Krishnamurti & the Art of Awakening

Krishnamurti Quote of the Day

Bombay, India | 4th March 1953

The past can never be put aside. There is a watching of the past as it goes by, but not occupation with the past. So the mind is free to observe and not to choose. Where there is choice in this movement of the river of memory, there is occupation, and the moment the mind is occupied. it is caught in the past: and when the mind is occupied with the past, it is incapable of seeing something real, true, new, original, uncontaminated.

A mind that is occupied with the past - the past is the whole consciousness that says, `this is good; `that is right; `this is bad; `this is mine; `this is not mine' - can never know the Real. But the mind unoccupied can receive that which is not known, which is the unknown. This is not an extraordinary state of some yogi, some saint. Just observe your own mind; how direct and simple it is. See how your mind is occupied. And the answer, with what the mind is occupied, will give you the understanding of the past, and therefore the freedom from the past.

You cannot brush the past aside. It is there.

Tags: memory, time, will

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Question: You say that memory is a barrier. Why?
If your mind is aware of its own creations, then you will discern how you have established for yourself guides, values, which are but memories, as a protection against the incessant movement of life.
Memory acts as a resistance against the movement of life.
The mind has become merely a record of the various lessons of experience.
Where there is want, there must also be accumulative memories, self-protective calculations, which give to consciousness, continuity and identification.
Memory is ever conditioning the mind and creating for it an environment of values in which it becomes a prisoner.
I have tried to explain that conduct born of compulsion, whether it be the compulsion of reward or of punishment, of fear or of love, is not right conduct.
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What is the good of your listening to me if the obvious thing is escaping your consideration?
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.
The accumulation of memory is called knowledge; with this burden, with the scars of experience, thought is ever interpreting the present and so giving continuity to its own scars and conditioning.
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?
he eternal is ever the unknown for a mind that accumulates; what is accumulated is memory, and memory is ever the past, the time-binder.
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.
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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.
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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.
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If you and the speaker are the result of forty thousand years or more, and we have come to this peculiar state that we are in, will we, give me another forty thousand years, change?
Breaking through is not a matter of time.
Except for the human beings, it was a new day; nothing was like yesterday.
A mind that is capable of measuring is capable also of illusion
It would be foolish - would it not? - to deny evolution.
Why have we created psychological time?
Personally, to the speaker, there is no psychological evolution;
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Meditation is seeing the constant touching the ever-changing movement of life.
Self-knowledge is only from moment to moment, and therefore there is a creative happiness from moment to moment.
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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.
Any change within the field of time is the same movement modified and continued.
It is we human beings who are always concerned about death - because we are not living.
Creative emptiness is not possible so long as there is the thinker who is waiting, watching, observing in order to gather experience, in order to strengthen himself.
The thinker is a fictitious entity, an unreal state. There is only thought; and the bundle of thoughts creates the 'I', the thinker.
To control thought-feeling for a greater reward, for a greater result, is to make it petty, ignorant and sorrowful.
Patience is not time. Impatience is time. Patience has no time.
I feel that a radical change can come only when there is no effort, when the mind is not trying to become something, not trying to be virtuous - which does not mean that the mind must be nonvirtuous.
Space and time are real for the man who is yet imperfect and space is divided for him into dimensions, time into past, present and future.
You see, death is destruction, it is final; you can't argue with it, you can't say, 'Nay, wait a few days more.'
If action is conditioned by an idea, by a formula, by a concept, action then is not important, but the idea is important, and therefore, there is a conflict between action and idea.
Time is merely the outcome of our not meeting the fact without knowledge.
As long as the mind is a slave to time, there must be the fear of death, the fear and the hope of a future life, and a constant inquiry into that question.
A fundamental question cannot be answered by somebody else.
A constant battle is going on within us, wearing us out in the process.
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?
Time is a movement invented by thought.
Life is not what we would like it to be; life is not permanent at all.
What I have to say concerns the hindrances which prevent in you the instantaneous recognition of truth.
Consider the working of your own mind and heart and you will see that in the pursuit of achievement and progress you are living in the past and in the future and never fully in the present.
You must realize with your heart as well as with your mind that the cause of emptiness is craving.
Man in general sees life only through the tradition of time which he bears in his mind and his heart; whereas to me life is fresh, renewing, moving, never static.
If you perceive and live completely in the very thing that you are experiencing, then this idea of change from the unessential to the essential disappears
I say that time does not bring you understanding; when you look to time as a gradual process of unfoldment you are creating a hindrance.
