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At the Feet of the Master (1911)
- At the Feet of the Master (1911) — written under the pseudonym "Alcyone"
- These are not my words; they are the words of the Master who taught me. Without Him I could have done nothing, but through His help I have set my feet upon the Path. You also desire to enter the same Path, so the words which He spoke to me will help you also, if you will obey them. It is not enough to say that they are true and beautiful; a man who wishes to succeed must do exactly what is said. To look at food and say that it is good will not satisfy a starving man; he must put forth his hand and eat. So to hear the Master's words is not enough, you must do what He says, attending to every word, taking every hint. If a hint is not taken, if a word is missed, it is lost forever; for He does not speak twice.
Four qualifications there are for this pathway:
- The first of these Qualifications is Discrimination; and this is usually taken as the discrimination between the real and the unreal which leads men to enter the Path. It is this, but it is also much more; and it is to be practised, not only at the beginning of the Path, but at every step of it every day until the end. You enter the Path because you have learnt that on it alone can be found those things which are worth gaining. Men who do not know, work to gain wealth and power, but these are at most for one life only, and therefore unreal. There are greater things than these — things which are real and lasting; when you have once seen these, you desire those others no more.
- § I
- In all the world there are only two kinds of people — those who know, and those who do not know; and this knowledge is the thing which matters. What religion a man holds, to what race he belongs — these things are not important; the really important thing is this knowledge — the knowledge of God's plan for men. For God has a plan, and that plan is evolution. When once a man has seen that and really knows it, he cannot help working for it and making himself one with it, because it is so glorious, so beautiful. So, because he knows, he is on God's side, standing for good and resisting evil, working for evolution and not for selfishness.
If he is on God's side he is one of us, and it does not matter in the least whether he calls himself a Hindu or a Buddhist, a Christian or a Muhammadan, whether he is an Indian or an Englishman, a Chinaman or a Russian. Those who are on His side know why they are here and what they should do, and they are trying to do it; all the others do not yet know what they should do, and so they often act foolishly, and try to invent ways for themselves which they think will be pleasant for themselves, not understanding that all are one, and that therefore only what the One wills can ever be really pleasant for any one. They are following the unreal instead of the real. Until they learn to distinguish between these two, they have not ranged themselves on God's side, and so this discrimination is the first step.
But even when the choice is made, you must still remember that of the real and the unreal there are many varieties; and discrimination must still be made between the right and the wrong, the important and the unimportant, the useful and the useless, the true and the false, the selfish and the unselfish.
- § I
- There are many for whom the Qualification of Desirelessness is a difficult one, for they feel that they are their desires — that if their distinctive desires, their likings and dislikings, are taken away from them, there will be no self left. But these are only they who have not seen the Master; in the light of His holy Presence all desire dies, but the desire to be like Him.
- § II
- Hold back your mind from pride, for pride comes only from ignorance. The man who does not know thinks that he is great, that he has done this or that great thing; the wise man knows that only God is great, that all good work is done by God alone.
- § III
- Of all the Qualifications, Love is the most important, for if it is strong enough in a man, it forces him to acquire all the rest, and all the rest without it would never be sufficient. Often it is translated as an intense desire for liberation from the round of births and deaths, and for union with God. But to put it in that way sounds selfish, and gives only part of the meaning. It is not so much desire as will, resolve, determination. To produce its result, this resolve must fill your whole nature, so as to leave no room for any other feeling. It is indeed the will to be one with God, not in order that you may escape from weariness and suffering, but in order that because of your deep love for Him you may act with Him and as He does. Because He is Love, you, if you would become one with Him, must be filled with perfect unselfishness and love also.
In daily life this means two things; first, that you shall be careful to do no hurt to any living thing; second, that you shall always be watching for an opportunity to help.
First, to do no hurt. Three sins there are which work more harm than all else in the world — gossip, cruelty, and superstition — because they are sins against love. Against these three the man who would fill his heart with the love of God must watch ceaselessly.
- § IV
- See what gossip does. It begins with evil thought, and that in itself is a crime. For in everyone and in everything there is good; in everyone and in everything there is evil. Either of these we can strengthen by thinking of it, and in this way we can help or hinder evolution; we can do the will of the Logos or we can resist Him. If you think of the evil in another, you are doing at the same time three wicked things:
(1) You are filling your neighbourhood with evil thought instead of with good thought, and so you are adding to the sorrow of the world.
(2) If there is in that man the evil which you think, you are strengthening it and feeding it; and so you are making your brother worse instead of better. But generally the evil is not there, and you have only fancied it; and then your wicked thought tempts your brother to do wrong, for if he is not yet perfect you may make him that which you have thought him.
(3) You fill your own mind with evil thoughts instead of good; and so you hinder your own growth, and make yourself, for those who can see, an ugly and painful object instead of a beautiful and lovable one.
Not content with having done all this harm to himself and to his victim, the gossip tries with all his might to make other men partners in his crime. Eagerly he tells his wicked tale to them, hoping that they will believe it; and then they join with him in pouring evil thought upon the poor sufferer. And this goes on day after day, and is done not by one man but by thousands. Do you begin to see how base, how terrible a sin this is? You must avoid it altogether.
- § IV
- Then as to cruelty. This is of two kinds, intentional and unintentional. Intentional cruelty is purposely to give pain to another living being; and that is the greatest of all sins — the work of a devil rather than a man. You would say that no man could do such a thing; but men have done it often, and are daily doing it now. The inquisitors did it; many religious people did it in the name of their religion. Vivisectors do it; many schoolmasters do it habitually. All these people try to excuse their brutality by saying that it is the custom; but a crime does not cease to be a crime because many commit it. Karma takes no account of custom; and the karma of cruelty is the most terrible of all.
- § IV
- Superstition is another mighty evil, and has caused much terrible cruelty. The man who is a slave to it despises others who are wiser, tries to force them to do as he does. Think of the awful slaughter produced by the superstition that animals should be sacrificed, and by the still more cruel superstition that man needs flesh for food. Think of the treatment which superstition has meted out to the depressed classes in our beloved India, and see in that how this evil quality can breed heartless cruelty even among those who know the duty of brotherhood. Many crimes have men committed in the name of the God of Love, moved by this nightmare of superstition; be very careful therefore that no slightest trace of it remains in you.
- § IV
- These three great crimes you must avoid, for they are fatal to all progress, because they sin against love. But not only must you thus refrain from evil; you must be active in doing good. You must be so filled with the intense desire of service that you are ever on the watch to render it to all around you — not to man alone, but even to animals and plants. You must render it in small things every day, that the habit may be formed, so that you may not miss the rare opportunity when the great thing offers itself to be done. For if you yearn to be one with God, it is not for your own sake; it is that you may be a channel through which His love may flow to reach your fellow-men.
He who is on the Path exists not for himself, but for others; he has forgotten himself, in order that he may serve them. He is as a pen in the hand of God, through which His thought may flow, and find for itself an expression down here, which without a pen it could not have. Yet at the same time he is also a living plume of fire, raying out upon the world the Divine Love which fills his heart.
The wisdom which enables you to help, the will which directs the wisdom, the love which inspires the will — these are your qualifications. Will, Wisdom and Love are the three aspects of the Logos; and you, who wish to enroll yourselves to serve Him, must show forth these aspects in the world.
- § IV
Waiting the word of the Master,
Watching the Hidden Light;
Listening to his orders In the very midst of the fight;
Seeing His slightest signal
Across the heads of the throng;
Hearing His faintest whisper
Above earth's loudest song.
- Closing poem
Truth is a Pathless Land (1929)
- Address dissolving the Order of the Star in the East, on opening day of the annual Star Camp, in Ommen, The Netherlands (3 August 1929)
- 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 organized; nor should any organization 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 organize a belief. A belief is purely an individual matter, and you cannot and must not organize it. If you do, it becomes dead, crystallized; it becomes a creed, a sect, a religion, to be imposed on others. This is what everyone 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.
- I do not want to belong to any organization of a spiritual kind, please understand this. I would make use of an organization which would take me to London, for example; this is quite a different kind of organization, 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 organization can lead man to spirituality.
- 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 you 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 not 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 organization?
- You are accustomed to being told how far you have advanced, what is your spiritual status. How childish! Who but yourself can tell you if you are beautiful or ugly within? Who but yourself can tell you if you are incorruptible? You are not serious in these things.
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 cooperation on the part of each one. And this 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 organizations and expect someone else. With that I am not concerned, nor with creating new cages, new decorations for those cages. My only concern is to set men absolutely, unconditionally free.
- And as we are — the world is. That is, if we are greedy, envious, competitive, our society will be competitive, envious, greedy, which brings misery and war. The State is what we are. To bring about order and peace, we must begin with ourselves and not with society, not with the State, for the world is ourselves … If we would bring about a sane and happy society we must begin with ourselves and not with another, not outside of ourselves, but with ourselves.
- What brings understanding is love. When your heart is full, then you will listen to the teacher, to the beggar, to the laughter of children, to the rainbow, and to the sorrow of man. Under every stone and leaf, that which is eternal exists. But we do not know how to look for it. Our minds and hearts are filled with other things than understanding of "what is". Love and mercy, kindliness and generosity do not cause enmity. When you love, you are very near truth. For, love makes for sensitivity, for vulnerability. That which is sensitive is capable of renewal. Then truth will come into being. It cannot come if your mind and heart are burdened, heavy with ignorance and animosity.
- "Ninth Talk in Bombay, (14 March 1948), J.Krishnamurti Online, JKO Serial No. BO48Q1, published in The Collected Works, Vol. IV, p. 200
- So, a man who is really earnest must begin with himself, he must be passively aware of all his thoughts, feelings and actions. Again, this is not a matter of time. There is no end to self-knowledge. Self-knowledge is only from moment to moment, and therefore there is a creative happiness from moment to moment.
