Video: Krishnamurti -- when computer takes over human beings
This lecture happened in the year of 1981, now it is the year of 2019, 38 years have passed already. What is only outdated in this video is the video-quality itself, the color and resolution, the sound quality, nothing to do with the content!
Mr. K overestimated the performance of the computer in one way or another, but what he was talking about is taking place at each moment!
Our mind has been working mechanically at all times and has been made dull by all kinds of beliefs and dogmas; for such a mechanical way of living, it is no surprising that computer can threaten people!
As K said, when the computer age arrives, computer takes over the mechanical part of human being; people are left two choices: one is to indulge in entertainment, think about the pornography, Netflix, Youtube, gaming; one is to turn inward to explore the self.
The transcript of the full text
(thanks to J. Krishnamurti - Official Channel)
So together we are going into the whole question why knowledge, intellectual, knowledge through experience, knowledge which we have acquired through tradition, whether that very knowledge – please listen, I am questioning, I am not saying it yet, I am exploring – whether that knowledge itself is not the cause of this immense confusion: not knowledge about the Gita, about the Upanishads, or any of those books – books are not sacred, the printed word is not sacred, but you can attribute to that book what you like. So please, if one may again point out, we are observing together, examining together, being aware that word, explanation is not the actuality.
So, this knowledge that we have acquired through education, through experience, through the past generation upon generations, this knowledge may be – please listen carefully – may be the cause of our disaster because we are burdened with the past. Knowledge is always the past, and that knowledge, being the past, is incomplete. And that knowledge being incomplete, and action then being incomplete, that action must inevitably create confusion, fragmentation. Where there is fragmentation there must be not only conflict but confusion, like nations – fragmented, like religious groups – fragmented, beliefs divide man, ideals divide man. All these are fragmentations, and therefore there must inevitably be conflict, and therefore confusion.
So we are enquiring together whether knowledge is not the cause – which is thought – thought is not the cause of this tremendous decay of man. Thought, as we said, has created extraordinary things: the whole technological world, the surgery, medicine, communication, going to the Moon, and so on; and also thought has created war and all the material to kill man. Thought has also written marvellous poems – I was just reading Keat’s ‘Ode to the Nightingale’, a marvellous poem – but it is put into words by thought. The pictures, the architecture, the temples and what is inside the temples, inside the churches, all created by thought. So thought, in the world, in the physical world in certain areas has brought benefit to man; in other areas it is destroying man, that is knowledge. And this knowledge, which we have acquired through our senses and therefore connected with the brain, this knowledge man has acquired is now being transferred to the computer. I do not know if you are aware of all this.
The computer can do everything that man can do. It can learn. It has been programmed as our brain is programmed: to be a Catholic, to be a Protestant, to be a Hindu, to be a Buddhist. You understand all this? Of course if you pay… Your brain is programmed, whether you like it or not you have to observe it. Otherwise you wouldn’t call yourself a Hindu, or a communist. Your brain has been cultivated through time, and through that time, which is the acquisition of experience, knowledge and so on, that brain has been programmed, has been conditioned to respond according to certain reactions. This is inevitable. That brain is now being given over to the computer. Please realise this. The computer is becoming your brain, the human brain. The computer plus the robot are already operating in manufacturing things – like cars. All kinds of things are happening. In about ten, fifteen years you will be unemployed. You have to face all this. Society is going to be turned upside down. It is coming, whether you like it or not, it’s at your door. You understand the seriousness of all this? I wonder if you do. That your brain, which has been so extraordinarily capable, suffered innumerable sorrows, lives in great anxiety, frightened, insecure – the whole psychological world which is the result of thought, that thought with all its knowledge has been transferred to the computer, and the robot. So man, then, what is he? You understand my question? If the computer can do everything that you can, that your brain can, which is, it can learn, it can correct itself, it can foresee much more than human beings can, its responses are instantaneous, because it is programmed that way.
Then what is man? You understand all this? Computers say, I believe in God. Oh, you people laugh, you don’t see the seriousness of all that is happening to all of us. The computer can compose a poem, can compose, can diagnose better than any doctor. You understand? And then one asks, what is man, what are you? If the machine can do everything even better than you, what are you? Which is, our brains have operated mechanically. Right? It believes, it doesn’t believe, it creates its own gods, its own philosophies – the computer can create a philosophy better than any philosopher. So what have we left? You understand my question? If the machine can take over everything that man can do, and do it still better than us, then what is a human being, what are you? Your belief in God? – the machine has belief in God. It will do rituals better than you can do. It can invent theories better than any philosopher. You understand all this?
