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"We make our world significant by the courage of our questions and the depth of our answers" - Carl Sagan



Documents : Essence : J Krishnamurti


Mind Of J K : S R Vas : English

Mind of JK

The Mind of J. Krishnamurti

Edited by S. R. Vas (1989)

People need to be awakened, not instructed. (p.16)

My teaching is neither mystic nor occult. For I hold that both mysticism and occultism are man’s limitation upon truth. Life is more important than any beliefs or dogmas, and in order to allow life its full fruition you must liberate it from beliefs, authority, and tradition. But those who are bound by these things will have a difficulty in understanding truth.

Think and love. (p.21)

Of what importance is that to which you cling, if doubt can destroy it ? Of what value are your traditions, your beliefs, and your accumulations, if doubt is capable of sweeping them away ? A man who is afraid of doubt will never find the truth. Doubt is a precious ointment; it heals though it burns greatly. If you are afraid of little burns, you will never destroy the impurities you have accumulated throughout your lives. In avoiding life, in fearing life, you shelter yourself in decaying things, and in that shelter there is sorrow, but in inviting doubt you will create that which will be eternal, and bear the stamp of happiness. (p.22)

Trust life. (p.23)

I have nothing to offer you. (p.31)

Those who wish to understand my point of view, who have a desire to attain that which I have attained, can in no manner compromise with the unrealities, with the unessentials that surround them. Through their own ecstatic desire to attain they must impose on themselves the self-discipline of which I am going to speak. I want this perfectly understood. Of what use is a vast horde of people who always compromise, a vast number who are uncertain, vague, frightened, doubtful ? If there are three who have become a flame of Truth, who are a danger to everything around them that is unessential, those three and I will create a new understanding, a new delight, a new world. I am going to find one or three or half a dozen who are absolutely certain and determined, who have finished with all compromise. The rest will follow leisurely at their convenience, because they needs must suffer more, learn more.

Man being free, is wholly responsible to himself, unguided by any plan, by any spiritual authority, by any divine dispensation whatsoever. As he is free, he is, by that very freedom, limited. If you were not free, you would have a different world from that which exists at present. As the will in everyone is free, it is limited, and because the self is small, without determination or purpose at the beginning, it chooses, it discriminates, has its likes and has its dislikes. In the removal of that limitation, which is self-imposed on the self, lies the glory of the fulfilment of the self, the freedom of the self.

This attainment is not brought about by ecstasy, nor does it lie in the abandoning of oneself to works or to meditation, or in the blind following of another, or in immolation of oneself to a cause. Because the “I”, the self, is in process of achieving, it is creating barriers between itself and its fulfilment, by its eagerness, its struggles, through fear, through innumerable complications. To remove these barriers of limitation, you need constant awareness, constant watchfulness, constant self-reflection, which must be imposed on yourself, never by another. But if you discipline yourself unconsciously, without knowing where you are going, that self-discipline itself becomes a barrier. Understand the purpose of life, and from that very understanding will arise self-discipline. Self-discipline must be born out of the love of Life-vast, immeasurable, whole, unconditioned, limitless, to which all humanity belongs. Because you love that freedom which is absolute, which is Truth itself, which is harmony; by the very force of that love, your self-discipline will make you incorruptible; so you must nourish that love. The incorruptibility of the self is the perfection of life.

Till man is made incorruptible by himself, he will know no happiness, he will be held in the bondage of friendship and the fear of loneliness. The weariness of strife will still hold him. Men must be created who are great in the serenity of harmony. Such men must be born in you. Such men must give rise to new transformations, must become a flame to burn away the dross danger to all unessential, childish things.

To become such men you must live in the eternal now, in that moment of eternity which is neither the future nor the past. In you must be concentrated that understanding, that immense power which shall destroy the unrealities, the unessential things that surround the self. Such men by their lives will create a new world, a new understanding. It is your life that matters, what you do, what you think, not what you preach, not in what manner you cast a shadow on the face of life.

All this may seem immense, vague, uncertain, impossible to achieve; but you must go after it, even though you are weak, these are all small as compared with the everlasting. (p.44-46)

We all know that human consciousness can be disturbed with stimulants. An alcoholic drink will do that much for you. But then you are back next morning where you were before, when the effect of the drink is gone, feeling worse and miserable for your experience. Truly great experiences are those which happen on their own, without any effort on the part of the individual to manipulate them – for himself or for others. (p.50)

These experiences (yogic), however profound they may appear to be, remain within the sphere of time. For me hypnosis, drugs or yoga are all attempts at self-delusion.

It was not a change of ‘attitudes’ (breaking with the Order of the Star). It was a total change which I experienced, if I may put it that way. I felt that the truth about life had to be discovered by each individual for himself. The whole concept of Gurus and Followers became unreal to me, and I had to step aside from that position which I realised was a false one.

I have been teaching, but at a totally different level (not as a Guru). I am certainly all for sharing one’s thoughts with others. In that light, I would be willing to accept any of the great teachers, Christ or Buddha or any one else. I only object to a cult being woven around them where the figure of the teacher becomes more important than his words or his thoughts. (p.51)

Man’s discovery of God ceases to be a discovery if he begins this search with a foregone conclusion in his mind. Most religions impose a certain image of the type of God they would want their followers to worship. Whereas to mind, in the search for truth, which to me is the search for God, the choice does not rest with us as to what to reject or accept. Truth, God, call it what you will, is an awareness of the totality of existence, of our hopes and desires, our ambitions, our greed, our loves and thousands of other emotions which constitute what passes for the living individual. I believe organized religions stand in the way of this awareness of the totality of existence.

Mind has its own place, a unique place in our lives. Without the use of your mind you won’t be able to find your way back home, and I won’t be able to conduct this conversation without its help. But mind can only move in the sphere of the known, in the sphere of time. Whereas we refer to God as the unknown the timeless, is it not ? Till a certain stage, in the three dimensions world, our mind can serve us to our advantage. But to reach the fourth dimension of existence, the mind instead of moving along the horizontal plane, must learn to shoot up vertically as it were and explode for the timeless, for the unknown to be. (p.52)

{How do you see this worked our in practice, in the routine life of the millions who seek God ?}

In their sensitivity, in their ability to remain open for the new. I do not like the word God: it smacks of anthropomorphism. But in a man’s sensitivity to, in his choiceless awareness of the totality of existence, in this alone I find whatever meaning the word God conveys.

Day-to-day living is more valuable for me, for it is through this that one unfolds the meaning of existence.

We form a relationship and later get into the habit of looking at it from a fixed point of view – whether the relationship is with one’s wife, or one’s children, or one’s neighbours. Such relationships cease to be creative; they become dead. To have a moving relationship one has to be aware of the others as they are , from moment to moment, one has to be responsive to them, in short one has to be sensitive. Habit of any kind dulls sensitivity. We must be willing to accept the change in others and willing to change ourselves. ‘Willing’ is perhaps not the correct expression. If we are sensitive, we cannot help noticing how time and circumstances modify others and we cannot help being impressed ourselves by the same process. Sensitivity demands the ability to have serene mind, a mind which is not preoccupied with itself, a mind which is receptive, which is an open mind, a mind which is not always getting hurt at what it sees or perceives. (p.53)

If some one sticks a pin into you, you are bound to react – protect yourself, or cry out in pain, or take yourself away from the offending agent – your reaction depending on several factors, varying from man to man, I mean hurt in the sense of nursing hatred. An event is over and for years we keep brooding over it working ourselves up into a state of passion. The challenge of existence ever demands a fresh approach on our part to an issue or to an individual. A mind which nurses hatred, or for that matter nurses joy, long after the event is over, ceases to be sensitive. Sensitivity is my equivalent of meditation, which brings you its own rewards.

By being what you really are (one can achieve this sensitivity). By trying to see what is. You see genetically, or through earlier conditioning, I have acquired a certain type of character. It is there, a part of myself, like my nose or the shape of my chin. Now I must try and see myself as I am, and I must make no effort to be anything else.

I am not advocating self-indulgence, that a hypocrite should continue to be hypocrite or a thief remain a thief. I should not submit to my weakness, but I should not indulge in the opposite of my weakness either as a way of getting rid of it.

I’ll make it clear. Let us say I am given to hating others. Now I must not go and start loving them, making love as a panacea for my foolish temperament. That way I shall never learn to grow out of my hateful nature. I will only be generating contradictions in myself, running from one conflict to another. What is wanted of me is to accept the fact that I hate others and then go into the cause of this. I should ask myself: why do I hate ? Is it that I expect too much from life ? Am I in any respect frustrated? What is it that I want ? Am I capable enough to get it ? I should ask myself all this, and stay in this state of exploration, without making any deliberate effort on my part to get rid of my malady. Suddenly, I will discover that a transformation takes place in myself, without any planning on my part, a creative transformation. My sensitivity has now come into play! (p.54-55)

It is a fear only if we see death as an event in time. We imagine death waiting for us far ahead, and in the course of the years we build up a terror of this enemy which is lying behind the bush to pounce on us.

