I am not out to liberate anybody. You have to liberate yourself, and you are unable to do that. What I have to say will not do it. I am only interested in describing this state, in clearing away the occultation and mystification in which those people in the 'holy business' have shrouded the whole thing. Maybe I can convince you not to waste a lot of time and energy, looking for a state which does not exist except in your imagination.
Get this straight, this is your state I am describing, your natural state, not my state or the state of a God-realized man or a mutant or any such thing. This is your natural state, but what prevents what is there from expressing itself in its own way is your reaching out for something, trying to be something other than what you are.
You can never understand this; you can only experience this in terms of your past experience. This is outside the realm of experience. The natural state is acausal: it just happens. No communication is possible, and none necessary. The only thing that is real to you is the way you are functioning; it is an act of futility to relate my description to the way you are functioning. When you stop all this comparison, what is there is your natural state. Then you will not listen to anybody.
The natural state is not the state of a self-realized God-realized man, it is not a thing to be achieved or attained, it is not a thing to be willed into existence; it is there -- it is the living state. This state is just the functional activity of life. By 'life' I do not mean something abstract; it is the life of the senses, functioning naturally without the interference of thought. Thought is an interloper, which thrusts itself into the affairs of the senses. It has a profit motive: thought directs the activity of the senses to get something out of them, and uses them to give continuity to itself.
Your natural state has no relationship whatsoever with the religious states of bliss, beatitude and ecstasy; they lie within the field of experience. Those who have led man on his search for religiousness throughout the centuries have perhaps experienced those religious states. So can you. They are thought-induced states of being, and as they come, so do they go. Krishna Consciousness, Buddha Consciousness, Christ Consciousness, or what have you, are all trips in the wrong direction: they are all within the field of time. The timeless can never be experienced, can never be grasped, contained, much less given expression to, by any man. That beaten track will lead you nowhere. There is no oasis situated yonder; you are stuck with the mirage.
'Affection' (this is not my interpretation of the word) means that you are affected by everything, not that some emotion flows from you towards something. The natural state is a state of great sensitivity -- but this is a physical sensitivity of the senses, not some kind of emotional compassion or tenderness for others. There is compassion only in the sense that there are no 'others' for me, and so there is no separation.
In the natural state there is no entity who is co-ordinating the messages from the different senses. Each sense is functioning independently in its own way. When there is a demand from outside which makes it necessary to co-ordinate one or two or all of the senses and come up with a response, still there is no co-ordinator, but there is a temporary state of co- ordination. There is no continuity; when the demand has been met, again there is only the unco-ordinated, disconnected, disjointed functioning of the senses. This is always the case. Once the continuity is blown apart -- not that it was ever there; but the illusory continuity -- it's finished once and for all.
Can this make any sense to you? It cannot. All that you know lies within the framework of your experience, which is of thought. This state is not an experience. I am only trying to give you a 'feel' of it, which is, unfortunately, misleading.
When there is no co-ordinator, there is no linking of sensations, there is no translating of sensations; they stay pure and simple sensations. I do not even know that they are sensations. I may look at you as you are talking. The eyes will focus on your mouth because that is what is moving, and the ears will receive the sound vibrations. There is nothing inside which links up the two and says that it is you talking. I may be looking at a spring bubbling out of the earth and hear the water, but there is nothing to say that the noise being heard is the sound of water, or that that sound is in any way connected with what I am seeing. I may be looking at my foot, but nothing says that this is my foot. When I am walking, I see my feet moving -- it is such a funny thing: "What is that which is moving?"
What functions is a primordial consciousness, untouched by thought.
You have a feeling that there is a 'cameraman' who is directing the eyes. But left to themselves -- when there is no 'cameraman' -- the eyes do not linger, but are moving all the time. They are drawn by the things outside. Movement attracts them, or brightness or a color which stands out from whatever is around it. There is no 'I' looking; mountains, flowers, trees, cows, all look at me. The consciousness is like a mirror, reflecting whatever is there outside. The depth, the distance, the color, everything is there, but there is nobody who is translating these things. Unless there is a demand for knowledge about what I am looking at, there is no separation, no distance from what is there. It may not actually be possible to count the hairs on the head of someone sitting across the room, but there is a kind of clarity which seems as if I could.
