Krishnamurti – Psychological Slaves to TimeArticles . Blog
If I may I would like to remind you that this
is not an entertainment. It is not something you attend on a lovely morning and forget
all about it. It is rather a serious gathering as we are concerned with grave things. And
we have been talking the last two times, or the third time that we met here about the
necessity and the importance, and the immediacy of the transformation of the human mind. Considering
what the world is becoming, degenerate, violent, cruel and somewhat neurotic, if one is serious
one is concerned with this problem, whether the mind, which has evolved through time,
so heavily conditioned, whether it is at all possible to transform it, not into something
else but rather to uncondition that mind so that it is free, because it is in freedom
alone that one can learn. And it is freedom that gives perception, that gives insight,
that one begins to understand truth. We have been talking about fear, whether the
mind can ever be free of it, we went into that. And also we talked about pleasure and
love. This morning, if one may, the speaker would like to talk about time, suffering,
and this great question of death. It might be rather morbid on a lovely morning to talk
about death, but it is not. I think one has to understand the totality
of all our problems, not try to solve one by one, because all problems are interrelated,
there is no one problem separate, isolated from others. And in investigating, in understanding
the problem of time, suffering, death, we must understand it as a whole, as a total
movement, not something that you take one part of it and try to understand it, or try
to find out the depth and the beauty of the thing, but rather take the whole structure,
the whole content, and try to find out how to observe the whole. There is no ‘how’ as
we went into that question too. Because the moment you ask ‘how’, then you are again caught
in methods, systems, in the whole movement of time, from here to there.
So we are going to, if one may, consider this whole problem as a unit, not something separate
from each other. I do not know if you have ever gone into this question whether time
has a stop. Can time ever end? Or is it something that is a continuous movement? Time by the
sun is one thing; time psychologically is another. We are bound to the psychological
time. We are slaves to that time. And perhaps we are also bound to the sun as yesterday,
today and tomorrow. We are going to talk over both issues, both the time by the chronometer,
and time as psychological movement. And I think it is very important to understand this
question: whether time can ever come to an end. Or, must we be caught both psychologically
as well as the time sequence as yesterday, today and tomorrow? Because in understanding
the problem of time, one will also understand, go deeply into this question of suffering.
And we will also, if we can, understand, not intellectually, that problem of death which
man has been trying to solve from time immemorial. It is important to find out for oneself, not
through verbalization, not through some intellectual, analytical process, but rather find out nonromantically,
whether time, to which we are slaves, can ever come to an end and therefore freedom,
away from time. The time by the sun, the time as night and day, time as a movement, physical
movement from here to there, seems a necessity. Otherwise we couldn’t arrange things, we couldn’t
live reasonably. If we are not clear where we are going physically then we get confused,
we get lost. So time chronologically as yesterday, today and tomorrow is necessary for planning,
for learning. We went into this question of learning. There
are two types of learning. Learning as a means of acquiring knowledge, that needs time. That
learning and knowledge is necessary for actions, if you would act skilfully, efficiently, objectively,
that time as a means of learning is essential. I think that is very clear so we will not
go more into that question. And also we pointed out the other day that learning also has a
different meaning, at least I think so. It has a meaning where time is not involved at
all. Time implies accumulation. Time implies a learning, as a sequence to action. Time
implies the movement from here to there. In learning there is no ending or a beginning,
there islearning all the time – time, you understand? So that is a different kind of
learning in which there is no accumulation as memory and acting from that memory, which
becomes mechanical and if one lives in that field always that is one of the factors of
human deterioration. We have talked about that. So we need not go into this question
of time, by the watch. Then there is psychological time. And that
has become extraordinarily important. In that is involved hope, ideals, achievement, attachment,
gaining and losing, the whole question of a psychological evolution, psychological advancement.
