The place where the treasure is
KRISHNAMURTI ON STUDY CENTRES
KRISHNAMURTI: Sirs, we started at Rajghat, Benares, by asking if there was a group of people totally committed, not to the school, not to teaching any particular subject, but to what K was talking about—to the teachings, if I may use the word. It sounds rather grandiose, but is probably a good word. We were asking if there was a group of people committed to the teachings, not to the person, not to some ideation of the person, or to an image of the person, but to what he said. The person is not important, and I really mean it, and it’s not just a verbal statement. The teachings are important, and is there a group of people who are completely soaked in it, thoroughly soaked in it, so that they become both the teachers of the teachings and the disciples of the teachings? It is in their blood, so that they not only teach the teachings but are also learning the teachings, so that they are both the teachers and the disciples…
…Now, this is said not out of conceit, this is said not out of some kind of possessive attachment to the teaching: I think this teaching covers the whole of human existence. I don’t know if you have studied it. It covers the whole of human life, from the physical to the most inward depth of human beings. So there is nothing in it that sets it apart as a cult, as something or the other. When you look into it, you say, ‘My God.’ I personally look at it as a marvellous thing, not because I have said it, but because it is something extraordinarily life‐giving. And that life‐giving thing can never go dry. Like a spring well, it can never go dry. To me it is so, otherwise I wouldn’t have spent a day on it.
From Don’t Make a Problem of Anything. Discussions in Rishi Valley in 1982.
K considers the so‐called teachings to be common sense, orderly, and they demand a great deal of attention, subtlety, and a sense of continuing to the very end of the book. And apparently, in different parts of the world, this is being slightly neglected. I use the word slightly politely; I’d like to use much stronger language. This is happening. We meet every year. We have done it in Saanen [in Switzerland] for nearly twenty‐five years, and we don’t seem to be able to come together, understand the common, ordinary things of life and all the implications of K’s teaching. We never seem to go to the end of the book.
Discussion at Saanen, 13 July 1984.
VASANTA Vihar [in Chennai] should draw people who have good brains, good intellects. They should study the teachings thoroughly, soak in it deeply as you would do if you were to study medicine or Buddhism or any other subject. Studying means going deeply into the subtleties of the words used and their contents and seeing the truth in them in relation to daily life. They should be able to discuss with the top brains, the specialists in any branch of knowledge, as scholars do.
And these people, while they are studying, should have a spirit of cooperation. Spirit of cooperation does not mean working together for some function, but while I am functioning, while I am digging, I am thinking over something. And as I am your friend—and you are also doing some work—I rush to you and discuss with you what I have discovered. You may doubt it, question it, but I am sharing with you the discovery. It is not my discovery; it does not belong to me or to anybody. Perception is never personal. Such a sharing is cooperation.
But it must not be a confession. There are groups in America who confess to each other—like washing your own dirty linen in public.
And also if I am a liar, it is the responsibility of you and all my friends. Because we all are interested in the teachings, in studying it deeply and living it in our daily life, we are responsible to each other for whatever we are. This togetherness among friends who are interested in the discovery of truth in their daily life, and the sense of responsibility they have to each other, is the spirit of cooperation. And when everyone who lives in Vasanta Vihar has this spirit of cooperation, they will bring about, will create an atmosphere in which when a newcomer will also flower.
Discussion with a trustee, in the car en route to Rishi Valley on 19 November1983.
IT [Vasanta Vihar] must last a thousand years, unpolluted, like a river that has the capacity to cleanse itself, which means no authority whatsoever for the inhabitants. And the teachings in themselves have the authority of truth.
It is a place for the flowering of goodness; a communication and cooperation not based on work, ideal or personal authority. Cooperation implies not round some subject or principle, belief, and so on. As one comes to the place, each one in his work—working in the garden or doing something—may discover something as he is working, and he communicates and has a dialogue with the others—questioning, doubting, to see the weight of the truth of his discovery. So there is a constant communication and not a solitary achievement, solitary enlightenment or understanding. It is the responsibility of each one to bring this about in the sense that each one of us, if he discovers something basic, new, it is not personal but is for all people who are there.
It is not a community. The very word community or commune is an aggressive or separative movement from the whole of humanity. But it does not mean that the whole of humanity comes to this place. It is essentially a religious centre according to what K has said about religion. It is a place where one is not only physically active— sustained and continuous—there is also a movement of learning, and so each one becomes the teacher and the disciple. It is not a place for one’s own illumination or one’s own goal of fulfilment, artistically, religiously, or in any way, but is rather for sustaining each other and nourishing each other in flowering in goodness.
There must be absolute freedom from orthodoxy or traditional movements; rather there must be total freedom, absolute freedom from all sense of nationalities, racial prejudices, religious beliefs, and faiths. If one is not capable of doing this with honesty and integrity, one had better keep away from this place. Essentially one has the insight to see that knowledge is the enemy of man.
This is not a place for romanticists, sentimentalists, or for emotion. This requires a good brain, which does not mean being an intellectual, but a brain that is objective, fundamentally honest to itself and has integrity in word and deed.
A dialogue is very important. It is a form of communication in which question and answer continue till a question is left without an answer. Thus the question is suspended between two persons involved in this question and answer. It is like a bud with untouched blossoms. If the question is left totally untouched by thought, then it has its own answer because the questioner and answerer, as persons, have disappeared. This is a form of dialogue in which investigation reaches a certain point of intensity and depth, which then has a quality which thought can never reach. It is not a dialectical investigation of opinions, ideas, but rather an exploration by two or many serious, good brains.
This place must be of great beauty with trees, birds and quietness, for beauty is truth, and truth is goodness and love. The external beauty, external tranquillity, silence, may affect the inner tranquillity, but the environment must in no way influence the inner beauty. Beauty can only be when the self is not. The environment, which must have great wonder, must in no way be an absorbing factor, like a toy is with a child. Here there are no toys, but inner depth, substance, and integrity that is not put together by thought.
Also, knowledge is not beauty. Beauty is love, and where there is knowledge there is no beauty.
The depth of the question brings its own right answer. All this is not an intellectual entertainment, a pursuit of theories. The word is the deed. The two must never be separate. Where the word is the deed, that is integrity.
Intelligence can only be where there is love and compassion. Compassion can never exist where the brain is conditioned or has an anchorage.
A collection of mediocrities does not make a religious centre. A religious centre demands the highest quality in everything that one is doing and the highest capacity of the brain. The full meaning of mediocrity is a dull, heavy brain, drugged by knowledge.
The flowering of goodness is not an ideal to be pursued or sought after as a goal in the future. We are not setting up an utopia, but rather dealing with hard facts. You can make of all this into something to be achieved in the future. The future is the present. The present is the past and the future, the whole structure of thought and time. But if one lives with death, not occasionally but every day, there is no change. Change is strife and the pain of anxiety. As there is no collection, accumulation of knowledge, there is no change because one is living with death continuously.
The first stone we lay should be religious.
Dictated to a trustee, at Vasanta Vihar on 26/27 January 1984.
AS I see it, a Study Centre has become a necessity because that is the place where the treasure is, right? The treasure. From that treasure you can draw. You understand? You can draw your strength, you can draw your energy, you can draw your sustenance, nourishment, and so on. Schools have their limitations, right? Here is—I don’t know how to put it—something that is sacred; let’s call it for the moment. And from that everything flows.
Discussion on Study Centres; Rishi Valley, 19 December 1985
NOW, Brockwood [in England] must be much more than a school. It must be a centre for those who are deeply interested in the teachings, a place where they can stay and study. In the very old days, an ashrama—which means retreat—was a place where people came to gather their energies, to dwell upon and explore the deeper religious aspects of life. Modern places of this kind generally have some sort of a leader, guru, abbot or patriarch who guides, interprets and dominates. Brockwood must have no such leader or guru, for the teachings themselves are the expression of that truth which serious people must find for themselves….This applies not only to Brockwood but to all the other Krishnamurti Foundations.
Discussion at Brockwood Park in 1983
WHAT will you do with the Centre if K is not here any more from tomorrow? We have agreed, all of us, that there must be a place for discussion, a place to meet, and a place where people can come, be quiet, discuss, rest, not be involved in all the noise of the world. Will you provide all that? In India, Brockwood, here [Ojai] and Canada…
I come from Seattle. There you are, a group of you at the centre. I am fairly intelligent. I want you to discuss with me. I want to discuss with you, go into a dialogue deeply about fear. Not therapeutically—I want to end fear. I see the importance of that. By coming here, by talking with you, I hope to end it.
CW: Would it be possible to give this person something to read about fear?
K: Yes, I read it, I have read it. I have listened to the tapes.
CW: And then discuss together?
K: Yes, that is what I want…My intention is to be free of fear. How will you deal with it? Will you say, ‘Sorry, I can’t help you to end fear, but we can have a dialogue about it; I have not ended my fear, therefore let us go into it, both of us, feel the urgency of ending fear, so we’ll help each other to end fear’? Would you say that? So there is no authority. I have not ended my fear; you have not ended fear. By coming together, sitting quietly, discussing, having a dialogue very, very deeply every day or every other day, we may help each other to dissolve it. If you did that, I would come from Seattle or from Jamaica.
From The Perfume of the Teachings, Discussion with Trustees in 1977
QUESTION: You have been in retreat for the past sixteen months and that for the first time in your life. May we know if there is any significance in this?
Krishnamurti: Don’t you also want to go away sometimes to quiet and take stock of things and not merely become a repetitive machine, a talker, explainer and expounder? Don’t you want to do that some time, don’t you want to be quiet, don’t you want to know more of yourself? Some of you wish to do it, but economically you cannot. Some of you might want to do; but family responsibility and so on crowd in your way. All the same, it is good to retreat to quiet and to take stock of every thing that you have done. When you do that, you acquire experiences that are not recognized, not translated.
I think it is essential sometimes to go to retreat, to stop everything that you have been doing, to stop your beliefs and experiences completely, and look at them anew, not keep on repeating like machines whether you believe or do not believe. You would then let in fresh air into your minds. Wouldn’t you? That means you must be in secure, must you not? If you can do so, you would be open to the mysteries of nature and to things that are whispering about us, which you would not otherwise reach; you would reach the God that is waiting to come, the truth that cannot be invited but comes itself. But we are not open to love, and other finer processes that are taking place within us, because we are all too enclosed by our own ambitions, by our own achievements, by our own desires. Surely it is good to retreat from all that, is it not?
Talk in Madras, 5 January 1952