J. Krishnamurti – Saanen 1978 – Public Discussion 4 – Constant effort damages the brain

What shall we talk about? Questioner: Could you say something about the healing energies,
the benediction? K: Could you talk something
about healing, laying on hands. Q: No, the benediction
that you speak about in your book, the healing energies. K: Oh, not laying on hands but the benediction
that I’m talking about. Anything else? Q: Is it enough if I, myself, change when others, who are mighty,
set the conditions? For example, I’m a teacher
and I want to teach in my way, but it is not possible
in the long run. How do I have to go necessarily
into conflict with the school system? K: I’m a teacher. I would like to change myself,
fundamentally, and in the long run it has
very little effect on the students. Is that it, sir? Q: No, the system,
the school system is the problem – to teach, like I want to. K: The whole school system,
the environment prevents it. Now, just a minute. All right, sir. Q: Je peux parler Français? K: Oui. Parlez en Français. Q: Je voudrais savoir ce que
vous pensez des techniques de méditation
basées sur la lumière, la musique, le verbe, etc. K: What do you think of the meditation
in the centre of the eye, hearing music
and all that kind of thing? Allez-y madame? Q: I can see that you live over there, and I would like to meet you
very much but… K: I have something which I would
like to talk over with you personally but it seems rather difficult
to talk to you, individually. Now, may I say something about that,
so that we can finish with that? I used to see lots of people,
individually, I don’t know how many thousands
I have seen all my life, but I’m afraid I’m not doing that
any more because I haven’t got time, or after I have talked for an hour
and a half, all my energy is gone, and I have other things to do. So, you if will forgive me,
I’m not seeing, individually, anyone. Q: So, you are not interested. K: Al contrio. I mean, the lady says,
‘You’re not interested.’ I’m sorry, that’s not the reason. If I was not interested,
I wouldn’t be speaking here. Q: Pouvez vous parler de
la peur physique? K: Can you talk about physical pain,
physical suffering? Q: (Inaudible) K: I’m afraid I can’t understand
what you’re saying, sir. Q: He says – this gentleman – in your talks,
there are two different elements, one is observation, awareness,
and the other is the question you ask which you call, yourself,
‘impossible questions.’ K: I haven’t understood
the question, sir. Q: Then he asks, what’s the
relationship between these two points? K: Between what two points? Q: Observation
and impossible questions – what you call, yourself,
‘impossible questions.’ Q: The impossible question. K: Don’t ask impossible questions
on a hot day! I don’t understand the question. Perhaps, we’ll go into it as we go along
with other questions, if I may. Q: (Inaudible) Q: She’s saying, what is doubt and why are we suffering
when we have to choose? K: What is doubt and why is it
that we suffer when we choose? Q: I have one question, too. Can a person who has an innocent mind meet at the same time
and at the same level with a person
who has a damaged brain? K: How can one meet another
human being, if one is somewhat sane, the other is not? It seems to me that is our problem! You may all be very sane
and I may not! I may be…
So, that is the problem. So, what shall we talk about
this morning, apart from several questions
about meditation, seeing lights and all that,
visions, physical health, how to meet people
who are, perhaps, not so neurotic as oneself and so on. Q: You also love to escape. K: The question is, I like to escape.
From what? Q: From me.
K: From you! Q: Laughing, laughing, laughing
– you stupid fools! K: Comment, madame? Q: These people are
incredible fools, incredible! K: I agree. May I ask a question, perhaps it may include
the other questions. And I’m not imposing
my question over yours but may I ask a question?
May I? I’m sure we must have asked ourselves, not in the words I am putting them in but a very fundamental question,
which is, how can one keep a brain
that is constantly renewing itself – you understand my question? – that is constantly not deteriorating,
not getting old, not getting senile, but that doesn’t damage itself, that doesn’t allow itself
to be damaged, that has a quality
of constant youthfulness – the brain, not sexually
and all that kind of stuff. Is this an important question
to any of you? Not because I’m asking. I’m asking if it is important
to each one of us, whether it possible as one
grows older and older and older to have a brain that is fresh, young, undamaged, free, so as to have a mind that is quick, not only quick in thought
but in action? After all, youth means
decision and action. It may be a foolish decision
and foolish action, but as one grows older, there is
always the deteriorating factor not only biologically, physiologically
but also in the brain. Would that interest any of you to find out whether it is possible
to have a brain, though that brain
is very, very, very old, millennia, thousands of years old, can that brain in spite of its age,
in spite of all its experiences, the accumulated burdens of knowledge, can that brain be ever,
if I can use the word ‘young,’ you will understand what I mean – not young in the sense, foolish, not in the sense dull, heavy
and so on and so on. Shall we discuss that? Would that
be of interest to any of you? Please, I’m not asking you
to be interested in it. I’m just asking –
as you ask a question of me, I’m asking you a question. Q: In spite of the physical age?
