A dialogue with oneself
taken from a Discussion Meeting at the
Copyright © Krishnamurti Foundation Trust, Ltd., London 1977
Brockwood Part Gathering, August 30, 1977
I realize that love cannot exist when there is jealousy:
love cannot exist when there is attachment. Now, is it possible for
me to be free of jealousy and attachment? I realize that I do not love.
That is a fact. I am not going to deceive myself; I am not going to
pretend to my wife that I love her. I do not know what love is. But
I do know that I am jealous and I do know that I am terribly attached
to her and that in that attachment there is fear, there is jealousy,
anxiety; there is a sense of dependence. I do not like to depend but
I depend because I am lonely; I am shoved around in the office, in the
factory and I come home and I want to feel comfort and companionship,
to escape from myself. Now I ask myself: how am I to be free of this
attachment? I am taking that just as an example.
At first, I want to run away from the question. I do
not know how it is going to end up with my wife. When I am really detached
from her my relationship to her may change. She might be attached to
me and I might not be attached to her or any other woman. But I am going
to investigate. So I will not run away from what I imagine might be
the consequence of being totally free of all that attachment. I do not
know what love is, but I see very clearly, definitely, without any doubt,
that attachment to my wife means jealousy, possession, fear, anxiety
and I want my freedom from all that. So I begin to enquire; I look for
a method and I get caught in a system. Some guru says; "I will help
you to be detached, do this and this; practise this and this." I accept
what he says because I see the importance of being free and he promises
me that if I do what he says I will have reward. But I see that way
that I am looking for reward. I see how silly I am; wanting to be free
and getting attached to reward.
I do not want to be attached and yet I find myself
getting attached to the idea that somebody, or some book, or some method,
will reward me with freedom from attachment. So, the reward becomes
an attachment. So I say: "Look what I have done; be careful, do not
get caught in that trap." Whether it is a woman, a method, or an idea,
it is still attachment. I am very watchful now for I have learned something;
that is, not to exchange attachment for something else that is still
I ask myself: "What am I to do to be free of attachment?"
What is my motive in wanting to be free of attachment? Is it not that
I want to achieve a state where there is no attachment, no fear and
so on? And I suddenly realize that motive gives direction and that direction
will dictate my freedom. Why have a motive? What is motive? A motive
is a hope, or a desire, to achieve something. I see that I am attached
to a motive. Not only my wife, not only my idea, the method, but my
motive has become my attachment! So I am all the time functioning within
the field of attachment--the wife, the method and the motive to achieve
something in the future. To all this I am attached. I see that it is
a tremendously complex thing; I did not realize that to be free of attachment
implied all this. Now, I see this as clearly as I see on a map the main
roads, the side roads and the villages; I see it very clearly. Then
I say to myself: "Now, is it possible for me to be free of the great
attachment I have for my wife and also of the reward which I think I
am going to get and of my motive?" To all this I am attached. Why? Is
it that I am insufficient in myself? Is it that I am very very lonely
and therefore seek to escape from that feeling of isolation by turning
to a woman, an idea, a motive; as if I must hold onto something? I see
that it is so, I am lonely and escaping through attachment to something
from that feeling of extraordinary isolation.
So I am interested in understanding why I am lonely,
for I see it is that which makes me attached. That loneliness has forced
me to escape through attachment to this or to that and I see that as
long as I am lonely the sequence will always be this. What does it mean
to be lonely? How does it come about? Is it instinctual, inherited,
or is it brought about by my daily activity? If it is an instinct, if
it is inherited, it is part of my lot; I am not to blame. But as I do
not accept this, I question it and remain with the question. I am watching
and I am not trying to find an intellectual answer. I am not trying
to tell the loneliness what it should do, or what it is; I am watching
for it to tell me. There is a watchfulness for the loneliness to reveal
itself. It will not reveal itself if I run away; if I am frightened;
if I resist it. So I watch it. I watch it so that no thought interferes.
Watching is much more important than thought coming in. And because
my whole energy is concerned with the observation of that loneliness
thought does not come in at all. The mind is being challenged and it
must answer. Being challenged it is in a crisis. In a crisis you have
great energy and that energy remains without being interfered with by
thought. This is a challenge which must be answered.
I started out having a dialogue with myself. I asked
myself what is this strange thing called love; everybody talks about
it, writes about it--all the romantic poems, pictures, sex and all other
areas of it? I ask: is there such a thing as love? I see it does not
exist when there is jealousy, hatred, fear. So I am not concerned with
love anymore; I am concerned with `what is', my fear, my attachment.
Why am I attached? I see that one of the reasons--I do not say it is
the whole reason--is that I am desperately lonely, isolated. The older
I grow the more isolated I become. So I watch it. This is a challenge
to find out, and because it is a challenge all energy is there to respond.
That is simple. If there is some catastrophe, an accident or whatever
it is, it is a challenge and I have the energy to meet it. I do not
have to ask: "How do I get this energy?" When the house is on fire I
have the energy to move; extraordinary energy. I do not sit back and
say: "Well, I must get this energy" and then wait; the whole house will
be burned by then.
So there is this tremendous energy to answer the question:
why is there this loneliness? I have rejected ideas, suppositions and
theories that it is inherited, that it is instinctual. All that means
nothing to me. Loneliness is `what is'. Why is there this loneliness
which every human being, if he is at all aware, goes through, superficially
or most profoundly? Why does it come into being? Is it that the mind
is doing something which is bringing it about? I have rejected theories
as to instinct and inheritance and I am asking: is the mind, the brain
itself, bringing about this loneliness, this total isolation? Is the
movement of thought doing this? Is the thought in my daily life creating
this sense of isolation? In the office I am isolating myself because
I want to become the top executive, therefore thought is working all
the time isolating itself. I see that thought is all the time operating
to make itself superior, the mind is working itself towards this isolation.
