Beyond Cause and Effect: Insights from Krishnamurti’s Lecture on the Universe

“There is only attachment; there is no such thing as detachment. The mind invents detachment as a reaction to the pain of attachment. When you react to attachment by becoming “detached,” you are attached to something else. So that whole process is one of attachment. You are attached to your wife or your husband, to your children, to ideas, to tradition, to authority, and so on; and your reaction to that attachment is detachment. The cultivation of detachment is the outcome of sorrow, pain. You want to escape from the pain of attachment, and your escape is to find something to which you think you can be attached. So there is only attachment, and it is a stupid mind that cultivates detachment. All the books say, “Be detached,” but what is the truth of the matter? If you observe your own mind, you will see an extraordinary thing—that through cultivating detachment, your mind is becoming attached to something else.”
~ Jiddu Krishnamurti, The Book of Life: Daily Meditations with Krishnamurti

We live our lives attached to things, people, money, power, views, ideas, beliefs and so on. It takes you in a spiral of negativity, overthinking and hopelessness.

Can we live in this world without a simple sense of attachment? 

Watched this video by Jiddu Krishnamurti, I was pretty confused until I read the transcript, felt like half my brain was trying to understand the words rather than the meaning. This is perhaps one of the reasons why I have always preferred reading as compared to watching a video.

The Universe has no Cause

The universe has no cause; we have causes | Krishnamurti

Transcript of the Conversation

K: We can give different explanations why human beings don’t change. Ten different explanations. What? They are just explanations.

Q: It’s not so much why they don’t change. Why are we not aware of the destructive tension in our brain?

K: When one puts the question ‘why’, then you’re looking for a cause. Right? The discovery of the cause may take time. You will say one thing, he’ll say another, I’ll say something else, so we’ll all be fighting over the cause.

Q: Twice in our conversation, we’ve come to a question, can there be an instantaneous ending, a cutting of something?
A timeless… We keep wondering off. I don’t know if we know how to even approach a question like that.

K: Don’t approach it.

Q: Well, you ask it and what does one do with it?

K: Just look. You tell me that – what? – attachment is dangerous, corrupts. You tell me that. I see your logic, I accept your logic,
I see what you’re saying is true, but I’m attached at the end of that.

Q: It’s not sufficient.

K: I am still attached.

Q: I think you need some sort of deep crisis to have that…

K: Then I’ll wait for time. I don’t want time to dissolve my problem. Time won’t dissolve my problem.

Q: But this crisis is perhaps not induced by time. It could be induced by some shock – suddenly you understand the thing.

K: All right, why doesn’t it take place now?

Q: It could take place now. Perhaps I’m not sensitive enough.

K: Then what? You follow?

Q: But doesn’t that come back to the question, if I may put it? Doesn’t that come back to what it means to actually be attentive?
I don’t know whether I’m jumping.

K: I’m not seeking a cause. I wonder if you understand that.

Q: Would you say the notion of process is itself disorder?

K: You tell me attachment is corruption. You explain to me very logically, the whole explanation. I listen to it. I don’t ask, ‘Why don’t I change?’ My first question – I won’t ask that. I’m still attached. I don’t ask, ‘Why don’t I let go?’ If I ask why, I am seeking a cause. Therefore, what has a cause has an end. Right?

So, I won’t look at the cause. You will tell me that the cause is that and that and that. I won’t do any of that. I know I am attached. I have listened to you, listened to you logic, your clarity, I say, ‘Yes, that is perfectly true.’ But at the end of it, I am still holding on.
Just listen. I am still holding on.

That’s all I know. Please listen. That’s all I know. I’m not interested in ending it, I’m just holding on to that. I see I’m holding on.
I won’t ask why I am holding on, but it is just I am that.

I think it is disastrous to ask what is the cause – for myself, I’m not telling you to accept this.

The universe has no cause. We have causes. If I can not think in terms of cause, time. Then I am attached. That very reality of ‘I am attached’ operates. I don’t have to do a thing.

Experiencing a Spiral

There’s something profound here to be learned, I paused for a moment and pondered on one of the recent causes that was on my mind.

It was something so simple a thought as to why did someone do that? The outcome of the action had already taken place yet I was attached to knowing “why” would that person do that. Sadly the next step is I begin to judge that person from my perspective the person must have not been good, as to why would that person do this. Going down to the no wonder the daughter behaves like that.

So where did the desire of knowing the cause lead me to? It spiraled me into a place of negativity. But this like I believe any philosophy, can be adapted positively to a situation for self improvement or it could be detrimental.

I do love most of Jiddu Krishnamurti’s stuff and if you’re just hearing about him, this post we have on 7 Empowering Jiddu Krishnamurti Lessons to Live By will get you up to speed on some of his thoughts.

Image Source :
Jiddu Art

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Clyde
Clyde
A Psychonaut who believes that humans have tremendous unharnessed powers within. To be immersed in the boundless gifts of nature and being self-sufficient is my Ikigai. With years of web tech experience, I founded and maintain Fractal Enlightenment.
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