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P. 1
Our Relationship to the World (Part I)

Our Relationship to the World (Part I)

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Published by cabralyc
by Prof. P. Krishna.
Rector, Rajghat Education Centre, Krishnamurti Foundation India, Varanasi 221001, India
( Second talk delivered on this topic at the Krishnamurti Gathering held in Saanen, Switzerland on 31 July, 1995. )
by Prof. P. Krishna.
Rector, Rajghat Education Centre, Krishnamurti Foundation India, Varanasi 221001, India
( Second talk delivered on this topic at the Krishnamurti Gathering held in Saanen, Switzerland on 31 July, 1995. )

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Our Relationship to the World (Part I)
 
by Prof. P. Krishna
Rector, Rajghat Education Centre, Krishnamurti Foundation India, Varanasi221001, India 
(Based on a talk delivered at the Krishnamurti Gathering in Saanen, Switzerland, on 30 July 1995)
This week we are going to conduct a religious inquiry into our relationship withthe world, and in particular, to try to discover for ourselves the meaning of thatstatement of Krishnamurti which has become famous, and which is also now thetitle of one of his books: "You are the world."If we accept that statement, then it just becomes another piece of knowledge inour heads, about what Krishnamurti said. And if we think he was a great man,then it gives a certain authority to that statement as the statement of a great mind.Then one can live with that statement and repeat it, as the view or the opiniongiven by Krishnamurti, but all that doesn't in any way bring any understandinginto our consciousness. If we reject that statement as nonsense, because we say,"The world is out there, I am here. It's rubbish, I'm not even going to think aboutit", then again it brings no understanding to us. So there are two opposite, butequally unintelligent responses to that statement ----- one is to accept it and repeatit, and the other is to reject it and refuse to go into it. We must beware of bothextremes. The only intelligent response is to take that statement as a question, andask ourselves "What does it mean ? And in exploring that question, together, asfriends, a deeper meaning might dawn on our consciousness. And that's the onlyway one should relate to Krishnamurti. He has given us a lot of questions, toexamine and explore for ourselves, he has not given us answers. If we take hisstatements as answers, they will only add to our knowledge, but they will notbring any understanding. Those questions are not Krishnamurti's questions.Questions don't have a copyright, only answers do. And answers are trivial things.Unless one has explored a question, discovered something first hand for oneself,the significance of the question, as well as the answer, is lost on us. So that iswhat is the purpose of a religious inquiry around this question, which deals withour relationship with the world.I would also like to state briefly what I mean by 'religious inquiry', because thatword, 'religion', has been used in so many different senses. Normally, when weinquire, we are seeking information, or we are seeking additional knowledgewhich we don't have; or we have a desire, and we are seeking satisfaction. Noneof that is religious inquiry. Religious inquiry is wanting to go beyond the words,beyond thought, beyond knowledge ---- not be satisfied with explanations andanswers. One may use knowledge, one would use thoughts, one uses ideas, butonly as tools. One is looking for something beyond all this in a religious inquiry. Itis not an accumulative process. One is not adding to knowledge, not seeking toaccumulate pleasure, it's not for profit that one is doing it, not for gain. All that isaccumulative activity. Can we look at something with no purpose, just for thelove of it, just because one wants to discover, not because that will bring gain, orpleasure, or satisfaction, or status, or any of that ----as an intrinsic part of one'sbeing ? True inquiry is just part of the nature of human beings. Wherever there isa mystery, wherever there is something we don't understand, there is a naturalurge to inquire. I don't think you can give a purpose to it. Why are we inquiring ?Why do scientists inquire why the light comes from the sun, or why the sky isblue ? It isn't with a motive. You can do it also with a motive but, intrinsically, it'snot with a purpose. It is just in order to find out. That is the nature of truescientific inquiry, and that's also the nature of true religious inquiry, only thenature of the questions is different. In a religious inquiry, one posits the truth asthe unknown, something we don't know. That's why we are inquiring to comeupon it. So in a sense, all of us, as fellow inquirers, are on the same side, saying"We don't know", and we want to find out, together. In not knowing one istogether, but knowledge divides. If you start with knowledge, my knowledge isdifferent from yours, your guru said something my guru said something else, myculture and religion said something else... If we stick to that, we create division.There is no division in religious inquiry. If there is division, it is not religious.
Our Relationship with the World : Part Ihttp://www.pkrishna.org/Our-Relationship.html1 of 709/05/2009 07:26 p.m.
 