K: In spite of age, of course. Would that…?
Can we go into it? Perhaps, in answering that,
enquiring into that question we might be able to answer
how to meet human beings who are vulgar, cruel, violent, self-centred, and somewhat neurotic – admitting that one is also,
perhaps, neurotic. That’s the question
I would like to put forward to you, if you are interested in it,
we can go into it. Ca vous plait?
Q: Yes. Q: I would not be neurotic
if not everybody else is neurotic. K: She would not be neurotic if
everybody around her is not neurotic. And how does a mind
which is not so completely neurotic meet a mind,
or behaviour of a human being who is somewhat more neurotic?
That’s the question asked. Please, may I go into it? What makes the brain,
I’m talking of the brain which holds
thousand years of memories. Right? Because our brain is not young, we have inherited thousands
of years of man’s endeavour, man’s struggle, what he has to face,
dangers, pleasures, all the travail of existence
for thousands and thousands of years. Our brain has evolved, and through that evolution,
time and progress, all the rest of it, it has acquired certain resistances,
certain freedom, it has learnt what is danger,
how to avoid danger, and how to pursue pleasure, and so on. So our brain, your brain,
is not just born, it is the result of a million years. Right? That’s obvious. I am not a brain specialist. I’ve watched myself,
I’ve watched the whole business. Now, can that brain unburden itself from the past, be free from all pressure,
from all compulsion, various forms of addictions.
Right? I’m asking that question. That is,
what damages the brain? Let’s begin that way. You find out.
Let’s talk it over, together. Perhaps, I may be more neurotic
than you are, or I may be a biological freak. So, you have to talk over, together, show to each other, help each other
to understand this question. Now, what damages the brain? Q: Psychological hurts. K: The gentleman says, ‘psychological
urge,’ I don’t quite follow. Q: Hurts. K: More basically than that,
what destroys the brain? Q: Contradiction.
K: Contradiction. When there is contradiction, that is, feeling one thing,
doing something opposite to that, thinking something and saying something entirely
different from what you think, or there is this desire
to do something, the drive, and there is, also,
the opposing drive. Right? So, this is what the gentleman means
– if I understood him, rightly – by contradiction. Now, what takes place
when there is contradiction? What takes place in your life…?
I don’t have to… Please, think it out for yourself – what takes place when there is
contradiction, opposition? One desire opposing another desire,
what takes place? Q: Conflict.
K: Conflict. Could we say, then,
that conflict in any form, biological, psychological, or one thought opposing
another thought, and so on, this constant conflict, this constant
battle, outwardly and inwardly is one of the factors
of the brain being damaged? Right?
Don’t agree with me, please. It’s important to find out,
for oneself, whether this brain,
which is not your brain, that’s just it,
please, understand this. It’s not your brain,
it’s the brain of all of us because you are the result of
million years of so-called evolution, progress, accumulation of knowledge,
pain, suffering. Q: So, you said that… K: Un instant, un instant,
un instant je vous en prie. Un momento, per favore
– the train. Q: You say,
in telling what you have said now, that we are at this subject
all in the same position but I can understand
that the inhabitants are so different. So, when you say is the brain
of the whole of humankind, we are all in the same position
when we were born, I want to ask you a personal question: when you were born
you were conditioned and you free yourself after this?
K: No… Q: Or is it work you do, after? K: No, sir, no, no.
Don’t go off into detail yet, please, just wait a minute.
Prego, un momento. Would you say your brain, which is the result
of thousands of years, is different from my brain which is also thousands and
thousands and thousands of years old? Or we both of us have passed
through the gate of experience, of pain, of suffering,
of agony and so on and so on? That brain may be
conditioned in a culture which is different
from another culture. It may be educated
differently from another culture which has its own education. But the basic quality of the brain
is that, being thousands of years old,
it is more or less the same, similar, though, outwardly, it is different. We’ll go into that.