- New Delhi India 1st Public Talk (14 November 1948)
- It seems to me that the real problem is the mind itself, and not the problem which the mind has created and tries to solve. If the mind is petty, small, narrow, limited, however great and complex the problem may be, the mind approaches that problem in terms of its own pettiness. If I have a little mind and I think of God, the God of my thinking will be a little God, though I may clothe him with grandeur, beauty, wisdom, and all the rest of it. It is the same with the problem of existence, the problem of bread, the problem of love, the problem of sex, the problem of relationship, the problem of death. These are all enormous problems, and we approach them with a small mind; we try to resolve them with a mind that is very limited. Though it has extraordinary capacities and is capable of invention, of subtle, cunning thought, the mind is still petty. It may be able to quote Marx, or the Gita, or some other religious book, but it is still a small mind, and a small mind confronted with a complex problem can only translate that problem in terms of itself, and therefore the problem, the misery increases. So the question is: Can the mind that is small, petty, be transformed into something which is not bound by its own limitations?
- Sixth Talk in New Delhi (31 October 1956), J.Krishnamurti Online, JKO Serial No. 561031, Vol. X, p. 155
Education and the Significance of Life (1953)
- Without love the acquisition of knowledge only increases confusion and leads to self-destruction.
The First and Last Freedom (1954)
- The transformation of the world is brought about by the transformation of oneself.
- The problem that confronts most of us is whether the individual is merely the instrument of society or the end of society. Are you and I as individuals to be used, directed, educated, controlled, shaped to a certain pattern by society and government; or does society, the State, exist for the individual? Is the individual the end of society; or is he merely a puppet to be taught, exploited, butchered as an instrument of war? That is the problem that is confronting most of us. That is the problem of the world; whether the individual is a mere instrument of society, a plaything of influences to be moulded; or whether society exists for the individual.
Freedom From the Self (1955)
- The questioner wants to know why, after these many years of watching, he hasn't found the deep waters. Why should he find them? Do you understand? You think that by watching your own thoughts you are going to get a reward: if you do this, you will get that. You are really not watching at all, because your mind is concerned with gaining a reward. You think that by watching, by being aware, you will be more loving, you will suffer less, be less irritable, get something beyond; so your watching is a process of buying. With this coin you are buying that, which means that your watching is a process of choice; therefore it isn't watching, it isn't attention. To watch is to observe without choice, to see yourself as you are without any movement of desire to change, which is an extremely arduous thing to do; but that doesn't mean that you are going to remain in your present state. You do not know what will happen if you see yourself as you are without wishing to bring about a change in that which you see. Do you understand?
- Response to the question: "I have listened to you for many years and I have become quite good at watching my thoughts and being aware of every thing I do, but I have never touched the deep waters or experienced the transformation of which you speak. Why?"
- Surely, the violence and the entity who says, "I must change violence into non-violence", are both the same. To recognize that fact is to put an end to all conflict, is it not? There is no longer the conflict of trying to change, because I see that the very movement of the mind not to be violent is itself the outcome of violence.
So, the questioner wants to know why it is that he cannot go beyond all these superficial wrangles of the mind. For the simple reason that, consciously or unconsciously, the mind is always seeking something, and that very search brings violence, competition, the sense of utter dissatisfaction. It is only when the mind is completely still that there is a possibility of touching the deep waters.
- Further response to the above question
- Despair exists only when there is hope.
- 11th Public Talk, London, UK (25 May 1961)
- Is there a thinker apart from thought?
- 12th Public Talk, London, UK (28 May 1961)
- The fact is there is nothing that you can trust; and that is a terrible fact, whether you like it or not. Psychologically, there is nothing in the world that you can put your faith, your trust, or your belief in. Neither your gods, nor your science can save you, can bring you psychological certainty; and you have to accept that you can trust in absolutely nothing. That is a scientific fact, as well as a psychological fact. Because, your leaders — religious and political — and your books — sacred and profane — have all failed, and you are still confused, in misery, in conflict. So, that is an absolute, undeniable fact.
- Bombay, Second Public Talk (25 February 1962)
- Silence is difficult and arduous, it is not to be played with. It isn't something that you can experience by reading a book, or by listening to a talk, or by sitting together, or by retiring into a wood or a monastery. I am afraid none of these things will bring about this silence. This silence demands intense psychological work. You have to be burningly aware of your snobbishness, aware of your fears, your anxieties, your sense of guilt. And when you die to all that, then out of that dying comes the beauty of silence.
- Sixth talk in London (17 June 1962), published in The Collected Works of J. Krishnamurti : Vol. XIII, 1962-1963: A Psychological Revolution (1992)
- Learning in the true sense of the word is possible only in that state of attention, in which there is no outer or inner compulsion. Right thinking can come about only when the mind is not enslaved by tradition and memory. It is attention that allows silence to come upon the mind, which is the opening of the door to creation. That is why attention is of the highest importance. Knowledge is necessary at the functional level as a means of cultivating the mind, and not as an end in itself. We are concerned, not with the development of just one capacity, such as that of a mathematician, or a scientist, or a musician, but with the total development of the student as a human being. How is the state of attention to be brought about? It cannot be cultivated through persuasion, comparison, reward or punishment, all of which are forms of coercion. The elimination of fear is the beginning of attention. Fear must exist as long as there is an urge to be or to become, which is the pursuit of success, with all its frustrations and tortuous contradictions. You can teach concentration, but attention cannot be taught just as you cannot possibly teach freedom from fear; but we can begin to discover the causes that produce fear, and in understanding these causes there is the elimination of fear. So attention arises spontaneously when around the student there is an atmosphere of well-being, when he has the feeling of being secure, of being at ease, and is aware of the disinterested action that comes with love. Love does not compare, and so the envy and torture of "becoming" cease.
- "Life Ahead: On Learning and the Search for Meaning" (1963), Introduction, J.Krishnamurti Online, JKO Serial No. 261, p. 13, 2005 edition ISBN 978-1577315179
- You know, in the case of most of us, the mind is noisy, everlastingly chattering to itself , soliloquizing or chattering about something, or trying to talk to itself, to convince itself of something; it is always moving, noisy. And from that noise, we act. Any action born of noise produces more noise, more confusion. But if you have observed and learnt what it means to communicate, the difficulty of communication, the non-verbalization of the mind — that is, that communicates and receives communication— , then, as life is a movement, you will, in your action, move on naturally, freely, easily, without any effort, to that state of communion. And in that state of communion, if you enquire more deeply, you will find that you are not only in communion with nature, with the world, with everything about you, but also in communion with yourself.
- Varanasi 2nd Public Talk (22 November 1964)
- You know, actually we have no love — that is a terrible thing to realize. Actually we have no love; we have sentiment; we have emotionality, sensuality, sexuality; we have remembrances of something which we have thought as love. But actually, brutally, we have no love. Because to have love means no violence, no fear, no competition, no ambition. If you had love you will never say, "This is my family." You may have a family and give them the best you can; but it will not be "your family" which is opposed to the world. If you love, if there is love, there is peace. If you loved, you would educate your child not to be a nationalist, not to have only a technical job and look after his own petty little affairs; you would have no nationality. There would be no divisions of religion, if you loved. But as these things actually exist — not theoretically, but brutally — in this ugly world, it shows that you have no love. Even the love of a mother for her child is not love. If the mother really loved her child, do you think the world would be like this? She would see that he had the right food, the right education, that he was sensitive, that he appreciated beauty, that he was not ambitious, greedy, envious. So the mother, however much she may think she loves her child, does not love the child. So we have not that love.
- Varanasi 5th Public Talk (28 November 1964), The Collected Works, Vol. XV
- To die every day to every problem, every pleasure, and not carry over any problem at all; so the mind remains tremendously attentive, active, clear.
- 3rd Public Talk, Amsterdam, The Netherlands (24 May 1967)
- When all authority of every kind is put aside, denied, then you can find out for yourself.
- 4th Public Talk, Amsterdam, The Netherlands (28 May 1967)
- Conflict exists only when there are two opposing things: fear and non-fear,violence and non-violence.
- 5th Public Talk, Amsterdam, The Netherlands (30 May 1967)
- Throughout life, from childhood, from school until we die, we are taught to compare ourselves with another; yet when I compare myself with another I am destroying myself. In a school, in an ordinary school where there are a lot of boys, when one boy is compared with another who is very clever, who is the head of the class, what is actually taking place? You are destroying the boy. That’s what we are doing throughout life. Now, can I live without comparison — without comparison with anybody? This means there is no high, no low — there is not the one who is superior and the other who is inferior. You are actually what you are and to understand what you are, this process of comparison must come to an end. If I am always comparing myself with some saint or some teacher, some businessman, writer, poet, and all the rest, what has happened to me — what have I done? I only compare in order to gain, in order to achieve, in order to become — but when I don’t compare I am beginning to understand what I am. Beginning to understand what I am is far more fascinating, far more interesting; it goes beyond all this stupid comparison.
- You can look only when the mind is completely quiet.
- 2nd Public Talk, Amsterdam, The Netherlands (12 May 1968)
- Knowing the cause of something is not going to help you to be free of it.
- 1st Discussion with Young People, Amsterdam, The Netherlands (14 May 1968)
- To follow implies not only the denying of one's own clarity, investigation, integrity and honesty, but it also implies that your motive in following is reward. Truth is not a reward.
- 4th Public Talk, Amsterdam, The Netherlands (19 May 1968)
- In the denial of disorder there is order.
- 4th Public Talk, Amsterdam, The Netherlands (19 May 1968)
- We need tremendous energy to bring about a psychological change in ourselves as human beings, because we have lived far too long in a world of make-belief, in a world of brutality, violence, despair, anxiety. To live humanly, sanely, one has to change. To bring about a change within oneself and therefore within society, one needs this radical energy, for the individual is not different from society — the society is the individual and the individual is the society. And to bring about a necessary radical, essential change in the structure of society — which is corrupt, which is immoral — there must be change in the human heart and mind. To bring about that change you need great energy and that energy is denied or perverted, or twisted, when you act according to a concept; which is what we do in our daily life. The concept is based on past history, or on some conclusion, so it is not action at all, it is an approximation to a formula. So one asks if there is an action which is not based on an idea, on a conclusion formed by dead things which have been.
- Talks in Europe 1968, 5th Public Talk, Amsterdam, The Netherlands (22 May 1968) Collected Works, Vol. XV
- Can you look at a flower without thinking?
