Question: I belong to no religion, but I am a member of two societies which give me knowledge and spiritual wisdom. If I give these up, how can I ever reach perfection?
Krishnamurti: If you understand the futility of all organized religious bodies, with their vested interests, with their exploitation, the utter stupidity of their beliefs based on authority, superstition and fear, if you truly grasp the significance of this, then you will not belong to any religious sect or society. Do you think that any society or any book can give you wisdom? Books and societies can give you information; but if you say that a society can give you wisdom, then you merely rely on it, and it becomes your exploiter. If wisdom could be acquired through a religious society or sect, we should all be wise, for we have had religions with us for thousands of years. But wisdom is not to be acquired in that manner. Wisdom is the understanding of the continual flow of life or reality, which is to be discerned only when the mind is open and vulnerable, that is, when the mind is no longer hindered through its own self-protective desires, reactions and illusions. No society, no religion, no priest, no leader is ever going to give you wisdom. It is only through our own suffering, from which we try to escape by joining religious bodies and by immersing ourselves in philosophical theories, it is only through being aware of the cause of suffering and in freedom from it that wisdom is born naturally and sweetly.
Rio De Janeiro, Brazil
3rd Public Talk 4th May, 1935