KRISHNAMURTI: TIME AND MEMORY
”Without comprehending the present, which is rooted in the past, you will have no understanding. The present misery of man [woman] [humanity] is understood when through the door of the present, he [she] is able to be aware of the causes that have produced it. You cannot brush aside the present in trying to understand the past, but only through awareness of the present does the past begin to unfold itself. …. The present is of the highest importance; the present, however tragic and painful, is the only door to reality…. The present is the only time for understanding, for it extends into yesterday and into tomorrow. The present is the whole of time; in the seed of the present are the past and the future; the past is the present and the future is the present. The present is the eternal, the timeless….. Look only to the present, neither to the past nor to the future, for love is the present, the timeless.”
“The past is the world of our ancestors, the previous generations, with their ignorance, fears, and so on, which limit the present, the ‘I’ of today and gives birth to the ‘I’ of tomorrow, the future. Each one of us is this accumulated past, with which is incorporated the present with its reactions and experiences. Individuals are the result of varied forms of influence and limitation, and the relationship of one individual with another creates the world – the world of values. The world is the social, moral, spiritual structure based on values created by us, isn’t it? The social world, as well as the so-called spiritual world, is created by us individuals through our fears, hopes, cravings, and so on. We see the world of hate taking its harvest at the present. This world of hate has been created by our fathers and their forefathers and by us.”
“The present is the eternal…. As each experience arises live it out as fully and deeply as possible; think it out, feel it out extensively and profoundly; be aware of its pain and pleasure, of your judgment and identifications. Only when experience is complete is there a renewal. We must be capable of living the four seasons in a day; to be keenly aware, to experience, to understand and be free of the gatherings of each day. With the end of each day, the mind-heart must empty itself of the accumulation of its pleasures and pains. We gather consciously and unconsciously; it is comparatively easy to discard what has been consciously acquired, but it is more difficult for thought to free itself from the unconscious accumulations, the past, the uncompleted experiences with their recurring memories. Thought-feeling clings so tenaciously to what it has gathered because it is afraid to be insecure.
“Meditation is renewal, the dying each day to the past; it is an intense passive awareness, the burning away of the desire to continue to become. As long as mind-heart is self protecting there will be continuity without renewal. Only when the mind ceases to create is there creation.”
“If you rely on memory as a guide to conduct, as a means of activity in life, then that memory must impede your action, your conduct, because then that action or conduct is merely the result of calculation, and therefore it has no spontaneity, no richness, no fullness of life. … You cannot forget the past. You cannot blot it out of your mind. …If my experiences and remembrances of the past are becoming hindrances in the present through their reaction, then I cannot comprehend or live fully, intensely, in the present.”
“You react to the past because the present has lost its significance, or because you want to avoid the present; so you go back to the past and live in that emotional thrill, in that reaction of surging memory, because the present has little value. … You cannot lose memory, but by living completely in the present, in the fullness of the moment, you become conscious of all the subconscious entanglements of memory, the dormant hopes and longings which surge forward and prevent you from functioning intelligently in the present. If you are aware of that, if you are aware of that hindrance, aware of it at its depth, not superficially, then the dormant subconscious memory, which is but the lack of understanding and incompleteness of living, disappears, and therefore you meet each movement of environment, each swiftness of thought anew.“
“Can you see without the movement of thought? The movement of thought is memory, because all thought is the response of memory, therefore it is always old….. Is it possible to look at you, or to look at me, without the image you have about me or I have if I thought it was new?.. .. From the moment you are born until the moment you die, you are conditioned. Therefore, if you like it, remain in it. … [And] don’t reduce everything to ‘continuously aware.’ See one thing very clearly, which is: that I can never see anything except through my conditioned eyes. That is it! To realize that is a tremendous shock to me. You understand? It’s a shock to realize that I’m a dead human being. No? …. Do you realize that you are a dead human being when you say that you see with conditioning; therefore, you are looking at life with the past? That’s all. Can one realize that? …. I am talking because we said at the beginning of this discussion that it is a dialogue, a conversation between two people who are serious, who want to go into this question of violence, of conditioning. And we see that we look at life with our conditioning – life being my relationship to my wife, to my husband, to my neighbor, to society. We are looking at everything with closed eyes. That’s all. And how is it possible to open my eyes? Nobody can do it. Religions have tried to tear my eyes apart by believing, by dogma, by rituals, and all the rest of it. And the communists say, ‘You can never be unconditioned, that’s part of life, always live in prison, only decorate the prison more and more.’ But a man [woman] [human] who says, ‘Such a way of living is not freedom’ must find a way out of this; and to find a way out is to become aware of your own conditioning and discover that you look at your own condition through conditioned eyes. Find out whether you can live in that state! Do you know, sirs, I have watched snakes – several of them around me – poisonous cobras, in India, many of them. And you know what happens to you? You’re terribly awake! You’re watching everything! Your nerves, your eyes, your ears are listening to every movement! And that’s the way to live with yourself – without going mad.”