- 4th Discussion with Young People, Amsterdam, The Netherlands (23 May 1968)
- There are the states of inattention and of attention. When you are completely giving your mind, your heart, your nerves, everything you have, to attend, then the old habits, the mechanical responses, do not enter into it, thought does not come into it at all. But we cannot maintain that all the time, so we are mostly in a state of inattention, a state in there is not an alert choiceless awareness. What takes place? There is inattention and rare attention and we are trying to bridge the one to the other. How can my inattention become attention or, can attention be complete, all the time?
- Only the free mind knows what Love is.
- Speech at the University of California, Berkley, as broadcast by Pacifica Radio (4 January 1969)
- The society in which we live is the result of our psychological state.
- 1st Public Talk, Berkeley, California (3 February 1969)
- Where there is fear there is aggression.
- 1st Public Talk, Berkeley, California (3 February 1969)
- Can thought be silent?
- 2nd Public Talk, Berkeley, California (4 February 1969)
- One is never afraid of the unknown; one is afraid of the known coming to an end.
- 3rd Public Talk, Berkeley, California (5 February 1969)
- Can't you fall in love and not have a possessive relationship? I love someone and she loves me and we get married — that is all perfectly straightforward and simple, in that there is no conflict at all. (When I say we get married I might just as well say we decide to live together — don't let's get caught up in words.) Can't one have that without the other, without the tail as it were, necessarily following? Can't two people be in love and both be so intelligent and so sensitive that there is freedom and absence of a centre that makes for conflict? Conflict is not in the feeling of being in love. The feeling of being in love is utterly without conflict. There is no loss of energy in being in love. The loss of energy is in the tail, in everything that follows — jealousy, possessiveness, suspicion, doubt, the fear of losing that love, the constant demand for reassurance and security. Surely it must be possible to function in a sexual relationship with someone you love without the nightmare which usually follows. Of course it is.
- 'Krishnamurti Foundation Trust Bulletin 3 (1969), and Krishnamurti Foundation Trust Bulletin 4, (1969)
Freedom From The Known (1969)
- Freedom from the Known (1975 edition)
- Meditation is one of the greatest arts in life — perhaps the greatest, and one cannot possibly learn it from anybody, that is the beauty of it. It has no technique and therefore no authority. When you learn about yourself, watch yourself, watch the way you walk, how you eat, what you say, the gossip, the hate, the jealousy — if you are aware of all that in yourself, without any choice, that is part of meditation.
- Thought is matter as much as the floor, the wall, the telephone, are matter. Energy functioning in a pattern becomes matter. That is all life is … Matter and energy are interrelated. The one cannot exist without the other, and the more harmony there is between the two, the more balance, the more active the brain cells are. Thought has set up this pattern of pleasure, pain, fear, and has been functioning inside it for thousands of years and cannot break the pattern because it has created it.
- Man has throughout the ages been seeking something beyond himself, beyond material welfare — something we call truth or God or reality, a timeless state — something that cannot be disturbed by circumstances, by thought or by human corruption. Man has always asked the question: what is it all about? Has life any meaning at all? He sees the enormous confusion of life, the brutalities, the revolt, the wars, the endless divisions of religion, ideology and nationality, and with a sense of deep abiding frustration he asks, what is one to do, what is this thing we call living, is there anything beyond it?
- In this constant battle which we call living, we try to set a code of conduct according to the society in which we are brought up, whether it be a Communist society or a so-called free society; we accept a standard of behaviour as part of our tradition as Hindus or Muslims or Christians or whatever we happen to be. We look to someone to tell us what is right or wrong behaviour, what is right or wrong thought, and in following this pattern our conduct and our thinking become mechanical, our responses automatic. We can observe this very easily in ourselves.
- For centuries we have been spoon-fed by our teachers, by our authorities, by our books, our saints. We say, "Tell me all about it — what lies beyond the hills and the mountains and the earth?" and we are satisfied with their descriptions, which means that we live on words and our life is shallow and empty. We are secondhand people. We have lived on what we have been told, either guided by our inclinations, our tendencies, or compelled to accept by circumstances and environment. We are the result of all kinds of influences and there is nothing new in us, nothing that we have discovered for ourselves; nothing original, pristine, clear.
- Throughout theological history we have been assured by religious leaders that if we perform certain rituals, repeat certain prayers or mantras, conform to certain patterns, suppress our desires, control our thoughts, sublimate our passions, limit our appetites and refrain from sexual indulgence, we shall, after sufficient torture of the mind and body, find something beyond this little life. And that is what millions of so-called religious people have done through the ages, either in isolation, going off into the desert or into the mountains or a cave or wandering from village to village with a begging bowl, or, in a group, joining a monastery, forcing their minds to conform to an established pattern. But a tortured mind, a broken mind, a mind which wants to escape from all turmoil, which has denied the outer world and been made dull through discipline and conformity — such a mind, however long it seeks, will find only according to its own distortion.
- The traditional approach is from the periphery inwards, and through time, practice and renunciation, gradually to come upon that inner flower, that inner beauty and love — in fact to do everything to make oneself narrow, petty and shoddy; peel off little by little; take time; tomorrow will do, next life will do — and when at last one comes to the centre one finds there is nothing there, because one's mind has been made incapable, dull and insensitive.
Having observed this process, one asks oneself, is there not a different approach altogether — that is, is it not possible to explode from the centre?
- The world accepts and follows the traditional approach. The primary cause of disorder in ourselves is the seeking of reality promised by another; we mechanically follow somebody who will assure us a comfortable spiritual life. It is a most extraordinary thing that although most of us are opposed to political tyranny and dictatorship, we inwardly accept the authority, the tyranny, of another to twist our minds and our way of life. So if we completely reject, not intellectually but actually, all so-called spiritual authority, all ceremonies, rituals and dogmas, it means that we stand alone and are already in conflict with society; we cease to be respectable human beings. A respectable human being cannot possibly come near to that infinite, immeasurable, reality.
- That is the first thing to learn — not to seek. When you seek you are really only window-shopping. The question of whether or not there is a God or truth or reality, or whatever you like to call it, can never be answered by books, by priests, philosophers or saviours. Nobody and nothing can answer the question but you yourself and that is why you must know yourself. Immaturity lies only in total ignorance of self. To understand yourself is the beginning of wisdom.
- I think there is a difference between the human being and the individual. The individual is a local entity, living in a particular country, belonging to a particular culture, particular society, particular religion. The human being is not a local entity. He is everywhere. If the individual merely acts in a particular corner of the vast field of life, then his action is totally unrelated to the whole. So one has to bear in mind that we are talking of the whole not the part, because in the greater the lesser is, but in the lesser the greater is not. The individual is the little conditioned, miserable, frustrated entity, satisfied with his little gods and his little traditions, whereas a human being is concerned with the total welfare, the total misery and total confusion of the world.
- We human beings are what we have been for millions of years — colossally greedy, envious, aggressive, jealous, anxious and despairing, with occasional flashes of joy and affection. We are a strange mixture of hate, fear and gentleness; we are both violence and peace. There has been outward progress from the bullock cart to the jet plane but psychologically the individual has not changed at all, and the structure of society throughout the world has been created by individuals. The outward social structure is the result of the inward psychological structure of our human relationships, for the individual is the result of the total experience, knowledge and conduct of man. Each one of us is the storehouse of all the past. The individual is the human who is all mankind.
- We are afraid of the known and afraid of the unknown. That is our daily life and in that there is no hope, and therefore every form of philosophy, every form of theological concept, is merely an escape from the actual reality of what is. All outward forms of change brought about by wars, revolutions, reformations, laws and ideologies have failed completely to change the basic nature of man and therefore of society.
- As human beings living in this monstrously ugly world, let us ask ourselves, can this society, based on competition, brutality and fear, come to an end? Not as an intellectual conception, not as a hope, but as an actual fact, so that the mind is made fresh, new and innocent and can bring about a different world altogether? It can only happen, I think, if each one of us recognises the central fact that we, as individuals, as human beings, in whatever part of the world we happen to live or whatever culture we happen to belong to, are totally responsible for the whole state of the world.
We are each one of us responsible for every war because of the aggressiveness of our own lives, because of our nationalism, our selfishness, our gods, our prejudices, our ideals, all of which divide us.
- What can a human being do — what can you and I do — to create a completely different society? We are asking ourselves a very serious question. Is there anything to be done at all? What can we do? Will somebody tell us? People have told us. The so-called spiritual leaders, who are supposed to understand these things better than we do, have told us by trying to twist and mould us into a new pattern, and that hasn't led us very far; sophisticated and learned men have told us and that has led us no further. We have been told that all paths lead to truth — you have your path as a Hindu and someone else has his path as a Christian and another as a Muslim, and they all meet at the same door — which is, when you look at it, so obviously absurd. Truth has no path, and that is the beauty of truth, it is living. A dead thing has a path to it because it is static, but when you see that truth is something living, moving, which has no resting place, which is in no temple, mosque or church, which no religion, no teacher, no philosopher, nobody can lead you to — then you will also see that this living thing is what you actually are — your anger, your brutality, your violence, your despair, the agony and sorrow you live in. In the understanding of all this is the truth, and you can understand it only if you know how to look at those things in your life. And you cannot look through an ideology, through a screen of words, through hopes and fears.
- You cannot depend upon anybody. There is no guide, no teacher, no authority. There is only you — your relationship with others and with the world — there is nothing else. When you realize this, it either brings great despair, from which comes cynicism and bitterness, or, in facing the fact that you and nobody else is responsible for the world and for yourself, for what you think, what you feel, how you act, all self-pity goes. Normally we thrive on blaming others, which is a form of self-pity.
- It is important to understand from the very beginning that I am not formulating any philosophy or any theological structure of ideas or theological concepts. It seems to me that all ideologies are utterly idiotic. What is important is not a philosophy of life but to observe what is actually taking place in our daily life, inwardly and outwardly. If you observe very closely what is taking place and examine it, you will see that it is based on an intellectual conception, and the intellect is not the whole field of existence; it is a fragment, and a fragment, however cleverly put together, however ancient and traditional, is still a small part of existence whereas we have to deal with the totality of life.
