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J. Krishnamurti – Brockwood Park 1979 – Discussion 4 with Buddhist Scholars – Truth

Giddu Narayan:
Mr Feroz Meta is a scientist and has written a book
about a couple of years ago ‘The Heart of Religion’,
which was very well received. He came here last year once
and he also knows Dr Rahula who was here
for last year’s discussion. K: Begin, sir. Walpola Rahula:
Why don’t you speak one word first? K: What am I to say?
I don’t know. We all join in? WR: Sir, I want to ask you
one thing today. You see, we all talk of truth,
absolute truth, ultimate truth; and seeing it and realizing it;
always we talk about it. And of course in Buddhism,
according to Buddha’s teachings, these are very important central
points, that is the essence really. And Buddha says there is only
one truth, there is no second. It is clearly mentioned. But this is never
defined in positive terms. That is, this truth is equated
also with Nirvana. It is equated. And sometimes
the word ‘truth’ is used in place of Nirvana,
ultimate truth, absolute truth. And then Nirvana is never defined;
except mostly in negative terms. If it is described
in positive terms, it is mostly metaphorically,
as a symbol, symbolic way. And there is a very beautiful
Mahayana Sutra; of course,
when I use the word ‘Mahayana’, you all understand, I think; there was the original
authentic teaching of the Buddha known as ‘Theravada’,
that is the tradition of the elders. Then about the 1st B.C.,
round about that period Mahayana, which is a later
development, began to grow – free interpretation
of the teaching of the Buddha. There is a very
beautiful Sutra written – of course, it is a late work
all students, followers accept, that is the teaching
of the Bodhisattva Vimalakirti. There is an assembly
in this house of the Bodhisattvas, disciples and
like this great assembly. There in that assembly the question
was put: ‘What is non-duality?’ That is, non-duality is another word
for the absolute truth, or Nirvana. It is in Sanskrit called advaya. K: Advaita, in Sanskrit, yes. WR: No, advaita is
different from advaya. Yes. Vedanta advaita is: you are the world,
there is no difference, In Buddhism, in Buddhist terminology
advaya means neither existence
nor non-existence. Buddha says, ‘The world is duality’,
that means – either is or is not, either exist or does not exist,
either right or wrong, that is dvaya,
according to Buddhist teaching. Buddha says the world is
depending on this, dvaya. But the Buddha teaches –without falling into this dvaita,
that is advaita. And the question was put,
‘What is advaya?’ And there are 32 definitions, why Bodhisattvas, disciples,
there’s a long list. Then Vimalakirti is the leading
figure in this story, they said, ‘Sir, it is not our opinion,
but we want to know your opinion’. And then Sutra says,
it is very interesting, Vimalakirti answered the question
with a thundering silence. K: Quite. WR: If you speak, it is not duality. And I was asked in Oxford
by a professor when I gave a series of lectures, ‘Can you formulate
this non-duality or truth?’ I say the moment you formulate,
that is not non-duality; that becomes duality
the moment you formulate it. So, just as they asked Vimalakirti,
I ask you today: what is truth,
what is absolute truth, what is ultimate truth and what is that non-duality
as you see it? Tell us. It is a challenge. K: They’re all looking at us.
WR: Yes, that is right. Rather, looking at you.
K: At us, sir. Do you think, sir, there is a difference
between reality and truth? And is truth measurable by words? And if we could distinguish between what is reality
and what is truth, then perhaps we could penetrate
more deeply into this question. What is reality? The very word ‘res’,
means ‘things’, thing. What is the thing? Could we say that everything
that thought has created is reality including the illusions, the gods,
the various mantras, rituals, the whole movement of thought, what it has brought about
in the world – the cathedrals, the temples,
the mosques, and their content? That is reality,
like the microphone, it’s made by thought,
it is there, actual. But nature is not
created by thought. It exists. But we human beings have
used nature to produce things like our houses, chairs,
and so on and so on. WR: You mean to say,
nature of things. Nature of things. K: Nature.
WR: Nature, yes. K: The beauty of the Earth,
the rivers, the waters, the seas, the trees, the heavens, the stars,
and the flowing winds, and all that. WR: And why not
the beauty of this thing? K: Oh, there is a beauty in this.
WR: That’s right. K: But we were saying, I mean, a beautiful cathedral,
a beautiful poem, a lovely picture
– are all the result of thought. So could we say then that anything
that thought has created, brought about, put together, is reality? Mary Zimbalist: Sir, when you
speak of the beauty of the object, are you including
their quality of beauty as reality or the object itself, the beauty may be
some other quality. K: The object itself
could be beautiful? or one can attribute beauty
to the thing which may not be
beautiful in itself. MZ: So it’s the idea
of the beauty of that object that you are including
in this category? K: Yes. Both. Yes. So could we do that, sir? That reality, including
the illusions it has created, as well as the material things
it has created through technological knowledge
and so on, so on – all that is reality. WR: Yes.
May I add a little to that? That is, reality,
– I should say, I am explaining to you the Buddhist
attitude about this problem – according to Buddhist thought,
Buddha’s teaching, there is relative truth or reality. K: Don’t let’s use
the truth and reality, just… WR: Yes, let us say reality,
reality is relative… K: Of course.
WR:…and absolute. What you say is fully accepted,
that is the reality. K: That is, everything
that thought has created is reality. WR: Reality. K: The dreams…
WR: Reality, even the dreams. K:…dreams, all the sensory
and sensuous responses. WR: Yes. K: All the technological world
of knowledge, all the things that thought
has put together as literature, poem, painting,
illusions, gods, symbols – all that is reality. Would you accept that, sir? Feroz Meta: Yes, but this word
‘reality’ has its denotation; its first meaning
as well as its connotation. K: Yes. FM: And through the centuries people have tended
to talk of reality more in terms of one of its
connotations of ultimate reality. K: I know,
but I would like to separate the two – truth and reality. Otherwise we mix our terms
all the time. FM: That is true. Scott Forbes:
Are you also, excuse me, are you also including
nature in reality? K: No.
SF: No. Right. K: No. That tree is
not created by thought. But out of that tree
man can produce chairs and so on. SF: Yes. Is there then
a third category of things which is neither truth nor reality? Or are you calling nature… K: Nature is not created by thought.
SF: No. K: The tiger, the elephant,
the deer. The gazelle that flies – that
obviously is not created by thought. WR: That means, you don’t take
the tree as a reality. K: I take it as a reality,
