By J. Krishnamurti
First Public Talk at Brockwood Park - August 1978
I see all my old friends are here!
If I may ask most politely and respectfully, please don’t make this into a festive occasion. It is not a pop festival, but rather we are a serious group, not inclined to frivolity, but a rather earnest, serious group of people who will want, or desire, to enquire into the whole complex problem of living. And if one may point out again, there is no speaker here, though he is sitting on the platform, but actually the speaker doesn’t exist because then you will be merely listening to the speaker and not actually investigating for yourself. So please, if I may again suggest most earnestly that there is no speaker but we are together investigating, exploring, enquiring into something, which is life with all its complex and varied problems. So we are sharing this thing together. The speaker is not here. And I want to make that quite clear. But rather together we are taking a journey into ourselves and demanding the excellence of ourselves.
We are never challenged psychologically; we may be challenged outwardly, we may demand outwardly better materials, better workmanship, better schools, better politics: the challenge is for the better outwardly, always. But apparently very few of us enquire and challenge ourselves with the highest form of both intellectual, ethical, moral action, psychologically. And if we may, we are going to go into this question together, that we are challenging ourselves deeply, demanding the highest form of intellectual and – I would not like to use the word ’emotional’ because that tends to become sentimental, but rather the highest form of affection, the highest form of love. And why is it that human beings who have lived for millennia upon millennia are living the way we are doing now – confused, unhappy, miserable, uncertain, and outwardly in the world, as one observes, things are getting worse and worse and worse. The more you produce, the more we are using the things of the earth, we are destroying the earth. And inwardly, spiritually if I may use that word, we have lost all sense of religious excellence. I am using the word ‘religious’ in the sense of not belief, not dogma, not rituals, not the varied form of hierarchical, theological assertions, but the religious person is one who has no self at all. That seems to me the highest form of religious action, where the ‘me’, the ego, the self, doesn’t exist at all. And that is the highest form of intelligence and excellence ethically and in action.
So we are going, if I may, into these problems. So you are not listening to a speaker but rather listening to yourself and challenging yourself, not accepting anything but the highest form of clarity, the highest form of behaviour, and so excellence in action. That is what we are going to go together into. So please you are listening to yourself, you are listening not according to your particular like and dislike, including those, but actually listening to what is going on and demanding why we live as we do now in this appalling, frightening, destructive way we are living. Right?
I think that is the most serious question we have to ask of ourselves. When outwardly everything is disintegrating – there is no question about it – terrorism, which is the ultimate form of war, there are the terrorists, divided nations, all that is going on in the world, four hundred billion dollars a year spent on armaments – the world all over. So we are all crazy people. And to allow all this, each one of us must find out for oneself what is the right action with regard to all these external events, what is one to do, which must be correct, accurate, true. And that can only be found out for ourselves if we are challenging our actions, our way of life, which is jobs, occupation, relationship with each other, and the utter lack of clarity in thought, the sloppiness of our thinking. And to live a totally different kind of life, not merely based on pleasure, on fear and so on. So we are going together to find, if we can, all the answers to these questions for ourselves. If that is clear between you and the speaker, and the speaker is not here, if it is very clear with what we are concerned with then we have established a certain kind of relationship with each other. If we are all concerned the same thing, not with our particular opinions and judgements, our intellectual theories, but rather be concerned together seriously, at least for today and for the few days while you are here, concerned to find out a way of life that may bring a different world into being. Right?
So that is our question. If we are going to enquire together, obviously the first step is to put aside all our personal prejudices, our personal desires, our petty problems of the moment, and so have the capacity to enquire freely and deeply. Capacity doesn’t come through constant practice – psychologically we are talking about. It comes when there is direct interest and the challenge to which you must respond with all your highest capacity, then you have the capacity to enquire freely. Otherwise you will merely be playing with words. The words are important because they convey a certain meaning, but if words drive us, if words force us into certain conclusions, certain actions, then language, words control us, shape us, force us. That again is very clear, isn’t it? Either language uses us, or we use language. But most of us are driven by language. Use the word ‘Communist’ and you have all kinds of fearful ideas, not that the Communists are not fearful. And if you say ‘I am British’, immediately certain reactions arise. So words, language drive us, shape us, shape our thinking, our behaviour, our action. In realising that, the slavery to language, but if we know how to use language, the exact meaning of words, the content and the significance of the depth of the word, then we are using language unemotionally, unsentimentally, not identified with a particular word, then we can communicate with each other directly and very simply. If I stick to the word ‘Hindu’ or an ‘Indian’, and that word shapes my thinking, my prejudices, all that nonsense, then the word ‘Indian’ or ‘Hindu’ forces me to act in a certain way. But whereas if I am free of that word ‘Hindu’ with all its national, limited, superstitious significance, then I am free to understand the human being who is behind the word. Right? Are we meeting each other? At least I hope so.
