Transformation of Man, Part 1: Are We Aware That We Are Fragmented?
May 17, 1976


This trialogue between Krishnamurti, Bohm, and Shainberg methodically uncovers the nature of man’s psyche, his fragmentation, the limitations of a thought-based society, and finds out if there is a wholeness, a sacredness in life which is untouched by thought.

References:
Krishnamurti

What shall we talk about? What do you think is the most important thing that we three can talk about?

Shainberg

Well, the one thing, I’ve had an idea lately, and there is one thing that’s been on my mind, and I have been getting it from, I mean when we talked before, and that is, there is the feeling you have been conveying that life comes first and not thought or work—something like that, in other words, that I find in myself, and I find I think most people are caught up in the fact that—you know you said once we live second-hand lives. If we could talk about that, I think—the second-handness of our life.

Krishnamurti

What do you say?

Bohm

Well, in relation to that I perhaps would like to talk about the question of wholeness.

Krishnamurti

Yes, sir. Shall we talk about that first…

Bohm

Which first?

Krishnamurti

…and then include yours.

Shainberg

Sure. I mean, I think this is part of it.

Krishnamurti

Part of that, yes.

Shainberg

I see that the second-handedness is not wholeness.

Krishnamurti

Wholeness, quite. I wonder how we can approach this question, knowing that most people are fragmented, broken up and not whole. How do we tackle or approach this question?

Shainberg

Through direct awareness of the fragmentation.

Krishnamurti

No, I would like to—I am just asking it because—are we discussing it theoretically?

Shainberg

No.

Krishnamurti

Verbally, or taking ourselves—you, we three—taking ourselves as we are and examining what we mean by fragmented. And then work from there, what is the whole, not theoretically or verbally. Then I think that has vitality, that has some meaning.

Shainberg

Right, right. Well, if we see the fragmentation, the wholeness is there.

Krishnamurti

Ah, no, no, don’t assume anything.

Shainberg

Right.

Bohm

That’s too fast.

Krishnamurti

Then we are off to theory.

Shainberg

Okay. Right, right.

Krishnamurti

You know, we have been talking with a lot of students here, this question. Dr Bohm was there too. And whether we can ever be aware of ourselves at all. Or we are only aware of patches, not the totality of fragmentations. I do not know if I am conveying this.

Shainberg

Go ahead.

Krishnamurti

Can one be aware, conscious, know, the various fragments, examining one by one by one by one, and who is the examiner, is he not also a fragment who has assumed an authority? So when we talk about being aware of fragments—socially, morally, ethically, religiously, business, art, you know, the whole activity is fragmented. Can one, is one aware of the movement of these fragments or do you take one fragment and examine it or say Yes, I am aware of that, and not the many. You follow what I am saying?

Shainberg

I am following you. I think you are mostly aware of—when I think of what you are saying, I seem to be aware of a kind of many fragments.

Krishnamurti

Are you?

Shainberg

One at a time, you know, spread out like that, like a machine-gun.

Krishnamurti

Yes. So you are really aware one by one.

Shainberg

Right. And caught up by the movement of the fragments.

Krishnamurti

One by one. Is that so? Are you sure that it is so?

Shainberg

Yes, I think, I mean it seems to be that… Well, then sometimes you can take a step back, or you seem to take a step back or I seem to take a step back, and I am aware of these many.

Krishnamurti

No, when Dr Bohm asked, can’t we talk over together, this question of wholeness which implies holiness, health, sanity and all that, I wonder from what source he is asking that question.

Shainberg

Yes. You mean is he is coming from a fragmented position or he is coming from a whole position.

Krishnamurti

No, no. If he is asking from the whole position, there is no question.

Shainberg

Right.

Krishnamurti

So, I would like to, if one may ask, are we aware of the fragments as a whole, a collection of fragments, or are we aware one fragment at each time? What do you say, sir?

Bohm

Generally, the thing presents itself first as primarily one fragment…

Krishnamurti

One fragment at a time.

Bohm

…with a background of all the other fragments perhaps dimly present in it. I mean, in the beginning, that one fragment seems to take emphasis or pre-eminence in awareness.

Shainberg

Doesn’t that one fragment fragment out quickly into many little fragments? I have an idea and then that idea is in contrast to another idea so I am immediately caught up into two fragments there, and then I have another idea which is the repetition of that first idea so I am caught up in a movement of fragments rather than—I mean, my attitude is fragmented, my relationship is fragmented, my very substance of movement is a feeling of fragmentation. I don’t have any center when I am fragmented. I am not…

Krishnamurti

I am not sure about that.

Shainberg

That is the question.

Bohm

No, no.

Krishnamurti

I am not at all sure that there is no center when you are fragmented.

Bohm

I think definitely there is a center.

Krishnamurti

There is.

Bohm

Because I mean that is the major fragment you are aware of.

Krishnamurti

That’s right.

Shainberg

Then let us go into that more.

Bohm

Well, I just think that there is a center which you may sense anywhere, say here, and that seems to be the center of everything, everything that is connected to everything, right?

Shainberg

I see what you are saying, but I feel that when the fragmentation is going on it is like the center is looking for itself, it feels like it’s not a center.

Krishnamurti

Are you aware of the fragmentation? Not, fragmentation is going on.

Shainberg

No, you’re not. I am not.

Krishnamurti

Then what are we aware of?

Shainberg

I think—that is a terrific question—because I think when there is fragmentation what we are aware of is like being sucked into more fragments. In other words there is a kind of movement of more fragmentation, more fragmentation, which is what we are aware of. It is what you have talked of in terms of pleasure. It is like pleasure is pulling us forward into more fragments—this would give me pleasure, that would give me pleasure, that would give me pleasure. And it is that feeling of pieces.