- When we look at what is taking place in the world we begin to understand that there is no outer and inner process; there is only one unitary process, it is a whole, total movement, the inner movement expressing itself as the outer and the outer reacting again on the inner. To be able to look at this seems to me all that is needed, because if we know how to look, then the whole thing becomes very clear, and to look needs no philosophy, no teacher. Nobody need tell you how to look. You just look. Can you then, seeing this whole picture, seeing it not verbally but actually, can you easily, spontaneously, transform yourself? That is the real issue. Is it possible to bring about a complete revolution in the psyche?
- Violence is not merely killing another. It is violence when we use a sharp word, when we make a gesture to brush away a person, when we obey because there is fear. So violence isn't merely organized butchery in the name of God, in the name of society or country. Violence is much more subtle, much deeper, and we are inquiring into the very depths of violence.
When you call yourself an Indian or a Muslim or a Christian or a European, or anything else, you are being violent. Do you see why it is violent? Because you are separating yourself from the rest of mankind. When you separate yourself by belief, by nationality, by tradition, it breeds violence. So a man who is seeking to understand violence does not belong to any country, to any religion, to any political party or partial system; he is concerned with the total understanding of mankind.
- It's no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society.
- As quoted in The Eden Express (1975) by Mark Vonnegut, p. 208
- What does it mean to be compassionate? Not merely verbally, but actually to be compassionate? Is compassion a matter of habit, of thought, a matter of the mechanical repetition of being kind, polite, gentle, tender? Can the mind which is caught in the activity of thought with its conditioning, its mechanical repetition, be compassionate at all? It can talk about it, it can encourage social reform, be kind to the poor heathen and so on; but is that compassion? When thought dictates, when thought is active, can there be any place for compassion? Compassion being action without motive, without self-interest, without any sense of fear, without any sense of pleasure.
- 6th Public Talk, Saanen (28 July 1970) 'The Mechanical Activity of Thought" in The Impossible Question (1972), Part I, Ch. 6], p. 63 ISBN 0-0606-4838-X Invalid ISBN J.Krishnamurti Online, Serial No. 330
- The whole of Asia believes in reincarnation, in being reborn in another life. When you enquire what it is that is going to be born in the next life, you come up against difficulties. What is it? Yourself? What are you? a lot of words, a lot of opinions, attachments to your possessions, to your furniture, to your conditioning. Is all that, which you call the soul, going to be reborn in the next life? Reincarnation implies that what you are today determines what you will be again in the next life. Therefore behave! — not tomorrow, but today, because what you do today you are going to pay for in the next life. People who believe in reincarnation do not bother about behavior;t all; it is just a matter of belief, which has no value. Incarnate today, afresh not in the next life! Change it now completely, change with great passion, let the mind strip itself of everything, of every conditioning, every knowledge, of everything it thinks is "right" — empty it. Then you will know what dying means; and then you will know what love is. For love is not something of the past, of thought, of culture; it is not pleasure. A mind that has understood the whole movement of thought becomes extraordinarily quiet, absolutely silent. That silence is the beginning of the new.
- 6th Public Talk, Saanen (28 July 1970) 'The Mechanical Activity of Thought" in The Impossible Question (1972) Part I, Ch. 6
- Do you decide to observe? Or do you merely observe? Do you decide and say, "I am going to observe and learn"? For then there is the question: "Who is deciding?" Is it will that says, "I must"? And when it fails, it chastises itself further and says, "I must, must, must"; in that there is conflict; therefore the state of mind that has decided to observe is not observation at all. You are walking down the road, somebody passes you by, you observe and you may say to yourself, "How ugly he is; how he smells; I wish he would not do this or that". You are aware of your responses to that passer-by, you are aware that you are judging, condemning or justifying; you are observing. You do not say, "I must not judge, I must not justify". In being aware of your responses, there is no decision at all. You see somebody who insulted you yesterday. Immediately all your hackles are up, you become nervous or anxious, you begin to dislike; be aware of your dislike, be aware of all that, do not "decide" to be aware. Observe, and in that observation there is neither the "observer" nor the "observed" — there is only observation taking place. The "observer" exists only when you accumulate in the observation; when you say, "He is my friend because he has flattered me", or, "He is not my friend, because he has said something ugly about me, or something true which I do not like." That is accumulation through observation and that accumulation is the observer. When you observe without accumulation, then there is no judgement.
- 5th Public Talk Saanen (26th July 1970); also in "Fear and Pleasure", The Collected Works, Vol. X
- No book can teach you about yourself, no psychologist, none of the professors or philosophers. What they can teach you is what they think you are or what they think you should be.
- 1st Public Talk, Bangalore, India (30 January 1971)
- Is it possible to observe without the observer?
- 1st Public Talk, Bombay (Mumbai), India (7 February 1971)
- Thought nourishes, sustains and gives continuity to fear and pleasure.
- 3rd Public Talk, Bombay (Mumbai), India (14 February 1971)
- To learn about oneself, a living thing, you have to watch, learn anew each minute.
- 4th Public Talk, Bombay (Mumbai), India (17 February 1971)
- Control exists only when there is action of will, positively or negatively. Will is resistance. When the mind is learning, there is no resistance.
- 3rd Public Talk, Amsterdam, The Netherlands (24 May 1971)
- When you identify yourself with a group of people or a set of ideas, aren't you separating yourself?
- 1st Discussion with Young People, Amsterdam, The Netherlands (26 May 1971)
- Learning implies a mind that doesn't know.
- 2nd Public Talk, Saanen, Switzerland (20 July 1971)
- Can I live a life, daily life, without sense of self-concern?
- 4th Public Talk, Saanen, Switzerland (25 July 1971)
- Is it possible to live in this world without the operation of will?
- 6th Public Talk, Saanen, Switzerland (29 July 1971)
- Why does the brain retain the memory of the hurt from yesterday?
- 5th Public Discussion, Saanen, Switzerland (8 August 1971)
- Can the mind become completely still without coercion, without compulsion, without discipline?
- 7th Public Discussion, Saanen, Switzerland (10 August 1971)
- The moment I am aware that I am aware, I am not aware. Awareness means the observer is not.
- 7th Public Discussion, Saanen, Switzerland (10 August 1971)
- When I analyse myself and my reactions or behaviour, there is the act and the actor. There is a division between the two and that creates conflict between "what is" and "what should be".
- 1st Question & Answer Meeting, Brockwood Park, UK (7 September 1971)
- Does choice exist when I see something very clearly?
- 2nd Question & Answer Meeting, Brockwood Park, UK (11 September 1971)
- Meditation is a state of mind in which the operation and exercise of will is not.
- 3rd Public Talk, Bangalore, India (13 January 1973)
- When you practice meditation, the meditator becomes all-important and not the movement of meditation.
- 3rd Public Talk, Bangalore, India (13 January 1973)
- Fear is always in relation to something; it does not exist by itself. There is fear of what happened yesterday in relation to the possibility of its repetition tomorrow; there is always a fixed point from which relationship takes place. How does fear come into this? I had pain yesterday; there is the memory of it and I do not want it again tomorrow. Thinking about the pain of yesterday, thinking which involves the memory of yesterday’s pain, projects the fear of having pain again tomorrow. So it is thought that brings about fear. Thought breeds fear; thought also cultivates pleasure. To understand fear you must also understand pleasure — they are interrelated; without understanding one you cannot understand the other. This means that one cannot say ‘I must only have pleasure and no fear’; fear is the other side of the coin which is called pleasure. Thinking with the images of yesterday’s pleasure, thought imagines that you may not have that pleasure tomorrow; so thought engenders fear. Thought tries to sustain pleasure and thereby nourishes fear. Thought has separated itself as the analyzer and the thing to be analyzed; they are both parts of thought playing tricks upon itself. In doing all this it is refusing to examine the unconscious fears; it brings in time as a means of escaping fear and yet at the same time sustains fear.
- Beyond Violence (1973), p. 66, ISBN 0-06-064839-2
- Now, one sees all that by observing, by being aware, watching, one is aware of all this. Then out of that awareness you see there is no division between the observer and the observed. It is a trick of thought which demands security. Please don't madam, please. And by being aware it sees the observer is the observed, that violence is the observer, violence is not different from the observer. Now how is the observer to end himself and not be violent? Have you understood my question so far? I think so. Right? The observer is the observed, there is no division and therefore no conflict. And is the observer then, knowing all the intricacies of naming, linguistically caught in the image of violence, what happens to that violence? If the observer is violent, can the observer end, otherwise violence will go on? Can the observer end himself, because he is violent? Or what reality has the observer? Right sir? Is he merely put together by words, by experience, by knowledge? So is he put together by the past? So is he the past? Right? Which means the mind is living in the past. Right? obviously. You are living in the past. Right? No? As long as there is an observer there must be living in the past, obviously. And all our life is based on the past, memories, knowledge, images, according to which you react, which is your conditioning, is the past. And living has become the living of the past in the present, modified in the future. That's all, as long as the observer is living. Now does the mind see this as a truth, as a reality, that all my life is living in the past? I may paint most abstract pictures, write the most modern poems, invent the most extraordinary machinery, but I am still living in the past.
- Saanen, Switzerland (5 August 1973)
- It is utterly and irrevocably possible to empty all hurts and, therefore, to love, to have compassion. To have compassion means to have passion for all things, not just between two people, but for all human beings, for all things of the earth, the animals, the trees, everything the earth contains. When we have such compassion we will not despoil the earth as we are doing now, and we will have no wars.
- Talks in Saanen (1974), p. 71
- Truth does not belong to an individual.
- 10th Conversation with D. Bohm, Brockwood Park, UK and Gstaad, Switzerland (27 September 1975)
- Is there an observation which is not the instrument of thought?
- 2nd Public Talk, Brockwood Park, UK (26th August 1979)
- What is correct action in a deteriorating world?
- 2nd Seminar Meeting, Brockwood Park, UK (14 September 1979)
- The world is me and I am the world.
