,
37:33 so-called at the hidden
parts of the mind.
37:39 To be aware of that.
37:43 Now is it possible
to be aware without analysis?
37:51 Analysis takes time.
S: Right. Surely it’s possible.
37:55 K: How? Not the ‘how’ of method.
37:58 You say, surely it is possible.
Is it?
38:01 There is this
whole reservoir of fear
38:06 – of the fear of the race, you follow,
the whole content of the unconscious.
38:12 The content is the unconscious.
38:18 S: All right.
38:19 K: Now, to be aware of all that,
38:22 not through dreams,
again that takes too long.
38:28 S: Now you are talking about
whether we can be explicitly aware
38:33 of the full reach of mind?
38:35 K: Yes. The full content, reach of
the mind which is both the conscious
38:41 as well as the deeper layers.
The totality of consciousness.
38:47 S: Yes. And can we be explicitly
aware of all of that?
38:52 I am not sure.
K: I say it is possible.
38:55 It is only possible when you are
aware during the day what you say,
39:02 the words you use, the gestures,
the way you talk,
39:06 the way you walk,
what your thoughts are,
39:09 – to be completely and totally
aware of all that.
39:13 S: Do you think all of that
can be before you
39:16 in total awareness?
K: Yes, sir. Absolutely.
39:20 When there is no condemnation
and justification.
39:25 When you are directly
in contact with it.
39:30 S: It seems to me
that the mind is
39:32 like an iceberg
with regions of it...
39:35 K: An iceberg is nine-tenths below
and one-tenth above.
39:39 It is possible to see
the whole of it,
39:45 if you are aware during the day
of your thoughts, of your feelings,
39:51 aware of the motives,
39:54 which demands a mind
that is highly sensitive.
39:58 S: We can certainly be aware of much,
much more than we usually are.
40:04 When you say we can be aware...
40:06 K: Totally, yes, sir.
S: …of all the psychological factors.
40:09 K: I am showing you,
I am showing you!
40:11 You are denying it.
40:13 You say, ‘it is not possible’,
then it is not possible.
40:16 S: No, I’d like to believe
that it’s possible.
40:18 K: No,
it’s not a question of belief.
40:21 I don’t have to believe
in what I see.
40:25 It’s only when I don’t see
I believe – in God, in this or that.
40:29 S: For me it is a matter of belief,
maybe not for you because you...
40:32 K: Ah no. Belief is the most
destructive part of life.
40:36 Why should I believe the sun rises?
I see the sunrise.
40:41 When I do not know what love is
then I believe in love.
40:48 S: Like so many times
when I listen to you speak
40:54 it seems to me like a half-truth
which is stated as a full truth,
41:03 and I wonder whether that is
for the sake of emphasis,
41:07 or whether it really is, you really
mean to carry it all the way.
41:11 K: No, sir. To me it really is.
41:13 S: We have been speaking
of the elements that block us,
41:17 the things that block us from
a life of lucidity and freedom:
41:22 authority, violence, fear.
41:26 Our time is short
41:28 and I wouldn’t like to spend
all the time on these obstacles.
41:32 Is there anything affirmative
we can say of this condition?
41:36 K: Sir, anything affirmative
indicates authority.
41:43 It’s only the authoritarian mind
that says, ‘let’s be affirmed’.
41:49 Which is in opposition to negation.
41:53 But the negation we are
talking about has no opposite.
42:00 S: Well, now when I ask you
for an affirmative statement
42:04 it doesn’t seem to me
42:06 that I am turning over a decision
to use an authority.
42:11 I just want to hear if you have
something interesting to say
42:15 which I will then
stand judgement upon.
42:18 K: With regard to what?
42:20 S: As to whether it speaks
to my condition.
42:23 K: What? With regard to what,
you said 'something', about what?
42:28 S: About the state of life
that it seems to me
42:33 we are groping for
in our words to describe.
42:37 K: Are you trying to say, sir,
that life is only in the present?
42:46 S: In one sense I think that is true.
Is that what you were saying?
42:49 K: No, I am asking you,
is this what you are asking:
42:52 is life to be divided into
the past, present and future
42:58 – which becomes fragmentary –
43:02 and not
a total perception of living?
43:08 S: Well, again as so often it seems
to me that the answer is both/and.
43:13 In one sense it is a unity
and it is present
43:17 and the present is all we have,
43:19 but man is a time-binding animal, as
they say, who looks before and after.
43:25 K: So man is the result of time,
43:29 not only evolutionary
43:31 but chronological
as well as psychological.
43:35 S: Yes.
