Question: You refer to two forms of action: reaction to environment, which creates conflict, and penetration of environment, which brings freedom from conflict. I understand the first, but not the second. What do you mean by the penetration of environment?
Krishnamurti: There is the reaction to environment when the mind does not understand the environment, and acts without understanding, thereby further increasing the limitation of environment. That is one form of action in which most people are caught up. You react to one environment which creates a conflict, and to escape from that conflict you create another environment which you hope will bring you peace, which is but acting in environment without understanding that the environment may change. That is one form of action.
Then there is the other which is to understand environment and to act, which does not mean that you understand first and then act, but the very understanding itself is action; that is, it is without the calculation, modification, adjustment, which are the functions of memory. You see environment as it is, with all its significance, in the mirror of intelligence, and in that spontaneity of action there is freedom. After all, what is freedom? To move so that there are no barriers, to leave no barriers behind, or create them as you go along. Now the creation of barriers, the creation of environment is the function of memory, which is self-consciousness, which divides mind from intelligence. To put it again differently: action between two false things, the environment and the result of environment, action between these must ever create, must ever increase barriers and therefore diminish, banish intelligence. Whereas, if you recognize this - recognition is not a matter of intellect, recognition must be born of your complete being - then in that full awareness there takes place a different action, which is not burdened by memory - and I have explained what I mean by memory. Therefore every movement of thought and emotion takes a different nuance, a different significance. Then intelligence is not a division between the object which is environment and the creator which you call the self. Then intelligence does not divide, and therefore is itself the spontaneity of action.
8th Public Talk 25th June, 1934