Wait, it is a sensation, isn’t it? A feeling which is sensation. Please watch it, it’s a sensation isn’t it? All feelings are sensations. I put a pin in there, and all the rest of it. So it’s a sensation. What’s wrong with sensation? Nothing is wrong with sensation, is it? But when sensation plus thought, which becomes desire with its images, then the trouble begins. I wonder if you understand all this?
You know , this is part of meditation. You understand, this is really part of meditation…… this is really meditation because you are enquiring very, very deeply into yourself……
– J. Krishnamurti 1st Public Talk, Brockwood Park, 1976
(Please refer to the Teachings of Lord Buddha and J. Krishnamurti as quoted under “Sensations – The Root Of Misery and Sorrow and The Key To Insight and Freedom”, “Ignorance And Conditioning….. Cause- Effect”, “Journey From Sensations To Sacred – State Beyond Mind-Matter”, “Freedom From The Known”, “The Four Noble Truths” in the SECOND PART).
As long as there is division between you and fear then there is conflict, there is wastage of energy – by suppressing it, running away from it, talking about it, going to the analysts and so on and so on and so on. But whereas, when you see the truth that you are that fear, your whole energy is gathered in this attention to look at this thing. Now what is that thing which we call fear? Is it a word which has brought fear, or is it independent of the word? You are following this? If it is the word, the word being the associations with the past; I recognize it because I have had fear before. You understand? I look at that fear though it is part of me because I name it, and I name it because I have known it to happen before. So, by naming it I have strengthened it. I wonder if you see this? So, is it possible to observe without naming it? If you name it, it’s already in the past, right? If you don’t name it, it’s something entirely different, isn’t it? Is it possible not to name that thing which you have called ‘fear’, therefore free yourself of the past so that you can look. You cannot look if you are prejudiced. If I am prejudiced against you, I can’t look at you; I am looking at my prejudice. So is it possible not to name the thing at all? Then if you do not name it, is it fear? Or has it undergone a change, because you have given all your attention to it. When you name it you are not giving attention to it, when you try to suppress it you are not giving your attention to it, when you try to run away from it you are not giving your attention to it – whereas when you observe that fear is you, and not name it – what takes place? What takes place? You are doing it now. What takes place?
Questioner: It’s an emotion.
K: Wait, it is a sensation, isn’t it? A feeling which is sensation. Please watch it, it’s a sensation isn’t it? All feelings are sensations. I put a pin in there, and all the rest of it. So it’s a sensation. What’s wrong with sensation? Nothing is wrong with sensation, is it? But when sensation plus thought, which becomes desire with its images, then the trouble begins. I wonder if you understand all this?
You know, this is part of meditation. You understand, this is really part of meditation. Not to sit under a tree and just think about something or other, or try to concentrate, or try to repeat some mantra or some word – coca cola – or something or other – but this is really meditation because you are enquiring very, very deeply into yourself; and you can enquire very deeply only when you are really without any motive, when you are free to look, and you cannot look if you separate yourself from that which you are looking at. Then you have complete energy to look.
It is only when there is no attention that fear comes into being. You understand? When there is complete attention which is complete total energy then there is no fear, is there? It’s only the inattentive person that is afraid; not the person who is completely attentive at the moment when that feeling arises. That feeling is a part of sensation. Sensation is normal, natural. It’s like looking at a tree, looking at people, you know – sensation. But when sensation plus thought, which is desire with its images, then begins all our problems. You understand this simple thing? Right?
– J. Krishnamurti ,1st Public Talk, Brockwood Park, 1976
We live always by sensation – sensation of being secure – please watch it – sensation of having fulfilled, sensation of great pleasure, gratification and so on. What relationship has sensation to desire? Is desire something separate from sensation? Go into this, please. It is important to understand this thing. I am not explaining it. We are looking at it together. What is the relationship of desire to sensation? When does sensation become desire? Or are they inseparable? You follow? Do they always go together – right? Are you working as hard as the speaker is working? Or are you just saying, `Yes, go on with it’? Or have you heard this before and say, `Oh God, he has gone back to that again’?
