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excerpts from Krishnamurti texts and recordings
Whenever one strives to convey the essence of something through words, the difficulty is that the word is not the thing itself. Through the past few years, as i've read texts and listened to recordings of Krishnamurti, there were statements that touched something so deeply, i wrote them down. Of course, whenever one cites a sentence or a passage from someone else, there is always the missing remainder of the complete work being cited, so the complete context of the original citation is not fully apprehended. However, presenting such excerpts to someone who has not encountered the author before, may provide an initial exposure that stimulates further interest and exploration which otherwise might not occur.
In including excerpts here, the hope is that by sharing passages i have found particularly meaningful and insightful, perhaps others will likewise discover something new and fresh.
Truth is a pathless land. You cannot approach it by any religion, any sect. You are accustomed to being told how far you have advanced, what your spiritual state is. How childish. Who but yourself can tell whether you are beautiful or ugly within?-- J. Krishnamurti, Holland, 1929
The primary cause of disorder in ourselves is the seeking of reality promised by another . . . It is a most extraordinary thing that although most of us are opposed to political tyranny and dictatorship, we inwardly accept the authority, the tyranny, of another to twist our minds and our way of life.-- J. Krishnamurti, Freedom from the Known, p. 10
In recent years logicians and semanticists have carried out a very thorough analysis of the symbols, in terms of which men do their thinking. Linguistics has become a science, and one may even study a subject to which the late Benjamin Whorf gave the name of meta-linguistics. All this is greatly to the good; but it is not enough. Logic and semantics, linguistics and meta-linguistics--these are purely intellectual disciplines. They analyse the various ways, correct and incorrect, meaningful and meaningless, in which words can be related to things, processes and events. But they offer no guidance, in regard to the much more fundamental problem of the relationship of man in his psychophysical totality, on the one hand, and his two worlds, of data and of symbols, on the other.
In every region and at every period of history, the problem has been repeatedly solved by individual men and women. Even when they spoke or wrote, these individuals created no systems--for they knew that every system is a standing temptation to take symbols too seriously, to pay more attention to words than to the realities for which the words are supposed to stand. Their aim was never to offer ready-made explanations and panaceas; it was to induce people to diagnose and cure their own ills, to get them to go to the place where man's problem and its solution present themselves directly to experience.-- Aldous Huxley from the Introduction to
The First and Last Freedom by J. Krishnamurti
. . . it is important to understand, not intellectually but actually in your daily life, how you have built images about your wife, your husband, your neighbor, your child, your country, your leaders, your politicians, your gods--you have nothing but images.
The images create the space between you and what you observe and in that space there is conflict, so what we are going to find out now together is whether it is possible to be free of the space we create, not only outside ourselves but in ourselves, the space which divides people in all their relationships.
Now the very attention you give to a problem is the energy that solves that problem. When you give your complete attention--I mean with everything in you--there is no observer at all. There is only the state of attention which is total energy, and that total energy is the highest form of intelligence. Naturally that state of mind must be completely silent and that silence, that stillness, comes when there is total attention, not disciplined stillness. That total silence in which there is neither the observer nor the thing observed is the highest form of a religious mind. But what takes place in that state cannot be put into words because what is said in words is not the fact. To find out for yourself you have to go through it.-- J. Krishnamurti, Freedom from the Known, pp. 92-93
Understanding of the self only arises in relationship, in watching yourself in relationship to people, ideas, and things; to trees, the earth, and the world around you and within you. Relationship is the mirror in which the self is revealed. Without self-knowledge there is no basis for right thought and action.-- J. Krishnamurti, Krishnamurti, A Biography
by Pupul Jayakar, p. 142
Is the problem not one of refusing to accept a leader? This alone brings equality in social and economic relationships. When thrown on his own responsibility, man will inevitably question. And in questioning there is no higher, no lower. Any system based on acceptance of capacity differences to establish status must inevitably lead to a hierarchical society, and so breed class war. . . . What is it that gives dignity to man? Self-knowledge--the knowledge of what you are? The follower is the greatest curse.-- J. Krishnamurti, Krishnamurti, A Biography
by Pupul Jayakar, pp. 146-7
It is tradition, the accumulation of experience, the ashes of memory, that make the mind old. The mind that dies every day to the memories of yesterday, to all the joys and sorrows of the past--such a mind is fresh, innocent, it has no age; and without that innocence, whether you are ten or sixty, you will not find God.-- J. Krishnamurti, Think on These Things
We think that living is always in the present and that dying is something that awaits us at a distant time. But we have never questioned whether this battle of everyday life is living at all. We want to know the truth about reincarnation, we want proof of the survival of the soul, we listen to the assertion of clairvoyants and to the conclusions of psychical research, but we never ask, never, how to live--to live with delight, with enchantment, with beauty every day. We have accepted life as it is with all its agony and despair and have got used to it, and think of death as something to be carefully avoided. But death is extraordinarily like life when we know how to live. You cannot live without dying. You cannot live if you do not die psychologically every minute. This is not an intellectual paradox. To live completely, wholly, every day as if it were a new loveliness, there must be dying to everything of yesterday, otherwise you live mechanically, and a mechanical mind can never know what love is or what freedom is.-- Krishnamurti, Freedom From The Known, p. 76-77
We are always comparing what we are with what we should be. The should-be is a projection of what we think we ought to be. Contradiction exists when there is comparison, not only with something or somebody, but with what you were yesterday, and hence there is conflict between what has been and what is. There is what is only when there is no comparison at all, and to live with what is, is to be peaceful. Then you can give your whole attention without any distraction to what is within yourself--whether it be despair, ugliness, brutality, fear, anxiety, loneliness--and live with it completely; then there is no contradiction and hence no conflict.-- Krishnamurti, Freedom From The Known, p. 63
It is always difficult to keep simple and clear. The world worships success, the bigger the better; the greater the audience the greater the speaker; the colossal super buildings, cars, aeroplanes and people. Simplicity is lost. The successful people are not the ones who are building a new world. To be a real revolutionary requires a complete change of heart and mind, and how few want to free themselves. One cuts the surface roots; but to cut the deep feeding roots of mediocrity, success, needs something more than words, methods, compulsions. There seem to be few, but they are the real builders--the rest labor in vain.
