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Article: 1000 of sgi.talk.ratical
From: (dave "who can do? ratmandu!" ratcliffe)
Subject: Jiddu Krishnamurti (1895-1986)
Summary: Truth is a pathless land
Keywords: choiceless awareness, self-knowledge
Organization: Silicon Graphics, Inc.
Date: Mon, 15 Mar 1993 15:46:19 GMT
All authority of any kind, especially in the field of thought and understanding, is the most destructive, evil thing. Leaders destroy the followers and followers destroy the leaders. You have to be your own teacher and your own disciple. You have to question everything that man has accepted as valuable, as necessary.I am becoming increasingly drawn to the words of Krishnamurti both on tape, and in books. His ability to articulate "a clear contemporary statement of the fundamental human problem, together with an invitation to solve it in the only way in which it can be solved--for and by" oneself is, to me, astonishing. I lived in Ojai from 1970 to 1973 but all during that time, though I knew he was there too, I never sought him out. I dearly wish now that I had. Even so, I am finding his clarity of mind shatteringly vivid, perceptive and compelling.
-- J. Krishnamurti, Freedom from the Known, p. 21
I wanted the 1000th article of ratical to be something special. There is a great deal about what this man gave voice and awareness to that cannot possibly be encapsulated in one post. However, I wanted to send something out that would attempt to invoke something fundamental about what he spoke of. Aldous Huxley and he were close friends. I have included Huxley's Foreward to Krishnamurti's book The First and Last Freedom, published in 1954. Following this is a one-page introduction to Krishnamurti's work by the renowned physicist, David Bohm, who was also a close friend of Krishnamurti's. Finally I include a statement written by Krishnamurti in 1980 as a summary of his teachings. I am always open to and interested in getting together with other people who would be interested in discussing the issues raised by all of this.
When you call yourself an Indian or a Muslim or a Christian or a European, or anything else, you are being violent. Do you see why it is violent? Because you are separating yourself from the rest of mankind. When you separate yourself by belief, by nationality, by tradition, it breeds violence. So a man who is seeking to understand violence does not belong to any country, to any religion, to any political party or partial system; he is concerned with the total understanding of mankind.
-- J. Krishnamurti, Freedom from the Known, pp. 51-52
MAN IS AN amphibian who lives simultaneously in two worlds--the given and the home-made, the world of matter, life and consciousness and the world of symbols. In our thinking we make use of a great variety of symbol-systems--linguistic, mathematical, pictorial, musical, ritualistic. Without such symbol-systems we should have no art, no science, no law, no philosophy, not so much as the rudiments of civilization: in other words, we should be animals.
Symbols, then, are indispensable. But symbols--as the history of our own and every other age makes so abundantly clear--can also be fatal. Consider, for example, the domain of science on the one hand, the domain of politics and religion on the other. Thinking in terms of, and acting in response to, one set of symbols, we have come, in some small measure, to understand and control the elementary forces of nature. Thinking in terms of, and acting in response to, another set of symbols, we use these forces as instruments of mass murder and collective suicide. In the first case the explanatory symbols were well chosen, carefully analysed and progressively adapted to the emergent facts of physical existence. In the second case symbols originally ill-chosen were never subjected to thorough-going analysis and never re-formulated so as to harmonize with the emergent facts of human existence. Worse still, these misleading symbols were everywhere treated with a wholly unwarranted respect, as though, in some mysterious way, they were more real than the realities to which they referred. In the contexts of religion and politics, words are not regarded as standing, rather inadequately, for things and events; on the contrary, things and events are regarded as particular illustrations of words.