Religion means: to unite. That which divides is not religious. I'm using that wordin that sense.So, if one begins with not knowing one might have a certain amount of knowledgein one's head, but one is deliberately setting that aside, using a part of memory butnot giving importance to it, using thought, using knowledge, but not wanting toend in thought and knowledge, not satisfied with more ideas and more knowledge,but wanting to come upon a more holistic perception of 'what is', whichKrishnamurti called 'having an insight', So the purpose of a religious inquiry is tocome upon a deep insight into what is involved in the question into which one isinquiring. It's holistic in the sense that one is wanting to look at the whole field,and not analyze bits of it, which is what the thought process does. It picks on asmall part, and then analyses it, looks at the logic of it, and so on. It has a purpose,but it's very different from looking at the whole field, and getting a sense of it,without relying on the process of thinking. It's somewhat like looking at themountains from a distance. That has a very different value from going close to themountain and investigating the soil there, and the type of trees there, and thegeology of it, which is what the scientists do. It is all right, but you don't know themountain if you keep on doing that ! You also have to look at it from afar, see itin its perspective.Our consciousness has several faculties. There are the thought-based faculties----thinking, knowledge, memory, planning, intellect. All that belongs to the realm of thought, reason, logic. Then, the feelings, or emotions----fear, jealousy, anger,violence. But there are also capacities which are beyond these, which are notthought-based, which can look at thought, which can observe a feeling, but theyare neither thought nor feeling in themselves, they are beyond all this. Though thewords might overlap one another, I'm referring to faculties of awareness,observation, attention, insight, vision, wisdom. These are all holistic in nature.They take the whole of the tree, they don't describe bits of the tree, as thoughtdoes, so they are very different from thought. That holistic faculty also exists inhuman consciousness. It isn't approachable through thought, but it can observethought. Therefore, you can use thought and so long as you know the limitation of thought, it will not prevent this faculty from operating. But if one is not aware of the existence of such a faculty, if one thinks that the whole of existence isconfined to knowledge and thoughts and ideas, then one blocks oneself, oneblocks the possibility of an insight. So the religious inquiry may use thought andknowledge, but it is aiming at insight, at an expansion of vision, not an expansionof memory. Additional knowledge is expansion of memory, whereas insightexpands vision ---you see much farther, much more clearly, a much vaster terrain.Therefore, it is holistic in nature. It begins with observation, and it ends inobservation. It begins with a question, and it ends with a question, not with ananswer, not with a conclusion. Because one has seen that the conclusion preventsinquiry. And so often the conclusion has been wrong, mistaken. So one holds allconclusions like opinions tentatively, as scientists hold theories; they hold themtentatively, saying "Perhaps it is so, but we are not sure". If we can hold allopinions, all ideas, all knowledge in that way, then the quest for truth is to gobeyond this, and to have a direct perception of what is, not through theintervention of thought and of logic.So, having said that, let me come to today's question in this spirit. It is importantto approach it rightly, because if we approach something with a narrow vision, wewill get a narrow answer. Our vision limits the answer. For instance, if one has avery narrow vision of education, and one considers that education means onlytraining a child to get a job, pass an exam and make a success in society, then allthat dictates the kind of education you are going to set up, where the effort isgoing to lie, and the whole thing may be false because your vision is limited. Onthe other hand, your vision of education may be that you want the child to growup to have a full, happy, joyous life; you don't quite know what needs to be donefor that, but you don't want to narrow it down into just making a living. Then youare also concerned about him as a human being, about his life, and then yourvision is very different and that vision will determine the kind of answers you willfind for setting up education. I'm just giving that as an example, to show howimportant it is to have an extended vision, and not work with a very narrowvision. Otherwise, one is caught in the trap that you don't know, and you don'tknow that you don't know ! That's the worst trap to be in. So we don't want to fallinto that trap. And conclusions tend to bring us into that kind of a trap, if we holdto them strongly, and get attached to them. Therefore it is important not to livewith answers, but always to live with questions. The question we are going toinvestigate, and hold in our mind in that way, while discussing with each other, isthis question : what is the real significance of the statement, "You are the world".And quite honestly I don't know. I don't know the real significance, but let usinvestigate into it together.
Our Relationship with the World : Part Ihttp://www.pkrishna.org/Our-Relationship.html2 of 709/05/2009 07:26 p.m.
 