One is everlastingly comparing oneself with another, with what one is, with what one should be, with someone who is more fortunate. This comparison really kills. Comparison is degrading, it perverts one's outlook. And on comparison one is brought up. All our education is based on it and so is our culture. So there is everlasting struggle to be something other than what one is. The understanding of what one is uncovers creativeness, but comparison breeds competitiveness, ruthlessness, ambition, which we think brings about progress. Progress has only led so far to more ruthless wars and misery than the world has ever known. To bring up children without comparison is true education.-- J. Krishnamurti, Krishnamurti, A Biography,
by Pupul Jayakar, pp. 255-256
Our brains have become so small by the words we have used. When one speaks to a group of scientists, specialists in various disciplines--one sees that their lives have become so small. They are measuring everything in terms of words, experiences. And it is not a matter of word or experience. Words are limited; all experiences are limited. They cover a very small area.-- J. Krishnamurti, Krishnamurti, A Biography,
by Pupul Jayakar, p. 488
To allow the free flow of life, without any residue being left, is real awareness. The human mind is like a sieve which holds some things and lets others go. What it holds is the size of its own desires; and desires, however profound, vast noble, are small, are petty, for desire is a thing of the mind. Not to retain, but to have the freedom of life to flow without restraint, without choice, is complete awareness. We are always choosing or holding, choosing the things that have significance and everlastingly holding on to them. This we call experience, and the multiplication of experiences we call the richness of life. The richness of life is the freedom from the accumulation of experience. The experience that remains, that is held, prevents that state in which the known is not. The known is not the treasure, but the mind clings to it and thereby destroys or defiles the unknown.
Life is a strange business. Happy is the man who is nothing. . . .
Don't let problems take root. Go through them rapidly, cut through them as through butter. Don't let them leave a mark, finish with them as they arise. You can't help having problems, but finish with them immediately.-- J. Krishnamurti, Krishnamurti, A Biography,
by Pupul Jayakar, pp. 263, 273
All authority of any kind, especially in the field of thought and understanding, is the most destructive, evil thing. Leaders destroy the followers and followers destroy the leaders. You have to be your own teacher and your own disciple. You have to question everything that man has accepted as valuable, as necessary.-- J. Krishnamurti, Freedom from the Known, p. 21
As most of our education is the acquisition of knowledge, it is making us more and more mechanical: our minds are functioning along narrow grooves, whether it be scientific, philosophic, religious, business or technological knowledge that we are acquiring. Our ways of life, both at home and outside it, and our specialising in a particular career, are making our minds more and more narrow, limited and incomplete. All this leads to a mechanistic way of life, a mental standardisation, and so gradually the State, even a democratic State, dictates what we should become. Most thoughtful people are naturally aware of this but unfortunately they seem to accept it and live with it. So this has become a danger to freedom.
Freedom is a very complex issue and to understand the complexity of it the flowering of the mind is necessary. Each one will naturally give a different definition of the flowering of man depending on his culture, on his so called education, experience, religious superstition - that is, on his conditioning. Here we are not dealing with opinion or prejudice, but rather with a non-verbal understanding of the implications and consequences of the flowering of the mind. This flowering is the total unfoldment and cultivation of our minds, our hearts and our physical well-being. That is, to live in complete harmony in which there is no opposition or contradiction between them. The flowering of the mind can take place only when there is clear perception, objective, non-personal, unburdened by any kind of imposition upon it. It is not what to think but how to think clearly. We have been for centuries, through propaganda and so on, encouraged in what to think. Most modern education is that and not the investigation of the whole movement of thought. The flowering implies freedom: like any plant it requires freedom to grow.J. Krishnamurti, Letters To The Schools, Volume 1 pp. 10-11
Why has humanity given such extraordinary importance to thought? Is it because it is the only thing we have, even though it is activated through senses? Is it because thought has been able to dominate nature, dominate its surroundings, has brought about some physical security? Is it because it is the greatest instrument through which man operates, lives and benefits? Is it because thought has made the gods, the saviours, the super- consciousness, forgetting the anxiety, the fear, the sorrow, the envy, the guilt? Is it because it holds people together as a nation, as a group, as a sect? Is it because it offers hope to a dark life? Is it because it gives an opening to escape from the daily boring ways of our life? Is it because not knowing what the future is, it offers the security of the past, its arrogance, its insistence on experience? Is it because in knowledge there is stability, the avoidance of fear in the certainty of the known? Is it because thought in itself has assumed an invulnerable position, taken a stand against the unknown? Is it because love is unaccountable, not measurable, while thought is measured and resists the changeless movement of love?
