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Roots of Psychological Disorder

J. Krishnamurti
First Discussion with David Bohm, John Hidley and Rupert Sheldrake in Ojai
April 1982
John Hidley: We are particularly interested in regard to the origin of psychological disorder and what is
necessary to heal that disorder. Perhaps we could start with the question of what is the source of
psychological disorder.
Krishnamurti: Yes, sir. And I would like to ask, if I may, what do we mean by disorder, when the whole
world - as one knows here, as one sees it from continent to continent - there is a great deal of disorder.
JH: Yes.
K: Economically, socially...
Tom Krause: This is one of a series of dialogues between J Krishnamurti, David Bohm, Rupert Sheldrake,
and John Hidley. The purpose of these discussions is to explore essential questions about the mind: what is
psychological disorder and what is required for fundamental psychological change?
J Krishnamurti is a religious philosopher, author and educator who has written and given lectures on these
subjects for many years. He has founded elementary and secondary schools in the United States, England,
and India.
David Bohm is Professor of Theoretical Physics at Birkbeck College, London University in England. He has
written numerous books concerning theoretical physics and the nature of consciousness. Professor Bohm
and Mr Krishnamurti have held previous dialogues on many subjects.
Rupert Sheldrake is a biologist whose recently published book proposes that learning in some members of a
species affects the species as a whole. Dr Sheldrake is presently consulting plant physiologist at the
International Crops Research Institute in Hyderabad, India.
John Hidley is a psychiatrist in private practice who has been associated with the Krishnamurti school in
Ojai, California for the past six years.
In the culture there are conflicting points of view about the proper approach to dealing with one's own or
others' psychological problems. And the underlying principles from which these approaches are drawn are in
even greater conflict. Without invoking a narrow or specialised point of view, can the mind, the nature of
consciousness, its relationship to human suffering, and the potential for change be understood? These are the
issues to be explored in these dialogues.
K: Is disorder the very nature of the self?
JH: Why do you say that? Why do you ask that, if it is the nature of the self?
K: Isn't the self, the me, the ego...
JH: Yes.
K: ...whatever word we like to use, isn't that divisive? Isn't that exclusive, isolating process: the self-centred
activity which causes so much disorder in the world, isn't that the origin, the beginning of all disorder?
JH: The origin being selfish activity.
K: Yes, self-centred activity, at all levels of life.
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JH: Yes, and certainly that's the way in which the patient comes in, he's concerned about his depression.
K: Yes.
JH: Or his fear.
K: His fulfilment, his joy, his suffering, his...
JH: Yes.
K: ...agony and so on, it's all self-centred.
JH: Yes.
K: So, I am asking, if I may, is not the self the beginning of all disorder? The self - I mean the egotistic
attitude towards life, the sense of individual - emphasis on the individual: his salvation, his fulfilment, his
happiness, his anxiety, and so on, so on.
JH: Well, I don't know that it's the source of the thing. It's certainly the way he experiences it and presents it.
He presents it as his.
K: Yes, but I mean, if you go all over the world, it is the same expression, it is the same way of living. They
are all living their own personal lives unrelated to another, though they may marry, they may do all kinds of
things, but they're really functioning from an isolated centre.
JH: And that centre, that self, is the source of the difficulty in the relationship?
K: In relationship.
JH: And the difficulty that creates the symptoms.
K: And I wonder if the psychologists have tackled that problem, that the self is the origin, the beginning of
all contradiction, divisive activity, self-centred activity, and so on.
JH: No. I think that the way psychiatrists and psychologists look at this is that the problem is to have an
adequate self.
K: Adequate self.
JH: Yes.
K: Which means what?
JH: Defining normality...
K: The self that is functioning...
JH: Sufficiently.
K: ...efficiently.
JH: Yes.
K: Which means furthering more misery.
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David Bohm: Well, I don't feel that the psychiatrists would necessarily agree with you on that last point, they
might feel that a proper, or properly organised self could get together with other properly organised selves
and make an orderly society.
K: Yes.
DB: And you are saying, as I understand it, something quite different.
K: Yes.
DB: Which is that no self can do it. No structure of the self can make order.
K: That's right. The very nature of the self must intrinsically bring disorder.
DB: Yes, but I'm not sure this will be clear. How can that be made clear, evident?
Rupert Sheldrake: Sorry, it seems to me that the context is even broader than that of psychology, because in
the world we have all sorts of things which are not human beings with selves, there are animals and plants
and all the forces of nature and all the stars and so on. Now we see disorder in nature too. It may not be
consciously experienced and a cat that's suffering or a lion that is suffering or a mouse or even an earthworm
that's suffering may not come into a psychiatrist's office and say so, but the fact is that there seems to be
disorder and conflict within nature. There are conflicts between forces of nature, inanimate things,
earthquakes and so on; there are conflicts within the animal world; there are even conflicts within the plant
world - plants compete for light, and bigger ones get higher up in the forest and the smaller ones get shaded
out and die. There's conflict between predators and prey; all animals live on other plants or animals. There's
every kind of conflict: there's disease, there's suffering, there's parasites; all these things occur in the natural
world. So is the context of psychological suffering and disorder something that's merely something to do
with the mind or is it something to do with the whole of nature, the fact that the world is full of separate
things and that if we have a world which is full of separate things and these separate things are all interacting
with each other, that there's always going to be conflict in such a world.
DB: So, I'm wondering, is it clear that there is that disorder in nature. Would we say that disorder is only in
human consciousness?
K: Yes.
DB: That is, the phenomena that you have described, are they actually disorder? That's a question we have to
go into. Or what is the difference between the disorder in consciousness and whatever is going on in nature?
K: I saw the other night on the television a cheetah chasing a deer, killing it. Would you consider that
disorder?
RS: Well, I would consider that it involves suffering.
K: Suffering, yes. So are we saying that it is natural in nature and in human beings to suffer, to go through
agonies, to live in disorder?
RS: Yes.
K: So what do you say to that, sir?
JH: Well, I think that's the way it's looked at by the therapist. To some degree it's felt that this arises in the
course of development and that some people have it more than others... suffering - some people are more
fortunate in their upbringing, for example, or in their heredity. But it isn't questioned that that may not be
necessary in any absolute sense.
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DB: Oh.
JH: Well, that's what we're questioning.
K: That's what I would like to question too.
JH: Yes.
K: Dr. Sheldrake says it is accepted. It's like that.
JH: Yes.
K: Human conditioning is to suffer, to struggle, to have anxiety, pain, disorder.
JH: Well, it's certainly...
K: ...human conditioning.
JH: ...certainly necessary to have physical suffering. People get sick, they die, and we're wondering whether
or not psychological suffering is analogous to that or whether there's something intrinsically different about
it.
K: No, sir. I do question seriously whether human beings must inevitably live in this state: everlastingly
suffering; everlastingly going through this agony of life. Is that necessary, is it right that they should?
JH: It's certainly not desirable that they should.
K: No, no. If we accept that it's inevitable, as many people do, then there is no answer to it.
JH: Yes.
K: But is it inevitable?
JH: Well, physical suffering is inevitable.
K: Yes.
JH: Illness, death.
K: Yes, sir, physical sufferings, old age, accidents, disease.
JH: Maybe we increase the physical suffering because of our psychological problems.
K: That's it. That's it. Sir, a mother bearing babies, she goes through a terrible time delivering them.
Strangely, she forgets that pain. She has the next baby, another baby. In India, as you know, there mothers
have about seven or eight children. If they remembered the first agony of it, they would never have children.
I have talked to several mothers about it. They seem to totally forget it. It's a blank after suffering. So is
there an activity in the psyche that helps the suffering to be wiped away? Recently, personally I have had an
operation, a minor operation, there was plenty of pain; quite a lot. And it went on considerably. It's out of my
mind completely gone. So is it the psychological nourishing of a remembrance of pain - you follow - which
gives us a sense of continuity in pain?
JH: So you are saying that perhaps the physical suffering in the world is not the source of the psychological
suffering, but that the psychological suffering is an action of its own.
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K: Yes. Right. You have had toothache, I'm sure.


RS: Yes. I've forgotten...
K: ...you have forgotten it. Why? If we accept pain is inevitable, suffering is inevitable you must continue
with it. You must sustain it.
RS: No, we have to accept that it's inevitable, that it happens sometimes. But we can forget physical pain;
can we forget the kind of psychological pain that's caused by natural things like loss, death of people?
K: Yes, we'll come to that. I come to you, I've a problem with my wife, if I'm married. I am not, but suppose
I am married. I come because I can't get on with her.
JH: Yes.
K: And she can't get on with me.
JH: Yes.
K: And we have a problem in relationship. I come to you. How will you help me? This is a problem that
everybody's facing.
JH: Yes.
K: Either a divorce...
JH: Yes.
K: Or adjustment. And is that possible when each one wants to fulfil, wants to go his own way, pursue his
own desires, his own ambitions, and so on?
JH: You are saying that the problem arises out of the fact that they each have their own interests at heart.
K: No, it's not interest, it's like - sir, we are all terribly individualistic.
JH: Yes.
K: I want my way and my wife wants her way. Deeply.
JH: And we see that our needs are in conflict for some reason.
K: Yes, that's all. Right away you begin.
JH: Yes.
K: After the first few days or few months of relationship, pleasure and all that, that soon wears off and we
are stuck.
JH: Okay, that's the same problem then with the mother raising this child and making it her toy. Her needs
are in conflict with the needs of the child.
K: Please, perhaps you'll go on, sir. The mother, her mother was also like that.
JH: Yes.
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K: And the whole world is like that, sir. It's not the mother.
JH: Yes.
K: So when I come to you with my problem, you say it's the mother.
JH: No, I wouldn't say it's...
K: I object to that.
JH: I wouldn't say it's the mother.
K: Ah, no, I'm pushing it.
JH: You were saying that it's a much broader problem.
K: Much deeper problem than the mother or the brother didn't put the baby on the right pot, or something.
(laughter)
JH: Right. Then it appears that the needs are in conflict.
K: No, I wouldn't say needs are in conflict. Basically, they are divisive; self-centred activity.
JH: Yes.
K: That inevitably must bring contradiction - you know, the whole business of relationship and conflict.
JH: Yes.
K: Because each one wants his pleasure.
JH: There's self-centred activity on the part of the person who's raising the child or on the part of the person
who is in the relationship, married. The child is the victim of that.
K: Of course.
JH: And then grows up to perpetuate it.
K: And the mother's father and mother's fathers are like that too.
JH: Yes. Now why does it have to happen that way? Are we saying that's the way it is in nature? Or are we
saying that...
K: Oh, no.
RS: Well, I mean, there are certain conflicts in nature. For example, among troops of gorillas or baboons take baboons or even chimpanzees - there's a conflict among the males. Often the strongest male...
K: Yes, quite.
RS: ...wishes to monopolise all the attractive females. Now some of the younger males want to get in on the
act as well. They try going off with these females and this younger male will fight and beat them off. So
they'll be kept out of this. This selfish activity of this one male keeps most of the females to himself. The
same occurs in red deer, where the stag will monopolise the females. Now these are examples of conflict in
the animal kingdom which are quite needless. There would be enough food for these hens without pecking
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each other. Now these are not exceptions; we can find this kind of thing throughout the animal kingdom. So
I don't think that the origin of this kind of selfish conflict is something just to do with human societies and
the way they are structured. I think we can see in biological nature this kind of thing.
K: Are you saying that as we are the result of the animal, as we human beings evolved from the animal, we
have inherited all those pecking order?
RS: Yes, I think we've inherited a lot of animal tendencies from our animal forbearers.
K: Oh, yes, yes.
RS: And I think that many of these show up in these psychological problems.
K: Yes, but is it necessary that we should continue that way?
RS: Ah.
K: We are thoughtful, we are ingenious in our inventions, extraordinarily capable in certain directions, why
should we not also say: we won't have this, the way we live, let's change it.
RS: Well, we can say that; many people have said it.
K: I know, many people have said it.
RS: But without very much effect.
K: Why?
RS: Well, that indeed is a question. Is it that we're so completely trapped in the ancestry of the past?
K: Or so heavily conditioned that it's impossible to be free.
RS: Well, there are two possible kinds of conditioning: one is the genuine biological conditioning that comes
from our animal heritage, which means that we inherit all these tendencies.
K: Let's accept that.
RS: Now that is undoubtedly extremely strong. It goes right back into our animal past.
K: Right.
RS: The other kind of conditioning is the kind of argument that I'm putting forward, perhaps: the argument,
this has always been so; human nature is like this, there have always been wars and conflicts and all that
kind of thing, and therefore there always will be; that the most we can do is try to minimise these, and that
there'll always be psychological conflicts within families and between people and that the most we can do is
try and minimise these...
K: So, accept the...
RS: ...or at least make them liveable with.
K: ...conditioning, modify it. But you cannot fundamentally change it.
RS: Yes. I'm saying this is a possible kind of conditioning: the belief that we can't really change it radically
is another kind of conditioning. I'm a victim of it myself. So I don't know if it's possible to get out of it.
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K: That is what I want to discuss. Whether it's possible to change the human conditioning. And not accept it,
say, as most philosophers, the existentialists and others say, your human nature is conditioned. You cannot
change. You can modify it; you can be less selfish, have psychologically less painful problems, bear up with
pain, this is natural, we have inherited from the animals; we'll go on like this for the rest of our lives and for
the lives to come. Not reincarnation, other people's lives. It'll be our conditioning, human conditioning. Do
we accept that? Or should we enquire into whether it's possible to change this conditioning?
RS: Yes. I think we should enquire into that.
K: If you say it cannot be changed, then the argument is over.
RS: All right, so I'll say...
K: No, I'm not saying...
RS: I'd like it to be changed, I deeply want it to be changed. So I think that this question of enquiring into
the possibility is extremely important. But one of my points, to go back to the conditioning point, is that a lot
of this conditioning is deep in our biological nature and people who wish to change it merely by changing
the structures of society...
K: Oh, I'm not talking about that, of course.
RS: ...are operating at too superficial a level.
K: Like the Communists want to change it.
RS: But the idea that you can do it by just changing the environment is what the Communists thought and
still think, and in a sense the experiment has been tried and we can see the results in various communist
countries. And of course, believers in that would say, well, they haven't tried properly or they betrayed the
revolution, and so on. But nevertheless, the basis of that belief is that the source of all the evils and the
problems is in society and by changing society man is perfectible.
K: But society is formed by us.
RS: Yes.
K: And by us it is going to be changed. So we haven't to change ourselves. We depend on society to change
us. And society is what we have made it; so we are caught in that trap.
RS: Yes. Exactly; and if we start off with a heritage which is built into us, inherited, which comes from our
biological past, and if we start with that and we start with these societies that also have bad effects, some of
them, and to varying degrees, and we just try to change the society, the other part, the inherited part, is still
there.
K: Oh, yes, but cannot those also be transformed?
RS: I really...
K: I may have inherited, what - violence from the... from the apes and so on, so on. Can't I change that? The
inherited biological...
DB: Drives.
K: ...conditioning, surely that can be transformed.
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RS: Well, all societies surely seek to transform these biological drives we have, and all processes of bringing
children up in all societies seek to bring those drives within the control of the society. Otherwise you would
have complete anarchy. However these drives are always brought within certain social forms and individual
aggression is obviously discouraged in most societies. But is it really transformed? Doesn't it just come out
again in the aggression of the society as a whole, war and so on. So we can see that these things are
transformed by society, these basic drives that we inherit.
K: But why do we... sorry, what were you ...
DB: I was going to say they really haven't been transformed, but I think you're meaning by transformed a
fundamental change and not just a superficial change or a transfer of the object of aggression from other
individuals to other groups. So if you talk of transformation you would say really that they would more or
less go away, right? That's as I understand it.
RS: Well, they'd be changed from one form to another...
DB: I meant...
RS: ...that's what I mean.
DB: ...I don't think that's the meaning which Krishnaji is using for the word 'transform', but essentially can't
we be free of them, you see.
K: Yes. That's right. Sir, why do you divide, if I may ask, society and me? As though society were something
outside which is influencing me, conditioning me, but my parents, grandparents, so on, past generations
have created that society, so I am part of that society. I am society.
RS: Well, yes.
K: Why do we separate it?
RS: I think the reason why we separate it is that there are different kinds of society. And if I'd been born in
India instead of in England I would have grown up in a very different way...
K: Of course, of course.
RS: ...with different set of attitudes.
K: Of course.
RS: And because we can think of ourselves growing up in different kinds of societies and we'd be different if
we had, that's why in thought, I think, we have the idea that society and me are not exactly the same. We'd
always be in one society or another, so society as a whole, all societies taken together, we would only exist
within society, but any particular society is in a sense an accident of our birth or upbringing.
K: But even that society is part of us.
RS: Oh, yes. I mean through growing up in it, it becomes part of us and we become part of it.
K: But, I want to abolish this idea in discussion, this separation from me and society. I am society, I am the
world. I am the result of all these influences, conditionings, whether in the East or in the West or in South or
North, it's all part of conditioning.
RS: Yes.
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K: So we are attacking the conditioning, not where you are born or East or West.
RS: Oh, yes. The problem would be conditioning of every kind: our biological conditioning, our
conditioning from society.
K: That's right.
RS: Yes.
K: So personally I don't separate myself from society, I am society. I have created society through my
anxiety, through my desire for security, through my desire to have power, and so on, so on, so on. Like the
animal. It's all biologically inherited. And also my own individualistic activity has created this society. So I
am asking, I am conditioned in that way; is it not possible to be free of it? Free of my conditioning? If you
say it's not possible, then it's finished.
RS: Well, I would say first that it's not possible to be free of all of the conditioning. I mean, certain of it is
necessary biologically, the conditioning that makes my heart beat...
K: Ah, well...
RS: ...my lungs operate, and all that.
K: I admit all that.
RS: Now, then, the question is, how far can you take that? The necessary conditioning.
K: Dr. Hidley was saying - that's his whole point - I am conditioned to suffer, psychologically. Right, sir?
JH: Yes.
K: Or I am conditioned to go through great conflict in my relationship with my wife or father, whatever it is.
And you are saying, either we investigate into that and free ourselves from that, or accept it and modify it.
JH: That's right.
K: Now, which is it? That's what I want - which is it as a psychologist you maintain? If I may put such a
question to you.
JH: Yes. Well, I think generally the approach is to attempt to modify it; to help the patient to make it work
more effectively.
K: Why? I hope you don't mind my asking these questions.
JH: No, I think that part of the reason for that is that it's seen as biological and therefore fixed. A person is
born with a certain temperament. His drives are the drives of the animal, and I think also because it isn't
clear to the therapists that the problem can be dealt with as a whole, it is clear that it can be dealt with as
particulars.
K: Is it - I am not asking an impudent question.
JH: Okay.
K: Is it the psychologists don't think holistically? Our only concern is solving individual problems.
JH: Yes, they are concerned with solving individual problems.
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K: So therefore they are not thinking of human suffering as a whole.


