Krishnamurti & the Art of Awakening

Krishnamurti Quote of the Day

Madras, India | 2nd Public Talk 15th January 1956

Society is not changed by example. Society may reform itself, it may bring about certain changes through political or economic revolution, but only the religious man can create a fundamental transformation in society; and the religious man is not he who practices starvation as an example to impress society. The religious man is not concerned with society at all, because society is based on acquisitiveness, envy, greed, ambition, fear. That is, mere reformation of the pattern of society only alters the surface, it brings about a more respectable form of ambition. Whereas, the truly religious man is totally outside of society, because he is not ambitious, he has no envy, he is not following any ritual, dogma or belief; and it is only such a man who can fundamentally transform society, not the reformer. The man who sets out to be an example merely breeds conflict, strengthens fear, and brings about various forms of tyranny.

It is very strange how we worship examples, idols. We don't want that which is pure, true in itself; we want interpreters, examples, masters, gurus, as a medium through which to attain something - which is all sheer nonsense, and is used to exploit people. If each one of us could think clearly from the very beginning, or re-educate ourselves to think clearly, then all these examples, masters, gurus, systems, would be absolutely unnecessary, which they are anyhow.

Tags: ambition, becoming, certainty, desire, religion, understanding

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The ideal is a real curse because it really prevents you from understanding what is;
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Instead of addressing heterogeneous crowds in many places and dazzling and confounding them with your brilliance and subtlety, why do you not start a community or colony and create a reference for your way of thinking?
To you life is a process of accumulation, not a matter of living.
Division exists only when there is the search for a goal, when there is adjustment and the complacency of certainty.
To find out what is true, what is the significance of life, what is immortality, without which life becomes a chaotic triviality, a senseless, blind suffering, you must have intelligence;
It is only when the mind and heart are pliable, alert, and are not slaves to theories, certainties, assurances, that you begin to discover the barriers of memories as self-protective, defensive reaction.
To understand the flow of life, mind must be free entirely from finalities, from certainties, which are but the outcome of the desire for self-protection.
When the mind dwells in an accustomed groove of thought, then there is no conflict, then there is no suffering, no awakened interest in life.
For a man who is truly uncertain, there is hope;
Fundamentally, vicarious experience cannot have integral value.
Do not let us be concerned about the certainty of an unconditioned mind, but rather be aware of the limitations of thought-emotion.
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;
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.
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.
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?
Religion as it exists is not religion at all.
Religion, surely, is the uncovering of reality. Religion is not belief.
Religion, surely, is the uncovering of reality. Religion is not belief. Religion is not the search for truth.
Religion as it exists is not religion at all.
Breaking through is not a matter of time.
The worship of authority, whether in big or little things, is evil, the more so in religious matters.
You see man imprisoned by innumerable walls, walls of religion, of social, political and national limitations, walls created by his own ambitions, aspirations, fears, hopes, security, prejudices, hate and love.
From my point of view, religions with all their intermediaries, their ceremonies, their priests, destroy creative understanding and pervert judgment.
Self-knowledge is not a conclusion, an end; it has no beginning and no end.
Truth is truth, one, alone; it has no sides, no paths; all paths do not lead to truth.
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.
The religious mind is really a scientific mind - scientific in the sense that it is able to observe facts without distortion, to see itself as it is.
Man has always sought something beyond the physical existence. He has always searched, asked, suffered, tortured himself, to find out if there is something which is not of time, which is not of thought, which is not belief or faith.
The whole idea of following a discipline makes the mind and heart rigid and consistent.
The so-called religions give the pattern of conformity to the mind that is seeking security born of fear, in search of comfort;
Our religions throughout the world keep people apart.
The people who believe so much in God are really not in love with life.
To me religion is the false result of a false cause, the cause being conflict, and religion merely a means of escape from that conflict.
As in a circus the animals are trained to function for the amusement of spectators, so the individual through fear seeks out these spiritual trainers whom he calls priests and swamis, who are the defenders of spurious spirituality and the inanities of religion.