- 2nd Seminar Meeting, Brockwood Park, UK (14 September 1979)
- Goodness is not the pursuit of conformity. If you conform to a belief, to a concept, to an idea, to a principle, that is not good, because it creates conflict. Goodness cannot flower through another, through a religious figure, through dogma, through belief; it can only flower in the soil of total attention in which there is no authority. The essence of goodness is a mind that is not in conflict. And goodness implies great responsibility. You can't be good and allow wars to take place. So a person who is really good is totally responsible for his whole life.
- First Public Talk at Ojai (7 April 1979) published in This Light in Oneself : True Meditation (1999), edited by Ray McCoy, p. 12 ISBN 978-1570624421
- Variant rendition: The essence of goodness is a mind that is not in conflict. Examine it, look at it. Goodness cannot flower through another, through a religious figure, through dogma, through belief, it can only flower in the soil of total attention in which there is no authority. You are following all this? Is this all too complex? And goodness implies great responsibility. You cannot be good and allow wars to take place. So a man that is really good is totally responsible for all his life.
A Wholly Different Way of Living (1970)
- A Wholly Different Way of Living: Krishnamurti in Dialogue With Professor Allan W. Anderson (1991) Victor Gollancz ISBN 0-575-05166-3
- Knowledge is necessary to act in the sense of my going home from here to the place I live; I must have knowledge for this; I must have knowledge to speak English; I must have knowledge to write a letter and so on. Knowledge as function, mechanical function, is necessary. Now if I use that knowledge in my relationship with you, another human being, I am bringing about a barrier, a division between you and me, namely the observer. That is, knowledge, in relationship, in human relationship, is destructive. That is knowledge which is the tradition, the memory, the image, which the mind has built about you, that knowledge is separative and therefore creates conflict in our relationship.
- "Second Discussion in San Diego (18 February 1974), p. 27; J.Krishnamurti Online, JKO Serial No. SD74CA2
- How is the mind which functions on knowledge — how is the brain which is recording all the time — to end, to see the importance of recording and not let it move in any other direction? Very simply: you insult me, you hurt me, by word, gesture, by an actual act; that leaves a mark on the brain which is memory. That memory is knowledge, that knowledge is going to interfere in my meeting you next time — obviously.
- p. 19
The Urgency of Change (1970)
- The Urgency of Change (1970), edited by Lutyens, Mary ISBN 0-06-064872-4 J.Krishnamurti Online. Serial No. 340
- The only thing that really matters is that there be an action of goodness, love and intelligence in living. Is goodness individual or collective, is love personal or impersonal, is intelligence yours, mine or somebody else? If it is yours or mine then it is not intelligence, or love, or goodness. If goodness is an affair of the individual or of the collective, according to one's particular preference or decision, then it is no longer goodness.
- Conversation 5
- Goodness is not in the backyard of the individual nor in the open field of the collective; goodness flowers only in freedom from both.
- 'Conversation 5
- The brain is the source of thought. The brain is matter and thought is matter. Can the brain — with all its reactions and its immediate responses to every challenge and demand — can the brain be very still? It is not a question of ending thought, but of whether the brain can be completely still? This stillness is not physical death. See what happens when the brain is completely still.
- p. 184
Krishnamurti in India, 1970-71 (1971)
- Krishnamurti in India, 1970-71 : Authentic Reports of Talks (1971) Krishnamurti Foundation India. OCLC 639846008, these talks were later re-edited and published as The First Step is the Last Step (2004) ISBN 81-87326-56-5
- The first step is the last step. The first step is to perceive, perceive what you are thinking, perceive your ambition, perceive your anxiety, your loneliness, your despair, this extraordinary sense of sorrow, perceive it, without any condemnation, justification, without wishing it to be different. Just to perceive it, as it is. When you perceive it as it is, then there is a totally different kind of action taking place, and that action is the final action. Right? That is, when you perceive something as being false or as being true, that perception is the final action, which is the final step. Now listen to it. I perceive the falseness of following somebody else, somebody else’s instruction — Krishna, Buddha, Christ, it does not matter who it is. I see, there is the perception of the truth that following somebody is utterly false. Because your reason, your logic and everything points out how absurd it is to follow somebody. Now that perception is the final step, and when you have perceived, you leave it, forget it, because the next minute you have to perceive anew, which is again the final step.
- p. 50
- So you must ask this question, put this question to yourself, whether your mind can be empty of all its past and yet retain the technological knowledge, your engineering knowledge, your linguistic knowledge, the memory of all that, and yet function from a mind that is completely empty. The emptying of that mind comes about naturally, sweetly without bidding, when you understand yourself, when you understand what you are. What you are is the memory, bundle of memories, experiences, thoughts. When you understand that, look at it, observe it; and when you observe it, see in that observation that there is no duality between the observer and the observed; then when you see that, you will see that your mind can be completely empty, attentive, and in that attention you can act wholly, without any fragmentation.
- p. 56
- In seeking there are several things involved: there is the seeker and the thing that he seeks after. When the seeker finds what he thinks is truth, is God, is enlightenment, he must be able to recognize it. He must recognize it, right? Recognition implies previous knowledge, otherwise you cannot recognize. I cannot recognize you if I had not met you yesterday. Therefore when I say this is truth, I have already known it and therefore it is not truth. So a man who is seeking truth lives a life of hypocrisy, because his truth is the projection of his memory, of his desire, of his intentions to find something other than "what is", a formula. So seeking implies duality — the one who seeks and the thing sought after — and where there is duality there is conflict. There is wastage of energy. So you can never find it, you can never invite it.
- p. 157
- A mind that is in meditation is concerned only with meditation, not with the meditator. The meditator is the observer, the senser, the thinker, the experiencer, and when there is the experiencer, the thinker, then he is concerned with reaching out, gaining, achieving, experiencing. And that thing which is timeless cannot be experienced. There is no experience at all. There is only that which is not nameable. ...You know, in all this there are various powers like clairvoyance, reading somebody’s thought — which is the most disgusting thing to do: it is like reading letters that are private. There are various powers. You know what I am talking about, don’t you? You call them siddhis, don’t you? Do you know that all these things are like candles in the sun? When there is no sun there is darkness, and then the candle and the light of the candle become very important. But when there is the sun, the light, the beauty, the clarity, then all these powers, these siddhis — developing various centres, chakras, kundalini, you know all that business — are like candlelight; they have no value at all. And when you have that light, you don’t want anything else.
- The First Step is the Last Step (2004), p. 281
You are the World (1972)
- You Are the World : Authentic Reports of Talks and Discussions in American Universities (1972) ISBN 0-06-080303-7 , J.Krishnamurti Online. Serial No. 368
- Now, can one die every day to everything that one knows — except, of course, the technological knowledge, the direction where your home is, and so on; that is, to end, psychologically, every day, so that the mind remains fresh, young and innocent? That is death. And to come upon that there must be no shadow of fear. To give up without argument, without any resistance. That is dying. Have you ever tried it? To give up without a murmur, without restraint, without resistance, the thing that gives you most pleasure (the things that are painful, of course, one wants to give up in any case). Actually to let go. Try it. Then, if you do it, you will see that the mind becomes extraordinarily alert, alive and sensitive, free and unburdened. Old age then takes on quite a different meaning, not something to be dreaded.
- Thought itself must deny itself. Thought itself sees what it is doing and therefore thought itself realizes that it has to come of itself to an end. There is no other factor than itself. Therefore when thought realizes that whatever it does, any movement that it makes, is disorder (we are taking that as an example) then there is silence.
The Awakening of Intelligence (1973)
- The Awakening of Intelligence (1973) edited by Cornelia Wingfield Digby and George Wingfield Digby ISBN 0060648341 1987 edition
- One can go on endlessly reading, discussing, piling up words upon words, without ever doing anything about it. It is like a man that is always ploughing, never sowing, and therefore never reaping. Most of us are in that position. And words, ideas, theories, have become much more important than actual living, which is acting, doing. I do not know if you have ever wondered why, throughout the world, ideas, formulas, concepts, have tremendous significance, not only scientifically but also theologically.
- Life as we live it is obviously very brutal, and makes us insensitive, dull, heavy, stupid, and so we may hope through ideas,through ideational mentation, to bring about a certain quality of sensitivity.… But even when we are sharpened and quickened intellectually by argument, by discussion, by reading, this does not actually bring about that quality of sensitivity. And you know all those people who are erudite, who read, who theorize, who can discuss brilliantly, are extraordinarily dull people. So I think sensitivity, which destroys mediocrity, is very important to understand. Because most of us are becoming, I am afraid, more mediocre. We are not using that word in any derogative sense at all, but merely observing the fact of mediocrity in the sense of being average, fairly well educated, earning a livelihood and perhaps capable of clever discussion; but this leaves us still bourgeois, mediocre, not only in our attitudes but in our activities.
- How can one be free of the images that one has? First of all, I must find out how these images come into being, what is the mechanism that creates them. You can see that at the moment of actual relationship, that is, when you are talking, when there are arguments, when there are insults and brutality, if you are not completely attentive at that moment, then the mechanism of building an image starts. That is, when the mind is not completely attentive at the moment of action, then the mechanism of building images is set in motion. When you say something to me which I do not like — or which I like — if at that moment I am not completely attentive, then the mechanism starts. If I am attentive, aware, then there is no building of images.
- p. 337
Second Penguin Krishnamurti Reader (1973)
- What is important in meditation is the quality of the mind and the heart.It is not what you achieve, or what you say you attain, but rather the quality of a mind that is innocent and vulnerable.
- Talks in Europe 1968
- If there is no meditation, then you are like a blind man in a world of great beauty, light and colour.
- Talks in Europe 1968
Krishnamurti's Notebook (1976)
- There's a great and unutterable beauty in all this.
- p. 166
- Thought shattering itself against its own nothingness is the explosion of meditation.
- * Meditations (1979) edited by Evelyne Blau ISBN 0-06-064851-1
- Man, in order to escape his conflicts, has invented many forms of meditation. These have been based on desire, will, and the urge for achievement, and imply conflict and a struggle to arrive. This conscious, deliberate striving is always within the limits of a conditioned mind, and in this there is no freedom. All effort to meditate is the denial of meditation. Meditation is the ending of thought. It is only then that there is a different dimension which is beyond time.
