J. Krishnamurti – Brockwood Park 1978 – Discussion 2 with Buddhist Scholars – Can we live without…

J. Krishnamurti – Brockwood Park 1978 – Discussion 2 with Buddhist Scholars – Can we live without…

Yes, sir, you wanted to start. Walpola Rahula:
This morning and this afternoon I want to ask you three
or four things to clarify to me. And for a long time
these questions… K: Speak a little louder, sir. WR: …were on my mind,
and very often I thought of you to meet you and
to discuss these things, not in a place like this
but privately between you and me, but it was not possible
to get this opportunity, and now ultimately I am grateful
to Mr Narayan for arranging this. We continued yesterday
about something, I think you were telling
the last thing, I think it was about greed
and as a bad thing; the idea is given by words, but if you see it without the word,
it may not be the same thing. And of course that is quite so because the thing itself has no word
when you see the thing. In Buddhist terminology
there are three levels of knowledge: one is Shrutabhi Pradnya
– that is that we get wisdom, certain knowledge through learning,
the books, the teacher; then there is further development,
Chintamayi Pradnya: that is the wisdom that you get by thinking,
meditating according to that, your knowledge, still within words,
it is still within language; but the highest wisdom
is Bhavanamayi Pradnya which goes beyond words, it has no word, it has no name,
it has no terminology. That means there you see
the thing without a word. I think that is what you meant
when you said, when you see the thing, all our reflections,
accumulated meanings, disappear. That is how I understood it. I don’t know whether
that is what you meant. K: Perhaps we will go into it, sir, but you also said you would like
to ask some other questions. WR: That’s right.
That is very interesting. I am very grateful to you for that.
K: Not at all, sir. WR: These are things which have been
on my mind for a long time. Sir, you know the word Arhant,
in Buddhist terminology. Arhant is the one who has realised
the truth, who is liberated, who is free,
and that is a very well-known term. And the question was put
to the Buddha, very often, by his disciples
and by various people: what happens to an Arhant
after his death? And then that man asked, ‘Does he exist after his death?’
The Buddha said, ‘No’. ‘Then he does not exist.’
The Buddha said, ‘No’. ‘Then he exists and does not exist’.
Buddha said, ‘No’. ‘Then he does not exist,
nor not exist’. These are the Chatushkoti,
the four corners. He said, ‘No’. None of those terms, exist
or does not exist, is or is not, can be applied to that state. All those terms, relative,
dualistic terms, are used only within our knowledge, within our experience,
within empirical world. But this is beyond that, therefore
you can’t apply any of those words. This answer is everywhere; in many places
he was asked these questions, and what do you say to this? He said that you can’t say
exist, or not exist. K: Could we talk over together, sir, what is living and what is dying, and what is the state of the mind that is dead,
or in the process of dying? Could my putting it that way
be a help to answering the question? WR: I don’t know. K: You see, after all Arhat is known
also I believe in Indian thought, Hindu thought, because, not that I have read
any books but I have discussed. Human beings right throughout the
world, as far as one can make out, are always enquiring
or believing into what is death, is there life after death,
is there a continuity, and if there is no continuity,
what is the point of living at all? Life is such
a dreadful affair anyhow, with a lot of trouble, anxieties,
fears, and so on, so on, if there is no reward
for living properly, correctly, what’s the point of being
good, kind, noble, etc.? Could we approach your question
from that point of view? Or do you want to ask what is the state of a mind
that has no self whatsoever? WR: That’s right, that’s right,
that is an Arhant. K: That is what I want to get at. WR: That’s right, that’s correct.
K: Yes. Could we go into that, that way?
WR: I think that is a good approach because that is an Arhant
who has no self whatsoever. K: Is that possible? We are enquiring.
WR: Yes. K: I am not saying it is,
or it is not, we are enquiring, proceeding through exploration
and finding out, not believing or not believing. So what is the self? The name, the form – just a minute, sir,
let me enquire, we are enquiring. The form, the body, the organism, the name, the name identifies itself
with the body, certain characteristics
identifying itself with the ‘me’, I am strong, I am weak, I have got
a good character, I am not bad. So the characteristic is
identified by thought as the ‘me’. The tendency is identified
by thought as the ‘me’. The experiences,
the accumulated knowledge is identified
by thought as the ‘me’, and the ‘me’ is
that which I possess, my property, my house,
my furniture, my wife, my books. All that – the violence,
the pleasure, the fear, the agonies – all that with the name,
with the form, identification, constitutes the self. So what is the root of the self? Is the root of the self the acquired experiences
– I am enquiring, sir – the acquired experiences – we are enquiring
into the very root of it, not the mere expressions of it.
Right, sir? Am I alright? I want to laugh a bit! WR: Yes, that is very important. K: So the whole process
of identification – my house, my name,
my possessions, what I will be, the success, the power, the position,
the prestige. The identification process
is the essence of the self. If there is no identification,
is there the self? You understand, sir?
