J. Krishnamurti on Sensations
'' Why do we suffer? There is suffering around you - there is immense suffering. There are so many ways of suffering. Desire in its movement, in its action is a process of fulfillment or denial. There are various forms of fulfillment and various forms of denial, likewise each bringing about different kinds of sorrow. Without understanding sorrow there is no wisdom....and is there an end to sorrow?
So what is the origin of desire? We live by sensation Right? We live by sensation. If I observe the whole process of desire in myself I see there is always an object towards which my mind is directed for further sensation. There is perception, contact, sensation and desire and the mind becomes the mechanical instrument of all this process. So sensation becomes monstrously important and its problems overwhelming and if we do not penetrate deeply and comprehend its processes our life will be shallow and utterly vain and miserable ...and the habit of seeking further sensation....and is there an end to sorrow?
What is sensation? If one may go into it now. The actual meaning of that word is ''the activity of the senses'' Right? - touching, tasting, seeing, smelling, hearing, mind is part of the senses. Sensation like....pain....tears, laughter, having humor, it's all part of sensation. Intellectual, theoretical, philosophical sensation. Art or music....sensation. Good taste, bad taste and so on. Fear is a sensation. The sensation of drugs, alcohol....the sensation of sexuality. The sensation of achieving something. We live by sensation. Be clear on that.
Sensations are going on - inside ..
If there was no sensation both biologically and psychologically we would be dead human beings. Right? we live by sensation. That crow calling that is acting on the ear drum-nerves-and translating the noise into the cry of a crow. That is a sensation. You see a nice sari and shirt. You see it, touch it and there is the sensation of touching it, you say ''By Jove, what a lovely material that is''. There is perception, contact, sensation and desire. My mind is always experiencing in term of sensation. It is the instrument of sensation. Being bored with a particular sensation, I seek a new sensation, which may be what I call the realization of God but it is still a sensation. As you know and as I know every sensation comes to an end and so we proceed from one sensation to another and every sensation strengthens the habit of seeking further sensation....sensations are going on-inside....
You want more and more and more and more and ''the more'' means that the past sensation has not been sufficient .... sensations - I like it or dislike it.....Our sensations are limited and you take drugs and all the rest of it to have higher sensation....the sensation of sexuality....It is not to the experience that we cling but to the sensation of that experience which we had at the moment of experiencing.
Keep it very simple, don't intellectualize it for the moment-we'll do it later. Sir, sensation is ever a reaction and it wanders from one reaction to another. The wanderer is the mind, the mind is sensation. The mind is the storehouse of sensation, pleasant and unpleasant and all experience is reaction. The mind is memory which alter all in reaction. Reaction or sensation can never be satisfied. Sensation, reaction must always breed conflict, and the very conflict is further sensation.
Thought gives pleasure, sensation is turned into pleasure! When there is no identification the senses are senses. Why does thought identify with sensation? Why does thought identify with senses-is that it? Now wait a minute Sir. Why, because of pleasure, ....sensations-I like it or dislike it...If it is pleasurable when the senses begin to enjoy-say ''how nice'' - then thought begins to identify itself with it. Why because of pleasure....the mind is the storehouse of sensation, pleasant and unpleasant and all experience is reaction..... The mind is memory which alter all in reaction. So unless one understands this activity of sensation fear and pleasure will go on. Sensations are ever seeking gratification. If it is pleasurable I want more of it, if it is painful I resist it. So the resistance to pain or the pursuit of pleasure-both give continuity to desire.
What is wrong in watching the beautiful motion of a bird on the wing? What is wrong in looking at a new car....? .....in seeing a nice....face? But desire does not stop here. Your perception is not just perception, but with it comes sensation. With the arising of sensation....comes the urge to possess. You say ''This is beautiful, I must have it'' and so begins the turmoil of desire.
So I am saying when there is time in between sensation and thought....an interval, you understand the nature of desire, the way desire begins-then you know what to do with it. This identification through recognition sets going a process of thinking like a vibration or a wave which has its own continuity. Thought continues as a vibration which may manifest itself afterwards. The vibration of the word takes time to reach your ear and the nervous response as well as the brain response have a split second.