Up to the present symbols have been used realistically only in those fields which we do not feel to be supremely important. In every situation involving our deeper impulses we have insisted on using symbols, not merely unrealistically, but idolatrously, even insanely. The result is that we have been able to commit, in cold blood and over long periods of time, acts of which the brutes are capable only for brief moments and at the frantic height of rage, desire or fear. Because they use and worship symbols, men can become idealists; and, being idealists, they can transform the animal's intermittent greed into the grandiose imperialisms of a Rhodes or a J. P. Morgan; the animal's intermittent love of bullying into Stalinism or the Spanish Inquisition; the animal's intermittent attachment to its territory into the calculated frenzies of nationalism. Happily, they can also transform the animal's intermittent kindliness into the life-long charity of an Elizabeth Fry or a Vincent de Paul; the animal's intermittent devotion to its mate and its young into that reasoned and persistent co-operation which, up to the present, has proved strong enough to save the world from the consequences of the other, the disastrous kind of idealism. Will it go on being able to save the world? The question cannot be answered. All we can say is that, with the idealists of nationalism holding the A-bomb, the odds in favour of the idealists of co-operation and charity have sharply declined.
Even the best cookery book is no substitute for even the worst dinner. The fact seems sufficiently obvious. And yet, throughout the ages, the most profound philosophers, the most learned and acute theologians have constantly fallen into the error of identifying their purely verbal constructions with facts, or into the yet more enormous error of imagining that symbols are somehow more real than what they stand for. Their word-worship did not go without protest. "Only the spirit," said St. Paul, "gives life; the letter kills." "And why," asks Eckhart, "why do you prate of God? Whatever you say of God is untrue." At the other end of the world the author of one of the Mahayana sutras affirmed that "the truth was never preached by the Buddha, seeing that you have to realize it within yourself". Such utterances were felt to be profoundly subversive, and respectable people ignored them. The strange idolatrous over-estimation of words and emblems continued unchecked. Religions declined; but the old habit of formulating creeds and imposing belief in dogmas persisted even among the atheists.
In recent years logicians and semanticists have carried out a very thorough analysis of the symbols, in terms of which men do their thinking. Linguistics has become a science, and one may even study a subject to which the late Benjamin Whorf gave the name of meta- linguistics. All this is greatly to the good; but it is not enough. Logic and semantics, linguistics and meta-linguistics--these are purely intellectual disciplines. They analyse the various ways, correct and incorrect, meaningful and meaningless, in which words can be related to things, processes and events. But they offer no guidance, in regard to the much more fundamental problem of the relationship of man in his psycho-physical totality, on the one hand, and his two worlds, of data and of symbols, on the other.
In every region and at every period of history, the problem has been repeatedly solved by individual men and women. Even when they spoke or wrote, these individuals created no systems--for they knew that every system is a standing temptation to take symbols too seriously, to pay more attention to words than to the realities for which the words are supposed to stand. Their aim was never to offer ready-made explanations and panaceas; it was to induce people to diagnose and cure their own ills, to get them to go to the place where man's problem and its solution present themselves directly to experience.
In this volume of selections from the writings and recorded talks of Krishnamurti, the reader will find a clear contemporary statement of the fundamental human problem, together with an invitation to solve it in the only way in which it can be solved--for and by himself. The collective solutions, to which so many so desperately pin their faith, are never adequate. "To understand the misery and confusion that exist within ourselves, and so in the world, we must first find clarity within ourselves, and that clarity comes about through right thinking. This clarity is not to be organized, for it cannot be exchanged with another. Organized group thought is merely repetitive. Clarity is not the result of verbal assertion, but of intense self-awareness and right thinking. Right thinking is not the outcome of or mere cultivation of the intellect, nor is it conformity to pattern, however worthy and noble. Right thinking comes with self-knowledge. Without understanding yourself, you have no basis for thought; without self- knowledge, what you think is not true."