Leave that, for the moment. I’m asking myself and
I hope you’re asking yourself, too, what are the basic elements
that bring about damage? Let’s forget your brain
and my brain are the same – leave all that aside. We said, one of the causes of damage is this constant effort,
conflict, struggle, which puts enormous
pressure on the brain. Right?
Or you don’t agree to this. What do you say? Q: I don’t agree. Q: He says he doesn’t agree. He thinks the brain has evolved
through struggle. K: Yes, to a certain extent,
the gentleman says – this is the common argument –
it has evolved through struggle, through conflict, through constant
battle, outwardly and inwardly. And one questions – I don’t say
it has not – but one questions it. You understand what I’m saying? One doesn’t easily accept
it has evolved through struggle. I want to find out
if that is the truth. So, we are asking ourselves, if struggle
is the element of its growth, then if that has damaged the brain, through biological strain, the constant pressure,
strain, anxiety, if these things have
brought about a ‘better’ brain – I’m using the ‘better’ in quotes – after millions of years
what have we achieved, what have we come to? If the brain has evolved and become extraordinarily
beautiful, marvellous, after thousands of years of struggle – and what are we at the present time? That’s the criteria. Right? Q: Sir, may I ask you
a further question related to that? K: Jesus… Q: As you say the brain, our brain, has evolved over this
long period of time, along with the brains
of other creatures. It seems it is not a question
of the superiority of one brain, the human brain over
other brains of other species, but it is remarkable, it seems, that the human brain has
different qualities from the rest. K: I don’t… Q: And that it has,
along with this pain, the possibilities of pain and
contradiction through its memories, its desire
to repeat past experiences… K: I’m sorry, sir, I can’t hear.
Q: I’m sorry. I was asking what the difference
is between the human brain and the other brains
which have evolved along with it. The human brain has, it seems, acquired this possibility
for suffering through anticipation, the desire to repeat past experiences and I wonder how we can differentiate what seems to be the peculiarities
of the human brain from the other brains. K: Look, sir, if I may ask, we must take our brains
as they are – as we are. Not say, are we different
from the animal, are we different from the little baby, or different from the extraordinary
animal called the whale and so on. We are talking of the brain
that we have now, not the brain of the animal
but as we are, now. We are saying, if through struggle,
through conflict, through millennia, man has produced
this extraordinary brain, what is the actual fact,
not theory, not supposition, the actual fact
of what it is doing, now, how it is operating, now.
Just a minute. I do not know if you have read
in one of the magazines that we have had wars
for the last five thousand years. That means – historically –
that means wars every other year. Right? And we are going on
in the same pattern. Right? Our way of killing has become
much more efficient, much more complicated, you can destroy human beings
by the million and keep the buildings intact. Is that the result
of our excellent brain? You follow? So, we are saying, strife, conflict,
battle within and without, does that really make the brain
young, fresh? There may be another way.
You follow? We have accepted
the norm, the pattern, that as a tree struggles
to reach the sunlight in a forest or in a wood, so we must struggle
to have more knowledge, more this and that and the other. So, I am saying
there may be another way which may bring about
a different quality of the brain which is not hurt,
which is not under pressure, if one understands
the futility of effort. Q: We don’t know
if such a state exists. K: You don’t know.
No, no, ecoutez. Q: Who’ll give me the answer
if this is possible that the humankind can go
without conflict or not? I don’t know. K: Sir, you’re not listening
to what I’m saying. I said there may be another way.
You don’t know. Q: I suppose. K: I said there may be. That means, in English, perhaps.
Q: Perhaps. K: A probability.
So, don’t say, we don’t know. For God’s sake!
We have said that struggle has not brought about
intelligence in our life. It has become very clever
to protect itself, but it is not intelligent
when you have wars, wars, wars, practically every year,
all over the world. Obvious, sir. And I’m suggesting, perhaps,
– perhaps – there may be the other way,
there may be another way of living and perhaps making the brain
much more alive, young, fresh, if we understand
the futility of effort. Q: (Inaudible) K: The present social structure is
based on this question of competition. Right? That is, our present social structure
with its economy and so on is based, essentially, on competition, fight to reach,
struggle to get something. That is, the nature and the structure – in more detail,
I don’t want to go – of our society in which we live. That society is the outcome of us,
we have built it. God hasn’t built it. Every human being has built
the society in which we live because he’s aggressive,
he wants position, he wants power, he’s greedy and so on, so on. So, our society is competitive,
our society is essentially immoral – we won’t go into what is
morality and all the rest of it, we will, later on – it is essentially immoral, divided: upper and lower levels of power.
