Krishnamurti Subtitles

A different way of living

San Diego - 26 February 1974

Conversation with A.W. Anderson 13



0:38 Krishnamurti in Dialogue
with Dr. Allan W. Anderson
  
0:43 J. Krishnamurti was
born in South India
  
0:46 and educated in England.
 
0:48 For the past 40 years
 
0:49 he has been speaking
in the United States,
  
0:52 Europe, India, Australia,
and other parts of the world.
  
0:56 From the outset of his life's work
 
0:58 he repudiated all connections
 
1:00 with organised
religions and ideologies
  
1:02 and said that his only concern was
 
1:04 to set man absolutely
unconditionally free.
  
1:08 He is the author of many books,
 
1:11 among them The Awakening
of Intelligence,
  
1:13 The Urgency of Change,
Freedom From the Known,
  
1:17 and The Flight of the Eagle.
 
1:20 This is one of a series
of dialogues between
  
1:23 Krishnamurti and Dr.
Allan W. Anderson,
  
1:25 who is professor
of religious studies
  
1:27 at San Diego State University
 
1:29 where he teaches Indian
and Chinese scriptures
  
1:32 and the oracular tradition.
 
1:34 Dr. Anderson, a published poet,
 
1:37 received his degree
from Columbia University
  
1:39 and the Union Theological Seminary.
 
1:42 He has been honoured with the
distinguished Teaching Award
  
1:45 from the California
State University.
  
1:51 A: Mr. Krishnamurti, at the
end of our last conversation,
  
1:54 if I remember correctly,
we were looking into the
  
1:59 relationships among
living, and love, and death.
  
2:06 That is we had just begun to
 
2:09 when we had to bring
our discussion to an end.
  
2:14 I was hoping today
that we might pursue this
  
2:17 in terms of
our continuing concern
  
2:20 for the transformation of man.
 
2:26 K: As usual, sir,
 
2:28 this is such a complex question,
this living,
  
2:35 what it means
and what it actually is,
  
2:42 and love, which we talked about
 
2:45 the other day fairly in detail
and rather closely,
  
2:53 and also this enormous problem
of death.
  
3:03 Every religion has offered
a comforting belief,
  
3:11 comforting ideas,
 
3:14 hoping there would be
a solution for the fear,
  
3:19 sorrow, and all the things
that are involved in it.
  
3:23 So I think,
perhaps we should begin
  
3:27 with what is living
 
3:29 and then go from there
to love and death. A: Good.
  
3:38 K: Shouldn't we
 
3:43 actually look at
what we call living now,
  
3:47 what is taking place.
A: Yes.
  
3:51 K: What actually is going on,
 
3:53 which we call existence, living,
 
3:57 those two words to cover
 
4:00 this whole field
of man's endeavour
  
4:06 to better himself,
 
4:11 not only
in the technological world,
  
4:16 but also psychologically,
he wants to be different,
  
4:21 he wants to be
more than what he is, and so on.
  
4:27 So when we look at it
 
4:29 in whatever country,
and whatever race,
  
4:32 or whatever religion
they belong to,
  
4:36 it is a matter of
constant struggle
  
4:42 from the moment you are born
 
4:45 to the moment you die,
it is one battle.
  
4:49 Not only in relationship
with other human beings,
  
4:53 - intimate or not intimate -
 
4:56 but also economically,
socially, morally,
  
5:00 it is a vast battle.
 
5:05 I think everyone agrees to that.
And that's obvious.
  
5:09 The conflict, the struggle,
the suffering, the pain,
  
5:14 the frustrations, the agony,
the despairs,
  
5:18 the violence, the brutality,
 
5:21 killing each other - all that
is what is actually going on.
  
5:28 Spending 40, 50 years
in an office, in a factory,
  
5:35 occasional holidays for a month,
 
5:39 and a wild kind of holidays,
because
  
5:43 the holidays are a reaction
to their monotonous life.
  
5:48 A: Time out. K: Time out,
or whatever it is called.
  
5:51 You see them all over Europe,
 
5:54 America, going from
museum to museum,
  
5:58 looking at this, that,
rushing about,
  
6:01 and that is an escape
 
6:04 from the monotony of
their daily routine.
  
6:09 And they go off to India,
and there are, I believe,
  
6:14 about 15,000 so-called hippies
 
6:19 in various dresses,
and various monasteries,
  
6:24 and various cities,
 
6:26 doing the most fantastic things,
 
6:29 selling drugs - some of them -
 
6:32 and putting on Indian clothes,
 
6:34 dressing up as monks,
and all that.
  
6:38 It is a kind of vast
romantic sentimental escape
  
6:43 from their daily
monotonous routine life.
  
6:49 That is what we call living:
 
6:54 the battle in relationship,
the battle in business,
  
6:59 in economic environment.
It is a constant struggle.
  
7:08 A: What you've said
 
7:11 seems to be ingrained into
the grasp of this living itself.
  
7:19 We have a saying:
life is a battle.
  
7:23 We interpret it in terms
of what you have said.
  
7:27 K: And nobody seems to say,
why should it be that way?
  
7:35 And we have all accepted it.
 
7:38 We say, yes,
it is part of our existence.
  
7:42 If we don't struggle,
we are destroyed.
  
7:45 It is a part of our
natural inheritance.
  
7:49 From the animal,
we see how it struggles,
  
7:53 so we are part of the animal,
part of the ape,
  
7:56 and we must go on struggling,
struggling, struggling.
  
7:59 We have never said,
is this right?
  
8:05 Is this the way to live?
 