This fundamental theme is developed by Krishnamurti in passage after passage. "There is hope in men, not in society, not in systems, organized religious systems, but in you and in me." Organized religions, with their mediators, their sacred books, their dogmas, their hierarchies and rituals, offer only a false solution to the basic problem. "When you quote the Bhagavad Gita, or the Bible, or some Chinese Sacred Book, surely you are merely repeating, are you not? And what you are repeating is not the truth. It is a lie: for truth cannot be repeated." A lie can be extended, propounded and repeated, but not truth; and when you repeat truth, it ceases to be truth, and therefore sacred books are unimportant. It is through self-knowledge, not through belief in somebody else's symbols, that a man comes to the eternal reality, in which his being is grounded. Belief in the complete adequacy and superlative value of any given symbol-system leads not to liberation, but to history, to more of the same old disasters. "Belief inevitably separates. If you have a belief, or when you seek security in your particular belief, you become separated from those who seek security in some other form of belief. All organized beliefs are based on separation, though they may preach brotherhood." The man who has successfully solved the problem of his relations with the two worlds of data and symbols, is a man who has no beliefs. With regard to the problems of practical life he entertains a series of working hypotheses, which serve his purposes, but are taken no more seriously than any other kind of tool or instrument. With regard to his fellow beings and to the reality in which they are grounded, he has the direct experiences of love and insight. It is to protect himself from beliefs that Krishnamurti has "not read any sacred literature, neither the Bhagavad Gita nor the Upanishads". The rest of us do not even read sacred literature; we read our favourite newspapers, magazines and detective stories. This means that we approach the crisis of our times, not with love and insight, but "with formulas, with systems"--and pretty poor formulas and systems at that. But "men of good will should not have formulas"; for formulas lead, inevitably, only to "blind thinking". Addiction to formulas is almost universal. Inevitably so; for "our system of up-bringing is based upon what to think, not on how to think". We are brought up as believing and practising members of some organization--the Communist or the Christian, the Moslem, the Hindu, the Buddhist, the Freudian. Consequently "you respond to the challenge, which is always new, according to an old pattern; and therefore your response has no corresponding validity, newness, freshness. If you respond as a Catholic or a Communist, you are responding--are you not?--according to a patterned thought. Therefore your response has no significance. And has not the Hindu the Mussulman, the Buddhist, the Christian created this problem? As the new religion is the worship of the State, so the old religion was the worship of an idea." If you respond to a challenge according to the old conditioning, your response will not enable you to understand the new challenge. Therefore what "one has to do, in order to meet the new challenge, is to strip oneself completely, denude oneself entirely of the background and meet the challenge anew". In other words symbols should never be raised to the rank of dogmas, nor should any system be regarded as more than a provisional convenience. Belief in formulas and action in accordance with these beliefs cannot bring us to a solution of our problem. "It is only through creative understanding of ourselves that there can be a creative world, a happy world, a world in which ideas do not exist." A world in which ideas do not exist would be a happy world, because it would be a world without the powerful conditioning forces which compel men to undertake inappropriate action, a world without the hallowed dogmas in terms of which the worst crimes are justified, the greatest follies elaborately rationalized.
An education that teaches us not how but what to think is an education that calls for a governing class of pastors and masters. But "the very idea of leading somebody is anti-social and anti-spiritual". To the man who exercises it, leadership brings gratification of the craving for power; to those who are led, it brings the gratification of the desire for certainty and security. The guru provides a kind of dope. But, it may be asked, "What are you doing? Are you not acting as our guru?" "Surely," Krishnamurti answers, "I am not acting as your guru, because, first of all, I am not giving you any gratification. I am not telling you what you should do from moment to moment, or from day to day, but I am just pointing out something to you; you can take it or leave it, depending on you, not on me. I do not demand a thing from you, neither your worship, nor your flattery, nor your insults, nor your gods. I say, This is a fact; take it or leave it. And most of you will leave it, for the obvious reason that you do not find gratification in it."
What is it precisely that Krishnamurti offers? What is it that we can take if we wish, but in all probability shall prefer to leave? It is not, as we have seen, a system of beliefs, a catalogue of dogmas, a set of ready-made notions and ideals. It is not leadership, not mediation, not spiritual direction, not even example. It is not ritual, not a church, not a code, not uplift or any form of inspirational twaddle.
Is it, perhaps, self-discipline? No; for self-discipline is not, as a matter of brute fact, the way in which our problem can be solved. In order to find the solution, the mind must open itself to reality, must confront the givenness of the outer and inner worlds without preconceptions or restrictions. (God's service is perfect freedom. Conversely, perfect freedom is the service of God.) In becoming disciplined, the mind undergoes no radical change; it is the old self, but "tethered, held in control".
