To Work for Our Own Salvation – Vimala Thakar

Question:

You seem to be very optimistic about the development of the human mind, and yet the world has not changed in spite of Buddha and Christ?

Vimala:

The world has changed due to Buddha and Christ, in spite of the churches and in spite of the Buddhist organizations. When one is intimately and directly involved with life, related to life, there is no scope for forming an attitude towards life. Optimism is an attitude towards life, it is an approach to life which connects you with life indirectly. You do not need any optimism, pessimism, enthusiasm, or indifference towards life, when at every moment of your waking consciousness you are already in the stream itself, in the movement of life itself. Those who are afraid to swim stand on the banks of the river of life, of the river of relationships, and measure the depth, speed, momentum, coolness,  hotness, etc. of the water. But, one who plunges into life does not require any measurements at all, any attitudes, any approaches.

Could it be that the world did not change in spite of Buddha and Christ, because the human mind was in the habit of looking for a saviour, waiting for someone to work for their redemption? When you wait for a saviour to save you, to work for your redemption and set you free of your sins, you become a passive consumer of ideas, of doctrines, of theories. You accept their authority; you swallow their words without digesting them. I think the spiritual consumerism that the human race has lived by through untold centuries, accepting authority, imitating words, waiting to be saved, has caused a psychic lethargy, a psychic laziness and passivity. Now we have seen that we cannot be saved that way. We have to work for our own salvation, for our own liberation or enlightenment. Psychic or spiritual acceptance of authority has lost its relevance. That is one factor in our favour, it has created a compulsion to exercise our brains, to exercise our sensitivity, and understand life.

Secondly, it seems to me that in the East as well as in the West it was considered necessary to retire from life, to withdraw from responsibilities, withdraw from relationships, in order to live a religious life. You joined an order of monks or nuns, you became a renunciate or a disciple, and then you enquired about the meaning of life, the mystery of godhood, the secret of eternity. It was done in isolation. Every culture, every society, maintained a class of religious teachers, preachers and enquirers, and looked after them, just as you maintain an army, a militia, to save you from foreign invasion. People used to join religious orders and the rest of the society was happy to pay a weekly, or a bi-weekly visit to a temple, church, or mosque, feeling assured that they were going to be saved. This enquiry, this exploration of the divinity in isolation has become irrelevant.

We are talking about self-discovery that takes place in the midst of relationships. Do you see the change? First, no authority of individuals, one has to become one’s own saviour or redeemer. And secondly, the enquiry, the exploration, the experimentation has to be conducted in the midst of relationships, where you are, in your own home, family situation, job situation, political life, economic life. Relationships are the occasions for self-discovery. They are the occasions for the exploration of peace and love and freedom.

Thirdly, it seems to me that at the end of the twentieth century, mankind has discovered that there is nothing like an individual mind, an individual ego, an individual self or me, for whose liberation one has to work. This psychological myth has been exploded in the second half of this century. It has been discovered and accepted by the human race that there is one global human consciousness, which has been conditioned in various ways.

The movement of the mind is the movement of the conditioned neurochemical system in the body. Conditionings are fed into the human organism with the help of words, ideas, symbols and measurements, they are all imprinted on the human organism. And the mental movement is nothing but a replay of these conditionings. So the fear of mind and mental movement is disappearing from the human consciousness. The global human consciousness realizes the built-in limitations of the mechanism and anatomy of the mind, and is learning to handle this neurochemical conditioned energy in a competent way.

I think the invention of the electronic brain, the computer, the calculator, has helped the human race. Science and technology have confronted us with a new context, that was not available in the days of Buddha, Christ, Rama, or Krishna. The repetitive mechanistic nature of the mental movement has been exposed and it feels so childish to worship the movement of mind, to worship its reactions, to make a big fuss about its anxieties, worries and brooding, which are just cerebral habit patterns, neurochemical habit patterns.

So whether the world has changed or not due to Buddha or Christ, the world is changing now, right before our eyes. It is not a political or an economic change, but the quality of the human consciousness is changing rapidly.

The friend who is talking to you has wandered over the globe for the last thirty years; she has seen how the young are free from hypocrisy and pretensions. They are more honest with themselves and others, they are not so tortured by the fear of what others may say.

We are living in a transitory period of human culture, the old norms, criteria and values have collapsed and the new ones have not yet emerged. The youth all over the world are struggling to form a new ethos for the nuclear age. Having seen how thought is nothing but memory, how mental movement is nothing but a conditioned energy contained in the neurochemical system, the human race has no time to waste on pampering and worshiping the movement of mind and thought. It will learn to use it in its relevant field of action. This it has to do choicelessly, there is no alternative.

Have you seen the intermingling of races and cultures taking place, due to jet aircraft? People now travel from one end of the globe to the other. This intermingling of races, cultures, religions and temperaments, due to the economic interweaving and intertwining of the trends of life, of political interaction, has loosened the grip of identification with a nation, a race or a religion. Without our conscious effort to do so, we are no longer in the grip of those ideas. We look upon ourselves as global human citizens.

I do not know if you have noticed the emergence of a planetary consciousness? This consciousness has not yet found a language to express itself in an organized systematic way, but it is manifesting itself in a hundred and one different ways in every part of the globe. There seem to be particular efforts conducted by youth groups, not connected with one another, indicating that a change in the quality of human consciousness is taking place due to the compulsions that the human race has created for itself through science, technology, means of transport and communication, the electronic media and so on.