The eyes do not blink, except when there is sudden danger -- this is something very natural because the things outside are demanding attention all the time. Then, when the eyes are tired, a built-in mechanism in the body cuts them out -- they may be open, but they are blurred. But if the eyes stay open all the time, if the reflex action of blinking is not operating, they become dry and you will go blind; so there are some glands beyond the outer corners of the eyes, which are not activated in your case, which act as a watering mechanism. Tears flow all the time from the outer corners. Ignorant people have described them as 'tears of joy' or 'tears of bliss'. There is nothing divine about them. By practicing not blinking, one will not arrive in this state; one will only strain the eyes. And there are neurotics in mental hospitals whose eyes do not blink for one reason or another -- for them it is a pathological condition. But once you are in your natural state, by some luck or some strange chance, all this happens in its own way.
When there is no translation, all languages sound the same whether or not your particular knowledge structure 'speaks' a particular language. The only differences are in the spacing of the syllables and in the tune. Languages are melodic in different ways.
It is acquired taste that tells you that Beethoven's Ninth Symphony is more beautiful than a chorus of cats screaming; both produce equally valid sensations. Of course some sounds can be damaging to the body, and noise levels above a certain number of decibels are hard on the nervous system and can cause deafness -- that is not what I am talking about. But the appreciation of music, poetry and language is all culturally determined and is the product of thought.
You do not realize it, but it is your thinking that creates your own body. Without this thought process there is no body consciousness -- which is to say there is no body at all. My body exists for other people; it does not exist for me; there are only isolated points of contact, impulses of touch which are not tied together by thought. So the body is not different from the objects around it; it is a set of sensations like any others. Your body does not belong to you.
Perhaps I can give you the 'feel' of this. I sleep four hours at night, no matter what time I go to bed. Then I lie in bed until morning fully awake. I don't know what is lying there in the bed; I don't know whether I'm lying on my left side or my right side -- for hours and hours I lie like this. If there is any noise outside -- a bird or something -- it just echoes in me. I listen to the "flub-dub-flub-dub" of my heart and don't know what it is. There is no body between the two sheets -- the form of the body is not there. If the question is asked, "What is in there?" there is only an awareness of the points of contact, where the body is in contact with the bed and the sheets, and where it is in contact with itself, at the crossing of the legs, for example. There are only the sensations of touch from these points of contact, and the rest of the body is not there. There is some kind of heaviness, probably the gravitational pull, something very vague. There is nothing inside which links up these things. Even if the eyes are open and looking at the whole body, there are still only the points of contact, and they have no connection with what I am looking at. If I want to try to link up these points of contact into the shape of my own body, probably I will succeed, but by the time it is completed the body is back in the same situation of different points of contact. The linkage cannot stay. It is the same sort of thing when I'm sitting or standing. There is no body.
Can you tell me how mango juice tastes? I can't. You also cannot; but you try to relive the memory of mango juice now -- you create for yourself some kind of an experience of how it tastes -- which I cannot do. I must have mango juice on my tongue -- seeing or smelling it is not enough -- in order to be able to bring that past knowledge into operation and to say "Yes, this is what mango juice tastes like." This does not mean that personal preferences and 'tastes' change. In a market my hand automatically reaches out for the same items that I have liked all my life. But because I cannot conjure up a mental experience, there can be no craving for foods which are not there.
Smell plays a greater part in your daily life than does taste. The olfactory organs are constantly open to odors. But if you do not interfere with the sense of smell, what is there is only an irritation in the nose. It makes no difference whether you are smelling cow dung or an expensive French perfume -- you rub the nose and move on.
What is here, this natural state, is a living thing. It cannot be captured by me, let alone by you. It's like a flower. (This simile is all I can give.) It just blooms. It's there. As long as it is there, it has a fragrance which is different and distinct from that of every other flower. You may not recognize it. You may or may not write odes or sonnets about it. A wandering cow might eat it, or it may be chopped down by a haycutter, or it fades and is finished -- that's the end of it. It's of no importance. You can't preserve its perfume; whatever you preserve of this is only a synthetic, a chemical perfume, not the living thing. Preserving the expressions, teachings or words of such a man has no meaning. This state has only contemporary value, contemporary expression.
It is for this reason that each person who comes into this state expresses it in a unique way, in terms relevant to his time. It is also for this reason that if two or more people are living in this state at the same time, they will never get together. They won't dance in the streets hand in hand: "We are all self-realized men! We belong!"
Is not sex a basic human requirement? Sex is dependent upon thought; the body itself has no sex. Only the genitals and perhaps the hormone balances differ between male and female. It is thought that says "I am a man, and that is a woman, an attractive woman." It is thought that translates sex feelings in the body and says "These are sexual feelings." And it is thought that provides the build-up without which no sex is possible: "It would be more pleasurable to hold that woman's hand than just to look at her. It would be more pleasurable to kiss her than just to embrace her," and so on. In the natural state there is no build-up of thought. Without that build-up, sex is impossible. And sex is tremendously violent to the body. The body normally is a very peaceful organism, and then you subject it to this tremendous tension and release, which feels pleasurable to you. Actually it is painful to the body.
