7. All time is now
The highlight of the Krishnamurti-Bohm
collaboration was 15 dialogues they had in 1980. They started in April at Ojai,
California with eight discussions, continued with two discussions in June in
England and another five in September.
Thirteen dialogues were published in a book The Ending of Time in 1985 and the two remaining dialogues posthumously in 1999 in the book "The Limits of Thought".
To get finely tuned to dialogues, read the cover text of the first edition. It says:
"This is the most important book we have had from Krishnamurti since the publication of his Notebook and his Journal...an in-depth and sustained discussion between a leading religious teacher and a leading physicist...
...If the brain remains in the self-created darkness it wears itself out with the resulting conflict. Krishnamurti suggests that through insight it is possible for the brain to change physically and act in an orderly way which leads to a healing of the damage caused by many years of wrong function. This insight originates in an energy that is beyond time and beyond matter. Therefore what acts is the order of the whole universe, of the whole of being, in both its physical and mental aspects. Thus, it is not personal nor does it belong to mankind.
Mankind can change fundamentally, but it requires going from one's narrow and particular interests
toward the general, and ultimately moving still deeper to that purity of compassion, love and intelligence which originates in the ground beyond thought, beyond time and even beyond emptiness. This means giving one's mind, one's heart, one's whole being to the enquiry that has been carried on throughout these discussions."
Ending as a new beginning
First dialogue at Ojai 1 April 1980
Krishnamurti gets the ball rolling by asking, if mankind has taken a wrong turn. Bohm remembers having read that this happened five to six thousand years ago when man began to be able to plunder and take slaves. After that his main purpose of existence was to exploit others.
K clarifies that he actually meant the sense of inward becoming, which brings conflict into our consciousness. When we are not satisfied with what we are, we try to become something that we are not.
Bohm assumes it is intrinsic in the structure of thought to project a goal of becoming better, both outwardly and inwardly. Outward goals are not a problem but inward goals build an egotistic centre, which will inevitably cause conflict.
"Is it that one's brain is so accustomed to conflict that one rejects any other form of living?" Krishnamurti asks.
"After a while people come to the conclusion that conflict is inevitable and necessary", Bohm answers.
We need a certain sense of identity to function, but a wrong turn happened when the ego became dominant. If there were no becoming, the mind would simply be silent.
To K the cause of human confusion is that we introduced time as a means of becoming, evolving and loving more.
"To me the idea of tomorrow doesn´t exist psychologically; that means time as a movement inwardly or outwardly. I want to abolish psychological time. For me it is an enemy."
What takes place, if there is no movement as time?
If one's brain has been trained, accustomed for centuries to go north and it suddenly realizes that going north means everlasting conflict. As the brain realizes that, the quality of the brain changes."
Bohm adds that the key point is the direction of movement.
"When the movement is fixed in direction, inwardly, it will come to conflict. But outwardly we need a fixed direction."
Krishnamurti seldom spoke about his own experiences. Now he tells how one night in Rishi Valley he woke up and "the source of all energy had been reached".
"I hesitate to say this, because it sounds extravagant and rather childish. There was literally no division at all, no sense of the world and me, only this sense of tremendous source of energy. It had an extraordinary effect on the brain, also physically."
Krishnamurti says he wanted for sixty years to see other people to reach it. It would "solve all our
political and religious problems, because it is pure energy from the very beginning of time".
"Suppose you have come to that point and your brain is throbbing with it, how would you help me to come to that?"
The brain has evolved in time and can only live and think in time. It is accustomed to this idea of becoming. Time is dominating the brain functions and as long as this is the case, there is no end to conflict. Can the brain realize that there is no such thing as time?
"To deny time is a tremendous activity of having no problems. Any problem that arises, any question is immediately solved."
Bohm asks if that is sustained, does it last?
"It is sustained; otherwise there is no point in it. It is not sporadic, intermittent", K answers.
But has the brain the capacity to see what it is doing now? There seems to be no end to conflict. Is the brain totally caught in time or can it change?
K asks, What is the factor that will make the brain see that the way it has worked is not correct but totally mischievous?
"People have tried fasting, no sex, austerity, poverty, chastity in the real sense, purity. None have succeeded", K says.
"To go further one has to deny the very notion of time in the sense of looking forward to the future and all the past", Bohm answers.
"That is just it. Time is the enemy: meet it and go beyond it", K comments.
Bohm clarifies: "To deny its independent existence. We have the impression that time exists independently of us. We are in the stream of time and therefore it would seem absurd for us to deny it because that is what we are."
There is one way to handle problems.
"Can we face any psychological problem, resolve it immediately as it arises? Not deceive myself, not resist it, but face it and end it? K asks.
Bohm answers that in psychological problems it is the only way. Otherwise we get caught in the very source of the problem.