We have never questioned the very nature of thought. We have accepted thought as inevitable, as our eyes and legs. We have never probed to the very depth of thought: and because we have never questioned it, it has assumed preeminence. It is the tyrant of our life and tyrants are rarely challenged.-- Krishnamurti, Letters To The Schools, Volume 1, 15th March, 1979
The tendency to endow with special interest
institutions in which men become mere machines
in the service of an idea, is fatal.
Anyone who accepts this state of affairs
loses his integrity as a result
and the love of man is destroyed.-- J. Krishnamurti, 1932
He was a big man, heavily built, with large hands. He must have been a very rich man. He collected modern pictures and was rather proud of his collection which the critics had said was very good. As he told you this you could see the light of pride in his eyes. He had a dog, big, active and full of play; it was more alive than its master. It wanted to be out in the grass among the dunes, racing against the wind, but it sat obediently where its master had told it to sit, and soon it went to sleep from boredom.
Possessions possess us more than we possess them. The castle, the house, the pictures, the books, the knowledge, they become far more vital, far more important, than the human being.
He said he had read a great deal, and you could see from the books in the library that he had all the latest authors. He spoke about spiritual mysticism and the craze for drugs that was seeping over the land. He was a rich, successful man, and behind him was emptiness and the shallowness that can never be filled by books, by pictures, or by the knowledge of the trade.
The sadness of life is this--the emptiness that we try to fill with every conceivable trick of the mind. But that emptiness remains. Its sadness is the vain effort to possess. From this attempt comes domination and the assertion of the me, with its empty words and rich memories of things that are gone and never will come back. It is this emptiness and loneliness that isolating thought breeds and keeps nourished by the knowledge it has created.
It is this sadness of vain effort that is destroying man. His thought is not so good as the computer, and he has only the instrument of thought with which to meet the problems of life, so he is destroyed by them. It is this sadness of wasted life which probably he will be aware of only at the moment of his death--and then it will be too late.
So the possessions, the character, the achievements, the domesticated wife, become terribly important, and this sadness drives away love. Either you have one or the other; you cannot have both. One breeds cynicism and bitterness which are the only fruit of man; the other lies beyond all woods and hills.-- J. Krishnamurti, The Only Revolution, 1970, p. 126-7
(from The Second Penguin Krishnamurti Reader)
to look at myself without any formula -- can one do that? Otherwise you can't learn about yourself obviously. If I say, I am jealous, the very verbalization of that fact, or of that feeling, has already conditioned it. Right? Therefore I cannot see anything further in it. . . . Now the question is: can the mind be free of this egocentric activity? Right? That is really the question, not whether it is so or not. Which means can the mind stand alone, uninfluenced? Alone, being alone does not mean isolation. Sir, look: when one rejects completely all the absurdities of nationality, the absurdities of propaganda, of religious propaganda, rejects conclusions of any kind, actually, not theoretically, completely put aside, has understood very deeply the question of pleasure and fear, and division -- the `me' and the `not me' -- is there any form of the self at all?J. Krishnamurti, Observing Without The `Me',
Brockwood Park, First Public Talk, September 5, 1970
Tomorrow becomes necessary when we do not see very clearly today.-- J Krishnamurti, Is Thinking a Slave to Time?, 1974
when the things outside us become of great meaning, we are inwardly poverty-ridden.-- J. Krishnamurti, The Only Revolution, 1970, p. 146
(from The Second Penguin Krishnamurti Reader)
The speaker doesn't like to divide consciousness into the unconscious and the conscious, it is all consciousness. You can play around with those words but consciousness is whole, you cannot divide it. Either for profit, for amusement, or for various other subjective reasons. But consciousness is whole. It is really indivisible, but we like to divide, break it up.-- J. Krishnamurti, Brockwood Park, 1984
This recording inwardly is the divisive process. The divisive process is the self, the me and the not me, which is creating havoc in the world . . . Is the mechanism which has gone on for centuries the me and the not me, can that mechanism stop so that there is no me inwardly? The me being the self and all the rest of it, that's all. This has been not only a question for the scientists, but for the religious people, the serious ones, not the phoney ones. The real religious people have said, can there be no self at all, and live in this world, not go off into monasteries or run away to some kind of fanciful entertainment. Actually live without the self. That's all. Which requires a further statement, which is: is it possible not to record inwardly, psychically, and all that? I say it is possible. You may say, "You are a nut, you are crazy", but that is all right, we will discuss it."-- Krishnamurti, Brockwood Park, England, June 8, 1984
Pleasure is encouraged by thought, isn't it? Thought can give it a continuity, the appearance of duration which we call happiness; as thought can also give a duration to sorrow. Thought says: `This I like and that I don't like. I would like to keep this and throw away that.' But thought has made up both, and happiness now has become the way of thought. When you say: `I want to remain in that state of happiness'--you are the thought, you are the memory of the previous experience which you call pleasure and happiness.