Now the thing to do is to bring death closer to our daily life. Instead of letting it sit there at other end of our life, let us bring it nearer, to the present day. We will discover then that death is there in everything: in our relationship with others, in the cells of our body as we continue to live, a constant change which is the law of life. If we keep this fact before us and learn the art of dying every day to some part of ourselves, old memories, old relationships, the fear of death will vanish. The art of living to a large extent consists of learning the art of dying. It will then give rise to that play of sensitivity about which I spoke earlier. The actual death of the body one day, as you know, is unavoidable.

{But what do you think of the hereafter ?}

No one knows the answer. (p.55)

{But do you hold out the hope of some kind of survival of man’s personality after death ?}

That is the repetitive desire of holding on to the known, to the familiar facets of life, is it not? The hereafter belongs to the unknown. Any attempt to affirm or deny its existence will take us away from the truth of it, which truth is that no one knows the answer. (p.55-56)

Most of these schools, whether it is Buddhism or Vedanta or any other, suggest a “path” – the middle path, the negative path and the like, I suggest no path at all. For a path implies effort or practice, and the immeasurable can only be faced by a person in keeping himself free of effort, in a state of alert readiness for the new, in a state without fear or hope.

I’m very fond of India. (p.56)

I’ve my home in the world. (p.57)

It is wrong, he said to regard liberation as annihilation. It is more truly a beginning. And yet, in one sense, it is not a beginning at all, since pure life is altogether out of Time.

A goal it is, for those who are striving to reach it; but in itself it is more truly a starting point.

There is nothing in liberation, as such, he went on, to preclude further activity in the phenomenal worlds. There can, of course, be no compulsion, since freedom from compulsion is implicit in the idea of liberation. But if the liberated life so wills, it can manifest itself in the worlds of matter; and, in so far as it enters into those worlds, it will come under the law of those worlds, which is evolution.

But even if it does so, the growth which will then ensue will be of a different kind from that which preceded liberation. For it will be a growth informed by absolute, or pure life. Formerly there was (or seemed to be) an Ego, and growth appeared as the unfolding of this. Now there is no longer an Ego; it has disappeared for ever at liberation. What we have therefore to grasp, if we can – and it is no easy matter – is the idea of a universal life building up fresh instruments for its self-expression; those instruments being in the world of form and so having, in that world, the outward appearance of individuality. The chief mark of post-liberation activity will be that it is absolutely natural, effortless, spontaneous, unselfconscious. The life thus manifested in the material worlds will have its roots in the Eternal. It will have realised its own universality. And, because there is no longer any sense of separate “I-Ness” to obstruct things, its activity will be as simple and as natural as that of a flower. (p.59-60)

It does preserve what may be called a sense of self-identity. It still, so to speak, looks out on the world through its own eyes and refers all its experience to itself. But this “self” is not an Ego. It is that far more subtle thing – individual uniqueness. And here we come to another thing which must almost elude our powers of thought. Individual uniqueness is not a differentiation on the form side, as the Ego is. It is a differentiation inherent in the life itself, and it only comes into full action, if one may put it so, when the Ego has ceased to exist. Such uniqueness is what makes every individual life different from every other and gives it its own centre of consciousness; and even when the universal life has been realised, this uniqueness remains. One may speak of it as that pure abstract “form” of individuality, which remains when all the egoism has been drained from it. It is individual, and at the same time it is universal. The nearest we can go to it in concrete language, is to describe it as the focus through which the universal life is released, and through which it manifests freely after liberation. For a human being there can be no complete merging in the Absolute, in the sense of evaporation into the Totality of Life. The differentiation, however, abstract and tenuous, involved in this individual uniqueness is everlasting; and it is this that makes possible any subsequent evolutionary growth, which the liberated life may still experience in the world of form, if it so wills. (p.60-61)

We can see that to talk of so-and-so “obtaining liberation” is a misuse of terms. That which is liberated is always life, not the individual. Indeed it is at the expense of the individual that such liberation is achieved. Life alone benefits by the transaction. It is true that the individual uniqueness, which persists on both sides of the liberating process, finds that, instead of belonging to the Ego, it has really all along belonged to the life universal. But that discovery is made at, or after, liberation. The process towards liberation must always seem like the killing out of individuality – hence its painfulness. (p.61)

Liberation, then, is the liberating of life by the destruction of separateness, so that this life can thenceforward function in its fullness through the pure form of individual uniqueness.

There is one simple mark, which holds good of every manifestation of pure, or universal, life. It is that it acts but never reacts. Until we have got rid of the Ego, most our conscious life is made up of reactions. Take love, for example. This is, in most cases, a reaction set up within us by some person who happens to attract us. A person who does not happen to set up this reaction, we do not love. But after liberation, when pure life is at work, what occurs is quite the reverse. Then love becomes life-force going out from ourselves. It may be compared to a searchlight, which renders loveable all on whom its beam may happen to fall.

The liberated life means the poise of love and reason. (p.62)

No impact from outside can disturb its equilibrium; on the contrary, it is ever ready to leap forth in any direction, as soon as the impulse comes from within.

The great thing that we have all to do, therefore, said Krishnamurti, is gradually to change our reactions into actions. Every movement of the life within us must become self-originating. We must cease to be stirred either by attraction or repulsion from without, and must set up an outward-going life which will bestow its own qualities upon the world about it. Such substitution of pure action for reaction is the true detachment; for it is, of its own nature, indifferent to objects. It is also liberation; for the sole life of the Ego – which itself is the sole obstacle to freedom – consists in reactions. Abolish the reactions and substitute pure actions and the Ego automatically disappears. (p.63)

Liberation is a matter of life and not of forms. (p.64)

The idea that liberation can be won “in moments”, and that each such moment has the essential quality of full liberation, is one on which K laid much stress. That is why he speaks sometimes of the necessity of aiming at perfection in all the little things of life. For “perfection” is that quality which automatically supervenes when absolute life is touched. It is the natural and spontaneous expression of pure life. Consequently to aim at perfection in small details is to aim, indirectly, at the release of pure life; and any perfect action, no matter how small, is thus a liberation. By doing this, K said, we can, so to speak, set up a “habit of liberation”, long before the final freedom is achieved. (p.64-65)

It’s important to think rightly in order to release something creative. To think rightly you must know yourself. To know yourself you must be detached, absolutely honest, free from judgement. It means continual awareness of one’s thoughts and feelings during the day without acceptance or rejection, like watching a movie of oneself.

In order to watch more closely, it’s necessary to slow down the mental process. Close examination will automatically do this, like slowing down the movie. (p.67)

When I’m giving a lecture my whole attention is on the audience, but the recording process continues; afterwards I can look at my inward reactions. If I’m talking to someone about something that occupies merely my superficial attention, or if I’m doing something such as washing dishes, then I’m aware of what’s going on inside of me; but I can’t give my whole attention to think about it until I’m alone.

Once begun and given the right environment, awareness is like a flame. It will grow immeasurably. The difficult thing is to activate the faculty.

{What do you mean by the right environment?}

Not being too tired; having enough time to be aware. ‘Work’ on it and give it enough fuel – the fuel is one’s life. (p.68)

You’re the result of the past – your body, your feelings, and your thinking. Your body is just a copy. Any feeling, for example, envy or anger, is a result of the past. Whatever you do about that envy, such as repression, trying to make it into something, or some other action, is also the result of the past. So you’re merely moving within the circle of experience. You must ‘work’ on this; think about it, meditate, try to see it in all its aspects – calmly, detached, as looking at a new and unknown animal, you’re interested in its shape, its habits and so on; you don’t know whether it’s poisonous or not so you’ve no reaction. That’s meditation, trying to free oneself from the past, transcending the past so as to discover the unknown, the timeless; otherwise it’s merely moving within the circle of the past. (p.69)

You must meditate on this until you can feel it throughout all your being, not just one layer, all the layers. Then there will be a great calmness, infinite peace.

Write this down as I’ve said it. Then look at it and watch your reactions to it. Think about it. Try to find out what you think about it. It will come to you later. (p.70)

There =’s a distinct difference between being stimulated and being awake. Being awake is like a flame illuminating everything within. (p.72-73)

One has to watch one’s physical condition, being careful about diet, not getting too tired and so on.

Intensify the enquiry. Of course you can’t inquire all day, but you can be alert. You’ll find lots of energy. Push the inquiry so you’re really vital. (p.78)

Inspiration, according to my idea, is keeping intelligence, enthusiastically awakened. (p.82)

You can’t divide intuition from intelligence in the highest sense.

Intuition is the highest point of intelligence and to me keeping alive that intelligence is inspiration. Now, you can only keep alive that intelligence, of which intuition is the highest expression, by experience, by being all the time like a questioning child. Intuition is, the apotheosis, the culmination, the accumulation of intelligence. (p.82)

What divides individuals ? Forms. Your form is different from mine, but that life behind you and behind me is the same. So life is unity; therefore your life and my life must likewise culminate in that which is eternal, that which is freedom and happiness.

