Krishnamurti & the Art of Awakening

Krishnamurti Quote of the Day

Frognerseteren, Norway | 4th Public Talk, 9th July 1933

Question: You say that suffering cannot give us understanding, but can only awaken us. If that is so, why does not suffering cease when we have been fully awakened?

Krishnamurti: That is just it. We are not fully awakened through suffering. Suppose that someone dies. What happens? You want an immediate relief from that sorrow; so you accept an idea, a belief, or you seek amusements. Now what has happened? There has been true suffering, an awakened struggle, a shock, and to overcome that shock, that suffering, you have accepted an idea such as reincarnation, or faith in the hereafter, or belief in communication with the dead. These are all ways of escape. That is, when you are awakened there is conflict, struggle. which you call suffering; but immediately you want to put away that struggle, that awakening; you long for forgetfulness through an idea, a theory, or through an explanation, which is but a process of being put to sleep again.

So this is the everyday process of existence: you are awakened through the impact with life, experience, which causes suffering, and you want to be comforted; so you seek out people, ideas, explanations, to give you comfort, satisfaction, and this creates the exploiter and the exploited. But if in that state of acute questioning, which is suffering, if in that state of awakened interest, you meet experiences completely, then you will find out the true value and significance of all the human shelters and illusions which you have created; and the understanding of them alone will free you from suffering.