Krishnamurti

Before we go into the question of pleasure…

Shainberg

Yes.

Krishnamurti

…are we aware actually, from a center, which says, ‘I am fragmented’? That is the question, isn’t it?

Bohm

Yes.

Shainberg

Right. That is the question.

Bohm

We are both aware of a center and from a center, you see…

Krishnamurti

That’s it.

Bohm

…and this center seems to be, as you say, the fragment that is dominating, or attempting to dominate.

Krishnamurti

That center is the dominating factor.

Bohm

Yes. In other words…

Krishnamurti

Which is in itself a fragment.

Bohm

Yes, I mean this center is itself… Well, it seems to be the center of your being, you know, as it were the center of the ego or the self, which one might think is the whole.

Krishnamurti

Quite, quite.

Bohm

Because it is in contact with everything, you see. In other words…

Krishnamurti

Would you say having a center is the very cause of fragmentation?

Bohm

Yes, I would say that, although at first sight it seems quite different.

Shainberg

At first sight it seems—and I think that is important. The difference between—at first sight it doesn’t seem that way.

Bohm

At first sight it seems that the center is what is organising everything into a whole.

Shainberg

Right.

Krishnamurti

Yes.

Bohm

In other words one feels one wants a center to bring everything to a whole, to stop the fragmentation.

Krishnamurti

Yes, try to bring about integration, try to make wholeness and all that.

Shainberg

Right. If you feel the fragmentation, then you center here and say, ‘I can see all the fragmentations’—but that is still center.

Krishnamurti

No, but I am asking whether when there is a center doesn’t it make for fragments?

Shainberg

That I see. I see what you are saying. But I am trying to take it from what is the experience when there is fragmentation. There doesn’t seem to be a center.

Krishnamurti

Contradiction.

Shainberg

Right. But it doesn’t feel like a center.

Krishnamurti

No. Contradiction. Sir, when there are fragments, I am aware of the fragments because of contradiction.

Shainberg

Right.

Krishnamurti

Because opposing factors.

Shainberg

Yes.

Bohm

You mean by contradiction also conflict…

Krishnamurti

Conflict. Out of contradiction there is conflict. Then I am aware that there are fragments. I am working in an area of fragments.

Shainberg

Right. But then, yes, and then I am not aware of the fact that I have in fact got a center. That is the self deception, right there.

Krishnamurti

No, I think—don’t you think, if I may suggest, that where there is conflict then only you are aware of a conflict, of contradiction. That is, one is aware only when there is conflict. Right? And then the next awareness, the next movement is… conflict arises out of fragmentation—opposing elements, opposing desires, opposing wishes, opposing thoughts.

Bohm

But are you saying that these oppose first before one is aware, and then suddenly you are aware through the unpleasantness or the pain of the opposition that the conflict is unpleasant?

Krishnamurti

Yes, conflict is unpleasant and therefore one is aware that…

Bohm

…that something is wrong.

Krishnamurti

Wrong. Yes.

Bohm

Something is wrong, not just simply wrong but wrong with the whole thing.

Krishnamurti

Whole thing, of course. Sir, after all self consciousness, when you are aware of yourself only when there is pain, or intense pleasure, otherwise you are not aware of yourself. So fragmentation with its conflict brings this sense of I am aware, I am in conflict—otherwise there is no awareness. I wonder if I am…

Shainberg

Yes. Go ahead. You are saying that the very fragmentation itself breeds the center.

Krishnamurti

Breeds the center.

Shainberg

And the center has bred the fragmentation, so it is like a…

Krishnamurti

Yes, back and forth.

Shainberg

Right.

Bohm

Well, would you say that thought in itself before there is a center breeds conflict? Or is there thought before a center?

Krishnamurti

Is there thought—oh, thought before the center.

Bohm

Yes. I mean one view is to say that the center and thought are always co-existent and one breeds the other.

Krishnamurti

One breeds the other, quite.

Bohm

Or the other view is to say that there might be thought first and that produces conflict and then that produces a center.

Krishnamurti

Let’s go into that a little bit.

Bohm

Yes.

Shainberg

[Laughs] That’s a good one.

Krishnamurti

Does thought exist before conflict?

Bohm

Before a center.

Krishnamurti

Before the center. One is aware of the center only when there is conflict.

Bohm

Yes, because that comes in apparently to try to bring about wholeness again, you see, to take charge of everything.

Krishnamurti

The center tries to take charge, or try to create wholeness.

Bohm

Yes, to bring all the factors together.

Krishnamurti

But center itself is a fragment.

Bohm

Yes, but it doesn’t know that.

Krishnamurti

Of course, it doesn’t know but it thinks it can bring all the fragments together, make it a whole. So Dr. Bohm is asking the question, which is: did thought exist before the center, or the center existed before the thought?

Bohm

Or the two together?

Krishnamurti

Or the two together.

Shainberg

Right, right. Or he is also asking: does thought create the center.

Krishnamurti

Thought creates the center…

Shainberg

That would be the action, the very creation, a sort of an after-effect of the thought. In other words, is the organism—is the production of thought the very cause of a center? That I think carries it because then…

Krishnamurti

Yes, let’s be clear on this point too. Are we asking, did thought create the center?

Bohm

Yes, and was there therefore a kind of thought before a center?

Krishnamurti

Yes. Thought before the center. That’s it.

Bohm

Which came into contradiction.

Krishnamurti

Yes, thought created the center, or the center existed before the thought…

Bohm

Or else the center was—that is a view which is common, I mean people think the center is me who was first.

Krishnamurti

“Me” is the first.

Bohm

And then I began to think, right?

