Krishnamurti said there really is no Conflict…!!!
The main reason we shared the three videos in our previous post is because it warrants repeat viewing. We’ve also embedded them in this post and will discuss it at length for those of you who might prefer reading about the event, over watching a video. Now let us take you through the life changing interaction Bernard had with Krishnamurti.
In the first video Bernard introduces Krishnamurti as a Philosopher, a Sage, a Guru, a Holy-man and then goes on to inform us that Krishnamurti himself rejects these titles. In our opinion, this could either be false humility or a display of utter awareness of oneself. We obviously have our own view of which one of these applies to Krishnamurti and are sure that over the period of this interview you’ll be able to judge for yourself. Bernard then informs us that even though he rejects the titles, Krishnamurti has been one of the world’s most influential thinkers and teachers for more than half a century, who has been bringing the timelessness of the East to the restlessness of the West. This is a feat very few have achieved, which include the previously mentioned, Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, Baba Ramdev and Alan Watts among others. In our opinion though, Krishnamurti has surpassed every single one of them and as I said, by the end of this article it will be clear to you, why?
Then Bernard goes on to ask him what is the secret behind his serenity, his realized appearance and his content composure? To which the only response he gets out of Krishnamurti is a clever smile and, “oh, I don’t know about that…!!!” and immediately we are struck by his simplicity and awareness. He adds, “I’ve never had conflict in my life”. Bernard’s reaction of disbelief is understandable, as he states that he must be (or think of himself to be) almost unique among us (mere mortals). He explains that he’s never had a privileged or protected life but it was achieved by a realization that “conflict destroys not only the mind, but the whole sensitivity of awareness”. Not to be in conflict was quite natural and has never been an effort to him.
At this point of time Bernard pounces on him stating that for most of us IT IS an effort and asks him to guide us on how we can conquer it. Krishnamurti’s response to this request is, in our understanding, the very essence of all his teachings. Although it is very confusing at first and Bernard goes to great lengths to corner him based on his remark, in the end you’ll realize that it is the ultimate truth. Krishnamurti says that you need to have a direct perception of what you’re seeking and not a handed down idea of what it is.
Once he realized that conflict does destroy human dignity and sense of depth, it stopped immediately for him. Bernard reacts, “and what about for us and how do we attain it? It’s like finding Nirvana, finding the ultimate goal”. To which Krishnamurti says that it is possible for everybody and in fact, the ultimate goal is to find something which is completely Sacred and totally uncontaminated by ‘Thought’. Now, this is what we are talking about, Krishnamurti makes such a huge statement with such simplicity as if achieving it were a piece of cake. Bernard makes a comeback with the very question that any listener will be struck with instantaneously, “Is ‘Thought’ a contaminant then”? And Krishnamurti throws back a simple, “Yes”.
Ooooh, now we’re getting into hot waters…!!!
Stating ‘Thought’ to be a contributor to all our miseries is a very big slap on the belief system that we all live in, our entire lives. Bernard states that this is a very strange concept for most people and immediately stands corrected that it is not a concept and why is he reducing it to a concept, when, in fact, it is an actuality. Bernard reacts, “But this is our very way of thinking, we learn to think that ‘Thought’ itself is the most important and strongest and most powerful means we have”. Please note, it is mentioned that “we learn” to think like this. This is something we want to emphasize on the most and is very important to understand when wanting to free oneself from ‘Thought’. It is not something we are born with, it is something that we learn. Krishnamurti follows up by saying, “but ‘Thought’ is very limited” and goes on to explain, “it is conditioned by knowledge, memory and experience and knowledge is never complete about anything”. Question, “what is more complete than that and how can we go beyond that”? Answer, “give ‘Thought’ it’s right place”.
And suddenly we are struck by a bolt of lightning…!!!
