1. A journey beyond
We live in two worlds. One is true, the other imagined.
What is actually happening is true and real. What we think of it is an image made by our mind. To us it is the only world we know.
For a long time I lived believing that the world I see is actual. It feels so real and it was the only world I knew. Then I woke up. I realized that all my thoughts and feelings come from my own mind.
The first of these two worlds is immense and whole, far beyond what we can ever experience or imagine. It covers everything there ever was, is and will be. The second world is limited by our mind, based on what we see, know, believe and hope to be.
All problems in our life come about when the images in our head meet the real world, what is. We like to blame the world, but it is our mind that is not working in the correct way.
The power of our mind is monumental. For good and for bad, it is the force and source of our ups and downs, joys, fears and tears. It makes, takes and fakes. It tells us what we want and will do and what we will not do. It decides what we believe, feel, hate and love.
All is not right in the mind. Thoughts dominate us, makes our life small and numbing. There are even more serious consequences: we have become a threat to ourselves. There are catastrophes, because our way of living produces more problems than we can solve.
We have to fix this fatal error before it is too late. Time is running out, and instead of tackling the problem we fight about whose beliefs are right or least wrong.
Our main task as human beings is to free our brain and mind from the tyranny of thought and to be free to see the world as it actually is. This book shows how it can be done, but first we must understand, why are we in this mess?
Two roads crossing
Insights into Immensity is a magical tour to a world about which we know nothing. We are guided by two wise men, who shared a burning desire to solve the deepest mystery of existence.
Jiddu Krishnamurti and David Bohm discussed fundamental human issues between 1961 and 1986 and did it in a way that is beyond anything we know.
Thousands of people have been profoundly touched by these dialogues. For many years I waited and hoped that somebody would write a book about the dialogues. When nobody turned up, I decided to do this myself, because I find it urgently important to take this option seriously and drop the egocentric and barbarous way we are living.
David Bohm was an esteemed American scientist, a professor of theoretical physics at London University, who worked with Einstein and whom the Dalai Lama calls his scientific guru. As a physicist Bohm's interest was in understanding the wholeness of the universe, which according to him is impossible, if we don't understand consciousness and the mind.
Jiddu Krishnamurti was a seer and speaker from India, who was 11 when he was discovered by theosophists. He was supposed to bring a revolutionary message from the spiritual masters which would change our thinking.
He decisively discarded his messianic role maintaining that truth is a living thing and nobody can teach it to anyone. Yet he spent his whole life trying to "liberate human beings from mental cages".
One odd sentence from Krishnamurti was the reason the two men met: "The observer is the observed". To Bohm, these words are a conclusion from revolutionary findings in new physics. To Krishnamurti it was a personal insight that changed his outlook on life and human beings. He saw as clearly as we see our fingers that divisions in the world are projections of our minds. They are caused by false programs in our heads and they can and must be changed. Soon!
To Krishnamurti the chaos in the world is the outcome of the chaos in our minds. There will be no better world if we cannot bring order into our confused mind.
The two men met in May 1961 in London and had regular discussions for almost 25 years in Switzerland, England and America. Many of these dialogues were recorded and most of them are published in books or audio and video tapes.
In their work, both men wanted to understand fundamentals, Bohm in science and Krishnamurti in the spiritual area. Their meetings were deep dives into the mysteries of our mind by two top brains of the last century.
The urgent need for a mutation in the human brain was one of Krishnamurti's key insights and in dialogues with Bohm he could clearly articulate delicate nuances of his spectacular view.
This unique collaboration produced thoughts that not only challenge our basic ideas of who we are and why we live as we do, they also give us an idea what we must and must not do in order to find it out for ourselves.
Thought cannot solve the mystery of the mind
The dialogues crystallize possible answers to our basic human problems. They are not always easy to follow, but open a beautiful view to reality beyond reality. Far from reasoning based on clever concepts, they take us to a territory where words have no meaning. Using words they point to a realm beyond words, to total freedom.
They challenge our conventional ideas by presenting an inquiry: What if? We are asked not to listen or read the words, but to put the questions to ourselves. Only the spiritually lazy expect to get an easy answer to the big questions in life. The mystery of existence will not be revealed by reading manuals.
The purpose of these dialogues is not to speculate or announce fundamental truths, but to face the facts of life not as we imagine or would want them to be, but as they factually are. This is a magical tour to a reality unknown to our mind.
Dialogues deal with big things only: life, truth, reality, limits of thought, brain and mind, meditation, insight, intelligence, love and what is sacred. They don't mumble old mantras, they dig or dive or reflect as deeply as it is possible for a human being to go.
The dialogues show that we have two possible ways to watch the world: one way is to look at it as we are used to observing it, which is the world coloured by our knowledge and experiences. The other way is to see what the world is without filters.
Too often we choose the first, the "bad old way", although it frequently gets us into trouble; in fact, it may be the root of all our problems.
We could leave the world of old images anytime and feel the mystery of life in our bones and minds, but we are either afraid, unable or unwilling to do so.
