Krishnamurti & the Art of Awakening

Krishnamurti Quote of the Day

New York City | 1st Public Talk 11th March, 1935

For most people this is the problem: merely to wait, marking time; or to be able to discern the true significance of life with its conflicts and sorrows, and not create a new set of stupidities, a new set of illusions, and therefore to live directly and simply. The one leads to utter disorder, superficiality, boredom, to such superficial lives as most people lead, whether in the intensity of work or in the lack of work. The other, to the ecstasy of immortality.

Everywhere there is a despair, waiting for some action, waiting for governments to change conditions. And, in the meantime, your own lives are becoming more and more superficial, shallow, with all the inanities of modern society and the inanities of the so-called spiritual people.

As I said in the very beginning of my talk, intelligence is the only solution that will bring about harmony in this world of conflict, harmony between mind and heart in action. No system, the mere alteration of environment, is ever going to free man from ignorance and illusion, which are the cause of suffering. You yourself, through your own awareness, in your own completeness, can discern the true significance of these many limiting barriers. This alone will bring about lasting intelligence, which shall reveal immortality.

Tags: ignorance, illusion, intelligence

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To me, the root cause of ignorance is the consciousness of "I", from which arise conflict and sorrow.
I can give you nothing.
The human problems that now disturb us will disappear only when each one is able to discern the self-sustaining process of ignorance.
There is no beginning to ignorance; it is sustained by its own cravings, through its own acquisitive demands and pursuits, and action merely becomes the means of maintaining it.
Each one of us is unique in the sense that each one is continually creating his own ignorance, which is without a beginning and is self-sustained through its own actions.
Ignorance is the unawareness of the process of conditioning, which consists of the many wants, fears, acquisitive memories, and so on.
If one does not understand the whole process of ignorance, and merely makes an effort to get rid of it, thought is still acting within the circle of ignorance.
When we are integrally aware of the process of ignorance, voluntarily, spontaneously, there is the beginning of that intelligence which meets all conditioning influences.
Without understanding the full implication of self-expression, self-reliance becomes merely the means to greater and greater expression of narrow individualistic and ignorant action.
It is difficult to with stand the constant pressure of modern civilization unless one is constantly aware and so is discovering the treasures that are imperishable.
We have to find out what is the accurate, correct, right action, or right livelihood in the world of reality, and reality includes illusion
Can there be honesty - that is, clear insight, seeing things as they are - if there is a principle, an ideal, an ennobled formula?
The craving for experience is the beginning of illusion.
Freedom is to stand alone, unattached and unafraid, free in the understanding of desire which breeds illusion.
Meditation is seeing the constant touching the ever-changing movement of life.
A satisfactory explanation, or a comforting belief, can put you soothingly to sleep; but is that what you want?
For me, revolution is synonymous with religion. I do not mean by the word 'revolution' immediate economic or social change; I mean a revolution in consciousness itself.
One takes comfort, security, in any form of illusion. And man apparently needs many illusions.
We have divided life into dying and living. And this division has brought about great fear. And out of that fear we invent all kinds of theories, very comforting, may be illusory, but it is very comforting, illusions are comfortably neurotic.
The religious mind does not depend on time for its development.
Instead of discerning the cause, you think that you can comprehend yourself through another. This looking to the example of another only leads to illusion and suffering.
Most of us do not want to die to anything, particularly to that which gives us pleasure, to the memory of things that we have known and cherished.
The power to create illusion is vastly more significant to understand than to understand reality.
That which is real will be known when the various forms of illusions have ceased.
Most minds have identified themselves with a belief, and therefore their thought is always circumscribed, limited by that belief or ideal;
What happens to a house whose walls you are merely decorating though its foundations are rotten?
If you don't understand something and merely try to modify it, your action must increase the barriers, must build up new sets of barriers;
Not having that creative intelligence which is the comprehension of environment, man begins to play within the walls of his prison, he begins to embellish and decorate the prison and he makes himself comfortable within its walls;
There is no security, no comfort, but only clarity of thought which brings about the understanding of the fundamental cause of suffering, which alone will liberate man.
