Question: What is immortality?
Krishnamurti: To understand immortality and its real significance, your mind must be free of all religious prejudice. That is, you have already an idea of what immortality must be, which is the outcome of intense desire to continue as a limited consciousness. All the religions throughout the world promise this egotistic immortality. If you would understand immortality, mind must be free of this craving for individual continuance.
Now, when you say that "I" must continue, what is this "I"? The "I" is nothing but the form, the name, certain qualities and memories, certain fears and prejudices, certain limited desires and unfulfilled actions. All these compose the "I", which becomes that limited consciousness, the ego. You desire that this limited consciousness shall continue. That is, when you ask if there is immortality, you are inquiring whether the "I" will continue, that "I" which is inherently a frustrated consciousness.
To put it differently, in truly creative moments of thought or of expression, there is no consciousness as the "I". It is only in moments of conflict, suffering, that the mind becomes conscious of its own limitation, which is called the "I; and we have become so accustomed to limitation that we crave for its continuance, thinking that this is immortality. Thus anyone who guarantees to you this immortality, becomes your authority. Grossly or subtly, that authority begins to exploit you through fear. So you who are seeking this selfish, illusory immortality, are creating exploiters with all their cruelties. But if you are really free of that limited consciousness with its illusions, hopes and fears, then there is the eternal movement, the continual becoming, not of the "I", but of life itself
2nd Public Talk 26th June, 1935