I have been sharing some quotes from J. Krishnamurti for the past month.
I consider that J. Krishnamurti had deep insight into human nature and what we know as “spirituality.”
Krishnamurti transmits through his own words, a description of what is like to observe and experience from a different consciousness. Reading his words may bring agreement, it may bring intellectual understanding; but there is no practical change in consciousness that could be experienced by the reader.
In short, Krishnamurti truly expresses “truth,” but that is unreachable for those who do not share the same consciousness. That is why, Krishnamurti is not “practical” at all, for the immense majority.
It is important to understand that words cannot bring change in a person. I am not talking about change of behavior, which is superficial. I am speaking about “true” change which is consciousness.
Little Carlos may not hit his dog if he “understands,” that this is a “bad thing to do and that God will punish him.” The elements of moral standards and fear are there to induce change of behavior. However, Carlos’ violence is still there and he may not hit his dog anymore but he may hurt himself or others in different ways.
“Little Carlos’ consciousness” is the collective consciousness in society. The concern of the machinery of society is to change behavior through “practice,” or through “effort” to reach an objective. Religions operate in the same way.
Reading and understanding words in “spiritual” topics are only meant for us to look deeply at the self. To resonate with the words so they bring a different way to look at Life. Intellectual understanding is futile, for we will not be able to “put them in practice” in real Life; for Life is not a “recipe” that fits all. Life will bring “tailor made,” unique experiences in which we may not be able to recognize the words or the examples used by Krishnamurti, thus; we will not be able to “apply them” as we use a mathematical formula. Through that “practice,” we have no chance to know who we truly ARE.
Consciousness is gained through the experience of the “yes” and the “no.”
In a religious setting, I was taught to reject and suppress anger. Although my behavior was as if I had no anger in the eyes of others; due to the commending comments of those who observed my lack of reaction; I too believed that I was “anger free.”
To my surprise, I had plenty of anger inside stuck as emotional traumas which only needed a greater trigger to be displayed. Thus, “I tricked myself” for years.
Nevertheless, anger needed to be displayed so I could be free of it. Emotions will need to be displayed to be free from them. Through Observation of my own violence, anger diminished.
Through that full experience of anger and lack of it, a new consciousness appeared, which is now able to understand anger without rejection. I could not learn that by simply thinking: “Anger is bad. Don’t show it” or by believing that “God was going to punish me for being angry,” or by reading Krishnamurti’s words about anger and having a solid intellectual understanding of what those words meant.
Change of consciousness occurs when we assimilate Life experiences while we are AWARE of it. Without awareness there is repetition of experiences and through that vicious repetitive cycle, a dull feeling of bitterness mixed with apathy until a compulsive need to change occurs through the experience of suffering.
The “good news” is that eventually we will change; not because we understood some “words of wisdom,” but because Life will give us the complete experience. The “yes” and the “no,” that is a new consciousness.
In Spirituality, to know means to live the experience in awareness. Humans live many experiences without awareness, thus; there is no consciousness of the significance of their own thoughts and actions. It is merely an automatic response like a physical reflex which in spirituality is known as conditioning. We are not free when conditioned.
“Spirituality” means to become aware of the experience of inner conflict; the continuous division between the Observer (“I”) and the observed (world.) The conflict arises when the observer seeks to conform to an ideal, what “should be.”
“When there is conflict there is a waste of energy. Conflict being: I must control fear, I must run away from it, I must go to somebody to tell me how to get rid of fear. All those are factors of wasting energy. If you don’t waste energy, and that only takes place when the observer is the observed, then you have immense energy to transform what is. The very observation is the energy that transforms that which is.”
Public Talk 3 in Ojai, California, 10 April 1976
Practically; how the above works?
In a heated family discussion where most of the “covers of an educated individual” are gone, we could OBSERVE the scenes.
Typically, we could OBSERVE two related emotions: VIOLENCE and FEAR. When we perceive those 2 emotions, we are able to change by allowing the current of those 2 emotions to go through us without further energetic consequences. Otherwise, we are unaware and the opportunity to OBSERVE gets lost in our attempt to defend the “I” or to take sides by JUDGING the scenes and picking the “right” side and the “wrong” one. Emotionally, that means that we RESISTED ( we felt insulted, misunderstood, etc) for we had the need to DEFEND the “I” or the side that we considered to be “right.” That resistance feeds the energy of violence and fear in that environment, back to ourselves. Again, energetically; we can either let the energy go through us (observer and observed are one) or let the energy to stay with us (observer and observed are different.) Most individuals will go with the later. This is not a “choice” that we need to make. This is only a matter of awareness.