"Any action which is not immediate has already brought in time. The ending of time is immediate."
When feeling something is out of order psychologically, we bring in the notion of time and thoughts of becoming and that creates endless problems.
"Man took a wrong turn when we got caught in psychological knowledge which is dominated by time. He lives in time, because he has attempted to produce knowledge of the nature of the mind", Bohm explains.
"Psychological experience is in time", K adds. "What is existence if there is no psychological knowledge, no sense of the 'me'? To come to that point most people would say, 'What a horror this is'."
Bohm answers that there seems to be nothing and it is either frightening or all right. To this K says: "Because there is nothing, there is everything."
All that is energy. It is no thing, but cosmic energy. Many religions have had this idea. It is seen as the source of all energy.
"Then is one just walking in emptiness? There is nothing and everything is energy?", K asks. "This body and that energy are not different, but the thing inside says that 'I am totally different from that'. Why has it done so? Is it because outwardly I identify with a house and that has moved inwardly?"
The form has no independent existence, there is only an outward shape floating in this energy.
"Do you realize what we have said, sir?" K asks Bohm. "Is this the end of the journey? Has mankind journeyed through millennia to come to this: that I am nothing and therefore I am everything and all energy?"
Bohm thinks it cannot be the end, on the contrary, it might be a beginning.
"The ending is the beginning. The ending of time is a new beginning. Let's call it the ending of time", K says.
Towards the ground
Second dialogue at Ojai 2 April 1980
The first session goes very deep, to the ending of time. The second dives even deeper, to unimaginable dimensions.
K starts by asking, What happens when the 'me' as time has come to an end? He wonders why we have not said: let's end conflict! On the contrary, conflict has been encouraged. Wethink it helps us to progress and in a certain area it may do so.
Ending all conflict would mean that every issue is solved instantly and time is totally abolished.
We need no becoming, no hope, no wanting, no belief, and no promises from anyone. When the 'I' comes to an end, out of the ashes comes new growth and creation.
K puts forward the term the particular mind meaning a mind that belongs to an individual. This is what we call the self, a person with certain individual features, properties and qualities.
That is an integral part of what he calls the universal mind, common to all human beings. We are born with those features and share them with other people, apart from superficial differences in tendencies. The basics are the same: fear, sorrow, desires, will and conflict.
But that is not the end of the story. Beyond universal mind there is something that is almost impossible to give a name to. After a long search they decide to call it the ground.
K says that "in the universal order there is disorder, where man is concerned" and he asks, why has "that immense energy allowed man to move away in the wrong direction"?
Bohm assumes that "it is part of the order of the universe that this particular mechanism can go wrong, but it is not disorder in the universe, but at a much lower level".
"The possibility of creation is also the possibility of disorder. If man had the possibility of being creative, there would also be the possibility of a mistake. It could not be fixed like a machine and always operate in perfect order."
To come to the ground there must be the ending of time as desire and thought. Then there is absolutely nothing, not a thing from reality, only emptiness full of energy. The ground is even beyond that emptiness. Our mind can never capture this absolute. Our mind can never perceive this absolute. It has no cause. It is immensity.
"There is nothing beyond it", K says. "It is the beginning and the ending of everything. Everything is dying, except that..."
Bohm says at the end that "the Christian idea of heaven as perfection may seem rather boring because there is nothing to do". The mood changes from sublime to something else as K remembers a joke of a man going to heaven to Saint Peter for last judgment.
Insight transforms thought
Third dialogue at Ojai 8 April 1980
Bohm starts the third discussion stating that in science there is an attempt to make material universe the ground of our existence. Not only physicists, but also geneticists and biologists have tried to reduce everything to the behaviour of matter - atoms, genes, DNA. The more they study, the more they feel it has no meaning.
"One of the difficulties of modern life is the sense that it doesn't mean anything."
Religious people have felt that the ground of our existence is beyond matter, but science began to deny this and many people no longer blindly believe in the religious meanings. Yet people want life to have a purpose or meaning beyond their daily activities.
People had felt that god was the ground who was not indifferent to mankind and that gave them tremendous energy. Also in the eastern traditions of mysticism this infinite has ultimate significance.
This raises a question whether the ground is indifferent to mankind in the same way as the universe is indifferent to us. It does not perhaps care whether or not man survives.
How would it be shown that the ground exists? Could one prove it scientifically, rationally or sense it and communicate it? K answers:
"You must do it, not just verbally talk about it. The ground has certain demands: absolute silence, absolute emptiness, which means no sense of egotism in any form. Am I willing to let go my egotism because I want to prove it, show it, and find out if what you are saying is actually true?"
'Willing' not in the sense of exercising will, it is being ready to find that the ground exists, to have no belief, just being in a state of absolute observation.
"I think if ten people do it, any scientist will accept it. But there are no ten people", K notes.