So here we are using language and the language is not using us – we are using the language unemotionally,language which is pliable, correct according to the dictionary, so we can both of us communicate with each other very simply and directly when we use the word unemotionally, the word which hasn’t got tremendous psychological content behind it. Can we do this? For most of us it is extraordinarily difficult because we have identified ourselves with the word and the word is us – I am a British, I am a Hindu. Can we strip ourselves of this network of language which is driving us, shaping us, and unemotionally use words that are simple, direct and therefore a word that doesn’t bring about psychological reactions? Right? Can we do this, first of all? If we can, then we can enquire together because we are free of the word which drives us, but we are using the word directly. I hope this is clear. Am I making the thing clear? At least I hope so.
Then knowing the meaning of words unemotionally, without any reaction to the word, then we can enquire into this whole problem of our way of living, why we live this way, why every day of our life is conflict, violent, selfish, narrow, limited, anxious, fearful, uncertain – a muddle in which we live. So we are challenging ourselves to find out why we live this way. Why we are mechanical in our relationship, in our ways of thinking, why we tolerate any form of violence, both in ourselves and externally, why though man has lived for thousands and thousands and thousands of years he lives in sorrow, without any love, frightened, miserable, utterly unintelligent.
So we are going to begin to enquire together, using words unemotionally without any reaction, to find out why we have become so intellectually, ethically mechanical. Right? We are just stating facts, not conclusions. It is not a conclusion to say we are mechanical, we are, we are caught in a routine whether in the office, or when you come home from your labours, exactly the same repetitive process goes on, sexually, ethically, in our daily action. Some of us realise it and try to escape from them by becoming revolutionaries, physical revolutionaries, or ideological revolutionaries. Physical revolution doesn’t bring about anything. That is obvious, in spite of the terrorists. Psychologically, inwardly, inside the skin as it were, why have we become mechanical? I mean by that word ‘mechanical’, action based on pleasure, action based on fear, action based on authority, action according to a certain pattern of thinking, action along evasion, avoiding, running away and never facing the fact as we are. These are not conclusions, these are obvious daily facts. And again please, you are listening to yourself, though the speaker may express it, put it into words, though the speaker is not here, you are listening to yourself and finding out, challenging yourselves why we live this mechanical existence. You may leave one set of ideologies, Christian or Communist and join another set of ideologies. You may give up being a Catholic and become a Protestant or a Hindu, or if you are rather advanced you go off into Zen Buddhism, or if you are still more advanced you go off into Krishnamurti stuff! (Laughter)
So it’s all… You understand, how never demanding for ourselves what is the right thing to do, always depending on somebody – gurus, this person or that person. So what is the right action in a world that is crumbling, that is becoming daily more frightening, where there are so many divisions of beliefs, dogmas, nationalities and so on, so on, so on, religious and every form of division. What is the right action for each one of us in our daily life with our occupations and so on, what is the right action, what is the correct way of living? If you challenge yourselves, and I hope you are doing it now, what are you to do?
So we have to enquire: What is action? Right? What do we mean by that word ‘action’, whether you are married, whether you are not married, whether you are in the office, whether you are fairly well off and independent and so on and so on and so on, what is the correct thing to do in my life, facing all this, not according to any pattern – obviously, that is not correct action – not based on certain ideologies, that also is not correct action because those ideologies are projected by thought, clever, cunning thought. And action based according to certain authority, whether religious, political or your own particular authority based on your own experience and knowledge, that is not correct action either. Please understand all this because if you base your action on your own experience then your experience is very limited, and you are constantly demanding greater and greater and greater experience, which is greater and greater sensation, not experience. The word ‘experience’ means to go through, finish with something. And action based on a past conclusion, however right, however worthy, but it is still from the past and therefore still limited in terms of time. Or if your action is based on a future conclusion, on a future ideology or a future ideal, that again is not correct action because you have projected the ideal, what you should be, or what your country should be, or what your group should be, and act according to what should be, therefore you are not acting at all. Action implies doing something now, independent of the past and the future.