of course it’s a reality, but it’s not created by thought.
WR: That’s true. Then do you mean to say,
only things created by thought you include in reality.
K: Yes. WR: Of course that is
your own definition. K: No, I’m trying to be clear
that we understand, so as not to get involved
in these two terms – truth and reality.
WR: Yes, I can understand, leave the word truth
for another purpose and let us… K: Not another purpose, let us look at reality
– what is reality? The wall is reality.
WR: Yes. K: These lamps are reality. You sitting there, this person
sitting there, are realities. The illusions that one has
are an actual reality. MZ: But, sir, the people sitting
there are not created by thought. K: No. MZ: So could we more or less define another category
for living creatures, nature, trees, animals, people? K: A human being is
not created by thought. MZ: No. K: But what he creates.
MZ: Yes. So the reality category
of which you are speaking is man-made, in a sense.
K: Man-made. Like war is a reality. You’re a bit hesitant about this. FM: Could we regard all that is
apprehended through the senses and then interpreted
by the brain as reality. K: That’s right, sir. SF: At one time
we made a distinction, in talking, between reality which was anything
that was created by the mind, and actuality which is anything that could
be captured by the mind, anything which existed
in time and space. K: Yes. SF: And then there was truth. Now, reality was
part of actuality. In other words, the tree was
an actuality not a reality. K: Why do you want to separate… SF: Otherwise it becomes
very confusing because if we say, look,
you and I, as people, we are not created by thought,
so we’re not reality. K: You want to separate actuality,
reality and truth? Is that it? SF: Well, I just offer it
as a convenient definition of words that we used before. K: Would we say the actual
is what is happening now? FM: Yes, that’s a good
way of putting it. The point which arises there
is that – are we capable of apprehending the totality of what
is happening now? We apprehend only a portion of it. K: Yes, but that’s
a different point, we can go into that. But what is actually happening, what is happening is actual.
That’s all. Not whether we understand, comprehend the whole of it
or part of it and so on. What is happening is the actual.
FM: Yes. That is the fact.
K: That is a fact. FM: Yes. K: So, what do you
say to all this, sirs? WR: I am still hesitating,
I’m waiting to see more. K: So can a mind see the actual,
incompletely or completely – that’s not the point
for the moment. And whether the mind can apprehend,
or perceive, or observe, or see, that from reality
you cannot go to truth. Stephen Smith: That’s quite
a big jump, probably. K: Sir, could we
put it this way, too? As you pointed out, sir,
that all the sensory responses are the beginning of thought.
FM: Yes. K: And thought,
with all its complex movements, is what is happening
now when we’re talking. FM: Yes. K: And what is happening
is the actual, and the interpretation or the
understanding of what is happening depends on thought. All that, including illusions
and the whole business of it, is reality. FM: Yes, yes, that is so. K: Then, if we agree or
accept that for the moment, then the question arises: can the mind, which is the network of all
the senses, actualities and so on, can that apprehend, see, observe
what is truth? FM: Provided the mind can be
free of all its conditioning. K: I’ll come to that a little later.
But that’s the problem. To find out what absolute truth is,
thought must be understood, the whole movement
and the nature of thought must have been gone into,
observed. And has its relative place, and so the mind then
becomes absolutely still, and perhaps out of that,
in that stillness, truth is perceived, which is not
to be measured by words. FM: Yes, there I’d agree,
completely, fully. WR: Yes, I agree with that. K: Now, this are the two – isn’t it? A human being is caught
in the movement of thought. And this movement projects
what is truth. FM: This is the mistake
that man makes. K: Of course. He projects from this to that,
hoping to find what is truth. Or projects
what he thinks is truth. And the truth can be put
in different words – God. Brahman it is called in India, or Nirvana, or moksha
– you know, all that business. So our question is then, sir, can the mind cease to measure? FM: That is to say, the mind as it functions at present
in each one of us as an individual. K: As human beings.
FM: As human beings. K: Measurement is our whole
educational environmental, social conditioning.
FM: Yes. K: Would you agree?
WR: Yes. K: Then what is measurement?
FM: Limitation. K: No. What is measurement,
to measure? I measure a piece of cloth,
or measure the height of the house, measure the distance from here
to a certain place and so on. Measurement means comparison.
Right, sir? I’m going on talking, I don’t know
why you all don’t join in. SS: Well, there’s also psychological
measurement in all this. K: Yes, there is
physical measurement and psychological measurement. One measures oneself,
psychologically against somebody. FM: Yes. K: And so there is this constant
measurement of comparison, both externally and inwardly. Right? I’m giving a lecture
– what’s the idea? WR: Well, I put the question to you.
K: Yes, sir. WR: As they put the question
to Vimalakirti, I put the question to you. K: What is the question?
WR: What is non-duality? What is truth?
K: No. WR: You are explaining. K: As long as thought is measuring
there must be duality. WR: Absolutely,
that is a fact. That is so. K: Now, how has this conditioning
come about? You understand, sir? Otherwise we can’t move
away from this to that. How has this constant measurement,
comparison, imitation – you know, the whole
movement of measurement, why is man caught in it? WR: The whole measurement
is based on self – the use of measuring is done… K: Yes, but how has it come? Why have human beings,
wherever they live, why are they conditioned
through this measurement? I want, one wants to find out what
is the source of this measurement. You follow, sir?
FM: Yes, yes. SS: Part of it seems to be
the fruit of observation because you observe the duality
of life in terms of night and day, man, woman, the change of seasons
and this kind of thing which is a certain kind of contrast,
there’s a certain contrast apparent. K: You’re saying…
SS: So it may seem a natural step, to say that there’s therefore
a kind of contrast or comparison which is applicable
in man’s own life. K: There’s darkness, light,
thunder and silence. T.K. Prachur: It seems the thought
needs a static point to measure and itself is moving constantly, and in a state of continuous flux
or movement, it can’t measure, so it creates a static point
which is immovable, which is taken
as the centre of the self. From there only you can measure.
K: Yes, sir. I mean, the very word ‘better’,
‘greater’ in the English language, is measurement. FM: Measurement, yes,
certainly, measurement. K: So the language itself
is involved in measurement. Now, one has to find out