Isn’t it like a child who says: teach me higher mathematics! My reply would be: it would be useless to teach you higher mathematics unless you have first learnt algebra. If we understand this particular thing, the divinity of that life which lies before us, it is not important to discuss what lies beyond, because we are discussing a thing which is unconditioned with a conditioned mind. (p.83)

If you keep your mind, your emotions, your body in harmony, pure and strong, then that highest point of intelligence, out of which the intuition acts.

That is the only guide. (p.84)

You cannot say it (Truth) is the absolute or the relative. It is far beyond matter, time and space. Take, for example, the water in that river out there. It is limited by its banks. Then you might say, looking at the water: “Water is always limited”, because you see the narrow banks enclosing it. But if you were in the midst of the ocean where you see nothing but water, you could say: “Water is limitless”. (p.84-85)

Freedom is the common goal for all – you admit that. If each man realises that freedom is the common goal, each one then in shaping, in adapting himself to this common goal can only create order. (p.86)

At the present time Society, working without a goal, puts him into prison or kills him; it is a just vengeance. But if you and I were the authorities who laid down laws for Society, we should keep in mind all the time that, for the murderer, as for ourselves, the goal is the same, which is freedom. It is no good killing him because he has killed someone else. We should rather say: “look here, you have misused your experience, you have killed life which was trying to grow through experience towards freedom. You also want experience, but experience which injures another, which interferes with another, cannot lead to your ultimate happiness and freedom.” We should create laws founded on wisdom, which is the culmination of experience, and not on the idea of vengeance. If you had a child, and that child did something wrong, you would not promptly put him into a corner. You would make him see the reason why he should not act in that manner. (p.86-87)

Teach the child from the very beginning that its goal is happiness and freedom, and that the manner of attainment is through the harmony of all the bodies – mind, emotion and the physical body.

Put him into conditions where he will see the ideal. That is, precept, example.

If you are a musician, and I am learning from you, I would watch every movement that you make. After all, you are a master in music, and I want to learn. Don’t you see, that is my whole point – the example is lacking. (p.87)

It Is absolutely and urgently necessary to produce a radical revolution in human consciousness, a complete mutation in the entire psychological structure of man.

Psychological mutation takes place only when the process of accumulation ceases. (p.88)

I want to de-condition the totality of human consciousness. (p.89)

Evolution needs time, not mutation. Mutation is sudden.

Man affects his surrounding and the surrounding affects only that part of him which depends on his surrounding. It cannot affect the whole of him, the deepest in him. No outer pressure can do it; it can affect only the surface of his mind. Nor can psychoanalysis cause mutation for all analysis needs time. Nor will it be precipitated by experience, however exalted and ‘spiritual’. On the contrary, the more it takes the appearance of a revelation, the more it is conditioned. Whether the change is caused by subjective analysis or external pressure, it will not lead to a deep transformation of the individual; he will be merely modified, shaped and adjusted to fit into the social frame. In the case of a so-called, ‘spiritual’ experience, it either conforms to an organized belief or may be quite personal, yet it is always an escape into a symbol; in each case the change is under pressure, moral or social and caused by a sense of contradiction and conflict. Society always contradicts itself. It demands effort from its members and creates conflict. But contradiction, conflict, effort, competition are all obstacles to mutation, for mutation is identical with freedom.

The unexplored parts of the unconscious are full of symbolic images. Even words are only symbols. One must go beyond words. (p.90)

An experience always conditions. Every experience, not only the so-called spiritual experience, has its roots in the past. All that I recognise as my experience, be it of God or of a man, implies a bond with the past. A spiritual experience is merely a response from the past to my anxiety, pain, fear and hope, a compensation for misery. My consciousness arrogates the opposite of itself, and imagines the opposite to be reality, happy, exalted and consoling. The Catholic or the Buddhist builds and protects the image of the Holy Virgin or of the Buddha and these constructions create intense emotions in the same unexplored layers of the unconscious, which have been responsible for the visions and now take them for reality.

The symbols or the words become more important than reality itself. They stay as memory in consciousness which says: “I know, for I had a spiritual experience”. The words and the conditioning by words give life to each other in a vicious circle. The memory of an intense emotion, the impact of an ecstasy, create the desire for a repetition and the symbol becomes the supreme inner authority, the ideal towards which all the efforts converge. The re-capture of the vision becomes the goal of life, aspiration and ceaseless discipline – the means. But thought itself creates a gap between the individual as he is and the symbol or the ideal. Mutation is not possible unless we bridge this gap. Mutation can happen only when all experience ceases completely. The awakened man is free from experiences. But everybody seems to be in search of ever deeper and vaster experiences. We are all convinced that the more experiences we have, the more we are alive. But we do not live reality; we live symbols, concepts, ideals and words. We feed on words, our spiritual life has become a perpetual conflict, because we live by concepts like the hungry man who eats bits of paper with ‘bread’ written on it. We live by words, not facts. In all walks of life, whether spiritual or sexual, in our work or leisure, we are stimulated by words. Words organise themselves into thoughts and ideas; they excite us and the greater the gap between reality (what we are) and the ideal (which we are not), the more intensely we imagine ourselves to live. And thus we destroy all possibility of mutation. (p.91-92)

It (Mutation) is a total explosion in the unexplored layers of the unconscious, an explosion at the very core, at the very roots of conditioning, a demolition of time. (p.92)

If you want to know, you must die to time, die to the entire concept of time, to the past, present and future. Die to systems, to symbols, to words, for they are all factors contributing to corruption. Die to your own psyche, the maker of time which has no reality, the time of memories and hopes. (p.92-93)

{When consciousness has lost its bearings and is deprived of the very notion of its own identity, what will remain then but despair, anxiety and fear ?}

You ask this question because you have not travelled that far, because you have not crossed to the other shore.

This problem of fear is both deep and vast. Let us tackle it from all directions. Fear is thought, fear is time. We are giving continuity to fear as we are giving continuity to pleasure, by thinking. It is very simple – thought gives continuity to the thing which gave us pleasure and to the thing which caused us pain and fear. If I am afraid of you – or death – or anything. I think of you or of death and perpetuate my fear. But if I can face the thing that frightens me, fear ceases. (p.93)

I am talking of psychological fear, not of the fear of a physical danger we want to avoid, which is but natural. Look at the fear of death. What is it made of ? We divide the totality of existence into life and death. Life is the known and death the unknown. Are you afraid of what you do not know or do you fear to lose what you know. Life and death are clearly only two aspects of the same event. Once we stop considering life and death as separate, all conflict ceases. (p.93-94)

There is no absolute fear. Fear is always of something. Look at it carefully and you will see. All fear, however unconscious, is the result of a thought. All fear, of the outer or of the inner, is basically the fear of extinction, of not being. Not being this or that, or just not existing. We know that all existence is transitory and, yet we crave for psychological permanence and thus craving is the origin of fear. To be free from fear we must explore to its very roots this idea of permanence. The man without illusions is without fear. Which does not make him cynical, but indifferent. (p.94)

We are faced with a major problem: death. To understand it, not verbally, but as a fact, to penetrate into the reality of the fact of death, we must free ourselves of all belief, notion or speculation with regard to death, for every idea we may have about it is born from fear. When you and I are free from fear, we shall be able to state the problem of death correctly. We shall not be asking what will happen ‘after’ death, but we shall explore death as a fact. To understand death, all begging in darkness for survival must cease. Are we in the state of mind which does not seek beyond death, but wants to know what is death? Do you see the difference? If you ask what is after, it is because you do not ask what it is in itself. And are we able to put such question? Can we ask what is death without asking what is life? And can we ask what is life as long as we have ideas, concepts and theories about death. What do we know of life? We know a consciousness ceaselessly struggling among various conflicts, internal and external. This consciousness is torn by contradiction, enclosed in the ring of its own demands and commitments, of pleasures it pursues and pains it shuns. Internally we are living in a world which no accumulation of possessions, material or mental, will ever fill. In that emptiness there is no life, so the question of death does not arise. Is our existence life? And our theories about resurrection or reincarnation, do they arise from the knowledge of death? Are they not mere protections of ideas we have about the fragment of existence which we call life? (p.94-95)

They continue their propaganda in order to maintain their power over minds. They seek to get hold of children to condition them better. The religions, whether of Church or of State demand from man every virtue, but their history shows a succession of violence, terrors, tortures, massacres, horrors beyond imagination. (p.95)

If brotherhood has become more important than a cult, it is because cults have lost their value even to their priests. But their universalism is mere mutual tolerance, the bearing with each other under certain conditions. All tolerance needs the background of intolerance as non-violence of violence.