Tags: suffering, understanding

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Instead of discerning the cause, you think that you can comprehend yourself through another. This looking to the example of another only leads to illusion and suffering.
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.
You are not concerned with what causes suffering, but you are concerned with the way of escaping from that suffering into perfection.
That you are awakened to suffering is but the indication that mind is trying to free itself from all standards;
What can one do for another when that person is suffering?
Our very seeking for God or truth is an escape.
When all the avenues of escape which the mind has invented have been understood and blocked, there remains only suffering, and then you will understand it.
Though we may think we have solved one problem, that problem again arises in a different form, so we go on through life solving problem after problem, struggle after struggle, without fully comprehending the full significance of our living.
Most of you who are religiously inclined, are in search of truth, and that very search indicates that you are escaping from the conflict of the present
in that state of acuteness of suffering, in that intensity of suffering in which there is no longer escape, the mind itself becomes intelligence.
If you experiment with this, you will see that I am not giving you theories, but something with which you can work, something which is practical.
One should bear in mind that what we call accumulation of sorrows does not lead to intensity, nor does the multiplication of suffering lead to its own dissolution;
the individual builds up a romantic haven of escape in which he seeks compensation for the loss and suffering in the outer world.
Suffering is merely that high, intense clarity of thought and emotion which forces you to recognize things as they are.
Explanations and formulas offer only means of escape from conflict.
The subtle desire for ideals and their permanence indicates that you want to cross the ocean of life without suffering.
The function of real suffering, which is to awaken intelligence, is denied through the search for comfort.
Where there is the disturbance of our security through the action of life, that we call suffering.
When the mind is stagnant, drugged to sleep by beliefs, crippled by limitations, and is awakened by the movement of life, that awakening we call suffering.
For most people, what they call reality or God or happiness is merely an escape from suffering, from this continual tension between action and understanding.
There are many kinds of suffering, and if you begin to discern their cause, you will perceive that suffering must coexist with the demand on the part of each individual to be secure, whether financially, spiritually, or in human relationship.
All of us are in some measure caught up in suffering, whether economic, physical, psychological or spiritual.
The comprehension of reality, truth, comes with the cessation of sorrow.
Suffering, from which we are ever trying to escape, can lead us to the comprehension of the "I" process, to the profound knowledge of oneself, but all escapes into illusion must cease.
As long as there is a conscious or unconscious craving to escape from sorrow, illusion in many forms must exist.
Is not suffering an indication of ignorance?
If you examine a little more closely you will find that suffering like pain and conflict really dulls what is and to regard suffering as a means to understanding or intelligence is really fallacious.
What generally happens is that we become very skilful, very clever in our escapes, but suffering continues and this becoming intelligent in escapes is called intelligent living.
Suffering is really to be understood and not overcome, because any form of overcoming can be conquered again
Suffering is the state of disturbance. Either you try to avoid it through some system or escape, or you understand its true significance.
Craving is the cause of suffering. Without understanding this, your attempt merely to get rid of suffering is bound to be futile.
Is suffering merely a state of disturbance? Is it not a warning that you should wake up and not sleep?
Being attached, you find pain and strife in attachment; and in order to overcome that pain and strife, you say 'I must be detached.'
Does sorrow, suffering, come to an end through effort, through a thought process?
Does sorrow, suffering, come to an end through effort, through a thought process?
the explanation is never that thing which is explained, that is the word is never the thing.
We don't love children, because we have no love in our own hearts. We just breed children.
The essence of control is suppression.
A mind that is indifferent, is aware of the shoddiness of our civilization, the shoddiness of our thought, the ugly relationships;
Mere reformation of the pattern of society only alters the surface, it brings about a more respectable form of ambition.
Until I, in my relationship to you, understand myself, I am the cause of chaos, misery, destruction, fear, brutality.
Life itself has no system, for it is always in movement;
In the confusion and turmoil of life, in its continual bustle and conflict, every individual is caught.
Criticism is only of value in so far as it trains your observation so that it can eventually be turned on yourself.
Desire, which has been the driving force in man, has created a great many pleasant and useful things; desire also, in man's relationships, has created a great many problems and turmoil and misery - the desire for pleasure.
As fear cannot free itself through any means, for all its efforts spring from its own source, there must be the cessation of all intellectual safeguards.
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.
Is it possible for the mind to be so attentive all the time, so sensitive that every challenge is answered completely and immediately, and to come to a state when there is no challenge and no response, when it is no longer in a state of experiencing?
There is a vast difference, then, between the mental examination of a fact and the understanding of that fact.
We are not concerned with individual salvation or individual liberation, or whatever the individual is trying to seek but rather with the whole movement of life, the understanding of the whole current of existence;
to observe means to observe without the interference of one's background; but one is the background - you follow?-one's whole being which looks is one's background - as a Christian, as a Frenchman, or as an intellectual.
Stillness cannot be cultivated, because if you cultivate a still mind, it is not a still mind, it is a dead mind.
When one merely understands intellectually, verbally or romantically or emotionally, it is just nothing at all.
In action born of choice there is no discernment, choice being calculation, a remembrance of incomplete action.
In order to fight, you must know what you are fighting, so there must be understanding of the fundamental, not of the divisions between the false things.
Why do you want to eliminate self-consciousness?
