A discussion with Krishnaji
Sep 15, 1997 05:29 AM
Here is an interesting discussion that took place couple of years before
A DIALOGUE BETWEEN J. KRISHNAMURTI AND PUPUL JAYAKAR
AT BROCKWOOD PARK ON JUNE 7, 1981
J. KRISHNAMURTI (K): Mrs. Jayakar and I are going to have a very
serious discussion, a very serious dialogue very serious. So if you
don't understand or if you get bored, please go out quietly all right?
PUPUL JAYAKAR (PJ): Krishnaji, one of the questions which I feel is at the
very depth of the human mind is 'the coming to be' and 'the ceasing to be'.
Life and death. The whole of man's life revolves around the wonder of birth
and the fear of death. All his urges, his demands, his desires, his fears,
his anxieties rest between these two poles birth and death.
At one level we understand birth and death, but I think the understanding is
only at the superficial level. And unless we understand, in depth, the whole
problem of existence which is held between the two the whole problem that
lies in the ending of anything fear, anxiety and the darkness and shadows
which surround that one word 'ending', will always be with us.
K: Why do you use the word 'problem'? Why do you make that interval between
birth and death a problem?
PJ: By themselves, birth and death are facts, but the mind can never leave
them alone. The mind clings to one and rejects the other.
K: Why do you use the word 'problem'?
P: It is a 'problem' because of the shadows that surround that one word
'ending'. There is the joy and splendor of what we see as life and the
demand to hold on to it at any cost and to evade that which means an ending.
This is a problem. Out of it arise fear, sorrow, all the demands ...
K: So what is the question?
PJ: How do we explore? How can we be free of the darkness that surrounds the
word? How can our minds look at death with simplicity and observe it for
what it is?
K: Are you really considering death or that great period between life and
death? That is, are you including the whole process of living with all its
complexity, misery, confusion all that in your consideration of the ending?
Are you concerned with finding out what death means and what this long
process of struggle, conflict, misery, etc., to which we cling in our
avoidance of the other, is? Are you concerned with the whole movement of it?
PJ: You see there is a whole movement of existence in which life and death
are. But if you make the scope so wide, I don't think you can get to the
anguish and the sorrow of ending. And I want to investigate into the sorrow
K: Are you inquiring into the sorrow of ending or are you inquiring into the
whole process of living and of dying, which includes sorrow, fear, and all
the rest of it?
PJ: In that one sentence what you say is correct it is the whole movement of
living and dying which is existence. You talk of the ending of sorrow, I
talk of that anguish, that fear, which is the sorrow of ending.
K: Quite, quite.
PJ: The two are slightly different. There is the anguish of 'something which
is' ceasing to be... There is something which is marvelous, something which
is beautiful, which fills one's life, and there is always the knowledge that
it must end which lurks behind it.
K: What is 'ending'?
PJ: 'Ending' is that process in which something which exists, which
sustains, ceases to be; it is no longer available to our senses.
K: What is this? I don't quite understand.
PJ: Sir, something is and in the very nature of that 'isness' there is the
sense of the ending of that; there is the disappearance of that for eternity.
K: Why do you use that word 'eternity'?
PJ: Because there is an absoluteness in that ending. There is no tomorrow in it.
K: Now just a minute ending what?
PJ: Ending that which sustains. There is the sorrow of something so
K: Is it so marvelous?
PJ: Let me come to something which is more direct. You are. That you will
not be causes great anguish. You are.
K: What do you mean, 'You are'? K is. In that statement K is is the anguish
of K ceasing to be. Death is inevitable. The person is going to end someday.
To him it doesn't matter; there is no fear, no anguish. But you look at that
person and say, 'Oh my God, he is going to die'. So if I may use that word
as you used it, it is your anguish. Now, why?
PJ: It is ...
PJ: Why do you ask 'winy'?
K: I've lived with that person; I've loved that person and he dies. I'm
lost. Why? Why am I in a terrible state a state of despair, a state of
loneliness? Why am I in tears, in anguish? Why am I in sorrow? We are not
discussing this intellectually we are talking much more seriously. I've lost
that person. He's been dear to me; he's been my companion. He comes to an
end. I think it is really important to understand the ending, because there
is something totally new when there is an ending.
PJ: That is why I said you cannot ask the 'why' of it.
K: 'Why' is merely put as an inquiry.
PJ: My sorrow is it not inevitable? He was the perfume of my existence.
K: Yes, I loved him. He was my companion sexually, and because of him I felt
rich. And he, that person, comes to an end.
PJ: Is not that sorrow?
