Questioner: I do not see why the refuge itself is false. I think taking refuge is silly. Reincarnation may be a fact.
Krishnamurti: If one is suffering and there is the supposed fact of reincarnation, what fundamental value has this fact if it ceases to be a refuge, a comfort? If one is starving, what good is it to know that there is over-production in the world? One wants to be fed, not facts, but much more nourishing substance.
We are not disputing as to whether reincarnation is a fact or not. To me this is utterly irrelevant. When you are diseased, hungry, facts do not relieve suffering, do not satisfy hunger.
One can take hope in a future ideal state, but hunger will still continue. The fear of death and the sorrow it brings will continue even in spite of the supposed fact of reincarnation; unless, of course, one lives in complete illusion.
Why do you take shelter in a supposed fact, in a belief? I am not asking you how you know that it is a fact. You think that it is, and for the moment let us leave it at that. What prompts you to take shelter? As a man takes refuge in the rationalized conclusion that all things must decay, and thereby softens his suffering, so by taking refuge in a belief, in a supposed fact, you also deaden the action of sorrow. Because of the sharpness of misery, you desire comfort, an alleviation, and so you seek a refuge, hoping that it is enduring and real. Is it not for this fundamental reason that we seek refuge, shelter?
Ommen Camp, Holland
4th Public Talk 5th August, 1937