• Relationship - To be is to be related
  • image making
  • division
  • conflict
  • violence
  • Meditation
Like two friends…
We are like two friends sitting in the park on a lovely day, talking about life, talking about our problems, investigating the very nature of our existence, and asking ourselves seriously why life has become such a great problem; why, though intellectually we are very sophisticated, yet our daily life is such a grind, without any meaning…Why has life, everyday existence, become such a torture? We may go to church, follow some leader, political or religious, but the daily life is always a turmoil; though there are certain periods which are occasionally joyful, happy, there is always a cloud of darkness about our life. And you and the speaker are talking over together in a friendly manner, perhaps with affection, with care, with concern, whether it is at all possible to live our daily life without a single problem.
The Network of Thought, p. 99
Relationship is the mirror
Relationship is the mirror in which we can see ourselves as we are. All life is a movement in relationship. There is no living thing on earth which is not related to something or other. Even the hermit, a man who goes off to a lonely spot, is related to the past, is related to those who are around him. There is no escape from relationship. In that relationship which is the mirror in which we can see ourselves, we can discover what we are, our reactions, our prejudices, our fears, depression, anxieties, loneliness, sorrow, pain, grief. We can also discover whether we love or there is no such thing as love. So we will examine the question of relationship because that is the basis of love.
Mind Without Measure p 79

To live is to be related

The understanding of oneself does not come through the process of withdrawal from society or through retirement into an ivory tower. If you and I really go into the matter carefully and intelligently, we will see that we can understand ourselves only in relationship and not in isolation. Nobody can live in isolation. To live is to be related. It is only in the mirror of relationship that I understand myself, which means that I must be extraordinarily alert in my thoughts, feelings, and actions in relationship. This is not a difficult process or a superhuman endeavour; and as with all rivers, while the source is hardly perceptible, the waters gather momentum as they move, as they deepen. In this mad and chaotic world, if you go into this process advisedly, with care, with patience, without condemning, you will see how it begins to gather momentum and that it is not a matter of time.
The Collected Works vol VI, pp 37-8

Relationship as a means of escape

Relationship has true significance only when it is a process of self-revelation, when it is revealing oneself in the very action of relationship. But most of us do not want to be revealed in relationship. On the contrary, we use relationship as a means of covering up our own insufficiency, our own troubles, our own uncertainty. So relationship becomes mere movement, mere activity. I do not know if you have noticed that relationship is very painful, and that as long as it is not a revealing process, in which you are discovering yourself, relationship is merely a means of escape from yourself.
The Collected Works vol V p 230
Ojai 17th July 1949, Public Talk 2

Self-knowledge through relationship
Self-knowledge is not according to any formula. You may go to a psychologist or a psychoanalyst to find out about yourself, but that is not self-knowledge. Self-knowledge comes into being when we are aware of ourselves in relationship, which shows what we are from moment to moment. Relationship is a mirror in which to see ourselves as we actually are. But most of us are incapable of looking at ourselves as we are in relationship, because we immediately begin to condemn or justify what we see. We judge, we evaluate, we compare, we deny or accept, but we never observe actually ‘what is’, and for most people this seems to be the most difficult thing to do; yet this alone is the beginning of self-knowledge.
The Collected Works vol IX p 137

To go far you must begin very near
Surely, to go far, you must begin very near, but to begin near is very difficult for most of us because we want to escape from ‘what is’, from the fact of what we are. Without understanding ourselves, we cannot go far, and we are in constant relationship; there is no existence at all without relationship. So relationship is the immediate, and to go beyond the immediate, there must be the understanding of relationship. But we would much rather examine that which is very far away, that which we call God or truth, than bring about a fundamental revolution in our relationship, and this escape to God or to truth is utterly fictitious, unreal. Relationship is the only thing we have, and without understanding that relationship we can never find out what reality is or God is. So, to bring about a complete change in the social structure, in society, the individual must cleanse his relationship, and the cleansing of relationship is the beginning of his own transformation.
The Collected Works vol VI pp 137
Relationship is between two images
Why is that we human beings have not been able to solve this problem of relationship though we have lived on this earth for millions of years? Is it because each one has his own particular image put together by thought, and that our relationship is based on two images, the image that the man creates about her and the image the woman creates about him? So in this relationship we are as two images living together. That is a fact. If you observe yourself very closely, if one may point out, you have created an image about her and she has created a picture, a verbal structure, about you. So relationship is between these two images. These images have been put together by thought. And thought is not love.
The Network of Thought, p 87

