he himself is the barrier

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The one who sees that the barrier is himself

can no longer have a barrier.

Therefore he, in himself, is not separate at all.

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Questioner: Everything and everybody has its own existence. Everything and everybody is shrouded in its own existence. I can never penetrate this enclosure of another’s being. However much I love someone, his existence is separate from mine. I can perhaps touch him from the outside, mentally or physically, but his existence is his own, and mine is forever on the outside of it. Similarly he cannot reach me. Must we always remain two separate entities, each in his own world, with his own limitations, within the prison of his own consciousness?

Krishnamurti: Each lives within his own tissue, you in yours, he in his. And is there any possibility, ever, of breaking through this tissue? Is this tissue – this shroud, this envelope – the word? Is it made up of your concern with yourself and his with himself, your desires opposed to his? Is this capsule the past? It is all of this, isn’t it? It isn’t one particular thing but a whole bundle which the mind carries about. You have your burden, another has his. Can these burdens ever be dropped so that the mind meets the mind, the heart meets the heart? That is really the question, isn’t it?

Questioner: Even if all these burdens are dropped, if that were possible, even then he remains in his skin with his thoughts, and I in mine with my thoughts. Sometimes the gap is narrow, sometimes it is wide, but we are always two separate islands. The gap seems to be widest when we care most about it and try to bridge it.

Krishnamurti: You can identify yourself with that villager or with that flaming bougainvillea – which is a mental trick to pretend unity. Identification with something is one of the most hypocritical states – to identify oneself with a nation, with a belief and yet remain alone is a favourite trick to cheat loneliness. Or you identify yourself so completely with your belief that you are that belief, and this is a neurotic state. Now let’s put away this urge to be identified with a person or an idea or a thing. That way there is no harmony, unity or love. So our next question is: can you tear through the envelope so that there is no more envelope? Then only would there be a possibility of total contact. How is one to tear through the envelope? The “how” doesn’t mean a method, but rather an enquiry which might open the door.

Questioner: Yes, no other contact can be called relationship at all, though we say it is.

Krishnamurti: Do we tear the envelope bit by bit or cut through it immediately? If we tear it bit by bit, which is what analysts sometimes claim to do, the job is never done. It is not through time that you can break down this separation.

Questioner: Can I enter into the envelope of another? And isn’t his envelope his very existence, his heartbeats and his blood, his feelings and his memories?

Krishnamurti: Are you not the very envelope itself?

Questioner: Yes.

Krishnamurti: The very movement to tear through the other envelope, or extend outside of your own, is the very affirmation and the action of your own envelope: you are the envelope. So you are the observer of the envelope, and you are also the envelope itself. In this case you are the observer and the observed: so is he, and that’s how we remain. And you try to reach him and he tries to reach you. Is this possible? You are the island surrounded by seas, and he is also the island surrounded by seas. You see that you are both the island and the sea; there is no division between them; you are the entire earth with the sea. Therefore there is no division as the island and the sea. The other person doesn’t see this. He is the island surrounded by sea; he tries to reach you, or, if you are foolish enough, you may try to reach him. Is that possible? How can there be a contact between a man who is free and another who is bound? Since you are the observer and the observed, you are the whole movement of the earth and the sea. But the other, who doesn’t understand this, is still the island surrounded by water. He tries to reach you and is everlastingly failing because he maintains his insularity. It is only when he leaves it and is, like you, open to the movement of the skies, the earth, and the sea, that there can be contact. The one who sees that the barrier is himself can no longer have a barrier. Therefore he, in himself, is not separate at all. The other has not seen that the barrier is himself and so maintains the belief in his separateness. How can this man reach the other? It is not possible.

source: Krishnamurti, The Urgency of Change, pp 29 – 31

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