WR: Yes, sir, I follow. K: So can this identification
come to an end? Which is, the identification
is the movement of thought. If thought didn’t say,
that is my furniture, identifying itself with that because it gives it pleasure,
position, security – all that, so the root of the self
is the movement of thought. Would you… WR: Yes. Yes. K: So death is the ending
of that movement. Or is death a continuity
of that movement into the next life? You understand?
WR: Fully. Quite. K: Arhant, or the Arhat,
or the liberated man, why should he wait till the end, till he reaches that
which is called death? So, when we realise the very root of the self
is the movement of thought in time, in distance,
from here to there, and all the conflicts, miseries,
confusions, created by thought – right, sir? –
is the self. So when thought comes to an end – that is a form of death
while living. WR: Yes.
K: Right? K: Now, can thought come to an end? To bring that about,
or wanting thought to end, we meditate, we practise,
we are aware, we go through all the tortures
of so-called meditation. Right, sir? Would you agree to that? WR: Popular religion.
K: No, no. You see – please, sir,
if I may point out, the ordinary man is not
interested in all this. Right? He wants his beer,
whatever he wants, he is not interested in all this because, perhaps, wrong education,
social conditions, economic position,
environmental influences, and maybe the religions have helped
to keep the man down there, popular, the elite are somewhere else – the pope, the cardinals.
You follow? So I wouldn’t, if I may point out,
sir, I wouldn’t say ‘popular’. It is the human tendency,
that is all we are talking about. Every human being
has identified himself and so conditioned himself with something or other,
with god, with nirvana, with moksha, with heaven,
with paradise and so on. Now, while living, can that death, which is
the end of thought, take place? Not at the end of one’s life which then is
a graveyard renunciation. There is no meaning. WR: May I agree with you
when you said it is not necessary to wait till
the end of your life, till death, and Buddha pointed out
the same thing. When this question
was put to him, the question was asked also what will happen to the Buddha
after his death. He asked the disciple,
‘What is Buddha? Is it this body?’ – like you said,
the name, the form, all this. Exactly what you said, form and name
in Buddhist terminology is called the Naamrupa. K: Naamrupa,
that is in Sanskrit too. WR: And the disciple said, ‘No’. Then you can’t pin-point the Buddha
even now, living, then how can you say after death? K: Sir, if I may ask,
I hope you don’t think me impudent, why do we bring in the Buddha?
We are talking as human beings. WR: Just because
I raised the question from the Buddha’s point of view. K: Ah, no, as a human being, I want to know
what happens after death. Or what is the significance
of death. Or can one live in daily life,
not as a monk, as a saint, all that stuff, daily life, without the self? WR: Of course my question
was not that. The person who has
realised the truth, who has become
liberated, free, to him, what happens. That is the question. K: I would never ask that question
because he might say this happens or he might say that happens,
or nothing happens. Then it becomes a theory to me,
which is an idea. WR: I wanted from you
a little more than that. K: Ah, you want from me. WR: Not a theory. K: If you want it
from this person who is talking, you have to enquire
as he is enquiring. And therefore he asks, is it possible
to live in daily life, not at the end
of one’s existence, a daily life
without this identification process? which brings about the structure
and the nature of the self, which is the result of thought? Can the movement of thought end
while I am living? That is the question, rather than
what happens when I die. The ‘me’ is merely
a movement of thought. Thought itself is very limited.
Right? It is a piece in a vast movement,
it is a small piece, broken up. So as long as thought, limited,
a broken up thing, a fragment, whatever it creates, will still be limited,
broken up, fragmentary. Right? So can a human being,
you or I or any of us, can we live
without the movement of thought, which is the essence of the self? Suppose, I say, yes, it can be done – what value has it to you? Irmgard Schloegl: Once that
identification is really broken, once that identification of thought
and ‘me’ is really broken… K: Ah, no, not broken, end.
IS: That is what I mean, ended. K: When you break something
it can continue, but it is an ending. IS: It can never come back
in the same way again, it is an irrevocable ending. K: All I am saying is, suppose,
the speaker, this person says, yes, it is possible,
I know it is possible, then what? What value has it to you? IS: That is what personally
I hope we can discuss. K: I am coming to that.