Like two parallel lines
We are observing the actual relationship of man to man and woman, between two human beings, asking why there should be so much struggle, anxiety, pain. In the relationship of two human beings, be they married or not, do they ever meet, psychologically? They may meet physically, in bed, but inwardly, psychologically, are they not like two parallel lines, each pursuing his own life, his own ambition, his own fulfilment, his own expression? So, like two parallel lines, they never meet, and therefore there is the battle, the struggle, the pain of having no actual relationship. They say they are related, but that is not true, that is not honest, because each one has an image about himself. Added to that image each one has an image of the person he lives with. Actually we have two images or multiple images.
The Flame of Attention, p 71

Being hurt throughout life
Take for instance the hurt that each human being suffers from childhood. One is hurt by one’s parents, psychologically; then hurt in school, in university, through comparison, through competition, through saying one must be first-class at this subject, and so on. Throughout life there is this constant process of being hurt. One knows this, and that all human beings are hurt, deeply, of which they may not be conscious, and that from this all forms of neurotic actions arise. That is all part of one’s consciousness—part hidden and part open awareness that one is hurt. Now, is it possible not to be hurt at all? Because the consequences of being hurt are the building of a wall around oneself, withdrawing in one’s relationship with others in order not to be hurt more. In that there is fear and a gradual isolation. Now, we are asking: Is it possible not only to be free of past hurts but also never to be hurt again?
The Flame of Attention, pp 87-88
Society is the product of our relationship
What is the relationship between yourself and the misery, the confusion, in and around you? Surely this confusion, this misery, did not come into being by itself. You and I have created it, not a capitalist or a communist or a fascist society, but you and I have created it in our relationship with each other. What you are within has been projected without, on to the world; what you are, what you think and what you feel, what you do in your everyday existence is projected outwardly, and that constitutes the world. If we are miserable, confused, chaotic within, by projection that becomes the world, that becomes society, because the relationship between yourself and myself, between myself and another is society—society is the product of our relationship—and if our relationship is confused, egocentric, narrow, limited, national, we project that and bring chaos into the world.
The First and Last Freedom, p 36

What you are is the external world
Most of us in this confused and brutal world try to carve out a private life of our own, a life in which we can be happy and peaceful and yet live with the things of this world. We seem to think that the daily life we lead, the life of struggle, conflict, pain and sorrow is something separate from the outer world of misery and confusion. We seem to think the individual, the ‘you’, is different from the rest of the world with all its atrocities, wars and riots, inequality and injustice and that this is something entirely different from our particular individual life. When you look a little more closely, not only at your own life but also at the world, you will see that what you are—your daily life, what you think, what you feel—is the external world, the world about you.
Talks with American Students, p 8

