Quote of the Day

by Jiddu Krishnamurti

Question: I have listened to you for many years and I have become quite good at watching my our thoughts and being aware of every thing I do, but I have never touched the deep waters or experienced the transformation of which you speak. Why?

Krishnamurti: I think it is fairly clear why none of us do experience something beyond the mere watching. There may be rare moments of an emotional state in which we see, as it were, the clarity of the sky between clouds, but I do not mean anything of that kind. All such experiences are temporary and have very little significance. The questioner wants to know why, after these many years of watching, he hasn't found the deep waters. Why should he find them? Do you understand? You think that by watching your own thoughts you are going to get a reward: if you do this, you will get that. You are really not watching at all, because your mind is concerned with gaining a reward. You think that by watching, by being aware, you will be more loving, you will suffer less, be less irritable, get something beyond; so your watching is a process of buying. With this coin you are buying that, which means that your watching is a process of choice; therefore it isn't watching, it isn't attention. To watch is to observe without choice, to see yourself as you are without any movement of desire to change, which is an extremely arduous thing to do; but that doesn't mean that you are going to remain in your present state. You do not know what will happen if you see yourself as you are without wishing to bring about a change in that which you see. Do you understand?

I am going to take an example and work it out, and you will see. Let us say I am violent, as most people are. Our whole culture is violent; but I won't enter into the anatomy of violence now, because that is not the problem we are considering. I am violent, and I realize that I am violent. What happens? My immediate response is that I must do something about it, is it not? I say I must become non-violent. That is what every religious teacher has told us for centuries: that if one is violent one must become non-violent. So I practise, I do all the ideological things. But now I see how absurd that is, because the entity who observes violence and wishes to change it into non-violence, is still violent. So I am concerned, not with the expression of that entity, but with the entity himself. You are following all this, I hope.

Now, what is that entity who says, `I must not be violent'? Is that entity different from the violence he has observed? Are they two different states? Do you understand, sirs, or is this too abstract? It is near the end of the talk and probably you are a bit tired. Surely, the violence and the entity who says, `I must change violence into non-violence', are both the same. To recognize that fact is to put an end to all conflict, is it not? There is no longer the conflict of trying to change, because I see that the very movement of the mind not to be violent is itself the outcome of violence.

So, the questioner wants to know why it is that he cannot go beyond all these superficial wrangles of the mind. For the simple reason that, consciously or unconsciously, the mind is always seeking something, and that very search brings violence, competition, the sense of utter dissatisfaction. It is only when the mind is completely still that there is a possibility of touching the deep waters.

Ojai, California
6th Public Talk 21st July 1955