The events that took place in the Middle East one year ago, would have exploded into a world war twenty-five years ago. Even the events taking place in the Soviet Union would have exploded into a huge civil war, chaos and anarchy. Have you not noticed the intervention of the United Nations Security Council? What is this concern? To avoid nuclear explosions? What is this environmental consciousness doing? Yes, there are signs of growing neurosis, violence, terrorism and militancy; these are the remnants of the decaying civilization, the hangovers which are going to be extinguished under their own burden and weight.

I only wanted to say that the relationship with spirituality, the methodologies of self-discovery have changed. You don’t need a Christ or a Buddha any more, it is the human beings themselves who, with their individual and collective initiatives, in utter freedom, are going to find out what is beyond thought, beyond time and space, and live related to them in an unprecedented way.

-Vimala Thakar

From Life As Teacher, pp. 83-89

Here you can see more from Vimala Thakar

A Religious Quality of Unity – J. Krishnamurti

Meditation implies a mind that is so astonishingly clear that every form of self-deception comes to an end. One can deceive oneself infinitely; and generally meditation, so-called, is a form of self-hypnosis—the seeing of visions according to your conditioning. It is so simple: if you are a Christian you will see Christ; if you are a Hindu you will see your Krishna, or whichever of the innumerable gods you have. But meditation is none of these things. It is the absolute stillness of the mind, the absolute quietness of the brain.

The foundation for meditation has to be laid in daily life, in how one behaves, in what one thinks. One cannot be violent and meditate; that has no meaning. If there is, psychologically, any kind of fear, then obviously meditation is an escape. For the stillness of the mind, its complete quiet, an extraordinary discipline is required; not the discipline of suppression, conformity, or the following of some authority, but that discipline or learning which takes place throughout the day, about every movement of thought. The mind then has a religious quality of unity. From that there can be action which is not contradictory.

-J. Krishnamurti

From Meditations, page 76

 

 

The Question of Meditation – J. Krishnamurti

We are going to discuss the question of meditation; it is a rather complex question and before we go into it, we have to be very clear about this searching, this seeking for experience, trying to find out a reality. We have to understand the meaning of seeking and the searching out of truth, the intellectual groping after something new, which is not of time, which is not brought about by one’s demands, compulsions and despair. Is truth ever to be found by seeking? Is it recognizable when one has found it? If one has, can one say, ‘this is the truth’ – ‘This is the real’? Has search any meaning at all? Most religious people are always talking about seeking truth; and we are asking if truth can ever be sought after. In the idea of seeking, of finding, is there not also the idea of recognition – the idea that if I find something I must be able to recognize it? Does not recognition imply that I have already known it? Is truth ‘recognizable’ – in the sense of its having already been experienced, so that one is able to say, ‘This is it’? So what is the value of seeking at all? Or, if there is no value in it, then is there value only in constant observation, constant listening? – Which is not the same as seeking. When there is constant observation there is no movement of the past. ‘To observe’ implies seeing very clearly; to see very clearly there must be freedom, freedom from resentment, freedom from enmity, from any prejudice or grudge, freedom from all those memories that one has stored up as knowledge, which interfere with seeing. When there is that quality, that kind of freedom with constant observation – not only of the things outside but also inwardly – of what is actually going on, what then is the need of seeking at all? – For it is all there, the fact, the ‘what is’, it is observed. But the moment we want to change ‘what is’ into something else, the process of distortion takes place.

Observing freely, without any distortion, without any evaluation, without any desire for pleasure, in just observing, we see that ‘what is’ undergoes an extraordinary change.

Most of us try to fill our life with knowledge, with entertainment, with spiritual aspirations and beliefs, which, as we observe, have very little value; we want to experience something transcendental, something beyond all worldly things, we want to experience something immense, that has no borders, that has no time. To ‘experience’ something immeasurable one must understand the implications of ‘experience.’ Why do we want ‘experience’ at all?

Please do not accept or deny what the speaker is saying, just examine it. The speaker – let us again be definite about that matter – has no value whatsoever. (It’s like the telephone, you do not obey what the telephone says. The telephone has no authority, but you listen to it.) If you listen with care there is in that, affection, not agreement or disagreement, but a quality of mind that says, “Let’s see what you’re talking about, let us see if it has any value at all, let us see what is true and what is false.” Do not accept or deny, but observe and listen, not only to what is being said, but also to your reactions, to your distortions, as you are listening; see your prejudices, your opinions, your images, your experiences, see how they are going to prevent you from listening.

We are asking: what is the significance of experience? Has it any significance? Can experience wake up a mind that is asleep, that has come to certain conclusions and is held and conditioned by beliefs? Can experience wake it up, shatter all that structure? Can such a mind – so conditioned, so burdened by its own innumerable problems and despairs and sorrows – respond to any challenge? – can it? And if it does respond, must not the response be inadequate and therefore lead to more conflict? Always to seek for wider, deeper, transcendental experience, is a form of escape from the actual reality of ‘what is’, which is ourselves, our own conditioned mind. A mind that is extraordinarily awake, intelligent, free, why should it need, why should it have, any ‘experience’ at all? Light is light, it does not ask for more light. The desire for more ‘experience’ is escape from the actual, the ‘what is’.

If one is free from this everlasting search, free from the demand and the desire to experience something extraordinary, then we can proceed to find out what meditation is. That word – like the words ‘love’, ‘death,’ ‘beauty,’ ‘happiness’ – is so loaded. There are so many schools which teach you how to meditate. But to understand what meditation is, one must lay the foundation of righteous behavior. Without that foundation, meditation is really a form of self-hypnosis; without being free from anger, jealousy, envy, greed, acquisitiveness, hate, competition, the desire for success – all the moral, respectable forms of what is considered righteous – without laying the right foundation, without actually living a daily life free of the distortion of personal fear, anxiety, greed and so on meditation has very little meaning. The laying of that foundation is all-important. So one asks: what is virtue? What is morality?

