Quote of the Day

by Jiddu Krishnamurti

Can the mind observe its content without any choice as to the content - not choosing any part of the content, any part of the piece, but observing totally? Now, how is it possible to observe totally? When I look at a map of France, as I come from England and cross the Channel, I see the road leading to Gstaad. I can tell the mileage, I can see the direction, and that is very simple because it is marked on the map and I follow it. In doing that I do not look at any other part of the map because I know the direction in which I want to go to, so that that direction excludes all others. In the same way, a mind that is seeking in a given direction does not see the whole. If I want to find something, something which I think is real, then the direction is set and I follow that direction and my mind is incapable of seeing the totality. Now, when I look at the content of my consciousness - which is the same as yours - I have set a direction to go beyond it. A movement in a particular direction, seeking a certain pleasure, not wanting to do this or that, makes one incapable of seeing the whole. If I am a scientist I only see in a certain direction. If I am an artist, there again, if I have a certain talent or gift, I see only a certain direction. So the mind is incapable of seeing the totality and the immensity of that totality if there is a movement in a particular direction. So, can the mind have no direction at all? This is a difficult question - please listen to it. Of course the mind has to have direction when I go from here to the house, or when I have to drive a car, when I have to do some technical function, those are all directions. But I am talking of a mind that understands the nature of direction and therefore is capable of seeing the whole. When it sees the whole it can then also operate in direction. I wonder if you get this? If I have the whole picture in mind then I can take in the detail; but if my mind only operates in a detail then I cannot take in the whole. If I am concerned with my opinions, with my anxieties, with what I want to do, with what I must do, I cannot see the whole - obviously. If I come from India with my prejudices, superstitions and traditions I cannot see the whole. So my question is: can the mind be free of direction? - which does not mean that it is without direction. When it operates from the whole the direction becomes clear, very strong and effective. But when the mind only operates in a direction according to the pattern it has set for itself then it cannot see the whole.

Talks in Saanen 1974
1st Public Talk 14th July 1974