Our life is based on sensation and desire, and we are asking: what is the actual relationship between the two? When does sensation become desire? You are following this? At what second does desire become dominant? I see a beautiful camera, with all the latest improvements. I lift it and look at it, and there is sensation of observation – seeing the beautifully made, very complex camera of great value as a pleasure of possession, a pleasure of taking photos. Then what is that sensation to do with desire? When does that desire begin to flower into action, and say, `I must have it’?
Have you observed the movement of sensation, whether it is sexual, whether it is walking in the valleys or climbing the hills, overlooking all the world from a great height, or seeing a lovely garden when you have only a little lawn around your place? You see this; then what takes place that turns the sensation into desire? You are following all this? Please don’t go to sleep. It is too lovely a morning. Stay with this question: what is the relationship of sensation to desire? Stay with it, do not try and find an answer, but look at it, observe it, see the implications of it; then you will discover that sensation, which is natural, is transformed into desire when thought creates the image out of that sensation.
That is, there is a sensation of seeing that very expensive, beautiful camera; then thought comes along and says, `I wish I had that camera.’ So thought creates the image out of that sensation and at that moment desire is born. Look at it yourself, go into it. You don’t need any book, any philosopher, anybody – just look at it, patiently, tentatively, then you will come upon it very quickly. That is, sensation is a slave to thought, and thought creates an image, and at that moment desire is born. And we live by desire: `I must have this.’ `I don’t want it.’ `I must become…’ You follow? This whole movement of desire.
-J. Krishnamurti Last Talks at Saanen 1985 4th Public Talk, Saanen
First of all there is visual perception, the seeing with the eyes: you see something, a beautiful object, the perception creates in one, it stimulates, from that stimulation there is sensation – watch it in yourself, I don’t have to tell you if you watch it – you see something beautiful, there is sensation, then you want to touch it, then you want to own it, then you want to possess it, take it. So there is perception, sensation, contact, desire. You see this? The seeing stimulates sensation, sensation then becomes the desire; sensation, contact, desire. Now can the mind stop there, not say, “I must possess it, I must have it” – I wonder if you are understanding this? The moment the mind says, “I must have it”, it has become pleasure. Are you following this?
I see a beautiful picture, a lovely statue – I have seen so many lovely statues in the world, in the Louvre, in India, in all the various dead museums – you see it, sensation, the lines, the shape and the movement, and the depth and the quality of it. Then you want to hold it in your hands, you want to feel it. Then you want to take it home, put it in your room and look at it. So can the mind observe, see, the sensation, the contact, desire, and end there? You understand what I am saying? The moment it goes beyond it has turned into pleasure. I wonder if you get this?….. I see the beautiful sunset, or the lovely moonlight, clear, a tropical moonlight, stars so close that you can almost touch them. And – listen to this – you see it, that very experience has left a mark on the mind, then the mind says, ‘I must have it the next day’. And the demand for that experience for the next day is the pursuit of pleasure. Whereas to see that moonlight, or the clear evening star, see it and observe it totally, and completely end it so that it has no movement as pleasure, as tomorrow. You understand all this? That requires tremendous attention, an awareness of the whole movement of desire. The movement of desire as pleasure is the movement of thought, which is time.
So if you can have this complete attention, when you observe, then you will see for yourself that fear, which dogs most of us, which is part of our culture, part of our consciousness, then you may be able to investigate fear in terms of pleasure. And without understanding pleasure you will never be free of fear. I wonder if you get this.
-J. Krishnamurti 4th Public Talk, Saanen, 1973
What is the origin, the source, of desire? Go into it very very deeply to capture the whole movement of desire, the implication of it, the depth of it, the reality of it. If you had no senses, there will be no sensation. Sensation arises when you see something in the window of a shop, a shirt, a radio, or what you will. You see it – visual perception. Then you go inside that shop, touch the material, and from the touching of it, there is a sensation. This is very simple. You see the car, you touch it, you look at the lights, the polish – not the beauty of Indian cars, but some of the European cars are extraordinarily beautiful. Like an aeroplane, it is extraordinarily beautiful – and you touch it, you touch that shirt you see in the window, blue shirt, and by the very touch there is sensation. Then what happens? Then, if you observe very closely, thought says, `How nice it would be if I had that shirt on me, if I stepped into that car.’ So, at that moment when thought creates the image out of the sensation, is the origin of desire.