The realization dawns upon us like a breath of fresh, unpolluted air. Krishnamurti explains that you need ‘Thought’ to come here, you need it to run the recording equipment and then goes on to show the flip side by saying, you use the same ‘Thought’ to build the Atom Bomb and other weapons of mass destruction. One cannot build measures about oneself or about anything, but has to perceive facts as they are. Bernard states that we all like to think we do that all the time. Krishnamurti disagrees and shifts the focus of the discussion towards Religion to explain his point of view. All the religions whether it is Christianity, Hinduism or Islam, are based on thoughts. All the rituals and activities that go on in the name of God etc. are not sacred. Bernard agrees with him to an extent, but objects that even if this may be true Krishnamurti wouldn’t say that about the original teachings of, say, Christ or Buddha, would he? Krishnamurti responds by saying yes, he would.
At this point we started squinting our eyes and getting doubts about what he was saying as this was going into a bit more sensitive area of discussion than we were comfortable with and Krishnamurti’s opinion wouldn’t rest well with most of us. Let me assure you, patience eventually pays off, as we continue to absorb his thoughts about the topic. He goes on to explain that the teachings have been handed down from the great ones to us by their successors or disciples who have given us a version of what they understood and may have actually manipulated them to accommodate their own convenience or understanding. It is not a direct perception or understanding or insight into that which is eternal. This idea really hits home, doesn’t it? We see this all the time in our own lives. If we tell a story about an event or experience to someone, they will convey it to another person depending on what they understood and might even change it, to maybe tell it in a way that they see fit. So our actual words will never reach the third person. Imagine this happening over generations and you’ll realize the extent of manipulation that the original teachings might have gone through before they reached our ears. This line of thought begs the question – “But how else can such teachings be transmitted”? Bernard points out that even Krishnamurti writes books and appears on Television. This is the way these things are transmitted, how else can they be shared? To which Krishnamurti responds that “the word is not the thing”.
Bang…another shot through the head…!!!
The book which is printed is not the real thing, but only a means of communicating, for people who have experienced something, to others. In this process it gets twisted and the person becomes all important and not what he said. To this Bernard gives an example of ‘The Sermon on the Mount’, which is a written collection of the very words spoken by Christ and we read them for ourselves. But they are also just words, aren’t they? This seems to have floored Krishnamurti for an instant, but he makes a glorious return by requesting Bernard to allow him to put the whole thing differently.
“One has to be light oneself and you cannot possibly depend on anyone. One cannot be lit by another, God or Saviors; it cannot be handed down to you. One has to be totally and completely alight oneself. It doesn’t mean selfishly or by egotistic, egocentric activity. One has to have a complete understanding of oneself without any distortion”. Very deep indeed and as if to reflect our own thoughts, Bernard asks whether this means that one doesn’t need these teaching to be handed down to us, that we can all discover these things for ourselves. To this Krishnamurti dismisses his casual approach to the topic and advises that “every man is the story of Mankind”. This is huge. Once you’ve heard a statement like this it becomes very clear what Krishnamurti is talking about. One needs to study oneself and get an understanding of our very own existence which can be very complex and needs a great deal of attention. One needs to look at oneself without distorting facts about what you actually are with attentive sensitive awareness, and then one can become fully aware of oneself. We will applaud Bernard to rightly note that there is a fine line separating what Krishnamurti says about that attention from what we do most of the time, which is to concentrate on ourselves. Krishnamurti pounces on that statement with agreement that it is indeed merely egocentric activity. Bernard continues that fact remains that we ARE egocentric. Krishnamurti immediately steals the line of dialogue and states, “so as we are egocentric, it is creating havoc in the world, why don’t we realize the mischief it is causing”.
We are reaching fever pitch as Bernard turns the topic around and points it at Krishnamurti, “That’s the question I should ask you, why don’t we realize it?”
Krishnamurti calmly replies without even sparing a breath – “Either we are totally indifferent to what’s happening to the world or we are so consumed by our own desires and pleasures, it doesn’t matter what happens as long as we fulfill our own requirements”. One takes a moment and looks at one’s own life slowly realizing that we are all guilty of this and it becomes clear that we, ourselves are responsible for everything that is wrong in this world.
For those of you who would rather hear it directly from the horse’s mouth, here’s the first video again: