Conversation between Jiddu Krishnamurti
& Professor Jacob Needleman
...continued from part one
Excerpt from The Awakening of Intelligence
Krishnamurti: How shall we find out if the space round me, round the center, exists? And how can I find out the other? I can speculate about the other, I can invent any space I like - but that is too abstract, too silly!
Krishnamurti: So is it possible to be free of the center, so that the center doesn't create space round itself and build a wall round itself, the isolation, the prison - and call that space? Can that center cease to be? Otherwise I can't go beyond it - I don't mean I - the mind cannot go beyond that limitation unless that center goes.
Needleman: Yes, I see what you mean. It's logical, it's reasonable.
Krishnamurti: That is, what is that center? That center is the "me" and the "non-me", that center is the observer, the thinker, the experiencer, and in that center is also the observed. The center says, "That is the barbed-wire I have created round myself."
Needleman: So that center is limited there too.
Krishnamurti: Yes. Therefore it separates itself from the barbed-wire fence. So that becomes the observed. The center is the observer. So there is space between the observer and the observed - right sir?
Needleman: Yes, I see that.
Krishnamurti: And that space it tries to bridge over. That is what we are doing.
Needleman: It tries to bridge it over, but it doesn't.
Krishnamurti: It says, "That must be changed, that must not be, this is narrow, this is wide, I must be better than that." All that is the movement in the space between the observer and the observed.
Needleman: I follow that, yes.
Krishnamurti: And hence conflict between the observer and the observed. Because the observed is the barbed-wire which must be jumped over, and the battle begins. Now can the observer - who is the center, who is the thinker, who is the knower, who is experience, who is knowledge - can that center be still?
Needleman: Why should it wish to?
Krishnamurti: If it is not still, my space is always limited.
Needleman: But the center, the observer, doesn't know that it is limited in this way.
Krishnamurti: But you can see it, sir. Look, the center is the observer - let's call him the observer for the moment - the thinker, the experiencer, the knower, the struggler, the searcher, the one who says, "I know, and you don't know." That is the center. Right? Where there is a center it must have a space round itself.
Needleman: Yes, I follow.
Krishnamurti: And when it observes, it observes through the space. When I observe those mountains there is space between me and the mountains. And when I observe myself there is space between me and the thing I observed in myself. When I observe my wife, I observe her with the center of my image about her, and she observes me with the image which she has about me. So there is always this division and space.
Needleman: Changing the approach to the subject entirely, there is something called the sacred: sacred teachings, sacred ideas, sacred art, whatever, which for a moment seems to show me that this center and this space you speak about is an illusion.
Krishnamurti: Wait. One has learnt this from somebody else! Are we going to find out what is the sacred, then? Are we looking because somebody has told me, "That is sacred", or that there is a sacred thing? Or is it my imagination, because I want something holy?
Needleman: Very often it is that but there is...
Krishnamurti: Now which is it? The desire for something holy? The imposition on my mind by others who have said, "This is sacred"? Or my own desire, because everything is unholy and I want something holy, sacred? All this springs from the center.
Needleman: Yes. Nevertheless...
Krishnamurti: Wait. We will find this out, what is sacred. But I don't want to accept tradition, or what somebody has said about the sacred. Sir, I don't know if you have experimented? Once some years ago, for fun, I took a piece of rock from the garden and put it on the mantelpiece and played with it, brought flowers to it every day. At the end of a month it became terribly sacred!
Needleman: Ah, I know what you mean.
Krishnamurti: I don't want that kind of phony sacredness.
Needleman: It's a fetish.
Krishnamurti: Our sacredness is a fetish.
Needleman: Granted. Most of it is.
...Excerpt from The Awakening of Intelligence
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