Krishnamurti

Yes. No, I think thought exists before the center.

Shainberg

Yes, then we have to ask the question—I don’t know if we want to get into it at this minute—but then we have to ask the question of why is there thought, what is thought?

Krishnamurti

Oh, that is a different matter. Do we go into that?

Bohm

That might be a long story.

Shainberg

Yes that’s a long story. I don’t think that’s for now. But we have to get at that.

Krishnamurti

No…

Shainberg

Let’s stay with what we started with.

Krishnamurti

Yes, we started out asking: can we talk about the wholeness of life? How can one be aware of that wholeness if one is fragmented? That is the next question. You can’t be aware of the whole if I am only looking through a small hole.

Shainberg

Right. But on the other hand in actuality you are the whole.

Krishnamurti

Ah! That is a theory.

Shainberg

Is it? That’s where…

Bohm

A supposition, yes.

Krishnamurti

Of course, when you are fragmented how can you assume that you are the whole?

Shainberg

Well, that is a wonderful… I mean that is an issue because how am I to know I am fragmented?

Krishnamurti

That is what we are asking.

Shainberg

Yes.

Krishnamurti

When are you aware that you are fragmented? Only when there is conflict.

Shainberg

Right, that’s right.

Krishnamurti

When there are two opposing desires, opposing elements of movements, then there is conflict, then you have pain or whatever it is, and then you become conscious.

Shainberg

Right, but at those moments it often times happens that you don’t want to let go of the conflict. It is like you feel your fragmentation…

Krishnamurti

No, that is a different matter. That is a different matter.

Shainberg

Right.

Krishnamurti

What we are asking is: can the fragment dissolve itself, and then only it is possible to see the whole. You cannot be fragmented and then wish for the whole.

Shainberg

Right.

Krishnamurti

Then it is merely…

Shainberg

All you really know is your fragmentation.

Krishnamurti

That is all we know.

Bohm

That is right.

Krishnamurti

Therefore, let’s stick to that and not beat round the bush and say, “Well, let’s talk about the whole,” and all the rest of it.

Bohm

Yes. And the supposition that there is a whole may be apparently reasonable but as long as you are fragmented you could never see it. It would be just an assumption.

Shainberg

Right, right.

Bohm

You may think you have experienced it once, but that is also an assumption, because you don’t… that is gone already.

Krishnamurti

Absolutely. Quite right.

Shainberg

You know, I wonder if there is not a tremendous pain or something that goes on when I am aware of my fragmentation. That is the loneliness somehow…

Krishnamurti

Look sir, can you be aware of your fragments? That you are an American, that I am a Hindu, you are a Jew, Communist—you just live in that state. You don’t say, ‘Well, I know I am a Hindu’. It is only when you are challenged, it is only when, say, ‘What are you?’, then you say, ‘Yes, I am an Indian’, or a Hindu, or an Arab.

Bohm

When the country is challenged then you have got to war.

Krishnamurti

Of course.

Shainberg

Right. So you are saying that I am living totally reactively.

Krishnamurti

No, you are totally living in a kind of—what?—miasma, confusion.

Shainberg

From one piece to the next, from one reaction to the next reaction.

Krishnamurti

Reward and punishment in that movement. So can we be aware, actually now—now—of the various fragments? That I am a Hindu, that I am a Jew, that I am an Arab, that I am a Communist, that I am a Catholic, that I am a businessman, I am married, I have responsibilities, I am an artist, I am a scientist—you follow?—this various sociological fragmentation.

Shainberg

Right.

Krishnamurti

As well as psychological fragmentation.

Shainberg

Right, right. That is exactly what I started with. Right. This feeling that I am a fragment, this feeling that… that is where I get absorbed, is being a fragment…

Krishnamurti

Which you call the individual.

Shainberg

That I call important, not just the individual.

Krishnamurti

You call that important.

Shainberg

Right. That I have to work.

Krishnamurti

Quite.

Shainberg

That it’s significant.

Krishnamurti

So can we now in talking over together, be aware that I am that? I am a fragment and therefore creating more fragments, more conflict, more misery, more confusion, more sorrow, because when there is conflict it affects everything.

Shainberg

Right.

Krishnamurti

Can you be aware of it as we are discussing?

Shainberg

I can be aware as we are discussing it a little.

Krishnamurti

Aha, not a little.

Shainberg

That’s the trouble. Why can’t I be aware of it?

Krishnamurti

No, sir. You are only aware of it when there is conflict. It is not a conflict in you now.

Shainberg

Yes.

Bohm

But is it possible to be aware of it without conflict?

Krishnamurti

That is the next thing, yes. That requires quite a different…

Bohm

How will we consider this different approach?

Krishnamurti

Quite a different approach.

Bohm

Well, I was thinking of looking at one point that the importance of these fragments is that when I identify myself and say, ‘I am this’, ‘I am that’, I mean the whole of me. In other words the whole of me is rich or poor, American, or whatever, and therefore it is all-important because it is the whole. I think it seems that the trouble is that the fragment claims that it is the whole, and makes itself very important.

Shainberg

Right, takes up the whole life. This is life.

Bohm

Then comes a contradiction and then comes another fragment saying it is the whole.

Krishnamurti

Look what is happening in Northern Ireland, the Arab world, the Middle Eastern world, the Muslim and the Hindu—you know this whole world is broken up that way, outside and inside.

Shainberg

Me and you.

Krishnamurti

Yes, me and you, we and they, and all the rest of it.

Bohm

But I mean that is the difference between saying we have a lot of different objects in the room which are separate and so on, which we can handle.

Krishnamurti

That is a different thing.

Bohm

There is no problem there. But if we say, ‘I am this, I am wholly this,’ then I also say, ‘I am wholly that and I am wholly that.’

