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Category Archives: On Propaganda and Cinema

Can you talk to my unconscious, knowing my conscious brain is going to resist you? Because you are telling me something which is revolutionary, you are telling me something which shatters all my whole house which I have built so carefully, and I won’t listen to you. You follow? My instinctive reactions push you away. So you realise that and say, ‘Look, all right, old friend, just don’t bother to listen to me that way. I am going to talk to your unconscious. I am going to talk to your unconscious and make that unconscious see that whatever movement it does is still within the field of time and so on, so on, so on’. So your conscious mind is never in operation. When it operates it must inevitably resist, or say, ‘I will accept’, therefore it creates a conflict in itself, and all the rest of it. So can you talk to my unconscious?

Bohm: You can always ask how.

Krishnamurti: No, no. You tell me first, ‘Look, old boy, don’t resist, don’t think about, look at that tree, listen, but I am going to talk to you’. (laughs) It sounds funny, but you follow what I mean. I am going to talk to you. We two are communicating with each other without the conscious mind listening. I don’t know if I am…

Bohm: Well, more or less.

Krishnamurti: I think this is what takes place really, sir. When you were talking to me – I was noticing it – I was not listening to your words so much. I was listening to you. I was open to you, not to your words, because I know, you’ve explained, I have looked in the dictionaries and all the rest of it. I said, all right, leave all that, I am listening to you, not to the words which you have used, but to the meaning, to the inward quality of your feeling which wants to tell me something.

Bohm: I understand.

Krishnamurti: That changes me, not all this verbalisation. So can you talk to me about my idiocy, my illusion, my peculiar tendencies, without the conscious mind interfering and saying, ‘Please don’t touch it, leave me alone!’ You know, they’ve – of course you know about it – they have tried subliminal propaganda in advertising, quickly, so that you don’t really pay attention, but your unconscious does, so you buy that particular soap! We are not doing that, that would be deadly. You are telling me, look at the tree, or the cloud, or that picture on that wall, forget, don’t listen to me with your conscious ears but listen to me with the ears that hear much deeper. That is how I listened to you this morning because I am terribly interested in the source, as you are. You follow, sir?

Bohm: I understand, yes.

Krishnamurti: And I say, by Jove, we will come to that, I caught on to it, we will come to that, and I am really interested in that one thing. And this all would be explainable, easily understood – but to come to that thing together, feel it together! You follow? I think that is the way to break a conditioning, a habit, an image which I have cultivated. You talk to me about it at a level where the conscious mind is not totally interested. It sounds silly, but you understand what I am saying, sir?

Say for instance I have a conditioning; you can point it out a dozen times, argue, see the fallacy of it, the illusoriness, the stupidity. I still go on. I resist it, I say no, it’s as it should be, what shall I do in this world if I don’t… and all the rest of it. But you see the truth that as long as the mind is conditioned there must be conflict and all the rest of it. So you penetrate or push aside my resistance and get to that, get the unconscious to listen to you, because the unconscious is much more subtle, much quicker. It may be frightened, but it sees the danger of fear much quicker than the conscious mind does. As when I was walking in California high in the mountains, I was looking at birds and trees and watching other things, and I heard a rattler and I jumped. It was the unconscious that made the body jump; because I saw the rattler when I jumped, it was two or three feet away, it could have struck me very easily. If the conscious brain had been operating it would have taken several seconds.

Bohm: Then to reach the unconscious you have to have an action which doesn’t directly appeal to the conscious.

Krishnamurti: Yes. I think that is affection, that is love. When you talk to my waking consciousness, it is hard, clever, subtle, brittle. And you penetrate that, say, all right, keep your own beastly little stuff, and you penetrate it with your look, with your affection, with all that feeling you have. That operates, not anything else.


– Krishnamurti (The Awakening of Intelligence)


Without claiming superiority of intellectual over visual understanding, one is nevertheless bound to admit that the cinema allows a number of æsthetic-intellectual means of perception to remain unexercised which cannot but lead to a weakening of judgment.

– Johan Huizinga (1872–1945), Dutch historian. In the Shadow of Tomorrow, ch. 7 (1936).

We have been summoned
We have been called upon
By the Movie gods
To be the witnesses
To be observers of
A content that has been
Specially,specifically, formed
To follow a certain logic
To bring us to a certain conclusion
The thinking has all been done
No need to question the outcome
Or the reality of the ideas
You are to just sit and watch
To laugh, cry, ooo and awe
But with a little thought
And an eye for reality
One shortly sees that
Within this little paradise
Of logic and thoughtlessness
Lies ignorance and vanity
Those movie gods love to
Pride and plume themselves
With the knowledge that
Millions of eyes follow them
With the knowledge that
By getting you to laugh and
Cry they have stolen your ability
To reason, to pull your selves
Out of the moment and think
“But life is not cause and effect,
The pieces of this movie have lead
To this conclusion, but this movie
Is not life. So how could this
Conclusion ever fit? If this has
Any truth it can only lie in
This narrow field of vision. For
Life is a whole and we create
Things like this to escape,
To try to get outside yet
Life always includes and
We are always on the inside
For to be out is to be dead.”