It is a fact, that nowadays religion, the true communion between man and what lies beyond him, has no place whatsoever in human affairs. Religious organisations, on the contrary, have become instruments of politics and economics. (p.95-96)

Whoever wants to enlarge one’s outlook can pick up any of the sciences that suits him. To imagine that the knowledge of atoms and galaxies will enable us to commune with the universe is like maintaining that the study of books on love will give us the insight into and the power to love. And did the modern man, so conversant with the latest discoveries in science, lay bare the universe of his own unconscious? For as long as the smallest part of his mind remains unconscious, it will project words and symbols which will create the illusion of communion with something higher.

Let us see rather what is true religion. An organized religion can produce mere social reforms and superficial changes. A Church exists only within the framework of a Society. And I am talking of a religious revolution which will take us beyond the psychological structure of society, of any society. A truly religious man is free of all fear, for he is free of the patterns created by the many civilisations over thousands of years. He is also free from the past, personal and collective and his future is not distorted by the pressure of his own actions. (p.96)

He is free, vital and totally silent. Silence is important, which is a measureless state, knowable as beyond experience, beyond words, beyond thought, an un-created energy. Without this creative silence there can be no brotherhood and peace and no true religion.

The repetition of sacred formulas calms the agitations of the mind and puts it to sleep. Prayer is a sedative which enables us to continuity in our psychological prison without feeling the need of bursting it open and destroying it. The mechanism of prayer, like all mechanisms, gives a mechanical result. There is no prayer capable to pierce through the ignorance of oneself. All prayer addressed to the unlimited pre-supposes that the limited knows the unlimited and how to contact it. It has all kinds of ideas, concepts and beliefs about the unlimited and is enclosed in a system of explanations, locked up in a mental prison. Prayer binds, it does not liberate. And freedom is the very heart of true religion. Religious organisations deny man this essential freedom, inspite of their assertions to the contrary. Self-knowledge is not prayer, it is the door to meditation. Freedom is not based on a set of psychological theories nor is it a state of surrender in the expectation of grace. It destroys the constraints imposed by religion or society. It is a state of total attention, and not of concentration on the particular. (p.96)

The evolution we know, from bullock cart to spaceship, is only a limited part of the brain. Even if this part develops a million times, this will not answer the fundamental question which man puts to himself about himself. The evolution of science and technology will go on – it is necessary, inevitable and irreversible. But the remainder of the brain is there un-awakened and we can put ourselves from now to the task of bringing it to life. This waking up is not a question of time. It is an explosion, a sudden acceleration of the evolutionary process which takes place at the very source of being and prevents the crystallisation and the hardening, of the psychological entity. It is an explosion in lucidity, in insight, which takes up every problem as it arises and thus the importance of the problem becomes secondary unless this burst of intelligence, which has its own source of energy, which is neither personal nor collective, takes place, the world will know neither peace nor freedom. (p.98)

Do you know what is integration ?

How can you seek a thing you do not know? Can you seek God, Love, Truth, the Unknown? Do you see that such thing is impossible? Not one of the ways you know will bring you to it. When you have fully understood that your habitual approaches are blind alleys, what are you to do? You are in front of me and I want to understand you. (p.141-142)

I look at you, I see your complex mind, I also see your dress. I have to be aware of you integrally without judging, comparing and so on: then only I shall be able to discover.

When you look at a glorious sun-set, what is your state? Full of quiet, able to perceive unconditionally the beautiful and the ugly. Such state comes when perception shaped by memory has ceased.

It is only when the mind is motionless that the unknown can enter, there is communion, there is love in action.

A mind pacified by satisfaction of desire or stilled by the effort of will, or immobilised in the search for and achievement of a result is entirely different from a mind which is free of motivated effort, merely silently perceiving, giving attention and choicelessly, spontaneously concentrated in the Now. There is deep quiet in a consciousness altered by the urgent need of insight into the present moment.

It is a state free from dreaming, free of our habit of total commitment, neither observation nor abstraction. In that state we feel completely free and yet one with every passer-by. We are serious without being affected, we are disengaged from all conditioning. This quiet is not a habit nor the result of a method, a technique, but a revolution ever renewed, a vital urge perennially understood and expressed. It is a state of fluid perceptivity, neither crystallised nor dogmatised, but so acute, so penetrating, that all our powers, mental, emotional and of action are balanced and move in harmony. The goad of the unknown keep our thoughts and feelings still. (p.142)

The intensity of the present integrates the many layers of our consciousness. The wall between our desires and the opposing ideas is no more and we have a view of the whole of existence in a manner we could never had expected. This new insight into the unknown brings in a great silence which is also extreme alertness. And all so disconcertingly simple to a mind habitually lost in its complexities. Things, events, life itself are seen in their naked simplicity, without the covers our illusions throw over them. A drowning man needs being hit violently to make him see his condition and shake off the paralysing fear. Similarly the self holds on to false values until life wakes it up to reality by facing it with the unexpected.

The psychological ‘surgery’ (which I resented so much) was applied to the unexplored part of my unconscious rather than to the daily ‘surface’ consciousness. A new state came into being, of freedom from all self-identification with feelings, words and ideas, a state of such subtlety and fluidity, of such flexibility and richness of expression, that it needs be exceedingly vulnerable, for there is nothing automatic in it; it disregards nothing.

Suddenly , clearly, effortlessly we see ourselves to the furthest depths. In the beginning we try to escape by a vigorous display of memory and erudition to block the contact, to look away from reality. But growing pain makes poignant the tragedy of our condition, the misery in which we vainly seek complaisance. The drama of our existence grows on us and we seem to witness it more terrified than ever, yet in the depths of us we feel an extraordinary peace.

The surface anxieties and fears are mere habits of thinking, which refuse to die and prevent us from seeing the real as it is. (p.143)

In the clarity of the present moment all valuations, comparisons and judgements are burnt up. We are fully aware that we are in prison. We feel the weight of conditionings, made up of automatisms, of reactions, of self-identification with sensations, with greeds and lusts begetting thoughts, shaping our illusions. Our self jerks madly, feeling its end coming. We drink our bitter cup to the last drop, we go round our prison for the last time so that we may feel and understand fully what is illusion, separation and sorrow. (p.143-144)

And suddenly the curtain splits. We understand our entire being, we feel one with all, at least for a moment. Then the curtain falls, we are back in our former state; we try to find a way to a repetition and we find that we have no control. All we can do is to watch the illusions we keep on creating as well as their creator and the day will dawn when the unknown will come to us. (p.144)

Trust nobody, follow nobody. Doubt - question - see the false as false and the so-called true too as false. Distrust even your own capacity for doubt, till your mind realises fully that not only it is unable to reach the true, but it creates illusion ceaselessly. The understanding of the perverting nature of the mind is all the mind can reach. Total self-distrust leads to a state of infinite despair. The mind has nothing to turn to and yet cannot stand the agony of nothingness. Having nowhere to go it does what it never did before – it goes within – along a new dimension – and meets at last the power and the loving wisdom of the Fact. (p.157)

If you have nothing to do, if your are bored, why not be bored? Why not be that? … If we accept what we are, then we see that the thing which we dreaded, the thing which we called boredom … despair … fear, has undergone a complete change. (p.163)

You can only find everything by abandoning everything. (p.167)

The ideal is always what is not.

You cannot know but what is over. The living thing cannot be known. You cannot ‘know’, analyse our thought, unless it is no more. You cannot know a living thing which at every moment is alive, vital, creative. Please, see the importance of the fact that Truth is not something that can be known. (p.189)

When you are really happy, deeply in love, the ‘I’ is not. There is only happiness, the immensity of love. This alone is real, everything else is false. (p.191)

It is the truth that sets you free and not your effort to be free. (p.205)

Suffering is but intense clarity of thoughts and feelings which makes you see things as they are. (p.207)

As you would not like to change something very beautiful: the light of the setting sun, the shape of a tree in the field, so do not put obstacles in the way of suffering. Allow it to ripen, for with its flowering understanding comes. When you become aware of the wound of sorrow, without the reaction of acceptance, resignation or negation, without any artificial invitation, then suffering itself lights the flame of creative understanding. (p.208)

As the animals in the circus are trained to act for the amusement of crowds, so the individual, through fear, looks for these spiritual performers, the so called priests and swamis, the dispensers of spurious spirituality and of all the inanities of religion. Their main function is to entertain; they invent rituals, disciplines and worship, which may look beautiful but soon degenerate into superstition and knavery under the cloak of service. (p.250)

Be as nothing. (p.262)

To me there is only one truth – the freedom from all hungering and thirsting. All else is mere illusion, infinite in its varieties, its vanities, its glories. The saint, the sinner, the slave, the victor, the man of virtue and the so-called spiritual man, are all equal in their illusion, all rooted in longing. Immense space and time may separate them from each other, but the saint who has gone so far beyond the sinner has merely moved from an inferior illusion to a superior. (p.262-263)

You must live with earnestness, with attention, with ardour in every thought, feeling and action, supremely centered in the present moment, which is neither near nor far, but now, in the supreme harmony of understanding and love.

Meet each instant of your life as if it were a crisis. (p.264)

I have burst the rock on which I grew.