8:11 Is this the way to behave,
 
8:13 to appreciate
the beauty of living?
  
8:21 A: The usual question turns on
 
8:23 how to engage the battle
more effectively.
  
8:26 K: Effectively, successfully,
with least harm,
  
8:30 with least strain,
with least heart failure, and so on.
  
8:36 But the ground
is prepared for struggle.
  
8:43 The monks do it
- you follow, sir? -
  
8:46 the religious people do it,
 
8:48 the business, the artist,
the painter, every human being,
  
8:56 however compartmentalised
he is, he is in battle.
  
9:02 And that we call living.
 
9:08 And a man looks at it
- an intelligent man, he says,
  
9:10 for God's sake,
that's not the way to live.
  
9:13 Let's find out if there is
a different way of living.
  
9:18 And nobody asks.
 
9:22 I have talked to
 
9:24 a great many politicians
all over the world,
  
9:28 and to a great many gurus.
 
9:36 We will come to that,
it's very interesting that word,
  
9:38 what it means.
We'll go into that.
  
9:42 And I've talked to artists,
to businessmen, to artisans,
  
9:47 to labourers,
very, very poor people:
  
9:51 it is one constant battle.
 
9:57 The rich, the poor,
the middle class,
  
10:00 the scientist
- you follow, sir?
  
10:03 A: Oh yes, I'm following.
 
10:04 K: And nobody says:
this is wrong!
  
10:11 This isn't living,
 
10:13 It's bleeding!
 
10:15 A: I was thinking about
the literatures of the world
  
10:20 of a visionary nature
that tend to be divided
  
10:23 into three basic statements
 
10:28 in terms of
their form and content.
  
10:32 On the one hand, we have
epics that deal precisely
  
10:37 with the representation
of the battle of life.
  
10:42 K: We have got the Odyssey,
we have got the Mahabharata,
  
10:45 we have got so many other
books, all praising this thing.
  
10:50 A: And then others deal with
 
10:51 what we call
the journey of life,
  
10:53 the Odyssey would be
specifically related to that;
  
10:56 there are many battles
concerned within it
  
10:59 in terms of confrontations
between individuals.
  
11:03 And then there's the notion
of life as a fulfilment.
  
11:08 But we hardly ever get to the
question of the fulfilment.
  
11:15 And when these are studied,
 
11:17 they are studied
in terms of a literary form,
  
11:21 and the question
that you've raised,
  
11:24 - which, it seems to me,
would be a question that
  
11:27 should be presented to
the student in general...
  
11:30 K: And
it is an authentic question,
  
11:32 it's a question
that must be put.
  
11:38 A: I was reflecting
as you were speaking
  
11:40 that in the class room itself
 
11:43 it's taken for granted
that this battle is what it is.
  
11:48 It is to be related to
with fortitude, and so forth,
  
11:52 but the question
concerning it doesn't arise.
  
11:55 K: No, to some young
people it has arisen,
  
12:00 but they go off at a tangent.
 
12:02 A: Exactly.
K: Either a commune,
  
12:05 or become a Hindu
- you follow? -
  
12:10 go off to some ancient country
and just disintegrate,
  
12:16 do nothing, think nothing,
just live.
  
12:19 A: Which is really
a lateral movement.
  
12:21 K: Lateral. A: Not a vertical one.
K: That's right.
  
12:24 A: Into the question. Yes.
 
12:25 K: So it is a valid question,
 
12:32 and it must have a valid answer,
 
12:35 not theoretical, but say,
well, I will live that way.
  
12:40 I will live without conflict.
See what it means.
  
12:45 I may be smothered.
 
12:47 I question whether
you will be wiped out by society,
  
12:52 if you don't struggle.
 
12:55 I've never struggled personally.
 
12:57 I have never thought
of battling with myself
  
13:00 or with somebody else.
 
13:04 So, I think,
a question of that kind
  
13:09 must not only be put verbally,
 
13:12 but
in the expression of that word
  
13:16 one must see if it is possible
 
13:18 for each one of us
to live that way,
  
13:21 to live
without a single conflict.
  
13:26 That means without division.
 
13:30 Conflict means division.
 
13:32 Conflict means
the battle of the opposites.
  
13:37 Conflict means you and me,
we and they,
  
13:42 Americans, Russians, you know,
 
13:44 division, division, division.
 
13:46 Fragmentation not only inwardly,
but outwardly.
  
13:52 Where there is fragmentation
there must be battle.
  
13:57 One fragment assuming the power
 
14:00 and dominating
the other fragments.
  
14:04 So, an intelligent man
- if there is such a person -
  
14:15 has to find out a way of living
 
14:19 which is not going to sleep,
 
14:23 which is not just vegetating,
 
14:27 which is not just
escaping to some fanciful
  
14:31 mystical visions,
and all that stuff,
  
14:35 but a way of living
in daily life,
  
14:40 in which conflict of any kind
has come to an end.
  
14:47 It is possible.
 
14:53 I have watched it
all around me,
  
14:56 for the last 50 years,
the battle going on around me,
  
15:02 spiritually, economically,
socially,
  
15:06 one class
battling the other class,
  
15:09 and the dictatorships,
 
15:11 the fascists,
the communists, the Nazis
  
15:15 - you follow, sir?
A: Yes, I do.
  
15:16 K: All of them
have their roots in this:
  
15:24 encouraging obedience,
discouraging obedience,
  
15:30 imitating, conforming,
obeying - all battle.
  
15:38 So life has become a battle.
 