So the past, or yesterday, or many yesterdays ago, which is thought, is saying: `I would like to live in that state of happiness which I have had.' You are making the dead past into an actuality in the present and you are afraid of losing it tomorrow. Thus you have built a chain of continuity. This continuity has its roots in the ashes of yesterday, and therefore it is not a living thing at all. Nothing can blossom in ashes--and thought is ashes. So you have made happiness a thing of thought, and it is for you a thing of thought.
But is there something other than pleasure, pain, happiness and sorrow? Is there a bliss, an ecstasy, that is not touched by thought? For thought is very trivial, and there is nothing original about it. In asking this question, thought must abandon itself. When thought abandons itself there is the discipline of the abandonment, which becomes the grace of austerity. Then austerity is not harsh and brutal. Harsh austerity is the product of thought as a revulsion against pleasure and indulgence.
From this deep self-abandonment--which is thought abandoning itself, for it sees clearly its own danger--the whole structure of the mind becomes quiet. It is really a state of pure attention and out of this comes a bliss, an ecstasy, that cannot be put into words. When it is put into words it is not the real.-- J. Krishnamurti, The Only Revolution, 1970, p. 50
(from The Second Penguin Krishnamurti Reader)
Having realised that we can depend on no outside authority in bringing about a total revolution within the structure of our own psyche, there is the immensely greater difficulty of rejecting our own inward authority, the authority of our own particular little experiences and accumulated opinions, knowledge, ideas and ideals. You had an experience yesterday which taught you something and what it taught you becomes a new authority --and that authority of yesterday is as destructive as the authority of a thousand years. To understand ourselves needs no authority either of yesterday or of a thousand years because we are living things, always moving, flowing never resting. When we look at ourselves with the dead authority of yesterday we will fail to understand the living movement and the beauty and quality of that movement.
To be free of all authority, of your own and that of another, is to die to everything of yesterday, so that your mind is always fresh, always young, innocent, full of vigour and passion. It is only in that state that one learns and observes. And for this a great deal of awareness is required, actual awareness of what is going on inside yourself, without correcting it or telling it what it should or should not be, because the moment you correct it you have established another authority, a censor.-- J. Krishnamurti, Freedom from the Known, pp. 19-20
The greater the outward show, the greater the inward poverty; but freedom from this poverty is not the loin-cloth. The cause of this inward emptiness is the desire to become; and, do what you will, this emptiness can never be filled. You may escape from it in a crude way, or with refinement; but it is as near to you as your shadow. You may not want to look into this emptiness, but nevertheless it is there. The adornments and the renunciations that the self assumes can never cover this inward poverty. By its activities, inner and outer, the self tries to find enrichment, calling it experience or giving it a different name according to its convenience and gratification. The self can never be anonymous; it may take on a new robe, assume a different name, but identity is its very substance. This identifying process prevents the awareness of its own nature. The cumulative process of identification builds up the self, positively or negatively; and its activity is always self-enclosing, however wide the enclosure. Every effort of the self to be or not to be is a movement away from what it is. Apart from its name, attributes, idiosyncrasies, possessions, what is the self? Is there the "I," the self, when its qualities are taken away? It is this fear of being nothing that drives the self into activity; but it is nothing, it is an emptiness.
If we are able to face that emptiness, to be with that aching loneliness, then fear altogether disappears and a fundamental transformation takes place. For this to happen, there must be the experiencing of that nothingness--which is prevented if there is an experiencer. If there is a desire for the experiencing of that emptiness in order to overcome it, to go above and beyond it, then there is no experiencing; for the self, as an identity, continues. If the experiencer has an experience, there is no longer the state of experiencing. It is the experiencing of what is without naming it that brings about freedom from what is.-- J. Krishnamurti, Commentaries on Living, First Series, 1956, p. 54
Krishnamurti: No, no, you are missing my point. My brain has lived for a million years. It has experienced everything. It has been a Buddhist, it has been a Hindu, a Christian, it has been a Muslim, it has been all kinds of things, but the core of it is the same. Right? And you come along and say, look there is a ground which is -- something. Are you going back to what I have already known? You follow? Hindus, Buddhists. If you do I reject all that because I say I have been through all that. They are like ashes to me at the end of it.
David Bohm: Well all of those things were attempts to create an apparent ground by thought. It seemed that through knowledge and thought, through Buddhism, and various other ways, people created what they regarded was the ground. And it wasn't.
K: It wasn't. Because I have spent a million years at it.
B: So as long as knowledge enters the ground that will be false?
K: Of course. So can I -- I am just asking -- is there a relationship between that and the human mind? In asking that question I am also aware of the danger of such a question.
B: Yes. Well you may create a delusion of the same kind that we have already gone through.
K: Yes. I have played that before, that song.
Q: Are you suggesting that the relationship cannot be made by you, but it must come . . .
K: I am asking that. No, it may be I have to make a relationship. My mind now is in such a state, I won't accept a thing.
