Krishnamurti & the Art of Awakening

Krishnamurti Quote of the Day

Public Talk 9th November, 1947 | Madras, India

Question: What is the difference between belief and confidence? Why do you condemn belief?

Krishnamurti: First of all let us see what is belief and what is confidence. What do we mean by belief? Why do we have to believe? Is it not because we have a desire to be certain, to be secure? Psychologically it is disturbing not to have a belief, is it not? If you have no belief in God, in a political party, you will be very disturbed. Would you not? Fear, belief in reincarnation, in dozens of things. So, belief is a demand to be secure made by the mind and therefore what happens? The mind seeking security, seeking belief, creates belief. Either it creates it for itself or it takes the beliefs of others and whether it has created it or has taken it over from others, the mind holds on to it, and says `I believe'. Or it projects the belief into the future and makes out of it a certainty, a security according to which it disciplines itself. As various factors are bound to lead to different beliefs, you believe in God and another believes there is no God. You are a Muslim and another is a Hindu or a Christian and then what happens? Belief divides. Does it not? The desire to be secure psychologically is bound to create division because you are creating, giving importance to various things that are secondary.

See what belief is doing in the world. Politically or religiously there are innumerable schemes which you believe to be the solvent of our difficulties. There are religious beliefs of such extraordinary varieties, and each individual pursues his own belief because it brings him comfort, and becomes a means of propaganda and exploitation. Belief inevitably separates. If you have a belief or when you seek security in your particular belief you become separated from those who are seeking security in other forms of belief. Therefore, all organized beliefs are based on separatism, though they may preach brotherhood. That is exactly what is happening in the world because belief is a hidden psychological demand for self-fulfilment. That is, by fulfilling yourself by means of a belief, you think you will be happy. Therefore, belief becomes an extraordinarily important factor in religion, in politics, etc.

If you feel you are a human being, do you think you would be fighting like this? Hindu and you are fighting with a Mussalman and you are killing each other; the English fought the Germans and so on. So belief is formed because of a desire for self-fulfilment, for security; and because we demand security and strive for it, we have an end and the end is a projection of ourselves. If the end were unknown we would not believe. It is a projection of the self and therefore it creates separatism and it becomes a barrier between you and another and that is exactly what is happening. I am not inventing a theory, but I am describing a fact, psychologically as well as organizationally a fact. We all believe in a pattern because we feel it to be very safe, the leader as well as the follower. If you analyse belief very carefully and look into it you will find that it is a form of self-fulfilment, of mutual exploitation, and that it does not lead to any answer. That is what belief has done for us.

And what do we mean by confidence? Most of us confide in someone or feel confidence in something. If you have practised something, read books, etc., it gives you a certain confidence, because you have practiced, done it over and over again with confidence. It is a form of aggressiveness. You can do something and therefore you feel delighted with yourself - "I can do something and you cannot." Confidence in a name, in a capacity - such confidence is aggression. Is it not? Such confidence is also self-exploitation which again is akin to belief. Therefore belief and confidence are similar. They are the two sides of the same coin.

Now, there is another kind of confidence which comes through self-knowledge. It should not really be called confidence, but for the lack of a better word we will call it `confidence'. When there is awareness, when the mind is aware of what it is thinking, feeling, doing, not only in the superficial layer of consciousness but in the deeper hidden layers, when we are fully aware of all the implications, then there comes a sense of freedom, a sense of assurance, because you know. When you know a cobra you are free from it, aren't you? When you know something is poisonous there is an assurance, there is a freedom that was unknown hitherto. There is an assurance, an extraordinary joy, a creative hope, a sense of aliveness when the self has been explored none of which is based on belief. When the self has been explored and all its tricks and corners are known to the mind, then the mind is assured of its creator. Therefore it ceases to create and in that cessation there is creation.

Sirs, please do not be hypnotized. You may be, as I said in the beginning of the talk, in that receptive mood when the seed is set in place, takes root. I hope sincerely that the seed has been planted because it is not words, it is not listening to me which will free you. What is going to free you, to deliver each one of us from sin and suffering is that realization, that awareness of what is. To know what it is exactly; not to translate it, not to explain it away, not to condemn; to know exactly what it is and to perceive it without obstruction brings freedom. That is freedom and through that freedom alone can truth be known.

Tags: belief, confidence

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