15:41 And to me personally,
 
15:45 to live that way
is the most destructive,
  
15:48 uncreative way of living.
 
15:52 I won't live that way.
I would rather disappear!
  
15:59 A: I think, perhaps - and I wonder
if you would agree -
  
16:04 that some sort of confusion
has arisen here in our minds,
  
16:12 when we identify
ourselves with this battle
  
16:16 in terms of your description of it.
 
16:19 When we begin to think
about the question:
  
16:23 'ought this to continue',
 
16:26 and we have
the image of battle before us,
  
16:32 we tend to
 
16:35 imagine to ourselves that
what we're really talking about
  
16:38 is the human equivalent
of what is called
  
16:42 'nature red in tooth and claw'.
 
16:45 K: Quite.
 
16:46 A: But, if I am
following you correctly,
  
16:48 this is a cardinal mistake,
 
16:50 because in our previous
conversations you have,
  
16:55 at least for me,
very clearly indicated that
  
17:00 we must distinguish
between fear and danger;
  
17:04 and the animals,
in their own environment,
  
17:09 act with clean and
immediate dispatch
  
17:14 in the presence of danger,
whereas
  
17:18 it seems we are making a mistake,
 
17:20 if we attempt to study
what we call human conflict
  
17:25 on the level of this analogy,
because analogy,
  
17:29 if I have understood you correctly,
simply doesn't apply.
  
17:32 K: Doesn't, no.
 
17:33 A: But don't you agree
that this tends to be done?
  
17:36 K: Oh rather, sir.
 
17:37 We study the animal,
or the birds,
  
17:40 in order to understand man.
A: Right.
  
17:43 K: Whereas you can study man,
which is yourself.
  
17:47 You don't have to go to
the animal to know man.
  
17:51 So, that is, sir, really
a very important question,
  
17:56 because I have,
 
18:01 if I may
talk a little about myself,
  
18:03 I've watched it all.
A: Please do.
  
18:05 K: I've watched it in India.
 
18:07 The sannyasis, the monks,
the gurus, the disciples,
  
18:11 the politicians
all over the world.
  
18:15 I've happened to have,
somehow I have met them all
  
18:18 - the writers,
the famous people,
  
18:21 the painters
who are very well-known,
  
18:25 most of them
have come to see me.
  
18:28 And it is
a sense of deep anxiety,
  
18:36 that if they don't struggle
they will be nothing.
  
18:41 They will be failures,
 
18:47 that is, that way of living
 
18:50 is the only and
righteous way of living.
  
18:55 A: To drive oneself to be
what is called productive.
  
18:58 K: Productive, progressive.
A: Progressive.
  
19:01 K: And we are taught
this from childhood.
  
19:05 A: Oh yes.
K: Our education is that.
  
19:09 To battle not only with yourself
- with your neighbour,
  
19:14 and yet love the neighbour,
you follow?
  
19:17 It becomes too ridiculous.
 
19:19 So, having stated that,
 
19:23 is there a way of living
without conflict?
  
19:31 I say, there is, obviously.
 
19:37 Which is
to understand the division,
  
19:41 to understand the conflict,
 
19:43 to see how fragmented we are,
 
19:46 not try to integrate the fragments,
which is impossible,
  
19:51 but out of that perception
 
19:56 the action is entirely
different from integration.
  
20:04 Seeing the fragmentations
which bring about conflict,
  
20:09 which bring about division,
 
20:10 which bring about
this constant battle,
  
20:14 anxiety, strain, heart failure.
 
20:17 You follow, sir?
That is what is happening.
  
20:19 To see it,
 
20:22 to perceive it, and that very
perception brings an action,
  
20:26 which is totally different
from the action of conflict.
  
20:33 Because the action of conflict
has its own energy,
  
20:38 brings its own energy,
which is divisive,
  
20:43 which is destructive, violent.
 
20:46 But the energy
 
20:48 of perception and acting
is entirely different.
  
20:53 And that energy
is the energy of creation.
  
20:59 Anything that is created
cannot be in conflict.
  
21:07 An artist who is in
conflict with his colours,
  
21:11 he is not
a creative human being.
  
21:13 He may have perfect craft,
perfect technique,
  
21:17 a gift for painting, but that's...
 
21:21 A: It interests me very much
 
21:22 that you've used
the word 'energy' here
  
21:25 in relation to both activities.
K: Both activities, yes.
  
21:30 A: You haven't said that the energy
at root is different. K: No, no.
  
21:36 A: The phenomenon is different.
K: Yes.
  
21:39 A: It would appear that
 
21:45 when one makes success,
prosperity, victory,
  
21:50 the object of his activity,
and engages this conflict,
  
21:56 - which he interprets
as engaging him,
  
22:00 he always tends to think
that 'things are coming at me'.
  
22:06 When he undertakes this,
 
22:07 if I have understood you correctly,
 
22:09 energy is released,
 
22:13 but it is released
in fragmentary patterns.
  
22:18 K: The other way, yes.
A: Yes.
  
22:20 Whereas the energy
that's released with perception
  
22:24 is the same energy,
 
22:26 is always whole.
K: Is whole. Yes, sir, that's right.
  
22:30 A: Isn't that what you are...
K: Yes, sir. That's right.
  
22:32 Therefore sane,
therefore healthy,
  
22:34 therefore holy - h,o,l,y.
A: Yes.
  
22:38 I have the feeling that
 
22:45 this release of energy
which shatters out into
  
22:52 patterns of energy
as fragmentation,
  
22:56 is really what we mean
by the word 'demonic'.
  