Self-discipline joins the list of things which Krishnamurti does not offer. Can it be, then, that what he offers is prayer? Again, the reply is in the negative. "Prayer may bring you the answer you seek; but that answer may come from your unconscious, or from the general reservoir, the store-house of all your demands. The answer is not the still voice of God." Consider, Krishnamurti goes on, "what happens when you pray. By constant repetition of certain phrases, and by controlling your thoughts, the mind becomes quiet, doesn't it? At least, the conscious mind becomes quiet. You kneel as the Christians do, or you sit as the Hindus do, and you repeat and repeat, and through that repetition the mind becomes quiet. In that quietness there is the intimation of something. That intimation of something, for which you have prayed, may be from the unconscious, or it may be the response of your memories. But, surely, it is not the voice of reality; for the voice of reality must come to you; it cannot be appealed to, you cannot pray to it. You cannot entice it into your little cage by doing puja, bhajan and all the rest of it, by offering it flowers, by placating it, by suppressing yourself or emulating others. Once you have learned the trick of quieting the mind, through the repetition of words, and of receiving hints in that quietness, the danger is--unless you are fully alert as to whence those hints come--that you will be caught, and then prayer becomes a substitute for the search for Truth. That which you ask for you get; but it is not the truth. If you want, and if you petition, you will receive, but you will pay for it in the end."
From prayer we pass to yoga, and yoga, we find, is another of the things which Krishnamurti does not offer. For yoga is concentration, and concentration is exclusion. "You build a wall of resistance by concentration on a thought which you have chosen, and you try to ward off all the others." What is commonly called meditation is merely "the cultivation of resistance, of exclusive concentration on an idea of our choice". But what makes you choose? "What makes you say this is good, true, noble, and the rest is not? Obviously the choice is based on pleasure, reward or achievement; or it is merely a reaction of one's conditioning or tradition. Why do you choose at all? Why not examine every thought? When you are interested in the many, why choose one? Why not examine every interest? Instead of creating resistance, why not go into each interest as it arises, and not merely concentrate on one idea, one interest? After all, you are made up of many interests, you have many masks, consciously and unconsciously. Why choose one and discard all the others, in combating which you spend all your energies, thereby creating resistance, conflict and friction. Whereas if you consider every thought as it arises--every thought, not just a few thoughts--then there is no exclusion. But it is an arduous thing to examine every thought. Because, as you are looking at one thought, another slips in. But if you are aware without domination or justification, you will see that, by merely looking at that thought, no other thought intrudes. It is only when you condemn, compare, approximate, that other thoughts enter in."
"Judge not that ye be not judged." The gospel precept applies to our dealings with ourselves no less than to our dealings with others. Where there is judgement, where there is comparison and condemnation, openness of mind is absent; there can be no freedom from the tyranny of symbols and systems, no escape from the past and the environment. Introspection with a predetermined purpose, self-examination within the framework of some traditional code, some set of hallowed postulates-- these do not, these cannot help us. There is a transcendent spontaneity of life, a `creative Reality', as Krishnamurti calls it, which reveals itself as immanent only when the perceiver's mind is in a state of `alert passivity', of `choiceless awareness'. Judgement and comparison commit us irrevocably to duality. Only choiceless awareness can lead to non-duality, to the reconciliation of opposites in a total understanding and a total love. Ama et fac quod vis. If you love, you may do what you will. But if you start by doing what you will, or by doing what you don't will in obedience to some traditional system or notions, ideals and prohibitions, you will never love. The liberating process must begin with choiceless awareness of what you will and of your reactions to the symbol-system which tells you that you ought, or ought not, to will it. Through this choiceless awareness, as it penetrates the successive layers of the ego and its associated sub- conscious, will come love and understanding, but of another order that that with which we are ordinarily familiar. This choiceless awareness--at every moment and in all the circumstances of life--is the only effective meditation. All other forms of yoga lead either to the blind thinking which results from self-discipline, or