Therefore, for most conditioned individuals the OBSERVER is different than the OBSERVER.
“When the observer is the observed, there is only the observed, not the observer. When there is division as the observer and the observed, there is conflict and the desire to control, suppress, conquer. That is a waste of energy. When there is only the observed, not the observer observing that which he is seeing, there is energy to go beyond the observed, beyond what is. So it is very important to find out how to observe. Don’t go to classes or some community to learn how to observe or how to become sensitive. For God’s sake be simple. It is very important to understand this for yourself, not from my explanation. See it for yourself. Then the conflict in yourself comes to an end, and you have no violence. The truth, the understanding, not intellectual but the fact that the observer is the observed, brings about a totally different freedom in which there is no conflict whatsoever.”
Public Talk 1 in San Francisco, California, 20 March 1975
If we understand the above only intellectually, we will not change at all. It will only be a fancy piece of information to display in the next spiritual gathering. If we have experienced this through Life itself; the above will only put words to an already lived experience. Then, we “know.”
Many times I hear that part of Education is to teach the student “how to think.”
Actually, that is called conditioning, in a mild way. The proper label is violence.
Most individuals do not realize how violence has been ingrained by society. The competitive “spirit” hungry for success is violence, as it is not concerned at all for the common good. It is just about “ME” and “MY” loved ones. If we want to observe this with some depth, we may need to inquire about the nature of thought:
“Thought is the response of the brain that has recorded. If the brain did not record, you would have no thought or knowledge. It is like a registering machine. From knowledge is memory, and the response of memory is thought.”
J. Krishnamurti – Public Talk 1 in Madras (Chennai), 24 December 1977
Notice the automatic process of thought. That mechanism is unable to be creative. It only repeats what is recorded, although with variations. That may be a “good thing” to learn some technical skill, but the art of living is not concerned with that skill at all.
Out of that repetition and the obsession of “becoming number 1” to feel “successful” in society, the thought of violence was generated.
“Thought has created violence in me, and then it creates non-violence to be achieved, and then there is conflict.”
J. Krishnamurti – Buddhist Scholars Discussion in Madras, 21 January 1985
Observe the contradiction. I AM vs. I SHOULD BE. What SHOULD BE is an ideal. That is the main component of the rhetorical talk of a politician. Those are the “feel good” words that most want to listen. We don’t want to SEE what IS. We are blind.
What is needed is a new way to deal with what IS.
“Please learn. Learn to observe, not memorize. We have contradiction only when we are not dealing with what is actually going on. Because we don’t know how to deal with what is going on, we invent the ideal, which is an escape. If you want to change what is going on, don’t have contradiction. Then you have the energy to deal with what is, instead of wasting energy in contradiction, having ideals and all the rest of it. I am violent, and my conditioning has been not to be violent, so I try to be non-violent. Whereas in actual fact, I am violent. So I am wasting my energy in trying to be non-violent. When I remove that, I have the energy to deal with what is – the energy to observe the fact of being angry. I won’t use the word ‘anger’ because the word is not the thing. Therefore there is only that reaction. The moment you name it, it becomes stronger. By associating through that word with the past, you are giving it strength. If you don’t name it, it soon dissipates. Eliminate contradictions altogether, and you are dealing only with what is actually going on.
J. Krishnamurti – Public Discussion 1 in Madras (Chennai), 27 December 1977
What should I DO to eliminate violence in me?
Acknowledge it. Do not fight it. OBSERVE it when it appears and become aware on how “I “want to demonstrate my supremacy over others, then we invent escapes, such as pride, shame, competition, non-violence and even nationalism.
“Nationalism is a poison.”
J. Krishnamurti – Public talk 2 in Bombay (Mumbai) 25 January 1981.
As the emotion is OBSERVED without labeling it or judgment; there is a space where it could be seen to its root causes. Every person may have a different root, although the “output” is violence. Observation is not concerned with results or the goal of “becoming better.” Observation is only concerned with OBSERVATION.
Thought, memory, thinking, conditioning, action; which in our society usually results in violence. It is a vicious cycle.
For those eager to “practice” and learn this “new method,” there is a catch:
“Real learning comes about when the competitive spirit has ceased.” – J. Krishnamurti. There is no achievement, no “becoming better,” no reward in the afterlife, no “special mention” and honors, no utility whatsoever in our “money making” society. Can we handle that?