JH: Right.
K: A particular suffering of X who is very depressed.
JH: Right. For particular reasons.
K: For particular reasons. We don't enquire into what is depression, why human beings all over the world are
depressed.
JH: Or we don't try and tackle that as a single problem. We try and tackle it with this particular individual
who comes in.
K: Therefore you are still really, if I may point out - I may be wrong ...
JH: Yes.
K: ... you are emphasising his particular suffering and so sustaining it.
JH: Now, can we get clear on that?
K: I come to you.
JH: Yes.
K: I am depressed.
JH: Yes.
K: For various reasons which you know.
JH: Yes.
K: And you tell me, by talking to me, etc., you know the whole business of coming to you and all that, you
tell me: my depression is the depression of the world.
JH: Yes, I don't tell you that. I tell you that your depression ...
K: When you tell me that, are you not helping me to carry on with this individualistic depression? And
therefore my depression, not your depression.
JH: Yes.
K: It's my depression which I either cherish or want to dissolve.
JH: Yes.
K: Which means I am only concerned with myself.
JH: Yes.
K: Myself, I come back to that.
JH: Yes, it's within the context of yourself.
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K: Self.
JH: Yes...
K: So you are helping me to be more selfish, if I may...
JH: Yes.
K: More self-concerned, more self-committed.
JH: It is approached within the context of the self, but I would think that I am helping you to be less selfconcerned because when you are not depressed, then you don't have to be self-concerned. You feel better and
you're able to relate to people more.
K: But again, on a very superficial level.
JH: Meaning that I leave the self intact.
K: Intact.
JH: Yes.
DB: Yes, well, I feel that people generally wouldn't accept this, that the self is not there, you see, which is
what you're implying, that the self is rather unimportant. But rather the assumption is that the self is really
there and it has to be improved, you see, and if you say...
K: That's it, that's it.
DB: A certain amount of self-centredness people would say is normal...
K: Yes, sir.
DB: ...so you keep it within reason, right?
JH: Right.
K: Modify selfishness, right? Continue with selfishness but go slow.
DB: But I think you're saying something which is very radical, then, because very few people have
entertained the notion of no self-centredness.
K: That's it.
JH: That's right; it isn't entertained.
DB: Maybe a few but...
JH: Yes. For biological reasons and because of the universality of the phenomenon? Because it isn't even
seen as relevant, really.
DB: I think most people feel that's the way things are, it's the only way.
JH: Yes.
K: That means status quo, modified status quo.
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JH: Yes.
K: To me that seems so irrational.
DB: But you must feel that it's possible to be different, you see, at least, more than feel, in some sense there
must be some reason why you say this.
K: I'll tell you...What?
DB: Why you feel so different from other people about it.
K: It seems so practical, first of all. The way we live is so impractical: the wars, the accumulation of
armaments, is totally impractical.
DB: But that wouldn't be an argument, you see, because people say, we all understand that, but since that's
the way we are, nothing else is possible. You see, you really are challenging the notion that that is the way
we are; or we have to be.
K: I don't quite follow this. We are what we are.
DB: People say we are individual, separate and we'll just have to fight and make the best of it. But you are
saying something different, I mean, you're not accepting that.
K: All right. Don't accept it, but will you listen? Will the people who don't accept it, will they give their
minds to find out? Right?
JH: Right.
K: Or say, please, we don't want to listen to you. This is what we think; buzz off. (laughter) That's what most
people do.
JH: Well, this question isn't even raised usually.
K: Of course.
JH: Now why do you think that the self, this selfish activity, isn't necessary?
K: No, sir, first of all, do we accept the condition that we are in? Do we accept it, and say, please, we can
only modify it, it can never be changed. One can never be free from this anxiety, deep depression; modify it,
always, from agony of life. You follow? This process of going through tortures in oneself. That's normal,
accepted. Modify it, live little more quietly and so on, so on. If you accept that, there is no communication
between us. But if you say, I know my conditioning, I may perhaps, I may, tell me, let's just talk about
whether one can be free from it. Then we have a relationship, then we can communicate with each other. But
if you say, sorry, shut the door in my face and it's finished.
RS: So, there are some people who accept it, say we can't change it. But there are other people, and I would
say that some of the most inspiring leaders of the different religions of the world are among them, who have
said we can change it; there is a way beyond this.
K: Yes.
RS: Now since religions have wide followings and since their doctrines are widely dispersed, there are in
fact large numbers of people in our society and in every society who do think it can be changed. Because all
religions hold out the prospect of change, and of going beyond this conditioning.
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K: Yes. But I would like to know, when you use the word 'religion', is it the organised religion, is it the
authoritarian religion, is it the religion of belief, dogma, rituals, all that?
RS: Well...
K: Or religion in the sense, the accumulation of energy to find whether it is possible to be free. You
understand my question?
RS: Yes. Well, I think the second, but I think that if we look into the history of the organised religions and
people within them, we see that much of the inspiration for them was in fact that second kind of religion,
which, still within that framework, still survives, I think. But it's also something which has often been
corrupted and debased and turned into yet another set of dogmas, conditioning, and so on. But I think that
within all religious traditions that this second kind of religion you talk about has been kept alive and I think
that the impetus in all the great religions of the world has been that, though it's then been debased and
degraded in various ways. But this vision has never left any of these religions, there are still people within
them, I think, who still have it. And this is the inner light that keeps them going over and above the simple
political part and all the rest of it.
K: I know, I know. But suppose a man like me rejects tradition. Rejects anything that has been said about
truth, about god, whatever it is: the other side. I don't know; the other people say, yes, we have this and that.
So how am I, as a human being who has really rejected all this: tradition, the people who have said there is,
and the people who have said that's all nonsense; people who have said we have found (inaudible) - and so
on, so on. If you wipe all that out and say, look, I must find out - not as an individual - can this truth or this
bliss, this illumination come without depending on all that? You see, if I am anchored, for example in
Hinduism, with all the - not the superficiality of it, not all the rituals and all the superstitions - if I am
anchored in the religious belief of a Hindu, of a real Brahmin, I am always anchored, and I may go very far,
but I am anchored there. That is not freedom. Because there must be freedom to discover this, or come upon
this.
RS: Yes.
K: Sir, we are going little bit too far?
RS: No, but I would then go back and say, well, you put forward the question of a man who rejects all his
traditions. You said, let us suppose that I am a man who has rejected all these traditions. I would then say,
well what reason do you have for rejecting all these traditions in such a way?
JH: Well, that seems to be part of the problem that we've arrived at. We have said that man is conditioned
biologically and socially by his family. The tradition is part of that. We've said that that's the problem that
we're up against now. Is it possible for him to change his nature or do we have to deal with each of these
problems particularly as they come up?
RS: Well, what I was saying is that the inner core of all the great religions of the world is a vision of this
possibility of a transformation, whether it's called salvation or liberation or nirvana or what. There's this
vision. Now there have always been people within those religions who've had this vision and lived this
vision; now...
K: Ah! Sorry. Go on, I'm sorry.
RS: Well, perhaps out of your radical rejection of all religions you've always denied that. But if so, I would
say, why? Why should we be so radical as to deny...
K: I question whether they really - I may be sacrilegious, I may be an infidel, non-believer - I wonder if I am
anchored to a certain organised belief, whether I can ever find the other. If I am a Buddhist, for example, I
believe that the Buddha is my saviour. Suppose I believe that, and that has been told to me from childhood,
14

my parents have been Buddhists and so on, so on, so on. And as long as I have found that security in that
idea, or in that belief, in that person, there is no freedom.
RS: No, but it's possible that you can move beyond that framework, you see, starting from within it that you
can move beyond it.
K: That means I wipe out everything.
RS: It means you wipe it out, but there's a difference between an approach where you wipe it out from the
beginning...
K: From the beginning, I am talking.
RS: And there's an approach where you start within it and go beyond it.
K: You see that - wait, wait; yes, I know, the well-worn argument. What is important, breaking down all the
barriers at the beginning, not at the end. I am a Hindu, I see what Hinduism is, a lot of superstition, you
know, all the rest of it, and why should I go through number of years to end it, why can't I finish it the first
day?
RS: Because I think you'd have to reinvent and rediscover for yourself a great many things that you would
be able to get through more quickly if you didn't.
K: No. His question is: I am a living human being in relationship with him or with her. In that relationship I
am in conflict. He says, don't go about religion and illumination and nirvana and all the rest of it. Transform
this, live rightly here, then the door is open.
RS: Yes, but surely, isn't that easier said than done?
K: I know! I know it's easier said than done, therefore let's find out. Let me find out with him, or with you,
or with her how to live in this world without conflict. Right, sir?
JH: That's what we're asking.
K: Can I find out, or is that impossible?
JH: We don't know.
K: No. Therefore we start, we don't know.
JH: Okay.
K: So let's enquire into that. Because if my relationship with life is not right - right in quotes for the moment
- how can I find out something that's immensely beyond all this? Beyond time, beyond thought, beyond
measure. I can't. 'Till we have established right relationship between us, which is order, how can I find that
which is supreme order? So I must begin with you, not with that. I don't know if you are meeting me.
RS: No, I would have thought that you could easily argue the other way around.
K: Of course, of course! (laughs)
RS: Until you have that, you can't get this right; because the whole history of man shows that starting just
from...

15

K: Ah! Therefore you invent that. You invent something illogical, may not be true; may be just invention of
thought, and you imagine that to be order, and hope that order will filter into you. And it seems so illogical,
irrational, whereas this is so rational.
RS: But is it possible?
K: That is it! Let's find out.
RS: But you've now completely reversed your argument to start with, you see. He started with the patient
coming to the psychiatrist's office who wants to get his relationships right, get the human relationships out of
this state of disorder and conflict into something that's more tolerable.
K: I'm not sure this way - forgive me, Doctor, if I'm blundering into where the angels fear to tread (laughter)
- I question whether they are doing right.
RS: But they're doing just what you said now, starting with the relationship, and not going into these bigger
questions.
K: But I question whether they are really concerned with bringing about a right relationship between human
beings, fundamentally, not superficially, just to adjust themselves for the day.
JH: I don't think that you're denying that larger questions are involved in that, you are just saying that we
shouldn't invent ideas about what a solution would be like.
K: Yes. I come to you with my problem: I cannot get on with somebody, or I am terribly depressed or
something dishonest in me, I pretend. I come to you. You are concerned to tell me, become more honest.
JH: Yes.
K: But not find out what is real honesty.
JH: Don't we get into the problem of creating the idea of real honesty at this point?
K: No. It's not an idea. I am dishonest. You enquire, why are you dishonest?
JH: Yes.
K: Go - penetrate into it, disturb me. Don't pacify me. Don't help me to say, well, be a little more honest and
a little more this or that, but shake me so that I find out what is real honesty.
JH: Okay, that's...
K: I may break away from my conditioning, from my wife, from my parents, anything. You don't disturb me.
JH: No, that's...
K: That's just my point.
JH: I do disturb you.
K: Partially.
JH: Well, what...
K: You disturb me not to conform to little adjustments.
16

JH: Well, let's look at that.


K: Sorry.
JH: I disturb you to conform to little adjustments, yes.
K: You don't say to me, look, you are dishonest, let's go into it.
JH: I do say that.
K: No but, go into it, so that he is totally honest.
JH: Well, how deeply do I need to go into it so that I have disturbed you totally?
K: Yes. So you tell me. Do it now, sir.
JH: Okay. You come in and in our talks we notice that the thing that you are up to is that you are always
trying to find some other person to make your life be whole.
K: Yes. I depend on somebody.
JH: Yes, deeply.
K: Deeply.
JH: And you don't even know that.
K: Yes.
JH: So I disturb you. I tell you that that's what's going on and I show you you're doing it with me. I show
you you're doing it with your husband. Now is that sufficiently deep?
K: No.
JH: Why?
K: What have you shown me? A verbal picture...
JH: No, not verbal; not verbal.
K: Wait, wait.
JH: Okay.
K: Verbal picture, an argument, a thing which tells me that I am dishonest. Or whatever you tell me. That
leaves me where?
JH: Well, if it's verbal it just gives you more knowledge about yourself.
K: That's all. Knowledge about myself.
JH: Yes.
K: Will knowledge transform me?
17

JH: No.
K: No. Be careful, sir, careful. Then why do I come to you?
JH: Well, not so that I can give you knowledge. You come thinking that maybe somehow I have some
answers, because other people, because the society is set up...
K: Why don't you tell me, 'Old boy, do it yourself, don't depend on me'. Go into it. Find out, stir.
JH: Okay, I tell you that. I tell you, go into it yourself. And you say to me...
K: I can't do it.
JH: ...I don't know what you're talking about.
K: That's just it.
JH: Yes...
K: So how will you help me to go into myself and not depend on you? You understand my question? Please,
I'm not the stage, the only actor. Sir, this is really a serious question. How will you help me to go into myself
so deeply that I understand and go beyond. You know what I mean?
JH: No, I don't know what you mean. I understand how to help you go into it without depending on me.
K: I don't want to depend on you. I don't want to depend on anybody.
JH: Okay. I can help you do that. We can discover together that you are depending on me, but I don't know
how deeply this has to go.
K: So you have to enquire into dependence.
JH: Okay.
K: Why am I dependent? Security.
JH: Yes.
K: Where is security? Is there such thing as security?
JH: Well, I have these experiences as I grew up that taught me what security is.
K: Yes, which is what? A projected idea?
JH: Yes.
K: A principle.
JH: Yes.
K: A belief, a faith, a dogma, or an ideal, which are all projected by me or by you, and I accept those. But
they're unreal.
JH: Okay.
18

K: So, can I push those away?