22:59 K: Demonic, that's right.
 
23:01 A: That's giving it a hard name.
K: But it is a good name.
  
23:04 It's an excellent name.
A: But you are really...
  
23:06 ...saying this, aren't you?
I am saying this.
  
23:08 K: But I agree,
I totally see that with you.
  
23:11 I see it is demonic.
 
23:14 It is the very destructive thing.
 
23:18 A: Exactly.
 
23:20 K: And that's what our society is,
our culture is.
  
23:27 A: What we've done
to that word 'demonic'!
  
23:31 I was just thinking
about Socrates, who
  
23:34 refers to his 'daimon'
 
23:37 meaning the energy
that operates in wholeness.
  
23:43 K: That's right, sir.
 
23:44 A: And we have taken
that word from the Greek
  
23:47 clear out of the
context of the apology
  
23:49 and turned it upside down,
and now it means...
  
23:54 K: The devil.
A: Right.
  
23:56 And the same thing happened
 
23:58 with the use of the word
'the asuras'.
  
24:06 Originally in the Veda,
 
24:10 this was not a
reference to the demonic,
  
24:12 there was no radical polarisation.
K: No, no, no, quite.
  
24:16 A: And finally we end up
with the gods and the demons.
  
24:20 K: Quite.
 
24:21 A: Which, I take it you are suggesting,
is nothing other than
  
24:24 the sheerest projection of
our own demonic behaviour
  
24:29 which we have generated ourselves.
K: That's right.
  
24:32 A: This makes tremendous
sense to me. Please go on.
  
24:35 K: So, the way we live
is the most impractical,
  
24:43 insane way of living.
 
24:47 And we want the insane way
of living made more practical.
  
24:55 A: Yes, and there
isn't a prayer for it.
  
25:00 K: But that is what we are
demanding all the time.
  
25:03 We never say, let's find a
way of living which is whole,
  
25:10 - and therefore healthy,
sane, and holy.
  
25:13 And through that,
through perceiving, acting
  
25:19 is the release of total energy,
 
25:23 which is non-fragmentary,
 
25:25 which isn't the artist,
the business man,
  
25:29 the politician, the priest,
the layman
  
25:33 - all that doesn't exist at all.
 
25:40 Now, to bring about such a mind,
such a way of living,
  
25:45 one has to observe
what actually is taking place
  
25:48 outside and inside,
 
25:52 in us, inside and outside.
 
25:55 And look at it,
not try to change it,
  
25:59 not try to transform it,
 
26:00 not try to bring about
different adjustment,
  
26:07 see actually what it is.
 
26:11 I look at a mountain,
I can't change it.
  
26:16 Even with a bulldozer
I can't change it.
  
26:20 But we want
to change what we see.
  
26:27 The observer is the observed,
you understand, sir?
  
26:32 Therefore,
there is no change in that.
  
26:35 Whereas in perception
there is no observer.
  
26:39 There is only seeing,
and therefore acting.
  
26:44 A: This holds a mirror up to
an earlier conversation we had
  
26:49 when you referred to
beauty, passion, suffering.
  
26:55 K: Yes, suffering and action, yes.
 
26:58 A: And I remember
asking you the question:
  
27:01 in order to recover the
correct relationship among them
  
27:06 we must begin with the suffering
 
27:09 which, if perceived
 
27:10 as it ought to be perceived,
generates passion.
  
27:15 K: That's right.
A: One doesn't have to work it out.
  
27:17 It happens.
 
27:19 And behold,
upon the same instant
  
27:24 beauty breaks out, and love.
 
27:27 So the passion in itself
is compassion.
  
27:32 The 'com' comes in exactly
 
27:35 with the passion.
K: With passion, that's right. A: Yes.
  
27:40 K: Now, sir, if you could,
as a professor, or as a teacher,
  
27:45 or as a parent, point this out,
 
27:50 the impracticality of
the way we are living,
  
27:56 the destructiveness of it,
 
27:58 the utter indifference
to the earth.
  
28:04 We are destroying
everything we touch.
  
28:10 And to point out
 
28:12 a way of living
in which there is no conflict.
  
28:17 That, seems to me,
is the function
  
28:20 of the
highest form of education.
  
28:24 A: Yes, it has
a requirement in it, though, that
  
28:31 seems to me very clear,
 
28:34 namely, the teacher himself
must be without conflict.
  
28:39 This is a very, very
different point of departure
  
28:42 from what occurs in our
general educational structure,
  
28:46 particularly in professional
educational activities,
  
28:50 where one gets a degree
in professional education
  
28:54 rather than in an
academic subject as such.
  
28:57 We are taught, for instance...
 
29:01 and I am speaking about
this somewhat as an outsider,
  
29:03 because I don't have
a degree in education,
  
29:05 but in an academic subject
as such,
  
29:07 but I have observed
in what goes on
  
29:10 with my colleagues in education,
 
29:13 that tremendous emphasis is
 
29:16 placed on techniques of teaching.
K: Of course, of course.
  
29:20 A: And the question of
the individual teacher
  
29:24 as having undergone
a transformation
  
29:27 of the sort that
you have been discussing
  
29:30 is not a factor
of radical concern.
  
29:35 What is, of course,
in an altruistic sense
  
29:38 a matter of concern
is that the teacher have
  
29:42 the interests of the students
at heart,
  
29:45 and that sort of thing,
 
29:47 which, of course,
is laudable in itself,
  
29:49 but it's after the fact,
 
29:50 it's after the fact of
this first transformation.
  