What value is that to you? Either you accept it, or you say, don’t be silly
and walk away, as it is not possible,
and you leave it. But if you want to enquire
and say, look, is it possible, let’s find out – not as an idea,
but as an actuality in daily life. Right, sir? Right. Somebody join us! Giddu Narayan: Dr. Rahula,
we have been talking in this context of the value of Buddhist meditation,
or meditation, preparation, practice, mindfulness. What is the value
of all those things that are mentioned
in the Buddhist literature, which is practised
as a very important thing in relation
to the ending of thought? WR: Ending of thought, or self? GN: Satipatthana,
mindfulness, let us say. WR: Satipatthana, mindfulness or rather presence of awareness
– a sense of mindfulness. Yes, Satipatthana has
many aspects, not only one, but the most important thing is the mindfulness,
awareness in everything. Even now what we do here
is a meditation, it is not sitting with legs crossed like a statue under a tree
or in a cave, that is no meditation,
that is only an exercise externally. Many people take it
as to be the meditation. What we do here nobody would think
we were meditating. But to me this is
the deepest sort of meditation, also given in the Satipatthana,
this is called Dhammavipassana, to see or to follow, or to observe, or to be aware of various subjects,
topics, things, doctrines, things like that, various things; that is the intellectual side of it. Then there is also meditation, mindfulness of everything you do,
whatever you do, eating, drinking,
or going about, talking – everything is mindfulness. And all that leads to what he says. GN: It leads to…
WR: It leads to what he says. GN: That is the thing
I really want to get at. WR: It leads you to end
the thought process of self. GN: Yes.
K: Sir, I hope you don’t think me impudent or irreverent
to what the Buddha said. I personally haven’t read
any of these things. I don’t want to read
a thing about all this. They may be
correct, or not correct, they may be under illusion
or not under illusion, they may have been
put together by disciples and what the disciples do
with their gurus is appalling – twist everything. So I say, look, I don’t want to start with somebody
telling me what to do or what to think. I have no authority. So I say, look, as a human being,
suffering, going through agonies, sex and mischief, and terror,
and all the rest of it, in enquiring into all that, I come to the point,
which is thought. That’s all. I don’t have to know all
the literature in the world which will only condition
further thinking. So forgive me
for putting it that way: I brush all that aside. We have done this – Christians, I have met Christians,
Benedictine monks, Jesuits, great scholars,
always quoting, quoting, quoting, believing this is so,
this is not so. You understand, sir? I hope you don’t think
I am irreverent. WR: No, not at all. I fully agree with you
and that is my attitude as well. I am quoting this and talking
to examine it. K: You see, I only start
with what is a fact, for me. What is a fact, not according to some philosophers
and religious teachers and priests, a fact – I suffer, I have fear,
I have sexual demands. How am I to deal with all these
tremendously complex things which make my life, and I am so utterly miserable,
unhappy. From there I start, not from what somebody said,
that means nothing. You follow, sir? I am not belittling, forgive me,
the Buddha, I wouldn’t. WR: That I know, I know you have
the highest respect for the Buddha. That I know. But we have the same attitude
and I want to examine it with you. That is why I put the question. Not as a theory.
K: No, sir, not quite, sir, forgive me for saying so,
not quite. I start with something
which is common to all of us. Right? Not according to the Buddha, not according to some Christian god,
or Hindu or some group – to me all that is
totally irrelevant, they have no place
because I suffer, I want to find out
how to end it or must I carry on
for the rest of my life – this agony, this brutality, this sexual perversions,
or sexual desires, you know, all the rest of it. Right, sir? So I see the root
of all this confusion, uncertainty, insecurity, travail, effort, the root of this is the self,
the ‘me’. Right, sir? Now is it possible
to be free of the ‘me’ which produces all this chaos, both outwardly,
politically, religiously, economically
and all the rest of it, and also inwardly, this constant struggle,
constant battle, constant effort? Right? So I am asking:
can thought end? So thought has no future – that which ends then has a totally
different beginning, not the beginning of the ‘me’, ending and picking up again later. Right, sir? In what manner can that thought end?
That’s the problem. The Buddha must have
talked about it. Right, sir? I don’t think Christianity,
as far as I know, has touched this point. They said,
give yourself to God, Christ, abandon yourself to him. But the self goes on. They haven’t gone into this at all, only the Hindus
and the Buddhists have done, and perhaps some others. So can this thought end? Then the priest comes along
and says, yes it can end, only identify yourself with Christ,
with the Buddha. You follow? Identify, forget yourself. WR: That is the Christian attitude. K: Christian,
also part of the Hindu. WR: But not Buddhism.
I must defend it. K: I know. Yes, sir.
GN: I believe, a great deal of Buddhist thought
also has degenerated into this. WR: Yes, yes, of course,
degenerated, that is, certain schools of thought, but I mean to say according
to the Buddha’s teaching. K: Ah, no, you see… IS: Shall we best say it is human nature
to lean on something, and this is what
automatically happens and this is what we are
trying to get away from. K: So here I am, an ordinary
human being, fairly educated, not according to schools, colleges,
fairly educated, has observed
what the world is going through and he says, ‘I am the world,
I am not different from the world, because I suffer,
I have created this monstrous world, my parents, my grandparents, everybody’s parents,
have created this’. Right, sir? So how is it possible
for thought to end? Some people say, yes, which is to meditate,
control, suppress. IS: No, no.
K: Wait. I said some people, madam.