K: It is. My son or my brother dies. It is a tremendous sorrow. I shed
tears. I am filled with anxiety. So the mind then says: I must find comfort
in the thought that I shall meet him in my next life. I'm asking: Why does
man carry the burden of this sorrow? I know it is sorrow; it is as
devastating as if the whole of my existence were uprooted. It is like a
marvelous tree torn, cut down in an instant.
I'm in sorrow because I've never really understood deeply what ending is.
I've lived for forty, fifty, or eighty years and during that entire period I
have never realized the meaning of ending the putting an end to something
which I hold dear. I have never totally ended belief, totally ended
attachment ended it, so that it does not continue in another direction.
PJ: What makes the mind capable of ending?
K: I'm taking a very simple example attachment. Can one end without any
motive or direction attachment, with all its complexity, and all its
implications? Can one have no attachment to anything to one's experience,
knowledge, memory? After all, the ending of knowledge that's what is going
to happen when death comes. Knowledge is what one is clinging to. The
knowledge of a person whom I've cherished, whom I've looked after, and lived
with. There is the memory of the beauty and the conflict that was involved
in it. Now, to end totally, absolutely, the memory of all that, is death.
PJ: You have often said 'Living, enter the house of death'. What is exactly
meant by that?
K: 'To invite death while living' does not mean to commit suicide by taking
a pill and, thus, ceasing to exist. I think it is very important to invite
death while living. I have done it.
You see, the word 'ending' itself contains a depth of meaning. Let us say
that there is something, a memory of an experience that I cherish, that I
hold on to because it has given me great delight, a sense of well being. I
cling to that memory. I go to the office, I work, but the memory is so
extraordinarily enduring and vital that I hold on to it; therefore I never
find out what it means to end. I think there is a great deal in ending,
every day, everything that one has psychologically gathered.
PJ: You can end attachment.
K: That is death.
PJ: That is not death.
K: What would you call death? The organism coming to an end? Or the image
I've built about you ending?
PJ: When you reduce it to that, I'd say that it is the image which you have
built about someone; but there is much more than that.
K: Of course. I've lived with you, cherished you, and the image of you is
deeply rooted in me. You die and the image gathers greater strength.
Naturally I put flowers at the shrine of that image; I give poetic words to
it. But it is the image that is living. I'm talking of the ending of that
image. The mind cannot enter into a totally new dimension if there is a
shadow of a memory of anything. Because that other is timeless. That other
dimension is eternal and if the mind has to enter into that, it must not
have any element of time in it. I think this is logical, rational.
PJ: But life is not logical; life is not rational.
K: Of course not. To understand without time that which is everlasting, the
mind must be free of all that one has gathered psychologically, which is
time. Therefore, there must be ending.
PJ: Therefore there is no exploration to ending?
K: What is 'ending' ending to continuity? The continuity of a particular
thought, a particular direction, a particular desire; it is these that give
life a continuity. Birth and death in that great interval there is a deep
continuity, like a river. The volume of water makes the river marvelous like
the Ganga, Rhine, Amazon and we cannot see the beauty of the river. You see,
we live on the surface of this vast river of our life, and we cannot see the
beauty of it because we are always on the surface. And the 'ending' is the
ending of the surface.
PJ: The 'ending' of it is the ending of the surface ...
K: Yes, the ending of the surface.
PJ: What dies?
K: All that I've accumulated, both outwardly and inwardly. I have good
taste, and I've built up a good business which brings me lots of money
nice house, nice wife, nice children, nice garden. And my life has given a
continuity to it all. To end that.
PJ: Sir, do you mind if I explore a little? You mean to tell me that with
the death of the body of K, the consciousness of K will end? Please, I'm
putting a lot of weight in this.
K: You have said two things: The consciousness of K and the ending of the
body. The body will end through accident, disease. That is obvious. What is
the consciousness of that person?
PJ: Enormous, unending, abounding compassion.
K: Yes. I would not call that consciousness.
PJ: I'm using the word 'consciousness' because it is associated with the
body of K. I cannot think of another word. I could say 'the mind of K'.
K: Keep to the word 'consciousness', and lets look at it. The consciousness
of a human being is its content. The content is the whole movement of
thought. Language, specialization, beliefs, dogmas, rituals, pain,
loneliness, desperation, a sense of fear all that is the movement of
thought. If the movement of thought ends, consciousness as we know it is not.
PJ: But thought as a movement in consciousness as we know it does not exist
in the mind of K. Yet there is a state of being which manifests itself when
I'm in contact with him. It manifests itself therefore, even if you do not
reduce it to thought.
K: No, no. One must be very careful in pointing out something: consciousness
as we know it is the movement of thought; it is a movement of time.
K: See that very clearly. Consciousness as we know it is the movement of
thought. Therefore, when thought, after investigating, etc., comes to an end
not in the material world but in the psychological world consciousness as we
know it is not.