43:36 K: So he is the result of time:
the past, the present and the future.
43:44 Now, he lives mostly in the past.
43:50 S: All right, mostly.
43:51 K: He is the past.
43:55 S: All right.
Again it’s that half-truth.
43:59 K: No, no, I’ll show it to you.
44:00 He is the past
because he lives in memory.
44:05 S: Not totally.
44:06 K: Wait, sir.
Follow it step by step.
44:08 He lives in the past
and therefore he thinks
44:13 and examines and looks
from the background of the past.
44:18 S: Yes. Which is both good and bad.
44:22 K: No, no.
We are not saying good and bad.
44:24 There is no good past or bad past.
44:27 We are concerned with the past.
Don’t give it a name.
44:31 S: All right.
44:32 K: Like calling it good or bad,
then we are lost.
44:34 He lives in the past,
examines everything from the past
44:39 and projects the future
from the past.
44:43 So he lives in the past,
he is the past.
44:52 And when he thinks
of the future or the present,
44:56 he thinks in terms of the past.
45:01 S: All right. It seems to me
that most of the time that is true
45:06 but there are new perceptions
that break through,
45:09 new experiences that break through
the momentum of the past.
45:15 K: New experiences break through
45:17 only when there is
an absence of the past.
45:23 S: Well, it seems to me
it is like a merging of things
45:26 that we perforce bring
with us from the past,
45:30 but bring to play upon the novelty,
the newness of the present
45:36 and it is a fusion of those two.
45:38 K: Look, sir, if I want
to understand something new
45:42 I must look at it
with clear eyes.
45:45 I can’t bring the past,
with all the recognition process,
45:50 with all the memories,
45:51 and then
translate what I see as new.
45:55 Surely, surely,
now just a minute:
45:57 the man who invented the jet,
must have forgotten,
46:04 or be completely familiar
with the propeller,
46:10 and then there was
an absence of knowledge
46:13 in which he discovered the new.
46:15 S: That’s fine.
K: Wait, wait.
46:17 It is not a question of, that’s fine.
46:19 That is the only way
to operate in life.
46:23 That is, there must be
complete awareness of the past,
46:30 an absence of the past,
to see the new.
46:36 Or to come upon the new.
S: All right.
46:40 K: You are conceding reluctantly.
46:42 S: I am conceding reluctantly because
I think I see what you are saying,
46:47 and I think I agree with the point
that you are making,
46:50 but it is also true
that one operates in terms of...
46:56 K: The past.
S: …symbols that one has.
46:58 And it is not as though
we begin de novo.
47:02 K: De novo is not possible,
but we have to begin de novo
47:07 because life demands it, because we
have lived in this way, accepting war,
47:14 hatred, brutality, competition,
and anxiety, guilt, all that.
47:21 We have accepted that,
we live that way.
47:24 I am saying: to bring about
a different quality,
47:28 a different way of living
the past must disappear.
47:32 S: We must be open to the new.
47:34 K: Yes. Therefore the past
must have no meaning.
47:38 S: That I can’t go along with.
47:41 K: That is what the whole
world is objecting to.
47:44 The established order says,
‘I can’t let go' – for the new to be.
47:51 And the young people
throughout the world say,
47:54 ‘let’s revolt against the old’.
47:56 But they don’t understand
the whole complications of it.
48:02 So they say, what have you given us,
except examinations, job,
48:09 and repetition of the old pattern
– war and favourite wars, wars.
48:16 S: Well, you are pointing out,
it seems to me,
48:19 the importance of not
being slaves to the past.
48:24 And that’s so true and
I don’t want to in any way...
48:29 K: The past being the tradition, the
past being the pattern of morality,
48:33 which is the social morality,
which is not moral.
48:37 S: But at the same time there is only
one generation, namely ourselves,
48:41 that separates the future generation
from the cave man.
48:47 K: I agree with all that.
48:48 S: If the cave man were to be totally
rescinded we would start right now.
48:52 K: Oh, no, no.
To break through the past, sir,
48:58 demands
a great deal of intelligence,
49:01 a great deal
of sensitivity – to the past.
49:04 You can’t just break away from it.
49:06 S: OK, I am content.
49:12 K: So the problem really, sir, is,
can we live a different way?
49:20 S: Hear, hear!
49:22 K: A different way in which
there are no wars, no hatreds,
49:26 in which man loves man,
without competition, without division,
49:32 saying you are a Christian,
you are a Catholic,
49:34 you are a Protestant,
you are this...
49:36 that’s all so immature!
It has no meaning.