to some kind of self-induced rapture, some form of false samadhi. The true liberation is "an inner freedom of creative Reality". This "is not a gift; it is to be discovered and experienced. It is not an acquisition to be gathered to yourself to glorify yourself. It is a state of being, as silence, in which there is no becoming, in which there is completeness. This creativeness may not necessarily seek expression; it is not a talent that demands outward manifestation. You need not be a great artist or have an audience; if you seek these, you will miss the inward Reality. It is neither a gift, nor is it the outcome of talent; it is to be found, this imperishable treasure, where thought frees itself from lust, ill-will and ignorance, where thought frees itself from worldliness and personal craving to be. It is to be experienced through right thinking and meditation." Choiceless self-awareness will bring us to the creative Reality which underlies all our destructive make-believes, to the tranquil wisdom which is always there, in spite of ignorance, in spite of the knowledge which is merely ignorance in another form. Knowledge is an affair of symbols and is, all too often, a hindrance to wisdom, to the uncovering of the self from moment to moment. A mind that has come to the stillness of wisdom "shall know being, shall know what it is to love. Love is neither personal nor impersonal. Love is love, not to be defined or described by the mind as exclusive or inclusive. Love is its own eternity; it is the real, the supreme, the immeasurable."
A Brief Introduction To The Work Of Krishnamurti
BY PROFESSOR DAVID BOHM
My first acquaintance with Krishnamurti's work was in 1959 when I read his book "First and Last Freedom." What particularly aroused my interest was his deep insight into the question of the observer and the observed. This question had long been close to the centre of my own work, as a theoretical physicist, who was primarily interested in the meaning of the quantum theory. In this theory, for the first time in the development of physics, the notion that these two cannot be separated has been put forth as necessary for the understanding of the fundamental laws of matter in general. Because of this, as well as because the book contained many other deep insights I felt that it was urgent for me to talk with Krishnamurti directly and personally as soon as possible. And when I first met him on one of his visits to London, I was struck by the great ease of communication with him, which was made possible by the intense energy with which he listened and by the freedom from self-protective reservations and barriers with which he responded to what I had to say. As a person who works in science I felt completely at home with this sort of response, because it was in essence of the same quality as that which I had met in these contacts with other scientists with whom there had been a very close meeting of minds. And here, I think especially of Einstein who showed a similar intensity and absence of barrier in a number of discussions that took place between him and me. After this, I began to meet Krishnamurti regularly and to discuss with him whenever he came to London.
We began an association which has since then become closer as I became interested in the schools, which were set up through his initiative. In these discussions, we went quite deeply into many questions which concerned me in my scientific work. We probed into the nature of space and time, and of the universal, both with regard to external nature and with regard to mind. But then, we went on to consider the general disorder and confusion that pervades the consciousness of mankind. It is here that I encountered what I feel to be Krishnamurti's major discovery. What he was seriously proposing is that all this disorder, which is the root cause of such widespread sorrow and misery, and which prevents human beings from properly working together, has its root in the fact that we are ignorant of the general nature of our own processes of thought. Or to put it differently it may be said that we do not see what is actually happening, when we are engaged in the activity of thinking. Through close attention to and observation of this activity of thought, Krishnamurti feels that he directly perceives that thought is a material process, which is going on inside of the human being in the brain and nervous system as a whole.
Ordinarily, we tend to be aware mainly of the content of this thought rather than of how it actually takes place. One can illustrate this point by considering what happens when one is reading a book. Usually, one is attentive almost entirely to the meaning of what is being read. However, one can also be aware of the book itself, of its constitution as made up out of pages that can be turned, of the printed words and of the ink, of the fabric of the paper, etc. Similarly, we may be aware of the actual structure and function of the process of thought, and not merely of its content.