Shainberg

You are bringing in something different there though, that is exactly how it is that we come to believe in these fragments. Because we look at objects and we say they are separate things, therefore I am a separate thing.

Krishnamurti

I question that, sir. Say for instance, the Arab and the Israeli—are they aware that they are… I am an Arab, I want to fight that somebody else who is not? Or I have an idea—you follow?—idea.

Bohm

What do you mean? An idea that I am an Arab?

Krishnamurti

Yes.

Bohm

But the idea is that that is very important as well. I am totally an Arab.

Krishnamurti

Yes, I am totally an Arab.

Bohm

It is all-important. That is the form of the idea, isn’t it?

Krishnamurti

Yes.

Bohm

And now somebody else has the idea I am a Jew, that is all important, therefore they must destroy each other.

Krishnamurti

Impossible to… Quite. And I think the politicians, the religious people are encouraging all this.

Bohm

But they are also running by fragments…

Krishnamurti

Because they are fragmented themselves. You see that is the whole point. People who are in power, being fragmented, sustain the fragmentations.

Shainberg

Right. The only way to get into power is to be fragmented.

Krishnamurti

Of course!

Bohm

Well, he says: it is all-important that I should be a politician, successful and so on…

Krishnamurti

Of course.

Shainberg

This movement into fragmentation, almost, it seems to be caused by something. It seems to be…

Krishnamurti

Is this what you are asking: what is the cause of this fragmentation? Right?

Shainberg

Yes. Right. What is the cause of the fragmentation, what breeds it?

Krishnamurti

That’s very simple.

Shainberg

What sucks us into it?

Krishnamurti

No, what brings about fragmentation?

Shainberg

Now, you know what brings it about, when the mother and child start—when the child separates from the mother. Right?

Krishnamurti

Biologically.

Shainberg

No, psychologically.

Krishnamurti

Biologically as well as…

Shainberg

e child starts, able to walk, and the child can walk away and then he runs back, and then he runs back and he looks back, he says, is she still there? Gradually moves away. Now the mother that is not able to let go says, ‘Hey, come back here!’

Krishnamurti

Quite.

Shainberg

Then scares the child to death because the child thinks I can’t do it, if she says I can’t do it, I can’t do it.

Krishnamurti

Quite. We are asking something very important, which is: what is the cause of this fragmentation?

Shainberg

Yes. That is why I was getting into that—there is some cause there, I mean it begins there, I have got to hold on to something.

Krishnamurti

No. Just look at it, sir. What has brought fragmentation in you?

Shainberg

Well, my immediate response is the need to hold on to something.

Krishnamurti

No, much deeper than that. Much more. Look at it. Look at it. Let’s go slowly at it.

Shainberg

Okay.

Krishnamurti

Not immediate responses. What brings this conflict which indicates I am fragmented, and then I ask the question, what brings this fragmentation. What is the cause of it?

Bohm

Are you saying there is a conflict and there something happens that causes fragmentation in the conflict? Is that what you are saying?

Shainberg

No, he is saying the fragmentation causes the conflict.

Bohm

Is the cause of the conflict. Then what is the cause of the fragmentation? Right. That is important.

Krishnamurti

Why are you and I and the majority of the world fragmented? What is the source of it?

Bohm

It seems we won’t find the cause by going back in time to a certain happening.

Shainberg

I am not looking for genetics, I am looking for right this second. I come upon a, to put it in these worlds, it seems to do that, there is a focussing or a holding on to something inside my movement.

Krishnamurti

Sir, look at it as though not from Dr Shainberg’s point of view, just look at it. Put it on the table (laughs) and look at it objectively as it were. What brings about this fragmentation?

Shainberg

Fear.

Krishnamurti

No, no, much more.

Bohm

Maybe the fragmentation causes fear.

Krishnamurti

Yes, that’s it, that’s it. Why am I a Hindu?—if I am, I am not a Hindu, I am not an Indian, I have no nationality, but suppose I call myself a Hindu. What makes me a Hindu?

Shainberg

Well, conditioning makes you, would make you a Hindu.

Krishnamurti

Which is, what is the background, what is the feeling or what is it that makes me say ‘I am a Hindu’? Which is a fragmentation, obviously.

Shainberg

Right, right.

Krishnamurti

What makes it? My father, my grandfather, generations and generations after ten thousand or five thousand years, said ‘You are a Brahmin’. And I say ‘All right, I am a Brahmin’.

Shainberg

You don’t say ‘All right, I am a Brahmin’—you say ‘I am a Brahmin’.

Krishnamurti

I am a Brahmin.

Shainberg

Right. That is quite different. You say, ‘I am a Brahmin’ because it’s like you… they work on you that way.

Krishnamurti

I am a Brahmin like you saying, ‘I am a Christian’.

Shainberg

Right.

Krishnamurti

Which is what?

Shainberg

That is tradition, conditioning, sociology, history, culture, climate, everything.

Krishnamurti

But behind that, what is that?

Shainberg

Behind that is man’s…

Krishnamurti

No, no, don’t theorise. Look at it in yourself.

Shainberg

Well, that gives me a place, an identity, I know who I am then, I have my little niche.

Krishnamurti

Who made that niche?

Shainberg

Well, I made it and they helped me make it. I am co-operating in this very…

Krishnamurti

You are not co-operating. You are it.

Shainberg

I am it! Right, but I mean—that’s right, the whole thing is moving toward putting me in a hole.

Krishnamurti

So what made you, the great great great arrieres, grandparents made, created this environment, this culture, this whole structure of human existence, with all its misery and with all the mess it is in, who, what has brought it about? Which is the fragmentation with all the conflict and all the…

Shainberg

The same action then is now.