Our “spiritual” upbringing suggests that “I have a choice” in ending what is perceived to be “wrong.”
For example, there are the vices of lust, greed, anger, ego, attachment, etc. Spiritual seekers want to be “free” of those for they believe that those things are ugly, evil which will not let them grow.
Religious groups as well as psychology support groups have made clever “tricks” to avoid repeated behaviors, as they consider vices as behaviors (DOING) rather than an expression of BEING.
For instance, the importance of waking up very early every morning to pray, is a replacement behavior so the sexual urges in a healthy person will not manifest. We could call that the “cure” to attain celibacy.
Similarly, I was told that methods to deal with drug addicts are based on this principle. That is to replace the time where the behavior is more likely to appear, with another behavior considered “better.”
However, the “vice” is still there but unable to manifest.
J. Krishnamurti mentioned:
“When you determine to end envy, there is a conflict. You may suppress it, overcome it or escape from it, but it is still there.” Public Talk 1 in Madras (Chennai), 7 December 1974
Observe that every known vice has its opposite virtue. Observe that vices are not opposites of virtues, but complement each other. In other words, the potential to be lustful is equal and the same as the potential of having compassion. That is duality. In Life, that is the total range of an experience, on the other hand, for society we need to support one side (virtues) and “conquer” the other (vices) for the sake of “order.”
Life experiences will take a person to experiment a particular place within the total range. That is unavoidable at this time. Observe that greed appears as we develop, that is as Life experiences are assimilated in a particular way. As we develop greater perception inside our own emotional layers and “self-study” our own triggers, and realize instantly when “vices” or “virtues” arrive; we will learn to OBSERVE without further comments or judgment. J. Krishnamurti could call that as “insight.”
“Insight can only take place when the mind is observant, attentive, without a direction or motive, listening without the interference of thought. This is real meditation, in which there is no operation of will. Will is time and thought.” (Bangalore Jan. 11, 1973.)
That is a necessary step to understand ourselves. This requires ample time and supportive circumstances to be emotionally tranquil to “see.” As we reach our “own center,” by leaving the typical busy Life; a new “breath of Life” arrives. We call that “new” consciousness. What was there before, in time will leave. Whatever that is; as long as the mind doesn’t evoke what is naturally gone.
I understand that the above is not practical at all. Most individuals want a “fast solution.” They want to have control (will power) of their own inner world. That is why, repression, suppression and escapes have been crafted by psychologists, religions and support groups to make us believe that we got rid of some “vice” when in fact, it is there. That is the reason why most will relapse, once their method is no longer followed. They go back into “temptation.”
Every experience will bring its changes in a person which will eventually allow that person to evolve; however, OBSERVATION is a DOING in itself, for that will give us the awareness of all changes happening within. It is that OBSERVATION, that inner AWARENESS the one bringing a new light of consciousness (insight) which will change the experience.
Note that there is no “method to attain the solution and get rid of the vice,” as most are conditioned to expect. The above is not practical in a society interested in instant changes at will, and “successful stories.” If a person hasn’t reached a level of awareness where inner OBSERVATION is part of his Life, that person however; will obtain “help” through any method which brings repression and inner conflict; where fear is a factor so the “wrong” behavior is not expressed again. That we are used to, through the conditioning of society.
That experience is not “bad” at all; for still it will bring further changes in the individual according to what he needs to experience in Life; although society may have a preconceived idea of “what should be,” or “what is right.”
However, Life has its own ways and we are ALL in it. No one is ever alone.
“Thinking is common to all humanity. Thought is not my thought; there is only thought. Thought is neither of the East or West; there is only thinking. “ J. Krishnamurti
“I think therefore, I am.” Rene Descartes
The philosopher and mystic, J. Krishnamurti states the opposite of philosopher, mathematician and scientist Descartes: Thought is not mine vs. I think. Thus, thought is mine.
Most of humanity will experience as Descartes states. Few individuals will understand the depth of Krishnamurti, for he is not an intellectual (although described as such) but he merely states his own experiences. Without similar experiences, there will not be understanding.
Also, whether it is “my” thought or there is only thought, there is the “reality” of thought or the lack of it, called “dreams.”
Descartes said: “The dreams we imagine when we are asleep should not in any way make us doubt the truth of the thoughts we have when we are awake.”
Nevertheless, he had a dream which told him a lot:
“…After a short time, he goes back to sleep once more, and finds himself in a third dream. In front of him, on a table, is a book. Having opened it, he sees that it is a dictionary. Then he notices a second book. This one is a poetry anthology. He flicks through it and immediately comes upon the latin verse: “Quod vitae sectabor iter?”: “Which path in life will I choose?”.