An authority seasoned through the mists of time becomes invulnerable, and then man accepts that authority as being final.
Curiously, if you consider it, religion which should denounce war, helps its furtherance.
The system which you call religion and which has been created through your own demand for security has become so powerful, so realistic, that very few free themselves from its weight of crushing tradition and authority.
If wisdom could be acquired through a religious society or sect, we should all be wise, for we have had religions with us for thousands of years.
Religions, with their beliefs, dogmas and creeds, have become tremendous barriers between human beings, dividing man against man, limiting him and destroying his intelligence.
Question: What do you mean by "religion"?
Religion, to most people, is nothing but a reaction against intelligence.
The constant conformity to a particular mould is the basis of our religious thought and moral action;
For me, all religions are but defensive reactions against life, against intelligence.
Organised religion has never said that ambition is evil, but has always decried sex. Don't you see the implications?
Any positive approach to the unknown will make the unknown knowable and therefore that is not the Truth.
the explanation is never that thing which is explained, that is the word is never the thing.
We don't love children, because we have no love in our own hearts. We just breed children.
The essence of control is suppression.
A mind that is indifferent, is aware of the shoddiness of our civilization, the shoddiness of our thought, the ugly relationships;
Until I, in my relationship to you, understand myself, I am the cause of chaos, misery, destruction, fear, brutality.
Life itself has no system, for it is always in movement;
In the confusion and turmoil of life, in its continual bustle and conflict, every individual is caught.
Criticism is only of value in so far as it trains your observation so that it can eventually be turned on yourself.
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.
As fear cannot free itself through any means, for all its efforts spring from its own source, there must be the cessation of all intellectual safeguards.
Conflict at any level, at any depth, indicates immaturity.
There is no essential difference between the old and the young, for both are slaves to their own desires and gratifications.
Is it possible for the mind to be so attentive all the time, so sensitive that every challenge is answered completely and immediately, and to come to a state when there is no challenge and no response, when it is no longer in a state of experiencing?
There is a vast difference, then, between the mental examination of a fact and the understanding of that fact.
We are not concerned with individual salvation or individual liberation, or whatever the individual is trying to seek but rather with the whole movement of life, the understanding of the whole current of existence;
to observe means to observe without the interference of one's background; but one is the background - you follow?-one's whole being which looks is one's background - as a Christian, as a Frenchman, or as an intellectual.
Stillness cannot be cultivated, because if you cultivate a still mind, it is not a still mind, it is a dead mind.
When one merely understands intellectually, verbally or romantically or emotionally, it is just nothing at all.
In action born of choice there is no discernment, choice being calculation, a remembrance of incomplete action.
When you are awakened there is conflict, struggle. which you call suffering; but immediately you want to put away that struggle, that awakening;
In order to fight, you must know what you are fighting, so there must be understanding of the fundamental, not of the divisions between the false things.
Why do you want to eliminate self-consciousness?
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.
When you understand you don't seek to modify, to alter, to reform.
There is the reaction to environment when the mind does not understand the environment, and acts without understanding, thereby further increasing the limitation of environment
I doubt, if I may say so, that you really understand what I am saying, even intellectually;
There is either deep understanding or the creation of mere theory.
Truth, the beauty of reality, can be discerned only when the mind is fearless; not with the fearlessness of intellectuality, but of utter insecurity.
If you have beliefs, you are translating and moulding your experiences according to them, and so you are continuously forcing and limiting thought-emotion, and these limitations become the "I" process.
Both the religious and the materialistic mind are conditioned by their own prejudices which prevent the integral comprehension of truth and the communion with it.
The problem of starvation is not solved by merely discovering its causes - the bad economic system, over-production, maldistribution, and so on.
I can give you [also] a very good explanation, but we are trying to go beyond mere explanations.
I have explained what I mean by understanding. This understanding is not an intellectual, analytical process.
Understanding is not brought about through the mere exertion of a one-sided will but through that experimental approach which has that peculiar quality of wholeness.
All overcoming is a form of ignorance and violence; only understanding can free thought from bondage.
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.
