Krishnamurti & the Art of Awakening

Krishnamurti Quote of the Day

Frognerseteren, Norway | 3rd Public Talk, September 9, 1933

Questioner: I feel the entanglement and confusion of attachment in the thoughts and feelings that make up the richness and variety of my life. How can I learn to be detached from experience from which I seem unable to escape?

Krishnamurti: Why do you want to be detached? Because attachment gives you pain. Possession is a conflict in which there is jealousy, continual watchfulness, never-ending struggle. Attachment gives you pain; therefore you say, 'Let me be detached.' That is, your detachment is merely a running away from pain. You say, 'Let me find a way, a means, by which I shall not suffer.' In attachment there is conflict which awakens you, stirs you, and in order not to be awakened, you long for detachment. You go through life wanting the exact opposite of that which gives you pain, and that very wanting is but an escape from the thing in which you are caught.

It is not a matter of learning detachment, but of keeping awake. Attachment gives you pain. But if, instead of trying to escape, you try to keep awake, you will meet openly and understand every experience. If you are attached and are satisfied with your state, you experience no disturbance. Only in time of pain and suffering do you want the opposite, which you think will give you relief. If you are attached to a person, and there is peace and quiet, everything moves smoothly for a while; then something happens that gives you pain. Take, for example, a husband and wife; in their possession, in their love, there is complete blindness, happiness. Life goes smoothly until something happens - he may leave, or she may fall in love with another. Then there is pain. In such a situation you say to yourself, 'I must learn detachment.' But if you love again you repeat the same thing. Again, when you experience pain in attachment, you desire the opposite. That is human nature; that is what every human being wants.

So it is not a matter of acquiring detachment. It is a matter of seeing the foolishness of attachment when you suffer in attachment; then you do not go to the opposite. Now what happens? You want to be attached and at the same time you want to be detached, and in this conflict there is pain. If in pain itself you realize the finality of pain, if you do not try to escape to the opposite, then that very pain will free you from both attachment and detachment.

Tags: detachment

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