Krishnamurti & the Art of Awakening

Krishnamurti Quote of the Day

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

Action born of influence is restricted. Our minds are the result of innumerable and contradictory influences, and any action born of that contradictory state must also be contradictory; and a culture, a society which is based on this contradiction must create endless conflict and misery. This again is fairly obvious; it is a historical fact whether you like it or not. We can see that while the mind is occupied on the surface with daily living, below that, there are innumerable motives of satisfaction, of greed, of envy, the compulsions of passion, fear, and so on, with which the mind is also occupied, though one may not be conscious of it. And can the mind go still below that?

To put it differently, with what is the mind occupied? Please, not my mind, but your mind. Do you know what your mind is occupied with? It is obviously occupied during the day, when you are busy at the office, with the routine of your work. Below that superficial occupation of the mind, there is another kind of occupation going on, which may be self-protection, security, ambition, and so on, and which is generally in contradiction with the other occupation.

To make this talk worthwhile and significant, may I suggest that you listen to observe and discover how your own mind is occupied. I want to go into the problem of occupation because I feel if we can understand this whole question of the mind's occupation, out of that understanding an action will come which is true action, an action which is not born of will, of discipline, and is therefore not contradictory. Am I making myself clear?

That is, unless you understand the totality of your occupation, there cannot be an integrated action. Your mind is superficially occupied during the day with the pursuit of your job and similar activities, but it is also occupied at other levels, in other directions. So there is a contradiction between these two layers of the mind, and we try to overcome the contradiction through discipline, through conformity, through various forms of adjustment based on fear; therefore, action always remains contradictory, which is what is happening with all of us. What to do is not the problem at all because when you ask what to do, the answer is inevitably according to the layers of your occupation and will only create further contradiction.

Now, what is your mind occupied with? Please follow this. Do you know what your mind is occupied with every day? You know very well that it is occupied with daily activities. Below that, what else is it occupied with? Are you aware of that deeper occupation? If you are, then you will see that it is in contradiction with the daily pursuits, and either the mind manages somehow to conform, to adjust itself to the daily pursuits or the contradiction is so total that there is a perpetual conflict going on, which leads to all kinds of diseases.

Now, sirs, from where should action take place? I want to do things in the world; I have to earn a livelihood, and I must work hard, or I want to paint, to write, to think, or be a religious entity. I want to work in some way, and there must be action. From what source, from what center, should this action spring? That is the problem. I see that action springing from any layer of occupation is bound to create contradiction, misery. There is no difference between the action of a housewife, the action of a lawyer, and the action of the mind which is pursuing God. Socially they may be different, but in reality there is no difference because the housewife, the lawyer, and the man who pursues God are all occupied. One occupation may be socially better than another, but fundamentally all occupation is more or less the same; there is no ''better'' occupation.

Tags: occupation, silence

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