It’s very odd how each one craves power, the power of money, position, capacity, knowledge. In gaining power there is conflict, confusion and sorrow. The hermit and the politician, the housewife and the scientist are seeking it. They will kill and destroy each other to get it. The ascetics through self-denial, control, suppression gain power; the politician by his word, capacity, cleverness derives that power; the wife dominating the husband and the husband dominating the wife feel this power; the priest who has assumed, who has taken upon himself the responsibility of his god, knows this power. Everyone seeks this power or wants to be associated with divine or worldly power. Power breeds authority and with it comes conflict, confusion and sorrow. Authority corrupts him that has it and those that are near or seeking it. The power of the priest and the housewife, of the leader and the efficient organizer, of the saint and the local politician is evil; the more power the greater the evil. It is a disease that every man catches and cherishes and worships. But with it comes endless conflict, confusion and sorrow. But no one will deny it, put it aside.
With it goes ambition and success and a ruthlessness that has been made respectable and so acceptable. Every society, temple and church gives it its blessing and so love is perverted and destroyed. And envy is worshiped and competition is moral. But with it all comes fear, war and sorrow, yet no man will put these aside. To deny power, in every form, is the beginning of virtue; virtue is clarity; it wipes away conflict and sorrow. This corrupting energy with its cunning endless activities, always brings its inevitable mischief and misery; there is no end to it ; however much it is reformed and fenced in, by law or moral convention, it will find its way out, darkly and unbidden. For it is there, hidden in the secret corners of one’s thoughts and desires. It is these that must be examined and understood if there is to be no conflict, confusion and sorrow. Each one has to do this, not through another, not through any system of reward or punishment. Each one has to be aware of the fabric of his own make-up. To see what is, is the ending of that which is.
With the complete ending of this power, with its confusion, conflict and sorrow, each one faces what he is, a bundle of memories and deepening loneliness. The desires for power and success are an escape from this loneliness and the ashes which are memories. To go beyond, one has to see them, face them, not avoid them in any way, by condemning or through fear of what is. Fear arises only in the very act of running away from the fact, the what is. One must completely and utterly, voluntarily and easily put aside power and success and then in facing, seeing, being passively aware, without choice, the ashes and loneliness have a wholly different significance. To live with something is to love it, not to be attached. To live with the ashes of loneliness there must be great energy and this energy comes when there is no longer fear.
When you have gone through this loneliness, as you would go through a physical door, then you will realize that you and the loneliness are one, you are not the observer watching that feeling which is beyond the word. You are that. And you cannot get away from it as you did before in many subtle ways. You are that loneliness; there is no way to avoid it and nothing can cover it or fill it. Then only are you living with it; it is a part of you, it is the whole of you. Neither despair nor hope can banish it nor any cynicism nor any intellectual cunning. You are that loneliness, the ashes that had once been fire. This is complete loneliness, irremediable, beyond all action. The brain can no longer devise ways and means of escape; it is the creator of this loneliness, through its incessant activities of self-isolation, of defense and aggression. When it is aware of this, negatively, without any choice, then it is willing to die; to be utterly still.
Out of this loneliness, out of these ashes, a new movement is born. It is the movement of the alone. It is that state when all influences, all compulsion, every form of search and achievement have naturally and completely stopped. It is death of the known. Then only is there the never-ending journey of the unknowable. Then is there power whose purity is creation. . . .
So the past is not to be wiped away through time. Time is not the way to freedom. Is not this idea of gradualness a form of indolence, of incapacity to deal with the past instantly as it arises? When you have that astonishing capacity to observe clearly as it arises and when you give your mind and heart completely to observe it, then the past ceases. So time and thought do not end the past, for time and thought are the past.
It is not that you must be free from fear. The moment you try to free yourself from fear, you create a resistance against fear. Resistance, in any form, does not end fear. What is needed, rather than running away or controlling or suppressing or any other resistance, is understanding fear; that means, watch it, learn about it, come directly into contact with it. We are to learn about fear, not how to escape from it, not how to resist it through courage and so on.
Using another as a means of satisfaction and security is not love. Love is never security; love is a state in which there is no desire to be secure; it is a state of vulnerability.
Why is it we are frightened of death? Frightened of what? Do please observe your own fears of what we call death — being frightened of coming to the end of the battle we call living. We are frightened of the unknown, what might happen; we are frightened of leaving the known things, the family, the books, the attachment to your house and furniture, to the people near us. We are frightened to let go of the things known; and the known is this living in sorrow, pain, and despair, with occasional flashes of joy; there is no end to this constant struggle; that is what we call living — of that we are frightened to let go. . . . Can one die to everything that is “known,” psychologically, from day to day? Can one die, psychologically, to all one’s past, to all the attachments, fears, to the anxiety, vanity, and pride, so completely that tomorrow you wake up a fresh human being?
