Krishnamurti & the Art of Awakening
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On Awareness

Talks and Dialogues, Saanen 1967 | 6th Public Dialogue, August 7th, 1967

I said, I am aware that I have the image which prevents me from looking, from observing exactly what is, what exactly you are or exactly I am. So I want to get rid of it, I want to be free of it because this might be more profitable, it might be more pleasurable, or it might bring me some kind of a deeper, wider experience. And all this is part of awareness. The moment I want to get rid of that image, I have entered a battle with the image which is conflict. So I am aware what has happened now. I am aware of your brown shirt and the colour of the scarf, I am aware of the image that I have built about you. I am aware that this image is preventing me from coming directly in touch with you, seeing exactly what you are, or that the image which I have about myself prevents me from looking at myself. I want to get rid of that image because I've heard you say, self-knowledge is very important. Therefore I don't want to have an image about myself; I want to get rid of it. And when I want to get rid of it, then there is a conflict between the former image and a new image which I have created. You're following all this? So I am now in conflict. And if it is a pleasurable conflict I want it to go on. If the conflict promises a certain pleasure at the end of it, I want it to go on. And if that conflict breeds pain I want to get rid of that pain. So I am aware of the whole pattern of what is taking place. Right? I hope you are doing this with me - taking your own image which you have about somebody, looking at it, being aware of it, as you are aware of the tent, the limitations of the tent, the curve of the tent, the structure of the tent, the patches in the tent, the holes, and so on. Similarly you are aware of yourself with our image and what is implied by it. Now I'm in conflict. Either I am aware of that conflict as it is, or I want to alter that conflict into something which will give me more; or I am in conflict very superficially, just on the surface; or, I am aware of the deeper layers of this conflict. So awareness is not merely a superficial observance of conflicts within myself, but also through this awareness the deeper conflicts are being opened up. Right? If the deeper layers of conflicts are opened up by being aware, then if there is fear in that, I want to shut them all up, I don't want to look. So I run away from them: run away from them through drink, drugs, women, men, amusement, entertainment, churches - all the rest of it. All that is part of awareness, isn't it? - the running away from fear, and giving importance to the things I have run to.

I am aware that I am lonely, miserable. I don't know a way out of it, or if I do know a way out it's too difficult; therefore I run away - run away to church, to drugs, to Communism, to every form of entertainment. And because I have run away from the thing of which I am afraid, to something which helps me to escape, those things become tremendously important. Right? So I'm attached to those things. It may be a wife, a family - whatever it is. Now all that is part of awareness, isn't it? I've begun very slowly - step by step - I watched your shirt, the colour of your shirt, the colour of your scarf, and gone deeper and deeper until I found that I have a whole network of escapes. I haven't searched them out, I haven't analysed them; by being aware I have begun to penetrate deeper and deeper and deeper. Right? Are you following all this?

Questioner: I don't follow. I see about being aware.... but then comes a little jump about inner escapes. Could you please go over it again.

Krishnamurti: Where is the jump?

Questioner: Between awareness and our escape, from for instance, inner loneliness.

Krishnamurti: Oh, I thought I had made it clear. I have built an image about you and I was never aware of that image; and I become aware of it by observing outer things, by being aware of external things. Naturally from the external things I move to inner things. And there I discover I have an image about you. I went into it, that's clear, isn't it? Now, by becoming aware of that image I find that I have built it in order to protect myself; or I have built it because you have said such brutal things to me that they remain in my memory, or you have said pleasant things which again remain in my memory. So there is the image which I have built, and I realize this image prevents me from looking deeper into my relationship with you. Right?

Questioner: You mean, Sir, that this awareness that you have is not just limited to one person but in every field...?

Krishnamurti: Of course, of course I have images about everything - about you, about my wife, about my children, about my country, about God. (Sound of jet overhead) Were you aware of the noise of that jet - were you aware of it? Were you aware of your reaction to it? And the reaction was: I wish it would go away because I want to find out, I want him to talk more, it's preventing me from listening. Or did you just listen to that extraordinary thunder? When you listened to that thunder without any choice you listened entirely differently, didn't you? No? You followed the thunder as it went further and further away. You listened to it and then you became aware of the different sounds of the river - didn't you? - of those children far away? But if you said, I don't like that sound because I want to listen here, I want to find out, then what has happened? Then you're in conflict, aren't you? You want to listen and you're prevented by that noise, so there is resistance between the noise and the desire to listen, to find out; therefore there was conflict, and you were lost in that conflict. You neither listened to the thunder nor listened to what was being said. So let's proceed.