49:42 It’s an intellectual
sophisticated division.
49:46 And that is not a religious mind
at all, that’s not religion.
49:51 A religious mind is a mind
that has no hatred,
49:57 that lives
completely without fear,
50:00 without anxiety, in which there is not
a particle of antagonism.
50:07 Therefore a mind that loves
50:12 – that is a different dimension
of living altogether.
50:18 And nobody wants that.
50:20 S: And in another sense
everybody wants that.
50:22 K: But they won’t go after it.
50:26 S: They won’t go after it?
K: No, of course not.
50:28 They are distracted
by so many other things,
50:31 they are so heavily conditioned
by their past, they hold on to it.
50:34 S: But I think there are some
who will go after it.
50:37 K: Wait, sir, very few.
50:39 S: The numbers don’t matter.
50:41 K: The minority is always
the most important thing.
50:45 S: Krishnamurti, as I listen to you
and try to listen through the words
50:50 to what you are saying,
50:52 it seems to me that
what I hear is that, first,
50:57 I should work out and each of us
should work out his own salvation,
51:02 not leaning on authorities
51:06 second, not to allow words to form a
film between us and actual experience
51:15 – not to mistake the menu
for the meal –
51:19 and third, not to let the past swallow
up the present, take possession,
51:27 to responding to a conditioning
of the past,
51:32 but rather to be always open
to the new, the novel, the fresh.
51:39 And finally, it seems to me
you are saying something
51:44 like the key to doing this is a
radical reversal in our point of view.
51:52 It is as though we were prisoners
straining at the bars for the light,
51:56 and looking for the glimpse
of light that we see out there
51:59 and wondering how we can
get out towards it,
52:01 while actually the door of the cell
is open behind us.
52:05 If only we would turn around,
we could walk out into freedom.
52:09 This is what is sounds to me
like you are saying. Is this it?
52:13 K: A little bit, sir, a little bit.
52:15 S: All right. What else?
What other than that?
52:21 Or if you want to amplify.
52:23 K: Surely, sir,
in this is involved
52:30 the everlasting struggle, conflict,
52:36 man caught
in his own conditioning,
52:40 and straining, struggling,
beating his head to be free.
52:49 And again we have accepted
52:53 – with the help of religions
and all the rest of the group –
52:56 that effort is necessary.
That’s part of life.
53:06 To me that is the highest
form of blindness,
53:11 of limiting man to say, ‘you must
everlastingly live in effort’.
53:20 S: And you think we don’t have to.
K: Not, ‘I think’, it is...
53:24 Sir, it is not a question of thought.
Thought is the most...
53:28 S: Let’s delete those two words
and just say we don’t have to.
53:32 K: But to live without effort
requires the greatest sensitivity
53:37 and the highest form
of intelligence.
53:40 You don’t just say, ‘well, I won’t
struggle’, and become like a cow.
53:44 But one has to understand how
conflict arises, the duality in us,
53:55 the fact of ‘what is’, and ‘what
should be’, there is the conflict.
54:04 If there is no ‘what should be’,
– which is ideological,
54:08 which is non-real,
which is fiction –
54:13 and see ‘what is’,
and face it, live with it
54:19 without the ‘what should be’,
54:22 then there is no conflict at all.
54:26 It’s only when you compare,
evaluate with ‘what should be’,
54:33 and then look with ‘what
should be’ at the ‘what is’,
54:39 then conflict arises.
54:41 S: There should be no tension
between the ideal and the actual.
54:45 K: No ideal at all.
Why should we have an ideal?
54:48 The ideal is the most idiotic
form of conceptual thinking.
54:53 Why should I have an ideal?
54:55 When the fact is burning there, why
should I have an ideal about anything?
55:00 S: Well, now once more when you
speak like that it seems to me
55:05 that you break it into an either/or.
55:07 K: No, no.
S: Not the ideal but the actual
55:10 where it seems to me
the truth is somehow both of these.
55:14 K: Ah, no. Truth is not a mixture
of the ideal and the ‘what is’,
55:18 then you produce
some melange of some dirt.
55:22 There is only ‘what is’.
55:25 Sir, look, take a very simple example:
we human beings are violent.
55:32 Why should I have
an ideal of non-violence?
55:38 Why can’t I deal with the fact?
55:41 S: Of violence?
K: Of violence, without non-violence.
55:45 The ideal is an abstraction,
is a distraction.
55:50 The fact is I am violent,
man is violent.
55:53 Let’s tackle that,
let’s come to grips with that
55:57 and see if we can’t live
without violence.
56:02 S: But can...
