Krishnamurti & the Art of Awakening

Krishnamurti Quote of the Day

Ommen Camp, Holland | 6th Public Talk 2nd August, 1936

Question: You say that discipline is futile, whether external or self-imposed. Nevertheless, when one takes life seriously, one submits oneself inevitably to a kind of voluntary self-discipline. Is there anything wrong in this?

Krishnamurti: I have tried to explain that conduct born of compulsion, whether it be the compulsion of reward or of punishment, of fear or of love, is not right conduct. It is merely an imitation, a forcing and training of the mind according to certain ideas, in order to avoid conflict. This kind of discipline, imposed or voluntary, does not lead to right conduct. Right conduct is possible only when we understand the full significance of the self-active process of ignorance and the reforming of limitation through the action of want. In deeply discerning the process of fear there is the awakening of that intelligence which brings about right conduct. Can intelligence be awakened through discipline, imposed or voluntary? Is it a question of training thought according to a particular pattern? Is intelligence awakened through fear which makes you subjugate yourself to a standard of morality? Compulsion of any kind, whether externally or voluntarily imposed, cannot awaken intelligence, for imposition is the outcome of fear. Where there is fear there cannot be intelligence. Where intelligence is functioning there is spontaneous adjustment without the process of discipline. So the question is not whether discipline is right or wrong, or whether it is necessary, but how the mind can be free from self-created fear. For when there is freedom from fear there is not the sense of discipline, but only the plenitude of life.

What is the cause of fear? How is fear engendered? What is its process and expression? There must be fear so long as there is the "I" process, the consciousness of want, which limits action. All action born of the limitation of want only creates further limitation. This constant change of want, with its many activities, does not free the mind from fear; it but gives to the "I" process an identity and a continuity. Action springing from want must ever create fear and thereby hinder intelligence and the spontaneous adjustment to life.

Instead of asking me if it is right or wrong to discipline yourself, be conscious of your own want, and then you will see how fear comes into being and perpetuates itself. Instead of wanting to get rid of fear, be deeply conscious of want, without compulsion of any kind. Then there will be the cessation of fear, the awakening of intelligence and the deep plenitude of life.

