Krishnamurti & the Art of Awakening

Krishnamurti Quote of the Day

Ojai, California | 2nd Public Talk 17th June, 1934

Question: It is perfectly clear to me that the "I" consciousness is the result of environment, but do you not see that the "I" did not originate for the first time in this life? From what you say it is obvious that the "I" consciousness, being the result of environment, must have begun in the distant past and will continue in the future.

Krishnamurti: I know this is a question to catch me about reincarnation. But that doesn't matter. Now let's look into it.

First of all you will admit, if you think about it, that the "I" is the result of environment. Now to me it doesn't matter whether it is the past environment or present environment. After all, environment is of the past also. You have done something which you haven't understood, you did something yesterday which you haven't understood, and that pursues you till you understand it. You cannot solve that past environment till you are fully conscious in the present. So it doesn't matter whether the mind is crippled by past or present conditions, What matters is that you shall understand the environment and this will liberate the mind from conflict.

Some people believe that the "I" has had a birth in the distant past and will continue in the future. It is irrelevant to me, it has no significance at all. I will show you why. If the "I" is the result of the environment, if the "I" is but the essence of conflict, then the mind must be concerned, not with that continuance of conflict, but with freedom from that conflict. So it does not matter whether it is the past environment which is crippling the mind, or the present which is perverting it, or whether the "I" has had a birth in the distant past. What matters is that in that state of suffering, in that consciousness, that conscious acuteness of suffering, there is the dissolution of the "I".

This brings in the idea of karma. You know what it means, that you have a burden in the present, the burden of the past in the present. That is, you bring with you the environment of the past into the present, and because of that burden, you control the future, you shape the future. If you come to think of it, it must be so, that if your mind is perverted by the past, naturally the future must also be twisted, because if you have not understood the environment of yesterday it must be continued today; and therefore, as you don't understand today, naturally you will not understand tomorrow either. That is, if you have not seen the full significance of an environment or of an action, this perverts your judgment of today's environment, of today's action born of environment, which will again pervert you tomorrow. So one is caught up in this vicious circle, and hence the idea of continual rebirth, rebirth of memory, or rebirth of the mind continued by environment.

But I say mind can be free of the past, of past environment, past hindrances, and therefore you can be free of the future, because then you are living dynamically in the present, intensely, supremely. In the present is eternity, and to understand that, mind must be free of the burden of the past; and to free the mind of the past there must be an intense questioning of the present, not the considering of how the "I" will continue in the future.

