Quote of the Day

by Jiddu Krishnamurti

Existence is challenge and response. The challenge is always new and the response ever the old. You met me yesterday, but since yesterday I have been modified; you have the picture of me of yesterday; so the 'me' is absorbed into the old. You do not meet me anew. You have only the picture of me of yesterday. So, your response to challenge is ever conditioned. While you are listening to me, you forget temporarily all your anxieties, your strife, and pain. You are listening quietly, trying to understand. But, when you go away from here, you are back into the old pattern of life or action. The new is always being absorbed into the old - the old habits, customs, memories, and ideas.

So, the problem is how to free thought from the old, from yesterday, so as to live continuously in the new. Why is it that we do not meet the new afresh every minute? Why is it that the old absorbs the new and modifies it? Is it not because the thinker is always the old? Is not your thought founded on the past? When it meets the new, the past is meeting the present, the now. The experience of yesterday, the memory which is dead, is meeting the new, which is alive. So, how is the mind to free itself, as the thinker? How is the psychological accumulation to come to an end? Without freedom from the residue of experience, there can be no meeting of the new. To free the thought process, which is of yesterday, is arduous, for beliefs, tradition, and education are a process of imitation, building up the store of memory. This memory is constantly responding. This response we call thinking. So, thought can never meet the new. Thought is the outcome of incomplete experience. It is only when experience is completed without leaving a mark - then only, thought as a response to memory ceases.

On God
Fourth Talk in Bombay, February 8, 1948