PJ: Sir, you can use any other word but there is a state of being which
manifests itself as K.
K: Yes. You are perfectly right.
PJ: What word shall I use?
K: I am not asking you to change words but let us say, for example, that
through meditation real meditation and not all the foolish stuff that passes
for it you've come to a point that is absolute. And you say so.
K: And I see this. I feel it. To me this is a most extraordinary state.
Through you, through my contact with you, I feel this immensity. And my
whole urge, striving, says that I must capture it; I must have it. It is not
you Pupulji having it. It is there. It is not yours or mine, it is there.
PJ: But it is there because of you.
K: It is there not because of me. It is there.
K: It has no place.
PJ: I can only accept what you say up to a point.
K: All right... First of all, it is not yours or mine.
PJ: I only know that it is manifest in the person of K. Therefore when you
say it has no place, I cannot accept it.
K: Because you have identified K with that.
PJ: But K is that.
K: Wait... Maybe. But K says it has nothing whatsoever to do with K or
anybody else. It is there. Beauty is not yours or mine. It is there. In a
tree, in a flower it's there.
PJ: But, sir, the healing and the compassion in K is not out there.
K: Of course not. It is not out there.
PJ: I'm talking about the healing and compassion of K.
K: But that is not K. This...
PJ: But it will cease to be manifest; that is what I'm saying, inquiring about.
K: I get it, I get it. Of course, I understand what you are trying to say,
but I question that.
PJ: What do you mean 'I question that'?
K: It may manifest through X. That which is manifested or which is
manifesting does not belong to X. It has nothing to do with X. It has
nothing to do with K.
PJ: I'm prepared to accept that also, namely, that it does not belong to K.
But K and 'that' are inseparable.
K: All right, but when you identify 'that 'with the person, we enter into a
very delicate thing.
PJ: I want to go into it slowly. Take the Buddha. Whatever the Buddha
consciousness was, or whatever was manifesting through him, has ceased to be.
K: I question it. I doubt it. Lets be very careful. Let us talk about the
Buddha. You say the consciousness of Buddha ceased when he passed away,
right? It manifested through him and he was 'that' end when he died you say
PJ: I have no knowledge of saying that it disappeared. I only say that it
could no longer be contacted. See this, K...
K: Naturally not.
PJ: Why do you say 'naturally not'?
K: He was illumined and he came to it. Therefore between him and 'that'
there was no division. 1, his disciple, say, 'My God, he is dead and with
his death the whole thing is over'. I say it is not. That which is good can
never be over. Just as evil (I am using the word 'evil', even though there
is too much darkness involved with that word) continues in the world, right?
Evil is totally different from that which is good. The good exists and has
always existed, but not as the opposite of evil. The evil has in itself
PJ: But we are moving away.
K: I'm not so sure, but it doesn't matter.
PJ: You say that it does not disappear.
K: Good can never disappear.
PJ: I'm talking of that great illumined compassion. Now I can contact it.
K: But you can contact it even if that person is not. That's the whole
point. It has nothing to do with a particular person.
PJ: Is what you say about being a light to yourself connected with the
contacting of 'that' without the person? When you say that 'it' can be
contacted without the person...
K: Not 'contacted'. It can be perceived, lived; it is then for you to reach
out and hold. It is then for you to reach out and receive it. Thought or
consciousness as we know it has to come to an end, for thought is really the
enemy of that. Thought is the enemy of compassion, obviously right? And to
have that flame, it requires, it demands, not a great sacrifice of this and
that but an awakened intelligence, an intelligence which sees the movement
of thought. And the very awareness of the movement of thought ends it.
That's what real meditation is.
J: What then is the significance of death?
K: None. It has no meaning because you are living with death all the time.
It has no significance because you are ending everything all the time. I
don't think we see the importance and beauty of ending. We see the
continuity with its waves of beauty and all its superficiality.
PJ: I drive away tomorrow. Do I cut myself completely from you?
K: No, not from me; you cut yourself from that. You cut yourself from all
that eternity with all its compassion, and so on.
It's simple. I meet the Buddha. I listen to him very carefully. He makes a
tremendous impression on me and, then, he goes away. But the truth of what
he has said is abiding. He has told me, very carefully, 'Be a light to
yourself so that the truth is in you'. It is that seed that is flowering in
me. He goes away, but the seed is flowering. And I might say, 'I miss him.
I'm sorry. I've lost a friend or somebody whom I really loved', but what is
important is that the seed of truth which has been planted by my awareness,
alertness, listening, that seed will flower. Otherwise what is the point of
somebody having it? If X has this extraordinary illumination I'm using that
word as a sense of immense compassion, and all that if only that person has
it, and he dies, what then?
>From KFA Bulletin No. 68, 1994
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