Tags: conflict, death, reincarnation

Related Quotes
Surely it must be possible to function in a sexual relationship with someone you love without the nightmare which usually follows.
From the known you cannot possibly see the unknown;
Only the mind that has emptied itself of the known is creative.
Man has invented heaven out of hope, for his life has become a hell, an endless conflict from birth to death, coming and going, making money, working endlessly.
All our life is spent in struggle, and we think that struggle is a necessary part of existence.
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.
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.
We are always caught in this misery of an everlasting battle with ourselves and with society. That is a fact.
There is no release from conflict until there is an understanding of what is.
Become aware of the cause that prevents you from living completely.
When we suffer we seek immediate consolation, comfort, and therefore there is no longer questioning; there is no longer doubt, but mere acceptance.
The moment we have solved one problem, another arises, and so we continue to the end of our lives seeking solutions to an endless series of problems.
You are not concerned with what causes suffering, but you are concerned with the way of escaping from that suffering into perfection.
Do not try to be spiritual, for you do not know what that signifies at all.
Heaven knows, we have conflicts all day long, but we have trained our mind to be cunning, and so pass over these conflicts lightly, escape from them.
Through friction, through continual conflict, memory is being created, memory as the "I" and the "mine", which becomes possessive.
Conflict can exist only between two false things, between that supposed reality which you call the "I", which to me is nothing else but the result of environment, and the environment itself.
You have not solved conflict, you have merely shifted it by substituting a new environment, a new condition, which will in turn produce further conflict.
If you look into your lives, you will see that conflict is continually twisting, perverting, shaping your lives;
There can be struggle only between two false things, conflict between the environment and the result of environment which is the "I".
You know we have lost all sense of living normally, simply, directly.
Intelligence and conflict cannot exist together.
In times of peace and quietness, there takes place a gradual change of values, mostly unconscious, and this change, this gradual change, we term the struggle between the old and the young.
How is one to have this intelligence which destroys struggle and conflict and the ceaseless effort which wears out mind itself?
When the mind is not imparting values, which is mere conformity, when there is spontaneous understanding of the prison, which is environment, then there is the action of intelligence, which is freedom.
The turmoil, the end, and the "you" are the same; there is no division.
The illusion of economic security is shown throughout the world by these depressions, crises, wars, calamities, and chaos.
It is the very essence of stupidity to escape from conflict through a series of established values, or through forming a new set of values.
Life is chaotic, conflicting, full of pain, and we think that, if we can find an ideal, then we shall be able to guide ourselves across this aching turmoil.
If you desire to understand environment, not only the objective but the subjective which is so infinitely subtle, then you must individually come into conflict with it.
I wonder how many of you are vitally conscious of this conflict in the battlefield of the mind.
Conflict invariably must arise when there is a static centre within one, and about one there are changing values.
Hate is not dissolved through experience nor through any accumulation of virtue.
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.
War is a symptom, however brutal and diseased, and to deal with the outer manifestation without regard to the deeper causes of it, is futile and purposeless;
There can only be peace and happiness in the world when the individual - who is the world - sets about definitely to alter the causes within himself which produce confusion, sorrow, hate, and so on.
Relationship is now based on dependence, that is, one depends on another for one's psychological satisfaction, happiness and well-being.
Do not think by merely wishing for peace, you will have peace, when in your daily life of relationship you are aggressive, acquisitive, seeking psychological security here or in the hereafter.
There is conflict in relationship, but instead of understanding its cause and so transcending it, we try to escape from it and seek gratification elsewhere.
In all of us there is the dormant will to destroy like anger, ill will, which extended leads to world catastrophes; and also within us there is the desire to be thoughtful and compassionate.
Is it not important to understand and so transcend conflict?
Most of us are caught up in an endless series of inward conflicts and without resolving them life is utterly wasteful and empty
Does not conflict, the struggle to become and not to become, make for a self-enclosing process?
To renounce is to acquire and acquisition is the seed of conflict.
We falsely separate the thought from the thinker and so try to deal only with the part, to educate and modify the part, thereby hoping to transform the whole.
Is conflict necessary for creativeness?
Conflict strengthens self-protective capacities, conflict is the substance on which the self thrives.
Is not liberation from the cause of conflict and sorrow the primary issue?
Be aware of your conflict, of how you deny, justify, compare or identify; of how you try to become; be aware of the deep, full significance of the pain of the opposites.
Through time the Timeless cannot be realized.
If thought-feeling is caught neither in disillusionment nor in comforting refuge then conflict will find the means of its own ending.
The very nature of the self is to create contradiction.
There is no end to conflict and sorrow in becoming.
Our conflict within and without arises, does it not, from the changing and contradictory values based on pleasure and pain?
Conflicts in relationship build a wall of continuous resistance and instead of bringing wider and deeper unity create insurmountable differences and disunity.
To be is to be related; there is no such thing as isolated being.
All the conflicting entities which make up the me have also brought into being the other me, the observer, the analyser.
The end to conflict and sorrow is through understanding and transcending the ways of the self and in discovering that imperishable Reality which is not the creation of the mind.
Questioner: Are we worms which must turn into butterflies?
To be aware of what is and not escape into fanciful illusion is the beginning of understanding.
Because we are too close to the problems such as poverty, the war that is coming, etc., we are incapable of real observation, and real study and understanding.
To say that God is 'me' is incorrect as God or Truth cannot exist in contradiction ...
As this conflict [of opposites] is wearing you out in your daily life, it is absolutely necessary for you to understand it and thus be free from this conflict.
It is only when one understands the centre which is the individual from which the left and the right come into being, there can be true revolution, not revolution to the left or to the right. but, as long as you are thinking in terms of the left or the right, you cannot understand the centre.
Should you not question it to find out the reason for this conflict, this ceaseless battle till you die and to be still wanting to continue after death?
Our whole existence is this, fighting evil by evil means, but saying, 'Well, I am not evil,' as though we are extraordinarily righteous.
You are moving from 'what you are' to 'what you want to be' as the opposite of 'what you are', with a motive for profit.