- Meditation is the emptying of the mind of all thought, for thought and feeling dissipate energy. They are repetitive, producing mechanical activities which are a necessary part of existence. But they are only part, and thought and feeling cannot possibly enter into the immensity of life. Quite a different approach is necessary, not the path of habit, association and the known; there must be freedom from these. Meditation is the emptying of the mind of the known. It cannot be done by thought or by the hidden prompting of thought, nor by desire in the form of prayer, nor through the self-effacing hypnotism of words, images, hopes, and vanities. All these have to come to an end, easily, without effort and choice, in the flame of awareness.
- p. 105
- Can the mind resolve a psychological problem immediately?
- 1st Public Talk, Ojai, California (1 April 1980)
- Psychological knowledge has made us dull.
- 4th Public Talk, Ojai, California (10 April 1980)
- The individuality is the name, the form and superficial culture he acquires from tradition and environment. The uniqueness of man does not lie in the superficial but in complete freedom from the content of his consciousness, which is common to all humanity.
- It is man’s pretence that because he has choice he is free. Freedom is pure observation without direction, without fear of punishment and reward. Freedom is without motive; freedom is not at the end of the evolution of man but lies in the first step of his existence.
- When man becomes aware of the movement of his own thoughts, he will see the division between the thinker and thought, the observer and the observed, the experiencer and the experience. He will discover that this division is an illusion. Then only is there pure observation which is insight without any shadow of the past or of time. This timeless insight brings about a deep, radical mutation in the mind.
- And the brain has been trained to record because then in that recording there is safety, there is security, there is strength, a vitality, and therefore in that recording the mind creates the image about oneself. Right? And that image will constantly get hurt. So is it possible to live without a single image? Go into it, sir. Don't please go to sleep. Single image about yourself, about your husband, wife, children, friend and so on, about the politicians, about the priests, about the ideals, not a single shadow of an image? We are saying it is possible, must be, otherwise you will always be getting hurt, always living in a pattern. In that there is no freedom. And when you call me an idiot, to be so attentive at that moment. Right? When you give complete attention there is no recording. It is only when there is not attention, inattention, you record. I wonder if you capture this. Is it getting too difficult? Too abstract? That is, you flatter me. I like it. The liking at that moment is inattention. In that moment there is no attention. Therefore recording takes place. But when you flatter me, instead of calling me an idiot, now you have gone to the other extreme, flatter me, to listen to it so completely, without any reaction, then there is no centre which records.
- 2nd Question and Answer Session, Saanen (24 July 1980), J.Krishnamurti Online, JKO Serial No. SA80Q2
- The very word "sorrow" colours the fact of sorrow, the pain of it.
- 3rd Public Talk, Brockwood Park, UK (5 September 1981)
- The understanding of relationship, fear, pleasure and sorrow is to bring order in our house. Without order you cannot possibly meditate. Now the speaker puts meditation at the end of the talks because there is no possibility of right meditation if you have not put your house, your psychological house, in order. If the psychological house is in disorder, if what you are is in disorder, what is the point of meditating? It is just an escape. It leads to all kinds of illusions.
- If you are not at all concerned with the world but only with your personal salvation, following certain beliefs and superstitions, following gurus, then I am afraid it will be impossible for you and the speaker to communicate with each other. …We are not concerned at all with private personal salvation but we are concerned, earnestly, seriously, with what the human mind has become, what humanity is facing. We are concerned as human beings, human beings who are not labelled with any nationality. We are concerned at looking at this world and what a human being living in this world has to do, what is his role?
- The Flame of Attention (1984), p. 10 ISBN 0-06-064814-7 . J.Krishnamurti Online, Serial No. 320
- The questioner says, how can the conditioned brain grasp the unlimited, which is beauty, love, and truth? What is the ground of compassion and intelligence, and can it come upon us — each one of us? Are you inviting compassion? Are you inviting intelligence? Are you inviting beauty, love, and truth? Are you trying to grasp it? I am asking you. Are you trying to grasp the quality of intelligence, compassion, the immense sense of beauty, the perfume of love and that truth which has no path to it? Is that what you are grasping — wanting to find out the ground upon which it dwells? Can the limited brain grasp this? You cannot possibly grasp it, hold it. You can do all kinds of meditation, fast, torture yourself, become terribly austere, having one suit, or one robe. All this has been done. The rich cannot come to the truth, neither the poor. Nor the people who have taken a vow of celibacy, of silence, of austerity. All that is determined by thought, put together sequentially by thought; it is all the cultivation of deliberate thought, of deliberate intent.
- Last Talks at Saanen, 1985 (1987), p. 158 ISBN 0-06-064798-1
- Desire, which has been the driving force in man, has created a great many pleasant and useful things; desire also, in man's relationships, has created a great many problems and turmoil and misery — the desire for pleasure. The monks and the sannyasis of the world have tried to go beyond it, have forced themselves to worship an ideal, an image, a symbol. But desire is always there like a flame, burning. And to find out, to probe into the nature of desire, the complexity of desire, its activities, its demands, its fulfilments — ever more and more desire for power, position, prestige, status, the desire for the unnameable, that which is beyond all our daily life — has made man do all kinds of ugly and brutal things. Desire is the outcome of sensation the outcome with all the images that thought has built. And this desire not only breeds discontent but a sense of hopelessness. Never suppress it, never discipline it but probe into the nature of it — what is the origin, the purpose, the intricacies of it? To delve deep into it is not another desire, for it has no motive; it is like understanding the beauty of a flower, to sit down beside it and look at it. And as you look it begins to reveal itself as it actually is — the extraordinarily delicate colour, the perfume, the petals, the stem and the earth out of which it has grown. So look at this desire and its nature without thought which is always shaping sensations, pleasure and pain, reward and punishment. Then one understands, not verbally, nor intellectually, the whole causation of desire, the root of desire. The very perception of it, the subtle perception of it, that in itself is intelligence. And that intelligence will always act sanely and rationally in dealing with desire.
- No description can ever describe the origin. The origin is nameless; the origin is absolutely quiet, it is not whirring about making noise. Creation is something that is most holy, that is the most sacred thing in life, and if you have made a mess of your life, change it. Change it today, not tomorrow. If you are uncertain, find out why and be certain. If your thinking is not straight, think straight, logically, Unless all that is prepared, all that is settled, you cannot enter into this world, into the world of creation.
This is the last talk. Do you want to sit together quietly for a while? All right, sirs, sit quietly for a while.
Letters to the Schools (1981, 1985)
- Letters to the Schools, Volume I (1981) (2nd ed.) Bramdean: Krishnamurti Foundation Trust ISBN 9789062717583 Letters to the Schools Volume II (1985) Chennai: Krishnamurti Foundation India. OCLC 39893425
- Goodness shows itself in behaviour and action and in relationship. Generally our daily behaviour is based on either the following of certain patterns — mechanical and therefore superficial — or according to very carefully thought-out motive, based on reward or punishment. So our behaviour, consciously or unconsciously, is calculated. This is not good behaviour. When one realizes this, not merely intellectually or by putting words together, then out of this total negation comes true behaviour.
- Vol. I, p. 12
- Goodness has no opposite. Most of us consider goodness as the opposite of the bad or evil and so throughout history in any culture goodness has been considered the other face of that which is brutal. So man has always struggled against evil in order to be good; but goodness can never come into being if there is any form of violence or struggle.
- Vol. I, p. 12
- The very nature of intelligence is sensitivity, and this sensitivity is love. Without this intelligence there can be no compassion. Compassion is not the doing of charitable acts or social reform; it is free from sentiment, romanticism and emotional enthusiasm. It is as strong as death. It is like a great rock, immovable in the midst of confusion, misery and anxiety. Without this compassion no new culture or society can come into being. Compassion and intelligence walk together; they are not separate. Compassion acts through intelligence. It can never act through the intellect. Compassion is the essence of the wholeness of life.
- Vol. I, p. 113
- Attention involves seeing and hearing. We hear not only with our ears but also we are sensitive to the tones, the voice, to the implication of words, to hear without interference, to capture instantly the depth of a sound. Sound plays an extraordinary part in our lives: the sound of thunder, a flute playing in the distance, the unheard sound of the universe; the sound of silence, the sound of one’s own heart beating; the sound of a bird and the noise of a man walking on the pavement; the waterfall. The universe is filled with sound. This sound has its own silence; all living things are involved in this sound of silence. To be attentive is to hear this silence and move with it.
- Vol. II, p. 30
- Attention is this hearing and this seeing, and this attention has no limitation, no resistance, so it is limitless. To attend implies this vast energy: it is not pinned down to a point. In this attention there is no repetitive movement; it is not mechanical. There is no question of how to maintain this attention, and when one has learnt the art of seeing and hearing, this attention can focus itself on a page, a word. In this there is no resistance which is the activity of concentration. Inattention cannot be refined into attention. To be aware of inattention is the ending of it: not that it becomes attentive. The ending has no continuity. The past modifying itself is the future — a continuity of what has been — and we find security in continuity, not in ending. So attention has no quality of continuity. Anything that continues is mechanical. The becoming is mechanical and implies time. Attention has no quality of time. All this is a tremendously complicated issue. One must gently, deeply go into it.
- Vol. II, p. 31
Mind Without Measure (1984)
- Mind Without Measure: Talks in India, 1982-83: Authentic Report (1984)- Krishnamurti Foundation India OCLC 604082868
- How can one be compassionate if you belong to any religion, follow any guru, believe in something, believe in your scriptures, and so on, attached to a conclusion? When you accept your guru, you have come to a conclusion, or when you strongly believe in god or in a saviour, this or that, can there be compassion? You may do social work, help the poor out of pity, out of sympathy, out of charity, but is all that love and compassion?
- p. 97
- First, we must be very clear that you and the speaker are treating life not as a problem but as a tremendous movement. If your brain is trained to solve problems, then you will treat this movement as a problem to be solved. Is it possible to look at life with all its questions, with all its issues, which is tremendously complex, to look at it not as a problem, but to observe it clearly, without bias, without coming to some conclusion which will then dictate your observation? You have to observe this vast movement of life, not only your own particular life, but the life of all humanity, the life of the earth, the life of the trees, the life of the whole world — look at it, observe it, move with it, but if you treat it as a problem, then you will create more problems.