JH: Yes. And then you are not depressed.
K: Ah! I am dependent and therefore I get angry, jealousy, all the rest of it. That dependence makes me
attached and in that attachment there is more fear, there is more anxiety, there is more... you follow?
JH: Yes.
K: So can you help me to be free or, find out what is true security? Is there a deep abiding security? Not in
furniture, not in a house, not in my wife or in some idea - find deeply if there is such thing as complete
security. Sorry, I'm talking all the ...
JH: So you're suggesting that if I simply work on this with you and you come to understand that you're
dependent that that's not sufficient because you won't have discovered any abiding security.
K: No. Because that's all I want. I've sought security in this house and it doesn't, there's no security. And
there's none, I've sought security in my wife, there isn't any; then I change to another woman, but there isn't
any either. Then I find security in a church, in a god, in a belief, in a faith, in some other symbol. You see
what is happening? You are all externalising, if I can use that word - giving me security in things in which
there is no security: in nations, all the rest of it. Could you help us to find out if there is complete security
which is unshakeable?
RS: Are you suggesting that this is one of our most fundamental needs, driving activities?
K: I should think so.
RS: Drives and activities?
K: I should think so.
RS: So indeed it's a fundamental question as to whether this sense of abiding unshakeable security is
possible.
K: Yes. Yes. Because if once you have that there is no problem any more.
JH: But this isn't clear, because then is it the individual that has that?
K: No. Individual can never have that security. Because he is in himself divisive.
http://www.jkrishnamurti.org/krishnamurti-teachings/view-video/the-roots-of-psychological-disorder.php

19

The Nature of the Mind


Ojai, 16-17th April 1982.
Conversations with Drs. Bohm, Sheldrake & Hidley.
Psychological Suffering
Q: Is it possible to live a life free from disorder?
Q: What is security?
We are hurt by parents, school, university. Is it possible not to be hurt and not to hurt? A lot of ideas,
emotions, reactions, all that is me. Is it possible not to have images at all?
I identify with my nation because that gives me a certain strength, status, security.
Why do we want to identify with something? And why do we want to become?
Avoidance, of "what is" is an escape, but to say, look, this is what I am, let`s look at it, is not.
If I see the fact that responsibility is order, I am responsible for keeping this house clean, as we all live on
this earth it is our earth, not the British , or French or German earth. And we have divided ourselves because
in this division we think there is security. In isolation there is neither security nor order.
Psychological Suffering
J. Krishnamurti
Second Conversation with David Bohm, John Hidley and Rupert Sheldrake in Ojai 17 April 1982
Tom Krause: This is one of a series of dialogues between J Krishnamurti, David Bohm, Rupert Sheldrake
and John Hidley. The purpose of these discussions is to explore essential questions about the mind: what is
psychological disorder and what is required for fundamental psychological change.
J Krishnamurti is a religious philosopher, author and educator who has written and given lectures on these
subjects for many years. He has founded elementary and secondary schools in the United States, England
and India.
David Bohm is professor of theoretical physics at Birkbeck College, London University in England. He has
written numerous books concerning theoretical physics and the nature of consciousness. Professor Bohm
and Mr Krishnamurti have held previous dialogues on many subjects.
Rupert Sheldrake is a biologist whose recently published book proposes that learning in some members of a
species affects the species as a whole. Dr Sheldrake is presently consulting plant physiologist to the
International Crops Research Institute in Hyderabad, India.
John Hidley is a psychiatrist in private practice who has been associated with the Krishnamurti school in
Ojai, California for the past six years.
In the first dialogue the nature of the self was discussed, its relationship to suffering, to society, and to
religion. Questions raised were: can one discover or learn about these relationships and is the need for
psychological security the root of the problem? Today's discussion continues with these questions.

20

John Hidley: We talked yesterday, we started with the question of the origin and nature of psychological
disorder, and suggested that it has its roots in self-centred activity which is divisive and conflictual in nature
and that biologically such factors as instinctual aggression and dominance drives, the facts of illness and
death all contribute. I wondered if we could start this morning, David, by having you comment on the
relationship between these biological factors and psychological security.
David Bohm: Yes, well, biologically if you begin with the animal you have all sorts of things like fear and
anger and aggression and they're fairly simple. They exist for a short period while the fact is there and then
they generally disappear, leaving little trace. There may be a few cases in the higher animals where there's
some memory, but it's in man that the memory becomes very significant, remembering all these experiences
and anticipating the future you get a very different sort of behaviour. For example, with an animal he might
have a bad experience with another animal and shortly afterward he'll be in fairly good state of equilibrium,
but say we have a quarrel between two groups, as in Northern and Southern Ireland, this has been going on
for 350 years and there is a specific effort to remember it which you can see going on. And I think this is the
biggest difference.
JH: Memory being the...
DB: Yes, the effect of memory, the consequences of memory. You see memory by itself would obviously not
cause any trouble, because it's only a fact, right? But memory has consequences: it may produce fear, you
see, it may produce anger; it may produce all sorts of disturbances to remember what did happen and to
anticipate what may happen.
Rupert Sheldrake: You mean thinking about it?
DB: Yes. Based on memory, right?
RS: I mean, obviously the animal that's been attacked by another animal remembers in the sense that when it
sees the other animal again, it's afraid. It probably doesn't think about it in between.
DB: Yes, it can't form an image, you see, I don't believe that most animals can form images of the other
animals, and I can base that on experience, that I have seen dogs fighting very hard, and as soon as they turn
the corner, the dog sort of forgets what happened. He is disturbed but he doesn't know why he is disturbed,
you see. Now, if he could remember the other dog after he turned the corner, he could continue the struggle
over territory indefinitely. So the point about territory is, the animal maintains it in a certain limited context.
But man remembers it and he maintains this territory indefinitely and wants to extend it, and so on, because
of his thinking about it.
RS: So, are you suggesting that the basis of the specifically human kind of pain and suffering over and
above the kind of suffering we see in the animal kingdom is this ability to remember, to brood over it, think
about it?
DB: Yes, the animal may have some of that, I've seen examples on television of a deer who lost its doe and it
was pining away in the wild, but I think it's limited, that is, there is some suffering of that kind in the animal
world but with man it's enormously expanded, you know, it seems limitless. Yes, I think the major point is
that with man the thing can build up like a tremendous explosion that fills his whole mind, you see, and it
can become the major motive in life, to remember the insult and to, you know, to revenge the vendetta, in
families over many generations. To remember the bad experience you had with somebody and to be
frightened of what's coming like the examination that the child may be frightened of, or something like that.
K: But have you answered his question, sir?
DB: Which is?

21

JH: How does the biological fact of illness or death or instinctual drive result in a psychological problem or
disorder?
DB: By thinking about it. I say that the biological fact is not a serious problem, in the long run, but as soon
as you begin to think about it, and not merely think about it but make images about it along with that
thought, you know; and to revive the memory and anticipate the feeling of the future; and while you are
thinking then it becomes a very serious problem because you can't stop it, you see. You will never attain
security by thinking about it, but you are constantly seeking security. You see, the purpose of thinking is to
give you security in practical affairs, technical affairs. Now, therefore you are doing a similar sort of
thinking, saying how can I be secure against the possibility of suffering again? And there is no way to do
that. You may take technical steps to make it unlikely, but as you think about it, you begin to stir up the
whole system and distort the whole mental process.
JH: Well, it seems clear that by thinking about it we stir up the emotions and the associations that are those
thoughts, but we're not suggesting we shouldn't think about it, are we?
DB: Well, it depends on how you think about it. You see, this thinking gets to be directed toward giving you
a sense of security, you see, an image of security.
JH: Right, I get hurt when I'm little or some time along the line and it creates a fear in me and I anticipate
that kind of situation. I may not even remember the incident, but I want to avoid it in the future.
DB: Yes, and now, the point is this: the mind is always searching for how to avoid it, and searching out
thoughts, images, you know, saying, that fellow is the one who did it, I must keep away from him; coming to
conclusions and if any conclusion gives you an image of security, then the mind holds on to it, right?
Without actually any basis.
JH: Could you elaborate on that a little?
DB: Well, if you have had a bad experience with somebody, you may conclude that you should never trust
him again, for example. Although that might be quite wrong. But the mind is so anxious to have security that
it will jump to the conclusion that it's not safe to trust him. Right?
JH: Yes.
DB: Now, if you find somebody else who seems to treat you well and reassures you and flatters you, then
you may jump to the conclusion you can completely trust him. Now, the mind is now looking for thoughts
that will give it good feelings, you see, because the feelings of the memory are so disturbing to the whole
system that its first function is to make the mind feel better, rather than find out what is the fact.
JH: Okay, so you're saying that at this point the mind isn't interested in what's true, it's interested in getting
secure.
DB: Yes, it's so disturbed that it wants to come to order first you see, and it's adopting a wrong way, as I see
it.
JH: The wrong way being?
DB: To think about it and try to find thoughts that will make it feel better.
JH: So you're saying that thoughts themselves in some sense are taking the place of reality, that the person is
trying to get certain thoughts in his head that make him feel better.
DB: Yes. And that's self-deception, you see.
22

RS: What makes you think that the primary drive is for security?
DB: Oh, we discussed that yesterday, of course, but I wouldn't be sure that's the only primary drive, but it's
obvious, for the animal it's a very important drive to want security, right? We also want pleasure, I think
that's another drive - which are closely related.
RS: But to come back to this question of security, in its limited forms, security is clearly one goal that we
have. People like to have houses and have them secure and cars and possessions and bank balances and that
kind of thing. But there's this factor that comes in, when you've got that, there are two things, actually, that
come in: one is maybe the fear that you'll lose it, but the other is boredom with the whole thing and the
craving for excitement and thrill. And this doesn't seem to fit within this model of this primary and central
craving for security.
DB: Well that's why I said it's only one of the drives, right? That there's also the drive toward pleasure, as an
example, much of what you said is included in the drive toward pleasure, right?
RS: I'm not so sure.
DB: Excitement is pleasurable and then people hope for pleasure and excitement rather than pain, as a rule.
RS: But don't you think there's a pleasure in itself in curiosity and there's a sense of freedom in discovery
that you can get from certain kinds of exploration which is neither just straightforward pleasure, it's not a
repetitive kind of pleasure, nor is it security.
DB: Yes, well, I didn't want to say that all our drives are caught in this thing, you see, I said that if you think
about them and base them on memory, then they are going to get caught in this problem. Now there may be
a natural, free interest in things which could be enjoyable, and that need not be a problem, right? But if you
were to become dependent on it and think about it and say, if I don't have it I become very unhappy, then it
would be a similar problem.
K: Could we go into the question, what is security? What does that word convey? Apart from physical
security.
RS: I would have said invulnerability.
K: Not to be hurt.
RS: Not to be hurt at all, not to be able to be hurt.
K: Not to be able to be hurt and not to hurt. Physically we are all hurt, one way or another: operations and
illness and so on, so on. When you talk about being hurt, are you talking about psychological hurts?
JH: Yes, I'm wondering how it is that when a person comes into my office, his complaint is his psychological
hurts.
K: How do you deal with it?
JH: I try and...
K: Suppose I come to you. I am hurt from childhood.
JH: Yes.
K: I am hurt by the parents, school, college, university...
23

JH: Yes.
K: ...when I get married she says something, I am hurt. So this whole living process seems to be a series of
hurts.
JH: It seems to build up a structure of self that is hurt, and a perception of reality that is inflicting hurt.
K: Yes. How do you deal with it?
JH: I try to help you see how you're doing it.
K: What do you mean, how I'm doing it?
JH: Well, for example, if you have built up in you the notion that you're one down; or that you're the victim.
Then you perceive yourself to be victimised and you perceive the world to be a victimiser. And I help you
realise that that's what you're doing.
K: But by showing me that, will I get rid of my hurt? My hurts, very deep unconscious hurts that I have, that
make me do all kinds of peculiar actions, neurotic, and isolating myself.
JH: Yes. It appears that people get better, that they realise that they are doing it. And in some local area it
seems to help.
K: No, but aren't you concerned, if I may ask, with not being able to hurt at all?
JH: Yes.
DB: What do you mean by that, not hurting somebody else or not hurting inside of you.
K: I may hurt others unconsciously, unwillingly, but I wouldn't hurt voluntarily somebody.
DB: Yes, you really don't intend to hurt anybody.
K: Yes. I wouldn't.
RS: Well, maybe not, but I don't see the connection between not hurting other people and not being hurt
oneself. At least I'm sure there must be one, but it's not obvious. And most people's view of the best way not
to be hurt would be to be in such a position that you can hurt others so much they'd never dare. This is the
principle of nuclear retaliation and this is a very common principle.
K: Yes, of course.
RS: So it's not obvious that not hurting others is related to not being hurt oneself. In fact, usually it's taken to
be the reverse. It's usually assumed that if you're in a position to hurt others very much you'll be very secure.
K: Of course, I mean if you're a king or a sannyasi or one of those people who have built a wall round
themselves...
RS: Yes.
K: ...naturally you can never hurt them.
RS: Yes.
K: But when they were children they were hurt.
24

RS: Yes.
K: That hurt remains. It may remain superficially or in the deep recesses of one's own mind. Now, how do
you, as a psychologist, psychotherapist, help another who is deeply hurt and is unaware of it and to see if it
is possible not to be hurt at all?
JH: I don't address the question about is it possible to not be hurt at all. That doesn't come up.
K: Why? Wouldn't that be a reasonable question?
JH: Well, it seems to be what we are asking here. It is the essence of the question that we're asking. We ask it
in terms of particulars only in therapy, and you're asking it more generally, is it possible to end this hurt,
period. Not just a particular hurt that I happen to have.
K: So how should we proceed?
JH: Well, it would seem that the structure that makes hurt possible is what we have to get at. What makes
hurt possible in the first place, not this hurt or that hurt.
K: I think that's fairly simple. Why am I hurt? Because you say something to me which is not pleasant.
JH: Well, why should that hurt you?
K: Because I have an image about myself as being a great man. You come along and tell me, don't be an ass.
And I get hurt.
JH: What is it that's being hurt there?
K: There, the image which I have about myself. I am a great cook, a great scientist, a great carpenter,
whatever you will. I have got that picture in myself and you come along and put a pin into it. And that gets
hurt. The image gets hurt. The image is me.
DB: I feel that that will not be totally clear to many people. I mean, how can I be an image, you see, many
people will ask. You see, how can an image get hurt, because if an image is nothing at all, why does it hurt?
K: Because I have invested into that image a lot of feeling.
DB: Yes.
K: A lot of ideas, emotions, reactions, all that is me, that is my image.
JH: It doesn't look like an image to me, though, it looks like something real.
K: Ah, of course, for most people it's very real. But that is me, the reality of that image is me.
JH: Yes. Well, can we get clear that it's an image and not real?
K: Image is never real; symbol is never real.
JH: You're saying that I'm just a symbol.
K: Perhaps. (laughter)
JH: That's a big step.
25

K: From that arises the question whether it's possible not to have images at all.
RS: Well, wait a minute. I don't think we've clearly established that I am an image.
K: Ah, let's go into it.
RS: I mean, it's not entirely clear. I mean, it's obvious that to some extent one is an image, that when I have a
feeling about myself and so on. It's not entirely clear that this is entirely unjustified. You see certain aspects
of it may be exaggerated, certain aspects may be unrealistic, but, you see, one approach would be, well,
we've got to remove, shave off these unrealistic aspects, pare it down to sort of reasonable size. And then
that which remains would be the real thing.
K: So, sir, are you raising the question, what am I?
RS: Well, I suppose so, yes.
K: Yes. What are you? What is each one of us? What is a human being? That's the question that's involved.
RS: Yes, that seems unavoidable.
K: Yes. What am I? I am the form, the physical form; the name, the result of all education.
JH: Your experience.
K: My experiences, my beliefs, my ideals, principles, the incidents that have marked me.
JH: The structures you've built up that are how you function.
K: Yes.
JH: You skills.
K: My fears, my activities, whether they are limited or my so-called affection; my gods, my country, my
language; fears, pleasures, suffering, all that is me.
JH: Yes.
K: That's my consciousness.
JH: And your unconscious.
K: That's my whole content of me.
JH: Okay.
DB: But there's still that feeling of actuality that me is there, you see, I mean, you may say, you could
reasonably argue that that's all there is to me, but when something happens there's the feeling of its actual
presence, at that moment.
K: I don't quite follow you there.
DB: Well, you see if somebody reacts to being hurt or angry, he feels at that moment that there's more than
that, you see, that there is something deep inside which has been hurt, right?
K: I don't quite see. My image can be so deep, that's my image at all levels.
26

DB: Yes, but how...