At the same time, an unknown man appears and presents him with a poem which starts with Est et non (what is and is not). He adds that it is an excellent work. The young soldier says:
“I know. It is in this book of poems. Look!”
But he flicks through the anthology in vain. He can’t find the poem. So, he takes up the dictionary and notices that some of the pages are missing. He is exchanging a few more words with the stranger when, suddenly, the books and the man disappear.”
Is following the path of “what is” and “what is not” a choice? We take both in Life.
Can we find that poem in a book? Can we find words to describe it? Life is such a poem.
When Life speaks to us, we say” I imagined a dream.” “ I invented this gadget.”
Out of touch with awareness, most don’t perceive that we can only “do” thinking with what Life has already thought.
We say “My thought”: How scientific that could be!!
Dreams are only dreams, for all those who only dream.
“Self” is the most misunderstood label there is, from the dictionary word to the “spiritual” connection.
A seeker will be confused depending on their level of consciousness, for “self” is the very beginning of “spirituality” but at the same time, the very end. It is Alpha and Omega.
Most “think” they know what “self” is. It is “me.” That is kindergarten a priori “knowledge” however, it is readily accepted without further observation.
There is the “self” of “Google”: “a person’s essential being that distinguishes them from others, especially considered as the object of introspection or reflexive action.”
There is the “self” of Krishnamurti:
“ …the idea, the memory, the conclusion, the experience, the various forms of namable and unnamable intentions, the conscious endeavor to be or not to be, the accumulated memory of the unconscious, the racial, the group, the individual, the clan, and the whole of it all, whether it is projected outwardly in action, or projected spiritually as virtue; the striving after all this is the self.”
There is the “Self” of Ramana Maharshi : “That state which transcends speech and thought is mouna. That which is, is mouna. How can mouna be explained in words? Sages say that the state in which the thought”I” (the ego) does not rise even in the least, alone is Self (swarupa) which is silence (mouna). That silent Self alone is God; Self alone is the jiva (individual soul). Self alone is this ancient world. All other kinds of knowledge are only petty and trivial knowledge; the experience of silence alone is the real and perfect knowledge. Know that the many objective differences are not real but are mere superimpositions on Self, which is the form of true knowledge.”
And then, there is the “real self” of Osho: “The Real Self is dangerous: dangerous to the established church, dangerous to the state, dangerous to the crowd, dangerous to tradition, because once a man knows his real self, he becomes an individual.”
And then there is Lao Tzu: “Knowing others is wisdom. Knowing the self is enlightenment.”
And …there is “Nosce te Ipsum” (Know thyself).
An individual will be seeking to “save and continue” his perception of “self” through the belief in “heaven,” the “soul” (Atma or Atman, which is also known as the “real self” by some or Swaroop, etc.) after this lifetime is over, while others believe that everything is over at death time.
Lost in theories, beliefs and what not, we are unable to OBSERVE.
In my experience, when we want to find out something related with “spirituality”, there is no sense in following words. It doesn’t matter how “enlightened” they may be. There are many interferences in between: The level of consciousness of the one describing and the one listening (even “Death” depends on the level of consciousness of a person); the word used to describe a personal experience is a barrier for intellectual understanding; there is interpretation of the word, then there is translation (if it comes from another language) and finally, there is the emotional attachment to that word: “atman /atma/soul” is an example. It has a positive connotation which for many means “self or real-self.”
Confusion is the mother of all religions.
Look at “yourself.” Do you perceive thoughts (the little guy/gal talking to you in your “head”?) Do you perceive his fears, dreams, hopes, desires, activity, patterns, memories? That is typically known as “self.” That is also known as “I.” That is what many are concerned in “saving” for the “afterlife.”
Look at a wall. Hold your breath. Stop breathing for a few seconds. Notice how “your” thoughts will stop. Just notice. Keep focused on that wall.
There is an “observer” and there is the “object” observed (wall).
When the “observer” disappears as well as the “object” although the eyes are looking at a wall, that IS. We could name that infinitesimal experience as “Me without baggage” or “naked me.” “Bagagge” is all the stuff that we perceive when we observe the content of the mind.
Some will describe the experience above as “when the observer and the object merge in each other”, or “when the observer and object are one”. Same experience different words.
That “IS” will be called with many names: “real self”, “swaroop”, “atma”, “atman”, “God”, “Brahman”, that state of “mouna” (according to Ramana Mahrshi- above) which cannot be explained in words, is where “silence” resides.
