Question: Could we get clear ideas as to what thinking is? By thinking, do you mean reaching a conclusion? Is there any moment when the mind which is not leading to a conclusion, can be said to be thinking? Thought is a state in which one is transformed as clear thinking is possible only when we are not in contradiction.
Krishnamurti: Where there is contradiction, there is no thought. What is the process of thinking?
Audience: (1) Sifting of an evidence to reach a conclusion.
Audience: (2) Not necessarily.
Audience: (3) Thinking implies setting in motion the contents of the mind, preconceived notions etc.
Audience: (4) Process of correlation is thinking.
Krishnamurti: You say that thinking is a movement of various conclusions and memories, this putting in motion being due to a new challenge. Response is the movement of the mind in response to a challenge.
Question: Thinking is response to challenge. This is a vague statement. If somebody misbehaves towards me, I slap him. This is my response; but this is not thinking.
Krishnamurti: The process of discovering and experiencing as in Science- experiments, is it thinking? There is thinking only when there is a desire for a conclusion, for a solution, a remedy, an overcoming, a discipline. If there is experiencing and discovery, is it thinking?
Question: In experiencing, this kind of correlated thinking stops.
Krishnamurti: We investigate to find a solution for a cause, analysing, dissecting, examining, probing, thinking out logically from different sides etc., till we find a solution; this, we call thinking. Does this come into being when we are experiencing? Experience may be termed, recorded and kept in the memory.
Thinking exists when there is investigation, enquiry and reaching a conclusion, - that is a way of finding a solution and answer. I think about something, I recollect. This is a process of association, investigation and finding out. Thinking out is always trying to find an answer. In that process of thinking I rely on my memory, factual as well as psychological. The response of memory in the process of enquiry, I call thinking. I have a problem. How do I think about it? I think about it in terms of memory or conclusion. Thinking starts with a response of memory towards a conclusion, an answer, searching out an issue.
Factual memory is the memory of technique, of facts. Psychological memory is the memory of self-expansive continuity - me, mine, my house, my family - the accumulating factor, gathering, sustaining itself. We discussed this previously. The me, the I, the whole inward existence is memory. Without memory there would be no continuity to 'the me' from day to day.
Thinking is the outcome of a series of conclusions, memories which we have stored up. When I think about a person, the thought is a conclusion or a picture of that person. Therefore, thinking is a series of responses of memory; it is always in the field of the conditioning. Thus, you have the three things: thinking, experiencing and discovery. Thinking we know now.
Group Discussion 16th April, 1948