There seems to be a fair amount of confusion about what Krishnamurti meant by a radical transformation in consciousness, or radical psychological change, or a revolution in consciousness, a mutation of the brain cells, etc (all different ways of expressing the same question).
Some people feel they have already been transformed radically, and are likely deluded about this. Others feel that they have changed a little bit here and there, and that this is what Krishnamurti meant by transformation. While still others deny that transformation can take place at all.
There is also disagreement about what Krishnamurti meant by radical transformation. Probably this is because Krishnamurti spoke about it so often that it permeates all his talks - meaning it has become associated with every aspect of his teachings: so if we have heard him talk about transformation in behaviour (for example) we think it is limited to this, or a transformation in relationship, transformation of fear, transformation of self-centredness, transformation in our relationship to knowledge, thought, etc. All of these are clearly aspects of transformation, but they do not, for me at least, communicate the whole of it.
Transformation for Krishnamurti - as I understand it - is the complete, not partial, transformation of consciousness. Which comes about through observation without movement, without direction, in the actual present, of the whole content of consciousness. In this total observation (which involves having total insight), all the psychological contents - fear, hate, jealousy, sorrow, self-centredness, etc - are emptied, so that there is a completely new beginning for the mind. This new beginning is the passion of compassion, the energy of creation: the coming into being of what Krishnamurti calls the religious mind.
This transformation of consciousness then affects the whole consciousness of humanity, because consciousness is shared by all human beings (it is not unique to you or me).
The context for this transformation in consciousness is obviously the chaos and suffering of the world - what Krishnamurti called the crisis in consciousness (consciousness being the consciousness of the whole of humanity, our global relationship to one another).
It is in meeting this global crisis in consciousness that a transformation becomes important.
Some extracts from Krishnamurti outlining these features:
The future is now unless there is a fundamental, psychological change.
And that is what we are concerned about: whether it is possible for human beings, you and another, to bring about a psychological mutation, a total psychological revolution in oneself, knowing that if we are hurt now, wounded psychologically now, as most people are, the future hurt is now. Is that clear?
So is it possible for human beings, for you, to bring about a complete mutation? That mutation changes the brain cells themselves.
(Last Talks at Saanen 1985)
Is it possible to bring about a change, not only change, a transformation, a mutation in the whole of consciousness? Our consciousness being all the things that thought has put in, has created.
(Talk 1, Rishi Valley, 1977)
To bring about this deep transformation at the core, surely we have to inquire into the whole problem of what is consciousness…
I ask myself what consciousness is because I see that I must fundamentally change, the totality of my being must undergo a complete transformation.
(Talk 3, New Delhi, 1956)
Is it possible to bring about a fundamental psychological revolution? Not just trimming the tree here and there, but deep, abiding, enduring, irrevocable change, transformation? …
So we are asking: is it possible to observe without any direction, without any distortion, this whole movement of consciousness? …
Is there an observation of the whole nature and the structure, the complex movement of consciousness as a whole? Then only it is possible to bring about real deep fundamental transformation…
To find this out is part of meditation. That is, can this consciousness become completely empty, except in the area where knowledge is necessary? …
You are jealous, angry, vicious, hating and you realise that, if you are at all intelligent, aware, then you say, ‘I must get out of this’. But to remain with it - understand? - to remain totally without any movement with your jealousy, with your anger, with your hate - you understand? - completely one with it. Not identify yourself with it, because you are that, but to remain with it without any movement… Then you will see that there comes an extraordinary transformation.
The transformation that comes about with the ending of sorrow is passion… So you will find, if you actually, without moving away from that thing called sorrow [observe it], a totally different movement takes place. And that movement is this extraordinary endless passion… that passion is compassion. You understand? The word ‘compassion’ means passion for all things: for birds, trees, for human beings, for the rock, for the stray animal…
If we end the way we are living, then there is a totally different beginning… if you end the way one lives now, there is a new beginning without the ‘me’…
[So] when you understand the full meaning of death and the ending of what it signifies, time as such has come to an end… And this whole enquiry is really a profound meditation, not sitting cross legged and doing all kinds of silly stuff. Because then in the total ending creation takes place. Then there is really an extraordinary sense of tremendous passion and energy.
(Talk 6, Saanen, 1978)
In that total observation there is the emptying of, or going beyond, all the things that thought has put together, which is one’s consciousness.
(The Wholeness of Life)
When you change not at a superficial level but fundamentally, you affect consciousness, because you are the world and the world is you.
(Talk 1, Chennai/Madras, 1974/75)
When there is this truth that you are the entire humanity, sleep with it, go into it, feel your way into it, don’t deny it or accept it, but as the river flows, go into it. You will see what a deep transformation takes place, which is not intellectual, imaginative, sentimental or romantic. In that there is a tremendous sense of compassion, love.
(Last Talks at Saanen 1985)
So, when you as a human being radically transform psychologically, that is, be free of fear, have right relationship with each other, the ending of sorrow, and so on, which is radical transformation… then you affect the whole consciousness of man.
(Talk 1, Calcutta, 1982)