QUESTION 37 'ON THE CONFUSION OF THE MIND'
Question: I have listened to all your talks and I have read all your books. Most earnestly I ask you, what can be the purpose of my life if, as you say, all thought has to cease, all knowledge to be suppressed, all memory lost? How do you relate that state of being, whatever it may be according to you, to the world in which we live? What relation has such a being to our sad and painful existence?
Krishnamurti: We want to know what this state is which can only be when all knowledge, when the recognizer, is not; we want to know what relationship this state has to our world of daily activity, daily pursuits. We know what our life is now - sad, painful, constantly fearful, nothing permanent; we know that very well. We want to know what relationship this other state has to that - and if we put aside knowledge, become free from our memories and so on, what is the purpose of existence.
What is the purpose of existence as we know it now? - not theoretically but actually? What is the purpose of our everyday existence? just to survive, isn't it? - with all its misery, with all its sorrow and confusion, wars, destruction and so on. We can invent theories, we can say: "This should not be, but something else should be." But those are all theories, they are not facts. What we know is confusion, pain, suffering, endless antagonisms. We know also, if we are at all aware, how these come about. The purpose of life, from moment to moment, every day, is to destroy each other, to exploit each other, either as individuals or as collective human beings. In our loneliness, in our misery, we try to use others, we try to escape from ourselves - through amusements, through gods, through knowledge, through every form of belief, through identification. That is our purpose, conscious or unconscious, as we now live. Is there a deeper, wider purpose beyond, a purpose that is not of confusion, of acquisition? Has that effortless state any relation to our daily life?
Certainly that has no relation at all to our life. How can it have? If my mind is confused, agonized, lonely, how can that be related to something which is not of itself? How can truth be related to falsehood, to illusion? We do not want to admit that, because our hope, our confusion, makes us believe in something greater, nobler, which we say is related to us. In our despair we seek truth, hoping that in the discovery of it our despair will disappear.
So we can see that a confused mind, a mind ridden with sorrow, a mind that is aware of its own emptiness, loneliness, can never find that which is beyond itself. That which is beyond the mind can only come into being when the causes of confusion, misery, are dispelled or understood. All that I have been saying, talking about, is how to understand ourselves, for without self-knowledge the other is not, the other is only an illusion. If we can understand the total process of ourselves, from moment to moment, then we shall see that in clearing up our own confusion, the other comes into being. Then experiencing that will have a relation to this. But this will never have a relation to that. Being this side of the curtain, being in darkness, how can one have experience of light, of freedom? But when once there is the experience of truth, then you can relate it to this world in which we live.
If we have never known what love is, but only constant wrangles, misery, conflicts, how can we experience that love which is not of all this? But when once we have experienced that, then we do not have to bother to find out the relationship. Then love, intelligence, functions. But to experience that state, all knowledge, accumulated memories, self-identified activities, must cease, so that the mind is incapable of any projected sensations. Then, experiencing that, there is action in this world.
Surely that is the purpose of existence - to go beyond the self-centred activity of the mind. Having experienced that state, which is not measurable by the mind, then the very experiencing of that brings about an inward revolution. Then, if there is love, there is no social problem. There is no problem of any kind when there is love. 'Because we do not know how to love we have social problems and systems of philosophy on how to deal with our problems. I say these problems can never be solved by any system, either of the left or of the right or of the middle. They can be solved - our confusion, our misery, our self-destruction - only when we can experience that state which is not self-projected.