Krishnamurti & the Art of Awakening

Krishnamurti Quote of the Day

Total Freedom - The Essential Krishnamurti | What is the Central Core of Your Thinking?

Krishnamurti: What is habit?

Questioner: Not being aware.

Krishnamurti: No. What is habit. - not how is it formed.

Questioner: Repetition of a movement.

Krishnamurti: Right. Why is there a repetition of this movement? Why is habit formed? You will see something extraordinary if you go slowly. We have all got short hair or long hair - why? Because others do it.

Questioner: Is that habit or imitation?

Krishnamurti: See what takes place. First you imitate others, then you say short hair is square.

Questioner: Is a custom a habit too?

Krishnamurti: Yes. I don't want to go too quickly into this. Isn't all thinking habit? You agree?

Questioner: Well, it is something you do over and over again.

Krishnamurti: Go on, see what you can discover for yourself when we go into this whole question of habit.

Questioner: It is really a situation with an old reaction, isn't it?

Krishnamurti: A new situation we meet with old responses. Is not identification a habit?

Questioner: Yes.

Krishnamurti: Because you are insecure. So do you know the nature of this machinery that makes for habit? Are you aware that you are always operating by habit? To get up at six o'clock every day; to believe "all this; to smoke, not to smoke, to take drugs - you follow? Everything is reduced to habit - it may be of a week, ten days, or fifty years, but the habit is formed. Why does the mind fall into this groove? Haven't you asked yourself why you have a habit? - habit being merely tradition. Have you watched your mind working in habit?

Questioner (1): It is easier.

Questioner (2): It takes really a lot of energy to live without habit.

Krishnamurti: I am coming to that. Don't jump, move from step to step. I am asking myself: why does the mind always live in habit? I thought that yesterday, I still think that today and I will think the same about it tomorrow - with slight modifications perhaps. Now why does the mind do this?

Questioner. One is half asleep.

Krishnamurti: We said laziness is part of it. What else? It feels easier with habits.

Questioner: One is afraid of the unknown.

Krishnamurti: I want to go a little deeper than that.

Questioner: The mind is afraid that if it doesn't maintain thinking in the same way, it will itself be threatened.

Krishnamurti: Which means what?

Questioner: It sees a certain kind of order in habit.

Krishnamurti: Is habit order?

Questioner: You can form a certain structure with habit, but that is not necessarily order.

Krishnamurti: Which means that the mind functions in habit for various reasons, like a machine. It is easier, it avoids loneliness, fear of the unknown, and it implies a certain order to say, "I will follow that and nothing else." Now why does the mind function in a groove, which is habit?

Questioner: Its nature is that.

Krishnamurti: But if you say that, then you stop enquiring. We know the reasons why the mind functions in habit. Are you actually aware of it? The highly psychopathic person has got a habit which is completely different from others. A neurotic person has got certain habits. We condemn that habit but accept others. So why does the mind do this? I want to go into it deeper, I want to see why it does it and whether the mind can live without habit.

Questioner: Because it feels it is the personality.

Krishnamurti: We said that: the personality, the ego, the `me' which says, "I am frightened, I want order", laziness, all that is `me' - different facets of the `me'. Can the mind live without habit? - except for the biological habits, the regular functioning of the body which has its own mechanism, its own intelligence, its own machinery. But why does the mind accept habit so quickly? The question, "Can it live without habit?" is a tremendous question. To say that there is God, there is a Saviour, is a habit. And to say there is no Saviour but only the State, that is another habit. So the mind lives in habit. Does it feel more secure in habit?

Questioner: Yes.

Krishnamurti: Go slowly, which means what? Functioning in the field of the known it feels safe. The known is habit - right?

Questioner: Even then, we still say we don't feel safe.

Krishnamurti: Because the known may change or may be taken away or get something added to it. But the mind is always functioning in the field of the known because there it feels secure. So the known is the habit, the known is knowledge - that is, knowledge of science, of technology, and the knowledge of my own experiences. And in that there is mechanical habit - of course. Now I am asking: can the mind move from the known - not into the unknown, I don't know what that means - but be free and move away from the borders of the known?

Look. If I know everything about the internal combustion engine, I can continue experimenting in the same direction, but there is a limitation. I must find something new, there must be some other way to create energy.

Questioner: Would the mind say that, if it wanted the security of the known?

