Krishnamurti & the Art of Awakening

Krishnamurti Quote of the Day

Benares, India | Fifth Public Talk, February 20, 1949

Questioner: You say the mind, memory and the thought process, have to cease before there can be understanding, and yet you are communicating to us. Is what you say the experience of something in the past, or are you experiencing as you communicate?

Krishnamurti: ... It is essential to have a still mind, a quiet mind, in order to understand, which is fairly obvious to those who have experimented with all this. The more you are interested in something, the more your intention to understand, the more simple, clear, free the mind is. Then verbalization ceases. After all, thought is word, and it is the word that interferes. It is the screen of words, which is memory, that intervenes between the challenge and the response. It is the word that is responding to the challenge, which we call intellection. So, the mind that is chattering, that is verbalizing, cannot understand truth - truth in relationship, not an abstract truth. There is no abstract truth. But truth is very subtle. It is the subtlety that is difficult to follow. It is not abstract. It comes so swiftly, so darkly, it cannot be held by the mind. Like a thief in the night, it comes darkly, not when you are prepared to receive it. Your reception is merely an invitation of greed. So, a mind that is caught in the net of words cannot understand truth.

The next question is: Is it not possible to communicate as one is experiencing? For communication there must be factual memory. As I am talking to you, I use words which you and I understand. Memory is a result of the cultivation of the faculty of learning, of storing words. The questioner wants to know how to have a mind that does not merely express or communicate after the event, after the experience, but a mind that is experiencing and at the same time communicating. That is, a new mind, a fresh mind, a mind that is experiencing without the interference of memory, the memory of the past. So, first let us see the difficulty in this.

As I said, most of us communicate after the experience; therefore, communication becomes a hindrance to further experience because communication, the verbalization of an experience, merely strengthens the memory of that experience. And strengthening the memory of one experience prevents the free experiencing of the next. We communicate either to strengthen an experience or to hold onto it. We verbalize it in order to fix it as memory or to communicate it. The very fixing, through verbalization, of an experience is the strengthening of an experience that is over. Therefore, you are strengthening memory, and so it is memory that is meeting the challenge. In that state, when the response to challenge is merely verbal, experience of the past becomes a hindrance. So, our difficulty is to be experiencing and, in communicating it, not to make verbalization a hindrance to further experience.

In all these discussions and talks, if I merely repeated the experience of the past, it would not only be extremely boring to you and to me but it would also strengthen the past and therefore prevent experiencing in the present. What is actually taking place is that the experience is going on, and at the same time there is communication. The communication is not verbalization; it is not clothing the experience. If we clothe the experience, give it a garment, shape it, the perfume and depth of that experiencing will be lost. So, there can be a fresh mind, a new mind, only when experiencing is not clothed by words. And in expressing it verbally, there is the danger of clothing it, giving it a shape, a form, and therefore burdening the mind with the image, with the symbol. It is possible to have a new mind, a fresh mind, only when it is not the word which is important, but the experiencing. That experiencing is from moment to moment. There cannot be experiencing if it becomes accumulative, for then it is accumulation that experiences, and there is no experiencing. There is experiencing from moment to moment only when there is no accumulation. Verbalization is accumulation. It is extremely difficult and arduous to express and still not be caught in the net of words.

