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Krishnamurti's intentions for a Centre, a conversation

Staff Member: Sir, I wanted to ask you about the proposed Centre and what it means to study the teachings.

Krishnamurti: If I went to the Centre, first of all I would want to be quiet, not bring problems there; not my household problems, business preoccupations, and so on. And also I think I would want what K says to be entirely part of my life, not just that I have studied K and I repeat what he says. Rather, in the very studying of it I am really absorbing it; not bits of it here and there, not only just what suits me.

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S.M: Can we talk about how that happens because I feel this is where we will decide the nature of the place and its activities.

K: If I went there to study what K is saying, I would want to investigate it, question it, doubt it; not just read something and then go away. I would be reading not just to memorise, I would be reading to learn; to see what he is saying and my reactions to it, whether it corresponds or contradicts, whether he is right or I am right, so that there is a constant communication and interchange between what I am reading and what I am feeling. I would want to establish a relationship between what I am reading, seeing, hearing and myself with my reactions, conditioning, and so on; a dialogue between him and me. Such a dialogue must inevitably bring about a fundamental change.

         Let us say that a man like you comes to this new Centre. You take all the trouble to come to this place, and for the first few days you may want to be quiet. If you are sensitive you realise there is something here which is different from your home, totally different from going to a discussion somewhere. Then you begin to study, and not only you but all the people living here are studying, seeing, questioning. And everyone actually listening with their whole being will naturally bring about a religious atmosphere.

That is what I would want if I went there. I would be sensitive enough to quickly capture what K is saying. And at lunch, or walking or sitting around together in the sitting room, I might like to discuss. I might say, 'Look, I didn't understand what he meant by that, let's talk about it' - not, you tell me about it, or I know better -'let's go into it'; so it will be a living thing. And in the afternoon I might go out for a walk, or do some other physical activity.

The Study will be a place for all serious people who have left behind them all their nationality, their sectarian beliefs and all the other things that divide human beings.

S.M: Can we say more about what it means to study the teachings profoundly?

K: I have made it clear.

S.M: Yes. But there is more to it. In organising the Centre I also have to ask about my own studying. I realise that if I don't do this seriously I have no business working there if I am not doing it - right?

K: That is understood.

S.M: It is this question of the teachings somehow going into the blood.
K: We will get it, sir, I am sure we will get it. As long as we are talking together like this, and keep at it.

S.M: But Krishnaji, I also feel that it has to be something that does not depend on you.

K: It depends on the teachings.

S.M: And on how I relate to the teachings. But from my own relationship with the teachings there are some other things I want to ask about, because there is something else which I feel is important.

K: What is that, briefly?

S.M: I have studied the teachings every day for some years.

K: Come, what are you saying, sir?

S.M: Sometimes studying the teachings for me means even just reading one phrase.

K: Quite right. That's up to you.

S.M: But now wait. This is it, Krishnaji. That one phrase - somehow holding it during the day - in action and in relationship, holding it.

K: Quite right. You are carrying a jewel with you. You are watching all the time or it will get lost.

S.M: Now, I wanted to talk about that holding, because to me there is a secret in that holding, there is something very special about that holding that most people don't know and that I often forget.

K: Yes, sir. Listen carefully. Someone gives me a marvellous watch. A marvellous watch, superb. And it is such a precious thing - I am very careful. I watch it all day.

S.M: Yes.

K: The thing - I don't have to hold it, it is there in my hands. You follow? I watch. I live with it.

S.M: Yes. If I can come back to this, Krishnaji. It is there in your hands. Now, to continue the metaphor, let's say: Look, would you please do the dishes: here are the two gloves, you are not going to keep the watch in your hand, you are going to put it in your pocket, or you are going to do something else with it.

K: But the watch is still ticking away.

S.M: Exactly. So, in this Centre somehow I feel we want to set up some activities that help people hold this thing all day long.

K: Be careful. Don't do that. No activity is holding it. No outside help.

S.M: No outside help. So perhaps we should not give people so many things to do.

K: Yes, You do all the things you have to do. You must allow for yourself four or five hours, or two hours, whatever you want. Say, look, I shut my door after two o'clock or some other time. Then nobody disturbs me. You must have time to study, to listen, absorb - absorb, so that it is in your blood.

S.M: Yes.

K: It is really like having a marvellous set of pearls. You put them around your neck and they are always there. You follow?

S.M: Can you describe more closely, Krishnaji, without metaphor, when a person reads something extraordinary, how do they hold that?

K: Sir, you don't hold it. The moment you have read that and you see the truth of it, it is yours, you don't have to hold it. You look at those mountains, you don't hold them, they are there. You are always conscious of that. You are always looking at it. Even when you are washing dishes, that is there.

S.M: Yes.

K: Keep it, sir. Don't talk any more about it. Keep it. You have understood what it means. Go into it for yourself. You are going to have to talk to the people who come to the Centre about this. So you have to be very clear. I might come from Barcelona and say, what do you think about all this? I would like to discuss with you what K means by meditation, what he means by - you know - all the rest of it. And you must be able to discuss this.

S.M: Yes, I know, sir.

K: It's all right with practical jobs that have to be done for the building, which must be most beautiful, austere. But the other -you have a tremendous responsibility. Don't minimise it. And don't be frightened. You have got to do it. It is not easy.

S.M: Because here, Krishnaji, we are talking about the sacred, creating something of the sacred.

K: It will come. You can't just put out your hand and wait.

S.M: No.