- p. 105
That Benediction is Where You Are (1985)
- From childhood we are trained to have problems. When we are sent to school, we have to learn how to write, how to read, and all the rest of it. How to write becomes a problem to the child. Please follow this carefully. Mathematics becomes a problem, history becomes a problem, as does chemistry. So the child is educated, from childhood, to live with problems — the problem of God, problem of a dozen things. So our brains are conditioned, trained, educated to live with problems. From childhood we have done this. What happens when a brain is educated in problems? It can never solve problems; it can only create more problems. When a brain that is trained to have problems, and to live with problems, solves one problem, in the very solution of that problem, it creates more problems. From childhood we are trained, educated to live with problems and, therefore, being centred in problems, we can never solve any problem completely. It is only the free brain that is not conditioned to problems that can solve problems. It is one of our constant burdens to have problems all the time. Therefore our brains are never quiet, free to observe, to look. So we are asking: Is it possible not to have a single problem but to face problems? But to understand those problems, and to totally resolve them, the brain must be free.
- p. 18
- Are we wasting our lives? By that word “wasting” we mean dissipating our energy in various ways, dissipating it in specialized professions. Are we wasting our whole existence, our life? If you are rich, you may say, “Yes, I have accumulated a lot of money, it has been a great pleasure.” Or if you have a certain talent, that talent is a danger to a religious life. Talent is a gift, a faculty, an aptitude in a particular direction, which is specialization. Specialization is a fragmentary process. So you must ask yourself whether you are wasting your life. You may be rich, you may have all kinds of faculties, you may be a specialist, a great scientist or a businessman, but at the end of your life has all that been a waste? All the travail, all the sorrow, all the tremendous anxiety, insecurity, the foolish illusions that man has collected, all his gods, all his saints and so on — have all that been a waste? You may have power, position, but at the end of it — what? Please, this is a serious question that you must ask yourself. Another cannot answer this question for you.
- p. 63
- It is astonishingly beautiful and interesting, how thought is absent when you have an insight. Thought cannot have an insight. It is only when the mind is not operating mechanically in the structure of thought that you have an insight. Having had an insight, thought draws a conclusion from that insight. And then thought acts and thought is mechanical. So I have to find out whether having an insight into myself, which means into the world, and not drawing a conclusion from it is possible. If I draw a conclusion, I act on an idea, on an image, on a symbol, which is the structure of thought, and so I am constantly preventing myself from having insight, from understanding things as they are.
- On Mind and Thought (1993), p. 34 ISBN 9780062510150
- Insight is not a matter of memory, of knowledge and time, which are all thought. So I would say insight is the total absence of the whole movement of thought as time and remembrance. So there is direct perception. It is as though I have been going North for the last ten thousand years, and my brain is accustomed to going North, and somebody comes along and says, that will lead you nowhere, go East. When I turn round and go East the brain cells have changed. Because I have an insight that the North leads nowhere. I will put it differently. The whole movement of thought, which is limited, is acting throughout the world now. It is the most important action, we are driven by thought. But thought will not solve any of our problems, except the technological ones. If I see that, I have stopped going North. I think that with the ending of a certain direction, the ending of a movement that has been going on for thousands of years, there is at that moment an insight that brings about a change, a mutation, in the brain cells.
- Questioning Krishnamurti : J. Krishnamurti in dialogue (1996), p. 165 ISBN 9780722532843
- In oneself lies the whole world and if you know how to look and learn, the door is there and the key is in your hand. Nobody on earth can give you either the key or the door to open, except yourself.
- As quoted in Perfecting Ourselves : Coordinating Body, Mind, and Spirit (2002) by Aaron Hoopes, p. 64
The Collected Works
- Published by Kendall/Hunt and Krishnamurti Foundation of America
- Vol. 3 (1936–1944) : The Mirror of Relationship (1991) ISBN 0-8403-6236-6
- Vol. 4 (1945–1948): The Observer Is the Observed (1991) ISBN 0-8403-6237-4
- Vol. 5 (1948–1949): Choiceless Awareness (1991) ISBN 0-8403-6238-2
- Vol. 6 (1949–1952): The Origin of Conflict (1991) ISBN 0-8403-6262-5
- Vol. 9 (1955–1956): The Answer is in the Problem (1991) ISBN 0-8403-6260-9
- Vol. 10 (1956–1957): A Light to Yourself (1991) ISBN 0-8403-6268-4
- Vol. 11 (1958–1960): Crisis in Consciousness (1991) ISBN 0-8403-6272-2
- Vol. 13 (1962–1963): A Psychological Revolution (1992) ISBN 0-8403-6287-0
- Vol. 14 (1963–1964): The New Mind (1992) ISBN 0-8403-6288-9
- Vol. 15 (1964–1965): The Dignity of Living (1992) ISBN 0-8403-6282-X
- To understand oneself requires patience, tolerant awareness; the self is a book of many volumes which you cannot read in a day, but when once you begin to read, you must read every word, every sentence, every paragraph for in them are the intimations of the whole. The beginning of it is the ending of it. If you know how to read, supreme wisdom is to be found.
- "Fifth Talk in The Oak Grove, 11 June 1944", J. Krishnamurti Online, JKO Serial No. 440611, Vol. III, p. 219
- Questioner: Can one love truth without loving man? Can one love man without loving truth? What comes first?
Krishnamurti: Love comes first. To love truth, you must know truth. To know truth is to deny truth. What is known is not truth. What is known is already encased in time and ceases to be truth. Truth is an eternal movement, and so cannot be measured in words or in time. It cannot be held in the fist. You cannot love something which you do not know. But truth is not to be found in books, in images, in temples. It is to be found in action, in living. The very search for the unknown is love itself, and you cannot search for the unknowable away from relationship. You cannot search for reality, or for what you will, in isolation. It comes into being only in relationship, only when there is right relationship between man and man. So the love of man is the search for reality.
- Vol. IV, p. 172
- To understand oneself, one needs enormous pliability, and that pliability is denied when we specialize in devotion, in action, in knowledge. There are no paths such as devotion, as action, as knowledge, and he who follows any of these paths separately as a specialist brings about his own destruction. That is, a man who is committed to a particular path, to a particular approach, is incapable of pliability, and that which is not pliable is broken. As a tree that is not pliable breaks in the storm, so a man who has specialized breaks down in moments of crisis.
- "Seventh Talk in Poona, 10 October 1948", J.Krishnamurti Online, JKO Serial No. 481010; Vol. V, p. 128
- The answer is in the problem, not away from the problem. I go through the searching, analysing, dissecting process, in order to escape from the problem. But, if I do not escape from the problem and try to look at the problem without any fear or anxiety, if I merely look at the problem — mathematical, political, religious, or any other — and not look to an answer, then the problem will begin to tell me. Surely, this is what happens. We go through this process and eventually throw it aside because there is no way out of it. So, why can’t we start right from the beginning, that is, not seek an answer to a problem? — which is extremely arduous, isn’t it? Because, the more I understand the problem, the more significance there is in it. To understand, I must approach it quietly, not impose on the problem my ideas, my feelings of like and dislike. Then the problem will reveal its significance. Why is it not possible to have tranquillity of the mind right from the beginning?
- "Eighth Talk in The Oak Grove, 7 August 1949", J.Krishnamurti Online, JKO Serial No. 490807, Vol. V, p. 283
- You cannot find truth through anybody else. How can you? Surely, truth is not something static; it has no fixed abode; it is not an end, a goal. On the contrary, it is living, dynamic, alert, alive. How can it be an end? If truth is a fixed point, it is no longer truth; it is then a mere opinion. Sir, truth is the unknown, and a mind that is seeking truth will never find it. For mind is made up of the known; it is the result of the past, the outcome of time — which you can observe for yourself. Mind is the instrument of the known; hence it cannot find the unknown; it can only move from the known to the known. When the mind seeks truth, the truth it has read about in books, that "truth" is self-projected, for then the mind is merely in pursuit of the known, a more satisfactory known than the previous one. When the mind seeks truth, it is seeking its own self-projection, not truth. After all, an ideal is self-projected; it is fictitious, unreal. What is real is what is, not the opposite. But a mind that is seeking reality, seeking God, is seeking the known. When you think of God, your God is the projection of your own thought, the result of social influences. You can think only of the known; you cannot think of the unknown, you cannot concentrate on truth. The moment you think of the unknown, it is merely the self-projected known. So, God or truth cannot be thought about. If you think about it, it is not truth. Truth cannot be sought; it comes to you. You can go after only what is known. When the mind is not tortured by the known, by the effects of the known, then only can truth reveal itself. Truth is in every leaf, every tear; it is to be known from moment to moment. No one can lead you to truth; and if anyone leads you, it can only be to the known.
- Vol. VI, p 5, "First Talk in Rajahmundry (20 November 1949), J.Krishnamurti Online, JKO Serial No. 491120
- Truth is not something in the distance; there is no path to it, there is neither your path nor my path; there is no devotional path, there is no path of knowledge or path of action, because truth has no path to it. The moment you have a path to truth, you divide it, because the path is exclusive; and what is exclusive at the very beginning will end in exclusiveness. The man who is following a path can never know truth because he is living in exclusiveness; his means are exclusive, and the means are the end, are not separate from the end. If the means are exclusive, the end is also exclusive. So there is no path to truth, and there are not two truths. Truth is not of the past or the present, it is timeless; the man who quotes the truth of the Buddha, of Shankara, of Christ, or who merely repeats what I am saying, will not find truth, because repetition is not truth. Repetition is a lie.
- "Fifth Talk in Bombay 1950 (12 March 1950), J.Krishnamurti Online, JKO Serial No. 500312, 'The Collected Works, Vol. VI, p. 134
- Meditation is not a process of learning how to meditate; it is the very inquiry into what is meditation. To inquire into what is meditation, the mind must free itself from what it has learnt about meditation, and the freeing of the mind from what it has learnt is the beginning of meditation.