You want to be loved because you do not love; but the moment you love, it is finished, you are no longer inquiring whether or not somebody loves you.
If you begin to understand what you are without trying to change it, then what you are undergoes a transformation.
It is only the religious mind that is a truly revolutionary mind.
Early in the morning when the sun was not yet up and the dew on the grass, still in bed, lying quietly, without any thought or movement, there was a seeing, not the superficial seeing through the eyes from behind the head. The eyes were only the instrument through which the immeasurable past was seeing into the immeasurable space that had no time. And later, still in bed, there was a seeing in which all life seemed to be contained.
How easy it is to deceive oneself, to project desirable states which are actually experienced, especially when they are pleasure. There’s no illusion, no deception, when there’s no desire, conscious or unconscious, for any experience of any kind, when one’s wholly indifferent to the coming and going of all experience, when one’s not asking for anything. . . .
To look is important. We look to immediate things and out of immediate necessities to the future, colored by the past. Our seeing is very limited and our eyes are accustomed to near things. Our look is as bound by time-space as our brain. We never look, we never see beyond this limitation; we do not know how to look through and beyond these fragmentary frontiers. But the eyes have to see beyond them, penetrating deeply and widely without choosing, without shelter; they have to wander beyond man-made frontiers of ideas and values and to feel beyond love.
Then there is a benediction which no god can give.
There is no escape from loneliness: it is a fact and escape from facts breeds confusion and sorrow. . . . Only the fact, loneliness, must be seen and then all other things fade away. Yesterday afternoon, it was pretty bad, almost unbearable; it went on for several hours. . . .
Walking, surrounded by the these violet, bare rocky mountains, suddenly there was solitude; it had great, unfathomable richness; it had that beauty which is beyond thought and feeling. It was not still; it was living, moving, filling every nook and corner. . . . It was uniquely alone, not isolated but alone, like a drop of water which holds all the waters of the earth. It was neither joyous nor sad but alone. . . .
Self-isolation and loneliness do not lead to aloneness; they must be finished with, not in order to gain something, but they must die as naturally as the withering of a gentle flower. Resistance breeds fear but also acceptance. The brain must wash itself clean of these cunning devices. . . . Unrelated to all and twists and turns of self-contaminated consciousness, wholly different is this immense solitude. . . .
There is a dying to the known and there is peace beyond belief.
Krishnamurti summarized the essence of his own teaching in 1980, for Krishnamurti: The Years Of Fulfillment, a biography by Mary Lutyens.
The core of his teaching, he wrote, is contained in the statement he made in 1929: “Truth is a pathless land.” He went on to explain:
“Man cannot come to it through any organization, through any creed, through any dogma, priest or ritual, not through any philosophic knowledge or psychological technique. He has to find it through the mirror of relationship, through the understanding of the contents of his own mind, through observation and not through intellectual analysis or introspective dissection. Man has built in himself images as a fence of security — religious, political, personal. These manifest as symbols, ideas, beliefs. The burden of these images dominates man’s thinking, his relationships and his daily life. These images are the causes of our problems for they divide man from man. His perception of life is shaped by the concepts already established in his mind. The content of his consciousness is his entire existence. This content is common to all humanity. The individuality is the name, the form and superficial culture he acquires from tradition and environment. The uniqueness of man does not lie in the superficial but in complete freedom from the content of his consciousness, which is common to all mankind. So he is not an individual.
“Freedom is not a reaction; freedom is not choice. It is man’s pretense that because he has choice he is free. Freedom is pure observation without direction, without fear of punishment and reward. Freedom is without motive; freedom is not at the end of the evolution of man but lies in the first step of his existence. In observation one begins to discover the lack of freedom. Freedom is found in the choiceless awareness of our daily existence and activity.
“Thought is time. Thought is born of experience and knowledge which are inseparable from time and the past. Time is the psychological enemy of man. Our action is based on knowledge and therefore time, so man is always a slave to the past. Thought is ever-limited and so we live in constant conflict and struggle. There is no psychological evolution.
“When man becomes aware of the movement of his own thoughts he will see the division between the thinker and the thought, the observer and the observed, the experiencer and the experience. He will discover that this division is an illusion. Then only is there pure observation which is insight without any shadow of the past or of time. This timeless insight brings about a deep radical mutation in the mind.
“Total negation is the essence of the positive. When there is negation of all those things that thought has brought about psychologically, only then is there love, which is compassion and intelligence.”
For information on books and tapes by Krishnamurti, write the Krishnamurti Foundation of America, P.O. Box 216, Ojai, California 93023 or call (805) 646-2726.