Please do not say that this question is bourgeois, that is has no meaning in a society which is permissive, which allows anything. We are not concerned with that kind of society; we are concerned with a life completely free from fear, a life which is capable of deep, abiding love. Without that, meditation becomes a deviation; it is like taking a drug – as so many have done – to have an extraordinary experience and yet leading a shoddy little life. Those who take drugs do have some strange experiences, they see perhaps a little more colour, they become perhaps a little more sensitive, and being sensitive, in that chemical state, they do perhaps see things without space between the ‘observer’ and the thing observed; but when the chemical effect is over, they are back to where they were with fear, with boredom, back again in the old routine – so they have to take the drug again.

Unless one lays the foundation of virtue, meditation becomes a trick to control the mind, to make the mind quiet, to force the mind to conform to the pattern of a system that says, “Do these things and you will have great reward.” But such a mind – do what you will with all the methods and the systems that are offered – will remain small, petty, conditioned, and therefore worthless. One has to inquire into what virtue is, what behavior is. Is behavior the result of environ- mental conditioning, of a society, of a culture, in which one has been brought up? – You behave according to that. Is that virtue? Or does virtue lie in freedom from the social morality of greed, envy and all the rest of it? – Which is considered highly respectable. Can virtue be cultivated? – And if it can be cultivated then does it not become a mechanical thing and therefore have no virtue at all? Virtue is something that is living, flowing, that is constantly renewing itself; it cannot possibly be put together in time; it is like suggesting that you can cultivate humility. Can you cultivate humility? It is only the vain man that ‘cultivates’ humility; whatever he may cultivate he will still remain vain. But in seeing very clearly the nature of vanity and pride, in that very seeing there is freedom from that vanity and pride – and in that there is humility.

When this is very clear then we can proceed to find out what meditation is. If one cannot do this very deeply, in a most real and serious way – not just for one or two days then drop it – please do not talk about meditation. Meditation, if you understand what it is, is one of the most extraordinary things; but you cannot possibly understand it unless you have come to the end of seeking, groping, wanting, greedily clutching at something which you consider truth – which is your own projection. You cannot come to it unless you are no longer demanding ‘experience’ at all, but are understanding the confusion in which one lives, the disorder of one’s own life. In the observation of that disorder, order comes – which is not a blueprint. When you have done this – which in itself is meditation – then we can ask, not only what meditation is, but also what meditation is not, because in the denial of that which is false, the truth is.

Any system, any method that teaches you how to meditate is obviously false. One can see why, intellectually, logically, for if you practice something according to a method – however noble, however ancient, however modern, however popular – you are making yourself mechanical, you are doing something over and over again in order to achieve something. In meditation the end is not different from the means. But the method promises you something; it is a means to an end. If the means is mechanical, then the end is also something brought about by the machine; the mechanical minds says, “I’ll get something.” One has to be completely free from all methods, all systems; that is already the beginning of meditation; you are already denying something which is utterly false and meaningless. And again, there are those who practice ‘awareness.’ Can you practice awareness? – If you are ‘practicing’ awareness, then you are all the time being inattentive.

So, be aware of inattention, not practice how to be attentive; if you are aware of your inattention, out of that awareness there is attention, you do not have to practice it. Do please understand this; it is so clear and so simple. You do not have to go to Burma, China, India, places which are romantic but not factual. I remember once travelling in a car, in India, with a group of people.

I was sitting in front with the driver, there were three behind who were talking about awareness, wanting to discuss with me what awareness is. The car was going very fast. A goat was in the road and the driver did not pay much attention and ran over the poor animal. The gentlemen behind were discussing what is awareness; they never knew what had happened! You laugh; but that is what we are all doing, we are intellectually concerned with the idea of awareness, the verbal, dialectical investigation of opinion, yet not actually aware of what is taking place.

There is no practice, only the living thing. And there comes the question: how is thought to be controlled? Thought wanders all over the place; you want to think about something, it is off on something else. They say practice, control; think about a picture, a sentence, or whatever it is, concentrate; thought buzzes off in another direction, so you pull it back and this battle goes on, backward and forward. So one asks: what is the need for control of thought at all and who is the entity that is going to control thought?

Please follow this closely. Unless one understands this real question, one will not be able to see what meditation means. When one says, “I must control thought,” who is the controller, the censor?

Is the censor different from the thing he wants to control, shape or change into a different quality? – are they not both the same? What happens when the ‘thinker’ sees that he is the thought – which he is – that the ‘experiencer’ is the experience? Then what is one to do? Are you following the question? The thinker is the thought and thought wanders off; then the thinker, thinking he is separate, says, ‘I must control it.’ Is the thinker different from the thing called thought? If there is no thought, is there a thinker?

What takes place when the thinker sees he is the thought? What actually takes place when the ‘thinker’ is the thought as the ‘observer’ is the observed? What takes place? In that there is no separation, no division and therefore no conflict therefore thought is no longer to be controlled, shaped; then what takes place? Is there then any wandering of thought at all? Before, there was control of thought, there was concentration of thought, there was the conflict between the ‘thinker’ who wanted to control thought, and thought wandering off. That goes on all the time with all of us.

