Question: What is the difference between introspection and awareness?
Krishnamurti: Introspection begins when there is the desire to change the self. I introspect myself in order to transform, modify, change myself into something. That is why we look into ourselves. I am unhappy and I look into myself to find the cause of unhappiness. To introspect is to look into oneself, to change oneself, to modify oneself according to environmental and religious demands. What happens in that process? In that process there is condemnation. I do not like this and I must become that. I am greedy and I must change to be non-greedy. I am angry and I must become peaceful. By that strife you begin to modify. But the effort becomes tyrannic, does it not? This introspection leads nowhere. Have you tried to become introspective? Is there not a continuity in introspection and therefore a bondage? Every experience is translated according to the pattern of the self, which is always examining, translating, interpreting, putting away things which it does not like and accepting things which it wants. So, introspection is a constant struggle to change what is, whereas awareness is the recognition of what is and therefore the understanding of what is. You cannot recognize or understand something when you condemn it. You can understand only when you are observant, when you are not dissecting or pulling apart to see what is. It is only when you are quiet that what is begins to unfold.
Public Talk 23rd November, 1947