Krishnamurti Subtitles

How does one learn about oneself?

San Diego - 5 April 1970

Public Talk 1

0:19 Krishnamurti: I would like
to talk about so many things,
0:27 because wherever one goes
0:34 – Europe, India,
Australia or America,
0:40 one finds more or less
the same human problems.
0:49 Most human beings in the world
0:54 are so confused
and living a contradictory life;
1:01 they are thoroughly unhappy,
1:05 utterly miserable
and in great deal of sorrow.
1:13 And one’s life seems
to be a battlefield,
1:20 from the moment you are born
till you die.
1:27 One finds, right through the world,
1:34 nationalistic, linguistic,
religious differences,
1:44 one sect opposed to another,
one way against another,
1:52 each saying its way is the best
and the only one, and so on.
2:01 There is division,
conflict and war.
2:10 There is division
as the business world,
2:16 the spiritual world,
the religious world,
2:20 the scientific world,
2:24 or the professorial,
college world.
2:30 Seeing all this division,
this utter chaos,
2:39 and a great deal of misery,
2:44 one wonders,
2:47 and I’m sure you do too –
2:50 what is one to do,
2:54 what course of action
to be followed:
3:00 the left, the centre,
or the right.
3:14 Or is it a course of action
dictated by some ideology,
3:23 some belief,
3:26 some authoritarian dictum.
3:32 Or must one follow
a course of action
3:39 that doesn’t depend
on any authority whatsoever,
3:45 neither the left, the centre,
nor the right,
3:50 nor any guru, any teacher,
any priest,
3:58 or follow any organised religion
4:01 – Catholic, Protestant,
what you will –
4:05 but follow one’s own
inclination, tendency,
4:14 or follow one’s own
experience and knowledge,
4:22 self-reliant, confident,
and purposeful.
4:33 There is so much contradiction,
4:37 not only outwardly
but also inwardly.
4:48 And what is one to do?
4:54 I’m sure you must have asked
this question many times –
5:02 the more serious one is,
the more earnest,
5:07 and not seeking
5:11 one must have really, deeply
asked this question,
5:16 confronted by a world that is
so chaotic, contradictory, divided,
5:27 knowing very well
that one has lost faith,
5:34 having no trust in anybody,
5:42 no teacher,
no professor,
5:47 no priest or authoritarian Utopia.
5:56 If you are at all serious,
6:01 and I hope you are
at least for this afternoon,
6:08 you must have not only asked
6:15 such a question of yourself,
6:20 but also
6:25 have found a responding answer
6:30 to the challenge:
6:35 what is one to do?
6:39 not having faith in another,
6:44 not be dependent
6:48 on some saviour,
6:52 some teacher, some authority,
6:56 then where are you
to look for light,
7:04 for an understanding?
7:08 What we are trying to do
is to find out for ourselves,
7:14 confronted with this extraordinary
problem of living,
7:19 with all its contradictions
and complexities,
7:25 what is the course of action
which will not be contradictory,
7:35 which will be whole,
7:42 which will not produce
more agonies,
7:46 more mischief,
more confusion.
7:56 And to find that out
is our problem –
8:02 and I think that is
the only problem in life.
8:08 An action that is not broken up,
that is not contradictory,
8:16 that is continuous, whole,
complete and total,
8:23 so that it doesn’t bring
more sorrow, more confusion.
8:31 And if you will, we will go together
into this question,
8:42 bearing in mind that the speaker
has no authority whatsoever,
8:53 because both of us
are going to examine, observe,
8:59 this phenomenon
called life, living,
9:04 and find out the truth
of the matter,
9:07 if there is an action,
a way of living,
9:13 not at odd moments
or in a great crisis,
9:18 but every day,
9:21 every minute,
9:24 a way of living
in which there is joy,
9:34 there is no violence,
9:38 no brutality,
no contradiction,
9:45 and obviously no imitation
and dependency.
9:54 Unless we find such a way of living,
10:00 not an abstract idea,
10:05 a philosophical concept,
a theory,
10:13 but rather an actual
way of living,
10:25 whether there can be an action
10:31 so complete, so whole,
10:37 so completely
10:52 And I feel to live that way
is the only religious way,
11:03 none other.