– shouldn’t one? – I’m just asking, what is
the source of this measurement, why has man employed this,
or as a means of living? You follow my question, sir?
FM: Yes. Yes. K: One sees night and day,
high mountain, low valleys, the tall man, short man,
woman, man, child, old age – physically there are all these
states of measurement. There is also
psychological measurement, that’s what I’m talking about
much more than the mere physical movement
of distance and so on. Why has man been held
in this measurement? SS: Probably he thinks it’s
the way forward, to some extent, because if you’re a farmer and
you plant to crop in a certain way, and you get
this kind of result, the next year you plant
in a different way, and you get that better result. K: Yes, so it is time.
SS: It’s time. K: Go on, sir, a bit more.
Time. SS: It includes
the ability to reflect, to have experience
to reflect on experience to produce something better
out of that experience in terms of probably
an established notion of what is, you know, what is the good,
what is the better thing to have or what is the right
situation of things. K: That is, of course, but I want
to go a little further than that. Which is, why has man used time
as a means of progress? I’m talking psychologically, not time which is necessary
to learn a language, time is necessary to develop
a certain technology and so on. TP: Perhaps the need of security
of thought for itself. K: No, time,
which is measurement. FM: Do you think
that our tendency is, that starting with the facts, the physical facts of difference,
in size, in quantity and so forth… K: That’s what I want to get at. FM: We apply that analogically
to the psychological process also. K: Yes. Or, without measurement
there would have been no technology. FM: That’s true. K: Sir, I don’t know if you… GN: As in science and mathematics,
as it progresses, measurement becomes
more and more refined, and each refinement
in measurement leads to a further step of progress,
computers. K: We’re not saying that,
we’re not denying that. GN: In one sense, measurement
and refinement of measurement do lead to a certain
kind of progress, in science and technology.
K: Of course, we said that. WR: But we’re not talking
of physical measurement so much as psychological
measurement. K: Yes. Why has man used psychological time as a means of self-growth,
self-aggrandisement, he calls it ‘getting better’, getting more noble,
achieving enlightenment? All that implies time. GN: Is it, as Meta says,
carried over from the day-to-day living
of measurement signs, to the psychological field? Is it carried over or does it exist
in the psychological field without reference to this? K: That’s what we’re discussing. Whether there is any
psychological evolution at all. SF: Could we say
that we began to apply measurement to the psychological
field one out of habit, because that’s what we have been
using for the physical field, but also could we have
made that transfer because it’s
very comfortable to think that… K: Of course, sir. SF:…I might be in a mess now
but later I’ll be fine. K: Let’s be clear on this. At the technological,
physical level, we need time. We need time to acquire a language,
time to build a house, time to go from here to there, or time as a developing technology,
science, we need time there. So let’s be clear on that.
So I’m asking something else. We’re asking something else,
which is, do we need time at all
psychologically? Shakuntala Narayan:
What is it that creates time? K: Thought, thought is time. SN: Doesn’t thought have
something to do with it? K: Which is what we’re saying:
time is movement, isn’t it? So thought is movement, thought is movement,
time is movement, from here to there; one is greedy, envious, I need time to be free of it. Physical distance and
psychological distance. One is questioning
whether that is not an illusion, not the physical distance, but the psychological distance. Is there, sir,
to put it very succinctly, is there psychologically, tomorrow? FM: Only in terms of anticipation. K: Ah, in terms,
because thought says, ‘I hope to’. FM: And in addition to thought, there is the fact of our physical
experience of day and night, and therefore the words
‘tomorrow’, ‘today’. K: We said that very clearly. There’s yesterday,
today and tomorrow; that’s a reality,
that’s a measurement also. But we are asking,
is there psychological time at all, or thought has invented time,
psychological time, in order to feel that it can achieve or live in some kind of security? WR: What is time? K: Time, sir, time is movement.
WR: Yes. Time is nothing but the unbroken
continuity of cause and effect, that is movement.
K: Movement, we said. Cause, effect, effect becomes
the cause, and so on, and so on. WR: That is time. We give a word called time
for that movement. K: Yes, which is movement. It’s now five minutes past twelve, it’s a movement
till it reaches one o’clock. WR: Yes, it is a movement.
K: It’s a movement. WR: Movement of cause and effect,
continuous. K: Yes, that’s one aspect of time. And also the aspect of time which is
from here, physical distance. I have to go to London,
and it takes time to get there. WR: Yes, that is
another conception of time. K: Another time. We are looking
at the various facets of time. WR: Yes, another time. MZ: Sir, would you say
that thought in itself implies time, because the action of the mind
consulting thought, going through the thought process takes, even if it’s a very quick,
short amount of time, it is still time. K: Surely, because thought is
response of memory, memory is time. MZ: Then one has to…
K: Yes, memory is time. Right, sir?
FM: Yes. K: So, please,
don’t go back and forth. Let’s stick to one thing, which is, there is physical time –
yesterday, today and tomorrow. Time as movement. FM: What we call chronological time.
K: Chronological time. Let’s call that
chronological time. Time also as from distance. Time also to put
for the cause, effect – acorn, tree. To climb a mountain – time. So we are saying,
time, physically, exists. FM: Yes.
K: Right, sir? Physically. The baby grows into man and so on. So time is necessary, time exists. That’s an actuality,
that is a reality. We are questioning whether psychologically
there is time at all. Or thought has invented time as a means
of either achieving security or it is lazy to completely
transform itself. FM: Immediately.
K: Immediately. So it says, ‘Give me time’. Give me time
to be strong psychologically. FM: Strong in mind.
K: Strong, psychologically strong. Psychologically give me time,
so that I get rid of my anger, my jealousy or whatever it is,
and I’ll be free of it. So he’s using time as a means of
achieving something psychologically. MZ: But then one must ask you about the use of the word
‘psychological’ in this instance because if a thought
process is involved, and we just said
time is implicit in thought, how can you be
without thought psychologically? K: We are coming to that. MZ: Or is the psychological realm
in this discussion, outside of thought,
part of thought, or could be either one? K: Isn’t the whole psyche
