Quote of the Day

by Jiddu Krishnamurti

There are three conditions of mind: "I know", "I believe", and "I do not know." When you say, "I know", you mean you know through experience, and through that experience you become certain and convinced of an idea, a belief. But that certainty, that conviction may be based on imagination, on a wish-fulfilment, which to you gradually becomes a fact, and so you say, "I know." Some say reincarnation is a fact, and to them perhaps it is so, as they say they can see their past lives; but to you who crave for continuity, reincarnation gives hope and purpose, and so you cling to the idea, saying that it is your intuition that prompts you to accept it as a fact, as a law. You accept the idea of rebirth on the assertion of another, without ever questioning his knowledge, which may be imagination, hallucination, or the projection of a wish. Craving self-perpetuation, immortality, you become incapable of true discernment. If you do not say, "I know", you then say, "I believe in reincarnation because it explains the inequalities of life." Again, this belief, which you say is prompted by intuition, is the outcome of a hidden hope and craving for continuity.

Thus both the "I know" and "I believe" are insecure, uncertain and not to be relied on. But if you can say, "I do not know", fully comprehending its significance, then there is a possibility of perceiving that which is. To be in a state of not knowing demands great denudation and strenuous effort, but it is not a negative state; it is a most vital and earnest state for the mind-heart that does not grasp at explanations and assertions.

Ojai, California
6th Talk in the Oak Grove 10th May, 1936