11:09 We are using
the word ‘religion’
11:13 not in the accepted
sense of that word,
11:20 which is to believe
in something,
11:27 believe in God or no God,
11:31 or believe in some
conceptual ideation –
11:39 we are using that word
as a way of life
11:47 in which every action is whole,
11:53 complete and full of ecstasy.
11:59 We’re going to go into that.
12:03 First of all,
to understand all this,
12:09 we must establish
right relationship between us,
12:15 between you and the speaker.
12:25 He is not teaching you
12:30 in the ordinary sense
of that word,
12:40 telling you what to do.
12:43 The word ‘teach’ is
to give information,
12:51 to make one understand,
to point out, to inform.
13:13 And one can teach
13:19 give you some
scientific information.
13:26 But here there is no teacher,
13:33 and we really mean it,
13:38 because each one of us
has to be his own teacher
13:43 and his own disciple.
13:50 And this is a very serious matter.
13:55 So that you are listening
14:02 with quite a different attitude,
14:10 you are listening
to the speaker,
14:18 to the words he is using,
14:23 and understanding those words,
14:28 watching through those words
14:32 all your own reactions,
and responses, and conditioning,
14:42 so that you yourself,
through your own observation,
14:48 learn,
14:51 so the speaker
becomes a mirror,
14:57 in which you are
observing yourself.
15:02 So our relationship,
15:05 between you and the speaker,
15:14 is of a basic communication,
15:19 communication being
sharing together,
15:26 understanding together,
working together –
15:32 that is what the word
‘communication’ means,
15:38 to commune.
15:45 So, seeing all that,
15:50 not as a theory,
15:53 not something
that is extraneous to you,
15:58 but actually –
that is your life,
16:03 your daily contradiction,
your daily battle,
16:11 your daily irritations,
anger, hatred, brutality.
16:26 And to see if all that can end,
16:32 so that we can live
quite a different kind of life,
16:40 a life that is free,
16:43 a life that doesn’t bring
through action, misery,
16:52 a life that is really, completely,
totally peaceful.
17:07 So one asks, observing all this,
17:15 what is one to do,
17:19 knowing that you are the society,
17:25 and the society is you –
you are the world,
17:30 and the world is you,
17:35 which is not just an idea
but a fact.
17:40 You have created this world,
17:45 by your greed, anger, ambition,
competition, violence,
17:53 inwardly you are that;
and outwardly you’ve wars,
17:58 you’ve all these divisions:
the black, and the white,
18:03 and the pink, and the blue,
and all the rest of it –
18:12 prejudice, antagonism,
18:30 We know this.
18:32 Either you know it
as an idea
18:42 or you know it actually.
18:48 You know it through a magazine,
through a newspaper,
18:52 or somebody has told you.
18:59 Or you have observed it
in yourself,
19:05 you have seen it in yourself,
19:10 and therefore there is
no need for another
19:14 to tell you what the world is like,
19:19 you don’t have to read
a single newspaper,
19:23 a magazine or
listen to any talk,
19:28 if you know for yourself
what you are.
19:36 Realising what you are, then
the question is entirely different,
19:40 the question ‘what to do?’,
19:45 because one realises
what one is –
19:51 one is confused,
as the world is.
19:59 One lives in contradiction,
in division,
20:02 as the world is.
20:13 And without
understanding oneself,
20:17 not only at the conscious level,
20:21 but also very much deeply,
very profoundly,
20:29 unless there is this understanding,
20:32 not according to some analyst –
20:39 Freud, Jung, or your own
particular pet analyst,
20:47 but to understand yourself
as you are.
20:53 And in the understanding of that,
20:56 the question of what you are to do
becomes entirely different,
21:03 because now you are
putting the question
21:10 in relation to the world as though
it were something outside of you –
21:22 to what political party
you should join,
21:27 to what group,
the pacifist, and so on,
21:32 to what group,
to what section.
21:36 So you are putting the world
as something outside of you.
21:44 But when one realises,
21:47 not verbally,
not as an idea,
21:52 but actually
21:54 – when one realises
that one is the world,
22:05 and one’s responsibility
to the world
22:09 is the responsibility
of understanding yourself
22:15 so completely.
22:22 Then your question ‘what to do’
has quite a different meaning.
22:35 So the question is,
22:42 how to observe,
22:50 how to observe oneself,
22:56 oneself being
the total human being.
23:07 You are not an American,
23:11 though you may have
the label as the American.
