Quote of the Day

by Jiddu Krishnamurti

Questioner: I have been writing down as you suggested. I find that I cannot get beyond the trivial thoughts. Is it because the conscious mind refuses to acknowledge the subconscious cravings and demands, and so escapes into an empty blockade?

Krishnamurti: I suggested that to slow down the mind in order to examine the thought-feeling process, you should write down every thought-feeling. If one wishes to understand, for example, a machine of high revolution one has to slow it down, not stop it for then it becomes merely a dead matter; but make it turn gently, slowly, to study its structure, its movement. Likewise if we wish to understand our mind, we must slow down our thinking - not put a stop to it - slow it down in order to study it, to follow it to its fullest extent. And to do this I suggested that you should write down every thought-feeling. It is not possible to write down every thought and feeling for there are too many of them, but if you attempted to write a little every day you would soon begin to know yourself; you would begin to be aware of the many layers of your consciousness, of their interrelation and inter-response. This awareness is difficult but if you would go far you must begin near.

Now, the questioner finds his thoughts are trivial and that he cannot get beyond them. He wants to know if this triviality is the result of an escape from the deeper cravings and demands. Partly it is and also our thoughts and feelings are in themselves petty, trivial, small. The root of understanding lies through the small, the trivial. Without understanding the small, thought-feeling cannot go beyond itself. You must become aware of your trivialities, your narrowness, your prejudices to understand them, and you can understand only when there is humility, when there is neither judgment nor comparison, acceptance nor denial. Thus there is the beginning of wisdom. Most of our thought-feeling is trivial. Why not recognize and understand its cause: the self, the result of vast and petty ignorance? Just as in following a thin vein you may come upon riches so if you follow, think out, feel out the trivial you will discover deep treasures. The small may hide the deep but you must follow it. The trivial if you study it gives promise of something beyond. Do not brush it aside but become aware of every thought-feeling for it has a significance.

The blockages may occur either because the conscious mind does not want to respond to deeper demands, which may necessitate a different course of action and so bring about trouble and pain, or it is incapable of wider and deeper thought-feeling. If it is the lack of capacity, you can create it only through persistent and constant awareness, through searching, observing, studying.

I only suggested writing down every thought-feeling as a means of cultivating this comprehensive, extensional awareness which is not the concentration of exclusion, not the concentration of self-enclosing isolation. This extensional awareness comes through understanding, not through mere judgment or comparison, denial or acceptance.

Ojai, California
8th Public Talk 2nd July, 1944