Krishnamurti & the Art of Awakening
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Understanding Loneliness

Talks by Krishnamurti in Europe | June 25th, 1955. London, England

This can only be answered, not by me, but by each one of us. I can only describe, but the description becomes merely a hindrance if it is not actually experienced. But if it reveals the process of your own thinking, then that very description is an awareness of yourself and of your own state. Then, can I remain in that state? Can I no longer wander away from the fact of loneliness but remain there without any escape, without any avoidance? Seeing, understanding, that dependence is not the problem but loneliness is, can my mind remain without any movement in that state which I have called loneliness? It is extraordinarily difficult because the mind can never be with a fact; it either translates it, interprets it, or does something about the fact; it never is with the fact.

Now, if the mind can remain with the fact without giving any opinion about the fact, without translating, without condemning, without avoiding it, then is the fact different from the mind? Is there a division between the fact and the mind, or is the mind itself the fact? For example, I am lonely. I am aware of that, I know what it means; it is one of the problems of our daily existence, of our existence altogether. And I want to tackle for myself this question of dependence and see if the mind can be really free - not just speculatively or theoretically or philosophically, but actually be free of dependence. Because, if I depend on another for my love, it is not love. And I want to find out what that state is which we call love. In trying to find it out, obviously all sense of dependence, security in relationship, all sense of demand, desire for permanency may go, and I may have to face something entirely different. So in inquiring, in going within myself, I may come upon this thing called loneliness. Now, can I remain with that? I mean by "remain," not interpreting it, not evaluating it, not condemning it, but just observing that state of loneliness without any withdrawal. Then, if my mind can remain with that state, is that state different from my mind? It may be that my mind itself is lonely, empty, and not that there is a state of emptiness which the mind observes.

My mind observes loneliness and avoids it, runs away from it. But if I do not run away from it, is there a division, is there a separation, is there an observer watching loneliness? Or, is there only a state of loneliness, my mind itself being empty, lonely? - not, that there is an observer who knows that there is loneliness.

I think this is important to grasp - swiftly, not verbalizing too much. We say now, "I am envious, and I want to get rid of envy," so there is an observer and the observed; the observer wishes to get rid of that which he observes. But is the observer not the same as the observed? It is the mind itself that has created the envy, and so the mind cannot do anything about envy.

So, my mind observes loneliness; the thinker is aware that he is lonely. But by remaining with it, being fully in contact - which is, not to run away from it, not to translate and all the rest of it - then, is there a difference between the observer and the observed? Or is there only one state, which is, the mind itself is lonely, empty? Not that the mind observes itself as being empty, but the mind itself is empty. Then, can the mind, being aware that it itself is empty, and that whatever its endeavor, any movement away from that emptiness is merely an escape, a dependence - can the mind put away all dependence and be what it is, completely empty, completely lonely? And if it is in that state, is there not freedom from all dependence, from all attachment? Please, this is a thing that must be gone into, not accepted because I am saying it. It has no meaning if you merely accept it. But if you are experiencing the thing as we are going along, then you will see that any movement on the part of the mind - movement being evaluation, condemnation, translation, and so on - is a distraction from the fact of what is, and so creates a conflict between itself and the observed.

This is really - to go further - a question of whether the mind can ever be without effort, without duality, without conflict, and therefore be free. The moment the mind is caught in conflict, it is not free. When there is no effort to be, then there is freedom. So can the mind be without effort - and therefore free?

Question: I am now able to accept problems on my own behalf. But how can I stop myself suffering on my children's behalf when they are affected by the same problems?