IS: I beg your pardon. K: Some people have said,
suppress it, identify the self with the highest which is still
the movement of thought. Some people have said, burn out all the senses. Right, sir? They have done it, fast, do everything for this thing. So somebody comes along like me
and says, effort is the very
essence of the self. Right? Do we understand that? Or has it become an idea,
and we carry that idea out? You understand
what I am talking about? I don’t know
if I am making myself clear. That is… GN: If you say effort is
the very essence of the self, is there again a preparation, an initial training… K: No, no.
GN:…to come to that situation? Or does one come to it effortlessly? IS: If I have understood you,
and please correct me if not, you mean that the very effort
that I make to come to it, that in itself is already
contributing to my delusion. K: To the maker of the effort, who has already identified
with something greater, and is making an effort to reach it. It is still the movement
of thought. IS: And it is still a bargaining
– if I do this, or give this up, then I will get that. K: So how do you, if I may ask,
listen – listen? How do you listen? IS: Listen. K: A person like me says, effort of any kind
only strengthens the self. Now how do you receive
that statement? IS: I am entirely in agreement. K: No, not agreement,
or disagreement, oh, God! How do you listen to it? IS: Let it impinge.
K: No, no. David Bohm: Do we listen in the same
way we have made identifications, that is, in general
we listen through the past, through our previous ideas,
through what we know? IS: That must be.
DB: But is that right? IS: If one can open up
and just listen. K: Ah, no, no, no. When you eat, you are eating
because you are hungry. The stomach receives the food, there is no idea
of receiving the food. So can you listen
– listen – without the idea of receiving, or accepting,
or denying, or arguing, just listen to a statement? It may be false, it may be true,
but just listen to it. Can you do it? IS: I would say yes. K: Then, if you so listen,
what takes place? IS: Nothing.
K: No, madam, don’t say immediately, ‘nothing’.
What takes place? I listen to a statement that thought is
the root of the self. After carefully explaining, the mood of thought
which identifies itself with the form, with the name, with this and that
and the other thing. So after explaining
very carefully, it is said that thought is
the very root of the self. Now how do you receive,
listen to the truth of that fact that thought is
the root of the self? Is it an idea, a conclusion, or it is an absolute,
irrevocable fact? WR: If you ask me, it is a fact. I listen to it, receive it.
I see it. K: Are you listening as a Buddhist – forgive me
for putting it that way? WR: I don’t know.
K: No, you must know. WR: I am not identifying
anything at all. I am not listening to you
as a Buddhist or a non-Buddhist. K: I am asking you, sir, are you listening as a Buddhist
– just a minute – are you listening as a person who has read a great deal
about the Buddha, and what the Buddha has said
and so comparing – just a minute, just a minute – and so you have gone
away from listening. Right? So are you listening – I am not being personal,
sir, forgive me. WR: Yes, yes.
K: Are you listening? WR: Oh, you can be
quite free with me – I won’t misunderstand you
and you won’t misunderstand me. I have no fear about it.
K: No, no. I don’t mind your
misunderstanding me at all. I can correct it.
WR: Yes. K: Are you listening
to the idea, to the words and the implications of those words, or are you listening without
any sense of verbal comprehension, which you have gone through quickly, and you say, yes,
I see the absolute truth of that? WR: That is what I said. K: Do you?
WR: Yes. K: No, sir. Then it is finished. It is like seeing something
tremendously dangerous, it is over, you don’t touch it. I wonder if you see it. IS: Why not touch it? DB: It seems to me
that there is a tendency to listen through the word
as you say, and that word identifies and that identification
still goes on while one thinks one is listening. This is the problem.
It is very subtle. WR: Yes, in other words,
it is listening, you use the word in seeing, in that sense.
K: No. Sir, I listen. When you say something to me,
what the Buddha has said, I listen. I say, he is just quoting
from what Buddha has said, but he is not saying something
I want to know. He is telling me about the Buddha,
but I want to know what you think, not what Buddha thought, because then we are establishing
a relationship between you and me, and not between you, Buddha and me? I wonder if you see that. WR: That also means you were
listening to the general thought. K: I was listening to what you
were saying about Buddha. I was just listening. I don’t know. You are quoting, probably what you
are quoting was perfectly so, you are quoting
probably correctly and so on, but you are not
revealing yourself to me and I am revealing myself to you. Therefore we have a relationship
through the Buddha, not direct relationship. I wonder if you… I love my dog
and you like that dog too, but you like that dog and our relationship
is based on that dog. I don’t know
if I am making myself clear. I am not comparing
Buddha to the dog! IS: May I try to say what you are trying
– not trying – what you are looking for is our personal experiential
response to your statement. K: No, your personal experience is also the experience
of everybody else, it is not personal. IS: Though it is
individually rendered, because… K: It is not even
if you and I suffer, it is suffering, not my suffering
and your suffering. But when there is identification
with suffering then it’s my suffering. And I say, I must be free of it. But as human beings in the world
we suffer. We are going off somewhere else. DB: It seems to me this question
of identification is the main one, it is very subtle, in spite of all that you have said,
identification still goes on. K: Of course. DB: It seems to be built into us. IS: And this raises a question whether that identification
can be ended if I understood rightly. DB: Identification prevented
listening freely, openly because one listens
through the identification. K: What does identification mean? Why do human beings identify
themselves with something – my car, my house, my wife,
my children, my country, my god. You follow?
