Krishnamurti & the Art of Awakening

Krishnamurti Quote of the Day

Public Talk 28th March, 1948 | Mumbai, India

Question: Is extensional awareness the same as creative emptiness? Is not awareness passive and therefore not creative? Is not the process of self-awareness a tedious and painful process?

Krishnamurti: If awareness is practiced, made a habit, then it becomes painful and tedious; but awareness cannot be practiced, cannot be controlled, cannot be made into a conflict, a discipline - and that is the beauty of it. You are aware, or you are not aware. So, anything which is practiced becomes a boredom, tedious, painful, it means the exertion of will and effort, which creates distortion. Now, awareness is not that kind of thing at all. What is awareness, what is it to be aware? To be aware of things about you outwardly, of colour, of faces, of the sunset, of the shadows, of birds in flight, of the restless sea, of the trees in the wind - to be aware of all that is mere awareness of the superficial. You don't condemn a bird in flight, you merely observe it. But the moment you become aware of your inward nature, then you begin to condemn, you are incapable of looking at it without condemnation or justification. But to understand, there must be no condemnation or justification. So, to be aware, just to observe your thoughts, just to know what you are thinking and feeling without condemnation, without defence, without justification - surely, to be simply aware is not tedious, is not painful. But if you say, 'I must be aware in order to get a result', then it becomes tedious. If you try to be aware in order to eradicate anger, jealousy, possessiveness, or whatever it be, then it becomes painful. Such awareness is not awareness. That is merely a process of introspection, trying to become something. In awareness, there is no becoming, but merely observation, a silent observation - as when you visit the cinema and see the film. Now, if you can observe, if you can be aware of yourself in action, in movement, without identification, then you will find that there is an extensional awareness. It begins, as I said, with superficial things. Then, as you go deeper and deeper, there is wide, extensional awareness. That awareness is necessary, because in that awareness all the hidden layers, all the hidden intimations, come into being. As there is deeper and wider, more extensional awareness, the intimations, the conflicts of the hidden, are dissolved; and then you will find there comes creative emptiness. This is all a total process, not a step-by-step process; because, in awareness, there is neither beginning nor ending. It is one whole process.

The moment you observe a problem without condemnation, there is bound to be passive awareness; and when there is passive awareness, there is dissolution of the problem. That is, in passive awareness there is creative stillness, creative emptiness. Then, in that creative emptiness, reality comes into being, which dissolves the problem. So, where there is pain conflict, a tedious feeling, boredom, there is no awareness, but only a dull mind. Whereas, contrary to dullness, in awareness there is heightened sensitivity, and passive awareness is creative. The highest form of thinking is negative thinking; and when there is complete cessation of thought, when there is that passivity which is not a sleepy state, then there is creative being. I don't know if you have noticed that when the mind is full of problems, when the mind is full of thoughts, there is no creation. Only when the mind is empty, when the mind is still, when it has no problem, when it is alertly passive - only in that emptiness is there creation. Creation can only take place in negation, which is not the opposite of positive assertion. I am not using the word `negation' as the opposite of the positive. Being nothing is not the antithesis of being something. Being nothing is not related to being something. When the `being something' ceases completely, then there is nothingness. Only when all the problems which mind creates have ceased, when the mind is nothing, empty - which is not induced by discipline, by control - , only then does that passive, alert awareness come into being. And passivity must exist if a problem is to be dissolved. You can understand a problem only when you don't condemn it, when you don't justify it, when you are capable of looking at it silently, and that is not possible when you are seeking a result. A problem exists only in the search for a result; and the problem ceases if there is no search for a result. When the mind is silently observing, and therefore passive, there comes creative being, and creative being is a constant renewal. It is not continuity, it is a timeless state of being. In that state alone can there be creation, and therefore that state alone is revolution.

Tags: awareness, introspection

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