To know that the knowledge of truth is always in the present; that there is nothing higher than the reality which is in man and that this reality is beyond time and the divisions of time beyond unity and separation is the beginning of wisdom.

There is no other God but man made perfect. (p.266)

In human society, at least as it is constituted today, the strong and the powerful are supported by the weak. In Nature, on the other hand, it is the strong and the powerful who support the weak. As long as you persist in viewing each problem with a perverted, twisted mind you will accept the actual state of affairs. I look at the problem from another point of view….. Because your convictions are not the result of your own understanding you repeat what is given by authorities; you amass citations, you pit one authority against another, the ancient against the new. To that I have nothing to say. But if you envisage life from a standpoint which is not deformed or mutilated by authority, not bolstered by others’ knowledge, but from one which springs from your own sufferings, from your thought, your culture, your understanding, your love, then you will understand what I say.

I have no belief and I belong to no tradition. I have always had this attitude towards life. It being a fact that life varies from day to day, not only are beliefs and traditions useless to me, but, if I were to let myself be enchained by them, they would prevent me from understanding life.

You may attain liberation, no matter where you are or what the circumstances surrounding you, but this means that you must have the strength of genius. For genius, is, after all, the ability to deliver oneself from the circumstances in which one is enmeshed, the ability to free oneself from the vicious circle.

You may say to me – I have not that kind of strength. That is my point of view exactly. In order to discover your own strength, the power which in you, you must be ready and willing to come to grips with every kind of experience. And that is just what you refuse to do! (p.277-278)

Find out for yourself what are the possessions and ideals that you do not desire. By knowing what you do not want, by elimination, you will unburden the mind, and only then will it understand the essential which is ever there. (p.279)

For what is ordinarily called meditation is merely, in Krishnamurti’s words, “the cultivation of resistance of exclusive concentration on an idea of our choice”. Yoga is the process of “building a wall of resistance” against every thought except that which you have chosen. But what makes you choose? “Obviously the choice is based on pleasure, reward or achievement; or it is merely a reaction to one’s conditioning or tradition”. Then why choose?

“Instead of creating resistance, why not go into each interest as it arises and not merely concentrate on one idea, one interest?”

“This clarity is not to be organized, for it cannot be exchanged with another. Organized group thought is merely repetitive… Without understanding yourself, you have no basis for thought; without self-knowledge, what you say is not true.” (p.281)

You don’t need to search for the positive, don’t force it. It is always there, through hidden beneath a huge pile of old experiences. Eliminate all of them and truth or what you call the positive will be there. It comes up automatically. You cannot help it. (p.289)

The Dissolution of the Order of the Star:

We are going to discuss this morning the dissolution of the Order of the Star. Many people will be delighted, and others will be rather sad. It is a question neither for rejoicing nor for sadness, because it is inevitable, as I am going to explain.

You may remember the story of how the devil and a friend of his were walking down the street, when they saw ahead of them a man stoop down and pick up some thing from the ground, look at it, and put it away in his pocket. The friend said to the devil, “What did that man pick up?”. “He picked up a piece of Truth,” said the devil. “That is a very bad business for you, then” said his friend. “Oh, not at all,” the devil replied, “I am going to let him organise it.”

I maintain that Truth is a pathless land, and you cannot approach it by any path whatsoever, by any religion, by any sect. That is my point of view, and I adhere to that absolutely and unconditionally. Truth, being limitless, unconditioned, unapproachable by any path whatsoever, cannot be organised; nor should any organisation be formed to lead or to coerce people along any particular path. If you first understand that, then you will see how impossible it is to organise a belief. A belief is purely an individual matter, and you cannot and must not organise it. If you do, it becomes dead, crystallised; it becomes a creed, a sect a religion, to be imposed on others. This is what every one throughout the world is attempting to do; Truth is narrowed down and made a plaything for those who are weak, for those who are only momentarily discontented. Truth cannot be brought down, rather the individual must make the effort to ascend to it. You cannot bring the mountain-top to the valley. If you would attain to the mountain-top you must pass through the valley, climb the steeps, unafraid of the dangerous precipices. You must climb towards the Truth, it cannot be “stepped down” or organised for you. Interest in ideas is mainly sustained by organisations, but organisations only awaken interest from without. Interest, which is not born out of love of Truth for its own sake, but aroused by an organisation, is of no value. The organisation becomes a framework into which its members can conveniently fit. They no longer strive after Truth or the mountain-top, but rather carve for themselves a convenient niche in which they put themselves, or let the organisation place them, and consider that the organisation place them, and consider that the organisation will thereby lead them to Truth.

So that is the first reason, from my point of view, why the Order of the star should be dissolved. In spite of this, you will probably form other Orders, you will continue to belong to other organisations searching for Truth. I do not want to belong to any organisation of a spiritual kind, please understand this. I would make use of an organisation which would take me to London, for example; this is quite a different kind of organisation, merely mechanical, like the post or the telegraph. I would use a motor car or a steamship to travel, these are only physical mechanisms which have nothing whatever to do with spirituality. Again, I maintain that no organisation can lead man to spirituality.

If an organisation be created for this purpose, it becomes a crutch, a weakness, a bondage, and must cripple the individual, and prevent him from growing, from establishing his uniqueness, which lies in the discovery for himself of that absolute, unconditioned Truth. So that is another reason why I have decided, as I happen to be the Head of the Order, to dissolve it. No one has persuaded me to this decision.

This is no magnificent deed, because I do not want followers, and I mean this. The moment you follow someone you cease to follow Truth. I am not concerned whether you pay attention to what I say or not. I want to do a certain thing in the world and I am going to do it with unwavering concentration. I am concerning myself with only one essential thing; to set man free. I desire to free him from all cages, from all fears, and not to found religions, new sects, nor to establish new theories and new philosophies. Then you will naturally ask me why I go the world over, continually speaking. I will tell you for what reason I do this; not because I desire a following, not because I desire a special group of special disciples. (How men love to be different from their fellow-men however ridiculous, absurd and trivial their distinctions may be! I do not want to encourage that absurdity.) I have no disciples, no apostles, either on earth or in the realm of spirituality.

Nor is it the lure of money, nor the desire to live a comfortable life, which attracts me. If I wanted to lead a comfortable life I would not come to a Camp or live in a damp country! I am speaking frankly because I want this settled once and for all. I do not want these childish discussions year after year.

One newspaper reporter, who interviewed me, considered it a magnificent act to dissolve an organisation in which there were thousands and thousands of members. To him it was a great act because, he said: “What will you do afterwards, how will you live? You will have no following, people will no longer listen to you.” If there are only five people who will listen, who will live, who have their faces turned towards eternity, it will be sufficient. Of what use is to have thousands who do not understand, who are fully embalmed in prejudice, who do not want the new, but would rather translate the new to suit their own sterile, stagnant selves? If I speak strongly, please do not misunderstand me, it is not through lack of compassion. If you go to a surgeon for an operation, is it not kindness on his part to operate even if he causes you pain? So, in like manner, if I speak straightly, it is not through lack of real affection – on the contrary.

As I have said, I have only one purpose: to make man free, to urge him towards freedom, to help him to break away from all limitations, for that alone will give him eternal happiness, will give him the unconditioned realisation of the self.

Because I am free, unconditioned, whole – not the part, not the relative, but the whole Truth that is eternal – I desire those, who seek to understand me, to be free; not to follow me, not to make out of me a cage which will become a religion, a sect. Rather should they be free from all fears – from the fear of religion, from the fear of salvation, from the fear of spirituality, from the fear of love, from the fear of death, from the fear of life itself. As an artist paints a picture because he takes delight in that painting, because it is his self-expression, his glory, his well-being, so I do this and not because I want any thing from anyone.

You are accustomed to authority, or to the atmosphere of authority, which you think will lead you to spirituality. You think and hope that another can, by his extraordinary powers – a miracle – transport you to this realm of eternal freedom which is Happiness. Your whole outlook on life is based on that authority.

You have listened to me for three years now, without any change taking place except in the few. Now analyse what I am saying, be critical so that you may understand thoroughly, fundamentally. When you look for an authority to lead you to spirituality, you are bound automatically to build an organisation around that authority. By the very creation of that organisation, which, you think, will help this authority to lead you to spirituality, you are held in a cage.

If I talk frankly, please remember that I do so, not out of harshness, not out of cruelty, not out of the enthusiasm of my purpose, but because I want you to understand what I am saying. That is the reason why you are here, and it would be a waste of time if I did not explain clearly, decisively, my point of view.

For eighteen years you have been preparing for this event, for the coming of the World-Teacher. For eighteen years you have organised, you have looked for someone who would give a new delight to your hearts and minds, who would transform your whole life, who would give you a new understanding; for someone who would raise you to a new plane of life, who would give you a new encouragement, who would set you free – and now look what is happening! Consider, reason with yourselves, and discover in what way that belief has made you different – not with the superficial difference of the wearing of a badge, which is trivial, absurd. In what manner has such a belief swept away all the unessential things of life? That is the only way to judge: in what way are you freer, greater, more dangerous to every Society which is based on the false and the unessential? In what way have the members of this organisation of the Star become different?