Why? IS: To be something, perhaps.
K: Let’s enquire why. Not only identify
with outward things, but also inwardly identify
with my experience, identify with experience and say,
this is my experience. Why do human beings
go through this all the time? DB: At one stage you said we identify with our sensations,
for example, our senses, and this seems very powerful. What would it be
not to identify with our sensations? K: Yes. So when one listens, am I listening to identify myself with that fact
about which he is talking or there is no identification
at all and therefore I am
capable of listening with a totally different ear? Am I hearing
with the ears of my hearing, or am I hearing with total attention? You understand, sir?
Am I listening with total attention? Or, my mind is wandering off
and says, ‘Oh my goodness, this is rather boring and what is
she talking about?’ or he – and so I am off. But can I attend so completely that there is only
the act of listening and nothing else, no identification,
no saying, yes, that is a good idea, bad idea,
that’s true, that’s false, which are all
processes of identification, but without any of those movements
can I listen? When I do so listen,
then what? The truth that thought
is the essence of the self and the self creates
all this misery, it’s finished. I don’t have to meditate,
I don’t have to go practise, it is over
when I see the danger of this thing. So can we listen so completely that there is
the absence of the self? And he says, can I see,
observe something without the self, which is my country,
I love that sky, it is a beautiful sky
and all the rest of that. So please. So the ending of thought, which is the ending or cutting
at the very, very root of the self – a bad simile, but take that – when there is such
active, attentive, non-identifying attention then does the self exist? I need a suit, why should there be
identification in getting a suit? I get it, there is getting it. So the active listening implies
listening to the senses. Right, sir? To my taste,
the whole sensory movement. I mean, you can’t stop the senses,
then you would be paralysed. But the moment I say,
‘That’s a marvellous taste, I must have more of that’, begins the whole identification. DB: It seems to me that that is
the general condition of mankind to be identifying with the senses.
K: Of course. DB: Now how are we going
to change that? K: That is the whole problem, sir. Mankind has been educated,
conditioned for millennia to identify itself
with everything – my guru, my house, my god,
my country, my king, my queen and all that horrible business
that goes on. DB: You see with each one of those
there is a sensation. K: It is a sensation,
which you call experience. Sorry, we… WR: So we should come to our point.
K: Yes, which is… WR: The one that we began. K: When the self ends – it can end, obviously – it is only the most ignorant and most highly burdened
people with knowledge, and identifying themselves
with knowledge who say,
‘Will I be?’ and all that. When there is the ending
of the self, what takes place? Not at the end of my life, not when the brain becomes…
or is deteriorating, when the brain is very,
very active, quiet, alive, what then takes place,
when the self is not? Now, how can you find out, sir? Say, X has ended the self
completely, not picks it up in the future,
another day, but ends it completely, he says, yes, there is a totally
different activity which is not the self. What good is that to me,
or to any of us? He says, yes, it can end; it is a different world altogether, different dimension, not a sensory dimension, not an intellectually
projected dimension, something totally different. I say he must be either a cuckoo,
a charlatan, or a hypocrite, it doesn’t make…
but I want to find out, not because he says so,
but I want to find out. Can I, as a human being, living in this tremendously ugly,
brutal, violent world, economically, socially, morally,
and all the rest of it, live without the self?
I want to find out. And I want to find out
not as an idea, I want to do it,
it’s my passion. Then I begin to enquire, why is there identification
with the form, with the name – it’s not so important
whether you are K or W or Y. So you examine this very carefully not to identify yourself
with anything, with sensation, with ideas,
with a country, with an experience. You understand, sir? Can you do it? Not vaguely and occasionally
but something you have got to do, with passion, with intensity,
to find out. That means I must put
everything in its right place. Right? Because I have to live,
I have to have food, I don’t have to identify myself
with this or that food, I eat the correct food,
and it’s finished, therefore it has its right place. But there are
all the bodily demands, sex, put it in its right place. Who will tell me
to put it in the right place? You understand, sir? My guru, the pope, any scripture? If they do, I identify myself with them
because they are giving me help to put things in the right place,
which is sheer nonsense. Right, sir? The pope can’t tell me:
sex has its right place, and he says, don’t divorce, marry, your marriage is with god
– all that. And I am stuck. Why should I obey the pope, or the guru, or scriptures,
or the politicians? So I have to find out what is the right place for sex,
or money. Right, sir?
What is the right place? How shall I find out
what is the right place for sex, which is one of the most powerful,
urgent physical demand, which the religious people say,
cut, destroy it. Right, sir? Suppress it, take a vow against it
and all the rest of it. I say, sorry,
that doesn’t mean a thing to me. So I want to find out
what is its right place. How shall I find out? I have got the key to it.
