Quote of the Day

by Jiddu Krishnamurti

Questioner: You say the mind, memory and the thought process, have to cease before there can be understanding, and yet you are communicating to us. Is what you say the experience of something in the past, or are you experiencing as you communicate?

Krishnamurti: ... It is essential to have a still mind, a quiet mind, in order to understand, which is fairly obvious to those who have experimented with all this. The more you are interested in something, the more your intention to understand, the more simple, clear, free the mind is. Then verbalization ceases. After all, thought is word, and it is the word that interferes. It is the screen of words, which is memory, that intervenes between the challenge and the response. It is the word that is responding to the challenge, which we call intellection. So, the mind that is chattering, that is verbalizing, cannot understand truth - truth in relationship, not an abstract truth. There is no abstract truth. But truth is very subtle. It is the subtlety that is difficult to follow. It is not abstract. It comes so swiftly, so darkly, it cannot be held by the mind. Like a thief in the night, it comes darkly, not when you are prepared to receive it. Your reception is merely an invitation of greed. So, a mind that is caught in the net of words cannot understand truth.

The next question is: Is it not possible to communicate as one is experiencing? For communication there must be factual memory. As I am talking to you, I use words which you and I understand. Memory is a result of the cultivation of the faculty of learning, of storing words. The questioner wants to know how to have a mind that does not merely express or communicate after the event, after the experience, but a mind that is experiencing and at the same time communicating. That is, a new mind, a fresh mind, a mind that is experiencing without the interference of memory, the memory of the past. So, first let us see the difficulty in this.

As I said, most of us communicate after the experience; therefore, communication becomes a hindrance to further experience because communication, the verbalization of an experience, merely strengthens the memory of that experience. And strengthening the memory of one experience prevents the free experiencing of the next. We communicate either to strengthen an experience or to hold onto it. We verbalize it in order to fix it as memory or to communicate it. The very fixing, through verbalization, of an experience is the strengthening of an experience that is over. Therefore, you are strengthening memory, and so it is memory that is meeting the challenge. In that state, when the response to challenge is merely verbal, experience of the past becomes a hindrance. So, our difficulty is to be experiencing and, in communicating it, not to make verbalization a hindrance to further experience.

In all these discussions and talks, if I merely repeated the experience of the past, it would not only be extremely boring to you and to me but it would also strengthen the past and therefore prevent experiencing in the present. What is actually taking place is that the experience is going on, and at the same time there is communication. The communication is not verbalization; it is not clothing the experience. If we clothe the experience, give it a garment, shape it, the perfume and depth of that experiencing will be lost. So, there can be a fresh mind, a new mind, only when experiencing is not clothed by words. And in expressing it verbally, there is the danger of clothing it, giving it a shape, a form, and therefore burdening the mind with the image, with the symbol. It is possible to have a new mind, a fresh mind, only when it is not the word which is important, but the experiencing. That experiencing is from moment to moment. There cannot be experiencing if it becomes accumulative, for then it is accumulation that experiences, and there is no experiencing. There is experiencing from moment to moment only when there is no accumulation. Verbalization is accumulation. It is extremely difficult and arduous to express and still not be caught in the net of words.

Benares, India
Fifth Public Talk, February 20, 1949