29:54 K: Yes, sir, but you see,
 
29:59 first I must transform myself,
 
30:02 so I can teach.
A: Precisely, precisely.
  
30:04 K: Wait, see that there
is a little bit...
  
30:06 something in it
that is not quite accurate.
  
30:10 That means I have to wait
till I change.
  
30:16 Why can't I change,
if I am an educator,
  
30:20 in the very act of teaching?
 
30:27 The boys, the students,
live in conflict.
  
30:31 The educator lives in conflict.
 
30:33 Now, if I was an educator
with a lot of students,
  
30:38 I would begin with that
and say,
  
30:39 'I am in conflict,
and you are in conflict,
  
30:42 let us see in discussing,
 
30:46 in becoming aware
of our relationship,
  
30:50 in teaching, if it is not
possible for me and for you
  
30:56 to dissolve this conflict'.
 
31:01 Then it has action.
 
31:03 But if I have to wait till
I'm free of all conflict,
  
31:08 I can wait till doomsday.
 
31:10 A: I see now exactly
what you are saying.
  
31:13 What you are saying
is literally this:
  
31:16 the teacher,
who is presently in conflict,
  
31:20 simply just acknowledges this.
 
31:25 Walks into the classroom...
K: That's right, sir.
  
31:27 A: ...not as somebody who
is free from conflict.
  
31:31 K: That's right.
A: No,
  
31:33 but he walks into the classroom
 
31:35 - and here it is,
we are facing it.
  
31:37 And he looks at his students
and he lays it out.
  
31:41 K: That's the first thing
I would discuss,
  
31:43 not the technical subjects.
 
31:46 Because that's living.
And then I discuss.
  
31:51 And also, in the very
teaching of a technical subject
  
31:55 I would say, all right,
 
31:57 let us see how we approach,
you know?
  
31:59 I can learn from that,
 
32:01 so that both the student
and the educator
  
32:04 know their conflicts
 
32:06 and are interested in
dissolving the conflict,
  
32:09 and therefore they are
tremendously concerned.
  
32:15 That produces an
extraordinary relationship.
  
32:20 Because I have watched it.
 
32:21 I go to several schools
in India and in England,
  
32:26 and it takes place.
 
32:31 A: In this taking place
love breaks out.
  
32:36 K: Of course, of course.
That is the very essence of it.
  
32:39 Because I care,
I feel responsible.
  
32:46 A: May I go into this
just a little bit?
  
32:51 One of the things
that has concerned me
  
32:53 in this series of our dialogues
 
32:55 is that someone should have
perhaps not seen as clearly
  
33:03 as I think you have
pointed out for me,
  
33:08 that in our discussions
of thought and of knowledge
  
33:15 what we have been saying is
 
33:18 that there is some dysfunction
in thought and in knowledge,
  
33:26 which relates to its own nature,
 
33:30 the nature of thought, and
the nature of knowledge,
  
33:32 which could very well
give the impression
  
33:34 that thought is a disease or
that knowledge is a disease,
  
33:41 rather than
giving the impression
  
33:43 - as I have understood from you -
 
33:45 that thought and knowledge
have their proper uses.
  
33:48 K: Of course.
 
33:49 A: Their natures
are not corrupt as such.
  
33:52 K: Obviously not.
A: Exactly.
  
33:53 K: It is the usage of it. Quite.
A: Right.
  
33:55 Therefore it becomes
of utmost importance,
  
33:59 I think, in understanding
what you are saying,
  
34:02 to be aware of the corrective
that we bring to bear,
  
34:07 when together we examine
the uses of thought
  
34:11 and the uses of knowledge.
 
34:13 While at the same time,
 
34:15 not assuming that the
principle of thought,
  
34:18 the principle of knowledge
is in its own nature corrupt.
  
34:22 K: No. Quite right.
A: So that in a classroom
  
34:24 we could study a text,
 
34:27 in which an assertion is made,
 
34:30 a positive statement is made,
 
34:32 without thinking that name
and form are in themselves...
  
34:38 K: Corrupt.
A: ...corrupt.
  
34:39 K: Obviously not.
 
34:42 A microphone is a microphone.
 
34:44 There is nothing corrupt about it.
 
34:45 A: Exactly, but,
 
34:50 you know, the thing comes home
to me with tremendous force,
  
34:55 that one must begin
 
34:57 in his relationship to his
students with doing this.
  
35:01 I must tell a little story
on myself here.
  
35:04 Years ago I went to
hear a lecture of yours
  
35:08 and I listened, I thought,
very, very carefully.
  
35:15 And, of course,
 
35:19 one lecture is not in itself,
 
35:25 perhaps at least for someone
like me, it was not enough.
  
35:30 Or another way to put it,
perhaps more honestly would be,
  
35:34 I was not enough
at the time for the lecture,
  
35:38 because it seems,
as I recall it now,
  
35:39 that the principles that
we have been discussing
  
35:42 you stated very, very clearly.
 
35:44 I went away from that lecture
with the impression
  
35:49 that there was a very
close relationship
  
35:53 between what you are saying
and Buddhism,
  
35:55 and I was thinking about
this whole label thing
  
35:58 as scholars are wont to do
 
36:00 - you know how we divide
the world up into species.
  
36:05 And in our series
of conversations now
  
36:11 I've come to see that
I was profoundly mistaken.
  
36:15 Profoundly mistaken.
 
36:17 And I pinch myself
to think, you know,
  
36:22 I might have gone on thinking
what I thought before,
  
36:27 which had nothing to
do with anything
  
36:28 that you were concerned in.
 
