Quote of the Day

by Jiddu Krishnamurti

Questioner: I understand you to say that creativeness is an intoxication from which it is hard to free oneself. Yet you often speak of the creative person. Who is he if he is not the artist, the poet, the builder?

Krishnamurti: Is the artist, the poet, the builder necessarily the creative person? Is he not also lustful, worldly, seeking personal success? So is he not contributing to the chaos and misery in the world? Is he not responsible for its catastrophes and sorrows? He is responsible when he is seeking fame, is envious, when he is worldly, when his values are sensate; when he is passionate. Because he has a certain talent does that make the artist a creative person? Creativeness is something infinitely greater than the mere capacity to express; mere successful expression and its recognition surely does not constitute creativeness. Success in this world implies, does it not, being of this world, the world of oppression and cruelty, ignorance and ill will? Ambition does produce results, but does it not bring with it misery and confusion for him who is successful and for his fellowman? The scientist, the builder, may have brought certain benefits but have they not brought also destruction and untold misery? Is this creativeness? Is it creativeness to set man against man as the politicians, the rulers, the priests are doing?

Creativeness comes into being when there is freedom from the bondage of craving with its conflict and sorrow. With the abandonment of the self with its assertiveness and ruthlessness and its endless struggles to become, there comes creative reality. In the beauty of a sunset or a still night, have you not felt intense, creative joy? At that moment, the self being temporarily absent, you are vulnerable, open to reality. This is a rare and unsought event, out of your control, but having once felt its intensity the self demands further enjoyment of it, and so conflict begins.

We all have experienced the temporary absence of the self and have felt at that moment the extraordinary creative ecstasy, but instead of its being rare and accidental is it not possible to bring about the right state in which Reality is eternal being? If you seek that ecstasy then it will be the activity of the self, which will produce certain results, but it will not be that state which comes through right thinking and right meditation. The subtle ways of the self must be known and understood for with self-knowledge comes right thinking and meditation.

Right thinking comes with the constant flow of self-awareness, awareness of worldly actions as well as of the activities in meditation. Creativeness with its ecstasy comes with the freedom from craving, which is virtue.

Ojai, California
3rd Public Talk 1945