Hope is the Past

Public Talk 3 in Ojai, California, 19 April 1975

We are caught in psychological time as the memory of the past and the hope for the future. We don’t know what it is to live totally now. Now is life, not behind or ahead.

J. Krishnamurti, 11th Question, Ojai 2nd Q and A, 8th May, 1980, “Hope”

First of all, are we aware that we live in the past - the past that is always modifying itself, adjusting itself, expanding and contracting itself, but still the past - past experience, past knowledge, past understanding, past delight, the pleasure which has become the past?

The future is the past, modified. So one’s hope of the future is still the past moving to what one considers to be the future. The mind never moves out of the past. The future is always the mind acting, living, thinking in the past.

What is the past? It is one’s racial inheritance, one’s conditioning as Hindu, Buddhist, Christian, Catholic, American and so on. It is the education one has received the hurts the delights, as remembrances. That is the past. That is one’s consciousness. Can that consciousness, with all its content of belief, dogma, hope, fear, longing and illusion, come to an end? For example, can one end, this morning, completely, one’s dependence on another? Dependence is part of one’s consciousness. The moment that ends, something new begins, obviously. But one never ends anything completely and that non-ending is one’s hope. Can one see and end dependence and its consequences, psychologically, inwardly? See what it means to depend and the immediate action taking place of ending it.

What infuriated me the most was the use of the phrase “psychological time” by Krishnamurti. I don’t know who put him up to it. And he distinguished that from chronological time by the clock. To me, they are both the same thing and it took me years to finally reject “psychological time” as a pointless teaching aid.

His point was as I see it, that the ‘wrong turn’ that thought took was to bring the fact of chronological time into the psyche and create this process of “becoming”. Become this or that…Desire to be this or that. Ambition to become. Struggle, effort, to become. Fear of not becoming. Greed to become more and more. Ruthlessness to become. Exploit others to become…All with the idea of a ‘time’ up ahead when I would become,hope to acheive these things.

All of it as a result of what has turned out to be a disasterous mis-placement of the thinking process with time . How do you see this?

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First of all, I question the use of the phrase “wrong turn”. It implies the occurrence of a “mistake”. What is the basis of that judgment and who is the judge? A short answer would be me, the human being, who sees human suffering and one’s personal quandary in this whole damn mess and doesn’t like it. This would be the tack of social activism conditioned by a biased sense of morality to change the world.

The illusion of the self is clear to me. This illusion is all pervasive throughout the entirety of consciousness which encompasses existential reality and not restricted just to the individual, the person, that sense of self-awareness. Time is an illusion, and so is space, as well as, all other aspects of objective reality in which the self is imprisoned. This is why I corroborated your insight that there is no there there. Becoming - as a movement - in transiting “physical” space from here to there, as well as, transforming from being what I am to something else, is illusory.

I am requesting that posts not having to do with the topic, Hope is the Past, to delete their posts. You are welcomed to come back and post about the topic at hand. Thank you

I know people have made up their minds about what “hope” is. But I think it is very important to understand how Krishnamurti saw hope and not supplant this understanding of his with our own opinions and beliefs. I feel that if we allow these digressions to stand then as time moves on it undermines what K’s message was. It gets watered down with these opinions and beliefs that are contrary to what K pointed out.

What K discovered were, for him, facts, what is, the truth. Like science, you either understand the facts or you don’t. Disagreeing with the facts is like saying you don’t believe 2 + 2=4. It’s not worth replying to.

Public Talk 3 Ojai, CA 19 April 1975

We are caught in psychological time as the memory of the past and the hope for the future. We don’t know what it is to live totally now. Now is life, not behind or ahead.

For some reason my last two posts aren’t recorded after the symbols of other posters.