put together by thought? SS: There seems to be a question
here, whether it is or not. K: I’m asking, sir, go slow. Isn’t the whole psyche the ‘me’? SS: Is that the psyche?
K: Isn’t it, part of that, the ‘me’, what I think, what I want,
what I don’t want, what I wish, I wish, and so on,
the whole movement, self-centred movement of the ‘me’
is put together by thought. MZ: If that is so,
then how would it be possible for there not to be time involved
in any psychological movement? K: We’re going to go into that. I want first to be clear
that our questions are understood. GN: Would you make a distinction,
sir, between hope and aspiration, because many people say
to aspire is something noble, but hoping is… K: Aspiring is time. GN: Yes, there is time, but…
K: Hoping is also, yes. GN: But in aspiration there seems to
be the idea of something very right. K: I aspire to become god
– it’s so silly. GN: In the whole religious world
there is aspiration. Would you say that? WR: Of course, religious traditions,
there is aspiration, always. What we discuss is, I think, the point is whether you can see truth
without thinking or time, whether seeing truth is now,
this moment, or whether you postpone it
till you become better. K: Ah, no.
WR: That is the question. K: That is, the moment
you introduce the word ‘better’… WR: That is what I say.
K: Yes, of course. WR: That is,
the other question arises. Now the question is,
it is true, you see it now. K: No, we haven’t come to truth yet. I am very careful, sir, I don’t want
to enter the world of truth yet. One wants to be clear that one’s thinking
either is logical, sane, rational, or it comes to a conclusion
which is illusory. And so one wants to examine this whole nature of time,
psychologically. That’s all I’m talking about. If there is no tomorrow
psychologically, our whole action is different. But psychologically, we say,
tomorrow is important, tomorrow I will do this, tomorrow I hope to change,
psychologically. I’m questioning that, because all our aspirations, hope, everything is based on the future,
which is time. FM: Yes. GN: You would say then, any
aspiration, however noble it is, is in the field of reality.
K: In the field of thought, yes. FM: Yes, because
it is a formulation. K: Formulation, by thought.
FM: Exactly. So would I be right in saying
you are concerned with being free of the time factor
totally, in psychological terms. K: Yes, sir. Otherwise I am caught, our mind
is living always in a circle. FM: Yes, that is true. We are tied to the past,
to that which has become fossilised. K: Yes, so the past modifying
the present and going off. This past modifying itself
into the future is time. So when one says,
‘I will be better’, ‘I will understand’
or ‘I will try’, all these are involved in time. So I question that, whether it’s merely
an invention of thought for its own…
whatever reason we can go into, and so it is illusory, and so there is no tomorrow. FM: In psychological terms. K: Of course,
we said that very clearly. So if one is envious,
which is a sensory response, and therefore thought
has created this envy. Now we say, generally we say, give me time
to be free of that envy. FM: Yes, provided we perceive
that this is envy. K: Oh, yes, I’m envious, you’ve
a bigger house, better dressed, you’ve more money,
all the rest of it. Everybody perceived this envy,
this jealousy, this antagonism. So is it possible,
being envious, to be free of it instantly,
and not allow time to intervene? That is the whole point. FM: Isn’t the envy, the psychical reaction to what
is perceived through the senses? K: Yes, that’s right. FM: And are not
the sense functionings… K:…actual.
FM:…yes, they are – …determined by actual
physical conditions? K: Yes, obviously. FM: So psychical reaction
follows the sensuous activity. And that involves
the pleasure/pain drive within us. K: Obviously. One sees
you driving in a big lovely car. And I’m driving a small car
– so there is comparison. FM: Yes. The comparison arises surely, partially through
what others have put before us, that this is better than that.
K: Than that. FM: This is more pleasant
or this is less pleasant. K: That begins from childhood. FM: So we get
into the psychological habit. K: That begins in childhood.
FM: Yes. K: You are not as good
as your brother in examinations, and the whole education system is based on this comparative
evaluation of one’s capacities. Now we’re going, you see,
we’re moving away from… WR: Yes, the main thing. SF: Yes, sir,
didn’t we just come to the fact that anything that is involved
in measurement and thought cannot get rid of
measurement and thought. K: First, it must realize
the actuality of it. Not say, ‘Yes, I’ve understood it,
intellectually’. SF: Does it realize that
with thought? K: No. SF: So then what is the… K: Wait, we’re coming to that,
slowly, wait. Do we see that we’ve used
time psychologically and so that psychological
usage of time is an illusion. That’s first I want to see. We must be clear on that point. I will reach heaven. I will become enlightened. I will eventually,
through various series of lives, or one life, achieve Nirvana, Moksha,
all this. All that is psychological time. We are questioning
whether that thing is an illusion. If it is an illusion,
it is part of thought. SF: Right.
Now we can’t, we don’t use thought
in order to see all this. K: No. Wait. Do we understand even verbally? SF: Even with thought?
K: With thought. Communication now is,
between us, through words. Those words have been
accumulated and so on, and we both of us speak, apparently for the moment
we speak, both of us, in English, we understand the meaning. Now, do we see – see, not through argument, through explanation,
through rationalization, that thought has created
this psychological time as a means of achieving something. MZ: So we can see that
still within the thought process, still within the realm of thought.
K: Now, wait. MZ: Is that the seeing
you’re talking about? K: No, I’m coming to that.
I’m coming to that slowly, I want to lead up to it,
otherwise it won’t be clear. Am I all right, we are following
each other, sir, or not? WR: I am following. K: Is this accurate, sir? WR: That I can’t say still. Still I can’t tell you. Because I don’t know
where we are going. K: I don’t know where I’m going
either, but this is a fact. WR: Yes, yes. That’s right.
That is, I am watching. GN: I think,
there’s also some difficulty in apprehending what you’re saying because there is maturity and
growth in nature, through time. K: We’ve been
through that, Narayan. Don’t go back to it.
GN: I’m not going back to it, but unconsciously
you’re identified with it. Is there maturity and growth
in human beings, through time? There is some kind of maturity
through time. K: We said that. GN: Yes, so one gets stuck to it. K: One holds on, is attached to this idea
of time as self-improvement, not only physically
but psychologically. GN: I don’t even say
‘self-improvement’ – maturity. K: No. GN: A kind of natural growth,
natural – comparing yourself with nature,
as you see all over. K: Yes, but therefore, wait,