Is life meant to be a series of conflicts in the corridor of opposites or is our approach to the problem of the opposites wrong?
If good is the opposite of bad, goodness contains the bad because goodness is the result of its opposite, the bad.
Humility is an idea, not an actuality. The actual is the arrogance, the other is not, but I would like to become that other.
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.
The 'I' is the result of this pursuing and denying, and it is therefore a contradiction.
Surely this confusion, this misery did not come into being by itself. You and I have created it, not a capitalist or a communist or a fascist society, but you and I have created it in our relationship with each other.
In 'becoming' there is always the dual; in 'being' there is no duality.
Righteousness is a process of self-enclosure.
After all, war is a projection of our daily life - only more spectacular and more destructive.
To find action without strife, there must be no actor; and there is no actor only when there is no end in view.
So, can you, while living, vigorous, active, end your attachment, end a particular habit voluntarily, easily, quietly?
What is death? Surely, it is the complete cessation of everything that you have known
Most of us are so weighed down by the known, by the yesterday, by the memories, by the `me', the `self', which is but a bundle of memories accumulated yesterday, having no actual existence in itself.
It requires an intense energy to stand alone.
Except for the human beings, it was a new day; nothing was like yesterday.
When you lose your relationship with nature and the vast heavens, you lose your relationship with man.
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.
We are saying: Be dead to love; it doesn't matter. Live entirely in your intellect and in your verbal manipulations, your cunning arguments.
In Asia they believe in reincarnation; that is, the believer is born over and over again until in time he becomes perfect.
Death isn't some horrific thing, something to be avoided, something to be postponed, but rather something to be with day in and day out.
One has to find out the meaning of living, not merely giving an intellectual significance to it, but looking at what it means to live.
Creativeness is not a process of becoming or achieving, but a state of being in which self-seeking effort is totally absent.
It is one fact in life, we are all going to die. That is an absolute, irrevocable fact.
It is we human beings who are always concerned about death - because we are not living.
Is death merely the ending of the physical organism? Is that what we are afraid of? Is it the body that we want to continue? Or is it some other form of continuance that we crave?
Colour was god and death was beyond the gods.
The Christians have taken comfort in the idea of resurrection, and the Hindus and the Buddhists in a future life. Future life of what?
In what manner should one live one's daily life?"
What is death, what does it mean to die? - and that is an absolute certainty that we are all going to die, and what does that mean?
When you say to somebody `I love you', what does it mean?
It is a stupid person that wants to continue - no man who understood the rich feelings of life would want continuity.
It seems to me that our problems, whatever they are, can be dissolved totally only by burning away the process of will - which may sound completely foreign to a Western mind, and even to the Eastern mind.
That which has continuity cannot possibly be innocent.
We refuse to accept life as it is in fact.
The word 'innocence' means 'incapable of being hurt'.
Thought is the response of memory, experience, knowledge, the known, in the known is the 'me', though consciously I may not know the 'me' totally, the 'me' lives in this interval.
Do we know what love is? Never knowing it is the wonder of it, the beauty of it.
Is there time to overcome death; or is death always in harmony with life, with love, with pain; or is death something to be put far away, one day we have to face it but not now?
Can you invite death? Which means to end that which you have experienced, that which you have gathered, psychologically, so that you become totally inwardly anonymous, so that you are inwardly absolutely nothing?
Life is not what we would like it to be; life is not permanent at all.
Questioner: Will you please talk about death? I do not mean the fear of death but rather the promise and hope which the thought of death must always hold for those who are aware throughout life that they do not belong.
Because we are as the dead we fear death; the living do not.
If death is truly a great problem for you, not merely a verbal or emotional issue nor a matter of curiosity which can be appeased by explanations, then in you there is deep silence.
if we were aware of what is, then the truth of sorrow, of impermanency, of imprisonment would liberate thought from its own ignorance.
We have never understood the significance of Death.
To us, God is the ultimate continuance and Death the ultimate denial of continuance.
I think it is important that we should understand the whole question of death because, in that, there is renewal.
As one cannot think of the unknown, one can only think of the known, the outcome of the thought which is the result of the past.
Continuity implied through a belief or through the soul is the product of thought and therefore it is the result of the known, because thought can only think of something which it knows
In order to bring about a renewal we must die; and that means we must start anew, putting away completely all memories of the past.
We are not concerned with physical continuity. What we are primarily concerned about is whether through things there is psychological continuity;
... to understand the immortal, the imperishable, we have to understand the ending which we call death.
Surely death is as lovely as the real is, because both are the unknown, but a mind that is merely functioning within the known can never understand the unknown.
We do not know what God is, what Death is, and what Love is.
Why does the mind separate itself from the stream of continuity and say 'I remember'?
If we really go into it, if we are aware of its significance, we will find that, that which is spiritual is timeless and therefore beyond our reach and therefore beyond continuity;
The transitory cannot find the permanent; it must cease for the permanent to be.
When you treat impermanency as impermanent then there is nothing; but when you are seeking permanency as an opposite to transitory, the permanency itself is transitory.
Memory is time, and time is not the door to reality;
A man who has a problem, who is continuously worried for a number of years, is dead, for him there is no renewal; he is of the living dead, he merely continues.
Life and death are one, and the man who knows they are one is he who dies every minute.
In Asia they believe in reincarnation; that is, the believer is born over and over again until in time he becomes perfect.
What is death, what does it mean to die? - and that is an absolute certainty that we are all going to die, and what does that mean?
Question: Do you believe in reincarnation? Is it a fact? Can you give us proof from your personal experience?
Question: Will I reincarnate on earth in a future life?
Thought cannot escape from its limited action and reaction until it understands deeply and fully the cause and the process of its own bondage.
The mind can deceive itself and fabricate anything it wishes.
Question: What is true and what is false in the theory of reincarnation?
What is the thing implied in reincarnation? What is the thing that reincarnates?
As thought is the process of time, as thought is founded on the past, for thought to speculate about the timeless is utterly meaningless.
So, I want to know if the 'I' continues. The 'I', which is a total process, a psychological as well as physiological process, which is with the body and also apart from the body - I want to know if that 'I' continues, if it comes into being after this physical existence ends