23:18 And a man coming from India
23:21 may call himself an Indian,
with his particular label,
23:27 with his particular
superstitions and beliefs.
23:32 But when you scratch
or push aside all that,
23:37 he is an ordinary human being
like you and me, like dozen others.
23:44 So the question is,
how do you observe yourself?
23:55 Because without knowing yourself,
24:00 who is the world,
24:03 not an individual –
24:04 the word ‘individual’ means
24:10 a total entity, indivisible.
24:20 And individual means a human being,
24:24 in whom there is no contradiction,
no division, no separation,
24:29 is a total unit, harmonious unit.
24:36 That word ‘individual’
means that – indivisible.
24:43 So you are not individuals,
you are all broken up,
24:50 contradictory in yourself.
24:59 So how are you to look
at yourself?
25:04 Please, do listen to this,
it is quite absorbing, this.
25:12 It demands a great deal
of intelligence,
25:17 it is great fun,
25:21 much more fun than any book,
25:29 than any religious entertainment,
25:34 than any philosophy.
25:40 As we are broken up
human beings in ourselves,
25:47 contradictory desires,
25:55 feeling inferior or superior,
being afraid,
26:05 having no love,
26:09 feeling lonely, fragmented,
26:15 not only superficially
but deeply –
26:24 how are you to observe?
26:27 One fragment observes
the rest of the fragments?
26:38 One becoming the censor,
26:42 the examiner, the observer,
26:50 watching over
the rest of the fragments?
26:58 And what gives him the authority
27:05 over the other fragments?
27:13 So the question is,
27:20 who is the observer
27:26 and who is the censor
27:28 that says,
‘This I will do, this I won’t do,
27:32 this is right and this is wrong,
27:41 this path I will take
and I won’t tread that path,
27:48 I’ll be a pacifist
with regard to this war,
27:55 but I’ve other favourite wars,
28:03 I will follow this leader
and not that leader,
28:08 I believe in this
and not in that,
28:14 I will hold this prejudice
and reject that,
28:21 knowing, if you have
observed yourself,
28:27 that you are a fragmented
human being.
28:35 And therefore,
being fragmented, contradictory,
28:40 living in constant conflict,
28:48 and knowing this conflict,
28:53 one fragment of this many,
many fragments, takes charge,
29:03 becomes the authority,
the censor,
29:08 and his observation must
inevitably be contradictory.
29:14 Right?
I hope you’re following all this.
29:23 If one fragment,
one part of you,
29:29 assumes the authority
of the analyser
29:36 over the other fragments,
29:42 why has he assumed
that authority?
29:47 And can he –
one fragment,
29:50 analyse the rest
of the other fragments?
29:55 You are following all this?
29:56 See how dreadfully complex
it has all become.
30:07 Whether you are analysed
by a professional,
30:12 or you analyse yourself,
30:15 it is still the same pattern.
30:21 So it is very important
to find out how to observe,
30:29 how to observe
all these many contradictions
30:36 which make up our life,
30:41 how to observe
the whole of those fragments
30:47 without another fragment
taking place.
30:55 But this is very important
to find out,
30:59 because as long
as there is contradiction,
31:02 division, in oneself,
31:06 there must be conflict,
31:09 there must be violence,
31:12 which expresses itself
in the world, outside, in society.
31:21 And as long as this fragmentation
exists within one,
31:29 there can be no peace.
31:33 And a man who really,
deeply wants to understand
31:38 and live a peaceful life,
a life of love,
31:45 must understand
this question completely.
31:53 Therefore it is a very
serious matter,
31:57 not just an afternoon’s
listening to a few words –
32:04 we are dealing with
the whole problem of existence.
32:11 And it is only the mind that can
give serious attention to this,
32:18 that is able to resolve it.
32:21 So it is very important,
32:27 that one understands
this question.
32:34 How do you observe?
32:42 Do you observe yourself
as an outsider,
32:47 as a censor,
32:49 saying ‘this is right,
this is wrong’,
32:52 justifying, condemning,
approving, storing up?
33:00 And if you do,
there is contradiction,
33:05 and therefore conflict,
and therefore violence.
33:17 So how do you observe?
33:21 Do you observe
33:27 through an image?
33:32 When you observe a tree,
33:35 do you observe
33:40 with knowledge
of that tree,
33:46 the knowledge that separates
you from the tree,
33:53 divides you,
33:55 brings about a space
between you and the tree?
