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That Restless Monkey Mind.


That restlessness, and that constant search and inquiry, joining one society, then taking up another society - the monkey goes on endlessly - all that indicates a mind that is pursuing a way of life in which it is only concerned with security.

Now when that is seen very clearly, what has happened to the mind that is no longer concerned with security? Obviously it has no fear. That becomes very trivial when you see how thought has fragmented the energy, or fragmentation itself, and because of this fragmentation there is fear. And when you see the activity of thought in its fragmentation then you meet fear, you act. So we are asking, what has happened to the mind that has become extraordinarily attentive? Is there any movement of search at all? Please, find out.

Do you understand my question? When you are so attentive, is the mind still seeking? Seeking experience, seeking to understand itself, seeking to go beyond itself, seeking to find out right action, wrong action, seeking a permanency on which it can depend - permanency in relationship, or in belief, or in some conclusion? Is that still going on, when you are completely aware?

The mind has seen the activity of the monkey in its restlessness. This activity - which is still energy - though has broken up in its desire to find a permanent security, a certainty, safety. And so it has divided the world as the 'me' and the 'not me', 'we' and 'they', and is seeking truth as a way of security. When one has observed all this, is the mind seeking anything at all any more? Seeking implies restlessness - I haven't found security here, and I go there, and I haven't found it there so I go elsewhere.


A mind that is without a centre is not concerned with search.

Have you ever known, walking or sitting quietly, what it means to be completely empty? Not isolated, not withdrawn, not building a wall around yourself and finding you have no relationship with anything - I don't mean that. When mind is completely empty, it does not mean that it has no memory, the memories are there, because you are walking to your house, or are going to your office. But I mean the emptiness of a mind that has finished with all the movement of search.

If you see that you are bundle of memories and words, the restless monkey comes to an end.

I want to tell you a very simple thing: there is no such thing as security. This restless demand for security is part of the observer, the centre, the monkey. And this restless monkey - which is thought - has broken up this world, has made a frightfull mess of it, it has brought such misery, such agony! And thought cannot solve this, however intelligent, however clever, erudite, capable of efficient thinking, thought cannot possibly bring order out of this chaos. There must be a way out of it that is not thought.

I want to convey to you that in that state of attention, in that movement of attention, all sense of security has gone, because there is stability. That stability has nothing whatsoever to do with security - when thought seeks security it makes it into something permanent, immovable, and therefore it becomes mechanical. Thought seeks security in relationship. In that relationship thought creates an image. That image becomes the permanent and breaks up the relationship - you have your image and I have mine. In that image thought has established and identified itself as the permanent thing.

Outwardly this is what we have done: your country, my country, and so on. When the mind had left all that, left it in the sense that is has seen the utter futility, the mischief of it, it has finished with it. Then what takes place in the mind which has completely finished with the whole concept of security? What happens to that mind which is so attentive that it is completely stable, so that thought is no longer seeking security in any form and sees that there is no such thing as the permanent? I'm pointing it out to you; the description is not the described.

See the importance of this; the brain has evolved with the idea of being completely secure. The mind, the brain wants security, otherwise it can't function. Without order it will function illogically, neurotically, inefficiently, therefore the brain is always wanting order and it has translated having order in terms of security. If that brain is still functioning, it is still seeking order through security. So when there is attention, is the brain still seeking security?

If thought sees that there is no such thing as permanency, thought will never seek it again. That is, the brain, with its memories of security, its cultivation in a society depending on security, with all its ideas and its morality based on security, that brain has become completely empty of all movements towards security. will know what it means to be aware, to be attentive, and therefore no longer seeking security; therefore you are no longer acting or thinking in terms of fragmentation.

What has happened to the mind...?

First of all, it has become sensitive, not only mentally but physically. It has given up smoking, drinking, drugs. And when we have talked over this question of attention, you'll see that the mind is no longer seeking at all, or asserting anything. And such a mind is completely mobile and yet wholly stable. Out of that stability and sensitivity it can act without breaking life or energy up into fragments. What does such a mind find, apart from action, apart from stability? Man has always sought what he considered to be God, truth; he has always striven after it out of fear, out of his hopelessness, out of his despair and disorder. He sought it and he thought he found it. And the discovery of that he began to organize.

So that which is stable, highly mobile, sensitive, is not seeking, it sees something which has never been found, which means, time for such a mind does not exist at all - which does not mean one it going to miss a train. So there is a state which is timeless and therefore incredibly vast.

This is something most marvelous if you come upon it. I can go into it, but the description is not the described. It's for you to learn all this by looking at yourself - no book, no teacher can teach you this - don't depend on anyone, don't join spiritual organizations, one has to learn all this out of oneself. And there the mind will discover things that are incredible. But for that, there must be no fragmentation and therefore immense stability, swiftness, mobility.


To such a mind there is no time and therefore this whole concept of death and living has quite a different meaning.


Extracts from
Krishnamurti: 'The Impossible Question'
Penguin Books
ISBN 0 14 00.4477 9

*All emphasis has been added.

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