what do you mean by maturity? We may have different meanings
to that word, to mature. A tree is mature
at a certain age, a human being physically
is mature at a certain age. And mature cheese! GN: Yes, the whole,
the fruit from the bud. K: Yes, the fruit is matured
to be picked. And so on. But is there
psychological maturity at all? That’s my whole point. TP: Perhaps there
is a factor of life, intellectual maturity
which is mental level and… K: Yes, sir, I agreed,
you’re going… MZ: Within the illusory world, psychologically,
there is a certain maturity, but it’s still founded
on thought and time. K: Yes, but I’m just asking, Maria, do we understand clearly,
even verbally and so intellectually, that we have used time
as a psychological catalyst to bring about change?
Right? WR: That is… K: And I’m questioning
that catalyst. FM: May I enquire, sir: what precisely do you mean
when you say, ‘Do we see that
psychological time is an illusion?’ – what do you mean
by the word ‘see’? K: See, I mean by that word ‘see’, observe without
the interference of thought. FM: That means,
to be completely conscious, to be completely aware of psychological time
being an illusion as a fact. K: Yes,
to see this is like I see a snake, and I don’t mistake it for a rope. FM: No. So you would agree
that that involves, – would you agree? – that that involves
a complete transformation of your mode of awareness,
your consciousness? When you’re really conscious
of something, you don’t have to… K: Now, wait a minute. Again, sir, the word
‘consciousness’ and ‘conscious’… FM: Those are difficult words.
K: Those are difficult words. I see this, can I see this
and not call it a microphone? FM: Yes.
K: Not call it, but see the shape, just to observe
without any reflection. FM: Quite, without naming it.
K: Naming it, all the rest of it. FM: Analysing.
K: Analysing it. FM: In other words,
to see is a whole seeing… K: Seeing. FM:…almost in the sense
of your being what you see. K: No, no. That becomes then a duality,
you become that. No. FM: You don’t become that in the sense that
you are merged into it. But you are awake
in terms of a unitary whole. K: Just a minute, sir. These again
are rather difficult words. WR: I don’t think
that is what he means. No. K: Sir, to observe implies – first, let’s look at it
as it is generally understood – to observe a tree, I name it.
FM: Yes. K: I like it or don’t like it.
And so on, so on. But we mean
by observation, seeing; is it to listen first, and not make an abstraction of it
into an idea and then the idea sees.
FM: Quite. I wonder if you see?
WR: Yes, yes. K: Say, for instance, I said a little earlier that psychologically
there is no time, psychological time is the invention
of thought, and may be an illusion. Now, to listen to that
without interpreting it, what do you mean
by rationalizing it, or saying, ‘I don’t understand’,
‘I do understand’, just to listen to that statement, not make an idea of it, but just to listen. As one listens that way,
in the same way observe, see. What do you say, sir? WR: I want to ask you
what are you trying to tell us? K: I’m trying to say, sir, that truth cannot possibly
be perceived, seen, through time. WR: Right. K: Wait a minute, you can’t agree. WR: Not agree, I see it. That is why I was waiting to ask
you what are you trying to say. K: I’m trying to say that – I’m not trying, I’m saying. WR: Yes, of course.
What you want to say. K: Sorry. I’m saying that man through
comparison with the outer world, has created
a psychological time as a means of achieving
a desired rewarding end. WR: I agree. K: No, do you see that as a fact – fact in the sense it’s so? SF: Is the facility of the mind
that sees that, the same facility that sees truth? K: Look, Scott, first you listen,
don’t you, to that statement? SF: Yes. K: How do you listen
to that statement? SF: Well, at first I just listen.
K: You listen. Do you make an idea of it?
SF: Often, later, yes. K: No. It’s a simultaneous
process going on. You listen
and you get an idea of it, and the idea is not
the actual observation. That’s all I’m saying. SF: But if there is that… K: No, this is, sir,
from Greeks and the Hindus, all our whole structure
is based on ideas. And we are saying, idea is not actual happening,
which is the actual listening. FM: The idea is just a picture
of the actual listening. K: Yes.
Which is an evasion, an avoidance of actual observation. FM: Of the immediate fact.
K: Yes, looking or listening. SS: Then there may be something
which we are evading constantly. WR: Yes. SS: I would like to suggest that,
as we’ve been talking about thought and the various things
which it has devised in order to create
some kind of freedom or liberation
or salvation or redemption, that there may be some driving
factor which is part of thought or there may be a driving factor which accounts for this,
which may be sorrow. K: Yes, sir, escape from pain
through reward. SS: It seems to apply to the most sophisticated and
the more primitive civilizations, all of them.
K: Obviously. Because all our thinking is based on these two principles
– reward and punishment. Our reward is enlightenment,
God, Nirvana or whatever
you like to call it, away from anxiety, guilt, all the pain of existence,
you know, all the misery of it all. FM: Is it not possible to be free from the idea
of reward or punishment? K: That’s what I’m saying. As long as our minds are thinking
in terms of reward and punishment, that is time. FM: How is it that our minds
think that way? K: Because we’re educated that way.
FM: Yes, true. K: We are conditioned
from childhood, from the time of the Greeks
in the West, because there measurement
was important, otherwise you couldn’t have got
all this technological knowledge. FM: And would you say
that this is due to the fact that we are tied to the idea
of a separate ‘me’, a separate ‘I’? Supposing one sees,
hears, touches, etc., all in terms of a wholeness,
an awareness of wholeness. K: You can’t be aware
of the wholeness, unless you have understood – not you, sir – unless one has understood
the movement of thought. FM: The movement of thought. K: Because thought
is in itself limited. FM: Yes, of course, which means the intrusion
of the self-consciousness as a separate something. K: Yes.
FM: Otherwise it won’t be there. K: Sir, how did this self-separative
consciousness come into being? FM: Conditioning
in the first instance. K: It’s so obvious. FM: I, you, me.
K: Of course, measurement. FM: Measurement, exactly. And that analogically,
inevitably gets transferred to the realm of the psyche, the realm of the mind…
K: Of course. FM:…or whatever it is. K: So we come to this point, you make a statement that psychological time
has been used by man as a means of achieving his reward. It’s so obvious. And that reward is away
from the pain which he’s had. So we are saying, this search for reward
or the achievement of the reward is a movement of time. And is there such a thing at all? We have invented it,
it may be illusion. And from this illusion I can’t go
to reality – I mean to truth. So the mind must be totally,