K: Wait, sir, I have an image of myself; suppose: that I am a great poet, or a great painter or a great writer.
Apart from that image as a writer, I have other images about myself. I have an image about my wife, and she
has a image about me, and there are so many images I've built around myself; and the image about myself
also. So I may gather a bundle of images.
DB: Yes, I understand.
K: Partial.
DB: Yes, you are saying that there is nothing but this bundle of images...
K: Of course!
DB: ...but you know, the question is, how are we to se this as an actual fact?
K: Ah.
RS: But wait a minute, there is something but this bundle of images; and I mean I'm sitting right here, now,
seeing you and all the rest of it. Now I have the feeling that there's a centre of action or centre of
consciousness which is within my body and associated with it which has a centre and it's not you, and it's not
you, and it's not David: it's me. And associated with this centre of action, my body, sitting here, is a whole
lot of memories and experiences and without those memories I wouldn't be able to speak, to talk, to
recognise anything.
K: Of course, of course.
RS: So there seems to be some substance to this image of myself. There may be false images associated with
it, but there seems to be a reality which I feel as I sit here.
K: Sir...
RS: So it's not entirely illusory.
K: ...are you saying that you are totally, basically different from the three of us?
RS: Well, I'm in a different place and I have a different body...
K: Of course.
RS: ...and in that sense I'm different.
K: Of course, admit that, I mean you're tall, I' short, I'm brown, you're...
RS: Yes.
K: ...black or you're white or you're pink or whatever it is.
RS: Now at another level I'm not basically different in the sense that we can all speak the same language and
communicate, so there's something in common. And at a purely physical level all of us have a lot in common
with each other, the same kinds of enzymes, chemicals, and so on. And those indeed - hydrogen atoms,
oxygen atoms - we have in common with everything else.

27

K: Yes. Now, is your consciousness different from the rest? Consciousness, not bodily responses, bodily
reactions, bodily conditioning; is your consciousness: that is your beliefs, your fears, your anxieties,
depressions, faith, all that?
RS: Well, I would say that many of the contents of my consciousness or many of the beliefs, desires, etc., I
have, other people also have. But I would say the particular combination of experiences, memories, desires,
etc. I have are unique, because I've had a particular set of experiences as you have and as everyone has
which makes a unique combination of these different elements.
K: So is mine unique?
RS: Yes.
K: So is his?
RS: Exactly.
K: The illusion makes it all common. It's no longer unique.
RS: That's a paradox. It's not immediately clear.
DB: Why isn't it clear? Everybody's unique, right?
RS: Yes, we're all unique.
K: I question that.
RS: We're not unique in the same way. Otherwise the word unique becomes meaningless. If we're unique,
each of us is unique, we have a unique set of experiences and environmental factors, memories, etc.
K: That's what you just now said, that's common lot to all of us.
RS: Yes, we all have it, but what we have is different.
K: Yes, you, brought up in England...
RS: Yes.
K: ...and perhaps another brought up in America, another brought up in Chile, we all have different
experiences; different country, different views, different mountains, and so on.
RS: Yes.
K: But apart from the physical environment, linguistic differences and accidents of experience, basically,
fundamentally, deep down, we suffer; we are frightened to death, we are anxious, we have agony about
something or other, and conflict, that's the ground on which we all stand.
RS: But that doesn't seem a very startling conclusion.
K: No, it is not.
DB: But I think what you are saying really implies that what we have in common is essential and
fundamental rather than just superficial, you see. And now, I've talked with people about this and they say,
everybody agrees we all have these things in common but sorrow, suffering and so on are not so important,
the really important point are the higher achievements of culture and things like that, as an example.
28

JH: Maybe the distinction is between the form and the content. Our contents are all different and they have
similarities and differences, but maybe the form is the same, their structure.
K: I would say contents are the same for all human beings.
RS: But you see I can recognise that there is such a thing as common humanity but I would regard that quite
possibly as an abstraction or a projection rather than a reality. How do I know that is not an abstraction?
K: Because you go around the world, you see people suffer, you see human beings in agony, despair,
depression, loneliness, lack of affection, lack of care, attention, that's the basic human reactions, that is part
of our consciousness.
RS: Yes.
K: So you are not basically different from me. You may be tall, you may be born in England, I may be born
in Africa, I have dark skin, but deep down the river, the content of the river is the water. The river is not
Asiatic river, or European river, it is a river.
RS: Yes, well that is clearly true at some level. But I am not quite sure at what level, you see.
K: I am talking basically, deeply.
RS: But you see it seems to me, why stop there? I can see something in common with all other human
beings, but I can also by looking at animals see something in common with them. We have a great deal in
common with the animals.
K: Surely, surely.
RS: So why stop at human beings?
K: I don't.
RS: Why not say...
K: Because I say if I feel - I don't like the word 'common' - one feels that is the ground on which all human
beings stand. Their relationship with nature, animals and so on, and the content of our consciousness is again
the ground of humanity. Love is not English, American or Indian. Hate is not - agony is not yours or mine, it
is agony. But we identify ourselves with agony, it is my agony, which is not yours.
RS: We might go through it in very different ways though.
K: Different expressions, different reactions, but basically it is agony. Not German agony and Asiatic agony.
It's not what is happening - British and Argentine, it is human conflict. Why do we separate ourselves from
all this? The British, the Argentine, the Jew, the Arab, the Hindu, the Muslim. You follow?
RS: Yes.
K: Which all seems so nonsensical, tribal. The worship of a nation is tribalism. So why can't we wipe out all
that?
RS: I don't know. You tell me, why can't we?
K: Because again we have come back to the question: I identify with my nation because that gives me a
certain strength, certain standard, certain status, certain security. When I say, 'I am British'! So this division
29

is one of the reasons of war - not only economic, social and all the rest of it. Nationalism, which is really
glorified tribalism, is the cause of war. Why can't we wipe that out? It seems so reasonable.
JH: It seems reasonable on a level like nationalism, people don't think they are England.
K: Start from there.
JH: Okay. But then I have a patient and he does think that he is married, and that it is his wife.
K: Of course it is his wife.
JH: Well, isn't that the same action that you are talking about?
K: No, no. Sir, just let's go into it slowly.
JH: Okay.
K: Why do I want to identify myself with something greater?
JH: Because I am not sufficient.
K: Like nationalism, like god.
JH: I don't feel sufficient.
K: Which means what?
JH: Insecure.
K: Insecure, insufficient, lonely, isolated, I have built a wall round myself. So all this is making me
desperately lonely. And out of that conscious, or unconscious loneliness I identify with god, with the nation,
with Mussolini, it doesn't matter, Hitler, or any religious teacher.
JH: Okay. Or I get married, I have a job, I make a place for myself. And that's all also identification.
K: Yes. Why do we want to identify with something? No, the basic question is too: why do we want roots?
JH: To belong.
K: To belong, in which is also implied to become. So this whole process of becoming, from childhood I am
asked to become, become, become. From the priest to the bishop, the bishop to the cardinal, the cardinal to
the pope. And in the business world it is the same. In the spiritual world it is the same. I am this but I must
become that.
JH: Okay, what I am is not sufficient.
K: Why do we want to become? What is it that is becoming?
RS: Well the obvious reason for wanting to become is a feeling of insufficiency, inadequacy, in the state that
we are. And one of the reasons for this is that we live in an imperfect world, our relationship with other
people are imperfect. We are not content for a variety of reasons with the way we are. So the way out of that
seems to become something else.
K: Yes. That means escaping from 'what is'.
30

RS: Yes. But it may seem 'what is' is something we have a need to escape from because there is something
wrong with it.
K: All right. Take the usual experience. I am violent and I have invented non-violence. And I am trying to
become that. I'll take years to become that. In the meantime I am violent. So I have never escaped from
violence. It is just an invention.
RS: Well you are trying to escape from it. You may escape in the end.
K: No, I don't want to escape. I want to understand the nature of violence, what is implied in it, whether it is
possible to live a life without any sense of violence.
RS: But what you are suggesting is a more effective method of escaping. You are not suggesting abandoning
the idea of escaping. You are suggesting that the normal way of escaping, trying to become non-violent, is
one way of doing it which doesn't work. Whereas if you do another method where you actually look at the
violence in a different way you can become non-violent.
K: I am not escaping.
RS: Well, you are changing then.
K: No. I am violent. I want to see what is the nature of violence, how it arises.
RS: But for what purpose?
K: To see whether it is possible to be free of it completely.
RS: But isn't that a kind of escape from it?
K: No.
RS: Being free of something...
K: ...is not an escape.
RS: Why not?
K: Avoidance, running away, fly away from 'what is' is an escape, but to say, look, this is what I am, let's
look at it, let's observe what its content is. That is not escape!
RS: Oh, I see, the distinction you are making is that an escape in the normal sense is running away from
something, like escaping from prison, or one's parents, or whatever, but they still remain there. What you are
saying is that rather than escaping from violence, which leaves violence intact and still there, and you try
and distance yourself from it, you try to dissolve violence, or abolish it.
K: Dissolve.
RS: Yes.
K: Not abolish it, dissolve.
RS: All right. So this is different from escape, because you are trying to dissolve the thing rather than run
away from it.
K: Running away, everybody runs away.
31

RS: Well it usually works to a limited extent.


K: No, it is like running away from my agony by going to football; I come back home, it is there! I don't
want to go to watch football but I want to see what violence is and to see if it is possible to be completely
free of it.
RS: If I am in a very unpleasant society and I can escape from it by defecting, or leaving it and going to
another one. And this does in fact mean I escape to some extent.
K: Of course.
RS: So these are always partial answers and they are partially effective.
K: I don't want to be partially violent. Or partially free from it. I want to find out if it is possible to totally
end it. That's not an escape, that's putting my teeth into it.
RS: Yes. But you have to believe it is possible in order to put your teeth into it.
K: I don't know, I am going to investigate. I said, for me, I know one can live without violence. But that may
be a freak, that may be a biological freak and so on. But to discuss together, the four of us, and see if we
could be free of violence completely means not escaping, not suppressing, not transcending it, and see what
is violence. Violence is part of imitation, conformity. Right? Apart from physical hurts, I am not talking
about that. So psychologically there is this constant comparing, that is part of hurt, part of violence. So can I
live without comparison, when from childhood I have been trained to compare myself with somebody? I am
talking comparison, not good cloth and bad cloth.
JH: Talking about comparing myself.
K: Myself, with you who are bright, who are clever, who have got publicity. When you say a word the whole
world listens. And I can shout, nobody cares. So I want to be like you. So I am comparing constantly myself
with something I think is greater.
JH: So this is where becoming comes from, comparing.
K: That's just it. So can I live without comparison?
JH: Doesn't that leave me in an insufficient state?
K: No. To live without comparison? No.
JH: Here I start off insufficient...
K: You understand, sir? Am I dull because I compare myself with you who are bright?
JH: Yes, you are dull because you compare yourself.
K: By comparing myself with you who are bright, who are clever, I become dull, I think I am dull. But if I
don't compare I am what I am.
RS: Well you may not compare but I may compare. I may say, you are dull.
K: All right. I say, all right. You say I am dull, or I say, 'Am I?' I want to know what does it mean. Does it
mean he is comparing himself with me who is - you follow? - worshipped? (laughter)

32

RS: Very frustrating, that. I mean if one compared oneself with somebody and said, 'You are dull', and then
they said, 'What does dullness mean?'! (laughter)
K: The other day, after one of the talks in England, a man came up to me and said, 'Sir, you are a beautiful
old man but you are stuck in a rut'. I said, 'Well, sir, perhaps, sir, I don't know, we'll go into it'. So I went up
to my room and said, 'Am I?', because I don't want to be stuck in a rut. I may be. So I went into it very, very
carefully, step by step, and found what does a rut mean, to stick in a groove along a particular line. Maybe,
so I watch it. So observation of a fact is entirely different from escaping or the suppression of it.
JH: So he says you are stuck in a rut, and you observe it, you don't compare it.
K: I don't. Am I in a rut? I look. I may be stuck in a rut because I speak English. I speak Italian and French.
All right. And that's not... Am I psychologically, inwardly, caught in a groove, like a tram car?
JH: Just motivated by something and not understanding it.
K: No, am I? I don't know, I am going to find out. I am going to watch. I am going to be terribly attentive,
sensitive, alert.
JH: Now this requires that you don't react in the first place by saying, 'No, that's horrible, I couldn't possibly
be stuck in a rut.'
K: I wouldn't. You may be telling the truth.
JH: To not have that reaction you can't have that self there that says, I am not the type of person that is stuck
in ruts.
K: I don't know. Sir, is there a learning about oneself which is not - this leads to something else, I mustn't go
into it - which is not constant accumulation about myself? I don't know if I am making myself clear. I
observe myself. And I have learnt from that observation something. And that something is being
accumulated all the time by watching. I think that is not learning about yourself.
JH: Being concerned with what you think about yourself.
K: Yes, what you think about yourself, what you have gathered about yourself. Like a river that is flowing,
you have to follow it. That leads somewhere else. Let's get back.
JH: Maybe this is part of the question we are asking because we started with how does this disorder occur.
K: Yes, sir, let's stick to that.
JH: It occurs because I have the image of myself of someone who knows he is not stuck in a rut, I don't like
to think that I am stuck in a rut, and somebody says, 'Yes you are'.
K: But you may be.
JH: Yes. I have to be open to looking, to see.
K: Yes, to observe.
RS: But then what about this approach: somebody says I am stuck in a rut, I look at myself and think, yes, I
am stuck in a rut; and then I can respond by thinking, well, what's wrong with that? Everyone is stuck in a
rut.
K: Sir, that's just blind.
33

RS: No, you accept the fact, but then you think, well, why should I do anything about it? What's wrong with
that as an approach?
K: Like a man stuck as a Hindu, he is stuck. He is then contributing to war.
RS: Well, I may say, well I am stuck in a rut, but so is everybody, it is the nature of humanity to be stuck in
ruts.
K: You see, that's it, you go off, that is the nature of humanity. But I question that. If you say that is the
nature of humanity, let's change it, for god's sake!
RS: But you may believe it is unchangeable. What reason have I for believing that we can change it? I may
think that I am stuck in a rut, so are you, so is everybody else. And anyone who thinks they are not is
deceiving themselves.
K: It's cheating themselves. I may cheat so I begin to enquire, am I cheating myself? I want to be very
honest about it. I don't want to cheat, I don't want to be a hypocrite.
RS: You may not be a hypocrite, you may think I am stuck in a rut, and you may be a pessimist. The
alternative to being a hypocrite is a pessimist.
K: No, I am neither a pessimist or an optimist. I say, look, am I stuck in a rut? I watch all day.
RS: And you perhaps conclude yes. But then you can take the pessimistic cause and say, yes, I am, but so
what?
K: If you prefer that way of living, go ahead. But I don't want to live that way.
JH: Well the person who comes into therapy usually comes with both sides going on at the same time. He
says that, I have this problem which I want to be free of, I don't want to be stuck in a rut; on the other hand
when it gets down to really looking at that, he doesn't want to look at it either because it becomes
uncomfortable.
K: Oh, no, of course. To come back to your original question: the world is in disorder, human beings are in
disorder, and we described what is disorder. And is there a possibility to live free from disorder? That is the
real basic question. We said as long as there is this divisive process of life - I am a Hindu, you are an Arab, I
am a Buddhist, you are a Muslim, I am British you are an Argentine - there must be conflict, war. My son is
going to be killed, for what?
JH: For as long as I identify on a personal level with my job, or with my family and so on, there will be pain.
K: Of course.
JH: It is the same process.
K: So is it possible to have without identification responsibility?
JH: If I am not identified will I even go to work?
K: But I am responsible for the lady whom I have married. Responsible in the sense that I have to look after
her, care for her, and she has to care for me. Responsibility means order. But we have become totally
irresponsible by isolating ourselves - British, French.
JH: We handle the problem of responsibility by developing a rut that we can work in.
34

K: Yes. That's it.


