Quote of the Day

by Jiddu Krishnamurti

Question: What should one do to get rid of loneliness and fear?

Krishnamurti: First let us discover what we now do, and then we can inquire what we should do. If we are lonely, what do we do? We try to escape from loneliness through companionship, through work, amusement, worship, prayer, all the well known and cunningly well established escapes. Why do we do that? We think that we can cover up loneliness by these escapes, through these releases. Can we ever cover up a thing that is inherently diseased? We may momentarily cover up loneliness, but it continues all the time.

So, where there is escape, there must be the continuance of loneliness. For loneliness there is no substitution. If we can understand this with all our being, completely, if we can understand that there is no possibility of escape from loneliness, from fear, then what happens? Most of you will not be able to answer, because you have never completely faced the problem. You don't know what would happen if all the avenues of escape had been completely blocked up and there were not the least possibility of escape.

I suggest that you experiment with it. When you are lonely, be fully aware and you will see that your mind wants to run away, wants to escape. When the mind is aware that it is escaping and at the same time perceives the absurdity of escape, in that understanding loneliness truly disappears. Please, when you are confronted with a problem and there is no possibility of a way out, then the problem ceases, which does not mean an acceptance of it. Now, you are seeking a remedy for loneliness, a substitution, and therefore the problem is not the significance of loneliness but, what is the remedy for loneliness, what is the best way to escape from it or to cover it up. But when the mind is no longer seeking an escape, then loneliness or fear has a very different significance.

Now, you cannot accept my word for it: all you can say is that you do not know. You do not know whether loneliness and fear will disappear, but by experimenting you will understand the whole significance of loneliness. If we merely seek a remedy for loneliness or fear, we become very superficial, don't we? To the man who has everything he wants, or the man who wants everything, life becomes very shallow. In merely seeking remedies, life becomes meaningless, empty; whereas, if you are really confronted with a burning problem and there is no possible way of escape, then you will see that that problem does a miraculous thing to you. It is no longer merely a problem; it is intensely vital, it is to be examined, to be lived with, to be understood.

New York City
2nd Public Talk 13th March, 1935