Face the fact, don't move away from the fact. Thought identifies itself with that sensation and through identification the 'I' is built up, the ego and the ego then says ''I must'' or ''I will not''. Thought has given shape to sensation. Desire is born when thought gives shape to sensation, gives an image to sensation. If there is no identification is there a self ? You understand, Sir ?. So you examine this very carefully not to identify yourself with anything.....with sensation...with an experience. Thought tries to take over, to make it permanent. Permanent ?. That's right, which means memory, a remembrance. It is now conditioned. Why it cannot give it up. That's our whole problem. Thought wants to hold on to memories which have created the image. Why has it made the image so valuable ? The whole process of identification - my house, my name, my possessions, what I will be, the success, the power, the position, the prestige - the identification process is the essence of the self.
So if ideas are the result of sensation which they are, if the mind is filled with ideas......then there is a continuance of the mind as a bundle of ideas. As long as we cling to ideas we are in a state in which there can be no experiencing at all. Then we are merely living in the field of time-in the past which gives further sensation or in the future which is another form of sensation.
Thought creates the thinker. Thought is always seeking a permanent state, seeing its own state of transition or flux or impermanence, thought creates an entity which it calls the thinker, the atman, Paramatman, the soul-a higher and higher security. That is, thought creates an entity which it calls the observer, the experiencer, the permanent thinker, as distinct from the impermanent thought and the wide distance between two creates the conflict in time.
Your reactions are there and as long as you have these reactions you are going to pay heavily, you are going to suffer. So that is all. So now how am I an ordinary human being, knowing all my reactions, ugly, pleasant, hateful, all the reactions one has, to bring about an observation in which there is no motive to restrain or to expand reaction? How am I to observe myself without a cause ?.
Sensation is ever a reaction and it wanders from one reaction to another. The mind is memory which alters all in reaction.... As you know and as I know every sensation comes to an end and so we proceed from one sensation to another and every sensation strengthens the habit of seeking further sensation....cause and effect are inseparable ; in the cause is the effect. To be aware of the cause-effect of a problem needs certain swift pliability of mind-heart for the cause-effect is constantly being modified, undergoing continual change....ever changing cause-effect..... Karma is this bondage to cause-effect. Karma is not an ever enduring chain..... there's no permanent continuance of anything.... conditioning itself is impermanent....
So what is the correct
action in which there is no will, no choice, no desire - Now is it possible
to see, to observe, to be aware of the beautiful and the ugly things
of life and not say
''I must have'' or ''I must not have''?. Have you ever just observed anything ? Is there an action in which there is no motive no cause-the self does not enter into it at all? Of course there is. There is, when the self is not, which means no identifying process takes place.....Effortless observation....choiceless observation.....There is the perceiving of a beautiful lake with all the colour and the glory and the beauty of it, that's enough. Not the cultivating of memory, which is developed through the identification process. Right ?
That means I must put everything in its right place. Right ? But there are all the bodily demands....sex...food put it in the right place. Who will tell me to put it in the right place ?. You understand, Sir ? So I want to find out what is the right place. How shall I find out ? I have got the key to it. Right ? Which is non identification with sensations, that is the key of it. Right, Sir ? So non identification with sensation. Identification with sensation makes the self. So is it possible not to identify with Sensation ? .Yes, sensation.
You want more and more and more and more, and ''the more'' means that the past sensation has not been sufficient.....A mind which is seeking the 'more' is never conscious of 'what is' because it is always living in the 'more'-in what it would like to be, never in 'what is'. ....meditation is actually seeing 'what is'...when no identification....not identified by thought.....There are only sensation.
So we are asking, is there a holistic awareness of all the senses, therefore, there is never asking for the 'more'. I wonder if you follow all this ?. Are we together in this even partially?. and where there is this total-fully aware-of all the senses, awareness of it-not you are aware of it....the awareness of the senses in themselves-then there is no center-in which there is awareness of the wholeness. If you consider it, you will see that to suppress the senses...is contradictory, conflicting, sorrowful....To understand the truth you must have complete sensitivity. Do you understand Sirs? Reality demands your whole being ; you must come to it with your body, mind, and heart as a total human being.........Insight is complete total attention....