What is the world ? Let's begin at that end, because it's easier. The world aroundus is mankind, animals, plants, mountains, rivers, the whole of the earth, the skies,the stars, galaxies, and much else that might not be so easily visible. What do weknow about the world ? Scientists tell us that the world as we see it today, theuniverse in which we live today, started with a big bang, which occurredsomething like 15 billion years ago, and since then, it's been developing accordingto very definite laws of physics and chemistry. And because they have discoveredthose laws, through their observations in laboratories and so on, they know thekind of order that manifests in this universe, and they've also discovered thelanguage that best describes that order, which is the language of mathematics. It'sa very strange thing that a kind of logic using symbols which the human mind hasinvented corresponds to the logic that nature follows. Because you can tell ascientist some initial conditions, that there is water there, there is this kind of aslope, this kind of air and environment, and he will use his mathematics and so on,and tell you that one month later, in that place a little trickle of water should comeout. This is a very simple, mechanical thing but people like Einstein have talkedabout the light bending near a star, and they did it only with paper and pencil ! Ittook decades before they could do the experiment, and then they found "Yes,indeed, it does!" So somehow, nature follows that logic of mathematics.Otherwise, mathematics would have had very little value. It would have been likea game of chess, something interesting for the human mind to do, fascinating...and indeed, many mathematicians do mathematics just for fun, or for pleasure.Years later, it is found that it has applications in the universe, sometimes,centuries later ! What we don't know, what the scientist can't explain, is whynature follows this kind of order. Why are there laws at all ? And those laws areuniversal, they operate everywhere, in every corner of this universe, and theydictate the development of the universe. That's why they are able to say whatmust have happened one second after the Big Bang what happened after onethousand years, what happened after ten thousand years, because everything ispredetermined. It functions according to those laws, and they have tested thoselaws, time and again, refined them, and found that they work ! And they can bedescribed in terms of mathematics. At least, on the macroscopic level, with bigbodies like galaxies, and stars, and the earth, and stones, and satellites, there'salmost no uncertainty, you can predict exactly. If it's not too complicated asystem, you can predict exactly what's going to happen. That's how they're able todecide with what velocity to send a rocket in order that it will go into orbit andthen go near Venus and land there and so on; they know exactly the laws.What I am trying to say is that there is a cosmic order that permeates this wholeuniverse. And according to that cosmic order, the universe is developing.Somewhere along the line, life started too. And we don't know, we guess, that itmust also belong to this order. But we don't know how it started. So, while wehave discovered much about the nature of cosmic order, we still don't know howlife started. Therefore they are not able to create life in the laboratory, out of non-living things. The closest that they have come, as you might have read in thenewspapers, is that they have discovered a molecule that replicates itself continuously if there is organic matter around it. The other thing that we don'tknow is how consciousness started, and whether consciousness is a property of matter. We still don't know how it came about, we are studying it. In the latestissue of Time magazine, there is a good popular summary of what scientists aredoing by way of brain research, to understand the working of the brain, and aboutartificial intelligence. They are guessing what consciousness might be, and they'realso investigating whether this thing called the 'me', the ego, the controller, residesin some definite part of the brain. So far, their answer is it doesn't. There's noparticular part of the brain which is the controller, where the ego resides. But theycan locate other parts of the brain, which are lighted up, when certain emotionsoccur, and so on. It's such a very complicated computer ! And they also approachit from the other side, and make more and more complex computers to simulatehuman intelligence. So the world has a certain cosmic order permeating it, andregulating all that is happening including the life forms that have come up. In theliving world also there is that tremendous order. When a small seed contains oneliving cell, its entire behaviour pattern over a hundred years is changed. And if itdoesn't contain that living cell, then it just disintegrates, according to the laws of physics and chemistry. Otherwise, when it rains, it finds some ground, it startsmoving the atoms around, and growing at the expense of its surroundings,multiplying and we get the whole big oak tree or banyan tree coming out of it,which then lives for hundreds of years, and all that order is contained within thattiny little seed, if it has that living cell in it. It's the same elements which make upour body, which make up the tree. And the scientists tell us that these elementswere cooked in the stars. That the initial elements that were present originallywere only hydrogen and helium, and then, through nuclear reactions they havefused in the stars to form the higher elements. So our bodies, the trees, the atoms
Our Relationship with the World : Part Ihttp://www.pkrishna.org/Our-Relationship.html3 of 709/05/2009 07:26 p.m.

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