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Question: Is the artist, the musician, engaged in a futile thing?

I am not speaking of one who takes up art or music, but one who is inherently an artist. Would you go into this? Krishnamurti: It is a very complicated problem, so let us go into it slowly. As the questioner says, there are two types of people, those who are inherently artists, and those who take up art or music. Those who take it up, obviously, do it either for sensation, for upliftment, for various forms of escape, or merely as an amusement, an addiction. You might take it up as another takes up drink, or an `ism', or religious dogma; perhaps it is less harmful, because you are by yourself. Then, there is the other type, the artist - if there is such a person. Inherently, for itself, he paints, plays or composes music, and all the rest of it. Now, what happens to that person? You must know such people. What is happening to him as an individual? As a social entity? What is happening to such a person? The danger, for all those people who have a capacity, a gift, is that they think they are superior, first of all. They think they are the salt of the earth. They are people especially chosen from above; and, with that feeling of apartness, of being chosen, all the evils come: they are antisocial, they are individualistic, aggressive, extraordinarily self-centered almost all gifted people are like that. So, gift, capacity, is a danger, is it not? Not that one can avoid the talent or the capacity; but one must be aware of the implications, the dangers of it. Such people may come together in a laboratory, or in a gathering of musicians and artists, but they have always this barrier between themselves and others, have they not? You are the layman, and I am the specialist; the man who knows more, and the man who knows less, and all the identification that goes with it. I am not speaking slightingly of anybody, because that would be too stupid; but one must be aware of all these things. To point them out is not to abuse or deride somebody. Few of us are inherently artists, first of all. We like to play with it, because it is profitable, or gives certain eclat, a certain show, cer- tain verbal expressions which we have learnt. It gives us a place, a position. And if we are artists, really, genuinely, surely there is the quality of sensitivity, not of isolation. Art does not belong to any particular country, or to any particular person; but the artist soon makes his gift into the personal - he paints, it is his work, his poem; it puffs him up, like the rest of us. And therefore, he becomes antisocial, he is more important. And, as most of us are not in that position, fortunately or unfortunately, we use music or art merely as sensation. We may have a quick experience when we hear something lovely; but the repetition of that thing over and over and over again soon dulls us. It is merely the sensation we indulge in. If we do not indulge in that, then beauty has quite a different significance. Then we approach it anew every time. And it is this fresh approach to something every time, whether ugly or beautiful, that is important, that makes for sensitivity; but you cannot be sensitive if you are captured by your own addiction or capacity, by your own delight, by

your own sensation. Surely, the really creative person comes to things anew, he does not merely repeat what the radio announcer has told him, or what the critics say. So, the difficulty in this is to keep that sensitivity all the time, to be alert, whether you are an artist, or merely playing with art. And that sensitivity is dulled when you give importance to yourself as the artist. You may have vision, and you may have the capacity to put that vision into paint, into marble, into words; but the moment you identify yourself with it, you are lost, it is finished. You lose that sensitivity. The world loves to praise you, to say what a marvellous artist you are; and you like that. And, for most of us, who are not great artists inherently, our difficulty is not to get lost in sensations, because sensations dull; through sensations you cannot experience. Experiencing comes only when there is direct relationship; and there is no direct relationship when there is the screen of sensation, the desire to be, to alter, or to continue. So, our problem is to keep alert and sensitive; and that is denied when we are merely seeking sensation and the repetition of sensation.
Ojai 8th Public Talk 7th August 1949 ----------------------------------