Then there is the sudden realization that the ‘thinker’ is the thought – a realization, not a verbal statement, but an actuality. Then what takes place? Is there such a thing as thought wandering? It is only when the ‘observer’ is different from thought that he censors it; then he can say, ‘This is right or this is wrong thought,” or “Thought is wandering away I must control it.” But when the thinker realizes that he is the thought, is there a wandering at all? Go into it, sirs, don’t accept it, you will see it for yourself. It is only when there is a resistance that there is conflict; the resistance is created by the thinker who thinks he is separate from the thought; but when the thinker realizes that he is the thought, there is no resistance – which does not mean that thought goes all over the place and does what it likes, on the contrary.

The whole concept of control and concentration undergoes a tremendous change; it becomes attention, something entirely different. If one understands the nature of attention, that attention can be focused, one understands that it is quite different from concentration, which is exclusion. Then you will ask, “Can I do anything without concentration?” “Do I not need concentration in order to do anything?” But can you not do something with attention? – Which is not concentration. ‘Attention’ implies to attend, that is to listen, hear, see, with all the totality of your being, with your body, with your nerves, with your eyes, with your ears, with your mind, with your heart, completely. In that total attention – in which there is no division – you can do anything; and in such attention is no resistance. So then, the next thing is, can the mind in which is included the brain – the brain being conditioned, the brain being the result of thousands of thousands of years of evolution, the brain which is the storehouse of memory – can that become quiet? Because it is only when the total mind is silent, quiet, that there is perception, seeing clearly, with a mind that is not confused.

How can the mind be quiet, be still? I do not know if you have seen for yourself that to look at a beautiful tree, or a cloud full of light and glory, you must look completely, silently, otherwise you are not looking directly at it, you are looking at it with some image of pleasure, or the memory of yesterday, you are not actually looking at it, you are looking at the image rather than at the fact.

So, one asks, can the totality of the mind, the brain included, be completely still? People have asked this question – really very serious people – they have not been able to solve it, they have tried tricks, they have said that the mind can be made still through the repetition of words. Have you ever tried it – repeating “Ave Maria,” or those Sanskrit words that some people bring over from India, mantras – repeating certain- words to make the mind still? It does not matter what word it is, make it rhythmic-Coca Cola, any word – repeat it often and you will see that your mind becomes quiet; but it is a dull mind, it is not a sensitive mind, alert, active, vital, passionate, intense. A dull mind though it may say, “I have had tremendous transcendental experience,” is deceiving itself.

So it is not in the repetition of words, nor in trying to force it; too many tricks have been played upon the mind for it to be quiet; yet one knows deeply within oneself that when the mind is quiet then the whole thing is over, that then there is true perception.

How is the mind, the brain included, to be completely quiet?

Some say breathe properly, take deep breaths, that is, get more oxygen into your blood; a shoddy little mind breathing very deeply, day after day, can be fairly quiet; but it is still what it is, a shoddy little mind. Or practice yoga? – Again, so many things are involved in this. Yoga means skill in action, not merely the practice of certain exercises which are necessary to keep the body healthy, strong, sensitive – which includes eating the right food, not stuffing it with a lot of meat and so on (we won’t go into all that, you are all probably meat eaters). Skill in action demands great sensitivity of the body, a lightness of the body, eating the right food, not what your tongue dictates, or what you are used to. Then what is one to do? Who puts this question? One sees very clearly that our lives are in disorder, inwardly and outwardly; and yet order is necessary, as orderly as mathematical order and that can come about only by observing the disorder, not by trying to conform to the blueprint of what others may consider, or you yourself may consider, order. By seeing, by being aware of the disorder, out of that comes order. One also sees that the mind must be extraordinarily quiet, sensitive, alert, not caught in any habit, physical or psychological; how is that to come about? Who puts this question? Is the question put by the mind that chatters, the mind that has so much knowledge? Has it learned a new thing? – which is, “I can see very clearly only when I am quiet, therefore, I must be quiet.” Then it says, “How am I to be quiet?” Surely such a question is wrong in itself; the moment it asks ‘how’ it is looking for a system, therefore destroying the very thing that is being inquired into, which is: how can the mind be completely still? – Not mechanically, not forced, not compelled to be still. A mind that is not compelled to be still is extraordinarily active, sensitive, alert.

But when you ask ‘how’ then there is the division between the observer and the thing observed.

When you realize that there is no method, no system, that no mantram, no teacher, nothing in the world that is going to help you to be quiet, when you realize the truth that it is only the quiet mind that sees, then the mind becomes extraordinarily quiet. It is like seeing danger and avoiding it; in the same way, seeing that the mind must be completely quiet, it is quiet.

Now the quality of silence matters. A very small mind can be very quiet, it has its little space in which to be quiet; that little space, with its little quietness, is the deadest thing – you know what it is. But a mind that has limitless space and that quietness, that stillness, has no center as the ‘me’, the ‘observer,’ is quite different.

In that silence there is no ‘observer’ at all; that quality of silence has vast space, it is without border and intensely active; the activity of that silence is entirely different from the activity which is self-centered. If the mind has gone that far (and really it is not that far, it is always there if you know how to look), then perhaps that which man has sought throughout the centuries, God, truth, the immeasurable, the nameless, the timeless, is there – without your invitation, it is there. Such a man is blessed, there is truth for him and ecstasy.

Shall we talk this over, ask questions? You might say to me, “What value has all this in daily life? I’ve got to live, go to the office; there is the family, there is the boss, competition – what has all this got to do with it?” Do you not ask that question? If you ask it, then you have not followed all that has been said this morning.

Meditation is not something different from daily life; do not go off into the corner of a room and meditate for ten minutes, then come out of it and be a butcher – both metaphorically and actually.