Krishnamurti: I am not talking about security at the moment.

Questioner: Are you saying that there has to be a lack of continuity? In technology, in order for something new to happen, there has to be a break in continuity.

Krishnamurti: That's right. That is what takes place. Otherwise man couldn't have invented the jet, he must have looked at the problem differently. Are you following all this? My mind always works in the field of the known, modified, which is habit. In relationship with human beings, in thought - which is the response of memory and always within the field of the known - I am identifying myself with the unknown through the known. So I am asking: the mind must function with the known, because otherwise one couldn't talk, but can it also function without any habit?

Questioner: Does the mind ask that question because acting out of habit is unsuccessful?

Krishnamurti: I am not thinking of success.

Questioner: But what would make the mind ask this?

Krishnamurti: My mind says, "This isn't good enough, I want more." It wants to find out more it can't find it within the field of the known, it can only expand that field.

Questioner: But it has to realize the limitation.

Krishnamurti: I realize it, and I say to myself: I can function within the field of the known, I can always expand it or contract it, horizontally, vertically, in any way, but it is always within the field of the known. My mind says: I understand that very well. And so, being curious, it says: can the mind live, can it function, without habit?

Questioner: Is that a different question?

Krishnamurti: Now I am talking psychologically, inwardly. Apparently all life, all the mental activity in the psyche, is a continuity of habit.

Questioner: Is there really an impetus or something...

Krishnamurti: I am creating an impetus. The mind is itself creating the impetus to find out - not because it wants to find something.

Questioner: This is a very touchy point. This seems to be the key to some difficulty. Why - if I may just ask the question - does the mind say: I see the need for living without psychological habit?

Krishnamurti: I don t see the need, I am not positing anything. I am only saying I have seen the mind in operation in the field of the known - contracting, expanding horizontally or vertically, or reducing it to nothing, but always within that area. And my mind asks, is there a way of living - I don't know it, I don't even posit it - in which there is no habit at all?

So we come back: do you know what you are thinking about all day? You say, yes, I am thinking about myself, vaguely or concretely, or subtly, or in a most refined manner, but always round that. Can there be love when the mind is occupied with itself all the time? You say, "No". Why?

Questioner: Because if you are thinking about your self all the time, you can't...

Krishnamurti: Therefore you can never say, "I love you", until you stop thinking about yourself. When a man feels ambitious, competitive, imitative, which is part of thinking about oneself, can there be love? So we have to find a way of living in which habit is not. But habit can be used, the known can be used - I won't call it habit - in a different way, depending on the circumstances, the situation and so on. So is love habit? Pleasure is habit, isn't it? - is love pleasure?

Questioner: What do you mean by love, Sir?

Krishnamurti: I don't know. I will tell you what it is not, and when that is not in you, the other is. Listen to this: where the known is, love is not.

Questioner: So one has to find out first what habit is, and then about non-habit.

Krishnamurti: We have found it, we have said: habit is the continuation of action within the field of the known. The known is the tomorrow. Tomorrow is Sunday and I am going out for a drive - I know that, I have arranged it. Can I say, "Tomorrow I will love"?

Questioner (1): No

Questioner (2): I do.

Krishnamurti: What do you mean? "I will love you tomorrow?"

Questioner: We promise that.

Krishnamurti: In a church, you mean? That means love is within the field of the known and therefore within time.

Questioner: But if you love once, can you suddenly stop loving?

Krishnamurti: I loved you once, I am bored with you now!

Questioner: If you love someone today you can love him tomorrow.

Krishnamurti: How do you know? I love you today, but you want to be sure that I'll love you tomorrow, therefore I say, "I'll love you, darling, tomorrow."

Questioner: That is something else.

Krishnamurti: I am asking: has love a tomorrow? Habit has a tomorrow because it continues. Is love a continuity? Is love identification? - I love my wife, my son, my God? Therefore you have to really understand - not just verbally - the whole process, the structure and the nature of the known, the whole field of it inwardly, how you function always within that field, thinking from that field. The tomorrow you can grasp because it is projected from the known. To really understand this you have to understand all that we have said; you have to know what you think and why, and you have to observe it.

Questioner: You can know what you think, but you don't always know why you think it.

