Question: Is there any difference between true religious feeling and religion as organized belief?
Krishnamurti: Before I answer this question we must understand what we mean by organized belief. A structure of creeds, dogmas and beliefs based on authority, with its pageantry, sensation and exploitation - this I call organized religion, with its many vested interests. And there are those personal feelings and reactions which one calls religious experiences. You may not belong to an organized religion with all its subtle influences of authority, imposition and fear, but you may have personal experiences which you call religious feeling. I need not again explain how organized belief, that is, religion, fundamentally cripples thought and love, for I have already gone into that fairly thoroughly.
Those experiences which we call religious may be the outcome of an illusion; so we have to understand how they come into being. If there is conflict, suffering, the mind naturally seeks comfort. in search of comfort away from suffering, the mind creates illusions from which it derives certain experiences and feelings which it calls religious, or by some other term. In understanding and freeing itself from the cause of suffering, the mind shall realize, not an objective experience which acts on a limited and subjective mind, but that movement of life itself, of reality, from which it is not separate. As most people suffer, and as most people have religious experiences of some kind, these experiences are merely an escape from the cause of suffering into an illusion which assumes, through constant contact and habit, a reality, You have to find out for yourself whether what you call your religious experience is an escape from suffering, or whether it is the freedom from the cause of suffering, and hence the movement of reality. If you seek religious experience, then it must be false, because you are merely craving to escape from life and actuality; but when the mind frees itself from fear and its many limitations, then there is the flow of the ecstasy of life.
Buenos Aires, Argentina
2nd Public Talk 15th July, 1935