Meditation is one of the most serious things; you do it all day, in the office, with the family, when you say to somebody, “I love you” when you are considering your children, when you educate them to become soldiers, to kill, to be nationalized, worshipping the flag, educating them to enter into this trap of the modern world; watching all that, realizing your part in it, all that is part of meditation. And when you so meditate you will find in it an extraordinary beauty; you will act rightly at every moment; and if you do not act rightly at a given moment it does not matter, you will pick it up again – you will not waste time in regret. Meditation is part of life, not something different from life.

-J. Krishnamurti

From The Flight of the Eagle, Chapter Three

I Have No Name – Osho

An old poem of J. Krishnamurti:

I have no name,

I am as the fresh breeze of the mountains.

I have no shelter;

I am as the wandering waters.

I have no sanctuary, like the dark gods;

Nor am I in the shadow of deep temples.

I have no sacred books;

Nor am I well-seasoned in tradition.

I am not in the incense

Mounting on the high altars,

Nor in the pomp of ceremonies.

I am neither in the graven image,

Nor in the rich chant of a melodious voice.

I am not bound by theories,

Nor corrupted by beliefs.

I am not held in the bondage of religions,

Nor in the pious agony of their priests.

I am not entrapped by philosophies,

Nor held in the power of their sects.

I am neither low nor high,

I am the worshipper and the worshipped.

I am free.

My song is the song of the river

Calling for the open seas,

Wandering, wandering,

I am Life.

I have no name,

I am as the fresh breeze of the mountains. 

Truth has no name, and truth is not confined in any system of thought. Truth is not a theory, a theology, a philosophy. Truth is the experience of that which is. Truth is not intellectual or emotional; truth is existential.

These are the three layers of human consciousness. The first is the intellectual: it theorizes, it spins and weaves beautiful words, but with no meaning at all. It is a very cunning part, very deceptive. It can make you believe in words as if they have some substance. It talks about God, truth, freedom, love, meditation, but it only talks; it is just words and words and words. Those words are empty shells; if you look deep down into them they are hollow.

This part goes on decorating; it uses big jargon to hide its inner emptiness. And our whole education – social, religious, cultural – consists only of words. It only cultivates the intellectual part of our being, which is the most superficial. Through the intellect you cannot reach to the divine, through the, intellect you will be lost in the jungle of words. That’s how millions of people are lost. Between you and God the greatest barrier is your so-called intellect. Remember, your intellect is not intelligence.

Intelligence is a totally different matter. Intellect is a pseudo coin; it pretends to be intelligence but it is not. And because you don’t know the real you are easily deceived by the unreal, by the pseudo. Beware of the intellectual layer of your being, which is the most developed; that is the danger. The most superficial is the most cultivated.

The most superficial is the most nourished. From the school to the university, the superficial is being nourished, strengthened. And slowly, slowly you get caught up in it, you become entrapped. Then people think about love; they don’t feel, they only think.

Krishnamurti relates an incident which happened when he was travelling in a car. The car accidentally knocked down a poor animal, but two persons inside the car did not notice what had happened because they were engrossed in a conversation on how to be aware!

This is the situation of the majority of humanity.

God is present everywhere. Wherever you turn, He is. Open your eyes, He is, close your eyes and He is – because nothing else exists. God means isness.

Anything that participates in existence is divine. But you don’t see; you go on talking about God, discussing. You have become so clever in hair-splitting, in logic-chopping. You have become so full of rubbish, which you call knowledge, because you can repeat the Vedas, the Koran, the Bible, like parrots.

You have to be aware of this dangerous layer that surrounds you like a hard shell.

Krishnamurti  is right when he says, “I have no name…. ”

The word ‘God’ is not God, and the word ‘love’ is not love either. If you become too much engrossed in the word ‘god’ you will go on missing God forever. If you become too much intrigued by the word ‘love’ then you can go to the library, you can consult all the books – and there are millions written about love by people who don’t know anything about love – you can collect great information about love, but to know about love is not to know love. Knowing love is a totally different dimension.

Knowledge about love is very simple; you can become a walking encyclopedia. You can know all the theories of love without ever testing any theory in your experience, without ever living a single moment of love, without any taste of what love is.

I am as the fresh breeze of the mountains

God is neither old nor new, or, God is the most ancient, and as fresh as the dewdrops in the early morning sun – because only God is. God is non-temporal; it does not belong to the dimension of time. Hence you cannot call it old or new – it is fresh, virgin. You need not go into the scriptures. You certainly have to go into the breeze that is passing through the pine trees; you certainly have to go into the fragrance that is being released by the flowers. Now…! You have to go into THIS moment with your total being, you have to relax here-now, and all the scriptures will be revealed to you. The Vedas and the Gitas and the Korans will be sung in your deepest core of being. Then you will know that all the scriptures are true; but first your own inner scripture has to be known, understood.

I have no shelter,

I am as the wandering waters.

God is life – hence God is movement, hence God is constant change; that is the paradox of existence. It is something that never changes and yet constantly changes. At the innermost core everything remains the same, but on the circumference nothing is ever the same. God is change and no-change. God is eternity and flux.

If you look at the world, you look at the manifest God, which is constant change – it is like a river moving and moving – but if you look at the unmanifest, then God is always the same. God is both.

This world is not separate from God. You need not go in search of Him anywhere else; He is hidden here, He is playing hide-and-seek here.

I have no sanctuary

Like the dark gods;

Nor am I in the shadow of deep temples.

I have no sacred books;

Nor am I well-seasoned in tradition.

Religion has nothing to do with tradition or sacred books, religion has something to do with existential experience. Your first layer is intellectual – that has nothing to do with religion. You have to bypass it, you have to take a jump out of it.