Tags: compulsion, control, desire, memory

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Where there is fear there must be discipline, compulsion, influence, domination, the search for power which the mind glorifies as virtue and as divine.
You have created disciplines, codes and authorities, and your life is moulded, controlled and shaped by compulsion of various forms and degrees.
When there is great conflict, great disharmony, when there is the full consciousness of emptiness, then there arises the search for beauty, truth and love to influence and to direct our lives.
Search implies duality, contrast. Now where there is contrast, duality, there must be identification with one of the opposites, and from this there arises compulsion.
To free the mind from the subconscious, the unconscious hindrances of the past, is not to roll memory back into the past, but to be fully conscious in the present.
To be aware is not to alter.
We have the compulsion from without, and from within, which has been developed through our own desire for security, certainty, and which is continually perverting and twisting discernment.
To understand the deep significance of authority and compulsion. you need very delicate and careful thought.
If you follow anybody, it does not matter who it is, you are creating further compulsion, further limitation, and so destroying intelligence, true fulfilment.
I do not belong to any sect or party or to any particular religion, for religion is a distinct hindrance to man's fulfilment.
If the mind tries to free itself from these limitations because of compulsion, reward or punishment, or because it is sorrow-laden and so seeks happiness, or for any superficial reason, its attempt must inevitably lead to frustration and confusion.
Compulsion of any kind will nullify its effort.
Compulsion does not create understanding, whether it is from outside or from within.
What happens when the`thinker' sees that he is the thought - which he is - that the experiencer' is the experience?
The essence of control is suppression.
Meditation, along that quiet and deserted road came like a soft rain over the hills; it came as easily and naturally as the coming night.
Let the thing that you are watching tell its story, rather than you tell it what it should be.
Sir, don't follow any authority. Authority is evil. Authority destroys, authority perverts, authority corrupts;
Freedom is born of the perception that freedom is essential.
We all need a quiet mind, a peaceful mind, an absolutely silent mind without a murmur of thought. Is that possible? Possible means we don't know.
The energy which seeks truth creates its own discipline without any form of imposition; and as the river finds the sea, so that energy finds its own freedom.
Life is a battle of ideas, a battle of influences, and your mind is the field of the battle.
To control thought-feeling for a greater reward, for a greater result, is to make it petty, ignorant and sorrowful.
If I have the whole picture in mind then I can take in the detail; but if my mind only operates in a detail then I cannot take in the whole.
I feel that a radical change can come only when there is no effort, when the mind is not trying to become something, not trying to be virtuous - which does not mean that the mind must be nonvirtuous.
What you call intuition is merely the unfettered fulfillment of your own secret hopes and desires.
To control, to possess, we have certain laws which we call moral.
What we are trying to do here is to understand the process of desire, not to put a boundary to craving.
I am talking of understanding which transcends reason and emotion.
The motive for cultivating the opposite matters greatly; if it is a desire to escape from the struggle and pain of envy, then its opposite becomes identical with itself and so there is no freedom from envy.
In awareness there is only the present, that is, being aware, you see the past process of influence which controls the present and modifies the future.
When there is a natural concentration of interest, not mere control, you begin to discover that thought is in a process of constant imitation and that it is ever wandering through its many layers of memories, precepts, examples;
The purpose of these talks has been, not to give a system of thought, but to help each one of us to become aware of ourselves, of our daily action and relationship, and thus naturally discern our prejudices, fears, cravings;
Awareness is not mere analysis or self-examination.
All overcoming is never transcending, for that which is overcome, only takes another form.
If thought becomes aware of itself, it will perceive that it goes from one superficial interest to another, and merely to withdraw from one and try to concentrate on another does not lead to understanding and love.
Control of thought does not bring about right thinking;
You can create noble fixations and wholly be absorbed in them but this does not bring about understanding.
Freedom from the opposites is only possible when thought-feeling is able to observe without acceptance, denial or comparison its actions and responses;
I wonder how many of you have really practised meditation? If you have, you will have noticed how difficult it is to be extensively aware without the narrowing down of thought-feeling.
You may succeed in forcibly stilling the mind, but what is the outcome of such effort? Death, is it not?
Any suppression or control whether right or wrong, is based on a pattern of behaviour; the mind, being thus controlled, is not free.
As practiced by most of us, meditation is an effort to do something of which you have already an outline, thus forcing the mind along a pre-determined channel.
The purpose of meditation is to discover reality, not to hypnotize yourself about the reality.
Before thought can be controlled, whatever that may mean, we must understand the process of thinking and who it is that thinks, and find out whether these are two separate processes, or one unitary process.
Therefore, we are free of the idea of discipline, of the idea of control - which is an extraordinary revolution, isn't it?
A controlled mind is not a free mind.
Why cannot the mind experience something that is true, beyond its own projections?
Can there be honesty - that is, clear insight, seeing things as they are - if there is a principle, an ideal, an ennobled formula?
Freedom is to stand alone, unattached and unafraid, free in the understanding of desire which breeds illusion.