Our present search for reality is nothing but the search for a greater and more magnificent illusion.
The very search for reality is an illusion, because it is but an escape.
When there is true discernment there is the ecstasy of the immeasurable, which cannot be imagined or preconceived, but only experienced.
Illusion divides itself infinitely.
The continual process of awakening the mind from its own limitations is true experience.
We have many stupidities and limitations which are slowly destroying intelligence, such as ideals, beliefs, dogmas, nationalism and the possessive idea of family;
A man who would understand truth must be free from the desire for security and comfort.
In pursuit of an illusion, one often feels an exhilaration, an emotionalism; but when one examines this emotional structure, it is nothing but a limitation, the building up of walls of refuge.
Until the mind-heart is deeply, profoundly conscious of its own process, its own power to create illusions, there cannot be discernment.
To inquire into the unconditioned state when one's mind is limited is so utterly futile.
It is one of the illusions of the mind that creates the hope of something beyond its own darkness.
The conflict between the actual and the illusory must continue till either the unreal overcomes the actual or the actual breaks through all safeguards, all escapes, and begins to reveal its deep significance.
As the mind is capable of creating illusion this power must be understood before it can be wholly free from its own self-created distractions.
In opposition there is no understanding.
We translate all experience in terms of our own conditioning, the deeper it is the more alertly aware must we be not to misread it.
Just as the sensate man creates havoc in the world, the man of ideation with a framework of references also creates mischief; in fact, the latter does more harm.
Since it is extremely difficult and arduous to be aware, you spin out theories, you escape through property, through name and family, and all the rest of the absurdities which bring about destruction.
It is such a phoney superficial world, so ugly if you look behind the curtain; and we are decorating the curtain and hoping that everything will be right behind it.
An intelligent mind acts in the field of thought intelligently, sanely, without resistance;
An ambitious man, whether he be a merchant, a politician, or a so-called saint is essentially a self-contradictory human being.
Don't change. It's very simple. If you want to remain as you are, carry on, nobody is going to prevent you.
The highest form of sensitivity is the highest intelligence, and no drug ever invented by man will give this intelligence.
Sensitivity in its highest form is intelligence.
Intelligence does not offer shelter from the struggles and turmoils of life, nor does it give comfort; it only creates understanding.
To understand anything, one must find out what it is all about.
To be integrally intelligent means to be without the self.
When the mind is attached to an idea or a belief, or to a past experience, it reveals the lack of intelligence.
There is a vast distinction between intellect and intelligence
To live a natural life, full, spontaneous life, creative, intelligent life, you can only do that when you understand the false standards and the true standards of society, and have broken away from it because you understand their significance;
To me, all ideals must be the means of alleviation of suffering, and, therefore, cannot possibly explain to you the reason of suffering.
We can talk about tolerance, which is an intellectual invention to keep you where you are and to keep me where I am, and try to be friendly.
When your whole being becomes conscious of something which is poisonous, there is no effort to throw it out; you have already moved away from it.
In the process of discovering, there is born intelligence, understanding; and that supreme intelligence is life itself. You don't want any more.
Exploitation comes into being when individuals seek more than their essential needs;
I do not want to give you examples and similes, because I want you to think it out, and if I give examples I do all the thinking and you merely listen.
in that state of acuteness of suffering, in that intensity of suffering in which there is no longer escape, the mind itself becomes intelligence.
If you experiment with this, you will see that I am not giving you theories, but something with which you can work, something which is practical.
One should bear in mind that what we call accumulation of sorrows does not lead to intensity, nor does the multiplication of suffering lead to its own dissolution;
If you are in conflict, naturally you must question the environment, but most minds have become so perverted that they are not aware that they are seeking solutions, escapes through their marvellous theories.
If there is intelligence, then environment has no value, no significance, because intelligence is then freed from circumstance, it is functioning fully.
The mind which is really intelligent is free of self-discipline, for intelligence is born out of the questioning of environment, and the discovery of the true significance of environment.