Because what you can now discern as God must be limited, since your mind is circumscribed, held in bondage; therefore I will not describe that.
When you understand you don't seek to modify, to alter, to reform.
There is the reaction to environment when the mind does not understand the environment, and acts without understanding, thereby further increasing the limitation of environment
I doubt, if I may say so, that you really understand what I am saying, even intellectually;
There is either deep understanding or the creation of mere theory.
Truth, the beauty of reality, can be discerned only when the mind is fearless; not with the fearlessness of intellectuality, but of utter insecurity.
If you have beliefs, you are translating and moulding your experiences according to them, and so you are continuously forcing and limiting thought-emotion, and these limitations become the "I" process.
Both the religious and the materialistic mind are conditioned by their own prejudices which prevent the integral comprehension of truth and the communion with it.
The problem of starvation is not solved by merely discovering its causes - the bad economic system, over-production, maldistribution, and so on.
I can give you [also] a very good explanation, but we are trying to go beyond mere explanations.
I have explained what I mean by understanding. This understanding is not an intellectual, analytical process.
Understanding is not brought about through the mere exertion of a one-sided will but through that experimental approach which has that peculiar quality of wholeness.
All overcoming is a form of ignorance and violence; only understanding can free thought from bondage.
To understand the complex causes of conflict and the desire to be free from it, requires not the mere will to be free, but constant awareness in our daily life.
I am talking of understanding which transcends reason and emotion.
What is of primary importance [then] is understanding, in whose wake follows compassion.
Understanding is not a reward; in the very moment of awareness it is born.
Surely there is a difference between right thinking and right or conditioned thought.
It is natural, is it not, to be depressed at this present time when there is so much killing, confusion and sorrow?
To merely deny craving, to merely oppose its many expressions is not to transcend it but to continue in it.
Compulsion does not create understanding, whether it is from outside or from within.
To understand there must be no judgment or comparison, no acceptance or denial, for all identification prevents that passive awareness in which alone the discovery of what is true is made.
These talks will be utterly useless if you do not experience as you are listening.
Condemnation, judgment and comparison do not bring the experience of understanding; on the contrary they will stop experience
In the outer world there is no hope, no clarity, no creative and renewing understanding, there is only bloodshed and confusion and mounting disaster.
Instead of trying to control these wandering thoughts become aware of them, think-out, feel-out every thought, comprehend its significance, however pleasant or unpleasant;
Search to understand, not to know; for in understanding, the dual process of the knower and the known ceases.
Understanding comes when your whole being is deeply and silently aware.
Without understanding oneself meditation becomes a process of self-hypnosis inducing experiences according to one's conditioning, one's belief.
Effort made to be free without the liberating action of Truth is still within the enclosing walls of the self.
If you saw the truth about self-expansion problems would begin to fade away.
Our difficulty lies in that we have built around ourselves conclusions which we call understanding.
Understanding is not substitution; mere change of patterns, of conclusions, does not yield understanding.
It is truth alone that frees, not the activity of will.
As we have got a very difficult subject to deal with it requires a great deal of patience and we must not jump to conclusions.
I am not here to give you ideas but on the contrary, I am here to discuss together with you if we can, seriously and earnestly, the problem of living.
We use the present as a passage to the future.
Understanding is a total responsibility of your entire being, a perception which comes to you of the entire picture and not of a part only.
When the mind is dull, it is unwilling to look at 'what is' but wants to change itself into something else, thus bringing another element into the problem.
[Understanding] involves change of will altogether and not merely change in will.
You cannot overcome a hindrance; the hindrance has to be understood by approaching it without condemnation, without judging, without a desire to alter it.
A truth, probably heard by you, ceases to be a truth when you merely repeat it; it will be a truth to you only when you, for yourself, have discovered it to be true.
As long as the mind is moving from the known to the known, it is 'dead', and a 'dead' thing cannot understand anything.
Is understanding to come through effort, or is there a state in which effort has ceased for understanding to be?
Why do we not realise that our pursuit of drunkenness, God or an ideal is only the pursuit of our escape from facing the actual, and therefore reduces us to a state of dullness and insensitivity?
Is not knowledge different from understanding and does the mere accumulation of knowledge yield understanding?
As it is, our existence is pretty awful and merely to understand verbally what is being said and use it as a pattern to translate everyday existence will not bring about understanding.
You will have understanding only when you consider the problem, when you accept it, look at it, become aware of its significance completely, and even love it.
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.
There is always in the 'thinker' a sense of permanency, a sense of continuity.
Most of you agree with what we have discussed so far in regard to the falseness of the trick played by the mind on itself; yet you have not seen the real depth of this problem and, therefore, it has not brought about clarification and transformation in you.
I am going to explain presently that truth can be understood instantaneously.
Outward action, when accomplished, is over, is static; and if the relationship between individuals, which is society, is not the outcome of inward revolution, then the social structure, being static, absorbs the individual, and therefore makes him equally static, repetitive.
Question: Can we realize on the spot the truth that you are speaking of, without any previous preparation?
Surely, meditation is understanding - meditation of the heart is understanding.
Self-knowledge is the beginning of meditation - not the knowledge that you pick up from my books, from authorities, from gurus, but the knowledge that comes into being through self-inquiry, which is self-awareness.
Peace can come into being only when the confusion which we have created is completely understood, not on the verbal level, but inwardly;
I cannot understand myself if I am tethered to anything - property, idea or thing.