Krishnamurti: Oh yes, it is fairly simple. I want to know why I think, why thought comes in. Yesterday I went to the tailor and I forgot my watch there. Last night I looked for it and I thought about it and said, "How lazy of me, how inconsiderate on my part to leave it there, giving trouble" - all that went through the mind.

Questioner: When you say it was inconsiderate of you, you were identifying yourself.

Krishnamurti: No I forgot the watch. Which means they have to take the trouble to look after it, someone might take it, they will be responsible, all that. And I thought about it, and I know why this whole momentum of thinking arose from that I watched the whole flow of thought; you can know the beginning and the ending of thought - you look so mystified! - I have thought about it and I can end it. I left the watch there and I thought it might get lost; I have had it for a long time, I have cared for it. I would give it away, but not lose it. And it is lost! - finished. I didn't think any more about it. Now, to watch every thought, to be aware of it! Any thought is significant if you penetrate it; you can see the origin of it and the ending of it - not go on and on.

Questioner: And you say, Sir, if you see why the thought originated you will be able to see the ending of it?

Krishnamurti: No, look. Is there an individual thought separate from another thought? Are all thoughts separate or are they interrelated? What do you say?

Questioner: They are interrelated.

Krishnamurti: Are you sure?

Questioner: Well, they all come from one another.

Krishnamurti: If I understand their interrelationship, or if there is an understanding of the background from which all thought springs...

Questioner: That is the difficult point.

Krishnamurti: To watch without any question of wanting an answer means infinite watchfulness - not impatience - but watch carefully, then everything comes out. If you and I quarrel, I don't want to carry it in my mind, in thought, I want to finish it. I'll come to you and say, "I am sorry, I didn't mean it" - and it is finished. But do I do that? Have you learnt a lot this morning? Not "learnt" but "learning: what it means to learn.