Questioner: Would you go into the question of earning a livelihood because that requires capacity, that requires thought, that requires knowledge? Would you go into that. As the culture and the civilization exists now, of which you are part, we are brought up to work for our life, work, work, work, all day long. Right? What a horror it is! To be told, to be under somebody, to be directed, to be insulted, to be beaten down. That is the culture in which we have grown, in which you have been moulded. And to the formation of that mould, conform to that mould, we are educated. We are educated mainly to acquire knowledge, to cultivate memory so as to earn a livelihood. That is the primary function of education, as it is now. And therefore in that education there is conformity, competition, imitation, ambition, success. Success implies more money, better position, a better house if you are a communist, and so on and so on. That is the structure in which we have been brought up. Knowledge has become tremendously important to function in this field, therefore the cultivation of memory. And you discard totally the rest of it, the rest of existence. That is a fact. Now you say, "How am I to earn a livelihood, though I need knowledge and yet I see the limitation of knowledge" - right? I need to earn bread and butter, I need to have food, clothes and shelter, whether the State supplies it, or I work for it, but it is the same thing. But I have to work for the State to offer it to me. So that is a fact. I have heard you talk about it. I have heard you say to me knowledge is very limited, it is mechanical, and being very mechanical we try to escape through religions, through sex, through idiosyncrasies, through neuroticism, through the desire to fulfil ourselves in something apart from this world. I have heard you say that and I see the truth of it. But yet what am I to do? How am I to live in harmony - please listen to this - to live in harmony, having knowledge, functioning in knowledge, and also freeing the mind from this mechanical process of learning, so that the two run together? You are following? So that the mind lives, going to the factory, working without competition, because it is not concerned with achieving a position. It is only concerned with achieving a livelihood. I don't know if you see the difference. And also it sees very clearly the freedom from the known - right? Which is the knowledge, which is the past. Can these two streams move together harmoniously all the time? You are following your question sir? Am I answering your question? That is our problem. Not the problem of earning more, more and more and more, which society wants, which is the consumerism, which is the commercialism, which is buy - all the tricks they are playing on the mind to make you buy, buy, buy. I won't. I see the falseness. And I see at the same time the

freedom from the known, which is knowledge. Can these two work together all the time, so that there is no friction? You have understood my question? Now what is harmony? You understand, that is the problem. I see I must earn a livelihood. I won't fight, I won't compete, I will work because I have put my brain, my capacity into it, therefore I work very efficiently because I have no psychological problems to work, I will not compete with anybody, therefore my capacity, my energy, my way of writing, producing, whatever it is, is complete, therefore there is no conflict, there is no wastage of energy - right? I hope you see this. And so I am asking: what is harmony? You understand? I say there must be harmony between the two. Now what is this harmony? Can harmony, this sense of balance, this sense of sanity, this sense of feeling whole - work, knowledge and freedom from knowledge - that is the whole - can that sense of wholeness be brought about by thought, by investigation, by reading, by searching, by asking? Or does this wholeness, sense of completeness come about through thought? Thought cannot bring it obviously. So seeing - please see this - seeing that thought cannot bring it about, seeing that I can work efficiently, with full energy, because I have no psychological problems - you follow? - and therefore I am only working to earn a livelihood for self sufficiency, and I see the whole thing must work together. And it can only work together when there is intelligence. So intelligence is harmony. Are you getting what I am talking about? Wait a minute, I haven't finished. I am just searching myself. Look sir, it is intelligence that says: work only for a livelihood, not for ambition, not for competition, not to succeed and all the rest of it. Work. That is life. It is the intelligence that has told me, not a conclusion. And also intelligence says to me: freedom is necessary. So intelligence says there must be harmony. So intelligence brings about this harmony - not an outside agency brings about this harmony, or thought. Now - I don't know if you have noticed sir, thought is always outside. Right? Thought is always from the outside. I was told the other day that in the Eskimo language thought means outside. Right? So thought cannot possibly produce harmony, balance, this sense of wholeness, because thought is outside. But what brings about this total sense of integrity, this sense of sanity, wholeness? Intelligence - the intelligence is not the intellectual acceptance of an idea, it is not the product of reason, logic, though reason and logic must exist, but it is not the result of that; it is the perception of truth from which arises wisdom, wisdom is the daughter of truth, and intelligence is the daughter of wisdom - right? I have got it. Do you see it? Sir do work at this. You understand sir, just look at it, drink it. And then it is there, you don't have to struggle, read books and go through all the tortures of life.

Saanen, 5th Public Talk, 24th July 1973 ----------------------------------