This is really quite fascinating and tremendously interesting, if I may use these words which are not the correct words but it doesn’t matter for the moment, to find out for oneself: is there an action totally devoid of time? You understand? Time being the past with all my memories, knowledge, experience, stored up in the brain as memory and acting according to that memory, which is the past acting in the present, or the past, which has had so many experiences, so many failures, so many anxieties, fears, sorrows, projects something in the future as ideological, what should be, how happy it would be and act according to that, which again is non-action. Right? At least let’s meet together intellectually, then if you understand that intellectually then you can go still deeper into it, at least we can understand each other at that level, which is very limited.
Then: is there an action in daily life, in our daily relationship with each other, intimate or not intimate, sexual or not sexual, is there an action which will be holistic, whole, which is not dependent on time, on environment, on circumstances? So we are challenging: is there such an action? Or we only know action based on the past, or on the future. We don’t know any other action and we accept such action, it is much more convenient, more comfortable, easy to accept such action. So we are challenging each other to find out if it is possible to live a life of correct action, which is not dependent on environment, on circumstances, on the past, or on the future. You understand? This is the most difficult thing to find out. When you want to find out such an action, if there is such an action, thought immediately begins to operate. Thought says ‘Is there such a thing?’ ‘I must enquire.’ So thought is the past – isn’t it? Thought is the outcome of memory, thought is the result of your experience, accumulated knowledge and from that arises memory and then from the reaction of that memory is thinking. That is simple, very simple if you go into it. It is not complicated. So when there is such a challenge as saying: is there action which is not dependent on the past or the future, or on environment, circumstances, then thought begins to operate. Right? That is what you are doing. Then thought says, ‘I must find out such action.’ Since thought cannot find such action, you say that’s impossible. You are following all this? We are all together in this, or am I talking to myself? I can do that in my room. But I don’t, anyhow, but… so.
So action based on thought is limited because thought in itself is a broken up thing, a fragment, limited because it is based on knowledge and knowledge however much you may accumulate, however much you may accumulate facts, expanding knowledge over and over, expanding constantly, it is still limited. That is obvious again. Perhaps not to the people who advocate the ascent of man through knowledge, because that is their particular form of conclusion. But when one sees actually, in daily life, how knowledge is so extraordinarily limited, you may have technological knowledge, and you must have, and to that knowledge more can be added, it can be constantly expanded, but is there the accumulation of psychological knowledge from which action takes place? You understand? Are we… All right.
One has accumulated knowledge, psychologically. I have been hurt many years ago as a boy, or a girl, I have been hurt. And that hurt has become my knowledge, it is there inside my skin. And I act according to that knowledge, which is I resist, I isolate myself in order not to be hurt more. And so there is constant division between me and another to prevent being further hurt. This is a common fact again. So I act according to that knowledge. I may see the irrationality of it. I may go to psychologists. I may do all kinds of things about it but the wound is still there and that wound is responding all the time. So I am acting according to a past incident, whether that past incident is pleasurable or painful is irrelevant but it is the past event, which is my knowledge. I have had a lovely afternoon – that becomes my knowledge. I am going to have a marvellous day tomorrow – and again, you follow? – this whole process is based on the accumulative process of experience, desire and pleasure.
So is there an action which is totally independent of all this? You understand my question? To enquire into that, the operation of thought must be understood because you can’t stop thinking. If you force, as many people do through meditation, which is not meditation, try to control thought, shape thought, then they have divided themselves into the thinker who is superior and thought, inferior, and so the superior tries to control the inferior – you know all this. So is there a way of an action which is totally divorced from all this? We are challenging you – I am challenging you and you are challenging me, together we are in a state of being challenged.
Perhaps if you have challenged sufficiently deeply and earnestly and with all your being then you will find an answer, which is, I will tell you, but we are discussing this together, we are sharing this together therefore I am not telling you and you are not accepting it, because then it becomes futile, then we might just as well go to some guru. But whereas if you can discover this for yourself then you are free – you understand? You have understood action in all its full meaning and its depth and the beauty of action. We say – the speaker says there is such an action devoid completely from the past or the future, from environment, from circumstances. It is to have an insight into the total movement of thought as it expresses itself in the environment, circumstances, past and future, which is to have insight into action. That is, insight is not the response of memory. Right? Hasn’t it ever happened to you, suddenly you say ‘I have understood it’? – without words, without gestures, without circumstances, without the past, you suddenly feel by Jove, I’ve got it. And that is irrevocable, it is ultimate truth, you can’t say, well I have got it, next day I have lost it.