JH: And staying inside that.
K: If I see the fact that responsibility is order, I am responsible to keep this house clean, but as we all live on
this earth it is our earth, not British earth, or French earth and German earth, it is our earth to live on. And
we have divided ourselves because in this division we think there is security.
JH: There is stability and security.
K: Security. Which is no security at all.
JH: Well, it isn't clear, we have got to go slow because I think that my job is security, I think that my family
is security.
K: You may lose it.
JH: That problem keeps coming up.
K: There is great unemployment in America and in England - three million people unemployed in England.
JH: Well maybe I could get by without my job, but I need to think that I have some self respect.
K: What do you mean, self respect?
JH: What I am trying to say is that there is some place at which I put an identification.
K: Why should I want to identify with anything, sir? That makes immediate isolation.
JH: For stability's sake.
K: Does isolation bring about stability?
JH: It gives one a sense of something hard and firm.
K: Does it? Has it? There have been during the last five thousand years nearly five thousands wars. Is that
stability?
JH: No.
K: Why don't we accept - well, I won't go into all that. What is wrong with us?
JH: Well, why don't we see this thing? You are saying that the root of the problem is that I continue to
identify with one thing after another, if one doesn't work I just find something else. I don't stop identifying.
K: Yes, sir, which breeds isolation.
JH: But in your example about the person that is stuck in a rut, you say I don't have to identify, I can just
step back and look at this thing and see if it is true.
K: Yes.
JH: So you are suggesting that there is something that is not identified, something that is free to look.

35

K: No. This leads to something else. Why do I want to identify myself? Probably basically the desire to be
secure, to be safe, to be protected. And that sense, it gives me strength.
JH: Yes. Strength, and purpose, direction.
K: It gives me strength.
RS: But this is a biological fact. It is not merely an illusion. We again, to come back to the animal kingdom,
we see it there: deer go round in flocks, birds have flocks, bees have hives and they are identified with the
hive in which they work.
K: But bees don't kill themselves, species don't kill themselves.
RS: Well they kill other bees that invade their hide. They don't commit suicide. They kill others.
K: But we are?
RS: Yes and no, bees do fight other bees that come into the hive.
K: Of course. Yes, I know, I've raised bees, I know.
RS: So we see even in the animal kingdom this identification with the group, in the social animals, but many
social animals, and we are social animals...
K: Just a minute. Agree. Are we by identifying ourselves with India, or China, or Germany, is that giving us
security.
RS: To a limited extent it is.
K: A limited extent.
RS: And by identifying ourselves with our families does because this whole question of responsibility seems
closely linked to it. If I identify myself with my family, feel duties, and so on, towards them, protect my
sisters, I rush to her defence and make a big fuss about it and threaten, if not actually kill the people who
insulted her.
K: We have no sisters. (laughter)
RS: So if I protect members of my family and defend, rush to their defence, so an insult to them, or an attack
on them is an insult to me, so I rush to their defence...
K: Of course.
RS: ...there is a reciprocal obligation on their part, if I fall ill or sick they'll feed me and look after me; if I
get arrested by the police they will try and get me out of prison and so on. So it does give me a kind of
security, it actually works.
K: Of course.
RS: And that is a very good reason for doing it, for most people.
K: But stretch it further from the family, to the community, from the community to the nation and so on, that
is a vast process of isolating. You are English, I am German, and we are at each other's throat. And I say, for
god's sake, this is so damn stupid!
36

RS: Well, it is not entirely stupid because it works to a certain extent.


K: It may work, but it is impractical, it is killing each other.
RS: We haven't killed each other yet, there are more human beings than there have ever been before. So the
system so far has gone to the point where far from killing each other we have actually got to the point where
we have got a bigger population than the world has ever seen. So the system works only too well, for some
reason.
K: So you propose war to kill them off?
RS: No! But there is some aspect of it that does work, and some security that is genuine that these things
confer.
K: Yes, sir. At a certain level identification has a certain importance. But at a higher level, if you can call it
higher, it becomes dangerous. That's all we are saying. Of course if you are my brother you look after me.
DB: Well it is very hard to draw up a line, you see that starts spreading out.
K: That's right, spreading out.
DB: You know, it slips.
K: That's is what I am so objecting to.
RS: But you see the question is where do you draw the line because if you are my brother then you have the
tribal, the clan, or in India, the caste.
K: That's it. Extend it. And then we say, I am Argentine, you are British, he's French, we are at each other's
throat and we are economically, and socially, culturally we are murdering each other. And I say that is so
insane.
RS: But where do you draw the line, you see. If you say the nation state is wrong, then what is wrong with
the tribe, or the caste, then you have got conflict between those.
K: I wouldn't draw the line. I say I am responsible as a human being for what is happening in the world,
because I am a human. And so what is happening in the world is this terrible division, and I won't be a
Hindu, I won't be a Catholic, Protestant, Buddhist - nothing. A hundred people or a thousand people like
that, would begin to do something.
JH: So you are saying that the problem comes up because I mistake my local security, I think that it rests in
some local identification.
K: Yes, sir, which is isolation. And therefore in isolation there is no security. And therefore there is no order.

37

The Need for Security


J. Krishnamurti
Third Conversation with Bohm, Hidley & Sheldrake in Ojai
April 1982
Tom Krause: This is one of a series of dialogues between J Krishnamurti, David Bohm, Rupert Sheldrake
and John Hidley. The purpose of these discussions is to explore essential questions about the mind: what is
psychological disorder, and what is required for fundamental psychological change? J Krishnamurti is a
religious philosopher, author and educator who has written and given lectures on these subjects for many
years. He has founded elementary and secondary schools in the United States, England and India.
David Bohm is professor of theoretical physics at Birkbeck College, London University in England. He has
written numerous books concerning theoretical physics and the nature of consciousness. Professor Bohm
and Mr Krishnamurti have held previous dialogues on many subjects.
Rupert Sheldrake is a biologist whose recently published book proposes that learning in some members of a
species affects the species as a whole. Dr Sheldrake is presently consulting plant physiologist to the
International Crops Research Institute at Hyderabad, India.
John Hidley is a psychiatrist in private practice who has been associated with the Krishnamurti school at
Ojai, California for the past six years.
In the first two dialogues consideration has been given to the process of self identification. A range of
subjects has been related to this process, including the problem of suffering, the role of thinking and
memory, images, and the uniqueness or commonality of consciousness. Can these processes be observed,
and what is the relationship of observation to order, responsibility and change? Today's discussion focuses
on the question: is there such a thing as absolute psychological security?
John Hidley: We would like to talk about the question of whether there is a deep security, whether the self
can be dissolved. You have suggested that if that's possible, then the problems that the individual brings to
the office, the problems...
Krishnamurti: Sir, why do we seek security, apart from physical? Apart from terrestrial security, why do we
want security?
JH: Well, we know moments of peace and happiness, and we want to stabilise that and hold that.
K: Then that becomes a memory.
JH: Yes.
K: Not actual security. A memory that one day you were happy, and I wish one could go back to it. Or you
project an idea and a hope someday to achieve it. But why is it that human beings, probably throughout the
world, seek security? What is the raison d'etre, I mean, what is the demand for security? What makes people
ask for security, psychologically?
JH: Well, they're occupied, they're filled with their problems.
There's the feeling that if I can solve the problem, if I can find out what the right answer is, if...
K: That's not security, surely. There is great uncertainty, great sense of emptiness in oneself, loneliness.
Really, loneliness - let's take that for an example.
38

JH: OK.
K: I may be married, I may have children and all the rest of it but I still feel isolated, lonely. And it's
frightening, depressing, and I realise it is isolating. After all, loneliness is the essence of isolation, in which I
have no relationship with anybody. Is that one of the reasons why human beings seek security this desire for
security?
JH: Yes, to fill that up.
K: Or much deeper than that. To be secure in my fulfilment, to be free of fear, free of my agony. I want to be
free of all those so that I can be completely secure in peace and happiness. Is that what we want?
JH: Yes.
K: Is that the reason why we seek?
JH: And we want that to be stable over time.
K: Stable, permanent - if there is anything permanent - is that the reason why we crave this, demand, crave
for security?
JH: Yes.
K: That means to be free from fear, and then I am totally secure.
JH: It feels like I have to be that way in order to function adequately.
K: Function adequately comes later.
JH: What do you mean?
K: If I am secure, I'll function.
JH: Yes.
K: If I am very anchored in something which I think is false or true, I'll act according to those principles. But
is it that human beings are incapable of solving this deep-rooted fear. For example I am taking fear - and
they have not been able to solve it.
JH: Yes, that's right.
K: Psychological fears. And to be free from that is to be so marvellously secure.
JH: You are saying that if we can solve these problems at a fundamental level.
K: Otherwise what's the point, how can I be totally secure?
JH: Yes.
K: So, is it the physical security, of bread, of shelter, food and clothes, spilling over to the psychological
field? You understand what I mean?
JH: Do you mean, is that where the psychological feeling of the need for security comes from?

39

K: Yes, partly. One must have food and clothes and shelter. That's an absolute essential, otherwise you four
wouldn't be sitting here.
JH: Yes.
K: In the search of that, psychologically also I want to be equally secure.
JH: They seem to be equated.
K: Yes, I'm questioning whether it is so.
JH: Yes.
K: Or, the psychological desire to be secure prevents physical security.
JH: It seems like the psychological desire to be secure arises out of the necessity to function in reality.
K: I want to be psychologically secure.
JH: Yes.
K: So I am attached to a group, a community, a nation.
JH: Yes.
K: Which then prevents me from being secure. Security means long-lasting security. But if I identify myself,
in my search for psychological security and attach myself to a nation, that very isolation is going to destroy
me. So why do we seek this?
JH: OK, then you're saying that there is a mistake, which is that we identify ourselves, attach ourselves to
something and seek security in that, and that that's fundamentally wrong.
K: Yes. No, not fundamentally. I won't say right or wrong.
JH: OK.
K: I am asking why? Why do human beings do this? A fact which is right through the world, it's not just for
certain communities, all human beings want to be so... unshakable security.
JH: Yes.
K: Why?
David Bohm: Well, I think that people have some answers. You see, if you say there's a young child, or a
baby, now he feels the need to be loved by his parents and it seems that at a certain stage the infant has the
need for a kind of psychological security, which he should grow out of perhaps, but since he isn't properly
taken care of by his parents very often, he begins to feel lost, as you say, alone, isolated, and there arises the
demand that he become inwardly secure.
K: A baby must be secure.
DB: Yes, psychologically as well as physically, would you say?
K: Yes, there must be.
40

DB: Now at some stage you would say that it would change.
K: Yes.
DB: I don't know what age.
K: Why... No, a certain age, a small baby or a young child, it must be protected.
DB: In every way, psychologically...
K: Yes, psychologically...
DB: ...it must not be shocked psychologically.
K: ...you protect it with affection, taking it in your lap, cuddling him or her, and holding his hand, you make
him feel that he is loved, that he is cared for. That gives him a feeling, here is somebody who is looking after
me, and there is security here.
DB: Yes, and then I suppose he will grow up not requiring that security.
K: That's it. I am questioning, as he grows up, and as he faces the world, why does he crave for security?
DB: Well, I think very few children ever have that love to begin with, you see.
K: Oh, that's it. So is that the problem?
DB: Well, I don't know, but that's one factor in there.
K: That we really don't love? And if one loves, there is no need for security. You don't even think about
security. If I love you... not intellectually, not because you give me comfort, sex, or this or that, if I really
have this deep sense of love for another, what is the need for security? It's my responsibility to see that you
are secure. But you don't demand it.
JH: Yes.
K: But human beings do. And does that mean we don't love another?
JH: Yes, it means that what we love is the...
K: I love you because you give me something.
JH: Yes. You make me feel like I'm going to get that security which I crave.
K: Yes. So, no, we are skirting around this. Why? Why do I want security so that I feel completely content,
without fear, without anxiety, without agony and so on? Is fear the root of all this?
JH: Oh, we seem to have mentioned already several things that are the root of it? As the baby grows up and
isn't loved, he feels the need for that, he remembers that, he tries to return to that or get that as an adult, he's
afraid because he's not protected, and as an adult he tries to get that protection.
K: Or, sir, is it unconsciously we know that the self, the me, the ego, is really totally unstable.
JH: You are saying that in its nature it's totally unstable?
K: In its nature unstable. And therefore there is this anxiety for security outside and inside.
41

JH: Why do you say it's totally unstable?


K: Isn't it? Isn't our consciousness unstable?
JH: It seems to have two sides to it. One side says that if I could just get such and such, I would be stable.
K: Yes. And there is a contradiction to that. I may not be.
JH: I may not be.
K: Yes, of course.
JH: I'm not yet, but I will be.
K: Will be.
JH: Yes.
K: No, much more fundamentally, is not this, the self itself, in a state of movement, uncertainty, attached,
fear in attachment - all that? That's a state of lack of stability. Therefore I am asking, is that the reason that
human beings unconsciously, knowing the instability of the self, want security - god, the saviour?
JH: Wanting something absolute.
K: Yes, that'll give complete contentment. Because our consciousness is its content. Right?
JH: Yes.
K: And the content is always in contradiction. I believe...
JH: That's right.
K: ...and yet I'm frightened of not believing.
JH: That's why you're saying it's in essence unstable.
K: Obviously it is unstable. So clearly unstable. I want this thing and some other desire comes along and
says, don't have that, for god's sake. There is this contradiction, there is duality, all that exists in our
consciousness: fear, pleasure, fear of death, you know all the content of our consciousness, all that. So that is
unstable.
JH: Now sensing all of that, people generally say this problem is too deep or too complex, there's no way to
solve it, we can maybe just make some adjustments.
K: Yes, yes. And in that adjustment also there is lack of stability. So unconsciously there must be craving for
security. So we invent god.
JH: We keep inventing lots of different things we hope will give us that security.
K: We create god, he's our creation. We are not the creation of God, I wish we were. We would be totally
different. So there is this illusory desire for security.
JH: Now wait a minute, why do you say that it's illusory?
K: Because they invent something in which they hope they'll be secure.
42

JH: Oh, I see. Yes.