Q: But the bridge, if there is such a thing.
K: No wait, listen to my mind: my mind says I have been through all this before. I have suffered, I have searched, I have looked, I have investigated, I have lived with people who are awfully clever at this kind of thing, and so on and so on. So, I am asking this question being fully aware of the danger of that question. Because that is what the Hindus say, god is in you, Braham is in you, which is a lovely idea. I have been through all that. So I am asking `X', if the human mind has no relationship to it, and that there is only one-way passage, from that to me . . .
B: Well that's like the grace of god then.
K: That's just, you see, I've captured,
B: That you have invented.
K: That--I won't accept that.
Q: And also aren't we then again back into the area of ideas?
K: No. They may be. So I am rejecting the explanation, grace of god.
B: Well you are not saying the relationship is one way, nor are you saying it's not one way.
K: Maybe, I don't know.
B: You're not saying anything.
K: I am not saying anything. All that I want is -- want in quotes -- this centre to be blasted. You understand? For the centre not to exist. Because I see that centre is the cause of all the mischief, all the neurotic conclusions, all the illusions, all the endeavour, all the effort, all the misery, everything is from that core. After a million years, I haven't been able to get rid of it, it hasn't gone. So is there a relationship at all? What is the relationship between goodness and evil, or bad? Right? It comes to the same thing. There is no relationsip.
B: It depends upon what you mean by relationship.
K: All right. Contact, touch, communication, being in the same room.
B: Having the same root.
K: Yes, same root.
Q: But Krishnaji, are we then saying that there is the good and that there is the evil?
K: No, no. Don't. Goodness -- use another word, whole, and that which is not whole. It is not an idea. Now, is there relationship between these two? Obviously not.
B: Yes, well, but if you're saying that in some sense the centre is an illusion -- an illusion cannot be related to that which is true because the content of the illusion has no relation to what is true.
K: That's it, that's it. You see that is a great discovery. I want to establish relationship with that -- want, I am using rapid words to convey this same meaning which is -- this petty little thing wants to have a relationship with that immensity. It cannot.
B: Yes, it is not just because of its immensity but because in fact this thing is not actual.
Q: But I don't see that.
K: What do you mean?
Q: He says the centre is not actual. And that's part of my difficulty is I don't see that the centre is not actual.
B: Actual in the sense of being genuine and not an illusion. I mean something is acting but it is not the content which we know.
K: Do you see that?
Q: No. He says the centre must explode. It does not explode because I don't see the falseness in it.
K: No, no, no. You have missed my point. I have lived a million years, I have lived, I have done all this. And at the end of it I am still back at the beginning.
Q: Right, and you say the centre then must explode.
K: No, no, no. What, I have want to, the mind says this is too damn small.
K: And it can't do anything about it. It has prayed, it has done everything. It's still there.
K: And, he comes along and tells me there is this thing. I want to establish a relationship with that.
Q: He tells me there is this thing and he also tells me that the centre is an illusion.
B: Wait, that's too quick.
K: No. Wait. I know it is there. I'll call it what you like.
K: Illusion, a reality, a fixation -- whatever you like. It is there. And, the mind says, it is not good enough, it wants to capture that. Therefore it wants to have that relationship with it. And that says, `Sorry, you can't have relationship with me.' That's all!
Q: Krishnaji, is that mind which wants to be in connection, or which wants to have a relationship with that, is that the same mind which is the `me'?
K: Yes, yes. No, don't split it up sir. You are missing something. I have lived all this. Don't argue with me. I know, I can argue with you, back and forth. I have a million years of experience and it has given me a certain capacity. And I realize at the end of it all there is no relationship between me and truth. Right? And that's a tremendous shock to me. You follow? It is like you have knocked me out, because all of my millions of years of experience says, go after that, seek it, search it, pray for it, struggle for it, cry for it, sacrifice. I have done all that. And suddenly `X' says, you cannot have relationship with that. You see, you understand what i am...? You are not feeling the same as I am. I have shed tears, left my family, everything, for that. And that says, `Sorry'. So what has happened to me? That's what I want to get at. You understand sir? Do you understand what I am saying? What has happened to the mind that has lived this way, done everything that man has done in search for that, and that says, one morning, `You have no relationship with me'. Sir, this is the greatest thing. Right? I don't know if you follow what I mean.
Q: This is a tremendous shock to the `me', if you say that.
K: Is it to you?
Q: I think is was and then things started . . .
K: Don't -- I am asking you: is it a shock to discover that your brain, and your mind, your knowledge is valueless? All your examinations, all your struggles, all the things that one has gathered through years and years, centuries, absolutely worthless. Either I go mad, because I say, `My god, I have done all this for nothing? My virture, my abstinence, my control, everything and at the end of it you say they are valueless.' Sir, you understand what it does to me? You don't see it.
B: I mean if the whole thing goes then it's of no consequence.
K: Because what you have said, which is that absolutely you have no relationship. What you have done, not done, what you have, is absolutely of no value. You understand sir?
B: Not in any fundamental sense. It has relative value. It has only relative value within a certain framework, in which itself has no value.
K: Yes, thought has a relative value.
B: But the framework in general has no value.