36:33 It is a revelation to face it that
 
36:38 one doesn't have to have
a credential to start with,
  
36:41 before he walks into
the room.
  
36:44 He just has to start looking
 
36:48 at the very thing
that he believes
  
36:50 is going to bring him into
 
36:52 a hostile relationship
with his class
  
36:55 in order... because we believe
 
36:57 that there are things that
we must avoid talking about,
  
37:01 because they create dissension,
disruption and put us off.
  
37:05 And therefore
let's not talk about conflict.
  
37:09 Or
if we are going to talk about it,
  
37:11 let's talk about it in terms of
 
37:14 our being the ones
who have the light
  
37:16 over against
these others who don't,
  
37:19 and we have to take
the good news to them.
  
37:22 K: It's like a guru.
 
37:24 A: Right, but simply to
come into the room and say,
  
37:28 let's have a look
without any presuppositions,
  
37:32 without my thinking that
I have this in hand and you don't,
  
37:37 or you have it and I don't.
 
37:39 We're going to just hold it
together.
  
37:42 K: Right, sir. Share together.
 
37:44 A: Share it together, and behold...
 
37:48 Am I following you?
K: Perfectly.
  
37:50 A: Oh, that's wonderful.
 
37:57 I'm going to do this,
 
38:01 after our conversation
comes to an end,
  
38:05 I will walk into that room.
 
38:09 Do go on.
 
38:12 K: So sir, the energy that
is created through conflict
  
38:17 is destructive.
 
38:21 The energy
that is created through
  
38:24 conflict, struggle, battle
 
38:26 produces violence, hysteria,
neurotic actions, and so on.
  
38:33 Whereas the action of perception
 
38:38 is total, non-fragmentary,
 
38:42 and therefore
it is healthy, sane
  
38:45 and brings about
such intense care and responsibility.
  
38:54 Now, that is the way to live:
 
38:58 seeing-acting, seeing-acting
all the time.
  
39:03 I cannot see,
 
39:05 if there is an observer
different from the observed.
  
39:11 The observer is the observed.
 
39:17 A: This does a very marvellous
thing to what we call
  
39:21 our confrontation with death.
K: We'll come to that, yes.
  
39:25 A: Yes, I see I have made a...
 
39:27 K: ...jump.
 
39:28 No, no, sir, that's right.
 
39:32 So you see,
 
39:36 our whole content of consciousness
is the battle,
  
39:44 is the battleground,
 
39:50 and this battle we call living.
 
39:57 And in that battle,
how can love exist?
  
40:02 If I am hitting you,
if I am competing with you,
  
40:05 if I am trying to go beyond you,
successful, ruthless,
  
40:11 where does the flame of love,
or compassion, tenderness,
  
40:16 gentleness come into all that?
It doesn't.
  
40:20 And that's why our society
as it is now has no sense of
  
40:26 moral responsibility
 
40:28 with regard to action
or with regard to love.
  
40:31 It doesn't exist.
 
40:35 A: I'm going back into the context
of my own experience,
  
40:38 in the classroom again.
 
40:41 It has always seemed to me that
 
40:43 the first stanza of the Gita,
the first stanza,
  
40:49 the first chapter of the Gita,
which begins:
  
40:52 dharmaksettre Kuruksettre
- in the field of Dharma,
  
40:58 in the Kuru field
- that 'in the Kuru field'
  
41:03 is a statement in apposition
and that the field is one.
  
41:07 I have walked into class when
we started to do the Gita,
  
41:10 and I've tried to show
both linguistically,
  
41:14 as it seemed to me was
capable from the text,
  
41:17 and in terms of the
spirit of the whole,
  
41:21 that this was really
what was being said,
  
41:24 that it's one field,
it's not two fields,
  
41:27 though we have one army over here,
and the other over here,
  
41:31 but they don't occupy two fields.
 
41:33 Somehow it is one field.
K: It is our earth.
  
41:36 A: Right. It's the whole.
K: Yes, sir.
  
41:40 A: But, you see, I think
I would have done better
  
41:43 now that I've listened to you,
if I had gone into class
  
41:46 and instead of making
that statement,
  
41:50 and inviting them to look
carefully at the text,
  
41:54 and to bear that in mind
 
41:56 as we proceed
through the teaching,
  
42:00 and watch for any
misinterpretations of that
  
42:04 that will have occurred in
commentary after commentary,
  
42:08 it would have been better
if I had started the other way.
  
42:12 It would have been better,
if I had started by saying,
  
42:16 let's have a look and see together
whether it is one field
  
42:22 or whether it's a
field with conflict.
  
42:24 We are not going to read the
book at all at this point,
  
42:27 we are just going to start here.
This is the field.
  
42:32 The classroom is the field.
Now, let's take a look.
  
42:37 That would have been
the better way.
  
42:38 K: If you have understood that, sir,
 
42:40 the classroom is the field,
and if you understand that,
  
42:43 you have understood
the whole thing.
  
42:45 A: Exactly.
 
42:49 But I went in
with the notion that,
  
42:56 though I had grasped that,
so I thought
  
43:02 it was enough simply
to show that verbally.
  
43:08 But it's patently not.
 
43:12 And this is terrifying.
 
43:14 Because even though
if you say in the classroom
  
43:17 what ostensibly passes for
what we call the right thing,
  
43:24 it still will not prevail
in terms of this act
  
43:30 that we've been talking about.
K: Act. Quite right.
  
43:34 Can we go, sir, from there.
 
43:41 We've discussed life, living,
 
43:43 in which
love does not exist at all.
  
