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,
division,
  
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
entertainment,
  
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,
complete,
  
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
non-contradictory.
  
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
mathematics,
  
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,
brutality.
  
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,
completely,
  
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,
imperative
  
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.
Right?
  
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.