You see a beautiful tree, which man has not created. Man has created the cathedral, the mosque, the temple, and all the things therein; but he has not created the tree. He has not created nature, but man is destroying nature. Now, you look at a beautiful tree. You wish it were in your garden. And you see it. There is the sensation of the dignity, the shadows, the light on the leaf, the movement of the tree. Then sensation arises. And then thought says, `How nice it would be if I had that tree in my garden. When thought creates the image of that tree in your garden, at that second desire is born. Right? The fact is, it is natural to be sensitive, to have sensations. Otherwise you are paralysed. You must have sensation, you must have sensitivity in your fingers, in your eyes, in your hearing and looking, and you are sensitive to watch, to look – out of that looking, watching, observing, sensation inevitably arises. It must arise; otherwise you are blind, deaf. When there is sensation, then thought creates an image, and at that moment desire is born. Have you found it to be so? Or are you going to repeat just what the speaker has said or go back to your tradition and say we must suppress desire or say what you are talking is nonsense? If you really go into this question of desire, which is so important in life, then you will find out for yourself the origin, the beginning, of desire. Now, the question is to look at a car, at the shirt, at a woman, at a picture; there is arising of sensation. Find out whether thought can be in abeyance, not immediately create a picture, an image of you in that shirt, or in that car, and so on. Can there be a gap between sensation and thought impinging upon that sensation? Find out. It will make your mind, brain, alert, watchful.
– J. Krishnamurti Mind without Measure 2nd Public Talk Calcutta
So we are going to enquire together, not me enquire and you just listen, together because it is your life: what is desire? Why has it become such an extraordinary potent power in our life? We desire so many things, from the most trivial to the sublime – right? That is our life. So one has to enquire, explore together, what is desire? How does it come into being and whether it can be controlled? Then if you are controlling it, who is the controller? You follow? If you are controlling your desire – right? – the controller is another form of desire – right?…I desire to achieve some kind of so-called spiritual experience – I don’t know why, I must be cuckoo! And the controller, who says, “I must control my desire”, the controller wants to achieve that, that kind of funny, romantic nonsense. And then the controller is another form of desire. You see this? So the controller and the controlled are the activities of desire. Clear? Is this clear? We are together in this, are we? Because this is a serious question. One has to go into it very, very carefully.
So what is desire? How does it come into being? There must be a cause. And we are going to discover for ourselves what the cause is. There is, you see, and if I may go on with this simile, you see a car, the latest Mercedes, and the seeing, the sensation, contact, sensation – right? That is the process: seeing, contact, sensation. Right? That is clear? This is what takes place. Then thought creates the image of you sitting in the car and driving it. You understand? Thought creates the image of you owning it, driving it. Seeing, contact, sensation, then thought takes over, you, the image created of you sitting in the car and then driving it. So there is an interval, or a gap, a hiatus, between sensation – right? – contact, seeing, contact, sensation, instantly thought creates the image, you in the car and driving it. The instant that thought creates the image, that is the beginning of desire. Have you understood this? Please exercise your brains, don’t just accept or reject what the speaker is saying, look at it carefully. Right? You see there is perception of a car, then touch it, contact, from that touching, contact, there is sensation which is natural, healthy because you are not paralysed. Then thought creates the image, at that second desire is born. Is this clear? Right? Are we clear on this? Oh, for goodness sake. May we explore more into it? Yes, you want to explore more into it. What is the matter with your brains? You have something put forward to you, very simple, and you…
I see this blue shirt in the window of a shop. I go inside, touch it, see if it is a good material, and if it suits me. I have a sensation, it is a nice blue shirt. Then I say how would it look on me? So I go to the mirror…..I go to the mirror, put it on and look at myself. Then the image is created at that moment desire to own it . Right ? This is what you all do. Only the thing is so rapid, so quick, but if you slowed it down and watched it, watched the movement, the movement of contact, sensation, slowing down. Then the image created by thought, at that second desire is born. Right?
So the question is not of control, but watching the process slow down. The process of seeing, contact, sensation, thought creating the image, at that moment desire and so on, fulfilling it or being frustrated – right? Now to watch all this process slowly, carefully, step by step – right? So then the question arises, not of control, not of suppression, not of escaping from desire as monks have done throughout the world, they have controlled it, they have suppressed it, but they are burning with it. Therefore they pick up the bible or the Gita, or some other book and keep on reading it,…. Right, you are following all this?