When this is a fact not an idea, then dualism and division between observer and observed comes to an end. The observer is the observed-they are not separate states. The observer and the observed are a joint phenomenon and when you experience that directly, then you will find that the thing which you have dreaded as emptiness which makes you seek escape into various forms of sensation including religion-ceases and you are able to face it and be it.
Now is there a living with the sensation fully awakened-they are awakened, they are alive, but the non identifying with sensation deprives, wipes away the self. We said that. Now what is death ? Is it possible to live a daily life with death, which is the ending of the self ?
I wonder if you know what it means to be aware of something? Most of us are not aware because we have become so accustomed to condemning, judging, evaluating, identifying, choosing. Choice obviously prevents awareness because choice is always made as a result of conflict. To be aware....just to see it, to be aware of it all without any sense of judgement.......
Just be aware, that is all what you have to do, without condemning, without forcing, without trying to change what you are aware of......if you are aware choicelessly, the whole field of consciousness beings to unfold.....So you begin with the outer and more inwardly. Then you will find, when you move inwardly that the inward and the outward are not two different things, that the outward awareness is not different from the inward awareness, and that they are both the same.
Everything about us, within as well as without-our relationships, our thoughts, our feelings-is impermanent, in a constant state of flux. But is there anything which is permanent ? Is there ? Our constant desire is to make sensation permanent, is it not ? Sensation can be found again and again, for it is ever being lost......Being bored with a particular sensation, I seek new sensation....every sensation comes to an end and so we proceed from one sensation to another and every sensation strengthens the habit of seeking further sensation. My mind is always experiencing in terms of sensation. There is perception, contact, sensation and desire and the mind becomes the mechanical instrument of all this process. With the arising of sensation comes the urge to possess....and so begins the turmoil of desire....and the habit of seeking further sensation....and is there an end to sorrow ? Is it possible to live a daily life with death, which is the ending of the self ?.... There is only one fact impermanence....every sensation comes to an end....Can the mind, the brain remain absolutely with that feeling of suffering and nothing else....there is no movement away from that moment, that thing called suffering.....Is there an action in which there is no motive; no cause-the self does not enter into it at all ?. Thought identifies itself with that sensation and through identification the 'I' is built up....identification with sensation makes the self. If there is no identification; is there a self ?
So is it possible not to identify with sensation ?
So we are asking is there a holistic awareness of all the senses....? Just be aware....effortless observation....choiceless observation....and to learn, to find out whether it is possible to allow sensation to flower and not let thought interfere with it-to keep them apart. Will you do it ?
Thy life is a death;
death is a rebirth.
And when you understand the nature of desire there is no conflict about it. Once you understand all of what is being said, there is complete break from the past. Consider a mill pond which is absolutely quiet and you drop a stone into it. There are waves...it is an outside action....but when the waves are over it is completely quiet again.
Now I realize the state of my own mind. I see that-it is instrument of sensation and desire and that it is mechanically caught up in routine. Such a mind is incapable of ever receiving or feeling the new for the new must obviously be something beyond sensation-which is always the old. So this mechanical process with it's sensations has to come to an end, has it not? Karma is not an ever-enduring chain ; it is a chain that can be broken at any time. What was done yesterday can be undone today ; there's no permanent continuance of anything. Continuance can and must be dissipated through the understanding of its process. So when you SEE this process, when you are really aware of it without opposition, without a sense of temptation, without resistance, without justifying or judging it, then you will discover that the mind is capable of receiving the new and that the new is never a sensation therefore it can never be recognized, re-experienced. It is a state of being in which creativeness comes without invitation, without memory and that is reality. That which is unnamable cannot be recognized. It is not a sensation.
Then you will find there comes love - that is not sensation, intelligence - that is not of time or of thought process and it is only that, that can resolve this immense and complex problem of sorrow....and to have the capacity of freedom that can come upon that thing that is sacred and from there move to something that may be timeless.
.....It's compassion and there is no illusion in it. You want to know the truth in one minute, Sir ? It's compassion and there is no illusion in it...........''
- J. KRISHNAMURTI