The dialogues studied the same issues as religions and science do, but they don't parrot worn-out wisdoms, but draw us a new mental map that is not based on time and thought, but focuses on seeing the world with fresh eyes.
To see the world we have to stop using the old instruments that we have used to interpret the world. Thinking will not help us solve the mystery of the mind. On the contrary, it prevents us from seeing the world as one.
Our mindless mental models
What we call living is a journey in space and time. We are born, we die and life is in between. What living actually is goes beyond our personal thinking. We know it does, but yet life is a very personal project: my life.
We are aware that there must be life beyond our personal sight and site, but our most passionate interest is in that part of the universe that we happen to live in all day and night.
Above all we are human beings. We feel high and low. We cherish our dear memories and try to get rid of the painful ones. We aspire, desire, hope and wish, have goals and missions. We fill our days with doing and feeling. We laugh and cry, enjoy, regret, feel afraid and frustrated. We love and are loved, hurt and are hurt.
And we are not to blame. Of course, we know that our mind map of the world does not hold up to heavy criticism. We make mistakes, cannot help it. We are producing outcomes that neither we nor anyone wants. Somehow the black holes of our mind draw us away from the light and joys of life to darkness.
We know a lot about our mind, but very wise we are not. Knowledge has not removed ignorance and sheer stupidity from the world. Observing the world we do not witness a paradise. Awful things hit the news every day.
Serious people have a good reason to be worried. They ask: is there any way to stop this madness and change this appalling course before it is too late?
What if there is a simple way? - not easy, but simple.
This book puts forth an alternative world view, based on a radical outlook on human beings and the cosmos around us. It calls for a transformation of the human psyche, an insight that would change our relationship to everything.
Our mind is a tiny ripple in a sea of immense energy. We are a small ripple on it but could liberate ourselves from this self-made prison. Yet, there are two big obstacles in our way.
Firstly, we must find out the real role of thinking in this play we call life. This leads us to ask something that we have forcefully avoided and would not like to believe.
The 'me' is a big mistake
An honest explorer will realize a self-delusion that has been pushed into our consciousness, and which is not easy to remove. We believe that thinking is a fine way to find a solution, but we are now assured that it is the cause of troubles, not the hero but the villain of the story.
Our thinking is not willing to be the silent witness of reality, but wants to modify the world to its own image, leave a mark. In doing this our thinking bumps into many barriers that it cannot avoid.
Then we will meet another monster: that of time. We assume that life happens essentially in time. Why did we make such an assumption? Because we remember. More thorough investigation shows us that thinking is also behind time.
To free the mind we must understand what thinking and time together do to our mind. They create an image of 'me' living in time. One can easily see that this picture comes from the mind, from one specific part of the mind. This imagined being that we call 'me' blocks us from going beyond the mind.
The state of the world is a sad proof of our human tendency to self-centred thinking and action. It seems that we have not learned from our mistakes. On the contrary, we have become skilled in blaming others and circumstances and think we can deny our own involvement.
To free the human mind is quite a mission. We are not free now and perhaps we never will be. Most people don't even want it. If fairy godmother gave us three wishes, very few would choose freedom of the mind.
To be free does not mean that we may do whatever we want. It means that we see the world as it is. When one sees like this, one is free to do what is right.
We are born to love and be loved, connect with other people and share the world with them. A baby has a human mind, but not a sense of self. Babies are not selfish. They need other people to give them food and shelter. When they 'grow up', they start to think they can control their life and mind more than they actually can.
This book explores if it is possible for us to change deeply. Can we see everything with fresh eyes? We are not served with instant instructions to a better life, but a challenge to create a new kind of human being, one who can see the world beyond the mind.
In the spring of 1977 Krishnamurti came into my life. I was 24, just graduated from university, beginning to start a career and find my place in the world.
Deep questions had interested me and I felt that I could affect my life. I believed in the power of thinking and had strong proof of the significance of will and images in building my personality. I loved to read and write and did a considerable amount of both of them.
In a library, I found a book titled Beyond Thinking. It was a Finnish translation of Krishnamurti´s book Freedom from the Known. I thought the title was odd and silly: is somebody seriously asserting that there is something beyond thoughts?
The more I read the book, the more these strange ideas began to influence my seeing the world around me and thinking about it. Especially one sentence in the second chapter had a devastating effect on me.
Krishnamurti talks about self-knowledge saying that to understand ourselves, we need innocence and humility. Then he says: "A confident man is a dead human being."
It took several weeks to understand what on earth he meant by this. So many books I had read had convinced me that confidence is an essential ingredient in living a fulfilling life.
The answer was in the next chapter, but I did not grasp it then. He said we are not free to look and learn, because our minds are shaped by a particular culture we happened to live in and we move in a narrow mental circle conditioned by all that has influenced us.
I started to read his other books and became more puzzled and more and more thrilled. Then I learned that the author was still alive.
The next year I went to Saanen, in the Swiss Alps, to hear him talk. It was beyond anything I had ever seen, experienced or could even imagine. I found no words to describe what happened in my thinking. It opened a world I did not know to exist.