completely free of this movement of measurement. Is that possible? FM: As a short answer,
I would simply say yes. K: Yes. Either you say yes
as a logical conclusion, or a speculative assertion, or a desired concept, or it is so. FM: Yes, an ‘of-courseness’
is there. If there is a sense
of ‘of-courseness’ – ‘of course, it is so’ – then there is…
K: Then I assume it is so, but I go on the rest of my life
moving in the other direction. FM: If one really sees…
K: Ah, that’s what we are saying. FM:…then one doesn’t go
in the other direction. K: So that’s what we’re saying,
do we see it, or is it,
we think we see it? FM: Quite. MZ: Can we
go back for a moment? You said you observe, you hear
the statement, you observe it. Actually what does
the mind do in that observation? K: Please,
if I can put it this way: please don’t accept
what one is saying but let’s find out. Observation in the sense
implies a seeing without naming, without measuring, without a motive, without an end. Obviously.
That is actually seeing. The word ‘idea’ from the Greek,
the word itself means to observe. MZ: But, sir, we would probably
all agree with that. And what is acting at that moment? It is a kind of logic,
I think, in most people. K: No. MZ: It seems very evident
what you’ve said. K: Observation implies silence
and not forming any conclusion, just to observe silently, without any psychological
or sensory response, except either visual or inward, insight without
the responses of memory. WR: Without any value judgement.
K: Yes. FM: Would you say, sir, that implies
without any reaction from the brain or the senses or…
K: Yes, sir, that. In a way, that’s dangerous thing
to bring in the brain. Because then we have to go
into the whole question of – you know, I don’t want to go into the question of ‘brain’
for the moment. It implies that, that means, thought is absolutely quiet
in observation. FM: Scientists, for example, who have really new
remarkable inspirations, or, again, great artists,
when they create wonderful things, this happens
when everything is quiet inside, which allows this new to emerge, the new, the truly new,
the pulse of creation. K: Yes, sir,
but that insight is partial. The scientist’s insight
or perception is partial. FM: Partial, yes. That is to say,
the formulation of that insight. K: Ah, his insight is
not only formulation, but the very fact of his insight, because insight implies a whole
transformation of his daily life, it isn’t just, I’m a scientist
and I have an insight into mathematics,
into matter, into the atom. Insight implies the way
the man lives as a whole. WR: That is perfectly so. FM: And any insight is
a particular manifestation rooted in the background
of the whole. K: Ah, no,
we go off into something. I won’t accept, sorry,
not ‘I wouldn’t accept’, it’s rather confusing, that. Sir, let us talk a little bit
about insight, or seeing. Insight implies an observation in which there is
no remembrance of things past, therefore the mind is alert, free from all the elements
and so on, just to observe. Only then you have an insight. But that insight
of which we are talking about, implies his whole life,
not as a scientist, as an artist. They have partial insight. WR: That is only a small fragment. K: Fragment of insight,
but that’s not what we’re talking. So it comes to this. WR: And what we talk of
is whole existence. K: Of course, man’s existence.
WR: Existence, yes. FM: So in that state of observation
which you’re talking of, there is no reaction whatsoever.
K: Of course, obviously. It isn’t cause/effect reaction.
FM: Quite. It’s free of causality.
K: Of course, obviously, otherwise we are back in the old
cause being a motive and so on. WR: And that seeing is beyond time. It is beyond time, that seeing is not limited
or caught in time. K: And that insight is
not involved in time. WR: That’s right. And naturally,
it is neither cause or effect. K: Yes. But, wait a minute. Have you – not you, sir –
have we got this insight into – wait, just a minute,
let me finish – into this psychological
invention of time by thought, as achieving some result? Have got insight, do you see it, or it is just at a verbal,
ideological level? WR: Or whether it is a fact.
K: No. WR: That psychological time
necessary for seeing. K: No, sir.
We went into this question. Man has invented time,
psychologically, to achieve a desired end,
purpose, reward. Does one see this as an idea,
or it is so? It’s so obvious it is so. Then how is man
– this is the point – how is man, a human being, to totally move away from that, totally transform
this whole concept of time? I say it’s only possible when you have an insight
into this whole thing, which doesn’t involve effort, which doesn’t involve concentration
– all that. This is real meditation. FM: In fact, it just happens. K: It’s real meditation.
WR: Indeed. SF: Sir, there is a dilemma which I
think many people find themselves in when they listen to that, which is that
in order to have this insight… K: Ah, you can’t have it. SF: Well, in order
for this insight to occur, there must be
an insight into thought. And it seems like it’s…
K: No. SF:…somewhat of a closed circle.
K: No. We went into this, sir. Thought, as we said,
is response of memory, memory is knowledge,
experience, and so from the past,
thought is moving. SF: Yes. K: But always from the past,
it is not free from the past, ever. SF: And we said that there must be a seeing, an observing… K: Seeing, seeing that. SF: Right. Now, we can’t see that
with thought, we must see… K: Wait, no, don’t say that. I said just now
– I’ve forgotten, sorry. SF: We were saying that there must be a seeing,
an observing, which is an insight… K:…into thought.
SF:…into thought. K: Wait, just hold it. Now, thought is
the response of memory. Memory, stored up in the brain,
through experience, and that has become knowledge.
SF: Yes. K: So knowledge is always the past. And from that, thought arises. This is irrefutable,
I mean, this is so. SF: Yes. K: Now, is this an idea or an actuality
which you yourself have perceived: that you yourself see that ascent of man
through knowledge is not so? Man can only ascend
perhaps technologically, but psychologically, if he continues with
the accumulation of knowledge, he’s caught in the trap. Do you see that? Or do you make it into an idea and say, ‘What do you mean by it?’,
and so on. SF: But, sir, just to see that,
I must be free. K: No, observe, you first listened.
SF: Yes. K: Listening without analysis,
without interpretation, without like or dislike,
just listen. And if you so listen,
you have absorbed it, absorbed the fact that thought is
the response of memory. Then you can proceed. Then can thought ever
free itself from its mother, from its roots,
from its source? Obviously not. SS: But thought can be
aware of its own activity. K: Of course,
we went through all that. MZ: Sir, would you say that if insight comes into being
at that moment, that then that insight doesn’t fall
back into the thought mechanism. K: Oh no, of course not. Say, for instance,
you have an insight and you act. Now let’s be clear. Insight means action, instantly,
