Quote of the Day

by Jiddu Krishnamurti

As I am full of anxiety, full of hope, full of desire for continuity, I am obviously clouded; therefore, I cannot comprehend the new challenge, 'Is there continuity?'. To understand it now, immediately, I must understand the various blockades that are preventing the mind from being fresh, new, so that it receives the new. Now, what is continuity? Are you interested in all this, Sirs, or are you merely listening? For the moment, forget that you are merely listening, and experiment with me as I go along, I am thinking aloud with you about this problem. It is your problem as well as mine - I am only giving expression to it. It is your problem, so follow it, experiment with it step by step. Now, what is it that we call continuity? What is it that continues? It is either one of two things: Either it is a spiritual entity, and therefore beyond time, or it is merely memory, giving itself continuity through the residue of experience. Do you follow? Am I making myself clear?

That is, if I am a spiritual entity, then I am timeless; therefore there is no continuity. Because, that which is spirituality, truth, godliness, is beyond time; therefore it is not the continuity we know of as tomorrow and the future. Do you follow? If what I am is a spiritual entity. it must be without continuity, it cannot progress, it cannot grow, it cannot become; but actually, what I am thinks that it must become, that is, I am thinking in terms of becoming. Therefore I am not a spiritual entity. Because, if I am a spiritual entity, I am not becoming; then death and life are one, then there is timelessness, there is eternity. But you are thinking in terms of becoming, therefore you are caught in time. Don't go to sleep over this - we are experimenting together. So, if you are a spiritual entity, then you don't have to bother about it, then you don't have to find out if there is continuity or not. It is finished - there is deathlessness.

But you are not that; you are afraid, and that is why you want to know if there is continuity. So, you are left with only one thing, which is memory. Do you follow, Sirs? You cannot quibble between the two. If you are a spiritual entity, then you are not concerned about death, about continuity, about time; because, that which is spiritual is eternal, timeless. But you are not in that state of being. You are in the state of becoming, in the state of continuing, wanting to know if there is continuity or not. This very question indicates that you are not in the other state of being - therefore we can leave it alone. So, what is it that continues? What is it that continues in your daily life? Obviously, not the spiritual entity. It is your memory identified with property, name, relationship and ideas, is it not? If you had no memory, property would have no meaning. If you had no memory of yesterday, property would have no meaning whatsoever, nor would relationship, nor would ideas. You are seeking continuity and establishing it through property, through family, through idea, which is the 'I', and you want to know if the `I' continues.

Now, when you talk of the 'I', what is it? It is name, qualities, ideas, your bank account, your position, character, ideation - which is all memory, isn't it? Sir, I am not pushing you to accept anything. I am stating what actually is, not dealing with theories or speculations. We are experimenting to see if we can find the truth of the question and be liberated from the problem of continuity. So, what causes continuity? Obviously, memory.

Public Talk 1st February, 1948
Mumbai, India