Krishnamurti

Now. That is all I am asking.

Shainberg

Yes. The same action that makes man now, right now.

Krishnamurti

The Babylonians, the Egyptians, we are exactly the same monkeys now.

Shainberg

Right.

Bohm

Yes.

Shainberg

Well, this is what I was getting at in the beginning. This all gives me my second-hand existence.

Krishnamurti

Yes. Proceed. Let’s go into it. Let’s find out why man has bred, or brought about this state, and which we accept—you follow?—gladly or unwillingly.

Shainberg

Love it. Love it.

Krishnamurti

We are of it. I am willing to kill somebody because he is a communist or a socialist, or whatever it is. Exactly what is going on in Northern Ireland, in the Middle East.

Shainberg

Well, everywhere, I mean, you know, doctors, lawyers…

Krishnamurti

Of course, of course. The same problem.

Shainberg

Same problem.

Bohm

My sense of it is that it stops me, it closes me off, it keeps the movement, you know, it’s like, the tree doesn’t get in. If I know who I am then I don’t look at the tree.

Krishnamurti

Yes, sir, but you are not answering my question.

Shainberg

I have some answers, but I…

Krishnamurti

Is it the desire for security, biological as well as psychological security?

Shainberg

You could say yes.

Krishnamurti

If I belong to something, to some organisation, to some group, to some sect, to some ideological community, I am safe there.

Bohm

But that is not clear because you may feel safe but…

Krishnamurti

I feel safe there. But it may not be safety.

Bohm

Yes, but why don’t I see that I am not really safe, you see?

Krishnamurti

Because I am so—what? It’s coming, you go into it, it’s coming.

Shainberg

I don’t see it.

Krishnamurti

No. Just look. I join a community…

Shainberg

Right. I am a doctor.

Krishnamurti

Yes, you are a doctor.

Shainberg

I get all these ideas.

Krishnamurti

You are a doctor, you have a special position in society.

Shainberg

Right. And I got a lot of ideas of how things work.

Krishnamurti

You have a special position in society and there you are completely safe—safe.

Shainberg

Right.

Krishnamurti

You can malpractice and all the rest of it, but you are very protected by other doctors, the other organisations, a group of doctors who are all… You follow?

Shainberg

Right.

Krishnamurti

You feel secure.

Bohm

But it is essential that I shouldn’t enquire too far to feel secure, isn’t it? I mean in other words, I must stop my enquiry at a certain point.

Krishnamurti

I am a doctor—finished.

Bohm

I don’t ask many questions about it, but if I started to ask questions…

Krishnamurti

…then you are out!

Bohm

Then if people, say, don’t ask questions, that’s…

Krishnamurti

If I begin to ask questions about my community and my relationship to that community, my relationship with the world, my relation to my neighbour, I am finished—I am out of the community. I am lost.

Shainberg

That’s right.

Krishnamurti

To feel safe, secure, protected, I belong.

Shainberg

I depend.

Krishnamurti

I depend.

Bohm

I depend wholly in some sense. If I don’t have that then I feel the whole thing is sunk.

Krishnamurti

Sunk.

Shainberg

This is good. You see, not only do I depend but every problem that I now have is with reference to this dependency. I don’t know from nothing about the patient, I only know about how the patient doesn’t fit into my system.

Krishnamurti

Quite, quite.

Shainberg

So that is my conflict.

Krishnamurti

[Laughs] He is the victim.

Shainberg

That’s right, my victim, right (laughs). He loves that…

Bohm

It is still not clear why I should go on with it. You see, in other words, as long as I don’t ask questions I can feel comfortable, but I feel uncomfortable and I do ask questions, very deeply uncomfortable because the whole of my situation is challenged. But then if I look at it more broadly I see the whole thing has no foundation, it is all dangerous. In other words this community itself is in a mess, it may collapse. Or even if the whole of it doesn’t collapse, you can’t count on the academic profession anymore, you know, they may not give money for universities…

Krishnamurti

Quite! [Laughs]

Bohm

Everything is changing so fast that you don’t know where you are. So why should I go on with not asking questions, you see?

Krishnamurti

Why don’t I ask questions? Because fear.

Bohm

Fear, but that fear is from fragmentation.

Krishnamurti

Of course. So is it, the beginning of this fragmentation takes place when one is seeking security?

Shainberg

But why, why wouldn’t it…

Krishnamurti

Both biologically and as well as psychologically. Primarily psychologically, then biologically.

Shainberg

Right.

Krishnamurti

Physically.

Bohm

But isn’t the tendency to seek security physically built into the organism?

Krishnamurti

Yes, that’s right. It is. I must have food, clothes, shelter. It is absolutely necessary.

Shainberg

Right.

Krishnamurti

And when that is threatened—say if I questioned the communist system altogether, living in Russia, I am a non-person.

Shainberg

But let’s go a little bit slower here. Why would… You are suggesting there that in my need for security biologically I must have some fragmentation.

Krishnamurti

No, sir. Biologically fragmentation takes place, the insecurity takes place when psychologically I want security.

Shainberg

Okay.

Krishnamurti

I don’t know if I am making myself clear. Wait a minute. That is, if I don’t psychologically belong to a group, then I am out of that group.

Shainberg

And then I am insecure.

Krishnamurti

I am insecure.

Shainberg

Right.

Krishnamurti

And because the group gives me security, physical security, I accept everything they give me, say to me.

Shainberg

Right.

Krishnamurti

But the moment I object psychologically to the structure of the society or the community I am lost.

Shainberg

Right.

Krishnamurti

I mean this is an obvious fact.

Shainberg

Right.