not have an insight and later act. That very insight implies action. And you act. And that action is always right, right being accurate, precise, without any regret,
without any effort, without any reward or punishment
– it is so. SS: That action is not necessarily
doing anything, though. It may be non-action
in terms of doing things externally. K: You may have to,
both externally and inwardly. If I have an insight
into attachment, attachment to ideas,
attachment to conclusions, attachment to persons, attachment to my – you follow? –
knowledge, experience. If I have an insight into that,
the whole thing is abandoned. WR: And may I put it, sir,
in another way – I don’t know whether you agree –
to see this illusion. K: Yes. But one must be sure
that it is an illusion. WR: Whether you call it illusion
or whatever name you give to it, to see… K: ‘What is’.
WR: ‘What is’. K: That’s all.
WR: Yes, see ‘what is’. Don’t give a term.
K: No, to see ‘what is’. WR: To see ‘what is’
is to see the truth. K: No, no, you see. You’re bringing in truth
– I’m not yet ready for that. WR: I want to get it,
before one o’clock! I don’t want to postpone it, but your main thesis is,
don’t put in time. K: Yes, I’ve said,
just now, at one o’clock. WR: No, no, it’s not yet one, yes. To see ‘what is’ as it is,
is to see the truth. That’s what I would like to put,
to cut it short. K: Sir… WR: And truth is not away from… K: I don’t know what it is. WR: That is what I tell you, to see. K: I don’t know
what it means to see. You have told me what it means
to see, but I may not see. I may think I see. WR: Yes, then you are not seeing. K: I must be very clear
that I am not thinking I’m seeing. WR: No. K: Sir, my whole life is that
– I think I see. WR: It is different from seeing. K: You say so, but ordinary
persons say, I see, yes. Which is, I think I see
what you’re saying. But I may not see actually
‘what is’. I think I see ‘what is’. SF: Krishnaji, could I,
this might be a simple question, but you say
that the ordinary person says, ‘I see, I see what you’re saying’,
but in fact he doesn’t. K: Yes. SF: It’s just mentally that he see
something, or intellectually. Could we say, what is going to bring about
for the ordinary person this correct seeing,
this seeing without thought? K: I explained, sir,
I explained it. First I must listen. SF: Yes. K: Ah, do we listen
or we’ve all kinds of conclusions, so filled, full of our minds,
that it isn’t capable of listening. You see me, you say, ‘He’s an Indian, what the heck,
get rid of him, he knows nothing’. Or you say, ‘Well, he’s
a considerate person’, this or that. You don’t actually listen. SF: Well, then the question is,
I would just change the terminology, what could bring about
that correct listening? K: It has been said
through suffering. It is nonsense. It has been said, make effort. Which is nonsense. You listen when somebody says,
‘I love you’. Don’t you? So can you – the same thing – listen to what you think
is unpleasant? So, sir, now come back
to this question of truth. Do we have a discussion
this afternoon? MZ: I believe it was said,
at 3:30 we’d meet. K: 3.30. Can we then pursue truth? No. I don’t want
to wait for truth. K: You want it all
in five minutes, sir? WR: Not even five minutes. K: One minute?
WR: One minute. If you can’t do it in one minute,
you can’t do it in five hours. K: I quite agree. All right, sir, in one second. Truth is not perceivable
through time. Truth doesn’t exist
when the self is there. Truth doesn’t come into existence if thought in any direction
is moving. Thought, truth, is something that
cannot be measured – measured. WR: Truth.
K: I said truth. And without love,
without compassion, with its own intelligence,
truth cannot be. WR: Yes. Now, again,
you have given it in negative terms, in the real tradition
of the Buddha. Yes. K: You see, you know,
what you have done, sir, look. You have translated
into terms of tradition, therefore
– forgive me for pointing out, I’m not being impudent – you’ve moved away
from the actual listening of this. WR: I listened,
I listened very well. K: Then you’ve captured
the perfume of it. WR: Yes, and I captured
the perfume of what you said. And that is why I wanted
to have it in one minute. K: Sir, sir… What then is the relationship
of truth to reality? Be careful, sir, be careful. I mean, are these two
everlastingly divided? WR: No.
K: No, no. WR: No, I don’t hesitate,
I am not hesitating like that. They are not divided. K: How do you know?
WR: I know it. K: No, sir. Huh? They are not divided? Now what do you mean by that, sir? WR: That is what I said, to see.
K: No, just a minute, sir. Truth and reality,
they are not divided. That means, thought and truth,
are always together. No? If they are not divided, if something is not divorced,
separated, they are together,
a unitary movement. Thought…
WR: Not thought. K: Wait, reality,
that’s why I went into it, sir. Reality is everything
that thought has put together. We are all agreed that is so. We may use the word, terminology, the word ‘reality’ as something else
– I don’t care, but for the present we are saying reality is all the things
that thought has put together including illusion, and truth is nothing whatsoever
to do with this, it can’t. And therefore the two
cannot be together. WR: To see that illusion,
or whatever it may be, to see ‘what is’
is to see the truth. ‘What is’ is the truth.
‘What is’ is the truth. There is no truth apart from that. ‘What is’ is the truth.
K: No, sir. WR: That is, ‘what is’ is the truth.
K: Sir… WR: What is not is untrue. K: No, we said reality is
the movement of thought. Right, sir? And truth is timeless. Truth is timeless, it’s not
your truth, my truth, his truth, it is something beyond time. Thought is of time, the two cannot run together,
that’s what I’m… WR: What I said is,
there are no two. K: Sir… WR: That is again duality,
again you are dividing. K: No, I’m not. I’m pointing out, sir – I may be mistaken,
but I’m just pointing out – that thought has
created such illusion, and so many deceptions
it has brought about, and it may deceive itself by saying,
‘Yes, I’ve seen the truth’. Therefore I must be very clear, there must be clarity that
there is no deception whatsoever. And I’m saying
that deception exists, will inevitably exist, if I don’t
understand the nature of reality. We can continue this, sir,
after lunch. WR: I would like to take
this afternoon another question. Because there will be
no end to this question. K: Yes, sir, what is the question? WR: The other question
we wanted to talk about whether there is pre-existence,
continuity, what people call
generally rebirth. K: Rebirth?
WR: Yes. K: Yes. Shall we do that
after lunch, sir? WR: I think so.
K: Right. WR: I think here
we have come to truth. I don’t know whether you… K: I haven’t come to truth,
I can’t go to truth. WR: No, you see the truth.
K: I don’t see the truth. There’s a tremendous difference: I can’t go to truth,
I can’t see truth. Truth can only exist, can be,
or is only when the self is not. WR: That’s right. K: Let’s go and eat, shall we?