Your second layer is emotional, the layer of feeling, where intuitions arise, visions are revealed, dreams of the unknown descend; where poetry is born, and the dance, and the song. It is closer to God. The intellectual layer is perfectly good for the mundane world, for the marketplace. It is calculation, mathematics; it can become science, technology. It has its uses – use it, but don’t be used by it. The second layer is closer to God; it is the layer of feeling.

The first layer is masculine, the second layer is feminine. The first layer is aggressive, the second layer is receptive. The first layer believes in action, the second layer is a tremendous passivity. It is like a womb. It is an open door, it is a deep welcome. The first goes in search for truth in a very aggressive way; it thinks in terms of conquering.

Even a man like Bertrand Russell writes a book, Conquest of Nature. Bertrand Russell remained confined to the first layer. He had the intrinsic capacity to go far deeper into reality, but he remained concerned with words, logic, mathematics. He thought in terms of conquering nature: how the part could conquer the whole, how the drop could conquer the ocean, how the leaf could conquer the tree. It is utter nonsense! The very idea of conquest is ugly, but that’s how the male part of your being thinks. It is aggressive, it is violent, it is destructive, it is coercive, it is possessive, it is imperialistic.

The second layer is intuitive: that of feeling, that of dreaming. The second layer is poetic, aesthetic, of deep sensitivity. It is totally different, its approach is different – it does not analyze. The first part believes in analysis, the second part synthesizes.

Sigmund Freud remained with the first part, Assagioli moved to the second. Hence Sigmund Freud could create psychoanalysis; Assagioli could introduce a totally new concept, of psychosynthesis. But Sigmund Freud will look more scientific, obviously, more logical, rational. Assagioli will look like a visionary, a poet, but Assagioli goes deeper.

Poetry always goes deeper than prose. Singing always goes deeper than syllogism.

Become aware of the second layer in you, help it to revive. The society has repressed it; the society does not want it to function. The society is afraid of the second layer because the second layer is irrational, uncontrollable, unpredictable, because the second layer cannot be reduced to mechanical manipulations. The first layer is easily available for the politician, for the priest to dominate. It is easily available for the educators, the pedagogues to condition, to hypnotize. The second is not available.

The second is so deep that the hands of the priest and the politicians and the pedagogues cannot reach to it.

You will have to help your second layer to become more prominent. The emphasis has to shift from the first to the second. And the second is not the last; the second is only the door. The third is the last.

The third layer is that of being.

The first is intellectual, the second is emotional, the third is existential. With the first you think, with the second you feel, with the third YOU ARE. With the third, thinking disappears, feeling disappears.

Only a kind of witnessing remains, a pure consciousness, an awareness. That’s what meditation is all about.

All sacred scriptures are in the head, and all your rituals, religions, are in the head. Your rituals, your religions, your theologies, don’t even reach to the second. If you want to reach to the second you will have to learn from the painters and the poets and the singers, musicians, dancers. You will have to go into the world of art. But if you want to go to the third – and without going to the third you will never know what God is – you will have to go into a deep communion with a Master.

Only a mystic can make you attuned with your own innermost being. Only one who is in at-onement with his own being can infect you. Religion is something like a contagious disease. It is not disease, it is health, ultimate health, but health can become as contagious as any illness can ever become.

Religion has to be learned only in the vicinity of a Master. It cannot be learned from traditions, from scriptures. You will need somebody alive so that you can be in love, somebody alive who can by his presence trigger a process in your being. It cannot be taught, it can only be caught.

I am not in the incense

Mounting on high altars,

Nor in the pomp of ceremonies.

I am neither in the graven image,

Nor in the rich chant of a melodious voice.

I am not bound by theories,

Nor corrupted by beliefs.

I am not held in the bondage of religions,

Nor in the pious agony of their priests.

I am not entrapped by philosophies,

Nor held in the power of their sects.

I am neither low nor high,

I am the worshipper and the worshipped. 

That statement is of tremendous value: I am the worshiper and the worshiped. You are the seeker and the sought, you are the devotee and the deity, you are the temple and the Master of the temple. You need not go anywhere. If you need go anywhere it is only inwards, into your own interiority.

I am neither low nor high,

I am the worshipper and the worshipped.

I am free.

My song is the song of the river

Calling for the open seas,

Wandering, wandering,

I am Life.

From The Guest, Chapter Ten

Copyright© OSHO International Foundation

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The Individual and Society – J. Krishnamurti

We were walking along a crowded street. The sidewalks were heavy with people, and the smell of exhaust from the cars and buses filled our nostrils. The shops displayed many costly and shoddy things. The sky was pale silver, and it was pleasant in the park as we came out of the noisy thoroughfare. We went deeper into the park and sat down. He was saying that the State, with its militarization and legislation, was absorbing the individual almost everywhere, and that worship of the State was now taking the place of the worship of God.

In most countries the State was penetrating into the very intimate lives of its people; they were being told what to read and what to think. The State was spying upon its citizens, keeping a divine eye on them, taking over the function of the Church. It was the new religion. Man used to be a slave to the Church, but was now a slave of the State. Before it was the Church, and now it was the State that controlled his education; and neither was concerned with the liberation of man.

What is the relationship of the individual to society? Obviously, society exists for the individual, and not the other way round. Society exists for the fruition of man; it exists to give freedom to the individual so that he may have the opportunity to awaken the highest intelligence. This intelligence is not the mere cultivation of a technique or of knowledge; it is to be in touch with that creative reality which is not of the superficial mind. Intelligence is not a cumulative result, but freedom from progressive achievement and success. Intelligence is never static; it cannot be copied and standardized, and hence cannot be taught. Intelligence is to be discovered in freedom.