Bohm

Yes.

Shainberg

Well, you’re suggesting then that the basic insecurity that we live in is being conditioned, the response to this, the answer to this is a conditioned fragmentation.

Krishnamurti

Partly.

Shainberg

Partly, and that the movement of fragmentation is the conditioning.

Krishnamurti

Sir, look, look: if there was no fragmentation, both historically, geographically, nationally, no nations, we would live perfectly safely. We would all be protected, we would all have food, we would all have—you follow?—houses, there would be no wars, we’d all one. He is my brother; I am him, he is me. But this fragmentation prevents that taking place.

Shainberg

Right. So you are even suggesting more something there—you are suggesting that we would help each other.

Krishnamurti

Naturally I would help—obviously!

Bohm

We are going around in a circle though still, because you say…

Krishnamurti

I am not going in circles, I want to get back to something which is, if there were no nationalities, no ideological groups, and so on and so on, we would be perfectly… I mean we would have everything we want, instead of spending on armaments, all the rest of it, proper education, all that. That is prevented because I am a Hindu, you are an Arab, he is a Russian—you follow?—all that is prevented. We are asking, why does this fragmentation take place? What is the source of it? Is it knowledge? Yes, sir!

Shainberg

It is knowledge, you think, you say…

Krishnamurti

Is it knowledge? I am sure it is (laughs), but I am putting it as a question.

Shainberg

It certainly seems to be.

Krishnamurti

No, no—look into it. Let’s find out.

Shainberg

What do you mean by knowledge, what are you talking about there?

Krishnamurti

The word ‘to know’. Do I know you? Or I have known you. I can never say, ‘I know you’—actually. It would be an abomination to say, ‘I know you’. I have known you. Because you in the meantime are changing, you have all your—you follow?—there is a great deal of movement going on in you.

Shainberg

Right.

Krishnamurti

And to say ‘I know you’, means I am acquainted or intimate with that movement which is going on in you. It would be impudence on my part to say, ‘I know you’.

Shainberg

That’s right. Because not only that, that would be denying your effect on me which is causing me, which is a change from knowing you, from being with you…

Krishnamurti

So knowing, to know, is the past. Would you say that…

Bohm

Yes, I mean what we know is the past and…

Krishnamurti

Knowledge is the past.

Bohm

I mean the danger is that we call it the present. The danger is that we call knowledge the present.

Krishnamurti

That is just it.

Bohm

In other words if we said the past is the past, then wouldn’t you say it needn’t fragment?

Krishnamurti

What is that? Sorry.

Bohm

If we said, if we recognised, or we acknowledged that the past is the past, it is gone, therefore what we know is the past, then that would not introduce fragmentation.

Krishnamurti

That wouldn’t, quite right.

Bohm

But if we say what we know is what is present now, then we are introducing fragmentation.

Krishnamurti

Quite right, quite.

Bohm

Because we are imposing this partial knowledge on the whole.

Krishnamurti

So would you say knowledge is one of the factors of fragmentation? Sir, that is saying an awful—you follow?

Bohm

What does it mean?

Krishnamurti

It is a large pill to swallow!

Bohm

But also you are implying there are other factors.

Krishnamurti

Yes. [Laughs] And that may be the only factor.

Bohm

Yes. But I think we should look at it this way, that people have hoped through knowledge to overcome fragmentation…

Krishnamurti

Of course.

Bohm

…to produce a system of knowledge that will put it all together.

Krishnamurti

Like in Bronowski’s Ascent of Man through knowledge: emphasising knowledge, knowledge, knowledge. Is that not one of the major factors, or perhaps the factor of fragmentation? My experience tells me I am a Hindu, my experience tells me I know what god is.

Bohm

Wouldn’t we better say that confusion about the role of knowledge is what’s the cause fragmentation? In other words knowledge itself, you see, if you say knowledge is always the cause…

Krishnamurti

No, I said, we began by asking…

Bohm

Yes, I mean let’s make it clear.

Krishnamurti

Of course, of course. Sir, that is what we said yesterday in our talk: art is putting things in its right place. So I put knowledge in its right place.

Shainberg

Right.

Bohm

Yes, so we are not confused about it any more.

Krishnamurti

Of course.

Shainberg

Right, right. You know I was just going to bring in this rather interesting example: a patient of mine was teaching me something the other day and she said, I have the feeling that as a doctor the way you operate is, she says, there is a group of doctors who have seen certain kinds of patients, and if they do ‘X’ to them they will get certain kind of effects and they achieve things. She says you are not talking to me, you are doing this to me hoping you will get this result. [Laughter]

Krishnamurti

Quite, quite.

Shainberg

That is what you are saying.

Krishnamurti

No, a little more, sir, than that. We are saying both Dr Bohm and I, we are saying, knowledge has its place.

Shainberg

Let’s go into that.

Krishnamurti

Like driving a car, learning a language, and so on.

Bohm

We could say, why is that not fragmentation, we could to make it clear, you see that, in other words, if we drive a car using knowledge that is not fragmentation.

Krishnamurti

No, but when knowledge is used psychologically…

Bohm

One should see more clearly what the difference is. That is, the car itself, as I see it, is a part, a limited part and therefore it can be handled by knowledge.

Shainberg

You mean, it’s a limited part of life.

Bohm

Of life, yes. But when we say I am so and so, I mean the whole of me, you see, and therefore I am applying a part to the whole. I am trying to cover the whole by a part.

Krishnamurti

When knowledge assumes it understands the whole…

Bohm

Yes.

Shainberg

Yes.

Krishnamurti

…then begins the mischief.

Bohm

But it is often very tricky because I am not explicitly spelling out that I understand the whole, but it is implicit by saying I, or everything is this way, or I am this way.

