Krishnamurti & the Art of Awakening
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The Central Core of Thinking

Beginnings of Learning | School Dialogue, Brockwood Park, England. June 1971

Krishnamurti: We are all terribly solemn this morning, aren't we? What do you think about all day long and why do you think about these things? Are you aware of what you are thinking or does one thought precede another endlessly and one is not aware of it? If you are aware of your thoughts from what source do they arise?

Questioner: From past experiences.

Krishnamurti: Are you quoting what I said? Be quite clear that you don't say anything that you don't know yourself, don't say it if you haven't thought it out and worked it out, otherwise you get verbal and theoretical, so be careful. First of all what do you think about all day long? Is it a secret to keep to yourself, or can you share it with another?

Questioner (1): I think about lots of different things.

Questioner (2): About people at Brockwood.

Krishnamurti: What is the central core of your thinking? You know there is peripheral thinking which is not really important, but at the centre, what is the momentum, the movement of that thinking? What is that 'me' that is so concerned with itself? I think about myself, that is the core, the heart of my thinking. And on the periphery I think about various things, the people here, the trees, the bird flying - these things don't really very much matter unless there is a crisis on the periphery and it affects the 'me' and the 'me' reacts. Now what is that centre from which you think - which is the 'me'? And why is there this continual occupation about oneself? I am not saying it is right or wrong, or ''How terrible'', ''How childish'' or ''How good'' - but we see that we are occupied with ourselves. Why?

Questioner: Because we think it is important.

Krishnamurti: Why do you give it importance?

Questioner: When you are a child you have to.

Krishnamurti: Why do you think about yourself so much? See what is involved in this. Thinking about oneself isn't just a very small affair, you think about yourself in relation to another with like and dislike; and you think about yourself, identifying yourself with another - right? I think about the person I have just left, or the person I think I like, or the person with whom I have quarrelled, or the person whom I love. I have identified myself with all those people, haven't I?

Questioner: What do you mean by 'identify'?

Krishnamurti: I love you, I have identified myself with you. Or, I have hurt her and you identify yourself with her and get angry with me. See what has happened: I have said something to her which is harmful and unpleasant; you are her friend, you identify yourself with her and get angry with me. So that is part of the self-centred activity, isn't it? Are you sure?

Questioner: But isn't it the other person who is identifying with you?

Krishnamurti: Is it or is it not? Let's enquire. I like you, I am very fond of you - what does that mean? I like your looks, you are a good companion and so on. It means what?

Questioner: It means you are a better companion than other people and so I like being with you.

Krishnamurti: Go a little deeper. What does it mean?

Questioner: You keep that person to yourself and exclude others.

Krishnamurti: That is part of it, but go on further.

Questioner: It is pleasing to be with that person.

Krishnamurti: It is pleasing to be with that person and it is not pleasing with another person. So my relationship with you is based on my pleasure. If I don't like you I say, ''I'll be off!'' My pleasure is my concern, as is my hurt, my anger. So self-concern isn't just thinking about myself and identifying with this or that possession, person, or book. Is that what you do all day? There is the peripheral occupation, and also I am comparing myself with you; that is going on all the time, but from a centre.

Questioner: You read about the refugees in India and you haven't a personal relationship with them but you do identify with them.

Krishnamurti: Why do I identify myself with those people who have been killed and chased out of East Pakistan? I watched them the other day on television; this is happening everywhere, not only in Pakistan, it is appalling. Now you say you identify yourself with all those refugees - what do you feel?

Questioner; Sympathy.

Krishnamurti: Go on, explore it, unravel it.

Questioner (1): Anger against the people who caused this.

Questioner (2): Frustration because you can't do anything about it.

Krishnamurti: You get angry with the people who do these things, who kill the young men and chase out old women and children. Is that what you do? You identify with this and reject that. What is the structure, the analysis of this identification?

Questioner: It is dualistic.

Krishnamurti: Move on...

Questioner: You don't feel secure.

Krishnamurti: Through identification you feel that you could do something?

Questioner: Even by taking one side you feel that you have a certain chance to do something.