The collective will and its action, which is society, does not offer this freedom to the individual; for society, not being organic, is ever static. Society is made up, put together for the convenience of man; it has no independent mechanism of its own. Men may capture society, guide it, shape it, tyrannize over it, depending upon their psychological states; but society is not the master of man. It may influence him, but man always breaks it down. There is conflict between man and society because man is in conflict within himself; and the conflict is between that which is static and that which is living. Society is the outward expression of man. The conflict between himself and society is the conflict within himself. This conflict, within and without, will ever exist until the highest intelligence is awakened.

We are social entities as well as individuals; we are citizens as well as men, separate becomers in sorrow and pleasure. If there is to be peace, we have to understand the right relationship between the man and the citizen. Of course, the State would prefer us to be entirely citizens; but that is the stupidity of government. We ourselves would like to hand over the man to the citizen; for to be a citizen is easier than to be a man. To be a good citizen is to function efficiently within the pattern of a given society. Efficiency and conformity are demanded of the citizen, as they toughen him, make him ruthless; and then he is capable of sacrificing the man to the citizen.

A good citizen is not necessarily a good man; but a good man is bound to be a right citizen, not of any particular society or country. Because he is primarily a good man, his actions will not be antisocial, he will not be against another man. He will live in co-operation with other good men; he will not seek authority, for he has no authority; he will be capable of efficiency without its ruthlessness. The citizen attempts to sacrifice the man; but the man who is searching out the highest intelligence will naturally shun the stupidities of the citizen. So the State will be against the good man, the man of intelligence; but such a man is free from all governments and countries.

The intelligent man will bring about a good society; but a good citizen will not give birth to a society in which man can be of the highest intelligence. The conflict between the citizen and the man is inevitable if the citizen predominates; and any society which deliberately disregards the man is doomed. There is reconciliation between the citizen and the man only when the psychological process of man is understood. The State, the present society, is not concerned with the inner man, but only with the outer man, the citizen. It may deny the inner man, but he always overcomes the outer, destroying the plans cunningly devised for the citizen.

The State sacrifices the present for the future, ever safeguarding itself for the future; it regards the future as all-important, and not the present. But to the intelligent man, the present is of the highest importance, the now and not the tomorrow. What is can be understood only with the fading of tomorrow. The understanding of what is brings about transformation in the immediate present. It is this transformation that is of supreme importance, and not how to reconcile the citizen with the man. When this transformation takes place, the conflict between the man and the citizen ceases.

-J. Krishnamurti

From Commentaries on Living, V.1, Chapter 20

The New Human Being – J. Krishnamurti

Questioner: I am a reformer, a social worker. Seeing the extraordinary injustice there is in the world my whole life has been dedicated to reform. I used to be a Communist but I can’t go along with Communism any more, it has ended in tyranny. Nevertheless, I am still dedicated to reforming society so that man can live in dignity, beauty and freedom, and realize the potential which nature seems to have given him, and which he himself seems always to have stolen from his fellow man. In America there is a certain kind of freedom, and yet standardization and propaganda are very strong there – all the mass media exert a tremendous pressure on the mind. It seems that the power of television, this mechanical thing that man has invented, has developed its own personality, its own will, its own momentum; and though probably nobody – perhaps not even any one group – is deliberately using it to influence society, its trend shapes the very souls of our children. And this is the same in varying degrees in all democracies. In China there seems to be no hope at all for the dignity or freedom of man, while in India the government is weak, corrupt and inefficient. It seems to me that all the social injustice in the world absolutely must be changed. I want passionately to do something about it, yet I don’t know where to begin to tackle it.

Krishnamurti: Reform needs further reform, and this is an endless process. So let us look at it differently. Let us put aside the whole thought of reform; let us wipe it out of our blood. Let us completely forget this idea of wanting to reform the world. Then let us see actually what is happening, right throughout the world. Political parties always have a limited programme which, even if fulfilled, invariably brings about mischief, which then has to be corrected once again. We are always talking about political action as being a most important action, but political action is not the way. Let us put it out of our minds. All social and economic reforms come under this category. Then there is the religious formula of action based on belief, idealism, dogmatism, conformity to some so-called divine recipe. In this is involved authority and acceptance, obedience and the utter denial of freedom. Though religions talk of peace on earth they contribute to the disorder because they are a factor of division. Also the churches have always taken some political stand in times of crisis, so they are really political bodies, and we have seen that all political action is divisive. The churches have never really denied war: on the contrary they have waged war. So when one puts aside the religious recipes, as one puts aside the political formulas – what is left, and what is one to do? Naturally civic order must be maintained: you have to have water in the taps. If you destroy civic order you have to start again from the beginning. So, what is one to do?

Questioner: That is what I am actually asking you.

Krishnamurti: Be concerned with radical change, with total revolution. The only revolution is the revolution between man and man, between human beings. That is our only concern. In this revolution there are no blueprints, no ideologies, no conceptual utopias. We must take the fact of the actual relationship between men and change that radically. That is the real thing. And this revolution must be immediate, it must not take time. It is not achieved through evolution, which is time.

Questioner: What do you mean? All historical changes have taken place in time; none of them has been immediate. You are proposing something quite inconceivable.

Krishnamurti: If you take time to change, do you suppose that life is in suspension during the time it takes to change? It isn’t in suspension. Everything you are trying to change is being modified and perpetuated by the environment, by life itself. So there is no end to it. It is like trying to clean the water in a tank which is constantly being refilled with dirty water. So time is out. Now, what is to bring about this change? It cannot be will, or determination, or choice, or desire, because all these are part of the entity that has to be changed. So we must ask what actually is possible, without the action of will and assertiveness which is always the action of conflict.