- "Third Talk at Rajghat" (25 December 1955), J.Krishnamurti Online, JKO Serial No. 551225, Vol. IX, p. 192
- Please let us be clear on this point — that you cannot by any process, through any discipline, through any form of meditation, go to truth, God, or whatever name you like to give it. It is much too vast, it cannot possibly be conceived of; no description will cover it, no book can hold it, nor any word contain it. So you cannot by any devious method, by any sacrifice, by any discipline or through any guru, go to it. You must await it, it will come to you, you cannot go to it. That is the fundamental thing one has to understand, that not through any trick of the mind, not through any control, through any virtue, any compulsion, any form of suppression, can the mind possibly go to truth. All that the mind can do is be quiet but not with the intention of receiving it. And that is one of the most difficult things of all because we think truth can be experienced right away through doing certain things. Truth is not to be bought any more than love can be bought.
- Second Talk in Poona (10 September 1958), J.Krishnamurti Online, JKO Serial No. 580910, Vol. XI, p. 20
- I think we must see this very clearly right at the beginning — that if one would solve the everyday problems of existence, whatever they may be, one must first see the wider issues and then come to the detail. After all, the great painter, the great poet is one who sees the whole — who sees all the heavens, the blue skies, the radiant sunset, the tree, the fleeting bird — all at one glance; with one sweep he sees the whole thing. With the artist, the poet, there is an immediate, a direct communion with this whole marvellous world of beauty. Then he begins to paint, to write, to sculpt; he works it out in detail. If you and I could do the same, then we should be able to approach our problems — however contradictory, however conflicting, however disturbing — much more liberally, more wisely, with greater depth and colour, feeling. This is not mere romantic verbalization but actually it is so, and that is what I would like to talk about now and every time we get together. We must capture the whole and not be carried away by the detail, however pressing, immediate, anxious it may be. I think that is where the revolution begins.
- Vol. XI, p. 62
- When death comes, it does not ask your permission; it comes and takes you; it destroys you on the spot. In the same way, can you totally drop hate, envy, pride of possession, attachment to beliefs, to opinions, to ideas, to a particular way of thinking? Can you drop all that in an instant? There is no “how to drop it”, because that is only another form of continuity. To drop opinion, belief, attachment, greed, or envy is to die — to die every day, every moment. If there is the coming to an end of all ambition from moment to moment, then you will know the extraordinary state of being nothing, of coming to the abyss of an eternal movement, as it were, and dropping over the edge — which is death. I want to know all about death, because death may be reality; it may be what we call God — that most extraordinary something that lives and moves and yet has no beginning and no end.
- Vol. XI, p. 242
- We know only fragmentarily this extraordinary thing called life; we have never looked at sorrow, except through the screen of escapes; we have never seen the beauty, the immensity of death, and we know it only through fear and sadness. There can be understanding of life, and of the significance and beauty of death, only when the mind on the instant perceives “what is”.You know, sirs, although we differentiate them, love, death, and sorrow are all the same; because, surely, love, death, and sorrow are the unknowable. The moment you know love, you have ceased to love. Love is beyond time; it has no beginning and no end, whereas knowledge has; and when you say, “I know what love is”, you don’t. You know only a sensation, a stimulus. You know the reaction to love, but that reaction is not love. In the same way, you don’t know what death is. You know only the reactions to death, and you will discover the full depth and significance of death only when the reactions have ceased.
- Vol. XI, p. 288
- Passion is something which very few of us have really felt. What we may have felt is enthusiasm, which is being caught up in an emotional state over something. Our passion is for something: for music, for painting, for literature, for a country, for a woman or a man; it is always the effect of a cause. When you fall in love with someone, you are in a great state of emotion, which is the effect of that particular cause; and what I am talking about is passion without a cause. It is to be passionate about everything, not just about something, whereas most of us are passionate about a particular person or thing. I think one must see this distinction very clearly. In the state of passion without a cause, there is intensity free of all attachment; but when passion has a cause, there is attachment, and attachment is the beginning of sorrow.
- Vol. XIII, p. 251
- Just observe what you are. What you are is the fact: the fact that you are jealous, anxious, envious, brutal, demanding, violent. That is what you are. Look at it, be aware; don’t shape it, don’t guide it, don’t deny it, don’t have opinions about it. By looking at it without condemnation, without judgement, without comparison, you observe; out of that observation, out of that awareness comes affection. Now, go still further. And you can do this in one flash. It can only be done in one flash — not first from the outside and then working further and deeper and deeper and deeper; it does not work that way, it is all done with one sweep, from the outermost to the most inward, to the innermost depth. Out of this, in this, there is attention — attention to the whistle of that train, the noise, the coughing, the way you are jerking your legs about; attention whereby you listen to what is said, you find out what is true and what is false in what is being said, and you do not set up the speaker as an authority. So this attention comes out of this extraordinarily complex existence of contradiction, misery and utter despair. And when the mind is attentive, it can then give focus, which then is quite a different thing; then it can concentrate but that concentration is not the concentration of exclusion. Then the mind can give attention to whatever it is doing, and that attention becomes much more efficient, much more vital, because you are taking everything in.
- Vol. XIV, p. 301
- Sacredness is the essence of religion. You know, a great river may become polluted as it flows past a town, but if the pollution isn’t too great, the river cleanses itself as it goes along, and within a few miles it is again clean, fresh, pure. Similarly, when once the mind comes upon this sacredness, then every act is a cleansing act. Through its very movement the mind is making itself innocent, and therefore it is not accumulating. A mind that has discovered this sacredness is in constant revolution — not economic or social revolution, but an inner revolution through which it is endlessly purifying itself. Its action is not based on some idea or formula. As the river, with a tremendous volume of water behind it, cleanses itself as it flows, so does the mind cleanse itself when once it has come upon this religious sacredness.
- Vol. XV, p. 244
- Attention is not concentration. When you concentrate, as most people try to do — what takes place when you are concentrating? You are cutting yourself off, resisting, pushing away every thought except that one particular thought, that one particular action. So your concentration breeds resistance, and therefore concentration does not bring freedom. Please, this is very simple if you observe it yourself. But whereas if you are attentive, attentive to everything that is going on about you, attentive to the dirt, the filth of the street, attentive to the bus which is so dirty, attentive of your words, your gestures, the way you talk to your boss, the way you talk to your servant, to the superior, to the inferior, the respect, the callousness to those below you, the words, the ideas — if you are attentive to all that, not correcting, then out of that attention you can know a different kind of concentration. You are then aware of the setting, the noise of the people, people talking over there on the roof, your hushing them up, asking them not to talk, turning your head; you are aware of the various colours, the costumes, and yet concentration is going on. Such concentration is not exclusive, in that there is no effort. Whereas mere concentration demands effort.
- Vol. XV, p. 321
Quotes about Krishnamurti
- Sorted alphabetically by author or source
- He was thought by certain members, C.W.Leadbeater and Annie Besant in particular, to be the coming Christ, the World Teacher. He had certain inner experiences and rejected this, dissolved the Order of the Star, etc. … Krishnamurti has now become a great teacher [...] It would be in line with his type of thought to deny it but nevertheless, I would say that Krishnamurti is preparing the way for the Christ's work. He is only one, one of many, who are preparing humanity, but he, in his particular manner, is preparing people psychologically, I would say, for the first and second initiations.
- Benjamin Creme, in The Reappearance of the Christ and the Masters of Wisdom (1980) p. 205
- This is, perhaps, the one thing I share with Krishnamurti — his lack of memory. My favourite joke in the world... is from my daughter’s joke book when she was seven: “Doctor! Doctor! I am losing my memory!” “Oh dear, when did this happen?” “When did what happen?” That is the story of my life. I am losing my memory — daily, hourly. I like to put it down to the fact that I am no longer conditioned by time... But if you lose your memory you even lose your thought of time; time goes as your memory goes.
Krishnamurti says: “My memory is my enemy.” Exactly so. Do you know what your memory is? Your memory is yesterday, the past. While you are thinking about the past you are not living in the Now. If you have studied Krishnamurti, almost the whole of his effort was to show... that there is only this moment; there is no time...
- Benjamin Creme, in Maitreya's Mission Vol. III (1997), p. 605
- Krishnamurti is one of the greatest philosophers of the age.
- Tenzin Gyatso, 14th Dalai Lama, as quoted on jacket of Inward Revolution : Bringing About Radical Change in the World (2006) by Jiddu Krishnamurti
- He has received divine honors in India and in the West. I had a long interview with him, found him of average intelligence, of rather lovable disposition, of mediocre spiritual intuitions, and heard him swear in good, round English! I came away feeling that if he is all we, as a race, have to look to in order to get out of the muddle we are in, then God pity us.
- Dr. E. Stanley Jones, The Christ of the Indian Road (1925)
- Political leaders are never leaders. For leaders we have to look to the Awakeners! Lao Tse, Buddha, Socrates, Jesus, Milarepa, Gurdjiev, Krishnamurti.
- Henry Miller, in My Bike & Other Friends (1977), p. 12
- Few modern thinkers have integrated psychology, philosophy, and religion so seamlessly as Krishnamurti.
- Publishers Weekly, as quoted on the jacket of To Be Human (2000) by Jiddu Krishnamurti
- Never one to endear himself to schoolmasters, Krishna was punished brutally for his inadequacies and branded an imbecile.
- Roland Vernon, on Krishnamurti's early education, in Star in the East: Krishnamurti, The Invention of a Messiah (2001)
- Krishnamurti lacked ordinary human compassion and kindness; he was intolerant, even contemptuous, of those who could not rise to his own high plane.
- Roland Vernon, in Star in the East: Krishnamurti, The Invention of a Messiah (2001)
- Ageless Wisdom teachings
- Age of Aquarius
- Agni Yoga
- Alice A. Bailey
- Annie Besant
- H.P. Blavatsky
- Benjamin Creme
- The Masters of Wisdom
- Helena Roerich
- Jiddu Krishnamurti Online - Official J. Krishnamurti inter-organizational website whose mission is "to make the teachings of J. Krishnamurti available and freely downloadable and to guarantee authenticity"
- Krishnamurti Foundation Trust (UK)
- Krishnamurti Foundation of America
- A Krishnamurti Directory
- The Krishnamurti Information Network
- Krishnamurti World
- The jiddu-krihnamurti.net website - Full text of talks and books, also forum