That is what we are attacking, not too violently. That is what we are talking about. If one
doesn’t understand this movement, the psychological movement as time, then time has no ending,
and therefore there is no something new taking place, which is not of time. Please as we
said, this is not a talk but rather we are sharing this thing together. Unfortunately
the speaker has to sit on a platform so that you can see me and I can see you. But sitting
on a platform doesn’t give him an authority, a position, he is not teaching you and you
are not learning from him, therefore the relationship as a teacher and a disciple doesn’t exist
here. That implies authority which is most destructive, in the realm of the spirit. So
we are sharing this thing together, we are walking together, perhaps holding hands, being
friends, talking over diligently, carefully, with affection, with care, and if you will,
with love. So there is that quality of sharing. So if you are not sharing but merely accumulating
certain ideas, then there is no possibility of partaking what is being said. I think that
is fairly clear. So it is your responsibility to share, not merely hear certain words and
draw some conclusions and act according to those conclusions. Then that is sharing something
verbally, and that has not very great importance. So we are asking whether time as a means of
psychologically advancing towards a particular principle, towards a particular concept, towards
a particular projection of what should be, whether there is such time at all, whether
there is a psychological tomorrow at all, and whether time in that sense psychologically
can ever come to an end? Please understand this very carefully because in this is implied
the whole question of death and suffering. If one doesn’t understand this basic problem,
the other, the others like love, death, suffering, all that becomes superficial. So we are asking
a fundamental question: whether time psychologically can come to an end? Or psychologically time
is necessary as a movement towards a particular goal, to a purpose, an achievement and all
the rest of it? You have got the question clear?
This psychological entity as the ‘me’, the ‘I’, the ‘you’, the ‘we’ and ‘they’, that
whole way of thinking on which our society is based, and our relationship with each other,
what part does time play in bringing about suffering in that? Whether I as a human being
with all my psychological structure and nature has a tomorrow at all? Or is it an invention
of thought so that I have a hope, so that I have something towards which I can go to,
something which I can cultivate in the future? Cultivation implies a movement in time. So
we are asking a question, which is: our conditioning, if one observes your own conditioning, our
conditioning is a psychological advance towards what you may call god, or towards enlightenment,
or towards a deeper understanding, or towards a fulfilment, all in the future. So we are
caught in this network, network of the future, which is, there is light, there is enlightenment,
there is something called love, all in the future, to be psychologically achieved. Right?
Please if I labour this point it is important because when we go into the much deeper question
of death, you have to understand this question of time. That is our conditioning. I need
time to learn a language. I need time to learn a technique, I need time to learn how to drive
a car. There, time is necessary. But we have taken over psychologically that time. And
have projected a future, that I will be good, I will be something. The speaker is questioning
the whole of that. Or there is not psychological future, but only the ending of time which
is totally now. You understand this? You see we live either in the past, a remembrance,
in all the things of the past, or in the future – I will meet you tomorrow, how happy it will
be, and how unfortunate it was that this happened in the past, or how happy I was in the past,
and I hope that happiness, that joy, that something celestial will take place tomorrow.
So we are always caught in the psychological time as memory of the past, and the hope of
the future. That is time as memory, time as hope and we don’t know what it is to live
totally now. Because now is life, not there or behind. Am I making myself clear, not verbally?
If you observe yourself, if you are aware of yourself, this is what is going on all
the time in us – the past and the future. In that there is suffering. So I have to find
out, the mind has to enquire, examine and find out whether there is a timeless state
which is called the now. This has been the haunt, the search of deep persons concerned
with life. Which means is love a memory – either as the past or the future, I will love you,
or I have loved you. And do I know or understand, or have an insight, or be aware of what love
is now? You are following, we are sharing together? And why do we, as human beings,
live in this battle of the past and the future, which is the psychological time? Therefore
there is an effort to forget the past, an effort to put away the future and try to live
in the present. That is, I want to live in the present. We don’t understand what that
means but we immediately react to every reaction that we have, idiotic, rational, stupid or
neurotic – doing the thing now, whatever we want, this is what is happening.
