Krishnamurti & the Art of Awakening

Krishnamurti Quote of the Day

Ojai, California | 2nd Public Talk 1945

Questioner: I have written down, as you suggested last year, my thoughts and feelings for several months, but I don't seem to get much further with it. Why? What more am I to do?

Krishnamurti: I suggested last year, as a means to self-knowledge and right thinking, that one should write down every thought-feeling, the pleasant as well as the unpleasant. Thus one becomes aware of the whole content of consciousness, the private thoughts and secret motives, intentions and bondages. Thus through constant self-awareness there comes self-knowledge which brings about right thinking. For without self-knowledge there can be no understanding. The source of understanding is within oneself and there is no comprehension of the world and your relationship to it without deep self-knowledge.

The questioner wants to know why he is not able to penetrate within himself deeply and discover the hidden treasure that lies beyond the superficial attempts at self-knowledge. To dig deeply you must have the right instrument, not merely the desire to dig. To cultivate self-knowledge there must be capacity and not a vague wish for it. Being and wishing are two different things.

To cultivate the right instrument of perception thought must cease to condemn, to deny, to compare and judge or to seek comfort and security. If you condemn or are gratified with what you have written down then you will put an end to the flow of thought- feeling and to understanding. If you wish to understand what another is saying surely you must listen without any bias, without being distracted by irrelevancies. Similarly, if you wish to understand your own thoughts-feelings, you must observe them with kindly dispassion and not with an attitude of condemnation or approval. Identification prevents and perverts the flow of thought-feeling; tolerant disinterestedness is essential for self-knowledge; self-knowledge opens the door to deep and wide understanding. But it is difficult to be calm with regard to oneself, to one's reactions and so on, for we have set up a habit of self-condemnation, of self-justification and it is of this habit that one must be aware. Through constant and alert awareness, not through denial, does thought free itself from habit. This freedom is not of time but of understanding. Understanding is ever in the immediate present.

To cultivate the right instrument of perception there must be no comparison for when you compare you cease to understand. If you compare, approximate, you are being merely competitive, ambitious and your end then is success in which inherently is failure. Comparison implies a pattern of authority according to which you are measuring and guiding yourself. The oppression of authority cripples understanding. Comparison may produce a desired result but it is an impediment to self-knowledge. Comparison implies time and times does not yield understanding.

You are a complex living organism; understand yourself not through comparison but through perception of what is, for the present is the doorway to the past and to the future. When thought is free of comparison and identification and their uncreative burden, it is then able to be calm and clear. This habit of comparison, as also the habit of condemnation and approval, leads to conformity and in conformity there is no understanding.

The self is not a static entity but very active, alertly capable in its demands and pursuits; to follow and to understand the endless movement of the self a keen, pliable mind-heart is necessary, a mind capable of intense self-awareness. To understand, mind must delve deeply and yet it must know when to be alertly passive. It would be foolish and unbalanced to keep on digging without the recuperative and healing power of passivity. We search, analyze, look into ourselves, but it is a process of conflict and pain; there is no joy in it for we are judging or justifying or comparing. There are no moments of silent awareness, of choiceness passivity. It is this choiceless awareness, this creative passivity that is even more essential than self-observation and investigation. As the fields are cultivated, sown, harvested and allowed to lie fallow so must we live the four seasons in a day. If you cultivate, sow and harvest without giving rest to the soil it would soon become unproductive. The period of fallowness is as essential as tilling; when the earth lies fallow the winds, the rains, the sunshine bring to it creative productivity and it renews itself. So must the mind-heart be silent, alertly passive after travail, to renew itself.

Thus through self-awareness of every thought-feeling the ways of the self are known and understood. This self-awareness with its self-observation and alert passivity brings deep and wide self-knowledge. From self-knowledge there comes right thinking; with out right thinking there is no meditation.

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