Krishnamurti

Quite, quite.

Bohm

It implies that the whole is this way, you see. The whole of me, the whole of life, the whole of the world.

Shainberg

What Krishnaji was saying, I mean like, ‘I know you’, that is how we deal with ourselves. We say, ‘I know this about me’, rather than being open to the new event. Or even being aware of the fragmentation.

Bohm

Yes, but I am saying about you then I shouldn’t say I know all because you are not a limited part like a machine is—that’s what’s implied. You see the machine is fairly limited and we can know all that is relevant about it, or almost all anyway—sometimes it breaks down.

Krishnamurti

Quite, quite.

Bohm

But when it comes to another person that is immensely beyond what you could really know. The past experience doesn’t tell you the essence.

Krishnamurti

Are you saying, Dr. Bohm, that when knowledge spills over into the psychological field…

Bohm

Well, also in another field which I call the whole in general. You see sometimes it spills over into the philosophical field and man tries to make it metaphysical, the whole universe.

Krishnamurti

That is, of course, I mean that is purely theoretical and that has no meaning to me personally.

Bohm

But I mean that is one of the ways in which it does that, you see. It goes wrong. Some people feel that when they are discussing metaphysics of the whole universe that is not psychological, it probably is, but the motives behind it are psychological, but some people may feel that they are making a theory of the universe, not discussing psychology. I think it is a matter of getting the language.

Krishnamurti

Language, quite.

Shainberg

Well, I mean you see this with… what you are saying, or what he is saying, can be extended to the way people are. They have a metaphysics about other people: I know all other people are not to be trusted.

Krishnamurti

Quite.

Bohm

You have a metaphysics about yourself saying, I am such and such a person.

Shainberg

Right. I have a metaphysics that life is hopeless and I must depend on these…

Krishnamurti

No, all that I can say is… we can say is: we are fragmented—that is a fact—and I am aware of those fragmentations… fragmented mind, there is an awareness of the fragmented mind because of conflict.

Shainberg

That’s right.

Bohm

You were saying before, we have got to have an approach where we are not aware just because of that.

Krishnamurti

Yes. That’s right.

Bohm

Are we coming to that?

Krishnamurti

Coming, yes. So from there conflict: I say, what is the source of this conflict. The source is fragmentation, obviously. Now, what brings about fragmentation? What is the cause of this, behind it? We said, perhaps knowledge.

Shainberg

Perhaps knowledge.

Krishnamurti

Knowledge, psychologically I use knowledge. ‘I know myself’, when I really don’t know, because I am changing, moving. Or I use knowledge for my own satisfaction. For my position, for my success, for becoming a great man in the world. I am a great scholar, I have read a million books and I can tell you all about it. It gives me a position, a prestige, a status. So is that it, that fragmentation takes place when there is a desire for security, psychological security, which prevents biological security…

Shainberg

Right.

Krishnamurti

You say, right. And therefore security may be one of the factors. Security in knowledge used wrongly.

Bohm

Or could you say that some sort of mistake has been made, that man feels insecure biologically, and he thinks, you know, what shall I do, and he makes a mistake in the sense that he tries to obtain a psychological sense of security by thinking… by knowledge.

Krishnamurti

By knowledge, yes.

Shainberg

By knowing.

Bohm

Yes.

Shainberg

By repeating himself, by depending on all of these structures.

Krishnamurti

One feels secure in having an ideal.

Shainberg

Right. That is so true.

Bohm

You see but somewhere I always asks why a person makes this mistake. You see in other words if thought… or if the mind had been absolutely clear, let’s say, it would never have done that. Isn’t that right?

Shainberg

If the mind had been absolutely clear, but we have just said that there is biological insecurity. That is a fact.

Bohm

But that doesn’t imply that you have to delude yourself.

Krishnamurti

Quite right.

Shainberg

But that implies that the organism—no, that’s right, but it implies that that has to be met.

Bohm

Yes, but the delusion doesn’t meet it.

Shainberg

Right. That’s the nub of the issue.

Krishnamurti

Go on further, you can see if you want.

Shainberg

I mean there’s that biological fact of my constant uncertainty. The biological fact of constant change.

Krishnamurti

That is created through psychological fragmentation.

Shainberg

My biological uncertainty?

Krishnamurti

Of course. I may lose my job, I may have no money tomorrow.

Bohm

Now let’s look at that: I may have no money tomorrow. You see that may be an actual fact, but now the question is: what happens? You see, what would you say if the man were clear; what would be his response?

Krishnamurti

You would never be put in that position.

Bohm

You mean he wouldn’t get there in the first place.

Shainberg

He wouldn’t have that question.

Bohm

But suppose he finds himself without money, you see?

Krishnamurti

He would do something.

Bohm

He will do something. His mind won’t just go to pieces.

Krishnamurti

Go in nightmarish circles.

Shainberg

He won’t have to have all the money he thinks he has to have.

Bohm

But aside from that he won’t go into this well of confusion.

Krishnamurti

No, absolutely.

Shainberg

I mean the problem 99% of the time, I certainly agree, is that we all think we need more, we have this ideal of what we should have.

Krishnamurti

No, sir. We are trying to stick to one point, which is, what is the cause of this fragmentation?

Shainberg

Right.

Krishnamurti

We said knowledge spilling over into the field where it should not enter.

Bohm

But why does it do so, you see?

Krishnamurti

Why does it do it? It is fairly simple.

Bohm

Why?

Krishnamurti

We’ve got another five, six minutes more. It is fairly simple. Go on, sir.

Shainberg

My sense of it is from what we have been saying is, it does it in a delusion of security. It thinks that there is… thought creates the illusion that there is security there.

