Question: What is the awareness that you speak of? Is it the awareness of the supreme universal consciousness?
Krishnamurti: Surely, Sirs, to be aware means very simply, to be aware of yourself in relation to your neighbour, to the flower, to the bird, to the tree; to be aware of your own thoughts, feelings and actions, because you must begin very near, mustn't you, to go very far. You cannot be aware of something that you don't know; you talk about universal consciousness, but you don't know it. If you do know it, surely it is not the Real. You have learned of it in a book or you have been told about it. It is still within the field of the mind, of the memory; you want to begin with the most difficult and far away and not with the near, because it is much easier to be aware of God, for you can lose yourself in an idea, in imagination. But to be aware of your own daily acts, daily feelings, daily thoughts is much more painful and so you would rather be aware of something far away than of the things very close, such as your relationship with your wife or with your neighbour. You can be aware of love ideologically for it is the farthest and the most difficult thing. But to be aware, in our relationship how cruel we are, thoughtless, callous, self-enclosed, is very painful, and being conscious of the immediate pain which direct awareness brings, we would rather think of, or be aware of the universal consciousness, whatever that may mean, which again is a form of escape from the actual, from what is.
Public Talk 28th December, 1947