K: That's right. Whatever you have done on earth -- in quotes -- has no meaning, the ground says. Is that an idea? Or an actuality? You understand, sir? The idea being that you have told me but I still go on, struggling, wanting, groping; but it is an actuality, in the sense that I suddenly realize the futility of all that I have done. So I must be very careful -- when I use the word `I' it doesn't mean -- I must be very careful to see that it is not a concept, or rather that I don't translate into a concept, an idea, but receive the full blow of it!-- Krishnamurti, The Ground of Being and the Mind of Man,
5th Conversation with Dr. David Bohm, Ojai, California,
April 12, 1980.
Consciousness with its content is within the field of matter. The mind cannot possibly go beyond that under any circumstances, do what it will, unless it has complete order within itself and the conflict in relationship has come totally to an end; which means a relationship in which there is no 'me'. This is not just a verbal explanation. The speaker is telling you what he lives, not what he talks about. If he does not live it, it is hypocrisy, a dirty thing to do.-- Krishnamurti, Saanen, 1974
Does life having meaning, a purpose? Is not living in itself its own purpose? Why do we want more? . . . Our difficulty is that, since our life is empty, we want to find a purpose to life and strive for it. Such a purpose of life can only be mere intellection, without any reality; when the purpose of life is pursued by a stupid, dull mind, by an empty heart, that purpose will also be empty. This question about the purpose of life is put by those who do not love.-- Krishnamurti, The First and Last Freedom, 1954
You know, that is quite interesting, to sit together for an hour and talk over our problems without any pretence, without any hypocrisy, and without assuming some ridiculous facade. To have a whole hour together is really extraordinary, because so rarely do we sit and discuss serious matters with anybody for a whole hour. You may go to the office for a whole day, but it has far greater meaning to spend sixty minutes or more together in order to investigate, to seriously examine our human problems hesitantly, tentatively and with great affection, without trying to impose one opinion upon another, because we are not dealing with opinions, ideas, or theories.Saanen 71, in 'The Awakening of Intelligence' p. 279
Questioner: How can we be free of dependence as long as we are living in society? Krishnamurti: Do you know what society is? Society is the relationship between man and man, is it not? Don't complicate it, don't quote a lot of books; think very simply about it and you will see that society is the relationship between you and me and others. Human relationship makes society; and our present society is built upon a relationship of acquisitiveness, is it not? Most of us want money, power, property, authority; at one level or another we want position, prestige, and so we have built an acquisitive society. As long as we are acquisitive, as long as we want position, prestige, power and all the rest of it, we belong to this society and are therefore dependent on it. But if one does not want any of these things and remains simply what one is with great humility, then one is out of it; one revolts against it and breaks with this society.
Unfortunately, education at present is aimed at making you conform, fit into and adjust yourself to this acquisitive society. That is all your parents, your teachers and your books are concerned with. As long as you conform, as long as you are ambitious, acquisitive, corrupting and destroying others in the pursuit of position and power, you are considered a respectable citizen. You are educated to fit into society; but that is not education, it is merely a process which conditions you to conform to a pattern. The real function of education is not to turn you out to be a clerk, or a judge, or a prime minister, but to help you understand the whole structure of this rotten society and allow you to grow in freedom, so that you will break away and create a different society, a new world. There must be those who are in revolt, not partially but totally in revolt against the old, for it is only such people who can create a new world--a world not based on acquisitiveness, on power and prestige.
I can hear the older people saying, "It can never be done. Human nature is what it is, and you are talking nonsense". But we have never thought about unconditioning the adult mind, and not conditioning the child. Surely education is both curative and preventive. You older students are already shaped, already conditioned, already ambitious; you want to be successful like your father, like the governor, or somebody else. So the real function of education is not only to help you uncondition yourself, but also to understand this whole process of living from day to day so that you can grow in freedom and create a new world--a world that must be totally different from the present one. Unfortunately, neither your parents, nor your teachers, nor the public in general are interested in this. That is why education must be a process of educating the educator as well as the student.-- Krishnamurti, Think On These Things, pp. 21-23
Questioner: You say that we should revolt against society, and at same time you say that we should not have ambition. Is not the desire to improve society an ambition? Krishnamurti: I have very carefully explained what I mean by revolt, but I shall use two different words to make it much clearer. To revolt within society in order to make it a little better, to bring about certain reforms, is like the revolt of prisoners to improve their life within the prison walls; and such revolt is no revolt at all, it is just mutiny. Do you see the difference? Revolt within society is like the mutiny of prisoners who want better food, better treatment within the prison; but revolt born of understanding is an individual breaking away from society, and that is creative revolution.
Now, if you as an individual break away from society, is that action motivated by ambition? If it is, then you have not broken away at all, you are still within the prison, because the very basis of society is ambition, acquisitiveness, greed. But if you understand all that and bring about a revolution in your own heart and mind, then you are no longer ambitious, you are no longer motivated by envy, greed, acquisitiveness, and therefore you will be entirely outside of a society which is based on those things. Then you are a creative individual and in your action there will be the seed of a different culture.