To go beyond the self-enclosing activities of the mind, you must understand them;
Mere reformation of the pattern of society only alters the surface, it brings about a more respectable form of ambition.
The self, the "me," is a network of complex desires, each desire having its own impetus and aim, often in opposition to other hopes and pursuits.
To walk alone, unimpeded by thought, by the trail of our desires, is to go beyond the reaches of the mind.
Is silence to be cultivated, carefully nurtured and strengthened? And who is the cultivator? Is he different from the totality of your being?
Creativeness is not a process of becoming or achieving, but a state of being in which self-seeking effort is totally absent.
Desire, which has been the driving force in man, has created a great many pleasant and useful things; desire also, in man's relationships, has created a great many problems and turmoil and misery - the desire for pleasure.
The religious mind does not depend on time for its development.
Until you are committed, dedicated, to eradicating this national, economic, religious division, you are perpetuating war
You can't empty the mind, do what you will you can't empty it, because the desire to empty it is part of the activity of the self.
Until you and I understand the 'me', which is the center of discontent, until we go into it and understand this whole process of becoming, achieving, there must always be discontent.
How can a man that is in prison stimulate the desire for freedom?
There is illusion as long as there is a want, which is different from needs.
To understand what I am saying is not very difficult. The difficulty lies in putting what I am saying into action.
Where there is no creative expression of life, we give undue importance to sex, which becomes an acute problem.
Question: I desire many things from life which I do not have. Can you tell me how to get them?
If we destroy desire, there is death;
When you are really able to think without any craving, without any desire to choose - for choice implies opposites - there is discernment.
The very desire to be free creates its own limitation.
Confusion arises only when you are made incapable of adjustment by your fantastic and harmful conceptions, ideals and beliefs.
Before we can understand what is truth, reality, or know if there be such a thing, we must discern what it is that is constantly seeking.
Through want we create confusion, ignorance and suffering, and then we set in movement the process of escape.
If you can deeply comprehend [this] self-sustaining process of ignorance which gives a solidity to the "I", from which arise all confusion and suffering, then life can be lived fully, without the various subtle escapes and pursuits that, unknowingly, you have created for yourself.
The reality of the permanent can only happen, take place, and is not to be cultivated.
[The] process of escape from actuality, from uncertainty, must lead to illusion, abnormality, neurosis and unbalance.
There is the will of want, which is effort, and the will of comprehension, which is discernment.
The process of choice is merely one want overcoming another, one illusion dispelling another, one set of values substituting itself for another.
Desire cannot exist by itself, it must always be in relation to something.
Desire is not emotion; desire is the result of a mind that is ever seeking satisfaction, whose values are based on satisfaction.
The desire to be satisfied creates will, which maintains itself by its own continual effort.
The very question of how to be free of desire is prompted by desire itself.
Only in deep emotion is there no craving for satisfaction.
Desire and emotion are two different and distinct processes; desire being entirely of the mind, and emotion the integral expression of one's whole being.
Desire can only recondition itself, reshape itself to a new pattern, but it will still be desire, giving birth to fear.
Question: Are desire and interest, as we know them now, the same?
Question: How can I attain the quality of desirelessness without having the desire to attain it?
What we are trying to do here is to understand the process of desire, not to put a boundary to craving.
To understand the complex causes of conflict and the desire to be free from it, requires not the mere will to be free, but constant awareness in our daily life.
The motive for cultivating the opposite matters greatly; if it is a desire to escape from the struggle and pain of envy, then its opposite becomes identical with itself and so there is no freedom from envy.
To merely deny craving, to merely oppose its many expressions is not to transcend it but to continue in it.
Our conflict within and without arises, does it not, from the changing and contradictory values based on pleasure and pain?
The conflict of acquisitiveness appears in knowledge, in relationship, in possessions; acquisitiveness in any form creates inequality and brutality.
Being is only when there is no effort, positive or negative, to become;
if we were aware of what is, then the truth of sorrow, of impermanency, of imprisonment would liberate thought from its own ignorance.
The desire to become, negatively or positively, is self-expansive and in the expansion of the self there can be no freedom.
All forms of becoming, negative or positive, cause conflict, resistance.
You are this and you want to be that; you are ignorant and you want to be enlightened; you are arrogant and you want to be humble.
The desire to listen and the action of listening are two quite different states.
In the very desire to achieve anything, there is the seed of its own opposite.
Why do you want to give up something, for getting rid of fear or on seeing it as it is?
There is no such thing as pure thought, or ''free'' thought
if there is constant perception of beauty without the accumulation of memories, then there is the possibility of joy everlasting.
Your experiences, your inclinations and motives, all that is the movement of the past, which is knowledge.
Can one see that the whole movement of this illusory memory, which appears so real, can end?
You cannot brush the past aside. It is there.
Will you please explain what you mean by awareness?
The more you are interested in something, the more your intention to understand, the more simple, clear, free the mind is.
Our love is based on your image of me and my image of you.
Is there any thought which is not conditioned?
To look, your mind must be silent, and the very urgency of looking makes the mind silent