Right? Which is,
non-identification with sensation, that is the key of it. Right, sir? So non-identification
with sensation which is translated
in modern experience – I must experience sex. Right? So that is, identification with sensation
makes the self. So is it possible
not to identify with sensations? Yes, sensations, I am hungry, but sex is a little more powerful. So I have got the key to it,
you understand? The truth of it. Right, sirs? So, yes, I feel sexual, all right. Non-identification,
that is the truth of it. If I really see the truth of it, then sex, money,
everything has its right place. WR: In other words, may I say
that you can see, you must see or you see without the self.
K: Ah, no, no, no. WR: Identification is self.
K: No, I said, there is the truth that identification with sensation,
with this, with that, builds the structure of the self. Right? Is that an absolute, irrevocable,
passionate, lasting truth? Or is it just an idea
which I have accepted, yes, it’s true, and I can change
that idea tomorrow? But this thing is irrevocable. One must have money – money gives me freedom, money gives you freedom
to do what you like, freedom, sex, if you want it, money gives you
a sense of travelling, power, position
– you know, all the rest of it. So non-identification with money.
You follow? DB: And that means
the end of desire for anything. K: No, at the end
desire has very little meaning. But it doesn’t mean
I am a dead vegetable. DB: Are you saying identification
gives desire excessive meaning? K: Of course. So, having put everything
in its right place – not ‘having put’ –
I don’t put it, it happens because I have seen
the truth of this thing, so everything falls
in its right place. Right? No, I can’t tell you,
I can’t say yes, right or wrong. WR: No, no,
I see what you say. K: Then what place has thought? You understand, sir?
WR: Yes. K: What place has thought? Has it any place at all? Obviously, when I am talking,
I am using words, the words are associated
with memory and so on, so on, so there is thinking there
– not with me, there is very little thinking
as I am talking, don’t let’s go into that. So thought has a place. Right, sir? When I have to catch a train,
when I have to go to the dentist, when I go to do something,
thought has its place. And it has no place
psychologically when there is the identifying
process taking place. Right? I wonder if you… GN: Are you implying that
because there is no thought the identifying process
has lost its strength? K: No, it hasn’t lost its strength. GN: Or it doesn’t happen at all. K: No, we said just now that having the key,
or living with the fact, living with the truth that identification
brings about the structure and the nature of the self, which creates
all the innumerable problems, seeing the truth, living that truth – living, it’s in my brain, in my throat, in my gullet,
it’s part of my blood, seeing the truth of that,
that truth is there. And so thought has its right place. I have put money, sex
– not I. GN: You are implying… IS: It falls into its place.
WR: Yes. K: No, sir. I want to go
further into this. Go on. GN: If the insight, the passion,
the truth, is powerful… K: No, you see, you are
using the word ‘powerful’. GN: Yes, I am using it.
K: No, I say it is not powerful. GN: It has its own strength.
K: No, you can’t use those words. GN: Now, if it has no strength,
thought asserts itself. K: No, no, it is not strength. DB: You are saying,
it is identification that makes thought
do all the wrong things. K: That’s right. Identification has
made thought do the wrong things. DB: It would be all right otherwise. K: Otherwise thought has its place.
DB: It will be reasonable. But when you say no identification,
you mean the self is empty, that it has no content,
doesn’t it? K: There are only sensations. DB: Sensations,
but they are not identified. K: Not identified. GN: Through thought.
K: Not identified. DB: They are just going on,
do you mean? K: Yes, sensations are going on. DB: Outside or inside.
K: Inside. GN: And you are also implying
there is no slipping back. K: Of course not. When you see something
most dangerous, you don’t slip back or go forward,
it is dangerous. Sir, then is that death? That is the question we began with.
WR: Yes, yes, that’s right. K: Is that death? Death as we know it, that is the brain cells, etc., etc.,
die. Right? The body deteriorates, there is no oxygen
and all the rest of it. I am not a…
so it dies. Sensations die with it. Right? Now where am I? DB: Sensations, you say,
die with the body. K: With the body. DB: There is no sensation.
K: No sensation. Right? WR: Yes. K: Now is there a living
with the sensation fully awakened – they are awakened,
they are alive – but the non-identifying
with sensation deprives, wipes away the self. We said that. Now what is death? Is it possible to live a daily life
with death, which is the ending of the self? Isn’t it, sir?
WR: Yes. K: I am not questioning. Go on, somebody talk
for a little while. WR: I follow it. GN: Would you say, there is
a great deal of talk about insight, insight meditation, vipassana, is insight a thing which endures
and doesn’t slip back? Is insight that quality? WR: Exactly what he is telling now
is the insight meditation. What he is telling now is
the insight meditation. GN: No, I am asking, does insight
endure without reference to time? K: Don’t use the words
‘endure’, ‘last’. GN: All insight is
a momentary process. K: The moment you have an insight,
it is finished. GN: Finished, yes.
