Quote of the Day

by Jiddu Krishnamurti

Questioner: This complexity is so deep that one does not seem to have an opportunity for quietness.

Krishnamurti: Must there be an opportunity to be still, to be quiet? Must you create the occasion, the right environment to be peaceful? Is it then peace? With right probing there comes right stillness. When do you look into yourself? When the problem demands it, when it is urgent, surely. But if you are seeking an opportunity to be silent, then you are not aware. Self-probing comes with conflict and sorrow, and there must be passive receptivity to understand. Surely self-probing, stillness, and understanding are in awareness a single process and not three separate states.

Questioner: Would you enlarge that point?

Krishnamurti: Let us take envy. Any resolution not to be envious is neither simple nor effective, it is even stupid. To determine not to be envious is to build walls of conclusions around oneself, and these walls prevent understanding. But if you are aware, you will discover the ways of envy; if there is interested alertness, you will find its ramifications at different levels of the self. Each probing brings with it silence and understanding; as one cannot continuously probe deeply, which would only result in exhaustion, there must be spaces of alert inactivity. This watchful stillness is not the outcome of weariness; with self-probing there come easily and naturally moments of passive alertness. The more complex the problem, the more intense is the probing and the silence. There need be no specially created occasion or opportunity for silence; the very perception of the complexity of a problem brings with it deep silence.

Our difficulty lies in that we have built around ourselves conclusions which we call understanding. These conclusions are hindrances to understanding. If you go into this more deeply, you will see that there must be complete abandonment of all that has been accumulated for the being of understanding and wisdom. To be simple is not a conclusion, an intellectual concept for which you strive. There can be simplicity only when the self with its accumulation ceases. It is comparatively easy to renounce family, property, fame, things of the world; that is only a beginning; but it is extremely difficult to put away all knowledge, all conditioned memory. In this freedom, this aloneness, there is experience which is beyond and above all creations of the mind. Do not let us ask whether the mind ever can be free from conditioning, from influence; we shall find this out as we proceed in self-knowledge and understanding. Thought, which is a result, cannot understand the causeless.

The ways of accumulation are subtle; accumulation is self-assertiveness, as is imitation. To come to a conclusion is to build a wall around oneself, a protective security which prevents understanding. Accumulated conclusions do not make for wisdom but only sustain the self. Without accumulation there is no self. A mind weighed down with accumulations is incapable of following the swift movement of life, incapable of deep and pliable awareness.

Ojai, California
Fifth Talk in The Oak Grove, 1946