Quote of the Day

by Jiddu Krishnamurti

So, what is suffering? Is it not the desire to become, with its varying frustrations? Is not sorrow the outcome of the desire to be other than what one is? Do not actions based on that desire lead to disintegration, to conflict, to the neverending wave of confusion? So, sorrow, suffering, is the desire to become, the desire to be, either positively or negatively. I think we can all agree on that fundamentally. Sorrow comes into being when there is the desire to become. In that becoming, there is action, whether social action or individual action; and that action is constantly expanding itself in disintegration, in futility, in frustration, which we see about us constantly. Now, can this desire to become, which is the cause of sorrow, come to an end through effort? That is what we try to do, is it not? When we are frustrated, when there is pain, when there is sorrow, we try to overcome it, we try to battle against it. This positive or defensive attack is called effort, is it not? That is, effort exists or comes into being when there is the anxiety to change what one is. I am this, and I want to become that. This change, this movement of changing this into that, is called effort. Now, what is change, what is changing - not the dictionary meaning, but the inner significance of it? Surely, change is a modified continuity, I am this, and I want to become that; that is, I want to become the opposite of what I am. But the opposite is the continuity of what I am in a different form. So, the opposite, in which there is always effort, is the modified continuity of its own opposite. Non-greed is the modified continuity of greed; it is still greed, only under a different name, because in it becoming is implied, and this becoming, in which effort is involved, is the cause of sorrow. We see that effort implies continuity in a modified form. And can thought, can the thought process, bring sorrow to an end?

Public Talk 15th February, 1948
Mumbai, India