"We have to do the thing publicly so that it becomes a real fact", Bohm adds.
Our whole background is against all this. It gives us the notion of what makes sense and what does not.
Bohm suggests that the nature of time must be seen. Krishnamurti says that to realize if the ground exists, we must start 'at the schoolboy level'.
First: no belief. See that you have a belief and it gives you a sense of security. That belief may be an illusion.
Second: see the facts without prejudices. The fact is what actually happens, not what we think of it.
We think we are rational and see the world as it is. We think we can know what is happening. We think we are different from others.
Actually, we are irrational, don't see or know the facts and are not fundamentally different psychologically. We live in a make-believe world.
All this happened after we took the wrong turning and thought became all important to us. We enthroned thought as the only means of operation and made it supreme, the king, the equivalent of truth.
To reach the ground we must be terribly rational, but we are irrational in our life. The irrationality is brought about by thought creating this idea of me as separate from everybody else. If we cannot find the cause of irrationality and wipe it out, we cannot reach the ground which is totally rational.
Thought is now the dominant factor in our life. By definition, thinking is the movement of memory, which consists of experience and knowledge stored up in our brain. When memory operates, we become irrational.
Yet, thought can also be the instrument of insight. Then memory is used but action is not based on memory. Thought being limited and divisive can never be rational without insight.
Insight is not the product of thought. Insight may use thought to explain, but it acts and in that action no thought is needed. Every response must be viewed with insight. Insight wipes away everything that is not true. Then we are not observing using time.
"You could say that time is a theory which everybody adopts for psychological purposes", says Bohm.
Insight being free of time makes thought rational. When there is insight, there is only action. Because insight is rational, action is rational.
Old maps mislead us
Fourth dialogue at Ojai 10 April 1980
Breaking the pattern of ego-centred activity is the topic in the fourth discussion. There is something fundamental in human nature that resists change. We resist seeing the necessity of radical change almost purposely, but not consciously.
Thought is deceiving itself and does not wish to see the full meaninglessness of the conflict we live in. Our egotistic attitude and actions appear to change a bit here and there, but the centre has remained the same.
Philosophers and religious people have emphasized striving, struggling, controlling, making effort. Our mind is held in this pattern. We are used to it. We are in prison and resist seeing it. We hope that our struggle will finally produce something better, but everything happens in a very limited area.
There are different things that keep us in this pattern. Even if we are abstractly convinced that this pattern makes no sense, we have a thousand ways of preceding it.
We stick to our old patterns and don't let go. In a real emergency we may drop the self-enclosed pattern and cooperate, but after the crisis we quickly return to life as usual.
We are willing to change, on one condition: there must be a reward big enough. We will climb the highest mountain if we get something out of it. This is how our mind works. We want to be rewarded or we act to avoid punishment.
The difficulty is that we see this only abstractly. Our thoughts make an abstraction from outward events and make them into inward ideas. To move away from this circle we have to look at it differently.
We are conditioned to a pattern that does not work. To break it we must discard all the knowledge, experiences and explanations. When we do that, our mind changes. We have walked that path for millennia, but now we stop, because that has not freed us from egocentrism.
When we have an insight, the mind breaks the old pattern. Then we listen without resistance, refuse to enter into the game of words. Insight is passion; it won't let us sit still. Like a river flows with great volume of water, in the same way passion makes us move.
Knowledge cannot solve our psychological problems. It can only make them worse by giving them continuance.
When in trouble we turn to others, but instead of helping us their advice makes us dull, dependent and more helpless.
Out of the shock a new mind
Fifth dialogue at Ojai 12 April 1980
The ground can be a comforting concept or an actual fact to us. It cannot be investigated with a mind that is disciplined in knowledge or be touched as long as there is any form of illusion, deception or desire. We cannot under any circumstances come upon it through manipulation of thought.
Is there a way to comprehend it or is this impossible? Somebody on the other side of the bank tells me there is no boat nor bridge to cross and I cannot swim.
"Suppose I want you, who say that there is the ground, to prove it to me", K starts.
"I have only this mind that has been conditioned by knowledge. How can I move away from all that, feel this thing, touch it, and comprehend it? I want to have this passion that will explode me out of this enclosure."
If I try to find a way I apparently fail to see that the centre is an illusion. An illusion cannot be related to something that is true. This insignificant little thing wants to have a relationship with that immensity. Impossible.
We have inside us a million years of experience and it tells us to go after 'the ground'. In trying to do that we may realize that there is no relationship between us and the ground. We cannot 'go there', there is no way.
"That is a tremendous shock to me. You have knocked me out", K says.
"It is a shock to discover that your brain, your mind, examination, your knowledge is valueless. All that you have gathered through the centuries is absolutely worthless. I must be very clear that I don't translate it into an idea, a concept, but receive the full blow of it!"