The very inquiry into the future shows that you are already dying.
What is living fully in the present?
The future is nothing but an escape from actuality, through an ideal to which we try to adjust the present, the immediate action.
The "I" process that seeks to perpetuate itself is nothing but accumulated craving.
The past is the background of conditioned thought-action which is dominating and controlling the present and thereby creating a predetermined future.
Where there is intense interest there is full awareness.
In your eagerness you want immediate results, you are concerned with results and not with the ways and means; thus in your haste you become a plaything of empty promises.
Through time the Timeless cannot be realized.
Do not depend on time but be arduous in the search of self-knowledge.
The chain of sorrow is broken only when the becomer ceases to become, positively or negatively.
If you saw the truth about self-expansion problems would begin to fade away.
Questioner: Is there anything that one can do to be aware?
The sense of struggle and of not being able to do something creates frustration because there is in your mind an idea of achievement.
We use the present as a passage to the future.
The present is the door to time, to the understanding of time and the present exists in what you are thinking, not in the time indicated by the clock, the time-table, or your routine.
You need not worry about things that are beyond time.
If you consider that the cause is different from the effect, then you accept the time-interval for modification.
I am going to explain presently that truth can be understood instantaneously.
Perception can take place only in the present; but if you say, 'I will do it tomorrow', the wave of confusion overtakes you, and you are then always involved in confusion.
Our problem, yours and mine, is whether we can step out of this misery instantaneously.
Freedom is eternal; it is now, not tomorrow.
Understanding is non-continuous, it is from moment to moment, unresidual.
That which is spirituality, truth, godliness, is beyond time; therefore it is not the continuity we know of as tomorrow and the future.
Is it not possible for us to step out of time - all of us here, not by some self-hypnotic process, but actually?
Transformation must be always immediate and not left to time, i.e., to tomorrow.
Transformation must be only in the Now and any postponement is not conducive to transformation, as such postponement is really avoidance of action.
Sincerity can never be simple; sincerity is the breeding ground of the will, and will cannot uncover the ways of the self.
It is only the righteous man that develops his will as a means of resistance, and a man of will can never find truth, because he is never free.
Freedom cannot be given; freedom is something that comes into being when you do not seek it;
Is silence to be cultivated, carefully nurtured and strengthened? And who is the cultivator? Is he different from the totality of your being?
We are saying: Be dead to love; it doesn't matter. Live entirely in your intellect and in your verbal manipulations, your cunning arguments.
An ambitious man, whether he be a merchant, a politician, or a so-called saint is essentially a self-contradictory human being.
Have the teachings attributed to the great teachers - Christ, Buddha, Hermes and others - any value for the attainment of the direct path to truth?
The energy which seeks truth creates its own discipline without any form of imposition; and as the river finds the sea, so that energy finds its own freedom.
You can't empty the mind, do what you will you can't empty it, because the desire to empty it is part of the activity of the self.
Is there an action which is not the result of effort, which is not the action of will?
Will is the outcome of the conflict of choice, but discernment is choiceless.
There are two kinds of will - the will that is born out of desire, want, craving, and the will that is of discernment, comprehension.
The change in will is submission to the authority of ideal and conduct. The change of will is discernment, intelligence, in which there is not the conflict of antitheses.
The will to exist, the will to become perfect, the will to succeed, the will to acquire, the will to find God, is the urge of egotism.
Will living according to a pattern, an ideal, following it ruthlessly, meditating upon it, bring you to the discovery of yourself?
Is each one aware of the mechanical process of the intellect, of the will, which destroys the spontaneous, the real?
Creative emptiness is not to be run after or sought by devious ways. It must happen. Truth is.
The desire to be satisfied creates will, which maintains itself by its own continual effort.
Being poor inwardly, psychologically, spiritually, one thinks of enriching oneself through possessions, with ever increasing complex demands and problems.
You may be able to overcome greed through the mere exertion of the will of denial, but that does not lead to understanding, to love, for such a will is the product of conflict and therefore cannot free itself from greed.
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.
It is only when we are really inwardly free from greed, not merely in our outward relationship and action, that there can be peace and disinterested action.
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.
The motive for cultivating the opposite matters greatly; if it is a desire to escape from the struggle and pain of envy, then its opposite becomes identical with itself and so there is no freedom from envy.
Without self-knowledge, to make a choice between the opposites must inevitably lead to further ignorance and sorrow.
In opposition there is no understanding.
This abandonment of the self is not an act of will;
An intelligence which is the product of desire, of self-expansion, is ever creating resistance, and it can never bring about tranquillity.
It is truth alone that frees, not the activity of will.
[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.
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.
All greatness, like love, comes to you. If you pursue love it will never come, but if you are open, still, not demanding, it will come.
So, as long as the thinker is separate from his thought, there will be problems, one after the other, innumerable problems;