A radical change in society

In bringing about a radical change in the human being, in you, you are naturally bringing about a radical change in the structure and the nature of society. I think it must be very clearly understood that the human mind, with all its complexity, its intricate network, is part of this external world. The ‘you’ is the world, and in bringing about a fundamental revolution—neither communist nor socialist, but a totally different kind of revolution, within the very structure and nature of the psyche, of yourself—you will bring about a social revolution. It must begin, not outwardly but inwardly, because the outer is the result of our private, inner life.
When there is a radical revolution in the very nature of thought, feeling and action, then obviously there will be a change in the structure of society.
Talks with American Students, p 8-9
Division between man and man
Why is there, one must ask, this division—the Russian, the American, the British, the French, the German, and so on—why is there this division between man and man, between race and race, culture against culture, one series of ideologies against another? Why? Where is there this separation? Man has divided the earth as yours and mine—why? Is it that we try to find security, self-protection, in a particular group, or in a particular belief, faith? For religions also have divided man, put man against man—the Hindus, the Muslims, the Christians, the Jews and so on. Nationalism, with its unfortunate patriotism, is really a glorified form, an ennobled form, of tribalism. In a small tribe or in a very large tribe there is a sense of being together, having the same language, the same superstitions, the same kind of political, religious system. And one feels safe, protected, happy, comforted. And for that safety, comfort, we are willing to kill others who have the same kind of desire to be safe, to feel protected, to belong to something. This terrible desire to identify oneself with a group, with a flag, with a religious ritual and so on gives us the feeling that we have roots, that we are not homeless wanderers.
Krishnamurti to Himself, pp 59-60

Man has divided the earth

It is our earth, not yours or mine of his. We are meant to live on it, helping each other, not destroying each other. This is not some romantic nonsense but the actual fact. But man has divided the earth, hoping thereby that in the particular he is going to find happiness, security, a sense of abiding comfort. Until a radical change takes place and we wipe out all nationalities, all ideologies, all religious divisions, and establish a global relationship—psychologically first, inwardly, before organizing the outer—we shall go on with wars. If you harm others, if you kill others, whether in anger or by organized murder which is called war, you—who are the rest of humanity, not a separate human being fighting the rest of mankind—are destroying yourself.
Krishnamurti to Himself, p 60
Ending conflict in all our relationships
So our first demand is whether it is possible to end conflict in all our relationships—at home, in the office, in every area of our life—to put an end to conflict. This does not mean that we retire in isolation, become a monk, or withdraw into some corner of our own imagination and fancy; it means living in this world to understand conflict. Because, as long as there is conflict of any kind, naturally our minds, hearts, brains, cannot function to their highest capacity. They can only function fully when there is no friction, when there is clarity. And there is clarity only when mind that is the totality—which is the physical organism, the brain cells, and the total thing which is called the mind—is in a state of non-conflict, when it functions without any friction; only then is it possible to have peace.
The Collected Works vol XVI, p 4

Understanding conflict as a whole

Understanding the nature of conflict demands not the understanding of your particular conflict as an individual but the understanding of the total conflict as a human being—the total conflict, which includes nationalism, class difference, ambition, greed, envy, the desire for position, prestige, the whole sense of power, domination, fear, guilt, anxiety, in which is involved death, meditation—the whole of life. And to understand the whole of life, one must see, listen, not fragmentarily, but look at the vast map of life. One of our difficulties is, is it not, that we function fragmentarily, we function in sections, in one part—you are an engineer, an artist, a scientist, a businessman, a lawyer, a physicist, and so on—divided, fragmentary. And each fragment is in battle with the other fragment, despising it or feeling superior.
The Collected Works vol XVI, pp 4-5
The depths of violence
Violence is not merely killing another. It is violence when we use a sharp word, when we make a gesture to brush away a person, when we obey because there is fear. So violence isn’t merely organized butchery in the name of God, in the name of society or country. Violence is much more subtle, much deeper, and we are inquiring into the very depths of violence. When you call yourself an Indian or a Muslim or a Christian or a European, or anything else, you are being violent. Do you know why it is violent? Because you are separating yourself from the rest of mankind. When you separate yourself by belief, by nationality, by tradition, it breeds violence. So a man who is seeking to understand violence does not belong to any country, to any religion, to any political party or system; he is concerned with the total understanding of mankind.
Freedom from the Known, pp 51-52