But through suppression or attempts at sublimation of sex you will never come into this state. As long as you think of God, you will have thoughts of sex. Ask any religious seeker you may know who practices celibacy, whether he doesn't dream of women at night. The peak of the sex experience is the one thing in life you have that comes close to being a first-hand experience; all of the rest of your experiences are second-hand, somebody else's. Why do you weave so many taboos and ideas around this? Why do you destroy the joy of sex? Not that I am advocating indulgence or promiscuity; but through abstinence and continence you will never achieve a thing.
This is not a state of omniscience, wherein all of man's eternal questions are answered; rather it is a state in which the questioning has stopped. It has stopped because those questions have no relation to the way the organism is functioning, and the way the organism is functioning leaves no room for those questions.
You don't know what brings you back from death. If you had any will at that moment, you could decide not to come back. When the 'conking out' is over, the stream of thought picks up exactly where it left off. Dullness is over; clarity is back. The body feels very stiff -- slowly it begins to move of its own accord, limbering itself up. The movements are more like the Chinese T'ai Chi than like Hatha Yoga. The disciples observed the things that were happening to the teachers, probably, and embodied them and taught hundreds of postures -- but they are all worthless; it is an extraordinary movement. Those who have observed my body moving say it looks like the motions of a newly born baby. This 'conking out' gives a total renewal of the senses, glands and nervous system: after it they function at the peak of their sensitivity.
Why are you so afraid of death?
Your experiencing structure cannot conceive of any event that it will not experience. It even expects to preside over its own dissolution, and so it wonders what death will feel like -- it tries to project the feeling of what it will be like not to feel. But in order to anticipate a future experience, your structure needs knowledge, a similar past experience it can call upon for reference. You cannot remember what it felt like not to exist before you were born, and you cannot remember your own birth, so you have no basis for projecting your future non- existence. As long as you have known life, you have known yourself, you have been there, so, to you, you have a feeling of eternity. To justify this feeling of eternity, your structure begins to convince itself that there will be a life after death for you -- heaven, reincarnation, transmigration of souls, or whatever. What is it that you think reincarnates? Where is that soul of yours? Can you taste it, touch it, show it to me? What is there inside of you that goes to heaven? What is there? There is nothing inside of you but fear.
Life is action. Unquestioned action is morality. Questioning your actions is destroying the expression of life. A person who lets life act in its own way without the protective movement of thought has no self to defend. What need will he have to lie or cheat or pretend or to commit any other act which his society considers immoral?
We are all living in a 'thought sphere'. Your thoughts are not your own; they belong to everybody. There are only thoughts, but you create a counter-thought, the thinker, with which you read every thought. Your effort to control life has created a secondary movement of thought within you, which you call the 'I'. This movement of thought within you is parallel to the movement of life, but isolated from it; it can never touch life. You are a living creature, yet you lead your entire life within the realm of this isolated, parallel movement of thought. You cut yourself off from life -- that is something very unnatural.
The natural state is not a 'thoughtless state' -- that is one of the greatest hoaxes perpetrated for thousands of years on poor, helpless Hindus. You will never be without thought until the body is a corpse, a very dead corpse. Being able to think is necessary to survive. But in this state thought stops choking you; it falls into its natural rhythm. There is no longer a 'you' who reads the thoughts and thinks that they are 'his'.
Have you ever looked at that parallel movement of thought? The books on English grammar will tell you that 'I' is a first person singular pronoun, subjective case; but that is not what you want to know. Can you look at that thing you call 'I'? It is very elusive. Look at it now, feel it, touch it, and tell me. How do you look at it? And what is the thing that is looking at what you call 'I'? This is the crux of the whole problem: the one that is looking at what you call 'I' is the 'I'. It is creating an illusory division of itself into subject and object, and through this division it is continuing. This is the divisive nature that is operating in you, in your consciousness. Continuity of its existence is all that interests it. As long as you want to understand that 'you' or to change that 'you' into something spiritual, into something holy, beautiful or marvelous, that 'you' will continue. If you do not want to do anything about it, it is not there, it's gone.
How do you understand this? I have for all practical purposes made a statement: "What you are looking at is not different from the one who is looking." What do you do with a statement like this? What instrument do you have at your disposal for understanding a meaningless, illogical, irrational statement? You begin to think. Through thinking, you cannot understand a thing. You are translating what I am saying, in terms of the knowledge you already have, just as you translate everything else, because you want to get something out of it. When you stop doing that, what is there is what I am describing. The absence of what you are doing -- trying to understand, or trying to change yourself -- is the state of being that I am describing.
