Quote of the Day

by Jiddu Krishnamurti

Questioner: I am very depressed and how am I to get over it?

Krishnamurti: It is natural, is it not, to be depressed at this present time when there is so much killing, confusion and sorrow? Now, do we learn when we are up or down, at the heights or in the shadows, in the valleys? Our lives are lived in undulation, up and down, in great heights and in great depths. When we are at the heights we are so exhilarated, so consumed with happiness or joy, with that sense of completeness, that the depths, the shadows are forgotten. Joy is not a problem, happiness does not seek a solution, in that state of completeness there is no striving after understanding. It is. But it does not last and we grope after it, remembering, grasping, comparing. Only when we are in the depths, in the valley, conflict, confusion, sorrow arise. From this we want to run away, craving to reach the heights once again. But we will not attain through want, for joy comes uninvited. Happiness is not an end in itself; it is an incident in wider and deeper understanding.

But if we try to comprehend conflict and sorrow we shall begin to understand ourselves in relation to that conflict and sorrow: how we meet it or evade it, how we condemn it or justify it, how we rationalize it or compare it. In this process we get to know ourselves, our deceits, escapes, excuses; you may escape from depression but it will catch you up again and again. But if we try to understand it, and to understand we must observe all the reactions in relation to it, how we try to escape from it, to find substitutions for it, we will find that the very desire to get over it indicates the lack of its comprehension. Through becoming aware of the causes and significance of depression wider and deeper understanding comes into being, in which there is no place for depression, for self pity, for fear.

Ojai, California
3rd Public Talk 28th May, 1944