And we are asking: as long as man, human beings, the mind, is looking to the future, which
means hope, which means a sense of advancement, moving towards the ideal and so on, is that
the truth or a reality created by thought? You are following this? Please do follow this.
Thought whatever it thinks about is a reality, but is not truth. Reality means the act of
thinking about something which then becomes real. That is reality of a hope, reality of
a purpose, reality of an ideal, reality of an enlightenment, all are the projections
of thought. Therefore thought has made that real. But that reality is not truth. Thought
cannot think about truth. Now the truth of finding out a way of living, not a way, of
living without the future and without the past. To find that out, which is the truth,
thought cannot invent it, then it becomes an illusory reality. You have got it, what
I am talking about? I can’t keep on repeating this, I want to get on.
So, can the mind uncondition itself from the psychological hurts and images and pleasures
of yesterday, and the psychological demands of the future, the hopes, the longings, can
that mind, can it uncondition itself and find, see the truth of what it is to live totally
now, in the now, and therefore that is the truth?
Now from there let’s move
to the understanding, and therefore freeing the mind from suffering. This has been also
one of the great problems of life, from ancient days, whether the mind can free itself from
suffering. Not become in that freedom callous, indifferent, concerned about itself, but in
the freedom of suffering there is compassion. A mind that suffers is never compassionate,
because the word ‘compassion’ means passion for everything. And to find that, to come
upon that compassion, that sense of total passion, one has to understand this problem
of suffering, because all human beings suffer: grief, ache, deep sense of agony of not being,
fulfilling, losing gaining, and the despair of total loneliness. We suffer physically,
when we have a great deal of pain, and that can be easily understood and do something
about it. The doing of something about it either can pervert, destroy the capacity of
the mind, or that suffering need not leave an imprint on the mind. You have understood?
I can suffer physically and not let that suffering interfere with the clarity of thought, with
the clarity of perception. If you have gone into the question of that, that I think can
be done, should be done, must be done. Because physically we go through a great deal of sickness,
whether malnourished, heredity, the social impact on a sensitive body, drink and you
know all the things that you indulge in. So there is physical suffering, which can be
rationally, sanely dealt with, and see that suffering, that pain, that remembrance of
that pain does not affect the mind. That requires an awareness, a sense of watchfulness, a concern,
not just to escape from physical pain, but concern to have a mind untouched by pain.
You understand? Untouched by pain, which means untouched by hurt, because we all hurt from
childhood, in schools, at home, in college, in university, in society, in an office, in
a factory, we are psychologically being shocked, hurt all the time. That is part of our suffering.
And whether the mind can be free from that being hurt. So there is that physical suffering.
Then there is psychological suffering, I love you, you don’t love me – whatever that may
mean. I am lonely, anxious, fearful, in agony of something I have done and something which
I would like to avoid and so on. There is the suffering of losing somebody whom you
love – at least you call that love. So there is this personal agony of suffering, and there
is the collective suffering. Right? Suffering that is going on in the world, children being
killed, mutilated, the wars, endless wars and the preparation for wars. We have built
a marvellous civilization all right of which you are so terribly proud. So there is that
suffering, the personal and the collective human suffering. Now can the mind, you as
a human being living in this mad, insane world, be out of that suffering, completely, not
only consciously but deep down so that there is no suffering because when there is suffering
there is the personal concern about oneself? This tremendous concern about oneself is one
of the factors of degeneracy, self-improvement as it is called, self-fulfilment – am I doing
the right thing, am I following the right system to achieve some kind of enlightenment,
tell me how to be good – you know this tremendous self-concern which brings about callousness,
a neurotic sense of progress – you know all that. So is there an end to suffering? When
there is no suffering only then is there the possibility of being compassionate.
