Quote of the Day

by Jiddu Krishnamurti

... we are familiar with these three states: the actor, the action, and the end. That is our daily existence. I am just explaining what is; but we will begin to understand how to transform what is, only when we examine it clearly, so that there is no illusion, prejudice, no bias with regard to it. Now, these three states, which constitute experience - the actor, the action, and the result - , these three states, surely, are a process of becoming. Otherwise, there is no becoming, is there? If there is no actor, and if there is no action toward an end, there is no becoming; but life as we know it, our daily life, is a process of becoming. I am poor, and I act with an end in view, which is to become rich. I am ugly, and I want to become beautiful. Therefore, my life is a process of becoming something. The will to be is the will to become, at different levels of consciousness, in different states, in which there is challenge, response, naming, and recording. Now, this becoming is strife, this becoming is pain, is it not? It is a constant struggle: I am this, and I want to become that. The becoming is a constant battle - the rich man competing with the richer to maintain his position, the poor man trying to become rich, the artist trying to achieve a result, write a book or a poem, paint a picture. There is always an end in view, a result to be achieved, and in that process of becoming there is a ceaseless battle, a strife, a pain. With that we are familiar - I have not described anything other than what is.

So, then, the problem is: Is there not action without this becoming? That is, is there not action without this pain, without this constant battle? If there is no end, there is no actor, because action with an end in view creates the actor. But can there be action without an end in view, and therefore no actor? Because, the moment there is action with the desire for a result, there is the actor, and therefore the actor is always becoming; therefore the actor is the source of strife, pain, misery. And, to eliminate that strife, can there be action without the actor, that is, without the desire for a result? Only such action is not a becoming, and therefore not a strife. There is a state of action, a state of experiencing without the experiencer and the experience. This sounds rather philosophical, but it is really quite simple. We know that in our daily actions, in our everyday life, there is always the actor or experiencer, the process of experiencing, and the experience; the actor is acting in order to achieve an end, and I know that that process always produces strife, because I live in strife with my wife, with my husband, with my neighbours, with my boss. I know the life of strife and conflict, and I want to eliminate conflict, because I recognize that conflict does not lead anywhere. It is only creative happiness that brings about a revolutionary state.

So, to find action without strife, there must be no actor; and there is no actor only when there is no end in view. Can I live in a state of experiencing all the time, without the desire for a result? That is the only way to solve this problem, is it not? As long as action has an end in view, there must be the actor, the experiencer, the observer, and therefore a process of becoming which creates strife, and therefore a state of contradiction. Can one live in action without a state of contradiction? There can be freedom from contradiction only when there is no actor and no end to be achieved, which means a state of constant experiencing without the object of experience, and therefore without the experiencer. Now, we live in that state when the experiencing in itself is intense. Take, for example, any intense experience that you have. In the moment of experiencing, you are not aware of yourself as the experiencer apart from the experience; you are in a state of experiencing. Take a very simple example: you are angry. In that moment of anger, there is neither the experiencer nor the experience; there is only experiencing. But the moment you come out of it, a split second after the experiencing, there is the experiencer and the experience, the actor and the action with an end in view - which is to get rid of or to suppress the anger. So, we are in this state repeatedly, in the state of experiencing; but we always come out of it and give it a term, naming and recording it, and thereby giving continuity to becoming.

Public Talk, March 14th, 1948
Mumbai, India