56:05 K: Please, sir, there is no
dualistic process in this.
56:09 There is only the fact
that I am violent, man is violent,
56:15 and is it possible
to be free of that.
56:19 Why should I introduce
the idealistic nonsense into it?
56:26 S: No dualism, you say,
no separation,
56:30 and in your view is it the case
that there is no separation?
56:34 K: Absolutely.
56:37 S: Is there any separation, you, me?
56:39 K: Sir, wait, physically there is.
56:43 You have got a black suit, are
a fairer person than me, and so on.
56:46 S: But you don’t feel dualistic.
K: If I felt dualistic
56:49 I wouldn’t even sit down
to discuss with you,
56:52 then intellectually
we play with each other.
56:56 S: Right. Now perhaps
we are saying the same thing,
56:59 but always it comes out
in my mind it’s a both/and
57:02 – we are both separate and united.
57:06 K: No. Sir, when you love somebody
with your heart, not with your mind,
57:10 do you feel separate?
57:11 S: I do in some... it's both.
I feel both separate and together.
57:16 K: Then it is not love.
57:18 S: I wonder because part of
the joy of love is the relationship
57:24 which involves in some sense,
like Ramakrishna said,
57:28 ‘I don’t want to be sugar,
I want to eat sugar’.
57:30 K: I don’t know Ramakrishna,
I don’t want any authority,
57:33 I don’t want to quote any bird.
S: Don’t get hung up on this.
57:37 K: Sir, no!
We are dealing with facts,
57:42 not with what somebody said.
The fact is...
57:45 S: That in love, part of the beauty
and the glory of it,
57:50 is the sense of unity embracing
what in certain respects is separate.
57:58 K: Sir, just a minute, sir. Let’s
be a little more unromantic about it.
58:04 The fact is when there is love
between man and woman,
58:11 in that is involved possession,
domination, authority, jealousy,
58:18 all that is involved in it.
Of course there is.
58:22 And comfort, sexual pleasure,
and the remembrance.
58:27 All that. A bundle of all that.
58:32 S: And there’s some positive
things you have left out,
58:34 but you are assuming those.
K: Yes, yes. A bundle of all that.
58:37 Is love jealousy?
58:40 Is love pleasure? Is love desire?
58:47 If it is pleasure, it is merely
the activity of thought,
58:52 saying, ‘Well, I slept with that
woman, therefore she is mine’
58:56 and the remembrance of all that.
58:59 That’s not love.
Thought is not love.
59:05 Thought breeds fear,
thought breeds pain,
59:08 thought breeds pleasure,
and pleasure is not love.
59:13 S: Thought breeds only the negative?
K: What is the positive?
59:18 What is the positive thing
that thought produces,
59:21 except mechanical things?
S: A love poem.
59:24 K: Sir, love poem. What?
59:27 The man feels something
and puts it down.
59:30 The putting down is irrelevant,
merely a form of communication.
59:36 But to feel it !
It's nothing to do with thought.
59:41 To translate it then is necessary,
for thought. But to love...
59:48 S: Thought and words can also
give form to our feelings
59:53 which would remain inchoate
without them.
59:59 Bring them to resolution,
to satisfying resolutions,
1:00:03 through their expression.
1:00:05 K: Is relationship
a matter of thought?
1:00:10 S: Not only, but thought can
contribute to a relationship.
1:00:17 K: Thought is always the old,
relationship is something new.
1:00:22 S: Yes,
but there are new thoughts.
1:00:24 K: Ah! There is no such thing
as new thoughts.
1:00:28 Forgive me to be so emphatic.
1:00:30 S: No, I like that.
1:00:31 K: I don’t think
there is a new thought.
1:00:35 Thought can never be free because
thought is the response of memory,
1:00:38 thought is the response of the past.
1:00:40 S: When a great poet comes through
with the right words
1:00:46 to articulate a new perception,
nobody has before,
1:00:50 not even God, has thought
of those particular words.
1:00:54 K: That’s a mere matter of a cunning
gift of putting words together.
1:00:58 But what we are talking about...
S: A noble trade.
1:01:02 Poetry is a great contribution.
K: Ah, that’s a minor thing.
1:01:05 No, sir, that’s a minor thing;
the major thing is
1:01:08 to see the beauty of life
1:01:10 and see the immensity of it,
and to love.
1:01:21 S: There it ended,
a conversation with Krishnamurti.
1:01:26 But what ended was only
the words, not the substance.
1:01:30 For Krishnamurti
was speaking, as always,
1:01:33 of that life that has
no end, and no beginning.