How can such as awareness come about? Krishnamurti proposes that this requires what he calls meditation. Now the word meditation has been given a wide range of different and even contradictory meanings, many of them involving rather superficial kinds of mysticism. Krishnamurti has in mind a definite and clear notion when he uses this word. One can obtain a valuable indication of this meaning by considering the derivation of the word. (The roots of words, in conjunction with their present generally accepted meanings often yield surprising insight into their deeper meanings.) The English word meditation is based on the Latin root "med" which is, "to measure." The present meaning of this word is "to reflect," "to ponder" (i.e. to weigh or measure), and "to give close attention." Similarly the Sanskrit word for meditation, which is dhyana, is closely related to "dhyati," meaning "to reflect." So, at this rate, to meditate would be, "to ponder, to reflect, while giving close attention to what is actually going on as one does so."
This is perhaps what Krishnamurti means by the beginning of meditation. That is to say, one gives close attention to all that is happening in conjunction with the actual activity of thought, which is the underlying source of the general disorder. One does this without choice, without criticism, without acceptance or rejection of what is going on. And all of this takes place along with reflections on the meaning of what one is learning about the activity of thought. (It is perhaps rather like reading a book in which the pages have been scrambled up, and being intensely aware of this disorder, rather than just "trying to make sense" of the confused content that arises when one just accepts the pages as they happen to come.)
Krishnamurti has observed that the very act of meditation will, in itself, bring order to the activity of thought without the intervention of will, choice, decision, or any other action of the "thinker." As such order comes, the noise and chaos which are the usual background of our consciousness die out, and the mind becomes generally silent. (Thought arises only when needed for some genuinely valid purpose, and then stops, until needed again.)
In this silence, Krishnamurti says that something new and creative happens, something that cannot be conveyed in words, but that is of extraordinary significance for the whole of life. So he does not attempt to communicate this verbally, but rather, he asks of those who are interested that they explore the question of meditation directly for themselves, through actual attention to the nature of thought.
Without attempting to probe into this deeper meaning of meditation, one can however say that meditation, in Krishnamurti's sense of the word, can bring order to our overall mental activity, and this may be a key factor in bringing about an end to the sorrow, the misery, the chaos and confusion, that have, over the ages, been the lot of mankind, and that are still generally continuing, without visible prospect of fundamental change, for the forseeable future.
Krishnamurti's work is permeated by what may be called the essence of the scientific approach, when this is considered in its very highest and purest form. Thus, he begins from a fact, this fact about the nature of our thought processes. This fact is established through close attention, involving careful listening to the process of consciousness, and observing it assiduously. In this, one is constantly learning, and out of this learning comes insight, into the overall or general nature of the process of thought. This insight is then tested. First, one sees whether it holds together in a rational order. And then one sees whether it leads to order and coherence, on what flows out of it in life as a whole.
Krishnamurti constantly emphasizes that he is in no sense an authority. He has made certain discoveries, and he is simply doing his best to make these discoveries accessible to all those who are able to listen. His work does not contain a body of doctrine, nor does he offer techniques or methods, for obtaining a silent mind. He is not aiming to set up any new system of religious belief. Rather, it is up to each human being to see if he can discover for himself that to which Krishnamurti is calling attention, and to go on from there to make new discoveries on his own.
It is clear then that an introduction, such as this, can at best show how Krishnamurti's work has been seen by a particular person, a scientist, such as myself. To see in full what Krishnamurti means, it is necessary, of course, to go on and to read what he actually says, with that quality of attention to the totality of one's responses, inward and outward, which we have been discussing here.
Copyright © Krishnamurti Foundation of America P.O. Box 1560, Ojai, CA 93023
BIOGRAPHICAL NOTES ON DAVID BOHM
David Bohm was for over twenty years Professor of Theoretical Physics at Birkbeck College, University of London. Since receiving this doctorate at the University of California Berkeley, he has taught and done research at U.C., Princeton University, University de Sao Paulo, Haifa and Bristol University.
His publications include: Quantum Theory; Causality and Chance in Modern Physics; one chapter in Observation and Interpretation; Special Theory of Realitivity; and Wholeness and the Implicate Order; Unfolding Meaning; and various papers in Theoretical Physics, British Journal for Philosophy of Science, and others.