If it is an idea, it does not fundamentally affect the way we live, feel and think.
"I have finished with that kind of game. The purpose of investigating the mind is not to blast each other off the earth with guns!" K says.
The idea does not change the centre and so everything I do has no meaning. All the work I have done is valueless. If I drop all that, my mind is the ground. From there I create society.
Knowledge has not freed us from illusion; it has crippled us from seeing the truth.
"I want to clear up all the illusions that hold, not some. I have got rid of my illusion about nationalism, illusion about belief, about this and that. At the end of it I realize that my mind is illusion. To me, who has lived for a thousand years, it is something enormous to find it is worthless", K roars.
Bohm asks what K means when he says that he has lived a thousand or a million years, does it mean that all the experiences of mankind is me. He answers:
"I feel it. It is not an idea, a conclusion; it is part of me like a finger is part of me. It is not sympathy or empathy, it is not a thing that I have desired, it is an irrevocable fact to me."
Why don't we all see this?
"Because we are caught in this self-centred narrow little cell, and refuse to look beyond", K says almost furiously.
"Your brain is not yours; it is the brain of mankind. You go to the most primitive villager in India and he will tell you all about his problems. It is exactly the same thing, only he is wearing different trousers. We are too clever, we don't see a simple fact, we refuse to see it. Out of this something totally new is born. It is a new mind."
Mutation in the brain cells
Sixth dialogue at Ojai 15 April 1980
In the sixth discussion Bohm asks, whether insight can actually change the brain cells? K points out that the brain functions now in one direction only: using memory, experience, knowledge. Most people are satisfied with that, partly because they don't know of anything else.
Looking at the state of the world it seems obvious that a change has not happened, but is urgently needed. We cannot rely on the society or environment to change us and changing the contents of consciousness is no actual change. It will only lead to continuation of the problem in a new form.
What is there to change in the brain, what will change it and how?
K says that the brain cannot change itself; a flash of insight is needed. Insight is not a material process, but yet it can change the material process, which is thinking.
For Bohm it is difficult to imagine how something non-material could affect the material. In science, one-sided action is not possible; there is always interaction both ways.
K gives an example. Love is independent of hate. When there is hate, the other cannot exist. Additionally, violence and peace are two entirely different factors. Where there is violence, peace cannot be.
"Hate has a cause, love has not. Thought has a cause, insight has not. So the action of insight has an extraordinary effect on the material process", K says.
"Insight is an energy which illuminates the activity of the brain. In that illumination the brain itself begins to act differently."
Thought acts in the darkness of ignorance and the flash of insight enlightens it. Existence of light dispels the centre of darkness.
Then we may ask, why we don't have insight? Instead of looking for explanations, we might dig deeper and see the whole process in action. Insight stops the causal responses and we no longer react to hate with hate, violence with violence. Then we are free from reactive and time bound behaviour.
Seventh dialogue at Ojai 17 April 1980
Human beings are still behaving with animal instincts. Feelings of hatred have become entangled and sustained with thought. The whole society is organized under the assumption that fear, pleasure and pain are going to rule us if we do not control them.
Thought has operated in darkness and dispelling that darkness allows a new action in the brain. Man will then function rationally rather than by rules and reason. There is a freely flowing movement.
As long as the centre is creating darkness, there must be disorder. This procedure has created our society. Because of darkness, we don't realize the state we are in. We respond to hatred with hatred or we control our feelings. The third way is to escape to dreams and hope.
There are two ways to see the source of darkness: one way is to think it is far away in the past and has been gathered ever since into our mind. We once made a mistake and here we are.
Bohm suggests another way. We can think that darkness is timeless and is due to the fact that we are continually taking the wrong turn. The self is creating darkness and breeding division all the time, from moment to moment. The self could at any time leave darkness, but it does not do that.
If I realize that actually there is no such division as light and darkness, but that it is my thought that produces them, it is a shock to me. Insight breaks the pattern and there is no more division between god and man. All divisions are born out of darkness and all religions maintain these beliefs.
"In that ground there is no darkness as darkness, no light as light. It is not born of will, time or thought. It is non-divisive movement, timeless and therefore deathless", K lists.
On this level the death of an individual has no meaning.
"When the mind is partaking in that movement then the mind is that movement", Bohm says. This means that the division between life and death is abolished and clarity has broken the spell of darkness. Then we have removed the fear of death, one of the greatest factors of life. "
In darkness I can invent a lot of images: that there is light, god, beauty. Caught in a dark room I can invent a lot of pictures, but it does not bring light in.
A mind living in darkness is in constant movement. The brain cells are wearing out, decaying because of conflict and strain. The rate of decay can be greatly slowed down if the brain cells are no longer thinking in terms of psychological time. This direct perception would bring order to the brain. Then the brain has, according to K, undergone 'a surgical operation' and there is no death to it, because it does not live in the field of time.