As I said you have been preparing for eighteen years for me. I do not care if you believe that I am the World-Teacher or not. That is of very little importance. Since you belong to the organisation of the Order of the Star, you have given your sympathy, your energy, acknowledging that Krishnamurti is the World-Teacher – partially or wholly: wholly for those who are really seeking, only partially for those who are satisfied with their own half-truths.

You have been preparing for eighteen years, and look how many difficulties there are in the way of your understanding, how many complications, how many trivial things. Your prejudices, your fears, your authorities, your churches new and old – all these, I maintain, are a barrier to understanding. I cannot make myself clearer than this. I do not want you to agree with me, I do not want you to follow me, I want to understand what I am saying.

This understanding is necessary because your belief has not transformed you but only complicated you, and because you are willing to face things as they are. You want to have your own gods – new gods instead of the old, new religions instead of the old, new forms instead of the old – all equally valueless, all barriers, all limitations, all crutches. Instead of old spiritual distinctions you have new spiritual distinctions, instead of old worships you have new worships. You are all depending for your spirituality on someone else, for your happiness on someone else, for your enlightenment on someone else, and although you have been preparing for me for eighteen years, when I say all these things are unnecessary, when I say that you must put them all away and look within yourselves for the enlightenment, for the glory, for the purification, and for the incorruptibility of the self, not one of you is willing to do it. There may be a few, but very, very few.

So why have an organisation?

Why have false, hypocritical people following me, the embodiment of Truth? Please remember that I am not saying something harsh or unkind, but we have reached a situation when you must face things as they are. I said last year that I would not compromise. Very few listened to me then. This year I have made it absolutely clear. I do not know how many thousands throughout the world – members of the Order – have been preparing for me for eighteen years, and yet now they are not willing to listen unconditionally, wholly, to what I say.

So why have an organisation?

As I said before, my purpose is to make men unconditionally free, for I maintain that the only spirituality is the incorruptibility of the self which is eternal, is the harmony between reason and love. This is the absolute, unconditioned Truth which is Life itself. I want therefore to set man free, rejoicing as the bird in the clear sky, unburdened, independent, ecstatic in that freedom. And I, for whom you have been preparing for eighteen years, now say that you must be free of all these things, free from your complications, your entanglements. For this you need not have an organisation based on spiritual belief. Why have an organisation for five or ten people in the world who understand, who are struggling, who have put aside all trivial things? And for the weak people, there can be no organisation to help them to find the Truth, because Truth is in everyone; it is not far, it is not near; it is eternally there.

Organisations cannot make you free. No man from outside can make you free; nor can organised worship, nor the immolation of yourselves for a cause, make you free; nor can forming yourselves into an organisation, nor throwing yourselves into works, make you free. You use a typewriter to write letters, but you do not put it on an altar and worship it. But that is what you are doing when organisations become your chief concern. “How many members are there in It?” That is the first question I am asked by all newspaper reporters. “How many followers have you? By their number we shall judge whether what you say is true or false.” I do not know how many there are. I am not concerned with that. As I said, if there were even one man who had been set free, that were enough.

Again, you have the idea that only certain people hold the key to the Kingdom of Happiness. No one holds it. No one has the authority to hold that key. That key is your own self, and in the development and the purification and in the incorruptibility of that self alone is the Kingdom of Eternity.

So you will see how absurd is the whole structure that you have built, looking for external help, depending on others for your comfort, for your happiness, for your strength. These can only be found within yourselves.

So why have an organisation?

But those who really desire to understand, who are looking to find that which is eternal, without beginning and without an end, will walk together with a greater intensity, will be a danger to everything that is unessential, to unrealities, to shadows. And they will concentrate, they will become the flame, because they understand. Such a body we must create, and that is my purpose. Because of that real understanding there will be true friendship. Because of that true friendship – which you do not seem to know – there will be real co-operation on the part of each one. And this is not because of authority, not because of salvation, not because of immolation for a cause, but because you really understand, and hence are capable of living in the eternal. This is a greater thing than all pleasure, than all sacrifice.

So these are some of the reasons why, after careful consideration for two years, I have made this decision. It is not from a momentary impulse. I have not been persuaded to it by anyone – I am not persuaded in such things. For two years I have been thinking about this, slowly, carefully, patiently, and I have now decided to disband the Order, as I happen to be its head. You can form other organisations and expect someone else. With that I am not concerned, not with creating new cages, new decorations for those cages. My only concern is to set man absolutely, unconditionally free. (p.293-300)

What is the Religious Mind?

I would like, if I may, to talk about what is the religious mind. But before I go into that I would like to point out, and think it is relevant, that there must be the denial of thought. We never deny. We are all ‘yes-sayers’. We accept according to our tendencies, idiosyncrasies; and when we do deny, that denial is a reaction and, therefore, not a denial at all. I would like to talk a little bit about it for it is important to understand that in order to pursue and find out for oneself what is the religious mind. We never deny, and if you have observed yourself sufficiently, carefully and seriously, we have always accepted, found an easy path, the easiest solution. We have accepted tradition, the various cultural, economic, social influences. We have never stood against them, or if we have stood, we have stood against them by force, not willingly, not comprehendingly; and so our denial is always tinged with fear. It has always come about through a form of acceptance in which there is a hope. It is never a denial of not knowing what is going to come; it is a denial with an acceptance of a regulated orderly future.

Please do listen to what I am saying, because when we talk about religious minds we are going to deny the whole structure of religion as it is, totally, because it is utterly false, it has no meaning whatsoever. And to understand what we are going to say a little later you must, if I may point out, comprehend deeply this act of denial. You can be forced to deny; circumstances force you or compel you to say ‘no’ – circumstances, lack of money, environmental influences, some trouble or the other, can force you to say ‘no’; but to say ‘no’ with clarity, without any motive, without wanting a further reward or fearing punishment, but deliberately to say ‘no’ to something to which you have given your thought completely, uncompromisingly, to say ‘no’ when you have thought out the problem completely, seriously, is quite a different matter. By the word ‘seriously’, I mean, to go into the problem to the very end, not romantically, not emotionally, not according to your particular idiosyncrasy or vanity or pleasure or desire, but to go to the very end of the thing, putting aside your personal fancy, myth, likes and dislikes. To go to the very end of a thought, an idea, a feeling, a subject, is to be serious.

I would like to go into this question of religion because I feel that if we could have a very clear, a strong religious mind, we would solve our problems because religion is something that includes everything; it is not exclusive. A religious mind has no nationality. It is not provincial; it does not belong to any particular organized group. It is not the result of ten thousand years of propaganda, or two thousand years of propaganda. It has no dogma, no belief. It is a mind that moves from fact to fact. It is a mind that understands the total quality of thought, not only the obvious superficial thought, the educated thought, but also the uneducated thought, the deep down unconscious thought motives. The totality of this enquiry and the realization of that enquiry and the denial of that enquiry which it sees, feels, and the totality of that denial bring about that quality of mind which is new, which is religious, which is revolutionary. But for most of us religion is not only the word, the symbol, but it is the result of our conditioning. You are a Hindu or a Muslim or a Christian, or what you will, because you have been told from your childhood that you are a Hindu, with all the beliefs, dogmas, traditions, and you have accepted it. As the communist accepts in his youth that there is no God, you accept that there is God. There is not much difference between you and the person who denies God; both are the result of a conditioned mind.

Please, I am not attacking you. Therefore, there is no need to defend; you do not have to resist. We are dealing with facts and it would be utterly stupid to resist a fact. It has no meaning. When the house is burning, when the world is in such chaos, even if you deliberately set about to make the world more chaotic than it is, you could not succeed, in spite of the politicians. And it needs a very sharp, clear, decisive, sane mind to resolve the chaotic problems, and I do not think such a mind can come about except through a religious perception. And if you will follow not the word, not the speaker, agreeing or disagreeing with the speaker, but if you follow the operations of your own mind, if you watch your own conditioning, not because I tell you but because it is a fact, when you look at the fact, when you become aware of that fact, then we can proceed to find out how to dissolve that fact, that conditioning. But, first, one must be aware of the fact that the mind is conditioned, that your mind when it says it is a Hindu, is conditioned; it is shaped by the past, by the centuries of culture; it is the result of a historical process and a mythical process and the religions that you have are the result of other people’s experiences. It is not your own direct experience. It is what you have been told either in the book or by some teacher or by some philosopher; it is not something which you perceive. When the mind is completely unconditioned then only can you experience or discover if there is something real or not. But before you uncondition your mind, to say that you are religious, that you are a Hindu, Muslim, a Buddhist or a Christian has no meaning whatsoever. That is pure romanticism which is exploited by the priest, by the organized group politically, religiously because they have their vested interest in it. These are all facts, whether you like them or not. I am merely describing the fact. And these divisions into religious groups, believing this and that, believing this dogma and denying that dogma, going from prison to prison, from temple to temple, doing endless puja – all that is not a religious mind at all, it is merely a traditional mind bound by fear. And surely a mind that is afraid can never find out if there is, or if there is not, something beyond the word, beyond the measure of the mind.

