Krishnamurti & the Art of Awakening

Krishnamurti Quote of the Day

This Matter of Culture | Chapter 17

We cling to our children, to our traditions, to our society, to our names and our little virtues, because we want permanency; and that is why we are afraid to die. We are afraid to lose the things we know. But life is not what we would like it to be; life is not permanent at all. Birds die, snow melts away, trees are cut down or destroyed by storms, and so on. But we want everything that gives us satisfaction to be permanent; we want our position, the authority we have over people, to endure. We refuse to accept life as it is in fact.

The fact is that life is like the river: endlessly moving on, ever seeking, exploring, pushing, overflowing its banks, penetrating every crevice with its water. But, you see, the mind won't allow that to happen to itself. The mind sees that it is dangerous, risky to live in a state of impermanency, insecurity, so it builds a wall around itself: the wall of tradition, of organized religion, of political and social theories. Family, name, property, the little virtues that we have cultivated - these are all within the walls, away from life. Life is moving, impermanent, and it ceaselessly tries to penetrate, to break down these walls, behind which there is confusion and misery. The gods within the walls are all false gods, and their writings and philosophies have no meaning because life is beyond them.

Now, a mind that has no walls, that is not burdened with its own acquisitions, accumulations, with its own knowledge, a mind that lives timelessly, insecurely - to such a mind, life is an extraordinary thing. Such a mind is life itself, because life has no resting place. But most of us want a resting place; we want a little house, a name, a position, and we say these things are very important. We demand permanency and create a culture based on this demand, inventing gods which are not gods at all but merely a projection of our own desires.

A mind which is seeking permanency soon stagnates; like that pool along the river, it is soon full of corruption, decay. Only the mind which has no walls, no foothold, no barrier, no resting place, which is moving completely with life, timelessly pushing on, exploring, exploding - only such a mind can be happy, eternally new, because it is creative in itself.

Tags: change, death, permanence

Related Quotes
Don't change. It's very simple. If you want to remain as you are, carry on, nobody is going to prevent you.
Any change within the field of time is the same movement modified and continued.
I must change because I know I am dull, stupid, envious, anxious, fearful, and every pleasure is vanishing, and I want to change so radically, so totally, that my mind is new.
A constant battle is going on within us, wearing us out in the process.
To be aware of the motives, of the influences, of the compulsions that force us to change, to be aware of them and to deny them is to bring about change.
Time is a movement invented by thought.
What I have to say concerns the hindrances which prevent in you the instantaneous recognition of truth.
there are two things open to each individual, either to do patchwork, to reform, or bring about a complete orientation of thought, a complete change.
Conflict invariably must arise when there is a static centre within one, and about one there are changing values.
Do you seriously think there are only a few who are responsible for this social disorganization, these wars and hatreds?
Lasting order and peace can be brought about only when the individual voluntarily and intelligently consents to think without hate, greed, ambition, and so on.
You are changing. So also is your neighbour. Yet when you meet your neighbour, you have your old picture of that person.
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Conditioned thought that seeks to modify or change itself merely continues the conditioned state.
Surely, change is a modified continuity, I am this, and I want to become that; that is, I want to become the opposite of what I am.
Any change which we desire is a modified continuity of the same thing as now exists.
Society is static. The individual only is creative and not society.
It is not possible to change all this. Firstly, you must see that you cannot do anything with all this.
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.
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.
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.
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.