43:48 Love can only exist
 
43:50 when the perceiver
is the perceived and acts,
  
43:55 as we said.
 
43:56 Then that flame,
that compassion,
  
44:00 that sense of holding
the earth in your arms as it were,
  
44:10 if that is understood,
and from that - behaviour,
  
44:15 because that is the foundation;
 
44:19 if there is no behaviour,
 
44:22 in the sense of
non-conflicting behaviour,
  
44:28 then after establishing
that in ourselves
  
44:32 or in observing it,
 
44:33 we can proceed next
to the question of death.
  
44:37 Because the question of death
is an immense thing.
  
44:49 To me living, love, and
death are not separate.
  
44:56 They are one movement.
 
45:00 It isn't death over there,
 
45:02 which I am going to meet in
twenty years or the next day.
  
45:07 It is there.
 
45:08 It is there with love
and with living.
  
45:12 It is a continuous movement,
non-divisive.
  
45:21 This is the way I live, think, feel.
That's my life.
  
45:26 I mean this.
These are not just words to me.
  
45:30 So, before we enter into
the question of death
  
45:36 we have to go into the question
of what is consciousness?
  
45:45 Because if one doesn't
understand what is consciousness,
  
45:51 not the explanation,
 
45:56 not the description, not the word,
 
45:58 but the reality of consciousness.
 
46:03 Am I, as a human,
ever conscious?
  
46:12 And what is to be conscious?
 
46:15 What is it to be aware?
 
46:20 Am I aware totally, or
just occasionally I am aware
  
46:26 when a crisis arises,
otherwise I am dormant.
  
46:34 So that's why
it becomes very important
  
46:37 to find out
what is consciousness.
  
46:43 Right, sir?
A: Yes.
  
46:44 What you have just said
seems to me to indicate that
  
46:47 we are making a distinction
between consciousness,
  
46:51 which is a continuing movement,
 
46:57 utterly situated in act
as over against these blips,
  
47:03 these eruptions virtually,
 
47:06 within
the sleepy course of nature.
  
47:11 K: That's right.
A: Yes.
  
47:12 I see that. Yes, yes.
Please go ahead.
  
47:15 K: So, what is consciousness?
 
47:20 Consciousness is its content.
 
47:26 - I am putting it very simply.
 
47:28 I prefer to talk about
these things very simply,
  
47:32 not elaborate, linguistic
descriptions and theories,
  
47:36 and suppositions,
and all the rest of it.
  
47:38 That has no meaning to me
personally.
  
47:40 A: If it is true, it will be simple.
K: Simple.
  
47:43 A: Yes, of course.
 
47:46 K: Consciousness is its content.
 
47:50 The content is consciousness.
 
47:53 The two are not separate.
 
48:00 That is, the thoughts,
the anxieties, the identifications,
  
48:07 the conflicts,
 
48:10 the attachments, detachments,
the fears, the pleasures,
  
48:14 the agony, the suffering,
the beliefs,
  
48:19 the neurotic actions
- all that is my consciousness.
  
48:23 Because that is the content.
 
48:27 A: This is an equivalent statement to
 
48:32 'The world is me and
I am the world'.
  
48:35 So there's a continuity there.
K: Yes, that's right.
  
48:38 So, the content which says:
that is my furniture,
  
48:48 that's my God, that's my belief,
 
48:54 - with all its nuances
and subtleties -
  
48:58 is part
of my consciousness,
  
49:02 is part of the consciousness
which says: I am.
  
49:10 I am that, I am the furniture.
 
49:15 When I identify myself saying:
that's my furniture,
  
49:18 I must keep it
- you follow? -
  
49:20 when I am attached to it,
I am that.
  
49:23 I am that knowledge, which says,
I have acquired knowledge,
  
49:28 I have grown in it,
I have been successful in it,
  
49:30 it has given me great comfort,
 
49:32 it has given me a house,
a position, power.
  
49:36 That house is me.
 
49:41 The battle
which I have been through
  
49:43 - suffering, agony -
that's me,
  
49:45 that's my consciousness.
 
49:48 So
consciousness is its content,
  
49:56 therefore there is no division
 
49:58 as consciousness
separate from its content.
  
50:04 I can extend or widen
the consciousness,
  
50:08 horizontally or vertically,
 
50:13 but it is still
within that field.
  
50:18 I can extend it saying,
God is immense.
  
50:24 That's my belief.
 
50:26 And I've extended
my consciousness by
  
50:31 imagining that it is extended.
 
50:35 Whatever thought
has created in the world
  
50:42 and inside me is the content.
 
50:48 The whole world,
especially in the West,
  
50:51 is based on thought.
 
50:54 Its activities, its explorations,
its achievements,
  
51:00 its religions, and so on,
 
51:02 is fundamentally
the result of thought
  
51:07 with its images,
and so on, so on, so on.
  
51:09 So that is the content
of consciousness.
  
51:14 Right?
A: Right.
  
51:16 K: Now, from that arises,
what is death?
  
51:24 Is death
the ending of consciousness
  
51:29 - with its content -
 
51:32 or is death a continuity
of that consciousness?
  
51:40 Your consciousness
is not different from mine.
  
51:45 It may have little variations,
little modifications,
  
51:50 little more expansion,
little contraction, and so on,
  
51:54 but essentially consciousness
is yours as well as mine,
  
52:00 because
I am attached to my house,
  
52:03 so are you.
 
52:05 I am attached to my knowledge,
I am attached to my family,
  
52:08 I am in despair
whether I live in India,
  
52:11 or in England, or in America,
wherever it is.
  