K: So, if the content of our consciousness can be changed... quotes, changed - would there be need for
security?
JH: If we could eliminate all these contradictions?
K: Yes, contradictions.
JH: Then maybe we would have the security because our consciousness would be stable.
K: So that maybe... We may not call it security. To be secure, which is a really disgusting desire, sorry. To be
secure in what? About what? Personally I never thought about security. You might say, well, you are looked
after, you are cared for by others and all the rest of it, therefore there is no need for you to think about
security, but I never - I don't want security. I need, of course, I need food, clothes and shelter, that's
understood, somebody to...
JH: But we're talking about psychological security.
K: Yes, I'm talking of much deeper issue.
JH: And you're saying that that occurs because the contents of consciousness are no longer contradictory.
K: Is there a consciousness - it may not be what we know as consciousness, it may be something totally
different. All that we know is fear, reward and pleasure, and death and constant conflict in relationship: I
love you but...
JH: Within limits.
K: Within limits. I don't know if that's called love. So there is the content of consciousness is all that, which
is me. My consciousness is me. In this complex, contradictory, dualistic existence, that very fact creates the
demand for security.
JH: Yes.
K: So can we eliminate the self? (Laughs)
JH: But we haven't - have we got to the self? It seems like there's somebody in there, in here, who's going to
juggle all these things and get rid of the contradictions.
K: But that means you are different from this; from consciousness.
JH: Right.
K: But you are that! You are pleasure, you are fear, you are belief, all that you are. I think we... don't please
agree with what we are talking about, what I'm saying. It may be all tommyrot.
JH: I think there are a lot of people who wouldn't agree with that. I think that they would say that...
K: I know there're a lot of people wouldn't agree because they haven't gone into it. They just want to brush
all this aside.
JH: Well, let's look at this. Is there a self that's separate, that's going to be able to somehow iron out these
contradictions?
43

K: No!
Rupert Sheldrake: How do you know? I mean it seems to me that there is a - well, at least it may be illusory,
but it's very easy to think that one is separate from some of these problems and that there's something inside
one which can make decisions.
K: Doctor, am I separate from my fear? Am I separate from the agony I go through? The depression?
RS: Well, I think that there's something within one which can examine these things and that's why it
indicates there is some kind of separation.
K: Because there is the observer separate from the observed.
RS: Yes.
K: Is that so?
RS: Well, it seems to be so.
K: It seems to be so!
RS: Now, this seems to be the problem, that it does seem to be so, I mean, in my own experience, of course,
and many other people's it does indeed seem that there is an observer observing things like fear and one's
own reactions. And it comes out most clearly, I find, in insomnia, if one's trying to sleep there's one part of
one which says, that is going on with silly worries and ridiculous thoughts round and round; there's another
part of one that says, I really want to sleep, I wish I could stop all these silly thoughts. And there one has this
actual experience of an apparent separation.
K: Yes. Of course, of course.
RS: So this isn't just a theory, it's an actual fact of experience that there is this kind of separation.
K: I agree, I agree. But why does that division exist? Who created the division?
RS: It may just be a fact.
K: What may?
RS: It may just be a fact.
K: Is that so? I want to examine it.
RS: Yes, so do I. I mean, is it indeed a fact that consciousness, as it were, has levels, some of which can
examine others, one at a time?
K: No. Would you kindly consider, is fear different from me? I may act upon fear, I may say, I must suppress
it, I may rationalise it, I might transcend it, but the fear is me.
RS: Well, we often...
K: You only invent the separation where you want to act upon it.
But otherwise I am fear.

44

RS: The common and ordinary way of analysing it would be to say, I feel afraid, as if the afraidness was
separate from the I. I want to get out of this state of feeling afraid, so I want to escape from it, leaving the
fear behind and the I will pass beyond it and somehow escape it. This is the normal way we think.
K: I know.
RS: So what's wrong with that?
K: You keep up this conflict.
DB: But I think he is saying it may be inevitable.
RS: It may be inevitable, you see...
K: I question it.
DB: Yes, well, could we... how do you propose to show it's not inevitable?
K: First of all, when there is anger, at the moment of anger, there is no separation. Right?
RS: When you're very angry...
K: Of course.
RS: ...what we normally say is you lose control of yourself and the separation disappears, you become the
anger, yes.
K: At the moment when you are really angry, there is no separation. The separation only takes place after. 'I
have been angry'. Right? Now, why? Why does this separation take place?
RS: Through memory.
K: Through memory, right. Because I have been angry before. So the past is evaluating, the past recognising.
So the past is the observer.
DB: That may not be obvious, you know. For example, I may have physical reactions that go out of control,
like sometimes the hand or the body, and then I say I am observing those physical reactions going out of
control and I would like to bring them back in, right?
K: Yes.
DB: I think somebody might feel the same way, that his mental reactions are going out of control and that
they have momentarily escaped his control and he's trying to bring them back in. You see, now, that's the
way it may look or feel to many people.
K: So, what?
DB: Well, then it is not clear. Have we made it clear that that is not the case, you see.
K: Sir, I am trying to point out, I don't know if I am making myself clear: when one is frightened, actually,
there's no me separate from fear.
JH: But then there seems...

45

K: When there is a time interval, there is the division. And time interval, time is thought. And when thought
comes in then begins the division. Because thought is memory; the past.
RS: Thought involves memory - yes.
K: Yes, involves memory and so on. So thought, memory, knowledge, is the past. So the past is the observer
who says, I am different from fear, I must control it.
JH: Let's go through this very slowly because it's seems like the experience is that the observer is the
present. It seems like he's saying, I'm here now, what am I going to do about this the next time it comes up.
K: Yes. But the 'what am I going to do about it' is the response of the past, because you have already had that
kind of experience. Sir, haven't you had fear?
JH: Surely.
K: You know, something, a fear that has really shaken...
JH: Yes.
K: Devastating one.
JH: Yes.
K: And at that second there is no division, you are entirely consumed by that.
JH: Yes.
K: Right?
JH: Right.
K: Now, then thought comes along and says, I've been afraid or because of this and because of that, now I
must defend myself, rationalise fear and so on, so on, so on. It's so obvious, what are we discussing?
JH: OK.
DB: You see, I think it's coming back again to the physical reaction which can also consume you and you
say at the next moment, you say, I didn't notice it at the time, thought comes in and says, that's a physical
reaction.
K: Yes.
DB: Now I know it, you see, what is the difference of these two cases, you see, that in the second case it
would make sense to say, I know that I have reacted this way before, right? You know, I can take such an
such an action.
K: I don't quite follow this.
DB: Somebody can feel that it's true I get overwhelmed by a reaction and thought comes in. But in many
areas that's the normal procedure for thought to come in. If something shattering happens, and then a
moment later, you think, what was it? Right? Now, in some cases that would be correct, right?
K: Quite right.
46

DB: Now, why is it in this case it is not, you see.


K: Ah, I see what you mean. Answer it, sir, you are... Answer it. You see, you meet a rattler on a walk.
DB: Yes.
K: Which I have done very often. You meet a rattler, he rattles and you jump. That is, physical, selfprotective, intelligent response. That's not fear.
DB: Right. Well, not psychological fear.
K: What?
DB: It has been called a kind of fear.
K: I know, I don't call that psychological fear.
DB: No, it's not psychological fear, it's a simple physical reaction...
K: Physical reaction...
DB: ...of danger.
K: ...which is an intelligent reaction not to be bitten by the rattler.
DB: Yes, but a moment later I can say, I know that's rattler or it's not a rattler, I may discover it's not a rattler,
it's another snake which is not so dangerous.
K: No, not so dangerous, then I pass it by.
DB: But then thought comes in and it's perfectly all right.
K: Yes,
DB: Right?
K: Yes.
DB: But here, when I am angry or frightened...
K: Then thought comes in.
DB: And it's not all right.
K: It's not all right.
DB: Yes.
K: Oh, I see what you are trying to get at. Why do I say it is not all right. Because fear is devastating, it
blocks one's mind, thought and all the rest of it, one shrinks in that fear.
DB: Yes, I think I see that. You mean that possibly that when thought comes in it cannot possibly come in
rationally in the midst of fear, right?
K: Yes.
47

DB: Is that what you mean?


K: That's what I'm trying to say.
DB: So in the case of physical danger, it could still come in rationally.
K: Yes. Here it becomes irrational.
DB: Yes.
K: Why, I am asking, why? Why doesn't one clear up all this awful mess?
JH: Well, it isn't clear.
K: Look, sir, it is a messy consciousness.
JH: Yes, it's a messy consciousness.
K: Messy consciousness, contradicting...
JH: Yes.
K: ...frightened, oh, so many fears and so on, it's a messy consciousness. Now, why can't we clear it up?
JH: Well, it seems we are always trying to clear it up after the fact.
K: No, I think the difficulty lies in that we don't recognise deeply this messy consciousness is me. And if it is
me, I can't do anything! I don't know if you get the point.
RS: You mean we think that there's a me separate from this messy consciousness.
K: We think we are separate. And therefore we are accustomed, it is our conditioning, to act upon it. But I
can't very well do that with all this messy consciousness which is me. So the problem then arises, what is
action? We are accustomed to act upon the messy consciousness. When there is realisation of the fact that I
can't act, because I am that.
JH: Then what is action?
K: That is non-action.
JH: OK.
K: Ah, that's not OK, that is the total difference.
JH: Yes, I think I understand. On the one hand there's the action of consciousness on itself which just
perpetuates things.
K: Yes.
JH: And seeing that, then it ceases to act.
K: It's not non-violence.
RS: Sorry sir, you're saying that normally we have the idea that there's a self which is somehow separate
from some of the contents of our messy consciousness.
48

K: That's right, that's right, sir.


RS: If someone tells us we're wonderful, we don't want to be separate from that, but if we feel afraid and if
somebody tells we're awful, we do want to be separate from that.
K: (Laughs) Quite.
RS: So it's rather selective. But nevertheless we do feel there's something in us which is separate from the
contents of this messy consciousness. We normally act in such a way as to change either the contents of the
consciousness or our relation to them or our relation to the world, and so on. But we don't normally examine
this apparent separation between the self, the me, and the contents of the messy consciousness. That's
something we don't challenge. Now you're suggesting that in fact this separation which we can actually
experience and do, most of us do experience, is in fact something we ought to challenge and look at and we
ought to face the idea that we actually are the messy consciousness and nothing other.
K: Of course. It's so obvious.
RS: Well, it isn't obvious, it's very non-obvious and it's a very difficult thing to realise, because one's very
much in the habit of thinking one is separate from it.
K: So if it's our conditioning, can we move away from our conditioning? Our conditioning is me. And then I
act upon that conditioning, separating myself. But if I am that, no action, which is the most positive action.
JH: The way that that would be heard, I'm afraid, is that if I don't act on it it's just going to stay the way it is.
K: Ah!
RS: You're suggesting that by recognising this, there's a sort of... the process of recognising it, facing up to...
K: It's not facing up. Who is to face up? (Laughs) Not recognise. Who is to recognise it? You see, we are
always thinking in those terms. I am that, full stop. We never come to that realisation, totally. There is some
part of me which is clear and that clarity is going to act upon that which is not clear. Always this goes on.
RS: Yes.
K: I am saying the whole content of one's consciousness is unclear, messy. There is no part of it that's clear.
We think there is a part, which is the observer, separating himself from the mess. So the observer is the
observed. Gurus, and all that.
JH: Oh, yes.
DB: You were raising the question of action. If that is the case, how is action to take place?
K: When there is perception of that which is true, that very truth is sufficient, it is finished.
DB: Yes. You have said also, for example, that that mess itself realises its own messiness, right?
K: Yes. Messiness, it's finished.
RS: Sir, are you suggesting that the realisation of the messiness itself in some way dissolves the messiness?
K: Yes. Not a separative realisation that I am messy. The fact is consciousness is messy, full stop. And I can't
act upon it. Because previously acting upon it was a wastage of energy. Because I never solved it. I have
struggled, I have taken vows, I have done all kinds of things to resolve this messy stuff. And it has never
been cleared. It may partially, occasionally...
49

JH: Well, I think that's another aspect of this. In therapy or in our own lives we seem to have insights that are
partial, that we clear up a particular problem and gain some clarity and order for a time. And then the thing
returns in some other form or...
K: Yes, yes.
JH: ...the same form. You're suggesting that the thing needs to be done across the board in some way.
K: You see, sir, before, the observer acted upon it, upon the messy consciousness, right?
JH: Yes.
K: Saying, I'll clear this up, give me time, you know, all the rest of it. But that's a wastage of energy.
JH: Right.
K: When the fact that you are that - you are not wasting energy. Which is attention. I don't know if you want
to go into this.
RS: No, this is very interesting. Please do.
K: Would we agree that acting upon it is a wastage of energy?
JH: Yes. This creates more disorder.
K: No. It creates more disorder, and there is this constant conflict between me and the not me. The me who
is the observer and I battle with it, control it, suppress it, anxious, worry, you follow? Which is all essentially
wastage of energy. Whereas this messy consciousness is me. I have come to realise that through attention.
Not I have come to realise - sorry.
DB: Would you say that the consciousness itself has come to realise it?
K: Yes.
DB: I mean, it's not me, right?
K: Yes. Which is total attention I am giving to this consciousness - not 'I am' - there is attention and
inattention. Inattention is wastage of energy. Attention is energy. When there is observation that
consciousness is messy, that fact can only exist when there is total attention. And when there is total
attention, it doesn't exist any more, confusion. It's only inattention that creates the problems. Refute it!
(Laughs)
RS: But, sir, I don't understand entirely what you're saying. This total attention that you're talking about
would only be able to have this effect if it somehow was something completely in the present and devoid of
memory.
K: Of course, of course, attention is that. If I attend to what you have said just now, devoid of memory,
which is attention, I listen to you not only with the sensual ear, but with the other ear, which is, I am giving
my whole attention to find out what you are saying; which is actually in the present. In attention there is no
centre.
RS: Because the attention and the thing attended to become one, you mean. You mean there's no centre in
the attention because the attention is all there is, the thing attended to and the attention is all there is.
K: Ah, no, no. There is messiness because I have been inattentive. Right?
50

RS: Yes.
K: When there is the observation of the fact that the observer is the observed, and that state of observation in
which there is no observer as the past, that is attention. Sir, I don't know if you have gone into the question
of meditation here. That's another subject.
JH: That may be a relevant subject. It seems that what you're talking about may happen partially.
K: Ah! It can't happen, then you keep partial mess and partial not mess. We're back again in the same
position.
JH: Yes.
RS: But do you think this kind of attention you're talking about is the sort of thing that many people
experience occasionally in moments of great beauty, or occasionally a piece of music they're really enjoying,
they lose themselves, and so on - do you think that many of us have glimpses of this in these kinds of
experiences?
K: That's it. That's it. When I see a mountain, the majesty, the dignity and the depth of it drives away myself.
A child with a toy, the toy absorbs him. The mountain has absorbed me; toy has absorbed the child. I say that
means there is something outside which will absorb me, which will make me peaceful. Which means an
outside agency that'll keep me quiet: god, prayer, looking up to something or other. If I reject an outside
agency completely, nothing can absorb me. Let's say, if you absorb me, when you are gone I am back to
myself.
JH: Yes.
K: So I discard any sense of external agency which will absorb me. So I am left with myself, that's my point.
JH: I see. So you're suggesting that when this happens partially it's because we're depending on something.
K: Yes, of course.
JH: I see.
K: It's like my depending on my wife.
JH: Or my therapist or my problem.
K: Something or other.
JH: Yes.
K: Like a Hindu, Catholic or anybody, they depend on something. Therefore dependence demands
attachment.
JH: Now it's possible to listen to you say this and have the idea of what you are talking about and try and do
that.
K: Ah, you can't do it! That means you are acting again. You want something out of it. In exchange I'll give
you this, you give me that. That's just a trade. Here it's not like that, you are enquiring into something which
demands a great deal of thought, great deal of intelligence and attention that says look, why is there this
division, this mess in the world? Because our consciousness is messy and so the world is messy. So from
that arises, is it possible to be free of the self? Consciousness, the messy consciousness, is the self.
51

RS: It is not possible to be free from the contents of consciousness, different experiences, as long as my eyes
are open, I'm looking, I see all sorts of different things. Now what you were saying about the attention when
one's looking at a mountain, for example, are you suggesting that if I have that same kind of attention to
everything I experience, that then this is the...
K: You see, again you experience. (Laughs)
RS: Yes, well, all right, but...
K: But you are the experience.
RS: Yes.
K: Right? That means, there is no experience.
RS: (Laughs) There's just attention, you mean.
K: Experience involves remembrance, time, which is the past. Therefore the experiencer is the experienced.
If I seek illumination, enlightenment, or whatever you might like to call it, I am then trying to do all kinds of
things to achieve that. But I don't know what illumination is. I don't know. Not because you said it or
Buddha said it or somebody else said it: I don't know. But I am going to find out. Which means the mind
must be totally free: from prejudice, from fear, all the rest of that messy business. So my concern is not
illumination, but whether the content of my consciousness can be cleansed - whatever word you use. That's
my concern - not concern, that's my enquiry. And as long as I am separate from my consciousness, I can
experience it, I can analyse it, I can tear it to pieces, act upon it - which means perpetual conflict between me
and my consciousness. I wonder why we accept all this. Why do I accept that I am a Hindu? Why do I
accept that I am a Catholic? You follow?
RS: Yes.
K: Why do we accept what other people say?
JH: We say it ourselves.
K: Yes. No, not only we say it ourselves, but it's encouraged, sustained, nourished by people outside. Why?
Why do we accept? He is a professor and he is teaching me, I accept that. Because he knows biology much
more than I do, I go to his class, and I am being informed by what he says. But he's not my guru, he's not my
behaviour guide. He is giving me information about biology and I am interested in it. I want to study it, I
want to go out into the field and do all kinds of stuff. But why do we accept authority, psychological
authority, spiritual - quote spiritual - authority? Again we come back to security. I don't know what to do but
you know better than I do; you are my guru. I refuse that position.
RS: But don't we arrive at the same set of problems if we start not from authority but from responsibility;
say I'm a father, I have this child - we've agreed some time ago...
K: You have to instruct it, of course.
RS: You have to look after this baby.
K: Of course, of course.
RS: Fine. But now in order to feed the baby you become preoccupied with security: job, tenure, you know,
house...
K: Of course, of course.
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RS: ...protecting the house against marauders and so on.