Bohm

Yes, but why doesn’t intelligence show that there is no security, you see, I’m not… it’s not clear.

Shainberg

Why doesn’t intelligence show it?

Bohm

Yes, in other words…

Krishnamurti

Can a fragmented mind be intelligent?

Shainberg

No.

Bohm

Well, it resists intelligence.

Krishnamurti

It can pretend to be intelligent.

Bohm

Yes. But are you saying that once the mind fragments then intelligence is gone?

Krishnamurti

Yes.

Bohm

But now that…

Shainberg

He said yes…

Bohm

But now you are creating a serious problem (laughter), because you are also saying that there can be an end to fragmentation.

Krishnamurti

That’s right.

Bohm

You see at first sight that would seem to be a contradiction. Is that clear?

Krishnamurti

It looks like that, but it is not…

Shainberg

All I know is fragmentation.

Krishnamurti

Therefore…

Shainberg

That is what I have got.

Krishnamurti

Let’s stick to it and see if it can end. We go through it.

Shainberg

I am…

Bohm

But if you say the fragmented mind cannot, intelligence cannot operate there.

Shainberg

I feel like one answer to your question is that, you know we’ve talked about it in terms of conditioning. I feel like I am a victim, or I am caught by this offering. You offer me, you tell me, ‘Look, old boy, I think this can help you, here is a fragment, come along’ (laughs). And I feel like thought does that, you know, ‘Come’ . My mother or my father says, ‘Look, it is good to be a doctor’, or this one says it is good to go to do this.

Krishnamurti

Is psychological security more important than biological security?

Shainberg

That is an interesting question.

Krishnamurti

Go on, don’t make it… We have got five minutes—come to it.

Shainberg

Right. No, well, one thing we are convinced somehow or the other, I think the society…

Krishnamurti

No, I am asking—don’t move away from the question—I am asking is psychological security much more important than physical security, biological security?

Shainberg

It isn’t but it feels like it is.

Krishnamurti

No, no, don’t move away from it. I am asking you. Stick to it. To you.

Bohm

Are you asking, what is the fact…

Krishnamurti

What is the fact.

Shainberg

I would say yes, that psychological security seems…

Krishnamurti

Not, now don’t…

Bohm

What is actually true?

Shainberg

Actually true, no. Biological security is more important.

Krishnamurti

Biological—are you sure?

Shainberg

No. I’ve turned it around. I think psychological security is what actually I worry about most.

Krishnamurti

Psychological security.

Shainberg

That is what I worry about most.

Krishnamurti

Which prevents biological security.

Shainberg

Right. I forget about biological security.

Krishnamurti

No, no. Because I am seeking psychological security in ideas, in knowledge, in pictures, in images, in conclusions, all the rest of it—which prevents me from having biological, physical security for me, for my son, for my children, for my brothers. I can’t have it. Because psychological security says I am a Hindu, a blasted little somebody in a little corner.

Shainberg

No question. I do feel that psychological…

Krishnamurti

So can we be free of the desire to be psychologically secure?

Shainberg

That’s right. That is the question.

Krishnamurti

Of course it is.

Shainberg

That’s the nub of it, right.

Krishnamurti

Last night I was listening to some people about… [???] or one of them was holding—who was the chairman, or what it was—and they were all talking about Ireland, various things. Each man was completely convinced, you know.

Shainberg

That’s right. I sit in on meetings every week. Each man thinks his territory is the most important.

Krishnamurti

Yes. So we have given… man has given more importance to psychological security than to biological, physical security.

Bohm

Yes, but it is not clear why he should delude himself in this way.

Krishnamurti

That is, he has deluded himself—why? Why? The answer is there. Why? We have got two minutes more. We will have to stop…

Shainberg

Images, power…

Krishnamurti

No, sir, much deeper. Why has he given importance?

Shainberg

He seems to think that—we, not he—we seem to think that is where security is, that that’s most important.

Krishnamurti

No. Look more into it. The ‘me’ is the most important thing.

Shainberg

Right. That is the same thing.

Krishnamurti

No, no—‘me:’ my position, my happiness, my money, my house, my wife—‘me.’

Shainberg

Me.

Bohm

Yes. And isn’t it that each person feels he is the essence of the whole. The ‘me’ is the very essence of the whole. I would feel that if the ‘me’ were gone, you know, that the rest wouldn’t mean anything.

Krishnamurti

That is the whole point. The ‘me’ gives me complete security, psychologically.

Bohm

But, I mean, it seems all-important.

Krishnamurti

Of course.

Shainberg

All-important.

Bohm

Yes, because people say, if I am sad then the whole world has no meaning. Right?

Shainberg

It is not only that, but it’s I am sad if the ‘me’ is not important.

Bohm

Yes.

Krishnamurti

No, I don’t… We are saying the ‘me’… in the ‘me’ is the greatest security.

Shainberg

Right. That is what we think.

Krishnamurti

No, not we think. It is so.

Bohm

What do you mean, it is so?

Krishnamurti

In the world what is happening.

Bohm

That is what is happening. But it is a delusion, which is happening, right?

Krishnamurti

We will come to that later.

Bohm

Yes.

Shainberg

I think that is a good point. That it is so that the ‘me’ is—I like that way of getting at it—the ‘me’ is what is important. That is all that is!

Krishnamurti

That’s all, psychologically.

Shainberg

That’s right—psychologically.

Krishnamurti

Me, my country; me, my god; me, my house; and so on…

Shainberg

It is very hard to let that in, you know…

Krishnamurti

So it is twelve o’clock, we had better stop.

Shainberg

[Laughs] Well, at least we have got your point.

Bohm

Right.



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