The whole spectrum of violence

There are so many different kinds of violence. Shall we go into each kind of violence or shall we take the whole structure of violence? Can we look at the whole spectrum of violence, not just at one part of it?…The source of violence is the ‘me’, the ego, the self, which expresses itself in so many ways—in division, in trying to become or be somebody—which divides itself as the ‘me’ and the ‘not me’, as the unconscious and the conscious; the ‘me’ that identifies with the family or not with the family, with the community or not with the community and so on. It is like a stone dropped in a lake; the waves spread and spread, at the centre is the ‘me’. As long as the ‘me’ survives in any form, very subtly or grossly, there must be violence.
Beyond Violence, p 74

Non-violence is not a fact

Non-violence has been preached over and over again, politically, religiously, by various leaders that you have had. Non-violence is not a fact; it is just an idea, a theory, a set of words; the actual fact is that you are violent. That is the fact. That is ‘what is’. But we are not capable of understanding ‘what is’, and that is why we create this nonsense called non-violence. And that gives rise to the conflict between ‘what is’ and ‘what should be’. All the while you are pursuing non-violence you are sowing the seeds of violence. This is so obvious. So, can we together look at ‘what is’ without any escape, without any ideals, without suppressing or escaping from ‘what is’?
The Flame of Attention, p 74

Why should I have the opposite as non-violence?

Man is all the time trying to become non-violent. So there is conflict between ‘what is’, which is violence, and ‘what should be’, which is non-violence. There is conflict between the two. That is the very essence of wastage of energy. As long there is duality between ‘what is’ and ‘what should be’—man trying to become something else, making an effort to achieve ‘what should be’—that conflict is waste of energy. As long as there is conflict between the opposite, man has not enough energy to change. Why should I have the opposite at all, as non-violence, as the ideal?
The Flight of the Eagle, p56

To understand what a religious mind is 
The religious mind is the only mind that can solve our problems, not the scientific mind at all. To understand what a religious mind is, actually not theoretically, one must not only investigate the symbol, question every symbol, but also go into the question of influence. How easily we are persuaded, how easily we become slaves to an idea which is, really, propaganda! How easily our emotions get entangled with a new, or a possibly new, escape! How slavish we are not only to symbols, but also to all the influences of society, of tradition, of the family, of the name, of the occupation, the influence of papers, books, the influence of prominent people who are supposed to be very clever, who are supposed to be leaders! How easily and how disastrously we are influenced to think this way or that way, to act in a particular way and to pursue a system or habit! To be able to discern every influence, to be aware of that and yet not to be entangled in that, to be aware of the influence of a book as you are reading, to be aware of the pressures and the strains of the family, to be aware of the culture in which you are brought up - that is intelligence.
Madras Public Talk 8, 1961

It is only such a mind that is a revolutionary mind
So, the religious mind is the real revolutionary mind, not the revolution which is a reaction to what has been - like Communism which is only a reaction to Capitalism; therefore such a revolution is not a revolution at all. No reaction is a revolution, and therefore reaction cannot bring about a mutation. It is only a religious mind, a mind that is enquiring into itself, that is aware of its own movements, its own activity, which is the beginning of self-knowledge - it is only such a mind that is a revolutionary mind. And a revolutionary mind is a mutating mind - which is the religious mind.

So you will see our problem: The challenge of the present time and the challenge of every instant, if you are at all awake, is to respond totally to something that is new. I mean by responding totally - totally, with all your mind, with all your brain, with all your heart, with all your body, everything, with the totality of your whole being; responding, not just intellectually or emotionally or sentimentally. I wonder if you do ever respond to anything so completely. You see when you do respond so completely, there is the absence of self-centred activity. When you respond to something totally, you will find at that moment, at that second, the self with all its activity, its fear, its ambitions, its cruelties, its envies, is gone. Therefore you can respond totally and you do respond totally when there is sensitivity which is life.
Madras Public Talk 8, 1961