Eighth dialogue at Ojai 19 April 1980
The last discussion in Ojai raises the question how a man who has dispelled darkness in himself lives in the world. Of course, he does not participate in the process of becoming. His mind is still, but not static. A mind being nothing is empty of all psychological knowledge and is acting from insight.
He lives in society physically, but is out of it mentally. He obeys the laws and earns a livelihood, but does not identify with or conform to divisions made by humans.
Various religions have described a man who has been saved, who is illuminated: how he walks, looks, talks. K describes such a man "a single tree in a field".
What can such a man do for another? Not much. He can talk and write, but there is guarantee that it has an effect. It depends how the other takes it. Will he listen, worship or kill him?
K asks, what would happen, if there were ten or fifteen 'enlightened' ones?
Bohm answers: "There would be something revolutionary, the whole framework would change. Even if ten or fifteen people were undivided, they would exert a force that has never been seen in our history."
Those people would be intelligent enough not to provoke society and society would not react before it is too late.
Yet, the wise person has another task beyond trivial and small business. He is doing something totally different to affect the consciousness of man. There is a more direct action at a much greater level than one can possibly conceive. The insight has direct action at a much greater level and this affects the consciousness of people living in darkness.
"Somehow he makes possible an activity of the ground in the whole of consciousness of mankind which would not have been possible without him", Bohm puts it.
He may look similar to others but there is something going on that does not show. And he is saying something totally different. His insight comes from the ground. The ground is in some sense using him, employing him.
Doing nothing might be the essential kind of doing. According to Bohm he is "supremely active in doing nothing" and makes possible the action of the ground. There is an analogy in chemistry. A catalyst makes possible a certain action without itself taking part but by being what it is.
Bohm sees "a general view which people are developing now that the universe has no meaning, that it moves any old way without any meaning. K disagrees about the insignificance of the universe.
"None of them have meaning for the man who is here, but the man who is there says it is full of meaning, not invented by thought."
Whatever the man with insight says is translated into some illusory stuff. We are offered the whole universe, but mind reduces it or does not even look at it. If the whole of mankind were to see this immensity, we would, in K's words, have 'a paradise on earth' and a new kind of organism.
"To reduce this immensity to some few words seems so stupid. People are looking at it with eyes that are so accustomed to this pettiness that they either reduce it or put it in a temple and it is completely lost."
To divert the course of destruction somebody must listen to that immensity calling.
Old brain cannot create a new mind
Ninth dialogue at Brockwood Park 1 June 1980
The next two sessions were at Brockwood Park in June
1980 dealing with senility and cosmic
participating was the principal of the Krishnamurti School in India, Giddu Narayan.
Krishnamurti expresses his concern about the state of the human brain. It seems to be deteriorating.
"We have a highly cultivated civilization and yet at the same time barbarous, great selfishness clothed in spiritual garbs. Our brain is divisive and destructive. We do not know if it is capable of revival or will it slowly and steadily decline."
The human brain is a development of thousands of years. It is old and does not belong to any individual. It bears the history of man, although we mistakenly think of it as being something personal and subjective.
The brain functions in narrow patterns. K asks, what would break down this forming of patterns, and is it after so many shocks even capable of renewing? The fundamental change cannot be done from outside, but the brain does not seem to have enough energy to break all patterns and move out of its own prison.
The brain is in constant occupation. Keeping busy doing something gives energy to the brain. Yet it is working mechanically in a routine, becomes dull and begins to shrink.
Bohm says that science has shown that a brain is similar to a muscle. We must exercise to keep it fit. Yet, moving in a pattern the brain is moving in a way that does not use its full capacity. To this K says sarcastically:
"People who have spent years and years in meditation are the dullest people on earth."
Bohm adds that when people were living close to nature it was impossible to live in a routine.
The shrinking of the brain starts when we begin to gather psychological knowledge about the self and our relationships to others. Routine in that area is much more dangerous for the brain than routine in work.
It is known that large parts of the brain deal with movement of the body, muscles and various organs. That part does not shrink, but the part that deals with rational thought shrinks if it is not used. There may, of course, be other functions that are unknown or very little is known about them.
K argues that we use our brain very partially. The degeneration of the brain cells may also come from the wrong way of using the brain. Bohm says there is little evidence of this from the scientists, but adds that brain science does not know very much about this.
"Brain specialists are examining things outside and not using themselves as guinea pigs", K points out.
"Any occupation with oneself apart from purely physical activity brings about shrinkage of the brain, but it can be stopped and renewed. The Freudians, the Jungians and the latest psychologists are all helping to make the brain shrink."
We must reject the tradition to analyse and introspect and focus our attention on direct perception and immediate action. The past perceives and twists the present, making the brain senile. Our illusions are very vital.