So we are going to find out together the meaning of this word ‘insight’. To have an insight into something is not personal, is not based on some ideological conclusions, memories, remembrances. One must be free of that to have an instant insight into something. One must be free of knowledge to have immediate perception. This is not something extravagant, exotic, or rather emotional, but actual: where, if you have ever had this kind of immediate understanding and therefore immediate action, that immediate understanding demands immediate action irrelevant of time. Hasn’t it happened? It happens, obviously, but then thought says, ‘I have had that insight, I have had that strange deep perception and therefore from that immediate action, but I wish it would continue all the time’. You understand? I want that insight, that immediate perception, immediate understanding, to continue. When you say it must continue you have already begun the whole movement of thought. I wonder if you see this. Insight, the quick perception of something is instantaneous and finished there. You can’t carry it over. Whereas thought demands that it should be carried over, therefore prevents the next insight. I wonder if you get all this.
Have we understood something of this because it is very important, because from this we can go into something further where quick insight is demanded so that you never have to struggle, never have to have conflict. Because when you are acting upon insight it is an irrevocable truth. It is not intuition. Don’t go away… We are using the word carefully. People have intuitions, which is, they desire, project and you know all that kind of ugly stuff. This is insight. Quick perception and action is not personal, therefore it is whole, it is holistic. And our actions are never whole. We do something, regret, ‘I wish I hadn’t done that’, or we have done something that gives us pleasure and we want more of that action. So whereas insight is something which is quite simple, but to have such an insight into things one must have a quick mind, not a dull mind, not a mind that is frightened, or a mind where thought says ‘If I do that what will happen? I might regret it, or there might be failure, it might bring about hurt to others and to myself’ – and so action is never total, complete, whole. Whereas action which is born out of insight, immediate perception, has no regrets because it is actual, it is the only action.
Now bearing that in mind, perhaps even intellectually, do you have a quick perception of what is the whole nature and structure of authority? Authority of books, authority of professors, authority of scientists, authority of the religious priests, and so on and so on. Or your own experience, which has become your authority. To have an immediate insight into it – then you are free totally of all authority. Then you don’t have to fight and struggle to say ‘I accept this authority, I don’t accept that authority. The authority of my guru is marvellous but I reject the authority of the priest’. They are exactly the same thing.
So in discussing, in being challenged and challenging each other, are you free of authority? There is the authority of the policeman, there is the authority of the law, the authority of the surgeon – that perhaps has its right place – but is there psychological authority of a belief, of a dogma, of a conclusion, of an ideology, the Communist, Socialist or whatever authority, religious, inwardly? If you have then you will never find out what is right action – obviously. Right?
So in enquiring step by step into this are you actually, if I may most respectfully ask, free of authority, including the authority of this person sitting on the platform at this moment? If you are not, find out why you accept authority inwardly. Objectively you need authority. Right? You can’t drive on the right hand side in England, you would have accidents. If you reject authority of some State laws you will be punished and so on and so on – there authority has its right place. But inwardly, deeply, not to have any form of authority.
Then we can proceed to enquire into why human beings live constantly in a state of fear. Right? Shall we go into that? Why you as a human being, who is the representative of all humanity – right? – I wonder if you realise that. That you as a human being represent the entire human mind because you suffer, you are uncertain, you are caught in certain beliefs, or you are conditioned, you are British, you are French, you are German, or this or that, and you believe in this Jesus or Christ or somebody else doesn’t believe in that, and you are a Hindu, a Muslim, you follow? So are you aware that in your relationship, in your daily activity, there is a sense of great fear. Right? Is one aware of it? If one is, then to have a – now look: if you have fear the natural response – I won’t call it natural – the irrational response is to cultivate courage, whatever that may mean, or to run away from it, or rationalise it – why shouldn’t I be afraid, it is natural and so on and so on. Or you identify your fear and yourself, yourself and fear are one, there is not you separate from fear, so that fear which is you identifies itself with something greater and says in that surrender to the greater I have lost fear. We have played all these kind of games for centuries. And we still have fear, at the end of a million years every human being right through the world has some kind of fear. Now to have a quick insight into it and therefore be totally free from it. Is that possible? Because fear is the most dreadful thing, it makes you… you know all the rest of it, what the result of fear is – neuroticism of every kind, escape into various forms of entertainment, religious and otherwise, rationalising fears and accepting fear as part of our daily existence.