WR: Once you see it, finished. K: I have an insight into the whole
nature of the self, finished. I have an insight.
WR: Exactly that is what he says. GN: It is complete. WR: In itself it is complete,
and there is no coming back. GN: No coming back,
otherwise it is not insight. WR: You have seen it,
and you know it and there is no slipping back,
no coming back. IS: Who has seen it? With those words we come
always into trouble. WR: No, this is only the language. There is no see-er
apart from seeing. GN: There is no see-er
apart from seeing. DB: Would you say
the insight transforms the person? K: That is what we were
discussing the other day; the insight transforms
not only the state of the mind, but the brain cells themselves
undergo a change. WR: Absolutely. DB: Therefore the brain cells, being in a different state,
behave differently, it is not necessary
to repeat the insight. WR: The whole system
changes with that. K: Be careful, sir, don’t…
– either it is so, or it is not so. So I am left with this now: I am left with the question
of what is death. Is the ending of the self death? Death in the ordinary,
accepted sense of the word. It is not, obviously, because the blood is circulating, the brain is working…
WR: It is not in the medical sense. K:…the heart is pumping,
and all the rest of it. DB: It is still alive.
K: It is alive, but the self is non-existent because there is
no identification of any kind. I know, sir,
this is a tremendous thing. Non-identification with anything: with experience, belief,
with a country, with ideas, ideals, wife, husband, love
– no identification at all. Is that death? People who call that death say, my god, if I don’t identify
myself with my something or other, why I am nothing. So they are afraid
of being nothing. Then identify. But nothingness,
which is not a thing – you understand, sir? –
not a thing, therefore it is quite
a different state of mind. Now, that is death. While there is living, sensations,
the heart beating, the blood circulating, breathing,
the brain active, undamaged, no, this is…
undamaged, our brains are damaged. DB: Can this damage be healed? Is it possible to heal the damage? K: Insight,
that is what I want to get at. Our brains are damaged. For thousands of years
we have been hurt, psychologically, inwardly, and that hurt is part of our
brain cells, remembered hurts, the propaganda for 2000 years
that I am a Christian, that I believe in Jesus Christ,
which is a hurt; or I am a Buddhist
– you follow, sir? – it’s a hurt. So our brains are damaged. To heal that damage is
to listen very carefully, to listen, and in the listening to have
an insight into what is being said, and therefore there is immediately
a change in the brain cells. Therefore there is
no identification, complete and total. And then is that love? You see, I question this, sir. There is a great talk
about compassion, isn’t there, in the Buddhist literature. Be compassionate,
don’t kill, don’t hurt. What place has love
in compassion? To love a man or a woman, or a dog,
or a piece of stone, a stray cat, to love something,
the clouds, the trees, what place has… – or the nature, anything –
love, the house put together
by architects, a beautiful thing, the bricks
– to love it, which is non-identifying
with the bricks, with the house. The dying while living –
is that love, in which there is no attachment. WR: That is so, that is so. K: So then what place has love, loving a woman, a man,
– you understand? – not identifying
– please – identifying with the sensations
of sex with a woman, or with a man, and yet to love that person. You understand? When there is that love, that love
is not the woman whom I love, it is global love.
I wonder if you see. Don’t agree, sir.
WR: No, not agree, I see it. K: What place has that quality
with compassion? Or is compassion the same as love? WR: No. GN: Why do you say no? WR: Compassion is only
for the suffering people. Love –
there is no discrimination, whereas compassion is directed
towards those who are suffering. GN: You make that distinction
between compassion and love. WR: Yes. GN: Is it in the Buddhist language?
WR: Yes, Buddhist language. That is Maitri and Karuna.
If you use these two words. K: Maitri and Karuna. WR: Karuna is compassion and love is maitri,
it is more than compassion. K: I am just… Sir, does one love
without identification, which implies
no self, no attachment? WR: That is the true love.