Discard All Methods
How is the religious mind or the new mind to come into being? Will you have a system, a method? Through a method -a method being a system, a practice, a repetitive thing day after day? Will a method produce a new mind? Surely, a method implies a continuity of a practice, directed along a certain line towards a certain result which is to acquire a mechanical habit, and through that mechanical habit to realize a mind which is not mechanical.
When you say, 'discipline', all discipline is based on a method according to a certain pattern; and the pattern promises you a result which is predetermined by a mind which has already a belief, which has already taken a position. So, will a method, in the widest or the narrowest sense of that word, bring about this new mind? If it does not, then method as habit must go completely, because it is false. Method only conditions the mind according to the result which is desired. You have to discard all the mechanical processes of the mind. The mind must discard all the mechanical processes of thought. So, the idea that a method, a system, a discipline, a continuity of habit will bring about this mind is not true. So, all that is to be discarded totally as being mechanical. A mind that is mechanical is a traditional mind; it cannot meet life, which is non mechanical; so, the method is to be put aside.
The Book of Life - Daily Meditations with Krishnamurti, October 18

A religious mind never thinks in terms of growth, evolution
So, a religious mind has no authority and therefore a religious mind is not an imitative mind. You will see also that the religious mind is not caught in time. It does not think in terms of evolution, growth, gradualism - that is the animalistic mind because the brain, some part of the brain is evolved from, grown out of, the animalistic instinct. The rest of the brain is still to be developed and if it develops according to the animalistic instincts and experiences, it will still remain in time. Therefore, a religious mind never thinks in terms of growth, evolution. It is always jumping out of time. I think you will understand this, which may be rather new and strange to you, because that is what I mean by mutation.

A changing mind, a changing brain is always moving from the known to the known. But a religious mind is always freeing itself from the known so that it is experiencing the unknown. The unknown is out of time, the known is in time. And so if you have gone very deeply into it, you will see that the religious mind is not a slave to time. If it is aware that it is ambitious or jealous or fearful, it does not think in terms of ideals, of postponement. It ends it immediately, at the instant; and the very ending of it is the beginning of that extraordinary, subtle, sensitive discipline which is uncontrolled, which is free.
Madras Public Talk 8, 1961

A mind that is free of time
Meditation demands a mind that is completely immobile, completely still. And you cannot listen if the mind is not still, you cannot learn if the mind is not still. You can accumulate, but accumulation is not learning. Accumulation of knowledge is one thing and learning is another. Learning is a constant movement, whereas knowledge is placed in time and held in time. And to have an insight into the beauty of a mind that is free of death, is to have a mind that has no fear, a mind that is absolutely - that is empty of all its content and therefore free of time.
New Delhi 1972, Public Talk 3

One has to be a total outsider
Meditation is not an escape from the world; it is not an isolating, self-enclosing activity, but rather the comprehension of the world and its ways. The world has little to offer apart from food, clothes and shelter, and pleasure with its great sorrows.
Meditation is wandering away from this world. One has to be a total outsider, then the world has a meaning, and the beauty of the heavens and the earth is constant. Then love is not pleasure. From this all action begins that is not the outcome of tension, contradiction, the search for self-fulfilment, or the conceit of power.

Meditation is the ending of the separation
We hardly ever listen to the sound of a dog’s bark or to the cry of a child or the laughter of a man as he passes by. We separate ourselves from everything, and then from this isolation look and listen to all things. It is this separation that is also destructive, for in that lies all conflict and confusion. If you listened to the sound of bells with complete silence, you would be riding on it – or, rather, the sound would carry you across the valley and over the hill. The beauty of it is felt only when you and the sound are not separate, when you are part of it. Meditation is the ending of the separation, but not by any action of will or desire.
Meditation is not a separate thing from life; it is the very essence of life, the very essence of daily living. To listen to the bells, to hear the laughter of a peasant as he walks by with his wife, to listen to the sound of the bell on the bicycle of a little girl as she passes by: it is the whole of life, and not just a fragment of it, that meditation opens.