52:15 So
that consciousness is common.
  
52:22 It is irrefutable.
 
52:24 You follow, sir?
A: Oh, yes. I do follow closely.
  
52:27 K: So, see what happens.
 
52:33 I never have examined
this content.
  
52:36 I have never looked at it closely
and I am frightened,
  
52:41 frightened of something
which I call death, the unknown.
  
52:47 Let us call it for the moment
the unknown.
  
52:49 So, I'm frightened.
 
52:54 There is no answer to it.
 
52:58 Somebody comes along
and says, yes, my friend,
  
53:01 there is life after death.
 
53:06 I have proof for it.
 
53:08 I know it exists because
I have met my brother, my son
  
53:14 - we will go into that presently.
 
53:17 So I, frightened, anxious,
fearful, diseased
  
53:24 - you follow? -
I accept that tremendously,
  
53:28 instantly say, yes,
there is reincarnation.
  
53:34 I am going to be born next life.
 
53:38 And that life
is related to karma.
  
53:43 The word 'karma' means to act.
A: Yes.
  
53:47 K: Not all the rigmarole
involved in it, just to act.
  
53:53 See what is involved.
 
53:56 That is, if I believe in
reincarnation, that is,
  
54:00 this consciousness
 
54:03 with its content,
 
54:06 which is the 'me' - my ego,
my self, my activities,
  
54:11 my hopes, pleasures,
all that is my consciousness -
  
54:14 that consciousness
is going to be born next life,
  
54:20 which is the common
consciousness of you and me,
  
54:24 and him, and her.
 
54:28 That's going to be born
next life.
  
54:30 And they say,
if you behave properly now,
  
54:35 you'll be rewarded next life.
 
54:38 That's part of the causation.
 
54:40 A: That's part of
the content of consciousness.
  
54:42 K: Causation and the effect.
A: Yes.
  
54:46 K: So behave,
 
54:48 because you are going
to be punished next life.
  
54:52 You will be rewarded next life.
 
54:55 The whole of the
Eastern world is based on it,
  
54:59 believes in reincarnation.
 
55:03 So what happens?
 
55:06 I have taken comfort
in a belief,
  
55:11 but actually
I don't carry it out:
  
55:14 which says, behave now,
 
55:18 be good now,
don't hurt another now.
  
55:24 A: Actually the idea is
that I should behave now,
  
55:31 - we've been through
this 'ought' stuff -
  
55:33 I should this, I should that,
 
55:35 I should the other because
of what will take place later.
  
55:38 But then I take comfort
in the thought
  
55:40 that it's an endless process,
 
55:43 and it's somehow built into it
 
55:45 that I'll get another chance.
 
55:47 So I can sort of stall,
I can stall.
  
55:50 K: I can stall. I can postpone,
I can misbehave.
  
55:53 A: Yes. Because we are all
destined to make it in the end.
  
55:57 K: Eventually.
 
55:59 A: Yes. Which shows that
there's no grasp of what
  
56:02 throughout these conversations
you've been talking about,
  
56:05 the immediacy and urgency of act.
K: Act. That's right.
  
56:09 A: Yes, yes, I follow.
K: So, you see,
  
56:12 the Hindus probably were
the originators of this idea:
  
56:18 cause, effect.
 
56:22 The effect will be
modified by next causation.
  
56:28 So there is this endless chain.
 
56:33 And they say, it's endless,
we'll break it sometime.
  
56:39 Therefore doesn't
matter what you do now.
  
56:42 Belief gives you great comfort
in believing
  
56:48 that you will continue,
you will be with your
  
56:51 brother, wife,
husband, whatever it is.
  
56:54 But in the meantime
don't bother too seriously,
  
56:56 don't take life too seriously.
A: Exactly, yes, yes.
  
57:01 K: Have a good time, in fact.
Enjoy yourself.
  
57:04 Or do whatever you want to do,
 
57:06 pay a little next life,
but carry on.
  
57:09 A: I was speaking to a well-known
Hindu teacher about this
  
57:13 and I made this very remark
that you have just stated,
  
57:17 and I thought it
would have some force.
  
57:19 And I said,
 
57:22 you see, there's no hope
of stopping repeating,
  
57:27 if an act is not made
immediately with respect to this,
  
57:31 therefore in terms of the
content of the consciousness
  
57:36 of a whole people
that bask in this notion,
  
57:42 there can be nothing
but an endless repetition
  
57:44 and no true concern.
 
57:45 K: What did he say?
A: All he did was laugh,
  
57:48 as though I had somehow
perceived something
  
57:52 which most people
apparently are not really
  
57:56 bothering their heads
to look at.
  
57:58 But the extraordinary thing to me
was
  
58:00 that he showed no concern
 
58:04 for what he discerned
intellectually.
  
58:07 K: Sir, that's what they are, hypocrites
- you follow, sir?
  
58:11 They are hypocrites,
when they believe that
  
58:14 and do something quite contrary.
 
58:16 A: Precisely,
I understand what you mean.
  
58:18 What you are saying,
there is the usage
  
58:20 of the Biblical notion of
hypocrite in that strict sense.
  
58:24 K: Sir, in the strict sense,...
 
58:25 ...of course.
A: Yes, in the very strict sense.
  
58:27 In our next conversation
could we continue with this,
  
58:31 because...
 
58:32 K: Oh, there is a great
deal involved in this.
  
58:33 A: Splendid. I do look
forward to that.
  
58:36 K: Yes. We'll go into it.