I read more of his books and listened to tapes from his talks. I floated high! Firstly, I tried to talk about my new conviction to my friends, but noticed that they had no idea of what was so special in this.
Not only my thinking changed, something strange happened to my seeing and hearing. I felt strangely as if I had never seen or heard. I could no longer eat meat or fish - or "dead animals" as Krishnamurti calls them - and I did not want to drink alcohol because I felt it smothered my mind. I preferred to be drunk from life and not waste one second not feeling the intensity and immensity of living!
I first heard of David Bohm while reading the last chapter of The Awakening of Intelligence. His discussion with Krishnamurti gives a new meaning to the concept of intelligence, being one of the key factors in understanding life.
My next mental kick was seeing the videotapes of seven discussions between Krishnamurti, Bohm and American psychiatrist, David Shainberg. The three men sat in a cosy living room and discussed image-making and fragmentation. In the last meeting they talked about what is sacred in life. That really blew my mind.
Krishnamurti is amazingly energetic, Bohm is smart and patient. Shainberg is the "common man" who tries to learn.
Some years later I realized the real weight of David Bohm as a scientist and thinker.
In his book Wholeness and the Implicate Order, published in 1980, he proposes that the world we see is only an explicate part of the invisible, implicate order that is the basis of cosmos. To understand the universe, we must start from wholeness and not from parts. The book opened a new fascinating perspective to cosmos.
The most profound is the series of fifteen dialogues that took place in 1980 in America and England. Listening to these recordings was then and still is a stunning and purifying experience.
The last two published dialogues recorded in June 1983 are about the future of humanity. They are more a summary of the essence of Krishnamurti's insights than an effort to speculate the possible future we as a species have. It does not go into new territories but serves as a natural finish to the long series of profound investigation.
Be free to see
In the Krishnamurti Foundation archives there are about 150 documents about sessions in which both Krishnamurti and Bohm were present. In many of them Bohm was one of the participants, but in 52 published dialogues he was a very important contributor.
In this book I concentrate on meetings in which Bohm had an active role and new territories were explored. I report in chronological order and try to use the exact phrases used in the dialogues.
The first six discussions presented are from 1965, the next twelve from 1975. There were often various topics but in these seven dialogues in 1976 there was one clear theme: transformation of man, meaning the whole humanity.
I have recommended this series to many people to start from. It is very intense and very deep.
The deepest explorations were in fifteen conversations in 1980. Four sessions from 1982 deal with the nature of the mind and the last two are from 1983. Also there were three meetings with Buddhist scholars in 1978 and three singular explorations from 1972, 1981 and 1982.
I have grouped key issues into ten insights. I give a brief overview of the central topics in each dialogue. I tell only the conclusions and not the phases toward it.
The best way to enjoy these dialogues is not to read about them, but to listen to them in silence. Half of these meetings were videotaped, so they can be watched, too.
Seeing the intensity helps our own inquiry. It may also help to retain your focus by listening to them with other seriously interested people.
Krishnamurti often emphasized the art of listening. There are many blocks preventing us from actually listening. When we do it without thought interfering, something magical happens in our mind.
Some people find Krishnamurti's view of life negative, accusing, or even blaming. They feel the effect of his words is depressive, more disturbing than relieving. Some find him very difficult to understand or wonder why he questions without answering.
I understand the critics but do not agree.
To me his mission was crystal clear and his message simple, very positive and highly energizing: to free us from all problems so that we can as human beings live together in peace and harmony. To do that we must get rid of some mental baggage that we have gathered into our minds. Then we will be free to love.
Time will not help us
It is important to understand that our problems are not personal. We literally share the world and its problems. Unless we change, we will destroy this lovely planet. Seeking personal happiness is a rather selfish desire. Even if we at times find personal gratification, our common problems are not resolved.
We must learn to live and love in a way that is not self-centred and separative. It is possible only if there is a fundamental change in our consciousness and thinking is put back in the place where it belongs.
What is challenging in Krishnamurti's message is the proposition that no time is needed for human transformation. It happens now or it does not happen. We are free or we are not. We either see or we do not see.
There are two possible ways to meet this statement. The wrong way is to seek a way to change. There is no way: seeking makes the seeker and that prevents the transformation.
Understanding time may be the key in helping us to end seeking. When this happens, mind is not moving in time. It is - as Krishnamurti puts it - with 'what is'. Thinking stops, but the world keeps on moving.
This book is a tour into the world where egos are not allowed. We are guided by the two top brains, of Krishnamurti and David Bohm, but every single step must be taken together. The truth is not in the words, it is in seeing something actual. To see one must be free.
I am deeply grateful to the people who have made the path recording, transcribing and editing the dialogues.
I have had the joy of meeting both Krishnamurti and Bohm personally and have felt their vital clarity. This book is my tribute to these extraordinary figures.
For all these years, I have often wondered why we still have not been able to drop old stupefying beliefs and thought patterns even though the damage they do is before our eyes.
There are many possible answers, but the question remains open. We must and, some day, perhaps will see beyond the mist of hazy and lazy thinking and will be totally free from the tyranny of thought.