So can you, can we, slow down this whole process so to watch every step very carefully? When you so watch it, then you find there can be a gap between sensation and the moment when thought takes it over – right? An interval. You are following all this? Is this clear? No? Isn’t this clear? At last some young person agrees. So to extend that gap. That is, I see the blue shirt in the window, go inside, touch it, see the quality of it and wait, so that the thought doesn’t immediately enter and take over. You understand? That requires very careful attention, watching, all your reactions so that there is an interval between sensation and the activity of thought with its image. Extend that gap then you will see desire has very little potency. You have understood? Right? So that desire then becomes not the master but the slowing down of the sensation and the thought. Got it? So that you are extraordinarily alert. It is the inattentive that are a slave to desire – right? Is the question clear now? The object, the car, seeing, contact, sensation, awakens the desire to own it and then the battle – shall I have it, shall I not have it, have I the money, etc., the desire to fulfil and the frustration not to have it and so on…… So if we can observe this whole process totally, that requires your attention, your care, your watching……you understand? Right?
-J. Krishnamurti ,3rd Public Question & Answer meeting, Saanen, 1983
We live by sensation. Our sensory responses, their reaction is the activity of sensation. Right? I see you, well dressed, clean, healthy, beautiful or whatever you are. I see it. The seeing is the beginning of sensory responses. You are following this obviously. It is not complicated. So the seeing, observing, contact and sensation, which are the responses of the senses. Right? Is this clear? Then what happens? You understand? I see a beautiful house, a lovely chalet in the mountains, beautifully built, strong: see it, contact, actually touch it and from there sensation. Then what happens? This is really important to understand. I see you, a beautiful woman…… I see a beautiful woman or a beautiful man, if you are a woman. The very seeing of that beauty – nice, clear, intelligent face, is a sensation, isn’t it? Then what is the next step that takes place? Think quickly for god’s sake, move. I’ll show you. You see I have to tell you, which is a pity. That is why – please – you become second hand human beings. But if you saw it for yourself you are completely out of that mediocrity. You see a beautiful something, a statue which has been created by love and skill and matter. Then as you see it, sensations arise, you touch it, then what happens? Please listen, find out for yourself. Please listen, sir. Then thought comes in and says, how beautiful, I wish I had that statue in my room, I wish I was in that car, I wish I had that house. Right? At that moment when thought takes charge of sensation, at that precise moment, desire is born. Do you understand this, sirs?
We will go into this a little more. Sensation which is normal, healthy, vital, otherwise you are dead. To suppress sensation mean you are dead and probably that is what happened here in this country. You read the Gita and the Upanishads and all the sacred books and you follow guru after guru, discipline your desires, control, suppress, escape and so on. Whereas we are saying something entirely different, if you can follow this a little bit. Sensation, then immediate association of thought with the object. Right? That is, sensation, seeing the car, thought then says, how nice it would be I sat in there, it is a beautiful car and has tremendous power behind it – not the Indian cars – and beautifully made, then begins desire Right? You understand this? Now is it possible for thought not to intervene? You understand my question? Not immediately thought saying, it will see itself in the car. Is there a hiatus, an interval between sensation and thought not immediately taking charge ?. You understand this? So that there is an interval, a gap. If there is a gap, what happens? That requires extraordinary skill and attention. Right sirs? To see where sensations are important, because if your senses are not alive you cannot see the beauty of the earth, the movement of the sea. So sensations, the sensory responses are essential for life, but when thought controls, shapes, gives identity to sensation, then at that precise movement desire is born. Can we find out, without control, without suppression, just to see how thought is acting upon sensation, just to see it….. go into it very deeply, to have such alertness, such care, such attention, such love to see the nature – how desire is born.
– J. Krishnamurti ,3rd Public Talk, Madras, 1983
Therefore the mind is part of the senses, the mind is part of the thought, emotions, certain faculties and so on and so on. Is that outside, or the whole structure of the organism the whole brain, body, eyes, ears, all that is part of this mind which is the process of thinking . No?
– J. Krishnamurti ,3rd Conversation with Buddhist Scholars, Brockwood Park, 1978