Intelligence is not born out of self-discipline or suppression.
The test of right action is in its spontaneity, but to act spontaneously is to be greatly intelligent.
Where there is intelligence, the mind is not conditioned by any environment, because it is all the time conscious, aware and functioning, and therefore discerning, perceiving the full worth of the environment.
Every struggle, every effort to attain liberation indicates an escape from the present.
To me there is no division between mind and intelligence.
the individual builds up a romantic haven of escape in which he seeks compensation for the loss and suffering in the outer world.
The expression of creative intelligence is very rare, and though it has the appearance of individuality or separativeness, to me it is not individuality but intelligence.
Because what you can now discern as God must be limited, since your mind is circumscribed, held in bondage; therefore I will not describe that.
The more you battle against environment without understanding, the more you struggle against circumstances, the more you become conscious, in that effort, of your limitation.
We are discussing what exists, not what should exist.
I am not giving you a mould or a code by which you can live, or a system which you can follow.
There is self-discipline only where there is no intelligence.
To awaken true intelligence we must first inquire into the many stupidities which cripple the mind and heart, and not seek a definition of intelligence;
To discover what is true one requires great intelligence.
Question: How can I awaken intelligence?
To find out your needs requires intelligence, for needs are constantly changing, constantly renewing themselves.
We all desire to help the world, but we never begin with ourselves.
Question: Is man in any sense superior to woman?
Question: How can you prevent people from following you as their authority?
Almost all people are unconscious both of the intelligence and of the stupidity about them.
The function of real suffering, which is to awaken intelligence, is denied through the search for comfort.
To understand and awaken [this] harmonious intelligence, one must begin, not with assumptions and authoritative assertions, but negatively.
Most of us do not realize that we are unique, that the process of creating ignorance and sorrow lies within our own power, and that only through the comprehension of ourselves can there be freedom from them.
Intelligence is not a gift but can be cultivated, awakened, through alertness of mind and choiceless life.
There are many organizations for peace, but there are very few individuals who are free, who are intelligent in the true sense of the word.
The process of choice is merely one want overcoming another, one illusion dispelling another, one set of values substituting itself for another.
If you can perceive for yourself that ideals, beliefs, traditions, values, are constantly twisting your thought-action, then by becoming aware of these distortions intelligence is awakened.
Creative intelligence cannot be invited or measured, but the mind seeks definition, description, and is ever caught in the illusion of words.
To be aware without choice, to be conscious of the many activities of the mind, its richness, its subtleties, its deceptions, its illusions, is to be intelligent.
When we are integrally aware of the process of ignorance, voluntarily, spontaneously, there is the beginning of that intelligence which meets all conditioning influences.
Lasting order and peace can be brought about only when the individual voluntarily and intelligently consents to think without hate, greed, ambition, and so on.
Intelligence is the discovery, by each one, of what is of primary importance and the capacity to pursue it.
If we do not understand our own make up, our own psyche, our own thought-feeling, then how can we understand anything else?
Through constant awareness of every thought-feeling the ways of the self are known, and out of self-knowledge comes right thinking.
If we would understand a problem we must set aside our desires, our accumulated experiences, our patterns of thought.
An intelligence which is the product of desire, of self-expansion, is ever creating resistance, and it can never bring about tranquillity.
We shall know, as experience, the new form of intelligence only when the self-protective and self-expansive intelligence ceases.
Questioner: We do have to make some kind of effort, do we not?
How can thought which is the outcome of time, of self-protective activity, comprehend that which is not of time?
We have spent our days and our energies in transforming what is without understanding what is.
Intellect is producing such havoc, degradation and misery, but that is not reason, it is merely intellectuality concerned only with the superficial, responding to the immediate challenge.
Is not suffering an indication of ignorance?
You are changing. So also is your neighbour. Yet when you meet your neighbour, you have your old picture of that person.
Conditioned thought that seeks to modify or change itself merely continues the conditioned state.
Is it not important at all times, and especially during these critical days, to think very clearly and to know our feelings very intimately?
Intelligence is the understanding of sorrow.