So the problem then is: why does thought do this? Is
it the nature of thought to work for itself? Is it the nature of thought
to create this isolation? Education brings about this isolation; it
gives me a certain career, a certain specialization and so, isolation.
Thought, being fragmentary, being limited and time binding, is creating
this isolation. In that limitation, it has found security saying: "I
have a special career in my life; I am a professor; I am perfectly safe."
So my concern is then: why does thought do it? Is it in its very nature
to do this? Whatever thought does must be limited.
Now the problem is: can thought realize that whatever
it does is limited, fragmented and therefore isolating and that whatever
it does will be thus? This is a very important point: can thought itself
realize its own limitations? Or am I telling it that it is limited?
This, I see, is very important to understand; this is the real essence
of the matter. If thought realizes itself that it is limited then there
is no resistance, no conflict; it says, "I am that". But if I am telling
it that it is limited then I become separate from the limitation. Then
I struggle to overcome the limitation, therefore there is conflict and
violence, not love.
So does thought realize of itself that it is limited?
I have to find out. I am being challenged. Because I am challenged I
have great energy. Put it differently: does consciousness realize its
content is itself? Or is it that I have heard another say: "Consciousness
is its content; its content makes up consciousness"? Therefore I say,
"Yes, it is so". Do you see the difference between the two? The latter,
created by thought, is imposed by the `me'. If I impose something on
thought then there is conflict. It is like a tyrannical government imposing
on someone, but here that government is what I have created.
So I am asking myself: has thought realized its own
limitations? Or is it pretending to be something extraordinary, noble,
divine?-- which is nonsense because thought is based on memory. I see
that there must be clarity about this point: that there is no outside
influence imposing on thought saying it is limited. Then, because there
is no imposition there is no conflict; it simply realizes it is limited;
it realizes that whatever it does--its worship of god and so on--is
limited, shoddy, petty--even though it has created marvellous cathedrals
throughout Europe in which to worship.
So there has been in my conversation with myself the
discovery that loneliness is created by thought. Thought has now realized
of itself that it is limited and so cannot solve the problem of loneliness.
As it cannot solve the problem of loneliness, does loneliness exist?
Thought has created this sense of loneliness, this emptiness, because
it is limited, fragmentary, divided and when it realizes this, loneliness
is not, therefore there is freedom from attachment. I have done nothing;
I have watched the attachment, what is implied in it, greed, fear, loneliness,
all that and by tracing it, observing it, not analyzing it, but just
looking, looking and looking, there is the discovery that thought has
done all this. Thought, because it is fragmentary, has created this
attachment. When it realizes this, attachment ceases. There is no effort
made at all. For the moment there is effort conflict is back again.
In love there is no attachment; if there is attachment
there is no love. There has been the removal of the major factor through
negation of what it is not, through the negation of attachment. I know
what it means in my daily life: no remembrance of anything my wife,
my girl friend, or my neighbour did to hurt me; no attachment to any
image thought has created about her; how she has bullied me, how she
has given me comfort, how I have had pleasure sexually, all the different
things of which the movement of thought has created images; attachments
to those images has gone.
And there are other factors: must I go through all
those step by step, one by one? Or is it all over? Must I go through,
must I investigate--as I have investigated attachment--fear, pleasure
and the desire for comfort? I see that I do not have to go through all
the investigation of all these various factors; I see it at one glance,
I have captured it.
So, through negation of what is not love, love is.
I do not have to ask what love is? I do not have to run after it. If
I run after it, it is not love, it is a reward. So I have negated, I
have ended, in that enquiry, slowly, carefully, without distortion,
without illusion, everything that it is not--the other is.
If I am all the time measuring myself against you,
struggling to be like you, then I am denying what I am myself. Therefore
I am creating an illusion. When I have understood that comparison in
any form leads only to greater illusion and greater misery, just as
when I analyse myself, add to my knowledge of myself bit by bit, or
identify myself with something outside myself, whether it be the State,
a savior or an ideology--when I understand that all such processes lead
only to greater conformity and therefore greater conflict--when I see
all this I put it completely away. Then my mind is no longer seeking.
It is very important to understand this. Then my mind is no longer groping,
searching, questioning. This does not mean that my mind is satisfied
with things as they are, but such a mind has no illusion. Such a mind
can then move in a totally different dimension. The dimension in which
we usually live, the life of every day which is pain, pleasure and fear,
has conditioned the mind, limited the nature of the mind, and when that
pain, pleasure and fear have gone (which does not mean that you no longer
have joy: joy is something entirely different from pleasure) --then
the mind functions in a different dimension in which there is no conflict,
no sense of `otherness'.
Verbally we can go only so far: what lies beyond cannot
be put into words because the word is not the thing. Up to now we can
describe, explain, but no words or explanations can open the door. What
will open the door is daily awareness and attention--awareness of how
we speak, what we say, how we walk, what we think. . . . It depends
on your state of mind. And that state of mind can be understood only
by yourself, by watching it and never trying to shape it, never taking
sides, never opposing, never agreeing, never justifying, never condemning,
never judging--which means watching it without any choice. And out of
this choiceless awareness perhaps the door will open and you will know
what that dimension is in which there is no conflict and no time.
-- J. Krishnamurti, Freedom from the Known, pp. 32-33
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