So one must find out, delve into this, whether the mind can be free from this ache and grief
and sorrow. Which doesn’t make the mind empty, dull, stupid, on the contrary. When we suffer
psychologically there is always an escape from it, that is our conditioning. I suffer
psychologically and I must do something about it, go and talk to an analyst, which is the
new priest, go and do – I don’t know – go to a church, anything to forget it, escape
from it, take a flight away from it. Please follow this. That is a wastage of energy,
isn’t it? To move away from the fact. The fact is suffering, you suffer, and to run
away from it verbally, rationally, romantically, or try to go away from the fact to an entertainment.
All that is a wastage of energy which prevents you from looking at it. To look at it and
to stay with it, not neurotically, not morbidly; the morbidity, the neuroticism is in the flight,
which is to believe in something, to go to somebody, to read a book, to analyse and find
out the cause – the cause is there if you look, it is there immediately. So can the
mind, which has been so conditioned to escape from suffering, especially in this country,
in the Christian world which is to delegate this suffering to somebody else and worship
that somebody else. In India they have another kind of escape, which they call Karma and
all kinds of other things. All that is a wastage of energy and therefore recognizing that fact,
seeing the truth of that, to remain totally without any movement of thought, which says
‘Run away’any movement, remain with that suffering. If you do, out of that comes passion, because
the root meaning of that word passion is linked with suffering.
So then we can go into this question of death. Are you all right? Are we all moving together?
Please, not verbally because then it is no fun. Then you can pick up a book and read
about it, and that has no meaning, it is too childish. This again is a tremendous problem.
From ancient of days man has tried to find out how to avoid it, how to find immortality,
and find out if there is another life, another existence in heaven or in hell – the invention
of hell is the fruit of Christianity, and heaven is the permanent abode. Man has always
tried to find a comfort, or say, living is the fulfilment in death and beyond. You have
seen this in the ancient Egyptians, you know, right through the world this has been one
of the major factors of enquiry; either believe in some comfort, in some future, or rationalize
the present living and say there it is, make the best of it, jolly good time, rather unfortunate,
miserable, but make the best of it and get on with it, there is the end of it. We have
rationalized everything and at the end of it we have found nothing.
So one has to find out, go into this question, not only intellectually, verbally but much
more beyond it. What it means to die, what it means to die not when you are diseased,
old age and crippled and unconscious and drugged, and all the rest of it, you end up in the
hospital, but living, what it means, not committing suicide, I am not proposing that. As we said,
time is involved. We, living with all the things involved in existence and death something
far away to be avoided, postponed, a distance between the living and the dead, or the dying.
And what is it that we call living? And who is it that is living? You are following all
this? Please if this is all too much for a morning, you forget it I’ll go on. You understand
– if you can’t follow all this and you get tired, let me talk about it and perhaps something
will enter you head. What is it that we call living? And who is
it that is living? The living that you call is this constant travail, this constant effort,
the battle that goes on within us silently, verbally or outwardly, the competition, the
aggression, the ambition, the struggle, the agony, the pain, the loss, the fear of losing,
not gaining, this battle is what we call living, with its passing pleasures, an occasional
flash of joy, an occasional ecstasy of something which thought has never captured, or never
can produce. But this is our life. And who is it that is living? Who is it that says,
‘This is my life, this is I’ – who is that entity that is living? To complain about society
has made us what we are, environment, therefore change the environment and we’ll be changed,
and to say, bring about a different outward conditioning which will condition us differently,
is one of the factors of the communists, or the people of the world, people who say change
all the outward things and man will change. But man has created all this, you have created
all this, the misery, the war, the irresponsible butchery that is going on, the national division
as the Jew, the Arab, the Hindu, the Muslim, the Christian, you are responsible for this
because you think that way. Go to any town, to any village, you will see the Wesleyan,
the Baptist – you know – the Catholic, the Protestant – you have created this. And you
say ‘Well I can’t change, it takes too long. Or if I change what of it? I can’t change
the world.’ So you have to find out who is it that is
living this. And why is he living like this, callousness, indifference, why? Or we are
educated this way. If you are educated this way, change the education. Why do we support
all this in ourselves? So I must find out who is this that is living? This horror, this
misery, this confusion, this pain. Is it that entity that is frightened of death who says,
‘I am living’, and death is the ending of that living’? You are following? So who is
it that is living? Is that living, chaos, mess, confusion, misery, is it different from
the liver – not the liver! – but the entity that lives? You are following this? Is this
mess, which I call living, is that different from the entity who is afraid of dying? I
don’t know if you follow this. Is this entity different from that which he has created?