Now we are asking: is it possible to have an insight into the whole nature and structure of fear and be free of it? Don’t you want to know if you can be free of fear? Or do you accept, as we accept so many things, as a part of life? If you don’t accept it as part of life then what is the nature of fear? What is the root of fear? What is the substance, the structure, the whole movement of fear? Not only fear of one’s wife or husband, girl – you know, fear in its entirety, not one particular form of fear. Don’t you want to find out? In the sense, don’t you want to give your mind, your thought, your being, your whole energy to find out whether it is possible to eradicate totally fear? Fear has many forms, one of the major factors of fear is attachment – attachment to a person, attachment to an ideal, to a belief, attachment to a piece of furniture – you know what attachment is. And where there is attachment there is inevitably the fear of losing. And is it possible to exist without isolating, without attachment? You understand my question? Is it possible for a human being who has lived ten thousand years and more, lived always in fear as part of his life from the caveman till now, is it possible to uncondition himself from fear? As we said, one of the factors of fear is attachment. To find out if one is attached, not avoid it, find out to see if one is attached to something, to your guru, to your knowledge, to your furniture, to your friend, to your wife, girl, boy or whatever it is, attached to your country. Where there is attachment there is jealousy, there is possessiveness, there is a sense of identifying oneself with something else. And when there is that attachment and identification there is always uncertainty. These are facts, aren’t they? No?
So can you be free of attachment – not tomorrow or when you are on the deathbed, then of course it is very simple to be detached! (Laughter) You can’t argue with death. But now living your daily life, to be free of every form of attachment without becoming isolated, which again breeds fear. I may detach myself from this and from everything else and suddenly feel I am lonely, sense of emptiness, and being frightened of that emptiness begin again being attached, not to a person, but to some marvellous ideal. All that, in every form of attachment brings fear. A man or a woman who really enquires and demands, challenges himself whether you can ever be free of fear, then we have to have a quick insight into the whole nature of attachment. Have you, as we are talking, exploring with each other, have your got this feeling, this insight, this immediate perception of the whole nature of attachment and its structure with all the complications involved in it, see it instantly. And when you see it in all its totality it is finished. It doesn’t mean you become callous. It doesn’t mean you become isolated. On the contrary: you are a free human being who is no longer held down by fear. Right? That is only one expression of fear. Perhaps the deepest expression of fear, of losing what you have. Actually you have nothing but that is irrelevant.
So what is the root of all this fear? You see most of us are inclined to trim the branches of fear. Right? I am afraid of this thing therefore let me get rid of it, or let me go to somebody who will help me to be free of fear, of that particular expression of fear – the psychologist, the priest, the analyst, the latest gurus and all that business. But we are not concerned with the trimming of the tree of fear but rather to uncover the root of fear so that when you see the root of it and have a depth of understanding of the root then if you have such an understanding, and this is an insight, then fear disappears completely, you are no longer afraid psychologically. Physically it is a different matter. Physically one must be careful, one must be rational, sane, unless you are extraordinarily neurotic then that is a different matter. But physically one must be watchful of danger, as you would be watchful of a precipice, as you would be watchful of a dangerous animal and perhaps human beings are becoming more and more dangerous than any animal. So one has to be watchful of human beings, the terrorists, the politicians – are there any politicians here? (Laughter) And very watchful of gurus (laughter) and so on and on and on.