So there is a vast difference between the action of creative revolution, and the action of revolt or mutiny within society. As long as you are concerned with mere reform, with decorating the bars and walls of the prison, you are not creative. Reformation always needs further reform, it only brings more misery, more destruction. Whereas, the mind that understands this whole structure of acquisitiveness, of greed, of ambition and breaks away from it--such a mind is in constant revolution. It is an expansive, a creative mind; therefore, like a stone thrown into a pool of still water, its action produces waves, and those waves will form a different civilization altogether."-- Krishnamurti, Think On These Things, pp. 155-156
There were about eight people around the table at lunch. One was a film director, another a pianist, and there was also a young student from some university. They were talking about politics and the riots in America, and the war that seemed to be going on and on. There was an easy flow of conversation about nothing. The director said, suddenly: `We of the older generation have no place in the coming modern world. . . . I, personally . . . see that I have no relation or contact with anyone of the younger generation. I feel that we are hypocrites.'
This was said by a man who had many well-known avant-garde films to his name. He was not bitter about it. He was just stating a fact, with a smile and a shrug of his shoulders. What was specially nice about him was his frankness, with that touch of humility which often goes with it. . . .
The university student had been silent all this time . . . but he was taking in the conversation, as were the others. . . .
He said: `Though I am only twenty I am already old compared with the fifteen-year-olds. Their brains work faster, they are keener, they see things more clearly, they get to the point before I do. They seem to know much more, and I feel old compared with them. But I entirely agree with what you said. You feel you are hypocrites, say one thing and do another. This you can understand in the politicians and in the priests, but what puzzles me is -- why should others join this world of hypocrisy? Your morality stinks; you want wars.
`As for us, we don't hate the Negro, or the brown man, or any other colour. We feel at home with all of them. I know this because I have moved about with them.
`But you, the older generation, have created this world of racial distinctions and war -- and we don't want any of it. So we revolt. But again, this revolt is made fashionable and exploited by the different politicians, and so we lose our original revulsion against all of this. Perhaps we, too, will become respectable, moral citizens. But now we hate your morality and have no morality at all.'
There was a minute or two of silence; and the eucalyptus was still, almost listening to the words going on around the table. The blackbird had gone, and so had the sparrows.
We said: Bravo, you are perfectly right. To deny all morality is to be moral, for the accepted morality is the morality of respectability, and I'm afraid we all crave to be respected -- which is to be recognized as good citizens in a rotten society. Respectability is very profitable and ensures you a good job and a steady income. The accepted morality of greed, envy and hate is the way of the establishment.
When you totally deny all this, not with your lips but with your heart, then you are really moral. For this morality springs out of love and not out of any motive or profit, of achievement, of place in the hierarchy. There cannot be this love if you belong to a society in which you want to find fame, recognition, a position. Since there is no love in this, its morality is immorality. When you deny all this from the very bottom of your heart, then there is a virtue that is encompassed by love.-- Krishnamurti, The Only Revolution, 1970, pp. 130-131
(from The Second Penguin Krishnamurti Reader)
Then we come again to this extraordinary question of the nature of death. That must be answered, neither with fear, nor by escaping from that absolute fact, nor by belief, nor hope. There is an answer, the right answer, but to find the right answer one has to put the right question. But you cannot possibly put the right question if you are merely seeking a way out of it, if the question is born of fear, of despair and of loneliness. Then if you do put the right question with regard to reality, with regard to man's relationship to man, and what that thing called love is, and also this immense question of death, then out of the right question will come the right answer. From that answer comes right action. Right action is in the answer itself. And we are responsible. Don't fool yourself by saying `What can I do? What can I, an individual, living a shoddy little life, with all its confusion and ignorance, what can I do?' Ignorance exists only when you don't know yourself. Self-knowing is wisdom. You may be ignorant of all the books in the world (and I hope you are), of all the latest theories, but that is not ignorance. Not knowing oneself deeply, profoundly, is ignorance; and you cannot know yourself if you cannot look at yourself, see yourself actually as you are, without any distortion, without any wish to change. Then what you see is transformed because the distance between the observer and the observed is removed and hence there is no conflict.-- Krishnamurti, Talks in Europe 1968, p. 56, Paris, April 16, 1968
Freedom is not a reaction: freedom is not choice. It is man's pretence that because he has choice he is free. Freedom is pure observation without direction, without fear of punishment and reward. Freedom is without motive; freedom is not at the end of the evolution of man but lies in the first step of his existence. In observation one begins to discover the lack of freedom. Freedom is found in the choiceless awareness of our daily existence and activity.-- Krishnamurti, from The Core of Krishnamurti's Teaching, 1980
Freedom is not a reaction: freedom is not choice. It is man's pretence that because he has choice he is free. Freedom is pure observation without direction, without fear of punishment and reward. Freedom is without motive; freedom is not at the end of the evolution of man but lies in the first step of his existence. In observation one begins to discover the lack of freedom. Freedom is found in the choiceless awareness of our daily existence and activity. from The Core of Krishnamurti's Teaching.
This statement was originally written by Krishnamurti himself on October 21, 1980 for Krishnamurti: The Years of Fulfillment by Mary Lutyens, volume volume 2 of his biography, published by Farrar, Straus & Giroux in 1983. © Mary Lutyens. On re-reading it Krishnamurti added a few sentences.