Tags: habit, identification, love, the known

Related Quotes
Is there a breaking of that pattern in which we live? Or do we just carry on day after day, adding a little more, taking away a little more, and at the end of one's existence feeling regret that one has not lived differently?
Our thought is based on habit, the habit of centuries to which it has become accustomed.
Action, which may once have followed full awareness, often becomes habitual, without thought, without any depth of feeling.
Is [this] state of patterns, of ideals, of conformity, conducive to fulfilment, to creative and intelligent life and action?
All true relationship requires constant alertness and adjustment not according to pattern.
What is the good of your listening to me if the obvious thing is escaping your consideration?
All habit must prevent clarity of perception and must conceal one's own integrity.
When there is discontentment, sorrow, the intellect mechanically comes forward with solutions, explanations, tentative suggestions, which gradually crystallize and become habits of thought.
The confidence of which I speak is understanding, not the 'I understand', but understanding without self-identification.
Awareness is not the result of practice for practice implies the formation of habit; habit is the denial of awareness.
To know that one is in a certain condition, in a certain state, is already a process of liberation; but a man who is not aware of his condition, of his struggle, tries to be something other than he is, which brings about habit.
The other day someone said that he was a "Krishnamurti-ite", whereas so-and-so belonged to another group.
In talking to groups of listeners all over the world, I find that more and more people seem not to understand what I am saying, because they come with fixed ideas;
Truth is truth, one, alone; it has no sides, no paths; all paths do not lead to truth.
We are always trying to identify ourselves with our race, with our culture, with those things which we believe in, with some mystical figure, or some saviour, some kind of super authority.
One takes comfort, security, in any form of illusion. And man apparently needs many illusions.
To worship another is to worship oneself; the image, the symbol, is a projection of oneself.
Where there is no anonymity there is violence, in all its different forms.
The other day as one was walking along a secluded wooded lane far from the noise and the brutality and the vulgarity of civilization, right away from everything that was put together by man, there was a sense of great quietness, enveloping all things - serene, distant and full of the sound of the earth.
You want to discover if patriotism is a poison; but if you identify yourself with either patriotism or the feeling of anti-patriotism, then you cannot discover what is true.
We shall know, as experience, the new form of intelligence only when the self-protective and self-expansive intelligence ceases.
We can at any time be aware without the will to become aware.
As you do not like what you are, you seek continuity through property, relationship and ideas - which has led you to utter chaos and misery.
When you talk of the higher self, when you talk about Brahman, it is still within the field of memory; and memory is incomplete understanding.
Actually we have no love; we have sentiment; we have emotionality, sensuality, sexuality
Loneliness is the awareness of complete isolation; and are not our activities self-enclosing?
It requires an intense energy to stand alone.
Try remaining with the feeling of hate, with the feeling of envy, jealousy, with the venom of ambition; for after all, that's what you have in daily life, though you may want to live with love, or with the word `love'.
Respectability is a curse;
We don't love children, because we have no love in our own hearts. We just breed children.
Surely it must be possible to function in a sexual relationship with someone you love without the nightmare which usually follows.
Thought is the very denial of love, and it cannot enter into that space where the me is not.
There is a common need to escape, and mutually we use each other. This usage is called love.
If you find the garden that you have so carefully cultivated has produced only poisonous weeds, you have to tear them out by the roots;
When there is love there is no duty and no responsibility.
An intelligent mind acts in the field of thought intelligently, sanely, without resistance;
We are saying: Be dead to love; it doesn't matter. Live entirely in your intellect and in your verbal manipulations, your cunning arguments.
One has to find out the meaning of living, not merely giving an intellectual significance to it, but looking at what it means to live.
An ambitious man, whether he be a merchant, a politician, or a so-called saint is essentially a self-contradictory human being.
Sex plays an extraordinarily important part in our lives because it is perhaps the only deep, firsthand experience we have.
Love has no problem and that is why it is so destructive and dangerous.
When you say to somebody `I love you', what does it mean?
Is it possible to observe oneself and the world without any distortion, without any symbol, without any formula?
For love to be, memory, with all its complex processes, has to come to an end.
We are talking about something entirely different: freeing the mind of all ideals, and therefore of all contradiction.
Love has nothing to do with sentiment. Love is hard, in the sense that it is crystal clear and what is clear can be hard.
I am confused, torn by my own desires, so I say to myself, 'First clear up your own confusion. Perhaps you may be able to discover what love is through what it is not.'
The word 'innocence' means 'incapable of being hurt'.
Do we know what love is? Never knowing it is the wonder of it, the beauty of it.
To me, truth has no aspects; it is one, and that which is complete, whole, has no aspects.
The people who believe so much in God are really not in love with life.
To love is to be free - both parties are free.
Sex is a problem because we have lost that creative force which we call love.
If you truly thought about it you would see that our love is based on possessiveness.
What we have to understand is, not what kind of restrictions, scientific or religious, should be placed on wants and sensations, but how to bring about deep and enduring fulfilment.
The discovery of what is wise and what is foolish is the whole process of living.
Viewing it realistically, we can see that we love our family because it gives us joy; we love that which gives us pleasure, that which brings us a reward.
We do not know what God is, what Death is, and what Love is.
It is no good discussing theoretically what love is. We can only start with what we know, i.e., by examining and becoming aware of "what is."
The idea of loving everybody has very little meaning if you don't know how to love one, your child, your husband, your wife, your neighbour.
We know when we love somebody with all our being. It is surely a shattering experience because it implies a letting down of all barriers.
See what society has done to us - our education, our routine of business, the gathering of money, the performing of awful duties and so on. In all this, is there a sense of joy?
We talk about love, we talk about responsibility, duty, but there is really no love, and relationship is based on gratification, the effect of which we see in the present civilization.
Is love also a response, a reaction not to be named and so left to wither?
You then realise that you are alone and you have to be alone if you seek Truth.
There is real thinking only when there is no response to memory.
[Love] comes into being when you have no problem.
To love one another is one of the most difficult things, because there is in it always the shadow of pleasure and pain.
We can be sentimental over love; but that is not love.
The idea of cosmic love and loving mankind is really a rationalisation of the lack of love in one's heart for another.
We know when we love somebody with all our being.
When [he] faces 'what is' - i.e. he is lacking in love - and goes deeper and deeper into it, he finds that he is nothing though he has a mask, though he is talking about God and that behind all verbal things intellectually produced there is absolutely nothing.
To love truth, you must know truth; and to know truth is to deny it.
Question: I have plenty of money. Can you tell me what is the right use of money?
To be full of emotion is obviously not love, because a sentimental person can be cruel when his sentiments are not responded to, when his feelings have no outlet.
Love is the only thing that transforms.
The process of recognition is a process of the continued known.
Begin with the known, with the trivial, the limited, the confused;