K: Of course, of course.
RS: Then you get into the same lot of things about preoccupation with security starting not from authority
but from responsibility for others, for children, for example.
K: Of course.
RS: So then what is the answer to that. It's easy to say you should reject responsibility.
K: Of course, I have money, if I earn money, job, so on, I have to look after myself. If I have servants, I have
to look after servants, my children, perhaps their children too. I am responsible for all that.
RS: Yes.
K: Physically I am responsible. To give them food, to give them the right amount of money, allow their
children go to a proper school like my children, I am responsible for all that.
RS: But isn't that going to bring you back to the same position of insecurity and so on that you were trying
to dissolve by this rejection of authority?
K: I don't see why I need spiritual or psychological authority. Because if I know how to read myself, I don't
need anybody to tell me. But we have never attempted deeply to read the book of myself. I come to you and
say, please, help me to read. And then the whole thing is lost.
JH: But I think what Rupert is asking is that if we start by assuming responsibility for other people, that
entails...
K: What? My earning capacity.
JH: Which must be secure.
K: Yes, secure as much as possible. Not in countries where there's tremendous unemployment.
JH: So you're saying that that doesn't entail any psychological insecurity.
K: No, of course not. But when I say, he's my servant, I'm going to keep him in that place, you follow?
JH: No. Tell me more.
K: I mean, I treat him as a servant.
JH: Yes.
K: Which becomes irresponsible - I don't know... naturally.
JH: But if it's a servant, he can come and go. But if it's a child...
K: Ah!
JH: ...he can't come and go.
K: He's part of my family.
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DB: I think the question is something like this, that suppose you are responsible for a family and the
conditions are difficult, you may not have a job and you may start to worry about it and become insecure
psychologically.
K: Yes.
DB: Right?
K: I don't worry about it, there it is, I have no more money. So, my friend, I have no more money, if you
want to stay, share the little food I have, we'll share it.
DB: You're saying that even if you are unemployed and you are responsible for a family it will not disturb
the order of the mind, right?
K: Of course not.
DB: You will find an intelligent way to solve it.
K: Deal with it.
DB: Yes.
RS: But this kind of worry as a result of responsibility is relative.
K: I don't call it worry. (Laughs) I am responsible.
RS: Yes.
K: And therefore I look after as much as I can.
RS: And if you can't?
K: I can't. Why should I worry and bother - I can't, it's a fact.
DB: You're saying that it's possible to be completely free of worry, for example, in the face of great
difficulties.
K: Yes. There is no... You see, that's what I am saying. Where there is attention, there is no need to... there is
no worry because there is no centre from which you are attending.
RS: There are still problems and there may still be responsibilities that one has.
K: Of course I have problems, so I resolve them.
RS: But if you can't resolve them.
K: Then I can't.
RS: If your family is starving.
K: I can't. Why should I worry about it? I can't be Queen of England.
RS: No.
K: No. That's all. Why should I worry about it? (Laughs)
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RS: But if you're a poor Indian, unemployed, your family is starving, there's nothing you can... You've tried
everything, you've failed. And you don't worry. Actually, surprisingly enough, a lot of poor Indians in just
that situation don't worry, that's the most amazing thing about India. But then of course people coming along
looking from outside say, well, this is fatalism.
K: Yes, that's right.
RS: And it's often regarded as the disease of India, the very fact that so many people manage not to worry in
those circumstances... to the degree that we would expect.
K: I'd like to ask you a question. You've listened to all this: messy consciousness - does one realise it, and
empty the content: fear, you know, the whole business? Does it interest you?
JH: Yes.
K: Totally?
JH: Yes.
K: That means what?
JH: It means you just listen.
K: No, it means a conversation, dialogue between us. Penetrating deeper and deeper and deeper. Which
means you must be free to examine. Free from your prejudice, from your previous experience. Of course,
otherwise you can't examine. You can't investigate... 'Investigare' means explore, you know, push it, push it,
push it further and further. Now, are you, are we willing to do that, so that actually the self is not? But when
the self is not it doesn't mean you neglect your wife, your children - you follow? That becomes so silly, like
becoming a sannyasi, going off to the mountains, a monk going off into a monastery. That's an extraordinary
escape. The fact is I have to deal with my wife and children and if I have, a servant. Can I be so totally
without the self that I can intelligently deal with these problems?
http://www.jkrishnamurti.org/krishnamurti-teachings/view-video/the-need-for-security-.php

What is a Healthy Mind?


J. Krishnamurti
Fourth Conversation with David Bohm, John Hidley & Rupert Sheldrake in Ojai
April 1982
Tom Krause: This is one of a series of dialogues between J Krishnamurti, David Bohm, Rupert Sheldrake
and John Hidley. The purpose of these discussions is to explore essential questions about the mind: what is
psychological disorder and what is required for fundamental psychological change?
J. Krishnamurti is a religious philosopher, author and educator who has written and given lectures on these
subjects for many years. He has founded elementary and secondary schools in the United States, England
and India. David Bohm is Professor of Theoretical Physics at Birkbeck College, London University in
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England. He has written numerous books concerning theoretical physics and the nature of consciousness.
Professor Bohm and Mr Krishnamurti have held previous dialogues on many subjects.
Rupert Sheldrake is a biologist whose recently published book proposes that learning in some members of a
species affects the species as a whole. Dr Sheldrake is presently consulting plant physiologist to the
International Crops Research Institute in Hyderabad, India.
John Hidley is a psychiatrist in private practice who has been associated with the Krishnamurti school in
Ojai, California for the past six years.
The first three dialogues have focused on various processes of self-identification, and their effects. The need
for psychological security has been discussed as growing out of a basic division in which the contents of
consciousness appear to be separate from consciousness itself. Today's discussion begins with the
importance of attention.
Krishnamurti: What is analysis? And what is observation? In analysis there is the analyser and the analysed.
And so there is always that difference maintained. Where there is difference there must be conflict division, and that's one of the factors that really is very destructive to the whole psychological freedom - this
conflict, this division. And analysis maintains this division. Whereas if one observes closely - I'm not
correcting you, sir, I'm just enquiring - the analyser is the analysed. Again the same problem, thought has
divided the analyser and the analysed. The analyser is the past who has acquired a lot of knowledge,
information, separated himself, and is either correcting the observed, the analysed, make him conform, he is
acting upon it. Whereas the analyser is the analysed. I think if that is really understood very deeply, the
conflict, psychological conflict ends, because in that there is no division between the analyser and the
analysed, there is only observation. Which Dr Bohm and we discussed at considerable length last year.
So if that is clearly understood - I am not laying down the law, but I am just... as I have observed... as one
has observed this whole business of conflict - whether one can live the whole of one's life without conflict.
That means the controller is absent; which is a very dangerous question. I feel where there is inattention,
lack of attention, is the really the whole process of conflict.
Rupert Sheldrake: Yes, I can see that if both sides saw this with the utmost clarity...
K: Yes. That means they are giving intelligence to the whole problem.
RS: What happens if only one party in a conflict sees it with that utmost clarity?
K: What happens? One gives complete attention in one's relationship between man and woman; let's begin
with that. You have given complete attention. When she insults you, when she flatters you, when she bullies
you or when she is attached to you, all that is the lack of attention. If you give complete attention and the
wife doesn't, then what happens? That is the same problem. Either you try to explain day after day, go into it
with her patiently. After all, attention implies also great deal of care, affection, love. It's not just mental
attention. It's attention with all your being. Then either she moves along with you, comes over to your side,
as it were, or she holds on to her separative contradictory state. Then what happens? One is stupid, the other
is intelligent.
RS: But the conflict...
K: So there is always the battle between the stupid and the ignorant. I mean between the ignorant, the stupid
and the intelligent.
John Hidley: A thing that seems to happen in that situation is that the one's intelligence makes room in which
the other person who is caught in some attachment may have freedom to look at it.
K: But if the other refuses to look at it, then what is the relationship between the two people?
56

JH: There is none.


K: That's all. You see tribalism is deadly, destructive. You see it basically, fundamentally, and I don't. You
have seen it probably immediately and I'll take many years, a long time to come to that. Will you have the - I
won't use the word patience - will you have the care, affection, love, so that you understand my stupidity? I
may rebel against you. I may divorce you. I may run away from you. But you have sown the seed
somewhere in me. But that does happen, doesn't it, really, in life?
RS: Yes.
JH: You said something that interests me here, you said that if you have seen it immediately and the other
person may take a long time to come to seeing it. And it seems like in this attention that you're talking about,
perception is immediate.
K: Of course.
JH: It isn't built up out of...
K: Oh, no, no, then it's not perception.
JH: Well, that may be part of the reason the other person is having difficulty seeing it, is that they want it to
be proved to them.
K: You see conditioning is destructive, and I don't.
JH: Yes.
K: What is our relationship between us two? It's very difficult to communicate with each other...
JH: Yes.
K: ...verbally or with care, it's very difficult, because...
JH: You won't know what I'm talking about.
K: No, and also I'm resisting you all the time. I'm defending myself.
JH: You're defending what you think you see.
K: What I think is right. I have been brought up as a Hindu or a British or a German or a Russian, whatever
it is, and I see the danger of letting that go. I might lose my job. People will say I'm little-minded. People
might say I depend on public opinion, so I'm frightened to let go. So I stick to it. Then what is your
relationship with me? Have you any relationship?
JH: No.
K: No, I question whether you have no relationship.
JH: I can tell you what I see.
K: Yes. But if you have love for me, real, not just attachment, and sex and all that business, if you really care
for me, you cannot lose that relationship. I may run away, but you have the feeling of relationship. I don't
know if I am conveying what I mean.

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JH: In other words, I don't just say, well, I see it and you don't, and if you're not going to listen, the heck
with you.
K: No. But, sir, you have established a kind of relationship, perhaps very profound, when there is love. I
may reject you, but you have that responsibility of love. And not only to the particular person, but to the
whole of humanity. What do you say, sir, about all this?
David Bohm: Well, I can't say a great deal more. I think that this care and attention are the essential points.
For example in the question of the observer and the observed or the analyser and the analysed, the reason
why that separation occurs is because there has not been enough attention.
K: Attention, that's what I'm saying.
DB: So that one has to have that same attitude even in looking at one's own psychological problems.
JH: An attitude of care?
DB: Care and attention to what's going on, you see, one starts to analyse by habit, and one might condemn
that, for example, that would not be the right attitude. But one has to give care and attention to exactly what
is happening in that just as in relationship with people. And it's because that there was no attention or not the
right kind of attention that that division arose in the first place, and was sustained, right?
RS: But it's possible to have perhaps this kind of attention towards people that we know: wives, children,
friends, etc., but what about people we don't know? I mean, most of us have never met any Russians, for
example, and we feel, many of us, there's this terrible fear of Russia and Russian nuclear weapons and the
Russian threat and all the rest of it. And so it's very easy to think, well, we've got to have all these bombs
and so on because the Russians are so terrible. We can think all these things about Russians; we've never met
them. So how do we have attention to enemies or imagined enemies that we don't know?
K: What is an enemy? Is there such thing as an enemy?
RS: Well, there are enemies in the sense that there are people who...
K: ...who disagree with you...
RS: ...not only disagree...
K: ...who have definite idealistic ideological differences.
RS: Well, they're usually people who are afraid of us, I mean the Russians are afraid of us and we're afraid of
them and because they're afraid of us they're in a position of being our enemies.
K: Because we are still thinking in terms of tribalism.
RS: Yes, certainly.
K: Supposing you and I move out of that. I'm Russian, you are English or British or German or French. I
move, I despise this sense of tribalism. What's my relationship then with you?
JH: Well, we...
K: I'm not Russian then.
RS: No.
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K: I'm a human being with all my psychological problems and you are another human being with all your
psychological problems. We are human beings, not labels.
DB: Of course the Russians may reject this, you see, that is, suppose we're in this situation...
K: We are in that...
DB: ...and the Russians will reject us, right. Then we have to... then what's the next step, right?
K: So what shall we do? You see, I represent all humanity. I am all humanity. I feel that way. To me it's an
actuality, not just an emotional explosion, emotional, romantic idea. I feel I am the rest of mankind; I am
mankind. Because I suffer or I enjoy, I go through all the tortures and so do you, so do you. So you are the
rest of mankind. And therefore you have terrible responsibility for that, in that. So when you meet a Russian
or a German or a British or Argentine you treat them as human beings, not labels.
RS: Then does this simply mean that in this largely tribal society with governments and bombs and weapons
of war, there'll just be a few individual scattered here and there who've dissolved tribalism in themselves?
K: Yes. If a hundred of us all over the world really had a non-tribalistic attitude towards life, we would be
acting like a - I don't know - like a light in the midst of darkness. But we don't. This just becomes an
idealistic romantic idea and you drop it because each pursues his own way.
RS: Yes.
K: Sir, I think we ought to differentiate between attention and concentration. Concentration is focussing your
energy on a certain point. And attention, there is no focussing on a certain point. It's attention.
JH: Concentration seems to have a goal in mind.
K: A goal, motive. It's a restrictive process. I concentrate on a page, but my thoughts... I am looking out of
the window and I'll pull it back and keep on this business. Whereas if I gave complete attention to what I am
looking out of the window - that lizard which is going along the wall - and with that same attention I can
look at my book, look what I am doing.
JH: Concentration presupposes that there's a controller in there pulling it back.
K: That's just it.
RS: But then, if there's no controller of the attention, the attention is simply a response to whatever the
present circumstances are.
K: You insult me - I'm attentive. There is no recording that insult.
DB: Yes, that's it.
K: You flatter me: a marvellous talk you gave the other day. I've heard this so often repeated. And I'm bored
with it, so - I'm not only bored, I see - what? You follow, sir? Is it possible - really, that's the much more
difficult question - is it possible not to record, except where it is necessary? It's necessary to record when
you are driving. To learn how to drive. Record when you do your business and all the rest of it. But
psychologically, what is the need to record?
RS: Isn't it inevitable? Doesn't our memory work automatically?
K: Memory is rather selective.
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JH: We seem to remember things that are important to us...