Right? So, our whole education,
the way we live, is based on that, and that is our pattern
for the last million years. And that may be one of the factors – I’m suggesting,
I’m not saying it is – it may be one of the factors
that damages the brain – this constant strain,
this constant struggle, the constant wanting
to find something, being driven towards something. Those who are seeking, already know what they are seeking –
bien? Otherwise, you wouldn’t seek it. So, we are saying that’s
one of the basic factors of damage. Can we live –
again, a probability, asking, I want to ask these questions because otherwise
we just remain where we are – is there a possibility
of living without conflict? Otherwise,
our brains will always function in a very, very narrow,
limited pattern. That’s simple enough.
Right? Q: We have seen
how the brain is so conditioned, and how is right action
to come about, with such a brain? K: We’re going to, sir, slowly,
let’s go step by step into it. And if that is the factor
why our brains, as we grow older become more and more worn out, more and more repetitive
– it won’t alter its pattern. It’s afraid to break its pattern. If it is malicious, bitter, angry,
it keeps to that, and so on. Then,
is there a way of living which is not
this constant strain, battle? To find that out we must understand
the nature and the structure of contradiction, comparison
and this drive – pleasant, sometimes unpleasant,
aggressive and on other occasions easy, but this constant drive. That is, we say, damaging the brain. Even the specialists
are agreeing to this. We happened to talk to one
of the so-called brain specialists, he agrees to this. Being a specialist,
you must also agree with him! Right? Because you’re all
authoritarian bound. So, that’s one of the factors.
Just a minute. What are the other factors? Go on, sir. Q: It seems that my thought
doesn’t want to end itself. K: He has said something
which is important to understand – if I understand
the question, properly. We are afraid of ending. Right? If one is attached
with all the sequences and the things involved in attachment, with its pain, with its fear,
all the rest of it, the continuity of the same
pattern of attachment is one of the factors
of deterioration. I wonder if you see this. Because that which is continuous, is habitual, routine, mechanical, so the brain
that has become mechanical is one of the factors
of deterioration. Right?
Oh, this is obvious! No? If I, born in India,
continue to be an Indian, thinking along the same way: my superstition, my gods,
my inventions – you follow? – routine, routine, routine
– it’s obviously mechanical, traditional and, therefore,
it is damaging itself. Now, wait a minute,
that’s one of the factors: that is, struggle, effort,
battle with oneself and a mechanical way of living, following the tradition, it may be
two-day-old or ten-thousand-year-old. That means that which is
a continuous movement, in the same direction, is one of the factors
of deterioration. No? Q: Doesn’t continuous movement
imply struggle, isn’t it the same,
because if I don’t struggle I cannot move continuously? K: I may continue this way
or I may continue that way. Q: But continuation, itself,
is a struggle, is the same as struggling. K: Yes, sir. Agreed, agreed. Don’t explain. That’s understood. Struggle is what we are accustomed to,
which has become a pattern and never ending anything,
which is also our pattern. If I’m hurt, I carry it all my life. Right? I never end my hurt. So, the mechanical way of living
is one of the factors of deterioration – which doesn’t mean
that we must be spontaneous. How can a mind
which has never been free, which has always worked horizontally
or vertically, continuously, how can such a mind
which follows a pattern, have any form of spontaneity?
It is impossible. It may think it is spontaneous.
Right – we have found two factors. So, what are the other factors? Q: Thought, itself. K: Wait. I’ll come to that
towards the end, sir, I don’t… don’t add… before you pick
thought, itself, go into another. Q: To be self-centred? K: To be self-centred.
Yes, maybe. And – wait, I’m coming to that – one of the factors may be
this constant desire to identify oneself with something. I’m asking you, don’t accept it
or deny it, but find out. This constant exertion,
drive, impetus, desire, to say, ‘I am that’ – identify myself with the country, with a belief, with a person,
with an idea, with an ideal, or with a piece of furniture.
You understand? This constant movement
from what I am, to what I should be. And identifying myself
with what ‘should be,’ which is, again, a battle.