The sense of individuality is the root of the problem and if we see the fallacy of this, something happens in our brain cells. They stop moving.
"You may disagree, you may say, "Prove it!" I say this is not a matter of proof, it is a matter of action. Do it, find out, test it!"
The occupied brain is unable to listen or act properly. A flash of insight frees the brain from the past. There is silence and that brings about a sense of limitless state.
Cosmos is in meditation
Tenth dialogue at Brockwood Park 7 June 1980
Is there cosmic order, something which man has not made nor can ever possibly conceive? The brain is so contradictory and bruised that it cannot find any order within or without.
Nature is in order, but consciousness is not. We accept living in disorder, because that is all we know.
If we give up the past, the 'me' has no existence, we have nothing, we are nothing. Yet we do not feel that we cling to the past, but think that we are reaching for the future.
"As long as we have our roots in the past, there cannot be order. If we give up the past, there is nothing to reach for. People dangle a carrot in front of us and we follow it. If there were no carrots, there would be nothing to go for", Krishnamurti says.
Being totally new to it, the brain is not willing to face this extraordinary state: to exist in a state of nothingness. That is appallingly frightening.
The brain could possibly do this, unless it was damaged. Many factors are causing damage. One is strong sustained emotions like hatred, anger, violence, excessive excitation, fear and emphasis on sustained pleasure. Drugs damage the brain, too.
The damaged brain is healed when there is insight. It wipes away the past. When there is no becoming, no being something, the cosmos is in meditation, in a state of infinity.
When the past is cleaned up and consciousness is empty of its content as anger, jealousy, beliefs, dogmas, attachments, the universe is no more governed by its past. It is in order, free and creative. K adds:
"The actual feeling of having no tomorrow is the healthiest way of living."
Thought has entangled the brain in time and when that entanglement is freed, the universe is the mind. That is order.
From a little pond to the ocean
Eleventh dialogue at Brockwood Park 14 September 1980
Three months later Krishnamurti and Bohm met again in Brockwood Park to continue the series of dialogues for five more times in one week. For some unknown reason, the first two discussions were not in the first edition of the book, but were published later in the revised edition in 2014.
First K reminds us what they talked about in the earlier meetings and feels there are three basic questions at hand:
"Is there an original source, a ground from which nature, human beings and the whole universe sprang? Is it bound by time? Is it in itself complete order, beyond which there is nothing more?
Bohm says that science as it is constituted cannot answer to these.
"Implicitly science has been concerned with trying to come to this ground, but to attempt it by studying matter to the greatest depth is not enough."
Seeing the disorder in the world and in ourselves, a thoughtful man must feel the urge to do something, but one individual living orderly of course cannot create a good society.
Our own house must be in order, but we don't have the courage and the vitality to do even that. Without insight into the root of conflict there will be no change.
We could start our own investigation by seeing first what we are tied to: a belief, person, idea, habit, experience. All dependence must inevitably create disorder. Total insight into attachment penetrates into the centre of darkness and dark clouds in the mind vanish in one moment.
Society is a machine that is destructive in itself. Having realized this, any sane human intelligence wants to do something, not just sit back and talk about it. Sadly, most people feel doing something consists of solving particular problems and not tackling the whole.
The solution to problems does not resolve the question of source. We are dealing with a little pond and do not see the great stream.
To bring order our mind must be free from measurement. Almost an instinctive reaction of seeing disorder is to try to correct it. That is a fundamental mistake. All effort is still disorder.
This is a very different view than what we have been taught to do. Any attempt to control is wrong and the source of disorder. An insight into this liberates the mind from a massive burden.
Insight comes from looking at any problem with pure observation, without any pressure, without any motive. We think that if we don't control the mind, it will go wild. On the contrary, the measurement is 'wild-ing' and causes confusion in us.
Through the right kind of meditation the mind can find a state where there is something which is not man-made.
All man-made things are limited: religions, science, worship, prayers, anxieties, sorrow and suffering, attachment and detachment, loneliness, revolutions. And man also invented a concept of god and gave him the power of the absolute.
Because we are caught in thought we block the tremendous potential that the human mind has to go beyond its limits; limits created by the illusion that we are individuals.
A thorn in thought
Twelfth dialogue at Brockwood Park 16 September 1980
Bohm says people divide themselves roughly into two groups. One group feels the most important thing is the daily activity we do. The other group thinks the universal is the ground. The first view is practical and the second more philosophical. People tend to give primary value to one or the other.
Krishnamurti says that the essence of everything is beyond both the particular and the general mind. We are not either-or but both. Thought has created both and it is moving between these two all the time. The movement is in time, or in moving it creates time. Thought gathers knowledge and experiences. If there is no gathering, there is no time.
Time is needed in making progress physically, but in the psyche there is nothing else progressing or growing but images.