However a glimpse is not the “state of being” of a self-realized individual. An attempt to float in the Ocean, is not swimming. However, the EXPERIENCE will allow us to “observe” that which we call personality, self, etc. which Krishnamurti points out, and OBSERVE the difference “without using the mind.” Just look.
“Meditation” has been used to experience that which IS. However, a meditation related only with the mind by trying to stop thoughts, still the mind, etc. will not allow us to experience what is beyond the mind (no-mind). Thus, Contemplation.
Looking at a wall in a relaxed way, without any aim whatsoever is contemplation. We could feel our breathing, our heart, we can open our inner senses for what IS to arrive. That could be experienced by some as bouts of bliss. The “inner smile.” We could observe that “thoughts” become an interference, that is why the artifice of stoping to breathe was used. How can we contemplate if thoughts are bothersome then? The power of your feelings shall be used. Feel from you heart and your gut as we breathe in and out. That will overcome our “habit” of “thinking” or “daydreaming.”
When words arrive in our heads, the mind has entered. The show is over.
If you never learned a language to speak, how would you relate with that which we typically call “self”? How the “little guy/gal” in your head could communicate with you?
Experience that. There is more to “self” than what is described here, but this is just a “finger pointing to the moon.” It is not the moon.
Nosce te Ipsum. There is no other “knowledge” more fascinating in Life.
The word AWARENESS has become accepted by the collective consciousness (masses) as a viable method for self-help, but the application of that “concept” to “improve” lives (help others) has become difficult.
Because intellectual understanding does not bring change in BEING. That is the main reason as to why all “methods” are only palliative in nature, like putting a bandage on a deep wound.
“So… there is no need for methods?”
Please don’t allow the conditioned mind to believe that it is either “no-method” or a particular method the “only truth.” It is neither following Krishnamurti (no-method) or Osho’s ideas (method) what brings “enlightenment.”
The word “method” and the word “enlightenment” are the obstacles to move forward. A “method” is mass produced. Enlightenment is individual. If you search for enlightenment, you will never find it. It is not found. It happens as a fruit ripens through a process of living life experiences.
The word AWARENESS is only a broad pointer. That is why, I’d like to narrow it down and use the pointer AWARENESS of CONDITIONING.
If we are not aware of our conditioning in our everyday activities and ideas, then we are sleeping and for that reason, “methods” become important. “Methods” to get out of our drowsiness then we may become aware, awaken… Aware of what?
Of our conditionings. No methods needed anymore.
Now, you see how the question: What is the truth: To follow a method or not to follow one?… Is truly a conditioned question. It all depends on your BEING awake or BEING asleep , not on a method or lack of it.
As a kid, did you ever want a skateboard or an expensive shirt that your friends had, but your parents could not afford?
Do you see the conditioning? Probably not as a kid. Then, it became a trauma.
What about if you are well into your 20s without a girlfriend or a boyfriend. Do you see the pressure that society inflicts on you? The labels that you may get? That is conditioning. That collective pressure changes individuals against their will.
What about if you are married and do not have kids, or only have one. Don’t you feel the pressure to have kids or to have the “couple” and to buy a pet for them? That is conditioning. Observe how it manipulates.
What about your profession? Are you happy but not paid well? That will be the source of social pressure for you or your family. Conditioning.
Do you believe in God even though you have not seen him or experienced him? That is a well known conditioning. Why do you believe in what you believe? What happens if you drop it? Can you do that without feeling guilty? The feeling of guilt is behind conditioning.
Do you see money and power as the only worthwhile things to pursue in Life? That is heavy conditioning. Buying defines you. You are what you own. Nothing else.
Are you over 40? Not “good looking”? Do you have a handicap? under tall? Are you homosexual? Middle class? Do you feel that you fit in society? That is conditioning.
No one could ever fit the ideal of the “perfect citizen/person” that society unconsciously is putting in our minds.
Observe how those traits bother you. The buttons that it pushes. Observe your efforts to deny those things, to cover them up. Observe the traumas. Do you want a “solution”? Do you want to change “what is” into something else just to blend into the conditioned collective consciousness?
You see, the “solution” is not to change to the whims of the masses and the collective consciousness, but to merely be AWARE of the game, so you can play in it, and not be played by it.
Become aware of the conditioning and AWARE of how your actions, your DOING are not made through “free will” (you may think you have free will) but through conditioning.
That is the starting point of awakening.