Jean Kelley



  1. Jonas Costa Posted on March 10, 2017 at 3:27 am

    what's the name of those joined in the conversation, I know Krishnaji, Phiroz Mehta, Mary Zimbalist, what about the others?

  2. Golden Phoenix Sweden Posted on March 15, 2017 at 7:47 pm

    In this talk I feel Krishnamurti is confusing things. On one hand he claims that reality is what is created by thought. When asked wether nature is reality he gives two distinct answers.

  3. rajendra bapat Posted on March 20, 2017 at 3:38 pm

    I suppose, JK only clarified that natural things like all animals, rivers, seas etc. are not part of Reality because the subject was different & JK wanted to stick to the subject. What a marvellous unfolding of truth. Only one thing, people missing, is that when he makes vibrant statements, people didn't listen & thinking at the same time of listening & that is every time, they missed the Truth perception. He always remind listeners that they should think together along with him but people didn't. Very pathetic to see that.

  4. Sukant Joshi Posted on March 31, 2017 at 4:11 pm

    all bunch of fools sitting in front of JK want to put there point which they read from somebody else. Only JK is talking from his own findings.

  5. Nick Rolser Posted on April 13, 2017 at 11:19 pm

    That Buddhist guy keeps saying "I see the truth" and then agrees with Krishnamurti when he says "Truth can only be seen when the self is not". I wonder if he ever got the point.

  6. Freeman Posted on April 18, 2017 at 5:06 am

    such an unnnecesary conversatio, waste of time for K, for me and for those dogmatic Buddhists

  7. ammadumma Posted on April 28, 2017 at 4:43 am

    It is openly clear that the Buddhist guy is seeing only through his conditioning. Wanted reassurance from JK of his Buddhist condition. He completely failed to see what was said. The discussion represents humanity. It is an education for each of us to see how futile this type of questioning. There is a great deal of learning. Buddhist could not answer the question that is truth and reality same or different – One needs to understand that self, a bundle of images etc etc etc cannot capture the unlimited – I am not an expert but learning all the time

  8. JoshTheBoss Posted on June 29, 2017 at 1:11 am

    They all seem to be bloody confused!

  9. Hk Lam Posted on January 4, 2018 at 4:23 am

    導師你已清楚表達 多謝教導

  10. Navenanthen Gepardieu Posted on January 27, 2018 at 5:16 am

    Seeing through silence.

  11. Noor-Hani Omar-Osman Posted on February 25, 2018 at 9:30 am

    Buddhist guy is extremely dogmatic

  12. Keith Forest Posted on March 21, 2018 at 7:04 pm

    One cause, all else is effect. Psychologically there is only now. What is truth? Truth is.

  13. Doopliss77 Posted on April 22, 2019 at 11:48 pm

    Truth is timeless.
    Thought is of time.
    So if Truth is to exist, you must listen and see without thought. Marvelous!

  14. Crystal B. Ashley Posted on May 30, 2019 at 8:28 pm

    Wow, this should be taught in grammar school. Just imagine how less stressed ppl would be.

  15. Yacov Mitchenko Posted on June 16, 2019 at 6:01 am

    I disagree with Krishnamurti to some extent. It's possible for there to be a refinement of consciousness over time. For example, a child may show overtly violent tendencies – such as shooting blackbirds, frogs, bullying other children, stuffing his cat in a schoolbag and then throwing it up against the ceiling. Then the child grows up and 30 years later looks back in utter disgust, refraining from at least the gross forms of violence. True, violence in its subtle forms may continue, but that's not the point. Some refinement has occurred nonetheless; the adult has mellowed a great deal and there's far less selfishness than there was during childhood. Does it amount to anything like Nirvana or realization? No. But it's certainly progress of a kind… Of course, one can claim that no "I" is becoming or "getting better" or "becoming more virtuous" because the "I" is a fiction. Granted. But there's no denying that the given consciousness has shed some forms of violence, which is progress.

  16. Mohcin Bajja Posted on July 8, 2019 at 5:56 am

    What is psychological time? If there is no psychological time, why JK says: "we'll continue after lunch"?

  17. Salujathustra Posted on August 9, 2019 at 8:30 pm

    The moment one says Nirvana, there is a duality. The description of it, that it is bliss, peace, cosmic consciousness. So you create something, a duality and now toward which you aspire. So Nirvana, through description become a knowledge, and thought of it strengthen it and think of it, and aspire towards it, asking how.

  18. Salujathustra Posted on August 10, 2019 at 2:26 pm

    Beauty manifests itself into you and all of us, not you manifest beauty, defines it, and then pursue through various means of objectification. Manifested beauty becomes the object of desire which thought wants to achieve through invent ways.

  19. Perry Posted on August 11, 2019 at 9:42 pm

    Any one who has a structured belief or any belief of truth cannot see …..There fore blocked from truth
    You might find comfort,,but never truth, krishnamurti is so far beyond these people and there concepts….That they will never see the truth,unless they let go….

  20. Rupar Kyi Tin Posted on August 25, 2019 at 3:13 am

    What is the meaning of Mind measures?

  21. Karam Saleh Posted on August 29, 2019 at 3:28 pm

    i kno not to put JK as authority either but he strikes me as the ''end boss'' of spiritual leaders

  22. Love Life Live Life Posted on October 1, 2019 at 9:02 pm

    I love when JK says "Ahahhhhahhh mmm''.

  23. Love Life Live Life Posted on October 1, 2019 at 9:06 pm

    Essence of this whole conversation is natural functioning of the senses without translating by the thought which is liberation.