K: No, I am asking, you as a human being,
not as a Buddhist, as a human being
without identification, with your senses
and so on, so on, do you love a woman or a man,
or a child, or the sky or a stone,
or a stray dog, without identifying? They all suffer – the woman suffers,
the man suffers, the dog has a terrible life,
a stray dog, chased by everybody
and kicked by everybody. And when there is no identification,
do you love that dog, or do you have compassion
for that dog? Is compassion an idea – I must have compassion
for the suffering, for the poor, for the besotted, the demented? DB: I still think the question is, is there love for somebody
who is not suffering? Suppose there is somebody
who is not suffering. K: Suppose somebody
is frightfully happy, because he writes
good books or thrillers and gets a lot of money,
says, jolly good life. DB: I didn’t mean that exactly. You could say
that he was suffering underneath. K: That’s what I am questioning. DB: But would there be love
if there were no suffering? You know, if mankind
were to be free of it. K: Would there be love
without suffering? Or, are you saying, a human being must go
through suffering to have love? DB: Well, not necessarily. K: You see,
when you put it that way, that is what it implies,
doesn’t it? DB: Well, one view is,
you could say one point that there could be love
whether there is suffering or not. And the other is compassion,
the way the Buddhists use it, is that it is only
for the suffering. K: I question that. GN: I didn’t quite feel
that karuna, compassion, is only for those
who were suffering. I think it has
a wider quality than that. WR: No, this way there are four
qualities called Brahma Viharas, these supreme qualities – maitri, karuna, mudita, upekkha. Maitri embraces both suffering
and not suffering, as you said; karuna embraces
only suffering; mudita is directed
towards the happy people, you identify
with the happiness of that, in the world there is
no such sympathetic joy; upekkha is equanimity. These four qualities are called
the Brahma Viharas, the supreme, divine qualities. And that classification when you use the word ‘love’,
it is much bigger. K: No, I haven’t come
to compassion yet, sir. I just want to know, as a human being,
do I love somebody – the dog, the chimney, the clouds,
that beautiful sky – without identifying? Not as a theory but fact. I don’t want to delude myself
in theories, or in ideas, I want to know if I love that man
or woman or that child, or that dog without saying, ‘It is my dog,
my wife, my house, my brick’, actually, not abstraction. IS: If that identification
with the ‘I’ is gone, as long as I feel
‘I’ is acting as self, I cannot do it.
K: No, madam. I said the truth is,
the identification breeds the self which causes
all the trouble, miseries. IS: And if that is seen… K: I said that, it is an absolute,
irrevocable reality, it is in my blood, I can’t get rid of my blood,
it is there. IS: Then I cannot help but loving.
K: No, no. You are all too quick.
IS: I beg your pardon. K: Not, ‘I cannot help loving’
– do you? WR: If you see it. K: No, no. Do you see the truth,
the truth of that, that identification
is the root of the self, with thought
and all the rest of it? That is an absolute fact, like a cobra,
like a dangerous animal, like a precipice,
like taking deadly poison. So there is no identification,
absolutely, when you see the danger. Then what is my relationship
to the world, to nature, to my woman, man, child? When there is no identification, is there indifference, callousness,
brutality – say, ‘I don’t identify’
and put up your nose in the air? WR: That would be very selfish.
K: No, not selfish. Is this what is going to happen? WR: No.
K: No, sir, you can’t just say, no. Why not? It will happen
if it is intellectual. IS: It is not truth.
K: I have an ideal. WR: That is what I said,
you have not seen then. K: No. I am asking, sir, is this non-identification an ideal,
a belief, an idea
which I am going to live with and therefore my relationship
to the dog, to the wife, to the husband,
to the girl, or whatever it is, becomes very superficial, casual. It is only when the truth that identification is
absolutely cut out of one’s life, there’s no callousness then – because that is real. We haven’t solved
the question yet of death. It is five minutes past one
and we have to stop for lunch. WR: And in the afternoon, I have some more questions… K: Good, sir.
WR:…a list of things. K: Let’s go through them. WR: And these have been
working in my mind for a long time. K: Let’s do it.
WR: I want to discuss them with you and today there is one session only
we have this afternoon. GN: At four.
WR: At four. K: You want some more sessions? WR: Not possible today,
because we are going to have lunch. K: No, this afternoon
we are going to meet.

11 thoughts on “J. Krishnamurti – Brockwood Park 1978 – Discussion 2 with Buddhist Scholars – Can we live without…

  1. Can someone please explain the following: Is not non-identification with sensations contradictory to "the observer is the observed"? Along the lines of; I'm not angry – I am anger.
    P.s. Great talk. Thanks!

  2. everything stops with K – there is nothing else to think or enquiry about. However one must be passionate ("mad") about it!

  3. I think I still didn't get the answer to the question that without identification can there be love. Did someone get the answer from this video?

  4. Around 15" in, JK seems to imply that thought is more than just an instrument. I may be quite wrong, but it seems to me that fear uses thought as an instrument to bring about divisiveness – that, put another way, there is nothing inherently disorderly about thought as such. It may indeed be the 'soil' that fear's disorder grows in. Thought is by nature limited, and where there is limitation there is fear. There could, I'd suggest, be the new human being who uses thought rightly without its contamination. There is nothing bad per se about both thought and language, I would assert. They are simply vulnerable to the malign energy of fear.

  5. The key is to listen/observe/discover/feel practically, not verbally that Self is based on identification.
    How to listen without understand, without words meaning, without words memory? Is it about hearing voices like someone who don't know english for example. I find it difficult to apply. Even audiences found it difficult. Dr Bohm explained half of it, but it remained diffuclt to get.
    Please, help me if you got it. HOW TO HEAR WITHOUT UNDERSTANDING WORDS?

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