Quote of the Day

by Jiddu Krishnamurti

Question: You say that the complete understanding of the outer and inner environment of the individual releases him from bondage and sorrow. Now, even in that state, how can one free himself from the indescribable sorrow which in the nature of things is caused by the death of someone he really loves?

Krishnamurti: What is the cause of suffering in this case? And what is it that we call suffering? Isn't suffering merely a shock to the mind to awaken it to its own insufficiency? The recognition of that insufficiency creates what we call sorrow. Suppose that you have been relying on your son or your husband or your wife to satisfy that insufficiency, that incompleteness; by the loss of that person whom you love, there is created the full consciousness of that emptiness, of that void, and out of that consciousness comes sorrow, and you say, "I have lost somebody."

So through death there is, first of all, the full consciousness of emptiness, which you have been carefully evading. Hence where there is dependence there must be emptiness, shallowness, insufficiency, and therefore sorrow and pain. We don't want to recognize that; we don't see that that is the fundamental cause. So we begin to say, "I miss my friend, my husband, my wife, my child. How am I to overcome this loss? How am I to overcome this sorrow?"

Now all overcoming is but substitution. In that there is no understanding and therefore there can only be further sorrow, though momentarily you may find a substitution that will completely put the mind to sleep. If you don't seek an overcoming, then you turn to séances, mediums, or take shelter in the scientific proof that life continues after death. So you begin to discover various means of escape and substitution, which momentarily relieve you from suffering. Whereas, if there were the cessation of this desire to overcome and if there were really the desire to understand, to find out, fundamentally, what causes pain and sorrow, then you would discover that so long as there is loneliness, shallowness, emptiness, insufficiency, which in its outer expression is dependence, there must be pain. And you cannot fill that insufficiency by overcoming obstacles, by substitutions, by escaping or by accumulating, which is merely the cunning of the mind lost in the pursuit of gain.

Suffering is merely that high, intense clarity of thought and emotion which forces you to recognize things as they are. But this does not mean acceptance, resignation. When you see things as they are in the mirror of truth, which is intelligence, then there is a joy, an ecstasy; in that there is no duality, no sense of loss, no division. I assure you this is not theoretical. If you consider what I am now saying, with my answer to the first question about memory, you will see how memory creates greater and greater dependence, the continual looking back to an event emotionally, to get a reaction from it, which prevents the full expression of intelligence in the present.

Ojai, California
10th Public Talk 29th June, 1934