Krishnamurti & the Art of Awakening

Krishnamurti Quote of the Day

Ojai, California | 7th Public Talk 7th July, 1940

Questioner: Please tell us what is your conception of God.

Krishnamurti: Now, why do we want to know if there is God? If we can understand deeply the intention of this question we shall comprehend a great deal. Belief and non-belief are definite hindrances to the understanding of reality; belief and ideals are the result of fear; fear limits thought and to escape from conflict we turn to various forms of hopes, stimulation, illusions. Reality is authentic, direct, experience. If we depend on the description of another, reality ceases, for what is described is not the real. If we have never tasted salt, no description of its taste is of any value. We have to taste it for ourselves to know it. Now, most of us want to know what God is because we are indolent, because it is easier to depend upon the experience of another than upon our own understanding: it also cultivates in us an irresponsible attitude, and then all we have to do is to imitate another, mould our life after the pattern, or the experience of another, and by following the example we think we have arrived, attained, realized. To understand the highest, there must be liberation from time, the continuous past, present, and future; from the fears of the unknown, of failure, and success. You are asking this question because you want either to compare your image of God with mine and so bolster up yourself or to condemn, which only leads to contention and wallowing in opinions. This way does not lead to understanding.

God, Truth, or whatever you may choose to call reality, cannot be described. That which can be described is not the real. It is vain to inquire if there is God, for reality comes into being when thought frees itself from its limitations, its cravings. If we are brought up in the belief of God, or in opposition to that, thought is influenced, a habit is formed, from generation to generation. Both belief and non-belief in God prevent the understanding of God. Being anchored in belief, any experience that you may have in accordance with your belief can only strengthen your previous conditioning. Mere continuation of limited thought is not an understanding of reality. When we assert that through our own experience there is or there is no God, we are continuing and repeating experiences influenced by the past. Experiences, without our understanding the causes of bondage, do not give us wisdom. If we continue to repeat a certain influence which we call experience, such experience only strengthens our limitations and so does not bring about freedom from them. The mind, as I pointed out in my talk, is the result of craving and therefore transient, and when the mind conceives a theory of God or of truth it is bound to be the product of its own conceit and so it is not real. One has to become aware of the various forms of craving, fear, and so on, and through constant inquiry and discernment, a new understanding comes into being which is not the result of the intellect or of the emotion. To understand reality, there must be constant and earnest awareness.

Tags: belief, non-belief

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