Experiencing without memory is one state, and experiencing with memory is another.
As long as the mind is a slave to time, there must be the fear of death, the fear and the hope of a future life, and a constant inquiry into that question.
Thought is the outcome of incomplete experience.
Action according to memory, is total inaction, and therefore there is no revolution at all.
For love to be, memory, with all its complex processes, has to come to an end.
Consistency is the sign of memory, memory that results from lack of true comprehension of experience.
Your mind has learned to be careful, to be cunning, to act as a signal, to give a warning; therefore, you cannot meet any incident fully.
How is one to live completely in the present, so that the mind is not perverted with past memories and future longing - which are also memory?
An experience really understood frees the mind from all search for experience.
The moment there is hope, longing, fear, prejudice, temperament, it conditions the mind, and that conditioning creates memory, which obscures the clarity of mind which is intelligence.
What is living fully in the present?
What is it that creates the changing of values?
Memory, is caught up in the struggle of changing values, and this battle is called progress, the evolutionary path of choice leading to truth.
As long as the mind, clouded by memory, imparts values, action must create further walls of prison;
You cannot lose memory, but by living completely in the present, in the fullness of the moment, you become conscious of all the subconscious entanglements of memory, the dormant hopes and longings which surge forward and prevent you from functioning intelligently in the present.
Let us consider what this "I", this actor, this observer, this centre of conflict is.
The beginning and the end, the "you" and the goal, are the results of this self-protective mind.
Anything that we perceive directly, understand completely, leaves no scar on the mind.
Question: You say that memory is a barrier. Why?
If your mind is aware of its own creations, then you will discern how you have established for yourself guides, values, which are but memories, as a protection against the incessant movement of life.
Memory acts as a resistance against the movement of life.
The mind has become merely a record of the various lessons of experience.
Where there is want, there must also be accumulative memories, self-protective calculations, which give to consciousness, continuity and identification.
Memory is ever conditioning the mind and creating for it an environment of values in which it becomes a prisoner.
The accumulation of self-protective memories is the process of experience, and relationship is the contact between two individualized and self-protective memories, whose morality is the agreement to guard what they possess.
Experience may further condition thought or it may release it from limitations.
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.
Memory must become as a shell without a living organism in it.
The accumulation of memory is called knowledge; with this burden, with the scars of experience, thought is ever interpreting the present and so giving continuity to its own scars and conditioning.
A mind-heart that is burdened with the memory of yesterday cannot live in the eternal present.
Should we not, as the questioner points out, be aware of the two kinds of memories: the indispensable, relating to facts and figures, and the psychological memory?
he eternal is ever the unknown for a mind that accumulates; what is accumulated is memory, and memory is ever the past, the time-binder.
Questioner: Why is memory an impediment?
Surely what I am saying is meant for all: for those who have renounced the world and for those who live in the world, for he who has renounced is still in the world because he is in the world of his own making, just as the worldly person is in the world of his own desires.
Memory is the residue left in the mind of insufficient experience;
We experience through the screen of the past and therefore there is no experience at all but only a modification of experience.
Accumulated memory is static. It has no life unless we inject new life into it, that is, by our recalling the memory, we revive it.
In seeing the false as false, truth is perceived.
Where there is authority, you do not listen in the same manner as to someone who is talking with you in a friendly manner, and there is little communication.
The 'I' is non-existent without memory, its tendencies, gifts and so on, i.e. non-existent without continuity, the racial, the traditional, the past in conjunction with the now, the past flowing through the present to the future which is hope.
The problem is that I am only aware of factual memories and I am not aware of psychological memories.
You bring a framework of references to a living feeling and thereby absorb the living feeling into time, which only strengthens memory, which is the I.
What is thinking, what is the process of thinking?
Our thinking, which is the response to a challenge which is ever new, is always conditioned and therefore produces further conflict, further suffering and further pain.
When you attempt to avoid disturbance you don't want memory; but when you want to improve in the field of your choice you really want memory; thus there is contradiction.
An incomplete experience leaves a scar or a residue whereas a completed experience does not leave any residue.
To understand a challenge, which is always new, I must also meet it anew, there must be no residue of yesterday; so, I must say adieu to yesterday.
To understand the truth of a problem, of a relationship, you must come to it afresh - not with an 'open mind', for that has no meaning.
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.
Memory is time, and time is not the door to reality;
I must give continuity to an experience, otherwise consciousness ceases.
Examine your own memory and you will see that it has no vitality in itself; but when memory meets the new and translates the new according to its own conditioning, then it is revivified.
You can live completely, wholly, only when there is no terming, when there is no naming, and therefore no recording, which is memory.
To bring about a state of constant experiencing, which is really extraordinarily revolutionary, we must be aware of this process of action which is always seeking an end, a result, and therefore giving birth to the actor.