What you know can never be the beyond. Whatever you experience is not the beyond. If there is any beyond, this movement of 'you' is absent. The absence of this movement probably is the beyond, but the beyond can never be experienced by you; it is when the 'you' is not there. Why are you trying to experience a thing that cannot be experienced?
Every time a thought is born, you are born. When the thought is gone, you are gone. But the 'you' does not let the thought go, and what gives continuity to this 'you' is the thinking. Actually there is no permanent entity in you, no totality of all your thoughts and experiences. You think that there is 'somebody' who is thinking your thoughts, 'somebody' who is feeling your feelings --- that's the illusion. I can say it is an illusion; but it is not an illusion to you.
Your emotions are more complex, but it is the same process. Why do you have to tell yourself that you are angry, that you are envious of someone else, or that sex is bothering you? I am not saying anything about fulfilling or not fulfilling. There is a sensation in you, and you say that you are depressed or unhappy or blissful, jealous, greedy, envious. This labelling brings into existence the one who is translating this sensation. What you call "I" is nothing but this word 'red bag', 'bench', 'steps', 'banister', 'light bulb', 'angry', 'blissful', 'jealous', or whatever. You are putting your brain cells to unnecessary activity making the memory cells operate all the time, destroying the energy that is there. This is only wearing you out.
This labelling is necessary when you must communicate with someone else or with yourself. But you communicate with yourself all the time. Why do you do this? The only difference between you and the person who talks aloud to himself is that you don't talk aloud. The moment you do begin to talk aloud, along comes the psychiatrist. That chap, of course, is doing the same thing that you are doing, communicating to himself all the time -- 'bag', 'red bag', 'obsessive', 'compulsive', 'Oedipus complex,' 'greedy', 'bench', 'banister', 'martini'. Then he says something is wrong with you and puts you on the couch and wants to change you, to help you.
Why can't you leave the sensations alone? Why do you translate? You do this because if you do not communicate to yourself, you are not there. The prospect of that is frightening to the 'you'.
Can you experience a simple thing like that bench that is sitting across from you? No, you only experience the knowledge you have about it. And the knowledge has come from some outside agency, always. You think the thoughts of your society, feel the feelings of your society and experience the experiences of your society; there is no new experience.
So, all that any man has ever thought or felt must go out of your system. And you are the product of all that knowledge -- that's all you are.
The senses function unnaturally in you because you want to use them to get something. Why should you get anything? Because you want what you call the 'you' to continue. You are protecting that continuity. Thought is a protective mechanism: it protects the 'you' at the expense of something or somebody else. Anything born out of thought is destructive: it will ultimately destroy you and your kind.
If you practice any system of mind control, automatically the 'you' is there, and through this it is continuing. Have you ever meditated, really seriously meditated? Or do you know anyone who has? Nobody does. If you seriously meditate, you'll wind up in the loony bin. Nor can you practice mindfulness trying to be aware every moment of your life. You cannot be aware; you and awareness cannot co-exist. If you could be in a state of awareness for one second by the clock, once in your life, the continuity would be snapped, the illusion of the experiencing structure, the 'you', would collapse, and everything would fall into the natural rhythm. In this state you do not know what you are looking at -- that is awareness. If you recognize what you are looking at, you are there, again experiencing the old, what you know.
What makes one person come into his natural state, and not another person, I don't know. Perhaps it's written in the cells. It is acausal. It is not an act of volition on your part; you can't bring it about. There is absolutely nothing you can do. You can distrust any man who tells you how he got into this state. One thing you can be sure of is that he cannot possibly know himself, and cannot possibly communicate it to you. There is a built-in triggering mechanism in the body. If the experiencing structure of thought happens to let go, the other thing will take over in its own way. The functioning of the body will be a totally different functioning, without the interference of thought except when it is necessary to communicate with somebody. To put it in the boxing-ring phrase, you have to "throw in the towel," be totally helpless. No one can help you, and you cannot help yourself.
What you are looking for does not exist. You would rather tread an enchanted ground with beatific visions of a radical transformation of that non-existent self of yours into a state of being which is conjured up by some bewitching phrases. That takes you away from your natural state -- it is a movement away from yourself. To be yourself requires extraordinary intelligence. You are 'blessed' with that intelligence; nobody need give it to you, nobody can take it away from you. He who lets that express itself in its own way is a natural man.
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Labels: Anatta, U.G. Krishnamurti