Several of David Bohm's discussions with Krishnamurti appear in the following books published by Harper and Row: Truth and Actuality; The Wholeness of Life; The Ending of Time; The Future of Humanity. In addition there are audio and video tapes of some discussions.
The Core of Krishnamurti's Teaching
The core of Krishnamurti's teaching is contained in the statement he made in 1929 when he said: "Truth is a Pathless land." Man cannot come to it through any organization, through any creed, through any dogma, priest or ritual, not through any philosophic knowledge or psychological technique. He has to find it through the mirror of relationship, through the understanding of the contents of his own mind, through observation and not through intellectual analysis or introspective dissection. Man has built in himself images as a fence of security--religious, political, personal. These manifest as symbols, ideas, beliefs. The burden of these images dominates man's thinking, his relationships and his daily life. These images are the causes of our problems for they divide man from man. His perception of life is shaped by the concepts already established in his mind. The content of his consciousness is his entire existence. This content is common to all humanity. The individuality is the name, the form and superficial culture he acquires from tradition and environment. The uniqueness of man does not lie in the superficial but in complete freedom from the content of his consciousness, which is common to all mankind. So he is not an individual.
Freedom is not a reaction: freedom is not choice. It is man's pretence that because he has choice he is free. Freedom is pure observation without direction, without fear of punishment and reward. Freedom is without motive; freedom is not at the end of the evolution of man but lies in the first step of his existence. In observation one begins to discover the lack of freedom. Freedom is found in the choiceless awareness of our daily existence and activity.
Thought is time. Thought is born of experience and knowledge which are inseparable from time and the past. Time is the psychological enemy of man. Our action is based on knowledge and therefore time, so man is always a slave to the past. Thought is ever-limited and so we live in constant conflict and struggle. There is no psychological evolution.
When man becomes aware of the movement of his own thoughts he will see the division between the thinker and the thought, the observer and the observed, the experiencer and the experience. He will discover that this division is an illusion. Then only is there pure observation which is insight without any shadow of the past or of time. This timeless insight brings about a deep radical mutation in the mind.
Total negation is the essence of the positive. When there is negation of all those things that thought has brought about psychologically, only then is there love, which is compassion and intelligence.
This statement was originally written by Krishnamurti himself on October 21, 1980 for "Krishnamurti: The Years of Fulfillment" by Mary Lutyens, the second volume of his biography, published by Farrar, Straus & Giroux in 1983. Copyright © Mary Lutyens. On re-reading it Krishnamurti added a few sentences.
JIDDU KRISHNAMURTI is regarded internationally as one of the great educators and philosophers of our time. For some sixty years he traveled throughout the world, giving public talks to large audiences. He published over thirty books and founded schools in the United States, England and India. Information about his publications and recordings can be obtained from:
Krishnamurti Foundation of America Post Office Box 1560 Ojai, California 93023 805/646-2726
Having realised that we can depend on no outside authority in bringing about a total revolution within the structure of our own psyche, there is the immensely greater difficulty of rejecting our own inward authority, the authority of our own particular little experiences and accumulated opinions, knowledge, ideas and ideals. You had an experience yesterday which taught you something and what it taught you becomes a new authority --and that authority of yesterday is as destructive as the authority of a thousand years. To understand ourselves needs no authority either of yesterday or of a thousand years because we are living things, always moving, flowing never resting. When we look at ourselves with the dead authority of yesterday we will fail to understand the living movement and the beauty and quality of that movement.
To be free of all authority, of your own and that of another, is to die to everything of yesterday, so that your mind is always fresh, always young, innocent, full of vigour and passion. It is only in that state that one learns and observes. And for this a great deal of awareness is required, actual awareness of what is going on inside yourself, without correcting it or telling it what it should or should not be, because the moment you correct it you have established another authority, a censor.
-- J. Krishnamurti, Freedom from the Known, pp. 19-20