Tags: accumulation, experience, interest, memory, truth

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Sir, what I am saying is not very difficult, though you may find it verbally difficult.
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What is it that creates the changing of values?
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Memory acts as a resistance against the movement of life.
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Memory is ever conditioning the mind and creating for it an environment of values in which it becomes a prisoner.
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All habit must prevent clarity of perception and must conceal one's own integrity.
Memory must become as a shell without a living organism in it.
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A mind-heart that is burdened with the memory of yesterday cannot live in the eternal present.
Should we not, as the questioner points out, be aware of the two kinds of memories: the indispensable, relating to facts and figures, and the psychological memory?
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Questioner: Why is memory an impediment?
Surely what I am saying is meant for all: for those who have renounced the world and for those who live in the world, for he who has renounced is still in the world because he is in the world of his own making, just as the worldly person is in the world of his own desires.
Memory is the residue left in the mind of insufficient experience;
We experience through the screen of the past and therefore there is no experience at all but only a modification of experience.
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The 'I' is non-existent without memory, its tendencies, gifts and so on, i.e. non-existent without continuity, the racial, the traditional, the past in conjunction with the now, the past flowing through the present to the future which is hope.
The problem is that I am only aware of factual memories and I am not aware of psychological memories.
You bring a framework of references to a living feeling and thereby absorb the living feeling into time, which only strengthens memory, which is the I.
What is thinking, what is the process of thinking?
Our thinking, which is the response to a challenge which is ever new, is always conditioned and therefore produces further conflict, further suffering and further pain.
When you attempt to avoid disturbance you don't want memory; but when you want to improve in the field of your choice you really want memory; thus there is contradiction.
An incomplete experience leaves a scar or a residue whereas a completed experience does not leave any residue.
To understand a challenge, which is always new, I must also meet it anew, there must be no residue of yesterday; so, I must say adieu to yesterday.
To understand the truth of a problem, of a relationship, you must come to it afresh - not with an 'open mind', for that has no meaning.
When you talk of the higher self, when you talk about Brahman, it is still within the field of memory; and memory is incomplete understanding.
Memory is time, and time is not the door to reality;
I must give continuity to an experience, otherwise consciousness ceases.
Examine your own memory and you will see that it has no vitality in itself; but when memory meets the new and translates the new according to its own conditioning, then it is revivified.
You can live completely, wholly, only when there is no terming, when there is no naming, and therefore no recording, which is memory.
To bring about a state of constant experiencing, which is really extraordinarily revolutionary, we must be aware of this process of action which is always seeking an end, a result, and therefore giving birth to the actor.
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Can you and I, live with what we actually are?
You cannot repeat truth, because truth is never constant.
Comfort is one thing, and truth another;
Truth is truth, one, alone; it has no sides, no paths; all paths do not lead to truth.
It is only that truth that liberates, and nothing else. That is why you must stand completely alone.
Freedom cannot be given; freedom is something that comes into being when you do not seek it;
Philosophy means love of truth, not love of thought.
A satisfactory explanation, or a comforting belief, can put you soothingly to sleep; but is that what you want?
The shallow are ever afraid of what they are; but what they are is the truth.
In spite of your emphatic denial of the need of a guru, are you not yourself a guru?
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That which is real will be known when the various forms of illusions have ceased.
When you see something clearly as being true - and clarity is always true - there is no other action but the action of clarity.
But we do not want the new, we do not want to be reborn. All that we want is to be made certain.
Surely, truth is not something distant; truth is in the little things of everyday life - in every word, in every smile, in every relationship - only we do not know how to see it;
There is only one truth, but you cannot go to it through any sect, through any religion.
You cannot find truth, you cannot find God, because your search is but an escape from fear, your search is but a desire for a culmination.
Question: What is your truth?
Truth is unique; it is not many-sided; it is complete.
Please do not think that by calling me an anarchist or communist, or by giving to me some other convenient name, you have understood what I have said.
If a thing is false, it is false for everyone, under all circumstances.
Truth is to be comprehended, to be discerned, not to be explained.
That which is capable of growth is not eternal.
Question: Is freedom from conflict possible for anyone at any time, regardless of evolution? Have you come across another instance, besides yourself, in which the possibility had become an actuality?
Creative emptiness is not to be run after or sought by devious ways. It must happen. Truth is.
Out of formulation, out of imagination, out of the known we experience, but few are capable of experiencing without symbols, without imagination, without formulations.
It is truth alone that frees, not the activity of will.
Truth can only come to you, you cannot go to it.
The means matters much more than the end.
Is there any path to truth?
To know that I have realized, you also must have realized.
A man who seeks truth must travel the uncharted seas; he has no harbours, he has no havens, he must go out to explore.
To love truth, you must know truth; and to know truth is to deny it.
Question: May we request you to state clearly whether there is God or not?