34:02 How do you observe?
34:03 How do you observe your wife
and your husband,
34:08 or your girl or boy,
34:10 how do you observe them?
34:14 Watch yourself, sir,
please, do it as we are talking,
34:19 don’t make notes,
34:25 don’t fiddle around
with a tape-recorder,
34:31 but watch it.
How do you look at another?
34:42 Don’t you look at another
34:48 through the image
you have built about the other?
34:57 The image that you have been
building for many years
35:01 or perhaps two days.
35:13 And the image becomes
the observer.
35:18 Right?
Are you following this?
35:25 So the image,
or through the image you look.
35:35 So the censor, the observer,
35:43 is one of the fragments.
35:49 And that censor has an image
35:53 of what is right and what is wrong,
35:56 what should be done
and what should not be done,
36:00 because he is still
functioning as a fragment.
36:13 So the question from this arises,
36:19 whether one can observe
without any fragment,
36:31 to see you, see oneself,
see the world,
36:39 without fragmentation at all.
36:45 And what brings about fragmentation?
36:50 Not only in oneself
36:54 but also in the world
of which one is –
37:00 what brings it about,
37:04 why is one fragmented?
37:07 why are there
contradictory desires?
37:17 Right?
37:22 Now.
37:27 Why is one violent?
37:34 Which is part of contradiction.
37:40 There are many causes
why human beings are violent:
37:48 lack of physical space;
37:55 human beings who have
evolved from the animals
37:59 and the animals are
very aggressive;
38:06 and people love
being aggressive;
38:14 feeling inferior
38:19 and they want to be superior,
38:24 and so on.
There are many causes.
38:29 And most of us spend our time
discussing the causes,
38:40 explaining the causes;
38:43 each professor,
each specialist, each writer,
38:48 according to his conditioning,
38:53 explains the causes –
38:55 volumes are written
why human beings are violent.
39:05 But at the end of the volume
human beings still remain violent.
39:16 So the description is
not the described,
39:22 and therefore is
of very little value.
39:29 You know why you are violent
very well,
39:33 you haven’t got to spend years
39:37 trying to find out
the cause of your violence,
39:39 which is such a waste of time.
39:48 But to observe
violence as it is,
39:56 without the censor,
40:04 who then separates himself
from the fact that he is violent.
40:11 Are we meeting each other?
40:16 Are we communicating
with each other?
40:24 I am not sure.
40:31 Look, sirs,
40:33 this is really very important
to understand.
40:40 So let’s go into it a little more.
40:46 Let’s suppose
I am violent –
40:50 anger,
jealousy, brutality,
40:55 driving ambition
that brings about competition.
41:03 And I’m always measuring myself
against somebody else.
41:14 And this comparison
makes me feel I’m inferior
41:22 to you who are superior.
41:24 So there is a battle, violence,
41:29 I know all that.
41:32 Then I say to myself,
‘I must get rid of this,
41:38 I want to live at peace,
41:42 though I’ve lived for thousands and
thousands of years as a human being,
41:51 there must be a change,
41:55 there must be change in society,
41:59 however rotten it is,
and it is’.
42:05 So I’ll plunge into social work
and therefore forget myself.
42:13 And the social work
and the society is me.
42:22 So I am escaping
from myself.
42:29 And realising all the tricks
the mind plays upon itself,
42:36 now, I look at myself –
I am violent.
42:41 And how do I look
at that violence?
42:46 As a censor who condemns violence?
42:51 Or justifies violence?
42:58 Or one who is not capable
of dealing with that violence,
43:04 therefore escapes from it?
43:07 How do I look at myself,
look at that violence?
43:15 Please, do it.
43:20 Are you looking at it
as an observer
43:26 who is different
from violence?
43:35 The observer who is separate,
who condemns, justifies,
43:39 and says, this is right,
this is... and so on.
43:42 The observer looks at the violence,
43:45 separates himself from violence
and condemns it.
43:52 Or is the observer
the observed?
44:00 You are following?
44:02 The observer recognises violence
44:08 and separates himself
in order to do something about it.
44:14 But the separation is
one of the tricks of thought.
44:23 So the observer is the observed,
is the violence.
44:29 So long as there is a division
44:31 between the observer
and the observed,
44:35 there must be violence.
44:47 So when I realise that,
not verbally,
44:52 realise with my heart, with my mind,
with my whole being,
45:04 then what takes place?