Right? Right, sir? So, what are the other factors? Effort, a way of living in a routine, if that is broken,
you form another routine. Which means a mind, a brain
that has been accustomed, it is its habit,
to mechanically follow, mechanically accept,
mechanically live – I did this yesterday
and I must do this tomorrow, I had sexual pleasure yesterday,
I must have it tomorrow and so on and on. Right? Now, there may be another factor, which is,
the whole momentum of thought. With this, perhaps,
you will not agree – not agree – we’ll not be able to communicate
with each other. I want to communicate and
you may be unwilling to communicate. You may say,
‘Use a different set of words.’ Words are not important when
you want to communicate something. There must be the urge
to understand each other, then I can use a word in Eskimo,
or some language, and language won’t matter. The desire to understand
is more important than the word. So, I’m asking, is one of the major,
perhaps, the only factor, that damages the brain, is this constant movement of thought? Q: Thought generates fear and one of the fears is the fear of
communicating, really communicating. I’m afraid of communicating
to you, now. I’m communicating to you, now
but I’m afraid, somehow and it seems thought
has generated that fear in me of communicating to you, now,
with all these people here and so on. Q: He says that thought generates fear – fear of communicating with you –
here and now. K: Thought generates fear. That fear is born because thought
is afraid to communicate with you. Is that so?
Are you afraid to communicate with me? I’m not saying you are,
or you’re not, I don’t know. Unless you are a devotee,
unless you say, ‘Well, I surrender to whatever
you are, I’ll surrender to that’ – then you go to sleep. Now, are we frightened
to communicate with each other? Q: One doesn’t understand
quite fully what you are saying. K: No, sir, that’s a different… One doesn’t understand quite fully
what you’re saying, therefore, that might bring about,
not fear – ‘I don’t understand you,
please, tell me more, put it a different way.’ But in that, there is no fear, unless one is afraid
to expose oneself. Right? You may not want
to expose yourself to me, and I don’t want you
to expose yourself to me. But you should expose
yourself to yourself. See yourself – perhaps expose yourself
is rather an equivocal word but you should see
yourself as you are. And the function of a speaker
is not important if you use him as a mirror,
to see yourself as you are. Now, let’s proceed. We said one of the major factors,
and perhaps the only factor, is this constant movement of thought. While you are awake,
while you’re asleep, while you are looking out
of the window or keeping still, this constant chatter not, probably, put into words
but imagination, looking at things
and giving them a name, this machinery
is going on all the time. And we are saying, that may be
the real damage to the brain. Then arises the question, how is it possible
not to think at all? Wait a minute, wait a minute. That is the whole idea
of controlling thought so that it won’t think about anything except what it is directed
to think about. You understand this? That is, one realises
– if you realise – that thought is one of the central
factors of the damage of the brain thought damages the brain, then one asks, why is this machinery going on
all the time? You understand? What is the motive power of it,
what is the petrol, what is the oil,
what is the whatever it is that keeps this thing going,
going, going, going, night and day? Q: The function of the brain
is to think, isn’t it? K: The function of the brain
is to think. Is it? Sir, don’t posit anything,
don’t be definite, if I may, politely, ask you.
Let’s find out. So, if thinking
is the nature of the brain, and this thinking
is continuously going on, then it’s damaging itself. Like a machine,
like your car running all the time, add new, fresh oil,
look after it, properly, but keep it running, running, running,
you’ll wear it out very, very quickly. So, is that one of the major factors
of the damage of the brain? You follow? Either you think
horizontally, linearly or vertically. That is, we are used
to reading books from left to right and so our thinking
is more or less horizontal and if you read, as they do
in China and Japan, and so on, that way, you’re also
following along a certain line, or left to right, right to left,
same thing – the Arabs and so on. Now, our question, then is, what is the petrol,
the oil, the energy, that keeps this thing going
over and over and over again. Right? What is the source of this energy which is now being used for thinking? Q: It is sent by the senses. K: The questioner says, or she says,
it is supplied by the senses. Is it? When you keep your eyes opened
and look, your senses are looking, but you can keep your eyes closed
and keep on thinking. Is thinking
only the result of the senses, or is thinking based on another,
which is memory and so on – one wants to find out
what is the energy that is being used in this perpetual motion of thought.
You understand, sir? Q: That means that thought
is living in the past. K: No, no, no, just, sir,
don’t say it is. Let’s find out. You see, there is energy. Right? Energy which is being used
through conflict, which has become mechanical, routine, and we said
this constant identification, all this energy
is used along these lines. We are asking, why is this energy so completely
used by thought? You understand what I’m saying? K: No, please, don’t be so quick.