So one understands the watchfulness, the danger – physical. But what is the root of psychological fear? Please challenge, ask yourself. Don’t accept my challenge. Ask yourself what is the root of all this. Don’t say ‘I don’t know’ and just leave it like that, or draw some conclusion. If you do, it will prevent you from finding out the root of it. If you say, ‘I really don’t know what the root of fear is’, then you start with humility. Then you say, ‘I really don’t know but I am going to find out’. But if you start with arrogance of saying ‘I can solve it. I know, I have all the facts about fear’, then you are starting with a conclusion, with a sense of hope – which doesn’t mean you must be in despair to ask it, but if you are really deeply concerned with the nature and the structure of fear at its very depth, what is the root of fear? Those of you who have read or heard the speaker before, don’t say ‘Yes, I know it’. That is a cheap trick. Because you have heard somebody tell you that, and that may be the truth but it is not yours, it is not the truth, it is somebody else’s. There is no your truth or my truth, but if you accept a statement made by somebody like this person and say ‘Yes, I have heard that before but it hasn’t got rid of my fear’, then language is driving you. You understand? Language is driving you.Language is using you. But if you are free of what you have heard before, but actually demand now as you are sitting there, to find out what is the essence, the root, the basis of all fear, then as you don’t know you come to it afresh, you come to it with a certain sense of curiosity to find out. But if you come to it already with some conclusion there is no possibility of your understanding the root of it.
So let’s find out together, afresh, what is the root of this whole nature and the structure of fear. When you want to find out, if you have a motive, that is, ‘I must be free of fear’ – which is a motive, then that motive gives a direction to your enquiry. So the motive which gives a direction prevents you from enquiring. This is simple, isn’t it? If I have a motive in order to enquire into fear because I want to get rid of fear, then I have already given a direction to it. Right? Because my desire is to get rid of it, not to understand the nature and the structure and the depth of fear. I want to get rid of the word ‘fear’. So the word ‘fear’ is driving us. You understand? Whereas if you look at it, if you are free of the word and say, ‘What is this fear which I have lived with for so long?’ What is it? Is it time? – time being yesterday, today and tomorrow, sun setting, sun rising. Which is, is fear the result of time? Something happened which you are fearful of a year ago or yesterday and that fear of that incident remains, and that memory of that thing is called fear. You are following all this? The memory of that incident which took place a year ago or yesterday has left a certain remembrance and that remembrance says there is fear. Right? So recollection of a word called fear we say, that is fear. Whereas we are trying to find out, being free of the word, what is the essence of it. Are you following all this? Is this getting too tiresome all this? Tant pis.
What is the root of it? I say to myself because I am a very serious person, and I have got plenty of energy, I must find it out because I don’t want to live with fear. It is too absurd, too illogical, irrational. What is the essence of it? Is it time? It is partly that, time. And also is thought creating fear? You understand?
So time, thought. I have understood more or less the nature of time – time externally, time inwardly, psychologically: I will be, I am not, I will be, or I should be, whereas I am not. The ‘should be’ is the movement of time. Right? I wonder if you are… This is important, you are following all this?
It is a nice morning and I hope you are enjoying this too. I hope you are having a pleasant, happy time in this enquiry, as you would have a pleasant time sitting on the lawn and looking at the trees and the clouds and the warm sunshine.
So what is thought then? I have understood the nature of time. Now I want to understand if thought is responsible for fear. I don’t know but I am going to find out. If thought is responsible I must understand the whole nature of thought. What is thinking? Thinking is the response of memory. Right? Obviously. If you had no memory at all you wouldn’t think. But thinking has become very important for us. We apply thinking to everything we do. Is love a remembrance, a thought? I am not talking of sexual love, sensation, the sensuous love. I won’t even call that love, it is sensation. Is love sensation? Is love a remembrance? And is thought love? You understand, I am asking all this. And what is the nature of thought? Very simply, it is based on the accumulation of knowledge gathered through experience of millennia, living, which is stored up in the brain – I am not a brain specialist, you can watch yourself – in the brain and the memory responds to a challenge.
Now I am challenging myself: what is thinking? And so it says, ‘Memory, of course’. So is memory responsible for fear? I have been hurt physically last year, I remember that and I am afraid it might come back again, the disease, or the pain, or whatever it is. That is, thought based on an experience of last year’s or yesterday’s pain, remembering it and being frightened of it – that it mustn’t happen again. All our action, all our existence, is based on thought. I don’t know if you have realised this extraordinary fact: everything that we do is based on thought. There is no spontaneity, that is quite a different existence, to be spontaneous. To have that spontaneity one must understand the nature of thought which has conditioned our brain, our whole mental outlook, our activity. When there is an understanding, immediate insight into this then there is spontaneity, there is freedom. But that is quite a different matter.
