Krishnamurti & the Art of Awakening

Krishnamurti Quote of the Day

Madras, India | Third Public Talk, January 18, 1956

From what source, from what center must action arise if it is not to be contradictory and confusing? The social reformer does not ask this question because he wants to act, to reform - and in the very process of reformation, he is creating mischief. All politicians and religious leaders are doing this. No amount of reading scriptures, of conforming, adjusting to society, has ever solved our problems; on the contrary, they are multiplying. Seeing all this, we have to understand why this confused and sorrowful state has come into being. It has come into being because we all want immediate action, and immediate action can be found only in the superficial layers of our consciousness; it comes out of occupation, out of the so-called educated mind.

Now, is there an action which is not the result of effort, which is not the action of will? The action of will is the action of desire, and desire, whether educated or uneducated, restrained or free, is limited to the contradictory layers of consciousness. Have you not noticed, sirs, that when you want to do one particular thing, immediately there is a contradiction in the form of restrictive fears, demands, examples, a sense of discipline which says, ''Don't do that''? And so you are caught in conflict. Right through life we are caught in this way; from childhood until we die there is this everlasting contradiction and conformity. Seeing this, can the mind discover an action which is not contradictory, which is not mere conformity, which is not the product of influence? I think that is the fundamental issue, the right question, and one can find such action only when one is aware of and understands the total occupation of the mind.

Do you know what your mind is occupied with? Go layer by layer, and you will discover that there is no space anywhere in the mind which is not occupied. And when you do inquire into the unconscious to discover what its occupation is, even then the superficial mind, which is examining the unconscious, has its own occupation. So what is one to do? One wants to find out the total occupation of the mind because one sees that without being aware of the total occupation of the mind, any action is bound to create contradiction and therefore greater misery.

Now, what is the mind, your mind, occupied with? And if it were not occupied, what would happen? Would you not be frightened to discover that your mind is not occupied at all? Therefore, there would be an immediate urge to be occupied with something. Try it, and you will find out that there is never a moment when the mind is not occupied; and if you do experience a rare moment when the mind is not occupied, which is an extraordinary state, then how to get back to or to retain that state becomes your new occupation.

So, I am suggesting that true action can come only when the mind has understood the totality of its occupation, conscious as well as unconscious, and knows the moment of not being occupied. You will find that action from those moments when the mind is not occupied is the only integrated action. When it is not occupied, the mind is uncontaminated by society; it is not the product of innumerable influences; it is neither Hindu nor Christian, neither communist nor capitalist; therefore, it is itself a totality of action which you do not have to be occupied with or think about.

Now, if you have been good enough to listen to all this attentively, if you have not been asleep but have listened with complete attention, then you will have experienced immediately the state of not being occupied. As one speaks or listens, one is aware of the various layers of occupation and of how contradictory they are, and being aware of the total contradictory nature of consciousness, the mind discovers a state in which it is not occupied. This brings a totally different sense of action. Then you have to do nothing, for the mind itself will act.

Tags: effort, occupation, will

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