Find out. I don’t know
if I have made myself clear. To make an effort, you need energy – to struggle, to battle, outwardly
or inwardly, energy is necessary. To identify oneself with somebody
and so on and so on, it requires energy. And when the brain has become
mechanical, routine, following a pattern, it is also using energy. Right? And I’m asking,
why has thought become so important and using up most of our energy? I have just stated, madam,
I’m not clear, myself, whether I’m telling what I’m
observing, putting into words. If somebody understands
what I have said, please, carry on. Q: We are trying
to control our environment. K: Any form of control
is another wastage of energy. Q: Perhaps, it’s only if you
continually keep on and on thinking that you only perpetuate
this permanent sense of ‘I’ ‘I,’ the self. K: That’s what I want to get at, why is thought using so much energy that we have no energy anywhere else? Q: Because without it,
the sense of ‘I,’ the fact that ‘I’ can do something… K: That’s what I want to…
Let’s go into it, a little bit, if we understand each other,
let’s go into it, a little bit. You understand what I’m saying? Q: I think the brain
is always looking for security by comparing everything. K: Yes, sir, I understand,
we are seeking security – security in a belief, security
in a family, security in a house, security in an ideal, security
in identification, all the rest of it. We want security
but that’s understood. Like a child, like a baby,
that needs security. So, our brain demands security.
We’ve been through that. And that security, you may think exists in this constant
movement of thought. You understand what I’m saying?
Discover something! That is, thought, seeking security and establishing
what it thinks is secure, remains in that pattern and thought then is using an enormous
amount of energy, night and day. And we say
that may be one of the factors of the deterioration of the brain. Q: Is it thought itself,
or is it the point where thought… K: Is it thought, itself,
or thought in action? Yeah, that’s right. Thought itself,
or is it thought in action? Right? Q: Is it not a question of balance? K: Is that not a question of balance? Maybe. You’re not listening. You’re all thinking, you know,
we’re not thinking, together. That doesn’t mean that you accept but let’s think together,
on the same point then, perhaps,
we’ll come to something. Just a minute, sir. Q: I think we are afraid
to be empty without thinking, or to be safe without thinking. K: We have said that,
yesterday or the day before, that we are afraid if thought
wasn’t occupied with something, we’re afraid to face our loneliness. And fear, then, is one of the factors
of damage, obviously. So, please. Q: Can one say
that thought has run wild? K: Can one say
that thought has run wild? You can say it! What of…?
All right, it has run wild. Technologically, it has run wild, babies are being produced
in test tubes and so on. Now, let’s come back. I want to find out a way of living
in which the brain is not damaged. Q: Can there be a way of living…?
K: Jesus! Q: …so as not to reduce
all of the mechanical things, all of the technical things, that are peculiar
as products of the human brain? Can we have those things
which are the products of thought which relieve our
various forms of discomfort, or fear of discomfort, or our fear
of personal discontinuance? K: Sir, we went into all that during the last few
discussions and talks, but I want to get at this.
Please! Let’s find out. One observes, clearly, that
constant effort does damage the brain, constant struggle, all that. And, also, this mechanical movement, which implies practice,
you know, all that, which purely becomes mechanical,
which is called meditation and so on. So, we have found two factors. And, also, we said
the major factor may be the whole movement of thought
and its action. And we asked,
why has thought become so important, using up such tremendous energy,
night and day – the images, the ideals,
sexual images and so on, so on, which is all the movement
of thought all the time – anger, bitterness, aggressiveness, saying, ‘You’re wrong, I’m right,’
you know, the battle that goes on. Why has thought become
so enormously important? Which, apparently,
doesn’t seem to end, at all. You understand my question? So, is there an ending
– you follow, sir? – to end something is to release energy, not in any direction,
to release energy. This is too much for you. – I want to go on but, apparently… Do we recognise, sir,
the one central factor, that thought is in motion,
is in movement from the moment you wake up,
till you sleep, and when you sleep
it is there, all the time? And so, it may be mechanical. So, thought is mechanical, therefore,
that is a deteriorating factor. So, do we recognise, do we see
the fact that thought is mechanical? Q: It seems there is more to it. This constant thinking
feeds those forces which motivate the thinking itself,
such as vanity, greed. K: We said that, sir. What is
the motive..? We said that, sir. We asked, what is the motive