So we are asking: time, I see is partly responsible. Thought is also responsible. Is time thought? Or thought is time? You understand? They are not time and thought, separate. There is only thought which creates psychological time. Right? And therefore having gone into the depth of it, understood it, not intellectually, verbally but actually seen for oneself the nature of thinking, then one realises thought is basically responsible for fear. Then one says, ‘How then can I stop thinking?’ – which is the most absurd question. You see that is part of the trick of what the gurus have brought. Which is: meditate, try to control thought, stop thought. Have you ever tried to stop thinking? If you have you will find out that the person who says ‘I must stop thinking’ – the entity that says that, is also part of thought. He is playing a trick upon itself.
So if you see time is thought, time is movement, movement from yesterday, today, tomorrow. And also thought is a movement, movement based on past memories, past experiences, past knowledge – knowledge is always the past. So thought is basically responsible for fear. You understand? Now is the word ‘fear’, fear? You understand? Is the word ‘fear’, actual fear? Or the word is not that thing. Are you getting all too tired? You understand my question? Is the word different from the thing? Or is the word creating that thing, fear? Then the word is driving you and the word is creating the fear. Or is there fear independent of the word? Which is, the word is not the thing. Right? You understand? So have you separated the word from the thing? You understand? The tent, the marquee, the word, is not that. Right? So when you look at it, can you separate the word from the thing? You understand my question? So have you separated the word from the reaction, which you call fear? So which means, are you aware that you are caught in the network of words? And therefore the words are driving you. So can you look at the thing without the word which means look at that thing without naming it, which becomes the word. I wonder if you understand all this! Look, this requires great alertness, great awareness, of your observation. It isn’t just accepting, ‘Yes, I can separate the word, this and that’ – play around. But actually to see that you are caught, your observation is through a word, and therefore the word becomes all important. So in realising that you say, all right, I will separate the word, put it away, let me look at the thing itself – not with the word interfering with it, the word with all its connotations, its contents. Let me look at that thing. Do you understand? I am expending a lot of energy, I hope you are too.
So, can you look at fear, the word, the actual sensation without the word? Or the word is creating the sensation? The name, fear, is creating that. You understand? You can look at the marquee, the word and the fact, the tent, differently, you can separate it and say, ‘Yes, I can look at it without the word. I can see the lines, I can see the posts, without the word’. But to do that psychologically is much more… one has to be extraordinarily alert. To be so deeply aware of the meaning, the word and the thing. Now if you are, then the thing you are looking at without the word, is it fear? You understand what I am trying to say? The reaction which you have named as fear, if you don’t name it, is that fear, is there fear? You have come to that after investigating, understanding time and thought. Thought is time because both are movement. Time is movement. Thought is movement. So they are not two separate things. Thought creates psychological time.
So thought has created the word. The original man or the ape or the aborigine, primate says ‘I am afraid’ – fear has gone – you follow? – right down to us – you follow? And now we are asking: separate the two, the word and the sensation, the reaction and look at it, observe the reaction without the word. Now when you observe the reaction, is the observer different from the reaction? You understand? Or they are both the same, the observer is the observed, the reaction is the observer? Right?
I see you don’t understand, some of you. You have been angry, is that anger different from you? You are only aware of that anger – at the moment of anger you are not, but a second or a minute later you say, ‘I have been angry’. You have separated yourself from that thing called anger and so there is a division. Similarly (laughs), is the reaction which you call fear different from you? Obviously it is not. So you and that reaction are the same. When you realise that, you don’t fight it, you are that. Right? I wonder if you see it. Then a totally different action takes place, which is, before, you have used positive action with regard to fear, say, ‘I must not be afraid, I will deny it, I’ll control it, I must do this and that about it, go to a psychologist’ – you know, all the rest of it. Now when you realise, when there is the fact – not realise – when there is the fact that you are the reaction, there is no you separate from that reaction. Then you can’t do anything, can you? I wonder if you realise, you can’t do anything. Therefore a negation, a negative, a non-positive observation is the ending of fear. Right?
What time is it?
Questioner: One o’clock.
Krishnamurti: Forgive me for talking an hour and a half, I didn’t realise it. I hope you aren’t bored, you aren’t stiff sitting in the same position.
Q: Don’t be afraid. We enjoyed it. (Laughter)
K: Good. We will meet tomorrow again.
Audience: Thank you. (Clapping)
K: Please don’t clap. It isn’t worth it.