The images we have gathered mind are limited. There can always be more of it or more to it. Having 'more' is a real thorn. It arouses desire and will, and then we are stuck into gaining, achieving, comparing, advancing. So we are caught by living in time.
It may be difficult to see what the harm in wanting more is. What could be wrong with having a better self or better life? The harm and wrong is not in having, but in the wanting something we do not have. It actually means that we are always living in shortage.
The worst harm is that desire divides inside and outside. If I am a Muslim and you a Jew, we are separate and in conflict. We may get used to it or tolerate it, but it is all the time waiting in us to explode. We may perhaps avoid it, if we never meet, but we cannot live in a vacuum - or it is not right to call it living.
Additional harm is that the self is preventing me from being free. I have tied myself to a short rope, living inside my little territory of fears and hopes, pleasures and sorrows, likes and dislikes, preferences and prejudices.
There is no real love in the world of images. Love is not something we can gather and store. There is love or there is none. If we love our images, we actually love ourselves, not the person or thing.
Knocked by knowledge
Thirteenth dialogue at Brockwood Park 18 September 1980
The session starts with Krishnamurti asking, What makes the mind always follow a certain pattern? If it lets go of one pattern, it picks up another.
There are many possible answers, some right and some not. It is very important to see why we disregard our own flowering, and fall into this groove. Psychological knowledge stupefies the brain so that it can't see what it is doing. K asks:
"We are strangely intelligent, capable, or skilled in other directions, but here, where the root of all trouble is, why don't we comprehend what is happening? "
It takes considerable effort first of all to see this and then to get rid of it. If I am nationalistic or have a strong conviction or belief, I am blind in that area. Nothing convinces me.
Knowledge about nation or god seems to have tremendous value beyond other values. It holds the mind, and the mind refuses to let go. There are a lot of feelings and meanings invested in these beliefs. They are all-important to us.
"The general difficulty is that knowledge is not just sitting there as a form of information but it is extremely active, meeting and shaping every moment according to past knowledge", Bohm says.
We regard knowledge as something passive which we know and could use if we want to or put aside if we don't need it. It is not so. Knowledge actively prevents the truth from entering our mind.
I may see the logic and reason for change, yet it is not a burning flame that demands action but rather only a lame idea to think about.
The capacity to listen may be far more important than any explanation. When we listen completely the wall is broken down, the wall of opinions. K argues that it may be as simple as that.
To diligently attend means that our mind is empty. We must have a certain emptiness from which there will be a different perception.
The universe as the body of the mind
Fourteenth dialogue at Brockwood Park 20 September 1980
New theme: Krishnamurti starts the session asking, What is materialism? Bohm says that all matter seems to go by the law of action and reaction. Every action has a corresponding reaction. All human beings react physically and reactions are sustained by thought. So reactions are materialistic responses.
Is it possible for the mind to go beyond reaction? Physically we must of course react, otherwise we are paralyzed or dead, but reacting psychologically is also a form of paralysis.
Action and reaction seems to be an endless movement. Can reaction end? Or there may be a movement that has no beginning and no end. It is a movement not in time or in space. To understand that we must be free of thought.
That movement is not determined as a series of successions from the past. It is active, not still, but in that energy there is stillness. It is not a movement of causation. That silent movement with its unending newness is total order of the universe.
It is important to see that this emptiness is within the brain itself and not something thought conceives as being empty. Whichever it is, thought wants to do something about it. It thinks it can be helpful, make a contribution.
In this movement there are no things and no time. It is easy to deceive oneself and indulge in imagination. In this timeless energy there is no centre reacting. It is not determined as a series of successions from the past. It has no causation.
This tremendous energy is active. It can be never still, but it has stillness in it. So it is both still and moving, a movement emerging from stillness.
"When it is completely still there is a movement out of it", K says and adds joyfully: "It sounds crazy!"
Bohm says that this is somewhat similar to what Aristotle called the unmoved mover referring to god, but K says abruptly that he is not talking about god nor does he want to create an intellectual concept about this.
This movement is eternally new. It is in order, or: it is order. Yet, the order of thought is of time and there is a contradiction inherent in it. When it is rational, it is in order, but in contradiction this order is broken down.
Our daily life is a series of reactions and struggling to bring order within disorder. Trying to do that is sustaining disorder.
Some people think it is enough to be happy within those limits, discovering new thoughts, enjoying new art and science, accepting the human conditioning and making the best of it.
We are happy until we meet a conflict. Our fears come true and we suffer sooner or later. Then we have a chance to realize that we are in prison and although the prison may be pleasant, there is no freedom and we suffer. The pain demands that we get over it or go beyond.
The urge for freedom is either a reaction to pain or deep insight into the whole structure of our mind. Every form of escape is only a reaction, another form of idiocy.