So, do please listen not only to what I am saying but also to the operations of your own mind. When I use that word ‘listen’ in a special significance. Listening is an art, because we never do listen. We listen half-heartedly with our thoughts elsewhere. We listen with condemnation or a comparison. We listen with likes and dislikes. We listen either to agree or to disagree. We listen by comparing what we hear with what we already know. So, there is always distraction; there is never an act of listening. And it would be worthwhile if I may point out to you that if you could listen without any of these distractions of thought, so that the very act of listening is the breaking down of that condition, because when I use the word ‘religion’ all kind of images come to your minds, all kinds of symbols; to a Christian his own symbols, dogmas and beliefs; to the Hindu, to the Muslim, to all the people who call themselves religious. They have a peculiar approach, an idiosyncratic approach, a traditional approach so that they could never think clearly about the matter. They are first Hindus or Muslims and then they begin to seek. So, to find out if there is, or if there is not, something which is beyond the thought, which is not measurable by the mind, the mind must be first free. Surely that is logic.

You see, another peculiarity with religious people is that they are totally illogical. Psychologically, they have no sanity. They accept without enquiry and their enquiry is motivated by fear, by the desire for security which pervades their thought; they become romantic; because it pleases them, they become devotional. It gives them a sense of joy, happiness. But that is not religious mind at all. It is a fanciful mind; it has no reality. So, if you observe your own mind you will see how cluttered up and burdened it is with beliefs. And you say that belief is necessary. We use it as a hypothesis, which is sheer nonsense. When a man is enquiring, he does not start out with a hypothesis. He has free mind. He is not attached to any dogma and he is not bound by any fear. He starts out denying all that and then begins to seek. But you never do deny for various reasons, because it would not be respectable. In a very respectable society, which is a rotten society, you never deny because you might lose your job or position. You never deny because of your family. You have to marry your daughter, your son, to do this and that and, therefore, you are bound, consciously or unconsciously , through fear to the dogma, to the tradition in which you have been brought up. Again, this is a fact; this is not my fancy. This is a psychological everyday fact. And so a mind which is bound to belief, to a dogma however ancient, or however modern like that of a communist, such a mind is incapable of bringing about an orderly world, a sane world. Such a mind is incapable of being free from sorrow, from conflicts. Surely, it is only the mind that is free from conflict, free from problems, free from sorrow that can find out, and you must find out because that is the only way out of this misery, this confusion that we have created in this world, not by joining innumerable groups or going back to the old tradition which is dead, or following a new leader.

I do not know if you have observed that when you follow somebody, you have destroyed your own thoughts, you have lost your own independence, you have lost your freedom not only politically but much more psychologically, not only outwardly but much more inwardly. So, where there is a following and where there is a leader in matters that are really spiritual, really psychological, there is bound to be confusion because in that there is a contradiction between what your own deep down urges, compulsions are, and the imposition placed upon them by the leader, by what you think you should do. So, there is a contradiction psychologically and that contradiction leads to conflict and where there is a conflict there is effort and where there is effort there is distortion. So, a religious mind has no conflict. The religious mind does not follow anyone. It has no authority because authority implies imitation; authority implies conformity; and there is conformity because you want success, you want to achieve; and, therefore, there is fear. Without dissolving fear completely, how can you proceed to enquire, how can you proceed to find out? These are no rhetorical questions. If I am frightened, I am bound to seek comfort, shelter, security in whatever that comes along because fear dictates, not sanity, not clarity. So, fear dictates conformity – that I must imitate, follow somebody in the hope that I shall find comfort. So, the religious mind has no authority of any kind, and that is very difficult for people to accept because we have been bred in authority – the Gita, the Upanishads, the Bible, the Koran … They have taken the place of our own thinking, of our own suffering….

And where religious matters are concerned we become totally irrational, insane, and all these build the walls of our conditioning. Again, this is a fact, a psychological, undeniable fact. You are going to the temple; you are reading the Gita and muttering a lot of words which have lost their meaning. That is not a religious mind at all. Such reading, such repetition, makes the mind dull, insensitive. Therefore there is a contradiction between real living and what you think is real living. There is no living a religious life. So, you have divorced life from religion, ethics from religion and a mind that lives in this duality, in this contradiction, in this cleavage, such a mind is creating the world at the present time. It is bringing into the world more and more chaos. Where there is confusion, where there is misery, people turn to authority, to tyranny, not only politically but also religiously. Gurus, teachers, ideas, beliefs, dogmas multiply and flourish because we have never looked into ourselves deeply to find out for ourselves what is true.

So, the beginning of self-knowledge is the beginning of the religious mind; not the knowledge of the Supreme Self; that is sheer nonsense because how can a petty mind, a narrow mind, and inelastic mind, a mind that is begotten through fear, through compulsion, through imitation, through authority, how can that petty, shallow mind try to find out what is the Supreme mind? It is an escape; it is pure, unadulterated romanticism. The fact is, you have to understand yourself first. How can a thought which is the result of fear enquire? How can a thought which is the result of contradiction, of sorrow, of pain, of ambition, of envy, how can that thought search out the un-searchable? Obviously it cannot, but that is what we are doing all the time. So, the beginning of understanding of yourself as you are is the beginning of wisdom and is also the beginning of meditation. To see without distortion the fact of what you are, not what you think you should be, is the beginning of wisdom. When you think that you are the Supreme Self, when you think that – as most of you do – there is a spiritual entity which is in you, it is the result of your past conditioning. You have to be aware of that fact and not accept that you are the Supreme Self. What has meaning and significance is the fact of what you are; what you are everyday, not what you should be. Again, the idea, the ideation, the ideal, is a mythology; it has no significance. The fact has significance; the fact that you are envious has significance, not that you should be in a state of non-envy.

… The scientist is concerned with the fact. He is investigating matter, investigating life in his laboratory. He is investigating it under the microscope. He has no fear; he moves from fact to fact and he builds up knowledge, and that knowledge helps him to investigate further only along a particular narrow, restricted line which is science. But we are concerned with the totality of life, not with science only; not only with brick-building but with anger, with ambition, with quarrels, what you are, how limited our minds are – the totality of life.

Science does not include the totality of life but a religious mind does. When the economists or the sociologists try to solve human problems, they are dealing with them only partially and therefore bringing about more chaos, more misery. But the religious mind is not concerned with the partial; it is concerned with the total entity of man. That is, outward movement of life is the same as the inward movement. The outward movement is like the ebb, the tide that goes out and then comes in. If the two are divorced, if the two are separated, the outer and the inner, then you have conflict, you have misery and the so-called religious people have divided this life into the outer and the inner. They do not regard it as one unitary process. They avoid the outer by retreating to a monastery or putting on a sanyasi’s robe. They deny the outer world but they do not deny the world of tradition, of their knowledge, of their conditioning. So they separate the two and therefore there is a contradiction.

The religious mind does not separate the two. It is one unitary movement of the tide that goes out and comes in. Do please listen to all this, neither accepting nor denying. Because I am not attacking you, you don’t have to take refuge or resist; nor am I doing propaganda. I am just pointing out. If you can, you can accept it; you can see it or reject it, but first intellectually or verbally look at it. You may not want to go the whole way completely, totally, to the very end. But at least you can look at it verbally, intellectually and find out. And out of that intellectual comprehension, you will perhaps see the whole significance. So, knowing yourself is the beginning of meditation. Knowing psychologically as you are is the beginning of the religious mind. But you cannot know yourself if you deny what you see, if you try to interpret what you see. Please follow this. If you deny psychologically what you see in yourself, or if you want to change it into something else, then you are not understanding the fact of what is. If you are vain and if you try to change it and cultivate humility, then there is a contradiction. If you are vain and if you try to cultivate the ideal of humility, then there is a contradiction between the two and that contradiction dulls the mind. It brings about a conflict. But the fact is that you are vain; to look at that fact, you have to see that fact completely and not introduce a contradictory idea. You cannot see that you are vain if you say, ‘I must not be vain’. Obviously that is a fallacy because to see something you must give your attention totally to it, and when you say that you must not be vain, your mind has gone away from that fact, and going away from that fact creates a problem. The fact never creates a problem. It is only the avoidance of the fact, running away from the fact, trying to change the fact, trying to conform or approximate to the ideal, that creates a problem, never the fact of what is. So, when you observe yourself very clearly be aware of every thought, of every feeling; then you will come upon something which is: that there is a thinker and the thought, that there is an experiencer, an observer and the experience, the observed. This is a fact, is it not? It is a fact that there is a sensor, an entity which judges, evaluates, which thinks, which observes and the thing which is observed. Please search your own minds; you are not to listen to my words. Words have no meaning. Watch your mind in operation as I am talking. Then you will go away from here with a clarity, with a mind that is clear, sharp and sane.

