Krishnamurti & the Art of Awakening

Krishnamurti Quote of the Day

The Revolution From Within | Fifth Talk in The Oak Grove, July 4, 1953

Now, what is it that makes the mind superficial? Please don't merely listen to me, but observe, be aware of your own thinking when a question like that is put to you. What makes the mind superficial? Why cannot the mind experience something that is true, beyond its own projections? Is it not primarily the gratification that each one is seeking that makes the mind superficial? We want at any price to be gratified, to find a satisfaction, so we seek methods to achieve that end. And is there such a thing as gratification, ever? Though we may be temporarily satisfied, and change the object of our satisfaction depending on our age, is there satisfaction at any time? Desire is constantly seeking to fulfill itself, so we go from one satisfaction to another, and getting caught in each new satisfaction, with all its complications, we again become dissatisfied and try to disentangle ourselves. We cling to persons, pursue teachers, join groups, read books, take up one philosophy after another, but the central desire is always the same: to be satisfied, to be secure, to become somebody, to achieve a result, to gain an end. Is not that whole process one of the primary causes of the mind's superficiality?

And is not the mind superficial because we think in terms of acquisition? The mind is constantly occupied with acquiring or with putting aside, denuding itself of what it has acquired. There is tension between acquisition and denudation, and we live in that tension, and does not that tension contribute to shallowness of mind?

Another factor which brings about shallowness is the mind's ceaseless occupation with its own troubles, or with some philosophy, or with God, ideas, beliefs, or with what it should do or should not do. As long as the mind is absorbed, concerned, taken up with something, is it not superficial? Surely, only the unoccupied mind, the mind that is totally free, not caught in any problem, that is not concerned with itself, with its achievements, with its pains, with its joys and sorrows, with its own perfection - only such a mind ceases to be shallow. And cannot the mind live from day to day, doing the things it has to do, without this preoccupation?

For most of us, with what is the mind occupied? When you observe your own mind, when you are aware of it, what is it concerned with? With how to make itself more perfect, how to be healthy, how to get a better job, whether it is loved or not loved, whether it is making progress, how to get out of one problem without falling into another - it is concerned with itself, is it not? In different ways it is everlastingly identifying itself with the greatest or with the most humble. And can a mind occupied with itself ever be profound? Is it not one of our difficulties, perhaps the major difficulty, that our minds have become so extraordinarily shallow? If any difficulty arises, we rush to somebody to help us; we have not the capacity to penetrate, to find out; we are not investigators into ourselves. And can the mind investigate, be aware of itself, if it is occupied with any problem? The problems which we create in our superficiality demand not superficial responses but the understanding of what is true, and cannot the mind, being aware of the causes of superficiality in itself, understand them without struggling against them, without trying to put them aside? Because the moment we struggle, that in itself becomes another problem, another occupation which merely increases the superficiality of the mind.

Tags: desire, gratification, superficiality

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