When the mind has emptied itself, it is no longer separate from the universe. Then they are one. So the material universe is like the body of the absolute mind.
Refuse to have problems!
Fifteenth dialogue at Brockwood Park 27 September 1980
The last dialogue deals with getting over our problems, all of them. We have been able to solve very difficult technological problems, but our essential human problems such as sorrow, fear and violence have never been solved.
We are drowning in our problems of communication, knowledge, relationship, freedom, heaven and hell. Our existence has become a vast, complex problem and we have never been free of problems.
There seems to be something extraordinarily wrong here. It seems that our education and deep rooted tradition is to accept things as they are although we see that they are not right.
Krishnamurti asks: "Is it possible to have no human problems? Personally I refuse to have problems."
It seems almost impossible to think and work together, to have a same outlook, to give up our opinions and self-interest. Each person has his own opinion and is contradicted by others. In the United Nations they are not working together. In India they are not working together. No people in any country feel or work together. How are we to face and break this pattern?
We can give many answers, but explanations don't solve the issue. A new factor is needed. Krishnamurti suggests that it is attention.
"Where there is attention, there is no problem. In attention there is no centre from which I attend", K says.
Attention is not concentration. It is not a struggle to be attentive. To find out what attention actually is we must understand inattention; through negation come to the positive.
In our lack of attention we identify ourselves with many things, pleasant and unpleasant. There is indolence, negligence, self-concern, self-contradiction.
The attempt to become means there is no attention. Psychological becoming breeds inattention. Becoming is a curse outwardly and inwardly. A poor man wants to be rich and a rich man still richer.
Though it brings a great deal of pain and sometimes pleasure, this sense of becoming and fulfilling has made our life what it is. We expect a reward, we are afraid of not getting it and try to avoid pain and being punished. We are caught in that vicious circle.
We realize this, but cannot stop. This illusion is so strong and has been nurtured by religions and tradition and our family. We refuse to let that burden go.
We may say we want to change but we also wish not to change. Our minds are diseased, so corrupt, so confused that although someone points all the dangers of it, we refuse to see this.
"I am sure there is a way of communicating which is not verbal, another element which breaks through all the inability to listen and break the walls that human beings have built for themselves."
Love is the element that is lacking and which may break through this clever, analytical approach. Attention, perception, intelligence and love are essential in life. Love is not something isolated. It is not yours or mine. It is not personal. It is common ground for all of us.
"That word has become corrupted, loaded, dirty. I am chary beyond words of that word, which is why I say it is rather a risky word", K says.
A fragmentary mind invents this illusion of love being personal. The same holds true for grief and intelligence. The illusion is common to us all. And the earth is not English or French, or in chemistry sodium is not my sodium.
Our minds refuse to see this because we are conditioned to feel so terribly personal.
"If love is common, why are we blind to this obvious fact?" K asks. "How do you convey that love is universal and not personal to a man who has lived completely in the narrow groove of personal achievement?"
Bohm suggests that to realize this one should first question that our personality is something unique, very special and different from all others. We are basically human, of the same quality.
K specifies: "Suppose I have a brother to whom I have a great affection. I want him to see that this flame can be awakened in him. I have tried to communicate all this with him verbally and by gesture, but he refuses to listen, so he is left where he was. The whole structure of thought holds him."
Krishnamurti cries out almost in pain: "We must solve this. It has not been solved. The way we are living is so wrong. We have not changed it. We are seeking after that but the weight of our body, brain, tradition draws us back. So it is a constant battle. This whole way of living is so wrong."
"We seem to have taken a wrong turn and entered into a valley where there is no escape, but that is too depressing and appalling."
Bohm asks if K sees some possibility of a real change in human nature.
"Of course. Otherwise everything would be meaning-less; we'd be monkeys, machines. That faculty to radical transformation is attributed to some outside agency. We look to that and get lost in that. If we don't look to anybody and are completely free from all that, that solitude is common to all of us."
All fundamental things are universal. When the mind goes deep, it comes into something universal or absolute. To go profoundly into the mind requires not only courage, but the sense of constant pursuing the same stream.
Mind can go from the particular to the general and from the general to the universal.
Some would say all of this is very abstract and has nothing to do with daily life. K totally disagrees.
"This is the most practical thing." Constant killing and conflicts are not practical! "The particular is the most dangerous, because you get to the particular by abstracting", Bohm points out.
"People feel they want something that really affects their daily life and all these vapid generalities don't interest them. It is true that it must work in daily life, but daily life does not contain the solution to its problems."
In solving the concrete issues arising in daily life, we get lost in ideas, in thinking and talking without end. There is no attention, no intelligence, no compassion, no end to human problems. The ending of time comes when we give ourselves to find out what is true.
From the particular move to the general, from there still deeper. There is the purity of what is called love, compassion, and intelligence. That means giving your mind, heart and whole to this.