Questioner: Is there any action which is not the action of will and assertiveness?

Krishnamurti: Instead of asking this question let us go much deeper. Let us see that actually it is only the action of will and assertiveness that needs to be changed at all, because the only mischief in relationship is conflict, between individuals or within individuals, and conflict is will and assertiveness. Living without such action does not mean that we live like vegetables. Conflict is our main concern. All the social maladies you mentioned are the projection of this conflict in the heart of each human being. The only possible change is a radical transformation of yourself in all your relationships, not in some vague future, but now.

Questioner: But how can I completely eradicate this conflict in myself, this contradiction, this resistance, this conditioning? I understand what you mean intellectually, but I can only change when I feel it passionately, and I don’t feel it passionately. It is merely an idea to me; I don’t see it with my heart. If I try to act on this intellectual understanding I am in conflict with another, deeper, part of myself.

Krishnamurti: If you really see this contradiction passionately, then that very perception is the revolution. If you see in yourself this division between the mind and the heart, actually see it, not conceive of it theoretically, but see it, then the problem comes to an end. A man who is passionate about the world and the necessity for change, must be free from political activity, religious conformity and tradition – which means, free from the weight of time, free from the burden of the past, free from all the action of will: this is the new human being. This only is the social, psychological, and even the political revolution.

-J. Krishnamurti

From The Urgency of Change

 

Ending Thought – J. Krishnamurti

Questioner: I wonder what you really mean by ending thought. I talked to a friend about it and he said it is some kind of oriental nonsense. To him thought is the highest form of intelligence and action, the very salt of life, indispensable. It has created civilization, and all relationship is based on it. All of us accept this, from the greatest thinker to the humblest labourer. When we don’t think we sleep, vegetate or daydream; we are vacant, dull and unproductive, whereas when we are awake we are thinking, doing, living, quarrelling: these are the only two states we know. You say, be beyond both – beyond thought and vacant inactivity. What do you mean by this?

Krishnamurti: Very simply put, thought is the response of memory, the past. The past is an infinity or a second ago. When thought acts it is this past which is acting as memory, as experience, as knowledge, as opportunity. All will is desire based on this past and directed towards pleasure or the avoidance of pain. When thought is functioning it is the past, therefore there is no new living at all; it is the past living in the present, modifying itself and the present. So there is nothing new in life that way, and when something new is to be found there must be the absence of the past, the mind must not be cluttered up with thought, fear, pleasure, and everything else. Only when the mind is uncluttered can the new come into being, and for this reason we say that thought must be still, operating only when it has to – objectively, efficiently. All continuity is thought; when there is continuity there is nothing new. Do you see how important this is? It’s really a question of life itself. Either you live in the past, or you live totally differently: that is the whole point.

Questioner: I think I do see what you mean, but how in the world is one to end this thought? When I listen to the blackbird there is thought telling me instantly it is the blackbird; when I walk down the street thought tells me I am walking down the street and tells me all I recognise and see; when I play with the notion of not thinking it is again thought that plays this game. All meaning and understanding and communication are thought. Even when I am not communicating with someone else I am doing so with myself. When I am awake, I think, when I am asleep I think. The whole structure of my being is thought. Its roots lie far deeper than I know. All I think and do and all I am is thought, thought creating pleasure and pain, appetites, longings, resolutions, conclusions, hopes, fears and questions. Thought commits murder and thought forgives. So how can one go beyond it? Isn’t it thought again which seeks to go beyond it?

Krishnamurti: We both said, when thought is still, something new can be. We both saw that point clearly and to understand it clearly is the ending of thought.

Questioner: But that understanding is also thought.

Krishnamurti: Is it? You assume that it is thought, but is it, actually?

Questioner: It is a mental movement with meaning, a communication to oneself.

Krishnamurti: If it is a communication to oneself it is thought. But is understanding a mental movement with meaning?

Questioner: Yes it is.

Krishnamurti: The meaning of the word and the understanding of that meaning is thought. That is necessary in life. There thought must function efficiently. It is a technological matter. But you are not asking that. You are asking how thought, which is the very movement of life as you know it, can come to an end. Can it only end when you die? That is really your question, isn’t it?

Questioner: Yes.

Krishnamurti: That is the right question. Die! Die to the past, to tradition.

Questioner: But how?

Krishnamurti: The brain is the source of thought. The brain is matter and thought is matter. Can the brain – with all its reactions and its immediate responses to every challenge and demand – can that brain be very still? It is not a question of ending thought, but of whether the brain can be completely still. Can it act with full capacity when necessary and otherwise be still? This stillness is not physical death. See what happens when the brain is completely still. See what happens.

Questioner: In that space there was a blackbird, the green tree, the blue sky, the man hammering next door, the sound of the wind in the trees and my own heartbeat, the total quietness of the body. That is all.

Krishnamurti: If there was recognition of the blackbird singing, then the brain was active, was interpreting. It was not still. This really demands tremendous alertness and discipline, the watching that brings its own discipline, not imposed or brought about by your unconscious desire to achieve a result or a pleasurable new experience. Therefore during the day thought must operate effectively, sanely, and also watch itself.

Questioner: That is easy, but what about going beyond it?

Krishnamurti: Who is asking this question? Is it the desire to experience something new or is it the enquiry? If it is the enquiry, then you must enquire and investigate the whole business of thinking and be completely familiar with it, know all its tricks and subtleties. If you have done this you will know that the question of going beyond thought is an empty one. Going beyond thought is knowing what thought is.

-J. Krishnamurti

From The Urgency of Change