This may only interest a few people, but I thought it worth sharing as it opened my eyes to a slightly different perspective on what Krishnamurti means by consciousness.
There is an interesting moment during a conversation with Pupul Jayakar (in Brockwood Park, 1978), when Krishnamurti suggests that consciousness is in fact the consciousness of the whole of life - including the life of animals, trees, insects, etc.
Krishnamurti says that animals, insects, birds and trees have their own feelings as we have feelings, and these feelings are part of a global consciousness of life. However, this consciousness is still limited - limited by suffering, conflict, etc - but it is global in the sense of including all living things, all sentient life.
A little later in the conversation K distinguishes this global but limited consciousness from a cosmic order or universal mind (though he and Pupul Jayakar do not explore this aspect further here, as they do in some other dialogues).
I have clipped the relevant audio excerpt below, and am including the transcript excerpt which continues the discussion a little further.
K: Now, when someone like me uses the word ‘consciousness’—perhaps wrongly—it means the totality of life. You see, for me, ‘consciousness’ means not only my life, your life, and X’s life, but the life of the animal and that of the tree; it encompasses the whole; it encompasses the totality of all that.
PJ: Sir, today you are using the word very differently.
K: Yes, I know; I’m sorry I’m moving away from what I said.
PJ: Yes. In this last sentence you’ve said that consciousness is the totality of life.
K: It is the totality of life.
PJ: So it includes the insect, the bird, the leaf…?
K: They have their own feelings and I have my own—you follow? You see, Pupul, I think that consciousness is global but limited.
PJ: Global but limited?
K: Yes. I am just feeling around. What do you say? Nobody jumps on me here. I say that consciousness is… I won’t go into this for a moment.
PJ: What you have said just now is very, very new and I’d like to pursue it. You have always said that consciousness is its content.
PJ: The content is the past as experience. Now you are saying that consciousness is total, that it is the totality of life.
K: Yes… Mankind goes through all kinds of travail, all kinds of trouble. Every human being goes through the most terrible times.
K: Now, doesn’t everything else go through it also? Insects, birds, every animal and tree—all nature goes through various kinds of turmoil. I am using the word ‘turmoil’ in the sense of disturbance…
But I wouldn’t say that it is cosmic. You see, one has to be very careful with one’s words. ‘Cosmos’ means total order; it is opposed to chaos, which is disorder. And our minds are in disorder. Our consciousness is in disorder. Right?