When we condemn or justify we cannot see clearly, nor can we when our minds are endlessly chattering; then we do not observe what is; we look only at the projections we have made of ourselves. Each of us has an image of what we think we are or what we should be, and that image, that picture, entirely prevents us from seeing ourselves as we actually are.-- J. Krishnamurti, Freedom from the Known, p. 24
Self-interest hides in many ways, hides under every stone and every act - hides in prayer, in worship, in having a successful profession, great knowledge, a special reputation, like the speaker. When there is a guru who says, `I know all about it. I will tell you all about it' - is there not self-interest there? This seed of self-interest has been with us for a million years. Our brain is conditioned to self-interest. If one is aware of that, just aware of it, not saying, `I am not self-interested' or `How can one live without self-interest?' but just be aware, then how far can one go, how far can one investigate into oneself to find out for ourselves, each one of us, how in action, in daily activity, in our behaviour, how deeply one can live without a sense of self-interest?
So, if we will, we will examine all that. Self-interest divides, self- interest is the greatest corruption (the word corruption means to break things apart) and where there is self-interest there is fragmentation - your interest as opposed to my interest, my desire opposed to your desire, my urgency to climb the ladder of success opposed to yours. Just observe this; you can't do anything about it -- you understand? - but just observe it, stay with it and see what is taking place.-- Krishnamurti, Last Talks At Saanen, 1985, pp. 84-85.
To understand anything you must live with it, you must observe it, you must know all its content, its nature, its structure, its movement. Have you ever tried living with yourself? If so, you will begin to see that yourself is not a static state, it is a fresh living thing. And to live with a living thing you mind must also be alive. And it cannot be alive if it is caught in opinions, judgements and values.-- J. Krishnamurti, Freedom from the Known, p. 23
If I am all the time measuring myself against you, struggling to be like you, then I am denying what I am myself. Therefore I am creating an illusion. When I have understood that comparison in any form leads only to greater illusion and greater misery, just as when I analyse myself, add to my knowledge of myself bit by bit, or identify myself with something outside myself, whether it be the State, a savior or an ideology--when I understand that all such processes lead only to greater conformity and therefore greater conflict--when I see all this I put it completely away. Then my mind is no longer seeking. It is very important to understand this. Then my mind is no longer groping, searching, questioning. This does not mean that my mind is satisfied with things as they are, but such a mind has no illusion. Such a mind can then move in a totally different dimension. The dimension in which we usually live, the life of every day which is pain, pleasure and fear, has conditioned the mind, limited the nature of the mind, and when that pain, pleasure and fear have gone (which does not mean that you no longer have joy: joy is something entirely different from pleasure) --then the mind functions in a different dimension in which there is no conflict, no sense of `otherness'.
Verbally we can go only so far: what lies beyond cannot be put into words because the word is not the thing. Up to now we can describe, explain, but no words or explanations can open the door. What will open the door is daily awareness and attention--awareness of how we speak, what we say, how we walk, what we think. . . . It depends on your state of mind. And that state of mind can be understood only by yourself, by watching it and never trying to shape it, never taking sides, never opposing, never agreeing, never justifying, never condemning, never judging--which means watching it without any choice. And out of this choiceless awareness perhaps the door will open and you will know what that dimension is in which there is no conflict and no time.-- J. Krishnamurti, Freedom from the Known, pp. 32-33
Thought is never new, for thought is the response of memory, experience, knowledge. Thought, because it is old, makes this thing which you have looked at with delight and felt tremendously for the moment, old. From the old you derive pleasure, never from the new. There is no time in the new.
So if you can look at all things without allowing pleasure to creep in-- at a face, a bird, the colour of a sari, the beauty of a sheet of water shimmering in the sun, or anything that gives delight--if you can look at it without wanting the experience to be repeated, then there will be no pain, no fear and therefore tremendous joy.
It is the struggle to repeat and perpetuate pleasure which turns it into pain. Watch it in yourself. The very demand for the repetition of pleasure brings about pain, because it is not the same as it was yesterday. You struggle to achieve the same delight, not only to your aesthetic sense but the same inward quality of the mind, and you are hurt and disappointed because it is denied you. . . . You cannot think about joy. Joy is an immediate thing and by thinking about it, you turn it into pleasure. Living in the present is the instant perception of beauty and the great delight in it without seeking pleasure from it.-- J. Krishnamurti, Freedom from the Known, pp. 36-37
The oberver is fear and when that is realised there is no longer any dissipation of energy in the effort to get rid of fear, and the time-space interval between the observer and the observed disappears. When you see that you are part of fear, not separate from it--that you are fear--then you cannot do anything about it; then fear comes totally to an end.-- J. Krishnamurti, Freedom from the Known, p. 48
When you call yourself an Indian or a Muslim or a Christian or a European, or anything else, you are being violent. Do you see why it is violent? Because you are separating yourself from the rest of mankind. When you separate yourself by belief, by nationality, by tradition, it breeds violence. So a man who is seeking to understand violence does not belong to any country, to any religion, to any political party or partial system; he is concerned with the total understanding of mankind.-- J. Krishnamurti, Freedom from the Known, pp. 51-52