RS: Yes.
JH: ...have some... connect in with who we think we are and what our goals are.
DB: It seems to me that when there is paying attention then in general attention determines what is to be
recorded and what is not, that is, it is not automatic anymore.
K: It's not automatic any more. Quite right.
DB: If it comes from the past, from the concentration or from the analysis, then it will be automatic.
K: Another problem which we ought to discuss - we said yesterday we would - religion, meditation, and if
there is something sacred. We said we would talk about that.
Is there anything sacred in life? Not thought creating something sacred, and then worshipping that sacred,
which is absurd. The symbols in all the Indian temples, they're images, like in the Christian church, or the
Muslim, in the mosque there is this marvellous writing - it's the same. And we worship that.
JH: That's idolatry.
K: No. Thought has created this. The thought has created the image and then it worships it. I don't know if
you see the absurdity of it.
JH: Yes.
RS: Well, that's manifestly absurd, but the more sophisticated members of different religions would say that
it's not the thought, the image that's created by thought that's being worshipped, but the image points to
something beyond thought which is being worshipped.
K: Wait a minute, let's look at it. That is, the symbol, we know symbol is not the real, but why do we create
the symbol? Please answer it. If there is something beyond, why do we create the intermediary?
RS: Well, I think that this is a question which in certain religions has been central to them: the Jews, who
were against all idolatry for exactly this reason, and the Muslims, who don't have images in the mosques.
K: No but they have these scripts.
RS: They have writing.
K: Of course.
RS: Well they think writing is what tells them about what lies beyond all symbols, you see.
K: Yes.
RS: Now you could say the writing simply becomes a symbol, but I mean, these are words, and words can
help us. We're having a discussion, and these words that we're having - your words may help me, for
example. If they're written down, then they're written words like Muslim words.
K: So; why do I have to have an intermediary at all?
JH: Because I think I'm here and it's over there and I don't have it. I need some way to get there.
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K: No, you're not answering my question. Is it that you, the intermediary, understand or realised or follow
truth or whatever it is, and therefore you are telling me about it?
JH: Well, maybe I've seen something and I want to tell you about it.
K: Yes, tell me about it, but why do you make yourself interpreter? Why do you become the intermediary
between that - I don't know what that is - and me, who is ignorant, who is suffering? Why don't you deal
with my suffering rather than with that?
JH: I think that that will deal with your suffering. If I can get you to...
K: That has been, sir, that has been the old trick of all the priests in the world. We have had priests from time
immemorial, right?
JH: Yes.
K: But you haven't released my sorrow. I am still suffering after a million years. What for? Help me to get
rid of that. Help me to be free, without fear, then I'll find out. Is it that you want position, power, status - like
the rest of the world. Now this is really quite serious.
DB: I think, you know, if we try to give the priests the most favourable interpretation, that they may have
considered, at least the best among them, that there's a kind of poetic imagery that people may use to point
to something beyond that - right? - in a communication, they are trying to point to this sacred which we were
talking about. That's perhaps the way they would look at it. Now would you say that that would that make no
sense, you know, to have a poetic image to point to the sacred.
K: But, sir, why don't you help me to see what is happening to me?
DB: Yes, that's your point, don't point to the sacred right away but look at this first.
K: Help me to be free of it, then I'll walk.
DB: Yes, I understand that.
K: We have never talked - nobody has gone into this like that. Always god, some saviour, some Brahma, and
so on, so on. And this is what we call religion. All the rituals are invented by thought, marvellous
architecture by thought, all the things inside the churches, temples, mosques, created by thought. And having
thought create it then thought worships it. But thought is not sacred.
JH: Yes, I see that. So you are saying, is it possible to put a stop to thought?
K: Thought. Is it possible?
JH: And thought is the thing that gets in the way by creating the images...
K: Of course.
JH: ...which we take for something really valuable.
K: I start out looking for something sacred. You come along and say, I'll tell you all about it. Then you begin
to organise it. It's all gone by then, it's finished.
JH: Then I just stay within thought, that's all I have.

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K: So, if we reject or understand that thought is not sacred, there's nothing holy about thought, but thought
thinks that what it has created is holy. Right, sir?
DB: Right. Would you also add that, just for the sake of... that time is not sacred.
K: Time, of course not...
DB: Nothing in time, or people would say that.
K: Tomorrow is not sacred!
DB: They always say only the eternal is sacred.
K: But to find out what is eternity, time must stop.
JH: But we get into a real subtle place here, because you have said things like absolute attention dissolves
the self. Then absolute attention can become a thought.
K: Idea of it, yes.
JH: Yes, the idea of it. So we may go the route of creating the idea. That seems to always be the danger.
K: You make a statement: absolute attention. I don't capture the depth of your meaning, what is implied. You
have gone into it and you can say that: absolute attention. I hear it and make it into an idea. And then I
pursue the idea.
JH: That seems to be the process.
K: That's what we do all the time.
RS: Yes.
K: So - gone. Idea is not what you said. What you said had depth in it, had some...
JH: But we don't know that we're pursuing an idea. We don't realise at the time that we're pursuing an idea.
K: Of course not, because I am used to this reducing everything into abstract ideas. So could we try to find
out or realise that anything thought does is not sacred?
RS: That seems self-evident to me.
K: All right. If that's self-evident. In all the religions as they are now, there is nothing sacred. Right?
RS: No, there's nothing sacred in itself in the words or the buildings or the... so on. But in a sense all these
religions are supposed to point beyond themselves.
K: Yes. And to help me to go beyond all this, I must start with my being free from my agony, understand my
relationship with people. If there is confusion here, in my heart and my mind, what's the good of the other? I
am not materialistic. I am not anti... the other. But I say, look, I must start where I am. To go very far, I must
start very near. I am very near. So I must understand myself. I'm the rest of humanity. I am not an individual.
So, there is the book of humanity in me. I am that book. If I know how to read it from the beginning to the
end, then I can I find if there is a possibility, if there is really something that is immense, sacred. But if you
are all the time saying, look, there is that, that will help you, I say it hasn't helped me. We have had these
religions for millions of years. That hasn't - on the contrary, You have distracted from 'what is'.
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So, if I want to find out if there is anything sacred, I must start very near. The very near is me. And can I free
myself from fear, agony, sorrow, despair - all that? When there is freedom I can move, I can climb
mountains.
RS: Sir, are you saying that the sacred would become apparent if we dissolved fear and all these other
things.
K: Obviously, sir. That's real meditation, you see.
RS: Through attention to what is really happening in us.
K: Happening, yes, that's it.
RS: And what is really happening between us and other people and all the rest of it.
K: Between our relationships.
RS: Yes. Through attention to this, this action...
K: ...attention and we have discussed too with Dr Bohm, some time ago, having an insight into the whole
movement of the self, which is not a remembrance. Insight is total perception of what you are, without
analysis, without investigation, all that - total immediate perception of the whole content of your
consciousness, not take bit by bit by bit, that's endless.
JH: Oh, we're broken up so we look at each little piece.
K: Yes. And because we are broken up we can never see the whole. Obviously, that seems so logical!
JH: Okay.
K: So, is it possible not to be broken up? What is to be broken up? This confusion, this mess in
consciousness, which we talked about yesterday.
You see nobody wants to go so deeply into all this. Right, sir? First of all, one hasn't the time - one is
committed to one's job, to one's profession or to one's science, to one's whatever one is doing. And you say
please, this is too difficult or too abstract, not practical - that's the word they all use. As though all this, what
you are doing and all is terribly practical. Armaments - is it practical? Tribalism, is - oh well, you know all
about it.
So, sir, let's move from there. Is silence of the mind a state of attention? Or is it beyond attention? I don't
know if I'm...
DB: What would you mean by 'beyond attention'? Let's try to get into that.
K: In attention is there... is attention an act of will? I will attend.
JH: No, we said that's concentration.
K: Sir, I am asking you, where there is attention is there any kind of effort? Struggle? 'I must attend.' What is
attention? Let's go into it a little bit. What is attention? The word 'diligent' is implied in attention; to be
diligent. Not negligent.
RS: What does diligent mean? Careful? You mean careful?
K: Yes. Care. To be very precise. Diligent.
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DB: The literal meaning is 'taking pains'.


K: Pains, that's right. Taking pain. Which is to care, to have affection, to do everything correctly, orderly.
Not repetitive. Does attention demand the action of thought?
RS: Well it doesn't demand the action of analysis, in the way you've explained it.
K: No, certainly.
RS: ...and insofar as thought is analytical, it doesn't demand that. And it doesn't demand the action of will
insofar as will involves a separation, an attempt to, by one part of the mind to force another part to do
something else. And it doesn't imply any sense of going anywhere or becoming anything because becoming
leads one out of the present.
K: That's right. You can't become attentive.
RS: But in the act of attention...
K: Just see what is implied. You can't become attentive. That means in attention there is no time. Becoming
implies time.
RS: Yes.
K: In attention there is no time. Therefore it is not the result of thought.
RS: Yes.
K: Is that attention silence of the mind? Which is a healthy, sane mind: uncluttered, unattached, unanchored,
free mind, which is the healthiest mind. Therefore I am asking, out of that... in that attention, is the mind
silent? There is no movement of thought.
RS: Well it sounds like it, yes. It sounds like a state of being rather than a state of becoming because it's not
going anywhere, or coming from anywhere.
K: Again, when you say 'being', what does that mean? Being what?
RS: Well, being what it is. It's not being something else.
K: No, what does that mean, 'being'? Are you putting 'being' as a opposite to becoming?
RS: Yes.
K: Ah, then - the opposite has its own opposite.
RS: Well, by 'being' I simply mean a state which is not in a process of going somewhere else in time.
K: Which means non-movement.
RS: I suppose so.
DB: You could say that, yes.
K: Non-movement.
DB: If you say what you mean by movement, that it doesn't mean it's static to say it's non-movement.
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K: No, it's dynamic, of course.


DB: But you see it's a little difficult...
K: There is no moving from here to there.
DB: But there is another kind of movement, perhaps.
K: That's what I want to go into. If we use the word 'being' without movement, it is without thought, without
time, which is the movement which we know. But the other has its own dynamism, its own movement, but
not this movement, the time movement, the thought movement. Is that what you call 'being'?
RS: I suppose it is.
K: Is that 'being' silent? You follow, sir? We have various forms of silence. Right?
RS: Yes. It may not be silent in the sense of soundless.
K: I am using the word 'silence' in the sense, without a single movement of thought.
RS: Well in that sense it must be silent, almost by definition.
K: Yes. So, has my mind - the mind - has it stopped thinking? Has it - not stopped thinking - has thought
found its own place and therefore it's no longer moving, chattering, pushing around. Because there is no
controller. You follow? Because when there is a great silence, then that which is eternal is. You don't have to
enquire about it. It's not a process. It isn't something you achieve, my god! By fasting, by rituals, by all these
absurdities. Sir, you hear that.
JH: Yes.
K: You hear X saying that. What value has it? Value in the sense, what do you do with it? Has it any
importance or none at all? Because you are going your way. You are a psychologist, you'll go your way, I'll
go my way, because I have said what I have to say and there it ends. Then what... somebody comes along
and says, 'I'll tell you what he means.' You haven't the time. He has a little time, he says, 'I'll tell you all
about it.' And you are caught. This is what is happening. From the ancient of times, the Sumerians, the
Egyptians, the Babylonians, they have played this. And we are doing still the same kind of nonsense. And I
say what has religion done to man? It hasn't helped him. It has given him romantic illusory comfort.
Actually look what - we're killing each other - I won't go into that.
So sir, let's begin. What is a healthy mind?
JH: It's a mind that's not caught so in this...
K: A mind that's whole, healthy, sane, holy - H-O-L-Y - holy. All that means a healthy mind. That's what we
started discussing. What is a healthy mind? The world is so neurotic. How are we going to tell you, as an
analyst, as a psychologist, how are you going to tell people what is a healthy mind, nobody's going to pay
attention to it. They'll listen to the tape, to television, they'll agree, but they'll go on their own way. So what
do we do? How do we... First of all, do I have a healthy mind? Or is it just a lot of pictures, words, images?
A mind that's totally unattached - to my country, to my ideas - all totally dispassionately unattached.
JH: Are you are suggesting that only then am I in a position to talk to anybody?
K: Obviously! Obviously. I may be married. I may, but why should I be attached to my wife?
JH: Then it's an idea of marriage, it's not a marriage.
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K: But love is not attachment. So have I realised that in my life? A healthy mind that says, I love, therefore
there is no attachment. Is that possible?
RS: Sir, you make it sound so easy and so difficult at the same time because...
K: I don't see why it's difficult.
RS: Because you see, I hear what you say, I think this is absolutely wonderful stuff. I want to have a healthy
mind, I want to be in a state of being, and then you see I realise that it's back into this, that I can't become in
a state of having a healthy mind and I can't move by an act of will or desire into this state. It has to happen.
And it can't happen through any act of my will.
K: No. So...
RS: So I have to let it happen in some sense.
K: So we begin to enquire. You begin to say, now, why? Why am I not healthy? Am I attached to my house?
I need a house, why should I be attached to it? A wife, relationship, I can't exist without relationship, life is
relationship. But why should I be attached to a person? Or to an idea, to a faith, to a symbol - you follow? the whole cycle of it - to a nation, to my guru to my god. You follow? Attached means attached right
through. A mind can be free of all that. Of course it can.
RS: But not just by wanting to be free of it.
K: No. But seeing the consequences of it, seeing what is involved in it: the pain, the pleasure, the agony, the
fear - you follow? - all of that is involved in it. Such a mind is an unhealthy mind.
RS: Yes, but one can even agree with that, one can even see it, one can even see the movements of one's
attachments, one can even see the destructive consequences of all this. But that doesn't in itself seem
automatically to dissolve it.
K: No of course not. So, it brings in quite a different question. Which is, sir, do you hear it, merely with your
sensory ears or do you really hear it? You understand my question.
RS: Yes.
K: Is it just casual verbal sensory hearing, or hearing at depth? If you hear it at the greatest depth, then it's
part of you. I don't know if...
DB: Well, I think that generally one doesn't hear at the greatest depth and something is stopping it, you see.
All the conditioning.
K: And also probably we don't want to hear it.
DB: But the conditioning makes us not want to hear it.
K: Of course, of course.
DB: We're unwilling to do so.
K: How can I say to my wife, I love you but I am not attached? She'll say, what the hell are you talking
about? (Laughter)
But if one sees the absolute necessity to have a healthy mind, and the demand for it, not only in myself, but
in my children, my society.
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JH: But you don't mean by that going around demanding of myself and other people that they become
healthy.
K: No, no, no. I demand in myself. I ask why is not my mind healthy? Why is it neurotic? Then I begin to
enquire. I watch, I attend, I am diligent in what I am doing.
DB: It seems to me that you said that we must have to see the absolute necessity of a healthy mind, but I
think we've been conditioned to the absolute necessity of maintaining attachment. (Laughter) And that's
what we hear, right?
RS: Well we haven't necessarily, you see, there are many people who've seen that there's all these problems,
there's something wrong with the mind, they feel that something to be done about it and all that, and then
take up some kind of spiritual practice, meditation, whatnot. Now you're saying that all these kinds of
meditation, concentrating on chakras and whatnot are all just the same kind of thing.
K: I have played that trick long ago.
RS: Yes.
K: And I see the absurdity of all that. That is not going to stop thought.
RS: Well, some of these methods are supposed to. I don't know if they do or not, you see. They've never
done it for me, or... but I don't know if that's because I haven't done them enough.
K: So instead of going through all that business why don't you find out, let's find out what is thought,
whether it can end, what is implied. You follow? Dig!
Sir, at the end of these four discussions, have you got healthy minds? Have you got a mind that is not
confused, groping, floundering, demanding, asking? You follow, sir? What a business! It's like seeing a
rattler and say, yes, that's a rattler, I won't go near it. Finished!
JH: It looks from the inside like this is a tremendous deep problem that's very difficult to solve, and you're
saying from the outside that it's just like seeing a rattler and you don't go near it, there's nothing to it.
K: It is like that with me.
JH: Yes.
K: Because I don't want to achieve nirvana or heaven or anything. I say, look - you follow?
JH: Well, I think it's interesting why it looks so deep when in fact it isn't.
K: No, sir, we are all so very superficial. Right? And that seems to satisfy us. That's our - good house, good
wife, good job, good relationship, don't disturb anything. I'll go to church, you go to the mosque, I'll go to
the temple, keep things as they are.
JH: Well then you're saying we don't even want to look at it.
K: Of course not.
JH: But say we come with a problem...
K: If Mrs Thatcher and the gentleman in Argentina looked at it - how tribalistic they are - they would stop it.
But they don't because the public doesn't want it. British - you follow? We are educated to be cruel to each
other. I won't go into all that.
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So, a healthy mind is that, sir. A healthy mind is without any conflict. And then it is a holistic mind. And
then there's a possibility of that which is sacred to be. Otherwise all this is so childish.
http://www.jkrishnamurti.org/krishnamurti-teachings/video.php?t=Nature%20of%20the%20Mind

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