Or both are the same? The entity is the living, he is not separate. I wonder if you understand
this. So the entity that says that living is me, the chaos, the mess, the confusion,
the irresponsibility, the pain, the cruelty, the horrors that are going on, is me, it is
not separate from me, I have created that, and what I am frightened of is the dying,
which means the ending of that which I have created. You follow?
So what is the meaning of death? There is the physical death, the ending, physical ending.
And I am attached in my relationship to you, I depend on you. You are my companion, you
have given me pleasure, both biologically, sexually, in different ways, I depend, you
fill my life, and I call that love. And I don’t want to lose you, therefore I am attached,
cling to you. But there is death of you. You understand? You are going to die, as I am
going to die some day, but I don’t want you to die, you are mine. So there is that suffering
in attachment. I can’t face that fact. And I want to keep you and I am frightened of
losing you, and I am frightened of losing myself. I am frightened of coming to an end
myself – myself which has created this misery, this confusion, this mischief, the corruption,
all the things that man has done to another man in my relationship.
So what is death? Is the self, which is the ‘me’, frightened of coming to an end? Coming
to an end of all this? As I am frightened, I postpone it. Which is, I avoid it, I run
away from it. The running away from it is time. You understand? Now if I don’t run away
from it what happens? Then the ending of all the things I have done is death. You understand
sirs? Therefore the gap, the time interval between the future as death and the present
as living, have been brought together. Do you understand? So I know what it means to
die, which means totally be free of everything that I have created. Have we understood something?
And there is always the search for immortality. Man wants to be immortal, never asking the
question: who is it that is going to be immortal? Does immortality lie in the book I have written?
The name, the name in history as a General, as a butcher, or whatever it is? So what is
immortality? Which means really to be free, for the mind to be free of the idea of death,
of that quality of mind when time has totally ceased. You understand? So all this is implied
in the understanding and in the living of this whole problem of time, suffering and
death – not as separate things but to condense all that into a whole. And then you will see
for yourself that suffering brings an extraordinary sense of passion, not lust, not the absurd
things that are going under the name of passion. Because out of the ashes of suffering comes
this extraordinary passion and with it compassion. And when you have understood very, very deeply,
not verbally, not intellectually, the sense of timeless moment, timeless whole, then you
have understood what it means to live without this fear of death, and the dying is the living.
Right. Do you want to ask any questions about what
we have been talking? Or would you rather sit quietly and observe all this?
Q: Sir, the idea for me has for years been the thinker and the thought as being one.
I, perhaps from conditioning, I see the thinker as separate from the thought.
K: Yes, the idea of the thinker and the thought are the same, is difficult to grasp, the questioner
says. You know the word ‘idea’, the word, the meaning of that word means to see, to
observe. Not what we have made, which is the seeing and drawing an abstraction from it,
a conclusion and acting according to that conclusion. Right? That is what we have made
the word idea into. The word ‘idea’ means to see and the seeing is the acting – not
acting according to a conclusion. The seeing that there is a precipice is the action. Now
the questioner says, it is difficult for me to understand that the thinker is the thought,
because, he says, I have been conditioned that way, that the thinker is different from
thought. Right, have you understood the question? Is he different? Observe it, don’t agree,
or disagree, just to look at it. Look at the thinker who says, ‘I am thinking’ and what
he is thinking about. Let me put it differently. Is the experiencer
different from the experience? This is a very important question to understand, because
you will see in a minute if you go into it. Because you are all so crazy for experience
– divine experience or you know, drug experience and all the rest of it. So you must find out
for yourself whether the experiencer, the thinker, the observer are different from the
observed, from the experience, from the thought. So we are looking at the experience. Is the
experiencer different from the experience? If you have an experience of any kind, what
is involved in that experience? First recognition, otherwise you couldn’t say, I have had an
experience. You understand what I am saying? I have had an experience of god, of Jesus,
whatever you like, Krishna, Buddha, whatever. Now how do I know that I have experienced
Jesus, unless I have already known Jesus or Krishna, or Buddha or somebody else? You are
following this? So the experience, which I am experiencing, is a projection of my own
conditioning which I am experiencing. Right? So the experiencer is not different from the
experience. Because he must first recognize it otherwise it is not – you can’t say, ‘Well
I’ve had a marvellous experience, I adore that experience’, because I know the content
of that experience otherwise I couldn’t enjoy it. You understand all this? So the experiencer
is the experience, he may call it what he likes, it is his projection which he is experiencing.