45:16 You understand my question?
45:23 You know, when you observe anything,
45:27 there is always not only physical
separation, distance, space,
45:42 there is also the desire
45:46 to identify yourself with that
which is beautiful, noble,
45:54 and not identify yourself
with that which is not.
46:02 So identification is part
of the trick
46:09 of a mind that has
separated itself as the censor,
46:14 and is now trying to identify.
46:22 But whereas when the observer
becomes aware
46:26 that he is part of the observed,
and he is,
46:36 and therefore no image between
the observer and the observed,
46:45 then you will find that conflict
completely comes to an end.
47:01 This is real meditation,
this is not just a trick.
47:12 Therefore it is very
important, imperative,
47:18 that one understands oneself,
47:24 deeply,
47:27 understand all the responses,
the conditioning,
47:35 the various temperaments,
characteristics, tendencies –
47:42 just to watch without the observer.
47:48 We are meeting now?
47:52 To observe without the observer.
48:01 And that is the act of learning.
48:08 And so that is the action.
48:12 Now there is a difficulty in this.
48:20 One is observing oneself.
48:25 One wants to learn about oneself –
48:29 the more you discover,
the more you understand,
48:35 the greater the freedom.
48:41 I am using the word ‘more’
purposely for the moment –
48:49 ‘the more’ is
a comparative evaluation.
48:55 I want to understand myself,
learn about myself.
49:01 In observing myself –
49:05 please, do this as the speaker
is going into it, do it actually,
49:09 don’t take it home
and think about it, do it now.
49:14 No, this is not a group therapy, or
a confessional – all that nonsense,
49:22 but watch yourself
as we are working together.
49:27 I want to learn about myself.
49:37 And myself is a living movement –
49:42 each desire contradicts the other,
they are living, moving,
49:48 they are vital.
49:52 And I observe
49:56 and through that observation
I’ve learnt.
50:03 With what I have learnt
I am going to look next minute.
50:08 Right?
You follow this?
50:14 I am going to look, observe
with the knowledge
50:21 which I have gathered
through previous observation.
50:34 Am I learning,
is there learning then?
50:45 Because when the mind observes
50:50 with an accumulated knowledge
from its examination,
50:56 that knowledge is
preventing perception,
51:05 that knowledge is preventing
the freedom to look.
51:11 See the difficulty.
51:14 So can the mind observe
without accumulating?
51:25 And the accumulation
is the observer,
51:29 is the censor,
is the conditioned entity.
51:38 Therefore, to look
51:45 without accumulating.
51:51 That is, sir, look:
51:58 someone flatters you,
says how nice you are,
52:04 how beautiful you are,
how very intelligent,
52:10 or how stupid you are.
52:15 Now, can you listen
52:19 to what he is saying,
that you are stupid, or very clever,
52:24 or very this or very that,
52:26 can you listen
without accumulation?
52:34 That is, without accumulating
the insult or the flattery,
52:46 because if you listen
with accumulation,
52:54 then he becomes
your enemy,
52:57 or your friend.
53:01 Therefore that listening and
how you listen creates the image.
53:08 Right?
53:12 And that image separates,
53:17 and that image is
the cause of conflict –
53:24 the image that you have
about the Communist
53:31 and the bourgeois,
53:35 the image you have
about the Catholic,
53:38 if you are a Protestant.
53:41 And the Catholic has the image
about the Protestant.
53:46 The image you have
about your husband or your wife,
53:49 or your boy,
whatever it is.
53:56 You believe,
and another does not believe,
54:02 So there is contradiction.
54:07 So can you observe
without separation?
54:19 Can you observe
at the moment of violence,
54:26 at the moment of your anger,
without the censor?
54:34 See how difficult it becomes
if you are not aware at that moment.
54:47 If you are not aware
at that moment,
54:49 you have already
created the image.
55:01 So to observe the cloud,
55:09 the beauty of it,
the light of it,
55:15 to observe the lovely hills
in this country,
55:24 to observe the light
on the water –
55:30 just to observe
without naming it,
55:38 because the naming,
55:42 the knowledge, the experience
55:52 prevents the mind
from observing totally.
56:00 So when the mind can look
without the observer,
56:10 all fragments come to an end
– in oneself.
56:21 And this is really very important
to grasp, to understand.
56:29 And this cannot be taught
by another.