Jiddu Krishnamurti on How to become Aware
Jiddu Krishnamurti : To Know Ourselves means to know our relationship with the world - not only with the world of ideas and people, but also with nature, with the things we possess. That is our life - life being relationship to the whole. Does the understanding of that relationship demand specialization? Obviously not. What it demands is awareness to meet life as a whole. How is one to be aware? That is our problem.
How is one to have that
awareness - if I may use this word without making it mean
specialization? How is one to be capable of meeting life as a whole?
- which means not only personal relationship with your neighbour
but also with nature, with the things that you possess, with ideas, and
with the things that the mind manufactures as illusion, desire and so
on. How is one to be aware of this whole process of relationship? Surely
that is our life, is it not? There is no life without relationship; and
to understand this relationship does not mean isolation. On the
contrary, it demands a full recognition or awareness of the total
process of relationship.
That is the ordinary process, isn't it? We can observe what actually takes place, without studying any books. So through identification you have pleasure and pain. And our `capacity' is this concern with pleasure and the avoidance of pain, is it not? If you are interested in something, if it gives you pleasure, there is `capacity' immediately; there is an awareness of that fact immediately; and if it is painful the `capacity' is developed to avoid it. So long as we are looking to `capacity' to understand ourselves, I think we shall fail; because the understanding of ourselves does not depend on capacity.
It is not a technique that you develop, cultivate and
increase through time, through constantly sharpening. This awareness of
oneself can be tested, surely, in the action of relationship; it can be
tested in the way we talk, the way we behave. Watch yourself without any
identification, without any comparison, without any condemnation; just
watch, and you will see an extraordinary thing taking place. You not
only put an end to an activity which is unconscious - because most of
our activities are unconscious - you not only bring that to an end, but,
further, you are aware of the motives of that action, without inqui1y,
without digging into it.
To realize the highest form of intelligence - which is
truth, which is God, which cannot be described - to realize that, we
think we have to make ourselves specialists. We study, we grope, we
search out; and, with the mentality of the specialist or looking to the
specialist, we study ourselves in order to develop a capacity which will
help to unravel our conflicts, our miseries.
When you are passively aware, you will see that out of that passivity - which is not idleness, which is not sleep, but extreme alertness - the problem has quite a different significance; which means there is no longer identification with the problem and therefore there is no judgement and hence the problem begins to reveal its content. If you are able to do that constantly, continuously, then every problem can be solved fundamentally, not superficially. That is the difficulty, because most of us are incapable of being passively aware, letting the problem tell the story without our interpreting it.
We do not know how to look at a problem dispassionately. We are not capable of it, unfortunately, because we want a result from the problem, we want an answer, we are looking to an end; or we try to translate the problem according to our pleasure or pain; or we have an answer already on how to deal with the problem. Therefore we approach a problem, which is always new, with the old pattern. The challenge is always the new, but our response is always the old; and our difficulty is to meet the challenge adequately, that is fully.
The problem is always a problem of relationship - with things, with people or with ideas; there is no other problem; and to meet the problem of relationship, with its constantly varying demands - to meet it rightly, to meet it adequately - one has to be aware passively. This passivity is not a question of determination, of will, of discipline; to be aware that we are not passive is the beginning.
To be aware that we want a particular answer to a
particular problem - surely that is the beginning: to know ourselves in
relationship to the problem and how we deal with the problem. Then as we
begin to know ourselves in relationship to the problem - how we respond,
what are our various prejudices, demands, pursuits, in meeting that
problem - this awareness will reveal the process of our own thinking, of
our own inward nature; and in that there is a release.
The important thing, therefore, is to be aware from moment to moment without accumulating the experience which awareness brings; because, the moment you accumulate, you are aware only according to that accumulation, according to that pattern, according to that experience. That is your awareness is conditioned by your accumulation and therefore there is no longer observation but merely translation. Where there is translation, there is choice, and choice creates conflict; in conflict there can be no understanding.
Life is a matter of relationship; and to understand that relationship, which is not static, there must be an awareness which is pliable, an awareness which is alertly passive, not aggressively active. As I said, this passive awareness does not come through any form of discipline, through any practice.
It is to be just aware, from moment to moment, of our thinking and feeling, not only when we are awake; for we shall see, as we go into it more deeply, that we begin to dream, that we begin to throw up all kinds of symbols which we translate as dreams. Thus we open the door into the hidden, which becomes the known; but to find the unknown, we must go beyond the door - surely, that is our difficulty. Reality is not a thing which is knowable by the mind, because the mind is the result of the known, of the past; therefore the mind must understand itself and its functioning, its truth, and only then is it possible for the unknown to be.