So, there is a thinker and the thought. There is a division between the thinker and the thought, the thinker trying to dominate the thought, trying to change thought, trying to modify thought, trying to control, trying to force it, trying to imitate, and so on. This division between the thinker and the thought creates conflict, because the thinker is always the sensor, the entity that judges the thought and evaluates; and that entity is the conditioned entity.

Thought is merely the reaction of conditioning, of memory; and the thinker arises as a reaction to thought. You understand . that is a very simple thing to find out for yourself. Thought is the reaction of memory. I ask you something and you respond according to your memory. The interval between the question and the answer is time and during that time you think it out and then you reply. If you are familiar with the answer, your answer is immediate, and if the question is very complicated, you need longer time, a lag, a greater distance between the answer and the question. During that lag your memory is responding, is reacting and then you answer. So, thought, is the response of memory, of association with the past. So, there is the thinker and the thought and the thinker is conditioned and his thought also becomes conditioned. And when there is gap between the thinker and the thought there is endless conflict and misery. Now, is it possible to remove this contradiction, this conflict, which means there remains no thinker as the central entity which is acting, but only thinking? This is a very complex question and you are going to answer it in a minute. But you have to find out for yourself the whole implication of this problem.

We can go into details but this is not the time for that. But one can see the implication that where there is a division between the thinker and the thought there must be contradiction. And contradiction implies conflict, and conflict dulls the mind, makes the mind stupid, insensitive. Conflict of any kind, whether it is a conflict between your wife and yourself, between you and the society, between you and your boss, between you and anybody, every kind of conflict dulls the mind; if you want to understand the central conflict, you must enquire into this question – not to accept it – that there is a thinker first and thought afterwards. If you say that, you again resort to your tradition, to your conditioning. So, you have to find out through your thought how your memory responds, and as long as that memory which is conditioned by every movement and thought, by every influence, is there, there must be conflict and misery. If you go very deeply into it you will find out for yourself that action based on an idea – which is thought – breeds discord because you are approximating action to an idea. Therefore, you are not acting but approximating that action so that it should be according to the idea. You will find, if you ponder deeply for yourself, that action is not an idea. There is action without motive, and it is only the religious mind that has gone very deeply into itself, that has enquired profoundly within itself, that can act without an idea, without motive, because it has no centre, no entity as the thinker who is directing action. It is no chaotic action. So, self-knowledge or learning about oneself every day brings about psychologically, inwardly, a new mind because you have denied the old mind. Through self-knowledge you have denied it, you have denied your conditioning totally, and that can be denied totally only when the mind is aware of its own operations, how it works, what it thinks, what it says, what are the motives.

There is another factor involved in this. We think this is a gradual process, that it will take time to free the mind from conditioning. We think that it will take many days or many years, that the mind is conditioned and to uncondition it will take time. Which means what? That we will do it gradually, day after day. What does that imply? Surely, it implies acquiring knowledge which is going to dissipate this conditioning ; which means that you are not learning but acquiring. A mind that is learning is never acquiring but the mind that houses knowledge in order to arrive, in order to succeed, in order to achieve a sense of liberation, such a mind must have time. So, the mind says, I must have time to free myself from my conditioning, which means it is going to acquire knowledge, not learn, and when the knowledge expands it will become freer and freer – which is utterly false. So, through time, through the multiplication of many tomorrows, there is no liberation. There is freedom only in the denial of the thing which is seen immediately. You react immediately when you see a poisonous snake. There is no thought; there is immediate action. That action is the result of fear and of the knowledge that you acquired about the snake. That involves time. So, there is that quality of seeing through knowledge which demands time and a quality of seeing something which does not demand time.

I am talking of the mind that sees without time, that sees without thought, because the mind is the result of many yesterdays. The mind is the result of time. Again, this is a fact. We are dealing not with supposition, a theory. Your mind is the result of many yesterdays; your mind is the result of the past, and without being free of the past totally, it is not possible to have a new religious mind. Now, to see that past totally, completely, to see it immediately, is to break down the past immediately. But you cannot break it down immediately if your mind is in the grip of knowledge which will say: I will gradually accumulate and I will eventually break it. It must see the conditioning immediately. If you see the absurdity, the poison of nationalism, if you see it, if it is immediately comprehended – and you can apply your mind and if you give your attention to it completely, you can see the poisonous nature of nationalism – the moment you see it, it is gone….

Attention is the total denial of the past, the total denial of this division between the thinker and the thought. So, a religious mind is a mind that has no belief, that has no dogma, that has no fear, that has absolutely no dogma, that has no fear, that has absolutely no authority of any kind, because it is a light to itself; and such a mind, being free, can go near; which is the freedom in yourself, in the understanding of yourself; then you can go very far. Then you will find out for yourself that extraordinary stillness of the mind. It is not an idea but an actual fact. A mind that is completely still, without any distraction, it is only the still mind, not the romantic mind, a mind that is not begotten through conflict, through contradiction, through misery, it is only such a mind that is completely quiet and therefore completely alive, totally sensitive. It is only such a mind that can perceive that which is immeasurable. (p.301-313)

Aphorisms:
We have so many problems of our own that we have no time for those of others. To make another listen you have to pay either in coin, prayer or in belief. The professional will listen, it is the job, but in that there is no lasting release. We want to unburden ourselves freely, spontaneously, without any regrets. The purification of confession does not depend on the one who listens, but on him who desires to open his heart. To open one’s heart is important and it will find someone, a beggar perhaps, to whom it can pour itself out. Introspective talk can never open the heart; it is enclosing, depressing and utterly useless. To be open is to listen not only to yourselves but to every influence, to every movement about you. It may or may not be possible to do something tangibly about what you hear, but the very fact of being open brings about its own action. Such hearing purifies your heart cleansing it.

To be vulnerable is to live. To withdraw is to die.

We have to live in this world – that is the only inevitable thing in life.

Beware of the man who offers you a reward in this world or the next.

There are laws in some countries, I believe, which prohibit anyone from following you in the street and if someone does he can be arrested and put into prison. So, spiritually, I wish there were a police system which would put people into a spiritual prison for following others. In fact it does happen automatically.

Self-satisfaction, self-contentment, lack of determined effort and above all lack of ecstasy in any pursuit, is the essence of mediocrity.

What matters is to observe your own mind without judgement – just to look at it, to watch it, to be conscious of the fact that your mind is a slave, and no more; because that very perception release energy, and it is this energy that is going to destroy the slavishness of the mind.

The state of the mind that questions is much more important than the question itself. Any question may be asked by a slavish mind, and the answer it receives will still be within the limitations of its own slavery.

Character is not a matter of being obstinate in one’s knowledge or strong in one’s experience. There is character only when the mind, being fully aware of its accumulated experience, is free of that background and is therefore capable of clarity. Only a mind that is clear has character.

… influence is often very subtle. In advertising they have tried subliminal propaganda – rapidly flashing an idea on the cinema or television screen, so rapidly that that the viewer is unaware of it; yet it is absorbed by the unconscious… To be aware of all these influences is not easy. But once you begin consciously, deliberately, incessantly to ask the right question, which is to uncover in yourself these various influences, then the mind becomes extraordinarily alert.

… to restrain oneself from violence by practising non-violence, is no change at all, though in this country (India) it is glibly talked about every day. Non-violence with a motive is still violence.

… fulfilment is really the demand of a mind which is craving for power.

Clarity, at whatever level is completely necessary. If you are not clear about the way to your home, you get confused. If you are not very clear about your feelings, there is self-contradiction. If you do not clearly understand the ways of your own thinking, such lack of clarity leads to illusion.

Cultivated virtue is a horror, because the moment you cultivate a virtue it ceases to be a virtue. Virtue is spontaneous timeless, it is ever active in the present.

Freedom from the desire for an answer is essential to the understanding of a problem.

When our hearts are empty, we collect things.

A consistent thinker is a thoughtless person, because he confirms to a pattern; he repeats phrases and thinks in a groove.

A cup is useful only when it is empty; and a mind that is filled with beliefs, with dogmas with assertions, with quotations is really an uncreative mind; it is merely a repetitive mind.

The craving for experience is the beginning of illusion.

Men of good will should have no formulas.

To seek fulfilment is to invite frustration.

To look to the future, to strain after an ideal, indicates sluggishness of the mind and a desire to avoid the present.

Wisdom and truth come to a man who truly says, “I am ignorant, I do not know.”

Speculation and imagination are the enemies of attention.

Addiction to knowledge is like any other addiction; it offers an escape from the fear of emptiness, of loneliness, of frustration the fear of being nothing.

Knowledge prevents listening.

You can’t go very far if you don’t begin very near.

Relationship surely is the mirror in which you discover yourself.

To die rich is to have lived in vain.

When we hear a truth and do not act upon it, it becomes a poison within ourselves, and that poison spreads, bringing psychological disturbances, unbalance and ill health. (p.314-319)



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