So what have we left? What we have left is our psychological world. You understand? Our sorrow, our fears, our pleasures, our anxieties, our immense loneliness. You understand all this? That’s what we are going to be left with. Not with your gods. The gods have been invented by man, by thought. You have shaped gods according to your desires, your fears. So the computer can do all that. [CONTINUES BELOW]
So what we are going to be left with is, time: biological time, psychological time, and time as day and night. That’s what we are going to be left with – time. And biologically time is necessary, that’s part of the genes – genes also probably are computerised in time, to have time to grow physically. And you have psychological time, that is hope, the future, the burden of the past, the anxiety, the fear, the immense everlasting pursuit of pleasure, and not only your own particular sorrow but the sorrow of mankind, of which you are. This is what we are going to be left with. Right? Please, I hope we both are together observing the same thing. Not the speaker is observing and telling you about it, but we are together observing the facts, what is actually going on, of which we are not, most of us are not aware. Technology is advancing so rapidly. And everything that we human beings are doing now – going to the office from nine to five for the next fifty years, and education that is being given to students – you understand? – all that is going to be taken over. For God’s sake, realise!
So we are going to be left with all our senses. Senses which create, which is the centre of the brain, and our senses either deteriorate gradually because we are incapable of using them any more because we are only pursuing pleasure. You are following all this? And so we have to find out what time means. Right? There is the biological time, psychological time, time by the sunset and sunrise, the new moon and the full moon. So there are three times: biological, psychological, time by the watch.
We can perhaps control or change the biological time, which is also, you see what is happening in the world, little boys and girls are already having babies, deformed because their wombs are small. I don’t know what you are all doing! This is happening, sirs. And there is psychological time. You can’t do anything about the chronological time. You can perhaps get up earlier, go later to bed, but you have only one factor, that is psychological time. That time is the movement of thought in consciousness. Don’t agree with me, see it for yourself. Consciousness is made up of its content. Right? The computer has its consciousness because it is programmed to think this way, that way, answer rapidly and so on, which is what our consciousness is. I wonder if you see all the implications of it. Our consciousness which is the accumulated beliefs, the accumulated confusions, the accumulated problems, the beliefs, the superstitions, the fears, the nationalities, the ideals, being left, politically left, centre, right, all that is our consciousness, which the computer is. You realise?
So what are we going to do with our life? You understand? Either because we have time, leisure, and all the trouble which we take now to go to factories, work, work, work, the computer and the robot are going to take over. Then what is man going to do? Either you are going to pursue entertainment, which is pleasure – you understand? The religious pleasures, entertainment, Tirupati, Rome, cathedrals, temples, either you enter into the whole area of entertainment and perhaps that is what is going to happen, because we have lived on entertainment – entertainment from books, if you are inclined to be a philosophic mind, books, being entertained in philosophy. If you are entertained by the Gita, Upanishads, the Bible, you go in for that entertainment. Or you are being entertained by rituals, the mass, the temple worship, you know all that is going on, which is all entertainment. Or you turn inwardly. You understand? Those are the only things we have left: entertainment or deep enquiry into oneself, enquiry into the psychological world: the senses, the fears, the pleasures, whether there is ever an ending to sorrow, what is love – you understand? – what death means. Because the computer will say, ‘I believe in the hereafter’. Do you understand what I am saying?
So together let’s go inward. You understand what I am saying? Let us together examine whether there is an ending to fear, whether there is an ending to insecurity, not physical insecurity because the computer may change the whole structure of society, as it is happening already. So we have only two things left to us: entertainment, or going deeply into the world of the psyche, and going beyond. The scientists are also becoming entertainers, like the priests. So you cannot possibly depend on scientists to salvage our inward state, nor the psychologist, nor the priest, there is nobody that can help us, except our own observation. Which doesn’t mean that we become more and more selfish. We are examining the human consciousness, the human brain. Your brain is not yours, it is the brain of humanity, because it has lived millions and millions of years. So in examining, investigating through sceptical exploration, we are examining not to become more mischievous, more ugly, more inwardly despicable, crooked, corrupt; we are examining so that the brain with all its activity taken over by computer, then we are investigating nature, whether thought which has created the psyche, whether that thought which is time, can stop. You understand? You understand? Please follow.
Thought is time. Right? Thought is the result of memory. Memory is knowledge, experience, stored in the brain, therefore it is a movement, thought is a movement of time. Right? And we are going to enquire very, very deeply whether there is a stop to time. First of all to observe – you understand? – to observe what is going on inwardly, which is the result of senses, the various senses centred in the brain, otherwise you wouldn’t react. So the centre of the brain is the accumulation of the senses, from which thought arises, and thought has created the ‘me’ and the ‘you’, thought has created the individual, but thought itself being fragmented – right? – because knowledge can never be complete, that thought has invented the individual, and so the individual is incomplete. And there is no individual because your brain is the brain of humanity, your brain has evolved through millions and millions of years, therefore you are not an individual. That’s the first thing to realise. It’s logical, it’s not something invented by the speaker. You can see it for yourself if you examine it. So the idea that in investigating this psyche you are becoming more and more selfish, or you are going to be saved: this is not an individual salvation, it’s the salvation of the human being, not you, Mr Smith or Mr Rao, or Mr whatever you name is, sorry – including myself.