A Hindu unfortunately is conditioned by his own gods, by his own priests, by his own culture,
and he says, ‘I am experiencing that’. That is the projection of his own conditioning.
Right? Now go step by step. So the mind says, ‘I must have experience’, so he projects these
experiences and experiences them. And experience apparently is necessary to keep the mind awake:
I must have experience otherwise I will go to sleep.
So you think experience will keep the mind awake – right? – of different kinds. Now when
you see – please understand this – now when you see that the experiencer is the experience,
then the whole problem of the desire to experience comes to an end and therefore the mind in
itself is totally alive. So the thinker is the thought.
Right sirs, that is enough, isn’t it? Yes sir?
Q: Whatever it is that is sitting there experiencing, is there any kind of me itself?
K: I don’t quite follow the question. Will you speak louder sir.
Q: Whatever that’s here, that is creating these outer and inner experiences, is there
any kind of a me that is here? An individual? K: I don’t understand your question.
Q: Is there a me, an I of any kind? K: That is what I have just explained.
Q: He is saying what is the core of the creator of the experience? What is the core of the
self? Is there anything in the self? K: That is what he is asking sir, the same
question. Which is: what is the me who divides himself as the outer and the inner? Is that
it sir? Or would you put the question: what is the point of accumulating all this knowledge
when I am going to die? What is the point of having a good relationship with another
when at the end of it I die? What is the point of improving the world, or changing the world,
transforming myself when death is next door? So you are saying, I, who is this I – is that
it? Is that the question sir? Q: Is there such a thing as the individual?
K: Is there such a thing as an individual – right. Is there such a thing as the individual
– are you an individual? Q: What about you?
K: I am asking you. Q: Here and now…
K: Just a minute madame, let us finish this question. Are you an individual? Do you know
what that word means? Q: I realize that I am…
K: I am asking sir, do you know what that word means, indivisible, who is whole; the
word ‘whole’ means healthy, sane and also it means holy, H O I Y. All that is implied
in the word ‘individual’, indivisible, therefore he is whole unbroken, not fragmented. Are
you that individual? Or are you the collective and you think that you are the individual?
– which is part of the deception of the collective. Go on sir, think it out, watch it.
So the problem is: can the mind observing this fragmented entity, calling itself an
individual when it is really the collective, can that mind free itself totally and be whole?
And to do that you have to have a mind that can look, not fragmentarily as me and the
not me, as an American, Christian, Hindu, Buddhist and all that nonsense, but look at
things as they are. Can you look at yourself and see you are the collective, through your
education, through your tradition, through everything, you are the collective. And
look at it, not try to escape and say ‘I must
be individual’, be with that, look at it with all your attention. Then observe how fragmented
you are, with your desires, contradictory desires, self-deception, hypocrisy, wanting,
not wanting, violence – you follow – broken up as an artist, as a business man, as a family
man, as a factory man. You follow? All that fragmented. Look at it. And as you observe
it, as you see it without moving away from it, out of that comes total perception.
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