I am talking of understanding which transcends reason and emotion.
What is of primary importance [then] is understanding, in whose wake follows compassion.
Understanding is not a reward; in the very moment of awareness it is born.
Surely there is a difference between right thinking and right or conditioned thought.
It is natural, is it not, to be depressed at this present time when there is so much killing, confusion and sorrow?
To merely deny craving, to merely oppose its many expressions is not to transcend it but to continue in it.
Compulsion does not create understanding, whether it is from outside or from within.
To understand there must be no judgment or comparison, no acceptance or denial, for all identification prevents that passive awareness in which alone the discovery of what is true is made.
These talks will be utterly useless if you do not experience as you are listening.
Condemnation, judgment and comparison do not bring the experience of understanding; on the contrary they will stop experience
In the outer world there is no hope, no clarity, no creative and renewing understanding, there is only bloodshed and confusion and mounting disaster.
Instead of trying to control these wandering thoughts become aware of them, think-out, feel-out every thought, comprehend its significance, however pleasant or unpleasant;
Search to understand, not to know; for in understanding, the dual process of the knower and the known ceases.
Understanding comes when your whole being is deeply and silently aware.
Without understanding oneself meditation becomes a process of self-hypnosis inducing experiences according to one's conditioning, one's belief.
Effort made to be free without the liberating action of Truth is still within the enclosing walls of the self.
If you saw the truth about self-expansion problems would begin to fade away.
Our difficulty lies in that we have built around ourselves conclusions which we call understanding.
Understanding is not substitution; mere change of patterns, of conclusions, does not yield understanding.
It is truth alone that frees, not the activity of will.
As we have got a very difficult subject to deal with it requires a great deal of patience and we must not jump to conclusions.
I am not here to give you ideas but on the contrary, I am here to discuss together with you if we can, seriously and earnestly, the problem of living.
We use the present as a passage to the future.
Understanding is a total responsibility of your entire being, a perception which comes to you of the entire picture and not of a part only.
When the mind is dull, it is unwilling to look at 'what is' but wants to change itself into something else, thus bringing another element into the problem.
[Understanding] involves change of will altogether and not merely change in will.
You cannot overcome a hindrance; the hindrance has to be understood by approaching it without condemnation, without judging, without a desire to alter it.
A truth, probably heard by you, ceases to be a truth when you merely repeat it; it will be a truth to you only when you, for yourself, have discovered it to be true.
As long as the mind is moving from the known to the known, it is 'dead', and a 'dead' thing cannot understand anything.
Is understanding to come through effort, or is there a state in which effort has ceased for understanding to be?
Why do we not realise that our pursuit of drunkenness, God or an ideal is only the pursuit of our escape from facing the actual, and therefore reduces us to a state of dullness and insensitivity?
Is not knowledge different from understanding and does the mere accumulation of knowledge yield understanding?
As it is, our existence is pretty awful and merely to understand verbally what is being said and use it as a pattern to translate everyday existence will not bring about understanding.
You will have understanding only when you consider the problem, when you accept it, look at it, become aware of its significance completely, and even love it.
If I want to understand what is, I must give my whole attention, my whole being to it and not be distracted by the opposites.
There is always in the 'thinker' a sense of permanency, a sense of continuity.
Most of you agree with what we have discussed so far in regard to the falseness of the trick played by the mind on itself; yet you have not seen the real depth of this problem and, therefore, it has not brought about clarification and transformation in you.
I am going to explain presently that truth can be understood instantaneously.
Outward action, when accomplished, is over, is static; and if the relationship between individuals, which is society, is not the outcome of inward revolution, then the social structure, being static, absorbs the individual, and therefore makes him equally static, repetitive.
Question: Can we realize on the spot the truth that you are speaking of, without any previous preparation?
Surely, meditation is understanding - meditation of the heart is understanding.
Self-knowledge is the beginning of meditation - not the knowledge that you pick up from my books, from authorities, from gurus, but the knowledge that comes into being through self-inquiry, which is self-awareness.
Peace can come into being only when the confusion which we have created is completely understood, not on the verbal level, but inwardly;
I cannot understand myself if I am tethered to anything - property, idea or thing.