of this constant thinking. Motive means movement
in a direction, or no direction. Motive means, actually, the meaning
of the word, is a movement. We’ve been through all this. I’m asking,
as long as this brain, our brain, has become mechanical, that may be the major
factor of deterioration. That mechanical process is thought,
and thought is mechanical. Do we see that? You may invent
the most marvellous engines, but it’s still
the movement of thought. You may sit and close your eyes
and think about God, it is still mechanical. Or you may say,
‘I will practise, I will sit quietly, I’ll surrender myself to somebody
with a beard, or non-beard’ that’s also mechanical. So, any movement of thought
is mechanical. And we are saying,
that is the essence of deterioration. Because that makes us struggle. Right? We are competitive,
we want to reach, we want to attain, we want to become a success,
which is all the movement of thought, identification, and so on and so on. So, thought is the very essence
of deterioration of a brain. Q: Thought is ‘me.’ K: Thought is ‘me.’ Q: But is it not possible
that there is, within the field of thought, another area where thought
is organic and living? Is thought generally just… K: Sir, that means we have to go
into the question of what is thought. What is thought? If you had no memory,
you wouldn’t be able to think. Memory is the accumulation
of experience as knowledge. Right? That is obvious, sir. No? Please, this is… even the most
profound scientist says this, so please, accept it! If you want to accept the specialists. But you can observe
your own brain in operation. So, if that is so,
then, what is one to do? You understand? Any movement of thought
deteriorates the brain – any movement.
Right? Q: How can we live without thinking? K: How can we live without thinking? We have been through all this, sir!
I’ll tell you. Isn’t it time to stop? Q: (Inaudible) K: Quarter to twelve. Q: What is one to do? K: Would you listen if I tell you? Q: Yes. Very attentively, all of us. K: I have already told you! I’ve already told you. So, you haven’t listened. Q: Now you said, ’What is one to do?’ K: Wait, wait.
I have already told you. Either I’m an idiot saying
I’ve already told you, when I haven’t, or a liar or you haven’t listened. So, would you kindly listen, again? That means listen to find out, listen with care, with affection, not saying,
‘Well, I’ve heard this before.’ If you have heard it before
and I repeat it again, you say, ‘I’m bored.’ But if you have listened,
tested, acted, found out, you will never be bored. Every time you test it,
there’s something new taking place. And if you merely say,
‘Yes, I understand, you have said so and so,
and you’re repeating yourself, I’m bored, or semi-bored,’ which means you have not tested it, you have not experimented,
looked, gone into it, and if you discover something you want to go into it more
and more and more, and more, there’s never a moment of boredom. It’s like those research people,
they’re never bored, they’re at it from morning till night because they want to discover
something new, new, new. When we are confronted
with this enormous, complex problem, which is that thought
in its very nature and structure is the major factor
of the deterioration of the brain, from that you ask,
what is one to do? Right? Please, listen. Who is asking this question? Thought is asking that question. Right? So, as long as you ask the question, which is, thought says,
‘What am I to do?’, then thought says,
‘I must find an action which will get rid of my routine,
my mechanical processes. How am I to stop thinking? I can’t, in life I must think.’ Of course, you must think. Otherwise, you wouldn’t be here
and I wouldn’t be here. So, as long as thought
has any form of movement, whatever it does will be the factor
of deterioration of the brain. Now, if you really understand that, really see the truth of it,
you’re finished. Then you have placed thought
in its right place. Which is, thought being the outcome
of knowledge, memory, experience, thought is necessary to drive a car, to take a bus to go home,
to go to the factory, but if the brain realises
that thought is the factor that is making it deteriorate, then it says, ‘All right,
I’ve understood this, I’ve got it,’ then we can go
into much deeper things. You follow?
Now, we are all surface. So, the positive action of thought,
to which we’re all accustomed to, is the factor of deterioration. The non-action of thought, which is thought
living in its right place, then the brain can never deteriorate. That’s enough.

2 thoughts on “J. Krishnamurti – Saanen 1978 – Public Discussion 4 – Constant effort damages the brain

  1. 26:46 if struggle is the element of brain's growth…
    42:38 – 52:00 we are affraid of ending…
    54:16 the constant movement of thought…
    1:04:27 thought is seeking security…
    1:12:54 thought is mechanical…
    1:15:16 what is thought?
    1:19:23 what is one to do?

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